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tirement, when night overtook me, and I implored the shelter of your hospitable roof.”—Here the youth paused, and the sage began :
“ The object of your pursuit is good, my son; and your not hitherto attaining it arises not from its non-existence, but from your errors in the pursuit of it. Happiness, my son, has not its seat in honours, pleasure, or riches : to be happy is in the power of every individual; to all, Heaven has given wisely; and those who receive what it bestows, with thankfulness and content, are the only happy.
Return then, my son, to thy possessions; employ the power of doing good, lent by thy Creator; and know that contentment is the substance, and happiness her shadow: those who have the on: possess the other.
[The Misery of a Being endowed with Sentiments
above its Capacity of Enjoyment, is thus admirably described in one of the Fables of Locman, the* Indian moralist.]
An elephant that had been peculiarly serviceable in fighting* the battles of Vistnou, was ordered by the god to wish for whatever he thought proper, and the desire should be attended with immediate gratification. The elephant thanked his benefactor on bended knees, and desired to be endowed with the reason and the faculties of man.
Vistnou was sorry to hear the foolish request, and endeavoured to dissuade him from his misplaced ambition; but, finding it to no purpose, he granted what he asked. The reasoning elephant went away rejoicing in his new acquisition; and, though its body still retained its ancient form, he found his passions and appetites entirely altered. He first considered that it would be not only more comfortable, but also much more becoming, to wear clothes : but, unhappily, he had no method of making them himself, nor had he the use of speech to demand them from others; and this was the first time he felt real anxiety. He soon perceived how much more elegantly men were fed than he; therefore he began to loath his usual food, and longed for those delicacies which adorn the tables of princes; but here again he found it impossible to be satisfied; for, though he could easily obtain flesh, yet he could not dress it. In short, every pleasure that contributed to the felicity of mankind, served only to render him more miserable, as he found himself utterly deprived of the power of enjoyment. this manner he led a repining, discontented life, detesting himself, and regretting his ill-judged ambition; till at last, his benefactor, Vistnou, taking compassion on his forlorn situation, restored him to the ignorance and the happiness which he was originally formed to enjoy.—GOLDSMITH.
JOHN BAPTIST LANGUET.
LANGUET, Doctor of the Sorbonne, and Vicar of St. Sulpice, at Paris, was one of those extraordinary men whom Providence raises up for the relief of the indigent and wretched, for the good of society, and the glory of nations. He was born at Dijon in 1675, and, after having made some progress in his studies in his native place, he continued them at Paris, and resided in the seminary of St. Sulpice. In 1698 he was received into the Sorbonne, and took his degree with applause; and, a few years afterwards, having taken orders at Vienne, in Dauphiné, he returned to Paris, took
his degree of Doctor, and from that time attached himself to the community of St. Sulpice; M. de la Chatardie, who was vicar there, choosing him for his curate. Languet continued curate nearly ten years, and sold his patrimony to relieve the poor. During this period, M. de la St. Vallier, Bishop of Quebec, being prisoner in England, requested of the king, that Languet might be his assistant in North America. Languet, prompted by his zeal for the conversion of infidels, was about to accept of the place, but his friends advised him to decline the voyage, as his constitution was by no means strong. He succeeded M. de la Chatardie, Vicar of St. Sulpice, in 1714.
His parish-church being out of repair, and scarcely fit to hold twelve hundred persons, whereas the parish contained one hundred and twenty-five thousand inhabitants, he conceived the design to build a church proportionable to the number of inhabitants, and worthy of the capital of the kingdom. He began his enterprise with only one hundred crowns, trusting to the generosity of the public to carry it on, and was not disappointed ; donations were sent him from all quarters, and the Duke of Orleans permitted him to apply to that purpose the profits of a lottery. The prince laid the first stone of the building, in the year 1718; and Mr. Languet, during the remainder of his life, spared neither pains nor expence to render his church one of the most magnificent in the world. It was consecrated in 1745, with much splendour, and the king of Prussia, Frederic II. wrote the following letter to this worthy priest :SIR,
Postdam, Oct. 4, 1748. “ I have received with pleasure the account of the consecration of your church. The order and magnificence of the ceremonies cannot fail to give one a great idea of the beauty of the building which has been the object of them, and are sufficient to characterize your good taste; but that which I am persuaded distinguishes you much more, is the piety, beneficence, and zeal, which you have displayed throughout the whole undertaking-qualities which, however necessary in a man of your function, do not, on that account, the less merit the esteem and attention of all mankind: it is to these, Sir, that you owe the testimony which I am desirous to give you of my esteem. I pray God to have you in his holy protection.
ANOTHER work, which does no less honour to this worthy priest, is the establishment of La Maison de l'Enfant Jésus. This establishment, which has proved highly beneficial to the community, is, perhaps, the best calculated, of all his benevolent institutions, to exhibit with advantage the talents and merits of Mr. Languet. It consisted of from thirty to thirty-five young ladies, of noble descent, but poor; those were preferred whose ancestors had been in the king's service. · Here they were boarded and educated in a manner suitable to their birth; but, in the meantime, were employed, by turns, in superintending the bake-house, the poultry-yard, the dairy, the laundry, the dispensary, the repository for linen, the spinning-rooms, and the objects of household management; by which means they became good housewives, and were enabled to be useful to their relations in the country. Besides, the habits to which they were accustomed, of assisting, by a thousand little charitable offices, the poor women and girls who worked in the house, rendered them more affable, humble, obliging, and fitter for society, than if they had associated only with persons of noble blood. A second object of this establishment was, to afford an asylum to more than eight hundred poor women and girls destitute of the means of support, who were provided with daily food, and made to earn their support chiefly by spinning cotton and linen. They were divided into different classes, over each of which presided two ladies of the congregation of St. Thomas de Villeneuve, of which Mr. Languet was Superior-general; their business was to oversee the work, and to give instructions to the workwomen, and they never left the room until they were relieved by others. This establishment has proved a happy retreat for numerous unfortunate women, who, when they left the house, received the amount of what they had earned by their labour. Mr. Languet was indefatigable in providing for their comfort, as well as for their religious and moral improvement. Though the land attached to the house consisted of only seventeen French acres, yet it afforded pasture to a sufficient number of cows, to give inilk for upwards of two thousand children in the parish; the bake-house furnished more than 100,000 pounds of bread monthly, which was distributed among the poor. The order and regularity with which every department in this house was conducted either for the instruction, employment, or support, of such a number of persons, were so admirable, and gave so high an idea of the directing hand, that Cardinal Fleury wished to get Mr. Languet appointed superintendantgeneral of all the hospitals in the kingdom. The expense of this establishment was immense: he spent his whole revenue