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The Little Quaker or, the Triumph of Virtue. A Tale for the Instruction of Youth   By: (1803-1885)

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THE LITTLE QUAKER; OR, THE TRIUMPH OF VIRTUE.

A TALE FOR THE INSTRUCTION OF YOUTH.

Teach me to feel another's woe, To hide the faults I see; That mercy I to others show, That mercy show to me. POPE.

LONDON: PRINTED FOR WILLIAM COLE, 10, NEWGATE STREET.

PRINTED BY G. H. DAVIDSON, IRELAND YARD, DOCTORS' COMMONS.

FRONTISPIECE.

[Illustration: The little Quaker remonstrating with George & William Hope for their cruelty. p. 11. ]

THE LITTLE QUAKER.

George and William Hope were the only children of a gentleman of fortune, who lived in a fine house at the entrance of a pretty village in Berkshire.

It was this worthy gentleman's misfortune to be the father of two very perverse and disobedient sons; who, instead of trying to please him by dutiful and obliging conduct, grieved him continually by their unworthy behaviour, and then were so wicked as to laugh at the lessons of morality their parent set before them.

When they returned from school to spend the holydays, they neglected their studies to roam about the streets with low company; from whom they learned profane language, vulgar amusements, and cruelty to animals; but such conduct, as may well be supposed, did not conduce to their happiness. They had no friends among the good and virtuous in their own rank in life; and were even despised and condemned by the bad companions, who, in the first instance, had encouraged their depravity.

Their idle pursuits gave Mr. Hope great pain, who tried, by gentle remonstrances, to make them ashamed of their evil propensities; but, finding that kindness had no effect in their ungenerous dispositions, he determined for the future to punish them severely, whenever they disobeyed his commands.

Mr. Hope had a very near neighbour, whose meadow and pleasure garden were only separated from his by a high row of paling. Mrs. Shirley, for so this lady was called, was a very excellent and benevolent woman, and a member of that respectable society of friends commonly known by the name of Quakers.

Mrs. Shirley was a widow; and, having lost her own family, she brought up her two grandchildren, a youth of fourteen years of age, and a pretty little girl, who scarcely reckoned half that number of years.

Josiah Shirley was at once his kind Grandmamma's pride and comfort; and, from his amiable and obliging conduct, was justly esteemed and beloved by the whole village; and his name was never mentioned without the praise his modest and gentlemanlike behaviour deserved.

Mr. Hope had often contrasted, with feelings of regret, this sweet boy's conduct with that of his own sons; and, hoping that his gentle temper and moral pursuits might have some effect on the perverted minds of George and William, he invited him pressingly to his house, and bestowed on the young Quaker many marks of his esteem and favour.

The approbation of the father only drew upon Josiah the dislike and envy of his sons. Among other follies, they ridiculed him for being a Quaker.

The cut of his clothes, the shape of his hat, his modest and retiring manners, were all subjects of mirth to these unthinking boys, who tried by the most provoking language to rouse him into retaliation: but Josiah was a maker of peace , not a breaker of it; and, though he could not help keenly feeling their unkindness, his good Grandmamma had early taught him this excellent lesson, "To return good for evil;" and Josiah not only treated their insults with the silent contempt they deserved, but often earnestly entreated them to renounce their foolish ways, and he would endeavour to assist them in the arduous task of reformation.

His advice was received with such rudeness, that the benevolent boy, disgusted at length with their unprovoked malice, took his leave, declining all acquaintance with the young gentlemen for the future.

"I wonder, young men, you do not blush at your disgraceful behaviour," exclaimed Mr. Hope, viewing his sons with unfeigned displeasure, the morning Josiah took his leave... Continue reading book >>




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