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allotted to pious and charitable uses, all that belonged to him, not overlooking the disposal of the most minute article of furniture in his house; and after he had settled all his affairs, and quieted his conscience, he thought of nothing but dying in peace.
In this conjuncture, there caine brother Lewis, and brother Simon, two dominicans, of Antwerp, who preached in the neighbourhood, and had been often entertained at the parson's house. They reckoned on this occasion, as usual, to find good fare, and comfortable lodging; but, for once, they were disappointed, and were obliged to go farther for a dinner.'
Nevertheless they made inquiry, concerning the particular circumstances of the sick man's disorder : they felt his pulse, examined his arms, his legs, his body, and with a compassionate air, agreed, “ that he was too far gone, for hope ; and that the evil had increased to such a pitch, that it would be impossible to stop the growth. of it." As they were going out,, it occurred to their reflection, that the parson, having been a good economist all his life, ought to have plenty of money in his coffers-;: and they formed a project for ridding him of part of it. “ We want money for our library,” said they to each other, 66 if we could get it from this bloated divine, we should meet with a hearty welcome from the prior of the convent.” This idea so forcibly impressed them, that they resolved to follow it up; and, in consequence, brother Lewis, as the most persuagive speaker of the two, undertook the office. He returned then to the patient, and began with the insinuating language of devotion, to discourse on death and repentance ; he exhorted the sick inan to think on the salvation of his soul, and to redeem his past offences by charitable donations. " That has already been my care," answered the dying man:.“ Of all my worldly.possessions, there is none that I have not given, or bequeathed. for the love of God; and
every thing about me, to the very bed you see me lying on, has its allotment.”— « What, Sir, have you given away all ?” cried the monk, in astonishment. “ But know you not, that to please God, it is not enough to do acts of charity; but that we should, according to the expression in scripture, examine how we do thein.” “I could not easily err in that particular,” replied the parson, “ this village, has fed me to the present hour; and to it, have. I bequeathed my stock of grain, which may be worth ten livres. I have in it, some needy relations, to whom I make the bequest of my flocks, and my cattle; I have not forgotten the orphans, nor the sick; I have left besides, the Beguins a legacy,. and the Cordelliers, an hundred pence.” “ These disposals are, indeed, extremely meritorious;” said the monk, 6 but it seems, you have overlooked our brotherhood; a convent full of such religious and holy persons, who fast incessantly, wear no linen, and every day, offer up theis: prayers for you-ah, brother, God will not have mercy on you !” The priest, somewhat astonished at this language, answered, " that he was very unfortunate, in having been so precipitate ; but that it was now, to his great regret, too late to repair his deficiency ; that he had now, nothing left to give—not a farthing—not a single grain.” The two monks, would not so easily give up their point, but returned to the attack. They proposed to have the will cancelled, and to have the disposal of some of the legacies altered, that they might come in for a share. If they might be believed, this was the most advisable bequest for one in his situation; and in suggesting it to him, they avowed, “ That they had less regard to the distress of their monastery, however pressing it inight be, then to the tender solicitude they felt for the salvation of his soul.”
This shameful, and unchristian-like avi. dity raised the indignation of the parson, he resolved on punishing the two canting
hypocrites ; and before his death, to divert (at their expence) the townsmen of Antwerp.
“My good brethren,” said he, after appearing to have been, for a few minutes, absorbed in contemplation. " I confess, that I have still remaining a precious jewel, of which I did not take notice ;. but it is an article, that I cannot possibly part with, before I die ; and desperate as 'my condition appears, I could not think of giving it up, for an hundred marks in gold, if they were offered for it I will, however, leave it to you, after I am gone ; and, thank God, for having sent you here, while I am yet alive, to urge nie to the accomplishment of so good a work. Let your prior come to-inorrow, and I will make him a formal assignment of it.”
The monks, delighted at this promise, took their departure. On their arrival at the inonastery, they had a chapter assembled there, gave a relation of the happy effects their zeal had operated, and required, to celebrate their good fortune, a feast, that