« НазадПродовжити »
and great Anxieties; but sees it in quite another Light; his Griefs are momentary, and his Joys Immortal, Reflection upon Death is not a gloomy and sad Thought of resigning every Thing that he delights in, but it is a short Night followed by an endless Day. What I would here contend for is, that the more Virtuous the Manis, the nearer he will naturally be to the Character of Genteel and Agreeable. A Man whose Fortune is Plentiful, shews an Ease in his Countenance, and Confidence in his Behaviour, which he that is under Wants and Difficulties cannot assume. It is thus with the State of the Mind; he that governs his Thoughts with the everlasting Rules of Reason and Sense,muft have some. thing so inexpressibly Graceful in his Words and Actions, that every Circumstance must become him. The Change of Persons or Things around him do not at all alter his Situation, but he looks disinterested in the Occurrences with which others are distracted, because the greatest Purpose of his Life is to maintain an Indifference both to it and all its Enjoyments. In a word, to be a Fine Gentleman, is to be a Generous and a Braye Man. What can make a Man so mucli in conftant good Humour and Shine, as we call it, than to be Supported by what can never fail him, and to believe that whatever happens to him was the best thing that could poffibly befal him, or else he on whom it depends would not have permitted it to have befallen him at all? R
Monday, May 28.
HER E is nothing so common, as to find a Max
you take to be of an uniform Temper, subject to such unaccountable Stars of Humour and Passion, that he is as much unlike himself, and differs as much from the Man you at first thought him, as any two diftinét Persons can differ from each other. This proceeds from the Want of forming fome Law of Life to ow felves, or fixing fomnc Notion of things in general, which may affect us in luch Manner as to create proper Habits both in our Minds N 4
and Bodies. The Negligence of this, leaves us exposed not only to an unbecoming Levity in our usual Conversation, but also to the fame Instability in our Friendships, Interests, and Allianses. A Man who is but a mere Spectator of what rafies around him, and not engaged in Commerces of any Confideration, is but an ill Judge of the secret Motions of the Heart of Man, and by what Degrees it is actuated to make such visible Alterations in the Tame Person : But ac the same Time, when a Man is no way concerned in the Effeet of such Inconfiftences in the Behaviour of Men of the World, the Speculation must be in the utmost Degree both diverting and instructive; yet to enjoy such Observations in the highest Relish, he ought to be placed in a Post of Die section, and have the dealing of their Fortunes to them. I have therefore been wonderfullydiverted with some Pieces of secret Hiftory, which an Antiquary, my very good Friend, lent me as a Curiosity. They are Memoirs.of the private Life of Pharamond of France." Pharamond, says
my Author, was a Prince of infinite Humanity and Ge• nerofity, and at the same time the most pleasant and face• tious Companion of his Time. He had a peculiar Tafte in • him (which would have been unlucky in any Prince but
himself,) he thought there could be no exquisite Pleasure • in Conversation but among Equals zand would pleasantly ' bewail himselfthat he always lived in a Crowd, but was the
only Man in France that never could get into Company. • This Twin of Mind made him delight in Midnight Ram• bles, attended only with one Person of his Bedchamber : * He would in these Excursions get acquainted with Men * (whose Temper he had a Mind to try) and recommend
them privately to the particular Observation of his first • Minister. He generally found himself neglected by his
new Acquaintance as soon as they had Hopes of growing great; and used on such Occasions to remark, That it was
a great Injustice to tax Princes of forgetting themselves in ' their high Fortunes, when there were so few that could ' with Constancy bear the Favour of their very Creatures. My Author in these loose Hints has one Paffage that gives us a very lively Idea of the uncommon Genius of Pharamond. He met
with one Man whom he had put to all the usu. al Proofs he made of those he had a Mind to know throughly, and found him for his purpose : In Discourse
with him one Day, he gave him Opportunity of saying how much would satisfie all his Wishes, The Prince immediate. ly revealed himself, doubled the Sum, and spoke to him in this Manner. " Sir, You have twice what you desired, by the “ Favour of Pharamond; but look to it that you are satisfied “ with it, for 'tis the last you fall ever receive. Ifrom this Mo“ ment consider you as mine ; and to make you truly fo, I give you my Royal Word you shall never be greater or less than you are at present. Answer me not, (concluded the Prince
smiling) but enjoy the Fortune I have put you in, which “ is above my own Condition ; for you have hereafter no" thing to hope or to fear.
HIS Majesty having thus well chofen and bought a Friend and Companion, he enjoyed alternately all the Pleafures of an agreeable private Man and a great and powerful Monarch: He gave himself, with his Companion, the Name of the merry Tyrant; for he punished his Courtiers for their Insolence and Folly, not by any Act of publick Disfavour, but by humorously practising upon their Imaginations. If he observed a Man untractable to his Inferiors, he would find an opportunity to take some favourable Notice of him, and render him insupportable. He knew all his o:vn Looks, Words and Actions had their Interpretations; and his friend Monsieur Eucrate (for so he was called) having a great Soul without Ambition, he could communicate all his Thoughts to him, and fear no artful Ure would be made of that Freedom. It was no small Delight when they were in private to reflect upon all which had passed in publick.
PHARA MOND would often, to satisfie a vain Fool of Power in his Country, talk to him in a full Court, and with one Whisper make him despise all his old Friends and Acquaintance. He was come to that knowledge of Men by long Observation, that he would profels altering the whole Mass of Blood in' some Tempers, by thrice speaking to them. As Fortune was in his Power, he gave hirnself conftant Entertainment in managing the mere Fol. lowers of it with the Treatment they deserved. He would by a skilful Caft of his Eye and half a Smile, make two Fellows who hated, embrace and fall upon
each other's Neck with as much Eagerness, as if they followed their real Inclinations, and intended to life one another, When
he was in high good Humour, he would lay the Scene with Eucrate, and on a publick Night exercise the Passions of his whole Court. He was pleafed to see an haughty Beauiy watch the Looks of the Man she had long defpiled, from Observation of his being taken Notice of by Pharamond; and the Lover conceive higher Hopes, than to follow the Woman he was dying for the Day before. In a Court, where Men speak Affection in the ftrongest Terms, and Dislike in the fainteft, it was a comical Mixture of Incidents to see Disguises thrown afide in one Cafe and encreased on the other, according as Favour or Difgrace attended the respective objects of Mens Approbation or Difesteem, Pharamond in his Mirth upon the Meanness of Mankind used to say, “As he could take away a Man's Five Senses, • he could give him an Hundred. The Man in Disgrace shall . immediately lose all his natural Endowments, and he that ' finds Favour have the Attributes of an Angel.” He would carry is so far as to say, ' It should not be only so in the O. pinion of the lower Part of his Court, but the Men themselves shall think thus meanly or greatly of themselves as they are out or in the good Graces of a Court.
A Monarch who had Wit and Humour like Pharamond, must have Pleasures which no Man else can ever have Opportunity of enjoying. He gave Fortune to none but those whom he knew could receive it without Transport: He made a noble and generous Use of his Observations; and did not regard his Ministers as they were agreeable to himself, but as they were useful to his Kingdom : By this Means the King appeared in every Officer of State; and no Mar kad a Participation of the Power, who had not a Similitude of the Virtue of Pharamond,
Tuesday, May 29.
Non convivere licet, nec Urbe tota
Sort of Men who are very often absent in Conver
sation, and what the French call a raveur and a diftrait. A little before our Club-time last Night we were
walking together in Somerset Garden, where WILL, had picked up a small Pebble of so odd a Make, that he said he would present it to a Friend of his, an eminent Virtuoso. After we had walked some time, I made a full stop with my Face towards the West, which Will, knowing to be my usual Method of asking what's a Clock, in an Afternoon, immediately pulled out his Watch, and told me we had seven Minutes good. We took a turn or two inore, when, to my great Surprize, I saw him squirr away his Watch a considerable way into the Thames, and with great Sedateness in his Looks put up the Pebble, he had before found, in his Fob. As I have naturally an Aversion to much Speaking, and do not love to be the Messenger of ill News, especially when it comes too late to be useful, I left him to be convinced of his Mistake in due time, and continued my Walk, reflecting on these little Absences and Distractions in Mankind, and resolving to make them the Subject of a future Speculation.
I was the more confirmed in my Design, when I cona sidered that they were very often Blemishes in the Characters of Men of excellent Sense; and helped to keep up the Reputation of that Latin Proverb, which Mr. Dryden has Translated in the following Lines :
Great Wit to Madness sure is near ally'd,
And thin Partitions do their Bounds divide, My Reader does, I hope, perceive, that I distinguish a Man who is Absent, because he thinks of something else, from one who is Absent, because he thinks of nothing at all: The latter is too innocent a Creature to be taken notice of; but the Distractions of the former may, I believe, be generally accounted for from one of these Reasons.
ŽITHER their Minds are wholly fixed on some particuJar Science, which is often the Case of Mathematicians and other learned Men; or are wholly taken up with some Violent Passion, such as Anger, Fear, or Love, which ties the Mind to some distant Object; or, lastly, these Distractions proceed from a certain Vivacity and Fickleness in a Man's Temper, which while it raises up infinite Numbers of Ideas in the Mind, is continually pushing it on, without allowing it to reft on any particular Image. Nothing therefore is more unnatural than the Thoughts and Conceptions of such a Man, which are seldom occafioned either by the Company he is in, or any of those