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at Fritzlau decided that no Beguine should be younger than forty years of age. They generally dine together in the refectory; their apartments are barely yet comfortably furnished, and, like all the habitations of Flanders, remarkably clean.
. About their origin and name little is known by the Beguines them selves, or is to be found in books. For the following particulars I am chiefly indebted to the Histoire des Ordres Monastiques, (tome viii.) Some attribute both their origin and name to St. Beggle, who lived in the seventh century: others to Lambert le Begue, who lived about the end of the twelfth century. This latter saint is said to have founded two communities of them at Liege, one for women, in 1173, the other for men, in 1177. After his death they multiplied fast, and were introduced by St. Louis to Paris, and other French cities. The plan flourished in France, and was adopted under other forms and names. In 1443, Nicholas Rollin, Chancellor to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, founded a hospital at Beaune and brought six Beguines from Malines to attend upon it, and the hospital became so famed for the care of its patients, that the opulent people of the neighbourhood when sick were often removed to it, preferring its attendance to what they received at home. In one part of the hospital there was a large square court, bordered with galleries leading to apartments suitable to such patients; when they quitted the hospital the donations which they left were added to its funds.
The Sæurs de la Charité of France are another order of religious nurses, but different from the Beguines in being bound by monastic vows. They originated in a charity sermon, perhaps the most useful and extensive in its influence that ever was preached. Vincent de Paul, a celebrated missionary, preaching at Chatillon
, in 1617, recommended a poor sick family of the neighbourhood to the care of his congregation. At the conclusion of the sermon a number of persons visited the sick family with bread, wine, meat, and other comforts. This led to the formation of a committee of charitable women, under the direction of Vincent de Paul, who went about relieving the sick poor of the neighbourhood, and met every month to give an account of their proceedings to their superior. Such was the origin of the celebrated order of the Seurs de la Charité, Wherever this missionary went he attempted to form similar establishments. From the country they spread to cities, and first to Paris, where, in 1629, they were established in the parish of St. Saviour.
About 1625, a female devotce, named Le Gras, joined the order of the Sæurs de la Charité. She was married young to M. Le Gras, one of whose family had founded a hospital at Puy, but becoming a widow in 1625, in the thirty-fourth year of her age, she made a vow of celibacy, and dedicated the rest of her life to the service of the poor. In her Vincent de Paul found a great accession. Under his direction she took many journeys, visiting and inspecting the establishments which he had founded She was commonly accompanied by a few pious ladies. Many women of quality enrolled themselves in the order, but the superiors were assisted by inferior servants
. The Hotel Dieu was the first hospital in Paris where they exercised their rocation. This they visited every day, supplying the patients with comforts above what the hospital afforded, and administering, besides, religious consolation. By degrees they spread into all the provinces of France, and at length the Queen of Poland requested Mademoiselle Le Gras, for though a widow that was her title, to send her a supply of Sæurs de la Charité, who were thus established in Varsovia, in 1652. At length, after a long life spent in the service of charity and religion, Mademoiselle Le Gras died on the 15th of March, 1660, nearly seventy years of age, and for a day and a half her body lay exposed to the gaze of the pious.
A country clergyman, who spent several years in various parts of France, gires an account of the present state of the order, which, together with what I hare gathered from other sources, is in substance as follows:-It consists of women of
all ranks, many of them of the higher orders. After a year's noviciate in the convent, they take a vow which binds them to the order for the rest of their lives. They have two objects, to attend the sick and to educate the poor ; they are spread all over France, are the superior nurses at the hospitals, and are to be found in every town, and often even in villages. Go into the Paris hospitals at almost any hour of the day, and you will see one of these respectable looking women, in her black gown and white hood, passing slowly from bed to bed, and stopping to enquire of some poor wretch what little comfort he is fancying will alleviate his sufferings. If a parochial curé wants assistance in the care of his flock, he applies to the order of les Sœurs de la Charité. Two of them (for they generally go in couples) set out on their charitable mission : wherever they travel their dress protects them. “Even more enlightened persons than the common peasantry hail it as a happy omen when on a journey a Sæur de la Charité happens to travel with them, and even instances are recorded in which their presence has saved travellers from the attacks of robbers." During the revolution they were rarely molested. They were the only religious order permitted openly to wear their dress and pursue their vocation. Government gives a hundred francs a-year to each sister, besides her travelling expenses ; and if the parish where they go cannot maintain them, they are supported out of the funds of the order. In old age they retire to their convent, and spend the rest of their lives in educating the noviciates. Thus, like the vestal virgins of old, the first part of their life is spent in learning their duties, the second in practising them, and the last in teaching them. 100.-CONTENTMENT AND THANKFULNESS.
IZAAK WALTON. [Izaak WALTON, whose character as an author is known wherever English literature is cultivated, was born in 1593. • The Complete Angler' was the production of a haberdasher of Fleet Street, who was the friend of the truly eminent Dr. Donne. Pursuing his business through many years of his blameless life, his recreation was angling. His chief haunt was the river Lea. Of the old scenery and the old manners of a district within ten miles of London, he has left the most delicious pictures—the reflection of nature in the heart of a good man. Walton was the biographer of Hooker, Donne, Wotton, and Herbert. He left his business after the death of his wife in 1644; and lived till the age of ninety, in the quiet enjoyment of literary leisure, beloved and respected by the worthiest men of his time.]
I will, as we walk in the cool shade of this sweet honeysuckle hedge, mention to you some of the thoughts and joys which have possessed my soul since we two met together. And these thoughts shall be told you, that you also may join with me in thankfulness to the Giver of every good and perfect gift for our happiness. And that our present happiness may appear to be the greater, and we the more thankful for it, I will beg you to consider with me how many do even at this very time lie under the torment of diseases that we are free from. And every misery that I miss is a new mercy; and therefore let us be thankful. There have been, since we met, others that have met disasters of broken limbs ; some have been blasted, others thunder-stricken; and we have been freed from these, and all those other miseries that threaten human nature : let us therefore rejoice and be thankful. Nay, which is a far greater mercy, we are freed from the insupportable burthen of an accusing tormenting conscience; a miscry that none can bear : and therefore let us praise Him for his preventing grace, and say, every misery that I miss is a new mercy. Nay, let me tell you, there be many that have forty tiines our estate, that would give the greatest part of it to be healthful and cheerful like us.
I have a rich neighbour who is always so busy that he has no leisure to laugh ; the whole business of his life is to get money, and more money, that he may still get more and more money; he is still drudging on, and says that Solomon says, “ The diligent hand maketh rich ;" and it is true indeed: but he considers not that it is not in the power of riches to make a man happy; for it was wisely said, by a man of great observation, “ That there be as many miseries beyond riches as on this side them.” And yet God deliver us from pinching poverty; and grant that, having a competency, we may be content and thankful. Let us not repine, or so much as think the gifts of God unequally dealt, if we see another abound with riches ; when, as God knows, the cares that are the keys that keep those riches, hang often so heavily at the rich man's girdle, that they clog him with weary days and restless nights, even when others sleep quietly. We see but the outside of the rich man's happiness; few consider him to be like the silkworm, that when she seems to play, is, at the very same time, spinning her own bowels, and consuming herself; and this many rich men do, loading theniselves with corroding cares, to keep what they have, probably, unconscionably got. Let us therefore be thankful for health and a competence; and, above all, for a quiet conscience.
Let me tell you that Diogenes walked on a day, with his friend, to see a country fair ; where he saw ribbons and looking-glasses, and nut-crackers, and fiddles, and hobby-horses, and many other gimcracks, and having observed them, and all the other finnimbruns that made a complete country-fair, he said to his friend, " Lorch
, how many things are there in this world of which Diogenes hath no need!" And truly it is so, or might be so, with very many who vex and toil themselves to get what they have no need of. Can any man charge God, that he hath not given him enough to make his life happy? No, doubtless ; for nature is content with a little. And yet you shall hardly meet with a man that complains not of some want; though he, indeed, wants nothing but his will ; it may be, nothing but his will of his poor neighbour, for not worshipping or not flattering him ; and thus, when we might be happy and quiet, we create trouble to ourselves. I have heard of a man that was angry with himself because he was no taller; and of a woman that broke her looking-glass because it would not show her face to be as young and handsome as her next neighbour's was. And I know another to whom God hath given health and plenty ; but a wife that nature hath made peevish, and her husband's riches had made purse-proud ; and must, because she was rich, and for no other virtue, sit in the highest pew in the church; which being denied her, she engaged her husband into a contention for it, and at last into a law-suit with a dogged neighbour who was as rich as he, and had a wife as peevish and purse-proud as the other : and this lawsuit begot higher oppositions, and actionable words, and more vexations and law-suits; for you must remember that both were rich, and must therefore have their will. Well! this wilful purse-proud law-suit lasted during the life of the first husband; after which his wife vexed and chid, and chid and vexed, till she also chid and vesed herself into her grave; and so the wealth of these poor rich people was curst into a punishment, because they wanted meek and thankful hearts; for those only can make us happy. I know a man that had health and riches; and several houses, all beautiful and ready furnished ; and would often trouble himself and family to be removing from one house to another : and being asked by a friend why he removed so often from one house to another, replied, “It was to find content in some one of them.” But his friend, knowing his temper, told him, if he would find content in any of his houses, he must leave himself behind him ; for content will never dwell
1 a meek and quiet soul. And this may appear if we read and consider what
ur says in St. Matthew's Gospel ; for he there says, "Blessed be the merhey shall obtain mercy. Blessed be the pure of heart, for they shall see sed be the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And he meek, for they shall possess the earth.” Not that the meek shall not
rey, and see God, and be comforted, and at last come to the kingdom
of heaven ; but in the mean time, he, and he only, possesses the earth, as he goes towards that kingdom of heaven, by being humble and cheerful, and content with what his good God has allotted him. He has no turbulent, repining, vexatious thoughts that he deserves better; nor is vexed when he sees others possessed of more honour or more riches than his wise God has allotted for his share : but ho possesses what he has with a meek and contented quietness, such a quietness as makes his very dreams pleasing, both to Ciod and himself.
Let not the blessings we receive daily from God make us not to value, or pot praise Him, because they be common ; let us not forget to praise Him for the innocent mirth and pleasure we have met with since we met together. What would a blind man give to see the pleasant rivers, and meadows, and flowers, and fountains, that we have met with since we met together ? I have been told, that if a man that was born blind could obtain to have his sight for but only one hour during his whole life, and should, at the first opening of his eyes, fix his sight upon the sun when it was in full glory, cither at the rising or setting of it, he would be so transported and amazed, and would so admire the glory of it, that he would not willingly turn his eyes from tha first ravishing object, to behold the other various beauties this world could present to him. And this, and many other like blessings, we enjoy daily. And for most of them, because they be so common, most men forget to pay their praise, but let not us; because it is a sacrifice so pleasing to Him that made that sun and us, and still protects us, and gives us flowers, and showers, and stomachs, and meat, and content, and leisure to go a-fishing.
My meaning was, and is, to plant that in your mind with which I labour to possess my own soul ; that is, a meek and thankful heart. And to that end I have showed you, that riches without them (meckness and thankfulness) do not make any man happy. But let me tell you, that riches with them remove many fears and
And therefore my advice is, that you endeavour to be honestly rich or contentedly poor: but be sure that your riches be justly got or you spoil all
. For it is well said, “ He that loses his conscience has nothing left that is worth keeping." Therefore be sure you look to that. And in the next place look to your health : and if you have it, praise God, and value it next to a good conscience ; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of; a blessing that money cannot buy; and therefore value it and be thankful for it. As for money, (which may be said to be the third blessing,) neglect it not: but note, that there is no necessity of being rich ; for I told you, there be as many miseries beyond riches as on this side them : and if you have a competence, enjoy it with a meek, cheerful, thankful heart. I will tell you, Scholar, I have heard a grave divine say, that God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart ; which Almighty God grant to me, and to my honest Scholar. 101, 102.—THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE AT LISBON.
Davy. (In 1787 were published two octavo volumes, entitled “Letters addressed chietly to a Young Gentleman upon the Subject of Literature,' by the Rev. Charles Davy. In these letters there is nothing very remarkable, with the exception of a most graphic account of the earth. quake at Lisbon, in 1753. We remember that our attention was first called to the book by a passage in some one of Mr. De Quincey's writings, in which he exclaims “Oh, that I could describe like Davy!" It is held, however, that Davy did not write this description, but that it was given to him by an English merchant, who was residing at Lisbon at the time of the event he narrates. In some books of extract this narrative is much curtailed; we prefer to give it entire, dividing it into two Half-hours.]
There never was a finer morning seen than the 1st of November; the sun shone out in its full lustre ; the whole face of the sky was perfectly serene and clear; and
not the least signal or warning of that approaching event, which has made this one flourishing, opulent, and populous city, a scene of the utmost horror and desolation, except only such as served to alarm, but scarcely left a moment's time to fly from the general destruction.
It was on the morning of this fatal day, between the hours of nine and ten, that I was set down in my apartment, just finishing a letter, when the papers and table I was writing on began to tremble with a gentle motion, which rather surprised me, as I could not perceive a breath of wind stirring. Whilst I was reflecting with myself what this could be owing to, but without having the least apprehension of the real cause the whole house began to shake from the very foundation, which at first I imputed to the rattling of several coaches in the main street, which usually passed that way, at this time, from Belem to the palace ; but on hearkening more attentively, I was soon undeceived, as I found it was owing to a strange frightful kind of noise under ground, resembling the hollow distant rumbling of thunder
. all this passed in less than a minute, and I must confess I now began to be alarmed. as it naturally occurred to me that this noise might possibly be the forerunner of an earthquake, as one I remembered, which had happened about six or seven years ago, in the island of Madeira, commenced in the same manner, though it did liteke or no damage.
l'pon this I threw down my pen, and started upon my feet, remaining a moment in suspense, whether I should stay in the apartment or run into the street, as the danger in both places seemed equal ; and still flattering myself that this tremor might produce no other effects than such inconsiderable ones as had been felt at Madeira; but in a moment I was roused from my dream, being instantly stunded with a most horrid crash, as if every edifice in the city had tumbled down at ona. The house I was in shook with such violence, that the upper stories immediate's fell, and though my apartment (which was the first floor) did not then share the same fate, yet every thing was thrown out of its place, in such a manner that it was with no small difficulty I kept my feet, and expected nothing less than to be scoa crushed to death, as the walls continued rocking to and fro in the frightfullest manner, opening in several places ; large stones falling down on every side from the cracks, and the ends of most of the rafters starting out from the roof. To add to this terrifying scene, the sky in a moment became so gloomy that I could now distinguish no particular object ; it was an Egyptian darkness indeed, such as might be felt ; owing, no doubt, to the prodigious clouds of dust and lime raised from so violent a concussion, and, as some reported, to sulphureous exhalations, but this I cannot affirm; however, it is certain I found myself almost choked for near ten minutes.
As soon as the gloom began to disperse, and the violence of the shock seemed pretty much abated, the first object I perceived in the room was a woman sitting on the floor with an infant in her arms, all covered with dust, pale and trembling. I asked her how she got hither, but her consternation was so great she could give me no account of her escape.
suppose that when the tremor first began, she ran out of her own house, and finding herself in such imminent danger from the falling stones, retired into the door of mine, which was almost contiguous to hers, for shelter, and when the shock increased, which filled the door with dust and rubbish
, ran upstairs into my apartment, which was then open; be it as it might, this was no time for curiosity. I remember the poor creature asked me, in the utmost agony,
if I did not think the world was at an end ; at the same time she complained of being choked, and begged, for God's sake, I would procure her a little drink. Upon this I went to a closet where I kept a large jar of water, (which you know is sometimes a pretty scarce conı modity in Lisbon,) but finding it broken in pieces