« VorigeDoorgaan »
But view them clofer, craft and fraud ap
Even liberty itself is barter'd here.
Heavens! how unlike their Belgic fires of old!
Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold; War in each breaft, and freedom on each brow;
How much unlike the fons of Britain now!
ACERTAIN cardinal, by the multitude of his generous actions, gave occafion to the world to call him the Patron of the Poor. This ecclefiaftical prince had a conftant cuftom, once a week, to give public audience to all indigent people in the hall of his palace, and to relieve every one according to their various neceffities, or the motions of his own goodness. One day a poor widow, encouraged by the fame of his bounty, came into the hall of this cardinal with
her only daughter, a beautiful maid, about fifteen years of age.
When her turn came to be heard among a crowd of petitioners, the cardinal obferving the marks of an extraordinary modesty in her face and carriage, as alfo in her daughter, encouraged her to tell her wants freely. She blushing, and not without tears, thus addreffed herself to him': "My lord, I owe for the rent of my house five crowns, and fuch is my misfortune, that I have no way left to pay it, except that which would break my heart, (and my landlord threatens to force me to it) which is, to prostitue this my only daughC 3
ter, whom I have hitherto with great care educated in the principles of virtue. What I beg of your eminence is, that you would be pleased to interpofe your authority, and protect us from the violence of this cruel man, till by honeft industry we can procure the money for him." The cardinal, moved with admiration of the woman's virtue and modeft request, bid her be of good courage: then he immediately wrote a billet, and giving it into the woman's hand, "Go," said he, "to my fteward, and he fhall deliver thee five crowns to pay thy rent." The widow, overjoyed, and returning the cardinal
cardinal a thousand thanks, went directly to the steward, and gave him the note. When he had read it, he told out fifty crowns, She, astonished at the circum❤ ftance, and not knowing what the cardinal had wrote, refused to take above five crowns, faying, fhe mentioned no more to his eminence, and fhe was fure it was fome mistake. On the other hand, the fteward infifted on his master's order, not daring to call it in question. But all the arguments he could use were infufficient to prevail on her to take any more than five crowns. Wherefore, to end the controverfy, he offered to go back with