« PreviousContinue »
they, at least, should one day repent their con
The Domine called upon me the following Sunday. I was dressed and looking through the window when he arrived. The frost was now intense, and the river was covered with large masses of ice, and my greatest pleasure was to watch them as they floated down with the tide. “ Thou hast had a second narrow escape, my Jacob,” said he, after some preliminary observations. “Once again did death (pallida mors) hover over thy couch; but thou hast arisen, and thy fair fame is again established. When wilt thou be able to visit Mr. Drummond, and be able to
thank him for his kindness ?”
“ Never, sir," replied I. “ I will never again enter Mr. Drummond's house."
Nay, Jacob, this savoureth of enmity. Are not we all likely to be deceived—all likely to do wrong? Did not I, even I, in thy presence, backslide into intemperance and folly? Did not I disgrace myself before my pupil- and shalt thou, in thy tender years, harbour ill-will against one who hath cherished thee when thou wert destitute, and who was deceived with regard to thee by the base and evil speaking ?”
" I am obliged to Mr. Drummond for all his kindness, sir,” replied I; “but I never wish to enter his house. I was turned out of it, and never will again go into it.”
66 Eheu Jacobe, thou art in error; it is our duty to forgive, as we hope to be forgiven.”
“ I do forgive, sir, if that is what is requested; but I cannot, and will not, accept of further favours.”
The Domine urged in vain, and left me. Mr. Tomkins also came, and argued the point without success. I was resolved. I was determined to be independent; and I looked to the river as
my father, mother, home, and every thing. As
as my health was reinstated, Captain Turnbull one day came to me.
" Jacob,” said he, “ the lighter has returned : and I wish to know if you intend to go on board again, and afterwards go into the vessel into which Mr. Drummond proposes to send
“ I will go into no vessel through Mr. Drummond's means or interest,” replied I.
“ What will you do then ?” replied he.
“I can always enter on board a man-of-war,' replied I, “ if the worst comes to the worst; but if I can serve out my apprenticeship on the river, I should prefer it.”
“ I rather expected this answer, Jacob, from what
you have said to me already; and I have been trying if I cannot help you to something which may suit you. You don't mind being obliged to me?"
“O no; but promise you will never doubt
-never accuse me.” My voice faltered, and I could say no more.
“ No, my lad, that I will not; I know you, as I think, pretty well; and the heart that feels a false accusation as yours does, is sure to guard against committing what you are so angry at being accused of. Now, Jacob, listen to me. You know old deaf Stapleton, whose wherry we have so often pulled up and down the river? I have spoken to him to take you as his help, and he has consented. Will you like to go? He has served his time, and has a right to take a 'prentice.”
"Yes,” replied I, “ with pleasure; and with more pleasure, from expecting to see you often.”
“O, I promise you all my custom, Jacob,” replied he, laughing. “We'll often turn old Stapleton out, and have a row together. Is it agreed ?
“ It is," replied I; “ and many thanks to you."
“ Well, then, consider it settled. Stapleton has a very good room, and all that's requisite on shore, at Fulham. I have seen his place, and I think you will be comfortable.”
I did not know at the time how much Captain Turnbull had been my friend—that he had made Stapleton take better lodgings, and had made up the difference to him, besides allowing him a trifle per week, and promising him a gratuity occasionally, if I were content with my situation. In a few days I had removed all my clothes to Stapleton's, had taken my leave of Mr. Turnbull, and was established as an apprentice to a waterman on the Thames. The lighter was still at the wharf when I left, and my parting with old Tom and his son was equally and sincerely felt on both sides. Jacob,” said old Tom, “ I likes
“ I likes your pride after all, 'cause why, I think you have some right to be proud ; and the man who only asks