THE Apprentice turned Master; Or, the SECOND PART of the TWO SHOEMAKERS.

SHEWING How James Stock from a Parish Apprentice became a creditable Tradesman.


Sold by J. MARSHALL, (PRINTER to the CHEAP REPOSITORY for Moral and Re­ligious Tracts) No. 17, Queen-Street, Cheapside, and No. 4, Aldermary Church-Yard, and R. WHITE, Pic­cadilly, London.

By S. HAZARD, at Bath; and by all Booksellers, News­men, and Hawkers, in Town and Country.

Great Allowance will be made to Shopkeepers and Hawkers.

Price One Penny each, or 4s. 6d. per 100 —2s. 6d. for 50. — 1s. 6d. for 25.

[Entered at Stationers Hall.]


THE first part of this History left off with the dreadful sudden death of Williams the idle Shoemaker, who died in a dunken fit at the Grey­hound. It also shewed how James Stock, his faithful apprentice, by his honest and upright be­haviour, so gained the love and respect of his late master's creditors▪ that they set him up in business, though he was not worth a shilling of his own, such is the power of a good character! And when we last parted from him he had just got possession of his master's shop.

This sudden prosperity was a time of trial for James; who, as he was now become a creditable tradesman, I shall hereafter think proper to call Mr. James Stock. I say, this sudden rise in life was a time of trial; for we hardly know what we are ourselves till we become our own masters. There is indeed always a reasonable hope that a good servant will not make a bad master, and that a faithful apprentice will prove an honest trades­man. But the heart of man is deceitful. And some folks seem to behave very well while they are un­der subjection; but no sooner do they get a little power than their heads are turned, and they grow prouder than those who are gentlemen born. They forget at once that they were lately poor and de­pendent themselves, so that one would think that with their poverty they had lost their memory too. I have known some who suffered most hard­ships in their early days, the most hard and oppressive in their turn; so that they seem to for­get that fine considerate reason which GOD gives [Page 3] to the children of Israel why they should be mer­ciful to their servants, "remembering" saith he, "that thou thyself wast a bondman."

Young Mr. Stock did not so forget himself. He had indeed the only sure guard from falling into this error. It was not from any easiness in his na­tural disposition: for that only just serves to make folks good-natured when they are pleased, and patient when they have nothing to vex them. James went upon higher ground. He did not give way to abusive language, because he knew it was a sin. He did not use his apprentices ill, because he knew he had himself a master in heaven.

He knew he owed his present happy situation to the kindness of the creditors. But did he grow easy and careless because he knew he had such friends? No indeed. He worked with double di­ligence in order to get out of debt, and to let these friends see he did not abuse their kindness. Such behaviour as this is the greatest encourage­ment in the world to rich people to lend a little money.

His shoes and boots were made in the best man­ner, this got him business, he set out with a rule to tell no lies and deceive no customers; this se­cured his business. He had two reasons for not promising to send home goods when he knew he should not be able to keep his word. The first, because he knew a lie was a sin, the next, because it was a folly. There is no credit sooner worn out than that which is got by false pretences. After a little while no one is deceived by them. False­hood is so soon found out that I believe most tradesmen are the poorer for it in the long run. [Page 4] Deceit is the worst, part of a shopkeeper's stock in trade.

James was now at the head of a family. "This is a serious situation," (said he to himself, one fine summer's evening, as he stood leaning over the half door of his shop to enjoy a little fresh air) "I am now master of a family. My cares are doubled and so are my duties. I see the higher one gets in life the more one has to answer for. Let me now call to mind the sorrow I used to feel when I was made to carry work home on a Sunday by an ungodly master.

So what his heart found right to do he resolved to do quickly; and he set out at first as he meant to go on. The Sunday was truly a day of rest at Mr. Stock's. He would not allow a pair of shoes to be given out on that day to oblige the best cus­tomer he had. And what did he loose by it? Why nothing. For when the people were once used to it, they liked Saturday night just as well. But had it been otherwise he would have given up his gains to his conscience.

Shewing how Mr. STOCK behaved to his APPRENTICES.

When he got up in the world so far as to have apprentices, he thought himself as accountable for their behaviour as if they had been his children. He was very kind to them, and had a chearful mer­ry way of talking to them, so that the lads who had seen too much of swearing, reprobate masters, were very fond of him. They were never afraid of speaking to him, they told him all their little trou­bles, and considered their master as their best friend, for they said they would do any thing for a [Page 5] good word and a kind look. As he did not swear at them when they had been guilty of a fault, they did not lie to him to conceal it, and thereby make one fault two. But though he was very kind, he was very watchful also, for he did not think ne­glect any part of kindness. He brought them to one very pretty method, which was, of a Sunday evening to divert themselves with writing out half a dozen texts of Scripture in a pretty copy book with gilt covers. You may have the same at any of the Stationer's; they do not cost above four pence, and will last nearly a year.

When the boys carried him their books, he justly commended him whose texts were written in the fairest hand. "And now my boys," said he, "let us see which of you will learn your texts best in the course of the week; he who does shall chuse for next Sunday." Thus the boys soon got many psalms and chapters by heart, almost without knowing how they came by them. He taught them how to make a practical use of what they learnt; for," said he "it will answer little pur­pose to learn texts if we do not try to live up to them." One of the boys being apt to play in his absence, and to run back again to his work when he heard his master's step, he brought him to a sense of his fault by the last Sunday's texts, which happened to be 6th of Ephesians. He shewed him what was meant by being "obedient to his master in singleness of heart as unto Christ," and explained to him with so much kindness what it was, "not to work with eye-service as men pleasers, but do­ing the will of God from the heart," that the lad said he should never forget it, and it did more to­wards [Page 6] curing him of idleness than the soundest horse whipping would have done.

How Mr. STOCK got out of Debt.

Stock's behaviour was very regular, and he was much beloved for his kind and peaceable temper. He had also a good reputation for skill in his trade, and his industry was talked of through the whole town, so that he had soon more work than he could possibly do. He paid all his dealers to the very day, and took care to carry his interest money to the creditors the moment it became due. In two or three years he was able to begin to pay off a small part of the principal. His reason for being so eager to pay money as soon as it became due was this. He had observed tradesmen, and especially his old master, put off the day of pay­ment as long as they could, even though they had the means in their power. This deceived them. For having money in their pockets they forgot it belonged to the creditor, and not to themselves, and so got to fancy they were rich when they were really poor. This false notion led them to in­dulge in idle expences, whereas, if they had paid regularly they would have had this one tempta­tion the less. A young tradesman, when he is going to spend money, should at least ask himself whether this money is his own or his creditors'. This little question might help to prevent many a bankruptcy.

A true Christian always goes heartily to work to find out what is his besetting sin; and when he has found it, (which he easily may if he looks sharp) against this sin he watches narrowly. Now I know it is the fashion among some folks (and a bad fashion it is) to fancy that good people have [Page 7] no sin; but this only shews their ignorance. It is not true. That good man St. Paul knew better. And when men do not own their sins, it is not be­cause there is no sin in their hearts, but because they are not anxious to search for it, nor humble to confess it, nor penitent to mourn over it. But this was not the case with James Stock. "Exa­mine yourselves truly," said he, "is no bad part of the catechism." He began to be afraid that his desire of living creditably and without being a burthen to any one, might, under the mask of ho­nesty and independence lead him into pride and covetousness. He feared that the bias of his heart lay that way. So instead of being proud of his sobriety; instead of bragging that he never spent his money idly, nor went to the alehouse; instead of boasting how hard he worked, and how he de­nied himself, he strove in secret that even these good qualities might not grow but of a wrong root. The following event was of use to him in this way.

One evening as he was standing at the door of his shop, a poor dirty boy without stockings and shoes came up and asked him for a bit of broken victuals, for he had eaten nothing all day. In spite of his dirt and rags he was a very pretty, lively, civil spoken boy, and Mr. Stock could not help thinking he knew something of his face. He fetched him out a good piece of bread and cheese, and while the boy was devouring it, asked him if he had no parents, and why he went about in that vagabond manner? "Daddy has been dead some years," said the boy, "he died in a fit over at the Greyhound. Mammy says he used to live at [Page 8] this shop, and then we did not want for cloaths nor victuals neither." Stock was melted almost to tears on finding that this dirty beggar boy was Tommy Williams, the son of his old master. He blessed God on comparing his own happy condition with that of this poor destitute child, but he was not proud at the comparison, and while he was thankful for his own prosperity, he pitied the help­less boy.—"Where have you been living of late," said he to him? "for I understood you all went home to your mother's friends." "So we did Sir," said the boy, "but they are grown tired of maintaining us, because they said that Mammy spent all the money which should have gone to buy vic­tuals for us, on snuff and drams. And so they have sent us back to this place, which is Daddy's parish."

"And where do you live here?" said Mr. Stock. "O Sir, we are all put into the parish poor-house." —"And does your mother do any thing to help to maintain you?" "No Sir, for Mammy says she was not brought up to work like poor folks, and she would rather starve than spin or knit; so she lies a-bed all the morning, and sends us about to pick up what we can, a bit of victuals or a few halfpence." "And have you any money in your pocket now?" "Yes, Sir, I have got three half­pence which I have begged to-day." "Then, as you were so very hungry, how came you not to buy a roll at that baker's over the way?" "Be­cause, Sir, I was going to lay it out in tea for Mammy, for I never lay out a farthing for myself. Indeed Mammy says she will have her tea twice a-day if we beg or starve for it." "Can you read my boy?" said Mr. Stock. "A little, Sir, and [Page 9] say my prayers too." "And can you say your catechism?" "I have almost forgot it all, Sir, though I remember about honoring my father and mother, and that makes me still carry the half­pence home to Mammy instead of buying cakes." "Who taught you these good things?" "One Jemmy Stock, Sir, who was a parish 'prentice to my Daddy. He taught me one question out of the catechism every night, and always made me say my prayers to him before I went to bed. He told me I should go to the wicked place if I did not fear God, so I am still afraid to tell lies like the other boys. Poor Jemmy gave me a piece of gingerbread every time I learnt well; but I have no friend now; Jemmy was good to me, though Mammy did no­thing but beat him."

Mr. Stock was too much moved to carry on the discourse, he did not make himself known to the boy, but took him over to the baker's shop; as they walked along he could not help repeating aloud, a verse or two of that beautiful hymn, so deservedly the favourite of all children,

Not more than others I deserve,
Yet God hath given me more;
For I have food while others starve,
Or beg from door to door.

The little boy looked up in his face, saying, "Why Sir, that's the very hymn which Jemmy Stock gave me a penny for learning." Stock made no answer, but put a couple of three-penny loaves into his hand to carry home, and told him to call on him again at such a time in the following week.

How Mr. STOCK continued to be charitable without any Expence.

Stock had abundant subject for meditation that night. He was puzzled what to do with the boy. While he was carrying on his trade upon borrowed money, he did not think it right to give any part of that money to assist the idle, or even to help the distressed. "I must be just," said he, "before I am generous." Still he could not bear to see this fine boy given up to certain ruin. He did not think it safe to take him into his shop in his present igno­rant unprincipled state. At last he hit upon this thought. I work for myself twelve hours in the day. Why shall I not work one hour or two for this boy in the evening? It will be but for a year, and I shall then have more right to do what I please. My money will then be my own, I shall have paid my debts.

So he began to put his resolution in practice that very night, sticking to his old notion of not putting off till to-morrow what should be done to-day; and it was thought he owed much of his suc­cess in life, as well as his growth in goodness, to this little saying. "I am young and healty," said he, "one hour's work more will do me no harm; I will set aside all I get by these over hours, and put the boy to school. I have not only no right to punish this child for the sins of his father, but I consider that though God hated those sins, he has made them be instruments for my advancement."

Tommy Williams called at the time appointed. In the mean time Mr. Stock's maid had made him a tidy little suit of cloaths out of an old coat of her master's. She had also knit him a pair of [Page 11] stockings, and Mr. Stock made him sit down in the shop, while he himself sitted him with a pair of new shoes. The maid having washed and dressed him, Mr. Stock took him by the hand and walked along with him to the parish poor-house to find his mother. They found her dressed in ragged filthy finery, standing at the door, where she pas­sed most of her time, quarrelling with half a dozen women as idle and dirty as herself; when she saw Tommy so neat and well dressed, she fell a-crying for joy. She said it put her in mind of old times, for Tommy always used to be dressed like a gen­tleman. "So much the worse," said Mr. Stock, "if you had not begun by making him look like a gentleman, you needed not have ended by making him look like a beggar." "Oh Jem," said she, (for though it was four years since she had seen him, she soon recollected him) "fine times for you! set a beggar on horseback — you know the proverb. I shall beat Tommy well for finding you out, and exposing me to you."

Instead of entering into any dispute with this bad woman, or praising himself at her expence; or putting her in mind of her past ill behaviour to him; or reproaching her with the bad use she had made of her prosperity, he mildly said to her, "Mrs. Williams I am sorry for your misfortunes; I am come to relieve you of part of your burthen. I will take Tommy off your hands. I will give him a year's board and schooling, and by that time I shall see what he is fit for. I will promise nothing, but if the boy turns out well I will never forsake him. I shall make but one bargain with you, which is, that he must not come to this place to hear all this railing and swearing, nor shall he [Page 12] keep company with these pilfering idle children. You are welcome to go and see him when you please, but here he must, not come."

The foolish woman burst out a crying, saying, "she should lose her poor dear Tommy for ever. Mr. Stock might give her the money he intended to pay at the school, for nobody could do so well by him as his own mother." The truth was, she wanted to get these new cloaths into her clutches, which would all have been pawned at the dram shop before the week was out. This Mr. Stock well knew. From crying she fell to scolding and swearing. She told him he was an unnatural wretch, that wanted to make a child despise his own mother because she was poor. She even went so far as to say she would not part from him; she said she hated your godly people, they had no bowels of compassion, but tried to set men, women, and chil­dren against their own flesh and blood.

Mr. Stock now almost lost his patience, and for one moment a thought came across him to strip the boy, carry back the cloaths, and leave him to his unpitiful mother. "Why, said he, should I work over hours, and wear out my strength for this wicked woman?" But he soon checked this thought, by reflecting on the patience and long-suffering of God with rebellious sinners. This cured his anger in a moment, and he mildly rea­soned with her on her folly and blindness in op­posing the good of her child.

One of the neighbours who stood by, said, what a fine thing it was for the boy, but some people were born to be lucky! She wished Mr. Stock would take a fancy to her child, he should have him soon enough. Mrs. Williams now began to b [...] [Page 13] frightened lest Mr. Stock should take the woman at her word, and sullenly consented to let the boy go, from envy and malice, not from prudence and gratitude; and Tommy was sent to school that very night, his mother crying and roaring, instead of thanking God for such a blessing.

And here I cannot forbear telling a very good-natured thing of Will Simpson, one of the work­men. By the bye it; was that very young fellow who was reformed by Stock's good example when he was an apprentice, and who used to sing Psalms with him on a Sunday evening when they got out of the way of Williams's junketting. Will coming home early one evening was surprised to find his master at work by himself, long after the usual time. He begged so heartily to know the reason, that Stock owned the truth. Will was so struck with this piece of kindness, that he snatched up a last, crying out, "Well master, you shall not work by yourself however; we will go snacks in maintaining Tommy: it shall never be said that Will Simpson was idling about, when his master was working for charity. This made the hours pass chearfully and doubled the profits.

In a year or two Mr. Stock▪ by God's bles­sing on his labours, become quite clear of the world. He now paid off his [...] he never forgot his obligation to them, and found many opportu­nities of shewing kindness to them, and to their children after them. He now cast about for a pro­per wife, and as he was thought a prosper us man, and very well looking besides, most of the smart girls of the place with their tawdry finery, used to be often parading before the shop, and would even go to church in order to put themselves in [Page 14] his way. But Mr. Stock when he went to church had other things in his head, and if ever he thought about these gay damsels at all, it was with concern at seeing them so improperly tricked out, so that the very means they took to please him, made him dislike them.

There was one Betsy West, a young woman of excellent character and very modest appearance. He had seldom seen her out, as she was employed night and day in waiting on an aged widowed mo­ther who was both lame and blind. This good girl was indeed almost truly eyes and feet to her helpless parent, and Mr. Stock used to see her through the little casement window lifting her up and feeding her with a tenderness which greatly raised his esteem for her. He used to tell Will Simpson, as they sat at work, that such a duti­ful daughter could hardly fail to make a faithful wife. He had not, however, the heart to try to draw her off from her care of her sick mother. The poor woman declined very fast. Betsy was much employed in reading or praying by her while she was awake, and passed good part of the night while she slept, in doing some fine works to sell in order to supply her sick mother with little nice­ties which their poor pittance could not afford, while she herself lived on a crust.

Mr. Stock knew that Betsy would have little or nothing after her mother's death, as she had only a life income. On the other hand Mr. Thompson, the Tanner, had offered him 200l. with his daugh­ter Nancy. But he was almost sorry that he had not in this case an opportunity of resisting his natural bias, which rather lay on the side of loving money: "For," said he, ‘putting principle and putting [Page 15] affection out of the question, I shall do a more prudent thing by marrying Betsy West, who will conform to her station, and is a religious, hum­ble industrious girl, without a shilling, than by having an idle dressy lass, who will neglect my family and fill my house with company, though she should have twice the fortune which Nancy Thompson would bring.’

At length poor old Mrs. West was released from all her sufferings. At a proper time Mr. Stock pro­posed marriage to Betsy, and was accepted. All the disappointed girls in the town wondered what any body could like in such a dowdy as that. Had the man no eyes? They thought Mr. Stock had had more taste. Oh! how it did provoke all the vain idle things to find, that staying at home, dressing plainly, serving God, and nursing a blind Mother, should do that for Betsy West which all their con­trivances, flaunting, and dancing could not do for them.

He was not disappointed of meeting with a good wise in Betsy, as indeed those who marry on right grounds seldom are. But if religious persons will chuse partners for life who have no religion, do not let them complain that they are unhap­py; they might have known that beforehand. Tommy Williams was now taken home to Stock­house and bound apprentice. He was always kind and attentive to his mother; and every penny which Will Simpson or his master gave him for learning a chapter he would save to buy a bit of tea and sugar for her. When the other boys laugh­ed at him for being so foolish as to deny himself cakes and apples to give his money to her who was [Page 16] so bad a woman, he would answer, "it may be so, but she is my mother for all that."

Mr. Stock was much moved at the change in this boy, who turned out a very good youth. He re­solved, as GOD should prosper him, that he would try to snatch other helpless creatures from sin and ruin. "For," said he, "it is owing to God's blessing on the instructions of my good minister when I was a child, that I have been saved from the broad way of destruction. He still gave God the glory of every thing he did aright, and when Will Simp­son one day said to him, "Master, I wish I were half as good as you are." "William," answered he gravely, "I once read in a book, that the Devil is willing enough we should appear to do good actions if he can but make us proud of them."

But we must not forget our other old acquain­tance, Mr. Stock's fellow 'prentice. So next month you may expect a full account of the many tricks and frolicks of idle Jack Brown, being the third part of the History of the Two Shoemakers.


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