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affume. It is thus with the state of the mind'; he that governs his thoughts with the everlafting rules of reason and sense, muit have something fo inexpreffibly graceful in his words and actions, that every circumitance must become him. The change of persons or things around him do not at all alter his situation, but be looks difinterested in the occurrences with which others are distracted, because the greatest 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 constant good-humour, and shine, as we call it, than to be supported by what can never fail him, and to believe that whatever happens to him was the best thing that could possibly befall him, or else he on whom it depends would not have permitted it to have befallen him at all?
Monday, May 28.
Ur tu fortunan, fic nos te, Celje, feremus.
Hor. Ep. I. viii. 17.. As you your fortune bear, we will bear you.
HERE is nothing so common, as to find a man whom in the general observation of his carriage you take to be of an uniform temper, subject to such unaccountable starts of humour and paslion, that he is as much unlike himself, and differs as much from the man you at first thought him, as any two diftinct persons can differ from each other. This proceeds from the want of forming some law of life to ourselves, or fixing fome notion of things in general, which may affect us in such manner as to create proper habits both in our minds and bodies. The negligence of this leaves us exposed not only to an uncommon levity in our usual conversation, but also to the fame instability in our friendships, interests, and
alliances.. A man who is but a mere spectator of what passes round him, and not engaged in commerces of any consideration, is but an ill judge of the secret motions of the heart of man, and by what degrees it is actuated to make such visible alterations in the fame perfon : but at the same time, when a man is no way concerned in the effect of such inconfiftencies in the behaviour of men of the world, the speculation must be in the utmost degree both diverting and instructive ; yet to enjoy such observations in the highest relish, he ought to be placed in a poft of direction, and have the dealing of their fortunes to them. I have therefore been wonderfully diverted with fome pieces of fecret history, which an antiquary, tny very good friend, lent me as a curiosity. They are memoirs of the private life of Pharamond of France. • Pharamond,' says my author, 'was a prince of infinite . humanity and generosity, and at the same time the moft
pleasant and facetious companion of his time. He had . a peculiar tafte in him, which would have been unlucky ' in any prince but himself; he thought there could be . no exquifite pleasure in conversation but among equals; • and would pleasantly bewail himself 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 person of his bed-chamber : he would in ' these excursions get acquainted with men, whose tem
per he had a mind to try, and recommend them privately to the particular observation of his first minifter. He generally found himself neglected by his new acquaintance as soon as they had hopes of growing great; and used on such occafions to remark, that it was a
great injustice to tax princes of forgetting themselves • in their high fortunes, when there were so 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 usual proofs he made of those he had a mind to know thoroughly, and found him for his purpose : in discourse with him one day, he gave him opportunity of saying how niuch would satisfy all his wishes.
The prince immediately revealed himself, doubled the fum, and spoke to him in this manner. Sir, you have
twice what you desired, by the favour of Pharamond; “ but look to it, that you are fatisfied with it, for 'tis the “ last you shall ever receive. I from this moment con“ sider you as mine ; and to make you truly so, I give
you my royal word you shall never be greater or less " than you are at present. Answer me not,” concluded the prince smiling," 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 majesty having thus well cholen 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 monfieur 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 soine 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 fellow's 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 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 fainteft, it was a conical mixture of incidents to see disguises thrown afide in one case and increased on the other, according as favour or difgrace attended the respective objects of mens 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 hun“ dred. The man in disgrace shall immediately lose all “ his natural endowments, and he that finds favour have " the attributes of an angel.” He would carry it so far as to fay, “ It should not be only so 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.”
and humour like Pharamond, must have pleasures which no man else can ever have an opportunity of enjoying. He gave fortune 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 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 state; and no man had a participation of the power, who had not a fimilitude of the virtue of Pharamond.
77. Tuesday, May 29.
MART. Epig. lxxxvii. 1.
Who are so near, and yet so distant too?
Y friend WILL HONEYCOMB is one of those fort of men who are very often abfent in cor. versation, and
what the French call a reveur and a distrait. A little before our club-time last night we were walking together 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 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 turn or two more, when to my great surprise, I saw him squir away his watch a considerable way into the Thames, and with great sedatenefs in his looks put up the pebble, he had before found, in his fob. As I have naturally an aversion to much speaking, and do not love to bethe messenger 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 these little absences and diftracions in mankind, and resolving to make them the subject of a future fpeculation.
I was the more confirmed in my design, when I conkidered that they were very often blemishes in the characters of men of excellent sense; and helped to keep up the reputation of that Latin proverb, which Mr. Dryden has translated 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 distinguish a man who is absent, because he thinks of something 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 distractions of the foriner may, I believe, be generally accounted for from one of these reasons.
Either their minds are wholly fixed on some particular science, which is often the case of mathematicians and other learned men; or are wholly taken up with some violent passion, such as anger, fear, or love, which ties the mind to some diftant object; or, lastly, these distractions proceed from a certain vivacity and fickleness in a man's temper, which while it raises up infinite numbers of ideas in the mind, is continually pushing it on, without