manners, and so skilled in the use of the sword,
that he easily disarmed an antagonist,1
of great natural vivacity, and gay good humor, the career of wealth and preferment opened before him through the influence of his father and the ready favor of his sovereign.
But his mind was already imbued with ‘a deep sense of the vanity of the world, and the irreligiousness of its religions.’2
At length, in 1666, on a journey in Ireland
, William Penn
heard his old friend Thomas Loe
speak of the faith that overcomes the world; the undying fires of enthusiasm at once blazed up within him, and he renounced every hope for the path of integrity.
It is a path into which, says Penn
, ‘God, in his everlasting kindness, guided my feet in the flower of my youth, when about two-and-twenty years of age.’
And in the autumn of that year, he was in jail for the crime of listening to the voice of conscience.
‘Religion’— such was his remonstrance to the viceroy of Ireland
— ‘is my crime and my innocence; it makes me a prisoner to malice, but my own freeman.’
After his enlargement, returning to England
, he en-
countered bitter mockings and scornings, the invectives of the priests, the strangeness of all his old companions;3
it was noised about, in the fashionable world, as an excellent jest, that ‘William Penn
was a Quaker again, or some very melancholy thing;;’4
and his father, in anger, turned him penniless out of doors.
The outcast, saved from extreme indigence by a mother's fondness, became an author, and announced
to princes, priests, and people, that he was one of the despised, afflicted and forsaken Quakers; and repair-