« AnteriorContinuar »
ly, and found himn for his purpose: in discourse with him one day, he gave him opportunity of saying how much would satisfy all his wishes. The prince immediately revealed himself, doubled the sum, and spoke to himn in this manner. 6 Sir, You have twice 66 what you desired, by the favour of Pharamond ; “ but look to it, that you are satisfied with it, for it is 6 the last you shall ever receive. I from this moli ment consider you as mine; and to make you truly “ so, I give you my royal word you shall never be 66 greater or less than you are at present. Answer
me not,” concluded the prince smiling, “ but en6 joy the fortune I have put you in, which is above my « own condition; for you have hereafter nothing to “ hope or to fear.”
His majesty having thus well chosen and bought a friend and companion, he enjoyed alternately all the pleasures 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 public 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 own 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 use would be made of that freedom. It was no small delight when they were in private to reflect upon all which had passed in public.
Pharamond would often, to satisfy 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 profess altering the whole mass of blood in some tempers by thrice speaking to them. As fortune was in his power, he gave himself constant entertainment in managing the mere followers of it with the treatment they deserved. He would, by a skilful cast 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 stifle one another. When he was in high good humour, he would lay the scene with Eucrate, and on a public night exercise the passions of his whole court. He was pleased to see an haughty beauty watch the looks of the man she had long despised, 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 strongest terms, and dislike in the faintest, it was a comical mixture of incidents to see disguises thrown aside in one case and increased on the other, according as favour or disgrace attended the respective objects of men's approbation or disesteem. 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. 16 The man in disgrace shall immediately lose all his « natural endowments, and he that finds favour have 6 the attributes of an angel.” He would carry it so far as to say, “ It should not be only so in the opinion 6 of the lower part of the court, but the men them. 56 selves, shall think thus meanly or greatly of them“ selves as they are out, or in the good graces of a 6 court." · A monarch, who had wit and humour like Pharamond, must have pleasures which no man else can ever have an opportunity of enjoying. He gave for
tune 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 appear. ed in every officer of state; and no nian had a participation of the power, who had not a similitude of the virtue of Pharamond,
No. LXXVII. TUESDAY, MAY 29.
Non convivere licet, nec urbe tota
What correspodence can I hold with you,
MY friend Will Honeycomb is one of those sort of men, who are very often absent in conversation, and what the French call a reveur and a distrait. A little before our club-time last night we were talking toge. ther 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 o'clock, in an afternoon, immediately pulled out his watch, and told me we had seven minutes good. We took a tun or two more, when to my great surprize, I saw him throw 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