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chamber, where he locked me up. Here I was confined three days, uncertain of my destiny; and saw no one but a servant of my friend's, who came from time to time to bring me provisions." The" duke, three days afterwards, left Iris cell, and the murdering and pillaging were at an end.
Mr. Constance. We thank you for the account, William : but it will no doubt surprise you and the rest of the company, to know, that these shocking acts took place by the order of a man, who at his death, (which happened in the year following,) had only attained the age of twentyfive; and that when intelligence of the massacre was received at Rome, the greatest rejoicings were made; whilst the person who brought the news, was rewarded with one thousand crowns. The pope and cardinals, it is said, went in solemn procession to the church of St. Mark, to give thanks to God; the cannon were fired from the Castle of St. Angelo; and a jubilee published, commemorative of the event. Such were the effects of blind enthusiasm; by which the ignorant were taught to believe that the massacre, dreadful as it was, became a sacrifice pleasing to the eye of God, and that each individual murderer had deserved well of his country. But we will turn from the recollection of such deeds, to the consideration of the next day of importance.
Charles. Which, I perceive, is the 28th, sacred to St. Augustine. I wish to know, William, if it be the Augustine who was converted to Christianity by the forcible eloquence of St. Ambrose, mentioned in the month of April?
William. It is: Augustine was born at Thagaste, in Africa, in the year 354, of poor but respectable parents, who gave him a good education, and thereby laid the foundation of his future greatness. At the age of sixteen he went to Carthage to study the classics, but having acquired some bad habits before his arrival there, he continued to indulge in them for a considerable while. He, however, made such progress in his studies, as to be able publicly to teach rhetoric before he left that city. He then went to Rome, and ultimately to Milan, at both of which places he continued his exertions. At the latter city he heard St. Ambrose, with whom he soon became intimately acquainted, and from whom he first received the truths of Christianity. Charles. What age was he then? William. Thirty-two; and from which period, until he had attained the age of seventy-six, he was in the constant habit of practising and enforcing the Christian commandments.
Charles. Did he fill any prominent station in the church?
William. Yes: about the year 392, he was advanced by Valerius, from the office of priest, to the dignity of Bishop of Hippo; which high station he held till the period of his death, in 430, at the advanced age of seventy-six.
Mr. Constance. St. Augustine is supposed to have been the founder of the first order of friars, who were called Augustine Friars, and from which association sprung many others. His conduct after the indiscretion of his youthful days, appears to have been irreproachable. He is stated to have possessed a sublime genius, an indefatigable application, an invincible patience, a sincere Piety, and a subtle and lively wit; qualities which are, no doubt, particularly displayed in the course of his voluminous writings. His friends were so fortunate as to preserve his works from the fury of the Vandals, who laid siege to Hippo soon after his death. They are said to have been the foundation of scholastic divinity; and were afterwards published by the Benedictines: they are now held in great estimation by the Greek church.
Mrs. Constance. The character of St. Augustine is another example to youth of what may be attained by perseverance, and close attention to study and pious duties. Bom of humble parents, and having to contend with the difficulties attendant on an obscure station, he made bis way to the highest offices of a profession which required great learning, and a complete command over his passions; and has left to posterity the fruits of a long and a well spent life.
William. John Baptist beheaded, is placed opposite to the 29th of this month, but as his biography and cruel martyrdom were noticed by us at length, in June, it is now only necessary for me to inform you, that this was the day on which the church of England formerly commemorated his decapitation. The offices are abolished, or rather confined to one day, the 24th of June.
The few days of note in the calendar for August, rendered the particular business of the evening of short duration. Our party did not, however, immediately separate, but beguiled the time in soliciting information of their preceptors, on those parts of the previous Conversation which they did not comprehend. Mr. Constance was well pleased to observe their anxiety for improvement, and encouraged, by his ready replies, that spirit of inquiry, which appeared to prevail among them. He also took a retrospective viewof their little monthly meetings,—the progress they were making on the road to knowledge—with the benefits that would result f.om their continuance in the same course ; and impressed on their minds, that in every station or condition, opportunities were afforded for the develop
ment of their powers; and that there was no sphere, however confined, but what admitted of a benevolent exercise of their faculties. "Nature (he said) at this season, inspires us to good works; for while we observe the summer's sun going 'forth in his might' and dispensing throughout the world his cheering influence, it is impossible for t e human heart to remain unaffected by the most valued emotions. It is called upon to extend its powers of usefulness, and to diffuse, like the sun's benignant rays, joy, happiness, and bounty." In conclusion, Mr. Constance remarked that their future welfare here, depended on the use which they made of the summer of their days, and that a pleasing hope of immortality hereafter, would arise in their minds, from the knowledge that they had shunned the path of-vice and folly, and paid the adoration of their thoughts to the great Parent of existence. With these and similar remarks the time passed on, until night had spread her mantle o'er the earth, and warned all creatures of their resting time. With an affectionate farewell from each, the party at length separated.
1 He absence of Angelina, on a visit to some friends in the country, occasioned a blank in this month's meeting, which was not easily reconciled to her youthful friends. They all expressed great disappointment that she had not returned; more especially as she had led them to anticipate the happiness of her company as heretofore. Mrs. Constance, however, satisfied their kind inquiries after her daughter's health, and stated that Angelina certainly would have been present, according to her promise, but that, as is too frequently the case, the earnest solicitations of friends present, had prevailed on her to break the engagements made with those that were distant. "But," continued she, unfolding a letter, " you shall hear her own defence; and perhaps, as a letter is frequently the counterpart of the writer, you will, by a trifling call upon your fancy, be enabled to imagine yourselves still in possession of her company. She then proceeded to read the following:—•
"My Dear Mamma,
"I am fearful that by neglecting to fulfil the promise made in my last, that I would return by the 1st of the month, to be present at the meeting of my young companions, I shall incur your serious displeasure, and be the occasion of much disappointment to others. A sense of