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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way--by burning all that he had by him of a yet unpublished opera.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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