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Full text of "Studies of nature"

STUDIES 

OF 

NATURE. 



VOL. IV. 



STUDIES 

OF 

NATURE, 

BY 

JAMES - HENRY- BERNARDIN 

DE SAINT -PIERRE. 



.MISERÏS SUCCURERE DISCO. 



TRANSLATED liY 

HENRY HUNTER, D. D. 

MINISTER OF THE SCOTS CHURCH, LONDON-WALL. 



IN FIFE rO LUMES, 



VOL. iV. 



EonDon : 

PRINTED FOR C. DILLY, IN THE POULTRY. 



MDCCXCVI, 



CONTENTS 

OF VOL. IV. 

SEQUEL OF Page 

STUDY XII. /^F the Sentiments of the Soul, and, 

V-/ firft, Of mental Affeeiions i 

Of the Sentiment of Innocence .i 5 

Of Pity — 6 

Of the Love of Country • 10 

Of the Sentiment of Admiration ■ 1 3 

Of the Marvellous ' _-^__ i^ 

The Pkafure of Myflery — — 17 

The Pleafure of Ignorance 1 9 

Of the Sentiment of Melancholy 24 

The Pleafure of Ruin ■ — 28 

The Pleafure of Tombs — — — 38 

Ruins of Nature — — — 45 

The Pleafure of Solitude ■ 47 

Of the Sentiment of Love ^— ib. 
Of fome other Sentiments of Deity, and, 

among others, of that of Virtue — 75 
STUDY XIII. Application of the Laws of Nature to the 

Diforders of Society — — 97 

Of Paris i8r 

Of Nobility > 246 

Of an Elyfium — — -. 25L 

Of the Clergy 288 

STUDY XIV. Of Education — 297 

National Schools — 326 

Recapitulation ■■ — ■■ 371 



9 O .n 



,^.., 



STUDIES 



NATURE 



SE QUEL OF ST UD Y XII. 

OF THE SENTIMENTS OF THE SOUL. 

AND, FIRST, 

Of mental AjfeBions. 

SHALL fpeak of mental afTfiflions, chiefly in 
the vieu' of diftinguilhing them from the ien- 
ciments of the foul : they diifcr efTentialîy fr.oiii 
each other. For ex mi pie, the pleafure which co- 
medy beftows is widely different from that of 
which tragedy is the fource. The eir.otion which 
excites laughter is an affection of the mind, or of 
human reafon^ that which dilL.-lves us into tears 
is a fentireient of the foul. Not that 1 would make 
of the mind, and of the foul, two powers of a dif- 
ferent nature j but it feems to me, as his been 
already faid, that the one is to the odier, what 
fight is to the body; mind is a faculty, and foul 
is the principle of it : the foul is, if i may venture 
VOL. IV. B thus 



2 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

thus to exprefs myfelf, the body of our intelîï- 
gence. 1 confider the mind, then, as an intellec- 
tual eye, to which may be referred the other facul- 
ties of the underftanding, as the mûginationj 'wh.ich 
apprehends things future ; memory, which contem- 
plates things that are paftj and Judgment, which 
difcerns their correfpondencies. The impreflion 
made upon us by thefe different adls of vifion, 
fometimes excites in us a fentiment which is de- 
nominated evidence ; and in that cafe, this laft per- 
ception belongs immediately to the foul ; of this 
we are made fenfible by the delicious emotion 
which it fuddenly excites in us ; but, raifed to 
that, it is no longer in the province of mind ; be- 
caufe, when we begin to feel, we ceafe to reafon; 
it is no longer vifion, it is enjoyment. 

As our education and our manners dired us to- 
ward our perfonal intereft, hence it comes to pafs, 
that the mind employs itfelf only about focial con- 
formities, and that reafon, after all, is nothing 
more than the intereft of our paffions ; but the 
foul, left to itfelf, is inceffantly purfuing the con- 
formities of Nature, and our fentiment is always 
the intereft of Mankind. 

Thus, I repeat it, mind is the perception of the 
Laws of Society, and fentiment is the perception 
of the Laws of Nature. Thofe who difplay to us 

the 



STUDY XII. 3 

the conformities of Society, fuch as comic Writers, 
Satyrifts, Epigrammatifts, and even the greatefl: part 
of Moralifts, are men of wit : fuch were the Abbé 
de Choify^ La BruyerCy St. Evremont, and the like. 
Thofe who difcover to us the conformities of Na- 
ture, fuch as tragic, and other Poets of fenfibility, 
the Inventors of arts, great Philofophers, are men 
of genius : fuch were Shakefpeare, Corneille, Racine, 
Newton, Marcus Aurelius, Montefquieu, La Fontaine, 
Fenelon, J. J. Rotijfeaii. The firft clafs belong to 
one age, to one feafon, to one nation, to one junto; 
the others to pofterity and to Mankind. 

We (hall be flill more fenfiblc of the difference 
which fubfifts between mind and foul, by tracing 
their affeftions in oppofite progreffes. As often, 
for example, as the perceptions of the mind are 
carried up to evidence, they are exalted into a 
fource ofexquifite pleafure, independently of every 
particular relation of intereft ; becaufe, as has been 
faid, they awaken a feeling within us. But when 
we go about to analyze our feelings, and refer 
them to the examination of the mind, or reafoning 
power, the fublime emotions which they excited in 
us vanifli away ; for in this cafe, wç do not fail to 
refer them to fome accommodation of fociety, of 
fortune, of fyflem, or of fome other perfonal inte- 
reft, whereof our reafon is compofed. Thus, in 

B 2 the 






4" STUDIES OF NATURE. 

the firft cafe, we change our copper into gold ; 
and m the fécond, our gold into copper. 

Again, nothing can be lefs adapted, at the long- 
run, to the ftudy of Naiure, than the reafjning 
powers of Man ; for though they may catch here 
and there fome natural conformities, they never 
purfue the chain to any great length : befides, 
there is a much o-reater number which the mind 
does not perceive, becaufe it always brings back 
every thing to itfelf, and to the little focial or fci- 
entific order within which it is circumfcribed. 
Thus, for example, if it takes a glitiipfe of the ce- 
leftial fpheres, it will refer the formation of them 
to the labour of a glafs-houfe ; and if it admits the 
exiflence of a creating Power, it will reprefent him 
as a mechanic out of employment, amufing himfelf 
with making globes, merely to have the pleafure 
of feeinsT them turn round. It will conclude, from 
it's own diforder, that there is no fuch thing as 
order in Nature ; from it's own immortality, that 
there is no mortality. As it refers every thing to 
it's own reafon, and feeing no reafjn for exifii- 
ence, when it fhall be no longer on the Earth, it 
thence concludes, that, in fad, it fliall not in that 
cafe exift. To be confident, it ought equally to 
conclude, on the fame principle, that it does not 
exift nows for it certainly can difcover, neither in 

itfelf, 



STUDY XII. 5 

itfeif, nor in any thing around, an acliial realon 
for ix's exiiicnce. 

We arc convinced of our exiflence b}' a power 
greatly fuperior to our mind, which is fentiment, 
or intelledual feeling. We are going to carry 
this natural inftind: alono- with us into our re- 
fearclies refpeâ;ing the exidence of tlie Deity, 
and the immortality of the foul ; fnbjeds, on 
which our verfatile reafon has fo frequently en- 
gaged, fomecimes on this, fometimes on the other 
fide of the queftion. Though our infufficiency 
be too great to admit of launching far into this 
unbounded career, we prefume to hope, that our 
perceptions, nay, our very miflakes, may encou- 
rage men of genius to enter upon i,f. Thcfe fu- 
blime and eternal truths feem to us fo deeply im- 
printed on the human heart, as to appear them- 
felves the principles of our intelledual feeling, 
and to manifefl: themfelves in our m-fh oidinary 
.affedions, as in the wildeft excelles of our paffions. 



OF THE SENTIMENT OF INNOCENCE. 

The fentiment of innocence exalts us toward the 
Deity, and prompts us to virtuous deeds. The 
Greeks and Romans employed litHe children Cb 
fing in their religious feftivals, and to prefenc 

E 2 their 



b STUDIES OF NATURE. 

their offerings at the altar, in the view of rendering 
the Gods propitious to their Country, by the fpec- 
tacle of infant innocence. The fight of infancy 
calls men back to the fentiments of Nature. When 
CrJo of Utica had formed the refolution to put 
himfelf to death, his friends and fervants concealed 
his fword ; and upon his demanding it, with ex- 
preffions of violent indignation, they delivered it 
to him by the hand of a child : but the corrup- 
tion of the age in which he lived, had ftified in 
his heart the fentiment which innocence ought to 
have excited. 

Jesus Christ recommends to us to become as 
little children : We call them innocents, non no- 
centes^ becaufe they have never injured any one. 
But, notwithftanding the claims of their tender 
age, and the authority of the Chriliian Religion, 
to what barbarous education are they not aban- 
doned ? 

Of Pity. 

The fentiment of innocence s the'native fource 
of compaffion ; hence we are more deeply affefted 
by the fufferings of a child than by thofe of an old 
man. The reafon is not, as certain Philofophers 
pretend, becaufe the refources and hopes of the 
child are inferior; for they are, in truth, greater 

than 



STUDY XII. 7 

than thofe of the old man, who is frequently in- 
firm, and haftening to diflblutioni whereas the 
child is entering into life; but the child has never 
offended ; he is innocent. This fentiment extends 
even to animals, which, in many cafes, excite our 
fympathy more than rational creatures do, from 
this very confideration, that they are harmlefs. 
This accounts for the idea of the good La Fon- 
taine^ in defcribing the Deluge, in his fable of 
Baucis and Philemon. 

Tout dlfparut fur l'heure. 

Les vieillards déploroient ces fevères deftins : 
Les animaux périr ! Car encor les humains, 
Tous avoient dû tomber fous les célèftes armes, 
Baucis en répandit en fecret quelques larmes. 



AU difappear'd in that tremendous hour. 

Age felt the weight of Heaven's infulted power : 

On guilty Man the ftroke with jullice fell, 

But harmlefs brutes i — the fiercenefs who can tell 

Of wrath divine ? — At thought of this, fome tears 

Stole down the cheeks of Baucis 

Thus the fentiment of innocence develops, in 
the heart of Man, a divine charaâier, which is that 
of generofity. It bears, not on the calamity ab- 
ftradedly confidered, but on a moral quality, 
which it difcerns in the unfortunate being who is 
the objeâ: of it. It derives increafe from the view 
of innocence, and fometimes ftill more from that 
of repentance. Man alone, of all animals, is fuf- 

B 4 ceptible 



o STUDIES OF KATURE, 

cepiible of it ; and this, not by a fecret retrofpect 
to himlcif, as (ome enemies of the Human Race 
have pretended : for, were that the cafe, on ftaiing 
a comparifon beiween a child and an old man, 
both of them unfortunate, we ought to be move 
aiFeCied by the mifery of the old man, confidering 
that we are removing from the wretch.cdneis oi 
chik'iiood, and drawins; nearer to thole ot old- 
age : the contrary, however, takes place, in virtue 
of the moral fcntiment which I have alleged. 

When an old man is virtuous, the moral Icnti- 
ment of his diftrefs is excited in us with redoubled 
force ; this is an evident proof, that pity in Man 
is by no means an animal affedion. The fight of 
a Belifariiis is, accordingly, a moft affecling objeCl. 
If you heighten it by the introducftion of a child 
holding out his little hand to receive the alms be- 
flowcd on that illullrious blind beggar, the imprefT 
fion of pity is ftill more powerful. But let me put 
a fcntlmental cafe. Suppofe you had fallen in 
with Belifarius foliciting charity, on the one hand, 
and on the other, an orphan child, blind and 
VvTetched, and that you had but one crown, with- 
out the podibiiity of dividing it, to which of the 
two would you have given it } 

If on reflection you (ind, that the eminent fer- 
vlces rendered by Belifarius to his iingraieful Coun- 
try, 



STUDY XII. 9 

try, have inclined the balance of fentiment too 
decidedly in his favour, fuppofe the child over- 
whelmed with the woes of Belifarhis, and at the 
fame time poffeffing fome of his virtues, fiich as 
having his eyes put out by his parents, and, never- 
thelefs, continuing to beg alms for their relief* ; 
there would, in my opinion, be no room for hefi- 
tation, provided a man felt only : for if you rea- 
fon, the cafe is entirely altered; the talents, the 
victories, the renown of the Grecian General, would 
prefently abforb the calamities of an obfcure child. 
Reafon will recal you to the political intereft, to 
the / human. 

The fentiment of innocence is a ray of the Di- 
vinity. It invefls the unfortunate perfon with a 
celeftial radiance, which falls on the human heart, 
and recoils, kindling it into generofity, that other 
fiame of divine original. It alone renders us fen- 
fjble to the diftrefs of virtue, by reprefenting it to 
us as incapable of doing harm ; for othervvife, we 
might be induced to confider it as fufficient to it- 
felf. In this cafe it would excite rather admira- 
tion than pity. 

* The reélor of a country village, in the vicinity of Paris, 
not far from Dravet, underwent, in his infancy, a piece of inhu- 
manity not lefs barbarous, from the hands of his parents. He 
fufFered cailration from his own father, who was by profeffion a 
furgeon : he, neverthelefs, fupported that unnatural parent in 
bis old age. I believe both father and fon are flill in life. 

Of 



iÔ STUDIES OF NAtfRE. 



Of the Love of Country. 

This fentiment is, ftill farther, the fource of 
Jove of Country, becaufe it brings to our recollec- 
tion the gentle and pure affcftions of our earlier 
years. It increafes with extenfion, and expands 
with the progrefs of time, as a fentiment of a celef- 
tial and immortal nature. They have, in Switzer- 
land, an ancient mufical air, and extremely fimple, 
called the rans des vaches. This air produces an 
cffeâ: fo powerful, that it was found neceflary to 
prohibit the playing of it, in Holland and in 
France, before the Swifs foldiers, becaufe it fee 
them all a-deferting one after another. I imagine 
that the rans des vaches muft imitate the lowing 
and bleating of the cattle, the repercuffion of the 
echos, and other local aflbciations, which made 
the blood boil in the veins of thofe poor foldiers, 
by recalling to their memory the valleys, the lakes, 
the mountains of their Country *, and, at the fame 

time, 

* I have been told that Poutaverl^ the Indian of Taiti, who 
tvas fome years ago brought to Paris, on feeing, in the Royal 
Garden, the paper-mulberry tree, the bark of which is, in that 
ifland, manufaélured into cloth, the tear ftarted to his eye, and 
clafping it in his arms, he exclaimed : Ah ! tree of my country ! 
I could wifh it were put to the trial, whether, on prefenting ta 
a foreign bird, fay a paroquet, a fruit of it's country, which it 

had 



STUDY XII. Il 

time, the companions of their early life, their firfl; 
loves, the recolledion of their indulgent grand- 
fathers, and the like. 

The love of Country feems to ftrengthen in pro- 
portion as it is innocent and unhappy. For this 
reafon Savages are fonder of their Country than 
poliflied Nations are ; and thofe who inhabit re- 
gions rough and wild, fuch as mountaineers, than 
thofe who live in fertile countries and fine cli- 
mates. Never could the Court of Ruffia prevail 
upon a fingle Samoïcde to leave the fliores of the 
Frozen Ocean, and fettle at Peterfburg. Somp 
Greenlanders were brought, in the courfe of the 
laft century, to the Court of Copenhagen, where 
they were entertained with a profufion of kindnefs, 
but foon fretted themfelves to death. Several of 
them were drowned, in attempting to return to 
their Country in an open boat. They beheld all 
the magnificence of the Court of Denmark with 
extreme indifference ; but there was one, in par- 
had not feen for a confiderable time, it would exprefs fome ex- 
traordinary emotion. Though phyfical fenfations attach us 
llrongly to Country, moral fentiments alone can give them a 
vehement intenfity. Time, which bkints the former, gives only 
a keener edge to the latter. For this reafon it is, that veneration 
for a monument is always in proportion to it's antiquity, or to 
it's diflance ; this explains that expreffion of Tacitus: Major e 
longirtquo renjcrentia : diilaace increafes reverence. 

ticular, 



12 STUDIES OF NATURE. 



ticular, whom they obferved to weep every time 
he law a woman with a child in her arms ; hence 
they conjectured that this unfortunate man was a 
father. The gentlenefs of domeftic education, 
undoubtedly, thus powerfully attaches thole poor 
people to the place of their birth. It was this 
which infpired the Greeks and Romans with (o 
much courage in the defence of their Country. 
The lentiment of innocence ftrengthens the love of 
it, becaufe it brings back all the affecftions of early 
life, pure, facred, and incorruptible. Virgil was 
well acquainted with the effeft of this fentiment, 
when he puts into the mouth of Nifns, who was 
diffuading Enryalns from undertaking a nodurnal 
expedition, fraught with danger, thofe affecting 
words : 

Te fuperefTe velim : tua vita dignior œtas. 



If thou furvive me, I fliall die content : 
Tliv tender ag[e deferves the lonoer life. 

But among Nations with whom infancy is ren- 
dered miferable, and is corrupted by irkfome, fe- 
rocious, and unnatural education, there is no more 
love ot Country than there is of innocence. This 
is one of the caufes which fends fo many Euro- 
peans a-raoibling over the World, and which ac- 
counts for our having fo few modern monuments 
in Europe, becaufe the next generation never fails 

to 



STUDY xiî. r; 

îû dellroy the monuments of that which preceded 
it. This is the rcaion that our books, our fa- 
ihions, our cuftoms, our ceremonies, and our lan- 
guages, become obfolete fo Toon, and arc entirely 
different this age from what they were in ihe l;al ; 
whereas all thefe particulars continue the lame 
among the fedcntary Nations of A fia, for a long 
feries of ao-c^ together ; becaufe children brouQ-lit: 
up in Afia, in the habitation of their parents, and 
treated with much gentlenefs, remain attached to 
the efLabliQiments of their anceftors, out of grati- 
tude to their memory, and to the places of their 
birth, from the recolleJilion of their happinefs and 
innocence. 



OF THE SENTIMENT OF ADMIRATION. 

The fentiment of admiration tranfports us im- 
mediately into the bofom of Deity. If it is ex- 
cited in us by an ob;e6l which infpires delight, we 
convey ourfelves thither as to the fource of joy ; 
if terror is roufed, we flee thither for refuge, in 
either cafe, Admiration exclaims in thefe words, 
Jb, my God I This is, we are told, the eftcél of 
education r.ierely, in the courfe of which frequent 
mention is made of the nantie of God ; but men- 
tion is flill more frequently made of our father, of 
the king, of a protector, of a celebrated literary 

charader. 



14 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

charaâiei'. How comes it, then, that when we 
feel ourfelves ftanding in need of fupport, in fuch 
unexpefled concuffions, we never exclaim, Ah, my 
King I or, if Science were concerned, Ah, Newton! 

It is certain, that if the name of God be fre- 
quently mentioned to us, in the progrefs of our 
education, the idea of it is quickly effaced in the 
ufual train of the affairs of this World ; why then 
have we recourfe to it in extraordinary emergen- 
cies ? This fentiment of Nature is common to all 
Nations, many of whom give no theological in- 
ftruftion to their children. I have remarked it in 
the Negroes of the coaft of Guinea, of Madagaf- 
car, of Cafrerie, and Mofambique, among the 
Tartars, and the Indians of the Malabar coaft j 
in a word, among men of every quarter of the 
World. I never faw a lîngle one who, under the 
extraordinary emotions of furprize or of admira- 
tion, did not make, in his own language, the fame 
exclamation which we do, and who did not lift up 
his hands and his eyes to Heaven. 



Of the Marvellous. 

The fentiment of admiration is the fource of the 
inftinft which men have, in every age, difcovered 
for the marvellous. We are hunting after it con- 
tinuai! v. 



STUDY XII. 15 

tinuaîly, and every where, and we difFufe it, prin- 
cipally, over the commencement and the clofe of 
human life : hence it is that the cradles and the 
tombs of fo great a part of Mankind have been 
enveloped in fidion. It is the perennial fource 
of our curiofity ; it difclofes itfelf from early in- 
fancy, and is long the companion of innocence. 
Whence could children derive the tafte for the 
marvellous ? They muft have Fairy-tales ; and 
men muft have epic poems and operas. It is the 
marvellous which conftitutes one of the grand 
charms of the antique ftatues of Greece and Rome, 
reprefenting heroes or gods, and which contri- 
butes, more than is generally imagined, to our de- 
light, in the perufal of the ancient Hiftory of thofe 
Countries. It is one of the natural reafons which 
may be produced to the Prefident Henault, who 
exprelies aftonifliment that we (hould be more 
enamoured of ancient Hiftory than of modern, 
efpecially that of our own country : the truth is, 
independantly of the patriotic fentiments, which 
ferve, at leaft, as a pretext to the intrigues of the 
great men of Greece and Rome, and which were 
fo entirely unknown to ours, that they frequently 
embroiled their country in maintaining the inte- 
refts of a particular houfe, and fometimes in aflert- 
ing the honour of piecedency, or of fitting on a 
joint-ftool; there is a marvellous in the religion of 
the Ancients v/hich confoles and elevates human na- 
ture, 



l6 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

ture, whereas that of the Gauls terrifies and debafes 
it. The gods of the Greeks and the Romans were 
patriots, hke their great men. Minerva had given 
them the oHve, Neptune the horfe. Thefe gods 
protefted the cities and the people. But thole of 
the ancient Gauls were tyrants, like their Barons ; 
they afforded protection only to the Druids. They 
muft be glutted with hum.an facrifices. In a word, 
this relig-ion was fo inhuman, that two fucceffive 
Roman Emperors, according to the teftimony of 
Suetonius and Pliny, commanded it to be abolidied. 
I fay nothing of the modern intereils of our Hif- 
tory ; but fure I am that the relations of our po- 
litics will never replace in it, to the heai t of Man, 
thofe of the Divinity. 

I muft obferve that, as admiration is an invo- 
luntary movement of the Soul toward Deity, and 
is, of coniequencefublime, lèverai modern Authors 
have ftrained to multiply this kind of beauty in 
their produ6lions, by an accumulation of fur- 
prizing incidents; but Nature employs them fpar- 
ingly in hers, becaufe Man is incapable of fre- 
quently undergoing conçu ffions fo violent. She 
difclofes to us, by little and little, the light of the 
Sun, the expanfion of flowers, the formation of 
fruits. She gradually introduces our enjoyments 
by a long feries of harmonies ; flie treats us as hu- 
man beings ; that is, as machines feeble and eafily 

deranged j 



STtJDY xii. if 

deranged ; flie veils Deity from our view, that 
we may be able to fupport his approach. 

T/je Pkafiire of Myjlcry, 

This is the reafon that myftery poflcfles fo many 
charms. Pidures placed in the full glare of light, 
avenues in ftraight lines, rofes fully blown, wo- 
men in gaudy apparel, are far from being the ob- 
jets which pleafe us moft. But fliady vallies, paths 
winding about through the forefls, flowers fcarcely 
half-opened, and timid fliepherdeffes, excite in us 
the fweeteft and the moft lafting emotions. The 
lovelinefsand refpeAability of objeâis are increafed 
by their myfcerioufnefs. Sometimes it is that ofan^ 
tiquity, which renders fo many monuments vene- 
rable in our eyes; fometimes it is that of diftance, 
which diffufes fo many charms over objeds in the 
Horizon ; fometimes it is that of names. Hence 
the Sciences which retain the Greek names, though 
they frequently denote only the moft ordinary 
things, have a more impofing air of refped: than 
thofe which have only modern names, though thefe 
may, in many cafes, be more ingenious and more 
ufeful. Hence, for example, the conftrudion of 
lliips, and the art of navigation, are more lightly 
prized by our modern Hieratic than feveral other 
phyfical fciences of the moft frivolous nature, but 
which are dignified by Greek names. Admira- 
voL. IV. G tien. 



l8 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

tion, accordingly, is not a relation of the under 
flanding, or a perception of our reafon ; but a 
fentiment of the foul, which arifes in us, from a 
certain undefcribable inftind of Deity, at fight of 
extraordinary objeds, and from the very myfte- 
rioufnefs in which they are involved. This is fo 
indubitably certain, that admiration is deftroyed 
by the fcience which enlightens us. If I exhibit 
to a favage an eolipile darting out a flream of in- 
flamed fpirit of wine, I throw him into an extafy 
of admiration ; he feels himfelf difpofed to fall 
down and worfhip the machine j he venerates me 
as the God of Fire, as long as he comprehends it 
not ; but no fooner do I explain to him the nature 
of the procefs, than his admiration ceafes, and he 
looks upon me as a cheat *. 

* For this reafon it is that we admire only that which is un- 
common. Were there to appear, over the Horizon of Paris, 
one of thofe parhelia which are fo common at Spitzbergen, the 
whole inhabitants of the city would be in the flreets to gaze at 
it, and wonder. It is nothing more, however, than a refleftion 
of the Sun's difk in the clouds j and no one (lands ftill to con- 
template the Sun himfelf, becaufe the Sun is an objed too well 
known to be admired. 

It is myftery which conftitutes one of the charms of Reli- 
gion. Thofe who infift upon a geometrical demonftration on 
this fubjeft, betray a profound ignorance, at once, of the Laws 
of Nature, and of the demands of the human heart. 



rhe 



STUDY XII. , 19 



The Pleafures of Ignorance, 

From an effed of thofe ineffable fentiments, 
and of thofe univerfal inftinfts of Deity, it is, that 
ignorance is become the inexhauftible fource of 
delight to Man. We mull take care not to con- 
found, as all our Moralifls do, ignorance and er- 
ror. Ignorance is the work of Nature, and, in 
many cafes, a bleffing to Man ; whereas error is 
frequently the fruit of our pretended human Sci- 
ences, and is always an evil. Let our political 
Writers fay what they will, while they boaft of our 
wonderful progrefs in knowledge, and oppofe to 
it the barbarifm of paft ages, it was not ignorance 
which then fet all Europe on fire, and inundated 
it with blood, in fettling religious difputations. 
A race of ignorants would have kept themfelves 
quiet. The mifchief was done by perfons who 
were under the power of error, who, at that time, 
vaunted as much, perhaps, of their fuperior illu- 
mination, as we now-a-days do of ours, and into 
each of whom the European fpirit of education 
had inftilled this error of early infancy, Be the firfi^ 

How many evils does ignorance conceal from 
us, which we are doomed one day to encounter, 
in the courfe of human life, beyond the poflibility 

c 2 of 



20 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of efcaping ! the inconflancy of friends, the revo- 
lutions of fortune, calumnies, and the hour of 
death itfelf, fo tremendous to moft men. The 
knowledge of ills like thefe would mar all the 
comfort of living. How many bleflings does igno- 
rance render fublime ! the illufions of friendiliip, 
and thofe of love, the perfpedives of hope, and 
the very treafures which Science unfolds. The 
Sciences infpire deiight only when we enter upon 
the ftudy of them, at the period when the mind, 
in a ftare of ignorance, plunges into the great ca- 
reer. It is the point of contad between light and 
darknefs, which prefents to the eye the moft fa- 
vourable ftate of vifion : this is the harmonic 
point, which excites our admiration, when we are 
beginning to fee clearly ; but it lafts only a fingle 
inftant. It vanilhes together with ignorance. The 
elements of Geometry may have impaffioned young 
minds, but never the aged, unlefs in the cafe of 
certain illuftrious Mathematicians, who were pro- 
ceeding from difcovery to difcovery. Thofe fci- 
ences only, and thofe paflions, which are fubjeded 
to doubt and chance, form enthufiafts at every age 
of life, fuch as chemiftry, avarice, play, and love. 

For one plealure which Science bellows, and 
caufes to perilh in the bellowing, ignorance pre- 
fents us with a thoufand, which flatter us infinitely 
more. You demonftrate to me that the Sun is a 

fixed 



STUDY XII. 21 

fixed globe, the attraftion of which gives to the 
planets one half of their movements. Had the}'-, 
who believed it to be conduced round the World 
by Apollo, an idea lefs fublime ? They imagined, 
at leaft, that the attention of a God pervaded the 
Earth, together with the rays of the Orb of Day. 
It is Science which has dragged down the chafte 
Diana from her noclurnal car : flie has banilhed 
the Hamadryads from the antique forefhs, and the 
gentle Naiads from the fountains. Ignorance had 
invited the Gods, to partake of it's joys and it's 
woes; to Man's wedding, and to his grave: Science 
difcerns nothing in either, except the elements 
merely. She has abandoned Man to his fellow, 
and thrown him upon the Earth as into a defert. 
Ah ! whatever may be the names which (he gives 
to the different kingdoms of Nature, celeftial fpi- 
rits, undoubtedly, regulate their combinations fo 
ingenious, fo varied, and fo uniform ; and Man, 
who could beftow nothing upon himfelf, is not 
the only being in the Univerfe who partakes of in- 
telligei'ice. 

It is not to the illumination of Science that the 
Deity communicates the mod profound fenti- 
ment of his attributes, but to our ignorance. 
Night conveys to the mind a much grander idea 
of infinity than all the glare of day. In the day- 
time, I fee but one Suq ; during the night I dif- 

c 3 cern 



%% STUDIES OF NATURE, 

cern thoùfands. Are thofe very ftars, fo varioufly 
coloured, really Suns ? Are thofe planets, which 
revolve around ours, adually inhabited, as ours 
is? From whence came the planet Cybele "*, dif- 
covered but yefterday, by a German of the name 
of Herjchel? It has been running it's race from 
the beginning of the Creation, and was, till of 
late, unknown to us. Whither go thofe uncer- 
tainly revolving comets, traverhng the regions of 
unbounded fpace ? Of what confifts that milky 
way which divides the firmament of Heaven ? 
What are thofe two dark clouds, placed toward 
the Antar6lic Pole, near the crofs of the South ? 
Can there be ftars which diffufe darknefs, con- 
formably to the belief of the Ancients ? Are there 
places in the firmament which the light never 
reaches ? The Sun difcovers to me only a terref- 
trial infinity, and the night difclofes an infinity al- 
together celeftial. O, myfterious ignorance, draw 
thy hallowed curtains over thofe enchanting fpec- 
tacles ! Permit not human Science to apply to 
them it's cheerlefs compafTes. Let not virtue be 
reduced, henceforth, to look for her reward from 
the juftice and the fenfibility of a Globe ! Permit 
her to think that there are in the Univerfe, defti- 
nies far different from thofe which fill up the mea- 
fure of woe upon this Earth. 

* The Englifh, in compliment to their Sovereign, George III. 
give it the name of Ceorgium Si Jus. 

Science 



STUDY XII. 



Science is continually fhewing us the boundary 
of our reafon, and ignorance is for ever removing 
it. I take care, in my folitary rambles, not to afk 
information refpeéling the name and quality of 
the perfon who owns the caftie which I perceive 
at a diflance. The hiftory of the mafter frequently 
disfigures that of the landfcape. It is not fo with 
the Hiftory of Nature j the more her Works are 
ftudied, the more is our admiration excited. There 
is one cafe only in which the knowledge of the 
works of men is agreeable to us, it is when the 
monument which we contemplate has been the 
abode of goodnefs. What little fpire is that which 
I perceive at Montfnorency ? It is that of Saint- 
Gratian, where Catinat lived the life of a fage, and 
under which his alhes are laid to reft. My foul, 
circumfcribed within the precindls of a fmall vil- 
lage, takes it's flight, and ranges over the capacious 
fphere of the age of Louis XIV. and haftens thence 
to expatiate through a fphere more fublime than 
that of the World, the fphere of virtue. When I 
am incapable of procuring for myfelf fuch per- 
fpedives as thefe, ignorance of places anfwers my 
purpofe much better than the knowledge of them 
could do. I have no occafion to be informed that 
fuch a foreft belongs to an Abbey or to a Dutchy, 
in order to feel how majeftic it is. It's ancient 
trees, it's profound glades, it's folemn, filent foli- 
tudes, are fufficient for me. The moment I ceafe 

c 4 to 



24 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

to behold Man there, that moment I feel a prefent 
Deity. Let me give ever fo little fcopc to my 
fentiment, there is no landfcape but what I am 
able to ennoble. Thefe vaft meadows are meta- 
morphofed into Oceans ^ thefe mift-clad hills are 
iflands emerging above the Horizon ; that city 
below, is a city of Greece, dignified by the re- 
fidence of Socrates and of Xenophon. Thanks to 
my ignorance, I can give the reins to the inftin(?t 
of my foul. I plunge into infinity. I prolong the 
diftance of places by that of ages ; and, to com- 
plete the illufion, I niake that enchanted fpot the 
habitation of virtue. 



OF THE SENTIMENT OF MELANCHOLY. 

So beneficent is Nature, that flie converts all 
her phenomena into fo many fources of pleafure 
to Man ; and if we pay attention to her proce- 
dure, it will be found, that her moft common 
appearances are the moft agreeable. 

I enjoy pleafure, for example, when the rain 
defcends in torrents, when I fee the old mofly 
walls dripping, and when 1 hear the whiftling 
of the wind, min2;led with the clattering, of the 
Tain. Thefe melancholy founds, in the night- 
time, throw me into a foft and profound ileep. 

Neither 



STUDY XII. 25 

Neither am I the only perfon fufceptible of fuch 
affeftions. Pliny tells us of a Roman Conful, 
^N who, when it rained, had his couch fpread under 
the thick foliage of a tree, in order to hear the 
drops clatter as they fell, and to be lulled to lleep 
by the murmuring noife. 

I cannot tell to what phyfical Law Philofophers 
may refer the fenfations of melancholy. For my 
own part, I confider them as the moft voluptuous 
affeâiions of the foul. Melancholy, fays Michael 
Montaigne, is dainty. It proceeds, if I am not 
miftaken, from it's gratifying, at once, the two 
powers of which we are formed, the body and the 
foul ; the fentiment of our mifery, and that of our 
excellence. 

Thus, for example, in bad weather, the fentiinent 
of my human mifery is tranquillized, by my feeing 
i-t rain, while I am under cover; by my hearing 
the wind blow violently, while I am comfortably in 
bed. I, in this cafe, enjoy a negative felicity. 
With this are afterwards blended fome of thofe at- 
tributes of the Divinity, the perceptions of which 
communicate luch exquifite pleafure to the foul ; 
fuch as infinity of extenfion, trom the diftant mur- 
muring of the wind. This fentiment may be 
heightened from refleclion on the Laws of Nature, 
fuggefhing to me that this rain, which comes, for 

the 



Z6 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

the fake of fuppofition, from the Weft, has been 
raifed out of the bofom of the Ocean, and, per- 
haps, from the coafts of America; that it has 
been fent to fweep our great cities into cleanhnefs, 
to replenifh the refervoirs of our fountains ; to 
render our rivers navigable ; and whilft the clouds, 
which pour it down, are advancing eaftward, to 
convey fertility even to the vegetables of Tartarv, 
the grains and the garbage, which it carries down 
our rivers, are hurling away weftward, to precipi- 
tate themfelves into the Sea, to feed the fifhes of 
the Atlantic Ocean. Thefe excurfions of my un- 
derftanding convey to the foul an extenfion corre- 
fponding to it's nature, and appear to me fo much 
the more pleafing, that the body, which, for it's 
part loves repofe, is more tranquil, and more com- 
pletely proteded. 

If I am in a forrowful mood, and not difpofed 
to fend my foul on an excurfion fo extenfive, I 
flill feel much pleafure in giving way to the me- 
lancholy which the bad weather infpires. It looks 
as if Nature was then conforming to my fituation, 
like a fympathizing friend. She is, befides, at all 
times fo interefting, under whatever afped fhe ex- 
hibits herfelf, that when it rains, I think I fee a 
beautiful woman in tears. She feems to me more 
beautiful, the more that (lie wears the appearance 
of afflidion. In order to be imprefTed with thefe 

fentiments. 



STUDY XII. 27 

fentiments, which I venture to call voluptuous, I 
muft have no projeft in hand of a pleafant walk, 
ofvifiting, of hunting, of journeying, which, in 
fuch circumftances, would put me into bad hu- 
mour, from being contradided. Much lefs ought 
our two component powers to crofs, or clafli 
againft each other, that is, to let the fentiment of 
infinity bear upon our mifery, by thinking that this 
rain will never have an end ; and that of our mi- 
fery to dwell on the phenomena of Nature, by 
complaining that the feafons are quite deranged, 
that order no longer reigns in the elements, and 
thus giving into all the peevilh, inconclufive 
reafonings, adopted by a man who is wet to the 
ikin. In order to the enjoyment of bad weather, 
our foul muft be travelling abroad, and the body 
at reft. 

From the harmony of thofe two powers of our 
conftitution it is, that the moft terrible revolutions 
of Nature frequently intereft us more than her 
gayeft fcenery. The volcano near Naples attradls 
more travellers to that city, than the delicious gar- 
dens which adorn her (hores ; the plains of Greece 
and Italy, overfpread with ruins, more than the 
richly cultivated lawns of England ; the pidure 
of a tempeft, more connoifleurs than that of a 
calm ; and the fall of a tower, more fpedators 
than it's conftruftion. 

the 



2Î STUDIES OF NATURE. 



The Pleafiire of Ruin. 

I was for fome time imprefTcd with the belief, 
that Man had a certain unaccountable tafte for de- 
ilrudion. If the populace can lay their hands 
upon a monument, they are fure to deftroy it. I 
have feen at Drefden, in the gardens of the Count 
de Brithl, beautiful ftatues of females, which the 
Pruiïian foldiery had amufed themfclves with mu- 
tilating by mufket-fliot, when they got poffeffion 
of that city. Moft of the common people have a 
turn for ilander ; they take pleafure in levelling 
the reputation of all that is exalted. But this ma- 
levolent inftinâ; is not the production of Nature. 
It is infufed by the mifery of the individuals, 
whom education infpires with an ambition which 
is interdifted by Society, and which throv/s them 
into a negative ambition. Incapable of raifing any 
thing, they are impelled to lay every thing low. 
The tafte for ruin, in this cafe, is not natural, and 
is fimply the exercife of the power of the mife- 
rable. Man, in a lavage ftate, deftroys the monu- 
ments only of his enemies ; he preferves, with the 
moft affiduous care, thole of his own Nation ; and, 
what proves hiin to be naturally much better than 
Man in a ftate of Society, he never llanders his 
compatriots. 

Se 



STUDY XII. 29 

Be it as it may, the paffive tafte for ruin is uni- 
Verfal. Our voluptuaries embellifli their gardens 
with artificial ruins ; favages take delight in a me- 
lancholy repofe by the brink of the Sea, efpecially 
during a ftorm, or in the vicinity of a cafcade fur- 
rounded by rocks. Magnificent defirudion pre- 
fents new piifturefque effedis ; and it was the cu- 
riofity of feeing this produced, combined with 
cruelty, which impelled Nero to fet Rome on fire, 
that he might enjoy the fpedacle of a vafi; confla- 
gration. The fentiment of humanity out of the 
queftion, thofe long ftreams of flame which, in the 
middle of the night, lick the Heavens, to make 
ufe of Firgirs expreflion, thofe torrents of red and 
black fmoke, thofe clouds of fparks of all colours, 
thofe fcarlet reverberations in the fl:reets, on the 
fummit of towers, along the furface of the waters, 
and on the difliant mountains, give us pleafureeven 
in pidtures and in defcriptions. 

This kind of affcAion, which is by no means 
connected with our phyfical wants, has induced 
certain Philofophers to allege, that our foul, being 
in a ftate of agitation, took pleafure in all extra- 
ordinary emotions. This is the reafon, fay they, 
that fuch crowds aflemble in the Place de Grève 
to fee the execution of criminals. In fpedacles 
of this fort, there is, in fad, no pidurefque effeâ: 
whatever. But they have advanced their axiom as 

flightly 



$0 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

nightly as fo many others, with which their Works 
abound, Firlt, our foul takes pieafure in reft as 
much as in commotion. It is a harmony very 
gentle, and very eafily difturbed by violent emo- 
tions J and granting it to be, in it's own nature, a 
movement, 1 do not fee that it ought to take piea- 
fure in thofe which threaten it with it's own de- 
ftruftion. Lucretius has, in my opinion, come 
much nearer to the truth, when he fays that taftes 
of this fort arife from the fentiment of our own 
fecurity, which is heightened by the fight of dan- 
ger to which we are not expofed. It is a pleafant 
thing, fays he, to contemplate a ftorm from the 
fhore. It is, undoubtedly, from this reference to 
felf, that the common people take delight in re- 
lating, by the fire-fide, colledted in a family way, 
during the Winter evenings, frightful ftories of 
ghofts, of men lofing themfelves by night in the 
woods, of highway robberies. From the fame fen- 
timent, likewife, it is, that the better fort take piea- 
fure in the reprefentation of tragedies, and in read- 
ing the defcription of battles, of (hipwrecks, and 
of the cra(h of empire. The fecurity of the fnug 
tradefman is increafed by the danger to which the 
foldier, the mariner, the courtier is expofed. Piea- 
fure of this kind arifes from the fentiment of our 
mifery, which is, as has been faid, one of the in- 
ftinds of our melancholy. 



But 



STUDY XII. 31 

But there is in us, befides, a fentiment more fu- 
blime, which derives pleafure from ruin, indepcn- 
dantly of all pidurefque effed, and of every idea 
of perfonal fecurity ; it is that of Deity, which ever 
blends itfelf with our. melancholy affedions, and 
which conftitutes their principal charm. I (hall 
attempt to unfold fome of the charaders of it, by 
following the impreffions made upon us by ruins 
of different kinds. The fubjed is both rich and 
new ; but I poffefs neither leifure nor ability to 
beftow upon it a profound invefligation. I fhall, 
however, drop a fevv words upon it, by the way, 
in the view of exculpating and exalting human 
nature with what ability I have. 

The heart of man is fo naturally difpofed to be- 
nevolence, that the fpedacle of a ruin, which 
brings to our recolledion only the mifery of our 
fellow men, infpires us with horror, whatever may 
be the pidurefque elFed which it prefents. I hap- 
pened to be at Drefden, in the year 1765, which 
was feveral years after it had been bombarded. 
That fmall, but very beautiful and commercial 
city, more than half compofed of Httle palaces, 
charmingly arranged, the fronts of which were 
adorned externally with paintings, colonades, bal- 
conies, and pieces of fculpture, then prefented a 
pile of ruins. A confiderable part of the enemy*s 
bombs had been direded againfl: the Lutheran 

church. 



32 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

church, called St. Peter's, built in form of à ra- 
tiindo, and arched over with fo much folidity*, 
that a greater number of thofe bombs ftruck the 
cupola, without being able to injure it, but re- 
bounded on the adjoining palaces, which they fet 
on fire, and partly confumed. Matters were ftill 
in the fame flate as at the conclufioii of the war, 
at the time of my arrival. They had only piled 
up, along fome of the ftreets, the (tones which 
encumbered them ; fo that they formed, on each 
lide, long parapets of blackened (lone. You might 
fee halves of palaces ftanding, laid open from the 
roof down to the cellars. It was eafy to diftin- 
guiili in them the extremity of ftair- cafes, painted 
cielings, little clofets lined with Chinefe papers, 
fragments of mirror glaffes, of marble cliimnies, of 
fmoked gildings. Of others, nothing remained, 
except maffy ftacks of chimneys rifing amidft the 
lubbifh, like long black and white pyramids. 
More than a third part of the city was reduced to 
this deplorable condition. You faw the inhabi- 
tants moving backward and forward, with a fettled 
gloom on their faces, formerly fo gay, that they 
were called the Frenchmen of Germany. Thofe 
ruins, which exhibited a multitude of accidents 
lingularly remarkable, from their forms, their co- 
lours, and their grouping, threw the mind into a 
deep melancholy ; for you faw nothing in them 
but the traces of the wrath of a King;, who had not 

levelled 



STUDY xiî, 33 

kvelled his vengeance againfl the ponderous ram- 
parts of a warlike city, bqt againft the pleafant 
dwellings of an induftrious people. I obferved 
even more than one PriilTian deeply affecfled at the 
fight. I by no means felt, though a ftranger, that 
refledion of felf-fecurity which arifes in us on 
feeing a danger againft vvhiph we are flieîtered ; 
but, on the contrary, a voice of affliftion thrilled 
through my heart, faying to me, if this were thy 
Country ! 

It is not fo with ruins which are the efFetfl of 
time. Thefe give pleafure, by launching us into 
infinity ; they carry us feveral ages back^ and in- 
tereft us in proportion to their antiquity. This 
is the reafon that the ruins of Italy affed us more 
than thofe of our own country j the ruins of 
Greece moie than thofe of Italy , and the ruins of 
Ergypt more than thofe of Greece. The firft an- 
tique monument which I had ever feen was in the 
vicinity of Orange. It was a triumphal arch, which 
Marins Cfiufed to be eredled, to compiemoTatc his 
vidbory over the Cjrrjbri. |t ftands at a fmall dif- 
îançe from the city, ip the midft of fields. It is 
an oblong mafs, confifting of three arcades, fome- 
what refembling the gate of 5t. Denis. On get- 
ting near, I bepaifje all eye? to gaze at it. What! 
e)f claimed I, ^ \yox\i of the îincient Romans I an4 
iniagipatipii inftantly hurried me away to Rome, 

VOL. IV. D and 



34 STUDIES OF NATURE, 

and to the age of Marins. It would not be ealy 
for me to defcribe all the fucceffive emotions which 
were excited in my bread. In the firft place, this 
monument, though eredled over the fofFerings of 
Mankind, as all the triumphal arches in Europe 
are, gave me no pain, for I recollected that the 
Cimbri had come to invade Italy, like bands of 
Robbers. I remarked, that if this triumphal arch 
v/as a memorial of the viélories of the Romans 
over the Cimbri, it was likewife a monument of the 
triumph of Time over the Romans. I could di- 
dinguifh upon it, in the bafs-relief of the frize, 
which reprefents a battle, an enfign, containing 
rhefccharafters, clearly legible, S. P. Q^R. Senaius 
Popidus êlîie Romanns 'i and another infcribed with 

M. O the meaning of which I could not make 

out. As to the warriors, they were fo completely 
effaced, that neither their arms nor their features 
were diftinguifhable. Even the limbs of fome 
of them were worn our. The mafs of this mo- 
nument was, in other refpecls, in excellent pre- 
fervation, excepting one of the fquare pillars that 
Supported the arch, which a vicar in the neigh- 
bourhood had demolifhed, to repair his parfonage- 
houfe. This modern ruin fuggefted another train 
of refledion, refpefting the exquilite ikill of the 
Ancients, in the conQ-rudtion of their public mo- 
numents ; for, though the pillar which fupported 
ooe of the arches, on one fide, had been demo- 
lifhed 



STUDY XII. 35 

lulled, as I have mentioned, neverthelefs, tbat 
part of the arch which refted upon it, hung un- 
lupported in the air, as if the pieces of the vault- 
ing had been olued to each other. Another idea 
îikewife ftruck me, namely, that the demolifhing 
parfon might, perhaps, have been a defcendant from 
the ancient Cimbri, as we modern French trace up 
onr defcent to the ancient Nations of the North, 
which invaded Italy. Thus, the demoUiion ex- 
cepted, of which I by no means approve, from 
the refpe<ft I bear to antiquity, 1 mufed upon 
the viciffitudes of all human affairs, which put the 
vi(5lors in the place of the vanquifhed, and the 
vanquished in that of the viétors. I fettled the 
matter thus, therefore, in my own mind, that as 
Marins had avenged the honour of the Romans, 
and levelled the glory of the Cimbri, one of the 
defcendants of the Cimbri had, in his turn, levelled 
that OÏ }>Iarius ; while the young people of the vi- 
cinity, who might come, perhaps, on their days of 
feftivity, to dance under the fliade of this trium- 
phal arch, fpent not a fingle thought about either 
the perfon who conftrufted, or the perfon who de- 
moliihed it. 

The ruins, in which Nature combats with hu- 
man Art, infpire a gentle m.elancholy. In thefe 
fhe difcovers to us the vanity of our labours, and 
the perpetuity of her own. As (he is always build- 

D 2 ins 



36 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

ing up, evert when (lie deftroys, Hie calls foitii 
from the clefts of our monuments, the yellow gil- 
lyflower, the chîenopodium, graffes of various forts, 
wild cherry-trees, garlands of bramble, ftripes of 
mofs, and all the llvxatile plants, which, by their 
flowers and their attitudes, form the moft agree- 
able contrafts with the rocks, 

T ufed to flop formerly, with a high degree of 
pleafure, in the garden of the Luxembourg, at 
the extremity of the alley of the Carmelites, to 
contemplate a piece of architecture which ftands 
there, and had been originally intended to form a 
fountain. On one fide of the pediment which 
crowns it, is ftretched along an ancient River- 
god, on whofe face time has imprinted wrinkles 
inexpreffibly more venerable than thofe which 
have been traced by the chifel of the Sculptor : it 
has made on©; of the thighs to drop off, and 
has planted a mapk tree in it's place. Of the 
Na-kd who was oppofite, on the other fide of the 
pediment, nought remains except the lower part 
of the body. The head, the flioulders, the arms, 
have all difappeared. The hands are ûill fupport- 
ing an urn, out of which iffue, inftead of fluviatic 
plants, fome of thofe which thrive in the dried 
fituations, tufts of yellow gillyfiovvers, dandelions^ 
and long fbeaves of faxatile graffes. 

A fine 



STUDY XII, 37 

A fîne flyle of Architecture always produces 
beautiful ruins. The plans of Art, in this cafe, 
form an alliance with the majefty of thofe of Na- 
ture. I know no obje6t which prefents a more im- 
pofingafped than the antique and W€ll-conftruâ:ed 
towers, which our Anceftors reared on the fummit 
of mountains, to difcover their enemies from afar, 
and out of the coping of which now (lioot out tall 
trees, with their tops waving majeftieally in the 
wind. I have feen others, the parapets and battle- 
ments of which, murderous in former times, were 
embellilhed with the lilach in flower, whofe (hades, 
of a bright and tender violet hue, formed enchant- 
ing oppofitions with the cavernous and embrowned 
ftone-vvork of the tower. 

The intereft of a ruin is greatly heightened, when 
fome moral fentiment is blended with it ; for ex- 
ample, v.fhcn thofc degraded towers are confidered 
ashavingbecn formerly the refidence of rapine. Such 
has been, in the Pais de Caux, an ancient fortifica- 
tion, called the caflle of Lillebonne. The lofty 
walls, which form it's precinâ;, are ruinous at the 
angles, and fo overgrown with ivy, that there are 
very few fpots where the layers of the ftones are 
perceptible. From the middle of the courts, into 
which 1 believe it mufb have bzsn no eafy matter 
to penetrate, arife lofty towers with battlements, 
out of the fummit of which fpring up great trees, 
D 3 appearing 



Ô 



s STUDIES OF NATURE. 



appearirg in the air like a head-drefs of thick 
and bufhy locks. You perceive here and there, 
through the manthng of the ivy which clothes the 
fides of the caille, Gothic windows, embiafures, 
and breaches which give a glimpfe of ftair-cafes, 
and refemble the entrance into a cavern. No bird 
is feen fl3^ing around this habitation of defolation, 
except the buzzard hovering over it in filence; 
and if the voice of any of the feathered race makes 
itfelf fometimes heard there, it is that of fome foli- 
tary owl which has retired hither to build her neft. 
This caftle is fituated on a rifing ground, in the 
middle of a narrow valley, formed by mountains 
crowned with forefts. When I recolleft, at fight 
of this m.anfion, that it was formerly the refidence 
of petty tyrants, who, before the royal authority 
was fufficiently eftabliflied over the kingdom, 
from thence cxercifed their felf- created right of 
pillage, over their miferable vaflals, and even over 
jnofîenfive paflengers who fell into their hands, I 
imagine to myfelf that I am contemplating the car- 
cafe, or the Ikeleton, of fome huge, ferocious beaft 
of prey. 

'T^be Pleafure of Tombs. 

But there are no monuments more intereftlng 
than the tombs of men, and efpecially thofe of our 
own anceftors. It is remarkable, th^t every Na- 

tioHj 



STUDY XII. 39 

{jon, i»! a Rate of Nature, and even the greatcft 
part of rhofe which are civilized, have made the 
tombs of their forefluhers, the centre of their de- 
votions, and an effential part of their religion. 
From thefe, however, muft be excepted the people 
whofe fathers rendered themfclves odious to their 
children by a gloomy and fevere education, I mean, 
the weftern and fouthern Nations of Europe. 
This religious melancholy is diflufed every where 
elfe. The tombs of progenitors are, all over 
China, among the principal embellirnments of the 
fuburbs of their cities, and of the hills in the 
country. They form" the moft powerful bonds of 
patriotic affedion among favage Nations. When 
the Europeans have fometimes propofed to thefe a 
change of territory, this was their reply : " Shall 
*' we fay to the bones of our Fathers, arife, and 
'" accompany .us to a foreign land ?" They always 
cpnfidcred this objeclicn as infurmountable. 

Tombs have furniflied, to the poetical talents of 
Toung and Gefner, imagery the moll enchanting. 
Our voluptuaries, who fometimes recur to the fen- 
timents of Nature, have faftitious monuments 
ereded in their gardens. Thefe are not, it muft 
be confeii'ed, the tombs of their parents. But 
whence could they have derived this fentiment of 
funereal melancholy, in , the very raidft of plea- 
fure ? Mufl it not have been from the perfuafion 

D 4 that 



4^'' STUDIES OF NATURE. 

that fomethino; flill fubfills after we are gone ? 
Did a toiTib fugged to their imagination only the 
idea of what it is defigned to contain, that is, a 
corpfe merely, the fight of it would fhock rather 
than pleafe them. How afraid are moft of them 
at the thought of death ! To this phyficat idea, 
then, feme moral fentiment muft undoubtedly be 
united. The voluptuous melancholy rcfulting 
from it arife?, like every other attraftive fenfation, 
from the harmony of the two oppofite principles ; 
from the fentiment of our fleeting exiftence, and 
ot that of our immortality ; which unite on be- 
holding the lafh habitation of Mankind. A tomb 
is a monument ereded on the confines of the two 
Worlds. 

It firft prefen^s to us the end of the vain dif- 
quietudes of life, and the image of everlafling re- 
pofe : it afterwards awakens in us the confufed 
fentiment of a bleffed immortality, the probabili- 
ties of which grow ftronger and ftronger, in pro- 
portion as the perfon vvhofe memory is recalled 
was a virtuous charader. It is there fhat our ve- 
neration fixes. And this is fo unqueflionably true, 
that though there be- no difference between the 
dufl of Nero and that of Socrates ^ no one would 
grant a place in his grove to the remains of the 
Roman Emperor, were they depofited even in a 
filver urt^ ^ whereas every one would exhibit thofe 

of 



STUDY XII. 4f 

of the Philofopher in the mod honourable place 
of his bed apartment, wete they contained in only 
a vafe of clay. 

it is from this iiltellcflual ihflinff:, therefore, in 
favour of virtue, that the tombs of great men in- 
fpire us with a veneration fo affeifting. Frorh the 
fame fentiment loo it is, that thofe which contain 
objefls that have been lovely excite fo much fileaf- 
ing regret ; for, as we lliall make appear prefently, 
the attradions of love arife entirely out of the ap- 
pearances of virtue. Hence it is that we are moved 
at the fight of the little hillock which covers thé 
alliés of an amiable infant, from the recolletflioh 
of it's innocence; hence, again, it is, that we are 
melted into tendernefs on contemplating the tomb 
in which is laid to repofe a young female, the de- 
light and the hope of her family, by reafon of her 
virtues. In order to render fuch monuments in- 
terefting and refpe(5table, there is no need of 
bronzes, marbles, and gildings. The more fimple 
that they are, the more energy they comniunicate 
to the fentiment of melancholy. They produce a 
more powerful effeél:, when poor rather than rich, 
antique rather than modern^ with details of mis- 
fortune rather than with title's ëf hortofar^ with thé 
attributes of virtue rather than with thofe of 
power. It is in the country, principally, that their 
iimprefTion makes itfelf felt in a very lively manner. 

A fimple, 



âf, STUDIES OF NATURE. 

A fnnple, unornamented grave there, caufes morç 
tears to flow than the gaudy fplendor of a cathe- 
dral interment*. There it is that grief affiimes 
fublimity ; it afcends with the aged yews in the 
church-yard; it extends with the furrounding hills 
g,nd plains ; it allies itfelf with all the effects of 
Nature, with the dawning of the morning, the 

* Our Artifts fet flatues of marble a-vveeping round the 
tombs of the Great. It is very proper to make liatues weep, 
where men fhed no tears. I have been many a time prefent at 
the funeral obfequies of the rich ; but rarely have I feen any 
one fhedding a tear on fuch occafions, unlefs it were, now and 
then, an aged domeflic, who was, perhapv?, left defiitute. Some 
time ago, happening to pafs through a little-frequented ftreet of 
the Fauxbourg Saint-Marceau, I perceived a coffin at the door of 
a houfe of but mean appearance. Clofe by the coffin was a wo- 
man on her knees, in earhefi: praver to God, and who had all 
the appearance of being abforbed in grief. This poor woman 
having caught with her eye, at tlie farther end of the flreet, the 
priefts and their attendants coming to carry off the body, got 
upon her feet, and run off, putting her hands upon her eyes, and 
crying bitterly. The neighbours endeavoured to flop her, and 
to adminifter fome confolation ; but all to no purpofe. As flie 
paffed clofe by me, I took the liberty to alk if it was the lofs of 
a mother or of a daughter that fhe lamented fo piteoufly. "Alas ! 
*' Sir," faid fhe to me, the tears guihing down her cheeks, " I 
" am mournine the lofs of a good lady, who procured me the 
t' means of earning my poor livelihood ; flie kept me employed 
'^ from day to day." I informed myfelf in the neighbourhood 
refpefting the condition pf this beneficent lady : fhe was thç 
wife of a petty joiner. Ye people of wealth, what ufe then do you 
make of riches, during your life-time, feeing no tears are flied 
over your grave ! 

murmuring 



STUDY XII. 43 

murm'iiring of the winds, the fetting of the Sun, 
and the darknefs of the night. 

Labour the mofl oppreffive, and humiliation the 
moft degrading, are incapable of extinguifhing the 
imprefTion of this fcniiment in the breads of even 
the moft miferable of Mankind. *' During the 
*' fpace of two years," fays Father du T'ertre^ *^ our 
" negro Dominick, after the death of his wife, 
*^ never failed, for a fingle day, as foon as he re- 
'* turned from the place of his employment, to 
*' take the little boy and girl which he had by her, 
" and to condu<5l them to the grave of the de- 
** ceafed, over which he fobbed and wept before 
** them, for more than half an hour together, 
" while the poor children frequently caught the 
** infedion of his forrow *." What a funeral 
oration for a wife and a mother ! This man, how- 
ever, was nothing but a wretched flave. 

There farther refults, from the view of ruins, 
another fentiment, indépendant of all reflexion : 
it is that of heroifm. Great Generals have oftener 
than once employed their fublime efTedt, in order 
to exalt the courage of their foldiers. Alexander 
perfuaded his army, loaded with the fpoils of Per- 
iia, to burn their baggage ; and the moment that 

* Hiftory of the Antilles : Tr. viii. chap. i. feâ:, 4. 

thç 



44 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

the fire was appliëdj they are on tiptoe to follow 
him all over the World. William^ Duke of Nor- 
mandy, as foon- as he had landed his troops on 
England, fet fire to his own (hips, and the con- 
queft of the kingdom was effeâied. 

But there are no ruins which excite in us fenti- 
ments fo fublime, as the ruins of Nature produce. 
They reprefent to us this vaft prifon of the Earth, 
in which we are immuredj, fubjeél itfelf to dellruc^ 
tion; and they detach us, at once, from ourpaffions 
and prejudices^ as from a momentary and frivolous 
theatrical exhibition. When Lifbon was deftroyed 
by an earthquake, it's inhabitants, on making 
their efcape from their houfes, embraced each 
other ; high and low, frietids and enemies, Jews 
and liiquifitors, known and unknown ; every one 
fliarêd his clothing and provifions with ihofe who 
had faved nothing. I have feen fomething fimilar 
to this take place on board a fhip, on the point of 
periOiing in a fl:orm. The firft efïeâ: of calamity, 
fays a celebrated Writer, is to flrengthen the foul, 
and the fécond is, to melt it down. It is becaufe the 
firft emotion in Man, under the prefiure of cala- 
mity, is to rife up toward the Deity ; and the fe^- 
Gond, to fall back into phyfical wants. This laft 
cfFetft is that of refledlion ; but the moral and fu- 
blime fentiment, almoft always, takes pofTeffion of 
the heartj a^ fight of a magnificent deftrudion. 

Ruvu 



STUDY XH. 45 



Ruins of Nature. 

When the prédirions of the approaching diffb- 
lution of the World fpread over Europe, fome 
ages ago, a very great number of perfons divefted 
themfelves of their property j and there is no rea- 
fon to doubt, that the very fame thing would hap- 
pen at this day, fhould fimilar opinions be propa- 
gated with effed. But fuch fudden and total ruins 
are not to be apprehended in the infinitely fage 
plans of Nature : under them nothing is deftroyed, 
but what is by them repaired. 

The apparent ruins of the Globe, fuch as the 
rocks which roughen it's furface in fo many places, 
have their utility. Rocks have the appearance of 
ruins in our eyes, only becaufe they are neither 
fquare nor poliflied, like the ftones of our monu- 
ments ; but their anfraduofities are neceffary to 
the vegetables and animals which are deftined to 
find in them iiourifliment and (belter. It is only 
for beings vegetative and fenfitive, that Nature 
has created the foffil kingdom ; and as foon as 
Man has raifed ufelefs mafles out of it, to thefe 
objefts, on the furface of the Earth, fhe haftens to 
apply her chifel to them, in order to employ them 
in the general harmony. 

If 



46 STUDftS OF NATURE. 

If we attend to the origin and the end of her 
Works, thofe of the moft renowned Nations will 
appear perfedly frivolous. It was not neceffary 
that mighty Potentates fhould rear fuch enormous 
maffes of ftone, in order, one day, to infpire me 
with refpecl, from their antiquity. A little flinty 
pebble, in one of our brooks, is more ancient than 
the pyramids of Egypt. A multitude of cities 
have been deftroyed fuice it was created. If I feel 
myfelf difpofed to blend fome moral fentiment 
with the monuments of Nature, I can fay to myfelf, 
on feeing a rock : " It was on this place, perhaps, 
" that the good Fenelon repofed, while meditating 
** the plan of his divine Telemachtis ; perhaps the 
" day will come, when there fliall be engraved on 
" it, that he had produced a revolution in Europe, 
*' by inftrudling Kings, that their glory confided 
*' in rendering Mankind happy ; and that the 
** happinefs of Mankind depends on the labours 
*' of agriculture : Pofterity will gaze with delight 
" on the very ftone on which my eyes are at this 
" moment fixed." It is thus that I embrace, at 
once the pad and the future, at fight of an infen- 
fible rock, and which, by confecrating it to virtue, 
by a fimple infcription, I render infinitely more 
venerable, than by decorating it with the five or- 
ders of Architedlure. 



Of 



SttDY xti, 47 



Of the ricafure of Solitude. 

Once more, it is melancholy which renders foli"- 
tude lo attradive. Solirude flatters our animal in- 
fhinâ:, by inviting us to a retreat ^o much more 
tranquil, as the agitations of our life have been 
more reftlefs^ and it extends our divine inftinâr, 
by opening to us pcrfpedives, in which natural 
and moral beauties prefent themfelves with all the 
attradlion of fentiment. From the effect of thefe 
contrafts, and of this double harmony, it comes 
4:0 pafs, that there is no folitude more foothing 
than that which is adjoining to a great city; and 
no popular feftivity more agreeable than that which 
ÎS enjoyed in the bofom of a folitude. 



OF THE SENTIMENT OF LOVE. 

Were love nothing fuperior to a phyfical fenfation, 
I would wifli for nothing more than to leave two 
lovers to reafon and to ad, conformably to the 
phyfical laws of the motion of iLe blood, of the 
filtration of the chyle, and of the other humours 
of the body, were it my objeâ; to give tjie groffeft 
libertine a difguft for it. It's principal ad: itfelf 

is 



45 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

is accompanied with the fentirrient of fhame, in the 
men of all countries. No Nation permits public 
proftitution ; and though enlightened Navigators 
may have advanced, that the inhabitants of Taïti 
conformed to this infamous pracflice, obfervers 
mpre attentive have fince adduced proof, that, as 
to the ifland in queflion, it was cliargeable only on 
young women in the lowed rank of Society, but 
that the other claffes there preferved the fenfe of 
modelly common to all Mankind. 

I am incapable of difcovering, in Nature, any 
direâ: caufe of (hame. If it be alleged, that Man- 
is alhamed of the venereal aft, becaufe it renders 
him fimilar to the animal, the reafon will be found 
infufficient ; for fleep, drinking, and eating, bring 
him ftill more frequently to the limilitude of the 
animal, and yet no Ihame attaches to thefe. There 
is, in truth, a caufe of fhame in the phyfical aâ; : 
but whence proceeds that which occafions the mo- 
ral fentiment of it ? Not only is the aâ: carefully 
kept out of fight, but even the recolleftion of it. 
Woman confiders it as a proof of her weaknefs : 
(he oppofes long refiftance to the folicitations of 
Man. How comes it that Nature has planted this 
obftacle in her heart, which, in many cafes, ac- 
tually triumphs oyer the moft powerful of propen- 
sities, and the moft headftrong of paflions ? 

Indépendant!]^ 



StUDY XII. 4^ 

Independantly of the particular caufes of (hame, 
which are unknown to me, I think I difcern one 
in the two powers of which Man is conftituted. 
The fenfe of love being, if I may fo exprefs my- 
felf, the centre toward which all the phyfical fen- 
fations converge, as thofe of perfumes, of mufic, 
of agreeable colours, and forms, of the touch, of 
delicate temperatures and favours; there refults 
from thefc a very powerful oppofition to that other 
intelledlual power, from which are derived the fen- 
timents of divinity and immortality. Their con- 
traft is fo much the more collifive, that the adl of 
the firfl is in itfelf animal and blind, and that the 
moral fentiment, which ufually accompanies love, 
is more expanfive and more fublime. The lover, 
accordingly, in order to render his miftrefs pro*- 
pitious, never fails to make this take the lead, and 
to employ every effort to amalgamate it with the 
other fenfation. Thus, (hame arifes, in my opi- 
nion, from the combat of thefe two powers; and 
this is the reafon that children naturally have it 
not, becaufe the fenfe of love is not yet unfolded 
in them ; that young perfons have a great deal of 
it, becaufe thofc two powers are afling in them 
with all their energy ; and that moft old people 
have none at all, becaufe they are pad the fenfe of 
love, from a decay of Nature in them, or have loft 
it's moral fentiment, from the corruption of So- 
ciety ; or, which is a common cafe, from the effeâ: 

VOL. IV. E of 



^ STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of both together, by the concurrence of thefe two 
caufes. 

As Nature has affigned to the province of this 
paflion, which is defigned to be tlie means of re- 
perpetuating human hfe, all the animal fenfationsj 
flie has likewife united in it all the fentiments of 
the foul i fo that love prefents to two lovers, not 
only the fentiments which blend with our wants, 
and with the inftind: of our mifery, fuch as thofc 
of proteftion, of afhftance, of confidence, of fup- 
port, ofrepofe, but all the fublime inftindls, be- 
fides, which elevate Man above humanity. In this 
fenfe it is that P/aio defined love to be, an inteir 
pofition of the Gods in behalf of young people *. 

Whoever 

*■ It was by means of the fublime influence of this paffion, 
that the Thebans formed a battalion of heroes, called the facred 
band ; they all fell together in the battle of Cheronea. They 
"were found extended on the ground, all in the fame flraight line, 
transfixed with ghaftly wounds before, and with their faces turned 
toward the enemy. This fpeélacle drew tears from the eyes of 
Philip himfelf, their conqueror. Lyciirgus had likewife em- 
ployed the power of love in the education of the Spartans, and 
rendered it one of the gr. at props of his republic. But, as the 
animal counterpoife of this celeftial fentiment was no longer 
found in the beloved objeft, it fometimes threw the Greeks into 
•certain irregularities, which have juftly been imputed to them as 
matter of reproach. Their Legiflators confidered women as the 
inftruments merely of procreating children ; they did not per- 
ceive that, by favouring love between men, they enfeebled that 

. . which 



STUDY XII. 51 

Whoever would wifh to be acquainted with hu- 
man nature, has only to ftudy that of love; he 
would perceive fpringing out of it, all the fenti- 

ments 



which ought to unite the faxes, and that in attempting fo 
ftrengthen their political bands, they were burfting afunder thofe 
of Nature. 

The Republic of Lycurgus had, befides, other natural defeats j 
I mention only one, the flavery of the Helots. Thefe two par- 
ticulars, however, excepted, T confider him as the moft fublime 
genius that ever exifted : and even as to thefe he Hands, in fome 
meafure, excufeable, in confideration of the obftacles of every 
kind which he had to encounter in the eftablifhment of his 
Laws. 

There are, in the harmonies of the different ages of human 
life, relations fo delightful, of the weaknefs of children to the vi- 
gour of their parents ; of the courage and the love between 
young perfons of the two fexes to the virtue and the religion of 
unimpaffioned old people, that I am aftonifhed no attempt has 
been made to prefent a pifture, at leaft, of a human fociety thus 
in concord with all the wants of life, and with the Laws of Na- 
ture. There are, it is tl-ue, fome (ketches of this fort, in the 
Telemachus^ among others, in the manners of thé inhabitants of 
Bœtica ; but they are indicated merely. I am perfuaded that 
fuch a Society, thus cemented in all it's parts, would attain the 
higheft degree of fecial felicity, of which human nature is fuf- 
ceptible in this World, and would be able to bid defiance to all 
tlie ftorms of political agitation. So far from being expofed to 
the fear of danger, on the part of neighbouring States, it might 
make an eafy conqueft of them, without the ufe of arms, as an- 
cient China did, fimply by the fpeftacle of it's felicity, and by 
the influence of it's virtues. I once entertained a defign, on the 
fuggeftion of J. J. Roujfeau^ of extending this idea, by compofing 

E 2 the 



^i STUDIES OF NATURE. 

ments of which I have fpoken, and a multitude of 
others, which I have neither time nor talents to 
unfold. We (hall remark, firft, that this natural 
affe(5tion difclofes, in every being, it's principal 
charadter, by giving it all the advantage of a com- 
plete extenfion. Thus, for example, it is in the 
feafon when each plant re-perpetuates itfelf by it's 
flowers and it's fruit, that it acquires all it's per« 
feflion, and the charafters which invariably deter- 
mine it. It is in the feafon of loves that the birds 
of fong redouble their melody, and that thofe 
which excel in the beauty of their colouring, ar- 
ray themfelves in their fineft plumage, the various 
fliades of which they delight to difplay, by fwcl- 
ling their throats, by rounding their tail into the 
form of a wheel, or by extending their wings along 
the ground. It is then that the lufty bull prefents 
his forehead, and threatens with the horn ; that 
the nimble courfer frifks along the plain ; that the 
ferocious animals fill the forefts with the dreadful 
noife of their roaring, and that the tigrefs, exhaling 
the odour of carnage, makes the folitudes of Africa 
to refound with her hideous yells, and appears 



the Hiftory of a Nation of Greece, well known to the Poets, be- 
caufe it lived conformably to Nature, and, for that very reafon, 
almoft altogether unknown to our political Writers; but time 
permitted me only to trace the outline of it, or, at moft, to finifh 
the (irft Book. 

clothed 



STUDY xii; 



s^ 



fiothed with every horrid, attra6live grace, in die 
eyes of her tremendous lover. 

It is, likewife, in the feafon of loving, that all 
the affedions, natural to the heart of Man, unfold 
themfelves. Then it is that innocence, candour, 
Sincerity, modefty, generofity, heroifm, holy faith, 
piety, exprefs themfelves, with grace ineffable, in 
the attitude and features of two young lovers. 
Love affumes, in their fouls, all the charadlers of 
religion and virtue. They betake themfelves to 
flight, far from the tumultuous aflemblies of the 
city, from the corruptive paths of ambition, in 
queft of fome fequeflered fpot, where, upon the 
rural altar, they may be at liberty to mingle and 
exchange the tender vows of everlafting affedlion. 
The fountains, the woods, the dawning Aurora, 
the conftellations of the night, receive by turns 
the facred depofit of the oath of Love. Loft, at 
times, in a religious intoxication, they confider 
each other as beings of a fuperior order. The 
miftrefs is a goddefs, the lover becomes an idola- 
ter. The grafs under their feet, the air which they 
breathe, the (hades under which they repofe, all, 
all appear confecrated in their eyes, from filling 
the fame atmofphere with them. In the widely 
extended Univerfe, they behold no other felicity 
but that of living and dying together, or, rather, 
|bey have loft all fight of death. Love tranfports 

E 3 them 



54 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

them " into ages of infinite duration, and death 
feems to them only the tranfition to eternal union* 

But Ihould cruel deftiny feparate them from 
each other, neither the profpeds of fortune, nor 
the friendfhip of companions the mofl endeared, 
can afford confolation under the lofs. They had 
reached Heaven, they languifh on the earth, they 
are hurried, in their defpair, into the retirement of 
the cloifter, to employ the remaining dregs of life, 
in re-demanding of God the fehcity of which they 
enjoyed but one tranfient glimpfe. Nay, many an 
irkfome year after their feparationi when the cold 
Ji^nd of age has frozen up the current of fenfe > 
after having been diftrafled by a thoufand and a 
thoufand anxieties foreign to the heart, which io 
many times made them forget that they were hu- 
man, the bofom fliU palpitates at fight of the tomb 
which' contains the objed once fo tenderly beloved. 
They had parted with it in the World, they hope 
to fee it again in Heaven. Unfortunate Heloïfa ! 
what fublime emotions were kindled in thy foui 
by the albes of thy Abelard f . 

Such ceieftial emotions cannot poflibly be the 
effefts of a mere animal act. Love is not a flight 
convulfion, as the divine Marcus-Aurelius calls ,it. 
It is to the charms of virtue, and to the fentiment 
pf her divine attributes, that love is indebted foj 

ali 



STUDY XIÎ. ^5 

all that enthufiaftlc energy. Vice itfelf, in order 
to pleafe, is under the neceflîty of borrowing it's 
looks and it's language. If theatrical female per- 
formers captivate fo many lovers, the feduftion is 
carried on by means of the illufions of innocence, 
of benevolence, and of magnanimity, difplayed in 
the charadlers of the (hepherdefles, of the heroines, 
and of the goddelTes, which they are accuftomed 
to reprefent. Their boafled graces are only the 
appearances of the virtues which they counterfeit. 
If fometimes, on the contrary, virtue becomes 
difpleafing, it is becaufe fhe exhibits herfelf in the 
difguife of harflinefs, caprice, peevilhnefs, or fome 
©ther repulfive bad quality. 

Thus, beauty is the offspring of virtue, and ug- 
linefs that of vice ; and thefe characters frequently 
imprefs themfelves from the earlieft infancy by 
means of education. It will be objeded to me, 
that there are men handfome, yet vicious, and 
others homely, yet virtuous. Socrates and J/ci- 
biades have been adduced as noted inftances, in an- 
cient times. But thefe very examples confirm my 
pofition. Socrates was unhappy and vicious at the 
time of life when the phyfionomy affumes it's prin- 
cipal charaders, from infancy up to the age of fe- 
venteen years. He was born in a poor condition ; 
his father had determined, notwithftanding his de- 
clared reludance, to breed him to thç art of fculp-r 

E 4 ture. 



^6 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

ture. Nothing lefs than the authority of an oracle 
could refcue him from this parental tyranny, Sa~ 
crates acknowledged, in conformity to the decifion 
of a Phyfiognomift, that he was addifted to women 
and wine, the vices into which men are ufually 
thrown by the preffure of calamity : at length, he 
became reformed, and nothing could be more 
beautiful than this Philofopher, when hedifcourfed 
about the Deity, As to the happy Akibiades, 
born in the very lap of fortune, the leflbns of So- 
craieSy and the love of his parents and fellow-citi- 
zens, expanded in him, at once, beauty of perfoti 
and of foul ; but having been, at laft, betrayed into 
irregular courfes, through the influence of evil 
communications, nothing remained but the bare 
phyfionomy of virtue. Whatever fedu6lion may 
be apparent in their firft afpeâ:, the uglinefs of vice 
foon difcovçrs itfelf on the faces of handfome men 
degraded into wickednefs. You can perceive, 
even under their fmiles, a certain marked trait of 
falfehood and perfidy. This diffbnance is commu- 
nicated even to the voice. Every thing about then:^ 
is maiked, like their face, 

I beg leave, farther, to obferve, that all the 
forms of organized beings exprefs intelledual fen- 
riments, not only to the eyes of Man, who ftudies 
Nature, but to thofe of animals, which are inftrud:- 
fd, at once, by their inftinft, in fuch particulars of 

knowledge^ 



STUDY Xïl. 57 

jknowledge, as are, in many refpefts, fo obfcure to 
us. Thus, for example, every fpecies of animal 
has certain traits, which are expreffive of it's cha- 
racfler. From the fparkling and reftlefs eyes of 
the tiger, you may difcover his ferocity and per- 
fidy. The gluttony of the hog is announced by 
the vulgarity of his attitude, and the inchnation of 
his head toward the ground. All animals are per- 
fedlly well acquainted with thofe charadlers, for 
the Laws of Nature are univerfal. For inftance, 
though there be in the eyes of a man, iinlefs he is 
very attentive, an exceedingly flight exterior diffe- 
rence between a fox and a fpecies of dog which 
refembles him, the hen will never miftake the one 
for the other. She will take no alarm on the ap- 
proach of the dog, but will be feized with horror 
the in liant that the fox appears. 

It is, ftill farther, to be remarked, that every 
animal expreifes, in it's features, fome one ruling 
paffion, fuch as cruelty, fenfuality, cunning, ilu- 
pidity. But Man alone, unlefs he has been debafed 
by the vices of Society, bears upon his counte- 
nance the imprefs of a celeftial origin. There is 
no one trait of beauty but what may be referred 
10 fome virtue : fuch an one belongs to innocence, 
fuch another to candour, thofe to generofity, to 
roodefly, to heroifm. It is to their influence that 
Man is indebted, in every country, for the refpeA 

and 



58 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

and confidence with which he is honoured by the 
brute creation, unlefs they have been forced out of 
Kature by unrelenting perfecution on the part of 
Man, 

Whatever charms may appear in the harmony 
of the colours and forms of the human figure, 
there is no vifible reafon why it's phyfical effedt 
fhould exert an influence over animals, unlefs the 
imprefs of fome moral power were combined with 
it. The plumpnefs of form, or the freflmefs of 
colouring, ought rather to excite the appetite of 
ferocious animals, than their refpefl: or their love. 
Finally, as we are able to diftinguifh their impaf- 
fioned charafter, they, in like manner, can diftin- 
guifli ours, and are capable of forming a very ac- 
curate judgment as to our being cruel or pacific? 
The game-birds, which fly the fanguinary fowler, 
gather confidently around the harmlefs fliepheïd. 

It has been affirmed, that beauty is arbitrary in 
every Nation ; but this opinion has been already 
refuted by an appeal to matter of fadt. The muti-r 
lations of the Negroes, their incifions into the 
fkin, their flattened nofes, their compreflTed fore- 
heads; the flat, long, round, and pointed heads 
of the favages of North- America; the perforated 
lips of the Brafilians ; the large ears of the people 
of Laos, in Afia^ and of fome Nations of Guiana, 

are 



STUDY XÏI. 59 

are the effeâ:s of fuperftition, or of a faulty educa- 
tion. The ferocious animals themfelves are ftruck 
at fight of thefe deformities. All travellers uraixir 
moully concur in their teftimony, that when lions 
or tygers are famiflied, which rarely happens, and 
thereby reduced to the neceffity of attacking cara- 
vans in the night time, they fall firft upon the 
beafts of burden, and next upon the Indians, or 
the black people. The European figure, with it's 
fimplicity, has a much more impofing efFedt upon 
them, than when disfigured by African or Afiatiç 
çharadlers. 

When it has not been degraded by the vices of 
Society, it's expreffion is fublime. A Neapolitan, 
of the name of John-Baptijle Porta, took it into his 
head to trace in it relations to the figures of the 
beafts. To this effedt, he has compofed a book, 
pmbelliflied with engravings, reprefenting the hu- 
man head under the forced refemblance of the 
head of a dog, of a horfe, of a fheep, of a hog, and 
of an ox. Hi? fyftem is fomewhat favourable to 
certain modern opinions, and forms a very tolerable 
alliance with the hideous changes which the paC- 
fions produce in the human form. But I (hould 
be glad to know after what animal Pigalk has co- 
pied that charming Mercury which I have feen at 
Berlin ; and after the paffions of what brutes the 
iQrecian Sculptors produced the Jupiter of the Ca- 
pitol, 



6o STUDIES OF NATURE. 

pitol, the Venus pudica, and the Apollo of the Vai» 
tican ? In what animals have they ftudied thofe 
divine expreffions ? 

I am thoroughly perfuaded^, as I have faid al- 
ready, that there is not a fingle beautiful touch in 
a figure, but what may be allied to fome moral 
fentiment, relative to virtue and to Deity. The 
traits of uglinefs might be, in like manner, referred 
to fome vicious affedlion, fuch as jealoufy, avarice, 
gluttony, or rage. In order to demonftrate to our 
Philofophers, how far they are wide of the mark, 
when they attempt to make the pafTions the only 
moving principles of human life, I wiQi they could, 
be prefented with the expreflion of all the paflions, 
colleded in one fingle head; for example, the 
wanton and obfcene leer of a courtezan, with the 
deceitful and haughty air of an ambitious courtier; 
and accompanied with an infufion of fome touches 
of haired and envy, which are negative ambitions. 
A head which fliould unite them all would be 
more horrid than that of Aleditja ; it would be a, 
likcnefs of Nero. 

Every paffion has an animal charadcr, as John- 
Baptijle Porta excellently obferved. But every 
virtue, too, has it's animal charadler; and never is 
a phyfionomy more interefting than when you di- 
ftinguiûi in it a ceîeftial affedion confliéling with 

an 



STUDY XII. €l 

an anlnml paffion. Nay, 1 do not know whether it 
be poffible to exprefs a virtue otherwife than by a 
triumph of this kind. Hence it is that modefty 
appears fo lovely on the face of a young female, 
becaufe it is the conflid: of the moft powerful of 
animal pafîîons with a fublime fentiment. The 
expreffion of fenfibility, likewife. renders a face 
extremely interefting, becaufe the foul, in this cafe, 
(hews itfelf in a ftate of fufFering, and becaufe the 
(ight of this excites a virtue in ourfelves, namely, 
the fentiment of compaflion. If the fenfibility of 
the figure in queftion is aélive, that is, if it fprings, 
itfelf, out of the contemplation of the mifery of 
another, it ftrikes us ftill more, becaufe then it 
becomes the divine expreffion of generofity. 

I have a convidion, that the mofl celebrated fta- 
tues and piélures of Antiquity owe much of their 
high reputation entirely to the expreffion of this 
double charafler, that is, to the harmony arifing out 
of the two oppofite fentiments of paffion and virtue. 
This much is certain, that the moil juftly boafted 
mafter-pieces, in fculpture and painting, among 
the Ancients, all prefented this kind of contrail. 
Of this abundance of examples might be adduced 
from their ftatues, as the Fenus piidicay and the 
dying Gladiator, who preferves, even when fallen, 
refped; for his own glory, at the moment he is 
finking into the arms of death. Such, likewife, 

was 



6i S'rUDIES OF NATURE. 

was that of Cifpid hurling the thunder after the in- 
fant Alcibiades^ which Pliny afcribes to Praxiteles, 
or to Scopas. An amiable child, launching from 
his little hand the dread thunderbolt of Jupitevi 
muft excite, at once, the fentiment of innocence, 
and that of terror. With the charader of the God 
was blended that of a man equally attraftive and 
formidable. 

I believe that the paintings of the Ancleftts ex=^ 
prelTed, ftill better, thofe harmonies of oppofite 
fentiments. PJiny^ who has preferved to us the 
memory of the moft noted of them, quotes, among 
others, a pidture by Athenion of Maronea, which 
reprefented the cautious and crafty Ulyjfes deted:-^ 
ing Achilles under the difguife of a young woman, 
by prefenting an aflbrtment of female trinkets, 
among which he had carelefsly, and without ap- 
pearance of art, introduced a fword. The lively 
emotion with which Achilles lays hold of that 
fword, muft have exhibited a charming contraft 
with the habit, and the compofed deportment of 
his nymph charader. There muft have refulted 
another, no lefs interefting, in the charader of 
UlyJJeSy with his air of referve, and the exprcffion 
of his fatisfadion, under the reftraint of prudence, 
fearful left, in difcovering Achilles, he (hould at 
the lame time betray himfelf. 

Anothef 



.'- -■ STUDY xn. 63 

' Another piece, flill more affeding, from the 
pencil of Jrijiides of Thebes, reprefented Biblis 
ianguifliing to death of the love which (he bare to 
her own brother. In it there muft have been di- 
ftinftly reprefented the fentiment of virtue, repel- 
ling the idea of a criminal paffion, and that of fra- 
ternal friendfliip, which recalled the heart to love, 
under the very appearances of virtue. Thefe cruel 
confonances ; defpair at the thought of being be- 
trayed by her own heart, the defire of dying, in 
order to conceal her (hame, the délire of life to en- 
joy the fight of the beloved objed, health wafling 
away under the prelTure of confli<5ls fo painful, 
muft have expreffed, amidft the languors of death 
knd of life, contrafts the raoft interefting, on the 
countenance of that ill-fated maid. 

In another pi(5lure, of the fame JriJiUes, was 
reprefented to admiration, a mother wounded in 
.the breaft, during the fiege of a city, giving fuck 
to her infant. She feemed afraid, fays Pliny, left 
it fhould draw in her blood, together with her 
milk. Alexander prized it fo highly, that he had it 
conveyed to Pella, the place of his birth. What 
emotions muft have been excited, in contemplating 
a triumph fo exalted as that of maternal affedion 
abforbing all fenfe of perfonal fuffering ! PouJJîn, as 
we have feen, has borrowed, from this virtue, the 
principal expreflion of his pidure of the Deluge. 
^ Rubens 



64 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Rubens has employed it, in a moft wonderful 
manner, in giving expreffion to the face of his 
Mary de Medicis, in which you diftinguilh, at 
once, the anguifh and the joy of child-bearing. 
He farther heightens the violence of the phyfica! 
paflion, by the carelefs attitude into which the 
Queen is thrown, in an eafy-chair, and by her 
naked foot, which has (haken off the flipper; and, 
on the other hand, conveys the fublimity of the 
moral fentiment awakened in her, by the high def- 
tiny of her infant, who is prefented to her by a 
God, repofed in a cradle of bunches of grapes and 
ears of corn, fymbols of the felicity of his reign. 

It is thus that the great Matters, not fatisfied 
with oppofing mechanically groups of figures and 
vacuity, fhades and lights, children and old men^ 
feet and hands, purfue with unremitting care, 
thofe contrats of our internal powers which ex- 
prefs themfelves on '* the human face divine," in 
touches ineffable, and which mufb conflitute the 
eternal charm of their produdlions. The Works of 
Le Sueur abound in thefe contrafts of fentiment, 
and he places them in fuch perfeâ: harmony with, 
thofe of the elementary nature, that the refult from 
them is the fweetefl, and the moft profound me- 
lancholy. But it has been much ealier for his pen- 
cil to paint, than it is for my pen to defcribe, 
them, 

I flwll- 



STUDY XII. 65 

i iliall adduce but one example more to my 
prefent purpofe, taken from Poujfin, an Artiil mod 
admirable for his fkill in graphic compofition) but 
Nvhofe colours have fuffered confiderably from the 
hand of time. The piece to which I refer is his 
pidure of the rape of the Sabine women. While 
the Roman foldiery are carrying off by force, in 
their arms, the terrified young women of the Sa- 
bines, there is a Roman officer, who is defirous of 
getting pofTeffion of one extremely beautiful as 
well as young. She has taken refuge in the arms 
of her mother. He dares not prefume to offer vio- 
lence to her, but feems to addrcfs the mother with 
all the ardour of love, tempered with refped; his 
countenance thus fpeaks : " She will be happy 
" with me ! Let me be indebted for her to love, 
*' and not to fear ! I am lefs eager to rob you of 
^' a daughter, than to give you a fon." It is thus 
that, while he conforms himfelf, in dreffing his 
charaders, to the fimplicity of the age, which ren- 
dered all conditions nearly fimilar, he has diftin- 
guilhed the officer from the foldier, not by his 
garb, but by his manners. He has caught, as he 
ulually does, the moral charader of his fubjed, 
which produces a very different effed from that of 
mere cojîume, 

Ï (îiould have been extremely happy had we been 

favoured, from the pencil of the fame ingenious 

VOL. IV. F Artifr, 



66 STUDIES OF NATURE* 

Artift, with a reprefentation of thefe fame female 
Sabines, after they had become wives and mo- 
thers, rufhing in between the two contending ar- 
mies of the Sabines and Romans, " Running,'* 
as Plutarch tells us, *' fome on this fide, others 
** on that, in tears, fhrieking, exclaiming; thruft- 
'' ing themfelves through the clafliing of arms, 
" and heaps of the dead llrewed along the ground, 
*' like perfons frantic, or polTefled with a fpirit, 
** carrying their fucking infants in their arms, 
*' with hair dilhevelled, appealing now to Romans, 
*' now to Sabines, by every tender adjuration that 
" can reach the heart of Man *." 

The moft powerful effefts of love, as has been 
faid, arife out of contradiflory feelings, melting 
into each other, juft as thofe of hatred, frequently, 
are produced from fimilar fentiments which hap- 
pen to clafli. Hence it is that no feeling can 
be more agreeable than to find a friend in a 
man whom we confidered as an enemy ; and no 
mortification fo poignant as meeting an enemy in 
the man whom we depended upon as a friend. 
Thefe harmonic effeds frequently render a flight 
and tranfient kindnefs more eftimable than a con- 
tinued feries of good offices ; and a momentary 
offence more outrageous than the declared enmity 

* Plutarch''^ Life of Romulus, 

of 



STUDY XII. 6^ 

bf a whole life-time ; becaufe, in the firft cafej 
feelings diametrically oppofite gracioully unite ; 
and, in the fécond, congenial feelings violently 
clalh. Hence too it is, that a fingle blemifh, 
amidft the valuable qualities of a man of worth, 
frequently appears more ofFenfive than all the vices 
" of a libertine, who difplays only a folitary virtue, 
becaufe, from the effed of contrail, thefe two qua- 
lities become more prominent, and eclipfe the 
others in the two oppofite charadters. It proceeds, 
likewife, from the weaknefs of the human mind, 
which, attaching itfelf always to a fingle point of 
the objeâ: which it contemplates, fixes on the moft 
prominent quality, in framing it's decifions. It is 
impoifible to enumerate the errors into which wc 
are every day falling, for want of ftudying thefe 
elementary principles of Nature. It would be pof- 
lible, undoubtedly, to extend them much farther; 
it is fufficient for my purpofe, if I have given a de- 
monftration of their exiftence, and infpired others 
with an inclination to apply them properly. 

Thefe harmonies acquire greater energy from 
the adjoining contrails which detach them, from 
the cbnfonances which repeat them, and from the ' 
other elementary Laws which have been indicated s 
but if with thefe are blended fome one of the mo- 
ral fentiments of which I have been prefenting a 

F 2 ^aint 



68 STUDIES OF NATURE, 

faint fketch, in this cafe, the effeâ: refulting front 
the whole is inexpreiïibly delightfLil. Thus, fof 
example, a harmony becomes, in fome fort, celef- 
tial, when it contains a myftery, which always fup- 
pofes fomething marvellous and divine. I one day 
felt a mod agreeable effed, as I was looking over 
a colleâiion of old prints, which reprefented the 
hiftory of Adonis, remis had flolen the infant 
Adonis from Diana, and was educating him with 
her fon Cupid. Diana was determined to recover 
him, as being the fon of one of her nymphs» 
Fenusj then, having, on a certain day, alighted 
from her chariot, drawn by doves, was walking 
with the two boys in a valley of Cythera. Diana, 
at the head of her armed retinue, places herfelf in 
ambufli, in a foreft through which Venus was to 
pals. Fenus, as foon as flie perceived her adver- 
fary approaching, and incapable either to efcape, 
or to prevent the re-capture of Adonis, was in- 
ftantly ftruck with the thought of clapping wings 
on his flioulders, and prefenting Cupid and him to- 
gether to Diana, defired her to take either of the 
children which (he believed to be her property. 
Both being equally beautiful, both of the fame 
age, and both furnifhed with wings, the chafle 
Goddefs of the woods was deterred from choofing 
cither the one or the other, and refrained from 
taking Adonis, for fear of taking Cupid, 

Thl^ 



STUDY XIÏ. 69 

This fable contains feveral fentimental beauties. 
I related it pne day to J. J. Rùiijfeau, who was 
highly delighted with it. " Nothing pleafes me 
*' fo much," faid he, "as an agreeable image, 
" which conveys a moral fentiment." We were 
at that time in the plain of Neuilly, near a park, 
in which we faw a group of Love and Friendship, 
undfr the forms of a young man and young wo- 
iT)an, of fifteen or fixteen years of age, embracing 
each other with mouth to mouth. Having looked 
at it, he faid to me, *' Here is an obfcene image 
" prefented, after a charming idea. Nothing 
" coul4 have been more agreeable, than a repre- 
*' fentation of the two figures in ïjieir natural ftate : 
** Friendfhip, as a grown young woman carefîing 
** an infant Cupide Being on that interefting fub- 
jeâ:, I repeated to him the conclu fion of that 
touching fable pf Philomela and Progné. 

Le défert eft-il fait pour des talens fi beaux ? 
Venez faire aux cités éclater leurs merveilles : 

Auffi bien, en voyant les bois, 
Sans cefTe il vous fouvient que Térée autrefois, 

JPArmi des demeures pareilles, 
Exerça fa fureur fur vos divins appas.— 
Et c'eft le fouvenir d'un fx cruel outrage, 
Qui fait, reprit fa fœur, que je ne vous fuis pas : 

En voyant les hommes, helas ! 

Il m'en fouvient bien davantage. 

F 3 Why 



^O STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Why wafte fuch fweetnefs on the defert air ! 

Come, charm the city with thy tuneful note. 
Think too, in folitude, that form fo fair 

Felt violation : flee the horrid thought. 

Ah ! filler dear, fad Philomel replies, 

'Tis this that makes me fhun the haunts of men : 

Terëus and Courts the anguifh'd heart allies, 
And haftes, for flielter, to the woods again. 

*' What a feries of ideas !" cried he, " how 
** tenderly affeding it is !" His voice was ftifled, 
and the tears rufhed to his eyes. I perceived that 
he was farther moved by the fecret correfponden- 
cies between the talents and the deftiny of that 
bird, and his own fituation. 

It is obvious, then, in the two allegorical fubjeds 
of Diana and Jdonis, and of Love and Friendfliip, 
that there are really within us, two diftinft powers, 
the harmonies of which exalt the foul, when the 
phyfical image throws us into a moral fentiment, 
as in the firft example j and abafe it, on the con- 
trary, when a moral fentiment recals us to a phy- 
fical fenfation, as in the example of Love and, 
Friendlhip. 

The fupprefTed circumftances contribute farther 
to the moral expreffions, becaufethey are conform- 
able to the expanfive nature of the foul. They 

conduct 



STUDY XII. ^I 

conduâ: it over a vaft field of ideas. It is to thefc 
fuppreffions that the fable of the Nightingale is 
indebted for the powerful effedt which it produces. 
Add to thefe a multitude of other oppofitions, 
which I have not leifure to analyze. 

The farther that the phyfical image is removed 
from us, the greater extenfion is given to the mo- 
ral fentiment ; and the more circumfcribed the 
firft is, the more energetic the fentiment is ren- 
dered. It is this, undoubtedly, which communi- 
cates fo much force to our affecflions, when we re- 
gret the death of a friend. Grief, m this cafe, con- 
veys the foul from one World to the other, and 
from an objed: full of charms to a tomb. Hence 
it is, that the following paflage from Jeremiah con~ 
tains a ftrain of fublime melancholy : Fox in Rama 
audita eft ; ploratus y ululatus multus : Rachel plorans 
fiUos fuoSj y noluit confolari, quia non Junt. " A 
" voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and 
" bitter weeping ; Rachel weeping for her chil» 
*' dren, refufed to be comforted for her children, 
^* becaufe they were not *." All the confolations 
which this World can adminifter, are dalhed to 
pieces againft this word of maternal anguifh, ,non 
funty 

* Jeremiah, chap. xxxi. ver. 15. 

F 4 The 



72. STUDIES OF NATURE. 

The fingle jet d*eau of Saint-Cloud pleafes m© 
more than all it's cafcades. However, though the 
phj'fical image fhould not efcape, and lofe itfelf in 
infinity, it may convey forrow thither, when it re- 
flets the fame fentiment. I find, in Plutarchy a 
noble effed of this progreflive confonance. '* Bru- 
*' tus y' fays he, " giving all up for loft, and hav- 
*' ing refolved to withdraw from Italy, paffed by 
" land through Lucania, and came to Elea, which 
" is fituated on the fea-lide. Portia being to re- 
*' turn from thence to Rome, endeavoured to 
** conceal the grief which opprefled her, in the 
" profpeét of their approaching feparation ; but,^ 
** with all her refolution and magnanimity, fhe 
" betrayed the forrow which was preying on her 
" heart, on feeing a pifture which there acciden- 
** tally caught her eye. The fubjed of the piece 
" was taken from the Iliad, and reprefented the 
" parting of Hedor and Andromache, when he was 
" preparing to take the field, and at the inftant 
" when he was delivering the infant Aflyanax into 
*' the arms of his mother, while her eyes remain 
" immoveably fixed on HeBar, The refemblance 
** which the pidure bore to her own diftrefs made 
*' her burft into tears ; and feveral times a day the 
" reforted to the place where it hung, to gaze at 
" it, and to weep before it. This being obferve(^ 
" by Acilius, one of the friends of BrmnSy he re- 
peated 



STUDY XIÏ, 73 

^f peated the paflage from Homer, in which Andre- 
f * mache exprefles her inward emotion ; 

E;iTwp «Tap a-v (A.01 ea-at •na.r-Df y^xt votvix (Arimpf 

Yet while my He(fior ftill furvives, I fee 
My father, mother, kindred, all in thee, 
My wedded Lord 

** Bruitis replied, with a fmile. But I mujl not an- 
^^ fwer Portia in the words of Heâîor to Andromache t 

AXX' E/Î oiMv tSax, roc arxvrrn ïfyx xo/x/^e, 
Ifoy T v^xKCcrmv te, xxi çc[A.(pivé\oi<Ti Kif^vi, 

haften to thy tafks at home, 

There guide the fpindle, and direft the loom. 

** For though the natural zveaknefs of her body prevent i 
■* her from aâing zvbat the flrength of men only can 
^* perform, yet fhe has a mind as valiant, and as ac- 
^* live for the good of her Country as we have." 

This pidure was, undoubtedly, placed under 
the periftyle of fome temple, built on the fhore of 
the Sea. Brutus was on the point of embarking 
without pomp, and without a retinue. His wife, 
the daughter of Cato, had accompanied him, per- 
haps on foot. The moment of feparation ap- 
proaches ; in order to foothe her anguifh, (lie fixes 
her eyes on that painting, confecrated to the Gods. 

She 



74 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

She beholds in it the lafl, long farewel of HeBor 
and Andromache ; fhe is overwhelmed j and to xt" 
animate her fortitude, turns her eyes upon her huf- 
band. The comparifon is completed, her courage 
forfakes her, tears gufh out, conjugal affeâ:ioi> 
triumphs over love of Country. Two virtues in 
oppofition ! Add to thefe the charaders of a wild 
nature, which blend fo well with human grief: 
profound folitude, the columns and the cupola of 
that antique temple, corroded by the keen air of 
the Sea, and marbled over with mofles, which 
give them the appearance of green bronze ; a fet- 
ting Sun, which gilds the fummit of it -, the hol- 
low murmurs of the Sea, at a diftance, breaking 
along the coaft of Lucania ; the towers of Elea 
perceptible, in the bofom of a valley, between two 
fteep mountains, and that forrow of Portia, which 
hurries us back to the age of Andromache. What 
a pidture, fuggefted by the contemplation of a 
pidure ! O, ye Artifts, could you but produce it, 
Portia would, in her turn, call forth many a tear. 

I could multiply, without end, proofs of the 
two powers by which we are governed. Enough 
has been faid on the fubjedt of a paflion, the in- 
ftinét of which is fo blind, to evince that we are 
atirafted to it, and aftuated by it, from Laws 
widely different from thofe of digeftion. Our af- 
fections demonftrate the immortality of the foul, 

becaufc 



STUDY XU. 75 

becaufe they expand in all the circumflances, in 
which they feel the attributes of Deity, fuch as that 
pf infinity, and never dwell with delight on the 
Earth, except on the attrapions of virtue and in- 
nocence. 



PF SOME OTHER SENTIMENTS OF DEITY, AND AMONG 
OTHERS, OF THAT OF VIRTUE. 

There are, befides thefe, a great number of fen- 
timental Laws, which it has not been in my power, 
at prefent, to unfold : fuch are thofe which fug- 
geft pre-fentiments, omens, dreams, the reference 
of events, fortunate and unfortunate, to the fame 
epochs, and the like. Their efFeds are attefled 
among Nations, polifhed and favage, by Writers 
profane and facred, and by every man who pays at- 
tention to the Laws of Nature. Thefe communica- 
tions of the foul, with an order of things invifible, 
are rejeâied by the learned of modern times, be- 
caufe they come not within the province of their 
fyftems and of their almanacs j but how m.any 
things exift, which are not reducible to the plans 
of our reafon, and which have not been fo much 
as perceived by it ! 

There are particular laws which demonftrate the 
immediate adion of Providence on the Human 

Race, 



76 STUDI]&S OF NATURE. 

Race, and which are oppofite to the general Laws 
of Phyfics. For example, the principles of reafon,, 
of paffion, and of fentiment, as well as the organs 
of fpeech and of hearing, are the fame in men of 
all countries j neverthelefs, the language of Nations, 
differs all the world over. How comes it that the 
art of fpeech is fo various among beings who all 
have the fame wants, and that it Ihould be con- 
ftantly changing in the tranfmiffion from father to 
fon, to fuch a degree, that we modern French no 
longer underftand the language of the Gauls, and 
that the day is coming, when our pofterity will be 
linable to comprehend ours ? The ox of Benga 
bellows like that of the Ukraine, and the nightin- 
gale pours out the fame melodious ftrains to this 
day, in our climates, as thofe which charmed the 
ear of the Bard of Mantua, by the banks of the Po, 

It is impoflible to maintain, though it has been 
alleged by certain Writers of high reputation, that 
languages are characterized by climates ; for, if 
they were fubjefled to influence of this kind, they 
would never vary in any country, in which the cli- 
mate is invariable. The language of the Romans 
was at firft barbarous, afterwards majeftic, and is 
become, at laft, foft and effeminate. They are not 
rough to the North, and foft to the South, as 
y. J. Roujfeau pretends, who, in treating this point, 
has given far too great extenfion to phyfical Laws. 

The 



STUD'i' xii. 77 

The language of the Ruffias, in the North of 
Europe, is very fofr, being a dialeél of the Greek; 
and the jargon of the fouthern provinces of France 
is îiarlh and coarfe. The Laplanders, who inhabit 
the fliores of the Frozen Ocean, fpeâk a language 
that is very grateful to the ear; and the Hotten- 
tots, who inhabit the very temperate climate of the 
Cape of Good- Hope, cluck like India cocks. 
The language of the Indians of Peru is loaded 
with ftrong afpirations, and confonants of difficult 
pronunciation. Any one, without going out of his 
clofet, may diftinguifli the different charafters of 
the language of each Nation, by the names pre- 
fented on the geographical charts of the Country, 
and may fatisfy himfelf that their harlhnefs, or 
foftnefs, has no relation whatever to thofe of La- 
titude. 

Other obfervers have affcrted, that the languages 
of Nations have been determined and fixed by 
their great Writers. But the great Writers of the 
age of Augnjlus did not fecure the Latin language 
from corruption, previoufly to the reign of Marcus 
Aurelius. Thofe of the age of Lowi XIV. already 
begin to be antiquated among ourfelves. If pof- 
terity fixes the charader of a language to the age 
which was productive of great Writers, it is be- 
caufe, as they allege, it is then at it's greateft pu- 
i^ty ; for you find in them as many of thofe i-nvcr- 

fions 



78 STUDtES OF NATURE. 

(ions of phrafeology, of thofe decompofitiohs of 
words, and of thofe embarraffed fyntaxes, which 
render the metaphyfical ftudy of all Grammar tire- 
fome and barbarous ; but it is becaufe the Writ- 
ings of thofe great men fparkle with maxims of 
virtue, and prefent us with a thoufand perfpedives 
of the Deity. I have no doubt that the fublime 
fentiments which infpire them, illuminate them ftill 
in the order and difpofition of their Works, feeing 
they are the fources of all harmony. From this, 
if I am not miftaken, tefults the unalterable charm 
which renders the perufal of them fo delicious, at 
all times, and to the men of all Nations. Hence 
it is that Plutarch has -eclipfed moft of the Writers 
of Greece, though he was of the age neither of 
Pericles^ nor of Alexander ; and that the tranllation 
of his Works into old French, by the good Amyoty 
will be more generally read by pollerity than moft 
of the original Works produced even in the age of 
Louis XIV. It is the moral goodnefs of a period 
which charafterizes a language, and which tranf- 
mits it unaltered to the generation following. This 
is the reafon that the languages, the cuftoms, and 
even the form of drefles arc, in Afia, tranfmitted 
inviolably from generation to generation, becaufe 
fathers, all over that Continent, make themfelves 
beloved by their children. But thefe reafons do 
not explain the div-erfity of language which fubfifts 
between one Nation and another. It muft ever 

appear 



STUDY xîi. 79 

appear to me altogether fupernatural, that men 
who enjoy thfe (imie elements, and are fubjefted 
to the fame wants, fhould not employ the fame 
words in expreffing them. There is but one Sun 
to illuminate the whole Earth, and he bears a dif- 
ferent name in every different land. 

I beg leave to fuggeft a farther effed of a Law 
lo which little attention has been paid ; it is this, 
that there never arifes any one man eminently di- 
flinguiflied, in whatever line, but there appears, 
at the fame time, either in his own Country, or in 
lome neighbouring Nation, an antagonift, poflef- 
fing talents, and a reputation, in complete oppo- 
fition : fuch were Democritus and HeracliluSf Alex- 
ander and Diogenes, Defcartes and Newton, Corneille 
and Racine, Bojfiiet and Fenelon, Voltaire and J. J, 
RouJJeau. I had colleded, on the fubjed: of the 
two extraordinary men laft mentioned, who were 
contemporaries, and who died the fame year, a 
great number of ftriftures, which demonftrate 
that, through the whole courfe of life, they pre- 
fented a ftriking contrafl; in refpeft of talents, of 
manners, and of fortune : but I have relinquifhed 
this parallel, in order to devote my attention to & 
purfuit which I deemed much more ufeful. 

This balancing of illuftrious characters will not 
appear extraordinary, if we confider- that it is a 

confequence 



80 Sti/blES OF NATURE. 

confequènce from the general Law of contrariée^ 
which governs the World, and from which all the 
harmonies of Nature refult : it muft, therefore^ 
particularly manifeft itfelf in the Human Race, 
which is the centre of the whole ; and it actually 
does difcover itfelf, in the wonderful equilibrium, 
conformably to which the two fexes are born in 
equal numbers. It does not fix on individuals, in 
particular, for we fee families confiding wholly of 
daughters, and others all fons ; but it embraces 
the aggregate of a whole city, and of a Nation, 
the male and female children of which are always 
produced very nearly equal in number. Whatever 
inequality of fex there may exift in the variety of 
births in families, the equality is confl:antly re- 
ilored in the aggregate of a people. 

But there is aiiother equilibrium no lefs wonder- 
ful, which has not, I believe, become an objeft of 
attention; As there are a great many men who 
perifh in War, in fea-voyages, and by painful and 
dangerous employments, it would thence follow, 
that, at the long run, the number of women would 
daily go on in an increafing proportion. On the 
fuppofition, that there periQies annually one tenth 
part more of men than of women, the balancing 
of the fexes muft become more and more un- 
equal. Social ruin muft increafe from the very 
regularity of the natural order^ This, however, 

does 



STUDY XII. 8l 

does not take place ; the two fexes are always, 
very nearly, equally numerons : their occupations 
are different ; but their deftiny is the fame. The 
women, who frequently impel men to engage in 
hazardous enterprizes to fupport their luxury, or 
who foment animofities, and even kindle wars 
among them, to gratify their vanity, are carried 
off, in the fecurity of pleafure and indulgence, by 
maladies to which men are not fubjed; j but which 
frequently refult from the moral, phyfical, and po- 
litical pains which the men undergo in confe- 
quence of them. Thus the equilibrium of birth 
between the fexes, is re-eftabliihed by the equili- 
brium of death. 

Nature has multiplied thofe harmonic contrails 
in all her Works, relatively to Man ; for the fruits 
which minifler to our neceffities, frequently pof- 
fefs, in themfelves, oppofite qualities, which ferve 
as a mutual compenfation, 

Thefe effedls, as has been elfewhere demon- 
ilrated, are not the mechanical refults of climate, 
to the qualities of which they are frequently in 
oppofition. All the Works of Nature have the 
wants of Man for their end ; as all the fentiments 
of Man have Deity for their principle. The final 
intentions of Nature have given to Man the know- 
ledge of all her Works, as it is the inltinâ: of 

VOL. iVc G Deity 



bZ STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Deity which has rendered Man fupcrior to the 
Laws of Nature. It is this inftinâ: which, diffe- 
rently modified by the paffions, engages the inha- 
bitants of Ruflia to bathe in the ices of the Neva, 
during the fevereft cold of Winter, as well as the 
Nations of Bengal in the waters of the Ganges; 
which, under the fame Latitudes, has rendered 
women flaves in the Philippine Iflands, and defpots 
in the Illand of Formofa; which makes men effe- 
minate in the Moluccas, and intrepid in Macalfar; 
and which forms, in the inhabitants of one and 
the fame city, tyrants, citizens, and flaves. 

The fentiment of Deity is the firft mover of the 
human heart. Examine a man in thofe unforefeen 
moments, when the fecret plans of attack and de- 
fence, with which focial man continually enclofes 
himfelf, are fupprelfed, not on the fight of a vaft 
ruin, which totally fubverts them, but fimply on 
feeing an extraordinary plant or animal : *' Ah, 
*' my God !" exclaims he, " how wonderful this 
" is !" and he invites the firft perfon who happens 
to pafs by, to partake of his aftonifliment. His 
firft emotion is a tranfport of delight Which raifes 
him to God ; and the fécond, a benevolent difpo- 
fition to communicate his difcovery to men; but 
the focial reafon quickly recals him to perfonal in- 
tereft. As foon as he fees a certain number of 
•fp^edators affembled round the objedl of his curi^ 

ofity. 



STUDY XII. 83 

©fity, ^* It was I," fays he, " who obferved it 
"^ firfl:." Then, if he happens to be a Scholar, he 
fails not to apply his fyftem to it. By and by he 
begins to calculate how much this difcovery will 
bring him in ; he throws in fome additional cir- 
cumftances, in order to heighten the appearance 
of the marvellous, and he employs the whole 
credit of his junto to puff it off, and to perfecute 
every one who prefumes to differ from him in opi- 
nion. Thus, every natural fentiment elevates us 
to God, till the weight of our pafïïons, and of 
human inftitutions, brings us back again to felf. 
y. y. RouJJeau was, accordingly, in the right, when 
he faid that Man was good, but that men were 
wicked. 

It was the inflinâ: of Deity which firfl affembled 
men together, and which became the bafis of the 
Religion and of the Laws whereby their union was 
to be cemented. On this it was that virtue found 
a fupport, in propofing to herfelf the imitation of 
the Divinity, not only by the exercife of the Arts 
and Sciences, which the ancient Greeks, for this 
efîeét, denominated the petty virtues ; but in the 
refult of the divine power and intelligence, which 
is beneficence. It conlifled in efforts made upon 
Gurfelves, for the good of Mankind, in the view of 
pleafing God only. It gave to Man the fentiment 

6 2 of 



84 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of his own excellence, by infpiring liim with the 
contempt of terreftrial and tranfient enjoyments, 
and with a defire after things celeftial and immor- 
tal. It was this fublime atiradion which exalted 
courage to the rank of a virtue, and which made 
Man advance intrepidly to meet death, amidft fo 
many anxieties to preferve life. Gallant d'JJfas, 
what had you to hope for on the Earth, when you 
poured out your blood in the night, without a 
witnefs, in the plains of Klofterkam, for the falva- 
tion of the French army ? And you, generous 
E'i/ince de St. Pierre^ what recompence did you ex- 
peft from your Country, when you appeared be- 
fore her tyrants, with the halter about your neck, 
ready to meet an infamous death, in fiving your 
fellow-citizens ? Of what avail, to your infenfible 
afhes, were the ftatues and the elogiums which 
pofterity was one day to confecrate to your me- 
mory ? Could you fo much as hope for this re- 
ward, in return for facrifices either unknown, or 
loaded with opprobrioufnefs ? Could you be fiat- 
tered, in ages to come, with the empty homage of 
a world feparated from you by eternal barriers } 
And you, more glorious (till in the fight of God, 
obfcure citizens, vvho fink inglorioufiy into the 
grave; you, whofe virtues draw down upon your 
heads (hame, calumny, perfecution, poverty, con- 
tempt, even on the part of thofe who difpenfe the 

honour^ 



STUDY XII. 85 

honours of a prefent flate, could you have forced 
your way through paths fo dreary and fo rude, had 
not a Hght from Heaven ilkiminated your eyes * ? 

Tt 



* It is itnpoffible for virtue to fubfift independantly of Reli- 
gion, t do not mean the theatrical virtues, wiiich attract public 
admiration, and that, many a time, by means fo contemptible, 
that they may be rather confidered as fo many vices. The very 
Pagans have turned them into ridicule. See what Marcus Aurclius 
has faid on the fubjefl. By virtue I underftand the good which 
we do to men, without expeftation of reward on their part, and, 
frequently, at the expence of fortune, nay, even of reputation. 
Analyze all thofe whofc traits have appeared to you the moft 
ftriking; there is no one of them but what points out Deity, 
nearer or more remote. I fliall quote one not generally known, 
and fingularly interefting from it's very obfcurity. 

In the laft war in Germany, a Captain of cavalry was ordered 
out on a foraging parfy. He put himfelf at the head of his 
troop, and marched to the quarter affigned him. It was a foli- 
tary valley, in which hardly any thing but woods could be feen. 
In the midft of it flood a little cottage ; on perceiving it, he 
went up, and knocked at the door ; out comes an ancient Her- 
jiouten, with a beard filvered by age. " Father," fays the officer, 
*' fliew me a field where I can fet my troopers a-foraging"... ... 

*' Prefently," replied the Hernouten. The good old man walked 
before, and conduced them out of the valley. After a quarter 
of an hour's march, they found a fine field of barley : " There 

*' is the very thing we want," fays the Captain " Have pa- 

*' tience for a ïtw minutes," replies his guide, ** you (liall be 
*' fatisfied." They went on, and, at the diftance of about a 
quarter of a league farther, they anive at another field of barley. 
The troop immediately difmounted, cut down the grain, truffed 
It up, and remounted. The officer, upon this, fays to his con- 

G 3 du(5tor, 



36 HTUDIES OF NATURE, 

This refpeft for virtue, is the fource of that 
which we pay to ancient Nobility, and which 
has introduced, in procefs of time, unjuft and 

odious 



dyflor, " Father, you have given yourfelf and us unneceflaiy 

*' trouble; the firft field was much better than this'". " Very 

" true, Sir," replied the good old man, *' but it was not mine." 

This ftroke goes direéWy to the heart. I defy an atheifl to 
produce me any thing once to be compared with it. It may be 
proper to obferve, that the Hernoutens are a fpecies of Quakers, 
icattered over fome cantons of Germany. Certain Theologians 
have maintained, that heretics were incapable of virtue, and that 
their good aftions were utterly deftitute of merit. As I am no 
Theologian, I fhall not engage in this metaphyfical difcuflion, 
though I might oppofe to their opinion the fentiments of St. 
Jerome^ and even thofe of St. Pder^ with refpe6t to Pagans, when 
he fays to Cornelius the centurion : " Of a truth, I perceive that 
•"J Gou is no refpefter of perfons ; but in every Nation, he that' 
" feareth Him, and wQiketh righteoufnefs, is accepted with 
" Him f ." But I fliould be glad to know what thofe Theolo- 
gians think of the charity of the good Samaritan, who was a 
fchifmatic. Surely they will not venture tp ftart objecflions 
againfla decifion pronounced by Jesus Christ himfelf. As the 
iimplicity and depth of his divine refponfes, form an admirable 
contraft with the diflionefty and fubtilty of modern do£lors, I 
fliall tranfcribe the whole paflage from the Gofpel, word for 
ivord. 

" And behold, a certain lawyer flood up, and tempted him, 
*' faying, Mafter, what fliall I do to inherit eternal life ? 

" He faid unto him, What is written in the law ? how readeft 
« thou ? 

f Afis of the Apcftles, chap. x. ver, 34, 35. 

" And 



STUDY XI,I. %*/ 

©dious differences among men, whereas, origi- 
nally, it was defigned to eftablifli among them, 
refpedable diftindions alone. The Afiatics, more 

equitable, 

" And he anfwering, faid, Thou (halt love the Lorp thy Goj> 
*' with all thy heart, and with all thy foul, and with all thy 
*< llrength, and with all thy mind ; and thy neighbour 9S thy 
" felf. 

" And he faid unto him, Thou haft anfwered right: this do, 
*' and thou fhalt live. 

" But he willing to juftify himfelf, faid unto Jssus, And who 
•' is my neighbour ? 

-*' And Jesus anfwering, faid, A certain matt went dowa 
*♦ from Jerufalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which 
*' ftripped him of his raiment, and wounded /^/zw, and departed, 
•' leaving ^im half-dead. 

" And by chance there came down a certain prieft that way ; 
*' and when he faw him, he pafled by on the other fide. 

*' And likewife a Lévite, when he was at the place, came and 
" looked on him, and pafled by on the other fide. 

" But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he 
** was ; and when he faw him, he had compaflion m him. 

*' And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil 

•* and wrne, and fet him on his own beaft, and brought him to 

*' an inn, and took care df him. 

" And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two 

^' pence, and gave them to the hoft, and faid unto him. Take 

*' care of him : and whatfoever thpu fpendeft more, when I come 

*' again, I will repay thee. 

•' Which now of thefe three, thinkeft thou, was neighbour 
«* unto him that fell among the thieves ? 

*' And he faid, He that Ihewed mercy on him. Then faid 
•** Jcî.vr. unto hiroj Go, and do thou likewife ^.'' 

X X.uk,e, chap. x. ver. 25—37. 

G 4 I Ihall 



fis STUDIES OF NATURE. 

equitable, attached nobility only to places ren- 
dered illuflrious by virtue. An aged tree, a well, 
a rock, objecfls of ftability, appeared to them as 
alone adapted to perpetuate the memory of what 
was worthy of being remembered. There is not, 
all over Afia, an acre of land, but what is digni- 
fied by a monument. The Greeks and Romans 
who ifliied out of it, as did all the other Nations 
of the World, and who did not remove far from 
it, imitated, in. part, the cuftoms of our firft Fa- 
thers. But the other Nations which fcattered 
themfetves ovej: the reft of Europe, where they 

I fliall be carefully on my guard againft adding any refle£lion$ 
of my own on this fubjeft, except this fimplc obfervation, that 
the adlion of the Samaritan is far fuperior to that of the Hernou- 
ten ; for, though the fécond makes a great facrifice, he is in fome 
fort determined to it by force : a field muft of neceffity have been 
fubjefled to forage. But the Samaritan entirely obeys the im- 
pulfe of humanity. His aélion is free, and his charity fponta- 
neous. This ilrifture, like all thofe of the Gofpel, contains, in 
a few words, a multitude of clear and forcible inftruftions, re- 
fpeding the duties inculcated in the fécond table of the Law. It 
would be impoflible to replace them by others, were imagination 
itfelf permitted to diftate them. Weigh all the circumftances of 
the reftlefs and perfevering charity of the Samaritan. He drefles 
the wounds of an unfortunate wretch, and places him on his own 
horfe ; he expofes his own life to danger, by flopping, and 
walking on foot, in a place frequented by thieves. He after- 
wards makes provifion, in the inn, for the future, as well as for 
the prefent, neceffities of the unhappy man, and continues his 
journey, without expelling any recompenfe whatever from the 
gratitude of the perfon whom he had fuccoured. 

were 



STUDY XII. S9 

were long in an erratic flate, and who withdrew 
from thofe ancient monuments of virtue, chofe 
rather to look for them in the poflerity of their 
great men, and to fee the living images of them in 
their children. This is the reafon, in my opinion, 
that the Afiatics have no Noblefle, and the Euro- 
peans no monuments. 

This infhinft of Deity conftitutes the charm of 
the performances which we perufe with mofl de- 
light. The Writers to whom we always return 
with pleafure, are not the mofl fprightly, that is, 
thofe who abound the moft in the focial reafon 
which endures but for a moment, but thofe who 
render the adlion of Providence continually pre- 
fent to us. Hence it is that Homer, Firgil, Xeno- 
pboH, Phtarchy Fenelon, and moft of the ancient 
Writers, are immortal, and pleafe the men of all 
Nations. For the fame reafon it is, that books of 
travels, though, for the moft part, written very 
artlefsly, and though decried by multitudes, of 
various orders in Society, who difcern in them an 
indireâ: cenfure of their own conduét, are, never^ 
thelefs, the moft interefting part of modern read- 
ing ; not only becaufe they difclofe to us fome 
new benefits of Nature, in the fruits and the ani- 
mals of foreign countries, but becaufe of the dan- 
gers by land and by water which their authors have 
fsfcaped, frequently beyond all reafonable expeda- 

tion. 



$flr STUDIES OF NATURE. 

tion. Finally, it is becaufe the greateft part of 
our very learned produftions fludioufly (leer clear 
of this natural fentiment, thi\t the perufal of them 
is fo very dry and difgufling, and that pofterity 
will prefer Herodotus to David Hiwie, and the My- 
thology of the Greeks to all our treatifes on Phy- 
£cs; becanfe wre love (till more to hear the fic- 
tions of Deity blended with the Hillory of men, 
than to fee the reafon of men in the Hiflory of 
Deity. 

This fublime fentiment infpires Man with a 
tafte for the marvellous, who, from his natural 
weaknefs, muft have ever been crawling on the 
ground, of which he is formed. It balances in 
him the fentiment of his mifery, which attaches 
him to the pleafures of habit ; and it exalts his 
foul, by infufing into him continually the defire of 
novelty. It is the harmony of human life, and 
the fource of every thing delicious and enchanting 
that we meet with in the progrefs of it. With 
this it is that the illufions of love ever veil them- 
felves, ever reprefenting the beloved objeél as 
fomething divine. It is this which opens to am- 
bition perfpeclives v/ithout end. A peafant ap- 
pears deiirous of nothing in the World, but to be- 
come the church-warden of his village. Be not 
deceived in the man ! open to him a career with? 
out any impediment in his way ; hç is groom, he 

becomes 



STUDY XII. gi 

becomes highwayman, captain of the gang, a com- 
mander in chief of armies, a king, and never refts 
till he is worfhipped as a God, He Ihall be a 
Tamerlane or a Mahomet, 

An old rich tradefman, nailed to his eafy-chaij? 
by the gout, tells ns, that he has no higher ambi- 
tion than to die in peace. But he fees himfelf eter- 
nally renovating in his pofterity. He enjoys a fc- 
cret delight in beholding them mount, by the 
dint of his money, along all the afcending fteps 
of dignity and honour. He himfelf refleéts not 
that the moment approaches when he fhall have 
nothing in common with that pofterity, and 
that while he is congratulating himfelf on being 
the fource of their future glory, they are already 
employing the upftart glory which they have ac- 
quired, in drawing a veil over the meannefs of 
their original. The atheift himfelf, with his ne- 
gative wifdom, is carried along by the fame im- 
pulfe. To no purpofe does he demonftrate to 
himfelf the nothingnefs, and the fluduation of all 
things : his reafon is at variance with his heart. 
He flatters himfelf inwardly with the hope, that 
his book, or his monument, will one day attract 
the homage of pofterity ; or, perhaps, that the 
book, or the tomb, of his adverfary will ceaTe to 
be honoured. He miftakes the Deity, merely 
becaufe he puts himfelf in his place. 

With 



92. STUDIES OF NATURE. 

With the fentiment of Deity, every thing is 
great, noble, beautiful, invincible, in the moft 
contrafted fphere of human life ; without it, all 
is feeble, difpleafing, and bitter, in the very lap of 
greatnefs. This it was which conferred empire 
on Rome and Sparta, by Ihevving to their poor 
and virtuous inhabitants the Gods as their protec- 
tors and fellow-citizens. It was the deftrucTtion of 
this fentiment which gave them up, when rich and 
vicious, to llavery ; when they no longer faw, in 
the Univerfe, any other Gods except gold and 
pleafure. To no purpofe does a man make a bul- 
wark around himfcif of the gifts of fortune j the 
moment this fentiment is excluded from his heart, 
languor takes pofleffion of it. If it's abfence is 
prolonged, he finks into fadnefs, afterwards into 
profound and fettled melancholy, and finally into 
defpair. If this ftate of anxiety becomes perma- 
nent, he lays violent hands on himfelf. Man is 
the only fenfible being which deftroys itfelf in a 
flate of liberty. Human life, with all it's pomp, 
and all it's delights, ceafes, to him, to have the ap- 
pearance of life, when it ceafes to appear to hira 
immortal and divine *, 



* Plutarch remarks, that Alexander did not abandon himfelf 
to thufe excelles, which fuUied the conclufion of his glorious ca- 
reer, tin he beUeved himfelf to be forfakcn of the Gods. No^ 
enly does this fentiment become a fource of mifery, when it fe- 
parates itfelf from our pleafures ; but when, from the effecft of 

our 



STUDY XÎI. 93 

Whatever be the diforders of Society, this celef- 
tial inflind is ever amnfing itfelf with the children 
of men. It infpires the man of genius, by dif- 
clofing itfelf to him under eternal attributes. It 
prefents to the Geometrician, the inefïlible pro- 
greffions of infinity; to the Mufîcian, rapturous 
harmonies ; to the Hiftorian, the immortal Hiades 

cur paffions, or of our inftitiitions, which pervert the Laws of 
Nature, it prefles upon our miferies themfelves. Thus, for ex- 
ample, when after having given mechanical Laws to the opera- 
tions of the foul, we come to make the fentiment of infinity to 
bear upon our phyfical and tranfient evils; in this cafe, by a 
jufl" re-adion, our mifery becomes infupportable. I have pre- 
fented only a faint fketch of the two principles in Man ; but to 
whatever fenfation of pain, or of pleafure, they may be applied, 
the difference of their nature, and their perpetual re-aclion, will 
be felt.. 

On tbe fiibje<fl of Alexander forfaken of the Gods, it is matter 
of furprize to me, that the expreffion of this fituation fliould not 
ha^e infpired the genius of fome Grecian Artift. Here is what 
I find on this fubjeft in Addifon : " There is in the fame gallery, 
" (at Florence) a fine buft of Alexander the Great, with the face 
" turned toward Heaven, and imprefied with a certain dignified 
" air of chagrin and diflatisfaélion, I have feen two or three 
" ancient bufts of Alexander, with the fame air, and in the fame 
"attitude; and I am difpofed to believe, that the Sculptor pur- 
*' fued the idea of the Conqueror fighing after new worlds, or 
*' fome fimilar circumftance of his Hiftory." {Addifon'^ Voyage 
to Italy.) I imagine that the circumftance oî Alexander''^ Hif- 
torj'^, to which thofe bufi:s ought to be referred, is that which rc- 
prefents him complaining of being abandoned of the Gods. I 
have no doubt that it would have fixed the exquifite judgment of 
Addi/on, had he recollected the obfervation made by Plutarch. 

of 



94 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of virtuous men. Jt raifes a ParnalTus for the Poet, 
and an Olympus for the Hero. It (heds a luftre 
on the unfortunate days of the labouring poor. 
Amidft the luxury of Paris, it extraits a figh from 
the bread of the humble native of Savoy, after the 
facred covering of the fnows upon his mountains. 
It expatiates along the vaft Ocean, and recals, from 
the gentle climates of India, the European mari- 
ner, to the ftormy (hores of the Weft. It beflows 
a country on the wretched, and fills with regret 
thofe who have loft nothing. It covers our cradles 
with the charms of innocence, and the tombs of 
our forefathers with the hopes of immortality. It 
repofes in the midft of tumultuous cities, on the 
palaces of mighty Kings, and on the auguft tem- 
ples of Religion. It frequently fixes it's refidence 
in the defert, and àttraéts the attention of the 
Univerfe to a rock. Thus it is that you are clothed 
with majefty, venerable ruins of Greece and 
Rome ; and you, too, myfterious pyramids of 
Egypt ! This is the objed which we are invariably 
purfuing, amidft all our reft lefs occupations; but 
the moment it difcovers itfelf to us, in fome unex- 
peéted aâ: of virtue, or in fome one of thofe events 
which may be denominated ftrokes of Heaven, or 
in fome of thofe indefcribably fublime emotions, 
which are called fentimental touches, by way of 
excellence, it's firft efFedl is to kindle in the breaft 
a very ardent movement of joy, and the fécond is 

to 



STUDY XII. 9_5 

to melt us into tears. The foul, ftruck with this 
divine light, exults, at once, in enjoying a glimpfe 
of the heavenly Country, and finks at the thought 
of being exiled from it. 

., Oculis errantibus alto 

Qusefivit cœlo lucem, ingemuitque repertfi. 

aïlNriD, Book IV. 



With wandering eyes explor'd the heavenly light. 
Then figh'd, and funk into the fliades of night. 



STUD 7 



iSTlîDY XIII* 57 



STUDY THIRTEENTH. 



laaaSBtZteaa 



APPLICATION OF THE LAWS OF NATURE TO THE 
DISORDERS OF SOCIETY. 

1HAVE ejtpofed, in this Work, the errors of 
human opinion, and the mifchief which has 
refulted from them, as affeding morals, and ibcial 
felicity. I have refuted thofe opinions, and have 
ventured to call in queftion even the methods of 
human Science ; 1 have invefligated certain Laws 
of Nature, and have made, I am bold to affirm, a 
happy application of them to the vegetable or- 
der : but all this mighty exertion would, in my 
own opinion, prove to be vain and unprofitable, 
unlefs I employed it in attempting to difcover 
fome remedies for the diforders of Society. 

A Pruffian Author, who has lately favoured the 
World with various productions, carefully avoids 
faying a word refpeding the adminiftration of the 
government of his own Country, becaufe, being 
only a paflenger, as he alleges, in the veflel of the 
State, he does not confider himfelf as warranted to 

VOL. IV. H intermeddle 



98 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

intermeddle with the pilot's province. This thonglit, 
like fo many others borrowed from books, is a 
mere efFufion of wit. It refembles that of the man, 
who, feeing a houfe on the point of being feized 
with the flames, fcampered off, without making 
any attempt to fave it, becaufe, forfooth, the houfe 
was not his. For my own part, I think myfelf fo 
much the more obliged to take an intereft in the 
veflel of the State, that I am a paffenger on board, 
and thereby bound to contribute my efforts toward 
her profperous navigation. Nay, I ought to em- 
ploy my very leifure, as a paffenger, to admonifh 
the (leerfman of any irregularity, or negleft, which I 
may have perceived incondu6ting the bufinefs of the 
fhip. Such, to my apprehenfion, are the examples 
fet us by a Montefqiiieu^ a Fenelon^ and fo many 
other names to be held in everlafting refped, who 
have, in every country, confecrated their labours 
to the good of their compatriots. The only thing 
that can be, with juPiice, obje^fled to me, is my in- 
fufficiency. But I have feen much injuftice com- 
mitted ; 1 myfelf have been the vidbim of it. 
Images of diforder have fuggeflied to me ideas of 
order. Befides, my errors may, perhaps, ferve as 
a foil to the wifdom of thofe who (hall deted 
them. Were 1 but to prefent one fingle, ufefui 
idea to my Sovereign, whofe bounty has hitherto 
fupported me, though my fervices remain unre- 
warded, I (l^iall have received the mofl precious re- 

compenfc 



Study xiiï. 99 

tômpenfe that my heart can defire : if I am encou- 
raged to flatter myfelf with the thought that I have 
wiped away the tears from the eyes of but one un- 
fortunate fellow-creature ; fuch a refledion would 
wipe away mine own in my dying moments. 

The men who can turn the diftreffes of their 
t^ountry to their own private emolument, will re- 
proach me with being it's enemy, in the hacknied 
obfervation, that things have always been (o, and 
that all goes on very well, becaufe all goes on well 
for them. But the perfons who difcover, and who 
linveil the evils under which their Country labours, 
they are not the enemies which fhe has to fear ; 
the perfons who flatter her, they are her real ene- 
mies. The Writers afluredly, fuch as Horace and 
'Juvenal, who prediftcd to Rome her downfal, 
when at the very height of her elevation, were 
much more fincerely attached to her profperiry, 
than thofe who offered incenfe to her tyrants, and 
made a gain of her calamities. How long did the 
Roman Empire furvive the filutary yearnings of 
the firft ? Even the good Princes, who afterwards 
afTumed the government of it, were incapable of 
replacing it on a folid foundation, becaufe they 
were impofed upon by their contemporary Wri- 
ters, who never had the courage to attack the mo- 
ral and political caufes of the general corruption. 
They fatisfied themfelves with th'.^ir own perfonal 
H 2 reiormation. 



lOO STUDIES OF NATURE. 

reformation, without daring to extend it To much 
as to their families. Thus it was that a Titus and 
a Marcus Aurelius reigned. They were only great 
Philofophers on the throne. As far as I am con- 
cerned, I (hould believe that I had already de- 
ferved well of my Country, had I only announced 
in her ear this awful truth ; That (he contains, in 
her bofom more than feven millions of poor, and 
that their number has been proceeding in an in- 
creafing proportion, from year to year, ever fincc 
•the age of Louis XIV. 

God forbid that I (hould wifli or attempt to 
difturb, much lefs deftroy, the different orders of 
the State. I would only wifli to bring them back 
to the fpirit of their natural Jnftituiion. Would 
to God that the Clergy would endeavour to merit, 
by their virtues, the firft place, which has been 
granted to the facrednefs of their fundions; that 
tlie Nobility would give their protedion to the 
citizens, and render themfelves formidable only to 
the enemies of the people; that the adminiftrators 
of finance, directing the treafures of the Public to 
flow in the channels of agriculture and commerce, 
would lay open to merit the road which leads to 
all uftful ap.d honourable employment ; that every 
woman, exempted, by the fecblcncfs of her confti- 
tiition, from moft of the burthens of Society, 
would occupy herfelf in fulfilling tiie duties of her 

gentle 



STUDY XIII. lOI 

gentle deftination, tbofe of wife and mother, and 
thus cementing the felicity of one family j that, 
invefted with grace and beauty, (he would confider 
herfelf as one flower in that wreath of delight, by 
which Nature has attached Man to life ; and while 
flîe proved a joy and a crown to her hufband in 
particular, the complete chain of her fex might in- 
diflblubly compaâ: all the other bonds of national 
felicity ! 

It is not my aim to attrafl the applaufe of the 
million ; they will not read my Book ; belides, 
they are already fold to the rich and the powerful. 
They are continually, I grant, maligning their 
purchafers, and even frequently applaud the per- 
fons who treat them with fome degree of firmnefs ; 
but they give fuch perfons up, the moment they 
are difcovered to be objects of hatred to the rich ; 
for they tremble at the frown of the great, or crawl 
among their feet, on receiving the flighted token 
of benevolence. By the million, I underftand not 
only the loweft order in Society, but a great num- 
ber of others, who confider themfelves as very far 
above it. 

The people is no idol of mine, If the powers 
which govern them are corrupted, they themfelves 
are the caufe of it. We exclaim againfl: the reigns 
of Nero and Caligula ; but thefe deteftable Princes 

H 3 were 



Î02 STUDIES OF NATURE, 

were the fruit of the age in which they lived, juf^ 
as bad vegetable fruits are produced by bad trees : 
they vv'ould not have been tyrants, had they not 
found among the Romans, informers, fpies, para- 
fites, poifoners, proftitutes, hangmen, and flat- 
terers, who told them that every thing went on 
very well. I do not believe virtue to be the allot- 
ment of the people, but I confider it as portioned 
out among all conditions in life, and in very fmall 
quantities, among the little, among the middling,^ 
and among the great ; and fo neceflfary to the fup- 
port of all the orders of Society, that were it en-r 
tirely deftroyed. Country would crumble to pieces^ 
like a temple whofe pillars had been undermined. 

But Î am not particularly interefted in the people, 
either from the hope of their applaufe, or refped to. 
their virtues, but from the labours in which they are 
employed. From the people it is that the greateft 
part of my pleafures, and of my diftrefles, pror 
cecd ; by the people I am fed, clothed, lodged, 
and they are frequently employed in procuring fu- 
perfiuities for me, while neceflaries are fometimes 
wanting to themfelves ; from them, likewife, iflue 
epidemic difeafes, robberies, feditions ; and did 
they prefent nothing to me, but fimply the fpec- 
tacle of their liapplnefs or mifery, I could not rcr 
main in a ftate of indifference. Their joy invo- 
luntarily infpires me with joy, and their mifery 

wrinsis 



STUDY XIIÏ. 103 

Wrings my heart. I do not reckon my obligation 
to them acquitted, when I have paid them a pecu- 
niary confideration for their fervices. It is a maxim 
of the hard-hearted rich man, " that artifan and 
*' I are quit," fays he, ** I have paid him." The 
money which I give to a poor fellow for a fervice 
which he has rendered me, creates nothing new 
for his ufe; that money would equally circu- 
late, and perhaps more advantageoufly for him, 
had I never exifled. The people fupports, there- 
fore, without any return on my part, the weight of 
my exiftence : it is ftill much worfe when they are 
loaded with the additional burthen of my irregu- 
larities. To them I ftand accountable for my vices 
and my virtues, more than to the magiflrate. If 
I deprive a poor workman of part of his fubfift- 
ence, I force him, in order to make up the defi- 
ciency, to become a beggar or a thief; if I feduce 
a plebeian young woman, I rob that order of a 
virtuous matron ; if I manifefb, in their eyes, a 
difregard to Religion, I enfeeble the hope which 
fuftains them under the preffure of their labours. 
Befides, Religion lays me under an exprefs injunc- 
tion to love them. When (he commands me to 
love men, it is the People (he recommends to me, 
and not the Great ; to them fhe attaches all the 
powers of Society, which exift only by them, and 
for them. Of a far different fpirit from that of 
modern politics, which prefent Nations to Kings 

H 4 as 



I04 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

as their domains, fhe prefents Kings to Nations, âS 
their fathers and defenders. The peo,)le were not 
made for Kings^ but Kings for the people. 1 am 
bound, therefore, I who am nothing, and who 
can do nothing, to contribute my wanneil wiilies, 
at leaft, toward their fehcity. 

Farther, I feel myfclf conflrained, in juftice to 
the commonalty of our own Country, to declare, 
that I know none in Europe fuperior to them in 
point of gencrofity, though, liberty excepted, they 
are the moll; mifcrable of all with wdiom I have 
had an opportunuy to be acquainted. Did time 
permit, I could produce inftances innumerable of 
their beneficence. Our wits frequently trace ca- 
ricatures of cur fifli-women, and of our pcafantry, 
becaufe their only objett is to amufe the rich ; but 
they might receive fublime lelfons of virtue, did 
they know how to ftudy the virtues of the com- 
mon people; f )r my own part, I have, ofcener 
than once, found ingots of gold on a dunghill. 

I have remarked, for ex.imple, that many of our 
inferior (hop- keepers fell their wares at a lower 
price to the poor man than to the rich ; and w^hen 
I afked the reafon, the reply was, " Sir, every body 
*' muft hve." I have likewife obferved, that a 
great many of the lower order never haggle, when 
jhey arc buying from poor people like themfelves: 

*' Every 



STUDY XIII. 105 

*' Every one," fay they, *' muft live by his trade." 
I faw a little child, one day, buying greens from 
the herb-woman : fhe filled a large apron with the 
articles which he wanted, and took a penny : on 
my expreffing furprize at the quantity which fhe 
had given him, (he faid to me, *' I would not, 
*' Sir> have given fo much to a grown perfon ; but 
** I would not tor the world take advantage of a 
" child." 1 knew a man of the name of Chriftal, 
in the rue de la Magdelaine^ whofe trade was to go 
about felling Auvergne- waters, and who fup ported 
for five months, gratis^ an upholfterer, of whom 
be had no knowledge, and whom a law-fuit had 
brought to Paris, becaufe, as he told me, that poor 
upholfterer, the whole length of the road, in a 
public carriage, had, from time to time, given an 
arm to his fick wife. That fame man had a fon 
eighteen years old, a paralytic and changeling 
from the womb, whom he maintained with the 
tendered attachment, without once contenting to 
his admiflion into the Hofpital of Incurables, 
though frequently folicited to that effed, by per- 
fons who had intereft fufRcient to procure it : 
*' God," faid he to me, " has given me the poor 
*' youth : it is my duty to take care of him." I have 
no doubt that he ftill continues to fupport him, 
though he is under the neceffity of feeding him 
with his own hands, and has the farther charge of 
a frequently ailing wife. 

1 once 



J06 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

I once flopped, with admiration, to contem*- 
plate a poor mendicant, feated on a poft, in the 
rue Bergère, near the Boulevards. A great many 
well-drefled people pafTed by, without giving him 
any thing ; but there were very few fervant- girls, 
or women loaded with baflcets, who did not flop 
to beftow their charity. He wore a well-powdered 
peruque, with his hat under his arm, was dreffed 
in a furtout, his linen white and clean, and every 
article To trim, that you would have thought thefe 
poor people were receiving alms from him, and 
not giving them. It is impoffible, affuredly, to 
refer this fentiment of generofity in the common 
people to any fecret fuggeflion of felf-intereft, as 
the enemies of mankind allege, in taking upon 
them to explain the caufes of compaffion. No 
one of thofe poor benefaélrefles thought of putting 
herfelf in the place of the unfortunate mendicant, 
who, it was faid, had been a watchmaker, and had 
loft his eye-fight ; but they were moved by that 
fublime inftinft which intercfts us more in the di- 
ftreffes of the Great, than in thofe of other men ; 
becaufe we eftimate the m.agnitude of their fufFer- 
ings by the ftandard of their elevation, and of the 
fall from it. A blind watchmaker was a Bclifarius 
in the eyes of fervant- maids. 

1 Ihould never have done, were Î to indulge my- 
felf in detailing anecdotes of this fort. They would 

be 



STUDY XIII. 107 

be found worthy of the admiration of the rich, 
were they extraded from the Hiflory of Savages, 
or from that of the Roman Emperors; were 
they two thoufand years old, or had they taken 
place two thoufand leagues off. They would amufc 
their imagination, and tranquillize their avarice. 
Our own commonalty, undoubtedly, well deferves 
to be loved. I am able to demonftrate, that their 
moral goodnefs is the firmeft fupport of Govern- 
ment, and that, notwithftanding their own necef- 
lities, to them our foldiery is indebted for the 
fupplement to their miferable pittance of pay, and 
that to them the innumerable poor with whom the 
kingdom fwarms, owe a fubfiftence wrung from 
penury itfelf, 

Salus Populi suprema Lex esto, faid the 
Ancients : let the fafety of the People be the pa- 
ramount Law, becaufe their mifery is the general 
mifery. This axiom ought to be fo much the 
more facred in the eyes of Legiflators and Refor- 
mers, that no Law can be of long duration, and 
no plan of reform reduced into etfedt, unlefs the 
happinefs of the people is previoufly fecured. Out 
of their miferies abufes fpring, are kept up, and 
are renewed. It is from want of having reared the 
fabrick on this fure foundation, that fo many illuf- 
trious Reformers have feen their political edifice 
crumble into ruins, If Jgis and Cleomenes failed 

in 



lO^ STUDIES OF NATURE. 

in their attempts to reform Sparta, it was becanlc 
the wretched Helots obferved with indifference a 
fyflem of happinefs which extended not to them. 
If China has been conquered by the Tartars, it 
was becaufe the difcontented Chinefe were groan- 
ing under the tyranny of their Mandarins, while 
the Sovereign knew nothing of the matter. If 
Poland has, in our own days, been parcelled out 
by her neighbours, it was becaufe her enflaved 
peafantry, and her reduced gentry, did not fland up 
in her defence. If fo many efforts toward reform, 
on the fubjeâ: of the clergy, of the army, of 
finance, of our courts of juflice, of commerce, of 
concubinage, have proved abortive with us, it is 
becaufe the mifery of the people is continually re- 
producing the fame abufes. 

I have not feen, in the whole courfe of my tra- 
vels, a country more flourifhing than Holland. 
The capital is computed to contain, at lead, a 
hundred and four-fcore thoufand inhabitants. Aft 
immenfe commerce prefents, in that city, a thou- 
fand objeds of temptation, yet you never hear of 
a robbery committed. They do not even employ 
foldiers for mounting guard. I was there in 1762, 
and for eleven years previous to that period, no 
perfon had been punifhed capitally. The Laws, 
however, are very fevere in that Country ; but the 
people, who polTefs the means of eafily earning a 

livelihood. 



STUDY XIII. 109 

livelihood, are under no temptation to infringe 
them. It is farther worthy of remark, that though 
they have gained millions by printing all our ex- 
travagances in morals, in politics, and in religion, 
neither their opinions nor their moral conduft have 
been affeded by it, becaufe the people are con- 
tented with their condition. Crimes fpring up 
only from the extremes of indigence and opulence. 

When I was at Mofcow, an aged Genevois, 
who had lived in that city from the days of 
Peter I. informed me, that from the time they had 
opened to the people various channels of fubfift- 
ence, by the eftabliOiments of manufaâiures and 
commerce, feditions, affaffinations, robberies, and 
wilful fires, had become much lefs frequent than 
they ufed to be. Had there not been at Rome 
multitudes of miferable wretches, no Catiline wovàà 
have ftarted up there. The police, I admit, pre- 
vents at Paris very alarming irregularities. Nay, 
it may be with truth affirmed, that fewer crinies 
are committed in that capital, than in the other 
cities of the kingdom, in proportion to their po- 
pulation ; but the tranquillity of the common 
people in Paris is to be accounted for, from their 
finding there readier means of fubfiftence, than in 
the other cities of the kingdom, becaufe the rich 
of all the provinces fix their refidence in the me- 
tropoli"?. After all, the expenfe of our police, in 

guards, 



ïld STUDIES OF NATURE. 

guards, in fpies, in houfes of correâiion, and in 
gaols, are a burthen to that very people, and be- 
comes an expenfe of punifhments, when they 
might be transformed into benefits. Befides, thefe 
methods are repercuffions merely, whereby the 
people are thrown into concealed irregularities, 
which are not the leaft dangerous. 

The firft ftep toward relieving the indigence of 
the commonalty, is to diminifli the exceflive opu- 
lence of the rich. It is not by them that the 
people live, as modern politicians pretend. To 
no purpofe do they inftitute calculations of the 
riches of a State, the mafs of them is undoubtedly 
limited ; and if it is entirely in the pofleflion of a 
fmail number of the citizens, it is no longer in the 
fervice of the multitude. As they always fee in 
detail men, for whom they care very little, and in 
overgrown capitals money, which they love very 
much, they infer, that it is more advantageous for 
the kingdom, that a revenue of a hundred thou- 
fand crowns Ihould be in the pofTeflion of a lingle 
perfon, rather than portioned out among a hun- 
dred families, becaufe, fay they, the proprietors of 
large capitals engage in great enterprizesj but 
here they fall into a moft pernicious error. The 
financier who polfefTes them, only maintains a few 
footmen more, and extends the reft of his fuper- 
fluity to objeds of luxury and corruption : more- 
over. 



STUDY xiir. lit 

over, every one being at liberty to enjoy in his 
own way, if he happens to be a mifer, this money- 
is aitogether loft to Society. But a hundred fa- 
milies of refpedable citizens could live comfortably 
on the fame revenue. They will rear a numerous 
progeny, and will furniOi the means of living to a 
multitude of other families of the commonalty, by 
arts that are really ufeful, and favourable to good 
morals. 

It would be neceffary, therefore, in order to 
check unbounded opulence, without, however, 
doing injuftice to the rich, to put an end to the 
venality of employments, which confers them all 
on that portion of Society which needs them the 
leaft, as the means of fubfiftence, for it gives them 
to thofe who have got money. It would be necef- 
fary to abolifli pluralities, by which two, three, four, 
or more offices, are accumulated on the head of one 
perfon j as well as reverfions, which perpetuate them 
in the fame families. This abolition would, un- 
doubtedly, deftroy that monied ariftocracy, which 
is extending farther and farther in the bofom of the 
the monarchy, and which, by interpofmg an infur- 
mountable barrier between the Prince and his fub- 
jecfls, becomes^ in procefs of time, the moft dan- 
gerous of all governments. The dignity of em- 
.ployments would thereby be greatly enhanced, as 
they muft, in this cafe, rife in eflimation, being 

CO a fide red 



112 STUDIES OF NATiTRE. 

confidered as the reward of merit, and not the pur- 
chafe of money : that refpect for gold, which has 
corrupted every moral principle, would be dimi- 
niOied, and that which is due to virtue would be 
heightened i the career of public honour would be 
laid open to all the orders of the State, which, for 
more than a century paft, has been the patrimony 
of from four to five thoufand families, which have 
tranfmitted all the great offices from hand to hand, 
without communicating any fhare of them to the 
reft of the citizens, except in proportion as they 
ceafe to be fuch, that is, in proportion as they fell 
to them their liberty, their honour, and their con 
fcience. 

Our Princes have been taught to believe, that it 
was fafer for them to truft to the purfes, than to 
the probity of their fubje6ts. Htre we have the 
origin of venality in the civil ftate ; but this fo- 
phifm falls to the ground, the moment we refleâ: 
that it fubfifts not in either the ecclefiaftical or mi- 
litary order ; and that thefe great bodies ftill are, 
as to the individuals which coinpofe them, the bed 
ordered of any in the State, at leaft with relation 
to their police, and to their particular interefts. 

The Court employs frequent change of faQiions, 
in order to enable the poor to live on the fuper- 
fluity of the rich. This palliative is fo far good, 

though 



STUDY XIII. 113 

though fubjed to dangerous abufe : it ought, at 
lead, to be converted, to it's full extent, to the 
profit of the poor, by a prohibition of the intro- 
duftion of every article of fore'gn luxury into 
France ; for it would be very inhuman in the 
rich, who engrofs all the money in the Nation, to 
fend out of it immenfe fums annually, to the In- 
dies and to China, for the purchafe of mullins, 
filks, and porcelains, which are all to be had within 
the kingdom. The trade to India and China is 
neceflary only to Nations which have neither mul- 
berry-trees nor filk worms, as the Englifh and 
Dutch. They, too, may indulge themfelves in 
the ufe of tea, becaufe their country produces no 
wine. But every piece of callico we import from 
Bengal, prevents an inhabitant of our own iflands 
from cultivating the plant which would have fur- 
nifhed the raw material, and a family in France 
from fpinning and weaving it into cloth. There 
is another political and moral obligation which 
ough to be enforced, that of giving back to the 
female fex the occupations which properly belong- 
to them, fuch as midwifery, millinery, the employ- 
ments of the needle, linen-drapery, trimming, and 
the like, which require only tafte and addrefs, and 
are adapted to a fedentary way of life ; in order to 
refcue great numbers of them from idlenefs, and 
from proftitution, in which fo many feek the means 
of fupporting a miferable exiftence. 

VOL. lY. I Again, 



ÏÏ4 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Again, a vaft channel of fubfiflcnce to the people 
might be opened, by Tuppreffing the exclufive pri- 
vileges of commercial and manufafturing compa- 
nies. Thefe companies, we are told, provide a 
livelihood for a whole country. Their eftabliih- 
ments, I admit, on the firft glance, prefent an, 
impoiing appearance, efpecially in rural lituations. 
They difplay great avenues of trees, vaft édifices, 
courts within courts, palaces ; but while the un- 
dertakers are riding in their coaches, the reft of 
the village are walking in wooden (hoes. I never 
beheld a peafantry more wretched than in villages 
where privileged manufaftures are eftabliQied. 
Such exclufive privileges contribute more than is 
generally imagined, to check the induftry of a 
country. I fhall quote, on this occafion, the re- 
mark of an anonymous Englifh Author, highly re- 
fpectable for the foundnefs of his judgment, and 
for the ftriûnefs of his impartiality. *' I paffed," 
fays he, " through Montreuil, Abbeville, Pe- 

" quigni The fécond of thefe cities has, like- 

" wife, it's caftle : it's indigent inhabitants greatly 
*' cry up their broad-cloth manufacture : but it is 
" lefs confiderable than thofe of many villages of 
** the county of York *." 

* Voyage to France, Italy, and the Iflands of the Archipelago, 
in 1750. Four fmaU volumes ia izmo. 

I could. 



STUDY xni. X15 

Ï could likewife oppofe to the woollen manu- 
factures of the villages of the County of York, 
thofe of handkerchiefs, cotton-ftuffs, woollens, of 
the villages of the Pays de Caux, which are there in 
a veryflourhhing ftate, and where the peafantry are 
very rich, becaufe there are no exclufive privileges 
in that part of the country. The privileged un- 
dertaker having no competitor in a country, fettles 
the workman's wages at his own plcafure. They 
have a thoufand devices befides, to i educe the 
price of labour as low as it can go. Tney give 
them, for example, a trifie of money in advance, 
and having thereby inveigled them inio a Aate of 
infolvency, which may be done by a loan of a tew 
crowns, they have them thencef^brward at their 
mercy. I know a confiderable branch of the falt- 
water fifhery, almoft totally deftroyed, in cne of 
our Tea ports, by means of this underhand fpecies 
of monopoly. The tradefmen of that town, at 
firft, bought the filh of the fidiermen, to cure ic 
for fale. They afterwards were at the expenfe of 
building velTels proper for the trade: they pro- 
ceeded next to advance money to the fifiiermens* 
wives, during the abfencecf their hufbmds. Thefe 
were reduced, on their return, to the neceffity of 
becoming hired fervants to the merchant, in order 
to difcharge the debt. The m.erchant having thus 
become rnafter of the boats, of the fiflierman, and 
of the commiodity, regulated the conditions of the 

I a trade 



ri6 STUDIES CF NATURE. 

trade j Lift as he pleafed. Moft of the fifhermen, 
dilheartened by the fmallnefs of their profits, quit» 
ted the employment; and the fifhery, which was 
formerly a mine of wealth to the place, is no\y 
dwindled to almoft nothing. 

On the other hand, if I objeft to a monoply, 
which would engrofs the means of fubfiftence be- 
flowed by Nature on every order of Society, and 
on both fexes, much lefs would I confent to a mo- 
nopoly that fliould grafp at thofe which fhe has 
afijgned to every man in particular. For example, 
the Author of a book, of a machine, or of any in- 
vention, whether ufeful or agreeable, to which a 
man has devoted his time, his attention, in a word, 
his genius, ought to be, at leaft, as well fecured in 
a perpetual right over thofe who fell his book, or 
avail themfelves of his invention, as a feudal Lord 
is to exaâ: the rights of fines of alienation, from 
perfons who build on his grounds, and even from 
thofe who re-fell the property of fuchhoufes. This 
claim would appear to me ftill better founded, on 
the natural right, than that of fines of alienation. 
If the Public fuddenly lays hold of a ufeful inven- 
tion, the State becomes bound to indemnify the 
Author of it, to prevent the glory of his difcovery 
from proving a pecuniary detriment to him. Did 
a Law fo equitable exift, we fliould not fee a fcore 
of bookfellers wallowing in affluence at the ex- 

penfs 



STUDY XIII. 117 

penfe of an Author who did not know, fometirnes, 
where to find a dinner. We fliould not have ften, 
for inliance, in our own days, the pofterity of Cor- 
neille and of La Fontaine reduced to fubfift on 
alms, while the bookfellers of Paris have been 
building palaces out of the fale of their Works. 

Immenfe landed property is ftill more injurious 
than thac of money and of employments, becaufe it 
deprives the other citizens, at once, of the focial 
and of the natural patriotifm. Befides, it comes, in 
procefs of time, into the poffeffion of thofe who 
have the employments and the money ; it reduces 
all the fubjeds of the State to dépendance upon 
them, and leaves them no refource for fubfiftence 
but the cruel alternative, of degrading rhemfelves 
by a bafe flattery of the paffions of thofe who have 
got all the power and weakh in their hands, or of 
going into exile. Thefe three caufes combined, 
the laft efpecially, precipitated the ruin of the 
Roman Empire, from the reign oï Trajan, as Pliny 
has very juflly remarked. They have already ba- 
niflied from France more fubjefts than the revo- 
cation of the Edld of Nantes did. When I was in 
Pruffia, in the year 1765, of the hundred and fifty 
thoufand regular troops which the King then main- 
tained, a full third was computed to confifl: of 
French deferters. I by no means confider that 

I 3 number 



IlS STUDIES OF NATURE. 

number as exaggerated, for I myfelf remarked, 
that all the foldiers on guard, wherever i paifed, 
were compofed, to a third at le^ftj ot Frenchmçn ; 
and fuch guards are to be found at the gates of all 
the cities, and in all the villages on the great read, 
efpecially toward the froniier. 

When I was in the Ruffian fervice, they reck- 
oned near three thoufand teacher^ of language of 
our nation in the city of Mofcow, among whom I 
knew a great many perfons of refpeclable f smilies, 
advocates, young ecclehafMcs, gentlemen, and. even 
officers. Germany is filled wiih our wretched 
compatriots. In the Courts of the Souih and of 
the North, what is to be feen but trench dancers 
and comedians? This we have in common, at this 
day, with the Italians, and this we had in common 
with the Greeks of the lower empire. In order to 
find the means of fubfiftencc, we hunt after a 
country different from that to which we owe our 
birth. We do not find the other nations of Eu- 
rope in this erratic ftate, except the S-.vifs, who 
trade in the human fpecies, but who ali return 
home, after having made their fortune. Our com- 
patriots never return ; becaufe the precarious em- 
ph yments which they jurfue do not admit of their 
amafiing the means of a reputable fubliftencej 
one day, in their native country. 

Meîj 



STUDY XIII. TÏ9 

Men of letters, who were never out of their 
country, or who refle6t fuperficially, arc conftanily 
exclaiming againfl the revocation of the Edi(ft 
of Nantes. But if they imagine that the reftora- 
tion of that Ediâ: would bring back to France the 
pofterity of the French Refugees, they are greatly 
miftaken. Thofe, furely, who are rich, and com- 
fortably fettled in foreign countries, will never 
think of refigning their efiablidiments, and of re- 
turning to the country of their fathers : none but 
f)Oor Proteftants, therefore, would come back. 
But what Qiould they do there, when fo many na- 
tional Catholics are under the necefTity of emi- 
grating for want of fubfiftence ? I have b^en oftener 
than once aftoniflied at hearing our pretended po- 
liticians loudly re-demanding fo many citizens to 
religion, while, by their iilence, they abandon fuch 
numbers of them to the infaiiable avidity of our 
great proprietors. The truth ought to be told : 
they have written rather out of hatred lo priells, 
than from love to men. The fpirit of tolerance 
which they wifli to edablifh, is a vain pretext, 
with which they conceal their real aim ; for the 
Proteftants whom they are difpofed to recal, arejuft 
as intolerant as they accufe the Catholics of being; 
of which we had an inftance, a few years ago, in 
the very Land of Liberty, in England, where a 
Rom.an-Catholic Chapel was burnt down to the 
ground. Intolerance is a vice of European edu- 

I 4 cation. 



122 STUDIES OF NATURE, 

cation, and which inanifefts itfelf in literature, in 
fyftems, and in puppet-Qiovvs. There is a fanner 
reafon to be affigned for thefe clamours : it is the 
fame reafon which fets them a-ta!king for the ag- 
grandizement of commerce, and filences them on 
the fubjeft of agriculture, which is, from it's very 
natnre, the moft noble of all occupations. It is, fmce 
we muftfpeak out,becaufe rich merchants, and great 
proprietors, give fplendid fuppers, which are at- 
tended by fine women, who build up and deflroy re- 
putations at their pleafure, whereas the tillers of the 
ground, and perfons ftarved into exile, give none. 
The table is now-a-days the main-fpring of the ari- 
ftocracy of the opulent. By means of this engine 
it is, that an opinion, which may fometimes in- 
volve the ruin of a State, acquires preponderanc)'". 
There, too, it is, that the honour of a foldier, oi 
a bidiop, of a magiftrate, of a man of letters, is 
frequently blafted by a woman who has forfeited 
her own. 

Modern politics have advanced another very 
grofs error, in alleging that riches always find their 
level in a ftate. When the indigent are once mul- 
tiplied in it to a certain point, a wretched emula- 
tion is produced among thofe poor people, who 
fhall give himfelf away the cheapeft. Whilft, on 
the one han 1, the rich man, teized by his famill^ed 
compatriots for employment, over-rates the value 

of 



STUDY XIII. 121 

of his money, the poor, in order to obtain a pre- 
ference, let down the price of their labour, till, at 
length, it becomes inadequate to their fubfiftence* 
And then we behold, in the beft countries, agri- 
culture, manufadures, and commerce, all expire. 
Confiilt, for this purpofe, the accounts given us, 
of different diftrids of Italy, and, among orhers, 
what Mr. Brydone has advanced, in his very fen- 
fible Tour*, notwithftanding the fevere ftriftures 
of a canon of Palermo, refpeding the luxury and 
extreme opulence of the Sicilian nobility and 
clergy, and the abjeft mifery of the peafantry ; and 
you will perceive whether money has found it's 
level in that ifland or not. 

I have been in Malta, which is in no refped 
comparable, as to fertility of foil^ with Sicily ; for 



* I quote a great many books of travels, becaufe, of all lite- 
rary produélions, I love and efteem them the moft. I myfelf 
have travelled a great deal, and I can affirm, with truth, that I 
have almoft always found them agreed, refpecling the produc- 
tions and the manners of every country, unlefs when warped by 
national or party fpirit. We muft, however, except a fmall num- 
ber, whofe romantic tone ftrikes at firfi: fight. They are run 
down by every body, yet every body confults them. They af- 
ford a conftant fupply of information to Geographei's, Natu- 
ralifts, Navigators, Traders, Political Writers, Philofophers, 
Compilers on all fubje£ls,Hifl:orians of foreign Nations, and even 
thofe of our own Country, when they are deiirous of knowing 
the truth. 

it 



122, STUDIES OF NATURE. 



it confifts entirely of one white rock ; but that 
rock is extremely rich in foreign wealth, from the 
perpetual revenue of the commanderies of the Or- 
der of St. John, the capitals of which are depofited 
in all the Catholic States of Europe, and from the 
reverfions, or fpoils, of the Knights who die in 
foreign countries, and which find their way thither 
every year. It might be rendered ftill more opu- 
lent by the commodioufnefs of it's harbour, which 
is fituated the moft advantageoufly of any in 
the Mediterranean : the peafant is there, never- 
thelefs, in a moft miferable condition. His whole 
clothing confifts of drawers, which defcend no 
lower than his knees, and of a fliirt without fleeves. 
He fometimes takes his ftand in the great fquare, 
his breaft, legs, and arms, quire naked, and fcorch- 
ed with the heat of the Sun, waiting for a fare, 
at the rate of one {hilling a day, with a carrlag..' ca- 
pable of holding four perfons, drawn by a horfe, 
from day- break till midnight; and, thus equipped, 
to attend travellers to any part of the ifland they 
think proper, without any obligation on their part, 
to give either him or his beaft fo much as a draught 
of water. He conducls hiscalafh, running always 
bare-footed over the rocks before his horfe, which 
he leads by the bridle, and before the lazy Knight, 
who hardly ever deigns to fpeak to him, unlefs it 
be to regale hun with the appellation of fcoundrel; 
whereas the guide never prefumes to make a reply 

but 



STUDY XIII. 125 

but with cap in hand, and with the addrefs of. 
Your Moft llkiftrious Lorclfhip. The treafuiy of 
the Republic is filled with gold and filver, and the 
common people are never paid but in a fort of 
copper coin, called a piece of four tarins, equi- 
valent, in ideal value, to abour eightpence of our 
mony. and intrinfically worth tittle more than two 
farthings. It is ftamped with this device, no?i as, 
fedfidcs ; " nor value, but confidence." What a 
difference do exclufive poffeiïions, and gold, intro- 
duce between man and man 1 A grave porter, in = 
Holland demands of you mgoiitgueldt, that is, good 
money, for carrying your portmanteau the length 
of a ftreet, as much as the humble Maltefe Baftaze 
receives for carrying you and three of your friends, 
a whole day together, around the ifland. The 
Dutchman is well clothed, and has his pockets lined 
with good pieces of gold and filver. His coin pre- 
fents a very différent infcription from that of a 
Malta : you read thefe words on it : Concordia res 
farva crefcunt ; " through concord fmall things in- 
creafe." There is, in truth, as great a difference 
between the power and the felicity of one State and 
another, as between the infcriptions and the fub- 
llances of their coin. 

In Nature it is that we are to lock for the fub- 
fiftence of a people, and in their liberty, the chan- 
pel in which it is to flow. The fpirit of monopoly 

has 



324 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

has deftroyed many of the branches of it among 
us, which are pouring in tides of wealth upon our 
neighbours; fuch are, among others, the whale, 
cod, and herring fillieries. I admit, at the fame 
time, on the prefent occafion, that there are enter- 
prizes which require the concurrence of a great 
number of hands, as well for their prefervation and 
proteétion, as in order to accelerate their opera- 
tions, fuch as the falt-water fifheries : but it is 
the bufinefs of the State to fee to the adminiflra- 
tion of them. No one of our companies has ever 
been actuated by the patriotic fpirit ; they have 
been aflbciated, if I may be allowed the expreffion, 
only for the purpofe of forming fmall particular 
States. It is not fo with the Dutch. For example, 
as they carry on the herring fifhery to the north- 
ward of Scotland, for this fifli is always better the 
farther North you go in queft of it, they have 
fhips of war to protect the filbery. They have 
others of very large burthen, called bufles, em- 
ployed night and day in catching them with the 
net : and others contrived to fail remarkably faft, 
which take them on board, and carry them quite 
freQi to Holland. Befides all this, they have pre- 
miums propofed to the veflel which firft brings 
her cargo of filTi to market at Amfterdam. The 
fifh of the firft barrel is paid at the Stadt-Houfe, 
at the rate of a golden ducat, or about nine (hil- 
lings and fixpence a- piece, and ikofe of the reft 

of 



STUDY XIÎI. Ï25 

of the cargo, at the rate of a florin, or one fliiiling 
and tenpence each. 

This is a powerful inducement to the proprietors 
of the fifliing vefTels, to ftretch out to the North 
as far as poflible, in order to meet the fifii, which 
are there of a fize, and of a deHcacy of flavour far 
fuperior to thofe which are caught in the vicinity 
of our coafts. The Dutch 'erecfled a ftatue to the 
man who firft difcovered the method of fmokina:: 
them, and of making what they call red- herring. 
They thought, and they thought juftly, that the 
citizen who procures for his country a new fource 
of fubfiilence, and a new branch of commerce, de- 
ferves to rank with thofe who enlighten, or who 
defend it. From fuch attentions as thefe, we fee 
with what vigilance they v/atch over every thinf 
capable of contributing to public abundance. It 
is inconceivable to what good account they turn 
an infinite number of produdions, which we fuifer 
to run to wafte, and from a foil fandy, marfny, and 
naturally poor and ungrateful. 

I never knew a country in which there was fuch 
plenty of every thing. They have no vines in the 
country, and there are mere wines in their cellars 
than in thofe of Bordeaux : they have no forefts, 
and there is more fliip-building timber in their 
dock-yards than at the fources of the Meufe and 

of 



12b STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of the Rhine, from which their oaks are tranfmit- 
ted. Holland contains lit lie or no arable ground, 
and her granaries contain more Polifh corn than 
that great kingdom referves for the fupport of it's 
own inhabitants. The fame thing holds true as 
to articles of luxury ; for, though they obfervc ex- 
treme fimplicity in drefs, furniture, and domeflic 
economy, there is more marble on fale in their 
magazines than lies cut in the quarries of Italy 
and of ihe Archipelago ; more diamonds and pearls 
in their calliets than in thofe of the jewellers of 
Portugal ; and more rofe-wood. Acajou, Sandal, 
and India canes than there are in all Europe be- 
fides, though their own country produces nothing 
but willows and linden-trees. 

The felicity of the inhabitants prefents a fpec- 
tacle ftill more interefting. I never faw, all over 
the country, fo much as one beggar, nor a houfe 
in which there was a fingle brick, or a fingle pane 
of glafs, deficient. But the 'Change of Amfter- 
dam is the great objed of admiration. It is a 
very large pile of building, of an architeélure 
abundantly fimple, the quadrangular court of 
which is furrounded by a colonade. Each of it's 
pillars, and they are very numerous, has it's cha- 
piter infcribed with the name of fome one of the 
principal cities of the World, as Conftantinople, 
Leghorn, Canton, Peterfburg, Batavia, and fo on; 

and 



STUDY XIII, 127 

and Is, in propriety of fpeech, the centre of it's 
commerce in Europe. Of thefe are very few but 
what every day witneffes tranfa6lions to the amount 
of millions. Mod of the good people who there 
affemble are drtiied in brown, and without ruffles. 
This contraft appeared to me fo much the more 
ilriking, that only five days before, 1 happened to 
be upon the Palais Royal at Paris, at the fame hour 
of the day, which was then crowded with people 
dreffed in brilliant colours, vnûi gold and filver laces, 
and prating about nothings, the opera, literature, 
kept miflreffes, and fuch contemptible trifles, and 
who had not, the greateft part of them at leaft, a 
fmgle crown in their pocket which they could call 
their own. 

We had with us a young tradefman of Nantes, 
whofe affairs had been unfortunately deranged, and 
who had come to feek an afylum in Holland, 
where he did not know a fingle perfon. He dif- 
clofed his fituation to my travelling companion, a 
gentleman of the name of Le Breton. This Mr. 
Le Breton was a Swifs officer, in the Dutch fervice, 
half foldier, half merchant, one of the beft men 
living, who fiift gave him encouragement, and re- 
commended him, immediately on his arrival, to 
his own elder brother, a refpeftable trader, who 
boarded in the fame houfe where we had fixed. 
Mr. Le Breton the elder carried this unfortunate 

refugee 



128 STL^DIES O? NATURE. 

refugee to the Exchange, and recommended hîm 
without ceremony, and without humihation, to a 
commercial agent, who fimply afked of the young 
Frenchman a fpecimen of his hand-writing; he 
then took down his name and addrefs in his 
pocket-bock, and defired him to return next day 
to the fame place at the fame hour. I did not fail 
to obferve the affignation in company with him 
and Mr. Le Brelon. The agent appeared, and pre* 
fented my compatriot with a hft of feven or eight 
fituaiions of clerk, in different counting-houfes, 
fome of which were worth better than thirty gui- 
neas a year, befide board and lodging ; others, 
abont fixty pounds without board. He was, ac- 
cordingly, fettled at once, without farther folici- 
tation. I afked the elder Mr. Le Breton whence 
came the aftive vigilance of this agent in favour 
of a ftranger, and one entirely unknown to him : 
He replied : " It is his trade ; he receives, as an 
*' acknowledgment, one mondi's falary of the per- 
*' fon for whom he provides. Do not be furprized 
*' at this," added he, " every thing here is turned 
'' to a commercial account, from an odd old (hoc 
" up to a fquadron of fliips.'* 

We muft not fufFer ourfelves to be dazzled, 
however, by the illuiions of a prodigious com- 
merce ; and here it is that our politics have fre- 
quently mifled us. Trade and man.ufadures, we 

are 



STUDY XIII. 129 

are told, introduce millions into a State ; but the 
fine wools, the dye-ftufFs, the gold and filver, and 
the other preparatives imported from foreign coun- 
tries, are tributes which muft be paid back. The 
people would not have manufailured the lefs of 
the wools of the country on their own account; 
and if it's cloths had been of the loweft quality, 
they would have been, at leaft, converted to their 
ufe. The unlimited commerce of a country is 
adapted only to a people pofleffing an ungracious 
and contrafled territory, fuch as the Dutch ; 
they export, not their own fuperfluity, but that 
of other nations ; and they run no rifk of wanting 
neceflaries, an evil which frequently befals many 
territorial powers. What does it avail a people to 
clothe all Europe with their woollens, if they them- 
felves go naked ; to colleâ; the befl wines in the 
World, if they drink nothing but water; and to 
export the fined of flour, if they eat only bread 
made of bran ? Examples of fuch abufes might 
eafily be adduced from Poland, from Spain, and 
from other countries, which pafs for the mod re- 
gularly governed. 

It is in agriculture chiefly that France ought to 
look for the principal means of fubfiftence for her 
inhabitants. Befides, agriculture is the great fup- 
port of morals and religion. It renders marriages 
eafy, neceflary, and happy. It contributes toward 

VOL. IV. K r^^^i^g 



I^O STUDIES OF NATURE. 

ralfing a numerous progeny, which it employs, al» 
moll as loon as they are able to crawl, in collecting, 
the fruits of the earth, or in tending the flocks and 
herds J but it beftows thefe advantages only on 
fmall landed properties. We have already faid, 
and it cannot be repeated too frequently, that 
fmall pofleflions double and quadruple in a coun- 
try both crops, and the hands which gather them. 
Great eftates, on the contrary, in the hand of one 
man, transform a country into vaftfolitudes. They 
infpire the wealthy farmers with a relilli for city 
pride and luxury, and with a diflike of country 
employments. Hence they place their daughters 
in convents, that they may be bred as ladies, and 
fend their fons to academies, to prepare them for 
becoming advocates or abbes. They rob the chil- 
dren of the trades-people of their refources ; for if 
the inhabitants of the country are always preffing 
toward an eftablilhment in town, thofe of the 
great towns never look toward the plains, becaufe 
they are blighted by tallages and impofts. 

Great landed properties expofe the State to an- 
other dangerous inconvenience, to which I do not 
believe that much attention has hitherto been paid. 
The lands thus cultivated lie in fallow one year, 
at leaft, in three, and, in many cafes, once every 
other year. It muft happen, accordingly, as in 
every thing left to chance, that fometimes great 

quantities 



STUDY XIII. rji 

quantities of fuch land lie fallow at once, and at 
other times very little. In thofe years, undoubt- 
edly, when the greateft part of thofe lands is lying 
fallow, much lefs corn mud be reaped, over the 
kingdom at large, than in other years. This 
fource of diftrefs, which has never, as far as I know, 
as yet engaged the attention of Government, is 
one of the caufes of that dearth, orunforefeen fear- 
city of grain, which, from time to time, fall heavy 
not on France only, but on the different Nations 
of Europe. 

Nature has parcelled out the adminiftration of 
agriculture between Man and herfelf. To herfelf 
file has referved the management of the winds, the 
rain, the Sun, the expanfion of the plants ; and fhe 
is wonderfully exaâ: in adapting the elements con- 
formably to the feafons : but flie has left to Man, the 
adaptation of vegetables, of foils, the proportions 
which their culture oug-ht to have to the focieties 
to be maintained by them, and all the other cares 
and occupations which their prefervation, their di- 
ftribution, and their police demand. I confider 
this remark as of fufficient importance to evince 
the neceffity of appointing a particular Minifier of 
agriculture*. If it (hould be found impoffible for 

* There are many other reafons v/hich militate in favour of 
the appointment of a Minifter of Agriciiiture. The watering 
canals abfgrbed by the luxury of the great Lords, or by the com- 

K 2 merce 



t^2 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Him to prevent chance-combinations in the larldât^ 
■which might be in fallow all at once, he would 
have it, at leaft, in his power to prohibit the tranf- 
portation of the grain of the country, in thofe 
years when the greateft part of the land was in full 
crop, for it is clear, almoft to a denionftration, that 
the following year, the general produce will be {o 
much lefs, as a confiderable proportion of the lands 
will then, of courfe, be in fallow. 

Small farms are not fubje^led to fuch viciffi-' 
tudes; they are every year producflive, and almoft 
at all feafons. Compare, as I have already fug- 
gefled, the quantity of fruits, of roots, of pot- 
herbs, of grafs, and of grain annually reaped, and 
without intermiffion, on a track of ground in the 
vicinity of Paris, called the Pré Saint-Gervais, the 
extent of which is but moderate, fituated befides 
on a declivity, and expofed to the North, with the 

merce of the great Towns ; the puddles and Jayftalls which 
poifon the villages, and feed perpetual focufes of epidemic dif- 
eafe ; the fafety of the great roads, and the regulation of the inns 
upon them ; the militia-draughts and imports of the peafantry ; 
the injuftice to which they are in many cafes fubjefted, without 
daring fo much as to complain, thefe would prefent to him a 
multitude of ufeful eftablifliments which might be made, or of 
abufes which might be correded. I am aware that moft of thefe 
functions are apportioned into divers departments ; but it is ini- 
poffible they fliould harmonize, and etfedually co-operate, till 
the refponfibility attaches to a fingle individiiaU 

produdions 



STUDY xiir. .13,3 

,produ(5bions of an equal portion of ground, taken 
in the plains of the neighbourhood, and managed 
on the great fcale of agriculture ; and you will be 
fenfible of a prodigious difference. There is, 
likewifè, a difference equally ftriking in the num- 
ber, and in the moral charader of the labourinsi: 
poor who cultivate them. I have heard a refpedt- 
,^ble Ecclefiaftic declare, that the former clafs went 
regularly to confeffion once a month, and that fre- 
quendy their confeffions contained nothing which 
called for abfolution. 

1 fay nothing of the endlefs variety of delight 
which refults from their labours ; from their beds 
of pinks, of violets, of larks-heel; their fields of 
corn, of peafe, of pulfe ; their edgings of lilach, 
of vines, by which the fmall polTeffions are fub- 
divided : their ftripes of meadow-ground difplay- 
ing alternately, opening glades, clumps of willows 
and poplars difcovering through their moving um- 
brage, at the diftance of feveral leagues, either the 
mountains melting away into the Horizon, or un- 
known cailles, or the village-fpires in the plain, 
whofe rural chimes, from time to time, catch the 
ear. Here and there you fall in with a fountain of 
limpid water, the fource of which is covered with 
^n arch enclofed, on every fide, with large flabs of 
ftone, which give it the appearance of an antique 
.^monument, I have, fometimes, read the following 

ic 3 innocent 



1^4 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

innocent infcriptions traced on the ftones with â 
bit of charcoal : 

Colin and Colette, this Stb of March, 
Antoinette dt«^ Sebastian, ibh 6ih of May, 

And I have been infinitely more delighted with 
fuch infcriptions than with thofe of the Academy 
of Sciences. When the families which cultivate 
this enchanted fpot are fcattered about, parents 
and children, through it's glens, and along it's 
ridges, while the ear is ftruck with the diftant voice 
of a country lafs Tinging unperceived, or while the 
eye is caught by the figure of a lufty young fwain; 
mounted on an apple-tree, with his balket and 
ladder, looking this way and that way, and liften- 
ing to the fong, like another Fertumnus : Where is 
the park with it's ftatues, it's marbles, and it's 
bronzes, once to be compared with it ? 

O ye rich ! who wifli to encompafs yourfelves 
with elyfian fcenery, let your park-walls enclofe 
villages blefl with rural felicity. What deferted 
tracks of land, over the whole kingdom, might 
prefent the fame fpedacle ! I have feen Brittany, 
and other provinces, covered, as far as the eye 
could reach, with heath, and where nothing grew 
but a fpecies of prickly furze, black and yellowifh. 
Our agricultural companies, which there, to no 

purpofcj 



. STUDY. XIIÎ. 135 

purpofe, employ their large ploughs of new con- 
fcrudion, have pronounced thole regions to be 
fmitten with perpetual fterility ; but thefe heaths 
difcover, by the ancient divifions of the fields, 
and by the ruins of old huts and fences, that they 
have been formerly in a ftate of cultivation. They 
are, at this day, furrounded by farms in a thriving 
condition, on the felf-iame foil. How many others 
would be ftiii more fruitful, fuch as thofe of Bor- 
deaux, which are covered over with great pines 1 
A foil which produces a tall tree, is, furely, capable 
of bearing an ear of corn. 

In fpeaking of the vegetable order, we have în- 
<licated the means of dillinguilTiing the natural 
analogies of plants, with each latitude and each 
foil. There is aftually no foil whatever, ucrc it 
mere fand, or mud, on which, through a paiTicu- 
lar kindnefs of Providence, fome one or other of 
our domeftic plants may not thrive. But the firfh 
flep to be taken, is to re-fow the woods which for- 
merly fheltered thole places, now expofed to the 
adion of the winds, whereby the germ of every 
fmaller plant is cankered as it flioots. Thefe means, 
however, and many others of a fimilar nature, be- 
long not to the jurifdidlion of iniatiable compa- 
nies, with their delineations on the great fcale, 
neither are they confident with provincial impofts 
and oppreffion ; they depend on the local and pa- 

ÎÇ 4 tient 



136 STITDIES OF NATURE. 

tient aiîîdulty of families enjoying liberty, poflef- 
fing property which they can call their own, not 
fubjeâ:ed to petty tyrants, but holding in?*mediately 
of the Sovereign. By fuch patriotic means as thefe, 
the Dutch have forced oaks to grow at Scheveiling, 
a village in the neighbourhood of the Hague, in 
pure fea-fand, of which I have had the evidence 
from my own eyes. I repeat an aflertion already 
hazarded : It is not on the face of vaft domains, 
but into the baiket of the vintager, and the apron 
of the reaper, that God pours down from Heaven 
the precious fruits of the Earth, 

Thefe exteniive diftriâis of land in the king- 
dom, lying totally ufelefs, have attraded the at- 
tention of fordid cupidity ; but there is a ftill 
greater quantity which has efcaped it, from the 
impoffibility of forming fuch tracks into marqui- 
fates or feignories ; and becaufe, too, the great 
plough is not at all applicable to them, Thefe 
are, among others, the flripes by the high- way fide, 
which are innumerable. Our great roads are, I 
admit, for the moft part rendered produdive, be- 
ing fkirted with elms. The elm is undoubtedly 
a very ufeful tree : it's wood is proper for cart- 
wright's work. But we have a tree which is far 
preferable to it, becaufe it's wood is never at- 
tacked by the infed; it is excellent for wainfcot- 
ting, and it produces abundance of very nutrimental 

food : 



STUDY XIII. Î37 

food : it is the cheftnut-tree I mean, A judgment 
may be formed of the duration and of the beauty 
of it's wood, from the ancient vvainfcotting of the 
market St. Germain, before it was burnt down. 
The joifts were of a prodigious length and thick- 
nefs, and perfectly found, though more than four 
hundred years old. The durable quality of this 
wood may ftill be afcertained, by examining the 
wainfcotting of the ancient caille of Marcouffi, 
built in the time of Charles VI. about five leagues 
from Paris. We have, of late, entirely neglefted 
this valuable tree, which is now allowed to grow- 
only as coppice- wood in our forefts. It's port, 
however, is very majeftic, it's foliage beautiful, 
and it bears fuch a quantity of fruit, in tiers mul- 
tiplied one a-top of the other, that no fpot, of the 
fame extent, fown with corn, coqld produce a crop 
of fubiiftcnce fo plentiful. 

It muft be admitted, as we have feen, in dif- 
Gufiing the charaders of vegetables, that this tree 
takes pleafure only in dry and elevated fituations ; 
but we have another, adapted to the vailles and 
humid places, of not much inferior utility, whether 
we attend to the wood or to the fruit, and whofe 
port is equally majeftic : it is the walnut-tree. 
Thefe beautiful trees would magnificently decorate 
our great roads. With them might, likewife, be 
intermixed other trees, peculiar to each diftrid. 

They 



l^S STUDIES OF NATURE, 

They would announce to travellers the various pro- 
vinces of the kingdom : the vine, Burgundy ; the 
apple tree, Normandy; the mulbery-tree, Dau- 
phiny ; the olive-tree, Provence. Their ftems 
loaded with produce, would determine much bet- 
ter than ftakes furnidied with iron collars, and 
than the tremendous gibbets of criminal juftice, 
the limits of each province, and the gently diver- 
jGiied feignories of Nature. 

It may be objeded, that the crops would be ga- 
thered by paffengers ; but they hardly ever touch 
the grapes in the vinej'-ards which fometimes fkirt 
the highway. Befides, if they were to pick the 
fruir, what great harm would be done ? When the 
King of Pruffia ordered the fides of many of the 
great roads through Pomerania to be planted with 
fruit-trees, it was infinuated to him that the fruit 
would be ftolen : " The people," replied he, " at 
^' leaft, will profit by it." Our crofs-roads pre- 
fent, perhaps, ftill more loft ground than the great 
highways. If it is confidered, that by means of 
them the communication is kept up between the 
fmaller cities, towns, villages, hamlets, abbeys, 
caftles, and even lingle country-houfes ; that feveral 
of them iflue in the fame place, and that every one 
niuft have, at leaft, the breaddi of a chariot ; we 
fliall find the whole fpace which they occupy to 
be of incredible magnitude. It would be proper 

to 



STUDY XIII, 139 

to begin with applying the line to them ; for mod 
of them proceed in a Terpentine diredion, which, 
in many cafes, adds a full third to their length, be- 
yond what is neceflary. I acknowledge, at the 
fame time, that thefe finuofities are highly agree- 
able, efpecially along the declivity of a hill, over 
the ridge of a mountain, in rural fituations, or 
through the midft of forefts. But they might be 
rendered fufceptible of another kind of beauty, by 
ikirting them with fruit-trees, which do not rife to 
a great height, and which, flying off in perfpeftive, 
would give a greater apparent extenfion to the 
landfcape. Thefe trees would likewife afford a 
ihade to travellers. The hufbandmen, I know, 
allege, that the (hade, fo grateful to paffengers, is 
injurious to their ftanding corn. They are un- 
doubtedly in the right, as to feveral forts of grain ; 
but there are fome which thrive better in places 
fomewhnt fliaded than any where elfe, as may be 
feen in the Pré Saint -Qervais. Befides, the farmer 
would be amply indemnified by the wood of the 
fruit-trees, and by the crops of fruit. The interefls 
even of the hufbandman and of the traveller, might 
farther be rendered compatible, by planting only 
the roads which go from North to South, and the 
South fide of thofe which run Eafh and Wefl, fo 
that the Ihade of their trees fliould fcarcely fall on 
jhe arable lands, 

It 



140 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

It would be, moreover, neceflary, in order tQ 
increafe the national fubfiftence, to reflore to th^ 
plough great quantities of land now in pafture^ 
There is hardly fuch a thing as a meadow in all 
China, a country fo extremely populous. The 
Chinefe fow every where corn and rice, and feed 
their cattle with the flraw. They fay it is better 
that the beads fliould live with Man than Man 
with the beads. Their cattle are not the lefs fat 
for this. The German horfes, the mofl vigorous 
of animals, feed entirely on ftraw cut fliort, with a 
fmall mixture of barley or oats. Our farmers are 
every day adopting practices the direél contrary of 
this economy. They turn, as I have obferved in 
many provinces, a great deal of land which for- 
merly produced corn, into fmall grafs-farms, to 
fave the cxpence of cultivation, and efpecially to 
efcape the tithe, which their clergy do not receive 
from pailure-lands. I have feen, in Lower- Nor- 
mandy, immenfe quantities of land, thus forced 
out of their natural flate, greatly to the public de- 
triment. The following anecdote was told me, 
on my taking notice of an ancient track of corn- 
land, which had undergone a metamorphofis of 
this fort. The redor, vexed at lofing part of his 
revenue, without having it in his power to com- 
plain, faid to the owner of the land, by way of 
advice : " Mafter Peter, in my opinion, if you 

" would 



STUDY XIII. 141 

•* would remove the {tones from that ground, dung 
" it well, plough it thoroughly, and fow it with 
*' corn, you might flill raife very excellent crops.'* 
The farmer, an arch, flirewd fellow, perceiving the 
drift of his tithing-man, replied : " You are in the 
*"' right, good Mr. Reâior ; if you will take the 
" ground, and do all this to it, 1 fliall afk no more 
*"* of you than the tithe of the crop." 

Our agriculture will never attain all the aâ:ivity 
of which it is fufceptible, unlefs it is reflored to it's 
native dignity. Means ought, therefore, to be 
employed to induce a multitude of cafy and idle 
burghers, who vegetate in our fmall cities, to go 
and live in the country. In order to determine 
them to this, hufbandmen ought to be exempted 
from the humiliating importions of tallage, of 
feignorial exaftions, and even of thofe of the mili- 
tia-fervice, to which they are at prefent fubjeded. 
The ftate mull undoubtedly be ferved, when ne- 
ceffity requires ; but wherefore affix charaders of 
humiliation to the fervices which fhe impofes ? 
Why not accept a commutation in money ? It 
would require a great deal, our Politicians tell us. 
Yes, undoubtedly. But do not our Burgeffes, 
likewife, pay many impofts in our towns, in lieu 
of thofe very fervices ? Befides, the more inhabi- 
tants that there are fcattered over the country, the 
lighter will fall the burthen on thofe who are affef- 

fable. 



142. SrtjlJIES OF NATURE» 

fable. A man properly brought up would mucîï 
rather be touched in his purfe, than fuffer in his 
felf-love. 

By what fatal contradidion have we fubjeded 
the greateft part of the lands of France to foccage- 
tenures, while we have ennobled thofe of the New 
World ? The fame hufbandman who, in France, 
muft pay tallage, and go, with the pick-axe in his 
hand, to labour on the high-road, may introduce 
his children into the King's Houlhold, provided 
he is an inhabitant of one of the Weft-India 
]llands. This injudicious difpenfation of nobility 
has proved no lefs fatal to thofe foreign poffeffions, 
into which it has introduced flavery, than to the 
lands of the Mother-Country, the labourers of 
which it has drained of many of their refources. 
Nature invited, into the wildernefTes of America, 
the overflowings of the European Nations : (he 
had there difpofed every thing, with an attention 
truly maternal, to indemnify the Europeans for the 
lofs of their country. There is no neceffity, in 
thofe regions, for a man to fcorch himfelf in the 
Sun, while he reaps his grain, nor to be benumbed 
with cold in tending his flocks as they feed, nor 
to cleave the ftubborn earth with the clumfy plough, 
to make it produce aliment for him, nor to rake 
into it's bowels to extract from thence iron, ftone, 
clay, and the firft materials of his houfe and furni- 
ture. 



STUDY XIII. 143 

turc. Kind Nature has there placed on trees, in 
the (hade, and within the reach of the hand, all 
that is neceffary and agreeable to human life. She 
has there depofited milk and butter in the nuts of 
the cocoa-tree; perfumed creams in the apples of 
the atte ; table-linen and provifion in the large fat- 
tiny leaves, and in the delicious figs of the banana; 
loaves ready for the fire in the potatoes, and the 
roots of the manioc ; down finer than the wool of 
the fleecy flieep in the fliell of the cotton plant ; 
dilhos of every form in the gourds of the calabafTe. 
She had there contrived habitations, impenetrable 
by the rain and by the rays of the Sun, under the 
thick branches of the Indian fig-tree, which, rifing 
toward Heaven, and afterwards defcending down 
to the ground where they take root, form, by their 
continued arcades, palaces of verdure. She had 
fcattered about, for the purpofes at once of de- 
light and of commerce, along the rivers, in the 
bofom of the rocks, and in the very bed of tor- 
rents, the maize, the fugar-cane, the chocolate- 
nut, the tobacco plant, with a multitude of other 
ufeful vegetables, and, from the refemblance of 
the Latitudes of this New World to that of the 
different countries of the Old, flie promiled it's 
future inhabitants to adopt, in their favour, the 
coffee- plant, the indigo, and the other mod: val un- 
able vegetable produdions of Africa and of Alia. 
Wherefore has the ambition of Europe inundated 

thofe 



144 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

thofe happy climates with the tears and blood of 
tlie human race ? Ah ! had liberty and virtue col- 
leded and united their firft planters, how many 
charms would French induflry have added to the 
natural fecundity of the foil, and to the happy 
temperature of the tropical regions 1 

No fogs or excefiîve heats are there to be dread- 
ed ; and though the Sun pâlies twice a year over 
their Zenith, he every day brings with him, as he 
rifes above the Horizon, along the furface of the 
Sea, a cooling breeze, which all day long rcfrelhes 
the mountains, the forefts, and the valleys. What 
delicious retreats might our poor foldiers, andpof- 
feffionlefs peafants, find, in thofe fortunate iflands I 
What expenfe in garrifons might there have been 
fpared ! What petty feigniories might there have 
become the recompenfe either of gallant officers, 
or of virtuous citizens ! What nurferies of excellent 
fcamen might be formed by the turtle-fifhery, fo 
abundant on the fliallows furrounding the iflands, 
or by the ftill more extenfive and profitable cod- 
fifliery of the banks of Newfoundland ! It would 
not have coft Europe much more than the expenfe 
of the fettlement of the firft families. With what 
facility might they have been fucceffively extended 
to the moft remote diftances, by forming them, 
after the manner of the Caraïbs themfelves, one 
after another, and at the expenfe of the commu- 
nity ! 



* STUDY XIII* 145 

ïilty ! Undoubtedly, had this natural progrefTion 
been adopted, our power would at this day have 
extended to the very centre of the American Con- 
tinent, and could have bidden defiance to every 
attack. 

Government has been taught to believe, that 
the independence of our colonies would be a ne- 
ceffary confequence of their profperity, and the 
cafe of the Anglo-American colonies has been ad- 
duced in proof of this. But ihefe colonies were 
not loft to Great-Britain becaufe flie had rendered 
them too happy ; it was, on the contrary, becaufe 
flie oppreffed them. Britain was, befides, guilty 
of a great error, by introducing too great a mixture 
of ftrangers among her colonifts. There is, far- 
ther, a remarkable difference between the genius 
of the Englifli and ours. The Engliiliman carries 
his country with him wherever he goes : if he is 
making a fortune abroad, he embellifhes his habi- 
tation in the place where he has fettled, introduces 
the manufactures of his own Nation into it, there he 
live?, and there he dies; or, if he returns to his coun- 
try, he fixes his refidence near the place of his birth. 
The Frenchman does not feel in the fame manner: 
all thofe whom I have feen in the Weft-Indies, al- 
ways confider themfelves as ftrangers there. During 
a twenty years relidence in one habitation, they 
will not plant a fingle tree before the door of the 
VOL, IV. L houfe. 



146 STUDIES OF NATUIE. 

houfe, for the benefit of enjoying it's (hade ; to 
hear them talk, they are all on the wing to depart, 
next year at fartheft. If they aclually happen to 
acquire a fortune, away they go, nay, frequently, 
without having made any thing, and, on their re- 
turn home, fettle, not in their native province or 
village, but at Paris. 

This is not the place to unfold the caufe of that 
national averfion to the place of birth, and of that 
prediledion in favour of the Capital ,• it is an ef- 
feâ; of feveral moral caufes, and, among others, of 
education. Be it as it may, this turn of mind is 
alone fufhcient to prevent for ever the indepen- 
dence of our colonies. The enormous expence of 
preferving them, and the facility with which they 
are captured, ought to have cured us of this pre- 
judice. They are all in fuch a ftate of weaknefs, 
that if their commerce with the Metropolis were 
to be interrupted but for a few years, they would 
prefently be diflrelTed for want of many articles 
effentially neceffary. It is even Angularly remark- 
able, that they do not manufacture there a fingle 
produdlion of the country. They ralfe cotton of 
the very fineft quality, but make no cloth of it as 
in Europe ; ihey do not fo much as praétife the 
art of fpinning it, as the Savages do; nor do they, 
like them, turn to any account the threads of 
phiet of thofe of the banana, or of the leaves of 

the 



STUDY XIII, 



147 



the palmift. The cocoa-tree, which is a treafurc 
to the Eaft-lndies, comes to great perfedion in 
our iflands, and fcarcely any ufe is made of the 
fruit, or of the threaden hufk that covers it. They 
cuhivate indigo, but employ it in no procefs 
whatever of dying. Sugar, then, is the only ar- 
ticle of produce which is there purfued through 
the feveral necelTary procefles, becaufe it cannot 
be turned to commercial account till it is manu- 
faflured ; and, after all, it muft be refined in Eu- 
rope, before it attains a ftate of full perfedion. 

We have had, it muft be admitted, fome fedi- 
tious infurredions in our Colonies ; but thefe have 
been much more frequent in their ftate of weak- 
nefs than in that of their opulence. It is the inju- 
dicious choice of the perfons fent thither, which 
has, at all times, rendered them the feat of difcord. 
How could it be expeded that citizens, who had 
difturbed the tranquility of a long eftabliftied ftate 
of Society, (hould concur in promoting the peace 
and profperity of a rifing community ? The Greeks 
and Romans employed the flower of their youth, 
and their moft virtuous citizens, in the planration 
of their colonies ; and they became themfelves 
kingdoms and empires. Far different is the cafe 
with us : bachelor-foldiers, feamcn, gownmen, 
and of every rank ; officers of the higher orders, 
fo numerous and fo ufelefs, have filled ours with 

L z the 



i48 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

the pafllons of Europe, with a rage for fa{liion> 
with unprofitable luxury, with corruptive maxims, 
and licentious manners. Nothing of this kind was 
to be apprehended from our undebauched pea- 
fantr)^ Bodily labour foothes to reft the folici- 
tudes of the mind ; fixes it's natural reftleffnefs; 
and promotes among the people health, patriotifm, 
religion, and happinefs. But admitting that, in 
procefs of lime, thefe Colonies (hould be feparated. 
from France : Did Greece wafte herfelf in tears, 
when her flourifliing Colonies carried her laws and 
her renown over the coafts of Afia, and along the 
Ihores of the Euxine Sea, and of the Mediterra- 
nean ? Did flie take the alarm, when they became 
the flems out of which fprung powerful kingdoms 
and illuftrious republics ? Becaufe they feparated 
from her, were they transformed into her enemies; 
and was (he not, on the contrary, frequently pro- 
tedled by them ? What harm would have enfued, 
had Ihoots from the tree of France borne lilies in 
America, and ihaded the New World with their 
nmjeftic branches ? 

Let the truth be frankly acknowledged, Few 
men, admitted to the councils of Princes, take a 
lively intereft in the felicity of Mankind. When 
fight of this great objeél is loft, national profpe- 
rity, and the glory of the Sovereign, quickly dif- 
appear. Our Politicians, by keeping the Colonies 

in 



STUDY XIIÏ. 149 

in a perpetual ftate of dépendance, of agitation and 
penury, have difcovered ignorance of the nature of 
Man, who attaches himfelf to the place which he 
inhabits, only by the ties of the felicity which he 
enjoys. By introducing into them the flavery of 
the Negroes, they have formed a connedlion be- 
tween them» and Africa, and have broken afunder 
that which ought to have united them to their poor 
fellow -citizens. They have, farther, difcovered 
ignorance of the European charader, which is con- 
tinually apprehenfive, under a warm climate, of 
feeing it's blood degraded, like that of it's Haves ; 
and whi(](j| fighs inceflantly after new alliances with, 
it's compatriots, for keeping up, in the veins of 
thofe little ones, the circulation of the clear and 
lively colour of the European blood, and the fen- 
timents of country, flill more interefting. By 
giving them perpetually new civil and military 
rulers, magiftrates entire ftrangers to them, who 
keep them under a fevere yoke ; men, in a word, 
eager to accumulate a fortune, they have betrayed 
ignorance of the French charader, which had no 
need of fuch barriers to reftrain it to the love of 
country, feeing it is univerfally regretting it's pro- 
ductions, it's honours, nay, it's very diforders. 
They have, accordingly, fucceeded, neither in 
forming colonifts for America, nor patriots for 
France ; and they have miftaken, at once, the in- 

h 3 terefts 



Î^O STUDIES OF NATURE. 

terefts of their Nation, and of their Sovereigns, 
whom they meant to ferve. 

I have dwelt the longer on the fubjeâ: of thefe 
abufes, that they are not yet beyond the power of 
remedy in various refpeds, and that there are ftill 
lands in the New Worlds, on which a change may 
be attempted in the nature of our eftablifliments. 
But this is neither the time nor the place for un- 
fold, ng the means of thefe. After having propofed 
fome remedies for the phyfical diforders of the 
Nation, let us now proceed to the moral irregula- 
rity which is the fource of theiTi. Thegprincipal 
caufe is the fpirit of divifion which prevads be- 
tween the different orders of the State. There are 
only two methods of cure; the firft, to extinguifli 
the motives to divifion ; the fécond, to multiply 
and increafe the motives to union. 

The greatefl part of our Writers make a boafl; 
of our national fpirit of fociety ; and foreigners, 
in reality, look upon it as the moft fociable in 
Europe. Foreigners are in the right, for the truth 
is, we receive and carefs them with ardor ; but 
our Writers are under a miftake. Shall I venture 
to expofe it ? We are thus fond of ftrangers, be- 
caufe we do not love our compatriots. For my 
own part, 1 have never met with this fpirit of 

union. 



STUDÎ XIII. 151 

union, either in families, or in aflbciations, or in 
natives of the fame province ; I except only the 
inhabitants of a fingle province, which I mud not 
name ; who, as foon as they are got a little from 
home, exprefs the greatefl ardor of affedion for 
each other. But, as all the truth muft out, it is 
rather from antipathy to the other inhabitants of 
the kingdom, than from love to their compatriots, 
for, from time immemorial, that province has been 
celebrated for inteftine divifions. In general, the 
real fpirit of patriotifm, which is the firft fenti- 
ment of humanity, is very rare in Europe, and par- 
ticularly among ourfclves. 

Without carrying this reafoning any farther, let 
us look for the proofs of the fadt, which are level 
to every capacity. When we read certain relations 
of the cuftoms and manners of the Nations of Afia, 
we are touched with the fentiment of humanity, 
which, among them, attracfts men to each other, 
notwithftanding the phlegmatic taciturnity which 
reigns in their aflemblies. If, for example, an 
Afiatic, on a journey, flops to enjoy his repaft, his 
fervants and camel-driver collect around him, 
and place themfelves at his table. If a ftranger 
happens to pafs by, he too fits down with him, 
and, after having made an inclination of the head 
to the mafter of the family, and given God 
thanks, he rifes, and goes on his way, without 

L 4 being 



t^Z STUDIES OF N7VTITRE. 

being interrogated by any one, who he is, v/hence 
he cornes^ or vvhiiher he goes. This hofpitabie 
pradice is common to the Armenians, to the 
Georgians, to the Tuiks, to the Perlians, to the 
Siamefe, to the Blacks of Madagafcar, and to dif- 
ferent Nations of Africa and of America. In thofc 
countries Man is ftill dear to Man. 

At Paris, on the contrary, if you go into the 
dining-room of a Tavern, where there are a dozen 
tables fpread, (liould twelve perfons arrive, one 
after another, you fee each of them take his place 
apart, at a feparate table, without uttering a fyl- 
lable. If new guefts did not fucceffively come in, 
each of the firft twelve would eat his morfel alone, 
like a Carthufian monk. For fome time, a pro- 
fo-ijnd filence prevails, till fome thoughtlefs fellow, 
put into good humour by his dinner, and preffed 
by an inclination to talk, takes upon him to let the 
converfation a-going. Upon this, the eyes of the 
whole company are drawn tovsard the orator, and 
he is meafured, in a twinkling, from head to foot. 
If he has the air of a perfon of confequence, that 
is, rich, they give him the hearing. Nay, he finds 
perfons difpofed to flatter him, by confirming his 
intelligence, and applauding his literary opinion, 
or his loofe maxim, But if his appearance difplays 
no mark of extraordinary diftindlion, had he de- 
livered fentimcnts v/oithy of a SocrafeSj fcarce has 

he 



STUDY XIII. 153 

he proceeded to the opening of his thefis, when 
fome one interrupts him with a flat contradidion» 
His opponents are contradifted in their turn, by 
other wits who think proper to enter the lifts; 
then the converfation becomes general and noify, 
Sarcafms, harfh names, perfidious infmuations, 
grofs abufc, ufually conclude the fitting ; and each 
of tlie guefts retires, perfedly well-pleafed with 
himfelf, and with a hearty contempt for the reft. 

You find the fame fcenes afted in our coffee- 
houfes, and on our public walks. Men go thither 
exprefsly to hunt for admiration, and to play the 
critic. It is not the fpirit of Society which allures 
us toward each other, but the fpirit of divifion. 
In what is called good company matters are ftill 
vvorfe managed. If you mean to be vvell received, 
you muft pay for your dinner at the expenfe of the 
family with whom you fupped the night before. 
Nay, you may think yourfelf very well off, if it 
cofts you only a few fcandalous anecdotes ; and if, 
in order to be well with the hulband, you are not 
obliged to bubble him, by making love to his 
wife 1 

Tlie original fource of thefe divifions is to 
be traced up to our mode of education. We 
are taught, from carlieft infancy, to prefer our- 
felves to another, by continued fuggeftions to be 

the 



154 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

the firfl: among our fchool-companions. As this 
unprofitable emulation prefents not, to far the 
greatefb part of the citizens, any career to be per- 
formed on the theatre of the World, each of them 
alTumes a preference from his province, his birth, 
his rank, his figure, his drefs, nay, the tutelary 
faint of his parifh. Hence proceed our focial ani- 
mofities ; and all the infulting nicknames given by 
the Norman to the Gafcogn, by the Parifian to the 
Champenois, by the man of family to the man of 
no family, by the Lawyer to the Ecclefiaftic, by 
the Janfenift to the Molinift, and fo on. The man 
aflerts his pre-eminence, efpecially, by oppofing 
his own good qualities to the faults of his neigh- 
bour. This is the reafon that flander is fo eafy, 
fo agreeable, and that it is, in general, the mafter- 
fpring of our converfations. 

A man of high quality one day faid to me, that 
there did not exift a man, however wretched, 
whom he did not find fuperior to himfelf, in re- 
fpedt of fome advantage whereby he furpaffes per- 
fons of our conditon, whether it be as to youth, 
health, talents, figure, or, in ihorr, fome one good 
quality or another, whatever our fuperiority in 
other refpeds may be. This is literally true ; but 
this manner of viewing the members of a Society 
belongs to the province of virtue, and that is not 
ours. The contrary maxim being equally true, 

our 



STUDY XIII. 155 

our pride lays hold of that, and finds a determi- 
nation to it from the manners of the World, and 
from our very education, which from infancy fug- 
gefts the neceffity of this perfonal preference. 

Our public fpeâracles fnrther concur toward the 
incrcafe of the fpirit of divifion among us. Our 
mofl celebrated comedies ufuaily reprefent tutors 
cozened by their pupils, fathers by their children, 
hufbands by their wives, matters by their fervants. 
The (hows of the populace exhibit nearly the fame 
pi(5bures ; and, as if they were not already fufficiently 
difpofed to irregularity, they are prefented with 
fcenes of intoxication, of lewdnefs, of robbery, of 
conftables drubbed : thefe inftrud them to under- 
value, at once, morals and magiftrates. Speftacles 
draw together the bodies of the citizens, and alie- 
nate their minds. 

Comedy, we are told, cures vice by the power 
of ridicule ; cajiigat ridendo mores. This adage is 
equally falfe with many others, which are made 
the bafis of our morality. Comedy teaches us to 
laugh at another, and nothing more. No one fays, 
when the reprefentation is over, the portrait of this 
mifer has a ftrong refemblance of myfelf ; but every 
one, inftantly difcerns in it the image and likenefs 
of his neighbour. It is long fince Horace made 
this remark. But, on the fuppofition, that a man 

fliould 



156 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

fliould perceive himfelf in the dramatic reprefenta- 
tion, I do nor perceive how the reformation of 
vice would enfue. How could it be imagined, 
that the way for a phyîician to cure his patient, 
would be to clap a mirror before his face, and 
then laugh at him ? If my vice is held up as aa 
objeâ; of ridicule, the laugh, fo far from giving 
me a difguft at it, plunges me in the deeper. I 
employ every effort to conceal it ; 1 become a hy- 
pocrite : without taking into the account, that the 
laugh is much more frequently levelled againfl: 
virtue than againft vice. It is not the faithlefs wife, 
or profligate (on who are held up to fcorn, but the 
good-natured hulband, or the indulgent father. 
In juftification of our own tafte, we refer to that of 
the Greeks j but we forget that their idle fpec- 
tacles direfted the public attention to the mod 
frivolous objects ; that their flage frequently turned 
into ridicule the virtue of the moft illuftrious citi- 
zens ; and that their fcenic exhibitions multiplied 
among them the averfions and the jealoufies which 
accelerated their ruin. 

Not that I would reprefent laughing as a crime, 
or that I believe, with Hobbes, it muft proceed 
from pride. Children laugh, but moft afluredly 
not from pride. They laugh at fight of a flower, at 
the found of a rattle. There is a laugh of joy, of 
fatisfadion, of compofure. But ridicule differs 

widely 



STUDY XIII. 157 

widely from the fmile of Nature. It is not, like 
this laft, the ejflfed of fome agreeable harmony in 
OUT fenfations, or in our fentiments : but it is the 
refult of a harflb contraft between two objeds, 
of which the one is great, the otlier little j of which 
the one is powerful, and the other feeble. It is 
remarkably fingular, that ridicule is produced by 
the very Came oppofitions which produce terror ; 
with this difference, that in ridicule, the mind 
makes a tranfition from an object that is formi- 
dable, to one that is frivolous, and, in terror, from 
an objeft that is frivolous to one that is formidable. 
The afpic of Cleopatra^ in a baiket of fruit ; the 
fingers of the hand which wrote, amidft the mad- 
nefs of a feftivity, the doom of Beljloazzar ; the 
found of the bell which announces the death of 
Clarijja ; the foot of a (iwage imprinted, in a de- 
fert ifland, upon the fand, fcare the imagination 
infinitely more than all the horrid apparatus of 
battles, executions, maffacres and death. Accord- 
ingly, in order to imprefs an awful terror, a frivo- 
lous and unimportant objed: ought to be firft ex- 
hibited ; and in order to excite exceffive mirth, 
you ought to begin with a folemn idea. To this 
may be farther added fome other contraft, fuch as 
that of furpize, and fome one of thofe fentiments 
which plunge us into infinity, fuch as that of myftcry; 
in this cafe, the foul, having loft it's equilibrium, 
precipitates itfelf into terror, or into mirth, accord- 
ing to the arrangement which has been made for it. 

We 



I5S STUDIES OF NATURE. 

We frequently fee thefe contrary 'efFeds pro- 
duced by the fame means. For example, if the 
nurfe wants her child to laugh, flie (hrowds her 
head in her apron ; upon this the infant becomes 
ferious ; then, all at once, (he (hews her face, and 
he burfts into a fit of laughter. If (he means to 
terrify him, which is but too frequently the cafe, 
Ihe firfl fmiles upon the child, and he returns it : 
then, all at once, (he afTumes a ferious air, or con- 
ceals her face, and the child falls a-crying. 

I (hall not fay a word more refpeding thefe vio- 
lent oppofitions; but (hall only deduce this con- 
fequence from them, that it is the mod wretched 
part of Mankind which has the greateft propen(ity 
to ridicule. Terrified by political and moral 
phantoms, they endeavour, firft of all, to drown 
relpedt for them , and it is no difficult matter to 
fucceed in this ; for Nature, always at hand, to 
fuccour opprelfed humanity, has blended, in moft 
things of human inftitucion, the effulions of ridi- 
cule with thofe of terror. The only thing requi- 
fite is to invert the objefts of their comparifon. It 
was thus that Ariflophmies, by his comedy of The 
Clouds, fubverted the religion of his country. At- 
tend to the behaviour of lads at college ; the pre- 
fence of the mafter at firft fets them a-trembling ; 
what contrivance do they employ to familiarize 
themfelves to his idea ? They try to turn him into 

ridicule. 



STUDY XIII. 159 

ridicule, an effort in which they commonly fuc- 
ceed to admiration. The love of ridicule in a 
people, is by no means, therefore, a proof of their 
happinefs, but, on the contrary, of their mifery. 
This accounts for the gravity of the ancient Ro- 
mans ; they were ferious, becaufe they were happy : 
but their defendants, who are, at this day, very 
miferable, are like wife famous for their pafqui- 
nades, and fupply all Europe with harlequins and 
buffoons, 

I do not deny that fpeftacles, fuch as tragedies, 
may have a tendency to unite the citizens. The 
Greeks frequently employed them to this effedt. 
But by adopting their dramas, we deviate from 
their intention. Their theatrical reprefentations 
did not exhibit the calamities of other Nations, 
but thofe which they themfelves had endured, and 
events borrowed from the Hiftory of their own 
country. Our tragedies excite a compaffion whofe 
objed is foreign to us. We lament the diftreffes 
of the family of Agamemnon, and we behold, with- 
out ihedding one tear, thofe who are in the depth 
of mifery at our very door. We do not fo much 
as perceive their diftreffes, becaufe they are not 
exhibited on a ftage. Our own heroes, neverthe- 
lefs, well reprefented in the theatre, would be fuffi- 
cient to carry the patriotifm of the people to the 
very height of enthufiafm. What crowds, of fpec- 

tators 



l60 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

tators have been attraéled, and what burfts of ap- 
plaufe excited, by the heroifm of Euftace Saint- 
PierrCj in the Siege of Cahiis ! The death of Joan 
cf Arc would produce efFeéts ftiil more povverful, if 
a man of genius had the courage to efface the ridi- 
cule which has been lavifhed on that refpedable 
and unfortunate young woman, to whofe name 
Greece would have confecrated altar upon altar. 

T will deliver my thoughts on the fubjeâ:, in a 
few words, if, perhaps, it may incite fome virtuous 
man to undertake it. I could wifh, then, without 
departing from the truth of Hiftory, to have her 
reprefented, at the moment when (lie is honoured 
with the favour of her Sovereign, the acclamations 
of the army, and at the very pinnacle of glory, de- 
liberating on her return to an obfcure hamlet, 
there to refume the employments of a fimple fliep- 
herdefs, unnoticed and unknown. Soliciied after- 
wards by Dunois, flie determines to brave new 
dangers in the fervice of her country. At laft, 
made prifoner in an engagement, fhe falls into the 
hands of the Englilh. Interrogated by inhuman 
judges, among whom are the Bilhops of her own 
Nation, the fimplicity and innocence of her replies 
render her triumphant over the iniidioiis queftions 
of her enemies. She is adjudged by them to per- 
petual imprifonment. I would have a reprefenta- 
tion of the dungeon in which (lie is doomed to pafs 

the 



STUDY XIII. l6l 

the remainder of her mlferable days, with it's long 
fpiracles, it's iron grates, it's maffy arches, the 
wretched truckle-bed provided for her repofe, the 
cruife of water atid the black bread, which are to 
ferve her for food. I would draw from her own 
lips the touchingly plaintive refledions, fnggefted 
by her condition, on the nothingnefs of human 
grandeur, her innocent expreffions of regret for 
the lofs of rural felicity : and then the gleams of 
hope, of being relieved by her Prince, extinguiQied 
by defpair, at fight of the fearful abyfs which has 
clofed over her head. 

I would then difplay the fnare laid for her, by 
her perfidious enemies, while flie was afleep, in 
placing by her fide the arms with which Ihe had 
com batted them. She perceives, on awakening, 
thefe monuments of her glory. Hurried away by 
the pafTion at once of a woman and of a hero, llie 
covers her head with the helmet, the plume of 
which had fhewn the difpirited French army the 
road to viftory ; (he grafps with her feeble hands 
that fword fo formJdable to the Englilb ; and, ac 
the inflant when the fentiment of her o'.vn glory is 
making her eyes to overflow with tears of exulta- 
tion, her daftardly foes fuddenly prefent them- 
felves, and unanimoufly condemn her to the mofl 
horrible of deaths. Then it is we (hould behold 
a fpedacle worthy the attention of Heaven itfelf, 

VOL. IV. M virtue 



102 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

virtue confllcling with extreme mifery ; we fliould 
hear her bitter complaints of the indifference of 
her Sovereign, whom (lie had fo nobly ferved; we 
fhoul.d fee her perturbation, at the idea of the hor- 
lid punifliment prepared for her, and ftill more, 
at the apprehenfion of the calumny which is for 
ever to fully her reputation ; we (hould hear her, 
amidft conflids fo tremendous, calling in queftion 
the exiftence of a Providence, the protedlor of the 
innocent. 

To death at laft, however, walk out (he mud. 
At that moment it is, I could wifli to fee all her 
courage re-kindle. I would have her reprefented 
on the funeral- pile, where (he is going to termi- 
nate her days, looking down on the empty hopes 
with which the World amufes thofe who ferve it ; 
exulting at the thought of the everlafting infamy 
with which her death will clothe her enemies, and 
of the immortal glory which will for ever crow^n 
the place of her birth, and even that of her execu- 
tion. 1 could wifli that her laft words, animated 
by Religion, might be more fubHme than thofe of 
Vidoy when flie exclaims, on the fatal pile : — 
Exoriare aliquis nofiris ex ojfibiis idtor. '' Start up 
*' fome dire avenger from thefe bones." 

I could wiîli, in a word, that this fubjed. 
Created by a man of genius, after the manner of 

Shakefpçart 



STUDY XIII. 16;} 

Shake/pear *, which, undoubtedly, he would not 
have failed to do, had Joan of Arc been an Englifh- 
woman, might be wrought up into a patriotic 

Drama ; 

* The compliment here paid to Shake/pear is juftly merited ; 
and how well he could have managed the ftory of the Maid of 
Orleans, had he taken the incidents as St. -Pierre has ftated them, 
and written with the partiality of a Frenchman, may beafcer- 
tained by the mafterly touches which he a£lually has beftowed oa 
this diftinguifhed charafter, in his Firfi: Part of Hewy VI. It 
may afford fome amufement, to compare the above profe fketch, 
by our Author, with the poetical painting of our own immortal 
Bard, in the Drama now mentioned. I take the liberty 
to tranfcribe only the fcene in which the audience is prepared 
for her entrance, and that in which flie aftually makes her ap- 
pearance. For the reft, the Reader is referred to the Play itfelf. 

H. H. 

Efiter tbe Bast AKT) OF Orleans /o //^^ Dauphin, Alençon, 
am/ Reignier. 

Ba/l. Where's the Prince Dauphin? I have news for him. 

Dau. Baftard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us. 

Bajl. Methinks your looks are fad, your cheer appall'd ; 
Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence ? 
Be not difmay'd, for fuccour is at hand : 
A holy maid hither with me I bring, 
Which, by a vifion fent to her from Heaven, 
Ordained is to raife this tedious liege, 
And drive the Englifli forth the bounds of France. 
The fpirit of deep prophecy {he hath. 
Exceeding the nine Sibyls of old Rome ; 
What's paft, and what's to come, flie can defcry. 
Speak, fhall I call her in ? Believe my words, 
For they are certain and infallible. 

^i z Dan. 



164 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Drama; in order that this illuftrious Hiepherdfers 
may become, with us, the patronefs of War, as 
Saint Genevieve is that of Peace 5 I would have the 

reprefentation 



Dûîi. Go, call her in : But firft, to try her (kill, 
Reignier, ftand thou as Dauphin in my place: 
Queftion her proudly, let thy looks be ftern ; 
By this means fliali wc found what ikill flie hath. 

Enter Joan la Pucelle. 

Rei^. Fair maid, is't thou will do thefè wond'rous feats? 

Puce!. Reignier, is't thou that thinkeft to beguile me? 
Where is the Dauphin ? — Come, come from behind ; 
I know thee well, though never kcw befoi'e. 
Be not amazed, there's nothing hid from me : 
In private will T talk with thee apart ; — 
Stand back, j ou Lords, and give us leave awhile. 

Reig. She takes upon her bravely at firft dafti. 

Pucfl. Dauphin, I am by birth a fliepherd't» daughter» 
My wit untrain'd in any kind of art. 
Heav'tn, and our Lady gracious, hath it pleas'd 
To (hine on my contemptible ellate : 
Lo, whilll: I waited on mv tender lambs, 
And to Sun's parching heat difplay'd my cheeks, 
God's IMother deigned to appear to me ; 
And, in a vifion full of maiefty, 
Will'd me to leave my bale vocation. 
And free my cojuitry from calamity : 
Mer aid ilie promised, and alTur'd fuccefs ; 
\n complete glory fhe reveal'd herfelf ; 
And, whereas I was black and fvvart before, 
With thofe clear rays which (he infus'd on me, 
That beauty am I blell with, which you fee. 



STUDY XIII. 165.; 

reprefentation of her tragedy referved for the peri- 
lous fitnations in which the Stare might happen 
to be involved, and ihtn exhibited to the people, 
as they difplay, in fimilar cafes, to the people of, 
Conflantinople, the fiandard oï Ala hornet ; and I 
have no doubt that, at fight of her innocence, of 
her fervices, of her misfortunes, of the cruelty of 
her enemies, and of the horrors of Jicr execution, 
our people, in a tranfport of fury, would exclaim : 
** War, war with the EngliQi* I" 

Aft me what queflion thou can ft poffible. 
And I will anfwer unpremeditated : 
My courage try by combat, if thou dar'ft, 
And thou (liait find that I exceed my fex. 
Refolve on this : Thou flialt be fortunate 
If thou receive me for thv warlike mate. 



— Affign'd I am to be the E'lglifli fcnurge. 
This night the fiege alTuredly I'll raife : 
Expeft Saint Martin's Summer, hjiicyon days, 
Since I have enterd thus into thefe wars. 
Glory is like a circle in the water, 
Which never ceafes to enlarge itfelf, 
^Till by broad fpreading it difperfe to nought. 
With Hcyn-ys death, the Englifli circle ends; 
Difperfed are the glories it included. 
Now am I like that proud infulting fliip, 
Which Co'/ar and his fortune bare at once. 

* Gou forbid T fhould mean to roufe a fpirit of animofity iix 
our people againft the Englifli, now fo woi^hy of all our efteem. 
But as their Writers, and even their Government, have, in more 

M 3 inftances 



l66 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Such means as thefe, though more powerful than 
draughts for the militia, and than either prefling 
or tricking men into the fervice, are ftill infufh- 
cient to form real citizens. We are accuftomed 
by them to love virtue and our country, only 
when our heroes are applauded on the theatre. 
Hence it comes to pafs, that the greateft part even 
of perlons of the better fort, are incapable of ap- 
praifing an adion, till they fee it detailed in feme 
journal, or moulded into a drama. They do not 
form a judgment of it after their own heart, but 
after the opinion of another ; not as it is in reality, 
and in it's own place, but as clothed with imagery, 
and fitted to a frame. They delight in heroes 
when they are applauded, powdered and perfum* 
ed ; but were they to meet with one pouring out 
his blood in fome obfcure corner, and perilhing 
in unmerited ignominy, they would not acknow- 
ledge him to be a hero. Every one would wifli to 
be the Alexander of the opera, but no one the Alex-^ 
under in the city of the Mallians *, 

inftances than one, defcended to exhibit odious reprefentationa 
of us, on their ftage, I was willing to fhew them, how eafily we 
could make reprifals. Rather, may the genius of Fetielo», which 
they prize fo highly, that one of their moft amiable fine writers, 
Lord Liitleton, exalts it above that of Plato, one day unite our 
hearts and minds Î 

* See Plutarch's, Life of Ak.xamh; 

Patriotifm 



STUDY XIII. Ï67 

Patriotifm ought not to be made too frequently 
the fubjed of fcenic reprefentation. A heroifm 
fhould be fuppofed to exift, which braves death, 
but which is never talked of. In order, therefore, 
to replace the people, in this refped, in the road 
of Nature and Virtue, they ihould be made to 
ferve as a fpedacle to themfelves. They ought to 
be prefented with realities, and not fidions; with 
foldiers, and not comedians ; and if it be impof- 
fible to exhibit to them the terrible fpedacle of a 
real engagement, let them fee, at leaft, a reprefen- 
tation of the evolutions and the vlciffitudes of one, 
jn military feftivals. 

The foldiery ought to be united more inti- 
mately with the Nation, and their condition ren- 
dered more happy. They are but too frequently 
the fubjeds of contention in the provinces through 
which ihey pafs. The fpirit of corps animates them 
to fuch a degree, that when two regiments happen 
to meet in the fame city, an infinite number of 
duels is generally the confequence. Such ferocious 
animofities are entirely unknown in Pruffian and 
Ruffian regiments, which I confider as, in many 
refpeds, the beft troops in Europe. The King of 
Pruffia has contrived to infpire his foldiers, not 
with the fpirit of corps, which divides them, but 
with the fpirit of country which unites them. This 

M 4 he 



l68 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

he has been enabled to accomplifh, by conferring 
on them moft of the civil employments in his 
kingdom, as the recompenfe of military fervices. 
Such are the political ties by which he attaches 
them to their country. The Ruffians eii^ploy only 
one, but it is ftill more powerful ; 1 mean Reli- 
gion. A Ruffian foldier believes, that to ferve his 
Sovereign is to ferve God. He marches into the 
fi-eld of battle, like a neophyte to martyrdom, in 
the full perfuafion, thar, if he falls in it, he goes di^ 
redly to Paradife, 

I have heard M. de Filkhois, Grand Mafler of 
the Ruffian artillery, relate, that the foldiets of 
his corps who ferved a battery, in the afîair of 
Zornedorfï\ having been moftly cut off, the few 
who remained feeing; the Piuffians advance, with 
bayonets fixed, unable to make any farther refift- 
ance, but determined not to fly, embraced their 
guns, and fulTered themfelves to be all maflacred, 
in order to preferve inviolate the oath which they 
are called upon to take, when received into the 
artillery, namely, never to abandon their cannon. 
A refiftance fo pertinacious ftripped the Pruffians 
of the vidory which they had gained, and made 
the King of Pruffia acknowledge, that it was eafiec 
to kill the Ruffians than to conquer them. This 
heroic intrepidity is the fruit of Religion. 



STUDY XIII. 169 

It would be a very difficult matter to redore this 
power to it's proper elafticity among the French 
foldiery, who are formed, in part, of the diffolute 
youth of our great towns. The Ruffian and Pruf- 
fian foldiers are draughted from the clafs of the 
peafantry, and value themfelvesupon their condi- 
tion. With us, on the contrary, a peafant is terri- 
fied left his fon fhould be obliged to go for a fol- 
dier. Adminiftration, on it's part, contributes to- 
ward ihe increafe of this apprehenfion. If there 
be a fingle blackguard in a village, the deputy 
takes care that the black ball fliall fall upon him, 
as if a regiment were a galley for criminals. 

I once compofed, on this fubjeâ:, a memorial- 
which fuggefted propofals of a remedy for thefe 
difordcrs, and for the prevention of defertion 
among our foldiers ; but, like many other things 
of the fame fort, it came to nothing. The prin- 
cipal means of reform which I propofed, were a 
melioration of the condition of the foldiery, as in 
Pruffiia, by holding up the profped of civil em- 
ployments, which, with us, are infinite in number; 
and, in order to prevent the irregularities into 
which they are thrown by a life of celibacy, I pro- 
pofed to grant them permiffion to marry, as moft 
of the Ruffian and Pruffian foldiers do *. This 

* I could likewife wifli that the wives of failors might be per- 
lanitted tp go to fea with their huibands ; they would prevent, on 

fhip- 



I70 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

method, fo much adapted to the reformation of 
manners, would farther contribute toward conci- 
liating our provinces to each other, by the mar- 
riages which regiments would contradl, in their 
continual progrefs from place to place. They 
would ftrengthen the bands of national affedion 
from North to South ; and our peafantry would 
ceafe to be afraid of them, if they faw them march- 
ing through the country as hufbands and fathers. 
If the foldiery are fometimes guilty of irregulari- 
ties, to our military inftitutions the blame muft be 
imputed. I have feen others under better difci- 
pline, but I know of none more generous. 



fhip-board, more than one fpecies of irregularity. Befides, the\' 
might be ufefully engaged in a variety of employments fuitabte 
to their fex, fuch as dreffing the vifluals, wafliing the linen, 

mending the fails, and the like They might, in many cafes, 

co-operate in the labours of the fliip's crew. They are much 
lefs liable to be affected by thefcurvy, and by various other dif- 
orders, than men are. 

The projed of embarking women will, no doubt, appear ex- 
travagant to perfons who do not know that there are, at leaft, 
ten thoufand women who navigate the coafting veflels of Hol- 
land ; who affift, on deck, in working the fliip, and manage the 
helm as dexrroufly as any man. A handfome woman would, 
undoubtedly, prove the occafion of much mifchief on board a 
French fhip ; but women, fuch as J have been defcribing, hardy 
and laborious, are exceedingly proper, on the contrary, to pre- 
vent, or remedy, many kinds of mifchief, which are already but 
too prevalent in a fea life. 

I was 



STUDY XIII. lyi 

I was witnefs to a difplay of humanity on their 
partj of which I doubt whether any other foldiery 
in Europe would have been capable. It was in the 
year 1760, in a detachment of our army, then in 
Germany, and an enemy's country, encamped hard 
by an inconfiderable city, called Stadberg. I lodged 
in a miferable village, occupied by the head-quar- 
ters. There were in the poor cottage, where I and 
two of my comrades had our lodgings, five or fix 
women, and as many children, who liad taken re- 
fuge there, and who had nothing to eat, for our 
army had foraged their corn, and cut down their 
fruit-trees. We gave them fome of our provifions; 
but what we could fpare was a fmall matter in- 
deed, confidering both their numbers and their ne- 
ceffities. One of them was a young woman big 
with child, who had three or four children befide. 
I obferved her go out every morning, and return 
fome hours after, with her apron full of flices of 
brown bread. She flrung them on packthreads, 
and dried them in the chimney like mudirooms. 
I had her queftioned one day by a fervant of ours, 
who fpoke German and French, where fhe found 
that provifion, and why flie put it through that 
procefs. She replied, that (he went into the camp 
to folicit alms among the foldiers ; that each of 
them gave her a piece of his ammunition-bread, 
and that flie dried the iliccs in order to preferve 
them ; for (he did not know where to look for a 

fupply 



172 



STUDIES OF NATURE. 



fupply, after we were gone, the country being ut- 
terly defolated, 

A foldier's profeffion is a perpetual exercife of 
virtue, from the necefiity to which it conftantly 
fubjeéts the man, to fubmit to privations innume- 
rable, and frequently to expofe his life. It has 
Religion, therefore, for it's principal fupport. The 
Ruffians keep up the fpirit of it, in their national 
troops, by admitting among them not fo much as 
one foreign foldier. The King of Pruffia, on the 
contrary, has accompliflied the fame purpofe, by 
receiving into his, foldiers of every religion 3 but 
he obliges every one of them exaclly to obferve 
that which he has adopted. I have feen, both at, 
Berlin and at Potfdam, every Sunday morning, the 
officers muftering their men on the parade, about 
eleven o'clock, and then filing off with them in 
feparate detachments, Calvinifts, Lutherans, Ca- 
tholics, every one to his own church, to woriliip 
God in his own way. 

I could wifli to have aboliflied among us the 
other caufes of divifion, which lay one citizen un- 
der the temptation, that he may live himlelf, to 
wifh the hurt or the death of another. Our poli- 
ticians have multiplied, without end, thefe fources 
of hatred, nay, have rendered the State an accom- 
plice in fuch ungracious fentiments, by the efta- 

blillament 



STUDY XIII. Ï73 

blifhment of lotteries, of tontines, and of annuities. 
** So many perfons," fay they, *' have died this 
** year ; the State has gained fo much." Should 
a peftilence come, and fweep off one half of the 
people, the State would be wonderfully enriched ! 
Man is nothing in their eyes ; gold is all in all. 
Their art conflits in reforming the vices of Society, 
•by violences offered to Nature : and, what is paf- 
iing ftrange, they pretend to ad after her example. 
** It is her intention, they gravely tell you, that 
** every fpecies of being (hould fubfift only by the 
'** ruin of other fpecies. Particular evil is general 
*' good." By fuch barbarous and erroneous 
maxims are Princes mifled. Thefe Laws have no 
exiftence in Nature, except between fpecies which 
are oppofite and inimical. They exift not in the 
fame fpecies of animals, which live together in a 
ftate of Society. The death of a bee, moft af- 
furedly, never tended to promote the profperity 
of the hive. Much lefs ftill can the calamity and 
death of a man be of advantage to his Nation, 
and to Mankind, the perfeét happinefs of which 
muft confift in a perfeâ: harmony between it's 
members. We have demonflrated in another place,, 
that it is impoffible the flightefl evil Qiould befal 
a fimple individual, without communicating the 
impreffion of it to the whole body politic. 



Our 



174 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Our rich people entertain no doubt that the good 
things of the lower orders will reach them, as they 
enjoy the productions of the arts which the poor 
cultivate ; but they participate equally in the ills 
which the poor fufFer, let them take what precau- 
tions they will to fecure themfelves. Not only do 
they become the viftims of their epidemical mala- 
dies, and of their pillage, but of their moral opi- 
nions, which are ever in a progrefs of depravation 
in the breafts of the wretched. They ftart up, 
like the plagues which iflued from the box of 
Pandora^ and, in defiance of armed guards, force 
their way through fortrefles and cadle-walls, and 
fix their refidence in the heart of tyrants. In vain 
do they dream of perfonal exemption, from the ills 
of the vulgar ; their neighbours catch the infec- 
tion, their fervants, their children, their wives, and 
impofe the neceflity of abRinence from every thing, 
in the very midft of their enjoyments. 

But when, in a Society, particular bodies are 
conftantly converting to their own profit the dif- 
treffes of others, they perpetuate thefe very dif- 
trefles, and multiply them to infinity. It is a faâ; 
eafily afcertained, that wherever advocates and phy- 
ficians peculiarly abound, law-fuits and difeafes 
there likewife are found in uncommon abundance, 
Though there be among them men of the beft dif- 

pofitions 



STUDY XIII. 17^ 

pofitions, and of the foundeft intellect, they do 
not fet their face agiinft irregularities which are 
beneficial to their corps. 

Thefe inconveniencics are by no means defpe- 
rate^ I am able to quote inftances to this effed:, 
which no fophiftry can invalidate. On my enter- 
ing into the fervice of Ruflia, the firft month's re- 
venue of my place was flopped, as a complete in- 
demnification for the expenfe attending the treat- 
ment of every kind of malady with which I might 
be attacked ; and this included, together widi my- 
felf, my fervants, and my family, if I fhould hap- 
pen to marry ; and extended to every poffible ex- 
penfe.of Phyfician, Surgeon, and Apothecary. There 
was farther flopped, for the fame objedl, a fmall 
fum, amounting to one, or one and a half, per cenRr 
of my appointnients ; this was to have been paid 
annually ; and every flep higher I might have 
rifen, I was to have given an additional month's 
pay of that fuperior rank. This is the complete 
amount of the tax upon officers, in confideration 
of which they and their families are entitled to 
every kind of medical advice and affiftance, under 
whatever indifpofition. 

The Phyficians and Surgeons of every corps 
have, at the fame time, a fufficiently ample reve- 
nue arillng from thefe payments. I recoiled: that 

the 



176 STUDIES OF NATirRE*. 

the Phylician of the corps in which I fcrved, had 
an annual income of a thoufand roubles, or five 
thoufand livres (about two hundred guineas), and 
little or nothing to do for it 5 for, as our maladies 
brought him nothing, they were of very fliort du- 
ration. As to the foldiers, if my recolleftion is 
accurate, they are medically treated, without any 
defalcation of their pay. The grand Difpenfary 
belongs to the Emperor. It is in the city of Mof- 
cow, and confifts of a magnificent pile of building. 
The medicines are depofited in vafes of porcelaia, 
and are always of the very beft quality. They are 
thence diflributed over the reft of the Empire, at 
a moderate price, and the profit goes to the Crown. 
There is not the flighteft ground to apprehend im- 
pofition in the .condud of this bufmefs. The per- 
fons employed, in the preparation and dillribu- 
tlon, are men of ability, who have no kind of in- 
tereft in adulterating them, and who, as they rife 
in a regular progreflion of rank and falary, are ac- 
tuated with no emulation but that of difcharging 
their duty with fidelity *. 

* The infatiable ihirfl of gold and luxury might be allayed in 
the greatefl part of our citizens, by prefenting them with a great 
number of thefe political perfpecVives, They conflitute the 
charm of petty conditions, by difplaying to them the attraclions 
of infinity, the fentiment of which, as we have feen, is fo natural 
to the heart of Man. It is by means of thefe, that mechanics 
and fmall fhopkeepers are much more powerfully attached, by 
moderate profits, to their contracted fpheres, enlivened by hope, 

than 



STUDY XIII. 177 

The example of Peter the Great challenges imita- 
tion ; and the order which he has eflablilhed among 
his troops, with refpeft to Phyficians and Apothe- 
caries, might be extended all over the kingdom, 
not only in the line of the medical profcffion, 
though even this would bring an immenfe increafe 
of revenue to the State, but might alfo be ufefully 
applied to the profeffion of the Law. It is greatly 
to be wiQied that Attorneys, Advocates, and 
Judges, were paid by the State, and fcattered over 
the whole kingdom, not for the purpofe of arguing 
caufes, but of fettling them by reference. Thefe 
arrangements might be extended to all defcriptions 
of profeffion, which fubfift on the diftrefs of the 
Public : then the whole bodv of the citizens, find- 
ing their repofe and their fortune in the happinefs 

than the rich and great are to lofty fituations, the term of which 
is before them. The procefs which pafîès in the head of the little, 
is fomething fimilar to the milk-maid's train of thought, in the 
fable. With the price of this milk I will buy eggs; eggs will 
give me chicks ; thofe chicks will grow up to hens ; I will fell 
my poultry, and buy a lamb, and fo on. The pleafure which, 
they enjoy, in purfuing thofe endlefs progreffions, is the fweet 
jllullon that carries them through their labours ; and it is fo 
real, that, when they happen to accumulate a fortune, and are 
able to live in eafe and affluence, their health gradually declines, 
and moft of them terminate their days in languor and melan- 
choly. Modern Politicians, revert then to Nature ! The fweeteft 
mufic is not emitted frons flutes made of gold, and filver, but 
iVom thofe which are conftru6ledof fimple reeds. 

VOL. IV, N pf 



lyS STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of the State, would exert themfelves, to the utter- 
moft, to maintain it. 

Thefe caufes, and many others, divide, among 
us, all the different claffes of the Nation. There is 
not a fingle province, city, village, but what di- 
ftinguifhes the province, city, village, next to it, 
by fome injurious and infulting epithet. The fame 
remark applies to the various ranks and conditions 
of Society. Divide & iwpera, Divide and govern, 
fay our modern Politicians. This maxim has 
ruined Italy, the country from whence it came. 
The oppolite maxim contains much more truth. 
The more united citizens are, the more powerful 
and happy is the Nation which they compofe. At 
Rome, at Sparta, at Athens, a citizen was at once 
advocate, fenator, pontiff, edile, hufbandman, war- 
rior, and even feaman. Obferve to what a height 
of power thofe republics advanced. Their citizens 
were, however, far inferior to us in refped of ge- 
neral knowledge, but they were inftrufted in two 
great Sciences, of which we are ignorant, namely, 
the love of the Gods, and of their Country. With 
thefe fubUme fentiments, they were prepared for 
every thing. Where they are wanting, Man is 
good for nothing. With all our encyclopedic li- 
terature, a great man with us, even in point of ta- 
lents, would be but the fourth part, at moft, of a 
Greek or a Roman. He would diflinguifh himfelf 
' much 



STUDY XIII. 179 

much more in fupporting the honour of his parti- 
cular profeffion, but very little in maintaining the 
honour of his country. 

It is our wretched political conftitution vvhicli 
produces in the State fo many different centres. 
There was a time when we talked of our being re- 
publicans. Verily, if we had not a King, we 
fliould live in perpetual difcord. Nay, how many 
Sovereigns do we make of one fmgle and lawful 
Monarch ! Every corps has it's own,, who is noc 
the Sovereign of the Nation. How many projeds 
are formed, and defeated, in the King's name! The 
King of the waters, and of the forefts, is at variance 
with the King of the bridges and highways. The 
King of the colonies fandions a plan of improve- 
ment, the King of the finances refufes to advance 
the money. Amidft thefe various conflids, of pa- 
ramount authority, nothing is executed. The 
real King, the King of the People, is not ferved. 

The fame fpirit of divifion prevails in the Reli- 
gion of Europe. What mifchief has not been prac- 
tifed in the name of God ! All acknowledge the 
One Supreme Being, who created the Heavens, 
and the Earth, and Man ; but each kingdom has 
it's own, who muil be worfliipped according to a 
certain ritual. To this God it is that each Na- 
tionj in particular, offers thankfgiving, on occafion 

N a of 



îSô STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of every battle. In his name it was that the poor 
Americans were exterminated. The God of Eu- 
rope is clothed with terror, and devoutly adored. 
But where are the altars of the God of Peace, of 
the Father of Mankind, of Him who proclaims the 
glad tidings of the Gofpel ? Let our modern Po- 
liticians trumpet their own applaufe, on the happy 
fruits of thofe divifions, and of an education dic- 
tated by ambition. Human life, fo fleeting and 
fo wretched, pafles away in this unremitting ftrife; 
and while the Hiftorians of every Nation, well paid 
for their trouble, are extolling to Heaven the vic- 
tories of their Kings and of their Pontiffs, the 
People are addrefllng themfelves, in tears, to the 
GoD of the Human Race, and afking of Him the 
way in which they ought to walk, in order to 
reach his habitation at length, and to live a life of 
virtue and happinefs upon the earth. 

The caufe of the ills which we endure, I repeat 
it, is to be found in our vain-glorious Education j 
and in the wretchednefs of the commonalty, which 
communicates a powerful influence to every new 
opinion, becaufe they are ever expedling from no- 
velty fome mitigation of the preflure of inveterate 
woes. But as foon as they perceive that their opi- 
nions become tyrannical, in their turn, they pre- 
fently renounce them : and this is the origin of 
their levity. Whenever they can find the means 

of 



sinjDY XIII. i8i 

of living in eafe and abundance, they will be no 
longer fubjeft to tliefe viciffitudes, as we havefeen 
in the inftance of the Dutch, who print and fell 
the theological, political, and literary controverfies 
of all Europe, without being themfelves, in the 
leaft, affedted, as to their civil and religious opi- 
nions ; and when our public education fliall be re- 
forrned, the people will enjoy the happy and unin- 
terrupted tranquility of the Nations of Afia. 

Before I proceed to fugged my ideas on this 
fubjeél:, I take the liberty to propofe fome other 
means of general union. 1 Ihall confider myfelf 
as amply recompenfed for the labour which my 
refearches have cod me, if fo much as a fingle one 
of my hints of reform fliall be adopted. 



OF PARIS. 

It has already been obferved, that few French- 
men are attached to the place of their birth. The 
greateft part of thofe who acquire fortune in fo- 
reign countries, on their return, fettle at Paris. 
This, upon the whole, is no great injury to the 
State. The flightar their attachment to their Coun- 
try, the eafier it is to fix them at Paris, One fmgle 
point of union is neceffary to a great Nation. 
Every country which has acquired celebrity by it's 

N 3 patriotifm. 



iSz STUDIES OF NATURE. 

patriotifni, has iikewife fixed the centre of it in 
their Capital, and frequently in fome particular 
monument of that Capital ; the Jews had theirs at 
Jerufalem, and it's Temple ; the Romans, theirs 
at Rome, and the Capitol ; the LacedemonianSj 
theirs at Sparta, and in citizenfhip. 

I am fond of Paris. Next to a rural fituation, 
and a rural fituation fuch as I like, I give Paris 
the preference to any thing I have ever feen in the 
World. 1 love that city, not only on account of 
it's happy fituation, becaufe all the accommoda- 
tions of human life are there colledcd, from it's 
being the centre of all the powers of the kingdom, 
and for the other reafons, which made Michael 
Montaigne delight in it, but becaufe it is the afy- 
lum and the refuge of the miferable. There it is 
that the provincial ambitions, prejudices, aver- 
fions, and tyrannies, are loft and annihilated. 
There a man may live in obfcurity and liberty. 
There, it is poffible to be poor without being de- 
fpifed. The afflicted perfon is there decoyed out 
of his mifery, by the public gaiety ; and the feeble 
there feels himfelf ftrong in the ftrength of the 
multitude. Time was when, on the faith of our 
political Writers, 1 looked upon*that city as too 
great. But I am now far from thinking that it is 
of fufficient extent, and fufEciently majeftic, to be 
the Capital of a kingdom fo flourifhing. 

I could 



STUDY XIII, 183 

I could «vifh that, our fea-ports excepted, there 
were no city in France but Paris ; that our pro- 
vinces were covered only with hamlets, and vil- 
lages, and fub-divided into fmall farms; and that, 
as there is but one centre in the kingdom, there 
might likewife be but one Capital. Would to God 
it were that of all Europe, nay, of the whole 
Earth ; and that, as men of all Nations bring thi- 
ther their ;ni^uftry, their paffions, their wants, and 
their misfortunes, it (hould give them back, in for- 
tune, in enjoyment, in virtues, and in fublime 
confolations, the reward of that afylum which they 
there refort to feek ! 

Of a truth, our mind, illuminated as it is, at this 
day, with fuch various knowledge, wants the nobly 
comprehenlive grafp which didinguifhed our fore- 
fathers. Amidfl their fimple and Gothic manners, 
they entertained the idea, I believe, of rendering 
it the Capital of Europe. The traces of this defign 
are vifible in the names which mofh of their efta- 
bliOiments bear : the Scotiilh College, the Irifh, 
that of the Four Nations ; and in the foreign names 
of the Royal houfehold- troops. Behold that noble 
monument of antiquity, the church of Notre- 
Dame, built more than fix hundred years ago, at 
a time when Paris did not contain the fourth part 
of the inhabitants with which it is now peopled ; 
it is more vaft, and more majeftic than any thing 

N 4 of 



i04 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of the kind which has been fince reared. I could 
\\'\(h that this fpivit of Phi/ip the Auguft, a Prince 
too httle known in our frivolous age, might ftill 
prefide over it's eQabliQiments, and extend the ufe 
of them to all Nations. Not but that men of 
every Nation are welcome there, for their money ; 
our enemies themfelves may live quietly there, in 
the very midft of war, provided they are rich ; 
but, above all, I could wiQi to render her good and 
propitious, to her own children. I do not know 
of any advantage which a Frenchman derives from 
having been born within her walls, unlefs it be, 
when reduced to beggary, that of having it in his 
power to die in one of her hofpitals. Rome be- 
llowed very different privileges on her citizens ; 
the moft wretched among them, there enjoyed pri- 
vileges and honours, more ample than were com- 
municated even to Kings, in alliance with the Re- 
public. 

Ir is pleafure which attrafls the greateft part of 
flrangers to Paris ; and if we trace thofe vain plea- 
fures up to their fource, we fliall find that they 
proceed from the mifery of the People, and front 
the eafy rate at which it is there pofTible to procure 
girls of the town, fpedacles, modifli finery, and 
the other produélions which miniller to luxury. 
Thefe means have been highly extolled by modern 
politicians. 1 do not deny that they occafion a 

confiderablc 



STUDY XIII. 185 

confiderable influx of money into a country ; but, 
at the long run, neighbouring Nations imitate 
them J the money of ftrangers difappears, but their 
debauched morals remain. See what Venice has 
come to, with her mirrors, her pomatums, her 
courtezans, her mafquerades, and her carnival. 
The frivolous arts on which we now value our* 
felves, have been imported from Italy, whofe feeble- 
nefs and mifery they this day conftitute. 

The nobleft fpedacle which any Government 
can exhibit, is that of a people laborious, induf- 
trious, and content. We are taught to be well- 
read in books, in piftures, in algebra, in heraldry, 
and not in men. Connoifleurs are rapt with admi- 
ration at fight of a Savoyard's head, painted by 
Greuze; but the Savoyard himfelf is at the corner 
of the flreet, fpeaking, walking, almoft frozen to 
death, and no one minds him. That mother, with 
her children around her, forms a charming group; 
the pifture is invaluable : the originals are in a 
neighbouring garret, without a farthing whereupon 
to fubfift. Philofophers ! ye are tranfported with 
delight, and well you may, in contemplating the 
numerous families of birds, of fiQies, and of qua- 
drupeds, the inftincls of which are fo endlefsly va- 
ried, and to which one and the fame Sun commu-- 
nicates life. Examine the families of men, of which 
the inhabitants of the Capital confift, and you 

would 



l86 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

would be difpofed to fay, that each of them had 
borrowed it's manners, and it's indiiftry, from fome 
fpecies of animal; fo varied are their employ- 
ments. 

Walk out to yonder plain, at the entrance of 
the city J behold that general officer mounted on 
his prancing courfer : he is reviewing a body of 
troops : fee, the heads, the (houlders, and the feet, 
of his foldiers, arranged in the fame ftraight line ; 
the whole embodied corps has but one look, one 
movement. He makes a fign, and in an inftant 
a thoufand bayonets gleam in the air ; he makes 
another, and a thoufand fires ftart from that ram- 
part of iron. You would think, from their preci- 
fion, that a lingle fire had iifued from a fingle 
piece. He gallops round thofe fmoke-covered re- 
giments, at the found of drums and fifes, and you 
have the image of Jupiter's eagle, armed with the 
thunder, and hovering round Etna. A hundred 
paces from thence, there, is an infed: among men. 
Look at that puny chimney-fweeper, of the colour 
of foot, with his lantern, his cymbal, and his lea- 
thern greaves : he refembles a black-beetle. Like 
the one which, in Surinam, is called the lantern- 
bearer, he fhines in the night, and moves to the 
found of a cymbal. This child, thofe foldiers, and 
that general, are equally men ; and while birth, 
pride, and the demands of fecial life eftablifli in- 
finite 



STUDY XIII. 187 

finite differences among them, Religion places 
them on a level : fhe humbles the head of the 
mighty, by (hewing them the vanity of their 
power ; and fhe raifes up the head of the unfor- 
tunate, by difclofmg to them the profpedts of im- 
mortality : (lie thus brings back all men to the 
equality which Nature had eftablilhed at tUeir 
birth, and which the order of Society had di- 
fturbed. 

Our Sybarites imagine they have exhaufted every 
pofTible mode of enjoyment. Our moping, melan- 
choly old men confîder themfelves as ufelefs to the 
World ; they no longer perceive any other per- 
fpedive before them, but death. Ah ! paradife 
and life are ftill upon the earth, for him who has 
the power of doing good. 

Had I been blefTed with but a moderate degree 
of fortune, I would have procured for myfelf an 
endlefs fuccefTion of new enjoyments. Paris (hould 
have become to me a fécond Memphis. It's im- 
menfe population is far from being known to us. 
I would have had one fmall apartment, in one of 
it's fuburbs, adjoining to the great road ; another 
at the oppofite extremity, on the banks of the 
Seine, in a houfe (haded vvith willows and pop- 
lars ; another in one of it's m oft frequented ftreets; 
a fourth in the manfion of a gardener, furrounded 

wkb 



ïSS STUDIES OF NATURE. 

with apricot-trees, figs, coleworts, and lettuces ; a^ 
fifth in the avenues of the city, in the heart of a 
vineyard, and fo on. 

It is an eafy matter, undoubtedly, to find, every 
where, lodgings of this defcription, and at an eafy 
rate; but it may not be fo eafy to find perfons of 
probity for hofts and neighbours. There is, it 
muft be admitted, much depravity among the 
lower orders ; but there are various methods which 
may be employed to find out fuch as are good and 
honeft : and with them I commence my refearches 
after pleafure. A new Diogenes^ 1 am fet out in 
learch of men. As I look only for the miferable, 
I have no occafion to ufe a lançern. I get up at 
d^y-break, and ftep, to partake of a firfi: mefs, 
into a church ftill but half illumined by the day- 
light : there I find poor mechanics come to im- 
plore God's bleffing on their day'$ labour. Piety, 
exalted above all refpedl to Man, is one alTured 
proof of probity : cheerful fubmiffion to labour is 
another. I perceive, in raw and rainy weather, a, 
whole family fquat on the ground, and weeding 
the plants of a garden*; here, again, are good. 

people, 

* Perfons eiTipioyed in the culture of vegetables are, in gene- 
ral, a better fort of people. Plants have their Theology im- 
prefled upon them. I one day, however, fell in with a hufband- 
nir.n who was an atheifl. It is true, he had npt picked up his 

opiniocss, 



STUDY XIII. 189 

people. The night Itfelf cannot conceal virtue. 
Toward midnip,ht, the glimmering of a lamp an- 
nounces to me, through the aperture of a garret, 
fome poor widow prolonging her nodurnal induf- 
try, in order to bring up, by the fruits of ir, her 
little ones who are ileeping around her. Thefe 
lliall be my neighbours and my hofts. I announce 
myfelf to them as a wayfiiring man, as a ftranger, 
who wifhes to breathe a little in that vicinity. I 
befeech them to accommodate me with part of 
their habitation, or to look out for an apartment 
that will fuit me, in the neighboijrhood. I offer 
a good price, and am domefticated prefently. 

I am carefully on my guard, in the view of fe- 
cuting the attachment of thofe honed people, 
againft giving them money for nothing, or by way 
of alms ; I know of means much more honourable 
to gain their friendfliip. I order a greater quan- 
tity of provifion than is neceffary for my own ufe, 
and the overplus turns to account in the family; I 
reward the children for any little fervices which they 

opinions in the fields, but from books. He feemed to be exceed- 
ingly well fatisfied with his attainments in knowledge. I could 
not help faring to him at parting : " You have really gained a 
" mighty point, in employing the refearches of your under- 
*' (landing, to render yourfelf miferable !" 

In the hypothetical examples hereafter adduced, there isfcarcely 
any one article of invention merely, except the good which I did 
not do. 

render 



îgo STUDIES OF NATURE. 

render me : I carry the whole houfehold, of a ho- 
liday, into the country, and fit down with them 
to dinner upon the grafs ; the father and mother 
return to town in the evening, well refrefhed, and 
loaded with a fupply for the reft of the week. On 
the approach of Winter, I clothe the children with 
good woollen ftuffs, and their little warmed limbs 
blefs their benefador, becaufe my haughty, vain- 
glorious bounty, has not frozen their heart. It is 
the godfather of their little brother who has made 
them a prefent of the clothes. The lefs clofely 
you twift the bands of gratitude, the more firmly 
do they contra(5t of thcmfelves. 

I enjoy not only the pleafure of doing good, 
and of doing it in the beft manner 3 I have the 
farther pleafure of amufmg and inftruding myfelf. 
We admire in books the labours of the artifan, but 
books rob us of half our pleafure, and of the gra- 
titude which we owe them. They feparate us from 
the People, and they impofe upon us, by difplay- 
jng the arts with exceflive parade, and in falfe 
lights, as fubjeéls for the theatre, and for the ma- 
gic-lantern. Befides, there is more knowledge iq 
the head of an artifan than in his art, and more 
intelligence in his hands, than in the language of 
the Writer who tranflates him. Objeds carry their 
own expreffion upon them : Rem verba feqmmtur 
(words follow things). The man of the com- 
monalty 



STUDY XIII. 191 

tnonalty has more than one way of obferving and 
of feeling, which is not a matter of indifference^ 
While the Philofopher rifes as high into the clouds 
as he poffibly can, the other keeps contentedly at 
the bottom of the valley, and beholds very diffe- 
rent perfpedives in the World. Calamity forms 
him at the length, as well as another man. His 
language purifies with years ; and I have frequently 
remarked, that there is very little difference, in 
point of accuracy, of peifpicuity, and of fimpli- 
city, between the expreffions of an aged peafant 
and of an old courtier. Time effaces from their 
feveral flyles of language, and from their manners, 
the ruflicity and the refinement, which Society had 
introduced. Old-age, like infancy, reduces all 
men to a level, and gives them back to Nature. 

In one of my encampments, I have a landlord 
who has made the tour of the Globe. He has 
been feaman, foldier, bucanier. He is fagacious 
as Ulyjfes^ but more fmcere. When I have placed 
him at table with me, and made him tafte my 
wine, he gives me a relation of his adventures. 
He knows a multitude of anecdotes. How many 
times was he on the very point of making fortune, 
but failed ! He is a fécond Ferdinand Mendez Pinto» 
The upfhot of all is, he has got a good wife, and 
lives contented. 

My 



192 STUDIES OF NATURE, 

My landlord, in another of my ftations, ha« 
lived a very différent life ; he fcarcely ever was 
bej'-ond the walls of Paris, and but feldom beyond 
the precinct of his fliop. But though he has not 
travelled over the World, he has not miffed his 
Ihare of calamity, by flaying at home. He was 
very much at his eafe ; he had laid up, by means 
of his honeft favings, fifty good Louis d'or, when 
one night his wife and daughter thought proper to 
elope, carrying his treafure with them. He had 
almoft died with vexation. Now, he fays, he 
thinks no more about it ; and cries as he tells me 
the ftory. I compofe his mind, by talking kindly 
to him ; I give him employment ; he tries to dif- 
lipate his chagrin by labour ; his induftry is an 
amuiement to me : I fometimes pafs complete 
hours in looking at him, as he bores, ^d turns, 
pieces of oak as hard as ivory. 

Now and then I flop in the middle of the city 
before the fliop of a fmith ; and then I am trans- 
formed into the Lacedemonian LicbeSy at Tegeum, 
attending to the proceffes of forging and hammer- 
ing iron. The moment that the man perceives 
me attentive to his work, 1 will foon acquire his 
confidence. I am not, as Liches was, looking for 
the tomb of Oreftes * ; but 1 have occafion to 

* See Hcrodotu'^ book i. 

employ 



^ 



STUDY XIII. 193 

employ the art of a fmith : if not for myfelf, for 
the benefit of feme one elfe. I order this honeft 
fellow to manufadlure for me fome folid ufeful ar- 
ticles of houfehold furniture, which I intend to be- 
ftow, as a monument to preferve my memory in 
fome poor family. I wilh, befides, to purchafe 
the friendfliip of an artificer; I am perfecflly furc 
that the attention which he fees I pay to his work, 
will induce him to exert his utmofl fkill in exe- 
cuting it. I thus hit two marks with one ftone. 
A rich man, in (imilar circumftances, would give 
alms, and confer no obligation on any one. 

7- 7' Roiijfeau told me a little anecdote of him- 
felf, relative to the fubjed in hand. " One-day," 
faid he, " I happened to be at a village- feftival, 
*' in a gentleman's country-feat, not far from Paris. 
*' After dinner, the company betook themfelves to 
'' walking up and down the fair, and amufed 
" themfelves with throwing pieces of fmall money 
" among the peafantry, to have the pleafure of 
" feeing them fcramble and fight, in picking them 
*^ up. For my own part, following the bent of my 
** folitary humour, I walked apart in another dircc- 
" tion. I obferved a little girl felling apples, dif- 
*' played on a flat bafket, which Ihe carried before 
*' her. To no purpofe did fhe extol the excel- 
" lence of her goods; no cuftomer appeared to 
*' cheapen them. How much do you aik for all 

VOL. IV. o ** your 



194 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

*' yonr apples, faid I to her ? — All my apples ? re- 
** plied fhe, and at the fame time began to reckon 
"' with herfelf. — Threepence, Sir, faid (he. — I take 
'' them at that price, returned I, on condition you 
** will go and diftribute them among thefe little 
** Savoyards, whom you fee there below : this was 
•*' inftantly executed. The children were quite 
** tranfported with delight at this unexpeded re- 
'' gale, as was likevvife the little merchant at 
*' bringing her wares to fo good a market. I ïhould 
** have conferred much lefs pleafure on them had 
*' I given them the money. Every one was fatis- 
*' fied, and no one humbled." The great art of 
doing good confifts in doing it judicioufly. Re- 
ligion inftruds us in this important fecret, in re- 
commending to us to do to others what we widi 
ihould be done to us. 

I fometimes betake myfelf to the great road, 
like the ancient Patriarchs, to do the honours of 
the City to fhrangers who may happen to arrive^ 
I recoiled: the time when I myfelf was a ftranger 
in flrange lands, and the kind reception I met with 
when far from home. I have frequently heard the 
nobility of Poland and Germany complain of our 
grandees. They allege, that French travellers of 
diftinâiion are treated in thefe countries with un- 
bounded hofpitality and attention ; but that they, 
on viliting France, in their turn, are almoft en- 
tirely 



- STUDY XIII. 195 

tirely neglected. They are invited to one dinner 
on their arrival, and to another when preparing to 
depart : and this is the whole amount of our hof- 
pitaiity. For my own part, incapable of acquit- 
ting the obligations of this kind which I lie under 
to the Great of foreign countries, I repay them to 
their commonalty. 

I perceive a German travelling on foot; I ac- 
coft him, I invite him to flop and take a little re- 
pofe at my habitation. A good fupper, and a glafs 
of good wine, difpofe him to communicate to me 
the occafion of his journey. He is an officer ; he 
has ferved in Pruffia and in Ruffia; he has been 
witnefs to the partition of Poland. I interrupt him 
to make my enquiries after Marefchal Count Mu- 
nichy the Generals de Fillebois and du Bofquet, the 
Count de Munchio, my friend M. de Taiibenheim, 
Prince Xatorinjki, Field Marefchal of the Polifli 
Confederation, whofe prifoner I once was. Moffc 
of them are dead, he tells me ; the reft are fuper- 
annuated, and retired from all public employment. 
Oh ! how melancholy it is, I exclaim, to travel 
from one's country, and to make acquaintance 
with eftimable men abroad, whom we are never to 
fee more ! Oh Î how rapid a career is human life ! 
Happy the man who has it in his power to employ 
it in doing good I My gueft favours me with a 
(hort detail of his adventures : to thefe I pp.y the 

o 2 ciofeft 



196 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

clofeft attention, from their refemblance to my 
own. His leading objed was to deferve well' of 
his fellow creatures, and he has been rewarded by 
them with calumny and perfecution. He is under 
misfortunes ; he has come to France to put him- 
felf under the Queen's protedion, he hopes a great 
deal from her goodnefs. I confirm his hopes, by 
the idea which public opinion has conveyed to me 
of the charaéler of that Princefs, and by that which 
Nature has imprefled on her phyfionomy. I am 
pouring the balm of confolation, he tells me, into 
his heart. Full of emotion, he preffes my hand. 
My cordial reception of him is a happy prefage 
of the reft ; he could have met with nothing fo 
friendly even in his own country. Oh ! what pun- 
gent forrow may be foothed to reft by a fingle 
word, and by the feebleft mark of benevolence ! 

I remember that one day I found, not far from 
the iron- gate de Caillot, at the entrance into the 
Elyfian Fields, a young woman fitting with a child 
in her lap, on the brink of a ditch. She was hand- 
fome, if that epithet may be applied to a female 
overwhelmed in melancholy. 1 walked into the 
fequeftered alley where fhe had taken her ftation ; 
the moment that i\\Q perceived me, (lie looked the 
other way : her timidity and modefty fixed my 
eyes on her. I remarked that fhe was very de- 
cently drefled, and wore very white linen j but 

her 



STUDY XIII. 197 

lief gown and neck handkerchief were fo com- 
pletely darned over, that you would have faid the 
fpiders \iad fpun the threads. I approached her 
with the refpeâ: which is due to the miferable ; I 
bowed to her, and (he returned my falute with an 
air of gentility, but with referve. I then endea- 
voured to engage her in converfation, by talking 
of the wind and the weather : her replies confided 
of monofyllables only. At length, I ventured to 
afk if (he had come abroad for the pleafure of en- 
joying a walk in the country : upon this (he began. 
to fob and weep, without uttering a (ingle word. 
I fat down by her, and infifted, with all po(îîble 
circumfpedlion, that (lie would difclofe to me the 
caufe of her diftrefs. She faid to me; ** Sir, my 
*' hufband has juft been involved in a bankruptcy 
*' at Paris, to the amount of five thoufand livres 
*' (;^.2o8 6s, Sd.) y I have been giving him a con- 
** voy as far as Neuilly : he is gone, on foot, a 
•' journey of (ixty leagues hence, to try to recover 
*' a little money which is due to us. I have given 
'* him my rings, and all my other little trinkets, 
** to defray the expenfe of his journey; and all 
** that I have left in the world, to fupport myfelf 

•* and my child, is a (ingle fliilling piece." 

" What parifh do you belong to, Madam ?'* faid 
I.—" St. Euftache," replied (he.—" The Redor," 
I fubjoined, " palles for a very charitable, good 
" man." — " Yes, Sir," faid (he, " but you need 

03 " not 



I9S STUDIES OF NATURE. 

** not to be informed, that there is no charity in 
** pariflies for us miferable Jews." At thefe words, 
her tears began to flow more copioufly, and (lie 
arofe to go on her way. I tendered her a fmall 
pittance toward her prefent relief, which I befought 
her to accept, at lead as a mark of my good-will. 
She received it, and returned me more reverences 
and thanks, and loaded me with more benedic- 
tions, than if I had re-eftabliflied her hufband's 
credit. How many delicious banquets might that 
man enjoy, who would thus lay out three or four 
hundred pounds a year ! , 

My different eftablilhments, fcattered over the 
Capital and the vicinity, variegate my life moft in- 
nocently and moft agreeably. In Winter, I take 
up my refidence in that which is expofed com- 
pletely to the noon-day Sun; in Summer, I re- 
move to that which has a northern afpeâ:, and 
hangs over the cooling ftream. At another time, 
I pitch my tent in the neighbourhood of the Rue 
d'Artois, among piles of hewn ftone, where I fee 
palaces rifing around me, pediments decorated 
with fphynxes, domes, kiofques. I take care never 
to enquire to whom they belong. Ignorance h 
the mother of pleafure and of admiration. I am 
in Egypt, at Babylon, in China. To-day I fup 
under an acacia, and am in America : to-morrow, 
I Ihall dine in the midft pf a kitchen-garden, 

under 



STUDY xni, 199 

under an arbour fhaded with lilach ; and I fhall 
be in France. 

But, I Ihall be alked. Is there nothing to be 
feared in fuch a ftyle of living ? May I meet the 
final period of my days, while engaged in the 
practice of virtue ! I have heard many a hiftory of 
perfons who perifhed in hunting-matches, in par- 
ties of pleafure, while travelling by land and by. 
water; but never in performing afts of beneficence. 
Gold is a powerful commander of refpeft with the 
commonalty. I difplay wealth fufficient to fecure 
their attention, but not enough to tempt any one 
to plunder me. Befides, the police of Paris is in 
excellent order. I am very circumfpeâ: in the 
choice of my hods ; and if 1 perceive that I have 
been miftaken in my feledion, the rent of my 
lodgings is paid beforehand, and I return no more. 

On this plan of life, I have not the leaft occa-. 
fion for the encumbrances of furniture and fer- 
vants. With what tender folicitude am 1 ex- 
pected, in each of my habitations ! What fatis- 
faclion does my arrival infpire ! What attention 
and zeal do my entertainers exprefs to outrun my 
wi flies ! I enjoy among them the choiceft bleffings 
of Society, without feeling any of the inconve- 
niences. No one fits down at my table to back- 
bite his neighbour, and no one leaves it with a 

o 4 difpofition 



200 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

difpofitlon to fpeak unkindly of me. I have no 
children ; but thofe of my landlady are more eager 
to pleafe me than their own parents. I have no wife : 
the moft fublime charm of love is to devife and ac- 
complifh the felicity of another. 1 affift in the forma- 
tion of happy marriages, or in promoting the hap- 
pinefs of thofe which are already formed. I thus 
difiipate my perfonal languor, I put my paffions 
upon the right fcent, by propofing to them the no- 
bleft attainments at which they can aim, upon the 
earth. I have drawn nigh to the miferable with 
an intention to comfort them, and from them, per- 
haps, I fliall derive confolation in my turn. 

In this manner it is in your power to live, O ye 
great ones of the earth ! and thus might you mul- 
tiply your fleeting days in the land through which 
you are merely travellers. Thus it is that you may 
learn to know men ,- and form no longer, with 
your own Nation, a foreign race, a race of conque- 
rors, living on the fpoils of the country you have 
fubdued. Thus it is, that, ilTuing from your pa- 
laces, encircled with a crowd of happy vafTals, 
who are loading you with benedidions, yon might 
prefent the image of the ancient Patricians, a 
name fo dear to the Roman people. You are every 
day looking out for fome new fpeclacle ; there is 
no one which poflefles fo much the charm of no- 
velty ^s the happinefs of Mankind. You wifli for 

objeds 



STUDY XIII. 201 

objeâiS that are interefting : there is no one more 
interefling than the fight of the families of the 
poor peafantry, diffufing fruitfulnefs over your 
vaft and folitary domains, or fuperannuated fol- 
diers, who have deferved well of their country, 
feeking refuge under the fliadow of your wings. 
Your compatriots are furely much better than tra- 
gedy heroes, and more interefting than the fhep- 
herds of the comic opera. 

The indigence of the commonalty is the firft 
caufe of the phyfical and moral maladies of the 
rich. It is the bufinefs of adminiftration to pro- 
vide a remedy. As to the maladies of the foul rc- 
fulting from indigence, I could wifli fome pallia- 
tives, at leaft, might be found. For this purpofe, 
I would have formed, at Paris, fome eftablifhment 
fimilar to thofe which humane Phyficians and fage 
Law5'^ers have there inftituted, for remedying the 
ills of body and of fortune; I mean difpenfaries of 
confolation, to which an unfortunate wretch, fe- 
cure of fecrefy, nay, of remaining unknown, might 
refort to difclofe the caufe of his diftrefs. We have, 
I grant, confeffors and preachers, for whom the 
fublime fundlion of comforting the miferablefeems 
to be referved. But confeflbrs are not always of 
the fame difpofition with their penitents, efpecially 
when the penitent is poor, and not much known 
to them. Nay, there are many confeffors who have 

neither 



202 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

neicher the talents nor the experience requilite to 
the comforter of the afflided. The point is not 
to pronounce abfolution to the man who confeffes 
liis fins, but to affift him in bearing up under 
thofe of another, which lie much heavier upon 
him. 

As to preachers, their fermons are ufually too 
vague, and too injudicioully applied to the various 
neceflities of their hearers. It would be of much 
more importance to the Public, if they would an- 
nounce the fubjecfl of their intended difcourfes, ra- 
ther than difplay the titles of their ecclefiaftical 
dignities. They will declaim againft avarice to a 
prodigal, or againft profufion to a mifer. They 
will expatiate on the dangers of ambition to a 
young man in love ; and on thofe of love to an 
ancient female devotee. They will inculcate the 
duly of giving alms on the perfons who receive 
them ; and the virtue of humility on a poor water- 
porter. There are fome who preach repentance to 
the unfortunate, who promife the joys of paradife 
to voluptuous courts, and who denounce the 
flames of hell againft ftarving villages. I have 
known, in the country, a poor female peafant 
driven to madnefs, by a fermon of this caft. She 
believed herfelf to be in a ftate of damnation, and 
lay along fpeechlefs and motionlefs. We have no 
fermons calculated to cure languor, forrow, fcru- 

puloufnefs 



STUDY XIII. 



203 



puloufnefs of confcience, melancholy, chagrin, and 
{o many other diftempers which prey upon the 
foul. Befides, how many circumftances change, 
to every particular auditor, the nature of the pain 
which he endures, and render totally ufelefs to 
him all the parade of a trim harangue. It is no 
eafy matter to find out, in a foul wounded, and 
opprefTed with timidity, the precife point of it's 
grief, and to apply the balm and the hand of the 
good Samaritan to the fore. This is an art known 
only to minds endowed with fenfibility, who have 
themfelves fufFered feverely, and which is not al- 
ways the attainment of thofe who are virtuous only. 

The people feel the want of this confolation ; 
and finding no man to whom they can make ap- 
plication for it, they addrefs themfelves to ftones. 
I have fometimes read, with an aching heart, in 
our churches, billets affixed by the wretched, to 
the corner of a pillar, in fome obfcure chapel. 
They reprefented the cafes of unhappy women 
abufed by their hufbands ; of young people la- 
bouring under embarraffment : they folicited not 
the money of the compaffionate, but their prayers. 
They were upon the point of finking into defpair. 
Their miferies were inconceivable. Ah ! if men 
who have themfelves been acquainted with grief, 
of all conditions, would unite in prefenting to the 
fons and daughters of afilidtion, their experience 

and 



204 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

and their fenfibility, more than one illuilrloiis fiif- 
fcrer would come and draw from them thofe con- 
folations, which all the preachers, and books, and 
philofophy in the World, are incapable to admi- 
nifter. All that the poor man needs, in many- 
cafes, in order to foothe his woe, is a perfon into 
whofe ear he can pour out his complaint. 

A Society, compofed of men fuch as I have 
fondly imagined to myfelf, would undertake the 
important tafk of eradicating the vices and the pre- 
judices of the populace. They would endeavour, 
for example, to apply a remedy to the barbarity 
which impofes fuch oppreflive loads on the mi- 
ferable horfes, and cruelly abufes them in other re- 
fpefls, while every ftreet of the city rings with the 
horrible oaths of their drivers. They would like- 
wife employ their influence with the rich, to take 
pity, in their turn, upon the human race. You 
fee, in the midft of exceffive heats, the hewers of 
ftone expofed to the meridian Sun, and to the 
burning reverberation of the white fubftance on 
which they labour. Hence thefe poor people are 
frequently feized with ardent fevers, and with dif- 
orders in the eyes, which ifTue in blindnefs. At 
other times, they have to encounter the long rains, 
and pinching cold of Winter, which bring on 
rheums and confumptions. Would it be a very 
coflly precaution for a mafter-builder, poffelTed of 

humanity^ 



STUDY XIII. 205 

humanity, to rear in his work-yard, a moveable 
fhed of matting or ftraw, fupportsd by poles, to 
ferve as a flicker to his labourers ? By means of a 
fabric fo fimple, they might be fpared various ma- 
ladies of body and of mind ; for moft of them, as 
I have obferved, are, in this refpeft, aâ;uated by 
a falfe point of honour ; and have not the courage 
to employ a fcreen againft the burning heat of the 
Sun, or againft rainy weather, for fear of incurring 
the ridicule of their companions. 

The people might farther be infpired with a re- 
lilli for morality, without the ufe of much expen- 
fivc cookery. Nay, every appearance of difguife 
renders truth fufpeâ:ed by them. 1 have many a 
time feen plain mechanics (hed tears at reading 
fome of our good romances, or at the reprefenta- 
tion of a tragedy. They afterwards demanded, if 
the ftory which had thus affeded them was really 
true ; and on being informed that it was imagi- 
nary, they valued it no longer j they were vexed 
to think that they had thrown away their tears. 
The rich muft have fàdion, in order to render mo- 
rality palatable, and morality is unable to render 
fjftion palata,ble to the poor; becaufe the poor 
man fhill expèfts his felicity from truth, and the 
jrlch hope for theirs, only from illufion. 



Tljt. 



206 STUDIES OP NATURE. 

The rich, however, ftand in no lefs need than 
the populacCj of moral afFeâiions. Thefe are, as we 
have feen, the moving fprings of all the human 
paffions. To no purpofe do they pretend to refer 
the plan of their felicity to phyfical objeâis ; they 
foon lofe all tafte for their caftles, their pidures, 
their parks, when, inftead of fentiment, they pof- 
fefs merely the fenfations of them. This is fo in- 
dubitably true, that if, under the preflure of their 
languor, a ftranger happens to arrive to admire 
their luxury, all their powers of enjoyment are re- 
novated. They feem to have confecrated their life 
to an indefinite voluptuoufnefs ; but prefent to 
them a (ingle ray of glory, in the very bofom of 
death itfelf, and they are immediately on the wing 
to overtake it. Offer them regiments, and they 
poft away after immortality. It is the moral prin- 
ciple, therefore, which muft be purified and di- 
reiled in Man. It is not in vain, then, that Re- 
ligion prescribes to us the pradice of virtue, which 
is the moral fentiment by way of excellence, feeing 
it is the road to happinefs, both in this World, 
and in that which is to come. 

The fociety of which I have been fuggefting 
the idea, would farther extend it's attentions, into 
the retreats of virtue itfelf. I have remarked that, 
about the age of forty- five, a ftriking revolution 

takes 



STUDY XIII. 207 

takes place in mofl; men, and, to acknowledge the 
truth, that it is then they degenerate, and become 
deflitiite of principle. At this period it is that 
women transform themfelves into men, according 
to the expreffion of a celebrated Writer, in other 
M'ords, that they become completely depraved- 
This fatal revolution is a confequence of the vices 
of our education, and of the manners of Society. 
Both of thefe prefent the profped: of human hap- 
pinefs, only toward the middle period of life, in 
the poffeffion of fortune and of honours. When 
we have painfully fcrambled up this fteep moun- 
tain, and reached it's fummir, about the middle of 
our courfe, we re-defcend with our eyes turned 
back toward youth, becaufe we have no perfpective 
before us but death. Thus the career of life is 
divided into two parts, the one confiding of hopes, 
the other of recolleclions j and we have laid hold 
of nothing, by the way, but Ululions. 

The firft, at lead, fupport us by feeding defire ; 
but the others overwhelm us, by infpiring regret 
only. This is the reafon that old men are lefs 
fufceptible of virtue than young people, though 
they talk much more about it, and that they are 
much more miclancholy among us than among fa- 
vage Nations. Had they been direded by Reli- 
gion and Nature, they muft have rejoiced in the 
approach of their latter end, as vefTsls juft ready 

to 



208 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

to enter the harbour. How much more wretched 
are thofe who, having devoted their youth to vir- 
tue, reduced by that treacherous commerce with 
the World, look backward, and regret the plea- 
fures of youth, which they knew not how to prize ! 
The empty glare which encompalTes the wicked, 
dazzles their eyes ; they feel their faith ftaggering, 
and they are ready to exclaim with Brutus: — 
*' O Virtue ! thou art but an empty name." Where 
Ihall we find books and preachers capable of re- 
floring confidence to them in tempefls, which have 
fliaken even the Saints ? They transfix the foul 
with fecret wounds, and torment it with gnawing 
ulcers, which (hrink from difcovery. They are 
beyond all poffibility of relief, except from a fo- 
ciety of virtuous men, who have been themfelves 
tried through all the combinations of human woe, 
and who, in default of the ineffectual arguments 
of reafon, may bring them back to the fentiment 
•of virtue, at leafl by that of their friendOiip. 

There is in China, if I am not miflaken, an 
eflablidiment fimilar to that which I am propofing. 
At lead certain Travellers, and, among others, 
Ferdinand Mendez Pinïo, make mention of a houfe 
of Mercy, which takes up and pleads the caufe of 
the poor and the opprefled, and which, in an in- 
finite number of inftances, goes forth to meet the 
calls of the miferable, much farther than our cha- 
ritable 



STUDY XIII, 101) 

ritable Ladies do. The Emperor has beftowed 
the moft diftingiiiflied privileges on it's members ; 
and the Courts of Juftice pay the utmoft deference 
to their requefts. Such a fociety, employed in 
adiing well, would merit, among us, at leaft pre- 
rogatives as high as thofe vvhofe attention is re- 
ftricfled to fpeaking well ; and by drawing forward 
into view the virtues of our own obfcure citizens, 
would defcrve, at the leaft, as highly of their Coun- 
try, as thofe who do nothing but retail the fen- 
tences of the fages, or, what is not lefs common, 
the brilliant crimes, of Antiquity. 

Scrupulous care ought to be taken not to give 
to fuch an aflfociation, the form of an Academy or 
Fraternity. Thanks to our mode of education, 
and to our manners, every thing that is reduced to 
form among us, corps, congregation, feft, party, 
is generally ambitious and intolerant. If the men 
which compofe them draw nigh to a light, which 
they themfelves have not kindled, it is to extin- 
guilh it ; if they touch upon the virtue of another, 
it is to blight it. Not that the greateft part of the 
members of thofe bodies are deftitute of excellent 
qualities individually; but their incorporation is 
good for nothing, for this reafon fimply, that it 
prefents to them centres different from the com- 
mon centre of Country. What is it that has ren- 
dered the word fo dear to humanity, theatrical 

VOL. IV. p and 



2IO STUDIES OF NATURE. 

and vain ? What fenfe is now-a-days affixed to the 
term charity, the Greek name of which, x«V;?, 
fignifies attraftion, grace, lovelinefs ? Can any 
thing be more humiliating than our parochial 
charities, and than the humanity of our Philo- 
fophers ? 

I leave this prqjeâ: to be unfolded and matured 
by fome good man, who loves God and his fel- 
low-ereatures, and who performs good adions, in 
the way that Religion prefcribes, withont letting 
his left hand know what his right hand doth. Is 
it then a matter of fo much difficulty to do good ? 
Let us purfue the oppofite fcent to that which is 
followed by the ambitious and the malignant. 
They employ fpies to furnifli them with all the 
fcandalous anecdotes of the day ; let us employ 
ours in difcovcring, and bringing to light, good 
works performed in fecret. They advance to meet 
men in elevated fituations, to range themfelves 
under their flandards, or to level them with the 
ground ; let us go forth in queft of virtuous men 
in obfcurity, that we may make them our models. 
They are furniQied with trumpets to proclaim 
their own aclions, and to decry thofe of others ; 
let us conceal our own, and be the heralds of other 
mens' goodnefs. There is fuch a thing as refine- 
ment in -vice ; let us carry virtue to perfedion* 

I am 



êTUDY XÎII. 211 

1 am fenfible that T may be apt to ramble a 
little too far. Bur fhould I have been fo happy as 
to fuggeft a fingle good idea to one more enlight- 
ened than myfelf 5 fhould I have contributed to 
prevent, fome day in time to come, one poor 
wretch, in defpair, from going to drown himfelf, 
or, in a fit of rage, from knocking out his enemy's 
brains, or, in the lethargy of languor, from going 
to fquander his money and his health among loofe 
women ; I (hall not have fcribbled over a piece of 
paper in vain. 

Paris prefents many a retreat to the miferable, 
known by the name of hofpitals. May Heaven 
reward the charity of thofe who have founded 
them, and the ftill greater virtue of thofe perfons 
of both fexes who fuperintend them ! But firft, 
tvithout adopting the exaggerated ideas of the po- 
pulace, who are under the pcrfuafion that thefe 
houfes poffefs immenfe revenues, it is certain, that 
a perfon well known, and an adept in the fcience 
of public finance, having undertaken to furnidi 
the plan of a receptacle for the lick, found, on 
calculation, that the expenfe of each of them would 
not exceed eight-pence halfpenny a day : that they 
might be much better provided on thefe terms, 
and at an eafier rate, than in the hofpitals. For 
my own part, I am clearly of opinion, that thefe 
fame pence^ diflributed day by day, in the houfe 

p 2 q£ 



212 STUDIES OF "NATURE. 

of a poor Tick man, would produce a ftill farmer 
faving, by contributing to the fupport of his wife 
and children. A fick perfon of the commonalty 
has hardly need of any thing more than good 
broths ; his family might partly fubfift on the 
meat of which they were made. 

But hofpitals are fubj^d to many other incon- 
veniencies. Maladies of a particular chafa6ler are 
there generated, frequently more dangerous than, 
thofe which the fick carry in with them. They are 
fufficiently known, fuch efpecially as are denomi- 
nated hofpital-fevers. Befides thefe, evils of a 
much more ferions nature, thofe which aiTed: mo- 
rals, are there communicated. A perfon of exten- 
five knowledge and experience has affured me, 
that mod of the criminals who terminate their days 
on a gibbet, or in the galleys, are the fpawn of 
hofpitals. This amounts to what has been already 
afl'erted, that a corps, of whatever defcription, is 
always depraved, efpecially a corps of beggars. I 
could wifh, therefore, that fo far from coUeding, 
and crowding together, the miferable, they might 
be provided for, under the infpedion of their own 
relations, or entrufted to poor families, who would 
take care of them. 

Pui^lic prifons are necefTary ; but it is furely de- 
firable that the unh.ippy creatures there immured, 

fliould 



STUDY XIII. 213 

ftioLild be lefs miferable while under confinement. 
Juftice, undoubtedly, in depriving them of liberty, 
propofes not only to punifli, but to reform, their 
moral charafter, Excefs of mifery and evil com- 
munications can change it only from bad to worfe. 
Experience farther demonftrates, that there it is 
the wicked acquire the perfection of depravity. 
One who went in only feeble and culpable, comes 
out an accompliQied villain. As this fubjeét has 
been treated profoundly by a celebrated Writer, I 
fhall purfue it no farther. I fliall only beg leave 
to obferve, that there is no way but one to reform 
j(nen, and that is to render them happier. Ho\v 
many who were living a lifeof criminality in Europe, 
have recovered their charader in the Weft-India 
Iflands, to which they were tranfported ! They are 
become honeft men there, becaufe they have there 
found more liberty, and more happinefs, than they 
enjoyed in their native country. 

There is another clafs of Mankind ftill more 
worthy of compaffion, becaufe they are innocent : 
1 mean perfons deprived of the ufe of reafon. 
They are Ibut up; and they feldom f.iil, of conie- 
quence,to become more infane than they were before. 
I fhall, on this occafion, remark, that I do not believe 
there is through the whole extent of Afia, China 
howeveij excepted, a fmgle place of confinement 
for perfons of this defcription. The Turks treat 

p ? them 



414 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

them with Angular refpefl ; whether it be that 
Mahomet himfelf was occafionally fubjed: to mental 
derangement, or whether from a religious opinion 
they entertain, that as fcon as a madman fets his 
foot into a houfe, the bleffing of God enters it 
with him. They delay not a moment to fet food 
before him, and carefs him in the tendered man- 
ner. There is not an inflance known of their 
having injured any one. Our madmen, on the 
contrary, are mifchievous, becaufe they are mifer- 
able. As foon as one appears in the (Ireets, the 
children, themfelves already rendered miferable by 
their education, and delighted to find a human 
being, on whom they can vent their malignity 
with fafety, pelt him with ftones, and take pleafure 
in working him up into a rage. I mufi; farther 
obferve, that there are no madmen among favages; 
and that I could not wifli for a better proof that 
their political conftitution renders thein more 
happy than polillied Nations are, as mental de- 
rangement proceeds only from exceffive chagrin. 

The number of inlane peifons under confine- 
ment is, with us, enormouily great. There is not 
a provincial town, of any conhderable magnitude, 
but what contains an edifice deftined to this ufe. 
Their treatment in thefe is furely an object of 
commifcration, and loudly calls for the attention of 
Government, confidering that if after all they are 

no 



STUDY XIII. 215 

no longer citizens, they are ftill men, and innocent 
men too. When I was purfuing my ftudies at 
Caen, I recoiled having feen, in the madman's 
ward, fome fhut up in dungeons, where they had not 
feen the light for fifteen years. I one evening ac-- 
companied into fome of thofe difmal caverns, the 
good Curé de S. Martin, whofe boarder I then 
was, and who had been called to perform the lad 
duties of his office to one of thofe poor wretches, 
on the point of breathing his laft. He wasobhged, 
as well as I, to flop his nofe all the time he was 
by the dying man ; but the vapour which exhaled 
from his dunghill v/as [o infedtious, that my clothes 
retained the fmell for more than two months, nay, 
my very linen, after having been repeatedly fent to 
the wafhing. I could quote traits of the mode of 
treatment of thofe miferablfc objects, which would 
excite horror. I fliall relate only one, which is 
flill frefh in my memory. 

Some years ago, happening to pafs through 
l'Aigle, a fmall town in Normandy, I flroUed out 
about fun-fcr, to enjoy a little frefli air. I per- 
ceived, on a riling ground, a convent mofl de- 
lightfully fituated. A monk, who flood porter, 
invited me in to fee thehoufe. He conduced me 
through an immenfe court, in which the firfl thing 
that flruck my eye, was a man of about forty years 
old, with half a hat on his head, who advanced di- 

T 4. redly 



2l6 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

reftly upon me, laying, " Be fo good as flab me 
" to the heart; be fo good as ftab me to the heart." 
The monk, who was my guide, laid to me, " Sir, 
'' don't be alarmed ; he is a poor captain, v^ho lofb 
" his reafon, on account of an unmilitary prefer- 
" ence that palled upon him in his regiment." 

*' This houfe, then," faid I to him, " ferves as 
*' a receptacle for lunatics :" " Yes," replied he, 
** I am Superior of it." He walked me from 
court to court, and conducted me into a fmall en- 
clofure, in which were feveral little cells of mafon 
work, and where we heard perfons talking with a 
good deal of earnelinefs. There we found a canon 
in his Qiirt, with his Qioulders quite expofed, con- 
verfing with a man of a fine figure, who was feated 
by a fmall table, in front of one of thofe little cells. 
The monk went up to the poor canon, and, with 
his full flrength, applied a blow of his fift to the 
wretch's naked flioulder, ordering him, at the 
fame time, to turn out. His comrade inftantly 
took up the monk, and emphatically fajd to him : 
*' Man of blood, you are guilty of a very cruel 
" aâ:ion. Do not you fee that this poor creature 
-** has loft his reafon ?" The monk, ftruck dumb 
for the moment, bit his lips, and threatened him 
with his eyes. But the other, without being dif- 
concerted, faid to him: " I know 1 am your vic- 
*' rim ; you may do with me whatever you pleafe." 

Then, 



STUDY XIII. 217 

Then, addreffing himfelf to me, he fhewed me his 
two wriils, galled to the quick by the iron ma- 
nacles with which he had been confined. 

" You fee. Sir," faid he to me, " in what man- 
** ner I am treated !" I turned to the monk, with 
an expreffion of indignation at a conduct fo bar- 
barous. He coolly replied : *' Oh ! I can put an 
" end to all his fine reafoning in a moment." I 
addrefl'ed, however, a few words of confolation to 
the unfortunate man, who, looking at me with an 
air of confidence, faid, *' I think, Sir, 1 have feen 
*' you at S. Hubert, at the houfe of M. the Mare- 
** fchal de Broglio^ " You muft be miftaken, 
*' Sir," replied I, ** 1 never had the honour of 
*^ being at the Marefchal de Broglio's,.^' Upon 
that, he inftituted a procefs of recolledion, re- 
fpeding the different places where he thought he 
had feen me, with circumftances fo accurately de- 
tailed, and clothed with fiich appearances of pro- 
bability, that the monk, nettled at his well-me- 
rited reproaches, and at the good fenfe which he 
difplayed, thought proper to interrupt his conver- 
fation, by introducing a difcourfe about marriage, 
the purchafe of horfes, and fo on. The moment 
that the chord of his infanity was touched, his head 
was gone. On going out, the monk told me, that 
this poor lunatic was a man of very conliderablc 
birth. Some time afterward, I had the pleafure of 

being 



2l8 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

being informed, that he had found means to efcapc 
from his prifon, and had recovered the ufe of his 
reafon. 

A great many phyfical remedies are employed 
for the cure of madnefs ; and it frequently proceeds 
fram a moral caufe, for it is produced by chagrin. 
Might there not be a polTibility to employ, for 
the reftoration of reafon to thofe difordered beings, 
means direflly oppofcd to thole which occafioned 
tlie lofs of reafon; I mean, mirth, pleafure, and, 
above all, the pleafures of mufic ? We fee, from 
the inftance of Saul, and many others of a fmiilar 
nature, what influence mufic poflefles for re-efta- 
blifliing the harmony of the foul. With this ought 
to be united treatment the mod gentle, and care 
to place the unhappy patients, when vifited with 
paroxyfms of rage, not under the reflraint of fet- 
ters, but in an apartment matted round, whero- 
they could do no mifchief, either to themfelves 
or others. I am perfuaded that, by employing 
fuch humane precautions, numbers might be re- 
ftored, efpecially if they were under the charge of 
perfons who had no intereft in perpetuating their 
derangement ; as is but too frequently the cafe, 
with refpedt to families who are enjoying their 
eftates, and hcufes of reflraint, where a good board 
is paid for their detention. It would likewife be 
proper, in my opinion, to commit the care of men 

difordered 



STUDY XIII. 219 

difordered in their underftanding, to females, 
and that of females to men, on account of the 
mutual fympathy of the two fexes for each other. 

I would not wifli that there fliould be in the 
kingdom any one art, craft, or profeflion, but 
whofe final retreat and recompenfe fliould be at 
Paris. Among the different claffes of citizens 
who pradlife thefe, and of whom the greater part 
is little known in the capital, there is one, and that 
very numerous, which is not known at all there, 
though one of the moft miferable, and that to 
which, of all others, the rich are under the flrongeft 
obligations, I mean the feamen, Thefe hardy and 
unpoliflied beings are the men, who go in queft of 
fuel to tneir voluptuoufnefs to the very extremities 
of Afia, and who are continually expofing their 
lives upon our own coafts, in order to find a fup- 
'ply of delicacies for their tables. Their converfa- 
tion is at lead as fprightly as that of our peafantry, 
and incomparably more interefting, from their 
manner of viewing objeâis, and from the fingularity 
of the countries which they have vifited in the 
courfe of their voyages. At the recital of their 
many-formed difafters, and of the rempefls which 
threatened them, while employed in conveying to 
you obje6\s of enjoyment, from every region of 
the Globe, ye happy ones of the earth ! your own 
repofe ïïiay be rendered more precious to you. 

By 



22& STUDIES OF NATURE. 

By contrafls fuch as thefe, your felicity will be 
keightened. 

I know not whether it was for the purpofe of 
procuring for himfelf a pleafure of this nature, or 
to give an enlivening fea air to the park of Ver- 
failles, that Louis XIV. planted a colony of Venetian 
gondoliers on the great canal which fronts the pa- 
lace. Theirdefcendantsfubiifttheretothisday. This 
eflablifliment, under a better direftion, might have 
furnilhed a very defirable and ufeful retreat to our 
own feamen. But that great King, frequently mlf- 
led by evil counfellors, almoft always carried the 
fentiment of his own glory beyond his own people. 
What a contrail would thefe hardy fons of the 
waves, bedaubed with pitch, their wind and wea- 
ther-beaten faces, refembling fea-calves, arrived 
fome from Greenland, others from the coaft of 
Guinea, have prefented, with the marble ftatues, 
and verdant bowers of the park of Verfailles ! 
X^on'is XIV. would oftener than once have derived 
from thofe blunt, honeft fellows, more ufeful in- 
formation^ and more important truth, than either 
books, or even his marine officers of the higheft 
rank, could have given him; and, on the other 
hand, the novelty of their charaderiftic fingularity, 
and that of their refk;â:ions on his own greatnefs, 
would have provided for him fpedacles much more 
i)ighly amuimg than thofe which the wits* (if his 

Court 



5TUÏ)Y XIII. 221 • 

Court devifed for him, at an enormous expenfe. 
Befides, what emulation would not the profpeft of 
fuch preferments have kindled among our failors ? 

I afcribe the perfedion of the Englifh Marine, 
in part at leafl, fimply to the influence of their Ca- 
pital, and from it's being inceflantly under the eye 
of the Court. Were Paris a fea-port, as London 
is, how many ingenious inventions, thrown away 
upon modes and operas, would be applied to the 
improvement of navigation ! Were failors feen 
there even as currently as foldiers, a paffion for the 
marine fervice would be more extenfively diffufed. 
The condition of the feaman, become more inte- 
refting to the Nation, and to it*s rulers, would be 
gradually meliorated ; and, at the fame time, this 
would have a happy tendency to mitigate the bru- 
tal defpotifm of thofe who frequently maintain 
their authority over them, merely by dint of 
fwearing and blows. It is a good, and an eafily 
pradlicable piece of policy, to enfeeble vice, by 
bringing men nearer to each other, and by render- 
ing them more happy. Our country gentlemen 
did not give over beating their hinds, till they faw 
that this ufeful part of Mankind had become inte- 
refting objeds in books, and on the theatre. ' 

Not that I wifli for our feamen, an eftablifhment 
fimihr to that of the Hotel des Invalides. I am 

charmed 



222, STUDIES OF NATURE. 

charmed with the architedure of that monument, 
but I pity the condition of it's inhabitants. Moft 
of them are diffatisfied, and always murmuring, 
as any one may be convinced, who will take the 
trouble to converfe with them : 1 do not believe 
there is any foundation for this 5 but experience 
demonftrates, that men, formed into a corps, fooner 
or later, degenerate, and are always unhappy. It 
would be wifer to follow the Laws of Nature, and 
to affociate them by families. 1 could wifh that the 
pradlice of the Englidi were obferved and copied, 
by fettling our fuperannuated feamen on the ferries 
of rivers, on board all thofe little barges which 
traverfe Paris, and fcatter them along the Seine, 
like tritons, to adorn the plains : we Ihould fee 
them {lemming the tides of our rivers, in wherries 
under fmack-fails, luffing as they go ; and there 
they would introduce methods of Navigation more 
prompt, and more commodious, than thofe hi- 
therto known and pradifed. 

As to thofe whom age, or woUnds, may have to- 
tally difabled for fervice, they might be fuitably 
accommodated and provided for, in an edifice 
fimilar to that which the Englifli have reared at 
Greenwich, for the reception of their decayed fea* 
men. But, to acknowledge the truth, the State, 
1 am perfuaded, would find it a much more eco- 
nomical plan, to allow them penfions, and that 

thefc 



STUDY XIII. 223 

tbefe very feamen would be much better difpofed 
of in the bofom of their feveral families. This, 
however, need not prevent the raifing, at Paris, a 
majeftic and commodious monument, to ferve as a 
retreat for thofe brave veterans. The capital fets 
little value upon them, becaufe it knows them 
not ; but there are fomc among them who, by go- 
ing over to the enemy, are capable of conduding 
a defcent on our Colonies, and even upon our own 
coafts. Defertion is as common amongj our ma- 
liners as among our foldiers, and their defertion is 
a much greater lofs to the State, becaufe it requires 
more time to form them, and becaufe their local 
knowledge is of much higher importance to an 
enemy than that of our cavaliers, or of our foot- 
ibldiers. 

What I have now taken the liberty to fugged, 
on the fubjed: of our feamen, might be extended 
to all the other eftates of the kingdom, without 
exception. I could wifli that there were not a 
fmgle one but what had it's centre at Paris, and 
which might not find there a place of refuge, a 
retreat, a little chapel. All thefe monuments of the 
different claffes of citizens, which communicate 
life to the body politic, decorated with the attri- 
butes peculiar to each particular craft and profef- 
fion, would there figure with perfecfl propriety, and 
with moft powerful effedt. 

After 



C24 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

After having rendered the Capital a refort of 
happinefs, and of improvement, to our own Na- 
tion, I would allure to it the men of foreign Na- 
tions, from every corner of the Globe. O ! ye 
Women, who regulate our deftiny, how much 
ought you to contribute towards uniting Mankind, 
in a City where your empire is unbounded 1 In 
miniftring to your pleafures, do men employ them- 
felves over the face of the whole Earth. While 
you are engrofied wholly in enjoyment, the Lap* 
lander iflues forth, in the midft of ftorm and tem- 
peft, to pierce with his harpoon the enormous 
whale, whofe beard is to ferve for fhuffing to your 
robes: a man of China puts into the oven the 
porcelain out of which you fip your coffee, while 
an Arabian of Moka is bufied in gathering the 
berry for you : a young woman of Bengal, on the 
banks of the Ganges, is fpinning your mullin, 
while a Ruffian, amidft the forefts of Finland, is 
fellino; the tree which is to be converted into a 
maft for the velTel that is to bring it home to you. 

The glory of a great Capital is to affemble, 
within it's walls, the men of all Nations who con- 
tribute to it's pleafures. I (hould like to fee, at 
Paris, the Samoïèdes, with their coats of fea-calf- 
ikin, and their boots of fl:urgeon*s hide ; andrthe 
black lolofs, dreffed in their waift-attire, ftreaked 
with red and blue. Ï could widi to fee there the 

beard lefs 



STtTDY XIII. 225 

beardlefs Indians of Peru, drefled in feathers from 
head to foot, ftroUing about undifmayed, in our 
pubHc fquares, around the flatues of our Kings, 
mingled with ftarely Spaniards, in whifkers, and 
fhort-cloaks. It would give me pleafure to fee 
the Dutch making a fettlement on the thirfty 
ridges of Montmartre ; and, following the bent of 
their hydraulic inchnation, like the beavers, find 
the means of there conftrufting canals filled with 
■water; while the inhabitants of the banks of the 
Oroonoko (liould live comfortably dry, fufpended 
over the lands inundated by the Seine, amidft the 
foliage of willows and alder-trees. 

I could wifh that Paris were as large, and of â 
population as much diverfified as thofe ancient ci- 
ties of Afia, fuch as Nineveh and Saza, v/hofe ex- 
tent was fo vaft, that it required three days to 
make the tour of them, and in which /jhafuertis 
beheld two hundred Nations bending; before his 
throne. I could wilh that every people on the 
face of the Earth kept up a correfpondence with 
that ^ity, as the members with the heart in the 
human body. What fecrets did the Afiatics pof- 
fefs, to raife cities fo vafl: and fo populous ? They 
are, in all refpeds, our elder brothers. They per- 
mitted all Nations to fettle anions; them. Prefent 
men with liberty and happinefs, and you will a:- 
trad them from the ends of the Earth, 

VOL. IV. Q, It 



226 STUDIJES OF NATURE. 

It would be much to the honour of his humanity, 
if fome great Prince would propofe this queilion 
to the difcuffion of Europe : Whether the happi- 
nefs of a People did not depend upon that of it's 
neighbours ? The affirmative, clearly demon- 
ftrated, would level with the duft the contrary 
maxim, that oï Machiavel, which has too long go- 
verned our European politics. It would be very 
cafy to prove, in the firft; place, that a good under- 
ftanding with her neighbours would enable her 
confidently to difband thofe land and naval forces, 
which are fo burdenfome to a Nation. It might 
be demonflrated, fecondly, that every people has 
been a partaker in the bleflings and the calamities 
of their neighbours, from the example of the Spa- 
niards, who made the difcovery of America, and 
have fcattered the advantages, and the evils of it, 
over all the reft of Europe. This truth may be 
iariher confirmed, from the profperity and great- 
nefs attained by thofe Nations, who were at pains 
to conciliate the good-will of their neighbours, as 
the Romans did, who extended farther and farther 
the privileges of citizenOiip, and thereby, in pro- 
cefs of time, confolidated all the Nations of Italy 
into one fmgle State. They would, undoubtedly, 
have formed but one (ingle People of the whole 
Human Race, had not their barbarous cuftom of 
exadling the fervice of foreign (laves, counteraded 
a policy fo humane- It might, finally, be made 

apparent, 



STUDY XIII. 227 

apparent, how miferable thofe Governments were, 
which, however well conftituted internally, lived 
in a ftate of perpetual anxiety, always weak and 
divided, becaufe ihey did not extend humanity be- 
yond the bounds of their own territory. Such were 
the ancient Greeks : fuch is, in modern times, 
Perfia, which is funk into a flate of extreme weak- 
nefs, and into which it fell immediately after the 
brilliant reign oï Scba Abbas, \n\\oÏq political maxim 
it was to furround himfelf with deferts ; his own 
country has, at length, become one, like thofe of 
his neighbours. Other examples, to the fame pur- 
pofe, might be found among the Powers of Afia, 
who receive the Law from handfuls of Europeans. 

Henry IV. had formed the celeflial projed of en- 
gaging all Europe to live in peace ; but his pro- 
jeâ: was not fufficiently extcnfive to fupport itfelf : 
war muft have fallen upon Europe from the other 
quarters of the World. Our particular deftinies 
are conneded with thofe of mankind. This is an 
homage which the Chriftian Religion juftly chal- 
lenges, and which it alone merits. Nature fays to 
you, love thyfelf alone ; domeftic education fays, 
love your family; the national, love your country; 
but Religion fays, Love all Mankind, without ex- 
ception. She is better acquainted with our inte-: 
refts, than our natural inftind is, or our parentage, 
or our politics. Human focieties are not detached 

(i. 2 from 



228 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

from each other, like thofe of animals. The bees 
of France are not in the leaft affeded by the de- 
ftruction of the hives in America. But the tears 
of Mankind, ihed in the New World, caufe 
flreams of blood to flow in the ancient Continent ; 
and the war-whoop of a favage, on the bank of a 
lake, has oftener than once re-echoed through Eu- 
rope, and difturbed the repofe of her Potentates. 
The Religion which condemns love of ourfelves, 
and which enjoins the love of Mankind, is not 
felf.conrradiâior}^ as certain fophifts have alleged; 
fhe exafts the facrifice of our paiTions only to di- 
rect them toward th^ general felicity; and by in- 
culcating upon us the obligation of loving all men, 
Ihe furnilhes us with the only real means of loving 
ourfelves. 

I could wifn, therefore, that our political rela-- 
tions with all the Nations of the World, might be 
direfted toward a gracious reception of their fub- 
jeds in the Capital of the kingdom. Were we to 
expend only a part of what we lay out on foreign 
communications, we fliould be no great lofers. 
The Nations of Afia fend no Confuls, nor Mini- 
flers, nor Ambaffadors, out of the Country, unlefs 
in very extraordinary cafes : and all the Nations 
of the Earth feek to them. It is not by fending 
Ambaffadors, in great flate, and at a vaft expenfe, 
to neighbouring Nations, that we conciliate, or fe- 

curs 



STUDY XIII. 229 

cure their fiiendlliip. In many cafes, our oflen- 
tatious magnificence becomes a fecret fource of 
hatred and jealoufy among their grandees. The 
point is, to give a kind reception to their fubjeâis, 
properly fo called, the weak, the perfecuted, the 
miferable. Our French refugees were the men 
who conveyed part of our fkill, and of our power, 
to Prujfha, and to Holland. How many unfeen 
relations of commerce, and of national benevo- 
lence, have been formed upon the foundation of 
fucii gracioufnefs of reception ! An honeft Ger- 
man, who retires into Auftria, after having made a 
little fortune in France, is the means offending to 
VIS a hundred of his compatriots» and difpofes the 
whole canton, in which he fettles, to \vi(h us well. 
By bonds like thefe, national friend fiiips are con- 
trafted, much better than by diplomatic treaties; 
for the opinion of a Nation always determines that 
of the Prince. 

After having rendered the city of men wonder- 
fully happy, I .would direél my attention to the 
embellilhment and commodioufnefs of the city of 
ftones. I w^ould rear in it a muhitude of ufeful 
monuments : I would extend along the houfes, 
arcades as in Turin, and a raifed pavement as in 
London, for the accommodation of loot-palfen- 
gers ; in the ftreets, where it was practicable, trees 
•and canals, as in Holland, for the facility of car- 

Q„ 3 J^i^gc ; 



230 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

riage ; in the fuburbs, caravanferics, as in the ci- 
ties of the Eaft, for the entertainment, at a mode- 
rate expenfe, of travellers from foreign lands ; to- 
ward the centre of the city, markets of vafl extent, 
and fiirrounded with houfes fix or feven flories 
high, for the reception of the poorer fort, who will 
foon be at a lofs for a place where to lay their 
head. I would introduce a great deal of variety 
into their plans and decorations. In the circular 
furrounding fpace, I would difpofe temples, halls 
of juftice, public fountains ; the principal ftreets 
fhould terminate in them. Thefe markets, fhaded 
with trees, and divided into great compartiments, 
fhould difplay, in the moft beautiful order, all the 
gifts of Flora, of Ceres, and of Pomona. I would 
ereA in the centre the ftatue of a good King ; for 
it is impoffible to place it in a fituation more ho- 
nourable to his memory, than in the midft of the 
abundance enjoyed by his fubjeds. 

I know of no one thing which conveys to me an 
idea more precife of the police of a city, and of 
the felicity of it's inhabitants, than the fight of it's 
markets. At Peterfburg, every market is parcelled 
out irito fub-divilions, deftined to the fale ot a 
fmgle fpecies of merchandife. This arrangement 
pleafes at firft glance, but foon fatigues the eye by 
it's uniformity. Peier the Firft wns fond of regu- 
lar formS; becaufe they are flivourable to defpotifm. 

For 



STUDY XIII. 231 

For my own parr, I fliould like to fee the moft 
perfed harmony prevailing among our merchants, 
and the moft complete contrafts among their wares. 
By removing the rivalities which arife out of com- 
merce in the fame fort of goods, thofe jealoufies, 
which are produdive of fo many quarrels, would 
be prevented. It would give me pleafure to be- 
hold Abundance there, pouring out the treafure 
of all her horns, pell-mell; pheafants, frefh-cod, 
heath cocks, turbots, pot-herbs, piles of oyfters, 
oranges, wild-ducks, flowers, and fo on. Pcrmif- 
fion Ihould be granted to expofe to fale there, every 
fpecies of goods whatever; and this privilege alone 
would be fufficient to deilroy various fpecies of 
monopoly. 

I would ereâ: in the city but few temples ; thefe 
few, however, fliould be auguft, immenfe, with 
ga-lleries on the outfide and within, and capable 
of containing, on feftival days, the third part of 
the population of Paris. The more that temples 
arc multiplied in a State, the more is Religion en- 
feebled. This has the appearance of a paradox; 
but look at Greece and Italy, covered with church- 
towers, while Conftantinople is crowded with 
Greek and Italian renegadoes. Independently of 
the political, and even religious, caufes, which 
produce thelc national depravations, there is one 

0^4 which 

9 



232, STUDIES OF NATURE. 

which is founded in Nature, the effecls of which 
we have already recognifed in the weaknefs of thé 
human mind. It is this, That afFecflion diminiflies, 
in proportion as it is divided among a variety of 
objeds. The Jews, fo aflonifliingly attached to 
iheir religion, had but one fingle temple, the re- 
collection of which excites their regret to this day. 

I would have amphitheatres conflrufled at Paris, 
like thofe at Rome, for the purpofe of aflembling 
the People, and of treating ihem, from time to 
time, with days of feftivity. What a fuperb fite 
for fuch an edifice is prefented in the rifing ground 
at the entrance into the Elyfjan Fields ! How eafy 
would it have been, to hollow it down to the level 
of the plain, in form of an afnphitheatre, difpofed 
into afcending rows ot feats, covered with green 
tui'fUmplj^j having it's ridge crowned with great 
trees, exalted on an elevation of more than four- 
fcore feet ! What a magnificent fpedlacle would it 
have been, to behold an immenfc people ranged 
round and round, like one great family, eating, 
drinking, and rejoicing in the contemplation of 
their own felicity ! 

All ihefe edifices fliould beconflrudced of fionc; 
iiot in petty-layers, according to our mode of 
building, but in huge blocks, iuch as the Ancients 

employed, 



STUDY XIII. 233 

employed *, and as becomes a city that is to lad 
for eer. The ftreets, and the public fquares, 
(hould be planted with great trees of various forts. 

Trees 



■* And fuch as Savages employ. Travellers are aftonilhed 
when they furvey, in Peinj, the monuments of the ancient Tncas, 
formed of vaft irregular ftones, perfedly fitted to each other. 
Their conlVuflion prefents, at firft fight, two great difficulties: 
How could the Indians have tranfported thofe huge maffes of 
flone ; and how did they contrive to adapt them fo exaélly to each 
other, notwithftanding their irregularity ? Our men of Science 
have firfl: fuppofed a machinery proper for the tranfportation of 
them ; as if there could be any machine more powerful than the 
arms of a whole people exerting themfelves in concert. They 
next tell us, that the Indians gave them thefe irregular forms by 
dint of labour and induftry. This is a downright infult to the 
common fenfe of Mankind. "Was it not much eafier to cut them 
into a regular, than into an irregular, fliape ? I myfelf was em- 
barrafled in attempting a folution of this problem. At length, 
having read in the Memoirs of Don Ulloa, and likewife in fomc 
other travellers, that there are found in many places of Peru, 
beds of Hone along the furface of the ground, feparated by clefts 
and crevices, I prefently comprehended the addrefs of the an- 
cient Peruvians. All they had to do was to remove, piece and 
piece, thofe horizontal layers of the quarries, and to place them 
in a perpendicular dire(5lion, by moving the detached pieces clofc 
to each other. Thus they had a wall ready made, which cofl 
them nothing in the hewing. The natural genius is pofiefTed of 
refources exceedingly fimple, but far fiiperior to thofe of our arts. 
For example, the Savages of Canada had no cooking pots of me- 
tal, previous to the arrival of the Europeans. They had, how- 
ever, found means to fupply this want, by hollowing the trunk 
of a tree with fire. But how did they contrive to fet it a boiling, 

fo 



?-34 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Trees are the real monuments of Nations. Time, 
which fpeedily impairs the Works of Man, onl/ 
increafes the beauty of thofe of Nature. It is to 
the trees, that our favourite walk, the Boulevards, 
is indebted for it's principal charm. They delight 
the eye by their verdure ; they elevate the foul to 
Heaven, by the loftinefs of their ftems ; they com- 
municate refpeâ: to the monuments which they 
fhade, by the majefty of their forms. They con- 
tribute, more than we are aware of, to rivet our 
attachment to the places which we have inhabited. 
Our memory fixes on them, as on points of union, 
which have lecret harmonies with the foul of Man. 
They poffefs a commanding influence over the 
events of our life, like thofe which rife by the 
fliore of the Sea, and which frequently ferve as a 
diredion to the pilot. 

I never fee the linden tree, but I feel myfeif 
tranfported into Holland ; nor the fir, without re- 
prefenting to my imagination the forefts of Rufïia. 

fo as to drefs a whole ox, which they frequently did ? I have ap- 
plied to more than one pretended man of genius for a folution of 
this difficulty, but to no purpofe. As to myfeif, I was long puz- 
zled, I acknowledge, in deviling a method by which water might 
be made to boil, in kettles made of wood, which were frequently 
large enough to contain lèverai hundred gallons. Nothing, how- 
ever, could be eafier to Savages: they heated pebbles and flints 
till they were red-hot, and call: them into the water in the pot, 
till it boiled. Confult Cbam'^lain. 

Trees 



STUDY XIII. 235 

Trees frequently attach us to Country, when the 
other ties which united us to it are torn afiinder. 
I have known more than one exile who, in old- 
age, was brought back to his native village, by the 
recoUeftion of the elm, under the fhade of which 
he had danced when a boy. I have heard more 
than one inhabitant of the Ifle of France fighing 
after his Country, under the fhade of the banana, 
and who faid to me j "I fhould be perfeélly tran- 
*' quil where I am, could I but fee a violet.'* 
The trees of our natal foil have a farther, and moft 
powerful attradion, when they are blended, as was 
the cafe among the Ancients, with fome religious 
idea, or with the recolleftion of fome diftinguiflied 
perfonage. Whole Nations have attached their 
patriotifm to this objed:. With what veneration 
did the Greeks contemplate, at Athens, the olive- 
tree which Minerva had there caufed to fpring 
up, and, on Mount Olympus, the wild-olive with 
which Hercules had been crowned! Plutarch relates, 
that, when at Rome, the fig-tree, under which 
Romulus and Remus had been fuckled by a wolf, dif- 
covered figns of decay from a lack of moifture, 
the firft perfon who perceived it, exclaimed. Wa- 
ter ! water ! and all the people, in confternation, 
flew with pots and pails full of water to refrefh it. 
For my part, I am perfuaded that, though we have 
already far degenerated from Nature, we could not 
without emotion behold the cherry-tree of the fo- 

reft. 



±2^ STUDIES OF NATURE. 

reft, into which our good King Henry IV. clani- 
bei^ed up, when he perceived the army of the 
Duke ot Alayenne filing oif to the bottom of the 
adjoining valley. 

A city, were it built completely of marble, would 
have to me a melancholy appearance, unlefs I faw 
in it trees and verdure * : on the other hand, a 
landfcape, were it Arcadia, were it along the banks 

* Trees air, from their duration, the real monuments of Na- 
tions ; and they are, farther,- their calendar, from the different 
feafons at which they fend forth their leaves, their flowers, and 
their fruks. Savages have no othei-, and our own peafantry 
make li'eqtlent ufe of it. I met one day, toward the end of Au- 
Wmn, a country girl all in tears, looking about for a handker- 
chief which flie had lofl upon the great road. " Was your hand- 
'• kerchief very pretty-?" faid I to her. "Sir," replied flie, 
" it was quite new ; I bought it laft bean-time." It has long 
been rîiy opinion, that if our hiftorical epochs, fo loudly trum- 
peted, wei-e dated by tholfe of Nature, nothing more would be 
wanting to mark their injuftice, and expofe them to ridicule. 
\Vere we fo read, for example, in our books of Hiftory, that a 
Prince had caufedpart of his fubieâs to be maiTacred, to render 
Heaven propitious to him, precifcly at the feafon when his king- 
dom v/as clothed with the plenty of harveft ; or were we to read 
the relations of bloady engagements, arjd of the bombardment 
of cities, dated with- the flowering of the violet, the firfi crtam- 
cheefe making, the flieep-marking feafon ; Would any other 
contraft be neceflary to lender the penifal of fuch hiftories de- 
tefrable } On the other hand, fuch dates would communicate im- 
mortal graces to the actions of good Princes, and would confound 
the bleflings which they bellowed, with thofe of Pleaven. 

of 



STUDY xiir. 237 

of îhe AlphenSj or did it prefent the fwelling ridges 
of Mount Lyceum, would appear to me a wilder- 
nefs, if J did not fee in it, at leaft, one little cot- 
tage. The works of Nature, and thofe of Man^ 
cnutually embellifh each other. The fpirit of felf- 
iihnefs has deftroyed among us a tafte for Nature. 
Our peadmtry fee no beauty in our plains, but 
there where they fee the return of their labour. I 
o,ne day met, in the vicinity of the Abbey of la 
Trappe, on the flinty road of Notre Dame d'Apre, 
a countrywoman walking along, with two large 
loaves of bread under her arm. It was in the 
month of May ; and the weather inexpreffibly 
fine. '^ Vv'hat a charming feafon it is !" faid I to 
the good woman: " How beautiful are thofe apple 
*' trees in bloflbm! How fweetly thefe nightingales 
*' fing in the woods !"...." Ah!" replied (he, '' I 
" don't mind nofegays, nor thefe little fquallers ! 
" It is bread that we want." Indigence hardens the 
heart of the country people, and fliuts their eyes. 
But the good folk of the town have no greater re- 
lilli for Nature, becaufe the love of gold regulates 
all their other appetites. If fome of them ('Zi a 
value on the liberal arts, it is not becaufe thofe arts 
imitate natural objeds ; it is from the price to 
which the hand of great mailers raifes their pro- 
duftions. That man gives a thoufand crowns for 
a pidure of the country painted by Lorrain^ who 
would nor take the trouble to put his head gut of 

£h§ 



238 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

the window to look at the real landfcape : and 
there is another, who oftentatioully exhibits the 
buft of Socrates in his ftudy, who would not re- 
ceive that Philofopher into his houfe, were he in 
life, and who, perhaps, would not fcruple to con- 
cur in adjudging him to death, were he under pro- 
fecution. 

The tafle of our Artifts has been corrupted by 
that of our trades-people. As they know that it is 
not Nature, but their own {kill, which is prized, 
their great aim is to difplay themfeives. Hence it 
is, that they introduce a profufion of rich accef- 
fories into mad of our monuments, while they fre- 
quently omit altogether the principal objefl. They 
produce, for inftance, as an embellifliment for gar- 
dens, vafes of marble, into which it is impoflible 
to put any vegetable ; for apartments, urns and 
pitchers, into which you cannot pour any fpecies 
of fluid; for our cities, colonnades without palaces, 
gates in places where there are no walls, public 
fquares fenced with barriers, to prevent the people 
from aflembling in them. It is, they tell us, that 
the grafs may be permitted to flioot. A fine pro- 
jed; truly ! One of the heavieft curfes which the 
Ancients pronounced againft their enemies was, 
that they might fee the grafs grow in their public 
places. If they willi to fee verdure in ours, why 
do they not plant trees in them, which would give 

i)ie 



' SÏUDY Xîîî, "239 

tÎTie people at once fliade and ûielter? There are 
iome who introduce into the trophies which orna- 
cnenr the town relidences of our grandees, bows, 
aiTows, catapuks ; and who have carried the fim- 
plîcity of the thing to fuch a height, as to plant 
on them Roman ftandards, infcribed with thefe 
charafters, S. P. Q. R. This may be feen in the 
Palace de Bourbon. Pofterity will be taught to 
believe, that the Romans were, in the eighteenth 
century, mafters of our country. And in what 
«iliraation do we mean, vain as we are, that our 
memory fliould be heid by them, if our monu- 
nients, our medals, our trophies, our dramas, our 
ânfcriptions, coniinually hol4 out to them, flrangers 
and antiquity ? 

The Greeks and Romatis were much more con- 
iiftent. Never did they dream of conftruifling ufc- 
iefs monuments. Their beautiful vafes of alabaRer 
and calcedony were employed, in feftivals, for 
holding wine, or perfumes^ their periftyles al- 
ways announced a palace; their public places were 
deftined only to the purpofe of alTembling the 
people. There they reared the ftatues of their 
great men, without enclofmg them in rails of iron, 
in order that their images might ftill be within 
reach of the miferabie, and be open to their invo- 
cation after death, as they themfelves had been 
while they were alive. Juvenal fpeaks of a ftarue 

Pf 



1^.0 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of bronze at Rome, the hands of which had been 
worn away by the kifles of the People. What 
glory to the memory of the perfon whom it repre- 
fented ! Did it ftill exift, that mutilation would 
render it more precious than the Fenus de Medicis, 
with it's fine proportions. 

Our populace, we are told, is deftitute of pa- 
triotifm. I can eafily believe it, for every thing is 
done, that can be done, to deflroy that principle in 
them. For example, on the pediment of the beau- 
tiful church which we are building in honour of 
Saint Genevieve-, but which is too fmall, as all our 
modern monuments are, an adoration of the crofs 
is reprefented. You fee, indeed, the Patronefs of 
Paris in bas-reliefs, under theperiftyle, in the midft 
of Cardinals ; but would it not have been more in 
charafter, to exhibit to the People their humble 
Patronefs in her habit of fliepherdefs, in a little 
jacket and cornet, wiih her fcrip, her crook, her 
dog, her fheep, her moulds for making cheefe, 
and all the peculiarities of her age, and of her con- 
dition, on the pedim.ent of the church dedicated 
to her memory ? To thefe might have been added 
a view of Paris, fuch as it was in her time. From 
the whole would have refulted contrafts, and ob- 
jets of comparifon of the moft agreeable kind. 
The People, at fight of this rural fcenery, would 
have called to memory the days of old. They 

v.'ould 



STUDY XIIT. 241 

would have conceived efteem for the obfcure vir- 
tues which are neceffary to their happinefs, and 
would have been flimulated to tread in the rough 
paths of glory which their lowly patronefs trod be- 
fore them, whom it is now impoffible for them to 
diftinguifli in her Grecian robes, and furrounded 
by Prelates. 

Our Artifts, in fome cafes, deviate fo completely 
from the principal objeâ:, that they leave it out al- 
together. There was exhibited fome years ago, 
in one of the workQiops of the Louvre, a monu- 
ment in honour of the Dauphin and Dauphinefs, 
defigned for the cathedral of the city of Sens, 
Every body flocked to fee it, and came away in 
raptures of admiration. I went wiih the reft ; and 
the firft thing I looked for was the refemblance ot 
the Dauphin and Dauphinefs, to whofe memory 
the monument had been ereâied. There was no 
fuch thing there, n(࣠even in medallion?. You 
faw Time with his fcythe, Hymen with urns, and all 
the thread-bare ideas of allegory, which frequently 
is, by the way, the genius of thofe who have none. 
In order to complete the elucidation of the fub- 
jeâ:, there were on the panels of a fpecies of altar, 
placed in the midft of this group of fymbolical 
figures, long infcriptions in Latin, abundantly fo- 
reign to the memory of the great Prince who was 
?he objed of ihcm. There, faid I to myfelf, there 

VOL. IV, B, is 



242 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

is a fine national monument ! Latin infcriptions 
for French readers, and pagan fymbols for a ca- 
thedral ! Had the Artift, whofe chifel I in other 
refpeèls admired, meant to difplay only his own 
talents, he ought to have recommended to his fuc- 
ceffor, to leave imperfecfl a fmall part of the bafc 
of that monument, which death prevented himfelf 
from finifhing, and to engrave thefe words upon 
it : CousTOu moriens faciehat *. This confonance 
of fortune would have united him to the royal 
monument, and would have given a deep impref- 
fion to the refledions on the vanity of human 
things, which the fight of a tomb infpireSr 

Very few Artifts catch the moral objeft ; they 
aim only at the pidurefque, " Oh, what a fine 
" fubjed: for a Belifarius /" exclaim they, when 
the converfation happens to turn on one of our 
great men, reduced to diftrefs. Nev^rthelefs, the 
liberal arts are deftined only^o revive the memory 
of Virtue, and nor Virtue to give employment 
to the fine Arts. I acknowledge, that the cele- 
brity which they procure is a powerful incentive 
to prompt men to great aftions, though, after all, 
it is not the true one ; but though it may not in- 
fpire the fentiment, it fometimes produces the aéls. 
Now-a-days we go much farther. It is no longer 

* The work of Cok/Jou^ left xinfiniflied by death. 

the 



STUDY xiii; ^43 

the glory of virtue which affociations and indivi- 
duals endeavour to merit; ii is the honour of dif- 
tributing it to others at which they aim. Heaven 
knows the ftrange confufion which refults from 
this ! Women of very fufpicious virtue, and kept- 
miftrefles, eftabliQi Rofe-feafls : they difpenfe pre- 
miums on virginity ! Opera-girls crown our viélo- 
rious Generals ! The Marefchal de Saxe, our Hif- 
torians tell us, was crowned with laurels on the na- 
tional theatre : as if the Nation had confifted of 
players, and as if it's Senate were a theatre ! For 
my own part, I look on Virtue as {o refpedable, 
that nothing more would be wanting, but a fingle 
fubjedt, in which it was eminently confpicuous, to 
overwhelm with ridicule thofe who dared to dif- 
penfe to it fuch vain and contemptible honours. 
What ftage-dancing girl, for example, durft have 
had the impudence to crown the auguft forehead 
of Turenne, or that of Fenelon. 

The French Academy would be much more 
fuccefsful, if it aimed at fixing, by the charms of 
eloquence, the attention of the Nation on our 
great men, did it attempt lefs, in the elogiums 
which it pronounces^ to panegyrize the dead, than 
to fatyrize the living. Befides, poHierity will rely 
as little on the language of praife, as on that of 
ccnfure. For, firil, the very term elogium is U^^- 
pefted of flattery : and farther, this fpecies of elo- 

R 2 quenc-e 



244 STUiJfES op NAtURE. 

quence charaderizes nothing. In order to painf 
virtuCj it is neceflary to bring forward defedls and 
vices, that conflidl and triumph may be. rendered 
confpicuous. The ftyle employed in it is full of 
pomp and luxuriance. It is crowded with reflec- 
tions, and paintings, foreign, very frequently, to 
the principal objed:. It refembles a Spanifli horfe; 
it prances about wonderfully, but never gets for- 
ward. This kind of eloquence, vague and inde- 
cifive as it is, fuits no one great man in particular^ 
becaufe it may be applied, in general, to all thofe 
who have run the fame career. If you only change 
a few proper names in the elogium of a General, 
you may comprehend in it all Generals, paft and 
future. Befides, it's bombaft tone is fo little 
adapted to the fimple language of truth and virtue, 
that when a Writer means to introduce charafterif- 
tical traits of his hero, that we may know at lead 
of whom he is fpeaking, he is Under the neceffity 
of throwing them into notes, for fear of deranging 
his academical order. 

AiTuredly, had Plutarch w^mttn the elogium only 
of illuftrious men, he would have had as few 
readers at this day as the Panegyric of Trajan, 
whith coft the younger Pliny fo many years labour. 
You will never find an academical elogium in the 
hands of one of the common People. You might 
fee them, parhaps, turning over thofe oï Fontenelle, 

and 



STUDY XIII. 245 

and a few others, if the perfons celebrated in them, 
had paid attention to the People while 'they lived. 
But the Nation takes pleafure in reading Hiftory. 

As I was walking fome time ago, toward the 
quarter of the Military School, I perceived at fome 
diftance, near a fand-pit, a thick column of fmoke. 
I bent my courfe that way, to fee what produced 
it, I found, in a very folitary place, a good deal 
refembling that which Sbakefpear makes the fcene 
where the three witches appear to Macbeth, a poor 
and aged woman fitting upon a ftone. She was 
deeply engaged in reading in an old book, clofe 
by a great pile of herbage, which flie had fet on 
fire. I firft afked her for what purpofe (he was 
burning thofe herbs? She replied, that it was 
for the fake of the alhes, which fhe gathered 
up and fold to the laundrefles ; that for this end 
Ihe bought of the gardeners the refufe plants of 
their grounds, and was waiting till they were en- 
tirely confumed, that flie might carry off the alhes, 
becaufe they were liable to be ftolen in her ab- 
fence. After having thus fatisfied my curiofity, 
fhe returned to her book, and read on with deep 
attention. Eagerly defirous to know what book 
it was with which (he (illed up her hours of lan- 
guor, I took the liberty to afk the title of it. *' It 
*' is the life of M. de Turenne,'' (he replied. *' Well, 
*' what do you think of him ?" faid I. ** Ah!" 

R 3 replied 



246 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

replied Oie, with emotion, " he was a very brave 
*' man, who fuffered much uneafinefs from a Mi- 
*' nifter of State, while he was alive !" I withdrew, 
filled with increafed veneration for the memory of 
M. de Turenne, who ferved to confole a poor old 
woman in diftrefs. It is thus that the virtues of 
the lower clafles of fociety fupport themfelves on 
thofe of great men, as the feeble plants, which, to 
efcape being trampled under foot, cling to the 
trank of the oak. 

OF NOBILITY. 

The ancient Nations of Europe imagined, that 
the moft powerful ftimulus to the pradice of vir- 
tue, was to ennoble the defcendants of their virtu- 
ous citizens. They involved themfelves, by this, 
in very great inconveniencies. For, in rendering 
nobility hereditary, they precluded, to the reft of 
the citizens, the paths which lead to diftin6lion. 
As it is the pei*petual, exclufive, poffeffion of a cer- 
tain number of families, it ceafes to be a national 
recompenfe, otherwife, a whole Nation v/ould con- 
fift of Nobles at length; which would produce a 
lethargy fatal to arts and handicrafts ; and this is 
actually the cafe in Spain, and in part of Italy. 

Many other mifchiefs neceflarily refult from he- 
reditary nobleffe, the principal of which is, the 

formation. 



STUDY XIÎI. 247 

formation, in a State, of two feveral Nations, which 
come, at laft, to have nothing in common between 
them ; patriotifm is annihilated, and both the one 
and the other haftens to a ftate of fubjeftion. 
Such has been, within our recolledion, the fate of 
Hungary, of Bohemia, of Poland, and even of 
part of the provinces of our own kingdom, fuch 
as Britanny, where a nobility, infufferably lofty, 
and multiplied beyond all bounds, formed a clafs 
abfolutely diftind from the reft of the citizens. It 
is well worthy of being remarked, that thefe coun- 
tries, though republican, though fo powerful, in 
the opinion of our political Writers, from the free- 
dom of their conftitution, have been very eafily 
fubjedled by defpotic Princes, who were the maf- 
ters,*they tell us, of flaves only. The reafon is, 
that the People, in every country, prefer one So- 
vereign to a thoufand tyrants, and that their fate 
always decides the fate of their lordly oppreflbrs. 
The Romans foftened the unjuft and odious di- 
ftindtions which exifted between Patricians and 
Plebeians, by granting to thefe laft, privileges and 
employments of the liigheft refpedability. 

Means, in my opinion, ftill more effectual, were 
employed by that People, to bring the two clafles 
of citizens to a ftate of clofer approximation ; par- 
ticularly the pradice of adoption. How many great 
men ftarted up out of the mafs of the People, toi 

R 4 merit 



24» STUDIES OF NATURE. 

merit this kind of r^compenfe, as illuftiious as 
thofe which Country beftows, and ftill more ad- 
drefled to the heart ! Thus did the Catos and the 
Scipios di{lingui(h themfelves, in hope of being in- 
grafted into Patrician famiUes. Thus it was that the 
Plebeian Jgricola obtained in marriage the daughter 
of Aiignftus. I do not know, but, perhaps, I am only 
betraying my own ignorance, that adoption ever 
was in ufe among us, unlefs it were between cer- 
tain great Lords, who, from the failure of heirs of 
blood, were at a lofs how to difpofe of their vaft 
pofTefilons when they died. I confider adoption 
as much preferable to nobility conferred by the 
State. It might be the means of reviving ilkif- 
trious families, the defcendants of which are now 
languifhing in the miofl" abjeâ; poverty. It #ould 
endear the Nobility to the People, and the People 
Î0 the Nobility. It would be proper that the pri- 
vilege of beftowing the rights of adoption, (liould 
be rendered a fpecies of recompenfe to the No- 
blefle themfelves. Thus, for example, a poor man 
of family, who had diftinguilhed himfelf, might 
be empowered to adopt one of the commonalty, 
who Ihould acquire eminence. A man of birth 
would be on the look-out for viitue among the 
People ; and a virtuous man of the commonalty, 
would go in queft of a vyorthy nobleman as a pa- 
tron. Such political bonds of union appear to me 
more poweiful, and more honourable, than mer- 

cenarv 



STUDY XIII. 249 

cenary matrimonial alliances, which, by uniting 
two individual citizens of different clafles, fre- 
quently alienate their families. Nobility, thus 
acquired, would appear ro me far preferable to that 
which public employments confer; forthefe, being 
entirely the purchafe of fo much money, from that 
very circumftance lofe their refpcftability, and, 
confequently, degrade the nobility attached to 
them. 

But, taking it at the befl, one d i fad vantage m u ft 
ever adhere to hereditary nobility, namely, the 
eventual exceffive multiplication of perfons of that 
defcription. A remedy for this has been attempted 
among us, by adjudging nobility to various pro- 
feffions, fuch as maritime commerce. Firft of all, 
it may be made a queftion. Whether the fpirit 
of commerce can be perfedly confiftent with the 
honour of a gentleman ? Befides, What commerce 
fhall he carry on, who has got nothing ! Muft not 
a premium be paid to the merchant for admitting 
a young man into his counting- houfe, to learn the 
lirft principles of trade ? And where Ihould fo 
many poor men, of noble birth, find the means, 
who have not wherewithal to clothe their chil- 
dren ? 1 have feen fome of them, in Britanny, the 
defcendants of the moft ancient families of the pro- 
vince, fo reduced, as to earn a livelihood by mow- 
ing down the hay of the peafantry for fo much a day. 

Would 



i^<y STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Would to God, that all conditions were nobi- 
litated, the profeffion of agriculture in particular ! 
for it is that, above all others, of which every func- 
tion is allied to virtue. Jn order to be a hufband- 
man, there is no need to deceive, to flatter, to de- 
grade one's-ielf, to do violence to anoîher. He 
is not indebted, for the profits of his libour, to the 
vices or the luxury of his age, but to the bounty 
of Heaven. He adheres to his Country, at leaff, 
by the little corner of it which he cukivates. If 
the condition of the hufbandman were ennobled, a 
multitude of benefits, to the inhabitants of the 
kingdom, would refult from it. Nay, it would be 
fiifficienr, if it were not confidered as ignoble. But 
here is a refource which the State might employ, 
for the relief of the decayed nobility. Moft of the 
ancient feignories are purchafed now-a-days, by 
perfons who pofTefs no other merit but that of 
having money; fo that the honour of thofe illuf- 
trious houfes have fallen to the fliare of men who, 
to confefs the truth, are hardly worthy of them. 
The King ought to purchafe thofe lordfhips as 
often as they come to market ; referve to himfelf 
the feignorial rights, with part of the lands, and 
form, of thofe fmall domains, civil and military be- 
nefices, to be bellowed as rewards on good officers, 
ufeful citizens, and noble and poor families, nearly 
as the Ti mari Qts are in Turkey. 



OF 



STUDY XIII. 251 



OF AN ELYSIUM. 



The hereditary tranfmifTion of nobility is fub^ 
je(5t to a farther inconveniency ; namely this. 
Here is a man, who fets out with the virtues of a 
Marius, and finiQies the career, loaded with all his 
vices. I am going to propofe a mode of diftin- 
guifhing fuperior worth, which (hall not be liable 
lo the dangers of inheritance, and of human in- 
conftancy : it is to with-hold the rewards of virtue 
till after death. 

Death affixes the laft feal to the memor}'^ of 
Man. It is well known of what weight the deci- 
fions were, which the Egyptians pronounced upon 
their citizens, after life was terminated. Then, 
too, it was, that the Romans fometimes exalted 
theirs to the rank of demi-gods, and fometimes 
threw them into the Tiber. The People, in de- 
fault of priefts and magiftrates, ftill exercifes, 
among us, a part of this priefthood. I have oftener 
than once flood ftill, of an evening, at fight of a 
magnificent funeral proceffion, not fo much to ad- 
mire the pomp of it, as to llften to the judgment 
pronounced by the populace on the high and puif- 
fant Prince, whofe obfequies were celebrating. I 
have frequently heard the queftion afked. Was he 

a good 



i,^Z STUDIES OF ÎTATURE. 

a good mafter ? Was he fond of his wife and chil- 
dren ? Was he a friend to the poor ? The People 
infift particularly on this laft queflion; becaufe, 
being conunually influenced by the principal call 
of Nature, they diftingui(b, in the rich, hardly any 
other virtue than beneficence. I have often heard 
this reply given : " Oh ! he never did good to any 
«' one : he was an unkind relation, and a harfh 
*^ mafter." I have heard them fay, at the inter- 
ment of a Farmer-General, who left behind him 
more than twelve millions of livres, (half a mil- 
lion fterling) : " he drove away the country poor, 
*' from the gate of his caftle, with fork and flail." 
On fuch occaiions, you hear the fpedators fall a 
fwearing, and curfing the memory of the deceafed. 
Such are, ufually, the funeral orations of the rich, 
in i,he mouth of the populace. There is little 
doubt, that their decifions would produce confe- 
quences of a certain kind, were the police of Faris. 
lefs ftrict than it is, 

Death alone can enfure reputation, and nothing 
fhort of religion can confecrate it. Ourgiandeesare 
abundantly aware of this. Hence the fumptuoufnefs 
of their monuments, in our churches. It is not that 
the clergy make a point of their being interred 
there, as many imagine. The clergy would equally 
receive their perquihtes, were the interment in the 
country : they would take care, and very juftly, to 

be 



STUDY Xlli. 2J3 

be well paid for fuch journies j and they would bo 
relieved from breathing, all the year round, in 
their ftalls, the putrid exhalations of rotting car^ 
cafes. The principal obftacle to this neceflary re* 
form in our police, proceeds from the great and 
the rich, who, feldom difpofed to crowd the church 
in their life time, are eager for admiffion after their 
death, that the people may admire their fuperb 
maiifeieay and their virtues portrayed in brafs and 
marble. But, thanks to the allegorical reprefenta- 
tions of our Artifts, and to the Latin infcriptions 
of our Literatiy the People know nothing about 
the matter ; and the only reflexion which they 
make, at fight of them, is, that all this muft have 
coft an enormous fum of money ; and that fuch a 
vaft quantity of copper might be converted, to 
advantage, into porridge-pots. 

' Religion alone has the power of confecrating, 
in a manner that (hall laft, the memory of Virtue. 
The King of Pruffia, who was fo well acquainted 
with the great moving fprings of politics, did not 
overlook this. As the Proteftant Religion, which 
is the general profeflîon of his kingdom, excludes 
from the churches the images of the Saints, he fup- 
plied their place with the portraits of the moft di- 
flinguifhed officers who had fallen in his fervice. 
The firft time I looked into the churches at Berlin, I 
was not a little aftonilhed to fee the walls adorned 

with 



«54 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

with the portraits of officers in their nniforrn. Be- 
neath, there was an infcription indicating their 
names, their age, the place of their birth, and the 
battle in which they had been killed. There is 
likewife fubjoined, if my recolledion is accurate, 
a line or two of elogium. The military enthufiafm 
kindled by this fight is inconceivable. 

Among us, there is not a monkifih order (o 
mean, as not to exhibit in their cloifters, and in 
their churches, the pidures of their great men, be- 
yond all contradiftion more refpefted, and better 
known, than thofe of the State. Thefe fubjeds, 
always accompanied with pidlurefque and intereft- 
ing circumftances, are the mofh powerful means 
which they employ for attracting novices. The 
Carthufians already perceive, that the number of 
their novices is diminiQied, now that ihey have no 
longer, in their cloifters, the melancholy hiftory of 
S. Bruno, painted, in a ftyle fo mafterly, by Le 
Sueur. No one order of citizens prizes the por- 
traits of men who have been ufeful only to the Na- 
tion, and to Mankind ; print-fellers alone fome- 
tinies difplay the images of them, filed on a firing, 
and illuminated with blue and red. Thither the 
People refort to lock for them among thofe of 
players and opera-girls. We il.all foon have, it is 
faid, the exhibition of a mufeum at the Tuille- 
ries i but that royal monument is confecrated ra- 
ther 



STUDY XIII. 255 

ther to talents than to patriotifm, and like fo many 
others, ic will, undoubtedly, be locked up from the 
People. 

Firft of all, I would have -it made a rule, that 
no citizen whatever fhould be interred in the 
church. Xenophon relates that Cyr.us^ ihe fovereign 
Lord of the gseateft part of Alia, gave orders, at 
his death, that his body fhould be buried in the 
open country, under the trees, to the end that, 
faid this great Prince, the elements of it might be 
quickly united to thofe of Nature, and contribute 
a-new to the formation of her beautiful Works. 
This fentiment was worthy of the fublime foul of 
Cyrus. But tombs in every country, efpecially the 
tombs of great Kings, are the moft endeared of all 
monuments to the Nations. The Savages confider 
thofc of their anceftors as titles to the poffeffion of 
the lands which they inhabit. " This country is 
** ours," fay they, " the bones of our fathers are 
** here laid to reft." When they are forced to 
quit it, they dig them up with tears, and carry 
them off with every token of refpeâ. 

The Turks ereft their tombs by the fide of the 
high-ways, as the Romans did. The Chinefe make 
theirs enchanted fpots. They place them in the 
vicinity of their cities, in grottos dug out of the 
fide of hills ,• they decorate the entrance into them 

with 



2.^6 STUDIES OP NATURE. 

with pieces of architedlure, and plant before them, 
and all around, groves of cyprefs, and of firs, in- 
termingled with trees which bear flowers and fruits. 
Thefe fpots infpire a profound and a delicious me- 
lancholy ; not only from the natural efFeâ: of their 
decoration, but from the moral fentiment excited 
in us by tombs, which are, as we have faid in an- 
other place, monuments ereded on the confines of 
two Worlds. 

Our great ones, then, would lofe nothing of the 
refpeft which they wifli to attach to their memory, 
were they to be interred in public receptacles of 
the dead, adjoining to the Capital. A magnificent 
fepulchral chapel might be conftruded in the midfl 
of the burying ground, devoted folely to funereal 
obfequies, the celebration of which frequently di- 
flurbs the worfliip of God in pariQi-churches. Ar- 
tifts might give full fcope to their imagination, in 
the decorations of fuch a maufoleum ; and the 
temples of humility and truth would no longer be 
profaned, by the vanity and faKhood of monu- 
mental epitaphs. 

While each citizen Iliould be left at liberty to 
lodge himfelf, agreeably to his own fancy, in this 
lafl and lafling abode, I would have a large fpace 
feleded, not far from Paris, to be confecrated by 
every folemnity of Religion, to be a general recep- 
tacle 



STUDY XIII. 257 

tacle of the afhes of fuch as may have deferved well 
of their country. 

The fervices which may be rendered to ouf 
Country, are infinite in number, and very various 
in their Nature. We hardly acknowledge any 
but what are of one and the fame kind, derived 
from formidable qualities, fuch as valour. We 
revere that only which terrifies us. The tokens 
of our efteem are frequently teftimonies of our 
weak nefs. We are brought up to fenfe of fear 
only, and not of gratitude. There is no mo- 
dern Nation fo infignificant, as not to have it's 
Alexander and it's Cefar to commemorate, but no 
one it's Bacchus and it's Ceres. The Ancients, as 
valiant, at leaft, as we are, thought incomparably 
better. Plutarch obferves fomewhere, that Ceres 
and Bacchus, who were mortals, attained the fu- 
preme rank of Gods, on account of the pure, uni- 
verfal, and lading bleffings which they had pro- 
cured for Mankind ; but that Hercules, Thefeus, 
and other Heroes, were raifed only to the fub- 
ordinate rank of demi»gods, becaufe the fervices 
which they rendered to men, were traniient, cir- 
cumfcribed, and contained a great mixture of evil, 

I have often felt aftonifiiment at our indifference 
about the memory of thofe of our Anceftors who 
introduced ufeful trees into the country, the fruits 

■VOL, IV. s and 



^5^ STUDIES OF NATURE. 

and (hade of which are to this day fo delicious. 
The names of thofe benefaâiors are, moft of them, 
entirely unknown ; their benefits are, however, 
perpetuated to us from age to age. The Romans 
. did not ad in this manner. Pliny tells us, with no 
fmall degree of feif- complacency, that of the eight 
fpecies of cherry known at Rome in his time, one 
was called the Plinian, after the name of one of 
his relations, to whom Italy was indebted for it. 
The other fpecies of this very fruit bore, at Rome, 
the names of the moft illuftrious families, being 
denominated the Apronian, the Aclian, the Cseci- 
lian, the Julian. He informs us that it was Z-k- 
cullits who, after the defeat of Mit bridâtes, tranf- 
planted, from the kingdom of Pontus, the firft 
cherry-trees into Italy, from whence they were pro- 
pagated, in lefs than a hundred and twenty years, 
all over Europe, England not excepted, which 
was then peopled with barbarians. They were, 
perhaps, the firft means of the civilization of that 
Ifland, for the firft laws always fpring up out of 
agriculture : and for this very reafon it is, that the 
Greeks gave to Ceres the name of Legiflatrix. 

Pliny, in another place, congratulates Pompey 
and Vejpafian on having difplayed, at Rome, the 
ebony-tree, and that of the balm of Judea, in the 
midft of iheir triumphal proceflions, as if they had 
then triumphed, not only over the Nations, but 

over 



STUDY XIII. 459 

over the very Nature of their countries. AlTaredly, 
if I entertained a wifh to have my name perpe- 
tuated, I would much rather have it affixed to a 
fruit in France, than to an ifland in America. 
The People, in the feafon of that fruit, would recal 
my memory with tokens of refped:. My name, 
preferved in the balkets of the peafantry, would 
endure longer, than if it were engraved on columns 
of marble. I know of no monument, in the noble 
family of Montmorenci^ more durable, and more en» 
deared to the People, than the cherry which bears 
it*s name. The Good-Henry, otherwife Japathum^ 
which grows without culture in the midft of our 
plains, will confer a more lading duration on the 
memory of Henry IV. than the ilatue of bronze 
placed on the Pont-Neuf, though proteded by an 
iron rail and a guard of foldiers. • If the feeds, and 
the heifers, which Louis XV. by a natural move- 
ment of humanity, fent to the Ifland of Taiti, 
(hould happen to multiply there, they will preferve 
his memory much longer, and render it much 
dearer, among the Nations of the South-Sea, than 
the pitiful pyramid of bricks, which the fawning 
Academicians attempted to rear in honor-r of him 
at Quito, and, perhaps, than the ftatues ereéted ta 
him in the heart of his own kingdom. 

The benefit of a ufeful plant is, in my opinion, 
ojae of the moft important fervicçs, which a citizen 

s 2i can 



2.6o STUDIES OF NATURE. 

can render to his Country. Foreign plants unite 
us to the Nations from whence they come j they 
convey to us a portion of their happinefs, and of 
their genial Suns. The olive-tree reprefents to 
me the happy climate of Greece, much better than 
the book of Paujanias -, and I find the gifts of 
Minerva more powerfully expreffed in it, than 
upon medallions. Under a great-cheftnut in blof- 
fom, I feel myfelf laid to reft amidft the rich um- 
brage of America ; the perfume of a citron tran- 
fporrs me to Arabia ; and I am an inhabitant of 
voluptuous Peru, whenever I inhale the emanations 
of the heliotrope. 

I would begin, then, with erecting the firft mo- 
numents of the public gratitude to thofe who have 
introduced among us the ufeful plants ; for this 
purpofe, I would feled one of the illands of the 
Seine, in the vicinity of Paris, to be converted into 
an Elyfium. I would take, for example, that 
one which is below the majeftic bridge of Neuilly, 
and which, in a few years more, will aftually be 
joined to the fuburbs of Paris. I v/ould extend 
my field of operation, by taking in that branch of 
the Seine which is not adapted to the purpofes of 
navigation, and a large portion of the adjoining 
Continent. I would plant this extenfive diftriâ: 
with the trees, the (hrubbery, and the herbage, 
with which France has been enriched for feveral 

ages 



STUDY XIII. 261 

ages paft. There fliould be aflemblcd the great 
Indian-cheftnut, the tulip-tree, the mulberry, the 
acacia of America and of Afia ; the pines of Vir- 
ginia and Siberia; the bear's-ear of the Alps; the 
tulips of Calcedonia, and fo on. The fervice-tree 
of Canada, with it's fcarlet clufters ; the magnolia 
grandiflora of America, which produces the largeft 
and m oft odoriferous of flowers: the ever-green 
thuia of China, which puts forth no apparent 
flower, fhould interlace their boughs, and form, 
here and there, enchanted groves. 

Under their fliade, and amidft carpets of varie- 
gated verdure, Ihould be reared the monuments of 
thofe who tranfplanted them into France. We 
fliould behold, around the magnificent tomb of 
Nicoty AmbafTador from France to the Court of 
Portugal, which is at prefent in the church of St. 
Paul, the famous tobacco-plant fpring up, called 
at firft, afcer his name, Nuotiana, becaufe he was 
the man who firft diffufed the knowledge of it 
over Europe. There is not a European Prince 
but what owes him a ftatue for that fervice, for 
there is not a vegetable in the World which has 
poured fuch fums into their treafuries, and fo many- 
agreeable illufions into the minds of their fubjefts. 
The nepenthes of Homer is not once to be compared 
to it. There might be engraved on a tablet of 
piarblcj adjoining to it, the name of the Fleniiili 

s 3 Anger 



262r STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Auger de Bujbequius, Ambaflador from Ferdinand 
the Firft, King of the Romans, to the Porte, in 
other refpeds fo eftimable, from the charms of his 
epiflolary correfpondence j and this fmall monu- 
ment might be placed under the fhade of the li- 
lach, which he tranfported from Conftantinople, 
and of which he made a prefent to Europe *, in 
1562. The lucern of Media fhould there furround, 
with it's (hoots, the monument dedicated to the 
memory of the unknown hufbandman, who firft 
fowed it on our flinty hillocks, and who prefented 
us with an article of pafture, in parched fituations, 
which renovates itfelf at Icaft four times a year. 
At fight of the folanum of America, which pro- 
duces at it's root the potatoe, the poorer part of 
the community would blefs the name of the man 
who fecured to them a fpecies of aliment, which is 
not liable, like corn, to fufFer by the inconflancy of 
the elements, and by the granaries of monopolizers. 
There too fhould be difplayed, not without a lively 
intereft, the urn of the unknown Traveller who 
adorned, to endlefs generations, the humble win- 
dow of his obfcure habitation, with the brilliant 
colours of Aurora, by tranfplanting thither the nun 
of Peru -j~. 

* See Matthiola on Dïefcondes. 
f For my own part, I would contemplate the monument of 
that man, were it but a fimple tile, with more refpeft than the 
fuperb roaufolea which have been reared, in many places of Eu- 

'^ rope. 



STITDY XIII, 263 

On advancing into this delicious fpot, we (l:ould 
behold, under domes and porticos, the a(hes and 
the bufts of thofe who, by the invention of ufeful 
arts, have taught us to avail ourfelves of the pro- 
dudtions of Nature, and who, by their geniu-s, 
have fpared us the neceflity of long and painful 
labours. There would be no occafion for epi- 
taphs. The figures of the implements employed 
in weaving of ftockings j of thofe ufed in twifting 
of filk, and in the conftruftion of the windmill, 
■would be monumental infcriptions as a-uguft, and 
as expreflive, on the tombs of their inventors, as 
the fphere infcribed in the cylinder on that of 
Archimedes. There might, one day, be traced the 
aëroftatic globe, on the tomb of Mongolfier ; but 
it would be proper to know beforehand, whether 
that ftrange machine, which elevates men into the 
air, by means of fire, or gas, (hall contribute to 
the happinefs of Mankind; for the name of the 
inventor of gunpowder himfelf, were we capable 
of tracing it, could not be admitted into the re- 
treats of the benefaâ:ors of Humanity. 

rope, and of America, in honour of the inhuman conquerors of 
Mexico and Peru. More Hiftorians than one have given us 
their elogium ; but divine Providence has done them juftice. 
They all died a violent death, and moft of them by the hand of 
the executioner. 

S 4 On 



â64 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

On approaching toward the centre of this Ely- 
fium, we fhould meet with monuments ftill more 
venerable, of thofe who, by their virtue, have 
tranfmitted to pofterity, fruits far more delicious 
than thofe of the vegetables of Afia, and who have 
called into exercife the moft fublime of all talents. 
There fhould be placed the monuments, and the 
flatues of the generous Diiquefnej who himfelf fitted 
out a fquadron, at his fole expenfe, in the defence 
of his Country : of the fage Calinat, equally tran- 
quil in the mountains of Savoy, and in the humble 
retreat of St. Gratian ; and of the heroic Chevalier 
d' AJfas^ facrificing himfelf by night, for the pre- 
fervation of the French army, in the woods of 
Klofterkam. 

There, fhould be the illuftrious Writers, who 
inflamed their compatriots with the ardor of per- 
forming great adlions. There we fliould fee Amyot, 
leaning on the buft oï Plutarch y and Thou, who 
haft given, at once, the theory, and the example 
of virtue, divine Author of Telemachus ! we fliould 
revere thy allies, and thy image, in an image of 
thofe elyfian fields, which thy pencil has delineated 
in fuch glowing colours. 

I would likewife give a place to the monuments 
of eminent women, for virtue knows no diftinc- 

tion 



STUDY XIII. 265 

«îon of fex : there ftiould be reared the ftatues of 
thofe who, with all the charms of beauty, prefer- 
red a laborious and obfcure life, to the vain de- 
lights of the World; of matrons who re-eftabliflied 
order in a deranged family ; who, faithful to the 
memory of a hufband, frequently chargeable with 
infidelity, preferved inviolate the conjugal vow, 
even after death had cancelled the obligation, and 
devoted youth to the education of the dear pledges 
of an union now no more : and, finally, the vene- 
rable effigies of thofe who attained the higheft 
pinnacle of diflinâiion, by the very obfcurity of 
their virtues. Thither (bould be tranfported the 
tomb of a Lady of Lamoignon, from the poor 
cHurch of Saint Giles, where it remains unno- 
ticed ; it's affedling epitaph w^ould render it flill 
more worthy of occupying this honourable flation, 
than the chifel of Girardon, whofe mafter-piece it 
is : in it we read that a defign had been enter- 
tained to bury her body in aaother place ; but the 
poor of the parifh, to whom fhe was a mother all 
her life long, carried it off by force, and depofited 
it in their church : they themfelves would, un- 
doubtedly, tranfport the remains of their benefac- 
trefs, and refort to this hallowed fpor, to difplay 
them to the public veneration. 

Hie manus ob Patriam, pugnando vulnera paffi j 
Quique Sacerdotes cafti, Hum vita manebat ; 
Çî^iiqpe pii Vates, & Phxsbo digna locuti ; 

Inventas 



266 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Inventas âut qui vitam excoluere per artes ; 
Quique fui memores alios fecere merendo *. 

^NEiD. Book vi. 

' ** Here inhabit the heroic bands who bled in 
" fighting the battles of their Country; the facred 
** miniflers of religion, whofe life exhibited un- 
** fullied purity ; venerable bards, who uttered 
'* ftrains not unworthy of Jpoi/o himfelf ; and 
" thofe, who, by the invention of ufeful arts, con- 
'* tributed to the comfort of human life ; all thofe, 
** in a word, who, by deferving well of Mankind, 
** have purchafed for themfelves adeathlefs name.** 

* Thus imitated : 

Here, Patriot-bands, who for their Country bled : 

Priefts, who a life of pureft virtue led : 

Here, Bards fublime, fraught with ethereal fire, 

Whofe heavenly ftrains outvied Apollo'% lyre : 

Divine Inventors of the ufeful Arts : 

Ail thofe whofe generous and expanfive hearts, 

By goodnefs fought to purchafe honeft fame ; 

And dying left behind a deathlefs name. 

Had St. Pierre.) in the courfe of his travels, come over to this Ifland, 
and vifited Stonve, he would have found his idea of an Elyfium 
anticipated, and upon no mean fcale, by the great Lord Cobham, 
who has rendered every fpot, of that terreftrial Paradife, facred to 
the memory of departed excellence. What would have given our 
Author peculiar fatisfaftion, the Parifli Church ftands in the 
centre of the Garden ; hence the People have unreftrained accefs 
to it ; the monuments are, for the moft part, patriotic, without 
regard to the diftinftions of rank and fortune, except as allied to 
yirtue ; and the beft infcriptions are in plain English, and 

humble 



STUDY xiiï. aSy 

There I would have, fcattered about, monu- 
ments of every kind, and apportioned to the va- 
rious degrees of merit ; obelifks, columns, pyra- 
mids. 



humble profe. In a beautifully folemn valley, watered by a filent 
ftream, and (haded by the trees of the Country, ftands the Temple 
of the Britifh Worthies. The decorations, and the arrangements, 
are fixnple : only that there is mythological Mercury peeping over 
in the centre, to contemplate the immortal fliades whom he has 
conducted to the Elyfian Fields. Were I Marquis of Bucking- 
ham, the wing-heeled God, with hiscaduceus, and Latin motto, 
fhould no longer disfigure the uniformity and fimplicity of that 
enchanting fcene; an4 if Charoti''i o\à crazy barge, too, were 
funk to the bottom, the place and the idea would be greatly im^ 
proved. 

To thofe who have never been at Stowe, it may not be unac- 
ceptable to read the Names ; and the charaéleriftic Jnfcriptions, 
of this lovely retreat, confecrated to Patriot worth, exalted ge- 
nius, and the love of the Human Race. 

SIR THOMAS GRESHAM, 

Who, by the honourable profefTion of a Merchant, having en- 
riched himfelf, and his Country, for carrying on the .Commerce 
of the World, built the Royal Exchange. 

IGNATIUS JONES, 

Who, to adorn his Country, introduced and rivalled the Greek 
and Roman Architeélure. 

JOHN MILTON, 
Whofe fublime and unbounded genius equalled a fubjeél that 
«arried him beyond the limits of the World. 

WILLIAM 



268 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

mids, urns, bas-reliefs, medallions, flatues, tablets, 
periftyles, domes; I would not have them crowded 
together, as in a reppfitory, but difpofed with taflej 

neither 



WILLIAM SHAKESPEAR, 

Whofe excellent genius opened to him the whole heart of IMait, 
all the mines of Fancy, all the flores of Nature ; and gave him 
power, beyond all other Writers, to move, aftonifh, and delight 
Mankind. 

JOHN LOCKE, 

Who, beft of all Philofophers, undtrftood the powers of the 
Human Mind, the nature, end, and bounds of Civil Govern- 
ment ; and, with equal courage and fagacity, refuted the flavifti 
fyilems of ufurped authority over the rights, the CQnfciences, or 
the reafon of Mankind. 

SIR ISAAC NEWTON. 
Whom the God of Nature made to comprehend his Works ; 
and, from fimple principles, to difcover the Laws never known 
before, and to explain the appearances, never uaderftood, of 
this flupendous Univerfe, 

SIR FRANCIS BACON, (Lord Verulam.) 
Who by the ftrength and light of a fuperior genius, reje<fling 
vain fpeculation, and fallacious theory, taught to purfue truth, 
and improve Philofophy by the certain method of experîment. 

KING ALFRED, 

The mildefl:, jufteft, moft beneficent of Kings ; who drove out 
the Danes, fecured the Seas, proteéled Learning, eftabliflied Ju-, 
ries, cruflied Corruption, guarded Liberty, and was the Founder 
of the Englifli Conftitutio|i. 

EDWARD, 



STUt)Y xni. 469 

neither would I have them all of white marble, as 
if they came out of the fame quarry ; but of 
marbles, and ftones, of every colour. There would 

be 



EDWARD, PRINCE OF WALES, 

The terror of Europe, the delight of England; who preferved, 
unaltered, in the height of Glory and Fortune, his natural Gen- 
dene& and Modefty. 

QUEEN ELIZABETH, 

Who confounded the projets, and deftroyed the Power that 
threaterved to opprefs the Liberties of Europe j Ihook off the 
yoke of EccIefiaiHcal Tyranny ; reftored Religion from the Cor- 
ruptions of Popery ; and, by a wife, a moderate, and a popular 
Government, gave Wealth, Security, and Refpedl to England. 

KING WILLIAM III. 

Who by his Virtue and Conftancy, having faved his Country 
from a foreign Mafter, by a bold and generous enterprize, pre- 
ierved the Liberty and Religion of Great-Britain. 

SIR WALTER RALEIGH, 

A valiant Soldier, and an able Statefman ; who, endeavouring 
to rouze the fpirit of his Mafter, for the Honour of his Country, 
againft the ambition of Spain, fell a facrifice to the influence of 
that Court, whofe arms he had vanquilhed, and whofe defigns 
he oppofed. 

SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, 

Who, through many perils, was the firft of Britons that adven- 
tured to fail round the Globe ; and carried into unknown Seas 
and Nations, the knowledge and glory of the Englifli Name. 



2-70 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

be no occafion, through the whole extent of this 
vaft enclofure, which I fuppofe to be, at lead, a 
mile and a half in diameter, for the application of 
the line, nor for digging up the ground, nor for 
grafs-plots, nor for trees cut into fliape, and fan- 
taflically trimmed, nor for any thing refembling 
what is to be feen in our gardens. For a fimilar 
reafon, I would have no Latin infcriptions, nor 
mythological exprefïions, nor any thing that fa- 
voured of the Academy. Still lefs would 1 admit 
of dignities, or of honours, which call to remem" 
brance the vain ideas of the World ; I would re» 
trench from them all the qualities which are de- 
ftroyed by death ; no importance Hiould there be 
affigned but to good actions, which furvive the 
man and the citizen, and which are the only titles 
that pofterity cares for, and that God recompenfes. 
The infcriptions upon them (hould be fimple, and 
be naturally fuggefted by each particular fubje(fl, 
I would not fet the living a-talking ufelcfsly to the 
dead, and to inanimate objedls, as is the cafe in 
our epitaphs ; but the dead, and inanimate objeds, 
ihould fpeak to the living, for their inftru»5lion, as 
among the Ancients. Thefe correfpondencies of 

JOHN HAMPDEN, 

Who with great fpirit, and confummate abilities, begun a noble 
oppofition to an arbitrary Court, in defence of the Liberties of 
his Country j fupported them in Pailiament, and died for thetn 
in the Field. 

an 



STUDY XIII. 271 

an invifible to a vifible nature, of a time remote to 
the time prefent, convey to the foul the celeftial 
cxtenlion of infinity, and are the fource of the de- 
light which ancient infcriptions infpire. 

Thus, for example, on a rock, planted amidfl: a 
tuft of ftrawberry-plants of Chili, thefe words 
might be infcribed : 

X WAS UNKNOWN TO EUROPE; 

BUT, 

IN SUCH A YEAR, 

SUCH A PERSON, BORN IN SUCH A PLACE, 

TBANSFLANTEU ME FROM 

THE LOFTY MOUNTAINS OF CHILI, 

AND NOW 

I BEAR FLOWERS AND FRUIT 

IN THE HAPPY CLIMATE OF FRANCE. 

Underneath a bas-relief of coloured marble, 
which fliould reprefent little children eating, drink- 
ing, and playing, tlie following infcription might 
appear ; 

WE WERE EXPOSED IN THE STREETS TO THE DOGS, 
TO FAMINE AND COLD; 

SUCH A COMPASSIONATE FEMALE, 

OF SUCH A PLACE, 

LODGED us, CLOTHED US, AND FED US WITH THE MFLK 
WHICH OUR OWN MÛTîiEIlS HAD DENIED. 

At 



tyZ STUDIES OJ NATURE. 

At the foot of a flatue of white marble, of a 
young and beautiful woman, fitting, and wipiiig 
her eyes, with fymptoms of gfief and joy : 

I WAS ODIOUS 

IV 

THE SIGHT OF GOD AND MAN ; 

BUT, 

MELTED INTO PENITENCE, 

/ bave made my Peace with Heaven by Contrition^ 

AND MAVK 

REPAIRED THE MISCHIEF WHICH I HAD DONE TO MEN, 

JET 

Befriending the Miferable, 

Near this might be infcribed, under that of a 
young girl, in mean attire, employed with her dif- 
taff and fpindle, and looking up to Heaven with 
rapture ; 

Î HAVE LEARNED TO DESPISE 

THE FAIN DELIGHTS OF THE WORLD i 

AKD NOW 

I ENJOY HAPPINESS. 

Of thofe monuments, feme fhould exhibit no 
other elogium, but the name fimply : fuch (hould 
be, for example, the tomb which contained the 
afhes of the Author of Tekmachus; or, at moft, I 

would 



STUDY XIII. 273 

would engrave on it the following words, fo ex- 
preffive of his affeclionate and fublime character : 



HE FULFILLED THE TWO GREAT PRECEPTS OF THE LAW : 

HE LOVED GOD AND MAN. 

I have no need to fugged, that thefe infcrip- 
tions might be conceived in a much happier ftyle 
than mine ; but I would infift upon this, that in 
the figures introduced, there Ihould be difplayed 
no air of infolence ; no didieveiled locks flying 
about ih the wind^ like thofe of the Angel found- 
ing the refurredion-trumpet, no theatrical grief, 
and no violent toffing of the robes, like the Mag- 
dalene of the Carmelites ; no mythological attri- 
butes, which convey nothing inflruflive to the 
People. Every perfonage (liould there appear with, 
hîs appropriate badge of diftinflion : there fhould 
be exhibited the fea-cap of the failor, the cornet 
of the nun, the ftool of the Savoyard, pots for 
milk, and pots for foup. 

Thefe flatues of virtuous citizens ought to be 
fully as refpedable as thofe of the Gods of Pagan- 
ifm, and unqueftionably more interefting than 
that of the antique grinder or gladiator. But it 
would be neceflary that our Artifts (hould ftudy to 
convey, as the Ancients did, the charaflcrs of the 
foul in the attitude of the body, and in the traits 

VOL. IV. T ef 



274 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of the countenance, fuch as penitence, hope, joy^ 
fenfibility, innocence. Thefe are the peculiarities 
of Nature, which never vary, and which always 
pleafe, whatever be the drapery. Nay, the more 
contemptible that the occupations and the garb of 
fuch perfonages are, the more fublime will appear 
the expreffion of charity, of humanity, of inno- 
cence, and of all their virtues. A young and beau- 
tiful female, labouring like Penelope at her web, 
and modeftly dreffed in a Grecian robe, with long 
plaitSj would there, no doubt, prefent an objed 
pleafmg to every one : but I fliould think her a 
thoufand times more interefling than the figure of 
Penelope herfelf, employed in the fame labour, un- 
der the tatters of misfortune and mifery. 

There fhould be on thofe tombs, no ikeletons, 
no bats-wings, no Time with his fcythe, no one 
of thofe terrifying attributes, with which our 11a- 
vifli education endeavours to infpire us with hor- 
ror at the thought of death, that laft benefit of 
Nature; but we fhould contemplate on them 
fymbols, which announce a happy and immortal 
life; veflels, fhattered by the tempeft, arriving ûfe 
in port ; doves taking their flight toward Heaven, 
and the like. 

The facred effigies of virtuous citizens, crowned 
with flowers, with the characters of felicity, of 

peace, 



STUDY XIII. 275 

peace, and of confolation, in their faces, flioiild be 
arranged toward the centre of the ifland, around 
a vafl moffy down, under the trees of the Country, 
fuch as (lately beech-trees, majeftic pines, cheft- 
nut-trees loaded with fruit. There, Jiktwifc, 
fhould be feen the vine wedded to the elm, and 
the apple-tree of Normandy, clothed with fruit of 
all the variety of colours which flowers difplay. 
From the middle of that down fhould afcend a 
magnificent temple in form of a rotundo. It fliould 
be furronnded with a periftyle of majeftic columns, 
as was formerly at Rome the Moles Adriani, But I 
could wifli it to be much more fpacious. On the 
frize thcfe words might appear ; 

TO 

THE LOVE OF THE HUMAN RACE. 

In the centre, I would have an altar fimple and 
unornamented, at which, on certain days of the 
year, divine fervice might be celebrated. No pio- 
dudion of fculpture, nor of painting, no gold, nor 
jewels, fhould be deemed worthy of decorating 
the interior of this temple j but facred infcriptions 
fliould announce the kind of merit which there 
received the crown. All thofe who might repofe 
within the precinds, undoubtedly would not be 
Saints. But over the principal gate, on a tablet of 
T 2 white 



176 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

white marble, thefe divine words might meet the 
eye: 

Her Sins, which are many, are forgiven j 

FOR 

SHE LOVED MUCH. 

On another part of the frize, the following inv 
fcription, which unfolds the nature of our duties, 
might be difplayed : 

VIRTUE IS AN EFFORT MADE UPON OURSELVES, 

FOR 

THE GOOD OF MEN, 

IN THE VIEW ©F 

PLEASING GOD ONLY. 

To thiâ might be fubjorned the following, very, 
much calculated to reprefs our ambitious emu- 
ktions : 

THE SMALLEST ACT 

OF 

VIRTUE IS OF MORE VALUE 

THAN THE EXERCISE OF 

^ THE GREATEST TALENTS. 

On other tablets might be infcribed maxims of 
triift in the divine Providence, extraded from th« 

Philofophers 



STUDY XIII. 



277 



rhilofophers of all Nations ; fuch as the follow- 
ing, borrowed from the modern Perfians : 

WHEN AFFLICTION IS AT THE HEIGHT, 

THEN 

IVe are the moji encouraged to look for Confolation. 

THE NARROWEST PART OF THE DEFILE IS 

AT 

The Entrance of the Plain *. 
And that other of the fame country : 

WHOEVER HAS CORDIALLY DEVOTED HIS SOUL 

TO GOD, 

HAS EFFECTUALLY SECURED HIMSELF AGAINST ALL THE ILLS 
WHICH CAN BEFAL HIM, 

BOTH IN THIS WORLD, AND IN THE NEXT. 

There might be inferted fome of a philofophic 
çaft, on the vanity of human things, fuch as the 
following : 

ESTIMATE EACH OF YOUR DAYS 

By Pleafures, by Loves, by Treafiires, and by Grandeurs; 

THE LAST WILL 

ACCUSE THE^ ALL OF VANITYi^ 

t Cbarttitth Palace of Ifpahan. 

T 3 Or 



278 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Or that other, which opens to us a perfpeflive of 
the hfe to come : 

HE WHO HAS PROVIDED 

LIGHT FOR THE EYE OF MAN, SOUNDS FOR HIS EAR, 
PERFUMES FOR HIS SMELL, AND FRUITS FOR HIS PALATE, 

WILL rXND 

^he Means of One Day replenijhing his Heart, 

WHICH NOTHING HERE BELOW CAN SATISFY. 

And that other, which inculcates charity toward 
men, from the motives of felf-intereft : 

WHEN A MAN STUDIES THE WORLD, 

He prizes thoje only who pojjefs Sagacity ; 

BUT, 

WHEN HE STUDIES HIMSELF, 

He ejteems only thoje who exercije Indulgence. 

I would have the following infcribed round the 
cupola, in letters of antique bronze ; 

Mandatum novum do vobis, ut diligatis invicem ficut 
dilexi vos, ut et vos diligatis invicem. 

Joan. cap. xiii. v. 34. 

A NEW COMMANDMENT I GIVE UNTO YOU, THAT YE LOVE 

ONE ANOTHER ; AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, THAT YE 

ALSO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 

In 



STUDY XIII. 



279 



In order to decorate this temple externally, with 
a becoming dignity, no ornament would be necef- 
fary, except thofe of Nature. The firft rays of 
the rifing, and the laft of the fetting Sun, would 
gild it's cupola, towering above the forefts : in 
the day-time, the fires of the South, and by night, 
the luftre of the Moon, would trace it's majeftic 
fliadow on the fpreading down : the Seine would 
repeat the rejflexes of it in it's flowing ftream. In 
vain would the tempefh rage around it's enormous 
vault ; and when the hand of Time fliould have 
bronzed it with mofs, the oaks of the Country 
(hould ifTue from it's antique cornices, and the 
eagles of Heaven, hovering round and round, 
would refort thither to build their nells, 

Neither talents, nor birth, nor gold, fhould con- 
ftitute a title for claiming the honour of a monu- 
ment in this patriotic and holy ground. But it 
will be afked, Who is to judge, and to decide, the 
merits of the perfons whofe aQies are to be there 
depofited ? The King alone (liould have the power 
of decifion, and the People the privilege of report- 
ins: the caufe. It fhould not be fufîicient for a ci- 
tizen, in order to his obtaining this kind of diftinc- 
tion, that he had cultivated a new plant in a hot- 
houfc, or even in his garden ; but it fhould be requi- 
fite to have it naturalized in the open field, and the 
fruit of it carried for fale to the j^'ublic market. It 

T 4 o^SK^ 



2So STUDIES OF NATURE. 

ought not to be deemed fufficient, that the model 
of an ingenious machine was preferved in the coî- 
le6lion of an Artift, and approved by the Academy 
of Sciences ; it fliould be required to have the 
machine itfelf in the hands of the People, and con- 
verted to their ufe. It ought by no means to fuf- 
fice, in order to eftablilh the claim of a literary 
Work, that the prize had been adjudged to it by 
the French Academy ; but that it fliould be read 
by that cLifs of men for whofe ufe it was defigned. 
Thus, for example, a patriotic Ode fliould be ac- 
counted good for nothing, unlefs it were fung about • 
the ftreets by the common people. The merit of 
a naval or military Commander fhould be afcer- 
tained, not by the report of Gazettes, but by the 
luffrages of the failors or foldiery. 

The People, in truth, diftinguifh hardly any 
other virtue in the citizen except beneficence : 
they confult only their own leading want ; but 
their inftindl, on this article, is conformable to the 
divine Law : for all the virtues terminate in that, 
even thofe which appear the moft remote from it^ 
and fuppofing there were rich men who meant to 
captivate their affections, by doing them good, 
that is precifely the feeling with which we propofe 
to infpire them. They would fulfil their duties, 
and the lofty and the low conditions of humanity 
would be reduced to a (late o^ï approximation. 

Fr«tu, 



STUDY XIII. i8i 

From an Inftitution of this kind would refult 
the re-eftablifhment of one of the Laws of Nature, 
of all others the moft important to a Nation j I 
mean an inexhauftible perfpeftive of infinity, as 
neceflary to the happinefs of a whole Nation, as to 
that of an individual. Such is, as we have caught 
a glimpfe in another place, the nature of the hu- 
man mind ; if it perceives not infinity in it's prof- 
peels, it falls back upon itfelf, and deflroys itfelf 
by the exertion of it's own powers. Rome pre- 
fented to the patriotifm of her citizens the con- 
queft of the World : but that objed: was too li- 
mited. Her laft viâiory would have proved the 
commencement of her ruin. The eftablifhment 
which I am now propofing, is not fubjedlcd to this 
inconveniency. No objedt can pofîîbly be pro- 
pofed to Man more unbounded, and more pro- 
found, than that of his own latter end. There are 
no monuments more varied, and more agreeable, 
than thofe of virtue. Were there to be reared an- 
nually, in this Elyfium, but a fmgle tablet of the 
marble of Britanny, or of the granite of Auvergne, 
there would always be the means of keeping the 
People awake, by the fpedacle of novelty. The 
provinces of the kingdom would difpute with the 
Capital, the privilege of introducing the monu- 
ments of their virtuous inhabitants. 

What 



^Bz STUDIES OF NATURE. 

What an auguft Tribunal might be formed, of 
3ifhops eminent for their piety, of upright Ma- 
giftrates, of celebrated Commanders of armies, to 
examine their feveral pretenfions ! What memoirs 
might one day appear, proper to create an intereft 
in the minds of the People, who fee nothing in 
their library, but the fenrences of death pronounced 
on illuftrious criminals, or the lives of Saints, 
which are far above their fphere. How many new 
fubjedts.for our men of letters, who have nothing 
for it, but to trudge eternally over the beaten 
ground of the age of Louis ^IV. or to prop up 
the reputation of the Greeks and Romans ! What 
.curious anecdotes for our wealthy voluptuaries ! 
They pay a very high price for the Hiftory of an 
American infed, engraved in every pofiible man- 
ner, and fludied through the microfcope, minute 
by minute, in all the phafcs of it's exiftence. They 
would not have lefs pleafure in ftudying the man- 
ners of a poor collier, bringing up his family vir- 
tuoufly in the forcfts, in the midft of fmugglers 
and banditti ; or thofe of a wretched filherman, 
who, in finding delicacies for their tables, is 
obliged to live, like a heron, in the midft of 
tempefls. 

I have no doubt that thefe monuments, exe-' 
cuted with the tafte which we are capable of dif- 

playing 



STUDY XIII. aS^ 

playing, would attraft crowds of rich flrangers to 
Paris. They refort hither already to live in it, 
they would then flock hither to die among us. 
They would endeavour to deferve well of a Na- 
tion become the arbiter of the virtues of Europe, 
and to acquire a lafl. alykim, in the holy land of 
this Elyfium ; where all virtuous and beneficent 
men would be reputed citizens. This eftablifh- 
ment, which might be formed, undoubtedly, in a 
manner very fuperior to the feeble fketch which I 
have prefented of it, would ferve to bring the 
higher conditions of life into contad: with the 
lower, much better than our churches themfelves, 
into which avarice and ambition frequently intro- 
duce among the citizens, diftindions more humi- 
liating, than are to be met with even in Society. 
It would allure foreigners to the Capital, by hold- 
ing out to them the rights of a citizenfliip illuftri- 
ous and immortal. It would unite, in a word, 
Religion to Patriotifm^ and Patriotifm to Religion, 
the mutual bonds of which are on the point of 
being torn afunder. 

It is not neceflary for me to fubjoin, that this 
eftablilhment would be attended with no expenfe 
to the State. It might be reared, and kept up, by 
the revenue of fome rich abbey, as it would be con- 
fecrated to Religion, and to the rewards cf virtue. 
There is no reafon why it ihould become, like the 

monuments 



284 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

monuments of modern Rome, and even like many 
of our own royal monuments, an objeâ: of filthy 
lucre to individuals, who fell the fight of them to 
the curious. Particular care would be taken not 
to exclude the People, becaufe they are meanly 
habited ; nor 10 hunt out of it, as we do from 
our public gardens, poor and honed artifans in 
jackets, while well-drefled courtefans flaunt about 
with effrontery, in their great alleys. The lowed 
of the commonalty fhould have it in their power 
to enter, at all feafons. It is to you, O ye mifer- 
able of all conditions, that the fight of the friends 
of Humanity fliould of right appertain ; and your 
patrons are henceforth no where but among the 
flatues of virtuous men ! There, a foldier, at fight 
OÎ Catinat^ would learn to endure calumny. There, 
a girl of the town, fick of her infamous profeflion, 
would, with a (igh, call her eyes down to the 
ground, on beholding the flatue of Modefty ap- 
proached with honour and refped : but at light of 
that of a female of her own condition, reclaimed 
to the paths of virtue, flie would raife them to- 
ward Him who preferred repentance to innocence. 

It may be objeded to me, That ouc poorer fort 
would very foon fpread deftrudion oVer all thofe 
monuments; and it muft, indeed, be admitted, 
that they feldom fail to treat in this manner, thofe 
which do not intereft them. There fhould, un- 
doubtedly. 



STUDY XIII. 26^ 

doubtedly, be a police in this place; but the 
People refpedl monuments which are deftined to 
their ufe. They commit ravages in a park, but do 
not wantonly deftroy any thing in the open coun- 
try. They would foon take the Elyfium of their 
Country under their own proteflion, and watch 
over it with zeal much more ardent than that of 
Swifs, and military guards. 

Befides, more than one method might be de- 
Tifed, to render that fpot refpedable and dear to 
them. It ought to be rendered an inviolable afy- 
lum to the unfortunate of every defcription ; for 
example, to fathers who have incurred the debt of 
the month's nurfing of a child ; and to thofe who 
have committed venial and inconfiderate faults j 
it would be proper to prohibit any arreft taking 
place there, upon any one's peffon, except by 
an exprefs warrant from the King, under his own 
fignature. This likewife fhould be the place to 
which laborious families, out of employment, 
might be dlrefted to addrefs themfelves. There 
ought to be a ftrid prohibition to make it a place 
of alms-giving, but an unbounded permiffion todo 
good in it. Perfons of virtue, who underftand 
how to diftinguifh, and to employ men, would tc- 
fbrt thither in queft of proper objeds, in whofe 
behalf they might employ their credit; others, in 
the view of putting refpedt on the memory of fome 

illaftrious 



286 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

illudrious perfonage, would give a repaft, at the foot 
of his ftatiie, to a fainily of poor people. The State 
would fee the example of this, at certain favourite 
epochs, fuch as a feftival in honour of the King's 
birth-day. Provifions might then be diftributed 
among the populace, not by toffing loaves at their 
heads, as in our public rejoicings; but they might 
be clafled, and made to fit down on the grafs, in 
profeflional alTemblages, round the ftatues of thofe 
who invented, improved, or perftded the feveral 
arts. Such repafts would have no refemblance to 
ihofe which the rich fometimes give to the wretch- 
ed, out of ceremony, and in which they refpedl- 
fuUy wait upon their humble guefts, with napkins 
under their arm. The perfons who gave the en- 
tertainment fhould be obliged to fit down at table 
with their company, and to eat and drink with 
them. It would be needlefs to impofe on them 
the tafk of wathing the feet of the poor ; but they 
might be adrnonilhed of rendering to them a fer- 
vice of much more real importance, that of fup- 
plying them with (hoes and (lockings. 

There, the man *of wealth would be inftrufled 
really to praftife virtue, and the People to know 
it. The Nation would there learn their great du- 
ties, and be affifted in forming a juft idea of true 
greatnefs. They would behold the homage pre- 
ferited to the tnemory of virtuous men, and the 

oiferino^s 



STUDY XIII. 287 

offerings tendered to the Deity, ultimately ap- 
plied to the relief of the mifcrable. 



Such repafts would recal to our remembrance 
the love-feafts of the primitive Chriftians, and the 
Saturnalia of death, toward which every day is car- 
rying us forward, and. which, by fpeedily reducing 
us all to an eftate of equality, will efface every 
other difference among us, except that of the good 
which we (hall have done in life. 

In the days of other times, in order to do ho- 
nour to the memory of virtuous men, the faithful 
affembled in places confecrated by their adions, 
or by their fepulchres, on the brink of a fountain, 
or under the ihade of a forefl. Thither they had 
provifions carried, and invited thofe who had none, 
to come and partake with them. The fame cuf- 
toms have been common to all religions. They 
ftill fubfift in thofe of Afia. You find them pre- 
vailing among the ancient Greeks. When Xe- 
nophon had accomplilhed that famous retreat, by 
which he faved ten thoufand of his compatriots, 
ravaging, as he went, the territory of Perlia, he 
deftined part of the booty thus obtained, to the 
founding of a chapel, in Greece, to the honour of 
Diana. He attached to it a certain revenue, which 
(liould annually fupply with the amufement of the 

chace. 



288 STUDIES OF NATURE, 

chace, and with a plentiful repaft, all perfons wh» 
fhould repair to it on, a particular day. 

OF THE CLERGY. 

If our poor are fometimes partakers of fomc 
wretched ecclefiaftical diftribution, the relief which 
they thence derive, fo far from delivering them 
out of their mifery, only ferves to continue them 
in it. What landed property, however, has been 
bequeathed to the Church, exprefsly for their be- 
nefit ! Why, then, are not the revenues diflribut- 
ed, in fums fufficiently large, to refcue annually 
from indigence, at leaft a certain number of fa- 
milies ? The Clergy allege, that they are the ad- 
miniftrators of the goods of the poor : but the 
poor are neither ideots nor madmen, to ftand in 
need of adminiftrators : befides, it is impoflible to 
prove, by any one palTage of either the' Old, or 
New Teftament, that this charge pertained to the 
priefthood : if they really are the adminiftrators of 
the poor, they have, then, no lefs than feven mil- 
lions of perfons, in the kingdom, in their temporal 
adminiftration. I fliall pufh this refledlon no 
farther. It is a matter of unchangeable obligation 
to render to every one his due : the priefts are, by 
divine right, the agents of the poor, but the King 
alone is the natural adminiftrator. 

As 



STUDY XIII. 289 

As indigence is the principal caufe of the vices 
of the People, opulence may, like it, produce, in 
it's turn, irregularities in the Clergy. I fhall not 
avail myfelf here of the reprehenfions of St. Jerome., 
of St. Bernard^ of St. Augujîin, and of the other Fa- 
thers of the Church, to the Clergy of their times, 
and of the Countries in which they lived; wherein 
they predided to them the total deftrudion of Re- 
ligion, as a neceflary confequence of their manners 
and of their riches. The predidion of feveral of 
them was fpeedily verified in Africa, in Afia, in 
Judea, and in the Grecian Empire, in which not 
only the religion, but the very civil government 
of thofe Nations, totally difappeared. The avidity 
of mod ecclefiaftics foon renders the fundlions of 
the Church fufpicious ; this is an argument which 
flrikes all men. I believe witnefles, faid Pafcal^ 
who brave death. This reafoning, however, muil 
be admitted, not without many grains of allow- 
ance ; but no objedion can be offered to this : I 
diftrufl witnefles who are enriching themfelves by 
their teftimony. Religion, in truth, has proofs 
natural and fupernatural, far fuperior to thofe 
which men are capable of furnifhing it with. She 
is independent of our regularity, and of our irre- 
gularity j but our Country depends on thefe. 

The World, at this day, looks on mod prJeAs 

with an eye of envy ; ftiall I lay of hatred ? But 

VOL. IV. u they 



290 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

they are the children of their age, juft like other 
men. The vices which are laid to their charge, 
belong partly to their Nation, partly to the times 
in which they live, to the political conflicution of 
the State, and to their education. Ours are French- 
men, like ourfelvesj they are our kinfmen, fre- 
quently facrificed to our own fortune, through the 
ambition of our fathers. Were we charged with 
the performance of their duties, we ihould fre- 
quently acquit ourfelves worfe than they do. I 
know of none fo painful, none fo worthy of rtfpeâ:, 
as thofe of a good ecclefiafhic. 

I do not fpeak of thofe of a Bifhop, who exer- 
cifes a vigilant care over his diocefe, who inftitutes 
judicious feminaries of inftruftion, who maintains 
regularity and peace in communities, who refifts 
the wicked, and fupports the weak, who is always 
ready to fuccour the miferable, and who, in this 
age of error, refutes the objeftions of the enemies 
of the faith, by his own virtues. He has his re- 
ward in the public efteem. It is poffible to pur- 
chafe, by painful labours, the glory of being a 
Fenelon, or a Jitipié. I fay nothing of thofe of a 
parifh minifler, which, from their importance, 
fomeiimes attract the attention of Kings ; nor of 
thofe of a mifTionary, advancing to the crown .of 
martyrdom. The conflids of this laft frequently 
endure but for a fingle day, and his glory is im- 
mortal. 



STUDY XIII. 291 

mortal. But I fpeak of thofe of a fitnple and ob- 
fcure parifh-drudge, to whom no one pays any 
manner of attention. He is under the neceffity, 
in the firft place of facrificing the pleafures, and 
the liberty, of his juvenile days, to irkfome and 
painful ftudies. He is obliged to fupport, all the 
days of his life, the exercife of continency, like a 
cumberfome cuirafs, on a thoufandoccafions which 
endanger the lofs of it. The World honours thea^ 
trical virtues only, and the vidlories of a fmgle mo- 
ment. But to combat, day after day, an enemy 
lodged within the fortrefs, and who makes his ap- 
proaches under the difguife of a friend ; to repel 
inceflantly, without a witnefs, without glory, with-- 
out applaufe, the mod impetuous of paffions, and 
the gentleft of propenfities — this is not eafy. 

Conflits of another kind await him, from with- 
out. He is every day called upon to expofe his 
life to the attack of epidemical diftempers. He 
is obliged to confefs, with his head on the fame 
pillow, perfons attacked with the fmall-pox, with 
the putrid and the purple fever. This obfcure for- 
titude appears to me very far fuperior to the cou- 
rage of a foldier. The military man combats in 
the view of armies, animated with the noife of can- 
non aiid drums; he prefents himfelf to the flroke 
of death as a hero. But the prieft devotes himfelf 
to it as a vidim. What fortune can this lall pro- 

u z mifs 



?gZ STUDIES OF NATURE. 

'mife himfelf from his labours ? In many cafes, a 
precarious fubfiftence at mod ! Befides, fuppofing 
him to have acquired weahh, he cannot tranfmit 
it to his defcendants, He beholds all his temporal 
hopes ready to expire with him. What indemni-^ 
fication does he receive frorn men ? To be called 
upon, many a time, to adminifter the confolations; 
of Religion, to perfons who do not believe it ; to 
be the refuge of the poor, with nothing to give 
them ; to be fometimes perfecuted for his very 
virtues ; to fee his conflids treated with contempt, 
his beft-intentioned adions mif-interpreted intq 
artifice, his virtues transformed into vices, his re- 
ligion turned into ridicule. Such are the duties 
impofed, and fuch the recompenfe which the 
World beftows on the men whofe lot it envies. 

This is what I have affumed the courage to pro- 
pofe, for the happir^efs of the People, and of the 
principal orders of the State, in fo far as I have 
been permitted to fubrpit my ideas to the public 
eye. Many Philofophers and Politicians have de-j 
claimed againft the diforders of Society, without 
troubling themfelves to enquire into their caufes, 
and flill lefs into the remedies which might be ap- 
plied. Thofe of the greateft ability have viewed 
Qur evils only in detail, and have recommended 
palliatives merely. Some have profcribed luxury; 
orliers- gjyç no quarter to celibacy, and would load 

with 



StUDY XIII. 2.93 

with the charge of a family, pcrfons who have not 
the means of fupplying their perfonal neceffities. 
Some are for incarcerating all the beggars ; others 
Would prohibit the wretched women of pleafure to 
appear in the ftreets. They would ad in the man- 
ner which that phyfician does, who, in order to 
cure the pimples on the body of a perfon out of 
order, ufes all his fkill to force back the humours. 
Politicians, you apply the remedy to the head, be- 
caufe the pain is in the forehead ; but the mif" 
chief is in the nerves : it is for the heart you inuft 
provide a cure ; it is the People, whofe health yoa 
muft endeavour to reftore. 

Should fome great Minifter, animated with a 
noble ambition, to procure for us internal happi- 
nefs, and to extend our power externally, have the 
courage to undertake a re-eftablidiment of things, 
he muft, in his courfe of procedure, imitate that 
of Nature. She ads, in every cafe flowly, and by 
means of re-adions. I repeat ir, the caufe of the 
prodigious power of gold> which has robbed the 
People at once of their morality, and of their fub- 
fiftence, is in the venality of public employments. 
That of the beggary which, at this day, extends to 
feven millions of fubjeds, confifts in the enor« 
mous accumulation of landed and official • pro'- 
perty. That of female proftitution, is to be 
-imputed, on the one hand, to extreme indigence; 

■y 3 and 



2^4 STUDIES OF NATUÏtEa 

and on the other, to the celibacy of two millions 
of men. The unprofitable fuperabundance of the 
idle and cenforious burghers in our fécond artd 
third-rate cities, arifes from the impoils which de- 
grade the inhabitants of the country. The preju- 
dices of the nobility are kept alive by the refent- 
ments of thofe who want the advantage of birth j 
and all thefe evils, and others innumerable, phyfical 
and intelleftual, fpring up out of the mifery of 
the People. It is the indigence of the People 
which produces fuch fwarms of players, courtefans, 
highwaymen, incendiaries, licentious fcholars, ca- 
lumniators, flatterers, hypocrites, mendicants, kept- 
miftrefles, quacks of all conditions, and that infi- 
nite multitude of corrupted wretches, who, inca- 
pable of coming to any thing by their virtues, en- 
deavour to procure bread and confideration by 
their vices. In vain will yoii oppofe to thefe, 
plans of finance, projefts of equalization of taxes 
and tithes, of ordonnances of Police, of arrets of 
Parliament ; all your efforts will be froitlefs. The 
indigence of the People is a mighty river, which 
is, every year, colledling an increafe of ftrength, 
which is fweeping away before it every oppofmg 
mound, and which will ilfue in a total fubverfion 
of order and government. 

To this phyfical caufe, of our diflrelTes, mufl be 
added another, purely moral ,; I mean our educa- 
•'. . - . ., . tion. 



STUDY XIII. 295 

tion. I fhall venture to fuggefl: a few reflexions 
on this fubjedt, though it far exceeds my higheft 
powers : but if it be the moft important of our 
abufes, it appears to me, on the other hand, the 
moft eafily fufceptible of reformation i and this 
reform appears to me fo abfolutely neceflary, that, 
without it, all the reft goes for nothing. 



w 4 STUPY 



STUDY XIV. 297 



STUDY FOURTEENTH. 



OF EDUCATION. 

' npO what higher objea," fays Plutarch'^, 
JL " could Numa have diredled his atten- 

* tion, than to the culture of early infancy, and 
' to uniformity in the treatment of young per- 

* fons ; in the view of preventing the collifion of 

* different manners, and turbulency of fpirit arit- 
' ing from diverfity of nurture ? Thus he pro- 

* pofed to harmonize the minds of men, in a flate 
' of maturity, from their having been, in child- 

* hood, trained in the fame habits of order, and 

* caft into the fame mould of virtue. This, inde- 
' pendent of other advantages, greatly contribut- 

* ed, likewife, to the fupport of the Laws of Ly- 
' ciirgus ; for refpeâ: to the oath, by which the 
' Spartans had bound themfelves, mufl have pro- 
' duced a much more powerful effeâ:, from his 

having, by early inftruflion and nurture, died 
in the wool, if I may ufe the expreffion, the mo- 

* Comparifon of 'K^ma and Lycurgus, 

" rals 



îgS STUDIES OF NATURE. 

" rals of the young, and made them fuck in, with 
" the milk from their nurfe's breaft, the love of 
'* his Laws and Inftitutions." 

Here is a decifion, which completely condemns 
OLir mode of education, by pronouncing the elo- 
gium of that of Sparta. 1 do not hefitate a (ingle 
moment to afcribe to our modern education, the 
reftlefs, ambitious, fpiteful, pragmatical, and into- 
lerant fpirit of moft Europeans. The effefts of it: 
are vifible in the miferies of the Nations. It is re- 
markable, that thofe which have been moft agi- 
tated internally and externally, are precifely the 
Nations among which our boafted ftyle of educa- 
tion has flouriûied the moft. The truth of this 
may be afcertained, by ftepping from country to 
country, from age to age. Politicians have imar 
gined, that they could difcern the caufe of public 
misfortunes in the different forms of Government. 
But Turkey is quiet, and England is frequently in 
a ftate of agitation. All political forms are indif- 
ferent to the happinefs of a State, as has been 
faid, provided the People are happy. We might 
have added, and provided the children are fo like^ 
wife 

The Philofopher Lalouhre, Envoy from Louis 
XIV. to Siam, fays, in the account which he gives 
of his miffion, that the Afiatics laugh us to fcorn, 

when 



STUDY XIV, 299 

when we boaft to them of the excellence of the 
Chriftian Religion, as contributing to the happi- 
nefs of States. They afk, on reading our Hiflories, 
How it is poffible that our Religion fliould be (o 
humane, while we wage war ten times more fre- 
quently than they do? What would they fay, then, 
did they fee among us our perpetual law-fuits, the 
malicious cenforiournefs and calumny of our (o' 
cieties, the jealoufy of corps, the quarrels of the 
populace, the duels of the better fort, and our ani- 
mofities of every kind, nothing fimilar to which is 
to be feen in Afia, in Africa, among the Tartars, 
or among Savages, on the teftimony of miffionaries 
themfelves ? For my own part, I difcern the caufe 
of all thefe particular and general diforders, in our 
ambitious education. When a man has drunk, 
from infancy upward, into the cup of ambition, 
the third of it cleaves to him all his life long, and 
it degenerates into a burning fever at the very feet 
of the altars. 

It is not Religion, afTuredly, which occafions 
this. I cannot explain how it comes to pafs, that 
kingdoms, calling themfelves Chriftian, fliould 
have adopted ambition as the bafis of public edu- 
cation. Independently of their political conftitu- 
tion, which forbids it to all thofe of their fubjeds 
who have not money, that is to the greateft part 
of them, there is no paffion fo uniformly con- 
demned 



$QO STUDIES OF NATURE. 

demned by Religion. We have obfervcd, that 
there are but two paffions in the heart of Man, 
love and ambition. Civil Laws denounce the fe- 
verefi; punifhment againft the excefles of the firft : 
they reprefs, as far as their power extends, the 
more violent emotions of it. Proflitution is brand- 
ed with infamous penalties ; and, in fome coun- 
tries, adultery is puniflied even with death. But 
thefe fame Laws meet the fécond more than half 
way; they, every where, propofe to it prizes, re- 
wards, and honours. Thefe opinions force their 
way, and exercife dominion, incloiflers themfelves. 
It is a grievous fcandal to a convent, if the amo- 
rous intrigues of a monk happen to take air ; but 
what elogiums are beftowed on thofe which pro- 
cure him a cardinal's hat ! What raillery, impre- 
cation, and malediélion, are the portion of impru- 
dent weaknefs ! What gentle and honourable epi- 
thets are applied to audacious crafc ! Noble emu- 
lation, love of glory, fpirit, intelligence, merit re- 
warded ; with how many glorious appellations do 
we palliate intrigue, flattery, fimony, perfidy, and 
all the vi( es which walk, in all States, in the train 
of the ambitious 1 

This is the way in which the World forms it's 
judgments ; but Religion, ever conformable to 
Nature, pronounces a very different decilion on the 
charaders of thefe two pafiions. Jesus invites the 

communications 



STITDY XIV. 3OÏ 

communications of die frail Samaritan woman, he 
pardons the adultrefs, he abfolves the female of- 
fender who bathed his feet with her tears ; but 
hear how he inveighs againft the ambitious : — 
*' Woe unto you, fcribes and pharifees, for ye love 
" the uppermofl feats in the fynagogues, and the 
" chief places at feafls, and greetings in the mar- 
** kets, and to be called of men, Rabbi ! Woe 
*' unto you, alfo, ye lawyers; for ye lade men with 
** burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourfelves 
** touch njt the burdens with one of your fingers! 
*■ Woe unto you, lawyers, for ye have taken away 
*' the key of knowledge : ye entered not in your- 
*' felves, and them that were entering in ye hin- 
*^ dercd 1 and fo on *." He declares to them 
that, notwithftanding their empty honours in this 
Woild, harlots Iliould go before them into the 
kingdom of God. He cautions us, in many 
places, to be on our guard againft them; and inti- 
mates that we (liould know them by their fruits. 
In pronouncing decifions fo different from ours. 
He judges our paffions according to their natural 
adaptations. He pardons proftitution, which is 
in itlelf a vice, but which, after all, is a frailty 
only, relatively to the order of Society; and He 
condemns, without mercy, the fm of ambition, as 
a crime which is contrary, at once, to the order of 

* Luke xi. 43, &-C. 

Society, 



302 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Society, and to that of Nature. The firCl involves 
the diftrefs of only two guilty perfons, but the fé- 
cond affefls the happincfs of Mankind. 

To this our doflors reply, that the only objeâ: 
purfued, in the education of children, is the in- 
fpiring them with a virtuous emulation. I do not 
believe there is fuch a thing in our Colleges, as 
cxercifes of virtue, unlefs it be to prefcribe to the 
iludents, on this fubjeâ;, certain themes, or ampli- 
fications. But a real ambition is taught, by en- 
gaging them to difpute the firft place in their fe« 
veral claffes, and to adopt a thoufand intolerant 
fyftems. Accordingly, when they have once got 
the key of knowledge in their pocket, they refo- 
lutely determine, like their matters, to let no one 
enter but by their door. 

Virtue and ambition are abfolutely incompa- 
tible. The glory of ambition is to mount, and 
that of virtue is to defcend. Obferve how Jesus 
Christ reprimands his difciples, when they afked 
him who fhould be the firft among them. He 
takes a little child, and places him in the midft : 
Not, furely, a child from oui" fchools. Ah ! when 
He recommends to us the humility fo fuitable to 
our frail and miferable condition, it is Ijecaufe He 
did not confider that povver, even fupreme, was 
capable of conllituting our happinefs in this 

World 5 



STUDY XIV. 303 

World ; and it is worthy of being remarked, that 
He did not confer the fuperiority over the reft on 
the difciple whom he loved the moft ; but as a 
reward to the love of him who had been faithful 
nnto death, He bequeathed to him, with his 
dying breath, his own mother as a legacy. 

This pretended emulation, inftilled into chil- 
dren, renders them, for life, intolerant, vain-glo- 
rious, tremblingly alive to the llighteft cenfure, 
or the meaneft token of applaufe from an unknown 
perfon. They are trained to ambition, we are told, 
for their good, in order to their profpering in the 
World ; but the cupidity natural to the human 
mind is more than fufficient for the attainment of 
that objeâ:. Have merchants, mechanics, and 
all the lucrative profeffions, in other words, all 
the conditions of Society ; have they need of any 
other ftimulus ? Were ambition to be inftilled 
into the mind of only one child, deftined, at 
length, to fill a ftation of high importance, this 
education, which is by no means exempted from 
inconveniencies, would be adapted, at leaft, to the 
career which the young man had in profpeft. But 
by infufing it into all, you give each individual as 
many opponents as he has .got companions ; you 
render the whole unhappy, by means of each other. 
Thofe who are incapable of riiing by their talents, 
endeavour to infmuate thcmfelves into the good 

graces 



304 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

graces of their mafters by flattery, and to fupplant 
iheir equals by calumny. If thefe means fucceed 
not, they conceive an averfion for the objedts of 
their emulation, which, to their comrades, has all 
the value of applaufe, and becomes, to themfelves, 
a perpetual fource of depreffion, of chaftifement, 
and of tears. 

This is the reafon that fo many grown men, en- 
deavour to banifh from their memory, the times 
and the objeds of their early ftudles, though it be 
natural, to the heart of Man, to recolleft with dc' 
light the epochs of infancy. How many behold, 
in the maturity of life, the bowers of ofiers, and 
the ruftic canopies, which ferved for their infant 
lleeping and dining apartments, who could not 
look, without abhorrence, upon a Turfdlin^ or a 
Defpauter ! I have no doubt that thofe difgufts, of 
early education, extend a moft baleful influence to 
that love with which we ought to be animated to- 
ward Religion, becaufe it's elements, in like man- 
ner, are difplayed only through the medium of 
gloom, pride, and inhumanity. 

The plan of moft mafters confifts, above all, in 
compofing the exterior of their pupils. They form, 
on the fame model, a multitude of characters, 
which Nature had rendered effentially different. One 
will have his to be grave and ftately, as if they v.'ere 

fo 



STUDY XIV, " 305 

{o many little prefidents ; others, and they are the 
moft numerous, wifli to make' theirs alert and 
lively. One of the great burdens of the leflbn is, 
an inceflfant fillip of: " Come on, makehafte, don'c 
" be lazy." To this impulfion fimply, I afcribe 
the general giddinefs of our youth, and of which 
the Nation is accufed. It is the impatience of the 
mafter which, in the firfi; inftance, produces the 
precipitancy of the fcholars. It, afterwards, ac« 
quires ftrength, in the commerce of the World, 
from the impatience of the women. But, through, 
the progrefs of human life, Is not refledion of 
much higher importance than promptitude? How 
many children are deftined to fill fituations which 
require ferioufnefs and folemnity ? Is not reflec- 
tion the bafis of prudence, of temperance, of wif- 
dom, and of moft of the other moral qualities ? 
For my own part, I have always feen honeft people 
abundantly tranquil, and rogues always alert. 

There is, in this refpe6t, a vefy perceptible dif- 
ference, between two children, the one of whom 
has been educated in his Father's houfe, and the 
other, at a public fchool. The firft is, beyond all 
contradiction, more polite, more ingenuous, lefs 
jealoufly difpofed ; and, from this fingle circum-. 
ftance, that he has been brought up without the 
defire of excelling any one, and ftill lefs of furpaf- 
ling himfelf, according to our great fafiiionabie 

VOL. IV. X phrafeology 



3ô6 STUDIES OF KATURE. 

phrafeology, but as deftitute of common fenfe as 
many others of the kind. Is not a child, itiflu- 
cnced by the emulation of the fchools, under the 
necelfity of renouncing it, from the very firft ftep 
be makes in the World, if he means to be fup- 
portable to his equals, and to himfelf ? If he pro- 
pofes to himfelf no other objedt but his own ad- 
vancement, Will he not be afflided at the profpe- 
rity of another ? Will he not, in the courte of his 
progrefs, be liable to have his mind torn with the 
averfions, the jealoufies, and the defires, which muft 
deprave it, both phyfically and morally ? Do not 
Philofophy and Religion impofe on him the necef- 
lity, of exerting himfelf every day of his life, to 
eradicate thofe faults of education? The World 
itfelf obliges him to mafk their hideous afpecl. 
Here is a fine perfpedive opened to human life, 
in which we are conftrained to employ the half of 
our days, in deftroying, with a thoufand painful 
efforts, what had been raifing up in the other, with 
fo many tears, and fo much parade. 

We have borrowed thofe vices from the Greeks, 
without being aware, that they had contributed to 
their perpetual divifions, and to their final ruin. 
The greateft part, at leaft, of their exercifes, had 
the good of their Country, as the leading objeft. 
If there were propofed, among the Greeks, prizes 
for fiiperloriiy in \vrefi:ling, in boxing, in throwing 

the 



iH^DY XIV. 307 

the quoit, in foot and chariot races, it was becaufe 
fuch exercifes had a reference to the art of war. 
If they had others eflabHlhed for the reward of fu- 
perior eloquence, it was becaufe that art ferved to 
maintain the interefts of Country, from city to 
city, or in the general Affemblies of Greece. But 
to what purpofe do we employ the tedious and 
painful ftudy of dead languages, and of cuftoms 
foreign to our Country ? Mod of our inftitutions, 
with relation to the Ancients, have a ftriking re- 
femblance to the paradife of the Savages of Ame- 
rica. Thofe good people imagine that, after death, 
the fouls of their compatriots migrate to a certain 
country, where they hunt down the fouls of bea- 
vers with the fouls of arrows, walking over the foul 
of fnow with the foul of rackets, and that they 
drefs the foul of their game in the foul of pots. 
We have, in like manner, the images of a Colif- 
eum, where no fpeâ;acles are exhibited ; images 
of periftyles and public fquares, in which we are 
not permitted to walk ; images of antique vafes, in 
which it is impoffible to put any liquor, but which 
contribute largely to our images of grandeur and 
patriotifm. The real Greeks, and the real Romans, 
would believe themfelves, among us, to be in the 
land of their (hades. Happy for us, had we bor- 
rowed from them vain images only, and not natu- 
ralized in our Country their real evils, by tranf- 

X a planting 



308 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

planting thither the jealoufies, the hatreds, and the 
vain emulations which rendered them miierable. 



It was Charlemagne, we are told, who inflituted 
our courfe of ftudies ; and fome fay it was in the 
view of dividing his fubje<5ts, and of giving them 
employment. He has fucceeded in this to a mi- 
racle. Seven years devoted to humanity^ or clajjical 
learning, two to Philofnphy, three to Theology : twelve 
years of languor, of ambition, and of felf-conceitj 
without taking into the account the years which 
well-meaning parents double upon 'their children, 
to make fure work of it, as they allege. I afk 
whether, on emerging thence, a ftudent is, accord- 
ing to the denomination of thofe refpeftive branches 
of ftudy, more humane, more of a philofopher, and 
believes more in God, than an honefl peafant, who 
has not been taught to read ? What good purpofe, 
then, does all this anfvver to the greateft part of 
Mankind? What benefit do the majority derive, 
from this irkfome courfe, on mixing with the 
World, toward perfefting their own intelligence, 
and even toward purity of diftion. We have feen, 
that the claffical Authors themfelves have borrowed 
their illumination only from Nature, and that thofe 
of our own Nation who have diftinguiflied them- 
felves the moft, in literature and in the fciences, 
fi.ch as Dcjcartes, Michael Montaigney J. J. RouJ 

feau. 



STUDY XIV. 309 

feau, and others, have fucceeded only by deviating 
from the track which their models purfued, and 
frequently by purf^jing the diredly oppofite path. 
Thus it was that Defcartes attacked and fubverted 
the philofophy of Arijiotle : you would be tempted 
to fay, that Eloquence and the Sciences are com- 
pletely out of the province of our Gothic Infti- 
tutions. 

I acknowledge, at the fame time, that it is a for- 
tunate circumftance for many children, who have 
wicked parents, that there are colleges ; they are 
lefs miferable there than in the father's houfe. The 
faults of matters, being expofed to view, are in 
part repreffed by the fear of public cenfure ; but 
it is not fo, as to ihofe of their parents. For ex- 
ample, the pride of a man of letters is loquacious, 
and fometimes inftruélive ; that of an ecclefiaftic 
is clothed with diffimulation, but flattering; that 
of a man of family is lofty, but frank; that of a 
clown is infolent, but natural : but the pride of a 
warm trad efman is fullen and ftupid; it is pride 
at it's eafe, pride in a night-gown. As the cit is 
never contradiâied, except it be by his wife, they 
unite their efforts to render their children un- 
happy, without fo much as fufpeéting that they do 
fo. Is it credible that, in a fociety, the men of 
which all moralifts allow to be corrupted, in which 
the citizens maintain their ground only by the ter- 

X 3 ror 



$iO STUDIES 01* NATURE. 

ror of the Laws, or by the fear which they have oi 
each other, feeble and defencelefs children fliould 
not be abandoned to the difcretion of tyranny ? 
Nothing can be conceived fo ignorant, and fo 
conceited, as the greateft part of tradefmen ; among 
them it is that folly fhoots out fpreading and pro- 
found roots. You fee a great many of this clafs, 
both men and women, dying of apopledic fits, 
from a too fedentary mode of life ; from eating 
beef, and fwallowing ftrong broths, when they are 
out of order, without fufpeding for a moment that 
fuch a regimen was pernicious. Nothing can be more 
wholefome, fay they ; they have always feen their 
Aunts do fo. Hence it is that a multitude of falfe 
remedies, and of ridiculous fuperftitions, maintain 
a reputation among them, long after they have 
been exploded in the World. In their cup-boards 
is flill carefully treafured up the cajis, a fpecies of 
poifon, as if it were an univerfal panacea. The re- 
gimen of their unfortunate children, refemb.les that 
which they employ where their own health is con- 
cerned J they form them to melancholy habits ; 
all that they make them learn, up to the Gofpel 
itfelf, is with the rod over their head ; they fix 
them in a fedentary pofture all the day long, at an 
age vvhen Nature is prompting them to ftir about, 
for the purpofe of expanding their form. Be good 
children, is the perpetual injundion ; and this 
goodnefs conllils in never moving a limb. A wo- 
man 



STUDY XIV. 311 

man of fpirit, who was fond of clilldren, took 
notice one day, at the houfe of a fliop-keeper, in 
St. Denis-flreet, of a little boy and girl, who had a 
very ferious air. *' Your children are very grave,'* 
faid (he to the mother...." Ah ! Madam," replied 
the fagacious fhop-dame, " it is not for want of 
" whipping, if ihey are not fo." 

Children rendered miferable in their fports, and 
in their (Indies, become hypocritical and referved 
before their fathers and mothers. At length, how- 
ever, they acquire ftature. One night, the daughter 
puts on her cloke, under pretence of going to 
evening-prayers, but it is to give her lover the 
meeting : by and by, her fhapes divulge the fe- 
cret ; fhe is driven from her father's houfe, and 
comes upon the town. Some fine morning, the 
fon enlifts for a foldier. The father and mother 
are ready to go didrafled. We fpared nothing, 
fay they, to procure them the beft of education : 
they had mafters of every kind : Fools ! you forgot 
the effential point ; you forgot to teach them to 
love you. 

They juftify their tyranny by that cruel adage : 
Children mujl be cor7-e6îed ; human nature is corrupted. 
They do not perceive that they themfelves, by t4ieir 
exceffive feverity, fland chargeable with the cor- 

X 4 ruj)tion. 



312. STUDIES OF NATURE. 

riiptlon *, and that in every country where fathers 
are good, the children refemble them. 

I could 

* To certain fpecies of chailifement, I afcribe the phyfical 
and moral corruption, not only of children, and of feveral orders 
of monks, but of the Nation itfelf. You cannot move a ftep 
through the ftreets, without hearing nurfes and mothers me- 
nacing their little charge with, / fiall give you a flogging. I 
have never been in England, but I am perfuaded, that the fero- 
city imputed to the Englifh, mufl proceed from fome fuch caufe. 
I have indeed heard it affirmed, that punifliment by the rod was 
more cruel, and more frequent, among them, than with us. See 
what is faid on this fubjeft by the illuftrious Authors of the Spec- 
tator., a Work which has, beyond contradiction, greatly contri- 
buted to foften both their manners and ours. They reproach 
the Englifh Nobility, for permitting this charaéler of infamy to 
be imprefled on their children. Confult, particularly. No. 
CLVII. of that Colleélion, which concludes thus : " I would 
" not here be fuppofed to have faid, that our learned men of 
'* either robe, who have been whipped at fchool, are not ftill 
*' men of noble and liberal minds ; but I am fure they had been 
*' much more fo than they are, had they never fuffered that in- 
•' famy." 

Government ought to profcribe thfs kind of chaftifement, not 
only in the public fchools, as Ruffia has done, but in convents, 
on ihipboard, in private families, in boarding houfes : it cor- 
rupts, at once, fathers, mothers, preceptors, and children. I 
could quote terrible re-aftions of it, did modefty permit. Is it 
not very aftonifliing, that men, in other refpefts, of a ftaid and 
ferious exterior, fliould lay down, as the bafis of a Chriftian edu- 
cation, the obfervance of gentlenefs, humanity, chaftity ; and 
punilh timid and innocent children, with the moft barbarous, 
and the moil obfcene of all chaftifements ? Our men of letters, 

who 



STUDY XIV. 



313 



I could demonftrate, by a multitude of exam- 
ples, that the depravation of our moft notorious 
criminals, began with the cruelty of their educa- 
tion. 



who have been employed in reforming abufes, for more than a 
century part, have not attacked this, with the feverity which it 
deferves. They do not pay fufficient attention to the miferies of 
the rifing generation. It would be a queftion of right, the dif- 
cuffion of which were highly interefting and important, namely. 
Whether the State could permit the right of infliéling infamous 
punifliment, to perfons who have not the power of life and 
death ? It is certain, that the infamy of a citizen produces re- 
aftions more dangerous to Society, than his own death merely. 
It is nothing at all, we are told, they are but children; but for 
' this very reafon, becaufe they are children, every generous fpiiit 
is bound to proteft them, and becaufe every miferable child be- 
comes a bad man. 

At the fame time, it is far from being my intention, in what I 
have faid refpefting mafters in general, to render the profeffion 
odious, I only mean to fuggeft to them, that thofe chaftife- 
ments, the praétice of which they have borrowed from the cor- 
rupted Greeks of the Lower Empire, exercife an influence much 
more powerful than they are aware of, on the hatred which is 
borne to them, as well as to the other miniflers of Religion, 
monks as well as the regular clergy, by a people more enlightened 
than in former times. After all, it muft be granted, that maf- 
ters treat their pupils as they themfelves were treated. One fet 
of miferable beings are employed in forming a new fet, fre- 
quently without fufpe6ling what they are doing. All I aim at 
prefent to eftablifli is this, That man has been committed to his 
own forefight; that all the ill which he does to his fellow- crea- 
tures, recoils, fooner or later, upon himfelf. This re-a£lion is 
the only counterpoife _^capable of bringing him back to huma- 
nity. 



314 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

tion, from Guillery down to Defruçs. But, to take 
leave, once for all of this horrid perfpedive, I 
conclude with a fingle refledion : namely, if hu- 
man nature were corrupted, as is alleged by thofe 
who arrogate to themfelves the power of reforming 
it, children could not fail to add a new corruption, 
to that which they find already introduced into 
the World, upon their arrival in it. Human So- 
ciety would, accordingly, fpeedily reach the term 
of it's diflblution. But children, on the contrary, 
protradV, and put off that fatal period, by the in- 
troduction of new and untainted fouls. It requires 
a long apprenticefliip to infpire them with a tafte 
for our paflions and extravagancies. New gene- 
rations refemble the dews and the rains of Heaven, 
which refrcfh the waters of rivers, llackened in 
their courfe, and tending to corruption: change the 
fources of a river, and you will change it in the 
ftream ; change the education of a People, and 
you will change their charader and their manners. 

We fhall hazard a few ideas on a fubjeft of fo 
much importance, and fhall look for the indica- 
tions of them in Nature. On examining the neft 
of a bird, we find in it, not only the nutriments 

nity. All the Sciences are ftill in a ftate of infancy ; but that 
of rendering men happy lias not, as yet, fo much as feen the 
light, not even in China, whofe politics are fo far fuperior to 

•urs. 

which 



STUDY XIV. 



3IS 



which are moft agreeable to the young, but, from 
the foftnefs of the downs with which it is Hned ; 
from it's fituation, whereby it is fheltered from 
the cold, from the rain, and from the wind ; and 
from a multitude of other precautions, it is eafy to 
difcern that thofe who conflruded it, collefted 
around their brood, all the intelligence, and all the 
benevolence, of which they were capable. The fa- 
ther, too, fings at a little diilance from their cradle, 
prompted rather, as I fuppofe," by the folicitudes 
of paternal afFeâ;ion, than by thofe of conjugal 
love ; for this laft fentiment expires, in moft, as 
foon as the procefs of hatching begins. If we were 
to examine, under the fame afpecfl, the fchools of. 
the young of the human fpecies, we fhould have 
a very indifferent idea of the afiedion of their pa- 
rents. Rods, whips, ftripes, cries, tears, are the 
firft leflbns given to human life : we have here and 
there, it is true, a glimpfe of reward, amidft fo 
many chaftifements ; but, fymbol of what awaits 
them in Society, the pain is real, and the pleafure 
only imaginary. 

It is worthy of being remarked that, of all the 
fpecies of fenfible beings, the human fpecies is the 
only one, whofe young are brought up, and in- 
ftruded, by dint of blows. I would not wifh for 
any other proof, of an original depravation of 
Mankind. The European brood, in this refpeft, 

furpafles 



3l6 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

furpafTes all the Nations of the Globe ; as they like- 
wife do in wickednefs". We have already ob- 
ferved, on the teftimony of mifTionaries them- 
felves, with what gentlenefs Savages rear their chil- 
dren, and what affedion the children bear to their 
parents in return. 

The Arabs extend their humanity to the very 
horfes ; they never beat them ; they manage them 
by means of kin(3nefs and careffes, and render 
them fo docile, that there are no animals of the 
kind, in the whole World, once to be compared 
with them in beauty and in goodnefs. They do 
not fix them to a flake in the fields, but fuffer them 
to pafture at large around their habitation, to which 
they come running the moment that they hear the 
found of the mafter's voice. Thofe tradable ani- 
mals refort at night to their tents, and lie down in 
the midft of the children, without ever hurting 
them in the flighteft degree. If the rider happens 
to fall while a-courfing, his horfe ftands ftill in- 
ftantly, and never ftirs till he has mounted again. 
Thefe people, by means of the irrefiftible influence 
of a mild education, have acquired the art of ren- 
dering their horfes the firfl: courfers of the uni- 
verfe. 

It is impoffible to read, without being melted 
into tears, what is related on this fubjed, by the 

virtuous 



STUDY XIV. 



sn 



virtuous Conful d'Hervieux, in his journey to 
Mount Lebanon. The whole flock of a poor 
Arabian of the Defert confifted of a moft beautiful 
mare. The French Conful at Said offered to pur- 
chafe her, with an intention to fend her to his 
mafter Louis XIV. The Arab, prefled by want, 
hefitated a long time j but, at length confented, 
on condition of receiving a very confidsi'able fum, 
which he named. The Conful, not daring, with- 
out inftrudions, to give fo high a price, wrote to 
Verfailles for permiffion to clofe the bargain on the 
terms ftipulated. Louis XIV. gave orders to pay 
the money. The Conful immediately fent notice 
to the Arab, who foon after made his appearance, 
mounted on his magnificent courfer, and the gold 
which he had demanded was paid down to him. 
The Arab, covered with a miferable rug, dis- 
mounts, looks at the money ; then, turning his 
eyes to the mare, he lighs, and thus accofts her : 
" To whom am I going to yield thee up? To 
" Europeans, who will tie thee clofe, who will beat 
" thee, who will render thee miferable : return 
•* with me, my beauty, my darling, my jewel ! 
** and rejoice the hearts" of my children !" As he 
pronounced thefe words, he fprung upon her 
back, and fcampered off toward the Defert. 

If, witfi us, fathers beat their children, it is be- 
caufe they love rhem not; if they fend them abroad 

to 



5l8 STUDIES OF NATURE» 

to nurfe, as foon as they come into the World, it 
is becaufe they love them not ; if they place them, 
as foon as they have acquired a little growth, in 
boarding-fchools and colleges, it is becaufe they 
love them not ; if they procure for them fituations 
out of their State, out of their Province, it is be- 
caufe they love them not : if they keep them at a 
diftance from themfelves, at every epoch of life, it 
muft undoubtedly be, becaufe they look upon them 
as their heirs. 

I have been long enquiring into the caufe of 
this unnatural fentiment, but not in our books ; 
for the Authors of thefe, in the view of paying 
court to fathers, who buy their Works, infift only 
on the duties of children ; and if, fometimes, they 
bring forward thofe of fathers, the difcipline which 
they recommend to them, refpe(fling their chil- 
dren, is fo gloomy and fevere, that it looks as if 
they were furnifhing parents with new means of 
rendering themfelves hateful to their offspring. 

This parental apathy is to be imputed to the 
diforderly ftate of our manners, which has ftifled 
among us all the fentiments of Nature. Among 
the Ancients, and even among Savages, the per- 
fpedive of fecial life prcfented to them a feries of 
employments, from infancy up to old age, which, 
among them, was the era of the higher magiflra^ 

cies. 



StUDY XIV. 319 

des, and of the priefthood. The hopes of their 
religion, at that period, interpofed to terminate an 
honourable career, and concluded with rendering 
the plan of their life conformable to that of Na- 
ture. Thus it was that they always kept up in the 
foul of their citizens, that perfpedive of infinity 
which is fo natural to the heart of Man. But ve- 
nality, and debauched manners, having fubverted, 
among us, the order of Nature, the only age of 
human exiftence which has preferved it's rights, is 
that of youth and love. This is the epoch to 
which all the citizens dire<5t their thoughts. Among 
the Ancients, the aged bare rule -, but with us, the 
young people aflume the government. The old 
are conftrained to retire from all public employ- 
ment. Their dear children then pay them back 
the fruits of the education v,hichthey had received 
from them. 

Hence, therefore, it comes to pafs, that a father 
and mother reftriding, with us, the epoch of their 
felicity to the middle period of life, cannot, with- 
out uneafinefs, behold their children approaching 
toward it, juft in proportion as they themfelves are 
withdrawing from it. As their faith is almoft, or 
altogether extinguiQied, Religion adminifters to 
them no confolation. They behold nothing but 
death clofing their perfpeftive. This point of view 
renders them fullen, harlh, and, frequently, crueh 
■' ' This 



320 ■ STUDIES OF NATURE. 

This is the reafon that, with us, parents do not love 
their children, and that our old people affed fo 
many frivolous taftes, to bring themfelves nearer 
to a generation which is repelling them. 

Another confequence of the fame ftate of man- 
ners is, that we have nothing of the fpirit of pa- 
triotifm among us. The Ancients, on the con- 
trary, had a great deal of it. They propofed to, 
themfelves a noble recompenfe in the prefent, but 
one ftill much more noble in the future. The 
Romans, for example, had oracles which promifed 
to their City that fhe fhould become the Capital 
of the World, and fhe a6lually became fo. Each 
citizen, in particular, flattered himfelf with the 
hope of exercifing an influence over her deftiny, 
and of preliding, one day, as a tutelary deity, over 
that of his own pofterity. Their highefb ambition 
was to fee their own age honoured and diftin- 
guiihed above every other age of the Republic. 
Thofe, among us, who have any ambition that re- 
gards futurity, reftriâ: it to the being themfelves di- 
flinguifhed by the age in which they live, for their 
knowledge or their philofophy. In this, nearly, 
terminates our natural ambition, direded, as it is,, 
by our mode of education. 

The Ancients employed their thoughts in prog- 
nofticating the charader and condition of their 

pofterity ; 



STUDY XIV. 321 

pofterity ; and we revolve what our Anceflors 
were. They looked forward, and we look back- 
ward. We are, in the State, like paffengers em- 
barked, againft their will, onboard a veflel ; we 
look toward the poop, and not to the prow ; to the 
land from which we are taking our departure, and 
not to that on which we hope to arrive. We colleft, 
with avidity, Gothic manufcripts, monuments of 
chivalry, the medallions of Childeric ; we pick up, 
with ardour, all the worn out fragments of the an- 
cient fabric of our State veflel. We purfue them 
in a backward di region, as far as the eye can carry 
us. Nay, we extend this folicitude about Anti- 
quity, to monuments which are foreign to us ; to 
thofe of the Greeks and Romans. They are, like 
our own, the wrecks of their veflels, which have 
perilhed on the vaft Ocean of Time, without being 
able to get forward to us. They would have been, 
accompanying us, nay, they would have been out- 
failing us, had fkilful pilots always flood at the 
helm. It is dill poflible to didinguifli them from 
their fhattered fragments. From the fimplicity of 
her conftruétion, and the lightnefs of her frame, 
that mufl have been the Spartan Frigat. She was 
made to fwim eternally ; but fhe had no bottom; 
flie was overtaken by a dreadful tempeft; and the 
Helots were incapable of reftoring the equilibrium. 
From the loftinefs of her quarter-galleries, you 
there diftinguifli the remains of the mighty firft- 
voL. IV. Y rata 



322 STUDIES OF NATURE'. 

rate of proud Rome. She was unable to fupport 
the weight of her unwieldy turrets ; her cumber- 
fome and ponderous upper-works overfet her. 
The following infcriptions might be engraved on 
the different rocks againft which they have made 
Ihip wreck ; 

LOVE OF CONQUEST. 

Accumulation of Property. Venality of Employments., 

AND, ABOVE ALL : 

CONTEMPT OF THE PEOPLE. 

The billows of Time ftill roar over their enor- 
mous wrecks, and feparate from them detached 
planks, which they fcatter among modern Nations, 
for their inftrudiion. Thofe ruins feem to addrefs 
them thus : '* We are the remains of the ancient 
" government of the Tufcans, of Dardanus, and 
'* of the grand-children of Numitor. The States 
*' which they have tranfmitted to their defcendants 
" ftill fupport Nations of Mankind; but they no 
'* longer have the fame languages, nor the fame 
*' religions, nor the fame civil dynafties. Divine 
" Providence, in order to five men from fhip- 
*' wreck, has drowned the pilots, and dalhed the 
*' (hips to pieces." 

We admire, on the contrary, in our frivolous 
Sciences, their conquefls, their vaft and ufelefs 

buildings. 



STUDY XIV* 32^ 

buildings, and all the monuments of their luxury, 
which are the veiy rocks on which they perifhed. 
See, to what our ftudies, and our patriotifm, are 
leading us. If pofterity is taken up with the 
Ancients, it is becaufe the Ancients laboured for 
pofterity : but if we do nothing for ours, alTur- 
edly they will pay no attention to us. They will 
talk inceflantly, as we do, about the Greeks and 
Romans, without wafting a lingle thought upon 
their fathers. 

Inftead of falling into rapture?, over Greek and" 
Roman Medallions, half devoured by the teeth of 
Time, would it not be fully as agreeable, and much 
more ufeful, to direft our views, and employ our 
conjecftures, on the fubjeâ: of our frelh, lively, 
plump children, and to try to difcover in their fe- 
veral inclinations, who are to be the future co-ope- 
rators in the fervice of their Country ^ Thofe who, 
in their childifh fports, are fond of building, will 
one day rear her monuments. Among thofe who 
take delight in managing their boyifli fkirmiflies, 
will be formed the Epaminondafes and the Scipios of 
future times, Thofe who are feated upon the grafs, 
the calm fpedators of the fports of their compa- 
nions, will, in due time, become excellent Magi- 
ftrates, and Philofophers, the complete mafters of 
their own paffions. Thof who, in their reftlefs 
courfe, love to withdraw from the reft, will be 

Y 2 noted 



324 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

noted travellers, and founders of colonies, who 
fhall carry the manners, and the language, of 
France, to the Savages of America, or into the in- 
terior of Africa itfelf. 

If we are kind to our children, they will blefs 
our memory ; they will tranfmit, unaltered, our 
cuftoms, our faOiions, our education, our govern- 
ment, and every thing that awakens the recollec- 
tion of us, to the very lateft pofterity. We (hall 
be to them beneficent deities, who have wrought 
their deliverance from Gothk barbarifm. We 
fliould gratify the innate tafte of infinity, ftill bet- 
ter, by launching our thoughts into a futurity of 
two thoufand years, than into a retrofpeâ: of the 
fame diftance. This manner of viewing, more 
conformable to our divine nature, would fix our 
benevolence on fenfible objeâis which do exift, and 
which ftili are to exift *. We (hould fecure to 

ourfelves, 

* There is a fublime character in the Works of the Divi* 
NITV. They are not only perfecl in themfelves, but they are 
always in a progreffive ftate toward perfeftion. We have fug- 
gefted fome thoughts refpe^ling this Law, in fpeaking of the 
harmonies of plants. A young plant is of more value than the 
feed which produced it ; a tree bearing flowers and fruits ig 
more valuable than the young plant ; finally, a tree is never 
more beautiful than when, declined into years, it is furrounded 
with a foreft of young trees, fprouted up out of it's feeds. The 
fame thing holds good as to Man, The llat€ of an embryon is 

fuperior 



STUDY XIV. 325 

ourfelves, as a fupport to an old age of fadnefs and 
negleft, the gratitude of the generation which is 
advancing to replace us j and, by providing for 
their happinefs and our own, we (liould combine 
all the means in our power, toward promoting the 
good of our Country. 

In order to contribute my little mite toward fo 
bleffed a révolution, I fliall hazard a few more hafty 
ideas. I proceed on the fuppofition, then, that I am 
empowered to employ iifefully a part of the twelve 
years, which our young people wade at fchools and 
colleges. I reduce the whole time of their edu- 
cation to three epochs, confiding of three years 
each. The firft (hould commence at the age of 
feven years, as among the Lacedemonians, and 

fuperior to that of a non-entity ; that of infancy to the embiyon ; 
adolefcence is preferable to infancy ; and youth, the feafon of 
loves, more important than adolefcence. Man, in a ftate of ma- 
turity, the head of a family, is preferable to a young man. The 
old age which encircles him with a numerous poiterity ; which, 
from it's experience, introduces him into the counfels of Na- 
tions j which fufpends in him the dominion of the pallions, 
only to give more energy to that of reafon : the old age which 
feems to rank him among fuperior beings, from the multiplied 
hopes which the practice of virtue, and the Laws of Providence,^ 
have bellowed upon him, is of more value, than all the other 
ages of life put together. I could wifli it were fo with the ma- 
turity of France, and that the age of Louis XVI. might furpafs 
all that have preseded it. 

y 3 even 



326 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

even earlier : a child is fufceptible of a patriotic 
education, as foon as he is able to Ipeak, and to 
walk. The fécond (hall begin with the period of 
adolefcence j and the third end with it, toward the 
age of fixteen, an age when a young man may 
begin to be ufeful to his Country, and to affume a 
profeffion. 

I would begin with difpofing, in a central fitua- 
tion, in Paris, a magnificent edifice, confiruéled 
internally in form of a circular amphitheatre, di- 
vided into afcending rows. The mafters, to be en- 
trufted with the charge of the national education, 
fhould be ftationed below, in the centre ; and 
above, I would have feveral rows of galleries, in 
order to multiply places for the auditors. On the 
outfide, and quite round the building, I would 
have wide porticos, ftory above ftory, for the re- 
ception and accommodation of the People. On a 
pediment, over the grand entrance, theie words 
niight be infcribed : 

NATIONAL SCHOOLS, 

I have no need to mention, that as the children 
pafs three years in each epoch of their education, 
one of thefc edifices would be requifite for the in- 
ftruâiion of the generation of ^e year, which re- 

ftrias 



STUDY XIV. 327 

îlridls to nine the number of monuments deftined 
to the general education of the Capital. 

Round each of thefe amphitheatres, there fliould 
foe a great park, ftored with the plants and trees of 
the Country, fcattered about without artificial ar- 
rangement, as in the fields and the woods. We 
fhould there behold the primrofe and the violet 
fhining around the root of the oak ; the apple and 
pear-tree blended with the elm and the beech. 
The bowers of innocence fhould be no lefs inte- 
refling than the tombs of virtue. 

If I have cxprefTed a wifli, to have monuments 
raifed to the glory of thofe by whom our climate 
has been enriched with exotic plants, it is not that 
I prefer thefe to the plants of our own Country, 
but it is in the view of rendering to the memory 
of thofe citizens, a part of the gratitude which we 
owe to Nature. Belides, the moll common plants 
in our plains, independent of their utility, are thofe 
which recal to us the moft agreeable fenfluions : 
they do not tranfport us beyond feas, as foreign 
plants do ; but recal us home, and reftore us to 
ourfelves. The feathered fphere of the dandelion 
brings to my recoUedlion the places where, feated 
on the grafs with children of my own age, we en- 
deavoured to fweep off, by one whiff of breath, 
^U it's plumage, without leaving a fingle tuft be- 

Y 4 hind. 



328 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

hind. ^Fortune, in like manner, has blown upon 
us, and has fcattered abroad our downy-pinioned 
circles over the face of the whole earth. I call to 
remembrance, on feeing certain gramineous plants 
in the ear, the happy age when we conjugated on 
their alternate ramifications, the different tenfes 
and moods of the verb aimer (to love). We trem- 
bled at hearing our companions finifh, after all the 
various inflexions, with, Je ne vous aime pluSy (I no 
longer love you). The finefl flowers are not always 
thofe for which we conceive the higheft afifeâiion. 
The moral fentiment determines^ at the long run, 
all our phyfical taftes. The plants which feem to 
me the moft unfortunate, are, at this day, thofe 
which awaken in me the moft lively intereft. I 
frequently fix my attention on a blade of grafs, at 
the top of an old wall, or on a fcabious, toffed 
about by the winds in the middle of a plain. 
Oftener than once, at fight, in a foreign land, of 
an apple-tree without flowers, and without fruit, 
have I exclaimed : " Ah ! why has Fortune de- 
** nied to thee, as fhe has done to me, a little earth 
*' in thy native land ?" 

The plants of our Country, recal the idea of it 
to us, wherever we may be, in a manner flill more 
afFeding than it's monuments. I would fpare no 
coft, therefore, to coUeâ; them around the children 
of the Nation. I would make their fchool a fpot 

charming 



STUDY XIV. 329 

charming as their tender age, that when the in- 
juftice of their patrons, of their friends, of their 
relations, of fortune, may have cruflied to pieces 
in their hearts all the ties of Country, the place in 
which their childhood had enjoyed felicity, might 
be ftill their Capitol. 

I would decorate it with piélures. Children, as 
well as the vulgar, prefer painting to fculpture, 
becaufe this laft prefents to them too many beau- 
ties of convention. They do not love figures 
completely white, but with ruddy cheeks and blue 
eyes, like their images in plafter. They are more 
ftruck with colours than with forms. I could wilh 
to exhibit to them the portraits of our infant 
Kings. Cyrus J brought up with the children of his 
own age, formed them into heroes i ours fhould 
be educated, at leaft, with the images of our So- 
vereigns. They would affume, at light of them, 
the firft fentiments of the attachment which they 
owe to the Fathers of their Country. 

I would prcfent them with pictures after reli- 
gious fubjedts; not fuch as are terrifying, and 
which are calculated to excite Man to repentance; 
but thofe which have a tendency to encourage in- 
nocence. Such would be that of the Virgin, hold- 
ing the infant Jesus in her arms. Such would be 
that of Jesus himfelf in the midft of children, dif- 

playing 



35© STUDIES OF NATURE. 

playing in their attitudes, and in their features, the 
limplicity and the confidence of their age, and 
fuch as Le Sueur would have painted them. Be- 
neath, there might be infcribed thefe words of 
Jesus Christ himfelf; 

S'lnite parvulos ad me venire» 

SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME TO ME. 

Were it neceflary to reprefent, in this fchool, 
any ad of juftice, there might be a painting of the 
fruiilefs fig-tree withering away at his command. 
It would exhibit the leaves of that tree curling up, 
it's branches twilling, it's bark cracking, and the 
whole plant, flruck with terror-, perifhing under 
the maledidion of the Author of Nature. 

There might be inferted fome fimple and (hort 
infcription, from the Gofpel, fuch as this : 

LOVE ONE ANOTHER. 

Or this : 

COME UNTO ME, ALL YE THAT ARE HEAVY LADEN, 

AND 

I WILL GIVE YOU REST. 



Aod 



STUDY XIV. 331 

. And that maxim already neceflary to the infant 
mind : 

VIRTUE CONSISTS 

IN PREFERRING 

THE PUBLIC GOOD TO OUR OWN. 
And that other : 

IN ORDER TO BE VIRTUOUS, 

A MAN 
Muji rejtjl his Propenfities, his Inclinations^ his 'Tajlès^ 

AND MAINTAIN 

An incejjant ConJii£i with himfelf* 

But there are infcriptions to which hardly any 
attention is paid, and the meaning of which is of 
much higher importance to children ; thefe are 
their own names. Their names are infcriptions, 
which they carry with them wherever they go. It 
is impofîible to conceive the influence which they 
have upon their natural charadVer. Our name is 
the firft and the lad pofleffion which is at our own 
difpofal ; it determines, from the days of infancy, 
our inclinations ; it employs our attention through 
life, nay, tranfports us beyond the grave. I have 
flill a name left, is the refledion. It is a name 
that ennobles, or difhonours the earth. The rocks 
of Greece, and of Italy, are neither more ancient, 
nor more beautiful, than thofe of the other parts 

of 



352 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of the Worlds but we efteem them more, becaufe 
they are dignified by more beautiful names. A 
medal is nothing but a bit of copper, frequently 
eaten with ruft, but it acquires value from being 
decorated by an illuftrious name. 

I could vv'fli, therefore, to have children diftin- 
guifhed by interefting names. A lad fathers him- 
felf upon his name. If it inclines toward any 
vice, or if it furniflies matter for ridicule, as many 
of ours do, his mind takes a bias from it. Bayk 
remarks, that a certain Inquifitor, named Torre- 
Cremada, or the Burnt-Tower, had, in his life- 
time, condemned I know not how many heretics 
to the flames. A Cordelier, of the name of Feij- 
Ardent (Ardent- Flame) is faid to have done as 
much. There is a farther abfurdity, in giving 
children, deftined to peaceful occupations, turbu- 
lent and ambitious names, fuch as thofe of AieX' 
ander and Cefar. It is ftill more dangerous to give 
them ridiculous names. I have feen poor boys fo 
tormented, on this account, by their companions, 
and even by their own parents, from the (illy cir- 
cumftance of a baptifmal name, which implied 
fome idea of fimplicity and good-nature, that they 
infenfibly acquired from it an oppofite charafler of 
malignity and ferocioufnefs. Inftances of this are 
numerous. Two of our mod fatyrical Writers, in 
Theology and Poefy, were named, the one Blaise 

Pafcaly 



STUDY XI^. J33 

Pafcal, and the other Colin Boileau. Cvlin implies 
aothing farcaftic, faid his father. That one word 
infufed the fpirit of farcafm into him. The auda- 
cious villainy 0Ï James Clement, took it's birth, 
perhaps, from fome jeft that pafled upon his 
name. 

Government, therefore, ought to interpofe in 
the bufinefs of giving names to children, as they 
have an influence fo tremendous on the charaders 
of the citizens. I could vvifli, likewife, that to 
their baptifmal name might be added a furname of 
fome family, rendered illuftrious by virtue, as the 
Romans did ; this fpecies of adoption would at-, 
tach the little to the great, and the great to the 
little. There were, at Rome, Scipios without num- 
ber, in Plebeian families. Wc might revive, in 
like manner, among our commonalty, the names 
of our illuftrious families, fuch as the Fenelons, 
the CaiinatSy the Montav/iers, and the like. 

I would not make ufe, in this fchool, of noify 
bells, to announce the different exercifes, but of 
the found of flutes, of hautboys, and of bag-pipes. 
Every thing they learned (hould be verfified, and 
fet to' mufic. The influence of thefe two arts 
united is beyond all conception. I fliall produce 
fome examples of it, taken from the Legiflation of 
A People, whofe police was the beft, perhaps, in 

the 



334 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

the World ; I mean that of Sparta. Hear what 
Phtarch fays on the fubjeél, in his life of Lycurgus* 
" Lycurgus, then, having taken leave of his Coun- 
" try," (to efcape the calumnies which were the 
reward of his virtues) " direded his courfe, firft, 
*' towards Candia, where he ftudied the Cretan 
" laws and government, and made an acquaint- 
" ance with the principal men of the Country. 
" Some of their laws he much approved, and re- 
*' folved to make ufe of them in his own Country; 
'' others he rejeâied. Amongft the perfons there, 
*' the mod renowned for ability and wifdom, in 
*' political affairs, was Thaïes, whom Lycurgus, by 
*' repeated importunities, and aflurances of friend- 
" fliip, at lad perfuaded to go over to Lacedemon. 
** When he came thither, though he profefled only 
" to be a lyric poet, in reality he performed the 
" part of the ablefl legillator. The very fongs 
*' which he compofed, were pathetic exhortations 
*' to obedience and concord ; and the fweetnefs 
*' of the mufic, and the cadence of the verfe, 
" had fo powerful, and fo pleafmg an effeâ:, 
*' upon the hearers, that they were infenfibly foft- 
*' ened and civilized; and, at laft, renouncing 
*' their mutual feuds and animolities, united in the 
** love of humanity and good order. So that it 
*' may truly be faid, that Thaïes prepared the way 
" for Lycurgus, by difpofing the People to receive 
" his inftitutions.'* 

Lycurgus 



STUDY xiv. 335 

Lycurgus farther introduced among them the ufe 
of mùfic, in various fpecies of exercife, and, among 
others, into the art of war*. *' When their army 
" was drawn up, and the enemy near, the King 
" facrificed a goat, commanded the foldiers to fet 
** their garlands upon their heads, and the mufi- 
** cians to play the tune of the Hymn to Cajior, and 
*' he himfelf advancing forwards, began the P^an, 
" which ferved for a fignal to fall on. It was at 
*' once a folemn and a terrible fight, to fee them 
*' march on to the combat, cheerfully and fedately, 
** without any diforder in their ranks, or difcom- 
" pofure in their minds, meafuring their fleps by 
** the mufic of their flutes. Men in this temper 
" were not likely to be poffeffed with fear, or 
" tranfported with fury ; but they proceeded with 
** a deliberate valour, and confidence of fuccefs, 
** as if fome divinity had fenfibly aflifted them." 

Thus, confidering the difference of modern Na- 
tions, mufic would ferve to reprefs their courage, 
rather than to excite it ; and they had no occafion, 
for that purpofe, of bears-fkin caps, nor of brandy, 
nor of drums. 

If mufic and poetry had fo much power at 
Sparta, to recal corrupted men to the pradlice of 

* Plutarch\ Life of Lycurgus, 

virtue. 



^^6 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

virtue, and afterwards to govern them ; what in- 
fluence would they not have over our children in 
the age of innocence ? Who could ever forget the 
facred Laws of Morality, were they fet to mufic, 
and in verfes as enchanting as thofe of the Devin 
du Village P From fimiliar inflitutions, there might 
be produced, among us, Poets as fublime as the 
fage Thaïes, or as TyrtaiiSy who compofed the Hymn 
of Cafior. 

Thefe arrangements being made for our chil- 
dren, the firft branch of their education fhould be 
Religion. I would begin with talking to them 
about God, in the view of engaging them to fear 
and love Him, but to fear Him, without making 
Him an objeâ; of terror to them. Terrifying views 
of God generate fuperftition, and infpire horrible 
apprehenfions of priefts and of death. The firft 
precept of Religion is to love God. Love, and do 
zvhat you tvill, was the faying of a Saint. We are 
enjoined by Religion to love Him above all things. 
W^e are encouraged to addrefs onrfelves to Him as 
to a Father. If we are commanded to fear Him, 
k is only with a relation to the love which we owe 
Him ; becaufe we ought to be afraid of offending 
the perfon whom we are bound to love. Befides, 
I am very far from thinking, that a child is inca- 
pable of having any idea of God before fourteen 
years of age, as has been advanced by a Writer 

whom, 



STUDY XÎV. 337 

whom, in other refpefts, I love. Do we not con- 
vey to the youngeft children, fentiments of fear, 
and of averfion, for metaphyfical objeâis, which 
have no exiftence ? Wherefore (hould they not 
be infpired with confidence and love for the 
Being who fills univerfal Nature with his bene- 
ficence ? Children have not the ideas of God fuch. 
as are taught by fyflems of Theology and Philo- 
fophy ; but they are perfeclly capable of having 
the fentiment of him, which, as we have feen, is 
the reafon of Nature. This very fentiment has 
been exalted among them, during the time of the 
Crufades, to fuch a height of fervor, as to induce 
multitudes of them to alTume the Crofs for the con- 
quefl of the Holy Land. Would to God I had 
preferved the fentiment of the exiftence of the 
Supreme Being, and of his principal attributes, as 
pure as I had it in my earlieft years ! It is the heart, 
ftill more than the underftanding, that Religion 
demands. And which heart, I befeech you, is 
mofl filled with the Deity, and the mofl agree- 
able in his fight ; that of the child who, elevated 
with the fentiment of Him, raifes his innocent 
hands to Heaven, as he ftammers out his prayer, 
or of the fchoolman, who pretends to explain His 
Nature. 

It is very eafy to communicate to children ideas 

of God, and of virtue. The daifies fpringing up 

VOL. IV. z among 



5^8 STUDIES OF NATtTRE. 

among the grafs, the fruits fufpended on the trees 
of their enclofure, fliould be their firft leflbns in' 
Theology, and their firft exercifes of abftinence, 
and of obedience to the Laws. Their minds might 
be fixed on the principal objed; of Religion, by 
the pure and fimple recitation of the life of Jesus 
Christ in the Gofpel. They would learn in their 
Creed, all that they can know of the nature of 
God, and in the Pater-noJIer, every thing that tbey 
can aik of Him. 

It is worthy of remark, that of all the Sacred 
Books, there is no one which children take in with 
fo much facihty as the Gofpel. It would be proper 
to habituate them betimes, in a particular manner, 
to perform the aftrons which are there enjoined, 
without vain glory, and without any refpeil ta 
human obfervation or applauie. They ought to 
be trained ap, therefore, in the habit of preventing 
each other in ads of friendfhip, in mutual defe- 
rence, and in good offices of every kind. 

All the children of citizens fhould be admitted 
into this National School, without making a fingle 
exception. 1 would infift only on the mod perfedt 
cleanlinefs, were they, in other refpeds, drefled 
but in patches fewed together. There you might 
fee the child of a man of quality, attended by his 
governor, arrive in an equipage, and take his place 



Dv 



sTUDt xiv. 339 

by the fide of a peafant's child, leaning on his 
little ftick, drefled in canvas, in the very middle of 
winter, and carryings in a fatchel, his little books, 
and his flice of brown bread, for the provifion of 
the whole day. Thus they would both learn to 
know each other, before they came to be feparated 
for ever. The child of the rich man would be in- 
fhrudted to impart of his fuperfluity, to him who 
is frequently deftined to fupport the affluent out 
of his own neceflary pittance. Thefe children, of 
all ranks, crowned with flowers, and diftributed 
into choirs, would affift in our public procefiions. 
Their age, their order, their fongs, and their in- 
nocence, would prefent, in thefe, a fpeftacle more 
auguft, than the lackeys of the Great bearing the 
coats of arms of their mafters palled to wax-tapers, 
and beyond all contradidion, much more affeâ:ing 
than the hedges of foldiers and bayonets with 
whit h, on fuch occalions, a God of Peace is en- 
compafled, 

Tn this fchool, children might be taught to read 
and to cipher. Ingenious men have, for this effedV, 
contrived boards, and methods fimple, prompt, 
and agreeable , but fchoolmaflers have been at 
great pains to render them uftlefs, becaufe they 
deftroyed their empire, and made education pro- 
ceed fafter tiian was conlîftent with their emolu- 
ment. If you wilh children to learn quickly to 

z 2 read. 



34"^ STUDIES OF NATURE. 

read, put a fugar-plumb over each of their letters ; 
they will foon have their alphabet by heart ; and 
if you multiply or diminilh the number of them, 
they will foon become arithmeticians. However 
that may be, they fliall have profited wonderfully 
in this fchool of their Country, (liould they leave 
it without having learned to read, write, and ci- 
pher; but deeply penetrated with this one truth, 
that to read, write, and cipher, and all the Sciences 
in the World, are mere nothings ; but that to be 
fincere, good, obliging; to love God and Man, is- 
the only Science worthy of the human heart. 

At the fécond era of education, which 1 fuppofe 
to be about the age of from ten to twelve, when 
their intelledual powers reftlefsly ftir, and prefs 
forward, to the imitation of every thing that they 
fee done by others, 1 would have them inftruded 
in the means which men employ in making pro- 
vifion for the wants of Society. I would not pre- 
tend to teach them the five hundred and thirty 
arts and handicrafts which are carried on at Paris, 
but thofe only which are fubfervient to the firft 
neceffities of human life, fuch as agriculture, the 
different procefles employed in making bread, the 
arts which, in the pride of our hearts, we denomi- 
nate mechanical, fuch as thofe of fpinning flax and 
hemp, of weaving thefe into cloth, and that of 
building houfes. To thefe I would join the ele- 
ments 



STUDY XIV. 341 

mcnts of the natural Sciences, in which thofe va- 
rious handicrafts orioinated, the elements of Geo- 
metry, and the experiments of Natural Philofophy, 
which have invented nothing in this refpeâ:, but 
which explain their proceffcs with much pomp and 
parade. 

I would, likewife, have them made acquainted 
with the liberal arts, fuch as thofe of drawing, of 
architedlure, of fortification, not in the view of 
making painters of them, or architedls, or engi- 
neers, but to fliew them in what manner their ha- 
bitation is conftruded, and how their Courttry is 
defended. I would make them obferve, as an anti- 
dote to the vanity which the Sciences infpire, that 
Man, amidft fuch a variety of arts and operations, 
has imagined no one thing; that he has imitated, 
in all his productions, either the fkill of the ani- 
mal creation, or the operations of Nature; that 
his induftry is a teftimony of the mifery to which 
he is condemned, whereby he is laid under the ne- 
cefFity of maintaining an inceflant confliâ: againft 
the elements, againft hunger and thirft, againft his 
fellow men, and, what is moft difficult of all, againft 
himfelf. I would make them fenfible of thefe re- 
lations of the truths of Religion, with thofe of Na- 
ture ; and I would thus difpofe them to love the 
clafs of ufeful men, who are continually providing 
for their wants. 

z c» I would 



342- STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Î would alwaj's endeavour, in the courfe of this 
education, to make the exercifes of the body go 
hand in hand with thofe of the mind. Accord- 
ingl3% while they were acquiring the knowledge of 
the ufeful arts, I would have them taught Latin. I 
would not teach it them metaphyfically and gram- 
matically, as in our colleges, and which is forgot- 
ten much fafler than it was attained, but they 
fliould learn it pradically. Thus it is that the Po- 
lilh peafantry acquire it, who fpeak it fluently all 
their life-time, though they have never been at 
college. They fpeak it in a very intelligible man- 
ner, as I know by experience, having travelled 
through their Country. The ufe of that language 
has been, I imagine, propagated among them, by 
certain exiles from ancient Rome, perhaps Ovid, 
who was fent into banifhment among the Sarma- 
tians, their Anceftors, and for the memory of 
which Poet they flill preferve the higheft venera- 
tion. It is nor, fay our Liierati, the Latin of 
Cicero. But what is that to the purpofe ? It is not 
becaufe thefe peafants have not a competent know- 
ledge of the Latin tongue, that they are incapable 
of Ipeaking the language of Cicero; but becaufe, 
being ilaves, they do not underftand the language 
of liberty. Our French pcafants would not com- 
prehend the beft tranflations which could be made 
of that Author, v/ere they the production even of 
the Univerllty. But a Savage of Canada would 

take 



STUDY XIV. 343 

cake them in perfedly, and better than many Pro- 
feffors of eloquence. It is the tone of foul of the 
perfon who liftens, which gives the comprehenfion 
of the language of him who fpeaks. A projeét was 
once formed, 1 think under Louis X\V. of building 
a city, in which no language but Latin was to 
iiave been fpoken. This muft have inconceivably 
facilitated the ftudy of that tongue ; but the Uni- 
verfity, undoubtedly, would not have found it's 
account in it. Whatever may be in this, I am 
well affured, that two years, at moft, are fufficienc 
for the children of the National School, to learn 
the Latin by practice, efpecially if, in the leflures 
which they attended, extracts were given from the 
lives of great men, French and Roman, written 
in good Latin, and afterwards well explained. 

In the third period of Education, nearly about 
the age when the paffions begin to take flight, I 
would flievv, to ingenuous youth, the pure and 
gentle language of them, in the Eclogues arid 
Georgics of Firgil; the philofophy of them, in 
feme of the Odes of Horace ; and pidiures of their 
corruption, taken from Tacitus and Sueloniîis. I 
would finifh the painting of the hideous excefTcs . 
into which they plunge Mankind, by exhibiting 
paiTages from fome Hiftorian of the Lower Em- 
pire. I would make them rcm^irk how talents,. 

z 4 taile. 



344 STUDIES OF NATURE. - 

tafte, knowledge, and eloquence, funk at once 
among the Ancients, together with manners and 
virtue. I would be very careful not to fatigue 
my pupils with reading of this fort ; I would point 
out to them only the more poignant paffages, in 
order to excite in them a defire to know the reft. 
My aim fliould be, not to lead them through a 
courfe of Virgil, of Horace^ and of Tacitus, but a 
real courfe of claffical learning, by uniting in their 
ftudies whatever men of genius have .confidered as 
beft adapted to the perfeding of human nature. 

I would likewifehave them praflically inftrudled 
in the knowledge of the Greek tongue, which is 
on the point of going into total difufe among us, 
I would make them acquainted with Homer, prin- 
cipium Japienîia IE fons, (the original fource of Wif- 
dom) as Horace, with perfed propriety calls him ; 
with Herodotus, the father of Hiftory ; with fome 
maxims from the fublime book qÎ Marcus Aurelius, 
I would endeavour to make them fenfible how, 
at all times, talents, virtues, great men, and States, 
flouriQied together, with confidence in the Divine 
Providence. But, in order to communicate greater 
weight to thefe eternal truths, I would intermingle 
with them., the enchanting fludies of Nature, of 
■which they had hitherto feen only fome faint 
fketches in the greateft Writers. 

I would 



STUDY XIV. 345 

I would make them remark the difpofition of 
this Globe, fufpended, in a moft incomprehenlVble 
manner, upon nothing, with an infinite number 
of different Nations in motion over it's folid, and 
over it's liquid furface. I would point out to them, 
in each climate, the principal plants which are ufe- 
ful to human life; the animals which ftand re- 
lated to thofe plants, and to their foil, without ex- 
tending farther. I would then fhew them the hu- 
man race, who alone, of all fenfible beings, are 
univerfally difperfed, mutually to affift each other, 
and to gather, at once, all the produdions of Na- 
ture. I would let them fee, that the interefts of 
Princes are not different from thofe of other men ; 
and that thofe of every Nation are the fame with 
the interefts of their Princes. I would fpeak of 
the different Laws by which the Nations are go- 
verned ; I would lead them to an acquaintance 
with thofe of their own Country, of which moft of 
our citizens are entirely ignorant. I would give 
them an idea of the principal religions which divide 
the Earth; and I vi^ould demonftrate to them, how 
highly preferable Chriftianity is to all the political 
Laws, and to all the religions of the World, be- 
caufe it alone aims at the felicity of the whole hu- 
man race. I would make them fenfible, that it is 
the Chriftian Religion which prevents the different 
ranks of Society from dafliing themfelves to pieces 
by mutual collifion, and which gives them equal 

powers 



34^ STUDIES OF NATURE. 

powers of bearing up under the preffure of un- 
equal weights. From thefe fubHme confiderations, 
the love of their Country would be kindled in 
thofe youthful hearts, and would acquire increafing 
ardor from the fpeétacle of her very calamities. 

I would intermix thefe afFefting fpeculations 
with exercifes, ufeful, agreeable, and adapted to 
the vivacity of their time of life. 1 would have 
them taught to fwim, not fo much by way of fe- 
curity from danger, in the event of fuffering (hip- 
wreck, as in the view of alTifting perfons, who may 
happen to be in that dreadful fituation. What-, 
ever particular advantage they might derive from 
their ftudies, I would never propofe to them any 
other end, but the good of their fellow-creature. 
They would make a mod wonderful progrefs in 
thefe, did they reap no other fruit except that of 
concord, and the love of Country. 

In the beautiful feafon of the year, when the 
corn is reaped, about the beginning of September, 
I would lead them out into the country, embodied 
under various ftandards. I would prefent them with 
the image of war. I would make them lie on the 
grafs, under the fliade of forefts : there, they 
iliould themfelves prepare their own vidluals; they 
Ihould learn to attack, and to defend a poll, to 
crofs a river by fwimming^ they fliould learn the 

ufe 



STUDY XIV. 



347 



ufe of fire-arms, and, at the fame time, to pradife 
the evolutions borrowed from the tactics of the 
Greeks, who are our mafters in every branch of 
knowledge. I would bring into difrepute, by 
means of thefe mihtary exercifes, the tafte for 
fencing, which renders the foldiery formidable only 
to citizens, an art ufelefs, and even hurtful in war, 
reprobated by all great Commanders, and deroga- 
tory to courage, as Philop^^men alleged. ** In my 
■*' younger days," fays Michael Montaigne ^ *' the 
*' nobility difclaimed the praife of being ikilful 
*^ fencers, as injurious to their charadter, and 
*' learned that art by ftealth, as a matter of trick, 
?' inconfidentwith real native valour*.'* This art, 
generated in the lame fociety, of the hatred of the 
lower clafles to the higher, who opprefs them, is 
an importation from Italy, where the military art 
exifts no longer. It is this which keeps up the 
{pirit of duelling among us. We have not derived 
that fpirit from the Nations of the North, as fo 
many Writers have taken upon them to afl'ert. 
Duels are hardly known in Ruffia and in Pruilia ; 
and altogether unknown to the Savages of the 
North. Italy is their narive foil, as may be ga- 
thered from the mofl celebrated treatifes on fenc- 
ing, and from the terms of that art, which are 
Italian, as tierce, quarte. It has been naturalized 

* Efiays q{ Michael Montaigne. Bt)ok ii. chap. 27. 

among 



548 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

among us, through the weaknefs and corruption 
of many women, who are far from being difpleafed 
with having a bully for a lover. To thofe moral 
caufes, no doubt, we mult afciibe that flrange 
contradidion in our government, which prohibits 
duelling, and, at the fame time, permits the public 
exercife of an art, which pretends to teach nothing 
clfe but how to fight duels*. The pupils trained in 
the National Schools (hould be taught to entertain 
a very different idea of courage; and in the courfe 
of their ftudies, they fliould perform a courfe of 
human life, in which they fliould be inftruded in 
what manner they ought one day to demean thcm- 
felves toward a fellow-citizen, and toward an 
enemy. 

The feafon of youth would glide away agreeably 
and ufefuUy, amidft fuch a number of employ- 
ments. The mind and the body would expand 

* Fencing-mafters tell us that their art expands the body, and 
teaches to walk gracefully, Dancing-mafters fay the fame thing 
of theirs. As a proof that they are miftaken, both thefe clafTes 
of gentlemen are readily diftinguiflied by their afFci^ied manner 
of walking. A citizen ought to have neither the attitude nor 
the movements of a gladiator. But if the art of fencing be ne- 
ceiTarv, duelling ought to be permitted by public authority, in 
order to relieve perfons of charafter from the cruel alternative of 
equally diftionouring themfelves, by violating the Laws of the 
State and of Religion, or by obferving them. In truth, worth- 
lefs people are, among us, very much at their eafe. 



STUDY XÏV. 349 

at one and the fame time. The natural talents, 
frequently unknown in moft men, would manifeft 
themfelves at fight of the different objeâ:s which 
might be prefented to them. More than one 
Achilles would feel his blood all on fire on behold- 
ing a fword : more than one FancanfoUy at the af-« 
peel of a piece of machinery, would begin to me- 
ditate on the means of organizing wood or brafs. . 

The attainment of all this various knowledge, 
I (hall be told, will require a very confiderable 
quantity of time : but, if we take into confidera- 
tion that which is fquandered away in our colleges, 
in the tirefome repetitions of lefTons; in the gram- 
matical decompofitions and explications of the 
Latin tongue, which âio not communicate to the 
fcholar fo much as facility in fpeaking it; and in 
the dangerous competitions of a vain ambition, it 
is impoffible not to admit that we have been pro- 
pofing to make a much better ufe of it. The 
fcholars, every day, fcribble over, in them, as 
much paper as fo many attorneys*, fo much the 

more 



* Ï am perfuaded, that if this plan of education, indigefted as 
it is, were to be adopted, one of the greatefl obfi:acIes to the uni- 
verfal renovation of our knowledge and morals would be, not 
Regents, not academical Inftitutions, not Univerfity Privileges, 
not the fquare caps of Doclors. It would come from the Paper 
Merchants, one of whofe principal branches of commerce would 

thereby 



3i50 STtJDIES OF NATURE. 

more unprofitably, that, thanks to the printing of 
the books, the verfions, or themes, of which they 
copy, they have no occafioh for all this irkfome 
labour. But on what fliould the Regents them- 
felves employ their own time, if the pupils did not 
wade theirs > 

In the National Schools, every thing would gd 
on after the academic manner of the Greek Philo- 
fophers. The pupils (hould there purfue their 
ftudies, fometimes feated, fometimes flanding; 
fometimes in the fields, at other times in the am- 
phitheatre, or in the park which furrounded it. 
There would be no occafion for either pen, or pa- 
per, or ink j every one would bring with him only 
the claflical book which might contain the fubjed: 
of the lefTon. I have had frequent experience that 
we forget what we commit to writing. That which 
I have conveyed to paper, I difcharge from my 
memory, and very foon from my recolledtive fa- 
culty. I have become fenfible of this with refpedt 
to complete Works, which I had fairly tranfcribed, 
and which appeared to me afterward as ftrange, as 
if they had been the produ(5lion of a different hand 
from my own. This does not take place with re- 

thereby be reduced to almoft nothing. There might be devifed 
happy and glorious compenfations for the privileges of the Maf- 
ters : but a money objection, in this venal age, feems to me abfo- 
lutely unanfwerable, 

gard 



< 



STUDY XIV. 35t 

gard to the impreffions which the converfation of 
another leaves upon our mind, efpecially if it be 
accompanied with ftriking circumftances. The 
tone of voice, the gefture, the irefpea: due to the 
orator, the refleâiions of the company, concur in 
engraving on the memory the words of adifcourfe, 
much better than writing does, I fhall again 
quote, to this purpofe, the authority of Plutarch^ 
or rather that of Lycurgus» 

*' But it is carefully to be remarked, that Lycurgns 

* would never permit any one of his Laws to be 

* committed to writing; it is accordingly exprefsly 
' enjoined by one of the fpecial ftatutes, which 
' he calls p/^rpà; (oracular, paEla conventa^ Inftitutes) 
' that none of his Inftitutes fhall be copied ; becaufe 
' whatever is of peculiar force and efficacy toward 

* rendering a city happy and virtuous, it was his 
' opinion, ought to be impreffed by habitual cul- 

* ture on the hearts and manners of men, in order 
'• to make the charadlers indelible. Good-will is 
' more powerful than any other mode of conftraint 
' to which men can be fubjefted, for by means of 

* it, every one becomes a Law unto himfelf *.'* 

The heads of ©ur young people fhould nor, 
then, be oppreffed, in the National Schools, with 

* Plutarch^ Life oi Lycurgus, 

an 



%^Z STtJDIES OF I7ATURE. 

an unprofitable and praltling Science. Sometimes 
they (hould defend, among themfelves, the caufe 
of a citizen ; fometimes they fhould deliver their 
opinion refpeding a public event. They fliould 
purfue the procefs of an art through it's whole: 
courfe. Their eloquence would be a real elo- 
quence, and their knowledge real knowledge* 
They fliould employ their minds on no abftrufe 
Science, in no ufelefs refcarch, which are ufually 
the fruit of pride. In the ftudies which I propofe, 
every thing fhould bring us back to Society, to 
Concord, to Religion, and to Nature. 

I have no need to fnggeft, that thefe feveral 
Schools fhould be decorated correfpondently to 
their ufe, and that the exterior of them all fliould 
ferve as walking places and afylums to the People, 
efpecially during the long and gloomy days of 
Winter. There they fliould every day behold 
fpedacles more proper to infpire them with vir- 
tuous fentiments, and with the love of their coun- 
try, I do not fay than thofe of the Boulevards, or 
than the dances of Vauxhall, but even than the 
tragedies of Corneille. 

There fhould be among thofe young people, no 
fuch thing as reward, nor puniQiment, nor emula- 
tion, and, confequently, ijp envy. The only pu- 
niihment there inflided fhould be, to banifli from 

the 



STUDY XiVé 3^3 

the aflembly the perfon who (hould difturb it, and 
even that only for a time proportioned to the fault 
of the offender: and, withal, this fliould rather be 
an aâ: of juftice than a punifhment ; for I would 
have no manner of fhame to attach to that exile. 
But, if you wifh to form an idea of fuch an affem- 
bly, conceive, inftead of our young collegians, pale, 
penfive, jealous, trembling about the fate of their 
unfortunate comportions, a multitude of young 
perfons gay, content, attracted by pleafure to vaft 
circular halls, in which are ercdled, here and there, 
the ftatues of the illuftrious men of Antiquity, and 
of their own Country ; behold them all attentive 
to the matter's leffons, affifting each other in com- 
prehending them, in retaining them, and in re- 
plying to his unexpedled queftions. One tacitly 
fuggefts an anfwer to his neighbour : another 
makes an excufe for the negligence of his abfent 
comrade. 

Reprefent to yourfelf the rapid progrefs of ftu- 
dies elucidated by intelligent mafters, and drunk 
in by pupils who are mutually affifting each other 
in fixing the impreffion of them. Figure to your- 
felf Science fpreading among them, as the fiame in a 
pile, all the pieces of which are nicely adjufted, 
communicates from one to another, till the whole 
becomes one blaze. Obferve among them, in- 
ftead of a vain emulation, union, benevolence, 

VOL. IV. A a friendship. 



354 STUDIES OF NATURE, 

friendfhip, for an anfwer feafonably fuggefted, for 
an apology made in behalf of one abfent by his 
comrades, and other little fervices rendered and 
repaid. The recolledion of thofe early intimacies 
will farther unite them in the World, notwith- 
flanding the prejudices of their various conditions. 

At this tender age it is that gratitude and refent- 
ment become engraved, for the reft of life, as in- 
delibly as the elements of Science and of Religion. 
It is not fo in our colleges, where every fcholar 
attempts to fupplant his neighbour. I recoiled: 
that one exercife day, I found myfelf very much 
embarrafled, from having forgotten a Latin Au- 
thor, out of which I had a page to tranflate. One 
of my neighbours obligingly offered to diftate to 
me the verfion which he had made from it. 1 ac- 
cepted his fervices, with many expreffions of ac- 
knowledgment. I accordingly copied his verfion, 
only changing a few words, that the Regent might 
not perceive it to be the fame with my compa- 
nion's; but that which he had given me was only 
a falfe copy of his own, and was filled with blun- 
ders fo extravagant, that the Regent was aftonifhed 
at it, and could not believe it, at firft, to be my 
production, for 1 was a tolerably good fcholar. I 
have not loft the recolleclion of that aâ: of perfidy, 
though, in truth, I have forgotten others much 
more cruel which I have encountered fince that pe- 
riod ; 



STUDY XIV. 355 

riod; but the firft age of human life is the feafon 
of refentments, and of grateful feelings, which are 
never to be effaced. 

I recoiled: periods of time ftill more remote. 
When I went to fchool in frocks, I fometimes loft 
my books through heedlefTnefs. I had a nurfe 
named Mary Talbot, who bought me others with 
her own money, for fear of my being whipped at 
fchool. And, of a truth, the recoUeftion of thofe 
petty fervices has remained fo long, and fo deeply 
imprinted on my heart, that I can truly affirm, no 
perfon in the World, my mother excepted, poffef- 
fed my affedtion fo uniformly, and fo conftantly. 
That good and poor creature frequently took a 
cordial intereft in my ufelefs projedts for acquiring 
a fortune. I reckoned on repaying her with ufury, 
in her old age, when (he was in a manner defticute, 
the tender care which (he took of my infancy ; 
but fcarcely has it been in my power to give her 
fome trifling and inadequate tokens of my good- 
will. I relate thefe recollediions, traces of which 
every one of my Readers probably pofTefTes, 
fomewhat fimilar, and ftill more interefting, re- 
lating to himfelf, and to his own childhood, to 
prove to what a degree the early feafon of life 
would be naturally the era of virtue and of grati- 
tude, were it not frequently depraved among us, 
through the faultinefs of our inftitution^. 

A a 2 But^ 



350 STUDIES OF NATURE, 

But, before we could pretend to eftablilh thefe 
National Schools, we mufl; have men formed to 
prefide in them. I would not have them chofen 
from among thofe who are moft powerfully recom- 
mended. The more recommendations they might 
have, the more would they be given to intrigue, 
and, confequently, the lefs would be their virtue. 
The enquiry made concerning them ought not to 
be, Is he a wit, a bright man, a Philofopher ? But, 
Is he fond of children ? Does he frequent the un- 
fortunate rather than the great ? Is he a man of 
fenfibility ? Does he poffefs virtue ? With perfons 
offucha charaéler, we fhould be furnifhed with 
mafhers proper for conducing the public educa- 
tion. Befides, I could wifh to change the appella- 
tion of Mafter and Dodor, as harfh and lofty. I 
would have their titles to import the friends of 
childhood, the fathers of the Country 5 and thefe I 
would have exprefled by beautiful Greek names, 
in order to unite to the refpeâ: due to their func- 
tions, the myfterioufnefs of their titles. Their con- 
dition, as being deftined to form citizens for the 
Nation, fhould be, at leaft, as noble, and as di- 
flinguilhtd, as that of the Squires who manage 
horles in the Courts cf Princes. A titled magi- 
ftrate fliould prefide every day in each fchool. It 
would be very becoming, that the magiPcrates 
fhould caufe to be trained up, under their own 
eyes, to juftice, and to the Laws, the children 

whom 



STUDY XIV. 



357 



whom they are one day to judge and to govern 
as men. Children, likewife, are citizens in mi- 
niature. A nobleman of the higheft rank, and 
of the moft eminent accomplifhments, fliould 
have the general fiiperintendance of thefe National 
Schools, more important, beyond all contradidion, 
than that of the ftuds of the kingdom ; and to the 
end that men of letters, given to low flattery, might 
not be tempted to infert in the public papers, the 
days on which he was to vouchjafe to make his vi- 
fits to them, this fublime duty Ihould have no re- 
venue annexed to it, and the only honour that 
could poffibly be claimed, (hould be that of pre- 
(idingo 

Would to God it were in my power to conci- 
liate the education of women to that of men, as at 
Sparta ! But our manners forbid it. I do not be- 
lieve, however, that there could be any great in- 
conveniency in aflbciating, in early life, the chil- 
dren of both fexes. Their fociety communicates 
mutual grace ; befides, the firft elements of civil 
life, of religion, and of virtue, are the fame for the 
one and for the other. This firft epoch excepted, 
young women fhould learn nothing of what' men 
ought to know ; not that they are to remain al- 
ways in ignorance of it, but that they may receive 
inftrudion with increafed pleafure, and one day 
find teachers in their lovers. There is this moral 
A a 3 difference. 



358 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

difference between man and woman, that the man 
owes himfelf to his country, and the woman is de- 
voted to the fehcity of one man alone. A young 
woman will never attain this end, but by acquiring 
a relifh for the employments fuitable to her fex. 
To no purpofe would you give her a complete 
courfe of the Sciences, and make her a Theologian 
or a Philofopher : a hufband does not love to find 
either a rival or an inftriiftor in his wife. Books 
and mafters, with us, blight betimes in a young 
female, virgin ignorance, that flower of the 
foul, which a lover takes fuch delight in ga- 
thering. They rob a hufband of the moft delicious 
charm of their union, of thofe inter- communica- 
tions of amorous fcience, and native ignorance, fo 
proper for filling up the long days of married life. 
They deftroy thofe contrafts of charader which 
Nature has eftablilhed between the two fexes, in 
order to produce the mod lovely of harmonies. 

Thefe natural contrafts are fo neceflary to love, 
that there is not a fingle female celebrated for the 
attachment with which fhe infpired her lovers, or 
her hufband, who has been indebted for her em- 
pire to any other attraflions than thjs amufements 
or the occupations peculiar to her fex, from the 
age of Penelope down to the prefent. We have 
them of all ranks, and of all charaélers, but not 
one of them learned. Such of them as have me- 
rited 



STUDY XIV. 359 

rited this defcription, have Hkewife been, almofl 
all of them, unfortunate in love, from Sappho down. 
to Chrijiina^ Queen of Sweden, and even ftill nearer 
to us. It fhould be, then, by the fide of her mo- 
ther, of her father, of her brothers and fifters, that 
a young woman ought to derive inftruflion re- 
fpedling her future duties of mother and wife. 
In her father's houfe it is that fhe ought to learn 
a multitude of domeftic arts, at this day unknown 
to our highly bred dames, 

I have oftener than once, in the courfe of this 
Work, fpoken in high terms of the felicity enjoyed 
in Holland ; however, as I only pafl'ed through 
that country, I have but a flight acquaintance 
with their domeftic manners. This much, never- 
thelefs, I know, that the women there are con- 
flantly employed in houfhold affairs, and that the 
mofl undifturbed concord reigns in families. But 
I enjoyed, at Berlin, an image of the charms which 
thofe manners, held in fuch contempt among us, 
are capable of diffufing over domçftic Hfe. A 
friend whom Providence raifed up for me in that 
city, where I was an entire ftranger, introduced me 
to a fociety of young ladies ; for, in Prufïïa, thefe 
alTemblies are held, not in the apartments of the 
married women, but of their daughters. This 
cuftom is kept up in all the families which have 
not been corrupted by the manners of our French 

A a 4 officers, 



360 STUDIES OF NAtURE. 

officers, who were prifoners there in the laft war. 
It is cuftomary, then, for the young ladies of the 
fame fociety to invite each other, by turns, to af- 
femblies, which they call coffee parties. They are 
generally kept on Thurfdays. They go, accom- 
panied by their mothers, to the apartments of 
her who has given the invitation. She treats them 
with creamed coffee, and every kind of paftry and 
comfits, prepared by her own hand. She prefents 
them, in the very depth of Winter, with fruits of 
all forts, preferved in fugar, in colours, in verdure, 
and in perfume, apparently as frefli as if they were 
hanging on the tree. She receives from her com- 
panions thoufands of compliments, which (he re- 
pays with intereft. 

But, by and by, (he difplays other talents. 
Sometimes (he unrols a large piece of tapeftry, on 
which (he labours night and day, and exhibits fo- 
refts of willows, always green, which (he herfelf has 
planted, and rivulets of mohair, which (he has fet 
a-flowing with her needle. At other times, (he 
weds her voice to the founds of a harpiichord, and 
feems to have colledled into her chamber all the 
fongfters of the grove. She requefts her compa- 
nions to fing in their turn. Then it is you hear 
clogium upon elogium. The mothers, enraptured 
with delight, applaud themfelves in fecret, like 
Niobe^ on the praifes given to their daughters : 

Vertentant 



STUDY XIV. 361 

Pertenîant guad'ta peBus : (the bofom glows with 
joy.) Some officers, booted, and in their uniform, 
having flipped away by ftealth from the exercifes 
of the parade, ftep in to enjoy, amidft this lovely 
circle, fome moments of delightful tranquility ; 
and while each of the young females hopes to find, 
in one of them her proteftor and her friend, each 
of the men fighs after the partner who is one day 
to foothe, by the charm of domeflic talents, the 
rigour of military labours. I never faw any coun- 
try, in which the youth of both fexes difcovered 
greater purity of manners, and in which marriages 
were more happy. 

There is no occafion, however, to have recourfe 
to ftrangers, for proofs of the power of love over 
fanfbity of manners. I afcribe the innocence of 
thofe of our own peafantry, and their fidelity in 
wedlock, to their being able, very early in life, to 
give themfelves up to this honourable fentiment. 
It is love which renders them content with their 
painful lot : it even fufpends the miferies of fla- 
very. I have frequently feen, in the Ifle of France, 
black people, after being exhaufted by the fatigues 
of the day, fet off, as the night approached, to vifit 
their miftrefles, at the diftance of three or four 
leagues. They keep their affignation in the midft 
of the woods, at the foot of a rock, where they 
kindle a fire ; they dance together a great part of 

the 



362 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

the night, to the found of their tamtam^ and return 
to their labour before day-break, contented, full 
of vigour, and as frefh as thofe who have llept 
foundly all night long : fuch is the power pof- 
feffed by the moral afFedions, which combine 
with this fentiment, over the phyfical organization. 
The night of the lover diffufes a charm over the 
day of the Have. 

We have, in Scripture, a very remarkable in- 
flance to this effeâ: ; it is in the book of Genefis 5 
** Jacob,** it is there written, " ferved feven years 
" for Rachel-, and they feemed unto him but a few 
" days, for the love he had to her *.'* I am per- 
fedly aware that our politicians, who fet no value 
on any thing but gold and titles, have no concep- 
tion of all this ; but I am happy in being able to 
inform them, that no one ever better underftood 
the Laws of Nature than the Authors of the Sa- 
cred Books, and that on the Laws of Nature only, 
can thofe of happily ordered Societies be efta- 
bliHied. 

I could Vv^ifli, therefore, that our young people 
might have it in their power to cultivate the fenti- 
ment of love, in the midft of their labours, as 
Jacob did. No matter at what age; as foon as 

* Genefis, chap. xxix. ver. 20. 

we 



STUDY XIV. 363 

we are capable of feeling, we are capable of loving. 
Honourable love fufpends pain, banilhes languor, 
faves from proftitution, from the errors and the 
reftlefsnefs of celibacy : it fills life with a thoufand 
delicious perfpeftives, by difplaying, in futurity, 
the moft defirable of unions : it augments, in the 
heart of two youthful lovers, a relifh for ftudy, and 
a tafte for domeflic employments. What pleafure 
muft it afford a young man, tranfported with the 
fcience which he has derived from his mafters, to 
repeat the lefTons of it to the fair one whom he 
loves ! What delight to a young and timid female, 
to fee herfelf diftinguifhed amidft her companions, 
and to hear the value, and the graces, of her little 
ikill and induflry, exalted by the tongue of her 
lover ! 

A young man, deftined one day to reprefs, on 
the tribunal, the injuftice of men, is enchanted, 
amidft the labyrinths of Law, to behold his mif- 
trefs embroidering for him, the flowers which are 
to decorate the afylum of their union, and to pre- 
fent him with an image of the beauties of Nature, 
of which the gloomy honours of his ftation are 
going to deprive him for life. Another, devoted 
to conduit the flame of war to the ends of the 
Earth, attaches himfelf to the gentle fpirit of his 
female friend, and flatters himfelf with the thought 
that the mifchief which he may do to mankind, 

fhall 



364 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

fhall be repaired by the bleffings which (he bellows 
on the miferable. Friendlhips multiply in fami- 
lies ; of the friend to the brother who introduces 
him, and of the brother to the fifter. The kindred 
are mutually attrafted. The young folks form 
their manners j and the happy perfpeâiives which 
their union difclofes, cherifli in them the love of 
their feveral duties, and of virtue. Who knows 
but thofe unconftrained choices, thofe pure and 
tender ties, may fix that roving fpirit, which fome 
have fuppofed natural to women ? They would re- 
fpefl the bands which they themfelves had formed. 
If, having become wives, they aim at pleafing 
every body, it is, perhaps, becaufe when they were 
fingle, they were not permitted to be in love with 
one. 

If there is room to hope for a happy revolution 
in our Country, it is to be effedted only by calling 
back the women to domeftic manners. What- 
ever fatire may have been levelled againft: them, 
they are lefs culpable than the men. They are 
chargeable with hardly any vices, except thofe 
which they receive from us ; and we have a great 
many from which they are free. As to thofe which 
are peculiar to themfelves, it may be affirmed, that 
they have retarded our ruin, by balancing the 
vices of our political conllitmion. It is impoffible 
to imagine what mull have become of a ftate of 

Society 



STUDY XIV. 365 

Society abandoned to all the abfurdities of our 
education, to all the prejudices of our various con- 
ditions, and to the ambitions of each contending 
party, had not the women crofled us upon the 
road. Our Hiftory prefents only the difputes of 
monks with monks, of doftors with doélors, of 
grandees with grandees, of nobles with the bafe- 
born ; while crafty politicians gradually lay hold 
of all our pofieffions. But for the women, all 
thefe parties would have made a defert of the State, 
and led the commonalty, to the very laft man, to 
the Slaughter, or to market, a piece of advice 
which was aélually given not many years ago. Ages 
have elapfed, in which we fhould all have been 
Cordeliers, born and dying encircled with the cord 
of St. Francis ; in others, all would have taken to 
the road in the character of knights-errant, ram- 
bling over hill and dale with lance in hand ; in 
others, all penitents, parading through the ftreets 
of our cities, in folemn procédions, and whipping 
ourfelves to fome purpofe ; in others, quifquis or 
quamquam of the Univerlity. 

The women, thrown out of their natural (late, 
by our unjuft manners, turn every thing upfide 
down, laugh at every thing, deftroy every thing, 
the great fortunes, the pretenfions of pride, and 
the prejudices of opinion. Women have only one 

paffion. 



366 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

paffion, which is love, and this paffion has only 
one obje(5t ; whereas men refer every thing to am- 
bition, which has thoufands. Whatever be the ir- 
regularities of women, they are always nearer to 
Nature than we are, becaufe their ruling paffion is 
inceflantly impelling them in that diredion, 
whereas ours, on the contrary, is betraying us into 
endlefs deviations. A Provincial, and even a Pa- 
rifian, tradefman, hardly behaves with kindnefs to 
his children, when they are fomewhat grown up ; 
but he bends with profound reverence before thofe 
of ftrangers, provided thev are rich, or of high 
quality : his wife, on the contrary, is regulated in 
her behaviour to them by their figure. If they are 
homely, flie negleâis them ; but (he will carefs a 
peafant's child, if it is beautiful; fhe will pay 
more refpecfb to a low-born man with gray hairs, 
and a venerable head, than to a counfellor without 
a beard. Women attend only to the advantages 
which are the gift of Nature, and men only to 
thofe of fortune. Thus the women, amidft all 
their irregularities, ftill bring us back to Nature, 
while we, with our affedation of fuperior wifdom, 
are in a confiant tendency to deviation from her. 

I admit, at the fame time, that they have pre- 
vented the general calamity only by introducing 
among us an infinite number of particular evils. 

Alas! 



STUDY XIV. 367 

Alas ! as well as ourfelves, they never will find 
happinefs except in the pradlice of virtue. In 
all countries where the empire of virtue is at an 
end, they are moft miferable. They were formerly 
exceedingly happy in the virtuous Republics of 
Greece and of Italy : there they decided the fate 
of States : at this day, reduced to the condition of 
flaves, in thofe very countries, the greateft part of 
them are under the neceffity of fubmitting to prof- 
titution for the fake of a livelihood. Ours ought 
not to defpair of us. They poflefs over Man an 
empire abfolutely inalienable * ; we know them 
only under the appellation of the fex, to which we 
have given the epithet of fair byway of excellence. 

* It deferves to be remarked, that moft of the names of the 
obje£ls of Nature, of morals, and of metaphyfics, are feminine, 
efpecially in the French language. It would afford matter of 
curious refearch, to enquire, whether mafculine names have 
been given by the women, and feminine names by the men, to 
objefts which are moft particularly fubfervient to the ufes of 
each fex ; or whether the firft have been made of the mafculine 
gender, becaufe they prefented charaders of energy and force, 
and the fécond of the feminine gender, becaufe they difplayed 
charafters of grace and lovelinefs. I am perfuaded, that the 
men having given names to the objefls of nature, in general, 
have laviflied feminine defignations upon them, from that fecret 
propenfity which attracts them toward the fex : this obfervation 
is fupported by the names affigned to the heavenly Conftellations, 
to the four quarters of the Globe, to by far the greateft part of 
rivers, kingdoms, fruits, trees, virtues, and fo on; 

But 



|68 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

But how many other defcriptive epithets, ftill more 
interefling, might be added to this, fuch as thofe 
of nutritive, confolatory ! They receive us on our 
entrance into life, and they clofe our eyes when we 
die. It is not to beauty, but to Religion, that 
our women are indebted for the greateft part of 
their influence ; the fame Frenchman who, in 
Paris, fighs at the feet of his miftrefs, holds her 
in fetters, and under the difcipHne of the whip, 
in St. Domingo. Our Religion alone of all, con- 
templates the conjugal union in the order of 
Nature ; it is the only Religion, on the face of 
the Earth, which prefents woman to man as a com- 
panion ; every other abandons her to him as a 
flave. To Religion alone do our women owe the 
liberty which they enjoy in Europe ; and from 
the liberty of the women it is that the liberty of 
Nations has flowed, accompanied with the profcrip- 
tion of a multitude of inhuman ufages, which have 
been diff'ufed over all the other parts of the World, 
fuch as flavery, feraglios, and eunuchs. O charm- 
ing fex ! it is in your virtue that your power 
confifts. — Save your Country, by recalling to the 
love of domeftic manners your lovers and your 
hufbands, from a difplay of your gentle occupa- 
tions : You would reftore Society at large to a 
fenfe of duty, if each of you brings back one 
fmgle man to the order of Nature. Envy not the 

other 



STUDY XIV. 369 

Other fex their authority, their magiftracies, their 
talents, their vain-glory ; but in the midft of 
your weaknefs, furrounded with your wools and 
your filks, give thanks to the Author of Nature, 
for having conferred on you alone, the power of 
being always good and beneficent. 



VOL. IV. 



B b RECA. 



RECAPITULATION. 371 



RECAPITULATION. 



I HAVE prefented, from the beginning of this 
Work, the different paths of Nature which I 
propofed to purfue, on purpofe to form to myfelf 
an idea of the order which governs the World. 
I brought forward, in the firft place, the objedlions 
which have, in all ages, been raifed againft a Pro- 
vidence ; I have exhibited them as applied to the 
feveral kingdoms of Nature, one after another; 
which furnifhed me with an opportunity, in re- 
futing them, of difplaying views entirely new, re- 
fpeding the difpofition, and the ufe, of the diffe- 
rent parts of this Globe : I have, accordingly, re- 
ferred the direction of the chains of Mountains, 
on the Continents, to the regular Winds which 
blow over the Ocean ; the pofition of Iflands, to 
the confluence of it's Current^, or of thofe of 
Rivers; the confiant fiipply of fuel to Volcanos, 
to the bituminous depofits on it's fliores ; the Cur- 
rents of the Sea, and th-e movements of the Tides, 
to the alternate eftufions of the Pouir Ices. 

B b 2 In 



372 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

In the next place, I have refuted, in order, the 
other objedions raifed on the fubjeâ: of the vege- 
table and animal kingdoms, by demonftrating, 
that thefe kingdoms were no more governed by 
mechanical Laws than the foflîl kingdom is. J 
have farther demonftrated, that the greateft part of 
the ills which opprefs the human race, are to be 
afcribed to the defeds of our political Inftitutions, 
and not to thofe of Nature ; that Man is the only 
Being who is abandoned to his own Providence, 
as a punillmient for fome original tranfgreffion ; 
but that the fame Deity who had given him up 
to the diredion of his own intelligence, flill watch- 
ed over his deftination ; that he caufed to recoil 
on the Governors of the Nations the miferies with 
which they overwhelm the little and the weak ; 
and I have demonftrated the adion of a Divine 
Providence from the very calamities of the Human 
Race. Such is the fi^bjçd of my firft Part. 

In the opening of my fécond, I have attacked 
the principles of our Sciences, by evincing, that 
they miflead us, either by the boldnefs of thofe 
fame principles, from whence they would foar up 
to the nature of the elements which elude their 
grafp, or, by the infufficiency of their methods, 
which is capable of catching only one Law of Na- 
ture at once, becaufe of the weaknefs of our un- 
derftanding, and of the vanity infpired by our edu- 
cation. 



R£CAPITULATION* 



373 



cation, whereby we are betrayed into the belief, 
that the little paths in which we tread, are the only 
roads leading to knowledge. Thus it is that the 
natural Sciences, and even the political, which arc 
refults from them, having been, with us, feparated 
from each other, each one, in particular, has 
formed, if I may ufe the expreffion, a lane, without 
a thoroughfare, of the road by which it entered. 
Thus it is that the phyfical caufes have, at the long 
run, made us lofe light of intelleftual ends in the 
order of Nature, as financial caufes have ftripped 
us of the hopes of Religion, and of Virtue, in the 
focial order. 

I afterwards fet out in queft of a faculty better 
adapted to the difcovery of truth than our reafon, 
which, after all, is nothing but our perfonal inte- 
rest merely. I flatter myfelf I have found it in 
that fublime inftinâ; called fentimenty which is in 
us the expreffion of natural Laws, and which is 
invariable among all Nations. By means of it, I 
have obferved the Laws of Nature, not by tracing 
them up to their principles, which are known to 
God only, but by defcending into their refulte, 
which are deftined to the ufe of Man. I have had 
the felicity, in purfuance of this track, to perceive 
certain principles of the correfpondencies, and of 
the harmonies, which govern the World. 

E b 3 I cannot 



374 STUDIES OF NATURE, 

I cannot entertain a Ihadow of doubt, that it 
was by proceeding in this fame track, the ancient 
Egyptians diftinguiOied themfelves fo highly for 
their attainments in natural knowledge, which they 
carried incomparably farther than we have done. 
They ftudied Nature in Nature herfelf, and not by 
piecemeal, and with machines. Hence they formed 
a moft wonderful Science, of juft celebrity all over 
the Globe, under the name of Magic. The ele- 
ments of this Science are now unknown ; the 
name of it alone is all that remains, and is, at this 
day, given to operations, the moft flupid in which 
the error and depravity of the human heart can be 
employed. This was not the charader of the Ma- 
gic of the ancient Egyptians, fo much celebrated 
by the moft refpedable Authors of Antiquity, and 
by the Sacred Books themfelves. Thefe were the 
principles of correfpondence and of harmony, which 
Pythagoras derived from their flores, which he im- 
ported into Europe, and which there became the 
iources of the various branches of Philofophy that 
appeared after his time, nay, the fource of the Arts 
likewife, which did not begin to flourifh there till 
that period ; for the Arts are only imitations of 
tlie procèdes of Nature. 

Though my incapacity is very great, thefe har- 
monic principles are fo luminous, that they have 
prefented to me, not only difpofitions of the Globe 

entirely 



RECAPITULATION. 375 

entirely new ; but they have, befides, furniflied 
me with the means of diftinguifhing the charaders 
of plants on the firft infpeélion, fo as to be able 
to fay, at once, This is a native of the mountains. 
That is an inhabitant of the fhores. By them, I 
have demonflrated the ufe of the leaves of plants, 
and have determined by the nautical, or volatile 
forms of their grains, the relations which they have 
to the places where they are deftined to grow. I 
have obferved that the corolU of their flowers had 
relations, pofitive or negative, to the rays of the 
Sun, according to the difference of Latitude, and 
to the points of elevation at which they are to 
blow. I have afterwards remarked the charming 
contrails of their leaves, of their flowers, of their 
fruits, and of their fliems, with the foil and the fky 
in which they grow, and thofe which they form 
from genus to genus, being, if I may fay fo, 
grouped by pairs. Finally, I have indicated the 
relations in which they ftand to animals, and to 
Man J to fuch a degree, that, I am confident to 
affirm, I have demonflrated, there is not a (ingle 
ihade of colour imprefTed by chance, through the 
whole extent of Nature. 

By profecuting thefe views, I have fupplied the 
means of forming complete chapters of Natural 
Hiflory, from having evinced, that each plant was 
the centre of the exiftence of an infinite number of 

B b 4 animals, 



37^ STUDIES Of NATURE. 

animals, which pofTefs correfpondëhcies with it, to 
us ftill unknown. Their harmonies might, un- 
doubtedly, be extended fntich farther ; for, many 
plants feem to have relations not only to the Sun, 
but to different confteliations. It is not always 
fuch an elevation of the Sun above the Horizon 
which elicits the vegetative powers of plants. Such 
a one flourilhes in the Spring, which would not put 
out the fmallefl; leaf in Autumn, though it might 
then undergo the fame degree of heat. The fame 
thing is obfervable with refpedt to their feeds, 
which germinate and fhoot at one feafon, and not 
at another, though the temperature may be the 
fame. 

Thefe celeftial relations were known to the an- 
cient Philofophy of the Egyptians, and of Pytha- 
goras. We find many obfervations on this fubjecft 
in Pliny ; when he fays, for example, that toward 
the rifing of the Pleiades, the olive-trees and vines 
conceive their fruit ; and, after Firgil, that wheat 
ought to be fown immediately on the retiring of 
this coiiftellation ; and lentils on that of Bootes; 
that reeds and willows fliould be planted, when 
the conftellation of the Lyre is fetting. It was 
afrer thefe relations, the caufes of which are un- 
known to us, that Limiaus formed, with the flowers 
of plants, a botanical almanac, of which P/iny fug- 
geiled the firfl idea to the hufbandmen of his 

time. 



RECAPITULATION. 



37? 



time*. But we have indicated vegetable harmonies 
flill more interefting, by demonftrating, that the 
time of the expanfion of every plant, of it's flower- 
ing, and of the maturity of it's fruit, was conneded 
with the expanfions, and the neceffities, of the ani- 
mal creation, and efpecially with ihofe of Man. 
There is not a fingle one but what poflefles rela- 
tions of utility to us, dired or indireft : but this 
immenfe and myfterious part of the Hiftory of 
Man will, perhaps, never be known, except to the 
Angels. 

My third Part, prefents the application of thefe 
harmonic principles to the nature of Man himfelf. 
In it I have (hewn. That he is formed of two 
powers, the one phyfical, and the other intelle6lual, 
which afFe(ft him perpetually with two contrary 
fentiments, the one of which is that of his mifery, 
and the other that of his excellence. I have de- 
monflrated, that thefe two powers were moft hap- 
pily gratified in the different periods of the paf- 
fions, of the ages, and of the occupations to which 
Nature has deftined Man, fuch as agriculture, 
marriage, the fettlement of pofterity. Religion. 

I have dwelt, principally, on the affeftions of 
the intelleftual power, by rendering it apparent, 

* Confult his Natural Hiftory, Book xviii, chap. 28. 

that 



SjS STUDIES OF NATURE. 

that every thing which has the femblance of deli- 
cious and tranfpoiting in our pleafures, arofe from 
the fentiment of infinity, or of fome other attribute 
of Deity, which difcovered itfelf to us, as the 
termination of our perfpedive. 1 have demon- 
ftrated, on the contrary, that the fource of our mi- 
feries, and of our errors, might be traced up to 
this, That, in the focial ftate, we frequently crofs 
thofe natural fentiments, by the prejudices of edu- 
cation and of fociety : fo that, in many cafes, we 
make the fentiment of infinity to bear upon the 
tranfient objefts of this World, and that of our 
frailty and mifery, upon the immortal plans of 
Nature. I have only glanced at this rich and fu- 
blime fubjed ; but I affert with confidence, that 
by purfuing this track (imply, I have fufficiently 
proved the necelTity of virtue, and that I have in- 
dicated it*s real fource, not where our modern 
Philofophers feek for it, namely, in our political 
inftitutions, which are often diametrically oppofitc 
to it, but in the natural Itate of Man, and in his 
own heart. 

I have afterwards applied, with what ability I 
poffefs, the aftion of thefe two powers to the hap- 
pinefs of Society, by fliewing, firft, that mofl of 
the ills we endure are only focial re-adions, all of 
which have their grand origin, in overgrown pro- 
perty, in employments^ in honours, in money," and 

in 



RECAPITULATION. 579 

in land. I have proved that thofe enormous pro- 
perties produce the phyfical and moral indigence 
of a Nation; that this indigence generated, in it's 
turn, fwarms of debauched men, who employed all 
the refources of craft and induftry to make the 
rich refund the portion which their neceffities de- 
mand ; that celibacy, and the difquietudes with 
which it is attended, were, in a great many citi- 
zens, the effects of that ftate of penury and an- 
guifh to which they found themfelves reduced ; 
and that their celibacy produced, by repercuffion, 
the proftitution of women of the town, becaufe 
every man who abftains from marriage, whether 
voluntarily or from neceffity, devotes a young wo- 
man to a fingle life, or to proftitution. This effe(5t 
neceflarily refults from one of the harmonic Laws 
of Nature, as every man comes into the World, 
and goes out of it, with his female, or, what 
amounts to the fame thing, the males and females 
of the human fpecies are born and die in equal 
numbers. From thefe principles I have deduced 
a variety of important confequences. 

T have, finally, demonftrated. That no incon- 
fiderable part of our phyfical and moral maladies 
proceeded from the chaftifemcnts, the rewards, and 
the vanity of our education. 

I have 



380 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

I have hazarded fundry conjedures, in the vie^ 
of furnifliing to the People abundant means of 
fubfiftence and of population, and of re-animating 
in them the fpirit of Reiigion and of Patriotifm, 
by prefenting them with certain perfpeftives of in- 
finity, without which the fehcity of a Nation, like 
that of an individual, is negative, and quickly ex- 
haufted, were we to form plans, in other refpedis, 
the mod advantageous, of finance, of commerce, 
and of agriculture. Provilion muft be made, at 
once, for Man, as an animal, and as an intelligent 
being. I have terminated thofe différent projeéls, 
by prefenting the fketch of a National Education, 
without which it is impoffible to have any fpecies 
of Legillation, or of Patriotifm, that fliall be of 
long duration. 1 have endeavoured to unfold in 
it, at once, the two powers, phyfical and intellec- 
tual, of Man, and to dired them toward the love 
of Country and Religion. 

I muft, no doubt, have frequently gone aftray 
in purfuing paths fo new, and fo intricate. I muft 
have, many a time, funk far below my fubjed, 
from the conftruclion of my plans, from my inex- 
perience, from the very embarraffment of my ftyle; 
but, I repeat it, provided my ideas Oiall fuggeft 
fuperior conceptions to others, I am well fatisficd. 
At the fame time, if calamity be the road to Truth, 

I have 



RECAPITULATION. 381 

1 have not been deditute of means to direâ: me 
toward her. The di (orders of which I have fre- 
quently been the witnefs, and the vidlim, have 
fugg-fted to me ideas of order. I have fometimes 
found upon my road, great perfonages of high re- 
pute, and men belonging to refpedlable bodies, 
who had the words Country and Humanity con- 
tinually in their mouth. I alTociated with them, 
in the view of deriving illumination from their in- 
telligence, and of putting myfelf under the protec- 
tion of their virtues ; but I difcovered them to be 
intriguers merely, who had no other objecfl in view 
but their perfonal fortune, and who began to per- 
fecute me the moment that they perceived I was 
not a proper perfon to be either the agent of their 
pleafures or the trumpeter of their ambition. I 
then went over to the fide of their enemies, pro- 
mifing myfelf to find among them the love of 
truth, and of the public good ; but however di- 
verfified our feds, our parties, and our corps, may 
be, I every where met the fame men, only clothed 
in different garbs. As foon as the one or the other 
found that I refufed to enlift as a partifan, he ca- 
lumniated me, after the perfidious manner of the 
age, that is, by pronouncing my panegyric. The 
times we live in are highly extolled ; but, if we 
have on the throne a Prince who emulates Alarcus 
AureliuSi the age rivals that of Tiberm. 

Were 



382 STUDIES OF NATURE, 

Were I to publifh the memoirs of my own life*,' 
I could wifh for no ftronger proof of the contempt 
which the glory of this World merits, than to hold 

up 



* It would be, I acknowledge, after all, a matter of very 
fmall importance ; but however retired, at this day, my condi- 
tion of life may be, it has been interwoven with revolutions of 
high moment. I prefented, on the fubjeft of Poland, a veiy 
circumftantial memoir to the Office for Foreign Affairs, in which 
I prediéled it's partition by the neighbouring Powers, feveral 
years before it was aftually accomplifhed. The only miftake I 
committed was in going on the fuppofition, that the partitioning 
Powers would lay hold of it entirely ; and I am aftonifhed to 
this hour that they did not. This memoir, however, has been 
of no utility either to that country or to myfelf, though I had 
expofed myfelf to very great rifks in it, by throwing myfelf, 
when I quitted the Ruffian fervice, into the party of the Polifli Re- 
publicans, then under the protection of France and Auftria. I was 
there taken prifoner in 1 765, as I was going, with the approba- 
tion of the AmbafTador of the Empire, and of the French Mini- 
fter at Warfaw, to join the army commanded by Prince Radji'viL 
This misfortune befel me about three miles from Warfaw, 
through the indifcretion of my guide. I was carried back to 
that city, put in prifon, and threatened with being delivered up 
to the Ruffians, whofe fervice I had jufl quitted, unlefs I ac- 
knowledged that the AmbafTador of the Court of Vienna, and 
the Minifter of France, had concurred in recommending this 
ftep to me. Though I had every thing to fear on the part of 
Ruffia, and had it in my power to involve in my difgrace, two 
perfonages in illuflrious iituntions, and confequently, to render 
it more confpicuous, I perfiiled in taking the whole upon myfelf. 
I likewife did my utmofl to exculpate the guide, to whom I had 
given time to burn the difpatches with which he was entrufted, 

bv 



RECAPITULATION. 383 

up to view the perfons who are the objefls of it. 
At the time when, unconfcious of having commit- 
ted the flighteft injury to any one, after an infinity 

of 



by keeping back, with my piftol in my hand, the Houlands, 
who had juft furprized us, by night, in the poft-houfe, where 
we made our firfl: encampment, in the midll of the woods. 

I never had the leaft fliadow of recompenfe for either of thefe 
two pieces of fervice, which coft me a great deal of both time and 
money. Nay, it is not very long fmce I was aftually in debt, 
for part of the expenfe of my journey, to my friend M. Hennin 
then Minifter of France at Warfaw, now Firfl Commiflary for 
Foreign Affairs at Verfailles, and who has given himfelf much 
fruitlefs trouble on the fubjeél. Undoubtedly, had M. the Count 
de Fergennes been at that time Minifler for Foreign Affairs, I 
fhould have been fuitabiy rewarded, as he has procured for mc 
fome flight gratuities. I fland, however, to this hour, indebted 
to the amount of more than four thoufand livres (;^i66 13;-. 4<^.) 
on that account, to different friends in Rufiia, Poland, and 
Germany. 

I have not been more fortunate in the Ifle of France, to which 
I was fent Captain-Engineer of the Colony ; for, in the firfl 
place, I was perfecuted by the ordinary Engineers, who were 
ftationed there, becaufe I did not belong to their corps. I had 
been difpatched to that Country, as to a fituation favourable to 
making a fortune, and I mufl have run confiderably in debt, had 
I not fubmitted to live on herbs. I pafs over in filence all the 
particular diflrefles I had there to undergo. I fliall only fay, 
that I endeavoured to difiipate the mortification which they coft 
me, by employing my mind on the fubjed: of the ills which op- 
prefTed the ifland in general. It was entirely in the view of re- 
medying thefe, that I publiflied, on my return from thence, in 
1773, my Voyage to the Kle of France. I confidered mvfclf, 

'firff, 



384 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

of fruitlefs voyages, fervices, and labours, I was 
preparing, in folitude, thefe laft fruits of my expe- 
rience and application, my fecret enemies, that is, 
the men under whom I fcorned to enlift as a par- 
tifan, found means to intercept a gratuity which I 
annually received from the beneficence of my So- 
vereign. It was the only fource of fubfiftence to 
myfelf, and the only means I enjoyed of affifting 
my family. To this cataftrophe were added the 
lofs of health, and domeftic calamities, which 
baffle all the powers of defcription. I have haf- 
tened, therefore, to gather the fruit, though flill 

firft, as rendering an eflential fervice to my Country, by mak- 
ing it apparent, that this ifland, which is kept filled with troops, 
was, in no refpec^t, proper for being the flaple, or the citadel of 
our commerce with India, from which it is more than fifteen 
hundred leagues diltant. This I have even proved by the events 
of preceding wars, in which Pondicherry has always been taken 
from us, though the Ifle of France was crowded with foldiers. 
The late war has confirmed anew the truth of my obfervations. 
For thefe fervices, as well as for many others, I have received no 
other recoinpenfe fave indireft perfecutions, and calumnies, 
on the part of the inhabitants of that ifland, whom I repre- 
hended for their barbarity to their flaves. I have not even re- 
ceived an adequate indemnification for a fpecies of Ihipwreck I 
underwent, on my return, at the Ifland of Bourbon, nor for the 
fmallnefs of my appointments, which were not up to the half of 
thofe of the ordinary Engineers of my rank. I am well affured, 
that, under a Marine Minifler, as intelligent, and as equitable 
as M. the Marefchal de Cajlries, I fliould have reaped fome part 
of the fruit of my literary and military fervices. 

immature, 



RRCAPITULATION* 385 

immature, of the tree which I had cultivated with 
fuch unwearied perfeverance, before it was torn up 
by the tempeft. 

But, I bear ho malice to any one of my perfecu- 
tors. If I am, one day, laid under the neceffity of 
expofing to the light their fecret pradices againft 
me, it Ihall only be in the view of juftifying my 
own condu6l. In other refpeds, I am under obli- 
gation to them. Their perfecution has proved the 
caufe of my repofe. To their difdainful ambition 
I am indebted for a liberty, which I prize far 
above their greatnefs. To them I owe the deli- 
cious ftudies to which I have devoted my attention. 
Providence has not abandoned me, though they 
have. It has raifed up friends, who have ferved 
me, as opportunity oifered, with my Prince; and 
others will arife to recommend me to his favour, 
when it may be neceffary. Had 1 repofed in God 
that confidence which I put in men, I fliould have 
always enjoyed undidurbed tranquillity : the proofs 
of his Providence, as affeding myfelf, in the pad", 
ought to fet my heart at reft about futurity. But, 
from a fault of education, the opinions of men ftill 
exercife too much dominion over me. By their 
fears, and not my own, is my mind didurbed. 
Neverthelefs, I fometimes fay to myfelf, Where- 
fore be embarraffed about what is to come ? Before 
you came into the World, were you difquieted 

VOL. IV. c c WlLh 



386 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

with anxious thoughts about the manner in which 
your members were to be combined, and your 
nerves and your bones to expand ? When, in pro- 
cefs of time, you emerged into light, did you fludy 
optics, in order to know how you were to per- 
ceive objects ; and anatomy, in order to learn how 
to move about your body, and how to promote 
it's growth ? Thefe operations of Nature, far fu- 
perior to thofe of men, have taken place in you, 
without your knowledge, and without any inter- 
ference of your own. If you difqnieted not your- 
felf about being born. Wherefore fliould you, 
about living, and Wherefore, about dying ? Are 
you not always in the fame hand ? 

Other fentiments, however, natural to the mind 
of Man, have filled me with dejedlion. For ex- 
ample, Not to have acquired, after fo many pere- 
grinations and exertions, one little rural fpot, in 
which I could, in the bofom of repofe, have ar- 
ranged my obfervations on Nature, to me of all 
others the moft amiable and interefting under the 
Sun. I have another fource of regret, ftill more 
depreffmg, namely, the misfortune of not having 
attached to my lot a female mare, fimple, gentle, 
fenfible, and pious, who, much better than Philo- 
fophy, would havefoothed my folicitudes,and who, 
by bringing me children like herfelf, would have 
provided me with a pofterity, incomparably more 

dear 



RECAPITULATION. 387 

dear than a vain reputation. I had found this re- 
treat, and this rare felicity, in Ruffia, in the midft 
of honourable employment ; but I renounced all 
thefe advantages, to go in queft, at the inftigation 
of Miniflers, of employment, in my native Coun- 
try, where I had nothing fimilar, after which to 
afpire. Neverthelefs, I am enabled to fay, that 
my particular ftudies have repaired the firft priva- 
tion, in procuring for me the enjoyment not only 
of a fmall fpot of ground, but of all the harmonies 
difFufed over the vaft garden of Nature. An efti- 
mable partner for life cannot be fo eafily replaced ; 
but if I have reafon to flatter myfelf that this 
Work is contributing to multiply marriages, to 
render them more happy, and to foften the educa- 
tion of children, I (hall confider my own family 
as perpetuated in them, and I fliall look on the 
wives and children of my Country, as, in fome 
fenfe, mine. 

Nothing is durable, virtue alone excepted. Per- 
fonal beauty pafles quickly away ; fortune infpires 
extravagant inclinations ; grandeur fatigues j re- 
putation is uncertain ; talents, nay, genius itfelf, 
are liable to be impaired : but virtue is ever beau- 
tiful, ever diverfified, ever equal, and ever vigo- 
rous, becaufe it is refigned to all events, to priva- 
tions as to enjoyments, to death as to life, 

c c 2 Happy 



388 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Happy then/ happy beyond conception, if I 
have been enabled to contribute one feeble effort 
toward redreffing fome of the evils which opprefs 
my Country, and to open to it fome new profpeft 
of felicity ! Happy, if I have been enabled to wipe 
away, on the one hand, the tears of fome unfor- 
tunate wretch, and to recal, on the other, men 
mifled by the i-ntoxication of pleafure, to the 
DiviNiT.Y, toward whom Nature, the times, our 
perfonal miferies, and our fecret affections, are at- 
tracting us with fo much impetuofity ! 

I have a prefentiment of fome favourable ap- 
proaching revolution. If it does take place, to the 
influence of literature we fhall be indebted for it. 
In modern times, learning produces little folid 
benefit to the perfons who cultivate it ; never- 
thelefs, it diredts every thing. I do not fpeak. of 
the influence which letters pofl^efs, all the Globe 
over, under the government of books. Afia is go- 
verned, by the maxims of Confucius, the Korans, 
the Beths, the Vidams, and the reft; but, in Eu- 
rope, Orpheus was the firft who aflbciated it's in- 
habitants, and allured them out of barbarifm by 
his divine poefy. The genius of Homer, after- 
wards, produced the legiflations and the religions 
of Greece. He anim^jted Alexander, and fent him 
forth on the conqueft of Afia. He exte'nded bis 

influence 



RECAPITULATION. 389 

influence to the Romans, ^who traced upward, in 
his fublime poetical effufions, the genealogy of the 
founder, and of the fovereigns of their Empire, as 
the Greeks had found in him the rudiments of 
their Republics, and of their Laws. His auguft 
fhade ftill prefides over the poetry, the liberal Arts, 
the Academies, and the Monuments of Europe : 
fuch is the power over the human mind, exercifed 
by the perfpedives of Deity which he has pre- 
fented to it 1 Thus, the Word which created the 
World ftill governs it; but when it had defcended 
itfelf from Heaven, and had (hewn to Man the 
road to happinefs in Virtue alone, a light more pure 
than that which had flied a luftre over the iflands 
of Greece, illuminated the forefts of Gaul. The 
Savages, who inhabited them, would have been the 
happieft of Mankind, had they enjoyed liberty ; 
but they were fubjeéled to tyrants, and thofe ty- 
rants plunged them back into a facred barbarifm, by 
prefenting to them phantoms fo much the more 
tremendous, that the objeds of their confidence 
were transformed into thofe of their terror. 

The caufe of human felicity, and of Religion 
herfelf, was on the brink of defperation, when two 
men of letters, Rabelais, and Michael Cervantes, 
^rofe, the one in France and the other in Spain, 
and fhook, at once, the foundations of monaftic 

c c 3 . power 



390 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

power * and that of cavalry. In levelling thefe 
two Coloflufes to the ground, they employed no 
other weapons but ridicule, that natural contraft 
of human terror. I^ike to children, the Nations 
of Europe laughed, and refumed their courage : 
they no longer felt any other impuKions toward 
happinefs, but thofe which their Princes chofe to 
give them, if their Princes had then been capable 
of communicating fuch impulfion. The Telemachus 
made it's appearance, and that Baok brought Eu- 
rope back to the harmonies of Nature. It pro- 
duced a wonderful revolution in Politics. It re- 
called Nations and their Sovereigns to the ufeful 
arts, to commerce, to agriculture, and, above all, 
to the fentiment of Deity. That Work united, to 
the imagination of Homer the wifclom of Confucius. 

* God forbid thatlfhould be thought to infinuate an invec- 
tive againft perfons, or orders, trvily religious. Suppofing them 
to poffefs no higher merit in this life, than that of paffing it 
without doing mifchief, they would be refpeftable in the eyes 
of infidelity itfelf. The perfons here expo'fed are not men really 
pious, who have renounced the World, in order to cherifh, 
without interruption, the fpirit of Religion : but thofe who have 
aflumed a habit cdnfecrated by Religion, to procure for them- 
felves the riches and the honours of this World ; thofe againft 
whom St. Jerome thundered fo vehemently to no purpofe, and. 
who have verified his prediftion in Paleftine and in Egypt, in 
bringing Religion into difcredit, by the profligacy of their man- 
ners, by their avarice, and their ambition. 

It 



RECAPITULATION. 



391 



It was tranilated into all the languages of Europe. 
It was not in France that it excited the higheft ad- 
miration : there are whole Provinces in England, 
where it is ftill one of the books in which children 
are taught to read. When the Englilh entered 
the Cambraifis, with the allied army, they wifl-ied 
to carry the Author, who was living there in a ftate 
of retirement from "the Court, into their camp, to 
do him the honours of a military feftival ; but his 
modefty declined that triumph : he concealed him- 
felf. I fhall add but one trait to his elogium : he 
was the only man living of whom Louis XIV, was 
jealous : and he had reafon to be fo ; for while he 
was exerting himfelf to excite the terror, and pur- 
chafe the admiration of Europe, by his armies, his 
conquefts, his banquets, his buildings, and his 
magnificence, Fenelon was commanding the ado- 
ration of the whole World by a Book *. 

Many 

* It is abfurd to inftitute a comparifon between BoJJuet and 
Fenelon : I am Hot capable of appraifing their feveral merits, 
but I cannot help confidering the lecond as highly preferable to 
his rival. He fulfilled, in my apprehenfion, the two great pre- 
cepts of the Law .• He loved God and Men. 

The Reader will, perhaps, not be difpleafed at being told what 
J. J. Roujfeau thought of this great man. Having, one day, fet 
out with him on a walking excurfion to Mount Valerien, when 
we had reached the fummit of the mountain, it was refolved to 
alk a dinner of it's hermits, for payment. We arrived at their 
habitation a little before they fat down to tablcj and while they 

004 Were 



39^ STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Many learned men, infpired by his genius, have 
changed among us the fpirit of the Government, 
and the public manners. To their Writings we 
are indebted for the abolition of many barbarous 
cuftoms, fuch as that of punifhing capitally the 
pretended crime of witchcraft; the application of 
the rack to all criminals without diftindion ; the 
remains of feudal flavery ; the praftice of wearing 
fwords in the bofom of cities, in times of profound 

peace, 

were ftill at Church. J. J. Roujfeau propofed to me to ftep in, 
and otfer up cur devotions. The hermits were, at that time, re- 
citing the Litanies of Providence, which are remarkably beau- 
tiful. After we had addrefled pur prayer to God, in a little 
chapel, and as the hermits were proceeding toward their refec- 
tory, Rcujjeau faid to me, with his heart overflowing : •' At this 
*' moment I experience what is faid in the GofpeJ : Where tivo 
" or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midjl 
*' of them. There is here a fcntiment of peace and of felicity 
*' which penetrates the foul." I replied : " If Fenelon had lived, 
*' you would have been a Catholic." He exclaimed in an extafy, 
and with tears in his eyes : " O ! if Fenelon were in life, I would 
*' rtriiggle to get into his fervice as lackey, in hope of meriting 
'< the place of his valet de chambre." 

Having picked up, feme time ago, on the Pont-Neuf, one of 
thofe little urns which the Italians fell about the flreets for a itw 
halfpence a-piece, the idea ftruck me of converting it, as a deco- 
ration of my folitude, into a monument facred to the memory 
oîjchîi-james-xwà oï Fenelon., after the manner of thofe which 
the Chinefe fet up to the memory of Confucius. As there are 
two little fcutcheons on this urn, I wrote on the one thefe 
words, ].]. RoyssiiAU ; and on the other F. Fenelon. \ 

then 



RECAPITULATION. 393 

peace, and many others. To them we owe the re- 
turn of the taftes, and of the duties, of Nviture, or, 

then placed it in an angle of my cabinet, about fix feet from the 
floor, and clofe by it, the following infcription- 

D. M. 

A la gloire durable & pure 
De ceux dont le génie éclaira les vertus. 
Combattit à la tois l'erreur & les abus, 
Et tenta d'amener le ficcle à la Nature. 
Aux Jean-Jacques Rousseaux, aux François FiiNELONS 

J'ai dédié ce monument d'argile 

Que j'ai coniacré par leur noms 
Plus auguftes que ceux de César & d'AcHiLLE, 
Ils ne font point fameux par nos malheurs : 

Ils n'ont point, pauvres laboureurs 

Ravi vos bœufs, ni vos javelles ; 
Bergères, vos amans ; nouriifons, vos mamelles ; 

Rois, les états où vous régnex : 

Mais vous les comblerez de gloire. 

Si vous donnez a leur mémoire 

Les pleurs qu'ils vous ont épargnés. 



Tp the pure and untading gloiy. 
Of the men whofe virtues were illumined by genius j 
Who fet their faces againft error and depravity. 
And laboured to bring Mankind back to Nature : 
To the RoussEAUS and the Fenelons of the Human Race, 

I dedicate this humble monument of clay. 

And infcribe it with their names. 
Far more auguft than thofe of Cesar and Achilles. 
TThey purchafed not fame by fpreadingdevattationj 

They did not, O ye poor hufbandmen. 

Seize your oxen, and plunder your bams ; 
Nor, fliepherdefTes, carry off your lovers, nor, fucklings, your teats ; 

Nor, Kings, did they ravage your domains ; 

But their glory will be complete. 

If on their memory you beftow 

Tlie tears which they have fpared you, 

at 



394 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

at lead their images. They have reftored to manjr 
infants the breads of their mothers, and to the 
rich a relifli for the country, which induces them, 
now a-days, to quit the centre of cities, and to take 
up their habitation in the fuburbs. They have 
infpired the whole Nation with a tafte for agri- 
culture, which is degenerated, as ufual, into fana- 
ticifm, fmce it became a fpirit of corps. They 
have the honour of bringing back the noblefle to 
the commonalty, toward whom, it muft be con- 
feffed, they had already made fome fleps of ap- 
proximation, by their alliances with finance ; they 
have recalled that order to their peculiar duties by 
thofe of humanity. They have direfted all the 
powers of the State, the women themfelves not ex- 
cepted, toward patriotic objeds, by arraying them 
in attradive ornaments and flowers. 

O ye men of letters ! without you the rich man 
would have no manner of intelleftual enjoyment ; 
his opulence and his dignities would be a burthen 
to him. You alone reftore to us the rights of our 
nature, and of Deity. Wherever you appear, in 
the military, in the clergy, in the laws, and in the 
arts, the divine Intelligence unveils itfelf, and the 
human heart breathes a figh. You are at once the 
eyes and the light of the Nations. We fliould be-, 
perhaps, at this hour, much nearer to happinefs, 
if feveral of your number^ intent on pleafing the 

multitudes 



RECAPITULATION. 395 

multitude, had not milled them by flattering their 
paffions, and by miftaking their deceitful voices 
for thofe of human nature. 

See how theie paflions have milled yourfelves, 
from your having come too clofely into contad 
with men ! It is in foHtude, and living together in 
unity, that your talents communicate mutual in- 
tellectual light. Call to remembrance the times 
when the La FontaineSy the Boileaus, the Racines^ 
the Molieres, lived with one another. What is, at 
this day, )'Our deftiny ? That World, whofe paf- 
lions you are flattering, arms you againft each 
other. It turns you out to a ftrife of glory, as the 
Romans expofed the wretched, to wild beafts. 
Your holy lifts are become the amphitheatres of 
gladiators. You are, without being confcious of 
it, the mere inftruments of the ambition of corps. 
It is by means of your talents that their leaders 
procure for themfelves dignities and riches, while 
you are fuffered to remain iri obfcurity and indi- 
gence. Think of the glory of men of letters, among 
the Nations who were emerging out of barbarifm ; 
they prefented virtue to Mankind, and were ex- 
alted into the rank of their Gods. Think of their 
degradation among Nations funk into corruption : 
they flattered their paffions, and became the vic- 
tims of them. In the decline of the Roman Em- 
pire, 



396 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

pire, letters were no longer cultivated, except by 
a few enfranchifed Greeks. Suffer the herd to run 
at the heels of the rich and the voluptuous. What 
do you propofe to yourfelves in the facred career 
of letters, except to march on, under the protec- 
tion of Minerva ? What refpeft would the World 
fhew you, were you not covered by her immortal 
Egis ? It w^ould trample you under foot. Suffer 
it to be deceived by thofe who are mean enough 
to be it's worfliippers ; repofe your confidence in 
Heaven, whofe fupport will fearch and find you 
out wherever you may be. 

The vine, one day, complained to Heaven, 
with tears, of the feverity of her deftiny. She en- 
vied the condition of the reed. *' I am planted," 
faid fhe, " amidll parched rocks, and am obhged 
*' to produce fruits repleniflied with juice; whereas, 
*' in the bottom of that valley, the reed, which 
** bears nothing but a dry (hag, grows at her 
" eafe by the brink of the waters." A voice 
from Heaven replied ; " Complain not, O vine 1 
" at thy lot. Autumn is coming on, when the 
*' reed will perifli, without honour, on the border 
*' of the marfhes ; but the rain of the ikies will go 
*' in quett of thee in the mountain, and thy juices, 
" matured on the rock, fhall one day ferve to 
*' cheer the heart of God and Man." 

We 



RECAPITULATION. 397 

We have, farther, a confiderable ground of hope 
of reformation, in the afFeâ:ion which we bear to 
our Kings. With us, the love of Country is one 
and the fame thing with the love of our Prince. 
This is the only bond which unites us, and which, 
oftener than once, has prevented our falling to 
pieces. On the other hand. Nations are the real 
monuments of Kings. All thofe monuments of 
ftone, by which fo many Princes have dreamt 
of immortalizing their names, frequently ferved 
only to render them deteftable. Pliny tells us, 
that the Egyptians of his time curfed the me- 
mory of the Kings of Egypt, who had built 
the pyramids; and, befides, their names had funk 
into oblivion. The modern Egyptians allege, 
that they were raifed by the Devil, undoubtedly 
from the fentiment of the diflrefs which rearing 
thofe edifices muft have coft Mankind. Our own 
People frequently afcribes the fame origin to our 
ancient bridges, and to the great roads cut through 
rocks, whofe fummits are loft in the clouds. To 
no purpofe are medals ftruck for their ufe; they 
underftand nothing about emblems and infcrip- 
tions. But it is the heart of Man, on which the 
imprefTion ought to be made, by means of benefits 
conferred ; the ftamp there imprinted is never to 
be effaced. The People have loft the memory of 
their Monarchs who prefided in councils, but they 

cherifli 



398 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

cherifli, to this day, the remertlbrance of thofe of 
them who fupped with millers. 

The affedion of the People fixes on one fingle 
quality in their Prince J it is his popularity: for 
it is from this that all the virtues flow, of which 
they fland in need. A fingle aâ: of juftice, dif- 
pcnfed unexpectedly, and without oftentation, to 
a poor widow, to a collier, fills them with admira- 
tion and delight. They look upon their Prince as 
a God, whofe Providence is at all times, and in 
every place, upon the watch : and they are in the 
right; for a fingle interpofition of this nature, 
well-timed, has a tendency to keep every oppreflbr 
in awe, and enlivens all the oppreflied with hope. 
In our days, venality and pride have reared, be- 
tween the People and their Sovereign, a thoufand 
impenetrable walls of gold, of iron, and of lead. 
The People can no longer advance toward their 
Prince, but the Prince has it ftill in his power to 
defcend toward the People. Our Kings have been 
prepoflefled, on this fubjedt, with groundlefs fears 
and prejudices. It is fingularly remarkable, ne- 
verthelefs, that, among the great number of Princes 
of all Nations, who have fallen the vidims of dif- 
ferent fadlions, not a fingle one ever perilled, when 
employed in acls of goodnefs, walkirig about on foot, 
and incognito i but all of them, either riding in their 

coaches. 



RECAPITULATION. 399 

coaches, or at table in the bofom of plcafure, or in 
their court, furrounded by their guards, and in the 
very centre of their power. 

We fee, at this hour, the Emperor and the King 
ofPruffia, in a carriage fimply, with one or two 
domeftics, and no guards, traverfing their fcattered 
dominions, though peopled in part with ftrangers 
and conquered Nations. The great men, and the 
mofl illuftrious Princes of Antiquity, fuch as .Sa- 
pio, Germanicus, Marcus Aureliiis^ travelled without 
any retinue, on horfeback, and frequently on foot. 
How many provinces of his kingdom, in an age 
of trouble and faftion, were thus travelled over by 
our great Henry IV ? 

A King, in his States, ought to be like the Sun 
over the Earth, on which there is not one fingle little 
plant but what receives, in it's turn, the influence 
of his rays. Of the knowledge of how many im- 
portant truths are our Kings deprived, by the pre- 
judices of courtiers ? What pleafures do they lofe 
from their fedentary mode of life ! I do not fpeak 
of thofe of grandeur, when they fee, on their ap- 
proach. Nations flocking together, in millions, 
along the highways ; the ramparts of cities fet on 
fire with the thunder of artillery, and fquadrons 
iflTuing out of their fea- ports, and covering the 
face of the Ocean with flags and flame. I believe 

they 



40O STUDIES OF NATURE. 

they are weary of the pleafures of glory. But I 
can beheve them fenfible to thofe of humanity, of 
■which they are perpetually deprived. They are 
for ever conftrained to be Kings, and never per- 
mitted to be Men. What delight might it not 
procure them to fpread a veil over their greatnefs^ 
like the Gods, and to make their appearance in the 
midft of a virtuous family, like Jupiter^ at the fire- 
fide of Philemon and Baucis ! How little would it coft 
them to make happy people every day of their 
lives 1 In many cafes, what they lavifh on a fmgle 
family of courtiers, would fupply the means of 
happinefs to a whole Province. On many occa- 
fions, their appearance merely, would overawe all 
the tyrants of the diftriâ:, and confole all the mi- 
ferable. They would be confidered as omnipre- 
fent, when they were not known as confined to a 
particular fpot. One confidential friend, a few 
hardy fervants, would be fufficient to bring within 
their reach all the pleafures of travelling from place 
to place, and to fcreen them from all the incon- 
veniencies of it. 

They have it in their power to vary the feafons 
as they will, without ftirring out of the kingdom, 
and to extend their pleafures to the utmoft extent 
of their authority. Inftead of inhabiting country- 
reiidences on the banks of the Seine, or amidft the 
rocks of Fontainbleau, they might have them on 

the 



STUDY XIV. 401 

the fliores of the Ocean, and at the bottom of the 
Pyrenees. It depends altogether on themfelves, 
to pafs the burning heats of Summer, embofomed 
in the mountains of Dauphiné, and encompaffed 
with a horizon of fnowj the Winter in Provence, 
under oHve-trees and verdant oaks ; the Autumn, 
in the ever-green meadows, and amidft the apple 
orchards, of fertile Normandy. They would every 
day behold arriving on the fhores of France, the 
fea-faring men of all Nations, Britifli, Spanifh, 
Dutch, Italian, all exhibiting the peculiarities and 
the manners of their feveral countries. Our Kings 
have in their palaces, comedies, libraries, hot- 
houfes, cabinets of Natural Hiflory ; but all thefe 
colledions are only vain images of Men and of 
Nature. They polTefs no gardens more worthy of 
them than their kingdoms, and no libraries Co 
fraught with inflrudtion as their own fubjedts *. 

Ah! 



* Here, undoubtedly, the Volume ought to have clofed. It 
is no inconfiderable mortification to me, that my duty, as a 
Tranflator, permitted me not to retrench the piece of extravagance 
\vhich follows. In juflice to myfelf, however, I tranfmit it to the 
Britifh Public, with an explicit difavowalof it's fpirit, of it's ftyle, 
of it's fentiments, and of it's objeft. I can excufe the rapturous 
vanity of a Frenchman, when his Prince, or when his Republic 
is the theme ; I can not only excufe, but likewife commend, the 
effufions of a grateful heart, filled with the idea of a kingly bene- 
faftor ; I can excufe the felf-complacency 01 an Author contem- 

voL, ÎV. D d plating 



402 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

Ah ! if it be pofllble for one fingle man to con- 
ftitute, on this earth, the hope of the Human 
Race, that Man is a King of France. He reigns 

over 



plating the probable fuccefs and influence of a good Book, his 
own produélion ; nay, I can make allowance for a good Catho- 
lic, exalting a Saint upon Earth into an Interceflbr in Heaven : 
But who can forbear fmiling, or rather weeping, at the airy vi- 
fions of a returning golden age, on the very eve of an explofion 
of the age of iron, clothed in every circumftance of horror ? Who 
but muft be kindled into indignation, at feeing genius degraded 
into a fervile minifter, of fulfome adulation, to the vileft of wo- 
men ? Who but muft deride the pretenfions fo frequently ad- 
vanced, by the wife and by the unwife, and as frequently expofed, 
to the gift of predicting future events. 

In Latin, the fame word, Vates^ denotes both Poet and Pro- 
phet ; and the two charaders are by no means incompatible. 
Our Author is no mean Poet, he is a firft-rate Naturalift, he is 
an eloquent Writer, and, what is above all, he is a good and efti- 
mable Man ; but events have demonftrated, that he is but a 
wretched Prophet, A few fnort years have fcattered his fond 
prognoftics " into air, thin air." He makes it one of the glo- 
ries of the reign of Louis XVI. that he " fupported the opprelîèd 
*« Americans." Whatever political fagacity might have dic- 
tated, or predided, at the time, refpeéling his interference in the 
difpute between Great-Britain and her American Colonies, the 
ifTue lias demonftrated, that this interference was injudicious and 
impolitic, as far as he v>'as perfonally concerned. The fupport 
which he gave to opprcjfcd America, laid an accumulated weight 
on opprcj/ed Yrdiwcc, and precipitated that Revolution, which, by 
progreffive fteps, abridged his power, annihilated his fplendor, 
hurled him from his throne, fubjecled his neck to the axe, and 

blafted 



STUDY XIV. 403 

over his People by love, his People over the reft 
of Europe by manners, Europe over the reft of 
the Globe by power. Nothing prevents his doing 
good when he pleafes. It is in his power, not- 
withftanding the venality of employments, to 
humble haughty vice, and to exalt lowly virtue. 
It is, farther, in his power, to defcend toward his 
fubjedls, or to bid them rife toward him. Many 
Kings have repented that they had placed their 
confidence in treafures, in allies, in corps, and in 
grandees ; but no one that he had trufted in his 
People, and in God. Thus reigned the popular 
Charles V. and the St. Lonifes. Thus you ftiall one 
day have reigned, O Louis XVI ! You have, from 
your very firft advances to the throne, given laws 
for the re-eftablifliment of manners ; and, what 
was ftill more difficult, you have exhibited the 
example, in the midft of a French Court. You 

blafted the profpcifts of his Family. Here was one of the fearful 
re-aélions of a righteous Providence. 

The naufeous elogium pronounced on the charms and fenfihility 
of his augiiji Confort^ is fliU more intolerable. It is notorious to 
all Europe, that thelewdnefs, the pride, the prodigality, the am- 
bition, the refentments, of that bad woman, filled up the meafure 
of moral depravity among the higher orders in France, embroiled 
the two hemifpheres of the Globe in the horrors of war ; and 
ruined her Country, ruined her Hufband, ruined Herfelf, ruined 
her Pofterity. Another of the re-aélions of a righteous Pro- 
vidence ! H. H. 

D d 2. have 



404 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

have deflroyed the remains of feudal flavery, 
mitigated the hardiliips endured b}?- unfortunate 
prifoners, as well as the feverity of civil and mi- 
litary puniQiments ; you have given to the inha- 
bitants of certain provinces the liberty of aflefling 
themfelves to the public impofts, remitted to the 
Nation the dues of your accefiion to the Crown, 
fecured 'to the poor feaman a part of the fruits of 
war, and reflored to men of letters the natural pri- 
vilege of reaping thofe of their labours. 

While, with one hand, you were affifting and 
relieving the wretched part of the Nation, with 
the other, you raifed ftatues to it's illuftrious men 
of ages pall, and you fupported the opprefled 
Americans. Certain wife men, who are about 
your perfon, and, what is ftill more potent than 
their wifdom, the charms and the fenfibility of 
your auguft Confort, have rendered the path of 
virtue eafy to yOu. O great King ! if you pro- 
ceed with conftancy in the rough paths of virtue, 
your name will one day be invoked by the mifer- 
able of all Nations. It will prefide over their def- 
tinies even during the life of their own Sovereigns. 
They will prefent it as a barrier to oppofe their ty- 
rants, and as a model to their good Kings. It will 
be revered from the rifing to the fetting of the 
Sun, like that of the Titufes^ and of the Antonimifes. 

When 



STUDY XIV. 



405 



When the Nations which now cover the Earth 
fliall be no more, your name fliall ftill live, and 
(hall flouriOi with a glory ever ncvv. The Majefty 
of ages (hail increafe it's vcnerability, and pofterity 
the moft remote, (hall envy us the felicity of hav- 
ing lived under your government. 

I, Sire, am nothing. I may have been the 
victim of public calamities, and remain ignorant 
of the caufes. I may have fpoken of the means of 
remedying them, without knowing the power and 
the refources of mighty Kings. But if you render 
us better and more happy, the Tacitufes of future 
times will ftudy, from you, the art of reforming 
and governing men in a difficult age. Other Fe- 
nelons will one day fpeak of France, under your 
reign, as of happy Egypt under that of Sefqftris, 
Whilft you are then receiving upon Earth, the in- 
variable homage of men, you will be their medi- 
ator with Deity, of whom you iliall have been 
among us, the moft lively image. Ah ! if it were 
po(rible that we ftiould lofe the fentiment of his 
exiftence from the corruption of thofe who ought 
to be our patterns, from the diforder of our paf- 
fions, from the wanderings of our own under- 
(landing, from the multiplied ills of humanity ; 
O King ! it would be ftill glorious for you to pre- 
ferve the love* of order in the midft of the general 

diforder. 



4o6 STUDIES OF NATURE. 

diforder. Nations, abandoned to the will of law- 
lefs tyrants, would flock together for refuge to 
the foot of your throne, and would come to feek, 
in you, the God whom they no longer perceived 
in Nature. 



END OF THE FOURTH VOLUME. 



ERRATA. 

Page 4-, lines 6 and 7 from the bottom, for immortality and mortality 
read immorality and morality. 

6, line 6 from the bottom, for j, read is, 

■ 32, line 3, {or greater, rt^à great. 

.. 76, line 1 3, the / has dropped out of the word Bengal. 

.— 77, line 3, from the bottom, for it is, read it is not. 
—— ï28, line 15, for mefs, read mafs. 



^ 



Y^l 



cJ!/liJOçl ri 

lVlUi)lOO?l y. 

CIOO V-IAO