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Full text of "The Life of Hannah More: With a Critical Review of Her Writings"

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THE 

LIFE 

OF 

HANNAH MORE. 



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OF HBS. 



\ \LrU WRITINGS. Jyd,^/,. 



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! By (lie Rev. Sir Archibald Mac Sarcasm^ Bart. 



" If there's a sin more deeply bUck than othersi 
** Distinguish'd from the list of common crimes^ 
^ A legion in itself, and doubly dear 
<« To the dark Prince of Hell, it it— Hxpocrisy." 

B. MO&X't VES.CT. 

Ok / tke curst tmgod/i'ness of zeal. touno. 

Kowy I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions 
•and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and 
avoid them. Rom. zvi. 17. 



LONDOIT: 
PRINTED FOR T. HURST; 

AlTD SOLD BY EMEX.Y AND ADAMS, BRISTOL ; BA1L&ATT| , 
AND BALLY, BATH; AND BVILL| WBLLS. 

Emery ind Adams, Printers, 

BRISTOL. 

1802. 



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PREFACE. 



i- 



jImEELLED byJke curiosity natural to the mind 
of many I have diverted myself in reading the 
pamphlets y that rose like mushrooms, on the theatre, 
of the Blagdon war, during the last two years. — 
This amusement has been strongly recommended ta 
me by the faculty,' having received ben^t from the 
waters i for my constitution has sustained much in- 
jury in the wars of all sorts, and with all weapons, 
the pen, wprds, and the sword, in all climates, 
among all nations, people, kindreds, and languages, 
in which I myself, as well as my ancestors, for at 
least feoe thousand years, have, with various suc^ 
cess, been engaged. 

In this atrabilaiious contest, the blood that has 
been shed is of the blackest kind, and indicates great 
rancour, melancholy, spleen, malice, hatred, and rcr 
venge, with a total absence of the milk of human 
kindness^ love, forgiveness, charity, and a mufudl 

•A9 



1 



IV PREI^ACE. 

desire of peace. The powers at war' all profess (o 
contend for order and an established religion, yet 
I have never heard that they have at any time pub- 
licly in the churches put up a prayer, or set apart 
a day for humiliation mtuI fasb'ng, for a restora- 
tion of tranquility. It is not to be supposed but 
that from the particular attention I have paid, in 
my perusal of the rescripts and manifestos of the 
parties at war, and which employment, I own, has 
expedited my recovery in some degree, so fyr as to 
be able to walk abroad again, and, like the Swiss, 
shew myself ready for the service of the poorest as 
well as the rieheH exchequer, I muit fta&e discovert 
Ae true cause of, and which- was the aggressor in, 
this already too long protracted toarfare. 

Her ffoUness, the elect flueem of (he Non-de^ 
scripts, hating stdfsidized a consiier&bte >mmher of 
trdops, already arrived and come to action, from 
the territories ^ the Princes Clamor^ Rixa, 
Joci, Mbndacia, Fitrta/ Cachinni, con-, 
trary iQ all the tatm of all nations in diatectical 
war», against the descendant of Cadwailadar, who 
has been basely deserted by all the neighbonring 
Princes, excepting JpGwyr, and Ap Styffmg ^ re* 
collecting the good understanding and friendship 
subsisting bekoeen the houses of these renowned 
Princes and the Chief of the most ancient house of 
the Mac Sarcasms, I hm?e determined, without fitr-^ 
ther manifesto, to Join, with my whok force y to 
bri^ on a getieral action loith her Holiness, to 



PREFACE. y 

,/%^A4 ^^^ ^^ '^^^ «flff«H>" bM glddiis cammtnus^ 
u e. in pkin Englisky not " on our tifitaesy^ bat 
foot to/aatj szeord to sword^ hand to handy with 
^xtd bajfonetSy and s&put an end to the further ef- 
Jnsion of atramentuovs bloody for zohkh xvorthy ac- 
tion I hope to receive the thanks^ of aU friends to 
order y mbordinatimiy regular gofvemmenty hierarchy 
in the churchy and royalty in the stater } for having 
perused the archives of vtty dynasty, for above ^ve 
thousand years back, I haue discacered my family 
has been invariably attuclied to these principles', 
and thaty from the beginmngy government has at* 
most always consisted of King and Priest. 

Dro^ngy however y all metaphor and aUusiony I 
thought it reasonable and expedient to enqtdre into 
the real merit of the parties at difference; and eon* 
sidering that as the fuime of H. More has made 
some noise in this country y to read her works atten^ 
lively y and according to the just rules of criticism 
endeavour to appreciate her talents and genius as a 
Uterary person, and her true, genuincy mental cha- 
racter as a woman. Thisy I myself am of opinion, 
I have done j and in this small volume compressed 
more than all the learning contained in Mrs. More's 
works, consisting of eighty and, thereforCy have saved 
the reader mueh labour and expence in winnowing 
a little wheat from much chaff. 

Ample specimens of her Poetry and Prose tf;*tf 
presented to the reader, the most creditable to the 
author I could find; her doctrines y principtes (fnd 



VI PREFACE. 

• 

practices y as far as titey could be collected from her 
tnvn works y and her controversies with others y are 
pointed outy examined^ and approved or. condemned. 
" Where much is give?i, and arrogated, much is re- 
*^ quiitdy Let not niy reader be. prejudiced;.. if he 
wilt ready he. will meet with the beauties as xoell as 
the. deformities qf the fair one : and if the judicious^ 
and discriminating reader shall be disappointed in 
tlie opinion he had formed of the lady's excellencies,, 
and " high-toned moralityy^ or the justice and judi- 
ciousness of the criticism, let him remember it is not 
the^firsi time he has been deceived in his expectation 
of the . exfellence and the judgment of mankind. It 
will certainly serve to make Mrs. More better known 
than site has hitherto been, and Jo demonstrate the 
practicability qf factitious, for a number of years, 
usurping the seat qf genuine excellence ; and to as*, 
certain zvfiether she has or has not been, according 
to the waggish Peter, *^ a bit of an imposto7\'* 

The principal actions of her life, viz. her se- 
cret calumnies of Mrs. Yearsley, her quarrel with 
her and Mrs. Cowley, and her literary larceny^ 
from each ; together with a bri^ narrative of the 
grand transaction of her history— the Blagdon holy 
xvar^^are noticed. Tlie words Blagdon war occur 
oftener than / could wish ; but as the event of that 
struggle against a powerful faction affects the inte^ 
rest of not only all the regular Clergy of the empire, 
but also of the people at large, it is hoped this ine^ 
vitable circumstance will be excused. 



PREFACE. Vil 

As to myself y I confess I am disappointed with 
respect to the motive, object, and mode of prosecuting 
the war. The Curate has certainly made out his 
case, as admitted by herself and her advocate, who 
has thrown up his brief. He has fully proved, by 
a variety of evidence, the extravagancies of her 
Teacher, which were countenanced by herself; and 
the pleasure she seemed to enjoy from the impious 
adulation of her disciples, in the effusion of their 
extemporaneous prayers. — On the other hand, her 
transmitting " secret accusations'* of the most se^ 
rious nature to^ the Bishop is proved by Dr. Cross-* 
man's letter^ the Bishop's mandate^ notice to quit, 
Dremtt, her disciple, his personal attendance to 
take possession and to do duty as licensed Curate of 
Blagdon, is proved by all the evidence the human 
mind is capable of considering, and which nothing 
less than the utmost depravity mil ever contradicL 
Of all this she stands convicted, yet continues con-^ 
tumaciously mute, ashamed^ to put in any defence j 
but privately directs anonymous publications ! 

As the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Athana- 
sian creed are known to have been two of the articles 
qf accusation, I was in hopes the public would have 
been much edited by the Polemics mutually bring*' 
ijig fonoard, in a new dress, all the old arguments, 
pro and con, with some new matter; and that they 
would have proved their thesis mathematically, as 
well as by scripture : but these topics, to the great 



L 



VUl PREFAC£« 

Sistxppointmeni nmd loss iff the leamedy have not 
yet undergone the least discussion. 

I had almost forget^ and I think it material to 
observey that it is not decorous y adoantageousy nor 
creditable for the established church to be without 
M Knight in the number of her defenders y whilst her 
Holiness, the Non-descript 2ueeny has a very re- 
spectable Baronet as her advocate and counsellory 
a man well skilled in the sophistry of disputCy and 
^ decomposition'' of evidence and argument. It is 
for this reason I thought it incumbent on rws to 
bring v^ troops into actiony with tlie hopes of 
speedily effecting a restoration of peace : buty if 
this object, so desirable to tlue whole country y and 
especially to the contending parties y shouldy unhap^ 
pifyy not be accomplished, and war shall still con* 
tinue, to add to the curses entailed on man, I have 
to request, that tJie Ministers and Secretaries- of 
State to her Holikess, who may have occasion to 
introduce my name:, will have the goodness to write 
it at full lengthy thus-^iR Archibald Mac 
Sarc ASM« and fiot Sir A. lest on .account of a 
sort of prosthetical alliteration my name should be 
confounded witii that of my brother Sir Abraham 
EtLTOH^ Bart 

ARCHIBALD MAC SARCASM. 



REVIEW 

OF THE 

LIFE AND WRITINGS 



. »» 



H. MORE. 



'>^fc^»'V^V 



XjLannah, daughter of Jacob More and Mary 
his wife,' was born at the Fish-Ponds, in the parish 
of Stapleton, in the county of Glocester, and bap- 
tized 17th Feb. 1744, as appears by the register of 
that parish. Her father, who had previously been a 
domestic in the service of Norbome Berkeley, Esq. 
of Stoke-House, Glocestershire, and had married 
his fellow-servant, Hannah's mother, was by his 
master's interest, appointed teacher of the charity- 
school at the Fish-Ponds, with a salary of 251. a 
year, for the instruction of twenty poor boys and 
ten girls, where all his own children, five daughters 
still living, and one son since dead, were born, 
and received t^ieir education. At an early age 
Hannah shewed some signs of genius and great 
application, having more than the sex's usual share 
of curiosity to spur her on. Whatever books 
came within her reach she shewed an eagerness to 
peruse, and of those she thought valuable in cata- 
logues she made a list and endeavoured to procure 
them. Nothing, however, was observed very re- 

B 



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markable about her, excepting a keen, penetrating 
look, an ambition to shine in som€ companies, by 
making a parade of her reading, and a watchful ta- 
citurnity in others. That degree of prudence allied 
to cunning, which has since so much distinguished 
her, began early to charafterize her mind ; and she 
seemed rather formed for, apd inclined to, a more 
desultory life than that she has led the last thirty 
years. 

About the age of fifteen she began to dabble *in 
poetry, and some ordinary verses on the 14th of 
February were her first essays* 

" Now all nature seemed in Love, 
" And birds bad drawn tbeir Valentine." 

. Hannah was a^ brunette rather than bjack ; but 
her eyes were deeply black, keen, penetrating, 
and perpetually, wandeijing and rolling, as if e^ger 
to seize on and comprehend the n>inds and persons 
of all present, Fronj valentines she'ad^vanced to 
songs, and though she had no voice was ambitious 
to be thought a singer. What boarding school 
ediication, if j^ny, she hadl, I have »ot been able to 
learn; but from her father's contrafted circum- 
stances, that probably was nbt a- long time. — She 
was, however, industrious, and contrived to learn 
some French and a little Latin. In short. Miss IL 
More, by her laudable smatteiiing in every study, 
was iiiow spoken of in her own neighbourhood as an 
accotnplished young lady wno knew every thing. 
Their father now removed to Stoney-HiU, Bris^ 
iol, where he still carried on the business of a 
school^ and his girls opened a day school in Tri- 
nity-Street. Here our heroine began, on account 



s 

of her black rolling eyes, aftd hef little pieces of 
poetry, to be noticed; and by the produce of a 
subscription, among the charitable people of the 
wealthy city of Bristol, on which occasion Dr. 
Stonehouse was, I believe, very useful, they were 
enabled to open a boarding school for young la- 
dies in Park-Street. 

In this improving situation of their affairs, the 
five sisters, according to their several abilities, con- 
tributed to the general interest; one assumi^ig the 
title of GOVERNESS, moderated the general con-' 
cern, one marketed, one superintended the refec- 
tory part, and the others, with proper masters, 
taught the young ladies the usual routine of board- 
ing school education. The scholars multiplied in 
a few years; and some small publication of mi- 
nor poetry tended to advertise the school. Like 
most young wonaen, the. Misses More, and parti- 
cularly Miss Hannah, were much addiSed to at- 
tendance at thi Theatre; and their sctholars often 
accompanied them. It wae^thus Hannah con- 
ceived the idea of her beisg ci^fipetent for dra- 
matic writing, and at a loss for a subj^Q, under- 
took to travestie the sacred stories^ As, however, 
her poems are *printed without ^ny i^egard" to the 
date of composition^ I will, in my remarks, ob- 
serve the order of the v<3ilumes. 

Her first volume begins. with detached little 
poems, of but very inferior merit. The verse is of 
the Hiidibrastic measure, not difficult to write, 
, and of the poetry may be pln&ounced what Dr. 
Johnson satid of Fingri, when asked^if he thought 
there were in ithe. present age any ^thbr capable 

1 B2 






of writing such a work, " Yes, many men, many 
women and many children." That she has read a 
great variety of books cannot be denied, and from 
these she has picked and culled whatever suited 
her purpose, and cast it into verse of eas)r con- 
struction; but there is no poetry. In a preface, 
written within these three years, to the last im* 
pression of her works, and not improbably the last 
that will ever be worked of them, she herself ac- 
knowledges, that she does not presume to hope 
that she " has added to the mass of general know- 
ledge, by one original idea ; or to the stock of 
virtue, by one original sentiment. To what is 
called learning she never had pretensions. Life 
and manners have been the objefts of her un- 
wearied observation; and every kind of study 
** and habit has more or less recommended itself 
" to her mind, as it has had more or less reference 
" to these objefits." But she was young and am- 
bitious, and write she must. 

** Morning from noon, there was no knowing, 
" There was such fluttering, chuckling, crowing: 
*^ Each forward bird must thrust his head in, 
*^ And not a cock, but wou'd be treading. 

" Yet tender was this hen so fair, 
" And hatch'd more chicks than she cou'd rear.'* 

She wrote one or more novels, of which one of 
her sisters passed as the author. 

" A foolish foster-father-mother." 

By reason of her sex, and on account of her ciri« 
cumstances, and perhaps friendship, the fastidious- 
ness of criticism was mitigated, and she was en- 
couraged by Reviewers. The itch for writing was 






incurable ; and she became literally a "book, maker. 
The first piece worthy of notice is the " Bas Bl u e:** 
or " Blue-Stockings/' a short poem on " Conversa- 
tion.'* There was a club called by that name, 
consisting of ladies of a literary turn of mind,/some 
of whom were persons of rank, talents, and respeft- 
able for their charafter, who met at Af rs. Vesey's 
and (Other houses, for the purpose of conversation 
only, cards not being allowed. She thus sings the 
praise of conversation : 

Enlighten'd spirits ! you, who know 

What charm« from polisli'd converse flow, 

Speak, for you can, the pure delight • 

When kindling sympathies tinite^ 
*^ When correspondent tastes impart 
" Communion sweet from heart to heart. * 
** In taste, in learning, wit, or science, 
*' Still kindled souls demand alliance." 

In siich poetry the praises of IVfTrs. Vesey and 
others are sung ; and Aspasia, Alcibiades, Maro, 
Caesar, and other names of antiquity, mentioned to 
make a shew. 

Bonner's Ghost is made to appear to a mo- 
dern protestant Bishop, who was pruning a walk 
through a thicket to a chair which belonged to the 
popish Bishop. It is a proof of liberality, real or 
affefted. She, however, as she goes on ridicules / 

mystical creeds. Altogether it is a poor thing. 

With a dedication to the Hon. Horace Walpole, 
afterward^ Earl of Orford, a poem, entitled Florio, 
in two parts, next presents itself. In the charafiler 
of Florio, which is far from well drawn, liberality 
in philosophy and religious charity are attepipteil 



\ 



fo ht( ridiculed. That philosophy enlargeth the 
capacity, and ej^endetli the knowledge of man, 
we all knoyvr, for philosophy or reason is what dis- 
tinguisheth him from the brute; and where cha- 
rity does not exist there can be no religion. But 
taking the subje6t on her own statement of it, let 
xny reader judge which system seems most friendly 
to man, and worthy of the attributes of the deity, 
that which inculcates annihilation (a doftrine I ab- 
hor) or that which teaches that God is glorified by 
having from eternity predestined 999,999 souls in 
a million to torments without end. True philoso- 
phy, however, and the gospel present no such pic- 
ture of the divine attributes. The charafter of 
Florio is made contemptible, and that of Bellario 
wicked, with the evident purpose of discrediting 
philosophy. In the poetry there is little passion or 
tendqrnessf* It seems to be all her own, with but 
little friendly embellishment. She talks of love 
Jike a Dutch woman, as if she had never felt it; 
though at one period of her life nature was very 
sportive with her, and drove her to write at least 
valentines. In her, love seems to be only artful- 
liess and cunning, and tenderness only selfishness. 

, If Hannah More has information and genius, 
(and that these are but fafctitious, I think will pre- 
sently appear) she has not used either when choosing 
her theological system. Her divinity is indeed not 
calculated to increase our admiration of the divine 
perfeftions, or improve and enlarge our charity to 
tiian. In all she says on that subjeft there is a Je- 
suitical mystery. 



\ 



Let m^ here seleft sokne passages, as a specimen 
of hei* jpoetiy anid sentiments, for the gratificatioil 
0f ihy i-eaddi^, whcJ will probably not iehoose to be 
it thie eijjerice of 21. 2s. for eight volumes of in- 
anity, much' chirifaiid little wheat. In the follow- 
ing extraft there is a false rhymie, ^' known & town'* 

" AhS pleasure was so coy a prudb, 

** She fed the ittorej the more pursued; 

" Or ifj o'ertakfett and caressf'd, 

** He loathM and left her when poasess'd. 

" But Florio knew the World ; that science 

*^ Sets sense and learning at defiance ; 

^* He thought the World to him was known^ 

" Whereas he only knew th^Town; 

" in men this blunder still you find, 

« All think their litde set— Mankind." 

ANOtHtk.' 

*' This good and venerable kriight 
** One daughter had, his soul's delight : 
" For face, ho mortal cou'd resist her, 
" She tmiti like Hebe's youngfest sister; 

Her life, as lovd^ as bet face^ 

Elach dttty marked with every grace; 

Hei' native sense improv'd by reading, 
" Her native sweetness by good-breeding : 
** She had perus'd each choicer sage 
" On ancient date, or later age ; 
^* But her best knowledge stifl she found 
" On sacred, not on classic ground; 
** 'Twas thence her noblest stores she drew, 
" And well she practised what she knew. 
" Led by Simplicity divine, 
" She pleas'd, and never tried to shine ; 
" She gave to chance each urischooPd feature, 
" And left her cause to Sense and Namre,'* 






A- 






As it is the obje£l of these sheets to narrate 
some of the a£lions3 as well as to make some re- 
marks on the writings of Mrs. More, it will not, I 
conceive; be unacceptable to the reader, and it 
will be doing justice to the world, now that her 
controversy with the Curate of Blagdon is still 
raging, and while his friends,, the clergy of the 
church, by her secret manoeuvres are defamed by 
her and her co-adjutors, to contrast the sentiment 
in the last quoted passage^ by inserting one from 
the " Controversy." 

** Thus, Mrs. H. More refuses to the Curate of Blagdon, 
contrary to every principle of equity, to every ruleof jus- 
tice, what the laws of the land never denies to any cul- 
^* prit, to the most atrocious felon, to the most detestable 
" traitor ; namely, a copy of the charge, and a list of the 
" witnesses. Yes, H, More, not cpenhf but c(yoertly^ ac- 
" cuses a regular bred clergyman of the church of Eng- 
^^ land; with palpable design to ruin his reputation; to alien- 
<^ ate his friends ; and surreptitiously snatch from his possess- 
'< sion the moderate remuneration of unremitted attention 
*< and assiduous labour; for no other apparent reason but 
<^ that he dared to apprize her of her teacher's extravagancies 
** in his awn parish. This and thus, did Mrs. H, 
** More," Here's Cont. p. 3. 

False rhymes enough — " come & room;^ " known 
and bon-ton;^ " own and town,^ 

Another sentiment extrafted from Florio, with a 
contrasting aftion from the Blagdon war. 
" Wh^^ malice longs to throw her dart, 
<< But finds no vulnerable part, 
*' Because the virtues all defend, 
" At every pass, their guarded friend; 



" Then by one slight insinuation^ 

" One scarce perceiv'd exaggeration ^ 

** Sly Ridicule, with half a word, 

" Can fix her stigma of— absurd ; 

" Nor care, nor skill, extracts the dart, 

" With which she stabs the feeling heart; 

** Her cruel caustics inly pain, ' 

** And scars indelible remain." 
«« For Mrs. More's retractive behaviour, and her people's 
** uncommon virulence, I could not account, nor was I in- 
"^^ formed of it till the 5 th of Aug. when Dr. Grossman, at 
** Monkton, gave me to understand that accusations against 
** mc, which I could never see nor hear, had been sent by 
** Mrs. H. More to the Chancellor and the Bishop, that 
** those were forwarded to him ; that in his reply, he spoke 
** of me as a person he had well known near 20 years i that 
*^ this his letter had been sent to Mrs. H. More ; that in 
*^ consequence, the lady opened inunediately a correspondence 
** with him, and added more accusations y and also enclosed 
'* a letter of Mr. Descury's, containing similar matter." 

One more sentimental sele6tion from this poem, 
with a TRANSACTION, to provc how piously H- 
More can write, and how virtuously she can aft, 
" That night no sleep his eyelids prest, 
^ He thought; and thought 's a foe to rest: 
** Or if, by chance, he clos'd his eyes, 
<^ What hideous spectres round him rise/ 
*' Distemper*d Fancy wildly brings 
** The broken images of things ; 
** His ruin'd friend, with eyeball fixt, 
^' Swallowing the draught Despair bad ipixt ; 
" The frantic wife beside him stands, 
" With bursting heart, and wringing hands ; 
" And every horror dreams bestow, 
** Of pining want, or raving woe..'* 



"-^^' 



...«S- 



€C 






10 

To Dr. Grossman. 

« Dear Sir, * « Gi-dsvenor Place^ Jan, 17, 1801. 
" I have heard s6 much of Mr. Bere's conduct, and am 
so justly offended at it, that I think it my duty to recom- 

<* mend it to you, to dismiss him from your curacy. Your 
own good sense and zeal for the cause of religion^ will 
immediately point out the propriety of it. I am, dear Sir, 
your faithful and humble servant, 

" C. Bath. and Wells:' 
** Notwithstanding the object you proposed, pursued, and 
had appar^nly once nearly effected, was to rob me of my 
character; and although you theo proceeded to deprive me 
of my curacy asni living, and degrade, and dismiss me^ 
aged and infirm, stamped with ignominy, branded, with 

^^ crimes, a houseless wretch, to wander about my solitary 
way, solicitmg and li/ing on the casual bounty of abhor- 
ing man," Sfc* Bere's Address, p. 2. 
We meet next with a short poem on thci Siavb 

Trape ; and almost in the threshold two obscure 

lines are a stumbling-block. 

*^ Since no resisting cause from spirit flews 
** Thy universal presence to oppose." 

But although I commiserate the guilt of the wo- 
man rather than despise her, a gleam of congenial 
fire, a spark of genius, even though it should be at 
second-hand, shall riot pass unnoticed. I ^ill be 
just, even to an enemy. Although I knotr whence 
they came, I like to see them, eveft in theif pre- 
sent form. 

** Perish the proud philosophy, which soogtf 
" To rob them of die powers of equal Abtight I 
♦^ Does then di* immortal principle within 
^^ Change with the casual colour of a skiti? 



a 
tt 
u 
tc 



•6 



u 



" Does matter govern spirit ? oris mind 

<* Degraded by the form to which *tJ8 jom'd? 

«< No: they have heads to Aink, and hearts to fed, 

** And souls to act, wilh firm, tho' erring zeal; 

" For they have keen affections, land desi^ifi«> 

•* Love strong as death, and active patriot fires ; 

" All the rude energy, the fervid flattie 

Of high-soul'd passion, and ingenuous sdiame : 
Strong, but luxuriant virtues baldly shoot 

** From the wild vigour of a savage root.'* 

The following twelve lin^s are, in the niatter and 
verse, I believe, original j and if any theme could 
inspire, the fate of the noble Qui-shi must awake. 

'^ No Muse, O Qua-shi!* shall thy deeds relate^ 
*^ No statue snatch thee from oblivious fate! 
*^ For thou wast born where never gentle Muse 
" On valour's grave the flow'rs of Genius strews ; 
" And thou wast bom where no recording page 
** Plucks the/air deed from Time's devouring rage. 
" Had Fortune plac'<i fiiee on soitie happier coast, 
** Where polish'd Pagans souls heroic boast. 



*' It if a point of honour among ne^oei of a hi^ splriC to dh mth^r duii to 
suffer feheir glossy skin to bear the mark of the whi^. Qoa-^ht had sotnehov 
offended his master, a young planter, with iirhom he had been bred up m the en* 
dearing intimacy of a play-fellow. His services had. been faithful ; his attach-, 
ment affectionate. The master iesolved to punish him, and pursued him for that 
purpose. In trying to escape, Qua-shi stutabled and* fell ;. the master fell upon 
him : they wrestled loftg whh doubt^l victery ; at length Qtia-shi got upper- 
most, and, being firmly seated dA. Ui mtltu-^i b^easv, he secured his l^s widi 
•ne hand, and witk the other drew z sharp knifes; then said", ^' Master,. I have 
been br^d up wifl^ you fwm a child ; I have loved you as myself: in return, you 
have condemned aierto a punishment ol' which I must ever have borne the marks 
— thus only I can avoid them :" so saying, he drew the knife with all his stit^ngth 
across his own throat, and fell down dead, without a groan, on his master's body, 

itamsay's Esray «r Mr itt^ttrnfrtt ofdfrh^n Staves. 



^^ 



12 

^ To th^c who sought'st a voluntary grave, 
" Th' uninjur'd honours of thy name to save, . 
** Whose generous arm thy barbarous master spar'd, 
" Altars had smok'd, and temples had been reafd." 

Pious and scrupulous as H. More professes her- 
self to be, we yet see that her religion, to use her ^ 
own words, is " a convenient one," and that if it 
favours poetry, any thing can be got by or made of 
the idea, she has no objeftion to employ the Pagan 
mythology, not to express her approbation of self- 
murder, which is called a '"/a/r deed'' Whatever 
may be said of the Pagan mythology, which in- 
deed has afforded elegant subjefts for the fine arts, 
I am not so happy as others by invariably approving 
of it. Pure philosophy, the boundless circuit of 
nature, genuine history, sacred and profane, afford 
abundant subjefts equally for the poet as the pain- 
ter and statuary, without any recourse to fable, — 
But, as she has it, " Poets, indeed, to do them jus- 
*^ tice, are always ready for any mischief." 

The following passage is the information laid 
before the House of Commons, thrown into verse. 
There is no poetry; but my extraflis are the best 
the volume can furnish. 

" Whene'er to Afric's shores I turn mine eyes, 
" Horrors of deepest, deadliest guilt arise ; 
"I see, by more than Fancy's mirror shewn, 
« The burning village, and the blazing town : 
** See the dire victim torn fi"om social life, 
" The shrieking babe, the agonizing wife! 
<< She, wretch forlorn ! is dragged by hostile hands, 
" To distant tyrants sold, in distant lands ! 
" Transmitted miseries, and successive chains, 
** The sole sad heritage her child obtains ! 



i 



- '.7 *«•, • j 



13 

** E'en this last wretched boon their foes deny, 

** To weep together, or together die. 

^^ By felon hands, by one relentless stroke, 

" See the fond links of feeliqg Nature broke! 

" The fibres twisting round a parent's heart, 

" Tom from their grasp, and bleeding as they part." 

There is much sympathy expressed for black, 
but not a word is spoken for white slaves. 

In a short poem, entitled Dan and Jane, is ex- 
hibited a religious dispute betvveen a man and his 
wife, about faith and works, of no merift ; but I 
make the following extract, in contrast with her 
good works at Blagdon. 

" How shall you know my creed's sincere, 

** Unless in works my faith appear ? 

** How shall I know a tree's alive, 

** Unless I see it bear and thnvc ? 

■ 

" Your.works not growing on my root, 
" Wou'd prove they were not genuine fruit. 
** If fiiith produce no works, I see, 
^ That faith is not a living tree. 
^ ** Thus faith and works together grow, 
" No separate life they e'er can know : 
** They 're soul and body, hand and heart, 
" What God hath join*d let no man part." 

These are the lady's doctrines, " the excellent, 
the pious" H. More ; here is her practice. 

" You also, Madam, are convicted, by the* evidence of the 
*^ Rector of Blagdon, of transmitting accusations which you 
*^ have refused to substantiate. That you are a secret accuser 
** is proved and admitted. If these accusations were tnie, 
" having proceeded so far, being detected and challenged to 
** maintain your charge, you are criminal and a compounder 
** of guilt, in not substantiating and publishing them to the 
" world.'* Here's Address, p. 6. 






u 

'* In this 3£hk iiathiag of this suavity appeacs, all is in the 
gall of bitterness, aod fiery indigoation. Hot burning zeal, 
cunning and cruel mictme abhoi^vcdJ* Controv. p. 34. 

In a poem on Sensibh, ity, with what propriety 
does the name of Soam Jenyns, however respect- 
able, illustrate the existence of Sensibility, though 
his least praise should be wit? It was thus by flat- 
tery she gained friends and acquaintauice, and by 
artfulness and cunning she preserved them. All 
the men of letters of the age, especially those of 
whom she had any acquaintance, are mentioned in 
this poem, and some incense offered, and she adds, 

** And while to these I raise the votive line, 

** O let me grateful own these friends are mine.*' 

Notwithstanding this flattery, she knew well 
Johnson ranked her with the minor poets. That 
she was obliged to Garrick the world knows, for 
he exerted all his power and influence to represent 
her heavy tragedy, until the audience at last in- 
sisted on their discontinuance. His loss she la- 
ments with teara 

Who now with spirit keen, yet judgment cool. 
The errors of my orphan muse shall rule }** 

A poem on Sensibility ought to furnish some 
happy lines ; the following are among the best : 
** And while Discretion all our viewsrshou'd guide, 
*^' Beware,iest secret aims and ends she hide j 
" Tho* midst the croud of virtues, *tis her parti 
** Like a firm centinel — to guard the heart ; 
'^ BCvWare, lest Prudence self become unjust, 

«* Who never was decciv'd, I wou*d not trust; 

« 

'* Prudence must n<&s^ be suspicion's slave, 

*' The world's wise mau is more than half a knave. 






15 

** Prompt sense of e<]uity ! to thee belongs 
<* The siwift redress of un^mmii^'d woog$ ! 
^< £a|^er to serve, thp clause perhaps i^iiUtried, 
" But always ap,t to chuse the sijiflPripg side ! 
<< So exclamations, tender tones^ fond tear$9, 
" And all the graceCul drapery Feeling wears ; 
** These ar^ her ga^b, not her, they but express 
*' Her form^ her semblance, her appropriate diress ; 
*^ And these ^^xiaiks, reluctant I relate, 
" These lovely sy^lbols may be counterfeit." 

The foUowiog lines are remarkably characteristic 
of her conduct in tke Blagdon business. 
^^ The hint nial|9v<^nt, the look oblique, 
*^ The obvious satire, or implitd dislike ; 
" The sneer equivocal, the harsh reply* 
*^ And all the cruel language of the eye ; 
** The artful injury, whose v^omM dftCt^ 
<< Scarce wounds the b^9wing» whUo it staba.ibe heart ; 
<< The guar4ed pfira^ wbpse.inQSMaJM^g kiUs, yet told 
*^ The list'n^ wonders, how you tbqught it qold/ 

S;iR Eldred of the 3owER soujxd^ well in the 
title, but it is not^ii^g. 

Th^ Blej^bitNg Roi^K> iaa fto^m Bmnded on a 
real story^ well ki%c)Wn i^n the neighbourhood. A 
g.entlemao npaar BrisJoJl, fell in love with a lady of 
that city, declared his passioft, was listened to, and 
they went to church three different time 5, but 
always returned re iiff^cta. Mm More thought 
proper, from her knowledge of the tale, to throw 
it iiato rhyme. TTie lady is metamoiphosed iato a 
QtOQe, from whic^ issues a crimson< stream. It is 
said, that near Failand, there really is a spring- fmm 
a rock, the water of which from the nature of the 
soil is red. 



* 16 

* 

The disappointment the lady must have felt, 
being so trifled with, is well and Naturally enough 
imagined, of whom she says pathetically, that he 
** Cou'd act the tenderness he never felt, 
** In sorrow soften, and in anguish melt. 
" The sigh elaborate, the ftaudful tear, 
** The joy dissembled, and the well-feigned fear, 
** All these were his ; and his each treacherous art 
** That steals the guileless and unpractised heart. 
" The well-imagin*d tale the nymph believ'd ; 
" Too unsuspecting not to be deceived : 
" The conquest once aticbiev^d, the brightest fair, 
" When coriquer^dy was no longer wordi his care.*' 

Under the agonies of dereliction, the damsel is 
supposed to sing — 

" Then hasten, righteous powers ! my tedious fate, 
** Shorten my woes and end my mortal date : 
** Quick, let your power transform this failing frame, 
** Let me be any thing but what I am !*' 

Tlie lady now transformed into a stone, the 
faithless Polydore visits his petrified lanthe, and 
plunging a dagger into his own side, which struck 
also the rock, from the collision issued the pur- 
pureous spring. Thus the legend of the well, 
and the true story so modern and so well known, 
furnish her with materials for a short poem, in the 
description of the circumstances of which, she dis- 
plays more genuine feeling than in any other. 

Her Ode to Dragon, Mr. Garrick's house- 
dog, is a misnomer. The idea is grovelling, and 
the poem too long for an ode. Was there no other 
method of flattering Mr. and Mrs. Garrick, with- 
out being metamorphosed from a cruel stone into 
a dog of either gender } 



1*7 

The Epitaph on C. Dicey, Esq. 
*• O pause ! repent^ repent, resolve, anSend ! 
** Life has nO length, eternity no end ! 

I would recommend Mrs. More to get engraved, 
and to weat on her bracelets as long as she lives. 

The Carp ENTER j although there is much Stern- 
hold and Hopkins in it, I like best of any of her 
pieces. She has adopted Swift's verse, and Swift's 
mode of mysterious matrimony; and this in the 
non-descript phraseology, is called " manying in 
the Lord." Compared with women in general, 
Mrs. More must be allowed merit, but she is 
far behind the first. With Aspasia, Propertia de 
^ossi, Madame Rolande> and many of our own 
country-women, she is not to be named. Her 
books are ephemeral, of ipiprovisatore merit, and 
mortal like herself. There is no line I should 
choose to transcribe for private use, or pleasur- 
able recitation. And when we consider what ac- 
tions, ^ the atchievement of which her heart has 
dictated, her merits and supposed excellence vanish 
with the news of a day. In divine poetry she is 
altogether unsuccessful, for who excelled in that 
department. Buchanan, Johnstone, and Watts, 
and a late collection of psalms and h}mins in the 
dissenting church, is all that can be named, and 
they are excellent; for the merit of both our old 
and new version of the psalms is humble. 

In Village Politics, there are some just 
remarks ; and the endeavour to turn the popular 
mind from a tendency to riot and rebellion, if ever 
in this country it had such a bias, was becoming 
any dutiful subject. But in this little tract,, which 



16' 

Sir A. Elton's injudicious praise induced me to 
read, is contained so much nonsense or real ig- 
norance, that I cannot avoid saying it disgustingly 
lies throughout. Tliat she was paid there can be 
no doubt. No hireling, to render the war popular, 
(and the child unborn m^y rue the day it becatne 
so) could be more venal, or less respect truth and 
decency. Christianity and philosophy owe her no 
obligation, she has profited little from both; andiii 
H. More's Village Politics, they are equally 
unamiable.. 

If she had any regard for human happiness, or 
her own reputation, for truth or intelligence, she 
would, instead of introducing it into her works, 
have disowned the piece. 

She, however, appears not to be ignorant of what 
liberality and charity mean ; ^nd thig reiiders h.er 
perversion of fact, and studious and deliberate falser 
hoodi^the more lamentable. In a work of ima- 
gination, she was at liberty to form and cast her 
characters in her own moulds ; but in an argument 
of facts to falsifie, is a demonstration of wretched 
venality. Although but few Britons covet repub- 
licanism, no man but for hire will deny that man- 
kind have lived as happily under a democratical 
form of government as any otiber. Had she forgot, 
or did she ever learn, that the world owes all its 
knowledge in arts and science, all its civilization 
to the Grecian and Roman republics? Has- man 
taM:ed no happinesa in Carthage, Venice, Switzer- 
land or Holland ; and are the inhabitants of the 
United States, because their government is repre- 
sentative, to be wretched and contemptible ? The 



I 

r 



19 

Writer of this is a sincere and strenuous friend to the 
mixed form of government established in Britain; 
and he belongs to two privileged orders ; but he is 
also a friend to truth, justice, and liberality. Ex- 
cellence, sublimity of genius, elegant taste, emi- 
nence in arts and sciences, are confined to no coun- 
try or political constitution. 

But the war-whoop of party murft be sung ; the ; 
dogs of war must be let loose ; France was a fine ■ 
subject of partition, a spacious theatre for the am- • 
bitious, an immense source of endless plunder for 1 
the rapacious soldier : war is an inexhaustible mine 
for the voracious contractor, who is to be enriched 
by the ruin of Qiillions, to be made happy by the 
miseries of mankind, and for the hordes of the pro- 
fligate and needy, ready at all times to engage in 
any cause where exists the prospect of fattening on 
tiaughter, and revelling in blood, rising on their • 
country's ruin ; and H. More, must also, for a 
mite, sound her hoarse ministerial rattle, shew her* ; 
self a woman of contracted philosophy, of religion 
without charity, of piety without mercy, of know- ^ 
ledge without discrimination, by joining in the cry, i 
and vociferate, with Amazonian fury. Hark f for- 
ward ! Out come " Tommy Bull's advice to Johnny 
BuUi" Village Politics, and other trash, of a more ! 
fatally inebriating quality than the gin of which she 
coipplains; and Jack Anvil, and Tom Hod, and 
millions more, are infatuated and deluded to join in 
the chace, and continue in The delirious attempt of 
teaching others how to arrange their domestic af- 
fairs and cook their victuals, what they shall eat 
and drink for nine Jong years, till after having had 

C2 



I 

i 



20 

! their own heads and their neighbour's broken, and 
] spent more money than they will be ever able to pay, 
; when they return from the public-house, and find that 
' the OLD MANSION, the constitution, instead of be- 
I ing improved in theirabsence, has greatly dilapidated 
j by their dissipation and neglect. How much more 
amiable and becoming her profession of Christianity, 
and more charsteteristic of female feeling ; how much 
would humanity now owe to her, supposing her to 
have influence, if she had exerted herself in favour 
of peace, and against the shedding of human blood ! 
But her innate disposition and her venality, led hef 
to sanguinary deeds, and whenever she heard of a 
battle, instead of retiring to shed tears over the 
miseries which pride^ ambition, and injustice, were 
bringing on the human race, and praying th%t the 
whote earth might be re-christianized, and the king- 
doms of the world become kingdoms of Christ, sb# 
brought her punch in a " lordly dish," and like the 
uneducated and unbaptized companion of an Indian 
chief, boasting of her number of scalps, she re- 
joiced over the havoc, and taught the people to 
thirst for more! This is well known. Not such 
the conduct of the brave and virtuous, the true 
christian. 

In this manner a revolution become necessary by 
ages of tyranny, eflfected without a drop of blood- 
shed^ by promising immediate happiness not only to 
twenty-four millions of Frenchmen, but probably to 
all the nations of the earth, became an object of 
envy and hatred to the surrounding nations; indi- 
viduals, therefore, conspire against it, and crusades 
are undertaken to defeat its establishment, and 



^1 



heaven and earth are moved, and the pens and the 
tongues of the venal employed to blacken and dis- 
grace the very name of liberty ; insomuch, that it 
Avas profane and criminal, even in England, to pro- 
nounce the word ; and the people of that nation are 
instigated to massacre one another. All these 
crimes are charged to liberty; and to these H. M. 
gave her voice. No man abhors more than I do 
the French enormities. 

That this criticism may not be considered as 
malicious, let the reader only look at the answer 
she makesher Jack Anvil give to Tom Hod's ques- 
tion of" What dost thou take French liberty to be ?" 
and the seven following interrogatories, and then, 
giving the devil his due, let him judge and pro- 
nounce whether she be a temporizing venal crea- 
ture. Let him read also the answer to the question, 
" Dost thou then believe they are as cruel as some 
folks pretend ?" And let him determine whether she 
be hypocrite, christian, liar or what. Has she not 
leaped for joy when she heard of the slaughter of 
thousands on both sides ? All this is in direct oppo- 
sition to the principles of Christianity, of which she 
makes so much profession. 

It would seem that superstition had hitherto been 
a necessary ingredient in every, even the purest 
religion. This diftve men to a contempt of all 
religion, to infidelity and atheism, with which the 
French are charged. But if religion were purified 
of superstition and refined to pure Christianity, then 
philosophers would become christians. 



"z: — .t.y,^ 



22 



VOL. IL DRAMAS. 

ABOUT this time Miss H. More was attending 
the play-houses, picking lip all the knowledge she 
could meet with, to qualify herself for a play-wright. 
She had, it is said, more than one offer of matrimony. 
A gentleman on the stage made her proposals, 
which were listened to for a considerable time ; 
but his troop decamping, on his departure with 
them, a sea captain next presented himself. During 
the sailor's visits, and while his vessel was prepa- 
ring for her voyage, a man of good fortune mad<e 
his appearance, and being dressed in a red coat, 
always ensnaring of the female heart, every atten- 
tion was paid him, and love obtained an easy vic- 
tory ; but after a long and tedious courtship, whether 
owing to her violence of temper, or to what cause, 
I have not been able to discover, it ended in k se- 
paration. I have, however, heard many anecdotes 
not worth relating. It was* at this time too, she 
met with an advantageous bargain, by purchasing 
an annuity of 2001. a year for her life, at a very 
easy rate. 

She was now, on the addition of 2001, a year, 
and her interest in the school, increasing her popu- 
larity daily, for money recommends j and her sacred 
dramas, which were much puffed by her party 
among the methodists, contributed to her advance- 
ment. Her bobks, though trifling, always added 
to her income, for the saints took care to buy them. 
Her plays, and her attachment to the play-house, 
as her finances permitted it, induced her to pass a 



23 

part of the winter in London, and the^e opportu- 
nities she improved, by universal flattery, of adding 
to the number of her acquaintances and friends. 
Her marriage disappointment is said to have soured 
her temper, and resolving against any further at- 
tempt to enter that state, she cast about for some 
mode besides writing, for the employment of her 
mind and body ; and religion, to her active and 
ambitious soul, presented itself as an instrument 
and means of acquiring popularity and consequence, 
as well as promotive of her future welfare. The 
methodistical societies, " which are neither of nor 
out of the church," appeared the most convenient, 
for thus she could enjoy all the advantages of a 
separatist, without appearing to be one. 

But it is jiot from H. More only, that the world 
has learned that austerity is not virtue, and that the 
semblance of virtue is widely different from virtue 
herself. Her conversion, which Was then talked of, 
is- yet to come. Her heart may now, for any thing 
I know, be, by God's blessing, softened, having 
discovered that semblance and reality are in their 
nature different ; and these late detections of her 
mental character, may become the means of bring- 
ing her back from a visionary to a rational pifety ; 
for true religion is not the business of life but a rule 
of conduct. 

In the account which Mrs. Robinson, the cele- 
brated Perdita, left behind her of her own life, she 
mentions the five sisters in the following word^. 
" The early hours of boarding school study, I pas- 
" sed under the tuition of the Misses More, sisters 
«* to the lady of that name, whose talents have been 



if 

€€ 

cc 






24 

" so often celebrated. The education of their young 
pupils was undertaken by the five sisters. In my 
mind's eye, I see them now before me ; while 
every circumstance of those early days, is mi- 
nutely and indelibly impressed on my memory. 
" I remember the first time I ever was present at 
a dramatic representation ; it was the benefit of 
the great actor, Mr. Powel, who was proceed- 
^* ing rapidly towards the highest paths of fame, 
" wheh death dropped the oblivious curtain, and 
^* closed the scene for ever. The part wrhich he 
performed was King Lear ; his wife, afterwards 
Mrs. Fisher, played Cordelia, but not with suffi- 
cient eclat to render the profession an object for 
" her future exertions. The whole school attended ; 
^* Mrs. Powers two daughters beipg then pupils of 
^^ the Misses More.'' 

The formal stateliness of that species of prosaic 
verse employed by the writers of English tragedy, 
is so familiar to British ears and eyes, as the channel 
and conductor of heroic virtue, or of atrocious crime^^ 
that the person who ventures to use it exclusively 
for sacred or ludicrous subjects, is more likely rather 
to excite our risibility and cause disgust, than secure 
our approbation and sympathy. Although it may 
be allowed, that virtue may be taught on the stage 
and vice corrected, yet in Britain, there is and ever 
will be, a prejudice with the graver order of the 
people against it. The attitudes, the songs, often 
the sentiment and expression, the. characters repre- 
sented, as well as that of many of those who act 
them, are not calculated to remove that prejudice ; 
and it would be difficult to determine, vvhether the 



25 

morals of the people are mended or corrupted by 
the theatre. The safest judgment is to consider it 
as a place of entertainment and amusement. 

The holy bible is either the inspired word of God, 
or it is the venerable history of a people who have 
been, and are the peculiar object of God's provi- 
dential regard. In the former light it has been 
always viewed and . received by all christians, and 
especially by protestants. To attempt, therefore, 
the illustration or improvement of any scriptural 
story in that measured prose, and in a dramatic 
method and form, with even the best intention, if it 
does not travesty, it at least lessens our veneration 
for the subjects of scripture, and always excites dis- 
gust. H. More, therefore, appears guilty of at least 
an error of judgment, by .the publication of scripture 
plays, and holy bible tragedies. If the bible be the 
Word of God, and who can doubt it, I cannot but call 
that part of her works impiety. In sacred poesy, 
even the learned and pious Dr. Watts was not very 
successful ; what execution then could we expect 
from the illiterate H, More ? There is neither in- 
vention, genius, plot or description in her dramas, 
I am not the only critic of this opinion. 

** And sacred dramas wrote by Hannah More. 

** Where all the, nine and little Moses snore." 

. Her muse is always hobbling and ever out of na- 
ture. Her^iriam does neither feel nor speak like 
a sister. 

Vol. 2, p. 32. MIRIAM. 

** Yes, I have laid him in his wat'ry bed, 
** His wat'ry grave, I fear ! — I tremble still ; 
^* It was a cruel task — ^stiU I must weep ! 
•* But ah, my mother ! who shall sooth thy griefs ? 



26 

^ Tht SjBLg^ and sea-weeds will awhile sustain 

" Their precious lojid ; but it must sink ere long ! 

" Sweet babe, farewell ! Yet think not I will loave thee ? 

•* No, I will watch thee till the greedy waves 

" Devour thy little bark ; FU sit me down, 

" And sing to thee, sweet babe ; thou canst not hear ^ 

** But 'twill amuse me, while I watch thy fate." 

The following passage, p. 45, 46, is out of nature. 

JOCHEBED. 

" But soft, does no one listen ? — Ah ! how hard, • 
** How very hardfor fondness to be prudent ! 
" Now is the moment to embrace and feed him. 
" Where's Miriath ? she has left her little charge, 
*' Perhaps through fear ; perhaps she was detected. 
" How wild is thought ! how terrible conjecture ! 
<* A mother's fondness fi^mes a thousand fears, 
" With thrilling nerve feels every real ill, 
" And shapes imagin'd miseries into being." 

David^s prayer, partiv. of David and Goliath, 
is too long, abounding with repetitions and incon- 
sistencies. In every line is an address, just like the 
prayer of the non-de scripts, vi'^hich is all a begin- 
ning, no middle, or body, and whose termination 
is God knows where. In short, it is not a prayer. 

The sacred dramas, or holy bible plays, is, I think, 
a burlesque of religion. What she has written un- 
der that title, is no illustration of the story, fre- 
quently a perversion of it. We feel, thereby, no vir- 
tue confirmed, no vice corrected, and yet there is a 
perpetual exertion in defence of virtue. H. More's 
merit consists in a power and ability to say much 
with much exertion ; yet she has the misfortune, 
though she affords a little pleasure and amusement, 
of leaving no impression behind, just as it has been 



remarked of my brother Sir A, Elton's speeches, in 
which there is always a verbiage j a copia verborum, 
that when he has ended we remember nothing of 
what he has said. . 

** Did I unjustly seek to build my name 
" On the pird ruins of another's feme ? 
" Did I abhor as hell th' insidious lie, 
" The low deceit, th' unmanly calumny?'* 

In the Reflections of King Hezekiah., her 
measure is badly chosen, and she appears to be 
more than usually feeble, though the subjeft might 
have led her to higher strains. Blank verse would 
have suited the subjeft better. " Come and home^^ 
are false rhymes. 

I defy any man of judgment and sense to read 
her prologue, even were she a woman of consii i- 
able beauty, and to say, ** that is the woman I 
would choose to marry." The man who marries 
wishes for simplicity and female accomplishments, 
not a " It, he, she creature.** 

" If «he shou'd set her heart upon a rover, 

" And he prove false, she'd kick her faithless lover." 

That I may not be charged with injustice, I will 
here transcribe from David and Goliath, a passage 
containing one of her best descriptions. P. 101-2. 

DAVID. 

« Not so, O King ! 
** This youthful arm has been imbru'd in blood, 
, " Tho' yet no blood of maq has ever stain'd it. 
" Thy servant's occupation is a shepherd. 
** With jealous care I watch'd my father's flock ; 
*' A brindled lion and a furious bear 
♦' Forth from the thicket rush'd upon the fold, 



* 



J 



28 

*^ Seiz'd a young lamb, and tore their bleating spoil. 
** Urg'd by compassion for my helpless charge, 
" I felt a new-born vigour nerve my arm ; 
" And, eager, on the foaming monsters rush'd, 
" The famish'd lion by his grisly beard, 
" EnragM, I caught, and smote him to the ground. 
" The panling monster struggling in my gripe, 
" Shook terribly his bristling mane, and lash'd 
** His own gaunt, goary sides ; fiercely he ground 
** His gnashing teeth, and roU'd his starting eyes, 
" Bloodshot with agony ; then with a groan, 
** That wak'd the echoes of the mountain, dy'd. 
** Nor did his grim associate *scape my arm ; 
*^ Thy servant slew the lion and the bear ; 
** I kill'd them both, and bore their shafggy spoils 
** In triumph home : And shall I fear to meet 
«* Th' uncircumcis'd Philistine ! No: that God 
<* Who sav'd me from the bear's destructive fang 
•* And hungry lion^ jaw, will not he save me 
" From this idolater?" 

From her Belshazzar, p, 143, 

DANIEL.. 

"Yes, Thou art ever present, Pow'r Supreme! 
*' Not circumscribed by time, nor fix'd to space, 
" Confin'd to altars, nor to temples bound. 
" In wealth, in want, in freedom, or in chains, 
" In dungeons or on thrones, the faithful find thee ! 
" E'en in the burning cauldron thou wast near 
" To Shadrach and the holy brotherhood : 
" The unhurt martyrs bless'd thee in the flames ; 
" They sought, and found Thee; call'd, and Thou wast 
there." 

If her best friends can selefl from her works 
passages more favourable to her merit, I shall be 
glad to look at thexxi. i 



1 



ft 



<i 



Her Search after Happiness she says sh^ 
wrote in 'Oery early youth. Her experience then 
she acquired very early, /or she writes like a ma- 
tron. Experience, knowledge, innocence, are not 
attributes of the same person. H. Mofe's expe- 
rience, therefore, by her own account, was attained 
in very early youth. She Wrote the prologue her- 
self, from which I transcribe — 

No husband wrong'd who trusted and believ'd, 
'^ No father cheated, and no friend deceiv'd ; 
No libertine in glowing strains describ'd, 
** No lying chambermaid that rake had brib'd.'^ 

Who would wish to see his daughter or his sister 
speak this prologue, this succedaneum for "less 
pure*' compositions, before a large company? 
** Whether we leam too well what we describe, 
" Or fail the Poet's meaning to imbibe ; 
** In either case your blame we justly raise^ 
" In either lose, or ought to lose, your praise." 

Why the draniatic mode of discussing a didaftic 
or protreptical subjeft was chosen, no reason can 
be given ; but, as the Dean said, 

" Like every cock she must be treading." 
The lady must be a universal genius. 

" I sighM (says she, p. 296) for fame, I languished for 

renown, 
" I would be flatter'd, prais*d, admir'd, and known. 

" To boast each various faculty of mind, 

" Thy graces, Pope ! with Johnson's learning joinM.** 

An enquiry after happiness, in the form of a pas- 
toral drama, sounds like a sermon in rhyme, or a 
dramatic homily, or a play in a church. But her 
genius is not of that gigantic strength which, like 



so 

the sun contending with a dark. and cloudy atmo- 
sphere, at length in its stru|;gle8 bursts out, dispel- 
ing all surrounding viapours, into a clear and per- 
fe£l day; or that forceth nature, or the rules of art 
founded tn nature, to sink and disappear before 
her, and that calls into existence a new creation. 
Hef strength consists in the faculty of casting the 
prose thoughts of others into rhyme, and thus 
hashed, made up and g^Ttiished, and seasoned 
with the sound of " Virtue and religion," the cook 
being a female, criticism lost its sting, and dropped 
her fastidiousness. The kcnndkty of this prolific 
lady is multifarious, and her. numerous offspring 
might have passed from th^ pradle to the; grave, 
had she not been blessed wkh a pair of good spark-^ 
ling, wandering eyes, and ^ center always sni<^ing 
in her hand, which when perceived, disarmed the 
critics. Although it is not meant to deny her some 
literary merit, it is certaui she is not entitled to the 
praise bestowed. Her literary reputation is prin- 
cipally faftitious; and had she not made a noise 
about religion, merely to have a party, for she 
thought it was better to reign among them than 
serve elsewhere, she would have been, as now 
she is likely soo;i to^ be, entirely forgotten. — 
Her popularity was acquired with a very small 
stock of original genius ; and secured and retained 
by flattery and cunning.. But that charm is now 
dissolved. Circumstances have occurred to be for 
ever lamented by her and her friends, which have 
made the world desirous of knowing more inti-» 
mately a charafter which possessed address, with 
so humble a genius, to attra£t so much attention^ 



SI 

audio be so often and so long the subjefl of con- 
versation y and of appreciating her literary talents, 
as well as her mental cbarafter. This I have here 
attempted, and alas! with too much success; for 
her writings and her aftions, her head and her heart 
are very discordant. 

Bliss and ness, according to her, are rhymes, and 
so are shade and mead, also er and ar, joined and 
mind; but these are the rhymes " of a Bristol pool." 
Let us make some extracts from this poem. ♦ 

' «' Howe'er the conduct of my life might err, 
<* Still my dranmtic plans were regular." 

Alas ! poor Hannah, both have been irregular. 
Agam — 

*' Not love^ but wonder, i aspired to raise^ 

" And iniss^d affection^ while I grasp'd at pruUse, 

** A fancy'd heroine, an ideal wife; 
** I loatb*d th» oflGices of real life. 

" O happy they for whom, in eatly age, 
*« Enlight'ning knowledge spre?ids her lettered page ! 
** Teaches each headstrong passioii to cpntroul> 
" And pours her libVal lesson on the soul ! 
" Ideas grow from books their nat'ral.food, 
" As aliment is chang'd to vital blood. 
*« Tho' faithless Fortune strip her yof ry bare, 
" Tho' Malice haunt him, and tho' Envy tear, 
" Nor time, nor chance, nor want, can e'er destroy 
^* This soul-felt scdace^ and this bosom joy !" * 

ANOTHER. 

^' Let the proud sex possess their vaunted pow'n j 
" Be other triumphs, other glories, ours ! 
*• The gentler charms which wait on femtle life, 
* * Which grace the daughter and ^(»fk fhe wife, ' 



32 

"l3e thete our boast; yet these may well admit 
** Of various knowledge, and of blameless wit : 
*' Of sense, resulting from a nurtur'd mind, 
" Of polish*d converse, and of taste refin'd.** 



VOL.111. TRAGEDIES. 

, IN a long and laboured preface to her tragedies, 
H* More has exerted her utmost strength, with, 
probably, some friendly efforts from those who artf 
indeed holy, to purify herself from her youthful fol- 
lies, indiscretions and sins, in hopes of appearing 
spotless among the religious; but she makes but 
an awkward and inconsistent saint. Her endea- 
vours would go to prove the stage, under some 
ideal, mysterious and non-described regulations, a 
good school for virtue, yet not a proper spe£lacle 
for a person who turns christian. She is ashamed 
and sorry for having written plays, she wishes it to 
be forgotten that she ever construfted or launched 
any; that she ever attended the green room, stood 
behind the scenes^ or waited in agonies the deci- 
sions of the gods and the pit. She apologizeth for 
having done so; she republishes them, however, 
and apologizeth for the aft-; she writes for and 
against the stage ; she says, *^ video meliora prp- 
boque, deteriora sequor." In short, she exhibits a 
knowing, cunning, wicked & weak woman. Her 
doflrine seems to be " to continue in sin that grace 
may abound.-' What was a sin in her youth, she in 
her old age, when she is likely to be able to sin no 
more, acknowledgeth ; but wisheth the world to 



■* 



S3 

know how numerous and great these were, that 
they may the more readily give her credit for the 
eminence of her sanctity. The depravity, the 
weakness, inconsistency, and folly of human na- 
ture, is most glaringly conspicuous in this preface, 
wherein she repents, " looks back on the city,'* 
wishes to forsake her sins, yet sins again, hates 
and loves her former ways, wants to" be^ virtuous 
and receive her reward without being really so, 
and to be thought holy without washing herself 
from her sin. 

The whole of this conduct is explicable only on 
this principle, namely, an overweaning opinion of 
her own merits which much artfulness and cun- 

« 

ning are employed to conceal, and an insuperable 
vanity and love of adulation, which impelled her, 
as by an irresistible necessity, to live on in her old 
habits, and to repeat the sin of the republication of 
tragedies, a new species of instruction and amuse- 
ment, which, at the same time, she maintains, in 
others, to be sinful and immoral. But she is now 
converted to non-descriptism ; and perhaps made 
her " election sure,'* being likely no more to ^^fall 
" back.^^ The dramas, sacred and profane, were a 
considerable addition to the bulk, and, therefore, 
to the price of the copy-right ; and what vestal or 
monk ever abstained from sin when tempted by 
money! 

Lest my reader, who may not have perused, or 
not have by him, our author's works, should doubt 
the justice of my criticism, I transcribe a para- 
graph from the preface to 3d vol. p. 14. 



t 



1( 



34 

** This observation adopted into practice might, it is pre* 
sumedy effectually abolish the qualifying language of many 
of the more sober frequenters of the theatre, ' that the^go 
" but seldorriy and never but to a good play.' We give these 
" moderate and discreet persons all due praise for compara* 
" tive sobriety. But while they go at allj the principle is 
" the same; for they sancdon, by goirtg sometimes, a diver- 
*^ sion which is not to be defended on ^rict christian prin- 
'^ ciples. Indeed thtir acknowledging that it should be but 
«< sparingly frequented, probably arises from a conviction 
*^ that it is not quite right. 

" I have already remarked, that it is not the object of this 
" addrw to pursue the usual track of attacking bad plays, 
" of which the more prudent and virtuous seldom vindicate 
*' the principle, though they do not always scrupulously avoid 
** attending the exhibition. I impose rather on myself the 
** unpopular task of animadverting on the dangerous effects 
<* of those which come under the description oi good plays ; 
" for from those chiefly arises the danger (ifdanger there be) 
** to good people." 

** It is generally the leading object of the poet to erect a 
*« standard of honour in direct opposition to the standard of 
" Christianity. Honour is the religion of tragedy. Love, 
"jealousy, hatred, ambition, pride, revenge, are too often 
" elevated into the rank of splendid virtues, and form a daz- 
" zling system of worldly morality, in direct contradiction 
** to the spirit of that religion whose characteristics are * cha-- 
" ritjfy meeknessy peaceablen-ess^ long^suffeHngy gentle^ 
" nessy forgiveness.^ * The fruits of the spirit* and the 
** fruits of the stage, if the parallel were followed up, as it 
" might easily be, would, perhaps exhibit, as pointed a con- 
** trast as human imagination could conceive.'* 

** People are told — and from whose mouth do they hear 
•* it ? That * blessed are the poor in spirit y the meek and the 
«< peace-makers.* Will not these and such like humbling 
" propositipns) delivered one day in seven only, in all the 



If 



35 

** sober and beautiful simplicity of our church, with all the 
** force of truth indeed, but witli all its plainness also, be 
" more than counter-balanced by the speedy and much more 
frequent recurrence of the nightly exhibition, whose pre- 
cise object it too often is, not only to preach, but to per- 
" sonify doctrines in diametrical and ^studied opposition to 
*' poverty of spirit, to purity, to meekness, forbearance, 
" and 'forgiveness. Doctrines, not simply expressed, as 
" those of the Sunday are, in the naked form of axioms, 
** principles, and precepts, but realized, embodied, made 
** alive, furnished with organs, clothed, decorated, brought 
** into lively discourse, into interesting action ; enforced 
" with all the energy of passion, adorned with all the graces 
*• of language, and exhibited with every aid of emphatical 
" delivery, every attraction of appropriate gesture. To 
" such a complicated temptation is it wise voluntarily, 
** studiously, unnecessarily to expose frail and erring crea- 
** tures? Is not the conflict too severe? Is not the com- 
" petition too unequal?" 

** And it is perhaps one of the most invincible objec- 
<* tions to many tragedies, otherwise not very exception- 
" able, that the awful and tremendous name of the infi^ 
** nitely glorious God is shamefully, and almost inces- 
** santly introduced in various scenes, both in the- way of 
" asseveration and of invocation." 

r 

" I purposely forbear in this place repeating any of those 
** higher arguments drawn from the utter irreconcileable- 
** ness of this indulgence of the fancy, of this gratification 
" of the senses, this unbounded roving of the thoughts, 
** with the divine injunction of bringing * every thought 
** into the obedience of Christ." 

" It is the concomitant pageantry, it is the splendour of 
** the spectacle, and eyen the ^ow of the spectators: — 
" these are the circumstances which altogether fill the the- 
^* atre — ^which altogether produce the efiect — which alto- 
** gether create the danger. These give a pernicious force 

D2 



.36 

** to sentiments which, when read, merely explain the rays-* 
** terious action of the human heart ; but which when dius 
'' uttered, thus accompanied, become contagious and de-: 
" structive. These, in short, make up a scene of tempta- 
" tation and seduction, of over-wrought voluptuousness, 
" and unnerving pleasure, which surely ill accords with 
" * working out our salvation with fear and tremblingy^ 
" or with that frame of mind which implies thaf ' the 
" world is crucified to us, and we to die world." 

In this manner H. More writes respecting the 
immorality and corrupting tendency of theatrical 
amusements, of which she herself was once so 
fond, and from which she cannot now entirely 
wean herself. Of its voluptuousness, amatory 
scenes, profligacy, its temptations, its seductions 
to a thousand follies, wickedness, & even crimes, 
she writes with all her force, and in the very same 
introduction or preface to her plays, which she 
republishes at a time of iife when amatory scenes 
and voluptuousness are supposed to have little at- 
traction, she permits plays to be read ; it " does 
not appear," she says, "necessary to Ath^x accom- 
plished young ladies y In plain terms, " accom- 
plished young ladies," may pa^iake of " volup- 
tuotisnesSy amatory scenes, andfolUes,*^ and go to 
the Devil, for the " preface," she adds, ** is not ad- 
dressed to the gay and dissolute; to such as 
profess themselves to be ^ lovers of pleasure more 
than lovers of God; but it is addressed to the 
more sober-minded^ to those who believe the gospel 
of Jesus Christ; who wish to be enlightened by 
\ its doctrines, to be governed by its precepts, 
and who profess to be * seeking a better country^ 
" even a heavenly one^ 






I 



S7 

Mrs. H. More might have as well addressed 
the public in this manner, and said, good folks! 
I have a little ship arrived from the Levant, vsrith 
the plague on board, but the goods are of an ex- 
cellent quality ; but, nevertheless, as she is mine, 
and opium and coffee are likely to fetch a good 
price, though it would be illegal and wrong to 
suffer any other vessel to unload, and import the 
pest (ox the destruction of his Majesty's subjects, 
I must have my ship immediately delivered, with- 
out performing any quarantine. 

If H. More really believes in Christianity (of 
which I am persuaded she does not believe a 
word) and at the same time believes what she so 
copiously and forcibly declares, the deleterious 
effects of tragedy and comedy on the morals of 
the people, even the most serious, what other epi- 
thets than diabolical and hypocritical can be ap- 
plied to her name, who advertiseth, selleth, and 
publicly administereth the poison. But perhaps 
for the criminality of this act, as well as for the 
rest of her transactions, there may be some salvo 
reserved for her conscience in the non-descript 
system of Christianity. We know that most crimes 
are remissible to those who profess sincerely their 
species of orthodoxy. She must have some mode 
of satisfying her mind in her crand-scheme ; 
for they make higher pretensions to the keys than 
even the Vicar of Christ himself. 

The writer of these remarks will be happy if 
he shall discover that he has misunderstood his 
author, for l)e would have believed it on no other 



p. 



38 

evidence but that of his own senses, the book be- 
ing now before him, in proportion as he laments 
the discovery of a female of great and noisy pre- 
tensions, but whose mental character till now has 
not been known, acting with so much duplicity 
and on so depraved principles. The clergy once 
censured Pope for his Essay on Man, doubting 
the sincerity of his faith; what will they now 
think of Hannah More, whose priiiciples are so 
ambiguous and secret, and who is detected in 
a GRAND-SCHEME of Creating a schism in the 
church. 

It is always pleasant to see the wicked repent- 
ant ; to see a sinner the apologist of virtue. But 
there are strange, false, temporary conversions in 
the ijiodern world. It is reduced to* a system, 
directed by rules, taught as an art. They talk of 
their grace with vanity and pride, and of their 
conversion as of a change in their circumstances, 
a prize in the lottery, or the succession to an es- 
tate. But publicly to vend the balm of Gilead, 
and poisonous and deleterious drugs from the 
same shop, and praise and dispraise both, proves 
that the seller loves money above all things. If 
she wishes to be considered as an honest person, 
acting in any way consistently with her profes- , 
sions, as making any distinction between virtue 
and vice, impudence and modesty, she will im- 
mediately cancel that preface and her dramas, or, 
preserving them, renounce her supererogatory pro- 
fessions of religion. " Sell, madam, all that thou 
** hast," buy them up and burn them, otherwise 



L-x- i 



39 

thy name^ as it does now, will continue to stink 
in the nostrils of all consistent, honest persons, 
and be what you seem so desirous of appiearing, 
a saint ; or continue what, from this act and your 
former and late conduct, you seem really to be, 
more plausible than sincer^e. 

Fathers ! Mothers ! Guardians ! Governors ! 
and Governesses ! H. More descants on virtue 
and piety, writes against the stage, players and 
play^wrights, as wicked and destructive of reli- 
gion and morals, ruinous to the souls and bodies 
of those who write, read, act, and see the specta- 
cles; and yet she has written, seen acted, and 
now in her old age republisheth her own plays ! 
Whether H. More's writings are calculated to do 
more good than evil, is a question of no great 
solvable difficulty. 

After displaying all her eloquence and inge- 
nuity in condemning all dramatic works what- 
ever, she directly insults the human understand- 
ing, by justifying the perusal of them in the clo- 
set; as if that which she. calls a poispn, taken 
publicly, would be a salutary and safe medicine 
swallowed in private. " The passing over vir- 
tuous plays," she says in page 42, " merely be- 
cause they are in a dramatic form, would be an 
instance of scrupulosity, which one might ven- 
ture to say no well-informed conscience could 
" suggest." It is much to be fciared, from many 
of her transactions, that her conscience is -very 
elastic. 






40 

" Women especially, (she tells us) whose walk in life is 
** so circumscribed^ and whose avenues of information are 
*' so few, may, I conceive, learn to know the world with 
** less danger, and to study human nature with more ad- 
" vantage, from the perusal of selected parts of this in- 
** comparable genius (Shakespeare) than from most other 
** attainable sources." 

What are we to infer from all this ? That women 
with great caution should have a selection of dra- 
matic works, because more is dangerous to their 
mental and bodily purity ; to their minds by read- 
ing them in private, to both mind and body in the 
representation. Are we, or are we not, to con- 
sider her mind, in whatever state her body may 
be, as contaminated ? Has she not written drama- 
tically, seen her own and other people's works 
acted, been behind the scenes, associated with 
the histrionic faculty ? Has she not, to use her 
own word's (p. 44) conceived, imagined, and re- 
presented in private, all possible ideas, situations, 
actions, and attitudes, which " make up a scene 
of temptation and seduction, of over-wrought 
voluptuousness, and unnerving pleasure, which 
surely ill accord with * working out our ow7i sal* 
vation xvithfear and trembling?^' Her who thus 
describes her own knowledge, and tells us she 
has so experienced it, we must consider, like 
Solomon, to have " chosen wisdom," and to have 
gone through all situations and scenes, to attain 
her wisdom and knowledge. Are we then to be 
wicked as preparatory to piety and virtue ; and is 
it necessary to do evil that good may come of it ? 
Her knowledge, by her own account, seems not 












41 

to be compatible with innocence. H. More, were 
Lady Mac Sarcasm dead and gone, I declare I 
will not have you as my wife, my companion, or 
my friend. I hate duplicity. 

The inconsistent lady concludes her preface 

with saying, 

" The stage is by universal consent allowed to be no in-- 
*^ different thing. The impressions it makes on the mindp 

are deep and strong ; deeper and stronger perhaps than are 

made by any other amusement. If then such impres- 
** sions be in the general hostile to Christianity, the whole 

resolves itself into this short question — Should a christian 

frequent it ?*' 

r ask her, should a christian, an " evangelical 

christiajiy^ write and publish plays and trage- 
dies ? Alas ! I fear she brought forth this work at 
least, without conception. 

That her Percy contains a few, and but a 
few, good sentiments, the just critic will not 
'deny. The language is bold and strong, but not 
mlways chaste. There is no plot, and she labours 
going about to introduce a sentiment. Horror is 
sometimes excited, fear never, it is " without 
^' hope," and no sympathy is felt. There is a pre- 
paration for the catastrophe, but it clears off like 
an approaching fit of sneezing, which tantalizeth 
and never exonerates the brain, but dies away; 
at last it comes so feebly that wexome away dis- 
gusted. What virtue was intended to be com- 
mended by this piece, the reader must use good 
glasses to discover. 

Let the reader take the following specimens of 
our lady in tragedy; they are the best I could find. 



] 



42 

ELWINA. 



«< 



When policy assumes religion's name, 
" And wears the sanctimonious garb of faidi, 
" Only to colour fraud and license murder, 
" War then is tenfold guilt.'* 

" Tis not the crosier, nor the pontiff's robe, 
** Nor outward show, nor form of sanctity, 
" Nor Palestine destroyed, nor Jordan's banks 
" Delug'd with blood of slaughtered Infidels, 
** No, nor th' extinction of the Eastern world, 
•* Nor all the wild, pernicious, bigot rage 
" Of mad crusades, can bribe that PowV, who sees 
** The motive with the act. O blind to think- 
** Fanatic wars can please the Prince of Peace ! 
** He who erects his altar in the heart, 
** Abhors the sacrifice of human blood, 
** And hates the false devotion of that zeal 
[ \ (( Which massacres the world he died to save.'* 

The reader will, no doubt, remember her " im- 
pious rage" to promote the present war in Village 
Politics, and every where. " No pull me down 
** works," she says in Village Politics 3 but she mov^ 
heaven and earth, and privately accuses Mr. Bere, 
to turn him out, and bring her own disciple in — 
" to get a new constitution !'' " Pretend liberty of 
conscience, and then shoot at and hang the par- 
sons, for being conscientious." Ibid. 

' SIR HUBERT., 

" Percy, thou hast seen the musk-rose newly blown 
^' Disclose its bashful beauties to the sun ; 
" When lo ! a chilling storm at once descends, 
" Sweeps all its blushing glories to the dust, 
^ . <* Bows Its fair head, and blasts Its op'ning charms. 

" So droopM the maid, beneath the cruel weight 
**Ofmy sad tale." * 



•' 4C 






43 

" She may be changed, 
^* Spite of her tears, her fainting, and alarms. 
*< I know the sex, know them as nature made 'em, 
" Not sQch as lovers wish, and poets feign." 

DOUGLAS. 

" Yes ! here I do devote the forfeit blood 
** Of him my soul abhors, a rich libation 
** On thy infernal altar, black revenge." 

Let me present you, reader, with a parallel out 
of the lady's real life. 

*^ I knew at this time, what lengths you were capable of 
** going in the grand-scheme. Deprive me of my cu- 
" racy, living, and degrade me," Bere s Address. 

•• Yes, I will feast my hatred with your pangs ; 
*^ And make his dying groans and thy fond tears 
" A banquet for my vengeance." 

Another parallel from Mrs. More's real life. 

** A more deadly stroke than this, the hand of 'power 
<^ could not give ; it disgraced my name, detached my friend, 
** invaded my property, and as far as the influence extended, 
^' was meant to preclude me the functions of my profession, 
** in which I had home an unsullied reputation near thirty 
** years ; and all this was to be heaped on an innocent per- 
^* son unheard, on the scandalous representations of those 
* * who have since been ashamed to shew their faces. " Bere's 
^Address. 

Another extract and parallel from H. Morc'e 

Percy, and Here's Address. 

" Agonizing state, 
" When I can neither hope, nor think, nor ptay, 
" But guilt involves me !" 

" But No. 3, you suppressed. Was this, in your con- 
^* science, acting as a christian ? What to attempt secretly 
** to destroy by sap, the character of a clergyman in the opr- 
»* nion of his bishop ! Was there no compunction, no re - 



44 

'* morse ? Had you altogether forgotten wliat ii was to 
" suffer in reputation ?*' * 

One more parallel. 

** The sorrow's weak that wastes itself in words. 
" Mine is substantial anguish — deep, not loud. 
" I do not rave. — Resentment's the return 
" Of common souls for common injuries. 
" Light grief is proud of state, and courts compassion ; 
" But there's a dignity in cureless sorrow, 
" A sullen grandeur which disdains complaint. 
" Rage is for little wrongs — Despair is dumb.*' 

** Your silence will be deemed the conviction of guilt." 
Bere's Address. 

When Fatal Falsehood was representectat 
Covent-Garden, a remarkable circumstance took 
place, which tends greatly to corroborate an ob- 
servation already made, " that H. More's merit 
*^ consists in casting readily the sentiments of other 
" writers into verse." Mrs. Cowley, who was in 
the side-box, exclaimed at a certain scene, so 
loud as to alarm the whole house, " That is mine, 
*^ that is mine," several times, and fainted away, 
and was at last carried out. After some interrupt 
tion and confusion, the words " it is Mrs. Cowley," 
being several times repeated in different parts of 
the house, the play was permitted to go on. 

While I am writing these remarks, a pamphlet 
is published, entitled, " Animadversions on the 
Curate of Blagdon's three publications." The 
authors and contributors are numerous, H. More 
and Co. and they make a vain attempt to vindicate 
her conduct to Mrs. Cowley, and Mrs. Yearsley, 
But they durst not put a name to it. Contempt' 



45 

tible as they consider themselves, afid as they 
really are, they were ashamed to own this Ethio- 
pian. They descend to a scurrility, disgraceful 
even to their party ; and with discerning nien they 
could not better plead Mr. Bere-s cause. The 
author of a ** damned play," who coi^ld not climb 
up so high on Parfiassus as to rank even with 
the minor poets, was the chief contributor ; and 
through an apprehension of being " damned" in 
prose, he fights in a mask.* This, Hannah, who 
delights in ** secret deeds," judged the best me- 
thod of defending " private accusations." In no 
other way durst she ever venture to calumniate or 
defend calumny. Stage whispers were not loud 
enough ; but, unfortunately for her, the more is , 
published on her side, the more, if it be possible, 
she is disgraced. She does not make the least 
attempt, nor her creature 5 for her, to palliate or 
extenuate the guilt of" secret accusations." The 
woman, who confines herself, pretending illness, 
and to be dying, and writes and superintends the 
scurrilous and lying publications of her anony- 
mous disciples, is not deplorably, but incurably 
depraved. And that this is now, and has been 
long the case, as is her practice when she has a 
quarrel, is sufliciently known. H. More, with her 
" damned poet," who is so prominent in this work. 



* No flimsey, linsey-woolsey scenes I wrote, 
With patches here and there like Joseph's coat« 

Who to patch up her fame^-or fill her purse^ 

Still pilfers wretched plans, and makes them worse. 



46 

at her elbpw, and her missionaries bringing for- 
ward their contribution of stories, puts me in mind 
of some lines. 

** In Yorkshire dwelt a sober yeoman» 

** Whose wife a clean pains-taking woman, 

** Fed nuiHicrous poultry in her pens, 

** And saw her cocks well serve her hens. 

** A hen she had, whose tuneful clocks 

** Drew after her a train of cocks ; 

** With eyes so piercing, yet so pleasant, 

** You would have sworn this hen a pheasant. 

•* All die plum'd beau-numde round her, gathers, 

*^ Lord ! what a brustling up of feathers : 

** Morning from noon there was no knowing, 

" There was such flutt'ring, chuckling, crowing : 

'^ Each forward bird must thrust his head in, 

** And not a cock but wou'd be treading. 

•* Yet tender was this hen so ifair, 

•* And hatched more chicks than she cou'd rear. 

** Our prudent dame bethought her then, 

** Of some dry nurse to save her hen : 

*< She made a capon drunk ; in fine 

** He eat the sops, she drank the wine ; 

«* His rump well pluck'd with nettles stings, 

'^ And claps the brood beneath his wingS) 

** The feather'd dupe awakes content, 

*• O'crjoy'd to see what God had sent ; 

•* Thinks he's the hen, clocks, keeps a pother, 

•* A foolish foster-lather-mother !" 

** Such, Miss Hannah, aie your tricks ; 
•* But since you hatch, pray own your chicks ; 
•* You should be better skill'd in nocks, 
•* Nor like your capons serve your cocks." 

By her usual arrogance of assumption, Mrs. 
More (for this work is the production of an host) 



47 

attempts to blind the public as to her conduct to ^ 
Mrs. Cowley and Mrs. Yearsley. The public has 
not yet forgot either, these affairs are known. 
H. More is proved a plagiary ; she has allowed 
it, she dare not, because she cannot, deny it. It 
is no difficult matter to publish anonymously, and 
to tell lies in " private accusations," stage whis- 
pers, or anonymous publications, or by some ** fool- 
** ish foster-father mother," as has been her cons- 
tant practice through life. This is her defence with 
the public; let the public judge it. Mrs. More 
thinks that by having lain 6j/, now lain in (though 
this illegitimate bantling is not ye*t owned) for 
eight months, by the various babbling of her fol- 
lowers, the original question will be lost and for- 
got in digressions. No! the ghost of" secret accu- 
** sations," the assassination of characters, shall ' 
haunt her night and day as long as she lives. I 
would advise the injured and oppressed Mr. Bere 
to this, to pursue her, and her only ; for perhaps 
there has not appeared, for a series of years, so art- 
ful, so cunning a person, that can secretly atchieve 
so much mischief, & under the ** vizor of superior 
" sanctity." He should keep, if he thinks it worth 
while to say any thing more, to " secret accusa- 
" tions," plagiarism, extravagancies, fanaticism, 
the ruin of those who are in the way of her grand- 
scheme and PROJECT of puritaftizing the church . 
H More knows^her strength lies in casting prose 
into verse, stealing the works of pthers, cunningly 
and secretly wounding, when she cannot stab her 



J 



48 

Opponents^ without the least courage or candour 
to come forward before that public who befriended 
her, and on which she has so long and so shame- 
fiilly imposed. I hesitate not to say, that Han- 
nah More's religion is craft. It is to her no rule 
of conduct. It did not restrain her from injuring 
Mrs. Cowley. It did not curb her tyranny over 
Mrs. Yearsley, whose genius is far superior to her 
own. It did not tell her, when she humbled her- 
self on account of her circumstances (which caused 
the only difference, for she was as well born as 
herself) at her feet, from insulting and calum- 
niating Mrs. Yearsley; it did not tell her, " thou 
'* shall not stealy' when she refused to return her 
MS. of poetry ; but it permitted her to tell the 
falsehood, " / have burnt them /" H. More has 
in this act reduced herself to the situation of a 
barbarous Goth and Vandal, or a common thief. 
That she had the poems in her custody, she does 
not deny, for she says she " has burnt them ;" if 
she burnt poems, the productions of a person of 
whom she writes to Mrs. Montague in the: fol- 
lowing strains, she is a barbarian, whose mind is 
corroded by the meanest and basest envy ; if she 
has not burnt them, she is a thief, for it is clear, 
they have not been returned. She kept them for 
her own use, to alter, g^^^ble, and publish in ano- 
ther form.* 



* As she hai made of Sir Abraham, a *' very Abram,'* even so, in like man- 
aer, as the minor poet has <^ damned himself' in verse, will iht now ^* damn 
^ him," ia prose. Then he will be << douhly damned/* 



49 

•* A copy of verses was shewn me, said to be written by 
*' a poor illiterate woman, in this neighbourhood, who sells 
** milk from dodr to door. The story did not engage my 
** faidl, but th6 verses excited my attention ; for though in- 
** correct, diey breathed the genuine spirit of poetry, and 
^^ were rendered still more interesting, by a certain natural 
*^ and strong expression of misery, which seemed to fill the 
'^ heart and mind of the authon 



" When I went to sec her> I observed a perfect simpli« 
*^ city of manners, without the least affectation or preten-^ 
*^ sion of any kind : (this cannot be said of Mrs. H. More, 
*^ for she is all cunning and artfulness) she neither attempted 
*^ to raise my compassion by her distress, nor my admira- 
** tion by her parts. On a more familiar acquaintance, I 
** have reason to be surprized at the justness of her taste. 
'^ The study of the sacred scriptures has enlarged her ima- 
** gination and ennobled her language. 

** You will find her, like all unlettered poets, abounding 
** in imagery, metaphor, and personification ; her faults^ 
^' in this respect, bdng rather those of superfluity than of 
" want. If her epithets are now and dien bold and vehe- 
** ment, they are striking and original ; and I should be 
** sorry to see the wild vigour of her rustic muse polished 
** into elegance, or laboured into correctness. Her ear is 
** perfect ; (that is not Hannah's case, for she has many 
'* false rhymes) there is sometimes great felicity in the 
** structure of her blank verse, and she often varies the 
<' pause, widi a happiness which looks like skill/* 

But because this woman had a soul and a ge- 
nius, which H, More confessedly wants, and be- 
cause that she had acquired a little consequence 
from being useful to her in the subscription, as 
she would not submit to her abuse and tyranny, 
she must, in her usual low way, be calumniated. 

H. More has been uniform in her conduct thro' 

t 



i 

t 



\ : 






so 



1 



life ; those wtia wifl not flatter her she wilf ruin, 
if possible, and by wearing a religious cloak, with 
her exquisite refineihents in artfulness and tricky 
ehe renders the evil deeds consequent to her in- 
genious malice so incredible^ that the world is 
made to beJieve they ** arise from the ijroiimi/' 
for it is impossible that H. More, Who iaf so " ex- 
" cellent,'* would descend to ** secfet ackiusatiofis, 
" lits, or calufrinfy;" stnd yet private accusations, 
lies, and catluftiriy are ptoYed against her. She 
will not defend any thing ; but she will pluck 
the rumps of others to " foolish foster-father-mo-- 
** ther*' any action or conduct of hers. 

*' Tims Candour's ifiaxims flow from Rancopr's throat, 
" As Devils, to serve theif fj^^pose, seriptore quote.** 

The most fottuhaf e cifcurtistarice iti Mrs. More's 
life was the purchase of the annuity of 200h a 
year so cheaply, which enabled her f d run up and 
down after great folks, and carry incense. She 
even flatters the vices of the great to their faces. 
Had it not been for this income, and her share of 
50001. ^hich was made by the school in Park- 
Street, arid Which heitig invested in 3 per cent. 
cohs. dariiig the Amerieaii war (which war also 
H. defended) when sold out in 1785, doubled It- 
self; had it ticrt been for these advantages, H. 
More would now be poorer than Mrs. Yearsley; 
ind froiti her t^ftiper, and dispositioti to cahmmy. 
Would have be^n, as riow she h very general^, 
itd as she sfoofi Will be uriivefsally, execrated.— 
Vixt 6ti i tbht of Siilctity, Mid stab in the dark. 



. \ 



\ 



*1 



** With ihsit siftoofh falsehood) whose a^pearatvce ckartfd, 

" And reasoui of dach wholesome doubt disarraS) 

" Which to the lowest guilt of guile descendsi 

*' By vilest means pursues the vilest ends ; 

** With that malignant envy, which turns pale 

** And siekens cvtti if a friend prevail.'*^ 

1 have seen Mrs. Yeatsley, I h^e seen Mfg. 
More 5 and the works of each I have noW tesid. 
But although the evil deetJs^ of H. More, deeds of 
which the low and unedticated ai*e scaft'cely ever 
guilty, might excite a strong p!*ejudi€e, dtt accotffit 
of the mpstsk imder which th^ are p€i'{>elral!ed', 
agamsft her ; and thoUgfc aH othfeir tinies» I m*y ex^ 
press an honest indignation a^giainst her ^rtiel^ W 
mdwvfktahf atHidliet profiftnsitii^n 0f Mrgiofs iftrder 
whose gudis^ she atlwarf s so sk^Sy I 4tc\9,fey ^t ki 
matters of literature 1 witl do her }i9stk^, aJvvrjtys^ 
granting to her abiiiiie's^ but «© gemus^ niucb dili- 
gence and applicatioii, but ifta ottgimititys s^ I 
pronounce Mrs. Yearslery a w^mai* of anginal 
genius, and H. More a wortkii (sSgteaf dil^ewcf^ 
and (^lity* This I ato cerairi is^ Ih^if litet^y 
character. But it k the meir^tsil char^^n tfi^ 
coft^ptexion of the heairf, the digti% e^ sdtrt, didf 
dislinguishes? the Ifidividufeir. AHM. Mofe*&Op»- 
ponents, and she has had qtl»rfek en^itfgh itt h^f 
timef, eattklidly and baftoiifabiy, wheist tl% fbiUnd 
it necedSdiry, amd discovered What SPOrt of sdver- 



* Not a line that thrUkd my •did' diU f vmf witli in Ramnait^ works ; yn 
I felt hcuTDr at several ; as I do at her conduct, nheB I read hep history f or lis- 
ten to the recital of her unwoithy actions, fiut irhcn I take up Mrs* Year^ley** 
poem^) r Scarcely read a pa2;e bur nty son! is mpv^. 



52 

Sary they had to deal with, appealed to the worid, 
and justified themselves ; instead of which, Mrs. 
More retired, affected illness during the storm^ 
" added more accusations and calumnies,'* or 
wrote anonymously, or stung some of her dupes 
with nettles, to " come out," with or without a 
name, to combat for her. 

*' By vilest means pursues the vilest ends." 

Of the Inflexible Captive, nothing more 
can be said, but that some good sentiments are 
expressed in strong and appropriate language. — 
There is nothing dramatic ; for it is only a dia- 
logue, without catastrophe. 

Fatal Falsehood was performed at Co vent- 
Garden theatre, three nights, to which she her- 
self wrote a prologue, and Mr. Sheridan the epi- 
logue. Mr. Garrick wrote a prologue to Percy, 
which was acted at Drury-Lane several nights — 
Mr. Garrick wrote the epilogue also. Percy 
was inscribed to Earl Percy ; Fatal Falsehood to 
the Countess Bathurst. The Inflexible Captive, 
which was inscribed to the Hon. Mrs. Boscawen, 
was performed at Bath a few times. The pro- 
logue was written by Dr. Langhome, and the 
epilogue by Mr. Garrick. 

The character of these tragedies is, that they 
are calculated only to excite horror, and often 
disgust. 

The following is a specimen of the language 
and sentiments in Fatal Falsehood. 

^* Dost thou not know that fear is worse than grief? 
*^ There may be l>ound8 to grief, fear knows no bounds ^ 



j_ 



53 

** In grief we know the worst of what we feel, 
** But who can tell the end of what we fear ? 
** Grief mourns some sorrow palpable and known, 
** But fear runs wild with horrible conjecture." 

'* ril teach thee how to bear it; I'll grow proud, 

*^ As gentle spirits still are apt to do 

*^ Whea cruel slight or killing scorn assails them. 

" Come, virgin dignity, come, female pride, 

f' Come, wounded modesty, come, slighted love, 

** Come, conscious worth, come, too, O black despair ! " 

** This compound of strange contradicting parts, 

** Too flexible for virtue, yet too virtuous 

^^ To make a flourishing, successful villain. 

** Conscience ! be still ; preach not remorse to me ; 

'' Remorse is for the luckless, failing villain, 

*^ He who succeeds repents not ; penitence 

'' Is but another name; for ill success. 

** Was Nero penitent when Ronie was burnt? 

** No : but hj^d Nero been a petty viUs^in, 

" Subject tQ law3 and liable to fea,r, 

<* Nero perchance had been a penitent. ' 

" He conges : — ^This paper makes him all my own." 

** Oh for a flinty heart that knows no weakness, 

<* But moves right onward, unseduc'd by friendship, 

" And all the weak affections!'* 

** This giant sin, whose bulk so lately scar'd m^, 
<< Shrinks to a common size; I now embrace 
<* What I but lately fear'd to look upon. 
" Why, what a progress have I made in guilt ! 
" Where is the hideous form it lately wore J 
** It grows familiar to me ; I can think, 
** Contrive, and calmly meditate on mischief, 
** Talk temp*rately of sin, and cherish Crimea 
** I lately so abhorred, that had they once 
** But glanc'd upon the surface of my fancy 
" I had been terrified. Oh wayward conscioiwe f 
<^ Tqo tender for repose, too 8ear'4 for safety 1'* 



/) 



54 

** Draw thy dun .curtain round, oh, night ! black night! 
*' Inspirer and coUcealer .qf foul crimes ! 
^* Thou wizard Joigh't ! who conjur'st up dark thoughts; 
** And mak'st him bold who else wou'd start at guilt! 
*^ Beneath thy veil the .villain dares to act 
♦' What in broad day he wouM not dare to think. 
** Oh, night ! thou hid'st the dagger's point from men, 
** But cans't thou screen the assassin from himself? 
** Shut out the eye of heaven ? extinguish conscience ? 
"Or heal tlie wounds of honour? Oh, no, no, no!" 

<* One crime jna,kes many needful : this day's sin 
^* Blots out a life of virtye," 

From the Inflexibk Captive, 

'** dLet honour be die spiing of all our actions, 
** Not interest, fathecs. Let xno seHi^ views 
** Preach safety at the {«ice of tnith and justice.** 

" In laurds or in chains 
** *Tis the same prmciple ; the same fix'd soul, 
<* Unmov'd itself, tho' circumstances change. 
** The native vigour of the free-born mind, 
*' Still struggles with, still conquers adverse fortune ^ 
" Soars above diains, invincible tho' vanquished." 

M Misjudging youth ! learn, that like other men, 

** I shun the m/, and I seek the good; 

" But that I find in guilty and this in virtue.''* 

** I have no need of oracles^ my son ; 
'* Honour's the orp,cIc of honest men.** 

" W^ live on honour^'tis our foo4, our IJfe, . 
'^ The motive, and the measure of oiir deeds ! 
*^ We look on death as on a common object; 
^< The tongue fior fauLt^^, nor thp cheok feunpis pale, 
^' Nor the calm eye is moved *t sight lof him 
" We court, md we embrace him i^dismay'd ; 
** We smile ;^t tortures if fhey lead to igiory, 
** Ani G^y ^aw^rdice imd guilt af^ )us." 



55 

I have alxxxosi: ajwajrs di3%e4 ;>QV^ls mA all 
imagined cjiamcters, B$xd iw? work »Sbtd3 greater 
instruction tlmn real history and actual biography. 
The dialogue of comedy gives me some pleasure, . 
but real dialogue more. That between Mrs. More 
and Mrs. Yearsley, being true, much gratified me; 
and I clearly perceive that Mrs. Yearsley, unless 
it be a little defect in the art of grammar, was by 
far the superior woman. TThat she js ii;i digpity 
<>f mind i$ evident $ that she is so in integrity ad- 
mits of po questiQn. No poem of H. More*s q^- 
hibits sio flQuch genius, or of th^ tn^e poetical 
spirit, as Mrs. Yearsley's Soliloquy and Sensibility. 
The ope is an Qrigin^l genius 5 the oth^r, Mrs. 
Mof«> has (Required abilities ^ by much apjpjication 
^nd study. — Let the poenj of each on Sensibility 
be compared. 

Having fwish^d what I had to say op M.ts. 
More, as a ppet^ J wiW upw .ppncl^de, by .^lipt^iig 
the superior jj,i<^meftt of my retetion, JRefcer ]Pia- 
dar, Esq. .o^e ^ the first mtics of the day;, tp WA- 
firm and j,\i$tify the jopiaw-PJ^ J JtWY^ \OM|pj;Bjiiy 
giv^n of Uer iwefits. 

^« .Mi«8 JJaOT^ laa^y H s^ly tei'«^'4 a :fe99* 

«' W^ ^its pQ pheasant's egg^^ to itiodnciss j>i:o^e, 

<« Hatc^ifiS the ilrds^ ;^ pxetty tropd ; but then, 
*^ Weak vanity ! she calls the chicks her own. 

" Lo, for the l^wrel pf izse Miss Hpiuiab surte ! 

" But N?kture to Mi^is Hannah's heels unkind, 
*' The hopes of honour and of glory thwarts ! 

** Left is Mifis Hannah far, yes, far behind. 



56 



^* Miss Hannah's heels arc greasy, let me cay; 

** Miss Hannah's heels are very stiff indeed: 
^* Her form is lather fitted for the dray^ 

^* Tbaa oq Nj^wmarket turf to shew a speed." 



VOL. IV. 

IN the History of Mr. Fan to m she endea- 
vours to ridicule and render philosophy contemp- 
tible. She does not give him a unifotm bad cha- 
racter; she allows him some excellencies, but 
these excellencies she makes vices. Narrozvness 
of mind^ ignorance, bigotry, priestcraft, public 
good, the love of mankind, and, strange to tell, 6e- 
nevolence, are all equally vices. She describes 
Fantom as *' desirous of seeing himself at the 
" head of a society of his own formation and pfo- 
« selytismj the supreme object of a philosopher's 
*^ ambition!" This character is well illustrated, 
indeed, in her own conduct of Sunday-schools. — - 
Whatever Fantom began with, he was sure in his 
conversation to end with a '* pert squib at the bi- 
^* ble, a vapid jest on the clergy, the miseries of 
^* superstition, and the blessings of philosophy." 
Whatever mischief false notions of political phi^ 
Josophy may have done, the lamentable effects of 
superstition in all ages of the world have been 
grievously felt; and the direful effects of Mrs, 
More's late proceedings at Blagdon ai^d else- 
where, her underhand and subtle n^eans to pro-^ 
pagate and maintain a non-descript system of fa^ 



I. 



57 

natical mysticism, are a proof that this story was 
written with some view. 

I will not do her the injustice to say that she 
appears to have no regard for religion. On the 
contrary; she makes great professions ; but her 
religion, if in reality she has any, is far from ra- 
tional ; it is not the religion of the bible. She is 
a woman of understanding and knowledge ; and, 
therefore, there is room to suspect, that, on ac- 
count of her subtle, pragmatical character, reli- 
gion in her is craft and cunning, otherwise, with 
her information^ her religion would appear more 
rational, and therefore piore scriptural. 

Under the character of Trueman, she has a quar- 
rel with NATURE, which he personified. But is 
not God personified in the scriptures and in our 
daily speech ? Although his necessary existence 
excludes all relation to one place more than ano- 
ther, and that he is equally present every where, 
still that and every other attribute, except his 
moral, are altogether incomprehensible to us ; and 
our personification of nature, or of God, is because 
our faculties are too imperfect and finite to con- 
ceive or reason concerning the Supreme Being. 
From our daily and constant observation, and the 
latest improvements in natural knowledge, we are 
convinced that the energy and power constantly 
and regularly exerted in every part of the universe, 
is necessary for the support and cohesion of the 
parts of matter, and that this energy, this law of 
matter, this law of the universe, this law of nature, 
is God; in the heavens above, and in the earth 



^8 

be|ieath> iff i^U jpi^m^l^le W£)rld^, and in ^)1 ima- 
ginable space. In this )^n4 o( reasomag^ tha 
nifni of man, from obvious and ipanifest appear- 
anqe$^ rests perfectly satisfied in thjat one ppn- 
:Sciou^, intelligent nature, which pervades the en- 
tire systeia. This view of this amazing attribute, 
instead of being a point of mere, speculation, is, in- 
deed, one of the most pleasing and useful thoughts 
that can e^jter the $oul of njan. The scriptures^ 
indeed, represent him as dwelling in heaven, pre- 
paring his thrpne, and .displaying his glory, but 
these expTiessions do flot mean that his presence 
is confined to anyone place^ for that is impossibJle ; 
and they relate only to paxticulap: emanations pf his 
gloiy. 

What can we learn concenuipg God, but his 
attributes ? Xs it possible for us, finite beings, to 
compre^nd or conceive any ide^ of God or his 
existence. We see him in his works only and his 
providence. ISTatyxe and God are synonymous 
t^rms. " Poth not nature herself teach," said the 
Apostle, " Bejxold I go forward, but he is not 
*^ there ^ and backward, but I cannot perceive 
" him : on the ieft hand where he doth work, but 
" I cannpt behold hini : he hideth himself pp the 
" right h9LB4 *bat I cannot ^ee him." We cjannot 
conceiv,e pf th^e Deity without persomficatipn^ and 
though the biWe ascribe^th to him ieye5, ha«ds, 
&c. on accQUi^ of the imperfection not only of 
human language, but of the human inteHect, it 
is inconsisiteat with geicuwe piety Xq coi^i^e^ the 
Deity as statioiiary or local, for he is every whcr^ 



^9 

by any pepspmfication. But HdJl»9fl^ liifiS0 cjp^aiv- 
f €j with natjwe, for matmie, some Sm^ or other^ 
fieeiQs i.0 baye Jad h^r a merry d^nce^ and played 
^er some trices. 

This convenient and polite Mr. Fantom, who 
says any .thifi^ ^he bids bim5 as objedi^tly as any 
of her nine pa,rsans > proposes to " do away all -the 
^^ religions, and put an end to atl the wa,rs in d>e 
"^^ world.'* In thi^ part of her story, ^he has rHC* 
shewn much ingenious invention j for the termi- 
i^ation of war, whic]^ would be a lo^ to iiai^nab^ 
is no natural <:onsequence of the extinction of re- 
jy^gion. If Mr. Fa^i^om .wvJ4 put an en^ to .war, 
he certawily w«o\ild fee the hes^ friei;td of oia^kind 
Ijae world ever yet saw ; *>^ ^9i- we do not expect, 
jsior do we tbinjc »on-deseriptisni will accelerate 
the advent of that iJtessed 4a»y . The Jady 's Somer^ 
set disciples, by her dir«ec!tioQ, proroise war at 
Blagdon, for at Jeast ten years |iQ cpme. 

Mr. Trueman, hoiwever, whom she makes her 
iavouirite character^ propo^th to fieHckristianize 
the world. This eyejoit is deMOUjtiy to be wished 
for, but will systemrmongeris suffer that to be 
doae ? Wm Hannajh hersejf giv^ her vote for the 
abolkioiiti of the athsaaasiaa .creed to begin with ? 
Mo ! 'fbrfhe aegloetiC^readiQgit was an heinous of- 
fence in Mr. Bere. WiU she agree that the scrip- 
tm&& QBiy shall be .the ruie of falAh, without eor 
forcing by pains and penaities, a jbuman 4:onstru&- 
<tion and addition ? AnaoBg.a)l :the ^efbfms she has 
BOt forgot ^the human heart. The pasct she acted 



60 

in the Blagdon Controversy, is a strong proof how- 
necessary this reform is at Cowslip-Green and its 
neighbourhood ; and the proposal is a lamentable 
proof how much easier it is for the lady to preach, 
than to practise. 

Every excellence is to be met with in the cha- 
racter of Trueman, and almost every vice in that 
of Fantom the philosopher. Philosopher here, is 
a misnomer 5 and every effort is made, in the true 
bloody spirit, and in the spirit of the time when 
«he wrote that execrable performance (a perform- 
ance calculated to continue those measures pre- 
tended to be the salvation of the country ; but in 
reality, as all wis<e men foresaw, its ruin) to assist in 
deluging the world with blood, by rendering phi- 
losophy, which in spite of all that can be said to 
the contrary, has done as much to civilize man- 
kind as Christianity herself, disreputable^ and in its 
stead, to superinduce an age of darkness and su- 
perstition; to renew scenes similar to those in 
France, not indeed in the name of philosophy and 
rights of man, or of woman, but in the " name of 
** the Lord," the " grand-scheme," the *^ pure gos- 
*' pel." The same spirit, in the same infuriate 
heart, would soon light the faggot in Smithfield, 
. had not the spirit oi genuine philosophy enlightened 
this land, and law protected the estal^lishment, and 
a legal toleration sheltered those who ingenuously 
dissent from the church. In this piece, there is 
more ^rt and subtlety than can be seen with half an 
eye. It is an effort to restore the reign of $.upersti^ 



61 

tion and fanaticism, in the room of that liberal and 
toleitnt system now established, by puritanizing 
the church, and discountenancing every member 
of an ingenious and inquisitive turn of mind ; first 
to ruin their reputation, and then to eject them. 
But the best reformed system of Christianity and 
true philosophy, exist together in this country, 
and they will scorn the assistance of ^uch a mise- 
rable perversion of philosophy and truth as Mrs. 
Hannah More describes, whatever religiously sick 
minds may say or do in favour of her nostrums. 
She will, it is hoped, impose but on few ; for it is 
not a religion of love, of expansive embrace, 
comprehending the human race, proclaiming the 
*^ goodness of living together in unity,'' but a re 
ligion of hatred and persecution to all who differ 
from herself, and utterly repugnant to the attri- 
butes of God, that she teaches. Her own written 
works, and her late conduct at Blagdon and else- 
where, sufficiently demonstrate this. She is now, 
however, detected as an enemy, not only to indi- 
viduals among the clergy, but, notwithstanding 
her smiles and unction, to the whole order. I 
ask, if she had succeeded in ejecting Mr. Bere 
from his living, as well as his curacy, would she 
and her supporters have rested there ? Would the 
rest of the clergy h^ve any thing to apprehend? I 
^peak not at random, I have proof of what I write. 

Mrs. More makes Trueman repeat that beau- 
tiful and divine precept of our Lord, *^ love your 
" enemies 5 do good to them that hate you >" " if 



m 

'^ thine €t^my hungt^r,. feed him,^ &c. kc. And 
yef , in reat Kfey she who^ is^ ^ exchisivtelf holyf 

, ^U in dif ect 0ipposifi6A to tte^ c^m^andis in the 
character of Trueinan, f<Wdrds Mif. Bere^ sup- 
posing him to be the ^ilosopbey ; fof ^he meanly, 
wickedly, ?^M cfenife^tinely ^ndeatdiffed, witfe 
the assistance of all she could get %6 join with her, 
to deprive the Curate of Bfe^<foft, ^gedi^nd infirni, 
of every possible' therms oi existence, by ^tipping 
him of his go^ri, atod depriving fefn»of hfebciiefice. 
Of this the proof oiight not t6 be broiirghf forward 
in books, but in a court of law. Harie tu ttomane 
c<W€ta. She, at last, get& Fantom's raan servant 
hanged, and blames the French philosophy lof >l ; 
as if executions- bad not been mfore freqtie'W in 
England beforef and since the French revdliitiOfi, 
in the proportion of typ^o to one, thAi> in Frtiliiie, 
though the popu>lation of France be tMte than 
twice that of England. But the ventfl hireling 
was paid for it. And what have We got by the 
war ? Three hundred mflBon iftof e debt, the btoo^ 
of two or three hundred thousand shed, aghd aM h-* 

. land or two in Indisl j a»ki tf miBf airy republic esta- 
blished and acknowledged in the heart of Euro|)e, 

In theHisfory of th^TWoWEALtHY Farmers, 
I thought as I proceeded 1 Should have but little 
to observe, the object seemed so excellent, and the 
stile appropriate. O t si siC omnia ! Me Wbo has 
enjoyed the comforts aftd felt any of the evi'b of 
life, entertained the expectatloils of hope, the con- 
fidence cdnsciotis vittue inspires, e^tperienced the 



6J % 

delights of Walklftfg tdth God, and eirt appied to 
him for the fectHude' of his intentions, and tlie 
patkf of his means, whose highest object atid aim 
Were to be holiest father thaft rich, who has ob- 
served sitid itieditatted on the WAys of God with 
marl, majr htte revel ifi feligidiis and inteflectual 
pleasure. But I had fidt advanced very far, be- 
fdte I observed, with all this ardent piety atri eti- 
fiattied devotion, this apparently genuine sjrirft of 
chrbtiamtjr, ^uch shreWd, " knowing'* intelligence, 
such acqttatiManCe with' the defotmities arid de- 
pravities of the htiman tnirid and he^rt,£ts appeared 
to tfie inconsistent with the ftinocent spe'CulatiOns 
of a female mind, and ^ch as wouM hive isdi- 
cated rather a disposition Capable 6f eliterf aining 
the iinehiiriiatyle opinionsf, <he irtftil snbKiety, and 
the shrewd cuntiing whieh she has manifested on 
differeM occasions in prJtate life, than that mild 
disposition^ thai christian chafrity*, thalt genf le and 
humble spirit, which she so 2:ealoiisly inculcated. 
If het cofiduet to Jndmduals, a conduct that would 
disgraee st faii'er fame, tttA depreciate excelfence 
silperior to het talents^y totild be iorg(Ay <he eitjoy- 
ment ftfid profit of her I'eader would be greater. 
When he readsf (p. 60, vol. 4) ^ Vlt had thaft 
" SOfl of sense^ whieh good meii call euiining, 
and knaves call wisdom. He W*s too fwtfderit 
ever to do an^ thiti^ so Wf ong thdt th^ law could 
^^ ttke hold ^YmLi y^t he wic$ ikm ot^ef ^tttp^ 
Icrus about fte mo^tity of nn aictlon^ wber^ ibe 
prospett of enriching hfhnwtf by it wsis^ very 






tt 

fC 



64 

^ great, and the chance of hurting his character 
" was small;** he who can forget secret accusa* 
tions against Mr. Bere, literary robbery from Mrs. 
Cowley and Mrs. Yearsley, her secret calumny 
against the latter, by her letters to London, who 
can read p. 72, and not consider her as vain, am- 
bitious, violent, and high-minded* 

In p. 76, at the imaginary school where the 
Miss Bragwells were educated, " Religion was 
" not learned, because Christianity was an edu- 
" cation fit to be taught at charity-schools," it is 
intended to praise themselves and their own se- 
minary, at the expence of others. But if they 
taught so much and so refined a system of the gos- 
pel, and such pure morality, they have not beein 
very successful in the impressions they made on 
the late Mrs. Robinson, alias Perdita, who in her 
life written by herself, and lately published, tells 
us, she had her instruction from them, and with 
the other young ladies, attended the Miss Mores 
to the theatre. But in H. More's mind, many 
revolutions, counter-revolutions, progressions, and 
retrogradations have taken place since those, days, 
and her present state of mind and principles are 
not yet fixed, they being indeed, non-dcscript. 
God give her grace to repent, with a repentance 
not to be repented of. 

Upon the subject of the Farmers, let me tran- 
scribe a few sentences, to contrast with the lady's 
prose sentiments, and secret accusations in pri-* 
vate letters and otherwise. 



u 






65 

** Goodness is not a single act to be done; sp that a man 
can say, I have atchieved it, and the thing is over ; but it 

*' is a habit that is constantly to be maintained ; it is a con- 

" tinual struggle with the opposite vice." . 

This is all very welL But the scriptures are 
misunderstood in the following sentences. 

" The change the Gospel requires is of quite anodier 
cast : it is having * a new heart and a right spirit ;* it is 
being * God's workmanship ;' it is. being * created anew 
** in Christ Jesus unto good works ;' it is becoming ' new 
** creatures ;' it is * old things being dpne away, ai^ all 
" things made new ;* it is by so ' learning the truth as 
** it is in Jesus ;' to the * putting ofF the old man, and 
** putting on the new, which after God is created in righ- 
*' teousness and true holiness j* it is by * partakkig of the 
** divine nature.' • These," she says, " are not her words, 
** nor words picked out of any fanatical bo0k ; they are 
** the words of that Gospel you profess to believe; it is not 
** a new doctrine, it is as old as our religion itself. Though 
" I cannot but observe, that men are more reluctant in be- 
* * lieving, more averse to adopting this doctrine, than al- 
" most any other : and indeed I do not wonder at it; for 
** there is perhaps no one which so attacks corruption in 
its strong holds ; ^o one which so thoroughly prohibits 
a lazy Christian from uniting a life of sinjBol indulgence 
witli an outward profession of piety." 

Mrs. Inkle, one of her characters, is taught to 
say — 

To cheat the weary hours, 1 look^ fedbout for ^ome 
books, and found, among a few others of the same cast, 
*< Doddridge's Bise and Progress of Religion m the Soul. 
** But all those sort of books were addressed to sinners; 
** now as I knew I was not a sinner, I threw them away 
*• in disgust. Indeed Jthey were ill-suited to a taste formed 
" by plays and novds, to which reading I chiefly wee my 
'< ruin ; for, vain as I was, I should never have been guilty 

F 












€6 

" 6f so wild a step as to ran away, had not my heart beca 
•* tainted anSd my Imaigination inflamed by those pernicious 
"books/* ' 

Reader! dost thou not shudder at reading this 
passage, when thou recoUectest that one volume 
of her works consists of plays or tragedies, that she 
h^s republished them lately! I leave it to you to 
say tirhat sort of a woman she is, when you have 
thought of all her actions ! 

In page 282, she makes Mrs. Itikle say — 

O ! it Is an awful thing to think what a sinner man 
or woman may be, and yet retain a decent character." 

No man who did not recollect Mrs. Cowley 
and Mrs. Yearsley's trefatment, <?ould think it 
possible, H. More,: bearing so decent a character, 
could be so wickedly mean as to write to a Bishop 
secret accusations against one' clergyman, and to 
her " old, friend," that another had published a 
political pamphlet of evil tendency, when she had 
no proof of the one or the other. 

^Tis All for thte best, is a pious story, 
tVhich merits my approbation. My chief objec- 
tion to my author is, her practice regularly giving 
the lye to het professions. In p. 305, the expres- 
sion, ** This we thought di fortunate circumstancey* 
is improper arid unscriptural in so serious a work. 
But I have seen a letter of Mrs. More's, this pre- 
tended enemy to French philosophy, inviting 
firiend&to &er ^ cmtfeasty^ and grand saturnalia^ 
contaitikig'tiie words^ unbicky and misfortune, and 
5n t)<rftich she teid, ** sbmething ntUst be sacrificed 
'* w • libefty and equality:' 



67 

4 

The observance of the Sabbath is spoken of with 
n^uch strictness and reverence ; but though she 
e;>umerates mapy things which are done on Sun- 
day, which she says ought nqt to be done, she 
forgot to prohibit armies and fleets to fight, mac- 
karelto be sold, and dinners cooked on the Xord's 
. day. Her accusations of Mr. JBere, J[ believe, 
were dated on Sunday! H. More is not yet but 
half a. saint. 

. Mrs. Simpson, one of the characters in this 
sjtory, is taught by our authgr to. say — ' 

** I not only forgive him heartily, but I remember him in 
** my prayers, as one of those instruments with which it 
** has pleased God to work for my good. Oh ! never put 
** off forgiveness to a dying bed ! When jieople come to 
** die, we often see how the conscience is troubled widi 

' " sins, of which before they hardly felt the existence.— 
*' How ready are they to make restitution of ill-gotten 
" g^n ; a»d thi^ perhaps for two reasons ; from a feeling 
*< coiflviption that it can be. of no use to.fhem where they 
** are. going, as well as from a n<ear view of their own re- 
*' sponsjbility. We also hear from the most hardened, of 
« death-bed forgiveness of enemies. Even .malefactors at 
** Tyburn forgive. But why must we wait for a dying bed 
*' to do what ought to be done now? Believe me, that 
^^ scene will be so full of terror and amazement to the soul, 

; ^^ thatWQ b^d not need k)^ it with unneoess^ry business*'' 
Instead of seeking for a christian reconciliation 
.with the Curate of^BIagdon, whcmi she has so 
much injured, ^ud apologizing to the public asd 
the neighbourhood of Cowslip-Green, for the.dis- 
turbance.and divifion die Ijas created, ^the lady is 
9till indefetigafejerysiiig influ^npe^ and solicitation 
with all $be can get at,.pr by .a»y,aiean§ moye to 

F2 






68 

publish advertisements in newspapers, to ** mak^ 
" a liar of Mr. Bere" (her own words) and to ca- 
lumniate every man who countenanced or be- 
friended the Curate, when it was in equilibria 
whether he should literally go a begging, or come 
on his parish. All this will be proved whenever 
Mrs. More dares publicly to call for it, and per- 
haps without any solicitation on her part. 

A Cure for Melancholy, a story in which 
employment, something to do, is recommended as 
the best prescription for preserving health of body 
and mind, and various means of doing good are 
pointed out. Alas! Alas! the ghost of " secret 
accusations against one clergyman," and ** mali- 
cious lies" invented and propagated against 
another, as I am most credibly informed, which 
help, with some charitable deeds and religious 
writings to fill up her time, will as long as she 
lives haunt her mind, and furnish me -with an 
eternal sarcasm whenever her name is mentioned. 
All would be well donei^ if she had not been af- 
flicted with an incurable maliciousness against all 
who happen to cross her paths, and sometimes, 
unaccountably, against some who have had no 
opportunity or inclination of giving her any sort 
of offence. 

Under this head working schools are recom- 
mended, and plans sketched out, as conducted by 
Mrs. Jones, an imaginary character. These I 
think must be useful, if well governed. 

Sunday schools have existed now near 20 
years,, and were first introduced by Mr. Raikes, 



69 

#f Glocester. Pious persons, or persons profes- 
sing to be pious, in different parts of the country, 
not only encouraged these institutions in their 
own parishes and neighbourhood, but in some in- 
stances took upon themselves the charge of disse- 
minating the knowledge of them, and establishing 
them in distant parishes, using every means pos- 
sible to plant schools in all populous neighbour- 
hoods. Of this description is Mrs. H. More, 
who has laboured with great assiduity to extend 
Sunday schools far and wide. Here I will attend 
only to her own account of the institution and go- 
vernment of these schools under this title, defer- 
ring my opinion of their utility until I come to 
notice them under the article of nte Blagdon 
controversy. 
• Mrs. More then says — 

" She would not discourage them, even from views of 
'* mere worldly policy ; that it is something gained to res- 
'* cue children from idling away their Sabbath in the fields 
*' or streets j it is no small thing to keep them from thosp 
tricks to which a day of leisure tempts the idle and the 
ignorant ; it is something for them to be taught to read, 
to read the bible, and to be carried regularly to church. 
** But all this is not enough. To bring them to answer 
" their higho^t end can only be effected by God's blessing 
^* on the best directed mqans, the choice of able teachers, 
** and a diligent attention in some pious gentry to visit and 
**. inspect tlie schools." 

' To all this I cordially agree, if education can- 
not be had otherwise, which if they do noj, naust 
b^ the people's own faijilt, or that of their rulers ^ 
for iu that parVof his Majesty's.dominions where 



ii 



70 

my estate lies, we have parochial schools, to whtctf 
the poor are easily admitted, established by the 
legislature. The requisites, we are told, for a 
well qualified master or mistress, are good sense, 
dctiviti/y and piety. All this is very well so far.— • 
The cheap repository is mentioned, as sending 
forth a great variety of little tracts suited to the 
young, and to counteract the influx of Jacobinical 
and atheistical pamphlets. I declare, I never met 
with such books in this country ! 

The incident of a group (p. 384) of young fe- 
males listening to a blind fidler, is here said to 
have suggested the idfea of instructing adults also 
at the Suiiday schools, in the evenings, after the 
business of the dairy and serving tht cattle is over, 
where the scriptures are to be explained, and 
even the parents to be admitted, that they may 
learn how to instruct and expound to their oWn 
families. 

The Pilgrims, is an attempt at an allegorical 
description of human life ; but it is very inferior 
to that of John Bunyan. It is, for it could not be 
otherwise, a pious performance, and may be use- 
fill ; neither is it my inclination or wish, to refuse 
my full approbation to whatever has a tendency 
to improve morals, to afford instruction, or to edify 
in religious principles. Here tio peculistr eccen- 
tricities appear. 

The Valley of Tears, is andther allegory on 
human life, founded on a paper in Addison's Spec- 
tator, in the execution of which, if there be not 
much to cotntnend, as its object is religious, I find 
little to censure. 



«tm I t - 



.. >* 



71 

The Neqro Sl ave Tr a^:^^ is h^re introduced 
and great praise is bestowejtjlc, on the minority on 
that question in the House of ComnjiQn^^ and 
their determined perseverance, in renewing theif 
appKcations and exertions for attaining their end. 
No mention, however, is made of white, olive, or 
copper-coloured slaves ; nor any approbation ex- 
pressed of that French Convention, which, as by 
one acclamation, decreed tbe : whok race free, 
Notwithstanding all the horrors which ag^pm* 
panied a period of the revolution, philanthropy 
almost tempts me to say, I hope not indiscreetly, 
now we have a peace, that one gcKilike afctin the 
eye of justice, remunerates, and will remunerate 
them for their losses and sufferings, and thab the 
conduct of that assembly of atheist's, as Hannah 
and many others in this country, balled them, 
does, in that respect, disgracie that of our Bridsh 
christian senate . Upon these, and such questiohS| 
Wm. Pitt knew that it was safe to vote for their 
emancipation, because the dealers in blade njen 
were powerful in the house, and that he should 
see himself agreeably left in a ihirtority, and by 
that manoeuvre preserve his popularity, and, on 
that subject, the good opinion of both parties. 

I heartily agree with Mrs. More, whefn she says, 
vol. 4, p. 433, that 

It was a melancholy sight to see multitudeg of travel* 
lers (the journey of lifej heedlessly pacing on, boasting 
" they had light enough of their own, 9nd despising thr 
*^ ofF^r of more. But what astonished me most of 4tl^a^ 
** to sec many, and some of them tqq accounted mea of 
'^ tir^t rate i;^i^ actually busy 'm blo^ipg out their owa 



c< 



/ 



fL^-fjF.^ 



72 

" light (conscience) because While any spark of it remained, 
♦* it only served to torment them, and point out things which 
*< they did not wish to see. And having once blown out 
" their ovm lights they were not easy till they had blown 
** out that of dieir neighbours also ; so that a good part of 
^< the wilderness seemed to exhibit a sort of universal blind- 
*' marCs huffy each endeavouring to catch his neighbour, 
** while his own voluntary blindness exposed him to be 
'* caught himself; so that each was actually falling into 
** the snare* he was laying for another, till at length, as 
'< selfishness is the nSitural consequence of blindness, ^ catch 
^^ he that catch can^ bocanie the general motto of the 
<* wilderne$s," 

Th6 lady clearly illustrates this phenomenon in 
the human character, by her own conduct in pro- 
selytism, and qs a person of some " wity' " actually 
**' busied" in ff lowing out her own light, that she may 
not see. by its internal reflection the heinousness 
of her " evil deedi," viz. accusing the brethren in 
pHvate letters, secret accusfations, defamation, evil 
and scandalous reports. She is now literally play- 
ing " blind-man's buff," to save some remains of 
her holiness, and privately hires men of servile 
miiids publicly to vouch for her, she herself lurk- 
ing behind the scene j so that she has fallen into 
the. snare .^he was laying for others, by her *^ catch 
" he that, catch can" And as Sir A. expressed it, 
" reports are abroad" that her mind now torments 
her, her conscience being roused, and that shehas 
been seen, like a tragedy queen (acting perhaps 
one of the female characters in her own plays) 
tearing her shawl in a paroxysm of rage, and 
trampling it under her foot. Be that as it may; 
X pray het cons^ien(?Q may turn her the right 




' 73 

way, that she may " rend her hoart and not her 
'• garnif nt." 

" Now I saw (ibidem) that there were some others who 
" were busy in strewing the most gaudy flowers over the 
" numecons bogs, and precipices, and pit-falls, with which 
" the wilderness abounded; and thus making danger and death 
'' looksogay, diat poor thoughtless creaturesseemed to delight' 
" in their own destruction. Those pit-falls did not appear 
' ' deep or dangerous to the eye, because over them were raised 
*' gay edifices (the theatre and opera : with as great propriety 
*' might any actress or opera girl preach and write against 
" plays as H. More) with alluring names. These were 
" 6Ued with singing men and singing women, and with 
" dancing, and feasting, and gaming, and drinking, and 
*' jollity, and madness. But though the scenery was gay, 
" the footing was unsound. The floors were full of holes, 
" through which die unthinking merry-makers were coi^- 
" tinually sinking. Some tumbled through in the middle 
*' of a song ; more at the end of a feast ; and thoagh there 
" was many a cup of intoxication wreathed round with 
" flowers, yet there was always poison at the bottom." 

Reader ! " what need have you of more wit- 
" nessee?" H. More, who thus preaches against 
theatrical amusements and pleasures, has, in the 
3d vol. of her works, published several plays, that 
could not be acted without the accompaniments 
she here reprobates. She herself, formerly, viewed 
and directed the spenery, the actions, and partook 
of the " voluptuousness" she describes, when her 
plays were acted at Drury-Lane, Covent-Garden, 
and Bath j and to the representation of which, and 
of other less chaste plays, their scholars, young 
ladies, were led by her and her sisters. She sells 
poison from one part of her shop, and an antidote 



14 

from the other. What are we to ooficiud^ from 
all this bustle of writing and publishing^ plays, 
and poems, and songs, and censure^ and sermons 
against plays, and a vindication of the iiuiocence 
of the drama, but that it is all for money, for feme ! 
She may use the motto on an old bode stall, " To 

" BE SOLD " BOOKS of DIVINITY and BOOKS of 

** diversion!!" , 

In her continuation of the allegory of human 
life, the lady has had another vision she says, and on 
that account, and for many other reasons, she cer- 
tainly merits the title of visionary y which she calls 
the ** straight gate and the broAd way." 
Through this world, her " land of misery," two 
Vays lay leading, but must pass through a " d ar k 

" SHADOWY valley,**' tO the *^ HAPPY LAND;" 

the one the broad, tempting way, the other 
the narrow way. The map and road book, are 
the holy scriptures. The beacons and light 
HOUSES, are the teachers of religion. The narrow 
road was difficult and roughs but infallibly safe ; 
medio tutissimus ibis, and had its comforts and 
pleasures. The broad way was tempting, with 
gaudy flowers and luxurious fruits. The travel- 
lers this^ Way, she says, write books and plays (as 
she has done) and paint and sing, and dance and 
drink, as they go along, and seem remarkably 
fond of red sheep,, and Eldorado pebbles, with 
which, and flowers, they so load themselves, when 
they can scramble enough of them, that they can 
scarcely move forwards. On this road, she tells 
tis, are a great many MENrtraps, and spring-guns ! ! 



is 

She describes a party, of neither h&t nor Cdtd^ who 
,split ai direction, trtfst in the Lord, and* be doing 
^ood, i. t. pervert the scripture, and because they 
will be saved their oWtt Way, take the first clause, 
I. e. tttfst in the-Lbtd, a[nd elect fheniselves, and 
leave others to strive and perform good works. 
These self-elected, are described as often bodst- 
ing of their own inward bright burning light, in 
order to get the praises of men. The piece ends 
with few entering in at the straight gate, and mul- 
titudes, the bulk of the human species, going in 
at the broad way to *^ everlarsting chains and pe- 
*^ nal fire." She is much afraid of fat people en- 
tering in at the narrow gatte, and thinks lean folks 
have a better chance. It reminds me of a good- 
naturied, honest and worthy curate, who, though 
his salary was small, thrived so well on it; that by 
the *^ blessing of Grod," as he said, he was in as 
good a -condition as if be had be«ii ^ pluralist.— » 
He told me, that one Sunday moaning he rode 
into the country fo do duty for a friend> and hav* 
ing an imperfect ideii of the way, coming to a 
place where the road divided into two, the one 
wide and the other naito^, he e Jiquired of a Jank, 
black-haired, undertafc^^r-lool^ng man, whom he 
just then overtook, and afterwards learned was a 
methodisft preacher, th6 way to Si. Mary's ; was 
answered, after stcfdfestly looking at hiip^*^ Sir, 
** th€ SROAD WAY is yourroad!. the BROAD way, 
" Sir, the broad wayT 

Parley the Porter, is andther allegory, of 
the same complexion. A castle in a garden, in 



76 

the middle of a wilderness, is entrusted to ser- 
vants. In the wilderness live a vast number of 
robbers, desirous of surprizing the castle, which 
was entrusted to his servants by their lord, who 
took a journey into a far country. The castle is 
the soul and heart of man. The robbers are the 
various passions and pleasures of life. The castle 
at last, like every lady and castle that is besieged, 
is taken. This is the le^st valuable of the whole. 



VOL V. 

THIS is a volume of stories, moral and reli 
gious ; but the religion is frequently puritanical, 
and there is much cant. In these stories, whose 
general object is laudable, there is nothing more 
remarkable than the author's facility of producing 
them, and the address, if it be true, with whiq^ 
she has been able to sell them. But two causes 
explain this; she had the pay and assistance of 
administration; and it has lately been observed, 
that the body of the people is fast methodizing. 
To be just, however, I have sometimes met in 
them with some feelings of rational piety, which 
gave me delight; and I should feel still higher 
pleasure, did I npt know that H. More's heart 
^nd writings are, alas! at variance. 

When we consider the celebrity of her noisy 
piety, and the wide spread fame of her steward- 
ship for men of charity, who have both the ability 
and inclination to bestow, every act of which has^, 



K _ i_ 



_._l.._. 



77 

as by a " trumpet sound/' been sent from post to 
post over the nation, and which by mistake has 
been solely ascribed to herself; when I reflect 
on what I have read, what I have read or know 
of her respecting Mrs. Cowley, Mrs. Yearsley, 
and Mr. Bere, and others who never gave her any 
provocation, I am tempted to compare her senti- 
ments and writings with her conduct, her head 
with her heart, her speech with her behaviour, 
and to enquire, whether her reputation be real or 
factitious. Let then her acknowledged literary 
attainments, her professions of moral excellence, 
her avowed scrupulous integrity, her religious 
zeal, her mild demeanour, her devotional aspect, 
her ardent piety, and the numerous little alms- 
deeds of her stewardship, and the following quo- 
tations, be by the reader's judgment weighed 
against her " private accusations,"" her unchari- 
table surmises of the c^hduct and sentiments of 
others, her exclusion from life eternal of those 
who differ from her in opinion, her defamation, 
by inventing and propagating false reports of 
those with whom she is scarcely acquainted, her 
general censure of the ministers of religion, her 
wicked, subtle, artful, and secret plots to assas- 
sinate the reputation of the Curate of Blagdon, 
whom she maliciously purposed to deprive of his 
bread, and of the means of procuring it any where 
else, in which she has been detected, and of 
which she now stands convicted before the pub- 
lic, the punishment for which, from the laws of 
her country, she hitherto escaped onjy by her cun- 



76 

ning aodtheffN-otection of friends to, ber designs; 
. tod then, according to his own. sense of virtue and 
vice, apply the epithets pf excellent or vile. 

<< FcM- he never ti^avelled on a Sonday without such a re^- 
" son as he m^ht be able to produce at the day of judg- 
" m^nti" Fqr though the * Shepherd of Salisbury 
** Plain' was so low in the world, this gentleman was not 
<* above entering very closely into his character, of which 
** he thought he should be able to form a better judgment, 
** by seeing whcfther his practice at home kept pace with his 
** pr^essions abroad : for it is not so much by observing 
*< how people talk,, as how they live, that we oyght tq judge 
" of their character.'* P. 33, 34, vol. 5. 

There are frailties and peccadillos, alas ! in all 
human characters ; but the heart that is capable 
of devising ^aplot, and attenipting to reduce to 
infamy, and want the Curate of Blagdpn^ ^ ge^- 
tleman of refined feeiings and sittic ideas, as t^e 
. writer believes, and of strict and scrupulous inte- 
• grity, whose soul would shudder, at the thought of 
doing so base an act, to any other person, unitqd 
to an amiable partner by mutual affection and 
esteem -, that heart, I say, .has more of the flagitiqvis 
female depicted in tragedy, than the aqiii^ble one 
on which H.. More has surreptitiously seized and 
appropriated to hersplf. Jn short, she is a book- 
maker, and a methpdistical preacher: preachers do 
not always practise, and authors, whose business 
it is only to write, think not themselves bound to 
act the character of their heroes. 

** But th^ great gift, the mighty bribe, 
*< Which satan pours amid the tribe, 
'* 'Which millions seize with eager haste, 
^^An4 aU desire at least t» taste. 



79 

««Is^-rploddiag reader'! What d^ye diink ? 
*< Alas ] 'tis inoney-^money — chink ! 

In allegoriesj Mrs. More is by no means happy. 
The object is, however, apparently. good, and cri- 
ticism therefore ioseth her sting. It is her con- 
duct'her " secret tnalicious deeds," I would most 
severely censure ; but these will all be reviewed 
at the 'g^rand assizes, and "private malice," as 
well as private stealing, and " secret vanity of 
" mind," shall be puiiished by the Supreme. Judge, 
at whose tribunal no culprit shall be favoured. 

In this volume are some other stories and poor 
allegories, of little value. In the Two Shoe- 
makers, the pious one is made to prosper in his 
woridly affairs, as she makes all the converted 
uniformly to get forwards, proving godliness, at 
least in this world, to be great gain ; and the 
other, who was wicked, dies as he lived, unhappy. 

The good shoemaker, James Stock, is, on a 
/ certain occasion, taught to say, " I mu^t not pre- 
tend to call myself a christian, if I do rtot requite 
evil with good." Amiable H.'More ! so ! the 
Curate of Blagdon admitted you to have a footing 
in his parish, and in obedieilce to this rule, you 
endeavoured he should foot it out of the parish, 
and you and your disciple take " his ofBce !" Ergo, 
you are a non-descript christian ! This is being 
Yorkshire indeed ! 

'a tong dialogue is carried on betweei;i the 
shoemaker Stock, and his man "Will, in which 
Will, though olot learned, displays his morality 
atid fchriitian^ bilief s yet Srock telb him (vol 5, 






€< 



80 

p/ld4, 195) it is not enough, it is not being a chris^ 
tiauy something is declared to be wanting ; they 
reason long in a circle, to prove Christianity is 
something not described ; it is not morality, nor 
virtue, nor doing good, and the dialogue ends. 
Will being still in the dark, as to what ** vital, 
" genuine Christianity" is. 

Songs, thought harmless, are here forbidden. 

*^ Bring the flask, the musicbring, 

^^ Joy shall quickly find us, 
*^ Drink and dance, and laugh and sing« 

^^ And cast dull care behind us." 

are " sensual and devilish," and inconsistent with 
the austerity of her system. I really thinkthis song 
may be very innocently sung, much more so, than 
even mentioning " the famous ode of Horace." 
But Mrs. H. More is much more extensively read 
in obscenity than I am, for I never heard nor read 
the song she here mentions, as " Which is the 
" best day to drink — Sunday, Monday, Tuesday^ 
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday ?" 

** Drink and drive care away, 

" Drink and be merry ; 
** You will ne'er go the sooner 

" To die Stygian ferry." 

And — <* A plague on those musty old lubbers, 
** Who teach us to fast and to think." 

I have heard once or tyvice ; but as my religion is 
love," and " charity," so I like best a *^ love 
song;" and Lady Mac Sarcasm tells me, she is 
not so fond of the ^* song of songs," as she hears 
Mr?. More is ! Now, my lady says^ Hannah is too 






81 

particular ! She tbipksher strange & non-descript} 
not that she understands or knows any thing about 
the ** ode of Horace/' but she; likes a psalm tune 
at church, an Irish jig, a country dance, or a reel at 
home, and believes it all affectation in her. Last 
night we sung and played in the evening ; called 
in the servants to prayers twenty minutes before 
supper, after which the carpet was removed, when 
a gentleman playing on his cremona some favourite 
reels, my girls (they are bonny lasses) danced likef 
fairies! We all agreed (for Mrs. Hannah has 
lately, and not to her credit, been in every body's 
mouth) that our mirth was innocent, and pro- 
tested we should scorn to be guilty of " secret Jac- 
** cusations" against any honest man, which we 
neither durst nor could substantiate. 

Mr. Stock, the shoemaker, asks Will — " Will, 
*^ what would you think of any one who should 
^* sit down and write a book or a song to abuse 
" the clergy?" I ask Mrs. H. More, what would 
she think of a man and woman, who should put 
their wicked heads together, to rob a parson of 
his good name and property, with a view to send 
him a beggihg ? 

Tom White the Postboy's history, comes 
next. Tom was originally good, then wicked, 
and became good again. This is, in her usual 
manner, " pious and good." It was written in 
the time of the late dearth, one of the causes of 
which was the wrath of God for our wickedness, 
in being so much addicted to wars. The white 
loaf, rice milk, rice pudding, are particularly no- 

G 



92 

ticed, to display the author's skill in cookhigj 
but she betrays a total ignorance of that art, 
whatever she may be in that of " secret accusa- 
'' tions" and calumny. In confirniatipn of this 
remark^ see her receipt, p. 275, vol. 5, tp " dine 
" zvell eight men, for seveii-pence^ Take half a 
pound of rice, two ounces of sugar, and boil in 
two quarts of skim milk I This would not be too 
much for one toan. This is what her love of war 
and non-descriptism would reduce the labouring 
people to ! 

" Up to her gpdiy gvrc^ after seven, 

" There starve and pray, for that's the way to heaven." 

We are now arrived at the famous Hester 
WiLMOT, being the 2d part of the Sl^nday 
School. John Wilmot, a cottager, was a good- 
natured, ignorant, illiterate man, without any fixed 
principles, whose home was pften uncomfortable 
by the noisy scolding temper of his wife Rebecca, 
an industrious, but over neat person. Hester 
wi^s fourteen years old before she knew a letter y 
but being coaxed by little bribes to the Sunday 
school, just established, she soon learned to read 
the scriptures, and became a pious, religious girl. 
Having no comfort at home, poor Hester sought 
It at church, a.t school, and in her bible, and ^' Go4> 
^ revealed himself to her,*' as a Grod of infinite 
goodness, power, justice, and holiness. The pro- 
mise of ^^ renouncing the Devil and all his works^ 
the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and 
all the sinful lusts of the jlesh^' distressed her, 
till she met with these words in her bible^ ^^ My 






\ 



8S 



ff 



** grace is sufficient for thee** Het oWi> heatt kd i 

her io assent ta the humbling doctrine, ** We are 
^ bom in sins*' and was relieved by hearing of 
'^ that spiritual grace by zvhich we have a nexii birth 
** unto righteousness** 

The pf actice of tnfning away scholars: feeCatise 
they are grown tip is disapproved of; fof young 
people want to be warned at sixteen yestrs mof6 
than at six. Instructions are given on the Sdri- 
day evenings, called the evenirig schaats. Thes6 
evening instructions are represetrted to^ be soon 
considered not as a task, but as a disadvantage , 
and discredit to those who^ absent thetttselVes from 
<hem. Thus, by presents awd itrsmuafhtg man- 
ners, children and adults are gamed ovefr, and m- 
duced to attend these meetings late and eAtly; 
for the institution is^ not confined ta the kistftfc- 
tionf of children only. Hester by industry, diiB-' 
gence, gdod conduct, afSnovatedfempey, sobriety 
smd religion, becomes* exemplary to* hef iMfhef 
and mother; and her mild^ eonvei^l^ieiir Xo him 
on^ day^ on seeing him sober, when he Was ex« 
peeted, accor^ng to eudtdm, to be drank, so al' 
fected Jtbe £aUlier, that walking out, be snid ff» 
honself-^ 

^ SuFsly thore nnntf 1^ someAing in f dtgioff^ siiu^ it 
'< Cajk thus chaage &e hedri« Hester was once a: port girl^ 
<* and now she k as mild as a Iamb. ' Sh» was eaee an- ia- 
*^ doleat girl, and now she is up widi the larL She was 
*^ a fain girl, and woutddo any tbuig for a new ribbon ; 
•• ana 90W she is donteiited tb go in rags to a feast at which 
" every one else will havt a new j^own. She deprived Her- 
•*8«tf of htfr'gttwnto ghe ttxA ^ tOQwefi rtd yet this 



54 

" very girl, so dutiful in some things, would submit to be 
" turned out of doors, rather than read a loose book at my 
** command, or break the Sabbath. I do not understand 
" this ;' there must be some mystery in it.'* 

John and Rebecca are also converted. 

I hope I shall never think, speak, nor write 
contemptuously or disrespectfully of any thing 
that relates to religion. Although this be a ficti- 
tious story, yet such reformations are maintained 
by these societies to have often been really true ; 
and there are many of them related in Mr. We^- 
ley^s journals. Shall I say there is nothing in it, 
that it is impossible, that it is false? I will not, 
I dare not. He that revealed himself once, can 
again, and wonderfully deals with the hearts of 
men. For what purpose do we preach? To 
Convert; that men may be led from evil to do 
good, and save their souls alive. But I cannot 
give credit to those conversions which happen by 
a sudden paroxysni, of which the patients talk 
with pride and confidence, as if they had been 
" put of the body," and of which they boast as if 
they had succeeded to a good estate, and still 
cherish, under much shew and cunning, an evil 
temper and disposition within. I think more 
highly of that renovation, which, as it is conj 
ducted by the spirit of God, is yet rational, del 
cent, steady in good works, though not exempt 
from the infirmities of human nature. A higher 
perfection and purity than this is not attainable ; 
whereas the instantaneous, momentary, convul- 
sive conversion^ which ensures its votary of eter- 



!l 



V 



f 8 -.P ' . « J j g vi e >';^i»«jt 



•* -♦, 



85 

nallife^ I consider ias a isystem, a system that may 
jbe learned. Persons^ at some conventicles, are 
said to have been retained for the purpose of ex- 
hibiting these. epileptic conversions, to attract at- 
tention, and encourage the craft of the schism*—^ 
These extravagancies are clearly proved to have 
been practised by Mrs. More's teachers, with or 
"without her approbation, arid countenance; arid 
this story of Hester Wilmot and others, are irrefra- 
gable arguments that she herself has received this 
system of puritanical conversions. The founda- 
tion is here; private instructions could, be easily 
given. 

If this sort of conversion be supernatural, I 
think it not unreasonable to conclude, that to 
a natural man, on reasonable principles, it is unin- 
telligible ; and that such a man cannot adequately 
even discourse on the subject. Itis intelligible, 
and known only to those who have had experience 
of it, and are really and truly converted. Now as 
this is the Work of God, and he is said to have 
manifested his grace in an especial manner to ren- 
der thetn new creatures, holy, without spot or 
wrinkle, all those who are converted, are of course 
holy, new creatures, nor liable or likely to commit 
sins such as they before conversion were guilty 
of, or any crime of a flagrant nature. But Mrs. 
H. More having imagined and written this story, 
and others of a like nature, she must, if my reason- 
ing be just, be herself converted ; for, in a natural 
state, she could not understand nor discourse of 
these matters, therefore she is holy, apd exempted 



B6 

from those sins an^ frailties the unconverted are 
daily guilty of. But H. More has been proved, 
by the letters of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, 
and of Dr. Crossmw, to be guiltjr, of " secfiet 
•^ accusations," with a view to displace the Curate 
of Blagdon^ and actually procured her awn dis- 
piple to bjg nominated and licensed to that cure ^ 
and her name is put to the vol. 5> which contains 
this ptory of a conversion : Ergo Mrs. H. More is 
not herself yet converted, and this species of con- 
version is but a system. 

There is one observation I must not omit to 
make in this place, and it is a fact I cannot and 
never could account for. I have. uniformly re- 
marked, that all those who adopt this system of 
non-descrlptlsm, in or out of the church, have no 
charity for those without their own society* They 
not only 4p not love them, but they hate them, and 
whep they dare or can, persecute them. It is; for 
this ^^ mark," I chiefly suspect their Christianity. 
AH religions hitherto haye, being too frequently 
engines of states, had bijt little ciharity fpr the 
professors of di|Feretit faiths, and there is no hope 
that it will ever be otherwise, ^ntil there isi a uni- 
versal religion, universally professed, i. e* rational' 
Christianity. 

Let not my reader imagine, that I mean to ridi* 
cule this story of Hester Wilmot, or discourage 
any endeavours or attempts to reform the wicked. 
In any thing rationally pious, I would unite even 
with Mrs. More, to promote the good of man, pro* 
vidkd there was no danger of fanaticism, or by- 



87 

pocrisy and pride.'**fiut this stoty, pious and good 
as it may appear^ and it really^" appears so, I C0h- 
sider, and not unreasonably^ as the platfortti of 
the institution of "• Sunday schools," the declared 
proximate object of which is not children only, 
but adiilis also, to puritanize the people, atud its 
ultimata object is a revolution, or at kast a schism, 
ifl the church. Refoi'ms, however, should be gra- 
dual, not uponnon-descript principles,but effected 
by the wisdom of those eminently learned and pi- 
ous men, the prelates, the other dignitaries, with 
the assistance of others in inferibr situatiions, sanc- 
tioned by the authority of the legislature, and not 
riotously forced upon us by the bKnd zeal and 
violence of a sect, whose principles are not yet 
knotvn, and remarkable, rathef fof their cuttning 
and hypocrisjr, tbaiH their kanrniiwg or loVe of truth. 
Its first frttits have shewn trtemselves at Bkgdorr, 
when the re^lar clergyman was Hflcrally di^ 
missed with disgrace, and a follower of thfe sys^ 
tern of H. Morels? actually licensed, a(nd declajfed 
himself iiv possession?. Tfce regular curate was 
then down, ^fOid, in bf$^ person, the church of 
England. It puts me in mind of a story told by Jk 
man in a higher station, who, wiien sdme puifftan 
(if I recoflcct it right) remarked, that the dfmrch 
had had a fa:H a cenimy and a haif ago^ reptied> 
y^ ! but this church hos a trick of getting vp 
again. This trick has beenf repeated in the per- 
son of Mr. Bere ; he was re-instated, the Bishop's 
eyes being opened by the pubKcation«f cS the 
friend? of the establishment V the ckurck xmsddt&n, 






88 

non*descripts were uppermost, but the church rose 
up again, and will, I hope, always continye to 
play them this trick. 

The Grand Assizes, is an allegorical descrip- 
tion of the general judgment, in which I find no- 
thing remarkable. The Fair-weather Chris- 
tian is another allegory. The temper of the 
Mac Sarcasm family compels me, to make the 
following quotation :; — ^^ Difficulties unmask him 
(the fair-weatheif christian) to others ; tempta- 
tions unmask him to himself; he discovers, that 
though he is a high professor, he is not a chris- 
" tianr ^^ Secret accusations !" 

The St. Giles's Orange Girl is a good story> 
the idea of which seems to have been suggested 
by Dr. Colquhoun^s ^* Police of tlie city cf London;* 
and a short account is given of the Philanthropic 
Society, who pick uji^ehildren in the streets, and 
lodge, board, and educate them, Betty is at last 
converted, and, like all the paints in real life, find- 
ing godliness profitable for the present state, gets 
forward in the worlds is well lyiarried to a man of 
the converted, and instead of a barrow, keeps a 
good sausage $hop. 

Black Giles the Poacher, is what every 
poacher is, a thief. Jack Weston, against whom 
Giles had lodged an information, for unlawfully 
talking game, delivers Giles from death, being 
overwhelmed in the ruins of a wall, and reminds 
the unfortunate poacher, that instead of suffering 
him to perish, " the revenge a christian takes is 
^- to deliver him." A Mr. Wilson, is taught by 



M- 



S9 

our author to' say, that 

<< Such an action is wocth a whole. vdlUme of comments 
" on that precept of our blessed Lord, * Lpvejfo^r enemks^ 
" do good to them that hate you.'* 

The poacher dies in a state of peijitence. 

Tawney Rachel is a fortune-teller, who, for 

her thefts and tricks, is sent fo Botany Bay. 



VOL. vr. 

THE easy circumstances in which her annuity, 
the returhs from her publications, increased ' by 
the popularity of her prudent connection with 
the methodistkal societies, the dividends of the 
family property, acquired in the school in Park- 
Street, redoubled by purchase in the funds during 
the American war, arid' now sold out, had placed 
Mrs. More arid her sisters, enabled them to settle 
at Cowslip-Green, west of Bristol, 6n the Bridg- 
water road, and to take a hoUse at Bath, where 
they spend the winter. Thus comfortably dis- 
posed, their acquaintance was extended, their 
visitants multiplied, and ho means were omitted 
to gain popularity, to purchase fame ; and (after 
all her connection with plays, tragedies, come- 
dians and theatres) by frequenting religious so- 
cieties, and meetings of all descriptions, and no 
description, to purify herself for apotheosis, and 
become the dagon of methodism. The heretical 
sects became proud of this ** elect lady ;" her 
praises were re-echoed from one conventicle to 
another: but to the real dissenters she never 



»0 

attempted to uiSite herself, who, I doubt not, win 
disown her. With Mr. Jay, of Bath, who, I be- 
lieve, is not of any ancient class df dissenters, she 
certainly joined in communion, associated with 
him, and " entertained hiift at her house.*' 

Religion now appeared a more direcjt and certain 
road to consequence, and the gratification of her 
ambition, than poetry and the drama. The con- 
nection with the established church, however, 
was neither forgotten nor neglected. An ac- 
quaintance had been made, and sedulously cul- 
tivated with more than one Bishop, to whom she 
appeared no *' Proteus^** but an admirer of the 
church liturgy, and devoted to her hierarchy. 
The good of mankind is not only the professed, 
but the real object of all religious persuasions, and 
the benefit of " SundayV schools, now in their in- 
fancy, was a topic on which people of diflferent 
religious, opinions were generally agreed. All her 
former " egarements du coeur" were forgotten ; 
and mildness, goodness, piety, benevolence^ all 
the virtues, were predicated of H. More* A kind 
of sacred pride regulated* her dress^ address, and 
even tone of voice. Her sisters felt the restraint 
somewhat uneasy ; but tli^y had intervals)i when 
alone, which relieved them from^ these atikstere »)d 
ascetic babitsu 

The frequent little alms^eeds, which as a 
steward for the Craiie-Court Society, and other 
friends of Sunc^y schools, she ^trib^^ted in the 
country amongst cbildrert ^etA Aeir patents, at-^ 



91 

tracted notice, secured celebrity, and strongly in- 
trenched her in a fair repiitigition, the object of 
her ambition. That she is entitled to a fair cha- 
racter, to the credit of some acts of charity, of a 
prudent and moral conduct, of strong feelings of 
piety, and a religious demeanour and profession, 
I have no wish or intention to deny. The objecr- , 
tions I have to make are not altogether against 
her understanding; it is a meanness of mind and 
a maliciousness of hearti» as they have displayed 
themselves by overt acts on several occasions in' 
common life. But though I am ready to acknow- 
ledge her attainments and abilities, for I deny her 
genius, it will not certainly be a long time doubt- 
ful that her abilities have been considered greater 
than they are, and that she has imposed on the 
world, as much in her literary, as in the com-? 
plexion of her heart. 

The allegories, ndticed in her 5th vc^. and her 
pious little tracts^ weYe published separately du- 
ring the war with France, of which hundreds of 
thousands, I rather think millions^ have hyberbo- 
fically been said to have been sold. The 6th vol. 
begins with " Thoughts on the Manners of the 
*^ Great.'* To aim at perfection, to purify the heart, ^ 
to be separate from the world,, is the object which 
this tract professes to incukate. The author 
thinks aikl writes better from this period than in 
her preceding volumes. Whether it be really 
Ifnie that she took help I cannot affirm, although 
I do not doubt it. Peter Pindar seems sure it 
wso. 



92 

" At times she £nd8 of hemp a little wad, 

'^ Bids sonpie youpg Levite spin it: — ^nothing lotfa^ 

*J He adds large quantities ofjlax^ kind lad, 
** And with die mixture fabricates a cloth." 

Again — ** Miss Hannah finds a scrap of leather^ 
" Horse skin — ^and, slily, to some Crispin goes: 

" Crispin adds calfskin — ^puts them both together, 
<* Ahd makes a tolerable pair of shoes." 

. To analyze this chapter is not easy, its manner 
being altogether immethodical, desultory and 
abrupt. For the satisfaction of the reader,! will 
select a few specimens,, . requesting him at the 
same time to^ forget Mrs. Cowley, Mrs. Yearsley^ 
and the. Curate of Blagdon. 

" But after ajl, a fair fame, die support of numbers, and 
^^ the flattering concurrence of human opinion, is, obviously 
** a deceitful dependance ; for as every individual must die 
*' for himself, and answer for himself, both these imaginary 
** resources will fail, just at the moment when they could 
" have been of any use. A good reputation, even without 
<^ internal piety, would be worth obtaining, if the tribunal 
<< of heaven were fashioned after die manner of human 
" courts of judicature.'* 

*^ Outward actions are the surest, and, indeed, to human 
"eyes, the only evidences of sincerity, but Christianity is a 
" religion o( motives ^ai principles. The gospel is con^ 
** tinually referring to the heart, as the source of good; it 
" IS to the poor in spirit j to the pure in hearty that the 
" divine blessing is annexed." 

" May I be permitted to say a word 6n the mischiefs of 
•* virtue, or, rather, of that shining counterfeit, which, 
** while it wants the specific gravity, has much of the 
*.* brightness of sterling worth? Never, perhaps, did any 
^^ age produce more beautiful declamations in praise of vir^ 



9i 

*• tae than the present ; never were fllore polished periods? 
** rounded in honour of humanity. A primitive Christian 
^ would conclude, ih^t * righteousness and peace had there 
" met together.' But how would he be surprised to find 
** that the obligation to thesis duties was not always thought 
*' binding, not only on the reader but on their eloquent en- 
** comiasts themselves. How would they be surprised to 
** find that universal benevolence may subsist with partial 
*^ injustice, and boundless liberality with sordid selfishness ! 
*^ that a man may seem eager in redressing the injuries of 
*' half die globe, without descending to the petty detail of 
** private virtues ; and bum with zeal for the good of mil- 
'^ lions he never saw, while he is spreading vice and ruin 
** through the little circle of his own personal influence !" 

Notwithstanding the theatre and drama have 
been so much reprobated by her, Mrs. More 
could not finish this chapter without alluding by 
name to the " School for Scandal !" 

The slave trade is mentioned, and a liberal, to- 
lerant spirit, an enlightened candour, begins, it is 
said, to be prevalent. This, she says, she wrote 
before the French revolution apd the Blagd.on 
controversy; if written since that dispute, the 
Curate of Blagdon, at least, would hlsive reason to 
object to the truth of these observations. 

On the religion of the fashionable world, p. 97, 
she thus writes — 

** Even the most negligent attendant on public worship 
^* must know, that the obnoxious creed, to whose malig- 
" nant potency this general desertion is ascribed by the no- 
**^ ble author, is never ;'ead above three or four Sundays in the 
■* year ; and even allowing tb6 validity of the objections 
«* brought against it!, that does not seem a -very adequate 
" reason for banishing the most scrupulous and tender con-» 



94 

^* sciences from cbnrch on the remaining eight*aad-fortf 
** Sundays of the calendar/' 

This lady, who but a short time back boasted 
of the universal spirit of toleration and liberality 
that was diffusing itself over the world, who is- 
here endeavouring, without argument, to recon- 
cile tender consciences to the Atbanauan creedy 
brings the neglect of reading it as an article of 
accusation aglinst the Curate of Blagdon, not 
that she herself believes the creed, but that, hating 
the man, she was desirous of inchiding him in 
every respect within the damnatory clauses. 

Some general praise is here also bestowed on 
the liturgy of the church, furnished no doubt by 
some " Levitical lad/* 

The following paragraph (p. 104) is not fa- 
vourable to Christianity. 

** If therefore, in this voluptuous age, when a frivolous 
'* and rehudng dissipation has infected our very studies, in- 
** fidelity will not be at die pains of deep research aqd ela- 
<< borate investigation, ev^n on such subjects as are congenial 
^' to its aflections, add pcomotivc of its object ; it is vain to 
*' expect thu Christianity will be moie engaging,) eidier as 
*^ an object of speeidadan^ or a$a rule of practice ; since it 
^* Afvi\?\r^ a still stronger exertion of those energies which 
*^ the gay world is not at the pains to exet:cise, even on the 
•* side diey approve. For the evidences of Christianity re- 
** quire attention ^o be comprehended, no less than its doc- 
<< trines require humiiity to be received, and its precepts 
« self-demal to be obeyed." 

In the paragraph I am just going to transcribe^ 
tmaxnjable ideas are entertained of the divine 
attributes, and a fake jud^xient of the spirit of 
Christianity. 



. V. 



95 

« The strong and generous bias in favour of universal 
^* toleration, noble as the principle itself is, has engendered 
«< a dangerous ilbtion that all error is innocent Whether 
" it be owing to this, or to whatever other cause, it is ccr* 
*< tain that the discriminating features of the christian reli«- 
" gion are every day growing into less repute ; and it is 
** become the fkshion, even among the better sort, to evade, 
'< to lower, or to generalize, its most distinguishing pe- 
<* culiarities/* 

I have long been of opinion, that H. More*s 
system is not the gospel in its purity. She is an 
enemy to toleration it is evident ; and tio true 
christian can be intolerant. Her Christianity, 
though not popish, is . more illiberal, and would 
persecute as hotly, if she had the power. Tole- 
ration is the spirit of Christianity. He who loves 
not his brother, cannot love God. AH men, of all 
nations, are equally dear to him, of whatever com- 
plexion. Had the eternal happiness of men de- 
pended on assent to a creed, or the knowledge of 
a system, his justice would have taught them that 
system, and proposed the creed. Where there is 
no law, there is no transgressitni ; yet, according 
to her doctrine, all who do not believe ^* pecu- 
** liarities" which they never heard of^ are to be ex- 
cluded from salvation . What the " peculiarities** 
are to which she alludes, I am at a loss to know for 
certain ; but I suppose she means die system; In 
the gospel, however, there is no system. It came 
to teach us, that *^ denying ungodliness, we should 
" Kve soberly and righteously.** There is no me- 
taphysical disquisition there. It inculcates the 
purest benevolence and morality in practical I^e, 



d6 

proposing the noblest, the highest rewards for 
virtubus, and severe punishment for vicious con- 
duct. It is the sentence of " well done, good and 
** faithful servants," that is the ticket of admission, 
if I may so express myself, to eternal life, and not 
whether you was zealous for a creed, a system, or 
^* non-descript peculiarities." To " generalize," 
to comprehend the whole race of man in bene- 
volence and charity, is an attribute of Deity ; to 
singularize, disqualify, and exclude, is the ^lark of 
ignorance, uncharitableness, and antichrist. The 
best christians that ever lived, heard of neither the 
Nicene or* the Athanasian creed, and I am con- , 
fident many Gentiles shall enter into life. Did not 
the same God who created Mrs. More, make 
also Lady Mac Sarcasm ? Is God the God of the 
Jews, of the Gentiles, of the Christians, and not 
of the Turks also ? Did not the whole heathen 
mythology lead to the worship of one God, al- 
though they had their demi-gods and goddesses ? 

Did not some of these subaltern divinities repre- 
sent certain virtues ? If the christian calendar 
were purified, how many impure she-saints,, how 
many rogue-saints wpuld there not be thrown out, 
for saints are in Christianity, what gods were in 
heathenism. Do not, by her own account, as many 
sins, as many crimes, exist in christian countries, 
as in the polished nations of antiquity ? What 
is the difference between the object and motives 
of the late war, and any other curse which God 
permitted to exist in any former age of the world ? 
Have npt the christian King, the catholic King> 






97 

and the Defender of the Faith, with their su1>% 
jects, mutually hated each other, and done their 
utmost to " sink, burn and destroy one the other?" 
Would they not all resemble their master, after 
whose name they are called, if they lived in good 
neighbourhood, and " dwelt in unity?" Does 
Mrs. More's " distinguishing peculiarities" tend 
to accelerate this blessed day,' or to perpetuate 
animosity, a discordia fratrum, or spiritually, by 
enactments that dare to reach beyond the grave, 
to " sink, burn, and destroy eternally ! Mrs. 
Hannah should retire to some lazar-house, for a 
cure of the disorders of the human heart, " drink 
* *^ milk," for in true Christianity she is yet a babe, 
a stranger to the ** bond of perfectness!" 

Vol. 6, page 114. 

** There is so little of the Author of Christianity left in 
<^ his own religion, that an apprehensive heliever is ready 
" to exclaim, with the woman at the sepulchre, * Thy 
** have taken away my Lord^ and I know not where they 
** have laid him.^ The locality of Hell and the existence 
'** of an Evil Spirit are annihilated, or considered as abstract 
** ideas. When they are alluded to, it is periphrastically; 
* * or they are discontinued not on the ground of their being 
' * awful and terrible, but they are set aside as topics too 
^' vulgar for the polished, too illiberal for the learned, and 
** as savouring too much of credulity for the enlightened/' 

The first sentence of this paragraph I entirely 
agree with. ^* They indeed have taken away my 
*^ Lord," but it is in a very difFetent sense from 
Mrs. Hannah. I ask> who has taken him away? 
Ever since the time of Constantine he has been 
partially absent. Glosses, confession^ creeds^ 



9S 



and decrees, have perverted the truths of the gos- 
pel. Peter, Jack, and Martin have tore the lace 
from off the coat; but still the coat remains, and 
Martin has restored it in a considerable degree, 
and brushed it up, and made it look decent. But 
where have they laid my Lord ? Have they hid 
him in the Athanasian creed and confessions of 
faith ? Come, let us reason together ; for ^* God 
** has a controversy with thee !" Yes ! they have 
hid him; but the gospels still remain, and there 
he may be found, if your " soul loveth him," and 
I will tell you who and what he is ; for you are 
not yet acquainted with him. I speak not this in 
bitterness or in wrath, but in argument, in pity, 
and in tears. Jesus, the gospel, the good-news, 
the glad tidings, is " meekness and lowliness in 
heart, peace on earthy goodwill towards men! 
His yoke is easy, his burden is lights Hefe 
the '* peculiarities" are described. They are 
preached on the mount, they are contained in a 
few aphorisms. " Do unto others as you would 
they should do unto you ;" " love your enemies, 
do good to them that hate you and persecute 
you, and pray for them who despitefully use 
** you." These are the principles of the divine 
ethics, which Christ revealed and preached ; and 
on these topics there is a field for descanting, and 
preaching usefully till the end of the world. 

For what purpose has God made man ? Is it 
not to enjoy him, to glorify him, to be happy in 
this state and the next. That he should create 
beings, endowed with such wonderful faculties as 



<( 



(( 



(( 



(C 



<« 



99 

reason, memory and imagination, for any other 
purpose, it i% impossible, without denying his at- 
tributes of goodness, mercy and benevolence, to 
conceive and believe. How, then, is God's glory 
and the happiness of mankind promoted? By 
obedience to his first command, " increase and 
*^ multiply, aind replenish the earth ;" by rendering 
that existence which God confers happy, by do- 
ing good universally to all, being equally God's 
creatures -, by worshipping God the father of all. 
And how is the happiness of the millions that in- 
habit this world to be effected and ensured ? By 
the wisest laws, and universal charity, that love 
inculcated by our eldest brother, who gave us ^ 
new law, the commandment of love. 

Here are no metaphysical disquisitions. The 
purest morality, on the most sublime motives, viz. 
the love of virtue for its own sake. The intel- 
lectual pleasures arising from a contemplation of 
all the adorable attributes of the divine mind, imi* 
tation of those attributes, by comprehending the 
whole race within our love and charity, being all 
brethren of one great family, looking up for every 
good in the present and future life to the general 
ajjd great father of all ; these enforced by threats 
and promises, are the duties required of man. — 
For the practice of these, and enjoyment of the 
delights arising from the observance of them, sub* 
lime endowments, bright genius, extensive read- 
ing, and profound erudition are not necessary. — 
The attributes of God are written on the works 
of nature, in characters legible to the meanest 






100 

Capacity. It is duties in actual life that God hM 
required of us ; and the eternal allotment of man 
is not determined by any gloss, or speculative, me- 
taphysical creed, of human invention . If so, ** who 
" then can'be saved?" What ecclesiastic in the 
world can tell who the author of the Athanasian 
creed was, or, if he speaks honestly, can say he 
understands it, and believes the whole of it? If, 
then, the learned, excepting Hannah More and 
the non-descripts, who are in the " secrets of the 
Almighty, and perfectly know and understand 
all his decrees from eternity," do not compre- 
hend this complicated piece of metaphysics, shall 
the middling aijid the labouring classes of the peo- 
ple of this country, as well as those nations who 
never heard of it, " without doubt everlastingly 
'^ perish?" I think Mrs. Hannah, as she knows 
several senators, and pretends to have great in- 
fluence, ought, in charity to them, to apply to 
*move the *• Omnipotence of Parliament" to pass 
an act of indemnity, to exempt, at least, his Ma- 
jesty's subjects from the penalties of this creed. 
.Let not Mrs, Hannah, who can reason maliciously 
when it serves her purpose, run away with and 
propagate the idea, that Sir Archibald is not or- 
thodox. I have always been orthodox, and I am 
sure more so than she, or my brother Sir Abraham 
Elton, I am always, I hope, more charitable; and 
I am a steady and an invariable friend to the 
Hierarchy in the church, and royalty in the state, 
because that mode is most conducive to order and 
good government. The ecclesiastic is the best 



101 

assistant tlie magistrate can have. A government 
cannot exist without religion -, and to render reli- 
gion, like government, respectable, it ought to 
have a public establishment. Nomt that Chris- 
tianity, the present established church of Eng- 
land, or the people, should lose any advantage, 
temporal or spiritual; by the abolition or the ex- 
punging of the Athanasian creed from our other- 
wise most excellent Liturgy, there would be just 
the same reason to lament, the nine Muses would 
have to weep, if all the poetry, including sacred 
dramas. Miss Hannah ever wrote, were burnt. — 
The church can spare it; and, Mrs. H. may order 
herself to be wrapped in it as a winding sheet. A 
most reverend Archbishop, perhaps Tillotson, said, 
** I wish we were well rid of it." But as long as it 
stands in its present place, I will, as I always have 
done, continue to read it in obedience to authority. 
And what turpitude can there be to me in reading 
the Athanasian creed, when the immaculate Mrs. 
H. More, in her " Strictures on Female Education,^ 
tells the British ladies, that there are among the 
excellent moral songs of Horace, some " famous" 
loose, I had almost said bawdy *' odes," which she 
has often perused, and does still read; but though 
these, she says, " ought not to be read by females, 
" or to be even named or referred to," she takes 
care to tell the ladies, for the men may have long 
ago forgot Ihem, that such " famous odes" exist. 

It is very possible that Mrs. More herself maj^ 
consider the reality, as well as the locality of the 
future puni$hment, that is hell, as an abstract 



102 

idea. Men of learning, certainly have no doubt 
respecting the certainty of future rewards and 
punishments. They^ however, I believe, differ 
from Mrs. More respecting the degree of it. We 
have no communication with the other world. 
The dead return not to relate to us the affairs of 
the invisible state. From the various lot of man 
in this life, as well as from revelation, the chief end 
of Christ's advent, our faith is strong respecting 
the future existence ; and that men will be re- 
warded and punished, is our glorious hope. But 
that the most wicked shall be everlastingly pu- 
nished, that is to say, a punishment without end, 
is totally inconsistent with the divine perfections. 
The scriptures say,eis aiona, for ages. The punish- 
ment is no doubt terrible, and sufficient to deter 
the most obdurate. But Mrs. More is too bloody 
and tyrannical. She is for everlasting torments, 
torments beyond the heat of any pyrometer the 
human imagination can conceive, and she is ready 
to cast all into that furnace who do not agree with 
her in modes and opinion. Because she breaks 
her egg at the small end, she condemns those who 
break it on the round; and me, because I am in- 
different at which end I break it, who am de- 
termined to get the food out of the shell any way, 
even by a Caesarian operation, I have no doubt she 
would wish 

** Grill'd, roasted, carbonaded, fricasseM.'* 

But let the human race " rejoice evermore ;*' the 
power of man extends .not beyond the grave. 



lOS 

Inquisitions and star-chambers may light the 
faggot and consume the body, but they can do no 
more. Tyrannical persons, like H. More, by ini- 
quity, may succeed in ejecting an honest person 
from all the comforts of human life, and deprive 
him of his integrity and respect amongst men. 
But it is God alone who can act on the immortal 
spirit. It is only by the intervention of the body, 
that the greatest tyrant can act on a human soul ; 
and this, increased to a certain degree of violence, 
breaks the connection between soul and body, 
and sets the soul free when he thinks to overload 
it. But the soul is not visible to be frightened 
with his frown ; it is not extended to be shut up 
in his dungeon ; it is not palpable to be loaded 
with fetters ; it is not combustible to be burnt at 
the stake ; it is ;iot divisible to be mangled on the 
wheels. It is God only who can act on the soul. 
He needs not the odour of flowers, nor the savour 
of meats, nor any other aids of matter, to furnish 
it with agreeable sensations. He needs not the 
use of chains, dungeons, suffocating damps, sul- 
phur, fire, to afflict it with pain. It is he, O soul 
of man, who 'can leave thee in thy natural dark- 
ness, to wander in ignorance, a prey to all the 
tortures that accompany doubt ; but it is he also 
who can advance thy understanding to the sub- 
Ixmest height. It is he who can strike the tyrant 
with unutterable horror ; it is he who can excite 
in the soul those ineffable delights, for which 
we have no name, and which we cannot now 
conceive. 



104 

With gfeat affectation of liberality, Mrs. Mord 
rejoiceth that the tyranny of the spiritual Pro- 
crustes (p. 115) is annihilated, and that men for 
their opinions are not now applied to this bed, 
and to be shortened or lengthened to its size. 
Her hypocrisy has lotig been noticed. With all 
this parade, she has prepared a " bed of trial" for 
the unfortunate Curate of Blagdon, spread the 
Athanasian creed on her couch, measured him 
on it, and, if we can believe her, and she deserves 
but little credit for she can deliberately invent 
and propagate falsehoods, finding the Curatte not 
long enougky reported a *^ secret accusation" to 
the Bishop. The Curate, however, has at length 
laid Miss Hannah on her back^ on the couch of 
reason and argument. 

In p,,128, the definition given of religion, that 

'' It is not an opinion, nor a sentiment, nor an act or 
^< perforaiance ; but a habit, a disposition, a temper ; not a 
<« name, but a nature ; it is turning the whole mind to God \* 

is not ^ true one. Religion is a rule of conduct 
looking to God. 

•* No one surely will impute to bigotry or enthusiasm, 
<* the lamenting, or even remonstrating against «uch des* 
** perate negligence ; nor can it be deemed illiberal' to en* 
^* quire, Whether even a still greater evil does not exist ? 
« I mean, Whether permcious principles are not as str^ 
nuously inculcated as those of real virtue and happine$$ 
are discountenanced ? Whether young men are not ex- 
<' pressly taught to take custom and fashion as the ultimate 
^* and exclusive standard by which to try their principles atid 
** to weigh their actions ? Whether some idol of false, ho- 
^* nour be not consecrated and set up for them to worship^? 






' 



k 



im- 



< 

9 



ti 
« 

ffC 
4< 



105 

** Whether, even among the better sort, reputation be not 
" held out as a motive of sufficient energy to produce vir- 
tue, in a world where; yet the greatest vices are every day 
practised openly, without at all obstructing the reception of 
those who practise them into the best company ? Whether 
resentment be not ennobled ; and pride, and many other 
** passions, erected into honourable virtues — ^virtues not less 
** r^Hignant to the genius and spirit of Christianity than 
** obvious and gross vices ? Will it be thought impertinent 
" to enquire if the awful doctrines of a perpetually present 
** Deity, and a future righteous judgment^ are early im- 
** pressed and lastingly engraven on the h^rts and con^ 
•* sciences of our high-born youth ?'* 

To practise literally all the virtues and graces, 
and to obey the precepts of Christianity, is more 
than any human creature hitherto atchieved. 
Whoever attempts it, is likely to be a victim to 
knavery. To turn the other cheek when the end 
is smitten, fbr the pleasure of fresh blows and in- 
sults ; to part With the coat as well as the cloak; 
to live altogether unspotted from the world, may 
be talked about and preached, but none practise. 
The Bishop of Bangor did not act so ; nor did 
H. More, when Mr. Bere wrote to her respecting 
tfee extravagancies of her schoolmaster, recollect, 
our religion recommended such precepts as doing 
good for evil. Indeed the Bishop banged his op- 
ponent, and H. More " privately accused," with 
a view to ruin the Curate's character, and starve 
his body, I mean not to speak against early re- 
ligious education. I approve of it ; but I deny, 
thatvicipus and pernicious principles are taught, 
unless it be by non-descripts, and those of real vir- 
tue and happiness discountenanced. The wicked 



106 

fhemselves admire, approve of, and respect virtue. 
If, by false honour duelling be meant, there are 
few cases indeed in which it can be justified, 
But honour, by whatever words defined, or how- 
ever ridiculed, has often pulled back its possessor 
from the commission of crimes and sins, when a 
more exalted principle did not deter from atro- 
ciousness. A man or woman of honour, would 
scorn to " accuse privately," or openly attempt 
to rob an old friend and neighbour of his property. 

/That reputation, or rather the pride of repu- 
tation, has frequently produced the same effects 
as virtue, is every day discernible. H. More feels 
few pangs of conscience on her various detections; 
but her pride teareth her, and disturbs her repose, 
at the thought of a sullied reputation^ by an ex- 
posure to the world. That she should ever be 
again countenanced and received by persons of 
honour, truth and character, will be the strongest 
proof of her doctrines ^ 

*^ That reputation (p. 149) be held put as a sufficient mo-* 
*♦ tive to produce virtue in a world 'v^rhere yet die greatest 
** vices are every day practised openly, without at all ob*- 

structing the reception of those who practise them into 
** the best company ? Whether resentment be not ennobled ; 
*^ and pride, and many other passions, erected into honour- 
" able virtues — ^virtues not less repugnant to the genius and 
** spirit of Christianity than obvious and gross vices ?" 

To what extent the "wholesome discipline, 
^ the government of the affections" are to be car- 
lied, we are not told, nor does sije elucidate her 
theory, or recommend her doctrine, by her owp or 



it 



.107 

the practice of others. The amalgamate of her 
Christianity is no where defined. There is some- 
thing always obscure and undescribed- Virtue is 
not known or proved but by temptation and trial. 
Dignity of character is acquired and displayed only 
in difficult and arduous situations. Men should be 
taught, 

" Under the constant impression, (p. 151) &at He to 
*' whom diey must one day be accountable for intention^ 
".as well as words and actions, is witness to the (Hie as well 
" as the other \ that he not only is ' about their path,* 
" but ' understands their very thoughts." 

The lady quarrels with good breeding or po ■ 
liteness ; and yet allows it to be a good substitute 
for Christianity and real goodness. She is mis- 
taken. Politeness is a grace belonging to Chris- 
tianity ; but it is not the whole. LaoCt peace, joj/, 
loitg-suffering, gentleness, patience, meekness, are 
included in the idea of politeness. Aided by the 
affections of the human heart, which are oftener 
depraved by evil example and the institutes of 
society, than by any corruption of nature, the 
polite man will " esteem others better than him- 
" self," will not " behave himself unseemly," will 
not " be easily puffed up." Men are, no doubt, 
often polite from motives of vanity, advantage, 
and worldly wisdom ; and they as often are " se- 
" rious christians" from the same motives. Les- 
sons of prudence are given to noviciates in the 
world ; and happy arc they who have friends earlj 
enough to deliver them such counsel, against po- 
lite men and women, for these are commonly thdi 



108 

means of deception. The same lectures, in this 
country, are become necessary against " serious 
** Christianity," which is too often a mask, an 
upper garment. A man, a pagan, without having 
ever heard of the word Christianity, or receiving a 
lecture on good breeding, and politeness so called, 
may, from the light enlightening every man that 
Qometh into the world, along with the education 
of his country, be polite, be humane, and a wor- 
shipper of the God of the universe, and so, with- 
out knowing it, possess many of the graces of 
Christianity. To be a christian and a good man, 
it is not necessary to be baptized, and be called a 
christian. Virtue and morality are taught in other 
countries, as well as in christian countries. And 
after all that is here said about Christianity, 
God IS as sincerely and purely worshipped, 
even in Asia, as in Europe, and may as Justly 
be offended at the idolatry of the one as the 
other. A Mahomedan would be shocked at the 
idea of a triune God, and at the altar-pieces, as 
well of reformed as Popish churches. To pray 
to, or use the intercession of any intermediate be- 
ings, with God, to kneel before a wafer or an 
image, would be gross idolatry. It would be 
desirable if H. More had defined her system of 
Christianity, that we might know it, and how 
much more it contains besides th^ graces and 
virtues recommended in the gospel, for the wor-. 
ship of one God ought and must be in every quar- 
ter of the globe the same, that idolatry and mys- 
ticism might be expelled, by ascertaining where- 



1(59 

in virtue in Europe differs from virtue in Asia, 
Africa and America, and whether Jehovah be 
not the God of the Gentiles, as well as of the 
Jews. With all her knowledge and talents, with 
all her profession and recommendation of the 
christian graces and virtues, the *^ discipline of 
" the affections," unintelligible " seriousness," 
and " self-denial," which, could we suppose a 
whole people to adopt, would make England -a 
grotesque nation indeed, there is undeniably in 
H. More's grand scheme some niystery, some se- 
cret Jesuitism, some dark-lanthorn illumination, 
she either cannot or will not disclose. 

The chief points insisted on in the Alcorin are 
the unity of God, the worship and reverence of 
the Supreme Being, and resignation to his will, 
and th^ practice of moral and divine virtues. The 
style is beautiful and fluent; and, particularly 
where the attributes of God are described, truly 
sublime. Will H. More dare say, that the Gran4 
Signior, our great and faithful ally, a true wor- 
shipper of God, his Grand Mufti, and his Priests, 
who never read nor heard the Athanasian creed, 
** ^hall without doubt everlastingly perish.^*— 
What in this case becomes of the justice of God. 
Has not a Mozlem l^aquir as good a chance of 
entering the kingdom of heaven as an English 
non-descript ; and can the fanaticism of the one 
be more acceptable to the Creator of all men than 
the ascetic devotion of the other. But it is cha- 
racteristic of us, to insist that no nation should be, 
t^r are free, or happy, or rich, or should eat rofast 



1 



]10 

beef, but Englishmen. Away with superstition^ 
and artful aud cunning fanaticism; they never 
did and never will contribute to the happiness of 
mankind. Oh ! when will the day arrive, when 
reason shall be the characteristic attributes of all 
men, when the only true God shall by all nations 
be worshipped in spirit and in truth, without any 
machinery of human invention ; man of whatever 
complexion, shall call man his brother ; the mis- 
sions of fanaticism become n^issions of righteous- 
ness and truth ; and the opprobrious names of Pa- 
pist, Protestanti Dissenter, Methodist, Jew, and 
Mahomedan, be forgot, and all men, in obedience 
to the " New commandment of love," adore him 
FIRST AND LAST, his knowledge filling the 
earth as the waters cover the sea, there being but 
one fold and shepherd ! Then, and not till then, 
shall superstition and fanaticism cease to be ne- 
cessary engines in the government of the. world; 
simulation and dissin^ulation, with all the various 
modes of deception, whether, of assumed sanctity 
in religious craft, or of temporal knavery and im- 
posture in the commerce of mankind, become su- 
perfluous! 

That " Self-abasement is inseparable from true 
** Christianity," I apprehend is not a true propo- 
sition, if we take Christianity ^ it is in the gos- 
pels. It is man, and not God, who pronounceth 
the worid accursed. During his stay here, there 
is enough in the wdrld to make liim happy ; em- 
ployed in the cultivation of the earth, the im- 
provement of his own mind^ (being a creature of 



Ill 

education) in tracing the works of nature, zxA 
thereby the divine attributes; in the adoration 
of Him, " who giveth richly all things to enjoy,** 
' and in regulating his actions by the hope of a re- 
surrection to a life of immortality. Man is an 
animal of high rank. It is superstition, evil po- 
licy, and tyranny, that have degraded him. The 
propagators of fanaticism, on one hand, have ty- 
rannized over his mind, and politicians, on the 
other, have scourged him with scorpions. The 
angel is become a beast. Every man is made 
/ erect (^' os sublime dedit") and need not be self- 
. abased, unless under the conviction of great 
crimes; and then God is merciful. Let him be 
governed wisely, and a pure religion, Christianity, 
be taught him, namely, his duty to God, man- 
kind and himself, enforced by the denunciations, 
the hopes and promises of the gospel, and he will 
soon be a very different animal from what h^ has 
hitherto been, " a new creature." But if we 
view him as he is generally to be met with, inj- 
posed on by eveiy empiric in religion, his mind 
paralyzed and benuipbed by the horrors of super- 
stition, his hopes desperate, and the father of all 
goodness and mercy represented as his enemy, 
who has prepared everlasting chains and penal 
fire for him, we need not wonder tosee him sub- 
mit himself so easy a victim to his tyrants, pains 
and penalties over his head, fire and faggot at his 
tail, ready to torment or consume him, and threat- 
ened as to his immortal spirit, over which their 
authority pretends to reach, with " adamantinp 






112 

•* chains and penal fire/' On many occasions^ in^ 
deed, he is a whimsical creature. The whole 
race may be well read in John Bull, who is easily 
gulled into a South-Sea bubble, to run in multi- 
tudes to see a full grown man go into a quart 
bottle, a-horse with his head where his tail should 
be, a coal-heaver in a pulpit^, stripped to his shii't, 
to fight with the devil, and to buy by hundreds 
Hannah More's strictures on female purity y and 
" female education." 

The question that " there have been more men 
of genius on the side of Christianity than against 
it," is not a fair argument, nor fairly stated, 
Christianity will always, I trust, have not men of 
genius only, but all good men on its side ; and 
wer^ Christianity not corrupted, but taught as it is 
contained in the scriptures, its enemies would be 
few indeed. But when every brain-shock fool, 
and every designing illiterate knave, start a new 
doctrine^ which is pretended to be founded in the 
scriptures; when a Henry Young, a Harward, 
and a H. More, under the pretext of" serious- 
*^ ness and vital Christianity, disseminate strange 
•* doctrines and absurd extravagancies,^' is it to be 
wondered that religion should to some appear less 
respectable, and its credit be " seriously" affected. 
Since the time of Constantine, when Chris- 
tianity took the . seat of paganism, and began to 
be established by decrees^ and defended and pro- 
pagated by the sword, the experiment could not 
have been tried. When, in what century since 
500^ durst an inhabitant of Europe write and 



r "- 



113 



N 



publish against cliristianity? " He'd sittge - hfs 
** beard at it." To deny, write, or publish against 
the doctrine of the Trinity in this country ^ for ei-» 
ample, would be fatal to the interest, credit, cha- 
racter, and safety of any man. Dr. Priestley, one 
of the first philosophers of the kge, to the disgrace 
of the country where it happened, having written 
against it, had his property devoted to an Auto dst 
fe, and the only regret of some was, that he had 
himself escaped the flames. In fear of it, he was 
forced to exile himself. Let no man falsely infer^ 
that I mean to deny or impugn the doctrine. It 
is an established doctrine, which, be it scriptural 
or unscriptural, it is unlawful to deny. When 
H. More determined the ruin of the Curate of 
Blagdon, she, against her own c6nscience and 
better information,- instructed the Bishop that he 
had preached and spoke against that doctrine, 
neglected to read the Athanasian creed s and she 
called one other clergyman at least, without proof, 
Soeinian. The lady has yet to learn what Chris- 
tianity is, -and wants truth, as well as force of 
mind, to reason on the subject. 

In p. 170, she says — 

<^ It is the beauty of our religion, that it is not held out 
** exclusively to a few select spirits ; that it is not dn object 
^' of speculation, or an exercise of ingenuity, but a rule of 
** life^ suited to every condition, capacity, and temper." 

Now this is true of the religion itself, as it was 
intended to be, and is contained, in the scriptures 5 
but the doctors of Christianity tell and teach us, 
and enact by their decrees, that though " many 



; / 



v..^^ 



114 
^ irk oilledj few will be saved/^ She adds^ 

*< It is Ae glory of the Chrkcian religion to he, what it 
*^ym th« glorjr of er^ tacicot pbilosopbic system net 
<< to be, fA< religion ^thepeopla aod that which coiw 
<* stimtes its cheractpristic value, is its >uitahlene$s to the 
*< genial, cooditim, and necmities of all mankind*" 

Every religion has the $ame object and preten- 
fUQn». Among the ancient?, the philp^ophers did 
not bejieve the whole mummery of the mythology, 
and Strabo expressly tells us, that the state made 
u^ of a superstitious mythology as a bugbear to 
govern the people. If there were less system and 
Ipeculative doctrines^ ^^ after the rudiments of the 
*^ world," there perhaps would have been less oc- 
casion to repeat the same observation of christian 
Europe. But though an attentive . reader can 
easily perceive that H, M. thinks the Athanasian 
creed, and some parts of the liturgy very excep- 
tionable, for the world she would not refuse them 
the highest general praise, nor oppose craft, nor 
the general stream, nor publish aught but what 
$he knew would be acceptable, well knowing the 
tendency to superstition natiu^ to the human 
mind 3 that the dissemination of mysticism would 
be by the people more readily received, and to 
some of their superiors more agreeable, than true 
and genuine Christianity. I repeat it again, H< 
More possesses moderate talents, greatly puffed ; 
but her most prominent feature is cunning, artful* 
ness and deceit, H. M. is no fool ! 

It is remarkablcji that there is not in all hex 
w>rks one expression of disapproba^on of wais 



4 



MS 

and bloodshed^ or any axakty for the eternal fiite 
of those who have hlltn in battle^ 6r a wislh that 
the day may antye^when *' wars shall beno more/' 
She aeems' perfectly to assent to that artiele tiiat 
says, ^ It k lawfiii for christian* men to sem; la 
** war/' What becomes now of heif dodrine of 
^* forbearance and scl^fenial V* Her doctrines aire 
either fidse^ or the practice of christiah societitfi 
wrong. She ought to aim her feeble blows at the 
root of the evil, or grant herself to be inconsistent^ 
or an hypocrite. Why not object to fighting al- 
together? Why not disapprove of fighting, bafr* 
ties oh Sunday, murdering the human species on 
the Sabbath day, and selling mackareil, aS; well a^ 
hair-dressers combing out QUr hair? , What is the 
difference, the moral turpituddj^ in the eye of rear 
son, of virtue, of genuine Christianity, and in the 
sight of God, between letters of mac<}ue to ^^ takt^^ 
** sink, bum, and destroy** a Frenchi Dut;ch» or 
American vessel, on the high seas, and two bigh^ 
waymen or footpads taking the liberty to stop^ 
put in bodily fear, rob, maim, and ifiurder a m«a 
on the highway? What is the diff^renee^ 19 tut^ 
pitude, between stabbing, by *^ private aecuiih 
^' tians,** by day, an honest man's c^bmotefi anfi 
murdering his person by ?»jfA^/--Soctety is act 
likely to be much mended by this U^y's writiingi^ 
The inference is lantentabk^ that nonsense akoa^if 
didf and is likehf ahmjfs to sell better thmsew^ 
vsA fanaticism to be more accepl^le i)ii2^germne 
christiamty . I itever yet read aay ibipg i&ore ^str 
cellent, nor. more ^ congruous ta ^.sflitit «f thif 

IS 



gospel, than f our datks,** as described m the 
church catechism. With her, to be a good chris- 
tian, seems to be cunning and craft for this world; 
and she takes care in her gospel novels that her 
profligates reclaimed, as the methodists indeed 
<^n do, whatever befals them in the next, shall, 
in . this world, arrive at '^ good circumstances." 
She herself in her early years, in th^ high days of 
youth, without going to the church, secured " two 
" hundred pounds a year for life;" and now in ad- 
vanced years, she, by her " bloody piety," has got 
more:— ^" Grodliness is great gain'* to some people. 
In p. 192, the modern philosopher has afforded 
her matter for an unmeaning paragraph, antithe- 
tically constructed. Whether the soul of man be 
material or immaterial, does riot weaken the ob- 
ligations to virtue. The space intervening be- 
tween death and the resurrection, is, to the mate- 
rialist, as a *^ punctum stans^** the myriads of 
: years that flow between are as the sleep of one 
f night; he sleeps to night, and awakes to-morrow, 
[ the resurrection ; he dies to night, and awakes at 
1^ the resurrection to-morrow. He is unconscious 
of the time elapsed between. A disadvantage 
and an advantage attends the lot of the immate- 
I Tialist, that the years that pass between death and 
the last judgment* are added to his happiness or 
sufferings. Many pious christians have adopted 
both opinions, and though I am of the latter opi- 
nion, I do not think the other unreasonable. For 
Mrs. More, therefore, to caip at the materialist, 
was but idleness and vanity. The invisible world 









4( 



117 

Is akcjgetheir UnkftdWn to us; departed sjJirltSrer 
turn not to us, to relate the condition of that state ; 
and revelation has only assured us, that our* Lbi^ 
is gone to prepare a place for us, apd that Gpcii 
for that end, and our comfort and hope^ rai&ed 
him from the dead., .. ,^ . '" 

The position (p. 197) that "the pride of;grea]t 
•*:acquii;ement3, and of great wealth, equally ob-. 
structs the reception of dirine truth into • the 
heart,*' is not fact. Sir Isaac Newton^ and ;^ry 
many other luminaries, have bqen, and \yill be on 
the side of Christianity, and it will influence their 
general lives. Learning, indeed, always .revolts 
at mystical and non-descript, but will ever ap- 
prove of and embrace rational, Christianity, . 
; Page 206, Mrs. More says— - 
. . **^ But Ae^e unfruitful professors would do well to recol-^ 
** lect that, by a conduct so Iktle worthy of their high j;al« 
** ling, th^y not only violate the law to which they have 
** vowed obedience, but occasion many to disbelieve or to 
** despise it ; diat they are thus in a great measure account* 
*^ able for the infidelity of others, and of dourse will hav^ 
*^ to answer for more than their own personal offeitces: 
M For did they in any rapect Hve up. to the principles they 
^^ profess ; did they adorn the doctrines of Christianity by 
** a life in any degree coi:^onant to their fajth; did they ex* 
♦* hibit any thing of the * beauty of holiness' in their daily 
** conversation; they would then give such a demonstra- 
I* tive proof, ixot only of die sincerity of their own obe- 
** dience, but of the brightoess of that iivine light by which 
** they profess to walk, that the hlost dtfterriiined unbe- 
" liever would at last begin to think there must be soffie^ 
*** iking in a religion of which the efiects were so viable, 
'^i^ad the fruits so^ amiable jslfnd .niight in time* beltpd t^ 



"N 



• 



I 



K 
lit 

<< WOf^ boi^ * ^P^ F^tb^ which is in heaven.' Wherqtm 
^ ?[« thing* are ^t p^^qnt c?VTie4 90, tb« Qbviou^ coo^l^llPa 
^ must be, either that Christians do not believe in the reli- 
*^ gion they profess, or th^t diere is uq tAith in the tbpgioQ 

What, for the sake of human nature in general; 
and Mrs. More in particular, would I not give 
that the Blagdon controversy had not existed! 
Oh! "howfallenr 

Much has lately been said of this lady ; much 
for and against her. She has written much, antf 
some things I. hope usefully. She apprehends 
6he is, and she is considei«d, as of an undescribed 
species of methodism. I marked, as I read her 
works, her system and her principles, and the rei 
suit is, that in religion, as in the rest of her cjKa- 
Tacter, she is specious and crafty. ^ For the scnp- 
tures she always expresses the utmost veneraHp.njj 
professes piety and practical religion, but alludes^ 
though, obscurely, tQ ^oipe latent speculative doch 
\^^. IjerTA^'&.s a^4 AxtX'Bgories ar^ bettef 

than l^r R«I.IQIQN OJF TH9 FA^mONAB^^ 

WoRLp. There tl;ie heart ia warmed, the ^ym^^ 
patbies ef virtue and piety excited ; hefe is a cold 
censoriousness, efibrts to prove every thing wrong 
and to set them right > with an uneertain, unde- 
termined, arid oftep contradictory plan of conduct, 
SLS supplementary to the ^^ pres^nf, fofhionabki, 
^ chfistiofii^'' With anxiety I ba,ve looked fpii 
«a4 expected to n^eti w4t^, h^ ^ defiiiitiQ^ of oms 
Religion, a^d h^x <^movi oi thos^ d<)<^lrij9^ wbk^ 
cveate seetansm. . I haw expected and lookedin 



119 



€1 



€t 



ti 



Y«p« She iSbkakt freely, ipnkt h^y, ^aks 

csmtkmsfy, spedk^ rfgidly> ** ieiion^ly, sttktly j** 
$h« seemi to know right and wrong, good and 
evil, orthodoxy and heterodoxy, and every doxy, 
all delivered iq decent and appropriate language^ 
sometimes arising from her desire to censure all^ 
infttruGt aU^ oSend none, obscure ; and, io short^^ 
«very thiiig, but her designHa make a hook, is in- 
visible. At length, p. 2^6, soittething like a ne- 
gative, but imperfect definition, is met with. 

•* The Christian religi6h is uat ifttefided, as some ©f its 
<* fiisbionable pro&sscxrs seas tor £uicy, (sh^ should lutvt 
'^ said Methodists) to operate as a cliarm, a taBsmatti or iti» 
cantation, and to produce its e&ct by our pronouctoiAg 
certain mystical wo?ds„ attendiag at certain consecrated 
places, and performing cert^n. hallowed ceremonies; but 
^^ it is an active, vital, inAuential priQcipIe, operating on 
«* the heart, restraining the desires, affecting the general 
** ieonduci, and as mtich rfegulating our commefce with the 
<* worid, otir bu^esir, plea^ifiresy, and enjofments, cmr eoti« 
^^ versatkmsv desigdi,. and actioas, a»oar bdia^sotr in pttb* 
** lie worsbtp, or eveii in psivati; dr^bCuMw" 

But,^ as if thinking this description of db^ 
tianity wrong, in p, 240, she farotirs us with a 
xoupre systematic one, and more decisive and cha^ 
racteri&tic of herself and hei srUipposed sectari^m, 
in the following definition. : * 

>^ But if I were to ventufe. to taker my estimat€i with 
**a view more immediattly minf<?//c«ZA to insist that, 
** whatever natural religion dud/a^kwnabU religion may 
•* teach, it is the peculiarity of the Christian religion ^o 
^•huxhble the sinner and tttait fie Saviour j to insist. that 
« not only the gro«*f isLffSot^y Stf t Aat iefl havcs ainned ; 
** tbat aii are h^ natute la a state d ^tmdcmti^txak- ttl 



4 



• 






12D 

.«< were to express these doctrines Jn pbi3n:]»riptiiral tenni, 
** without loweriag» qualify ing» disguising, or doii^ them 
^* away; if I were to insist, on this belief, and. its. implied 
and corresponding practices ; I am aware that, with 
whatever condescending patience this little tracf might 
have been '66 ' &r perused, many a fashionable Veadet 
would here throw it aside, as having now detected the 
.<< palpable enthusiast, the abettor of ^ strange doctrines,' 
*^ long ago consigned over by the liberal and the. polite tm 
** bigots and fanatics. And yet, if the Bible be true, this. 
** is a simple and faithful description of Christianity.":. , . 

The *^ Bible is trae ;" but because the bible is 
trae, are we to believe any non-descript proposi- 
tion H. More thinks proper to frame .? The ar- 
gument is sophistical- By the same reasonih^ 
we may prove any thing -, ' and say, Cain slezv his 
brother Abel because he hated liim; and therefore^ 
if the bible be true, evety man when he hates his 
brother may slay him. Mrs. H. More, who has 
been called a pious woman, and; believes the bi- 
-ble, has told several stories, and is convicted of 
<< secret accusations," to. injure a clergyman, 
thefefore it is no crime or sin to tell lies, or to 
** accuse privately.'^ 

The bible is'tfue \ but this is neither a " sim- 
** pie nor a faithful description of Christianity."-— 
Respecting the trinitiarian dbctrine, the church 
of England is vjrhat is called ^orthodox. It has re- 
ceive4 and believes it.' But how to " exalt the 
^^ Saviour/* by whom^ I suppose, she rneans Jesus 
Christ, above the degree of second person in the 
Trinity, without depressing God the father, I am 
at a loss to: conjecture. The truth is, although 






\ . 






121 . 

slie denies it, that of the words Jesus Christ she 
is desirous, like all the non-descrij)ts, to make 
iei "charm, a talisman, ah iricantation," 2imystical, 
imscriptural. Unreasonable, unintelligible " strange 
'* doctrine." 

I have myself heard one of these exalters of the 
Saviour, in his church in Bristol, frdm the pulpit 
speak these words : — " There is no glory iii hea- 
** ven, but what Jesus Christ gives it." *. 

The clergy of: the church of England, with some 

exceptions, are censured for not preaching and 

inculcating this doctrine 3 they are charged with 

teaching only a " frigid morality," they are {p. 244) 

^< Lukewarm and temporizing divines, who have become 
y popular by blunting the edge of that heavenly tempered 
weapon, lyhose salutary keenness, but for their * deceit* 
Jul handling,' would oftener * pierce to the divrding 
** asunder of soul ind spirit." 

. ** But, (she goes on, p. 245) those severer preachers of 
righteousness, who disgust by applying too cl6sely to 
the conscience ; v^o lay the axe to the root, oftener 
*' than the pruning knife to the branch ; such heart-search* 
^^ ing writers as these will seldom find access to the hbUsei 
^* and hearts of the more modish^Christians.*' " She is not 
" «ure wheth^;: the fonoer sort hav^ not dofte religion much 
^* more harm than good." 

In p. 76, she tells us — 

• ** We have a wise and virtuous Mi^iister," (Mr. Pitt!) 
** many respectable, and not a few * serious' clergy. Their 
^* number,'* she adds, ** I am willing. to hope is daily in* 
!* creasing." 

:., And so it wx)uld appear from the Blagdon con- 
troversy. There are nine qonnected with her 






'4< 



132 

t 

and her schools in Somersetshire ! Sbe> faaweve?^ 
disclaims all desire of seeing the enthusiastic 
scenes of the holy fathers of the de^sautt 
acted over again. Whether the scenes of the 
17th century be congenial to the spirit of puri* 
tannical enthusiasm^, let the preachers of " frigid 
** morality" in the church of England judge, and 
remember the 27th and 30th of January, 1648, 
when the Bishops were dismissed, and cathedrals 
and colleges converted into stables for the soldiers 
of the "Lord, the exalters of the Saviour. 

Of her itemarks on Dupont's Speech, I h^ve 
little now to remark. She, wicked sirnier, did all 
she cotild, and exalted her vulture's croak to en* 
gage the nations in a war ruinous to both, and 
to the royal cause and family of France. Her 
*^ bloody piety"^ is more deleterious to the human 
tace than even the atheism of Dupont He was 
for sparing the lives of his fellow-creatures by 
peace. - She preached up blood and war, for the 
destruction of the innocent, to send myriads, unf- 
tunelya. without repentance, with all their sins 
upoQ tbeir heads;. to the eternal allotment. How^ 
ever foolish the speech of Dupont was,, fot noiie 
E(ut a fool could say, ^^ I am an atheist," that be 
was far less cruel than H. More is evident, lliat 
woman, I am persuaded, wouldi fay any means 
destroy any object that had the misfortune M dis- 
please her,, or stand in the wajr of her prq^ed:9« 
The whofe history of her life proves it. Th6 
Blagdon controversy demonstrates it. She is now 
maiked, mid when the nation has recovered horn 
the delirium of war, and Jcdm BuH shall have had 



a good niglit's slef p» he will declare himself Uul<ft 
obliged to those who administered the poisonoui 
dmught, that inflamed his brain ^th the phreokjr 
<^hrtaking his own and his neighbour's head^ and 
stayi&g ten years at the public-house (a vice in 
another part of her works she by nourdescriptisms 
desires to cure) to mortgage his estate to three 
hundred millions, ". The child unhprn may rue 
" the day/' ' From the author of that pamphlet^ 
except the reprobation of atheism^ in which we 
all unite with her, no good can be expected. It 
is a farrago of falsehoods. From her blood-loving« 
hypocritical cant, the worlds when she shalj be 
better known, will learn but little virtue, little 
truth, little rational or true piety. 



VOL. VIL 

STRICTURES ON F£MALK EDUCATION; 

TO correct the taste, to relbrm the minn^rd, 
to revive the dormant religion of a nation^ hf 
endeavouring to ^ stir up the gift of God wliieli 
^ was in them," is: not only patriotic, but bMe* 
ifofent. But the cpestioii k, how» to do this, hy 
what vMsm, and by whom ; and whethedf that 
wibioh is proposed, be. z refoimatioa or defetma^ 
tion of taste. That Mrs; Moie ha9 strong foet* 
mgs of piety, that she has benevotetice, and that 
^«rt of charity called alms^gifving, I will newt dfeof ; 
Itut i mmch dcmbt whether that degree of nai^ 
itoscri^t puritaiaiism^ whicb she with eonsideral^fo 



124 

address so eamfestly l&bolirs to resuscitate, be not 
as dangerous to the present and future happiness 
of a people, as that universal indifference, the ex- 
istence of whi<5h, - ^h^, to miake her own nbStrum 
more acceptable, endeavours to prove, even if 
vre should not enquire whether she have or have 
not, 'as has' been- lately surmised, any grand 
SCHEME or privite object in view. Viewing the 
temjiorary lidania, for' it was but temporary, that 
suddenly arbse in France to disgrace the cool 
temper, wise meaiis, the liberal and extensively 
benevolent objects of the first stages of the revo- 
lution, with that horror it sp justly excited, and 
which the friends of war and bloodshed, the 
despotic and tyrannically inclined, in this and 
every other country, never failed to magnify and 
exaggerate, I should appear void of penetration, 
and deficient in logical. discrimination, if I suf- 
fered a particular censure to pass as a general im- 
putation. This indeed was the potion too long 
^^fn.s^d in to. the icupof the people, and which, as 
our present Minister, Mr. Addington, is reported 
to have publicly declared, ^f brought the nation 
*^ to the brink >of ruin,". and made necessary peace 
on any terms, which delixated the mass, perverted 
teason, corrupted integrity, ahd paralyzed indi- 
vidual virtue. Of this cup, H. More has, hecself, 
copiously drank, and abundantly administered to 
the intoxication of others. It was a suitable 
Jheme fpr her violent and tragical temper^ and 
were she to live a thousand years> and so earnestly 
pray, as to swe.at as^ it were *^ drops of blpod," hej 



125 

guilty even in thiat wspect^, would nob be expiated. 
Of the murders ofithousands, which she favoured 
and promoted, may she " repent with a repentance 
" not to be repented of." , 

With this leaven she studies to leaven the 
whole mass of the people ; and lest the errors of 
the church of Rome, by acts of our legislature long 
ago declared ^^ damnable^* should be cancelled, and 
replaced by other French errors equally damnable, 
(for in damnation, I conceive, there are no degrees) 
she recommends, even in " Strictures on Female 
** Education," p. 5, unanimity^ *^ in boldly and 
" nobly opposing" the French hydra, this cen- 
taur, the enemy of " religion, order', and govern- 
f ' ments,'^ lest the Vicar of Christ should loose 
the guardianship of the keys of heaven and Hell, 
whose priests impiously pronounced themselves, 
as history relates, greater than God, because they 
" could create God, by converting a wafer into 
*^ the body and blood of Go4.'' To describe then, 
with impartiality and a sincere regard to truth and 
justice, the professed and real object of the French 
revolution in the fewest words, as well as that of 
the war we have madly carded on, which began 
in iniquity, and has ended in disgrace, is to say — 
The object of the French was the reformation of 
their own government, and the general amelioration 
of human sotiety ; but the neighbouring nations, to 
disgrace liberty, drove them to madness. England 
made war to monopolize the commerce of the world. 

Politics, however, now apd then aflPord H. More 
a topic of declamation, and the popularity of her 



IM 

w>rk$ i$ dsidreby enhanced. Bttt let us watf « 

little. Johnny Bull and Tcammy Bull have not 

yet had a good night's rest. They have not had 

time to blink at each other's black eyes^ 

*' So politic, as. if one eye 

** Upon tbe other were a spy ; 

<< That, to trepan the one to think 

« The other blind, both strove to blink." 

to bind up their wounds, and count the money in 
their pockets. When they shall, have done this^ 
with how much pleasure will they read " Cheap 
*^ Tracts," written manifestly to popularize war. 
TTiis then is " seriousness^" " pure Christianity, 
*^ evangelical virtues, self-abasement, secret habits 
** of self-controuly secret combat and sUeiit victory, 
^* vital Christianity !" 

Having been furnished with matter fof a longer 
paragraph than usual, by duelling and single com- 
bat (p. 27) this re-christianizer of the British na- 
tion has a hard scratch (p. 3S) at " General History , 
^ Natural History^ Travels y Voyages^ Lives y Ency-- 
^clopadiasy Cnftwww, and jRom/^nc^^," determined 
to make them all non-descripts, at all hazards. 

, << In animadverting farther on the reigning evill which 
** the times more particularly demand that women of raiik 
*< and influence should rqpress, Christianity calls upoo them 
<< to bear their decided testimony against every thing) which 
<< is notoriously contributing to die public corruption. It 
^* calls upon them to banish from their dressing-rooms, (and 
*< ohy that their influence could banish from the libraries of 
'* their sons and husbands!} tliat sober and unsuspected mass 
** of mischief, which. By assuming the plausible names of 
^ Science, of Ipiilosophy, of Arts, Of Belles Let&ies, b 



An 

'* gtiiu^Hy 9idminittermg iiaAi to Ant priacipks of ikg>U 
^* who would be on their guard, had the poison been labeHed 
*^ with its own pemicioi^ tide* Avowed Hittacka upcm re« 
** velation are more easily rented, because th^ Ai^igtiity t| 
*^ adviatised- But who suspects the destruction which lur^ 
** under the hatniless or instructive names of Genergi JJh" 
•* toyyy Natural History^ Travels^ Vcyages^ Liv^^ En* 
« ofchpesiias^ Criticism^ and liamance.^^ 

Ye Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, of 
St. Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, 
and Dublin ! O Eton and Westminster, Ye Royal 
and Antiqugiry Societies, Royal Academy and 
Institutes, Ye Walkers, Kirwans, and Beddoes ! 
What is to become of you, and all your pupils and 
eleves ! Ye Arts and Sciences, ye are now by 
Hannah More, for the nation is to follow the sug* 
gestions of her paper-kite strictures, or she will 
have her fits and scratch ! Ye are to be dismissed 
for ever ; and non-descript preachers, H. Young,, 
and Mr. Harward, the hob/ fathers of the desart^ 
the nine parsons, are to take your places. You 
are " avowed enemiesy^ she says, " to revelation !" 

" Who,** ishe adds, " will deny that many of d^ese works 
** contain much admirable matter ; brilliant passages, im- 
^^ portant fects, just descriptions, faithful pictures of nature, 
*^ and valuable illustrations of science ? % But while the 
** deadjbf lies at the bottom^* die whole will exhale a 
*' corrupt and pestilential stench.*' 

Gentlemen ! The British ladies are called upon 
by H, Morfe, to 

** Banish by their influence from their sons and husbands, 
<* libraries, that sober and unsuspected mass of mischief, utt<* 
'•« dcr the plausible names of Science, of Phflotopby, of Artt, 
^ of Belles Lettres, &ۥ Arowed sttaoka vpon re^elatioii 



n 



128 

*^ afe more eantjr rcmted* bedausc the maiigaiey. is ^i-^ 
"▼citiscd/* / 

It will be an " Annus mirabilis'* indeed, to see 
the Masters, Heads and Fellows of Colleges, 
turned non-descript, field and itinerant preachets f 
And Sir Joseph Banks, at the hiead of the Royal 
and Antiquary Societies, going on missions to 
Sierra Leone and elsewhere ! She then has a hit 
at Rousseau ; he and she both enthusiasts in their 
way. 

British novels, are condemned wholesale ; yet 
her own sisters, with her help, produced one or 
two. Now, I ask this lady, when was it she 
read all the novels, for they are numerous ? It was 
not before her conversion ; for that did not take 
place till after her fruitless walks to church wheiiu 
she was young. It could not be since the refor- 
mation; for that would be a heinous sin. Did 
she know them intuitively? No! she certainly 
read them since she became a saint. Now if she 
has read them without guilt, why may not others ; 
but perhaps, to instruct others, a woman must 
herself be wicked ? i. e. " knowing good and evil" 
Innocence and much knowledge do not go toge- 
ther. H. More, therefore, is either innocent and 
ignorant, or knowing and wicked. Dr. Priest- 
ley's works were publicly disapproved of, and the 
clergy read them; ^jErs. More forbids novels and 
Rousseau, and the ladies will, therefore, read 
them both. I once saw a man hanged, who at his 
execution, declared he had always lived honestly, 
and was guilty of no other felonious act but that 
for whicji he was about to . suffer, and that be 



129 

would not have committed that act> had he not 
heard ^ certain pious preacher describe the mam 
ner houses were broke into ! 

She next endeavours to stop the deluge of Ger* 
man plays into this Country, which she describes 
as **^ uniting the taste of the Goths with the mo- 
" rals of Bagshot ;* 

" Gorgons and Hydra'j, and Cliimeras dire I'* 

And makes an observation, though new, yet ilot 
fact, " that those who most earnestly deny the 
^* immortality of the soul, are most eager to in- 
^* troduce the machinery of ghosts." The lady 
should be consistent. She should either not read 
plays, or allow them innocent ; but she dispraiseth 
the drama, and yet publisheth dramatic works! 
It must be a calumny to charge the French infi- 
dels with sending us German plays, to instil the 
principles of illuminism, with a view to overturn 
Christianity (the arts and sciences will do that !) 
and that Englishmen have been emplpyed to tran- 
slate French works, omitting the bolder passages, 
in order that the mind may be brought, though 
more slowly, to receive the poison at another pe- 
riod. She alledgeth the application of the infidels 
to the English males has not been so successful 
as wished for, and that now they apply to the la- 
dies, to influence their sons and husbands ! 

*^ For this purpose, not only novels and romances have 
*< been made the vehicles of vice and infidelity, but the same 
*< allurement has been held out to the women of our coun- 
<* try, which was employed by the first phiiosophists to the 
<< first sinner— Knowledge. Listen to die precepts of the 



% 



« 



<13d 

» 

<* newCcrmtin*€nlig1iteiiers^ tod ycm -need no longer r«nam 
^^-'in that situation in whkh Providence has placed you I 
** Follow their examples, and you 'shall be permitted to in- 
" dulge in all those gratifications which custom, not rcli- 
" gion, lias tolerated in 'the male *5ex." 

Thus it wouiS seerii there is a jealousy between 
H. M. and the llluminati ; the one struggling tQ 
seduce the nation to a religious, and the other to 
a political mania. "But the British are a sensible 
people. Mrs. Mbrie oitgltt not tb Tiave admitted 
such observations. She says^— 

"It is hbt only awfully trtle, that since the new princi- 
**'p1es ha^e been afloat, mmen have been too eagerly in- 
'** ^tii^itite after ihese monstrous cortipositions ; but <it is 
** tnieafeo that, with ^rnew and ofionisive reniunciation of 
iheir. native delicacy, 9nam/ women of eharacter make 
little hesitation in avowing their familiarity with works 
.** abounding with prificiples, sentiments, and descriptions, 
li i 'ig)hich shouldiiot be so vmch as 'named among them'.* 
** by ailowmg their tnih'ds 'to come m cbniadt with mch 
**' contci^oiis mattery ihe^ air'e ifrecoyei^bly taintingihcm.; 
*' and by ackirH5^ted|;in^ that tiey '^^ conversant 

*« witii tetch, cdmipti6hs*!tliey ate esciiting in others a most 
** nmchievdiits ctuiosity for the same urihaUowed gratifica- 
" tiwi. Thus they, are daily diminishing in the young and 
** die timid tjios^ wholespniie scruples, hy which, when a 
** tender conscience ceases' to be intrenched, all the subse- 
" quent stages of ruin are gradually facilitated." 

Mrs. M6re's" Strictures*' seem to be calcu- 
lated rather to corrupt than improve the sex. Her 
own minid at least is not very pure. Her stric- 
tares ought to be.publicly burnt. 

Ladies a^re again warhed against the theatre 
(all but herown plays) 'and she gites (p. 49) a few 






■v 



( 



131 

remarks on the German drama, from the admired 
play The Stranger ; and she forbids the ladies 
to see or read a play! She tells the ladies of 
Great-Britain and Ireland, that " The Female 
^^ JVerter*' asserts, in a work entitled ^^ 'The 
** Wrongs qfWomen^^^ that " adultery is justifiable, 
** and that the restrictions placed on it .by :the 
*' laws of England constitutes one of the * Wrongs 
^^ of Women" For H. More to. advertise the ex- 
istence of such a book, is an irremissible crime. 
There is no father or .husband in ^England thut 
.will not reprobate her.for it, .and ^she Qannat fee 
considered bfit. as a corrupter of the morals Qf tbe 
-sex. She ; descants oa depravity s^s gravely, x%vA 
details its grossest ^cts. as. frigidly, -as : if its object 
M^^rejto allay the tumult of the passions, whije it 
is letting themjoose on roanlcinjd. 

In p. 57, ^n apostrophi;?ed,andiA^^^ address 
- is* directed to parents ;On. this- subject. 

- ** Abuscnot," says sbe, '^ so Qoble.aj^ality as«Clpa*is« 

: **; jtian c^fido^ur, by xnisecnployipg, it; in ias^nces, to ,vehich 

*Mt does not ftpply. Pity the wietched, woman ypu (Jare 

"not countenance } and bless him who has * made you to 

,"^* differ.' If unhappily she be your relation or friend, 

'** anxiously watth for the period when she shall be deserted 

'**^ by her 'betrayer ; and see if, by your Christian offices, 

*^ ^e* dart be{ snatched firoin. a perpettiky. of. vice. But* if, 

"rdirpugh ihei Divine ble«$ing on.your paci^t^ ei^de^vours, 

"r ^he ;^houl4 ever be awakened to r^orse, be not ans^^s 

".]tO'xe$tpre,.the forlorn penitQqt.to that, society against 

*^ whose laws she has so grievovsly pfFended ; and remem- 

** ber, that her soliciting such a restoration, furnishes but too 

** plain a proof that she is not the penitent your partiaMcy 

" would believe \ since p^tence is more anxious to make 



t 



4 






132 

** its peace wldi Heaven than with the world. To restore 
a criminal to public society, i? perhaps to tempt her to 
repeat her crime, or to deaden her repentance for having 
h " committed it, as well as to insult & to injure that society." 

^ Reader! let me address thee! Is this the spi- 

» rit of the religion of Jesus, which H. professes? 
Did he not command to forgive not seven, but 
seventy times seven? Did Jesus condemn the 
woman taken in adultery? When all left the 
room, and he asked her, (since there was not an 
innocent person found among her accusers to cast 
a stone at her ; and the cruel Hannah, if she had 
been present, would have perhaps, convicted by 
her own conscience, been obliged to go out also) 
"Where are thine accusers? Hath no man con- 
" demn^d thee?" She said, " No man. Lord." 
And Jesus said unto her, ^* neither do I condemn 
" thee — go, and sin no more." Let me ask Han- 
nah, how she would like to be so treated by so- 
ciety. " Patere legem quam ipse tuleris." Mrs. 
More is not yet brought to a sense of her sins : 
she has Christianity yet to learn. Adultery is a 
great sin ; but there are greater. It is mor5 ve- 
nal than " private accusations." It is more venal 
than many falsehoods of which she is convicted. 
Marvel not, Hannah, that I say, " you must be 
*' bom again." But, politically speaking, may 
not an adulteress reclaimed become a useful mem- 
ber of society, educate her children, discharge 
her duty to her husband and servants, and be 
, again a mother. But driven out of society, the 
loss of which she has sustained perhaps by no 



133 

feult of her own, at most by the frailty of human 
nature, she, deserted by the virtuous part of the 
world, plungeth into iniquity, and debasing every 
virtue, losing every resemblance of the divine 
image, callously depraved, ends her existence in 
cursing that race, which, by shutting the door of 
human mercy against her, has taught her to des- 
pair of the divine pardon. Rigid and unrelenting 
virtue, is this the lesson thou teachest? No! the 
virtuous are always forgiving and humane. The 
Disciples only marvelled, like H. More, that 
Jesus talked with the woman ; yet no man durst 
ask him, why talkest thou with her? But H. is 
bolder, wlio would h^ve us cast her out. 

Oh! Hannah! ^^ If thou knewest the gift of 
" God, and who it is that saith unto thee give me 
*' to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and 
" he would have given thee living water." — 
Mrs. More, pray always, " Lord, give me this 
** water (christian charity and candour) that I 
*' thirst not, neither come hither to draw.^^ 

For candour and christian charity, the waggish 
Peter shames thee, thou cruel Hannah I 

^ <^ I cannot drag the nymph to grinning day^ 

** I cannot curse the nymph of yielding charms : 
<* Instead of casting the poor girl a^ay, 

" Lord ! I wou'd rather clasp her in my arms ! 

" Hang on her lips, bestow the generous kiss ; 

" Catch the pure drop th^t leaves her liquid eye : 
«* And gently chiding the unlicensed bliss^ 

*f Reclaim the beauteous mourner with a sigh, 



<* O think of love, ye ladies of hard hearts^ 
" Lo, Nature weaves it close in every cranny ! 

** Ev*n from old women rarely it departs, 

" The subject sweet of many a shaking granny. 

** Oh, be the wounded prude who dares reprixoe^ 
** And furious charge the feeble maid or dame, 

** A nymph, who, cautious of the torch of Lovfi, 
** Has never singed het honour at its flame!" 

** In the meantime, '*^ the lady continues, p. 58, ** there 
'* are other evils, ultimately perhaps tending to this, into 
**' which we are falling, . through that sort of fashionable 
** candoui" which, as was hinted above, is among the mis- 
** chiev6us characteristics of the present day y of which pe- 
** riod perhaps it is not the smallest evil, that vices are made 
** to look so like virtues, and are so assimilated to them, that it 
** requires watchfulness and judgment sufficiently to analyze 

'" and! discifiitoihate. There are certain women of good 
*' feshion who ^actise irregularitfes not consistent with 
**^ the s<ifi<btness 6f virtue ; while th^ir g6od sense and know- 
" ledge 6f the world make them at the sdme time keenly 
^* adive to the' value of reputation. They want to retain 
** their indulgencies, without quite forfeiting their credit j 
<* but finding their fame feat declining, they artfully cling, 
** by flattery and marked attentions, to a few persons of 

. <* more than orcKnary character ; and thus, till they are 
** driven to let go thdr h6W^ c6ntinue to prop a falling fame. " 

One mod6 of doiAg all this, is to become a 
'^ non-descript,*' and write ^^ cheap pious tracts/* 
and " strictures on feniale education." 

*^ Christianity (p. 64) driven out from the rest 
*^ of the world, has still, blessed be God ! a 
" ^ strong hold' in this country." Is the former 
clause of this sentence true. Christianity h es- 
tablished in Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Ger- 



many, Russia Italy, Spaii\, Port^alj, and all 
America. Oh ! Hannah, thy " Young ^^evit^" 
is surely a b^ttei; Iji^stojpian ^pd^ geogxgfili^ than 
to teHy<?u all tibial This i$ not h^stori,<>9lly nor 
morally brthodax, 

** Let that very period which is desecrated (dais is non- 
** sense) in anotber country, by a formaj; reni^pi^tion of 
*^ religion, he solemnly niai;ked hy you to purposes diame- 
♦* trically opposite." 

This is not true ; for all religions have ever 
since the revolution been equally tolerated in 
France. But there was a time, a more consecrated 
period^ a period, to restore which vv^e have squan- 
dered hund;-eds of ixiilliops, apd shed the blopd of 
myriads, forwhjch Mrs. More voted^ whei^ the 
pious, wise, and good Dr. Young, a cl^ristian in- 
deed, could not g^t a grs^ve in all France for his 
angel, his Narciss^, 

" O'er putrid wth tp sjprftl^h a \itik, d3|5tt.V 

I will not in my virtuous indignation at ihee, wfeak 
woman, call their religion accursed. No! Chris- 
tianity is reverence to God, and Ipye to man. — 
But it has been peryerted by the selfish, the de- 
signing, and, iiiSite^cI of a blessings, ha? |?een fre^ 
quently a cufsg to w^n j ^nd were ^t npt fpf man's 
false education, and imppstjire, ^nd for WQfpan's 
false " strictures^* on womap^s education, would 
every where be man's friend. It is the non-de- 
scripts of every country, in their impious and ig- 
norant zeal, would set man against man, and na- 
tion against natiop, turnjng thp gQspel,,GQ4'§ best 
legacy to man, into lascivJausAgs^^ tl]e ig^tive. 






1»6 

cause, and object of all great crimes in Europe, 
for fourteen centuries. 

♦* When pefsecution raised her iron crow, 

** And saw, with doting eye, her pow*r display 'd; 

** Enjoyed the flying brains at every blow, 

<^ And blessed the knives and hooka with which he flay*d, 

<^ Grill'd, roasted, carbonaded, fricasseed 
*' Men, women, children, for the slightest things ; 

" Burnt, strangled, glorying in the horrid deed ; 
** Nay, starved and flogg'd God's great vicege* 

" RENTS, KlNG$. 

^* No scorn now frownetfi from a Bishop's eye, 
^* No sounds of anger from his lips escape; 

** Save on a Curate's importuning si|;h, 
** Save on the penury of ragged crape.** 

There was a period, when the French who 
witnessed this scenq let fall 

" Strange tears ! that trickled down 
'' From marble hearts ! obdurate tenderness F 
" A tenderness that call'd them more severe; 
<< In spite of nature's soft persuasion, steel'd ; 
^* While nature melted, superstition rav'4 ; 
" T/^t nioum*d the dead ; and this deny'd a gravt. 

<* Their sighs incens'd ; sighs foreign to the will f 
<* Their will the tyger suck'd, outrag'd the storm, 
** For Oh ! the curst ungodliness of zeal ! 
** While sinful flesh relented, spirit nurst 
** In blind infallibility's embrace, 
*< The sainted spirit pctrify'd the breast ; 
^* Deny'd the charity of dust, to spread 
** 0*er dust ! a charity their dogs enjoy, 
^< What could I do ? What succour ? What resource ? 
" With pious sacrilege, a grave I stole ; 
^^ With ipnpious piety, that grave I wrongM ; 
** Short ill my duty ; coward in my grief ! 



137 

" More like her murderer, than friend, I crept, 

^^ With soft, suspended step, and mufikd deep 

** In midnight darkness, whispered my last sigh. 

« I whispered what should echo thro* their realms ; 

'* Nor writ her namte, whose tomb shovdd pierce the skies. 

** Presumptuous fear I How durst I dread her foes, 

" While nature's loudest dictates I obey'd?" 

Would a grave now be refused in France for 
the remains of any human being. No 1 not to a 
non-descript. The revolution, terrible as were 
some of its concomitant circumstances, will be 
beyond a doubt, productive of good. It cannot 
be that so much blood should be shed, without 
Providence designing some amelioration of human 
society by it. Religious bigotry, at least, will 
never again darken their minds, and steel their 
hearts against the rights of humanity ; and it is 
to be boped, the people of this country will have 
too much good sense to be seduced to non-descript 
superstition by H. More, however plausible her 
means, who has art to make " vice look so lik^ 
'' virtue/' 

From the title^ Strictures on Female Edu- 
cation, or^e would expect not a censure only of 
the existing modes, but the suggestion, at least, 
of a better plan. The reigning system, she thinks, 
tends to weaken the principles of female virtue, 
by its encouragement of vanity^ selfishness, and 
inconsideration ; and that quality mpst important * 
in an instnictor of youth, she tells us (p. 69) is 

" Such a strong impression of the corruption of our 
** naturCy as should insure a disposition to counteract it ; 
'« together with such a deep view and thorough knowledge 



138 

" of the hummk hearU <^^ should be necessary for ieve- 
** loping and. controlling its most secret and compliccUed 
^^ workings.** 

Here we see at once a scheme of mysticism, 
and a proof that Young and Harward would by 
her be considered as prefemble tutors to any pro- 
fessor in the Universities. Now, whether man 
brings with him into the world a ** corrupt nature 
^^ and evil dispositions,** is a theological question 
of little use to be inculcated in our earliest years. 
There are innumerable other subjects to be at- 
tended to before the mind is capable of reasoning 
on so abstruse, sytematic, and scholastic a ques- 
tion as the fall of man or woman. That is but one 
question ; and if our learning is to be confined to 
it only, we shall be non-descripts indeed. I be- 
lieve no man or woman, tut H. More, on send- 
ing for a writing master, would think the following 
the only question neeessary to be asked, instead 
of a specimen of his writing and his terms, ** Dost 
^ thou believe the fall of man V^ Or of a music 
or fencing master 3 i^ Dost thou believe in original 
•* sin ?" These are not the questions any person 
of common sense would ask a tutor for his son, or 
governess for his daughter. Languages must be 
learned, and the circle of the sciences described and 
perambulate d, accompanied with religious instruc- 
tion before any one particular system be adopted. 
These are the means to prepare him for the reco- 
very from his fall, if he has fallen,* or to become 



* See Milton on Education, and an ingenious sern^on by the Rev. Dr. WhititelA 



excellent amd good, if he shall be considered as a 
" creature of edocaltion." I fear H. More's plan, 
if she has formed any idea of a scheme of e^aeat- 
tion, is too much calculated to superindiBce, bji 
puritaaical zeal, a spiritDaJ' gloom, with an age of 
darkness. 

The " Phrenzy of Accomplishments" is next 
attacked and ridiculed. She reprobates the prac- 
tice of ladies learning French and other languafges, 
unless they were sure, before they began, they 
should become perfectly skillted in them ; and de- 
scribes the awkwardness of half-gentlewomen, 
curates, tradesmen, and formers daughters^, who 
have lost their time at a boarding schorf, when 
they ought to be otherwise employed. Whether 
this knowledge has been attained from what pas- 
sed at her own and sisters school, I know not ; 
but Mrs. Robinson, for one, certainly improved 
in dramatic science, for how could she fail under 
so skilful a mistress as H. More. 
If no man is to make a beginning, without a. 
- certainty of great progress, learning must soon be 
banished from the world, and every other laud- 
able work be unattempted. " The epidemical 
" mania" of Sunday schools, therefore, should be 
cured, because, as Dr. Johnson said of the Scotch 
nation, " every one has a smattering, but none a 
" belly full." Mediocrity, one talent or two, is, 
according to her opinion, worse than nothing.- — 
Pope's advice respecting poetical composition, 

" Diiak deep, or taste 'not the Pieiian spring," 
certainly applies to herself, whose poetry docs 



140 

scarcely rise to mediocrity : but all ought to at- 
tempt at learning, because a little is useful and 
needful^ and a few among the many may dis- 
tinguish themselves, and be useful to mankind. 
I would have all men and women taught to read 
and write, and every thing else they can reach at. 
It is thus they know themselves, and their duty to 
God and man. The world has been too much 
kept in darkness ; and as we are blessed with 
that glorious art printing, let it be the vehicle of 
knowledge and happiness to the whole world. 
** Vanity, selfishness, inconsideratony^ and affec- 
tation, will certainly now and then shew then]i- 
selves, and render the vain and affected ridicu- 
lous. But learning is not to be despised, because 
a H. More, and such, now and then pretend to 
write on " female education/* 

Her observation, 

*^ I do not scruple to assert, that in general, as far as my 
<^ little observation has extended, this class of females, in 
** what relates both to religious knowledge and to practical 
** industiy, falls short both of the very high and the very 
« low." 

The lady's observation is not only " little," but 
ignorant, and she was foolish in making it ; for can 
all attain at, has she reached excellence ? " If all 
^ were head, where were the body and the feet ?'* 
There will always be wise and foolish virgins. In 
this observation, H. is not among the wise ones. 

'^ Hence the abundant multiplication of superficial wives, 
•* and of incompetent and illiterate governesses." 

Hear this, ye wives and ye governesses! How 
comes it that Mrs. More and her four sisters are 






141 

not wives ? Were not they well prepared and suf- 
ficiently educated for that holy and happy state ? 
Is Hannah herself a *^ widow bewitched, or a non- 
** descript wife.'* Ye ladies of the middling clas- 
ses, you are here told that she does not write for 
your instruction, " but a more important class of 
" females ;" and I suppose she> consequently, does 
not wish you to read her book ! 

Dancing is ignorantly ridiculed. I suppose she 
herself does not like dancing, and is of Cicero's 
opinion, that " Nemo fere saltat sobrius," because 
perhaps she never was taught, or if taught, was 
but a bad proficient. Dancing not only teaches 
to sit, stand and walk, but to act gracefully. There 
^re beauties besides those of the face ; beauties of 
form, of action, motion, rest. As she is so fond 
of inculcating the fall of zvoman, I wonder she is 
not more desirous the ladies should recover the 
graces of the body, as well as of the mind, of the 
pjimaeval fair. " Grace was in all her steps," &c. 
I confess, for my own part, I would not like for a 
'wife a person who could not jigi and foot it a 
little. I would not indeed be ambitious of her 
dancing on a slack-rope at the opera, or on the 
stage ; but I think it indispensible she should be 
able to dance a country dance, do the Irish and 
Scotch steps (p. 84) and by all means " setting,'* 
after Mr. Spectator's method. I love a little mu- 
sic too. It adorns a woman's graces and virtues, 
for it charms ; and those who hate it, are fit for all 
the dark crimes the poet enumerates, as well as 
for " private accusations." I dislike a timber- 



tuned wife ! iEvcry woman ought 'assuredly to be 
drilled, and leavnto walk, and march as well as 
•to^step and foot.it : but I would not liestow on 
eitfier of »the$e teachers -a *" stipend that would 
" make the pious Curate rich and happy." As 
an ecclesiai^tic, I thank^the 'benevolent lady; but 
I recollect, fthat but ilately,< die I was not so very 
charitable to the Curate -df-Blagdon, ^whom she 
endeavoured to st»ip of his whote income. To 
cintimidate the] British ladies )from cultivating the 
•fine arts, the act lis represented as a sure token 
^ of the degeneracy, fall, and ^speedy dissoUition of 
*the empire, and any, advancement to excellence 
as incomputable .with female .virtue, ranking them 
(With the iFhrynes . (p. 88) Xais's, .Aspasias, and 
iGlyceras, - all Women of easy lacceas : in ancient 
•times ; ' courtezans, the most beautiful and ac- 
:complidhed -in the world. Ladies ! .throw away 
your pencils, and your pens iakb. The " fa- 
** mous ode ' of ^Horace" is quoted, to Mrs. /Han- 
nah's shame; for it ^would *leadioae to suspect 
:her of being a imatron ; -it » ought .never to thaye 
:been metioned by-her. Iwouid imt, as a-man, 
^'V^IIture Jtoread it in her bearing, yet she hersdf 
.is not ashamed to call the attention' of^^^men aifid 
women? to it, )to tell: the, public she can read .and 
taBc <*f what ought not to be spoken of. So gross 
are some poenisof that great moralist Horace, that 
*^ purgekl edition was aiew years ^o published for 
thc'Use <>f young t gentlemen. The woman that 
i^ would mention such a poem, or its contents, be^ 
-foremen, wottld be considered, not unjustly, as 
offering herself. Her words are, p. 89, 



*< Tlie fomous ode of iHomce, too gross to be eithet 
** quoted or referred to> &c," 

NoEpodest wotaan could Mrrite^o. When I^read 
thi:s to I^ady Mac Sarcasm, she blushed. It did 
not iput me in mind of the '^ fiddling rfigure" 
of "high-atoned moraliCy/' but of the "famous 
" -Dr. Graham's iSgure of full-toned virility." I 
.indline to^think her Levitical friend and assistant, 
"iciiidiad," his here pkycda trick on Miss H. 
by introducing the stbry of the " fahious G«le of 
" Horace, Tvhich ought not to be quoted or re- 
" ferrcd to," withia viewtogrsltify'her affectation 
of learning at the exp^iice of female delicacy! 
My wife is ashamed of it, 

"Thearts," $he^dd$» ^.^be^omeagents of vdluptuousness. 
^^ They excite the imagination.; aaid the ioistginltion tfans 
** excited, and no longer under the government of strict 
" principle, becomes the most dangerous stimulant of the 
' " passions ; promotes a too, keen relish for pleasure, teach- 
** iiig how to multiply its sources, and inventing new and 
**.pertticioits modes of artificial gratification/* 

To this 'I would answe^r, that degetieracy is not 
to 'be expected at least from our salloYs ; for as 
long as' a midshipman tnay'by merit rise to peer- 
age and the highest command, so long will efnu- 
lation and an active spirit exist. It is not so in 
the army, where every step is purchased. This 
^rsland'Will always floiirish. Stabit quocunque 
jcceris. We have the commerce 6f the world, 
and Manufactures ou]^ht to bie encotiraged. As 
to theifbrm and mode of dress, that iis' always, and 
-ahv^ys^will ^nd- ought to be * <ihanging. Mac 



144 

Laurin says the use of the mechanic powers makes 
the difference between the civilized and savage 
state. Ought we not to wear the produce of our 
manufactures? To cavil at the cut of a matfs 
coat, or the shape and fashion of a woman's robe, 
is as childish and absurd a habit of mind in the 
self-elected sumptuary censor, as the style of dress 
can be supposed to be extravagant and fantastic 
in the people^ Nature ought to be assisted and 
directed. If it be desirable and practicable, by 
any speculative and theological doctrine that a sys- 
tem-monger should fabricate, to attain or recover 
that degree of purity, that rendered all costume 
unnecessary to the first pair, let Mrs. More set the 
example of going naked, vnthout being ashamed. 
What deformities of person might then appear, 
when she shall have exposed herself will be 
known; but, unfortunately for her mental cos- 
tume, cunning and artfulness have uniformly 
been of consistence not sufficiently dense, though 
strongly wove, to conceal the distortions and 
depravities of the heart ; " private accusations," 
*' Not read Athanasian creed these seven years." 
^ He is a socinian, and a jacobin." " I will have 
" him turned out of the curacy, deprived of his 
" living, and unfrocked." 

Whatever may be said of Mrs. More 's person ; 
by her allusions to the " famous ode of Horace," 
and her " agents of voluptuousness," " exciting 
" the imagination," ** stimulants of the passions^" 
&c. &c. her mind and imagination certainly are 



(( 



€< 



US 

hr from pure, having apparent!]^ waded through 
many a dirty lane to acquire experience. 

Hired Teachers (p. 97) are universally repro- 
batted, as having an immediate interest in, and 
deriving a rich and present crop from " not caring 
how much the ground is impoverished for fu- 
ture produce ;'^ and parents are recommended 
to look to ^^ permanent value, and continued fruit- 
" fulness." If French, Italian, music, and danc- 
ing masters charge high for their lessons, it is 
certainly far more reasonable than the expence 
of having a set of these professors in every school, 
and in every family. These gentlemen owe no 
obligation to Miss Hannah. In case some super- 
or sub-orthodox parent, or non-descript gover- 
ness, should hereafter receive Mrs. More*s crite 
rlon of " qualifications for instructors,** she would 
do well to write a forma, or catechism for music 
and dancing masters, that they may know how to 
answer parents and governesses, when they en- 
quire into their faith,, and fitness for giving lessons 
on the piano-forte, or the Scotch and Irish steps. 
This will be one step in proselytism, and securing 
and adding fiddlers, at least, to the society' of non- 
descripts. 

In every page, as my author advanceth, she 
more and more proves, that to make a book, ra- 
ther than to furnish a plan of useful education, is 
her only object. Even children*s balls furnish 
her with matter for some pages, but they are 
pages of folly, if not inanity. If children are to 



, * 






(( 



146 

team to danc^e^ they ought to dance together bi 
numbers ; and in a ball there can be no impro- 
priety, but protracting it to too late an hour. It 
is always easier to censure, than correct or pro- 
pose a better method s and this is uniformly veri- 
fied in H. More, 
Under the greatest alarm at " the evils we are 
sustaining from modem France (p. 105) we for- 
get," she says,^ " those we were systematically 
importing under the old government ;'* and she 
is almost in hysterics lest governesses from that 
country should privately instil some opinions into 
their mind, and teach their pupils some pretty 
manual evolutions of catholic institution, although 
not long since she informed us, that, by law, all 
religion was abolished in France ! 

These alarms, at the same time they help to 
fill her volume^ to answer a political purpose also, 
shew her mind is sick or depraved. But to be 
just and impartial, what have we which came not 
from France ? Were not the French before us a 
free people? Ought we to blame them for en- 
deavouring to recover their liberties? Did not 
wie receive our very parliaments from that coun- 
try? Are not our language and laws ihixt with 
theirs? Have we not our best wines froni themr? 
Have they Hot civilized Europe, and rendered 
even the honors of war more tolerable ? I grant 
their enormities and crimes ; but I would not de*- 
liberately teU a Ssil^hood of them or of Mrs. More. 
The dakiger to religion is nothing but affectation, 
or a desire that non^-descf ipts should be univer- 



I 



147 

sally our teachers (for if we believe her, the edu- 
cation of the infant Princess of Wales is directed 
by her) chosen by the grand test of the " original 
" corruptions of human nature ;** and this belief so 
easily assumed, so frequently the cloak of knavery, 
a succedaneum for all the virtues, is, in instructors, 
to supply the place of all learning. 

Mrs. More! Mankind and womankind will 
dance and sing, to all which you declare yourself 
an enemy, and smile and laugh, and eat and drink, 
and be merry (for there will be evils enough, with- 
out allowing you to kpep them in your Tropho- 
nius's cave) and at proper seasons I hope they will 
pray, preach, and sing psalms too, whatever feeble 
dissuasives your unstable principles may propose. 
In hopes that it may do you good, I will here sing 
you a song, for, every hour this and every day of 
my life, I have either enunciatively prayed, or 
mentally lifted up my soul, to those regions where 
I hope one day magora canere; and I have no rea- 
son to be sad while the Omnipotent reigneth^ while 
I avoid " private accusations," and such naughty 
doings, and professing religion, more for the pro- 
fession's sake than the practice. Alms-deeds are 
a very humble part of charity ! Allons! Chantons ! 

Come gie V a song. Sir Archy cry'd, 
And lay your disputes a* aside ; 
What nonsense is 't for folks to chide 

For what 's been done before them. 
Let Whig and Tory all agree, 

Whig and Tory, Whig and Tory, 
Let Whig and Tory all agree 

To drop their Whigmymorums ; 



148 

Let Whig, and Tory all agree 
To spend the night wi* mirth and glee, 
And cheerfu' sing alang wi' me 
The reel of Tullochgorum. 

O ! TuUochgorum's my delight. 

It mak's us a^ in ane unite ; 

And any siimph that keeps up spite. 

In conscience I abhor him; 
For biythe and cheary we '11 be a/ 

Blythe and cheary, biythe and cheary, 
Biythe and cheary we 'U be a,' 

And make a happy quorum. 
For biythe and cheary we '11 be a,' 
As lang as we hae breath to draw. 
And dance till we be like to fa,' . 

The reel of Tullochgorum. 

What need there be sae great a phrase 
Wi' dringing dull Italian lays, 
I wou'd na gie our ain Strathspeys 

For half a hundred score o^ 'm. 
They 're douff and dowie at the best, 

Douff and dowie, douff and dowie, 
They 're douff and dowie at the best, 

Wi' a' their variorums ; 
They 're douff and dowie at the best, 
Their allegro's and a' the rest. 
They canna please a Scottish lass. 

Compared wi' TuUochgorum. 

Let wardly worms their minds oppress 
Wi' fear of want and double 'sess. 
And sullen sots themselves distress 

Wi' keeping up decorum. 
Shall we sae sour and sulky sit. 

Sour and sulky, sour and sulky^ 
Shall we sae sour and sulky sit. 

Like auld Philosophorums ; 



149 

Shall we sac sour and sulky sit, 
Wi' neither sense, nor mirth, nor wit, 
And never try to shake a fit 
To the reel of TuUochgorum. 

May choicest blessings aye attend 
Each honest-hearted open friend, 
And calm and quiet be her end. 

And a' that 's gude watch o'er her. ' ^ 
May peace and plenty be her lot. 

Peace amd plenty, peace andplenty,- 
Peace and plenty be her lot. 

And dainties a great store o' 'em ; 
May peace and plenty be her lot, 
Unstained by any vicious blot, 
And may she never want a groat 

That 's fond of Tullochgorum, 

But for the- sour and frumpish fool, 
Who wants to be oppression's tool, 
May envy gnaw her rotten soul, 

And discontent devour her. 
May dole and sorrow be her chance, 

Dole and sorrow, dole and sorroWf 
May dole and .sorrow be her chaiice, 

And nane say " wae 's me" fpr her; 
May dole and sorrow be her chance, 
Wi' a' the ills that come frac France, 
Whoe'er she be' that winna dance 

The reel of TuUochgorum,. 

I was indeed about to observe, and it is gene- 
rally true of her, that the author finds fault with 
the whole of modern education, and seems well 
inclined to abolish it; but like the republican, 
who would pull down every government without 
knowing what to erect in its room, she never in- 
forms us what the plan of instruction should be^ 
excepting that she descants on the *' corruption 



150 

« of human nature." Yet I will do her thte jus- 
tice to quote with approbation, although she has 
not contrasted fairly, a sentence worth all the rest 
of her strictures on education ; for I am certainly 
of Sallust's opinion, that I would not choose quite 
a Sempronia, nor am I like the Numidians, who 
among a plurality could find " nulla arnica." 

*< When a man of sense comes to marry, it is not merely 
** a creature who can painty and play and sing, and draw, 
^* and dress, and dance, he wants ; it is a being who can 
*' comfort and counsel him ; one who can reason, and re- 
** fleet, and fed, and judge, and discourse, and discriminate; 
*^ one who can assist him in his affairs, lighten his cares, 
f* soothe his sorrows, purify his joys, strengthen his princi- 
*^ pies, and educate his children.'' 

To make Penelope's of all our dames, by em- 
ploying themselves in spinning, and making webs 
to clothe their husbands and families, is a pro- 
posal and recommendation very absurd irom Mrs. 
More, who must know, that though in some parts 
of the kingdom this is still certainly practised, yet 
in the Southern counties it is impracticable. For 
it is cheaper to purchase. This business is now 
generally in the hands of manufacturers. She 
might as well recommend it to the ladies to do as 
their great grandnaothers did, make their own 
candies, which is now contrary to law. 

Upon my estate in the North this is still the 
custom 5 and I well remember, that when I first 
went, to college, my mother made me it " coat of 
*^ divers colours.*' 

In chap. 6, of 7th vol. Mrs. More, with some 
light matter, gives some not injudicious observa- 
tions respecting " early habits,^' 



461 

The 8th chap, on ^^ Female Study" is a chapter 
to tfell us of the author's scattered knowledge of 
the title, and sometimes the contents, of books j 
it is a chapter of contradictions. The instructor 
is kft to choose proper school books for their pu* 
pils 3 and immediately she makes a selection for 
her. At one time all learning is to be got by 
smooth measures ; and then she tells us, that 
there is no idle or primrose path to ** any acqui- 
** sitions that deserve the name.'* Religion very 
justly is never lost sight of, and that, like learn- 
ing, is introduced merely to talk about it. The 
*^ profusion of little sentimental works," to which 
she has so abundantly contributed^ with which 
the libraries of youth overflows, she is apprehen- 
sive may serve to *^ infuse into the youthful heart 
" a spurious goodness, a confidence of virtue, and 
** a parade of charity.'* The '^ precocity of mind'* 
produced by such a mode of education, forced in 
the hot-bed of circulating libraries, is inveighed 
against ; and all works of imagination, not founded 
on " christian 3tory and principles," are disap- 
proved of. ^' AbridgmentSy beantiesy and compen- 
diumSy" are considered as " a receipt for form- 
ing a superficial mind ;" and because the best 
written books have much superfluous matter ixt 
them, she says, they who abHdge voluminous 
works judiciously, " deserve well of the comrtiu- 
^' nity." Instead of books of English sentiment^ 
French philosophy, Italian love songs, and the 
magic welders of German imagery, she would 
liave the Ikdies ^bstitute Ijocke on the Human 



€€ 



«i 



152 

Understandings and Butler's Analogy (p. 215) 
with Watts's or Duncan's Logic, and she ought 
to have added one of the best books in the world, 
Watts's Improvement of the Mind. But as she 
has often gutted the fish (a Bishop's dory) which 
another caught, that she may not charge me with 
doing her injustice, let her serve up some of her 
'' plaice." 

. ** Serious study serves to hardto the mind for more try- 
** ing conflicts ; it lifts the reader from sensation to intel- 
" lect ; it abstracts her from the world and its vanities ; it 
^^ fixes a wandering spirit, wA fortifies a weak one j it di- 
** vorces fi-om matter ; it corrects that spirit of trifling 
^ vriiich she naturally contracts from the frivolous tuin of 
<^ female conversation, and the petty nature of female em-< 
f ' ployments ; it concentrates her attention, assists her in a 
^* habit of excluding trivial thoughts ; and thus even helps 
V to qualify her for religious pursuits.'* 

Whilst Mrs. More professes the disinclination 
to make ladies school-women, and skilled in diale- 
tics on the one hand, nor novel writers on the 
other, for any girl by reading three novels may 
l^erself, she says, produce a fourth ; she wishes 
them, however, to study scholastic theology i — 
Forgetful of her sister's novels, and her own 
*^ small beginnings" in life, she, not without 
cruelty and some injustice, observes — 

<^ Is a lady, however destitute of talents, education, 
^ or knowledge of the world, whose studies have been 
*< completed by a. circulating library, in any distress of 
•* mind ? the vmting a novel suggests itself as the best 
<* soother of her sorrows? Docs she labour under any 
** depression of circumstances? writing a novel ocdors as 
^ the readiest receipt for mending them 1 And she solaces 



15S ^ 

** her Imagination with the conviction that die subscription 
** which has been extorted by her importunity, or given to 
'' her necessities, has been ofiered as ai;i homage to her ge- 
*^ nius. And this CQnfidence instantly levies a fresh contri- 
'* bution for a succeeding work. Capacity and cultivation 
** are so little taken into the account, that writing a book 
** seems to be now considered as the only sure resource 
** which the idle & the illiterate have always in their power." 

". Let her ivho is innocent ca$t the ^rst stoned 
'WTiat said the pot to the kettle! I feel the indig- 
nant temper of the Sarcasm family roused in me \ \ 
and if I cannot apply to Mrs. More " siigar hogs- 
*^ heads and rum puncheons,* I can ask, whether 
she and her sisters did not begin business with 
the produce of a subscriptioii? I have known 
more than one amiable female, who wrote a novel 
to raise subsistence for a father, mother and sis- 
ters, all of whom would reprobate the practice of 
Miss ** Moon," " private accusations /* and the 
same feelings which then induced me to recom- 
mend the books to the public, by stating privately 
the application of the produce, to some literary 
censors, force even now, as I re-enjoy the long 
ago past pleasure, the tears to run down my hoary 
cheeks. Madam ! my family is ancient; my mot- 
to isParcere subjectis et debellare superbos; and, 
though I respect the merit which in the law, ar- 
my, navy, or the church, raises a man to peerage 
and dignity, I hate that upstart pride, which at- 
tempts to make Joan a gentlewoman, intellectual 
imbecility a Johnson ; a Lilliputian in Jiteraturo 
a Patagon. 













c 



154 

^ Miss fafaimah's gnces dazde not the view-^ 
** No bon&e she— 410 sun's meridian blsuie :-^ 

*^ A rtahiigki "midst th' illusunating few ;, 
*^ A/arMng rushUgJU^ with its winking rays» 

^ Miss Hakkah has no eagle wing to flee, 
^ Whom thus some adulation can befool : 

** Alas ! a poor Ephemeron is sh£ ! 
^ A humnUng native of a Bristol pool. 

** Had WISDOM crush'd Miss Hannah's forward quill, 
^^ Had silence put a gag on Hannah's tongue — 

** No crape had moum'd upon the Muse's hill, 
'* Nor Phoebus blubber'd for the loss of song. 

'* People shou'd not run riot with applause, 
*' But ah ! how many praise without pretence ; 

** Bawl for a work with wide extended jaws ; 
** Of words a Muge^ and a dnop of sense. 

** Though Hannah's prose presents us nothing new — 
" Though Hannah's verse be lame insipid stuff; 

** Some saHs Ckitic, in wme kind Review, 
'* Shall give the little paper-kite a puff. 

*^ ril tell the public, what, Miss Hannah's strictures 
^* Are decent things — ^perhaps Miss Hannah's plan ; 

** But trust me, they are all some Parson's pictures, 
** These, Hannah never drcuf^ nor coloured^ ! 

" Miss Hannah may be aptly term'd a heriy 

" Who sits on pheasant's eggs, to kindness prone; 

^ Hatches the birds, a pretty brood ; but then, 
*« Weak vanity! She calls the chicks her own. 

^ Miss Hannah's heels are greasy, let me say; 

Miss Hannah's joints are very sXiS indeed : 

** Her form is rather fitted for the rfr^y, 

" Than on Newmarket turf to show a speed. 

> • 

" Then bid Miss Hannah More her pen confine : 

*' Repress the vainly rhyming, prosing rage, 

^* That makes us sinful damn the nerveless line, 

** Un-Job-like curse the pen'ry of the page. 



155 



*' Now, ladies, don't be in a passion^ 
** Because I've treated in such fasMon 

** Miss Hannah, whom you idolize and fester: 
*^ I do assure you, solemn Dames, 
•* Miss Hannah with no mtritjlames^ 

^Nq\ She*$ ti Uiile ini of t^ impostor. 
^ I know you call the nymph, the sun so bright : 
** Now, she's Miss Moon — and borroweth all her lighL 

*' Who has not seen a kind old mother cat 
*' Deliver a dead bird, or mouse, or rat, 

" To her young kitten, Miss Grimalkin ? 
•* Miss catches it with raptur'd claws, 
** Locks it at once within her jaws, 

^* Round with cocked taily and round, triumphant walking; 
*^ So carefully her treasure holding, watching, 
** And proudly purring ' this is all wiy catching.^ 
^^ Has not Miss Hannah been the kitteii here? 
*• Too strongly she resembles it,' I fear! 

*' Miss Hannah, too, a lucky lift has had 

** On some kind Priest's — perchance a Bishop's pad f 

^ Miss Hannah's work so much beprais'd, 

** By flattery's pufF so highly rais'd ;-^ 

" I say Miss Hannah's pretty education book, 
•* Of fishing patty's starts a story, 
^' Where one shall steal another's trout or dory^ 

*^ And slily pull it in on his own hook. 

*^ Now, LADIES, as your honours are at stake, 
'* I beg you for your reputation sake, ' 

** To sift this petty larceny of the pen ; 
" And as ye probably may find it out, 
'^ Confront Miss Hannah — ^kick up some small rout-— 

^^ And make her give the man his fish again." 

Mrs. More, p. 229, vol. 7, declares herself of Opi- 
nibtt, that the flattering accounts given by our cir- 
cumnavigators of the mild and amiable disposition 
of the inhabitants of new-discovered countries, and 
particularly the Hindoos, and the Pellew Islands, 



I 



**->3» 




. •"rv^:;.i 



^ 






156 

are expressly given with the design of counter- 
acting the doctrine of human corruption, and 
destroying the necessity of Christ's sacrifice of 
satisfaction. The atonement is an established 
doctrine, which I will by no means gainsay or 
impugn. But I will not neglect, in this place to 
point out what I am sure all who have perused 
her book must have observed, the studious anxiety 
with which'shej on every occasiony brings this sub- 
ject before her reader's eye. She seems to con- 
sider all as unbelievers who do not receive this 
doctrine. Let us be just. Let reason and the 
scriptures decide. She ought to know that many 
who deny it,- nevertheless, believe the divine mis- 
sion, life and immortality being brought to light by 
Christ, the resurrection from the dead unto eter- 
nal life, and the immortality of the soul and future 
judgment, and consider themselves no lessi chris- 
tians than if they believed this doctrine. Nay, 
even those who deny the Trinitarian doctrine 
altogether, insist that they are christians; and 
they argue, that the word Trinity is not to be found 
in the scriptures, nor will they allow the corrup- 
tion of human nature, nor the atonement, to be 
proved by scripture. Charity! charity! charity! 
The love the first christians had for one another 
extracted from the heathens the apostrophe ; How 
these christians love one another! Do modern 
christians love one another? Let H. More anci 
Sir A. Elton's conduct in the Blagdon controversy 
bear witness. 



4C 



157 

Sbrrie pages are occupied by common place 
observations on the ways and doctrine of Provt 
dence, which explain and account for various 
events in the history of nations ^id individuals, 
and are all shown to promote the great ends and 
objects of the divine administration, proving, from 
the frequent success of vice, and the depressions 
of virtue, the certainty of a future state. This is 
a specimen of the mode in which she recommends 
history to be read to pupils by governesses. 

But above all knowledge, self knowledge is 
again expatiated upon ; and individual self denial 
recommended, by historical interrogatories. The . 
fair are asked, whether they never " carry about 
with them a convenient religion, which accom- 
modates itself to places and seasons ; which is 
*^ decent with the pious,, sober with the orderly, 
" and loose with the licentious?" Whether, while 
with patriotic indignation she inveighs against 
thirty theatres in Paris, well attended every night, 
she may not miss an evening at one of the three 
in LondoUy during our public calamities by war ? 
Will Mrs. More say heir own religion is not a very 
convenient one, and that her conscience is not 
perfectly elastic, which permit her to write plays, 
and to write against plays; to write against the - 
theatre, and yet re-publish her plays ? Surely this 
is a most glaring inconsistency, this is hypocrisy 
with a vengeance ! Need the world wotider she 
should " privately accuse" honest men, or be 
guilty of almost any other vice ? 

A chapter is devoted to " Definitions,'* and it .j^ 

teaches as much of that as it does of roasting eggs. 












1? 



Ukh. 



IS8 

I am decidedly of the same opinion with Mrs. 
More, against those who recommend that chris'- 
danity should not be taught to children: Many 
argue that the scriptures ought not to be a school 
book. I think otherwise. Hie objection, that 
familiarity with so sacred a book produceth future 
neglect and contempt, is not well founded. I 
know the contrary to be true. When children 
become men and go into the world, they are not 
likely to make that book a study. By reading it 
early, the historical part, and the miracles, make 
an impression never to be obliterated. It is there 
we have the most ancient theory of the earth, 
and the most authentic history of the primaeval 
state of the world; there is contained the most 
perfect system of ethics, the purest legjislation, the 
most rational . induction of . natural religion, an 
exemplification of the ways of God with imn^ and 
the words of^temal life revealed. But I certainly 
would not, like her, teach a child any part of 
what is called the " system." The distinguishing 
characteristics of establishments and sects, wiU 
be learned in manhood j a catholic way of wor- 
shipping God, and " serving him only/' incul- 
cating charity to all men, constantly dwelling on 
the ^* great and first,^ the new commandment," is 
most rational, intelligible, scriptural, and super- 
latively us€tfcd. Of system, it will be enough to 
teach the catechism of the church of England, 
than which I know no compend more rational 
and excellent, and so free from system. I totally 
disagree with ber, however, that the " youth or 



159 



U 



young lady should be taught to h4g prejudices^ 
rather than acquire that versatile, accommo- 
dating citizenship of the worlds by which he 
may bei an infidel at Paris^ a papist at Rome, 
f' and a mussulman at Cairo." To overcome pre- 
judices is an hard and difficult study; and of 
whatever application and diligence Mrs. More 
may have been capable, or have employed to en- 
able her to produce the work, with or without the 
aid of others, which goes by her name, it will not 
be uncharitable to say, that she has not yet studied 
at the feet of Jesus, that there is more system 
and *^ nasty heresy,** than of the ^' new command- 
** ment" in her religion, that she is rather in- 
fluenced by the ^* pride of human wisdom," than 
led by affection to be " early at the tomb." Of the 
versatility she describes, there have been but few 
instances of individuals in the world ; and he who 
cannot worship God at Paris, Rome, or Cairo, 
will but coldly worship him in London. The 
writer gf this blesseth God that if he has learned 
but little, he has, however, learned this, and he 
dares avow it, that he has long sioce overcome all 
prejudice, nay even against non-descript bigotry, 
th;|t he could and would worship God in Notre 
Dame^ St. Peters, or while the grand Mufti of 
Cakp was officiating in the house of Rinmon, or 
even in H. More's nQu-descript naeeting, with 
the ^me fervency as in St. Pauls. Is he " the 
" God of the Jews and not of the Gentiles also." 
Pji^ for all tjvis, I respgct order, decewy, Uberaiity, 
ti;ue piety, estabUshme;it> and goo^ g^verssrueat. 



160 

^hich with might and main I will ever defeiid. 
Invective i s no argument. At Paris there are many 
as good christians as at London ; and I must re- 
peat it again, that Mrs. Morc*s religion is bigotry, 
likely to do more mischief than good to the world; 
and did I absolutely believe her to be the author 
of the work I am now considering, I should be 
provoked to say, that she is less pious than 
knavish. She seems to possess that spirit of bigo- 
try, which in all ages detracted from the amiable- 
ness and liberality of the priestly character, which 
taught man to hate man, and produced so much 
evil in Europe, & lately so much misery in France. 
I allow no doctrine that circumscribes the mercies 
of God ; there is no method of gaining eternal life 
but by " doing justice, loving mercy, and walk- 
** ing humbly with him," and the belief and prac- 
tice of this rule supersedeth the excellence of every 
form or scheme sanctioned by ukases, decrees of 
Popes, councils even oecumenical, or by parlia- 
ments themselves, however omnipotent, because 
it is the word of God himself. " Miss Moon !'* 
I vow, though you have had a pair of good black 
rolling eyes, and I love black eyes, I would rather, 
caeteris paribus, supposing Lady Mac Sarcasm 
buried, marry a brundftte, a Mussulwoman from 
Cairo than you ; because we could together adore 
the same God, the God that made the " heavens 
•* and the earth," ^' in various style and strains 
" unmeditated ;" who made the people of all na- 
tions, the revolutionary Parisians, and the Non- 
descripts; and we should love one another too, 
shewing no wish to prevent others from being 



161 

happy here and heredfter ; believin^i as we would, 
that God is ^^ verily no respecter of persons ; but 
" that in every nation he that feareth him, and 
•^ wbrketh righteousness, is accepted of him/' 
f An infidel at Paris ! Hannah ! here you was not 
half cupning, and versatility and craft are the pre- 
dommant features in your character; Such phrast s 
ought not to have disgraced your pages ! Did you 
not foresee that there would, and must be " friend- 
"ship and amity'* between our King arid the 
Chief Consul of the " Infidels?" Have not our 
brave ioldiers, and several " fine fellows" from 
off my estate among them, fought in the same 
cause, and under the same banner, with the 
Turkish infidels; and did not you know that there 
are treaties of " friendship and alliance" between 
the Defender of the l^aith and the Defender of the 
Infidels, and of the false Prophet? Surely you 
have lost all your prudence and discretion, for 
which you are remarkable ! You are a bad sub- 
ject I am afraid ; I do not mean to his Majesty, 
or to Mr. Pitt. I should be glad to reclaim ybu 
from your non-descript ways ; and I am of opi- 
nioji, were we acquainted, I might do something, 
itbough. I fear you are too old to mepd. Lady 
Mac Sarcasm shall, however, I am determined, 
soon wait on you, smd we shall become acquainted; 
.and.as you are something of a virago, as I perceive 
from your own and other books, I e^spect you will 
reason unlike " other women," .without insisting 
" it i& so because it is/' but dialeticalfy ; and if I 
shall be happy enough to get you :tQ, " recatot yojir 

M 



\ 



** wicked eiTQrs,"':and be " restored and recoa- 
" ciled," according to the canon, tiKire -will be 
amrch joy «q Ae recovery of a " str»y sheep." 

We^are assured (p. 275) that it is Teaaonable 
** we Bhould in Christianity, as in arts fttidsQieaces, 
" or laagoBges, begin with the begimui^ set out 
"with Ae simpie -elements, and thus^ on to 
■*' perfection." Hiough, -for the reas6'ns I hdve 
alceady given, my opinion is,-tbat children should 
ibsm infancy^ belaught Teligious duties, yet I do 
not hesitate to say, that the lady.arid her doctor, 
whoever he be, are mistaken, when they My 
■^" Christianity is a science." A knowiedge erf 
natural religion, if it has not descended ftom 
Adam, may be attained by investigation and rea- 
:sentng ; but in Christianity there is :no induction, 
otherwise theie^was no necessity fona Messiah. 
The great teaxAer of Christianity never begirts 
with first pnnciples, runs into no abstraction or 
'metaphysical disquisitions. Hie sermons of Jesus, 
in no instance, resemble a .gsadual prpgress, ad- 
Tanctng step by -step till a regular series of con- 
clusions is established. Many of his discourses, 
in the fragments of them ^hich have been pre- 
served,- ibegin with, a redoubled verify, not only 
in^rting the consequence and utility of the.-doc- 
trine he is about to deliver, butprincipally the in- 
f^libleknowlef^ehe had of it. His discourses 
ivere all occasional, generally consisting of pre- 
cepts and-s^liorisms, as rules of conduct, having 
idl a «ingu)aF aptitude to eixisting circumstances, 
amd the «apaai^ of those %o whom they wece 



i63 

^ddre^sed. laithe gospel di^re is iiosysteq^. -Sf^ 
Hem bas been liaised firom Christianity, hetchtis* 
tiAnity/from system. Jt is distressing to find the 
endeavoucs of i t^s Jady to - purify herself horn htjc 
fatugier '^* .evil worksy^^ the dmma, 5 fruitless. <9he 
cannot illustrate a christian thesis, -without 4he 
assistaiKre of the '^ -wrg/ principle of Dogbtrrtf, 9St 
" ^which/! she adds, ** we have all probably 
^^iatfghed." Thus she cannot get forward to 
her Canaan, Widioutilc>bking back ather ( foi^er 
^o^ne^, the flesh pots of Egypt. 

In p. 282, Christianity is again CQnsidered as a 

Bciiehce, and a reformation at death held as im- 

practicable as -to study mathematics ^ ;it is to » 

learn the totally unknown scheme of Chris- 
tianity." This certainly is a wrong nptiondf 

the gospel. Then follow many pages of redun- 

xiaht preaching, and impalpable inanity. 

P..315, we^^retpldthgt 

" .Jpw^h.shouy,!]^ taught tj^at as tiiff^yb d^,4^3fj;i- 
** mifiatiQg characteristic of our relinon. therefore.a proud 

(Qhri^tian, a Imigluy, disciple o^ a^crucifie^ Master, fur- 

fiishe^ perhaps a stronecr opposition in terms than the ^ 

** whiEile dompass of language can exhibit. TChcy sKottti 
^*^be taugli^4^t^ bttdiility hiring Ac appropriate grace of 
^^<iSbibiiaii]ty,.;]aipnK:isely<theytb]ag>3^^ ^ 

.:^Ri bkeihere>aiihutiess attemptst{]ih^k>glcs|l 
Jteai^ing, «i^varei4cUditheiRotrianscHad4K) word ^ 

&r Jauinlttty, 1»it^whiit was used in^ft«H^^ad-«eii^iV 
and it is erroneously inferred, that huroilitj?»ttwfe 
;IK> virtue t^U ^ma^fic so rby (chostianity. ' f^go 



5« 






1§4 

cotisequentian.et.argunientum. HumilitaSi a hu- 
mills, 2L humus y the groundy the English of wWch 
is humility, humble, for humus is not yet an- 
glicized. But we have corresponding words. in 
English, viz. low, or on . the ground; ' lowly, Aa- 
milis i lowlinefes, hundlitas. These words are of 
general sense, and their particular significations 
Urise from their s^pplic^ition ; for the abstract sub- 
.rtantiv^s, humility,, humilitasy i. e. lowliness, are 
equally indicative of the position of body and 
mind. These words had existence before chrls^ 
tianity ; for if they had not, and a virtue formerly 
unknown to human nature were introduced by it, 
it would ha ve^ been mentioned by its appropriate 
term. Humilitas is used by Cicero, as relatinff 
to mind; humilis, basCy mean^ dwarj^sh. To prov^ 
this, if it be denied that lowly, AwwiAfei lowliness^ 
humbleness^: humility ; -^pply not to the mind, 
search the bible, and there lowly, as a virtue, fre- 
quently occurs. It also oc(:'urs in the gospel, and 
when these books were translated, it clearly ap- 
pears that our language had ia word for the scrip- 
tural virtue, viz. " lowly '^ The Greek, the Ro- 
no^an language, and the .English, had all a primi^ 
tive of their own, from which: the adjective, and 
the abstract substantive were ^formed or derived, 
and first applied to body, and ^afterwards, as nxen 
philosop^izedrtQr^iW. The. Apo^tkiin the Greek 
was ejfplicit, when he adfi^d . to : t«v»r)$, f^"i» 
thus, r««fiM^e^ni, humilitas ijijlentis, lowliness of 
^mind. . i 

Pride is a root in our language (and an evil 
root it is) but the Greek, as well as the Latin, 






f65 

has' a compound word for it, viz. tmt^nf^in^y superci- 
Hum. . Even /aj&erft/flis^ a derivative. 

' Her doctor might have futnished her with a 
better argument for Christianity. < 

If the Romans, who are falsely charged with 
giving to humilitas & humilis no intellectual mean- 
ing, used it only in a " bad sense/' the British se- 
nate, army and navy, are blamed for giving pnflfe a 
good meaning. A *^ proud day," ** proud event," 
a " proud success 3" although our commanding 
officers pioUsly enough ascribed their victory to 
" Almighty God," our author does not consider 
it as sufficiently " evangelical ;" and she thinks the 
swift sailing vessel that brought the dispatches, 
ought to have waited till a better word could have 
been coined, on an occasion ** which has preserved 
that religion which sets its foot on the neck of 
pride !" It is impossible not to repeat epithets 
lately applied to her religion, " bloody piety." 
Mrs. More is no christian. TTie ' doctriiie she; 
wishes to inculcate; though she endeavours to 
conceal jt, 'is a mystical^ unintelligible faiih ; and 
she seems rather to believe that Christ c^me to 
^ send a sword," than " peace" on the earth ; and 
that that hdly religix>n' which has been often in the 
mouths of knaves as peace; while war and cruelty 
were in their hearts, is not to exist in the world 
by its own excellence, and the superintendence of 
God, without nations combining to seal it with 
blood, and proclaim its peace&l doctrines, ** itsf 
^ new commandment" to the nations, with ana- 
thematizing canons, 'and cannons of eVerycalibre. 






Were it not the fearbf dfegradng tbe " religion 
" of good wiUi" and tbe honour of the fifrnily of- 
the Sarcasms, my pride vftald lead- m& to *y 
something she would not like to readj but I wilji 
not expose my family's temper, for, asmybroflier 
Sir A. Elton said, while he was writing 3 booky< 
" I do- not defend myself," I will not defendchris-' 
tianity with any other weapon than the tongue or 
the pen. I wUl rather, as I really do, for a hun- 
dred reasons, pity her. This lady seems" perfeotlji- 
prepared for a crusade, and to erect the labarunv 
as a'signalof blood. This she has already at- 
tempted, by imputing disaffection to her system to? 
a liege son of the church as acrin^e, and appointed 
" a disciple of her own in his pi jce." , 

But pride is frequently the motive to many 
a good action ; aad it often sugigests bad ones^ 
Fride, an honest pride* the pride of mainlining- 
the reputation of integrity, induced Mr. Bere tof 
presenther and Sir A^aham'£Iton, her good, atltf 
faithful ally in persecution and erueltyj before the 
tribunat of the public -, and it was pride, a mis- 
taken, ignotvtit, and wicked pride', that has reil<^ 
dered her contumaciously- mut&, yet- indefatigable^ 
■diligent in privately directing hfer rtmiiefs, and 
byi her friends influfeacing: others, to " fiontfadict 
'* and give the lie to himf in public advfertjse- 
'* Hientft i" when if it were possible to palliate he|f 
guiltj she ought herself to have come foi^Vard auk) 
defended that factitious, literaiy, and religiou&oha^ 
racter, She had'acqmred by the iftiime-asd-prose^' 
amBling-nag>as it^ipearfe, of others. 



fe? 



The last ch&pi of voL 7> is^ Occupied; by z 
Sememe qfP^rayer. Respeciable mtotioit iib; nwdfe 
of the liturgy of the churel|. of E^glmid ; b^ 
liie fomm, here pifc^sed,. k that ojf the dire«;* 
toiy of tJw? a^tmWy of d^yineif at Westinmster-*- 
afid it^divi^oify is thail ui*to which prayer nstvaraAj 
tesohes if sdC The hea<£s are^ as^usual, adatt^on^ 
4imfesmn, petition, tkamks^gmng, intercession. Bjr 
storing up in the memory the phra^e& and texts 
of scripture, the child, m tirme, is expected ta> be 
ableto pray, I suppose e^&tenapore, i. e; widiaiit 
iLtty prepared- form. The woi4 extempare^ k not 
used in this chapter, bcrt the object evidently is to 
karn to pray withoml a^ pre-concdred form. I 
mentio9| this isa pairticolcirly, our aocount of the 
magdbn controversy, whemin the word extempore 
has been much^ bmdied aboti>, brought as a cri^ 
minal charge agaiti9f her,, and denied by hei 
organs^ her arMtun^s unde* her eye, for she is 
herself contumadousiy mute. Nour, although i 
am^ myself of the chorch, I confess, I think re- 
peating a pf e-^eoiidoived formi of prayer ao just 
eharge against a christian or a heathen. To hcara 
fea!<ned, judiciou€P, and pIou& minister pnay, vi^taich 
ei%i7 mififister ift the churdh who knows^ hisi dlity 
aivd prdjfession ought to be able to do, wbencii^ 
eumstan^es niake it eonv^nient & necessafyy from 
hi^ store ^^ 0f dd things^ and new," is delightful 
10^ the heai^ of every truly pious person. Arethere 
notrespeet^bte protestant churches established by 
law who ttse no liturgy ? ^ Weve there 4iot vsuious 
missals u'sed itl diiSireiit 'diocei^, ii> times of 





168 

popery ? Wc had them in usum Sarum, &c. &c. 
The exercises of that sort, sometimes pre-con-^ 
ceived, and by long and constant practices gene- 
rally extemporaneous, performed by a Doctot 
Robertson, a Blair, a Campbell, a Leechman, a 
Dalrymple, a Doddridge, a Lardner, a Kippis, 
^ Rees, and a Hunter, all of them a^ honour to. 
their country, and ornaments to their profession, 
being elegant, pure, and pious, can be an object 
of derision only to the ignorant or the iixipious. 
That man, or minister, who cannot pray without 
book, is not only ignorant of his profession, be he 
in or out of the church, but of genuine reljgion. 
I conceive every man prays several times a day •, 
and I imagine he will not wait till a book is 
brought. There is not an hour of the day passes but 
I put up some prayer, ^^ Sursum corda !'* When I 
open my eyes, it is my heaven to pray ; when I 
liress, eat, drink, stand, or sit, I put up some 
petition, or return tbank$ for some mercy ; and I 
always fall asleep perhaps in the middle of some 
secret prayer. And I i:onfess, I am far from think- 
ing myself one of the best phristians^, or without 
many faults and infirmities, and this poor Lady 
Mac Sarcasm very well knows, and often reminds 
me of it. But it is when I walk or rid^ put alpne^ 
or cUmb some fair hill, and prospects delightfiil 
as EHysian arise to n^y view, that I enjoy the rap- 
tures of the blessed : I am all praise and adoration,, 
and I seem to lon'g for the day when I shall caU 
the trea8Uife8'i)f eternity my own, form a juster 
idea of the universe and the ^ttf^biites^ of Godj^ 



169 



and revel in the plenitude of bliss. Sometimes 
viewing his works, lost in wonder, I say with the 

poet, 

** Come then, expressive silence, muse his jHuise." * 

Now my reader may call me an enthusiast if htf 
likes; but I deny it; I read the liturgy according 
to authority; but there is ho oath of conformity 
that does, ' or can, or shall forbid me this secret 
converse with my God. 

Now to this right I think every man is entitled, 
and this I think the wise and the humblest may 
and ought to practise individually. But if a mem- 
ber of the church will publicly pray to a congre- 
gation by extemporaneous, or rather without any 
forms, I think such a person ought to secede, 
take a license, and, as a dissenter, be protected* 
by law. I do not approve of ignorant per- 
sons praying to a congregation without a forni 
committed tP memory. When this is the qase, 
there is danger of enthusiasm and extravagance^, 
It was H. More's faulty while she declared her- 
self of the church, to encourage these practices in 
an injudicious manner. King Charles the mar- 
tyr, in £jkon 3asilikon, ^scribed to him, allowed 
of private devotion in the manner J have described^ 
but was a steady friend to the liturgy in public, 
for which he died a martyr under the axe of th^ 
Hincient non-descripts, whose system Mrs. Hannah 
is most indefatigably resuscitatiiig. - 



^^ 



( 

v^ 



^' 












f^. 






'•,■ 



tT^ 



VdL. VTrt. 

THR 8tk V(^ GontBitidobservaAioifis tofadk^ on 
the matnageiiieiit of tfaelr hou^ehold>> and on prao-^ 
ticail affairs. Ai^hEftetic 16 recommenAedi, a& ne- 
cessary to d^oxromyj and her opinion is enfof eed 
by the authority of Dr» Johnson^ who said thaft 
*' a woman cannot have too much arithmetic.^* 
Young, ladies are warned against becoroing- au- 
thors^ until they have read much and studied 
long ; as thereby, instead of coming forward too 
soon, vainly boasting, of their early genius, their 
works will prove less defective, and they them- 
selves more humble and diffident! Study is more 
earnestly recommended, fecause the more learned 
the womafn, the more nearly will they approximate 
an equality with the meh, ^matterersftherefore, 
have no pretensions td this rank ; it is ^^ higher 
•* minds" (such as herself !) who are worthy of 
co-operation and competition with the m^le sex. 

Mfs.,More draws a pjtrallel between the vo- 
man of personal beauty, and the woman who 
possesses beauties of the mirid. The" beautiftir 
woman everts herself to be a bestuty, a qtrfecm, 
for life; whilst the female of wit ind teaming, 
cdtttbjtts'patrioticaHyfbr the whde sex, destroy- 
ing' att distinction, and abnogating* every SaKqae 
Jawi which fenders man superior to and head of 
the woman J and environing women, every where? 
making them queens, to govern the men. 



** rit pTOT^' yr&r, dm; letili luAW OH nriiqp 
" We can, as weHasmeofido'any dui^^ 
" Na!y bflCto- too, pefhap&>--fot' bow and then, 
'* These tioiei product: stupe bungling- among okb. 
" The men, who grant not much, allow us charms — 
" Are eyes, shapes, dimples, then, our only aims? 
" In spite of lordly wits — with force and case, 
** Caii't we write plays, datiin Curates iffhen iee please!" 
Our author, however, professes herself to be 
pleased with her allotted statioit, and to be am- 
bitious only to fill her '* appropriated niche ;" to 
be the " best thing of her own kind," rather than 
an inferior of an higher order ; and to be an ex- 
cellent woman, rather than an indifferent man. — 
She wishes women to disclaim that something 
more than nature bestows^ and bodks can teach. 
Viz. " that consummate knowledge of the world, to 
" which a delicate woman has no &ir avemio, and whichf 
'* 6vea if she could ittHm, ^e' would never be supposed to 
" comehonestly by." 

In summing the evidence of tlie compailson of 
flie sexes, she ventures to assert, that " women 
* have equal parff with the men, but that they 
" are inferior as fo ■ffdnd!" Shs continues, puii- 
teiicrily and democraticailj', to comfort hefseif, 
IhatJ whatever differfciice nature may have madu 
in' tiie rank of the sexes^ that " at least in Clmst 
" JesuB they are ajuaij in whom is no ' rich aob 
*•* poor,^bond nor free,' mo& norfemfdeP* 

Whatever she has Kad> and she must be d=< 
Jbwed to have read rnany bdolcs, she, by a «fe- 
rence to the authdfs, endBavoirfff RJ bring foti 
wardsy not as quotations^ but as if fusrti^ed ^y 



4€ 



172 

her own ihmd^ and aomietimes her tmmoiyy mak'^ 
ing a literary iiad pedantic parade. In conver- 
sation she does not wish the ladies to " take the 
*' lead in metaphysical disquisitions, theological 
" polemics, 

** And find no end In wand'ring mazes lost ? 
In the Bangorian controversy, the seven pro- 
positions between the Jesuits and Jansenists, 
to occupy the professor's chair," to " criticize 
by Quintilian's rules, or to regulate a dramatic 
piece by Aristotle's clocky** to be 

*^ Diseyrs de bons mots, fades caracteres." 
But she takes care tha^t her reader or hearer 
shall not escape without being told that she her- 
self, if not eqjual to man, is at least a virago^ *^ the 
'^ best thing of her own kind,'* by mentioning the 
words metaphysical disquisitions ^ Bangorian con^^ ^ 
troversy (it is a pity the Blagdon controversy had 
not then existed) Jesuits and JansenistSj Quinti-s 
UarCs scales, Aristotle's clock ! 

The innumerable instances of inconsistency 
which an attentive and consistent reader will 
meet with in perudng Mrs. More's works, are the 
most convincing proof that . the lady wrote, not 
because she could, but because the Cacoe^es 
Scribendi was "upon her;" like the nonrdescripfc 
in his prayer, who begins a sentence, and trusts 
to Providence for the period, she proceeds. with- 
out method or object, but writes a paragraph and 
wanders, nobody, no not evfen herself^ knows 
where, for materials for th^ ne:?ct. I follow her 
pages, I have no other thread ; and wherever she 



173 

has culled a few flowers^ I smell to them ast go 
along, being desirous of bringing her boneless 
pages, for the benefit of my reader, into the most 
compressed state; and to fin^ wheat where there 
is so much chaff, is not easy. 

r have freqtiently heard it observed, that it is 
iH-Jbred to discuss theological doctriiies in com- 
pany, and as often, that the introduiction of poli- 
tics, ought to be avoided. Our author- says — 

^' As in the mbmeotous times in which we live it is next 
<< to iqnpossible to pass an evening in company but the talk 
** will so inevitably revert to politics, that, without apy pre- 
^' meditated design, every one present shall infallibly be able 
** to find out to which side the odier inclines ; why, in the 
'^ far higher concern of eternal things, should we so care- 
^* fully shun every offered opportunity of* bearing even a 
** casual testimony to the part we espouse in religion ?. 
** Why, while we make it a sort of point of conscience to 
** leave no doubt on the mind of a stranger, whether we 
" adopt the party of Pitt or Fox, shall we dluse to leave it 
<< very problematical whether we belong to God or Baal ? 
*^ Why, in religion, as well as in politics, should we not act 
*' like people who, having their all at stake, cannot forbear 
** liow and then adverting for a moment to the object of 
** their grand concern, and dropping, at least, an incidental 
** intimation of the side to which they belong?" 

My reader is no doubt well aware, and per- 
haps^ from experience j how hopeless an attempt 
it iS' t<3l endeavour by argument, iii company, to 

• • • 

convert a person we casually meet with to dUr 
own opinions. Men's minds are rather heated 
than open to conviction in such short disputes^ 
We may get enemies, but seldom gain friends by 
^uch conduct. . Matter!^ this proposal^ however. 



siTAs something i^ a :bciQk niaker. If k bis true, 
for example, that ^e had proof of ihp Cur^e of 
Blagdon'a proac^hig, or arguUig against tbe trini- 
tarian doctrine, or the Qi?eed, by misnoixi^r called 
Athaxiaaian, forit js yet )in<:ert9.Ui ^o the^jsjutbor 
is, the Saint of that name haying had nothing %6 
do in it,^how.GQiaes it thatsh^^ if he «rere wrongs 
did not bring him. oyer to h&r ,w^y of :thinking»; 
for ahe had three arguments in her iavQur, the 
politeness of men to the wom^i, the right to the 
last word, and a pair of .swift roHing black eyes, 
which is certainly something In a debate ? Or, on 
the other hand, how happens it that he did, not 
convert the lady to the churcji? — ^Jujjt b^cau^e 
few conversions of that hasty, sudden nature t^s^ 
place, and that .men, an these oci;>a»ons, ai^ue 
rather for victory/than conviction and mutual edi- 
fication. WiA such tempers, and particularly 
such a spirit as hers, for what purpose dispute 
about religion ? 

At her own house, I aminformed, one pf her 
sisters, when there ,are, stiJ^Bg^rs, tak^s.pjp^eito, in- 
troduce a coaxef sation jon religion, iaod when.the 
sentime^ts.Qf the.vjsit2«ft3 >tM'e .i:QUQqted^. one of 
ihe five g^erfJllya?vith4i*w^*.*«d-Botfs;th^ 
book kept for the p^rpjMe.; r^pnd tf th^ happ^ to 
differ f^pm^'their views, pai^tiqulair <jare is;t|ifcen to 
.propagate tt^ftfrtich,^rpers0nj3 a Unitarian, eueh 
a person a Sof^ioiw, one (Sin Adrian, another i^ot 
cMrthodox^ m^ thb frequently with jbl deliberate 
purpose itoJi^me th^ir .<^Miicli&rs. Whe^r the 



Curate 9{.&»g^(ni .had .^n^r dvapp^isMf i^Xh 
pm»mn that .may be |x)rtitred JntoiielKirodos^, i 
hay^e not teaijptftd.; bttt m she h«Might the liihMge, 
and haag c^ed on Jk> s^bstan/tiate^it^ jthere ca^i 
be DO dou]>tiof its basing: Ai false and (deliberately 
malicious chaitge. lit is jim indelible stain on her 
veracity. 

As 1 am at liberty, if J diink it proper, . to give 
the xmme of my informant, ^vouchi»g for this'^ct 
in his own person, :whose reracity is utiquestion^ 
able, let me from p. 56, vol. 8, transcribe a few 
lines, that the public may know this woman,- who 
hds passed ^ bersdlf so long as a candidate for 
canonisation. 

<*-'P^j)Ie avoid canversation on religion as exposing them* 
'*Ssebie& to.tiie.daiigdt o&playing fwhh ddged < tools. 'They 
^* Qfimcwc of cdis^w as somrdiiQg vrfaich sovolves oontro- 
" vpray, m4 |di9p¥# j ^iji^^pg f^^^rjm^m<&k(iy>OTm^ 
** Qbic}fpm i sooactl^g <of w .ini^aijrupafoiry -flatw:^, viftupU 
"is t0.stir-up.iU.hwn«ui;s.3jid hatred .;. they considi^ iuw 
" a.quQ3U0a which has twp sides ; as pf. a sort of party- 
" business which siets friends at varianqc. So much is thjs 
*V notion adopted, that I have seen announced two works of 
considerable merit, in which it was stipulated as an at* 
traction, tiiat'the subject of religion, as being likely to 
^^-cxcite anger and poity-distifictions, should be careitilly 
<<^excluded. Sucfh' is 'the worldly idea> of the spirit of that 
^^oreligioa, vdM^i direct' object it was to bt«ig jM«<r^y^9iiif 

^l^is is H. More.~5f Mrs, More couM not 
lisfeen^to4be qnotai^ion c^f a text of scripture, with- 
ont iiilju8t4y, IMogically, as 'well -as wwcharilaWly, 
(deduciagitiiie^dlse'conclusiofvcff heterodosiy, and 



t4' 



176 

considerilig the individu&U as a proper . object of 
persecution and destruction^ she who imagines 
herself, and wishes the world to regard her, as a 
person of extraordinary attainments, how could 
she recommend it to ladies in general, . to make 
religion a principal subject of conversation^ since 
many who do not think themselves the** best 
" thing of its kind," might stir up in the heat of 
debate ill-humours, mischief, strife, and hatred, of 
very serious consequence. It is by this artful con- 
duct, however, that she has blazed abfptid her 
reputation for piety and excellence so long, and 
it was by over-acting her character of cunning and 
mischief, she has ascended like a sky-rocket and 
exploded, and now sunk down to rise no more. 

^ In pne.ofthe conversations just alluded to at 
her own house, where is that elegance of manners, 
that good breeding, which a writer on female 
education ought not only to know and recom- 
mend, but studiously in^her own practice to ob- 
serve ? The gentleman expected to meet with a 
love of inforniation, a desire to commiiriicat? 
knowledge ; that affability which excites a colli- 
sion of ideas, to. promote mutual benefit or plea- 
. sure ; that liberality and charity* Vffeich cheerfully 
allows for the vari^ies of senthn^nt and difference 
in opinion, when they occurs which must inevitably 
exist in individual minds; but he was disappointed, 
for H. More seemed rather to , watch for some 
occasion of censure, of misrepreseiitation, tQ ^yft- 
tify the malicious pride of h^r niystical system, 
the existence pf which he 4i4 nbt then. know. 



177 

than *' with meekness instruct, or receive a rea- 
" son of the hope" entertained by the person who 
bore his part in discourse. 

Oil the subject of conversation, my author con- 
tinues to direct ladies to talk to strangers on that 
subject they may be thought to be best acquainted 
with ; to manage with discreet modesty the dan- 
gerous talent of wit ; not to indulge humour, mi- 
micry, imitation or buflFoonery ; to avoid tl^e affec- 
tation of excldming that *• they are thankful they 
" are not geniuses j" not to think themselves hum- 
ble because they are not ingenious ; and not to 
accuse themselves, from vanity, of faults from 
which they atre known to be exempt. They are 
taught to speak little of themselves, or not at all^ 
and not to publish their faults, rather than not be 
the subject of public talk ; not to accuse them- 
selves of all sins in the gross, that' their friends 
may contradict them ; and of all things, not to be 
foolishly angry if theirfriends shoi:ild be so uncivil 
as to grant their charge against themselves, of be- 
ittg guilty of the infraction of the whole decalogue 
* and more, with many other ramificcitions of the 
offspring of vanity. With great " seriousness" 
they are guarded against telling stories, even if 
they themselves had been eye witnesses, or even 
where their friend knew the man, who remem- 
bered the woinan, who conversed with the person, 
who actually beheld the wonder, and never to di- 
vulge a secret. The writer on female education, 
can it be possible from the company she has kept, 
finds it necessary to warn the British ladies against 

N 



/ 



178 

swearing, mi accoont of its sinfulness and in*^ 
decency. 

^ Among the deep, but less obvioiis niischiefs of con- 
** versationy misrepresentation must not be overlooked. 
^' Self-love is continually at work» to. give to all we say a 
*' bias in our own favour. The counteraction of this fault 
*^ should be set about in the earliest stages of education. If 
** yoUng persons have not been discouraged in the natural, 
" birt evil, propensity to relate" every dispute they have had 
** with others to their own advantage ; if they have not 
** been trained to the bounden duty of doing justice evoi to 
** diose with whom they are at variance ; if they have not 
*' been led to aim at a complete impartiality in their little 
'* narratives, and instructed never to take advantage of the 
" absence of the otheir party, in order to make the story 
^* lean to their own side more than the truth will admit ; 
^* how shall we in advanced life look for correct habits, 
" for Utiprqudtced representations, for fidelity, accuracy, 
** and unbiassed justice ? 

^ Yet, how often in society, otherwise req;>ectable, are 
^* we pained with narrations in which {M'ejudice warps, and 
f * self-'love blinds f How often do we see, that withholding 
** part of a truth answers the worst ends of a falsehood ! 
** How often repet the unfair turn given to a cause, by 
** placing a sentiment in one point of view, which itit 
" speaker had used in another f the letter of truth preserved 
** where its spirit is violated ! a superstitious Exactness aciv- 
« pulously maintained in the underpartsi of a detail, in order 
to impress snch an idea of integrity as shall gain credit 
for the mtsrepresenten while he is designedly mistatiDg 
the leading principle. How may we observe a new cha- 
*^ racter given to a fact by a different look,- tone, or em-* 
<* phasis, which alters it as much as words could have done \ 
*^ the &lse impression of a sermon, conveyed, when we do 
** not like the preacher, or when through him we wish to 
*^ make religion tt8e¥ ri£cnlous ! the care to avoid literal 






179 



ff 

U 






untrutbsy whik the mischief ii better effected by the un- 
', fair quotation of a passage divested of ks conteset ^ the * 

bringing together detached ponki>Q$ of a subject and 

making those piurts ludierous, when connected, which 
** were serious in Uteir di$tinct position! the iBsidnous use 
** made of a sentiment by representing it as the opinion of 

him who had only brought it forward iti; order to expose 

it ! the relating opinions which had meveiy been put hy* 

pothetically , at if they were the avowed principles of hiiil 
^* we would discredit ! that subde ^Udiood ^hich is so 
** made to inc6tpoFate with a certain qtiantity of truth, 
^< that the most skilful moral chemist cannot analyze or se«* 
** parate them ! for a good misnpresenUr knows diat a 
^ successful lie mtxtx hate' a certain iiifosiott of trudi, or it 
'^ will not go doxvn. Atid this amalga:]!nattion is the test of 
<' his skill ; as tob miich tfiith would defeat the ehd of his 
** mischief; and too litfte ^wM destroy the belief of die 
*' hearer. AU that ifidefinable ambiguity and equivocation ; 
•^ idl t^at pmdetft decdt, which U rad^ iiAplied than ex- 
<^ preyed; those more delicate artificer o^ dte sdiOOl of 
^^ Loyobt and of Chesterfield, which dXl^vfr us wl^n we 
'"^ da^e not deny 9 truth, yet so io disgui«Q mid discolour if, ^ 

^ tb$t &tf truth we relate shall not reBemUe the truth we , 

*< h^4! Tbe^ and all the thousand shades o( simidation \ 

'< and dissimulation will be carefully guarded against in the 
<< conversation of vigilant christians/' 

Now^ reader, recollect if ydu hive read, zjoA if 
not, immediately peruse the Blagdon controversy, 
when you will find att your virtuous feelings 
shocked alt seeing &e devil ctothe himself as a» 
angel of tight, in the shape of « woman,. wi<& 
spatkling folaek eyes ; see her hei^ %s; an a^hof, 
and there in her private practices ! She litera% \ 

practiseth all she here so weli diescvibes and for- 



1 



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if 



180 

« 

bids the British ladies. But she will " deceive 
" the nations** no longer. 

Some women indulge themselves in sharp raillery^ nn« 
feeling wit, and cutting sarcasms, {rem the consciousness, 
** it is to be feared, that they are secure from the danger of 
being called to account ; this license of speech being en- 
couraged by the very circumstance which ought to sup- 
press it. To be sevete, because they can be so with im- 
*^ punity, is a most ungenerous reason. It is taking a base 
*^ and dishonourable advantage of thieir sex, the weakness of 
** which, instead of tempting them to commit offences be- 
** cause they can commit then^ with safety, ought rather to 
** make them more scrupulously careful to avoid indiscre- 
** tions for which no reparation can be demanded. What 
** can be said for those who carelesly involve the injured 
** party in consequences from which they know themselves 
" are exempted, and whose very sense of their own security 
'* leads them to be indifferent to the security of others ?" 

Alas ! how; ^asy it is to preach ! how difficult 
to practice ! H. More ! thou art the woman ! 
Recollect ^^private accusations" against . more 
than one clergyman ! How many clergymen 
have you described as heterodox, as Jacobins, 
&c.? And without the least provocation from 
som6 of them ; and all this with the wicked pur- 
pose of ruining them. I have no doubt but you 
have frequently, since youi' late detections, re- 
volved and recollected all the circumstances of 
your conduct to. these individuals, some of whom 
despised^ as I am well informed, to take any no- 
tice, on account of your sex, and for many other 
reasons, of your wicked behaviour; and I have 
no doubt your conscience has often upbraided 
you, amd I have heard, that iii soliloquy you have 



181 



rOphized, ." Verily I am "guilty concerning. 
*^ these brethren, and therefore is this evil now: 
** come upon me.!* ♦ : 

Mrs. More recblnmends her pupils! the ladies 
of "the teritish empire, 

" Never gratify youf own humoilr, by*hazstrding what 
** you suspect may w^tind any present in dicir persons, con- 
*'' necfiona, professions in life, or religious opinions ; and do 
** not forget to examine whether the laugh yo^r wit bai 
** raised be never bought at this expence.'* . 

There are some clergymen whom H. More, 
vrith the deliberate purpose of injuring, has called 
Socinian in religion, and Jacobin in politics ! 

The chapter on SehsibiUty (p. 106) I began 
with much expectation, hot of edification indeed^ 
but of pleasure and delight. I have, however, 
met with but cold common-place receipts for»some 
of the fantastic, affected, nervous, vain, singular, 
hysterical oddities and peculiarities, of delirious 
or sick-minded women. Although she has fur- 
mshed the ladies with a chapter on Definitions, 
she, however, does not even attempt to define the 
subject of the present chapter. Instead of her 
own mystical and cold-hearted philosophy, which 
but too often represents the amiable sensibilities 
of the sex as a foolish tenderness, she might have 
adopted the elegant one of Sterne. " Dear Sensi- 
bility ! Source of all that is precious in our joys, 
or costly in our sorrows !" But Sterne she had 
already mehtioned with disrespect. He was no 
mystical divine, his sermons are rational and pos«- 
sess more merit than many such wori^s as hers. 



« 



cc 



/ 



■•/ 






C .^ 



«.'A,i 



AjMW 



18f 

Sterne wUl Ilv« { but H. Mom is d^ad. Be^de* 
Sterne, there were many ether sources : it was sen- 
sibility paralysed the finger of the Indian on the 
banks of the .!Xl|s»ppi, whcq his piece was levelled 
at Mr, Rotherham (pugg-puggy) so as that he 
coH]d apt pull the trigger for tbe destructian of a 
fellow creatiire ; it was sensibility compelled the 
Aincan damsel and her mother, when Mr. Park. 
wet and wvamd, in a deluge of rain, sought shel- 
ter under a tree, to sing the improTisatore, 

** Let us pitf the tehitt am uadet our tree, he hat no 
'' wi& to grind bim core, no modsr to bring him milk ; 
*' wet and weary, let Ui pky Uu wllite man." 

And it was sensibility, when they saw a respect- 
able and honest man, Mr. Bere, with an amiable 
compaaioii, on the brink of degradation, about to 
be hurled, from credit and rank, to the most de- 
plorable s^te of wretchedness and want, to which 
H. More and her friends and co-adjutors had de- 
¥0ted him, induced certain individuals to write in 
bis favour, to administer the balm of craisolation,. 
to mingle their teu^ with tbeirs, when perhaps a 
tear, a good wish, or a prayer, was all some of 
them could bestow. But oa whatever subject 
Ts, More may be competent to write, she ought 
>t to mfsddle with sensibility. She is' toe selfish 
feel for another; the ahns-deeds of her right 
e seen by her left hajul ; she casts her bread on 
e waters to. take it up immediatefyi a trumpet 
w^ys goes before her i and her tears, if she 
in shed any, Uce the crocodiles, have their re^ 
ird in full new j for her maxim is, ** Quisenim 



18S 



<K 



« 



virtutem ampkctitur ipsam^^ p>neti[iia A tolUa/* 
Mrs. Y^arsley was allowed no meiit> unless she 
took a ticket from H. More ;: aod Mrs. CowJey, 
Mr. Bere, arid some others^ musft bare xhtit lite-p 
rary pro{)erty, as well as their good name, filched 
from themi for no other rea^n than beqai^se* th^y 
yirould not stoop tohuqi incense tojb^rj nor be-r 
' smear her talents with ** oil of fool.'* 
She, however, tells us that 

*^ Ungoverned sensibility is apt to give a wroi)g 4irect«^ 
*^ tion to its anxieties ; and its aff^lion often falls short of 
^ the true end of jEricndship. If the object of its regard 
** happen to be sick, what enquiries ! what prescriptions ! 
** Yet is diis sensibility equally^ alive to the immortal inte- 
^' rests of the sufferer ? Is it not silent and at ease when it 
contemplates the dearest fiiend persisting in opinions 
essentially dangerous ; in practices^unquestiofiably wrong ? 
<< What, a want of real sensibiKty, to feel for thep^nii, but 
^^ not for the danger of tjbose we loie? Now sec what son 
** of sensibilLty the Bible teaches ! ^ Thfiu shalt not hate 
*^ thy brother in thine hearty hut thou shalt in any wise 
** rebuke him^ and shalt not suffer sin upon him,' But 
let sensibility ** figure to itself the bare possibility that the 
" familiar friend is going down to the gates of death^ uiw 
*♦ repenting, unprepared, and* ytt unwarned !" 

l,et me here observe, what my, as well as my au- 
thor's reader, must have long ago perceived, that 
this lady is sure to make a transition from every 
subject to a religious application. Of this I do 
.not disapprove ; bUt to have his religion' always 
on his to\igue, and to " spiritualize" every subject, 
looks somewhat suspicious. It serves here to put 
me in mind of 2001, a year, Mrs. Cowley, Mrs* 
Yearsley, bible plays and tragedies^ the poem of 



y fl 



184 

Sabrina^ Mr. Jay's commimion and quarrel^ ^' pri« 
** vate accusations/* *^he is a Socinian ;" " he is a 
" Jacobin." . But that I may for once discharge 
my duty, let me here exhort Mrs. H. More to be 
late and early at the throne of grace, and let her 
ask pardon oiFthe individuals she has so irreparably 
injured, and implore forgiveness from God. Let 
her come candidly before the public, which she* 
has abused, and make her apology for the strife 
she has artfully and wickedly fomented, and the 
divisions she perpetuates, by means, as mean and 
disgraceful, as they are sinful. Few sinners have 
more heinous sins to repent of than the list above 
enumerated ; they are in their own nature of a 
very black dye, and they are much aggravated by 
hfer attainments, and great profession of superior 
sanctity ; and as I am in duty bound, I will not 
cease to pray that God may open her eyes, while 
it is ^* the accepted time and day of salvation.'^ 

As instances of mistaken sensibility are quoted, 
observations made by open-hearted. Indiscreet 
girls ; such as 

'^ That warm friends must make warm enemies ;" — that 
" the generous love and hate with all their hearts ;*' — that 
" a reformed rake makes the be$t husband;** — that ** there 
** is no medium in marriage, but that it is a state of exqui* 
*^ site happiness or ex(}uisite misery." 

Against these injudicious and hastily received 
aphorisms of indiscreet young girls (fpr Mrs More 
herself took care to have more discretion than to 
believe these maxims) she warns her readers, and 
illustrates the success of these evil sayings on 



L 



185 



young Women^ by the manner in which comedies 
in general end. Here the lady was at home ; for 
as she wished to monopolize the education of the 
public to herself, it Was necessary all women 
should be deterred from, entering into the holy. of 
holies, from going behind the scenes, attending 
the representation or reading of dramatic \frorks, 
but herself. For all but herself, holy priestess, 
are in danger of being defiled thereby. , ' ^ 

But however the author may act or think,. I 
will prove my readiness to give her credit when- 
ever I think she deserves it. . 1 1 therefore tran- 
scribe the following short para;graph, p. 1 38, vol. 8, 
which, whatever the heart iflay be, discovers ob-r 
seryation and judgment. 

** When feeling stimulates 6nly to self-Indulgence ^ when 
** the more exquisite affections of sympathy and pity eva- 
*< porate in sentiment, instead of flowing out in active cha- 
*^ rity, and affording assistance, protection, or consolation 
'^ to every species of distress within its reach ; it is an evi- 
dence that the feeling is of a spurious kind; and instead 
of being nourished as an amiable tenderness, it should be 
** subdued as a fond and base self-love." 

. In p. 141, we meet the following passage, to 
which the public is indebted for that admirable 
poem, from the pen of a man of real genius, Peter 
Pindar* s Nil Admirari. 

*^ The poets again, who to do them justice, are always ready 
** to lend a helping hand when any mischief is to be done, 
'^ have contributed their full share towards confirming these 
** feminine follies : they have strengthened by adulatory 
*^ maxims, sung in seducing strains, those faults which 

** their talents and their influence should have been employed 
♦♦ in correcting.'* 



it 



a 



lie 

* 

She very jiistiy made a charge agninst tW poet^ 
without naming herdelf, a<s she was sensible she 
wais a minor in the art ; for her mischief is dH in 
prose. She certainly has her share in corrupting 
the people, religiously and morally. She has 
made herself of some consequence in being no- 
ticed l>y Peter. 

Page 149. The alteration in the fashion of 
visits en masse is ridiculed and lamented, on ac- 
count of the total suppression of conversation 
which it occasions ; and an opportunity is laid 
hold of to tell us that she was acquainted with 
and enjoyed the friendship of the late Bishop 
Home, who particularly deplored the loss sus- 
tained in the mutual reciprocation of ideas, and 
the communion of kindred sympathies. Little 
instruction is here received by the observations of 
our author i for her sentences, like the objects she 
pursue^, are frivolous, and the ideas, if they be at 
all comprehejQtsible, are transient and nugatory. 
On the opportunities she has had of observing 
life and manners in her visits to London, and she 
pfojfejSiSes herself studious of human character, 
she expresses herself with flippant wit and un* 
successful humour. A mixture of awkward hu- 
mour, of wit that escapes before it is embodied 
with language, and of a mystical, unamiably 
described religion, characterize her strictures, 
not only on every moral subject, but on female . 
education. A parallel is attempted between 
those ladies who ruin their husbands by play, 
and the few, the rarce aves, who, by giving 



> 

0iemseIires up to stucjf^ shew an hsdiffer^ice to- 
wards their husbands, and neglect their children: 
and household. The mnky and pedantry of a li« 
terary woman is remarked ; and we are told, that, 
d^ who is vain of her reading, would be foolishly 
vain of something else if she had read nothing. 
Considering Mrs. More's low origin, her reallite- 
jary character as a ** Miss Moon," who has bor- 
rowed from ** kind lads," or stolen from Mrs. 
Cowley and Mrs. Yes^rsley, the disposition here 
censured, arrogant pride, is in no woman more 
disgusting than in herself. Affecting a superiority 
to Mrs. Cowley, to whom in no respect she was 
equal, and to Mrs* Yearsley, to whom she was su- 
perior, not in birth or genius, but only in the acci- 
dental circumstance of her father's teaching a cha- 
rity school, from which she derived the advantage 
of a better education, she extends her presump- 
tion to the church, and exhibits her supercilious* 
ness to Mr. Bere, in the Blagdon dispute, whoso 
father is known to ha^ve served his Majesty in the 
navy. But of this more hereafter. 

Not to enumerate the public pleasure^ 4n4 
amusements, . the round of which sb^ herself has 
patroled, there is no great policy, or ^ny v^y 
high degree of religious puf Ity, in a total reniiiH 
ciation of them. If she had declaimed against 
the perpetual pursuit; or the ete«i&l continuity of 
them by individuals, all wise men would unite 
with her; but, I conceive, few men^ who have in* 
tellect sufficient to comprehend the nature of re^ 
^ ligion and of good government, would think it 



poUtkal to destroy the upper and lower rooms, 
puinp-ropin> tbe public gardens, and the theatres, 
at B^th, Lond9i]|,,:and elsewhere. Surely she. 
would spare the play-houses, of which she her- 
self has been so much enamoured^ since at the age 
of threescore and two, with, all her piety, she has 
re-publisbed her own plays ! But what consistency 
' can be expected from her non-descript principles, 
who has waged war with philosophy, the arts and 
sciences, and declares them hostile to Christianity. 

She puts me in mind of an old acquaintance, 
who travelled the country as a player, but with 
bad success. He at last, when he could not get 
bread by it, began to thjnk, like H. More, that 
j theatrical spectacles tended to corrupt the morals 

' of tlie people, and conceived the idea, if not of 

f writing, at least of speaking against the corrup- 

tions of the stage. . Accordingly he dressed him- 
self in sable, " was converted," became a " se- 
^' rious christian,*' and preached against the play- 
house ! This is a fact. 

Mrs. More and this gentleman are not the 
only instances of sinners becoming the apologists 
of virtue. 

Mrs. More forgets that at public places the 
6exes form an acquaintance, and that afterwards 
they may see these ladies in the bosom of their 
own families. 

Not only because it is in unison with my own 

taste, for Lady Mac and myself always disliked 

. cards, but in justice to Mrs. More, and with a 

view to public utility, I transcribe a paragraph. 



\ 









180 

^y I forhear to descant on those seriotis and ixlteresting 
*^ rites,' for the moreaUgust and solemn celebration of which» 
** Fashion 'nightly convenes these splendid myriads to hec 
" more sumptuous teipi^es. Rites ! which, when en- 
gaged in with due devotion, absorb the whole soul, and 
call every passion into exercise, except indeed those of 
. ^^ love, and peace, and kindness and gentleness. Inspiring 
*^ rites I which stimulate fear, rouse hope, kindle zeal, 
quicken dulness, sharpen discernment, exercise^ memory, 
inflame curiosity F Rites! In short, in the due per- 
<^ formance of vvhich all the energies and attehtions, all the 
^ powers and abilities, all the abstraction and exertion, all 
" the diligence and devotedness, all the sacrifice of time, all 
** the contempt of ease,, all the neglect of sleep, all the obli- 
•* vion of care, all the risks of fortune : all these are con- 
** centrated to one point ; a point in which the wise and 
** the weak, the learned and the ignorant, the fair and the 
*^ frightful,, the sprightly and the dull, the rich and the poor j 
** the patrician and plebeian, meet in one connnon and uni. 
*^ form equality ; an quality as religiously respected in 
V these solemnities, in which all distinctions^are levelled at 
" a blow, as it is combated in all other instances." 

Now whether Mrs. Mora's practice in the ar- 
ticle of card playing gives the lie to her writing I 
cannot say, for i have but little knowledge of her 
personally, and my Lady has never seen her ^ I, 
therefore, am willing to give her credit in, this re- 
spect. But alas ! I do not advance far before I 
meet wifti cause to lament the infirmities of hu- 
man nature, and the imbecility of female charac- 
ter. The abhorrence expressed by Peter, when 
he visited the household of Nero, and his indig- 
naticHi on the sight of the inhuman sports of the 
arena, are remarked; yet no disapprobation what- 
.ever i& iirtimated of the conduct of the professors 



^_:..\. 



190 

of the true and reformed religion of JesUs fitting 
out large buildings of wood> loaded with men, 
arms and combustibles, to meet the christian sub- 
jects of his most Catholic Majesty, and of the late 
most Christian King, with eager desire for th^ 
glory of** sinking, burningi and destroying" each 
other; no, nor of the unchariteBTe practice of * 
^* sinking, burning and destroying/' to all eter^ - 
nityy our very neighbours, if they happen to break 
their eggs on the wrong end, or choo^ not to 
repeat such a creed as we think proper to make. 
To promote war and desolation, she has published 
" many little cheap tracts ;*' but to- encourage 
charity and peace, she has not spoken a word. 
Her character is not difficultly ascertained ; she 
has written and acted too much not to be known 
as an accomplished hypocrite. If nations pro* 
fessing Christianity, and persdhs affecting a purer 
system than their neighbours, hate each other, 
and fight battles, and carry on wars, as often, and 
as bloodily, as if they were heathens, what ai^e we 
to think, but that either Christianity, at least as 
they profess it, b not true, or that they are not of 
theright faith. Yet this is the character and prac- 
tice of H. More! 

In p. 227, there is a long note respecting 
Mr« Law^s '* serums call Af a devout and holy life^ 
which she Wrongly recommends to awaken sin- 
ners ^ ** but," she adds, **.fiven in this woric Xaw is 
^* not a s^t guide to evafig^Meal Ught'^ A$ a 
** preacher of repentance, I^w has no superior ; 
"^ as a preadaier of saltation am s^^iplural gnmnds. 




i9l 

^ I would follow other guides.*^ ** What need 
** have we of further evidence" of her non-de* 
scriptism ? Law's religion and doctrine^ repent- 
ance, 13 defined and known; H. More's " evm- 
** geUcal light y* *^ other guideSy^ is undefined, there- 
fore not known. It is something mystical ; it is 
not a " reasonable service." In perusing her 
works, the mind is le^d into a state of intellectual 
retrogradation, the more we read and hear of her 
non-descriptism, th6 less we know of it. 

From p. 233 to 260 we have some useful prac- 
tical preaching. 

Approaching now (p. 272) thfe conclusion of 
her work, an Analysisy or rather a Syllabus of the 
^^ Doctrines of Christianity y* are laid before us 5 
and this is done by giving an abridged account of 
the system, laying, as usual, its foundation in the 
** fall of man," and the consequent corruption of 
human nature. 

The flimsy arguments in p^oof of human corr 
ruption, are the simplicity and credulity of child- 
ren, tbe e|:i[stence of law and lawyers, death and 
^ckness,. warj bars ^nd bdts^ bonds and securi- 
tieS) individual suspicion. From scripture ber 
arguments are^ *^ God saw the wickedness of man 
'^ wa9 great, and that erery imagination of the 
" thqitghts of his heart was only evil continuaDy." 
'< God looked upon the earthy anal bdiold it was 
** corrupt^" &c. This htiam the flood 1 but of 
the Cosatogony and the Mythos, in the first chap, 
of Genesis, nor of tbe apple, lias she made any 
mention^ Since the fiood^frcnxiDasrid's'complaints 



«.«• 




€t 
€( 
€€ 






€€ 



199 

ftnd confessions of sins. In the gospel, from our 
Lord's reproof of Peter, " thou savburcst not tfie 
things that be of God j but those that be of wan." 
If ye were of the world, the world would love 
his own; but I haVe chosen you out of the world, 
" therefore the world hateth you/' . ** We know 
that we are of God, and the world lieth in 
wickedness." She says, " the heathen, to whom 
** he has not sen.t the light of the gospel, will pro- 
bably not be judged by the gospel. But with 
whatever mercy he may judge those who, living 
in a land of darkness, are without knowledge 
^^ of his revealed law, our business is not with 
" them, but With ourselves." 

Here she has conceded too much, and brought 
her fabric about her ears. 'That doctrine must be 
defended by an abler pen than hers, otherwise it 
will prove untenable. The horrors of the con- 
sequences of " her peculiarities" seem here to 
have struck her and she sinks down. Her views 
of Christianity are not just. ' ■' 

From the epistles, however, more plausible 
texts are brought forward to maintain the doctrine 
of the fall and corruption. Those who wish to be 
satisfied on this subject, will. consult the writings 
of the Unitarians, Sociniahs, and the Trinita- 
rians. The doctrine of atonement is of course 
maintained, as well as that of free grace^ and 
sectarian Antinomianism disavowed. The abso- 
lute^ necessity of a change of heart and life, ,and , 
the influences of the Holy Spirit are insisted pn, 
and I think not unscripturally ; and some pains 
are taken to maintain the existence of the devil. 



193 



about whose destruction and banishment frofn this 
wofld^ she declares herself much alarmed. But 
of thaty I thinks there is little danger> when so^ 
notoriously Iiofy a person as herself encourages' hb 
practices and reign, by " inventing falsehoods ;'* 
under the pretence of illness^ confines herself to 
write, correct, instruct, and entreat all whom she. 
can influence or move, to come forward, to ** make 
** the Curate of Blagdon a liar;" endeavours to ruin 
the reputation of others who have never provoked 
her, by publishing, with the cunning and artfulness 
of the black motiarch himself, libels and calumnies* 
There is no danger, while ** such excellent per- 
y sons" faithfully serve him, that his infernal ma- 
jesty shall be dethroned or guillotined.' H. More 
is a rara avis indeed ; and, notwithstanding lier 
preaching, is one of his chief ministers, for he has 
servants of all denominations. I have heard of 
many authenticated facts, and which, were they 
not well authenticated, would be altogether in- 
credible, considering the character she has as- 
sumed. They will, I am told, soon see the light. 
The clergy are exhorted to plead the cause of the 
devil, and not to forget or neglefct any opportunity 
of bringing his name forward in their sermons. 
Her words are (p. 313) — 

** May I, with great humility and respect, presume to 
*^ suggest to our divines that they would do well not to lend 
" their countenance to. these modish curtailments of the 
** Christian faith ; nor to shun the introduction of this doc- 
" trine (the devil) whenever it consists with their subject 
*' to bring it forward." 



» . 



lO 












/ 






"^ 



* — ^ 



■"^^ 



it 



194 

Thft publish^ works, avowfed by Mrs. More^ 
and of which I have hf re given an account, end with 
a chapter on the " Du^y ind ^cacjf (^ Pr^y^^' 
of borrowed and transcribed excellence, and it 
Concludes with the following petition : 

'' Sht ennicstly implores that Being, who can make Ao 
*^ me^neit of bi9 crMtiirc& instrumental to hii gl<^, to ble«i 
** t})is humble attempt to tboM for whom it was written, may 
*' sbQy without preiumption,^ entreat that thi» work of Cbri$-r 
" tian Charity may be reciprocal, and that those who peruse 
these pages may pt;it up a petition for her, that In tJie great 
day to which we are all hastening, she may not be found 
<* to htLYe suggesled to ollbers what sh« herself did not believe, 
*' or. to have recommended what die did not desire to prae- 
<< tiie ? In duit awftjl day of ev^Iiisting ^cci^ioni may both 
<< chl reader and the, writer be pardoned and accepted, ^ nof 
**/0r any xmrk qf tighieeusness which th^ have done^^ 
** but 'trough the merits of the Gy.^AT Intercessor.'* 

. Vpon this, I have only, to remark, that during 
the two last years which I have paased at Bath^ 
Bristol, and the neighbourhood, I have read every 
thing on the Blagdon controversy, of which 1 3hall 
subjoin a cursory review ; I have made enquiry 
into the facts, and real characters of the different 
parties, and with deep regret I lament, on account 
of the former credit and character of H- More, 
that that dispute had ever existed^ Alas ! alas I 
aJas ! " The heart i^ deceitful above all thingfi^ and 
*^ desperately wicked: who can know it?'* 



<V%<X^^^V%*'W^i'W 



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195 



fMO&v 



REVIEW 



OP 



THE BLAGDON DISPUTE. 



B 



^Y the consult of Mr. Bere, the Citrate, and at 
the request of H. More> a Sunday school was 
established at BlagdoR. The teacher, H« Young, 
agreeably to Mrs. More's avowed fdbui, did not 
confine himself to the instrtrctioa of children, but 
extended it to adults. Reading and writing were 
not only taught, but his lessons extended to preach- 
ing and prayer, in an extempore mantier.^ Expc- 
4riences were natrated, confessions heard^ scrip- 
tures were expounded by ignorance, sadden and 
epileptieal oonversionc had taken place, and many 
extravagancies practised, disgraceAil to true rail' 
gion, and offensive to decency. The individual 
temper also of the teacher is proved to have been 
that of a meddler in domestic and private afiao^s. 
Of these eccentricities information was given to 
Mrs. More, which she acknowledged in too im- 
perious and consequential a manner. Here is 
Mrs. Mote's first fault. Eccentricities are con* 
tinued and justified. 

02 



196 

The Curate now communicates with his Rector^ 
t)r. Grossman, who acts properly; and the school- 
master is, by the Bishop, ordered to be dismissed. 
Sir A. Elton, with some non-descripts, come into 
the lady's ranks, and they rally their forces, and 
attempt a re-hearing. A day is fixed at Blagdon, 
where the Curate takes care to have a number of 
cler^men and very respectable gentlemen of the 
neighbourhood, to re-examine witnesses, whose 
integrity Sir A. and his protogee thought proper^ 
but very indecently, to question. It was on the 
12th of Nov. 1800, for ever memorable^ by the 
strange speech wl^ich Sir Abraham made to his 
witnesses — " This is not a court which can take 
** cognisance of perjury, nor can any one be called 
** to account for what he says here." Sir A. Elton 
has not denied this, though he has attempted to 
explain it away as ** innocent when decomposed^ 
This meeting decided in favour of the Curate, on 
which " se<yet accusations" are lodged with the 
Bishop and Dr. Crossman against him. The in- 
fluence of , some other Bishop is said to have been 
made use of to gain over Dr. Moss, the Chancel- 
• lor, to " raise his father's arm against the unfor- 
" tunate Mr. Bere." The Rector is addressed by 
Mrs. More and some others, his virtue fails him, 
and he denies his Curate, as he would his master, 
under similar temptations. The Curate is dis- 
missect by mandate, and the day of his departure 
fixed by notice given. He is then deserted by 
the body of his neighbours and brethren ; some 



i 

I 



of wHomjpined in secret accusations; but a cer- 
tain number of virtuous characters, who know 
nothing of tergiversation, adhere ■ to his .cause, 
being that of the church, of established and pub- 
lic instruction, and from sympathy, friendship, or 
abhorrence of injustice, to hirtiself individually. 
Mr. Bere, Ending his Rector and the Bishop in- 
exorable, and his curacy, his Hving, and his gown 
about to be rent from him, 'and his name to be 
declared for ever infamous, publishes the whole 
ctMTespondence, by the title of " Blagdon Contro- 
" versy." Sir A. Ehon, who by visits ^o the gen- 
try of the neighbourhood, and other means, had 
detached all he could from the interests of the 
Curate, promises, and at last publishes a Letter to. 
Mr. Bere, in defence of H. More, whom, not- 
withstanding the meanness and wickedness of her 
*' secret accusations," which she either durst not 
or could not, though challengi^d at the same time 
with the Bishop, substantiate, he exhibits on the 
pinnacle of human excellence. The true charac- 
ter of this performance, except the praises of his 
client, is, that the more we read it the less we 
knew of its object. 

Immediately was published a letter, addressed 
to the Archbishop of Canterbury, by the Rector 
ofChelvey, suggesting a plan of national edaca-f 
tion, to supersede the necessity for Sunday schools^ 
and warning the country against the probable con- 
sequences of non-descript methodism. This book 
was veil calculated to draw the public a^ention 



'^v 



Ids 

towante Blagdcm; and preseatly aii Expostulfitoty 
Letter, in all the excellence of writings ascribed 
to a man of raidc and fortune, and another, from 
a man also offank tod excdlence, were publbhedi 
which at onte gave celebrity to the dispute^ and^ 
in the end, r^^nstated the Ciirate, the license 
which was given to d disciple of the elect lad^ 
being recalled. A short time before this, Mr. Bere 
had published his Appeal to the Public^ inan« 
swer to Sir Abraham, on which the Baronet and 
his book disappeared. Sir A* is retumedi but tho 
pamphlet is buried in oblivion. . 

The wickedness of the object proposed tc^ them-* 
selves in this persecution of an innocdht tnah, by 
Sir A. and H. More, only because he presumed 
to censure th^ conduct of the schoolmaster, is aU 
most incredible^ He was Xo be tuttied but of the 
Curacy, then tried as denying the Trinity, and to 
be deprived of his living tod stripped of his gown^ 
They dedanid th^ hUd evidence sufficient for this 
proceeding ; and if the public voice had not exe-i 
stated their conduct^ they would have stcconvn 
pushed their design, 

Immediately on his re-instatemtent by Dr. Moss^i 
dispatched to Bjlth from his father the Msh6p, 
the signatures of nine clergymen were procuried 
by the industry of Mrs, More and her party, who 
always work secretly and "under ground, to con-* 
t^ndidt the Curaie ift some facts advanced i to|l 
defeietted in her oHginal and flagrantly wicked pur^ 
;pose, she now stoDps to the n^eati drudgety of^ l^ 



^ t^-;. 



199 

private ioflttdnct 'vrith her frienda tod adqu&iti** 
tonces^ to procure advertiienieiits^ witii as* many 
•ignaturca 6s pobsible^ to destroy die yericity 
of Mr. Bere, aiid to pnitf ict anitnosity in thib 
ntighboUrhood^ atttnded with the ditguslin|^ 
and shocking circumstances of men^ who. ought 
to be respectable^ soliciting people to iign back- 
wards and fbrwarck in the same cau$e i AlKthii 
while H. More> pretending to be ilU abd i^apOrted 
bj her friendis to be. dying, because she was 
ashamed^ on the publication of Mr. Berets Address 
to her, to come out and publicly shew herself, is 
busily engaged, with some help, in preparing 
^' Animadversions on t}ieCu»itt'^Thme.Pi^Itcfa^ 
/* tions." .' 'i -' : 

Of Mrs. Mone's ** Animadversions" on the 
Curate's three books, I promised here to takesosne 
notice. That will be but short, ^and of its brevity 
my reader wili have little reason to complain. 
The book Was chiefly written by Hannah, 4ierfe 
she is not altogether a '^ Miss Moon,'' and the 
other parts by a '* damned poet." The hipther 
of this book is a woman of imagination, bttt^ske 
imagines mischief, vand fabricates and publishes v 

falsehoods of really honest and good iqeny widi m 

^ same moml nouK^halance and contempt of the 
evangelical golden rule, with which she would 
conceive and bring forth a dramatic chainaicter in 
19^ play. The foster-father has also been sipping - 
and even licking up some drops of the heavenfy 
tprin^j, which have been left as dregs in tite iDUp 



K . 



' / 

^ 



i- 



200 

of the learned ; but fanving no natural imagination, 
if all the paper in the King's printing-office were 
made into kites, it would not buoy him up one 
hundred yards the Parnassian hill. His paper-, 
kite always comes down with him, and he breaks 
a leg or an arm, and is sure every time to " be 
-**. damned.'* The luckless wight must now try 
his. hand at prose, in hopes c^ *' working out his 
** salyationV among the non-descripts, and by a 
strange intellectual imbecility in what ought to be 
a wock. of facts, Iruths, demonstration and reason* 
ing,. he employs on prose more imagination than 
^Vbr be could muster before, in the delineation of 
the. characters of a ^^ damned play.'' Reader ! 
what beauty or comeliness, what natural graces 
can you suppose the offspring produced from the 
commerce t>f such minds to possess ? In plain 
English, it is a farrago of falsehood throughout, 
unworthy of a more particular criticism, unnoticed 
•iy. every liberal person, from which all turn away 
with disgust, delivered gratis to, but rejected by, 
the public, the production of the forlorn paroxysm 
of defeated malignity, and hostility to the church 
and rational religion, which has reduced H. More, 
and her party, to the disgraceful necessity of de- 
fending many falsehoods by many others. < As 
she has thus succeeded in getting this minor poet, 
this praise-God-bare-bones, by madly making a 
work of argument and fact a work of fiction, aiyl 
by so doing damn himself in prose, now ^' twice 
/^^ damned ;" it is not improbable but she may pre- 



J 



201 

vail with Sk A. Elton, already damned in prose, 
to break, out into poetry, . that he also may be 
** damned in verse/' So the devil always mis- 
leads his tools. 

; Instead of candidly acknowledging her error, 
as became a good, an ingenuous or great mind, 
or contriving some methbd of conciliation by the 
intervention of friends and neighbours; submitting 
the dispute to the arbitration of proper persons^ 
as the only way to preserve any degree of repu- 
tation, she empldys herself in tempting the Curate 
to lose sight of the main question, by involving 
him in personal contradictions with, her disciples, 
or in meditating and executing some scheme of 
vengeance against those who had courage to de*- 
spise her and Sir A's. system of terror; and with 
firnmess defended t^e cause of the establi^d 
church, in supporting the interests of the cruelly 
treated.Mr. Bere. In all these paltry and detest- 
able means, similar to her accusations against Mrs. 
Yearsley, she affects ^ consequential' superiority, 
which only renders her contemptible, to which she 
is entitled neither by birth, merit, excellence, or 
rank in society. In God's name, who is H. More, 
who arrogates so much, takes the liberty to insult, 
to injure, and retires into her room, and dares not 
or cannot vindicate her conduct ? She is the daugh* 
ter of J. More, first a menial servant to Mr. Berke- 
ley, then a teacher of a charity schooj^ at 251 a 
year ; then herself and sisters keep a school, which 
they open on the produce of a subscription 3 thc% 



«09 

a fdajr-wright^ fide. &c. &c. But all this is oa 
dilgrace to Mrs^ Mort^ more than it would hkm 
been to Mf. Bere to have been (if what she ti&y^ 
were true) the son of a publican. It is the ma*' 
licious diipositi<»i of her heart to calumniate, to 
iikjure and ruin others, under a robe of religious 
sanctity^ that disgraceth her. Her genealogy is a 
fact in biography proper to be recorded^ but 
would not have been repeated in this page^ had 
it not been foi the foolish, mean^ malevolent 
ptirpbde, with which in ber and the '^ damned 
" poet's" " Animadversions/' she laid a filsd 
account of Mr. Bere before the public, as I am 
weU assured^ Malevolence rankles in her hearts 
I weep for her. Shi is incurable. She did triumph 
over poor Mrs. Y^arsley, and^hoptd for a victory 
bver the church ; but she has been defeated with 
ktemedtabld di^rac^e, and, tfadrefore, she and her 
sorry ddfbnders are* now become desperate. It 
is very remarkable, that there has not yet been 
any thing published on her side, excellent in 
argument, or decent of temper. 

Respecting the true character of H. More, 
the worlds till lately, has been ignorant. In the 
p6ur6e of my remarks on her writings^ or writings 
ascribed to her, I have htid occasbn at times to 
fiotice the compleiion of her heart, as well as 
jiet literary taknts. Let me then, here, briefly 
re*capitulate her character as a writer, and as a 
"tftroman. 



BOS 

1^ gttzt ap|>licationi mubh MfuUng^ dnd ob^ 
serration on life and manner^^ she has a6^uired 
Hteraiy abilities to cist the sentiments she cuH6 
here and there into verse ; but there is no poetry« 
In prose she writes ni^ohaiiically, tind where sh« 
has conceived, brings forth decently, and " ii$ 
^^ ivdll as can be expe&edi* but her births tire 
frequently without conception^ and her pages^ 
therefore, often iinpalpable inanity^ Her sacred 
novels are not her wtost productions. She has 
abilities, but tio genius* 

As a woman, her chief virtue Js prudenct! and 
Cunning ; she is charitable, u e. gives away small 
^ifts, the property ofttoer of others than het own^ 
and thus had the credit of extensive charity^ 
With strangers sh^ talks but little ^ unless sh<i 
thinks it her interest to be loquacious. She i^ 
moderate in eating and drinking ; and rathev 
ifegular as to her time of going to rest and risings 
She has Acquired a very soft, whispbring, m^ 
linuating ilianner of speakings Si^ can be plfea^^ 
sant, although she hates ybu ; and profess kiiidneis^ 
attachment, and friendship, without fne^ing any 
thing by it. Shis is impatient of, and nevtf fbr^ 
gives contradiction ; and, if possible^ will Iremov^ 
any obstacle to the accompUshment of her pur-« 
pose^ and if sho* ipbn evade die law^ or public 
censurev is not scrupulous about the means. 
When offended^ she knows ho forgiveness^ and 
ivery thing mu^ submit to the violence and im<« 
fdacfeibility of her tempeti She works, howevet} 



204 

as not to he easily discovered to ' be of this tem- 
per. She caii preach extempore, and, like Hester 
Wilmot, pray without book or* pre-meditation ; 
and can invent and propagate falsehoods/ hate 
and calumniate, with seldom a possibility of 
detection. 

In her religion all the gr&ces and virtues of the 
gospel are put in requisition, yet these are not 
enough. Her religion is thisy that; and it is nei- 
ther this nor that. There is a mixture of mysti^ 
cism, insidiousness, and paradox in her doctrines, 
but ill explained, which excites a doubt respect- 
ing her principles, and renders the existence of 
her religion very questionable. She refines and 
abstracts, without any rational philosophy, so 
much as to run in a circle. She would have us 
be ** serious," neither laugh, dance nor sing, and, 
it is supposed, like Lackington's virgin after mar- 
riage, so " pure" as to refuse her husband marital 
rights and rites. Salvation is limited to those 
only of her way of thinking ; and she believes all 
who do not agree with her to '^ perish ever- 
lastingly." Her benevolence and charity are con? 
fined to a sect ; «he is ignorant of that spirit that 
Jesus displayed in his conversation with the wo^ 
man of Samaria ; and is constantly keeping alive 
the invidious distinction of Jf w ^d Samaritan, 
To ap^y the term panacea to the words ^^ genuine 
^ piety," perpetually dropping from her moudi 
and pen, is indeed an appropriate epithet ; but 
9he vends it too cheaply as a nostrum^ without 



205 

proving its having, alas! cured any disease of her 
own heart. All that the theology of her cast 
seems to have done for her, is, to make her more 
cunning, artful, temporizing, and ostenstatiously 
pious,, than her neighbours. 

In politics, from the hope of reward, or a want 
of fortitude to vyidicate a righteous cause, she 
uniformly approves of the minister of the day, 
and whatever she may think, declares no opposite 
opinion. If virtue and religion were in a mean 
habit, or in discredit with the great, she would 
deny both ; for without their notice, and some 
smiles from them, she cannot exist. 

" Way for my Lord; Virtue stand by and bow." 

Although to superiors she is fawning, and to 
inferiors tyrannical, to promote her schemes she 
can associate, eat and drink, and converse with 
the meanest of the mean, and indefatigably la- 
bour to puritanize their minds. If she were 
thirty years younger, I hare no doubt but she 
might live to see two thirds of the nation non-de- 
scripts, calling out and voting for the abolition of 
a liturgy in the churches. It was the extempore 
praying lecturers who began the mischief in the 
time of Charles the first, and arrogated to them- 
selves exclusive holiness. I have conversed with 
some of the modem non-descripts, since I have 
begun to write this critique, and they tell me it is 
impossible to be saved but by believing as they 
do. They dismiss Curates who do not unite in 
their scheme ; they refuse their pulpits to the re- 
gular Clergy. " The plague is begun." 



806 

|^4S9fit9ffi I wobld tokrate and cherish as Ax^ 
«»b|blishment j but I would not create more.'^ 
To puritamxe is to revolutionize the people, and 
to reveJutiontee is to fponfimnd all order, sufoordi* 
nation, religion, and re^Iar government. He, 
or she, therefore, that puritanizeth, '^ dof s not 
•^ deserve weM of his or her country." 



ri{£ ElfD' 



J 






20t 



AT^ENPi:^. 



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T 



O prove the literary larceny committed by 
H. More, and her uniform practice of calumny, 
alluded to in this workj the following extr^ts . 

are made from Mrs. Ycar^ley'« Narbiativr td 

thQ Public, ift 17S7. 

'^ But should be obliged ixx boT if At woidi return my 

♦♦ mmuseript e9pirs«'* 

^< Miss Mofe repliod, ^ They are left at the printarSf 
^^Mn. Yeanley-n^DonU think I diall Hiake any liie of 
i< dteip. They m^ bticnc* ^ Burnt tP said If T She 
^^ roomed eoniii8ed«taMy heart felt fer' ha- ]^»h&m» abort 
<^ paqaes xonvineed me that diA win h«rt» and from that 
<^ ednsiderat|on I was silent) but am sdl} eoHoemed th&t 
*' she icould not letum those poems which are not p«b- % 

^Miphfid/^ Page 20. 

In a note Mrs. Yearsley says, cB|hifying H- 
More with the title of Stella — 

*^ Stella wrote to London, that I dashed the money in 
" her face, and that I was otherwise very violent. 1 de-^ 
*^ clare those charges to be totally without foundation: the 
** money, lay on the table, but was not touched by me. 

^^ Motives the most powerful and natural that can possess 
** the female breasf, urged me to require a copy of the deed ; 
*' nor can I now at this pfggsnt PSTlod repent the reqtiisi- 
« tion, though it \m be«P aUew)ie4 wkh 5P mw^ calumny 



&f"« ... ._ . k ..^. J \ *•* 



208 



€i 



«C 



"and w many false representation. My charActev 
** which in one moment appeared so bright, and in the next 
** tinged with every vice that can disgracethe sex, excited 
** many gentlemen and ladies to visit me. To these I sim- 
ply rehearsed die real fact, and produced the copy of the 
deed. None could justify it : — ^but I am particularly in* 
** debted to Mr. Shiels, £or his generous and disinterested 
" friendship. On reading the copy, that worthy gentle- 
** man wrote to Miss H. More ; but received no answer^^ 
'^ Instead of answering his letter, the ingenuous Stella 
'* wrote to a lady in London, desiring her letter might be 
** read to Mr. Shiels. It was, and contained all those false 
" charges on my character which I have here mentioned. 
'* Mr. S. inmiediately wrote to Miss More, desiring he 
«* might be allowed a copy of this scurrilous letter ; but he 
** received no answer.** P. 21. 

** Shielded by popular opinion, the ungenerous H. M. 
f' aims at a defencdes breast — ^Her arrows are of the most 
** malignant kind — Yet her endeavours to crush an insigni- 
'^ ficant wretch need not be so amazingly strenuous; for I 
<' should have sunk into obscurity again had not my repu- 
" tation been so cruelly wounded. — ^I have to lament, that 
^< it does not require one short hour for this expeditious lady 
*^ to make her wonderful transit from the zenith of praise 
^ to the centre of malicious detraction. For all die per- 
'< fection, fiune, or virtues, she can boast of possessing, I 
^ woM not be so much a Proteus /" P. 24. 




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