Obrázky na stránke


dexterity and art. When the students have accomplished themselves in this part of their profession, they are to be delivered into the hands of their second instructor, who is a kind of posture-master.

This artist is to teach them how to nod judiciously, to shrug up their shoulders in a dubious case, to connive with either »ve, and in a word, the whole practice of politic.. grimace.

The third is a sort of langua, master, who is to instruct them in the style proper for a minister in his ordinary discourse. And to the end that this college of statesmen may be thoroughly practised in the political style, they are to make use of it in their common conversations before they are employed either in foreign or domestic affairs. If one of them asks another, what o'clock it is? the other is to answer him indirectly, and, if possible, to turn off the question. If he is desired to change a Louis d'or, he must beg time to consider of it. If it be inquired of him whether the king is at Versailles or Marly? he must answer in a whisper. If he be asked the news of the late gazette, or the subject of a proclamation? he is to reply that he has not yet read it; or if he does not care for explaining himself so far, he needs only draw his brow up in wrinkles, or elevate the left shoulder.

The fourth professor is to teach the whole art of political characters and hieroglyphics; and to the end that they may be perfect also in this practice, they are not to send a note to one another though it be but to borrow a Tacitus or a Machiavel, which is not written in cypher.

Their fifth professor, it is thought, will be chosen out of the society of Jesuits, and is to be well read in the controversies of probable doctrines, mental reservation, and the rights of princes. This learned man is to instruct them in the grammar, syntax, and construing part of treaty-latin; how to distinguish between the spirit and the letter; and likewise demonstrate how the same form of words may lay an obligation upon any prince in Europe, different from that which it lays upon his most Christian Majesty. He is likewise to teach them the art of finding flaws, loopholes and evasions, in the most solemn compacts, and particularly a great rabbinical secret, revived of late years by the fraternity of Jesuits, namely, that contradictory interpretations of the same article


both of them be true and valid. When our statesmen are sufficiently improved by these several instructors, they are to receive their last polishing from one who is to act among them as master of the ceremonies. This gentleman is to give them lectures upon the important points of the elbow-chair and the stair-head; to instruct them in the different situations of the right hand; and to furnish them with bows and inclinations of all sizes, measures, and proportions. In short, this professor is to give the society their stiffening, and infuse into their manners that beautiful political starch, which may qualify them for levees, conferences, visits, and make them shine in what vulgar minds are apt to look upon as trifles.

I have not yet heard any further particulars which are to be observed in this society of unfledged statesmen: but I must confess, had l a son of five and twenty, that should take it into his head at that age to set up for a politician, 1 think I should go near to disinherit him for a blockhead. Besides, I should be apprehensive, lest the same arts which are to enable him to negotiate between potentates might a little infect his ordinary behaviour between man and man. There is no question but these young Ma.

, chiavels will, in a little time, turn their college up-side-down with plots and stratagems, and lay as many schemes to circumvent one another in a frog or a sallad, as they may hereafter put in practice to overreach a neighbouring prince or state.

We are told, that the Spartans, though they punished theft in their young men when it was discovered, looked upon it as honourable if it succeeded. Provided the conveyance was clean and unsuspected, a youth might afterwards boast of it. — This, says the historians, was to keep them sharp, and to hinder them from being imposed upon either in their public or private negotiations. Whether any such relaxations of morality, such little jeux d'esprit, ought not to be allowed in this intended seminary of politicians, I shall leave to the wisdom of their founder.

In the meantime, we have fair warning given us by this doughty body of statesmen: and as Sylla saw many Mariuses in Cæsar, so I think we may discover many Torcys in this college of Academicians. Whatever we think of ourselves, I am afraid neither our Smyrna nor St. James's will be a match for it. Our coffee-houses are indeed very good institutions; but whether or no these our British schools of politics may furnish out as able envoys and secretaries as an acarlemy


that is set apart for that purpose, will deserve our serious consideration, especially if we remember that our country is more famous for producing men of integrity than statesmen; and that, on the contrary, French truth and British policy make a conspicuous figure in NOTHING, as the Earl of Rochester has very well observed in his admirable poem upon that barren subject.




-Quæ forma, ut se tibi semper

What beauty, or what chastity, can bear
So great a price, if stately and severe
She still insults?



• I WRITE this to communicate to you a misfortune which frequently happens, and therefore deserves a consolatory discourse on the subject. I was within this half year in the possession of as much beauty and as many lovers as any young lady in England. But my admirers have left me, and I can not complain of their behaviour. Í have within that time had the small-pox: and this face, which (according to many amorous epistles which I have by me) was the seat of all that was beautiful in woman, is now disfigured with scars. It goes to the very soul of me to speak what I really think of my face; and though I think I did not over-rate my beauty while I had it, it has ex

tremely advanced in its value with me now it is lost. There is one circunstance which makes my case very particular; the ugliest fellow that ever pretended to me, was, and is most in my favour, and he treats me at present the most unreasonably. If you could make him return an obligation which he owes me, in liking a person that is not amiable;—but there is, I fear, no possibility of making passion move by the rules of reason and gratitude. But


you can to one who has survived herself, and knows not how to act in a new being. My lovers are at the feet of my rivals, my rivals are every day bewailing me, and I can not enjoy what I am, by reason of the distracting reflection upon what I was. Consider the woman I was did not die of old age; but I was taken off in the prime of youth, and according to the course of nature may have forty years after life to come. I have nothing of myself left which I like, but that I am, sir,

Your most humble servant,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


When Louis of France had lost the battle of Ramilies, the addresses to him at that time were full of his fortitude, and they turned his misfortune to his glory; in that, during his prosperity, he could never have manifested his heroic constancy under distresses, and so the world had lost the most eminent part of his character. Parthenissa's condition gives her the same opportu

* This letter is ascribed to Mr. Hughes; the lady meant is a Miss Rotheram, who was first married to Lord Effingaam, and after his death to the reverend Mr. Wyat.

« PredošláPokračovať »