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too and fro, he succeeded in wringing an ungracious permission from Morière to admit the clergyman to his presence.
As St. Aubyn entered the dressing-room of the nabob, he found him in his morning-gown and lying at length upon a luxuriant couch. He had but just returned from a night of dissipation in one of his nocturnal haunts, and appeared morose and surly. His eyes were blood-shot, his face inflamed, and his whole appearance indicated that he was suffering under the morning horrors following a night of debauch. Instead of inviting his visitor to be seated, he lay insolently staring him in the face, seemingly determined, since obliged to admit him against his will, that the interview should be as embarrassing and uncomfortable to him as possible. But the heart of the good minister was too full of his subject, to be daunted by any coldness or personal disrespect, and without waiting or even caring for an invitation he at once opened the object of his visit. He delineated in glowing language the frightful ravages of the plague, he described the touching scenes of distress which he daily and hourly witnessed, he told of all the fearful miseries in which so many unfortunate beings were involved, and besought him with folded hands and streaming eyes, to yield them that relief which they so much needed, and which he was so well able to afford. But he was addressing a man whose sensibilities had been too long blunted by licentiousness to be easily awakened by any appeal, and his tears and prayers were met by only scorn and invective, until drawing a small coin from his purse, Morière angrily threw it towards him, and, without respect either for his gray hairs, the sacredness of his office, or the holy and disinterested purpose of his visit, fiercely execrated the impertinence which had led him to intrude upon him at so unseasonable an hour. Stung with the bitterness of disappointment St. Aubyn felt for a moment that his hopes had been utterly in vain, and his heart well-nigh gave way; but the prayers, the groans, the despairing cries of his starving flock were still ringing in his ears, and feeling that for their sakes he could endure every thing but failure, he returned once more to the attempt. He used every weapon which can reach the human heart; he caressed, he flattered, he implored, but so far from yielding to the almost frantic appeals of the benevolent minister, the obdurate and hard-hearted gamester became furious. He sprang from his couch and, suddenly raising his arm, his clenched fist fell on the cheek of the grayhaired old man with a force which sent him reeling to the other side of the room.
Stunned and dizzy at the shameful blow, the insulted pastor was for a moment nearly insensible; but quickly recovering, with all the calmness and gentleness of a minister of peace he again approached the ruthless insulter. “That was for me!" said he with a smile that might have become an angel, “now what have you to give to my poor!"
This was too much—the mingled simplicity, magnanimity and greatness of this reply, touched a chord in the breast of the profligate gamester that for years had forgotten to vibrate! For a moment he gazed like one stupified into the face of St. Aubyn, when all the pride and sternness of his heart gave way; and suddenly seizing his hand, he knelt at his feet and implored his forgiveness for the outrage of which he had been guilty. As may be easily imagined, he who could for the sake of others bear so much would not be slow to forgive, and as St. Aubyn freely pronounced
a pardon upon him, Moriére, the hardened profligate, the gamester and the debauchee, wept like the weakest child. He arose to his feet and opening a casket which stood near, he intreated the minister to take allall his ill-gotten gains and do with them as God directed!
What a moment of mingled joy, triumph and gratitude for the devoted pastor! Joy that the means of saving his flock from starvation were providentially placed in his hands-triumph that the heart of the obdurate and hardened sinner was at length melted, and gratitude at the unexpected munificence of the gift.
The casket contained a sum of not less than twenty thousand francs, and with this the good pastor was enabled to scatter comfort and plenty throughout his whole flock. A blessing seemed to follow it. A sudden frost appeared and the pestilence was stayed. The inhabitants returned once more to the city, but many of them to find the last remnant of their property destroyed. Then it was that St. Aubyn became convinced that the change in the character of Morière was radical and complete. He returned no more to the gaming-table or the house of debauch, but following in the footsteps of the minister of love, he devoted his whole income to purposes of benevolence. He re-established the ruined tradesmen in business; he gave employment to the artizan and laborer; he administered relief to the widow, and supported and educated the orphan, and was now as famed for his benevolence and virtue as he had formerly been for his profligacy and vice.
Of the subsequent life of either St. Aubyn or Morière little is positively known; but tradition speaks of a man by the name of Morière, who, immediately after the plague of Orleans, founded a society in that city, of which he was many years the principal leader, and which he during his life-time, as well as at his death, richly endowed. It is to be regretted that the accounts of this institution which have been preserved, are so vague and indefinite. They merely state that after its commencement it rapidly increased, until it embraced an immense number within its borders. That its members were generally a harmless people, remarkable for their benevolence towards each other and towards the widows and orphans of all those who died within its pale; but that it looked upon
with a jealous eye, and followed with a most unrelenting persecution by a portion of the nobility of Orleans, and with ridicule by others. As a mark of their contempt for its principles and patrons, this latter class of the nobility bestowed upon the society the appellation of " Les Compagnons-Cizarre." This name at first given as a badge of disgrace, was soon adopted by the society as its proper appellation, and by this was it ever afterwards known.
Since the period in which the foregoing incidents took place, nearly two centuries have gone by, and whether any remnant of the society "Les Compagnous-Cizarre" still exists, or whether it is to be numbered only among the things that were, it is impossible to say; yet it would be an interesting inquiry, and from the peculiarity of its name, a pertinent one, whether this society was not the original foundation of Odd-Fellowship in Europe. This inquiry could, however, at present be guided only by mere surmises; the subject is therefore left in all the obscurity in which it was found.
THE WHITE STEED OF THE PRAIRIE.”
BY CORNELIA, UP BALTIMORE COONTY.
List, list, to the tramp of the prairie's “white steed,”
No Mexican rider the “Jasso” has thrown
On the prairie's broad bosom no barriers rise;
Swist, swist, the bold huntsman and race-horse so fleet,
The wild barb of the desert on Araby's plain,
But no hand shall controul the proud steed of the West ;
Long, long, shalt thou traverse the far-stretching plain,
Tue necessities and weaknesses of man, if not the very instincts of his nature, have led him in every age to seek the aid of his fellows, in order to overcome by a combined effort difficulties insurmountable to a single arm. This necessity and weakness originated the principle of association, or at least gave opportunity for the developement of the natural instinct in which it has its foundation. By them it has been sustained, perpetuated and enlarged in the sphere of its operation until it has become the “lever that moves the world.” If we might be allowed a supposition, it would be, that associations commenced on the voluntary principle. Individuals found themselves involved in difficulties or beset with dangers, which single and alone they could not resist or overcome, and they were thus led to form alliances with others for interest or defence. Having found it easy by a united effort to overcome an enemy or or meet and obviate a difficulty, they naturally enough sought to extend their power by extending the circle of their associated action. As in all associations some must lead and others follow, so, the directing power began to concentrate, and ambition and avarice would turn the principle to their own personal aggrandizement. Thus thrones were built and nations established, and thus what originated in man's weakness came to be his greatest power, in fact the source of all human glory. The greatest nation, the most mighty empire the world ever saw, is but an association of individuals, and associated too, because of their own individual weakness. So of the greatest monarch that ever lived; he is in himself feeble as the humblest of his subjects, and he owes all his power to the single fact, that chance, accident, fortune, or the energies of his own mind, have placed him in a position where he could associate his fellow-creatures, and give direction to their united efforts. We look back and gaze at an Alexander, who strode in the might of his power over the oriental hemisphere, and caused an abject world to bow down and do him reverence. We talk of his mighty deeds, and his glorious victories, as if he was a god sent down to shake the earth with his single hand. But it is not so. He was but one man, and of himself feeble as others. He was the mere centre around which gathered the power of others, rendered great only by association. By fortune, or if you please by his own talents he became the leader of others, and was able to combine, associate and direct their action, and hence all his greatness. The mighty deeds attributed to him were done for him by the united and associated action of others. It was not Alexander alone that conquered the world. But it was Alexander associated with his fellow-men.
So of Napoleon, upon whom the world looks as a huge Colossus, towering far above the stature of men, and to whom crowns were toys, and kings but humble subjects. We gaze at his deeds and call him great. And so he was, but not of himself alone. Quite likely there were a thousand soldiers in his camp any one of whom would have been an overmatch for him in single combat. But he acquired (no matter how) the ability to combine and direct the united action of others, and to this he owes his greatness. The real power by which his victories were won, and his name made a terror to the dominions of the earth, was in the stout hearts and strong arms of the men of France. It was scattered all abroad over her vine-clad hills and through her sunny vales. Napoleon could call out that power, give it form and body by association, and direct its movements. He could do no more. Behold him in the height of his glory, the idol of his country and the wonder of the age. The young men of France with light hearts and sinewy arms rush to his standard, and ten thousand swords
leap from their scabbards and flash together in sunlight at his word. Europe trembles at the nodding of his plume or the neighing of his warsteed. But look at him again, and he is pining in solitude and in silence on the lonely rocks of “sea-girt Helena.” He is the same Napoleon still. His intellect is as capacious, his arm as strong, and in himself all that he
But he can no longer command the associated action of others, and like Sampson shorn of his locks, he is helpless as a little child and none so poor as to do him reverence. This is Napoleon alone. That was Napoleon associated with his fellow-man.
So of our own beloved Washington. We sing his praises, and laud his name, who in comparative poverty and weakness, met and conquered the most mighty nation of the earth. We would not pluck one laurel from his brow, nor take one star from that crown of honor, that an admiring world has so justly awarded him. But we love his name because it is associated with our country, and truth bids us remember that the real power, by which the victory of our freedom was won, was in the indomitable spirits and iron nerves of those dauntless men, who hung their sickles upon the wall, and left their ploughs in the furrow at the call of their country; associated for its defence, made Washington their leader, and with one heart and with one mind fought by his side, or died together in the breach. It was the principle of associated action, devoted to a glorious cause, and its fruits we are this day reaping. By this all human progress and improvement have been effected. The barbarian, wandering in nature's wilds, plucking the fruits as they grow, or destroying the game for his meat, and quenching his thirst with the waters of the gurgling rill, may furnish the poet with a theme for a pean to the Goddess of Natural Liberty; but he will be a barbarian still, and his children after him, will roam over the same uncultivated wastes, and sleep in the same caves and dens, until they learn to associate with others and combine their efforts for mutual good. Then, and not till then, will the march of improvement commence. Then, and not before, will green fields smile where the dense forest stood, and cheerful, glad voices be heard where now the wild beast howls and seeks his prey. Rome in her glory, seated upon
the throne of nations, was but one vast association, and robber as she was, she derived all her glory from the circumstance that she could concentrate the power of her millions in strong and resolute action to a given end. So of all the nations of antiquity and their works. Stupendous as those works must have been, they owe their existence to the weakness of man alone, and his power when organized and associated with others. Wonderful and almost incredible to an individual are these works.
A solitary traveller, as he stands upon some pyramid of old, whose top like the brow of a huge mountain is reared high towards heaven, and whose giant form sits amid solitude and ruin, may well wonder how human power could raise that mighty pile, which seems like an attempt to rival the eternal hills moulded in the hand of the Almighty himself. But let him go back through the dusk of ages past, and he shall see that solitude thronged with active life. The hum of busy workmen, the click of ten thousand hammers, and the creaking of pondrous engines shall break upon the ear and the principle of Association shall reveal a power which laughs at impossibilities, and is fully adequate to rear that massive structure, which has stood through long ages the wonder of the world. Though