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that I should not devote the time, if I “ had it, to that best purpose, 'makes me “ work on: though often, when I am “ balancing my accounts, I tremble, left “ I should neglect to balance the grand “account. But still, fince, like you, I 56 am a man of no education, I am more - afraid of the temptations of leisure, than s of those of business. I never was bred “ to read more than a chapter in the Bible, " or some other good book, or the Maga“ zine and Newspaper; and all that I can “ do now, after shop is shut, and take a 66 walk with my children in the fields be6 sides. But if I had nothing to do from s morning to night, I might be in danger " of turning politician or philosopher. “ No, neighbour Fantom, depend upon it, " that where there is no learning, next to “ God's grace, the best preservative of “ human virtue is business. As to our s political societies, like the armies in the “ Cave of Adullam, "every man that is in “ distress, and every man that is in debt,
" and every man that is discontented, will “ always join themselves unto them.”
Fantom. You have narrow views, Trueman. What can be more delightful, than to see a paper of one's own in print against tyranny and superstition, contrived with so much ingenuity that, though the law is on the look-out for treason and blasphemy, a little change of name defeats its scrutiny. For instance; you may stigmatize England under the name of Rome, and Christianity under that of Popery. The true way is to attack whatever you have a mind to injure, under another name, and the best means to destroy the use of a thing, is to produce a few incontrovertible facts against the abuses of it. Our late travellers have inconceiv, ably helped on the cause of the new Philosophy, in their ludicrous narratives of credulity, miracles, indulgences, and processions, in popish countries, all which they ridicule under the broad and general name of Religion, Christianity, and the Church.
66 And are not you ashamed to defend such 6 knavery?" said Mr. Trueman. 6 Those
who have a great object to accomplish,” replied Mr. Fantom, “ must not be nice “ about the means. But to return to “ yourself, Trueman ; in your little con“ fined situation you can be of no use." “ That I deny," interrupted Trueman; “ I “ have filled all the parish offices with . “ fome credit. I never took a bribe at “ an election, no not so much as a treat; “ I take care of my apprentices, and do “ not set them a bad example by running to “plays and Sadler's Wells in the week, “ or jaunting about in a gig all day on “ Sundays ; for I look upon it that the s country jaunt of the master on Sundays “ exposes his servants to more danger than “ their whole week's temptations in trade " put together.”
Fantom. I once had the same vulgar prejudices about the Church and the Sabbath, and all that antiquated stuff. But. even on your own narrow principles, how
can a thinking being spend his Sunday better (if he must lose one day in seven by having any Sunday at all) than by going into the country to admire the works of nature?
Trueman. I suppose you mean the works of God: for I never read in the Bible that nature made any thing. I should rather think that she herself was made by Him who made all things; by Him, who, when he said “ thou shalt not murder," faid also, “ thou shalt keep holy the Sab“ bath-day.” But now do you really think that all that multitude of coaches, chariots, chaises, vis-a-vis, booby-hutches, sulkies, sociables, phaetons, gigs, curricles, cabrioles, chairs, stages, pleasure carts, and horses, which crowd our roads ; all those country houses within reach, to which the London friends pour in to the gorgeous Sunday feast, which the servants are kept from church to dress; all those public houses under the signs of which you read these, alluring words, AN ORDINARY ON
SUNDAYS; I say, do you really believe that all those houses and carriages are crammed with philosophers, who go on Sundays into' the country to admire the works of nature as you call it? Indeed, from the reeling gait of some of them when they go back at night, one might take them for a certain sect called the tippling philosophers. Then in answer to your charge, that a little tradesman can do no good, it is not true; I must tell you that I belong to the fick man's friend, and to the fociety for relieving prisoners for small debts.
Fantom. I have no attention to spare to that business, though I would pledge myself to produce a plan by which the na. tional debt might be paid off in six months : but all yours are petty occupations.
Trueman. Then they are better suited to petty men of petty fortune. I had ra. ther have an ounce of real good done with my own hands, and seen with my own eyes, than fpeculate about doing a ton in - vol. IV. c