Of domesticall duties eight treatises. I. An exposition of that part of Scripture out of which domesticall duties are raised. ... VIII. Duties of masters. By William Gouge.
Gouge, William, 1578-1653.

§. 36. Of exercising seruants to a calling.

Though it be a good thing to keepe a seruant alwaies oc∣cupied and imploied, yet for the benefit of the seruant it is fur∣ther requisite, that his imployment be about some setled mat∣ter, whereabout he may also exercise himselfe when he is out Page  680 of seruice. This especially concerneth such as haue taken * prentises. They must teach them their trade.

  • 1. For that end are prentises bound to masters.
  • 2. The couenants on the masters part require as much.
  • 3. The good which thence is like to come to the master himselfe, his prentise, and others, will recompence the paines.

Other seruants also must be tied to a worke which may be a meanes of maintenance: as in a great house, to offices about that house: in the country, to husbandry: in offices about the law, to some imployment therein; and so in other callings.

It is contrary hereunto for masters to enuy their prentises the mysterie of their trade: to imploy them from time to time about messages, and errands, and such things as tend only to the masters present need, but cannot be profitable for the ser∣uants in time to come. These are like old, growne, broad trees, which keepe all the sunshine from the shrubs that grow vnder them, and so keepe them downe from growing.

Obiect. Prentises will be as iuy to the trees about which they cling, soone ouer-topping them, and foking all the life out of them: they will hinder their masters trading, and get away all his custome, if they be too expert in his trade.

Answ. 1. This is but a meere surmise. It implieth that such masters as feare that which is pretended, deale not so cur∣rently, and faithfully with their customers as they should; or else how could they surmise that wise chapmen would leaue one of whom they haue had long and good experience, to goe to a new beginner?

2. Daily experience sheweth that God by his prouidence so ordereth mens affaires, that masters who from time to time traine vp and send forth many prentises well exercised and skilfull in their trade, doe hold on, yea and increase in their owne dealings and gaine which they get thereby; and yet withall their prentises also come well forward. Why should any masters so distrust Gods prouidence, as to be afraid to make their prentises skilfull in their trade?

3. When masters by death or otherwise giue ouer trading, how shall trades be continued, if masters be so enuious, and distrustfull? What if their masters had so dealt with them? Page  681 And what if all masters should so deale? For what one doth in such a case, he must presuppose that all may doe.

In this kinde also doe such mistresses offend as keepe their maids many yeares together to drudgery worke, and neuer teach them, nor afford them meanes or leisure to learne points of huswifery, things whereby they may get better maintenance for themselues.

Such masters and mistresses vse their seruants as beasts, only for their owne turne, without any respect to the seruants good: whereby they peruert the maine end of that relation betwixt ma∣ster and seruant, which is a mutuall and reciprocall good to passe from the one to the other.