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affume. It is thus with the ftate of the mind'; he that governs his thoughts with the everlafting rules of reafon and fenfe, muft have fomething fo inexpreffibly graceful in his words and actions, that every circumftance muft become him. The change of perfons or things around him do not at all alter his fituation, but he looks difinterested in the occurrences with which others are distracted, because the greateft 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 brave man. What can make a man fo much in conftant good-humour, and fhine, as we call it, than to be fupported by what can never fail him, and to believe that whatever happens to him was the best thing that could poffibly befall him, or elfe he on whom it depends would not have permitted it to have befallen him at all?


N° 76.

Monday, May 28.

Ut tu fortunam, fic nos te, Celfe, feremus.

HOR. Ep. I. viii. 17.. As you your fortune bear, we will bear you.



HERE is nothing fo common, as to find a man whom in the general obfervation of his carriage you take to be of an uniform temper, fubject to fuch unaccountable ftarts of humour and paffion, that he is as much unlike himself, and differs as much from the man you at first thought him, as any two diftinct perfons can differ from each other. This proceeds from the want of forming fome law of life to ourselves, or fixing fome notion of things in general, which may affect us in fuch manner as to create proper habits both in our minds and bodies. The negligence of this leaves us expofed not only to an uncommon levity in our ufual converfation, but also to the fame inftability in our friendships, interefts, and




alliances.. A man who is but a mere fpectator of what paffes round him, and not engaged in commerces of any confideration, is but an ill judge of the fecret motions of the heart of man, and by what degrees it is actuated to make fuch vifible alterations in the fame perfon: but at the fame time, when a man is no way concerned in the effect of fuch inconfiftencies in the behaviour of men of the world, the fpeculation must be in the utmoft degree both diverting and inftructive; yet to enjoy fuch obfervations in the higheft relish, he ought to be placed in a post of direction, and have the dealing of their fortunes to them. I have therefore been wonderfully diverted with fome pieces of fecret hiftory, which an antiquary, my very good friend, lent me as a curiofity. They are memoirs of the private life of Pharamond of France. 'Pharamond,' fays my author, was a prince of infinite humanity and generofity, and at the fame time the moft pleafant and facetious companion of his time. He had a peculiar tafte in him, which would have been unlucky 4 in any prince but himfelf; he thought there could be no exquifite pleasure in converfation but among equals; and would pleasantly bewail himfelf that he always lived in a croud, but was the only man in France that " never could get into company. This turn of mind ⚫ made him delight in midnight rambles, attended only with one perfon of his bed-chamber: he would in thefe excurfions get acquainted with men, whofe tem" per he had a mind to try, and recommend them privately to the particular obfervation of his firft minifter. He generally found himself neglected by his new acquaintance as foon as they had hopes of growing great; and used on fuch occafions to remark, that it was a great injuftice to tax princes of forgetting themfelves in their high fortunes, when there were fo few that could with conftancy 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 ufual proofs he made of those he had a mind to know thoroughly, and found him for his purpofe in difcourfe with him one day, he gave him opportunity of faying how much would fatisfy all his wifhes.



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The prince immediately revealed himself, doubled the fum, and spoke to him in this manner. "Sir, you have "twice what you defired, by the favour of Pharamond; "but look to it, that you are fatisfied with it, for 'tis the "laft you fhall ever receive. I from this moment con"fider you as mine; and to make you truly fo, I give 66 you my royal word you fhall never be greater or lefs "than you are at prefent. Answer me not," concluded the prince fmiling, "but enjoy the fortune I have put you in, which is above my own condition; for you "have hereafter nothing to hope or to fear."


His majefty having thus well chofen 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 infolence and folly, not by any act of public disfavour, but by humorously practifing upon their imaginations. If he observed a man untractable to his inferiors, he would find an opportunity to take fome favourable notice of him, and render him infupportable. He knew all his own looks, words, and actions, had their interpretations; and his friend monfieur Eucrate, for fo he was called, having a great foul without ambition, he could communicate all his thoughts to him, and fear no artful ufe would be made of that freedom. It was no fmall delight when they were in private to reflect upon all which had paffed in public.

Pharamond would often, to fatisfy 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 obfervation, that he would profefs altering the whole mafs of blood in fome tempers by thrice fpeaking to them. As fortune was in his power, he gave himfelf conftant entertainment in managing the mere followers of it with the treatment they deferved. He would, by a fkilful caft of his eye and half a fimile, 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 ftifle one another. When he was in high good-humour, he would lay the fcene

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with Eucrate, and on a public night exercise the paffions
of his whole court. He was pleased to fee an haughty
beauty watch the looks of the man fhe had long defpif-
ed, from obfervation 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 fpeak affection in the strongest
terms, and dislike in the fainteft, it was a comical mix-
ture of incidents to fee disguises thrown afide in one cafe
and increased on the other, according as favour or dif-
grace attended the refpective objects of mens approba-
tion or difefteem. Pharamond, in his mirth upon the
meanness of mankind, ufed to fay, "As he could take
away a man's five fenfes, he could give him an hun-
"dred. The man in disgrace shall immediately lofe all
"his natural endowments, and he that finds favour have
"the attributes of an angel." He would carry it fo
far as to fay," It fhould not be only fo in the opinion
"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,
muft have pleasures which no man elfe can ever have an
opportunity of enjoying. He gave fortune to none but
those whom he knew could receive it without tranfport:
he made a noble and generous use of his obfervations ;
and did not regard his minifters as they were agreeable
to himself, but as they were useful to his kingdom: by
this means the king appeared in every officer of ftate;
and no man had a participation of the power, who had
not a fimilitude of the virtue of Pharamond.



N° 77.

Tuesday, May 29.

Non convivere licet, nec urbe totâ
Quifquam eft tam profè tam proculque nobis.

MART. Epig. lxxxvii. 1.
What correfpondence can I hold with you,
Who are fo near, and yet fo diftant too?

My friend WILL HONEYCOMB is one of thofe fort

of men who are very often abfent in converfation, and

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what the French call a reveur and a diftrait. A little before our club-time last night we were walking together in Somerfet-garden, where WILL had picked up a small pebble of fo odd a make, that he faid he would prefent it to a friend of his, an eminent virtuofo. After we had walked fome time, I made a full ftop with my face towards the weft, which WILL knowing to be my ufual 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 turn or two more, when to my great furprise, I saw him fquir away his watch a confiderable way into the Thames, and with great fedatenefs in his looks put up the pebble, he had before found, in his fob. As I have naturally an averfion to much fpeaking, and do not love to be the meffenger 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 thefe little abfences and diftractions in mankind, and refolving to make them the fubject of a future speculation.

I was the more confirmed in my defign, when Iconfidered that they were very often blemishes in the characters of men of excellent fenfe; and helped to keep up the reputation of that Latin proverb, which Mr. Dryden has tranflated in the following lines

• Great wit to madness fure is near ally'd,
And thin partitions do their bounds divide.'

My reader does, I hope, perceive, that I diftinguish a man who is abfent, becaufe he thinks of fomething else, from one who is abfent, because he thinks of nothing at all the latter is too innocent a creature to be taken notice of; but the diftractions of the former may, I believe, be generally accounted for from one of these reasons.


Either their minds are wholly fixed on fome particular fcience, which is often the cafe of mathematicians and other learned men; or are wholly taken up with fome violent paffion, fuch as anger, fear, or love, which ties the mind to fome diftant object; or, lastly, these distractions proceed from a certain vivacity and fickleness in a man's temper, which while it raifes up infinite numbers of ideas in the mind, is continually pufhing it on, without

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