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THE MONK

CALAIS

T

IS very true, said I, replying to a cast upwards with his eyes, with which he had concluded his address 't is very trueand 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 are hourly made upon it.

As I pronounced the words great claims, he gave a slight glance with his eye 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 meagre diet diet are no great matters; and the true point of pity is, as they can be earn'd 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 down counting over and over again the days of his afflictions, lan

guishes 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 open'd to you, for the ransom of the unfortunate.-The monk made me a bow.-But of all others, resum'd I, the unfortunate of our own country, surely, have the first rights; and I have left thousands in distress upon our own shore. The monk gave

a cordial wave with his head-as much as to say, No doubt, 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 labour—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 pass'd across his cheek, but could not tarry—Nature seemed to have had done with her resentments in him; he showed none-but letting his staff fall within his arm, he press'd both his hands with resignation upon his breast, and retired.

THE MONK

CALAIS

Y heart smote me the moment he shut

Μ Mthe door shaf said I, with an air of

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carelessness, three several times but it would not do: every ungracious syllable I had utter'd, 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 disappointed, without the addition of unkind language: I consider'd his gray hairs—his courteous figure seemed to reënter and gently ask 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.

THE DÉSOBLIGEANT

CALAIS

HEN a man is discontented with him

WH

self, it has one advantage however, that it puts him into an excellent frame of mind for making a bargain. Now there being no traveling through France and Italy without a chaise-and nature generally prompting us to the thing we are fittest for, I walk'd out into the coach-yard to buy or hire something of that kind to my purpose: an old Désobligeant in the furthest corner of the court hit my fancy at first sight, so I instantly got into it, and, finding it in tolerable harmony with my feelings, I ordered the waiter to call Monsieur Dessein, the master of the hotel. -But Monsieur Dessein being gone to vespers, and not caring to face the Franciscan, whom I saw on the opposite side of the court, in conference with a lady just arrived at the inn—I drew

*A chaise, so called in France, from its holding but one person.

the taffeta curtain betwixt us, and being determined to write my journey, I took out my

pen and ink, and wrote the preface to it in the Désobligeant.

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