« ZurückWeiter »
sleeve of his tunic--I felt the full force of the ap peal-I acknowledge it, said I-a coarse habit, -and that but once in three years, with meagre diet-are no great matters: and 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 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, 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 of all others, resumed 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 but 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 ig norance, 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 seemed to have had done with her. resentments in him; he skewed none--but letting his staff fall within his arm, he pressed both his hands with resignation upon his breast, and retired.
Y heart smote me the moment he shut the door-Psha! 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 disappointed, without the addition of unkind language I considered his grey hairs-his cour
teous 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.
HEN a man is discontented with himself, it has one advantage, however, that it puts him into an excellent frame of mind for making a bargain. Now there being no travelling through France and Italy without a chaise-and nature generally prompting us to the thing we are fitted for, I walked out into the coach-yard to buy or hire something of that kind to my purpose; an old Desobligeant * in the furtheft corner of the court, hit my fancy at first sight; so I inftantly got into it, and finding it in tolerable harmony with my feelings, I ordered the waiter to call
* A chaife so called, in France, from its holding but one perfon.
Monsieur Dessein the mafter of the hotel-but Monsieur Dessein being gone to vefpers, 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 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 Defobligeant.
IN THE DESOBLIGEANT.
T must have been observed by many a paripa. tetic philofopher, That nature has set up by her own unquestionable authority certain boundaries and fences to circumscribe the discontent of man: she has effected her purpose in the quietest and easiest manner, by laying him under almost insuperable obligations to work out his ease, and to suftain his sufferings at home. It is there only that she has provided him with the most suitable objects to partake of his happiness, and bear a part of that burden which in all countries and ages, has ever been too heavy for one pair of shoulders.
'Tis true we are endued with an imperfect power of spreading our happiness sometimes beyond her limits, but 'tis so ordered, that from the want of languages, connections, and dependencies, and from the difference in education, customs and habits, we lie under so many impediments, in com municating our senfations out of our own sphere, as often amount to a total impossibility.
It will always follow from hence, that the balance of sentimental commerce is always against the expatriated adventurer: he must buy what he has little occasion for at their own price-his conversation will seldom be taken in exchange for their's, without a large discount-and this, by the bye, eternally driving him into the hands of more equitable brokers, for such conversation as he can find, it requires no great spirit of divination to guess at his party
This brings me to my point; and naturally leads me (if the see-saw of this Defobligeant will but let me get on) into the efficient as well as the final causes of travelling.
Your idle people that leave their native country and go abroad, for some reason or reasons which may be derived from one of these general causes— Infirmity of body,