« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
struck with it. A better reason was, I had predetermined not to give him a single sous.
"Tis very true, said I, replying to a cast upwards with his eyes, with which he had' concluded his address—’tis very true-and heaven be their resource, who have no other but the charity of the world ; the stock of which, I
fear, is no way sufficient for the many great claims which 6 are hourly made upon it.
As I pronounced the words great claims, he gave a slight glance with his eyes downwards upon the sleeve of his tunic-I felt the full force of the appeal-I acknowledge it, said I-a coarse habit, and that but once in three years, with a meagre diet-are no great matters ; but the true point of pity is, as they can be earned in the world with so little industry, that your order should wish to procure them by pressing upon a fund, which is the property of the lame, the blind, the aged, and the infirm—the captive, who lies 7 down counting over and over again, in the days of his affliction, languishes also for his share of it; and had you been of the order of mercy, instead of the order of St. Francis, poor as I am, continued I, pointing at my portmanteau, full cheerfully should it have been opened to you, for the ransom of the unfortunate. The monk made me a bow. But, resumed I, the unfortunate of our own country, surely have the first rights; and I have left thousands in distress upon the English shore. The monk gave a cordial wave with his head as much as to say, No doubt; 8 there is. misery enough in every corner of the world as well as within our convent. But we distinguish, said I, laying my hand upon the sleeve of his tunic, in return for his appeal-we distinguish, my good father, betwixt those who wish only to eat the bread of their own labor, and those who eat the bread of other people's, and have no other plan in life, but to get through it in sloth and ignorance, for the love of God.
The poor Franciscan made no reply ; a hectic of a moment passed across his cheek, but could not tarry. Nature 9 seemed to have done with her resentments in him. He
showed none; but letting his staff fall within his arm, he pressed both his hands with resignation on his breast, and retired.
My heart smote me the moment he shut the door.
Pshaw! said I, with an air of carelessness, three several times. But it would not do; every ungracious syllable I had uttered, crowded back into my imagination. I reflected I had no right over the poor Franciscan, but to deny him; and that the punishment of that was enough to the disap10 pointed, without the addition of unkind language—I considered his gray hairs, his courteous figure seemed to re-enter, and gently ask me what injury he had done me, and why I could use him thus? I would have given twenty livres for an advocate : I have behaved very ill, said I within myself; but I have only just set out upon my travels, and shall learn better manners as I get along.
And from the prayer of want, the plaini of wo;
They haste away, all as their fancy leads,
Offers its kind concealment to a few,
Others apart far in the grassy dale,
But most in woodland solitudes delight,
They frame the first foundation of their domes,
Beat by unnumbered wings. The swallow sweeps
As thus the patient dam assiduous sits,
With pious toil fulfilled, the callow young, 5 Warmed and expanded into perfect life,
Their brittle bondage break, and come to light,
The search begins. Even so a gentle pair,
And charmed with cares beyond the vulgar breast,
Check their own appetites, and give them all.
Be not the Muse asham’d, here to bemoan,
From liberty confined, and boundless air. -
Ragged, and all its brightening lustre lost;
But let not chief the nightingale lament
Oft when, returning with her loaded bill,
Sole sitting, still at every dying fall
Of winding wo; till, wide around, the woods
i LESSON XXXV.
Mrs. Credulous and the Fortune-Teller. 1 Mrs. C. Are you the fortune-teller, sir, that knows every thing?
F. T. I sometimes consult futurity, madam, but I make no pretensions to any supernatural knowledge.
Mrs. C. Ay, so you say, but every body else say you,
know every thing; and I have come all the way from Boston to consult you, for you must know I have met with a dreadful loss. .
F. T. We are liable to losses in this world, madam. · Mrs. C. Yes, and I have had my share of them, though 2 I shall only be fifty, come Thanksgiving. .
F. T. You must have learned to bear misfortunes with fortitude by this time.
Mrs. C. I don't know how that is, though my dear husband, rest his soul, used to say, “ Molly, you are as patient as Job, though you never had any children to lose as he did.”
F. T. Job was a model of patience, madam, and few could lose their all with so much resignation.
Mrs. C. Ah, sir, that is too true, for even the comparatively small loss I have suffered overwhelms me. 3 F.T. The loss of property, madam, comes home to the bosom of the best of us.
Mrs. C. Yes, sir; and when the thing lost cannot be replaced, it is doubly distressing. When my poor, good man, on our wedding day, gave me the ring, “Keep it, Molly," said he, “till you die, for my sake.” And now that I „should have lost it, after keeping it thirty years, and locking it up so carefully all the time, as I did
F. T. We cannot be too careful in this world, madam ; our best friends often deceive us.' 4 Mrs. C. True, sir, true - but who would have thought that the child I took, as it were, out of the street, and brought up as my own, could have been guilty of such ingratitude ? She never would have touched what was not her own, is her vagabond lover had not put her up to it.
F. T. Ah, madam, ingratitude is the basest of all crimes.
Mrs. C. Yes, but to think that the impudent wench should deny she took it, when I saw it in the possession of that wretch myself. - Wiz
F. T. Impudence, madam, usually accompanies crime. 5 But my time is precious, and the star that rules your destiny will set; and your fate be involved in darkness, unless I proceed to business immediately. The stars inform me, madam, that you are a widow.'
| Mrs. C. La! Sir, was you acquainted with my deceased husband ? ! in
F. T. No, madam, we do not receive our knowledge liy