Hannah More.

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There was, however, one member of the Cat
mod Bagpipes whose society he could not re-
solve to give up, though they seldom agreed, as
indeed no two men in the same class and habits
of life could less resemble each other. Mr.
Troeman was an honest, plain, simple-hearted
tradesman of the good old cut, who feared Grod
and followed his business ; he went to church
twic) >n Sundays, and minded his shop all the
week, spent fiugally, gave liberally, and saved
moderately. He lost, however, some ground in
Mr. Fantom*s esteem, because he paid his taxes,

vou r



without disputing, and read his Bible without
'doubting.

Mr. Fantom now began to be tired of every
thing in trade except the profits of it * for the ^
more the word benevolence was in his mouth,
the more did selfishness gain dominion in his
heart He, however, resolved to retire for a
while into the country, and devote his time to
his new plans, schemes, theories, and projects
for the public good. A life of talking, and read-
ing and writing, and disputing, and teaching,
and proselyting, now struck him as the onij
life ; so he soon set out for the country with his
family ; for unhappily Mr. Fantom had been tlie
husband of a very worthy woman many years
before the new philosophy had discovered that
marriage was a shamefiri infringement on hu.
man liberty, and an abridgement of the rights
of man. To this family was now added his new
footman, William Wilson, whom he had taken
with a good character out of a sober family.
Mr. Fantom was no sooner settled than he wrote
to invite Mr. Trueman to come and pay him a
visit, for he would have burst if he could not
have got some one to whom he might display
his new knowledge ; he knew that if on the one
hand Trueman was no scholar, yet on the other
he was no fool ; and though he despised his pre-
judices, yet he thought he might be made a
good decoy duck; for if he could once bring
Trueman over, the whole club at the Cat and
Bagpipes might be brought to follow his exam-
pie ; and thus he might see himself at the head
of a society of his own proselytes ; the supreme
object of a philosopher's ambition. Trueman
came accordingly. He soon found that how-
ever he might be shocked at the impious doc-
trines his mend maintained, yet that an impor-
tant lesson might be learned even from the
worst enemies of truth ; namely, am ever wake-
ful attention to their grand object If they set
out with talking of trade or politics, of private
news or public afiairs, still Mr. Fantom was
ever on the watch to hitch in his darling doc-
trines ; whatever he began with, he was sure to
end with a pert squib at the Bible, a vapid jest
on the clergy, the miseries of superstition, and
the blessings of philosophy. *Oh!' said True-
man to himself, 'when shall I see Christians
half so much in earnest ? Why is it that almost
all zeal is on the wrong side ?*

• Well, Mr. Fantom,' said Trueman one day
at breakfast, * I am afraid you are leading but
an idle sort of life here.' — *Idle, sir !' said Fan-
tom ; * I now first begin to live to some purpose ;
I have indeed lost too much time, and wasted
my talents on a little retail trade, in which one
is of no note; one can't distinguish one's self.'
* 80 much the better,' said Trueman ;' * I had
rather not distinguish myself, unless it was by
leading a better life than my neighbours. There
is nothing I should dread more than being talk'd
about. I dare say now heaven is in a good mea-
sure filled with people whose names were never
heard out of their own street and village. So 1
beg leave not to distinguish myself!* ♦ Yes, but
one may, if it is only by signing one's name to
an essay or paragraph in a newspaper,' said
Fantom. — * Heaven keep John Trneman's name
out of a newspaper,' interrupted he in a fright



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* for if it be there, it must either be found in the
Old Bailey or the bankrupt list, unless, indeed,
I were to remove shop, or sell off my old stock*
Well,.b^t Mr. Fantum, you, I suppose, are now
as happy as the day is long V * O yes,' replied
Fantom, with a gloomy sigh, which gave the
lie to his words, * perfectly happy ! I wonder you
do not give up all your sordid employments, and
turn philosopher !* * Sordid indeed !' said True-
man, * do not call names, Mr. Fantom ; I shall
never be ashamed of my trade. What is it has
made this country so great ? a country whose
merchaents are princes? It is trade, Mr. Fantom,
trade. I cannot say inc!eed, as well as I love
business, but now and then, when I afti over-
worked, I wish I had a little more time to look
afler my soul ; but the fear that I should not
devote the time, if I had it, to the best purpose,
makes me work on , though often, when I am
balancing my accounts, I tremble, lest I should
neglect to balance the grand account. But still,
since, like you, I am a man of no education, I
am more afraid of the temptations of leisure,
than of those of business, I never was bred to
read more than a chapter in the Bible, or some
other good bo6k, or the magazine and newspa-
per ; and all that I can do now, afler shop is
shut, ^s to take a walk with my children in the
field besides. But if I had nothing to do from
morning to night, I might be in danger of turn-
ing politician or philosopher. No, neighbour
Fantom, depend upon it, that where there is do
learning, next to God*s grace, the best preserva-
tive of human virtue is business.' As to our po-
litical societies, like the armies in the cave of
Adullam, * every man that is in distress, and
every man that is in debt, and every man that
is discontented, will always join themselves unto
them.*

Fantom. You have narrow views, Trueman.
What can be more delightful than to see a paper
of one*s own in print against tyranny and su-
perstition, contrived wim so much ingenuity,
that, though the law is on the look-out ror trea-
son and blasphemy, a little change of name de-
feats its scrutiny. For instance ; you may stig-
matize England under the name of Rame^ and
Christianity under that o£ Popery. The true
way is to attack whatever you nave a mind to
injure, under another name, and the best means
to destroy the use of a thing, is to produce a
few incontrovertible facts against the abuses of
it. Our late travellers have inconceivably helped
on the cause of the new philosophy, in their lu-
dicrous narratives of credulity, miracles, indul-
gences, and processions, in popish countries, all
which they ridicule under the broad and gene-
ral name of Religion, Christianity, and the
Church.* * And are not you ashamed to defend
such knavery?' said Mr. Trueman. 'Those
who have a great object to accomplish,' re-
plied Mr. Fantom, * must not be nice about the
means. But to return to yourself Trueman ; in
your little confined situation you can be of no
use.' *That I deny,' interrupted Trueman; •!
have filled all the parish offices with some credit
I never took a bribe at an election, no not so
much as a treat ; I take care of my apprentices,
«nd do not set them a bad example by running
to plays and Sadler's Wells, in the week or



jaunting about in a gig all day on Sundays ; i
I look upon it that the country jaunt of the nu
ter on Sundays exposes his servants to more
danger than their whole week's temptation in
trade put together J

Fantom. I once had the same vulgar preju-
dices about the church and the Sabbath, and
all that antiquated stuffl But even on your own
narrow principles, how can a thinking being
spend his Sunday better (if he must lose one day
in seven by having any Sunday at all) than by
going into the country to admire the works of
nature.

Thieman. I suppose you mean the works of
God : for I never read in the Bible that Nature
made any thing. I should rather think that she
herself was made by Him, who, when he said,

* thou shalt not murder,' said also, *■ thou shalt
keep holy the Sabbath day.* But now do rou
really think that all that multitude of coaches,
chariots, chaises, vis-a-vis, booby-hutnhes, sul-
kies, sociables, phaetons, gigs, curricles, cabri-
oles, chairs, stages, pleasure carts, and horses,
which crowd our roads ; all those country houses
within reach, to which the London friends pour
in to the gorgeous Sunday feast, which the ser-
vants are kept from church to dress ; all those
public houses under the signs of which you
read these alluring words, an ordinary on Sun*
days ; I say, do you really believe that all thos^
houses and carriages are crammed with philoso.
phers, who go on Sunday into the country to
admire the works of nature, as you call it ! In*
deed, from the reeling gate of some of them
when they go back at night, one might take
them for a certain sect called the tippling phi-
losophers. Then in answer to your charge,
that a little tradesman can do no good, it is not
true ; I must tell you that I belong to the Sick
Man's Friend, and to the Society for relieving
prisoners for small debts.

Fantmn. I have no attention to spare to that
business, though I would pledge myself to pro-
duce a plan by which the national debt might
be paid off in six months ; but all yours are
pretty occupations.

TSrueman. Then they are better suited to petty
men of petty fortune. I had rather have an
ounce of real good done with my own hands,
and seen with my own eyes, than speculate
about doing a ton m a wild way, which I know
can never be brought about.

Fantom. I despise a narrow field. O for the
reign of universal benevolence ! I want to make
all mankind ffood and happy.

Trueman. Dear me ! sure that must bo a
wholesale sort of a job ; had ^ou not better try
your hand at a town or a parish first !

Fantom. Sir, I have a plan in my head for
relieving the miseries of the whole world. Every
thing is bad as it now stands. I would alter aU
the laws ; and do away all the relif^ions, and
put an end to all the wars in the world. I would
every where redress the injustice of fortune, or
what the vulgar call Providence. I would put
an end to all punishments ; I would not leave a
single prisoner on the face of the globe. This
is what I call doing things on a gaand scale.

• A scale with a vengeance,' said Trueman.
*• As to releasing the prisoners, howevei, 1 do



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123



not 00 mach like that, as it would be liberating
a &w Tognw at the expense of all honest men ;
bat a» to the reat of your plans, if all Christian
eountries wou^i be so good as to turn Christians,
it might be helped oo a good deal. There would
be stUl misery enough left indeed ; because God
intended this world should be earth and not
heaven. Bat, sir, among all ^opr oblations, you
roust abolish human corruption before you can
make the world quite as perfect as you pretend.
You philosophers seem to me to be ignorant of
the rery first seed and principle of misery:— sin,
sir, sin : your system of reform is radically de.
fective ; /or it does not comprehend that sinful
nature from which all misery proceeds. You
accuse goTomment of defects which belong to
man, to indiTidual man, and of course to man
collectirely. — Among all your reforms you must
reform the human heart ; you are only hacking
i^t the branches, without striking at the root
*Banishing impiety out of the world, would be
like striking off all the pounds from an over,
charged bill ; and all the troubles which would
be lei^ would be reduced to mere shillings,
pence, and farthings, as one may say.*

Fantom, Your project would rivet the chains
which a.ine is designed to break.

Trueman. Sir, I have no projects. Projects
are in general the o&pring of restlessness,
vanity, and idleness. • I am too busy for pro-
jects, loo contented for theories, antJ, I hope,
have too much honesty and humility for a phi-
losopher. The utmost extent of my ambition at
present is, to redress the wrongs of a parish ap-
prentice who has been cruelly used by his mas-
ter : Indeed I have another little scheme, which
18 to piosecute a fellow in our street who has
Buffered a poor wretch in a workhouse, of which
he bad tl»e care, to perish through neglect, and
you mu£t assist me.

Fantom, The parish must do that You must
not apply to me for the redress of such petty
grievances. I own that the wrongs of the Poles
and Sooth Americans so fill my mind, as to
leave me no time to attend to the petty sorrows
if workhouses and parish apprentices. It is
provinces, empires, continents, that the benevo-
lence of the pbilMopher embraces ; every one
can do a little paltry good to his next neighbour.

Trueman, Every one can, but I do not see
that every one doe* If they would, indeed,
your business would be ready done at your
hands, and your grand ocean of benevolence
would be filled with the drops which private
diarity would throw into it I am glad, how-
ever, you are such a friend to the prisoners, be-
cause I am just now getting a little subscription
from our dub, to set free our poor old friend
Tom Saunders, a very honest brother tradesman,
who got first into debt, and then into jail,
through no fault of hisown, but merely through
the preasure of the times. We have each of us
allowed a trifle every week towards maintain-
mg Totn^s young family since he has been in
prison ; but we think we shall do much more
service to Saunders, and indeed in the end
Ugh ten our own expense, by paying down at
once a Utile sum to restore him to the comforts
of life, and put him in a way of maintaining his
fiimily again. We have made up the money all



except five guineas I am already promised four,
and you have nothing to do but give rac the
'fifth. And so for a single guinea, without any
of the trouble, the meetings, and the looking into
his affiiirs, which we have had ; which, let me
tell you, is the best, and to a man of business,
the dearest part of charity, you will at once
have the pleasure (and it is no small one) of
helping to save a worthy family from starving
of redeeming an old friend fVom gaol, and of
putting a litUe of your boasted benevolence into
action. Realize ! master Fantom : there is no*
thing like realizing. * Why, hark ye, Mr. True-
man,* said Fantom, stammering, and looking
very black, * do not think I value a guinea ; no
sir, I despise money ; it is trash ; it is dirt, and
beneath the regard of a wise man. It is one of
the unfeeling inventions of artificial society
Sir, I could talk to you for half a day on the
abuse of riches, and on my own contempt of
money.^

TVuejnan, O pray do not give yourself the
trouble; it will be an easier way by half of vin-
dicating yourself from one, and of proving the
other, just to put your hand in your pocket and
^ive me a guinea, without saying a word about
It: and then to you who value time so much,
and money so litUe, it will cut the matter short
But come now, (for I see you will give nothing)
I should be mighty glad to know what is the
sort of good you do yourselves, since you always
object to what is done by others. * Sir,' said
Mr. Fantom, * the object of a true philosopher is
to diffuse light and knowledge. I wish to see
the whole world enlightened.*

ThiemaTi, Amen! if you mean with the
light of the Gospel. But if you mean that one
religion is as good as another, and that no reli-
gion is best of all ; and that we shall become
wiser and better by setting aside the very means
which Providence bestowed to make us wise
and good : in short, if you want to make the
whole world philosophers, why they had better
stay as they are. But as to the true light, I
wish it to reach the very lowest, and I therefore
bless Grod for charity-schools, as instruments of
diffusing it among the poor.

Fantom, who had no reason to expect that
his friend was cooing to call upon him fox a sub-
scription on this account, ventured to praise
them : saying, * I am no enemy to these insti-
tutions. I would indeed change the object of
instruction, but I would have the whole world
instructed.*

Here Mrs. Fantom, who, with her daughter,
had quietly sat by at their work, ventured to
put in a word, a liberty she seldom took wif
her husband ; who in his zeal to make the wh6i«
world free and happy, was too prudent to in-
clude his wife among the objects on whom h
wished to confer freedom and happiness. • TheL
my dear,* said she, • I wonder you do not let
your own servants be taught a little. The maids
can scarcely tell a letter, or say the Lord's
prayer, and you know you will not allow them
time to learn. William, too, has never been at
church since we came out of town. Ho was
at first very orderly and obedient, but now he
is seldom sober of an evening ; and in the morn-
ing when he should be rubbing the tables is



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the parloar, he is generally lolling upon them,
and reading year little manuelof thenew pbilo-
sophy.' — * Mrs. Fantom, said her husband an-
grily, * you know that my labours for the public
good leave me little time to think of my own
family. I must have a great field, I like to do
good to hundreds at once.'

* I am* very glad of that papa,' said miss Polly ;
* for then I hope you will not refuse to subscribe
to all those pretty children at the Sunday-school,
as you did yesterday, when the gentleman came
A ^Sg^og* because that is the very thing you
were wishing for; there are two or three hun-
dred to be done good at once.*

Tmeman, Well, Mr. Fantom, you are a won-
derful man to keep up such a stock of benevo-
lence at so small an expense. To love man-
kind so dearly, and yet avoid all opportunities
of doing them good ; to have such a noble zeal
fi)r the millions, and to feel so little compassion
for the units; to long to free empires and en-
lighten kingdoms ; and yet deny instruction to
your own village, and comfort to your own
family. Surely none but a philosopher could
indulge so much philanthropy, and so much fru-
gality at the same lime. But come, do assist me
m a petition I am making in our poorhouse ; be-
tween the old, whom I want to have better fed,
and the young, whom I want to have more
worked. -

Fantom. Sir my mind is so engrossed with
the partition of Poland, that I cannot bring it
down to an object of such insignificance. I
despise the man whose benevolence is swallow-
ed up in the narrow concerns of his own family,
or parish, or country.

Tmeman. Well, now I have a notion that it
is as well to do one's own duty, as the duty of
another man ; and that to do good at home, is
as well as to do good abroad. For my part, I
had as lieve help Tom Saunders to freedom as
a Pole or a South American, though I should
be very glad to help them too. But one must
begin to love somewhere, and to do good some-
where ; and I think it is as natural to love one*s
own family, and to do good in one's own neigh-
bourhood, as to any body else. And if every
man in every fiimily, parish, and county, did the
same, why then all the schemes would meet,
and the end of one parish, where I was doing
good, would be the beginning of another parish
where somebody else was doing good ; so my
schemes would jut into my neighbour's; his pro-
jects would unite with those of some other local
reformer ; and all would fit with a sort of dove-
tail exactness. And what is better, all would
join in furnishing a living comment on that
practical jjrecept : • Thou shalt love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbour
as thyself.'

Fantom. Sir, a man of large views will be
on the watch for great occasions to prove his
Denevolence.

Trueman. Yes, sir ; but if they are so distant
Jiat he cannot reach them, or so vnat that he can-
not grasp them, he may let a thousand little,
snug, kind^ good actions slip through his fingers
in the meanwhile: and so between the great
things that he cannot do, and the little ones that
he will not do, life passes and nothing will be done.



Just at this moment miss Polly Fantom
(whose mother had gone out some time before)
started up, let fall her work, and cried out, * O
papa, do but look what a monstrous great fire
there is yonder on the common ! If it were the
fifth of November I should think it were a bon-
fire. Look how it blazes !' — *• I see plain enon^
what it is,' said Mr. Fantom, sitting down again
without the least emotion. * It is Jenkins's cot
tage on fire.' — • What, poor John Jenking, who
works in our garden, papa 7' said the poor girl
in great terror. * Do not be friglitened, child,*
answered Fantom, we are safe enough ; the
wind blows the other way. Why did you dis-
turb us for such a trifie, as it was so distant 7
Come, Mr. Trueman, sit down.' — *Sit do^rn,'
said T^T. Trueman, • I am not a stock, sir, nor a
■tone, but a man ; made of the same common
nature with Jenkins, whose house is burning.
Come along — ^let us fly and help him,' con-
tinued he running to the door in such haste
that he forgrot to take his hat, though it hung
lust before him*-* Come Mr. Fantom — come, my
little dear — I wish your mamma was here — I
am sorry she went out iust now — ^we may all
do some good ; every body may be of some use
at a fire. Even you, miss Polly, may save some
of these poor people's things in your apron,
while your papa and I hand the buckets.' All
this he said as he run along with the young
lady in his hand ; not doubting but Fantom and
his' whole family were folk)wing close behind
him. But the present distre&e was neither
grand enough nor far enough from home to
satisfy the wide-stretched benevolence of the phi-
loeopher, who sat down within sififht of the flames
to work at a new pamphlet, which now swallow-
ed up his whole soul, on universal benevolence.

His daughter, indeed, who happily was not
yet a philosopher, with Mr. Trueman, followed
by the maids, reached the scene of distress.
William Wilson, the footman, refused to assist,
glad of such an opportunity of being revenged
on Jenkins, whom he called a surly fellow, for
presuming to complain, because William always
purloined the best fruit for himself before he set
it on his master's table. Jenkins also, whose
duty it was to be out of doors, had refused to
leave his own work in the garden, to do Will'e
work in the house while he got drunk, or read
the Rights of Man.

The little dwelling of Jenkins burnt very
furiously. Mr. Trueman's exertions were of
the greatest service. He directed the willing,
and gave an example to the slothful. By 1ivin|r
in London, he had been more used to the cala-
mity of fire than the country people, and knew
better what was to be done. In the midst of
the bustle he saw one woman only who never
attempted to be of the least use. She ran back-
wards and forward, wringing her hands, «
crying out in a tone of piercinff agony, 'On,
my child ! my little Tommy ! will no one save
my Tommy 7'- -Any woman might have uttered
the same words, but the look which explained
them could only come from a mother- True-
man did not stay to ask if she were owner of
the house, and mother of the child. It was his
way to do all the good which could be done first,
and then to o^k questions. All he said was,



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135



Tell me which is the room 7* The poor woman,
DOW speechless through terror, ooald only point
op to a little window in the thatch, and then
smk on the ground.

Mr. Tmeman made his way through a thick
smoke, and ran up the narrow staircase which
the fire had not reached. He got safely to the
loft, snatched up the little creature, who was
sweetly sleeping in its poor hammock, and
brought him down naked in his arms : and as
be gave him to the half-distracted mother, he
ielt that her joy and gratitude would have been
no bad pay for the danger be had run, even if
no higher motive had set him to work. Poor
Jenkins, half stnpified by his misfortune, had
never thought of his child ; and his wife, who
expected every hour to mi^ke him father to a
second, had not been able to do any thing to-
wards saving little Tommy.

Mr. Trueman now put the child into miss
Fantom's apron, saying, * Did not I tell you,
my dear, that ever^ body could be of use at a
fira r He then desired her to carry the child
home, and ordered the poor woman to follow
her; saying, he would return himself as soon
u be had seen all safe in the cottage.

When the fire was quite out, and Mr. True*
man could be of no further use, he went back
to Mr. Fantom^s. The instant he opened the
parlour door he eagerly cried out, * Where is
the poor woman, Mr, Fantom?* *Not in my



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