Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

and uncomprefs'd, looks round him, as if he fought

--

for an object to fhare it with In doing this, I felt every vessel in my frame dilate

that

the arteries beat all chearily together, and every power which fuftained life, perform'd it with fo little friction, 'twould have confounded the most phyfical precieuse in France: with all her materialism, the could scarce have called me a machine

I'm confident, faid I to myself, I fhould have overfet her creed.

The acceffion of that idea, carried nature, at that I was at peace time, as high as fhe could go

with the world before, and this finish'd the treaty with myself

Now, was 1 a King of France, cried I what a moment for an orphan to have begg'd his father's portmanteau of me!

THE

[blocks in formation]

I had fcarce utter'd the words, when a poor monk of the order of St. Francis came into the room to beg fomething for his convent. No man cares to have his virtues the fport of contingencies

[ocr errors]

- or one man

[ocr errors]

fed for there

may be generous, as another man is puifiant non, quo ad hanc or be it as it may is no regular reasoning upon the ebbs and flows of our humours; they may depend upon the fame caufes, for ought I know, which influence the tides themselves 'twould oft be no difcredit to us, to fuppofe it was fo: I'm fure at least for myself, that in many a cafe I fhould be more highly satisfied, to have it faid by the world, "I had had an affair with "the moon, in which there was neither fin nor "fhame," than have it pals altogether as my own act and deed, wherein there was fo much of both.

But be this as it may. The moment I caft my eyes upon him, I was predetermined not to give him a fingle fous; and accordingly I put my purse into my pocket button'd it up fet myself a little more upon my centre, and advanced up gravely to him: there was fomething, I fear, forbidding

[ocr errors]

in my look: I have his figure this moment before my eyes, and think there was that in it which deserved better.

The monk, as I judged from the break in his tonfure, a few scatter'd white hairs upon his temples being all that remained of it, might be about seventy but from his eyes, and that fort of fire which was in them, which feemed more temper'd by courtefy than years, could be no more than fixty Truth might lie between He was certainly fixtyfive; and the general air of his countenance, withstanding fomething feem'd to have been planting wrinkles in it before their time, agreed to the account.

[ocr errors]

not

It was one of thofe heads, which Guido has often painted mild, pale penetrating, free from all common-place ideas of fat contented ignorance looking downwards upon the earth it look'd forwards; but look'd, as if it look'd at fomething beyond this world. How one of his order came by it, heaven above, who let it fall upon a monk's fhoulders, best knows: but it would have fuited a Bramin, and had I met it upon the plains of Indoftan, I had reverenced it.

The rest of his outline may be given in a few ftrokes; one might put it into the hands of any one to defign, for 'twas neither elegant or otherwise, but as character and expreffion made it fo: it was a thin, spare

fpare form, fomething above the common fize, if it loft not the distinction by a bend forwards in the fi

[ocr errors]

gure but it was the attitude of Intreaty; and as it now ftands prefented to my imagination, it gain'd more than it loft by it.

When he had enter'd the room three paces, he ftood still; and laying his left hand upon his breast, (a flender white staff with which he journey'd being in his right) when I had got close up to him, he introduced himself with the little story of the wants of his convent, and the poverty of his order

-

[ocr errors]

and did

it with fo fimple a grace and fuch an air of deprecation was there in the whole caft of his look and figure - I was bewitch'd not to have been ftruck with it

[ocr errors]

A better reafon was, I had predetermined not

to give him a single fous.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

CALAIS.

'Tis very true, faid I, replying to a cast upwards with his eyes, with which he had concluded his addrefs 'tis very true - and heaven be their re-fource who have no other but the charity of the world, the stock of which, I fear, is no way fufficient for the many great claims which are hourly made upon it.

[ocr errors]

As I pronounced the words great claims, he gave a flight glance with his eye downwards upon the fleeve of his tunick I felt the full force of the appeal - I acknowledge it, faid I a coarfe habit, and that but once in three years, with meagre diet

[ocr errors]

are no great matters; and the true point of pity is, as they can be earn'd in the world with fo little industry, that your order fhould wish to procure them by preffing 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, languifhes alfo for his fhare of it; and had you been of the order of mercy, inftead of the order of St. Francis, poor as I am, continued I, pointing at my portmanteau, full chearfully fhould it have been open'd to you, for the

ran

« ZurückWeiter »