Imatges de pÓgina
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conquer the modesty produced by a decent bringing up; and this barrier once overcome, a merit was made of the impudence which rendered one man snperior to another in the exaction of alms and of gifts from the credulous faithful.

“The extent and curious taste of your edifices," adds the same saint, “incommode our friends who supply the funds for their erection, and expose us to the evil report of mankind.” “ These friars,” said also Peter Desvignes “ who at the birth of their order seemed to tread under foot the pomps of this world, have resumed all which they gave up; and having nothing, possess all; being more wealthy than the wealthy themselves.” We know what Dufresny said to Louis XIV.

Sire, I never behold the new Louvre without exclaimingSuperb monument of one of the greatest kings whose names have filled the earth; palace, worthy of our monarchs; you would be complete if you

had been given to one of the four mendicant orders, to hold its chapters and lodge its general.”

As to their avidity in respect to burials and wills, Matthew Paris has described it in these terms: “ They are solicitous to assist at the death of the great, in prejudice of the ordinary pastors. They are greedy of gain, and extort secret wills; they recommended their own order, and exalt it before all others.” Sauval also relates, that in 1502, Gilles Dauphin, general of the Cordeliers, in consideration of the favours which his order had received from the parliament of Paris, bestowed upon the presidents, counsellors, and attornies, the privilege of being interred in the habit of the Cordeliers.* The year following, he gratified with a like brevet the provost of the merchants, the bailiffs, and principal municipal officers of the town. This permission is not to be regarded as a mere honorary mark of esteem, if it is true that St. Francis regularly makes a journey into purgatory every year, in order to relieve

Dying, puton the weeds of Dominic,
Or in Franciscan think to pass disguis'd.

Paradise Lost.-T.

the souls of all who die in the habit of his order; a fact of which these religious formally assure us.

The following trait in relation to this subject will not be out of place. L'Etoile, in his Memoirs, dated 1577, relates, that a very fine girl, disguised as a man, was discovered and taken in the convent of the Cordeliers at Paris. She served, among others, friar Jaques Berson, who was called the Child of Paris, and the Cordelier with the handsome hands. These reverend fathers all averred, that they thought this girl was a boy. She got quit upon a whipping, which was a great reflection upon her chastity, after affirming that she was a married woman, and that out of pure devotion she had waited upon ten or twelve of these good brothers, without deeming her honour in any danger. Possibly she expected by this means to deliver herself from a long sojourn in purgatory; but this L'Etoile does not mention.

The same bishop of Bellay, whom we have already cited, pretends, that a single order of mendicants costs thirty millions of gold for the clothing and nourishment of its monks, without counting extraordinaries; so that no catholic prince levies so much from his subjects, as the Cenobite mendicants, existing in his states, exact from the people at large. But what, if we add to this the thirty-three others? It will be discovered, he asserts, that the whole thirty-four draw more from general Christendom, than all the wealth assessed by the sixty-four endowed orders, and all the rest of the clergy. Let us allow that this is asserting much.

* It is amusing to read, at a time when this religious vagabondism has become the object of almost general contempt, that Dr. Southey, poet laureat, appears anxious to revive it in the body called Wesleyan methodists, whom he would have the church acknowledge and employ in a similar happy religious revival to that produced in the thirteenth century by St. Francis. To this pleasant and feasible scheme, a due study of the past will furnish a considerable objection. In no long time these orders impoverished the regular clergy, and infringed upon their gains and privileges materially; a species of mischief which the establishment will not be altogether disposed to endure, even at the I shall be told, that since this time things have marecommendation of the author of “ The Book of the Church.” As to the rest, the similarity without the junction is obvious enough ;. the religious begging and importunity are undeniable ; and a very kindred anxiety in respect to last wills and testaments has long been sufficiently obvious.-T.

QUISQUIS (OF) RAMUS. With some Useful Observations upon Persecutors, Calum

niators and Makers of Libels. It is of very little consequence to you, my dear reader, that one of the most violent persecutions exerted in the sixteenth century against Ramus, had' for its object the manner in which we ought to pronounce the words. quisquis' and 'quanquam.'

This grand dispute divided for a long time all the college governors and schoolmasters of the sixteenth century, but it is now quite extinguished, and will never probably revive again.

Would you learn* whether M. Gallandius Torticolis exceeded M. Ramus, his enemy, in the art of oratory? -you may satisfy yourself by consulting Thomas Freigius, in Vita Rami;' for Thomas Freigius is an author who may be acceptable to the curious, whatever Banosius may say to the contrary.

But as this Ramus, founder of the mathematical chair in the Royal College of Paris, was a good philosopher, at a time when we could count only two or three-Montaigne, Charron, and de Thou, the historian; as this Ramus was virtuous in an age of crime, amiable in society, and, would they have allowed of it, even a man of wit—that such a man should have been persecuted all his life, and finally assassinated, by professors and scholars of the university; that these miscreants should have drawn the relics of his bloody corpse to the gates of all the colleges,t as a reparation justly due to the glory of Aristotle—that so many horrors should be committed for the edification of pious catholic souls, I must repeat, О Frenchmen! is not a little barbarous.

* Vide Brantome-Hommes Illustres, tom. ii. ť At the massacre of St. Bartholomew.-T.

grace?

terially changed in Europe; that manners are softened, and that men are no longer persecuted unto death. What, then, have we not had occasion to remark in this dictionary, that the respectable Barnevelt, the leading man in Holland, died upon the scaffold, in consequence of the most foolish and contemptible dispute that ever troubled theological brains?

That the criminal process against the unhappy Theophile had its source only in four verses of an ode, imputed to him by the jesuits Garasse and Voisin, who in consequence pursued him with fury the most relentless and artifices the most vile, and even burned him in effigy?

That the other process of La Cadiere was excited by the jealousy of a jacobin against jesuit, only in consequence of a dispute with him on the subject of

That a miserable literary dispute in a coffee-house was the first origin of the famous process of Jean Baptiste Rousseau, the poet, a quarrel in which an innocent philosopher was on the point of falling beneath the most criminal manquvres?

Have we not seen the abbé Guyot des Fontaines denounce the poor abbé Pellegrin as the author of a theatrical production, and thereby deprive him of the permission to say mass, his only means of existence ?

The fanatical Jurieu, has he not persecuted the philosopher Bayle without ceasing; and when he had succeeded to deprive him of his pension and his place, was he not so. infamous as to persecute him still more?

The theologian Lange accused the German philosopher Wolfe, not only of not believing in God, but even of having insinuated in his course of geometry, that people ought not to enrol themselves in the service of the king of Prussia. Was it not in consequence of this pleasant insinuation, that the monarch in question gave the virtuous Wolfe the choice of quitting his states in twenty-four hours or of being hanged ? Lastly, did not a jesuitical cabal nearly prove the destruction of Fontenelle?

I could cite an hundred examples of the fury of pedantic jealousies; I will boldly maintain to the shame of this contemptible passion, that if all those who have persecuted celebrated men have not treated them as the collegians treated Ramus, it was only because it was not in their

power. It is above all among the canaille' of literature, and in the mire of theology, that this passion rages with most violence.*

Let all those who are tempted to deal in defamation, say to themselves—There is no example of a libel having produced the least benefit to its author; never has either profit or glory accrued in this shameful career. Of all the libels

against Louis XIV., not one is at present found in a respectable library. In an hundred bloody combats in war, of which each may have tended to decide the destiny of a state, three or four only are held in long remembrance. Events fall one upon another like the leaves in Autumn, only to disappear altogether, and yet a garretteer would have his miserable libel live for ever in the memory of man ! The garretter may reply, that Horace wrote verses against Pantolabus and Nomentanus, and Boileau against Cotin and the abbé Pure. We may reply to the garretteer—These are not libels; and if thou wouldst mortify thy adversaries, imitate Horace and Boileau; but when thou possessest half their good sense and genius, thou wilt certainly not manufacture libels.

RARE.

RARE in physics is opposed to dense, and in morality it is opposed to common.

* Voltaire proceeds to furnish some examples; but as they relate to disputes peculiarly local and temporary in relation to persons and subjects become altogether trifling and obscure, they are omitted. Even in Paris such a collection of flies in amber must now be uninteresting ; just as the notes of the Dunciad are gradually becoming pointless in London.-T.

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