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monk's shoulders , best knows ; but it would have suited a Bramin and had 1 met it upon the plains of Indostan , I had reverenced it.
The rest of his outline may be given in a sew strokes; one might put it into the hands of
any one to design, for 'twas neither elegant nor otherwise, but as character and expression made it so : it was a thin , spare form, something above the common size, if it lost not the distinction by a bend forwards in the figure—but it was the attitude of intreaty; and as it now stands present to my imagination, it gain'd more than it lost by it.
When he liad entered the room three paces , he stood still, laying his left hand upon his breast ( a slender white staff with which he journeyed being in his right ) - when I had got close up to him, he introduced himself with the little story of the wants of his convent, and the poverty of his order – and did it with so simple a grace - and such an air of deprecation was there in the whole cast of his look and figure I was bewitch'd not to have been struck with it.
A better reason was, I had pre-determined not to give him a single sou.
- 'Tis very true, said I, replying to a cast upwards with his eyes, with which he had concluded his address — 'tis very true
and heaven be their resource who have no other but the charity of the world, the stock of which , I fear , is no way sufficient for the many great claims which are hourly made upon it.
As I pronounced the words great claims, he gave a slight glance with his eyes downwards upon the sleeve of his tunic - I felt the full force of the appeal--I acknowledge it , said I- a coarse habit, and that but once in three years, with meagre
diet no great matters : and the true point of pity is, as they can be earu'd in the world with so little industry, that your order should wish to procure them by pressing upon a fund which is the property of the lame, the blind, the aged, and the infirm : the captive who lies down counting over and over again the days of his afflictions , languishes also for his share of it; and had you been of the order of mercy , instead of the order of St. Francis, poor as I am , continued I, pointIng at my portmanteau , full cheerfully
should it have been opened to you for the ransom of the unfortunate. The monk made me a bow
but of all others, resumed I, the infortunate of our own country , surely, have the first rights; and I have left thousands in distress upon our own shore The monk gave a cordial wave with his head as much as to say , No doubt, there is misery enough in every corner of the world, as well as within our convent distinguish , said I, laying my hand upon the sleeve of his tunic, in return for his appeal — we distinguish , my good father betwixt those who wish only to eat the bread of their own labour and those who eat the bread of other people's , and have no other plan in life, but to get through it in sloth and ignorance for the love of God.
The poor Franciscan made no reply ; a hectic of a moment pass’d across his cheeks, but could not tarry - Nature seemed to have done with her resentiments in him ; he shewed none – but letting his staff fall within his arm , he press’d both his hands with resignation upon his breast, and retired.
My heart smote me the moment he shut the door - Psha ; said I with an air of carelessness, three several times but it would not do : every ungracious syllable I had uttered, crowded back into my imagination ; I reflected , I had no right over the poor Franciscan , but to deny him; and that the punishment of that was enough to the disappointed without the addition of unkind language -- I consider'd his grey hair - his courteous figure seem'd to reenter, and gently ask me what injury he had done me? and why I could use him thus ? - I would have given twenty livres for an advocate – I have behaved very ill, said I within myself ; but I have only just set out upon my travels ; and shall learn better manners as I get along.
THE BEGGAR AND HIS DOG.
Na few hours Harley reached the inn where he proposed breakfasting; but the fulness of his heart would not sulier him to eat a morsel. He walked out on the road, and gaining a little height, stood gazing on that quarter he had left. He looked for his wonted prospect , his fields, his woods , and his hills : they were lost in the distant clouds ! He penciled them on the clouds , and bade them farewell with a sigh.
He sat down on a large stone to take out a little pebble from his shoe, when he saw, at some distance , a beggar approaching him. He had on a loose sort of coat, mended with different-coloured rags , amongst which the blue and the russet were predominant. He had a short knotty stick in his hand, and on the top of it was stuck a ram's horn ; his knees (though he was no pilgrim ) had worn the stuff off his breeches; he wore no shoes, and his stockings had entirely lost that part of them which should have covered his feet and ancles : in his face , however, was the plump appearance of good - humour ; he walked a good round pace, and a crooklegged dog trotted at his heels.
« Our delicacies, said Harley to himself, » are fantastic; they are not in nature ! that
beggar walks over the sharpest of these
stones barefooted, while I have lost the » most delightful dream in the world, from » the smallest of them happening to get » into my shoe.»-- The beggar had by this time come up, and pulling off a piece of hat , asked charity of Harley: the dog began to beg too : -- it was impossible to resist