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tiUnslated frou the frxkch. 

V O L. L 




Printed for J. Bsw, in Patef-Nofter-Row. 



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IJL am undertaking a work which has na 

example, and whole execution will have no 

imitator. I mean to lay open to my fellow- 

) mortals a man juft as nature wrought him i 

yv and this man is myfelf. 

[ ^ I alone. I know my heart, and am acquaint- 

^ ed with mankind. I am not made like any 

^ one 1 have feen ; I dare believe I am 

^ not made like any orte exifting. If I am 

^ not better, at leaft I am quite different. 

^ Whether Nature has done well or ill in 

; ^ bieaking the mould (he caft me in, can be de« 

Vr termined only after having read me. 

^ Let the trumpet of the day of judgment 

found when it will, I fhall appear with this 

^ book in my hand before the Sovereign Judge, 

^ and cry with a loud voice, This is my work, 

. thefe were my thoughts, and thus was I. I 

t. have freely told Both the good and the had, 

"' have hid nothing wicked, added nothing good ; 

\^ and if I have happened to make ufe of an 

Vol. !• B infig- 


infignlficant ornamen^, 'twas only to fill a 
void occafioned by a fliort memory : I may 
have fuppofed true what I knew might be fo, 
nev^ what I knew was falfe. I have expofed 
myfelf as I was^ contemptible and vile fome 
times ; at others, good, generous, and fubliioe. 
I have revealed my heart as thou faweft it thy- 
felf. Eternal Being ! aflemble around me the 
numberlefs throng of my fellow-mortals ; let 
them liften to my Confeffions, let them' la- 
ment at my unworthinefs, let them blufli at 
my mifery. Let each of them, in his turn,* 
lay open his heart with the fame iincerity at 
the foot of thy throne, and then fay, if be 
dare, / was better than that man7\ 

1 was born at Geneva in 17 12, of Ifaac 
RoufTeau, and Sufan Bernard, citizens. A 
very moderate eftate, which was divided 
amongft fifteen children, having reduced al- 
most to nothing my father^s Oiare, he had 
no other fubdftance than his trade, which was 
that of a watchmaker, in which he was un- 
doubtedly very clever. My mother, a daugh- 
ter of the minifter Bernard, was richer ; ibe 
had prudence and beauty : 'twas with fome 
trouble my father obtained her. Their affec- 
tion began almoft at their birth : from the age 
of eight or nine they took a walk together 
every evening on the oanks of the Treille-; at 
the age of tea they could never leave each 
other. Sympathy and refemblance of foul 
ftrengtheaed in them the fentiments habit had 
produced. Each born for tendernefs and fen* 
fibility, only waited for the moment to find 
anocncr of the fame difpofition, or rather that 


B. I.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. s 

moment waited for them, and each of them 
gave their heart to the firft expanded to re- 
ceive it. Fate, which feemed to oppofe their 
pafSon, animated it ftlU more. The young 
lover, not able to obtain his beloved, wafted 
away with forrow; ihe advifed him to travel 
aad forget her. He travelled in vain, and re- 
turned more fond than ever. He found her 
again whom he loved, tender and faithful. 
After this proof nothing remained but to love 
each other for life ; they Vowed it, and Hea- 
ven bleffed their vow, 

Gabriel Bernard, my mother's brother, fell in 
love with one of the fiflers of my father.; but 
(he would not confent to marry the brother on 
any condition but that of her brother's marry* 
ing the fitter. Love arranged all, and the 
two marriages were celebrated the fame day. 
Thus my uncle married my aunt, and their 
children were doubly my coufin-gcrmans. 
f ach of them had a child before the end of 
the year j and once more they were obliged to 

My Uncle Bernard was art engineer: he 
ferved in the Empire and in Hungary under 
piince Eugene. He diftihguifhed himfelf at 
the fiege and battle of Belgrade. My father, 
after the birth of my only brother, fet off for 
Conftantinople, by defire, and became watch- 
maker to the Seraglio. During his abfence, 
the beauty of my mother, her wit, and ta- 
lents *^ drew admirers. M* de la Clofure, refi- 


* They were too brilliant for her fituation ; the 
miniQer her father, who adored her, having taken 

B 2 great 



dent of France, was the forwardeft in his 
offers. His pafHon mud have been intenfe ; for 
thirty years afterwards 1 have feen him melt 
at her name. My mother ha\i more than 
common virtue for her defence : (he tenderly 
loved her hulband ; flic prcfled him to return* 
He left all and came. I was the unhappy 
fruit of this return. Ten months after I 
came into the world infirm and ill ; I coft my 
mother her life, and my birth was the firft of 
my misfortunes. 

1 don't know how my father fupp6rted this 
lofs; but I know he was never happy after* 
wards. He thought he faw her in me, with* 
out being able to forget I had taken her from 
him : never did he clafp me in his arms, but I 
felt, by his fighs, by his convulfive embraces^ 
that a bitter regret was mixt with his carefles, 
though they were the tenderer for it When- 
ever he faid to me, Jean Jacques, let us taU 
of thy mother, I fald. Well, father, we fliall 
cry then ; and this word alone immediately drew 

great care of her education. She was taught 
drawing and iioging; fhe accompanied the the* 
crbOf had learning, and compofed tolerable verfe. 
Here is an extemporary piece of hers, in the abfence 
of her brother and huiband, while walking with 
her filler- in-law and their two cbildreO| on a coa« 
Tcrfation with fome one about them. 

Cc8 deux MeiTieurs, qui font abfent, 
Nous font cliers de bicn des n^anieres ; 

Ce font nos amis, nos aman9 } 
Ce font nos maris & nos frercs, 

£t les peres dc ces enfans^ 


B. I.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. s 

tears from him. Ah ! faid he with a groan, 
give her back to me again ; comfort me for 
her ; fill up the fpace flie h^s left in my foul. 
Could i love thee thus, if thou waft only mine ? 
Forty years after her deaih, he died in the 
arms or a fecond wife ; but the name of the 
firft was on his tongue, and her image in his 
heart. ' ^ 

• Such were the authors of my being. Of 
all the' gifts heaven had beftowed on thenr, a 
feeling heart was the only one they left me j but 
that which was their happin.fs, caufcd all the 
misfortunes of my life. ^^^ 

I came into the world almoft dead j they 
had little, hopes of prefervii^ig me. 'I brought 
with me the feeds of a drforder which years 
have ftrengthcned, and. which now I am fome- 
times relieved from, only to fuffer otherwifc 
in a more cruel manner. A fifter of my father, 
an amiable and prudent young woman, took fo 
much care of me that me faved me. At the 
time I write this, flie is ftill living, nurfing at 
eighty a hufband younger than herfelf, but 
worn out by excefs in drinking. Dear aunt, I 
cxcufe you for having faved my life, and am 
forry 1 cannot return' you, at the decline oF 
your days, thofe tender cares you heaped on 
me at the beginning of mine. I have likewife 
my governefs Jaqueline ftill alive, healthy and 
robuft. The hands, which opened my eyes at 
my birth, may clofe them at my death. 

I felt before 1 thought; 'tis the common 
fate of humanity : -I have proved it more than 
any one. I am ignorant of What pafled till I 
was five or fix years old : I don't know hov^ I 

B 3 learnt 


learnt to rca<^; I remember my firfl: fludies 
only, and their eflPefl on me : this is the time 
from whence I date, without interruption, the 
knowledge of myfelf. My mother left ibme 
romances.^ My father and I read them after 
fapper. At that time the point was to exercife 
me in reading, entertaining books only; but very 
foon the intereft in them became fo flrong, 
that we read by turns without ceafing, 
and pailed whole nights at this employment. 
We never could leave off but at the end of 
the volume. Sometimes my father, on hearing 
the fwallows in the morning, would fay, quite 
afliamed, Come, let u» go to bed ; I ao^ more 
a child than thou art. 

In a fliort time I acquired, bjr this dangerous, 
method, not only an extreme facility in reading- 
and comprehending, but alfo a peculiar know- 
ledge at. my age of the paffions. l had not the > 
feaft idea of things, but the (entiments were 
known to me. I conceived nothing; I had felt 
the wholel Thefe confufed emotions, which I 
found come one on the other, did not hurt the 
reafon I was not yet pofTeQed of; but they 
formed one of another fort, and gave me a, 
romantic extravagant notion of human life^ 
which experience and reBe<Slion have never been 
able entirely to eradicate. 

The romances ended with the fummer of 
1719. The winter following produced other 
things. My. mother's library being exbaufted, 
recourfe was had to that part of her father's 
which had fallen to our Ihai^. Happily we 
found fome good books among them : it could 
not well be othcrwife j this library having 


B. 1.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 7 

been collected by a mlnifter in the true fcnfe 
of the word, and not only learned, (for it wai 
then the fafliion,^ but alfo a man of tafte and 
fenfe. The Hiftory of the Church and of the 
Empire by Le Sueur, the Uifcourfcs of Boffuet 
on Univerfal Hiftory, Plutarch's Jlluftrious 
Men, the Hiftory of Venice by Nani, Ovid's 
Metamorphofes, La Bruyere, Fontenelle's 
Worlds, his Dialogues of the Dead, and a few 
irolumes of Moliere, w«re carried to my father's 
clofet, and I read th^m to him every day during 
kis employment. My tafte for i hem was un«» 
common, and perhaps not to be equalled at 
that age, Plutarch*, particularly, became my 
fkvourite author. The pleafure 1 took in read- 
ing faim over again and again, cured me a little 
of romances, and I foon preferred Agefilaus, 
Brutus, and Ariftides, to Orondates, Arta- 
meoes, and Juba. From thefe engaging 
fiudies, from the converfatio/is they occafioned 
between my father and me, were formed that 
liberal republican fpirit, that proud invincible 
charader, impatient of reftraint or fervitude, 
which has^ tortured me through the whole 
courfe of my life, in fituations the leaft proper 
for giving them action. Inceftantly occupied 
with Rome or Athens, living in a manner with 
their great men, myfelf born citizen of a 
republic, and fon to a father whofe love of his 
country was his ruling paffion, I glowed at 
his example ; I thought myfelf Greek or Ro- 
man ; 1 was transformed into the perfon whofe 
life I read : the recital of an z& of conftancy 
and intrepidity which ftruck me, rendered my 
eyes fiery^ and my voice ftrong. One day at 

B 4 table. 


table, reciting the ftory of ScasiroIa,they were 
affrighted to fee tne go fortvard, and hold my 
hand over a chafing-dilb, to reprefent hit 

I had a brother feveh years older than me* 
He learned the profeffion of my father. The 
extreme affedtion for me caufed him to be a 
little negle£led, and this is not what I approve 
cL His education felt this negligence. He 
gave into libsrtinifm, even before the age of a 
real libertine. He was fent to another mafter^ 
where he played the fame pranks as at home, 
I feldonv faw him ; I can fcarcely fay I wa| 
acquainted with him ; but I neverthelefs loved 
him tenderly, and he loved me as much as a 
rake can love any body. I recolledl once, when 
my father chaftized him feverely and in anger, 
1 threw myfelf impetudufly between them, and 
c]ofely embraced him. I covered him thus 
^ith my body, receiving the flrokes aimed at 
him. 1 perfifled fo much in this attitude, that 
my father was at lad obliged to pardon him, 
either (bftened by my cries and tears, or being 
unwilling to beat me more than him. In fine, 
my brother grew fo bad, he went off, and 
^ entirely difappeaied. Some time after we h eard 
he was in Germany. He never once wrote* 
He has never fince been heard of, and thus I 
became the only fon* 

Though the poor boy was negle£led, it was 
not fo with bis brother ; the fons of kings 
could not be better takfi^n care of than I was 
during my tender years by all around me, and 
always, which is very rare, treated as a beloved, 
not as a fpoiled child : not once, whii(l under 


B.I.] J. J. &OU6SEAO. 9 

paternal infpedion, was I permitted to run 
about the ftreets with other children ; never 
required reprimand or gratification in any 
fantaflical humour, imputed to nature, but 
which fprings from education only. I had the 
faults of my age } I was a prattler, a glutton, 
and fometimes a liar. I fometimes ftole fruit, 
fweetmeats, and viSuals ; but I never took 
pleafure in mifchief, wafte, accufing others, or 
torturing poor animals. I remember, however, 
making water once in the kettle of one of our 
neighbours, whtstfe name was madam Clot, while 
ihe was at church. I own too the recdlie£lion 
ftill makes me laugh, becaufe madam Oot, a 
good creature if you pleafe, was, however, 
the moft grumbling old woman 1 ever knew. 
Thus you have the fhort and true hiftory of 
all my childifli mifdeeds. 
- How could I become wicked, when I had 
nothing before my eyes but examples of mild- 
nefs, and around me the beft people in the 
world ? My father, my aunt, my governefs, 
my relations, my acquaintance, my neighbours, 
all who furroundcd me, did not obey me indeed, 
but loved me, and 1 on my part loved them* 
My wiflies were fo little excited and fo little 
contradided, I never thought of any. 1 can 
make oath that until my fubjed^ion to a mailer, 
I never knew what a caprice was. Except 
the time 1 fpent in reading, or writing with 
my father, or that my governefs took me oMt ' 
a walking, I was always with my aunt, ob* 
ferying her embroider, hearing her fing^ fitting 
or flandiog by her fide, and 1 was happy. Her 

B 5 fprighc- 


(fM:ight|iner% her mild^efe, ber agreeai>lecoua-r 
tenance, arefo ftrongly imprinted on me, tha( 
I yet fee her manner, her looks, her attitude i 
I remember, her little careffing queftions ; % 
could tell her cioathingand head^drefs, withoMf 
fqfgetting the two locks her black hair forme4 
on her temples, acoording to the falhion of 
thofe times. 

i am perfuaded I am indebted to her for a 
tafte,or rather paiSon, for muiic, which did not 
ihew itfelf till long afterwards* Sh^knew a 
prodigious number of tunes and fongs, which 
ihe fung with a foft and melodious voice* 
The ferenity of foul of this excellent girl drove 
from her) and thofe who furrounded ber^fadnefs 
and melancholy. The charms of her voice (o 
allured me^ that not only feveral of her fengt 
remain in my memory, but fome of them come 
to my recollection, now 1 have loft her, though 
totally forgot fince my infancy, and prefent 
themfelves ftill as 1 grow old, with a charm 
] am not able to exprefs. Would one think 
that I, an old dotard, worn out with care and 
trouble, furprize myfelf fometimes in tears 
like a child, in muttering thefe little tunes with 
a voice already broke and trembling i One 
of them in particular I have recolleded en- 
tirely again, as to the tune ; but the fecond 
moiety of the words conftanUv refufes every 
effort to recal it, though I eaten the rhimes in 
a confufed manner of Tome of them. Here i« 
the beginning, and what I have been able to 
recollect of me remainder* 



B.iO J. J. ROUSSEAU. ii 

Tircis, jc n*olc 
Ecouter ton chalumeau 

Sous V ormeau ; 

Car on en caufe 
Deja dans notre hameau. 

• • • • un bcigor 

• • • • s'engager 

• • • . • f^^^ danger; 

Et toujours r Ipine eft fous la rofe. ^ 

1 have fought for the moving charm my 
keart feels at this fong : 'tis a caprice I cannot 
comprehend ; but there is an impoflibility of 
iny finging it to the end without being fufFo- 
cated by tears. I have an hundred times 
intended to write to Paris, to get the remaining 
words, if it ihould happen that any one ftill 
knows them* But I am almoft fure the plea- 
fure I take in recalling them to my mind would - 
vanifii in part, if I had a proof that any other 
than my poor aunt Safan fung them* 

Such were the firft affedlions of my entrance' 
into iife; thus was formfed and began to (hew 
itfdf that heart of mine at once fo proud and 
Co tender, that charader fo efl[t;minate, but 
neverthelefs invincible, which, always floating 
between weaknefs and courage, between eafe 
and virtue, has even to the lail fet me in con- 
tradidtion with myfelf, and bas caufeJ abfti« 
jience and enjoyment, pleafure and prudence^ 
equally to fhun me. **** 

This courfe of education was interrupted 
by an accident whofe confequences influenced 
the reft of my life. My father had a difpute 

B 6 with 


with a Mr. G**^9 a captain in France, and 
related to fomc of the council. Thfe G***, 
an infolent and ungenerous jnan, bled at the 
nofe) and to revenge himfelf accufed my father 
of having drawn his fword againft htm in the 
city. My father^ whom they wanted to fend 
to prifon, infifted that, according to law, the 
accufer fl^ould be lent there likewife. Not 
being able to obtain it, he chofe rather to 
leave .Geneva and quit his country for the reft 
of his life, than to give up a point where 
iionour and liberty feemed in danger ji 
f^ 1 remained unaer the tuition of my uncle 
Bernard, at that time employed in the fortifi* 
cations of Geneva. His eldeft daughter was 
•dead, bat he had a fon about my age. We 
were both lent to board a^Bofley with the 
minifter Lambercier, toJearn, with Li tin, all 
the infigniiicant ftufF which accompanies it^ 
under the name of education. 

Two years fpent in a village foftcned a little 
^ my Roman fiercenefs, and brought me back 
to my ftate of childhood. At Geneva, where 
nothmg was forced on me^ I was fond of 
application and ftudy ; 'twas almo(| my whole 
amufement. At BoiTey application made me, 
fond of play as a relaxation. The country was 
fo new to me 'twas impoffible to tire myfelf 
vflth its enjoyment. My tafte for it was a 
paflion I never could extingui(h. The re- 
membrance of the happy days I have pafled in 
it, makes me regret its abode and its pleafures. 
at every age, quite to that which has brought 
rpe there again. M. Lambercier was a very- ^ 
ienfible m^n^ wbo^ without negle^ing our in* 



B^f.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. t} 

firafiioiif litver loaded us with' extreme talks. 
The proof his method was a ebod one isythaty in 
fpite of my averfion to conftraint^ I never re« 
coilefl with difguft my hpurs^of ftudy ; and 
though I did no( learn much of him, what I 
learnt was without trouble* and I ftill re* 
tain ft. 

The fimplictty of that rural life was aa 
advantage in^ftimaUe* as it opened my heart 
to friend(hip. Till then I had been acquainted 
with ele:vated, but imaginary fentiments only. 
The habit of living in a peaceable ftate to* 
gether tenderly united me to my couiin Ber- 
nard. In a Tittle time 1 had more affedionate 
fentiments for him, than thofe I had for my 
brother, and which have never worn away. 
He was a tall, long»ihanked| weakly bov, with 
a mind as mild . as his body was feebfe, and 
did not much abufe the partiality (hewn him 
in the houfe as ion of my guardian* Our 
labour, our amufements, our. taftes, were the 
fame ;« we were alone, of the fame age ; each - 
of us wanted a play-mate : to feparate us was 
in fome meafure to annihilate us. Though - 
we had not many opportunities of (hewing 
our attachment to each other, it was extreme ^ 
and not only we could not live «n inilant ie« 
parated, but we even thought we never could 
endure k. * Each of a humour ^o yield to 
kindnefs, complaifant if not conftrained, we 
always agreed on every point. If, favoured 
by thofe who governed us, he had theafcendanr 
over me while in their fight i when We were 
alone I bad it over him, which eftabli(hed the 
enuiUbrium^ . At our (tudics^ J prompted him. 


14 TH£ CONF£lSiOKS dF (B. i. 

if be htfiutsd; when My exertift was done 
I hdfied hin in dnajr his, mnd at onf amufe* 
mcnts ukf inore aaive tafte always guided 
him. la fine, our two charafiers were fd 
alike, and the friendAip whith united us fo reai^ 
that for more tlHu» five years that we were 
nearly infeparable, both at Bofley and Geneva^ 
we often fought, i aHow, but it was never ne- 
ceflary to feparate os ; no one of our dtfputes 
lafted more than a quarter of an hour, and we 
nefer once accufed each other. Thefe re- 
marks are^ if you will, pueriie ; but the refute 
is, perhaps, a fmgular example fince children 
have exifled. 2s* 

The manner I lived in at Bofiey was fo agree* 
able, that nothing but its continuance was ne- 
cefiary abfolutely to fix my charaAer. Ten-* 
der, affisSionate, peaceable fentiments^ were its 
bafis, I believe an individual of our fpeciesr 
never had naturally lefs vanity than I. I raif- 
ed myfelf by tranfports to (uUime emotions, 
but as fuddenly I returned to my languor. 
To be loved by all who faw me was my great- 
eft wiili. I was mild, fo was my coufin; thofe 
who governed us were the fame. During two 
years I was neither witnefs nor vidim of a 
violent fentiment. Every thing nouriOied in my 
heart the difpofitions it received from nature : 
I knew nothing fo charmine as to fee every 
one contented with me and every thing elfe. 
lihail for ever remember, that, at church, an- 
fwering our catechifm, nothing fo much 
' troublra roe, when I happened to hefi^ 
tate, as to fee, in the countenance of 
Miff L^mbercier, ma#ks of uneafinefs tmi' 


B, rO J. J. ROUSSEAU. is 

ttaubl^. Thad tfoie aflUdtd me more ttam 
tbe fh»M oS fnulrrri^g in puUic, w)iicb» 
liowever, extr^sely afl^ed m^ : for, though 
nfit very f«nfib!e to praHe^ I ftlwajs Ms veiy 
much to ibame s and I can aoliF fay, that the 
expeAation of a reprioNiad from Mtfs Lam- 
bercier alarmed me lefs than the dread of 
making her uneafy. 

However, ihe did not, onoccafion, v^ant fe- 
verity any more than her brother; but at 
this feverity^ alinoft alvrays juft, was never In 
anger, it affli&ed me, but without complaining, 
I was more forry to difpleafe than to be pu« 
niflied, and the ugn of difcontent was more 
cruel to me than affli£iive corretElion. It is 
painful to me, but I muft fpeak plainer/ The 
method taken with youth would be changed, 
if the diftant eff&Sts were better feen, from what 
18 always indifcriminately, and often indif« 
.creteJy, made ufe of. The great lefTon to be 
learjit from an example as common as fatal , 
made me refolve to give it. 

As Mifs Lambercier had a mother's afFe£bioa 
fqr us, file had alfo the authority, and fome* 
times carried it (6 far as to inAi^ on us the 
pttniihment of infants, when we deferved it. 
She confined herielf long enough to menaces, 
and menaces were fo new to me as to feem 
very dreadful ; but after their execution^ I 
found them lefs terrible in the proof than in 
the expedation i and, what is more extraordi- 
nary, the chaftifement drew my aiFedion ftill • 
more towards her who gave it. Nothing lefs. 
than the reality of this, afteflion, and aU> 
my nanirai mildnefs^ couU have prevented. 


16 THE CONFfiSSldNS OF^. fB.i; 

me from^feeing a reCura of- ttitf famd Creatmeivt 
in deferviiig it ; for I fdk in ray grief, zn4 
even in my.lhame, a mixture of fenfualit^ 
which left more defire thart fear to experience 
it again from the fame hand. It-is certain, 
that, as there was, without doubt, a forwanF 
inftind of the fex in it, the fame chaftifement 
from her brother would not have appeared ill 
the leaft pleafing. But from a man of his hu- 
mour this fubftitution was not much to be' 
feared, and if I did abftain from meriting cor- 
reSion, it was only for fear of vexing Mifs 
Lambercier ; for fuch an empire has benevo* 
lence eftablifhed in me, and even that the fen- 
fts have given birth to, they always give law 
to my heart. 

This relapfe, which I retarded without 
dreading, happened without my fault, that is 
my will, and I benefited by it, I may fay 
with a fafe confrience. ~ But ttiis iecond time 
was alfo the laft : for Mifs Lambercier, per- 
ceiving, doubtlefs, by fome fign, that the chaf- 
tifement did not anfwer the intention, declared 
Ihe renounced it, and that it wearied her too 
much. Until then we lay in her chamber, 
and in the winter fometimes even in her bed. 
Two days after we were removed to another 
room, and I had in future the honour, which 
I could very well have done without, of being 
treated by her as a great boy. 

Who would believe it, that tbis chrldifli 
chaftifement, received at^ight years old from 
the hand of a girl of thirty, (hould <lecide 
roy taftes, my defires, my paffions, for the reft 
of a\y days, and that precifely in a contrary 


B.I.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 17 

fenfe to what might have been expefied 
naturally to follow it? At the very time my 
fenfes were iired, my defires took fo oppofite 
a turn, that, confined to what they had expe* 
rienced, they fought no farther* With blood 
boiling with fenfualityal mod from my birth, I 
preferved ray purity from every blemifli, even 
until the age when thecoldeft and backwardeft 
confiitutions difcover themfelves. Long tor«- 
mented, without knowing by what, ). devour- 
ed with an ardent eye every fine woman ; my 
imagination recalled them incefTantiy to my 
memory, folely to fubmit them to my manner, 
and transform them into fo many Mifs Lam- 

. Even after the marriageable age, this odd 
tafte, always encreafing, carried even to depra- 
vity, even to folly, preferved my morals good, 
the very reverfe of which might have been ex« 
pecSted. If e^r an education was modeft 
and chafie, 'twas certainly that I received. 
My three aunts were not only people of an . 
exemplary prudence, but of a referve women 
have long fiace forgot. My father, a man of 
pleafure, but gallant after the old fafhion, 
never advanced to thofe he loved a word 
•which could make a virgin blufli,and never,than 
in pur family and before me, was (hewn more 
of that refped we owe children. The fame 
attention was found aC Mr. Lambercier's on 
that article; a very good maid*fervant was 
difcharged for a word a little waggifh fhe 
pronounced in our prefence. Not only I had . 
no difiinfi: idea of the union of th% fexes at 
the a^e of adolefcence ; but the confufed idea 



never piefented itfislf to me bot aa odbut aifd 
difguftful. 1 had an averfion for public wO'- 
men, 'Which never wore away; I avuld not 
iee a debauched fiellow without difdain, nor 
even without terror ; for my abhorrence of de- 
bauchery was carried to this point, (inre, in 
going one day to the little Sacconex through 
a hallow way, I faw on each fide cavities in 
the earth, where I was told thefe people copU'- 
lated. What I had feen aaoogft d0g8 alwayt 
ftruck me in thinking of others, and my flo^ 
mach turned at this fde remembrance. 

I'befe prejudices of education, proper in 

themfelves to retard .the firft expJofions of a 

combuflible eonftitution, were aided, as I have 

already faid, by k diverfion caufed in me by 

t,he firA^notions of fenfuality. Imagining nO 

more than I fek^ in fpite of the effervefcence 

of troubleibme blood, I knew not how to 

carry my defires but towards that fpecies of 

voluptuoufnefs I was acquainted with, without 

<|iiite reaching that which had been rendered 

hateful to me, at)d which drew fo.near the 

other, without my ever fufpedtng it. In my 

ftupid fancies, in my erotic fury, in At ^K^ 

travagant a£is to which they fometimes carried 

me, 1 borrowed, in imagination, the affiftanceof 

the other fex, without fuppofing it fit for any 

other ufe than that I horned to make of it. 

I not only therefore thus pailed my whole 
age of puberty with a eonftitution extremely 
ardent, extremely lafcivious, and extremely 
forward, without defiring, without the know- 
ledge of any other fatisfadion of the fenfes 
than tboJfe.Mifs Laoibercier iAOOcently gave 


B. 1.] J- J. ROUSSEAU. 19. 

ttc an idea of; but when at laft the progre& 
of years bad made me a mani it was that 
which might have deftroyed me^ that faved 
me. Mv old childifb tafte, inftead of vanifli* 
ingj fo aiibciated with the other, I could never 
remove it from thofe defires fired by the fenfes ; 
and -this folly, joined to my natural timidity, 
lias always rendered me very little enterprifing 
with women, for fear of faying all or not. be- 
ing able to do all, that fort of enjoyment, 
whereof the other was to me but the lafl ftage,. 
not being to be ufurped by him who defires, 
or guefled at by her who can grant it. 1 have 
thus paiTed my days in coveting and in Glence^ 
with thofe I moft loved. Never daring t<> 
declare my tafle, I at ieaft aniufed it by rela- 
tions which preferved its idea* To fall at the 
feet of an imperious miftrefs» obey her orders, 
have pardons to a(k her, were for me the fweet* 
0ft enjoy ments,and the more my lively imagina- 
tion enflamed my blood, the more I had the 
air of a whining lover. It is conceived ^ thi% 
manner of making love is not attended by a 
rapid progrefs,nor is very dangerous to the vir- 
tue of its objed* I have tnerefore polTipfled 
little, but have not been without enjoyment, 
in my manner; that is imaginary. Thus 
have the fenfes, agreeing with my timid hu- 
mour and romantic mind, preferved my feel- 
ings pure and my morals chafte, by the fame 
inclinations which, perhaps, with a little more 
effrontery, might have plunged me into the 
moil brutal pleafures. 

I have made the iirft ftep and the moft pain* 
fttl in the obfcure and dirty m^ise of my Con- 



fefiions. *Tis rfot criminalfty we are moft 
unwilling to divulge; 'tis what is moft ridicu-' 
Ibus and fhameful. Henceforward I am furc 
of myfelf ; after what I havd dared to difclafe, 
nothing can be able to ftop me. You may' 
judge how much fuch acknowledgements coft 
me, fince, during the whole courfe of my life, 
hurried fometimes away with thofe I loved, by 
the fiiry of a paflion which deprived, me of the 
feculty of fight, of hearing, out of my fenfes,and 
ieized with a convulfive trembling all overmy 
body, I could never take upon me to declare 
my folly, and to implore, during the moft in- 
timate familiarity, the only favour to be added 
to the reft. It never happened but once in 
my childhood^'with a child of my age : befides, 
ihc it was who firft propofed it. 

In tbu% recounting to the firft traces of my 
fenfil?le being, I find elements, which, feeming 
fometimes incompatible, have not a little 
united to produce with force an uniform and 
fimple effect ; and I find others which, the 
ferae in appearance, Have formed, by the con- 
currence of Certain circumftances, fo difFercnt 
combinations, that one would never ifnagrrie 
thev had the leaft refemblaiice to each otner. 
Who would believe, for inftance, that one of 
the moft vigorous fprings of my foul was tem- 
pered in the fame fource from which luxury 
and eafe was communicated to it? Without 
abandoning the fubjeft I have juft fpoken of, 
I will (hew you a very diiFcrent impreflion it 

- 1 was one day ftudying alone in a chamber 
xontiguous t« tbc kitchen s the maid had put 


B.I.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 21 

fome of Mifs Lambercjer's ^Q|jMt. to dry by 
the fire ; when (he capue to fetkh them, flie 
found the teeth of o|^e of them broke : who 
fufpe£l of this havoqk? None befides myfelf 
had entered the room : they queilion me i I 
deny having touched the comb ; Mr. and Mifs 
Lambercier confult, exhort, preis, threaten i 
I perfift obftinately ; but convi^iion was too 
ftrong, and carrjed it;^againft all my protefta- 
tiops, though this was the firA time they caught 
me in fo audacious lies. The affair was 
thought, ferious ;< it deferved it. The wicked-* 
nefs, the lie, the obftinacy, were < thought 
equally wojrthy of punilhment ; but this time 
it was not Mifs Lambercier that inflided it. 
My uncle fiernard was wrote to ; he came* 
My poor coufin was chained with another 
crime not lefs ferious; we were. taken to the 
fame execution* I( was terrible. If, feeking 
the remedy even in the eyil, they had intended 
for ever to allay my depraved fenfes, they could 
not have taken a Inorter method ; and I aiTure 
you, they left me a long time at peace. 

They could not force from me the acknow- 
ledgement they fought: this renewed feveral 
times, and thrown into the moft dreadful ficu- 
ation, I was immoveable. I would have fuf- 
fered death, and was refolved on it. Force it- 
felf was obliged to yield to the diabolical infa- 
tuation of a child; for no other, name was 
given to my conftancy. In fine, I came out 
of this cruel trial in pieces, but triumphant. 

It is now near fifty years fince this adven* 
ture, and X am not atraid of being in future 
puniflied for .the fame fa£l. Well, I declare in 



the face Q^)|ieairen) I was innocent $ that I 
fieitber broK nor touched the comb; that X 
hevcr came near the fire, nor ever thought of 
it. Let me not be afked how it happened ; I 
know not, nor can comprehend it ; all that I 
know of k is that I was innocent. 

Figure to yourfelf atimid and docile charac-* ' 
ler in common life, but ardent, I^aughty, in- 
vincible in his paffi6ns; a child always go« 
verned by the voice of reafon, always treated 
with mildneft, eq^irity, and complaifance ; who 
had not even the idea of injtiftice, and who, for 
the iirft time^ experiences fo terrible a one, 
from thofe, precifely, he mqft cheriflies and 
refpefls. What a perverting of idea? ! what a 
diforder in the fentiments I what confufion in 
the heart, in the brain, in all one's little being, 
intelligent and moral I I fay, let any on^ ima- 
gine to themfelves all this, if poffible ; for as to 
myfelf, 1 am not capable of diicovertng or fol- 
lowing the leafl trace of what paiTed in me at 
the time. 

I had not reafon enotigh to fed how much 
appearances condemned me, and to put myielf 
in the place of others ; I kept to my own, and 
all i felt was the rigour of a dreadful chailife* 
ment for a crime fhad not committed. The 
forenefs of my body, though violent, I fcarcely 
felt ; 1 only felt indisnattpo, rage, and defpair. 
My coAifin, in almofta like cafe, who had been 
puniihed for an involuntary fault as a premedt^ 
tated ad-, grew furious by my example, and 
raifed himfelf in a manner to unite with me. 
Both in the fame bed embraced each other with 
convulfive tranfports ; we v^re fuiFocated ; 



B. I.] J. J. ROUSSEAUi 2% 

and when our young heartt» a Ittde cafedy 
could breaihe out their indignatioii, we fat up 
in our bed, and began both of us crying out, 
an hundred times, with ail our force, Carni« 
fex ! Carnifex ! Camifox ! 

I feel in writing this my pulfe ftill riije | 
thefe moments would be continually prefent, 
were 1 to live an hundred thoufand years. This 
firft fentim^nt of violence and of injuftice is fo 
deeply graven on my (bul, that every refem-, 
bling idea brills b^ibck my iirft emotion ; and ' 
this fentiment relative to me in its origin, has 
taken fuch a confidence, and is fo far from 
perfonal intereft, that my heart is inflamed at 
the fight or recital of an unjutt a<Slion, what« 
ever may be its obje&, or wberefoever it may 
be comoMtted, as if .the effcEt fell on me. 
When I read the htftory of a cruel tyrant, the 
fubtle blgck actions of a knavlih pried, I 
could fet oiF. heartily to flab thefe mifcreants, 
though 1 ihould periih an hundred times in the 
attempt. I have often fweated in purfuing and 
ftoning a cpck, a cow, a dog, an animal, I 
faw torment another, only becaufe he knew 
himfelf to be the ftrongeft. This emotion may 
be natural to mie, and I believe it is ; but the 
profound reme/nbrance of .the firft injuflice I 
iftlfifred, w^l too Iqng and too ftrongly an- 
nexed not to have greatly ftrengthened it. 

This was the end of thy childifh ferenity. 
From cbis moment I ceafed to enjoy pure hap« 
pinefs; and I feel even at this inftant the re« 
mem^rance !Qf the charms of childhood flops 
iJ^re. Wi? remained at Bofley a few months 
after ward^^. We .w^e ther^, as the firft man 


is reprefented in the terreftrial paradife, but 
having ceafed to enjoy it. It was in appear* 
ance the fame fitiiation, but in etkik quite 
another (ort of being. Attachment, refpeft, 
intimacy, confidence, no longer bound the pu* 
ptJs to their guides} we no longer thought 
them gods who could read our hearts ; we were 
lefs amamed to do wrong, and more fearful of 
being accufed ; we began to be fly, to mutter, 
and to lie« ' All the vices of our age corrupted 
our innocence and clouded our diverfions^ 
even the country loft in our eyes its alluring 
fweetnefs and fimplicity which reach the heart : 
it feemed tousdefertand gloomy ; it was, as it 
were, covered with a veil which hid its beauties* 
We ceafed to cultivate our little gardens, our 
herbs, and our flowers. We no more went 
to fcrape up the earth, and cry out with joy, 
on difcovering a (hoot of the grain we had 
fown. We grew diffatisfied with this life ; 
thev grew tired of us ; my uncle took us home^ 
andf we ieparated from Miis Lambercier, cloyed 
with each other, and little regretting our fepa* 

Near thirty years have pafled away fince I 
left Bofiey, without having recollected my abode 
there, in an agreeable manner, by a remem- 
brance a little coherent: but fince I have 
pafled the prime of life, and am declining to- 
wards old-age, I feel the fame remembrance of 
things fpring ijo again, while others wear 
away, and iropnnt themfelves in my memory 
with a charm and a force which daily increafes } 
as if finding already life flying from me, I feck 
to catch hold of it ag^ain^ by its commence- 

B. I.] j. J^ R O US S E A U. ; IS 

, tntnt. The leaft fafis of thofe times pleafed me 
for no other reafon than that they were of thofe^ 
times. I recollect every circumftance of places^ 
perfons, and hours. 1 fee the maid or the 

, fbotman bufy in the chamber^ a fwailow com- 
ing in at the window, a .fly fettling on. ihy 
band« while I was faying my leflbn : I fee the 
whole arrangement of the room we were in ; 
M. Lambercier's clofet on the right, a print 
Rprefenting all the popes, a barometer, a large 
calendar; rafpberry- trees which, from a very 
elevated garden, in which the houfe flood low 
in the back of it, (haded the window, and 
ibmettmes came quite in. I know the reader 
has no occafion to be acquainted with all this ; 
Jbut i have occafion myfelf to tell it him". Why 
am I afbamed to (relate equally every little 
anecdote of my happy years, which yet make 
me leap with joy when I recollefl: them. Five 
or fix particularly— —Let us compound. I 
will leave out five, but I will have one, only 
one ; provided you let me lengthen it as much 
as pofiible^ to prolong my pleafure. 

If I fought yours only, 1 might chufe that 
of Mifs Lambercier's backfide, which, by an 
unlucky fall at, the bottom of the meadow, 
was expofed quite bare to the king of Sardi- 
nia, as he was pafling : but that of the walnut- 
tree on the terrace is more amufing to me, 
who was the a&or, Whereas at the fall I was 
only a fpedlator ; ^ and 1 own I could not find 

' the leaft caufe for laughing at an accident 
which, though odd in itfelf, alarmed me for a 
peribn I loved as my mother^ and perhaps 

Voi.h C ' Oyou 

ft6 THE CONFESSlC»IS Of f B. n' 

O you cutipoB readers of the grand hifhry: 
of the walnut-tree on the terrace, Itftea to 
the horrible tragedy». and abftain from trem« 
bline if you can. 

_/rhere was on the outiide of the court-door 
a terrace on the left hand on coming in, on 
which they often fat after dinner, but it had 
no (hade ; that it might have fome, M. Lam« 
Bercier had a walnut-tree planted there. The 
planting it was attended with folemnity : the 
two boarders were the godfathers, and whilft 
they were filling the hole, we each of us held 
the tree with one h^nd, fingipg fongs of tri- 
umph. It was watered by a ibrt of bafon round 
its foot, livery day, arqent fpe£lators of this 
watering, we confirmed each other, my coufin 
and me, in a very natural idea, that it was 
nobler to plant trees on the terrace than colours - 
on a breach, and we refolved to procure oiur- 
felves this glory, without dividing it witfaat^ 
one. 4 

To do this, we went and cut the flips of a 
willow, and planted it on the terrace, at eight 
or ten feet from the auguft walnut-tree. We 
did not forget to makelikewife a hollow round 
our tree ^ the difficulty lay in getting where- 
withal to fill it, for water was brought from a 
cgnfiderable dijfknce, and we were not per- 
mitted to go out to fetch it: however, it was 
abfolutely wantir>g to our willow. We made 
ufe of every wile to let it haye fome for a few . 
days, and we fo well fucceeded, we faw it bud : 
and throw out fmall leaves, whofe growth was 
meafiAied from hour to bouri perfuaded,. though 



it was not a foot from the ground, it would 
not be long before it ihaded us. 

As our tree, taking up our whole time, ren* 
dered us incapable of any other application, 
of all (liidyy we were as in^a delirium^ and 
the caufe not being known, we were kept 
clofer than before -, we faw the fatal moment 
wherein our water would fall (hort, and were 
aiBided with the expedation of feeing our tree 
perifh with drought. At laft, necef&ty, the mo- 
ther of induftry,tuggefted an invention of favinjg 
our tree and ourfelves from certain death ; ic 
was to make under ground a furrow which 
would privately condudl to the willow a part 
of the water they brought the walnut-tree. 
This undertaking, executed with ardour, did 
not fuccced immediately : we took our defcent 
fo badly, the water did not run i the earth feU 
in and ftopt up the furrow ; the entrance was 
filled with filth ; all went crofs. Nothing dif- 
pirited us. Omnia vincit labor improbus* We 
cut our earth and our bafon deeper to let the, 
water run; we cut the bottom of boxes into^ 
little narrow planks, whereof fome laid fiat \rx 
a row, and others^ forming an angle from .each 
fide of them, made us a triangular channel for 
our conduit. At the entrance we placed fmall 
ends of thin wood, not clofe, which, forming^ 
^, kind of grate, kept back the mud and ftonesi 
without (lopping the water. We carefully co- 
vered our work over with well-trodden earthy 
and the day it was finifiied, we waited, in 
agonies of nope and fear, the hour of water* 
ing. After ages of expeftation, this hour at 
laft came: M. Lambercicr came alfo as lifual 

C 2 to 


to affift at the performance^ during which we 
got both of U8 behind him to hide our tree, 
to which happily he turned his back. 

Thejr had fcarcely begun pouring the firft 
pail of water, but we began to perceive it run 
to our bafon : ^t this fight prudence aban- 
boned us ; we fet up ihouts of joy, which 
caufed M. Lambercier to turn round — it was a 
pity ; for he was pleaiing himfelf greatly to fee 
how greedily the earth of his walnut-tree fwal- 
Jowed the water. Struck at feeing it divide it- 
k\f between two bafons, he (houts in hrs turn ; 
{ees ; perceives the rogiiery ; orders, in hafte, 
a pick-axe, gives a flroke, makes two or three 
of our planks fly, and hallooing with all his 
ilrength, An aqueduif ! an aquedulf ! he ftrikes 
on every fide unmercifurilrokes, every one of 
which reached the bottom of our hearts. \n 
one moment the planking, the conduit, the 
bafon, the willow, all were deftroyed, all 
plowed up ; without there having been pro- 
nounced, during this terrible expedition, any 
other word th^n the exclamation he inceffantly 
repeated : An aqutduSi ! cried he, at the fame 
time breaking up all, an aquedu£i ! an aqui^ 
duel / 

You would think the adventure ended badly 
for the young archited^s. You miflake : the 
whole ended there. M. Lambercier never re- 
_proached us of it ; did not {hew us a different 
countenance, and faid no more of it to us ; we. 
even heard him foon after laugh with his filter 
with all his might ; for the laugh of M. Lam- 
bercier was heard afar ^ and, what is more af- 
tonilhing, after the firft fenfation, we ourfelves 
. - ' were 


B.I.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. ^9 

were not affi£le'd. We plarited in another 
place anothef' tree, and often called to mind 
the cataftrophe of the firft, repeating with em- 
phafis to ourfelves, An aqueduSl ! an aqueduSf ! 
Till then I had fits of pride, by intervals^ when 
I was Ariftides or Brutus. This was my firft 
movement of vanity quite vifible. To have 
condrudted an aquedudt with my own hands, 
having put a flip of wood in concurrence with a 
large tree, appeared to me a fupreme deg;rec of 
jglory. At ten I judged better than Caefar at 

The Idea of this walnut-tree, and the litt!e 
hiftory it relates to, was fo well retained in 
tny memory, that one of my moft agreeable pro- 
jcfis in my journey to Geneva in 1754, was to 
go to BoHey, and review my childifh amufe- 
ments, and particularly the beloved walnuts 
free, which muft at thai) time have been the 
third of a century old. I Was fo continually be<- 
fet,and fo little my own mafter,! could not ob«^ 
tain a moment toiatisfy myfelf. There is little 
appearance of the occaiion ever being renewed. 
I have not, however, loft the defire with the 
hope ^ and I am almoft certain, if ever 1 re- 
turn to thefe charming fpots, and Oiould find 
my beloved walnut*tree ftill exifting, I ihould 
water it with my tears. 

Returned to Geneva, I pafled two or three 
years at my uncle's, waiting till they fhoUld 
refolve what to dp with me. As be devoted hit 
fon to genius,he was inftru£ted in a little draw^ 
ing, and he taught him himfelf the Elements of 
Euclid*. 1 learnt all this being a companion,an(l 
St took my tafie,part2cularly drawing. However^^ 


It was detoted, whether I vi^as to be watch- 
maker, lawyer, or a minifter. I liked beft to be a 
minifler, for I thought it very clever to preach; 
but the little incomeleft by my mother^which was 
to be divided between my brotherand me^was not 
fufficient to fupport my ftudies. As my age did 
not render the choice very prei&ng, I remained 
in the mean while with my uncle, lofing, 
nearly, my time, ;not without paying, very 
juftly, pretty dear for my board. 

My uncle, a man 0|f pleafure as well as my 
father, knew not like him how to fubmit to his 
duties, and took very little care of us. My 
aunt was devout) even a pietifl, who preferred 
finging pfalms to our education : they left us 
almoft at an entire liberty, Ayhich we never 
abufed. Always infeparable, we fufEced to 
each ether, and not being inclined to frequent 
the rakes of our age, we Teamed none of thofe 
Jhabits of libertinifm our idle life might have 
prompted us to. I am to blame even to fup- 
pofe us idle, for in our lives we were never lefs 
foj and the greateft Jiappinefs was, that every 
amufement which we fucceffively purfued, kept 
us together emploj^d in the houfe, without 
being inclined ever to go into the ftreet. We 
made cages, pipes, kites, drums, houfes, 
fliips, and bows. We fpoiled the tools of my 
good old grandfather, to make watches in imi- 
tation of him. We had particularly a tafte of 
J)re(erence to daubing paper, drawings wafih* 
ng, colouring, and fpoiling. colours. There 
came an Italian mountebank to Geneva, called 
Gamba Corta; we went once to fee him, but 
would ^p no more ; be had puppets-*-fo w« 


B. 1.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 31 

ttt ourfelve$ to makii:ig. puppets ; his puppeti 
played a kind of comedy, and we made co- 
medies for ours. For waot of the praftical, 
we counterfeited in our throat Punch's voice,to 
aft thefe charming comedies j our good parents 
had the patience to fee and hear : but my uncle 
Bernard having one day read to his family a fine 
fermon of his, we left our comedies, and began 
to compofe fermons, Thefe detaib are not very 
interefting, I allow ; but it ihews how much 
our firft education muft have been well di- 
refled, as that, matters almoft of our time^ 
and of ourfelves in an age fo tender, we were 
fo Httle tempted to abufe it. We had fo little 
need of play- fellows, we even neglefled the 
occafion of flseking for them. When we were 
taking our walk» we regarded their play as we 
paffed without coveting it^ without even think- 
ing of taking part ill jt^ Friendfhip fo much 
filled our hearts, it fufflced to be together thaif 
the fimpleft taAes ihould be pur delight. 

By being continually together we were re- 
marked ; the more fo, as^ my cpufin being very 
tall and I very little, it made ^ couple plea- 
fently forted. His long flender carcafe, hif 
final] vifage like a baked apple, his heavy air^ 
>bis fupine walk, excited the children to ridi* 
cule nim. In the gibbcrilh pf the country j^ 
they gave liim the nick-name of Barna Bre-i 
danna; and the moment we were bUt we 
heard nothing but Barna Bredanna all around 
lis. He fuffqred it eafier thari t : I was vexed 5 
I wanted to fight 5 it was what the young 
rogues wanted. 1 ifought; I was beat. My 
fooT coufin gave We iJl the siffiftance in his 

C 4 powei^l 



power ; but he was weak, at one ftroke they 
Knocked him down. 'Twa$ then I became fu« 
rious. However, though I received fome fmart 
blows, 'twas not at me they were aimed, 'twas 
at Barna Bredanna ; but I fo far encreafed the 
evil by my mutinous pai&on, we could fiir 
out no more but when they were at fcbool, for 
fear of being hooted and followed by the 

I am already become a redrefler of grievances* 
To be a knight-errant in form, I only wanted 
a lady. I had two. I went from time (o time 
to fee my father at Nion, a fmall city in the 
Vaudois country, where he was fettled. Mj 
father was much efleemed, and kindnefs waf 
extended to his fon on that account. During 
the Ihort ilay I made with him, 'twas who 
could receive me heft. A Madam de Vulfon 
particularlv (hewed me a thoufand kindneiles, 
and, to fill up the meafure, her daughter made 
ine her gallant. Any one can tell what a gal* 
lant at eleven is to a girl of two-and- twenty. 
But thefe rogues are fo glad to put their little 
puppets in the front tb hide the great ones, or 
to tempt them by the ihow of a pafiime they 
fo well know how to render alluring. For 
tny part^ who fflw between her and me no in- 
equality, I tooli^ it up ferioufly; I gave into it 
with my whole heart, or rather with my whole 
head ; for I was very little amorous elfewhere, 
though I was fo even to madnefs, and that my 
traniports, my agitations, and my fury, raifea 
fcenes that would make y^u die of laughing. 

lam acquainted with tw6 forts of love, very 
diflin£l, very real^ but ngt in the ^^ft allied^ 

* *' thougn 

B.I.] J. 7- ROUSSEAU. 3j 

though each are extremely violent, and both 
difier from tender friend (hip. The whole courfe 
of my life has been divided hetwctn tbefe tw^ 
loves of fo different a nature, and I have even 
experienced them both at the fame time ; for 
inftance, at the time -I fpeak of, whilft I fo 
publicly claimed Mifs de Vulfon fo tyranfti* 
cally that I could fuffer no man to approach 
her, I had with Mifs Goton meetings that were 
fliort enough, but pretty paffionate, in whiciv 
flie thought proper to act the fchoolmiftrefs,. 
and that was every thing ; but this every thing, 
which was in fa£t every thing to me, appeared 
to me fupreme happineis; and already perceiving 
the Value of the myftery, though I knew hoW to 
ufe it only as a child, I rkftored back to Mifs' 
Vulfon, who did not much expe£l it, the trou-^ 
Ue (he took in employing me to hide other a-' 
*mours. But, to my great mortification, my 
fccret was difcovered, or not fo well kept by 
my little fchoolmiftrefs as by me; for we were 
foon feparated. 

• This Mifs Goton was in truth a fin^ular 
perfbn. Though not handfome, {he had fome* 
thing difficuh to be forgot, and that I too ofcen» 
for an old fool, call yet to mind. Her eyes, in 
particular, were not of her age, or ftature, or 
carriage. She had a little impofing and lofty 
air, extremely well adapted to her'part:> ana 
urtiich occafioned the firft idea of any thing 
between us. But that moft extraordinary in her 
was a mixture of impudence and referve> diffi- 
cult to conceive. She permitted herfelf the 
greateft. familiarities with me, but never per*» 
nitted me any with her ; ihe tte^ted me exailly 


a.8 a child. This oial^cs me think> fhe bad either 
ceafe^l to be one^ or that, on the contrary, ih^ 
herfelf was tiiU iufliciently fo« as to perceive no 
mpre than play in the danger to which ike ex- 
poled herfelf. 

, I )}e]onged in a manner to each of thefe peo-^ 
ple^ and lo entirely, that with^ither of then^ 
X never thought of the other. But as to the 
reft, no refemblance in what they tnade me feel 
for them. I could have pafTed my days with 
Mifs Vulfon without a thought of leaving her ; 
b'ut on feeing her, my joy was calm, and did- 
not reach emotion. I was particularly fond of 
her in a great company ; her pleafaotries^ her- 
oglingy even jealoufy attached me to her: I 
triumphed with pride at a preference to great 
jrivals ibe feemed to me to ufe ill. I was tor- 
tured, but I liked the torture. Applaufe, en- 
couragement, fmiles, heated me, animated me* 
I was pafEonate and furious; I was tranfport- 
cd with love in a circle. Tete-a-tete I fhould 
have been conftrained, dull, and perhaps for« 
rowful. However, I felt tenderly for her 5 I 
fufFered if (he was ill : I would have given my 
liealth to eftablifli hers; and obferve that I: 
knew by experience what good and bad health 
was. Abfent, I thought of her, fhe was want- 
ing; prefent, her careiTes came foft to my 
heart, not to my fenfe. I was familiar to her 
-with impunity ; my imagination afked nothing 
but (he granted : I could,, however^ not have 
fupported her doing as much for others* I 
loved her as ^ brother ; but was jealous a$ a 

I (hould 

B.I.] J. J. ROUSSEAU, 35 

c I fliould have been fo of Mifs Goton as a 
Turk, afuiy,'or a t%er,i hadlonl^ imagin* 
oi^ (he could grant o&ers the fame favours (he 
did me ; for' tliefe were afked even on my 
knees. I approached Mtf$ de Vulfon with an 
iSkive pleafure, but without uaeafnefs ; but at 
the fight of Mifs Goton I- was bewildered; 
every fenfe'was overt^amed. I was familiar 
with the former, without taking liberties ; oa 
fhe contrary^ trembKng and agitated before the 
latter, eveii in the herght of iSmifliarity. I be- 
Jjeve, had I rernain^d too l6ng Wfth her, I 
tould not ha^ebfeen able to live; my palpita- 
tions would have frnothered me. I equally 
dreaded difpleafing them ; but was more com* 
plai&nttoone, and more ft/bmiffiveto the other* 
I would not have angered Mifs' Vulfon for the 
iBVorld; but if' Mifs Goton had commanded 
me to throw Myfclf in the flames, I think t 
fiiould inftantiy have d>eyed her. 

My amours, or rather my rendezvous with 
her, did not continue long, happily for her and 
me. Though my connexions with Mifs Vul- 
fon were not fo dangerous, they were not with* 
out their cataftrophe, after having lafted a lit* 
tie longer. The end of thefe affairs ought al- 
ways to have an air a Httle romantic, and^ 
caufe exclamation. Though my correfpbn- 
dence with Mifs Vulfon was lefs adlive, it was 
perhaps more endearing. We never feparated 
without tears; and it is Angular in what a 
burdenfome void I found myfelf, whenever I 
left her. ! could talk of nothing but her, or 
think of any thing but her ; my forrows werei 
real and lively ; but 1 believe, at bottom, thefe 

C 6 heroic 

36 THE CONFESSIONS Of- [8. i. 

heroic for rows were not all for her, and that^ 
without perceiving it, amiifement, of which 
Ike was the centre, bore a good (hare in thcm.^ 
To foften the rigour of abfeoce, we wrote 
each other letters, pathetical enough to fplit 
recks. In fine, I bad the glory of her not 
being able longer to hold out, and (he came 
to fee me at Geneva. This once my head was 
quite gone ; I was intoxicated and mad the two 
days (be (laid. When (he departed, I would 
have thrown myfelf into the water after her^ 
and long did the air refound with myxries* 
The following week (he (ent me fweetmeau 
and gloves, which would have appeared gal« 
lant; had I not at the fame time learnt her 
marriage, and that this Journey, of which I 
thought proper to give mytelf the honour,was to 
luy her wedding* fuit. I (hall not defcribe my 
fury } it is conceived. I fwolv in my noble 
rage never more to fee the perfidious girl ; 
thinking (he could not fufier a greater puni(h* 
ment. However, it did notoccafion her death | 
for twenty years afterwards, on a vifit to my 
father, tieing with him on the lake, I a(ked 
who were thofe ladies we faw in a boat not far 
from ours. How, fays my. father, fmiling, 
do^ not your heart tell you i Thefe are thy 
ancient amours, 'tis Madam Chriftin, 'tia 
Mifs de Vulfon. I ftarted at the almo/l for- 
gotten name; but I told the waterman to turn 
off, not judging it worth while, though I had 
a fine opportunity of revenging myfelf, to 
be perjured, and to renew a dispute twenty 
years pail wiih a woman of forty, 


Bit] J- J. ROUSSEAtr. 37 

, Thus did I lofe in foolery the moft precioot 
time of my childhood, before my deftinadoa 
was determined. After great deliberation on my 
ivatural difpofitions, th^y determined on what 
was the moft repugnant to them : I was fent to 
ai M. Mafleron, regifter of the city, to learn 
under him, as M.Bernard faid, the ufefal fcience 
ol* a fcraper. This nicIcTname- 
ibveretgnly ; the hopes of heaping money by 
ignoble means flattered but little my lofty 
temper; the employment appeared to me tire« 
fome and infupportable ; the affiduity and Tub* 
j^£lion completed my difguft, and I never 
went into th6 place where the regifters are kept, 
liut with a horror that encreafed from day to 
day. M* Mafleron, on his part, little (atisfied 
with me, treated me with difdain, incellantly 
upbraiding me as a fool and a blockhead ; re- 
peating daily that my uncle afiured I was iv^tc;* 
ingi knowings whillt in fad I. knew nothing; 
that he had promifed him a fprightly boy, and 
had fent him an afs^ In fine, I was turned out 
of the Rolls ignominioufly as a fool, and the 
clerks, of M. Mafleron pronounced me fit for 
nothing but to handle the file, 

. My vocation thus determined , I was bound 
apprentice; not however to a watchmaker, 
l)ut to an engraver. The contempt of the re-» 
gifier humbled me extren^ely, and I obeyed 
without murmur. My mafter, named M. Du^ 
commtin, was a booriOi, violent young man, 
nfho madea (biftf in ji very little time, to tarnifh 
^1 the fplendour of my childhood v to ftupify my 
i^miable and fprightly difpofition, «fid to reduce 
qiy knlk^ as well 9^ my fortune to the tlue flate 


of ah iipprentice. Mf Lattn» mj tintiquiti«9^ 
liMory, all was for a l<jbg time forgotten : I did* 
not even rjemeniber the world had ever fvodueed 
Roimins. My father, when I went to fee htm, • 
faw no longer his idol ; the faufies found ne^' 
thiAg of the gallant Jean- Jacques ; and 1 wai* 
myfclf fe well convinced that Mr. and Mifii' 
Lambercier would no longer receive me as their* 
pupil, that I was alhamed to be feeii by them ; 
and fince that time have I never feen them. The 
vilefb inclinations, the bafeft tricks, fucceeded 
my amiable aouifesientay without leaving me 
the leaft idea of theaiK I miift have had, in 
fjjnte of my good education, a great inclination 
to degenerate ; for I dfd fa in the moft rapid 
manner, and without the leaft trouble, and ne* 
^er did fo forward a Csefar fo quickly became' 
a Larjdon. 

The art itfdf did not difpleafe me ; I bad a\ 
lively tafte for drawing s the exercrfe of the^ 
graver pleafed me well enough, and as the talent 
of a watch*cafe engraver is very confined, I 
hoped to attain perfe<$ion* I fhould have reach'd ' 
it, perhaps, if the brutality of my mafler, an^* 
exceiBve conftraint, had not d^fgu'fted me with^ 
labour. I waded his time, to employ it in oc- 
cgpations of my own fort, but which had in my; 
eyes the charms of liberty. I engraved a kind' 
of medals to ferve me and my companions as an; 
order of chivalry^ My mafter furprized me at 
this contraband labour, and broke my- bones,' 
telling me lexercifed myfelf in coining money,' 
becaufe our medals bore the arms of the repub*- 
lie. I can fafely fwear 1 had not the leaft idea* 
ol couAterftit, and very> little of ihte real* money.* 

I knew 

». I.] J* J. ROVSSEAir.r 39 

I kfiewbetHr Jiow tomnke^ » Rt>fAa ib» diaii 
one of ^r. tb ree-penny piccw* ' , * 

; My m^er*8 tyt anojr resderej tike labour I 
jhould othervtfe have loved infuppofUUe» tad 
drove ine 10 vice3 Libouldbave desfptredtfach as 
falfehood) laxinefs, and theft. Nothing has fii 
well taught me the diflference between filial de^ 
pendence and ftnrilefl3very,as the remembrance 
of the change it producea in me at this period. 
Naturally-timid and baihful, no one fault waa 
Jo diftant from me as- effrontery. But I enjoyed 
9 decent liberty^ which bad only been reftrain- 
fd 'till then by degrees, and at hfl entireljii 
yanjihed.. I was bold at my &th;er's, free at 
M. Laari>ercier'8, dificreetat my uncle'ff; I be-^ 
came fearful at my mafter's, and from that 
lime was aloft child. Accuftomed to a perfed 
- equality wijth my fuperiors in their method of 
living, never to know a pleafure I could noe 
command, to fee no difli of which I did not 
partake, to have no wifh but was made known, 
to bring, in fine, every motion of my heart 
|o my lips; judge what I muft be reduced to 
in a boufe where I dare not open my mouth, 
where I muft leavf the table without half fill-> 
ibg my bdly, and quit the room when I bad- 
nothing to (k> there, either inceffantly chained 
to my work, feeing nothing but objeds of en-» 
joyment for others, and none for me ; where 
the profpe<^ of the liberty of my mafter and 
his journeymen encreafcd the weight of my 
fub^eSioti ; where, in difputes on what I was 
belt acquainted with, I dare not fpeak ; where, 
in fine, every thing I faw became for my 
beartanr 0l;je& I coyeted for A0 other reafon^ 



dian beoattfe I was .dei^rived of it. Farewel 
cafe, ^icty, happy cxpreffions, which before 
Iften caiiftxl my faults to efcape chaftifement. 
I cannot recoiled without laughing, that one 
evening, at my father's, being ordered to bed 
for fome prank without my fupper, and paffing; 
through the kitchen with my forry bit of breads 
I faw and fmelt the roaft meat turning on the 
fpit. People were round the fire ^ I muft bow to 
every one as 1 pafTed. When I had been all 
round, eying the roaft meat, which looked fa 
nice, and fmelt fo well, 1 could not abflain from 
making that likewise a bdw, and telling it, in e 
pitiful tone. Good bye roaft meat I Inis fally^ 
of ingenuity appeared fo pleafant, it procured 
my ftay to fupper. Perhaps it might have had 
the effeA at my mafter's ; but it is certain it 
would not have come to my mind, or that 
I bad hot dared to deliver it. 

*Twas by this method I learnt to covet in 
filence, to be fly, diffimulate. He, and to fteal 
at laft I a thought which till then never ftruck 
me, and of which fince that time I could not 
entirely cure myfelf. Covecoufnefs and inabi- 
lity to attain always kads there. This is the 
reafon all footmen are thieves, and why all 
apprentices are fo ; but in an even and tranquil 
fituation, when every thing they fee is at com- 
mand, they rofe , as they grow up, this ihame« 
ful propeniity. Not having had the fame ad- 
vantage, I could not havci the fame benefit. 

It is almoft S^lways good, fentiments badly 
4ire£led which turns children's firft fteps to ili« 
In fptt^ of the continual wants and tempta* 
ItQUSi I had been near a year without being 

- abl9 

B*r.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 41 

able to refolv^ on taking any thing, not even 
eatables* My firft theft was an aiFair of com- 
plaifance; but it opened the door to others^ 
which had not fo commendable an end. 

There was a journeyman at my mafter*s» 
named M. Verrat, whofe houfe, in the 
neighbourhood^ had a garden at a confiderable 
diftance, which produced exceeding fine 
afparagus. M. Verrat, who had not much 
money, took in his head to rob his mother of 
ber forward afparagus, and fell them fbr a few 
hearty breakfafts. As he did not chufe to ex« 
pofe himfelf^and was not very nimble^he chofe 
me for this expedition. After a little prelimi- 
nary flattenr, which won me fo much the 
readier as 1 did not perceive its end, he pro- 
poied it as an idea which that moment ftruck 
him. I oppofed it greatly;, he infifted. t 
never could refift iSattery ^ J fubmitted. I 
went every morning and gathered the fineft 
afparaguS j I carried them to the Molard» 
where fome ffoed old woman, perccflving I had 
juft ftolen them, told me fct to get ~ them 
cheaper.. In my fright I took what they 
would give me ; I carried it to M. Verrat. 
It was foot) metambrphofed into a brcakfaf(» 
whereof I was the purveyor, and which he 
divided with another companion ; for, as to 
me, very happy in a trifling bribe, I did not 
touch even the;r wine. 

This game went on feveral days before it 
came into my mind to rob the robber, and to 
tythe M. Verrat's harveft of afparagus, I 
cgtecuted ipy roguory with the greateft fidelityi 
mj only motive was to pleafe. hiia who fet m^. 



to wojrk; If^ however, I had i>een tttken^ 
what a drubbing, what abuft, what cruel^ 
treatment fhould not I have undttgane^ whiles 
the mifcreant, in belling. me, would have been 
believed on his word, and I doubly put»t{hed. 
for having dared to accuib him, becaufe he 
was a journeyman, and I an apprentice only.^ 
Thus, in everjr ftate, the great rogue faves 
kimfeif at the expence of the feeble inno-* 
cent one, 

I thus learnt that it was not fo terrible to 
thieve as I imagined, and I made fo good a- 
ufe of ^ my fcience, that nothing I wiflied for. reach was in fafety. I was not 
abfolutely badly fed at my mafter'S', aini fobri-^ 
ety was no otherwife ps^inful to me, than 
becaufe I faw him keep fo little within its^ 
bounds. The l^uibom of fending young people 
from table whein thofe tilings are ferved up^ 
which tempt them moft^ appeared to me wett^ 
adapted to render them as liquorifb as knavtfii. 
1 became, in a* Ihoit ttme^ tihe pne and iht' 
«ther, and ^ found it atnfwec^ pretty* well in . 
general; fon^mes very ii^ when I Waa^' 
fdand out. : . : : ' 

A recolle£lion whi<fh makes me even inow^ 
ibudder and fmile at the hmt time^ id of an. 
apple bunt which coft me dear. Thefe apples^ 
were at th^ bottom of d pantry, which bv an 
high lattice received light from the kitcncfh^' 
Qne day, being alone in the houfe^ i cUmbed 
the maypole to fee in the gaf dtn of the Hef^ 

r Tides the precious fruit I ceuld^not approach. - 
fetched the fpit io fee if it would reach (6' 
fac; .it was* tooi-fliorw 1 lengtkeMd it with^ 


B. to JvJ* ROUSSEAU. 43 


auiother little fpit which was ufed for fmall 
game ; for my mailer loved hunting. I 
pricked at them feveraj times without fuccefs ; 
at laft I felt with tranfport I was bringing an 
apple, I drew it very gently ; the apple 
already touched the lattice i I was going to 
fcjze it. Who can exprefs my grief? The 
. apple was too big ; it would not pafs through 
the hole. What invention did I not make 
ufe of to pull it through ? I was obliged to 
feek fuf^orters to keep the fpit right, a knife 
long Ci^ough to fplit the apple, a lath to hold 
it up. At length by fchemes and time I at« 
tained its divilion, hoping afterwards to draw 
the pieces one after the other. But they wene 
fcarcely divided when they, both fell into thp 
pantry^ CompaiEonate reader, partake of my 
affliaion I ' . 

I did not loie courage i but I loft a deal cf 
time. I dreaded being furpurized } I put oC 
'till the morrow a happier trial i I return to 
my work as if nothing had happened, without 
thinking of the tw;a indifcreet witneiles of 
my traafadion, which I had left in the 
pantry. . i . 

The next day, feeing a fine oppoi tunity, I 
make the other triaU 1 get up on my ftool, 
I lengthen the fpit, I aim, an) juft going to 
prick . ♦ . . . unfortunately the dragon did not 
lleep ; all. a,t once the pantry door opens j my 
mafter copies out, crofles bis arms, looks a^ 
me, and %s, Bravo !.,»«• The pen drops oitf 
of my hand. 

Very foon, by continual bad treatment, I 
•grew left feeling; it feeme4^ to jme a fort qf 



compenration for theft, which gave me a right 
to continue it. Infteikl of looking back at 
the punifhment, I looked forward on the re- 
venge. I judged that to beat me like a 
fcoundrel, gave me a right to be fo. I faw 
that to rob and to be beat went together, and 
conftituted a fort of trade, and that by fulfiiling 
that part of it which depended on me, I might 
leave the care of the other to my mafter. On 
this idea^ I fet to thieving with more tranquil- 
Jity than before. I faid to myfelf. What will 
be the confequence ? I know the worft ^ I 
iball be beat ; fo be it ; I am made for it. 

I love- to cat without avidity; lam (enfual^ 
but not greedy. Too many other taftes take 
that away from me, I never employed my 
thoughts on my appetite but when my heart 
wat unoccupied ; and this has fo rarely hap- 
pened, I feldom had time to think of good* 
eating. This was the reafon I did not long 
confine t^yfelf t6 thieving eatables ; I foon 
extended it to every thing I liked ; and if I 
did not become a robber in form, 'twas becaufe 
money never much tempted me. In the com* 
^mon room 4^y mafter had a. private clofct 
locked i I found means to open the door, and 
ihut it again, without its appearing. There I 
laid unc^r contributicfn his beft tools, his 
fine drawings, his impreffions, all *I had any 
mind to, and that be afFeded to keep from 
•me. Theic thefts were innocent at the bot- 
tom, as they, were employed in his fcrvice; 
but I was tranfpprted with joy at having thefb 
trifles in my- power j I thought I flole the 
-talent wiA ita -produi^oiit. Sefides, he had 


B,i.] J. J. ROUSSEAU, 45 

in his boxes the filings of gold and filver^ fmall 
jewels, pieces of value, and money. If I had. 
four or five fous in my ppcket, 'twas a great 
deal ; however^ far from touching, I don^ re-* 
coIle£l having glanced a wiihful look at any 
of thofe things. I fa w them with more terror 
than pleafure. I verily believe this dread of 
taking money and what produces it, was cauf« 
ed in a great meafure b^ education. There 
were mixt with it fecret ideas of infamy, pri- 
ion, punifhment, gallows, which would have 
made me tremble, had I been tempted ; where- 
as my tricks appeared to me no more than 
lyaggery, ar^d in h& were nothing elfc. The 
whoTcL could occafion but a good trimming 
from my mafter, and I was prepared for that 

But once more, I fay, I did not covet fuf- 
£cient]y to make me ahftain ; I faw nothing 
to dread. A 0ieet only of fine drawing-paper 
tiempted me more than the money which 
would purchafe a ream. This humour is the 
eScA of one of the fmgularitie? of my cha- 
T^<Atr; and has had fo much influence on 
my conduct as to merit an explanation. 

I have paffions extremely violent, and, 
whilft they agitate me, nothing can equal my 
smpetuoiity ; I am a total ftranger to difcre* 
lion, refped, fear, or decorum; I am rude^ 
faucy, violent, and intrepid ; no fliame can 
Hop me, no danger can affright me. Beyond 
^ the ible object that employs my mind, the 
whole world is nothing tp me: but all this 
lafts but for a moment, and the moment fol- 
lowing 1 am a worm# Take me in my calm 



momentS9 I am mdolence and timidity itfelf : 
the leaft thing ftartlesand .di&eartens me^ 
the humming of a fly makes tne afraid^ 
a Word fpoke, a fiirug of Che Ihoolders, alarms 
my iatinefs ; fear and Aame fubdue me to fuch 
a degree, that 1 fhould he dad to hide myfelf 
from mortal e^. Whkn I am forced to ad, 
I know not what to dbj "when forced to fpeak, 
I have ncrthing to fay $ if I am looked at, I 
am pot out of countenance. When I am in 
a paffion, I find fometimes enough to fay ; but 
in ordinary converfation I can find nothing, 
nothing at all : this is the fole reafon I find 
it in/upportable, becaufe I am obliged Ca 

Add to this, none of my moft favourite 
taftes confift in things to be purchafed. I 
want none but pure pleafures, and money 
poifons them all. I lovfe, for inftance, thoie 
of the table ; but not being able to fuffer the 
cOnftraint of good company, or the intempe- 
rance of taverns, I enjoy them only with a 
friend ; for alone it is impoffiblc : my imagi* 
nation being bufied on other things, I have 
no pleafure in eating. If my heated blood ' 
demands women, my beating heart demands 
love. Women who are to be bought have no 
charms for me j I doubt cvien whether my 
money would not be paid in vain. It is thus 
with every pleafure within my reach : when 
they are not gratis, I find them infipid.. I 
am fond of things which' are for none .but 
thoft who know haw to enjoy them; '' ' ' 

Money never feemed to me' fo precious a 
thing as people think h : ^d more,' it never 

' appeared 

B.f.J J^ J- ROUSSEAU 47 

a^pp^afid -to twr a veiy convfenieiit flikigi it 

j« <good for nothing of idelf ; to enjdjr it, yodi 

miift transform it ; you muft buy> iKunin, of* 

i^ be duped, pay dear, and be badly mrved. I 

^ant a< thing good in quality ; with my mon^ 

i ai&fure to have it bad. I buy a new-laid egg 

dear, it is ftale ; the beft fruit, it is green ^ a 

girl, fht is tainted. I love |Ood wine, but 

whefe (hall I get it l At a wine^merchant's i 

Do what I will) he will: poifon me. Would I 

be perfe£Uy well ferved ? What attention, 

what trouble 'Make friends, .conefpondents, 

fend meflagesy write, go, come, wait, and often 

9t laft be deceived. What trouble with' my 

money ! I fear it more than I love good wine. 

A thouiand times during my apprenticeihip, 

and fince, I weht outto buy fomething nice. I 

go near the paftry- cook's, I perceive women 

at the counter $ I think I already fee them 

laugh, and make a jeft among themfelves of 

the little greedy^^gut. I pafs by a frujt-^fhop^ 

I lieer fideways at the fine pears^ their favour is 

tempting ; two or three young people t^lofe by 

watch me; a bian who knows me is at the 

door ; I fee at a^diftance a^rrl coming ^ is it 

not our maid? My near fignt prefents a thou* 

fiind illufions. I take all who pafs for perfons 

of my acquainltance : 'every where I am iittimi* 

dated, reftrained by^fome obftacle ; my wiibes 

increafe with my ihame, and I Tecum at laft 

likeafoot, devoured with llift, having in* my 

pocicet wherewithal 'to fi^isfy itj, without dar« 

isig to buy any thing. .' .. ^ ' 

• I fhoiiki enter into the mofl inii|>id particu* 

)ftrS| wa» I tt> fottpw tk^ uib 4(my ftion^yi whe- 



whether bv myfdff]wheiher fy others; the trou* 
blCf the iname^ the repugnance, the inconve- 
nieiyce, tha difgufts of alF forts i have alwayft 
experienced. As I go on with my lift, toe 
reader, getting acquainted with my humour^ 
will perceive all this without my fatiguing him 
with the recital. 

This underftood, one of my pretended con« 
traditions will be eafily comprehended, of re- 
conciling an almoft; fordid avarice with the 
greateft contempt of money. 'Tis a moveable 
of fo little ufe to me, I never think of defir- 
ing that I have not; and that, when I hav^ 
any, I keep it a long time without fpending it^ 
for want of knowing how to toploy it to my 
fancy : but does the agreeable and convenient 
occafion ofier ? I make fo good ufe of it as to 
empty my purfe without perceiving it. * How* 
ever, don't imagine that! have the trick of 
fpending through oftentation.; quite the re- 
verfe ; I hy it out privately and for my plea* 
fure : inftead of glorying in expence, I hide 
it. *i[ fo well perceive that money is not for 
my ufe, I am almoft afhamed to have' any, 
much more to make ufe of it. If I bad ever, 
poflefled an income fufficient to Five commo« 
dioufly, I {hould never, I am certain, have 
been tempted to be avaricious. I ihoulU fpend 
my whole income without feeking to encreafe 
it: but my precarious fituation keeps me in 
fear. I adore liberty ; I abhor cooftraint^ 
tipuble, or fubje£tion. As long as the money 
lafts which I have in my purfe, it infures my 
independence, it frees me from contriving to 
get more ; a neceffity I always detefted : btat 


J. J. ROUSSEAU. - .4f 

for ' fea^ of Teeing it end, I make fiitich *of 
it : the irioney we poflefs is the inftrument of 
liberty ; that we purfue i$ the inftrument of 
flavery. This is the reafon I hold faft and 
covet nothing. 

My difintereftednefs is therefore nothing 
but lazinefs 5 the pleafure of having is not 
worth the trouble of acquiring; atnd'my 
iliflipation is likewife nothing but lazinefs: 
when the occaAon of an agreeable- c^cpTence 
offers, we cannot too readily lay hold of it. I 
am lefs tempted with money than thihgs ^ for 
between n)oney and the denred poifeiSon thtre 
is always an intermediate ftate, but between 
the thing and its enjoyment there is ndne. I 
fee the thing, it tempts me ; if I fee the means 
of acquiring it only, it does not tempt me. 

I have therefore been a rogue, and am yet 
fonietimes, for trifles which tempt me, and tm\ 
I had rather take than a(k for. £ut - little or 
big, I never recoUetSl having in my life taken 
a farthing from any one ; except once, not 
^fteen years ago, I ftole feven livres ten fous* 
The ftory is worth telling ; for there id feeA 
in it a concurrence of impudence and ftupidity 
I ihould find fome difficulty to give credit itOj 
bad it regarded any one but myfelf. 

It was at Paris. I was walking with Mk 
fie Francueil, at the Palais Royal, about five 
o'clock. He pulls out his watch, looks ar:jt> 
and fays to me, Let us go to the opera.* With 
all my heart.We go/He takes two boxtickets^ 

fives me one, -and goes in firft with the othier ; 
follow. In going in after him, I find the 
4oor crowded. Hook; I fee every body up; 
VoJL.i* O I judge 

|0 rm CONFESSIONS OF [B. t. 

I judge I might be loft in the crowds or at 
leaft giy« reafon to M* de Francueil to itippelc 
|ne loft* I go out, alk for my ticket agaili^ 
ftfcerwards my money, and away I go, witht 
out thinking that I had fcarcely reached tbo 
door when every one was feated, and that M* 
ie Vjc^^ncmtll faw plainly I was not there. 

Asi nothing was ever To dift&nc from my hu^ 
mout as this behaviour, I note it, to ihetv thero 
ar^ moments of a fort of delirium, when mea 
Itre. not to be judged by their a£tions. It was 
fioft preoifely Itesling the money ; 'twas fteal- 
}j)g the ufe of it : the left it was a robbery, 
^Q more infamous it was* 

1 ihould never end thefe accounts, was I to 
^tpllow every track> through which, during 
my apprenticeihip, I pafled from the fublimity 
oft a hero to the bafenefs of a villain. Haw* 
fiytri in taking the vices of my condition, it 
was not poflible entirely to take itataftes. I 
grew, tired of the amufenients of my compa^ 
nionS) and when too great reftraint had like-* 
wife difgufled me of work, every thing hung 
heavy^ This renewed my inclination for ftudy, 
which had been long loft. Thofe ftudies, uk^ 
ing me off my workf became another crhtie^ 
which brought on other punishments* This 
inclination by conftraint became a paflion, 
and^ very foon a furious one. La Tribu^ 
/amous for letting out books, fupplied me with 
eyiery kind of them. Good or bad, all went 
down ; I never picked them : I read them all 
wit)ithe fame earneftnefs. I read at my work, 
I read in going to do a meflage^ 1 read in the 
A^iccflar^, ind forgot myfelf for hours fucccfr 

lively i 

JJ. i.J jr. J. ROUSSEAU. 5t 

lively ; mj brain was turned with reading ; I 
did nothing but read. My mafter watchedmey 
furprifed me, beat me, took my books. How 
many volumes were there not torn, burned> 
and thrown out at window J What fets rc-» 
mained imperfeft at La Tribu's ! When I bad 
no money, I gave her my {hirts, my cravats, 
ikiy clothes, and my allowance of three pence 
a week was regularly carried there. 

Thus, therefore, I might be told, money is 
become neceflary. True; bu^ it was when 
reading had deprived me of all ailivity. En- 
tirely given up to this new tafte, I did nothing 
but read, I robbed no longer. This is another 
of my charafleriftic differences. In the heat of 
a certain habit of being, a nothing calls mc olF^ 
changes me, . fixes me, at lad becomes paf- 
fion> and then all is forgot. I think of nothing 
but the new objeft which employs me. My 
heart beat with defire to dip into the new book 
in my pocket ; I pulled it out the infiant I was 
^lonc, and thought no more of pilfering my 
mafter's clofet. I don't think I mould have 
robbed even if ;ny paflions had been more 
c^xpenfive. Confined to the prefent moment, 
il did not reach my turn of mind to provide for 
futurity. La Tribu gave me credit; it was but. 
^ trifle, and when once I had pocketed my 
book, I looked no farther. Money that, came 
to me naturally pafTcd to this woman; and 
when (he became prefling, nothiiig was at hand 
but my own things. To rob before-hand was 
too much fore fight, and to rob to pay was no 

' D 2 By 


. By repeated quarrels, beatings^ private and 
ill-chofen ftudics, my humour became refervcd 
imd wild, my h^ead began to be impaired, and 
1 led the life of an owl. However, thougfi ray 
taftedid not preferve me from flat, unmeaning 
books, my good fortune preferved me from 
obfcene and licentious' ones ; not but LaTribu^ 
a woman in every refpeft very compIaifant» 
would have made theleaft fcrupfc at fupplying 
me with them. But to raife their price, ihe 
named them with an air of myftery, which 
precifely forced me to refufe them, as much 
from difguft as fliame ; and chance fo well 
feconded my modeft humour, I was more than 
thir^ years old before I firft faw any one of 
tbefe dangerous books. 

In lefs than a year 1 ran thrbogh the thin (hop 
of La Tribu, and then found my leifure hours 
cruelly unoccupied. Cured of my childiih, 
rakifli fancies by my tafte for reading, and 
likewife by reading, which, though without 
fchoice, and often bad, brought back my hearty 
however, to nobler fentimcnts than my condi- 
tion infpired ; difgufted of all within my reach, 
and finding all that could tempt me, out of it i 
I faw nothing poffible to flatter my heart. My 
fcnfes, having beat high for fome time, demand- 
ed ^n 'enjoyment of which I could not even 
imagine the objeS. I was as far from the pro- 
per one, as if I had been of no fex ; and al- 
ready young and tepdfer, I fometimes thought 
of my follies, but I faw no farther. In this 
ftrange fituaiion, my uneafy imagination took 
arefolution which tore me from myfelf, and 
qUpsed my growing fenfuality. It was to con- 

B. I.] J. J. R O U S 5 E A U. ij 

• • ' 

template thofe. fituations which had attrafted 
me in fny ftudies, to recal them, to vary them, 
to comhine them, to apply them fo much to 
myfelf as to become one of the perfon^ges t 
imadned; that I Taw myfelf'continually in the 
xnoft agreeable fituations according to my 
tafte ; in fine, that the fictitious fituation in 
which 1 contrived to place myfelf, made me 
forget my real one, of which I wasfo difcon- 
tented. This fondnefe of imaginary objefts, 
and the facility of executing them, filed up 
the meafure of difguft for every thing around 
me, and determined the inclination for folitude 
which has never left meifince that time. We 
fhall fee more than once, in its place, the wild 
effe£ls of this difpofitlon, fo unfociable and 
dull in appearance, but which proceed in fait 
from a heart to)> afFe£lionate, too amorous, 
and too tender, which^ for want of other be- 
ings which refemble it, is forced to be fed by 
fidion. It fuffices, for the prcfent, to have 
traced the origip and firft caufe of an inclina- 
tion which has modified all my paflions, and 
which, containing them by themfelves, has aU 
ways rendered me too lazy to adi, by defiring 
with too much ardour. 
"" Thus I reached fixteeh, uneafy, difcontent- . 
cd with every thing and with myfelf, without 
reli(h for' my t;rade, without the pleafures of 
my age, gnawed by defires whofe objedls I was 
Ignorant of, weeping without a fubjefi of tears, 
iighing without knowing for what; in fine, 
careffing tenderly niiy chimeras, for want of 
ieeiiig fomething around me that equalled 
tbeiDk C^ Sunday my companions camb to 

D 3 fetcki 


fetch fne after fermon to tate a part in their 
paflime. I would have gladly efcaped them if 
I could ; but once beginning to play, I was 
more eager and went farther than the beft of 
them ; difficult to be lead cn or off. This 
was at all times my conftant difpofition. la 
our walks out of the city I was always foremoft 
without dreaming of returning, unlefs fome 
one thought for me. I was caught twice 5 the 
gates were (hut before I could reach them. 
The next day I was treated as you may ima- 
gine, afid the fecond time I was promifed fuch 4 
reception for the third, that I refolved never to 
expofe myfelf to the danger of it. This third 
time fo much dreaded happened neverthelefs, 
^y vigilance W2S rendered ufelefs by a curfed 
captain called M. Minutoli, who always (hut 
the gate, where he was on guard, half an hour 
before others. I was returning with two com- 
panions. At half a league from the city I hear 
them found the retreat j I redouble my pacc^ 
I hear the drum beatj I run with all my 
tnight : I come up out of breath, all in a 
fweat : my heart beats j I fee at a diftance the 
foldierS at their poft ; I haftenj I cry with a 
fufFocated voice. It was too late. At twenty 
fteps from the advanced guard, I fee the firft 
bridge drawn up. I tremble to fefe in the air 
thefe terrible horns, the finiiler and fatar au- 
gur of the inevitable fate this moment began 
for me. 

In the firft tranfport of rage I threw my- 
felf on the glacis, and bit the earth. My com- 
panions, laughing at their accident, immedi- 
ately decided on what to do. So did L but in 

a quite 


- • «* 

B*^3 J- !• ROUSSEAU; 55 

a quite different manner. On the very fpot I 
fwore I would never more return Co my ma(^ 
ter's; and the next morning, when, at the 
hour of opening, they went into the city, I 
bid them farewel for ever> hegging them' only 
to acquaint privately my couGn Bernard of the 
refolution I had taken, and of the place where 
lie might fee me once more. 

On my becoming an apprentice, being more 
feparated from bim, I faw him lefs. For fome 
time, however, we met together on Sundays ; 
but infenfibly each of. us took other habits, and 
we faw each other but feldom. I am perfuaded 
his mother contributed much to this change. 
He was, for his part, a boy of confequence j I, ^ 
pitiful apprentice i I was nothing better than 
Jr boy from St* Gervais* Equanlty was no 
longer to be found between us in fpite of our 
birth J 'twas degrading himfelf to frequent me. 
However, connections did not entirely ceafe be* 
tween us ; and as he was a boy naturally goody 
he fometimes followed his heart in fpite of his 
mother's leiTons. Having learnt my refolution, 
be baftens, not to difl'uade me from it, or partake 
of it ; butto throw in by trifling prefects fomc-» 
thing agreeable in my flight 5 for my own re- 
fources would not carry me far. He gave me, 
among other things, a Iktlc fword, which great- 
ly plcafed me, and which I took as far as Turin, 
where want caufed me to feH it j and I paflcd it^ 
as they fay, through my body. The more I have 
refle<^ed fince on the manner he behaved in 
this critical moment, the more I am perfuaded 
he followed the inftruftions of his mother, and" 
j^haps of hk father ; for it is not poffible' 

D 4 but 


lut 6f himfelf he would have made fome effort 
to retain me,, or have been tempted to fojlow 
me : hut no. He encouraged, me in my 
defign rather than difluade me from it; and 
when he faw me quite refolved, he quitted me 
without many tears. We never more faw or 
y/rote to each, other j 'twas pity. He was of a 
character eflcntially good : we were made for 
eachother^s friendfliip. 

Before I abandon myfelf to the fatality of my 
deftiny, let me be permitted to turn my eyes 
one mornent on that which naturally awaited 
me, had I fallen into the hands of a better maC* 
ter. Nothing agreed fo well with my humour, 
©r was more likely to make me happy, than 
fhe quiet and obfcure condition of a good me.- 
ehanic, in certain clafTes, particularly fuch a» 
is at Geneva that of the engravers. This art, 
lucrative enough for an cafy fubfiftence, but 
iu>t fufficient to. lead to a fortune, would have 
bounded my ambition for the remainder of my 
days, and, leaving me a decent leifure for cuU 
tivating my moderate tafles, it had kept me in 
iny fphere without prefentingme any means of 
going beyond it. Having an imagination rich 
enough to ornament with its chimeras any art, 
^ov/erful enough to tranfport me, in a manner^ 
*as t chofe from one to another, it fignified little 
which in fa(5l I fell into. It could not be fo far 
from the place I was in, to the greated caftle 
in Spain, but it would have been eafy for me_ 
to have eftablifhed myfelf there. From whence 
ohfy it followed, that the moft fimple condi- 
tion, that which caufcd the leaft buftle or 
care, that which left the oiind moft at liberty, 



B.I.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. sf 

was beft adapted toine ; and this was abfolute- 
ly mine* I ihoiJd have pafled, in the bofom 
of my relis;ion9 of my native country, of my 
family and my friends, a calm and peaceable 
life, fuch as my character wanted, in the uni- 
formity of a labour fuited to my tafte, and ia 
a (bciety according to my heart. I fhould have 
been a good chriftian, a good citizen,- a good 
father, a kind friend:^ a good artiftj a good 
man. I fhould have liked my condition, perhapa 
been an honour to^it j^ and after having pafled 
an obfcure and fimple^life, but even and calm, 
I fhould have died peaceably on the breafts of 
my owp family.., Sooo forgot^ doubtlefs^ I had 
been regretted at leafl whenever I was remem« 

Inftead of that— --what a pi£kure am I go- 
ing to draw I Ah I we'l^ Jiot anticipate the 
mileries of my life ; my readers will near but 
too much of the doleful fubjed. 

End of ths First Book^ -* 



' ." : -. 



f * 



ft • I 


« o K ;ii. : 

AS much a^ the moment, when terror fug-^^' 
gefted the projc<a of flight, had appeared 
affii^ng, fo much did that of executmg it 
appear charming. 5t?H a child, leaving my 
country, my parents, my fupport, my refourccsj 
ati apprdnticelblphalf nnlib^d, without know- 
ing enough of the tradfc to fubfift'by it ; to t»e 
given up to the horrors of mifery, without per- 
ceiving the lead means of getting out of it ; . in 
the age of weaknefs and innocence, to expofe 
myfelf to every temptation of vice and defpair; 
feek afar off misfortune, error, ihares, flavery, 
and death, under a yoke more inflexible than 
that I could not Jsear-r-all this I was!^oing to 
do ; this was the perfpe£tive I ought to have 
held up. How different was that 1 painted to 
myfelf! The independence I thought I had 
acquired was the only fentiment which ftruck 
me. Free and my own mafter, I thought I 
could do every thing, attain all : I had but to 
Ig^oqhjk stnd I thought J ([f uld raife myfelf to 

B.I.] J. J. ROUSSEAtt. 5^ 

fly in the air. I entered vrith fecurity into th6 
vaft /pace of the world ; my merit was to fill 
It : at each ftep I expeded to- find fbafting, 
treafures, and aflv^tures, friends ready to ferve 
me, miftrefieseagertopleafe me : I expe(^ed^ 
en my appearance, the eyes of the.univerfeta 
he fixed on me ; not however the whole uni- 
yerfe i I difpenfed with that in fome fort, I 
did not want fo much ; a pleating fociety was 
fniScient without troubling my head about the 
reft. My moderation iiifcrtbea me in a rtarroii^ 
fphere, but'deliciouily cfaofen, where Tvftzs fure 
to -carry the fyray. One caftlc only fktisfied 
my ambition. A favourite of the Idrd an'dlidy, 
the young lady's gallant, her brother^s Friend^ 
and the neighbour's protestor, I was fatisfied j^ 
I defiped'nbfMngraofc. 

Awaiting -tht^ modefl fortune, I fatintbrw 
ed ^ Tew\Says round the city, lodging with 
toubtry*fblks of my acquaintance, who all 
received me with more kindnefs than I ftould 
have found from inhabitants in the city. ' They 
welcomed me, lodged me, and fed rae too weii 
to claim the merit. This could not be'catled 
lecriving alm^; ^twas not attended by a fuffi-i 
cient air of fuperiority. 

By great travelling and running about; *I 
•went as far as Conngnon, in the country of 
Savoy, two leagues from Geneva. Th^ par-V 
^n's name was M. de Pohtveire^ This name, 
famous in the hiftory of the republic, flruck 
me greatly. I was curious to fee how the dc-« 
icen^mts of the gentlemen of the fpooii were 
formed, I went to fee M. die Pontverre, He re- 
ccivcd-nxe well, talked of tbc h.?refy of Geneva;* 

D 6 ©f 


.of the authority of our facj-ed. mother Uf^ 
• church, and gave me a dinner* I found very 
little jto anfwer to arguments iwhicjx fi^ilbe^ 
.iin that manner; and judged that parfons wU6 
g9ve fo good a dinner, were as good a;s our 
miniflers. t was mbft certainly more learned 
tliaji M. de Pontverre, gentleman th,at be wasf 
-but t was too knowing a gueft to be fo good a 
theologian; and his Frangi win^, which 
feemed to me excellent, argued fo viaorionfly 
ii> ,hi^ favour, I ihould have blulhed to have 
flopped the mouth of fo kind a hoft. I there* 
/ore yielded, or at leaftldid not openly refift« 
To nave feen all the difcretion.1 made ufe of* 
on,e would have thought me falfe; 'tis an er- 
ror* I was i>nly courteous, that is certain^ 
Flattery, or rather.condefceiifion, is notal* 
ways a yice ; it is oftener a virtue, efpecially 
in young people. The kindnefs we receive 
from a man, attaches us to him ; 'tis not ta 
impofe on him we fubmit; ^tis not to vex 
him j not return evil for good. What in- 
f^reft had M. de Pontverre in entertaining 
me, treating me kindly, and wanting to 
convince me i None but mine. My young 
heart told me fo. I was touched with gratitude 
and refpeS: for the good-natured prieft. I 
was. fenfible of' my fuperiority ; I would not 
trouble him in return for his hofjpitality. There 
was no hypocritical motive in this condu<^ ; 
I never thought of changing my religion, aind 
{p far from contra£^ing a familiarity with thJe 
idea» I thought of it with a horror that (hould 
have long driven it from my mind : I pnly- 
XQeant not to vex thofe who flattered me with 
". this 

B. a.] T- J. R OXJ S S E A U. 6r 

this view; 1 meant to caltmte only their btfne^ 
volence, and leave them the hopea of fuccers 
in feeming Ids anned thaii I really was. My 

.fault in that reipe6lrefi)mbled the coquettry of 
hoQcfl: womeny who fon»times, in otder to gain 
their point, know, without permitting or 

' promifing ^ny ' thing, how to caufe more to be 
hoped than they ever intend to perform. 

Reason, iphft and the love of order, ceiv 
tainly demanded, ^ ihftead of giving into 
my folly, that I IhQuId be difliiaded from the 
ruin I was^rufining into^ arid by fending me 
back to my friends. This is what any man, 

.truly virtuous, would have done. But aithougli 
M. de Pontverre was a good man, he was not 
a yirtuoit^ one. iie was, on the contrary, a 
devotee, who knew no other virtue thari wor- 
ihriping. images, and telling his beads-; a fort of 
miffionary, who tm;agined nothing better than 
writing libels ^gainft the minifters of Geneva. 
So far from thinking of fending me home 
again, be took the advantage of the deiire I 
Ihewed to leave it^, by putting it out of my 
power to return, even tlK)ugh i wiihed for it. 
It was a tboufand to one but he wHs fending 
me to peri& with hunger, or become a vil- 
lain. He djd not fee this. He faw a foul 
taken from herefy, and reftored to the faith. 
An honeft man or a villain, what did that im<^ 
port, provided I went to mafs ? You muft not 
imagine^, however, this manner of. thinking 
is peculiar to Chatholics ; it is that of every- 
dogmatica) religicui wbofe eiTence is not to do, 
but to believe« 

r > God 


God' has called you^ fay$ M» de Pontvcrrc. 
r,Go to .Aaoecy ; jou wiU find there a good 
and charit^le lady, Itfaat the king's goodneb 
.enables to turn ibuUifroai thd4irrors (he her* 
-&lf lias quitted. He meant Madam tie Wa-« 
jrens> lately converted,' whom the priefts forced, 
. in reality, to divide,- with the blackguards 
who had fold them their faith^ a penfion of 
4^0 thouiand livres the king of Sardinia al- 
lowed her. C I felt myfelf extremely mortified 
at havii^ oecafion toapply to a good and cba-- 
citable iady • f I had no 'obje£lfion to their ibpr 
^ying ine with whab I wanted, but not to 
fheir.beftowing ebacityon me, and a •devotee 
' ^id notmuch pleafe me. But being urged by 
M. de Pontverre, and by hunger at my heels i 
g}ad likewife to make a journey and to ha^e h 
profped in view ; i determine, though with 
Ibme .trouble,, and >fet off for Annecy. I 
oeuld eafily get there in a day ; but I did not 
hurry, I tocSk: three. I faw no counfry-feat 
to the right or the left, without going to fi^k 
the adventure I was fure awaited me there. I 
diU'ed not enter, or knock; for I was very thnid: 
but I fung under thofe windows which liad 
the beft appearance;, much furprifed, ^ter 
having' tired my lungs, to find neither ladies 
nor their daughters appear, attratSted by the 
finenefs of my voice, or the grace of my (bng ^ 
as I knew fome charming ones my cotnpanions 
had taught me, and which I fung moft ad- 

': ' I at laft arrive ; I fee Madam de War^ns* 
"This perio4 of my life has determined my- 
chauder; I could not refolve to pafs it lightly 




^^^ - fh R OU^ ft^ A«^ fit 

py^r, I w^ IB the. tniddlc of my fuQterntli 
year. Wubout being whaijt is called a ha^dr 
fome fcllpw,/l was .wcU; made for my fmatt 
fize : I had a fmapt fopt» ;good ]e^ an eafji 
air, .jQ?Ǥh$!y piyfiognpmy, deli^a^ WP^th, 
hair Wd eyebrows black, fmatl eyes rathei? 

« ^ . thought, 

i^ was top Ute to maVe any things of ic. Thus, 
I had, with the timidity pf my age, a Jiatu* 
rai one very amiable^ always uivsafy for fear 
of difpreaiiqg. . 3eiide8, though my minyd 
i^as pretty well luxnifhed, not leaving ieei^ 
the world, I totally failed in i,ts manner i and. 
my judgment, /ar from affifting, ferved pnly 
to intimidate n^e mbr^, in- milking me>fenfibl0 
how litth 1 Ikad. , . . . . 

me, I tQo)c a different advantage | I wrote a 
fine letter in the ftyleof an orator^r where tack-»,^ 
ing the phrafea of books to the expreiEon of, 
an apprentii:e, I difplayed all my eloquence ^ 
to captivate the benevolence of M^am de 
Warens. I pat M. de Pontverre's. letter inta? 
mine, and. fet out for this terrible audience. I 
did not find Madam de Warensj I was told (he^ 
was juft gone to church* It was on Palm-Sun- , 
day, in the year 1728. I ran after her : I fee 
her, I come up with her, I fpeak to he r > ■ I 
ought to remember the place ; I have often , 
fince that watered it with niy tears, andco** 
vcred it with kiiHTes. Why ,cj|n't I furround 
i^ith fdHs^rs of jgold thip happy fpot ? Why ; 
; "' can't 

l4 THE ' CONFESS ioWsbF £B."a. 

can't I perfuade the whole earth to wotfhip it ? 
Whoever is fond of honouring monumqnts of 
the falvation of the' liumkn fpQcie$, ought not 
tb approach it but'on their knees. ,^ 

It was in a paflage behind ththoufe, between 
a rivulet on the right hand, which feparated it 
from the garden, and the wall of the yard on, 
the left, leading bv a private door to the 
church'of the Cordeliers. Juft going in at this 
door^ Madam de Warens turns round on hear- 
ing my voice. How did I change at this fight ! 
I expedled to fee a devout grim old Womdn : 
M. de Pontverre*s good woman could be no- 
tiling elfe in, oiy opinion. I fee a face loaded! 
with beauty, nne blue eyes full of fweetnefs, 
a complexion that dazzled the fight, the con-' 
tour of an enchanting neck. Nothing efcaped ^ 
the rapid glance of me young profely te ; for ' 
I inftantly fa^ecame hers, certain that a religion 
preached by fuch miffionaries muft lead to, 
heaven, ^e takes, fmiling, the letter I pre-' 
fent with a trembling hand, opens it, runa 
over M. dePontverre's, returns to mine, which 
flie read through, 'and which, fhe would have, 
read again, had not the fervant told her the 
ferVicewas begun. So! child, fays ihe with, 
a voice which ftartled me, you are running* 
about the country very young ; 'tis pity, in- . 
deed. And without waiting my anfwer, fhe 
added. Go to my houfe ; tell them to give you 
fome breakfaft : after mafs Pil come and fpeak 
to you. 

Louife-Eleonore de Warens was a young 
lady of La Tour de. Pil, a noble and ancient 
bmxlj of Vevay, a city in the country of Vaud. 


3. an ;• J. ROUSSEAU. 65 

She was married very young to M. dcWarens, 
of the houfe of Loys, eldeft fon of M. de 
Villardin, of Laufanne. This marriage, which 
produced no children, not turning Out well; 
M. de Warens, driven by fome domeftic un- 
^afmefs, took the opportunity of King Vrftor 
Am^ee's prefence at Hvian of paffitjg the 
lake, and throwing herfelf at the feet of this 
prince ; thus abandoning her hu(hand, her fa- 
mily, and her country, by a giddinefs nearly 
xcfemblrng mine, which {he likewife lamented 
at her leifure hours. The king, who loved to 
siSaSt the zealous catholic, took her unitr 
his proteftion, gave her a penfion of fifteen 
hundred livrcs of Piedmont, which was a great 
deal for a prince fo little profufe; but per^ 
ceiving, that, from this reception, he was 
thought amorous^ he fent her to Annecy, ef- 
corted by a detachment of his guards, where, 
under the dircQion of Michel Gabriel de Ber- 
xicx, titular bifliop of Geneva, (he made her 
abjuration at the convent of the Vifitation. 

6he had been there fix years when I came, 
and was then cight^and-twenty, being born 
with the century. She pofleiled thofe beauties 
which remain,' becaufe they are more in thfe 
phyfiognomy than in the features : hers was 
therefore in its firft fplendor. Her air was 
careffing and tender, her loot extremely mild, 
the fmile of: an angel, a mouth the iize of 
nine, he^ hair of an afli colour, of uncom- 
mon beauty, to which (he gave a negleded 
turn which rendered it very fnlart. She 
was of a fmall ftature, fcort, and thick in 
>hc waift, though without deformity. But 
" ' it 


it was inpoffible to fee a finer fiiee, a finer 
neck, more beautiful hands, or well-tarned 

Hei: education was a mixture. She hiri, 
like me^ loft her mother at her birth^ and 
indifferently receiving inftrudion as it came, 
.£be learnt a little of her governant, a lit*- 
tle of her father, a littk of. her maimers, and 
a great deal from her lovers; particularly a 
M. de Tavel, who having tafte and knowledge^ 
adorned with them the perfon he loved« 
But fo many different forts of knowledge hurt 
each other, and the little regularity flie be-** 
ilowed on them prevented thefe feveral ftudies 
from extending the natural clearnefs of her 
mind. Thus, though (he had fome of the 
principles of moral and natural philofophy, 
(he fiill retained the tafte of her father for 
empirical medicine and chemiftry; fhe pre* 
pared elixirs, tinctures, balfams, magiftery, and 
.pretended (he poiTeffed fecrets. Quacks and 
cheats, feeing her weaknefs* befet her, ruined^ 
her, and confumed, ainidft furnaces and drugs, 
her mind, her talents, and her charms, which 
might have beep the delight of the nobleft fa- 
cie ty. 

But although thefe vile knaves abufed her 
education, ill directed, to darken the lights of 
her reafon, her excellent heart was proo^ 
and remained always the fame: her aoniablc 
and mild charafte^r, her feelings for mtsfef^ 
tunes, her unbounded goodnefs, her fyrightiy 
humour, open and free, never changed, not 
even at the approach of age: plunged inta 
iA^igencCj ill$j. and divert caTamiikst thtfci^ 

B.4.J- J. J. ROUSSEAU. 6f 


iii^ of her noble foul preferred, to the laft^ 
411 the chearfulneis of her happy days. 

Her errors proceeded from a fund of inex* 
hauftible activity, which inceflantly demanded 
empioyment. It was not the intrigues of 
women ibe wanted^ 'twa's planning and dire£l«» 
ing new undertakings. She was born for ereat 
a&irs. Madam de LongueviUe, inherplace, 
would have been a mere pretender; flie, in 
Madam de Longueville's ;place, had governed 
the ftate. Her talents were mifplaced; and 
that which would have raifed her to honour ia 
a more exalted ftation, ruined her in that (he 
lived. In things within her reach Ihe always 
drew her plan in her mind, and always com- 
prehended her objeit. This was the caufe, 
^at, by employing noeans proportioned to her 
view, more than to her ftrength, {be mifcarricd 
by others faults; and, her plan failing, Qie 
^as ruined, wbete others would hardly havo 
loft any thing*- This inclination for buiuKfsy 
which brought on her fo many evils^ was of 
great fervice to her in her monadic afylum» in 
preventing her from p^ijing the remainder of 
her days there a& One intended. The uniform 
^nd fioxple life pf a nuo, the filly go/fiping of 
their parlour^ could never flatter a mind alwaya 
in motiqn, whibh, forming each day new 
fyftems, wanted liberty to expand itfelf. The 

food biihop de Bcrnex, with lefs wit than 
_jrancis of Sale?) rei'embied him in many 
points; and Majam .de Warens, whom he 
called bis child, and who refembled Madam de 
Chantal in many others, might have. refimn 
hkd^ber in i her cetiFsmeifitf had not her tato 


6« tut CONFESSIONS OF (b. a. 


di\rcrtcd her frotn the latincfs of a convent. 
It was not want of zeal that prevented thii- 
amiable woman from giving hcrfcif up to 
the trifling formalities of devotion which feem- 
cd neceflary to a new convert under the di- 
reftibn of a prelate. Whatever was her mo- 
tive for changing her religion, flie was fincere 
in that (he had embraced. She might repent 
for having committed the fault, but flie did 
not defire to return to her former profeiEon. 
She not only died a good catholic,, fhe lived 
one in good earneft ; and I dare affirm, I who 
think f have read the bottom of her foul, that 
it was folely aver (Ion to grimace that ihe did 
not a6t the devotee in public. She had a piety 
too folid to afFcft devotion. But this ii not 
the place to enlarge on her principles ; I fhall 
find other occafions to fpcak of them. 

Let ihofe who deny the fympathy of hearts 
explain, if they can,' how, on the firft inter- 
view, the iirft word, the iirft look, Madatn 
de Warens infpired me, not only with the 
Itvelieft paffion, but a perfect confidence, 
which was always retained. Suppofe what I 
felt for her was really love 5 which would, 
however, appear very doubtfu) to thofe who 
will follow the hiftory of our amity ; whj 
was this paffion accompanied from its birth 
with fentiments it lead infpires ; the tranquil- 
lity of the heart, calmnefs, ferenity, fecurity» 
ailurance»— How in approaching, for the firft 
time^ an amiable, polite, and dazzling wo- 
fiian; a lady- in a fuperior fkuation to mine, 
' and fuch as I had never accefs to before ; her 
•n whom depended my deftiny> in fome mea- 

« furc» 

B.2j • J. J, ROUSSEAU. 6f 

iiine, by the int^reft, more or Icfs, flie migfit • 
take, in it ; how, I fay, with all this, do I 
"find myfelf as free, as eafy, as if perfeSly fure 
of pleafing her ? Why h'ad not I a moment's 
perplexity, timidity, or conftraint? Naturally 
balhful and difcountenanced, .having feen no- 
thing, why did I take the iirft day, the firft 
inftant, the freedom of manner, the tender 
language, the familiar fiyle, I had ten years 
afterwards, when the clof^ft intimacy had 
rendered them natural to me ? Do we feel 
love, I doh't fay without defires, for I had 
them ; but v^ithout uneafinefs, without Jea- 
loufy ? Would not one, at leaft, know from 
the objefk we love, whether we are loved ? 
That is a quedion which no more came into 
my mind ever once to a(k her, than to afk 
wnether I was loved by myfelf; nor was ihe 
ever more curious with me. There certainly 
was fomething very lingular in my feelings 
for this charming woman, and you will find, 
by the fequel, extravagances you do not ex- 

The queftion was what was to be done with 
me, and to talk of it more at leifure fhe kept* 
me' to dinner. This wa? the firft meal of my 
life where I wanted appetite ; and her woman-j 
-who waited at table, faid too, I was the firft 
traveller of my age and of my fort Ihe had (etn 
wanting it. Tfhis remark, which did not hurt 
me in the mifid of h^r miftrefs, fell a little 
bard on a great. fellow wjtko dined with us, 
and devoured -to bis own ibare a meal fufficient 
for fix people. As to me, I was in an extacy 
that did not permit me to eat. - ^ly heart 



Was fed by a • feeling quite new, which en^ 
groflTed my whole being ; it left me no know«- 
iedge for other fundions. 
. Madam de Warens wanted to know tiie par- 
ticulars of my little hiflory: I once more 
found, in teilmg it her, all the heat I had loft 
at my maftcr's. The' more I engaged- this c>t* 
cdlent foul in my favour, the more fbe com* 
plained of the fate to which I' was going to ejc- 
pofe myfelf* Her tender compaffion appeared 
in her mien, in herlooks^ andM'n her gefture. 
She dared not exhort me to return to Geneva. 
In her fituation 'twas a crime of high trea* 
fon againft catholicifm, and (he was not igno-^ 
rant how muchfhe was^watchrd, and how 
her converfation was weighed^ Butfhe fpoke 
in fo touching atone of myfather^s afflidion^ 
you might plainly fee fhe would have approved 
of my going to confoie him. She did not 
know how much, without thinking on't, fee 
pleaded againft herfelf. Bcfides, my refolution 
was taken, as I think I told her: the more 
I found her eloquent and perfuadve, and the 
more her difcourfe reached my hearty thelefs I 
tould refolve to ieparatb from her. I faw that 
to return to Geneva was railing an almofl in-^ 
fttrmountable barrier between her and me, 
without returning in the fteps i had taken, and 
to which it was as well to keep at once. I 
therefore kept to it. Madam de Warens, fee- 
ing her endeavours fruitlefs, did not proceed 
foastoexpofe herllelf: but, fays fee, with a 
l<>ok of compaffioli,Poor little fellow, thou muft 
go where God calls thee ; but when thou art 
grown upy tbois wiU remember me. 1 fancy 



B4.i.3 J.. J. ROUSSEAU. ft 

ftedid not think this pKdidioA wouM be lb 
csuelLy accompUAecU 

The whole difficulty ftill remained: Hovir 
Ikibfiftfo young from my own country i Scarce** 
ly reached half my apprenticefbtp, I was far 
from knowing my trade. Had I known it, T 
could not live by it at* Satdy, a country too 
poor for arts. The great fellow who dined' 
for us, obliged to make a paufe to relieve hir 
jaws, gave an advice which he faid came from 
heaven^ but which, to judge by its efFe£ts, 
cameTather from thecontrary place. Itwas that 
Ifliould gb tb Turin, where, in an hofpital, 
founded for the inftru£ti<m of the catechumens, 
1 ibould have, faid he, temporal and fpiritual 
food, until, belonging to the church, I (hould 
find, by the charity of good people, a place 
that would fuit me. As to the expences of 
the journey I his Highnefs my Lord Bi(hop will 
not be backward, when Madam propo^s this 
holy work, in providing in a charitable man- 
ner for it$ and Madam the Baronefs, who is' 
fo charitable, faid he, leaning over his plate, 
^ili with earneftnefs, certainly, contribute 

I thought all theft charitieii very affllfting : 
my heart was full; I faid nothing ; and Madam 
die Warens, without catching at this proje£k 
with the ardour it was ofiered, contented her- 
fclf with faying every one ought to contribute 
to good accordii^ to thehr abilities, and that 
toe would fpeaic of it to hrs Lordlhip : but 
this devil of a man, who dreaded fte would hot 
fpeak to his wiihes, and who had a trifling in- 
t^eft in the bufinefs, ran and acquainted 



t^ almoners, atid (o ntnell ; inftruded ' theSi 
good-natured priefts, thatUfhen Madam ck> 
Warens,' who dreaded the . jauraey, would 
have fpoken of it to the Bifliop, (he found 
it. was an aiFair fettled, and he jnftan.tly gave 
her the money deflined for mj little viaticum* 
She dared. n,ot aflctny flay.; I was approaching 
the age when a woman like her could not de- 
cently want jto keep a young mtan with her, - 
My journey being thus regulated by thofc 
who were fo xareful of me> 1 was obliged to 
fubmit^ and I did it even without much re- 
pugnance. Although Turin was farther thaa 
Geneva, I imagined, that, being the capital, 
it had relation with Annecy more than with a 
city which .was foreign to its ftat&and religion : 
beudes, departing to ob^y Madapi de Warens, 
I looked on myfelf as ftill livii{g under her 
dire(5lion ; 'twas more than living in her neigh- 
bourhood. In fine, the idea of a gr^at journey 
flattered my wandering fancy, which already 
bega^n to U)ew itfeif. It feemed a fine thing 
to me to pafs the mountains at my age, and to 
raife myfelf above my companionsi by the 
whole height of the Alps, To fee the world 
is an allurement a Genevan rarely reiifts ; I 
therefore gave, my confent. My great fellow 
was to fet ofF within two days with his wife^ 
I was intruded and recommended to them, as 
was like wife my purfe, which was increafed 
by Madam de Warens ; fhe likewife fecretly 
gavf me a little dock, to which flie added am* 
pie inflruflions j and we fet off on Afh-Wed- 


B.a.j V J. ROUSSEAU. 7^ 

The day after Heft Annccy, my father, wh6 
had traced me, arriveti, wirth a M. Rival, his 
friend, a watchmaker like himfelf, a man of 
fenfe, of letters even, who wrote verfc better 
than La Motte, and fpoke almoft as well as 

.he; nay more, he was a perfe:ftly honeft man, 
but'Whofe mifpl^ced leaning only ferved to 
mak? his fon an^aSor. . i -^ 

Thefe gentlen^eit {iw ,Ma:dam de Warens, 
and contented) thcinfelves with lamenting my 
fate, with her, in (lead of following and over- 
taking me, which they might have done with 

-cafe, being. on.horfehack and I on foot. The 
fame thing happened with my uncle Ber- 
nard.' tie came; las far 33 Confignon, and 
from thence, knowing I was,. at Annecy, he 

, returned -toGenevai. Ic feemcd-nby relations 
confpired.with my ftars'to give me up to the 

. deiliny which awaiticd me. My brother wis 

. loft by a like negligence, and fa {bordughly loft 
they never knew: what became oT him. * 

M y father was *hot only a maHi of hpnotir ; > be 

; was:a manof great[prabixy,ohdhad ojieof thcufe 

. generous *fouk wl?ich : prodbce fhining .i^irtues* 

lilefides, he Was a. goqd father,* particularly fo. 
me. He loved me very tenderly, but he alfo 

> loved pleafure, and other inclinations had a lit- 
tle cooled paternal affedion fincel lived a great 

. difiance from hirn, Hemarried again at N ion ; 

■and although his wife was. .not pf an age* to 

. give me brothers, (he bad relations; that made 
another family ; he had- other abjcdts, other 
conne(5tions, which didnot often recal me to 
his memory. My father was growing old with- 
out any fuppor^ for old-age. My brother and 

. Vol. I. E I had 


J had a^riflfiig legacy by tny mother, theinte- 
reft of which was for my father dmring our 
abfence. The idea did not ftrike him dire&ly, 
or prevent him from doing his duty; but it 
a<Sled fullenly without his perceiving it, and 
fometimes (lackened his zeal, whcrh he had 

f. carried farther wiiiiout it. This is, I think; the 
reafon, that, once traced as: far as Annecy, he 
did net follow me quite toChambery, where 
be was morally fure to cohie. up with -m^ 
This is alfb the reafon, that, going o/ten to 
fee him fince my flight, he suways (hewed 
me the carefles of a father^ but without great 
efforts to detain me. 

This condudof a father, whofe tendernefs 

• and virtue I was fo well acquainted with, 
has caufed me to make reflexions on myfelf^ 
which have not a Uttle contributed to keep my 
heart found. I drew from it this great maxim 
of morality, the only one perhaps in pra£lical 
tife, to ibun thoie ntuations^ which put our 
duty inoppofition with our interefts,and which 
fliew us our good in the misfortunes of others^ 
and that in fnch fituations, however fmcere a ^ 

< love for virtdewe bear^ we weaken fooner or ' 
later without perceiving it, and become unjuft 

. and wicked in faA, without ceafing to be juft 

. and innocent at the heart. 

This maxim,{lrong]y inprinted on my heart, 
and put in pradice in all my condu£l, though 
a little late, is one of thofe which havb givea 

* me the moftwhimficaland foolifli appearance, 
not only among the public, but more particu- 
larly among my acquaintance. I have been 
charged with being original^ and notf doing 


B. 2.] J. J. ROUSSEAU- 7S 

like others. In fad, I tbopght litdq of doi^^ 
either liLe others or otherwise than they dt^* 
I fincerely defired to do what was right* I 
avoided, as much as poi&ble, thofe iltaationfll 
which procured me an intereft contrary to that 
of another man, and confequently a ifecret, 
though involuntary defire of hurting that man. 
Two years ago, my Lord Marechal would 
have put m^ down in his will. I oppofed it 
with all my power. I wrote him word I would 
not for the world know I was in any man's 
will) and much Jefs in his. He complied ^ ^t 
prefent he offers me an annuity, I don!(/^p« 
pofe it. They'll fay I find my account in ihi% 
change: that, may be. But, ohl my bene- 
faSor, my father, if I have the misfortune to 
furviye you, i know that in lofing you I lofe 

^ ^very thing, and that I ihall not get by it. 
This is, according to me, found philofopby, 
the only one that truly fuits the human heart. 
I am every day more pe^ncitrated with its gfeat 

. folidity, and have refumed it indifferent ma|i« 
ners in my late works : but the public, w|ii6 
are frivolous, have not been able to remark it« 
If I furvive the completion of this iindertak- 

. ing long enough to begin another, I propofe 
giving, in a continuation of Eniilius, an ex* 
am pi 'charming and fo flriking of this fame 
maxim» that my readers fhall be forced to ob- 
ferve it. But here are reBeclidns enough for 
atfav^lier ; it is time, to go on my journey. 

I made it more agreeable than might be ex- 
pected, and my clown was not fo morofe as he 
appeared. He waS/ a man of a middle age^ 
wore bis grifly black hair cued 5 a grenadier's 

£ 2 air^ 


* al?r, ftrang voice, gay enough, a good walker, 
a better eater, and who was of all trades, for 

^ want of knowing any one. He propofed, 

I think, to cftablifh at Annecy I don^t know 

- what nianufa<Slory. Madam de Warens did 

* not fafl to give into the projeft, and it was to 
' get it approved by the minilter, he undertook, 

cxpcnces which were well repaid him, the 

journey to Turin. This man had 4he .talent 

of intrigue in pufcing himfeU* always amongft 

the prieftsj and, affecting a readinefs to ferve 

■ them, he had learnt at their fchool a certain 

' devout jargon which he inceffantly made ufe 

' of, fetting himfelf up as a great preacher. He 

' aUo knew k Latin paffage of the Bible, and it- 

* ^'as as if he had known a thoufand ; for he 

* repeated it a thoufand times a day : but rare- 
ly in want of money, when he knew of -any 

« in others purfes ; more cunnings however, 
than knavilh \ and dealing out, in the tone of 
a mountebank, his paltry fermon, he refembled 

' the hermit Peier preaching his crufade, with 
his Pword by his fide. 

As to Madam Sabrah, his wife, (he was 
a good-natured woman enough, quieter by day 
than by nigjit. As I always lay in their 
chamber, her noify watchings often awoke 
me, and would have awakened me much more, 
had I known the caufe : but I did iiot even 
fufpeS it; I was in the chapter of dulnefs, 
which left to nature only the whole carfe of 
piy inftrudlion. 
' 1 got on gaily with my pious guide and his 

.buckfome companion. No accident troubled 
our journey j 1 was in the moft happy fitua- 


. 2.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 77 

tion of body and mind I ever was In my days. 
Young, vigorous, full of health, fccurity, and 
confidence in'myfelf and others, I was in that 
fliort but precious moment of life, when its ex- , 
panflve plenitude extends in a manner our be* 
ing over alt our fenfations, and embellifhes, in, 
our eyes, all nature with thecharms of our. 
cxiftence. My fwcet uneafinefs had an objeft. 
which rendered it lefs wandering, and fixed 
my imagination, I looked on myfelf as the 
work, the pupil, the friend, aimed the lover. 
of Madam de Warens. The obliging things, 
(he faid to mie, the little carefTes (he gave me, 
the tender concern (he feemed to have for me^ 
her charming looks, which appeared tome full 
of love, bec^iufe they infpired me with hjve ;, 
all this fed my ideas during the w^y, and made 
me rave delicioufly* No fear, no doubt of 
my fate, troubled thefe dreams. To fend mc 
to Turin was, in_my opinion, to give me life, 
to place me agreeably. I had no apprehenfion 
about myfelf J others had taken thofe care$ 
on them* Thus 1 walked oh lightly, eafed 
of that weight : youthful deilres, enchanting 
wi(he5, brilliant proje£ls, filled my thoughts. 
.Every obje£l I faw feemed to 'warrant my 
approaching felicity. In the houfes I ima* 
gtned rural feaftings, in the meadows wanton 

fames, along the river baths, walks, anc^ 
(h, on the trees delicious fruit, under their 
fhade voluptuous meetings, on the mountains 
tubs of milk and cream, a charming lazinefs^ 
peace, fimplicity, and the pleafure of going 
one don't know wheres In fine, nothing 
firuck my fight without carrying to my heart 

E 3 fome 


foftie intkement td enjoyment* fhe gran- 
deur, the variety, the real beauty of the'. pro- 
fpe£t, rendered thefe delights worthy of my* 
ceafon. Vanity too threw in its mite. So 
young and go to Italy, already to have/een 
jibmuth country, to follow Hannibal acrofs the 
mountains, feemed a glory beyond my agcf. 
Add to all this, frequent and good repofe, a 
good appetite and plenty toJatisfy it; for 
faith it was not wort^ while to let me want, 
and at the table of M. Sabran what I cat 
tould not be mifled. 

I don't rccoUeft to have had, in the whote 
cOurfe of my life, an ihicrval more ptrft&ly 
exempt from cares and trouble, than th^ fcven 
or eight days we took to make this lourncy y 
for the paceof Madanfi Sabran, by which otirr 
#as regulated, made it no more than a loftg- 
Walk. This remembrance^ has Wft tjie a lively^ 
lelifh for evei^ thine which refcmbks it> 'par^ 
ticularly for mountains and journeys on foot, 
, I journeyed on foot in my bcft da)s only, and 
always with delight. Very foon bufinefs, lug-' 
gage to carry, forced me to adt the gentleman* 
and take a carriage : care, embarafTment, and' 
conftramtj got in with mef and from that 
time, inftead of feeling, as I uTfed to do in my* 
former journeys, nothingbut the plcafure of 
foing, I fell nothing fo much as the defireof 
getting to the end. I long fought at Pari^ 
for two companions of the fame turn as my-* 
Mfy who would devote fifty guineas from their 
jK>ckets, -and a twelvemonth's time, to make 
together, and on foot, the tour of Italy, with-- 
out any other incnmbrance than a young felt 
T f : \- low 

B.2.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 79 

low to carry a bag for our nighufhirts. Many 
oftered, much pleafed in appearance with the 
projed ; but at bottom, taking the whole as a 
merecaftlein the air, which we talk over in 
converfation without intending to execute it 
in fz&, I remember, that, fpeaking with de« 
light of this proieA to Diderot and Grimm, 
I at laft gave them a fancy to it« I onctf 
thought it a thing done; but the whole end« 
ed in making a journey on paper> in which 
Grimm found nothing fo pleating as to make 
Diderot do a great many impious a£tions^and; 
to thrul^ me in the Inqutfition in his placet 

My reeret at arriving fo foon at Turin,, was 
adleviatedby the pleaiure of feeing si great 
city, and by the hope of £k>a figuring thero 
in a manner worthy of me ; for the fumes oi 
ambition had already reached my head : I 
already regarded myfelf as mucK above tha 
condition .of . an apprentice; I was far from 
forefeeins that in a ibort dme I ihoold be 
much below it. 

Before I proceed farther, I ou^ht to nutke 
to the reader my excufe or juftificatidn, as 
well for the trifling narrations I have juft en-^ 
cer«d into, as for thofel may enter into af- 
terwards, and ivhiqh have nothing engaging 
in. bis eyes. In the work I have undertaken 
of expofing myfelf entirely to the public, no^ 
thing of myfelf muft remain obfcure or hid* 
den; I muft keep myfelf inceflantiy under 
thtif eye, that they may follow me, tbrougb . 
all the. wando-inga of mf heart, into every 
recefs of. my life, for fear left, finding in 
MAy rdatton the leaft void^ the Icaft g^jpts 

£ 4 it < 



it /hould be faid. What \^as be doing all that 
time? or I (hould be accufed of not Having 
told all. I give fcope enough to the malignity, 
of men, by my relation, without giving ftill' 
more by my filence. > 

My little ftock was gone; I had been bab- 
bling, and my indifcretion was not to my 
.conductors an entire lofs. Madam Sabrari' 
found means to get from me even a little rib- 
bands-embroidered with filver,* which Madam 
de Warens had given me for my little fwcrdy 
which I regretted more than all the reft : the 
fword had alfo remained with them, had I been 
h{$ obftinate. They faithfully defrayed my 
cxpences on the journey, but had left me na« 
thing. L ar^five at Turin without ckis^thsy 
without money, .and without linnen 9 and 
leaving whoUy to my fole merit all the ho-* 
Aour of the forturte' iiwa« goin^ ^ to make. 
^ I had letters J - I carried them, and wa^ 
immcdFaiely- led to -the Hofpital of the Caee- 
chumen*,. to be inftrufted in a religion for 
which they foW^iiie my fubfiftence. In going 
in I faw a large door with iron bars, whicb 
when 1 had pafTed was double-locked on my^ 
heek; This beginning" appeai'ed tomeinor^ 
;impofing than agreea^le,^ and' began to fet 
itie thinking, when 1 was conduiSied to a^re* 
-cy large room. All the furniture that was 
there' was a wooden altar, with a Jarge cruci* 
*fix on it^ at the bottom of the rooin, . and 
^around it, four or five chairs, alfo of wood^ 
which*^ appeared to have'been rubbed with wax^ 
^{it W^i(Si flioneiiinly .frbmcontinualruhbing* 
In ;(hii^flesaFibiy-haU /were four or 6vie fiughtful 
-• ,. .*^ ' ban« 

'B.i] J. J. ROUSSEAU. ss 

banditti, my companioas of inflrudlion, but 
which feemed rather the devil's body-guard 
than candidates for the kingdom of God. 
Two of thefe villains were Efclavonians, who 
called themfelves Jews or Moors, and who, 
as they owned to me, paiTed their time in run- 
ning over Spain and Italy embracing Chriftia- 
nity, and being baptized wherever the pro- 
duce was wor& the labour. Another door 
of iron was opened, which divided in two a 
large balcony that gave into the court.' lly 
this door entered our ftflers the catechumens, 
who like me were going to be regenerated, not 
l>y baptifm, but by a folemn abjuration. They 
were the greateft fluts and the naftiefl ftreet* 
walkers that ever beftunk the flock ot our 
•Lord. One only feemed pretty and engaging 
enough. She was nearly of my age, perhaps a 
year or two older. She Had roguifh eyes^ 
which now and then met mine. That gave 
me fome defire to be acquainted with her ; 
but during almoft two months ihe remained 
in this houfe, where (he had already been 
three, it was impofiible to accoft her. So 
jTiuch was (h^ recommended toour old jailor's 
wife, and watched by the holy miffionary, who 
laboured for her converfion with more zeal 
than diligence. She mull have been extremely 
ilupid, though {he did not appear fu; for ne- 
ver was fo long an inftruAion. The holy man 
never found her in a ftate to abjure; but Hie 
grew weary of her cloifter, and faid flie would 
go out chriilian or not. They were obliged 
to take her at the word while (he yet confented 
to become one^ for fear ihe ihould grow re*- 
jfradlory, and hear no more of it* 

E 5 ThQ 


The liittle community was aflembled in ho- 
nour of the new comer. They liiade us a fliort 
exhortation ; to me, to engage me to corref- 
nond with the favour God beftowed on me j 
to the others, to invite them to grant me- their 

J layers, and edify me by their example. This 
one, our virgins being returned to their clois- 
ter, I had time to contemplate, quite ^t my 
cafe, that wherein 1 found my (elf; 

The next morning we were again aflembled 
for inftruftion : it was then I began to refled, 
for the iirft time, on the ilep 1 was about to 
take, and on the proceedings which brought 
jnc there. 

I have faid, I repeiit, and fhall repeat, per* 
haps, a thing whereof I am every day more 
perfuaded ^ which is, that, if a child ever 
received an education reafonable and found. 
It was I. Born of a family v^hofe morals 
diftinguiflied it from the vulgar, I received 
none but leiTons of prudence, and examples 
, of honour from all my relations. My father, 
though a man of pleafure, had not only great 
honour, but a deal of religion. Gallant in 
the world, and a chriftian in the interior, he 
fuggefted to me thofe fentiments with which 
he was penetrated. Of my three aunts, all 
prudent and virtuo9s,the two eldeft were devo- 
tees ; the third, a girl at the fame time full of 
grace, wit, and fenfe, was perhaps more fo 
than them, though with lefs oftentation* 
From the bofom of this eftimablc family, I 
went to M. Lambercier's, who, though of the 
Church and a preacher^ believed inwardly, and 

' afted 



a, 2.3 J. J. ROUSSEAU 1; 

afled almoft as vreil as he faid. His liAer and 
himfelF cultivated, hf gentle and juditiout 
inftruf^ion, the principles of piety they found 
in rny heart. Thefe worthy people employed, 
to that end, means fa apt, fo difcrcet, and fy 
reafonable, that^ far from wearying me with 
-their fermon, I never left it without being io^ 
tiirnally touched, and making refolutions t6 
live well, in which, by ferioufly thinking on it, 
I rarely failed. At my aunt Bernard's, de- 
votion was a little more tirefome, bccaufe flie 
made a fcience of it. At my mailer's, I 
thought little more of it, without, however^ 
thinking^diSereiuly. I found no young peo:- 
ple 10 pervert me. I became a btackguarc^ 
.but. not a libertine. V 

I had then as much religion as a child of 
the age I was of could haye : I had even more. 
ibr why ibould I now difguife^ |t|y^houghts r 
■ My childhood was not that of a cWd* I felt, 
'I theiig^t.always as a man. 'Twas only in 
-growing up I returned^ to the ordinary dafs 9 
iat my birth 1 Jeft it. I ikall be laughed at 
*thus to give myfelf out for a prodigy. Be it 
ib; but when they have laughed heartily, let 
:tbem £nd a child that at fix years old a-ro- 
jnance afFe(^s, moves, and tranfports, to a 
'jdegree of weeping fhowers of tears ; I fball 
then fee my ridiculous vanity, and will agree 
I am wrong. 

Thus; when I faid we ihould not converie 
•with children on religion, if we wiihed they 
saight one day. have any, and that they were 
incapable of knowing God, even after our 
'flunner j Id^ew my fentimeat from my obfei;* 

£ 6 rations. 



yatJoDS, . not fibrh my own experience : I 
knew it was not condufive to others. Frnd 
J. J.'RoufTeaus at fix years old, and talk to^ 
jthem on God at feven^ I will be anfwerable 
you run no hazard. 

It is underftood, I fuppofe^ that -for a child, 

or* even a man, to have religion, is to follow 

that he was born in. Sometimes you take 

from it ; rarely add to it : dogmatical faith is 

the fruit of education. Beiides this common 

principle which tied me to. the religion of my 

forefathers, I had the peculiar averfion of 

our city for catholicifm, which we were taught 

was dreadful idolatry^ and whofe clergy were 

painted in the Hackeft colours* This fenti- 

ment was carried fo fac in me, that, at the 

'.beginning, I never glanced towards the in- 

fide of a church, never met a prieft in his 

furplice, never heard the bell of a proceffion, 

without (baking with terror and affright, 

which foon left me in cities, but has returned 

in the country partfhes that had more rc^ 

femblance to thofe where 1 firft experienced 

it* It is true, this impreffion was Angularly 

contrafted by the remembrance of the carefles 

which the prieib of the environs of GenevR 

befiow on the children of the city. At the 

fame time the hand-bell for the viaticum made 

me afraid, the bells for mafs or vefpers rei- 

minded me of a breakfaft, a collation, frefh 

' buttery fruits, or milk. The good dinner at 

M« de Pontverre's ftill produced a great ef* 

:fed. Thus was I eafily turned from thofe 

thoughts. Coniidering popery only as it re^- 

laied to amufemeac or guttling, i accommpM 

:j : dated 

B:>..] J. J. ROUSSEAU. (5 

dated myfelf, without trouble, to the idea of 
living in it,: but that of folemniy ehteting 
into it, never prefented itfeif to me but in a 
paffing manner, and in a very dtftanc futu« 
rity. At this titpe there ivas no means of 
changing : :l &nv, wjth the inoft viqleat hor- 
jTOr, the fort of engagement I had made, and 

, ks inevitable confequence. The future Neo-> 
phytes 1 had around me were. not adapted to 
fupport my courage by ^eir example ; 1 could 

, not diffifiiuiate that the holy deed 1 was going . 
to perform; was, at the bottom, but the adion 
of a cut»throat« Though ftill yo^ng, I favr, 

' tKat,. whatever religion was the true one, I 
"was going to iell nune ; and that, though J 
ihould even chufe well, I was going, from 
the bottom of: my. heart, to lie to the HoW 
Ghoft, and merit the contempt of mankino. 
The more I thought on it, the more I defpiferf 
myfelf; I trembled at the fate that had led me 

. there, as if this fate was not my own doing. 
Sometimes thefe fefledions were fo powerful, 

'.that, if I had feenthe door open one inftant, 
I Ihould certainly haye gone out of it-j but it 

' was not pOffible,, and this refolution did not 
hold, neither, very ftrong. 

Too many fecret defires combat ted it not to 
vanquiifa. fiefides, the obftinacy of the de* 
fign formed not to return to Geneva, 4iie 
ihame, and even the difficulty of repaifine tlve 

. mountains, the trouble at feeing myfeif far 
from my country^ and without a friend, with- 
out refourcesj all thefe things concurred to 
make me regard, as a late repentance, the r^- 
morfe of coofci^ncc : I afe^ reprQa<?h 



myfelf of what t had done, to excufe that I 
was going to do. In aggravating the feults 
of the paft, I looked on future ones as their 
neceflary effeft. 1 did not fay to'mvfelf. No- 
thing is yet done, and you can be innocent if 
you will ; but I faid. Lament the crime of 
which you have rendered your(e)f culpable, 
and of which you have made it neceflary to 
fill up. the meafure. 

In hStj what rare magnanimity of foul muft 
I not have had, at my age, to revoke all that, 
tjll that moment, I had* prom i fed or left to 
hope, to break the chains I had given myfelf, 
to declare with intrepidity Chat I would remain 
in the religion of my Torcfathets, at the rr& 
of all that niight happen ! This vigour was 
not of my age, and there is little probability 
of its having had a happy iflue. * Things were 
too far advanced to be recalled, and the more 
my refiflance had been great, the more, by 
fome manner or other, they had made it a me- 
rit to furmouht It. 

The fophifm which ruined me is that of the 
greateft part of mankind, who complain of 
want of power, when it is too late to make 
ufe of it. Virtue is dearly bought by our 
own faulty if we were always prudent, we 
fiiould feldom have occafion of virtue. But 
^linations which might be eafily furmounted, 
drag us without refiftance ; we yield Jto light 
temptation^ whofe danger we defpife* Infen- 
fibly we fall into perilous fituations froiki 
which we might eafily have preferved our- 
fclves, but from which we cannot extricate 
ourfelves witliout iicroic efforts which afiright 

us i 

9.Z.J J. J. liOUSSBAi;. «y 

us ; ib we fall at }^ int<> the abyft, in faying to 
God, Why Kaft thou made us fo weak? But^ 
in fpite of us, he replies by our confcience, 
I made you too weak to get out of the gulf, 
becaufe I made you ftrong enough not to fali 
into it. 

I did not precifely take the refolution of 
becoming a cathoHc ; but feeing the time was 
not very nigh, I took time to accuftom myfelf 
to the idea, and thought that in the mean 
while fome unforcfeen event might deliver mc 
from my cmBarraflment. In order to gain time, 
I refolved to make the befl; defence poffible. 
Very foon my vanity difpenfcd me from think« 
ing of my refolution > and whenever I per- 
ceived' I fometimes puzzled thofe who would 
inftru€l me, nothing more was wanting than 
to try entirely to overthrow th^m. I even 
applied in this undertaking a zeal very ridi* 
culous ; for while they were at work on me> 
I wanted to work on them. I honefily thoujght 
they wanted no more than convi£iion to be^ 
isome proteftant's. 

They did not, therefore, find in me that 
facility they expcfted, neither on the fide of 
knowledge or will. Proteftants are, in gene* 
ral, better inilruQed than catholics. It can* 
not be otherwifc : the do£lrine of the t)ne cx- 
ads difcuffion, that of ^he other fubmiffion. 
A catholic mud adopt the decifion they give 
him ; aproteftant maft learn to decide for him-* 
fclf. They kne# that ; but they did not ex* 
jped,^ either from my condition or my age, 
much difficulty to people exercifed as they 
were. Btiides, I had not* yet received my 



fitd communion, or reoeiyed thofe inftru6^ion8 
which relate to it : they knew that too, but 
they did not knov^, that, In its flead, I had 
been well inftruded at M. Lambercier's ; and 
that, moreover, I had by me a little ipagazine, 
very troublefome to thefe gentlemen, in the 
hiftory of the church s^d of the empire, which 
1 had learnt almoft b^ heart at my father's, 
^ndfince thatalmoft forgot, but which return* 
ed again to my memory, as the difpute grew 

An old little prieft, but pretty venerable, 
held with us, in common^ the firft copference. 
.This conference was,^ to my coinpanrons, a 
.catechifm rather than a controverfy ^ be had 
more trouble, in inftru6iing, thaa- refolving 
their objedions. It was not the fame with 
me. When my turn came, I fiopped him at 
every point; I did Jiot fpare him one difficulty 
I could give him. 1 his rendered the confer- 
ence very long, and very tirefome. to the 
^(lants. My old prieft talked much, exerted 
himfelf, ran to his books, and got out of th^ 
hobble by ftiying he did not underftand French 
enough. The next day, for jfearmy indifcreet 
.objedtions fhould hurt my companions, they 
put me in a fepara^e ropm with another prieft, 
much younger, a good talker, that is to fay, 
dealing out long phrafes, and proud of bimr 
felf, if ever do£ior was. I did not) however, 
/uffer myfelf to be too much brought under by 
his impofing countenance; and finding, after 
all, that I made my way, I began to anfwer 
him with a tolerable afTurance; an^ to maul 
bim> on right and left, as wtil as I could.. 

B.2-]. J. J. ROUSSEAU. 89 

He thotfight to kmock rod down with Saint Au- 

gufiiDy Saint Giriegory, and thcreftof the few 

thers } but. he found, withan incredible furprife^ 

I could handle all the& fathers almoft as nim* 

bly as he could: not that I ever read thenr*^ 

or he either p(frhafis'; but I retained many paf- 

fages taken from my Le Sueur; and wben-i 

ever he cited one, without difputing on the 

ciiationy I parried it by another from the famer 

father,' and . which, » often, greatly puzzled 

him. He t: got the better, however, at laftj 

for two' reafons : one was; be was above me j 

and feeingnnyfelf; in a mam>er, at his mercy^ 

Iking fo young, I rightly judged I fhould- not 

drive hifaa' to a non-plus ; for I plainly iaw 

the little old prieftwas not well fatisiied with 

my druditidn or me. The other reafon was^ 

';the young oi». had: fludied, and I had -noti 

That gave hini, in h» ihaiuier of argument^ 

^ method 1 could not folloiv; 3nd whenever 

he found himfelf unable to anfwer an unex* 

^e£led objedion, he* put it off till the next 

day, pretending I left the prefent fubje£l. Some* 

times he rejected even all my citations, main«> 

taining they were falfe, and, offering to fetch 

theihfook, defied. me to find the^m. He knew 

he ran no great hazard, and that, with all my 

borrowed learning, I was ^ too little j^ercifed 

in the handling books, and not Latinift enough, 

-to hnd a pai&ge in a large volume, even 

though I \fr3s aiTured it was there. I fufped 

him likewife of having made ufeof the perfidy 

.of which he accufed the minifters, and having 

ibmetimes. forged paiTages to extricate himiistf 

from an objection whit^ troubled iiim. i 


1 .« 4 


But, at laft» the refideiice of the hofpital 
becoming every day nionc difagreeable, and 
perceiving to get out of it but oiie way, I was 
as eager to take it as I had been in endeavour- 
ineto retard it. . 

The two Africans had been baptized with 
great ceremony, drefled in white from head to 
foot, to reprefent the candour of their rege-» 
aerated fou]* My turn came a month after^ 
wards ; for ail that time was necefiary, that 
lay dire^lofs might have the honbur of a di& 
ficult converfion, and aU their tenets were 
galled over before me^ to tiionqib over my 
new docility. 

In fine, fufficiendy inftrvded and fuflkiently 
dilpofed to the will of my new maAsrs,. I was 
led proeeffiooally to the metropolitan church 
of .St. John, to make a folenm abjuration) 
pad receive the addition of baptifm, thoi^gh 
they did not revbaptisse me in reality: but 
as the eerenseny is nearly the fame, it ferves to 
perftiade the people proteftants are not chrif«. 
tians. 1 was cloathed in a kind of grey gown, 
asid a white furtout coat, devoted to thefe oc** 
cafions* Two men carried before and bdiind 
copper bafons, on which they ftruck a.key« 
wh^re every one put alms according ta his 
idcvotion, or the cmicern he had for the weU ' 
hre of the new convert. In fad, nothing of 
catholic pageantr]^ was omitted to render the 
folemnky more edifying to the public, and 
inofe humiliating to me. The white coat onljT 
might been ufeful to me, which they did 
not give me as ta ar Moor, fihce I bad not the 
honour of beiog.a Jesr* 


Bia.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. ^f 

This was not all. I muft afterwards go 
to tHe Inquifition, to receive abfdiution for 
the crime of herefy, and return to tfaebofom 
of the church, with the fame cerem6ny to 
which Henry IV. was fubjefted by his Am- 
bafiador. The countenance and manner of 
the right reverend father Inquifitor was not 
of the fort to diminilh the fecret terror which 
had feized me on entering this houfe. After * 
feveral queftion^ on rhf faith, oft my condt« 
tion, and on my family, he a&ed me bluntly 
if my mother was damned. My confternation « 
TdprefTed thefirft motions of my indignation % 
I contented myfelf with replying, 1 would 
hope (he was not, ai^ that God might have 
cnKghtened her at her laft hour. The monlc «' 
v^as filent; but his (bur iodk^ did not appear. 
to me a fign of approbattoii. ' 

All this got through, at the ^ moment I en^^^ 
pefled to be^ at taft, plained according to my: 
vriflies, they turned me out df iootrs with {6019^"^ 
thing more than twenty livres in fmalt money^ 
which the gathering pr<kluced. They recom** 
cfiended to me to live a good thrift ian, be 
faithful to gr^ce ; they wifi^ed me good lucky 
ihut the door on me, and every one diiap* 

Thus, in an inflant, were ail my grandex- 
peflations at an end, and nothing remained 
of the fetfiih fteps I had taken, but the. re^ 
membrance of having been, at onee^ an 
apoftate and a dupe, ft is eafy to guefs what 
a fudden' revolution muft have been caufedb 
in my ideas, when, from my ihining projeAai. 
^f fortunes I faw mj^felf ^defcend to thecoma 



pkteft imfery, aM ^at, after deliberating, in 
the- morning) on the choice, of the palace I • 
(bcLVild inhabit, I faw myfelf, at night, reduced 
to lie in. the ftreet. You would think I began 
to give myfelf '-up to 4 defpair, fo much the 
more cruel, as the forrow for my faults mud 
have been heightened by a convi£lion that 
my misfortunes were of my.<>wn feeking- — , 
Not: a bit of all that. I had been, for the 
fixft timej in my daysi &ut up more than two 
months. The firft fentiment that (truck me 
was that of the liberty I recovered. After a 
long flavery, again become mailer of myfelf 
and my anions, I faw myfelf in a great city 
abounding in refources, full of people of qua- : 
lity, whereof my talents^ j^nd merit could not > 
fi»iLto make itie welconye a<8 foon as they heard . 
of me. I had, b^fi4e$, time to wait, and. 
twenty livi'es I had in my pocket feemed a 
ti^eafure whicb^ would never be exhaufted. 1 1 
could difpofe of it at my fancy, without ren- 
derins account to any one. It was the firft. 
time I found myfelf fo rich. Far from falling- 
into defpondenty and tears, I only changed m/ / 
hopes ; and felf-tove loft nothing by it. Never 
did I feel fo much confidence and fpcurity : I 
thought my fortune already made; and that, 
it was floble, the obligation was to myfelf 

•The firft thing I did was fatisfying my cu- 
riofity in running all over the city, though it, 
flioutd be as An 4i^iof my liberty. I went to, 
ftc them mount guard i the military indru- 
ments pleafed me much. . I followed proceC- 
fions^ i liked the irregular mufic of thepriefts*. 

1 went 

B.2.] J. J.\ROUSgEAU. 13 

• I went to fee the king's palace : I approached 
it with dread ; but feeing other people go in, 
I did like them ; they let me go in : perhaps 
1 was indebted for this favour to the little 
bundle undcfr my arm. Be thaD as it may, I 
conceived a great opinion of ipyfelf in being 
in the palace ; 1 already looked on myfelf jas 
almoft an inbabitanft there* At' length, by 
Running backwards and forwards, I grew tiretl ^ 

' I was hungry : it was hot ; 1' go to a milk- 
' {hop : t^y brought' me fome curds and 
« milli, - and^ith two fiices of thd charming 
Piedmont bread, which I prefer to any other, 
' I made, for £ve or fix >fous, one of the beft 

- dinners I ever made i;i'-*ny life. 

- It was time to ieek a lodging. As I already 

• knew enough of the Piedmont tongue to make 
myfelf underftood, th^ns was no great diffi- 
culty in finding one ; and' I had $he:prudefrce 
to chufe it more adapted to my ^putfe than 
ray tafte. I was told of a foldier's wife, in the 
Po-ftreet, who received fervaat^ out of pkce, 

' at one fous per night. lifdwind there^ empry, 
a bed, and tookpofieffipn^of ir. She was young, 
and juft married, though- flie^ already had five 

- or ftK children;^ We all 'flept in the fame 
room, nnK>ther>, children, a lid lodgers ; and it 

' continued in this manner whild I remained 
with her. As for the reft, fee was a good«« 
natuped woman, fwearing like a cftrter, breads 
always Open, and cap off, but a feelimg heart, 
officious,- and inclined to fetve 'me, and was 
even nfeful to me. . -: 

I fpent feveral days in giving myfelf up 
wholly to the pleafure of independence and 



curiofity. I went wandering wkbin and widi« 
out the city, fereiing and vifiting every thing 
which feemed curious or.neW) ^t^ every thing 
was fo for a young lad coming from his neft, 
and had never feen the capital, i Was very exa<5fc 
in pa3i!ing my court, and regularly ajffiftiag 
cTery morning at the king's nufs. I thought 
it fine to he in the £une cnap^l with .d[^is 

, prince and his retinue j but my paffipn ^i^r 

' mufic, which began to ihew Itfelf, had. more 
fliare in my affiduity than the fplendor of the 
court) which, foon feen and always the fame, 
did not ftrike aifi long. The King of Sar- 

. diniabad, jtt thattime^ the beft fymphony in 
Europe. Somis, Des Jardins, and les Bezuz- 
2Ay (hone alternately. . l^ would have been 
Cufficient to;xlmw . a young fellow, that the 

- found of the leaft inftruo^ent, provided, it was 
juft» tranfported with gladnefs. Befides, I had 
only a ftupid admiration for magnificence, 
which ftrikes the fight, without deiire. The 

, only thing I thought ofJn all the pomp of 
the court, was to find a young princefs th^rc 
who deferved my refped» and with whom I 

. could a^. a romances. 

I was not far from beginning one in.a fitua- 
tion lefs brilliant ; but where, had J biought 
it to a conclufion^ 1 had. found ^eafurea a 
thoufand times more delicious. 

Though I lived with gre^t oeconomy^ my 

. purfe infenfibly grew lighter. This joeconomy, 

, however, was lefs the eiFe£Lof prudence than 
a fimplicity of tafte, which eyen at this day 

'the ufeof plentiful tables has not altered. I ^ 
did not knaW) or dp not yet know^ a bet.ter 


JJ. 2.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 95 

/eaft than a country meal. With milk-diet, 
icggs^ herbs, cheefe, brown bread, and tolejuble 
wine, you are Aire to regale me well ; a .sbod 
apgetite will do the left, if a fteward and the 
fervants around me do not fatiate me with 
their impertinent afp^A. I then made a much 
better meal at the exfijence of fix or fcven Tout, 
than I have fince made for fix or feven livres. I 
was therefore bhtx^ ^or want .of/ a temptation 
to be otherwife* I ^m fttll to blame to call i^ 
ibbriety ; for I ei;i!^loyed all poiEble fenfu- 
ality. My pes^^my cheefe, my bread, 'and 
a few glai^^of Montferrat wine, ditat you 
might cut with a knife, rendered me the 
happieft of gluttons. But ftill, with all that, 
it was poffible to fee the end of twenty livres ; 
this I from day to day more fenfibly perceived, 
and, in fpite of the giddinefs of my age, my 
uneafinefs for hereafter was inclining to terror. 
Of all my caftles in the air,, there only re- 
mained that of feekin^ an occupation I could 
live by, and that was not very caiily realized. 
1 ^thought Q& my t>ld trade, but knew not 
enough of it to work with a mafter ; befides, 
mailers don't abound at Turin. I therefore 
took a refelution of offering, from (hop to 
ibop, to engrave a cypher, or coats of arms, 
on plates or difiies, hoping to tempt them by 
cheapnefs, in fubmitting to their difcretion. 
This expedient was not very happy. 1 was 
almoft every where denied, and wnat I got 
to do was fo tjrifling^ I could hardly earn a 
meal. One day, however, paffing pretty early 
in the Contranova, I faw, through the win- 
dows of a counter^ a young tiadefwoman, fo 



cgracefiil and of fo *atrraSi^e a coimteliancei!* 
-tliat, in fpite of my timidity towards ladies, I 

did not hefitateto go in and oiferniy talent* 
tShe did not dtfcourage me, made me fit down, 

tell her my little fbory^ pitied nve, told me to 
<be of good cheer, and that goixl - cht iftians 
.would never abandon me*, then, while (he 
. fent for the tools I walited to a jeweller's' of the 
.neighbourbood>, ihe went intdthe kitchen, and 
:herfelf brought me foknebfeak&ft. This be- 
-ginning feemedito ^ocnife well enough ; the 

end did not contrkdid it. ; She feemed fatisfied 

with my little labours ; much more with my 

prattle, when I had a. little calleded myfelf : 
fforlhewas.bnlHant and drefly, and, in- fpite 
;of her graceful countehaitce, this luftre had 
rimpofed on me. But her ret:eptfon full of 
,good*natiire, her com pailionate tone, her gentle 
.and capeffiiig manner,, foon 'brought me to 
-myfelf. I faw I fucceeded, and that made me 

fucceed. the npore ; but though an Italian, and 
.too pretty not to beia iiitlecof the coquette, 
.file wasneverthel^ fo inodeA, ^d I fo timid, 

that it was difficult to bring our acquaintaivce 

to any good... They did. not give iis time to 
'finiih the adventure. I recddeS with ai greater 
, pleafure only the ihort moments I pafled with 

her, and !> can fay I there tailed in their prime 
.thrfofteft and the pureft pleafures Qf love. 
She was a. brown girl, txtrecnely fmart, but 

wfaofe natural gopdneis, painted in .ber.prei^ 
. face, rendered her vivacity touching. Her nanre 

was Madam Bafile. Her huiband, older than 
•ihe was, and tolerably jealous, left her during 
• his abfence under the caf» of a clerk, too 


*. 2.} J. J. R O U S S E A U. 97 

difagreeable to be dangerous, but who never- 
thelefs had'pretenfions whidi he rarely (hewed 
but by ill-humour. He (hewed me a great 
deal-, th'ough I was fond of hearing htm play 
the flute, which he did pretty well. This 
fecond Egiftus always grumbled whenever he 
faw me go into his lady's room : he treated me 
With a difdain which flic heartily returned him. 
She (eemed as if (he took a pleafure in torment- 
ing him, by carefling me in his prefence ; and 
this fort of vengeance, though much to my wifh, 
would have been much more fo in a tete-a-tete. 
But (he did not carry it quite fo far ; or, rather, 
it was not in the fame manner* Whether (he 
thought me too young, whether (he did not 
underftarid the advances, or whether (he would 
ferioufly be prudent, (he had, at thofe times, 
a fort of referve which was not unkind, but 
wHich intimidated me without my knowing 
the caufe, Thougli I did not feel for her the 
fame real and tender refpe<5l which 1 felf for 
Madam de Warens, I felt more fear and left 
familiarity. I was perplexed and trembling j 
I dared not look at her j I dafed not breathe 
before her; I neverthelefs dreaded leaving her 
more than death. I devoured, with greedy 
lookji, all I could fee without being perceived ; 
the flowers of her gown, the end of her pretty 
foot, the interval of a white and compa<ft arm 
which appeared between her glove and her 
ruffle, and that which happened, fometimes, 
•between the contour of her neck and her 
handkerchief. Each objed added to the im« 
predion of others.. By dint of looking at what 
was to be feen, and even more than was to be 
Vol. I, F feen, 


fecn, my eyes were confufed, my lungs were 
opprefled, my refpiratbn, every inftanc more 
and more impeded, was with trouble kept 
down, ^nd all I was able to do was to ftifle, 
without noife, the fighs which were very trou- 
blefome to me during the filence we often 
were in. Happily, Madam Bafile, employed 
at her work, did not feem to perceive it. !» 
how^ver,^ fomctimes faw, by a fort of fyxn- 
,pathy, her handkerchief fwell frequently 
enough. This dangerous fight iinifhed my 
patience; and when I was ready to give way 
to my tranfport, (he diredied a few words to 
me in an^eafy voice, which in an inftant made 
me come to myfelf. 

J faw her in this manner feveral times 
alone, without there being a word, a motion, 
cr even a look too expreflive, which could 
denote between us the leaft intelligence. This 
ftate, too torturing for me, caufed, however, 
my delight ; and I could hardly, in the fin^- 
plicity of my heart, imagine why I was thus 
tortured. It feemed thefe little tete-a*tetes did 
not difpleafe her neitlier; at leaft, £he rendered 
the occafioo frequent enough ; an attention 
gratuitous certainly in her, for the ufe fhe 
made of it, or let me make of it. 

One day, being tired of the clerk's colloquy, 
and retiring to her chamber, 1 haflened to 
finifh my taflc in the back (hop where I was, 
and followed her. Her chamber- door was 
half open ; I went in without being perceived. 
She Was embroidering near the window, facing 
that fide of the room oppofite the door. She 
CO! 'Id fiQi (qq rrje go in, or hear me for the 
noife of the carts in the flreet. She was al- 

B. 2.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 99 

ways neady drcfl ; that day her attire bordered 
on coqucttry. Her attttuae was graceful ; her 
head inclining a little forwards, expofed to 
view thewhitencfs of ner neck ; her hair, fet 
off* with elegance, was decorated with flowers; 
there reigned all oi^er her perfon a chartn I 
had time to exanvine, but which carried me 
beyond myfelf. I threw myfelf on my knees 
at the entrance of the room, ftretching my 
hands towards her with amorous extacy, quite 
certain fhe could not hear me, and not ima^ 
gining flie could fee me; but there was a glafs 
at the chimney which betrayed me. I don't 
know what cScSt this tranfport had on her ; 
fhe did not look at me, or fpeak to me ; but 
4urning her fide-face, by a fimple motion of 
the finger, flie (hewed me the mat at her feet* 
To leap up, cry out, and fly to the place (he 
pointed to, was all done in the fame inftant ; 
but tt will- be hardly believed, I dared under- 
take nothing farther^ or (ay a (ingle word, or 
raife my- eyes towards her,, or even touch her 
in an attitude fo cpnftrained, to lean one mo- 
ment on her knee.* f was dumb and im- 
moveable, but not compofed afluredly ; every 
thing painted in me agitation, joy, gratitude^ 
and ardent deftres uncertain of their obje£t, and 
reftrained by the dread of difpleafing, of which 
my young heart could not afllire itfelf. 

She did not appear calmer or lefs timid than 
I. Uneafy at feeing me there, confounded at 
having drawn me there,, and beginning to feel 
all the confequence of a (ign which efcaped 
her without refle£):ion, (he neither encouraged 
nor difcourag^d me 3 (he did not take her eyes 

Fa from 



from her work ; (he endeavoured to ad as if 
ihe did not fee me at her feet, but all my ftu- 
pidity did not prevent me from judging that 
file partook of my trouble, perhaps of my de*> 
fires, and that (he was withheld by a ihame 
like mine, without its giving me the power of 
fiirmounting it. Five or fix years older than 
me, (he ought, jn my opinion, to take all the 
freedom herfelf ; and I faid to myfelf, Since ihe 
does nothing to excite mine, ihe does not chu(e 
I fhould take any. And at this day I believe I 
thought right ; and furely (he had too much 
fenfe not to fee that a novice like me had oc«> 
cafion not only for encouragement, but in- 

I don't know how this lively and dumb 
fcene would have ended, or how long I might 
have remained immoveal^le in this ridiculous 
and delightful fituation, had we not been in- 

In the ftrongeft of my agitations I heard 
the kitchen door open, which joined the 
chamber we were in, and Madam Bafile, 
alarmed, fays to me with hafty voice and 
gefturCy Get up, there is R'ofina. In rifing in 
a hurry, I feized lier hand, which (he held 
out ; 1 gave it two eager kii&s, at the fecond 
of which .1 felt this charming hand prefs a little 
againft my lips. In my days I never knewfo 
fweet a moment 5 but the o^cafion 1 had loft, 
offered no more, and our young amours flopped 

This is, jierhaps, the reafon the image of . 
this amiable woman remains imprinted on the 
bottom of my heart in fo lively colours. It is 


B. 2.] J. J. ROUSSEAU, lor 

heightened even fince I know the world and 
women. If flic had had the leaft experience, 
ihe would have taken another method to ani- 
mate a young fellow : but altho* her heart was 
weak, it was honeft ; ftie involuntarily yielded 
to an inclination which hurried her away ; 
'twas, to all appearance, her firft infidelity, and 
I fliould have found, perhaps, more to do in 
vanquifting her modcfty than my own. With- 
out going lb far, I tailed in her company inex- 
preffible delights. Nothing I ever Mt from the 
poffcffion of women is. worth the two minutes I 
/pent at her feet, without even daring to touch 
her gown. No, there is no enjoyment like 
that we find in an honeft woman we efteem; 
'all is favour with her. A trifling fign of the 
finger, a hand lightly prefl'ed againft my 
mouth, are the only favours I ever received of 
Madam Bafile •, and the remembrance of thefe 
favours, fo trifling, ftill tranfports me when £ 
thinlc of them. 

In vain I fought a «fecond tete-a-tete the 
two following days ; it was impofliible for me 
to find an opportunity, and I perceived no in- 
clination in her to favour it. She had even a 
countenance, not moie indifi^erent, but more 
referved than ordinary V and I believe (he a- 
voided my looks for fear of not being able fuf- 
ficiently to govern hers. Her curfed clerk was 
more mortifying than ever. He became even 
a^bantcJrer and jocofe; he told me 1 fliould 
make mjf way amongft the ladies. I trembled 
left I ihouid have been guilty of an indifcre- 
tion ; and looking upon myfelf as already fa- 
miliar with her, I would have made.a myftery 

F 3 of 


of an inclination which till then did not much 
want it* This made me more circumfpe<^ in 
laying hold of the occafions of fatisfying it* 
and in endeavouring to be certain of fome, I 
found none at all. 

This is likewife. another romantic folly I 
could never get the better of^ and which, add- 
ed to my natural timidity, haa greatly contra* 
dided the clerk's/predidions. 1 loved too fin* 
cerely, too perfedly, I dare fay it, to beeafiiy 
happy. Never were paffions more lively, and^ 
^t the fame time, more pure than mine } n^vci^ 
was love more tender, more real, and n^ore 
difinterefled. I would have facrificed a thtiu* 
f^nd times my happinefs to that of the per foa 
1 loved : her reputation was dearer to me than 
life, and never, for all the pltafure of enjoy- 
ment, would I have expofed for a moment her 
peace. This das made me -fo cautious, fo 
fecret, and fo careful in nfiy undertakings^ 
that none have ^ver fucceeded. My little fuc- 
cefs with women was always caufed by loving 
them too much* 

To return to the Egiftus the fluter: it wa^ 
moft Angular, that, in becoming more infup- 
portable, the traitor became more complaifant. 
From the firft minute his lady ihewed me kind- 
nefs, (he thought of making me ufeful in the 
warehoufe. 1 knew arithmetic pretty well; 
ihe propofed bis teaching me book-keeping : 
but the crofs fellow received the propofal ex- 
tremely ill, fearing, perhaps, he might be fup- 
pi an ted » Thus all my work, after engraving, 
was to copy fome accounts and bills, to write 
over fairly a few books^ and tranflate commer- 

B.2.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. loj 

cial letters from Italian into French. All at 
once our man took it in his head to return 
to the propofal which was made and rejefted, 
and faid he would teach me accompts by 
double entry, and make me capiable of ofFet'- 
ing my fcrvices to M. Bafile on his return. 
There was fomething in his looks, though I 
can't tell what, falfe, artful, and ironical, 
which did not infpire confidence. Madam 
Bafile, without waiting my anfwer, told him 
coldly, I was much obliged to him for his of- 
fers, that fhe hoped fortune would favour my 
defert?, and that it would be a great pity that 
one of fo much fenfe (hould be nothing but a 

She feveral times told me (lie would mak^ 
me acquainted with thofe who could ttrve 
me. She prudently thought it- time to (end 
me from her. Our dumb declarations hap- 
(>ened on Thurfday. On Sunday (he gave a 
dinner, at which i was pre fen t ; and likewife 
a Dominican friar of a good appearance, to 
whom (he prefented me. The monk treated 
me very affe£tionately, complimented me oh 
my converfion, and told me feveral parts of 
my hiftory which (he had given him the parti- 
culars of: then giving me two little ftrokes on 
the cheek with the back of his hand, he told 
me to be good, to cheer up, and to go and fee 
him, in order to talk with more lelfure togc* 
thcr, 1 judged, by the refpeft every one paid 
him, that he was a perfon of importance, and, 
by his paternal tone of voice to Madam Bafile,. 
that he was her confeflfor. I recoUefl alfo his 
decent familiarity was mixed with marks of 

F ^ efteem 




ciieem and even refped for his penitent, which 
at that time made lefs impreffion on me than 
now. Had I had more underftanding, ho«if 
much ihould I have heen touched to have ren* 
dered fenfible a young woman refpe^led by her 

The table was not large enough for all of 

us. A fide- table was neceflary, at which I 

liad the agreeable converfation of the clerk. 

1 loft nothing on the fide of attention and good 

eating j feveral plates were fent to the Tide- 

table which certainly were not Intended for 

him. Every thing went well fo far; the 

Jadies were very merry, the gentlemen very 

polite: Madam Bafiledid the honours of the 

xepaft with a charming grace. Jn the midft of 

the dinner a chaife was heard to ftop at the 

^oor; fome one comes up; 'tis M. JBafile. I 

fee him as if entering this moment, in a fcac^^ 

let coat with gold buttons ; a colour I have 

fmce that day detefled. M. Bafile was, a tail, 

clever man, with an extemely good prefuice. 

He cornes in haftily, and with the air of one 

who furprifes his company, though none were 

there but his friends. His wife clings aroui^d 

}iis neck, takes hold of his hands, gives him a 

thoufand carefles, which he receivea without 

returning them. He falutes the company, a 

plate is brought, he eats. They had fcarcely 

begun talking of his journey, but throwing 

his eyes on the fide- table, he afks, in a fevcre 

tone, who that little boy is he fees- there? 

Madam Bafile tells him ingenuoufly. He afks 

if I lodge in the houfe ? He is told no. Why 

not ? replies he in a rough manner : fince he 


B.a.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 105 

is here in the day-time, he may as well be here 
at night. The monk took up the converfation, 
and after a grave and fincere panegyrick on 
Madam Bafile, he made mine in a few words ; 
adding, that, far from blaming the pious cha- 
rity of his wife, he fbould be forward in affift- 
ing it, iince nothing had pafTcd the bounds q£ 
difcretlon. The' hufband replied in a tone of 
humour, half of which was ftiiled, retrained 
by the prefence of the monk, but which was 
fufficient to let mektiowhe had been informed 
of me, and that the clerk had ferved me a 
trick in his way. 

They were fcarcely rifen from table, but 
this laft, difpatched by his mailer, came in tri- 
umph to fignify to me from him, that I muft 
.leave the houfe that inftanl^, and never more 
fet my foot there. He feafoned his commlHion 
>Vith every thing which could render it infult- 
ing and cruel. I went off without a word, 
but with a forrowful heart, not altogether at 
leaving this amiable woman, but at leaving 
her a prey to the brutality of her hufband. He 
certainly had a right to take care flie was not 
unfaithful ; for, although fhe was prudent, and 
of good birjh, flie was an Italian, that is, 
tender and .vindiftive ; and it was a fault in 
him, in my opinion, to make ufe of thofe means 
the moft likely to bring on the misfortune he 

Such was thefuccefs of my firft adventure, 
I endeavoured, by pafling and repaffing two 
or three times in the ftreet, to fee, at leaft, her 
whom my heart grieved for without ceafing : 
but, inftead of her, I faw none but the hufband 

P S and 


and vigilant clerk, who, on perceiT]ngnie,mad^ 
a motion with the ell in the (hop, more ex«- 
prcffive than inviting. Finding I m^s fo well 
watched, I loft hopes and w6nt no more. I 
wifhed to fee, however^ the patron flie had 
procured me. Unfortunately 1 knew not his 
name. I rambled feveral times, in vain^ round 
the convent to endeavour to meet him. At 
laft, other adventures banifhed the charming 
remembrance of Madam Bailie ; and in a fliort 
time I fo far forgot her, that, as fimple and zs 
much a novice as i was before, I did not re* 
main in danger of pretty 'women. 

Her liberalities had, however, again ftocked 
me a little ; very modeftly neverthelefsy and 
with the precaution of a prudent' woman, who 
looked on decency rather than dreft, and who 
would prevent me from fuffering rathe): than 
deck me out. The coat I brought from Ge- 
neva was ftill good and wearable ; flie added 
only a hat and a little linnen. I had no ruffles ; 
fhe would give me none, though I greatly de- 
fired them. She thought it fufficient for me 
to be clean; but this was an attention (be 
heed not have recommended while I appeared 
'before her. 

A few days after my cataftrophe, my hoftefs, 
who, as 1 haveiaid, had fliewn me friendlhip, 
told me (he had got me a place, and that a lady 
of quality wanted to fee me. At this word, 
I thought myfelf entirely in the* road to great 
adventures, for that was always uppermoft in 
mV thoughts. This w^as not fo brilliant as I had 
figured it. I went to the lady's with the {(ft-vant 
who had fpoke to her of me. She queiiioned 


B. 2.] J. J, R O U S S E A U. , 107 

me, examineJ me; I did not difpleafe her; 
and immediately entered into her fervice, not 
abfolutely in quality of a favourite^ but in 
quality of a footman. I was cloathed in the 
colour of her people ; the only diftin<Stion was 
their wearing a ihoulder-knot, and I had none : 
as there was no lace to the livery, it was near* 
Ijr a tradefman's coat. - Here was the unex- 
pe£led term to whichj at laft, were pointed 
all my brilliant hopes. 

Madam la Comtefle de Vercellis^ whom t 
fcrved, was a widow without children ; her 
hufband was a Piedmontefe. 1 always thought 
her a Savoyard, not being able to perfuade 
myfelC a Piedmontefe could fpeak fo good 
French with fo pure an accent. She was of a 
middle age, of a noble prefence, a mind well 
adorned, fond of Erench literature, and well 
verfed in it. She wrote much, and always in 
French. Her letters had the expreffion, and 
almoft the grace, of Madam de Sevigne's. Yoa 
might have miftoo^ feme of them for hers. 
My principal employment, which did not dif- 
pleafe me, was to write them from her dictat- 
ing ; a cancer in the breaft, of which. (he great- 
ly fufFered, not permitting her any longer to 
write herfelf. 

Madam de Vercellis had not only much wit> 
but an elevated and ftrong.mind. I attended her 
laft illnefs, I faw her fuffcr and die vvithoutonce 
fhewing the leaft weaknefs, without making 
the leaft effort of conftraint, without quitting 
her female character, and without imagining 
any philofophy in all this ; a word not then in 
vog^e, and which ihe was ifot even acquainted 

F 6 with 



with in the fenfe it now bears. This flrengih 
of chara<^er was fometimes carried to rude- 
iiefs. She always appeared to me to feel as 
little for others as for herfelf ; and when Ihe 
did a kindne(s to the unfortunate, it wai to do 
what was good in itfelf, rather than from true 
'compaiHoh. I experienced a little of this in- 
'fenfibility during the three months I pafled 
with her. It was natural flie (hould (hew 
fome kindnefs to a young perfon of fome views 
who was incefTantly under her ey«, and think, 
finding herfelf dying, that, after her death; 
he would want fome afliftance . and fupport : 
however, whether (he did not judge me wor- 
thy any particular attention, or whether thofe 
who furrounded her did not permit her to 
think of any but themfelves, ihe did nothiiig 
for me. 

I remember, however; very well, her fliew- 
ing fome cuFiofity t© know me. She queftioji- 
cd me fometimes j was glad to fee the letters 
I wrote to Madam de VVarens, to give an ac- 
count of my fentiments. But fhe furely did 
not take the right method, by never ihewing 
me hers. My heart loved to open itfelf, pro- 
vided it met with another equally open, in- 
terrogations dry and cold, without any fign 
of approbation or blame on my anfvvers, gave 
me no confidence. When nothing told me 
whether my chatter pleafed or difpleafed, I 
was always in fear, and I fought not fo much 
to fhew my thoughts as to fay nothing which 
could hurt me. I have fince obferved, that 
this dry manner of interrogating people to 
know thenij is a common trick amongft wcm^ 


B 2.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 109 

who pique themfelves on fenfe. They ima- 
gine, that, in not letting their own fentiments 
appear, they will arrive at penetrating yours 
the bett;er -, but they don't fee that they thus 
take away the refolution of expoiing them. 
A man who is queftioned, begins, for that 
reafon only, to put himfelf on his guard j and 
if he imagines,, that, without thinking of his 
good, they only want to make him prate, he 
lies, or conceals, br doubles his attention to fay 
every thing in his own praife, and had rather 
pafs for a fool than be duped in fatisfying 
your curiofity. In fine, it is always a bad me- 
thod of reading the hearts of others by aff^iSl- 
ing to hide your own. 

Madam deVercellis never faid one word to 
me that felt of affection > pity, or benevolence. 
She queftioned me coldly. I anfwered with 
referve. My anfwers timid /he muft 
have found them mean, and grew tired of them. 
Towards the laft file queliioned me no more, 
and talked of nothing but her fervice. She 
judged me lefs on what I was, than what ihe 
had made me; and by dint of feeing me in no 
other light than that of a footman, (he prevent- 
ed me from appearing any thing elfe. 

1 believe I experienced at that time the arch 
game of underhand intereft, which has thwarted 
me all my life time, and given me a very na- 
tural averfion for the apparent order which 
produces it. Madam deVercellis having no 
children, her heir was her nephew, the count 
of la Roque, who aiHduoufly paid her his 
court. Befides him, her principal fervants, 
who faw her draw near her end, did not for- 


fret themfelves ; and there were fo many af- 
iduous people about her, it was difficult for 
her to think of me. At the head of her af- 
fairs was one Lorenzy, an artful fellow, and 
whofe wife, who was ftill more artful, had fo 
much infinuated herfelf into the good graces 
of her miftrefs, {he was with her rather as a 
companion, than a woman who received wages. 
She had placed her niece with her as her 
chamber-maid ; her name was MademoifeHe 
Pontal ; a cunning jade, who gave herfelf the 
airs of a waiting gentlewoman, and affifted her 
aunt in fo well befetting their miftrefs, that fhe 
faw but through their eyes, and a£^ed but 
through their hands. I had not the happinefs 
to pleafe thefe three perfonages: I obeyed 
them, but did not 'ferve them ; I did not 
think, that, befldes the fervice of our common 
miftrefs, 1 muft be the valet of her valets. I 
was, befides, a troiiblefome perfon to them* 
They plainly faw I was not in my proper 
place : they dreaded their lady might fee it 
likewife, and that, if ftie put ipe there, it might 
decreafe their portions ; for thefe fort of peo- 
ple, too covetous to. be juft, regard every le- 
gacy left to others as taken from their right. 
They therefore united to keep me from her 
fight. She was fond of writing letters ; it was 
an amufement for her in her ftate j they dif- 
gufted her of it, and -got the phyfician to 
diffuade her, pretending it fatigued her. By 
pretending I did not know fervice, they em- 
ployed in my flead two great clowns of chair- 
men to be with her : in fine, they managed it 
fo well, that they kept me a week from her 


B.2.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. in 

•chamber before flie made her will. It is true, 
I went in afterwards as ufual, and was even 
more affiduous' there than any one : for the 
pains of this poor lady grieved me ; the con- 
ftancy with which fhe fuJFered rendered her 
extremely refpeftable and dear to m€ ; and I 
have, in her chamber, flied many fincere tears, 
without her or any one etfe having perceived it. 

We loft her at laft; 1 faw her expire. Her 
life had been that^ of a woman of wit and 
fenfe ; her death was that of a fage« I can 
fay ihe rendered the catholic religion amiable 
to me, by the ferenity of foul with which flie 
fulfilled the duties of it, without neglefl or 
affe(^ation. She was naturally ferious. To- 
wards her latter end, (he toc4c up a fort of 
chearfulnefs too equal to be affeded, and 
which was nothing but a cout^prbalanceigiven 
by reafon itfelf againft the fadnefs of her fitua* 
tion. She kept her bed the two laft days only, 
and did not ceafe converting peaceably with 
every one. At laft, her fpeech being gone, and 
already combating the agonies of death, {he 
broke wind loudly. Go6d, fays ihe, and turned 
in her bed ; {he who breaks wind is not dead. 
Thefe were the laft words (he pronounced. 

She left a year's wages taher under-fervants ; 
but, not being fet down^ one of her family, 
I had nothing. But the count de la Roque 
ordered me thirty livres, and gave me the new 
coat I bad on, and which M. Lorcnzy would 
have taken off. He likewife promifed to feek 
me a place, and permitted me to fee him. I 
went two or three times to his houfe, without 
being able to fpeak to him. I was eafliy dif- 



couraged» I went no more* You will pre- 
fently fee I was to blame. 

Why have I not fjnilhed all I had to fay 
concerning my abode with Madam deVercellis! 
But, though my apparent (ituation remained 
the fame, 1 did not come out of her houfe as 
I went into it. I carried away from thence 
the long remembrance of crimes, and the in- 
fupportable weight of remorfe, with which, 
though forty years fince, my confcience is flill 
loaded, and whofe bitter fenfe, far from growing 
weaker, grows {Wronger as 1 grow older. Who 
could believe that the faults of a child coitld 
have fuch cruel effects? 'Tis thefe eiFeds, 
more than probable, that have caufed my heart 
to get no eafe. I have^ perhaps, murdered with 
ignominy and mifcry an amiable, honeft, and 
eftimable girl, who was afluredly much better 
than I. 

Thediflblution of ,a family feldom hippens 
without caufing fome confufipn in the houfe, 
and many things to be mifTedi Such, however, 
was the fidelity of tbie fervants, and the vigt« 
lance of M. and Madam Lorenzy, that nothing 
was found (hort of the inventory./ Mademoi- 
felle Pontal, only, loft a ribband ofa white and 
rofe colour, already much worn. Many better 
things were within my reach : this ribband 
only tempted me. I ftole it, and, as I did not 
much hide it, they foon found it on me. They 
wanted to know whence I got it. I am 
confufed, I hefitate, I flutter, and at laft .1 faid, 
with rcdnefs in my face, 'Twas Marion gave it 
me. Marion was a young Moor, whom 
Madam de Vercellis bad made her cook, when, 


B.a.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. 113 

ceafing to give entertainments, ihe bad di& 
charged her own, having more occadon for 
good broths than fine ragouts. Marion was 
not only pretty, but had a freflinefs of colour 
to be found only in the mountains, and par- 
ticularly an air of modefty 9nd mildnefs that 
one could not fee without loving ; befides, 
a good girl, prudent, and of an approved 
fidelity. This furprifed them when 1 named 
her. They had almoft as much confidence in 
me as in her, and it was judged of importance 
to know which of the two was the thief. She 
. was fent for ; the company was numerous, the 
count d(B 1% Roque was prefent. She comes, 
they fhew her the ribband, I accufe her boldly ; 
(he remains fpeechlefs and aftonifbed, cafls a 
look at me which would have appeafed a devil, 
but which my barbarous heart refiAs. She 
denies, in fine, with afTurance, but without 
anger, turns to\A;a[ds me, begs me to confider, 
notdifgrace an innocent girl wiio never wifhed 
me ill; and I, with an infernal impudence, 
confirm my declaration, and maintain to her 
face that fhe. gave me the ribband. The poor 
creature began crying, and faid but thefe words^ 
Ah ! Rouileau I 1 thought you of a good dif- 
poiitionj you reduce metomifery, but I would 
not be in yoiir place. That's all. She continued 
defending- herfelf with as much fimplicity as 
fteadinefs, but without ufing againft me the 
Icaft invedive. This moderation, compared 
to my decifive tone, hurt her. It did not feem 
natural to fuppofe on one fide an audaciouf- 
nefs fo diabolical, and on the other a mildnefs 
fo angelical. They did not fcem to determine 



entirely, but prejudice was for me. In the 
buftle they were engaged, they did not* give 
themfelves time to found the ai&ir; and the 
count de la Roque, in fending us bfpth away, 
contented himfelf with faying, the confcience 
of the culpable would revenge the innocent. 
His predt4^ion was not vain ; it does not ceafe 
one day to be fulfilled. 

I don't know what became of this viSim 
of my calumny ; but there is little appearance 
of her- having been able, after that, eafily to 
get a good place/1 She carried with her an im- 
putation cruel toner honour in every manner. 
The theft was but a trifle, but however it was 
theft, and, what's worfe, made uie of to de« 
coy a young fellow : in fine, lies and obftinacy 
Ith no hopes of her in whom fo many vices 
were united. 1 don't look even on her miiery 
S(nd being an outcaft as the greateft dangers'! 
expofed her to. Who knows what defpondency 
and innocence contemned may have led her 
to. Ah ! if the remorfe of having made her 
unhappy is infiipportable, judge how much 
more cuttrng it muft be to me for having made 
her ft ill worfe than myfelf. 
C25'his cruel remembrance fo much troubles 
me fometimes,and diforders me tofuchadegree, 
that I perceive, in my endeavours to deep, this 
poor girl coming to upbraid meofmycrime,as 
if it was committed yefterday. Whilit I lived 
happy, it tormented me lefs ; bur, in the 
midft of a life of troubles, it robs me of the 
fweet confolation of perfecuted innocence: it 
makes me feel to the quick what I believe I 
have mentioned in fome of my works, that 


B.1.3 J. J. ROUSSEAU^ 115 

j^emorfe fleeps during a profperom life, but 
aWakttis in adverfity. I never could determine, 
however, to dtfburthen my heart of thh load 
in the bceaft of a friend. The ftri<Sbeft inti» 
jnacy never induced me to tell it any one, 
not even to Madam de Warens : the moft I " 
could do was to own I upbraided myfelf of an 
atrocious adlion, but never faid in ^at it con* 
£fted. This weight has therefore remained to 
this day on my confcience without alleviation; 
and I may fay, that the defire of delivering 
myfeif from it in fome degree, has greatly 
contributed to the refolution I have taKen of 
writing my Confeffions. 

I have proceeded openly in that I have juft 
made, and it cannot be thought, certainly,. 
that I have here palliated the heinoufnefs of 
ikiv crime. But I Ihould not fulfil the objeA 
of this bopl^, did I notexpofe, at the faone 
time, my interior difpofitions, and that I dread-* 
ed to excufe myfelf in what is conformable to 
truth* Never was villai-ny farther from me 
than in that cruel hour $ and when I accufed 
this unfortunate girl, it is ftrange, but it is 
true, my friend(hip for her was die caufe of it* 
She was prefent in my thoughts ; I excufed 
myfelf by the firft objeiS which offered. I 
accufed her of having done what I intended to' 
do, of giving me the ribband, becaufe my in- 
tention was to give it her. When I faw her 
afterwards appear, my heart was racked, but 
the prefence of fo many people was Aronger 
than my repentance. I little feared punifh* 
inent, I dreaded the ihame only \ but I dread- 
«d it more than death, 4nore than the crime, 



more than the whole world. I had'^been giad 
to have funk, ftifled in tbe.bofam of the earth : 
invincible (hame overcame all; (hame only 
caufed my impudence, and the more. I became 
criminal, the more the terror of acknowledging 
it rendered me intrepid. I faw nothing but 
the horror of being difcovered, publicly de« 
nounced, myfelf prefei\t, a robber, liar, and 
calumniator. An univerfal perturbation ba- 
niihed every other feeling. Had they let me 
recover myfelf, I had certainly declared the 
whole. Had M. de la Roque taken me afide, 
and faid to me— Don't deftroy the poor girl ; 
if you are guilty, acknowledge Jt to me-^I had . 
inflantly thrown myfelf at his feet; I am 
perfectly fure of it. But they only intimidated, 
inftead of encouraging me. My age is like- 
wife an allowance it is but juft. to make. I 
had fcarcely quitted childhood, or^ rather, was 
dill a child. In youth enormous crimes are 
ftill more criminal than in an age of n;iatarity ; 
and weaknefs is much lefa fo, and my fault at 
bottom was very little more. For thi&reafon, 
its remembrance affliAs me much lefs on ac« 
count of the mischief itfelf, than for that 
which it muft have caufed.. It has even done 
me this good, of keeping me, for the reft 
of my life, from every adl which tends to- 
wards committing crimes, by the terribfe im«> 
preffion it has left me of the only one I ever 
was guilty of; and I think I feel my averfion 
to falftiood grow in a great meafure from the 
regret of having been able to commit fo black 
a. one. If it is a crime to be expiated, a& I 
hope it is9 all the misfortunes which over- 

B.2.] J. J. ROUSSEAU. .117 

whelm me in the decline of«life muft have 
done it, added to forty years of uprigfatnefs 
and honour on difficult occaiions; and poor 
Marion having fo many avengers in this world, 
however great my offence was towards her, I 
have little dread of carrying its guilt with me. 
This is all I had to fay on this article. JLet 
me be permitted never to fpeak of it more. 

End of the Second Book, 




o r 



LEAVING Madam deVercelIis*s nearly 
as I went there, I returned to my old land- 
lady, and remained there five or fix weeks, in 
which time health, youth, and lazinefs, ofr 
ten rendered n^connitut ion importunate. I 
was uneafy, abfent, and penfive j cried; figh- 
ed, defired a happinefs I had no idea of, but 
whofe privation, however, I felt. This fitu- 
ation cannot be defcribed, and few men can 
even imagine it ; becaufe the greateft part have 
prevented this plenitude of life, at |the fame 
time tormenting and delightful, which,* in 
the drunkennefs of defire, gives a foretafte 
of enjoyment. My fired blood inceflantly 
filled my head with girls and women > but not 
knowing their real ufe, 1 poffefled them whim- 
fically in idea to my fancy without knowing 
what more to do with them ; and thefe ideas 
kept my fenfes in a difagreeable aftivity, from 
which, fortunately, they did not teach me to 
deliver, myfclf. I had given piy life to have 


B. 3-3 J- J- ROUSSEAU. if9 

met, for a quarter of an hour, a Mtfs Goton. 
But the time was paft when children's play 
earry them thus far of thetnfelves. Shame, 
the companion of a bad confctence, accom« 
panied my years ; it had ftrengthened my na* 
tural timidity to a degree of rendering it in- 
vincible, and never, at that time, or fincei 
could I arrive at making a lafcivious propofal ; 
unlefs file I made it to conftrained me to it, in 
a manner, by her advances ; though certain 
fhe was not fcrupulous, and almoft fure of be- 
ing taken at my word. 

My ftayjivith Madam de VercelHs procured 
me a few acquaintances I kept in with in hopes 
of making them uftful. I went to fee, fome- 
times, among others, a Savoyard abbot, named 
M. Gaime, preceptor to the Count of Mel- 
lare^e's children. He was a young man little 
known, but of good fenfe, probity, and un- 
derftanding, and one of the honefteft men I 
ever knew. He was of no ufe as to the objeft 
which fent me to him ; he had not credit 
enough to place me : but I received more pre- 
cious advantages from him, by which my whole 
life has profited ; the leflbns of a found mo- 
rality, and the maxims of. a right reafon. In 
the fucceffive order of my inclinations I had al- 
ways been too high or too low ; Achilles of 
Therfites; fometimes a hero, fometimes a vil- 
lain. M. Gaime took the pains to put me in 
my proper place, and to ihew me to myfelf 
without fparing or difcouraging me. He fpoke 
to me very honourably of my talents and my 
genius j but he added, that he faw obftacles 
arife from them which would prevent me from 



making the beft of them, fo that they would, 
according to him, ferve me much lefs in the 
attainment of fortune, than in refources to do 
without it. He painced me the true pidure^ 
of human life, of which I had but wrong ideas: 
he explained to pie, how in adveriity.a wif& 
man may always attain happin efs, and gaia- 
that wind which blow^ him (there ; how there 
is no happinefs without prudence, and how 
it is that prudence belongs to every condition^ 
He greatly deadened my admiration for gran- 
deur, in proving to me, that thofe who lorded it 
overothers were neither wifer nor happier than 
they were. He told me one thin^, which of* 
ten occurs to my memory; and Ihat is, if 
eaph man could read the liearts of otherSf 
there would be more people wifli to defcend 
than afcend. This reflection, whofe reality 
ftrikes, and has nothing forced, has been very 

eful to me in the courfe of my life, in mak- 
ing me keep to my lot peaceably. He gave 
me the firft true ideas of honefty, which my 
bombaftic genius had only known to excefs. 
He made me underiland, that the enthufiafm foe 
fublime virtue was of little ufe in fociety ; that 
in aiming too high you are fubje£l to fall ; 
that the continuity of lil;tle duties well fulfilled 
demanded no lefs ftrength thaii heroic adions ; 
that you find your account in it miich better, 
both in refpeS: to reputation and happinefs ; 
and that the efteem of mankind was infinitely 
better than fometimes their admiration. 

To eftablifli the duties of a man, you mufl: 
remount to their firft principles. Befides, the 
ftep I had taken, whereof my pre/ent fituation 

" ■ ' " '- was 


B. 3J J. J. R O U S S fi A U. iji 

' « ■• -4. ' ^ * ■ 

was the comequencet led us on to t^k of reli- 
ion. It is riea4ily conceived tl)fit the honeft M. 

aime is., at leaft in' a great, meafure, .the 
original of the Savoyard vicar. Prudence, 
only, obliged him to (peak with, more referve ; 
lie explained himfelf lefs openly on certain 
]point$ ; but AS to the reft, his n^ims, his 
Tentiniehts, and his s^yice, .wer^ the fame, 
Vnd even the. counfeHuig me to return home^ 
jcvery thing happened juft as I h^ve given, it 
'finQc to the public. fThus, ytrithout dwelling 
on converfations of which every one may fef 
the fubftance, I ihallfiiy that his lefions, prui- 
dent, tho* without an immediate effed, were 
as fa many feeds of virtue and religion in my 
heart, which were ' never extinguifhec),,. an^ 
which waited, to frudtify, a mone lovely hapd^ 

Though till then my conv^rfion was not 
very folid, I was neverthelefs moved. S^ far 
from being /tired;. of his difcourfes, I reljfhed 
them on account of their clearnefs, their fim- 
plicity, and particularly for a certain intereft of 
the heart of which I few them full. I have an 
aflfeclionate turn, and was always endeared to 
people lefs in proportion to the good they do 
me, than that they wi(h to do me, and I am feU 
dom miftaken in them\ I, therefore, was very 
fond of M. Gaime i I was in a manner his 
fccond difciple, and it produced the. inedima- 
ble good of turning -me. from the incUn^tjon 
to vice -my idle life was drawing me into. . 

One day, thinking of nothing lefs, I wss 
fent for by theGount de h Roqu^.; By continu- 
ally 'going, arid not feeing him, I grew tired, 
aaq went no more: I thought he bad for^t 


me, or t;bdt he had an i\\ opinron.of me. . I was 
iniftakcn. He wMwltncfs, tnore than pnce^of 
-the p\tzf\iTc 1 took in ftilftflin^ mv duty tobb 
aunt ; fl>e even told him of it, and he repeated 
it to me wheif I* thought Ifttle of ft. He re- 
ceived me \^l : toldt me, that, without amuf- 
iiig tne with empty promifes, he had fought to 
get me a place i that he had {faceted $ tnatbe^ 
'would put me ?h the roa4 of becoming fome- 
thin?, aikt that I muft do the reftj that the 
femily h^ recommend^ me to was powerfid 
aod reipeAable j^ diat I fhould want no other 
Itein to preferments ind that, though treated 
St nrft as a fimple ftrvant, as before, I might 
be affured, that, fiiould I be ju,dged by my 
ientiments and condud above this ftate^ they 
Vfcre dUpofed not to leave me ip it. The ena 
of this difcourie cruelly contradided the bril- 
liant hopes I had conceived at the be|;innixig of 
It. W hat ! always a footmao i (kid I to my^ 
fetf with a fpiteful indignation, which conSf^ 
dence foon wiped away. I thought myielf tQQ 
little made for this plac^ to dread their leav« 
ing me there. 

He took me to the Count of Gpuvon, mafter 
tf the horfe to the queen, and chief of the il- 
luflrious houfe of Solar. The dignified air of 
this refpeSable old gentleman rendered theaf* 
fability of the reception more affeding. He 
queftioqcd me with concern, and I anfwered 
bim with fincerity. He fatd to the Count de U 
Roqne, I bad an agreeable phyfiognoiAy which 
^rpmifed wit; that it feemed to him I had 
enough, but that was not all, and that he muft 
fee the ref(« Then, turning towards me^ Child » 


^-S-l h h ROUSBEACr. T«3 

Aud li0^ the bdgi]uitne& of almoft all thbgii 
are HScmh ; yours, however, ihafll not be 
iftHick (a. Be prudent, and try to pleafe all 
^kere$ this is for the prefent your whole bufinefs, 
'Ab te the reft, lake courage i we^ll take care 
of yon. He faimedfat;ely went to theMarchio- 
;se&of Brei't, bis daughter-in-law, ancl pre- 
ibnttd me t» Her,. and afterwards to the Ahh6 
^e-GpovNMi, hb ibn. This^begmntnglliked. 
I had already knowledge enough to knowi fb 
niKich ceremony wa» not ufed at the reception 
of a fbotm^n. In faft, I was not treated as 
tOne. I dined at the fteward's table ; had no 
Jrrery y and the Count of Favria, a giddy 
Wamg man, ordering me behind his coach:, 
'M» father forbid; mv going behind any coach, 
ot foltowkig; amy ocdy out of the houfe. I 
WAiied'at table, however, and did in the houfe 
nearty the (enrice of a footman ; but I did it 
itk fonte refpeft with Kberty, without being 
bo«ifKi particularly to any one. Except a few 
letters dilated to me, and fome images I cat 
for the Count of Pavria, I was mafter of a)- 
Hiofll my whole t hue. This method ofa6ling, 
vdHcfi I did not perccire, was furely very dan- 
gttav^ $ it was ahogetber very inhuman ; for 
Uiis esttremely idle life might have made me 
oomra£b vices I fliould not have had without it. 
Bur, luckily, this did nor happen. M*Gaime's 
le^ns had made an irnpreflion on my heart, 
and I ft) much liked thein, I ilole away fome- 
times to hear more of them. I fancy thofe 
who faw me ileal out, little imagined where 
I ran to. Nothing could be more fenfible than 
the advice be gave me on my condudl. My 

G a be- 


b^i^nitigs were admirable; ) I was of \ito 
aifiduity, ail attention, a zeal, whkb^cbarm- 
ed every one. . The. At>b<6 Gaiaie prudent)/ 
advifed me to moderate this firft fervour, lor 
fear it fhould relax, and they fliould ukc no* 
tice of it. Your beginning, faid he, is a rule 
of what they will expeS of you : endeavour 
to fpare yourfelf fomething to be done hereaf* 
ter, but take care never to dolefs than you do 

As they had examined me but little on my 
trifling talents, and fuppofed I had ho more 
than nature had given me, it did not appear^ 
although the Count of Gouvon had promifedi 
that they intended any thing for me. Things 
happened crofs, and 1 was nearly forgot. The 
Marquis of Breil, fon to the Count of .Qouvoa, 
was at that time ambaflador at Vienna. Some 
unexpe^ed bufmefs happened at court, which 
was felt in thejamily; and they were fome weel^ 
in an agitation which left little time to think of 
me. However, till then I had relaxed but 
little. One thitig did me goqd and harm ; by 
keeping me from all external diifipation, I wais 
rendered a little more inattentive to my duty. 

Mifs de Breil was a young lady about my 
age, well made, handfome enough, extremely 
fair, with very black hair, and, though black* 
eyed, had in her countenance the mild look of 
a fair woman, which my heart could never 
refift. The court drefs, fo favourably to young 
people, fliewed- her pretty ilature,. expofed her 
breafls and (boulders, and. rendered l>er comr 
plexion ilill more dazzling from the mourning 
then worn. You will fay, it is not a fervan('# 


Si y.]/ I- 7.^ I^ O U S S E A U. 1^5^ 

plac6to pcffcrfv^ tbofe thhigs ; I was,^ wiiiiout* 

doubt^: to i>haiie, -but Tciid perceive themV and' 

I wasnot'tti^ only^one. ■ The ftcward and* 

^«tkte chstmbre talked dflKem fometiiiies at* 

tMe^ witii ft-fudenefs whkrh hurt me greatly.' 

My head was not, however, fo far loft as to be? 

,€fmt9'in love. 1 did not forget myfelf, I kept 

my diflance^ ai^d my deiires did not even eman* 

cipatev * I was happy to fee Mifs de Breil ; ' to 

hear her fay any thing which (hewed wit,' fenfe, 

dr modefty: my ambition, confined to th^ 

jdeafure ofierving; her, did not go beyond hs 

faboads* At table I was attentive in making iP[S 

q£ them»- if her footman quitted, a mometity. 

hpr cbajr, you faw' me placed there that in-^ 

ftant : <wfaen not there, 1 was always oppo'fftc? 

her; I fought in her looks what fhe wanted j* 

Lwatched themoment of changing her plate. 

What would not I have given that fhe would? 

dei^n ta command me, look at me, fpeark td 

mc but a word ! But ho j I had the morti-^ 

fication of being a cypher in her eyes 5 (her 

drdnot even know I was there. However, 

Iwr brother, who fometimes fpoke to me atr 

table, having faid fome words not very oblige 

ing, I made him fo fmart'and well-^turhed ani 

ani^cr, (he remarked it, and threw Jier dyeal 

on me. This look, which Was butthort, di<f 

not fail to tranfport me. The next day a f^*- 

cond occafion offered, and I made ufe of it/ 

There was much company to dinner, wH^n^ 

to my great furprife, I faw the fteward Wait^^ 

his fword by his (tde, and his hat on hishead.^ 

The converfation by chance turned on thef 

iBottoof -the houfeof Solar, which was on tbe^ 

G 3 tapeftry 

1^6 fHfi CONFESSiaNS OP lB.^i 

npeftry in tbe room widi tbe Mrmu TttJifrtpAi 
m. ttapas. Aft tbe PicdmoAiefe #nenoc in ge*. 
jrierti veried in the Ftieocb iangiHig^y^ Ibnae of 
them found in this mi»tto u ortbogfurfiiciir 
error,- and faid that in tfie ward ifiat these: 
ibpuld be no /• 

^ The old Count of Ooiivo« yfu goipg tm: 
infwer, when, looking towards ise, he iaw 
X imiled without daring: to fay aef thing : he 
ordered me to fpeak. I then feid, I cud not- 
ihink.the / too much'-^tbat fieri was an olid 
French word, which did not derive .from the 
nouny/nfi^fiercejtbreatening^but from the veiii 
ferity he ftrikeft, he wound^that the motto^ 
therefore, did not appear to me to fs^, lAzof^ 
a one threatens, but manj a one firiket^ who 
does not kill. 

The whole company flared at me, and flar- 
ed at each other, without £iy)iig a word* 
i^ever waa (o ereat a farprife.. But what' 
flattered me mon was to fee {^inly zxiw d 
latisfa&ion in the countenance of Mils deBrci]* 
This difc(ainful perfim conddioended to:caft at 
aie a iecond look, which was at leaft worth the 
iirft % then turning her eyes towards her grand*- 
papa, (he feemed to expedi with a fon of im- 
patience tbe commendation he owed me, and 
which he gave me in fad fo full and fo entire^ 
and with an air fo full of fatt»fa£lion, thac 
the iirhole table was eager to join in choms. 
This inftant was fhort, but delicious in every 
re^)e£t» This was one of thofe uncommon 
moments which bring back things to their na« 
tural order, and revenge sierit abafed by die 
injury of fortune* A few minutes afterwarda, 


BCj!) J. J. RO^SS^A-U. lit 

WKfs ideBi^il, taififlg titr ejrei biice tnorc on 
mC) begged me, in a Vbtee is tifnid as it was 
^^le, to bring her fdmething to drink. Von 
jddge I did fiot make her wait. But in ap- 
proaching I was fei'zed with fo great a tremb- 
Itng, that, having filled her glafs too full, 1. 
f^ih fiwne of the water o^ her plate and evca 
on litrfclf. Her brother giddily allccd mt why 
I Ihook ft) ? Thi^ queftion did not ferve to re- 
ceiver me, and Mil's de Breil reddened like » 
"Here finifltedtht romahde; where you will 
jeniart:, as '^ith Madam Bafile, and in the 
i(rtrole eourfe of mv biftory, that 1 am not 
bappy in the condufion of my amours; I iti 
^ain' attended the antichamber of Madam de 
Breil ; I never more obtained one mark of at^ 
tetition from h6r daughter. She went out anti 
rn without hooking at me, and» for my part» 
1 hardly dared look to^ai-ds har. I was eveti 
fb ftupid and fo unfkflled, that one day u% 
paifing Ihe let fall her glove ; ihftc^d of flying 
to the glove which I codtd have covered wltS 
kifles, I dared hot ftilr from my place, and 
fttfFcred it to be taken up by a great lubber of 
i valer, whom I couM have knocked down 
with lilcafure. 'That 1 might be entirely in-, 
ttmidated, i had not the good fortune to pleafo- 
Madam de Breil. She nOt Oiilv never ordered 
'lily fervice, but never aecepted it ; and^ find-- 
ing me twice in Her antichamber, (he a&ed! 
mt very cbldJy if I had nothing to do P 1 waa 
Obiigea to leave this dear antichamber : at firft 
I was forryj but other things happening, 1 fooa 
"drought no more of it. I had ample amends 

G 4 for 


1,28. THE CONFSSSipNS OF fB. 3; 

for the difdain of Madatn d^ Breil in the bpun» 
ty of her father-in lawy whoatlaft perceived 
1 was there. On the evening qf the dinner t ^^ 
fpokc of, he ield a converfation with roe hai&;,r^ 
an tiOur, with which' he feemed Satisfied, ana ^^ 
which highly delighted me. This ga9d old: 
l^entleman, though a nian pf fenfe, . had le& 
dian Madam de V ercellis, but^ he was more 
companionate; I therefore fucceeded better 
with hlp^. He told me to attend the Abbe dc". 
Gouvon, his fob, who was inclined to ferve 
nie; that this inclination, if I iwould im- 
prove it, might be ufeful to me,^ in helping, 
me to acquire what I wanted for the ^eftiba-. 
tion they intended rhe. The next mprning.I^ 
ran to xne Abbe. He did not receive 'me as a) 
fervant; made me fit down at the .corner of 
his fire ; and, queftioning me with the great- 
eft mildnefs, he» found my education, which 
had att^hipted too "many things, had com- 
pleted none. Seeing particularly I ^knew a 
little Latin, he undertook to teach me mor^,. 
It was agreed I fh'ould go to him every morn- 
ing, and I began the next day. Thus, by 
one of thofe caprices yqu will often meet in 
the courfe of my life, at the fame time above 
ind below my condition, I was difciple and. 
Valet to the fame family, and in my fervitude 
I had neverthelefs a preceptor whofe birth 
entitled him to be a preceptor, to the fons of 
kings only. 

The. Abbe de Gouyoh was a younger (bn^ 
and defigned by his family to a biOiopric ; his 
ftudies, for this reafon, had been carried far- 
fixer than is ufual to children of quality. He ha(£ 


B.3.] J- J- ROVSS^AUr 129 

been fcnt to the univerfky of- Sienna, whferc 
he . remained feveral years, and from whence 
^Jic^ought a pretty ftrongdofe of crufcantifm,. 
"hi order to be at Turin what formerly the 
Abbe de Dangeau was at Paris. A difguft of' 
theology threw him into the belles-lettres j 
this is common enough in Italy to thofe who 
enter the career of prelacy. He had» par- 
ticularly, read the poets; he wrote Latin and 
Italian verfe pretty well. He. had, in a word> 
the jieceffary tafte for forming mine, and giv- 
ifig fome choice to the medley with which I 
had fluffed my head.. But, whether my chatter 
had decdved him on my knowledge, whether 
l)e could not fupport the tediouinefs of .ele-- 
mentary Latin, he put me too forward ; I had 
firarcely tranflated a few fables of Phaedrus,r 
but he threw me into Virgil, where I lurdly 
underftood any thing. It was my fate, 9s will, 
b^,feen in the fequel, often to be taught Latin» ' 
and never to know it. I, nfvferthelefs^.Ia- 
boure<i( zealoufly enough ; and the Abbe la<» 
vJfted his attentioji with a kindnefs whpfe re- 
membrance yet moves me* I fpent ,a good^ 
part of the morning with him, a« well for my 
inftrudiion as for his (ervice; not for that of 
his perfon, for he never fufFered me to do. any $ 
hut to write under his di region, and to copy* 
My funftion of fecretary was much more ufe^ 
fu\ to me than that of pupiL 1 learnt mot 
only Itaiian in its purity, but it gave me av 
tafte for literature, and fome difcernment of 
good authors,, which is not acquired at la 
Tribu's, and which was afterwards ufeful to. 
tt^Cx when I worked alone.. 

G i Theffir 



Thefe days were thofe of my Ufe when I 
could, without romantic projcdb, moft rcaloi^ 
ably give into the hope of preferment. The 
Abbe, well fatisfied With, me, told everyone 
ib I and I was fo finguiariy in his fether'a 
£ivour, the Count of Favria told me be haj 
talked of me to the King. Madam de Brei) 
had likewife left off treating me with that air 
of contempt. In finej 1 becaine a fort of favour^ 
|te in the family, to the great jealoufy of tho^ 
reft of the fervants, who, feeing me honoured 
by the inftruAions of tiieir mafter's foit, felt 
(Hainly I watnot long to remain their equd* 

As much as I could judge of the view^they 
had for me by a few words dropt at randoh^i 
hut on which I did not refled till afterwards^ 
.it appeared to me, the houfe of Solar, wifiiing 
to run the career of embs^eJs, and perhaps 
open, in time, the road to the nuniftry, might 
have been glad to fcxm, befoierhand, a perfon 
of merit and talents, and who, dep^nding- 
entirely on them, had been able, in time, to 
have obtained its confidence, and ferve it ef- 
fentially* This project of the Count de Gou-» 
von was noble, judicious, magnanimous, and 
truly worthy a great, good, and prudent man| 
but, befides that I did not fee its whole extent, 
it was too judicious for my brain, and require* 
ed too much conftraint. My ftupid ambition 
fought fortune through adventures only ; and 
feeing no ;woman in ail this, this method of 
preferment feemed flow, painful, and dull | 
though I ought to have feen it much nK>re 
honourable and certain, as women bad no 
hand in it: the fpecies of merit they protect, 


B.3J J- )• ROUSSEAU. i3» 

Was not, certainly^ eqiial to wbat was fuppoied- 
in me. 

Eveiy thing went on mlraeulou/ly. I had; 
obtained, almoft forced the efteem of every 
one : the proofs were got thn>tigh^ and I wa»^ 
generally regarded in the family as & young 
man who had the greateS hopes,, who was^ not 
in his place, but expe<3;ed. to be there*. But 
my place was not that affigoed^ me by mankind i, 
1 was to reach it by a quite different road'. I 
come to one of the cnard^leriftical toucfaeii; 
))eculiar to mcy which it is fufficient to fhew 
the reader, without adding a rtAeAion^ 

Although, there were many new converts of 
my fpecles at Turin* I was not fond ofy nor 
ever would fee one of (hem* But 1-faw fomer 
Genevele who were not of them ;. among, 
otherS).aM.Muflardf nick-named Wry-chops^ 
a miniature painter, and adiflant relation* Thit. 
M. Muflar d found out npy abode with the Count 
de Gouvbn, and came to fee ine witb another 
Genevefe named Bicle^ whofe companion E 
had beem durins my appremicefliij^ Bad a 
vnsr a very amufing^ fprightly you% fellow^, 
fiiUof jocofe fallies his youth rendered extreme*^ 
]y agreeable. X am at onoe infatuated by M* 
BScIe, but ib muchi infatuated as not to be able 
to quit him. He was foon to depart oahisjreturo 
to Geneva; What a lofs I was going to> foffeF !! 
I felt its whole weight. iThe better, howN*- 
ever, to engrofs the whole tin^e he ftayed;, t 
never left him,, or rather he never left m^^ for I 
was not at ikft fo far loHas to go out without 
leave and fpend the day with him : but Very 
£6on^ obferving. he continually bcfet me>, he. 

G & wasi 


was forJ)id the houfe* . I was Xo much heated^ 
thit, forgetting evety things except my friend 
Back, I never went to the Abbe nor the Counll 
nor was to be found any longer iri,the houfe. 
I was reprimanded, but dicfnotliften to it. 
They threatened t6 difmifs me. This threak 
was my ruinj it lej me perceive it poflible 
Bade might not gb alone. From ^hat time 
I faw no other' pleafurc, no otlier fate, ho 
other happinefs than that of making a 1ik« 
journey ;. and I faw in it but the ineffable fe- 
Jrcity of the -journey, at the end of whicb^ 
to complete it, I difcovered Madam de WarenSj 
but at an immenfe diftance ; for returning to 
Geneva I never thought of. The mountains, 
the fields, the woods, the rivulets, the villages^ 
fucceeded each other without end and without 
ceadng, with frefli delights: this heavenly 

J 'aunt Teemed to fay it would abforb my whole 
ifc. I recolledied with raptures how mucK 
this journey delighted me before. What 
muft it be, when, to all the charms of 
independence, wotild be joined that of going 
with a.companton of my ag^,of my inclinations, 
and of- good humour, without reftraint, wHh- 
out obligation of going on or retting but 
as we pleafed ? A man muft be a fool, to 
fkcrifice a like occafxon to projefts of am- 
otion of a tardy, diffldtift, and uncertain exe- 
cution, and which, fuppofe them realifed, were 
not worth, in all their fplehdor, a quarter of 
an hour's real pleafure and freedom in youth. 

Full of this wife fancy, I conduced myfelf 
fo well, I brought about to get myfelf turned 
out, and, to lay truth, it was not without- 



3 3] f ; J[. I^ O U S S E A; U> 133 

trouble^ , Opcey^niijgjAn coming home, th« 
'ilewaricl* figntfi|:^' to me my difmiffion by the 
Count!s o^er.^ ,It,Ava$ prccifely what I want- 
ed y. fbr feeing»;in fpite o£ myiclfy ^the extra^ 
vakance of iny condu6l, I addea, to.excufe it^ 
injuftjce and ingratitude, thus - imagining tp 
throw the bl^me on others/, and be juftifie4 in 
my own eyes in ab zQ: of fi(:ceflity. ; I wat 
told flrom the Count Favria to fpeal; to him thiK 
next morning before my departure j but a« 
they perceived my brain ^vas turned, and that 
I was capable of not obferviog it, the fteward 
put off till after this vifitthe prefent intended 
nie» and which- afluredly I had badly . earned ; 
for, not having left me in the ftate of a v^Ict, I 
had no fixed wages. 

The Count of Favria, young ani giddy as 
he was, (hewed on this occaiion the moft rea* 
jTonable language, and, I aimoft dare advance, 
the tendereu 3 fo miicb did he. recal,.in the moft 
flattering andtoucbing manner, the atteqtioa of 
his uncle and the intention of his grandfather. 
Inline, having .brought, in. lively colours, to 
my view, whatl Tacjrificed to my ruin, be of- 
fisred to maice my peace,, exading, as the onlv 
condition, * tliat t no morefaw the (orry wretcn 
who hj^d fedMced me. 

It was fo plain he did not fay, this, of him« 
felf,* that, in fpitc of my ftupid inconfiderate- 
nefs, I felt all the bounty of my ,okj mafter, 
and it toucned me :. but this dear journey was 
fo imprinted on my ^imagination, that nothing 
could balance its charms. I was abfolutely 
beyond my wits j I grew fiouter,-more har- 
dened« aSeded bau^htinefs^ and arrogantly 


Unfirered, diat, as they had given mt my difmi/* 
fion« I had taken it; that it was too late to retrads 
and that, whatever mightliappen to me, I was 
refolved never to be turned twice out of thp 
fame houfe. At this, the yt>ung man was 
}tifi}y irritated, gave me the epithets I defbrved, 
turned ne out of his room by the fhoulder^L 
and film the door on my heeh. For my part, I 
went off triumphantly, as one who h^d gained 
the greateft yifiory 5 and, for fear of having 
a fecond combat to fuftain, 1 had the bafeneff 
to depart without going to thank tlie Abbe foe 
kta- ktndnefs. 

To conceive how fcr I carried my deKriun* 
atthia time, youihooM beacODaSnt^d to Whajb 
a poi^t my mind is fubjed to be heated by the 
leaft trifle, and with what force it plunges ia^ 
to the idea of an objeft M^hith atf raAs it, bow<^ 
^vef vain this objea might fomctimes ba Tb^ 
moft feolifli, the moft childiih, the moft unac^ 
countable plans,^ footh my favourite idea,' andi 
&ew me fuch a probability as to give into theim 
Would one believe, that, at neaf nineteen, £ 
AiOuM build my liopes on an empty phial fo( 
4)e fiibfiiftence of the reft of my days f Wellj. 
hearken » 

The Abbf de Gfoavon made me a prefeht,. 
afew weeks before> of an Hern fountain, very 
pretty, which, delighted me. By continually 
playing this fountain^ and talking of our 
journey, we imagined, the wife Bade and!,, 
that one might affiil the other, and prolong 
if« What in the world could be fo curious a» 
an Hern fountain ?: This principle was th^- 
^Mindation on. which we built our fortune. 


B.3-] J.J.ROUSSEAU. 135 

We wa-e to afembie the coutitryupeopte of 
each village around our fountain, and there 
mcak and good livin'g were to fall oa tts in 
gnaier abundance, as V9e yfert both perfoaded 
provifions co(i th(^ who gather them nothings 
andabat when thef did not ftuffftrangers with 
tfaen, 'twas liiere iU«nature. We imagined 
C!vevy where feaftings and rejoicings, fuppofing 
tfaat, without any other expence than the wind 
of our lungs,' and the water of our fountain, 
we (hottld be defrayed in Piedmoat, in Savoys 
m France, and ail over the worMw We laid 
out endiefs proje(Ss- for our journey, and di« 
nStoi our courfe northward, rather for the 
frieafure of eroding the Alps, than for the fup^ 
jpofed neceffity of flopping atlaft anywhere*. 

This was the plan on which I began the 
campaign, abamtontng, without regret, my 
parotedor, my preceptor, my ftudies, my hopes, 
and the expedation of an almoft certain 
fortuxie^ to begin the life of an abfolut^ vag»» 
bond* Farewel the capital, farewd the court, 
ambition, vanity, love, the (air, and all the' 
brillisfrt fortune whofe hopea had guided me 
the preceding yearf I fot off with my forun- 
tain and my friend Bacie, a purfe icant33p 

Smithed, but an heart leaping with joy, and 
inking of nothing farther than this ftrolltng^ 
felicity to which I had at once confined my 
filining projeiSts*^ 

• I made this extravagant journey almoft aa 
agreeably, however, as I expeded, but Dot 
exa(SUy in the fame manner 1 for, although^ 
ottr fountain amufed, a fow minutes,, in ' the 
'pttbtic^bo^fe^ the hindlord and his . wait-> 



ers, we .maft, neverthelefa, pay at parting. 
But that troubled us little : we thought to 
make ufe heartily of this refoMrce when our 
qioiiey failed only. An accident! iav^d us tiie 
trouble; the fountain broke near Bramant, 
and it was quite time ; for we felt, without 
daring to fay fo, that it beg^n to tire us. This' 
misfortune rendered us gayer than before, and 
we laughed heartily at our ineonfiderateneis. 
in having forgot that our tloaths and fhots 
were wearing, or imagining we could' replace- 
them by the diverfion of our founuin. We 
continued our journey as .merrily 4s. we begait' 
it, but drawing a little nearer anjen^, where 
Qur fxhaufted puffes made it necefiary to ar**' 
rive. ,, ' . 

. At Chambery I became penfive, not on the 
folly I had committed; never did man fo fooii. 
or fo well make up his mind on the pail;. 
l(ut on the reception which awaited me at 
Madam de Warens's ; ; for I looked on her' 
houfe exadly as my paternal one^ I wrote to her. 
on my entrance; at the Count de Gouvon's;; (he . 
knew the footing I was on, and in complin' 
menting me ihe gave pe fome wife leiTons om* 
the manner in which I- ought to anfwer th^, 
kindneis they Ihewed me. She looked oh my 
fortune as certain, did I notdeftroyit by my 
own fault. What would (he fay on feeing 
me? It never once came into my head that 
(he might (hut her door againft me ; but I 
dreaded the vexation I (hould c^ufe her ; I 
dreaded her reproaches, fibarper to me than ^ 
vyant* I refolvei to endure all in filence, and 
dQ every thing^jo /^peafc her. jl faw iiv the 


B-30 J; J- «OUS8.EA:U/r 137 

1uiver(9^^tiIfrflo|lej^ tOrlive pat €|f jiexfa* 
V<mr could not. b$« , . ,7 ,. : 

t; I ,was ix^.^neafy about the/rompaniopof 
^7 iWJfP^Y* which I was forr^ to tell hfoif 
^iid whom I dreaded I (bould .not be able eafily 
tp.gefifXid .of^ i. prepared this, feps^fatio^ b)| 
liyiiis <^poly iy4tb him:.tfa^.laft <{ay.: the idrpU 
i^ellp^. comprehje^ded me ; ,)}f|jwas rnoj?e CK^zy, 
than.fottlQ^,^ X imagined ith^ change wc^uld 
afied him ; I was wrong ; my friend Bac}^ 
was not to be affe£ted. We had hardly, fet our 
foot in Annjsqfy b^theuiyS't9 0ie, Thou ^^t at 
home, fhqok^npf^ b]r,the<)^^d» bid pe farewel,; 
turi?!^ pn :^is^h9e), j|njd.^nt off,: ^ nev^r he^r^ 
Gifhim/fince.. Our ^acqu^i^tanc^.aiiMd our friend^ 
•Alp ladled together ^bouy^ iix weeks ;» biit Jh9[ 
ieffe(£lahavelaftpdas. lo^:^ myfelf. . ..; ' ». v- *i 
How did my. heart be^u fn approaching ^h$ 
lipufe of iCladam de W arena I My legs tre^i^- 
tied under me, my fight, was overcaft ; Ifavr 
liothipg,hear4 notiiing»Qor fliouldjiave kn^^ii 
s^ny one ^ I.wa^ forced ftop feveral tiroes tp 
l)reathe ,and recover my fe.nfes, . .Was ip the' 
f^af of. not obtaining t^e aid I, w;anted. tha| 
troubled me tp. this degree ? At the ^ge I w^ 
off does the dread of ft^rving produce tbofe al« 
larms ? Ko, no, I fpeak it with as. ix^ucj^ 
truth as pride.; never at any myelife 
Cpuld int^dlt or indigenice boaft of l^^ying re^ 
joiced or oppfefled my hearts In the courif 
of a life, u^^ual a^d memorable by its, vicif^ 
iitudes, ofi^en without ;an^ a,fylim^ or bread, I 
always Caw with the fame, eye bofh opulence 
and mljS^ry* At a< pinch I had begged or dole 
like another, but &^1 no ui^eai^iefs at being re* . 


few have Ihed fo many tcart Jn <W3i' UK* 
tfliiife ; >ttf h^fer aa pretty, ^or'the iti^i of. 
£rf)}ng iflkir it» caufe me tobeave a it^ or^l^ 
a t?ear, ft*r fen!, proof againft fortune, ac- 
knowleHged no ttut happlnels of^xeal itiifef^ 
Uet thoft v9^k:M^d hot ^fi^ft6 on her^ and 
it 1v!d8^heii fiotSHig wli^ trsiiting on the iSdb 
0f deceffiines f^ifelt ^ynHF the urihzppktl ift 
•lerials. - 

! bad fcanceiy' afijjeartd before Madam dt 
Warensbiit her ^ecMtetmnce ekeartd^ine. 1 
leaped at A^^rft Atrttd of h<^ voice, I tan 
'to^btr feet^ mnd in Cbt ¥riRi|k>rts of indthig 
joy rprdled'niyliili^to ber^'habd. f or hc3 
^tfc,- 1 don*l k«i<$w #hetlier &e ^d lieard of 
my affair, but 1 fa^f K^e furprife fti hef 
ico^intenance, an4 not the lerii nneaftntfs; 
F^r littk fellow I iWys (be, in a fbotbing 
tone, yok are. here a^n then. I knew very 
IfwB you were too ye^n^ fci' tWa Joumej t 
i sAn very tlad^ bow^ver, it did not turn but 
fo bad aa I dread<Kt. the tiflterward& made mt 
leU mv vrfiok ftbry, whieb was not long: 
ftwl told very faithfully^ coneealltigv however; 
a few arttdea^ but witnout faring 6r excufmg 

The quefHoh waa my Todghig. She coiifi- 
fttlted her maid. I iereA not br^tbe during 
tkis de^H»eration ; but when t beard I was to 
fleep in thehoure^ 'twas with tnordble'l colt* 
tained myfelf ; aikf I faw my Tittfe bundle 
carried to the room intended for me, nearly 
as St. Preux faw his chair carried back td 
Madam de Wolmar's. I had^ to complete it, 


TB,3.3 I* J- ROUSSEAir. ijf^ 

the pleafoze of learning that thit farour wat 
net to be tranfient, and, at a time tbev though t 
me attemtve t» other things, I faeara her hj^ 
Xfacjr may talk at they will, but fince Provi« 
donee has bM)ugbt me him again, I am deter-. 
nrified no« to abandon him. 

Here I am then, at 1^, fixed at her faouft. 
'Tit not, hoarever, from hence I date the hap- 
py {Mft of my life, but it ferved to prepare it# 
Aithoagh this fenfibtlity of heart, which makes 
iM really mijoy each odier, is the work of na* 
tare, and perhaps a produftionof organiza* 
tion, it calls for m fttuation to imfold itfelf* 
Without theie^occaftonal cau&s^ a man boiu 
xriA fine feelines would ieel nothing, and go 
out of the world without having known hit 
exigence,- Such, nearly, had I been tin then^ 
and fuch had I perhaps always been, had I ne<* 
ver known Madam de Warens, or if, having 
knowii her, I had hot lived long enotlgh wito 
her to contraA the gentle ufe of the affeaionato 
fentiments (be infpired me with. I dare advaticeji 
he who fcels only love, does not feel the great* 
eft charms of this liie» I am acquainted with 
another feeling, lefs impetuous perhaps^ but 
more delightful a thoufand timeji, which fome« 
times goes with love, and is fometimesfeparated 
from it. This ftntiment is not frieiidlhip alone 
neither ; it is more luxurious^ and tenderer : I 
don't imagine it can ad for one of the fame (pti 
at lead, i know ftiendlbip if. ever man knew 
it, and never felt it for aniy one of my friends. 
This is not dear, but it will be in what foI« 
lows ; feelings are not to be thoroughly delU 
cribed but by their tStSti^ 


140, THE; GOI«15SeiQNS Of [^[.^3.' 

.She lived in.^jiri old hou&^.but large ^ndogiir'^ 
to have a room of sefeiMe, if> whiqh ihf reqeiv**.. 
ed company, and in y^hich ihe;lpdged.,me« 
This room was in, the paifage wher^ I have?" 
fald we had our firft con^rence,- aoll beyond* 
the little brook and gardens yomperpeiyea tfae> 
country. Tliis Cght >va%<o the young inba« 
bltant not an Indifferent thing* It was^ fiac^ ^ 
Bofley, the J^ft verdure I had feenbefpre .my t 
window, .^iw^yis epclofed by .walls, I .baa* 
never before my eyes but the tiles^or the ftre^t* 

How charming^,. 4ilifw?et,;W^ jthk PQveUy.! , 
It very much Jncreafed i^y\ ditpofuipn to* 
t|pdqraefs. \ Jpokpd on tfii$^ pjeailng. I«i5fid- ' 
f^ape as oneoY the favours -pf .my de^r-prot^ci*. 
tceff V it feemed fllie placed, it there pn.purpofeL- 
for Jjie % I 'placed ;nyfelf peaceably there by 
her fide ; I faw her every, where between th^ 
flowers and the verdure,; her charms and thofe - 
of the fpring were blended in my eyes. My heart^: 
t|H then comprefTed, found itfelf more expand*; 
c^ in this fpace, and my figha WW breathed • 
i;|ith more freedom amon^ thefe ^rchjards. 

'Thcf, magnificence I had feen at Turin was, 
not found at Madam oe Waiens's, but I fpund; 
cleanlinefs, decency, and a, patriarchal abun-^ 
dance that oftentation never reaches. She had 
very little plate,, no china, no game in her. 
kitchen,, or foreign wipe in her xeilar.f but; 
both were well furniflxcd, at every .one'^ fer- 
vice, and in her eartlienjCups {te offered ex- 
cellent coffee. \V'hoever came there was in- 
vitcd to dine with her or at her hou{e, and ne- 
ver workman, meffenger, or traveller, went' 
away without eatmg or drinking. Hfr houfe- 


■B;3.] J. J. ROUSSEAU.' 141 

hold was coitipofed^ of her own maid' from 
Fribourg, pretty- enough^ named Merccret, 

. a valet from her own country, named Claude 
Ahet, whom we fliall fpeak of afterwards, a 
cook, and two hackney porters for her vifits^ 

. v^ich happened rarely. This is a great deal for 
two thoufand iivres a year; her little income, 

. if well managed, would have, neverthelefs, fuf- 

, ficed to all this, in a country where the land is 

- extremely good, and money very fcarce. Uii- 
happily, ceconomy was never her favourite 
virtue ; ihe ran in debt, (he paid ; money 

- &rved as a wedge, and fo it went on. 

The manner her houfe was conducted was 
prectfely what I would have chofen ; you may 
think I took the advantage of it with pleafure^ 

1 1 was leaft pleafed with fitting fo long at table. 
She with trouUe fupported the firft fmell df 
foiip or meat. This fmell almoft made her 

. faint, and her difguft lafted fome time. She 

rcame to by degrees, chattered, but did not 
eat. *Twas half an hour before fhe tried the 

: £rft bit* I had dined three times in this time ; 
my meal was finifhed long before fhe began 
hers* I (kept her company, and thus eat for 
.two without iinding myfelf worfe for it. In 
fine, I gave into the agreeable fentiment of 
the well-being I found with her,* fo much the- 
readier, as this well-being I enjoyed was mixed 
.with no uneafinefs on the means of fupport-^ 

. lAg it* Not being yet Sn the ftri£t confidence 
oT her affati's, I fuppofed her in a ftate of al- 
ways continuing the fame. • T found the fame 
pieafure in iier houfe afterwards; but, better 
Jpfoaned o£i her real, fituation^ and feeing 



010 atukipated 09 hc$ tacooM^ I dk( hot ca- 

SU ipitb the fame tfaoquiilkf. Foiefiglit 
adwajft, iNfiib me) ^|mle4 einoymeiit. I 
ftiV fltfJuUgfi m V9ii 1 I never eonM jnroad tt» ~ 

Froia tbc fUft day tbf caCeft teiiUtri^ wms 
cnteitaiiied beiween ue to the tumt dlcgree it 
coatiBwd during the reft •f hei lifies^ JUtde 
Dear wm iii]f qmi^ Mamma Inert} ud. we 
always Hved together^Lktle Dear and Matfwnn^ 
ere n wh<ii years had aloioft effing the difie- 
jcence between uf, I fijid that tibefe two nanes 
marvelloufly reader the idea of our tones, Ae 
fimplicity ^f our mana(ecs„ and partienlarly dkf 
relation of o^t hearts. She was to me the ten-^ 
dereft of iaothecs> who never (bnghther {dea- 
fure^ bvit always, aiy good v and if lieiife fbcned . 
a part in my paifioa fos her, ^was aot to 
cbamge its assure, baft only to sender it tame 
exquifite to iinfatuafie me with the chanw of 
having a mamma young and pretty, whom it 
delighted me to carefe : I &y to carefs, in a 
literal fenftr; for fre never thoa^<>f fparing 
her kii&$ ex the tendereft maternal carefics, and 
it never entered my heact to abofe it* You 
will fay we had, however, at laft, relations 
of another fort : agreed ; but ftay a little ; I 
can't fay aD at once. » 

The fight of her, at our firft interview, 
wad the oaly inftant trulv paf&onale flie ever 
caufed . n»e y and. even tnat inftant was- the 
wprlp of furprife. My indtfcreet fooks wese^ 
never bufied under her handkepehief,: though 
a plu«np Ws little covered in this: part mi^t 
very well have drawn them diere, i had nei« 
iher tranfpoOs xior dcllres with bar ; I was in 


^•|0 J, J. R0US&5AU* 44J 
^ raviikinij; fsiHoip. vyayu^; without bpoin^ 

what, t ophU thua have fpcnt my life ^od eter* 
xtt^ withou^t being tirqd aauUUojt. «ib9 was tbf 
onlv perfoa witjb whom I weycr fouad a dr]r«> 
lids of conyerCaUQQA wbiqli is the greateft of 

SunUhmeiitg]! from the obligation or fupport^ 
1^ it Qui: tete-^^-tetes w^cc not fo much 
dtiKQiirfe ad! an inexhauftibla prattkn wbMi 
to put an end to oiuft bi9^ intwuptied. Sa fiu* 
from the oblig^Uon of uU;ing|| I wa$. ratfiflr 
obliged to imppXe myCetf tbal of forbeaviMb 
By mg conteomjUtinfi; bar pro^e£k$9 Ibc loft 
lierfelf m ^hou^t. well,, Jt let her nnaaui 
fo 1^ I faid nothingi, X gazed on b/ex,, and was 
the happiefi of oien. I had». befidesji another 
fingular triclu Without ^etendipff to thf 
f^vQiKS: <?f wivacy* I couAnualiy iSughii Uy 
ini eQJ[oyea 'H with a pai£on wlfieh deg<?iMK 
rated to fury« tf it wasi interrupted* As ibm 
af any one came in* man or woman^ 'twaa 
eqval to me, I went out munnuring, not being 
able to remali9i a. thi,rd in her company,; \ 
vrcat and coui^ted tbe minutes in her anti^ 
chainber, cuill^^ ai thaafand times> thefo 
eternal viiUors| nor could I conceive hoic( 
thev had fo. much to fay^ becaMie I ha4 
ItiU nuire^ 

I never felt my whole pai£on for her^ bue 
when 1 did not fee her. When I law ber I 
wa$ con^eoted only; but my uneadnefs at; bei: 
abfence parried. me to a degree of grief. Tbe^ 
oeceifity of^ with her gave me tranfporta 
fo melting as often to draw tears, I fhail ne- 
ver forget one g^eat holiday, whiJft &e was. at 
veibers, I ^1^ a walk oat of towAs n^y mind 



Blled with her image and;aA ardent 'defire to 
fpend Thy days ttrith her. I bad fenfe enough 
%b Tee/ that, at prefei;it,' it.was not poi&bfe, and 
that ahappinefs I fb Vi^^Il relifhed Would be 
fhort* This gave my contemplation a forrowr 
fulnefs -which had, however, Hoehihg gloomy 
in it, and which w^s allayed by flattering hope. 
The fosi^d off the bells, wUich always fingu^ 
larly afffefted me, the finging of 'birds, the 
clearnefs of the weather, the fweetnefs of thi 
lahdfcap'e, the houfes fcatteired and' rural, ia 
which I placed in idea bur common abode; all 
this ftruck me with an impreffion fo lively, fo 
tender, fo penfive, and fo touching, that I faw 
myfelf, as in extacjr, tranfportcd to thofe happy 
times,andin thofe hapfpy abodes, Where my heart, 
pofleffing every -felicity that could delight it, 
tafted thetn in raptures inex{)teffible, without 
*ver thinking of fenfual voluptuonfnefs. I never 
remember to 'have launched into futurity fo 
forcibly, and with fuch illufi'bns, as at that 
time ; and what ftruck me ;noft in t^e recol- 
ledion of this conceit, when it was'realized, 
Vas to find the olyefts exaSIy fuch ^s I had 
imagined them, if ever the dream of a man 
jiwake had the airof a prophetic vifion , it was^ 
certainly this. I was deceived in its imaginary 
duration only \ for the days^ and the years; and 
the whole life, pafled in an unalterable tran- 
quillity, but in efFe£b it all la{ied but an in- 
ftant. Alas! my moft certain 'happinefs/ waff 
iiut a dream. Its accompliibmiei^t was almoft; 
inftantly followed by fleeprng n6' more. 

I fhould never end, was I to enter in td 
the particulars of all the follies the remem- 

" branch 

3&-10 J J. ROUSSEAU. 145 

brance of this dear Maoima caufed me to ad^ 
ivhen I . was not in her light. How many 
times I have kiOed her bed^ in thinking fhe 
bad lain there ; my curtains, all the furniture 
of the room, in thinking they were hers, 
that her jdear hand had touched them; even 
the floor on which I laid myfelf, thinking 
fbe; hadwalked there. Sometimes, even in her 
prcfence, the greateft extravagancies have fallen 
from me, that only the moil violent paiEon 
feemed able to infpire. One day at table, at 
the time of her putting, a bit in her mouth, I 
cry out I fee a hair in it ; fhe fpit^it o.ut on hec 
plate ; I greedily lay hold of and fwallow it. 
In a word, between me. and the mod paflio- 
nate lover there was but only one efTenrial dif- 
ference, and that renders my date almoft in- 
conceivable to reafon. 

i was returned from Italy, not altogether a^ 
I went, but as, perhaps, never at my age any 
one came back. 1 brought back from thence, 
not my virginity, but my maidenhead. I 
had felt the progrefs of years j my trouble- 
fome conftitution, at lad, declared itfelf^ and 
lis firft eruption, extremely involuntary, gave 
me apprehenfions for my health, which paint, 
Setter than any thii\g elfe, the innocence iu 
which I had lived till that time. But my 
fears being foon removed, I learnt this danger- 
ous fupplement which diverts the courfe of 
nature, and faves young people of my humour 
many diforders at the expence of their health, 
their vigour, and fometimes their life. This 
vice, which Ihame and timidity find fo conve- 
nient, has, beftdes, great enticements for liver 

Vo^-.I. H ly 



)y imaginations ; that is, to diipofe, in a man« 
ner, at>vUtj of die whole fex, and to make 
the bcajuiies whicih tempt them fenre their 
pleafures without the neceffity of obtaining 
their confentr Seduced by this fatal advantage^ 
I laboured to deftroy the found conftitution 
stature had given me, and to which I had gjveii 
tim^ to form ftrohgly. Add to this tlifpontion 
the locality of my prcfcnt fltuationj lodgecl at 
a pretty woman's, careffing her image ^m m^ 
heart, feeing'her inceflfantly in the day-time, 
at night furrounded^ b^r ohje^s which recal 
"her to my mtntf, fleetpiq^ in the bed J know 
iheJias flept in. What ftrmulants ! Whatever 
reader reprefents them to himfelf, looks on 
me as already half dead* Quite tte contrary : 
that which fliould have delhroyed me, pre- 
cifely, at leaiLfor fon)e time. Drown- 
ed in the pleaifdre of her company^ the ardent 
deftre of paffing my days in 'n;^ abfenior pre* 
fent, lalways dw in her a tender mother, a 
beloved fifter, a delightful friend^ and nothing 
/arthen I always fawher fo, continually the 
fame, and faw nothing but her. Her image, 
always prefent, left room for no other ; Ibe 
was, to me, the only woman exifting ; and 
the extreme gemlenefs of fcntiment with which 
fee infpired me, not allowing my fenfes, time 
to awaken for others, defended me from her 
and the whole fex. In a word, I was mode- 
rate becaufe I loved her. From tbefe effects, 
which I badly relate, tell me who can, of 
what fpecies was my paifion for her? For my 
part, ail I can fay of it is, that, if this feems 
very extraordinary, what follows will app^r 
much more fo. I fj^nt 

&3] J- J- ROUSSEAU 14^ 

I fpent my .^time the ttidft ^agrecaWjr, em- 
ployed ontHiiigs.w^ich pleft(ed meleaft. Thefe 
were eitherplftns to adjUft^ bttls to write ou^ 
Receipts to triinfcrib^ : there were hfcrbs^ to 
pick, <brugs to pound, ftiih to wateh: and-m 
th« midft of all this came crowds of travellers^ 
beggars, vrQt^ of'^U (bfts. ' Tou muft enter* 
tain, all at once, a fdldier, an apothecary, ft 
prebendary, a lady of falhion, and a lavic. 
I inveighed, I grumbled, I fwore, I wifliea aB 
this curfed medley at the devil. For her 
who took every thing gaily, my ftiry made 
her laugh till tears came down her cheeks ; 
and that which made her laugh ftill more 
was, to fee V me grow the more furious, as I 
could not help laughing rnytelf. Thefe little ' 
intervals, which gave me the pleafure of 
growling,were<leIightful; and if a chance guefl: 
came in during the difpute, Ihe knew bow to 
fnake the molt of it for amufement, in m'ali* 
cioufly prolonging the vifit, and cafting now 
and then a glance at me, when i could will- 
ingly have beat her. She could hardly abftain 
from burfting, on feeing me, conftrained and 
moderate from decency, give her the lobks of 
A demon, whilfl*, from my heart, even in 
fpite of me, I thought it all exceeding plea* 

All thefe things, without pleaiing me in 
themfelves, neverthelefs, amufedme, becauft 
they made a part of a manner of b^ing which 
xharmed me. Nothing that was done arountl 
me, nothing they made me do, was after ttfy 
tstfte^ but every thing was after mv heart. 1 
believe Tihould have arrived at a fondnefs for 

H 9 medicine^ 


medicioC) bad not oiy dijigaft to it produced 
toying fcenes which ince&miy diverted us : 
it was^ perhaps, the firft time this art pro- 
duced a like efkSt. I pretended to know by 
the fmell a pound of drugs, and it is pleafant 
to think I was feldom miftaken. She forced 
me to tafte the moft.deteftable drugs. 'Twas 
in vain I ran off, or would have contended; 
in fpite of my refiftance and my horrible 
grimaces,, in fpite of.myfelf and my teeth, 
wl^en I fa\y thofe lovely fingers approach my 
mouth, I mud open it and fuck. When all 
her little apparatus was affembled in one room, 
to hear us run and halloo amidft the burftings 
of laughter, you would have thought we were 
acting a farce, in&ead of making opiate or 

My time was not, however, fpent entirely 
|n this foolery. I had found a few books in 
the room I ilept in : the Spectator, Puffendorf, 
St,£vremond, the Henriade. Though I did not 
preferve my old paffion for reading, yet, to 
£11 my leifure, I read a little of all thefe. The 
Spe£lator, particularly, pleafed me much, and 
was uieful to .me. 1 he Abbe de Gouvon had 
jtaught me to read lefs .eagerly, and with more 
.refledion V I edified more by ftudy. I accuf* 
tomed myfelf to rt&c& on elocution, and on 
elegant conftrudion ; I exeK:ifed myfelf in 
.difcerning pure French from the country dia- 
,lc£i. For in fiance, I was corrected in an or* 
rthographical faulc I made with all our Gene- 
. vefe, by thefe two verfes of the Henriade, 

Soit i^u^uji smcien re()>ed pour le fang de leurs maitret 
Parlat encoc pour lui dans le ccor de cei tiaitret i 

• The 

Bi5. J. j: R O U SS E A v.- 14^ 


The word parlat^ which ftruck'.m'e, taught me 
that there muft bei / in the tWrd perfon bf the 
fubjundive ; inftcad of which IVrolc and pro- 
nounced ^<7r/<7, asin theprefentof'thc indicative. 
Sometimes I chattered with Maniima onmy 
ftudy ; fometimes read to her ; 1 took, great 
pfeafure in it 5 I fexercifed myfelf iii reading 
well, and it was ilfeful to rrie. I have faia 
flie had a well-cultivated underftandin'g. It 
was then in all its prime. Several men of 
letters had endeavoured to rendfer themfelvcs 
agreeable to her, and had taught her to judge 
of works of merit. She had, if I am allowed 
to fay it, a tafte a little Proteftant ; ' flie talked 
6f none but Bay le, and extolled St. Evremontf, 
who had been long dead in France. But that 
did not prevent her from knowing good lite- 
rature, atid converfing very well on it. She 
had been brought up in phoice fociety, and 
coming -to SaVoy ftill youne, (he had loft, in 
the pleaGrtg company of tne nobility of the 
country, the affcifted tofi^ of the country of 
Vatid, where* the ladies tkke wit for'fcnfe, and 
cannot fpeak but in epigrams. * 

Though (he had feen the court but little, 
(he threw a rapid glance around' it, which 
tvas, to her, fiifficient to know it. She always 
kept friends there, and, in fpite of fecret 
jieabufy, in l^te of the inui^murs her condtrft 
and debts excited, ihe neve^ loft her peniionr. 
She had a knowledge of the world, and the 
fpirit of reflection, which knows to draiv^ 
advantages from that knowledge. It was the 
fftvourtte fubjefi of her converfations, and, 
precifely, conAdering. my chimerical notiont, 
* H 3 the 


the fort of inftruftion I moft wanted. Wc 
xead together hi Bruyjere : he pleafed her more 
^han Rochdancault, a dull and mortifying 
book, principally for youth who ^o not i6ve'to 
iee man as he is. when fhe moralized, ihe 
foooetimes loft herfelf a Jittle by wandering ; 
but, with a kiis now and then of the lips or 
^nds, I kept imy patience, and her tediouf- 
siefs was not tiieiome. 

This life was too pieafing to laft. 1 iaw it, 
and the uneafui^s of feeing it terminate wats 
.the only thing which difturbedits enjaymeni;. 
With all our foolery. Mamma fiudied me, obr 
jenred xm^ queftioned me^ and built up for 
my fortune vaft pr^je^s whicK L could vesy 
-welLhiiye done witboutv JBagpiljs it w«is. not 
iufficient to be acquainted *with.'my inclii|9^ 
jtions, «)y tafte, and my trifling talents; ec« 
cafions-si^en to he foiight to make them ufefu^ 
and theie were not the bufinefs of a ddifim 
.£ven the prejudices the .poor thing bad con«» 
^ccived in favour of my mem, retarded the 
time of em{doying it> by making her mdje 
difficult on the choice of the means : in fine* 
ali went as* I «ould wifh,' thanks to the good 
opinion ihebad of pie; but it was iabe loww 
^red, and then farewel eafe ! One of her ref- 
lations, nansEed M. d*Auboiine, ^rame to iee 
iier. He was a- man of great underftatidmg^ 
cujoaing, and a genius for projeSs . like her* 
ielf, but did not ruiftlumfelf by them, afort 
4>f advepturer. He came from offering the 
jCardiaalof Fleury the plan of a lottery^ ex- 
itremely well compofed, but which was not 
selifhed. He was going 10 ofier it the eouri 


B. 3.] Ji J. R O U &SM A: Uv :i5i 

pf Turin, whecpic.w^B.iMiQi;^ and, put in 
execution^ He ftayecL iom^ time 4t Anaec|s 
and became enamoured with (h^ houfekeepc^., 
,who was a very amiable perfon, very ipuch'iff 
my taflcy anS the pnty one;! faw with.pleafut^ 
at Mamma's. ^. d'A^ibonne faw mc^ his 
kinAvoman. talked to htm about me^ he un« 
'dertook to examine met to fee what I was fr<l* 
per for, and, if be /ouad any gediur in . me^ 
endeavour to place me. 

Madam de Warens (tnt mte- to him two or 
three mornings following* on piictext of an 
errand, and without acquainting, me^ with anf 
thing of it before* hand. He tootc a9 excclfont 
method of making me cbAtteir,,(poke'froeiy witk 
jpat,, put me under as little^reftxa^t aa>pa()tb]«9 
talked to me of trifles and on -all fort$ of Cub* 
le^s; all without feeming.ta obfeirve mq^ 
without the leaft affe£tation,.and a&.if,; pleafed 
with me, he woul;d convJerfe .wi'tbput reflraiin. 
I was delighted with him. T(;te refult of b'is 
obrervacions was,, that,, whatev^er my ofHterioc 
and my animated phyfiognomy n^ighcpromiA, 
I was^ if not abfolutely a, fool, at leaft-^ boy of 
very little knCcy without id€a$,^almoft -without 
acquirements; in a word, avexyiballowfeUaw 
in ail refpe<^s ; and that the honour of becoming 
'ibme day the parfpn of a village was. the ^reat- 
€(t fortune I ought to afpire to. Such w® the 
account be gavip of me. to Madam de Ware^^. 
This was the fejcand or third dme I was thiis 
Judged ; it was not tbe laft, arui the decree of 
M Maileron has be^n often confirmed.. 

The caufe of thefe judgments is too mudi 
*<oane<^d with my cbira^^* not to want an 

H 4 cjtpia- 


Explanation : for, in confcicnce, it is plainly 
Aen I cannot fincercly fubfcribe to them 5 and 
that, with all poffible impartiality, whatever 
Meffieurs Mafferon, d'Aubonne, and many 
others have faid, I cannot take their word for 
them; ' - 

»»*«»Two things, almoft inallrable, unite in me. 
If without my being able to conceive the rhan- 
f-ner. A conflitution extremely violent, im- 
petuous and lively paffion?, and ideas flowly 
"produced, confufed, and which never oflFer 
till after th^ proper time. You would think 
my heart and mind do*not belong to fhcfame 
-individual. Sentinicnt quicker than light fills 
-tmy foul; but, inftead of enlightening, it fires 
«nd daz^zles me. I feel every thing and fee ; 
nothing. I am tranfported, but ftupid'; I ^' 
•moft be cool to think. What aftonifhcs is, 
^hat I have my feeling pretty fure, penetration, 
iifid 'evfen delicate wit, provided they'll wa^t 
rfor me :' I can make an excellent iinprompiu 
at leifurc, but in an inftant f never wrbte or 
■feid any thing clever. I could hold a pretty 
converfation by the poft, as the Spaniards, it is ) 
faid, play at chefs. When I read that ftroke of 
the Duke of Savoy's, who turned round, keep- 
ing on his journey, to cry out, /ft your throaty 
ParismArehant) rfaid, Ititnhere. 
* • This flowntfs of thought, joined to the vF- 
\ '^acity of feeling, is not m my converfation 
^ 'only; I have It when alone alfo, and when I 
write. My ideas are difpofed in my head with 
' the greatelt difficulty: they circulate dully; 
"they ferment tifl they move me, heat me, giy^ 
*'mc palpitations; and^ a^iidft aM this-^motion, 
•• . > i ** 1 fee 

B-3-] J- J* ROUSSEAU* ij3 

I fee nothing clearly ; I cannot writiei a Angle 
woM I I muft wait. Infenfibty this vaft cmtk* 
tion is fuppreiled, the chaos is difperied $ each 
thing takes its place, butflowly, uid after a 
long and confufed agitation. Have you ever 
feen an opera in Italy i In dianging the fcenes 
"^there reigns a difagreeable diforder: on thefe 

Sand theatres, which-lafts a confiderable time : 
e decorations are all intermixed ; you fee in 
every part a pulling and hauling about whtc^h 
gives pain ; you think the whole is turniiE^ 
topfy-turvy. By degcees, eyer3r thing is, how* 
ever, brought to its place, nothing is wanHh 
ing, and you are greatly furprifed to find a 
xaviihing ught fucceed this long tumult. Tbil 
piece of work nearly rcfembles that which 
operates in my brain, when I would writer 
Had I firft known bow to wait, and then ren^* 
der, with ^all their bbaudcs,, the things thu9 
painted there, few authors would have fur* 
paiTed me. 

Thence comes the extreme difEculty I find 
in writing. My manuicripts fcratched out, 
blotted, mixed, not legible, atteft the troubk 
they coft me. Not one but I was obliged to 
tranicribe four or five times before it went to 
the prefs. I never could do any thing, the I 
pen in hand, oppofite a table and paper : 'iwaa | 
in my walks, amidft rocks and woods *, 'tws^ | 
fn the night,. during my flumbers; I wrote in 1 
my brain, you may judge how (lowly, partis j 
cuiarly to a man aeprived of verbal memory^ j 
and who, in his life, never could retain Ux /' 
verfes by heart. Some of my periods have ^ 
been turned and winded, five .or fix nights, in 

H 5 my 



sflljr h«ii; beCam- they Svei« in a^ (hitte far going 
-dfl p«por. From 'thtiice^ Itkewife, 1 filectB^d 
ttmi«r i« winks which damtml l^bouiv 'than 
4 A'«h4fe wi^tfh. muft Inta aiCftrum «iriitf^i} us 
IttleiSf a %la I cauH dcv^. gc« thtrtoAevaf, 
1Nl4'>iiite(lfe )009U|pattbn i« m mc th^ <gf9HB& 
tff pvmMmtmts. 1 writjs no ^letters oa, 4he 
Mttft tfWng fiibpA, «v4it€fa do sot c^iA taste 
ihom8'«f ; fatigiiti or, if I would write knm^- 
tdfaittty what ftrifcss m»^ I can neither beftin 
«or end^ my fastter is a long ajpd.cp&fuied 
iptrbefitjr; with uotthk I am iwdcrftood when 
it ii read* 

I mi Jioroidy iroubfed to render. my ideMy 
liitt even in leoeivjiog them* I have ftudied 
mawkintiy and think n^felf a tolerable .good 
€ri»feivator: nevertheiefe, I cannot, fee any 
thing in that T perceive ; I fee clearly that 
only I recoUeA^ imd i have no . hnowledge 
but ki my lecdleAions* Of ail cbav-^ (aid, 
•f all tha«.^ done, of all that pafies in^ nvf 
pfeienoe, I* know notfai^, I penetrate no^ 
Ibtng. The cfxternal fign is all that ftrikes 
Itte. But afterwacda die Driiole.ret«ien3 agajn^^ 
I c^U to mind the time, place, tone, 1q|]^ 
geftare, cincumftanoe ; nothing ^feapes m«r. 
^heii, from what ihcy -hid or did, J And one 
mhtst they thought, and it is very foldQm I 

• So little mafler of my judgment alone by 
myfeif, judge what I muft oe in converfatioo^ 
when^ to fpeak a*propos,yoii mail think at one 
md the fame time of a thou&nd things. The 
fete^dfta of fo. many coo&rmities, cS^ whie^ 
lam-^Aire to forget at'imft fome doei. ikifices 


to imimU^te me. I idon'tretei ^odniiroliend 
kbw they daope talk in camfMUi^: fisHr. at eaqh 
word yim amft pafe in .revievir: )ie6re «ef«f y 
'{Xiibn there} ^ yoit. muft br acqiiaMiml -«^ 
wtry fmn'smaoL&er^ know dnic Jiiibrj^* lo 
beaffiired o(^ {^jmgnmth'it^ wbrch mig^t<4* 
fend iome of tham^ in. wiitcii: tbofe wSorfvi- 
^aent «hti ^roriU baveatgroit advuitage : kaoir • 
ing belter on; wbai tot ^' fitektt, tfasy .aiv fimr 
of what ttey%s land; wkfaidlrtl»l9:libe^4)f^ 
kt hli^zhhtMcMi Jwig«,^ dhekfiinsEi of him 
-^mkto falls tb«>c;{ front tba :€iouda7l It:is ahaMMft 
impoffibte he ifaoiUd talk stfiiflUbewkbtiriifHi* 
fvtty . f n ptvvate. xdiuM»fatk>»c itbere is Mo* 
^tii»r -inedaWitteiKre I thaisi|.*«wle.f the > iteref- 
-Aty ol at way 9 talking*'' Wlt^nlvyouare'lfiotife 
(tdy yoQ nitfor anfi^en*; ami if aotMn^isiikid, 
(you tfiaft rorwctbectoawfatiom* Th^s^.lii. 
4fp{ibrtaMe K»nftt>tiiit t»ily WdaiU have cKl^ 
-gufted me of (ofMty* < l£aid' no catuce Kk^ 
<ebar of the <3iblijgation of fpcaidng inftanefy n^ 
comtiNiaUy. Idon't kaov/'wfaethar' this |ia>» 
ceeds from my i3«artalavetfi«» to ali iibjedioii; 
^buc i^ is^foffici^^mabwif IiDMiftiabMotdy talk^ 
i -iafotifbly talk maifiAii^i What ftiil id ifiorb 
^Mbl, inft»idao£4nfiowii!)^ ai^eii'to be fitieiie, if 
4 ba««e notb-ili|-tioi£iy,;'tfe cbcsn, the fooneit to 
flay tny d^bt^'i baoie the fteaay of whiting m 
talk. 1 hi^en to ftammer ^quidcly wonik 
widiout id«8t, vecy^'bappy* wbfii they mea^ 
fioibing'at'alK Staving lo hide m^ foUy^ I 
fddomfiiil toftiewit* ' ^ 

I beUevet here !s^^ enough to make it andin'4 
#ood, bow^ without 'being a fool^ I hsM 

li-6' never* 


nevertfaeleis often palled for one, even 
peof^e who were thought good )«dges!}ib much 
the more unhappily, as my phyAogneExiy aivd 
tycs proanifed more, kkI that? this: eoipeiSb- 

' 1 14^01 fruAraUedi ^rendemootfaef^^mf iltif»dtty 

> mofte/fliOQking, Thit detml^ whtcb a pecti* 
lianoQcafioagaireWrthfto, k not mmeceffiuy 
^what follows* It cootatoa the key tacnaiiy 

-* extraordinary things I have been obferved 
to do, mhJBch is attributed to a fav^ huaaoor 
1 have not* lAould love focieity like another, 

^was I not certain' of appear mgthere^ not only 
to difadyantage, .birt qUite idi^rent to what I 

-am. My dcirri»inati€^ toi :write and hidel 
myfelf from the «»irld.i9 precifely that wbidi 

•futted me* MyfcJf prefont, my^pafts had nch 
ver been.loDown, ovieven fufpe6ledi$ and dm 
happened to ^adam Dupin, though a woman 
of fenfe, and tbouah 1 lived in her faoufe 
feveral yeara. She has often told me fi>. her-^ 
ielffinoe that lime. However^ all >thf& differs 
.certain . exceptions, and I iball cioaio over 
it again in the courfeof the work; 
. 1. he meafiiro of my^ talents, thua Jxed, .the 
fiatel was ik for thus .defigned, there waa jio 
farther ^neftioa, for the^feoond time, bujt;.tfae 
fuliilling my , vocation. The ^ficitit;y*.waa 
my not bavtng gone through my-^Aadtesv-^ 
l^lowing Latin enough even. to becomaua 
prieft. Madam de Waiens pr^jpokA .^ending 
me to be iufirndled fome time^ at the Semiir 
nary. She mentioned it jto/tfae •Superior ; be 
was a Lazariii, named M. Gros, a good* 
;Ratujred, half-blind, mefligns^-gre^wbair^ JiA 

n^i.1 J- J. R o u s s E A v: tit 

tie man, rite mdft fpfritua) and the leaft pedan- 
tic Laaarift I iiave known ; which, in faA, is 
not fiy'm^ nnich. ^ ' 

Hrfometimes came to Mamma*s, who wel* 
coined biaa^andfometimes let htm lace her flays; 
an emplo/nient he willingly un<iertook. Whtlft 
he. was thm in oflice, (he tM from one fide of 
the room to tbe other, doing -fem^med one 
tMng, fomeeimes another* Dk^awn by the lace, 
the Sn^pfor foiloi^ed grumblings nhd faying 
every n»n*itc. Well, Madam, hold 'ftill tnen. 
It produced' a ften^fftinny enough. < 

M; Gros heartliy gave Ifita M^Hima^s {^ro* 
jeft; He was eoncented wit^ a mocterate fa- 
]ary^ and anderto^k my inftru^^ion. Nothing 
was wahtingi bat f^e 6i(hop-s cbn&nt, who 
HOC only ecmfented to it$ but would pay it 
bimfetfl ' H&likewire permitted me to remain 
in the f^ular baMt, till ikey ct3iuld judge bf 
a trial of the faccefs they might h<^pe. 

What a change I I mufl: Aibmtt. f went to 

.the Seminary as to ^he place Of execution. 

What a doleVal pkice is a feminary 5 efpecially 

. to him tiuit cOfneS' from tbe houfe of a pretty 

-woman ! I carried one book only, whitbi 

'begged Mamma to lend- me, and which was 

a great refource to me. Yoii would hbt guefs 

what' fort of abooktMs wai^ a mufie book. 

Among the talentsr fbe cultivated^ mufic was 

notfoorgot* She bad voice, feng^f aflsbly, and 

played theharpikbord a little, She had had th^ 

com pbufanceao give me af^wleflbns of mufic, 

and fhe was obfiged to bring me from fi»r, for 

Ihardly knew the mvdbc of our pfalms;«I ha#, 

ttevertbeters) fa great a paiBon for tbis^ ait^' I 


. f 58 THE CONPE9BI0KS OF ^ '3. 

alooe. The book I caaried wltb me was not of 

the eafieft oetcher ; 'twas Ctnanriiaiilt's canta- 

.tas. My applicadott' aod'obftinacy mzy be 

conceived^, iriicn I fell joii, tbar^ wkbovt 

knowing ekhcr trao^^tien or qvantky, I 

. arriTcd at dkcjpbering ami ftigtng the fiiA rid* 

tative and tbe firft air of t^ cantata of Al- 

pheus and Aretbula : it is tnte. Ibis aar is 

' fcanned fo jtift, yott need only reeite tbe verfes 

. wi(h tbeir meai^ce to caidi-che atr.^ 

There was a curfed Lanarift at ibe Seonaafy 
who vndertODk *me, and narfe me ddceft- the 
Latin he would bave taagkt me. He bad (hort^ 
thick, black batr^ a gigig^rbttrad Akc, a,biiH*s 
voice, t4le looks of a pde-cat, a wfld boards 
•brifties inflead of a b«ard ; his finilewas from 
ear to ear; bis limbs played like pniiisa to 
a piippet-flsow: thftve ibr^ bisodiousname ; 
but his frightful, precrfe figure i have'Fetain^ 
cd ; it is with trottble I rdcolledt bira without 
.horror. I thiiik I fee bim yet in the paflagfe, 
pulling forward with grace histoid* fi|uare bon^ 
net asa fign Co come into Ms' roeln, mose 
dieadftil to ne-tban a ocll. Judge of the emr^' 
tnUl.between fueb a oHAtr 6x tbe^difefple df 
a Court Abbe- 

Had I ^remaiaed.^ two months at dbemerey 
of- this monfter, I am perfiiaded ray htm 
would not have refifted. But tbergood-natnred 
M. 6fOs> ' who p^Keived I was doll, cast 'nl»- 
ibtngt a»d gfeii^ thin, guefbd die c«ife of mf 
uneafth^fs ; it was not dificutt. He Wbk mo 
flcooi the dutches of tbeasibnal, ^a^ byarflitt 
mofo firiking. oaAvaft'put me to ibe^tettMk 


8. y] J* i* R O O S S S A «; tS9 

.^iBisiif.^H« ^s B voiKig AbbtifroQi' Fiuitiigiid^ 

jrap^r iMimei H- 'G&cier, who ftudied at the 

Sfi^ir^rir^^ndy. frpm ccHSipliiUaiice fW i4.Gro», 

and Il>elifV«.fc<><Q JMumt^Biry^^ivtM/e^kind «$ 

' for take from hi$ own iludie^ th^t timo h? gave 

»tD the ^jri^ioa of mine. I n»v^t iaw a ph,y*> 

ilogaom)! mor^ touching than M. Gaitier'au 

He was fak) %Uh a beard indmingtocarrotjf* 

He had the commoii appearance of people of hj^ 

province,, whp i|nder a' haavy, oui^e* hide a 

deal or^poHd^feafe; l?ut thiic winch, truly cha« 

>i^erifed hm waa a feit)fi)>le» iutid« and affable 

Jieart. He:h?id 19. M» l^rge bltieejFfs a aiix'tufe 

of good temper^ tender ne?ft» j^nd fadi^fs, which 

engaged pi|e t<» wifli him well« In the looks^ 

in the tone of this pqon youik^ man, jon 

would bay e (aid he fOjPefaw hia deftiny^ an4 

4hat he felt hiin^f born to miafortune. 

Hi« chaia<9ei' did not -cootraiii^^' his phyii^ 
Qgnofoy^ Made up of ^tjence and comprat*- 
£iace). he ij^emed toftgdy with i9ie rather .than 
in&rviSt cue. Lreis would have done to have 
gained im)^ eftoem i hh pied^eflbr bad render^ 
ed that i^naemd^ eskfy. Nevertheleft, though 
^^eilowed fomuch time on:aie» and tfaougli 
^ach of us did all in his power» and^althougK 
he took an exceeding goed method, 1 advanced 
^tle wi^nr^icb laboMf. It is ftnguiar^ tbaey 
fpkb Goocoption enou^> I could never learn 

Cy^thing by mallertSy except my father and 
. Lasibercier. The Imle 1 bptt fot fijice i 
Ijisarnt a)o«i^ as^jHHi will A=«. My tialbn,, dif-^ 
#l«jc|i)ig mctyi kind of jFoke, cannot fi^bmie 
9(itbe-fewe^of the ouHsft^t. Evisiitbe dreads 
tanfifl^ jrQ4^0(a «iy ^aiKJiiiQp.H Fox i^^ 


1 60 TtlE CONFESSIONS OF [B. 3. 

of tiring htm who fpeaks, I fdgn to under- 
ftand him ; be g6es on, and I underftand no- 
thing of it. My reafon will march at its own 
hour ; it cannot fubmit to another's. 

The time of ordination being arrived, M. 
Gatier returned to his province a deacon. He 
carried with him my grief) my attachment, and 
my gratitude. I fent up prayers for him, which* 
were no more heard than thofe I made for my- . 
felf. A few years afterwards 1 heard, that, 
being curate of a>pari(b, he had a child by a 
gir], the only one, though he had an extreme- 
ly tender heart, he had ever known. This 
was a dreadful icandal in a diocefe fo feverely 
governed. Priefts, according to what is right, 
muft get none but married women with chik). 
£ecaufe he failed in this law of coriveniency, 
be was fent to prifoff, defamed, and turned 
out. I don^t know whether afterwards he was 
able to -fettle his -affairs 5 but the feiife of his 
misfortunes, deeply graven on my mind, re- 
turned* when I wrote liebflius, and, uniting 
M. G&tier with M. Gaime^ I made of thefe 
two worthy priefti the original of the Vicar of 
Savoy. I flatter myfetf the imitation did not 
difgrace Its models. 

Whilft 1 was at the Seminary, M, d^Aubbnne 
was obliged to leave Annecy. M*** took it 
tn his head to be angry that he made love to his 
wife. *Twas imitating the gardener's dog} 
for though Madam *** was amiable, he lived 
on poor terms with her, s^nd treated her ib 
brutally a feparation was talked of. M**» 
was an ugly fellow, < Mack as a mok, kitaviib. 
«s an cml> and who 1^ dim ofcifprt&oM 


B. 3-] J. J. ItOUSSEAU. 161 

ended by being himfelf driven out. It is faid 
the Provincials revenge thcmfelvcs on their 
enemies by fongs 5 M, d*Aubonne revenged 
hrmfelf on his by a comedy 1 he fent this 
piece to Mad^m ae Warens, who fhcwed it 
me. It pleafed me, and infpired me with a 
fancy to Write one, to jry whether I was in 
tffect that blockhead the author had pronound- 
ed me ; but it was not till I came to Chambc/y 
I executed this projeft; in writing The Lover 
of Hiftifelf, Thus when I faid, in the preface 
to this work, T wrote it at eighteen, 1 curtailed 
a few yfears. * 

*TWas about this time an adventure refers 
to, of little importance in itfelf, but which 
in Mpeik to mehas had cflfeAs that have made 
a noife in the world when I had forgot it. 'I 
had, every week, [ permiiEort to go out I 
have no occafion to mention the ufe I made of 
it. One "Sunday, being at Mamma's, a fire 
broke xwt in the buildings of the Cordeliers, 
joinfrtg the houfi ihe occupied. This build-; 
irtg, in which Was their ovien, was fluffed full 
of dry faggots. The whole wa? in a fhort 
time on fire. The houfe was in great danger, 
covered by the flames the wind btought there^ 
: They bcgarr to remove in hafte, and carry the 
goods irito the garden, which was'oppofite my 
former windows; and beyond the brook I have 
already fpoken of. I was fo affrighted, I 
threw indifferently out at the window every 
thing liaid hold of, even a large Itone mortar, 
which at any other time I could hardly haVc 
lifted t I was going to throw^ equally, a large 
looking^ glafs, if fome one had not held me. 



Tbe good BijQiQp,: who that izj oamc to fiap 
IVfamma) did not remain idk neither. He took 
her to the garden, where he began pmyerswith 
her and ail thoie who were therie; fo that^ 
ceding up fome time afterwards, I Taw every 
one on their kneifs, and I fell on mine. During 
the holy man's prayer, the wind changed, but 
fo fuddenly and fo a->propos, that the flames, 
which covered the houfe» and had already 
entered the windows, v^re driven to the 
other fide of the court, and the houfe r«« 
• f eived no damage. Two years afterward^, 
M, de B^rnex being dead, the Antonines, 
hiaoid brethren, begao ta.colleift the pieces 
which ny*eht ferve towards his beaiiiicatioo. 
At the inuance of Father Boudet, I jpined 
to thef^ ^pieo€;s an atteftation of th& fati I 
'hav.ejuil Aat^d, m which I did. well ; bttt ia 
ths^tidtd ill was givihg-thls h& as a miracle^ 
I had £ben the/biihop a^ prayers,- and tiuring 
his pi'ayers I faw the wind change,. .and even 
extremely a-propos : this I might have (aid and 
certified ; but that one of theie two things was 
tbe caufe of the other, L ought not to have 
attefled, becaufe I could r;ot;know it.. Bow«- 
ev^r, af.^r as i c^n recoiled nxj. ideas at 
\that tim^e, a lincere catholic I was; in ««-• 
neft. The' fondneis. for niiracles fo natural 
to the htiman heart, 'my veneration for this 
virtuous prelate, the feccet pride of having 
myfelr contrrbu^ed, to the miraicle., aided in 
feduci^ig me J and if this mir^c^hiftd been 
the effe(5l of tha moft ardent prayers, it, is 
certain I might have atuihuud tO' myfelf a 

part of it. 


B. 30 J- J- ROUS S E hV. 163 

Mere difltodtirtyyedrs aftM*wards,'when I 
publiflKd the Letlers from the Mountain^ 
M. Fitroo tlircovercd this certificate^ I don't 
know by what means, and made afe of it in 
his papen I muft own the discovery was 
foriiiAate, aAd tHe patnefe apipeared even to 
roe extremely plea&nt. . 

I was fated to be the outcaft of all condi- 
tions. Although M. Gatier gaire the lead 
unfavourable account pebble, they faw it 
was not proportioned to my labour, which 
kad' nothing encouraging to carry my fludtes 
fiirther. Tlw^Bifliop and the Superior, therefore^i 
|^vemeovee,i^and I. was returned toMadam 
3e Warens aaa perfisn not worth thevmaridng 
even aiprieftt^f in oiheir refffsfb a giood [ad, 
fgy, tUey, and not vicious': thia caufed her, 
in ^ite" of «9vsery difpiriting prcjudiee ^gainft 
me^ Mt to abandoir me, 

I bmM^ht back to her, in triamph, die 
tnufic-bodci had made fo good uTe of. My 
tiir of Alpheus and Aretbufa Was nearly au 
IMzd learnt at the Semnary. My remark* 
able tafte to this art gave rife to a oiought of 
tniiking me a mufician^ . The ckrcafion was 
convenient. She had mufic at leaft once a 
week at her houfe, and; the mufic^mafter of 
the cathedral, who dire^hid this liide conceit, 
cante^v^ oAen to fee- her* He w»a Parifian^ 
-nanied M. U Mahre, a good compofer, very 
Uvelyv veiy gay, ftill young, pretty well made^ 
Jiarie fenfe,lrat'on thew^hole a very good kind <^ 
inan. Mamma made me acquainted with him i 
I was tH to him, and did not di()>Ieafe htm : 
the (alary was mentioned ; 'twas agreed on^ 



In'fliort, I went ' ta him ^ * pafled the winter 
there the more agreeably as the houfe was not 
more than twenty fiaces from Mamma's ; we 
were with her in a moment, and flipped there 
verjr often together. 

. You may ju^ge, the life of the band, always 
finging and gay with the muficians and the 
fihging*boy8 of the choir, pleafed me more 
than the Seminary a Ad the fathers of St. La^ 
zarus. However, this life, though m«ffc free, 
was not lefs-even and^regular. I was riiade to 
love independence, and never abufe it. Dur- 
ing an in tire fix months, 1 never went dae 
once, but to Mammals or church ; nor did 
I even wi(h it. This interval is one of thofe 
jn which I lived in the f^«ateft calm, -and that 
I' recoiled with the greateft plea&ire. In the 
' divers ifituations I have found myfielf, feme of 
them have been marked with a fentimenCof 
yreli-doing, that, in bringing them again to my 
memory, I aoi as affedcd by them as if I was 
flill there. I not only reca) time, place, and 
perfons, but every encompaffing objed, the 
temperature of the air, its fmelJ, its colour^ 
a certain local impreffion which is not fdt but 
there, and wbofe lively remembrance carries' 
me there again* For inftance, ail they repeat^ 
at the band, all they.fung at the choir, all 
they did there, the ^harming and noble drefs 
of the canons, the priefts chafubles, the cban<^ 
lers mftres, the mufician*s perfons, an old 
lame carpenter who ptiayed the eounter-bafe^ 
a little fpark of an abbe who played the vMin^ 
the tattered caiTock which, after laying down 
his fwordi M, le Maitre put over bia fecular 



B.g.] J.J. ROUSSEAU. i6s 

coat, and the beaiuttful.fiiielurpike with which 
he covered the tatters to go to the choir; the 
loftiAefs with which I went, holdii^ my little 
flute, p4acang myfelf at the orcheftra in the 
/, for a little end of a recitative M. le 
[aitre had compofed on piirpofe for me ; the 
good eating that awaited us afterwards, the 
good appetite we carried there; this concourfe 
of obje<^, bfougbt back in a 4ively manner, 
has an hundred times charmed me by my me- 
mory, as much or more than rn reality. I 
have always, retained a feeling inclination for 
a certain air of Condit$r alme fyderum^ which 
goes by iambics ; becaufe, one Sunday in 
Advent, I heard from my bed this hymn fung 
before day, on the fteps of the cathedral, ac- 
cording to a cufiom of this church. Mifs 
Merceret, Mamma's woman, knew a little of 
mufic : I iball never forget the little anthem 
Jfferte which M, le Maitre obliged me to fmg 
with her, and which his miftrefs heard with 
fo much pleafure. In fine, all down to the 
good-natured girl Perrine, who was fo good 
a girl, and wnom the finging-boys teazed to 
madnefs, every thing of the remembrance of 
tbofe times of happinefs and innocence often 
returns to enrapture and alBi^t me. 

I lived at Annecy almoft a twelvemonth 
without the leaft reproach ; every one was 
fatisfied with me. Since my return from 
Turin 1 had committed no follies, nor did I 
commit any whilft I was with Mamma. She 
always conducted me properly; my attach- 
ment to her was become my fole paffion, 
and a proof it vw not a fooliih paffion^ my 


Yfi6 THE O0NF£SfiON5 OF [B.. ^ 

itourt formed la^ reafon. It it true^ ^hk o»}jr 

tieS) ^ut it otttoF mv^wer to learn any-tlimg^ 
3i0t «ven mufic, tnoupb I made every. oSbrtw 
Aut it was not myfeuk; none oouM i)t*mort 
wiling.) aftduitjwas not wanting.^jtv^a^ inat« 
tentiye and penfive; Iflghed; mi^^ouid I 
do? Nothing; was wanfiBg to 'myprogpefa 
whioh depen&d on me } but that I might com- 
TBtt frcfib follies^ afubjed-onl'y was necflTary* 
Thh fubjeft prefemed itfelf ; chance fettled 
all, andf as you will afterwards fee, my fool* 
jfii bead maite u(e of it. 

One evening, in the month of Febrtmry, in 
very cold weather^ as we Were all around c^ 
4ire, we beard a ' knocking at the flreet door. 
Perrine takes tbe lanthorn, goes down, and 
opens : a yoongman conies in with hery comes 
up ftairs, introduces himfeVf with^an eafy air, 
and pays M. le Matne^aihort and wdl-turned 
compliment ; fays he is a French mufician, 
that the bad ftote of his purfe obliged him to 
aft the vicar, to get on his road. At this 
word of French mufician, M. le Maitre% 
good-natured heart leaped for joy ; he Was 
paffionatdy fond of his country and his ^n. 
He receives the young traveller, offers a lodg- 
ing he feemed much to want and accepted 
without much ceremony. I obferved him, 
whilft he warmed bimfelf and chattered, till 
fupper time. Short of ftature, but very A^are 5 
be had I don't know what ill in bis make^ 
without any 1 particular deformity; be was, 
one may fay, ' bump-backed with flat fiieul* 
derity but I believe lie JiApeda-'little. . Ne4iad 


B, 3.} J. J. R O U S S £ A V. ^67 

*oiia bbck coat radier worn than.oldj which 
vsras felling to pieces, a very fine b\it very 
dirty (birt, beautiful fringed ruffie^, (patter- 
daih^s inito each of which he might have put 
both his l^gSf and, to jceep the fnow fr6m 
him^ a Jtttle hat to carry under his arm. In 
this od4'equrpage he had, neverthejefs, fome- 
thing noble which his converfation did not 
contradict; his lopk was deh'cate and agree- 
able; he talked with eafe and well, but not 
very modeftfy. Every tSing (hewod Hito a. 
young Uberdne, who had education) and did 
not go begging as a beggar, but as a fool. .He 
told us Ins «natne was Vjenture de Villcneuve, 
that he came from Paris, that he loft his way, 
and, forgetting a little his ftory of mufician, 
he added he was going to Grenoble, to fee 
a relation who vwas of the parliament. 

During fupper mufic was talked of, and he 
talked well. He knew all the greateft virtuofi, 
^very a£lor, every a£trefs, every pretty wo-» 
man, every nobleman. He feemed perfedly 
acquainted with all that was (aid > but a fub- 
je<£l was (carcely begun, but he threw into 
Ac converfation' fome joke which made them 
laugh and. forget ail they had faid. This 
was on Saturday ; the next day we had mufic 
at the cathedral. M. le M-^itre aflccd him to 
iing there," fFIth all my heart ; afks him his 
part? Th£ counter- tenor ^ and talks of fome- 
thing elfe.* Before goingj to church they offer 
him his part to petufe ; he did not look at it. 
This gafconade furprifed le Maitre : he whif<<> 
perjs to hie and fays. You'll fee. he does not 
know a fmgle note in mufic. I am much afraid 



6! Ity fay I. I follow them extremely imeafyr. 
When they bega^i my heart beat with terrible 
force ; for I W4« very much inclined to wifli 
him fuccefs, 

1 had foon reafon to recover myfelf. He 
chanted his two recitatives v^ith all the juftice 
and tafte imaginable, and what more is, with 
an extremely pretty voice, I was hardly ever 
more agreeably furprifed. After mafs, M* 
Venture was complimented to the ikies, by 
the canons and muficians, to which he replied 
joking, but always with a deal of grace. 
M. le Maitre embraced him heartily ; I did 
the fame : he faw I was very glad, and it 
feemed to give him plcafure,. 

You will agree, 1 am fare, that, after be- 
ing infatuated by M. Bade, who, take him 
together, was but a booby, I might be . infa- 
tuated of M. Venture, who had education, 
talents, wit, and the knowledge of the world, 
2(nd who might. pafs as a pleafmg libertine. 
'Twas what happened to me, and what might 
have happened, 1 b.lieve, to any other young 
man in my place ; fo much the more readily too, 
if he had a better knack of perceiving merits 
and a better reliih to be engaged by it : forVen- 
ture had merit beyond contradiaion, and he 
had a very rare one at his age, that of not 
being forward in {hewing his acquirements* 
It is true, he boafted of many things he 
knew nothing of 5 but of thofe he knew, 
which were pretty numerous, he faid pothing: 
he waited the occafion of (hewing them^ he 
made ufe of them without forwardnefe, and 

ibis had the greateft effect. A5 he (topped 

■ -■ ' at 

B.3.J J.J. ROUSSEAU. 169 

at each thing without fpcakihg of the reffj 
Voii could hot tell when he would finifli. 
Sportful, waggifl), inexhauilfble, enfnaririgih 
bis cohverration, alwslys fmiling, never laugh- 
ing, he faid in a moft elegant tone of voice the 
i-udeft fhirigis, and made them pafs. Even the 
ihodefteft women wei^eaftohifhed why they fuf- 
fcred him. It was in vain they knew they moulcl 
be angry, they had not the power. He de- 
fired noHfe but prortitutes ; I don't believe he 
was made for fortunes, but he was made fbr 
rieiidbring iiifiniteljr agreeable the Tqclety of 
tH6fe who had them. It was unlikely, that, 
With fo many agteeaWe talents, in a country 
where they are well underftob^ and cherifll- 
bd, hi long remained within the fphere of a 

My inclinatioft to M. Venture, more rca- 
fonable in .its cadfe, was likewife lefs extrai- 
vagant in it^ efffefts, though more aftive and 
more durable, than that I had towards Nl. 
Bade: I loved to fee him, hear him ^ ail he 
did feemed charming, all he faid feemed ora- 
cles : but niy infatuation did not extend fo 
far as riot to be feparated from him. I had ifi 
the neighbourhood a good prefervative againft 
-this excefs. Befides,' finding his maxims very 
good for hirh, I faw they were not for me 
to make ufe of: I wanted Another kind of 
pleafure, of which he had no idea, and of 
which I d^r^d not fpeak to him, certain he 
Would have ridiculed me. However, I want- 
ed, to ally this attachment to tliat which 
'governed me. I fpoke of it with tranfp u to 
Mamma $ le Maitre fpoke to her of it vvith 

VoJ-, L L com- 


commendation. She coofentcd to his introduc<- 
tion ; but the interview did not fucceed at 
all : he thought her formal ; (he (aw him a 
libertine ; and being alarmed at my makine 
fo bad an acquaintance, Ihe not only forbid 
m^ bringing him there Igain, but fo ftrongly 
pointed out to me the £uiger of this, youi^ 
man, I became a little more circumfpecb 
towards him, and, very happily for my morals 
auid my brains, we were foon (eparated. M. 
le Maitre had the taftes of his art z he loved 
wine : at table, however, he was fober ; but 
at work in his clofet he muft drink. His 
maid knew it fo well, that^ as foon as he 
prepared his paper for compofing, and had 
taken his violoncellp, his pot and glafs arrived 
an inftant afterwards, and the pot was reple*^ 
nifhed from time to time. Without ever be- 
ing abfolutely drunk, he was almoft always 
fuddled ; and faith it was pity, for he was a 
perfon eilentially good, and fo merry, Nfamma 
called him no other ihzn Little Cat* Unfor- 
tunately, he was fond of his talent, worked 
much, and drank the fame. This reached 
his health, and at lad his humour ; he was 
fometimes fufprcious, and eafily offended. In- 
capable of rudenefs, incapable of difrefpefl to 
any one, he never fpoke an ili word, even to 
his finging-l>oys. But neither would he be 
treated difrefpedtfully; that was but juft. The 
evil lay in his having little knowledge j he did 
not diftinguifli tone or chara^er, and often 
took the hufF at nothing. 

The ancient chapter, of Geneva, wljere, 
jFormwly fo many princes and bifliops thought 


B.3J J- y- ROUSSEAU. 171 

ic an honour to fit, has loft, in their exile^ 
its ancient (plendor, but has prefervcd its lof- 
f inefs. Toi be admitted, you muft be either 
a gentleman or a dpftor of Sorbonne. If there 
fe a pydonablc pride after that derived from 
perfonal merit, it is that merit birth gives* 
^eiides, all priefts; who have laity in their 
pay, treat them, in general, haughtily enough. 
*Twas thus the canons often treated poor le 
Maitre. 't^he chanter, particularly, named M. 
Abbe de Vidonnc, who in other refpedis was 
a very accompliflied man, but too full of his 
noblefle, had not always that refpeft for him 
his talents merited ; the other could not wel^ 
put up with his difdain. In the Paffion week 
of this year they had a fliarper difjpute thaa 
ufual at a dinner of iiiftitution the Biihop in- 
vited the canons to, and where le Maitre was 
always aflced. The chanter did him fome in- 
juftice, and faid fomething harfli, which the 
other could not digeft. He that moment took 
a refolution of leaving them the , following 
night, and nothing could make him defifl; from 
it, though Madam de Warens, whom he Went 
'to take leave of, did all in her power to appcafe 
him. He could not renounce t|ie pleafure of 
being revenged on his tyrants, in leaving them 
diflreiTed in the Eafter holidays, a time when 
they were in the ereateft want of him. But 
that which diftreued him likewife, was his 
mufic he would take with him ; this was not 
cafy. It formed a cheft pretty large and very 
heavy, not to be taken under one's arm. 

Mamma did as I had done, and would yet 
do^ in her place* After many efforts to retain 

I 2 hin)^ 


hiaif feciiag him refolved oi g^ at all events 
Xbe determined to help him as much as depeiid* 
ed on her. I dare advance &e owed it him. Le 
Maitre had devoted kimfelf, in a roannier, to 
her fervice. Whetliier in what belonged . to 
his art, or what depended on attention^ he 
was entirely at her comt^ands | and the helrt^ 
which went with it, gave his Complaifance an 
additional valu^. She therefore did no more 
than return a friend, on an eflential occafion, 
what he had done for her, in detail, during^ 
three or four years; but fhe had a foul, which, 
to fulfil fuch duties, .had no occadon to be told 
it was for her. She/ent for me, ordered me 
to follow M. le Maid-e at leaft as far as Lyons, 
and to remain with bim asloi^ as .he wanted 
iQe. She has told me fince^ t^t the defire 6f 
removing me from Venture had a great (hare 
rn this bufinefs. She confulted Qlaude Anet, 
her faithful fervant^ as to the conveyance of the 
chefl. His advice was, that inilead of taking 
a pack'horfe, which would infallibly difcover 
liS, we muft, at dark, carry the cheft on our . 
iboulders to a certain diftance, and then hire, 
an afs in fome village, to carry it to SeyfTel,, 
when, being in the French territories, we had 
nothing more to fear. This counfel was fol- 
lowed : we departed at feven the fame even- 
ing, and Mamma, on pretext of paying my 
expences, fwelled the petty purfe of the pool! 
Little Cat by an addition which was nqt ufe* 
lefs. Claude Anet, the gardener^ and I, ^ar^ 
ried the cheft as we could to the neareft vil« 
lage, where an a(s relieved us^ and the fame 
night we reached SeyfTel. 

I think 

B. 3.3 J. J. R O U S S E A U. 17J 

I think I have abferved fomewh«re, that 
there are inftants in which I fp little rcfembf« 
myfelf, I might be taken for anolher man of 
a (juite oppoiite charatf^er. Vou -are going to 
fee an example of this.. M> Rejdelet, vtcar of 
Seyfiel^ was canoA of St. Peter's, of courfe 
M« le Maitre's acquaintance^ and one of thofe 
be fliouU hide himfelf n^oft from. My advice 
WHS, OR the contrary, to go and introduce 
ourfcflves there, afl: bim to lodge us on fon^e 
pretext, as coming by confeht of tl»e chapter* 
l<e Maitre reliOied this notion, which reiid!ef-* 
ed his yeogeaaoe mocking and pleafatm. W4 
therefiicc went boldly to M. Reydelet's, who 
i^ceived us \^elK Le hifahre toM him he wa9 
going to Bell ay, b»y dcStti^ of the Biftop) to 
direct his mufic in the Eafter holidays ; tha* 
he (botild return in a few day«: and, "in fiip- 
port of this lie, I ftuSed in an hundred more, 
Co natural, that M* ReydeJist thought me a i|mrt 
lady and (hewed me kindnefs with a thou^nd 
CareflQs^ We wero weU treated, well l^adgcd" 1 
■ftCReydeiet did not kaowhow to nvake enough 
c^ us ; and ws feparated the beft firiendiB in 
tjlie worJdj^ promifinNg to ftay longer on ouf 
return.. We could hardly flay till we were 
alone to burft witk laughi!Eig, and I declare- ift 
t^kes meagain now on thinking of it; for you 
could not iaiagtiie. a trick be^ter fupported or 
more happy. It had) made us merry the whole 
journey, had ^ not M. le Miaitfe, who Jncef- 
fantly drank, aud reeled about, been -attackedi 
two pr three times by a fi«, to which he be- 
came vsiy (ahysSbj veryvmucK.refembling' an 
€^ilepfy» This threw us into a^ diforder that 

I 3 af. 


afFrighted me, and which I thought to extricate 
myfeif from as I could. 

We went to Bellay to pafs the Eafter holi- 
days, as we bad told M» Reydelet^ and though 
we were not expected, we were received by 
the mufio-mafier, and welcomed by every one^ 
with the greateft pleafure. M. le Maitre was 
efteemed for his fkilJ, and merited it. The 
mufic mailer at Bellay honoured him with his 
beit compofitions, and endeavoured to obtain 
the approbation of fo good a judge ; for, be« 
iides being a connoilfeur, le Maitre was equi«« 
table, not at all jealous, 00 fluttering parafi^. 
He was fo fuperior to all thofe provincial mufie^^ 
mafters, and they fo v^ell knew it, they regard* 
ed him lefs as a brother artift than » their 

Having pafFed, very agreeably, faur or 
five days at Bellay, we left it, and continued 
Our journey, without any other accident than: 
thofe juft menti<»3ed. Arrived at Lyoils, we 
were iodg^ at Notre Dame de Pitie; and 
while waiting for the cheft, that, favoured 
by another falfity,. we had embarked on the 
Rhone, by the care of our good prote^or'^ 
M. Reydelee, M. le Maitre went to fee his 
acquaintances, among others Father Caton, a 
Cordelier, of whom we Ihail fpeak afterwardsy 
and the Abbe Dortan, Covnt of |^yons. Both: 
j;eceived him well, but betrayed him, as you 
will prefently fee; his good fortune endea at 
M. Reydelet s. » 

Two days after pur arrival at Lyons, as we 
were paffinff up a little ftreet, not far froAP 
•ur inn> le Mfutre was takea witb;6nc of ht^ 



B.3. J. J. ROUSSEAU. 175 

Sks ; this was fo violent) -1 was feixed with 
terror. I cried out, called help^ named hisi 
rnn, and begged he might be carried there ; 
then, whilft they aflembled and crowded a« 
round a man fallen without fenfe and foaouAg 
in the middle of the ftrcet^ the only friend on 
which he depended, left him. I took the inftant* 
When no one thought of me, turned the cor- 
ner of the ftreet, and difappeared.— ^Thankd' 
to Heaven, I have finiflied the third painful 
declaration ! Did many more remain, I fhould 
abandon the work I have begun. 

Of all 1 have hitherto faid, a few veftiges 
are to be found in the places I have lived ^ 
hut that I mean to fpeak of in the following ' 
book is entirely unknown. They are the' 

f;reateft ext^avangancies of my life, and it was 
ucky they did not finifh vi'orfe. But my 
head, raifed to the tone of a foreign inftru- 
inent,*got out of its diapafon ; it came bacic 
of itfelf; 1 then quirted my follies, or at leaft 
I committed thofe which becter agreed with 
my natural ^ifppfition. This period of my 
vouth is that I have the moft confufed idea of«' 
Nothing paiTed at this time which fufficiently 
engaged my heart to trace in a lively man-* 
ner its remembrance; and it will be ftrange^ 
if, in fo many turnings and windings, in fa 
many fucceffive changes, I do not tranfpofo 
time or place. 1 write abfolutely from memory^ 
without notes, without matter, which mignt 
remind me of it. There are events of my 
life as prefent as when they happened ; but 
there are gaps and voids I cannot fill up but 
^y the affimnce of recitals as conf^fed aa their 

1 4 re- 



remaining remembrance. I maf) therefore, 
have erred, and may err a^ain on trifles, until 
the time 1 had more certam marks to condud 
me ; but in that which is of real import to 
the fubjed) I am fure of being exiSt and J 
faithful, as I (hail alwavs endeavour to be oa | 

every thing: this may be depended on. 

As foon as I had quired M. le Maitre, my 
refolutiQA was taken, and I fet out on my 
return tq Axmc^y* The c^yfe and the njy- 
Sfijy of our departure had given me great con- 
cern for the fafety of our retreat y and this 
cpnqernf wholly employing me, had caufed a 
diveriioQ for fome days from that whfch, cal}« 
ed Q)e baqk again : but the n\oment fecurii^ 
)tad produced tranquillity, the governing fen- 
tloi^nt took place again. Nothing flattered 
xnCs nothing tempted me; I had no other 
dejirje than that pf returning to M^mma. 
Tbifr, tendernefs and reality of my afte<£lion 
fpr h^.r, bad rooted from my hea^t all ima- 
giovy projefis, all the fqllies of an)l:jitipn. I 
fi^ Qither happinefs than that of living with 
h^r* nor did 1 take pne 0jep without feeling I 
^4s tea^qying from this happin^Os* I ther^foris 
rctgrned tbel-e as fail as poflible. My return. 

2 as fp, and my ntind fo diftra£fasd, th^c^ 
though I recpUjp^ with fo much pleafuce. 
ajl my other jouineyS) I have not the leaft 
rmeipbrance of this* 1 recoiled nothing, at 
;^1 of it, except my departure from Lyon^s* 
a^d, tt^y arrival at Annecy. Judge if this Jafti 
period could ever quit my memory : at my ar« 
riv^,l found Madam dc Warcn^ wai no moriP. 
iHeifi i flic Wii9 goAe to f ara« 
• <** I nc* 

^•SO J- J. 'ROUSSEAU. i7j^ 

* I never rightly knew the fccret of this jour- 
ney. She would 4saMe t<^d me, t am very 
certain, had 1 prefled her ; but never was m^n 
lefs curbusof, kijoiAcing the fecreti of frieiids. 
My mind folely c^mpfoyed oa the prefent, it 
fills up hs whole extent, its whole fpace, and^ 
except paft pleafures^ which are henceforth 
my enjoyments, there is not the leaft fpare 
corner for*- that- whkh exiftsno more; All I 
thoughtl^perceived in the little (he faid to me 
of it was, that, by the revolution, caufed at 
Turin in the abdication of the King of Sar- 
dinia, fhe dreaded being forgot, and wanted^ 
favoured by the intrigues of M. d*Aubonne, 
(p get- the fame fupport of ihe«C.Qurt of FraRce^ 
whicb^ (he has often, told me^ i^e woukl have 
preferred ; becaufe the multiplicity, ot great 
interefls prevents one's being, fo diftigreeably. 
watched, if it was fo, it is furprifmg^ that, oa 
her return, they did not receive her with. naore' 
iiuiiiFerence^ and thatflie always enjoyed her 
penfion without interruption' Many, people 
thought her charged with fome fecre^ cpm- 
miffion^ either from the BiOiop, who at thafe 
time h^d fome affairs at, the^ Court of France^ 
where he^himfelf, was obliged, to. go, or from 
fome one ftill more powierful^ who knew to 
prepare for her a happy return. It is,cert^in» 
if, that was fo, the Ambaffadrefs was not badly 
chofen, and that, ftill* young^, and bicautiful^ 
file had every neceflary taleat for fucceedingJa 
a negotiation, 

£nd of th£ Tiurd BoOKt 

J S ' THE 


T B E 


o f 



I ARRIVE and don't find her there. Judge 
of my furprife and my afflidion ! *Twas 
then the regret of having uamefully abandon- 
ed M. le Maitre began to pinch. It was ftil! 
fharper when I learnt the accident that had 
happened to him. His cheft of mufic, which 
contained his whole fortune, this choice cheft, 
faved with fo much trouble, had been fetzed 
on coming into Lyons by the vigilance of the 
Count Dortan, to whom the Chapter had wrote 
to apprize him of this private theft. Le Mai- 
tre claimed, in vain, his property, his liveli-' 
hood, the labour of his whole life. The pro- 
perty of this cheft was certainly fubje<ft to 
d<fputc; there was none. The alFairwas 
decided in the very inftant by the laws of the 
ftrongeft, and poor le Maitre thus loft the 
fruit of his talents, the labours of his youth^' 
and the dependence of his old-age. 

Nothing was wanting to the fliock I received 
to render it overwhelming. But I was of an age 


B. 4.] J. J. R O U S S £ A U. 179 


when great grief has little pdwer^ and fooh forg- • 
cd myfelf confolation. I expcfted to hear very 
foon from Madam deWarens, though I did not 
know her direftion^ and (he was ignorant of 
my return ; and as to my defertion, every 
thing reckoned, I did not think it fo culpable* 
I had beenufeful to Nl.Ie Maitre in his retreat; 
'twas the only fervice I <pould do. Had I re-* 
mained with him in France, T could not have>' 
cured his diforder, I could not h*^ve faved his'^' 
cheft, I (hould only have doubled his expences, 
without being able to ferve him in the leaft. 
Thus it was 1 then faw the affair ; I rtow fee 
it otherwife. It is not when a dirty adiion is 
juft committed, it torments us; it is on (^e 
recoUedlion of it long afterwards; for its re^ 
membrance does not die. 

The only means of hearing from Mamma 
was to wait ; for how nvas I to feek for her aft 
Paris, and with what make the journey? 
There was no place fo certain as Annecy to 
know fooner or later where ihe was. I there-. 
fore remained there. But I condu£^ed iftyfelf 
bad enough. I did not go to fee the Bifhop' 
who had patronized me, and might ftill have 
patronized me. My protestor was no more' 
with me, and I dreaded a reprimand on our 
«evafion. I wisnt ftill lefs to the Seminary. 
Mp Gros was gone. I faw none of my friends: 
I ibould have went with pleafure to fee the In- 
tendant's lady, but dared not. I did worfe 
than all that. I found out M. Venture again^ 
of whom, though fo much delighted with 
him, I had not thought fince my departure. 
I found him again fhining and welconKd in 

I 6 every 

^ THE CQNFK^NS O^ C* 4« 

every pftitof Anoocy, th^ \9iks. tearing biia 
frpqi eaph other. Tliis fuccefe <]uite turned my, 
H^* I faw nothing but M* Venture^ and 
hfi. almoft made me forget Madam de Warjcns. 
Tfa^ better to.bene^by his lefians« I propofed 
lodging with him ; he confented. He lodged at 
a^ ihoemaker^si; a droll, irieafant fellpwr, viho, 
in his gtbberifb called hi$ wife nothing but flut; 
Btn^inefl^e*much deferved. He bad wrangling^, 
Viixh ber9 which Venture topli^care tp prpmat^, 
i^.fef^oiing to Wiib the. contrary. He ba4 tbe^ 
i&angeft; dny. layings, which in his country 
aixent hac) the. fineft efieft; 'twas fcenes 
^bich would make one burft with laughing, 
iPbus pa{fed: the morning without thoygbc 
Ai tw9 iOK three we eat a bit of foinething» 
Venture went out into complies, where h«j 
f}i99^4i dnd I went a walking alone>.me(iitat'> 
I9g on his great merits admiring add cqvc^^- 
iiig hi4,rare talentS) and curling my ugiy ft^rst 
that b^d not called me to this happy life* Ah 1 
hoiy little I knfw of it! Minq Inid bcsen aiVt 
hiitiuir^itimes more charming^ had I beenjeisi 
a^fopl^ and known.better how to enjoy it. 
^ Madam de Warens bad taken. witb her Anet^ 
o|>)y> Ibc had left Mefcerct>her chambej-maWf. 
of whom I have already fpaken* 1 found hec 
ftjil occupying her miftre&s apartmeait. Mi(k, 
M^rceret Was a little older than myfelf^ hqt- 
prejt^y, but agreeable enough ; a good-naturedj 
girl, ffom Fribourg, without malice, and.ia« 
whom I knew, no other fault than. mutteringi 
ajittle ?it her miftrefs, I weiit to.fee be* pi:ett«» 
cf(£n; £he was an old acquaintance^ wb<^ 
fight called, to my mind oirn mQr«.d«v# and^ 

. *"" - made 

nilt(^'meJove hen Sh^Jiad fevecsi] acqVai(K> 
tances ; among others, aMifs Giraud^ ofGe*'] 
Mva> whp, for my iinst took it in her head 
t€^ have an inclination for me.. She CQntinually^ 
bagged Merceret to bring me to her houfej^^ 
I.confented to go^ becauA: I loved Merce ret 
V^ell enough, and that we found other young, 
people there I faw with pleafure. As for MiS 
Qiraud^ who did npthing but o^le me»; no-, 
thing can be added to the averiion I had for 
Jhier. When ihe came near me with her hard 
black fnotit befmeared with SpaniQi. fnufF, I 
could hardly abftain from heaving. But I 
took patience, and, except that, I was well 
enough, pleafed with the^ girls; whether to 
irourt Mifs Giraud, or myfelf, each ftrove to 
furpafs the other in feafiing me. I faw no^' 
thing but all this. I have fmce 
tkought it my own fault I did not fee more) 
but then, I did^not think. fo» 
• Befides, mantua-mal^ers, chambermaids, lit- 
tle tra4efwon;)en, did not tempt me muchi^ I 
M^ntedt young ladjes. Every one to his fancy^ 
that was always mine, nor do. I think with 
Iforaoe on th^t. point. It is npt, however, a{; 
^11, the vanity ot rank Which attraiSis me ; ^tis. 
a^ cooiplexioA better prefer ved, prettier hands, 
s^more gfacefnl. attire, an.ajr of idelicacy and 
iVBatnefs ov<;r all their perfon, more taAp in. 
the manner of their drefs and thein.exprcflion,. 
%; gp^n finer and. better. nutde, a leg and foot 
njore delicately forn^ed, rib.bands,, lace, hair, 
bu^tter difpofed*' I fhquld ajiways prefer Jefs^ 
^^H^i» having more oJf a^ this« I my/elf find 


this preference very ridiculous ^ but my heart 
gives into it in fpite of me. 

Well, this advantage ofiEered too, and it 
depended on me only to lay hold of it. How 
' I love to fall from time to time on the agree- 
able minutes of my youth ! They were fo 
fweet, fo fhort, fo rare, and I tailed them at 
fo cheap a rate I Ah ! their remembrance 
only brings back to my heart pure delights I 
.» greatly {{and ip need of to revive my fpirits, 
and fupportthe fbrrows of my remaining years* * 

Aurora one morning appeared {o beautiful, 
that, drefling myfelf precipitately, I hafted 
into the country to fee the rifing fun. I re- 
liflied this pleafure with all its charms; 'twas 
the week after Midfummer-day» The earth 
in its gayeft cloatbing was covered with herbs 
and flowers j the nightingales, whofe warb- 
Kng grew near its end, feemed to outvie 
each other in raifing their lovely notes ; the 
whole of the feathered race, biding in chorus 
farewel to fpring, welcomed the birth of a fine 
fummer's day, of one of thofe heavenly 
days which are not feen at my age, and 
which the penftve ibil I now inhabit never 

I infenfibly left the city, the heat increafed^ 
and I walked under the ihade in a valley by 
the fide ot a brook. I hear^ehind me the fteps 
of horfes, and the voice of fome girls, who 
feemed in trouble, but who did not laugh lefs 
heartily. I turn round, they call me by ipy 
name ; I approach, and fee two young people of 
my acquaintance, Mifs deO*** and MifcGal-r 

^•4) J- I ROUSSEAU. i8j 

ley, who, not being the beft of boriewomeny 
knew not how to ^et their horfes acrofs the 
brook. . Mife de G*** was a young lady ' 
from Berne, very amiable, who, for fome 
folly of her age, having been fent out of 
Her country, had imitated Madam de Warens, 
where I had fometimes feen her j but not, like 
her, getting a penfion, flie was very happy 
in her acquaintance with Mifs Galley, whoy 
having contracted a friend(hip for her, engaged 
her mother to let her have her as a compa- 
nion, until fomething could be done with her. . 
Mifs Galley, one year younger than her, was 
prettier; (he had fomething of I don't know^ 
what more delicate and fmart about her ; (he 
was likewife at the fame time flender and well 
(haped, which is for a girl a happy thing* 
They were tenderly fond of each otner, and 
the kind charafter of the one and the other 
muft long entertain this harmony, if no lover 
came lo difturb it. They told me they were 
going to Tourie, an old caftle belonging to 
Madam Galley i they begged my aiSftance in 
making their horfes go on, not being able to 
do it themfelves : I would have whipped their, 
horfes, but they feared my being kicked,* and 
their being thrown. I had recourfe to another 
expedient: I took the bridle of Mife Galley's 
horfe, and pulling him after me, I crolTed the 
brook with the water half up my legs ^ the 
other horfc followed without difficulty. This, 
done, 1 would have faluted the 'ladies, and. 
^one off like a booby: they fpoxe foftly ta 
each other, and Mifs G***, addreffing her-^ 
felf to me> Nq^ no, faid fhe^ you xuuft'not 


i84 TOE CONFESSlOKS OF [fi, ju 


leave us in that manner. You have wetted your* 
felf to ferve us^ and we ought, in confcience, 
to take care and dry you: pleaie to come with* 
us, we take yDu prifoner. My heart beat ; 
I looked at Mifs Galley. Yes, yes, faid fhe^F^ 
laughing at mj bcwUdered look, prifoner o£ 
war: get up behind her; we*ll give an ac-. 
count of you. But, Mifs, I have not the honour 
of being known to your mother ; what will fhe 
fty on feeing me there ? Her mother, replied* 
Mifs de G***, is not at Toune j we are alone: 
we return to*night, and you (ball come back, 
with us. 

The effect of ele£Jricity is not quicker thad 
that thefe words had on me. In leaping on 
Mifs deG****s horfe, I trembled with joy,, 
ahd when I was to embrace her to hold my^ 
ftlf on, my heirt beat fo ilrong (he perceived- 
it : (he told me hers beat likewife through fear 
of falling i this was, in my pofture, an invi« 
tation to verify the aflfair : I never dared dur* 
ing the whole ride; my two arms fe/ved her as 
a girdlcj extremely tight, but without change* 
ing, .one moment,' their pofition. . Some wo-, 
nfieri who rea*d this would box my ears with, 
pleafure, and would not be to blame. 

The pleafure of the journey, and thefe 
girls chatter, fo much (happened mine^ that, 
till the evening, and the whole time we were* 
together, we were never filent a mon^nt*. 
Tney made every thing fo agreeable, my 
tongue faid as much as my, tyts^ thgugh not 
the fame things. A few inftants oipjy^ whilft^ 
I was alone with one or the other,, the con* 
Verfatioa was a little 'embarrdiled*3 but thev 

B.4-] J- J* ROUSSEAU; 185 

abf^nt OQe foqn teturn^ <)» and did not give us 
time to explain this confufion. 

Arrived at Toune, and I well dried, wC 
breakfaftedj after which they m^ft pro- 
ceed to the important bufinefs of getting the 
dinner rirady. The two voung laQies» while 
cookingi kifledi now ana thent the farmer'a 
children^ and the^poor fculllon faw it» biting 
his lips. They bad fent provifions from the 
tiPli^^Ht which (uiHced to,^^ an ^xce^ding 
^od dinner, particularly in dainties ; but, un- 
l)rtuni(tely, th^y had forgot the wine. This 
forgetfujnefs was not furprifing in sirls who 
drank littl^; but I was forry, for {depended 
a little on its aififtance to embolden me< 
They, likewife, were forry for it, and perhaps 
for the fame reafon; but I don't think fo. 
Their lively and cbarming mirth was inno-^ 
c;ence itfelfj befides, what cpuld they have done 
with me between them ? They fent for wine 
^very whe/^ : none was to be h,ad ; fo fobcr 
and poor are thefepcafai^ts^ As they remarked 
tp 9ie their uneaiinefs at it, I told them nojC 
to give then>felYes the leaft troM^}.e about itj^ 
tliat thqy hjad no occafi.on fpi" wjnQ to make me 
drunk. This was the only, gallantry I dared 
proQounce the whole day; howi^ver,! believe 
tlie nogues faw plainly this gallantry was a 

We diijpd in the fi^naer's kitchens the twd^ 
friends fat on benches which were on each iide. 
tjie table^ and their, vifuor b^ween them on. a 
thxee- Legged ftool. \y hat a dinnir ! Wh^ are-, 
^enabrance f\ji}\ of charn>j5 ! How, whejj wecan,. 



and Co real, want to feek others f Never was 
dinner at the Mad-houfe of Paris to be com- 
pared to this meal ; I don't mean for mirth 
only, for pleafing joy, but I mean for fenfu* 

After dinner we thought of ceconomy. In- 
ilead of taking the coffee that remained at 
breakfaft, we kept it for the afternoon, with 
cream and cakes they had brought from town ; 
and to keep our appetite (harpj we wenr to 
finilh our defert on cherries in the orchard* I 
got up the trees, from whence I threw them 
ctufters, whofe ftones they returned through" 
the branches. Once Mifs Galley holding her 
apron forward, and her head backward, uood 
fo fair, and I aimed fo well, I caufed a bupth 
to drop on her neck ; at which (he laughed% 
Said 1 to myfelf. Why are not my lips cher- ' 
ries ? How readily would I throw them there 
like\Vire I 

7'he day pafled thus tn romping with the 

Jreateft liberty, and always with the greateft 
ecency. Not one equivocal word, not one 
free expreffion ; we did Hot impofe this decen- 
cy on ourfelves 5 it came of itfelf ; we follow- 
ed the manner our heart taught us. In fine, 
my modefty, others will fay my ftUpidity, was 
fuch, that the greateft liberty that efcaped me 
was kiffing, once, Mifs Galley's band. It is 
true, the circumftance made this trifling fa* 
vour 'valuable. We were alone ; I breathed 
with difficulty } her eyes were turned to the 
ground. Mv lips, inftead of feeking words » 
refolved to fix on her hand, which fhe gentlv* 
drew twaj, after it was kified, with ar look 


B-4.] J* J- ROUSSEAU. i»7 

which was not an angry one. I don't knaw 
what 1 ihould have faid to her: her friend 
came in, and I thought her ugly at that in^ 

In fine, they remembered, thit, if they 
ftaid too late, the city gates would be (hut* 
We had only time fufEcient to get in by day-* 
light, and hafted io fet ofF, in diftributing 
ourfelves aa we came. Had I dared, I had 
tranfpofed this prder; for the look from Mifs 
Galley had greatly inflamed me ; but I could 
fay nothing, and {he could not propofe it. On 
our march we faid the day was to blame to 
end I but, far from complaining of its (hort- 
nefs, we faw w^ had found the fecret of pro-* 
longing it by every amufeoient we were able 
to invent. 

I left them near the place they had 
taken me up. With what regret did we 
feparate ! With what pleafure did we plan 
another interview ! Twelve hours fpent to- 
gether were worth ages of familiarity. The 
Areet recolledion of this day could never tor- 
ture the hearts of thefe amiable girls; the 
tender harmony which reigned amongft us 
three, was equal to livelier pleafures, and 
eould not have fubfifted with them : our fond« 
nefs for each other was without myftery or 
difgrace, and we wanted to retain this fond* 
ntb for ever. Innocence of manners, has its 
fenfuality, which is at leaft of a price with 
the other, becaufe it has no void, and a£ls 
cotftiiiaally. For my part, I know that the 
remembrance of fo delightful a day charms 
iM more^ -wmiet back agata more to my 


m TflE QONf ASSIGNS :0? [B. ^ 

l^eart, tb^n th^at pf a;iy pkafuFe$ I ever tafted* 
I did ngt well i^npw what I W2Ulte4 o£ tbefe 
t.wo charming &^^9^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^y i^ucb ear 
gaged me. 1 do not fay, that, haci I beea 
mafler in this birfincl«3 n^y heart wpuld have 
been divided \ I waf feivfiblc of a preference. 
X had been happy i[;i baving Mifi de G^** for 
a miftrelai but if I had bad my choice» I 
flioul^ have Irk^d h^r.b/etter rs a CQiifident. 
Be that as it m^y^^ it fecmed) on (}uUting them^ 
t could npt livf ^yitbout one or the ot^er* 
\Vho would thiii^k I fliouid never &e tbem 
iporei aj;i4 that here endod our ^ph^merti 
s^nours i ' 

^ Thpfe who read this will not fail to la^gK 
ayt my gj^llant adventures, on rematkiiig, 
after many preliminaries, the moft advanced ^ 
ended in a kifs of the ha^d^ Oh re^cfers^ 
you may miftake ! I have, perbf^ps, had more 
p^leafure in my amours in ending at this kifiedi 
band, than you wUl ever have in beginnii^g at 
}eaft there. 

Veoture^ whq went very late to bed the. 
night before, Carney in a i;it4e after me* Tbia. 
once I did not fee him^wjth the (kme plegf^re atr 
ufim^ ; I took care not to tetl him how I ha4: 
piified tbe^day. The young. ladies fpp^e ofhim^ 
with little efteem» and feeeied dlfconteinted aC^ 

ipy being in fo (iiad hs^nds;; this hurli hjm witl^. 
me : befidps, every thing wbich.diver^^ m^ froo). 
tnem, muft be difagreeaj^le to ipe. Howi^ver^. 
lie feop, recalled m^. tp bind, and myfelf by talfct; 
in^ of my. fiti^atiop* h was too crit»ca) to. 
l%ft« Tboiigh I (beojt very little> my> littje isw^. 


B.4*] J- J- RQUSSEAU. 189 

No ne^lkrsof Mamma; I knew^ hot what to db) 
2lnd I felt a crael faearl-breakmg at feeing 
Mi is Galley's friend reduced to beggary* 

Veoture told nie he had fpoke of me to tbe 
Chief Juftice ; that he wodd take me there 
to dinner on thd itlorrow ; that he was a man 
who eouid do me fervice ; bffidei, an honeft 
mart in his way, a man of fenfe and letters^ 
9 Very aglteable man in converfieitidn« who had 
talents and. fslvotired them ; then mixings at 
yfoaU the mofl: trifiiiig. frtvdloufnefs with thd 
liibft ftrioas affairs, he fhewed me a pretty cou^ 
plet froni Parti, to the air of an opera of Mou-^ 
Ati z&td at't^t time. This couplet fo.mtich 
pleafed M. Simoo, (tlie Chief Juftice's name,) 
be Winted to cotnpofe another in aufwer^ tb the 
AxAt air: he told Venture to compoie one 
likewHe ; h^ was fo taken with his folly, a» 
tb ihake nie compofe a thirdi inorder^ fays 
be, that thejr may fee couplets arrive 
day, like tbe fequel of a comi^ roiiianee; 

At night, not being able to fleep, I eoar^ 
po(^d, 38 well as I could, my couplet: fb'f 
tbefifiA yerfcs I had malde, they were pafia« 
ble, better even,' or at l^ft with more tafte,* 
thsln I fliouid have made th^m in the evening;- 
tbe futjjed rtthAtng on a very feeling iituation)! 
tp which my.h^art was already much diijpofed.^ 
In the morning I fhewed my couplet to Vett^ 
ture, who, thinking it pretty, put it into his 
pocket, Without telling me whether he had 
compofed his or not. We went to dinner at 
M. Simon's, who receired uj welK The 
converfation was agreeable ; it could not fail 
wbdxe two ACA of f^nfe- were met« who ha^ 



i^fied by reading. As for me, I aded my 
' parti I liflened and iaid nothing. Neither of 
them talked of couplets, 1 faid nothing of 
them neither ^ and never, that I heard, was 
ftny mentioa made of mine. > 

M. Simon feemed fatisfied with my ap- 
pearance: it was nearly the whole he faw 
cf me during this interview. He had feen 
me, feveral times, at Madam de Warens's^ 
without taking much notice of me : fo that 
from this dinner I muft date his acquaintance,' 
which was of no fervice to me as to the ob* 
y& that caufed it, but from which I, after- 
wards, drew other advantages, which recal 
his memory with pleafure. 

I fliould be wrong in not fpeaking of his 
perfon, which could not be guefied from his. 
quality of magiftrate, and the learning on 
which he piqued himfelf. The Lord Chief 
Jufiice Simon was not, afTuredly, two feet 
^igh : his legs flraight, fmall, and even pret«» 
^ ty long, had they been perpendicular; but 
Ibey fiood ftr^ched like a pair of compafiea. 
widely opened. His body was not only /bort, 
but thin, and in every fenfe of a moft incon- 
qeivable fmallnefs. He muft appear Irke a grafi^ 
hopper when naked. His head, of a natural 
£ze, with a face well forn>ed, a noble air,. 
pretty good eyes, feemed a falfe one planted on 
a flump. He might have fpared the expente 
of drefs ; for his large jperiwig alone covered 
him from top to toe. 

He had two voices quite different, which 
inceflantly mixed in his converfation^ with a 
contraft at fiiftcxtremely pleaiing, buffoon be- 
came ' 

B. +.] J. J. R O U S S E A U. ,91 

came as difagreeable. One grave and fonorous; 
this was, if I may fay fo, the voice of his 
head J the other, fharp and piercing, was the 
voice of his body. Whenever he took care 
to fpeak with compofure, and governed his 
breath, he could always fpeak with his coarfc 
voice i but, the leaft heated, and if a higher 
accent caught him, this accent became like 
the whittling of a key, and he had the great- 
eft trouble in the world to come to his baf$ 

With the figure I have juft drawn, and 
which I have not exaggerated, M. Simon was 
^ courtier, ^ways ready with his amorous 
difcourfes, and carried even to coquettry his 
attention to his perfon. As he fought his 
advantages, he the more readily gave audi-* 
ences in beds for when a good bead was 
perceived on the pillow, no one imagined 
there was nothing more. This fometimes 
gave rife to fcencs which I am certain all An- 
uecy ftill remembers. 

One morning waiting in his bed, or rather 
on his bed, the arrival of fome people who 
had fuits at law, in a beautiful night-cap, 
very fine and white, " garniflied with two 
large knots of rofe-coloured ribband,, a. coun- 
tryman comes in, taps at the door. The maid 
was gone out. My Lord Chief Juftice, hear-» 
ing it increafe, cri^s. Come in: and this^ 
fpoken a little too quick, fliot from his (hrill 
voice. The man goes in, and examines from 
Ivhence came the woman's voice, and per- 
ceiving in the bed a woman's cap and a top- 
knot, he was, going out again, aflting the lady 

a thoMr 

t9i Tlffi CONFESSIONS OF fB. 4. 

a tfiottfaiid pardons. M. Sunon grows angry, 
and cries Co mach the fliriller. The country- 
inair, confirmed in bis idest, and thinking 
himfelf iiiftilted, returns it, celling him, (he 
li nothing bdt a pr(^itute, and that the Lord 
Chlbf Jtmice does not fet good examples id 
his houre. The Juftlbe, in Fury; and hayf 
frig no other arms than his chaiiiber-|K>t, w^ 
gbitig to throw it at Ae pb6t man^kh^^d, wfieii 
bis maid <:ame in. 

This little dwarf, fo disgraced by natui'e id 
bis body, lii^as amply rewarded by ^ well-en- 
doWed mind ; it was naturally Agreeable, afi4 
he had taken care to adorn it. Though he 
was, as was faid, a very great lawyer, he wk$ 
not ibnd of his bufinefs. He had tiken ^ 
tarn to polite licdrature, and had fucceeded. 
He bad particularly laid hold of that fupei-- 
iidal brilliancy, thftt alrinefs, wtiich fpfead^ 
delights in fociety; even with woinen. H& 
had got by heart all the little firolces of the 
yfna^ and fuch like : he had the art of mik^ 
iiig the moft df tHem, in telling to advantage, 
with mjrffcry, and ^s the anecdote of the even- 
ing, that which happcAed' fixty years ago. He 
knew miific/ahd fung agreeably with his man^s 
Voice : in fine, he had many pretty . talent^ 
for a magiftrate. By dint of cajoling th6 
ladies of Annccy, he was in favour with them; 
they had him at their tail like a little mon- 
key. He pretended even to fortunes, and 
that ariiufed them. A Madam d^Epagny faid* 
that the greatef): favour for him, was to kifs 
a woman on her knees. 

As he knew good duttio'rs; and talked mucfi 
• ' of 

B:40 Jv J- KOITSSEAU: tt)3 

rf tbcm, his^ Coavef fatfctt was ^ot only dmaf- 
iog but inSritt^tve. la Icngrh Af tlrwe, when 
I baud tak^n a turn to ftudy, I cultivated his 
ac(]ixabitance, and found it very ufeful. I 
•f3niee«ncs.»went frothtChambery to fee him^ 
wherie- 1 was at that time. He commended, 
animated my einuiatij9n> and gave me on my 
ilttties good advice, which 1 hate often bene- 

. fitted by. Unfortunately, this weakly body 
contained a tender foul. A few years after- 
wards- he 'had I don't know what trouble, 
which grieved him, and of which he died. 
'Twas a lofs ; he was certainly a good-natured 
little man, whom you began with by laughing 
at and ended by efteeraing. Though his life 
had little lo do with mine, as he had given 

,4ne ufeful leflbns, I thought I might from 
gratitude beflow a little corner in remem- 
brance of hiin. 

The moment I was at liberty I ran to the 
fbreet where lived Mife Galley, hoping to fee 
fome one go in or out, or opening a window. 
Nothing, not even a cat, ftirred ; and ajl the 
time I was there they remained as clofe as if 
uninhabited The ftreet was little, and no 
one. flif ring in it. A maai^vas remarked there : 
now and then fome one palfed, or came in or 
out of the neighbourhood I was much 
troubled with my perfon ; it feemed to me they 
guefled my bufinefs there, and this idea tor* 
tured me : for 1 always preferred to my plea- 
fures the repofe df thofe who were dear to 

In fine, tired of afling the Spa nifb lover, 

and hiving no guitar, J refolved to go home. 

Vol. I, K ^nd 


and write to Mi6 G^^*. I had preferred 
writing to lier acquaintance 1 but I dared 
not, and it was more becoming to write to 
her to whom I was indebted for the other^s 
acquaintance, and with whom I was more 
familiar. My letter fioiflied, I carried it to 
Mils Giraud 8, as was agreed between die 
young ladies and me at partin?. They them- 
lelvea gave me this expedient. Mifs Giraod waa 
a quilter, who working, fometimes, at Madam 
^ Cj alley's, could eafily get in there. The 
' mcilenger did not, however, appear to me 
well cbofen ; but I was fearful, if I ftarted 
the leaft difficulty on this, they would pro- 
pofe no other. Befides, I dared not hint that 
fhe would labour in her own behalf. I felt my- 
felf mortified at her imagining herfelf, for me^ 
of the fame fexas thofe ladies. In fine, I chofe 
that repodtory rather than none, and ftuck to 
ic-at all hazards. 

At the firft word la Giraud guefled me : it 
was not very difficult. If a letter to be carried 
to a voun^ lady did not fpeak for itfclf, my 
fottim and confufed looks liad alone difcover- 
ed me. You may think this errand was not 
very pleafing^to her; (he, neverthelefs, under- 
took it, and executed it faithfully. The next 
morning I ran to her houfe and found my an- 
fwer. How did I haften to get out to read and 
kifs it at pleafure ! That has no occaiion to 
be told; but the part Mifs Giraud aded has, 
in whom I found more delicacy and modera- 
tion than I expeded. Having fenfe enough 
to perceive, that, with her thirty-feven, the 
Ayes of a levereti abefmeared nofe, Ihrillf voice, 
* ^ and 

B. 4] J- J- R O U ? S E A U. 195 

ud bUck (kin, (he had lifUe chance againft 
two young graceful girls in all the fplendor 
of beauty, (he would neither betray nor ferve 
then), and chofe, rather, to lofe me than pro« 
cure me fo^ them. ' ^ 

Merccret, receiving no news of her tniftrefs, 
had fome time intended returning to Fribourg; 
ihe entirely determined on it S^c did more ; 
^ ihe hinted to her it would not be amifs that 
^ fome one conducted her to her father's, and 
propofed me. Little Merceret, who did not 
diflike me,, thought this idea might be eailly 
executed* She fpoke to me of it ^he fame 
day as anafiair fettled ; and as I found nothing 
difpleaftng in (his manner of dlfpofing of my* 
(elf, I confented, regarding this journey as an 
aiFair of eight days at moft« Giraud« who 
did not thmk with me, fettled all. I was 
obliged to own the ftaie of my purfe. They 
provided for it, Merceret undertook to defray 
my expellees ; and to gain on one fide what 
they loft on the other, at my inAance, it was 
determined to fend her little luggage forward, 
-and that we ihould go flbwly on foot. This 
was done. 

, I am forry to make fo many girls in love 
with me; but as th'dre is no ^reat fubje<5t of 
vanity in the advantage I tookof thefeamours, 
I think I may tell the truth without fcruple, 
Merceret, younger and lefs artful thanGiraud, 
never ufea fo ftrong inticements : but (he 
imitated my voice, my accent, repeated my 
words, had for me the attention I (Bould have 
had for her, and always took great care, as 
ihe was very fearful, chat we lay in the fame 

|C a cbadi* 


chamber; a matter which feldom reftsthtt-e, 
between a young fellovi^ of twenty and a girl 
6f twenty-nve. 

■"^It reftfed there, hoMrcvcr, this time. Mf 
fimplicity ws^s fuch, that, tho' Merceret waS 
Hot difagreeable, it never came in my head 
during the whole journey, I don't fay the 
leaft temptation of gallantry, but even the Ic^ft 
idea that had any relation to it ; and if this 
jde^ had ftruck me, I was tdo ftupld to turn 
it to advantage, i did Hot imagine how a 
girl and a young fellow arrived at lying to- 
gether ; I thought it required ages to prepare 
this wonderous affair. If poor Merceret in 
defraying my expences expected fome equi- 
valent, (he was bit ; for w^ arrived at Fri* 
bourg exaftly as we fet out from Annecy. 

In pafling through Geneva, 1 went to fee 
no one ; but I almoft fainted' on the bridges, 
I never faw the walls of this happy town, 
never went into it, without feeling a kind 
of finking of the heart, which proceeded fr6m 
tenderneis to excefs. At the fame time the 
noble image of liberty elevated the mind, 
that of equality, of union, of mildnefs of 
manners, touched me even to tears, and in- 
fpired a lively forrow at having lott all thefe 
bleffings. What an error, but ilill how na- 
tural ! I thought I faw all this in my native 
Country, becaufe I felt it in my heart. 

We muft pafs through Nion. What, with- 
out feeing my good father! I (hould have died 
with grief. I left Merceret- at the inn, and 
went to fee him at every hazard. Ah ! was 
I not to blame to dread him i His heart, on 


B. 4}] h ]' R-OUSSEAO. .. ^57, 

feeiijg mci ppe^ed to thpfe paternal fentipiients, 
with which it vv^s filleJ. What tears .were 
(hed in our embraces ! He thought, at firfti I 
was returned to Jiim. I told him my ftpry 
aod my refolution. He. feebly opppM it. 
He {hewed me the dangers to vvhich I expofe4. 
myfeir, and told me the leaft follies were be(K 
As to the leil^ be was not the leak tempted 
to retain me by force, and in that I think 
he was right ; but Ic is certain he did not, 
to cecal me, do all he might have done, whe- 
ther he judged from'^the fteps I had taken. I 
(h3uld not have returned, whether- he was 
puzzled to. know, at my age, what to do with 
nie. 1 have fince learnt he had an opinion. of 
my travelling conipanion, very unjuft and 
very far f'om tmth, bar, however, natural 
enough. My mother-in-law, a good woman, 
a little fweetening, pretended to obiij;e me 
to fup tl^ere. I did not flay ; but I tolJ tben^ 
L intended to ftay longer with them on my 
return, and left them, as a depofit, my little 
i)andle I had. fent by the boat, and which ip- 
cumbered me. The pext morning I fet off 
early, very happy to have feen njy fetbeir, ^n<j^ 
to have dared to do my duty. 

We happily arrived at Fribourg. Toward^, 
tjie end of the journey, the officjoufnefe of 
IVlifs Merceret decr.eaiqd a little. After Oiair 
arj-i/al, (he {hewed me nothing but coolpefs^ 
and her father, v^bo did not fwiai in opulence^ 
Ad not give me a very good reception ; I wenc 
to lodgeat a public-houfe. I returned to fee 
them the next day ; they oiFered me a dinner, 
I receipted it. Vjfc fcparated with dry eyes j 

K 3 . ' ' I re- 


r returned at night to my lodging-houfe, arid' 
left the place two days after, my arrival. 
Without well knowing which way i intended 
td go. 

Here is another circumPancc of my life, 
if^hcre Providence offered me precifely what 
I wanted to fee happy days. Mferceret was a 
very good girl, not brilliant or handfome, 
but fhe was not ugly; not paffionate^ a rea- 
fdnable girl, except a few trifling humour^,' 
which went off with a cry, and never had 
any otitrageous effeds. She had a real incli* 
nation to me; I might have marrfcd her 
V^ithout trouble, and followed the trade of hef 
father. My tafte for mufic would have made* 
xte love her. 1 (hould have fettled at Fribourg, 
a fmall city, not pretty, but inhabited by Very 
good people. I (hould have, without ooubt^ 
mirted a deal of pleafure, but 1 ihould have 
Ijv^cT in peace to my laft hour; and I ought 
to know, better than any one, I fiipiild tio% 
have hciitated at this bargain. 
. I returned, not to Nion, but to Laiifanne./ 
I wanted to have a thorough view of the 
teautiful lake, which is feen there in its 
utmoft extent. The greateft part of my fecrci 
detetmined motives have not been folider^ 
pifiant views are feldom powerful enough to 
make me a£l. The uncertainty of mture 
times has always made me regard projefb 
of long execution as the lures of deceit. I 
give into hope like another, provided it cofts 
hie nothing to entertain it ; but if it requires 
•Z long and painful attendance, I have done 
with k. The Jeaft trifling pleafure i^r'ithin 


B.43 h h ROUSSEAU, 199 

my reach tempts me more than the toys of^ 
Paradife. I except, however, the pieafures 
which are followed by pain : thofe do not 
tempt me, becaufe I love pure enjoyments, 
and we never have them fo when we know 
We prepare for repentance. 

It was necciTary I (hould arrive fbmewhere, 
and the neareA phce was the bed ; for, having 
loft my road, I found I was \f\ the evening 
at Moudon, where I fpent the little I bad 
left, except ten creuczers, which went the 
next day at dinner : and coming in the even- 
ings to a little village near Laufanne, I went 
ihto^ a public-houfe without a fous to pay 
jny lodging, and without knowing what 
would become of me« I was very hungry % 
I put on a good face,, and afked for fupper as if 
1 bad wherewithal to pay for it, I went to bed 
without thinking of any thing; I flept found* 
)y ; and having breakfafied in the morning, 
and reckoned with the landlord, I wanted, for 
ieven batz, which my expences amounted tOy 
to leave my waiflcoat in pledge. This honeft 
znan refufed it : he told me, that, thanks to 
God, he had nsver ftripped any one $ that he 
would not begin for feven batz ; that I might 
keep my waiftcoat, and pay him when I could. 
I was touched with his goodnefs^ but lefs than 
I ought to have been, and have been fince on 
its remembrance. It was not long before I 
fent him his money, with thanks, by a fafe 
hand ; but fifteen years afterwards, returning 
from Italy by way of Laufanne, I was extreme- 
ly forry to have foreot the name of the houfe 
and the landlord : I (bould have gone to. fee 

K 4 him; 


hitn : it would have given me great pleafutv 
to have reminded him of his charity,* and to 
prove ta him it was not badly placed. Ser- 
vices, more important, without doubt, but 
reodered with mote oftentation, did not ap- 
pear to me fo worthy. acknowledgment, as the 
humanity,' flmple and without parade, of this 
faoneft man* 

In drawing near Laufanne, 1 mufed. on 
the difireff^ I was in, and the means of extri- 
cating myfelf without acquainting my mother- 
in-law of my mifery; and I compared my- 
felf in this walking pilgrimage to my friend 
Venture on his arrival at Annecy. I was (o 
heated with this idea^ that, without thinking 
I had neither his gentility, nor his talents, I 
took it in my horacl to a^ at Laufanne the > 
little Venture, to teach mufic I kivew no- 
thing of^ and to call myfelf of Paris, where i 
had never been. In oonfiquence of this noble 
proje<9, as there was no coa^pany where I 
coidd a£b the vicar, and* that bcfides I to<'k 
care not to run myfelf amongft thcfe of the 
art, I began to inform myfelf of fome public- 
^oufe where bnc could be well ferved at a cheap 
rate. I was directed to one Perrotet, who 
took boarders. This Perrotet happened to 
be one of the beft men in the world, and re* 
ceived me well. I told him over all. my pretty 
lies as I had prepared them. He promi fed to 
fpeak of me, and endeavour to procure me fomc 
pupils : be told me be ffaoold not afk me for 
money until I had earned it. His board was iiv« 
white crowns; this Was tittle for the things^ but 
a great deal for me. He advifed me to begin 
by the half- board,. wbi$:h confifted at dinner 


B.3.] J- J- ROUSSEAU, tot 

of good A3up and no more, but a plentirul' 
-fupper. I agreed. This poor Perrotct advanced' 
me all tbefe things with all the good-nature 
poffible, and fpar^ no pains to ferve me. 

How is it, that, having met with fo many 
good people in my youth, 1 find fo few in an 
advanced age ; is their race extin£^ I No ; 
but the rank in which 1 am obliged to (ak 
them now, is not that I found them in then* 
Amongft the people, where the great pai&ons 
declare them felves but by intervab, the feel ^ 
jngs of nature mjke themfelves oftcner heard* 
ui more elevated fitiiations tbey are abro}Utel3ir 
ftifkdf and, under the ma(k of fentiment, it 
is only intereft or vanity which fpeaks. 

I wrote from Laufanne to my father, who 
fiesnt my bundle, and wrolxi me excellent in* 
fthadtoit I ought to have) made betti:r ufii 
#f« i have already- noted inftatitsof ineofi** 
ceh^eable delirium when Ivrasno longer my« 
iblf. Here is another the moft remarkable* 
To comprehend to what a pofnt my br^iit 
Was turned at that time, and to what degree 
I was, RS one may iay, Vinturizei^ it will be 
only Bi^effary to fhew how many ejtjrava^ 
gancies I gave into at oAe and the fame time", 
I am a finging-mafter, without knowing how 
to read a tune; for, had I benefitted of tha 
fix months I pafled with le Maitre, they coui J 
not have fuffic.ed : befides this, I w^ taught 
by a matter, vifhich was to me enough to learn 
iildifferenily. A Parifidn of Geneva, an*d a 
catholic in a proteftant country, I thought 1 
might change my name as well as my religion 
gnd my country, I always fqllovvicd my gtaod 

K 5 * modd 


model as near as I could. He called hiflMf^f 
Venture de Velleneuvc, and I turned thcana^ 
gfani of the name of Roufleaa hito that tf 
' Vaufforc, and called my&lf Vauffore de ViU 
leneuve. Venture couW compofe, th6' he had 
fiitd nothing of it ; and I, who ktiew nothifi^ 
of it^ boafted to ail the world I underftood it 
very well; and, without being able to pridt 
the commoneft fong, gaveout I was z. 00m • 
pofer. This is not all : having been prtfeiked 
to Monfieur deTrmorem^ profeilbr in ktw, 
who was fond of muuc» and had concerts at hit 
botile, I muft give him a fifoiple ofmy tsrleiits, 
and fet about compofing a piece for his con<- 
cert, with as much effrontery as if I had un* 
deriiood it. I had the conftancy tolaboor, 
a fortnight, at this charming work^ to wrke 
It Air, to draw out the parts, and diftribute 
tbem with as much aiTurance as yon wouU 
have giveri out a mafter-^tece of haraiojiy. 
In fine, that which wtU be fearcei^ believed^ 
but wb^ch n certabi worthily to crown tfab 
iublime produdlon^ 1 added at the eiid a'pret* 
ty minuet, fung in th6 ftreets, and which 
perhaps every one ftill recolleds, to thefe 
words, formerly fo well known: 

Qi*el caprice f 

Quelle iiijuftice ! 

Quoi, ta Clarice 
Tr'ahiroit tes feux f &c. 

Venture had taught me this air, with the 
bafs, to other words, by which aid I had re-. 
^rallied it* I therefore added, at the end of 
my compofition^ this minuet and hia baft, 


B.40 J- 5- Rt)U5SEAU. 201 

fttOBreffing the words, an4 gave thcm^oqtas 
my own, as rrfolutcly as if I had talked to 
tbe inhabitants of the mooR. . 

They affcmblc to execute my piece ; 1 cxpiam 
to each one the motion, manner of execution, 
aad references to parts : I had enough to do. 
They accord for five or fix minutes, which to 
m€ were five or fix ages. In fine, every thing 
i««dy, Iftrikc, with.a fine roll of paper, my 
magifterial deflc five or fix flrokcs of taMi 
^m. There is a filcnce, I gravely begin to 
beat time, they begin . • • . no, fince a t rench 
opera exifts, in ypur life did you ever hear 
fuch horrid mufic Whatever they had thought 
of my pretended talents, the effeft was worfe 
tli» they fcemed to expea. TM muficians 
were ftiaed with laughter j the auditors ftared, 
and WKHild have been glad to have ftopped their 
.wvy but thefc was no poffibility . My butcJicrs 
^ performers, who were determined to have 
fun enough, continued fcnping fo as to pierce 
the tympanum of him who wa? born deaf, l 
bad confian^y enough to continue at the fame 
rate, fweating, it is true, large drops ; but, 
kept to it by ibame, not daring to run ott, 
I remained nailed there. For my comfort, 1 
heard around me the company whifpenng m 
each other's ear, or rather in mine, This is 
jtifupportable I another fays. What outrageous 
mufic! another, What a devilifti datterwaul- 
in^ 1 Poor Jean-Jacques, in this cruel mo- 
ment you great hopes, that there 
mig^t come a day, when,, before the King of 
France and his whole Court, your founds 
would excite whKpers of furprife and appiaufe,^ 

K 6 and 


an^ fhat) itievetj.hM aroutvd yoii, the moft 
amiat))e Wotnen vr6uid fay to AemfcUe^ in a* 
loiir* voice. What ttelfglvrfttl fooiK^s ! Wh«t; 
cnchahtihg mufic ! Every n6te reiohe$'tti^ 
hfeart. ^ ; 

* fiut ft tb^as' thctWinrtWt brmiglye tHt^ 1)3€kr 
to good hirtnouh Th^ iiad lbai«edy f>hyed 
a.meaTui'e orrtWov^^eti i bt^rd biii^ngs ^ 
hughter froOi cvcfy f9tt t)f fhe tiooHI.' Every: 
one bom'plimehted me oft my ta-Ae tor tmifiic :• 
tdey afTured nrt tMs^RHAtKt woui^i make-ms^ 
talked oft and that L merited praift5oOiev«jy 
-quarter of the globe,. It i$ unii^cilary t^ 
paint my feelings, or to own I Well deferved- 
them. » , > 

The tiQXt day oneH)f my •fymphofii'^s^4)anv»i 
ed Lutold, camie to fte tilei^^ badg«od naitmnf 
enough hot to cbmjidtfciie^t m« dnmy foioc^ 
'f he deep fetife of tiiy ittipematnoeri^e ftamo^ 
grief, defpair onth^tttiiatiobto wkfch I w^^ 
deduced, the impoffibiVky of ke^piiig my 
tx'oubled heart fiiQt, caufed me t^ ^»peti it to 
him I I gave a lq6ft to teai^y andy ihftead^of 
tbntenting myfelf v\rith owning my ignoraace^ 
I told him everv thing, beeging him to bsep 
the fecret, whicn hepromife4, and which lie 
kept as ' every one may gueft. The fisme 
evening at! Laufanne kne^-vi^o I wa», btif,'. 
wliat was moft remarkaible, nobody would 
feem to know jt, not even the good-nat4jired: 
Perrotet, who did not on that account iiifcon* 
tinue lodging and boarding me. 
* I lived, but very forrowfully. The e^^ of 
ftch ateginning did not render Laufanne a 
very agreeable reiidence PojJils did 


B44i3 J^ J- R O U S S E A U. ms.: 

poticooi^ ii).cr0vi^d«.j not a fingle female one, 
sip«| fK> owe ef the -city. ; I had only two or^ 
tbfee<l>ig <jorinans,«as ftupid as I was- ignorant^ 
wha tii^d me i<e dfittih, and wbO| under my 
httud^,. •didr^K)t became the greateft of muiU^ 
ci»H6. .1 w&^fen^f6r to en« houfe only, where 
aUicle fef(ieiit of a gifl took piea^fure in (hew«- 
iag me aideal of nfyfic of which I could not read 
ar fio^lenotf, and w^eh {be was mvlicious 
eopugh to fidg.aiiterward^ ^tQ her mafter, to- 
fiie«)K hmhoW'it n^ould <bfi ^Kecuied. I was fo . 
IjttJe capable -of reading an air on fiift fight, 
that, in.tli3e:bi(iHiao|.cf>oc«fr^ Lhave fpoken of, it 
Vfa^ not in iny powtr to fuHow the execution 
aimomeht^ to know whether what I had un« 
deti «iy ey*e W148 w,ell. pUye4, and which I 
mfMf bad cos»p<»fed« - 

)Ainidft.<ro EDjiny In^tj^arbns, I faatd tb^* 
ffvfeet coiiroblw>ii ^f ^reeeivHigi from tiftte'ta. 
tfoae, letters from my^ two chtrming ac« 
qoaintsnoes. ' I . have* ali^s^ys found k con* 
(olimg virtue in the fair » and nothing h niuch 
fofteas my affliAions in difgrace, ts to/eeihey, 
afie£t an* amiable perfon. This correfpon«. 
dence eeafed, bo«rever,' foon afterward^, and 
vras never renewed*; but that was my fault. In 
changing my abodc^ Inegle^ed fending mj^* 
dire&iott; and forced, fay.necqffity, to. think 
continually of myfetf, I very foon' forgot 
them, ' . ' 

It is long (ince I mentioned my poor 
Mamma; but if it is thought I had fbrgot her^ 
'tis a miftake. I never eeafed thinking of 
her, and wi(bing to find her again, . not to 
iupply tbe wants- of a fubfiibnce^ but thofe 


m6 the confessions OF fB. ^i 

of my heart. My zSe&ion for her, however 
JiVely, hovirever cemlert did not prevent me 
from loving others i but not in the fame mati«» 
ner. All equally owed my paffion to theif 
charms, bat it folely depended on thofe of 
othert, and had not furvtved them ; but 
IMamma might grow old and ugly without my 
loving her lefs tenderly. My heart bad en* 
tirely tranfmitted to her perfon the bomi^ge 
it immediately paid her beauty, and whatever 
change (he fuffered, provided it was ft ill ber- 
felf, my feelinRS could never change* I know I 
owed her gratitude i but I really did not think 
of it. whatever die had done, or ivad noc 
done for me, it would have been the fame*. I 
did not love her from duty, intereft, or con- 
venience; I loved her becaafe I was bora 
to love her. When' I became amorous of 
another, it cau(ed a diverfion 1 own, I tfioitght 
left of her : but I thought of her witb the 
fame pleafure; and never, amorous or. not, 
(Kd I think of her without feeling that there 
was no true happinefs for me in this life, fo 
long as I (hould be feparaM from her« . 
. I'hough I had fo lone been witoout news of 
her, I never imagined f had quite loft her, or 
that file could have forgot me. I faid to myfelf, 
(he wilt know, fooner or later, that I am 
wandering aboutj and. will let me know flic 
is alive ; Ifhall find her again, I am fure of it* 
In the mean while it wa» a comfort to me to 
be in her country, to pafs down thofe ftreets 
(he had pafled, before thofe houfes ihe had 
lived in, and the whole through mere coq- 
jeAure *, (ok one of my ftupid humours .w^s 



B.40 J. J- ROUSSEAU. aw« 

tbaf of not d^in^^td inform myfelf of her, 
or t4> pronounce ner name without the moll^ 
ftbfelute neceffity. It fremed tome, that3^ in 
naming her, I faid all fiie infptied me with, 
that my Hps revealed the ftcret of my heart, 
M)d that I in fome Tort expofed her/ I believe 
there was in M this a mixtute of fear left 
feme one fliould fpeak ill of her. Much ha4 
been feld^ of her proceedings, and fomething 
df h^r edndnft. Fearing they might not fay of 
ber what I could wifb to bear, frather chofe 
they fliould n<yt taHt about her. 

As my pupils did not greatly employ me, 
and her city was but four leagues from I<au« 
fanne, I took a turo there of three or fouT 
days J during this time, die moft agreeable 
perturbation never left me. The zfpcSt of 
the lake of ^Geneva, and its admirable borders^ 
luad always, in my eyes, apeeuliar attradion 
I canm>t' explain, -which proceedst not only 
from the beauty cf the profpeA, but from t 
don't know what more intereflitng which af- 
fe£b and melts me. Everj time I approach 
the country of Vaud, I <eel an impreffion 
compofed of the remembrance of Madam de 
:Warens who vi^s born there, my father who 
lived there, Mifs de Vulfoi^ who had the £rft 
fruits of my heart, of feverai pleating journeyi 
I made there in my childhood, and, it would, 
feem, of fome other more fecret and more 
Jiowerful caufe than all tbefe. ^ When the ar- 
dent defire of the mild and happy life for which 
I was born, returns to fire my imagination, /tis 
always in the country pf Vaud, hear the lake, 
in deUghtfu} fields, it fixes. I muft'abfolutely 



2d8 the confessions OF [B. 4.- 

have an orchard on the borders^of this lake and 
no other ; I muft have a friend to be depended 
on, an amiable woman, a cow, and a liute 
boat. I ihall never enjoy perfeA happinefs on • 
e^rth till I have fhefe. 1 laugh at the fimpli- 
city with which 1 have feveral times gone into 
t4)is country folely to find this imaginary bleff* , 
ing. 1 was always fiirpriied to find the ioha-* 
bitanfs^ particularly the women, of a quitd 
different charader to thofe I fou£bt. How 
diiFereot that appeared to me 1 The country 
and the people who cover it never. (eenied to 
me made for each other. 

In this journey to Vevay, in walking along 
ibefe beautiful banks, 1 abandofied myfelf to the 
gentleft ipelaacholy. My heari launched wkh 
cagernefs into a thou fan4 innoQeiH frfie^furesi 
J was moved, I fighed, an<l Aied )CeAr» iifceit 
ohiid* How mainy times, flopping to cry 
with more eafe, A^at^d On a large -ftore, hitve 
I not been amufed^ by iibeing my te«ia ^op 
into the ftream ? . 

At Vev)y I lodged at the Key, and, in.tbe 
two days I ftafd there without .vifiting any 
one, 1 contracted a fondnefs for this city th^e 
has followed me \x\ all my travels, and wb*M:h 
in .fine caufed me to fix tbisre the hero of* my 
fomance. I &aUld readily, fay to thofe who 
have tafte and feeliogs. Go to Vevay, viftt 
<he country, examine its pofition, take a turn 
on the lake, and fay whether Nature did not 
make this beautiful country for a Julia, for a 
Claire, and for a St. Preux.^ but don'c feek 
them there. 1 return to my biftory. 

As I was a c^tholic^and ownicdlt> I foIIow-^ 

B.4] J. J. ROnSSEaU* . 209 

cd without myftery 6r (craple the doflrtne I 
had embraced. On Sundays, in fine weather, 
I went to mafs at A flans, two leagues from 
.Laufanne, I generally took this trip with 
other catholics, partrculaily a Pariiian em- 
broiderer, whofe name I have forgot, . He 
was not fuch a Parifian as myfelf, but a Pari- ' 
fian of Paris, one of God Almighty's arch 
Parifian^, as good-natured as a Champenois. 
Hq was fo fond of hh country he would not 
doubt I was of it, for fear of lofmg an op- 
portunity of talking of it. M. de Crouzas, 
lieutenant of the bailiwic, had a gardener, like- 
wife from. Paris j but lefscomplaifant, and who 
thought the^glory of his country queftioned in 
daripg to fay you were of it, when you had noc 
that honour. He queftioned me as a man fure 
of. being" caught, and then fmiled malicloufly. 
He afted me, once, what there was remarks- 
^If at the new market ? J was loft, as you 
may imagine. Having lived twenty year« at 
Pajis, i ought at. present to know this city, 
Ifi however, I w^ now afked alike queflion, 
I Ihould be no lefs troubled to anCwer, and by 
thjs difficulty it might be equally concluded I 
had nevef been at Paris. So much, even though 
you meet truths is one fubjedl^ to build on falfe 

X cannot e%^&]y fay bow long I ftaid at 
LauOinne. I did not take from this city any 
thin^ worthy recoUeAion. Ix)nly know^that, 
nott finding a livelihood, I went from thence 
to Neufchatel, and pafied the winter. I fuc- 
ceeded better in this laftcity j 1 had fomc pu- 
pils, and gair^ed enau^H ^0 *pay off my good . 



friend Perrotet^wbo h^d foithfull^ irnt mv buu-» 
die, though I was coniiderably in his cfebt. 

I infenhbly learnt muiicin teaching it. I 
lived happy enough; a reafonable man bad 
been fatisned : but my luieafy mind, wanted 
fomething more. On Sundays and hqlidays, 
when at liberty, t ran over the fields and 
woods of the environs, continually wander* 
ing, mufing, fighing, and, once out of the 
city, never came in till evening. One day, 
being at Boudry, I went to a, public-boufq to 
dine: 1 faw th^re a man with aJongbeard, 
a violet^Qoloured coat in the Grceic t^fte, a 
furred cap, a noble air and garb, and wha 
had often miich difficulty to make himfelf 
underfiood, fpe^ing but a gibberiih almcft 
unintelligible, that refemble^ however, lta<» 
lian more than any othe^ language. I under- 
ftood nearly all he faid^ and I was the only, 
one ; he could exprefs himfelf only by. fignB^ 
to the landlord and the 4;ountry-peopie. I 
^oke a few words of Italian to him which be 
perfectly underftood^ he got up and embraced 
me with tranfport. The connexion was fooQ 
made, a »d from that indant I ferved him as 
interpreter. He bad a good dinner; mine 
was worfe than indifferent: he invited m# 
to his table ; I made little cieremojny. By 
drinking and talking we began to be familiar* 
and at the end of the repaft we were infepara^ 
hie; He told me he was a Greek prqfate, and 
arch mendicant of Jerufalem; that he-.wai 
commanded to make a gathering in Europe for 
repairing the Holy Sepulchre. He fliewed me 
b^uttful patent$ from tl^e Czariiui ^nd the 

. Emperor I 

B, 4.] J. J. R 6 US SEA U. . atf 

Emperor; he had fome from many other 
Sovereigns. He was well enough fatisfied 
with what he had already got together, but. 
he had pict incredible difficulties in Germany^ 
not underftanding a word of German, Latin, 
or French, and reduced to his Greek, Turkifh, 
and^the language of the Franks, as his whole 
refburce, which {^r^cured him little in the 
country he was' juft biieginning on* He pro^ 
pofed my accompanying him as fecretary and 
interpreter* Thougn f had a finart Violet 
coat, htefy purchafed, which (quated pretty 
weH with my new employ nient, I had fo 
(babby a look he thought me eafiiy gained ^ 
he was not miftaken. Our agreement was 
fcon made ; I aiktd nothing, he promifed 
ttitich* Without fccurity, Without bond^ 
Without ' acquaintance, I fabmit to be con* 
duAed by him, and the very next momiog 
Here I go for Jerufaicm. 
-^ We began our tour }>j the canton of Fri- 
bourg, where he did Httlc. The cptfcopal 
dignity could not admit of afling the beggar, 
and gather of individuals ; but we p^refented 
bis commiffion to the Senate, who gave him a 
trifling fum. From thence we went to 
Berne. We lodged at the Falcon, at that 
time a good inn, where good company were 
found. There were many people at table, and 
it was well fcrved. I had long fared very poor- 
ly; I had occafion enough to renew myfclf : I 
had the opportunity, and made good uib of it. 
The arch-mendtcai^t himfelf was very good 
company, fond, enough of a good table, gay, 
converfcd well with thofe who underftood him, 
not waiitbg in certain fciences, and adapting 


3U T^E CQKIFiES6lON5 QF fB* +., 

bis Qreek eru^IUion agrecal^ly onough^ Qn^ 
day, crocking nuts atthie defcrt, he cut hi» 
£ijger very deep ; and as the biood guQi^^d out 
in abuadance, he heJd up hU finger ta the 
company, and fays with a laugh : Mir^^ Sign 
nori i quf/io e jangus Pele^go. . , 

At Berne my fundions were oot ufelers ta 
him, and I did much b^ttci* than I expend. 
I was much more cquFageoas, ^ed fpok^ 
better than I ihoutd have done fox myfelf. 
Things did not pais fp fiir^ply as at Frihourg, 
Long and frequent conferences wiih the 
principal of the fixate, and the examination 
of his titles^ were not the wocjc ^i a day* 
At lad, every ihlng being fettled, tie v^as ad^ 
fnitted to an audience of the Senate. 1 went 
wiih him as his* interpieter, and was comi«t 
manded to fprak. I did not e^cpcd an.y thing 
lt(s J it did not come into my head, that, after 
having had long conferred with the members 
feparately, the afienDWy muft be addxefT^d as 
if nothing had been faid. Judge of my embar- 
pflrrent ! For fo ba.(hful a fT)i9in to fpeak^ nQ( 
pnly in public, btit.before theSen^e of Berne, 
sind fpeak extcmppre, without having had a 
fingle ipinute to prepare myfelfj this was 
enpii^b tQ annihilate me. I w^s not eve« 
inti|^ida:ed, I reprefeot fiVCcin^Hy^ and clearly 
the arch-^mendjcant's ommij^on. I praiie^ 
(be piety Qf thofe princes who had contributed 
to. xhp gathering he was come to make» 
Sharpening with emulation that of their J£xcet- 
lenc-ies, I faid, no lefs couJd be expefied from 
their acci^ftomed munificence; and theo endear 
vouring to prove this charitable work to be 
equally io U>f sill chriilians wi^hQut <|.iAindioii 


ft. 4] Pi- RODSSfeAU. fet3 

^f Ct&j i ttiiei hf prcJmffing the bl^ngs of 
Heaven to thdfe iVho flioulrf contribate to it, 
I fli'all not fty niy f^ttch hatf any cfk6i ; but 
His certain « was reJiffi^, *nd tbait after the 
filidience thfe ardi^fwehdtckrtt reterved an ho- 
fiour£(ble pitfent, and faiOre, on the parts of 
his fecrctar;^, compliments, whtch I had the 
Sigf-eeat)!*' 6fBce of mtferphctftig, but Mrhich I 
cb^ not Hterally tctrde^. This is the only 
time of thy Hfe i fp^e iii public, and before 
d fovereign ; and^ perhaps, the only time Irke- 
Wife I fpokeboMly and tvdl. What difference 
in the difpdliciohs of the fame man ! It is three 
j^ars fince I wetit to fee at Yverdon my old 
friend M. Roguin, 1 recefved a deputation of ' 
tbanks for feme books 1 had made a prefent of 
to the library of this city. The Swifs are 
flfiuch for harangues; thtfc gentlemen ha- 
rangued me. I thought myfelf obliged to an- 
fwer, but I was fo embarraffed in my aafvver^ 
and my head was fo confufed, I flopped (hort 
not knowing>whatto fay,and got myfelflaUghed 
iat. Though naturally timid, I have been fome 
times con6dent fn my youth-; never in my 
advanced age. ^ 7^he more I fee of the world, 
the lefslcan form myfelf to its manner. 

On leaving Berne, we went to Soleurr?; 
for the deifign of the sirch-mendicant was to 
take the road of Germany, and return by 
Hungary or Poland : this was art immenfe tour; 
hut as in journeying his purfe filled rather ' 
than emptifed, he Jktle' dreaded' a winding 
courfe. For my part, whd Svas almoft as much 
pleafed on horfebackas oh foot, Tdefired ho 



better than fchos to travd «jk whole life*tiaiie; 
but it was written I ihauld not go fo far. 

The firll thing we did on our arrival a^ 
Soleurre, was to pay our refpe^ to theAmbaf* 
fador of France. Unfortiou^y for pur btfiiop^ 
the Ambaflador was the Marquis of BooaCf 
who had been Ambaflador at tbe Portland 
who muft be well acquainted with every thi^ 
regarding the Hol^ Sepulchre. Tbe arch-men- 
dicant had an audience of a quarter of an hour 
where I was not admitted, as tbe ^mbai&dor 
underftood tbe Franks language, jmd fpoke 
Italian at lead as well as L On my Greek's 
departure Kwas following him; I was flopped: 
it was my turn. Havii^ pafledUs a Parifian, 
1 was, as fuch, under the jurifdi^ion of his 
Excellency. He alked me who I was, exhort- 
ing me to tell the truth ^ I promifed it, on. 
afkiog a private audience, which wlis grant, 
ed. The Ambaflador took me to his. clofet, 
and (but the door, and there, ^ throwing my- 
felf at bis feet, I kept my wprd. I had 
not faid lefs, though 1 had promifed nothing; 
for a continual inclination to difdofe my heart 
brings every inftant my thoughts on my lips, 
and having opened myfeif without referve to 
the mufician Lutold, 1 had no occailon for 
any myftery to the Marquis of Bonac* He 
was fo fatisned with my flory, and the effufion 
of heart which he iaw accompanied it, he 
took me, by the hand, led me to the Ambafla* 
drefs, and introduced me to her, in giving an 
abridgment of my recital. A&dam dc fionac 
received me with kindaefS) and faid they mud 


B.40 J- J. ROUSSEAU. 215 

not let me go with this Greek monk. It was 
determined I ihould remain at the hotel until 
they faw what might be done with me. I 
wanted to go take my leave of my poor arch* 
meiKlicant, for whom I had conceived a friend- 
Ihip : it wa3 not permitted. They fent him 
.notice of my arreft, and - in a quarter of ah 
hour I faw my little bundle brought in. M. 
de la Martiniere^ fecretary to theembafly, had 
in foQie fort the care of me. In conducing 
me to intended for me, he faid to 
me. This room was occupied uiHler th&Coiint 
Du Luc> by a celebrated man of the fame 
name as yourfelf. It depends on you to replace 
him in every manner^that itmay beonedayfaidy 
Roufleau the Firft, Roufieaa the Si^cond. This 
conformity, which at that time 1 had little 
hopes of, had lefs flattered mv wiflies, had f 
been able to forefee how dear I ihould one day 
pay for it. 

M. de la Martiniere's words excited my 
curiofity. I read the works of him whoie 
room 1 occupied, and, on the compliment 
paid me, imagining J had a tade for poefy, 
I made for my trial a cantata in praife of 
Madam de Bonac. This turn flagged. I 
have now and then made indifferent verfe; 
"'tis a good excrcife enough to break one's felf 
into elegant inveriions, and teach one to write 
better profe ; but I never found charms Cufiici- 
cnf in French poetry to give myfelf entirely 
to it. 

M. de la Martiniere wanted to fee my flyle, 
^nd a(ked me the fame particulars in writing 
1 bad told the Ambaiiador. I wrote him a 



long letter, iviiicH I hoard' was prererted bj 

Mi dc Marianne, wbo-Wals a loligwinle wkh 

the Marquis de Botisic!) and 4fkqr hfeB fince 

fucceeded M . deia Maitini^re in M. Ue Cour- 

trilles' emterflyw i half e begged M. dcMaSesher- 

. bes CO endeavour to prdcitre me a copy of this 

. letter. If i get it kj bioi or othtrs, it vrill 

. be found in the cniQefirioa which I intend iball 

accompany myK^onfeffions. 

The experience I began to have, moderated 
by degrees my romantic pmjedls ; and as a 
proof, not otily 1 did not fall in love with 
Aladam de Bonac, but immediately faw I 
. ihoulddobut little in her hufbahd's family. M, 
. de laMartiniere in place, and M. deMarianite 
in furvivance, as one miy fay, left me no far- 
ther hopes for my fortuity than the place 
of under- fecretary, which little tempted me. 
This was the caufe, t»hat, when 1 was con- 
sulted on what 1 (hould like, I (hewed a great 
inclination to go to Paris. The Ambaflador 
relifhed this idea, which tended, at leafl, to 
. his getting rid of me. M. de Mervciileux^ 
fecretary and interpreter to the embafly, faid 
his friend M. Giiddard, a Swifs colonel in the 
iervice of France, wanted /ome one to be with 
his nephew, who entered very young into the 
fervice, and thought 1 might fuit him. On 
this notion, flightly enough taken, my de- 
parture wa& refoived ; and 1, who faw a jour* 
^ ney in the cafe, and Paris at the end, was as 
joyful as joy could make me. They gave 
me fome letters, an hundred litres for my 
journey, accompanied by very good advice, and 

I wa9 

S. 4.3 I. J. R O U S S E A U.C tif 

I wa&oa this joorbey fifteen days^ wftMi I 
may reckou among the happy ones of myUfcfi 
I had youth, health, money enough » 'gr^ai 
hopes, trivened oh root and alone. Ydu will 
be iurprifed to fee me reckon this anadvtnta^ 
|f you were not already familiar With my 
\ium09r. My pleafing chimeras kept mecom-^ 
pBLnyf and nc^er did the heat of my imagina^. 
tfon give birth, to any fo magnificent* If I Was 
offered an empty place in a carriage, or thi^t 
anyone accbfied me on the road, my temper' 
grew four at feeing my fortune croiml, whofe. 
edifice 1 built up as I walked. This once my 
notions were martial : I was going to engage 
to a milirary man, and become a military 
man myfelf ; for it was fettled I (bould begi|i 
by entering a cadet. I thought I already faw 
myfelf in an officer's drefs, with a fine white 
feather in my hat. My heart fwelled at this 
noble idea. I had a little fmatterlng of geo«<» 
metry and fortification ; I had an uncle an 
engineer ; I was, in fome fort, of the bullet 
fiimily. My near fight offered a few obftacJes^ 
which never troubled me ; and I fuppofed that 
preience of mind and intrepidity would fupply 
this failing. I had read that MarfhalSchom berg 
was near-fighte^; why might not MaHh^- 
Roufleau be fo ? I fo heated myfelf by thefe 
follies^ I faw nothing but armies, ramparts^ 
^bions, batteries^ and myiielf amidft fife and, 
^oke, coolly giving orders, my fbying-glafs 
In my hand- However, when I palled through ; 
agreeable fields, and faw groves and rivulets, 
the ftrikingfcene drew fighs of forrow -, I felt, 
amidft all this gIory« my heart was not in^* 

Vol. L L cliA^ 

fig TffB. CQNf KKQNS! O? [Bl ^ 

fItQ^;|o,f9iiiilfl)l^hii^QdK( I retumod to injr 
Mov^ 0»efp*fo]4f^. for. cviVi rfiaounciiig tto 

if^iy much 4id the &rfl fight of .Par^ bdir 
{he i(k»i h94 of it I Theex^nal decorauan^I 
b94 feen at Turio, the beautjr of the ftreet% 
tbifs iyopttDf^tcy . itod . fquansafi&i jpf the . hoi^s, 
ia<lacf4 mA to. feck at Paris. AiM more*. Tixad 
^gnr^Aio.mykUi a.ctty a& beautiful aa large^ 
9l'lJiei.)ii)Qft impofing afpc^^i wbtre nodiing 
yfS^, fi^ea b\it fupert). ftreets; and /marble oc 

f9l4eia peaces. Coming in. at the.fubttrhii 
(< M^iiceau,. I &w none. b|it little, dirtyy 
Hinkii^giOifegU^ ugly. Uack hou&s, the ap^ 
j^ran^ of naftiaefs^ poyeriy^ 'bc^gam, car*i 
%er$» o|4 cloaths. botchers, criers, of ptahaa 
att^iji old hats. All thefe. ;diinga ftruck me^ 
%t firjdtyi t^ fuch a degree, thatail I have.feeji 
^t PariSs really magnificent,; has nQC-bee» 
a]^e;to deftroy this firft.impreffion, and that 
t^ere ftill remains a fecret difgaft ta«* 
^^flce of this capital. I ca4 fay.the w£^e 
t;me I afterwards remained there, was em* 
]>loyied in feeking relpuiices which might ena* 
bje me ito lixe far from it. Such is the fruit 
(^ a too adive imagination, which exagge* 
jca^s, beyond the exaggerations of mankind^ 
SM^d al^^ays feeamore in a thing than hasbceo 
l^f.9rd% I had heard Paris fo ixiuch boafted^^of, I 
Ipokeid on it like ancient Babylon, from wfatcfe 
XAl(Hildspejrhaps,haYe found futlasinuch^to de* 
4uci:,bad IXeeAat,&omthe piSurel bad dra wnof 
i(« The fame thing happened to me iU^the opere^ 
lyh^ej hijftened to go the morrow of -myar* 
xivaj ; thci faaie. afterwards happened at Ver« 

* failles I 

%4'1., J..J* RO;^U&SrE-A:U, m§ 

and t^e faoid tbiiig will aiwayi happcn-tQ me,, 
o^ feeing, ^ny^ thing ioo moch extolled ; 
for tt la impjDi&bie to mankind, and difficult- 
to I^tstii^icfel^ tofiiriladi the richAefs oimyr 
ioiagination. .. 

. Ffom the t^anQer I w$i»irfii:^veicl by dl thofcK 
for i^om I* hadi letters^ . l thought my fOr«- 
tuaerinade. . Hkn I wasmoft recQiBmended to,, 
aiid Jeaft c^arefled b)r# was M. de Surbeck^ 
retired from the^fervice^ahd living phitofopht** 
adly at BagAeuic, j^here I went fevenJ times: 
to ftp him, without his onoe offer t|ig me even- 
Sk glaft of w^ter. I was better received by/ 
Madam de MefveiUeuXy fifter'<-in«Iaw to^ thQ» 
im^preter, and by hi» nephew, an officer in 
the guardsv The mother and fom not* only' 
received me nvell^ but. offered me their tables 
o£ which I often, benefitted during my ftay at 
j^ris. Madam de Merveilleux appeared to me- 
to have been handfbme s ber hair was a beau<«. 
tjiful black, and formedy in the old fafluon^ 
ringlets ont her forehead. That which does^ 
not periflii with .beauty fiiU remained, aa 
agreeable '. oiind* She feemed pleafed wttlv 
mine, and did all in her power >to feiive: me;: 
hut no onefeconded her^ and I wais foon •unde'^ 
oetved on all this; great intereft they appeared' 
to t^ce in my behalf* I mitft, however^ ,doi 
tlie French J uilice; they do not fmother yodr 
wkh pcoteAations^ as is faidof tb«n3 and thofo 
tbey make are al^oft always fmcere $ but tbejr 
have a manner of interefling themfeives im 
^)[Our favour, whicli deceives you more than 
words* The . coarfe con^l tmeina o#>tbe Swift 
.. Lf Z can 


can impofe on fooltonljr. TheFrenclitiiuin*' 
ners tre* more feducing, 011I7 becaufe they* 
are more fimple $ you think they don't tell 
you all they intend to do for yoo, to furprife 
> you more agreeaUy. I flimU-go farther: they 
are not falie in their demonftrations ; they^ 
life natur&tfy oflicioiM^ humane^ benevolent, 
amd even, whatever may be ibid of it^ moire 
downright tban any other nation v^ut -they 
are light and airy. They have, in efied, the feB^' 
timent they cxprefe; but this (entiment goea off 
as it came. While ipeaktngio yoii» they aro 
full of you ) go out of their fight, they havo 
Ibi^ot you« Nothing ia permanent m them ^ 
€v€ty thing With them lafts but a mom«fie« . 
I was therefore flattered much) ferved litclej 
The Colonel Godard, wfaofe nq>hew 1 vaa 
to be with, feeing my dtftrefef and aUfaooffht 
rolling in riches, wanted me for nothing;. He 
pretended that I ibould be with his nepbeW^ 
arkind of valet without wages' rather than at 
a real tutor.. ContimiaUy eh gaged « villi iiias^ 
andsfay that dirpenfed from ducv^l'muft live 
on my cadet's pay, th'at is, a fiudier's $ it waa 
ivith trouble he confented to give m^4itini-4. 
form ;' he had been glad to. put me off with 
that of the reglanent. Madam de. Mcrveii^ 
leux, enraged at his propofiils, advifed me- 
h)srfelf not to aooeps them \ her fon was of 
the fame opinion. Other things wereibught, 
but nothing found. I began^ however, to be in' 
want; an hundred livresoa which I had made* 
soy journ^, oouid not cairy^ me ^r. Happily, 
I receivea irom the AnioaffiKlor a trifling, 
femktance^ which iras v^y ufefui^ audi 
i • - believe 

B.4-a J/J. ROUSSEAU. »ai 

beltevehe had not difcarded mCfhad I hadmor^ 
patience : but to languifliY wai^ Talictt^ are) 
to me, impoffibilittes. I was difcouraged) zp^ 
peared no more, and all was at an end. ^ I had 
not forgot my poor Mamma ; bur how to find 
her i where feek her ? Madam de Merveii- 
leux, who knew my ftory, affifted me in the 
Vbfearcb, but long to no purpofe* At laft £be 
told me that Madam de Warens had been gone 
more than two months, but it wjis not knowa 
whether to Savoy or Turin, and that fom^^ 
faid ibe was returned to Switzerland* Nofi 
thing more was necefiary to determine me to 
follow her, certain, Hhac, wherever fbe might 
be, I ibould find her in the country much 
eafier than I could have done at Paris* 

Before my departure, 1 exercifed my new 
jaoetical talent, in an epiftie to Colonel God^ 
ard, in which I bantered him as well as I could* 
Ifliewed thisfcrawl toMad^mdeMeryeilleuXy 
who, inflead of cenfuring me, as ibe ougbc,^ 
laughed heartily at my farcafms, and her fon 
likewfie, who, 1 believe, did xiot love M. God- 
ard; k muft be owned he was not amiable. I was 
tempted toiend him my ver(es,they encouraged 
me : X made a parcel of them dire£ied to him $ 
and, as rhere was no penny-poft then at Paris* , 
I fent it frem Auxerre in paiSng through that 
place. I laugh yet, fometintes, on thinking 
of the grimaces he muft have made on reading , 
his paoegyrtc, where he was painted ftroke by 
Aroke. It began thus: 

T« croyoit, vieiix Pejian), qtt*une foUe mmtt' 
P*elever toA ncycu mUDfpircroic rcnvie 

. L 3 Thi« 

t2S THE CONFESStoNfe OF [B. 4. 

This little prccc, badly compofed. in fea, 
)but which drd not want fait, and which 
Ihewed a talfent for ^tire, is ncvcrth^lcfs the 
only fatirtcal work that ever came from my 
"pen. My mind is too little inclined to hatrcw 
to glory in this kind of talent ; but 1 fancy 
you may judge by fome pieces of con troverfy, 
written from time to time, in my defence, 
that, had I been of a warring humour, my 
aggreflbrshad feldom hsrd the laughers on their 

What I moft regret In the particulars oF 
ftiy life, which 1 do not temember, is not 
having kept a journal of my travels. Nercr 
did I think, cxift, live, or was myfelf, if I"may 
fay fo, fo much as in Ihofe I made a!one anti 
on foot. Walking has Tomething which 
animates and enlivens mv ideas : I can fcarcely 
think when 'Iftand ftill; my feotfy muft fKr 
in order to ftii? my mind. The view of the 
-country, the fucceffion of agrceaWIe 'fights^, a 
good air, a good appetite, and good hcahfr, I 
get by walking; the freedom of mns, the 
diftance of thofe objeSs which force me to 
fee fubjedion, of every thij)g which remind 
me of my condition, the wBojg gives a lobfe 
to my foul, gives me more boldnefs df'thoughf^ 
carries me, in a manner, litto the irnmenfity df 
beings, fo that I combine them, chufethenj^ 
appropriate them to my will, without feat or 
reftraint. 1 imper ioufly difpofe of all Na*ture : 
my heart, wanderingfromobjedtoobjeiftj-unrtes, 
becomes the fame with thofe which engage it, 
18 compaited aboutby delightful images, grows 
drunk with delicious fcnfations. If to deter- 

' mint 

P- 4.3 h h R O U « S E A it; Hi^ 

wine them, I divert myfelf by pftintiitg fBerh 
in my mind, what vigorous t6iiches, vraac re- 
■fpUndcnt colouring, what energy of expre^- 
fion do 1 not give them I We have, y'ou*H 
fay, feen all this in your works, though writteh 
in the decline of life. Oh ! had you kndwh 
thQ^ 6f the flower of my youth, thofe I mad^ 
durii»g my travels, thofe I coifipofed but never 
wrc te • • . . Why^ fay you, did you not'wrife 
them? And why wme them, lanfwer'you; 
why withdraw myfelf from the z&uvA chfaiihs 
of enjoyment, to tell others I did enjoy? 
What cared I for readers, the ^ubiic, and the 
whole earth, while 1 was fwimming in the 
heavens ? Befid^s, did I carry ink aifd pa* 
f)er ? Had I thought of all thefe ihiftgs, no- 
thing had ftruck me.. I did not ibrefee'l ftitiui^ 
have ideas ; they come when th^y pleafe, hdt 
when I pleafe^ they ov,erwhete me With 
kiumber and force. 't%n volumes a day had 
'not fuAced. Where borrow time td wi itfe 
them ?- On arriving I thought of nothing biri 
*a hearty dinner. On departing I thought df 
nothing hoc trirdging on. I faw a new Parar* 
dife awaited me at the door, 1 ran tff tb 
eatch it.* 

I never ielt all this fo miich ^s in tttc 
journey 1 am ff)eakJng of. In cdmtng to 
* 'Paris I was confined to idfeas relative to the 
^buTmefs 1 was going on. I launched into the 
career I was going to run, and fhould halve rt/n 
thro*. it with glory enough, but this career was 
not that my heart czWSi me to, ^nd real *be* 
jifgs prejudiced tmagrilary ones.. Colofttfl Gdd- 
ard and his- nephew made poor figures irhen 

L 4 oppofed 


{•pppfcd to a hero like me.. Thanks toHe»- 
ytfk] I w»8 now delivered from all thefc ob* 
^aclesj I. could plunge at will info the land 
x)f chimeras, for nothing more was ieen beh> 
,/ore me. And I was ib far bewildered m it, 
(I really loft, feveral times, my road. I bad 
4>een ycry forry to have gone ftraighter^ for 
finding, at Lyons, I was almoft on earth again, 
J. had been glad never to have reached it* 
; . One iJay, aipong others^ going on pur poic 
out of my road, che better tofee a fpot which 
appeared admirable, I was fo delighted with it, 
.and wentaround it fooften,l enti;-elylofl myfelT. 
Afier running backwards and forwards feveral 
hours in vain^ tired and dying of hunger and 
.third, I went to a country pprfon's, whoic 
(houfe bad not a very good appearance, but it 
was the only one 1 faw near me. I thought 
it was as it is at Geneva or Switzerland, where 
every inhabitant, who could afford it, might 
exercife hofpitajity. I begged this man to lot 
xne dine with him for my money. Ue offered 
r^ie feme fkimmed milk and coarfe barle^ bread, 
,and told me 'twas all He had. I dranic 
,the milk with pleafure, and eat the bread, 
firaw and all \ but this was- not very ftrepgth** 
cning to a man exhaufted with fatigue. TBe 
.couii-tryman, who examined me, judged of the 
truth of my Itory by that of my appetite, 
Having told me that he very well faw • I 
..was a good-natured, honefl young man, who 

* It feems I bad cot, at that time, the pby- 
. Hognomy they have ^oce given me in ii>y 

jppr traits. ^ . . 

was , 

R40: J- J- ROUSSBAU.; ^25 

1HIS not come there to betrsy binr, he opened 
a little trap-door near the kitchen, went dowf]) 
and in an iaftant came back with a good houfe- 
bold loaf of pure wheat, a gammon of bacon'verjr 
enticing, though already cut, and a bottle c^ 
wtne« whofe appearance raifea my fpirits morf 
than all the reft. An omelet pretty thick W2($ 
added to thefe, and I made a dinner fuch af 
thofe only who travel on foot were ever acr 
quainted with. When I offered to pa^,« hia 
tineafinefs and fears come on hiih agam, he 
would not take my money; he returned it 
with extraordinary agitation ; and the plea* 
fantefl; of all was, I could not irnagine whajt 
he bad to dread. At Jaft he pronounced wi;h 
trembling thefe terrible words, Officers an4 
(Cellar-rats. He mac(eme underftand that he hid 
bis wine for fear of the excife, his bread for fear 
of the poll-tax, and that he was'a ruixie^ man» 
bad they the leaft doubt but t)iat'he wa^ ftarv- 
ing with hunger. Every thing he told me on 
this fubjed, of which i had. not the leaft idea, 
made an impreffion on me that will never wea^ 
away, ^his was the fprrng and fource of chat 
inextinguifhable hatred which hath fince un- 
folded itfclf in my heart againft the vexations 
the poor people experience^ and againft 'tbert 
oppreiTors. This man, though in eafy cir- 
cumftances, dared not eat the bread he had 
earned by the fweat of his brow, and could 
efcape ruin folely by an appearance of thi^t 
want which was feen all around him. I wer^ 
from his houfel with as much indignation as 
pity, deploring the fate of thefe beautiful 
countries to which Nature has beea,lavilh in! 

L -5 her 


htr gifts, onJy to ^11 a prey to barbarbns pub^ 

• Th^is h the onljrthTng I dFUKnaiyTcmem* 
htr 6f aill that happened in this jotimey. I 
tecblfeft- 'only orre tfeing^ mope, that, in ap^ 
iproaching.Lyons, I was tempted to proh>ng 
tliy travels by going to fee the borders oF 
the Lignon : for among the ronrances I read 
at triy father*s, Aftrea hadtiot been forgotten^ 
i\ catne more frcqtjently to toy mind thail 
*ny other thing* I afked the road to Forez, 
tina, in chatting with a landlady, (he told 
ine it wias a rare country for. workmen, that 
it contained many forges^ and that good iron 
work was done there. This encomium at 
tmce calmed my romantic curiofrty 5 I did not 
thint proper togotofrek Diana's Sind Silv an us'9 
btjridft a generation of MackfmMis* The good 
^H ^i*ran who etttooraged me in this man- 
ner, eertaihly to(A mo for a journeyman 

I did not qtihc go to Lyons without fame 

^ view. Oft my arrival, 1 went to'fce, at the 

Cbafbttes, Mils du Gyitelet^ an acquaintance 

tif Madam de Warens, and for whom (he had 

tiven me a letter when 1 cdme with M. k 
laitre; it was^ therefore, an acquaintance 
already made. Mifs du dbatelet toM me, 
that, in fa£t, her friend had pafied through 
Lyons, but fhe could not tell whether ihe had 
* contintied her roftd as £ar as Piedmont, and 
that (he was uncertain herfelf, at her departure^ 
whether or no (fae&ould not ftop in Savoy \ 
that, if I chofe, (he would write in order to 
learn fomethmg of her^ and that thel^eft way 


B.4^3 J. J. feOtrSSEAU. ft7 

was to wait the anfwcr at Lyons, I afcceptcA 
the offers but dared not tell Mifs du Chatelet 
a fpecdy anfwer was neceflary ; and that my. 
little exbaufted purfe did not leave me in k 
condition to wait long. It Was not her bad 
reception that withheld me. On the con- 
trary, fhe ihewed me much kindnefs, and 
treated me in a flyle of equality that difheart**^ 
ened me from letting her fee my fituation, and 
defcending from the line of good company to- 
that of a beggar. 

I thinlc I clearly fee the agreement of ^U I 
have mentioned in this book. I, neverthelefs/ 
feem to rccolleft, in the fame imenral, aiio*^ 
ther journey to Lyons, whofe place 1 cannot 
fix, and in which I was much ftraightened : 
the remembrance of the ektremities to which 
I was reduced, does not contribute to reca! 
it agreieably to my memory. Had Ldone Kkt 
fome other!;, had I poffefTed the talent of beytu. 
/owing and running in debt at niy Ibdgiligj I 
ftad eafilyVgot through ; but in this hiy un-- 
dptnefs- equalled my repugnance; and to* 
imagine the point to which I cariried both orie 
and the other, it h fufEcient to know, that, 
iiaving fpent almoft my whole life rn hard- 
Ihips, and often at the point of wanting bread, 
it never happened to me, once in my life, to 
be afked, by a creditor, for money, without 
giving it him that inftant. I never could con- 
tract bawling debts, and v^as always fonder of 
fufFering than owing. 

Tabe reduced to lie in the ftreet ti^as cier- 

tainly fuffering, and this happened to me feve- 

xar times at Lyons. Lchofe to enrpby the 

* L 6 few 


tsw halfpence that retnaJned, in paying fot 
bread rather than alodsing; becaufe, after all, 
I run iefa hazard of oying for want of fleep 
cban bread. It is furprifiog^ that^ in this 
irueV fituation, I was neither uneaCy nor dull. 
I had not the lead* care for future days* I 
waited the answers Mi& de Chacelet was 
to receive, lodging in tbe open air^ and fleep*^ 
ing ftretched on the earth, or on a bench, 
with tbe fame eafe as on a bed of down. I 
remember to have paflTed even a delightful 
night out of the city, on a road which, bor- 
<|ers^tbe Rh6ne or the Saone, 1 don't recoil 
loBt which of the two. Gardens forming ter-* 
races bordered the road on the oppoiite fide^ 
It had been extremely hot that day ;. the evea^ 
ing was charming; the dew roQiftened the 
drooping gia& 1 no wind, aftill night ; the air 
yn$ (rcfhi but not cdd ; the fun beine kt 
had left red vapours ia the heavens whofe rcn 
flection gave to tbe water the colour of a rofe;; 
die trees . on the terrace Were -covered with 
nightingales, who anfwered each other's notes« 
I walked about in a ibrt of extacy, giving up 
my feelings and heart to the enjoyment of the 
whole, and fighing a little with grief at en*^ 
joying it alone. Abforbed in delightful me**- 
ditation, the night was far advanced before. 
I perceived my lengthened walk had tired mj 
weary limbs. 1 perceived it at laft. I laid my- 
felf luxuriouily on tbeflep of a fort of niche 
or falfe door in the terrace walk ; the canopy 
of my bed was formed by the tops of trees ^ 
a nightingale was.precifely over my head ^ hi^ 
mufic lulled me aflcep: my flumbers were 

Si 4-] I J- R O BT 5 & E A U. 2x9 

£bft» my awalcing was more fo« It was broad 
day: my eyes, on opening, faw water, verdure, 
and an admirable laitdfcape. I got up,fliook my-* 
felf, hunger fei:^d me. I made, gayly, the beffi 
of ipy way towards town, rcfolved to fpend 
on a good breakfaft the iaft two. pieces 1 had 
left. I was in To excellent a hvmiour as. to go 
fiiigins along all the way, and, I alfo remem«* 
ber, I Tung a cantata of Batiftin i haclby hearty 
intitleJ the Baths of Thomery. God blefs the 

food Batiftjn and his good cantata, which 
rought me a better breakfaft than what I ex^ 
pe^ed, and ftill a better dinner, which 1 did 
not expeifi at all. In the height of my walk- 
ing and finging, I heard fome one behind me. 
I look round, I fee an Antonine following me, 
and feeming to HRen to me with pleafure. He 
accofts me, bids me good^morning, and afks 
if I know mu/ic? I anfwered, a littUy to mak^ 
it believed a great deal. He ■ continues to' 
queftion me : I tell a part of my ftory. He 
alks me whether I ever copied mufic r Of- 
ten, fay I, which was true ; my beft method 
of learnit)g was by copying. VVell, fays he, 
come with me ; I can employ you a few days, 
during which time you ihail want nothing, 
provided you confeht to not going out of the 
room. I willingly acquiefced, , and followed 

This Ahtontne was named Rolichon, was 
fond of muHc, underftood it, and fung in little 
concerts he gave his friends. There was no- 
thing in this but innocence and decency ; but 
this tafte degenerated, |io doubt, into paffion, 
of which he was obliged to conceal a part. 



He conduced me to a little room I occupied, 
^here I found a deal of mufic be had copied. 
He gave me more to copy, particularly the 
cantata I fung, and which he intended lo 
iing in a little time. I ftaid there three or 
four days, copying the whole time I did not 
eat ; for in my life I never was fo hungry or 
better fed. He brought my meals himfelf 
from the kitchen ; they muft have h^d a gbod 
one, if their living was equal to mine. In my 
days I have not eat with fo much pleafure;'and 
I muft own thefe bits came in the nick of time, 
for I was as dry as wood. I work with nearly 
as good a hearras I eat, which is not faying 
a little. It is true I was not fo corre^ as 
diligent. Some days after, M. R'olichon, 
whom I met in the ftreet, told ore my pstrts 
could not be performed on acciotlnt of omif« 
fions, duplications, and tranfpbfi'tions. t hitift 
own I have,' in chuflng that, thbfe the only 
fcience in the world for which I Was hsaft 
calculated. Not but ttiat my hotes were go6d, 
and that I copied very clean ; but the te'diouf- 
riefs of a long job diftrafts me fo much, 
that I fpend more time in fcratching otil than 
in noting ; and if I do not ufe the greateft 
attention in comparing my parts, th^y alwiays 
caufe the performance to fail. I, therefore, 
in endeavouring to do well, did very ill, and 
to get on quickly, I went crofs. This did 
not prevent M. Rolichon from treating me 
well the v^hole time, and giving me, 6n leav- 
ing him, half-a-crown I little deferved, but 
which fet me quite on foot again; for in a 
(cw days after 1 received news from Mamttia, 


« 4-J J- J. ROUSSEAU. ^jt 

jwrho ^« at Chambcry, and nroney to carry me 
to her: this Journeylmade'with tranfport. Since 
thcfe times my finantes have been very low 5 
hvtt rrevcr fo as to go without bread. I mention 
thrs period U^ithla heart fenfible of the aiten- 
tidn of Providence. It was the laft time of 
Iny life 1 felt hunger and mifery. 

I ftaid at Lyons feven or eight days more, 
waiting the things which Mamma had defired 
Mifs du ChStelet to get for her. I attended this 
Jady more affiduoufly, during'-this time, than 
before, having the pleafare of talking with her 
of her fflend, without being any longer taker! 
off by thofe cruel refleiftions on my fituation 
which forced me to conceal it, Mifi du Cha- 
telet was neither young nor pretty, but fhe did 
•ntJt wanj agreeablenefs j (he was eafy and fa- 
miliar, and ner wit gave a price to this famili*' 
arity. She had the faculty of obferving mo- 
rals, which reaches to ftudy mankind ^ and it 
is from het in its firft origin 1 derive this 
tafte/ 5he was fond of le Sage's romances, 
and particularly Gil Bias ; fhe fppke to me 
'of it, fent it me, and I read it with pleafure ^ 
"but I was not then ripe for this kind of read- 
rng : I wanted romances of flighty fentiments* 
'^I ^us pafTed my time at the grate of Mifs du 
Chatelet with as much pleafure as profit ; it is 
certain theintereiting and fenilble converfations 
of a Woman of merit are more proper to 
form a young man, than all the pedantic phi« 
lofphy of books* I got acquainted at the 
'Chafotteswith other boarders and their friends; 
among others, with a young perfon of four- 
' teen, named Mtfs Seite, to whoni I did not, 




at firft, pajr much attention; but vfhom I grew 
ibnd of €igbt or nine years afterwards, and 
wjth reafon ; {he was a charming girl. 

Occupied' with the ex|>e£tation of foon fee- 
ing again my dear Mamma, I made a Httle 
truce with my chimeras ; and the true happU 
inefs that awaited me difpenfed me with' fcek- 
ing them in vifion^. I not only found her 
again, but I found with her, and by her meanSj 
ah agreeable fituation; for Ihe wrote me word 
file had got me an occupation Oie hoped would 
iuit me, without feparating from her. 1 fpent 
myfelf in conjeAures in gueffing what this 
occupation could be, and it was neceflary to 
uefs, in fait, in order to meet it exadly. I 
ad money fuficient to travel conveniently. 
Mifs du Chatelet would have had me taken a 
borfe; I could not confent, and had rea- 
fon on my iide: I had mified the pleafure of 
the laft journey on foot I ever made ^ for I 
can't calf by this name the excurfions I often 
made round my neighbonrhoodj when 1 Jived 
at Motiers. 

^ It is a iingular thing, that my imagination 
never rifes more agreeably than when my con- 
dition is the leaft fo ; and that, on the con- 
trary, it is lefs fmiling when every thing fmiles 
around me. My ftubborn head cannot fuh- 
mit to things ; it can't embellifii, it will ere* 
ate. Real objefts are (hewn there at mofe 
but as they are ; it can drefs out none but 
imaginary objc£ls., Would I paint fpring, it 
muu be in winter i would I deicribe a beauti- 
ful landfcape, I muft be (but up ; and I have 
an hundred times faid, tbat^ if ever they put 


Jl^40 h J- ROUfiSEAU. zi% 

mt into tb^BaftillC) Lfliould compofe the 
pit^ure of Liberty. On leaving Lyons I favr 
nothing bat future delights ; I was as happy, 
and had every reafon to be fo» as I was the 
reverfe oo leaving Paris. I, -neverthdefs, had 
none of thofe. delightful meditations in this 
journey I bad in the other. My heart was at. 
eafe, and that was all. I drew near that excellent 
friend I was going to fee again with melcing 
ibndnefs. . I tafied before-hand^ but without 
cibriety, the pleafure of living with her : I al« 
Wavs expeded it ; it was as if nothing new 
had happened. I was difquieted atwhat Iwas 

Soing to do as if ichad been very difquieting* 
iy ideas were peaceable and mi]d» notcelel* 
tiai.aad ravi(hing, Objedls ftruck my fight ; 
I gave attention to the hindfcapes} I obferved 
the trees, the houfes, the brooks ; I confidcf'* 
ed the croffing of roads \ I feared loftng myfelf^ 
but did no(. In a word I was no longer in the 
£mpyreum$ I was fometimes where I was, 
ibmetimes where I was going toi never far* 

^ I am in recounting my. travels as I W98 Ia 
making them: I cannot arrive, ^fy heart 
heat when 1 dre.w near my dear Mamma, but 
I went no fafter for tbat^. I love to walk at 
my eafe^ and ftop when I pleafe. I love a 
firolling life. Make a journey on foot in fine 
weather, in g fine country, and an agreeable 
object at the end it; this is of all the man* 
ners of living the moft to my tafte. As to the 
reft, 'tis underftood what I mean by a fine 
country. Never a cbampain country, how* 
ever fine it nfiay be» appeared fo in toy eyes. I 



QiUft have ton^nts, r6ck$^ fxt-t^ti^ %\bomf' 
woods, mountauis, ro&ds which are fogged to 
go up or downf^precq)iees on each fide Which 
affright me. I had M$ pleafure and tafted aU 
its delights in approachwig Chambery. Not 
far from a cut mouhiain, called the Pas-de- 
VEchelle, at the. bottom t>f a great road ettt 
through the rock, at af>lace called Chailiee,- is 
a little Tiver, which run» and fpouts httb 
dreadful abyiles which it feeflfis to haV^ liilK^ 
thoufands of ages to hcdiow out. They lik^ 
bordered the road by a» parapet lo^preyciit accr- 
dents : by this meatis I could cotlCemplaite the 
bottom, and make myftlfg!«kly^sftr my cafe $ 
for what is moflple^fant In flpy tdftcrfbr fieep 
places, IS that they nvatte my head riuii round^ 
aod that I am very fond ;^r this turtills^ r<>tiftd$ 
provided lam fufe. Lean i^n g Aran ly* on the j^a^ 
rapet, I advanced niy head, and felnalAidlbefii 
whole hours, perceiviog from time .-to -trtfte 
^ the froth and ti^e blue water, ^whofe foaring 

I heard am id ft the critt of ravens aild birds of 
prey, which flew from rock to rock, and f^oba 
thicket to thicket, between fix ^hd feven 
iiundred feet below oie. In tihof<^piacea whei% 
> the defcent Was pretty regulsfr, ^nd the bufli<£s. 
ikin enough 'to kt i^ones pafs, I fetched fom^ 
irom a pretty good diftance, as lafrge as I toUVi 
carry^ piled them on a heap ^n 4he parapet^ 
then throwing them one after the other, I ^W^ 
•delighted to fee them roll, bound, bnd fly if>t6 
a thoufand pieces before they beached the bcft^ 
iloiD of the.precipice. 

^ Nearer Chambery I had a like fight ift a cofir- 
Irary ienfe. The <oad. pafies at & foot of th^ 
^ fineft 

• -I 

4^.'4!I 7- J. R O U S S E A U; %^ 

^irieft dafctifde I have ever fecn. The mouri- , 
etain is-fo fteep, t^^at the water flies off neat, 
-and falls in the ibrm of an arcacfe fo ^de that 
you can pafs between the cafcadeand the rock, 
'lotnetknes without being wetted. But, if you 

• dbn't take yourmea(ure« well, you maybe taken 
nih as I was 5 for, frdm the extreme height, 
<the water divides and f^lls into a mifi, and 
-when you approach this cloud a Irttie, without 

ioffme&ately perceiving you are wet, in an in* 
'ftant you are well foaked . 

I arrive atlaflr; I fee her again. She wis 
-not atone. The Irtteitdant-gcneral "was in her 

room at the time I came in. 'Without fpeak- 
«ing tome, flie takes me by the hand, and pre- 
^fcnts me to him with that grace which opens 
-t6 her every heart. Herehe is, Sir, poor young 
'fellow J condcfcet^d to patronize him as long 
»as-he deferves it'; I awi und^er no apprehenfion 

for him the reft of l^s life. Then turning to 

rifle, Child, fays flifj Jovt belong to the King : 

' tfaci^k the Imeadaht, 'who has provided you 

»*read.. 1 ftarefd #ilhouf Tpfrakiwg a'word, or 

tvithoot very welf' -knowing what to think: 
'^growing ambition, ^ith a tvHIing addition, 
•*wo?uW have turned fny hearf, and made me 

immediately slA the little Intendant; My 
' *fb#time I found left brilliant than I imagined 
• 'from this beginning; but for the prcfent it 
^ was a living, which, for mcj was a great deal. 

• Thfswas ^e affair. 

King Vi6lor-Amedee, judging by the fate 

- of the preceding wrirs, aitd by the pofition of 

'the ancient inheritance of his fbrcftthers, it 

"JiYight fome time or other flip from him, 



.Aought bpw be might exhauft k. H< hzd 
relUved a few years before to tax the nobility, 

'be orckfed a general furvey of the lafida of 
the whole country, in order, that by laying 

,the real Impofition, be might divide it with 
more tqmty^ This work, begun under the 
father^ wai .iini(hed under the fon. Two or 
three hundred people, as well furveyora, who 

. were called GeomelerS) as writers, who were 

.called Secretaries, were employed pn this 
work : it was among thefe iaft Mamma had got 
my name entered. The poft, though not lu- 

.crative) was fufficient to live welt upon in that 

. country. The wot ft was, the employment was 

.only for a term ; but it put one forward in 
fceking and waiting, and it was by way of 
forecaft ibe endeavoured to obtain his pri- 

.vate patronage for me, in order to get a 
more permanent employment when the term 

. of this ihouJd be expired. 

I entered into office a few days after my 
arrival. There was nothing difficult in this 

^ work ; I was foon mafterof it. 'Twas thu^, 
after four or five years ruiming about in foUiea 
and fuifierinffty i)n<;e I left Geneva, I began* 

. for the £|ft titac^ to ger my bread with 
. Thefe Jong partictijUrs of my youth ipay 

i^have appear^ very puerile; I am ibrry for 
itc though born 8^ man in many refpecds, I 
was long a cfaild,'and am fo yet in many others, 
I did not promtfeto hold up to the public a 

};r^a| perfonage; I promifed to paint myfdf 
iich as I am s for to know tne well in my 

: ad^ 


B.4*]: J- J. ROUSSEAU. t%j 

advanced age, it is necefl«ry to have knowd - 
me in my youth. A$» ia general, objeAs ' 
make lefs impreffion on me than their re* 
membrance, and. that all my ideas are in re« 
femblance, the firft ftrokts which were eng;iu^ 
vea on my mind have reoiaintd there, and tboft 
which were imprinted- afterwards have rather • 
joined than effiiced^ thenot There was a cer« ' 
tain fucceiEon of affedions and ideas whi^ 
xnodify thofe which follow, and Which it 
is neceiTary to be acquatntttl-with, in order 
properly to jud^ of, them. I fltive, every 
iivbere, to laytSe firft caules. quite open, to 
snake you feel the connexion of effeds.' • I 
want, to be able, if 1: could, by foaiem^aiis 
to reader ciny heart .tranfparent to the fight 
of th& reader; and this is the rtafon I en- 
dfi2Lvqur. to (hew it him in enory point of 
view, to lead him by every path, to fpeak 
in fuch a manner that a fmgle .movement 
iha]l not psU!s but he fiall perceive it, in 
order thait he may judge himfelf of the prin- 
ciple which produces it. 
. Did I take the refult on myfislf, and fav. 
Such is my cbara^lei:, he might think, it I 
Wpuld Aot dec^ive^him, tbatl might deceive* 
niylelf* But in particularifing with fimpticity 
every thing that has happened to me, all my 
a^ons, all my thoughts, aH my feelings^ I 
cannot lead him to error, unleis I will ; and 
even if I would, I fhould not eatily attain it 
in this manner. 'Tis he rauft auemble the 
elements and determine the being they com- 
poiei' the reiult tnuft be his ymk i and if 
he th^h miftakesi all the error will be his 


283 TH£,CDNF£SaiQNa, itc. [§44.. 

own* Nonas' jt 14 not fuffiicieiit to.diis eaddtft- 
my recitaU.^i^ faithful ; they exaid. iMi 
isAot for noejtp judge of<tbeJmpMtaac^ o£dba, 
fadsi I muft tell them lall, a«d, leave-' tbe^: 
cariBof tbe*iis0H3q>t0himk I^yejepdeavouisd^ hiidieito: with all n^ couj^go, laadt/ 
i^U j^ot . r(^Iax ia Mibat follows^ fijut ther 
memory <^ the middle age is atwai^Stweafcar^ 
than that oCojirxyounger ye«£s*;. I heggn fair j 
making: the beft 1 poffibiy jcoujd of thefe la&.i 
If thexithex do.npc com^ badk with the £im«: 
force,, fome impatieat readers: may perhaf^sii 
growttired; but for my part). I (ball not be;/ 
Jorry.fpr my labour. I baveionly one thing tci. 
f^t in this undertaking ; it is not faying toov 
mucb» or teUing falfities; but itiSf notfay^^? 
ing aU, or hetfig fileot on tcutha.- 

Eno or THE Fourth Book, and. or 
theFirst Volume. 



O F 










PfXQtcd for J, Bew, in Pater-NoAer*RoWr 



- • * ' ^i 


^. , i'.i/ j\ .1 . THE 

j» :^1 '.'.'i ";.','* I '• . ! " 



» . F 

• e 

• ^ ' _ 

ri- .: 

I. "i 


f!0 X : ' I 


IT Was, I think. In 1732, 1 arrived at Cham- 
l>er^,^as Lhave juft (aid ; and that I com* 
niq9Qe4 my employment of regiftering land for 
thejcingh. I ,had p^fled my twentieth year, 
and .>^iis,al;noftone'-and* twenty. I w^is, for 
^^y^^. well enough formed as to thexnind; 
but niy .ju^^^ent was far from beinj; (0, and j 
hacf great occafion for thofe into whofe hands 
.1 fell to, learn a proper condud : for a fe^if 
years of experience had not yet <ured me ra>- 
jdically of my romantic vilions y and though I 
^ad fuffered {o mapy .^vils, I knew. as little 
of the world and. mankind as if I \izd not paid 
ibr fudi inftr(i£iion« 

I lay at my «wn houfe, that is at Mamma's; 
but I, did not find a (econd Annecy : no more 
^rdeosK ^a nv>re brooks, no more landfcapea.' 
X he bou^ ibe lived in was dark and difmal, 
;»n4 tny rpcm was the darkeft and moft dif* 
mal of^ithe whole boufe. A wall the only 
4>rofpe^, aa ^ley inftead of a ftreet, little air. 


little lights little room, iron bars, rats and a 

rotten floor ; thefe thlngt could not form a. 

pleafant habitation. But I was at her houfe i 

witb ^x ^Tjicfff^tly 4t iw ^dfOi^vrd^ her 

chamber, 1 little perc^tve<r tne htdeoufneft 

of my own. I Had not time to think of it. It 

will feem ilngular thai fhe iliould baVe fix'd oa 

Chambory pn pUj^ppfcj Joji^ in ihis^difagree- 

able hottfe: (Ms 'was -a Inar k of her cleverne& 

I ought not to pafs over. She went to Turin 

with repugnance, well knowing, that, on fo 

recen^ revolutions, and the -agitation in which 

the court then was, ibe could not be favoura* 

bly received. Her affair, neyerthelefs, .4e- 

Thand^d her prcfence there ; (he • feared' heiig 

•fbrjjottcn or HI lifed. She paftfcaFarfy'^knoRr 

that the Count of ♦*"*, initen^aQt glenefal of 

-the iinances, did not favour her^ .He bad at 

"Chambery an old hoiife, badiy 'coriftfuded, 

<and in fo nafty a podtion it always remained 

icmpty; Are took it and lived tnete.^ This 

^iicceeded better than a journey; b^r penfion 

^^s not firuck orfF, apd fince that time the 

*Coutit of * * * was -always of her friends. 

' I found my houfehom neally bii the old 

footing; and the faithfel Claude- Atict ftill 

With her. ^Je wasf, -as' I think'" I liayd already 

fajd, a p^afant of Moutru, who in histhildhood 

fathered ftmplesin'Jorafor*makitig Svirift tea, 

and whom ihe fiad^aken tnto her fervlce for 

Ijis knoyv^ledgc in drugs ^ ftidirt^^t cottVenicnt 

io. hate an herbaKft arnorigj rrer HJbVhfeftics. 

He was To palfiohatdy |bnd •*x)f*"thjE? fltidy of 

)pjarirs, and'fte fb-n^uc!;^ favoured* 'h[s ' tnrnr, 

t^at^'he became- a* real . botahrft j^ab^' 'had he 

• * • *' *not 


noVdieij ^pottng^he^flKl %en hmtdki'^hfcU 
<ptte asufQch as heJiliereri^ td^be as aA' honellf 
^nMi./'ffo ^b^ifig fiiiiiGfiA^ 4rv«n' grave, 'ahd I 
jK)Ufi|;e#.%ban h^, be^was^'^ me VL kind of tu« 
tor, ai^d favsdd irne frofti mahy follies ; ^for he 
Ifnpoife4'-refp.eft 5 I darerf not forget m^elf be- 
fore 4ifrti. : H<eiimpored k 'eqtialfy drf^hiV mif- 
ttre%-wh6''wa^«''atq«ahitfed* Wtth fiis 'profoan* 
fehfej^Ms '^pffg'htivrfs> his in'violablfe attadh- 
men^fi€( her, who fo juftly returned it. Glaude 
A«et wafc beyond €ontVadi£tion stn uticoni-* 
ittoli tndi)) anid the ^hly one I have ever fccii 
rfibeftrr. Slqvir; ftafed, delibchiti*, eirtum- 
fy^6i^'m fcis eonduft, i^feryed in hi^ manner, 
«oncife and pithy* ih: his difcotiffci he was iii 
feis:paffion<»f ^ impfetudfily he nfiver allow-i- 
ed toappear^ biit vrWch' preyed upon hinj in* 
Wardly,«a*d which netf^r but 'once, fit his life 
hurried' him ineocxtrav&garice; but't^is bnc^' 
wa5f lefriWtf; 'rwas poifonihg himfelf. This 
tragic feeAe paffed foon after my arrival, and 
neceiTary W^ough It was Ho learn the intimacy 
afthis young fcMow with his'tniftreft; for 
hadfte tt0t herfelf fcW me '^FU, I'flionld ne* 
vcr have'Jfufpfeacd it.'Aflliredl^, if atftach- 
iBenr, zdaF, Jind fidel^y^ coiiW merit fuch i 
reward, it was due to him, ah/1 v^hat proves he, 
wa^ wof!thy VJf ' it, he never ^bufed " it. Thef 
Ktcfy feMom disputed, and their difputes always 
ended Well'. They had, however, one which 
ended- 111 : *hi« miftrefs, in hcfr anger, feid^ 
fometblhg' affronting to him, which he never 
could di^ft. 'He confulted del^air only, and 
Ending, read^lo his hand, a vialof latidanumj' 
%€ drank it> then went quietly to bed, thinlcing 
'^ - Bz tQ 


4 THE CONFESSIONS or. [8.5^ 

to awake no more, Happly Madam de Wa- 
icns, uneafy, herfelf ^itated, wanderii^ 
about the houre^ found toe vial emply, . and 

fueffiul the reft. In flying to his affiftance 
er (creams drew me. after her \ (he confefled 
every thing to me, implored my help, and 
was, with a deal of trouble, fo fortunate as to 
make him throw iip the opium. Witnefs of 
this fcene, I admired tny ftupidity at never in 
the leaft fufpeding the €onne£^pn$ (he ac- 
quainted me (if. fiut Claude Anet was fO 
difcreet that the moft penetrating might have 
been deceived. Their reconciliation^ was fitch 
that ihyfelf was extremelv afield at it ; and 
ijnce this time, addjng x^^f^ to the efteem t 
ha^ for him, t became, in fome meafure, his 
pupil, and did not find.myfelf worfe for it. 
, t learnt, however, npt without pain, that 
another could live with her in cldfer intimacy. 
t}ian myfeif. 1 never even thought of deliring 
t^is place, but it hurt me to fee it filled by 
another; it wa3 very natural. However, in- 
fiead .of bating hiih who had Joftled me, I 
really felt the attachment I had Un* her extend 
to him. All I-defired wgs that (he mi|ht be 
happy, and fincc (h^ had occa(ion for him to 
make her fo, I was f itisfied at his being happy 
IjJkewife. ,For his part, be entered perfectly 
into the views of his miftrefs, and contrafled 
a fincere frien<l(hip for the friend (hi? had'cho* 
(ixii^ Without affeding the authority bis po(b 
gave hicn over me, he; naturally took that hia 
judgment had over mine. . ( dared do nothing 
hie (eemed to difapprove, and he difapproved 
only what was wrong. We thus lived in an 


?-50 J- J- ROUS5EAU. $ 

unicHl which h^de iis kW faafppjTs and which 
liothing but death ^as ahk to daftrpy. Ot\e 
prpoC of the .excellenGe of this amiable wo- 
man was, that all !thofe who loved her, loved 
each other* Jealoufj, rlvaMhip even, gave way 
to the ruling fentiinent fhe ihfpired, and I ne- 
ver faw any of tbofewbo furrounded her wifli 
each other ilL Let thofe who read me flop 
their reading a foment at this encomium, and 
if they find, oj^ recoUedlion,. any other wo- 
man of whom th^ fame things can be faid^ 
let them adhere to her for the repoTe of their 
jdays«t ? ^ 

ilere begins an interval of eight or . nine 
years, from my arrival at Chamber^ until my 
departure for Paris in. 1 741, during/which 
time I fhall have few adventures to write, be«> 
caufe my life was as (imple as pleaiant, and 
this uniformity was precifely what I mo^ 
wanted to finiih the forming my character, 
which continual troubles prevented from fixing, 
'Xwas durin» this precious interval my edu- 
cation, mixed and without connexion', having 
-taken a.conftftence,^ was the caufe that I have f 
gnever ceafed to be amidft the ^iftorms which 
awaited me. The progrefs was tnfenfible and 
flow, attended by few memorable events ; but 
it deferves, nevertfaeleis, to be followed and 

At fi(fl I was ediployed in little more than 
my office; the confiraint of a defk. left no 
room for other thoughts. The little time I 
was at liberty was fpent with the dear Mamma» 
and not having . ewQ. any for reading, this 
ihought did j>ot reach me. But when my 

B 3 bufincjfii 


€ii{>ied mf Blind left, vneaduiefc foiitid M ^Mf 
mgma^'.Auij was'oncetmv^ ncoeffayy usii^ aft 
if thiatlcfire iMs always itriOMA by Jhe difti 
tvitj of fatiftfyiiip it, it would have ^oMne 
a p^flleo, as it did when with my mafter, hwi 
not' ether inciinatioiis^ tmeqnifii^y diteittd 
it from that. ' 

Altkough our operatioiis did not demand ail 
arithswttc very, traarccndtnt, it deii^^niied 
enough ta embarraffr mm ^mm iuws. T0 f^ii^ 
iquifli . iht» di£oiiHy, I koi^bc aritkmi^eieal 
faooksy and I learnt well j for I learnt ahsii^ 
f radical ' irtthmetic eittoidr fatther vhan is 
thought^ if yon vmuld have an 9mA precifidir. 
jThiBfle are ofterati^ns <of an extnsmer leitg^^ 
in'v^hicfa I'bave ftnmtinMs foea gded g^ome^ 
triciam loft themfelvcs. Reflexion join^ (^ 
l^ra&ice gives dear ideas ; thai y«>u fi«ld oot 
;ibridged methods whofe iflveationr fiiiHttei^ fet^ 
iufficiency, w>hoie ixs&a0kfmisSk& the mind, 
and which render p]eafant':a -waxk of Ttfelf Un* 
profitable* I ivent' fo deeply imo it| tkete 
^as not 2t cfneftiofi' fblvaMe by aHthto^icsd 
caicdation that embartaffld ttio} arid ndi^ 
that erdry thing I knew wears daUy ft^tn tny 
m^moryv this acquirement ffill remtains ^ 
pajt^ after an itttert-upcion ^f thirty years. A 
few days ago, in a journey I^nade toUa\^e2^ppM¥, 
'being prefect >0iii til' tif landlord at' ah «lrhhM^t!- 
cal iefCba of his e^hfMisen, I did without etrrlr§(, 
avitii: am incredible pleafure,! a* w4>fk rfte ffi<^ 
eon>pii)rated» ■ Iv feemed ts> mc^ tin feftnfg 
^own mifr figures^ I waft IHil at ^li^mbel-y , m 

my bapp^ dtf^ii >Thi9 ^9» timHBg fn^ \^9€k^ 

Wafixing lJMi}:ia»|^-Qfti)|if gQ«li^4C(vsi^fi$- 
bad alia gtven^'Me.«i taftg- for. (Iriwiring* .I> 
bovgfa£ Wour^ 3^ tat. fltiylblf to dia«k4fig^ 
flowert aod laotirQifefv 'Twas a pity I|o|inif 
in my^rifl iew:ttil«dt9 fcir this v%i ftiy- in^sli^- 
natipn was^^ntiiielv: HfpoM %o it.. 

witboiit goTAgiQut pf. licKws-. Tht* cimpjoy- 
meot tthgagiogmetoomiicb, Dbey were f>bliged» 
to foice^mr.ftiai ic< It ti.^m with^eytfiy f^acy! 
I give kHai it Hi^moitf^ bea«fme» a^ (iafli<HH> 
aMf L Toon £»^! notbiii^ t>«it . the amufe^^t ifi; 
wbiohJ atn^oceuftkcli Yfilis^> klsive doti C|kre4> 
na» of ebift faitU^t tfaejr haM0.flQt ev«n ab^&edi 
it $ andjQOW. that I am wri&ing.ibi^ ywi ha^4f 
an. old dot^i InfacuatM bflaaothe^ ufektkr 
fiudyy of whieh. I underftaAd* nothing, » aivdi 
^bich thofe wbo. have givei\ thtir yeuti^i^h 
days to» have been, obliged to abandon at tb^ 
9ge I am beginnings it* 

- At that time it might have boen i n Jt& pdacis ( 

,the ap^rtvoityntas nne« and^LbadifooMe (9mtJ!<^ 

tation to beiiefit by it. The fatisfiacibicfti I .faw/ 

ith the countonanoe ofiA»et comtogiioQiQ loadr 

0d with new plaots^ fct me two o9 threi^ timfta 

on tbepoinfof going to herbalixQ with him*. 

i am almoft aflttrcd^ had I gon^ onceio^y, I; 

liad bean cangbty and (hould, perhaps, thi^; 

ddyr be an txcelteot botiimft;.for I Jcnow. noi 

. fi«dy ib wttliaflbciatad toimy nattlral.ta&s.aa' 

that of planta: the life I lead tbtfe /ten.y^ara 

in the .countiy,. ia kduo^y aqy other thai% 

.tbatof a contioaalberbalift^. in. reality wixbr 

B 4 ' ojit 

K TfifcCiCtfJKSSSiOKS'OF. f^sJ 

oqc ob^ft* or pfogreft f biit kitHn^ at ih^it 
time no idea of botany^ I zhnoft defyifcdi. ^sd^ 
V9^ e^vett dtfgufieA m It i I Mnfidiercil It onty as 
tkefliidyof an apothecary* Mamma, who wat 
folKl 9f it, made lierfelf W* o^er life idf it ; 
ihe roaght none hut conm^n phHir^ toempfojr 
them in her drugs. Thus'bomiy, chemiftry, 
sLnd anatomy s confoundedi^ hi oiy bftfin under 
the denomination of medicine, m^d only to 
fumiOi • matter f^pr pleafant fiireafms the whokr 
day, and draw on me, from time to time, af 
lH>x on thte^ar* Befi^ks, a'diiK^remr arndtoo* 
oppofed » talle grew up in me by degrees-^ and^' 
abf^bed every other-— I mean- muHc I wa^v 
dertatdly bortt for tbiaart ; for my fondnds fiar 
it waf from my cbildbood,and it is «he cmty oa^ 
]' conftaatly loved at- every age. • Whatsit moit - 
aftoni&ing, is, that the ,art fiE» which I was. 
bortt (houid have neverthekefs ccffr me fo a%uchi' 
pains CO learn ' it, and with a fuccefs ib How, 
fbat, after praAiftng my whole life, I never- 
xould attain to fing with certainty on opening 
a 4>ook. Whtt rend^dd this ftudy more agree«> 
aMe^to me iwas, mv* being able to follow ie^ 
with Mamma. 1 hou^h in other refye&& 
our taftes dHfered, mufic was the point of 
union I 4ovtd to make ufe of. She was not * 
averfe to it j 1 was then aimoft as hx advanced; 
as flie ; in two or three trials^ we decyphered an. 
air. Sometimes feeins:her;bufied roundiher fur*" 
Aacc^ 1 iaid to her, fiSamma, here is a <diarm-^> 
ing dutft, duut feems i»ciined> to fpotl your! 
draga.>^ Why&ith, fays flie, if tboo doftmakO'i 
me oumthem. Til make tfaeem them. .Thus . 
in-^ifputiogJ drfw herto her h^p£chard^3 
-•'- . |he 

B.5.] J. J. ROUSSEAU^ .9 

tb« fumaeewas £pcgpt;'the extraift of juni- 
pers or wormwood was calcined i (he fmeared 
It over my face;; ?a<i a]l this was delightful. 

You fee,, with a little Jeifure I hm tbiogp 
enough to fill i% up.. One amufemeot qiore» 
however, found, room^ whicb.gave a price to 
all the others* . . 

We lived in to clofe a dungedn, it was nt^ 
ceflary fometimes to get a Ittue air. on earthu 
Anet engaged Mamma to hire a gardjen in tlMi^ 
fubvirbs for plants* To this garden was added 
a. fnug hoxi pretty enough, which was. furr 
xilibed according to order, . A bed wa$ (tnt ; 
we often dined, 'and I fomc times lay there. 
InlCbnftbly I was infatuated with this ittUc 
retirement ; I put a ifew books sini manv 
prints in it; I fpen.t a part of mv.timeinorr 
namenting it, and preparing thbfe things that 
^ight agreeably furprife Mamma wHea (be 
-came there* I left her> that. I mught employ ^ 
>i^ thoughts on .her, that I might think, of 
|ier with moie pleafure; another caprice I 
neither excufe nor explain, but which I ac^ 
knowledge, becaufe it was ia.^ I remember 
JMadamde Luxembourg (peaking tojne,ia raiU 
lery'of a map who left, his mifbef^. to write tft 
ker. I:toId*her I could have httn, tl^ 
iand might have added, I had i>eea tuck a one 
fometiipes. I nevect however^ fouhd im 
Mamoia'^s company tfaeneceiEty of leaving it 
to love her m<M% ; for ia a tete-a-tete with b^r 
I was as perfeAIy free as almae, which I nevfr 
found in any other '^s.compaj^, maivor woman, 
how f&ong foever my^ afiefHon-. might be. 
. But flie was io often i^rroui^ded^ and, by yeo^ 

n i '^' pic 

-atwj JthcBf ,tireiomc connpany di'ove me to iftjf 
aMtim, wfatre f haiMt^r as 1 ^trafed, Whlj^ttt 
il^r 6f being followed by the.tttij^rtut^ati;. 
• "V^hUft'thus rfhridcd betvi^eeo &iifineft,_ pfca* 
Tune, «i<f hiftpuvftion, t Hved irt the fWeetcA 
jepofe ; Europe wa$ not So. qukt; France and 
"the Emperor had mutiwlWdetlared wWr with 
tach other : the Kirtg of Sirdipia entered into 
'rile quarrel, and the Freneh ztmj filed into 
•piedmont, to enter the Milanefe territoties. 
One of their columns came thitough Cham- 
4xcry, a«d, amotls; the reft, the regiment* of 
Champaini whole eolonel was the Duke of 
. la Trhnouille, to whom I was introduced^who 
promiiM me many things, and who certain!^ 
lievcr more thojUght of me. Our little gardeil 
vfts e^cafUy at that end of tbef fuburbs b^ 
which the troops entered, in fuch a'mamier 
that I was fuHy fati^d with the pleafufe of 
-feeing tbeni paftj; and t wks a^ defirous f6t 
the ftccefe of this war, as if it bad nearly 
eon<ferhed me. TiH then I hevef took irt mjr 
l|)ead to think of ptiblic ai&irs, a^d f hcffti 
to read ni!?ws^paperff for the firft time, Uift 
'with fo mtich partJ^itf to France, tAat nSjr 
<heart beat for joy at their^ itioft , tr&lng', ait 
irtota^$, and that the reverre;dllli£ied me i^ 
'if it li^d fallen on me. Had thitf folly been 
ptffirig, I had not thought it wotth notice r 
T)ut it is fo rooted m me withoutany reafoiK 
that, when I afterwards afted at ParisT thte 
^aniT-def|[K>t and the proud repiiWican', 1 fe!^^ 
•iri J^ijtc. oftnyfeff, a iiecret predtfedion 
•tfit /very tisition 1 few ferrile, arid fbr'tl 
' . govern- 

RJJ J. J.aOVfiStAV. ft 

govertrinttrt T a^drf to oppoft. The jilca^ 
Snteftof ?tH wai^* that, befttg afliam^ to 6v^n. 
afit incliitatioA lb- (rotifrary to my maxima, t 
dared not. o^Wi? if ^ any cfncj irrd f raflled; 
the French -oil ^h^ defeats; whaft- my heart 
was* more gticvei at th^ur thait* theirs. I atn' 
eertairtry the* firtP,^ who, KVirf^ with people 
that treated' him' \velJ,>mfwft om he arfdred',. 
took pn hiiir, T^ thfefr own cbunrry, a bor- 
rtmed air of di^pHbi^ fheth- In fine, thi>' 
inclination hay piwt^ itfelf ' fo dlfintefefted,! 
fo ffrong, To .drtiton^; ftr fnvin'eibfe in mei 
that,- even* ftnte my heavfng'the kingjdoifikj* 
ffnce government, tnagtfh-^es, ' authors, have] 
outvied* ' each other agarnff me, fifice it is.' 
hseome genreef to lo^cFmd Mrtth injufticeand' 
aRtife, r have Ttcft bten ^bie to cure myfelf ' 
of my fellyi . P fo^-rliefn in fpiW of myfclf, ' 
though- they ufe me Hl-^ '• '* ' [ 

^I Torig' fought tbe'c^fe of' this partiafcllty ; 
I 'ha«e Sen able to firttf it only in' the occafioa 
which gave it birth. A rifirtg tafte for lite- 
r^iiw k^tacbcd- the tor French book^, to the, 
aiitBoTs of thdfe books, aud to ifre cou^ntry of 
tHofe authors. At the inrffant the French army ' 
wa^'filing off und^r m)r' eyes*, I i^^as reading 
Fra:nitome'^/great " Ctjptaihs •': nty ' head was 
fuai*'oftheC3iflbn?, Bayards, Lautrecs, Cb- 
Jignys, Rfontmorencys, and Trtmouillcs j and ^ 
I rorcdtheit defcendants as the'hefrs <5f their 
vrerit and great coorage, ln» each regiment 
thrat paflid' I thought I fa^ thofe famdtis / 
black batids- who formerly had done' f6 many 
exph)its fn Piedmont. In ffne, I applied t6 . 
thar I fa\r the ideas f gathered fruw b66la ; ' 
^ B 6 my 

1 1 THE CONFE6SION& Oir [B. 5* 

my '^^(li€s contituie^t'^ui^ AUl: ^taken fniiii, 
dip tiroG satibn, Houc^iihed^ niy. fpendfiiip for 
)^r) .and at laft grew ta a bli^^d paffion whidi 
nothing has been able, to ovei;coo^e, . 1 kave 
had occafiony feveral timea, in the feqiie^ xo 
remark in my traircis, that thia impreffion was 
ifot peculiar to me^ and tbat^ more or le& 
a£lurc> in every country, on tl^t part of the 
2fati(|n who were fona .of literati^e and cul- 
tivated learning, it balanced the' general ha^ 
tred the conceited- air of the French moires. 
Their romances, more than their men, attrad 
the women of every country ; their dramatic 
c^f'ideuvrti create a fonanefs in youth for 
their theatres. The reputation of that of 
Paris draws to it crowds of ftrangers, who 
come back cnthuilafts* In fine, the excellent 
tafie of their literature captivates the fenfes of 
every man who has any ; ,2^nd in the fo unfor^ 
tunate war. they, havet juft ended, I faW thei«' 
aUthors/and phiiofopberS( mamtain the glory of 
France fo^tamtibed by their warriors. 

I was, therefore, an ardent Frenchman, and 
that rendered me a news-monger* I went 
with tl>e throng of bubble*gulper& to wait in . 
the fquare the arrival of , the poft ; and, niore 
fot thai^tbe afs of the fable,.! was Very uneaiy . 
to know whofe pack'.faddle libould have the 
honour to carry : for it was at that time pre* 
tended we (houM. belong to Franqe, and 
S^voy wa? to be given in exchai^e forMikuu 
I ^mufl-, h.owever, own I had foane caufe of 
uneafiQefs ;. for, had .this war ended badly for . 
the allies, Mammals peniion was in great' 
dangar« Bu( i>bad fuU confidence in my . 


flood fti^ds.; ii^n<t foe 'mncCfin Ipiteof t)ier 
lurprife of M. de Brogltp, this confidence) 
\fz$, not vaint th^pl^^ tf the King, pf SardinUi» » 
lyhom I nevf^r tihottght. of. ...... V / '^ 

> While theyjwere!nghtii^inltaljr,tbi^were[ 
fiinging in France. The operas of de Rameau. 
began to make a noife^and agfiin Taife^ up his^ 
theoretic workst which were within the; reach* 
of but few on account of their obfcurity. By 
chance I heaulof his treati(epn harmony ; I had 
no reft till X Had pucchaCbd this book. By another ^ 
hazard I fell ilb -riie illnefs was inflammatory -, 
it was ibarp and ftiort ; but my convalefoence 
was long, it was a month before I was ab)e 
to go put« , I^turing this time , I fketched, I 
devoured my treatife on harmony $ but it was 
fo long, (b diffufe, fo badly difpofed, I found 
i|L wot^ld take me a cooiiderable time to ftudy 
and unravel it. 1 fufpended my application^ , 
and lecreatpd the fight with muQc. The 
cantatas o( Bernier, in which 1 exercifed I 
myfelf, were never from my mind. . I learnt 
four or gve by heart; among the reft, that of 
tUfi Amours dormms^ which i have never feec| , 
lince that time, and which I ftiil retain aHuo^ 
catirelf ,38 well as V Amour pique par uneAhcilley 
a y^ry pretty cantata by Clerambault, which . 
IJearnt in nearly the. fame, tilpe^ ,^ 

To complete me, there came from valdofte ^ 
a youi^ organift, named Abbe Palais, a good 
maficiaiij a gbod-naturecf man, who accom- 
panied extremely well with the harpdchord; •, 
I ^et^ac^ainted w|th. Him ; we becoit^ein-. {^ 
Separable, tie was. pupil to an Italian moiil^^i , 
a ax%u oinnift* He lalked of bi9 elements : . 

I com- 

. . 4. 

g4 Tni' CONFEfiSfbKte OF CB. s^^ 

Fctjmpared tHcof wtA ilrofe of iiy Ramcscir ^ 
F fluffed ttkfhtkd whit arccompanyings, c6n- 
cora, aiTu niMnofiy; . xwa$ ncccnaiy to xbmi 
the ear to all thefc : I pfqpbfed' to MamnuL a' 
IHtle concert evcijmontji'; fheconfentedt* t 
aim ib ftiH of this conc^t, thar night or Jay* 
r.was employed oir nothing cftt; but dwtr 
really employed me, and very mtich^ tb gcr 
the mbfic, the mufician^, ^e. mftrument$ 
together, make our the ptrt^^ tic. Mamma 
fSngj favherCaton, whorrf-'l have already' 
fpokerr ofi arid whom I flSall hive otcafidn 
tofpcakro^ farog libewife; a'dffifciiigTnafterr, 
ramed R'athe-, and his fon,pfey'ed rhe'Tiolin*; 
Gaifaras', amitfician- f^om Piedmont, employed'^ 
at theRegiltrjiL^who is fincc marrfed at ftarisr, 
played the violoncenQj the AbbiPkhrfs* ac- 
compaitied the harpfichord: Fhad the honour* 
of ' conduiSkiitg ¥he muiSr, withopr forgettinff 
the wood--cteavers beetle. • The charms of aff 
this njay- be guefled! 'Not altdgether as 
at M. deTreytorenV, but pretty* near it. 

*The little cx/ntert at Madam de! Warens*?, ' 
ntwly converted,, ^nd Mving, feitf they, on 
the 'Kfnj^'s tAaxhy*, ^ made the ' dbrtyiit onjes * 
mvirmoT ; but for mqiny* gcnted pebp^te* ir Wa^ "* 
art agreeable- ani\iifemtnr. I put at ihei/^headl '; 
on this ^occafidri, ofne who woald not b^ 
wf^drly gud&d, a biontj^'but a moiritof me- 
rit-, and even amiabie^ wht^ife mtsfbi;tanes did 
in the end aktremeljr affefl me, and' whoft ' 
inemorjr,.conneSed with' that of my youthful 
day^, Is 'yet dear, 'I am f^ieafang^ oiP fether 
Ctttofl, kf rancifcah fiiar, wW; together wltti * 
the Ccnmt diAtmi,- giW'tWfinv^ ' 

.''•-> littte 

Httk caflViaMKlat Lyons ": tKf^ Is xipi .the bc4 
iw9;ion ftf hi^ll/e. , Hi was a^tachebr of Sor^ 
bonne: he jTved a long wkiip zi^ms amidft 
tjbe bejS /sifnine^^ ana was.^articularljr vei^ 
jriencUy/reCfeTved at the Matqiiis, q^, Anxie^ 
xaont's^ then Ambaflador from Saijdlnia^ He 
wa9 talla^d Wfll n}adc» a fuU face^.fulLeyery 
bUck hairi which without a&f^tion formed 
jBb pnglet on the fide of bfc forehead,, a coun* 
tenance at the fame time noblie^.open^ modeft^ 
a fimple but good prefencc» having neither 
ibe hypocritical nqr the impudent carriage of 
a. monk> nor. the imperious appearance of ml 
man of fafiiion» though he was very much foi 
tut fhcaffurance of a gentleman^ who, .wdtl>> 
out blqihing; at his gown^ does bosour tp 
himfeli^ and kqows nia place is in gente^ 
co^ipanyw Hiough fachear Caton had not ti^ 
learning oC.a doctor,, he had a. great deal 
as. a m^n of fociety ; arid, riojij' being, vcnf ' 
lorwarcf to Ihew his parts. He i^ifed them iy 
advantageouily as : to appear more than they 
,wer?. As* he had been actuftomed to cornf 
jpany, his. applTcatioii was rather ,to agreeably 
.talents, th^n, IpUd knaw^^dge* He hsS firni^ 
]taade verfes^ coftVeded wrelT^ fime better,, ha^ 
a jgopd vctfc^ijilayeiJ'thcorgain aEidharpficJioiM^, 
Xefrf wouy * have made him coivted j jhe .w^ 
JoyJiMX it caufed hlna, fo little Wnegle^ th^ 
duties pf his^prder, ^atjae obtained, thougji 
h^ ha^ competitor's eictreniely j,ealQu^, the 
ele^lion foir a Defin^'tor qf.his province, oji^ 
.as, it is cane<f, pnc of the.g^rand coHau <rf 
t'tne order. '.. • * . \ . ^ ^^. .. i 
i This/fat^^^ '^'^^^^c^x^^^^uainted v\fitii 


i6 THE eoiff £SSIONS OF 19,$, 

Maimpa at the Marguis of Anypfoooyt's. He 
heard of our coaceits, he wiihe<) to be of 
them ; be was fo^ and ' rendered them briU "" 
liant. We wtre foon connected by oiir*c6iB7 
inon taAt for mniiCy which m eacn o/ii^ 
was a Uve^v paffion, with' this difFetente, that 
lie w^ really a mufician, and I only a blotter; 
We went with Canavas, and the Abbe Palais, 
tophy at. his room, and fometimesat his or- 
gan on holidays. . We often dined at his littfe 
table ; for, which is more furpriiing in a 
monk, he wasf generous, fcunptuous, and fen- 
Taal without rudenefs. On our concert days . 
%^ fupped at Mamma's* Thefe fuppers wcrt 
extremely gay, very agreeable ; words and 
lentencecr were given, duets were fungi :I wak 
tfuite frees I had wit and flights y hihex - 
vaton was charmine cojnpany ; Mamma was 
'adorable; the ^bb6 Palais, with iiis bull's 
Voice, was the pl^fVron/ Delightful momenta 
bf gay youth, what a while bane you aftd ^1 
been parted J ^ 

As I fhatl have no ecca&on to fpcak fgain 
of 4>ur old father Caton, let me here,, in a few 
words, finiib his dpleful hiftory. • The reft of 
the monks, jealous, or rather furious at (being 
jbis merit, a|id an elegapc^ of manners which 
hzd nothing of the ^monaftic crapulence d6- 
ttfted him,^ becaufe he was not, tike tbem^ 
deteftable. The heads entered into a coon* 
bmatidn agatnft hfm, and ftirred up the little - 
underling monks that wanted his place, who 
before dared not look towards him.'*. They 
gave him a thoufand affronts ; got his phce'; 
yarned him out of his chamber | which^ he hati . 
• • ^ . '— '■ • furtiilhcd 


B. Y- J Ji J* ROUS &i AV: 17 

AiWitflied with taile, though with Am|)iie% ;» 
confined htm I know not where : in fine, there* 
miCcreants heapedon him fo many wrotigV 
that his honeftiieart, with jufiice lofcv, could 
refift no longer; ami, after having been^the 
delight of the mod amiable focieties, he died 
with grief on an old couch, thruft into fome 
cell or dangeon,' lamented and'bewaikd by 
every good man who knew him, and who fzvf 
no other fault in him than being a monk. 
- With this fort of life, I got fo forward in a 
very fiidrt time, that, entirely drowned hf 
mufici I found myfelf inno fituation to* think 
of other things. T no longer went to our ofi* 
fice but with an ill ' will $ eonftraint and alH- 
diiity to bufinefs made it to me a puniflmient 
not to be fupported, and it brought m6 at.laft 
to wiih to quit my employment, to jgive niy feif 
4ip entirely to mime* If hnay eafily be gueiTed 
this foUy did not pafs without bppoficion; 
To leave an honourable pod, anrd a certain r^-< 
venue, to run after uncertain p^h^ was- a 
little too fehfelefs to ptetffe ■ Maoima . £veH 
fuppbftng my future progrefs as great as 1 fi) 
guredsjto myfelf, 'twas very niodeftly iioiifintng 
my ambition, by reducing my iife to^that'bfra 
mufician. She who formed* ntbne hvtt fnagni-^ 
fioent priDJeds^- and wlia did not .take me alto* 
eether at M. d^'Aubonne's word, with pain 
law nie feriouily occupied in -a talent ibe 
thought fo frivolous, and often reminded me 
of this provincial proverb,' much better. adapt«* 
ed to Paris: Hewh^gswdl^andiwiiidaH^ifi 
ddis^hat which mt much ai^an^r.* She'faw me^ 
mn the other haj^d, carf ied away by an irre- 
:. fiftible- 



fifliW^ indtjultlm i! my *pafiM fei- ntofib^o^ 
fdme cBthu|iafn% ; . ft m^mi tbeveiUe iNai be: fear*e 
ti^ tksLi my emproyment^ fUfibnn^ hf mj iitw 
tctcmion, 'inig^t dntw on^ me a diiniiffioii^ 
n^ich it wiki better. 1 otyi«lf AoulH prevei«£» 
1 likefrffe reprefentti to ber, that this ttnplef*' 
oisnt wouM ndt Ufti long<$» tfatt I> wanted a 
sitxte <»f fuUiilc«K:d;>th8t'I wasTtnare likely to 
fiiccced ih thjtt lii^^iiM:ltG«tioiv led mo to^ 
and ivfctch file Mel tbofttirfor me^' than to^ be 
at thd sierc^ '^f pattoASkge^^ orio ilBabr fltw 
iKptrifliriit^ which iBiglit facceed: ittdiiibran^^r 
ly-) And leave in^i trftair bavmg piAd ithe Mt 
of being teugbt,- withl)iit -a^ reme^i' la ha^ 
I - extorted I mf) eooTeht^ ratlhcr b^ the powee 
«f iai|!»>rtiimty, and i»iB^ficB, thail l^ neafiittb 
ing) ^ whioH fatitfiid i herv X rnftantly ; lan? ta 
tbmbi hatightily^ Mt CocceUiv'IKredcNrGe* 
hend of tvk JS.'fgt&pyv- as- i£ i had ddnetho 
moft hcfoic aAion^ andt vfdunt&rily left nry 
employment vrtthoutoaufe^ withottt Eeafon^ 
without piretcKt) mrttfa as much and n^orsniy 
thftsi'I enterc<l OAfit :not quAio^tmo y<Ma-aiiti« 

V Thtafiep, : 9l8r lioiiihr aaic wi«v drew tm^mfn 
in' the- eountfy a rferti jof refpd£t( which vnm 
vfefultome. ^Sea11edmlght ittol a fomme 
Lhad'jiot^ otheia^ifeeiiig ine:da^ted entirciy 
to muflc,. jutMi^of my taleiatt>bvi the facrifica 
I made,. andUippofisdi tiueiwitt^'mgreata pB& 
fionlfdr tbeiart, Imuftrpoisra it itia fopeiioi^ 
degree, -bfi .bliiidnihD^s kiiigd«im"^atnteca 
^)rea«crown»;i theie paOed fecanexprasncM 
mafter^ betzaufe/they. Itad noim but po^^neaw 
Iia¥ing» nevertbelmy a^^t^flAcr iniidginffy An 


more femaje fdiolai^ than re^aced my (klaif 
mf fccwtary. - 

• . If b scream, thaf^ for an- a^reesbte trfe^ ydti 
could not pafs more rapidly from one €xttt^ 
' ' mhy to di«^ other. At the oftce, .etnf>ldyed 
efghtlvnirsa day In the moft dHagreeid>le'btt-» 
liD«(^ iri«ht{)eaple it'Al more difagreeable ; Ihut 
^P'in« pkifiil office, ftihking with^i^e breattl 
kni fwtfKt cf fc^ many cloWiiid, rM^xif Atttk 
nbt eomfi^ aiid \e^ diPtyy I foiiteftimes fek 
Myfeir Op{tfeiKBd etdti iodizt^rif^f^hf ttt^tHtotH 

^mrUv ^Qfiftr&riit^^aDd^e^fhiea'. tnAi^dof 
tht$^ hmi immitfdiatfily' ttirown aftioHgft *t1it 
b^au thcMde, admit^^ fcfnt for to the fir ft 
AfttHe^s- Qnry wbettiaktndatid'^radeu^iie^ 
4iep(iOili aii air <:^iwelboine : aMt^Me^ydiHtg 
^ii4#^ niMly dmiiedi #klt' !»/ atrrfval, reoeive 
«l# oSkidUfly'i I fee nohe but t^iWihing ob^ 
}e^Si fmell notkiifig but rofe ahd Orange flowef 
>v^tkrs; wefiftg, vire converfe; ^we kugh, we 
4drrert^oarfelve6 ; I go from there* only t6 d^ 
At^fame eUev^re^.-' it miffir be agreed^ ik^ 
asf to advahf^ei onetoufd not' Refitatifr'Attt^w 
ih^f^iti the <«bo^eei^ribtt]ucH ^ip^nS^A of 
fttirtef f^ever^drtce^repttitctf ^ ^iietther dia'I fe^ 
freisif aif this ihftattb^ whcrV I* weigh- in the Bai 
Jance of reafoH' the aiftidni^, of rtiy.Hfe,' at^ 
HA^A I am freed of^ thofti moti^iesr, 'fenfeleft 
^bttgh, which ger\ferrted aft^v ■■ ' ' v f 
>• Tbfe ia tffhdft^tlle<itily^fifftei thalt-' ktithM^ 
^ ^ 'i)et<iVmkihni otAys^ I vWas^not deceived m 
.'trly exp^JktSohs ; Tbe^ linkfi^ed- rfctfe^bn, 
tbe eafy* temper, Ad cbntpfyin^'btrfriotir$,:qf 
Hhe inhabHants of ^t^ tbdntry^ rciiden»i 'sfn 



interOKHirft with the world aimaUie tdine; • 
and the latisfiidioQ I then had ia. it^. proves to 
me beyond a doubt, that, if I .cannot live 
aaaongft mankind* 'tis Ie(s my fauk thaa 

*Ti$ a pity the Savoyards are not rich, or, 
perhaps, 'twpuld be a pity they .were ; for aa 
Ihcy are, they are the beft and the moft fociable 

{(eople 1 am .a^cjuAtnted with* If: there is a 
ittie city in the wprH) whiere the romforts of 
life are tafted through ,an agreeable inter- 
courfe, 'tis Chambery- The nobility, of the 
province have riip more foctune than, will fup- 
port them ; they have not enough to afpire 
after ambitipn* rand pot being ab)e to give 
ihemfelves qp to it, they follow^ from' ne* 
c&i&ty, thei.counf^ of Qyneas. . Their y^outk 
they devote to a military life; then returtis 
and peaceably grow old at home. , Honour and 
reafon prefide at this divifton. The women 
have beauty, but could do without it ; they 
poiTefs all that makes beauty valuable, or that 
^orpafies it. It is fingular, that, my fuuatioa 
introducing me. into the compariy of young 
women, i don't reqieo^ber to biive feen one a£ 
.Cb^bery iwbo had nrtt charms. You 'will 
fyy i wa$: difpo(ed( to, think, fo : that may be ^ 
but It. required no .effort of mine. I cannot 
^fcally recal, withqut pl^fure,* th^ remem- 
brance of' my young fcholars. Why ^ean*t I* 
whilft I am f naming the moft arai^t>le» call 
them ^ack with myfetf to that happy youths 
when we fpent days, tog^her as fw^et as tbjey 
were innocent] The firft vkas Mademoifelle;de 
Meilarede, my neighbour, fifter to the pupil 
, of 

»»11 'J.J.ROUSSEAU,. ai 

of M. Gaime. Shi was a Maok-eyedigirl^ 
and very ItTely ; but her vmcitjt'Wa*^ vert te«( 
reffix^, fiill' of gbce^ anJl viidtbGilit<'giddffiefH 
She was rather thin, : as moft girls of her age 
are ; but her (parkling eyes, fine fiiapa»' atid 
attradive air, wanted no en^hnpuni to>Wke 
ber pleafing. I went there in the morniiig i 
flie was generally m a^di^biUey' without 'an/ 
other headdfefa.thian> her hair canilefjly turned 
up^ adorned.wlthfome flower, 'which was pat 
on. at .my airivaU and taken o^'^t my dtfpar« 
ture. I fear nothina fo much as a pretty' wo* 
man in an undrefs i< Tihould bavf- dreaded 4)€r 
an hitndi-ed times leis tn her drefs* Mad^^ ^ 
moifidle de Mentbon, whom I attended iii the 
afternoon, owas ahyiayt dreffed^'llie niadeM 
foft ah impreflion on:ine,'but in a very dif* 
fercnt manner. Her. half w^s of an auiHe<^ 
loured white : Aie was. extremely delkate, ex*; 
tremely timid, and . extremely fair ; a clear, 
j uft, and foft voice,* but which dared ' not> 
difplay rtfelf. She had a mark dn her bolbm 
from a fcald of boiling water, which a Mm 
corded handkerchief did not well hide* Tlila 
mark fometimes attention that wtty,' 
which was foon drawn to ibmething elfe bev 
fides the fear. Mademoifelle de Chules, ano*- 
ther of my neighbours, waa^a girl grown up^ 
tall, a fine cheft, ilefhy; very clever^ She 
yas not then a beauty ; but might be cited a« 
graceful, even tempered, and good-natured, 
^er filler, Madan\ deiCharlyy |he fineft wo^ 
man 'in Chambdry, no i longer learnt: mufici 
but had her dajUghtcr : taught,' who was yet 
very young, bat 'wl|6(e.rifmg beauty promifcd 


Sfl TIIS ffONF£SSUDN$ QT {{a ^ 

fli^yvbom.'a Ibtkl / omttotjirl ; I hid, at tiut 

l|h»Yfr;f(M^Q€^'^tlHN4io« ipeiics la •}]iaceki dici 
U&^:<£imf foe^^fmosd^ iShe ;hail'tadbcti;tfatt 
tow lisMn^Uxi^^totaof thfe^anttns, ?hd w^-lfais 

4^:ivilbfli(qft ^ibdoigi^tOffteriUiarader. ' Ait 
to thrir^i Acr.wu Itizy; Hi MtAbm to bcae 

£|¥i^ui ibft did'iMt gtaiit tiyeif one; It was 
aMtiiibfrfAec at»Mth or tmi^s segUgehce flie 
fkoft^idUaitXjpfiJieotto tiia1(ft<s)e> mosreaflidu^i 
CHis ^ for I fMtver ooaid dfefemniie tia lie ib. I 
1l^:9|^l6aM mih 'fnf/ielfoM.i^ iksm^ 

VtfMi<l> f)'^^ '^1^^ ^ i^^ o^ligU to go .or be^ ^o <: 
vfftnefl ky the- clotk : lit all . tidies conBtmunt 
aa^ flibJQwioB arey to^mfe, infupportabk ^ thejr 
would ioiak e liie: ]mcc> pbafum ttfelf. Theyi 
ftf , ihar^ Mtith the MafaoRietan^ amanpi^esy 
at :day«*bl0ak» through the Areets,. to order 
iHifbaiidt^'tQido: tbcir ^ty to their wives ^ I 
fl^l4msd^a had; Turk aMhbfe hours. - 
, .{!at]fewfchQlafStaC(cheileond ranlr;» 
^nd*9iie ramongft the reft who wa^ the indireiSb 
caufe 0S a climilge of correipoadence I ihsQt 
fpeajc'^f as 1 has^e promifed to teil aU. fike 
was a grocfx's jdaMgh^er,. wbo&i nattie wasi 
!-***> the true /m^del o^ a Greek ftatue,r 
whoQ)iI ik0ttld cite as t^e^fineft giriiieverfaw^' 
was there a oeaA.ikeautf Without; life, or fouL^ 
Hejcindoltnce, b^r coldness, hbr infenfibilttyy 
WX^ icaiericd tio a (degree ahiioft incredible.* 
It wateqvaHy iaVQffibleto-pleafe as tb angei* 
W i .Wfi I jtmt j^erfuadicdy ^at>' b^d an atw 
c* tempt 

/ ^ 

•>• 5t3 J« ^ :itiO u-s:S)&Atixj^ «3 

4oAet A^ by jndinktkm^ but thiwii^ftupf* 
di tjT. Her motbery vrbo • wi^vAi «ot • ffuti sUe 
^Uk «f it, Mv^Fltfrber^ •mom$m.< By^ hav- 
4ng ber taught ^ Aug) felidiiig^ bor « young 

bttt'it didnot (We<6dd. VI^MIj|.tlU;-mttfl«r 
ogled <tbe-^jiilgb«N^ i^b*:>mb(hep og)«d tbe 
-tnafler^ »rid'Aat^d §i^ fUticMd i4a«b bet* 
ter. Mada^ L^Mt a4de^ ^t^ {Wtr nMi«tl vi- 
vacity ill h«r <iaug)Mr ^b^uld^ bM^ bald. >^ Ste 
4iaid a Ntele (barp' rougb {jace, ptMtd :>v^i£h the 
fwoM'^poHi khMeyeB^ extrsifiety ^pi^feiflj^, 
and ^ {ktie f^d, bocaafo they 'WerW'almoft 
-always ibre. '£y«ry:ipAoi-iria^,w»i sty ;ari^vii), 
1 found my «o£fee and crosun^waye #eady; 
^nd ib« mbtheit aever failed wricoming nie 
m«ba 4ci4 #ei] aipplM to tbc Upi, aiid ^bicb» 
ti^otfi eutiofity, I would hmr^ i^^ed |o hinfc 
g]V«n tbe datt^tcr^ lo fta hoir ^ wotiid have 
taken its > Howtveq^ the whdeiwM doke fo 
fimply, and witb. fo little oonikqnenCe^ that 
•when MJii^Hk^vra^' there ibe ojglea aadrkiffirs 
•^jtdat-enin the famenfanner^ -Bus wasa good 
ttotusft fellow' ; the y^kl littl^f' of bis dangfatc«, 
whom his wife did not deceive, becai^ft tk^tc 
was no oeeafion for It. 

I gave^iytO'all thefe careiiefimtbrnyuQidl 
"l^tecl^iftinaf^V'^^kibg them good^^flfattiradlyy as 
(fnarks of finoeise it-4end(b«p* 'fThey - wei^^^ 
howcvbr^ <bmetiitie» tFoiihlc^ome, for ihe fiery 
Mrs. L***- wad nothing lefs than^ very-urgent; 
andif^ iniAc Itourfe^f theday^' I had-padTed 
by the ^fliop^^ ^ilboiit flo]i^ing, tfiave would 
-itave'beeif a'ftjff about it* I wai obliged, 4f 
•' ' *• . . in 



in i JiUrtyV to go rouod hy 4noAer fireet» 
well afluiea it was .not fo jeaQr jU>.get out 4tf 
.Imboiirc a^ to got iot0 itf ' 
...M^anvi^*** took ^90 .much Mti^ ofm^ 
not to bave. fomC'takciii of ktr. Her attention 
^tottchcli mtigreatily : l>fpol:« of U to Msmamp 
.as of a ihing irithout lOiyfteiyi and had tbi^re 
•been)ahy» I had oqwatly ^oM her of it.; for to 
keep any kind of ifesoret f$^m her yf^s^ to me, 
an impcwibiUty i my heart was open to her as 
to . Gq4 She did not fee* the a^r with the 
bsx^ fimt>Ucity as I did. She.faw advances 
,wiiere I fsw nothing but fric^ndihip : 0ie iitd^ 
that Madam L***^ making. a poii^ of honouyr 
of leaving me lQi& ftupid than flue found me, 
.would arrive, by fome m^ans or; other, ar 
making herfelf anderftood i and, be&des th^^ 
^it waii not jaft aoy other woman 03iou)d take 
pharge of her pupil, ihe.h^d' motives more 
•worthy of her to fecuce me front the traps 
my age a«d.'{»:ofefficKiie3(pofQd me to« , At the 
.fanne time another was laid of , a different 
,kii>d}iwhicb I efcaped; but which let hcjr feo, 
,that the dangers y^hich inceSantlj^.tbre^ened 
,me rendered every prefervative in her power 
ncceflary., ,. .11..,/ 

The Countefs of M***, mother of on^|i>f 
my (cbolars, was « w<Hnan of much wit, and 
^as {aid to have as much ill nature* She watt 
,the caufeof niany difputes, and^^amongft oiliers, 
«ooe whofe;(^onfequeoces had-been faulto.the 
;Houfe of d -A***. Mamma had beehfu^cienJr 
lly conne£)td with hereto know her cbara&ec: 
^having very inndcentlv in^irN an inclination 
in o«e 00 whom Maaam ifi M*f* haid pi:e- 
i. ' '$enfion> 

B-S-3 J- J- ROUSSEAU. ii 

tenfion, flic was charged by her with the 
crimeof this preference, though (he was neither 
foughtnor accepted; and Madam de M*** 
endeavoured, from that time, to play her rival 
many tricks, of which not one fuccecd^d, I 
ifaall relate one of the oddeft by way of 
fample : they were together in the country 
with feveral gentlemen of the neighbourhood, 
and amongfl: them the candidate in queftion ; 
Madam de M*** onetiay faid to one of the 
gentlemen, that Madam de Warens was- but a 
formal creature, without tafte, drefled badly, 
and covered her neck like a tradefwoman* 
As to the laft article, fays the gentleman, who 
was a pleafant fellow, (he has her reafons ; 
for 1 know (he has a great ugly rat marked 
on her breaft, but fo natural, that you would 
think it was running along. Hatred, like 
love, renJers us credulous^ Madam de M*** 
refolvcd to make fomething of this difcovery; 
and one day, when Mamma was at cards with 
the ungrateful favourite of the lady, this laft 
took the opportunity of going behind her 
rival, and turning her chair half over, (he art- 
fully drew o(F her handkerchief; but, inftead 
of a great rat, the gentleman faw a very dif* 
fcrear obje6l, which it was not eafier to forget 
thin perceive. This did not at all anfwer 
the lady's intention. 

I was not a perfon fit to occupy the thoughts 
©f Madam de M***, who would have none 
but bright fparks ^bdut her. However, fhe 
Ibewed me ibme attenhon ; not for my per- 
son, for which, certainly, flie cared not a fig, 
but for the wit it was fuppofed I had> which 
..Vol. II. C might 


might have rendered me ufefu! to her inclina- 
tions. Hers were fatirical enough. She was 
fond of compofing fongs and verfes on thofe 
who difpleafed her. If me had thought my ta* 
lents fufficient to affift her in her verfes^and chat 
I had complaifance to write them, between her 
and me Chambery had Toon been turned upfide 
down. The fource of thefe libels would (bon 
have been traced; Madam deM*** would have 

for out of the hobble by facrificing roc, and 
hkd been (hut up, perhaps^ the remainder of 
my days, to teach me to z& the Phoebus with 
the ladies. 

Luckily nothing of all this happened. Madam 
de M*** kept me to dinner two or three 
times^ to make me chatter, and found I was a 
fiupid fellow. I felt it myfelf, and trembled, 
-envying the talents of my friend Venture^ when 
I ought to have thankea Yny blockifhnefs for 
faving me from fuch perils. I remained the 
ilnging-mafter of Madam de M***'s daugh* 
ter, nothing farth^f ; but I lived in tranquil- 
lity, and was always welcome in Chambery. 
That was better than being a wit to her, and 
a ferpent to the reft of the country. 

Be that as it may, Mamma faw, that to 
keep me from the dangers of youth, it was 
time to treat me as a man ; and fo fhe did, 
but in the moft Angular manner anv woman 
thought of on a like occafion. I found her 
lobks more grave, and her converfation more 
moral than ufual. To the frolickfbrae gaiety 
with which (be generally mixed her inftru<f^ion, 
all at ohce fuccecded a regular voice, which 
was neither familiar nor fevere^ but which 



fcemed to prepare an explanation. Havirtg 
vainly fought in myfclf the reafon of this 
change, I afked it her 5 this was what fhe ex- 
pcfled. She propofcd a walk in the little gar- 
den for the morrow ; We were there early. She 
had taken her meafares that we might bs 
alone 'the whole day: (he made ufe of it to 
prepare me for thekindnefs (he intended (hew- 
ing me, not like other women, by managing 
and ogling me, but by a converfation full of 
fentiment and reafon, more adapted to inftrudl 
than feduce me, and which fpoke more to my 
heirt than my fenfes. However excellent and 
iifeful her diicourfe to me might be, and tho* 
it was neither cold nor tirefome, I did not pay 
it the attention it deferved ; nor did I imprint 
it in my memory, as I (hould have done at 
other times. Her introduction, her method 
of preparing, made me uneafy : whilft (he was 
talking, thoughtful and inattentive, in fpite 
of myfelf, I thought on what (he faid lefs than 
on what (he intended to fay, and as" foon as 
I underftood her, which was not very eafy, 
the novelty of the idea, which fince I lived 
with her never once (truck me, immediately 
employed my thoughts fo much, it did not 
leave me mafter of giving the leaft attention 
to what (he fpoke of. I thought of her only, 
and did not liften to her. 

Wanting to make young people attentive to 
what you would tell them, in (hewing them at 
the end an objeft which much concerns them, 
is an error, teachers are very apt to fall into, 
and which I itiyfelf have not avoided in my 
Emilias. A young man, ftruck with the ob- 

' . ' C X jea 


jc& before him, is entirely employed on itf 
and takes large (Irides over your preliminary 
difcourfe, to grafp at once the end to which, 
in his opinion, you lead him too flowly* If 
you would render him attentive, don't let him 
penetrate you before-hand, and in this Mamma 
vras very auk ward. By a fingularity which 
was part of her fyftematical temper, the took 
the very vain precaution of propofing condt* 
tiops ; but, as foon as I faw the price, I 
thought no more of them, and haftened to 
confent to every thing. 1 even much doubt,, 
whether, in fuch a cafe, there is on the earth 
a man frank enough, or who has fortitude, to 
dare hefitate ; or a fingle womam who, if he 
did, could forgive him. From a confequence 
of this humour, (he added to this agreement 
the graveil form ill ties, and gave me eight dayy 
to think of it, of which 1 falfcly aiTured her 
I had no occafion ; for, to fill up the meafure 
of fingularicy, I was glad of them, fo much 
did the novelty of thefe ideas ftrike me, and 
fo total a confufion did I feel in mine, that 
it required time to arrange them ! 

You would think thefe eigh^ days were to 
me eight ages. No fuch thing ; I (bould have 
been glad if they had laded fo long. 1 am at 
a lofs to defcribe the fituation I was in, filled. 
with a kind of dread mixed with impatience, 
fearing what I defired, fo much as at times 
heartily to wifli fome honourable means of 
avoiding happinefs. Let any one reprefent to 
himfeif my warm and lafcivious conftitution, 
my 'blood inflamed, my heart intoxicated with 
love, my vigour, my healthy my age;. think 


B. sO J. J. ROUSSEAU. 19 

that in this ftate, greedy with defire for wo- 
men, I had not vet come near one ; that ima- 
gination, neccifity, vanity, and curiofity^ 
united to devour me with the ardent wifli of 
being a man, and to appear one; add, above 
all, for it fliould not be forgot, that my lively 
Brtii tender attachment for her, far from cool- 
ing, had daily encreafed ; that I Was never 
cafy but with her ; that 1 never left her but 
to think of her ; that my heart was full, not 
only of her kindnefs and her amiable charaSer, 
but of her fex, her face, her perfon, in a 
word, of herfcl'*, under every view ill which 
fte could be dear to me : and let it not be 
ftnagined, that, for the ten or twelve years I 
Was younger than Tier, (be was grown old, 
or appeared fo to me. Since the five or fix 
years I felt the foft tranfports on her firft 
light, (he was really very little altered, and did 
•not feem tcr me to be fo at all. She has aU 
ways appeared charming to me, and was ftill 
fo to every one. Heir >yaift only was grown 
a little thicker. There remained the fame 
eye, the fame /kin, the fame neck, the fame 
features, the fame fine flaxen hair, the fame 
gaiety, every thing the fame even to her voice, 
the clear voice of youth, which always made 
on me fo great an infprefiion, that to thts 
day 1 cannot hear without emotion the (bun4 
of a girPs fine voice. 

• In fad, the mod I had to fear in waiting for 
the poiTeffibn of fo lovely a perfon, was anti- 
cipation, and not being able fufficiently to 
govern my defires and my imagination to be 
mafter of myfelf. You will £tt, that, in an 

C 3 advanced 


advanced age, the thought only of a triSine 
favour which awaited me from the beloved 
perfon, fired my blood to a degree of render- 
ing impoffible the going over with impunity 
the ihort.fpace that feparated me from her. 
How, and by what prodigy^ in the flower of 
my youth, had I fo little defire to the firft 
poileffion ? How could I fee the hour approach 
with more pain than pleafure ? How, inftead 
of delights which (hould have intoxicated me, 
did I feel almdft repugnance and fear ? There 
is not the ieaft doubt of my having flown 
firom this happinefs with all my heart, could 
I have done it with decency. 1 promifed ex^ 
travagancies in the hiflory of my aifedion for 
her; this is certainly one which was little 
expcfied. • 

The reader, already fhocked, judges that^ 
laving been pofleiTed by another, ihe bad de* 
bafed herfelf fn my eyes, by dividing her af^ 
ia&iony and that a featimeot of difel.ecm had 
cooled thofe ihe had before infpired ; he ia 
jniftaken. This divifion, it is true, gave me 

freat pain, as well from Statural delicacy, as 
ecaufe, in fa6t, I thought it unworthy her- ' 
felfor me; but as to my feelings for her; it 
did not change them ; and I can fwear, that 
never did I love her more tenderly than when 
I fo little dcfired to poilcfs her, 1 wf^s too well 
acquainted with the chaility of her heart, and 
hex frozcB conflitution, to think for a moment 
the pleafures of fenfe had any part in this 
abandonirg herfelf : I was perfectly fu re, that 
her attentionto gearing me from dangers other- 
wife inevitable, and to keep me entirely to 


B- Sf J- J. Rp U S S E AU. 31 

myfelf andiny devoirs, made herbrodc through 

one wbkh ihedid not regard in the fame point 

of view as other viromen^ which \i%ihall bece- 

afcer (ay more ofi. I pitied her, and pitred 

myfelf. I had an inclination to tell her, No^ 

Nlamma, it is not neceflary ; I can anfwer for 

myfelf without it : but I dared not ; firft, be* 

caufe it was a thing not to be faid, and that at 

the bottom I knew it was not true; and that^ 

in fad, a woman was neceflary' to keep me^ 

from other women, and fecure me from temp^ 

tatioii. Without wilhingtopoflefsher, I wa<i 

glad (he prevented me from wifhing to poffiefs 

others ; fo much did 1 look on every thing 

which could divert me from her as a mis^ 

fortune. . 

The long habit of living together, and liv- 
ing tnnociently, /ar from weakening my leek 
ings for her, ftrengthened them, but at ,the 
fame time had given them another turn, which 
rendered them more affe£Honate, tenderer per- . 
haps, but lefa fenfual. By continually cailing 
her Mamma, continually tifii^ with her the 
familiarity of a (on, I had been accuflomed to 
think myfelf fo. I believe this is the true 
caufe of the little defire I had to poilefs her^ 
though (he was fo dear to me. I very well re« 
member my iirft feelings, without being more 
lively, were more voluptuous. At Annccy I 
was infatuated f at Chambery I was no longer 
fo. 1 always loved her as paffionately as it 
was poffible ; but I loved her more for herfelf 
and ]ef& for me, or rather I fought my hap* 
pinefs more than pleafare in her company : fhe« 
was more to me than a fifter, more than a i 

C 4 mother^ 


mother, more than a friend, even mote than 
a miftrefs, and that was the caufe ihe was not 
a miftrefs. , In fine, I loved her too much-- to 
covet her : this is the cleareft of any thing I 
have in my ideas* 

*. The day, rather dreaded than awaited, at 
laft came. Lpromifed every thine* smd kept 
my promife. My heart confirmed my en^age* 
ments, without wifhing the reward. I ob«* 
tained it nevertheleis ; I found myfelf, for the 
firft time, in a woman's arms, and the woman 
I adored. Was I happy ? No. I rafted plea** 
fure. I don't know what invincible fadneft 
poifoned its charms. I was as if I had com- 
mitted . inceft* Two or three times preffing 
her with tranfport to my arms, I poured on 
lier breaft a torrent of tears. As for her, (he 
was neither happy nor unhappy; fhewas ca- 
reffing and calm. As (be was little fenfua), 
and did not wi(h for fenfaal pleafures^.ibe bad 
not its delights, nor has ever felt its (lings. 

I repeat it; all her faults proceeded from 
error, never from her paffions. She- was of a 
0ood family; her heart was uncorrupt ; (he 
loved good manners; her inclinations were 
upright and virtuous, her tafle delicate: (he 
was born to an elegance of morals (he always 
loved and never followed ; for, inflead of 
Hflening to h^r heart, which led her right» . 
ihe obeyed her reafoh, which led her wrong. 
When falfe principles had led her aftray, her 
true feelings always contradi£led them ; but, 
unhappily, (he piaued herfelf on phiiorophy* 
and the morals (ne had inculcated infected 
thofe her heart didated. 

M. de 


M. dc Tavcl, her firft lover, was her teach- 
er in philofophy, and the prtncipies he in* 
fiilied in her were thofe which were ne- 
ceiT^ry to fcduce ber* Finding her jtruc to her 
hufband and her duty, refervea, reafoningand 
Jnattackable through the fenfes, he attacked 
her by his fophifms, and arrived at expofing 
her duties, to which ibe was fo attached, as 
the prating of a catechifm invented only to 
amufe children ; the union of the fcxes as an 
zSt the moft indifferent in itfelf; conjugal 
faith as binding in appearance, wbofeonly mo* 
rality regarded opinion ; the repofe-of a huf« 
•.band as the only rule of a wife's duty ; fo tbn 
fecret infidelity, without exigence for the of- 
fended perfon, was likewife fo for the con- 
fcience: in fine, be perfuaded her, that the 
thing in icfelf was nothing, that it took its 
ej^iftence from fcandai only, and that every^v 
woman who appeared ^prudent was efiediualiy 
fo. ' Twastbus the fcoundrel arrived at cor- 
xupting the reafon of a child, wh«fe heart he 
could not corrupt. His punifliment was a 
:Confuming jealoufy, perfuaded (he treated him 
.as he had taught h/er to treat her hufband. I 
don't know that be was miftaken. The mi- 
nifter P * ♦ • pafled as his fueceflbr. Thus * 
much I know, the' cold conftitution of this 
young woman, which (hould have guarded her 
from fuch a fyftem, was the very thing pre- 
vented her from quitting it afterwards. She 
.could hot conceive how a thing could be tieat- 
ed with importance, which was of none to her.' 
She never honoured with the name of virtue 
an abftinence which g^ve her no pain. 

C5 Sh,a 

Itbe htd, therefore, nevtsr made an ill ufe of 
•thefe falfe prtndptes farherfetf ^ but flie made 
an ill ttfe of •them for others, and that from 
aliBC^ft ftf Mfe a maxini,«ahut more agrecab^ 
to the goodnefs of her heart. She alurays be- 
lieved notbuie fo moeh uttarhed a fran to a 
woman as polcffion i and although (he loved 
her friends but whh friendfliip, 'twas a friend* 
.ftip b tendef) ihe made ufe j>f every means 
in her power to attach them to her more 
'llrongly. .The moft extraordinary is* her aN 
• Bioft always having fucceeded. She was real* 
]y ft) ^iable, that the greater the intimacy 
with her, the more you found new fubfeds for 
hvtng her. Another thing worthy remark-; 
after her firft weaknefs, jDie feldom favoured 
any but the unfortunate : fbining fparks had 
mil their trouble for nothipg, but the man flit 
began hy pitying, mud have had very fe# 
amisd>lc qualities if &e did not end in loving 
Slim. When her choice was net worthy her, 
•for from its proceeding from low inclinations, 
which never reached her noble heart, 'twa^ 
folely from her charaAer, too generoufi, too 
humane, too c^mpaffiona^» too tender, which 
ihe did not always govern with diicernment. 
. If a few falfe principles led her aftray, how 
many amiable ones had flie not which ihe 
never departed from ? fiy hoW many virtues 
did (he not redeem her weakneiTes, if errors 
can be called by this name, where fenfe had 
fo little (bare. The fame man who deceived 
bar in one point, excellently inftruded her fn 
a thoufand others; and her paffions not be* 
lJ2g warm, and -always permitting her to fol- 

B-s-I J. J. ROUSSEAU. 35 

low her undcrftanding, (he did righft whea 
his fophifins did not lead her awajT- Her mo- 
tives were praife-worthy even in her faults; 
through miftake fhe might do ill, bnt it was 
but of her power to wiih to do ilK She ab* 
horned duplicity and lies: (hewasjuft, equi- 
table, humane, diiintereAed, faithful to her 
-word, to her friends, to duties (he acknow^ 
ledged to be fuch, incapable of vengeance or 
hatred, and could not even conceive the leaft 
merit in pardoning. In fine, to return to thai 
which was leaft excufeabJe in her, without 
efleeming her favours of any price, flie never 
made a bafe traffic oT them ; (he beilowed them 
pdcniifally, b\it fiCver foM them, though (he 
-was very often at the hft penny ^ and i dare 
ftdvante, that if Socrates could efteem Af- 
^afia, he would have refpedted Madam de 

I know before, hand, that, in giving hc\r s| 
charadter of tendernefs and a cold conftitution^ 
Ilhall he accufed of contradidion, as iiCual, 
and with as much reafon. Nature might have 
been to blame, and they ought not, perhaps^ 
to have met ; 1 only know that fo it was. 

All thofe who were acquainted with Ma* 
dam de Warens, whereof a great /lumber 
fiill exift, know that thus (he was. I dare 
add (he knew but one fole pleafure ; it was 
giving \jL thofe (he loved, tvery one, how-* 
ever, has a right to argue on it at pleafure| ^ 
and learnedly to prove it faife. My fun^Hoi^ 
is to tell truth, but not to make it believed. 

I learnt, from time to time, what 1 have 
juft faid) ia cooverfatioRB which followed our 

C 6 uaioA^ 


untoQ, and which only rend^ed it delightful. 
She was right when /he thought her coatplai- 
fance might be ufeful to me for my inftru£)ioni 
1 drew great benefit from it, .She had till 
then talked to me only as to a child. She 
began to treat me as a man, and to talk of 
herfelf« Every thing flie faid concerned me 
fo much, I found myfelf fo touched byMt, 
thaty turning it in my mind, I applied her con* 
fiJence to my advantage more than I had 
done her lefibns. When we really feel the 
heart fpeak, curs opens to receive its over- 
flowings, and- never will all the morality €)f 
a pedagogue equal the tender and affe&ionate 
prattle of a fenGble woman for whom you 
have an attachment* 

The intimacy in which I lived with her^ 
having enabled her to judge more advantage- 
oufly of me than before, {he Judged, that, in 
fjpite of my auk ward look, I was worth the 
trouble of putting forward in the world, and 
that could 1 once reach it I {hould make my 
foad* On this idea (he undercook, not only 
to form my judgment, but my exterior, my 
manners, to render me amiable as well asefti-? 
mable ; and if it is true that fuccefs in the 
world can be allied to virtue, which is what I 
don't believe, I am certain, at leaft, there is 
no other road than that (he bad taken, and 
would have led me : for Madam de Warens 
knew mankind, and underftood, in a fuperior 
degree, the art of treating with them without 
faliehood or imprudence^ without deceiving 
or angering them. But this art was in her 
character more than her IciTons^ ihe better 


B.$.] J. J; ROUSSEAU. jy 

knew to pra<dife than tesch it, and I wa$ of 
all men the leaft apt to leard it. Thus all fhc 
did in this refpe<^ was almoft thrown away» 
as well as her attention in procuring me danc-^ 
ing and fencing mafters. Though light and 
well enough made, I coiild not learn to dance 
m miniiet. I had fo far got a habit, on ac- 
count of my corns, of walking on my heels, 
j^oche could not break 'me of it, and never, 
with my nimble appearance, could I leap over 
a middling ditch. It was worfe at the fenc- 
ihg-fchool. After three months leflbns^ I was 
ilili at the mark, unable to fence ; nor ever 
^ad a hand fuppte enough, or an arm ftrong 
enough, to hold a foil, whenever my mailer 
chofe to make it fly. Add to this, I had a 
mortal hatred to the exercife, and for the maf^ 
ter who endeavoured to teach me. I could 
hot have believed a man could be fo proud 
of the art of killing a man. To bring his vaft 
genius within my reach, he exprefied himfelf 
by comparifons from mufic, which he did not 
underftand. He found a ftriking analogy be- 
tween tierce and quart,and the muftcal intervals 
of the fame name. When he intended a 
feint, he told me to take care of the diefis, 
becaufe formerly the diefis was called a feint : 
when he had made my foil fly, he faid, with 
a fneer, that was a Jf^p» In fine, I never 
in my life faw a pedant fo infupportable as 
this poor creature with his plume and his 

I therefore made little progrefs in my ex* 
ercifes, which I foon quitted from pure dif« 
gu&i but I did better in a more ufeful ^rt, 



chat of bdfig co ote mca with mj lot, without 

* dcfiring one more brilliant, Ibrwhkh I began 

to fee 1 was not made. Entirely giiren up to 

the detire of making Mamma's days ^appy, I 

frew ftill happier in her company ; and wbcn 
was obliged to leave her to run to town, in 
fpite of my paffion for mufic^ I began to feel 
Ihe conftraint of my leflbns. 

1 don't know whether Claude A net per- 
ceived the intimacy between us. I have 
reiifon to believe it was not hid from him. 
He was a young fdlow who could fee deafly^ 
but difcreetly ; who never fpoke ' conti afy to 
his thoughts, but did not always fpeak them. 
Without taking the kaft notice to me ^at im 
knew it, by his condtrd he feemed to me to 
be acquainted with ir ; 'and this conduft did 
not certainly proceed from meannefs of fpirit^ 
but, having given into the principles oF l\i% 
miHrefs, he could not difapprove of her 
a^ing in confequence of them. Although 
he was as young as fixe, he was ib ftaid and 
to grave, he regarded us almoft as two child- 
ren worthy inddgence, and we regarded him» 
each of us, as a refpeSablc man, whofe 
dleem we would merit. It was not till after 
her unfaithfulnefs to him I was acquainted 
with the whole attachment fiie had for him* 
As ftie kne\^ I thought, felt, or breathed- by 
her only, flie let me percdvc how much flie 
loved him, that I might love htm Ukcwife ; 
Ihe dwelt lefs on her friendfliip than her" 
efleem for him, as it was the fentiment I 
could more fully partake of. How many 
tiflaes has &e not m^e us embrace ^each. 



S. sO j. J. ROUSSEAC. iq 

tjftbct with tears, telling us we vvete both 
neeeflafy to the happinefs of her life : but let 
fiot thofe women who read this, illnaturedly^ 
fm'rle ; with the conftitution ifae had, this 
neceffity was not ei^uitrocai } 'cwas folely that 
of her heart. 

Thus was eftablrfhed amongft us three a 
fociety without perhaps an example on earth. 
All our wifties, oar cares, our hearts, were 
€Mie. None of them pafied be3'ond this little 
circle. The habft of living together, and 
thring exclufivcly* became fo great, that if, at 
our meals, one of the three was wanting, or 
tfa^ a fourth came in, all was confufion, and^ 
in fpite of our particular conne(5{ions, the 
t^e-a-tctes were lefs charming than our re- 
union. That which prevented conftraiq^t 
amongft us was our extreme reciprocal con^ 
fidcnce, and that which prevented dulnefs 
was our being always employed. Mamma, 
always projeaing, and continually aAive, 
left neither of us very idle ;^we had each of 
tis feparately enough to fill up' all our timer. 
Id my opinion, idleneCi is no lefs the peft c^ 
Society than folitude. Nothing contrads the 
mind, nothing engenders trifles, tales, back- 
'Utings, flander, and falfities, fo much as being 
ibut up in a room oppofite each other, redu* 
ced to no other occupation than the neccffity 
of continually chattering. When every one 
is employed, they fpeak only when they have 
fomerhing t6 fay ; but ir you are doing 
nothing, you rftuft abfdiutely talk inceffinily, 
, 'and this of all conft/aints is the moft trouble- 
l^ne and the moft dangerous. I dare go even 
' farther. 


fiirther, and maiDtain, that, to render a cirde 
truly agreeable, every one muft be not onljr 
doing fomething, but (bqiethii^ which re* 
quires a little attention. To make knots is 
to make nothing ; and it is as neceflary to 
amufe a woman who is making knots, as 
when (he holds her ariQs acrofs. But when 
(he is embroidering, 'tis another thing ; fbe 
is fufficiently employed to fill up the intervals 
^f rUence. The moft (hocking and ridiculous 
IS, to fee, during that time» a dozen aukward 
fellows get up, ht down, go, come, turn on 
their heels, take up aq hundred times the apes 
on the chimney, and tire their Minerva to 
fupport an itiexbauftible flow of words: a line 
occupation ! Thefe people, do what they 
can, will alwnys be a burthen toothers ana 
to th^mfelves. When I was at Motiers, I 
Tat down with my neighbours to make laces : 
(hould I once ndore mix with the world, I 
will carry in my pocket a cup and ball, to 
play with it the whole day, to difpenfe with 
talking when I' have nothing to fay. If every 
one did fo, mankind would be lefs wicked, 
their friend(hip more certain, and I believe 
more agreeable. In fine, let wags laugh if 
*?"cv ,.'.! ; I M. .tain that the only morals 
'* .** i) tv^h :-f the prefent age is the cup 

. ^i, <^voiUuig dulnefs was not left en- 
tirely to ourielves ; troublefome vi&tors caufed 
us too much by their numbers to leave us fo 
when alone* The uneafinefs they gave me 
was not decreafed ; the whole difference oon- 
lifted in my .having lefs time to think of i\^ 
; Poor 

B. 5-1 J- J- ROUSSEAU. 4i 

Poor Mamma had not got rid of her old fanc]r 
of projects and fyftems. On the contrary^ 
the more her- domeftic wants became prei6ng» 
the more, to provide for them, fhe gave into 
her vifions. The lefs prefent refourccs were 
to be had, the more ihe expelled in future; 
The , progrefs of years only ehcreafed this 
paiSon in her; and ftil], as (he loft her tafle 
for the pleafures of voutfa and the world, ihe 
replaced them by iecrcts and praje<Sls. The* 
houfe was not cleared of quacks, m^nu&c- 
turers, feekers of the philofophers flone, jacks 
of all trades, who, diftributing fortune by 
millions, ended in wanting half a crown* 
None went from her empty, and that which 
aftoniflied me was, that^ftne could fuffiee Co 
long to fo much profufton, without draining 
the fource, and tiring her creditors. 

The.plan which mod emi^loyed her at the 
time I fpeak of, and which was not one of 
her mod unreafonable ones, was to form at 
Chambery a royal garden of botany, with a 
penfioned Demonftrator : the perfon intended 
for this place may be eafily gu^fled. The 
pofition of this city^ in the centre of the Alps, 
was extremely favourable to botany; and 
Mamma, who made one projed: eafy by ano-« 
thtr^ added to it a college of pharmacy, whiph 
really feemed extremely ufeful in fo poor a 
country, . where apothecaries are almoft the 
fole phyficians. TheProto-phydcian Groffi'a 
retiring to Chambery, after the death of king 
ViAor, feemed greatly to favour thitf idea, 
and perhaps fuggefied it to her. Be that as it 
may, {hCi fet about cajoling Groffi, who wa% 



not, however, very cajolable ; for he was die 
moft cauHic and the moft brutal gentleman I 
have ever been aequamfed, with. You ma^ 
judge of him by two or thnee iloriea I fliaU 
give you by way of fample. 

He was^nce in confuJtatioo with fome other 

pKyficianc, and, ^mongft them, one who had 

bepn fent for from Annecy, and who ufuatly 

was the fick perfon's |>fayfician. This young 

man, but yet little learned for a phvfician, 

dared to be of a different opinion to Mr. The 

Prota This laft, in anfwer, aiked him, when 

he returned home, which road he toc4c, and 

what carriage he Should go in? The other, 

having fatisfied him, afted hrai, in his torn, 

whether there was any thing he could do for 

him. Nothing, nothing, faid Groffi, only I 

will go to fome window to fee an ais go 1>y' 

on horfeback. He was as avaricious as rich 

and hard-hearted. One day a friend of bb 

wanted to borrow fome money of him on good 

fccurity. My friendy fa3rt he to him, fqnec^ng 

hi$ arm, and at llie fame time grinning, fliould 

JSt. Peter come down from Heaven to borrow 

of me ten piftoles, and the Trinity would be 

bound for the payment, 1 would not lend hiitl 

the money. Being invited to dime one day 

with the Count Picon, Governor of Savoys 

and extremely devout, he came befoi^ the 

hour } his Excellency, being occupied at hie 

prayers, propofed the iame amufement to him. 

(^ot knowing what to fay,he makes a wry face. 

and falls on his knees. But he had fcarcely 

fiiid two Jvi'Mariasy when, not being able 

jp hold any ionger^^ be gets up m a huriy. 



6.5.] J. J- ROUSSEAU. 4^ 

takes his cane, an4 goes off without a word* 
Count Picon runs 'after him, ,and cries out. 
Stay, M. Groffi, ftay ; they, have got below an 
ciECe] lent red partridge on the fpit. Count ! 
fays he, and turns round, if you had an angel 
roafted I would not flay. This was the charac- ^ 
terof the Proto-phyficiah Groffi, whom Mam^ 
ma undertoolc and fuccceded in taming. Tho' 
extremely occupied^ be often ufed to call on 
her, had a fricndfl^ip for Anet, feemed to . 
think him intelligenty ^oke of htm with ef« 
te4»m and, what would hot be expeded from 
fych a bear, affeded to treat him with confi* 
deration, to wipe off the impreifion of the 
paft : for though Anet was not now on the 
footing of a fervant^ it was known he had been 
onCf and nothing lefs than the example an4 
authority of the Proto^phyfician WjCs neceiTary 
to authorize that tone which otherwife would 
not have been relished. Claude Anet,jwith a 
^ack coat, a welUdreilcd wJg» a grave and 
decent carriage, a prudent and circumfpc£k 
condud, a knowledge pretty extehiive in me-« 
dicinal and botanical matters^ and favoured by 
the head o( the faculty, might reafonably hopo 
to fill with applaufe the place of Demonftracor 
royal in plants, if the propofed inftitution took , 
place ; and Groffi really reliflied the plan, had 
adopted itt and to propofe it to government 
waited only ilntil peace Ihould permit it tv 
think of ufeful things, and give opportunity 
to affift them with the neceffary fupplies. 

But th»s projci^, whafe execution bad pro* 
bably thrown me into botany, for which tt 
feeou to qae J was born, failed by one of thofe 



untxpcSteA ftrokcs which overturn die beft- 
concerted plans. I W>s fafed to become, by 
degrees, an example of human miferies. One 
would think Providence, which invited me to 
thefe great trials,^ difpelled with its hand every 
thing that cou]d prevent me from foiling into 
them. In a trip Anet made to the top of the 
mountains to look for genipi, a fcarce plant 
which grows only on the Alps, and which 
M. GroiE wanted, the poor fellow fo far 
heated himfelf as to bring, on a pleurify, of 
which the genipi could not cure him, though: 
k is, they fay, fpecificaU and with a]l the art of 
Groffi, who was certainly an able man, the 
infinite care taken of him by bis kin4 niif- 
trefs and me, he died the fifth day, under our 
bands, after the moft cruel fufferings, d>nring 
which he had no other exhortations thari^mine, 
but which were given with affectionate ,zeiA 
and angjuifli, fuch as, had he been in a (Itua- 
tion of underftanding.them, muft have been 
of feme confolation to him. Thus I loft the 
moft folid friend I ever had ; a man valuable 
and fcarce, in whom nature fupplied the place 
of education, who cherifhed in fefvitude all 
the virtues of illuftrious men, and to whom 
nnthine more perhaps was wanting .to^ fliew 
himfelf fuch,. than life and a place. 

The next day I talked of him to Mamma 
with a lively and fincere afflidlion ; and, all 
at once, in the midft of the converfation, 1 had 
the bafe and unworthy thought of mv fucceed* 
ing to his cloaths, and particuiarly a neat 
black coat. I thought fo, and confequently 
faid fo i fur with her it was to me the fame 


B. s ] J. J. R O U S S E A U. 4$ 

thing. Nothing fo plainly fhewed her the 
lofs fhe had fuftained, as this fordid, odious 
vyori ;,dtnntereftednefs and a noble foul be- 
ing the qualities the deceafed had eminently 
poffefied. The poor* creature, without an- 
fwefing, turned her^ head away and cried bit- 
terly. Dear and precious tears ! They were 
felt and ran all to my inward foul; they 
waihed from it every trace of bafe and dif^ 
honeft fentiments j none ever entered there 
fince that time. 

This lofs was as prejudicial as painful to 
Mamma, From this inftant her affairs incef- 
fantly declined. Anet was an exafi, orderly ^ 
young man, who took care there was regula- 
rity in his miftrefs's houfe. They dreaded his- 
vigilance, and there was lefs wafle. She her- 
feff dreaded his cenfure, and contracted her 
diflipations. His attachment was not fuffi- 
cient for her; (he would have his efteem; 
and fhe feared the juff reproach he fpmetimes 
dared to caft at her, telling her (he deftroyed. 
the goods of others as well as her own. When 
he was no more, I was forced to take his 
place, for which I had as little aptitude as, 
inclination ; I filled it ill. I was not careful^ 
very timid, and grumbling to myfelf only, I 
let all go on as it would, fiefidcs, though I 
had gained the fame confidence, I had not the 
fame authority. I faw ths diforder; I trem- 
bled at it ; complained, but was not iiflened 
to. I was too young and too hafly to claim 
a right to reafon ; and when I took on me to. 
a£t the reformer. Mamma gave me careffing 
boxes on the ear^ called me her little Mentor, 



and obftged tne to return to the part for which 
I was better fuited. 

The deep fenfe of the diftrefs her unmea- 
furable expences mufl fooner or later bring her 
t6j made the ftronger impreffion on me, as, 
being now the infp&lor of her houfe, 1 judged 
myfelf of the difproportion of the debtor and 
creditor fide ofthc queftion. I date from this 
period the inclination I have always found to 
avarice fince that rime. I never was foolifhly 
prodigal hot by fits ; but till then I gave my- 
felf little trouble about how little or bow 
much money I had. I began to give this at- 
tention, and be careful, of my purfe. ^I be- 
came mean from a noble motive ; for i really 
thought to keep a little refource for Mamma 
in the cataftrophe I forefaw. I feared her cre- 
ditors might feize her penfion, or that it 
might be entirely taken off; and I imagined, 
according to my narrow views, that my little 
hoard might greatly aiHft her. But to dp it, 
and particularly to preferve it, I muft hide it 
from her^ for it would not have been fafe, 
when (he was at the lad expedient, that (he 
Ihould be acquainted with my little treafure. 
1 therefore fought fly places here and there to 
thruft a few guineas into as a depofit, intend- 
ing to encreafe the depofit incefTantly, until 
the inftant I threw it into her lap. But I was 
(o auk ward in the choice of my hiding holes, 
that ihe always difcovered them y and to let 
me know (he had found them^ (he took out 
the gold, and put in a larger fum in different 
coin. I pofted, quite afhamed, to bring back 
my Hltlq treafure to the common purfe j but 



B-S-] J. J. ROUS SEA l^. '4.7 

file never failed laying it out to my advantage 
in^ deaths, or other things, as a iilver-hilted 
fword, watch, or fome fuch thing. 

Well convinced, that 1 Qiould never fucceed 
in accumulating, and that it wbuld be but a 
fiender reiburce for her, I faw, in fine, I had 
no other againft the misfortune^ dreaded than 
to put myfelf in a iituation of providing for 
«her fubfiftence, when^ ceafing to fupport m«^ 
fke might fee herfelf m want of bread. Un- 
happily, malcing my proieds fubfervient to my 
inclinations^ I perfifted m foolifhlyfeekingmy 
fortune in muilc,and finding ideas and tunes rife 
in my brain, I thought that as foon as I (hould 
rbegjn to get money by it, I fhould become a man 
of note, a modern Orpheus, whofe notes would 
*Bttrai5t ail the money of Peru. The quef- 
tion was, as 1 began to read muftc pafTably, 
how to learn compofition<i The difficulty lay 
in getting fbfne one to teach me ; for witn 
my Rameau only I could not txpeA to attain 
it alone, and after the departure of Mr. le 
Maitre, there was not one in Savoy who un- 
derwood the leaft of harmony. 

Here you will fee another of thofe incon- 
fequences with which my whole life is filled^ 
and which have fo oft<?n led me from my 
pbje£l, even when I thought I was going 
diredty to it. Venture had faid a great deal 
to me of the Abb6 Blanchard, who taught him 
to compofe ; a man of merit and great talents^, 
then mufic-mafter to the cathedral of Befan- 
^on, and now to that of Verfailles. I took it 
in my head to go to fiefan^on to take a lelTon 
of the Abbe Blanchard : the idea appeared fo 



reafon^le to me, I perfuaded Mamma io think 
(o likewife. She fets to work to equip me^ 
and with t^e prof^ifion Oie did ^vcry thing. 
Thus contintially planning how to prevent a 
l^ankruptcyt and to repair Jn future the work 
of her diiSpation, I was at. that inftant put** 
ting ber to an^expence of eight hundred livres^ 
I accelerated her ruin to put me in a Situation 
to prevent it. How,ever filly, this condtift 
might be, the illufion got entirely hold o( 
me, .and even of her. We were both equal* 
]y perfuaded, J that 1 was ufefully labouring 
for her good» and fhe that ihe was ufefuUf 
labouring for mine. - 

I expe£led to find Venture, fiill at Annecy, 
and to afk him for a letter to the Abbe filan* 
chard« Hewasgone^ I was obliged to con- 
tent myfelf as my only inftiu^r, with a 
four»part mafs of his.comppfing, and which 
he h^d Jeft with me. With thU reeottimeoda- 
tion I go to BefanqQn, by way of Geneva^ 
wherq 1 faw my relatk>hs, and through Nion, 
where I faw my father, who received me as 
ufual, and undertook to fend my portmanteau^ > 
which ''was coming- after me, as I was on 
horfeback. I arrive at Befan^on. The Abbi 
Blanchard receives me well, promifes to in^ 
ftrufl: roe, and ofiers me his fervices. • We 
were juft beginnings when I leara from my 
father that my portmanteau bad i>een ftopped, 
and confifcated at Roufles, a barrier of France, 
on the frontiers of Switzerland. Affrighted 
at this news, 1 make.ufeof the acquaintance 
I had made at Befanfon, to know the motive 
of this confifcation ^ for beifig certain of its 


B. s^l J. J. R O U S S E A U. 49 

having nothing prohibited^ I could not con*^ 
ce4ve-on what pretext they could feizc it, I 
learnt it at laft : it muft me told) for 'tis a cu- 
rious a#air. 

I went to fee at Chambery an old tnan front 
Lyons ; a very good fort of min ; his name 
was Duvivier ; who had been employed m tht 
Chancery under the Regent ; and who, for 
Want of employment, came to afiift at the Re- 
giftry of the lands. He had lived well ; had 
talents, fome knowledge, was mild, polite, 
knew mudc, and, as we were of the fame 
room, wc preferred each other's company to 
that of the unlicked bears who furrounded us* 
He had correfpondents at Paris, who fupplied 
him with thefe trifles, thefe ephemeral novel- 
ties, which have a day's run one can't tell 
why, which die one can't tell how, without 
any c^nes ever thinking of them after they have 
ceafed talking of them. As i fometimes took 
him to dinner to Manama's, he in fome fort 
made his court to ciie, and, to make himfelf 
agreeable, he endeavoured to give me a tafte 
for thefe tniipid things, for which I had fo 
great a difguft I never in my life read one 
when alone. Unfortunately, one of thefe 
curfed papers was left in the waiftcoat»pocket 
of a nev^ fuit I had worn but two or three 
times, in order to prevent its feizure by thefe 
Commas. The paper was a Janfenift parody^ 
flat enough, of the beautiftil fcene of Racine'a 
Mithridates. I had not read ten verfes, and 
left it through fbrgetfulnefs in my pocket* 
This caqfed the feizure of my whole equip* 
ment. Tha Commis placed at the top of the 
- Vol. II. D inventory 



iovcnl^ry of my portoianuau a magnificeot 
ver^s^I proceis, where, imagining the writing 
came from Geneva^ to be printeo and. diibi* 
buted in France, tl^ey gave fcope to holy io« 
veAives againft the enemies of God and che 
church, and to praifet of their pious vigilance 
who had ftopped the execution of this infer* 
nal projed. They doubtlefs found likewift 
my Ihirts fmell ot; herefy i for, by virtue of 
tbi$ terrible paper, aU was confiscated without 
my ever having had reafonor newsof n?y poor 
little bundle. The Farmers-general, pcN^plc 
^ho were applied to, demanded fo many jdocu- 
m^nts, informations, certificates, memorials, 
that> loGns myfelf a thoufand time$ in. this 
labyrinth,. I was qonfiriiiQed . ^ abandon, all 
together. 1 have often rjegretted I did .not 
jcecp the verbal procefsf of the. barrier of 
lloufle^. It WM a piece which might figure 
with diftindipn ag^fdft.thpfe whofe collewoo 
accompanies tbcfp pa^rs. 

This Ipfs obliged, mr to return to Cham-r 
bery .immediately, without having done any 
thii|g,.with the Abbe BJancbard ; and, all 
tilings v(eighed» feeing misfortune attend aij 
my undertakings, Z refolved to k^p entirely 
to ' Mamma, tp Oiarc; her. fgrtiun^, and not 
make myfelf in vain.uncafy for.ajj hereafter 
in which I faw I couJddo nothing. She re-^ 
(H'ive4 me as if I had brou^t h^pr treafures^ 
j^eplaced, by degrees my little, wardrobe, and 
my niisforcune, bad enough for both of us, 
was almofi as foon forgot happened. 

Although this, accident copied me as to my 
^bciaes of muAc, I did. n;Q.t> neverthelefs# 

.. Juegkft 

a S'l J- J. ROUSSEAU; 51 

' . . . _ • • 

meglefl to ffiKl^ continnally my Ram'eau, anrf 
dy repeated efforts I arrived at laft* at under-* 
ftariding him,* kni making a few trials at com- 
^ofing, whofe Tticcefs encourage4 mfe. .The 
Count, of Bellegarde, fon tg the Mlrx^uis.of 
Antremdnt, was returned fix)m Drefden, after 
rive deatirof King Auguffus. H^ hadf lived a 
great whil^ at Paris, vi^as very fond of AiuOc, 
and paffloniatcly f^ of Rameau'sv ffis brjbther^ 
tlie-Cbunt'of Niangis, pfayejd ihe violin, Ma-: 
iam the Countefsof lii our, their fifter, fang 
a littlei Thcje things brought mufic in fa- 
flridn at Ch'ambery, and a fort of public cJoncert 
wars begun, of which they intended to have 
given me- the dircftion, but f6on perceived it 
furpjfled itiy ftrength, and fettKd it otherwiTc* 
rneverthelefs gaive fome trifling 'piece$ in my; 
irxartner, particularly i cantata, which greatfy 
pleafed: It was not a good piece, but' it was 
filled with new tunes, and things of effe£tt 
w?|ich were not expefted from me. Thefe 
gentlemen could not b^lic,ve, that, read i|ig^ 
mufic fo ilf, r was capabfe of contpofing ^ 
paffib^y, and'-did not doubt but t had honburecl 
myfelfj^vitht^e goods of my neighb6urs..i T9 
trerify it, M. de Nangis came to me one tnqrn-t 
ins: w9th a cantata of Clerkmbault he had 
tra^nfpofed, as he faid, for the conveniency of 
frrs'voicc, and to which another bafs was ne- 
cefTary, the tranfpofition rendering that of 
. Clerambault imprafticable on the inftrument. 
I anfwercd it was a confiderable labour, and 
could not be done immediately, He thought 
J fought to put him off, and prefled me to do 
Rt Jcafir the bafs of a recitative, I therefore 
" ' D Z did 


did it^ ill undoubtedly, becauiein all things^; 
in order to fucceed well, I maft have cafe and 
liberty y but I did it at lea ft according to rule^ 
and, as be was prefen^^ he could not doubt 
my knowledge of the elements of compofing. 
Thus r did not lofe myfcholars, but I cool- 
ed a little on muAc, feeing they had a con- 
cert, and did not chufe me. 
* It was about this time, peace being cbn- 
duded, the Frenclh army repafled the moun- 
tains/ Several ^officers came to fifit Mamma j 
among the reft the Count de Lautrec, Coloitel 
of the regiment of Orleans, fince Plenipo- 
tentiary at Cjeneva, and dfterward^ Marflial 
of France, to whom fberprefeijtcd m$. On 
what (he faid to him, he feemed to taReinuch 
jiotice of me^ and promifed me many things, 
which he never thought of till the laft year 
of his life, when I bad no occaAon' for hitnf. 
Th«.young Marquis' of SenrteficrrCj whofe 
father was then Ambaffador at Turin, palled 
at the fame time'" through Chambery, He 
dined at Madam de Menthoh's; I diped there 
likewife that day. After dinner they talked 
of khufic 5 be knew, it well. The opera of 
Teptha was then new j he talked of it, it was 
Drought him. He made me tremble on pro- 
pofing that we Qiould execute this opera ; 
and, on opening the book, he dipped int6 this 
celebrated piece with a double chorus : 
La Terre, TEnfer, le Ciel merae, 
Tout tremble devimt le Seigneur, 
He fiays tb me, how many parts do you take ? 
I fhair take, for my fhare, thcfe fix, I was 
pot then acquainted with French petulancy 9 
' ' ■ and 

•B.5-3- '^J' j/ROUSSEAl); 53 

and although' I had fomctirties given out par* 
titions, J did not comprehend hbw the fame 
perfon could, at the fame time, do fix parts, 
or even two» Nothing has perplexed me fo 
much in «the exetcile^of mcific,' as (kipping 
thus lightly from one part to another, ana 
keeping at the fame time the eye on a whole 
partition. From my manner of ading in this 
affair, M. de - Senned^erre muft have been 
tempted to think I did not know mufic. It 
was, perhaps to verify this doubt, that he 

Sropofed my noting a tune he wanted to give 
dademoilelle de Ivlenthon. I could not deny 
bim. He fung the tune ; I pr4cked it, with^ 
out even making him lepeat it often. He af- 
terwards read, and found it, as it really was, 
▼cry correfily noted. He faw the trouble I 
was in I he took pleafure in making the moft 
pf this trifling fuccefs. It was a thing, how- 
rveif extremely fimple. At the bottom I 
knew muGc well ; I wanted nothing but the 
vivacity of the firft giance, which I never 
pbffefied in any th^ing, and which I acquired m 
mufic but by- confummate 'pra£l!ice. Be it as 
it may, I.was fenfible of his obliging atten- 
tion in wiping from the mind of others, and 
from mine, tSe little fhame it had caufed me. 
Ten or twelve y^ars afterwards, meeting in 
different companies .at Paris, I was feveral 
times tempted to remind him of this trifling 
anecdote, to fhew him I ftill remembered it. 
But he had loft bis fight fmce that. I was 
afraid of renewing his forrow, in recalling to 
bim the ufe he knew how to make of it; fo I 
was filent. -^ 

D 3 I draw 

54 TflE t:£»JPESSIOlf S OF f B. ^ 

i draw-a^ar tb« a^Mieiit wbieh Wgias ^ 
conned .my paft exUfence ¥(ith the pr^fef^t* A 
few acquaintances of thofe tiAes ^ohnp,^-^ 
tbefe, are. become precious to tne« They have 
often made me regret the happy ttbfcurii^ ^oC 
thoTe who called themfelves nity friaid$, and 
loved me for my(elf, from .piire;kindne&, not 
£ar*the vanity* of being coftoe&ed .with a. man 
of fome reputatir>n, or from the fcci^ MGfC 
«f feeking o^cafion to do him nuTcbieC 'Tkr 
here I date my firft acqtiaiatai^e witii my oM 
friend Gaufft^ourt, who h ftill mine, in f[n^o£ 
the efforts people have made to take him ^om 
me. 3till mine ! Ko» Alas {L have |ttil loft 
Jriafu But he ceafed to;k>ye mt.tmly mbtm 
ho ceafed to live,» and otrr frielidihipL «ad«i 
isniy :whcn he died. M. .da Gauffcpow^ war 
4Mie of the meft amiable ipifSn tiiat«yer exifled. 
It was impoffible cpffe bini;WilbQiit'efte»ma^ 
him, or toJivewith him without an abfoiute 
attachment. 1 never, in my life fawn coviti^^ 
jl^ancf more ^CAi more rareffiag, tlKtt.batf 
more isivemliy i which mat ked fo . sn ucfa iend^ 
ment :and ufidccftanding, jor iofpired more 
confidence. However nsftrvedaman migbe 
be,, hecouldnot, f«em<firA fight, help being 
as familiar ^s if ^ had known, him twenty 
years.; and I, who had :fo^im6rch trouble' to b^ 
without jeftiai^it- ameog new &ces, aniafo 
with him from thefirfi moment, if is eone-of 
vqiee, bis aecetiti -his converfatian, ^petk&fy 
accopn paiiicd -his. . pbyfibgoOmy . The , Jbttfid 
of J;^is.voi$:e was. ekar, fuil, and powo-ful ; 
.a fine 'ba& • yo««e,- ftarp and ftrong, -whioh 
iiiled the ear, and founded to the teart. It 
% ' -. is 


ft sO J- J- ^O U S « E A XI - ^5 

is hibpstkiiit tt> be poflMbd of milder kni 
more «qudl mirtlij a truer afnd mdre fim* 
f)ie grafce, ulcnts tmft itaturnl of cuItiYa^i 
with more tafte. Jofii ti> thde an ^ediotiate 
Heart, bat a liftie too affectionate to all y^h of^ 
ificidus chariK^ler, wtch Uctle choice, fepWng 
h'id-frietids with trtal, or rather making hkn-? 
fc4f the friend of rtiofe he could ferve, and 
coimingty managing his own affairs, rn ar^ 
4dently managing fhofe of another. Qavffd'^ 
c^urt was the'fo^ of a watchmctker only^ 
iind had b&tn a watchmaker hin^felf; but his 
j^rfon and merit* called him to anotiief fphere^ 
info which he foon entered. He becanle a:c« 

Juftinted Mrtih )a Ctefure, the Frckncti 
lefident at Geneva, who took him to hia 
frkndftiip. He ^octircfd him^ at^Paris, other 
ti&ful-acfifftintiiiice», by Whom he ohtainM the 
fuf^plying Valais with fait, worth twenty-thoui 
fand livre*- a • year. Hr$^ fortune^; brillianU 
enough, was bounded he» asto ^mxnkhldr 
htft on the fide of womfco tt waw verydift'etBht^ 
he hati'htfl choice^ anA ^d^id as he thought 'pro** 
per. T^'tnoft t3ttvaordtii^ry*flnd the m6tt 
honDuraUe for 'htm of aH was, that) having 
^onntdicyAs with aH conditiOAe, he was be« 
ioted' by aU, his fHehdfhip coveted hy e^rf 
6ne, without ever being envied or hated, ai4d' 
I believe he died with^«tf ever httving^ bad in- 
his life Odt enemy. Hap^y man ! He -came 
cycrjr ywr to the baths of Aix, where good 
Company from the neighbouring country re- 
ported. ConnedJed with all the ncibili^ty o^ 
Savoys* he came froqi Aix to Chamberyi to 
▼ifit the Comit of ^Belleigarde^ and bis father; 
^ D 4 ^ the 


the Mirquis ofikhtremont, at wbofe houCt' 
Mamma made and procured me bis afpqvain*- 
tance. This acquaintaaoe^.Krhidi feemed te 
have no view, and was many .years inteirupt* 
ed, was renewed on an occaiioa I fliall men-i 
tion» and became a true attachment. This- 
is enough to authorize me to (peak <^ a friend* 
with whom I wasfo clofely conne&edi butj 
had I no perfonal intereft in iiis memorjs ht 
was fo amiable a man, and.*of fo happy a 
turn, that, for the. honour of the human fpe<« 
cies, I think it right to prefcrve it. This 
fo bewitching a matt had, however, like 
others^ hts faults, .as will be fees bereafter; 
but, if be had not had them, he had per<* 
haps been lefs amiabk. To make him at 
interefting as poflible, it was neceflary he 
fbould have fometbing to be pardoned in 

Another fri^-ndibip of the famie time is not 
e7(tind,.and ftiil lulls me with th|it kind of. 
temporal happinefs which with difficulty, diet * 
from the heart of man* M. de Conzi^ a 
gentleman of Savoy, then young and amiable^ 
had a fancy, to learn mufic, or rather to be 
acquainted with on^ who* taught it. With 
judgment^ and tafle for polite learning, M« 
Connie joined a mildnefsof cbarader which, 
rendered him extremely complying, ..and X 
myfelf was much fo with, thofe in whom I 
found it. This connection wa^ .feon formed. 
I'he feeds of llierature and philofopby, which, 
bqgan to. ferment on my brain, and watted 
only a little cultivation and emulation entirely 
to unfold tbemfeives^ found them in him^ 

M. de 

B- Si J- J- R O V 5 S/E A U. , S7 

M/ de Cosm£ had littler ilifixafiuon for tnufic; 
this was lucky for me ; the hours of leflbn 
^ere fpem in quit^ other things than fol«faing. 
we breakfafted^ wc chatted, we read pew 
ttfxngs, and not a word of mufic. Voltaire'a 
eorrefpondencewith the Prince Royal of Pruffia 
then made a noife ^ we often entertaijied our* 
felves on thefe celebrated men^ whereof one, 
laftely on the throne, already announced hioi* . 
fejf fuch as he would foon fiiew himfelf ; and 
the other, as much in difcredit as he is now . 
admired, made us i^acereiy lament the mif- . 
fortunes which feemed ta pur£ue him, and 
which we fo often fee are the portion of. 
great talents. The Prince of Pruffia bad 
been rather unfucc^fsful in hia youth, and 
Voltaire' fcemed born to be/never fb. Our 
concern ;for .tbe^i extended to every thing, 
w^jcli rela^d to. them. Nothing Voltaire 
WTot^cfc^pcd us.' Tbejreliib l had for thefe, 
writings infpired me with a deiire of writing 
vtith elegance, and of endeavouring to imitate 
the. beautiful colouring of this author, with 
whom.! was enraptured. Some time afterwards^ 
his pbiloibphical letters appeared: though* 
t^ey certainly are not jbis heft works, it was>» 
tbofe which moftly dj:ew me towards iludy ^> 
and this riling tafle has not been extingui(bed 
iince that time. 

But the time to give myfelf entirely up to. 
ifwas not yet come. There f\ill remained 
ajn humour a little inconftant^ a defire of 
coming and going,, which was more rellrained^ 
"than exttnguifh^^ which was fed by the, 
courfe of M^dam de Wareos's houfe, too^. 

JD 5 noily 


noiiV for mv folitar]^ ^frtbiir. '• Tlve jirntbfe 
of Irrange nices which Aiify fiowed ift'from 
aH parts, and thifc pcrtiiafion I wa5 irf. of *thbfc . 
fellovirs ft<kiti| no iTTOi*e 'than tb dupe 'h&^\ 
each oac iti hts wafy, pnWe ijfy liaoitation a 
phcc of tormenrs. Smtre I had fiicceeded ' 
Clactde An€t in 'the cmfidetkre of his miftrefs, 
1 fonowcd up more rfofely the ftate of heir 
af&irs; I pcrcihrcd a progi^fs towards evil 
vAitch afirighted me. I an hundred times 
r^onftrated, begged, prefied, conjured, and 
always in vain. 1 threw myfclf on my knees, 
ftrongly reprefenting the cataftrophe whictt 
threatened her, Iharply exhorting her to re* 
form her expenses, to begin by me, rather to 
fufFer a little whilft ihe was yet young, than, 
by continually ' increafing her.debjts and her 
cred^ors, to expofeherfdff in her otd-age to 
oppreffion and knifery* Senfible of the fioce-^ 
irty of my !teal, {he Teiented With me, pro- 
mifing mfe the fineft things in the world. 
i>id a fpunger come in ? that inftant all was 
forgot. After a thoufand proo6 of tht irnt- 
ttlity of flty remonftranccs, what jomaihed to , 
be done, but turning liiy eyes from Ae evil -1 ^ 
c6uhl not prevent? I Withdriew from tbe^ 
hbufe whofc door I could npt keep, I toofc^ 
little jourbeys to Nion, Geneva, Lyons, wliich 
drowning the fecret pains, increafe at the 
fame time the caufe by my expences, 1 can 
fwcar 1 could have fuiFered all retrenchments 
with joy, had Mamnpa really benefitted by 
iht favingi but certain that what I refufed 
ixiyfelf went to knaycs, I abufed her indul- 
^nte to partake with thcit)^ and, lik^ihe d6^ 

. T ' which 

B.5.] J. jr. ROtJSSEAtr. 59 

which comes from the fhambles, I took off a 
morfel from the piece I could not fave. 
I Pretexts were never wanting for any ot 
ihefe excurfioos, and Mamma herfelf had fup« 
plyed me with more than neceiTary, as (he faadji' 
every wliere, fo many connefiions^ negotia- 
tions,^ affairs, commif&oas to fend by fom^ 
lure hand. She was ^ad to fend me, I wa% 
glad to gOi this could not fail to form a 
|)retty errant life. The fe journeys brought 
Kiihm my reach a few acquaintances wh4> 
were afterwards agreeable or ufeful : among- 
othfers^ at Lyons, that of M, Perrichon, 
Vfhich .1 reproacii myfelf for not having.fuffiw 
ciently cultivated, confiderjng the kindnefs iva 
fi>ewed me; that of the good-natared Patifet^ 
^hkh I Ihall fpeak of in its place : ar^ra- 
noble, that of Madam £)eybens,* and of Ma- 
dam )a Prefidence de Bardonanche, a wonrni^ 
of g^retrt fenfe, SLtid who had tak^ me ;to 
ner friendfliip, could I have made it conyfe-^ 
pknt to fee her ofiener: at Geneva, thato^ 
M. de la'Clofuf^, the French Refident, who^ 
often talked to me of my mother, from whom^ 
m fpite of death and time, his heart was not 
detached ; that of the two Barrillot*«, who&. 
father, that called me his grandfon, -was moil 
amiable company, and one of the worthieft 
men I ever kneV/. JDuring the troubles i». 
the Republic, ihefe two citizens took a con- 
trary part : tlie fon jthat of the citizens y thei 
father, that of the magiftra;es ; and wheii 
yiey took up arms\in 1737, i faw, being thfer^ 
at Geneva, the father and Ton go out armed 
from the famehoufc, one for the Town-how fc^, 

D 6 the 

6o THE CONFESSIOl^ O^ fB. j. 

• * • ■ . * 

the other fox his quarters. Aire to meet withl^^ 
•two hours afterwards facing each other, ex- 
pofed to blowing each other^s brains ouC 
Thfs dreadful fight made Co lively an im^^ 
preffion on me, I fwore never to imbrue ft\f 
hands in civfl war, and never to fuppoj-jt in-*- 
tefnal liberty by f6rce of arms, neither pee* 
fonally nor by confent^ if ever I return^ to 
my rights of citizen. I render royfelf the 
juftice of having kept my oath on fo trying 
an occafion; and it will be found, at lead 1 
think fo, that this m^oderation was of fbmie 
Value* y 

But I had not yet reached the firft fermeh*- 
tation of patriotifm which Geneva in arms 
excited in my heart. It may be judged how 
far I was from it, by a moft ferious h&, I 
was charged with, which 1 forgot to put in 
its place, and which ought not to be omit- 

My uncle* Bernard had been feveral years 
gone to Carolina, to build the city of Charles- 
town, of which he had given the plan* He 
died there foon afterwards ^ my poor coufin 
was likewife dead ih the King of Pruffia's fer- 
vice : thus my aunt loft her fon and bufband 
almoft at the fame time. Thefe loiles warm* 
cd her friendfhip a little for the ncarcft rela- 
tion left her, which was myfe]f» When I went 
to Geneva, I flept at her houfe, and amufed 
myfelf in ferreting up and turning over the 
books and papers my iincle had left. I found 
tnany curious pieces and letters of which 
Purely they little thought. My aunt, who 
made nothing of thefe wafte papers, would 
have let me carry all off, if I had chofen iu. 

I con- 

3. si .J- J/HOUSSE^AH^- 6t, 

i contentif4 tnyfelf with, two or three^ hookM 
commented 'by the hand of my grandfather 
Befnard the miniiter, and, among"^ others^ 
the pofihumous works of Rt^^ault> in quartOj^ 
^hofe margin was filled with' ejcccUent fco- 
Iia, which gave me a fondnefs for mathe«> 
inatics. This book remained with tbofe of 
Madam de Warcns j I have ever Uncc been 
forry I did not keep it. To thefe books I 
joined five or fix manufcripts, and one only 
printed, which was of the famous Micheli. 
Ducret ; a man 6f great talents, learned, ea^ 
lightened, but too refilefs, cruelly treated by 
tht 'magiftrates of Geneva, and who died 
lately in the fortrefs of Arberg, wher« hei 
had been (hut up many years, for havings 
they (aid, been concerned in the confpiraqy 
of Berne. 

This memoir v^as* a critlclfm, judicious 
enough, on the grand and ridiculous plan of 
foftincation whicn has been parti; executed at 
Geneva, to the inbckery of every man of the., 
art, who was not acquainted with the private, 
end the council propofed in the execution of, 
this magnificent undertaking. M. Micheli,' 
having been cxduded from the Chaniber of 
Fortification, for blaming this plan, thought, 
as member of theTvtb Hundred, and even as 
a citizen, he could ^ive his advice more at 
length : this he did by this memoir, which he 
had the imprudence to put in print, but not 
putlrth ; for he only had thie number of fets. 
printed he fent to the Two Hundred, which 
w^re all intercepted at the order of 
the under council. I found this memoir 
among the papers of my tintle^ with the ah • 




fwer be \aA been cbsrged to give; I took bo'tb 
away. 1 made tbis journey f<^ti after I left 
Ibe office ior regifterttig the lands, and xt^ 
Aiainbd connefiea Wiib the advocate CoctelH 
who conduced It. Some time after, the di- 
redtor of the cuftpm-houfe took it in bis head 
to beg I would be godfither to a child, and 
Madam Coccelli was ^godmother. The ho-> 
Aour turned my brain \ and, proud fo nearly 
to belotig to the advocate, \ endeavoured to 
^S the man of im{x}rtance, to ihew myfelf 
Y^orthy the glory. - ' * 

in this nMion \ thought I could not do 
better tb^n to Brt;w bim^iiny memoir Ifi ptint 
df M. Micheli, wburh wa^ really a fcarce 
tfiing, to prove to him I belonged to the 
en^inetit people of Geneva' who khew the 
iecrets of the flater However, from a half 
]^eferve, 6f which I Ihould fee troubled to give 
a reafon, I did not Ihew him my uncle's an« 
iWer to this memitfr ; perhaps becaufe it was 
a manufcript, and that the advocate muft have 
nothing but print. He, however, fo well 
faw the valui of the vvritipg I'had the fhtpi- 
dity to enuuft hhn with, I could never get 
it or fee it any more; but being well con- 
vinced of the inutility of my efiorts, I made 
a merit of the bufinefa, by transAkming the 
robbery into a prefenr» 1 nave not the lead 
doubt of his having made, at the court of. 
Turin, the beft of this pitce, nu^re curious 
however than ufeful ; and that he has takoi. 
great care to get himfelf repaid, by fome 
means ^r others the mpney it coft bim to. 
obtain it. HappUy, dfalljfutuj^ecootiogientsji^ 

' * • ' one* 

^il M. ROUSSEAU 63 

one of the Teaft probable U4 that (bme cUy or/ 
of* other the Xing of jSardinia. wHl be|ie|^ 
Geneva^ : but a^ there is, no impoffibUitym 
the tblfig, I ihall always reproa^ii 'my fooiiih [ 
vanUy for. haying &ewn the greateft defers 
of this plape to its moft ancient eaemy. . 

I fpcnt two or three ^years : in this manner 
between mufic* magiftery,. prcjeifU^ journeys^ 
inceflkntly flb'^ting between one thing and 
tbe other* feeklng' to tix without knowing at 
what, but inclining however by degrees to^, 
wards ftudy, vifiting men of learning, hearing 
€6nverratiQns on literature, fomettme^ taking- 
oil n^ to talk of it likewife, and, taking raiher 
the jargon of books than the knowleo&e they 
c6nt;uned. tn wy trips to Geneva, I called 
oh my old gopd, friend M. Simon a&J went 
by,, who greatly, fiirr^ up my rifing cmula- 
- tibh by new9 qtrite frelh from the republic of 
letters, from baillet, or Colotx^i^rs. i lilce<t 
wite very often faw at Chambery a Domi-t 
nican profeflbrof 4)hyfi(p ;. a good kind, of a 
lAonk, who^ i^ame I have forgot, and who 
cf ten made litfle experiments which greatly 
amuf^d me. I wanted, by.lvs. example to. 
mike fome fycnpathetic ink« ,ivor this pur* 
pbfe, having filled a battle ipore than half 
with quick-linif, orpiment, and. water, I 
corked it welK .The ebullition began. almoft 
infiantly with extreme violence. I ran to un» 
cork the bottle, but wa^ not time enough. 1 
ic flew in my face like a bomb. J fwallowed 


* Had RouSeaii Eved a fow m^tbs l0tiger,^fb«i 
had feen. this event happen. . ^r 



the orpiment and dxe Ume ; it bad aearly 
killed me. I was Mind more than fix wedcs, * 
and thus learnt never to meddle with ex« 
perimehtal phyfic, without knowing its ele- 

This adventure happened very unluckily 
for my heahfa, which for fome time was fen« 
fibly changed. I can't tell how it was, that^ . 
being well formed as to the cheft, and running 
to no excefs of any kind, I decajred vifibly. 
I am pretty fquare, have a large breaft, mj' 
hings fhouid move at eafe : I had, neverthe- 
lefsv ihort breath ; felt myfelf opprefled ; 
%hed involuntarily, had palpitations, fpit 
blood ; a lingering fever came on of which 
I never got quite rid. How can a man 
in the prime ' of life /all Jnto ftich a .ftate, ' 
without having any inteftlhe vitiated, with* 
out having done the leaft thing to defiroy hi$ 
health? * .*..:. 

The fword wears the flieath they fay fomev 
tinies. This is my hiftory. My paffions' 
kept me alive^ and nkf pmons killed me. 
What paffions you will aflc mef Why trifles, 
the moft' Child lib things in the worlcl, ~but 
which engaged me as much as the pofleffion of 
Helen,or the throite of the univerfe, would have 
done. Firft, women. When I had one, my fen- 
fes were eafy, heart never was. The 
neceflities <^ love devoured me in the bofom 
of enjoyment. I had a tender mother, a 
lovely friend, but I wanted a msftrefs., I 
figured her to rtiyfelf as fuchj I reprefented' 
her a thoufand ways, to make a variety 
^ myfelfi Had I thought I held Mamm^ !n ; 


my 9i$m» mhttfl held he^tbere^.ixty' embraces 
h^ not been Ie& clofe, but every d^itre had 
been extinguiibcdi I bad fobbed with tender- 
ne($y but had not enjoyed. { ^noyed fr It 
this charm for man ? Ah ! had I once only- 
in- tafted in thinr fuloefa all thede* 
jights i}(^ lovC) I .'don't imagine niy frail lexr 
ifteoce could have fi^ced; I had died in 
the a&. I . * 

I therefore was burning of Jove without aa 
ob|e£l> and perhaps -'ti^.thus it exhaufts the 
more. I was uneafy , tortured with the fitu- 
atioii of my poor . Mamma's affai/s and her- 
imprudent conduct) which could. not fail t0 
work her total ruin in a little timet My 
cruel imagination, which always meets mif* 
fortune, incefikntly fh^wed me, that in all its 
excefs, and all its confequences, I faw myfelf, 
before^pband, forcibly feparatbd by want from 
b^r to whom I had* coniecrated my days, janj . 
without whom I could have no .enjoymeiK. 
^Twas thus my mind was cqntiaualjy agl** 
tated* Delires and feariakeiEnatel^confumed 
me. ■ 

Mufic was to me a paffipn. le(s tranfpocling^ 
but not lefs confuming, from the ardour witb 
which I gave my^felf up, f/om tbeob(li« 
natfi ftudy of the dbfcure books -qiC Rameati^ 
from jny invincible deteroiiii^Hiipn of loading 
my memory wi^ them,, which ftili refufedj 
by cQintinual' runnings about, by the iinmenfe 
eompilatioiis l^heaped up, often paffii^g whole 
njgbcs in copying. And why ftop a|t perma-r . 
nent things ; while every folly, which paiTe^ 
through o^.unconfiant hra^^ the fugitive > 



at THE C(?NrES8tdNtf.6£ tB* > 

cert, a fopi)»«r^ "a pto^ibA Wdik, 1 rIMaiM 
ti^ t«itf, 'ztsofrmijf cd fc^, tn^ thiMg tte l^sifl 
jpl^nietfjiatbd in fJ^fuN ifit^h^^^neikybeeaiailt 
A» Ui^y vi^l^ift paiflkms, «rtiich by tke«r ridt- 
ctiidus impetif^fity gave trie resd tom«]ir^ 
A^dbig cb« tftiagi^tfrv ffiisfo^tiif^es of GIl^«» 

caufed me, I believe, as much bad blddd ts 

There wts H 0«li€vtfif , Aimiftd M .BagMret, 
yfh6 bad beed effkipldytd uitddr Pottfr tfaeGt«ti« 
lit the Court of KuAa I one ^df Ifat mettndl 
4I^1Iows«mI tkie igrsttctoft Todk leverfaifr^ A* 
i^^B 4m ^df pt<^tS^ lut 'tbdlifli ^ hioflelf, 
iK'lffckiM^glift Milfldiit'^det^ Ntt fl^, md 
Id Wh5in eypbety eoft btit little. Thi% tMtij 
beh% te^mt to Ctt^itiiberjr fdr fotne fuk at Ms 
reti^te, tbdk po>filAon o^f' Mamma^ ibf toorftj 
Imd for hh'treafotesi 'ih'<^pber9 lie fa^M^ 
roufly thi^w ttbotit^ drew lier pott (m¥imp 
iitm htfr piect^hj jitcc; 'i iH m>t Kkc Mm, 
te fiMT It ; #Mi ¥he ^hat h tftft i^fbctOivi 
there was no kind of bafenefs he did not onft^ 
ii&^ to tikjG^lrie. fie to6k% Mlitsiliead! 
to {)rt>pe*fc tea<*fng rme thtftr, -iWhgeli he 
plftyed m Nttle. I tried kifmft ^ag^iftft itSf 
wtf] ; Md ftav^ Wdl %^ in l^aritt tliie ^a#dfr; 
my pH)^^ HfH %'fkpi6^ that utt tfiHe firft 
fitting 1 gaV e hitn the rodk lie 'ha* pvtn ftfe 
at the beginning. Iwafited no matt ; I Vc- 
eome a rtMdmaf^ after" ^ds^ I b^ a chefir^' 
board Y.i fhtjt rtiyfclf irjiin toy room ; Ipaft 
ffSghtis in6 ^ys in perfiftlng to learn by faeart 
titi^fy ^me, t« Ibit^ 'Atem into tny tiead* right 

v^ . ... ... I . 0J» 

B. Si] Ji J- HO O S^ S E A U. 67 

or iv^oifgf in jpia^ing^ofit^ v^tthout ceafing w 

cii4. After two or three tAosths of tht» 

charmiiig 6xercifeiMid wery imaginable eiFoi^r,; 

I gojto thii ciffee-faoQik, Imggetf, jneUoMr^and 

sUmoIl ifaipidw I tlry, I ^ain {ilay with M« 

Bagucfitet ; lie beats me once^ twice, thriee : 

fa flioiiy coibbinatiofiB were jumbleil in tny 

brain^ anid ^y ioiagination was fo deadened^ 

1 iamr^ciDtbine 'but •deuds b«foiie inev Ev^ry 

nme I exercised- my fetf in Audying the gam^ 

by Philidor'^ ofbtximm^^ rbbcdci^ the faifie 

tibiog happened I and, after having fpent my« 

fclf wi«h faeigue» I fouifd I played werfe 

thm at firft* -But whether I left ofF playing^ 

ef %4ietber in 'playing '1 4ivt)uid recover ^ lit^ 

bfoath,' I twver MV^BtM <0M hair frdm tbe 

firft fiecing, and flil#ays^roafid mvfelf at the 

(atfie .point MWhen* I-lek.oW. 1 might isx* 

ejofe myfulf^a thtkifand ages, I cotfld give 

Bigtteret th« hiofc, but hothtag mOi** Thift 

tr^seifildoying ttm^ we4t^ you "Wili fey ! »nd 

I ei^pl^ylkl ft |«(»ed-de«i 1b» landed this firft 

triet «liiy Whi^ I had nb^ ftrefng^ to fupport 

1^ longer. When I kft' ftiy chamber tk> (hew 

ibyfetf,' ""I Hloeked fike biie fifeili the graven 

ifky hdd L continued this lifi, I (hould not 

have temtiihtd from it lohg.. It maft be 

agreed to 'be difficult, paiticeTahrly In the'hcat 

of-yottih, that Aich a brain Aoeld keep the 

body alil^rays in health. 

' Thfe change in niine aflfefted "cny humour, 

and niddemited !he hcit of *my fencies. h ind** 

«gm)rfelf weakened, I became more. tranquil, 

and cooled in my paffion for travtlHngt., More- 

wdentary> I waa kidboldof,:aotby care, but 

' - ' ' melancholy i 

68 THE CdNFESSlOI^S OF l^. 5; 

VieUnchoIy ; the yapoiirt fucc€ede4 paftM, 
my languor became dulneis ; t wept aod fi^-* 
ed with little caiife; I found life le^iving me 
before I had tafted Jt ; I bewailed the ftate in 
which Lwas leaving poor :Mamma, and dutl 
faw her falling imo.; I can truly fay» that to 
kave h^, and Jin- an uncomfortable fituationy 
was all I regretted*.. In fine,. I fe]lx}uite ilk 
She nurfed me as nev^r motherinurfed a child ^ 
this was of fervice to her too, by diirertimF ber 
from her projech> ^nd keeping off proJeSors^ 
How fweet a death, had deadh come then I, 
Though I had failed liulq of the bleffiags of 
life, I had felt few of its curfes. My peace* 
ful foul might depart withQut the cruel knoiVf 
Jedge of m^'s injufii^e, which mars both life 
and death. I had the confolation of furvtving 
in my beft moiety ; it, was fcarcely. dyiogi^ 
Without the uneafinefs her fate caufcd me^ I 
jQiould have died. with the (ame eafe I jQiiHiId 
have flept ; and even theie uneafineiles had aa 
obje£): fo afie^ionate and tender, it allayed ia 
fome me^fure their bitternefsil I told her. You 
are trui^ee tp all I pofiefs; a£l fo as to m^^ 
oie happy. Two or three titn^^ when l.w^p 
at the worft^ 1 got up in the night, aqdl 
crawled to her room, to give her advice q^ 
her condud, I may fay exad and fenfiUes 
but in which the intereft I took in .her fate 
was rhore apparent than any thing elle. As If 
tears were my food and medicine, I gained 
iftrength by thofe t flied near her an^ with her^ 
feated on her b|ed, and holding her hands .iip^ 
mine. Hours glided away in thefe nodurnal 
converfationsj and I returned better than, ( 

' ^me ; 


B.53 J.J- ROITSSEAC/. i 69 

came : conlesited and calm frdm the promiTes 
Oie made me» in the hdpes Ibe bad given me, I 
flept With tranquillity of mind, and refignatlon 
U3f Providence. Would to God, after fo many 
reafons for hating life, fo many ftorms which 
have agitated mine, and which rnake it but a 
iTOublefome burthen, death, which mud ter- 
minate lit, nriay be as little unwelcome as it 
would have been at that time; ! ' 

By dint of care, vigilance, and incredible 
rouole, (he iaved me, and; certain it is that 
he alone could faye me. I bave/ little faith* 
ill the. m^jeine of phyfic-ians^ibut t groat deal 
in that of true fti^nds : things, on which out 
bappinefs depends are always better performed? 
^an any other. If there ift in Ufe a delight* 
iul fentiment, 'tis that we experience in being 
c^ach other'n again « Our mutual, attachment 
did not increafe, it was not poffible; but it 
had. fomething of J don't know what moret 
cordial, more touching, from its great Aoi- 
plicity. I became entirely her work, eittirely 
berchild^ and more than if ihe bad.b^eh my 
ownmother. We began, without thinking^ 
^f il^ never to feparate more from each others 
to render, in fome fort, our exigence com- 
unon : and, reciprocally feeling we were not 
only necefiary, ou^ fufficient to each o(her, we 
9CCMftomed ourfelves to thiok of nothing fo*' 
r<feign to ;US, and abfoljutely to limit our happi* 
neft and' defires tq this mutual, and perhapa 
Ible pofibflton amongi^ the. human fpecies, 
Vrhrch was not, as I have faid, that, of love, 
but a more eflential ppffeffioo, which, without 
depending on ftx, )»ge^ facet of fenfes, de- 

70 THE CONf BSIONS OF f B, 5: 

prnds xst\M that makes us Co be cnxrf^htSj 
and which w€ cannot lofe but ki ceaftng to 
be. • • ■ • 

What prevented Ah precious^ crKis fmm' 
producing tbe happiftefs of the tieft of her 
days and nttne? Not I, I render myfelf 
the- confo)ing- juftlee. Neither <fid fte i it 
kaft, bcr will did not. It wis wtitteit tteat^t^-* 
vincible nature flfotrid- foon >recover^ its ati^' 
pire. fitit tfajs 6f3il renirn did' no^ opeitite 
all at'Once^ There was, tUatiks to fi62evtnj 
an interval 1 fhort, but precious Interval? 
which did not end by mr f^tult, and which 1/ 
fliail not reproach myfelf of hWii)^ badly eol- 

ThoU|^ recovered frbm^m)!;* grent iHnelly 
I. had not regained my Arength. My lunjg^ 
wefe not fae&d ; ' a remnant of^ tM- ' f^^f 
hune abiout me^ and k^ me weak. I %^ ho 
induiationtaan)^ thing but ending my days^ 
with h^wltowiis To dear to>me, to ecMit^n 
her in her prudent refotutione^ to inake heif 
feel in what conflfted the tme charms of ii 
happy life, (o render hers fi/ch as m^h^ as* 
depended on me* Butl faw, I felt even, thlit^ 
in a dull anddifmal houfe, the eOnttnuii^fo^' 
liciflde of a tete-a-tete would {>ecome' dult 
Hkewiie. A remedy to this was prefentcd as 
of itfeifr Mamma had ordered me 'mHk, and* 
Wfi^ldi have me take it in the country. I- 
eonfented) provided Ihe went with me. No^ 
thing more was neceflary to ^determine her; 
the only queftion was tochufe the place. The 
i^bui^b garden was not prb|)erly in the coun* 
try J eiKompaffed by boufes- and other gar«^ 
i ' ■ dens^. 

^fta^ k had not the cI|arin&of a oouiitny re* 
trsfiX. . Befide^ alter the death of Aqet, w^ 
had kfc this garden fvom oeconomy,^ haviog 
plaatt xio longer, at hearty, and other views 
snaking us Uttkt regret this corner. > 

Taking' inrunediare adrancage of the di%uft 
r foun4 in her for the town, 1 propofed leav^. 
JQg it entirdjT, and fix ourftlves in an agiseei' 
Ahifi ibliiude, in. fome Uttld^ boufe far enoagii 
^o. defeat tbe defigas of crimblofome vifitons; 
She «m>uid have doneit^. and^this<e?£pe4ient» 
vrhich .her good.ang^l and.jRiine' fuggefted; 
jvadiM-ohably afluredvus: a^ l^e^of^hapmneft 
and uanquiilitVyUfittl the momeint death &ouid 
&parate us. But; this was. not the ftata we 
^firfim. called. to» >.Mainina. mu& es^rience 
^fQej::}t aoguiflt of indigence, and every incon* 
venience in life, after having paifisd i;ierdayii 
liltaiMuadaiice, to make berq<uit itwith^ lefs 
regro^^ and. I, by the nnioA of ^I kinds of 
misfoituncd, was'to be an ei^iample to whoever, 
infpi«ed by the ibleiovQ of iufbice an^ public 
£0od, dare^ ftipported * only by innocence^ 
ppei^Iy. tell nunk>ij)d the tvuth^ wkbout th« 
grop of^ fadion, witbctut having formed a 
partjn ibr. bis protedion. ; • i 

;. Aa. unhappy lear,detaiined hen &he«dr«aded 
ijputting. this old boufe, for fear of an^ring 
the. proprietor.. Thy plan of retreat is charm« 
ing^ /aid ihe, and niuch^ta my taftei but hi 
tlua retreat one muft* live. In qutltii»g my 
prifoi> 1 am Jn danger of lofiog my bread ; 
aod'.when .there is no more to be had in the 
wood, we to-fdefewtin tlie^t^wm 
That we may not be neceilitated to come back, 

* •' • ' . don't 

* «A » . ' ■• ' 


ft THE CONFESSIONS &c.. [B. 5. 

don't let us entirdy quit it. Let us pay the 
Count of" ♦*•*' this penfion, that he may 
leave me mine. Let us ieek £bme corner far 
enough from tOB^a to live in peace, and near 
enough to return to it whenever it may be 
neceffary. This was done« Having looked 
round a little, we fixed at Charmettes, on the 
eftate of M. de Conzie, clofe to Cbambery, 
but as retired and folitary as if it had been 
at an hundred leagues from it. Between two 
pretty high hills is a little valley, north and 
fouth, at the end of which runs a water 
amongft flones and trees. Along this valley, 
on the fide of the hill, are a few flraggling 
houfes, very agreeable to thofe who are fond 
of a retreat a little wild land retired. Having 
looked at twa or three of tbefe houfes, we 
at lafl cbofe the prettieft, belongtngfo a gen- 
tleman of the army, M. Noiret. - The houie 
was very convenient : in the front, a garden 
forming a terrace, a vineyard above, and an 
orchard below it, oppofite a little wood of 
chefnut^trees, a fountain handy i^ higher up 
the hill, meadows for feeding cattle ; in fine, 
every neceifary for the little country houfe- 
keeping we propofed. As near as I can re* 
collet the time and date, we took pofleffion 
about the end of the fummer of 1736. I was 
In tranfports the firfl night we lay theroj 
O Manuna ! faid I to this dear friend, em* 
bracing and drowning her in tears of joy and 
melting tendernefs, this is the abode of hap- 
^inef^ and innocence. If we don't find both 
}iere, we muft feek them no where. 

End of the Fifth Book. 





B O O K Vl' 

Hoc erat in votts : modus agri non ita magnus^ 
Hortus uhij vinea^ et te5io vicinus aqua fons^ 
Et paulum fyha fuper hisforet. 

I CANNOT add, au^ius atque Di melius 
fecere : no matter, I wanted no more ; I 
did not even wifh to be the proprietor : the. 
enjoyment of it was fufficient to me ; I have 
long faid and thought the proprietor and pof- 
"feflbr are often two different people, putting 
fauibands and gallants out of the queftion. 

Here begins the feort bappinefs^of my life; 
now come the peaceable, but rapid moments 
which give me a right to fay I have lived. 
Precious and regretted moments! Ah, begin 
again your lovely courfe ; glide more gently 
through my memory, if poffible, thaa you 
really did in your fugitive fucceffion. What 
ihall I do to prolong to my wifh this recital 
:fo touching and fo umple^ to tell dver and 

Vol.. II. E over 



over the fame things, and not tire my readers 
by repeating them more than I myfelf was 
tired by inceflantly recommencing them ! fie- 
fid^9 did this conflft in hSts^ in adions, in 
words, I tnight defcribe and render them 
feme - how $ but how fay that which was 
neither done, nor thought, but tailed, but 
felt, without my being able to ^xprefs any 
other ob}e£l of my happinefs but tlus' feeling 
only. 'I fofe'with the fun, and Was happy; 
I walked and was happy } I faw Mamma and 
was happy; I quitted ber and was happy; I 
ran over the woods, the hills, flrayed through 
the valleys, I read, refted, worked in the gar- 
den, gathered fruit, affiled in the houfe,-and 
happmefs followed me to every place ; it was 
liot, in any thing aifiguable, it was ail within 
me, it could not leave me a fingle inftant. 

Not the lead thing which' happened to me « 
•during this lovely period, nothing Idid, faid,or 
. thought, has efcapcd my memory. The years 
which precede or follow it prefent themfelve.s 
at intervals ; I recolleiSl them unequally and 
confufedly ; but this I entirely remember, as 
if it flill exifted. My imagination, which ia 
my youth was always before- hand, and now 
retrogrades, compen fates, by this fweet recol- 
lection, the hope I have for ever loft. I fee 
nothino; in futurity that can tempt me j re- 
flecting only on the paft can footh me ; and 
this VefleClioi) , fo lively and fo real in the pe- 
riod I fpeak of, often makes my life com- 
fortable in fpite of my misfortunes. 

I fliall give one example only of thcfe rc- 
colIeClion.s, which will enable^one tpjudgf of 

♦> thcfr 

"B. 6.] J. J. R O U S S E A t?. fs 

♦ • . _ 

tbeir force and reality. The firft day we went 
^o fl^ep at Charmette9> Mamma was in a fedan 
ch^ij-j I followed hereon foot. It was a riftng 
"road,, fee- was. 'pretty heavy, ,^nd, fearing to 
)f^igue. t;he.chalji;men,,ihe got,.out about half 
way thither, to walk the othpr half. Gping 
alonsy .ihe.Jaw fomething bluean the.bedge^ 
pnd?9..ys, Here's fome pefwinkle yet in bloomi 
I had never f^n any 4>erwinkle ^ I did not 
fioop to. examine it ; I am too (hort-figlUied 
to diftinguiQi herbs, on the ground, when I 
iland upright. I jufl: glanced at this' as I 
pa fled along. Near thirty years had. pailed 
biefore I faw any perwinkle again, or that I 
took notice of it. In 1764, bcipg at Creffier 
with my friend M. Du Peyrou, we went up 
a little mountain, at whofe fummic there is a 
pretty hall, juftly called Belle Vue. I, was 
then beginning to herbalize a little. Lopk* 
ing, as 1 afcendcd, amid ft the bufties, I joy- 
fully cry out, wfA, there is f$me perwinkle ! and 
in tStQ. it was fo. Du reyrou perceived the 
tranfport, but was ignorant of the caufe : I 
hope he will learn it3t when one day or other 
he reads this book. The reader may judge, 
from the impreffion of fo trifling. an obje<3:, 
what all thofe caufe me which have relation 
to (his period. 

The country air did not, however, reftore 
my former heahh. I languiftied, and became 
.worfe. I could not fupport milk, I was obliged 
jto leave \\, Water was then in faflbion as the 
-only remedy i I followed it, and with fo lit- 
tle difcretion, that I had jiearly been cured, 
not of my complaints, but of life. Every 

£ 2 morning 


• ' % 9 

mornuig at riring I wennp the fountain with 
a large tumbler^ and fucceiHvely drank^ in 
walking about, the value of two bottles. I 
left off wine at my meals. The water I 
drank was a little raw and difficult to pafs, 
as are generally waters from the hills. To 
be brief, I managed fo well, that in Icfs than 
two months I totally deftroyed my ftomach, 
fo llrong till then. No longer digefting, I 
underftood there were no farther hopes of a 
cure. At the fame time, an accident happen- 
ed to me, as fingular in itfelf as in its enedts^ 
which will end but with me. 


Oiie morning that I was not worfe than 
ufual, fixing a fmall table oit its foot, I felt all 
over my body a fudden and almoft inconceiv- 
able revolution. I cannot better compare it 
than to a kind of tcmpeft, which took ri/e in 
my blood, and in an inftant reached every 
member> My aitcries began beating with fo 
great a force, that I not only felt them beat,! 
but heard them too, and particularly that of 
the carotides. A vaft noifc in the ears at- 
tended it; and this noife was treble, or ra- 
ther quadruple, that is, a dull hollow buzzing, 
a clearer murmur like running wa^er, a whiff- 
ling extremely (harp, and the beating I. have 
juft mentioned, whofe ftrokes I could eafily 
count, without feeling my pulfe, or touching 
my body with my hands* This internal 
noifc was fo great, it deprived me of the 
quicknefs of hearing I had before, and ren- 
dered, me not quite deaf, but hard of hearing 
as I am fince that time. 

You may judge of my furprife and tcrroi^, 

.1 thought 

B. 6.J J. J. ROUSSEAU. 77 

1 thought myfelf dead; I wqut to. bed; the 
phyfician was called ; I told him my cafe 
with horror, judging it without remedy, I 
believe he thought (o too, but he a<3ed the 
doSor : he gave me a long firing of reafon- 
ings, of which I comprehended n©thing ; 
and then» in confequence of his fublime the- 
ory, he begai), in anima viliy the experimental 
cure he thought proper to try. It. was fo 
painful, fo difguftful, and operated fo little, I 
foon grew tired of it; and in a few weeks, 
feeing J grew neither better nor worfc, 1 got 
up, and returned to nby ordinary manner of 
living, with my beating arteries and my buz- 
zings, which from that time, that fs, during 
thirty years, never left me a minute- 
Till then I was a great fleeper. The to- 
tal privation of fleep, added to thefe fymptoms, 
and which has conftantly accompanied them 
till now, completed the per/jaafion I was in of 
laving but a few days to live. . This perfua- 
fioii took ojfF for a time my care fpr a reco- 
very. Not being able to prolong my life^ I 
refolved to make as much as I could of iti 
this I was enabled to do by a Angular fa- 
vour of nature, which, in fo melapcholy 
a ftate exempted me from pain, that I ex- 
peSed it would have brought on, . I was 
troubled with the noife, but did not fufTer; 
it was accompanied by no other hal)itual in- 
convenience than want of deep in the night, 
and at all times ^ (hort breach, which did 
oat reach an afihma, nor was ever felt but 
irhen I ran or exerted myfelf a little. 
This accident) which might have killed 

£ 3 tht 


the body, killed only the pailions ; and I every 
day thanked heaven f6r the happy eiFeSs it 
produced on my mifui.' I. may fafely fay I 
began to live 6nly When I thought myfelCxIead. 
Efteemrng the thihgs, to which 1 was going 
to bid farewel, at their true value, I began ta 
employ my mind in mort noble cares, as an- 
ticipating on thofe 1 ibould foon have to at^' 
tend, and which i had till then much negleft- 
cd. 1 had often burlet<]ucd religion in my 
mft^ner, but I had never' been entirely wich-* 
out religion. It was tefs painful to me to 
return to a fubjedl fo iftelancholy to many, 
people, but fo fweet to thofe who make it an 
objeft of confolatioh and hope. Mamma 
was mbrelifeful tb me on this occafion th^n all 
the theologians in the World" would have been. 
She who brought every thing. to fyftem, did 
tlOtfafl to bring religion within a fyftem like- 
.wife; it was com|>ofed of ideas truly extra-, 
tag^'nfi fdmfe found,- foiiie fooHfli, of fenti-^* 
ments relative to her charadter^ • and preju*^' 
^ices proceeding fibm education;. li^lieyerst 
geheraUy mak« God as they are themfelVbs:. 
good people make him good,' the wicked 
mkke'him mifchievous )^ch6leric^and-fpltefu^ 
feigbfs fee' notl^irig but hell, b'ecaufe thev 
Would be glad to damn every body,j mild 409. 
ffi^ndly fouls believe little' df it, ar)d om of 
the affoniflimehts I can't rget the better of^^is,^ 
to perceive the good P'erieloh fpeak of it, in 
his iTelemachus/ias if h^ really believed iit.: 
but I hope h6 toTd.a lye;' for,' in. f^&y haw?; 
tVer veridical a man jniy be, he muA l^Cf a 
little fometimes if he is a biithop.. Mtmmi. 


m. Jist,* 

B.6.] J. Ji ROUSSEAU. 7^ 

di4 not do Co ,with»me ;^ and ,bec ftnil j without 
fpleen, which coujcl no^ iro.^igine a vjndicative 
ajnd continually angry Go,d, faw n.othing bu^^ 
clemency and mejcy where bigots fee nothing 
but juftice and pwii&nrxent. She often faid, 
that there would be no ju.ftke in God in be- 
ing equitable towards us; for not having 
given us that which muft make us fo^ it 
wQuid be demanding caor&^f us than be haa 
given. The n^oft whin^fic^I 0/ all was her^ 
believing in purgatQry,.butnqt,in hell. This 
proceeded from her. not knowing hoNy to diC-.' 
pofe of thC' wicked^ as (he could neither damn, 
them lior pla^re them with the good until they 
were become (o; it muft be ov^-ned the wigk^ed. 
aje, both in this, world aii\d the. next^ . ejc* 
tremely trouhlefoo^e. 

Another . extravagance^ This fyl^ 
ftcoys the do^cipe, of original ftn and,redemp7., 
tion^ fl^jkes.the four^Jatipn of vulgar Chrittia-r 
nity, and that .C^tjiolicirir}! canupt fub/ift^ 
Mamma» however^ was, a. good Catholic^ or 
pretended to be on^ f is,, her, 
pretenfions were founded on faith-. The ftrip-^. 
tpres feemed tOj her to be to^. liteirally and^ 
too harfhly e^lairji'e^' Al);.we^e.a(J of eternal^ 
tprments.appeared:^oiier cor^minatocyorfigu-j 
xative. The death of Jeyfus Cbrift feemed aa, 
example of charity,, truly divine^ to teach,mea, 
to love God and ea^h^otjber. Ii> a,.word, faith-, 
ful to the religion Ibe, had- embraced, fliefin- 
cerely admitted evjsry. profeffio^^.of faith ;^ but- 
when ihe came to the difcuffion of eaqh ar-^ 
tide, it appeared fli^ believed quite diffe-* 
rently from the Chpcch, thougb.ftill fubmit-^ 

' E 4 ting 



tino; to It. She. had on that head a fimplicity 
oiF neart, a franknefs more eloquent than ca- 
villings, and which often embarrafled even 
her confeflbr; for fhe hid nothing from him. 
I am a good Catholic, faid (he to him, and 
\vill always be fo ; I adopt, with all the 
powers of my foul, the decifions of our Holy 
Mother the Church. I am not miftrefi of 
xny faith, but am of my will. I give it up 
without referve. What more do you a(k ? 

Had there been no chriftian morality, I be- 
lieve fhe had followed it ; fo much was it 
adapted to her charafter. She did all that was 
commanded* but flie had equally done fo, had 
it not been commanded. In things indifferent 
(Be was fond of obeying, and, had fhe not been 
permitted, prefcribed even, to ear meat, fhe had 
fafted between God and herfelf, without pru- 
dence having any thing to do with the mat- 
ter. But all this morality was fubordinate to 
the principles of M; Tavcl, or rather fhe pre- 
tended to fee nothing contrary to them. She 
could have lain every day with twenty men, 
and have had a confciencc at eafe, without* 
even having ntiofe fcruples than defircs.^ I 
know that your great devotees are ndt more 
fcrupulous on this point ; the difference is in 
their being feduced by their pafEons, and fhe 
by her fophifms only. In the moft pathetic 
converfations, and, I may add, the moft edify- 
ing, fhe has fallen on this point without chang- 
ing either air or tone, and without believing:' 
Ihe contradiSed herfelf. She would have, if 
liecefTary, interrupted them for a time, and 
fook them up again with the feme fereirity * 


B.e.] J. J. ROUSSEAU, tx 

as before ; fo much was (be heartily perfuaded 
the whole was only a maxim of focial order^ 
which every feniible perfon might interpret, ap« 
ply, except according to the fpirit of the thin^, 
without the leaft danger of offending Goa« 
Tho' I afluredly did not, on this point, think 
with her, I own I dared not oppofe it,-aihamed 
of the very unpolite part I muft have aded in 
fupport of my argument. I (hould have been 
glad to have eftabliibed thefe rules for others, 
and excepted myfelf ; but, befides that her 
Gonftitution fufficfently prevented the abufe of 
her notions, I know file was no changelings 
and that claiming an exception for myfelf was 
claiming it for all tHofe who pleafed her. 
However, I add here, occafionally, this in-* 
coniequence to the reft, though it never had 
much efFe£ion her conduct, and at that tim^' 
none; but I promifed to expofe ex^dly her 
principles, and will keep my word : I noMT 
return to myfelf. 

Finding in her every maxim neceflary to 
eafe me of the terrors of death and futurity, 
I dived with iecurity into this fource of con- 
fidence. I attached myfelf more than ever to 
her«^^' 1 wiihed to convey into her the life I^ 
found was juft leaving me. From this addi* 
tional attachment to her, the perfuafion 1 was 
in of haying a ihort time to live, my profound 
fecurity on my future ftate, refulted an ha- 
bitual ftate extremely calm, and even fenfual ; 
for that deadening every paifion which bears 
too far our hopes and fears, it enabled me to 
enjoy without iineaHnefs or trouble my few 
remaining d^ys* One thing comributed to 

£ 5 render 


Denfdef them wMt ^ree*b]e$ it was tbd^atu 
tjention I g«ve to fo^erifig b^r tsfte forake: 
coMtitry byetery amufement I eeuFld €xi\e&*' 
By giving her a fio^doefe for her garriefiy 

{leuk^yt pigedij5s, cowfty I grdw fond ofrtkeia.' 
rkewife^ and thfcfe KiBifig occctpattofl^^ which* 
"filled Up the day wtthettt troub)U\g : nzy trdnw 
quilltty$ were of raore fervioe than myic^ or« 
any other remedy, .for the prefervation of mjr 
pootr carcafe, and it3 recovery too^ as far aa 
thai could be done. 

The' vintage and leathering in' the frnkst 
diverted: ut the reft of th&.yeait, and we grew. 
more and mdre itielined to this ruftic* l»fe^ 
amidflf the good people who furround^d ua.> 
We iaw winter approach with< regret, and res- 
tiirned to town as if we bad been going into^ 
JdxiUi I» particularly, who doubted of feeing', 
another fpring, thought I bid for ever adieu 
tO/Charmfittea. i did not leave it without' 
kiiiing the ground and the trqes, and looking, 
fevem* ticaes^ baek a§ •w^:dfew from it« Having 
long left my fcholarsj having loft a tafie (osr 
the amXifecneot and focietj^ of th< tdwn, I no. 
longer went- out^ or faw aily body, .exce^ 
MamsnavandrM. Saloeinn^ lately b^oeme her' 
phydeian and mine, an ho^ileft man, a mao of- 
fence, and a great Carteiiai^v who taliced well' 
cm the fyfiemrof the world, . and whefe agree-* 
aide and infiru^iive conver&cioiidid mefldore* 
^gObd th^n ail his pre&ription«» 1 «ould never' 
fuppe^t the Ally, fottiih fiUings-np.of convert 
f«)Cion; but ufefttl and folid conver&tions ai** 
ways gave me great pdeafure, and I never re*' 
fufed cheD). 1 very jmutfa; reliAed M-SaioH 


m60 J- J. ROl?SSEAU. g| 

moh's ; metboughft I aBtkjpMked^whh^bim thtt 
great knowledge my foul would acquire wlieti 
diveAed of its fetters^ The ineltnation.i had 
for him extended to tbei fubjedts be treated, and 
i be^an to foek thofe. books wbidl might ibelp 
me the bcft to underftand hiin« Tbo& wfaicb 
mixed devotion with knowledge were tl^e moj| 
agreeable to. me i Aich were, peculiarly, thofe 
of the . Oratory and of PartrRoyaL 1 fat 
down to reskd*, .or* raiiher .dftvour theni«.. On« 
of them: fell ima myrhandsvb)^ Father cIaqm,' 
jafiitied^ Efitmiwn fur^. Us, Sdtzaaeu . lA wa& i, 
iort.of intradu&ion >t9 the. knowledge Gf the 
booka^vhiGh treat of them. Irj-ead it oyer 
and over an hundred ticn^s; I. refolved 
inake it my guide. In irne, I.fdtmyfelf car<« 
Tied away by degrees, inifMte of .the ftatel 
:was iH) or rather by tbtfi^ftate, towards ftudy^ 
;wt£han trcefifttjble forise^.ftill looking op each 
day as my laft^ I ftud^d>with> as much aidour 
«a one who thought ta live for everl lit 
was faid it did me- gnat hurt $ I think it did 
me great gobd^ not only to my mind but? to 
my body; for this applicatiaa, ofwhicb;.! 
was fo fond^. became (b delightful, that, not 
thinking of my iUoe&» 1 was much le^ af-^ 
k€ted by it. It« is^ howeifet, certain^ no** 
thing procured me real eafe ; . but fharp paui 
having left me, I accuftomed myfeif to weak* 
nefs, no fleep, to think inftead of a^t, and, in 
fine, to look on the fucceffive and lingering 
decfty of my carcafe as a progrefs inevitable 
which nothing but death would -ftop. 

: Thi§ opinion not only withdrew me from 
pvesy vAiiLcare for lifei but delivered me from 

^ 6 the 

«4 THE C0MFK8I0NS OF fB, 6. 

the trouble of ow^iciney ta which I was, tHl 
then, obliged to fubmit againft my will. 
Saibmon, convinced his drugs could not fave 
foe, fpared me their draught, and contented 
himftlf with atnufing the uneafinefs of my 
poor. Mamma, by a few of thofe indifFerent 
prefcriptions which keep up the patient's hopes 
an3 the do£lor's cfedit. I quitted the ftri^ 
regimen, and returned to* the uie of wine^ 
and the whole courfe of life of a man in 
healthy according to the meafure of my ftrnsgtb, 
fcber in all things, but abftaimng from no*" 
thing, 1 went out too, and began tb fee my 
friends again, particularly M* de Conxte, 
whofe acquaintance pleafed me much. In 
fine, whether .it feemed noUe^ to learn to my 
laft breath, or whether fosae hidden hope of 
life was at the bottom, the expedation of 
death, far from relaxing o^ relifli for ftiKly^ 
feemed to aninuie it, and I hurried to colled 
a little knowledge for the other world as one 
who thought to find no more there than he 
carried with him. I took a liking to the 
ihop of a bookfel]/sr whofe name was Bouchard-, 
where a^ew people of learning reforted ; and 
the fpring which I thought I never ifaould fee^ 
apprQacbtng, I look out a few books for 
Charmettes, in cafe I fiiould have the good 
fortune to return there, 

I had this good fortune, and made the J>eft 
qf it. My joy on feeing the fTrfl: buds is in* 
expreffible. To he another fpring was to me 
a refurredion into paradife. The fnow bad 
fcarce begun to melt, but we crept from oar 

dungeon and went immediately to Charmettev 


M. «!] 7. J. R O U SS E A U. ^ 

to hear the Urtk note of the mf btingale. Theft 
I thought of death no more; and really it it 
fingular I never, was very ill in the cotintry. 
1 have felt great pain , but never fo as to keep 
my bed. 1 often fa(d» finding myfelf worfe 
than ordinary. When you fee me at death's 
door, carry me under, a (hady oak ^ I give 
you my word, I (hall be better* 

Tho' feeble, 1 returned to my ruftie 
fttn&k>ns, but in a manner proportioned to 
|By ftrengtb.. I was greatly vexed at not being 
abletodo the garden atone ; but on digging 
£ve or fix#fpade$, I was ^ut of breath, the 
fweatran down me, and I coukl^do no more* 
When I ftooped, my beatings redoubled, and 
the Uood came into my face with fuch force, 
I was obliged haftily to ftand up. Reftrained 
to h& fatiguing cares, 1 undertook,, among 
OPtfaers, that of tte pige<Mi-houfe, and took 
fo: great delight in k I often fpent (everal 
iiours together, there, without being tired a 
moment. Pigeons are.very timid, and wery 
liificnlt to tame. I, however, found me^ns 
to infpire mine wtth fo much confidence, they 
followed me every where, and let me take 
tfaem whenever I chofe it* .1 could not ftir 
into the garden or court, without having two 
or three, of them infiantly on my arms and 
bead^ and at laft, though I tow fo much 
pleafure in them, this retinue became fo 
troublefome, I was obliged to deprive them of 
their familiarity. 1 always took lingular plea- 
fure ,in taming animals, particularly thofe 
which .are fearful and wild, h feemed de-< 
Ugtefui to..m« to in^ire^ them .wUb a eonfi^ 



deiKre I ne?er abttfed. I wanted diem to love 
me in liberty. 

I faid I carried books with me. I made ide 
Qf them ; but in at manner niucb tefs to 
inftrudl than weary mr« The faUe notion i 
had of things, perfuaded me, that' to read a 
book profitably, a man' fiiould^ have alL the 
knowledge it Aippofes; .far from thinking tha| 
often: the Author. ha» it >not hicnie)f,.but fifiied 
it from other books as>ho wanted it* With 
ibis foolifli: notion I wag ftopped every inftant^ 
ibrced inceflantly to* run from book to* book^ 
and romeiihiei, before l reached tbe«tenthpags 
of that I was ftudyingy I waS'obliged to rvii 
over libraries. Nevertheiefe,. I was fo deter*- 
mined on this extravagant method^ I loft. an 
infinite deal of time, and bad almoft puxftkd 
my. braiiis to a degiee. of nor being abie to 
perceive or underOand any thing. 1 bappiJ^ 
iaw I was taking a wrong road, which ltd ma 
into an immenie labyrinth; I got out < of it 
before I was quite loft. 

When a .n>an has a little time reliibfoir 
the fciences, the firft thing he finds in. hie 
purfiiit is their connexion, which oauibs them 
mutually^to attradl, affift, and enlightoa each 
other, and that one cannot do'Wii;hout the 
Other. Tho* the human mind h not iufficiem 
to all, and muA always prefer one as the 
principal, yet if it has not fome notion of 
the others, it often finds itfelf in obfcurky even 
with that it has chotbn. I knew that what i 
had undertaken was good and^ufelvl iDatfelf^ 
and that nothing but a change of< method 
was neoefiary , Beginnijifig with the Encydtj^^ 
./ pedia^ 

m 6^1 j; J. ' R O U S 8 E A U. 8^= 

pdtoj I went OH) cKvklingMt into branches ; 
I farwr the contrary was neceffery, take them" 
(Mneh erne feparately^ and follow them each 
cme by itfetf to the point at which they tinite. 
Tllirs I cawne back to the ordWauy fynthefis ; 
but I cail^e back as a man who knows whatf 
h« is dofng. In this, medttatipn ferred m^ 
irt lieu of underftanding, and a very natural: 
reflection affiftedl me in conducing me aright. 
Whether. I lived or died, there was no time* 
tt> lofe* To know nothing, and want toi 
know every thing at five^ and- twenty, was* 
titigagfttg » to make goodr oft of ont's time, 
Net knowing at what- point fate- or death* 
might put an end to my zeal, I wanted at alll 
^ents to acquire notions of every thing, a9 
well to found my natural difpofition, as tct 
jtidge by myfelf oif that which moftly deferved 
d&tiivation. ' 

" I foundv m the exccurion- of this plan,* 
sMOcW ^vantage i had-not thought of*; that 
of'makrng good ufe of a great deal of time. 
1 couW not be born fbr ftudy; for a long 
appiicatiorr fatigues me to a degree of mak.' 
iDgMtimpoffible to employ myfelf half an? 
Hour together with force on the fame fubjed, 
dpeciaWy by Allowing the ideas of another 5 
fo^ 4t histfometimes happened to me to follow* 
my <nvn linger, and that with* pretty gboct 
ftK^eeft;^ When I have followed a few pagey 
of an authoc which muft be read with attend 
tTMi,-my imagination deferts him, and is Iviif 
in -a cloud. < If lam obilinate^ I weaty my-^ 
f€# in vain ; a dimtiefs^ comes over me, ajitf 
I can fee nothing. But let diflfereat fubjctSW 
** * fucceed 

S8 the; confessions of [B, 6^ 

fucceed each other, even without idtemipticni, 
one is a relaxation to the other, and, without 
the neceffity of difcontinuing, 1 purfue them 
with more eafe. I benefitted by this obferva- 
tion in the plan of my ftudies, and fo inter- 
mixed them, I employed myfelf the whole 
day without the leaft fatigue. It is true, rural 
an({domeftic occupations ufefuliy diverted me; 
but in my encreafmg fervour I fopn found 
means to take from them for ftudy, and em- 
ployed myfelf in two buiinefles at once, with- 
out dreaming that each was the worfe. for it* 
In fo many trifling details which delight 
me, and with which I often tire my reader's 
patience, 1 ufe however a difcretion he would 
not think of, did not I take care to acquaint 
him* Here, for inftance, I remember with 
delight all the different trials I made to diiV 
tribute my'time in fuch a manner as- to find, 
at the fame time as mu^h pleafure and utility 
as poiHble ; and I can fay, the time I ipent 
in retirement, and always ill, was that of 
my days in which I was ledft idle and .leaft 
forrowful. Two or three months thus 
pafied in trying the bent of my genius, and 
enjoying, in the fineft feafon of the year, and 
in a place it rendered enchanting, the charms 
of a life whofe price I {q well knew, tbofe of 
^ ibciety as free as it was gentle, if the name 
of fociety can be given' to (o perfedl an MnioUt 
and thofeof kno\yledge and learning I propofed. 
to acquire ; for they were to me as if I al- 
ready pofleiled them ; or, rather, it was ftill 
better, fince the pleafure of learning them 
ibrmed a great psirt of my happine&. 

I muft 

B.6.] J. J. ROUSSEAU; 89 

I rauft pafs over thefe trials which were to 
me fo many enjoyments, but too fimple to be 
explained. Once more, true happinefs is not; 
to be defcribed, it is felt, and fo much the 
more felt as it cannot be defcribed, becaufe it 
is not the refult of a co!le6lion of afls, but 
a permanent ftate. I often repeat things, 
but fhould repeat them pftener, did I fay the 
fame things whenever they ftruck me. When 
at laft my manner of Hf6, often varied, had 
taken an uniform courfe, this was nearly the 
mode of dividing it. 

' I rofe every morning before the furi. I 
paflcd through a neighbouring orchard into a 
very pretty road to Chambery. There, flill 
walking on, ' I faid my prayer, which did not 
confift in a vain mumbling of the lips, but 
in a fincere raifmg the thoughts to the Au- 
thor of this lovely nature whofe beauties were 
nnder my eye. I never Ibved praying in my 
room '; the walls and other trifling works of 
man feemed to thruft themfelves between God 
and me» I love to contempl-^te him in his 
works, whilft my foul is lifted up to htm* 
My prayers were pure, I dare advance it, and 
therefore- worthy to be heard. I b^ged for 
myfelf, and her from whom my wiftes were 
never feparated, but an innocent and quiet 
life, exempt from vice, pain, and want^ die 
death of the juft, and their lot in futurity. 
However, this aS pafled more in adniiratioa 
and tomtemplation than in petitions; for I 
knew, that, with the Difpenfator of real Ueff- 
ings, the heft means of obtaining thofe which 
are neceflkry for us, is, not fo much to afk' 
for theni> as to deferve them* I returned 



thing) and inceflfantly recommence the fame 
rout. I did not relilh Euclid, who rather 
feeks the ftring of demonftrations than the 
connexion of ideas ; I preferred the geometry 
of Father Lami, who frpm that time became 
one of my favourite. atithors> whofe works I 
ftill read over again with pleafure. Algebra 
followed, and it was ftill Father Lami I took 
for a guide: when I was a little forwarder, I took 
the fcience of Father Rcynaud's Calculation, 
and afterwards his Analyfis Dem^onftrateJ,' 
which I only ran over. I jiever went far 
enough fuificiently to underftand the applica- 
tion of algebra to geometry. I was not fond' 
Of this method of operation without feeing 
what one is about ; it feemed to me, that to 
refojve a problem in geometry by equation, 
was playing a tune by turning round an'handle* 
The firft time I found, by calculation, that 
the- fquare of a bjnomtcal figure was compofed 
of each of its parts, and of the doi^ble pro- 
dud of one by the other, although my moU 
tiplication was right, I would not believe it 
till I had made the figure. Not but I ha4 a 
great tafte to algebra, confidered as to abftraft 
quantity; but, appli^ to dimenfion, ! muft 
fte the operation on the Hues, otherwife I 
comprehended nothing niore of it^ 

After this came Latin. It was my moft 
painful ftudy, and in which I never made 

freat progrefs. I firft applied mjrfelf to the 
>atin method of Port- Royal, but fruitlefsly. 
Their barbarous verfes fickened me, and could 
Hot reach my ear. I loft myfelf in fo great a 
jumble of rules ; for in learning the laflr, I 


B.ft..] j. J. ROUSSEAU. 93 

forgot that which preceded it. The Rvidy of 
words is not for a man without memory, and 
it was precifely to force my memory to capa- 
city I was obftinate in continuing this ftudy. 
I was obliged to abandon it at laft. I could 
^onftrue well enough to read an eafy author 
by the help of a didipnary, I followed this 
rout, and found it did very well. J applied to 
tranflation, not in writing but mental, and 
kept to it. By time and exercife I attained 
reading ofF-hand pretty well the Latin authors, 
but never was able to fpeak or write that lan- 
guage ; which has often confufed me, when 
i was, I don't know how, enrolled among men 
of letters. Another inconvenience in confe- 
quence of this method of learning is, I never 
knew j)rofody, much lefs the rules of verfifica- 
tion. -Defiring, however, to feel the harmony 
of the language in verfe and profe, I have 
made many attempts to attain it ; but am con- 
Arinced that without a mafler it is almoft im^ 
poffible. Having learnt the compofition of 
the eafieft of all verfe, which is an hexameter, 
I had the patience to fcan almoft all Virgil, 
and meafure feet and quantity : when I was 
in doubt of a fyllable's being long or fliort, 
^twas my Virgil I confulted. This, as may 
be imagined, led me into many errors, becaufe 
of the alterations permitted by the rules of 
verfification. But if there is any advantage 
in ftodying alone, there is likewife great in*" 
convcniencies. I know it better than any 

Before noon I quitted my books, and if din- 
ner was not ready, I paid a vifit to my friends 



the pigeons, or Worked in the garden till that 
hour. Wheo I heard myfelf c2kd, I ran very 
/happy, and provided With a good appetite j 
for it -IS worthy notice, that, however ill I 
might be, my apipetite never failed. We dined 
very agfecably, chattering on our affairs, till 
Mamma^ could eat, Two or three tinies a 
Week, when it was fine, we went behind the 
houfe to take cofFec in a little cabin, cool and 
bufliy, which I had garniihed with hops, that 
gave us great pleafure during the heat ; we 
(pent a &ort hour there, examining our ve- 
getables and flowers, and in cohverfations re« 
lative to our manner of life, which caufed us 
the m'9re to feel its fwectnefs. I bad anothiei' 
little family at the end of the garden ; 'twas 
bees. 1 feldom failed, and often Mamma with 
me, to pay them a vifit 5 I was miich delighted 
with their labours I was infinitely amufed in 
feeing \h^m return from plundering, their lit- 
tle thighs fometimes fo loaded they could hard- 
ly move. At firft, my curiofity made me in- 
difcreet, and I was ftung two or three times ; 
but we after\yards got fo well acquainted, that, 
however near I went, they did hot trouble mCj 
^nd, however full the hives might me, ready 
to fwarm, I was fometimes encompaffed by 
them, they came on my hands and face, with- 
out one of them ever flinging me. All anir 
mals miftruil man^ and can't be blamed;: but 
iare they once fure he won't injure them, their 
eonfidence becomes fo great, he muft be more 
than arbari)aiian.that'iabufes k. 

I returned to my books ;. but my occupa^ 
tions of the afternoon deferved much lefs the 


B; 6.'] J. jr. R O U S S E' A tf. ^ 95 

name of labour and ftudy tfaanbf i-ecreatioil 
and amufement. I never could ^bear the ap- 
plicacion of the clofet after dinner, ^nd in 
'general all trouble hung heavy during the 
lieat of the day. I employed myfelf, how- 
ever, but Vi^ithout conftraint, and altnoft with- 
out rule, .in reading without ftudying. The 
'things I followed moft puiiftually were hiftq- 
ry and geography, and, as they did not de- 
mand the application of the mind, I made as 
much progcefs in them as my bsid memory 
permitted. I wanted to 'ftudy Father P^tau, 
'and defcerided'ihto the Obfcure manfions 6( 
chronology : but I grew dilgulled at the cri- 
tical parts which have neither bottom nor 
banks ;.and I was inclined to prefer the ex- 
a6l meafure of time, and the motion of the 
celeftial bodies, I (hould have even taken a 
tafte to aftronomy, had I had any inftriiments ; 
• but I muft bp contented with a few. elements 
taken from books, and a few rough obfervations 
made with a telefcope, only to know the gene- 
ral fituation of Jthe heavens 9 for my dim fight 
did not permit me to diftinguifh the planets 
clearly with the naked eye. I recolleil an 
adventure on this fubjedl whofe remembrance 
has often made me lai^gh. I bought a celef- 
tial planifphere to ftudy the confteUations, I 
placed this planifphere on a frame 3 the night 
[sijid the heavens' were ferene i I went into the 
garden to fix my frame on four ftakes of mv/ 
heiglit ; the planifphere turned downwards, 
and to light it that the wind did not blow out 
my^ caiidle, I put it into a bucket on the 
jground bctweeii the foiif flakes ithen'looking 



96 THE CONFESSIONS &c. [B. 6.- 

alternfttelv at the planifphere with my eye, 
and the planets with my telefcope, I exercifed 
myfelf in a knowledge of the ftars and diF- 
cerning the conftellations. 1 think I have 
mentioned the garden of M. Noiret forming 
a terrace ; you could fe^ from the road every 
thing which paiTed. One evening fome pea- 
fants going by pretty late, faw me, in a gro- 
tefque attire, employed at this operation. 
The glimmering light which gave down on 
my planifphere, of which they did not fee the 
caufe, bec^ufe the candle was hid from them 
l^ the iides of the bucket, the four fiakes, 
the large paper befmeared with figures, the 
frame and the motion of my telefcope they 
faw go backwards and forwards, gave to the 
ivhole affair an air of conjuration which ter- 
rified them. My drefs was not adapted to re- 
move their fears : a flapped hat over my cap, 
and a hood of Mamma's (he had obliged me 
to put on, offered to their view the image of 
a true forcerer, and as it was near midnight 
they did not in the lead doubt but the ailem- 
bly of devils was commencing. Not very 
curious to fee more of it, they ran off ex- 
tremely alarmed, awakened their neighbours 
to inform them of their vifion ; and the ilory 
ran about (o fail, that the next day every 
one fn the neighbourhood knew that die noc- 
turnal ailembly of witches was held at M, 
Noiret's. I don't know what this rumour 
might haye produced, had not one of the pea- 
fanes, witnefs to my conjurations, carried his 
complaints the next day, to two Jefuits who 
yifited us, and, without knowing the real af- 


,B.6.] J, J. ROUS SEAU. 97 

fair, provifionally undeceived them. They 
told us the ftory, I told them the caufe, and 

. we laughed heartily. It was however refolv- 
ed, for fear of a relapfe, that I (hould^ in 

' future, make my obfervations without light,, 
and confult the planifphere in the houfe. 
Thofe who have read, in the Litres de la 
Montagne^ my magic of Venice, will find, I 
am fure, I had of long ftanding a mighty call- 
ing to forcery. 

This was my courfe of life at Charmettes, 
when I was not' employed in any rural occu- 
pation ; for that had always the preference, 
and in any thing which did not exceed my 
flrength I worked like a labourer : it is true» 
indeed, my extreme weaknefs left me on this 
article little more than the will. Befides, I 
Would do two things at once, for which reafon 
neither of them was done well. I had put 
It into my head to gain memory by force \ I 
ftill perfifted in learning a^deal by heart. In 
order to this, I always carried a book with 
nije^ which with incredible trouble I ftudied 
and called over as I worked* I don't know 
why the obftinacy of thefe vain and continual 
efforts did not render me ftupid. I certainly 
have learned Virgil's eclogues over and over 
twenty times, of which I don^t know* a fingle 
word. I loft or mif-forted a multitude of 
books, from the habit I had of carrying them 
every wherewith me, to the'dove-houfe, the 
garden, the orchard, or the vineyard. Em- 
ployed on other things, I put my book at the 
foot of a tree or hedge j forgot to bring it 
ixom any place I had laid it \ and often, in a 
Vol. IL , F fortnight 



fertfi»gbt after, I have found it rotten or eaten 
by pifmire^ or fnails. This ardour for learn* 
]i)g became paffion which made a blockhead 
of me, inceuantly occupied «s I was mum* 
bliag fomething between my lips* 

The writings of Port- Royal and the Ora- 
tory, being thofe I moftly read, had almoft 
made me half a Janfeniil, and, in fpite of all my 
confidence, their tough theology fometimes 
terrified me. The terrors of hell, that till 
then I very tittle dreaded, troubled my fecu- 
itty by degrees) and, had not Mamma given 
cafe to my ^ind, this frightful do<9:rine had 
,at laft quite difordered me. My confeflbr, 
who Was llktwife hers^ contributed his (hare 
in keeping me ^eady. It was Father Hemet, 
a Jefuit, a good and fage old man, whofe 
memory I fliall always reVete. Though a 
Jefuit^ he had the fiitfplicity of a child, and 
his morality, lefs rdajted than mild, was pre** 
cifely neceAary to balance thfe melancholy im- 
' preffions of Janfenifm. Thi3 good mad, and 
his companion father Co^pier, came often to 
fee us at Charmettes, though the road was 
very *rough and pretty long for people of their 
age. Their vifits were of great fervice to 
me: I hope God will return it their fouls $ 
for they were then too old to prefume them 
iiill alive. I went alfo to fee them at Cham* 
bery -, I grew by degrees familiar in their 
houfe ; their libiary was at my fervice. The 
remembrance of thefe happy times is conne£b- 
cd with the Jefufts fo as to make me love 
prie for ihe others and though their dofirine. 


B. 60 J. J. ROUSSEAU. 9^ 

stl^vays iappcared dangerous^ I nfever could 
find in me firjcercly to hate them. 

I (bould like to know whether there pafs 
in the minds of other men the Jfke puerile* 
notions which fometimes paffed in mine. 
Amidft my ftudies, and a life as innocent as 
man coiJd lead, and in (pite of all they faid 
ib me, the feat of hell neverthelefs often agi- 
tated me. I qcieftibned iTiyfelf thus : la 
*hat fituation am I ? Was I to die how, 
ihould I be damtiefd ?* According to my 
Janfenifts, the thing was indubitable ; but 
according to my conference, k appeared 
other wife. Always in fear, atid floating in 
this crud uncertainty, I had rccourfe, to get 
out of it, "to the moft laughable expedients, 
fbr which 1 wduld willingly Ihut a man up, 
was 1 to fee him do the fame. One day, 
mufing on this melancholy fubjcft, I exercifed 
myfelf mechanically in throwing ftones at 
the trunks of the trees, ^hd that with my 
ufual addrefs, that is, without hitting one of 
them. AH at once, in the middle of this 
pretty exercife, I took it in my head to invent 
a kind of prognoftic to calm my uneafi* 
nefs. I fay to myfelf, I will go now and 
throw this ftone at the tree whicn faces me : 
if I hit it, fign of falvation ; if I mift iti figh 
0f hell. Jn faying thus I throw my ftone 
with a trembling hand, and with a horrihle 
besiting of the heart, but fo fortunately, it went 
ftraight to the body of the tree ; which in fa6l' 
was not Very difficult ; for I had taken care 
to chufe it very large and very near. Since 
this 1 have never doubted of falvation. I 

F 2 don't 



don't know in recalling this adion whether 
I fliouid laugh or lament over myfelf. You 
great and eminent men^ you laugh of courfe, 
congratulate yourfelves, but don't infult rojr 
wretchednefs, for I fwear to yo^ I feel it fuf- 

As to the reft, tbefe alarms, infeparable per- 
haps from devotion, were not permanent. I 
was commonly pretty eafy, and the impreffidn 
the idea of an approaching death made od 
my mind, was not fo mudi melancholy as 
a peaceable. languor, which had its delights 
too. . I have lately found, among fome old 
.papers, a for^ of exhortation I made to my- 
felf, where I cpngratukted myfelf on dying 
at an age in. which we have courage to face 
death, before we have experienced the ills of 
body or mind. How well I reafpned ! A 
mifglving niade me fear life for its fuiler- 
ings. It feemed I forefaw the fate which 
awaited my old-age. I was never fo near wif- 
dom as at this happy period. Without great 
remorfe for the part, delivered from the care 
of futurity, the ruling fentiment of my mind 
was to enjoy the prefent. Devotees have in 
general a little fenfuality, extremely keen, 
which makes them favour with delight the in- 
nocent pleafures permitted them. Worldlings 
impute it to them as a crime, I don't know 
why, or rather I do know. . It is becaufe they 
envy others the enjoyment of pleafures for 
which they have loft all tafte. I had this 
tafte, and -found it pleafmg to fatisfy it in 
fijf ety orconfcience. My heart as yet new gave 
into ail with the pleafure of a child, or rather, 


fi. 6.] J. J. ROUSSEAU: lOf 

if I dare fay fo, with the voluptuoufnefs of an 
angel ; for really thefe tranquil enjoyments 
have the ferenity of thofe of Paradife. .Din- 
ners dreffed on the grafs at Montagnole, fu pa- 
pers in the harbour, gathering in the fruits, 
vintage, peeling flax in the evening with our 
people, thefe things were to us fo many holi- 
days, in which Mamma took as much plea- 
fure as myfif. More folitary'walks had ftill 
greater charms, becaufe the mind could ex- ^ 
pand itfelf more freely. We took one amohgft 
other which forms an epocha in my memory, 
one St. Lewis's Day, whofe name Mamma 
bore. We fet out together, by ourfelves, 
early in the morning, after mafs a Carmelite 
came to fay for us at break of day in a cha- . 
pel adjoining the houfe. I propofed going on 
* the oppofitc fide to that we were on, which 
we had not yet feen. We fent bur provifions 
before us, for the race was to laft the whole 
day. Mamma, though a littlfe round and fat, 
did not walk ill ; we weftt from hill te hill, 
and from copfe to copft, fom^times in the fun, 
and often in the fhade ; repofing from time t0 
time, atid forgetting ourfelves for hours toge- 
ther; chatting of ourfelves, our union, the 
Wildnefs of our fate, and making prayers for 
Its duration which were not heard. Every 
thing feemed to confpire to the happinefs of 
this day. It had lately rained, no dull, and 
brooks which finely purled; A gentle wind 
difturbed the leaves, the air was pure, the ho« 
rizon without a cloud ; ferenity reigned in 
the heavens as in our minds. Our dinner was 
drefifed at a peafant's, and divided with his 
«*• ^3 family. 


family, who heanily blefled us« What good 
kind of people thefe, poor Savoyards are! 
After dinner we got under the ibade of fooic 
large trees, where, whilft I gathered fome bits 
of dry wood to make the coiFee, Mamma 
amuied berfelf hei balizing amongft the bufhes^ 

. and with the flowers of a nofegay that in go- 
ing along I had picked her up : {he remarked 
to me, in their flrudure, a thoufand curious 
things which greatly delighted me, and ought 
to have given me a relifh for botany ; but the 
time was not yet come 5 I was* taken off by 
too many other ftudies. An idea which flruck 
me diverted me from flowers and plants. The 
&uation of mind I was in, all we faid and 
did that day, every obje^ which ftruck me, 
brought to my remembrance the fo-t of dreani 
whichf quite awake, I had at Annecy feven or 
eight years before, of which I gave an ac* 
^ count i4i its place. 1 he affinity was fo ftriking, 
that ia reflecting on it I was moved to teaia. 
In trafifports of tendernefs I embraced my love*^ 
]y friend. Mamma, Mamma, faid I to her with 
tondnefs, this day has been long promifed nu*, 
and I fee nothing which can furpafs it. My 

• faappinefs, thanks to you, is now at its meri* 
dian; may it never more decline ! May it laft 
as long as I conferve the wifli for it I it will 
iinifh but with me. 

Thus my happy hours glided away, and fo 
much the happier, as I perceived n<^4]og that 
could trouble them i I expeSed their end, in 
£a£i, onLy with mine. Not that the fource of 
my cares was abfolutely flopped s but I faw it 
take another couife, which I dire^d, as weU 

^B-6.] J. J- ROUSSEAU. loj 

as I could, towards ufeful obje£);s> in order 
that it Blight carry its remedy with it. Mam- 
ma was naturally foad of the country, and 
this inclination did not cool in nsie. By little 
and little ihe inclined to rural cares; ihe loved 
the cultivation of land, and had £omt iuiow- 
ledge of it, which ihe made ufe of with de- 
light. Not contented with that which be« 
longed to the houfe {be ha(l taicoo, flie fooie- 
times hired a field, fometimes a meadow. In 
£ne^ carrying her enterprlzing hujsiour to ob* 
jcAs of agriculture, inft^ad of reunaioing un- 
employed in her houfe, ihe took the road to 
be<xming a gr^at farm^. I was not fond of 
ii^etfig her ^m^ extend her views, and opooied 
it vfkh all ^y o^'ght ; certjun ihe would h^e 
continually chea^« and that her liberal and 
prodigal huatour would always carry thie eat* 
pence beyond the produce. However^ I coii- 
foled myielf by taking that this pr4vlu.Qe 
would not at leaft he uible£s, and would help 
her to live. Of all the.undertakings ibe£cmki 
form, this appear^ tp be itbc kad ruinous ; 
and without looking on it, a9 ibe did, as an 
obje<3 pf praiii, i Qlw it ^ ^ codHioual occu- 
pation which would ibield her jagaioft noxfe 
bufinefs and jbarpcfs. la this notion I ar- 
dently defued lo recov<ex as much heaitii and 
ilrength as would be neoe^y to mind her 
budcuefs, to be ov^erfeer of her iahourors, or her 
head- labourer ; .and, natiicftlly, the exerdie it 
caufed me^ taking me. from my books, and 
diverting me from my condition, mull haws 
made it eaiier. 

The following winter^ fiarilloti letuming 
-** F 4 from 


from Italy, brought me a few ))ookS| amongft 
them the Bontempi and la Cartella per Mu- 
' lica of Father Banchieri, ivhich gave me a 
relifli for the hiftory of mufic and the theore- 
tical refearches oi) this charming art. Barillot 
remained fome time with us, and as I was of 
age fome months fince, it was agreed 1 {hould gb 
the following fpring to Geneva, to receive- my 
mother's heritage, or at Icaft that part which 
belonged to me, till it could be known what 
was become of my brother. It was put in 
Execution, as had been refolved. I went tp 
Geneva ; my father came there alfo. For a 
]ong while he had come there again as he 
pleafed, without their oppoflng it, though be 
had not juftiiied himfdf of the accufation ;. 
but as they efteemed his courage, and refpefi' 
cd his prooity, they feigned having forgot the 
affair, and the magiftrates, employed on the 
^randprojed which appeared foon after, would 
not roufe the citizens before the time, in re- 
^newing mal*apropos their ancient partiality. 
. I feared meeting difiiculties as to the change 
of my religion ; they did not The 
laws of Geneva are in this refpefi: lefs rigid 
than thofe of Berne, where, whoever changes 
his religion, lofes not only his freedom, but 
his eftate. Mine was not therefore difputed, . 
but was reduced, I don't know how, to a very 
trifle. Though they were almoift fure of the 
death of my brother, there was no legal proof: 
I was not fufliciently entitled to claim his 
fliare, and lef^ it without regret to affift my 
father, who enjoyed it till his death. A$ foon 
as the formality of juftice was got through, 


B. '60 J. |. K O U S S E A U. t05 

and I had received my money, I laid feme of 
it out on books, and ran to carry the reft to 
Mamma. My heart beat with joy on the 
road, and the moment I put this money into 
her hands was a thoufand times more charm- 
ing than that which brought it into mine. 
She received it with the Umplicity of noble 
minds, which, doing things of that fort with- 
out effort, fee them without admiration. Al- 
moft all this money was laid out on me, and 
%hat with the fame fimpUcicy. Its ufe had 
been the fame^ had it c^me from any other 
quarter. t * 

' I did not, however, recover my fekjlth. I^ 
on the Contrary, decayed vifibly. I wais as 
pale as death, and as (hin as a fkeleton. My 
beating of the arteries was terrible, my palpi- 
tations more frequent ; I was continually op« 
prefled, and my weaknefs became, at laft^ 
io great, I moved with trouble ; I cofild not 
haflen my fteps without ftifling, I could not 
ftoop without giddinefs, I could not lift the 
Jighteft thing; I was reduced to the moft tor- 
turing inadion, to a fttrring man like me* It 
is certain the vapours made a part of all this* 
Vapours is the dilbafe of happy minds; 'twas 
mine : the tears I often fhed without fubjed, 
the violent dread at the ncife of a leaf or 
bird, the unequal humour in the calm of a 
happy life, all thefe things proved the heavi- 
nefs of* an eafy b&ing, which makes, in a 
manner, fenfibility grow dotifli. We are fo 
little made for happinefs here below, it is ne- 
eeflary the mind or body (hould fuffer, if* not 
both ; and the good condition of one gene* 
rally hurt& the other. Had I been able deli- 

F 5 cioufly 

ro6 TH« CONFESS IPNS OF [?.«. 

cioathf to en|o7 Uft, ^y -decaying- frsmt |M9- 
venied il:% miAout the poAbiiity of Jcnawing 
-Ae tmefcat of the cnufe of the diforder.. Ifi 
proceft of ttflie, in f|H9^ of declining ^ge aiMl 
real and very fefiou^ Ul»e6, my body kpm 
to racover its ftreagtk, thie l^etter to feel its 
9nj&Ty i and now thjit I am writUig this, iow 
•firm and ac«r fixty, overwhelmed with afflic- 
•tion of enFcry fort, I imi in myfelf, for (uffer^ 
ingj more vigour and lift t)ian I had fqr enjoy r 
mentat the flower of youth, and ip the bo£bm 
tf real happinefs. 

To finifli my own hiftory^ havmg brought 
A little phyfiology in my :ft«idies, I be^n to 
Audy anatomy ; and reviewing the multitude 
mnd adicm of the pieces which con^pofed my 
'0Wn framet I expend to feel it disjointej^ 
twenty times a day ; far from being Air^ifed 
ihat I was dying, I was furpriM I was alive, 
and never read the defcriptioa of a difordsr 
which I did not think noy own. I am certain, 
that, had I not been ill, this fatal ftudy would 
have made me fo. Finding in eadi diforder 
fymptoms of mine, I thought I had them all, 
and igot one ftill more (;ruel, of which I thouebt 
I was delivered ; the notioQ of being curiJ^,: 
'tis a difficult one to avoid, when you read 
treatifes on medicine. By dint of fearcbing, 
i£fle£king, coniparing« I was .on the point 
«f imagining the bafis of mv diforder was a 
polypus on the heart, and oalomon himfeif 
ieemed flruck with this idea. I ought rea- 
fonably to have departed from .this opinion, to 
confirm myfelf in my preceding refolution. I 
did not do fo. I fet all the fprings of my 
mind to work to find a cure for a polypus ot\ 


»• 6.3 J. J. * O O S S E A U. 107 

^e heart, rdblved to imdertsrlce this marveU 
lot^cure. In a journey Anet made to Mont<f 
pellier to ice ^ garden of plants belonging to 
the Demonfl^r^ttoiJNi- Salvages, he heard there 
M. Fizes cured ali^e poiypus. Mamma re- 
sietnbered and fpoke to me of ir. i wanted no- 
thing more to fill me with a delire of going tQ 
confult M. Fizesji^ The hopes of recovering 
made courage and ftrengthTeturn to undertake 
the journey). The money from Geneva furniflied 
ihe means. Mamma, far from difluadin^, ex* 
horts me to^it.; fo I am ofF for Montpefiier./- 
I had no occasion to go fo far to find thj? 
4odor I wanted. The horfe tir4ng me too 
much,! took a chaife at«Grenob}e. At Mot-* 
fans &¥C or -fix .other chaifes came up in a ro^ 
wtth^nuie. Now it was really the litter ad« 
ventyre. The greateft part of thefe chatfes 
wexe-i^e retinue of a new- married -woman, 
whofe name was Madam de ♦•*. With her 
^was another lady. Madam N.***, not fo 
young or pretty as Madam de •*^*, but as 
amiable, and who w^ to continue 'her jour- 
ney from Romans, where ^e*firft iady was t 
flop,^ as far as .*^*^ near the bridge of th 
Holy Ghoft. With the timidity I am knowri 
to have, it is expected an acquaintance was 
not foon made with brilliant ladies and the 
fuite Which accompanied them ; but, at Jail-, 
going the fame road, lodging at the fame inns, 
and, on pain of paffijig for an unfociable fel« 
low, obliged to come to the fame table, this 
acquaintance was forcibly made : it was mad^ 
then, and e\t£n fooner than I defired ; for all 
^his noife and figure did not much fuit a ficic 
Qian^ and particularly a fick man of my hu- 

t 6 moiy. 


mour. But curiofity makes the ja^es fo infi- 
iiuating, that, in order to know a man, they 
begin by turning his brain. Thus it hap- 
pened to me. Madam dc ♦•*, too much fur- 
rounded by her young curs, had not much 
time to eye me, and befides, it was not worth 
while, as we were feparating; but Madam 
N***, not fo befet, had a provifion to make 
for her journey : Madam N*** undertakes 
ine, fo farewel poor Jean-Jacques, or, rather 
farewel fever^ vapburs, polypus, sXi depart at 
her prefence, except certain palpitations which 
remained, of which (he would not cure me. 
The bad ftate of my health was the iirft text 
of our acquaintance. They faw I was ill, 
knew I was going to Montpellier, and my 
look and manner could not announce a de« 
bauchee ; it was clear by the fequel they did 
not fufpeA I was going to the gruel warehoufe* 
Though an ill ,ftate of health is not a recom« 
mendation to ihe ladies, it rendered me inte- 
refting to them. In the morning they fent to 
aflc after my health, and to invite me to take 
chocolate with them ; they muft 4cnow how I 
liad palTed the night. Once, according to my 
laudable cuftom of fpeaking bdfore I tbought» 
I told them I did not know. This anfwer 
inclined them to think me filly ; they examined 
me farther, and this examination was not un- 
favourable to me. I heard Madam de ♦** fay 
to her friend. He is unacquainted with the 
world, but he is amiable. This encouraged 
me much; and.caufed me to become fo in 

Growing familiar, I muft fpeak of myfelf, 

^ fay 

B. 6.] J.J. ROUSSEAU. 109 

fay where I came froniy who I was. This 
embarrafled me ; for I knew very well, that, 
in good company, and with coquettes, this word 
of a new convert would deilroy me. I don't 
know from what whimfey I took it in my head 
to pafs for an £ngli(bman. I called myfelf a 
Jacobite, t}iey took me as fuch ; I faid my 
name was Dudding, add was called. M. Dud- 
ding. A cu4-fed. Marquis of •♦•, who was 
therg> illjike me, older too, and ill-natured 
enough, muft begin a converfation with M* 
Dudding. He talked to me of King James^ 
of the. Pretender, of the ancient Court of St. 
Germain ; I was on thorns. I knew no more 
of it th^n I had read in the Count of HamiK. 
ton, arid in the newfpapers ; I however made 
fo good ufe of this little, I got out of the 
Jiobble : happy on not being queftioned on 
the Engliih language, of which 1 did not know 
A fingle word. 

Every one of the company was very agreea- 
ble, and faw with regret the hour of Repara- 
tion. We went a fnail's journey. We came 
to Marcellin on a Sunday; Madam N*** 
would- go to mafs.; I went with her; that 
Jhad nearly fpoiled all. I behaved as I have 
always done. By my^modeft and referved 
countenance fbe thought me devout, and be- 
gan to have a poor opinion of me, as fhe 
owned two days afterwards. I was under the 
neceiSty of a deal of gallantry to wipe off 
this bad impreilion; or, rather. Madam N***, 
like an experienced woman, who was not 
eafily repulfed, thought proper to run the ha- 
zard of her advances to fee how I Height be- 


no THE CaNFCSaONS OF [B.ft& 

have. Hie made ^ne nunjTf JOid fiick, tbat^ 
hr from p^efiiming Jon my pcdbot I ihougfac 
(he jceied me* Ffom this foUj ifacre was not 
a blunder but I was guilty of; \w9S worfe- 
than the Muiquis du Legs*. Madam N*** 
held it out, gaire me fo oiany glances, fatd fiich 
tey^der things, a n^n, much left ftupid, had 
b^n puzzled to take it ferioufly. The more 
ihe did, the more ihe cooiirmed my idea ; and 
that which tottured me moft was, that I took 
fire in earneft* I faid to myfelf, and to her 
with a figh. Ah ! why is cot this &ue i I 
fliQuld be the happieft of men. I believe mf 
fimplicity as a did >btit irritate her 
£incy i Qxe would not be.dir9p|K>iated» 

We left Madam de *^^ aad her atteudai^ 
at Romans. We continued our road as flow^ 
ly and agreeably as pofthle. Madam N**% 
the Marquis pf ***f and n^felf. The Mar^ 
quis, though ill and grumbling, was -a ^ooi 
fort of a man, but wbo,did not love to eat bread 
with roaft meat ki fight. Mitdam N^^* took 
fo little pains to hide her* inclination to me» 
that he perceived it before me, -and his arch 
farcafms ought at leaft to have created moae 
confidence than I bad in. the lady's Idndneik, 
if by an untoward thought, whereof I akme 
was capable, I Kad not imagined they had 
agreed to rrdicule me. This ftupid idea quite 
turned my head, and made me a<9t.tke flatteft 
perfonage, in a fituation wJ)ere my heart, ber 
ing really caught, might have dilated a bril- 
liant one. 1 c^n't conceive ^w Madam 
^»** ^3s uQ( difgufted at my aukward 
figure, .c^ did not:difioifs me in the greateft 


B.<^] J. J. ROUSSEAU. iif 

^ifdain. But (he w^ % wonun of kt)S9^ wbo 
could dilpern her man^ and who plainly Taw 
(here if^9 mare Aupidity than coolnefs in my 

She at Ijift made berfelf underftood ; but 
It was not without trouble. We arrived 
at Valence to dinner, and) according to our 
laudable c.uftom, we fpent the reft of the 
■^y there. We lodged without' the city^ 
at the St. Jacques. I (hall for ever remember 
that inn, as well as the room Madam N**^ 
had taken.. After dinner flie would take a 
turn s ib'e knew the Marquis could not go out : 
'twas the method of procuring a tete a-tetc^ 
of which file was refolved to make the heft ; 
for no more time could be loft to have fome 
cemain for ufe. We walked round the out'^ 
fide of the city, along the ditch. There I re- 
turned to my long ftory of complaints, to 
which (he replied in fo tender a tone, fqueez* 
ing my hand, which (he held, fometimes to 
her heart, that nothing but a ftupidity like 
mine could fufpeiSt her being ferious. The 
moft extraordinary of all was myfeif bf ing 
exce(Svety moved. I have already faid flie 
was amiable i love made her charming, and 
.rendered her all .the fplendor of her prime of 
youth, and (he ordered her -glancings with 
lo much art, (he had feduced a ftatue. I was 
therefore very little at my eafe, and always on 
the point of licentioufnefs. But the fear of. 
offending or.difpleafing, the ftill greater dread 
of being hooted, hiiTed, laughed at, being the 
talk at table, bein^ complimented on myiuc<« 
ceis by the unmerciful Marquis, made me full 



of indignation againft myjk\( for my ftupid 
bafhfulnefs) and which I was not able to over- 
come by reproaching myfelf. I was on the 
rack i I had already left off my tales of Cela- 
don, though I felt bow ridiculous it was in 
fo fine a train ; not knowing what counte- 
nance to keep or fay, I faid nothing, I had 
the air of a difcontented perfon ; in fine, I 
did every thing neceflary to draw on myfelf 
the treatment I dreaded. Luckily, Madam 
N*** took a more humane method. She Ijaf- 
tily broke this filence by throwing her arm 
round my neck, and in an inftant her lips 
ipoke too plainly on mine to leave me any 
longer in error* The crifis could not happen 
more a-propos. I became loving. It was time. 
She gave me that confidence, the want of 
which has always hindered me from being 
. mylclf. I was fo this time. Never had my 
^yes, fenfes, heart, or mouth, fpoke fo well 
before ; never did I fo amply repair my faults; 
and, if this trifling conqueft coft Madam 
N*** fome trouble, I had reafon to think ihe 
did not regret it. 

Was I to live an hundred years, I fhould 
always recal with pleafure the remembrance 
of this charming woman. I fay charming, 
though {he was neither pretty nor young ; but 
not being ugly or old, fhe had nothing in her 
perfon which prevented her wit and grace to 
have all their efFedt. Quite contrary to other 
women, her freihnefs appeared leaft in her 
face ; I believe rouge had fpoiled it. She had 
rearons for her facility ; 'twas the method of 
ihewing herfclf to advantage, Vbu might fee 


B. 6.] J. J. R O U S S E A U. 113 

her and not love her, but not poflefs her 
without adoring her j which proves, I think, 
fhe was not always fo prodigal of her kind- 
nefs as with me. She had a tafte too prompt 
and violent to be excufable, but where the 
heart went at leaft as much as the fenfes ; and 
during the (hort and delightful inftants I 
paiTed with her, I had reafon to believe, by 
the forced reftraints (he impofed on me, chat, 
though fenfual and voluptuous*, (he loved my 
health more than her pleafure. 

Our intelligence did not efcape the Mar- 
quis. He did not banter me (he lefs : on the 
contrary, he treated me more than ever aa/a 
poor cnilled lover, a martyr to the^rigours of 
his miftrefs. He never let fall a word, a 
fmile, a look, which could make me fufpe£l 
he guefled us; and I had believed him our 
dupe, had not M^am N***, who faw far- 
ther 'than me, told me he was not, but that he 
was a gentlemte} in fad, it was impoflible 
for a man to carry himfelf genteclcr or behave 
with more politenefs than he always did, even 
towards me, except his pleafantry, particularly 
fmce my fuccefs : he attributed the honour, 
perhaps, to me, and fuppofed me lefs a block- 
head than I appeared ; he was miftaken, as 
you have feen, but that's no matter | I bene* 
fitted by his error, and it Is certain that 
I, being then on the right fide, laughed 
heartily and with a good grace at his epi- 
grams, and fometimes returned them happily 
enough, quite proud of claiming the honouf) 
in Madam N***'s company, of the wit (he 
^ve m^r I was no longer the fame man.^ 


We wert ia a country aad n feifiin of plenty. 
Wc eojoycd ti excellrntly everv wb^ve, tfaanks 
to the kind offices of the Marquis. I had 
wiflied, however, he had not exteaded them 
quite to our chambers ; but be always fent his 
lackey forward to tajce theiPy and the rogue^ 
whether of himfelf, or ^lyhether by order of 
his mafter, always put him n^ct to Madatn 
N^**, and thruft me into the farther end of 
the houfe ; but that gave me Itttle ^rouble^ fpr 
our meetings were the more poignant. This 
delightful life lafied four or^ve days, during 
which I was intoxicated with the mw charm* 
ing pleafure. I tailed k putt^ lively^ wtthoiut 
tbe 1^ mixture of pais. This was the 
£rfi and tbe fole I have thus ts^ed i asd. I 
may fay, I am indebted to Madam N**% 
for not having died v^ithout knowing plea- 

If vrhat I felt for her was nor preplfdj 
iove, it was at l^aft fo tendfr a rettirn for that 
ihe fliewed me, 'twas a fen^Riality fo heated by 
pleafure, and an intimacy fo fwoet in con- 
verfation, it bad all the charms of paffion 
withoMt its delidttm^ which turns the bcaio aad 
prevents enj(oyi»ent. i never felt xrne love 
hue once in my. life, and that was not 
with her. I did not love her^ neither, as I had 
and as 1 did love Madam de Warens ; birt that 
was the onJy reafon I poflefied her a tboufand 
limes more* With Mamma, my pleafure 
vas always troubled by fadnefs, by a lecret 
op^reAon of the heart I could not furoiovnt 
without pain : inftead of congratulatiiig my- 
feif 4m pofleApg her> I reproached myfelf 


IB. 6.] J. J. ROUSSEAU* iij 

of hmng debafed her. With Madam N**% 
on the contrary, proud of being a man and 
happy, I gave into fenfe with joy, with confi- 
dence I I partook of the impreffion I made on 
bers } I was enough my&lf to contemplate! 
tny triumph with as much vanity as voluptu- 
eufnefs, and to draw from that fuiEcient to 
redouble tt« 

I don't recolIe£l where we quitted the Mzr* 
quis, who was of that country; but we were 
alone before we arrived at Montelimar,and then 
Madam N*** fi:xed her maid in my.chaife, 
and I went with her in hers. I auure you 
we were not lired of the length of our 
journey in this manner, and I &ould be trou* 
bled to give the kaft account of the country 
we palled through. At Montelimar ihe had 
Vufiaefa, which detained her three days, du- 
ring which ihe quitted me, however, but a 
qnarter of an hoar for a vifit, which brought 
c»n her ftiBie mortifying importunities and 
invitations (he took care AOt to. accept* Hev 
pretext was indifpofition, which neverthelefii 
did not prevent us. taking a turn every day 
by oMcfelves in the fiaeft country and in the 
$iieft dimate in the world. Ohp thofe dree 
days ! I ought fbmetknes to r^et them ; tb0 
Uk^ have never returned. 

Tr;ivel)ing amours ace jRot made to laft* 
We muft Separate, aod I own it was time^ 
aotihat I was (atiated or beginning (to be foi 
it engaged me every day more; but, in fpise 
of all jsky miftrefs's diforetion,. little more re* 
mainedthan the wil^ We flsttered our regreta 
ky the jdafi of a re-uiiio«. It was defieriaMied9 



that, as this regimen was good for me, I fhoold 
make ufe of it» and go pafs the winter at **•, 
under the dire6lion of Madam N***. I was 
to ftay at Montpellier five or fix weektf only, 
to give her time to prepare thiiigs' fo- as to 
prevent babble. Shfe gave mc ample inftruc- 
tions on all I ought to know, on what I ought 
to fay, and the manner I (hould carry myfelf. 
In the m^an time 'we were to write to each 
Other. She talked a great deal, and fcrioufly, 
on the attention to my health; exhorted mc 
to confult men of experience, to be extreme- 
ly attemive to all they prefcribed, and under- 
took, however fcvete their prcfcriptions might 
be, to make me execute them when with her. 
I believe (he fpoke finccrely, for (he loved mc ; 
flic gave me a thoufand proofs of it, more cer- 
tain than favours. She judged by my equipment 
I did not wallow ia opulence $ though (he was 
not herfelf rich, (hi^infifted, at our fepara- 
tion, I fliould partake of her purfc ihe brought 
from Grenoble pretty well garni (hH, and I 
kad much trouble to excufe myfelf. I quitted 
lier at laft^ with a heart full^of her, and ^e, 
I thought, with a real attachment for me. 

I finiihed my journey by beginning it agafh 
in my mind, and, for once, extremely fatisfied 
at being in a corivenient chaife to meditate, at 
my eaft, on tlie pleafMres I had tafted, and 
thofe which were promifcd me. I thought of 
nothing but ***, and the charming hours 
which awattcd^me there. I faw nothing but 
Madam N**», and that which furrounded 
her. The reft of the univerfe was nothing 
for me 9 even Mamma was forgot. I was cm^ 
c ployed 

B.6.] J, J.ROUSSEAU. 117 

plp)^ed in combining in my head every de«* 
tail into which Madam N*»* entered, to give . 
nie before-hand an ideg of her dwelling, her 
neighbourhood), her fociety, of her whole me- 
thod of living. She had a daughter, of whom 
ihe often fpoke with extreme fondnefs. This 
daughter Was more than fifteen ) ihe wa3 live- 
ly, charniing, and of an amiable c^arafter. I 
had a prpmife of being carefled by her ; I did 
not forget this promife, and was curious in 
imagining how Mifs N*** would ireat her 
Mamma's gallant. Thefe were the fubjedt^ 
of my meditation from the Bridge of the Holy 
Ghoft quite to Remoulin. I was told to fee 
thePont'du-Gard. I did not fail. After break- 
failing on excellent figs, I took a guide, and 
weot to fee the Pont-du-Gsgrd- It was the firft I 
had feen of the works of the Romans. I expe(S-% 
ed to find a monument worthy the hands which 
conflruded it. This once the objedt fur- 
' pafTed my expectations ; it was the only once 
in my life. It belonged to Romans only ta 
produce this efFed. The afpeft of this fimple 
and. noble workflruck me fo much the more, 
as it is in the middle of a defert, whofe filence 
and folitude render the obje£t more ftriking, 
^nd our admiration more lively $ for this pre-, 
tended bridge was no more than an aquedudl. 
We afk ourfelves what power has tranfpbrted 
th^fe enormous ilpnes fo far from any quarry, 
or united the hands of fo many thoufand peo- 
ple in a place where there is not a fingle one? I 
went up the three flories of this fuperb edifice, 
which irefpedi almofl prevented me from tread- 
ing dm The found of my fteps under thcfe 



imtnenfc vaults made me imagine I heard the 
magnanimous voices of thofe i^ho built them. 
1 was loft like aft infeft in this-immenfity. I 
felt every thing by making myfelf nothing:, 
imd I don't knpw what elevated my fbul j I 
feid to myfelf with a fi^, Wby am not I st 
Roman! I retnained there feveral hotirs fhii 
ravtfhing contemplation. I returned drvei-fed 
And meditating, and this medhatron i^s- ndt 
fav6ufab!e to Madam N***. She took citre 
to forewarn ttit of the girls of Montpeilier, 
but not of the Pont-4u-Gj*rd, One cin't 
think of every thing. ■ 

At Nifme5 I went to fte the Amphitheatre ; 
*t!s a more magnificent- building ^hart the 
Pont-du-Gard, but which made much left 
impreflion on me, whether my admiration was 
weakened by the firft ofcjed, or that the fitua* 
tion of the other in the middle of a city was 
lefs adapted to excite it. This vaft and fuperb 
circus is furrounded by little rfirty hotifes, and 
6ther houfes lefe and tlirtier fill the Amphi- 
theatre ; fo that the whole produces but an 
unequal and confufed eSeft, where regret and 
indignation ftifle pleafure and furprtfe. Since 
this 1 have feen the circus of Verona, infinite- 
ly lefs as to fize arid beauty thttn that of 
Nifmes, but kept in order, arid preferred with 
all poffible decency and cfeannefs, and which 
from thence only made a much ftronger arid 
more agreeable impreifion on ine. The rrench 
are careful of nothing, nor refpeft any mo- 
nument. T^ey are all fire for undertaking, 
dnd cannot fini(h or keep in order any thing. 

X was changed to.fuch a jpohit, and my fen- 


B*60 J.J. ItOUSSEAa 119 

ibi^itf^ pat ill motion, was fo well awakened, 
I ftof^ed one day at Pont^de-Lunel to feaft 
ixiyfelf with a. company^ I found there* Thk 
tavern, the nioft efteemed in Europe, at that 
time merited it, Thofe who kept it knew 
how to make the molt of its happy Acttation, 
to keep it abundantly fupplted with choice pro*- 
vHions^ It was really curious to find, in a 
lone houfe, in the middle of a plain, a fable 
fupplied with frefli and fea fi(b, e^fcellent 
game, fine wines, ierved with thofe attentions 
and care you meet with at the hoiifes of the 
rich and great only, and all this for thirty-^ 
fitre fous. But the Pont-de>-LuneI did not 
long remain on this footing, and| by con«- 
tinually wearing out its reputation, it at laft 
I0& it entirely. 

I had fbt^ot on my road I was ill, and re- 
colle£ted it only on my arrival at Montpel-^ 
lier. My Vapours were quite cured, but all my 
other diforders remained ^ and though,, from 
habit, I felt them lefs, 'twas fufficient to be- 
lieve onfe's felf dead, to him who (hould be 
attacked by themall at once. In fa£H they 
were lefs painful than drdadful, and caufed the 
mind to fuffer more thanthe body, whofe de- 
ilru6lion they feemed to announce. This 
was the reafon that^ diverted by lively paffions, 
I thought no more of my fituation ; but, as 
it was not imaginary, I felt it as foon as I was 
cool. I therefore thought ferioufly on the ad- 
vice of Madam N***, and on the intention 
of my journey. I went and confulted the 
moftnoted praditioners, particularly M.Fizes, 
'and from a fuperabundance of precaution! 

• boarded 


bparded at a phyfician's. HVas an hilhmzn, 
named FItz- Moris, who kept a table for a 
number of ftudents in medicine: it was very 
convenient for patients, as M. Fitz- Moris con- 
tented himfelf with a decent price for boards 
and took nothing of his boarder^ for his at- 
tendance as phyhcian. He undertook the 
execution of M. Fizes's prefcriptions, and to 
take Care of my health* He acquitted him- 
felf well of this employment, as to regimen ; 
no indigeftions were heard of at his houfe : 
and though I am not very fenfible to priva- 
tions of this fort, the obje<^ of compari- 
fon were fo neiar, I could not help finding 
fometimes in myfelf that M, *** was a better 
provider than M. Jitz-Moris. However, as 
we were not ftarved, and that thefe youths 
were quite gay, this manner of living really 
did me good, and prevented my falling again 
into languor. I fpent the morning in taking 
drugs, particularly 1 don't know what waters, 
I believe the waters of Vals, and writing to 
Madam N*** j for our correfpondence kept 
its courfe, and RoufTeau undertook to receive 
Duddine's letters. At twelve I took a turn 
to the Canourgue, with a few of our young 
boarders, who were- all good fellows ; we rc- 
afiembled, went to dinner. After dinner an 
important bufinefs occupied the moft of us till 
the evening : this was going out of town to 
play the price of the afternoon's collation at 
two or three games of mall. I did not play $ 
I had neither ftrength nor addrefs; but I 
betted « and following, with the intereft in the 
bet^ the players and the bowls acrofs rugged 


B, 60 J. J. R p u s S E A u. ; ni 

coadd^ atidfuir.of .ftones^ I ufed an igreeabid: , 
and faktary exercife which agreed with me 
very well. We toek our collation without the 
ckyi. I .have ba ocoafiaa. ,to hy thefe colla* ; 
doas. were gay^ but I will add they .were pretty. 
cteceot^ ibougll.the.landlord'&.daughters .were 
Sfirtty«l M..Eiti.-Moris^ a great player at mall,, 
WK^bui pr^fideat.; and Li^ill fay» in oppoli- 
tba (d.tbebad reputation of the fiudents, I 
found nftofe mot2^^ and decency among tbdq 
jtouths, than it would be eafy to find among 
the &me number of m^^ Tbey were. more 
noify than intemperate^ . more gay than li- 
bertine; and I get eafilv to a train of 
methodiwhen it is vQlunlaryi l.iiaid deftr ed no-* 
tjjmg betterttfaan to fee that always laft* There 
were fey eral: Irilbmen . amone , tn^e ftudemsy 
irom whom. I endeavoured .to Tearn fonpie words « 
of Englilb, by way of precaution for the •** j 
for the time of going there approached. Ma- 
dam N*** prei&d me to it every poft, and I 
jirepared to. obey her^i It is clear my phyfi-, 
i^as, who underfiood nothing of my ^iforder^ 
regarded it as an imaginary illnefs, and treated 
iRe^on this footing with theii^jWa^ers and their 
whey I entirely in contradicliop to theologians, 
phynctansy and philofophers, who admit as true 
only what they can explain, and make of their 
underftanding the meafure of poflibilities* 
TheCe gentlemen knew nothing or my difor- 
4er i therefore I had none :. for how fuppofe 
that djoflor^ don't kno^ all ? I faw they only 
fought to amufe and make me fpend mf 
money > and judging their fubftitute ♦*• might 
do that aa well as d^ey, but more agreeablvt 
, VQh. IL G I re. 


} reM^ed to give Hei^lfae pr9fotiucb, md deft: 
Jtfontpellier with this fiige inCBotioiu 

I flit dF, Mar che^ end ctf No^mblBir) after 
fix weeks or two ntoiidis^dcdcace imthis chjv 
where i left a doEen of jivitteas'withotEtairjr be*i 
itefi t to my hc^Ath or iiiftry&itiif ^excepc a jCoofffe) 
of anatoiiiy begttn snder M;^: Eitfr^Nforis^ 
which I was ohligcd to atandM^fivm thefajcw i| 
r4ble Aetich of th^e ^bodm tlief difibaed, aod: | 
which it Wtt6 im{)0>flSble i eoaldi«i{qRii«* 

Ifiw«rdly. itneafy-at the lefelifliofi I hact 
taken, I ttlttSbsi on it as 1 ad«a)M»^;«owand» 
the Pont St. Efprit, -whieb w&ti eqiially din^;^ 
road to «** a<id Chaii|hery» IRhe reuicnii^ - 
farajnce of M«ffima and hiv ietters^Jidtoii^ hf» 
ftefoent than thofe Aom Maihoa J&^^V 
awakened fn^ my hearts the mmorlea i ivad fti^ 
iled during my frrft* jettrneyv -Tbey became 
lb violent on my f^tun^ thai, bftlancing love' 
with pleafnre, itp^t^ine in a ficmctaoii of 1^* 
tening to reafon only. ' Firft, la the chara£ber 
of adventurer I was going to. reoommence, 1; 
might be lefs happy than the firft time $ no«' 
fihing was wanting in all *'*'*5 Imt a fitigie per** 
ibn who had been in England^ who knew the 
Engliih, or their language, to iiniiia(k tarn. 
Madam N***^8 family might Sibw^bme ill* 
humours, and treat me uncivijiy« Her daug)i--> 
ter, on whom I ftill thought more than I' 
ought to have done, gave me uneafinefs. 

I dreaded becotjhing anvorbus, a!n4this feap 
did more than haliF the hufineft. Was I thenr^ 
going, as a return for the mother's kindoeft^ 
4o endeavour to corrupt her daughi^, jom tho 
moft deteilable conneSiQns, biing raentiosy 


B. 6.] J. J. R O U S S E A U. ma$ 

4ifiiaiiour, fcaodal^ and hell on her houfe f 
This thought appeared horrible ; 1 therefore 
took the ntm refoktion of combatting and 
yanqtxifiiing this unha)>py turn, (hould it hap- 
pen to declare itfelf. But why expofe myfelf 
to this conflid ) What a miferable date to livis 
.^ith the mother, bv whom I fl^ould be cloyed^ 
and burn for the^ghter without daring to 
declare it ? Whatneceffity of feeking this ftate^ 
and expoflng myfelf to ills, affronts, remorfe, 
for pleafures whofe greateft charms I had ex« 
haufted $ for it is certain my fancy had loft 
its firft vivaci^. The reliih of pleafure ftill 
remained, but the paffion was no more. To 
this were mixed reflections relative to my 
iltuation, my duty, and to this Mamma fo 
kind, fo generous, who, already loaded with 
debts, was more fo by my foolifli expences^ 
who drained herfelf for me, and whom I w^s 
going fo ba&ly to deceive. This reproach 
became fo violent, it carried it at laft* In ap- 
proaching St. £fprit9 I took the refolution 
to bura the magazine from ***, and go 
.firaight on. I executed it couraseouQy, with a 
firw fighs, X own i but alfo wi(h that inward 
fattsfafSion I tafted for the firft time in my 
life, when 1 could fay to myfelF, I deferve my 
own efteem ; I can prefer my duty to my plea- 
sures. This was the firft real obligation;! 
bad to reading. /Twas that which taught me 
to reflet and compare. After having adopted 
. principles fo pure not long before ; after thofe 
rules of wifdom and virtue 1 had made my« 
felf, and that I felt myfelf fo ambitious to fQl« 
low I the fliame of being fo lltde confiilent 

G ^ witli 


With myfelf, to belie fo foon and fo openly my 
own maxims, got the better of pleafure : pride 
had, perhaps, as great a ihare in my refolu- 

tion as virtue ; but if this pride is not Virtue, 
it produces effe<Sls fo like it, the miftake is 


One of the advantages of good afiions is 
to raife the foul and difpofe it to better : for 
fuch is human weaknefs, one muft add to the 
number of good aftions aii abfHnence from 
the evil ive are tempted to commit. The mo- 
ment I Had taken my refolution, I became 
another man, or rathe* became that I was be-, 
fore, and which this hour of intoxication had 

*cauj€d to difappear. Full of good fentiments 
aitd good refolutions, I continued my jour- 

*ney in the prudent intention of expiating ray 

, fault ; thinking to regulate my future condu^ 
by the laws of virtue, to confe'crate myfelf 
without referve to the beft of mothers, to pro- 

-inifc her as much fidelity as I had attachment, 
and to lilVen to no other love than that of my 

^ duty. Alas 1 the fihcerity of my return to 

' prudence fcemed to promife me another def- 
tinyj but mine was written and already^ be* 
gan ; and when my heart, filled with the love 

' of right and honcft things, faw nought but 
innocence and bleffings in life, I had reached 
the fatal moment which was to drag with it 

• the long firing of my misfbr^unes. 

My eagernefs to get home had made me 

• more diligent than I intended: I had written 
' to her from Valence the day and hour of my 

arrival. Having gained half a day on my cal- 

culation^ I ftaid that time at Cbaparillan, in 

< order 

B, 6.] J. J. R O U S S E A U. ^25 

order to arrive juft at the moment I Had fixed; 
I would, tafte in all its delight the pleafure of 
ieeing her again, I chofe rather to defer it 
a little, to add to it that, of being expefled. 
This precaution had always fuccceded, I al- 
ways obferved my arrival diftinguiflipd by a 
kind of holiday : I expedted no lefs this time, 
and this eagernefs about tne, of which I was 
fo fenfible, was worth taking care of. 

I thus arrived exactly at the hour. From. 
a great ditfance I kept looking to fee her in 
the road j my heart beat more and more Itill 
as I drew near. I come in, quite out of breath ^ 
for I had left my carriage in town : J fee no-, 
body in the court,' at the docxr, or the window^ 
I begin to be uneafy; I ^rbad fome accident.- 
1 go in, all is quiet ; fome workmen were eat-*. 
irig in the kitcheii ; as to the reft, no prepa- 
ytion. The fervant appeared furprifed to fee 
nie } flie was ignorant of my being expefted.* 
I go up^ I fee her at laft, this dear Mamma^ , 
fo purely, fo tenderly, fo paffionately loved ^ 
I run, I throw myfelf at her feet. Ah J there 
t)iou art, my little one, faid file, anil em- 
braced me;, naft^thou had a pleafaiit journey ? 
flow doll thou do ? This reception puHtie a 
little to the ftand. I afked her if (he had re- 
ceived my letter ? She told me flie had. I! 
ihould not think fo, faid I ; and the explana- 
tion ended th^re. There was a young mari • 
with her. I knew him, having feen )iim in. 
the houfe before my departure : but now hq 
feemed fixed there; fq he was. In fhort^^I. 
found my place filled. 

This young m^ was from the country of 
• G i ^VaudV 

m6 the confessions OF [B. 6. 

Vaod ; his father, whofe name was VintzeiH 
ried, keeper, or, as they ftyle themfelves, 
captain of the caftle of Chilloo. The fon of 
the noble captain was a journeyman barber, 
and ran about the country in this quality, 
when he came to prefent himielf to Madam 
de Warens, who received him well, as Ihe 
did every traveller, and particularly thofe of 
her own country. He was a great, fenfelefs 
fellow, well enough made, with a flat face, 
and mind the fame, talking like the beau 
Leander, mixing all the ftyle and accent of 
his trade with the long hiftory of his good 
fbccefles, naming only half the March ioncfles 
he had Iain with, and pretending never to 
have drefled a pretty woman's head without 
dreffing that of her hufband. Vain> fotti(h, 
ignorant, infolent ; at bottom the beft fellow 
in the world. This was the fubftitute which 
was taken during my abfence, and the aflb* 
ciate offered me after my return. 

Oh J if fouls, difengaged from their tcrref- 
trial clog, ftiU fee from the womb of eternal 
light what pafTes among mortals, pardon, be- 
Joved and refpe^lable (hade, my ihewing no 
more favour to your fauics than my own, 
and equally unveiling both one and the other to 
the reader's fight I fought, I will fpeak truth| 
as well of yon as of myfelf; your lofs will 
bb trifling compared to mine. Ah ! how 
much your mild and lovely charafter, your 
inexhaufiible bounty of heart, your franknefs, 
ahd all your excellent Virtues, outweigh your 
^eaknefs, if the ftraying of reafon only can be 
called & i Yours were errors, not vices ; 
^ ' your 

your condaSt was reprehe.nri|>le| but yovMr 
lieart w^s always pure. 
. The oew-comer ()iewed hipi^feir zealous, 
diligent, exai^ in a]! th^ trifling commii&ons^ 
Vhicl^ wer^ wicli^tiHo^unib^r ^ he made hJQi>- 
felf the overfeer ofrher workman. As iioify 
as I was otherwise, he was feen and particuv- 
Jarly heard at ttie plough, the haV-ftack, the 
wood, the liable, the pouitry, lie neglefted 
nothing but th^ gardetiy becaufe it was too 
peaceable a bufine^, and ma<je no noiTe. His 
:greateft pkafur^ wa$ in lo^ii>g^and carting* 
•Ikwing and cleaving of wqq4 y he always ha|i 
a hatchet oia pick^^e ia hand $ you miglK 
hear biixi ru4miag»: wedging, ^ad bawling as 
ioud as he could. I don't know how manf 
mtn*s work he did, but he made as muc^ 
Aoife as teaior twelvie woidd have^ione. AU 
this buftle impofed on poor Mamma; (he 
thought- this ypung man a tceafurie. Willing 
to attach rhioi; tp berfelf,.ihe u(^-every mean^ 
jEhe thought ^ould anfwer thaft end, withoujt 
ibrsetting that ihe moil depended on. 

my heart cannojt. he hid, nor its conftaiK 
and true feelings, partleularljr thofe which a{ 
tihat moment brought me b^ck tp heit. Wha^ 
a fwift, complete difordej^ oyer all my frame ! 
Take my pt^ce. and JMdge. Im one momei^t 
I faw for ever vwifh all myi fui^e promife4 
{)Ieffingfii AU tho& pleaf^^ thoughts fo 
mSeAiomt^ly csiveShi difapp^ar j aiKl 1^ wbp 
{mm my chiidhood cpuld fee my e^dftence bojt 
In hers, faw niyjeIf^aloi>e fof the &r& time. 
Thistmooient wasdi^^Adftil'; thofe which folf- 
Icnfvied vf^e nlwyt. ^.opmy. I was ftilj 

G 4 young i 

% > 


young ; but this iQvely fentiment of hope 
and enjoyment which enlivens youth, left me 
'for ever. Thence the fenfible being remain- 
<jd but half alive. I faw nothing more be- 
ibre me than the dull reiiidins of an infipid 
life; and if Yometimes an'rmage of hope fi^n 
glanced through my thoughts, this hope was 
not for me ; I felt that even in its pofiei&on I 
could not be truly happy. 

. I was fo ftupid and ,fo full of confidence, 
that, in ipite of the familiar tone of the new^ 
<omer, which I Regarded as an effedl of. 
Mamma's eafy humour, which was familiar 
with all, I fhould not have fufpeded the real 
caufe, had ihc not told it me herfelf ; but fhe 
haftened to make this acknowledgement with 
« franknefs (Capable of adding to my rage, 
kx>uld my heart have inclined that way ; call^ 
ing, as to herfelf, the thiftg qwte fimple, re- 
iproaching my negligence in the.houfe, and . 
alleging my frequent- ahfence, as if* fhe was 
of a conftitutioh in hafte to fill up the void. 
Ah, Mamma, faid I, with an heart oppreflcd 
-with angiiifh, what do- you dare inform me 
of? What a return for an-affe£lion likfe 
mine ? Did you fo often fave my life, but 
to deprive it of all it lovcJ? *Twill be my 
.deaths you'll be forry fpr me. -She anTwerea 
^ne^ in a tone fo eafy a& to diftraS toe, that 3 
was a baby ; that people did not die of thofe 
things ; that 1 loft nothing by that i that wc 
^cuTd be equally good friends, not lefs -inti- 
•mate in evfery fenfe^ that her* tender attach- 
inent to me ctould neither dccreafe nor end 
but with herfelf/ She m^4e me underftand, 

.. ' '- ;■ -' in 

B. 6.] J. J. ROUSSEAU* , 12^ 

In -fine, that my titles <:ontlnued the fame, 
and that dividing them with another did not 
<Jeprive me of them, ^-^ 

. Never did the purity, reality, the power of 
jny feelings for her,— never did the fihcerity^ 
the honefiy of my foul, make themfelves 
better known to me than on this occafibn. 
I fell at her feet, I embraced her knees, iri 
pouring forth a torrent of tears. No, Mam- 
ma, faid I, with emotion, I love you too well 
to debafe you f your pofleffioh is too dear to 
be divided': the regret which accqrnpanied^ 
its acquificion has increafed with my I'ove ;, 
no, I cannot keep it at that price, J You wUf 
always be adored by me; be 'always" wor- 
thy of it; it is more neceflary) I (hoiild' ho- 
iiour than poflefs you. 'Ti's to' yourfelf, oh 
Mamma, I refigji you ;, 'Hs to the union of 
Qur minds 1 facrifice every pleafure.. May 
} perifli a thoufand times, rather than tafte' 
any which degrades her I love !' , *,. * 

. X kept this refolution with a conffancy 
jvorthy, I will fay, of the fentiment which 
Uiade me form it. From that moment I no' 
longer faw this beloVed Mamnia but with 
fhe eyes of. a real fon ; and it is to be noticed,, 
that, though my refolution. was Tar ff6nA' hav- 
ing her private approbation, as I to6 well' per- 
ceived,, (he never, to make me renounce it^. 
made ufe of infinuating dlfcourfes, carefles,, 
or any of thofe, artful oglrngs women fo- well 
know to make ufe of without expofing them- 
felves, and in wfiich they rarely fail of fuc- 
cefs. Reduced to feeking a fubfift'erlce foi: 
myfelf independent of her, and not" being* 

G 5, * able; 


able to think of any, I foon pafltd to the other ^ 
extremity an^ (ought it all in her. I fought 
it fo perfedly, I was almoft fo fortunate as to 
forget myfelf. The ardent dcfire of fcemg 
her happy, at whatever price it might be, 
abforbed every aflfedion : (he, in vain, would 
feparate her happinefs from mine ; I faw her 
mine, in fpite of herfelf. 

Tl^us thofe virtues began to grow up with 
my misfortunes, whofe feeds were in the 
centre of my foul, which reading had culti- 
vated, and which to ripen only waited for the 
ferment of adverfity. The firft fruit of thi» 
difinterefted' difpoution was driving from my 
mind every fentiment of envy and hatred 
againft him who had fupplanted me. I wifhed^ 
on the contrary, and (incerely wiflied^ to 
attach myfelf to this young man, to form him, 
labour in his education, let him fee his happi- 
nefs, if poffible make him worthy of tt, and 
do, io a word, all Anet bad done for me on 
a like occafion. But^ the parity between per- 
fons was wanting. With more mildnefs and 
knowledge, 1 had not the cootnefs and fieadi- 
nefs of Anet, nor that ilrength of chara&er 
which impofes, and which was necefiary to 
fuccefs, I found in this young man ftill Ms 
of thofe qualities Anet found in me; the 
docility, attachment, and' gratitude, particu* 
larly my feeling the neceflity I was under for 
his attention, and the ardent defire of ren- 
dering it ufeful. Thefe things were all want- 
ing. He whom I wanted to form, faw me 
only as an importunate pedant, who had 
notping but chatter* On the contrary, he 


B. 60 J.J. RbUSSEAU. tjr 

;idmircd himfelf as ^ man of importance in 
the houfe,' and, mearunng the fervices he 
dtoughc he rendered by the noife he made^ 
he looked on his hatchet and pickaxe as 
infinitely more ufeftil than all my old books* 
In fome refpeft he was right ; but he fet him- 
ielif up on it to give himfelf airs which made 
one die of laughter; He a£ted, with the 
peafaiits, the country fquire ; hh foon did as 
much with me^ ana at. Jaft with Mamma 
herfelf. The name of Vintzenried did not 
appear noble enough for him : he quitted it 
for that of Monfieur Courtilles ; and it is by 
thiS'laft he Was known at Chambery, and at 
Maurienne, where he married. 

In fine, fo wd^did this illuftridus perfonagd 
Inanrage his ^fhits^ that he was every thing in 
the houfe, and I nothing. As, when I bad 
the misfortune to difpleafe him, 'twas Mamm^ 
he grumbled at, not me, the fear of expolin^ 
faer to his brutality rendered me docile in aU 
he defired ; and each- time he cleaved Wood^ 
an occupation he fillfilled not to be equalled^ 
I muft be there, an idle and tranquil fpedlator 
of his' prowefe. This young fellow was not. 
for ail that, of a bad difpofition ; ha loved 
Mamma becaufe it was impoflible not to love 
her : be had not an averfion even ta me; 
and when the intervals of his fury permitted 
you to fpeak to him, he fometimes liftened 
with docility enough,, frankly agreeing he 
was but a fool, and foon after ran, neverthe- 
lefs, into the fame follies. He had,, befides, 
fo fhallow an underftanding, and inclinations 
fo mean, it was difficult to talk reatbtiably 

G 6 to 

13^ THE CONFESSiqjNS OF [B. 6. 

to hjm, and almoft impofSble to be happy with, 
him* To the pofleffion of a woman full ot 
charms, he added^the ragout of an old, rufty, 
toothlefs chambermaid, whofe difguftful fer- 
vice Mamma had the patience to endure^, tha'- 
fhe made her ficjc. 1 perceived this ne^y. in-» 
'trigue, and was exafperated with indignation,! 
tut I perceived anothec thing whictf more 
lively afFefled me, and which threw me into 

freater defpair than all which had happened, 
t was the Coolnefs Mamma (hewed me. 

The privation I had impofed. on royfelf, 
and which ihe made a fhow of approving, is 
one of thofe things which women never par- 
don, however they may appear, not fo much 
from the privation which refults from it, as 
from the indifference they perceive for their 
pofleffion. Take the moft fenfible woman, 
the moft'philofophical, the leaft attached to the 
Tenfes, the. moft unpardonable crime a man, 
whom Ihe has the leaft regard for,can commit, 
Uy leaye \o enjoy and yet fejedl ber. This 
'muft furely be without exception,' fince fo 
.natural and ftrong a fympatny changed ber 
by an abftinence which had no other motive 
than virtue, n;Jjpe£l, and efteem. From that 
time' I ceafecK-to perceive that intimacv of 
hearts which always had been the fweeteu en- 
joyment of mine. She no longer mixed her 
heair't with mine, but when flie complained 
pf her new-comer ; when they agreed to- 
'gether, I entered little into lier confidence, 
in fifte, fhe chofe by degrees a manner of 
.'being of which I no longer made a part. My 
.prefciice flill gave her plcafure, but it w^ 
; '*' ' ' • . ' not 

^ 6r] J. J. R O U ^,& E A '9* t; I3i 

XJfit njcceflary : I had fpent. whok.xlays- with*- 
out feeing her, and flie would not have per- 
ceived it, ' . 

I infenfibly faw I w^s left by myfelf, alon^ 

in the. fame houfe of 'which^I belbrc was the 

jfp^y.^d where, in- fame meafure, I. doubly 

Jivei i; accuftom^d njiyfelf • by degrees to 

Withdraw from .every thing that ^as doing, 

from thofe f even who inhabited It; and 

to lejflen the continual tearings of my heart, 

I either fhut myfelf up in my room, or was 

'weeping a^d lamenting in fields and woods. 

T^hi.s.Jife foon became infupportable. I found 

that the prefen9e of the perfon, and the ab- 

ii?nce of the heart, of a woman I fo much 

loved, only increafed my pain, and that in 

ceafing to fee her I ihouM feel the feparation 

lefs cruelly. I formed the intention of leaving 

the houfe. I told her fo, and, far from oppo;- 

^fing* {he favoured it. She had an acquaintance 

at Grexu)ble name^ Madam Deybens, whofe 

bufband was acquainted ..with M* de JVJably^ 

-grand provoft X)f Lyoiis* M. Deybens pro- 

pofedme the education of M. de Mablyts 

cHydxen : 1 agreed, and .fet oit for Lyons, 

without leaving or hardly feeling the leaft 

regret at fcparating, where6?, before, the 

thought only had. brought on the anguiih of 

death,. . , 

^. I had nearly the neceflary knowledge of a 

preceptor^ and thought I had the talents. 

DuHng a year fpent at M, de Mably's, 1 had 

.time to undeceive myfelf. My natural mild* 

Jiffs would have rendered mc proper for this 

^undertaking, bad notpailion mixed itsAorm^. 

. . ' • ^ Whilft 

134 THE GONFESSlCWS OF (^, &. 

Whilft it went on well, and I faw my atten-^ 
tion and trouble, which were not fpared^ 
fucceed^ I was an angel ; I was a devil wheil 
things went crofs* If my pupjls did not 
underftand me, I raved ; and if I (aw them 
malicious, I could have murdered them : that 
was not a method to make them learndd ot 
good* I had two of them ; their humours 
were extremely different. One of eight 
or nine years old, named Ste. Marie, was 
a likely boy, of an open mind, pretty lively, 
unfteady, waggtih, mifchievous, but gaily fa. 
The youngen, named Condillac, feemed al- 
xnod nupid, a loiterer, and as ftufahom as a 
mule, and could learn nothing, {t may bis 
^eafily gueftd^ that, between thefe two, I had 
bufinels enough. With patience and €Oolne& 
I had perhaps fucceeded ; but for want of 
both one and the other, I did nothing ufeful, 
and my pupils turned out but poorly. I did 
not want affiduity, but I wanted^ evennefk, 
particularly prudence. 1 l^rew to make ulb 
but of three inftruments, always ufi^eis and 
often pernicious to children ; fentiment,, rea^ 
fonit^, and paffion. Sometimes I was moved 
with bte. Marie even to tears ; I wanted to 
move him, as if the child was ltifcq)tib}e of 
a real emotion of heart : fometimes fatigued 
myfelf in, preaching to him re.afon, as rf hte 
-could underftand me ; ^nd as he fomethnes 
held fubtle arguments, I took him in good 
earneft for reafonable, becaufe he could argue. 
Little Condillac was more embarraffing, be- 
caufe,, underftanding nothing, anfwering no- 
thing! being movdi at nottdng) and of an 


R6*3 J. J. ROUSSEAU. 134 

obftinacjr proof againft eirery t^ing, be mvet 
trimitphed h ttiudi as when ho m^e me furi- 
ous : dius^ he was the fage and I the child*: 
X faw all mf faults, I felt them, fludied mjr 
pupils turn, penetrated ttem well, and doa't. 
betieve I was ever once the dype. of the!? 
fubdetjr ; but what fignt&ed ieeing tiie evil, 
without knowledge tO apply the lemedy ? In 
penetrating every tbing, I prevented nothing, 
I focceeded in nothing ; and every thing I 
did was precifely t&at X ought not to have 

I fucceeded very little better for my (elf 
than for my pupils. I had been recommended 
by Madam Dey bens to Madam de Mably. 
She begged her to ft>rm my morals, ^nd giiv« 
me the ton of the world : flie took; fi^e 
pains, and 'would make me learn- the honoura 
of the table ; but I did it fo^ aukwardly, and 
was fo aihamed, fo ftuptd, (he grew tired and 
left off there. That did not {Mrevent my falK 
kig: in love, with her, according to cuftom. 
I did enough for her tg> pencetve it, but nev9t 
dtuied/ declartt myfeif (; ihe' wa» not of a hu*» . 
moter eo make advances, fo I. gpt nothing for 
my fighs and ogltngs, of which I feon grew 
tired myfeif, perceiving them to no pur-* 

I had entirely loft at Mammafs my*' incU* 
nation to roguery ; becaufe, every thing being 
at my command, ftealing waa unneceflary : 
befides, the elevateds principles i had formed 
fiiould have rendered me foperior to fuch 
bafenefs, and it is certain that fince that I 
have in general been fo* Bat it was not fo 



iHuch having overcome the temptation, aa 
cutting up the root. I fliould dread fielding 
as in my childhood, was I fubjed to thefame 
defires. I had a proof of it at M. de MaUy's* 
Surrounded by Httle ftealable things which I 
did not even look at, I took it in my head to* 
covet foihe certain white wine of Arbois, 
very pretty, of w^rch a few glaflcs, now and 
then at table, Ifad greatly aUuredme. It was 
a little foul ^I thought I underftood fining. 
iHfine, and boafted of 4t ; I was entrufted with 
that ; I fined and fpoiled it, but to the eye. 
only. It remained agreeable to the tafte, and 
tSie opportunity cau fed rAe from time to tim.e 
t6 accommodate myfelf with' a. few bottles to 
drink at my eafe in private.^ yhfdrtunatelyy 
I could never drink without eating*. £ut hovt 
manage to come at fome bread f It was 
impoffible to have any in refcrve. . To get it 
bought^by the footman was to difcover myfelf, 
and almoft infialt *he mafter of the family.. 
For me to buy it, would never do.: What, » 
fine fpark,/ with a fw>ord by his £de, go ta 
the baker's for a loaf^ was it Teai^ble ?. At laft 
I recolleSed the' taft.fliift of a great prineefs, 
to whom* it was told the peafants had no 
bread. Why then^, faid (he, let them cat paftry. 
What ceremonies even to attain that ! Going 
out aTone on this errand, I ran all Over the 
town, and paffed by thirty Ihops, before I 
c(>uld go into one. It was neceiFary there 
fliould be only one perfon in the ihop, and 
that her look attrafted me much before I 
dared fet my foqf on the ftep of her door. 
But then whea cuice I bad hold of my dear 
' bit 

•1.6.;i J. J. ROUSSEAU, 137 

.bit of cake, and that, well fecured in niy room, 
I drew out my bottle frpm the farther end 
of my drawer^, what charming fips I took, 
fnug by myfelf in rcafding a few pages of a' 
romance ! For to read ^hilft eating, was 
always my fancy, in default of a tetc-a-tetc. 
'Tis the fupplement to fociety I want. I al- 
ternately devour a page and a> piece: 'tis as 
if my book ^ined with me. 
I. I never was diffolute or a fot, nor ever was 
, drunk in my life. Thus my little thefts 
I were not very indifcrieet : they were, never- 
thelefs, difcovered j the bottles detctSted me. 
.No nouce*was taken to me; but I had no 
. longer the direftion of the cellar. In the 
.whole afFair Mably's condud wus pru- 

• dent and genteel*^ He was very much" of a 
, gehtlemah, '^ho, with an air as flinty as his 
« emploj^ment, was of a charaSer really mild 

• Jand a heart full of goodnefs. . He was judici- 
. ous, equitable, and, that which Fs not expell- 
ed in an officer of Marechaufsee, extremely 

. humane too. Seeing bis indulgence, I became 

more attached to him, which caufed me to 
'. prolong my'ftay in his boiife farther than I 

had done without it fiut at laft, difgufted ^f 
; an cniploymcnt for which I was not proper, 
»and a fituation extremely troubleibme, which 

ihad nothing agreeable jbr me, ^fter . a trial in 

i which I fpared; no pains, I determined to 

. Ifjaveimy difciples, well convinced i fliould 

never attain educating them properly, ' M. 

ide M^bly.faw all this as well as I. However, 
.X. don't belifevCihe bad ever undertaken to dif- 
;iChargeine,^had I not faved bim the troublo; 



but tbift cKcefs 6f coadefcenfion, in Afch « 
cafe, b afiiiredly what I do not approve. 

That which rendered tny iftuatioii.inier€ fn(up- 
fovuble, WB8 the cancinual compaTifoa I made 
with that I bad left : 'twas the romembnaace of 
my drar Charmettts, my garden, my tnees, oay 
fountain, my orchard, and particularly of h^er 
for whom I was created, and who gave life to 
the whole* Thinkiing of her, of our plea- 
fureS) our innocent life, I was feised with fuch 
an oppreflion of the heart, fuch a fuffbcation, 
it bereaved me of all the refolation I h»l 
taken. An hundred times I have been tempt- 
ed to fet out inftantly on foot to return 
and feek her i provIBed I faw her once more, 
I bad been contented to die the next moment. 
At left I could no longer r^ft the tender re- 
membranoe which called me back to her^ 
Vdnttver the confequ^ce might be. I faid to 
my (elf, I was not AiAdently patient, fufid- 
ently complaifant, or fufficiently car^iBn^s 
that I might ftill b9 happy m fo fweet a friend- 
fliip, was 1 more affiduous than before. 1 lay 
#ut the fineft projeAs in the world, 1 am mad 
till I execute them. I leave all, 1 renounce 
€very thing, I go, I fly, 1 run in doofs with 
all the tranfport of my youthful age, I fall 
down at her fece. Ah ! 1 had died of plea- 
lure, had I found in her reception, in fa^r 
caveiles, in fine, had I ; found in her heart, 'a 
4)uaTter of that I ufed to find, and which I ytt 
brought back, to her. 

Frightful illufion of tbvnge below I She ftHl 
sweived me with an exoellent heart whidh 
could die only with her ) ibut I camt t^ ^ftek 


lv«-J J. J- ROUSSEAtr^ t^ 

the paA which was no more, suid which could 
not be renewed, I had fcarccly been with her 
half an hour, when I faw my former happinefs 
gone for ever, I found myfelf in the fame 
afflifirng fituation I bad been forced to fly, and 
that without being able to fay it was the fault 
of any one ; for at bottom Courttlles was not 
in-natured, and feemed to receive me with 
more pieafure than pain. But how remain a 
fapernumerary with her to whom I was ally 
and who could never ceafc to be my all t 
How live an alien in an houfe where I before 
Was the fon ? The fight of objefts which 
were witnefs to my former happinefSf rendered 
the comparifon more cruel . 1 had fufFered lefii 
in another habitation. But to fee fo many 
fweet remembrances incefTantly brought to my 
mind, was irritating the fenfe of my lofs* 
Wafted by vain repinings, given up to the 
moft dreadful melandroly, I returned to the 
courfe of remaining alone, except at the hour 
of meals. Shut «p with my books, I fought^ 
ufelefsly, to divert my mifery ; and feeing the 
imminent danger I to mucn formerly feared, 
I' tortured my brain a-new, to feelcjwithin my-» 
felf the means of a fubiiitence when Mamma 
ihotHd have no other ref6tirce. I had brought 
the affairs of the houfeto a point of hot grow-> 
ing worfe; but all was changed fince that/ 
Her qeconomift was a diffipator. He would 
ihine I a good horfc> a good carriage ; he was 
fond of making a noble appearance in the eyea 
of the neighbours ; he was cuntinually under- 
taking things be knew nothing of. Her pen- 
fion was eat up before-hand, quarterly pay- 











HERE I am, then, alone on the earth, 
having neither brother, neighbour, friendji 
or fociety but myfelf. The moll fociable and 
the mod: friendly of mankind is profcribed 
from the reft by univerfaLconfentt They have 
foueht in the refinements of. their malice to 
find out that torment which could mod afflicSt 
my tender heart ; they have violently broken 
every tie which held me to them : I had loved 
Oiankind in fpite of themfelves. They had no 
other means than ceafing to be fuch of ^void-* 
ing my affedlion. They are therefore un« 
known foreigners i nothing, in faft, to me, 
fince they will have it fo. Bat I,^ withdrawn 
from them and from every thing, what am I 
then? This remains to be fought into. Un-- 
fortunately, this refearch muft be preceded by 
a view of my fituation. This is an idea thro* 
which I muft neceflarily pafs, to arrive from 
them to me. 

For fifteen years and more that I am in 
this ftrange fituation, it ftill feems to me a 
dream. I continually imagine an indigeftion 
troubles me, that I fleep badly, and that I am 
going to awake quite eafed of all my pain, 
*^ Vol. lU H aad 


and am once more with my friends. Yes, 
* without doubt, I muft, without perceiring it, 
have (kipped from labour to reft, or mhor 
from life to death. Tom, I donH know bow, 
from the order of things, I find myfelf preci- 
pitated into an incomprehenfible chaos, where 
1 can't diftioguifh the leaft tbin^; and the 
more I refl^£l on my prefent fituation, the left 
I comprehend where I am. 

Ah I how could I forefee the fate which 
awaited me ? How can I yet conceive it, at 
this moment that I am devoted to it ? Could 
I, in my right fenfes, fuppofe a time when I, 
the fame ^an 1 was, the fame 1 ftill am, ibould 
be called, ibould be held, without the leaft 
doubt, a monfter, a corrupter of mankind, an 
aflaflin \ that I (hould become the averfion of 
the human race, the fport of the rabble ; that 
all the falutation I {hould receive from thoie 
who pafled me would be (pitting at me ; . 
that a whole generation would divert them* 
felves, by common accprd, in burying me 
alive ? When this ft range revolution .took 
place, taken unprepared, 1 was at firft loft as 
in a maze. My agitation, my indignation, 
plunged me into a delirium which ten years 
were not too much to calm; and in this in* 
tervjil, falling from error to error, from faulC 
to fault, from folly to folly, my imprudence 
fuppUed the direftors of my deftiny with all 
the inftruments 'they have ingenioufly fet to 
work to fix it without a hope. 

I long violently and vainly contended.*— » 
Without addrefs, without art, without diffi* 
muiation, without prudence^ frank, open, im- 

• patient^ 



tieiiti choleric, I, by contending, onljr entan«» 
gled myfelf the more^ ^and inceiTantly fur-^ 
nifhed them with new mattep, which th^ took 
care never to neg]t£k. Finding, at laft, all 
my efforts vain, and torturing myfelf to nq 
purpofe, I took the ^only method which re-^ 
inained to be talpen, tl:\?t of fMbmitting to my 
lleftiiw, without any longer wr^flling with 
neceiuty. I found in this rei^Qa|ipn z fe- 
waird for all niy misfortunes in the tranquil* 
lity it procured me^ and which could not be 
united to the continual labour of a refiftance 
^s painful as unproiitable. 

Another thing ha« contributed to this trah^ 
quUlity. In all the refinements of their ma^ 
hce, my perfecutors Omitted one which their 
apimofity caufed them to forget 5 which wa» 
fo aptly to regulate its efFe£ls, that they might 
feed and renew my affliction without ceafing, ia 
continually holding up fome new expectation. 
Had they had the addrefi to have left me a 
fpar)c of hope, they would fiill have had me 
that way. They might yet make me their fport 
by fome falfe glimmering, and afterwards 
Wound me by a torture continually new foe 
my frufirated hopes. But they exhaufted all 
their refources too Coon 5 by leaving me no- 
thing, tbey have alfo deprived themfelves of 
all. The calumny, the depre/Hon, the deri« 
fion, the ignominy^ they have heaped on me^ 
are no more fufceptible of augmentation thaa 
mitigation ; we are equally unable, they to 
aggravate, and I to extricate myfelf from them. 
Thev were in fo great ar hurry to fill up the 
aiealure of my miiery, that no human power, 

H z ^ affifted 


aiSfted by all the fubtlety of- hell, could any 
longer add to it. Even phyfical pain, inftead 
of increafmg my fufferings, would only divert 
them. By extorting fbrieks from rne, they 
might perhaps exempt me from grief, and 
the wounds in my body might have eafed 
thofe of my heart. 

What more have I to fear from them, fince 
all is ended I Not being able to ma^e my 
fituation worfe, they can no longer fill me 
ivith alarms. The uneafinefs and dread of 
the evils from which they have for ever deli- 
vered me, IS fome comfort. Real misfortunes 
have very little efFeft pn me ; I eafily deter- 
mine on thofe I feel, but not on thofe I dread. 
My affrighted imagination combines, turns, 
extends, and incrcafes them. Their expefla- 
tion terrifies me an hundred times more than 
their prefence, and the threat is more terrible 
than the ftroke. The moment they reach me, 
the event, removing every thirig they had ima- 
ginary, reduces them to their real value. I 
then find them much lefs than 1 had imagined, 
and even amidft my fufferings I feel myfelf 
eafed. In this ftate, freed from any frefh fears, 
land delivered from uneafinefs and hope, habit 
alone will fuffice daily to render a fituation 
more fupportable which nothing can make 
worfe ; and ftill, as my feelings are dulled by 
their duration, ihey have no farther means of 
enlivening them. This is the fervice my per- 
fecutors have rendered me, by exhaufling 
without end every weapon of their animofity. 
They have deprived themfelves of all power 
over me, and I may in future laugh at them. 




It is not quite two months that an entire 
calm is reftored to my mind. It is long fince 
I had no mare fears; but I ftill^oped, and 
thefe hopes fometimcs nurfed, fometimes fruf- 
trated, were a fcuffle in which a thoufand dif- 
ferent paffions were continually engaged. A a 
event, as melancholy as unexpected, has at laft 
wiped from my heart this feeble glimmering of 
hope, and has (hewn me my fate, fixed with- 
out return, here below. Since that time I 
have refigned myfelf without^ referve, and 
•peace has returned again. 

As foon as I began to perceive the whole 
fcope of the plot, 1 for ever gave up the idea 
of regaining the public favour during life; and 
through the impoiTibility of this being recii 
procal, it would, in future, be ufelefs to me. 
Mankind in vain might feek me ^atn^ they 
would find me no more. From the difdaia 
they have infpired me with, their converfation 
would be infipid, and even a burthen to me ; 
I am a thoufand times happier in my folitude, 
thnri I could poflibly be in living amongft 
them. They have torn from my he^rt all 
the fweets of fociety. They could not grow 
there anew at my age ; it is too late. Let 
them hereafter feek my good or my harm, all 
is indifferent to me from them ; and whatever 
they may do, my cotemporaries (hall never 
he nothing to me. 

But yet I depended on the future ; I hoped 
that a better generation, examining clofer the 
judgment of the prefent, and its conduft ij> 
refpcct to me, would eafily perceive the arti- 
fice of thofe who^ direft it. *Twas in thefe 
hopes J wrote my Dialogues ; 'twas that whic^ 

- . H 3 fog- 


iuggefted to me a thoufand fooIiOi attempts 
to make them pafs to pofterity. Thefe hopes, 
though diftant, kept my mind in the fame 
agitation as when I flill fought, in this age^ 
an honeft heart ; and my expectations, tvhicb 
in vain were far extended, equally rendered 
me the fport of the prefent times. I hive 
faid, in my Dialogues, on what I founded this 
hope. I was miftaken. Happily for me, I 
have felt it time enough yet to fee, before my 
laft hour, an interval of real cafe and abfolute 
repofe. This interval began at the period I 
have mentioned, and I have reafon to believe 
ii will never be interrupted. 

Very few days pafa but new rcflcflions 
ponHrm me how mueh I erred in depending 
on a return of the public efteem^ even in s 
future age, flnce it is conducted, as to what 
regards me, by guides who never die, ia 
thofe /ocjeti^s that have a mortal hatred to 
rne. .'Individuals die; but coUe<aivc bodies 
'do not. The fame pafllons are perpetuated, 
and their vehement malice, immortal as the 
fiend which infpires it, has always the famf 
aftivity. When all my private enemies arj5 
dead, do£(ors and orators will ftili live ; and 
although I had but thbfe two bodies as perie- 
cutors, I might be cextaln^they would grant 
iio more peace to my memory after my deatti 
than they have grafted my perfon diiring my 
life- time. Perhaps by length of time, the 
jphyilcians, whom I really ofFended, might be 
appeafed ; but the orators, whom I loved, ef*^ 
teemed, in whom I had every confidence, and 
wbpm I never offended, the orapors, church- 
men, and dem^-monks, will be for ever im- 
V .^ placable : 


placable : their own iniquity makes my crime, 
which their felfiOinefs will never pardon s and 
the public, whofe animolity they will incef- 
fautjy take care to feed and revive, will be 
appeafed no fooner than themfelves. 

All is at an end ^ for ime in this world* 
No one can do me good or harm. I have 
nothing more to hope or fear ; and here I am 
tranquil in the midft of an abyfs, poor unfor- 
tunate mortal, but impaffible as God him- 
fclf. v^ . 

Every thing external is, i^ future, foreign 
to me. I have no longer neighbour, frien(), 
or brother alive. I am on the earth as in a 
foreign planet into which I fell from that I 
inhabited. If I have a knowledge of any 
thing around me, it is o;iIy objects which 
afflid and rend my heart ; and I cannot lool: 
on any thing which touches or furrounds i^e, 
without perceiving fubjed for difdain which 
provokes, or of .grief which affliAs me. Let 
us therefore remove from my mind every 
painful object which n^ight employ my 
thoughts as forrowfully as ufelei^ly. Alone 
for the reft of my life, fince I find confola^ 
tion, hope, and peace, in myfelf only, I ought 
or will not employ my thoughts but on my-- ' 
felf. 'Tis in thi$ 'ftate 1 return to the feveip 
and fincere enquiry I foHnerly called my Coo- 
feiEons. I confecrate my 1 aft days to tlji^e 
ftudy of myfelf, and to prepare before-hand 
the account I muft (bon give of my ad^ions* 
Let me entirely devote myfelf to the charms 
of converfing with my foul, fince it is the 
only thing of which I cannot be deprived 

' . H4 by 


by man. If, by dint of reflefting oh my in- 
ternal difpofittons, I arrive at ordering them 
better, and correding the evil which may 
have ^lurked there, my meditations will not 
be entirely ufelef^, and though I am of no 
value on the earth. I (hail not entirely lofe 
my latter days. The Icifure part of my daily 
walks has often been filled by delightful con- 
templation, whofc rememlirance 1 am forry to 
have loft. I Ihall determine on writing thofc 
which may again ftrike me ; every time I read 
them I (hall enjoy them over again. I will 
forget my misfortunes, my perfecutors, their 
revilings, by refie(5^ing on the prize my heart 
has merited. 

Thefc flieets will be, properly, no more than 
an imperfe£b journal of my meditations. 
There will be a great deal of myfelf, becaufe 
SI folitary man, who refleds, muft necelTarily 
employ much of his thoughts on himfclf. 
However, every foreign idea which revolves 
in my mind, during my walks, ihall equally 
have its place. I Aall mention alllny thoughts 
juft as they ftruck me, and with as little co- 
herence as the ideas of the eve generally have 
with thofe of the morrow* But the refult 
will, however, be a new knowledge of my 
natural inclinations and humour by that of 
my thoughts and fentiments, from which my 
mind takes its daily food in my firange fitua* 
tion. Thefe (beets may, therfefore, be looked 
on as an appendix to my Confef&ons ; but I 
no longer give them that titk, finding no- 
thing farther to fay which might defcrve it^ 
My heart has been purified at t^e teit of ad* 



verfity, and I can fcarcely find, on founding 
Jt with care, any remains of reprehenfible 
propenfity. What can I have more to confefs, 
when' every terreftrial affedion is wrung away I 
I have no more to thank than blame myfelf 
for : I am nothing for ever amongft men, and 
it is all I can be, having no farther real rela« 
tjon or adual fociety with them* Being no 
longer able to do any good that does not turn 
out bad, being no longer able to zA without 
prejudicing myfelf or fome one, to abftain is 
become my fole duty, and I fulfil it as far as 
I am able. But in this ina£kivity of body, 
my foul remains adive, it ftill produces fen- 
timents, thoughts ; a[nd internal and moral 
life feem to grow out of the death of all ter* 
reftrial and temporal incerefts. My body is 
nothing now but a trouble, an obltacle, and I 
difengage myfdf from it before-hand as much 
as 1 can. 

Se fingular a fituacion certainly deferves to 
be examined and defcribed, and 'tis to fuch 
an examination I .confecrate my laft leifure 
hours. To do it with fuccefs, I fiiould pro- 
ceed with order and method ; but I am inca^- 
pable of this labour, and it would alfo take 
me from my view, which is, rendering an 
account of the modifications of my foul and 
their fucceffions. I (ball make ufe on myfelf, 
in fome refpe£ls, of the methods made ufe of 
by naturalifts on the air, in order to know its 
daily ftate. I (hall apply the barometer to 
my foul, and thefe operations, well direded 
and long repeated, may be productive of refults 
as certam as theirs, ^ut I fliall not extend 

B 5 ^ my 


tny undeitaking quite fb far. I fliaH content 
myfclf with rccbrding the operations without 
endeavouring to reduce them to fyftcm. 1 
haire undertaken Montagne's plan, but with 
a quite different view; for he virote his ef- 
fays for others only, and I write niy medita- 
tions hut for tnyfelf. If tn my bldeft age, at 
the approach of my departure, I remain, as I 
hope, in the fame dtfpofltton as*at prefent, 
reading them over may recal the charms 1 
feel whiKt writing them, and thus renewing 
time paft, will, in a manner double my exift- 
ence. In fpite of mankind, I (hall ftill tafte 
the delights of fociety, and I (hall live decre- 
pit with myfelf in another age, as I might 
live with a lefs aged friend. 

I wrote my iirft Confeffions and my Dialogues 
vnder a continual anxiety on the means of 
concealing them from die rapacioufnefs of 
my persecutors, to tranfmit them, if poffibte, 
to other generations. The fi^ime uneafinefs 
no longer tortured me for the prefent writing ; 
I know it would be ufelefs; and the defire of 
• being better known by mankind being quite 
extinguiflied in my heart, leaves in it but a 
profound indifference for the fate of my real 
works, and monuments of my innocence, 
whhch, perhaps, are already for ever annihi- 
lated. Let them let fpics on what I am doing, 
let them perplex themfelves about thefe Iheets, 
let them feize them, let them fupptefs them, 
let them alter them, 'tis all equal, in future, 
to me. I neither hide nor expofe them. If 
thev are taken from me in my life- time, they 
catoot take from me the pleafure of having 



written them, or the remembrance of their 
contents, or the folitary meditations of which 
they are the fruit, and whofe fource can be 
flopped but with my breath. Had I known, 
on the beginning of my calamities, how to 
withhold from ftruggling with my defiiny, and 
determine as I now 4eterm]ne every enbrt of 
mankind, all their dreadful engines would 
have h%d np tStik on me, and they would 
have no more troubled my repofe by all their 
plots, than they could, in future, by every 
fuccefs : let them enjoy as they may my dif- 
grace^ they will never prevent me from enjoy- 
ing my innocence, and ending my days in 
fe^e, in defpite of them. 





HAVING therefore formed the projeftof 
defcribing the habitual ftate of my fool, 
in the ftrangeft iituatlon a mortal can poffibly 
be found ; I faw no method of executing it, 
fo fimple, and fo fure, as keeping a faidiful 
record of mj^ folitary walks, and the medita« 
tions which accompanied them when I leave 
my mind free, and my ideas follow their 
propenfity without refiftance or conQraint. 
Thefe hours of folitude and meditation are 
the only ones of the day in which I am wholly 
myfelf, and to myfelf, without diverfion or 
obftacle, and when 1 can truly fay I am thac 
which nature intended me. 

I foon found I had too long retarded the 
execution of this proje<3» My imagination) 
already lefs lively, is not enflamed as formerly 
on contemplating the obje£l which animates 
it ; I am lefs enrapturecf by the delirium of 
fancy : there is more of memory than creation 
in what it fince produces ^ a <:old languor 
enervates all my faculties ; the principle of 
life leaves me by degrees ; my foul with pain 
breaks through its crazy prifon ; and without 
the hopes of that fiate to which I afpire, be- 
caufe I feel I have a right to it, 1 fhould exift 
but by recolte&ion. Thus to take a view of 
myfelf before my decline, I muft go back at 
leaft a few years, to the time when> loiing 



all hopes here belo^v, and no longer finding 
an aliment for my heart on earth, I accuftomed 
myfelf by degrees to feed it on its proper 
fubftance, and feek its whole nourilhment 
within me. 

This refource, which I thought of too 
]ate> became fo fruitful as foon to be fufficient 
to make fatisfadion for every thing. The 
habit of fearching into myfelf caufed me, at 
length, to lofe the feeling, andalmoft the 
remembrance, of my misfortunes. I thus 
learnt, by my own experience^ that the fource 
of true happinefs is within us, and that it 
does not depend on man to render truly mi- 
ferable him who knows how to determine to 
be happy. Thefe four or five years I have 
conftantly taded thofe internal delights which 
kind and gentle fouls find in contemplation/ 
Such raptures, fuchextafies, I fometimes ex« 
perienced in thus walking alone, were en- 
joyments I owed my perfecutors ; without 
them I £hould have never felt or known the 
treafures I carried within me. Amidft all 
thefe riches how record them faithfully i In 
endeavouring to recal fo many charming fan* 
cies to my mind, inftead of defcribing I fell 
into them again. This is a ftate our reniem* 
brance brings back, and which we ihould *' 
foon ceafe to know> on entirely ceafing to 
feel it. 

I well experienced this confequence in the 
walks which followed the pro]e£l: of writing 
the fequel of my . Confeffions, particularly 
in that I am going to ipeak of, and in which 
an ui^Wefeen accident broke . the firing of 

^ my 

158 THE REVERIE5 0F [W.2. 

my ideas, and gave tbem for fome time ano- 
ther courfe. 

On ThurfJay the 24th of Oftobei-, 1776, 
I after dinner went round the Boulevarda as 
far as the ftreet of the Green Road, by whkh 
I went up the hills of M^nil-montant, and 
from thence taking the paths cro6 the rine- 
yards and meadows, I went to Charonne, 
through the fmiling landfcape which feparates 
thofe two villager ; I then made a turn to 
come back through the fame m^dows by 
another road. I diverted myfelf in running 
over them with that plcafure and intereft 
agreeable' lights have always caufed me; and 
fometimes .flopping to look fteadily on the 
plants in the grafs, I perceived two which I 
had feldom feen near Paris^ and which I found 
in great abundance in that diftri(%» One is 
the Picris hieracioides, of the family of com- 
pounds ; and the other, 'the Blipleurum fal- 
catum, of that of the umbelliferous. This 
difcovery rejoiced and amufed me ^ a long 
while, an4 ended by that of a pl:«it fltll mdre 
rare, . particularly in a high country^ which 
was the Ceraftium aquaticum,'ahd Wliich, not- 
withftanding the accident t^at happened to 
me that day, I have found again in a book I 
had with me, and placed in my herbal. 

In fine, having ,run over in detail feveral 
other plants I faw ftill in bloom, and wbofe 
afpeA and enumeration, familiar to me, ne- 
verthelefs aiways gave me pkafure ; I quitted 
by degrees thefe trifling obfervations to follow 
|ne impreffion, not lefe agreeably but more 
touching, which the wh<rie made on «€• 



• The vintage had been over a few days ; the 
•city walkers were already withdrawn 5 the 

peafarKs alfo were quitting the fields until > 
the labours of the winter. The country, ftill 

' green and fmiling, but partly without leaves, 
and already nearly deferted, held up every 
where the image of folitude and approachiiig 
winter. The refult of its afpeft was a mixed 

' impreffion of fweetnefs and melancholy, too 
analogous to my age and fate for its appli- 
cation to be paffed over. I faw myfelf in tbe 
decline of an innocent and unhappy life, the 
foul ftill full of lively feelings, and the mind 
ftill graced by a little luftre, but already worn 
by grief, and dried up by 'afflidions. Lonely 
and forfakenr, I already perceived the forward 
frofts gently fteal on me, and my withered 
imagination no longer peopled my folitude 
with beings formed to my wifhes. I faid to 
myfelf with a fob, What have I done here 
below ? I was made for life, and I am going 

' without having lived. At leaft, it was not 

• my fault, and 1 will carry to the Author of my 

• exiftenee, if not an offering of good works, 
which I was prevented from doing, at leaft a 
tribute of good intentions fruftrated, found 

' fentiments, but given without efted, and a 
patience proof againft man's difdain. I was 
moved by tbefe refiedions ; I called over the 
movements of my foul from my youth ; and 
during my riper age, and fince I have ^beeh 
fequeftered from human focietv, and during 
the long Tctirement in which 1 muft end my 
davs, I with complaifance ran over ail the 
afitftioos of vAy heart,- on its attachments fo 


i6o THI REVEklES OF [W.z. 

tender but fo blind, on ideas more confoliBg 
than fad, on which my reafon had fed feme 
years, and was preparing to recal them faffi- 
ciently to defcribe them with a pleafure nearly 
equal to that I had felt in giving into them« 
The afternoon was fp6nt in thefe peaceful 
meditations, and I was returning well fatif- 
fied with my day's work, when, in the height 
of my ftudies, I was taken from them by an 
event which remains to be told« 

About fix o'clock I was on the defcent to 
Menil-montant, nearly oppofite the Gallant 
Gardener, when fome people walking before 
me,, flatting all at once haftily afide, I faw a 
large Daniih dog rufliing on me, which run- 
ning a great pace before a coach, had not 
time to liop his courfe or turn Out of the way, 
on perceiving me. I judged the fole means 
to avoid being thrown down, was to make a 
good leap, fo exad that the dog might psUs 
under me whilft I was in the air. This 
idea, quicker than lightning, and which I had 
neither time to realon on nor execute, w;is 
my laft before the accident. 1 neither fek 
the blow, nor the fall, nor any thing that 
followed, till the moment I came to myfelf. 

It was almoft night when my fenfes re- 
turned. 1 found myfelf in the arms of three 
or four young people, who informed me of 
what had happened to me. The Danifh dog, 
xiot being able to ftop his motion, ran preci- 
pitately againft my legs, and daihing agaioft 
me his weight and fwiftnefs, threw me on 
my face : the upper jaw bearing the whole 
weight of my body, ftruck on ft very rough 

ftone I 


ftone ; and the fall was the more violent, a^^. 
being on a defcent, my head came down before 
my feet. '' 

The coach to which the dog belonged im- 
mediately followed, and would have paiTed 
over my body, had not the coachman inftanily 
ftopped the horfes. This I learnt from thofe 
who had taken me up, and fupported me when 
I came to myfelf. The fituation in which I 
found myfelf at that inftant is too lingular for 
its defcription to be paffed over. 

Night was advancing. I perceived the 
heavens, fome ftars, and a little verdure. 
This firft fenfation was a delicious moment. 
1 felt nothing farther. I was returning at 
this inftant to life, and it feemed to me I 
filled, with my frail exiftence, every objeft 
I perceived. In this ftate I recollefted, at 
that inftant, nothing; I had not the lead 
diftin6i notion of my individual, not the 
leaft idea of that which had juft happened ; 
I knew not who or where I was ; I felt nei- 
tiier pain, nor fear, nor uneailnefs. I faw 
my blood run, as I had feen a ftream run, 
without, in the leaft, dreaming that this blood 
•belonged to me in ai^ fort. I felt all over 
my frame a raviihing calm, to which, each 
time I recal it to my remembrance, I never 
felt any thing comparable in the greateft ac- 
tivity of known pleal'ures. 

They aiked me where I lived ; it was im- 
poUible to tell them. I alked where I was, 
and was told, A la haute borne: it was as if 
they had faid, At mount Atlas I was fuc- 
ceffiveJy obliged to alk the country, the city^ 


1^2 'the. reveries 'OF [ W. !JE. 

and the neighbourhood I was iir... Neither 
was that fuffiicieot to recolle£l: myfelf $ it was 
neceflary to go ail the way from thence to the 
Boulevards, to remember my name and my 
dwelling. A gentleman I did not know? and 
who had the charity to accompany me fome 
time, finding I lived at thatdiftance, advifed 
roe to take a hackney coach at the Temple ta 
conduct me to my lodging. I walked ex- 
tremely well, not the leaft heavily, without 
feeling forenefs or wound, though I continued 
fpittitig a deal of blood« But I had a cold 
ihivering^ which made my {battered teeth chat- 
ter to a very troublefome degree. Having 
reached the Temple, I thought as I. walked 
without pain, it was better to continue mf 
way on iFoot, than be expoTed to perifli with 
cold in a coach. I thus went the half le^ue 
from the Temple to the rue Pl^triere, w<uk«- 
ing without pain, avoiding the crowd dnd 
carriages, chufing and purfaiag my Wfky fail 
as well as in perfeS hestth. 1 cpqEie bom^^ 
open the private latch which has been «ddly) 
to the door, go up ftairs. in the dark, and) ip 
.ftne,"get in doors without any other apcident 
than my fall and , its confequ^ces, w^ch X 
/did r^ot then perceive* 

The ihrieks of my wi£e, ^n feeifig nse, lot- 
me underftand I was worfe treated' than i 
imagined. I palTed thei[>ight without. luiowr 
. ing or yet feeling my accident* This is 
what I felt the next day« My upper lip was 
cleft on the inilde quite up to my nofe ; oa 
the outiide the (kin had defended it bettec, 
and prevented its total feparation i four teefii 


of the upper jaw forced in^ all that part of 
the face which covers it extremely fwelled and 
bruifedy mv rfght thumb fprained and very 
large, my left thumb terribly torn, my leU 
arm fprained, the left knee alfo extremely 
fwelled, and which a great and painful con* 
tufion whoily prevented from bending. BuC^ 
with all ;his havock, nothing broke, n6t even 
a tooth ; a bleiling which has fomething of a 
prodigy in a fall like this* 

This is a faithful hiftory of my accident. 
}n a few days this ftory fpread over Paris, (o 
much altered and disfigured,, it was impoflibk 
to depend on any part of it, I (hould, be« 
fore-band, have expeded this metamorphofis $ 
but fo many extravagant circumftances were 
addcdi To many obfcure tales and whifpers oc* 
pompanied it, I was told of it with an air ib 
laughably difcreet, that all this myftery per* 
|)lexed me. I always hated obfcurity^ it alwiiys 
jnfpires me with an horror which thofe that 
have fo many years furrounded me hav€ not 
abated* Among all the iingularities of this 
ftxfoAy I (ball remark only one, but fufficient 
to form a judgment of the> reft. 
\ M-^, with whom I had never had the leaft 
relation, fent his confident to enquire about my 
health, and make pref&ng offers oi a fervicd 
(which in the circumftance did not appear tf 
.any great utility towards my relief* His conr 
jAdenc, neverthelefs^ did not ceafe urging me 
extremely to {ake the advantage of thefe offers^ 
fo far as even to tell me, that, if I cou14 not 

believe him, I might write diredly to ML * 

The great earneftnefs and air of cooiidefice h^ 



added, made me underftand that there was 
fome myftery under all this I vainly (ought to 
penetrate. Lefs was fufficient to fcare me, 
particularly in the agitated date the accident 
and the fever which followed ir had thrown 
my brain. I gave into a thoufand uneafy and 
pet^five conjectures \ and on all that was done 
around me I made obfervations which rather 
proved the delirium of a fever, than the in- 
difference of a man who no longer troubles 
himfelf with any thing. 

Another event happened which completed 
the difturbing my tranquillity. Madam — - 
had paid her court to me fome years, without 
my being able to guefs the reafon. AfFe<3ed, 
trifling preferits, frequent vifits without bbjeft 
or pleafure, plain'Iy proved to me a fecret view 
in all this, but did not (hew it me. She had 
talked to me of a romance fhe intended writ- 
ing, and prefenting to the Queen. I told her 
my thoughts on female authors. She made 
me comprehend that this projefi had for its end 
the recovery of her fortune, which demanded 
patronage ; I had nothmg to fay to that. She 
has fince told me, that, not being able to get 
accefs to the Queen, ibe had determined to 
publilh her book. The cafe was no longer 
giving her advice flie never afked me, and 
which flie would not have followed. She had 
fpoken to me ot (hewing me before- hand the 
manufcript. I defired me would do no fiich 
thing, and (he did as I defired her. One day, 
above all, during my convalefcence, I received, 
by her order, this book already printed, and 
even bound, and faw in the preface fuch ful- 
"^ fome 



fomc praifes of me, fo difagrecably laid on, 
and with fo much affeAation^ it uneafily af-« 
fe£led me. The ill-natured flattery which fo ^ 
plainly appeared, could never be reconciled to 
benevolence* My heart cannot deceive me on 
that point. 

A few days afterwards Madam ■ came 

to fee me with her daughter. She told me 
her book made the greateft noife, from a note 
v^hich attradled it ; I hardly perceived the note 
jYi rapidly running over the romance; I read 
it again when Madam ■ was gone ; I ex- 

amined the fpirit of it) and there found the 
motive of her vifits, her cajoleries, and the 
fulfome praifes in her preface; and I judged 
the whole had no other end than to difpofe 
the public to attribute the note to me, and, 
cortfequently, the blame it might bring on its 
author under the circumftance in which it 
was publifhed. 

I had no means of preventing this noife, or 
the impreffion it might make, and all that de^ 
pended on me was not encouraging it in fuf« 
fcring the vain and oftenfible vifits of Madam 
— and her daughter. Here follows the 
card I wrote the mother for that purpofe : 

«* Rouffeau, not receiving any author at his 
*« lodging, thanks Madam — — for her 
^< kindnefs, and begs ihe would no lon« 
•* ger honour him with her vifits." 

She anfwered by a letter, handfome in its 
form, but whofe turn was like all thofe they 
write me in like cafes, I barbaroufly ftruck 
a dagger to her feeling heart; and I muft 
have believed, from the manner of her letter^ 



tbat, having fentiments for me fo real and fo 
livelvi (he could not fupport this rupture with- 
out finking under it. *Tis thu$ uprightnefs 
and opennefs in any bufinefs are in this world 
dreadful crimes ; 1 (hall appear, to my cotemr 
poraries, favage and iU*natured, when I (halt 
be guilty, in their eyes, of no other crime thaii 
not being, like them, falfe and perfidious. 

I had feveral times been oul,^ and walkecf 
pretty often in the Thuilleries, when 1 there 
perceived, by the furprife <^ all thofe who met 
me, there was yet feme fiory about me I was 
ignorant of. I, at laft, learnt the public 
talk was of my death, caufed by the fall; and 
this (lory fo rapidly and fo obfiinately fpread, 
that, above a fortnight after | heard it, the^ 
fpoke of it at Court as a thing certain. The 
Avignon newfpaper, as I was informed by a 
letter, announcing this joyful news, did not 
fail to anticipate, on this occafion, on the tri- 
bute of wrongs and afFronts which were pre-? 
pared for my memory after death, in form of 
a funeral oration. 

This news was accompanied by a circum- 
fiance ftill more (ingular, which I learnt by 
mere chance, and of which I never coula 
come at the lealt particulars. It was a fub- 
fcription opened, at the fame time, for za 
edition of the manufcripts found at my houfe. 
I underftood from that, there was a fpurious 
colledion of writings k^pt ready on purpoie to 
be attributed to me the mdmeat of my death ; 
for to believe any of thofe they might really 
find would be printed, was a folly which could 
nevqf enter the mind of a man of any fenfe, and 



vhich fifteen years experience has but too 
^ell warranted. 

Thefc remarks, fo clofely followed by each 
other, and by others not much lefs aflx>nilhing, 
Hartled a-new my imagination I thought ex« 
tinguiihed ; and that difmal obfcurky which 
was heightened, without intermii&on, around 
me, revived every horror they naturally raife 
in my mind. I wearied myfelf in putting a 
thoufand cohftrudipns on all thefe things, and 
in endeavouring to comprehend myftcries ren- 
dered inexplicable to me. The only conftant 
reililt of fo many enigmas was a confirmation 
of all my preceding conclufions ; that is, the 
deftiny of my perfon, and that of my re- 
futation, having been fixed in concert by all 
the prefent generation, no effort of mine 
would be able to free me from it» fince it is 
Utterly impoffible for me to tranfmit any col- 
lection to other ages, without its paffing thro* 
the bands of this, interefted in their fuppref^ 

But this time I went farther. The heap of 
fo many fortuitous circumftances, the eleva- 
tion of all my moft cruel affected .enemies, in 
3 manner, by fortune, all thofe who govern 
the ftate, all thofe who direct public opinion, 
all thofe in place, every one who had Credit, 
choice mcti atnongft thofe who have any pri* 
vate animofity agaiirft mt, aH to concur in 
one common plot $ fo univerfal an agreement 
is too extraordinary to be merely fortuitous. 
One fingle man who had refufed to be ah ac- 
complice, one event only that had turned out 
contrary to bis expectations^ one unforefeen 



circumftance only which had ftood in his wslj^ 
had been flifficient to render it abortive. But 
every will, every fatality » fortune too, and every 
viciflitude, haveaiSfted the works of mankind ; 
and fo ftriking a combination which refembles 
a prodigy, leaves me without a doubt that its 
whole fuccefs was written down in the de- 
crees of eternity. Crowds of private obfervar 
tions, whether on the paft, whether on ,tbe 
prefent, fo much confirm this opinion, I can- 
not help,, in . future, regarding as one of the 
fecrets of Heaven, impenetrable to human jea-^ 
fon, the very deed I till now confidered as the 
effe&s of man's wickednefs. 

This idea, far from ftriking me as cruel and 
affli£ting, comforts me, eafes me, affifts me m 
my refignation* I do not go fo far as St. 
Auguilin, who comforted himfelf in damna* 
tion, if fuch was the will of God. My reAg- 
nation proceeds from a fource lefs difinterefted, 
it is true, but as pure and as worthy, in my 
my opinion, of the perfedl Being I adore. 

Heaven is juft;. its will is that I Ihould 
fuffer ; and it knows that 1 am innocent. 
This is the motive of my confidence^ my heart, 
and my reafon tell me I am not miftaken* 
Let, therefore, men and fate work on ; let me 
learn to fufFer without a murmur; all mufi at 
}aft return to its courfe, and my turn will 
4:ome fome time or other. 




Tho* clJ, rjiill get knowledge. 

SOLON often repeated this verfe in his old- 
age. There is a fenfe in which I could 
likewife afe it iii mine ; but thefcience I have 
acquired by twenty years experience is a dif- 
mal one : ignorance is ftill preferable. Adver- 
fily is, doubtlefs, a great m after ; but this 
mafter is too dearly paid for his leflTons^ and 
often the advantage we reap is not equal t6 
their coft. Befides, before we obtain this 
knowledge by lefTons fo tardy, the time to 
make ufe of them is pad. Youth is the time 
to ftudy wiOom ; old-age is tl^e time to prao- 
fife it. Experience, I allow, ftiU inftruds % 
but it is beneficial only for the fpace before 
us. Is it not too late when death draws near» 
to learn how we fbould have lived ? 

Ah ! of what ufe is the knowledge of mf 
^efliny fo late and fo wofully acquired; or of 
the paffions of others whole work it is ! I 
have learnt to know mankind, but to feel 
more powerfully the mifery in wKich thef 
have plunged ine, without this knowledge, 
in difcovering all their wiles, having enabled 
fne to avoid one. Why did I not remain ia 
that weak but charming confidence^ which 
fo many years rendered me ^the prey and the 
fport of my bluftering frien4s, inftead, though 
furrounded by a)l their plots> of having t>€ 

Vo*.IJ. I Jsaft 


leaft fuQ>icion ! I wts their dupe sfnd their 
victim, 'tis true ; but I belieired myfelf ef« 
teemed . hj them, and mj heait enjdfed the 
friendlhlp they had fuggefted, by imagining 
they had as much for me. Thefe fweet tUu«* 
fions are over* The deadly truth which time 
and reafon have difcovered^ by fliewin^ me my 
fliisfof tunc, has alfo fliewn me ihere is no re^ 
tnedy, and that 1 moft refign myfelf to it* 
Thus ftU the experience of ^ars is, in my 
flate, without immediate fruit or future ad* 
vantage* We enter the lifts at our birth, we 
quit them at our deac^. .Wbeve's the utility 
of learning to drive our car, when we are ar« 
rived at the end of our career i Nothing far-* 
ther, then, remains, but to withdraw with 
iafety. The ftiidy of an old man, if he has 
any thing more to ftudy, is folely to learn to 
die, which is {»ecifely that th^ leafi thought 
of at my age ; every thing is thought of but 
that. Old men grafp more at life than babies^ 
find leave it with a much worfe grace than 
young people. 'Tis bccaufe all their labours 
having been. for this life, they perceive at lafl 
their trouble loft. All their application, all 
their goods, all the fruit of their laborious 
fiudiea, ell is left when th^ go off. They 
fiever think of heaping up fomettvii^ in their 
Jife-time, they might have taken off with 
ihem. , 

. 1 told myfelf all theie thiogs when it was 
time to tell them ; and though i did not know 
how to benefit by my reflexions, it was not for | 
iwant of. having matie them in time, and well 
digefted them. Thrown from my childhood 

. ,. ipto 

1|r.30 TBBSOtlTARV WAtKBR. lyi 

into th^ a^^ \0ork], experience Caafi;ht me be« 
t^mes I was not made for it) and that I &otiId 
sever attain that Aate my heart feemed to de* 
m^d. Ceafing, therefore, to feek in mankind 
that happineft I faw I fliould not find, m^ 
ardent imagination altoidy boanded over the 
fpace of life I had hardly begun, as over a 
fore^n- land, to repofe oh a peaceful fite 
whefe I corid remain. ^ 
* This femiment, nourtflied by education dur« 
sng my childhood, and ftrengthened in my life* 
time by the long chain of mifery and i|iisjfbr<« 
^ times which have filled it, caufed me at alt 
times to feek a knowledge of nature, and the ( 
deftination of my being, with more intereft 
and attention than I have feen in any other 
man. I have (een many who philolophifed 
much more learnedly than myfelf, but they 
were, in a manner, ftrangers to their own phi* 
lofophy. Wanting to appear more learned 
than others, they itudied thetiniverfe to know, 
how it was arranged, as they would have ftu- 
clieid any machine they few, from mere curiofity. 
^hey fVujjied human nature to be able to fpeak 
of it learnedly, but not to know themfelves; 
l.hey laboured to inftrud others, but hot to 
enlighten thenifelves. Maiiy of them want> 
ed no more than to write a book," no matter 
What, provided it was received. When it was 
written and publiChed, its contents no farth^t 
troi!ibled them, except to get it adopted by 
. others, or defend it in cafcOT attack | but, as 
to'-th^ Ted, without drawing any confequence 
io their own ufc, without even troubling them* 
ielVes on its contents being true x>t bSk^ pro- 
. : ^ I Z vided 

I7:i THE R^VSRUS OP . [W.^ 

vidti it was not refuted. For my part, when 
I defired to learn, *twas to know fomething 
Dijfelf, and not to' teach : I always imagined^ 
that, before inftrudingothers, we (hould begin 
by knowing fomething for ourfelves ; and of 
all the ftuoies I have made amongft men, there 
are few I fhould not have equally made alone, 
in a defert ifland, where I was confined for the 
remainder of my days, t What we intend do- 
ing depends much* on what we intend believ- 
ing ; and in all things which are not of the 
greattft wants of nature, our opinions are the 
rule of our afkionsJ In this principle, which 
was always mine, I have long and often fought 
to dire£l the occupation of my life, to know 
its true end, and was foon confoled on the 
little aptitude in conducing myfelf cleverly 
in this w'brld, on perceiving that end was not 
to be fought for>here. 

Born in a family where morality and piety 
reigned, brought up afterwards with gentle- 
'nefs under a religious and wife minifier, I re- 
ceived, from my tendered years, principles and 
maxims, others may fay prejudices, which 1 
h^ve n^ver entirely quitted. Still a child, 
}eft to myfelf, allured by carefles, feduced by 
vanity, decoyed by hope, forced by necefGty, 
I became a catholic } but I ftill remained a 
chriftian, and, foon brought over by habit, my 
heart fincerely clung to my new religion. 
The inftrudlion, the example of Madam de 
Warens, ftrengthcned this attachment. Rural 
ifolitude,^n which I fpent the flowepof my 
youth ; the ftudy of good books, to which i 
entirely gave myfelf upj ftill fortified, in her 



pompany, _my natural difpofition to affec* 
tionate fentiirients, and made mc devout, fomc- , 
jthing like Fenelon*. Meditation in retiremenr, ^ 
the (tudy of nature, the contemplation of the 
^niverfe, force a folitary roan inceffantly to 
pour out his foul to the Author of things, and 
feek with a pleafing perplexity the end of what. 
he kesy and the caufe of all he feels. Whea " 
fate threw me into, the buftle of the world, £ 
;io longer found any thing which could, fof a 
moment^ flatter my heart. Sorrow for my 
hours of foft leifure, followed me every where;, 
and threw indifference and difguft on every 
thing within my reach which could tead to 
• fortune or honours. Uncertain io my uneafy 
-deflres, Thopcd liitle, and obtained. leis ; I felt, 
in my dimmerings of profpcrity likewife, that^ 
when 1 ihould have obtained every thing I 
fought^ the happinefs tny heart demanded 
would not be found, although unable to dift, 
cern its objeft» Thus evpry thing contributed 
to detach my alFedlions from earth, even he^ 
fore the misfortunes which, mult render me a 
^Aranger on it. J attained the age of forty^ 
toiled between indigence and fortune, between 
prudence and error, full of habitual vices^ 
without one b^d ini:lination in the hearty liv- 
ing at hazard withOMt pjrinciples well deter- 
mined by reafon, and diverted from my duties, 
without contemning^ but often without know^ 
ing them* 

Trom my youth I had fixed on this period 
of forty years as the end of my efforts to- 
wards prefeTm^t,. and that of my pretentions 
#f ev^ry kind. Q^ite refolved» that this age 

1 3 attained. 


attained, and whatever my fituation might b^; 
to ftruggle no longer to get out of it, and 16 
fzb the reft of my d^ys from hand to mouthy 
•without thinking farther for the time to come, 
>That day being arrived, I executed the plan^ 
without pain; and though, at that time, my 
fortune feemed incUned to a fituation more fia- 
b)e, I quitted it, not only without regret, but 
with real pleafure. Having delivered myfelf 
from all tbofe allurements, all thofe v^in hdpes> 
I gave myfelf intirely up to that repo^ of 
.mind which was always my predominant wifl), 
jand my moft lafting inclination. I Quitted 
the world and its pomp ; I renounced atll its 
ornaments ^ no more fivords, nomdr^ w^tthes^^ 
;io more white ttockings^ lace, no more powj- 
iler, a periwig quite fimple, a good coarfe.ctoth 
jfuit of cioaths ; and what Wa^ better thzh 
'jal]^ I t(^e froih my fkvat all the lufls, aH 
4hofe defires whkfa nirakethat Which I quitti!d 
!valuible. . I gave tip the plac« I ibeti otc ti^ 
-pifcd, and. for which 1 was ,nbt in the lead pi^ 
|>er^ arid fet to c6pyiflg mufic at fo much k 
^age, iln occupation for which I hud always k 
ideciiive tafte. * 

I did not liBhitmy reform to exf^nal ttiings^ 
J knew that even required a moretrou'MefoiTftfe 
one wikhout doubt; but m6re neceflkry th 6^?- 
,nion ; arid, refolved not io do therh^t two dif- 
ferent times, 1 ulideftobk to fubjc<a my in- 
terior to a fevere examination whith moulU 
fframc it, for the remainder trf Wyiife, fucU 
-as 1 *wdtjldwi(b to find tt-af tny de^th^ 
, A great change which had taken plac'e 
Jn n^e, ^anoihtr mbral woi*ld Which, o^eiwtl 
/ ^ : * itfelf THE SOLITARY WAUKER iy% 

itfelf ta view, llle YenfiJefs opinions of man* 
kind, whofe abfurdity I b^an to perceive^ 
without then forefeeinghdw much I fhould be 
its vi£linfi, the coiitinua{ increadng necefiity of 
other bleffings iban the airy glory of litemr 
ture, whofe vapours had fcarcely reached but 
they difgufted me; io fine, the defird of 
tracing a road, for the remainder of my career, 
lefs uncertskin than that in which I had fpent 
the beft moiety -, ^ali obliged me to this great 
levkw, whofe neceiSity 1 had Ion? felt. I 
"therefore undertook it,, and negle<^ed nothing 
which depended on me to execute this Mndei^ 

'TTs from this period I may date my Entire- 
ly Mhowncing the world, and the great mciina- 
t.ion to folitude which has never quitted me 
from that time. The work I ^ad iindertaken 
could not >be «KeciKedi)ut in a;bfo]ute retire** 
. Bfient ; it demanded a long and peacefyl oie- 
dilation which the tumult of fociety cannot 
fuffen ■ This forced me, for a time, to tabe 
another manner of living, whkh afterwards 
fo well fuit^d me, that havii^ never fince io* 
-terrupted it, hvnt by ibrce, o^r for an iiiflant> 
with my whi^e htzti I feturncd, -and confined 
myfdf to it without pain, as loon 'a» I could; 
and, when afterwards reduced 4>y man to live 
alone, I found, that, in fequeftering me from 
them to render me iiahappy, they had donp 
more for. my happkitfs than I myfelf had been 
able to do. 

I applied to t!he work I had undertaken 

with a z>eal pr^porlioned as well to the im- 

portanca of the bufintfs ^s tbe neceffity t 

- * *I 4 found 


/oMnd (here was for if. I at thtt tioie Iive4 
amoneft modern philofophers who little refem- 
•bled the ancients: inftead of clearing tnj 
doubts, and fixing my irrefolution, they ftag> 
^red all the certainties I imagined I had on 
points the moft important to be acquainted 
'with ; for, violent mj^onaries of atbeifm, and 
moft imperious dogmatics, they would not 
fufFer without rage, that, on any point what- 
ever, you Ihould dare to think contrary to 
them. I often defended mjrfelf feebly, from 
my averfion to difpute, and the want of talents 
to fupport it ; but I never adopted their do- 
ftrudive doArine; and this refiftance, to men 
who tolerate nothing, who, befides; had thetr 
.views, was not the leaft caufe which roused 
their animofity. 

They did not perfuade me, but diey made mie 
uneafy. Their arguments had fhaken me. 
Without ever having convinced me j I could 
not find a good anfwer, but I knew there ^muft 
be good anfwers. I did not fo much accufe 
tnytelf of error as folly, and my heart anfwer- 
ed them better than my reafon* 

{ at laft faid. Shall I fuffer myfejf to b^ etec- 
^nally toi&d by the fophifms pf the beft talker^, 
:When I am not fure the opinions they preacjx 
up, and are fo violent in getting adopted, are 
abfolutely their own i Their paigons, which 
govern their do<3rines, their intereft to make 
: this and that believed, rendet it impoffible tp 
penetrate their own belief. Can pne look fqr 
>plain honefty i^ the heads of fadions? Their 
philofophy is for others; I want one for my- 
feJf. Let ua feek it with all aur might whiiti 


» • 


it is yet time, in order/ to h^ve a ecitain rule 
for the reft of my life. I am now at the ma^ 
turity of a^e, and.the fupreme ftrength of thp 
underftanding. I hafe already reached the 
decline. If 1 wait longer, I (ha)) not, in my 
tardy de)ibefation, poffefs the ufe of all nfy' 
powers ; my intelledtial faculties will lofe of 

' their a£livity ; J (hall not do fo wett what I 

'can Qow do by my bed endeavours : let Us 
'fei%e the favourable hour ; it is the period of 
tny external and material reform, let U be alfo 
that of iny moral and iiitetledual reformation. 
Let us n;^, once for alf, my opinions, nly 
principles, and reimaih the reft of my Kfe 
what I fha][find I ought to have bee/i, after 

; having well fefledled. . 

I. executed this project flowly, and at diffi*- 
reiat times, but with every effort and all the 

* attention I was able, I fenfibry felt the re- 
pofe of my remaining days, and my total def* 
tiny depended on it. I at firft found myfelf 
in fuch a labyrinth of, eihbarraflcnents, difli- 

' ctilties, objedions, tortuofities, and obfcurity, 
that twenty times tempted me to abandon all ; 
I was ready to renounce dU vain refearch, and 
in my deliberations to /keep to the rules of 
common prudence, without feekin'g any in 
thofe principles I had fo much trouble tOxUn* 
ravel. But this prud'ence was likewife fo great 
a ftranger to me, I found myfelf fo little pro-* 
per to acquire it, that to take it as my guide 
was nothing more than feekirig an almoft in- 
acceilible light*houfe, without helm or com* 
pafs, and which indicated no, port. 
I perfiftcd : I had courage, for the firft time 

15 of 

"^'Ji *T-H £ ^ E V'E R I E S t!) F '^^V.j 

of my life, anij.owc to Its fucccfs the'pombi- 

li^y pf JTuftamlng, tW.Tiprrible defliiiy wfiich 

then begap to declareutelf fuf- 

P^wnk It in the leaftl" After the moft arifeDt 

. a^id nncer^ reiearches ^h^it were^ perhaps, ever 

^jmaieby any niibrtal, I determined for life on 

.every lenJitDent it imported me to poflcrs ; and, 

^}f It was poflibie tp BebiftaJteVi in the refulif, 

•. I jim, however, certain niyc/fpr cannot t)e im'* 

puted as a ^rime j for ^1 uTed every effort to 

Stari) 9gain(l it. It is' true, I don't doubt but 
e prejudices of childhocKi, and thq fecret 
. wif^es of iliy heart, inclined the'tialance otn 
. the fide the moft conrolirig^Wme. ;,We]widi 
* difficulty perluade biirfelves not to believe what 
we ardently defire; and who can doUbt hut 
the intereft 6f admitting or reje<9ing the jud^- 
.ment^ of another Ijfe, , determines the faith 
of the gfeateft part of mankind on their hope» 
or fears.. AH thefe things might fafcinate my 
judg'n^ent, 1 agree,, Byt not change my iince- 
rity ; for I* was fearful of a toiftake on any 
ppii>t. If eviry thing cohfiRed in* the ufe we 
' made of this life', it imported me to know Jt, 
in 'order to turn it to the heft advantage I 
f:ould while it was yet time, jind not be en- 
' itireiy . duped. . But what I , moft* in the vvorld 
dreaded, in the dirpofition 1 found'mj^fclf, 
Vas expofing'the eternal fafte of my foul for 
/the enjoj^ment of the thinjgs of this Worfd, 
which never appeared of grtat value to nrie^ 

I ftill qonfefs I could not folve, to my fatis- 

fadidn, all thofe dijHculties which had em- 

harrafled me, and with which our philofoph^rs 

.had fo often wrung nfiy carsi But, relolvcd 



at laft to decide for myfelf on .matters where 
human iruelligence has fo little to do, and 
every where nnding; iinpenetrablc mjftenes 
and infoluble objeaipas, I adopted,' on e^h 
queftioo, tlie fentifnent which appeared ite- 

, mediately the beft cftablifhed, the tooft cre- 
dible in hrelf, wkbont ftoppmg at qbjeftions I 
could not determine, but which' retorted 6n 
other obje£lions fdll as piow6r'ful in the op- 
poGte fyftem. The tec^hnical tone on th6fe 
matters becomes hypocrites only ; but it im- 
ports to havi a fentinient of one's own, and 
to ehufe it with blithe maturity of jad^mjjnt 
we are capable of. If, for all that,fve falliitto 
error, we cannot ih juftice bear the blanie, 
Tilijte we did not ^hear the tin. ^This is the 

; fteafdy principle whi<:h ferves as the bafis ^f 
'ttiy (ecurity. 

The rcfiiit of my hborious tefearches was 
nearly fuch as I have flnce delivered m the 
profeiSon of faith of the Savoyard* Vicar ;' a 
work (hamefulty proftftuted ahd profaned by 
the'prefentgef^eration, but which ipayforhe 
day caufe a great'chang^ in ipan, if'cver fih- 

' ccrity and goodTe^rlffe mould return. 

Since, that ^time, -undifturbed by the prih- 
ciples I adopted on a meditation fo iong and 
fo refleAed, I haVe madethem the immutable 

' rule of my '^onfcience and faith, without gtV- 
ing myfelf any more uneafinefs either on the 
objeQions 1 could not folve, or on tbofe I 
was not able to foref^c, and which from ti One 
to time prefented tbemfelves to . my miifd. 
They have made hie uneafy fometimes, but 
never ftaggered • me. • *I always fay thu^ to 

16 myfelf ; 

, i8a THE A£V£RIES iOF (W*3. 

. myfelf : AU this is o^q more thaa cavU^ and 

iDeuphyiical fubUeties^ which are of no weight 

^ agginft fundamental principles, adopted by mjr 

fXeaifpi}» confirmed by my -heart, and which 

iall bear the mark of internal afient ki the 

^ iilence.of. the pai&ona. In. matters fo fuperior 

. to human underftanding, (ball an obje&ioa I 

can't determine overthrow the foundation of 

a dodrine fo folid^ £0 well digefted, and 

formed by fo much mediution and care, fo 

well adapted to my reafon, to my hearty to 

my whole being, and fortified by internal af-- 

. fisnt which I nnd wantine to. every other i 

l^Oj vain argumentations Ihall never deftroy t)ie 

relation I perceive between my immortal na* 

' ture and the confiitution of this world, .as 

well %% the phyfical order I fee reign there. 

I find in it^ from the moral correfpondent order 

. whofe fyftetb is the refuU of my refearcbes, 

[ the props I want to fupport the mlferies^.of 

^ life. In every other fy&em I fiioiild live with- 

^ put refource^ and die without a hope. I 

ihould be the moft unfortunate of thei crca- 

|ion. Let us, therefore, hold faft that whi^^h 

alone fuiBces to make me happy, in fpite^ of 

fortune and mankind. 

Did not this deliberation, and the ccmdu- 
Eon I drew from it, feero .^o have been dictat- 
ed by Heaven itfelf to prepare me for the fete 
which awaited me, and put me into a flate of 
fupporting it ? What would have become of 
me, what would yet become of me, in that 
dreadfvil anguifb which awaited me, and in 
the, incredible fituation to which I am reduced 
for the reft of my days^ if, remajining with- 


• ^ 1 

cut an Afjrlwm tP whi^h I could (Jy from my 

; cruel periecutors, wub9ut a recompence for 

the ignominy they have loaded me with in 

:this worlds and without hope of obtaining 

that juftice which was my due, I had found 

myfeif delivered up t6 the moft horrible late 

a -mortal ever experienced? .Whilft; happy 

in my innocence, I dreamed of nought. but 

efteem and benevolence from mankind, whilft 

my open and confident heart diffufed itfelf 

into the bofom of friends and brothers, the 

traitors, in filerice, wefe entanglfng me in 

fnares, fafhioned in the loweft pit of 'hell. 

/Surprifed by the moft urfexpefted of all mif- ' 

fortunes, and the moft terrible to an elevated 

mitid, dragged into the mire, without ev(er 

knowing by whom, or for what, plunged into 

an abyfs of infamy, furrounded by a horrible 

obfcarity through which I perceived nougbt 

but fmifter objects, on the firlt furprife 1 was 

- ihundetftruck, and never (houtd have recover- 

• ed the dcjeSioh this extraordinary kind o( 

misfortune threw me iil'to, had I not hoarded 

up ftfength before-hand to raife me iri rhy 

It was not till after years of acritation, that, 
again refuming my fpirits, and *^beginnirig to 
ftudy nivfelf, I felt the value 6f thofe i^s- 
foufces 1 had hoarded up^for adverfity. De- 
cided on every thing it imported me to judge 
of, I faw, in comparing my maxims to my 
fituation, I gave to the fenfelefs judgment of 
man,^ and the trifling events of this ihort life^ 
much more importance than they had ; that 
flits life being but a flatc of trisil^ it imported 



litde that thefe trials were of oAc or the 

other kind, provided tbey produced ^e effeft 

for which they were intended ; and that, coIl- 

fequently,. the more the trials were great^ fe- 

vere» and iDuhiplied, the more profitable it 

was to know how to fuflain them. The 

moR violent tortures lofe their power on him 

who fees a proportioned and certain lecom- 

pence ; and the certainty of fuch a recom- 

pence was the principal fruif I had gathered 

froVn my preceding meditations. 

Jt is true, that, amidll the nuniberlefs out* 

' rage's and infults I was from every quarter' 

overwhelmed with, intervals of doiibt and 

.' uneafinefs jtometimes daggered my hope,. and 

troubled my tranquillity. The powerfiil ob. 

je6lion$ I could not folve appeared to view 

more forcibly, in.order to fubdue me preciii^Iy 

' at the moment when, over burthened by the 

weight of my de&iiu', I was nearly finking 

into defpondency* T^ew arguments I often 

' heardi came to the^ aififtanqe of thofe which^ 

' bad already I puzzled me» Ah ! faid I, with a 

prelTureof heart which nearly IftiHed me, wlio 

.Will defend m^ from dqfpair, if, in the horrbr 

of my fate, I fee nought but chimeras in thofe 

copfolattons my reafon afforded me ;< — if, thiis 

overturniog its own buildings it fubverts all 

, that fupport of hope and confidence it. had 

. huftanded for me in adverfity ? What prb- 

' tedion is it, with what illufions have ' I 

not, above ;all mankind, been fooled ? The 

whole prefent .generation fee nothing but 

error andprejuiice ip thofe fentiments which 

' J^: alone chtnlh -, they 'fee truth,* evidence in 


.flic cdntr^ry'fyffem'to ipirie ; they .cvep fecoi 
jto'tliinlc 1 .00 noth^Wrtily #(Jopl it,, and. mx- 
"ftll; in'givihs into ft. with 'my whole heart, 
'lih'j infuroibuntable di^culti^s I oihnot ex** 
.'pl^mj ' hqt which do not prevent me fro^i 
licrfifeing. Am I5 tbei>, the only fage, the 
! b'nfy enlightened man amongfl mortals ? To 
'believe' tnings are thus, is it fufficient they 
. fiiit me ? 'QaiK^ut an open confidence in 
; appearances wmch have nothing folid in the 
'eyes of the reft of the world, and which 
[ would feem fallacious to myfdf> did not niy 
heart affift my reafon? Would it not .^have 
*'been better to combat my perfecutors with 
their own weapons, in adopting theif maxims, 
that to repbfe on the chimeras of my own, a 
.prey to their attacks, without ftirring to op- 
pofe them i I think myfelf fage, and am 
only a diipe, vi£lim, martyr of a vain error. 
How many times, in thefe moments of 
r doubt and uncertarntv, was I not nearly aban* 
'j donini myfelf to deipair ! Had I ^ver (pent 
an entire month in thi» (late,; there^would have 
' been an end of hie. .But thofe crifes, tho* 
formerly pretty frequent, were always ihoct, 
and now that I am not yet quite delivered 
from them, they come fo rarely' and go fo 
. rapidly, they have not the power of even 
troubling my peace. They are. trifling' on- 
1 eafinefles, that no more afFedt my mind, than 
/a feather which falls into the river ahers its 
courfe. I faw, that to . deliberate once more 
on the fanie points on which I had before de- 
. termined, was to fuppofe ipyfelf more eiUight- 
* iened, or mf judgnicnt better formfed, or more 



zealous for trulh than when I made thefe re-* 

'feardies : but as none of thefe caufes were or 
could be- mine, I could not, for any ibiid 

' reafon, prefer opinions, which, in the height 
of defpair, tempted me .only to increafe my 
mifery, to fetitiments adopted .in' the vigour 

•of life, in the full maturity of judgment, 

' after the mod reflected examination, and at 

'a time the calm of my days left me no other 
reigning intereft than that of finding out 
truth. And now that my heart opprelRd by 

'grief, my foul weighed down by affliction, 
my imagination a6Vig(ited, my miDd troubled 

' by fo many dreadful myfteries -which furroiiiid 

' me, now that ail my faculties, weakened by 
age and anguiih, have loft^ their fprings, fhaJl 

•I go at pleafure, and deprive my felt of all 
the refources J had laid up, and put snore 

-confidence in my declining reafoA, to make, 
myfelf unjuftly unhappy, than in my ripe and 
vigorous I'^afon, to reward me for the ills I 
fuffer and never fleferyed ? I)Io, lam not 
wifer, or better informed, or fincercr, than 

; when I decided thefe important queftions : 
I was not ignorant of the difficulties which 

, now trouble me; they did not flop me ; and, 
though fome new ones are ftarted which were 
not thought of tlien, they are the fdphifins of 
metaphyncal fubtleties which can never balance 
eternal truths, admitted in all ages, by all 

^ fages, acknowledged by all nations, and en* 
graved on* the human heart in indelible' cha<i- 
raAers. I knew, on meditating' thefe mat* 
ters, that the human underllanding, circum- 

~ fcribed by fenfe, could not comnrdiend tfaem 



in their whole extettt. I therefore kept to 
things within mv reach, without engaging 
in what furpailedit. This refolution was 
reafonsjble; I formerly embraced it, and kept 
it by the aflent of mv heart and my reafom 
On what foundation Oiall I renounce it now> 
when fo many powerful motives fliould endear 
it to me ? What danger do I fee in following 
it i What profit in abandoning it ? In 
talcing up the do&rine of my perfecutors, 
ihall I likewife.take their morals ?-<^thb 
moral without fruit or root, which they fo 
pompoufly deal out in their writings, or in 
fome fplendid a<H;ion on the ftage, without 
the lead fpark reaching either their heart or 
reafon ; or, rather, tiieir t)rivate and cruel 
morals, the internal dodrine.of all their feA, 
to 'which the other is onlv a maik, which 
only they follow in their conduct, and which 
they have fe expertly prad^ifed in refpe£l to 
me. This morality, offenGve only, is ufeleis 
for defence, and is good to asereflbrs only. 
How could it be ufefui to me m the ftate to 
which they have reduced me ? My fole inno* 
cence fupports me in qflksfort^ne, and bow 
much more unfortunate mould I not render 
myfelf, if, deprivinfl; myfelf of this only biit 

r^werful aid, I fubftituted treachery ? Could 
equal them in ^he art of mifchief ; and,^ if 
I fucceeded, of how many, evils would thofe 
I could do them cure me?, I ihould lots 
my own efteem, and have nothing to put in 
its ftead. ^ 

By thus reafoning with myfelf, I arrived 
at Jceeping mj unfl^aken by fujbtle 


tU THE REVERIES or r^r.^ 

^rgumfntf, Ijjr ihfolvaWe tAjcftioni, and by 
difficulties beyond' my reach, and perhaps 
that of the ndman underftanding. Mine, 
Tcmattting in the moft fixed ftate i had bcca 
ilble to procure it» was fo well accuftotned to 
TTpcrfc under the (hadow of my confcience, 
that no foreign dotS^rine, old or new, was 
able any Ibngct to arffeft it, or trouble my 
^ace an * ijiftant. Sunk into languor and 
'heavincft <>f mind, I have foijot cycn the 
reafons on whixrh i founded my belief and my 
maxirns 5 but I fhall never forget the concilia 
Tions I drew ftom'them- witb tne approbatioji 
-of realbn and confcience, atndfrom hent^orth 
1hA\ c^ng to them; Let aH otn^ philcrfo^her^ 
^caVa ^ftbefn, if they will ; they w?R lofe 
'both -tTtoe and tro(dHe, rftrall'boH hk, the 
remMndeT of my days, in every ttrticJe at 
the refoiution I took when' I was better able 

At eafe in diis difpo^kion, I find, joined 
•to the fatisfaftioh cf my tdndu<ft,- that hope 
'^nd confolation my flttratibn requfred. It is 
'^it(ft pdfliMe, but a fclkude^fo complete, fo 
^rYntmenti, fo dull in itfcff, the fenfible anfl 
^always-'aiSite anlmofiiy of all the prefent ge- 
'ti^Moti^ the affrcrrlts wiA whtdr they tncef- 
iferitly load me, nriift fometimes dqe& me; 
4laggerihg iiope, arnd difcouraging dotfbt$^ 
from time to time return to trpuble my fouU 
and ov'efWh^lm it "with fadncfe. It is then, 
*lhat, ihtapaUle of'thtofe operations of the 
,mind neceffary to keep up a wavering faith, ^ 
am pblfgcd to recoHed my old refolutionsi 
the applic^atiom^ attensionsj the fincericy of 
* beaci 


heart which went with them, all come back 
to my ^memory, apd then my confideoce re* 
turns« I thu^drife from tnetv^y^titvf idea, 
as dangerous errors, which put on a deceitliil 
drefs, in order to trouble my peace. 

Thus' encircled within the narrow Tphftrc 
of my former knowledge, I have not, li^ 
Soton, the happinefs of being able to get nfcw 
inftrudton ieach 4zy I go dowtiwards, and I 
ought ^even- to g^and '-againft the dangerous vTt^ 
ntty df wincing to learn that which ih futlii^ 
i am nH»' enable of properly judsiqg* Bu| 
thougft there remain Mr ac^imiiiioaY co 
make on the fide of ufefttl knowledge, tbert 
9^aini^>y important ones tomak«on ihk 
4d^ (Df ''Viftues neceSkr;^ 16 my HPoncKttoiK 
'Th there k is time to^imch iwd oi»iisn«ent 
my foul W acquirements it can carry off witH 
It, when, delivered from thid bt>dy whith dark^ 
tens and Bl^i^nds it, and feeing truth withiout: 
^ md&, it Will perceive ^he poorndi of -^11 
tHe kjlowledge or which our jtirrifig fdhoIsM 
ure lb Vain. It will lafment the tnotiiejili^s k>ft 
•111 thfe We %y endeavy>uring to gain %hem% 
iBiit patience, n^ildnefss rcTi^ilioh, Integrity^ 
impxtfkl jiiftrce, afe thfegs tie 'Oan take Wkk 
^ alMd Witiy whtob ^ tnay «veryiOotoent ^ii^ 
iicti ourfelyes» wi^fh^ut dre«dtng 'that ^dearft 
4tfelf can depriN^e us df Vheir friik. 'Tia f6 
this Me'^d ufeful lludy I coofecrate the reft 
4df 'my old-age ; happy, if, in the pro^i^fs dA 
^^^f, I fearn 'to -g^ ^ut bf this world, Adl 
^tm^ that's rinpoffiblb, t^t nki^ YirtttoUl 
^rtftihl cafne into i€ ! 

'i.^ FOURTH 



AMONG the trifling number of books I 
flill read, Plutarch engages and improves 
me moft. He was the firft fiody of my 
diildhoody he flialT be the laft of my old-age^ 
be is almoft the only author 1 never read with* 
out gathering fome fruit. The day before 
yeflerday 1 read, in hia Ethics, the treatife Haw 
mmia wutf h wutdi mftfulf The fame day, on 
arranging a few pamphlets, fent me by authors^ 
I laid iiold of one of tbe journals of the Abbe 
R ■■ ■ -f on whofe title were thefe words, Vnam 
P0r$ im pmS mf fy R^"^-^^. Too much accufiomed 
to the genius of thefe gentlemen to be ifiifta* 
ktn'OA this, I under flood he intended, under 
this- air of politenefs, to tell a cruel falfity of 
me \ but on what found it ? Why this far* 
cafm ? What caufe can 1 have given ? To 
benefit by the lefTons of honeil Pluurch, I re- 
fcrived io employ to»morrow's 'walk in ejgi^ 
inining mj^felf on lies; and I returned well 
confirmed in the opinion already formed^ 
that jtri thou ^quaintid Ufkb thjftlf of the 
temple of Delphos, was not a maxim fo eafUy 
followed as I imagined in my Confeffioos. 

The next day, having fet out to ei^eciite 
this reiblucion, the ^rft idea which ftruck mc;, 
^a beginning to look into myfelf, was that 
^f a drradfvil faljity I -told in my early youth, 
whofe remembrance has. troubled the wholp 
courfe of my life, and follows me even to 


Wa^I the solitary WAJLKSR. 1V9 

old-ages ftill to grietrie my heart, already torn 
ity other different means. This falfity, which 
^as a great crime in itfelfi muft have been 
much greater by its eiFeds, which I never 
knew, but which remorfe always made me , 
fuppofe as, cruel as ppBiUe. However, ^e dif* 
pofltion I was in ot\ telling k being cofiiider* 
cd, this lie was tiQ more ttis^n the fcuijta of 
ha(bfulnef$, and far fromiheic^ produced by 
^m intentioQ pf harm to her who, was its vi^" 
tim. I {wear, in the prefenc^ of Heavea9 
that» ^t the very ii^il^nt this inV:iocible baih« 
fulnefs tore it from me, I had with joy.fpilt 
every dj.op of my blood to turn it» efte^s on 
me alone. , 'Twas^a delirium I cannot -ex- 
plai;), but'by telliqg it aa I ttiiiik.I feel it» 
that,;at that inftant^ my nati^al limidity iiib^ 
dued every wifli of my heaU* . 

The remembrance of tlus cruel ^^dny 
and the unextinguifliable remorfe it has left r 
behind, have inured me with an averfio» 
to lies which muft guar4 my heart from 
this vice for the remainder of my days. When 
1 took my motto, I felt within myfelf I 
deferved it, nor did I doubt being wbr-> 
thy of it, tilU on the, bint of the Abb^ 

R , I began to examine ipyfelf ogore fe-r 


Searching into myfelf, therefore, more carer 
fully^ I was much furprifed at a number of 
things of my invention, which I recoUe£ied to 
have told as truth, at a tip^e i^hen, proud of 
my&lf for my love of |rath, I lacrificed to it 
my fefety* my intereft,, my, perfoo, witb» an 
opennefs of whiqh I Jfa/p^ m ^xaq^^ le in mm, 

I waa 


t9^ ^mu RRV£RI£S OP CW-i; 

' I^wHs incite -AirpriM, duit, on recoH^iiig 
fhefe things feigned, I felt no real fofrow fyt 
ft. I vrhofe horror to- fetfity has iiodiingin 
hty heart which «^al$ ir, I who would* Isre 
death wa« it to bt ayoWed by a lie, from 
what tinaecountable tmpropi^iety did I thus 
Ke,- for the plcafur^ ^ k^ wit-hoot neceffitv^ 
without: profit^ and from what mcpnceividHe 
tontradi^on do I not feel the leaft forrow 
at it, I whom remonefcr a falfity has never 
cegfed affliding thefc fifty years ? 'I never 
hardened on my faults $ moral InftinA lias al- 
wajrs «:tiided me right 5 my confcience has Icept 
Its 6m integrity, and, bad it even grow© pliant 
to tpy fntereft, how, preferving its uprightnefs 
on oc^afipns herein man, forced by his paf-^ 
fions,. ean at leaft excufe himfetf on his 
weakncfs, has it loft it ibiely on things indif- 
ferent, Where ticc has no excufe ?• I few 
ithat on the folution of this problem depended 
the ex^&ntfs oP the Judgment I muft give, in 
this point, on myfef^ and, after having well 
Examined it, this^was the manner I arrived at 

I Temember having read in feme ^hil^fephi- 
tal book, that to lie, is to hide a truth which 
imeht to be .revealed. It 'follows from this 
deitnition, that to conceal a truth you are not 
obliged to tell, is not lying; but he, who, 
not fatisiied, in fuch a cafe, with not telling 
the truth, tell* the contrary, does he or does 
he -not lie? According to the definition, you 
cannot fay he lies; for if he gi^^es counterfeit 
coin where he owes nothing, he deceives 
WHbottt doubt, but be does not rob. 

* Two 

W.40 THE S0WTA».Y;WAMC*R. m 
^ 1^wp^^\iefii«fl9 pre(f|iag( (b^mfelt^ h^F9 for 

^rfty when and bow we owe oarj nelgbbpuir 
^he tru|b, fiAce w^ do»'t ajwayf^oxpn^ ^ f Tk^ 
ifaciaiidy whether there are cafei wb«m we ma^ 
4(ei^ei¥« innocently ? The f^cond flu^jp^ li 
fv^ll dtt:ided| I very well kn^w, neg^ive)y» 
In bodii^,: whefe ihe moft auft^e. n^or^s ^f 
given by the author), wkh ^fej . 2)|Braiativ0lyi 
^jf a. iociety^ where thte mar^Mtjr in bookf 
paffbs as idle iluff impoSible tc> pri^iii^. .X^rt 
iia, ^les^fore leave tbefe authorities^ wJii^h 
|;ontrad4^ eaoh QtbQr, and feelc, in my owa 
princi^e^, iq anCwer for myfelf tbefe quef^ 


. [GeneifaU al^ftracS; truth is the opfi pi^ioui 
of all blefiiogs* Withoujt it inan.i^ blind; it 
is the eye pf reafon. 'Tis by her qian learm 
decency, to be th^t be ought to be, dnd dp 
that which ia right to do, to affift tp his true 
lendT' Private and individual truth is not al- 
ways a hieing ; it is fometimes a cnrfe, very 
pften a thi^g indifferent. The things it im« 
ports a man to be acquainted with^ and whoft 
jcno^ledge is neceiliiry to bis h^pinefsf 4r^ 
j)ot perhaps very numerous; buts whalfoever 
their number be, they are his right and be- 
long to him, which he ought to claim wb^re* 
foever he finds them, and of which he can«- 
^ot be deprived, without commkiving the. mail: 
4injuft of all thefts, fince it is of thofe beite** 
fits common to all, whofp communication 
■does not present him who imparts, thfiin Oif 
jjheir enjoyaoept* 

As to jtruths whAcb a^e qf no land pJT.uf^ 



r92 THE R£V£ftI£S OF [W.4. 

neither for inftruAioti nor praftice, how 
tttn they be benefits we owe, fiace they are 
not even benefits ? And fince the right is 
founded on their utifity cmly, where there 
is no poffible otility, there can be no right. 
Wt may claim land though barren, becaufe 
we can, nevet1fche]efs, dwell thereon ; but 
that an idle tale, indifferent in all refpe^, 
end of no confequence to any one, be true or 
falfe, no perfon can be afiefied by it. - In 
moral order nothing is tifekfs, any more than 
in pbyfical order. Nothing can be a due 
which 18 good for nothing : in order that a 
thins be a due, it muft be or may be ren* 
dered ufefuK Thus a truth we owe muft 
regard juftice ; and it is profaning Ae facred 
•name of truth to apply it to vain matters 
whole exiftence is indifferent to all,^ and Whofe 
knowledge is uielefi to all. Truth, divefied 
of every Kind of poffible utility, cannot there- 
-ibre be a duty ; and, confequently, he who 
conceals or difguifes it does not lie. 
^ But there are truths fo pcrfe<5tly barren as 
to be in every point of view ufelefs to all : 
^his is another article to be difcufled, to 
which I (hall prefently return ; but for the. 
prefent, let us pafs to the fect>nd queftion. 
' Not to tell the truth, and to tell a falfity, 
are two very different things; but from which, 
however, may rcfult the fame effe6b i for this 
refult is affuredly quite the fame, whenever 
the effe£l is null. In whatfoever |ruth is in- 
different, the contrary error is indifferent 
alfo3 from whence it folloyirs, that, in fuch a 
cjifei he who 4eceive8 in telling the oppofite 


W.4.] THE SOLITARY Walker. 193 

to truth, is not more unjuft than he who 
deceives in not declaring it ; for, in the ca& 
of ufelds truths, error is not worfc than ig- 
norance. That I think thefand at the hot* 
torn of the fca white or red, is of no more 
importsmce than to be ignorant of its colour. 
How ts a man uhjaft in hurting no one, ilnce 
injuftice confiils folely in the harm we do 
car neighbour ? 

But thefe queftions, thus briefly decided, 
cannot yet ^uppiy me with a certain application 
to praQire, without a deal of previous expli- 
cation neceffary for making the application 
with exa£|nefs in every cafe which may offer : 
for if the obligation to truth is founded on 
its utility only, how (hall I conftitute myfelf 
judge of this utility? One's advantage is 
often another's prejudice } private interefl is 
almoft always in oppoiition to public intereft. 
How conduct myfelf in fuch a cafe ? Muft 1 
facriiice the intereft of the abfent to him I am 
talking with f Muft I conceal or reveal a 
truth which, benefitting one, hurts another ? 
' Muft I weigh ail ] fay in the balance of pub- 
lic good only, or in that of diftributive juftice ; 
and am I certain of being acquainted with 
every thing relating to the affair, fo as to 
difpenfe the inftrudtion 1 difpofe of by the 
rules of equity i Befldes, in examining what 
I owe others, haVe 1 fufficiently examined 
what I owe myfelf, what I owe truth for truth^s 
fake ? Though I do no harm to another in 
deceiving him, does itfoUow I am not hurting 
myfelf, and does it fufHce never to be unjuft, 
in order to be always innocent i 

VolAI. K What 


What troubklbme difcuffions, from which 
it would be eafy to extricate one's felf hj 
faying. Let truth always govern me, ^t thie 
rifle of every thbg that can happen, j^ufiice 
itfelf is cloathed with truth f. a lie will be 
always iniquity, error always impofture, when- 
ever we advance what is not as the rule of 
that we ought to do or believe. * And what- 
ever be the refult of truth, we are always in* 
culpable in fpeaking it» becaufe we add no- 
thing of our own. 

But this is abridging the queflion without 
folving it. We were not on pronouncing 
, whether it was well to fpeak truth always^ but 
whether we were at all times equally obliged 
to it ; and, on the definition I examined, which 
fuppofed not, to diftinguifb thofe cafes where 
truth is rigoroufly due- from thofe where we 
may conceal it without injuftice, and difguife 
it without a lie ; for I found fuch cades really 
exided. We are now, then, to feek a certain 
xule of knowing and determining them. 

But where find this rule, and the proof of 
its infallibility ? . . .In all moral queftions dif- 
ficult as this IS, I always found myfejf right, 
on folving them by the -inftruftions 1 received 
from my confcience, rather than by the light 
of reafon. Moral inftinfl never deceived 
me : it has kept its purity in my heart fuffici- 
ently for me to rely on it ; and if in my 
.< conduct it has been fometimes filent before 
my paffions, it foon recovers its empire over 
them in my memory. It is there I judge 
xnyfelf, with as much feverity, perhaps, as 
; I (hall be judged by the Sovereign Judge after 
this life. 




To Judge of man's difcourfes by the cffefts 
theVvproduce, is often to eftimate them wrong. 
Bendesthat thefe eScSts are not always fen* 
fihlc and eafily |:nown, they vary to infinity^ 
according to the circumftances in which thefe 
difcourfes were held. But it is folely the in- 
tention of thofe who hold them which muft 
rate them, and determine their degree of 
malice or merit. Falfe fpeaking is lying only 
in the intention of deceiving, and the inten- 
tion of deceiving^ far from being always joined 
to that of hurting, has fpmetimes a quite 
contrary end. But to render a lie innocent. 
It is ^not Sufficient the intention of hurting 
be not abfolute ; there muft be alfo a certainty 
that the error, into which we lead thofe we 
fpeak to, cannot hurt them, or any one elfe, 
in any manner foever. This certainty is very 
rare and very difficulty it is alfo difficult 
and very feldom a lie be perfectly innocent. 
To lie to one'f own advantage, is a cheat ; 
to lie to another's advantage, is a fraud ; to 
lie to do harm, is calumny ; this is the worft 
Ibrt of lies :-*-to lie without profit or preju*- 
dice to one's felf, or others,, is' not lying, 'tis 
fidlion. , 

FidHon which has a moral obje<S in view is 
called apologue, or fable ; and as its objedl is» 
or ought to be', no other than difguifing ufeful 
truths under agreeable and fenfible forms, in 
thefe cafes a man feldom troubles himfelf about 
concealing the known lie,* which is no more 
than the garb of truth ; ' and he who gives 
a fable as a fable, does not lie in any fort. 

There are other fidions purely idle,^ucb at 

' K 2 are 



are thegrcaleft part of ftorics and romances, 
Whichywithout containing any real inftru£lioiit 
have no other obje£l than amuiemenC* Thefe, 
ctevo.d of all moral utility, cannot be rated 
but by the intention of bim who invents tbemj 
and whenever he deals them out with affirming 
them real truths^ we can hardly diibwn they 
are real lies. ,Who, ncvertheleTs, ha* ever 
t)een very fcrupuloiis on this fort of lies, or 
who ever ferioufly reproached thofe who write; 
them ? Is there, for example, a moral ob« 
jeft in Le Temple de Gnide*; that obje£t is 
clouded and marred by voluptuous relations 
and lafcivious defcriptions. How has the 
author endeavoured to cloak it 6ver with the 
glofs of modefty ? He feigns his work is the 
tranflation of a Greek manufcript, in a man* 
her the bed adapted to perfuade his readers 
of the truth of his narration. If this is not 
a very pofitivc lie, let ime be told what a lie 
is. Who, for all this, 'has ever thought of 
imputing this lie to the author as a.crime, 
and to treat him, in confequencei as an. im- 

It might, in vain, be pleaded no more than 
a humour \ that the author, while he aiBrms^ 
swiQies to perfuade no one \ that in fa£l: he 
^as perfuaded no one ; and that the public 
liave not a moment's doubt of his being the 
author of his pretended Greek work, of 
which he called bimfelf the tranilator. I 
ihould anfwer, that a like humour without 
bbje£^ was no better than the dull tfick of a 
child ; that a liar lies not a jot the tefs when 
)ie affirms, though he does not perfuade \ that 



they fhould feparate, from an. enlightened 
public, the multitude of fimplc and credulous 
readers, on .whom the ftpry of the manufcript^ 
related by a grave author, with an air of 
ferioufnefs, has really impofed, and who have 
fwallowed, without a dread, from the cup of 
antique form, thx* poifon they had at leaft 
-fufpe^fled, had it been pre fen ted in a modern 

Whether thcfe di{l4n<9ions are or are not 
found in books, they a<3, neVerthelcfs, on 
the heart of every man in carncft with him- 
ftlf, who will permit himfelfjiothing his con- 
fcience can reproach him with : for to make 
up a falfe ftory to one's advantage, is no lefs 
lying than when told to another's prejudice, 
although the lie is lefs criminal. To give an 
advantage to hini who ought not to have it, 
is to difturb the courfe of jufticc ; falfely to 
attribute to one's felf, or neighbour, an afi: 
from which praife or blame, inculpation or 
exculpation, might refuh, is to do an unjuft 
thing : now, every thing, which, contrary to, 
truth wounds juftice, in whatever manner it 
he, is a He. ihefe are the exa£t limits : but 
every thing, which, contrary to truth, in no 
. wife concerns juftice, is but fi<£Kon 5 and I 
own, whoever upbraids himfelf of a mer^ 
fidion, as a lie, has a confdence'~ tenderer 
than mine. 

Thofe which are called obliging lies, are 
real Ties y becaufe impofing, whether to the 
advantage of another, whether to one's own, 
is as unjuft as to impofe to his detriment. 
Whoever commends or blames, if not true, 

K 3 lies. 



198 THE REVERIES OF [^.4/ 

liies, when any real perfon is meant. If an 
imaginary being only is meant, he may fay^ 
anything he pleafes, and not lie, unlefs he 
juoges the moral of the fad: he invents, and 
judges falfely i for then, although he does not 
ie in fa£t, he lies againft moral truth, an 
iiundred times more refpe^lable than that 
of fadls, . 

1 have feen thofe people which by the 
world are called fincere. Their whole vera- 
city is fpent in idle con verfations, faithfully 
reciting place, time, perfons, without per- 
mitting the leafi: iif^ion, ornamenting the 
lead circumftance, exaggerating nothing. In 
all which does not reach their intereft, they 
are mofl: inviolably faithful in their narrations. 
But do you touch on any bufinefs which re- 
gards them, recite any fa£i which nearly con* 
cerns them, every colouring is emfdoyed to 
&ew things in a tight the mofl: adVarttageous 
to themfelves; and wheA a lie is ufeful ta 
them, and that they abSain from telling it, 
they favour it with addrefs, and zA (b as to 
get it adopted without a poffibility of imputing 
it to them; Thus prudence will ha^e it : 
good by veracity. 

The man I call fincere does Uift the con- 
trary. In things perfedly indiiFerent, truths 
the other fo much refpecls, affe^s him but 
little, and he makes very little feruple • of 
amufing a company by ftories feigned, from 
which no unjui^ judgment ref^lts, either for 
or againfl any perllon alive or dead. But every 
converfation which produces any one good or 
hurt, dieem or contempt, commendation or 



blame, in pppofition to juftjce or truth, is a 
lie which never will reach his heart, his 
fnofitb,* or his pen. He is folidly fincere^ 
evefn agaitift his intereft, though he pretends 
very little to it in idle converfations. He 
i« Jtncerg '\n ;wi(hing to deceive no one, ac* 
Icnowledging the truth which accufes him, 
and that whiifi honours him, and he never' 
impbfes-t(i his own advantage or to the hurt 
of his eiVcmy.' - The difference, therefore, be- 
tween my Jincere man • and the other is, tha^ 
he of the world is rigoroufly faithful to'eVcry 
truth which is of no ejcpcnce to him, but no 
ferther, and that mii^e never ftrycs it fo faith- 
fully as when he muft.faH'a facrifice to it. 

But, it may be faW,;how accord this, relax- 
ation with tMt ar^ferit fondnefs for truth t)f 
^hich I ma^ke him boaft ? This fondnefs U 
Ithcrefore feigned, fi nee it fuffers. fo much al- 
lay ? No, it is pure and real ; for he is an 
emanatiq;) of the ]ove of juftice, and wouM 
never be falfeV'thou^ "lie is often fabulous, 
Juftice and truth are with him two fynony- 
mous words^ he takes iiidiSerently for each' 
other. ^7- he holy truth he adores does hot 
confift in indifferent a£lioni and ufelefs terms, 
but in fakhflilly rendering every man his due^ 
in that which is reallv his, in good or bad im« 
putations, in retributionf of liooour or blanre^ 
praife or difapprobation. He is neither falfe 
CQ his neighbour's hurt, becaufe his equity 
prevents it, and that he would hurt no one 
unjuitiy ; nor in his own favour, becaufe his 
confcience prevents that, a^d that he caniiot 
appropriate to bimfelf that whkh is not his. 

K 4 n:iB 


'Tit of his own cfteem he is peculiarly jea- 
lous ; 'tis the bleffing he can leaft cfo without, 
and he would feel a real lofs in acquiring that 
of others at the expence of that bleffing. He 
will, therefore, lie fometimes on things indif- 
ferent without fcruple, or even thinking he lies, 
never to the damage or benefit of any one, or 
to his own. In all which depends on hifio- 
jrical fa^s, every thing which regards the con- 
du6k of mankind, juftice, friendihipy ufefiil 
inftrufiion, he will keep himfelf and others 
from error as much as depends on him. AH 
lies beyond thefe things, are, according to 
him, no lies. If Le Temple de Gnide is an 
ttibfu] work, the ftory of the Greek manu/cript 
is but an innocent iiSion ; it is a moll pu« 
niOiable lie, if the work^ is dangerous. 

Tbefe were the rules of my confci^nce oa 
lies and truth. My heart mtchantcally fol- 
lowed thefe rules, before my reafon adopted 
tben>, and moral infiinifl^Ione made theap^ 
plication. The cfimtnal lie, of which poor 
^ilarion was the victim, has left me a remor/e 
^hich. cannot be done avi^y, but which has 
warranted meal), the reft of my days, not only, 
from eytry lie of that £ort, but from ill thofe 
^hich in any manner whatfoever could af* 
fe& the interjeft or r^iitation of another* 
By tbus^ making the exclufion general^ 1 dif-. 
penfed with exaAly weighing advantage and 
prg.udic^, and marking ou( the precife limits 
of hurtful lies and obliging lies ; by regard-^ 
i^g both a^ culpable, I forbid myfelf either of 
them. . 

In tbisji as jasul the reft, my. conftitutioa 




greatly influen^d my maxions, or rather mf 
habits ; for I never a£ted much by rule, or 
have feldom followed any other rules, in any 
tbiiig, than my natural iqipulfes. A premedi* 
rated lii^ never approached my thought ; t never 
lied for intereft, but have often lied from (hame^ 
to extricate' myfelf from trouble in indifferent 
<hings^or which at moft concerned none hut 
myielf, when, having a conver&tion to kee|^ 
fdive, the Haclcnefs^ cif my ideas, or my bsrr 
rennefs in dtfcourfe^ obliged me to have n* 
qourfe to ii<^ion, in ordor to have fomething 
to fj^« When I muft neceflarily talic^ an^ 
that amufing truths are not ready in my mind% 
I pyt ofE fables rather than remain dumb^ 
^ut i(i the invention of tkefe fables, I take 
care, aa ipudi-^ I can, th«y are not lies, thac 
JS) itfiat <tbey wqund neither jaftice nor trutti 
I owe, and t^at they are .fiaioos indifferent 
to myftlf and every one elfe. idy defire 
^would) therefore, be to iubftittite, at kaft, 
to . real fa^, moral hSt$ ; that if, that 
^he natural afie<3ions of > the human heart 
might be well reprefented, and always to 
lifaw from it ufeful knowledge^ in a word, 
to make moral flories of apologues : but -a 

freater prefence of mind than I have wouM 
e neceffary, and a greater facility of fpeech^ 
to be able to turn £e prattle of converfation 
into ufeful inttru£lion. Its courfe, more rapid 
dian my ideaS) forcing me almoft always to 
ipesdc before I think, has often fuggeited fob> 
Jies and childifhnefs my reafon difapproved^ 
and my heart difowned^ ftill ^s they came 
from my. tongue^, but which, preceding my 

K 5 judgment, 

toi THE REVERItrs OF [W.4J 

judgment, were no loDger withiii the reach of 
KB cenfure* 

' fTks life from this firft and tfrefi&ible im-* 
pttlfe of cooftitutiotiy that, in unprovided and 
npid momonts, fliame and tiititdity dteA 
force from 'me vn^rutha' in whfeh mjr will 
Ims no part, hot which precede it hi feme fort 
bjTthe neceffity of aitfwering inftantly. The 
profound impreffion of the recoHedion of 
poor Marion may very well flop'thofe which 
might hurt others, but not thoie which might 
extricate me from embarraflment, when none 
bot myfeif ia meant, which is not lefs againft 
my confcience and principles than thbfe whidi 
might inftuence the fate of another* 

I atteft to Heaven, that, could I inftantly 
withdraw the lie which pccufes me« and fay 
the truth which upbraids me, without draw* 
ing on myfeif a frefli aftront by retracing, I 
would do it with pkafure ; but the flrame ^ 
thus catching myfeif again ftill prevents^ me, 
and I very fincerely repent my fault, without, 
however, daring to ammd it. An example 
will better explain what I mean, and will (hew 
I do not lie from intereft or felf-love^: much 
lefs from envy or ill'^natUre ; but folely from 
embarrafiinent and baihfulne&, femetimes 
very well knowing that the falficy h known 
to be fuch, and that it cannot; feiive me in any 
one point. 

Some time ago M. F ■ ■ ■ ' engaged me, 
againft my cuftom, to bring my wife to a kind 
of club dinner, with him and M. 6««'— , at 
Mrs. — ^'s the tavern-keeper, who with her 
two daughters dined with us* In - the height 



tif our dinner^ tiie oliteft^ wbo 19 lately mar* 
rted, and who was with child, • ^ • . * be« 
thought herfelf of brifkly aflung me» at the 
4kme time iooling ftedfaftly at me, tf I had 
^ever had children; I anfwered, on reddening 
extremely ^all over m^ face, I was not fo for-^ 
tuaat^. She malicioufly fmJled in looking at 
'thd^ com^ny' : all this was not Very obfcure, 
<vcn tor me. 

< It IS deaf, in' the firft place, this anfwer was 
not that I wi&ed to make, had I even intend- 
ed to impofe ; for, from the difpofition I faw 
in the gtiefts, 1 was furje mv anfwer would not 
change their opinion on this point. This ner 
gative was expelled, it was even provoked to 
enjoy the pl^fureof making me tell a falfity. 
I was not quite ib dull as not to fee it. Tw6 
minutes after, the aufwer I ought to have 
^iven came of itfelf : Thiris not a wry dtfcreit 
qnefiionfrom a young woman to a man who was 
^HoUbatebelor. Had I faid thus without a lie, 
without caufe to bluih at any confeffion, I had 
brought the laughter on my fide, and had given 
her a trifling leflbn which naturally muft have 
rendered her a little lefs impertinent in quef- 
ilioning^me. I did nothing of all this ; i AM 
not fay what I (hoUld have faid ; I faid 
what I ihould not^ and which could be of 
-no life to me. It is, therefore, certain ray 
Itidgment or will did not didate this anfwer, 
1>ut that it Was the mechanical eifedl of my 
embarraifment. Formferiy I had not this era- 

* Thefe poiati indicate fome words which could 
V fiot be read in the nnmufcript. 

K 6 barraffinent. 

104 THfi REVERIE^ i*^F £^14. 

barja(rinenr^;b|ir4|yowml,4n)r/£auJt$.wUh oioc^ 
fr^nWiefs than Oi^n^r, becaufe i bad. do doubt 
jof tbeir ranfom being. perceived, ajaid whlc^ I 
felt Within, oie ; bat die. ^ye of mzligaitf 
wouiKk andldifconcert^ ipe :. I grow mor^ t^ 
mid as I grow more ufiforXtuu^y and I oevcr 
tol^ Ifes but from timidltyw 

I never fo well feh my natural avcfiipB to 
lies as on writing my Confeffions ;. i*or itwa^ 
jthere temptatioD Md been (bong and frequent, 
had I in the leaft been inclined togire into iu 
But, f^ From having copcealed anj things diffi^ 
mulated any thing upbraiding^ by a turn of 
mind J can fcarcely explain, and wbi^b, per? 
haps, proceeds from my averflon to all imita*- 
tion, I found myfelf rather inclined to lie in a 
contrary feofe, in aqcufing myfelf toofeverch 
]v, than in excuiing tnyieif by too much i<V" 
dulgence \ and my confcience aflure&aie, that, 
fome daiy or other, I ihall be ju4g^ with left 
feverity than I judged myleif. Yes^ I &y fit 
and feel it with a noble elevation of foul, I 
carried in thoft writings ilncerky^ veracitjr^ 
openpefs, as far, even farther, at Jeafl 1 think 
fo, than any man Ivu done before me : cer^ 
tain that good furpafles ^vil, my inter^ft wa« 
to fay aUi and I faid all. 

I never faid lefs, \ have fometimes faid more^ 
not as to fadts^ but icircumflanc^s ; and thi«. 
kind of lie was rather the tikGi of a deUrioxis 
imagination than an a<^ of the will. I am (• 
blame to call it a lie, for none of tho& addir 
tions were fo. I wrote my Confeffions old, and 
difgufled of the vain .pleafurei of life, :of ail 
which I bad lightly touchedj^, and of whoie 



^void mjr- heart was qwitrfejoiibie. I wrote 
^thcm from memory $ this memory often failed 
^m^e, or /*uppji&d nxs wUB sin imperfect recoliec'* 
t^n^ .^nd I fillefl up g4pB by itxiaginary rela^ 
tions, as a fupplemcnt to thefe recollcflionsj 
Jiut. wiikh. never contradicted them« I was 
fond of dwelling on the happy parts of my life, 
.and embelUIhied them fometimes with ornaments 
which tender r^ret fupplied me wiih. I re* 
.lated the things 1 had forgot as it Teemed th^y 
JBuft have been, as they had ^ been perhaps, 
neverxpntrary to that I rertiembered them to 
be. I fomeumAS borrowed, in fa^, foreign 
charms, bat never put lies in - thetr placti 
to palliate my vices> or attribute to myfelf 

So thaty if fometiines, without dreaming of 
it, by .an involuntary motion^ I have concealed 
the deformed fide, by paintihgmyfetf'in pro* 
file, this* concealment was well compcnfated 
.by other more exjiaordii^ry concealments, 
which have often induced me to hide the good 
more carefully than the evil. This is a fingu* 
larity of my nature very pardonable to thofe 
men who will not believe, it, bMt which, in<- 
credibJe as it may be, is neverthelefs real : 
I have often told the ill with all its bafenefs^ 
rarely told the good with all it had amiable, 
and have often entirely concealed it, becaufe 
It honoured me too much, and that in writing 
my Confeffions I Ihould have the air of writ* 
jog my panegyric. 1 hive defcribed my youth* 
ful days without hoailing thofe happy quah'* 
tie^ with which mj heart was endowed, and 



' hzre cm ioppreffbd tbofe h&$ which made 
them too evident- I itcqPeA two of my 
ehUdhpod» which both ftnick mj meoioiy 
whilft wririiiff* but which I RJcAcd §6t the 
fole reafon juft mentioned. 

I went almoft evenr Simdaj to fyeoA the 
day St Paquis with M. Fazy^ who married 
one of my aunts, and who had a manoEK* 
tory there of Indian fluffs. I was one day io 
the calender-room loddng at the braft rollers : 
their brightness pleafod me ; I was tempted to 
lay my mtgers on them, and drew them back* 
wards and forwards on the (leek part of the 
cylinder, when young Fazy, having got into 
the wheel, gave it the eighth of a turn ib 
dexteroufly, as only to catch the ends of my 
two longeft fingers, but was fi^feient to 
cnifh them, and both my nails were left 
there. I gave a piercing cry ; Fazy inftantly 
turned the wheel back again, but the nails ne- 
vertbelefs remained to the cylinder, and the 
blo6d rah from my fingers. Fazy, sifirighted!, 
cries out, jumps from the wheel, embraces 
me, and begs I would calm my cries, adding 
he was undone. I& the height of my pain, 
his touched me ; I was. ftient ; we went to 
the carp pond, where -he affifted me to wafh 
my fingers, and to ftop the blood with mofy. 
He begged me with tears not to accufe him^ 
I promifed I "would not, and kept it fo well; 
that more than twenty years afterwards no one 
knew by what accident my finders were fear* 
ed ; for they always remained; fo. I kept my 
bed above three weeks^ and was more than 




tiK^o mdntbs incapable of ufing my hand, al- 
ways faying that a large ftone, by its fall, kad 
crufted my fingers. 

Magnatiima menz6gn% ! or quando ^ il 
S3 belld che pofTa i te preporre ? 
I was, however^ extremely fenfible to this 
accident from its circumftances ; for it was at 
the time of exercife when the citizens were 
taught Iheir evolutions, and a rank w^ ap- 
pointed me with three other boys of my age^ 
to march in our uniform to exercife with the 
company of our diyinon. I had the mortifr* 
tation to hear the company's drum pafs under 
my window with my three comrades, whilft * I 
was in bed. 

My other ftory 19 of the fame kind^ but of 
t more advanced age. ' 

I was playing at mall widi one of my play<» 
mates, whofe name was Plince. We di(puted 
on our game ; we fought ; and during the bat- 
tle he gave me fuch ajblow of the maUet on my 
bare bead, and applied it fo well, that, had he 
been ftronger, he would have beaten out my 
brains. I inibntly fell. I never in my life faw 
sm agitation like that of the poor fellow, on 
feeing the blood ftream down my hair. He 
thought he had killed me. He runs to me, 
embraces me^, fqueeses me clofely to him, and 
burfts into tears with lamentable cries. I 
embraced him too with all my might, crying 
like hini, with a confufed emotion, which was 
not without fome fweetnefs.' In fine, he 
thought it neceilary to ftop'the Mood, which 
« continued ruoiiing }' and perceiving our hand- 

ac? THE KEVEHIESOf fV7.4. 

kerchiefs would xnot fufficc, he led me to 
mother's, who had a little garden hard by« 
The poor lady was ready to faint oii fifeifiig 
me in -this ftate ; but ibe was enabled to pre- 
ierve (Irengtb enough todrefs my wound, and 
havioz well fomented the fore, ihe applied 
fleur-de-luce ileeped in brandy, an excelfent 
vulnerary, much ufcd in our country. Hoc 
(ears and thofe of her fon fo extremely peAe«> 
traced my he^rt, I long regarded her as aij 
mother, and her fon as my brother, till, hav-* 
ing loft fight of one and the other, I fprgof 
them by degrees. 

. I was as fccret on this accident as on the 
other; and a hundred fuch ones have happened 
to me in my life-time, of which I w^ no| 

}'n the lead tempted to fyedk i(i my ClopfeiS^s; 
b little did I think of .fetiing off to (s^vpflts 
tage any virtnes I kqew in my d^sHpa^c* No i 
when 1 (poke agfiinft known trulln .'was *net> 
ver but on. things indiiFerent, a^id more from 
the embarraflmen^ in fpeecb, or for the pi ear 
fure of writing, than a^y motive of intereft to 
myfelf, or advantage or prdudice to others. 
And whoever readi my .Confeflion6 imparttalt 
}y, if that (hould ever happen, will feel tba( 
the things 1 have acknowledged are tfiore mor* 
tifying, more painful to acknowledge, than 
thofe which are more mifchievpua, but lefs 
difgraceful to fpeak of, and which ,1 have not 
told, becaufe I have not^been guilty of tbem*^ 
It follows from all the fe reflexions, that the 
profeflion of veracity I impofed on myfelf is 
rather .built on fentiments of uprightnefs ajid 
equity than the M^ity, of things, .and xhM ia 



pradice I have rather fdlowed the natural 
dictates o( my confcience than abftrad no*^ 
ticns of what was true or falfe. I often dealt 

{>ut knany fables, but very rarely Hed^ By foU 
owing tnefe principled, ihave often given ad- 
vantages to others, bat never hurt any perfon 
whatever, or ever attributed to myfelf more 
tnerit than ray due. It (bems to me that it is 
ibiely in thofe things truth is a virtue. In 
every other refpcft, it is to us but a metaphy- 
ficai being, from which refuhs neither good 
j3or barm, 

I do not, however, find my heart fufficipnt- 
ly fatisfied with tbefe diftin6iions to believe 
niyfejf entirely fauhlefs, la weighing fo care-t 
iuily what I owed others, have I fufKciently 
cxan^ineil what I owed ipyfelf? Jf j>iftice hi 
due to our neighbour, it is likewife due to 
purfelve^^ 'tis an homage an honeftofan. ought 
^ to pay his proper dignity. When the barren- 
nets of jpy conv^r&tion obliged nie tp fupply 
it by innocent fidion, I wa« to blarne, be-; 
CAufe we ihould not ma^e ourfelve^ cont^nap* 
tible to divert others j^ and when,^arfied away 
by the pleafure of writings I added inyen|iQi| 
to reality, I was ftill more to blame, becaufe 
to adorn truth with fable is in tSkSt to disfi-> 
gure it. 

But that which renders^ me more inexcufa* 
ble is the motto I had chofen. This motto 
obliged me more than any man to a ftriciler 
p.rofeffion of truth i and it was not fufficient 
to facrifice to it, on every point, my intereft 
and my inclinations i I ought likewife to have 
Sacrificed my weaknefs and natural timidity. 

iro THli REVERIES OF [W. 4. 

I Ought to have had courage to be always fin« 
cere on every occaiion, and fi£lton or fable 
ought never to have come from the lips or pen* 
of him who had devoted himfelf peculiarly to 
truth. Thus I ought to have reafoncd on taking 
this noble motto, and InceiTantly repeated it to 
,myfelf fo long ^s I had affurance to carry ftl 
Never did falfity diftate lies to me, they pro- 
ceeded all from weakhefs ; but this is .^ poor 
excufe. With a mind enfeebled,* the moft wc 
can do is to guard againft vice \ but it is arro- 
gance and temerity to dare afpi^e to ftiUime 

Thefe are rcflefMoas which probably never 
would haine entered my mind^ had not the 
Abbe R—^«-^ fuggefted them. It t8» dottbtlefSy 
}ate now to make them ufeful ; but k is not 
too' late to corred my error, and bripg mj 
wilt- to order : for in future this is all which 
depends on me. In this, therefore, and in all- 
wbkfa re feknbles it, SoIonV msxim is appH* 
cable to all ages ; and it is never too^ate tt> 
learn, even from one's enemies, to be modeft^ 
fage, fiBcere, and at leaft to zSvme tjhefe 

v' ' '. 




F all the habitations I have dwdt in 
(and I have had delightful ones), none 
made me (o truly happy, or left me (o much 
tender regret, as St. Pete,r*s ifland^ in the cen- 
tre of the Lake of BienneH This little ifland, 
called at Neufchatci the'^e of L% Motte, h 
little known even in Siwits&erland.^ No travel- 
ler, that I know of, takes notice of it. It iSf 
neverthelefs, moft a^eably and fin|;u]ar1y 
fittiated for the happinefs of a man who wtftet * 
tacootrad himfelf ; fbr though I, perhaps, am 
the only one wbofe deftiny makes ir a Jaw, L 
cannot think I am the only one that has (o 
natural a fancy, though at prefent I never fa!ir« 
it i& any other. . ^ . 

CXhe banks of the Lake of Bienne are mote 
wild and romantic than thofe of the Lake of 
Geneva, bocauie 'ifie rocks and vroods border 
n^rer on the waters, but are not lefs pleafing. 
Though agriculture and the culture of the 
vine are lefs abundant, cities and houfes lefs 
frequent, there is more natural verdure, more 
meadows, retreats overihad'owed by groves, 
more frequent contrails, and accidents more 
reconcileable. As thefe happy banks have no 
great roads convenient for carriages, the coon- 
try is not much reforted to by travellers ; but 
ftill it is engaging to a contemplative, folitary 
man, who is fond of eitpatiating at leifure 'on 
Nature's charms * and of retiring to a filence 




lit THl REVERIES OF iW.j. 

which no one found difturb$, except the cry of 
eagles, the divided warUings of fome few birdsy 
and the foiling torrents which bre^ Trom the 
mountaiiif* This beautiful bafon, in form 
almoft round, has in its centre two little illes : 
Qfie, inhabited antf cti I titrated, is about ba]f a 
league in cifcumference ; the other, fmaller, 
is uninhabited and uncultivated, and will be 
at laft deftroyed by the incefiant conveyance of 
earth, to repair thedevaftation caufed by waves 
and tempefh in the other# 'Tis thus the fub* 
ilanreof the weak Js always employed to the 
profit of the ftrong. 

There is but one houie in the i^and, but it 
it Urge, agreeable, and convenient, which be- 
long> to the Hofpitai. of Berne, as weii as the 
illand, lu which the fteward, with his family 
Mid fervants, lives; He has a-numerous pottl« 
tiy, dxiv^houfes, a^d iUh^ponds. The iiiand, 
though fo fma)], js fo diverfified in tu foil and 
afpeA, it prefents ctvery kind of Ike, and is 
capable of any fort of Cttkure. It has fields, 
vineyards, woods> orchards, rich pafturagis 
ibaded by thickets, and furrounded by (hrubs 
of all forts, whofe green is preferved by the 
neighbouring waters : a lofty terrace, planted 
with two rows of trees, runs aloni^ the whole 
length oftheifland; and in the middle of this* 
terrace a pretty rooni has been buik, where 
the inhabitaacs of the. neighbouring (hores^ 
aflenvble and dan^e, during the vintage, on 

'Twaa'in this ifland I took refuge^ on the 
lapidaTitnr-^iJ^li^iers/ _ I found the abode fo 
cbarmiiig, 1 led alHelb 'agreeable to i^y hu-^ 



mour, that, refoived to end my days there,-^ I 
had no other uneafinefs than that I ibould not 
be fuffered to execute this pr<ged, which did 
not agree with that of talcing me 10 England* 
.whofe iirft eiFecIs I beg^ te experieno^. 
Amidft the furmifea^ which troubled me, I 
could have wiflied they had made thia arylum 
mj perpetual prilbn » ,th<^t they bad confined 
me there for life; and that^ in depriving mp 
of all powe^and hope of quittil)£ it, they had 
forbid me ^eryconuniinication with any othei* 
place ; i^that, ignorant of all which pafied in 
the wofld) I ihould have loft the ren^mbcaoce 
of its /exiftence, and mine would hav^ beea 
cqu^y forgot. 

was fufFered to pais two months only on 
this ifland, but could have paffed two year^^ 
two ages, and all eternity, without a-momcnt's 
regret, though I had, befides my wife^ no 
other fociety than that of the ileward^ hk 
wife, and his fervants, who were all, fa<!^, 
very good people, and nothing more : but k 
was precifely that I wanted. 1 reckon tbefe 
two months the happieft part of my life ; sind 
fo happy, it would have fufBced for my whole 
exiftence, without giving birih in my mind, a 
fingle inftant, to the defire of another ftate. 

Of what fort, then, was this happineis, and 
in what bonfifted its enjoy ment ? I fiiall leave 
that to be gueiTed at by thofe of the prefen(^ 
^g^ by the defcription of the life I led^ 
Precious far mUnff was the greateft and the 
principal of thefe Enjoyments, which I wiflied 
to tafte with all its delights; and all I did 
4luring my ftay was^ ineffe(^» no more than 


the delicious and necriGiry occupation of a 
man devoted to an idle life. 

The hope that the utmoftof their wifiies was 
to keep me in this lonely manfion, where I was 
vilHngly entangled, from whence it was im- 
poffible to get out without affiftance, and with- 
out being perceived, where 1 could have nei« 
ther communication nor correipondence but 
by the concurrence of the people who fur- 
rounjded me, — 'this hope, I fay, gave me that 
of ending my days there In greater tranquillity 
than thofe I had palled ; and the idea of having 
time to arrange every thing at leifure, was the 
caufe of my not beginning to arrange any 
thing. Removed there in hafte, alone, and 
naked, 1 fuccefllvcly fent for my houfekeeper, 
my books, my little equipage, which 1 had the 
pleafiire not to unpack, leaving my box€s and 
trunks as when they were brought, and living 
in an habitation where I thought to end mj 
days, as in an inn from which 1 (hould depart 
the next day. All things, as they were, were 
{o well, that to put them in order would be 
' fpoiling all. One of my grcateft pleafufes was, 
particularly, to leave my books clofely packed 
up, and to have no ink-ftand. When plaguy 
letters forced me to the pen, I borrowed, 
grumbling, the fteward's ink-horn, and hur- 
ried to return it, in the vain hope of having 
DO more 9ccafion to borrow it. Inftead of 
thofe II difmal fcribblings^ and worm-eaten 
books! I filled my room with flowers and hay ; 
for I at that time was in my firft fervor for 
botany ; for which the Dodor of Ivernois 
liad iuggefted me a taiie^ which foon became 

' paffion 


paffion* RejsiSdng noiy all works of labour, 
I muft have one of amufement which pleafed 
me, and which was attended with no more 
trouble than an idle fellow defires. I under- 
took compofing the Flora Petrinfularis^ and 
defcribing every plant in the ifland, without 
omitting one, with particulars fufficient to 
employ the remainder of my life. A German, 
Jt is faid, has written a book on the zeft of a 
lemon \ I would have written one on every 
herb in the ,iield, on every kind of mofs on 
- the trees, on each weed which adorns the rocks : 
in fine, I would not have left the hair of an 
herb, not a vegetable atom, but it fhould have 
been amply defcribed. In confequence of this 
grand proje£l:, every mornings after breakfaft, 
which we all took together, I kt out, a nug- 
nifylng glafs in my hand, and my Syjiema Na- 
turae under my arm, to viiit a part of the ifland 
I had divided for this purpofe into fmall 
fquares, intending to go over them, one after 
the other, in each feafon. 
. Nothing is more Angular than the raptures, , 
the extacy I felt at every obfervation I made 
on the vegetable ftru<Sture and organization, , 
and on the adiion of the fexual parts in fru£li- 
fication, whofe fyilem was then quite new to 
me. The diftindion of generical figns, of 
•which I had not before the leafl; idea, charmed 
me in verifying them on the common fpecies, 
until fome others more uncommon offered. 
The forks of the long ftamina of the Self-heal, 
the fprings of that of the Nettle and of the 
Pell itory, the explofion of the fruit of the BaU 
iamine, and of the bud of the J3ox-tree, a 


ii« THE REVERliES OF fW.s. 

thoufand littie afis of fru6liiication I obferved 
for the fif ft time, filled me with delight, smd 'I 
ran about aflcins if people had feen the horns 
of the Self-heaT, as La Fontaine afked if 
Habakkuk had ever been read. In two or 
three hoars I returned loaded with a plentifcij 
harveft, a flock of amufement for the after- 
'iioon, in cafe of rain. 1 emplojed the reft df 
•the morritng in going with the fteward, hb 
wife, and Theiefa, to obferve their labourers 
and their harveft, generally fetting to work 
with them ; and the people of Berne who came 
to lee me, often found me perched on high 
trees, girt about with a fack I was filEng with 
fruit, and which I afterwards let down by a 
cord. The exercifc I made ufe of in the 
morning, and the good-humour infeparable 
from it, rendered the reft I enjoyed at dinner- 
time very agreeaHe; but if it was too much 
prolonged, and that fine weather invited, I 
could not wait (b long, and, whilft they were 
ftil] at table, I flipt away, ran and jumped alone 
into a boat, which I rowed towards the middle 
of the lake, and there, ftretching myfelf in 
the boat at full length, with my face upwards, 
1 let it gradually get into the ftream at the 
water's pleafure, fomecimes for feveral hours, 
loft in thought confufed, but delicious, and 
which, without any conflant or determined 
obje<S, was neverthelefs, in my opinion, an 
hundred times preferable to every thing the 
moft charming I ever found in what is called 
pleafure. Often, informed by the fetting fun 
of the 'hour of return, I have been at fuch a 
djftance from the ifland as to be obliged to la* 



• 'f 


bour With 'all my might to get bac'k'^bcfore' 
night. At other times, inftcad of an cxcurfion 
into the ftream, I diverted myfelf by'coafting- 
the verdant banks of the ifle, whofe limpid 
waters and cooling. 0ia:des have often invited' 
rtt to bathe.' But.'my moft frequent naviga- 
tion wis. frciin the Ikrgfer to the finallcr ifle,' 
to Ufid arid, pafs there my afternoon, foQie- 
tfm^s in Walks very circumfcribcd, amidft 
arte*fnfiart, thiftfe'Sj rook-ftorfc, (hrubs of every 
kind } and fometimes^fiJ^ng myfelf on the fum* 
liiit of a fandy ctnitiencc, covered with turf, 
wild thyme, flowers, and even clover, which 
trad poffibly been formerly fown there, and 
very proper for rabbits, which*might there 
multiply in peace, and have nothing to fear, 
dr n6thing^ to fpoil". I hinted this to the 
rteward, who fent to Neufchatel for males 
and females, and we fet forward in great pomp, 
his wife, one of his fifters^ Thereft, and my- 
felf, to cftablifh them in the little ifland, where 
they began to flock before my departure, and 
where they doubtlefs profpered, if they w^re 
abl^ to fupport the rigors of winter. The 
founding this little colony was a holiday. The 
pilot of the Argonauts was not prouder than 
1\ leading rn triumph the company and the 
rabbits from the great ifland to the fmall one ; 
and 1 haughtily obferved, tliat the fteward*s 
wife, who dreaded the water to excefs, ancf 
iilways fainted on it, embarked under my com- 
m'md with confidence, without fhewing the 
leafl fear during our paifage. 

When the lake, agitated, prevented its na- 
vigation, 1 paiTed my afternoon in running 

Voi.II. L over 


zj8 TBE RBVIRIES of [W. 5. 

awtr the idaod, brrhalizls^ on this »Dd that 
fide, feating myfdf fomctimcs in the moll 
pleafing and folitary retreats^ to meditate at 
ny eafe ; fometimes 00 the terraces and heights^ 
to fatisfymy flight with the raagpificent and 
ravi&ine profpeA of the lake and its ihorc$» 

-crowned on csie fufe by neighbouring moun* 
tains, and on the other opening into rich and 
fertile plains, where fight was loft in the bloiih. 
difiant mountains which overftretched and con- 
lined them. 

When duflc approached^ I deiceoded from 
tbefe fummits of the iflc, and went and fcated 

^ myfelf on the borders of ibe . ftrand, in (bmc 
hidden retreat $ there the noUe of the waves 
and agitation of the waters, determining fenfe, 
and chaflng from my foul every other care, 
plunged it into delightful tl^oueht, where ni^bt 
li ole often on me unperceived. The ebbing 
and flowing of thefe waters, its noife conti* 
nued, but roaring at intervals, firikiog with- 
out intermiffion the eye and ear, fed in 
me the internal movement which thouehc 
had extinguiibed, and caufed me to ^feel 
iny exigence with delight, and faved me 
the trouble of thinking* There arofe^ from 
time to time, a few weak and fhort re* 
Se&.ion$ on the inftability of worldly things, 
whofe image was feen on the furface of Uie 
Uraters ^ but fuch' ligh't imprciSions were foon 
done away by the even and cenftant movement 
which lulled me, and which, without any 
a6live concurrence of my foul, engaged me, 
however, to a degree, that, fummon^d by the 
hour and iignal agreed on, I was unable to 
wreft myfelf from ic without eSbrt* 



After fupper, when the eyejung wa» fiae» 
we once more went to take\ turn on the ter-« 
r^ceytobreathe theairof tbelake and thenight* 
We xefted ourfelve^ under the paviiion^ we 
laughed, we chattered^ we fung fome old 
ibngs, which at leaft equalled modern ones,, 
and at raft went to bed^ contented with, our 
day, ^d wifliin^ fuch another on the morrow* 

This, fetting afide onforefeen <ind unwel- 
come vifits, was the manner I paiTed my time 
during my refldenceon this ifland. Let people 
afk me now what was there fo attradling as to 
caufe in my heart that "regret fo violent^ fo 
tender, and fo lading, that^c the end of fifteen 
years, it is impoffible to think on thi3 lovely 
habitation without each time being tranfported 
by rapturous defire. 

I have obferved, that, in the viciffitudes of a 
long life^ the periods of the fwec^teft enjoy- 
ments, and the livelieft pleafunes^ are not^ 
however, thofe whofe remembrance mod: win^ 
or touches me, Thefe ibort moments of de* 
Hriumand paflion, however lively they maybe, 
are no more, and that from their vivacity even, 
than very diftant points pricked on the line of 
life. They are too rare and too rapid tocon-i* 
ftit'ute a (late ; and the happinefs my heart 
regrets is not compofe:d of fugitive inftants, 
biit a fimple and permanent itace^ which has 
nothing violent in itfelf, but whofe duratioa 
tempers the charm to a degree of reaching, at 
laft, fupreme felicity. 

Every thing on earth is in a continual ebb. 
Nothing can keep a fixed and conftant forms 
an4 our affedions, attached to external things, 

L a nccef* 


ncccflarilv change with them. Always before 
or behind us, they recal the paft, which is no 
more, or anticipate the future, which perhaps 
will never be : in all that there is nothing (olid 
to which the heart can cleave. Neither have 
we here bdow fcarcely any other than paffing 
frfeafure; as to continued happinefs, I doubt, 
if It is known. There is hardly a fingle inftant 
of our Itrelieft enjoyments of which the heart 
can truly fay, / wtfi> ibis infant would lafi for 
iver. And how then can we call a fugitive 
fiate happy, which leaves uneafinefs and void 
in the heart, which leaves regret for fomething 
preceding, and hope for fomething after it ? 

But if there is a ftate in which the (bul finds 
a feat foTid enough entirely to repofe and colle£l 
there its whole being, without being obliged 
to have recourfe to the paft, or flretch towards 
the future ; where time is to her a void ; where 
the prefent continually lafts, without, however, 
denoting its duration, and without the le^ft 
fign of fucceffion, without any other fenfe of 
privation or enjoyment, of pleafure or pai«), 
hope or fear, than folely that of our exigence, 
and that this fcntiment alone is able whoHy to 
occupy it ; as long as this ftate lefts, he who 
finds himfelf in it may call himfelf happy, not 
from a poor, imperfcCT, relative happtnefs, like 
that we feel in the pleafures of life, but from a 
full, perfcft, and fuflScicnt happinefs, which 
does not Jeave the leaft void in the foul it 
would be glad to fill. This is the ftate in 
which I often found myfclf on St. Peter's 
iOand, during niy retired meditations, whether 
ftretched in my boat^ feated on the (hores of 

the * 


the agitated lake, or elfe on the banks of a" 
beautiful river, or a brook murmuring through 
the gravel. 

In what corrfifts the enjoyment of a like 
fituation ? In nothing external, nothing but 
one's felf, and our own exiftence j as long as 
this ftate lafts, we are fuflGlcient to ourfclvts, 
like God. The fenfe of exiftenccj ftripped of 
every other afFcftion, is of itfelf a precious 
ftnfe of contentment and peace, which alone 
would fiiffice to render this exiftence lovely 
'and fwect, to him who knows to rcoiove from 
"his rtiind all thofe terrestrial and fenfual im- 
pr^'flions which inceflkntly airiCe to diftra£l 
and to trouble our comfort here below. But 
the greatc'ft part of mankind, agitated by con- 
tinual paflions^ are little acquainted with this 
ftite, and, having imperfeSly tafted it a few 
moments, preferve an obfcure and confufed 
idea of it only, which does not tnable them 
to feel its charms. It would not be proper, 
even in the prcfent conftitutioii of the world, 
that, fond of thefe gentle extafies, they fhould 
take a difguft for their aSivc life, whofe con» 
tmual growing wants have prefcribed it a duty. 
Biit an unfortunate aian, whom they have 
driven from human fociety, and who is inca- 
pable df doing, cither for himfelf or other^^ 
any, good here below, may find, in fuch a 
ftate, in iJeu of every hffmaa felicity, a re^ 
compence which fortune or mankind cannot 
t^ke from him.' 

It is true, this recompence cannot be felt by 

all men, or in all ficuattona. . It is neceffaiy 

^ the heait Oiouid be at peace, -and that no pailion 

L 3 arifes 


uriCes to trouble the calm. It h neceSkry be 
who experiences it fhould have diipofitiona 
sidapted to it; they are likewiTe neoefiary iii 
the conCQurfe of furrounding obje£b. It docs 
not demand an abfolute repofe, or too great as 
agitation, but an uniform and modemte move- 
fnent, without fits or intervals.' Without 
motion, life is a lethargy^ If the movement 
IS unequal or too violent, it awakens ; in 
{hewing US furrounding objects, it deftroys the 
charms of thought, ancTtears us from ourfelves, 
inllantly to reftore us to the bonds of fortune 
and man, and brings us back to a fenfe of our 
misfortunes. 'An abfolute ftlence leads to fad- 
jiefs : It reprefcnts the image of deaths Then 
the fuccour of an happy imagination is necef- 
fary, and offers naturally enough to thofe who 
have received that bleifing from Heaven. The 
movements, which do not externally arifc^ 
are then felt within us. The repot^ is lefs^ 
^tis true, but it is alfo more agreeable, when 
light and jgentle thoughts^ without diihirbing 
the rnwarofoul, do nothioc more than lighter 
touch thefurface. There ihould be only joic 
enough to recoIle£l ourfelves, and forget aU 
bur misfortunes. This kind of medttatipa^ 
may be gratified in every place where tran* 
iquilllty IS found ; and I have often thought) 
that in theSaftDle^ and even in a dungeon 
where no obje^ ftruck^'the fight, i could fiil| 
ineditate agreeably. 

But I muft own, I could do it mofe agree* 

ably in a fruitful and folitary iile, naturally 

\circumfcribed and divided from the reft of 

lihe world, where none but fjniUng foroiy 



were fcen, nothing to reca! my forrows paft; 
where the fociety of a fnjall number of inha- 
|jitants wad affabie and mild, withoot engaging 
me fo as to occupy me always i Where 1 could, 
the whole day, in fine, , abandon myfelf, 
without obftacie, or without the occupation^ 
of my taftes, to the fofteft leifure. The oc- 
cafion was, doubtlefs, fine for a penfive man, 
who, feeding on agreeable chimeras, amidft 
the moft unpleafant objeds, could glut him- 
felf at eafe by profuring a concourfe of all 
that really ftrack the fenfes. On awaking 
from my Jong and peaceful meditation, per- 
ceiving myfelf furrounded by Howers, birds» 
and verdure, permitting my wandering fiffht 
to rove remote over ro mant ic fliores,by which 
a vaft extent of waters clear and cryftalline 
was Oiut in, I affimilated every lovely objeft 
to my fictions, and, having at 1 aft a. knov/- 
ledge of myfelf, and. that which .furroUnded 
tne, Iwas unable to guefs the pomt which, 
ieparated fiilion from reality ; fo much d|id all 
combine to render dear my beloved abodd. 
Uh f could I ca^ it back once more t Could 
I but end my days in this charming ifle, 
withoHt evermore ftirring from it, or feeing 
a iingle inhabitant of the continent, who 
could remind me of all thofe calamities which 
have fo many years united to overwhelm me I 
J^]l (bould t>e for ever ft ruck from my me- 
mory : dbubtlefs I ihould not be equally fbr« 
got by the world i but what of that, provided 
no one had acceis to difturb my peace i De« 
livered from every worldly paffion the tumult 
of fociat life engenders, my foul w<>uld frc'i- 

L 4 ^uentlf 

124 THE ^tVERlES OF {W.5. 

Siently rife above this attnofphere. an<I^ be- 
re-hand, conv^rfe with thofe celettial beings 
whofe number it hopes ibon to encreafe. 
Men will take care, I know, not to gi^e back 
'fo fwect an afylum from which they already 
'have taken me ; but they cannot prevent me 
from daily conveving myfelf there on the 
wings of imagination, and tafting the fame 
plcafurc a$ when I was really there. All I 
ibould do with more delight would be to think 
•with more eafe. lo imagining I am there, 
is k not the fame thing ? It is even more ; 
to the charm of an abftrad and monotone 
meditation, I Join delightful images which 
^enliven it. 1 heir obje^is often efcaped my 
fenfes during my extafy, and now, the more 
.my meditations are profound, the greater 
expreffion^hey give them. I am often njore 
'amongft them, and more agreeably too, than 
when I was there in reality. The misfortune 
Is, that ftill asmy imagination weakens, theie 
things ftrike me more flowly and ftay but a 
ihort while, Alas ! 'tis when we begin tp 
;ieave this body It moft offends the mind. 





WE have hardly any mechonical movie^ 
. ment whofe caufe i$ not to be founi 
in our heart, if we are acquainted with tbfi 
manner of feekiag k. ? . . 

Yefter^ay paffing along the new Boule* 
yard, to gp herbaFizin^ algng the Bievr^, 
towards Gentilly, I. made a turn to the right 
as I came near the Hell barriers keeping 
towards ^be country Itoojk the FontaineUeau 

.road, to reach the heights which border .on 
that river. The walk was indifferent in itielf; 

'.but, on recollefliQg I had feveral time^mo* 
chanically t^kei» the fame compafy, I fougiu 
the caofe within myielf, and co«)d.iioC he}|^ 
laughing on finding it* 

in' a comer of the Boolevaid, going .fr<Mti 
the Hell ^arrier^ a woman daily pofts herfelf 
in fummer^ to fell fruit, ptifan, and half* 
penny rolls. The woman has a little boy, 
very fmart, but lame, who, walking with 
difficulty on his crutches, comes with a pretiy 

.good grace to aflc charity of thofe who pa&. 

fl had fccaped a kind of acquaintance wi^ 
this little fellow ; he never failed each time 

;1 palled to come and pay me his little confi- 
pliment, followed by my little offering. 
For fbmc time I was happy to fee him,, and 
gave him freely, and continued doing ff, 
with the fame pleafure, often joinif^g that of 
exciting and liftening to bis little , ptattif, 
: L 5 which 


which I found agreeabk. . This pleafare^ bv 
degrees growiof into habit, becaoae, I don t 
know bew^ transforoied into an obligatioii 
of which I foon felt the conflraint, pacticti-* 
larly. from the preliminary iiarangue I nmft 
iMir.and in which he never failed often calKng 
ine M. Rciifleau, to (hew he knew me well^ 
:which, on the'oomrary^ proved he knew mt 
no better than thofc wh^ bad inftruAed 
'Wtti. Jrom tfist lime I pafed that way U& 
willingly, and tt lail got mech«aieaily (bt 
•habit of often makit^ a lound when I gdt 
^ear this eroffWay* 

This is what I difcoveredon refledion ; for 
liothtni of all this had till then difHn6l)y pre- 
sented rtfclf to my thoughts. This obfervation 
fudceffively reeaBcd to me a multitnde of 
^bers which fnttt oonfirMiod nle, that di^ 
^Mt ftUd r«il meeivis of the great«ft part df 
my actions are npt fo chsar totmtal lotig 
imagined them. I know and t feel, that to 
■do good 16 the eneateft happinefs a man eah 
enjoy ; but it is long fince this happinefs hm 
been put oat of my reach, and it §9 net ih 
lb miierablea deftinyas mine I can hope to 
lio, with choice and fruir,a fingle a6Uon truly 
good. The greateft care of thofe who goverii 
my fste having been that every thing, ifi 
refpeft to me, was Ao more than falfe and 
treacherous appearaocc, a motive trf Ttrttte k 
but a decoy laid to draw me into the net in 
which |hey would entangle me. I know it } 
I know the only future good in my power is 
•to abftain from adingt for fear of doing wrong 
Without wiibing or knowing al» 
• ' But 



But there have bem happier times, vfaei^ 

foUowiog the aiotions of my heart, I ^could 

ibmetimes make another heart faapj^ i auid £ 

:- ought to do mjrielf this honourable juftice,tha^ 

' every time I could tafte this pleaAire, I founav 

. jt Tweeter than any other. This defire was 

lively, real, and pui^^ snd AOtMng viiithai 

.me ever in the leait belied it. I nav«, c^evefr 

thelefs, felt the weight of my own fcindncA 

by the chain 6f obligations it 4lrew afier it ^ 

the pleafiire then disappeared, and I no longer 

found,in a contiiiuatipn of the (ame ate^ntionft 

which had charmed me, any thiog but a coo* 

firaint almoft infuf^rtable. During m^ lho4t 

profperity,many people had recourfeio«me,a(Hl 

never in any fcrvice I was able to do thetn 

was any perfon f efufed ; buit froor thefe^nd- 

nefles, lavifhed with a pi^<M(fioa. of. ihcstfi, 

crissv .out a.-.chaiii of fuiCce$vo^ei^sg<|r9ea^s I 

mA not focB^een, and whofe hoods I eotiU 

ju>t OiakisofF* My firft fervicfiswere, jA fjbe 

ev^ of thofe !wiK> received dtem^t an^rneft 

lOf more wliich miift (follow.; aod the niomant 

an.|infoctuaate perfi^ jbad thrown the grapj^ 

. of a l^^daet,r^eiv«d J *f vva^ ^ o^t «» f«*tuf<[f 
:aod tbis-^r^. fr^ and v^^UlKary l^uftdo^ iiO- lodi^'rmmatQ tie. for ^11 thoji^.hiB 

« .^ght afterwar4s^ liv^nt^. ^iibout ifurinlrity 

. oren tbeing able to-eiqempt me« Thus it was, 

^tny moft ^miahle pleafuf es weise itranefoinned 

into httrtbenfome.ob^ligations, 
. Thefe chains- ^id isor, however, feem *&> 

heavy, whiIft,ttAknownbyvtbe pahlkj,. I livp:i 
. jiv obfcoi^U^ ; but when ORpe iny .^erfon was 

.made known by my wiicings, a grave fault 

L 6 without 

128 T y E. J8,E; Y ^kl £.3 O F. f \V.^ . 

'♦r ".*•-. -.. .-•'-. * ' ' , * 

without doubt,, but.mor^ than expiated, hj 
«iy thisforttines, frdni thence T becfame ' tl^e 
Wncril sihtcrtigcnccr-'ofiicc to aH the necd^, 
or that called, them fe|tTs fo, to every adv^it- 
^ufer who fought out a 9ape» to all thofe who, 
ten' pr^t^xt of the great credit they chofe to 
Wtribufe to rine, wifeed^ to lay hold of me by 
*>me meirts or other. It was then I had 
reafon to kndw, that evtry propcnfity of. na- 
ture, ktndnefe itfelf not ^excepted, carried or 
followed in focitty without prudence dr choice, 
thanges \\s nature and often becomes sis 
froublefome as it was nfi^ful in its'firft direc- 
tion. So many cruel cxperiniehts changed 
•by little my firft difpofitiotis, of rather con- 
'fihed them at laft within their' true bounds ; 
they taujght me to folIo# lefs blindly my 
-propenfity for doing good, when it ferved only 
to favour another's wkkednefs. ' 

But I am not forry at thefe experiments, 
A8 they procured, oh reflefiipn, new inftni&ioti 
oa the knowledge of myfelf, and on the true 
motives of my condu<St. on a thoufknd occal* 
fioffs itl which I fo often deceived myfelf. I 
found, that to ido good with plealure, I muil 
ke at liberty, without conftraiht ; and that to 
deprive ntxe of all the fweetnefs of a good 
a£tiofi,'it was fufficientit becathe my dut^« 
From thence the weight of obligartpn makes 
a burthen^^of the moft charming delights ; 
and, as I have faid in Emilms, I think, I 
had in Turkey made a very poor buKbanti 
at the hour the public trier invites them to 
fulfil the duties ol^ their calHng. 

This it it which greatly i&bdfiies the 
• , ' ' opinion 




opinion I long had. of my own virtue; for 
there' i$ none in foHowitig our inclinations, 
ancr ptdcuring ourfelvfes, wheitthty invite us, 
the pfcdfure iof doing good ; but it confiftg 
In vanqui(hing them v^hen yuty Commands, 
in order to' do what rt prefctibes', and this i^^ 
"of all men In theworld, what I could leaft 
do. . Born with' fine feelings and good-hatur^, 
'extending pity €yen tb weakne&, and feeling 
an exaltation of the ibul at every thing whicn 
fceraed gcrterofityvt 'was. humane,* benevolent, 
willing toxelievefrom indination, and even 
from paffioni as long a$, my heart 'only was 
engaged : f^hid been the beft and moft mef* 
ciful of men, bad 1 beeii the moft powerful ; 
and to extinguifh' in me every defire of re- 
venge, it bad fufficed I had been able to re- 
venjge myfelf» I had, even without paitf, 
be^n juft agaihft iny own intereft, but againft 
^tihat of thofe I efteemed I could not fo yeadify 
"^^tertoitk;. ' Whenever my duty and my heart 
were in contradiction, the firft had SfMom 
*tiie:vi^ry, unlefs the queftion was folely 
abffaining ; then I was in general firong ^ but 
'to ad: agaihft my indination was always ioii* 
'poflihhe. Whether it be man, duty, or even 
oeccffity'cotfimands, if my heart is filent, vtif 
will remains deaf, and. I cannot obey, I fte 
the evil threatening me, I fuffer it to reach 
me rather than a<!tt to prevent it. I fometimea 
'begin with an effort, but this eflfort tires aild 
wears me; I canhot continue. Every Ima-* 
ginabie thing I cannot do with pivafure, foon 
becomes aq impoffibiliry. ' ^ 

'^ Nknti C^uiftj^aitit^ coincid ?ng whh my wilh; 




{uffices Co deftroy itt tni €hait|;e it to rqyiig- 
'nance» to averfion evcn« if it is in the kaft 
iafipcrious: this it is which renders paioful i 
every good wofk vhich is exafiedt and which i 
I did of royfelf when it was not exxBttis A 
'kindaefs purely gratuitous is certainly an ac- 
tion I love to dp ; but when he wha has f««' 
ceived it changes it to a xight» in order to 
exa£l its continuation on pain of his iU-will^ 
when he impofes the law of oiy being for 
ever his benefador^ becaufe I. had pleafure in 
being lb» thence conftraint begins, and the 
pleafure vani(hes« What I tb^ doy if I yields 
is weakneft and baflifulnefs, bdt the will no 
longer goes with it : far from applauding my* 
fe)f, I in my confciencc reproach myfelf of 
doinc^ood unwillingly. 

I know there is a kind of contraA, and 
l9ie ftrongeft of all contra^ between the he^ 
nefador and the obliged. *Ti$ a fort of Co* 
ciety they form, between each other^ fbridcr 
than that which in general unites mem; ajsd 
when the obliged tacitly engages himj^ifco 
j;ratitude, the henefadlor likcwti^ is 0B|«al|jr 
engaged to the other to prtkxmf fb Jocg: as 
he does not render hiaifelf Moworthy^ tltilt 
/bmt attemions he jbis alrea(iy experieiKeci, 
jand jto renew his proofs, of it tvtrf time it is 
>.equired| *f>r that' he has it in his power. 
T^hofe are not the ekprefs conditions, hut 
Afj are Ihe joataial cnQi£t& pf the relations 
they haye rfetjiled between xhim* He who 
for the firft time refu/es a^^atuitous fervice 
j|flied»i;ives no right of cqm^JUint to hjni he 
lias jrd'ufed s hat M whoia a ViJLe otfe equally 



tefufes the ftme favour he bad granted before* 
crofies a hope he had authorized to be con^ 
' ceived, he deceives and baulks the expe^cioii 
fae- created. We feel, in the refusal, /ome- 
thing of I dop't know how unjuft, and more 
"Cruct than In the other ; ^ut it is not lefs the 
^eSkSt of an inde|)endence the heart is fond of» . 
tm<t which it cannot renounce vrithout effort.^ 
If I pay a debt, *tis a duty I owe i if ! be-* 
^w a gift, 'tis a pleafure I procure myfclf. 
Thus the ^leafure of doing our duty is of 
%hofe virtue gives birth to : thofe which pro** 
treed immediately from nature are not fo ela* 

Prom fo many iad experiments, I have 
learnt diftantly to forefee the confequences of 
ay firft uninterrupted movements, and have " 
oneA abftained from a good deed I bad the 
defire and ability to do, dreading the obliga- 
tion to which, in the end, I was going to 
fiAjeft myfelf, did I inconiiderately give into 
it. I did not always feel this dread ; on thip 
contrary, I efteettied myfelf, in my youth^ 
'for my own good deeds, and have often like- 
"wife ^xperiehced that the friend&ip of thofe 
I obliged proceeded from gratitude ftill 
more xhan from intereft. But things much 
changed in this fefpefl, as in every other, Z3 
'{oon as my misfortunes commeiK:ed< I from 
thence lived amongft a new generation which 
did not refemble the firft, and my feelings fojc 
'Others have fuffered the change I (aw in theirs. 
The fame peffons 1 haVc fucceffively, feen in 
tbefe two, fo different, ^ecierations, are, in a 
^manlier, fiitce:$tely inAr)^ated into each 

' other: 


other : from plain and (iqcere, &s they were 
•at firft, they are become what they arc, aoj 
l)ave done like other); ^ad for no other rea- 
fon than that times are changed, the men have 
changed with them. Ah 1 how can J retaia 
the fame feotiments for thoFe in whom I fin4 
the oppofite to that which created them ! I 
do not wiih them lUy becaufe I cannot wifh 
ariy one ill ; bat I am not proof againft tbe 
contempt they mei-it^ nor can I abftam from 
letting them fee ft. 

Perhaps, without perceiving it, I myfelf am 
changed more than I (bould have done* 
What nature could- hold out without being 
impaired, in a fituation refemhling miner 
Convinced by twenty years experience, that 
every happy diipofition Nature implanted m 
my heart is turned by my fate, and tbofe who 
difpofe of it, to the prejudice of myfelf and 
others, I ean no longer regard a eood deed 
which IS prppbfed to me but as a ^coy beU 
out. Under whfch is an hidden evil. I know,, 
that, whatever be the effeft of the deed, I 
Ihould have neverthelefs the merit of my good 
ititen^ioiT. Yes, the merit, no doubt, goes 
.with it, but the internal pleafure does not ;. 
and whenever that Simulation fails, I feel no- 
thing but coldnefs aiid indifference within ^ aji4 
certain, that, inftead of doing an u(efui a£iion, 
I only zSt the dupe, the indignation of fel£* 
love joined to the denial of r^afon, .infpir^ 
nothing but repugnance and oppoiltion, when 
in my natural ftate I had been nothing but 
ardour and ieal. 

There are kinds of Wverfitjiei wSlch elevate 


and firen^hoi the ipind, but there are like- 
wife others which daunt and overwhelm it ; 
'tis of this fort I am the prey. Had ^here 
been but the leaft bad leaven in mine, it had 
made it ferment to excefs, it had made liie 
frantic ; but it has made me nothing more than 
infignificant. Not in a fiate of doing a good 
aftion for myfelf or my neighbour, I abfiain 
froni afllon ; and this ftate, which is only 
innocent as being forced, caufes me a kind of 
delight, in wholly abandoning myfelf, with* 
.out reproach, to my natural feelings. J 
doubtlefs go too far in avoiding the occafions- 
'for aftion, even where I perceive but virtue 
in it. But, certain I am not permitted to lee 
things^as they are, 1 abftain from judging tlie 
appearance they give them ; a^id, by whatever 
veil they cover the ijiotives of aftion, it fwffi- 
ces that )hefe -motives are left within my reach 
to aflure me they are decoys. 

My fates feem to have fpread, from my 
childhood, the firfl: net which has long made it 
(o eafy for me to fall into every other. 1 am from 
my birth the mofl; confident of men, and during 
forty years entire my confidence- was never 
once abufed. Dropping all at.o^ce into and- 
thei^ order of men and things, t have given 
into a thoiifand ambushes, without ever per* 
Iceiving onej and twenty' years experience 
Ijavc ftrarCely fufficed^ to enlighten me. Once 
{convinced thbfe hypo'criticar'demonftration* 
they heaped on me were ^no more than illur* 
lion anid falfhpod, I rapidly pafled to the other 
jpxtremity i for, once out of our natural courle^ 
lib ^boudds can contain us^ Tken I grew 

^ ^'^ -* '-' ; • '-■ '■' difguftcd 



difgufted with mankind ; and my urill concur- 
ring with theirs in this refpeS, keeps me far- 
ther from them than all the engines they 

Do all they cah, my repugnance cannevex 
reach averfion. When I think how depend- 
ent they have made themfelves on me, to 
keep me dependent on them, they excite my 
real pity. Though I am unhappy, they are 
To like wife j every time I look into myielf, I 
find them worthy compaffion. Perhaps pride 
icrecps a little into thefe judgments s I feel 
myfelf too much above them to hate them : 
in finei I love myfelf too well Co hate any 
man whatever* This -would be limiting, 
contraAing my exigence, and I would with 
father to extetid it over the univerfe. 

I had rather (bun than hate them. Their 

afpefl ftrikes my fenfef , and through them my 

hearty with imprefBons which a thoufaod cruel 

looks render painful ; but the uneafinefs leavos^ 

me the moment the objed which caufed it iUr 

appears. They employ my thoughts, in (pite 

-^jf myfelf^ bv their prefedce, but never by mjr 

imemorv. when they are from my fi^bt, thejr 

^ are as oefore th^y exifted. 

' Thev afeiifdifferent to me na £irther than 

theyfefateto me^ for in their relations toge* 

ther, they mav ftill ^lfc£t'Znd move me, as tht 

^erfonages or a play I might fee roprefen ted. 

IVf V morar being muft be ablolutely annihilatod 

l^efore juftice becomes indifFeient to me. The 

fight of injuftice and villainy flill makes mv 

boil with ra|e ; a£ts of virtue, where i 
ftrceive neither tticlu nor ofteotation, always 



melt my heart with joy^ accompanied by tt^r» 
of contentoMnt* But I muft feq and rate 
ihem myfelf ; for, after what has happened to 
roe» I muft be out of my fenfes to adopt, oa 
«fly matter whatfoever, the judgment of man, 
•nd believe any ' one thing on the faith of 

Were my perron and features as little known 
to mankind aa my difpofition and cfaarader, 
I could ftill, without trouble, live amongft 
them. Their con^ny Ynight even pleafe me 
aa long as I remained ^inknown. Following 
without conftraint my natural inclinations, I 
ihottld Hill befriend them, whilft their thoughta 
were unemployed on nie« I could exercife on 
them unfverlal benevolence, perfe<Slly difm* 
terefted ; but, without ever forming particular 
connexions, of bearing the yoke of obliga^* 
lion, 1 would do for them, freely and of my«> 
hit, cfnty. tbitig they have to much trouble 
im incke by their own j^pearance, luid extort 
by all their laws. 

Had I reoiataed free, obTcurc^ londy, as I 
0a^ made ao be, I bad been truly generous^ 
ior^ at my beast, I have nodeftra^ive paffion* 
If I bad been tovffiblr and all powerful as 
'God, i.ihouU faawe been benefioentaiid good 
as he ia. . 'Tis power and liber^ creatos good 
snen. Impoteiica and flavery never produced 
aught -but villains. Had I poflefled Gyge'a 
ftng« it would haae transformed my depend* 
enceon man into his dependence on me. I hatt 
arften aflced myfetf, during my caftles in the 
air, what 1^ lihouU l)avc^niade of this fingj 
fsf it is then that the temptation of abufe muft 



Nearly accompany power. Mafter of gratifying 
iny wi(hes, able to do sn^ thing, without being 
"ahletobedeceivecl byany man^wbatcouJd Ihave 
pofEbly defired with any fuccefs i Only one 
iMng ; to give contentment to all hearts. The 
fMrofpoft of public felicity bad foleiy-beeh able 
to touch my heart with a permanent fenti- 
ment ^ and the ardent defire of concurring to 
it had been my moft conftant paffion. AK 
ways juft without partiality, and alwslys good 
nvithout weaknefs, 1 (boutd have been equalJy \ 
on my guard againft blind fufpicion and im- 
f lacable malice ; becaufe, feeing men juft as 
ihey are, and e^fily reading the bottom of 
their hearts, I fhouid have found fome 
among them amiable enough to merit my 
whole efieen^ ; few fuifictently -odious to me^ 
rit all my fptte^ and whofe malice had difpofed 
me. to pity them, from the certain icnowledge 
«f the hiurtthey do thcnifelves in endeavour- 
ing to hurt eiheis. Sometimes, perhaps, in 
my moments of gaiety, I iboutd have i>eeft 
taken with' the childiflinefs of working pro* 
digies i bsxts perfedly difinterefled as to myfel^ 
and having no law but my natural indiaa- 
(ftions, for a few a£U of fcvere jmftice^ I Ihould 
Juve done a thofifand equkablc and «]e^ 
Aient «ncs« Minifter of Providence, .and:di&> 
'^ofer of its laws, according totny power, I 
ihbuld have worked.Bitraclea, -wtfeir and more 
ufcfui than-tbofe in the Ir<e of tke faiotSy and 
ihe tomb of St. Medard. 
. . There is but one fide point in ^idi the 
/acuity of penctratifig iflto all places invi- 


fibly would have tfaruft tne into temptations I 
fliould have poorly refiiled, and, once gone, 
out of the way< who knows where I might. 
not have been led to ? It would be knowing 
very little of nature and myfelf to fuppofe 
theie faculties woujd not have feduced me, or 
that reafon ytrould faaveitopped me on- this fatal , 
defcent. Sure of myfelf In every other article, , 
I £hould have been loll on that alone. He| 
whpfe power fets him above mankind, fhouM^ 
be alfo above human weaknefs, without which 
this excefs of force would only feirve to reduce 
hin)>.in effeil, lower than others, and to what 
he hirpfelf would have been, if he had re-» ' 
mained their equal. . * 

, All well confidered, 1 fancy I (hould do *^ 
well to throw away my magic ring, l>efore it 
lead? me to ibme folly. Jf mankind perfifts/ 
in feeing itie quite different to what I am, ^i\i, 
that my ftght irritates their injuftice, to de-' 
prive them of this fight I muft flyfroni them,'' 
but not vaftifli from among them. It is their 
place to hide themfelves from me, to conceal 
their workings, to fly the light of ihe day, and, ' 
like moles, work under the earth. For my* 
part, let ibem fee me if they can, fo much the 
better ; but that's impofEble ; they will always ' 
fee, inftead of me, the J. J, they themfe!^^es .' 
have made, and made to their wifb, id defpife * 
him as they pleafe. I am to blame, then, to ^ 
be aflFeAed at the maniler they fee me ; I 
ought not to be in the lead concerned at it,, 
for it is not me they thus fee. 

The concludoh I isim able to draw from all ' 
tbefe refle&ioos is^ that I never was truly' 

adapted . 



adapted to fociety where all is conftnint, obli- 
gation, devoirs ; and that my independent dii^ 
pofition always rendered me incapable of a 
ftd>jedion nec^!kry to him who wifiies to be 
ibmething in the world. 

Whilft I zSt freely, I am good for ibme- 
thing, and I do good ; but the moment I feel 
the yoke, whether of neceffity, whether of 
iQan, I become rebellious, or ftubbOrn rather ; 
then I am good for nothing. When I muil z€t 
contrary to my will, I do it not, whatever 
be the confequence. Neither do I even my will, 
b'ecaufe I am weak. I.abftain from adion : for 
all my weaknefs is for a<Sion, all my ftrength 
negative ; my iins are.all of omiifion, feldom 
of commi0ion. I never believed man's liberty 
ccndfled in doing that he wifhed, but chiefly 
in never doing that he did not wifh > and this 
i$ what I have always claimed, often prefcrved, 
and in which I have moftly oiFended my co^ 
temporaries. As to them, a£tive, reftlefs, am- 
bitious, detefiing liberty in others, and refu- 
iing it themfclves, provided they fometimes 
did their will, or rather governed that of others^ 
they were flaves their whole life- time to what 
they defpife, and omit nothing fervile, in or- 
der to comnofand^ They were not wrong, 
therefore,' in excluding, me from fociety as a 
ufelefs member, but m profcribine me as a 
pernicious one : for I have done Tittle good 
1 allow ;. but harm never once in my life en- 
tered my will^ and I doubt whether there 
exifts a man who really has done lefs than 
myfelf. , x 


W. 7.] rm SOLITARY WALKER, a^j 


THE collcftion gf my Ions; reveries is 
hardly tcgun, an4 they already incline 
towards their end. Another amufement fuc- 
oseds it, abforbs aie, and deprives me of time' 
to meditate. ' I give myfelf to it with a fond- 
nefs bordering on extravagance, and which^ 
noakes evert me laugh when I refleA on it; 
but I give mvfelf up to it neverthelefs, be- 
c^ufe, in my fituation, I have no other rule of 
c^nduft than wholly following my inclination 
^thout reftraint. I am unable to alter my 
deftiny} I have none but innocent incHna- 
ttons ; and every opinion of mankind being 
i4i future of no confequence to me, prudence 
requires, that, in all which remain within my 
reach, I do any thing that pleafes me, whether 
in public or apart by myfelf, without any 
other rule than my fancy, and without any 
either meafure than that of my remaining 
firength. {lere I am, then, regardlefs of 
nourifliment, and given up to botany for my 
whole occupation. Though old, 1 had al* 
ready received the firft tinSure of it in Swit- 
zerland, in company with the DoSor of Iver- 
nois, and had herbalized happily enough during 
ihv travels, to get a knowledge of the vege- 
table kingdom : but being arrived at an age of 
ihore than llxty, and a life more than feden- 
tary, ftrength beginnin| to fail me for great 
b^ibalizingSy and, befides, fufficiently atten- 

%^o ♦ THE REVERIES OF [W.y. 

tive to my copies of mufic to have no need of 
other employmeni, L.bad abandoned, that 
{amufemettl a8.no1ong»F-n«ceffiiry-s I had eon- 
eluded my herbal, and fold my books, con- 
tenting myfdf with the fight ibmetimes of the 
comnion plants I.faw in my walks round Paris. 
During this interval,- the little I knew has al- 
moft wholly efcaped my memory^ and much, 
more rapidly than it was implanted there* 

All Sit once, at more than three- fcore and 
five years old, deprived of the little ftreiigth 
that enabled me to hunt round the fields, with- 
out guide* without books, without an herbal 
even, I am once more faken with this folly, 
but with much more ardour than when I ap- 
plied to it the firft time; here I am fcrioufiy 
occupied in the fage proje<3 of learning by 
heart the whole rignum Vig^tahiU of Murray, 
and in a know]e^;e of every known plant on 
the globe. Npt m a fituation to purchafe 
books on botany again, I have begun tranfcrib- 
ing thofe I have, borrowed, rcfolvcd to make a- 
nother hcrba],rither than the former, hoping to 
put into it every herb of the fea and the Alps, 
and every tree the Indies produce. I fliall 
begin with the pimpernel, chervil, borigc, and 
groundfel 5 1 herbalize learnedly on ihe (ides of 
my bird-cage, and on every little bit of heib I 
meet with, I repeat to myfelf with fatisfa^ion. 
This i5, however, one plant more. 

1 ihall not endeavour to juflify my refolu- 
tion to follow this fancy; 1 think it very rca-. 
fonable, perfuaded, that, in the fituation I am, 
to devote myfelf to aipuiements which pleafe 
me is great prtidence, and great virtue too : 



,'ris irmcahs of pteventitig any lean^en ioT^ha- 
ftre'd or xcengcance growing up in my hearty 
«iid to* deftiny a tafte for^ny.amufefc- 
jsent, I miift certainly kaye a difpolition well 
•]^Hirged from every irrafcible paffion. This k 
'licing revenged of my perfecutors in my ma^^ 
n^t; Ixaofxit'punifh them more cruelly than 
'by^ being happy. 

Yes, doirbtleft, reafon permits, prefcribes 
rtob, that I abandon myfelfto every indination 
■ which engages me, artd which nothing can pre- 
vent nrefrom^ilowing ; but it does not in- 
.form me why this imilination invites me, and 
what charms I can find in a vain ftudy, with- 
out pmiit, without progi^fe, and which recals 
tne, wlio am old, a dotard, already decayed 
amd burthenibme, without motion, without 
memory^ to the cxcrcifes of youth, and the 
lefibns of a fchool^boy. NoWi it is an extra- 
>vagance I would wifh to explain ; it appears to 
me, that, well cleared 'up, it might throw fonie 
new-light on that knowledge of ttiyfelf io 
which 1 confecrate my laft fpare time. ' 

1 have fometimes thought profoundly, b«t 

-feldom with pleafure, almoft always agaiilft 

my will, and as it were by force ; reveries r^- 

lax and divert me, reflection dulls and fatigues 

-me; thinking was always to me a painful oe- 

cupation without charms. Sometimes my re- 

.Teries ended in meditation, but my meditations 

-much oftencr .ended in reveries. My foiil, 

.nvhile rambling, flutters round th6 liniveffe 

on the wings of imagination/ and melts into 

extafies which furpaft ti)OUghrC« 

Vol. II. . U As 

4r% THE REV£RIES:OF. [W.7, 

As long as I could tafie all its purity, 
ftvtry other-occupation was iniipid : buty when 
once thrown into die career of literature by 
foreign impulfes, I found the fatigue of die 
labours of the mind, and the troubles of unfor- 
tunate celebrity, I at the fame time found my 
reveries grow weak and languid; and,. foon . 
obliged, againft my wilt, to employ my thoughts 
on my unhappy fituatioa, I was unable but 
rarely to bringbacktbofc lovely extaiks which 
for fifty years had ferved in" lieu of &me and 
fortune, and, without other expence than time, 
had mademe in my leiiure hours, the happieft 
of men. 

I had likewife to fear, lefl, in my reveries, 
my imagination, roufed by my di&fiers, (houid 
turn its a<^vity towards them, and left the 
continual fcnfe of my mifery, oppreffing my 
heart by degrees, (hould atlaft overwhelm me 
'.by its weight In this ft.ite, a natural infttnd, 
bidding me fly every fad idea, foon impofed 
tlikoce on my imagination, and, fixing my at* 
tendon on furroundihg objects, for the iicfl 
time, forced me to afialyfe the wonders of Na- 
ture, which, till then, I had feldom contem- 
pjated but together. 

Trees, (hrubs, plants, ' are the earth's 

cloathing and ornaments. Nothing is fo dif- 

mal as the afpe£t.of a country naked and 

; ftripped, which expofes nought to our fight 

, but marfhes, ftone, and fahd : but, enlivened 

I by Nature, and cloathed j'n its wedding- fuit, 

« amidft ftreams of water, and the melody of birds, 

the earth lenders man, in the harmony of the 



^hrec kingdoms, the fpc£facl« 6f life, delight^ 
and* charms, the only fight ia the world which 
does not tire both eyes ^nd heart. 

The more fenfible the foul of a contempJa-* 

five man 15, the more he abandons it to the 

extafics this harmony excites.* A reverie foft 

'and deep invades all bis fenfes ; he finks with 

delightful ebriety into the immenjity of that 

'beautiful fyftem, whofe feeming oppofites fo 

'forcibly flrike him.. *Tis theii m abftraft ob- 

je<^s (hun him, and he fees and feels but in the 

"whole. Some particular circumftance muft 

obftrudl his ideas, and bound his imagination^ 

if he can obferve in detail that umverfe he 

laboured to embrace. 

' This naturally happened to mc, when my 

mind, opprefled by forrow, fecalled and con- 

'centred all its impulfes around itfelf, to pre-* 

ferve the remains of ardour almoft evaporated 

/and extiiiguiflied by the heavioefs into which I 

fell by degrees. 1 wandered fupinely in the 

woods and on the mountains, not daring to 

think, for fear of reviving my afflidions. My 

' imagination, not extending to objects of pain, 

' fofFercd my fenfes to follow thore nimble but 

charming imprefliohs of furrounding objeds^ 

'My eyes inceffantly roved from one t9 the 

other, and it was impoffible but, in a variety fo 

great, fome muft be found which attra£l^ 

them moft, and fixed them the longeft. 

1 became fond of this recreation of the fight^ 

which, in an unfortunate man, repofes, amu(bs, 

diverts the mind, and fufpends the fenfe of his 

' oiiferies. The nature of the objects greatly 

a£fts the diverfion) and renders it more fe-* 

Ma ducingy 

• J144 I'HE REVERIES OF fW.7. 

ducing. Th« fragrant fmdl, the lively, colours^ 
the moft clcgant^orins, feem to difpute ^iih 
emulation the right of fixing our attention* 
Nothing but a love oF pleafure is neceflary to 
follow fenfations fo £bft.; and, if thi$ effect is. 
not .produced on all tbofelvhoare ftruck with 
theiyi, 'tis Wjantof xwtHral fom(^ 
aiK]> in the greiat^ft part, that their mind, top 
much employed op other notions, devotes Jtfeif 
by ilealth only to pbjcils which ftrike the 

Another caufe which contributes to withdraw 
the attention of men of tafte from the vegeta- 
ble kingdom, is, the cpftom of fecking nothing 
more in plants than drugs -and medicines. 
Theophraftus thought differently of it ; and this 
philoiopher may be confidered as the. only bo* 
tanift of antiquity : neither is he much known 
amorio; us ; but, thanks to a certain Diofcori- 
des, a great compiler of recipe?, and to his com- 
mentators, phyfi^ has fo far taken pofleilion of 
plants transformed into fimples, that we fee 
nothing but what we do not fee ; that is, the 
pretended, virtues it pleafes diif^^rent men to 
attribute %o them. They cannot conceive how 
vegetable organization can of itfelf defer ve any 
attention : people who. fpend their lives in 
learnedly placing {heljs, ridicule botany as an 
vfelefs uudy, if not joined, as they fay,' to that 
of its propel ties ; that is, if we will not give iip 
pur obfervat;ions on Nature, which does not lie, 
' and which feys'nothing of all this, folely to 
follow the authority of mtn who are liars, and 
who affirm a great bfi any ihi'.gs we muft be- 
lieve on their word, which itfelf is moft often 



founded on private intereftv Stop in an cna*- 
melkd' mrad, and examine fucceffively the 
ft>wers v^th' which it (biries, thofe who pcr^- 
cdve you, taking you fdra bafber-furgeon* 
willsrfefire feme herbs that ture the* fcald liv 
child Pcnv the itch in man, or the glanders ilv 
iKJffes. Thisdifguftftil prejuditeis partly de*- 
ftpayed in other countries, particularly in Eng*. 
land, thanks to Linnaeus, who has drawn bo- 
tany a- little from the fchools of pharmacy, to 
Jtftorc it to natural Wftory and oec6nomicat 
ufes; but in France^ where' this ftudy has not? 
fo much penetrated <among people in general, 
they ftill remain fo barbarous, that a Paris wit^ 
feeing at London the garden of a virtuofo 
filled with uncommon plants and trees, cried 
out, as its grealeft praife, H^hat a charming 
IdrJ^npt an apothetaty f By this reckoning, 
tte^ firft apothecary was^ Adam ; for it- is not 
eafy to imagifie a gafdto better Hocked with 
pljints rfcamc^kat of Itdien.- 

Th^efc; medicinal' notions are' c^tainly not 
lb« prdpcreft to raak-e the ftiidy of botany 
agreeaUle > ic Withers the eiiattd <»f ^e mead^ 
aiiU tiid^j4Mii{y of flow^rsi dries up the eo6ltfog( 
gpni$'^ sutA mftkch - (bade and ' Vend u re Mipt# 
andi k^drS^dttei : all 'thefe clNMHyiiiig and graceftrf 
ftnidupee^vtFyilikle invite ihc«f# who w^ul* 
poiinii .th^tt m a m^rttfi-^ and ^^ fiitall- nev^r 
feek: |^la(nds ftp ftetiMe^MTet among hi^rto 
intended fof cly(tei<si 

None of this pharmacy poltuted my- rural 

iaiage^.; nothing was driven from them but 

dk^dritikB and pfetifters* I h^ve ofien th^trglyl^ 

oa nearly ^ferving th# fieWs, tbo orchard!^' 

.r A M 3 the 


«46 THEHEVeitlES OF [W./. 

the woods, mi thdr numeroos in^bnants^ 
tJM the vegetable kingdom was a ilorehoiife of < 
£6od given by Nature to maa and- beaft ; but 
Oever did it ftrike me to.fytk drugs and €Xicdi-> 
cines there. I ibe nothing in thefe diven^pro*/ 
duAions which indicate a like ufe, and fllCi 
would have taught us the choice, had (he pre- 
(icribed it, a^ (he has inreatables^ I feel* like* 
wiFet that the pleafure I take m ranning 
through the groves would be potfoned by the 
feotiment of human infirmities^ did it permitr 
me to think of the fever> ^e iftone) the ff^t% 
^nd the epUepfy* However, I (hall not difpuce 
with vegetables on the great virtue attributed 
to them ; I (hall only fay, that, fuppofing thefe 
virtues real, it is pure fpice in fick people to 
continue to be (b ; for, of all the difordeis man 
bringson b imrel:f,there is not dne of which twen^ 
ty forts of herbs would not radically cure him. . 
^ Xb^Cp.turnS;OfgenH|s,. which drwr.everfi 
xbiog to our own material, imereft, which are 
everywhere fi^iug out . pro(it ^r cures, and 
yhich would xWe all Nature to he looked oa 
with indifference, i^rewe always in beal|l|» 
were aevej mine.. • J ^ni myfelf, on th^ :h«Mi^ 
%uite^ntrary to othermen : -whttew r^nca. 
^ a ff nfe of my wmcsi. dulla and depraves ffljr 
thoughts } and neve^jididi ftndanv rcKl.charma 
IP . the plciaiurea .^ {he 4iMiid, out in i^ttittt 
l^fing fi^t osf .jthe intereil of my'csrcafe^ 
Thus, if I even had faith In pbyfic^ end that. 
Its. mediciii^ Were «U« i^reeahie, I never 
(hould feel ihofe«de}igiit»rtii its ftiniy;a ^me 
^ m^ dUiiHerefted eontcippieticfti (ireduecs, and 
rfij foul^ncver couU^ ^^^^ ani^scalt af felf nboue; 
u .: ' . i) Nature^ 


Nature, as long as I (felt it bound by the ties 
pi die bodyj However, wtth6tft ever having 
bad much confidence in phyfic, I have had » 
gmtr deai in phyficians I efteentedy and to< 
whom I refigncd the envcrniiient of my eurcalb^ 
with full powers, r iftecn years expcrieiicc 
have taught me at my own expence ; oneop 
more under the laws* of Nature alone, I have' 
a^ain, thpough her, recovered my former 
l^ealtb. If the phyfictans had no other coth- 
plaint againft me, who could be furprifed ar 
tbeir malice f I am a living proof of the va- 
nity of their art, and tht impertinence <^ their 

- Nothing perfonal, nothing which relates to 
rfie interclt of the body, can truly employ my 
mind, i never meditate fedelicioufly as when 
I forget myfetf. I feet extafies, inexpreffible 
ittpttir(?s, m &tfRg myMf, in a mramier, among 
the ryftehrt of beings, in comprehending ^y* 
Iblf with all Nature. As long as men were 
my brothers, I propofed'to mymf plans of ter-' 
Mlrial happinefs ; thefe ptaM being always 
iilativt to the whole, I OMdd not be happy but- 
fi^ ifMiiq Mtdty 5 the idcn of private hap<* 

etfs never reaehed my heart, until I faw%ny 
Char» feek theiis is my mifery. Then, 
that Ivdglit not-abfaortliem, I was ob^ed^to' 
l^dkfls; and) tahhig refu^ in* our com&off* 
mothet^ I fought in her arms to hide mjMf 
frocH tte^pttrfttlts of her children ; I am become 
folttary, 01^ anhey fay, unfoeiable^ aivi a mf« 
fiuithrepCft, hecaufe the wiidcft fotitiMe appeare 
to me pT^feraMe 10 the Ibesety of vilhiint who * 
<ted (smJioM^kmtmmtm tmdmattca . 
» . IA4 Forced 

248 THE VLtrVEJtlMS OF Cfr.7. 

; ForcAsd- Cd aUftain frdm fliinkinr; for firar o£ 
tbtnkuBg of my dUkfters againft my 'will? 
&i<CQd 10 contain: tlie remaina of a pleiwig btio 
lasguiAiing imagination^ which (o Aiiich an-a 
guiSi mightatlafl turn mad; foiled to endear- 
votir to forget the- men who load me wfth:ign«i» 
minf and wroiig, foe £ear indignation AmouU 
iocenfe me againft them ; I cannot, bowetrer^ 
contra^ myfelf within myfelfi becaofe my. 
expznfive' (ouh feeks, in fpite of mj^felf, 
to 'extend' 'M 'frelings and exiftence xm 
other being5)) and I eannot now, a^ ixumcrlfv 
go ilugglfljlv tjbrough this vaflr ocean. of Na- 
ture, becaufe my faculties, weakened and re« 
laxed, no longej find obj^s, f«flieient!y: de- 
termined, ruflFiciently fixed, fuificiently within 
my reapb, ilroo^Iy toeogag^ me, a«ifi becauiel 
90 longer find vigour en6ugh to fwim is my fort 
mar extaTie^* My ideas are^ no\r very littte 
fiaofe than ftnfationb5,i and the f]>hert;'of^ mji 
undsrflanding reaches none but the objetft^ 
immediately around me;. ^ - 

« Shiipning, mankind^ feeking folttadffi^ imi 
IpAger meditating, tbkiking Jefr, ami, netsitittt 
left^. (endowed wiibU Urelf OMiNytutj<riau«^Udl 
pre^qs nte from ImgvtfliiiRg' afMid^^ncl me* 
lanchdly, 1 began to nmfdloy my miind«tiall 
tnatfiuiirdnnded me». and ^aivery-MtorjliflH 
flinA I gave the pr^erence4<^ objttds tlie asoA 
^iteable. The mineral kit^dom tas^ oocMog 
in ttfelf amiable or attraiiS^e ^its fii^bes-, (bnt 
i»p in the bowels of the eatth, ftem to faatc: 
been wttbdrawnifrtam m^n^r nqgardv thar his 
CDpidity might iioS be Ceml^tod : ^y.are therr 
Co kxvc^ ibnie'diijrstr'Otiieii^ai»4&pplefnMt w 
L;>vl V .4. £r\ the 

"« . 

W.r.J THE SOLiTAHaX ^AEKfiR. ^(x 

the trueLfi^b^^nqi^ wUhin bis. re4cli> wbofo 
^elifli ha lofe^i ^ill a« he^, grows' more corrupt* 
Then be muftcall in paip^ labour, andinduf&y 
Co. the aififtance.of ij^is /n^Ceri^.; he turns up. 
th«. bowels of the eartb,^ he go^ down to fee^. 
jn its centr^,( a^ therifkof.hi^ life^ ^nd expencQ: 
of hji$ health) imagKuniy bJ^i£.i^s to replac(» 
the real ones wluch {he.hoIps 9^t to hicn o( 
^fclf^ had be^ the fenfe to enjoy ^h^nu JHe 
iivoids the fuo and the daylxe is no longer wq(<y 
thy to fee ; he. buries himfe(f alivei^ and. doeg 
FoIU-^io lon^c defervii^g to exift by day?light» 
There, quarries, pits^ ff^g?*, fur;iaces3^ a mlx?» 
Jure of anvils^ .baiiafp^r^^^.Ja^Jff^ ziii* Btc^ 
fucceed to tke^l4>vely in^ge^ of rjj^^l..^plf:^2.- 
joent*.^ The ghailly Ic>o|^s., pf thofe. .wr&ccbcis 
wbo^languifb.amidfi tbje JnfediQus ijapoutsof 
piinesj,, ^ ^j;t^ %ltJ^»^ bi^ipusj j:](clo|)s^ foroi 

.. -- ^j8«»» Mfiy «WiBqc^w,^^(r cl9jfe^ 

*5i9lran;^Ryi4ift.: Vt thofj^^^who^-Afp atto^h^ 

ti^ %Q&, ]g1kit, n9i:)pje4<ignorarf)uies^ wbaXeelf: 

n<^- fMf% ift *tf :t W3 1 1^' Hl^f^ R of B^r^^^r . T9 
Jitfffi^-kjfsifi^ ^MfH^9f .HiWwIsy^youTlhduW bf 
im4j]^»^ilofftP'>ec ;. make pw W *n^ 

ii6 tHE REV^KRIEJ OF {W.j; 

ftffiing vkpoiirs, z\w9p: at tiie Hft cf y<nir life-, 
trtld often at the expense of yotir health. From 
all this dull and tirefoftie labour generally re- 
sults much left koowlc«^e than pride; -and 
where is jthemffr trtttng chemift who does not 
think) when, dlmnce has^ perfaaprtati]^ht ^im a 
JrW combi'ndtioii? o( thi^ are, lie tias penetrated 
the greaif 6pera.tfOtt9 'of- Ngftrrc ? 
" The animal kifkgdbm -/s inbre.wtthin^.our 
feach» uiild ceitaipjy m^fcs, rtmcK better to bb 
ffvdied ;, bat, iinfincv ha^ not thfb ftody^ike* 
wife iu difficultie^'ltaembarraflbnents^ m dii^ 
guih^' and its pahiSy particuiariy for a folkary 
tiiao^ Who can hoijc^for^hoiiibiiaace^ -either tq 
afiiefi or labqur> fra^'slnypne? How obietve, 
AiffeU^ ftody> have -a knowledge of the- bfrds 
of the uir^ the fi&/of the'-fea^ ^luadrupeda 
fWifter thai/ the^whrd,^S^on|ertlk9 man, asd 
iirhich arenoihdfetlifprdfed to-cd|ncaiid offer 
AeJnfelm to tny refe^rditir^'tfaii I tb mh a fter 
them, ^Tediice'th^ by fercef^'MywM^ 
tttoyjtttt wouM, thc rd f ort , " coAfift nn -ftiailr^ 
Worms^ and fiie$ ; and I ftouldfipei|d mfii^ 
hinfiirrg ttiyiUf out df ^breMi after bttttidrik^ 
ta)tiaKdg pjbdr ififc^ alitei, <Mie£libg mice 
whett 1 xbold eatcb tbeii^» ^^eaniM Wt^niE 
ifound a d^d beaft. Tbi^ Hudy^ ihtkMs b 
utlriag'withDut anatomy^ ^tia-by-fliae^fiei^]^ 
learn, to diifs tbem» .dtmngttiOit rh4ir>getktek% 
their fpejcleft. - In order td fttldy'tliei^ maittieri^ 
their characters, you mitft'liavj^ aVioHeti-fifly* 
^Yids^ mehageriei; I mu^eoitfftritii'thein'^'b^ 
iome means or other, 't«^ rtttMi ii ; afiolloM 
ai^ou^nd me } T have- nti^bcft iMidmatite-^ur 
jmeaos tokieep tbe^tiidHbftptivjty^-iibt^lfi^ 



.^.7] THE SOLITARY W^KBR. aji 

' iteceffiury for -following tbem^ into tfateir holts 
when they are* at liiMity. I muft. therefoie 
'ftttcljr them 'dead^ mangle them, take out their 
bones, torn otit leiAtrely their palpitating 
bowds! ' Wliat a dreadful •a^^panuua is ait 
anaxomical room, fttbking fcorples, livid and 
proud fleih, blood, loathfom^cfitratls, terrif^- 
•iag flceletons, peftiknitial fvapours I It is not 
tbere, upon my word, that J. J. wili feck bis 
IMSDufemettts. Gliitering flowers, eoamrllfd 
'Ousa^, cooling-ihades, ftreame, groves, verdurtf^ 
«lMipewr amd purify my taiagtnat'ion^ Joukd W 
•ibeT^ dreadful, obje^. ^ My* biil^ dead to ^ 
igrcjitt emotioob, can no k}ngcribq[atfe^dib»C 
jby :ienfible objtdls $ I have nowrkib mor^ ihaa 
ifenfationt^ and it is only thrdugb tbena pain of 
ipbafiire- can mKh. «ie berei bdw* Drawn*% 
^btrfmtting^jtofis whick ibrrouBd mis, Itooilo 
^6def, Irtoatan^laxe^ 1 bodipmreibenH I au lift 
'tsttntDSdafitlMn^; afld^husl'iaiiirait once-bw*' 
stoiMr.s^imudraihociaifeas U b necaffiyFyt^lbr 
;bia9tto \be3iUb ^worfdvUiidyr* Naturrl ottly^ ii^ 
dMBatttlyto fod frffb 'roams foii basiiDndnc6 
^ tt. . ' '. • ' ». .. i- .-/- ui nin«v •; -c 
-T.^rdo -ftot. fbdt inftruAioR;' ^is too>laftt. 
(B«6dc»# Imior fotagkd that fo foudb fdeiMc conr 
ttibbtsd .to^tfas ba^tneb o£ my. life ; hatm 
4Uk topvooirrmyfelPihild and Gmplt^xnmfa- 
4ntBft&-bflBdn ^Aoiiifidiout paiii^iaiidjsihidh 
jdiMi^Jwy'mtfew;^. I b^ve aeithttr ^nuHie^ xp 
«b)r^iiti mk miibte t».tadce, iu ii»Mig'fupiae))f 
mpttthnrib: in^ bsrb» ftim'^ans tsapiadt; ^€S> 
mdbiiiig lllds|#coi^ their dii&vem cbi*- 
taAoB^^llesRig tUeir fefentUandeand-tbcici^iK^ 
jIbfaKif ;kpfi£i^ inybiwi i big nywtk:i -^j|pd 

154 ffffe A£V£«iES OF [W;^. 

l&ation, fo as to fellah ioi c^orfe »rfd the 

'adfon of thefe Jivitig nmbbineS) to feek with 

' fucctfit fometrmesi their ' getietai t. iarv^, the 

rtoibfi and end of their divdrs ftmidftro?, aiiH 

10 give myfetf; u^x to the ehsimbii' of gratefiil 

admimtf oif ftir. the haiidMdPbfchisisbtes ma co 

epjoy thefe things^ ; . .. 

: Plants fe^m to^ h^M h^M ibwn withi pro- 

pfttfi<m on the baikh^ atitbb^arsifi thefaeavm^, 

•'t€>> iavieo xamni by. tbrcsbarms of pteaAire amud 

4 tmUs&tfj to" the' ftod^ of Nasuat^ pbtit « tte 

^pJaneci ar« placed fa^ ffom us; we. wantm 

'prdikniiiary racqaafiita(ieey iiiftrumcnb, mt$* 

chinefy'rerjT ^I^ig ladders, to cotnr «t theiii 

and biiiig^v them witMn our reach* Plants 

*:«€ QaitiiYdlf fo*^ They grow* »«der tAtr 

^eti afi4 almsl^ ift: our tahdvf andvtiottgli 

'^Ae^imailmifsoi tikdar ^knM, paiAi qoucmiIb 

wikfem from die naked eje;^ ^ raArbntiiib 

Iphich l»0ing:theai ih^ areonicfi ^afoBraMufe 

^fe- ef .than thefe cfiaftraiitfnij^. Botany Je 

*<lie ftodir .itf an iiiU^j faie^,/ Atttaiy ntaii^ 

'ik. poifit and a aoagAifyjiigi gla& are all the 

apparatus he wants to obferve with. ? Ife 

.walks Aoati be winders ifrebly' fhsai «lie iob- 

|eA to aaadker^ he takes a .«i<w1o6 Mch 

Sarnkti with* coiioern aod tuiMisf , mA' tte 

OMnsm^ be, lays boU : x>{ the slnias<! ofi tbek 

^itftui«v 1^' ^et» in. obfei>^in|; abedi aipteas- 

vfuncwidioiit trouble^ ksjiiveljr as if ^h^^aieji 

i^imf&.greai'deaL ThcDe lis wtiiis ISajtpftU 

'Viipattofl' aiJtharm wbkA i^ tssi be ff9e><iiiif»Ai 

4he entire calm €>£ €bs fffio«|/ 4iiit yrfaiiebiig 

4ibta.aloj|e fitfficiedt to^rewitt li^ff 'ftiw^*acni 

t<*'c.,i«.^' <" i- motive 

W.^.] THE SOtlTARY WAtHBR. ^» 

mofive.of mMttk'oT Vanity, whetter to«g<|t 

a plaire; whedber to wm^ bo9k»« the moment 

Y<tu' vvpblct JeM-n Qoly to iitftr^^^, that you 

4miMilhse£»tely tolMrconit ««iiil)or»iOr pro£e4bi^ 

atlthis debghtiiii»'cb«r9»:yaniflie», v^o>i08 Qp 

Inpforui ipblit«»' tbtfi'tke;J9|NF4Hmm^ <^'^ur 

^p«fltbn^ w$ t^UmgUst leet^areal^fitafure-ftt 

ihtit' ^Aff\ we v»!0#cf«^ ionger kfi^w, b# 

.tieacli'Wliat jve kmoM^i «isiii iiii ttie vpoodfi wi^ 

Arrbti^ on'tile ^agf^of.fke wwAii empii^e^ 

JOi tbe«a9r Hf isftkingt ottffclfes4Ulniir(ii3 ;; or 

o th t OT i ri feto diimtc yo«rMf to the boiaiiy edf 

4iMi.e^^et^ i«rMof the tgtu-doo at mdhi idKca^ 

ibaiigliur 4se Mnployed ^» (yjhm and^rmetMll 
joflfyj; caernal^mttter'fer dtfpate/s whi^ |m19n 

dRoie^ ibd' t&kviiMl M' 'triNf lij^l^oH' esMMll 
^o^ •r theo,Vitg(tfoid^e\kift|^Oi«p. ,. iitom 

petittoiv for celebrity excibs in.fhgfHtmifii 
MUHif4^ tti ««rikTiorWxf9 f« 'i§kim !iti'^p|her 
Muthftts., Bf thisjt\muMgi&if4y ^«s^il|if- 
iag ita.QltfttfiOy il is.trw^yC^bnilld'^ilito eiti4»>lMP 
^cateBoip.#ileri&itiNkgMeNrfilaffdm}rti^ ils 
^etecioa:ii]f'dK ganle^B o^our l#t«lo([^ ^ • - 1 

liwmirs ibia:ft«idf:mlbc»tk|ii(<»of patt0»f1ir$«b 
Wi3«p*the.r«ai^ attiliM^fe IttMvl(ifigtr«Mvtf. 
J[>iitttftb'.tb» n>^y!tliiii^liiUa,tl giailito^m^fitD 
TiiUtf^ :44Kttr«fMdfls #c»n«i«^r4w> lay/ill^ . s|b 
«MKab hKft>* ^**g > 'fr*?*^^ ftialnthiaiiiW .ijf 

iiiMrrii»» that» flrtJifii' k^«.>l0iftft« I^a^d 
ariv.ii not 


tot an- enemy ; or thzt the branches of the 

trees were able to guard itie from their- blows, 

as they drive thefli from my mind; and I 

.fuppore in my flu|»dity, t^t by not thiidctng 

<of ttrem, they will not think of me* 

* i find fo great a chirm in this illafion^ I 

ffhduld abandon-' myfelf mttrely to it, if nry 

:£tiiation^ iny weaknafs, and my wants, would 

'^riiii^ it. : ThctiBore the (olitnde J live in ia 

^now 'profotmd, the more it itemands iome 

lobjeA to fill up the void $ and tlio<e of which 

my iotagtnation is incapable, or mj memory 

•repels, Are recced by. fpontaneoQS prodm^ 

tions, whicfa the^earth, not: forced' by mahi^ 

UvMfi -^very parr, piideiits ^ my new* The 

-^^teafiue of fcekTo^fi^Ait plants in tiM <defisrc 

'ftirpafibs that ofefeapingitomn^ perftctabM^ 

fand", arrived at thef^lace iir.irM:h f (fit no 

wace of • mankind, ^ iKbreaRiie-4AorB at • nqp 

;eaie» m^kk an afylifm whav^ thSor^nalieecaak 

not reaUfh.^t^ ^>i tm v jK-ji ^ ^ . i A. 

"^ IAMllwhi>ilfVf vfltnenriwianherjialiMK 

'I aaade onl^ ^dayi'tooiaida k &obai]a,.<ani-hi9 

iMongfAg to J«fticeiCiere.t> f was aione^ got 

^tm into ffai^antoaobfittea of vhe^BMmkaiis^ 

and froni* wood to ^rood^ ^iSnm tock ito^haofe^ 

il "arrifod at Ibtetire^ia Jcoeavr, )3 ^bi;^ iia 

my iiftftiwffotwAizn 2fpcSk^ .Bbck fii^tredi 

tntermnroi-wifihi pindigfikiSTibnsrhQB; wtiesedf 

<fev^tftlfyia» Wfage ^'aadrlylk%:apottoii«:^Oi- 

<tiierifiiat it»thts^a»mei% 4 B ^ a p> B a We|anyiit<: 

Af(^har.ftw!> opening aaobaip 

4iire^ nkMbittgtWaa^rOKtved butr pcipaodiailav 

'f^ka aMi .hoieiUe fAvtipk^,. on vwUcfa'^i 

itfftic4 aM'^ft a> Ai^ i|aaiMwiitit)iiit» >f,iai| 

-^ 'X along 


W'.j.] Tfik SOLITARY WALKER. 255 

along dn rn^ face. Dwls, ofprays, and ra- 
.Vchs, were heard from the clefts of the rocks j 
t ftw fmall birds^ fcarce but familiar, foftened^ 
howcvcfV* flie horr'or of tW\k retreat. Here 
I found the 'notched Heptaphyllos, le Cicla^ 
teen, the Nidus Avis,- the greater Larermtmniy 
«pidafe*r'i)theirplantsi;whfcfi long delighted * 
itrd* '^tncrfed me a Vuf. Infeiifibly fwayed^by 
the ftrong imprefflon ot 'obj'ea^, 1 forgot Mh 
<n)tany' Mi^ phnts^* add fetited tttyfelf on beds 
bf LycopodicUn and mofs,' and began, to' me- 
ditate more at my eafe, on thinking I was 
thc^e in a refuge 2inknown to all the lirii^erfe, 
where rio perfc<^atof coufd ever difcover ta^ 
^A'a impbllc df pr?de"WaS Wixedwith thls'rc- 
Vftric. '*I compared itij^feif to thofe greai tra- 
YeHers ^ba difcover Udcfert ifle, arid cortiplai- 
IsOLxif jSrdto'm>fdf,.<I^tn^*)£ibtfdi thfe firA 
imoitsd i;^6 faas^pcnetfated th\x^ far ; t looked 
ton' ihyfeff 'as .ulrno^ a fecond' Columbus. 
•While 'I «.wa$ 'hiivcrirtg round,* thU idea.' t 


*ifrif<yfrand carious,' f get upi f fer^Ce acroj| 
a ihl^ket of briars' tcrvrards th^ ridlfe,' ^tid in 
^tbidcet not twenty fteps from'tfie place; t 
ibrottgfat nofte: but'myfdf bad resiched t ptr- 
tehft 4 ftoeking iii«ticfad:ory. ' ' *..*-' 
''i cannot tepitis tbe cohfOlbd ziidc6rtir£^ 
iiiaofy^gttatioa I'fatf j^W'Uiiid oti tbls 

tif joy on finding myfelf oner mart with man- 
ikM^ %rissfe I cbbii^«iii^tflf totirtly alolie^ 

4MM4INI nmimmit^ omp'r i^^iita Uj^ittting^ 
^•* iboa 

^56 THf REF^RIES Of f V. j^ 

fcx^ti gave place to a painittl- fceliog». muoj^ 
more attcable> as not beiog able t4efcape, eveQF 
in the caverns of the Alps, the cruel bands of 
fanasbwho with eagernefa tQraieiiti& n^&: fori 
was very furf^ there wefe not» perbapa^ tw# 
men in this manufiidory but were .Initiated ia 
^Ke plot of which Montmolliot tbe preacbex;^ 
wasthe^head, di^d' wbo'dreMT hU abettors, nsuda 
farther than thence*: I baftel to di/jpelthk dli^ 
snaL rdea» UugHing witbln myfelffa» well at 
my ohildiffi yanit^, as the comkal naanner ii^ 
which r was pumibed'for it. 

fiut> in fa^ w))Q could evisr ewe^Lto fin4 
ll i^a,n^fa£k>ry on a jptecipice \ Switzeilap4 
Is'th^ only place in'^tpe woild. which .o&i^ 
thi$ ipedley of fayage nature and h^mau isf 
2uflf^» All S wk^exUpd k no more^ iii a, man^^ 
lier,' thaii ^* Iar|e',clt;j[, whok ftfe«t:$s M^SFF 
and (iroader thaa'^tbe ffreet St».A^toli|e^ar^ 
kdbrned* by ^reils^ mpusiu^ivs^ aiij 
whQfer houfeaT^ ^fcatcpre^ aH^ ^oi^iaIv^ ate fisf^ 
jfat^d by ^g;hi(^* gar(|tEu>s^ lr^'(X)Ik<^ oothif 
ftisitt^] another J^ecHalizif]^ that jDuI f^jrfioi% 
pe jcKeiny^rc^Ionc^ , Fury ^^Jjyftice. Clerc^,!fa5 ' 

pyfelf,' K^d" m^de^ 'fqtf^9 upaetefojp^'/cgir.tbi? 

nou}|taia ot V^^U«0n» ftom . ^ 

even lakes arepcrceived. tVe wf^ touLthjerf 
^^9 ohiy oni beuie on tbii.qiountauiy and. wf 
certainTy never .J9p^..hkvegueired tbe.pc^Qfe^ 
fipn of him who iphalyteiJit^h^ 
><?W it;wajj: AXff fif a; 
^^^ .?^Sf ^^.«4'i%tB W« ,*»v*e ifou^ry JS 

..t u , , 5X/T! IJSf.O ::y!7rrt > '.:.?. »'j / -^ f+^ 

j ^^; It ifii9|vftd|i|j|^»*«'^oife»ti|aoc0iiof iuhb«s 

wii|;b€^fc4JMi.i(0fift^ i^mb^ imc4p* 

ft ©I 


It feems to me that pne Tclation of 'this ibrt 
gives a better notion of Switzerland than aU 
our travellers deicrtpl^ons. 
.- Here is another of the fame: kind, orn6;u: 
at, wbteh gives> us as much knowledge of a 
very diiFerenC people. During my ftay at 
Grenoble, I often went herbaltzing a little 
without the city with M. Bovier, an attorney 
of that country^ not that he. was ^nd of or 
acquainted with botan^y,- but havii^ taken me 
entirely under his care, he made it a rule, as 
much as poffibley never to leave me .a minute. 
We were walking, one day, by the fide of the 
Ifere, in a fpot ^Iled with the forky-leaved 
willow. I faw on the fcrubs fome ripe; fruit, 
and had thecuriolity to tafte it ; a^id finding 
a little acid in it very agreeable, I began lo 
e^ of. theie beriiea by' way of refrefliment* 
ii. fibvief ffobd. clofe to me, without eating 
5Uiy», or. faying any, thff^g... One of his ac^ 
^uaintance cominn up^^r andi.percelvingJmQ 
|J.under the fhr^ihs,. fap, AKT Sir, what arc 
you doing?. Doa'c youf know^ thofe berried 
ate golfoni Thefe berries poifohJ (aid I, ^te 
fiirprifed^ DoiLbJtlefs,.anfwered he> andlevery^ 

S* le (o.weU knows it,, oot. a firigle perfon ia 
le coi^ntrj} would ufte them. • |* lookeil at 
J^.'fJJoviery a|„ WJwthemdid Y9unQt 
a^q'^ajint me of it^ ^V-^ ^« re|i|ll^, he, j^ ^ 
i^fpe^i&U'^oniev^.dared^not take. that libextj* 
I Iauj;h^,at the. humility. ,^ Dagi^hfl^y^ in dif^ 
cootinuing,4 ^orivever>. my coU)t^i}«^, 1/W9^ 

of ite teelfegey ^ GlfitftMi/|l*eil iitCsMkmU 
another very high mountain on the .JMailitil at 


as8 THE REVERIES OF [»r. 7- 

perfuaded^ 29 I ftffl am, that every natural 
produtS^ion agreeable to the tafte cannot be 
hurtful to the body, 'or, at leaft, its excels only 
can hurt it. I, however, ovm I to<lk care* of 
myfelf the remainder of thfeday, ahdi'golt 
bfrat the expence of a little uneafinefs r I^eat 
a very good fupper, flept- ftiH better, and rofe 
the next morning in perfcdl health, after hair- 
ing fwallowed, on the eve, fifteen or twenty 
grains of this terrible hippophaea, of which 
a very fmall dofe porfons, as every one at 
Grenoble toJd me the next day. This adven- 
ture appeared lb pleafant, I riev^r, without 
laughing, call to mind the fingular difcrttion 
of the -attorney Bovver. 

All my botanical ramb!es> the difierent im- 
t)rcRions of the tocalfiy of tboi^ objtds which 
i!ruck me, the ideas they gave bird) to; the ia*- 
cidc nts which are mixed with them, altogether 
have left impreffiont in me which are renewed 
on a view of the plants herbalized in thefe 
j»laces« I (hair never more fee thofe beautiful 
Countries., tbofeforefts, lakes, groves, rocks, 
thoft mountains, whofe afped has always 
touched my heart ; but now that I can no longer 
j^un over thofe happy countries, I only open 
my herbal to be foon tranfported thither. The 
fragm^nt^ of plants I gathered there fuffice 
foVecat tiie magnificent view. This herbal is, 
to me, a journal of herbaliasings, which in* 
eftes me ta reoonimence them with new de* 
light,' and ppadisices the effed of an optic, 
ipmieb wilt ui. ii^ trcome bring diem back 
|»M fight. 

'Tb the cbai h af a^oofibry ideas which en« 
t^ " . gages 




gages me to botany. It refembles and recaU 
to my imagination all thofe ideas which flal» 
ter irmoft } thofe mcads^ thofe waters^ woods 
and folitude, and, ^bove all) that peace and 
repofe we find amidft thofe things, are by it 
brought back to my meniory Jnceflfantly. It 
cgufes me to forget the perfecutrons of men^ 
thesF malke, their difdain, their wrongs, and 
all the ills with which they have jFcpaid my. 
tender aad fincere attachment to them. It. 
traafports, me to thofe peaceful habitations, 
amidft iWnpIe and good-natured people, like 
thofe who were formerly my companions. It 
brings back my youtbful age ^nd my inno- 
cent pleafirres; it produces a iecond enjoy* 
meat } and ftill makes me often happy, amtiift 
the moft melancb/ Jy face a monalr ever «x« 



»>« J • ^ 

> * 

"* 's 




MEDITATING oa the difpofitian^ of 
my mmd in every fituatian of life, i 
atn extremely ilruck on feeing fo Htde pro- 
portion between the divers combinations^ of. 
my deftiny and the habitual fetitimcnts of 
s/ood onill wilh which iheyhave affeded^me. 
T'he divers ijit-ervals of my Ihwt QroTperitiey 
hftve hardly, leflr me oftw agreeable^ remem- 
brance of the intimate and permanent manner' 
with which they alFedked me ; and, on. the con- 
tiary, throughout all the miferies of life, i 
hwe conft^Hily fck myfelf governed by ten- 
6tr^ touching, and delicious feeling&^ /ai^iid)^ 
applying a Uilutary balm to the wounds of 
my mangled heart, Teemed to convert its af- 
fiidion into pleafure, and whofe amiable re- 
membrance returns alone, difengaged from that 
of the mifery I experienced at the fame time* 
It would feem I have more rafted the fweets 
of exiftence, that X have more really livedo 
when my feelings, prefied in a manner to my, 
lieart by my fate, did not wander, externalljr 
eyapcvfatfofuafter ^ny of thofe obje£ls efteem^ 
eit By'ihankmd, which of themfelves deferve 
fo little, and which are the whole occupation 
of thofe we think happy. 

When all was in order around me, when 
I was fatisiied with every thing furrounding 
tae, and with the fphere in which I was to 
iive^ J filled it with my affections. My ex* 





at^dy aiways drawn far From n^y lelT by propen- 
£ties of divers kinds^ bv amiably attachment's 
which* incelQaDtly employed my heart, I, in 

. fome ijpi^j iforgoi myfelf, I was entirely givQ^ 
lo fom^tl^ing roreign to myfelf, and. expenenc- 
«dMn ^he .fiontinual agitation of tny htzif 
every yicifStwdie of bumatn things^ *This tem,- 

j»e4uoa$ life left me neither inward p^ce.nar 
-outward repofe, ;Hapny in:;ippearaiice,,l ^1 
not one fentiment which coutd fupport the 
experiment of refle£tion, ind on whicH | ' 
,co*jld really, congratulate myfclf. , I was ne* . 
ver perfe^ly .contented with, rnyielf Of otliers^ 
.The tumult of ih^ worM'ftunned tne» foUfudp 
was weariioipe ; 1 wanted Incellancly to b^ 
where I Was n9t, I was eafy no where, I 
was nevertheless entertained, welcomed, re- 
ceived, carefled every 'where 5 I h^d not an 
enemy, not an aclveriary, not a flanderer ;* zf 
all fought to oblige me, I h^d pftcn the plea- 
fare of obliging many i anjl^ without forcun^ 
Vrithout . ecnployment^ .without friends, cjt 
great talents well difplayed or well known, 1 
enjoyed the advantage refuUing from them altj 
and 1 did not fee one man in any fituatioi^ 
wfiofe lot appeared preferable to mine. Wh^ ' 
then did I want to be happy ? I don't kriow^j 
but I know I was not. What more is at 
prefbnt wanting ro make hie the moll unfortu- 
nate of mortals ? Nothing iri the power of 

' man to add. Well ! in this deplorable ftate J 

would not yet ch^ge my being and deftiny 

with ,the moA fortunate of them all ; and I 

had rather be myfelf in all my mifery, than be 

' i any 

a62 T H E il E V £ RI E i? OF • {VT. 8. 

any on6 of thofcW>plfe In all ifi^ir iptofpmtf. 
Reductd to myfclf afobe,* Ift^dj it Is true, on 
my own vftak, butfupplies do nor fail s I am 
fiifficient to myfelf, though I nimihafte, in a 
manner^ empty, and that my.tmaginaticm dried 
np, and my ideas extingttiBied,. have irith^ 
drawn all their food from my heart. M^ 
clouded fqul, obftruded hy my c^-gans^ finb 
down from day to day^ and, undej; the weight 
of this heavy mafs, has no* longer vigour 
fufficient to dart,* as heretofore, from its aged 

'Tis to this reflefHon on felf adverfitjr 
forces us, and that is, perhaps, the reafon 
which renders it moft infuppor^ble to the 
greateft part of mankind* ' For my parf, who 
can fee nothing but faults to- upbraid myfeff 
with, I accofe my weakn6fs,and am comforted; 
for never did premeditated ill enter nay 

However, unlcfs 1 ^were ftupld, how can I 
contemplate for a moment my fitua'tion, with- 
out feeing it as hornbh: as they have made it, 
and without dying of forrow and defpair* 
Far from that, J, the moft feeling of beings, 
contemplate it and am not moved \ and. 
Without an eflTort, without a ftruggle, I view 
myfelf with indifference in a ftate whofe af- 
ped no other man,* perhaps,' could fupport 
without terror. 

How did I arnve at this p6int f for I was 
far from this peaceable difpofition on \he firft 
fufpicion of the confederacy by which I was 
fo long entangled without In the leaft perceiv- 
ing it. This new difcovery greatly diibrdered 





-tne. Io£uny : aiil ^tii»ifiii^ gtoifi ba mt un^ 

wares. What hoiieft . voind is prepared for 

tudi kind of fufivrings ? A num fliouki mch 

*rit.them to forefee tbem. I fell into every 

'Jiet which was ipread; for me. indignation, 

fucy,.deliriiixn»ca0£ht hold on me.;. I, was ho- 

Siie myielf. My head was turned> aod fjnom 

.tbe. obfcurity in which I have coAtj^uatly 

been kept,.! no longer perceived a>|pai'k «p 

. guide mcs nor prop nor hold to whici> L ct>ul4 

cling, and oppofe 4he . defpair which hurried 

; me on. 

How lire eafy and happy in this dreadful 

; fiate ? I am, nevertbelef$, ftiU in itt and funk* 

down lower than ever, and I have fovind cahn 

; and peace there^ and I live ha^py and con* 

tented in it, and I laugh at the incredible 

tortures my perfeciitors inceflantly heap on 

tbemfelves, whilft I can ftill find peace, em-* 

ployed on flowers, ftaoiina, and chiidifhnefs, 

. ano 1 don't even think of tiiem. 

How was this pafs gaiped ? Naturally, 

inftnfibly, and without troubk. The firft 

furprife. was tremendous. I who knew my* 

. felt worthy of frieruUhip and edeem, I who . 

thought my felf honoured, beloved as I deferred 

to be, faw myfelf in- a moment burlefqued as 

the moft dangerous monger which ev^ exifted* 

. I fee a. whole generatioa hurried, every one pf 

. them> into this ftrange opiuio«i» without ex* 

^ plana tion> doubt, oribame, and without my 

ever being able to come, at the catife. of th>s 

. extraordinary cbaoge. ' I violently fti:«gglcd, 

. but did but entangle myftJf Ae mor^, il 

would force my per^cutors to aa expla^jatiofi ; 


iS4- TdE R£?VER^£S OE XW^.t. 

-fhey Utew'heiUti ^Ifimi^'lMig toitaied m- 
•felf without focctffsiy it waf becdiary to tate 
-bieath. 1, nevenhdefSy fiillhopcd^ I fawi to 
tnyfelf^ A blindnefsfo fttipidyft^pre^oifefltoa^ 
caMird, never can have feac^edthe^wholeliu- 
-man fpociea. There are jfipme imn of-fenfe 
>wbo do iiot fliafie die fletiriuih; tbepe. ate up- 
right minils who dtetoft traitons and impefiure. 
Lee's fte^ I may perhaps at hft finda man-; 
if I- do, they are confounded* I fought m 
vain; I did not find him. The confederacy 
IS uniyerfal, Without exception, without hope; 
and 1 am fure to end my days in this dreadful 
firofdriptif^n ^ - without ever unnsvielting the 
•myilery. • 

'Tit inti^is deplorable fiitte, after fxxSmtfg 
long, ifittead of the defpair which (eemed co 
be my^portion, I once r^ore found ierentty, 
tranquility^ peace, even happinefs, fince^idi 
!day*of my Hfe looks back with pleaf^irc <tQ 
the eve, and that 1 defire no other on tbe 
•i(norrow.' ' . 

' -Whence {proceeds this diSerence ? Froin 

'ii fmgle caufe ^^that is, 1 tetve learnt 4o:bear 

the yoke of necefiity without a mumuir : it 

is,*that i ftrove ftillio catch hold of a tho*« 

fand things, and that all thefe holds having 

• iucceifi^ely failed me, induced to my&lf alone^ 

• I have at laft tecovered my proper ftate. Preff- 
ed on all fides, It lemain in eq-uilibrtum, be- 

scaufe I no longer >astach m^felf to any thing, 
I reft but on myffttf. * ' 

When I roie wp with fq much ardour agattift 

opinion, I ftill was its flave, without perctiv- 

iog it. .We<wiih to be eft^med by thoie we 

. ' cfleemi 


eftecmi and while I could judge adiraatage^ 

. oufly of mankind, at leaft a part of ftbeoi^ the 

judgment they gave could not he iiidifierent 

. to jEoe. J faw that thejudgmcfit of the pMic 

- is of^en equitable ; bm I did not k^ that ertn 

this equity was the etkA of chaace; that the 

. rules on .which men found th^ir opmion are 

. taken .only from their {viffions or prejiidicQd» 

, which iare its work; and that, iiven when 

. they do judge right, thefe right judgments 

• often grow out of a b^d principle, as when 

they pretend to do honour, otufome fuccefs, 

to a man's deferts, not from a principle of 

juftice,. but to take on themfelves an air of 

impartiality, in calumniating at leifure the 

^ fame man on other points. 

But when, after fo long andfo vain nsfearches^ 

I faw them all, without exception, remain in 

the moft unjuft and 'moft abfurd fyftem an 

. infernal fpirit could invent; when I faw, 

, that, in my cafe, reafon was banifhed from 

every brain, and equity from cvtjry heart i 

when I faw a frantic generation entirely 

abandon itfelf to the blind fury of its guides, 

againft aq unfortunate fellow who never did 

or wifbed harm to any man ; when, having 

vainly ibught a man, I was at laft obliged to 

put out my candle, and cry out, They are all 

gone; then I began to find my (elf .alone, on 

the earth, and I uaderftood my cotemporartes 

were,witb refpefl to me,but mechanical beings, 

who aded but bv impulfe, and whofe a£mn 

I coutd not calculate but by the laws of mo« 

tion. Whatever intention, whatever paffion 

I wa3 able to fuppofe in their £mi18, they would 

Vol. II. N . never 

.a66. THE REVERIES OF .£W,«. 

• never have explained their condud, to me, in 
•a manaer I could underftand. 'Twas thus 
their internal difpoiitions ceafed to be of any 
conCbquence to me. I no longer faw them but 
as mfliies moved in difierent dire£lions, deprhr- 
ed^ in refped to me, of all moral refle&ion. 

In all * the ills which befal us, we look 

• mofe at the intention than the efFed. A 
tile which £sdl8 from the houfe may hurt more, 
but does, not vex us fo much as a flone thrown 
deiignedly by an ill-natured handf The firoke 
mifles fometimes, but intention is fure of its 
blow* Material pain is leaft felt amidft the 
ftrokes of fortune, and when the unfortunate 
is at a lofs for the author of his mifery, they 
accufe deftiny which they perfonate, and to 
which they lend eyes and intelligence on pur- 
pofe to torment themfelves. 'Tis thus a 
gamefter, enraged at his loiTes, grows furious 

. without knowing at whom. He fuppofes a 
fate let loofe on him on purpofe to torture him, 

r and, finding an aliment for his paffion, is ani- 
mated and enflamed againft the eiiemy hehim- 
felf has created. A wife man, who fees no 
more in all his difa{ler« than the ftrokes of 
blind neceffity, has not thefe wild agitations; 
he weeps under afflidion, but without anger, 
without paffion ; he feels no more of the evil 
of which he is the prey, than the material 
pain ; and the hlows he receives may fall as 
they may on his perfon, not one of them 
reaches his heart. 

To arrive fo far is a great deal, but it is not 
all : if you (lop, 'tis having cut down the evil 

i^it left the root ', for this root is not in beings 




foreign to us, it is iri purfclves, and 'tis there 
vre muft work entirely to tear it up. This I 
pcrfeflly found, as foon as I returned to my- 
ftlf. My reafon (hewing nought but abfurdity 
in every explanation 1 fought out on what 
had happened to me, I found that the caufes, 
the inftruments, the means of the whole, 
being to me unknown and inexplicable, 
ought to be of no confequence to me ; that I 
ihould regard all the particulars of my deftiny 
as fo many afts of pure fatality, where I 
muft fuppofe neither direftion, intention, nor 
moral caufe; that 1 (hould fubmit without 
leafoning or grumbling, becaufe it would be 
ufelefs 5 that, all I had yet to do on the earth 
being to regard myfelf pyrely as a pailive 
~being,^I (hould not^ by vainly refitting my 
deftiny, wearxjut that ftrength which remain- 
ed to fupport it. This I told myfelP, my heart 
and reafon acqurtfced, and nevcrthclefs I felt 
this heart of mine ftill murmur. Whence 
<?am'e this murmur ? I fought, and 1 found 
it; it proceeded from felf-pride, which, hav- 
ing been irritated at mankind, rofe up alfo 
againft reafon. 

'- This difcovery was not fo eafily made as 
' imagined ; for a perfecuted innocent man 
long takes for pure love of juftice the pride of 
his trifling individual, iJut then the true 
fource, once well known, is eafily dried up, 
or at leaft its courfe is changed. Qur own 
efteem is the greateft mover of elevated minds :, 
felF-pride, fertile in illufion, difguifes itfdf, and 
paiTes itfelf on us for efleem ; but when the 
fraud is at laft difcovered^ and fetf-pride can 

N z no 


up looger bide itfelf, from Ut^oce k is no lotkr 
gtx tope dreaded, and, though we ftifle it wi^i 
trouble, we at leaft bring it under with eafe. 

I never had a great prop^iity to felf-prtde; 
but this fa^itious paffion had raifed itfelf in 
me ^mong men, and particularly when I wrote: 
*1 had, perhaps, lefs than others,' but I had it 
*prodigioufly. The terrible leflbns I have re- 
ceived foon fent it back to its proper limits ; 
it began by revolting s^ainft injufiice, but it 
ended by difdaining it: in returning to the 
prote£tion of m!f mind, in cutting off exter- 
nal relations which render it importunate, in 
.renouncing comparifons and preferences, it 
wa^ fatisfied I ibould be juft to myfelf ; then 
beconiing felf-love ^ain, it returned to the 
order of nature, and has -delivered pi^ from 
theyoke of opinicMi. 

Then I found peace of mind and almoft fe- 
licity; for in whatever iituation we mayi>^, 
it i$ through ,the qiind only we are confiantly 
unhappy. When that is ^knr, and realbn 
fpeaki, it brings us comfort at laft for all the 
. evils it did hot depend On us to avoid. It an- 
nihilates them too, fo far as they do not zSt 
immediately on us f for we are fure then to 
avoid their fharpeft ftings Jn ceafmg to em* 
ploy our attention on them, * They are no- 
thing for, him who does not think of them. 
Offences, revecige, a^rohts, or injuftice, are 
'nothing. for him wbo feels ik> rnore than the- 
, pain orhis diiaAere, without feelii^ the inten- 
j lion ; for him whofe ikuation does not depend, 
'in fus .own efleein, . on wba^ others think 
^pj;opei to, gia^t ^im. In whatever. light m^an- 


W.8.] TftESOWTARY ^iirALKfill. i6^ 

kind chufe to fee me, thc^ cannot change my 
being.; and however great- their powtr, and 
whatever be their fecret cabal?, I fliall con-' 
tinue, do what they may,* to be, in defjjite of 
them, what I am. It is certain that 
difpofitions, in relpeft to me, induencc my 
real fitqation. The barrier they have raffed 
i>eween them and me, deprives me of all 
means of fubliftence and affiftance in the wants 
of old-age. It makes even monfey ufelefs td 
me, fince it cannot procure me the fervice I 
want^ there is no longer a reciprocal connec- 
tion, or fuccour, or correfpondence, between 
them and me. Alone amidtl them^ I'have but 
myfeif for refource, and that is a Weak re- 
fource at my age, an,d the ftate I am in, 
Theie are great ilb ; but they have loft all 
then: power on me, fince I have learnt to fup- 
pprt them without fretting. The points in - 
which want is truly felt, are fcaroe. Fore- 
knowledge and imagination tnultiply them, 
and 'tis by this continuity of fenfe we make 
ouHelves uneaiy, and render ourfelves mifera- ^ 
bic. For nly part, it does not fignify that I 
know Iflull fuffer to-morrow ; it fuffltes to 
make me eafy I do not fuffer to day. I ami' 
ntot affttfted at the ills I forefee, but folely at 
thofc I feci, and that redifces them to a vtry 
u't&e. Forlorn, iH, and left alone m my bed, 
I might die t^ere of fafdigence, without it^ 
troubling aAy one. But what does that im- 
port, prof idea it does not trouble me neither,* 
and thst I am as little affefted as others at^my 
fate, whatever it be. Is it nothing, parttcu- 
Ilfly at my age, to view Ufe and death, fick«* 

N a neft 


ntb and health, riches aiid vrant^ glory arid de- 
famation, with the fame indifierence f £veiy 
other old man is uneaiy at every thing, I ?Tn un- 
eal|V at nothing: let what may happen, all is to* 
different to me ; and thb. indifference is not the 
work of prudence, it is that of my enemies, and 
is become a compenfadon for the evil they have 
done me. By making me infenfible to adver- 
ty, they do me more fervice than by fparing 
their ftrokes. By not experiencing it, I might 
fear ; but by conquering, 1 fear it no more. 

This drfpofition leads me to the accomplish- 
ment of my natural propenfities aimoft as 
completely as if in the greateft.profperity. 
Except the (hort inflants which bring back, by 
the prefenceofobjeds, the moft painful unea* 
fmefs, the remainder of my time, abandoned 
by inclination to afFedions which attraft me, 

' my heart fiil) feeds on fentiments for which, 
it was created, and I enjoy them, and thofe 
imaginary beings which produce and partake of • 
them, as if fuco beings really exifted. They 
do exift for me who created them ;^and I^ 
not fear they will betray or abandon me; 
They will laft as long «s my mifery, and will 
f^ffice to make me forget it. 
• Every thing brings me back to that mild 
ajid happy life for which I was born ; I pafs 
two-thirdaof my days, either employed on in- 

*ilru(flive oligeds, and agreeable too, into which 
my mind and fenfes give with pleafure ; or 
V(hh the beings of my fancy) which I created 
to my wifb, and whofecompany feeds. its feel* 
ings; or by myielf, fatisfi^ and filled with 
that happi^efs I fed is my due* inalltbis^ 



felf-Iove does the whole bufinefe^' felf-pride 
has no (hare. It is not thus in the tirefome 
moments I ftill fpend among itiankind, the 
fport of their treacherous careifes, their flatter-' 
ing and deriding compliments, of their fugarVl 
malignity. Which way foever I am abte to- 
take it. felf-love prefcrves its a£lion. The' 
fpite and animofity 1 perceive in their hearth " 
through this clumfy covering, tears mine to 
pieces with pain ; and the idea of being thus, 
liupidly taken for a dupe, ftill adds to this 
pain a childiCh anger, fruits of a ridiculous 
(elf-pride, whofe ftupidity 1 am very fenfible oU- 
but am not able to vanquifh. I he efforts I 
make to aceuftom myfelf to thcfe modcing 
and inful ting looks, are. incredible. An hun- 
dred times I have pafled the public'walks, and 
the mofl frequented places, with the fole in- 
tention bf exercifing myfelf in tbefc cruel 
ftrugs^les. I not only could never arrive at it, 
but have not made the leaft progrefs towards 
ili and all my painful but ufelefs efforts have- 
ItfPme full as open to perturbation, fretting, 
and heart* woundings, as before. 
^ Go';erned by the fenfes, whatever I have 
been able to do, I never could refif^ their ' 
impreffions, an4 fo long as' the obje£l: z&s on^ 
tke^, my heart continues iaffe<Sted; but thefe^ - 
paffing aflfedions laft no longer than the fen-* 
lations which caufed them. The prcfe'nce of 
a fpiteful man violently afFeds me; but ib 
foon as he difappears, the impreffioQ ceafes ; • 
the inftant I no longer fee him, I think ' 
no more, about him. In vain I know he is 
going to emplpy himfelf on me, I cannot 
eiiploy myfelf on him. ^ The ills I do 

N 4 not 

afi THE REVEltlES OF [W.g. 

not ab(bfutd)r feel, in no wife'aficA me ; the 
perfecutor I da not fee, is nothing to me. I am 
fenfible of the advanta^_ given by this pofi* 
tton to ttiioie who dtfpole of my defttny. Then 
let them ilifpofe of it at p]e^iire« I had mucli 
rather they torment me without refiftance, 
than, by parrying the blow, be obh'ged to think 
of them. 

Tbi^ a£tion of the fenfea on my heart cau&s 
att^be torment of my life. In places where 
nobody is fccn, I never' think of my deftiny. 
I'feel it no more. I no longer firfFer. I am 
happy and contented, without diverfion or oh* 
flacie» But I rarely efcape fome fenfible blow *, 
^nd when I lead think of it, a nod, a crO& 
toek wlikh I perceive, an irritating word I 
hear, an adverfary i meet, fufficesto dtforder 
me. All I can do in a like eaie, is to Ibrget 
as^ foon as pofTible, and get away. The tfot««*- 
ble 0f my mind <lifappear8 wkb the objeft 
which caufed it, and I grow calm the meoMnt 
I am abne : er, if any ttrin^ makes me unefiiy^ 
^ris the fe^r of meeting, in my rpady fodb 
other fubjeA of pain. Thefe things are aU 
which tr^ttble me; bit they are fafficienf to 
diftiirb my happinefs. I lodge in the middle 
of Paris. On going out of doors I long for 
the coofitfy and folitudej but I muft. go (» 
far to feek tkem, that, before I am able tc^ | 

braathe at my eaie, I fee on the T'Oad a thou* 
ts^ objefls wbieh'Opp.Fefs my hear^, and half 
the day is fyent in anguift before i have at* 1 

tained the afylum I feek. Happy, however, 
wJiCRvthi^ let' me finift my joiirney! The j 

moment J ' leave the company -of the- wiek*^ 

' ed 


ed is delightful, aDd fo Coon as I find vayMS 
under the trees, amidft verdure^t think 1 fe^e 
myfelf in the terj:efl:rial Paradife, and I tafte an 
Internal pleafure ad lively a$ tbo^ happleii qf 
portals* , 

I perfei^ly recolle&y that» durnog my ihorjt 

})rorperixyt thefe foUtary walks, which are npv^ 
b delightful, were infipid and tireiome* W!hc9 
I was at any one's country^boufeii the ofioe^v 
of exenriff* and breathing a firee ai|f, cauCoi 
cae aften to gp om atQnie ; and, efcajac^ likf 
a thief, I fauxkered about the Park or 4n the 
fields : but, far from tafting the happy, calm X 
now tafte, I carried with me the agitation of 
the vain notions which employed us iiith«.parr 
iQur i the remenftbrai^ce of the coinpany I l/^ft 
there followed omc in foy folltude^ the. vapourf 
of felf- pride, ai^ tumiut of the world, tar* 
oiflied, in my eyes, the green thickets, andt 
troubled the peace of retirement* -Twas im 
vain I ran into the midft. of the woodaj mi 
importunate crowd was every wh^re with poe, 
an4 veiled all Nature fi:om me* 'Twaa noc * 
until difengaged f(Oin focial paffioc^ and their 
troubleibme attendants, I faun4 her a^n witb 
all her charms. 
Convinced of the impoi£btlity of rpffrain** 
' ing thefe firft involuntary moveiments,, I dif« 
continued every effort for that piirppfat X AOv 
&r my blood to rife; at each attempt, an4 paf* 
fion and indignatipn to overcome my fenfes; 
1 cede to Nature thjs firft cxplofion, wbifQh 
alt my poweK canaot ftop^or.fu^nd. My eyes 
fpsErkle, my face reddens, Hfiytrem^ingjointH 
^d i'ttffo€,at)pg jialniiikti^KAS, aU i$ftm 09 

W J ^ phyfic 



phydt alone, and reafoniog can do nothing. \ 

But having permitted Nature its iirft expio* 

'fioQ, we can become again our own mailers m 

recovering our fenfes by degrees : this I long 

endeavoured, at without fu^cefs, but at laft 

more barppily ; ^nd ceafing to ufe my ftren^th 

ia a vain refiftance, I wait the moment of 

conquering in letting. my reafon ad, for it 

never fpcaks but when it can be heard. Ah ! 

what do I fa}r, tdas ! my Reafon f I fhould 

%iii be'wToi^'to give her rite honour of thii 

yiStoty^ for me has very little Aare in it : the 

whole equally proceeds from a verfatile confti* 

Cutlon, which an impetuous wind agitates, 

but which becomes calm as the wind abates; 'tr^ 

tny natural ardour which agitates me, 'tis my 

natural iridcrfence which appeafes-me. I cede 

to every prefent iitipulfe ; ■ eviery ihock gives 

me a quick and {hort move ijrrent ; as foon as 

the fliock is^ paft, the movement ceafes ; no* 

thing communicated ran remain with me. 

Every event of fortune, every engine of roan, 

have very little hoJd on a man thus compofed. 

To aiie^ me by durable pain, the impreffion 

inuft -be renewed every inftant ; for intervals, 

though never fo (hort, fuffice to make me my- 

felf. I am whatever men pleafe, while they 

adl on my fenfes; but the firft moment of 

relaxation, I am again that which Nature 

meant me: that is, whatever they may do, 

my moft conftant fituation, and that through 

which, in defpite of fortune, I tafte an happt^ 

nefs for which I know myfelf formed. I 

have dcfcribed -this ftate in one of my Reveries; 

it is fo; agreeable'* to me^ Lwilh notiiing fo 

. 4 • c - much 


much as its opntmuance, and dread nothing fe 
much as feeing it interrupted. The ills men 
have done me in no wife touch me ; the dread 
only of what they may ftill do is able to difturb 
me : but, certain they ,have no new meriiod 
%y which they can afTed me by a permanent 
jfeeling, I laugh at all their inventions^ and 
enjoy myfclf in fpite of them* 

- f 




^fo THE BEVERIE? OF [W.9. J 


HAPPINESS is a pcrmaiieiit ftate 
does BOt feem iitteaded ita aian hciv 
bdow. All HoivBM a» eaitfa are in a eo»- 
tiaual motion, wbicii does not permit any 
thing to take. a ronftant fornn. Every tbiog 
around us changes. We change alfo, and 
no one can be certain that what be loved 
to-day heihaH knre to-morrow. Thus all our 
projefis of ielicity in this life are chimerasr 
Let us benefit by the contentment of the 
mind when we have tt \ let us take care not 
to lofe it difottgh our £iult \ but let us form 
AQ pf^e£b to ror^ it^ for fucb projeAs aie 
pure follies. ' I have fecn few happy men, 
perhaps none ; but I have often feen contented 
minds, and of all the objeds which have 
ibuck me, 'twas that which moft contented 
me. . I believe it a natural conieoueaGe of 
4hc DOwer of fenfiuioeroii' my internal feelings. 
Ha^inefs hat no external fign ; to know it, 
we muft read the heart of the happy man : 
but contentment is read in the eyes^ the 
countenance, the accent, and in tne gait^ 
and feems to communicate itfelf to him who 
perceives it Is there A> fweec an enjoyment 
as to fee a people give tfaemfelves up to 
joy on a holiday, aact every heart open to 
the expanfive rays of pleafure which rapidly^ 
but in a lively manner, pafs through the clouds 
of lift I • 9 • • « , «^^ « ^. « .. ; 


yr.^.}Tm solitary walker. 177 

Three days ;^ M^ P. cime in an extras 
orilijiacy hurry to (hew me an elogy on Ma»- 
damiS GdoffriA, by M. D. Hh reading it was 
preceded by gr^at buills of laughter on the 
new-fangled phrafes of ihis piece, and on the 
waggiih playing oa words with which he f^d 
it was filled. He began readings but ftill 
kugbed. I liilened to tilm with a ferioufneft 
which Oklmed bim^ and^ feeing I did not 
ifflttate biniy brat laft ceafed laughing. The 
longeft and mofL laboured article of thi$ 
piece *ran' oa the pkafure Madam: GeoflTriA 
had taken in ieeiog children and making 
them pratde. The author juftly drew frOJfti 
this difpofition the proof of a good heart* 
But be did nott ftop there^ and he deciUvely 
accufed of a bad h^art and vtllauiyyfal] thole 
whe had not the lame propeafity, fo far as to 
lay^ that» if tbofe who vrtnt to the gallows 
and the rack were queftioned on that heady 
they would all a^tee they never loved chit* 
dren, .Theie afiertioos had a fingular effed 
.where thqr were placed. Supppfing aU 
that true* was that the pioper opportunity % 
^ying fo ; and muft the panegyric of an efti« 
jaable woman be polluted by. the deicripltoki 
of executions and makfadors? i eaiUy 
comprehended the motive of this dirty afFec*^ 
lation ', and when M. P. bad done reading* 
in repeating that which ieemed clever in thofe 
eucottiiumSy I added, the author> in writing 
it, had in bis heart more malice* than friends 

The next day, the weather being pretty 
&AC» though cold, ( took a walk a» far as 




the military ichool, expe£Hng to find feme 
mofs in full blo^sm : going there I thought 
on tne evening's vifit, and on M. D.*s bfxky 
where I very much believed the piaiftered 
eptibde was not placed without intention ; and 
the affedatibn only of bringing the pamphlet 
to me, from whom every thing is hid, very 
Well told me' its objed. I had fent my chil- 
dren to the afylum. This was fiifficient to 
defcribe me as an unnatural father ; and from 
thence extending and careffing the idea, they 
had almoft drawn the evident confequence of 
my hating children. In following by thought 
the chain of thefe gradations, I admired with 
what art human induih'y can change things 
from white to black: for I don't believe any 
inan ever loved more than I to fteiittle crea- 
tures toying and playing together, and often, 
in the ftrcet and in my walks, I ftop to look 
at their pranks, and their little plays, with 
an intereft I fee no one partake. The fame 
day M. P. came, an hour before his vifit I 
had that of the two little'Souifoi, the youngeft 
of my landlord's children, of which the eldeft 
is about feven years old. They had been to 
embrace me fo heartily, and I had (b tenderly 
returned their carefies, that the difparity cf 
^ge did hot feem to prevent them from bein^ 
iincerdy pleafed with mt ; and, for ray part, 
I was tranfported with joy to fee that fo old 
a figure had not difgufted them : the youngeft 
feemed to come to me even fo willingly^ that^ 
more a child than they, I felt myfelf already 
more engaged with him, and faw him depar^t 
with as much regret as if he l»d been min^ 

I ua- 



* I iHiderfland that the reproach of having 
fent my children to the afylum, has eafily 
degenerated^ with a little art, into that of 
being an unnatural father, and of hating chil- 
dren. It is, however, certain, that the dread 
of a fate a thoufand times worfe, and almoft 
inevitable any other way, determined me to 
this ttep. More indifferent on what would 
become of them, aftd hot in a ftate of bring- 
ing them up myfelf, it would have been ne- 
GCnary, in my fituation, to leave them to 
their mother's care, who would have fpoiled 
them, or to her family's, who would have made 
them monfters. I yet tremble at the thought. 
That which Mahomet made of Saide, was 
nothing when compared to what they would 
have made of them in refpefi to me ; and the 
traps laid for me afterwards, on that point, 
fufficiently convinced me the projeft was formed. 
I was, indeed, far from forefeehig thefe atro- 
cious plbts ; but I knew the education the 
leafl: perilous to them was that of the alylum, 
and I put them there. I would do it again, 
and with much lefs fcruple too, was it to 
be done again; and I know that no father is 
tenderer than I (bould have been, had habit 
in the leaft affifted Nature. 

If I have made any progrefs in the know- 
ledge of the human heart, 'twas the pleafure 
I had on feeing and obferving children which 
gave *mc this knowledge. The fame plea- 
lure in my youth was a kind of obftacle ; 
for I played To heartily and fo gaily, I thought 
little of ftudying them : but when growing 
0M, I faw. my decaying vifage caufed them 





urrearinefs^ I abftainedffom importuning them; 
I chofe rather to deprive my&lf of a plea-* 
fure than to trouble their happtoeTs ; and, 
contented to fatisfy myfelf in obferving tbeiff 
play^ and all their little tricks, I fbutid t^ 
return for the facrlfice in the inSru£lioA9 
thefe obfervattons gave me oa the firft and 
real movements of Nature^ of which dU our 
learned men know nothing* I have committed 
to my works the proof of my being: top 
carefully employed in this refearch not tohav^ 
made it with pleafure i and it would cer^v 
tainly be, of all things iji the world, the 
mo{! incredible, that £|oifa and Emilias fhauld 
be the productions of a maa who did not love 

I never bad prcfence of mind or facility of 
ipeecb ; but iince my misfortunes my tongue 
and my, brain are more and more embarramd« 
The proper idei and word equally Ihun me, 
and nothing requires greater difcernment and 
choice of juil expr^ffion than the difcouife wc 
hold with children* That which flill increafes 
this embarralTment in me, is the attention of 
liileners ; the interpretations and the weight 
they give to every word which comes from a 
man, who, bavins written exprefsly for chil« 
dren, is fuppofed obliged to fpeak to them 
but by infpiration. This extreme reftraintf 
and the unaptnefs I feel^ trouble and difconcert 
me; 1 ihould be much more at my eafe before 
a monarch of Ada,, than before a baby one muft 
<!nake prattle. 

Another inconvenience keeps me ftill farther 
from them^ and iince my diiaiters I^ ftill fee 



W.9.J THE SOLITARY Walker. ^ 

them With the flune pleafure, but I am hoi 
longer fo familiar with them. . Children don't. 
love old-age. The afpeSt of decaying Nature 
is hideous in their eyes. Their repugnance^ 
which I perceive, hurts me ; I had rather ab- 
ftain from careffing; them, than give them 
conftraint and difgoft. 7'his motive, which 
a^only on fouls truly tender, is nothing to all 
our do&ors and dodrefies. Madam' GeofFrin 
gave h^rfelf little trouble about children's being 
pleaf^d with her, provided (be had pleafure. 
with them.' But come fuch pleaftire is worfc 
than none j it is neg^tiv^ when not divided, and 
lam no loBger in the fiiuation or age whenl' 
fawthe little heart of ^ child opeh jtfdf with* 
mine. Could that happen to me again, the-, 
pleafure, scomhi more rare, Would be to me but; 
more lively : 1 escperienced this well the other 
morning by that 1 took in care/Hng the two^ 
little Soufibi, no(r only becaufe the prefence of 
their maid, who brought them, did not much, 
impofe oa me, and th^lt I foufid lefs occaiion to 
watch m^lf, but, alfey beeaufe the jovial aie 
with which they came to me never left them». 
and' that they appeared not difpleafed or tired: 
of me. 

Oh ] had I ftill a fevir moments of pure kind*- 
nefs from (he Ibeart, wat it but from a child in 
coats, could I yet perceive^ in fome eyjbs, jojr 
aod coatentmeat at being with me^ for how 
many trouhles miA mi^ortunea would ifot the 
ihort bat delightfiil effirfion of my h^art be aa 
ample reward f Ah ! I (hoiild not be obli^d 
to feek a kind look frona animah, which is now 
rcfu&d me by bumaa helngSi 1 can judge o^ 

2tt THE REVERIES OF t^. 9. 

it by very few examples, but always dear to mj 
memory. Here's one of them^ which in anjr 
other iltuation 1 had nearly forgot, and whofe 
im predion on me ftrongly defcribes my mi fery. 
About two years ago, takmg a walk towards 
New France, I went on farther ; then in- 
clining to the right, in order to turn round 
Montmartre, I went through the village of 
Clignancourt; I went along hecdtefs and me- 
ditating^without looking around me, when, all 
at once, 1 felt myfelf cfafped round the knees, 
I look, and fee a little child, about five or fix 
years old, who fqueexed my knees with all his 
pdwer, in looking up, at me with an air fo 
famiiiar and lovely my bowels yearned* 1 faid 
to myfelf, 'Tis thus my own had done. I took 
the child in my arms, 1 knifed him feveral times 
with a kind of tranfport, and continued mj 
road, I found on walkingaknig lomething 
Was wanting. A growing nocefHty carried me 
back again. I upbrafJed myfejf on having fo 
fuddenJy quitted the child. I thoughf^I per- 
ceived in his aSion, without an apparent caufe, 
a fort of infpiratioti not to be difdained. In 
fine, ceding to the temptation, I go back 
again ; I run to the child, embrace him again^ 
and give him wherewithal to buy fome Nan- 
terre loaves, the man who fold them happening 
to pafs by at the fame time, and >I began to 
nlake him prattle; I aik him who was his 
father i He pointed to him, as he was hooping 
fome tubs ; I was jaft leaving the child to go 
and talk to him, when I faw my felf prevented by 
an ilMooking fellow, who feemed one of thofe 
fpies they inceflantly keep at my heels. While 



this fellow was whtfperitig him in the ear, I' 
Aw the cooper fix his eyes attentively on me, 
with an air which had nothing friendly. This 
objed inftahtly reached my heart, and I quitted 
the father and child in greater hade than I had 
returned there, but in a trouble lefs agreeable, 
whicb changed every difpofition. I have, ne- 
vertheleis, felt them often return fmce then ; I 
feveral time? went through Clignancourr, in 
hopes of feeing the child again, but I never 
more faw him or his father^ and nothing more 
remains of this affair than a pretty lively re- 
colkcftion, always n>ixed with pleafure and fad- 
nefs, as every emotion is which, fometimes^ ftill 
penetrates as far as the heart, 

. All is compenfated ; though my pleafures 
are fliort and fc.arce,'when they prefent them* 
felves I tafte them to a greater degree than were 
t))ey more frequent : they return, in a manner, 
by therecoUe<5tionof them ; and,howeverfel jom 
I ;am bleiled with them, were. they pure and 
without mixture, I ibould, perhaps, be happief 
than in my profperity. In extreme want a , 
trifle is riches. A beggar who finds a crown' 
Umore afie£ted than a riob man in finding a 
purfeofgold. You would laugh, could you 
defcend into my heart, and fee the impreffione 
the leaft pleafure of this fort produces, which 
Tarn able to hide firom the vigilance of my per* 
fecu^ors. One of the fweeteft was about four 
or five years ago, which I never recal without 
feeling my&lf ravi(bed with delight at having 
pst>fited fo much by it* 
/ One. Sunday my wife and I went to dine at 
the Force Maillot. After diaoer we eroded 



Bbttlogne wood to theMuette; We tliere ftt 
dawn on the grsft in the ihade, until the fun 
was lower, in order to return gently through 
Pa%. About twenty little gh^is, led by a kind 
of nun, came fome to fit and others to waittoa 
round us. During their amuiemeots, a man 
who Ibid cake&'came by ivith his drmn ami bia 
lottery»board, foeking cuftomers. I percehwd 
the children very much wiflied Air fome cattet^ 
and two or three of them, whom I fuppofe 
had a few farthings^ afllcd permifSon to play. 
While the governcft heTitattd and diiputed^ I 
caiied the lottery«>m9iH smd faid. it>' him. Let 
each of the jroi^igiMlies draw in thetr turn, 
and i will pay yoaftirtiie whole*: Ihiafpread. 
ajoy ov^ all the Iktie company^ which alone 
had monrthan repaid my porfe, had I entirely 
emptied tit .'for them. 

As I (aw theypreflTed on in ibme coafufion^ 
with the^govarnws oonient, I placed them * 
all jon cue fide, and yrkma they had drawn 
their ticket^ I oaade Atm. pa& «it the other. 
Though dMrre.wene<no blanks^ and each one 
that loft bad at kait^c^ircake, that none of 
them.migbt heakfohitely diftotttemed, in or« 
der to sendee the feaft mil noie joyful, I prt* 
va^ly ttAi the lottery- man tnr ufe his accaihm- 
ed:addre& in a. contrary fettfe, in caufing^aa 
many prJxea » poffibk- toi be: dsa^n^ and I 
W«uUL account w&th. him fbrit. Bymeaoaof 
thia arrangenaenty thei^ were near ai» hundred 
cakes diftfibutedy though, the little things, each 
drew but once only ; for oa. that point I was 
inexorabte, boi allowing ' sdnrfes . tK» be ft-- 
Vioured^ eac pfsfeceiices ohlerved^. which msghc 



|ir0ditce diicohtfotmet^. My wifeinfinuftked 
to thofe who had good priz^ lo tiBpartto their 
comf^Aiotts, (o that the {hares by tbefe mems 
W^ere rienrW equal, and the joy moce generah 
. I beg^ea the nui^ to draw io her turn, great- 
ly dreading flie might difdMnfuUv rqea my 
oiFer : (he readily accepted k, arew as her 
.boarders, and took without reftraint thatihe^ 
had won. She. in thut made me^ mfinitety 
]is|>py9 and 1 fomid a, kind ofpoliteneft in tt 
gwhuch greatly pieafed me, and which at ieafi 
-equalled, I think, that of affe^Utioa* Dur-* 
ing tfaefe operations ^ifputes ar6(e^ which were 
brought to my tribunal.; and thefe little crea- 
tures coming by turns to plead their' caufet 
: gave me an opportuoiiy^^of remarking, thar» 
though none of them were pretty, the >ready 
conceit of fome of them caufed. their defor* 
mity to be paiTed by. 

We parted at Im wefll £itisiied wtth each^ 
othier, and this afternoon was one of thofe of 
my life whofe rememiMrance I rtcal with the 
greateft fatis&&ion« The. feaft, befides,- was 
not ruinous. For thirty fols it coft me. at 
moft, there was more than a hundred crowns 
worth of contentment I fo true it is,, pkafare 
is not to b^ meafmed by. its expeoce, and that 

^'oy is nvore the friend of farthings than guineas* 
L fevcral times returned to. the fame place* astd 
, at the fame hour, hoping again to meet the 
little band,' but it happened no more* 

This.recals another amufementbf the fame 
fort, whoiie remembrance, though /much far«- 
ther back^ ftill lemaios. 'Twas in thofe tm* 
bai^py times, wfa^, being among. the rich:aod 


• « 



fnen of letters, I was fometitnes reduced to 
partake of their tirefome pleafures. I was at 
la Chevrette at the time of its proprietor's 
birth day ; the whole family was united to 
celebrate it ; and all the powers of noify plea- 
fure were put in motion to this purpofe. Plays, 
fcaftings, fireworks, nothing was fpared; You 
bad not time to breathe ; 'twais ftunning in'* 
ftead of amufing. After dinner you went to 
take the air in the avenue, where was held a 
kind of fair. You danced ; gentlemen deign- 
ed to dance with peafants, but the ladies pre- 
ferved their dignity. Gingerbread was fold 
there. A young man of the company took 
it in his head to buy fotne cakes, to throw 
them one after the other among the crowd ; 
it fo much delighted afl to fee thefe poor 
clowns ruih on each other, fight, throw each 
other down to catch hold of fome, that every 
one would procure them feJves the fame plea- 
fure. Cakes of gingerbread flying on all fides, 
men and women luiinirg, piled on each other, 
laming one another; it appeared to every one 
charming. J, from fhame, did like others, 
though inwardly Iwas not diverted fo much 
as they. But foon wearied of emptying my 
pockets to get people cruihed to pieces^ I left 
the genteelcompany there, and took a waljc 
in the fair alone. ' The variety of objects I 
long amufed me. I perceived, among others, 
five or fix Savoyards around a little girl who 
bad ftill. in her bafket a dozen forry apples 
ihe much wanted to get rid of« The Sa- 
voyards, on their part, would have been as 
willing to 'difengage her from them, but |h«y 



had but two or three farthings among them 
all, and that was not fufficient to make a 
great breach in the apples* This bafket was 
to them the garden of the Hefperides, and the 
little girl the dragon which guarded thedi. 
The farce long amufed me ; 1 at laft unra« 
velled it, by paying the little girl for the ap- 
ples, and caufing her to divide them among 
the little boys. I then beheld the iineft fight 
that can flatter the human heart, that of feeing 
joy united to the innocence of youth fpread 
itielf all around me : for the by-ftanders, on 
feeing it,partook of it likewife, and I, who par- 
took at fo cheap a rateof this joy, had alfo that 
of feeling 'twas my own creating. 

On comparing this amufement to that I 
had juft left, I iaw with (acisfadlion the dif- 
ference of found tafte, and natural pleafures, 
oppofed to tbofe opulence gives birth to, which 
are little more than pleafures of mockery,- and 
exclufive taftes engendered by contempt : for 
what fort of pleafure could one take in feeing 
bands of men, which mjfery had abafed, heap* 
ed oneach.other, choakingeach other, laming 
one another, greedily to tear from each other's 
hands a few pieces of gingerbread, trampled 
under foot, and covered with mud ? 

On my part, when I profoundly refledred on 
the fort of pleafure I tafled on thefe occafions, 
1 found it did not fo much ][confift in a fen- 
timent of benevolence as in the pleafure of 
feeing a contented countenance. This fight 
has, for me, a charm, which, though it reaches 
my heart, feems to be folely of fenfation. When 
I do not fee the fatisfa£tion I caufe^ though I 



tm certain of it, I only half.ei^y it. It is even 
to me .a difintereAed pkafare, which doea not 
. depend on the fhare I have in it : fbr, among 
'. the diveriions of the people>.that of ^oeiiig j<^- 
. ful countenances has always ftriktngly a&^ied 
me. This expedation Jbas been« howiever, 
-often^ where this indon» 
, who pnetend to fomudi gaidty, (hew rery Utde 
. of it m their amufements. 1 ufed formerly to 
go often to the public phces tx> fee. the com- 
mon people dance; but their dances were fo 
diiagreeable, fuch doleful, fitly fiices^ I always 
came away more forcowful than joyful. But 
atGeneva,ahd in Switzerlandywherethelai^h 
does not inceflantly evaporate .into wanton 
maltgnitjr, every thms: breathes contentment 
and joy in their amuiements. Mifery never 
. thews its head there. The infolence of often- 
tation is likewife fliut out. Good cheer, bro- 
therhood, and coficord, difpofe every heart to 
mirth, and in the traniports of innocent. joy, 
ftrangers fometimes aecqft, embrace, and In- 
vite each other to partake in. concert of the 
pleafures of the day. That I might alfo en- 
joy thefe lovely atnufements, it was not necef* 
fary to be of them: it fnfficcd me to fee them i 
on feeing! enjoy them ; and, amcmg fo niany 
.joyful countenances. Lam certain there is not 
a heart merrier than mine. 
~ Though there is nothing in this, but the 
pleafure of fcnfe, it has certainly a moral 
'cau&i the proof of it is, that the fame afped, 
inftead of flattering, can rend me with pain 
.and indignation, when. Libnow. thefe figns of 
joy and pleafiire in the countenancesa of vil- 


> • * 

laint are only Mdrkscthclir malke is {RtiSfiidZ 

It is only innocent mirth lArhofe itins Aitt^ 

myheait/' Thbfe ^jf cfiicl and fnccring mrrtfi 

:wo«in(i 2Xid afltiA It, tiioiigh they may n6t1>« 

'ihMndedifb^ me*- Thefe figns cannot, Sdiilt^ 

4eft;' becxkAlythe f;ime^'- proceeding front 

•pHnelptes fo diffiprent ; but, in fine, they zti 

equally ligns of joy, and their iehfible difFe«ii 

^rence IS not, afTuredly^ proportioned to thofe 

•oif^tiie niovements they excite in me. /' 

t ThofTe of *pairi and afflidion hurt me fKil 

more ; to a degree of making it impof&ble ti 

fopport them, without being myfelf agitated 

with emotions perhaps livelier than thofe thcf 

reprefent* The itfiagination,ftrengthening fen^ 

fation, incorporates me w4th the fuffering be* 

Jng, and often gives me more anguiih than h<i 

Jiimfelf feels. A dtfcontented countenance ii 

•another .fight impoffible for me to fuppof t^ 

'particufarly if I have any caufe to think this 

difcontentment regards me. I don't know hot^ 

many half-crowns the murmuring, fheepifh 

look of footmen has coft me, who doggedl]f 

ferve in thofe houfes where i had formerly thd 

.ftupidicy to fufler myfelf to be dragged, and 

•where their attendants have often made me 

-dearly pay the maker's hofpitality. Always 

too much affe£led' at fenfible objefls,. and |iat^ 

ticularly thofe who bear figns of pleafure or 

Jain, benevolence or averfion, I am drawn iii 
y thefe external exprcffions, without ever 
being able to extricate myfelf from them, but 
.by retiring. A fign, a nod, a look from a 
ftranger, fuffices to difturb my pleafures, or 
xalm my uneaiine&. I am myfelf but when I 
VoL.lL O aat 

p^ THE «EYE«f BS or [Wjj. 

m^onei wknnotff, I am tbe OMckety'cf 
fli tbofe aEToand me. ... 

f i ^imerlv liftd with :4dca(ure rameng. tm^ 
pie w£en I (aw ao^dit .but. ben^ol^ce in 
every «v^, or at moft iiidifi«r«ace In thofetd 
whom I was a ftraoger j btfl now that m mdch 
pains 1$ taken tp delineate my leaturea to the 
peofde as to cOQccai from thorn aay^iiiiemal 
dil^fitionsy i cannot fet-my fopt^ intkt&potc 
without beine* Aiirouh^ed by afii^ing' objcAi* 
^bafte with fwift &ef$ to jteadi the country) 
die moment I fee verdufr^ I befftn to breathe. 
jbUn it Airprife that I love Ibfitude? I fee 
nothing but animofitv on die countenantt of 
|ha^, and Nature iinii^^ at me always. 
. ly however, ftill feeU I muft own^ aipleafufe 
|n living with manlciiKl while my features tare 
imknown to them ; but this jis a pleatUce I am 
feldom granted. I was yet Jbild, a few yeais 
^Q,'6f going through villages, and feeing the 
countrymen in (he morning mendif>g their 
fiails, or the women with their x:hildren at the 
door. This fi^ht had fomething of I don't 
know^ what in it which touched my heart. I 
fomeximes flopped, . Mdthout thinking, to look 
at the Tittle arrangements of thefe g<^ people, 
^ad often found myfelffighiog without kneeing 
lit what, I don't know whether my ienfibiliqr 
to fliis pleafore has been perceived* and that 
thejfw;ouid deprive me of this too;, but, .Axmh 
the change I obferve in looks as I pafs, and the 
air with which thfy r^ard me, I am forced to 
coipprehcnd;grea^t care^a^feeen takef to deprive 
me of this incognito. The fat^ thing hap- 
pened> but in a more coivfptcuous manner, at 


4 — « 

W.9>31 THE SOLITARY WAtkER. i^i 

tlie bbrpital of invalids top. This ttobje ihftfi 
t^tion has always intereft^ me* I never ft^ 
without fondhefs and veneration thoffc gi^^PJl 
Qf good old men, who may fay, with tnofe ^{ 
Lacedemon, ' 

We were^ m times of old, 
Youngy cour^jgepus, and bold* 

One of my favourite walks was aroand Af 
military fchoo]> and I met here and there an 
iin*a1id, who, having prefeirved ancient military 
civility^ greeted' me* as he paifed by* Thii 
greeting, which my h^rt returned an hundred 
Fold^ made me happy^ and increafsd the plea- 
Aire of feeing them. As I can hide nothing 
which touches me^ I ofcpn fpoke of th^, ihva^ 
lids, and the manner their fight aSeSed mel 
That was enough. Some time'after I^fuUnd t 
was no longer unknown to them, or, rather^ 
that I was ftillmore fo, fince' tlwylooked cfn 
ne with the fame eye as the pubh'c. lil^ monft 
civility, no more greetings. A difdainful zki 
a look of fevefity^ fucceede^ their former cour» 
tcsfji* The ancient franknefs of their profeffioll 
AOfepermttting them, as others, to hide- theiir 
•fihnofity with a fneering, treacherous mafk, 
they quite openly (hewed me the moft violent 
Biaiice ; and fuch i» the excefs of mv miferV, I 
am Qbligedto diftingut(h in tnj efteem thofil^ 

ho leaft diguife: their fury* 

Since this i walk with'lefs pleafiine towardi 
tlievhofpital of tnvalidsj however, as mf 
flbdings for tltem do. not depend on thofethe/ 
have for me, I never fee without i9fye/k and 
inttreft tbofe ancient defenders of tbct? Goun-^ 

O z trj5 


fry. 'f but it h yerj hard to fee myfelf io ill 
repaid for the juftice I do them. If, by chance, 
|. meet one who has efcaped the general in* 
Krq£lionS| or who, not knowing my perfon, 
fiiews me no averiidn, the kind greeting of him 
alone is a fatisfadion for the crabbed looks of 
the reft. I, forget them to think of him only, 
and I fuppofe he has a foul like mine, where 
ikiUtd cannot penetrate. I enjoyed this plda* 
fy/e laft year on croi&ng the water to take a 
^urn in the ifland of Swans. A poor old inva<» 
Jjd, in a boat, waited for company to pais over. 
I came up, I told the waterman to pufh off. 
The water was high, and the pafls^e Ibng* 
X hardly dared fpeak to the invalid, for 'fear of 
l>e]ng; roughly treated, anddifdained as ufual ; 
but his honeft countenance, encouraged me. 
We chatted. He appeared a man of fenieand 
ynorals. I was furpri/ed and charmed at his open 
and afFjible manner. I was not accuftoined to fo^ 
puch kiodnefs. My furprifeceafedon hearingt 
\iifi was iuft come from the country. I compre«> 
bended he had not yet been made acquainted: 
with my perfon, or received his inftrudHoos* 
Z took the advantage of this incognito to coda 
yerk^ for a moment, with a man, and faw, by 
the fatisfaiSlion I found in it, how much the 
fcarcity of the moft common pleafures is capa* 
ble of increafing their value. On coming out 
of the boat, he was preparing his poor hd& 
penny t I paid the fiire, and begged him to 
keep it, but trembling to ftartle him. That' 
was not the cafe ; he, on the contrary, feemed 
icKfible of my attention, and particularly to 
that likewife, as he was older than I, of affifi*- 
i • ing 


iiig him to get out of the boat. Who would 
bdieve I was child enough to cry with joy f 
I had giyen the world to have put a (hilling 
Into his hand to buy fome tobacco ; I did not 
dare. The fame bafhfulnefs which prevented 
- wncy has often withheld me from good adioni 
which- would have overcome^ me with joy, and 
from which I abflained but in bewailing my 
fiupidity. This time,'having quitted the poor* 
eld invalid,! fbonconfoled myfelf onrefie£tin^ 
that I ihould have, in a manner, afted againft 
my own principles, .by mixing, with a£tion^ 
of Givpity, vile money, which degraded their 
excellence, and tarni(hes their difintereftedneffs; 
Wcfliould haikn to thefuccour ofthofe who 
want it ; but, in the ordinary courie of things, 
let ilatiiral benevolence and ktndnefs do each- 
their duty,' without any thing venal or mean 
daring to approach fo pure a fource to corrupt 
or change ir. It is fa id the people in Holfand 
ifilift on being paid for telling theh<Hirof the 
day, or (hewing you the road. Thefe muft be 
t. very contemptible people, who can th\is make 
a traffic^ the reciprocal fervices of humanity; 
> I hara remarked that^urope alone ftlls hof. 
pitality.' AD over Afiayou are lodged gratis. 
i comprefal^d that conveniences are not fo 
eafily to be had there. But is it nothing to fay, 
I am a man, and am r^eived by humanity i 
'Tis pure humanity which gives me a covering. 
Itfittle privations are eaflly endured, when the 
heart Is better treated than the body. ' 


i(94t Tax %%y^Kms:^ car [w;im 


nriaiS. daii^ Pal«trSiiiidaK,. it: ik jmcitdfi 
1 fifty, yem fiim my firft acquaiito^ 
Uce-M^ith, Mwaiti de Wfticot* Shiec wi» died, 
^gbt^audrtwenty^ betng.borh witb therage. fi 
wa^ not^qiiitQ fcv<meen^ amiimy.riOfag-oonAiM 
tution^ which then. I wa» ignorant of^ addai 
bdhsh^zt ta a. heait; maundly fbll.of vtgouiw 
Thoii|^' tkere mw be nothing forpTiiing* ih« 
hc;r. cjonceiwlng. a. xindndic for ajyvuing* mniy 
livdy, bwi mtU udiaiKkfli and vdia&peribn 
was i^e«iabki enough, it was ffii) iefa fb that 
a charming woman^ of extreme wit aiidibeuityv 
iofpiredf^ith gratitude othen ffielinsa more 
lender, between \iiHch 1 couldnot diffinguift*^ 
But that which is leTs common, thirfir&mo*' 
ment, difpofed of rae foe my whde life, audi 
produced, by an inevitable oooi|exion,.tbe fats^ 
^f my, remaining, days. My mifid-,. of wfaicb} 
^ my organs bad not. anfokkd! the moft pre^ 
<nous.f«tt:ultjie», had not yet leoeiircsd.anjF dter- 
mined. fbrin^ it. Waited,, with. a fort of. impair 
tjj^nce, the. mcmfint. which: wasi to announce 
i^ and that moioent^accelemtediqr tfaiamdet-; 
ing, did not, however^ fo fooit arrive ^ and/ 
ifi th^ fimplicity* of maonen^ edticati«n bad* 
gjjireix me* I iaw thia ddtcioiis but n^'flatW ' 
extremely . pt»looged, vrhsrft love and inno« 
cence dwell in the fame foul. She fent n» 
away. Every thing told me to come back aarain. 
I was obliged to return. This letocn fixed THE SOLITiUry t^AfiiC&R.^ 

wnj dfftiii7» and long bdbre i pdS^Bsfi ^her 1 
^ lived butimh^ and Ibiiier. A'h' I bad'I been 
tfitlEciBiit 3to4ier iieatt, tts ihef<9m to diinel 
^haitpoobeMc and d^ght fuP days haxt We nc/t 
|;endy.paftd together! Wehadloiiiefiicb^Vat 

hasi followed? them t TjMfre is'-iiotadavtrdo 
nat recaLwich tneldng j^ this otily ttU'Btort 
itiax ;of my *iife #here il tvas %libKy Biffifl& 
:iiiitltdac^aUay or^obftacle, aritf^friieferl eaa 
rtcufy X8}(, Jtlftred. i •m^j'^moft fiiytwilh-tihe 
;Pi:eta&'ofotlB F/^fOrtamb'^^ dif^Ftced uhw 
4)er ye^flaci, retired to eiid» hi» days ))eacea^ 
bly in. the eoinitry, a/- bMfeteinfiVitnlyffars sk 
- ibi'isrtb^ mud'huwi^li^kd fwiH. Wtthiitt tKis 
iboit but pfedotts Tpace^ I baid perbaqps re^ 
iiiaif^d.oiicertaiivof«9^fdf; for alPtbe 'reft ^ 
«iy Ufes^'^eafy :and :|irt&OBt reftfbllte, I f^aVfe 
been f(>niudiag;itatedy «offed>aboat^ teazedb^' 
thepafltons of olhers, nearly pi0fi^ 'in 4b« cem^ 
Ipeftuoiisalifey^riiloirid beifMbted to'dffbo*^ 
ver wliat part ^{^my condttd is nty own, ft 
jQuch has 4ire fie<?effity confitttfiny kept me 
lutder. • But (hirmg thofe few years, ' beloved 
by a 'Woman w^o was ndo^t baf 06m]^la!^ 
Anoe and fweetndisd did that I wiSii^ to dc^ 
1 was that I wift^ ta be, and, frorn the dfb 
I made of niy leifQre, aAAed by her l^ilbifs 
tnd ejcample^ I knew to g^ve tolny mihd, then 
liaiple and lifnexpeHencS, thitt fornf it w^ 
beft intended for, and which it has always re-> 
tained. A tafte for folitude and contempla- 
tion grew up in my heart with thofe expanfive 
and tender feelb^s created to fee) it. Tumult 
L and noife opprels and ftific them> calm and 
■ peace 

Jt96 THE REVERIES, &c. [.W.i«. 

peace enliven ao'dcxftlt diem.' I want retina- .let^ged Mamma to live 
in the country s a lon^y houfe onvtbe decline 
of a rzllj^y was' oiu refagey and 'twasr therq 
that, in a fpace of four or fireyears, I ent- 
joyed an ag^ of lifc^ and a hapfnneis pure and 
full, whic^h hides with its charms all the hor«* 
101$ of my prefent ftate* I wanted a friend 
according to my heart } I had her. I wi(hed 
for the county; I obtained it. I could not 
bear fubje^on, I was perfe<^y free,. and more 
than freej fbr,<fubj^ to my 'own attachments 
alone,I did that only I wKhed to .do. My whole 
time was employed in affedionate attentions 
or rural occupations, I had nothing to defire 
but the continuation of fo charming a ftate ; 
my only trouble was the dread it would very 
/oon end, and this dread, arifing from the nar- 
rownefs of our cifcumftances, was not . withr 
out foundation. I then fought at the fame 
time to endeavour to divert this uneafinefs, and 
£nd fome refeurce which might prevent its 
efftSts* I thought to lay in a ttock of talents^ 
was the fureft reiburce againft want s . and I 
lefolved to employ my leifure to put myfelf 
^n a fituation, if poffible, one day or other, 
to render the beft of women that affiftance I 
had received of her, » * *» ♦ 










^ M 





my 1 5 1966