Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

DEPRECIATION OF BENEFITS RECEIVED.

15

bugle ; the chain of the draw-bridge rattles | ants, apprehensive of her fading reason, -the portcullis rises, and an host of armed were fain to let her pursue her inclination. men pour from the keep, and form a pro- || To paint her agonies of suspense, during cession. Childe Edmund is preceded by a a rencounter in which was engaged all she page, who bears his favour of azure blue; loved, is impossible—it was, indeed, intense. a lover gazes towards the castle-he seems At length, the sound of music proclaimed, to breathe a sigh towards her; a train ac

all was

over-that the dreadful truth companies him, and Lord Hildebrande, must soon be known. They play a mourowho, seated on a white charger, seems ful theme, and she rushes forward to behold conscious of victory: they are followed by the cause. The procession is only to be the herald at arms.

seen ever and anon in the distance, now This appearance of knightly combat lost among the hills, and now again emergdarkens her vision.—“He is going,” she | ing nearer sight. On a carriage, she, at cries, “ to sacrifice himself! and for me :" || length, perceives the stiffened corpse of one. she uttered a scream, and fell, unheeded, Oh! the virgin, the blue scarf is wrapped on the terrace. Ill-fated maid! thy suffer round his body. An hysteric laugh bursts jogs are, indeed, acute; if this be the from her, as she runs to meet it: it is not punishment of presumed guilt, what ought her lover's form she would clasp, but, with to be that of conscious depravity? They wounds staunched by the trophy of love, had met, it is true, clandestinely, but Lord Hildebrande's; a victim to his own angels might have been present at the in evil passions, who, dying, confessed the terview; they met but to breathe vows of || guilty assertions of falsehood. Even this constancy, and to indulge in mutual sor would not have procured the consent rows, dearer to them than all the jocund of Lord Edrick, to give his daughter to hours of mirth. On returning to a sense Childe Edmund, had he not received letters of feeling, she crawled to her chamber, from his King, inviting him to his marriage revived by the blood which flowed from a banquet, and declaring Edmund his relawound she had met with in falling; the tive. Childe Edmund then, by royal comcut she received in her temple was healed | mand, wedded the lovely Imma: the bard's by a domestic, but the wounded heart re

song was once more heard in the hall, and jected all mortal medicine; and her attend. ll the foeman spoiled not their delight.

DEPRECIATION OF BENEFITS RECEIVED.

LETTER FROM J. J. ROUSSEAU TO M. GRIMM.

Tell me, Grimm, whence it is, that I What is there that obliges me to follow all my friends pretend that I ought to ac Madame d'Epinay? Friendship, gratitude, company Madame d'Epinay? Am I only the use that I may be of to her. Let us in the wrong, or are they all bewitched ? examine all these points. Are they all possessed of that base partial If Madame d'Epinay has shewn me any ity which is always ready to pronounce in friendship, I have shewn her yet more : favour of wealth, and to burthen the indi- the care we bave mutually taken of each gent with an hundred useless duties, which other is equal, quite as great on my part render poverty still more hard and inevit. as on hers. Both in a declining state of able? I will only speak of this to yourself. health, I owe to her no more than she owes Although, no doubt, you are prejudiced, to me; no farther; unless it should be relike every one else, I yet think you possessed quired of the one that suffers most to take of equity enough to put yourself in my | charge of the other. Because my afflictions place, and to judge of what really is my are irremediable, is that any reason that duty. Listen, then, my good friend, to my | they should be regarded as nothing? I reasons, and determine what part I ought will only add one word more: she has to take; for whatever may be your opinion, | friends less sick, less poor, less jealous of I declare myself ready immediately to abide their liberty, with more time on their hands, by it.

and which are quite as dear to her as I am.

16

DEPRECIATION OF BENEFITS RECEIVED.

I do not see that any of these seem to think meantime, far from giving myself up to it a duty to follow her: why, then, should the delights of solitude, the only consothis lot fall on me alone, who am the least lation of an unfortunate being overwhelmcapable of fulfilling such a duty ? If Ma. ed with distress, and whom all the world dame d'Epinay was so dear to me that I chose to torment, I found I was no longer must renounce myself to amuse her, how my own master. Madame d'Epinay, often is it that I should be so very little so to her, ' alone when in the country, wished that I that she would purchase, at the expence of should keep her company: and it was for my health, my life, my repose, and my re that purpose she kept me here. sources, the attentions of one so awkward After having made a sacrifice to friendas myself? I know not whether I ought ship, it is requisite for me to make another even to make her the offer of following '' to gratitude. A man must be poor, withher; but I know this, at least, without ber out a valet, hate restraint, and have a mind having that hard-heartedness which opu. like mine, to know what it is to live in a lence is too apt to give, but which seemed house that belongs to another.

I have, ever far from her, that she ought not to nevertheless, lived two years in her's, in accept such an offer.

continual subjection, while nothing but the As to benefits--in the first place, I do blessings of liberty were spoken of-waited not like them, I will uot accept them, and on by about twenty servants, and cleaning I value pot any that are forced upon me. my shoes every morning, my stomach a I have told that plainly to Madame d'Epi prey to indigestion, and I sighing incesnay, before I ever received any from her; santly after my own flock bed. You know it is not that I have escaped being drawn also, that it is impossible to compose at in, like others, by those ties so dear where I certain hours—that I require the solitude friendship has formed them; but when they of the woods, and time for musing ; but I want to draw my chain too tight, it breaks, am not speaking on time lost, I shall only and I become free. What has Madame bave to die of hunger a few months the d'Epinay done for me? You know better sooner. In the meantime, reflect how than any one, and to you I can speak, much money an hour of the life and time freely: she built for me a sinall house, of man is worth; compare the benefits of close to the hermitage, made me promise Madame d'Epinay with the sacrifice I have to dwell in it; and I must add, with plea made of my country, and my two years of sure, that she made the habitation as agree: bondage, and tell me who has most obli. able and as safe for me as possible.

gation to the other, she or me? What, on my part, has been left undone We will now consider the article of uti. for Madame d'Epinay? At the time that :: lity. Madame d'Epinay has a good postI was about to retire to niy native country, 'chaise ; she is accompanied by her husband, which I so ardently desire, and which is by her son's tutor, and by five or six sermy duty to do, sbe urged me, by every ar vants. She is going into a populous town, gument she could use, to keep me here. full of society, where she will be only By dint of soliciting, even by intrigue, she embarrassed as to the choosing of it; she vanquished my too just and long resistance: is going to the house of M. Trenchin, her my wishes, my taste, my inclination, the physician, a very sensible man-a man improbation of my friends, all made my much respected, and sought after; she is heart yield to the voice of her friendship, going to dwell amongst a family of supeand I suffered myself to be dragged to the , rior merit, wherein she will find resources hermitage. Frooi that moment, I always of every kind to amend her health-refelt myself at another person's house, and sources, in friendship, and in amusement. that moment of compliance was a source Consider my situation, my misfortunes, my to me of the most bitter repentance. My sufferings, my temper, my means, my tender friends, attentive only to the deso- taste, my manner of living-of more conlating me, without relaxation, did not leave sequence to me than maukind, or even me a moment's quiet, and often made me reason ; they see, I beseech you, how I can weep with anguish, that I was not five serve Madame d'Epinay by taking this hundred leagues distaut from them. In the journey, and what I must endure, without

DEPRECIATION OF BENEFITS RECEIVED.

17

being of the least use to her. Could I sup- , those that she will make, will be less fit for port a post-chaise ? Could I even hope to me. I should have duties to fulfil which take so long a journey, in so hasty a man would take me from her; or else I should ner, without meeting with some accident? | be asked, what very pressing care made me Must I make the drivers stop every minute neglect them, and kept me for ever in her to let me get out, or shall I accelerate my house ; was I better clad, I might pass for torments, and iny last hour, to be under her valet-de-chambre. But, what! a wretchperpetual restraint? Let Diderot ensure ed man, overwhelmed with misfortunes, my health and my life for as much as he who has scarce a shoe to his foot, without pleases, my situation is well known, and clothes, without money, without resource, the most celebrated surgeons in Paris can who only asks his dear friends to leave him attest it; and be assured, that, with all I miserable and free, how should such an suffer, I am as weary of my life as many one be requisite to Madame d'Epinay, surothers are. Madame d'Epivay could then rounded as she is by all the comforts of only look forward to what would be always life, and who has ten people in her suite ! unpleasant, to a melancholy spectacle, and O Fortune! vile and despicable Fortune, if, to, perhaps, many misfortunes on the road. in thy bosom, thy favourites cannot do She is not to learn that in such a case 1 without the poor, I am happier than those would sooner retire to die by myself under who possess thee, for I can do without a bedge, than to cause the least expence, them. or retain one servant more, on my account;

It is said, it is because she regards me, and for myself, I know her heart too well that she wants her friend. Oh! how well to be ignorant of what would be her suffer- || I know in how many senses the word friendings, if she was to leave me in such a situa- | ship may be taken! It is a fine word, tion. I could, indeed, follow the carriage | which often causes servitude to succeed to on foot, according to Diderot's wishes; a salary; but friendship is at an end as but the mud, the rain, and the show, would soon as slavery begins. I should be albe great hindrances to me at this season of ways fond of serving my friend, provided the year. Though I ran ever so fast, how he was as poor as myself; if he is richer, could I travel twenty-five leagues a-day? || let us both be free, or let himn serve me And if I let the chaise get forward, of himself, for his bread is already gained, and wbat use could I be to the person

within he has the more time to give to pleasure. it? When I arrive at Geneva, I should I have but two words more to say about have to pass my days shut up with Madame | myself. If duty calls me to follow Madame d'Epinay; but, whatever might be my | d'Epinay, have not I those duties which zeal in seeking to amuse her, it is impos are more imperious to keep me at bome; sible but that such a way of living, so con

and is Madame d'Epinay the only person fined, and so contrary to my disposition, on earth to whom I am indebted ? Be asmust finish by depriving me entirely of sured, that I shall be no sooner set off on health, or, at least, to pluuge me into that this journey, thau Diderot, who finds it so melancholy I could no longer conquer.

wrong for me to remain bere, will think At any rate, one sick person is by no much worse of me for going, and he will means fit to be a nurse to another; and he be in the right. He follows, he will say, who does not accept any care of him while || a rich woman, well accompanied, who has be suffers, is dispensed from returning any not the least want of him, and to whom, at the expence of his health. When we after all, he owes but little, and leaves those are alone, and contented, Madame d'Epi- | persons to misery and neglect, who have pay does not speak, neither do I ; but what passed their lives in his service, and who sbould I be, if I was both melancholy and would be rendered wretched by his deunder restraint? I do not see much amuse parture. If I allowed Madame d'Epinay ment for her in that case. If she is a

to defray my expences, Diderot would im. stranger at Geneva, I should be yet more mediately make me feel a fresh obligation, so, but with money we are welcome any that would fetter me for the remainder of where; not so is the poor. The acquaint- | my days. If ever I dared to call one mo. ances that I have there are not fit for her; Il ment my own ; see that ingrate, they would No. 112.-Vol. XVIII.

C

18

DEPRECIATION OF BENEFITS RECEIVED.

possess ? Ic

can

say; she has been kind enqugh to bring body with whom I live, judge me after him back to his own country, and then he their own situation, never after mine, and quitted her. All that I could do to repay expect that a man who has nothing, should her, would augment the acknowledgment live as if he had six thousand livres a year, I owed to her-so fine a thing it is to be and leisure besides. rich, to domineer over, and change into No one knows how to put himself in my seeming benefits, the fetters imposed on us. place, nor will he see that I am a being set If, as I ought to do, I pay a part of my ex apart, who has no character, maxims, or pences, where am I to collect together so

resources, like other people, and who ought much money? To whom can I sell the inot to be judged by general rule. If any few goods and books that I

one would only pay attention to my pover. no longer wrap myself up, during the win- | ty, not to relieve it, for it is a state of ter, in an old morning gown. All my l liberty, but to render it less insupportable. clothes are worn threadbare; there must i It is thus that the philosopher Diderot, in be time allowed to mend them, or to buy | bis closet, beside a good fire, in a good others; but when people have ten changes | nightgown well lined with fur, is desirous of garments, they do not think on these that I should perforın twenty-five leagues things. During this journey, of which I

a day, in winter, on foot, in the mud, to know not the end, I shall leave an esta

run after a post-chaise, because, after all, blishment bere, which I must maintain. to run and cover oneself with inud, is the If I leave these women at the hermitage, I

employment of a poor creature. But, inmust, besides the gardener's wages, pay a deed, Madame d'Epinay, although she is man to take care of the house, for it would

rich, does not deserve that J. J. Rousseau be juhuman to leave them alone in the

should put such an affront upon her. And middle of a wood. If I take them to Paris,

think not that the philosopher Diderot, let I must procure a lodging for them; and

him

say what he will, if he could not supwhat would become of the goods and papers || port a chaise, would ever, in his life, run I should leave here? I, too, myself, must after that of any one; in the meantime, he have money in my pocket; for how are would, at least, be thus differently situated one's expences defrayed in another's house, he would have good double stockings, whereeverything goes on well, provided the strong shoes, and a good great coat; he masters are well served? One spends much would sup well the night before, and would more than at home, to be under restraint be well warmed before he set off, by which all day long, to want every thing one most means he would be better enabled to run, desires, to do pothing one wishes, and, at than he who has not wherewithal to pay length, to find oneself very much obliged for his supper, his fur garments, nor his to those, in whose house our money bas fire-wood. By my faith, if philosophy canbeen wasted. Add to this, the indolence not distinguish better, I do not see what it of an idle valetudinarian, accustomed to | is good for. Jose nothing, to find about him all he

Weigh well my reasons, my dear friend, wishes for, every couvenience, and whose and tell me what I ought to do. I will fortune and silence equally invite to vegli- | fulfil my duty; but, in the state I am in, gence.

If the journey is Jong, and my | what more can be exacted of me? If you money all spent, my shoes will wear out, || judge that I ought to go, acquaint Madame my stockings will be full of holes, my linen | d'Epinay, then send me an express, and be will want washing, I shall want shaving, assured, without hesitation, that I shall go my wig must be put to rights, &c. &c. and to Paris the instant I receive your answer. it is dreadful to be pennyless : and if I must

In regard to my sojournment at the herask Madame d'Epinay for money in pro- mitage, I feel that I ought no longer to remain portion to my wants, my determination is there, even should I continue to pay the taken-let her keep her wealth; as for me, I gardener, because that is not sufficient payI had rather be a thief than a beggar. ment; but I think I owe so much to Ma

I think I can see from whence proceeds dame d'Epinay, that I ought not to quit the those whimsical kind of duties, wbich people hermitage with an air of discontent, which wish to impose upon me; it is because every' would intimate a quarrel between us. I

[blocks in formation]

confess I should find it unpleasant also to | resolved to go and seek some retreat, unmove at this season, the approaches of which | known to all those barbarous tyrants I have cruelly felt; it would be better to known by the name of friends.— First put it off till the spring, when my departure published in the Memoirs of Marlame d'Epiwould seem more natural, and when I am

DISGUISE AND NO DISGUISE ; A TALE.

CLEMENTINA D'Illois, who had mar- || Mathilda, had been brought up, from her ried the Barou d'Urbin when little more infancy, in the country, by Madanie de Brie, than seventeen years of age, was left a a widowed aunt, to whose fortune she was widow before she had completed ber twen- | the intended heiress. The other sister, tieth year. Although possessed of every Caroline, had been the companion of Cleendowment which nature has it in her mentina's early days. Educated in the same power to bestow, and that education can convent, their daily intercourse, and simirefine, she formed a determination of re- larity of disposition, soon produced an inbouncing that society to which she was an timacy, which, although dormaut, as it ornament, to go and live a retired life on were, for a while, was revived with equal an estate that had been settled on her by eagerness and sincerity on both sides, when ber marriage contract, in a remote part of they were brought together again into the the country. By what motives she was world. actuated for adopting such a line of con Caroline, although three years older than duct, her most intimate friends were un her friend, still remained unmarried; and, acquainted; neither could any one surmise. || having intimated her intention to continue Her late husband, to the knowledge of all, single, her friends had purchased for her a had been too much a man of the world, || Brevet de Dame, which procured her adeither to enjoy, or to impart connubial || mission into all such parties from whence felicity; but too complete a gentleman to unmarried ladies were excluded by, etirender the marriage state altogether ob- || quette. noxious to his lady. Yet, the young widow, I shall now inform my reader, that, prior to the general surprise, positively declared, to quitting Paris, Clementina had left her that, although ever ready to welcome visit-picture with her friend Caroline; and it ants of her own sex, never should her gates ) was at the sight of this likeness, and on open to receive any male intruder, her bro- | hearing the encomiums lavished by his ther alone excepted.

sister on the original, that our young solIt may be easily imagined, however, that, || dier had become so extravagantly epa. during the two winters which she had moured. spent in the gay circles of the metropolis, Much about this time, Madame de Brie Clementina bad met with many admirers, was summoned to Paris; there to attend, who, in consequence of the demise of the in person, to a law-suit of considerable imBaron, proposed, in due time, to urge || portance. The goud lady availed herself their suit: but, what will appear most ex of the circumstance, to introduce her favour. traordinary, and, to some, even incredible, ite, Mathilda, to the fashionable circles and the most ardent of all these wooers, proved | amusements which that metropolis abounds to be the Chevalier de Rabar, lately return- || in, and to procure her the satisfaction of ed from the West Indies with his regiment, || spending a short time with a brother and and who, never in his life, had seen the sister, from whom sine had been separated Baroness.

for a number of years. What a wide field opens here before me, The Chevalier was no less a stranger to for a dissertation on the causes of love! - | the beautiful rarities of the capital than But, I shall leave it to a more philosophical Mathilda; but bis unfortunate passion abpen, to proceed with my narration. sorbed all his faculties; veither could mere This officer had two sisters : one of them, \ curiosity have prompted him to rise from

« AnteriorContinuar »