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should be at church, and steal apples when he ought to be saying his prayers?
Boy. No, master.
Master. What command does he break?
Master. Suppose this boy had parents who had sent him to church, and that he had disobeyed them by not going, would that be keeping the fifth commandment?
Boy. No, master; for the fifth commandment says, Thou shalt honour thy father and thy mother.
This was the only part of the case in which poor Dick Giles's heart did not smite him; he knew he had disobeyed no father; for his father, alas! was still wickeder than himself, and had brought him up to commit the sin. But what a wretched comfort was this! The master went on.
Master. Suppose this boy earnestly coveted this fruit, though it belonged to another person, would that be right?
Boy. No, Master; for the tenth commandment says, Thou shalt not covet.
Master. Very well. Here are four of God's sitive commands already broken. Now do you think thieves ever scruple to use wicked words?
Boy. I am afraid not, master,
Here Dick Giles was not so hardened but that he remembered how many curses had passed between him and his father while they were filling the bags, and he was afraid to look up, The master went
I will now go one step further. If the thief, to all his other sins, has added that of accusing the innocent to save himself, if he should break the ninth commandment, by bearing false witness against a harmless neighbour, then six commandments are broken for an apple! But if it be otherwise, if Tom Price
should be found guilty, it is not his good character shall save him. I shall shed tears over him, but nish him I must, and that severely. "No, that you "shan't," roared out Dick Giles, who sprung from his hiding place, fell on his knees and burst out acrying, "Tom Price is as good a boy as ever lived; "it was father and I who stole the apples!"
It would have done your heart good to have seen the joy of the master, the modest blushes of Tom Price, and the satisfaction of every honest boy in the school. All shook hands with Tom, and even Dick got some portion of pity. I wish I had room to give my readers the moving exhortation which the master gave. But while Mr. Wilson left the guilty boy to the management of the master, he thought it be came him, as a minister and a magistrate, to go to the extent of the law in punishing the father. Early on the Monday morning he sent to apprehend Giles.In the meantime Mr. Wilson was sent for to a gardeper's house two miles distant, to attend a man who was dying. This was a duty to which all others gave way in his mind. He set out directly; but what was his surprise, on his arrival, to see, on a little bed on the floor, poaching Giles lying in all the agonies of death! Jack Weston, the same poor young man against whom Giles had informed for killing a hare, was kneeling by him, offering him some broth, and talking to him in the kindest manner. Mr. Wilson begged to know the meaning of all this; and Jack Weston spoke as follows:
"At four this morning, as I was going out to mow, passing under the high wall of this garden, I heard a most dismal moaning. The nearer I came the more dismal it grew. At last, who should I see "but poor Giles groaning, and struggling under a quantity of bricks and stones, but not able to stir. "The day before he had marked a fine large net on
. this old wall, and resolved to steal it, for he thought "it might do as well to catch partridges as to pre
serve cherries; so, sir, standing on the very top of "this wall, and tugging with all his might to loosen 6 the net from the hooks which fastened it, down came Giles, net, wall, and all; for the wall was gone to decay. It was very high indeed, and poor Giles not only broke his thigh, but has got a "terrible blow on his head, and is bruised all over ،، like a mummy. On seeing me, sir, poor Giles cried out, Oh, Jack! I did try to ruin thee by lodging that information, and now thou wilt be "revenged by letting me lie here and perish.' God "forbid, Giles! cried I; thou shalt see what sort of 46 revenge a Christian takes,' So, sir, I sent off the "gardener's boy to fetch a surgeon, while I scam"pered home and brought on my back this bit of a
hammock, which is indeed my own bed, and put "Giles upon it; we then lifted him up, bed and all, ،، as tenderly as if he had been a gentleman, and "brought him in here. My wife has just brought "him a drop of nice broth; and now, sir, as I have ،، done what I could for his poor perishing body, it was I who took the liberty to send to you to come "to try to help his poor soul, for the doctor says he ،، can't live."
Mr. Wilson could not help saying to himself, Such an action as this is worth a whole volume of comments on that precept of our blessed Master, Love your enemies; do good to them that hate you. Giles's dying groans confirmed the sad account Weston had just given. The The poor wretch could neither pray himself nor attend to the minister. He could only cry out, "Oh! sir, what will become of me? I don't know
how to repent. O my poor wicked children! Sir, "I have bred them all up in sin and ignorance. "Have mercy on them, sir; let me not meet them
"in the place of torment to which I am going. Lord grant them that time for repentance which I have "thrown away!" He languished a few days, and died in great misery:—a fresh and sad instance that people who abuse the grace of God and resist his spirit, find it difficult to repent when they will.
Except the minister and Jack Weston, no one came to see poor Giles, besides Tommy Price, who had been so sadly wronged by him. Tom often brought him his own rice-milk or apple-dumpling; and Giles, ignorant and depraved as he was, often cried out, "That he thought now there must be some truth in "religion, since it taught even a boy to deny him"self, and to forgive an injury." Mr. Wilson, the next Sunday, made a moving discourse on the danger of what are called petty offences. This, together with the awful death of Giles, produced such an effect, that no poacher has been able to shew his head in that parish ever since.
THE FORTUNE TELLER:
WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF
DREAMS, OMENS, AND CONJURERS.
AWNEY RACHEL was the wife of poaching Giles. There seemed to be a conspiracy in Giles's whole family to maintain themselves by tricks and pilfering. Regular labour and honest industry did not suit their idle habits. They had a sort of genius at finding out every unlawful means to support a vagabond life.Rachel travelled the country with a basket on her arm. She pretended to get her bread by selling laces, cabbage nets, ballads, and history books, and used to buy old rags and rabbit skins. Many honest people trade in these things, and I am sure I do not mean to say a word against honest people, let them trade in what they will. But Rachel only made this traffic a pretence for getting admittance into farmers' kitchens, in order to tell fortunes.