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The rocks of Hernicus-besides a band,
But to proceed :
Earl Douglas on a milk-white steed,
Rode foremost of the company,
Turnus ut antevolans tardum præcesserat agmen, &c.
Our English archers bent their bows,
Full threescore Scots they slew.
No slackness there was found;
Lay gasping on the ground.
With that there came an arrow keen
Which struck Earl Douglas to the heart,
Eneas was wounded after the same manner by an unknown hand in the midst of a parley.
Has inter voces, media inter talia verba,
ÆN. xii. 318.
Thus, while he spake, unmindful of defence,
would make in the familiar and ordinary occurrences of life?
I hardly have observed any one fill his several duties of life better than Ignotus. All the under parts of his behaviour, and such as are exposed to common observation, have their rise in him from great and noble motives. A firm and unshaken expectation of another life makes him become this; humanity and good-nature, fortified by the sense of virtue, has the same effect upon him, as the neglect of all goodness has upon many others. Being firmly established in all matters of importance, that certain inattention which makes men's actions look easy, appears in him with greater beauty: by a thorough contempt of little excellencies, he is perfectly master of them. This temper of mind leaves him under no necessity of studying his air, and he has this peculiar distinction, that his negligence is unaffected.
He that can work himself into a pleasure in considering this being as an uncertain one, and think to reap an advantage by its discontinuance, is in a fair way of doing all things with a graceful unconcern, and a gentleman-like ease. Such a one does not behold his life as a short, transient, perplexing state, made up of trifling pleasures and great anxieties; but sees it in quite another light; his griefs are momentary and his joys immortal. Reflection upon death is not a gloomy and sad thought of resigning every thing that he delights in, but it is a short night followed by an endless day. What I would here contend for is, that the more virtuous the man is, the nearer he will naturally be to the character of genteel and agreeable. A man whose fortune is plentiful, shews an ease in his countenance, and confidence in his behaviour, which he that is under wants and difficulties cannot assume. It is thus with the
state of the mind; he that governs his thoughts with the everlasting rules of reason and sense, must have something so inexpressibly graceful in his words and actions, that every circumstance must become him. The change of persons or things around him does not at all alter his situation, but he looks disinterested 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 so 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 befal him, or else he on whom it depends, would not have permitted it to have befallen him at all! R.
N° 76. MONDAY, MAY 28, 1711.
Ut tu fortunam, sic nos te, Celse, feremus.
HOR. 1 Ep. viii. 17,
As you your fortune bear, we will bear you.
THERE 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 passion, that he is as much unlike himself, and differs as much from the man you at first thought him, as any two distinct persons can differ from each other. This proceeds from the want
of forming some law of life to ourselves, or fixing some notion of things in general, which may affect us in such a manner as to create proper habits both in our minds and bodies. The negligence of this, leaves us exposed not only to an unbecoming levity in our usual conversation, but also to the same instability in our friendships, interests, and alliances. A man who is but a mere Spectator of what passes around 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 same person: but at the same time, when a man is no way concerned in the effect of such inconsistencies, 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 post of direction, and have the dealings of their fortunes to them. I have therefore been wonderfully diverted with some pieces of secret history, which an antiquary, my 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 most pleasant and facetious companion of his time. He had a peculiar taste in him, which would have been unlucky in any prince but himself; he thought there could be no exquisite pleasure in conversation, but among equals; and would pleasantly bewail himself that he always lived in a crowd, but was the only man in France that could never 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 temper he had a mind to try) and recommend them privately to the parti
cular observation of his first minister. He generally found himself neglected by his new acquaintance as soon as they had hopes of growing great; and used on such occasions 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 constancy bear the favour of their very creatures.' My author in these loose hints has one passage 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 had 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 an opportunity of saying how much would satisfy all his wishes. The prince immediately revealed himself, doubled the sum, 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 satisfied with it, for it is the last you shall ever receive. I from this moment consider 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 chosen 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