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gentleman in his dominions, they hardly murmured at acts of mal-administration, which, in a prince of less engaging dispositions, would have been deemed unpardonable.

This admiration, however, must have been temporary only, and would have died away with the courtiers who be towed it; the illufion arising from his private virtues must have ceased, and posterity would have judged of his public conduct with its usual impartiality: but another circumstance prevented this ; and his name hath been transmitted to pofterity with increasing reputation. Science and the arts, had, at that time, made little progress in France. They were just beginning to advance beyond the limits of Italy, where they had revived, and which had hitherto been their only feat. Francis took them immediately under his protection, and vied with Leo himself in the zeal and munificence with which he encouraged them. He invited learned men to his court, he conversed with them familiarly, he employed them in business, he raised them to offices of dignity, and honoured them with his confidence. That race of men, not more prone to complain when denied the respect to which they fancy themselves intitled, than apt to be pleased when treated with the distinction which they consider as their due, thought they could not exceed in gratitude to fuch a benefactor, and strained threir invention, and employed all their ingenuity, in panegyric.

Succeeding authors, warmed with their descriptions of Francis's bounty, adopted their encomiums, and refined upon them. The appellation of Father of Letters, beitowed upon Francis, hath rendered his memory facred among historians; and they seem to have regarded it as a sort of impiety, to uncover his infirmities, or to 'point out his defects. Thus Francis, notwithstanding his inferiour abilities and want of success, hath more than equalled the fame of Charles. The virtues which he poiseised as a man, have intitled him to greater admiration and praise, than have been beiłowed upon the extensive genius, and fortunate arts, of a more capable, but less amiable rival.

XVII. The

XVII. The Supper and Grace. А SHOE coining loose from the fore-foot of the thill.

horse, at the beginning of the ascent of mount Tau. Tira, the postilion dismounted, twisted the shoe off, and. put it in his pocket : as the ascent was of five or fix. miles, and that horse our main dependànce, I made a point of having the shoe fastened on again, as well as we could; but the poftilion had thrown away the nails, and the hammer in the chaise-box being of no great use without them, I submitted to go on.

He had not mounted half a mile higher, when, coming to a flinty piece of road, the poor devil loft a fecond fhoe, and from off his other fore-foot. I then got out of the chaife in good earnest; and, seeing a lioule about a quarter of a mile to the left hand, with a great deal to do I prevailed upon the poftilion to turn up to it. The look of the houfe, and of every ching about it, as we drew nearer, foon reconciled me to the disaster. It was a little farm-house, surrounded with about twenty acres of vineyard, about as much corn; and, close to the house, on one side, was a potagerie of an'acre and a half, full of every thing which could make plenty in a French peafant's house ; and, on the other side, was a little woodi which furnished wherewithai to dress it. It was about eight in the evening when I got to the house : fo I left the postilion to manage his point as he could; and, for mine, I walked directly into the house.

The family consisted of an old gray-headed man and his wife,, with five or fix sons and sons-in-law and their several wives, and a joyous genealogy out of them.

They were all fitting down together to their lentil-'foup; a large wheaten loaf was in the middle of the table ; and a flagon of wine at each end of it promised joy through the stages of the repaft-'twas a feaft of love.

The old man rose up to meet me, and, with a respecto ful cordiality, would have me fit down at the table. My heart was set down the moment I entered the room: so I sat down at once like a son of the family, and to invest myself in the character as speedily as I could, I inftantly borrowed the old man's knife, and taking up the

loaf,

loaf, cut myself a hearty luncheon ; and, as I did it, I faw a testimony in every eye, not only of an honest wel. come, but of a welcome mixed with thanks that I had not feemed to doubt it.

Was it this ; or tell me, Nature, what else it was that made this morsel so sweet-and to what magic I owe it, that the draught I took of their Aagon was to de: licious with it; that it remains upon my palate to this hour ?

If the supper was to my tafte, the grace which followed was much more fo.

When supper was over, the old man gave a knock upon the table with the haft of his knite, to bid them prepure for the dance. The moment the signal was given, the women and girls ran altogether into the backapartment to tie up their hair, and the young men to the door to wash their faces, and change their sabots, (wooden Moes); and in three minutes every soul was ready, upon a little esplanade before the house, to begin. The old man and his wife came out last, and placing me betwixt them, sat down upon a fopha of turf by the dour,

The old man had some fifty years ago been no mean performer upon the vielle; and, at the age he was then of, touched it well enough for the purpose. His wife sung now-and-then a little to the túne, then intermitted, and joined her old man again, as their children and grandchildren danced before them.

It was not till the middle of the second dance, when, for some pauses in the movement wherein they all seemed to look up, I fancied I could distinguiih an elevation of spirit different from that which is the cause or the effect of simple jollity. In a word, I thonght I beheld religion mixing in the dance ; but, as I had never seen her lo engaged, I should have looked upon it now as one of the illusions of an imagination which is eternally misleading me, had not the old man, as soon as the dance ended, faid, that this was their constant way; and that all his life long, he made it a rule, after fupper was over, to call out his family to dance and rejoice ; believing, he said, that a cheerful and contented mind was the best sort of thanks to heaven that an illiterate pea. fant could pay --Or a learned prelate either, faid I.

XVII. Rullis

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XVIII. Rustic Felicity. MANY are the filent pleafures of the honest peasant,

who rises cheerfully to his labour.-Look into his dwelling,--where the scene of every man's happiness. chiefly lies :- he has the same domestic endearments, as much joy and comfort in his children, and as flattering hopes of their doing well,--to enliveil his hours and gladden his heart, as you could conceive in the most af. Auent tation.--And I make no doubt, in general, but if the true account of his joys and sufferings were to be. balanced with those of his betters, that the upshot would prove to be little more than this ;--that the rich man had the more meat, but the poor man the better ftomach ;-the one had more luxury,-more able phyfi. cians to attend and set him to rights ;--the other, more health and foundness in his bones, and less occafion for their help ;--that, after these two articles betwixt them were balanced, in all other things they ftood upon a level :-that the sun shines as warm, the air blows as fresh,--and the earth breathes as fragrant upon the one as the other, and that they have an equal share in all the beauties and real benefits of nature.

XIX. House of mourning. LET us go into the house of mourning, made fo by

fuch atfictions as have been brought in merely by the common cross accidents and disasters to which our condition is exposed,—where, perhaps, the aged parents su broken-hearted, pierced to their souls with the folly and indiscretion of a thankless child-the child of their prayers, in whom all their hopes and expectations centered: -perhaps a more affecting scene-a virtuous family lying pinched with want, where the unfortunate support of it having long struggled with a train of misfortunes, and bravely fought up against them,.-is now piteously borne down at the lait-overwhelmed with a cruel blow which no forecast or frugality could have prevented.- O God! look upon his afflictions.-Behold him di{tracted with many furrows, surrounded with the tender pledges of his love, and the partner of his cares

--without

-without bread to give them; unable, from the remembrance of better days, to dig;-to beg, ashamed.

When we enter into the house of mourning such as this mit is impossible to insult the unfortunate even with an improper look--Under whatever levity and diffipation of heart such objects catch our eyes, they catch likewise our attentions, collect and call home our scattered thoughts, and exercise them with wisdom. A tranfient scene of distress, such as is here sketched, how soon does it furnish materials to set the mind at work! how necesfarily does it engage it ́to the confideration of the miseries and misfortunes, the dangers and calamities, to which the life of man is subject! By holding up such a glass before it, it forces the mind to lee and reflect upon the vanity--the perifhing condition and uncertain tenure, af every thing in this world. From reflections of this serious cast, how insensibly do the thoughts carIy us farther and from confidering what we are, what kind of world we live in, and what evil betals us in it, how naturally do they fet us to look forward at what possibly we shall be for what kind of world we. are intended-what evils may befal us there--and what provision we should make against them here whilft we have time and opportunity Of these lelons are fo infeparable from the honie of mourning here supposed we shall find it a ftill more instructive school of wisdom when we take a view of the place in that affecting light in which the wise man seems to confine ic in the text; in which, by the house of mourning, I believe he means that particular scene of forrow, where there is lamentation and mourning for the dead. Turn in hither, I Isefeech you, for a moment. Behold a dead man ready to be carried out, the only son of his mother, and the a widow. Perhaps a. ftill more affecting {pectacle, a kind and indulgent father of a numercus family lies breathless-snatched away in the strength of

age-torn in an evil hour from his children and the bofom of a disconfolate wife. Behold much people of the city gathered together to mix their tears, with fettled forrow in their looks, going heavily along to the house of mourning, to perform that last melancholy office, which, when the debt of nature is paid, we are

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