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■of that Nation; or that he valued himself a whit the *nore for his Fidelity, and Contempt of Riches. Even a great Reward, if it be customary, can be no Reward for Virtue; and I know not, withal, whether we can ever .call a Thing great, when it is common. Therefore, iince these honorary Rewards are of no other Value and Esteem, than in their being enjoyed only by a few, the being liberal of them is the ready Way to make them none at all. Tho' there should be more Men found worthy of this Order now, than in former Times, nevertheless the Honour of it should not be debased, by being made too common. And that more do deserve it now, than then, may easily be the Case, for there is no Virtue that exr pands itself so easily as military Valour. There is another true Virtue, perfect and philosophical, of which I do not treat (and only use the Term as 'tis commonly taken) much greater than this, and fuller -, which is a Fortitude and Courage of the Soul equally contemning all cross Accidents whatsoever, even, uniform, and constant; of which ours is but a very small Ray. Usage, Institution, Example, and Custom are capable of doing any thing in the Establishment of that whereof I am treating, and with great Facility render it vulgar, as by the Experience of our civil War is to us very manifest. And whoever could, at this Instant, unite us into one Body, and set all our People upon one joint Enterprise, our ancient Reputation in Arms would flourish again. *Tis very certain, that in Time past the Order was not barely a Reward of Valour, but had a farther Prospect; it never was the Recompence of a valiant Soldier, but of some famous General. The Science of Obedience was not reckoned worthy of such a Mark of Honour. Anciently there was a more universal Expertness in Arms required, which comprehended the most rare Talents, and the greatest Qualities of a military Man; (neque enim t-tcdem mi lit ar es et mperatori* artesfitnt, i. e. for the Arts of the common Soldier and of the General are not the fame) who was, moreover, of a Condition to which such a Dignity was suitable. But, I say, though more Men should be worthy of it now, than heretofore, yet it ought
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noteobe ever the more liberally distributed ; and that k w«re better to fall short, in not giving it to all to whom it is due, than for ever to lose, as we have lately done, the "Fruit of so useful an Invention. No Man of Spirit will vouchsafe to avail himself of what is in common to many; and such of the present Time, as have least deserved this RewaFd, pretend the more to disdain it, in order by that Means- to rank themselves- wkh those, to whom so much Wrong has been done by the unworthy Conferring and Debasing of that Mark- of Honour which 'was'particularly due to them. •
«n~Nbw to expect, by obliterating and abolishing this, to •jipiV'/ create a* like Custom, and to bring it into TMlgd'fimt' Credit all on a sudden, is not an UndertaDrA^b/: king pfoper for a Season so licentious and
'■Kiig&ndpt- sick at Heart, as the present is; and the M^.-i Consequence will be-, that the last will, from jess Origin/ incur^tnesame Inconveniencies that have just ■ruined the other*■'•- The Rules for the Dispensing of this stew-Order had fteed be extremely strict and severe, in jDrder to give it Authority •, whereas-, in these boisterous -TkrfesV 'tuch a short tight Curb will not do; besides that, t*jfo*e, this can be brought into Repute, it is necessary thai-the Memory of the first, and of the Contempt into which iris fallen, -should be totally lost. .'■This Place might naturally enough admit of someDisPaiolir'' tie cour^ upon the Consideration of Valour, and "ikies Is the ■ •■ of the Difference of this Virtue from others -, si-maamoiig but Plutarch has fallen upon this Subject so *p«,Ffcnch. often, that it will be to no Purpose for me to repeat what he has said of it. This is worth Considering, that our Nation places Valour in the highest Class of the Virtues*, as its Name shews, which is derived from Value; and that, according to our Way of speaking, when we mean a Man is worth a great deal of Money, or a Man of Substance, in the Stile of our Court and Gentry, 'tis only faying he is a valiant Man, after the Manner of the Romans v-for the general Appellation of Virtue, with them, derives its Etymology from. Fis, Force. The proper, foier and. essential Form of the Noblesse in France is the: si:*. Profession Profession of Arms. 'Tis probable, that the first Virtue which discovered itself amongst Men, and which gave Advantage to some over others, was this, by which the strongest and most courageous have lorded it over the weaker, and acquired a particular Ra-nk and Reputation, from.whence it had that Honour and Dignity of Language i or else that these, being very warlike Nations, gave the 'Pre-eminence to that of the Virtues which was most familiar to them, and to which they -had .the best Title •, just so 'tis owing to our Passion, and the feverish Solicitude we have os the Chastity of Women, that agecd Woman, a Woman of Worth, and a Woman of Honour and Virtue, signify no more, with us, than a chaste Woman \ as if, to oblige <hem to this Duty, we were indifferent to nil the ssest, and gave them the Reins to all other Faults whatever, on Condition they would not be guilty of In^ •continence. . ••' ••...."! ^ , ■>•
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Of the Assertion of Parents to tJoeir Children. '■
..'.-•■■., •' .: • "J i >.:*'
Madam, .-• ; ..
IF the Strangeness and Novelty of my Subject, which are wont to give a Value to Things, do not save me; 1 ihall never come off with Honour from this foolish Attempt; but 'tis so whimsical, and has so uncommon an Aspect, that this, perhaps, may make it pals. 'Twas a jaielancholic Humour, and by Consequence a Humour very much an Enemy to my natural Constitution, engendered by the Chagrine of the,Solitude into, which I have cast myself for some Years past, that first put into.my Head this idle Whim of commencing an Author: An^l afterwards, rinding myself totally unfurnished and destitute of any other Subject,. I delivered jnyself over to my^self both for the Thesis and, the Argument. 'Tis the only Book of its kind in the World, on 'a, Plan so .wild .and extravagant; nor is.there any Thing.worthy of .Ra
F 3 mark mark upon this Occasion, but the Whimficalness of it j for the best Workman in the World could not have given a Form to a Subject so vain and frivolous, fit to recommend it to Esteem. Now, Madam, being about to draw my own Picture to the Life, I should have forgot one Feature of Importance, if I had not therein represented the Veneration which 1 always paid to your Merit: And this I purposely chose to mention in the Beginning of this Chapter, by reason that among your other excellent Qualities,, that of the Affection which you have manifested to your Children has a Place in one of the highest Classes. Whoever hears at what Age M. d'EJliffac, your Husband, ]eft you a Widow; the great and honourable Matches that have been offered to you, as many as to any Lady in France of your Rank; the Constancy and Steadiness with which you have, for so many Years, and in Opposition to so many Crosses and Difficulties, sustained the "Weight and Conduct of their Affairs, whereby you have been teazed in almost every Part of France, and which still harrass you; and the happy Train you have put them into by your single Prudence or good Fortune; he will be ready to fay with me, that we have not, in our Times, a more lively. Instance of maternal Affection than Yours. God be praised, Madam, that it has been employed to so good Purpose; for the great Hopes that M. d'EJiifacy the Son, gives of himself, are a sufficient Warrant, that, when he comes of Age, you will reap from him the Obedience and Gratitude of a very good Son. But-forasmuch as, by reason of his tender Years, he is not in a Capacity to take Notice of the many extraordinary kind Offices which he has received from you, I am willing that, if these Papers happen to fall into his Hands some Day when I have no Speech left to declare it, he should receive this true Testimony from me, which will be more fully proved to him by the good Effects which, with God's Permission, will convince him, that there is not a Gentleman in France who owes more to his Mother than he does, and that he cannot, for the suture, give a surer Testimony of his Goodness and Virtue than by acknowledging you for so excellent a Mother.
If there be any Law truly natural, that is to fay, any Instinct that is universally and perpetually Wwitbt** imprinted both on Man and Beast, (which is pens that the a disputed Point) I may give it as my Opi- ^ffeaim »f nipn, that, next to jthe Care which every A- £%%?""*'"' nimal has of Self-preservation, and of avoid- greater than ing every Thing that is hurtful, the Affection tUt D/ chiU which *he Breeder or Begetter bears to the dren '" '*«> Off-spring stands in the second Place: And, ParenUbecause Nature seems to have recommended it to us, in Regard to the Extension and Progression of the several Pieces of this its Machine, 'tis no Wonder that the Love of Children does not go back to their Parents in so great a Degree. To which we may add this other Aristotelian Notion, that he who does a Benefit to any one, loves him better than he is beloved by him; and he to whom a Benefit is due, loves better than he who owes k: So every Artificer is fonder of his Workmanship than, if that Piece of Work had Sense, it would be of him, forasmuch as 'tis dear to us to exist, and as Existence consists in Motion and Action: For this Reason every one has, in some fort, a Being in his Work. He who does a good Office, does a Thing that is brave and honest: He who receives it only practises the Utile. Now the Utile is not near so amiable as the Honestum. The Honeftim is stable and permanent, supplying him who has performed it with a constant Satisfaction. The Utile loses itself, and easily fiides away; nor is the Memory of it either so fresh or fragrant. Those Things are dearest to us that have cost most, and Giving is more chargeable than Receiving.
Since it has pleased God to endue us with some Capacity of discussing Things, to the End that we j0 niJj.at £nj may not be (lavishly subject, like the brute Men ere <reaAnimals, to the common Laws of Nature, ted capable of but that we may apply ourselves to them with ReflJs""'iJudgment and Free-will; we ought, indeed, to yield a little to the mere Authority of Nature, but nor. to suffer ourselves to be tyrannically hurried away by her; for Reason ought to be the sole Conducter ot" our Inclinations. For my own Part, I have a strange Dif^urt to thole Pro
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