Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

void of reason never did. And then why these wars ? Are there not lands enough in the world to supply all men with more than they can cultivate? What a waste of desolate tracts which mankind can never stock with inhabitants ! What then ! does ambition a prince's aiming at the vain title of a conqueror ,

kindle wars in countries fufficiently large ? Yes, a single person , fent into the world by the Gods in their wrath, brutally facrifices millions to his vanity. Every thing must be destroyed; every thing must swim in blood; every thing mult be involved in Aames, that what efcapes the sword and fire, may perish by famine still more cruel than they; and all this , that a single man who mocks at human nature , may grarify his humour and ambition in this general devastation. What a monstrous kind of vanity ! Can one too much dereit and despise men who have thus far forgotten hus manity? No no, instead of being demi - Gods they are not so much as men, and ought to be had in execration in all the ages by which they hoped to be adinired. Oh ! how cautious ought kings to be with respect to the wars they undertake! Their wars ought to be just ; nay more, they, ought to be necessary for the public weal. The blood of the people ought not to be shed but to save the people themselves in cases of extremity. But flattering counsels, false notions of glory, groundless jealous fies , unbounded avarice, hid under fair disguises, in short imperceptible motives almost always hurry kings into wars which render them miserable, which tempt them needlessly to risk their all, and prove as fatal to their own subjects as įheir enemies. Thus realoned Telemachus.

But he did nor fatisfy himself with deploring the evils of war ; he endeavoured to fofcen them. He went himself into the tents', to relieve the sick and the dying; he gave them money and medicines ; he comforted and encouraged them by friendly discourses, and sent others to visiç those he could not visiç himself.

There

Parmi les Crétois qui étoient avec lui , il

у

avoir deux vieillards, dont l'un se nommoit Traumaphile, & l'autre Nozophuge. Traumaphile avoit été au Siege de Troye avec Idoménée , & avoic appris des enfans d'Esculape l'art divin de guérir les plaies.- 11 répandoit, dans les blessures les plus profondes & les plus envenimées, une liqueur odoriférante , qui consumoit les chairs mortes & corrompues, sans avoir befoin de faire aucune incision , & qui formoit promptement de nouvelles chairs plus faines & plus belles quo les premieres. Pour Nozophuge, il n'avoit jamais vu les enfans d'Esculape : mais il avoit eu, par le moyen de Mérion, un livre sacré & mystérieux qu'Escua lape avoit donné à ses enfans. D'ailleurs Nozophuge étoit ami des Dieux ; il avoit composé des hymnes en l'honneur des enfans de Latone ; il offroic tous les jours le sacrifice d'une brebis blanche & sans tae che à Apollon, par lequel il étoit souvent inspiré. A peine avoit-il vu un malade , qu'il connoissoit à fes yeux, à la couleur de son teint, à la conformité de son corps , & à sa respiration, la cause de sa maladic. Tantôt il donnoir des remedes qui faisoient fuer , montroit, par le succès des fueurs, combien la transpiration facilitée ou diminuée, déconcerte ou rétablie toute la machine du corps. Tantôt il donneit pour les maux de langueur, certains breuvages qui fortifioient peu à peu les parties robles, & qui rajeunissoient les hommes, en adoucissant leur fang. Mais il assuroic que c'étoit faute de vertu & de courage, que les hommes avoient fi souvent besoin de la médecine. C'est une honte , disoit-il, pour les hommes, qu'ils aient tant de maladies ; car les bonnes moeurs produir fent la santé. Leur intempérance, disoit-il encore change en poisons mortels les alimens destinés à cons server la vie. Les plaisirs pris sans modération , abregent plus les jours des honimes, que les remedes ne peuvent les prolonger. Les pauvres font moins souvent malades faute de nourriture , que les riches ne le deviennent pour en prendre trop. Les alimens qui factent trop le goût, & qui font manger au-delà du besoin, empoisonnent au lieu de nourrir, Les res

medęs

/

& il

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

There were among the Cretans that accompanied him, cwo old men whose names were Traumaphilus and Nozophogus. Traumaphilus had been at the siege of Troy with Idomeneus and had learnt the divine art of healing wounds of Æsculapius's fons. He used to pour into the deepest and most envenomed a certain odorous liquid which eat away the dead and mortified flesh so that there was no need of incision , and quickly formed new flesh, which was founder and of a better colour than the former. As for Nozophugus, he had never seen the sons of Esculapius, but had by means of merion been pofa felled of a sacred and mysterious book which Æfculapius had given his fons. Besides, Nozophugus was beloved of the Gods ; he had composed hymns in honour of Latona's children, and daily sacrificed a white sheep without blemish to Apollo , by whom he was often inspired; hę 110 sooner saw a sick person but he knew the cause of his malady by his eyes , bis complection, the conformation of his body and his manner of breathing. Sometimes he administered sudorifics , and shewed by the success of fwearing, how much the opening or shutting of the pores contributes to the disorder or restoration of the whole bodily machine. Sometimes in lingering distempers he gave certain draughts, which gradua ally strengthened the noble parts, and renewed men's vigour by sweerning their blood. Buc he used to declare that it was through a want of virtue and resolution, that men so often needed physic. Ic is a shame to-mankind, said he, that they should have such a multitude of maladies ; for found morals are productive of health. Their intemperance converts into deadly poisons the aliments which are designed to preserve their lives. Immoderate pleasures shorten men's days more than medicines can lengthen them. The poor are seldomer sick for want of food , than the rich are by eating too much. Alia ments which are too grateful to the palate, and cause men to ear more than is needful, poison info tead of nourishingMedicines themselves are real

9

[ocr errors]

medes font eux-mêmes de véritables maux qui ruinenç la nature

& dont il ne fauc fe fervir que dans les pressans besoins. Le grand remede , qui est toujours innocent , & roujours d'un usage ucile , c'est la fobriété, c'est la tempérance dans tous les plaisirs, c'est la tranquillité de l'esprit , c'est l'exercice du corps. Par là on fait un fang doux & tempéré, & on dissipe toutes les humeurs superflues. Ainsi le fage Nozophuge étoit moins admirable par ses remedes, que par le régime qu'il confeilloit pour prévenir les maux , & pour rendre les remedes inutiles.

Ces deux hommes furent envoyés par Télémaque, pour visiter tous les malades de l'armée ; ils en guérirent beaucoup par leurs remedes; mais ils en guéris rent bien davantage par le soin qu'ils prirent pour les faire servir à propos ; car ils s'appliquoient à les tenir proprement , à empêcher le mauvais air par cette pro preté, à leur faire garder un régime de sobriété exacte dans leur convalescence.

Tous les soldats touchés de ces secours , 'rendoient graces aux Dieux, d'avoir envoyé Télémaque dans l'armée des alliés. Ce n'est pas un homme, difoient-ils, c'est sans doute quelque Divinicé bienfaisance sous une figure humaine. Du moins si c'est un homme , il reffemble moins au reste des hommes qu'aux Dieux ; il n'est sur la terre que pour faire du bien. Il est encore plus aimable par sa douceur & par fa bonté, que par fa valeur. O si nous pouvions l'avoir pour roi! mais les Dieux le réservent pour quelque peuple plus heureux, qu'ils chérisser & chez lequel ils veulent renouveller l'âge d'or.

Télémaque , pendant qu'il alloit la nuir visiter les quartiers du camp, par précaution contre les ruses d'Adrafte, entendoit ces louanges, qui n'étoient point fufpectes de flatterie, comme celles que les flatteurs donnent souvent en face aux princes , supposant qu'ils n'ont ni modestie, ni délicatesse , & qu'il n'y a qu'à les louer fans mesure , pour s'emparer de leur faveur. Le fils d'Ulysse ne pouvoic goûter que ce qui étoit vrai : il ne pouvoit fouffrir d'autres louanges, que celles qu'on lui donnoit en fecret ,

,loin

de

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

evils which ruin the constitution, and should never
þe used bur on urgenț occasions. The grand media
eine, which is always innocent and always useful
is fobriety , moderation in all sorts of pleasures ,
qanquillity of mind, and bodily exercise. Thereby
is generated a sweet and well çempered blood, and re-
dundant humours are dissipared. Thus was the wife
Nozophugus less admirable on account of his cures ,
than on account of the regimen he prescribed to pre-
rent diseases, and to render medicines useless,

These two men being sent by Telemachus to visit all the fick in the army , cured many by their medicines , but more by the care they took to have them well looked after ; for shey made it their buliAess to keep them clean , in order to prevent any ụnwholesome air , and to make them obferve a sober and regular diet during their recovery.

All the soldiers moved by these benefits, rendered thanks to the Gods for having sent Telemachus into the confederatė army. He is not a man, said they; he is undoubtedly some beneficent Deity in an human shape : At least if he be a man he resem. sembles the rest of mankind less than he does the Gods; he is come into the world only to do good, and is more amiable for the fweetness of his temper and his humanity chan for his valour. Oh ! chaç we could have him for our king ! Bue the Gods rçserve him for some happier people whom they love and among whom they design to renew the golden age.

Telemachus as he went in the night to visit the several quarters of the camp by way of precau. tion against any stratagems of Adrastus , heard these praises, which could not be suspected of adulation, like those which flatrerers often bestow on princes to their faces, supposing that they have neither mo, delty nor delicacy, and that nothing is necessary to gain their favour but to praise them beyond mea. sure. The fon of Ulysses could relish nothing but cruch ; he could bear no commendacions but those which were privately given him in his absence , and he had really deserved. To fuck his heart was noc Tom. IL

infepsible

3

« AnteriorContinuar »