Category Archives: Fiction

Item of the Day: Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon (1733)

Full Title: The Philosophical Works of Francis Bacon, Baron of Verulam, Viscount St. Albans, and Lord High-Chancellor of England; Methodized, and made English, from the Originals. With Occasional Notes, To explain what is obscure; and shew how far the several Plans of the Author, for the Advancement of all the Parts of Knowledge, have been executes to the Present Time. Vol. I. By Peter Shaw, M.D. London: Printed for J. J. and P. Knapton; D. Midwinter and A. Ward; A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch; J. Pemberton; J. Osborn and T. Longman; C. Rivington; F. Clay; J. Batley; R. Hett; and T. Hatchett, M.DCC.XXXIII. [1733].

SUPPLEMENT I.

THE NEW ATLANTIS; OR, A PLAN OF A SOCIETY

FOR THE PROMOTION OF KNOWLEDGE.

Delivered in the Way of Fiction.

PREFACE.

THE present Piece has, perhaps, been esteemed a greater Fiction than it is: The Form fo the History is purely imaginary; but the Things mentioned in it seem purely Philosophical; and, if Men would exert themselves, probably practical. But whilst our Minds labour under a kind of Despondency and Dejection, with regard to operative Philosophy; and refuse to put forth their strength; the Wings of Hope are clipped. And, in this situation, the mind seems scarce accessible but by Fiction. For plain Reason will here prove dull and languid; and even Works themselves rather stupefy than rouze and inform. Whence the prudent and seasonable use of Invention and Imagery, is a great Secret for winning over the Affections to Philosophy. We have here, as in miniature, a Summary of Universal Knowledge; Examples, Precepts and Models for improving the Mind in History, Geography, Chronology, Military Discipline, Civil Conversation, Morality, Policy, Physicks, &c whence it appears like a kind of Epitome, and farther Improvement of the Scheme of the Augmentis Scientiarum. The dignity and utility of the Design may appear from hence; that not only Mr. Cowley endeavoured to imitate it, in his Plan of a Philosophical Society; but even the Royal Society of London, and the Royal Academy of Paris, have, from their first Institution, employed themselves, and still continue employed, in its execution.

SECT. I.

1.  After a twelvemonth’s stay at Peru, we sailed from thence for China and Japan, by the South-Sea; and had fair Winds from the East, tho’ soft and gentle, for above five Months: then the Wind changed and settled in the West, for several days; so that we made little way, and sometimes purposed to sail back. But now there arose strong Winds from the South, one point to the East, which carried us to the North: by which time our Provisions failed us. And being thus amidst the greatest wilderness of Waters in the World, we gave ourselves for lost. Yet lifting up our hearts to God, who sheweth his wonders in the Deep; we besought him that as in the beginning he disclosed the face of the Deep, and made dry Land appear; so we might now discover Land, and not perish. The next day about Evening, we saw before us, towards the North, the appearance of thick Clouds, which gave us some hopes for as that part of the South-Sea was utterly unkown; we judged it migh have Islands or Continents, hitherto undiscovered. We, therefore, shaped our Course towards them, and in the dawn of the next day plainly discerned Land.

2.  After sailing an hour longer, we entered the Port of a fair city; not large, but well built, and affording an agreeable Prospect from the Sea. Upon offering to go on shore, we saw People with Wands in their hands, as it were forbidding us; yet without any Cry or Fierceness; but only warning us off by Signs. Whereupon we advised among ourselves what to do: when a small Boat presently made out to us, with about eight Persons in it; one whereof held in his hand a short, yellow Cane, tipped at both ends with blue; who made on board our Ship, without any shew of distrust. And seeing one of our number present himself somewhat at the head of the rest, he drew out, and delivered to him, a little Scroll of yellow polish’d Parchment, wherein were written in ancient Hebrew, ancient Greek, Latin of the School, and in Spanish, these Words: Land ye not, and provide to be gone within sixteen days; except ye have farther time given you: but if ye want fresh Water, Provision, Help for your Sick, or Repair for your Ship, write down your Wants, and ye shall have what belongs to Mercy. The Scroll was sealed with Cherubims Wings, and a Cross.

3.  This being deliver’d, the Officer return’d, and left only a Servant to receive our Answer. Our Answer was, in Spanish, That our Ship wanted no Repair; for we had rather met with Calms and contrary Winds, than Tempests: but our Sick were many; so that if not permitted to land, their Lives were in danger. Our other Wants we set down in particualr; adding, that we had some little store of Merchandize; which, if they pleased to traffick for, might supply our Wants, without being burdensome to them. We offered Money to the Servant; and a Piece of Crimson Velvet to be presented the Officer: but the Servant took them not; and would scarce look upon them: so left us, and retun’d in another little Boat that was went for him.

4.  About three Hours after our Answer was dispatch’d, there came to us a Person of Figure. He had on a Gown with wide Sleeves, a kind of Water-Camblet, of an excellent and bright Azure; his under Garment was green, so was his Hat, being in the form of a Turban, curiously made; his Hair hanging below the Brims of it. He came in a boat, some part of it gilt, along with four other Persons; and was follow’d by another Boat, wherein were twenty. When he was come within bow-shot of our Ship, Signals were made to us, that we should send out our boat to meet him; which we presently did, manned with the principal Person amongst us but one, and four of our number with him. When we came within six Yards of their Boat, they bid us approach no farther: we obeyed; and thereupon the Person of Figure, before described, stood up and, with a loud Voice, in Spanish, asked, Are ye Christians? We answered, yes; fearing the less, because of the Cross we had seen in the Signet. At which Answer, the said Person lift up his right Hand towards Heaven, and drew it softly to his Mouth; a Gesture they use when they thank God, and then said; If ye will swear by the Merits of the Saviour, that ye are no Pirates; nor have shed Blood, lawfully or unlawfully, within forty Days past; ye have Licence to come on shore. We said, we were all ready to take the Oath. Whereupon, one of those that were with him, being, as it appear’d, a Notary, made an entry of this Act. Which done, another of the Attendants in the same Boat, after his Lord had spoke to him, said aloud; My Lord would have ye know, that it is not out of Pride, or Greatness, that he does not come on board your Ship; but as in your Answer, you declare you have many sick among you, he was warned by the City-Conservator of Health to keep at a distance. We bowed ourselves, and answered, we accounted what was already done a great Honour, and singular Humanity; but hoped, that the Sickness of our Men was not infectious. Then he returned. . . .

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 1600's, 1700's, Culture, Eighteenth century, Enlightenment, Fiction, Modern Language Translations, Philosophy, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Reason

Item of the Day: A Tale of St. Domingo (1834)

Excerpted from a collection of short stories found in: The Romantic Historian; A Series of Lights and Shadows, Elucidating American Annals. Philadelphia: Published by Hogan & Thompson, No. 139 Market Street, 1834.

 

A TALE OF ST. DOMINGO.

There seems to me to be a striking resemblance between slave-holding and volcanic countries. Though the inhabitants may be blessed with every enjoyment depending upon soil and climate, yet in the very bowels of the land there are constantly the elements of destruction. Even while we are most happy and secure, the volcano may be upon the point of bursting forth with overwhelming ruin, which no foresight can anticipate, and no prudence avert. Such was the state of St. Domingo, at the opening of my tale; on the eve of that fearful insurrection which consigned so many unsuspecting beings to premature death, or drove them from their homes and kindred, to struggle with want in the loneliness of a foreign land.

The hot glaring day had passed, and was succeeded by the soft splendor of a West Indian evening. Monsieur L ___, a large proprietor of land and slaves, was sitting at a table in his saloon, looking over some newspapers, which he had just received from a neighboring town. At the other end of the table his wife was engaged in preparations for the evening meal. Before an open window in the same apartment, sat their only daughter, Theresa, with her cousin and accepted lover, Eugene M ___.

Eugene was an orphan. At the very beginning of his course through life, he had encountered misfortunes and difficulties, which only his own talents and energy had enabled him to surmount. He had met with wrongs and treachery enough from the world to make him prize, at their full value, the purity and single-minded love of Theresa. Young as he was, he had seen much of mankind. With an ardent disposition and a heart formed for universal love, the fraud and ingratitude of all whom he had trusted had changed his naturally frank bearing to one of haughty coldness. But to Theresa he looked as the only being whom he might love, without danger and reserve. His eyes were now fixed upon hers, with a mixture of pride and affection which was not very far removed from idolatry. The window at which they were seated, was covered with a luxuriant vine, trained under Theresa’s direction. The checquered moonlight streamed through it, and the evening breeze rustled among its leaves. With all the congenial beauties of a tropical night around them, the lovers were enjoying that interchange of romantic feeling, which it is so much the fashion to ridicule in this matter of fact country of ours; but which I consider the single green spot, and single sparkling fountain, in the dreary waste of a sordid and selfish world. What they were talking of heaven only knows. Chance has once or twice made me an unintentional listener to the conversation of lovers. Much as I was interested at the time, I could not afterwards recollect a word that had passed. And I am inclined to think that their intercourse consists in the exchange of kind words and tones rather than ideas.

The opening of a door, and the entrance of a tall athletic negro, belonging to M. L ___, drew for a moment the attention of all parties. The circumstance in itself was of little importance. It was usual for the negroes after their daily taks was completed, to go to the dwelling house of their masters, and complain of any petty grievance, or ask for little privileges. There was, however, about this man an air of apprehansion and uncertainty, which had just fixed Eugene’s attention, when he rushed upon his master and buried in his bosom a large knife, which he had held unobserved in his hand. The unhappy L ___ fell from his chair without a groan, and the next instant Eugene was standing over his body. With his right hand he had caught a knife from the table, and in his left he held a chair, with which he parried a blow aimed at him by the slave. Afraid to contend singly against such resistance, and confounded perhaps by his own success in the attempt upon his master’s life the negro turned and retreated through the door at which he had entered. A single glance into the portico showed Eugene that it was filled with negroes, and the truth flashed at once upon his mind. To lock and barricade the door, to snatch a candle from the table, and hurry his aunt and cousin up the staircase which ascended from the saloon, was to Eugene but the work of a moment. There was a small closet at the heard [sic] of the stairs, which Mons. L ___. had devoted to his collection of arms, for which he had a singular fondness. It was not time to search for keys. With the wild energy of despair, Eugene threw himself against the door. It gave way, and he was precipitated headlong into the closet among the rattling pistols and fowling pieces, and flasks and bags of amunition. He selected two double barrel guns, and a musket, which, by its large calibre, was peculiarly fitted for his purpose. He loaded them heavily with swan shot, and took a positon from which he could command a view of the whole stairs. . . .

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 1830's, Fiction, History, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Slavery

Item of the Day: Zeluco (1789)

Full Title: Zeluco. Various Views of Human Nature, Taken from Life and Manners, Foreign and Domestic. Vol. I. London: Printed for A. Strahan; and T. Cadell, in the Strand, M.DCC.LXXXIX. [1789]

CHAP. I.

Strong Indications of a vicious Disposition.

RELIGION teaches, that Vice leads to endless misery in a future state; and experience proves, that in spite of the gayest and most prosperous appearance, inward misery accompanies her; for, even in this life, her ways are ways of wretchedness, and all her paths are woe.

This observation has been so often made, that it must be known to all, and its truth is seldom formally denied by any; yet the conduct of men would sometimes lead us to suspect, either that they had never heard it, or that they think it false. To recall a truth of such importance to the recollection of mankind, and to illustrate it by example, may therefore be of use.

Tracing the windings of Vice, however, and delineating the disgusting features of Villany [sic], are unpleasant tasks; and some people cannot bear to contemplate such a picture. It is fair, therefore, to warn Readers of this turn of mind not to peruse the story of Zeluco.

This person, sprung from a noble family in Sicily, was a native of Palermo, where he passed the years of early childhood, without being distinguished by any thing very remarkable in his disposition, unless it was a tendency to insolence, and an inclination to domineer over boys of inferior rank and circumstances. The bad endency of this, however, was so strongly remonstrated against by his father, and others who superintended his education, that it was in a great degree checked, and in a fair way of being entirely overcome.

In the tenth year of his age he lost his father, and was left under the guidance of a mother, whose darling he had ever been, and who had often blamed her husband for too great severity to a son, whom, in her fond opinion, nature had endowed with every good quality.

A short time after the death of his father, Zeluco began to betray strong symptoms of that violent and overbearing disposition to which he had always had a propensity, though he had hitherto been obliged to refrain it. Had that gentleman lived a few years longer, the violence of Zeluco’s temper would, it is probable, have been weakened, or entirely annihilated, by the continued influence of this habit of restraint, and his future life might have exhibited a very different character; for he shewed sufficient command of himself as long as his father lived: but very soon after his death, he indulged, without control, every humour and caprice; and his mistaken mother applauding the blusterings of petulance and pride as indications of spirit, his temper became more and more ungovernable, and at length seemed as inflammable as gunpowder, bursting into flashes of rage at the slightest touch of provocation.

It may be proper to mention one instance of this violence of temper, from which the reader will be enabled to form a juster notion than his mother did, of what kind of spirit it was an indication.

He had a favourite sparrow, so tame it picked crumbs from his hand, and hopped familiarly on the table. One day it did not perform certain tricks which he had taught it, to his satisfaction. This put the boy into a passion: the bird being frightened, attempted to fly off the table. He suddenly seized it with his hand, and while it struggled to get free, with a curse he squeezed the little animal to death. His tutor, who was present, was so shocked at this instance of absurd and brutal rage, that he punished him as he deserved, saying, “I hope this will cure you of giving vent to such odious gusts of passion. If it does not, remember what I tell you, Sir; they will render you hateful to others, wretched to yourself, and may bring you one day to open shame and endless remorse. Zeluco complained to his mother; and she dismissed the tutor, declaring, that she would not have her son’s vivacity repressed by the rigid maxims of a narrow-minded pedant.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 1780's, England, Fiction, Great Britain, Literature, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: Citizen of the World (1792)

Full Title: The Citizen of the World, or, Letters from a Chinese Philosopher residing in London to his friends in the East. By Oliver Goldsmith. Vol. 1. London. Printed for T. Vernor, W. Otridge, Scatchard & Whitaker, Ogilvy & Speare, Darton & Harvey & W. Millar. Dec. 1. 1792. [Originally pub. 1762.]

LETTER IV.

To the Same [From Lien Chi Altangi, to the care of Fipsihi, Resident in Moscow; to be forwarded by the Russian Ravan to Fum Hoam, First President of the Ceremonial Academy at Pekin, in China].

The English seem as silent as the Japanese, yet vainer than the inhabitants of Siam. Upon my arrival, I attributed the reserve to modesty, which I now find has its origins in pride.  Condescend to address them first, and you are sure of their acquaintance; stoop to flattery, and you conciliate their friendship and esteem. They bear hunger, cold, fatique, and all the miseries of life without shrinking: danger only calls forth their fortitude; they even exult in calamity; but contempt is what they cannot bear. An Englishman fears contempt more than death: he often flies to death as a refuge from its pressure; and dies when he fancies the world has ceased to esteem him.

Pride seems the source not only of their national vices, but of their national virtues. An Englishman is taught to love his king as his friend, but to acknowledge no other master than the laws which himself has contributed to enact. He despises those nations, who, that one may be free, are all content to be slaves; who first lift a tyrant into terror, and then shrink under his power as if delegated from heaven. Liberty is echoed in all their assemblies, and thousands might be found ready to offer up their lives for the sound, though perhaps not one of all the number understands its meaning. The lowest mechanic however looks upon it as his duty to be a watchful guardian of his country’s freedom, and often uses a language that might seem haughty, even in the mouth of the great emperor who traces his ancestry to the moon.  

A few days ago, passing by one of their prisons, I could not avoid stopping, in order to listen to a dialogue which I thought might afford me some entertainment. The conversation carried on between a debtor through the grate of his prison, a porter, who had stopped to rest his burthen, and a soldier at the window. The subject was upon a threatened invasion from France, and each seemed extremely anxious to rescue his country from the impending danger. “For my part, (cries the prisoner), the greatest of my apprehensions is for our freedom; if the French should conquer, what would become of English liberty? My dear friends, liberty is the Englishman’s prerogative; we must preserve that at the expence of our lives; of that the French shall never deprive us: it is not to be expected that men who are slaves themselves, would preserve our freedom should they happen to conquer:” Ay, slaves, cries the porter, they are all slaves, fit only to carry burthens every one of them. Before I would stoop to slavery, may this be my poison (and he held the goblet in his hand), may this be my poison–but I would sooner lift for a soldier.

The soldier, taking the goblet from his friend, with much awe (fervently cried out), It is not so much our liberties as our religion that would suffer by a change: Ay, our religion, my lads, May the devil sink me into flames, (such was the solemnity of his adjuration), if the French should come over, but our religion would be utterly undone. So saying, instead of a libation, he applied the goblet to his lips, and confirmed his sentiments with a ceremony of the most preseving devotion.

In short, every man here pretends to be a politician; even the fair sex are sometimes found to mix the severity of national altercation with the blandishments of love, and often become conquerors by more weapons of destruction than their eyes.

The universal passion for politics is gratified by Daily Gazettes, as with us at China. But as in ours, the emperor endeavors to instruct his people; in theirs they endeavor to instruct the administration. You must not, however, imagine, that they who compile these papers have any actual knowledge of the politics, or the goverment of a state; they only collect their materials from the oracle of some coffee-house, which oracle has himself gathered them the night before from a beau at a gaming table, who has pillaged his knowledge from a great man’s porter, who has all the information from the great man’s gentleman, who has invented the whole stroy for his own amusement the night preceding.

The English in general seem fonder of gaining the esteem than the love of those they converse with: this gives a formality to their amusements; their gayest conversations have something too wise for innocent relaxation; though in company you are seldom disgusted with the absurdity of a fool; you are seldom lifted into rapture by those strokes of vivacity which give instant, though not permanent, pleasure.

What they want, however, in gaiety thay make up in politeness. You smile at hearing me praise the English for their politeness; you who have heard very different accounts from missionaries at Pekin, who have seen such a different behaviour in their merchants and seamen at home. But I must still repeat it, the English seem more polite than any of their neighbours: their great art in this respect lies in endeavouring, while they oblige, to lessen the force of the favour. Other countries are fond of obliging a stranger; but seem desirous that he should be so sensible of the obligation. The English confer this kindness with the appearance of indifference, and give away benefits with an air as if they despised them.

Walking a few days ago between an English and a Frenchman in the suburbs of the city, we were overtaken by a heavy shower of rain. I was unprepared; but they each ahd large coats which defended them from what seemed to me a perfect inundation. The Englishman seeing me shrink from the wather, accosted me thus: “Psha, man, what dost shrink at? Here take this coat; I don’t want it; I find it no way useful to me: I had a lief be without it.” The Frenchman began to show his politeness in turn. “My dear friend, (cries he) why won’t you oblige me by making use of my coat; you see how well it defends me from the rain; I should not chuse to part with it to others, but to such a friend as you, I could even part with my skin to do him service.”

From such minute instances as these, most reverend Fum Hoam, I am sensible your sagacity will collect instruction. The volume of nature is the book of knowledge; and he becomes wise who makes the most judicious selection. Farewell.     

Leave a comment

Filed under 1790's, Fiction, Letters, Politics, Posted by Matthew Williams, Travel Literature

Item of the Day: Aesop’s “The Lion and other Beasts” (1782)

Full Title: Fables of Aesop and Others: Translated into English. With Applications; And a Print before each Fable. By Samuel Croxall. Twelfth Edition, Carefully Revised, and Improved. London: Printed for W. Strahan, J. F. and C. Rivington, T. Caslon, S. Crowder, T. Longman, B. Law, C. Dilly, T. Cadell, J. Bew, T. Lowneds, R. Baldwin, W. Goldsmith, G. Robinson. J. Johnson, E. Newberry, W. Ginger, and B. Collins, M.DCC.LXXXII. [1782]

FAB. VI. The LION and other Beasts.

The Lion and several other Beasts, entered into an Alliance offensive and defensive, and were to live very sociably together in the Forest, one Day, having made a sort of an Excursion by way of Hunting, they took a very fine, large, fat Deer, which was divided into four Parts; there happening to be then present, his Majesty the Lion, and only three others. After the Division was made, and the Parts were set out, his Majesty advancing forward some Steps, and pointing to one of the Shares, was pleased to declare himself after the following Manner: This I seize and take Possession of as my Right, which devolves to me, as I am descended by a true, lineal, hereditary Succession from the Royal Family of Lion: That (pointing to the second) I claim, by, I think, no unreasonable Demand; considering that all the Engagements you have with the Enemy turn chiefly upon my courage and Conduct: And you very well know that Wars are to be expensive to be carried on without proper Supplies. Then (nodding his Head towards the Third) That I shall take by Virtue of my Prerogative; to which, I make no Question, but so dutiful and loyal a People will pay all the Deference and Regard that I can desire. Now, as for the remaining Part, the Necessity of our present Affairs is so very urgent, our Stock so low, and our Credit so impaired and weakened, that I must insist upon your granting That without any Hesitation or Demur; and hereof fail not at your Peril.

The APPLICATION.

No Alliance is safe which is made with those that are superior to us in Power. Tho’ they lay themselves under the most strict and solemn Ties at the Opening of the Congress, yet the first advantageous Opportunity will tempt them to break the Treaty; and they will never want specious Pretences to furnish out their Declaration of War. It is not easy to determine, whether it is more stupid and ridiculous for a Community, to trust itself first in the Hands of those that are more powerful than themselves, or to wonder afterwards that their Confidence and Credulity are abused, and their Properties invaded.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 1780's, Fables, Fiction, Literature, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: The Works of Laurence Sterne, Complete in Eight Volumes. (1803)

Full Title: The Works of Laurence Sterne, Complete in Eight Volumes. Containing I. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. II. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, and Continuation. III. Sermons. IV. Letters. V. The Fragment. VI. The Koran. VII. History of a Good Warm Coat. With A Life of the Author, Written by Himself. Vol. I. Edinburgh: Printed by J. Turnbull, Anchor-Close, for Gray, Maver, & Co. Booksellers, Glasgow, 1803.

ADVERTISEMENT.

 

The works of Mr. Sterne, after contending with the prejudices of some, and the ignorance of others, have at length obtained that general approbation which they are entitled to by their various, original, and intrinsic merits. No writer of the present times can lay claim to so many unborrowd excellencies. In none, have with, humour, fancy, pathos, an unbounded knowledge of mankind, and a correct and elegant style, been so happily united. These properties, which render him the delight of every reader of taste, have surmounted all opposition. Even envy, prudery, and hypocrisy are silent.

Time, which allots to each author his due portion of fame, and admits a free discussion of his beauties and faults, without favour and without partiality, hath done ample justice to the superior genius of Mr. Sterne. It hath fixed his reputation as one of the first writers in the English language, on the firmest basis, and advanced him to the rank of a classic. As such, it becomes a debt of gratitude, to collect his scattered performences into a compleate edition, with those embellishments usually bestowed on our most distinguished authors.

 This hath been attempted in the present edition, which comprehends all the works of Mr. Sterne, either made public in his lifetime or since his death. They are printed from the best and most correct copies, with no other alterations than what became necessary from the correction of literal errors. The letters are arranged according to their several dates, as far as they can be discoverd, and a few illustrations added, to explain some temporary circumstances mentioned or alluded to in them. Those which are confessedly spurious are rejected; and that no credit may be given to such as are of doubtful authority, it will be proper to observe, that the letters mumbered 129, 130, 131, have not those proofs of authenticity which the others possess. They cannot, however, be pronounced forgeries with so much confidence as some which are discarded from the present edition may be, and therfore are retained in it.

That no part of the genuine works of Mr. Sterne might be omitted, his own account of himself and his family is inserted without variation. But as this appears to have been a hasty composition, intended only for the information of his daughter, a small number of facts and dates, by way of notes, are added to it. These, it is presumed, will not be considered as improper additions.

It would be trespassing on the reader’s patience, to detain him any longer from the pleasure which these volumes will afford, by bespeaking his favour either for the author or his works. The former is out of the reach of censure or praise; and the reputation of the latter is too well established to be either supported or shook by panegyric or criticism. To the taste therefore, the feelings, the good sense, and the candour of the public, the present collection of Mr. Sterne’s works may be submitted, without the least apprehension that the perusal of any part of them will be followed by consequences unfavourable to the interests of society. The oftener they are read, the stronger will a sense of universal benevolence be impressed on the mind; and the attentive reader will subscribe to the character of the author, given by a comic writer, who declares he held him to be “a moralist in the noblest sense; he plays indeed with the fancy, and sometimes perhaps too wantonly; but while he thus designmedly masks his main attack, he comes at once upon the heart; refines, amends it, softens it; beats down each selfich barrier from abut it, andopens every sluice of pity and benevolence.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 1700's, Fiction, Literature, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: Hannah More’s Tales for the Common People (1801)

Full Title: The Works of Hannah More, in Eight Volumes; including several pieces never before published. Vol. V. “Tales for the Common People.” London: Printed by A. Strahan for T. Cadell Jun. and w. Davis, 1801.

ADVERTISMENT
TO THIS AND THE PRECEDING
VOLUME OF TALES.

To improve the habits, and raise the principles of the common people, at a time when their dangers and temptations, moral and political, were multiplied beyond the example of any former period, was the motive which impelled the Author of these volumes to devise and prosecute the institution of the Cheap Repository. This plan was established with an humble wish, not only to counteract vice and profligacy on the one hand, but error, discontent, and false religion on the other. And as an appetite for reading had, from a variety of causes, been increasing among the inferior ranks in this country, it was judged expedient, at this critical period, to supply such wholesome aliment as might give a new direction to their taste, and abate their relish for those corrupt and inflammatory publications which the consequences of the French Revolution have been so fatally pouring in upon us.The success of the plan exceeded the most sanguine expectation of its projector. Above two millions of the Tracts were sold within the first year, besides very large numbers in Ireland; and they continue to be very extensively circulated, in their original form of single Tracts, by Evans, in Long-lane, West Smithfield, Hatchard in Piccadilly, and Hazard in Bath, as well as in three bound volumes sold by Rivington, Hatchard, and all other booksellers.

As these stories, though principally, are not calculated exclusively for the middle and lower classes of society, the Author had, at the desire of her friends, selected those which were written by herself, and presented them to the public in this collection of her works, in an enlarged and improved form.

CONTENTS
OF
THE FIFTH VOLUME.

  • The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain: In Two Parts.

  • The Two Shoemakers: In Six Parts.

  • The History of Tom White the Postboy: In Two Parts.

  • The History of Hester Wilmot: In Two Parts; being the Sequel to the Sunday School.

  • The Grand Assize, or General Goal Delivery: An Allegory.

  • The Servant Man turned Soldier: An Allegory.

  • The History of Betty Brown the St. Giles Orange Girl, with some Account of Mrs. Sponge the Money-Lender.

  • Black Giles the Poacher: In Two Parts. Containing some Account of a Family who had rather live by their Wits than their Work.

  • Tawney Rachel; or, The Fortune-teller; with some Account of Dreams, Omens, and Conjurers.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1800's, Fiction, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Women