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· Death. For my own Part, as I have always had the
Experience of the Smiles of Fortune, for Fear left the
Desire of living too long may make her frown upon me, · I am going, by a happy Period, to dismiss the Remains < of my Soul, leaving behind me two Daughters of my • Body, and a Legion of Grand-children.' Having faid this, and given some Exhortations to her Family to live in Peace and Union, divided her Estate amongst them, and recommended her eldest Daughter to the Protection of the domestic Gods; she boldly took the Cup in her Hand, in which was the Poison, and having made her Vows to Mercury, accompanied with Prayers that he would conduct her to some happy Seat in the other World, she toffed off che mortal Beverage. She then entertained the Company with the Progress of its Operation ; and as the Parts of her Body were feized with a Chilness, one after another, the told them, at length, it had reached her Heart and Bowels; and then called her Daughters to do the last Office for her, and to close her Eyes.
Pliny tells us of a certain Hyperborean Country, where, The voluntary by reason of the mild Temperature of the Death of the Air, the Inhabitants rarely end their Lives Hyperbo but by the voluntary Surrender of them ; inreans.
asmuch, that, when they are weary and furfeited with Life, 'tis usual for them, after they have lived to a good old Age, to make a fumptuous Feast, and then to throw themselves into the Sea, from a certain Rock destined to that Service. Pain, and the Fear of a worse Death, seem to me to be the most excusable Induce, ments.
8.9 Plin. Nat. Hift. lib. iv. c. 12.
CH A P.
the the ne
CHA P. IV.
To-morrow is a New Day.
F all our French Writers, James Amiot, in my Opi
nion, deserves the Palm", not only for the Propriety and Purity of his Language, in which
An Elogiumok he surpasses all others; nor for his constant the Language Perseverance in so long a Labour ; nor for of Amiot, ibe the Depth of his Knowledge, having so hap- Translator of
Plutarch. pily unravelled the Intricacies of so difficult an Author ; (for People may say what they please, though I understand nothing of Greek, yet I perceive a Sense so well connected and maintained throughout his whole Translation, that surely he must have perfectly known the Author's true Thoughts, or, by being long converfant with him, must have had a general Idea of Plutarch's Mind strongly imprinted in his Soul, forasınuch as he has delivered us nothing from him that in the least derogates from, or contradicts him) but, above all, I am pleased with him for having singled out a Book so proper, so worthy for a Present to his Country. We Dunces had been funk in the Mire, had not this Book lifted us out of it. By this Favour of his we venture now both to speak and write. The very Ladies read it to the School-malters. 'Tis our Breviary. If this good Man be yet living, I would recommend him to do as much by Xenophon. 'Tis a more easy Talk than the other, and therefore more proper for a Gentleman so far advanced in Years. And then I know not how it is, but methinks, though he very briskly and clearly recovers himself when he has made a Trip, yet his Stile is more his own, when it is not embarrassed, and runs smoothly on.
I was just now reading that Passage in Plutarch", where he says of himself, that Rufticus, while present Curiosity greedy at a Declamation of his at Rome, received a after News.
Pacquet ? To this, I think, should be added, that Amict, by his Translation of Plutarch, has not only polished, but even inriched our Language.
In the Treatise of Curiosity, ch. 14. Amiot's Translation.
Pacquet from the Emperor, but delayed to open it till all was ended ; for which, said be, the whole Audience highly applauded this Person's Gravity. 'Tis true, that as I am on the Subject of Curiosity, and that eager and ravenous Appetite for News, which makes us, with so much Indiscretion and Impatience, abandon every Thing to entertain a Novelty, and, without any manner of Retpect or Civility, break open, in what Company foever, all Letters that are brought to us, he had Reason to applaud the Gravity of Rusticus upon this Occafion, and might, moreover, have commended his Civility and Courtely in not interrupting the Course of his Declamation. But I doubt whether his Prudence is to be commended, for, as the Letters came to him unexpected, and especially from an Emperor, it might have fallen out that the deferring to read them would have been very prejudicial. Negligence the The Vice opposite to Curiosity is Indifferency opposite Vice ta or Negligence, to which I certainly have a Curiosity. natural Propensity by my Constitution, and co which I have seen some Men fo extremely addicted, that they have kept Letters in their Pockets, unopened, for three or four Days together. I never open any Letters, neither those committed to my Care, nor those which pass through my Hands by Accident ; and. I am uneasy with myself, if my Eyes inadvertently catch any Contents of Letters of Importance that a great Man is reading when I am close by him. Never was a Man less inquisitive, or less prying into other People's Affairs. · In our Fathers Days, M. de Boutieres had like to have The reading of
loft Turin, because, being in good Company Letters ought
at Supper, he deferred to read an Advertisenot to be des
ment which was sent him of the Treason ferred.
that was plotted against the said City, of which he was Governor. And this very Plutarch has given us to underftand, that Julius Cæfar had saved himfelf, if he had read a Paper that was presented to him as he went to the Senate, on that very Day he was killed by the Conspirators. He also tells the Story of Archias, the Tyrant of Thebes, that, the Night before Pelopidas put his
Plor In the list of juis C.rar, c. 17.
Plot into Execution for killing him in order to restore
And there was anciently, at Rome, the Consular Place,
CH A P. V.
Brother the Sieur de la Brousse, we met a
being La his Treatise of Socrates's Dæmon, ch. 27,
being bred up under the same Laws, Air, and Manners, that 'tis difficult to avoid Disorder and Confusion. This made me afraid, myself, of meeting with any of our Troops in a Place where I was not known, that I might not be forced to tell my Name, and for Fear of something worse, perhaps, as happened to me once, when, by by luch a Mistake, I lost both Men and Horses; and, amongst others, an Italian, my Page, whom I had bred up with Care, was miserably killed, a fine Lad, and one that was very promising. But the Gentleman we met had so strange a Terror upon him, and was so mortified at the meeting with any Horse-men, and travelling through Towns which held out for the King, that I, at length, guessed he was alarmed by his Conscience. The poor Man seemed to be in such a Condition, that, through his Vizor, and the Crosses on his Caffock, one might have penetrated into his Bosom, and read his secret Intentions. So wonderful is the Force of Conscience, that it makes us betray, accuse, and fight with ourselves ; and, for Want of other Evidence, to give Testimony against ourfelves :
Occullum quatiens animo tortore flagellum ".
Conscience, the Soul's Tormentor, does, unseen,
The Tale that follows is in the Mouths of Children : Belus, a Pæonian, being reproached with having wantonly pulled down a Sparrow's · Nest, and killed the young ones, said he had Reason for it, because those little Birds Strange Disco- were continually chattering a Falfhood, that very of a Par- he had murder'd his Father. This Parricide ricide.
had, till then, been undiscovered and unknown, but the revengeful Furies of his Conscience caused it to be discovered by himself, who was justly to suffer for it.
Hefiod #Juv. Sat. xiii. v. 195.
See Plutarch's Treatise, Why the Divine Justice fometimes defers the Pun wifoment of Crimes, ch. 8.