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make sport of this — but when they saw Uiat no
lad on the road was up so early or v^^^rked so
hard as Tom ; when they saw no chaise qo neat,
no glasses so bright, no harness so tight, no
driver so diligent, so clean, or so civil, they
found he was no subject to make sport at Tom
indeed was very careful in looking afVer the
linch pins ; in never giving his horses too much
water when they were hot ; nor whatever was
his hasto, would he ever gallop them up hill,
strike them across the head, or when tired, cut
and slash them, or gallop over the stones, as soon
as he fi^ot into town, as some foolish fellows do.
What helped to cure Tom of these bad practices,
was that remark he met witli in the Bible, that
a good man is merciful to his beast. He was
much moved one day on reading the prophet
Jonah, to observe what compassion the great
God of Heaven and earth had for poor beasts :
for one of the reasons there given why the Al-
mighty was unwilnng to destroy the great citv
of Ninevah was, because there was much cattle
•n it. After this, Tom never could bear to see
a wanton stroke inflicted. Doth God care for
horses, said he, and shall man be crueJ to them ?

Tom soon grew rich for one in his station :
for every gentleman on the road would be

driven by no other lad if careful Tom was So b«
had. Being diligent, he got a great dea- of
money ; being frugal, he spent but little : ^nd
having no vices, he wasted none. He 8i«on
found out that there was some meaning in that
text which says, that Godliness hath the promise
of the life that now is, as well as that i^ich i§
to come: for the same principles which make a
man sober and honest, have also a natural ten-
dency to make him healthy and rich ; while a
drunkard and a Spendthrift can hardly escape
being sick and a beggar. Vice is the parent of
misery in both worlds.

Afler a few years Tom begged a holiday, and
made a visit to his native village ; bis good
character had got thither before him. He found
his father was dead, but during his long illness
Tom hod supplied him with money, and by al-
lowing him a trifle every week, had had the
honest satisfaction of keeping him from the
parish. Farmer Hodges was still living, but
being grown old and infmn, he was desirous to
retire from business. He retained a great re-
gard for his old servant, Tom ; and finding he
was worth money, and knowing ho knew some
thing of country business, he offered to let him
a small farm at an easy rate, and promised his
assistance in the management for the first year,
with the loan of a small sum of money, that he
mieht set out with a pretty stock. Tom thank-
ed him with tears in his eyes, went back and
took a handsome lesvfe of his master, who made
him a present of a horse and cart, in acknow-
ledgment of his long and faithful services ; for
says he, I have saved many horses by Tora*t
care and attention, and I could well afford to do
the same by every servant who did the same by
me ; and should be a richer man at the end of
every year by the same generosity, provided 1
could meet with just and faithful servants who
deserve the same rewards. Tom was soon set-
tled in his new farm, and in less than a year
had got every thing neat and decent about him.
Farmer Hodge's long experience and friendly
advice, joined to his own industry and hard la-
bour, soon brought the farm to great perfection.
The regularity, sobriety, peaceableness, and
piety of his daily life, his constant attendance
at cnurch twice every Sunday, and his decent
and devout behaviour when there, soon recom.
mended him to the notice of Dr. Shepherd, who
was still living a pattern of zeal, activity, and
benevolence to all parish priests. The doctor
soon began to hold op Tom, or, as we must now
more properly term him, Mr. Thomas Whit©,
to the imitation of the whole parish, and the
frequent and condescending conversation of this
worthy clergyman contributed no less than bis
preaching to the improvement of his new parish-
ioner in piety.

Farmer White soon foand out that a dairy
could not well be carried on without a mistress,
and began to think seriously of marrying ; ht
prayed to God to direct him in so important a
business. He knew that a tawdry, vain, dressy
girl was not likely to make good cheese and
butter, and that a worldly ungc^ woman would
make a sad wife and mistress of'^a family. He
soon heard of a young woman of excellent
character, who had been bred up by the yioor^

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•oj, and ttill lived in the fiunily as upper maid.
She was prudent, sober, industrious and reli-
gious. Her neat, modest, and plain appearance
at cbareh (for she was seldom seen any where
else out of her master's family) was an example
to all persons in her station, and never failed to
reixHnmend her to stran^rs, even before they
bad an opportunity of knowing the goodness of
ber character. It was her character, however,
which recommended her to farmer White. He
knew tbat/aMur is deceitful, and beauty is vain^
i$U a woman tkatfeareth the hord^ she shall be
praised : — ay, and not only praised, but chosen
too, says ferulBr White, as he took down his hat
from the nail on which it hung, in order to go
and wait on Dr. Shepherd, to break his mind
and ask his consent ; for he thought it would
be a very nnbandsome^eturn for ul the favours
be was receiving from his minbter, to decoy
away his fiuthiUi servant from her place with-
out his consent

This worthy gentleman, though sorry to lose
00 vaJoable a member of his little family, did not
scruple a moment about parting with her, when
be loand it would be so greatly to her advantage.
Tom was agreeably surprised to hear she had
saved fifly pounds by her frugality. The doc-
tor married them himaelf, farmer Hodges being

In the aflemoon of the weddine day. Dr.
Shepherd eondescended to call on rarmer and
Mrs. White, to give a few words of advice on
the new duties they had entered into ; a com-
mon custom with him on these occasions. He
often took an opportunity to drop, in the moa^
kind and tender way, a hint upon the great in-
deceoey of making marriages, christenings, and
above all, fuuerals, days of riot and excess, as is
too oflen the case in country villages. The ex-
pe ct a t i o n that the vicar might possibly drop in,
m his walks, on these festivals, oflen restrained
excessive drinking, and improper conversation,
even among those who were not restrained by
higher motives, as farmer and Mrs. White were.

What the doctor said was always in such a
sheerfhl, good-humoured way, that it was sure
to increase the pleasure of the day, instead of
damping it * Well, farmer,* said he, * and you,
my faithful Sarah, any other friend might re-
commend peace axid agreement to you on your
marriage ; but I, on the contrary, recommend
cares and strifes.'* The company stared^-but
Sarah, who knew that her old master was a
&eetious gentleman, and always had some mean-
ing behind, looked serious. * Cares and strife,
sir, said the farmer, * what do you mean ?' — ^ I
mean,* said he, * for the first, that your cares
shall be who shall please God most, and your
strilei, who shall serve hxm best, and do your
duif (Host faithfully. Tn.cs, all your cares and
stnfts being employed to the highest purposes,
" petty cares and worldly strifes shall be at an

* Always remember, that vou hav3, both of
TOO, a better friend than each other.* The com-

Cny stared again, and thought no woman could
ve so good a friend as her husband. * As you
Bave chosen each other firom the best motives,*

* See Dodd*s Sayinp

continued the doctor, * you have every reasonable
ground to hope for happiness ; but as this world
is a soil in which troubles and misfortunes will
spring up ; troubles from which you cannot save
one another ; misfortunes which no human pru-
dence can avoid : then remember, 'tis the best
wisdom to go to that friend who is always near,
always wiUing, and always able to hcSp you ;
and that friend is God.*

* Sir,* said farmer White, *I humbly thank
you for all your kind instructions, of which I
shall now stand more in need than ever, as 1
shall have more duties to fulfil. I hope the re-
membrance of my past offences will keep me
humble, and the sense of my remaining sin will
keep me watchful. I set out in the world, sir,
with what is called a good-natural disposition,
but I soon found to my cost, that without God's
grace that will carry a man but a little way.
A good temper is a good thing, but nothing but
the fear of God can enable one to bear up
against temptation, evil company, and evil pas-
sions. The misfortune of breaking my leg, as
I then thought it, has proved the greatest l3ess.
ing of my life. It showed me my own weak-
ness, the value of the Bible, and the goodness
of God. How many of my brother drivers have
I seen, since that time, cut off in the prime of
life by drinking, or sudden Occident, while I
have not only been spared, but blessed and
prospered, O sir !* it would be the joy of my
heart, if some of my old comrades, good-na-
tured, civil fellows (whom I can*t help loving)
could see, as I have done, the danger of evil
courses before it is too lata Though they may
not hearken to yon, s/r, or any other minister
they may believe me because I have been one
of them : and I can speak from experience, of
the ffreat difference there is, even as to worldly
comfort, between a life of sobriety and a life of
sin. I could tell them, sir, not as a thing I
have road in a^book, but as a truth I feel in my
own heart, that to fear Grod and keep his com.
mandments, will not only bring a man peace at
last, but will make him happy now. And I will
venture to say, sir, that all the stocks, pillories,
prisons, and gibbets in the land, though so very
needful to keep bad men in order, yet will never
restrain a good man from committing evil half
so much as that single text. How shall I do this

freat wickedness and sin against God V Dr.
hepberd condescended to approve of what the
farmer had said, kindly shook him by the hapd
and took leave.


The Way to Plenty, or the second part oj Tm
White. WriUen tn 1795, \he year of scarcity

Tom WinTE, as we have shown in the first
part of this history, from an idle post boy was
become a respectable farmer. God had blessed
hb industry, and he had prospered in the world.
He was sober and temperate, and, as was tho
natural consequence, he was active an'\ healthy.
He was industrious and frugal, and he became
prosperous in his circum^anoes. This is in the

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urdinary coarse of Pro?idence. Bat it is not a
certain and necessary role. Chd maketh his
sun to shine on the just and on the unjust, A
man who uses every honest means of thrifl and
industry, will, in most cases, find saccess attend
his labours. But still, the race is not alufays
to the swift nor the battle to the strong, God is
■ometimei pleased, for wise ends, to disappoint
all the worldly hopes of the most upright man.
His corn may be smitten by a Uig'ht; his
barns may be consumed by fire; his cattle
may be carried off by distemper. And to these,
and other misfortunes, the good man is as liable
as the spendthrift or the knaye. Success is the
common reward of industry, but if it were its
constant reward, the industrious would be
tempted to look no further than the present
state. They would lose one strong ground of
their faith. It would set aside the scripture
scheme. This world would then be looked on
at a state of reward, iustead of trial, and we
should forget to look to a day of final retribution.

Farmer White never took it into his head,
that, because he paid his debts, worked early
and late, and ate the bread of carefulness, he
was therofbre to come into no misfortune like
other folk, but was to be free from the common
trials and troubles of life. He knew that pros-
perity was far from being a sure mark of God's
favour, and had read in good books, and espe-
cially in the Bible, of the great poverty and af-
flictions of the best of men. Though he was no
great scholar, he had sense enough to observe,
that a time of public prosperity was not always
a time of public virtue ; and he thought that
* what was true of a whole nation migjit be true
of one man. So the more he prospered the more
oe prayed that prosperity might not corrupt his
heart And when he saw lately signs of public
distress coming on, he was not half so much
frightened as some others were, because he
thought it might do us«good in the long run ;
dad he was in hope that a little poverty might
bring on a little penitence. The great grace he
laboured aflor was that of a chferml submission.
He used to say, that if the Lord's prayer had
onlj^ contained those four little words. Thy will
fte done, it would be worth more than the biggest
Dcx)k m the world without them.

Dr. Shepherd, the worthy vicar (with whom
tie farmer'd wiii had formerly lived as house-
Keeper) .was very fond of taking a walk with
him about his grounds, and he used to say that
h3 learnt as much from the farmer as the farmer
did from him. If the doctor happened to observe,
I am afraid these long rains will spoil this fine
piece of oats, the farmer would answer, but then,
sir, think how good it is for the grass. If the
doctor feared the wheat would be but indifferent,
the farmer was sure the rye would turn out well.
When grass failed, he did not doubt but turnips
would be plenty. Even for floods and inunda-
tions he would find out some way to justify Pro-
vidence. 'Tis better, said he, to have our lands
, a little overflowed, than that the springs should
be dried up, and our cattle faint for lack of wa-
ter. When the drought came, he thanked God
that the season would be healthy ; and the high
winds, which frightened others, be said, served
to clear the air. Whoever, or whatever was

wrong, he was always sure that Providemje waf
in the right. And he used to say, that a maD
with ever so small an income, if he had but fru-
gality and temperance, and would cut off all vaiir
desires, and cast his care upon God, was richer
than a lord who was tormented by vanity and
covetousness. When he saw others m the wrong,
he did not, however, abuse them for it, but took
care to avoid the same fault He had sense and
spirit enough to break through many dd, but
very bad customs of his neighbours. If a thing
is wrong in itself (said he one day to farmer
Hodges) a whole parish doing it can*t make it
right And as to its bein^ an old custom, why,
if it be a good one, I like it the better for being
old, because it has had the stamp of ages, and
the sanction of experience on its worth. But if
it be old as well as bad, that is another reason
for my trying to put an end to it, that we may
not mislead our children as our fathers have
misled us.

. The Roof. Raiting,

Some years afler he was settled, he built a
large new barn. All the workmen were looking
forward to the usual holiday of roof-raising. On
this occasion it was a custom to give a dinner
to the workmen, with so much liquor after it,
that they got so drunk that they not only lost
the remaining half day's work, but they were
not always able to work the following day.

Mrs. White provided a plentiful dinner for
roof-raising, and gave each man his mug of beer.
After a hearty meal they began to ^row ciamof'
ous for more drink. The farmer said, * My lads,
I don't grudge you a few gallons of ale merely
for the sake of saving ray liquor, though that is
some consideration, especially in these dear
times ; but I never will, knowingly, help any
man to make a beast of himself! I am resolved
to break through a bad custom. You are now
well refreshed. If you will go cheerfully to
your work, you will have half a day's pay lo
take on Saturday night more than you woald
have if this afternoon were wasted in drunken,
ness. For this your families will be the better ;
whereas, were I to give you more liquor, when
you have already had enough, I should help to
rob them of their bread. But I wish to show
you, that I have your good at heart full as much
as m^ profit If you will now ^ to work, I
will give you all another mug at night when you
leave oS, Thus your time will be saved, your
families helped, and my ale will not go to make
reasonable creatures worse than brute beasts.*

Here he stopped. * You are in right on*t,
master,' said Tom the thatcher; *you are a
hearty man, farmer,* said John Plane, the car*
penter *Come along, boys,' said Tim Brick
the mason : so they all went merrily to work^
ffrtified with a good dinner. There was only
one drunken surly fbllow that refused ; this was
Dick Guzzle, the smith. — Dick never works
above two or three days in the week, and spends
the others at the Red Lion. He swore, that if
the farmer did not ^ive him as much liquor as
he liked at roof-raising, he would not strike ano-
ther stroke, but would leave the job unfinished,
and he might get hands Where he could! Far
mer White took him at his word, and paid hioBi


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oft directly: flad enough to get rid of such a
sot, whom he had only employed from pity to a
•large and almost starving family. When the
men came for their mug in the evening, the
farmer brought out the remains of the cold gam-
mon ; they made a hearty supper, and thanked
him for having broken through a foolish custom,
which was afUrwards much lefl oS in that pa-
rish, though Dick would not come into it, and
fest moat of his work in consequence.

Farmer White*s labourers were often com-
filaining, that things were so dear that they
could not buy a bit of meat. He knew it was
partly true, but not entirely ; for it was before
these very hard times that their complaints be-
gan. One morning he stept out to see how an
outhouse which he was thatching went on. He
was surprised to find the work at a stand. He
walked over to the thatcher's house. *Tom,*
said he, * I desire that piece of work may be
finished directly. If a shower comes my grain
will be spoiled.* • Indeed, master, I sban*t work
to-day, nor to-morrow neither,* said Tom. —
• You forget that His Easter Monday, and to-
morrow is Easter Tuesday. And so on Wed-
nesday I shall thatch away, master. — But it is
bard if a poor man, who works all the seasons
round, may not enjoy these few holy days, which
come but once a year.'

*Tom,' said the farmer, 'when these days
were first put into our prayer-book, the good
men who ordained them to be kept, little thought
that the time would come when holyday should
mean drunken-day^ and that the seasons which
Ihcy meant to distinguish by superior piety,
should be converted into seasons of more than
ordinary excess. How much dost think now I
shall pay thee for this piece of thatch 7 * Why,
yon know, master, you have let it to me by the
great I think between this a^id to-morrow
night, as the weather is so fine, I could clear
alwut four shillings, after I have paid my boy ;
but thatching does not come often, and other
work is not so profitable.' * Very well, Tom ;
and how much now do you think you may spend
in these two holydays V * Why, master, if the
ale is pleasant, and the company roerr^, I do
not expect to get off for less than three shillings.*

* Tom, can Tou do pounds, shillings, and pence ?*

* I can make a little score, master, behind the
kitchen door, with a bit of chalk, which is as
much as I wanL* » Well, Tom, add the four
shillings you would have earned to the three
you intend to spend, what does that make 7*

* Let me see ! three and four make seven. Seven
shillings, master.' • Tom, you often tell me the
times are so bad that you can never buy a bit
of meat. Now here is the cost of two joints at
once : to say nothing of the sin of wasting time
%nd getting drunk.' * I never once thought of
that,' said Tom. * Now Tom,' said the farmer,

if I were you, I would step over to botcher
Tobbins's, buy a shoulder of mutton, which being
lefl from Saturday's market you will get a little
cheaper.^ This I would make my wife bake in
a deep dish full of potatoes. I would then go to
work, and when the dinner was ready I would
go and enjoy it with my wife and children ; you
need not give the mutton to the brats, the pota-
toes will have all the gravy, and be very savoury

for them.' * Ay, but I have got no beer, master ,
the times are so bard that a poor m&n can't af-
ford to brew a drop of drink now as we used to

* Times are bad, and malt is very dear, Tom,
and yet both don't prevent you from spending
seven shillings in keeping holyday. Now send
for a quart of ale as it is to be a ^east : and you
will even then be four shillings richer than if
you had gone to the public house. I would have
you put by these four shillings, till you can add
a couple to them ; with this I would ^et a bushel
of malt, and my wife should brew it, and you
may take a pint of your own beer at home of a
night', which will do you more good than a gal-
lon at the Red Lion.' * I have a great mind to
take your advice, master, but I shall be made
such fun of at the Lion ! they will so laugh at
me if I don't go !' • Let those laugh that win,
Tom.* * But master, I have got a friend to meet
me there.' * Then ask your friend to come and
eat a bit of your cold hnutton at night, and here
is sixpence for another pot, if you will promise
to brew a small cask of your own.' • Thank
you, master, and so I will ; and I won't go to
the Lion. Come boy, bring the helm, and fetch
the ladder.' And so Tom was upon the roof in
a twinkling. The barn was thatched, the mut-
ton bought, the beer brewed, the friend invited,
and the holyday enjoyed.

The Sheep Shearing

Dr. Shepherd happened to say to farmer
White one day, that there was nothing that h(B
disliked more than the manner in which sheep,
shearing and harvest-home were kept by some
in his parish. * What,' said the good doctor,
*iust when we are blest with a prosperous ga-
thering in of these natural riches of our land,
the fleece of our flocks ; when our barns are
crowned with plenty, and we have, through the
Divine blessing on our honest labour, reaped the
fruiu of the earth in due season ; is that very
time to be set apart for ribaldry, and riot, and
drunkenness 7 Do we thank (roid for his mer-
cies, by making ourselves unworthy and unfit
to enjoy them 7 When he crowns the year with
his goodness, shall we affront him by our im-
piety 7 it is more than a common insult to his
providence ; it is a worse than brutal return to
Him who openeth his hand and filleth all things
living with plenteousness.*

*I thank yon for the hint, sir,' said the farmer.
*I am resolved to rejoice though, and others
shall rejoice with me : and we wiU have a merry
night on't*

So Mrs. White dressed a very plentiful supper
of meat and pudding ; and spread out two tables.
The farmer sat at the head of one, consisting
of some of his neighbours, and all his work-
people. At the other sat his wife, with two long
benches on each side of her. On these oenches
sat all the old and infirm poor, especia.ly those
who lived in the work-house, and had no day
of festivity to look forward to in the whole year
but this. On the grass, in the little court, sat
the children of his labourers, and of the other
poor, whose employment it had been to gather
flowers, and dress and adorn the horns of the
ram ; for the farmer did flot wish to put an end

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to an old ouatono, if it was innocent — His own
children stood by the table, and he gave them
plenty of pudding, which they carried to the
children of the poor, with a little draught of ci-
der to every one. The farmer who never sat
down without becrging a blessing on his meal,
did it with suitable solemnity on the present joy.
ful occasion.

Dr. Shepherd practised one very useful me-
thod, which I dare say was not peculiar to him-
self; a method of which I doubt not other country
clergymen have found the advantage. He was
often on the watch to observe those seasons when
a number of his parishioners were assembled
together, not onlv at any season of festivity, but
at their work. He has been known to turn a
walk through a hay-field to good account; and
has been found to do as much good by a fevf
minutes discourse with a little knot of reapers,
as by a Sunday's sermon. He commonly in-
troduced his religious observations by some
questions relating to their employment ; he first

Online LibraryHannah MoreThe complete works of Hannah More → online text (page 51 of 135)