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et placez-vous la parmi les Anglicans. Un autre dit qu'il etoit Quaker. Entrez, dit St. Pierre, et prenez place parmi les Quakers. Enfin, mon tour etant arrive, il me demanda de quelle religion j'étois? Helas! repondis-je, malheureusement le pauvre Jacques Montresor n'en a point. Cest dommage, dit le Saint, je ne sais ou vous placer; mats entrez, toujours; vous vous mettrez ou vous pourrez.'"
An officer named Montresor, a worthy man, was very ill. The curate of his parish, thinking him likely to die, advised him to make his peace with God, that he might be received into Paradise. "I have not much uneasiness on the subject," said Montresor, " for I had a vision last night which has perfectly tranquillised my mind."—" What vision have you had V said the good priest. "I was," replied Montresor, "at the gate of Paradise, with a crowd of people who wished to enter, and St. Peter inquired of every one what religion he was of? One answered, I am a Roman Catholic;—Well, said St. Peter, enter and take your place there among the Catholics. Another said he was of the Church of England ;—Well, said the Saint, enter and place yourself there among the Anglicans. A third said he was a Quaker;—Enter, said St. Peter, and take your place among the Quakers. At length, my turn being come, he asked me of what religion I was? Alas! said I, poor Jacques Montresor has none. Tis pity, said the Saint; I know not where to place you, but enter nevertheless, and place yourself where you can."
AN ARABIAN TALE.
Albumazar, the good magician, retired in his old age to the top of the lofty mountain Calabut; avoided the society of men, but was visited nightly by genii and spirits of the first rank, who loved him, and amused him with their instructive conversation.
Belubel the strong came one evening to see Albumazar; his height was seven leagues, and his wings when spread might overshadow a kingdom. He laid himself gently down between the long ridges of Elulem: the tops of the trees in the valley were his couch; his head rested on Calabut as on a pillow, and his face shone on the tent of Albumazar.
The magician spoke to him with rapturous piety of the wisdom and goodness of the Most High; but expressed his wonder at the existence of evil in the world, which he said he could not account for by all the efforts of his reason.
Value not thyself, my friend, said Belubel, on that quality which thou callest reason. If thou knewest its origin and its weakness, it would rather be matter of humiliation.
Tell me then, said Albumazar, what I do not know; inform my ignorance, and enlighten my understanding. Contemplate, said Albumazar, the scale of beings from an elephant down to an oyster. Thou seest a gradual diminution of faculties and powers, so small in each step, that the difference is scarce perceptible. There is no gap, but the gradation is complete. Men in general do not know, but thou knowest, that in ascending from an elephant to the infinitely Great, Good, and Wise, there is also a long gradation of beings, who possess powers and faculties of which thou canst yet have no conception.
DIALOGUE BETWEEN FRANKLIN AND THE GOUT.
Midnight, October 22, 1780.
Franklin. Eh! Oh! Eh! What have I done to merit these cruel sufferings?
Gout. Many things: you have ate and drank too freely, and too much indulged those legs of yours in their indolence.
Franklin. Who is it that accuses me?
Gout. It is I, even I, the Gout.
Franklin What! my enemy in person?
Gout. No, not your enemy.
Franklin. I repeat it; my enemy: for you would not only torment my body to death, but ruin my good name: you reproach me as a glutton and a tippler; now all the world that knows me will allow, that I am neither the one nor the other.
Gout. The world may think as it pleases: it is always very complaisant to itself, and sometimes to its friends; but I very well know, that the quantity of meat and drink proper for a man, who takes a reasonable degree of exercise, would be too much for another, who never takes any.
Franklin. I take—Eh! Oh!—as much exercise —Eh!—as I can, Madam Gout. You know my sedentary state, and on that account, it would seem, Madam Gout, as if you might spare me a little, seeing it is not altogether my own fault.
Gout. Not a jot; your rhetoric and your politeness are thrown away; your apology avails nothing. If your situation in life is a sedentary one, your amusements, your recreations, at least, should be active. You ought to walk or ride; or, if the weather prevents that, play at billiards. But let us examine your course of life. While the mornings are long, and you have leisure to go abroad, what do you do? Why, instead of gaining an appetite for breakfast, by salutary exercise, you amuse yourself with books, pamphlets, or newspapers, which commonly are not worth the reading. Yet you eat an inordinate breakfast, four dishes of tea, with cream, and one or two buttered toasts, with slices of hung beef, which I fancy are not things the most easily digested. Immediately afterward you sit down to write at your desk, or converse with persons who apply to you on business. Thus the time passes till one, without any kind of bodily exercise. But all this I could pardon, in regard, as you say, to your sedentary condition. But what is your practice after dinner? Walking in the beautiful gardens of those friends with whom you have dined, would be the choice of men of sense: yours is, to be fixed down to chess, where you are found engaged for two or three hours! This is your perpetual recreation, which is the least eligible of any for a sedentary man, because, instead of accelerating the motion of the fluids, the rigid attention it requires helps to retard the circulation and obstruct internal secretions. Wrapt in the speculations of this wretched game, you destroy your constitution. What can be expected from such a course of living, but a body replete with stagnant humors, ready to fall a prey to all kinds of dangerous maladies, if I, the Gout, did not occasionally bring you relief by agitating these humors, and so purifying or dissipating them? If it was in some nook or alley in Paris, deprived of walks, that you played awhile at chess after dinner, this might be excusable; but the same taste prevails with you in Passy, Auteuil, Montmartre, or Sanoy, places where there are the finest gardens and walks, a pure air, beautiful women, and most agreeable and instructive conversation; all which you might enjoy by frequenting the walks. But these are rejected for this abominable game of chess. Fie, then, Mr. Franklin! But amidst my instructions, I had almost forgot to administer my wholesome corrections: so take that twinge—and that. Franklin. Oh! Eh! Oh! Ohhh! As much instructions as you please, Madam Gout, and as