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“ Next day, the king attended the chapel. He “ communicated with the monks. This he did, “ with great devotion. He afterwards went to see " the community, occupied at their manual labour, “ for an hour and a half. Their occupations
chiefly consist of ploughing, turning, basket making, brewing, carpentery, washing, transcribing manuscripts, and book-binding.
“ The king was much struck with their silence “ and recollection. He, however, asked the abbot, “ if he did not think they laboured too hard? M.de “Rancé replied, 'Şire, that, which would be hard “ to those, who seek pleasure, is easy to those, who “practise penance.'-- In the afternoon, the king “walked for some time on a fine terrace, formed “ between the lakes, surrounding the monastery. “ The view from this spot is peculiarly striking.
“ His Britannic majesty then went to visit a “ hermit, who lived by himself in a small hut, “ which he had constructed in the woods surrounding La Trappe. In this retreat, he spent his time
and praise; remote from all intercourse “ with any one, excepting the abbot de la Trappe. “ This gentleman was a person of rank : he had
formerly been distinguished, as one of the bravest w officers in king James's army. On entering his “cell, the monarch appeared much struck, and “affected with the entire change in his demeanor “ and expression of countenance.
“ In a short time, he recovered himself.--After a great variety of questions, the king asked him, at what hour in the morning, he attended the
“ service of the convent, in winter?' He answered, " at about half past three.'
“But,' said lord Dumbarton, who was in the ' king's suite, “surely that is impossible. How can you traverse this intricate forest in the dark?
Especially at a season of the year, when, even " in the day-time, the road must be undiscernible, “ from the frost and snow.'
“My lord,' replied the hermit, I should “ blush to esteem these trifles as any inconvenience, “ in serving a heavenly monarch, when I have so “ often braved dangers, far more imminent, for the “ chance of serving an earthly prince.'
“You are right,' the king said. "How won“ derful, that so much should be sacrificed to
temporal potentates; whilst so little should be “ endured in serving Him, the only King, immortal “ and invisible, to whom alone true honour and
power belong—that God, who has done so much " for us!'
Surely, however,' continued lord Dumbarton “ to the hermit, you must be thoroughly tired .“ with passing all your time alone in this gloomy " forest?'
“No,' interposed the king, himself replying to “ the question; he has, indeed, chosen a path “ widely different to that of the world. Death, “ which discovers all things, will show that he has “ chosen the right one.'
“ The king paused for a reply; none being “made, he continued : There is a difference,' said “ he, turning to the hermit, between you, and “the rest of mankind : you will die the death “ of the righteous; and you will rise at the resur“rection of the just. But they,'-here he paused; “ his eyes seemed full of tears, and his mind absent, " as if intent on painful recollection.
“ After a few moments, he hastily rose, and “ taking a polite and kind leave of the gentleman, “ returned with his retinue to the monastery.
“ During his whole stay, the king assisted at all “ the offices. In all of them he manifested a deep " and fervent devotion. His misfortunes seemed “ to have been the means of awakening his heart, “ to worship God in spirit and in truth.
“ Next day, the king prepared to depart at an early hour.
“ On taking leave, he threw himself at M. de “ Rancé's feet; and, with tears, requested his part
ing benediction. “ The abbot bestowed it in a most solemn and affecting manner.
“ The king, on rising, recognized the monk on .“ whose arm he leant, to get up. He was a noble“ man who had long served in his army, (the “ honourable Robert Graham). 'Sir,' said the
king, addressing himself to him, I have never “ ceased to regret the generosity, with which you “ made a sacrifice of a splendid fortune in behalf “ of your king. I can, however, now grieve at it “ no longer; since I perceive that
your misfortunes “ in the service of an earthly monarch, have proved “ the blessed means of your having devoted your “ heart to a heavenly one.
“ The king then mounted his horse and departed.
• James the second, from that period, repeated “his visits to La Trappe annually.
“ On these occasions, he always bore his part in " the exercises of the community. He often assisted “ at the conferences of the monks, and spoke with “ much unction. It is said, that the king's character " appeared to undergo a strikingly perceptible, “ though a progressive change.
He, every year, appeared to grow in piety and grace; and he evidently increased in patience and “ submission to the Divine will.
“ In 1696, the queen accompanied the king to “ La Trappe. She was accommodated for three
days, with all her retinue, in a house adjoining “ the monastery, built for the reception of the com“ mendatory abbots. She was much pleased with “ her visit, and expressed herself to be not less “ edified than the king.
“ Both of them entertained sentiments of the highest veneration for M. de Rancé. Their ac
quaintance, thus begun, was soon matured into a “ solid friendship
“ They commenced a correspondence, which was regularly maintained on both sides, till M. de " Rancé's death.
“ The following are the terms, in which the “king expressed himself, respecting M. de Rancé :
“I really think nothing has afforded me so much “consolation, since my misfortune, as the conver“ sation of that venerable saint, the abbot de la Trappe. When I first arrived in France, I had “ but a very superficial view of religion; if I might
be said to have any thing deserving that name. “ The abbot de la Trappe was the first person,
who gave me any solid instruction with respect to genuine christianity. “ ' I formerly looked upon God as an omnipotent creator, and as an arbitrary governor. I knew “ his power to be irresistible: I therefore thought “ his decrees must be submitted to, because they “could not be withstood. Now, my whole view is
changed. The abbot de la Trappe has taught
me to consider this great God as my father; and “ to view myself as adopted into his family. I now “ can look upon myself as become his son, through “ the merits of my Saviour, applied to my heart by “his Holy Spirit. I am now convinced, not only " that we ought to receive misfortunes with patience, “ because they are inevitable; but I also feel as“sured, that death, which rends the veil from all
things, will probably discover to us as many new “ secrets of love and mercy in the economy of God's
providence, as in that of his grace. God, who
gave up his only Son to death for us, must surely « have ordered all inferior things by the same spirit " of love.'
“ Such were king James's sentiments respecting “ N. de Rancé. The abbot, on the other hand,
entertained as high an opinion of him. The folbwing passage, concerning the unfortunate king bf England, occurs in one of M. de Rancé's letters “to a friend.