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A Composition With Conscience








Lully, the composer, being once thought mortally ill, his friends called
a confessor, who, finding the patient's state critical, and his mind
very ill at ease, told him that he could obtain absolution only one
way--by burning all that he had by him of a yet unpublished opera. The
remonstrance of his friends was in vain; Lully burnt the music, and the
confessor departed well pleased. The composer, however, recovered, and
told one of his visitors, a nobleman who was his patron, of the sacrifice
he had made to the demands of the confessor. "And so," cried the nobleman,
"you have burnt your opera, and are really such a blockhead as to
believe in the absurdities of a monk!" "Stop, my friend, stop," returned
Lully; "let me whisper in your ear: I knew very well what I was
about--I have another copy."

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