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cis, and was so far concealed in a long beard, a shaven head, and a religious habit, that it was impossible to discover the man of the world in the venerable conventual.
As he was one morning shut up in his confessional, Constantia kneeling by him opened the state of her soul to him; and after having given him the history of a life full of innocence, she burst out into tears, and entered upon that part of her story in which he himself had so great a share. My behaviour,' says she, has I fear been the death of a man who had no other fault but that of loving me too much. Heaven only knows how dear he was to me whilst be lived, and how bitter the remembrance of him has been to me since his death.' She here paused, and lifted up her eyes that streamed with tears towards the father; who was so moved with the sense of her sorrows, that he could only command his voice, which was broke with sighs and sobbings, so far as to bid her proceed. She followed his directions, and in a flood of tears poured out her heart before him. The father could not forbear weeping aloud, insomuch that in the agonies of his grief the seat shook under him. Constantia, who thought the good man was thus moved by his compassion towards her, and by the horror of her guilt, proceeded with the utmost contrition to acquaint him with that vow of virginity in which she was going to engage herself, as the proper atonement for her sins, and the only sacrifice she could make to the memory of Theodosius. The father, who by this time had pretty well composed himself, burst out again in tears upon hearing that name to which he had been so long disused, and upon receiving this instance of an unparalleled fidelity from one who he thought had several years since given herself up to the possession of another. Amidst the interruptions
of his sorrow, seeing his penitent overwhelmed with grief, he was only able to bid her from time to time abe comforted-to tell her that her sins were forgiven her-that her guilt was not so great as she appreehended-that she should not suffer herself to be afflicted above measure. After which he recovered himself enough to give her the absolution in form; directing her at the same time to repair to him again the next day, that he might encourage her in the pious resolutions she had taken, and give her suitdable exhortations for her behaviour in it. Constantia retired, and the next morning renewed her applications. Theodosius having manned his soul with proper thoughts and reflections, exerted himself on $ this occasion in the best manner he could to animate his penitent in the course of life she was entering upon, and wear out of her mind those groundless fears and apprehensions which had taken possession of it; concluding with a promise to her, that he would from time to time continue his admonitions when she should have taken upon her the holy veil. The rules of our respective orders,' says he,' will not permit that I should see you, but you may assure yourself not only of having a place in my prayers, but of receiving such frequent instructions as I can convey to you by letters. Go on cheerfully in the glorious course you have undertaken, and you will quickly find such a peace and satisfaction in your mind, which it is not in the power of the world to - give.'
Constantia's heart was so elevated with the discourse of father Francis, that the very next day she entered upon her vow. As soon as the solemnities of her reception were over, she retired, as it is usual, with the abbess into her own apartment.
The abbess had been informed the night before of all that had passed between her noviciate and
father Francis: from whom she now delivered to her the following letter:
'As the first fruits of those joys and consolations which you may expect from the life you are now engaged in, I must acquaint you that Theodosius, whose death sits so heavy upon your thoughts, is still alive; and that the father, to whom you have confessed youself, was once that Theodosius whom you so much lament. The love which we have had for one another will make us more happy in its disappointment than it could have done in its success. Providence has disposed of us for our advantage, though not according to our wishes. Consider your Theodosius still as dead, but assure yourself of one who will not cease to pray for you in father
Constantia saw that the hand-writing agreed with the contents of the letter: and upon reflecting on the voice of the person, the behaviour, and above all the extreme sorrow of the father during her confession, she discovered Theodosius in every particular. After having wept with tears of joy, 'It is enough,' says she, Theodosius is still in being: I shall live with comfort and die in peace.'
The letters which the father sent her afterwards are yet extant in the nunnery where she resided; and are often read to the young religious, in order to inspire them with good resolutions and sentiments of virtue. It so happened, that after Constantia had lived about ten years in the cloister, a violent fever broke out in the place, which swept i away great multitudes, and among others Theodosius. Upon his death-bed he sent his benediction in a very moving manner to Constantia, who at that
time was so far gone in the same fatal distemper, that she lay delirious. Upon the interval which generally precedes death in sickness of this nature, the abbess, finding that the physicians had given her over, told her that Theodosius was just gone before her, and that he had sent her his benediction in his last moments.. Constantia received it with pleaAnd now,' says she, if I do not ask any thing improper, let me be buried by Theodosius. My vow reaches no farther than the grave; what I ask is, I hope, no violation of it.'-She died soon after, and was interred according to her request.
Their tombs are still to be seen, with a short Latin inscription over them to the following pur
Here lie the bodies of father Francis aud sister Constance. They were lovely in their lives, and in C. their deaths they were not divided.'
No 165. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1711.
Si fortè necesse est,
HOR. Ars Poet. v. 48.
- If you would unheard-of things express, Invent new words; we can indulge a muse, Until the licence rise to an abuse.
I HAVE often wished, that as in our constitution there are several persons whose business is to watch over our laws, our liberties, and commerce, certain men might be set apart as superintendants of our
language, to hinder any words of a foreign coin from passing among us; and in particular to prohibit any French phrases from becoming current in this kingdom, when those of our own stamp are altogether as valuable. The present war has so adulterated our tongue with strange words, that it would be impossible for one of our great grandfathers to know what his posterity have been doing, were he to read their exploits in a modern newspaper. Our warriors are very industrious in propagating the French language, at the same time that they are so gloriously successful in beating down their power. Our soldiers are men of strong heads for action, and perform such feats as they are not able to express. They want words in their own tongue to tell us what it is they achieve, and therefore send us over accounts of their performances in a jargon of phrases, which they learn among their conquered enemies. They ought however to be provided with secretaries, and assisted, by our foreign ministers, to tell their story for them in plain English, and to let us know in our mother tongue what it is our brave countrymen are about. The French would indeed be in the right to publish the news of the present war in English phrases, and make their campaigns unintelligible. Their people might flatter themselves that things are not so bad as they really are, were they thus palliated with foreign terms, and thrown into shades and obscurity; but the English cannot be too clear in their narrative of those actions, which have raised their country to a higher pitch of glory than it ever yet arrived at, and which will be still the more admired the better they are explained.
For my part, by that time a siege is carried on two or three days, I am altogether lost and bewildered in it, and meet with so many inexplicable