Hannah More.

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girl. — *Why so 7' said he. — * Because, sir, I
have heard you say in the pulpit, the soul is to
last for ever.' — * Then,' cried Mr. Simpson, in a
stem voice, turning to the fiddler's woman,

* are you not ashamed to sell poison for that part
which is to last forever 7 poison for the soul 7'

* Poison 7' said the terrified girl, throwing down
the book, and shuddering as people do who are
afraid they have touched something infectious.

* Poison !' echoed the farmer's daughters, recol.
lecting with horror the ratsbane which Lion,
the old houpe-dog, had ^ot at tlie day before,
and afler eating which she had seen him drop
down dead in convulsions. *Yes,' said Mr.
Simpson to the woman, * I do a^ain repeat, the
souls of these innocent ^irls will be poisoned,
and may be eternally rmncd by this vile trash
which you carry about*

* 1 now see,' said Mrs. Jones to the farmer,

* the reason why you think learning to read does
more harm than good. It is in^jleed far better
that they should never know how to tell a let-
ter, unless you keep such trash as this out of
their way, and provide them with what is good,
or at least what is harmless. Still this is not
the fault of reading, but the abuse of it. Wine
is still a good cordial, though it is too often
abused to' the purpose of drunkenness.'

The farmer said that neither of his maids
could read their horn-book, though he owned he
of\en heard tliem singing that song which the
parson thought so bad, but for his part it made
them as merry as a nightingale.

* Yes,* said Mrs. Jones, ^ as a proof that it is
not merely being able to read which does the
mischief, I have oflen heard, as I have been
crossing a hay-field, voung girls singing such
indecent ribaldry as has driven me out of llie
field, though 1 well knew they could not read a
line of what they were singing, but had caught
it from others. So you see you may as well say
the memory is a wicked talent because some
people misapply it, as to say that reading is
dangerous because some folks abuse it.

While they were talking, the fiddler and his
woman were trying to steal away unobserved,
but Mr. Simpson stopped them, and sternly
said, * Woman, I shall have some farther talk
with you. I am a magistrate, as well as a
minister, and if I know it, I will no more allow
a wicked book to be sold in my parish than a
dose of poison.' The girls threw away all their
songs, thanked Mr. Simpson, begged Mrs. Jones
would take them into her school after they had
done milking in the evenings. Chat they might
learn to read only what was proper. They pro-
mised they would never more deal with any bat
sober, honest hawkers, such as sell good little

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k)ok8, Christmas carols, and barmleas songs,
and det^tred the fiddler*s woman never to call
there again.

This little incident afterwards confirmed Mrs.
Junes in a plan she had before some thoughts of
putting in practice. This was, afler her school
had been established a few months, to invite all
the well-diflposed grown-up youth of the parish
to meet her at the school an hour or two on a
Sunday evening, afler the necessary business of
the dairy, and of serving the cattle was over.
Both Mrs. Jones and her agent had the talent of
making this time pass so agreeably, by their
manner of explaining Scripture, and of impress-
ing the heart by serious and affectionate dis-
course, that in a short time the evening school
was nearly filled with a second company, afler
the younger ones were dismissed. In time, not
only the servants, but the sons and daughters of
the most substantial people in the parish attend-
ed. At length many of the parents, pleased
with the improvement so visible in the yoong

people, got a habit of droppin^f in, that thef
might learn how to instruct their own families
And it was observed that as the school filled,
not only the fives-court and public house were
thinned, but even Sunday gossipping and tea
visiting declined. Even farmer Hoskins, whc
was at first very angry with his maids for leaving
off those merry songs (as be called them) was so
pleased by the manner in which the psalms were
sung at the school, that he promised Mrs. Jones
to make her a present of half a sheep towards
her first May-da^ feast Of this feast some ac-
count shall be given hereafler ; and the reader
may expect some further account of the Sunday
school in the history of Hester Wilmot*

*For a continuation of the Sunday School, see the
story of Hester Wilmot, in two parts, in this edition.
It was thought proper to'separate them in this coUec-
lion : as the two pc^ceding numbers rather lend to en-
force the duties of the higher and middle class, and ths
two subsequent ones those of the pour.



MKTHouGifT I was oucc upou a time travelling
through a certain land which was very frill of
people ; but, what was rather odd, not one of all
this multitude was at home ; they were all bound
to a far distant. country. Though it was per-
mitted by the lord of the land that these pilgrims
might associate together for their present ma-
tou comfort and convenience; and each was
not only allowed, but commanded, to do the
others all the services he could upon their jour-
ney, yet it was decreed, that every individual
traveller must enter the far country singly.
There was a great gulf at the end of the journey,
which every one roust pass alone, and at his own
risk, and the friends.hip of the whole united
world could be of no use in shooting that gulf.
The exact time when each was to pass was not
known to any ; this the lord always kept a close
secret out of kindness, yet still they were as sure
that the time must come, and that at no very
great distance, as if they had been informed of
the very moment Now, as they know they
were always liable to be called away at an hour's
notice, one would have thought they would have
been chiefly employed in packing up, and pre-
paring, and getting every thing in order. But
this was so far from bein^ the case, that it was
almost the only thing which they did not think

Now, I only appeal to you, my readers, if any
ef you are setting out upon a little common
journey, if it is only to London or York, is not
«U prour leisure time employed in settling yuar
business at home, and packing up every little
necessary for your expedition? And does not
the fear of neglecting any thing you ought to
remember, or may have occasion for, haunt your
mmd, and sometimes even intrude upon you un-
■easonably? And when jou are actually wn

your journey, especially if you have never been
to that place before, or are likelj^ to remain there,
don*t you begin to think a little about the plea-
sures and the employments of the place, and to
wish to know a little what sort of a city London
or York is? DonH you wonder what is doing
there, and are you not anxious to know whether
you are properly qualified for tlie business, or
the company you expect to be engaged in? Do
you never look at the map, or consult Brooke's
Gazetteer? And donH you try to pick up trow

Jrour fellow-passengers in the stage coach any
ittlo information you can get? And though
you may be obliged, out of civility, to converse
with them on common subjects, yet do not your
secret thoughts still run upon London or York,
its business, or its pleasures? And above all, if
you are likel v to set out early, are jou not afraid
of over-sleeping, and does not that fear keep you
upon th| watch, so that you are commonly up
and reaoy before the porter comes to summon
you? Reader! if this be your case, how sur-
prised will you be to hear that the (ravdlers to
the far country have not half your prudence,
though embarked on a journey of infinitely more
importance, bound to a land where nothing can
be sent afler them, in which, when they are once
settled, all errors are irretrievable.

I observed that these pilgrims, instead of bebg
upon the watch, lest they should be ordered off
unprepared ; instead of laying up any provision,
or even making memorandums of what they
would be likely to want at the end of their jour-
ney, spent most of their time in crowds, either
in the way of traffic or diversion. At first, when
I saw them so much engaged in conversing with
each other, I thought it a good sign, and listened
attentively to their talk, not doubting but the
chief torn of it would be about the climate, or

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freatares, or society, they should probably meet
with in the fat country, I supposed they might
DO also discnssing abont the best and safest road
Co it, and that each was availing himself of the
knowled^ of his neighbour, on a subject of
equal importance to all. I listened to every
party, but in scarcely any did I hear one word
about the land to which they were bound, though
it was their home, the place where their whole
interest, expectation, and inheritance ky; to
which also great part of their friends were gone
before, and whither they were sure all the rest
would fblbw. — Instead of this, their whole talk
was about the business, or the pleasures, or the
Bishions of the strange but bewitching country
which they were merely passing through, and
in which they had not one foot of lana which
they were sure of calling their own for the next
quarter of an hour. What little estate they had
was pertorud^ and not real, and that was a mort-
gaged, life-hold tenement of clay, not properly
their own, but only lent to them on a short un-
oertain lease, of which three-score years and
ten was considered as the longest period, and
very few indeed lived in it to the end of the
term ; for this was always at the toill of the htrd,
•part of whose prerogative it was, that he could
take away the lease at pleasure, knock down
the stoutest tenement at a single blow, and turn
out the poor shivering, helpless inhabitant naked,
to that fur emivtry for which he had made no
provision. Sometimes, in order to quicken the
pilgrim in his preparation, the lord would break
down the tenement by slow degrees; sometimes
He would let it tumble by its own natural decay ;
fin* it was only built to kst a certain term, it
would oflen grow so uncomfortable by increasing
dilapidations even before the ordinary lease was
out, th'at the lodging was hardly worth keeping,
thoogh the tenant cooM seldom be persuaded to
think so, but fondly dung to it to the last —
First the thatch on tJie top of the tenement
changed colour, then it fell off and lefl the roof
bare; then the grinders ceased because ihey
were few ; thiHi the windows became so dark-
ened that the owner could scarcely see through
them; then one prop foil away, then another,
then the uprights became bent, and the whole
&bric trembled and tottered, with every other
symptom of a falling house. But what was re-
markable, the more uncomfortable the house
became, and the leas prospect there was of stay-
ing in it, the more preposterously fond did the
tenant grow of his precarious habitation.

On some occasions the lord ordered his mes-
sengera, of which he has a great variety, to batter,
injure, deface, and almost demolish the frail
building, even while it seemed new and strong ;
this was what the landlord called giving toarn'
vng, but many a tenant would not take warning,
and so fond of staying where he was, even under
all these inconveniences, that at last he was cast
out by ejectment, not being prevailed on to leave
his dwelling in a proper manner, thoogh one
would have thought the fear of being turned out
would have whetted his diligence in preparing
for a better and more enduring inheritanee. For
though the people were only tenants at will in
iheae crazy tenements, yet, through the goodness
•/the same lord, they were assured thatbe never

Vol. I. M

turned them out of these habitations before he
had on his part provided for them a better, so
that there was not such a landlord in the world ,
and though their present dwelling was but frail,
being only slightly run up to serve the occasion,
yet Uiey might hold their future possession by a
most certain tenure, the toord of the lord kimself
This word was entered in a covenant, or title-
deed, consisting of many sheets, and because a
great many good things were sfiven away in
this deed, a iMok was made of which every teul
might get a copv.

This indeed had not always been the case ,
because, till a few ages back, there had been a
sort of monopoly in Sie case, and * the wise and
prudent ;* that is, the cunning and fraudful, had
hid these things fh)m * the babes and sucklings ;*
that is, from the low and ignorant, and many
frauds had been practised, and the poor had been
cheated of their right; so that not being allowed
to read and judge for themselves, they had been
sadly imposed upon; but all these tricks had
been put an end to more than two hundred years
when I passed through the country, and the
meanest man who could read might then have a
copy ; so that he might see himself what he had
to trust to ; and even those who could not read,
might hear it road once or twice ever v week, at
least, without pay, by learned and holy men,
whose business it was. But it surprised me to
see how few comparatively made use of these
vast advantages. Of those who had a copy,
many laid it carelessly by, expressed a general
belief in the truth of the title deed, a genenii
satisfaction that they shbuld come in for a share
of the inheritance, a general good opinion of the
lord whose word it was, and a general disposi-
tion to take his promise upon trust; always,
however, intending, at a convenient eeasont to
inquire farther into the matter ; but this conve-
nient season seldom came ; and this neglect of
theirs was construed by their lord into a for-
feiture of the inheritance.

At the end of this country lay the vast gulf
mentioned before ; it was shadowed over by a
broad and thick cloud, which prevented the pil-
grims from seeing in a distinct manner what
was doing behind it, yet such beams of bright-
ness now and then dailcd through the olou{ as
enabled those ^ho used a telescope, provided for
that purpose, to see the substance of tftings hoped
for ; but it was not every one who could make
use of this tplesoope ; no eye indeed was natu-
rally disposed to it ; but an earnest desire of
getting a glimpse of the invisible realities, gave
such a strength and steadiness to the eye which
used the telescope, as enabled it to discern many
things which could not be seen by the natural
sight — Above the cloud was this inscription :
Tne things which are seen are temporal^ mU the
things which are not seen are eternal. Of these
last things many glorious descriptions had been
given ; but as those splendors were at a distance,
and as the pilgrims m general did not care to
use the telescope, these distant glories made
little impression.

The glorious inheritance which lay beyond
the cloud, was called. The things afmee, while a
multitude of trifling objects, which appeared
contemptibly small when looked at O'^rough tta

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Ifilescope, wore eaHed the tkingw behnt. Now,
ts we knov it is nearness which fives size and
bulk to any object, it was not wonderful that
these ill-judging pilgrims were more stmck with
these baubles and trifles, which, by laying close
at hand, were visible and tempting to the naked
eye, and which made up the sum of the things
lieloic, than with the remote glories of Me things
above ; but this was chiefly owing to their cot
making use of the telescope^ through which, if
you examined thoroughly the things belowj they
seemed toshrink almost down to nothicg, which
was indeed their real siie ; while the things above
appeared the more beautiful and Tast, the more
the telescope was used. But the surpHding part
of the story was this ; not that the pilgrims were
captivated at first sight with the things behv^
for that was natural enoagh ; but that when they
had tried them all over and over, and foqnd
themselves deceived and disappointed in almost
every one of them, it did not at all If isen their
(bndness, and they grasped at them a^n with
the same eagerness as before. There were some
gay fruits which looked alloring, but on being
3pened, instead of a kernel, the? wors found to
contain rottenness ; and those which eeemed the
fullest, oAen proved on trial to be quite hollow
and empty. Those which were mos' tempting
to the eye, were oflcn found to be w«' *mwood to
tlie taste, or poison to the stomachy and many
flowers that seemed most bright and gay had a
worm gnawing at the root ; and 2t>:is observa-
ble that on the finest and brightest of them was
seen, when looked at throagh the telescope, the
word vanity inscribed in large characters.

Among the chief attractions of t\e things be-
low were certain little lumpc of yellow clay, on
which almost every eye and everj heart was
fixed. When I saw the variety of nies to which
this clay could be converted, and the respect
which was shown to those Who could scrape
together the greatest number of pifi';ea, I did not
much wonder at the general draire to pick up
some of them ; but when I beheld the anxiety,
the wakefulness, the competitions, tlie contri-
vances, the tricks, the frauds, the scuflling, the
pushing, the turmoiling, the kicking, the shov-
mg, the cheating, the circumventum, the envy,
the malignity, which was excited t>y a desire to
possess this article ; when I sav^' the general
scramble among those who had little to get
much, and of those who had ra«ich to get more,
then I could not help applving to these people a
proverb in use among us, that gold may be bought
too dear.

Though I saw that there were various sorts
of baubles which engaged the hearts of different
travellers, such as an ell of red or blue riblxm,
for which some were content to forfeit their
future inheritance, committing the sin of Esau,
without his temptation of hanger ; yet the yellow
;ilay I found was the grand object for which
Jiosi hands were scrambling, and most seals
were risked. One thing was extraordinary, that
the nearer these people were to being turned out
of their tenement, the fonder they grew of these
pieces of cUy ; so that I naturally concluded
they meant to take the clay with them to the
far country, to assist them in their establishment
in It ; but I soon learnt this cU? was not oarrent

there, the lord having farther deelared to these
pilgrims that as they had brought nothing into
this world, they amid carry nothing away.

I inquired of the different people wlio were
raising the vanons heaps of cUy, some of a
larger, some of a smaller size, why they dis.
covered such unremitting anxiety, and for whom?
Some, whose piles were immense, told me they
were heaping up for their children; this I
thought very right, till, on casting my eyes
around, I observed many of the children of these
very people had large heaps of their own. Othen
told me It was for their grand-children ; but on
inquiry I found these were not yet bom, and in
many cases there was little chance that they
ever would. The truth, on a dose examination,
proved to be, that the true genuine heapers resHj
heaped for themselves ; that it was in fact nei-
ther for friend nor child, but to gratify an inor-
dinate appetite of their own. Nor wcs I much
surprised after this to seo theae yellow hoards
at length canker, and the rust of them become a
toitness against the hoarders, and eat their flesh
as it were fire.

Many, however, who had set out with a high
heap of their father's raising, before they had
got one third of their joamey, had scarcely a
single piece lef). As I wae wondering- what
had caused these enormous piles to vanish in so
short a time, I spied scattered up and down the
coantry all sorts of odd inventions, for some ot
other of which the vain possessors of the grca«
heaps of clay had truckled and bartered them
away in fower hours than their ancestors had
spent years in getting them together. O what
a strange unaccountable medley it was! and
what was ridiculous ertoogh, I obsdrved that the
greatest quantity of the clay was always ex
chsnged for things that were of no use that I
could discover, owing I suppose to my ignoranet
of the manners of tlie coantry.

In one place I saw largo beeps exhausted, in
order to set two idle pampered horses a running
but the worst part of the joke was, the horses
did not run to fetch or carry any thing, of course
were of no kind of use, but merely to let the
gazers see which could run fastest. Now, this
gift of swiftness, exercised to no useful purpose^
was only one out of many instances, I observed,
of talents employed to no end. In another place
I saw whole piles of the clay spent to maintain
long ranges of buiLIings full of dogs, on provi-
sions which wooM have nioely fattened some
thousands cf pilgrims, who sadly wanted fatten-
ing, and whose racrged tenements were out at '
elbows, for want of a little help to repair them.
Some of the piles were regularly pulled down
once in seven years, m order to corrupt certain
needy pilgrims to belie their consciences, by
doing tnat for a bribe which they were bound to
do from principle. Others were spent in play*
ing with white stiff bits of peper, painted over
with red and black spots, m which I thought
there must be some conjuring, because the very
touch of these painted pasteboards made the
heaps fly from one to another, and back again
to the same, in a way that natural causes <^nld
not account for. There was another proof that
there mnxt be some magic in this bnsineee
which was Aat if a pasteboard with red spolt

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ftO mto a hand which wanted a black one, the
person changed colour, his eyes flashed fire, and
he discovered other symptoms of madness,
which showed there was some witchcraft in the
case. These clean little pasteboards as harm-
less as they looked, had the wonderful power of
palling down the highest piles in less time than
all the other causes put together. I observed
that many small pil'^s were ^iven in exchange
ibr an enchanted liquor which when the pur-
diaser had drank to a liifle excess, he \osi power
of managing the rest of bis heap without losing
the lore of it ; and thus the excess of indulgence,
by makiuj^ him a beggar, deprived him of that
very gratification on which his heart was set

Now I find it was the opinion of sober pil-
pprims, that either hoarding the clay, or trucking
It for any such purposes as the above, was
thought exactly the same offence in the eyes of
the lord ; and it was expected that when they
should come under his more immediate juris,
diction in the far eauntry^ the penalty annexed
to hoarding and squandering would be nearly
the same. — While I examined the countenances
of the owners of the heaps, I observed that those
who I well knew never intended to make any
1190 at all of their heap, were far more terrified
at the thought of losing it, or of being torn from
it, than those were who were employing it in
the most useful manner. Those who best knew
what to do with it, sot their hearts least upon
it, and were always noost willing to leave it
B^ such riddles were common in this odd
country. It waa indeed a very land of para-

Now I wondered why those pilgrims, who
were naturally made erect with an eye formed
to look up to the tkingt a6oM, yet had their eyes
almost constantly bent in the other direction,
riveted to the earth, and fastened on things be-
bv, just like those animals who walk on all
four. I waa told they had not always been sub-
ject to this weakness of sight, and proneness to
earth : that they had originally been upright
mud beautiful, having been created afler the
image of the lord, who was himself the perfec-
ttoo of beauty ; that he had, at first, placed them
in a far superior situation, which he had given
them in perpetuity ; but that their first ances-
tors fell mra it through pride and carelessness ;
that upon this the fbeehold was taken away,
they lost their original strength, brightness, and
beskuty, and were driven out into this strange
country, where, however, they had every oppor-
tunity given them of recovering their original
health, and the Iord*s favour and likeness ; for
they were become so disfigured, and were grown
so unlike him, that yon would hardljr l^lieve
they were hie own children, though, in some,
the resemblance was become again visible.

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