Historical Children's Literature Collection

The two wealthy farmers; or, the history of Mr. Bragwell. Part I [unknown] [1795-10-01]

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Two   Wealthy   Fanners;
Or, the Hiftory of
Mr.    BR AG WELL.
WKm     TART    I.
Sold by J.  MARSHALL,
(Printer to the Chbap Repository for Moral
and  Religious   Tracts) No.   17,   Queen-Street,
Cheapfide, and No. 4, Alderrhary Church-Yard,
and R. WHITE, Piccadilly, London.
(Printer to the Cheap Repository) at Bath ;
and by all Bookfellers, Newfmen, and Hawkers,
"m Town and Country.
Great Atlcwance will be made to Shopkeepers and Hawker:,
Price id. or 4s. 6d. per 100   50 for zj. 6d. 25 for is, td.
§M    Entered at Stationers Hall.
 On the   if of June was publifhed,
The Shepherd of Salifbury Plain, Part II.—The
Beggarly Boy, a Parable,—and Wild Robert,
a Ballad.
On the xjl of July,
The good Mother's Legacy}—Daniel in the feibns'
]Den,-—and the Newcastle Collier, a Ballad.
$1|"- \   Qn the  ifi of -dugu/l/h!^^fp^M
Hints on the prefent Scarcity.—The Happyj|yyra-
terman.—The Riot, a Ballad,—-and the  Plow-
boy's Dream, a Ballad. ll^Pi
On the fl of September, slpl
Noah's.^od.—^orn White, PaiJH ; or the Way
to Plenty,—and Dame Andrews, a Ballad.'
fMs      On the.   ifi of Otlober,
i^||^,wo Farmers. Part I.—Harveft Homo,,—and
rpie Honeft Miller, a Ballad;.   §| ^
On the tjl of November, •     JSl|&fP
.The Parable of the  Vineyard.:—The;p;wo..Fa|f.-
mers,   Part  II.---and :tMfe'African^^'arnari's
Lamentation, a Ballad,
'JLnd othffi.Pieces on a fimilar Plan, on thfi  \jl of
zvery Month.
0r:H   E
Two Wealthy Farmers, &c,
PART    I.
R. Bragwell and Mr. Worthy happened to meet, laft year at Weyhill
Pair. They were glad to fee each other as
"they had but feldom met of late; Mr. Brag-
well having removed fome years before
from Mr. Worthy's neighbourhood, to a
diftant village where he had bought an
Mr. Bragwell was a fubflantial Farmer
and Grazier. He had rifert in the world by
what worldly men call a run of good fortune. Pie had alfo been a man of great in-
duftry ; that is, he had paid a diligent and.
conftant attention to his own intereft. He
underftood bufinefs, and had a knack of
turning alrrioft every thing to his own advantage. He had that fort of fenfe which' good,
men call cunning, and knaves call wifdom~;-
He was-too prudent ever to do any thing fo
wrong .that the law could take hold of him;
yet he was not over fcrupulous about the
morality of an a6tion, when the profpecf of
enriching himfelf by it was very great, and
the chance of hurting his character was
fmall. The corn he fent home to his cuf-
.tomera was not always- quite fo good as
the famples he had produced at Market,
aj(id he  now  and   then forgot   to   name
B »
(    i    )
name fdme capital blemifh in the horfes he
fold at the Fair. Hefcornedtobeguilty of the
petty frauds of ..cheating in weights and measures, for he thought that was a beggarly
fin; but he valued himfelf on his fldflj|m
making a bargain, and fancied it fhewed his
knowledge of the world, .uptake .advantage I
of the ignorance of a dealer.
It was his cdftftant rule to undervalue
every, thing he was about to buy, and to
overvalue every thing he was about to fell;
but as he prided^liimfelf on his character he
avoided every thing that was very fhameful,
fo that he was considered merely as a hard
Tidea-ler, and a keen hand at a bargain.    Now
and then when he had been caught-in pufh-
ing his own advantage too far, he contrived
to get out of the fcrape by turning the whole
Into a je-ft,- faying it was a gd©d take in,„a|
rare joke, and that he. had only a mirjd tol
divert himfelf with the folly of his neighbourj
who could be fo eafil'y impofed on.
Mr. Bragwell had one favourite maxim,|
namely, that a man's fuccefs in life was ai
fure proof of his wifdom ; and that all fai.-j
lure and misfortune was the eonfequence 01
a  man's own. folly.    As'this  opinion was
■firft taken up by him from vanity and ignorance ; fo it was more and more confirmee"
by his own profperky.   He faw that he himfelf had fucceeded  greatly Without either
money or education to begin with, and he
M (    5    )
therefore now defpifed every Man, however excellent his character or talents might
be* who had not had the fame fuccefs in life.
His natural difpofi'tion wasnot particularly
bad, but profpferity had hardened his heart.
He made his own progrefs in life the rule by
which the conduct: of all other men was to
be judged, without any allowance" for their
peculiar difadvantages, or the vifitations of
Providence. He thought for his part, that
every man of fenfe could command fuccefs
on his undertakings, and control and dif-
pofe the events of his own life.
But though he confldered thofe who had
had lefs fuccefs than himfelf as no better
than fools, yet he did not extend this opinion to Mr. Worthy, whom he looked upon
not only as a good but a wife man.    They
•had been bred up when, children in the fame//
houf^ but with this difference, that Worthy
was the nephew of the mailer, and Bragwell the fon of the Servant.
^^'Bragwell's Father had been ploughman
in the family of Mr. Worthy's Uncle, a fen-
fible man, who farmed a fmall eitate of his
own, and who, having no children, bred up
young Worthy as his fon, inftructed him in
the bufinefs of hufbandry,  and at his death
■   left him his eitate.    The father of Worthy
was a pious Clergyman who lived with his
brother the farmer, in order to help out a
narrow income.    He had bellowed much?
pains on theinftrucfion of his- Son, and ufed
( 6 )     ill
frequently to repeat to him a faying which
he had picked up in a book, written by one
of the greateft men in this Country, " that
there were two things with which every mart
ought  to   be   acquainted,   religion   and
his own business. While he therefore took
' care that his fon fhould be made an excellent
Farmer, he filled up his leifure hours in improving- his mind; fo that .young Worthy-
had read more good Books, and underftood
them better than moft men in his ftation.
His reading however had been chiefly confined to hufbandry and Divinity, the two
^Ifrbjecls which were of the moft immediate
importance to him.
The reader will fee by this time that Mr.
Bragwell and Mr. Worthy were likelyiib© be
as oppoflte to each other as two men could
\<svell be, who were nearly of the fame age
lend condition, and who were neither of them
without credit in the world.    Bragwell indeed made far the greater figure, for he liked
to cut a dafh, as he called it.^   And while
it was the ftudy of Worthy to conform  to
his ftation, and to fet a good example to
thofe about him, it was the delight of Bragwell to vie in his way of life with  men of
larger fortune.    He did not fee how much
this vanity raifed the ill-will' of his'equals
>and the contempt of his betters.
^W; Plis Wife was a notable fMrring Woman,
Tbut vain, violent and ambitious; very ig-
"^jBDrant, and very high-minded.    She had
; „ ;   flj . I   7   1   §1
married Bragwell' before he   was   worth',
fhilling, and as fhe had brought him a god* .
deal of money, fhe thought herfelf the gran
caufe of \iv& viftng in the world,- and thenc
took occafion to govern him moft complete
•ly.    Whenever he ventured to oppofe her
fhe took care to put him in mind, " that he .
owed every j thing to her, that had it no-
been for her he might ftill have been flumping after a Plow tail, or ferving Hogs in old
Worthy's Farm-Yard, but that it was fhe who ,
. had made a Gentleman of him.    In order
•to  fet about making him a Gentleman, fhe
had begSri by teaming him till he had turned
away all his poor relations who worked in
the FafftSk'-   She next drew   him   pff  from
keeping company with his old ac quaintance,
•and at laft perfuaded him iS'-remove from
the place where he had got his money. Poor
Woman! fhe had hot fenfe and virtue e-
nough to fee how honourable it is for a man
to raife himfelf in the world by fair means,
and then to help forward his poor relations
and friends^ engaging their fervices by his
kindnefs, and endeavouring to  keep waht
out of his family.
Mrs. Bragwell was an excellent miftrefs,
according, to her own notions of excellence,
for no one could fay that file ever loft an
opportuniy of fcolding a fervant, or was
ever guilty of the weaknefs of overlooking a
fault. Towards her two daughters her be-
^iiviour was far otherwise.    In them fhe
^0- ■ •'..■•
'   ■ 'M     (    8    }      M
couwkfee nothing but perfections; but her
extravagant fondnefs for thefe girls was full
as much owing to pride as to affection. She
was bentapri making a family, and having
found out that fhe was too ignorant, and too
much trained to the habits of getting money,
eve^to hope to make a figure herfelf, fhe
looked to. her daughters as the perfons who
were to raife the family of--the Bragwell^
And in this hope fhe foolifh-ly fubmitted to.
any drudgery for their fakes, and to any im-
pertinence-ifrom fhem,
ISt^The firft wifjkof her heart was to fet them
above their neighbours; for fhe ufed to fay
v" what was the ufe of having fubftance, if
her daughters might not carry themfelves
above girlsCwho had nothing?"    To do her
juftice, fhe herfelf would be about early and
late to fee that the bufinefsof the houfe was
not negle£ted.    She had been bred to great.
induftry, and continued to work when it was
no longer neceffary, both from early habj$^y
and the defire of heaping up money for her
daughters. Yet her whole notion of gentility was, that it confifted in being rich and&dle,
and though fhe was willing to be a drudge
herfelf, fhe.refolved ti&rnake her daughters
-gentlewomen.    To be well drcfTed, and to
do nothing, or nothing that was of any ufe,
was wlia|Uhe fancied diftinguifhed people in
genteel life.' And this is too common a notion.of a fine education among fome people.
They do not efteera thin.g|by their ufe, but
(9   )
by their fhew.    They eftimate the value of
their children's education by themoney^t^
cofts, and not by thej^nowledge and good-
nefs it bellows.    People of this ftamp often
take a pride in the expence of learning, in-
ftead of taking pleafure in the advantages of
it. And the filly vanity of letting others fee
that they can afford  any thing, often fets
parents, on letting their daughters learn not
only things of no ufe, but things which may
be really hurtful in their fituation; either
by letting them above their proper duties,
or by taking up their time in a way ineda^.
fiftent with them.
Mrs. Bragwell fent her daughters to a
hoarding School, where fhe wifhed them to
hold up their heads as high as any body; to
have more fpirit than to be put upon by any
one, never to be pitiful about money, but
rather to.fhew that they could fpend with the
beft; to keep company with the richeft. girls'
in the School, and to make no acquaintance
with Farmers Daughters.
^They came home at the ufual age of leaving School, with a large portion of vanity
grafted on,their native ignorance. The
vanity was added but the ignorance was not
taken away. Of Religion they could not
poffibly learn any thing, fince none was
taught, for at that place it was confidered as
apart of education which belonged only to
Charity Schools. Of knowledge they got
juft enough to laugh at their fond parents'
I      10      );
'^uftic manners and vulgar language, and juft
enough tafte to defpife and ridicule every
■girl who was not as vainly dreffed as them-
ielves. j^fjj
The Mother had been comforting herfelf
for the heavy expence of their bringing up,
by looking forward to the pleafure of feeing
them become fine ladies, and to the pride of
marrying them above their ftation.
Their Father hoped alfo that they would
fje a comfort to him both in ficknefs and,fn||
health. He had had no learning himfelf,
and could write but poorly, and owed what
fkill he had in figures to his natural turn for:
hufinefs. He. hoped that his daughters, after
all the money he had fpent on them, would
now write his letters and keep his accounts.
And as he was now and then laid up with a
fit of -the gout, he was enjoying the profpect
of having two affectionate children to riurfe
When they came home however, he had
the mortification to find, that though he had
two fmart fhowy ladies to vifit him, he had:
neither dutiful daughters to nurfe him, nor
faithful ftewards to keep his books. They
neither foothed him by kindnefs when he was
fick, nor helped him when he was bufy.
They thought the maid might take care of
him in the gout as fhe did before. And as
to their fkill in cyphering he foon found to
his coil, that though they knew how to ffiend
both   Pounds^   Shillings,   and  Pence, yet.
IH 1 I
thje|||^^iotknow fo well how to caft them
up. i0f$ JP|jj     '$jm
Mrs. Bragwell one day being very bufy
in making a great dinner for the neighbours,'
ventured to requeft her daughters to affift
in making the paftry. They afked her fcorn-
fully " whether fhe had fent themtoBoarding
School to learn to cook; and added, that
they fuppofed fhe would expe£t them next
to make puddings for the hay-makers.^So'
faying they coolly marched off to theirmu-
fic. When the Mother found her girls were
too polite to be of any ufe, 'fhe would take
comfort in obferving how her parlour was
fet out with their Fill.agree and Flowers^!
their Embroidery and cut pvaper. They fpent
the morning in be4,.the' noon in dreffing,
the evening at the Spinnet, and the night in
reading. Novels. ^|M
With/all thefe fine qualifications it is eafy
to fuppofe that as they defpifed their fober
duties, . they no lefs defpifed their plain
neighbours. When they could not get to a
horfe race, a petty ball, or.a ftrollin'g play,
with fome company as idle and as fmart as-
themfelves, they were driven for amufcment
to the Circulating Library. Jack the plow-
boy, on whom they had now put a livery
jacket, was employed half his time in trotting backwards and forwards with the moft
wretched trafh the little neigbouring book
fhop could.furnifh. The choice was often
left to Jack, -who could not readout who
I warn.
had general orders to -bring all the new
things, and a great many of them. <|pi|
Things were in this ftate, or rather grow-
ihgiWOrfe, for idlenefs and vanity are never
at a ftand ; when thefe two wealthy farmers,
Bragwell and Worthy met at Weyhill Fair,
as was faid before. After many hearty fa-
lutations had paffed between them, it was
agreed that Mr. Bragwell fhould fpend the
next day with his old friend, whofe houfe
"was not many miles diftant, which Bragwell
invited himfelLto do inthe following manner,
*s we have not had a comfortable day's chat
for years, faid he, and as I am to look at a
drove of lean beafts in your neighbourhood,
I will take a bed at your houfe* and we
will pafs the evening in debating as we ufed
to do. - You know I always loved a bit of
an argument, and am reckoned not to make
the worft figure at our club:-#had not, to
be fure, fuch good learning as you had, be-
caufe your father was a Parfon, and you
got it for nothing. But I can bear my part
pretty well for all that. When, any man
talks to me about his learning, I aflc if H has
helped him to. get a good cftate ; if he fays
no, then I would not give him a rufh for it;
for of what ufe is all the learning in the
world if it does not make a man rich? But
j»s^|:was faying, Lwill come and fee you tomorrow ; but now don't let your' wife put
herfelf into a fufs for me. Don't alter your
-own plain way, for I am not proud I affure
1   *3    )
you, nor ^Sove my old friends, tliGUgri^[j
thank God I am pretty well in the world.
To all this flourifhing fpeech Mr. Worthy
coolly anfwered,that certainly wordly prof-
perky, ought never to make any man proud,
fince it is-4€rOD who giveth ftrength to get
riches, and without his bleffing 'tis in vain
to rife up early and to eat the bread of care-
About the middle of the next dayjlMr.
Bragwell reached Mr. Worthy's neat and
pleafant dwelling,. He found every thing'ii?,
it the reverfe of his own. It had not fo many
ornaments but it had more comforts. And
when he law his friend's good old fafhioned
arm chair in a warm corner, he gave a figh,
to think how his own had been banifhed to
make room for his daughter's Mufici^In--
ftead of made flowers in glafs cafes, and a
tea cheft and fcrene too fine to be ufed, and
about which he was cautioned, and fcolded
as often as he came near them, he faw 'a
neat fhe If of good books for the fervice of
the family, and a fmall medicine cheit for.-
the benefit of the poor. . \
Mrs. Worthy and her daughters had prepared a plain but neat and good dinner. The
tarts were fo excellent that Bragwell felt a
fecret kind of regret that his> own, daughters
were too-genteel to So any thing fo very
ufeful. Indeed he had been always unwilling to believe that any thing which was
very proper and very neceflary, could be fo
(      H     };.
erxttej^jely vulgar and unbecoming as his-
daughters were always declaring it to be..
And his late experience of the little comfort
he found at. home, inclined him now ft ill
more. ftrongl-y to fufpe£t that things were
not fo right as he had been made to fuppofe.
But.it was in vain to fpeak; for his daughters eonftantly Hopped his- mouth by a fa-, j
vorite faying of theirs, " better be out of the
world than^t of the fafhion."
Soon after dinner the women went out to
their feveral employments, and Mr. Worthy
being left alone with his gueft the following,
difcourfe took place..
Bragwell. You haye a couple of fober,'
pretty looking girls, Worthy; but I won-,
<ler they don't tiff off a little more.- Why
my girls have as much fat and flour^on their
heads as would half maintain my reapers ift
fuet pudding. %&$ |m«
Worthy.    Mr. Bragwell, in the management of my family, I don't confider^what I
might afford only, though that is one great
point ; but I confider alfo what is needful
and becoming,-in a man of my ftation, for
there are fo many ufeful ways of laying out
money, that -Ifee'l as if it were a fin to fpend
.one unneceffary milling.    Having had the
bleffmg of a-good education myfelf, I have
been able to.give the like advantage,to my
4a.ughters.   iOne -of the belt -leffons .1 have
taught them is,  to know themfelves; and
one psoof that- tshey have.learnt this,leffon
(       I       |
is, that they are not above an^of the dtffa<&$
of their ftation. They read-and write well,
and when my eyes are bad they keep my accounts in a very pretty manner. If I had
put them to learn what youeall genteelthing $■
thefe might either have been of no ufe to
them, and fo both time and money might
have been thrown away; or they might have
proved worfe than nothing to them by leading them into wrong notions, and wrong-
company. Though we don't with them to
do the laborious parts of the dairy work,
■yet they always affift their -Mother in the
management of it. As to their appearance,
they are every day nearly as you fee them
now, and on-Sundays they are very neatly
ureffed, but it is always in a decent and mo-
deft way. There are no lappets, fringes,
furbelows, and tawdry ornaments-, fluttering about among my chee-fe and butter. And
I fhould feel no vanity, but much mortification, if a ftranger feeing Farmer Worthy's
daughters at -Church fhould afk who thole'
fine ladies were ? W?$
Bragwell.    "Now I own I fhould like to
ave fuch .a queftion afked concerning myr
aughters.    I like to make people flare and
nvy.   It makes one feel one-felf fomebodyv
ut as to yourfelf, to be fure you belt know
vhat you can afford.    And indeed there is
ome difference between your deaighters arid
|he Mifs Bragwells.
,: .jr..>-v -        O
Worthy,.    For my part, before I engage"
i ( mm
in any expence I always afkmyfelf thefe" two
fhor£ queftions, Firft—Can I afford it ?—
Secondly—Is it proper for me ?.
Bragwell. Do you fo ? Now I own I
afk myfelf but one. F.or*if I find I can afford it, I take care to make it proper for
me. If I can pay for a thing, no one.h^s
'I right to hinder me from having it.
Worthy.    Certainly.    But a man's  own'
prudence and fenfe of duty, ought to prevent him from doing an improper thing, as
effectually as if there were fomebody  to
hinder  him;- f|| ♦
Bragwell.    Now I think a man" is^fool
who is hindered from having any thfng he'
ha^ a mind to ; unlefs. indeed he is in want
of money to pay for it; I'm  no friend to
debt.    A poor man muft want on.
Worthy. But I hope my children have
learnt not to want any thing which is not
proper for them. They are very induftri
ous,they attend to bufinefs all day ; and in
the evening they fit down to their work and
a good book. I think they live in the fear
of God. I truft they are humble' and pious,
and I am fure they feem cheerful and happy.
If.I am fick, it is pleafant to fee them dispute which fnall wait upon me; for.they fay
the maid cannot do it fo tenderly as^themfelves.	
. This part of the difcourfp ftaggered Bragwell. Vain as he was, lie could not help:
feeling what a difference a religious and a
ttjiiiiSBuntflStffilfl i
( n)
worldly education made on the heart, and
how much the former regulated even the
natural temper.    Another thing which fur-
prifed him was, that thefe girls living a life
of domeftic piety, without any public diver-
fions, fhould be fo very cheerful and happy,
while his own daughters, who were never
contradicted, and were indulged with continual amufements, were always fullen and
ill-tempered.    That they  who were more
humoured fhould be lefs grateful andhappy,
difturbed him much.    He  envied Worthy
the tendernefs of his children, though'he
would noj own it, but turned it off thus.
Bragwell. > But my girls are too fmart
to make mopes of, that is the truth. Though
ours is fuch a lonely village, 'tis wonderful
to fee how foon they g4tlhe fafhions. "What
with the defcriptions in the Magazines, and '
pictures in the pocket Books,   they have
them in a twinkling, and out-do their patterns all to nothing.    I ufed to take in the
County  Journal,   becaufe   it  was    ufeful
enough to fee how Oats went,'the time of
high water, and the price of Stocks.    But
when my ladies came home forfooth, I was
foon wheedled out of that, and forced to"'
■take a London paper, that tells a deal about
caps and feathers, and all the  trumpery of .
the quality,    When I want to know-what
Ihops are a bag, they are fnatchingthe paper
to fee what violet foap is a pound.    Arid as
jto the dairy, they never care how .Cow's
 I I I
'milk goes, as long as they can get fome ftuff
which, they call Milk of Rofes.
• Worthy.    But do your daughters never
read ? m$   » '
Bragwell.   Read! I believe they do too.
Why our  Jack  the Plow-boy  fpends half
his time in going to  a fhop in our Market-
town j where they let out books-to read with
marble covers*. , And they' fell paper with
all manner of colours on'the edges, and gim
cracks, and powder-puffs, and w'afh-balls,
and cards without any pips,and every thing;
in the world that's genteel and' of no ufe.
'Twas but t'other day I met lack Ifith a baf-
ket full of thefe books, fo having fome time
to fpare, I fat down to-dfee a little what they
were about.
:   Worthy.    Well, I hope you there foufij^.'
' what was likely to improve your daughters,
and teach them the true ufe of time.
'■%$&■Bragwell.    O as to- that,  you are-pretty
much out.    I could make neither head nor
tail of k.    It was neither  fifh, flefh, riot
good red-herring. Kwas aB about my Lord,
ancLSir^Harry and'the Captain. But I never
met with fuch nonferdlcal-fello'^'in my life'.
Their talk, was no more like that of my old
landlord, who was a Lord you know, nor
the Captain of our fencibles, than chalk is
like eheefc. I was fairly taken in at firft, and
began to think I had got hold of a"godly
book, for there was a deal about " hope and
defpair, and heaven, and Angels,'and-tor-
-X^;v_ >.--; ^.r ■:-:-.
Hist it(±o *ii§
ments,   and  everlafting  happinefs."    Biif.
when I got a little on, I found there was no
meaning in all thefe words, or if any, 'twas a
bad meaning. " Mifery| perhaps only meant
a difappointment about a bit of a letter: and
s everlafting happinefs" meant two people
talking nonfenfe together for five minutes.
Inihort, I"never met with fuch a pa'i^jfe of lies.
The people talk fuch gibberifh as no folks in
their fober ferifes. ever talked; and the things
that happen to them are not like the things
Vthat ever happen to any of my acquaintance.
They are ;aJt,home one minute, and beyond
fea the next.    Beggars to-day, and Lords
to-morrow.   Waiting maids in the morning,
andJlucheffes at night.    You andT, Mafter
Worthy, have worked^ hard many years, and
think it very well to have fcraped a trifle of
money together, you a few hundred's ifup- .
pofe,   and   I  a   few  thoufands.   'But  one
would think every nian in thefe books, had
the Bank of England in his Tcrutore.    Then
there's another thing which I never met with
in true life.    Wd-inink it pretty well you
know, if one has got one thing, and ano-
ther has. got another.'^'Til tell you howfp.f
mean.     You  are   reckoned Tenfible, our
Parfon is learned, the Squire is rich, I am
rather generous, one of your daughters is
pretty, and both mine are genteel.    But in
thefe books, (except- here and there  one,
whom they make worfe than Satan himfelf)
every man and woman's child, of them
I I   20     |
all .wife, and witty, and generous, and rich,
and handfome, anld genteel. Nobody is
huddling, or good in one thing,- and bad in
another, like my liv«e acquaintance. But.
'tis all up' to the fkies, or down to the dirt.
I had rather read Tom Hickathrift, or Jack
the Giant killer.   ||||
^Worthy. You have found' out Mr. Bragwell, that many of thefe books are ridiculous^
I will go farther, and fay, that to me they appear wicked alfo.. And I fhould account
the reading of them a great mifchief, efpe-
eially to people in micfdling and low life, if
I only take into the account the great lofs
of time fuch reading, caufes,' and the aver-
jBJjbin, it-leaves- behind for what is more feri-
ous and folid. But this, though a bad part,
is not the worft. Thefe books give falfe
views of human life. They teach a contempt f<* humble and domeftic duties; for
induftry, frugality and retirement. Want
of youth and beauty, is confidered as ridicu^
Ious. Plain people, like you and me, are
objects of contempt. Parental authority is
fet at nought. Nay, plots and contrivances
againfl parents and guardians fill half the
volumes. They make love'the great bufi-
riefs of human life, and even teach that it is
impoffible to be regulated or reftrained, and
to the indulgence of this paffion every duty
is therefore facrificed. A country life, with
•a kind mother, or a fober aunt, is defcribed
as.aftate of intolerable mifery.    And one
I 11
would be apt to fancy, from their painting,
that a good country houfe is a prifon,'and a
worthy father the goaler. Vice is fet off
with every ornament whi|;h can make it
pleating and amiable; while virtue and piety
are made ridiculous by tacking tq^them
fomething ihat is filly, or abfurd. - Crimes
which would be.confidered as hanging matter at the Old Bailey, are here made to take
the appearance of Virtue,, by being mixed
with fome wild flight of unnatural generofi-
"ty.    Thofe
fins,  Adultery, Gam
ing,' Duels, and Self Murde-r, are made
fo familiar, and the wickednefs^of themes,'
•fo di-fgiiifed, that even innocent girls get
tolofe their abhorrence, and to talk with
complacency of things which Jliould not be
fo much as nanied-by them. Js§
I fhould not have faid fo much on this
mifchief, {continued .Mr. Worthy,) from
which I dare fay, great folks fancy people
in our ftation are fafe enough, if I- diet not
know and lament that this corrupt reading is
now got down even among fome of the low-
eft clafs. And it is an evil which is fpread-
ing every day. Poor induftrious girls, who
get their bread by the needle, or the Joom,
•fpend half the night in liftening to thefe.
books. Thus the labour of one girl is loft,
and the minds of the reft are corrupted; for
though their hands are employed in honeft
induftry, which might help to preferve them
from a life of fin, .yet their hearts are at that
 (      22      }
-3£ry timepoliuted by fcenes and defafiptions
which are too-likely to plunge them into it.
Ai}d I think I' don't go too far, when I fay,
that the vain and fhewy manner in which
young women who have to work for their
bread, have takeriJ-Q dref^themfelves, added
to the poifon they draw from thefe books,
contribute together to bring them to de-
ftruction, more than almoft any other caufe.
Now xell me, don't you think thefe-wild
books will hurt your daughters ?
Bragwell. Why I do think they are
grown full of fchemes,and contrivances, and
whifpers, that's the truthpn't. Every thing
is a fecret. They always feem to be on the
Mpk out for fomething, and when nothing
comes o.n't, then they are fulky and difap-
pointed. They will not keep company with
their equals. They defpife trade and farming, and I own, I'm for the fluff. I fhould
not like for them to marry any but a man of
fubftance, if he was ever fo fmart. Now
they will hardly fit dowr^jwith a fubftantial
.'.country dealer. But if they hear of a recruiting party in our Market Town, on goes
the finery—off they are. Some flimfy excufe is patched up. They want fomething
at the Book-fhop, or the Millener's, becaufe
I fuppofe there is a chance that fome Jackanapes of an Enfign may be there buying
Sticking plaifter.^Hn fhort I do grow a little uneafy, for I fhould not like to fee all
I have fayed thrown away on a Knapfack.
| 23 )
.. /So faying they both rofe, and walked out
to view the Farm. Mr. Bragwell affected
greatly to admire the good order of every
thing he faw ; but never forgot to compare
it with fomething larger, and handfomer, or
.bette* of his own. It was eafy to fee that
Self^as the ftandard of perfection in every
thing. All he poffeffecl gained fome in-
ereafed value fn his eyes from being hjs;,
and in furveying the property of his friend,
he derived food for his vanity, from things
which feemed lea ft likely to. raife it. Every
appearance of comfort, of fuccefs, or merit
in any thing which belonged to Mr. Worthy,
led him to fpeak of fome fuperior advantage
.of his own of the fame kind. ^And it was
clear, that the chief part of the fatisfaction
he felt, in walking over the farm of his frien'|^:
was caufed by thinking how much larger his
own was.
Mr.. Worthy, who felt a kindnefs for him,
which all his vanity could not cure, was on
,tne watch how to turn their talk to fome
ufeful point. And whenever people refolve
to go into ,company with this" view, it- is
commonly their own fault if fome opportunity of turning it to account does not offer.
He  faw Bragwell   was intoxicated with
pride, and undone by profperity, and that
- his family was in the high roadtO ruin.   He
thought that if fome means could be found
to open his|;eyes on his own character, to
 '(.. 1 m
which he was now totally blind, it midbt be
of the utmoft fervice to him. The more
Mr. Worthy reflected, the more he wifhed
to undertake this kind office. He was not
fure that Mr. Bragwell would bear it, but he
was ver|y.<fure it was his duty to attempt it.
Mr. Worthy was very humble, and very
candid, and he had great patience and forbearance with the faults of others. He felt
no pride at having efcaped the fame errors,;
for he knew who, it was^had made them to
differ. He remembered that God had given
him many advantages, a pious father, and a
religious Education; this made him humble
Milder afenfe of his own fins*, snd charitable
towards the fins/6f others, who had not the'
fame privileges/ f"'^' ■
Tuft, as he-was going to try. to enter into
a very ferious conversation with his gueft,
he was ftopped^by the "appearance of InV
daughter* who told them Supper was ready.
This interruption oWges mtf* to break off
alfo, and L fhall referve what follows t$ the
next Month, when I promife to, give niy
readers the fecond part of this Pliftory.


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