Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
  The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices Charles Dickens

Chapter IV

Page 1 of 16

Table Of Contents: The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

When Mr. Goodchild had looked out of the Lancaster Inn window for two hours on end, with great perseverance, he begun to entertain a misgiving that he was growing industrious. He therefore set himself next, to explore the country from the tops of all the steep hills in the neighbourhood.

He came back at dinner-time, red and glowing, to tell Thomas Idle what he had seen. Thomas, on his back reading, listened with great composure, and asked him whether he really had gone up those hills, and bothered himself with those views, and walked all those miles?

'Because I want to know,' added Thomas, 'what you would say of it, if you were obliged to do it?'

'It would be different, then,' said Francis. 'It would be work, then; now, it's play.'

'Play!' replied Thomas Idle, utterly repudiating the reply. 'Play! Here is a man goes systematically tearing himself to pieces, and putting himself through an incessant course of training, as if he were always under articles to fight a match for the champion's belt, and he calls it Play! Play!' exclaimed Thomas Idle, scornfully contemplating his one boot in the air. 'You CAN'T play. You don't know what it is. You make work of everything.'

The bright Goodchild amiably smiled.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

'So you do,' said Thomas. 'I mean it. To me you are an absolutely terrible fellow. You do nothing like another man. Where another fellow would fall into a footbath of action or emotion, you fall into a mine. Where any other fellow would be a painted butterfly, you are a fiery dragon. Where another man would stake a sixpence, you stake your existence. If you were to go up in a balloon, you would make for Heaven; and if you were to dive into the depths of the earth, nothing short of the other place would content you. What a fellow you are, Francis!' The cheerful Goodchild laughed.

'It's all very well to laugh, but I wonder you don't feel it to be serious,' said Idle. 'A man who can do nothing by halves appears to me to be a fearful man.'

'Tom, Tom,' returned Goodchild, 'if I can do nothing by halves, and be nothing by halves, it's pretty clear that you must take me as a whole, and make the best of me.'

With this philosophical rejoinder, the airy Goodchild clapped Mr. Idle on the shoulder in a final manner, and they sat down to dinner.

'By-the-by,' said Goodchild, 'I have been over a lunatic asylum too, since I have been out.'

'He has been,' exclaimed Thomas Idle, casting up his eyes, 'over a lunatic asylum! Not content with being as great an Ass as Captain Barclay in the pedestrian way, he makes a Lunacy Commissioner of himself - for nothing!'

'An immense place,' said Goodchild, 'admirable offices, very good arrangements, very good attendants; altogether a remarkable place.'

'And what did you see there?' asked Mr. Idle, adapting Hamlet's advice to the occasion, and assuming the virtue of interest, though he had it not.

Page 1 of 16 Previous Chapter   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices
Charles Dickens

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004