FRED THE APPRENTICE
The Baldwin Library
Fred climbs on the roof.
SFRED THE APPRENTICE.
TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED BY
MRS. CAMPBELL OVEREND.
WILLIAM OLIPHANT & CO.
MTIRRAV AND GIBB, RDINBUPGH,
PRINTERS TO HER MAJESTY' ST ATlUNaiY OFFICE.
I. THE WIDOW AND HER SONS, 5
II. THE ORPHANS-FRANCIS AND FREDERICK, 12
III. THE KIND BROTHER, I8
IV. A PLOT DISCOVERED, 25
V. THE BURGLARS, 35
VI. FREDERICK'S REWARD, 38
VII. A TEMPTATION, 42
VIII. FREDERICK'S GRATITUDE, 49
IX. CONCLUSION, 62
FRED THE APPRENTICE.
THE WIDOW AND HER SONS.
NE of those miserable scenes which
poverty so often brings with it took
place about the middle of January
18-, in one of the most wretched
houses in a suburb of Mulhausen.
In a garret exposed to all the winds, and into
which the cold air entered through the broken
window-panes, a woman about forty years of
age was lying on a tattered bed; her ghastly
face showed that her life was coming to an end.
Mrs. Kossmall, for such was the name of the
dying woman, was a widow who had struggled for
several years against extreme misery, and had
suffered the greatest privations. She had worn
out a frame naturally strong by hard work, which
would require almost more than human strength
Fred the Apprentice.
to perform. At the death of her husband she
was left to support two children, the elder of
whom was scarcely four years old. It had been
only by the most exhausting labour that she had
been able to bring up her fatherless children.
She had passed through successive stages of
miserable poverty, each worse than the other,
often having had to wait until the morrow for
the pittance she had earned, when she wanted
it at the time to buy food to satisfy the cravings
of hunger of herself or her family. She had
felt for a time that her strength was giving way;
but when it entirely left her, and she was utterly
unable to work, the greater number of the per-
sons who employed her, indifferent as to the
cause of what they called her want of industry,
ceased to give her any more work. If she had
been encouraged and helped, the poor woman
might have recovered from her illness; but, left
unaided in this manner, it was impossible for
her to struggle on any longer.
One evening, on entering her garret in a more
depressed state than usual, she glanced at the
empty shelves of the closet and the fireless
hearth, and said to Frederick, the younger of
her two sons:
The Widow and zcr Sons.
My boy, God may perhaps have mercy upon
me, for I feel very ill. You are an industrious
boy. Your employer likes you. When he
knows that you and your brother are in want
of everything, he will not refuse to advance you
some of your wages. I know that it is very
unpleasant to ask it; but you have a good
spirit, Frederick, and if you pray to God, He
will incline the heart of your master to help you.'
Frederick looked at his mother with anxiety.
They had often been in want of food, but she
had never before spoken to him in this manner.
He was alarmed at her paleness and exhaustion.
Nevertheless he restrained the tears that were
coming into his eyes, and, approaching her, he
persuaded her to lie down, and told her that
he would go to Mr. Kartmann, his employer.
His master complied with his request, but the
advance of wages which he obtained scarcely
sufficed to provide the common necessaries of
life, and the poor family was soon again in a
state of destitution.
On the 20th of January the garret of the
widow Kossmall was even colder than usual.
Not a spark of fire was to be seen in the stove.
No one had thought of food or fire, for the
Fred the Apprentice.
mother lay on her deathbed. Her last hour
had nearly come. A clergyman was beside her,
speaking words of consolation from God's holy
book, and praying with her. Her own mind
was at peace; but she had told the good pastor
of her anxiety about her boys, and he had re-
minded her of God's promises, and told her to
trust in Him who is the 'Father of the fatherless.'
The widow's two sons were kneeling beside
her. Frederick appeared overcome with grief;
Francis, the elder of them, wept also, but his
tears were occasioned by the passing feelings
of the moment; and, even amidst this affliction,
it was easy to perceive a certain amount of
indifference and want of feeling.
After the clergyman had gone, the dying
woman tried to sit up in bed, and made signs
to her two children to listen to her with atten-
tion; and then, stretching out her feeble arms,
she took a hand of each of her sons, and gently
drew them close to her.
'I am going home, my darlings,' said she, 'to
the heavenly home of which I have often spoken
to you. I am going to be with my Saviour, the
Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I trust. For me
it is better to depart and to be with Christ; yet,
The Widow and her Sons.
for your sakes, I would wish to be spared on
earth a little longer. But the Lord knows
best what is good for us. His holy will be done!'
Her strength failed; she lay down for a few
moments silent, and then spoke again:-
'I can leave you nothing, my darling boys,
but a mother's blessing, and her last advice. I
entreat you to remember my words. You will
soon be orphans-you will have no mother to
think for you or care for you; but remember
that you have still a Father in heaven, who has
promised to be especially a Father to the father-
less. Trust in Him. When you are in trouble,
pray to Him to help you, for our Lord Jesus
Christ's sake; for He has said, "Whatsoever
ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will
give it you." You will have to suffer many
hardships, for you are very young to be depen-
dent on yourselves; but I trust that He who
"feedeth the young ravens when they cry,"' will
raise up friends to help you when I am gone.
But no earthly friend can help you unless you
strive to do your duty. Be honest and indus-
trious. I have always tried to set you a good
example. You know that I have suffered want
1 Psalm cxlvii. 9.
Fred the Apprentice.
rather than steal, though when I was at work
I might have taken what belonged to others,
when we were starving.
'You like work, my dear Fred; and young
as you are, only thirteen, you are very indus-
trious, and I know you to be honest. Do not
be hurt, my dear Francis, if I say that I am
more anxious about you, I don't want to
reproach you for the past, but let me advise you
for the future. A good character is your only
fortune, and it is by honest industry that you
can do your duty and keep yourself respectable.
Any poor person who has not sufficient industry
and perseverance to continue working day by
day to gain an honest livelihood, runs a great
risk of becoming a thief. Watch over yourself,
my dear Francis, and try to conquer your habits
of idleness. Remember what is said in God's
word: "Study to be quiet, and to do your own
business, and to work with your own hands, as
we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly
toward them that are without, and that ye may
have lack of nothing." And, again, the Apostle
Paul says: "When we were with you, this we
commanded you, that if any would not work,
neither should he eat."
The Widow and her Sons.
'I hope that you two brothers will always
remain together. Do not leave Fred, my dear
Francis; your brother is your natural companion
and friend. Listen to him when he gives you
good advice. Do not be angry when he tells
you to do what is right, though he is younger
than you. He will not speak with any intention
to vex you, and he will not pride himself in
superior wisdom, so as in any way to hurt your
feelings. He knows that wisdom is the gift of
God,- a gift for which we have to be thankful,
Then, pressing the hand of Francis, which she
had continued to hold, the mother again spoke
'Promise me that you will never leave your
brother, and that you will never live anywhere
away from him, and so lose the only tie of family
affection that is now left to you.'
The feelings of Francis were touched for the
moment by what his mother said. He wept,
and promised faithfully to follow his mother's
advice. This seemed to satisfy her, for her face
was lighted up by a passing gleam of joy.
'I die in peace,' said she, 'trusting in my
Saviour. Oh, my dear children, do not forget
Fred the Apprentice.
all that I have done and suffered for you. Be
united all your lives, as you have ever been
united in my affection.'
Then, placing her cold hands on their young
heads, which were bent towards her, she mur-
mured a few words. Her voice was so faint
that the boys kneeling beside her could not
hear what she said. Her last words were known
only to God, who sees and knows all things.
Soon afterwards she gently slept away.
The remains of the poor woman were followed
to the grave by the two orphans and the good
THE ORPHANS-FRANCIS AND FREDERICK.
,-'-EFT thus to themselves, the brothers
--4) at once began to follow two different
I:'. paths of conduct. Francis, whom
the death of his mother had troubled,
chiefly because of the absence of one who
attended to him and loved him, was sometimes
very sad. A fickle heart like his could not find
The Orbhans. 13
any other way of escaping from his sorrow than
in noisy amusements.
The day after he had followed his mother to
the grave, he went with some lads of his own
age to slide upon the ice. Fred understood his
duty in a different manner. The first outburst
of grief over, he determined to follow the advice
of his deceased mother, by working hard. He
returned to the workroom, his eyes red, his face
pale, his heart sad, but resolute. His employer,
Mr. Kartmann, stopped as he was passing by
him in the course of the day.
You have stayed away for several days,' said
he to him severely. 'Will you give up this un-
punctual habit ?'
'I was attending to my sick mother, sir.'
'Is she better now ?'
'She is dead, sir,' replied Frederick, bursting
Mr. Kartmann uttered an exclamation of
'My poor boy!' said he, 'when did she
Three days ago.'
'You may go home, Fred, and not return until
the end of the week, when you will receive your
Frcd the Apprentice.
wages the same as though you had worked,' said
his employer in a feeling tone and manner.
'Thanks, sir,' answered Fred. 'If my mother
were alive now, and could see what I am doing,
nothing would give her greater pleasure than to
see me at work. She told me to be industrious;
so, to obey her last wishes, I will stay here and
Mr. Kartmann patted the orphan boy on the
back, as a sign of his being greatly pleased, and
said, 'I will place you among the apprentices,
Fred, and I will increase your wages.'
Nevertheless the zeal of the orphan was not
limited to labour in the workroom only. Mr.
Kartmann announced that he was going to form
an evening class, which was to meet in his
premises, and which was to be composed of his
apprentices who had no time to attend the
public schools. This news filled Fred with joy.
It was the first opportunity that had presented
itself to him of getting some education. Many
a time he had heard his late mother lament
the state of ignorance from which her children
seemed to have no chance of escaping, and he
readily understood, from what he had noticed, the
great usefulness of education; so, when the 15th
of February arrived-on the evening of which
day the class was to open-he went to the work-
room more disposed than ever to persevere in
labour, and with his mind full of good resolu-
tions. During the whole of the day he looked
forward to the evening as a reward given for his
industry, and never before did his labour seem
lighter to him.
Born in a manufacturing town, he had been
placed at seven years of age before a machine
which he was so accustomed to see working
that he had never taken the trouble to inquire
about anything beyond what was necessary for
his own work. Thus, although he was the most
industrious boy in the establishment, he was, in
reality, in a state of profound ignorance as to
general knowledge, and he felt it to be a very
hard task to fix his attention upon his dry
lessons. His thoughts would often wander from
the subject he had to study, and his memory,
from want of use, often failed him.
In time, however, he succeeded in overcoming
these difficulties-the results of his neglected
education during childhood-and by dint of a
determination to get on, and not to be beaten
in the struggle, he managed to overcome his
Fred the Apprentice.
dislike to learning, and became a very good
scholar, so far as was taught him in the class.
Fred and his brother Francis had for some
time left the miserable garret in which their
mother died, and were now boarding with a
Mrs. Ridler, an old friend of their late mother.
In her more comfortable sitting-room Fred
applied himself to study at night, to prepare his
lessons for the next evening. This determined
perseverance could not fail to bring its own
reward, and in course of time Fred was able to
read and write. During this time he wished
to give some lessons to Francis, who did not
work in the same factory; but all his offers and
entreaties were in vain.
Of what use would it be for me to know how
to read and write, to help me to spin cotton?'
Francis would answer.
Fred was at last obliged to cease trying to
overcome the idleness of his brother. Two years
passed away, during which Mr. Kartmann again
increased the wages of Fred, who went on
steadily with his lessons. When at his studies
at night he often fell asleep after the hard work
of the day; but imitating, without knowing it,
the example of an ancient philosopher, he got
old Mrs. Ridler, who sat up until eleven o'clock,
to awaken him whenever she found him asleep.
The course of instruction in the class at Mr.
Kartmann's factory did not teach anything
beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic. Fred
wished to learn geometry, as it was, as he knew,
necessary if he sought to succeed in the higher
branches of his trade. Unfortunately, he had
no book on this subject, and he could not afford
to purchase it and the requisite mathematical
instruments. At length, on one of the anniver-
saries of the birthday of Mr. Kartnrann, when
all his workpeople and apprentices went to con-
gratulate him, he called Fred to him, and then
put a piece of gold into the lad's hand.
'Take this,' said he; 'it is the prize I give
to the most studious scholar in the evening
class. I am glad that you have gained it.'
A piece of gold! It was more than Fred
had ever expected or thought of in his fondest
dreams. The poor lad was so transported with
joy, that his only anxiety was how to express
his gratitude in a proper manner.
Two hours afterwards he was in the small
garden attached to the house of Mrs. Ridler,
and was seated on a bench engaged in turning
Fred the Apprentice.
over the leaves of the books placed on his knees.
What numberless hopes, what innumerable plans
for the future, passed through his mind! ..
He was happy for the first time.
THE KIND BROTHER.
NE summer evening, when Fred, after
having quitted the factory in which
he worked, was seated, according to
his usual habit, in Mrs. Ridler's
garden, for the purpose of studying in quiet-
ness, his thoughts naturally turned, when the
failing light forced him to cease using his books,
to a subject which most deeply concerned him.
He asked himself for the hundredth time what
had become of his brother for the last fifteen
days that he had not seen him. He remem-
bered with grief some of the last words of his
mother: 'Be then united during this life as
you have been united in my love and affection.'
Even in this sorrow he felt one consolation
remained to him,-he had the self-satisfaction
that he had neglected nothing in order to com-
The Kind Brother.
ply with the dying wishes of his parent. Not
only had he aided Francis with his advice, but
he had stinted himself in many ways to be able
to help him. Alas! he now saw that all these
self-sacrifices were in vain, and that there are
persons who care nothing for the closest and
the most sacred ties of family affection. These
thoughts made him very sad. Contrary to his
usual way, he did not feel impatient for Mrs.
Ridler to light her lamp, so that he could pur-
sue his studies; but, made restless by anxiety,
he paced up and down the short walks in the
Suddenly a well-known voice spoke to him
in cautious tones. Fred turned sharply round,
and beheld Francis, whose ragged clothes, hag-
gard countenance, and fatigued appearance
showed very plainly how he had passed his
time during his absence.
His brother looked at him for some moments
with a mingled expression of sorrow and pity;
but, pained at the sight, and fearful of giving
offence, he did not ask a single question.
Francis, whose careless, unfeeling character
made him indifferent about the feelings of his
brother, was the first to break the silence.
20 Fred the Apprentice.
'You find me a good deal changed, don't
you ?' said he in a voice which showed vexation,
not remorse; 'but I've had rather a long trip
since I left you, and have had more than once
to go without my meals, and go supperless to
'What has kept you away so long from
home ?' asked Fred, with hesitation.
'The best of all reasons: I was tired of work-
ing in a cotton-mill. The overseer saw that I
had no great relish for that sort of work, so he
said something about me to the master, who
politely sent me about my business a fortnight
'That is a great misfortune for us, who have
nothing but what we earn to depend upon; but
that was no good reason why you should have
disappeared in the way you did.'
'I feared that old Mrs. Ridler would not keep
me when she found that I was out of work.'
'At my request, she might have let you stay
with her; besides, you have known for many a
long day that I have a loaf and a home to share
Yes; but I expected also a share of sermons
from you at the same time, and I won't have
The Kind Brother.
any more of them; besides, I wanted to see a
little of the world, so I took a trip to Switzer-
land. I was told that it is a beautiful country,
and that one can live there for nothing-which
just suited a fellow in my position. But the
Swiss are brutes! When I asked them for a
morsel to eat, they told me that I was old
enough to gain my own living, as if it were
worth one's while to leave one's own country
to go and work elsewhere.'
'I believe there is no country,' replied Fred
seriously, where poor people are not obliged
to work ; and I do not look upon this necessity
of labouring honestly as an evil, but it is a still
greater evil for poor people to refuse to work.'
'It is all very well for you to talk,' answered
Francis,-' you who pass for being so wise and
good. As for me, I was born to be rich; and
the sooner people give me what is my due, the
better for them.'
'Listen,' replied Fred. 'There are some
things all very well when said as a joke; but
you yourself must know that your complaints
about your position in life will not mend it, and
that you must put up with it, such as it is.
Those who from sickness or other causes are
Fred the Apprentice.
unable to work may have reason to complain,
but those who are well and strong ought to
labour willingly and easily.'
'Have I not told you,' replied Francis in a
cross tone of voice, 'that I have been sent away
from the factory ? Of what use, then, would it
be for me to like work, now that I have none
to do ?'
'There are other factories in Mulhausen be-
sides the one you were working in, and, if you
really wish it, you could find employment.'
'Yes; and go from door to door, I suppose,
asking whether they will give me work. A nice
sort of employment that!'
'You would find it more to your taste, per-
haps, to go begging about the streets: however,
as you object to ask for work, I will save you
the trouble. I will speak to Mr. Kartmann to-
morrow, and he may perhaps consent to take
you into his factory. Will this suit you ?'
I suppose that it must suit me.'
Fred did not wish to keep up any longer this
unpleasant conversation, besides which, Francis
seemed fatigued; so he asked him to go in-
Mrs. Ridler did not receive her vagabond
The Kind Brot/her.
boarder in a very gracious manner. She was
astonished at his assurance in returning to her,
and told him to seek a lodging elsewhere; but
Fred interceded for his brother, and at last got
her permission that he might share his supper
and bed with him.
Thus Francis already felt the good effects of
Fred's influence, which served to protect him
from the results of his bad conduct.
The night was passed in a very different
manner by the two brothers. The elder slept
soundly, careless about the morrow; whilst the
rest of Fred was disturbed by many anxious
thoughts: he dreaded the manner in which Mr.
Kartmann would receive his request.
The next morning he went with Francis to
his employer, and explained to him in a falter-
ing voice the motive of his visit. He wished to
conceal the bad conduct of his brother, but when
Mr. Kartmann asked the reason why his brother
had left the factory in which he had been work-
ing, Fred told all, as he would not be guilty of
'All this is very bad,' said the proprietor of
the factory, shaking his head. 'Nevertheless,'
he added, turning to Francis, 'I will admit you
24 Fred the Apprentice.
into my establishment; but do not forget that
it is for the sake of your younger brother, whose
example I advise you to follow.'
This morning, the same as on the previous
evening, it was to the good services of a younger
brother that Francis was indebted; but the heart
of the elder brother was dead to all feelings of
self-respect, and he was not in the least pained
at this change of proper positions-of the elder
not helping the younger, but the younger help-
ing the elder. When they were alone together
on the stairs, Francis even said in a flippant
tone to Fred :
'It appears that you are a person of some
influence here. You have but to ask and have.
In future I shall know to whom to apply.'
'I do my duty, and confidence is placed in
me,' replied Fred; 'this is the whole secret of
A Plot Discovered.
A PLOT DISCOVERED.
C-i" EVERAL months passed away without
bringing any change in the respective
C situations of the two brothers. The
elder, although he was not very
diligent in the service of Mr. Kartmann, had
not as yet deserved any serious reprimand. As
for Fred, the qualities which had brought him
under the notice of his employer, became every
day more marked and developed. His intelli-
gence, increased by the instruction that he had
acquired by dint of perseverance, placed him
above the other apprentices of his age; and the
conscientious manner in which he performed the
work entrusted to him, made his services almost
as valuable as those of a man. He was employed
in the calico-printing department of Mr. Kart-
mann's large factory, in which all the various
processes of cotton spinning, weaving, and
printing were performed; and he often admired
the engraved blocks, cylinders, rollers, etc., by
Fred the Apprentice.
means of which plain calico is covered with
elegant-coloured patterns. This attentive ob-
servation ended by leading him to cherish a
strong desire, and to indulge in a vague hope:
it was to be received into the engraving depart-
ment. To learn this branch of his trade soon
became the dream of his existence.
Without exactly knowing how he could carry
out his plan, he liked to think how, at some time
or other, he should change his present position
for that of an engraver, as he had the laudable
ambition to improve his condition in life by per-
severance and industry. At first he thought of
asking his employer to allow him to devote a
part of his time to learning the branch of the
trade which he wished to know, but he was afraid
to solicit such a favour. His experience, how-
ever, convinced him that many things, apparently
impossible, may be accomplished by a firm will.
He resolved to go to the engraving department
during dinner-time, and to work there quietly.
A young apprentice in this branch, whom he
had taken into his confidence, showed him how
to use the requisite tools; and at the end of
some time Fred was able to engrave tolerably
well any pattern that was not very complicated.
A Plot Discovered.
He went thus for several months regularly to
the engraving-room, without anybody noticing
how he passed his spare time. His fellow-
workers were so little accustomed to have him
as a companion in their amusements, that none
of them thought of inquiring the reason why he
was so often absent. It is even probable that
Fred might have succeeded in his plan without
having attracted the notice of any one whom he
did not wish to know it, had not an event which
took place during the middle of that winter com-
pletely changed his plans, and given an entirely
new direction to the course of his life.
One day, when he had, as was his custom,
entered the engraving-room at dinner-time, and
was already at work, he heard the sounds of
unusual footsteps, which caused him to feel very
uncomfortable, as he was in the room without
leave. He rushed as fast as he could behind a
pile of articles that had often hidden him before
on similar occasions, as he had always a dread
of being found out. This pile, in its turn, quite
prevented him seeing anything that was taking
place in the room; nevertheless, from the move-
ments he heard, he was sure that several persons
had entered. At first he merely thought that he
Fred the Apprentice.
should have to remain hidden for a short time
until these persons left; but, after a few minutes,
the precautions which he heard them taking, and
the half-whispers in which they were speaking,
'Have you shut the door quite close ?' said
one of the men.
'Look into the closet to see if anybody is in
it,' said another.
'Why are they so fearful of being surprised ?'
thought Fred, with terror; and he was almost
frightened to breathe. He felt that it was not
chance which had brought all this about, but that
Providence, for some wise reason, had ordained
he should be on this spot at this moment. Never
before had he felt such anxiety.
When the new-comers thought themselves
secure from all interruption and discovery, one
of the party spoke, and, in a low but very distinct
voice, and also in tones that showed the import-
ance which the speaker attached to his words,
explained the plan he had devised.
This plan was nothing less than to force open,
during the middle of the night, the window of
the counting-house of Mr. Kartmann, and carry
off the cash-box. Fred discovered, from some
A Plot Discovered. 29
remarks which were made, that those who formed
this plot were workpeople belonging to the fac-
tory, and he could scarcely restrain a movement
of horror; but, remembering that it was of the
utmost importance to become acquainted with
all the details of the affair, he remained, if pos-
sible, more motionless than before.
What each thief was to do was then arranged.
'One of us,' said the man who had previously
explained the plot,' will first get into the count-
ing-house through the broken window. Let us
see who is the smallest among us. It must be
At the mention of this name, Fred could not
help shuddering dreadfully; but when he heard
the voice of his brother reply to the instructions
which were given, he could not help uttering,
notwithstanding all his efforts to the contrary,
an exclamation of agony and sorrow.
There was a sudden silence among the work-
'What place did that noise come from?'
From somewhere in this room.'
'There is some one here, then.'
The search did not last long, and Fred was
30 Fred the App rentice.
soon dragged out and surrounded by the con-
spirators, one of whom asked him why he
had concealed himself. He briefly explained
You must have heard all that we said.'
'Yes,' replied Fred.
A discussion then arose among the workmen
what they should do to the lad. They cursed
and threatened him, and even went so far as to
say that the surest way to get rid of him was to
murder him; but this last proposal, which was
partly made to frighten him, had the effect of
making him feel determined, if not calm. It was
agreed at last that he was to be shut up some-
where, to make sureof his silence until the morrow.
The difficulty was to find a suitable place. One
of the workmen proposed a garret which he occu-
pied in the building. He stated that it was in
a part of the premises which was not used for
business purposes, and had one small window,
under which was a yard seldom entered by any
one. This suggestion was adopted. They hur-
ried Fred up a staircase, along a narrow passage
of great length, and then, pushing him into the
garret, locked the door.
It would be impossible to describe his grief
A Plot Discovered.
when left to himself; he carefully inspected his
prison, and found that he could not discover any
means by which he could escape.
He threw himself upon a chair, and remained
for some time in a state of complete despair;
then, rising from his seat, he wildly paced the
apartment. Thoughts passed rapidly through
his brain. He would have almost sacrificed his
life to be able to warn Mr. Kartmann of the
danger'which threatened him, and to prevent
Francis committing the crime which he intended.
He knew that his benefactor and his brother
were about to be placed in a frightful position,
the one towards the other, without his being
able to warn the one and save the other.
Several hours elapsed that were passed in this
despairing manner. At last a kind of fever,
produced by his agonized state of mind, seized
him, and, notwithstanding the extreme cold of
winter, he felt his face and forehead hot and
flushed. He opened the window, and leaned
out of it, hoping that the air would refresh him.
He remained for a long while in the same posi-
tion, watching vacantly the clouds that passed
across the sky; then, after having glanced at
all surrounding objects, his gaze at last was
Fred the Apprentice.
fixed upon a chimney-pot on a stalk of chimneys
belonging to one of the wings of the building.
For some time he amused himself by following
with his eyes the wreaths of smoke issuing
All at once the lad felt a thrill of satisfaction
pass through his mind,-he leaned forward and
looked anxiously. He could not doubt it,-the
smoke proceeded from the chimney of Mr.
Kartmann's private room.
He hurriedly left the window; and, thankful
for the fortunate habit he had of always carry-
ing writing materials about him, he wrote a
note, in which he briefly informed Mr. Kartmann
of that which he had discovered, and also men-
tioned where he was confined as a prisoner.
His note finished, he went again to the win-
dow. The building, like all those which are
used as cotton factories, was very high. For a
few minutes Fred gazed down at the great
height as though he were measuring it with his
eye, but his resolution was not changed by the
Often, whilst at play when a boy, he had
climbed trees and run along roofs. He was
active and bold; in addition to which, there was
A Plot Discoveercd.
an absolute necessity to risk everything in the
attempt. He mounted on the ledge of the
window, which, being that of a garret, was close
to the roof; he then managed to make his way
along the roof, and climbed up the steep and
slippery slope-the most difficult part of his pro-
gress-that led to the chimney itself. Wishing
to attract the attention of the clerks and others
who were in Mr. Kartmann's room, he dropped
hard pieces of mortar, which he had loosened
with his knife, one by one down the chimney;
then, when he thought it was time, he let drop
his note, securely fastened between two pieces
of tile, in order to protect it from the soot and
fire. This done, he quickly went back to his
He expected an immediate deliverance, but
hours passed away and nobody came. The
public clocks had struck five. He went fre-
quently to the door, he peeped through the
keyhole, he put his ear close to it, but nothing
was to be seen or heard in the passage. He
began to feel very uneasy. Whence arose this
delay ? Had his note been read? All the
agony of mind that he had previously felt now
Fred the Apprentzce.
At last, when night was coming on, he thought
that he heard the sound of light and cautious
footsteps. A key turned gently in the lock.
It was a horrible moment of suspense for the
youth, as it might be the conspirators instead
of some one sent by Mr. Kartmann.
The key was taken out of the lock without
the door having been opened, and a second
attempt, made apparently with another key, did
not succeed any better.
Fred felt relieved at the thought that some
one was trying strange keys. It could not be
the thievish workmen, who were, he feared,
wicked enough to murder him. They had the
At length, after repeated trials, the door turned
softly on its hinges, and the lad recognized the
voice of Mr. Kartmann, who spoke to him.
'Come out!' said his employer, taking him
by the hand. 'Keep silent, whatever you do.
. It must not be suspected that you have got
out.' Then, conducting him along some dark
passages, they reached Mr. Kartmann's room.
I R. KARTMANN having left the room
< to make sure that all the measures to
be put into operation were being pro-
perly prepared, Fred was left alone.
He wished much to see his brother; but what
excuse could he make for quitting the apart-
ment, or where could he find Francis ? At one
time he thought of confessing all to his employer,
but Francis might have changed his mind, and
might have given up all intention of taking any
part in the proposed crime: in this case, Fred
felt that any confession would only uselessly
injure Francis. The poor lad therefore resolved
to await events, and put his trust in the mercy
Mr. Kartmann returned at last. All was pre-
pared to prevent the robbery. The clerks and
several overseers of the factory were concealed
about the yard into which the windows of the
counting-room looked, and these men were suffi-
ciently numerous to seize hold of and overpower
the thieves. Mr. Kartmann conducted Fred to
Fred the Apprelntice.
the counting-room; the lad followed him in
silence, hoping that some opportunity would
occur when he could be useful to Francis, if
he should come to the place. About an hour
elapsed, during which there were no signs of
the approach of the thievish workmen. It was
an hour of horrible torture to Fred, who started
at the slightest sound. The darkness and
silence which reigned in the apartment forcibly
impressed him with the gravity of the situation,
and chilled him with horror.
The trial was almost more than the strength
of a youth could support. He was quite ex-
hausted by the events of this frightful day, and
he felt that his heart was almost broken; but it
seemed more than he could bear without faint-
ing, when, just as the clock was striking one, a
slight noise, made with a tool, warned him that
some one was trying to force open the shut-
ters. Mr. Kartmann also heard the noise
and approached the window. Fred rose almost
mechanically from his chair, then sank upon his
seat, not knowing what to do. This agonizing
suspense lasted for some time. The burglars,
fearful of making a noise, worked gently and
slowly to force the shutter to open, and it was
only after long efforts that this was accomplished.
At the same instant fragments of broken glass
fell upon the floor, and Mr. Kartmann gave a
shrill whistle. The scuffling and noise which
followed proved that the order given by the
signal was obeyed. Shouts and cries were heard
soon afterwards, and then the report of a pistol.
At this sound Mr. Kartmann rushed from the
room. Fred had until then felt unable to move.
The peculiar noise made by some one trying
to squeeze his body through the broken window
suddenly aroused him from his stupefaction, and
then Francis stood before him.
'Wretched young man!' exclaimed he; 'what
are you doing here ?'
'Save me!' said Francis wildly to him. 'Save
'How can I ?'
A thought flashed across him. He remem-
bered that there was a door in the room which
led into the garden; he felt for it in the dark,
found it, dragged Francis after him, and ran
with him towards a part of the garden wall that
was the lowest.
'Go!' exclaimed he, after he had explained to
his brother the way he was to take. 'Do not
38 Fred the Apprentice.
stay in Mulhausen, whatever else you do.
Your accomplices are in custody. They will
inform upon you.'
'Good-bye!' said Francis on the top of the
wall. He then disappeared.
LL the guilty parties, with the excep-
tion of Francis, fell into the hands of
justice. On the morrow, Fred, accord-
ing to orders, went to Mr. Kartmann's
room. The manufacturer made him sit down,
and, after having warmly thanked him, told him
to ask, without any fear, what reward he would
like to have for his good conduct. The youth
hesitated at first, but Mr. Kartmann encouraged
him to speak.
I have then a great favour to ask you, sir,'
said Fred, in a faltering voice,-' which is, that
you will allow me now and then to join in the
lessons of your sons.'
You shall join in them all to-morrow,' said
Mr. Kartmann. 'I have remarked for some
Frederick's Reward. 39
time past that you have a laudable desire to
instruct yourself, and I am persuaded that on
account of this you will succeed in gaining a
good position in the world. From what you
told me yesterday, I suppose that you wish to
be an engraver. I hope that in working at this
you may eventually rise still higher.'
'Still higher than an engraver!' thought
Frederick. Oh, what joy these words gave the
poor orphan, until then struggling against diffi-
culties with no other resources than his own
patient efforts! He had at last found a pro-
tector, who spoke to him of reaching a better
position in life, and offered to help him. His
heart was so full of emotion at this new prospect,
that he could only utter some confused words
of gratitude; but he clasped his hands so
expressively, and fixed his eyes upon Mr.
Kartmann so feelingly, that the manufacturer
understood from these signs all the gratitude
that the youth could not express in words.
You are a deserving lad, Frederick,' said he
pressing his hand; 'and I am sure that I shall
never have to repent what I am doing for you.'
The day after this interview, Mr. Kartmann
introduced Fred to his sons and to their tutor.
40 Fred the Apprentice.
The service which he had just rendered to the
family, the proof of the superiority of mind that
he displayed even in the choice of his reward,
spoke so strongly in his favour, that he was
received in a most flattering manner by the
tutor and his pupils. They highly praised Fred's
laudable ambition. Every one gladly tried, and
made it a point of duty, to assist the apprentice
as much as possible in his studies.
The habit that Frederick had now got into,
of fixing his whole attention upon any subject
that he was for the time engaged in, was as
useful to him in his new studies as it had been
previously. This method, joined to the deter-
mination of always thoroughly understanding
the reason of everything step by step as he went
along, admirably prepared his understanding to
master the difficulties in acquiring a knowledge
of mathematics and languages. Thus he made
rapid progress in these two branches, without,
however, interfering with his other work. His-
tory, geography, and drawing were not neglected,
-mechanical drawing in particular,-and he was
in time able to make drawings of the most com-
After three years of instruction, Fred was
as advanced in his studies as the sons of
Mr. Kartmann. His fellow-students, who were
younger than he was,-one by two years, the
other by four,-were proud of his progress, and
treated him more as a companion than as a
person dependent in a great measure upon their
father. If this good understanding arose partly
from the good hearts of the youths, the conduct
of Fred greatly contributed to maintain it. He
was so modest about his acquirements, so civil
and obliging, so truly grateful, and so careful
not to ask any additional favours, that they
would have blushed to make him feel his
When he had reached his nineteenth year,
Mr. Kartmann promoted him to be one of the
overseers in the factory. He was so sober and
steady, that, though the style of his dress was
superior to that of others of the same class in
the establishment, he did not fail to save enough
money with which to purchase books, mathe-
matical instruments, and other articles required
for his studies. It was a source of great satis-
faction to him that he could now pay for these
things, instead of continuing to receive them
from his kind employer. He felt no longer
Fred the Apprentice.
uneasy about the future, whatever it might be.
He now possessed resources which ought never
to fail him, except that God in His wisdom
should see fit to deprive him of them, or that,
by the divine will, ill-health should come to
make him unfit for work. He feared nothing
else, for, humanly speaking, success seemed to
be securely within his reach, and he trusted that
God, who had thus far blessed and preserved
him, would continue to do so.
-ri- < T was one of those hot, clear evenings
T' I,- .which are so frequent at Mulhausen;
S'-' it was the hour when the workpeople
leave the factories. Parties of them
were ascending the rising ground that borders
the canal, singing in chorus; and their songs
were heard in the valley beneath.
Fred was seated with his drawing-board on
his knees, engaged in making a drawing of some
machinery that he had sketched during the day.
A Temptation. 43
I-e also liked singing and pleasant walks. When
the air was beginning to be more refreshing at
the close of a sultry day, he often felt, after a
hard day's work, the wish to go and wander
amongst the vines, to breathe the fresh air; but,
however harmless, however unobjectionable this
pleasure was, he had very often the courage to
resist it. On the evenings when the fineness of
the weather invited him to remain out, he would
often take his drawing materials and books, and
seat himself to work and study on a small bench
near Mrs. Ridler's door. There was a glimpse
of the country to be seen from it-the air was
fresher than in the house-the chirping, and
occasionally the singing, of some birds in the
neighbourhood might be heard; and to him,
accustomed as he was to pass his evenings thus
quietly, these things, few as they were, afforded
On the evening we speak of, Fred was seated
in his usual place. He was working diligently,
as the light was failing, and he wished to finish
the drawing he had commenced.
It was a sketch of one of the most compli-
cated machines in Mr. Kartmann's factory. The
breathing of some one who was looking over his
44. Fred the Apprentice.
shoulder caused him suddenly to suspend his
work. He turned his head, and saw a stranger
who was attentively looking at the drawing.
'In which factory is this machine that you are
making a drawing of?' asked the stranger.
'In Mr. Kartmann's,' replied Fred.
How did you manage to get a sketch of it ?'
'Mr. Kartmann allows me to study with his
'Then you must have in your portfolio draw-
ings of most of the machinery in the establish-
'Of nearly all, sir.'
'I should like to see them.'
Fred obligingly opened his portfolio, and
showed his drawings to the stranger, who said,
after he had minutely examined them:
'I do not see among them a drawing of the
large machine that Mr. Kartmann had from
England two months ago.'
'We are going to make a drawing of it in the
course of a few days, sir.'
'Do you think that you could give me copies
of the drawings ?'
'I have not much time to spare; nevertheless,
to oblige you, I will try to make copies for you.'
'I want, above all, a drawing of the new
machine I have spoken to you about; but, as
your time is, of course, valuable, I will pay you
for your work. There!' added he, holding out
three pieces of gold coin, 'I will give you these
as payment in advance. We will afterwards
come to terms about better payment.'
The sight of the gold startled Fred and
aroused his suspicions. The stranger would not
pay thus highly for drawings that he did not
intend to use. These plans were doubtless re-
quired for the purpose of constructing machinery
to be employed in competing with Mr. Kart-
mann, which competition might seriously hurt
the trade of his employer, and do him immense
injury. The youth shuddered at the thought
of the harm he might do his employer by any
imprudence on his part, and, hastily gathering
his drawings together, he put them back into
the portfolio, which he carefully fastened.
The stranger looked at him with astonish-
ment, and held out to him once more the three
pieces of gold.
'Thanks,' said Fred, 'but I cannot accept
your offer, sir. I now remember that in doing
so I should be disposing of property that does
Fred the Apprcntice.
not belong to me, and I neither can nor will do
such a thing. Apply to Mr. Kartmann himself;
he will be better able to judge than I whether
your proposal will be of any injury to him.'
The stranger perceived that Fred had guessed
'I understand,' said he, 'your motives for re-
fusing my offer. You know that a manufacturer
often tries to prevent other manufacturers from
seeing and inspecting his machinery. You fear
that if your employer were to discover that you
had furnished me with drawings, he would dis-
miss you from his service; but I am able to
make such a dismissal so advantageous to you
that it will be a fortune to you. I offer you,
from this moment, a situation in my factory at
double the wages that you are receiving at pre-
sent, and I will also pay you whatever sum of
money you may mention, whenever you deliver
into my hands the drawings I have asked you
to do for me.'
Fred would listen no longer; he snatched up
his portfolio, and cast upon the stranger a look
of mingled scorn and indignation.
'I can neither be guilty of treachery nor per-
mit myself to be bribed, sir,' said he in a voice
trembling with emotion. He then abruptly left
the stranger, and went into the house.
Some days after this scene Mr. Kartmann
called Fred into his office.
'Where are all the drawings that you did with
my sons ?' said he.
In my portfolio, sir.'
'Bring them to me.'
Fred went and fetched his portfolio, which he
gave to his employer, almost trembling as he
did so, because there was something very brief
and uneasy in Mr. Kartmann's manner that
Mr. Kartmann examined all the drawings;
the sight of every one of them caused him to
utter an exclamation. 'What imprudence on
my part!' muttered he, 'There is enough here
to have half-ruined me.'
When he had finished his examination he
turned towards Fred and said, 'Some one made
an offer to buy copies of these drawings from
you. I know it.'
'And you did not tell me of it.'
I did not think it of sufficient importance to
mention it to you.'
Fred the Apprentice.
What price was offered you ?'
'Whatever I should like to ask.'
'And you refused ?'
Without hesitation ?'
'To hesitate would have been infamous.'
'Your hand, Fred,' said Mr. Kartmann, hold-
ing out his own to the young workman. You
have a noble heart. I am acquainted with the
minutest details of this affair. I have acted very
imprudently, my young friend, as any one less
honest than you are might have done me im-
mense injury-more injury than I like to think
of. I thank you for your straightforward, up-
right conduct. You are now no longer a lad;
from all the reports I have received from your
teachers, and from what I have observed myself,
you ought not to remain an overseer any longer.
From to-morrow you shall come and live in my
house; you shall have a seat at my table, and
continue to study with my sons. You shall also
receive the usual pay of the situation you are
On the morrow Fred quitted Mrs. Ridler's
house. In bidding adieu to the kind-hearted
old woman he could not help feeling a good
deal affected, as his present happiness did not
make him forget how kind she had been to him.
He continued to show his gratitude for the ser-
vices which she had rendered him, and he did
not fail to visit his former landlady once a week,
and bring some present with him.
EVERAL years passed away without
Producing any particular changes in
the condition of Fred. His abilities,
which he continued to exert in study-
ing science and ai't, and in the pursuits of his
trade, had become very marked, and his efforts
were attended with complete success. The
young workman, who twelve years ago did not
know a single letter of the alphabet, was now
considered by those who knew him, to be re-
markably well instructed for his age.
Mr. Kartmann often congratulated himself
upon having him in the establishment. Never
before had the duties which he fulfilled been
so faithfully and well done; therefore Mr. Kart-
mann did not consider him merely an ordinary
50 Fred the Apprentice.
clerk, but a friend of the family-the favouritq
companion of his sons, the clever and worthy
competitor in their studies. The events that
remain to be told only served to strengthen this
confidence and affection, by showing to what
extent they were well founded.
For several months Mr. Kartmann had ap-
peared sad, and Fred, through whose hands the
business accounts passed, began to perceive a
certain amount of pecuniary embarrassment in
the affairs of his employer. The confidential
statements of Mr. Kartmann himself, the expres-
sions showing uneasiness of mind that escaped
him, the numerous applications from his creditors,
soon enlightened Fred, and convinced him that
all this did not arise from a temporary depres-
sion of trade, but from one of those changes in
the course of trade which so often swallow up
large fortunes. It was not long before Mr.
Kartmann himself dispelled Fred's last doubts
about the matter. He came in one day at dinner-
time more low-spirited than usual. When the
meal was over, he asked his elder son and Fred
to accompany him to his office.
Before two months are over,' said he to them
when in the office, 'this establishment will no
longer be mine. After its sale I shall have
enough with which to pay my debts and lia-
bilities; if I wait any longer, it will soon be
beyond my means to meet them. The new
machinery of Mr. Zinberger has completely
ruined my trade. His goods are much better
and cheaper than mine, and are preferred to
mine in the market. For some time I have
sustained this competition, however ruinous it
has been, in the hope of improving my own
machinery; but all my expectations on this
point are at an end: to struggle any longer is
impossible. As soon, then, as my books are
balanced, I shall advertise these premises for
sale. It is dreadful for me, I know, after so
many years of industry, to see all my hopes
vanish of making a competency for myself and
children; but amidst all these ruined hopes I
find consolation in thinking that all my debts
will be paid, and that I and my family will be
the only sufferers from this measure. As for
you, Frederick,' added he, stretching out his
hand to the young man, 'you will not, I hope,
cease to be our friend; but, as you perceive, we
must part. I do not feel the slightest uneasiness
about your future career. With your talents
and good character you will be able to find
employment elsewhere, only this separation will
Fred the Apprentice.
be another source of sorrow to me, as I am ac-
customed to look upon you as a third son.'
'I will not leave you, sir,' said Fred, in a sad
tone, 'until I shall have convinced myself that
my services will be useless, and I hope that the
day may be far distant when this will ever occur.
Let us think over the state of your affairs, sir;
perhaps the losses which you fear may be more
imaginary than real. If I might presume to
offer you my advice, I would counsel you not
to be too hasty in coming to a decision. By
waiting and watching, a remedy may often be
found for these fluctuations in trade. You may
be able to get machinery similar to that of Mr.
'His cotton -mill is a new one, with every
recent improvement,' answered Mr. Kartmann.
'It would cost me more capital than I could
invest at the present moment to reconstruct my
mill, considering the bad debts I have just now
on my books, owing to the recent failures of
several large firms. Some other manufacturers
in this place are doing so, but they were always
men with greater capital than I ever possessed.
Even I might have purchased the requisite
machinery for producing in perfection this new
class of goods, if the heavy failures on the part
of these bankrupt firms had not crippled my
means. I fear that there is little hope for me,'
concluded Mr. Kartmann, shaking his head;
'however, you will be a better judge of this
question after you have examined my private
books. They alone can give you an exact idea
of my position and losses.'
So saying, he opened the books in question
for the inspection of Fred, who looked over
them with a sinking heart. There were no
errors in the figures. They showed only too
plainly the cause of the disorder in Mr. Kart-
mann's affairs; but even at this moment Fred
was thinking of a remedy.
After having ended his painful interview with
Mr. Kartmann, he went to his own room, and,
quite bewildered, threw himself into an arm-chair.
'In two months,' said he, 'the business will
be wound up, and it and the premises sold. In
two short months! What is to be done? How
is it possible, in so short a space of time, to
carry out a plan to make Mr. Kartmann able
to compete with his wealthy rivals in manufac-
turing these goods as cheaply and as well, and
so save him from ruin, and his family from
misery. Human aid seems hopeless; we must
trust in'God, and ask His help.'
54 Fred the Apprentice.
His thoughts being calmed by prayer and
by reliance upon God and his Saviour, Fred
set steadily to work to consider how he could
extricate Mr. Kartmann from his embarrass-
From taste, as much as from the nature of
his business, mechanics had been one of Fred's
favourite studies, and he had now, it may be
said, a thorough knowledge of this branch of
the arts. During the years which he had been
in Mr. Kartmann's dwelling he had met from
time to time with various persons interested in
the same pursuits, some of whom were strangers
attracted to Mulhausen by its fame as a manu-
facturing town. Among this number was a
young man, a junior partner in a wealthy firm
of engineers and millwrights. He and Fred
had been very intimate during his short stay at
Mulhausen, doubtless attracted to each other
by a similarity of tastes and sentiments. They
had occasionally, at long intervals, corresponded,
but their intercourse was not sufficiently intimate
to lead Fred to think of obtaining any advice
respecting matters of business of this magnitude.
One of these rare letters arrived just then from
the young man. It flashed across the mind of
Fred, directly he saw the handwriting, that a
way was opened to him, by the leading of
Providence, by which he might see his way
through the present difficulties. Had not the
letter come at this time, he would never have
thought of the plan. In fact, he had, it might
be said, forgotten for the moment the very exist-
ence of so slight an acquaintance. The young
man who thus occasionally corresponded with
him would be of all others the best able to help
him. The firm to which the young partner
belonged manufactured mill-machinery on the
most extensive scale. At first Fred thought of
going to Mr. Kartmann and suggesting to him
to write to this firm, explaining his condition,
and soliciting their advice and assistance. On
second thoughts, Fred considered that it was
safer to say nothing about it for the present to
Mr. Kartmann, who most likely would only
shrink from the idea of exposing the ruinous
state of his affairs to strangers, who, after all,
might in reply merely express their great re-
gret at not being able to assist him under the
Mr. Kartmann would naturally not feel inclined
to make an exposure of the critical position of
his business, if he were not first sure that the
persons to whom he made it were inclined as
Fred the Apprentice.
well as able to be of use to him. Who could
Fred would say nothing to Mr. Kartmann; he
himself would write to his young acquaintance.
He was not sure that he was doing right in thus
informing a comparative stranger of Mr. Kart-
mann's affairs without permission; and, after he
had written a letter, in which he fully explained
all, he was so perplexed what to do for the best,
that he instinctively felt his only hope of seeing
his way clearly, was to pray to God for help
and support under the present trial. Comforted
and refreshed by a short but fervent prayer, his
mind was able to reflect calmly far better than
before. He thought of the command, 'And as
ye would that men should do to you, do ye also
to them likewise.'
Fred pressed his hand upon his brow, as if in
intense thought. 'Let me argue calmly,' thought
he, 'and according to this divine precept. If
the affair were mine, should I like it exposed
to other people without my consent? No! It
is clear, then, that I am not justified in mention-
ing Mr. Kartmann's name without his consent.
This letter cannot go!' He reflected for some
minutes. 'Shall I write at all? Yes. Shall
I tell Mr. Kartmann? Yes. What does our
Saviour say ? Is it not to do to others as we
would be done by ?'
He went accordingly to Mr. Kartmann. 'I
want your permission to write a letter to a
friend, sir,' said he. Have I your sanction to
explain how matters stand, without, of course,
letting my friend know your name, or that it
refers to you ?'
'To whom do you wish to write?' replied his
Fred told him.
'A very worthy young man, I believe. I
have some slight recollection of him, now that
you mention his name. Well, he may be able
to serve you by recommending you for some
remunerative employment; but as for me, I fear
that he can do me no good. However, you can
try, my dear boy, so long as my name is not
used, for I have a great objection to have my
misfortunes made known to strangers. I tell
you frankly beforehand that I fear it is time
and trouble thrown away. No, I am too deeply
involved to be saved now, except by a fresh
start with new machinery for the class of goods
Mr. Kartmann sorrowfully shook his head,
and Fred went to write his letter, with a clear
Fred the Apprentice.
conscience now that he was acting in a straight-
forward, conscientious manner, with no conceal-
ments from his employer.
Fred then rapidly wrote his letter. Without
mentioning any names, he clearly explained the
position in which matters stood, and asked his
young friend what could be done under the cir-
cumstances to avert the impending ruin. The
letter was posted, and Fred awaited the answer.
As Mr. Kartmann said nothing more about the
matter,-in fact, he did not seem to consider it
of the slightest importance, and had probably
nearly forgotten it, absorbed as he was in his
own affairs,-Fred did not allude to it. Day
after day passed away, until there remained but a
few days more before Mr. Kartmann would have
to decide whether he would have to wind up his
business or not. As the time drew nearer, Mr.
Kartmann grew more and more gloomy and
silent in his manner. Nevertheless, Fred, though
his hopes of help from his young acquaintance
necessarily grew fainter, still hoped on, as he did
not place reliance upon earthly sources only.
He remembered the words in the forty-sixth
Psalm, and often repeated them to himself, and
ind continual support and comfort in them:
' uod is our refuge and strength, a very present
help in trouble: therefore will not we fear,
though the earth be removed, and though the
mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.'
Whatever might be the result of affairs, he
felt assured that all would be for the best. If
disaster and ruin were to come, they would be
necessary afflictions for the purpose of trial and
correction to bring the sufferers nearer in heart
and mind to the Saviour. At last a letter arrived
-he knew the handwriting and postmark. He
glanced rapidly over the contents. It was a kind,
yet business-like letter. It did not profess much,
but the writer came to the point at once: 'I have
consulted my senior partners on the matter you
refer to; and although it is contrary to our usual
system of business, and we would only do it in
a case recommended by a friend like you, for
whom I have personally much esteem, we shall
be happy to do all in our power to assist the
worthy manufacturer whom you mention (you do
not give his name), to the utmost of our ability,
by furnishing him with suitable machinery, with
all the latest improvements, for the purpose of
enabling him to compete in the market with
other manufacturers. In writing this, of course I
take it for granted that your friend the manu-
facturer is, as you evidently believe him to be, a
Fred the App rentice.
solid, respectable party. If it is, as I suspect
(forgive me for writing so), somebody not a hun-
dred miles off from Mr. Kartmann, if not Mr.
Kartmann himself, from rumours in the trade
which I had heard before the receipt of your
letter, I and my partners will have additional
pleasure in acting in this matter, and putting
everything to rights on easy terms of payment,
to suit his convenience.'
Fred thought for a moment that this good
news must be an empty dream. Could it be
possible that he, once a poor, ignorant, almost
penniless boy, could now have influence to obtain
credit for Mr. Kartmann for thousands of pounds
sterling? But he checked himself. 'Let me not
forget God, nor be ungrateful to Him,' said he
to himself. 'I have never been friendless. There
is a Friend, as God's word tells us, that sticketh
closer than a brother (Prov. xviii. 24); and, in
the darkest periods of my struggling life, this
Friend, the blessed Saviour, has cared for me,
and He will do so to the end.'
With these consoling thoughts, he hurried to
the room of Mr. Kartmann.
'Read this, sir!' exclaimed he, holding out
the letter to his employer. 'You will see that,
by the blessing of God, my expectations have
become realities, and have not proved empty
As Mr. Kartmann was reading the letter, his
pale face became paler and paler, his hands
more trembling; his features plainly showed
extreme agitation, whilst he was passing as it
were from the depths of despair to unlooked-for
happiness. When he had read the letter he
looked at Fred, his eyes moistened with tears.
'No; it is not an empty dream, thanks be to
God for His mercy,' said he. 'A great lesson
may be learned from your example, Fred, that
religion and piety, instead of being, as some
worldly persons falsely suppose, so many useless
things in the way of success in business,-I may
add, in life,-are in reality so many necessary
things in order to make this success a real and
happy one. Our blessed Lord and Saviour has
said for our instruction: "For what is a man
profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and
lose his own soul ? or what shall a man give in
exchange for his soul ?" (Matt. xvi. 26.) Your
trust in your Saviour, and your good conduct,
Fred, have brought their reward even in this
world, as they were sure sooner or later to do.'
Then, rising from his seat in one of the
moments of great emotion, which even a calm,
62 Fred the Apprentice.
business-like man, such as Mr. Kartmann was,
sometimes feels when some extraordinary event
happens to him, the manufacturer took Fred's
hand and shook it warmly.
'Thanks!' said he. 'I shall not utter many
protestations of my gratitude to you for this
service, which will, I firmly believe, with the
divine blessing, enable me to make arrangements
to recover my losses and establish my now failing
business upon a sure and firm footing and basis.
I will only add, that I shall henceforth consider
you as one of my sons, as you have acted towards
me as a good son would act towards his father;
so the least that I can do is to act as a father
R. KARTMANN'S business became
one of the most prosperous concerns
in Mulhausen, conducted as it was
with all the modern improvements in
machinery, etc. His debts and liabilities were
in time all paid and met, and an increase of
business gradually took place: Fred did not
relax his efforts now that great prosperity at-
tended his labours. He continued in the same
stedfast path of duty and well-doing, sustained
and encouraged by his faith in his Saviour's
merits, not in his own. By this he escaped the
ill effects of that which the Apostle Paul has
mentioned in I Cor. viii. I, 2, 3: 'Knowledge
puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man
think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth
nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any
man love God, the same is known of Him.'
Thus, year after year, Fred kept on the even
tenor of his way. Mr. Kartmann, who was now
Fred's father-in-law (as Fred had married one
of Mr. Kartmann's daughters), placed the utmost
confidence in his talents, skill, and integrity.
One thing cast a cloud over his otherwise
happy condition. After the flight of his brother,
he had vainly sought to discover what had be-
come of Francis. At the time of his marriage,
an article in a newspaper unexpectedly fur-
nished him with the first and last information
that he ever obtained concerning the fate of his
brother, whose separation from him had caused
him so much sorrow and regret. It was stated
in the newspaper that the diligence on its way
from Frankfort to Paris had been attacked by
64 Fred the Apprentice.
a band of robbers; the passengers had cour-
ageously defended themselves, and several of
the robbers were mortally wounded, among
whom was mentioned Francis Kossmall. Fred
shed many bitter tears over the memory of this
wretched young man, who, though he began his
career in life under the same circumstances, and
was blessed by the same dying mother as his
younger brother, yet ended his days so miserably,
after a career so different from that of Fred.
The words of the Psalmist were literally ful-
filled: 'Evil shall slay the wicked; and they
that hate the righteous shall be desolate' (Ps.
MURRAY AND GIBB, EDINBURGH,
PRINTERS TO HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE.