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had incurred, but for the sins of his companions. He knew the meaning of these words, “ Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law,” Psa. cxix. 136.
Herbert was half inclined to retreat with Alfred. He knew that he ought to do so ; but he hesitated; he was ashamed; he dreaded the derision of fools ; he was afraid of being called a coward. That moment’s hesitation riveted the chains of sin fast upon him. His hesitation was perceived by the profane boy who headed the set. “What, are you turning tail, too ?” he asked, derisively, “ You are not afraid, are you?”
“No, n-0,” Herbert answered.
“ Then” — but why should we write more? Herbert dreaded the scoffs of fellow-sinners more than the anger of God. From thenceforth be avoided the society of his friend Alfred, and was reckoned a hearty good fellow by the brave hearts in the school that could set their Maker at defiance. He had taken his first step in deliberate sin to prove that he was no coward; but it was not his last. In the next chapter we shall meet with bim again.
OR, TAE BOY WHO DID NOT LIKE TO BE SINGULAR.
HERBERT left school with a blemished character, or rather, with a mottled charac- : ter. There were many things in which he had given satisfaction to his best friends, and there was much also that had endeared him to his schoolfellows; but, on the other hand, he had in many respects disappointed the hopes which had been formed of him. The good impressions of his childhood had become faint, and his more amiable qualities had been obscured. One foolish, criminal weakness was at the root of the mischief–he could not bear to be singular; he had not the true courage
to say “No,” to any project or action which his conscience disapproved; he chose rather to “follow a multitude to do evil," than to walk alone in the plain and narrow path of rectitude.
Herbert was placed in the countinghouse of a London merchant, in which were several clerks older than himself, though all were young men.
“Will you go with us to-night?” asked one of these of Herbert, a few weeks after he had joined their society. “A capital new piece is coming out at Drury Lane."
“No, I think not,” replied Herbert.
“Why, do you never mean to go to the theatre ?"
"I do not know; perhaps I may; but I had rather not go to-night.”
“Ah, I see how it is," said his fellow clerk, with a smile; "you are one of old Thompson's crew. I should not wonder if