Puslapio vaizdai
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the contrary, he seemed pleased, and even delighted ́; he was a benevolent creature, and the days of infancy— after all, the happiest we shall ever see-perhaps rose upon his memory. God bless him! I see his fine form at the distance of half a century, just as he stood before me in the little ball-alley, in the days of my childhood! His name was Boyce; he was the rector of Newmarket. To me he took a particular fancy. I was winning, and was full of waggery, thinking every thing that was eccentric, and by no means a miser of my eccentricities; every one was welcome to share them, and I had plenty to spare, after having freighted the company. Some sweetmeats easily bribed me home with him. I learned from poor Boyce my alphabet and my grammar, and the rudiments of the classics; he taught me all he could, and then he sent me to the school at Middleton: in short, he made a man of me. I recollect, it was about five and thirty years afterwards, when I had risen to some eminence at the bar, and when I had a seat in Parliament, and a good house in Ely Place, on my return one day from court, I found an old gentleman seated alone in the drawing-room, his feet familiarly placed on each side of the Italian marble chimneypiece, and his whole air bespeaking the consciousness of one quite at home. He turned round-it was my friend of the ball-alley! I rushed instinctively into his arms. I could not help bursting into tears. Words cannot describe the scene which followed. 'You are right, sir ; you are right; the chimney-piece is yours, the pictures are yours, the house is yours: you gave me all I have, my friend-my father!' He dined with me; and, in

the evening, I caught the tear glistening in his fine blue eye, when he saw his poor Jocky, the creature of his bounty, rising in the House of Commons to reply to a right honorable. Poor Boyce! he is now gone! and no suitor had a larger deposit of practical benevolence in the court above."

7. ALFRED AND THE BEGGAR.

Alfred the Great, who died in the year 900, was of a most amiable disposition, and, we would hope, of genuine piety. During his retreat at Athelney, in Somersetshire, after his defeat by the Danes, a beggar came to his little castle, and requested alms. His queen informed Alfred that they had but one small loaf remaining, which was insufficient for themselves and their friends, who were gone in search of food, though with little hope of success. The king replied: "Give the poor Christian one half of the loaf. He that could feed five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, can certainly make the half loaf suffice for more than our necessity." The poor man was accordingly relieved, and Alfred's people shortly after returned with a store of fresh provisions !

8. CONVICTIONS OF NAPOLEON.

"I know men," said Napoleon at St. Helena, to Count de Montholon, "I know men, and I tell you that Jesus is not a man! The religion of Christ is a mystery, which subsists by its own force, and proceeds from a mind which is not a human mind. We find in it a marked individuality, which originated a train of words

and actions unknown before. Jesus is not a philosopher, for his proofs are miracles, and, from the first, his disciples adored him.

"Alexander, Cæsar, Charlemagne, and myself, founded empires: but on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love; and, at this hour, millions of men would die for him!

"I die before my time, and my body will be given back to the earth, to become food for worms. Such is the fate of him who has been called the great Napoleon. What an abyss between my deep mystery and the eternal kingdom of Christ, which is proclaimed, loved, and adored, and is extending over the whole earth!”*

LESSON XXXII.

1. THE FIRST HOSPITAL.

The first hospital for the reception of the diseased and the infirm was founded at Edessa, in Syria, by the sagacious and provident humanity of a Christian father. The history of this memorable foundation is given by Sozomen, in his account of Ephrem Cyrus.

A grievous famine, with all its inseparable evils, having befallen the city of Edessa, its venerable deacon, at the call of suffering humanity, came forth from the

*Let the whole lesson be examined in regard to pause, inflection, and

emphasis.

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studious retirement of his cell, whither he had long withdrawn, that he might devote his latter days to meditation on the deep things of God. Filled with emotion at the sight of the misery which surrounded him, with the warmth of Christian charity, he reproved the rich men of Edessa, who suffered their fellow-citizens to perish from want and sickness; and who preferred their wealth, at once, to the lives of others, and to the safety of their own souls. Stung by his reproaches, and awed by his revered character, the citizens replied that they cared not for their wealth; but that, in an age of selfishness and corruption, they knew not whom to intrust with its distribution. What," exclaimed the holy man, "is your opinion of me?" The answer was instant and unanimous. Ephrem was every thing that was holy, and good, and just. "Then," he resumed, "I will be your almoner. For your sakes, I will undertake this burden." And receiving their now willing contributions, he caused about three hundred beds to be placed in the public porticoes of the city, for the reception of fever patients; he relieved, also, the famishing multitudes who flocked into Edessa from the adjoining country; and rested not from his labor of love until the famine was arrested, "and the plague was stayed."

Christianity, therefore, has the honor of erecting the first hospital; and, wherever true Christianity has prevailed, her efforts to relieve the wretched, and add to the amount of human happiness, have accomplished more in one generation than paganism and infidelity in a hundred.

2. COPERNICUS. B. 1473, d. 1543.-Edward Everett.

Copernicus, after harboring in his bosom for long, long years that pernicious heresy,—the solar system,— died on the day of the appearance of his book from the press. The closing scene of his life would furnish a noble subject for an artist. For thirty-five years he has revolved and matured his system of the heavens. A natural mildness of disposition, bordering on timidity, a reluctance to encounter controversy, and a dread of persecution, have led him to withhold his work from the press, and to make known his system but to a few confidential friends and disciples. At length he draws near his end; he is seventy-three years of age, and he yields his work on the "revolutions of the heavenly orbs" to his friends for publication. The day at last has come on which it is to be ushered into the world. It is the 24th of May, 1543. On that day,—the effect, no doubt, of the intense excitement of his mind operating upon an exhausted frame,-an effusion of blood brings him to the gates of the grave. His last hour is come; he lies stretched upon the couch from which he will never rise, in his apartment at Frauenberg, in East Prussia. The beams of the setting sun glance through the Gothic windows of his chamber; near his bedside is the armillary sphere, which he has contrived to represent his theory of the heavens; his picture, painted by himself, the amusement of his earlier years, hangs before him beneath it, his astrolabe, and other imperfect astronomical instruments; and around him are gathered his sorrowing disciples. The door of the apartment

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