She may have written this the more strongly because Mr. Wilberforce himself, when dismissing a servant for deceit, had been told by the man that "Not at home!" had been his first lesson in the unimportance of truth, coming as it did from so religious a person as his master.
The book made a great sensation. The second edition went off in six days, and the third was sold out in four hours. By many it was attributed to Wilberforce, by others to the Bishop of London (Porteous). The Bishop of Salisbury (Horsley), when Miss More and Mrs. Trimmer were calling at his house, observed that he was between two very singular women, one of whom had undertaken to reform all the poor, and the other all the great; but he congratulated Mrs. Trimmer upon having the most hopeful subjects. An anonymous epigram was sent to Hannah—
Of sense and religion in this little book,
All agree there's a wonderful store,
But while everywhere for an author they look,
I only am wishing for More.
The scene with Horace Walpole is worth describing:—
"He said not a word of the little sly book, but took me to task in general terms for having exhibited such monstrously severe doctrines. I knew he alluded to the 'Manners of the Great,' but we pretended not to understand each other, and it was a most ridiculous conversation. He defended (and that was the joke)