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kings, armed against each other, ravage the earth, already laid waste by other scourges, Vincent de Paul, the son of a husbandman of Gascony, repaired the public calamities, and distribụted more than twenty millions of lives in Champagne, in Picardy, in Lorraine, in Artois, where the inhabitants of whole villages were dying through want, and were afterwards left in the fields without burial, until he undertook to defray the expenses of interment. He discharged, for some time, an office of zeal and charity towards the gallies. He saw, one day, a wretched galleyslave, who had been condemned to three years confinement for smuggling, and who appeared inconsolable on account of his wife and children having been left in the greatest distress. Vincent de Paul, sensibly affected with his situation, offered to put himself in his stead, and, what doubtless will scarcely be credited, the exchange was accepted. This virtuous man was chained among the crew of galley-slaves, and his feet continued to be swollen during the remainder of his life, from the weight of those honourable irons which he had borne.
It is evident how much an action like this is capable of suggesting to the mind of an Orator; and that he would be unworthy of his profession, if he related it without exciting tears.
When this great man came to Paris, foundlings were sold in the streets of St. Landry for twenty sous a piece ; and the charge of these innocent creatures was committed, out of charity, as was reported, to diseased women, from whom they sucked corrupted milk.
These infants whom Government abandoned to public compassion, almost all perished; and such as happened to escape so many dangers were introduced clandestinely into opulent families, in order to dispossess the legitimate heirs. This, for more than a century, was a never-failing source of litigation, the particulars of which are to be found in the compilation of our old lawyers.
Vincent de Paul at once provided funds for the maintainance of twelve of these children. His charity was soon extended to the relief of all those who were left exposed at the doors of the churches. But that unusual zeal, which always gives life to a new institution, having cooled, the resources entirely failed, and fresh outrages were renewed on humanity.
Vincent de Paul was not discouraged. He convoked an extraordinary assembly. He caused a number of those wretched infants to be placed in the church ; and forthwith mounting the pulpit, he pronounced, with his eyes bathed in tears, that discourse, which doth as much honour to his piety as his Eloquence, and which I faithfully transcribe from the history of his life, drawn up by M. Abelly, Bishop of Rhodes.
• Compassion and charity have assuredly indu: 'ced you, Ladies, to adopt these little creatures ' for your children. You have been their mothers
by kindness, since their mothers by nature have < forsaken them. See, now, whether
also are 'willing to abandon them. Cease, for the present, to be their mothers, that ye may become their judges. Their life and their death are in
hands. I am going to put it to the vote, • and to take the suffrages. It is time to pro• nounce their sentence, and to know if ye are unwilling to have compassion any longer upon them.
They will live, if ye continue to take a charita·ble care of them, and they will all die if ye aban- . • don them.'
Sighs were the only answer to this pathetic exhortation : and the same day, in the same church, at the very same time, the Foundling Hospital at Paris was founded and endowed with a revenue of forty thousand livres. *
* The success attending this discourse of Vincent de Paul, in the erection of the Foundling Hospital at Paris, is elsewhere ($ 48) compared to that of the Bishop of Worcester's sermon, which influenced the public benevolence to found an Hospital for Innoculation in London ; and hence our author is led to remark, that “ Eloquence could not ob“tain a more excellent triumph.” In addition to those two instances of successful discourse, it may be added, that, in consequence of Ridley's sermon alms, King Ed. ward the Sixth founded St. Bartholemew's Hospital for the sick and wounded, Bride well for the wilfully idle and mad,
This is the man, who scarcely possesses any fame in Europe ! This is the man, who, according to the judgment of his enemies, had zeal only without talents! His life was interwoven with good works, the benefit of which we still enjoy.
The misfortune of S. Vincent de Paul (if it be one to be little praised, and even little known), was not to be celebrated, when he died in 1661, by that eloquent Bossuet who immortalized all his heroes, and who, at the very time, was composing funeral orations for subjects far less deserving of his genius. But the honour of a public Panegyric is due to his virtues; and the Orator, who shall represent him in a point of view worthy of the admiration and gratitude of his fellow-citizens, will have deserved well of his country.*
and Christ Church for orphans.-BURNETT's History of the Reformation.
* This singular character is styled the “ Founder and • first Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission." BAYLE's Dictionary, vol. i. p. 36.
The account given by our author of this great and good man, brings to recollection the benevolent and patrtotic exertions of the late excellent and well known Jonas HANway, in behalf of chimney-sweepers' apprentices, and on other occasions. . It was his maxim that one vigorous and “well-concerted remonstrance of a real evil must be more • effectual than a thousand vague complaints.' He himself made a vigorous and well-concerted remonstrance in behalf of infant parish-poor in London and Westminster, entered
OF DESCRIBING CHARACTERS.
tions, for Orators to sketch the portraiture of contemporaries who have been the rivals or antagonists of the man whose virtues are praised. Such passages are commonly criticised with so much the more severity, as they always indicate design ; and the Auditor is uninterested in hearing them, unless a distinguished precision immediately impress them on his memory ; un
into the melancholy detail of mismanagement and neglect, published authentic lists of their mortality, which was al. most universal, encountered the resentment of parish offi. cers of all ranks by publishing their names, informed himself of the best methods in practice, both at home and abroad, for preserving poor infants. After persevering for years in investigating the evil and the remedy, he, at length, in 1766, by his own exertions, and at his sole expence, obtained an act of parliament, which, from its beneficial influence, was called by poor people, the act for keeping children alive.
The life of Jonas HANWAY, is a series of benerolent intentions, recommended by his writings, promoted by his bounty, and accomplished by unceasing industry. All his • efforts, except his opposition to the bill for naturalizing the * Jews, were dictated by a wise, liberal, and enlarged bene6 volence. We calculate, with pleasing admiration, how • much it is possible for a good man zealously affected to accomplish. * In every good work that he began, he did it with all his might, and prospered.'-CHARTER's Sermon on Alms, p. 40, and HANWAY's Life, by Pugh.