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Belard and Eloisa flourish'd in the twelfth Cen
tury; they were two of the most distinguish'd persons of their age in learning and beauty, but for nothing more famous than for their unfortunate paffion. After a long course of calamities, they retired each to a several convent, and consecrated the remainder of their days to religion. It was many years after this separation, that a letter of Abelard's to a friend which contain'd the history of his misfortunes, fell into the hands of Eloisa. This awakening all her tenderness, occafion'd those celebrated letters (out of which the following is partly extracted) which givé so lively a picture of the struggles of grace and nature, virtue and paffion,
A B E L A R D.
N these deep folitudes and awful cells,
Where heav'nly-pensive contemplation dwells,
And ever-musing melancholy reigns ;
-From Abelard it came,
Dear fatal name! rest ever unreveal'd,
Hide it, my heart, within that close disguise,
Relentless walls ! whose darksom round contains
Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose, .