페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

very night in the hall. This demand, was seconded with great 'ardour, and unanimously assented to. The prior sent for all sorts of delicacies; instead of the wines, in common consumption, he ordered the very best and oldest the town could supply. They caroused and sang, and drank to their dropsical benefactor, as well as to brother Lewis, who, puffed up with the success of his eloquence, made an effort, to preserve can air of modest diffidence.

All this while, the bells were singing in peals, as if the body of a saint had arrived; the neighbours, stunned with the noise, enquired what festival they were celebrating? In the midst, however, of their holy ofgies, brother Lewis, in the true spirit of a .consummate politican, whom neither glory nor pleasure can divert from the steady prosecution of his design, brought back the consideration of his brethren to the jewel, and recommended, that the necessary -provisions should be made for the next day's journey. For his own part, being eager to

have the honour of accomplishing the work himself, he was of opinion, that it was needless, for the prior to give himself the trouble of going to the village, and offered himself to return there with brothers Giles, Nicholas, and Robert.”

Full power was given him, to settle this matter as he pleased--Mirth and wine united, had rendered them so giddy, that whatever he had thought proper to recommend, would have been honoured with the same implicit assent.

The following day, on the first dawn of the morning, the four associates set out, and never stopped until they arrived at the village ; so apprehensive were they of coming too late, and finding the parson dead.

They saluted him devoutly in the Lord's name, and asked him if he did not find himself a little easier ?" • Alas! my worthy brothers,” he answered, '“ my hour approaches; nevertheless, you are welcome; I have not forgot the promise, which I made yesterday to brother Lewis-Let one go to the town; it will be proper to bring the mayor and the sheriffs, that they may witness the grant, and thus prevent any one, from contesting it with you.”

This was a fresh sally of the parson's roguishness, to give them the trouble of another march. The four monks, all smoking with perspiration, with their mouths open, and tongues hanging out, looked like greyhounds, that had been all day on the chace. Brother Giles, and brother Robert, nevertheless, offered to return to Antwerp; and notwithstanding their fatigue, set out again upon the expeditionat last, after a few hours had elapsed, they arrived with the magistrates.

The parson, after paying his respects to these officers, and desiring them to sit down, addressed them in the following words:

“I was yesterday, gentlemen, as you now behold me, laying on this painful couch, when brother Lewis, whom you see before you, came with one of his asso

ciates, to take up his lodgings in my house: like a worthy preacher of God's word, he exhorted me to death and repentance; and above all, to redeem my sins, by a legacy to his convent. He represented to me, through zeal for my salvaition, that if I did not bequeath them something, God would have no mercy on me; when I, on my part, like a true christian, who is anxious for the future welfare of his soul, recollected, that I had still something left, very valuable, which I might present to them :-I declare then, gentlemen, that from this moment, I be-queath it to them in full right to have, and hold it after my decease.”

The monks scarcely knew what to think of this speech ; half serious, and half ironical. They pretended, however, not to understand the reproof, which the parson's sneer had conveyed; and brother Lewis, (the orator of the embassy,) pressed the dying man, to declare at once to the magistrates, what this valuable bequest was :VOL. I.

M

“My good friends," said he, “it is my bladder, of which I desire them to make a purse, to go about and receive their legacies in My disorder must have made it large-it will hold a good deal ; and I wish them success in filling it.” At these words, all who were present, magistrates, attendants, and others, set up so loud and hearty a laugh, that the monks withdrew inconfusion, cursing brother Lewis, and his elog quence. What happened at his return, Icannot say; but know that the affair was soon circulated through the town of Antwerp, and had such an effect, that for a long time, no jacobine could shew his face in it.”

A lctter, from the Earl of Derby to

Oliver Cromwell. The following letter was written by an Earl of Derby to Oliver Cromwell; it is couched in strong terms of dissatisfaction towards the usurper; and breathes an heroic spirit, and loyalty for his Sovereign.

« 이전계속 »