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A priest once brought up an ourang-outang, which became so fond of him
that, wherever he went, it was always desirous of accompanying him.
Whenever therefore he had to perform the service of his church, he was
under the necessity of shutting it up in his room. Once, however, the
animal escaped, and followed the father to the church; where silently
mounting the sounding-board above the pulpit, he lay perfectly still till
the sermon commenced. He then crept to the edge, and overlooking the
preacher, imitated all his gestures in so grotesque a manner, that the
whole congregation were unavoidably urged to laugh. The father, surprised
and confounded at this ill-timed levity, severely rebuked his audience for
their inattention. The reproof failed in its effect; the congregation
still laughed, and the preacher in the warmth of his zeal redoubled his
vociferation and his action; these the ape imitated so exactly that the
congregation could no longer restrain themselves, but burst out into a
loud and continued laughter. A friend of the preacher at length stepped up
to him, and pointed out the cause of this improper conduct; and such was
the arch demeanour of the animal that it was with the utmost difficulty he
could himself command his gravity, while he ordered the servants of the
church to take him away.





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