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Marseilles' Good Bishop

In 1720 and 1722 the plague made dreadful havoc at Marseilles. The Bishop, H. F. Xavier de Belsunce, was indefatigable in the pastoral office, and spent his whole time visiting the sick. During the plague of London, Sir John Lawrence, the then Lord Mayor, was no less conspicuous in his benevolence. He supported 40,000 dismissed servants so long as his fortune lasted, and, when he had spent his own money, collected and distributed the alms of the nation. Darwin refers to these philanthropists in his Loves of the Plants, ii, 433. (See Borromeo.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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