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AN is subject to innumerable pains and forrows
by the very condition of humanity; and yet, as if nature had not sown evils enough in life, we are continually adding grief to grief, and aggravating the common calamity by our cruel treatment of one another. Every man's natural weight of afflictions is still made more heavy by the envy, malice, treachery, or injustice of his neighbour. At the same time that the storm beats upon the whole fpecies, we are falling foul upon one another.
Half the misery of human life might be extinguished, would men alleviate the general curse they lie under, by mutual offices of compassion, benevolence, and humanity. There is nothing therefore which we ought more to encourage in ourselves and others, than that dispoGtion of mind which in our language goes under the title of good-nature.
Good-nature is more agreeable in conversation than wit, and gives a certain air to the countenance which is more amiable than beauty. It shews virtue in the fairest light, takes off in fome measure from the deformity of vice, and makes even folly and impertinence supportable.
There is no fociety or conversation to be kept up in the world without good-nature, or something which must bear its appearance, and supply its place. For this reason mankind have been forced to invent a kind of artificial humanity, which is what we express by the word good-breeding. For if we examine thoroughly the idea of what we call fo, we shall find it to be nothing else but an imitation and mimickry of good-nature, or, in other terms, affability, complaisance, and easiness of temper reduced into an art.
These exterior shows and appearances of humanity render a man wonderfully popular and beloved, when
they are founded upon real good-nature; but, without it, are like hypocrify in religion, or a bare form of holinels, which, when it is discovered, makes a man more detestable than profeffed impiety.
Good-nature is generally born with us : Health, profperity, and kind treatment from the world, are great cherishers of it where they find it: But nothing is capable of forcing it up, where it does not grow of itself. It is one of the blessings of a happy constitution, which education may improve, but not produce.
E . fo
DWARD III, after the battle of Creffy, laid siege pregnable a manner, that all the efforts of France proved ineffectual to raise the fiege, or throw fuccours into the city. The citizens, under Count Vienne, their gallart governor, made an admirable defence. France had now put the fickle into her second harvest, since Edward with his victorious army sat down before the town.
of all Europe were intent on the issue. At length, a famine did more for Edward than arms. After suffering unheard-of calamities, they refolved to attempt the enemy's camp. They boldly fallied forth: The English joined battle ; and, after a long and desperate engagement, Count Vienne was taken prisoner, and the Citizens who survived the flaughter retired within their gates. The command
devolving devolving upon Euftace St Pierre, a man of mean birth but of exalted virtue; he offered to capitulate with Edward, provided he permitted them to depart with life and liberty. Edward, to avoid the imputation of cruelty, consented to spare the bulk of the plebeians, provided they delivered up to him fix of their principal citizens with halters about their necks, as victims of due atonement for that fpirit of rebellion with which they had inflamed the vulgar. When his meffenger, Sir Walter Mauny, delivered the terms, confternation and pale dismay were impressed on every countenance. To a long and dead filence, deep fighs and groans fucceeded, till Euftace St Pierre, getting up to a little eminence, thus addressed the affembly : “My friends, we are brought to great ftraits this day. We must either yield to the terms of our cruel and ensnaring conqueror, or give up our tender infants, our wives, and daughters, to the bloody and brutal lufts of the violating foldiers. Is there any expedient left, whereby we may avoid the guilt and infamy of delivering up those who have suffered every misery with you on the one hand, or the desolation and horrors of a facked city on the other ? There is, my friends, there is one expedient left; a gracious, an excellent, a God-like expedient! Is there here to whom virtue is dearer than life! Let him offer himself an oblation for the safety of his people! He shall not fail of a blefsed approbation from that Power, who offered up his only Son for the falvation of mankind !” He spoke ;-but an universal silence ensued. Each man looked around for the example of that virtue and magnanimity which all wished to approve in themselves, though they wanted the resolutioni. At length St Pierre refumed, “I doubt not but there are many here as ready, nay more zealous, of this martyrdom than I can be; though the station to which I am raised by the captivity of Lord Vienne, imparts a right to be the first in giving my life for your fakes. I give it freely; I give it cheerfully. Who comes next ?"
« Your fon," exclaimed a youth not yet come to matu-: rity" Ah, my child !" cried St Pierre, “ I am then twice facrificed. But, no ::I have tather begotten thee a second time. Thy years are few, but full, my son. The victim of virtue has' reached the utmost purpose and goal of mortality. Who next, my friends? This is the hour of heroes.” “Your kinsman,” cried John de Aire. • Your kinsman," cried James Wiffant. “ Your kinsman" cried Peter Wiffant - Ah !" exclaimed Sir Walter Mauny, bursting into tears, “why was not I a citizen of Calais !". The fixth victim was still wanting, but was quickly supplied by lot from numbers who were now emulous of fo ennobling an example. The keys of the city were then delivered to Sir Walter. He took the fix prisoners into his cuss tody; then' ordered the gates to be opened, and gave charge to his attendants to conduct the remaining citizens, with their families, through the camp of the English. Before they departed, however, they desired permission to take their last adieu of their deliverers. What a parting! What a scene! They crowded, with their wives and children, about St Pierre and his fellow-prisoners. They embraced ; they clung around 3 they fell proftrate before them. They groaned; they wept aloud ; and the joint clamour of their moarning passed the gates of the city, and was heard throughout the English camp. The English, by this time, wete apprised of what paffed within Calais. They heard the voice of lamentation, and their fouls were touched with compaffion. Each of the foldiers prepared a pottion of his own victuals, to welcome and entertain the half famished inhabitants, and they loaded them with as much as their present weakness was able to bear, in order to supply them with sustenance by the way. A€ length 'St Pierre and his fellow victims appeared under the conduct of Sir Walter and a guard. All the tents of the English were instantly emptied. The foldiers poured from all parts, and ranged themselves on each