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much mortification, if a stranger seeing mrmei*
Worthy's daughters at church should tak wh»
those fine ladies were.

BragwelL Now I own I should like t» bav«
such a question asked concerning my daugh



TtIK works of HANNAH MORE.



133



ten. I lik «o nrtake , jople stare and envj. It
makes one feel oneself somebody. I never feel
the pleasure of having handsome tilings so much
as when I see they raise curiosity ; and enjoy
th^ envy o€ others as a fresh evidence of my
own prosperity. But as to yourself, to be sure,
yoa best know what you can afford ; and indeed
there is some difference between your daughters
and the Miss Bragwells.

Worthy. For ray part, before I engage in any
expense, I always ask myself these two short
questions ; First, can I afford it 7— Secondly, is
it proper ^r me 7

BragweU, Do you so 7 Now I own I ask my-
self but one ; for if I find I can afford it, I take
care to make it proper for me. If I can pay
tot a thing, no one has a right to hinder me
from having it

Worthy, Certainly. But a man*8 own pru-
dence, hjs love of propriety and sense of duty,
ought to prevent him from doing an improper
thing, as effectually as if there were somebody
to hinder him.

BrugwelL Now, I think a man is a fool who
is hindered from having any thing he has a
mind to ; unless indeed, he is in want of money
to pay for it I am no friend to debt A poor
man must waht on.

Worthy. But I hope my children have bot
learnt to want any thing which is not proper
for them. They are very industrious ; they at-
tend to business all day, and in the evening
they sit down to their work and a good book.
I take care that neither their reading nor con-
versation shall excite any desires or tastes un-
suitable to their condition. They have little
vanity, because the kind of knowlod^ they have
imof too sober a sort to raise admiration ; and
fitMD that vanity which attends a little smatter-
ing of frivolous accomplishments, I have se-
cured them, bv keeping them in total ignorance
of all such. I think they live in the fear of God.
I trust they are humble and pious, and I am
sure they seem cheerful and happy If I am
sick, it is pleasant to see them dispute which
shall wait upon me ; for they say the maid can-
DoC do it so tenderly as themselves.

This part of the discourse staggered Brag-
welL An involuntary tear rushed into hi^ eve.
Vain as- be was, he could not help feeling what
a difference a religious and a worldly education
nade on the heart, and how much the former
le^laled even the natural temper. Another
tking which surprised him was, that these girls
Hvin^ a life of domestic piety, without any pub-
lie diversions, should be so very cheerful and
happy; while his own daughters, who were
■ever contradicted, and were indulged with
eontinual amusements, were always sullen and
flUempered. That they who were more hu-
moured should be less grateful, and they who
were noore amused less happy, disturbed him
much. He envied Worthy the tenderness of his
children, though he would not own it, but turn-
ed it off thus :

BrugwelL But my girls are too smart to make
mops of^ that is the truth. Though ours is a
feoely village, it is wonderful to see how soon
liey ^ei the foshions. What with the discrip.
Cioos tn the magazines, and the pictures in the



pocket-books, they have them in a twinkling
and out-do their patterns all to nothing. I usea
to take in the Country Journal, because it was
useful enough to see liowoats went, the time of
high water, and the price of stocks. But when
m? ladies came home, forsooth, I was soon
whedled out of that, and forced to take a Lon.
don paper, that tells a deal about the caps and
feathers, and all the trumpery of the quality,
and the French dress, and the French undress.
When I want to know what hops are a bag,
they are snatching the paper to see what violel
soap is a pound. And as to the dairy, they never
care how oow*8 milk goes, as long as they can
get some stuff which they call milk of roses.
Seeing them disputing violently the other day
about cream and butter, I thought it a sign they
were beginning to care for the farm, till I found
it was cold cream for the hands, and jessamine
butter for the hair.

Worthy, But do your daughters never read 7

BragweU. Read ! I believe they do toa Why
our Jack, the pbugh-boy, spends half his time
in going to a shop in our market town, where
they let out books to read with marble covers.
And they sell paper with all manner of colours
on the edges, and gim-cracks, and powder-pnfib,
and wash-balls, and cards without any pips, and
every thing in the world that*8 genteel and of
no use. *Twas but the other day I met Jack
with a basket full of these books ; so having
some time to spare, I sat down to see a little
what they were about

Worthy. Well, I hope yon there found what
was likely to improve your daughters, and teach
them the true use of time.

BragtoelL O, as to that, you are pretty much
out I could make neither head-nor tail of it;
it was neither fish, flesh, nor good red-herrins :
it was all about my lord, and sir Harry, and vie
captain. But X never met with such nonsensi-
cal follows in my lifo. Their talk was no more
like that of my old landlord, who was a lord you
know, nor the captain of our fensibles, than
chalk is like cheese. I was fairly taken in at
first, and began to think I had got hold of a
godly book ; for there was a deal about hope and
despair, and death, and heaven, and angels, and
torments, and everlasting happiness. But when
I got a little on, I found there was no meaning
in all these words, or if any, it was a bad mean-
ing. Eternal misery, perhaps, only meant a
moments disappointment about a bit of a letter ;
and everlasting happiness meant two people
talking nonsense together for five minutes. lo
short, I never met with such a pack of lies. The
people talk such wild gibberish as no folks in
their sober sensss ever did talk ; and the things
that happen to them are not like the things that
ever happen to me or any of my acquaintance.
They are at home one minute, and beyond sea
the next : beggars to-day, and bros lo-morrow|
waiting maids in the morning, and dutchesses
at night Nothing happens in a natural gradual
way, as it does at home ; they grow rich by the
stroke of a wand, and poor by the magic of a
word ; the disinherited orphan of this hour is
the overgrown heir of the next : now a bride
and bridegroom turn out to be brother and sis-
ter, and the brother and sister prove to be no



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relations at all. You and I, master Worthy,
hafe worked hard many years, and think it
Tery well to have scraped a trifle of money to-
gether ; you, a few hundreds I suppose, and I a
few thousands. But one would think every man
in thdse books had the bank of England in his
*serutoire. Then there is another Hiinflf which
I never met with in true life. We thmk it pretty
well, you know, if one has got one thing, and
another has got another. I will tell yon now I
mean. You are reckoned sansible, our parson
is learned, the squire is rich, I am rather gene-
rous, one of your daughters is pretty, and both
mine are genteel But in these books (except
here and there one, whom they make worse than
Sat^ himself) every man and woman's child of
them, are all wise, and witty, and generous, and
i%ch, and handsome, and genteel ; and all to the
last degree. Nobody is middling, or good in
one thing, and bad in another, like my live ac
quaintance ; but it is all up to the skies, or down
to the dirt I had rather read Tom Hickathrift,
or Jack the (^iant Killer, a thousand times.

Wcrihy. You have found out, Mr. Bragwell,
that many of these books are ridiculous ; I will
go farther, and say, that to me they appear
wicked also : and I should account the reading
of them a great mischief, especially to people
in middling and low life, if I only took into the
account the great kiss of time such reading
causes, and Uie aversion it leaves behind for
what is more serious and solid. But this, though
a bad part, is not the worst These books give
false views of human life. They teach a con-
tempt for humble and domestic duties ; for in-
dustry, frugality, and retirement Want of
youCh and l^uty is considered in them as ri-
diculous. Plain people, like vou and me, are
objects of contempt Parental authority is set
at naught Nay, plots and contrivances against
parents and guardians, fill half the volumes.
They consider love as the great business of hu-
man life, and even teach that it is impossible
for this love to be regulated or restrahied ; and
to the indulgence of this passion every duty b
therefore sacrificed. A country life, with a kind
mother or a sober aunt, is described as a state
of intolerable misery : and 6ne would be apt to
fancy from their painting, tiiat a good country
house is a prison, and a worthy fatl^r the jailor.
Vice is set off with every ornament which can
make it pleasing and amiable ; while virtue and
piety are made ridiculous, by tacking to them
something that is ailly or absurd. Crimes which
would be considered as hanging matter at our
county assizes— at least if I were a juryman, I
■hould bring in the whole train of heroes,
OuiUy — Death — are here made to the appear-
ance of virtue, by being mixed with some wild
flight of unnatural generosity. Those crying
Wins, ADULTER r, OAMiNO, DUEUi, and SKLF-Mim-
DER, are made so familiar, and the wickedness
of them is so disguised by fine words and sof\
descriptions, that even innocent girls ge^ loose
to their abhorrence, and talk with complacency,
of things which should not be so much as named
hy them.

I should not have said so much on this mis-
thief (continued Mr. Worthy) from which I
TC iay, great folks fancy people in our station



are safe enough, if I do not know and lamem
that this corrupt reading is now got down even
among some of the lowest class. And it is an
evil which is spreading every day. Poor indqs.
trious firls, who get their bread by the needia
or the loom, spend half the night in listening to
these books. Thus the labour of one girl is lost,
and the minds of the rest are corrupted ; for
though their hands are employed in honest in.
dustry, which might help to preserve them
from a life of sin, yet their hearts are at the
very time polluted by scenes and descriptions
which are too likely to plunge them into it : and
when .their vain weak heads compare the soft
and delicious lives of the heroines in the book,
with their own mean ^arb and hard labour, the
effect is obvious ; and I think 1 do not go too
far when I say, that the vain and showy man-
ner in which young women, who have to work
for their bread, have taken to dress themselves,
added to the poison they draw from these books,
contribute together to bring them to destr miction,
more than umost any other cause. Now teli
me, do not you think these wild books will hurt
your daughters 7

BragweU, Why I do think they are grown
full ofschemes, and contrivances and whispers,
that*s the truth on*t Every thing is a secret.
They always seem to be on the look-out for
something, and when nothing comes on*t, then
they are sulky and disappomted. They will
keep company with their equals : they despise
trade and farming ; and I own Vmfor the stvff,
I should not like them to marry any bnt a man
of substance, if he was ever so smart Now they
will hardly sit down with a substantial country
dealer. But if they hear of a recruiting party
in our market-town, on goes the finery — off they
are. Some flimsy excuse is patched up. They
want something at the book-shop or the millf.
ner's; because I suppose there is a chance for
some Jack-a-napes of an ensign may be there
buying sticking-plaster. In short, I do grow a
little uneasy ; for I should not like to see all I
have saved thrown away on a knapsack.

So saying, they both rose and walked out tc
view the farm. Mr. Bragwell affected greatly
to admire the good order of every thing he saw;
but never forgot to con^pare it with something
larger, and handsomer, or better of his own. It
was easy to see that self was his standard of
perfection in every thing. All he himself pos.
sessed gained some increased value in his eyes
from being his j and in surveying the property
of his friend, he derived food for his vanity, from
things which seemed least likely to raise It
Every appearance of comfort, of success of me-
rit, in v»y thing which belonged to Mr. Worthy
led him to speak of some superior advantage
of his own of the same kind : and it was clear
that the chief part of the satisfaction he felt in
walkin? over the farm of his friend, was caused
by thinking how much larger his own was.

Mr. Worthy, who felt a kindness for him,
which all his vanity could not cure, was always
on the watch how to turn their talk on some
useful point And whenever people resolve lo
go into company with this view, it is commonly
their own fault, if some opportunity of turning
it to account does not offer.



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THE WORKS OF HANNAH MORE.



IZC



He MW Bragwell was intoxicated with pride,
and nndone by micceaa; and that his family was
in the high niad to rain throogh mere prosperi-
hr. He thoagbt that if some means could be
lonnd to open his eyes on his own character, to
which he was now totally blind, it might be of
the utmost serriee to him. The more Mr. Wor-
thy reflected, the more he wished to undertake
this kind office. He was not sore that Mr. Brag-
well would bear it, but he was very sure it was
his duty to attempt it As 'Mr. Worthy was
very humble himself, he had great patience and
forbearance with the ikults of others. He felt
no pride at hvrinr eseaped the errors into which
they had ^Ilen, for he knew who it was had
nmde him to differ. He remembered that God
/lad given him many advanta^ ; a pious father
tnd a religiops education : this made him hum-
ile under a sense of his own sins, and charita-
Ue towards the sins of others, who had not the
same priviJeges.

Just as he was going to try to enter into a
Tery se'rioos conversation with his guest, he was
stopped by the appearande of his daughter, who
fold them supper was ready. — ^This interruption
obliges me to break off also, and I shall reserve
wh^ follows to the next month, when I pro-
mise to give my readers the second part of this
htstoiy.



PART II.

A OONVKRSATIO)!.

SooM after sapper M«. Worthy left the room
with her daughters, at her husband's desire; for
It was his intention to speak more plainly to
Brag well than was likely to be agreeable to him
to hear before o&ers. The two farmers being
seated at their little table, each in a handsome
old-&shiaaed great chair, Braffwell began.

* It is a ^reat comfort neighbour Worthy, at
a certain tune of life to be got above the world :
my notion is, that a man slKHild labour bard the
ftrst part of his days, that he may then sit down
and enjoy himself the remainder. Now, though
I hate boasting, yet as you are my oldest friend,
I am about to open my heart to you. Let me
toll yoa then I reckon I have worked as hard
as an/ man in my time, and that I now begin
to think I have a right to indulge a little. I
have got my money with character, and I mean
to spend it with credit I pay everyone his own,
I set a good example, I keep to my church, I
serve God^ I honour the king, and I obey the
laws of the land.*

*Thu is doing a great deal indeed,' replied
Mr. Worthy: •bat,' added be, «I doubt that
more goes to the making up all these duties than



the evening before as. — What if we sit down
together as two friends and examine one ano-
ther.'

BragweD, who loved argament, and who was
not a uttle vain both of his sense and his mo-
rality, aeeepted the challenge, and gave his word
that be woald take in good part any thing that
Aaold be said to bioL — Worthy was about to



proceed, when Brag well interrupted him for a
moment, by saying — * But stop, friend, before
we begin I wish you would remember that we
have had a long walk, and I want a little re.
freshment ; have you no Tiquor that is stronger
than this cider 7 I am afraid it will give me a
fit of the gout'

Mr. Worthy immediately produced a bottle
of wine, and another of spirits ; saying, that
though be drank neither spirits nor even wine
himself yet his wifo always kept a little of each
as a provision in case of sickness or accidents.

Farmer Bragwell preferred the brandy, and
began to taste it * Why,' said he, * this is no
better than English ; I always use foreign my-
self.'— .»I bought this for foreign/ said Mr.
Worthy. — * No, no, it is English spirits I assure
you ; but I can put you into a way to get foreign
nearly as cheap as English.* Mr. Worthy repli-
ed that he thought that was impossible.

BrapoelL no ; there are ways and means —
a word to the wise — there is an acquaintance
of mine that lives upon the south coast — ^you are
a particular friend and I will get you half-a-do-
zen gallons for a trifle.

Worthy, Not if it be smuggled, Mr. Brag-
well, though I should get it for ^zpence a hot-
tie. — ^*Ask no (questions,' said the other, *I
never say any thing to any one, and who is the
wiser 7' — * And so this is your way of obeying
the laws of the land,' said Mr. Worthy— * here
is a fine specimen of your morality.*

BragwiU, Come, come, don't make a fuss
about trifles. Ifetery on€ did it indeed it would
be another thing ; but as to my getting a little
good brandv cheap, why that can't hurt the re-
venue moch.

Worthy, Pray Mr. Bragwell what should you
think of a man who would dip his hand into a
bag and take out a fow guineas 7

Bragwell Think 7 why I think that he should
be hai^d to be sure.

Wonhy, But suppose that bag stood in the
kiiig's treasury 7

BragwelL In the king's treasury ! worse and
worse! What, rob the kind's treasury ! Well,
I hope if any one has done it, t{ie robber will be
taken op and execated ; for I suppose we shall
all be taxed to pay the damage.

Worthy, Very true. If one man takes money
out of the treasury, others must be obliged to
pay the more into it But what think you if the
fello# should be found to have stopped some
money in tis toov to the treasury, instead of
taking it out of the bag after it got there 7

Bra^weU, Guilty, Mr. Worthy ; it is all tlie

— in my opinion. If I were judge I would



hang him without benefit of clergy.

Worthy, Hark ye, Mr. BragweU, he that deals



„ . amnggled brandy b the man who takes to

I are commonly aware o£ Suppose then that Jiimself the king's money in its way to the troa-
yoa and I talk the matter_over cooUy ; we have sury, and he as macb robs the jrovernmcnt a»^



if he dipt his hands into a bag ofguineas in the
treasury chamber. It comes to the same thing
exactlJ^ Here BragweU seemed a little ofiend-
ed, adt exclaimed— ' What, Mr. Worthy! do
yon pretend to say I am not an honest man be-
cause I like to get my brandy as cheap as I can7
and because I Uke to save a shilling to ray fa-
milv 7 ^r. I repeat it ; I do my dutv to God



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136



THE WORKS OF HANNAH MORE.



and my neighbour. I say the Lord*8 prayer
most days, I go to church on Sundays, I repeat
my creed, and keep the ten commandments ;
and though I now and then get a little brandy
cheap, yet Upon the whole, I will venture to say,
I do as much as can be expected of any man,
and more than the generality.*

Worthy, Come then since you say you keep
the commandments, you cannot be offended if
I ask you whether you understand them.

Bragwell. To be sure I do. I dare say I do:
Iook*ye, Mr. Worthy, I don*t pretend to much
leading, I was not bred to it as you were. If
my father had been a parson, I fancy I should
have made as good a figure as some other folks,
but I hope good sense and a good heart may
teach a man his duty without much scholarship.

Worthy. To come to the point ; let us now go
through the ten commandments, and let us take
along with us those explanations of them which
our Saviour gave us in his sermon on the mount

BragwcU. Sermon on the mount ! why the
ten commandments are in the 20th chapter of
Exodus. Come, come, Mr. Worthy, I know
where to find the commandments as well as you
do ; for it happens that I am churcb-warden,
and I can see from the altar-piece where the
ten commandments are, without your telling
rae, for my pew directly faces it.

Worthy, But I advise yon to read the sermon
on the mount, that you may see the full mean-
in? of them.

Bragwell, What ! do you want to make me
believe there are two ways of keeping the com-
mandments 7

Worthy. No ; but there may be two ways of
understanding them.

BragtoelL Well, I am not afraid to be put to
the proof; I defy any man to say I do not keep
at least all the four first that are on the led side
of the altar-piece.

Worthy. If you can prove that, I shall be
more ready to believe you observe those of the
other table ; for he who does his duty to God,
will be likely to do his duty to his neighbour also.

Bragwell. What I do you think wat I serve
two Gods? Do you think then that I make

Kiven images, and worship stocks or stones 7
»you take me for a papist or an idolater?

Worthy, Don't triumph quite so soon, master
Bragwell. Pray is there nothinjr in the world
you prefer to CJod, and thus make an idol of?
Do you not love your money, or your lands, or
your crops, or your cattle, or your own will, or
your own way, rather better than you love God ?
Do you never think of these with more pleasure
than you think of him, and follow them more
eaferly than your religious duty 7

Bragwell, O ! there's nothing abont that in
the 20th chapter of Exodus.

Worthy. But Jesus Christ has said, * He thati
Wveth father or mother more than me is not
worthy of me.* Now it is certainly a man*s
duty to love his father and his mother ; nay, it
would be wicked not to love them, and jei we
most not love even these more than our Creator
and our Saviour. Well, I think on this princi-
ple, your heart pleads guilty to the breach of
the first and second commandments ; let us pro-
ened to the third. |



Bragwell, That is about swearing, if it
not?

Mr. Worthy, who had observed Bragwell
guilty of much profanencss in using the name
of his Maker, (though all such offensive words
have been avoided in writing this history) now
told him that he had been waiting the whole
day for an opportunity to reprove him for his
frequent breach of the third commandment

' Good L — d ! I break the third command-
ment V said Bragwell ; * no indeed, hardly ever,
I once used to swear a little to be sure, but I
vow I never do it now, except now and then
when I happen to be in a passion : and in such
a case, why, good G— d, you know the sin is
with those who provoke me, and not with roe 'r
but, upon my soul, I don*t think I have sworn
an oath these three months, no not I, faith, as I
hope to be saved.*

Worthy, And yet you have broken this holy
law not less than five or six times in the last
speech yon have made.

Bragwell. Lord bless roe ! Sure you mistake.
Good heavens, Mr. Worthy, I call G— d to wit-
ness, I have neither cursed nor swore since I
have been in the house.

Worthy. Mr. Bragwell, this is the way io
which many who call themselves very good sort
of people deceive themselves. What ! is it n»
profanation of the name of your Maker to use
it ligh^y, irreverently and familiarly as you
have done ? Our Saviour has not only told ns
not to swear by the immediate name of God,
but he has said, * swear not at all, neither by
heaven nor by the earth,* and in order to hinder
our inventing any other irreligious exclamations
or expressions, he has even addod, * but let your
communications be yea, yea, and nay, nay ; for
whatsoever is more than this simple affirmation
and denial cometh of evil.* Nay more, so great-
Iv do I reverence that high and holy name, that
I think even some good people have it too fre-
quently in their months ; and that they might
convey the idea without the word.

Bragwell, Well, well, I most take a little
more care, I believe. I vow to heaven I did not
know there had been so much harm in it; but
my daughters seldom speak without using some
of these words, and yet they wanted to make
me believe the other day that it was monstrous
vulgar to swctr.

Worthy, Women, even gentlewomen, who
ought to correct this evil habit in their fathers,
and hosbonds, and children, are too apt to en-
ooorage it by their own practice. And indeed



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