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Ah ! let not those phantoms our wishes engage ;
Let us lire so in youth, that we blush not in aire.

II. ^

Though the vain and the gay may allure us

Yet let not their flattVy our prudence beguile ;
Let us covet those charms that will never de.

Nor listen to all that deceivers can sav.

* How the tints of the rose and the jasmine's

The eelantine^s fragrance, the lilac*8 gay bloom.
Though fair and though fragrant, unheeded

may lie.
For that neither is sweet when Florella is by.'

I sigh not ibr beauty, nor languish for wealth.
But grant me, kind Providence, virtue and

Then, richer than kings and as happy as they.
My days shaU pass sweetly and swituy away.

When age shall steal on me, and youth is no

And the moralist Time shakes his glass at my

What charm in lost beauty or wealth should I
find 7 [mind.

My treasure, my wealth, is a sireet peace of


That peace 1*11 preserve then, as pure as wai

And taste in my bosom an earnest of Heav'n ,
Thus virtue and wisdom can warm the cold

And sixty may flourish as gay as sixteen.

Aofd when long I the burden of life shall have

borne, [corOf

And Death with his sickle shall cut the ripe
Resi^n'd to my fate, without murmur or Ugh,
1*11 bless the kind summons, and lie down and


Euphe. Thus sweetly pass the hdUrf of rfiral

Here life is bliss, and pleasures truly jdease !
. Pa$t, With joy we view the dangers we have

AssurM we've found felicity at last
Flor, "Esteem none happy by their outward

All have their portion of allotted care.
Though wisdom wears the semblance of content.
When the full heart with agony is rent.
Secludes its anguish from the public view.
And by secluding learns to conquer too :
Denied the fond mdnlgence to complain.
The aching heart its peace may best regain.
By love directed, and in mercy meant.
Are trials sufler'd and afflictions sent ;
To stem impetuous Passion's furious tide,
To curb the insolence of prosperous Pride,
To wean from earth, and bid our wishes soar
To that blest clime where pain shall be no more;
Where wearied Virtue shall for refuge fly.
And ev'ry tear be wip*d from ey*ry eye.

Cleora, Lisfning to you, my heart can never

To rev'rence Virtue, and to siffh for peace.
Flor, Know, e'en Urania, that accomplished

fair [care,

Whose goodness makes her Heaven's peculiar
Though born to all that affluence can bestow.
Has relt the deep reverse of human wo :
Yet meek in grief, and patient in distress.
She knew the hand that wounds has pow'r (a

Grateful she bows, for what is left her still.
To mil whose love dispenses good and ill ;
To RIM who, while his bounty thousands fi^,
Had not himself a place to lay his bead ;
To HIM who that he might our wealth insure,
Thouf h rich himself consented to be poor.
Taught by his precepts, by his practice taught,
Her will submitted, and resigned her thought.
Through faith, she looks beyond this dark abode.
To scenes of glory near the throne of God

Enter Uranu, Sylvia, Euza.

Ura, Since gentla nymphs .* my fViendship to

You've sought with, eager step this peacefiit

My honest counsel with attention hear,
Though plain, well meant, imperfisct, yet ciik-

What from maturer years alone Pve known.

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Whst time has taaght me, and experieuce

No polish'd phrase my artless speech will |^ace,
But unaffected Candour fill its place :
My lips shall flatt*ry'8 smooth deceit refuse.
And truth be all the eloquence 1*11 use.
Know then, that Ufe*s chief happiness and wo,
FVom good or eril education flow ;
And hence our future dispositions rise ; ^
The Tioe we practice, or the good we prize.
When pliant Nature any form receives.
That precept teaches or example gives.
The yielding mind with virtue should he grac*d,
For first impressions seldom are effac*d.
Then holy habits, then chastisM desires,
Should regulate disorder*d Nature^s fires.
If IjifnoraDce theo, her iron sway maintain,
If prejudice preside, or Passion reign,
If Vanity preserve her native sway.
If selfish tempers cloud the op*ning day,
If no kind hand impetuous Pride restrain.
Bat fiir the wholesome curb we ^ive the rein ;
The erring principle is rooted fiut.
And fizM the habit that through life may last
Pmti, With heartfelt penitence we now de-

Those squander^ hours, that time can ne'er re-

Um. Euphelia sighs for flatt'ry, dress, and

The common sources these of female wo !
In Beauty's sphere preeminence to find.
She slights the culture of th* immortal mind :
I would not rail at Beauty's charming pow'r,
I would but have her aim at something more ;
Tlie direst symmetry of form or face,
From intellect receives its highest grace ;
Hie brightest eyes ne'er dart such piercing

As when a soul irradiates and inspires :
Beauty with reason needs not quite dispense,
And coral lips may sure speak common sense :
Beauty makes Virtue lovelier still appear ;
Virtue makes Beauty more divinely fair !
Confirms its conquests o'er the willing mind.
And those your bsauties gain, your virtues bind.
Yet would ambition's fire your bosom fill.
Its flame repress not — be ambitious still ;
Let nobler views your best attention claim,
The object chan|;'d, the energy the same :
Those very psssions which our heart invade,
If rightly pointed, blessings may be made.
Indidge the true ambition to excel
In that best art — the art of living welL
But first extirpate from your youthful breast
That rankling torment which destroys your

rest •
AQ other faults may take a hicrher aim.
But hopeless Envy must be still the same.
Some other passions may be turn'd to good,
But Envy must subdue, or be subdu'd.
This fatal gangrene to our moral life.
Rejects all palKativea, and asks the knife ;
Excision spar'd, it taints the vital part,
And spreads its deadly venom to the heart
l^L Unhappy those to bliss who seek the
In pow'r superior, or in splendour gay !
Inform'd by thee, no more vain man shall find
The charm of flatt'ry taint Euphelia's mind :

By thee instructed still my views shall rise.
Nor stop at any mark beneath the skies.

Urania. Inmir Lauiinda's uninstructed mind,
The want of culture, not of sense, we find ;
Whene'er you sought the good, or shunn'd the

'Twas more from temper than from principle :
Your random life to no just rules reduc'd,
'Twaa chance the virtue or the vice pro^uc'd :
The casual goodness Imptdse has to boast,
Like morning dews, or transient show'rs is lost,
While Heav'n-taught Virtue pours her constant

Like streams by living fountains still supply'd.
Be wisdom still, though late, your earnest care,
Nor waste the precious hours in vain despair :
Associate with the good, attend the sage.
And meekly listen to experienc'd a|fe.
What, if acquirements you have fail'd to gain.
Such as the wise may want the bad attain
Yet still religion's sacred treasures lie
Inviting, open, plain to ev'ry eye ;
For ev'r^ age, for ev'ry genius fit.
Nor limited to science nor to wit ;
Not bound by taste, to genius not confin'd.
But all may learn the truth for all desi^n'd.
Though low the talents, and th' acquirements

The gift of ff race divine is free to all ;
She odls, solicits, courts you to be blest.
And points to mansions of eternal rest
And when, advanc'd in years, matur'd In

Think not with farther care you may dispeoBei
'Tis fiital to the int'rests of the soul
To stop the race before we've reach'd the gpal ;
For nought our higher progress can preclude
So much as thinking we're already good.
The human heart ne'er knows a state of rest :
Bad leads to worse, and better tends to best
We either gain or lose, we sink or rise,
Nor rests our struggling Nature till she dies :
Then place the standasd of perfection high ;
Pursue and grasp it, e'en beyond the sky.
Lau, O. tluit important Time could back re

turn [mourn I

Those misspent hours whose loss I deeply
Accept, just Heav'n, my penitence sincere,
My heartfelt anguish, and my fervent pray'r !

Ura» I pity rastorella's hapless fate.
By nature gentle, gen'rous, mild, and great ;
One false propension all her pow'rs confin'd.
And chain'd her finer faculties of mind ;
Yet ev'ry virtue might have flourish'd there.
With early culture and maternal care.

If good we plant not, vice will fill the place.
And rankest weeds the richest soils deface.
Learn, how ungovern'd thoughts the mind per

And to disease all nourbhment convert
Ah ! happy she, whose wisdom learns to find
A healthful fancy and a well train'd mind !
A sick man's wildest dreams less wild are found.
Than the dav-visions of a mind unsound.
D'iSorder'd phantasies indulg'd too much,
Lrke harpies, always taint whate'cr they touch.
Fly soothing Solitude ! fly vain Desire •
Fly such sofl verse as fans the dang'rous fire !
Seek action ; 'tis the scene which Virtue loves;
The vig'rous sun not only shines, but moves.

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From sickly tboaghts with quick abhorrence

And rule the fancy if youM role the heart :
Dy active goodness, by kborious schemes,
Sabdue wild visions, and delusive dreams.
No earthly good a Christian's views should

For ever rising shoald his aims be found.
Leave that fictitious good your fancy feigns
For scenes where real bliss eternal reigns :
Lock to that region of immortal joys.
Where fear disturbs not, nor possession cloys ;
Beyond what Fancy forms of rosy bow*rs,
Cr blooming chaplets of unfading flow*rs ;
Fairer than e*er imagination drew,
Or poet*s warmest visions ever knew.
Press eager onward to those blissful plains
Where life eternal, joy perpetual reigns.

Pa$t. I mourn the errors of my thoughtless
And lonjj, with thee, to tread the paths of truth.

tJra. Learning is all the bright Cleora's aim ;
She seeks the loftiest pinnacle of ftme ;
On interdicted ground presumes to stand,
And grasps at Science with a ventVous hand :
The privilege of man she dares invade.
And tears Uie chaplet from his laurellM head.
Why found her merit on a foreign claim ?
Why lose a substance to acquire a name 7
Let the proud sex possess their vaunted pow'rs:
Be other triumphs, other glories ours !
The gentler charms which wait on female life,
iVhich grace the daughter and adorn the wife.
Be these our boast ; yet these may well admit
Of various knowledge, and of blameless wit j
Of sense, resulting from a nurtnrM mind,
>f polished converse, and of taste refin'd :
^f that quick intuition of the best,
IVTiich feels the graceful, and rejects the rest :
iVhich finds the right by shorter ways than

^n an which Nature teaches — not the schools
Thus conq'ring Sevigne the heart obtains,
BThile Dacier only i^miration gains.

Know, fair aspirer, could you even hope.
To speak like Stonehouse, or to write like Pope,
To all the wonders of Uie poet's lyre,
loin all that taste can add, or wit inspire.
With every various pow'r of learning fVaught;
The flow of style and the sublime of thought ;
Yet, if the milder graces of the mind,
Graces peculiar to the sex designM,
Good nature, patience, sweetness void of art ;
If these embellished not your virgin heart.
You might be dazzling, but not truly bright ;
Might glare, but not emit an useful light ;
A meteor, not a star, you would appear ;
For woman shines but in her proper sphere.

Accomplishments by Heav'n were sure de*
Less to adorn than to amend the mind :
Each should contribute to this gen*ral end,
And all to virtue, as their centre, tend.
Th* acquirements, which our best esteem invite,
Should not project, but sof\en, mix, unite :
In glaring liqht not strongly be displayed,
Ifet sweetly lost, and melted into shade.

Cleora. ConfusM with shame, to thy reproofs
I bend,
f hoo best adviser, and thou truest friend 1

From thee I *11 learn to iudge and act angntv
Humility with Knowledge to unite :
The finished character must both combine,
The perfect woman most in either shine.

Ura. Fk>rella shines adom'd with every graoi^
Her heart all virtue, as all charms her fa^ :
Above the wretched, and bek>w the great,
Kind Heav'n has fix'd her in a middle state;
The diemoQ Fashion never warped her soul.
Her passions move at Piety's control;
Her eyes the movements of her heart declare.
For what she dares to be, she dares appear ;
Uolectur'd in Dissimulation's schisol.
To smile by precept^ and to blush by rule :
Her thoughts ingenuous, ever open lie,
Nor shrink fromcloee Inspection's keenest ey««
No dark disguise about her heart is thrown ;
'Tb Virtue's int'rest fully to be known ;
Her nat'ral sweetness ev^ry heart obtains ;
What Art and Affectation miss, she gains.
She smooths the path of my declining years,
Augments my comforts, and divides my caret.
P<ui. O sacred Friendship! O exalted state I
The choicest bounty of indulgent fate I

Vrs, Let woman then her real good diaoem,
And her true int'rests of Urania learn :
As some fkir violet, loveliest of the glade,
Sheds its mild fragrance on the lonely shade.
Withdraws its merest head from public sight.
Nor courts the sun, nor seeks the glare of light;
Should some rude hand profanely dare intrude.
And bear its beauties from its native wood,
Expoe'd abroad its languid colours fly.
Its form decays, and all its odours die
So woman, bom to dignify retreat.
Unknown to flourish, and unseen be great.
To give domestic life its sweetest charm,
WiUi soilness polish, and with virtue warm.
Fearful of Fame, unwilling to be known.
Should seek but Heaven's applauses and bar

own ;
Hers be the task to seek the kmely cell
Where modest Want and silent Anguish dwell;
Raise the weak head, sustain the feeble knees,
Cheer the cold heart, and chase the dire disease.
The sf^endid deeds, which only seek a name.
Are paid their just reward in present &me ;
But know, the awful all^isolosing day.
The lon^ arrear of secret worth shall pay ;
Applauding saints shall hear with fbnd regard.
And He, who witness'd here, shall there reward.
Euj^, With added grace she pleads. Reli-

gion's cause.
Who from her life her virtuous lesson draws.
Ura. In vain, ye fkir ! fiom. place to place yoo

For that true peace which must be fbond at

home :
No change of fortune, nor of scene can give
The bliss you seek, which in the soul must live.
Then look no more abroad ; in your own breast
Seek the true seat of happiness and rest.
Nor small, my friends ! the vigilance I ask.
Watch well yourselves, this is the Christian's

The cherish'd sin by each must be assail'd,
New eflfurta added, whore the past have fail'd :
The darling error check'd, the will subdu'd.
The heart by penitence and pray'r renew'd
Nor hooe for perfect happiness below *

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Celestial plants on earth reluctant grow.
He who our frail mortality did bear,
Though free from sin, was not exempt from
Cleora. Let *8 join to bless that Pow'r who
brought us here.
Adore his goodness, and his will revere ;
Assur*d, that Peace exists but in the mind,
And Piety alone that Peace can find.

Ura, In its true light this transient life re-
This is a state of trial, not reward.
Though rough the passage, peaceful is the port,
The bliss is perfect, the probation short.
Of human wit beware the fatal pride ;
An useful follower, but a dangerous guide :
On hdy Faith*8 aspiring pinions rise ;
Assert your birth-right, and assume the skies.

Fountain of Being ! teach us to devote
To Thee each purpose, action, word and thought!
rhy mce our hope, thy love our only boast.
Be all distinctions in the Christian lost !
Be this in ev*ry state our wish alone,
Almighty, Wise and Good, Thy will be done !




O Chautt, divinely wise,

Thou meek-eyM daughter of the skies !
iTrom the pure fountain of eternal li|^ht.
Where &ir« immaiable, and ever bnf ht,

The beatific vision shines,
Where angel with archangel joins
In choral songs to sing His praise.
Parent of Life, Ancient of Ihiys,
Who was ere Time existed, and shall be
Through the wide round of vast Eternity ;
Oh come, thy warm celestial beams impart.
Enlarge my feelings, and expand my heart!


Descend from radiant realms above,
Thou effluence of that boundless love
Whence joy and peace in streams unsully'd

Oh deign to make thy lovM abode below !

Though sweeter strains adornM my tongue
Than saint conceivM or seraph sung.
And though my glowing fancy caught
Whatever Art or Nature taught.
Yet if this hard unfeeling heart of mine
Ne'er felt thy force. O Charity divine !
An empty shadow Science would be found
My knowledge ignorance, my wit a sound !


Though my prophetic spirit knew
To brmg futurity to view.
Without thy aid e'en this would not avail.
For tongues shall cease and prophecies shaJl h*^
Come then, thou sweet immortal guest.
Shed thy soft influence o'er my breast,
Bring with tliee Faith, divinely bright,
And Hope, fair Harbiuj^er of ligiht.
To clear each mist with their pervading ray.
To fit my soul for Heav'n, and point the way «
There Perfect Happiness her sway maintains,
For there the God of Peace for ever reigcj.

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Tbiss Stories, which were first published, amongf a great number of others, in the Cheap Re-
positorj, under the signature Z, are here presented to the reader, much enlarged and improred.
Such of them as are comprised in this volume being adapted to persons in a superior station to
those which are contained in a former edition, and it was thought better to separate and class
them accordingly. A brief account of the institution here referred to, will be given in a sub-
sequent place.




Mr. Fantom was a retail trader in the citj
of London. As he had no turn to any expensive
vices, he was reckoned a sober decent man, but
he was covetous and proud, selfish and conceit-
ed. As soon as he got forward in the world, his
vanity began to display itself^ though not in the
ordinary method, that of making a figure and
living away ; but still he was torment^ with a
longing desire to draw public notice, and to dis-
tinguish himself. He felt a general sense of
discontent at what he was, with a general am-
bition to be something which he was not ; .but
this desire had not yet turned itself to any par-
ticular object It was not by his money he
could hope to be distinguished, for half his
acquaintance had more, and a man must be rich
inaeed to be noted for his riches in London.
Mr. Fantom*s mind was a prey to his vain ima-
ginations. He despised all those little acts of
kindness and charity which everv man b called
to perform every day ; and whilb he was contriv-
ing rrand schemes, which lay quiteu out of his
reach, he neglected the ordinary duties of life,
which lay directly before him. Selfishness was
his governing principle. He fancied he was lost
in the mass of general society : and the usual
means of attachmg importance to insignificance
occurred to him ; that of gettin&r into clubs and
societies. To be connect^ with a party would
at least make him known to that party, be it
ever so low and contemptible; and thb local
importance it is which draws off vain minds
from those scenes of general usefulness, in
whcih, though they are of more value, they are
of less distinction.

About this time he got hold of a famous little
look written by the New Philosophvb, whose
festilent doctrines have gone about seeking
klwm they may destroy ; Uiese doctrines found
a ready entrance into Mr. Fantom*s mind; a
mind at once shallow and inquisitive, speculative

and vain, ambitious and dissatisfied. As almost
every book was new to him, he fell into the com-
mon error of those who begin to read late in life
— that of thinking that what he did not know
himself, was equally new to others; and he
was apt to fancy that he and the author he was
reading were the only two people in the world
who knew any thing. This book led to the
grand discovery ; he had now found what his
heart panted after — a way to distinguish himself.
To start out a full grown philosopher at once,
to be wise without educ^ition, to dispute without
learning, and to make proselytes without argu
ment, was a short cut to fame, whieh well suit
ed his vanity and his ignorance. He rejoiced
that he had been so clever as to exam be for
himself pitied his friends who took things upon
trust, and was resolved to assert the freedom of
his own mind. To a man fond of bold novel,
ties and daring paradoxes, solid argument would
be flat, and truth would be dull, merely because
it is not new. Mr. Fantom believed, not in pro-
portion to the Btrenfi:th of the evidence, but to
the impudence of Uie assertion. The tramp-
pling on holy ground with dirty shoes, the
smearing the sanctuary with filth and mire,
the calling prophets and apostles by the most
scurrilous names was new, and dashing, and
dazzling. Mr. Fantom, now being set free
fi'om the chains of slavery and superstition, was
resolved to show his zeal in the usual way, by
trying to free others ; but it would have hurt his
vanity had he known that he ^as the convert
of a man who had written only for the vulgar,
who had invented nothing, no, not even one idea
of original wickedness ; but who had stooped to
rake up out of the kennel of infidelity, all the
loathsome dregs and offal dirt, which politer un
believers had thrown away as too gross and of-
fensive for the better bred readers'.
Mr. Fantom, who considered that a philoao


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pber must fct up wilh a little sort of stock in
tnde, now picked up all the common-place no-
tions against Christianity, which have been an-
swered a hundred times over : these he kept by
him ready cut and dried, and brought out in
all companies with a zeal which would have
done honour to a better cause, but which the
friends to a better cause are not so apt to dis-
eover. He soon got all the cant of the new
school. He prated about narrotoneaat and igno-
nmee^ and hig^try^ and prejudice^ and priest-
erafi on the one hand ; and on the other, t>f
public goad^ the hve qf mankind^ and liheralityt
and candour, and toZ«ra^'on, 'and above all, bene-
volence. Benevolence, he said, made up the
whole of relig^ion, and all the other parts of it
were nothing but cant, and jargon, and hypo-
crisy. By l^nevolence he understood a gloomy
and indcHnite anxiety about the happiness of
people with whom he was utterly disconnected,
and whom Providence had put it out of his reach
either to serve or injure. And by the happi-
ness this benevolence was so anxious to pro-
mote, he meant an exemption from the power
of the laws, and an emancipation from the re-
straints of religion, conscience, and moral o^

Fmdin^, however, that he made little impres-
•ion on his old club at the Cat and Bagpipes,
he grew tired of their company. This dub
consisted of a few sober citizens, who met of an
evening for a little harmless recreation after
business ; their object was, not to reform parlia-
meut, but their own shops ; not to correct the
•buses of government, but of parish officers ; not
to cure the excesses of administration, but of
their own porters and apprentices ; to talk over
the news of the day without aspiring to direct
the events of it lliey read the papers with
that anxiety which every honest man feels
in the daily history of his country. But as
trade, which they did understand, flourished,
they were careful not to reprobate those public
measures by which it was protected, and which
they did not understand. In such turbulent
times it was a comfort to each to feel he was
a tradesman, and not a statesman ; that he was
210C called to responsibility for a trust for which
he found lie had no talents, while he was at full
liberty to employ the talents he really possessed,
b fairly amassing a fortune, of which the laws
would be the b^ guardian, and government
the best security. Thus a legitimate self-love,
regulated by prudence, and restrained by prin-
ciple, produced peaceable subjects and good
citizens ; while in Fantom, a boundless selBsh-
ness and inordinate vanity converted a discon-
tented trader into a turbulent pditician.

Online LibraryHannah MoreThe complete works of Hannah More → online text (page 23 of 135)