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sence of several persons : “Sire, I or a wind rather cold, or more viohave enough. Your majesty has ma- lent than usual, were seen or felt, ny poor but deserving officers ; let it it was enough to chagrin him, and be given to them.” The king, charm. put him in a melancholy humour; ed with this honourable and disinter- to compel him to remain at home, ested reply, esteemed him the more, and to resist even the pressing inviwithout, however, ceasing from time tations of the king. He has been to time to joke with and play tricks known to have remained thus imon him.
mured for whole weeks together, The marquis, on his part, appear. from similar causes. ed to be attached to the king as much M. de Nicolai has furnished us if not more, than to any of the wits with another example of his laughawho were about the court.
ble susceptibility, and of his ridicaOne of the most singular traits in lous extravagant whims, in a like the character of D’Argens, was that fact. mixture of superstition and incredulity During the seven years' war,
the so remarkable in him, and which ap- king had permitted him to reside at peared in a thousand different cir- Sans Souci, and had given orders, cumstances. He believed most firmly that all the apartments of the palace in predestination, and the knowledge should be open to him, as freely as of future events. A salt-cellar over- if they were his own. Just about turned ; a sudden meeting with an old this time, Cothenius read a treatise woman ; a herd of hogs; or a man at the academy, upon the danger of dressed in black; was enough to fill using copper utensils in kitchens. him with alarm and uneasiness. As The marquis was so struck with this soon as ever he got out of bed, he treatise, that he was fearful every drew the curtains close with great hour of being poisoned ; could talk care, and wo to whoever opened of nothing else every time he sat them, either by accident or other down to table, and made his wife wise : it was a presage of the most promise most solemnly to banish fearful nature.
every sort of copper utensil from her · He was no less alarmed at the ap- kitchen. pearance of a cold or cough ; always The family of the marquis (conill through the fear of being so, and tinues M. de Nicolai) lived at Sans dreading death to such a degree, Souci in a very retired manner; and that he nearly died through the ap- his wife, though a reasonable woman prehension of it. Those who speak enough, loved amusement. One of him, all agree in relating the same evening she took a fancy to give a weaknesses, and altesting his state little family dance at the house of of hypochondriack. Nothing was the king's head gardener. The marmore easy than to make him believe quis gave his consent ; but as they he was ill ; and if he was only told dreaded that his singularities might that he looked pale, no
disturb the entertainment, they took wanting to make him shut himself great care to remark to him that the up in his room, and go to bed direct- air was very cold, and that the sky ly. He never went out of it, but was lowering. They were well aware when he went to visit the king. When that an observation of that kind was he was in his bedchamber, two or sufficient to make him believe he was three loose morning gowns heaped taken ill, and induce him to take to on each other, kept out the cold ; a his bed immediately. This was excotton night cap covered his ears; actly the case; and they went directly and over that was a thick woollen to the gardener's house, full sure that one which completed his head-dress. the marquis would soon be fast asleep. If a few passing clouds, a slight rain, He very soon was so; but before long
he awoke, his thoughts, sleeping as and at last succeeded in getting him well as waking, being fixed on cop- to his apartments. per and on poison, and loudly called These incidents afforded Frederick for La Pierre ; but no one answered a great subject for amusement, but him ; all were at the ball. He re- without lessening any of the esteem collected this, and was not sorry for he had for the marquis ; they merely it; but finding himself alone in the weakened the consideration with which house, he took advantage of the cir- he had at first inspired him. The cumstance to pay a visit to the kitch- scrupulous and habitual superstition en at his ease, and to see if every which he remarked in him, still added article of copper was banished from to the discredit of the philosopher, it, as they had promised him it should in the opinion of the king. be. He got up, and, without putting M. Thiebault has preserved some on his small-clothes, wrapt himself traits of this last kind of weakness in up in a robe de chambre, and having the marquis. They deserve to be relighted a wax taper at his night-lamp, lated here, since they confirm what he went straight to the kitchen. The we have already said, and will be an first things that met his eyes were example of the strange, if not ridicusome copper sauce-pans; and to com- lous contradictions of men of learning plete his terrour, one of them con- of that day, employed during the tained the remains of a ragout off whole of their lives in combating suwhich he had dined. Rage imme- perstition, or what they were pleased diately got full possession of him; to call so ; descanting upon matters he took up the stew-pan, and, just as which no person regarded, they have he was, ran to the place where the been frequently seen, towards the entertainment was given, to scold his conclusion of their lives, to possess wife and servants. He was obliged the weakness of old women, and to to descend by a terrace, and cross the die with all the signs of a tardy congarden, which was tolerably large, in version. order to reach the gardener's house. The second cause of the discredit The marquis effected his purpose in into which the marquis fell (says M. the dark with great celerity. He Thiebault) was his own weakness suddenly opened the door of the and folly, and particularly on the subballroom, and the marquis, to their ject of superstition. He had such a utter astonishment, appeared in his dread of death, that the very idea of night-gown, bare-footed (for he had being' threatened with it could make lost his slippers) and two or three him be guilty of the most ridiculous night-caps on his head, his shirt extravagance. Owing to this dispoblowing about at the pleasure of the sition it was, that, having heard, that wind, holding in his hand the stew- the water of those who approached the pan with the fragments of the ragout, conclusion of their existence turned and crying out: “I am poisoned ! I black in four-and-twenty hours, he am poisoned !” He then broke out was a long time in the habit of keepin reproaches against his wife, and ing his own in glasses, which he exthreatened his servants to discharge amined frequently in the day, till them all, for having used copper some people, who were let into the stew-pans, contrary to his orders. secret of this weakness, discovered They had much difficulty in appeas. the depot, and privately mixed ink ing him ; but reflecting suddenly on with it. This so dreadfully alarmed the situation in which he was, and him, that they were obliged to conthe danger he ran in being exposed fess the trick they had played upon almost naked to the cold night air, him, in order to save him from he again relapsed into passion. How- rious illness. ever, they wrapped him up warm, The marquis had made an agreem
ment with the king, that, as soon as health, and a complication of disorhe should have completed his six- ders, put it out of my power any tieth year, he should have his full longer to be useful to your majesty; dismissal, and be permitted to retire and I am convinced that, under a to France. This hour was waited milder climate, my infirmities might for with great impatience, because be born. I therefore entreat your the king was not in a humour to let majesty to grant me my dismissal, him go a third time; and it was only assuring you, at the same time, that by using a considerable degree of my heart shall be eternally devoted address, and promising to return at to you.” the end of six months, that he per- The marquis obtained permission mitted the marquis to depart, as will to pass six months in Provence, and be seen hereafter.
set off in 1769, on the express condiHe was the more impatient to re- tion of returning at the appointed turn to his own country, as since the time; at the same time he received journey he undertook in 1763, his the packet of original letters, which brother had ceded to him some land the king returned to him, assuring he wished for, at Eguilles, of which him that he possessed his entire conhe was the lord, to build a house and fidence, and that consequently he make a garden. The plan of both neither could nor would keep the letone and the other was settled between ters. The marquis, however, would the brothers, and they immediately not take them with him, but left them began their labours. In 1766 all in the charge of one of his most parwas finished; the house quite ready, ticular friends. the gardens planted and in good It appears, that the king was much order, entirely owing to the care of displeased at his departure, and that Monsieur de Eguilles, his brother, he even refused to see the marquis. president of the parliament of Aix. In vain several persons endeavoured
The clock at last struck-the mar- to persuade him, that the marquis quis had attained his sixtieth year. would return. He would not believe For a long time no mention had been them. He was indignant, that a man made of the agreement: whatever whom he had loaded with his bene. address the courtier employed to re- fits, should quit him for such trilling call the idea of it to his recollection, causes, and which in no way dimithe monarch always expressed a dis- nished the proofs of his attachment inclination to enter on the subject. and esteem; but the marquis had He could not recur to it without ex- very good reasons to give on his side posing himself to cruel reproaches, likewise; to pass the remainder of or to mortifications more cruel still. his days under a milder climate, and
In 1768, he renewed his entrea- near a brother, to whom he was atties, and imagining that the king tached by strong ties of affection. might not, perhaps, like him to take He had, however, other motives away the original letters which that for discontent, which he was anxious prince had written to him, he sent that the king should know without them to him, ranged in chronological loss of time. Scarcely had he arrived order and accompanied them by the at Dijon, when he wrote him a very following letter:
bold letter, such as no one who had “ Sire! I have kept till this mo- ever any disagreement with Fredement a precious pledge of the confi- rick, would have ventured to address dence with which your majesty ho- to him. In order to excuse himself noured me. I give them into your for this freedom, he said : “ It is not hands, because I do not think it now to the king that I write, but to right to take them with me into a the philosopher, and in the name of strange country. My continued ill philosophy"-a distinction which the
monarch himself had given the ex- quence of this determination, he priample of in their suppers at Sans vately gave a letter to a person who Souci, where they freely conversed was going that way, and who promi. in the absence of the king, although sed to inquire for the marquis, and at the same table with him. And give him the letter if he should chance he concluded his keen, yet guarded, to meet him ; if not, to address it un. reproaches, with that inimitable fable der cover to the president D’Eguilles. of the “ Town and Country Mouse.” The traveller found him at Bourg-en.
Yet, notwithstanding this appear Bresse, in a state of convalescence, ance of resentment, the marquis and preparing to set off for Ber. D'Argens resolved to return to Fre- lin. The letter produced an effect derick at the expiration of the stated which might be expected. The old period; but it cost him a severe courtier was more irritated than af. struggle to determine on leaving Aix, flicted. He wrote another, which to return to Berlin. It was to ex- was never made publick, but its conpose the remainder of his days to tents may easily be guessed at, and
scenes of vexation and disap- immediately returned to his beloved pointment, and shorten their duration. retreat, from which he seldom went, The agitated state of his mind, which except to make some few slight this situation involved him in, pro- journeys through parts of Provence. duced the very effect he wished to It was in one of these excursions have avoided, and he died without that he died at Toulouse, of an indi. being able to fulfil his promise. gestion, on the 11th of January, 1771.
“ In the midst of all these suffer. The publick' journals and the wri. ings,” says M. Thiebault, “ he was ters of the day have asserted, that the detained at Bourg-en-Bresse by a marquis D'Argens received the salong and very dangerous illness. The craments before his death; that he marchioness, whose whole care was read the Bible during his last illness; devoted to him, never once thought and that he caused himself to be adof writing to the king, although the. mitted as a member of a society of time of his leave of absence had ex- penitents. Facts, which but little acpired. Frederick suspected him of cord with the character of a man, wishing to deceive him. He sent to who, always occupied by religious the marchioness's sister, and to all chicanery, theological disputations, the members of the academy, with and discourses of incredulity, had, whom he was connected as the directhowever, a strong predeliction in fa or, to know if they had not heard vour of superstition, and the errours from him. And as he was informed, to which it gives rise. that no person had received any news In all that we have said here of of him, and that several months had the marquis D'Argens, we have passed without a letter either from scarcely made any mention of his the husband or the wife, the king's works. They are, however, very nu. doubts were soon changed to cer- merous; but if we except “ The Jewe tainty. His anger and his indigna- ish Letters," or, as it was called in tion were extreme. He despatched English, “ The Jewish Spy," none orders that very day to the different of them appears to have given him offices at which the salaries of the any great title to Frederick's recommarquis were paid, strictly enjoining mendation. And of all that he has them to erase his name out of the written, his Memiors are at this day publick books, and forbidding them the most interesting, and offer an to pay him any thing for the future. agreeable fund of amusement, which, Sulzer, who received this order at at the same time makes you acquaintthe academy, thought it his duty to ed with both the men and the manacquaint D'Argens, and in conse- ners of the time in which he lived.
ON THE INSTINCT OF DOGS, AND AN ACCOUNT OF A REMARKABLE DOG.
[Translated from the French.] SUCH is the depravation of the many years upon the tomb of his human species, that it is often com- master in the cemetery of the Innopelled to seek, beyond its own limits, cents? In vain caresses were em as well the example as the habitual ployed to induce him to quit the practice of the most necessary vir- loved remains. Nothing could retues. Would we possess an incor- move him from his post of fidelity ruptible guardian, a faithful and dis- and affliction. Several times he was interested companion, a friend whom removed by force, and shut up at the adversity cannot alienate, we must extremity of the city : but as soon as not turn to man, for if we do, we shall they loosened him, he returned to only excite useless regret : regret to the spot which his constant affection think that we must efface these esti. had assigned to him, and where, exmable virtues from the history of posed to the elements, he braved the society, or at most be content to re- rigour of the most severe winters. call peculiar instances, and admire the inhabitants, who resided near them as something extraordinary, the spot, touched with the persevewithout, however, attempting to ren- rance of this interesting animal, supder them less rare.
plied him with food, which he seemBut, on the contrary, a numerous ed to receive only as the means of species of animals present them- prolonging his grief, and the examselves, rich in the requisite gifts of ple of a fidelity truly heroical. sentiment, and happy in preserving More recently, Valenciennes was them, without reserve, for the use the witness of a similar event An of man, who too often only abuses inhabitant of the city died. His dog them, and seldom ennobles them by followed him to the churchyard, and appropriating them to himself. The lay upon his tomb. Food was carried proof which we have daily of the to him, which he refused to touch intelligence of dogs is, to every re- for three days. After having tried flecting mind, a subject of astonish- his fidelity by every means of enticement and admiration. And no feeling ment, a doghouse was built for him heart can be insensible to the marks on the tomb, and he remained there of constancy and attachment which for nine years without ever absenting they unceasingly lavish on us. himself more than twelve or fifteen
“I have seen,” says Montiagne, paces from the spot, and he died then in his naif but philosophick language, of old age and grief. (See Cours “ a dog, conducting a blind man by d'histoire naturelle, ou tableau de la the side of a ditch in the city, leave Nature ; Paris, 1770, tom. II. p. a plain and even path and take a 103]. worse, in order to remove his mas- But it is not only with regard to ter from the ditch. How could this its master that the dog develops all dog conceive that it was his office to the superiority of its instinct. There watch only for the safety of his mas- are some to whom every human beter, and despise his own convenience? ing is equally the object of his soliciAnd how could he know that the tude. There exists, for example, path, which was broad enough for upon the high mountains of the Alps himself, was yet too narrow for a a particular race of dogs, the sole blind man? How could he compre- destination of which is to seek for hend all this without ratiocination ?" travellers who may have been invol[Essais, liv. ii. ch. 12.]
ved in the snow, lost in the midst of What attachment can be compa- the thick fogs which prevail there, red to that of the dog, seen by all or bewildered in impassable paths Paris in 1660, who remained during during the tempests of winter. The