Page:Hannah More (1887 Charlotte Mary Yonge British).djvu/14

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and religion, which had great effect on her own generation. Her excellence and devotion have, in a manner, obscured her fame, and the many who are inclined to take her as an impersonation of what is impertinently called "goodiness," have no idea of her talents, or of the society she had enjoyed. The friend of Garrick, Horace Walpole, and Johnson, was no narrow-minded woman absorbed in village gossip.

The family from which she sprang was one of the old Puritan stocks of Norfolk, which furnished many of Oliver Cromwell's Ironsides. Two great-uncles of her father had been captains in the days of the Protector, and her grandmother had stories to tell of nocturnal meetings for Presbyterian worship, in the time of the Five Mile Act; and would assure her children that the way to value Gospel privileges was to have to struggle through snow and rain at midnight, and then to listen to the minister while the door was guarded by one of the congregation with a drawn sword.

This grandmother, however, Hannah never knew, and though the rest of the family continued Presbyterian, Jacob More, her father, was a strong Churchman and Tory, in consequence, perhaps, of his education at the Norwich Grammar School, where he was a distinguished pupil. He hoped to have become a clergyman, but a law-suit turning out unsuccessfully on his part, left him so penniless that he was thankful