"Of course. But Richard Parsons was really in the list, was he?" "He was; his name, address, date of apprenticeship and the name of the maker to whom he was apprenticed; also the dates when he was admitted to the most worshipful Clockmakers' Company. So you see, although he lived long ago, Richard Parsons is no stranger to us."
"I have often wished to see something of it," his father answered. "I was apprenticed to my profession, Mr. Garraway, in the old-fashioned way, and had few opportunities of attending college." "Indeed, sir." "But I can imagine it all. What can be more charming than the sight of a community of young men all striving after knowledge, and emulating each other in the ardour of their studies?
Then the poor apprentice became aware that his table had been changed, and was ashamed at having to stand there like a liar. The relations, however, mocked him, and were forced to go home without having eaten or drunk. The father brought out his patches again, and went on tailoring, but the son went to a master in the craft. The second son had gone to a miller and had apprenticed himself to him.
The Company was empowered to prohibit anyone from working at that trade within the jurisdiction of the City who was not a member of the Company; it could prevent markets from being held within a certain distance of the City; it could oblige all the youth of the City to be apprenticed to some Company; it could regulate wages and hours of work; it could examine the work before it could be sold; and it could limit the number of the workmen.
A love of science now began to show itself, and his guardians were recommended to send him to the Polytechnic School of Carlsruhe; but one of them, his uncle, wished him to become a merchant, and on March 1, 1850, Reis was apprenticed to the colour trade in the establishment of Mr. J. F Beyerbach, of Frankfort, against his own will.
He was the son of a livery stable keeper who was fairly well off, and he went to no school but a private one, where, however, he received tolerable instruction and had good comrades. Born in 1795, he was apprenticed to a surgeon at the age of fifteen, and even did some work in his profession, till in 1817 his overmastering passion for literature had its way.
The father's highest ambition seems to have been for the son to become a successful shopkeeper in one of the small towns. The future navigator was apprenticed to the village shop; but Cook's ambitions were not to be caged behind a counter. Eastward rolled the North Sea. Down at Hull were heard seamen's yarns to make the blood of a boy jump. It was 1746.
He began by being apprenticed to a cabinet-maker, but did not take to the work, and was put into a printing-office. Then he served an apprenticeship to a japanner, and married very early on incredibly small earnings, which, however, he increased by his rapidity in work and his incessant industry.
He regarded his father's business as part of his national disgrace, and at the cost of leaving his home he broke away from it, and informally apprenticed himself to the village blacksmith and wagon-maker. When it came to his setting up for himself in the business he had chosen, he had no help from his father, who had gone on adding dollar to dollar till he was one of the richest men in the place.
Let us assume that everyone knows how James Cook, son of a superior farm labourer in Yorkshire, at thirteen years of age apprenticed to a fishing village shopkeeper, ran away to sea in a Whitby collier, and presently got himself properly apprenticed to her owners, two Quaker brothers named Walker, and how at twenty-seven years of age, when he had become mate of a small merchantman, he determined to anticipate the hot press of May, 1755, and so at Wapping volunteered as A.B. on board His Majesty's ship Eagle.