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I knew not that contention could be rendered lo sweet and pleasurable a thing to the nerves as I then felt it.--We remained silent, without any sensation of that foolish pair which takes place, when in such a circle you look for ten minutes in one another's faces without faying a word. Whilst this lafted, the Monk rubbed his horn-box upon the sleeve of his tunic; and as soon as it had acquired a little air of brightness by the friction-he made a low bow, and said 'twas too late to say whether it was the weakness or goodness of our tempers which had involved us in this contest-but be it as it would he begg'd we might exchange boxes--in saying this he presented his to me with one hand, as he took mine from me with the other : and having kiss’d it with a stream of good-nature in his eyes, he put it into his bosom and took his leave.
I guard this box as I would the instrumental parts of my religion, to help my mind on to something better: in truth, I seldom go abroad without it: and oft and many a time have I called up by it the courteous spirit of its owner to regulate my own in the juftlings of the world; they had found full employment for his, as I learnt from his story, 'till about the forty-fifth year of his age, when upon some military services ill requited, and meeting at the same time with a difappointment in the tenderest of paffions, he abandoned the sword and the sex together, and took fanctuary, not so much in his convent as in himself
I feel a damp upon my spirits as I am going to add, that in my last return through Calais, upon inquiring after Father Lorenzo, I heard he had been dead near three months, and was buried, not in his convent, but, according to his defire, in a little cemetery belonging to it, about two leagues off: I had a strong desire to see where they had laid him--when upon pulling out his little horn-box, as I fat by his grave, and plucking up a nettle or two at the head of it, which had no business to grow there, they all struck together so forcibly upon my affections, that I burst into a flood of tears... but I am as weak as a woman ; and I beg the world not to smile, but pity me.
SENT. JOURNEY, P. 34.
THERE is something in our nature which en
gages us to take part in every accident to which man is subject, from what cause foever it may have happened; but in such calamities as a man has fallen into through mere misfortune, to be charged upon no fault or indiscretion of himself, there is something then so truly interesting, that at the first fight we generally make them our own, not altogether from 'a reflection that they might have been or may be fo, but oftener from a certain generosity and tenderness of nature which disposes us for compassion, abstract
ed, from all considerations of self: so that without any observable act of the will, we suffer with the unfortunate, and feel a weight-upon our spirits we know not why, on seeing the most common instances of their distress. But where the spectacle is uncommonly tragical, and complicated with many circumstances of misery, the mind is then taken captive at once, and were it inclined to it, has no power to make resistance, but surrenders itself to all the sender emotions of pity and deep concern. So that when one confiders this friendly part of nature, without looking farther, one would think it impossible for man to look upon misery without finding himself in some measure attached to the interest of him who suffers it-I say one would think it impossible--for there are some tempers—how Mall I describe them ?-formed either of such impenetrable matter, or wrought up by habitual selfishness to such an utter infenfibility of what becomes of the fortunes of their fellow-creatures, as if they were not partakers of the same nature, or had no lot or connection with the species.
SERMON 111. P. 43.
THE MERCIFUL MAN.,
-how hold a sordid wretch, whose strait heart is open to no man's affliction, taking fhelter behind an appearance of piety, and putting on the garb of reli.
gion, which none but the merciful and compassionate have a title to wear! Take notice with what fanctity he goes to the end of his days, in the same selfida track in which he at first set out-turning neither to the right-hand nor the left-but plods on pores all his life long upon the ground as if afraid to look up, left peradventure he should see aught which might turn him one moment out of that straight line where interest is carrying him; or if, by chance, he ftumbles upon a hapless object of distress, which threatens such a disaster to him-devoutly passing by on the other side, as if unwilling to trust himself to the impressions of nature, or hazard the inconveniences which pity might lead him into upon the occasion.
SERMON 111. P. 46.
'N benevolent natures, the impulse to pity is so
sudden, that, like instruments of mufi, which obey the touch-the objects which are fitted to excite such impressions, work so instantaneous an effect, that you would think the will was scarce concerned, and that the mind was altogether paffive in the sympathy which her own goodness has excited.' The truth is--the soul is generally in such cases fo bufily taken
and wholly engrossed by the object of pity, that she does not attend to her own operations, or take leisure to examine the principles upon which Me acts.
SERMON 111. P. 51.
Of , ,
F the many revengeful, covetous, falfe, and ill.
natured persons which we complain of in the world, though we all join in the cry against them, what man amongst us singles out himself as a criminal, or ever once takes it into his head that he adds to the number or where is there a man so bad, who would not think it the hardest and most unfair impu. tation, to have any of those particular vices laid to his charge?
If he has the symptoms ever so strong upon him, which he would pronounce infallible in another, they are indications of no such malady in himselfm he sees what no one else fees, some secret and flattering circumstances in his favour, which no doubt make a wide difference betwixt his case, and the parties which he condemns.
What other man speaks so often and so vehemently against the vice of pride, fets the weakness of it in a more odious light, or is more hurt with it in another, than the proud man himself? It is the same with the paffionate, the designing, the ambitious, and some other common characters in life; and being a confequence of the nature of such vices, and almost in. separable from them, the effect of it are generally so gross and absurd, that where pity does not forbic, it is pleasant to observe and trace the cheat through the