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in his power to miss the Archbishopric rather than be the occasion of any of Paris, which seemed to be his by heart-burnings between Messrs de inheritance, as it had been possessed Sorbonne and their Protector, he by his grand-uncle and two of his would decline the place, content with uncles. Before he was seventeen he having deserved it. had been engaged in three duels, and A conduct so haughty alarmed the had signalized himself in two or three family of Gondi. The Abbé was affairs of gallantry. Yet his family sent to travel in Italy. At Venice he persisted in making him coadjutor to signalized himself by gallantries, at his uncle ; so that notwithstanding his Rome by lampoons: but he quickly conduct and inclinations, he was for returned to Paris, to support the useced to remain in the ecclesiastical line, less and dangerous character of the eneand to make a great fortune whether my and rival of Cardinal Richelieu. he would or not.
Sometimes he attached himself to the Abbé de Retz brought ladies with whom the Cardinal was at his intriguing spirit to Court. And variance; sometimes he made court to against whom did he employ it? a. his mistresses, and even carried them off gainst the Cardinal de Richelieu: but from him, and at last entered into a why he did so is a question he would conspiracy, which aimed at his life. have been at a loss to answer himself, It would appear that the Abbé entered for it could lead to nothing. It was upon this plot with great unconcern ; at this time that he translated the his. he considered himself as another Fiertory of Fiesco's conspiracy: he shew co; he was of the same age with his ed the work to the Abbé de Boisro- model when he was killed, that is bert, and probably accompanied it with two and twenty: but luckily the confome reflections, which shewed this spiracies of the French Abbé were not fagacious friend of Cardinal Richelieu, fo actively carried through as those of that de Retz had all the inclination in the Genoese count: he had the hapa the world to become faétious and med- piness to see his projects miscarry, one dling. Boisrobert acquainted the after another, without any accident prime minister with his fufpicions. or danger to his person. At last he * I see, said the Cardinal aloud, that was made sensible that the most he the little Abbé will one day be a dan- could do was to join with the turbu.
This discourse a- lent of his own stamp, with whom he larmed M. Gondi the father; but it had nothing to gain and every thing was otherwise with the fon; he was to lose. He found it necessary to take charmed to think that at his age he a new course: he associated with the was considered as a dangerous man by devout, though he did not imbibe their a minister who made France and all spirit, and with ecclefiaftics who had Europe tremble. In order to support the reputation of sanctity, before he the great part that he pretended al- fanétified his own life: he undertook ready to act, he disputed the first place to make converts before he was conof licenser in the Sorbonne with the verted himself; and he found the Abbé de la Mothe-Houdancourt, a most respectable part of the clergy and relation of the Cardinal, and carried it. those the highest in the church, very Richelieu, the patron and restorer of much disposed to receive him as a prothe Sorbonne, was as much surprised digal son, without waiting till he should as enraged; and threatned the doctors
of his errors. who had voted against the person he The good M. Vincent himself was had proposed : these came in triumph inclined to believe that the instructions to inform the Abbé de Retz, who'ge- he had formerly given him were not perously but proudly apswered, That seed sown in a loil altogether ungrate
Anécdotes of the Cardinal de Retz.
321 ful. The devout thought it an ho- may easily believe that the holy man nour to include him in their number; gave him his best advice, which he and without subjecting him to severe feigned to listen to with much edificatrials, they endeavoured to procure
tion. He confesses in his Memoirs, for him thé coadjutorship of the Arch- that he employed the time destined bishopric of Paris. It was necessary for meditation in thinking, not how he to begin with reconciling him to the should become a good Bishop, but on Cardinal ; this they effected. It was the means of turning his character urged in his behalf, and as an evidence and office to account, and of being of his conversion, that he had not en- wicked with art and address. I have tered into the conspiracy of Cinq-Mars. known many such restless fpirits, This was thought sufficient proof that who, when they had leisure, have laid he had renounced his passion for in- plans of conduct detestable in their trigue, but the sequel shewed that it tendency, but which might easily have was not yet relinquished.
succeeded if they had been carried on. Every thing was in train for his be- The Coadjutor for some time seemed ing appointed coadjutor when Cardinal to act in conformity to his plan. He Richelieu died. But it would proba- preached in Paris, and his fermons, bly have been finished by Lewis XIII. which my uncle told me he had often had he not soon followed the Cardinal. read, were written with much spirit The honour of it was reserved for and erudition, according to the taste of Anne of Austria, who began her re- that time, and even in a strain of piety gency by allowing herself to be direc. and devotion, which he no doubt had ted by people of acknowledged incapa- learnt of M. Vincent. The people of city. They made her commit an ad- Paris were enchanted with the fight ditional blunder, in appointing to the of an Archbishop in the chair ; and Archbishoprick of Paris a person so he made fome other grimaces in perturbulent and so dangerous as the fu- forming the episcopal functions in the ture Cardinal de Retz.
absence of his uncle. Mazarine, who foon supplanted these Having thus prepared the way, the first favourites of the Queen regent, Coadjutor waited only for an opporwould not perhaps have committed tunity of signalizing himself, and of this fault. However, he was more a- reaping the fruits of his hypocrisy, fraid of de Retz than hurt by him. which
he was incapable of supporting The political conduct of these two long. But no great occasion presentpersonages was very different, tho' it ed itself for four or five years. In the proceeded in both from a bad heart: mean time, he had some disputes with neither of them had any regard for regard to his rank in quality of Diohonour or virtue: but Mazarine form- cefan of Paris. These he supported ed plans, and he pursued them; not boldly, and gave the Cardinal to unever failed for want of judgement: if derstand that he was no contemptible he was not brave, he was neither fickle enemy. But it would have been costnor inconsiderate ;. and what he want- ly to gain him over, as nothing less ed in greatness, he made up by skill would have satisfied him than the Care and address. The Cardinal de Retz dinal's place. had none of those qualities; for one In the mean time, the minds of the cannot be great without great designs; people were irritated with the misconand of what use is skill or address with- duct of the Queen regent and her mi. out determinate objects ?
nisters ;, and now the Coadjutor found The Abbé de Retz being now Coad- an opportunity to exert himself; he jutor of Paris, retired to his old mas- gained the people underhand, by difter M. Vincent at St Lazare. We tributing charities that procured him Vol. VI. No 35.
the favour of the poor, without tell- ation, and to deprive him of tliat rea ing them what he wanted of them. pose which he found ten years afterSometimes he would go'to the regent, wards in the obscurity of inaction and and inform her of the disaffection of retreat. the people ; fometimes to the parlia- I said at the beginning, that Messrs ment with complaints of the Queen de Caumartin, my relations, had a and her ministry. The Coadjutor hard in the publication of the Cardicontinued this conduct till the fa- nal's Memoirs. They had entrusted mous day of the Barricades, when he to the care of some indiscreet persons shone forth in all his glory. Nothing the copy of these Memoirs, which had can be more curious than the accounts been found with the Nuns of Comcontained in his Memoirs of the com- mercy in Lorraine, a town where De mencement of the War of Paris and Retz had passed many years of his its consequences. The weakness of the life, and of which he was Lord, not Queen and of her male and female fa- as a dependence on any of his benevourites, the address, the meanness and fices, but by inheritance from his motreachery of Mazarine; the folly and ther Margaret de Silly de la Rocheabsurdity of many members of the par. pot. The good Nuns knew nothing liament, and the inconsiderate turbué of the merit or demerit of these Melence of the people of Paris, he has moirs, nor I believe of the lady to described with great truth, and in the whom they had been addressed : neimost lively colours.
ther indeed do I; but it is certain, 'He does not dissemble the wicked. that, at the beginning of the regency ness and folly of his own conduct in of the Duke of Orleans in 1717, the that farce which lasted during the first furreptitious edition was publishyears 1648 and 1649. After a short ed. The Regent asked my father, interruption, it began again in the fol- who was then Lieutenant of the Polowing years 1650 and 1651, when lice, what effect the book would have? the Coadjutor pursued a plan not less “ None, Sir, replied M. d'Argenson, intemperate and undecided.
that can give you uneafinefs. The His account of that strange scene' manner in which the Cardinal speaks which happened in the great saloon of himself, the frankness with which of the palace, where he meant to af- he displays his own character, confaslinate the Prince of Condé, would fesses his faults, and informs us of the appear apocrypbal at this day, if it had ill success of his imprudent behaviour, not been witneffed and related by peo- will never encourage any body to imiple of both parties : but that the prin. tate him: on the contrary,
his misforcipal actor should relate it with all the tunes will be a lesson to the factious, frankness and naiveté imaginable, is and to those who impertinently medo without example.
dle in matters that do not concern In the year 1652 the 'Coadjutor them. I do not know why he left obtained the Cardinal's hat ; but he this general confession in writing ; but would have had it sooner, if he had if it has been published in the hope maintained a different conduct. He that his frankness may operate his paris not the only person in the world don with the public, the editors will who has taken pains to counteract undoubtedly be mistaken.” the good intentions of fortune, and to However probable it might appear render problematical the best-ground- to my father, that this would be the ed hopes. If he could not lose the effect of these Memoirs, it is certain hat after having obtained it, his sub- that the opinion of the public was vesequent conduct tended to make him' ry different; for in the year 1718 the lose the public esteem and confider- Regent again mentioned the subject Characters of Fontenelle, of Montesquieu, and Henault. 323 to my father, who was then Keeper tate him. The Memoirs of Joly failof the Seals ; and it was found necef- ed in the effect: they were written in sary to think of something to counter- a less captivating style than those of act the ill effcets which the Memoirs the Cardinal, and the author was conhad produced. It was agreed to print sidered as an ungrateful and dishonest the Memoirs of Joly, who had been servant, who calumniated: the master his secretary : these were still in the whose bread he had eaten ; while the library of M. de Caumartin, who was openness of the Cardinal pleased every averse to their being made public, be- one. In short, the thoughtless and cause he had made Cardinal de Retz meddling continued to love the Carblacker than the Cardinal had made dinal de Retz, and to imitate him, himself. But the 'Regent was anxi- whatever might happen to themselves ; ous to decry the Cardinal, to shew while no body took the side of Me him for what he was, and to disgust Joly. those that might have a fancy to imi
Characters of Fontenelle, of Montesquicu, and of Henault *. I
Have often heard it said, that he we can be kind to another ? persecu
who is not a bitter enemy, can- tors before we can be protectors ? No, not be a zealous friend ; the meaning for my part, I declare myself a feeble of which no doubt is, that he who enemy, not only in power but in indoes not carry to extremity the effects tention, although I am a very zealous of his hatred and revenge, will not and very firm friend. exert himself with ardour in the fer- If I have been sometimes falsely vice of his friends. But let us dif- accused of indifference for people with tinguish between the enormities into whom I am intimate, there are three which we may be led by our passions, of my friends that deserve such reand the consequences of a wise and proach still more than I do, though I prudent attachment: friendship ought do not esteem them the less on that always to be of this fort; when it account. They are people well known rises into passion, it forfeits in part our in the world, M. de Fontenelle, the esteem and respect; it is attended with President de Montesquieu, and Presiall the dangers of love, which is the dent Henault. source of as many faults as hatred or The first is accusedand convicted of a revenge. God preserve us from ei- fortof apathy, blameable perhaps as it rether loving or hating to excess : yet gards others, but excellent as it regards we must indulge the passion of love to his own preservation ; for being occua certain degree; the heart of man pied solely with himself, and being amihas need of this sentiment, which me- able enough to make others concern liorates the mind when it does not themselves about him, he has had leiblindfold it. But hatred and revenge fure to take care of his weak and deliare unceasing tormentors: we are hap- cate constitution; he has always enjoy. py while we do not hate ; but while ed his pleasures, and finds himself now we love with reason, is it impossible at the eightieth year of his age, in to serve our friends with ardour, with the pleasing hope of seeing the revoaffection, with constancy, with obsti- lution of a compleat century. Each macy ? Must we be cruel to one before year procures hiin an additional des Rr 2
gree * From the same; and written about the same time.
gree of merit, and adds to the interest ments; but we forgive him, and event we take in his existence. We look love him the more for it; for we love upon him as on one of those master- him for himself, without demanding pieces of art which have been finished or expecting a return. We may say with the most exquisite delicacy and of him what Madame du Deffant said care, and which we are at pains to of her cat : “ I am fond of him to preserve entire, as such are not made distraction, for he is the most amiable every day. He not only reminds creature in the world: I trouble myus of the fine age of Lewis XIV. self little about the degree of affection that
age so noble and so grand, which he has for me: I should be wretched some of us have seen end, but like- if I were to lose him ; for I feel, that wife of the wit of the Benserades, of the while I employ myself in cherishing Saint Evremonts, and of the Scuderies, my cat, I multiply and prolong my while he breathes the spirit of the ho- own enjoyments.” tel de Rambouillet, which he inhaled The President de Montesquieu is not on the spot. He is possessed of the so old as Fontenelle, and has as much sanie spirit now softened and perfec- genius, but of a diiferent kind. We ted, adapted to the complexion of expect more from the President in our age, less obscure, less pedantic company, because he has more vivathan that of the beaux-esprits that city, seems more active, more suscepfounded the Academy, less precife tible of enthusiasm. But at bottom, than that of Julia d’Angennes, and of their hearts are of the fame temper. her mother. His conversation is ex- Montesquieu disquiets himself for no quisitely agreeable, abounding in the body, nor has he ambition enough to most delicate strokes and lively fallies, make himself uneasy: he reads, he and in anecdotes keenly satirical
, tho' travels, he collects information, and never ill 'natured, as they relate only he writes, merely for his own pleato subjects of literature or gallantry, fure. As he has a great deal of wit, and to the little bickerings incident to he makes an admirable use of what he social life. All his tales are short, knows, particularly in his books, for and on that account the more striking; in conversation he is careless, and is and they have all an epigrammatic turn, not ambitious of hining. He has which is essential to a good story, preserved the gascon accent, which he The eloges pronounced by him at the acquired in his native place (Boure Academy of Sciences are in the fame deaux,) and thinks it beneath him to style with his conversation, and are correct it. He does not take pains consequently delightful : but I am not with his style, which is more fprightsure that the manner in these is what ly and nervous than pure: he does not it ought to be : he confines himself too study method or connection in his wrie much to the personal circumstances of tings, and thus they are rather pleathe Academicians, endeavours to draw sing than instructive. He early aca their character, and to describe the par- quired a taste for a kind of bold phia ticulars of their private life; and, as lofophy, which he has mingled with he is an excellent painter, his portraits the gaiety and levity of the French are admirable : may we not, however, manner ; and it is this which makes say of them, that they resemble those the charm of his Persian Letters. But beautiful engravings that we find be- if, on one hand, this book excited adfore the works of some heroes ? they miration, on the other it occasioned thew us their physiognomy, but do not very well-grounded complaints : there tell us what they have done.
are strokes in it that a man of genie - It is well known that Fontenelle is us might eafily conceive, but which peither warm nor violent in his attach- no man of prudence would have al