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a wild 'way, which I know can never be brought about.
Fantom. I despise a narrow field. O for the reign of universal benevolence! I want to make all mankind good and happy.
Trueman. Dear me! fure that must be a wholesale sort of a job: had not you better try your hand at a town or a parish first ? :
· Fantom. Sir, I have a plan in my head for relieving the miseries of the whole world. Every thing is bad as it now stands. I would alter all the laws, and do away all the religions, and put an end to all the wars in the world. I would everywhere redress the injustice of for. tune, or what the vulgar call providence. I would put an end to all punishments; I would not leave a single prisoner on the face of the globe. This is what I call doing things on a grand scale.“ A scale “ with a vengeance!" said Trueman. “ As “ to releasing the prisoners, however, I “ do not so much like that, as it would be
“ liberating a few rogues at the expence “ of all honest men; but as to the rest of “ your plan, if all Christian countries “ would be so good as turn Christians, it “ might be helped on a good deal. There “ would be still misery enough left indeed ; “ because God intended this world should “ be earth, and not heaven. But, Sir, “ among all your abolitions, you must abo“ lish human corruption before you can “ make the world quite as perfect as you “pretend. You philosophers seem to me “ to be ignorant of the very first feed and “ principle of misery-sin, Sir, fin: your “ system of reform is radically defective; “ for it does not comprehend that sinful “ nature from which all misery proceeds. 6 You accuse government of defects which “ belong to man, to individual man, and of “course to man collectively. Among all 66 your reforms you must reform the hu“ man heart; you are only hacking at the “ branches, without striking at the root. “ Banishing impiety, out of the world,
“ would be like striking off all the pounds « from an overcharged bill; and all the 6 troubles which would be left, would be “ reduced to mere fhillings, pence, and “ farthings, as one may fay.”
Fantom. Your project would rivet the chains which mine is designed to break.
Trueman. Sir, I have no projects. Projects are in general the offspring of reftlesness, vanity, and idleness. I am too busy for projects, too contented for theories, and, I hope, have too much honesty and humility for a philosopher. The utmost extent of my ambition at present' is, to redress the wrongs of a parish apprentice who has been cruelly used by his master: indeed I have another little scheme, which is to prosecute a fellow in our street who has suffered a poor wretch in a work-house, of which he had the care, to perish through neglect, and you must affist me.
Fantom. The parish must do that. You must not apply to me for the redress of such petty grievances. I own that the wrongs of the Poles and South Americans so fill my mind, as to leave me no time to attend to the petty forrows of workhouses and parish apprentices. It is provinces, empires, continents, that the bene volence of the philosopher embraces; every one can do a little paltry good to his next neighbour.
Trueman. Every one can, but I do not fee that every one does. If they would, indeed, your business would be ready done to your hands, and your grand ocean of benevolence would be filled with the drops which private charity would throw into it. I am glad, however, you are such a friend to the prisoners, because I am just now getting a little subscription from our club, to set free your poor old friend Tom Saun. ders, a very honest brother tradesman, who got first into debt, and then into gaol, through no fault of his own, but merely through the pressure of the times. We have each of us allowed a trifle every week towards maintaining Tom's young
family family since he has been in prison; but we think we shall do much more service to Saunders, and indeed in the end lighten our own expence, by paying down at once a little sum to restore to him the comforts of life, and put him in a way of maintaining his family again. We have made up the money all except five guineas : I am already promised four, and you have nothing to do but give me the fifth. And so for a single guinea, without any of the trouble, the meetings, and the looking into his affairs, which we have had; which, let me tell you, is the best, and to a man of business the dearest part of charity, you will at once have the pleasure (and it is no small one) of helping to save a worthy family from starving, of redeeming an old friend from gaol, and of putting a little of your boasted benevolence into action. Realize! Master Fantom : there is nothing like realizing. “Why, hark ye, Mr. Trueman,” said Fantom stammering, and looking very black,' “ do not think I value a