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PIOUS IMPOSTURE.

(Motives of.) The Franciscans fancy that the praises of their founder will not be so much suspected in the mouth of a monk of another order, and therefore they usually desire either a Benedictine or a Carmelite to preach in their churches at their great solemnities. He whom they employ to preach is sure to have his mind and body handsomely entertained, for he never returns to his convent before he hath been plentifully treated and sufficiently praised, and largely thanked for his eloquence; besides, they are ready to requite him upon occasion, for his order hath also its solemnities. A Cordelier's sermon is requisite there, and is more effectual than one of the same order; he often is more extravagant in his encomium on the efficacy of the scapulary than a Carmelite ; this is a mutual intercourse of good offices. It is not long ago that an ingenious man, and who is now a Protestant, told me that when he was a Benedictine, he was desired to preach in a convent of Franciscans, at the solemnity of the Portiuncula. They specified on what they would have him chiefly insist; he partly complied with their desire, but he gave his discourse a certain turn which did not please them. Some of them let him slily know it; he excused himself, and then asked them as among friends, whether it was reasonable to affirm in the pulpit so many falsehoods ? “What then will you have us do?” replied they ; “ Will you have us starve ?” which leads me to the third observation. There are several abuses in the Romish church, which in all likelihood will last as long as that church.

It will be to no purpose to go from a learned age to one more learned; those things will not alter. It is true that they sprang in the times of ignorance; but ignorance was not the only cause, nor even the principal cause of their birth.

The wants of a society as well for food as commodious lodging, the interest they had to shew to the people an altar well set off, and rich church ornaments, all this required some wonderful descriptions to exalt the privileges of a certain saint, or of a certain chapel, or of some particular festival; it was a daily fund of subsistence, and when the anniversary feast came, then the order had its harvest and vintage. Now the wants that I speak of are not subject to the vicissitude of light and darkness; they are the same at all times, in an ignorant as well as in a learned age. Therefore, though knowledge is greater and more common, yet they produce still the same effects. Philosophical heads are puzzled whether they shall admire in this the long forbearance, or the long anger of heaven.- Art. Francis.

PIOUS SACRIFICE. An eminent gentleman of the Romish church whose life was not very regular, but who openly professed to love ministers who had particular talents, and who seemed altogether charmed with M. du Bosc's* merit, having a mind to solemnize that day with a drinking bout, took two Cordeliers whom he knew to be good fellows, and made them drink so much that one of them died on the spot. The next day he went to see M. Du Bosc, and told him that he thought it his duty to sacrifice a monk to the public joy; that this sacrifice would have been more reasonable if it had been a Jesuit, but that this offering ought not to displease him, though it was but a Cordelier. That tragical accident whereof he was but the innocent cause, did nevertheless trouble the joy he had to find himself again with his family, and with his flock. He expressed it in the first sermon he made, having taken these words for his text: A celebrated Protestant minister,

本 *

"Here I am, O Lord, and the childen thou hast given me."--Art. Bosc.

POETICAL LOVE. Poets form to themselves imaginary mistresses. This will appear by the following narrative. “ Racan and Malherbe one day were discoursing of their amours, to wit, of the design they had of making choice of some lady of great merit and quality, to be the subject of their verses. Malherbe named Madame de Rambouillet, and Racan Madame de Termes who was then a widow. They found that both of them were named Catherine; viz. the first whom Malherbe had chosen, Catherine de Vivonne, and Racan's choice Catherine de Chabot. They spent all the af. ternoon in seeking anagrams for this name that might be soft enough for verse, and they found but three, Arthenice, Eracinthe, and Charintée ; the first was judged the finest, but Racan having made use of it in his pastoral which he made immediately after, Malherbe despised the two others, and resolved to make use of Rodante. He was then married and far advanced in years, wherefore his amours produced but few verses, and among the rest, those which begin thus, 'Chere beauté, que mon ame ravie,' &c. 'Dear beauty, how my soul is ravished,' &c; and these others which Boisset set to a tune : Ils s'en vont ces rois de ma vie.' "These kings of my life go away.' He wrote also some letters under the name of Rodante ; but Racan who was thirty-four years younger than he, and a bachelor, changed his poetical love into a true and lawful one, and took some journeys into Burgundy for that end."

Observe well the difference they make between a poetical love and a real one. At that age honest Malherbe was fit only to love poetically; and yet if one had judged of him by his verses, one would have thought that he had a mistress who often made him

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sigh, and who embraced him very closely, though he was so chilly that he numbered his stockings with the letters of the alphabet, lest he should put more upon one leg than upon the other; he confessed one day that he was come as far as the letter L. His infirmities were known and jested upon. If Malherbe had been still in a condition to have taken a real mistress, he would not have made choice of Madame de Rambouillet, whose quality, and much more her virtue, would have left him no manner of hope. Rainbouillet house which is become so famous, was truly a palace of honour; there was nothing but gallantry there and no love. M. de Voiture giving one day his hand to Mademoiselle de Rambouillet, who was afterwards Madame de Montausier, was so bold as to kiss her arm; but Mademoiselle de Rambouillet showed so seriously that his boldness did not please her, that he had no inclination after that, to take the same liberty another time. We conclude from all this, that the mistresses of poets, I mean their Chloes, their Phyllises, &c. for whom they make so many love verses, are not always the objects they love. These are only poetical mistresses whom they make use of, that they may have a fixed subject to which they may apply their poetical flourishes.- Art. MALHERBE.

POLITICAL EXCUSES. After the death of Alexander, the son of Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, Acarnania had every thing to fear from the Ætolians, and did not confide much in that prince's widow, who was guardian of her two sons; wherefore they implored the assistance of the Romans, which was not refused them. Word was sent to the Ætolians that they should not molest a people who alone had not assisted the Greeks against the Trojans.*

" Acarnanes quoque diffisi Epirotis adversus Ætolos aux

* Justin. lib. 28. c. 1.

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ilium Romanorum implorantes, obtinuerunt à Romano senatu, ut legati mitterentur, qui denuntiarent Ætolis, præsidia ab urbibus Acarnaniæ deducerunt ; paterenterque esse liberos, qui soli quondam adversus Trojanos, auctores originis suæ, auxilia Græcis non miserint. — The Acarnanians distrusting the Epirotes, implored the assistance of the Romans against the Ætolians, and obtained from the senate an embassy to be sent to the Ætolians, to demand of them that they should withdraw their garrisons from the cities of Acarnania, and suffer a people to enjoy their liberty, who alone gave the Greeks no aid against the Trojans, from whom the Romans were descended. Plutarch reports two as ridiculous facts as this.*

Agathocles the tyrant of Syracuse, laughed at those of Corfu who asked him for what reason he ravaged their island : - Because,' said he, ‘ your ancestors formerly received Ulysses.' And when the inhabitants of the island of Ithaca complained to him that his soldiers took their sheep : •And your king,' said he to them, 'being arrived in our country, did not only take our sheep, but also put out our shepherd's eye.' But the following account is more ridiculous still it “ Mahomet, the second of that name, emperor of the Turks, in a letter to pope Pius the second, said, 'I wonder the Italians should league against me, seeing we have our common original from the Trojans ; and that it is my interest as well as theirs, to revenge the blood of Hector upon the Greeks, whom they favour against me.' Thus chimerical evils forged by the poets, have served as an apology for real evils. I

Art. ACARNANIA. * Plutarch de sera Numinis vindicta. + Montagne's Essays, b. 2. c. 36. p. 763.

I The Egyptian sultan who levied upon the Jews in consequence of the jeweis and ear-rings borrowed of his ancestors on the departure of their forefathers from Egypt, may be added to these plausible pretences. Ed.

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