by whistling tunes through his fingers.
, who had imbibed the Quaker
idea that music was a useless and frivolous pursuit, said to the boy, ‘Didst thou not know it was wrong to spend thy time in that idle manner?’
With ready frankness the young prisoner replied, ‘No, I did not; and I should like to hear how you
can prove it to be wrong.
God has given you sound limbs.
Half of my body is paralyzed, and it is impossible for me to work as others do. It has pleased God to give me a talent for music.
I do no harm with it. It gives pleasure to myself and others, and enables me to gain a few coppers to buy my bread.
I should like to have you show me wherein it is wrong.’
Without attempting to do so, Friend Hopper
suggested that perhaps he had been committed to prison on account of producing noise and confusion in the streets.
‘I make no riot,’ rejoined the youth.
‘I try to please people by my tunes; and if the crowd around me begin to he noisy, I quietly walk off.’
Struck with the good sense and sincerity of these answers, Friend Hopper
said to the jailor, ‘Thou mayest set this lad at liberty.
I will be responsible for it.’
The jailer relying on his well-known character, and his intimacy with Robert Wharton
, the mayor,