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* Death. For my own Part, as I have always had the
* Experience of the Smiles of Fortune, for Fear lest 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 said 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 Mer*uryt accompanied with Prayers that he would conduct her to some happy Seat in the other World, she tossed off" the mortal Beverage. She then entertained the Company with the Progress of its Operation; and as the Parts of her Body were seized with a Chilness, one after another, she 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 °y reason of the mild Temperature of the Death 0/ the Air, the Inhabitants rarely end their Lives Hyperbo- but by the voluntary Surrender of them; in*fzns- asmuch, that, when they are weary and sur
feited with Life, 'tis usual for them, after they have lived to a good old Age, to make a sumptuous 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 *.
r.J Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. iv. c. 12.
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To-morrow is a New Day.
OF all our French Writers, James Amiot, in my Opinion, deserves the Palm ', not only for the Propriety and Purity of his Language, in which An El jim m he surpasses all others; nor for his constant tbe Language Perseverance in so long a Labour; nor for es Amiot, tie the Depth of his Knowledge, having so hap- p?*^?'' & . pily unravelled the Intricacies of so difficult an Author; (for People may fay 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 conversant with him, must have had a general Idea of Plutarch's Mind strongly imprinted in his Soul, forasmuch 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-masters. 'Tis our Breviary. If this good Man be yet living, I would recommend him to do as much by Xenophon,. 5Tis a more easy Task 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 fays of himself, that Kujiicus, while present Curiosity greeds at a Declamation of his at Rome, received a aster AVw*
Pacquet Pacquet from the Emperor, but delayed to open it till all was ended; for which, said he, the whole Audience highly applauded this Person's Gravity. 'Tis true, that as 1 am on the Subject of Curiosity, and that eager and ravenous Appetite for News, which makes us, with fb much Indiscretion and Impatience, abandon every Thing to entertain a Novelty, and, without any manner of Respect or Civility, break open, in what Company soever, all Letters that are brought to us, he had Reason to applaud the Gravity of Rufticus upon this Occasion, and might, moreover, have commended his Civility and Courtesy 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 tie 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 to which I have seen some Men so 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 jpass 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 1°** Turin, because, being in good Company Letters ought at Supper, he deferred to read an Advertisemtto beJe- ment which was sent him of the Treason ferred. tjiat was p]ottccj against the said City, of Plot into Execution for killing him in order to restore his Country's Liberty, he had a circumstantial Account of the whole Conspiracy sent him in Writing by another Archias, an Athenian, and that, the Pacquet having been, delivered to him while he sat at Supper, he c deferred the Opening of it, saying, what afterwards turned to a Proverb in Greece, To-morrow is a New Day. A wife Man may, in my Opinion, for the Sake of another Person, either for Fear, like Rusticus, of indecently disturbing the Company, or of breaking off another Affair of Importance, put off the reading or hearing any new Thing that is brought to him; but if a Man, for his own particular Interest or Pleasure, even though he holds a public Office, will not interrupt his Dinner, nor be awaked out of his Nap, he is inexcusable.
7 To this, I think, should be added, that Amiot, by his Translation of Plutarch, has not only polished, but even inriched our Language. • In the Treatise of Ciuiofity, ch. 14. Amies % Translation.
which he was Governor. And this very Plutarch u has given us to understand, that Julius Cæsar had saved himself, if he had read a Paper that was presented to him a& 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 Pelcfidas put his
1 In the Lisc-of C.fsar, c. 17.
And there was anciently, at Rome, the Consular Place, which they called the most honourable, at <s/}e Consular Table, for being a Seat which had most Place at fMt Scope, and was of the easiest Access to those ^ most acujji. who came to speak with him who was placed in it; which is a Proof that though they were at Table they did not abandon the Concern for other Affairs and Incidents. Biit, when all is said that can be said, 'tis very difficult, in human Actions, to prescribe so just a Rule, by rational Arguments, that Fortune will not maintain her Right in them.
AS I was travelling one Day, during the Civil Wars, with my Brother the Sieur de la Broujse, we met a Gentleman of good Fashion, who was of the Of the Power contrary Party to us, though I knew nothing «f Conscience. of it, for he pretended to be of ours: And the Mischief cn't is, that, in Wars of this Sort, the Cards are so muffled, your Enemy not being distinguished from yourself by any apparent Mark, either of Language or Carriage, being bred up under the same Laws, Air, and Manners, that 'tis difficult to avoid Disorder and Confusion. Xhis made me afraid, myself, of meeting with any of our Troops in a Place where 1 was not known, that I mighc not be forced to tell my Name, and for Fear of something worse, perhaps, as happened to me once, when, by by such 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 Cassock, 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 ourselves:
being S la Jjis Treatise of SocrazeiS D^nior., eh. 27,
Occultum quatiens animo tort ore flagellum i.
Conscience, the Soul's Tormentor, does, unseen,' Brandish and shake a hidden Scourge within. .
The Tale that follows is in the Mouths of Children r Befius, a Pœonian, being reproached with having wantonly pulled down a Sparrow's c 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 ricidc. nac^ tljj then, been undiscovered and un
known, but the revengeful Furies of his Conscience caused it to be discovered by himself, who was justly to suffer for it.
* Juv. Sat. xiii. v. iqij.
1 See Plutarch's, Treatise, Why the Divine Justice sometimes defers the Pw tijhimnt of Crimes, eh. 8.