Page images
PDF
EPUB

apprenticeship,) and in all that time, one body has wanted me to change for one thing, and another for another, but I was'nt to be moved; and now my name's up, and 'tis who can buy my wigs." "Then you have advanced their prices, I suppose," said I. “Not a shilling, Sir," replied Humphrey. They are no better than they were twenty years ago, and I would no more impose on my customers, than I would under-sell my neighbours. There's a fair market price for every thing." "Where then lies the advantage of your name being up, as you term it?" “ Credit, Sir, credit. Who does not wish to excel in their business, and gain the praise of their customers ? As the sentiment appeared to me the honest love of fame, uninfluenced by coveteousness, or false ambition, I wished it prevailed more, especially among our servants, who are too 'apt to content themselves with a sort of half repu'tation, only sufficient to carry them from place to

place, forgotten by every family they quit, because they took no pains to excel in any branch of their business. Whereas, if like the barber in question, they desired their names to be up, they might be remembered by their superiors even to old age, and assisted in times of poverty.

May you long live to enjoy your well-earned reputation, Mr. Peach," said I, " and if you die first, I'll write your epitaph.”

A

young lad now entered the shop, and told Mr. Peach that his father still continued very ill, and

would be obliged to him for a little more shaving money, Mr. P. unlocked a drawer full of half-pence and counting him out half-a-crown's worth, told

him to take that to his father, and tell him he would loek in upon him in the evening. My curiosity was raised to know what was meant by shaving money, and I took the liberty of enquiring: “Why, Sir," replied Mr. Peaeh, “ I have found another advan

tage from my name being up. It has brought me such good business, and enabled me to put out my

two boys in the world, that within these last two years, I have been able to help a little my poor neighbours. It is true I had no money to spare,

but the thought came into my head, that I might give them a little time, so I told them I would not for the future take their pence for shaving, but shave them for nothing. They were very well pleased as you may suppose, Sir, but the scheme did not an. swer my purpose, for I soon found the penny went for a quid of tobacco, or another pint of drink. I then took their pence again, and gave them at the month's end to their wives and daughters: but as I perceived no difference in their houses or appearance, I concluded 'twas of little service to them neither, so I resolved to lay them by in this drawer, and the first who was sick and not able to work, should have them. Some kind body or other, often puts a few half-pence into my shaving-drawer, that 'tis quite a fund, as one may call it, against a rainy day. I always see myself to the laying of it

"I pass

out, and then I sit and read, or talk half an hour, or so, for it pleased God to call me when I was very young to the knowledge of his ways, and I defy any one who knows them himself, not to wish every body else to know them too. Oh! Sir, if it was but possible to take all one's neighbours to heaven with one." “Spoke in the true spirit of Christian love and zeal,” replied I, “and by your appeal to me it should seem as though you suspected I held the same principle. But how do your poor neighbours take your pious interference ?" through evil report and good report," returned Humphrey, “I have gained a letter to my name by it, for they all call me Preach, but I don't mind that. Indeed, before I settled here, I did preach now and then, in a poor dark village, which, thank God, is now enlightened by abler hands; for I have small gifts in that way. I have no book-learning, and have seen very little of the world, but as world by wisdom knows not God,” that does not fret me much, only it ought to keep me from intruding into matters too high for me. humble

way I trust I serve my Lord and Master, and he is not an unjust one, expecting to reap where he has not sown. Here and there I find some who cannot read, (thank God that will be a rare case soon) well, I can read to them, and for the most part they are willing to hear. Then, though I can't dispute about gospel-doctrines for lack of proper words, I can say what they are, as

[ocr errors]

In my

the Bible lays them down. And when my heart is warmed by pondering over them, and they are applied by God's Spirit to those I talk with, Oh ! it would do your heart good, Sir, to see the effect.”

CHAP. V.

The History of poor Charles.

« the

Y.

mean I suppose," returned I, effect on the lives and conduct of your hearers." "I do, Sir," said Humphrey, “or I should talk, and they would hear to no saving purpose. I wish you had known Squire Mi's gardener before his conversion, but mayhap you don't know him now, he's the tall man, who always stands in the isle opposite the pulpit. Well, he was a surly ill-tempered husband, a quarrelsome neighbour, and a sad waster of his master's property. He prided himself on being the first boxer. in the county ; but the happiest day in his life was the day he was beat by great Jack, the butcher. As he lay in bed, full of sores and bruises, I went to see him, for, thought I, his pride will be humbled at having lost the day, and if he has a grain of feeling left, he will be grateful to his wife for nursing him, which I knew she would do very tenderly. Sure enough this was the case, and he heard all I had to say very

« PreviousContinue »