History of Literature







Jean Jacques Rousseau



"The Confessions"

 


THE CONFESSIONS
 

BOOK VII.



 

After two years' silence and patience, and notwithstanding my resolutions, I again take up my pen: Reader, suspend your judgment as to the reasons which force me to such a step: of these you can be no judge until you shall have read my book.

My peaceful youth has been seen to pass away calmly and agreeably without any great disappointments or remarkable prosperity. This mediocrity was mostly owing to my ardent yet feeble nature, less prompt in undertaking than easy to discourage; quitting repose for violent agitations, but returning to it from lassitude and inclinations, and which, placing me in an idle and tranquil state for which alone I felt I was born, at a distance from the paths of great virtues and still further from those of great vices, never permitted me to arrive at anything great, either good or bad. What a different account will I soon have to give of myself! Fate, which for thirty years forced my inclinations, for thirty others has seemed to oppose them; and this continued opposition, between my situation and inclinations, will appear to have been the source of enormous faults, unheard of misfortunes, and every virtue except that fortitude which alone can do honor to adversity.

The history of the first part of my life was written from memory, and is consequently full of errors. As I am obliged to write the second part from memory also, the errors in it will probably be still more numerous. The agreeable remembrance of the finest portion of my years, passed with so much tranquillity and innocence, has left in my heart a thousand charming impressions which I love incessantly to call to my recollection. It will soon appear how different from these those of the rest of my life have been. To recall them to my mind would be to renew their bitterness. Far from increasing that of my situation by these sorrowful reflections, I repel them as much as possible, and in this endeavor often succeed so well as to be unable to find them at will. This facility of forgetting my misfortunes is a consolation which Heaven has reserved to me in the midst of those which fate has one day to accumulate upon my head. My memory, which presents to me no objects but such as are agreeable, is the happy counterpoise of my terrified imagination, by which I foresee nothing but a cruel futurity.

All the papers I had collected to aid my recollection, and guide me in this undertaking, are no longer in my possession, nor can I ever again hope to regain them.

I have but one faithful guide on which I can depend: this is the chain of the sentiments by which the succession of my existence has been marked, and by these the events which have been either the cause or the effect of the manner of it. I easily forget my misfortunes, but I cannot forget my faults, and still less my virtuous sentiments. The remembrance of these is too dear to me ever to suffer them to be effaced from my mind. I may omit facts, transpose events, and fall into some errors of dates; but I cannot be deceived in what I have felt, nor in that which from sentiment I have done; and to relate this is the chief end of my present work. The real object of my confessions is to communicate an exact knowledge of what I interiorly am and have been in every situation of my life. I have promised the history of my mind, and to write it faithfully I have no need of other memoirs: to enter into my own heart, as I have hitherto done, will alone be sufficient.

There is, however, and very happily, an interval of six or seven years, relative to which I have exact references, in a collection of letters copied from the originals, in the hands of M. du Peyrou. This collection, which concludes in 1760, comprehends the whole time of my residence at the hermitage, and my great quarrel with those who called themselves my friends; that memorable epocha of my life, and the source of all my other misfortunes. With respect to more recent original letters which may remain in my possession, and are but few in number, instead of transcribing them at the end of this collection, too voluminous to enable me to deceive the vigilance of my Arguses, I will copy them into the work whenever they appear to furnish any explanation, be this either for or against myself; for I am not under the least apprehension lest the reader should forget I make my confession, and be induced to believe I make my apology; but he cannot expect I shall conceal the truth when it testifies in my favor.

The second part, it is likewise to be remembered, contains nothing in common with the first, except truth; nor has any other advantage over it, but the importance of the facts; in everything else, it is inferior to the former. I wrote the first with pleasure, with satisfaction, and at my ease, at Wootton, or in the castle Trie: everything I had to recollect was a new enjoyment. I returned to my closet with an increased pleasure, and, without constraint, gave that turn to my descriptions which most flattered my imagination.

At present my head and memory are become so weak as to render me almost incapable of every kind of application: my present undertaking is the result of constraint, and a heart full of sorrow. I have nothing to treat of but misfortunes, treacheries, perfidies, and circumstances equally afflicting. I would give the world, could I bury in the obscurity of time, every thing I have to say, and which, in spite of myself, I am obliged to relate. I am, at the same time, under the necessity of being mysterious and subtle, of endeavoring to impose and of descending to things the most foreign to my nature. The ceiling under which I write has eyes; the walls of my chamber have ears. Surrounded by spies and by vigilant and malevolent inspectors, disturbed, and my attention diverted, I hastily commit to paper a few broken sentences, which I have scarcely time to read, and still less to correct. I know that, notwithstanding the barriers which are multiplied around me, my enemies are afraid truth should escape by some little opening. What means can I take to introduce it to the world? This, however, I attempt with but few hopes of success. The reader will judge whether or not such a situation furnishes the means of agreeable descriptions, or of giving them a seductive coloring! I therefore inform such as may undertake to read this work, that nothing can secure them from weariness in the prosecution of their task, unless it be the desire of becoming more fully acquainted with a man whom they already know, and a sincere love of justice and truth.

In my first part I brought down my narrative to my departure with infinite regret from Paris, leaving my heart at Charmettes, and, there building my last castle in the air, intending some day to return to the feet of mamma, restored to herself, with the treasures I should have acquired, and depending upon my system of music as upon a certain fortune.

I made some stay at Lyons to visit my acquaintance, procure letters of recommendation to Paris, and to sell my books of geometry which I had brought with me. I was well received by all whom I knew. M. and Madam de Malby seemed pleased to see me again, and several times invited me to dinner. At their house I became acquainted with the Abbe de Malby, as I had already done with the Abbe de Condillac, both of whom were on a visit to their brother. The Abbe de Malby gave me letters to Paris; among others, one to M. de Pontenelle, and another to the Comte de Caylus. These were very agreeable acquaintances, especially the first, to whose friendship for me his death only put a period, and from whom, in our private conversations, I received advice which I ought to have more exactly followed.

I likewise saw M. Bordes, with whom I had been long acquainted, and who had frequently obliged me with the greatest cordiality and the most real pleasure. He it was who enabled me to sell my books; and he also gave me from himself good recommendations to Paris. I again saw the intendant for whose acquaintance I was indebted to M. Bordes, and who introduced me to the Duke de Richelieu, who was then passing through Lyons. M. Pallu presented me. The Duke received me well, and invited me to come and see him at Paris; I did so several times; although this great acquaintance, of which I shall frequently have occasion to speak, was never of the most trifling utility to me.

I visited the musician David, who, in one of my former journeys, and in my distress, had rendered me service. He had either lent or given me a cap and a pair of stockings, which I have never returned, nor has he ever asked me for them, although we have since that time frequently seen each other. I, however, made him a present, something like an equivalent. I would say more upon this subject, were what I have owned in question; but I have to speak of what I have done, which, unfortunately, is far from being the same thing.

I also saw the noble and generous Perrichon, and not without feeling the effects of his accustomed munificence; for he made me the same present he had previously done to the elegant Bernard, by paying for my place in the diligence. I visited the surgeon Parisot, the best and most benevolent of men; as also his beloved Godefroi, who had lived with him ten years, and whose merit chiefly consisted in her gentle manners and goodness of heart. It was impossible to see this woman without pleasure, or to leave her without regret. Nothing better shows the inclinations of a man, than the nature of his attachments.

[Unless he be deceived in his choice, or that she, to whom he attaches himself, changes her character by an extraordinary concurrence of causes, which is not absolutely impossible. Were this consequence to be admitted without modification, Socrates must be judged of by his wife Xantippe, and Dion by his friend Calippus, which would be the most false and iniquitous judgment ever made. However, let no injurious application be here made to my wife. She is weak and more easily deceived than I at first imagined, but by her pure and excellent character she is worthy of all my esteem.]

Those who had once seen the gentle Godefroi, immediately knew the good and amiable Parisot.

I was much obliged to all these good people, but I afterwards neglected them all; not from ingratitude, but from that invincible indolence which so often assumes its appearance. The remembrance of their services has never been effaced from my mind, nor the impression they made from my heart; but I could more easily have proved my gratitude, than assiduously have shown them the exterior of that sentiment. Exactitude in correspondence is what I never could observe; the moment I began to relax, the shame and embarrassment of repairing my fault made me aggravate it, and I entirely desist from writing; I have, therefore, been silent, and appeared to forget them. Parisot and Perrichon took not the least notice of my negligence, and I ever found them the same. But, twenty years afterwards it will be seen, in M. Bordes, to what a degree the self-love of a wit can make him carry his vengeance when he feels himself neglected.

Before I leave Lyons, I must not forget an amiable person, whom I again saw with more pleasure than ever, and who left in my heart the most tender remembrance. This was Mademoiselle Serre, of whom I have spoken in my first part; I renewed my acquaintance with her whilst I was at M. de Malby's.

Being this time more at leisure, I saw her more frequently, and she made the most sensible impressions on my heart. I had some reason to believe her own was not unfavorable to my pretensions; but she honored me with her confidence so far as to remove from me all temptation to allure her partiality.

She had no fortune, and in this respect exactly resembled myself; our situations were too similar to permit us to become united; and with the views I then had, I was far from thinking of marriage. She gave me to understand that a young merchant, one M. Geneve, seemed to wish to obtain her hand. I saw him once or twice at her lodgings; he appeared to me to be an honest man, and this was his general character. Persuaded she would be happy with him, I was desirous he should marry her, which he afterwards did; and that I might not disturb their innocent love, I hastened my departure; offering up, for the happiness of that charming woman, prayers, which, here below were not long heard. Alas! her time was very short, for I afterwards heard she died in the second or third year after her marriage. My mind, during the journey, was wholly absorbed in tender regret. I felt, and since that time, when these circumstances have been present to my recollection, have frequently done the same; that although the sacrifices made to virtue and our duty may sometimes be painful, we are well rewarded by the agreeable remembrance they leave deeply engravers in our hearts.

I this time saw Paris in as favorable a point of view as it had appeared to me in an unfavorable one at my first journey; not that my ideas of its brilliancy arose from the splendor of my lodgings; for in consequence of an address given me by M. Bordes, I resided at the Hotel St. Quentin, Rue des Cordier, near the Sorbonne; a vile street, a miserable hotel, and a wretched apartment: but nevertheless a house in which several men of merit, such as Gresset, Bordes, Abbe Malby, Condillac, and several others, of whom unfortunately I found not one, had taken up their quarters; but I there met with M. Bonnefond, a man unacquainted with the world, lame, litigious, and who affected to be a purist. To him I owe the acquaintance of M. Roguin, at present the oldest friend I have and by whose means I became acquainted with Diderot, of whom I shall soon have occasion to say a good deal.

I arrived at Paris in the autumn of 1741, with fifteen louis in my purse, and with my comedy of Narcissus and my musical project in my pocket. These composed my whole stock; consequently I had not much time to lose before I attempted to turn the latter to some advantage. I therefore immediately thought of making use of my recommendations.

A young man who arrives at Paris, with a tolerable figure, and announces himself by his talents, is sure to be well received. This was my good fortune, which procured me some pleasure without leading to anything solid. Of all the persons to whom I was recommended, three only were useful to me. M. Damesin, a gentleman of Savoy, at that time equerry, and I believe favorite, of the Princess of Carignan; M. de Boze, Secretary of the Academy of Inscriptions, and keeper of the medals of the king's cabinet; and Father Castel, a Jesuit, author of the 'Clavecin oculaire'.—[ocular harpsichord.]

All these recommendations, except that to M. Damesin, were given me by the Abbe de Malby.

M. Damesin provided me with that which was most needful, by means of two persons with whom he brought me acquainted. One was M. Gase, 'president a mortier' of the parliament of Bordeaux, and who played very well upon the violin; the other, the Abbe de Leon, who then lodged in the Sorbonne, a young nobleman; extremely amiable, who died in the flower of his age, after having, for a few moments, made a figure in the world under the name of the Chevalier de Rohan. Both these gentlemen had an inclination to learn composition. In this I gave them lessons for a few months, by which means my decreasing purse received some little aid. The Abbe Leon conceived a friendship for me, and wished me to become his secretary; but he was far from being rich, and all the salary he could offer me was eight hundred livres, which, with infinite regret, I refused; since it was insufficient to defray the expenses of my lodging, food, and clothing.

I was well received by M. de Boze. He had a thirst for knowledge, of which he possessed not a little, but was somewhat pedantic. Madam de Boze much resembled him; she was lively and affected. I sometimes dined with them, and it is impossible to be more awkward than I was in her presence. Her easy manner intimidated me, and rendered mine more remarkable. When she presented me a plate, I modestly put forward my fork to take one of the least bits of what she offered me, which made her give the plate to her servant, turning her head aside that I might not see her laugh. She had not the least suspicion that in the head of the rustic with whom she was so diverted there was some small portion of wit. M. de Boze presented me to M. de Reaumur, his friend, who came to dine with him every Friday, the day on which the Academy of Sciences met. He mentioned to him my project, and the desire I had of having it examined by the academy. M. de Reaumur consented to make the proposal, and his offer was accepted. On the day appointed I was introduced and presented by M. de Reaumur, and on the same day, August 22d, 1742, I had the honor to read to the academy the memoir I had prepared for that purpose. Although this illustrious assembly might certainly well be expected to inspire me with awe, I was less intimidated on this occasion than I had been in the presence of Madam de Boze, and I got tolerably well through my reading and the answers I was obliged to give. The memoir was well received, and acquired me some compliments by which I was equally surprised and flattered, imagining that before such an assembly, whoever was not a member of it could not have commonsense. The persons appointed to examine my system were M. Mairan, M. Hellot, and M. de Fouchy, all three men of merit, but not one of them understood music, at least not enough of composition to enable them to judge of my project.

During my conference with these gentlemen, I was convinced with no less certainty than surprise, that if men of learning have sometimes fewer prejudices than others, they more tenaciously retain those they have. However weak or false most of their objections were, and although I answered them with great timidity, and I confess, in bad terms, yet with decisive reasons, I never once made myself understood, or gave them any explanation in the least satisfactory. I was constantly surprised at the facility with which, by the aid of a few sonorous phrases, they refuted, without having comprehended me. They had learned, I know not where, that a monk of the name of Souhaitti had formerly invented a mode of noting the gamut by ciphers: a sufficient proof that my system was not new. This might, perhaps, be the case; for although I had never heard of Father Souhaitti, and notwithstanding his manner of writing the seven notes without attending to the octaves was not, under any point of view, worthy of entering into competition with my simple and commodious invention for easily noting by ciphers every possible kind of music, keys, rests, octaves, measure, time, and length of note; things on which Souhaitti had never thought it was nevertheless true, that with respect to the elementary expression of the seven notes, he was the first inventor.

But besides their giving to this primitive invention more importance than was due to it, they went still further, and, whenever they spoke of the fundamental principles of the system, talked nonsense. The greatest advantage of my scheme was to supersede transpositions and keys, so that the same piece of music was noted and transposed at will by means of the change of a single initial letter at the head of the air. These gentlemen had heard from the music—masters of Paris that the method of executing by transposition was a bad one; and on this authority converted the most evident advantage of my system into an invincible objection against it, and affirmed that my mode of notation was good for vocal music, but bad for instrumental; instead of concluding as they ought to have done, that it was good for vocal, and still better for instrumental. On their report the academy granted me a certificate full of fine compliments, amidst which it appeared that in reality it judged my system to be neither new nor useful. I did not think proper to ornament with such a paper the work entitled 'Dissertation sur la musique moderne', by which I appealed to the public.

I had reason to remark on this occasion that, even with a narrow understanding, the sole but profound knowledge of a thing is preferable for the purpose of judging of it, to all the lights resulting from a cultivation of the sciences, when to these a particular study of that in question has not been joined. The only solid objection to my system was made by Rameau. I had scarcely explained it to him before he discovered its weak part. "Your signs," said he, "are very good inasmuch as they clearly and simply determine the length of notes, exactly represent intervals, and show the simple in the double note, which the common notation does not do; but they are objectionable on account of their requiring an operation of the mind, which cannot always accompany the rapidity of execution. The position of our notes," continued he, "is described to the eye without the concurrence of this operation. If two notes, one very high and the other very low, be joined by a series of intermediate ones, I see at the first glance the progress from one to the other by conjoined degrees; but in your system, to perceive this series, I must necessarily run over your ciphers one after the other; the glance of the eye is here useless." The objection appeared to me insurmountable, and I instantly assented to it. Although it be simple and striking, nothing can suggest it but great knowledge and practice of the art, and it is by no means astonishing that not one of the academicians should have thought of it. But what creates much surprise is, that these men of great learning, and who are supposed to possess so much knowledge, should so little know that each ought to confine his judgment to that which relates to the study with which he has been conversant.

My frequent visits to the literati appointed to examine my system and the other academicians gave me an opportunity of becoming acquainted with the most distinguished men of letters in Paris, and by this means the acquaintance that would have been the consequence of my sudden admission amongst them, which afterwards came to pass, was already established. With respect to the present moment, absorbed in my new system of music, I obstinately adhered to my intention of effecting a revolution in the art, and by that means of acquiring a celebrity which, in the fine arts, is in Paris mostly accompanied by fortune. I shut myself in my chamber and labored three or four months with inexpressible ardor, in forming into a work for the public eye, the memoir I had read before the academy. The difficulty was to find a bookseller to take my manuscript; and this on account of the necessary expenses for new characters, and because booksellers give not their money by handfuls to young authors; although to me it seemed but just my work should render me the bread I had eaten while employed in its composition.

Bonnefond introduced me to Quillau the father, with whom I agreed to divide the profits, without reckoning the privilege, of which I paid the whole expense. Such were the future proceedings of this Quillau that I lost the expenses of my privilege, never having received a farthing from that edition; which, probably, had but very middling success, although the Abbe des Fontaines promised to give it celebrity, and, notwithstanding the other journalists, had spoken of it very favorably.

The greatest obstacle to making the experiment of my system was the fear, in case of its not being received, of losing the time necessary to learn it. To this I answered, that my notes rendered the ideas so clear, that to learn music by means of the ordinary characters, time would be gained by beginning with mine. To prove this by experience, I taught music gratis to a young American lady, Mademoiselle des Roulins, with whom M. Roguin had brought me acquainted. In three months she read every kind of music, by means of my notation, and sung at sight better than I did myself, any piece that was not too difficult. This success was convincing, but not known; any other person would have filled the journals with the detail, but with some talents for discovering useful things, I never have possessed that of setting them off to advantage.

Thus was my airy castle again overthrown; but this time I was thirty years of age, and in Paris, where it is impossible to live for a trifle. The resolution I took upon this occasion will astonish none but those by whom the first part of these memoirs has not been read with attention. I had just made great and fruitless efforts, and was in need of relaxation. Instead of sinking with despair I gave myself up quietly to my indolence and to the care of Providence; and the better to wait for its assistance with patience, I lay down a frugal plan for the slow expenditure of a few louis, which still remained in my possession, regulating the expense of my supine pleasures without retrenching it; going to the coffee-house but every other day, and to the theatre but twice a week. With respect to the expenses of girls of easy virtue, I had no retrenchment to make; never having in the whole course of my life applied so much as a farthing to that use except once, of which I shall soon have occasion to speak. The security, voluptuousness, and confidence with which I gave myself up to this indolent and solitary life, which I had not the means of continuing for three months, is one of the singularities of my life, and the oddities of my disposition. The extreme desire I had, the public should think of me was precisely what discouraged me from showing myself; and the necessity of paying visits rendered them to such a degree insupportable, that I ceased visiting the academicians and other men of letters, with whom I had cultivated an acquaintance. Marivaux, the Abbe Malby, and Fontenelle, were almost the only persons whom I sometimes went to see. To the first I showed my comedy of Narcissus. He was pleased with it, and had the goodness to make in it some improvements. Diderot, younger than these, was much about my own age. He was fond of music, and knew it theoretically; we conversed together, and he communicated to me some of his literary projects. This soon formed betwixt us a more intimate connection, which lasted fifteen years, and which probably would still exist were not I, unfortunately, and by his own fault, of the same profession with himself.

It would be impossible to imagine in what manner I employed this short and precious interval which still remained to me, before circumstances forced me to beg my bread:—in learning by memory passages from the poets which I had learned and forgotten a hundred times. Every morning at ten o'clock, I went to walk in the Luxembourg with a Virgil and a Rousseau in my pocket, and there, until the hour of dinner, I passed away the time in restoring to my memory a sacred ode or a bucolic, without being discouraged by forgetting, by the study of the morning, what I had learned the evening before. I recollected that after the defeat of Nicias at Syracuse the captive Athenians obtained a livelihood by reciting the poems of Homer. The use I made of this erudition to ward off misery was to exercise my happy memory by learning all the poets by rote.

I had another expedient, not less solid, in the game of chess, to which I regularly dedicated, at Maugis, the evenings on which I did not go to the theatre. I became acquainted with M. de Legal, M. Husson, Philidor, and all the great chess players of the day, without making the least improvement in the game. However, I had no doubt but, in the end, I should become superior to them all, and this, in my own opinion, was a sufficient resource. The same manner of reasoning served me in every folly to which I felt myself inclined. I said to myself: whoever excels in anything is sure to acquire a distinguished reception in society. Let us therefore excel, no matter in what, I shall certainly be sought after; opportunities will present themselves, and my own merit will do the rest. This childishness was not the sophism of my reason; it was that of my indolence. Dismayed at the great and rapid efforts which would have been necessary to call forth my endeavors, I strove to flatter my idleness, and by arguments suitable to the purpose, veiled from my own eyes the shame of such a state.

I thus calmly waited for the moment when I was to be without money; and had not Father Castel, whom I sometimes went to see in my way to the coffee-house, roused me from my lethargy, I believe I should have seen myself reduced to my last farthing without the least emotion. Father Castel was a madman, but a good man upon the whole; he was sorry to see me thus impoverish myself to no purpose. "Since musicians and the learned," said he, "do not sing by your scale, change the string, and apply to the women. You will perhaps succeed better with them. I have spoken of you to Madam de Beuzenval; go to her from me; she is a good woman who will be glad to see the countryman of her son and husband. You will find at her house Madam de Broglie, her daughter, who is a woman of wit. Madam Dupin is another to whom I also have mentioned you; carry her your work; she is desirous of seeing you, and will receive you well. No thing is done in Paris without the women. They are the curves, of which the wise are the asymptotes; they incessantly approach each other, but never touch."

After having from day to day delayed these very disagreeable steps, I at length took courage, and called upon Madam de Beuzenval. She received me with kindness; and Madam de Broglio entering the chamber, she said to her: "Daughter, this is M. Rousseau, of whom Father Castel has spoken to us." Madam de Broglie complimented me upon my work, and going to her harpsichord proved to me she had already given it some attention. Perceiving it to be about one o'clock, I prepared to take my leave. Madam de Beuzenval said to me: "You are at a great distance from the quarter of the town in which you reside; stay and dine here." I did not want asking a second time. A quarter of an hour afterwards, I understood, by a word, that the dinner to which she had invited me was that of her servants' hall. Madam de Beuzenval was a very good kind of woman, but of a confined understanding, and too full of her illustrious Polish nobility: she had no idea of the respect due to talents. On this occasion, likewise, she judged me by my manner rather than by my dress, which, although very plain, was very neat, and by no means announced a man to dine with servants. I had too long forgotten the way to the place where they eat to be inclined to take it again. Without suffering my anger to appear, I told Madam de Beuzenval that I had an affair of a trifling nature which I had just recollected obliged me to return home, and I immediately prepared to depart. Madam de Broglie approached her mother, and whispered in her ear a few words which had their effect. Madam de Beuzenval rose to prevent me from going, and said, "I expect that you will do us the honor to dine with us." In this case I thought to show pride would be a mark of folly, and I determined to stay. The goodness of Madam de Broglie had besides made an impression upon me, and rendered her interesting in my eyes. I was very glad to dine with her, and hoped, that when she knew me better, she would not regret having procured me that honor. The President de Lamoignon, very intimate in the family, dined there also. He, as well as Madam de Broglie, was a master of all the modish and fashionable small talk jargon of Paris. Poor Jean Jacques was unable to make a figure in this way. I had sense enough not to pretend to it, and was silent. Happy would it have been for me, had I always possessed the same wisdom; I should not be in the abyss into which I am now fallen. I was vexed at my own stupidity, and at being unable to justify to Madam de Broglie what she had done in my favor.

After dinner I thought of my ordinary resource. I had in my pocket an epistle in verse, written to Parisot during my residence at Lyons. This fragment was not without some fire, which I increased by my manner of reading, and made them all three shed tears. Whether it was vanity, or really the truth, I thought the eyes of Madam de Broglie seemed to say to her mother: "Well, mamma, was I wrong in telling you this man was fitter to dine with us than with your women?" Until then my heart had been rather burdened, but after this revenge I felt myself satisfied. Madam de Broglie, carrying her favorable opinion of me rather too far, thought I should immediately acquire fame in Paris, and become a favorite with fine ladies. To guide my inexperience she gave me the confessions of the Count de ——. "This book," said she, "is a Mentor, of which you will stand in need in the great world. You will do well by sometimes consulting it." I kept the book upwards of twenty years with a sentiment of gratitude to her from whose hand I had received it, although I frequently laughed at the opinion the lady seemed to have of my merit in gallantry. From the moment I had read the work, I was desirous of acquiring the friendship of the author. My inclination led me right; he is the only real friend I ever possessed amongst men of letters.

[I have so long been of the same opinion, and so perfectly convinced of its being well founded, that since my return to Paris I confided to him the manuscript of my confessions. The suspicious J. J. never suspected perfidy and falsehood until he had been their victim.]

From this time I thought I might depend on the services of Madam the Baroness of Beuzenval, and the Marchioness of Broglie, and that they would not long leave me without resource. In this I was not deceived. But I must now speak of my first visit to Madam Dupin, which produced more lasting consequences.

Madam Dupin was, as every one in Paris knows, the daughter of Samuel Bernard and Madam Fontaine. There were three sisters, who might be called the three graces. Madam de la Touche who played a little prank, and went to England with the Duke of Kingston. Madam Darby, the eldest of the three; the friend, the only sincere friend of the Prince of Conti; an adorable woman, as well by her sweetness and the goodness of her charming character, as by her agreeable wit and incessant cheerfulness. Lastly, Madam Dupin, more beautiful than either of her sisters, and the only one who has not been reproached with some levity of conduct.

She was the reward of the hospitality of M. Dupin, to whom her mother gave her in marriage with the place of farmer general and an immense fortune, in return for the good reception he had given her in his province. When I saw her for the first time, she was still one of the finest women in Paris. She received me at her toilette, her arms were uncovered, her hair dishevelled, and her combing-cloth ill-arranged. This scene was new to me; it was too powerful for my poor head, I became confused, my senses wandered; in short, I was violently smitten by Madam Dupin.





 




 

My confusion was not prejudicial to me; she did not perceive it. She kindly received the book and the author; spoke with information of my plan, sung, accompanied herself on the harpsichord, kept me to dinner, and placed me at table by her side. Less than this would have turned my brain; I became mad. She permitted me to visit her, and I abused the permission. I went to see her almost every day, and dined with her twice or thrice a week. I burned with inclination to speak, but never dared attempt it. Several circumstances increased my natural timidity. Permission to visit in an opulent family was a door open to fortune, and in my situation I was unwilling to run the risk of shutting it against myself.

Madam Dupin, amiable as she was, was serious and unanimated; I found nothing in her manners sufficiently alluring to embolden me. Her house, at that time, as brilliant as any other in Paris, was frequented by societies the less numerous, as the persons by whom they were composed were chosen on account of some distinguished merit. She was fond of seeing every one who had claims to a marked superiority; the great men of letters, and fine women. No person was seen in her circle but dukes, ambassadors, and blue ribbons. The Princess of Rohan, the Countess of Forcalquier, Madam de Mirepoix, Madam de Brignole, and Lady Hervey, passed for her intimate friends. The Abbes de Fontenelle, de Saint Pierre, and Saltier, M. de Fourmont, M. de Berms, M. de Buffon, and M. de Voltaire, were of her circle and her dinners. If her reserved manner did not attract many young people, her society inspired the greater awe, as it was composed of graver persons, and the poor Jean-Jacques had no reason to flatter himself he should be able to take a distinguished part in the midst of such superior talents. I therefore had not courage to speak; but no longer able to contain myself, I took a resolution to write. For the first two days she said not a word to me upon the subject. On the third day, she returned me my letter, accompanying it with a few exhortations which froze my blood. I attempted to speak, but my words expired upon my lips; my sudden passion was extinguished with my hopes, and after a declaration in form I continued to live with her upon the same terms as before, without so much as speaking to her even by the language of the eyes.

I thought my folly was forgotten, but I was deceived. M. de Francueil, son to M. Dupin, and son-in-law to Madam Dupin, was much the same with herself and me. He had wit, a good person, and might have pretensions. This was said to be the case, and probably proceeded from his mother-in-law's having given him an ugly wife of a mild disposition, with whom, as well as with her husband, she lived upon the best of terms. M. de Francueil was fond of talents in others, and cultivated those he possessed. Music, which he understood very well, was a means of producing a connection between us. I frequently saw him, and he soon gained my friendship. He, however, suddenly gave me to understand that Madam Dupin thought my visits too frequent, and begged me to discontinue them. Such a compliment would have been proper when she returned my letter; but eight or ten days afterwards, and without any new cause, it appeared to me ill-timed. This rendered my situation the more singular, as M. and Madam de Francueil still continued to give me the same good reception as before.

I however made the intervals between my visits longer, and I should entirely have ceased calling on them, had not Madam Dupin, by another unexpected caprice, sent to desire I would for a few days take care of her son, who changing his preceptor, remained alone during that interval. I passed eight days in such torments as nothing but the pleasure of obeying Madam Dupin could render supportable: I would not have undertaken to pass eight other days like them had Madam Dupin given me herself for the recompense.

M. de Francueil conceived a friendship for me, and I studied with him. We began together a course of chemistry at Rouelles. That I might be nearer at hand, I left my hotel at Quentin, and went to lodge at the Tennis Court, Rue Verdelet, which leads into the Rue Platiere, where M. Dupin lived. There, in consequence of a cold neglected, I contracted an inflammation of the lungs that had liked to have carried me off. In my younger days I frequently suffered from inflammatory disorders, pleurisies, and especially quinsies, to which I was very subject, and which frequently brought me near enough to death to familiarize me to its image.

During my convalescence I had leisure to reflect upon my situation, and to lament my timidity, weakness and indolence; these, notwithstanding the fire with which I found myself inflamed, left me to languish in an inactivity of mind, continually on the verge of misery. The evening preceding the day on which I was taken ill, I went to an opera by Royer; the name I have forgotten. Notwithstanding my prejudice in favor of the talents of others, which has ever made me distrustful of my own, I still thought the music feeble, and devoid of animation and invention. I sometimes had the vanity to flatter myself: I think I could do better than that. But the terrible idea I had formed of the composition of an opera, and the importance I heard men of the profession affix to such an undertaking, instantly discouraged me, and made me blush at having so much as thought of it. Besides, where was I to find a person to write the words, and one who would give himself the trouble of turning the poetry to my liking? These ideas of music and the opera had possession of my mind during my illness, and in the delirium of my fever I composed songs, duets, and choruses. I am certain I composed two or three little pieces, 'di prima infenzione', perhaps worthy of the admiration of masters, could they have heard them executed. Oh, could an account be taken of the dreams of a man in a fever, what great and sublime things would sometimes proceed from his delirium!

These subjects of music and opera still engaged my attention during my convalescence, but my ideas were less energetic. Long and frequent meditations, and which were often involuntary, and made such an impression upon my mind that I resolved to attempt both words and music. This was not the first time I had undertaken so difficult a task. Whilst I was at Chambery I had composed an opera entitled 'Iphis and Anaxarete', which I had the good sense to throw into the fire. At Lyons I had composed another, entitled 'La Decouverte du Nouveau Monde', which, after having read it to M. Bordes, the Abbes Malby, Trublet, and others, had met the same fate, notwithstanding I had set the prologue and the first act to music, and although David, after examining the composition, had told me there were passages in it worthy of Buononcini.

Before I began the work I took time to consider of my plan. In a heroic ballet I proposed three different subjects, in three acts, detached from each other, set to music of a different character, taking for each subject the amours of a poet. I entitled this opera Les Muses Galantes. My first act, in music strongly characterized, was Tasso; the second in tender harmony, Ovid; and the third, entitled Anacreon, was to partake of the gayety of the dithyrambus. I tried my skill on the first act, and applied to it with an ardor which, for the first time, made me feel the delightful sensation produced by the creative power of composition. One evening, as I entered the opera, feeling myself strongly incited and overpowered by my ideas, I put my money again into my pocket, returned to my apartment, locked the door, and, having close drawn all the curtains, that every ray of light might be excluded, I went to bed, abandoning myself entirely to this musical and poetical 'oestrum', and in seven or eight hours rapidly composed the greatest part of an act. I can truly say my love for the Princess of Ferrara (for I was Tasso for the moment) and my noble and lofty sentiment with respect to her unjust brother, procured me a night a hundred times more delicious than one passed in the arms of the princess would have been. In the morning but a very little of what I had done remained in my head, but this little, almost effaced by sleep and lassitude, still sufficiently evinced the energy of the pieces of which it was the scattered remains.

I this time did, not proceed far with my undertaking, being interrupted by other affairs. Whilst I attached myself to the family of Dupin, Madam de Beuzenval and Madam de Broglie, whom I continued to visit, had not forgotten me. The Count de Montaigu, captain in the guards, had just been appointed ambassador to Venice. He was an ambassador made by Barjac, to whom he assiduously paid his court. His brother, the Chevalier de Montaigu, 'gentilhomme de la manche' to the dauphin, was acquainted with these ladies, and with the Abbe Alary of the French academy, whom I sometimes visited. Madam de Broglie having heard the ambassador was seeking a secretary, proposed me to him. A conference was opened between us. I asked a salary of fifty guineas, a trifle for an employment which required me to make some appearance. The ambassador was unwilling to give more than a thousand livres, leaving me to make the journey at my own expense. The proposal was ridiculous. We could not agree, and M. de Francueil, who used all his efforts to prevent my departure, prevailed.

I stayed, and M. de Montaigu set out on his journey, taking with him another secretary, one M. Follau, who had been recommended to him by the office of foreign affairs. They no sooner arrived at Venice than they quarrelled. Bollau perceiving he had to do with a madman, left him there, and M. de Montaigu having nobody with him, except a young abbe of the name of Binis, who wrote under the secretary, and was unfit to succeed him, had recourse to me. The chevalier, his brother, a man of wit, by giving me to understand there were advantages annexed to the place of secretary, prevailed upon me to accept the thousand livres. I was paid twenty louis in advance for my journey, and immediately departed.

At Lyons I would most willingly have taken the road to Mount Cenis, to see my poor mamma. But I went down the Rhone, and embarked at Toulon, as well on account of the war, and from a motive of economy, as to obtain a passport from M. de Mirepoix, who then commanded in Provence, and to whom I was recommended. M. de Montaigu not being able to do without me, wrote letter after letter, desiring I would hasten my journey; this, however, an accident considerably prolonged.

It was at the time of the plague at Messina, and the English fleet had anchored there, and visited the Felucca, on board of which I was, and this circumstance subjected us, on our arrival, after a long and difficult voyage, to a quarantine of one—and—twenty days.

The passengers had the choice of performing it on board or in the Lazaretto, which we were told was not yet furnished. They all chose the Felucca. The insupportable heat, the closeness of the vessel, the impossibility of walking in it, and the vermin with which it swarmed, made me at all risks prefer the Lazaretto. I was therefore conducted to a large building of two stories, quite empty, in which I found neither window, bed, table, nor chair, not so much as even a joint-stool or bundle of straw. My night sack and my two trunks being brought me, I was shut in by great doors with huge locks, and remained at full liberty to walk at my ease from chamber to chamber and story to story, everywhere finding the same solitude and nakedness.

This, however, did not induce me to repent that I had preferred the Lazaretto to the Felucca; and, like another Robinson Crusoe, I began to arrange myself for my one-and twenty days, just as I should have done for my whole life. In the first place, I had the amusement of destroying the vermin I had caught in the Felucca. As soon as I had got clear of these, by means of changing my clothes and linen, I proceeded to furnish the chamber I had chosen. I made a good mattress with my waistcoats and shirts; my napkins I converted, by sewing them together, into sheets; my robe de chambre into a counterpane; and my cloak into a pillow. I made myself a seat with one of my trunks laid flat, and a table with the other. I took out some writing paper and an inkstand, and distributed, in the manner of a library, a dozen books which I had with me. In a word, I so well arranged my few movables, that except curtains and windows, I was almost as commodiously lodged in this Lazeretto, absolutely empty as it was, as I had been at the Tennis Court in the Rue Verdelet. My dinners were served with no small degree of pomp; they were escorted by two grenadiers with bayonets fixed; the staircase was my dining—room, the landing-place my table, and the steps served me for a seat; and as soon as my dinner was served up a little bell was rung to inform me I might sit down to table.

Between my repasts, when I did not either read or write or work at the furnishing of my apartment, I went to walk in the burying-ground of the Protestants, which served me as a courtyard. From this place I ascended to a lanthorn which looked into the harbor, and from which I could see the ships come in and go out. In this manner I passed fourteen days, and should have thus passed the whole time of the quarantine without the least weariness had not M. Joinville, envoy from France, to whom I found means to send a letter, vinegared, perfumed, and half burnt, procured eight days of the time to be taken off: these I went and spent at his house, where I confess I found myself better lodged than in the Lazaretto. He was extremely civil to me. Dupont, his secretary, was a good creature: he introduced me, as well at Genoa as in the country, to several families, the company of which I found very entertaining and agreeable; and I formed with him an acquaintance and a correspondence which we kept up for a considerable length of time. I continued my journey, very agreeably, through Lombardy. I saw Milan, Verona, Brescie, and Padua, and at length arrived at Venice, where I was impatiently expected by the ambassador.

I found there piles of despatches, from the court and from other ambassadors, the ciphered part of which he had not been able to read, although he had all the ciphers necessary for that purpose, never having been employed in any office, nor even seen the cipher of a minister. I was at first apprehensive of meeting with some embarrassment; but I found nothing could be more easy, and in less than a week I had deciphered the whole, which certainly was not worth the trouble; for not to mention the little activity required in the embassy of Venice, it was not to such a man as M. de Montaigu that government would confide a negotiation of even the most trifling importance. Until my arrival he had been much embarrassed, neither knowing how to dictate nor to write legibly. I was very useful to him, of which he was sensible; and he treated me well. To this he was also induced by another motive. Since the time of M. de Froulay, his predecessor, whose head became deranged, the consul from France, M. le Blond, had been charged with the affairs of the embassy, and after the arrival of M. de Montaigu, continued to manage them until he had put him into the track. M. de Montaigu, hurt at this discharge of his duty by another, although he himself was incapable of it, became disgusted with the consul, and as soon as I arrived deprived him of the functions of secretary to the embassy to give them to me. They were inseparable from the title, and he told me to take it. As long as I remained with him he never sent any person except myself under this title to the senate, or to conference, and upon the whole it was natural enough he should prefer having for secretary to the embassy a man attached to him, to a consul or a clerk of office named by the court.

This rendered my situation very agreeable, and prevented his gentlemen, who were Italians, as well as his pages, and most of his suite from disputing precedence with me in his house. I made an advantageous use of the authority annexed to the title he had conferred upon me, by maintaining his right of protection, that is, the freedom of his neighborhood, against the attempts several times made to infringe it; a privilege which his Venetian officers took no care to defend. But I never permitted banditti to take refuge there, although this would have produced me advantages of which his excellency would not have disdained to partake. He thought proper, however, to claim a part of those of the secretaryship, which is called the chancery. It was in time of war, and there were many passports issued. For each of these passports a sequin was paid to the secretary who made it out and countersigned it. All my predecessors had been paid this sequin by Frenchmen and others without distinction. I thought this unjust, and although I was not a Frenchman, I abolished it in favor of the French; but I so rigorously demanded my right from persons of every other nation, that the Marquis de Scotti, brother to the favorite of the Queen of Spain, having asked for a passport without taking notice of the sequin: I sent to demand it; a boldness which the vindictive Italian did not forget. As soon as the new regulation I had made, relative to passports, was known, none but pretended Frenchmen, who in a gibberish the most mispronounced, called themselves Provencals, Picards, or Burgundians, came to demand them. My ear being very fine, I was not thus made a dupe, and I am almost persuaded that not a single Italian ever cheated me of my sequin, and that not one Frenchman ever paid it. I was foolish enough to tell M. de Montaigu, who was ignorant of everything that passed, what I had done. The word sequin made him open his ears, and without giving me his opinion of the abolition of that tax upon the French, he pretended I ought to account with him for the others, promising me at the same time equivalent advantages. More filled with indignation at this meanness, than concern for my own interest, I rejected his proposal. He insisted, and I grew warm. "No, sir," said I, with some heat, "your excellency may keep what belongs to you, but do not take from me that which is mine; I will not suffer you to touch a penny of the perquisites arising from passports." Perceiving he could gain nothing by these means he had recourse to others, and blushed not to tell me that since I had appropriated to myself the profits of the chancery, it was but just I should pay the expenses. I was unwilling to dispute upon this subject, and from that time I furnished at my own expense, ink, paper, wax, wax-candle, tape, and even a new seal, for which he never reimbursed me to the amount of a farthing. This, however, did not prevent my giving a small part of the produce of the passports to the Abbe de Binis, a good creature, and who was far from pretending to have the least right to any such thing. If he was obliging to me my politeness to him was an equivalent, and we always lived together on the best of terms.

On the first trial I made of his talents in my official functions, I found him less troublesome than I expected he would have been, considering he was a man without experience, in the service of an ambassador who possessed no more than himself, and whose ignorance and obstinacy constantly counteracted everything with which common-sense and some information inspired me for his service and that of the king. The next thing the ambassador did was to connect himself with the Marquis Mari, ambassador from Spain, an ingenious and artful man, who, had he wished so to do, might have led him by the nose, yet on account of the union of the interests of the two crowns he generally gave him good advice, which might have been of essential service, had not the other, by joining his own opinion, counteracted it in the execution. The only business they had to conduct in concert with each other was to engage the Venetians to maintain their neutrality. These did not neglect to give the strongest assurances of their fidelity to their engagement at the same time that they publicly furnished ammunition to the Austrian troops, and even recruits under pretense of desertion. M. de Montaigu, who I believe wished to render himself agreeable to the republic, failed not on his part, notwithstanding my representation to make me assure the government in all my despatches, that the Venetians would never violate an article of the neutrality. The obstinacy and stupidity of this poor wretch made me write and act extravagantly: I was obliged to be the agent of his folly, because he would have it so, but he sometimes rendered my employment insupportable and the functions of it almost impracticable. For example, he insisted on the greatest part of his despatches to the king, and of those to the minister, being written in cipher, although neither of them contained anything that required that precaution. I represented to him that between the Friday, the day the despatches from the court arrived, and Saturday, on which ours were sent off, there was not sufficient time to write so much in cipher, and carry on the considerable correspondence with which I was charged for the same courier. He found an admirable expedient, which was to prepare on Thursday the answer to the despatches we were expected to receive on the next day. This appeared to him so happily imagined, that notwithstanding all I could say on the impossibility of the thing, and the absurdity of attempting its execution, I was obliged to comply during the whole time I afterwards remained with him, after having made notes of the few loose words he spoke to me in the course of the week, and of some trivial circumstances which I collected by hurrying from place to place. Provided with these materials I never once failed carrying to him on the Thursday morning a rough draft of the despatches which were to be sent off on Saturday, excepting the few additions and corrections I hastily made in answer to the letters which arrived on the Friday, and to which ours served for answer. He had another custom, diverting enough and which made his correspondence ridiculous beyond imagination. He sent back all information to its respective source, instead of making it follow its course. To M. Amelot he transmitted the news of the court; to M. Maurepas, that of Paris; to M. d' Havrincourt, the news from Sweden; to M. de Chetardie, that from Petersbourg; and sometimes to each of those the news they had respectively sent to him, and which I was employed to dress up in terms different from those in which it was conveyed to us. As he read nothing of what I laid before him, except the despatches for the court, and signed those to other ambassadors without reading them, this left me more at liberty to give what turn I thought proper to the latter, and in these therefore I made the articles of information cross each other. But it was impossible for-me to do the same by despatches of importance; and I thought myself happy when M. de Montaigu did not take it into his head to cram into them an impromptu of a few lines after his manner. This obliged me to return, and hastily transcribe the whole despatch decorated with his new nonsense, and honor it with the cipher, without which he would have refused his signature. I was frequently almost tempted, for the sake of his reputation, to cipher something different from what he had written, but feeling that nothing could authorize such a deception, I left him to answer for his own folly, satisfying myself with having spoken to him with freedom, and discharged at my own peril the duties of my station. This is what I always did with an uprightness, a zeal and courage, which merited on his part a very different recompense from that which in the end I received from him. It was time I should once be what Heaven, which had endowed me with a happy disposition, what the education that had been given me by the best of women, and that I had given myself, had prepared me for, and I became so. Left to my own reflections, without a friend or advice, without experience, and in a foreign country, in the service of a foreign nation, surrounded by a crowd of knaves, who, for their own interest, and to avoid the scandal of good example, endeavored to prevail upon me to imitate them; far from yielding to their solicitations, I served France well, to which I owed nothing, and the ambassador still better, as it was right and just I should do to the utmost of my power. Irreproachable in a post, sufficiently exposed to censure, I merited and obtained the esteem of the republic, that of all the ambassadors with whom we were in correspondence, and the affection of the French who resided at Venice, not even excepting the consul, whom with regret I supplanted in the functions which I knew belonged to him, and which occasioned me more embarrassment than they afforded me satisfaction.

M. de Montaigu, confiding without reserve to the Marquis Mari, who did not thoroughly understand his duty, neglected it to such a degree that without me the French who were at Venice would not have perceived that an ambassador from their nation resided there. Always put off without being heard when they stood in need of his protection, they became disgusted and no longer appeared in his company or at his table, to which indeed he never invited them. I frequently did from myself what it was his duty to have done; I rendered to the French, who applied to me, all the services in my power. In any other country I should have done more, but, on account of my employment, not being able to see persons in place, I was often obliged to apply to the consul, and the consul, who was settled in the country with his family, had many persons to oblige, which prevented him from acting as he otherwise would have done. However, perceiving him unwilling and afraid to speak, I ventured hazardous measures, which sometimes succeeded. I recollect one which still makes me laugh. No person would suspect it was to me, the lovers of the theatre at Paris, owe Coralline and her sister Camille, nothing however, can be more true. Veronese, their father, had engaged himself with his children in the Italian company, and after having received two thousand livres for the expenses of his journey, instead of setting out for France, quietly continued at Venice, and accepted an engagement in the theatre of Saint Luke, to which Coralline, a child as she still was, drew great numbers of people. The Duke de Greves, as first gentleman of the chamber, wrote to the ambassador to claim the father and the daughter. M. de Montaigu when he gave me the letter, confined his instructions to saying, 'voyez cela', examine and pay attention to this. I went to M. Blond to beg he would speak to the patrician, to whom the theatre belonged, and who, I believe, was named Zustinian, that he might discharge Veronese, who had engaged in the name of the king. Le Blond, to whom the commission was not very agreeable, executed it badly.

Zustinian answered vaguely, and Veronese was not discharged. I was piqued at this. It was during the carnival, and having taken the bahute and a mask, I set out for the palace Zustinian. Those who saw my gondola arrive with the livery of the ambassador, were lost in astonishment. Venice had never seen such a thing. I entered, and caused myself to be announced by the name of 'Una Siora Masehera'. As soon as I was introduced I took off my mask and told my name. The senator turned pale and appeared stupefied with surprise. "Sir;" said I to him in Venetian, "it is with much regret I importune your excellency with this visit; but you have in your theatre of Saint Luke, a man of the name of Veronese, who is engaged in the service of the king, and whom you have been requested, but in vain, to give up: I come to claim him in the name of his majesty." My short harangue was effectual. I had no sooner left the palace than Zustinian ran to communicate the adventure to the state inquisitors, by whom he was severely reprehended. Veronese was discharged the same day. I sent him word that if he did not set off within a week I would have him arrested. He did not wait for my giving him this intimation a second time.

On another occasion I relieved from difficulty solely by my own means, and almost without the assistance of any other person, the captain of a merchant-ship. This was one Captain Olivet, from Marseilles; the name of the vessel I have forgotten. His men had quarreled with the Sclavonians in the service of the republic, some violence had been committed, and the vessel was under so severe an embargo that nobody except the master was suffered to go on board or leave it without permission. He applied to the ambassador, who would hear nothing he had to say. He afterwards went to the consul, who told him it was not an affair of commerce, and that he could not interfere in it. Not knowing what further steps to take he applied to me. I told M. de Montaigu he ought to permit me to lay before the senate a memoir on the subject. I do not recollect whether or not he consented, or that I presented the memoir; but I perfectly remember that if I did it was ineffectual, and the embargo still continuing, I took another method, which succeeded. I inserted a relation of the affairs in one of our letters to M. de Maurepas, though I had difficulty in prevailing upon M. de Montaigne to suffer the article to pass.

I knew that our despatches, although their contents were insignificant, were opened at Venice. Of this I had a proof by finding the articles they contained, verbatim in the gazette, a treachery of which I had in vain attempted to prevail upon the ambassador to complain. My object in speaking of the affair in the letter was to turn the curiosity of the ministers of the republic to advantage, to inspire them with some apprehensions, and to induce the state to release the vessel: for had it been necessary to this effect to wait for an answer from the court, the captain would have been ruined before it could have arrived. I did still more, I went alongside the vessel to make inquiries of the ship's company. I took with me the Abbe Patizel, chancellor of the consulship, who would rather have been excused, so much were these poor creatures afraid of displeasing the Senate. As I could not go on board, on account of the order from the states, I remained in my gondola, and there took the depositions successively, interrogating each of the mariners, and directing my questions in such a manner as to produce answers which might be to their advantage. I wished to prevail upon Patizel to put the questions and take depositions himself, which in fact was more his business than mine; but to this he would not consent; he never once opened his mouth and refused to sign the depositions after me. This step, somewhat bold, was however, successful, and the vessel was released long before an answer came from the minister. The captain wished to make me a present; but without being angry with him on that account, I tapped him on the shoulder, saying, "Captain Olivet, can you imagine that he who does not receive from the French his perquisite for passports, which he found his established right, is a man likely to sell them the king's protection?" He, however, insisted on giving me a dinner on board his vessel, which I accepted, and took with me the secretary to the Spanish embassy, M. Carrio, a man of wit and amiable manners, to partake of it: he has since been secretary to the Spanish embassy at Paris and charge des affaires. I had formed an intimate connection with him after the example of our ambassadors.

Happy should I have been, if, when in the most disinterested manner I did all the service I could, I had known how to introduce sufficient order into all these little details, that I might not have served others at my own expense. But in employments similar to that I held, in which the most trifling faults are of consequence, my whole attention was engaged in avoiding all such mistakes as might be detrimental to my service. I conducted, till the last moment, everything relative to my immediate duty, with the greatest order and exactness. Excepting a few errors which a forced precipitation made me commit in ciphering, and of which the clerks of M. Amelot once complained, neither the ambassador nor any other person had ever the least reason to reproach me with negligence in any one of my functions. This is remarkable in a man so negligent as I am. But my memory sometimes failed me, and I was not sufficiently careful in the private affairs with which I was charged; however, a love of justice always made me take the loss on myself, and this voluntarily, before anybody thought of complaining. I will mention but one circumstance of this nature; it relates to my departure from Venice, and I afterwards felt the effects of it in Paris.

Our cook, whose name was Rousselot, had brought from France an old note for two hundred livres, which a hairdresser, a friend of his, had received from a noble Venetian of the name of Zanetto Nani, who had had wigs of him to that amount. Rousselot brought me the note, begging I would endeavor to obtain payment of some part of it, by way of accommodation. I knew, and he knew it also, that the constant custom of noble Venetians was, when once returned to their country, never to pay the debts they had contracted abroad. When means are taken to force them to payment, the wretched creditor finds so many delays, and incurs such enormous expenses, that he becomes disgusted and concludes by giving up his debtor accepting the most trifling composition. I begged M. le Blond to speak to Zanetto. The Venetian acknowledged the note, but did not agree to payment. After a long dispute he at length promised three sequins; but when Le Blond carried him the note even these were not ready, and it was necessary to wait. In this interval happened my quarrel with the ambassador and I quitted his service. I had left the papers of the embassy in the greatest order, but the note of Rousselot was not to be found. M. le Blond assured me he had given it me back. I knew him to be too honest a man to have the least doubt of the matter; but it was impossible for me to recollect what I had done with it. As Zanetto had acknowledged the debt, I desired M. le Blond to endeavor to obtain from him the three sequins on giving him a receipt for the amount, or to prevail upon him to renew the note by way of duplicate. Zanetto, knowing the note to be lost, would not agree to either. I offered Rousselot the three sequins from my own purse, as a discharge of the debt. He refused them, and said I might settle the matter with the creditor at Paris, of whom he gave me the address. The hair-dresser, having been informed of what had passed, would either have his note or the whole sum for which it was given. What, in my indignation, would I have given to have found this vexatious paper! I paid the two hundred livres, and that in my greatest distress. In this manner the loss of the note produced to the creditor the payment of the whole sum, whereas had it, unfortunately for him, been found, he would have had some difficulty in recovering even the ten crowns, which his excellency, Zanetto Nani, had promised to pay.

The talents I thought I felt in myself for my employment made me discharge the functions of it with satisfaction, and except the society of my friend de Carrio, that of the virtuous Altuna, of whom I shall soon have an occasion to speak, the innocent recreations of the place Saint Mark, of the theatre, and of a few visits which we, for the most part, made together, my only pleasure was in the duties of my station. Although these were not considerable, especially with the aid of the Abbe de Binis, yet as the correspondence was very extensive and there was a war, I was a good deal employed. I applied to business the greatest part of every morning, and on the days previous to the departure of the courier, in the evenings, and sometimes till midnight. The rest of my time I gave to the study of the political professions I had entered upon, and in which I hoped, from my successful beginning, to be advantageously employed. In fact I was in favor with every one; the ambassador himself spoke highly of my services, and never complained of anything I did for him; his dissatisfaction proceeded from my having insisted on quitting him, inconsequence of the useless complaints I had frequently made on several occasions. The ambassadors and ministers of the king with whom we were in correspondence complimented him on the merit of his secretary, in a manner by which he ought to have been flattered, but which in his poor head produced quite a contrary effect. He received one in particular relative to an affair of importance, for which he never pardoned me.

He was so incapable of bearing the least constraint, that on the Saturday, the day of the despatches for most of the courts he could not contain himself, and wait till the business was done before he went out, and incessantly pressing me to hasten the despatches to the king and ministers, he signed them with precipitation, and immediately went I know not where, leaving most of the other letters without signing; this obliged me, when these contained nothing but news, to convert them into journals; but when affairs which related to the king were in question it was necessary somebody should sign, and I did it. This once happened relative to some important advice we had just received from M. Vincent, charge des affaires from the king, at Vienna. The Prince Lobkowitz was then marching to Naples, and Count Gages had just made the most memorable retreat, the finest military manoeuvre of the whole century, of which Europe has not sufficiently spoken. The despatch informed us that a man, whose person M. Vincent described, had set out from Vienna, and was to pass by Venice, in his way into Abruzzo, where he was secretly to stir up the people at the approach of the Austrians.

In the absence of M. le Comte de Montaigu, who did not give himself the least concern about anything, I forwarded this advice to the Marquis de l'Hopital, so apropos, that it is perhaps to the poor Jean Jacques, so abused and laughed at, that the house of Bourbon owes the preservation of the kingdom of Naples.

The Marquis de l'Hopital, when he thanked his colleague, as it was proper he should do, spoke to him of his secretary, and mentioned the service he had just rendered to the common cause. The Comte de Montaigu, who in that affair had to reproach himself with negligence, thought he perceived in the compliment paid him by M. de l'Hopital, something like a reproach, and spoke of it to me with signs of ill-humor. I found it necessary to act in the same manner with the Count de Castellane, ambassador at Constantinople, as I had done with the Marquis de l'Hopital, although in things of less importance. As there was no other conveyance to Constantinople than by couriers, sent from time to time by the senate to its Bailli, advice of their departure was given to the ambassador of France, that he might write by them to his colleague, if he thought proper so to do. This advice was commonly sent a day or two beforehand; but M. de Montaigu was held in so little respect, that merely for the sake of form he was sent to, a couple of hours before the couriers set off. This frequently obliged me to write the despatch in his absence. M. de Castellane, in his answer made honorable mention of me; M. de Jonville, at Genoa, did the same, and these instances of their regard and esteem became new grievances.

I acknowledge I did not neglect any opportunity of making myself known; but I never sought one improperly, and in serving well I thought I had a right to aspire to the natural return for essential services; the esteem of those capable of judging of, and rewarding them. I will not say whether or not my exactness in discharging the duties of my employment was a just subject of complaint from the ambassador; but I cannot refrain from declaring that it was the sole grievance he ever mentioned previous to our separation.

His house, which he had never put on a good footing, was constantly filled with rabble; the French were ill-treated in it, and the ascendancy was given to the Italians; of these even, the more honest part, they who had long been in the service of the embassy, were indecently discharged, his first gentleman in particular, whom he had taken from the Comte de Froulay, and who, if I remember right, was called Comte de Peati, or something very like that name. The second gentleman, chosen by M. de Montaigu, was an outlaw highwayman from Mantua, called Dominic Vitali, to whom the ambassador intrusted the care of his house, and who had by means of flattery and sordid economy, obtained his confidence, and became his favorite to the great prejudice of the few honest people he still had about him, and of the secretary who was at their head. The countenance of an upright man always gives inquietude to knaves. Nothing more was necessary to make Vitali conceive a hatred against me: but for this sentiment there was still another cause which rendered it more cruel. Of this I must give an account, that I may be condemned if I am found in the wrong.

The ambassador had, according to custom, a box at each of the theaters. Every day at dinner he named the theater to which it was his intention to go: I chose after him, and the gentlemen disposed of the other boxes. When I went out I took the key of the box I had chosen. One day, Vitali not being in the way, I ordered the footman who attended on me, to bring me the key to a house which I named to him. Vitali, instead of sending the key, said he had disposed of it. I was the more enraged at this as the footman delivered his message in public. In the evening Vitali wished to make me some apology, to which however I would not listen. "To—morrow, sir," said I to him, "you will come at such an hour and apologize to me in the house where I received the affront, and in the presence of the persons who were witnesses to it; or after to—morrow, whatever may be the consequences, either you or I will leave the house." This firmness intimidated him. He came to the house at the hour appointed, and made me a public apology, with a meanness worthy of himself. But he afterwards took his measures at leisure, and at the same time that he cringed to me in public, he secretly acted in so vile a manner, that although unable to prevail on the ambassador to give me my dismission, he laid me under the necessity of resolving to leave him.

A wretch like him, certainly, could not know me, but he knew enough of my character to make it serviceable to his purposes. He knew I was mild to an excess, and patient in bearing involuntary wrongs; but haughty and impatient when insulted with premeditated offences; loving decency and dignity in things in which these were requisite, and not more exact in requiring the respect due to myself, than attentive in rendering that which I owed to others. In this he undertook to disgust me, and in this he succeeded. He turned the house upside down, and destroyed the order and subordination I had endeavored to establish in it. A house without a woman stands in need of rather a severe discipline to preserve that modesty which is inseparable from dignity. He soon converted ours into a place of filthy debauch and scandalous licentiousness, the haunt of knaves and debauchees. He procured for second gentleman to his excellency, in the place of him whom he got discharged, another pimp like himself, who kept a house of ill—fame, at the Cross of Malta; and the indecency of these two rascals was equalled by nothing but their insolence. Except the bed-chamber of the ambassador, which, however, was not in very good order, there was not a corner in the whole house supportable to an modest man.

As his excellency did not sup, the gentleman and myself had a private table, at which the Abbe Binis and the pages also eat. In the most paltry ale-house people are served with more cleanliness and decency, have cleaner linen, and a table better supplied. We had but one little and very filthy candle, pewter plates, and iron forks.

I could have overlooked what passed in secret, but I was deprived of my gondola. I was the only secretary to an ambassador, who was obliged to hire one or go on foot, and the livery of his excellency no longer accompanied me, except when I went to the senate. Besides, everything which passed in the house was known in the city. All those who were in the service of the other ambassadors loudly exclaimed; Dominic, the only cause of all, exclaimed louder than anybody, well knowing the indecency with which we were treated was more affecting to me than to any other person. Though I was the only one in the house who said nothing of the matter abroad, I complained loudly of it to the ambassador, as well as of himself, who, secretly excited by the wretch, entirely devoted to his will, daily made me suffer some new affront. Obliged to spend a good deal to keep up a footing with those in the same situation with myself, and to make are appearance proper to my employment, I could not touch a farthing of my salary, and when I asked him for money, he spoke of his esteem for me, and his confidence, as if either of these could have filled my purse, and provided for everything.

These two banditti at length quite turned the head of their master, who naturally had not a good one, and ruined him by a continual traffic, and by bargains, of which he was the dupe, whilst they persuaded him they were greatly in his favor. They persuaded him to take upon the Brenta, a Palazzo, at twice the rent it was worth, and divided the surplus with the proprietor. The apartments were inlaid with mosaic, and ornamented with columns and pilasters, in the taste of the country. M. de Montaigu, had all these superbly masked by fir wainscoting, for no other reason than because at Paris apartments were thus fitted up. It was for a similar reason that he only, of all the ambassadors who were at Venice, took from his pages their swords, and from his footmen their canes. Such was the man, who, perhaps from the same motive took a dislike to me on account of my serving him faithfully.

I patiently endured his disdain, his brutality, and ill-treatment, as long as, perceiving them accompanied by ill-humor, I thought they had in them no portion of hatred; but the moment I saw the design formed of depriving me of the honor I merited by my faithful services, I resolved to resign my employment. The first mark I received of his ill will was relative to a dinner he was to give to the Duke of Modena and his family, who were at Venice, and at which he signified to me I should not be present. I answered, piqued, but not angry, that having the honor daily to dine at his table, if the Duke of Modena, when he came, required I should not appear at it, my duty as well as the dignity of his excellency would not suffer me to consent to such a request. "How;" said he passionately, "my secretary, who is not a gentleman, pretends to dine with a sovereign when my gentlemen do not!" "Yes, sir," replied I, "the post with which your excellency has honored me, as long as I discharge the functions of it, so far ennobles me that my rank is superior to that of your gentlemen or of the persons calling themselves such; and I am admitted where they cannot appear. You cannot but know that on the day on which you shall make your public entry, I am called to the ceremony by etiquette; and by an immemorial custom, to follow you in a dress of ceremony, and afterwards to dine with you at the palace of St. Mark; and I know not why a man who has a right and is to eat in public with the doge and the senate of Venice should not eat in private with the Duke of Modena." Though this argument was unanswerable, it did not convince the ambassador; but we had no occasion to renew the dispute, as the Duke of Modena did not come to dine with him.

From that moment he did everything in his power to make things disagreeable to me; and endeavored unjustly to deprive me of my rights, by taking from me the pecuniary advantages annexed to my employment, to give them to his dear Vitali; and I am convinced that had he dared to send him to the senate, in my place, he would have done it. He commonly employed the Abbe Binis in his closet, to write his private letters: he made use of him to write to M. de Maurepas an account of the affair of Captain Olivet, in which, far from taking the least notice of me, the only person who gave himself any concern about the matter, he deprived me of the honor of the depositions, of which he sent him a duplicate, for the purpose of attributing them to Patizel, who had not opened his mouth. He wished to mortify me, and please his favorite; but had no desire to dismiss me his service. He perceived it would be more difficult to find me a successor, than M. Follau, who had already made him known to the world. An Italian secretary was absolutely necessary to him, on account of the answers from the senate; one who could write all his despatches, and conduct his affairs, without his giving himself the least trouble about anything; a person who, to the merit of serving him well, could join the baseness of being the toad-eater of his gentlemen, without honor, merit, or principles. He wished to retain, and humble me, by keeping me far from my country, and his own, without money to return to either, and in which he would, perhaps, had succeeded, had he began with more moderation: but Vitali, who had other views, and wished to force me to extremities, carried his point. The moment I perceived, I lost all my trouble, that the ambassador imputed to me my services as so many crimes, instead of being satisfied with them; that with him I had nothing to expect, but things disagreeable at home, and injustice abroad; and that, in the general disesteem into which he was fallen, his ill offices might be prejudicial to me, without the possibility of my being served by his good ones; I took my resolution, and asked him for my dismission, leaving him sufficient time to provide himself with another secretary. Without answering yes or no, he continued to treat me in the same manner, as if nothing had been said. Perceiving things to remain in the same state, and that he took no measures to procure himself a new secretary, I wrote to his brother, and, explaining to him my motives, begged he would obtain my dismission from his excellency, adding that whether I received it or not, I could not possibly remain with him. I waited a long time without any answer, and began to be embarrassed: but at length the ambassador received a letter from his brother, which must have remonstrated with him in very plain terms; for although he was extremely subject to ferocious rage, I never saw him so violent as on this occasion. After torrents of unsufferable reproaches, not knowing what more to say, he accused me of having sold his ciphers. I burst into a loud laughter, and asked him, in a sneering manner, if he thought there was in Venice a man who would be fool enough to give half a crown for them all. He threatened to call his servants to throw me out of the window. Until then I had been very composed; but on this threat, anger and indignation seized me in my turn. I sprang to the door, and after having turned a button which fastened it within: "No, count," said I, returning to him with a grave step, "Your servants shall have nothing to do with this affair; please to let it be settled between ourselves." My action and manner instantly made him calm; fear and surprise were marked in his countenance. The moment I saw his fury abated, I bid him adieu in a very few words, and without waiting for his answer, went to the door, opened it, and passed slowly across the antechamber, through the midst of his people, who rose according to custom, and who, I am of opinion, would rather have lent their assistance against him than me. Without going back to my apartment, I descended the stairs, and immediately went out of the palace never more to enter it.

I hastened immediately to M. le Blond and related to him what had happened. Knowing the man, he was but little surprised. He kept me to dinner. This dinner, although without preparation, was splendid. All the French of consequence who were at Venice, partook of it. The ambassador had not a single person. The consul related my case to the company. The cry was general, and by no means in favor of his excellency. He had not settled my account, nor paid me a farthing, and being reduced to the few louis I had in my pocket, I was extremely embarrassed about my return to France. Every purse was opened to me. I took twenty sequins from that of M. le Blond, and as many from that of M. St. Cyr, with whom, next to M. le Blond, I was the most intimately connected. I returned thanks to the rest; and, till my departure, went to lodge at the house of the chancellor of the consulship, to prove to the public, the nation was not an accomplice in the injustice of the ambassador.

His excellency, furious at seeing me taken notice of in my misfortune, at the same time that, notwithstanding his being an ambassador, nobody went near his house, quite lost his senses and behaved like a madman. He forgot himself so far as to present a memoir to the senate to get me arrested. On being informed of this by the Abbe de Binis, I resolved to remain a fortnight longer, instead of setting off the next day as I had intended. My conduct had been known and approved of by everybody; I was universally esteemed. The senate did not deign to return an answer to the extravagant memoir of the ambassador, but sent me word I might remain in Venice as long as I thought proper, without making myself uneasy about the attempts of a madman. I continued to see my friends: I went to take leave of the ambassador from Spain, who received me well, and of the Comte de Finochietti, minister from Naples, whom I did not find at home. I wrote him a letter and received from his excellency the most polite and obliging answer. At length I took my departure, leaving behind me, notwithstanding my embarrassment, no other debts than the two sums I had borrowed, and of which I have just spoken; and an account of fifty crowns with a shopkeeper, of the name of Morandi, which Carrio promised to pay, and which I have never reimbursed him, although we have frequently met since that time; but with respect to the two sums of money, I returned them very exactly the moment I had it in my power.

I cannot take leave of Venice without saying something of the celebrated amusements of that city, or at least of the little part of them of which I partook during my residence there. It has been seen how little in my youth I ran after the pleasures of that age, or those that are so called. My inclinations did not change at Venice, but my occupations, which moreover would have prevented this, rendered more agreeable to me the simple recreations I permitted myself. The first and most pleasing of all was the society of men of merit. M. le Blond, de St. Cyr, Carrio Altuna, and a Forlinian gentleman, whose name I am very sorry to have forgotten, and whom I never call to my recollection without emotion: he was the man of all I ever knew whose heart most resembled my own. We were connected with two or three Englishmen of great wit and information, and, like ourselves, passionately fond of music. All these gentlemen had their wives, female friends, or mistresses: the latter were most of them women of talents, at whose apartments there were balls and concerts. There was but little play; a lively turn, talents, and the theatres rendered this amusement incipid. Play is the resource of none but men whose time hangs heavy on their hands. I had brought with me from Paris the prejudice of that city against Italian music; but I had also received from nature a sensibility and niceness of distinction which prejudice cannot withstand. I soon contracted that passion for Italian music with which it inspires all those who are capable of feeling its excellence. In listening to barcaroles, I found I had not yet known what singing was, and I soon became so fond of the opera that, tired of babbling, eating, and playing in the boxes when I wished to listen, I frequently withdrew from the company to another part of the theater. There, quite alone, shut up in my box, I abandoned myself, notwithstanding the length of the representation, to the pleasure of enjoying it at ease unto the conclusion. One evening at the theatre of Saint Chrysostom, I fell into a more profound sleep than I should have done in my bed. The loud and brilliant airs did not disturb my repose. But who can explain the delicious sensations given me by the soft harmony of the angelic music, by which I was charmed from sleep; what an awaking! what ravishment! what ecstasy, when at the same instant I opened my ears and eyes! My first idea was to believe I was in paradise. The ravishing air, which I still recollect and shall never forget, began with these words:

Conservami la bella, Che si m'accende il cor.

I was desirous of having it; I had and kept it for a time; but it was not the same thing upon paper as in my head. The notes were the same but the thing was different. This divine composition can never be executed but in my mind, in the same manner as it was the evening on which it woke me from sleep.

A kind of music far superior, in my opinion, to that of operas, and which in all Italy has not its equal, nor perhaps in the whole world, is that of the 'scuole'. The 'scuole' are houses of charity, established for the education of young girls without fortune, to whom the republic afterwards gives a portion either in marriage or for the cloister. Amongst talents cultivated in these young girls, music is in the first rank. Every Sunday at the church of each of the four 'scuole', during vespers, motettos or anthems with full choruses, accompanied by a great orchestra, and composed and directed by the best masters in Italy, are sung in the galleries by girls only; not one of whom is more than twenty years of age. I have not an idea of anything so voluptuous and affecting as this music; the richness of the art, the exquisite taste of the vocal part, the excellence of the voices, the justness of the execution, everything in these delightful concerts concurs to produce an impression which certainly is not the mode, but from which I am of opinion no heart is secure. Carrio and I never failed being present at these vespers of the 'Mendicanti', and we were not alone. The church was always full of the lovers of the art, and even the actors of the opera came there to form their tastes after these excellent models. What vexed me was the iron grate, which suffered nothing to escape but sounds, and concealed from me the angels of which they were worthy. I talked of nothing else. One day I spoke of it at Le Blond's; "If you are so desirous," said he, "to see those little girls, it will be an easy matter to satisfy your wishes. I am one of the administrators of the house, I will give you a collation with them." I did not let him rest until he had fulfilled his promise. In entering the saloon, which contained these beauties I so much sighed to see, I felt a trembling of love which I had never before experienced. M. le Blond presented to me one after the other, these celebrated female singers, of whom the names and voices were all with which I was acquainted. Come, Sophia,—she was horrid. Come, Cattina,—she had but one eye. Come, Bettina,—the small-pox had entirely disfigured her. Scarcely one of them was without some striking defect.

Le Blond laughed at my surprise; however, two or three of them appeared tolerable; these never sung but in the choruses; I was almost in despair. During the collation we endeavored to excite them, and they soon became enlivened; ugliness does not exclude the graces, and I found they possessed them. I said to myself, they cannot sing in this manner without intelligence and sensibility, they must have both; in fine, my manner of seeing them changed to such a degree that I left the house almost in love with each of these ugly faces. I had scarcely courage enough to return to vespers. But after having seen the girls, the danger was lessened. I still found their singing delightful; and their voices so much embellished their persons that, in spite of my eyes, I obstinately continued to think them beautiful.

Music in Italy is accompanied with so trifling an expense, that it is not worth while for such as have a taste for it to deny themselves the pleasure it affords. I hired a harpsichord, and, for half a crown, I had at my apartment four or five symphonists, with whom I practised once a week in executing such airs, etc., as had given me most pleasure at the opera. I also had some symphonies performed from my 'Muses Galantes'. Whether these pleased the performers, or the ballet-master of St. John Chrysostom wished to flatter me, he desired to have two of them; and I had afterwards the pleasure of hearing these executed by that admirable orchestra. They were danced to by a little Bettina, pretty and amiable, and kept by a Spaniard, M. Fagoaga, a friend of ours with whom we often went to spend the evening. But apropos of girls of easy virtue: it is not in Venice that a man abstains from them. Have you nothing to confess, somebody will ask me, upon this subject? Yes: I have something to say upon it, and I will proceed to the confession with the same ingenuousness with which I have made my former ones.

I always had a disinclination to girls of pleasure, but at Venice those were all I had within my reach; most of the houses being shut against me on account of my place. The daughters of M. le Blond were very amiable, but difficult of access; and I had too much respect for the father and mother ever once to have the least desire for them.

I should have had a much stronger inclination to a young lady named Mademoiselle de Cataneo, daughter to the agent from the King of Prussia, but Carrio was in love with her there was even between them some question of marriage. He was in easy circumstances, and I had no fortune: his salary was a hundred louis (guineas) a year, and mine amounted to no more than a thousand livres (about forty pounds sterling) and, besides my being unwilling to oppose a friend, I knew that in all places, and especially at Venice, with a purse so ill furnished as mine was, gallantry was out of the question. I had not lost the pernicious custom of deceiving my wants. Too busily employed forcibly to feel those proceeding from the climate, I lived upwards of a year in that city as chastely as I had done in Paris, and at the end of eighteen months I quitted it without having approached the sex, except twice by means of the singular opportunities of which I am going to speak.

The first was procured me by that honest gentleman, Vitali, some time after the formal apology I obliged him to make me. The conversation at the table turned on the amusements of Venice. These gentlemen reproached me with my indifference with regard to the most delightful of them all; at the same time extolling the gracefulness and elegant manners of the women of easy virtue of Venice; and adding that they were superior to all others of the same description in any other part of the world. "Dominic," said I, "(I)must make an acquaintance with the most amiable of them all," he offered to take me to her apartments, and assured me I should be pleased with her. I laughed at this obliging offer: and Count Piati, a man in years and venerable, observed to me, with more candor than I should have expected from an Italian, that he thought me too prudent to suffer myself to be taken to such a place by my enemy. In fact I had no inclination to do it: but notwithstanding this, by an incoherence I cannot myself comprehend, I at length was prevailed upon to go, contrary to my inclination, the sentiment of my heart, my reason, and even my will; solely from weakness, and being ashamed to show an appearance to the least mistrust; and besides, as the expression of the country is, 'per non parer troppo cogliono'—[Not to appear too great a blockhead.]—The 'Padoana' whom we went to visit was pretty, she was even handsome, but her beauty was not of that kind that pleased me. Dominic left me with her, I sent for Sorbetti, and asked her to sing. In about half an hour I wished to take my leave, after having put a ducat on the table, but this by a singular scruple she refused until she had deserved it, and I from as singular a folly consented to remove her doubts. I returned to the palace so fully persuaded that I should feel the consequences of this step, that the first thing I did was to send for the king's surgeon to ask him for ptisans. Nothing can equal the uneasiness of mind I suffered for three weeks, without its being justified by any real inconvenience or apparent sign. I could not believe it was possible to withdraw with impunity from the arms of the 'padoana'. The surgeon himself had the greatest difficulty in removing my apprehensions; nor could he do this by any other means than by persuading me I was formed in such a manner as not to be easily infected: and although in the experiment I exposed myself less than any other man would have done, my health in that respect never having suffered the least inconvenience, in my opinion a proof the surgeon was right. However, this has never made me imprudent, and if in fact I have received such an advantage from nature I can safely assert I have never abused it.

My second adventure, although likewise with a common girl, was of a nature very different, as well in its origin as in its effects; I have already said that Captain Olivet gave me a dinner on board his vessel, and that I took with me the secretary of the Spanish embassy. I expected a salute of cannon.

The ship's company was drawn up to receive us, but not so much as a priming was burnt, at which I was mortified, on account of Carrio, whom I perceived to be rather piqued at the neglect. A salute of cannon was given on board merchant-ships to people of less consequence than we were; I besides thought I deserved some distinguished mark of respect from the captain. I could not conceal my thoughts, because this at all times was impossible to me, and although the dinner was a very good one, and Olivet did the honors of it perfectly well, I began it in an ill humor, eating but little, and speaking still less. At the first health, at least, I expected a volley; nothing. Carrio, who read what passed within, me, laughed at hearing me grumble like a child. Before dinner was half over I saw a gondola approach the vessel. "Bless me, sir," said the captain, "take care of yourself, the enemy approaches." I asked him what he meant, and he answered jocosely. The gondola made the ship's side, and I observed a gay young damsel come on board very lightly, and coquettishly dressed, and who at three steps was in the cabin, seated by my side, before I had time to perceive a cover was laid for her. She was equally charming and lively, a brunette, not more than twenty years of age. She spoke nothing but Italian, and her accent alone was sufficient to turn my head. As she eat and chattered she cast her eyes upon me; steadfastly looked at me for a moment, and then exclaimed, "Good Virgin! Ah, my dear Bremond, what an age it is since I saw thee!" Then she threw herself into my arms, sealed her lips to mine, and pressed me almost to strangling. Her large black eyes, like those of the beauties of the East, darted fiery shafts into my heart, and although the surprise at first stupefied my senses, voluptuousness made a rapid progress within, and this to such a degree that the beautiful seducer herself was, notwithstanding the spectators, obliged to restrain my ardor, for I was intoxicated, or rather become furious. When she perceived she had made the impression she desired, she became more moderate in her caresses, but not in her vivacity, and when she thought proper to explain to us the real or false cause of all her petulance, she said I resembled M. de Bremond, director of the customs of Tuscany, to such a degree as to be mistaken for him; that she had turned this M. de Bremond's head, and would do it again; that she had quitted him because he was a fool; that she took me in his place; that she would love me because it pleased her so to do, for which reason I must love her as long as it was agreeable to her, and when she thought proper to send me about my business, I must be patient as her dear Bremond had been. What was said was done. She took possession of me as of a man that belonged to her, gave me her gloves to keep, her fan, her cinda, and her coif, and ordered me to go here or there, to do this or that, and I instantly obeyed her. She told me to go and send away her gondola, because she chose to make use of mine, and I immediately sent it away; she bid me to move from my place, and pray Carrio to sit down in it, because she had something to say to him; and I did as she desired. They chatted a good while together, but spoke low, and I did not interrupt them. She called me, and I approached her. "Hark thee, Zanetto," said she to me, "I will not be loved in the French manner; this indeed will not be well. In the first moment of lassitude, get thee gone: but stay not by the way, I caution thee." After dinner we went to see the glass manufactory at Murano. She bought a great number of little curiosities; for which she left me to pay without the least ceremony. But she everywhere gave away little trinkets to a much greater amount than of the things we had purchased. By the indifference with which she threw away her money, I perceived she annexed to it but little value. When she insisted upon a payment, I am of opinion it was more from a motive of vanity than avarice. She was flattered by the price her admirers set upon her favors.

In the evening we conducted her to her apartments. As we conversed together, I perceived a couple of pistols upon her toilette. "Ah! Ah!" said I, taking one of them up, "this is a patchbox of a new construction: may I ask what is its use? I know you have other arms which give more fire than those upon your table." After a few pleasantries of the same kind, she said to us, with an ingenuousness which rendered her still more charming, "When I am complaisant to persons whom I do not love, I make them pay for the weariness they cause me; nothing can be more just; but if I suffer their caresses, I will not bear their insults; nor miss the first who shall be wanting to me in respect."

At taking leave of her, I made another appointment for the next day. I did not make her wait. I found her in 'vestito di conidenza', in an undress more than wanton, unknown to northern countries, and which I will not amuse myself in describing, although I recollect it perfectly well. I shall only remark that her ruffles and collar were edged with silk network ornamented with rose—colored pompons. This, in my eyes, much enlivened a beautiful complexion. I afterwards found it to be the mode at Venice, and the effect is so charming that I am surprised it has never been introduced in France. I had no idea of the transports which awaited me. I have spoken of Madam de Larnage with the transport which the remembrance of her still sometimes gives me; but how old, ugly and cold she appeared, compared with my Zulietta! Do not attempt to form to yourself an idea of the charms and graces of this enchanting girl, you will be far too short of truth. Young virgins in cloisters are not so fresh: the beauties of the seraglio are less animated: the houris of paradise less engaging. Never was so sweet an enjoyment offered to the heart and senses of a mortal. Ah! had I at least been capable of fully tasting of it for a single moment! I had tasted of it, but without a charm. I enfeebled all its delights: I destroyed them as at will. No; Nature has not made me capable of enjoyment. She has infused into my wretched head the poison of that ineffable happiness, the desire of which she first placed in my heart.

If there be a circumstance in my life, which describes my nature, it is that which I am going to relate. The forcible manner in which I at this moment recollect the object of my book, will here make me hold in contempt the false delicacy which would prevent me from fulfilling it. Whoever you may be who are desirous of knowing a man, have the courage to read the two or three following pages, and you will become fully acquainted with J. J. Rousseau.

I entered the chamber of a woman of easy virtue, as the sanctuary of love and beauty: and in her person, I thought I saw the divinity. I should have been inclined to think that without respect and esteem it was impossible to feel anything like that which she made me experience. Scarcely had I, in her first familiarities, discovered the force of her charms and caresses, before I wished, for fear of losing the fruit of them, to gather it beforehand. Suddenly, instead of the flame which consumed me, I felt a mortal cold run through all my veins; my legs failed me; and ready to faint away, I sat down and wept like a child.

Who would guess the cause of my tears, and what, at this moment, passed within me? I said to myself: the object in my power is the masterpiece of love; her wit and person equally approach perfection; she is as good and generous as she is amiable and beautiful. Yet she is a miserable prostitute, abandoned to the public. The captain of a merchantship disposed of her at will; she has thrown herself into my arms, although she knows I have nothing; and my merit with which she cannot be acquainted, can be to her no inducement. In this there is something inconceivable. Either my heart deceives me, fascinates my senses, and makes me the dupe of an unworthy slut, or some secret defect, of which I am ignorant, destroys the effect of her charms, and renders her odious in the eyes of those by whom her charms would otherwise be disputed. I endeavored, by an extraordinary effort of mind, to discover this defect, but it did not so much as strike me that even the consequences to be apprehended, might possibly have some influence. The clearness of her skin, the brilliancy of her complexion, her white teeth, sweet breath, and the appearance of neatness about her person, so far removed from me this idea, that, still in doubt relative to my situation after the affair of the 'padoana', I rather apprehended I was not sufficiently in health for her: and I am firmly persuaded I was not deceived in my opinion. These reflections, so apropos, agitated me to such a degree as to make me shed tears. Zuliette, to whom the scene was quite novel, was struck speechless for a moment. But having made a turn in her chamber, and passing before her glass, she comprehended, and my eyes confirmed her opinion, that disgust had no part in what had happened. It was not difficult for her to recover me and dispel this shamefacedness.

But, at the moment in which I was ready to faint upon a bosom, which for the first time seemed to suffer the impression of the hand and lips of a man, I perceived she had a withered 'teton'. I struck my forehead: I examined, and thought I perceived this teton was not formed like the other. I immediately began to consider how it was possible to have such a defect, and persuaded of its proceeding from some great natural vice, I was clearly convinced, that, instead of the most charming person of whom I could form to myself an idea, I had in my arms a species of a monster, the refuse of nature, of men and of love. I carried my stupidity so far as to speak to her of the discovery I had made. She, at first, took what I said jocosely; and in her frolicsome humor, did and said things which made me die of love. But perceiving an inquietude I could not conceal, she at length reddened, adjusted her dress, raised herself up, and without saying a word, went and placed herself at a window. I attempted to place myself by her side: she withdrew to a sofa, rose from it the next moment, and fanning herself as she walked about the chamber, said to me in a reserved and disdainful tone of voice, "Zanetto, 'lascia le donne, a studia la matematica."—[Leave women and study mathematics.]

Before I took leave I requested her to appoint another rendezvous for the next day, which she postponed for three days, adding, with a satirical smile, that I must needs be in want of repose. I was very ill at ease during the interval; my heart was full of her charms and graces; I felt my extravagance, and reproached myself with it, regretting the loss of the moments I had so ill employed, and which, had I chosen, I might have rendered more agreeable than any in my whole life; waiting with the most burning impatience for the moment in which I might repair the loss, and yet, notwithstanding all my reasoning upon what I had discovered, anxious to reconcile the perfections of this adorable girl with the indignity of her situation. I ran, I flew to her apartment at the hour appointed. I know not whether or not her ardor would have been more satisfied with this visit, her pride at least would have been flattered by it, and I already rejoiced at the idea of my convincing her, in every respect, that I knew how to repair the wrongs I had done. She spared me this justification. The gondolier whom I had sent to her apartment brought me for answer that she had set off, the evening before, for Florence. If I had not felt all the love I had for her person when this was in my possession, I felt it in the most cruel manner on losing her. Amiable and charming as she was in my eyes, I could not console myself for the loss of her; but this I have never been able to do relative to the contemptuous idea which at her departure she must have had of me.

These are my two narratives. The eighteen months I passed at Venice furnished me with no other of the same kind, except a simple prospect at most. Carrio was a gallant. Tired of visiting girls engaged to others, he took a fancy to have one to himself, and, as we were inseparable, he proposed to mean arrangement common enough at Venice, which was to keep one girl for us both. To this I consented. The question was, to find one who was safe. He was so industrious in his researches that he found out a little girl from eleven to twelve years of age, whom her infamous mother was endeavoring to sell, and I went with Carrio to see her. The sight of the child moved me to the most lively compassion. She was fair and as gentle as a lamb. Nobody would have taken her for an Italian. Living is very cheap in Venice; we gave a little money to the mother, and provided for the subsistence of her daughter. She had a voice, and to procure her some resource we gave her a spinnet, and a singing—master. All these expenses did not cost each of us more than two sequins a month, and we contrived to save a much greater sum in other matters; but as we were obliged to wait until she became of a riper age, this was sowing a long time before we could possibly reap. However, satisfied with passing our evenings, chatting and innocently playing with the child, we perhaps enjoyed greater pleasure than if we had received the last favors. So true is it that men are more attached to women by a certain pleasure they have in living with them, than by any kind of libertinism. My heart became insensibly attached to the little Anzoletta, but my attachment was paternal, in which the senses had so little share, that in proportion as the former increased, to have connected it with the latter would have been less possible; and I felt I should have experienced, at approaching this little creature when become nubile, the same horror with which the abominable crime of incest would have inspired me. I perceived the sentiments of Carrio take, unobserved by himself, exactly the same turn. We thus prepared for ourselves, without intending it, pleasure not less delicious, but very different from that of which we first had an idea; and I am fully persuaded that however beautiful the poor child might have become, far from being the corrupters of her innocence we should have been the protectors of it. The circumstance which shortly afterwards befell me deprived me, of the happiness of taking a part in this good work, and my only merit in the affair was the inclination of my heart.

I will now return to my journey.

My first intentions after leaving M. de Montaigu, was to retire to Geneva, until time and more favorable circumstances should have removed the obstacles which prevented my union with my poor mamma; but the quarrel between me and M. de Montaigu being become public, and he having had the folly to write about it to the court, I resolved to go there to give an account of my conduct and complain of that of a madman. I communicated my intention, from Venice, to M. du Theil, charged per interim with foreign affairs after the death of M. Amelot. I set off as soon as my letter, and took my route through Bergamo, Como, and Domo D'Oscela, and crossing Saint Plomb. At Sion, M. de Chaignon, charge des affaires from France, showed me great civility; at Geneva M. de la Closure treated me with the same polite attention. I there renewed my acquaintance with M. de Gauffecourt, from whom I had some money to receive. I had passed through Nion without going to see my father: not that this was a matter of indifference to me, but because I was unwilling to appear before my mother-in-law, after the disaster which had befallen me, certain of being condemned by her without being heard. The bookseller, Du Villard, an old friend of my father's, reproached me severely with this neglect. I gave him my reasons for it, and to repair my fault, without exposing myself to meet my mother-in-law, I took a chaise and we went together to Nion and stopped at a public house. Du Villard went to fetch my father, who came running to embrace me. We supped together, and, after passing an evening very agreeable to the wishes of my heart, I returned the next morning to Geneva with Du Villard, for whom I have ever since retained a sentiment of gratitude in return for the service he did me on this occasion.

Lyons was a little out of my direct road, but I was determined to pass through that city in order to convince myself of a knavish trick played me by M. de Montaigu. I had sent me from Paris a little box containing a waistcoat, embroidered with gold, a few pairs of ruffles, and six pairs of white silk stockings; nothing more. Upon a proposition made me by M. de Montaigu, I ordered this box to be added to his baggage. In the apothecary's bill he offered me in payment of my salary, and which he wrote out himself, he stated the weight of this box, which he called a bale, at eleven hundred pounds, and charged me with the carriage of it at an enormous rate. By the cares of M. Boy de la Tour, to whom I was recommended by M. Roquin, his uncle, it was proved from the registers of the customs of Lyons and Marseilles, that the said bale weighed no more than forty-five pounds, and had paid carriage according to that weight. I joined this authentic extract to the memoir of M, de Montaigu, and provided with these papers and others containing stronger facts, I returned to Paris, very impatient to make use of them. During the whole of this long journey I had little adventures; at Como, in Valais, and elsewhere. I there saw many curious things, amongst others the Boroma islands, which are worthy of being described. But I am pressed by time, and surrounded by spies. I am obliged to write in haste, and very imperfectly, a work which requires the leisure and tranquility I do not enjoy. If ever providence in its goodness grants me days more calm, I shall destine them to new modelling this work, should I be able to do it, or at least to giving a supplement, of which I perceive it stands in the greatest need.—[I have given up this project.]

The news of my quarrel had reached Paris before me and on my arrival I found the people in all the offices, and the public in general, scandalized at the follies of the ambassador.

Notwithstanding this, the public talk at Venice, and the unanswerable proof I exhibited, I could not obtain even the shadow of justice. Far from obtaining satisfaction or reparation, I was left at the discretion of the ambassador for my salary, and this for no other reason than because, not being a Frenchman, I had no right to national protection, and that it was a private affair between him and myself. Everybody agreed I was insulted, injured, and unfortunate; that the ambassador was mad, cruel, and iniquitous, and that the whole of the affair dishonored him forever. But what of this! He was the ambassador, and I was nothing more than the secretary.

Order, or that which is so called, was in opposition to my obtaining justice, and of this the least shadow was not granted me. I supposed that, by loudly complaining, and by publicly treating this madman in the manner he deserved, I should at length be told to hold my tongue; this was what I wished for, and I was fully determined not to obey until I had obtained redress. But at that time there was no minister for foreign affairs. I was suffered to exclaim, nay, even encouraged to do it, and joined with; but the affair still remained in the same state, until, tired of being in the right without obtaining justice, my courage at length failed me, and let the whole drop.

The only person by whom I was ill received, and from whom I should have least expected such an injustice, was Madam de Beuzenval. Full of the prerogatives of rank and nobility, she could not conceive it was possible an ambassador could ever be in the wrong with respect to his secretary. The reception she gave me was conformable to this prejudice. I was so piqued at it that, immediately after leaving her, I wrote her perhaps one of the strongest and most violent letters that ever came from my pen, and since that time I never once returned to her house. I was better received by Father Castel; but, in the midst of his Jesuitical wheedling I perceived him faithfully to follow one of the great maxims of his society, which is to sacrifice the weak to the powerful. The strong conviction I felt of the justice of my cause, and my natural greatness of mind did not suffer me patiently to endure this partiality. I ceased visiting Father Castel, and on that account, going to the college of the Jesuits, where I knew nobody but himself. Besides the intriguing and tyrannical spirit of his brethren, so different from the cordiality of the good Father Hemet, gave me such a disgust for their conversation that I have never since been acquainted with, nor seen anyone of them except Father Berthier, whom I saw twice or thrice at M. Dupin's, in conjunction with whom he labored with all his might at the refutation of Montesquieu.

That I may not return to the subject, I will conclude what I have to say of M. de Montaigu. I had told him in our quarrels that a secretary was not what he wanted, but an attorney's clerk. He took the hint, and the person whom he procured to succeed me was a real attorney, who in less than a year robbed him of twenty or thirty thousand livres. He discharged him, and sent him to prison, dismissed his gentleman with disgrace, and, in wretchedness, got himself everywhere into quarrels, received affronts which a footman would not have put up with, and, after numerous follies, was recalled, and sent from the capital. It is very probable that among the reprimands he received at court, his affair with me was not forgotten. At least, a little time after his return he sent his maitre d' hotel, to settle my account, and give me some money. I was in want of it at that moment; my debts at Venice, debts of honor, if ever there were any, lay heavy upon my mind. I made use of the means which offered to discharge them, as well as the note of Zanetto Nani. I received what was offered me, paid all my debts, and remained as before, without a farthing in my pocket, but relieved from a weight which had become insupportable. From that time I never heard speak of M. de Montaigu until his death, with which I became acquainted by means of the Gazette. The peace of God be with that poor man! He was as fit for the functions of an ambassador as in my infancy I had been for those of Grapignan.—[I have not been able to find this word in any dictionary, nor does any Frenchman of letters of my acquaintance know what it means.—T.]—However, it was in his power to have honorably supported himself by my services, and rapidly to have advanced me in a career to which the Comte de Gauvon had destined me in my youth, and of the functions of which I had in a more advanced age rendered myself capable.

The justice and inutility of my complaints, left in my mind seeds of indignation against our foolish civil institutions, by which the welfare of the public and real justice are always sacrificed to I know not what appearance of order, and which does nothing more than add the sanction of public authority to the oppression of the weak, and the iniquity of the powerful. Two things prevented these seeds from putting forth at that time as they afterwards did: one was, myself being in question in the affair, and private interest, whence nothing great or noble ever proceeded, could not draw from my heart the divine soarings, which the most pure love, only of that which is just and sublime, can produce. The other was the charm of friendship which tempered and calmed my wrath by the ascendancy of a more pleasing sentiment. I had become acquainted at Venice with a Biscayan, a friend of my friend Carrio's, and worthy of being that of every honest man. This amiable young man, born with every talent and virtue, had just made the tour of Italy to gain a taste for the fine arts, and, imagining he had nothing more to acquire, intended to return by the most direct road to his own country. I told him the arts were nothing more than a relaxation to a genius like his, fit to cultivate the sciences; and to give him a taste for these, I advised him to make a journey to Paris and reside there for six months. He took my advice, and went to Paris. He was there and expected me when I arrived. His lodging was too considerable for him, and he offered me the half of it, which I instantly accepted. I found him absorbed in the study of the sublimest sciences. Nothing was above his reach. He digested everything with a prodigious rapidity. How cordially did he thank me for having procured him this food for his mind, which was tormented by a thirst after knowledge, without his being aware of it! What a treasure of light and virtue I found in the vigorous mind of this young man! I felt he was the friend I wanted. We soon became intimate. Our tastes were not the same, and we constantly disputed. Both opinionated, we never could agree about anything. Nevertheless we could not separate; and, notwithstanding our reciprocal and incessant contradiction, we neither of us wished the other to be different from what he was.

Ignacio Emanuel de Altuna was one of those rare beings whom only Spain produces, and of whom she produces too few for her glory. He had not the violent national passions common in his own country. The idea of vengeance could no more enter his head, than the desire of it could proceed from his heart. His mind was too great to be vindictive, and I have frequently heard him say, with the greatest coolness, that no mortal could offend him. He was gallant, without being tender. He played with women as with so many pretty children. He amused himself with the mistresses of his friends, but I never knew him to have one of his own, nor the least desire for it. The emanations from the virtue with which his heart was stored, never permitted the fire of the passions to excite sensual desires.

After his travels he married, died young, and left children; and, I am as convinced as of my existence, that his wife was the first and only woman with whom he ever tasted of the pleasures of love.

Externally he was devout, like a Spaniard, but in his heart he had the piety of an angel. Except myself, he is the only man I ever saw whose principles were not intolerant. He never in his life asked any person his opinion in matters of religion. It was not of the least consequence to him whether his friend was a Jew, a Protestant, a Turk, a Bigot, or an Atheist, provided he was an honest man. Obstinate and headstrong in matters of indifference, but the moment religion was in question, even the moral part, he collected himself, was silent, or simply said: "I am charged with the care of myself, only." It is astonishing so much elevation of mind should be compatible with a spirit of detail carried to minuteness. He previously divided the employment of the day by hours, quarters and minutes; and so scrupulously adhered to this distribution, that had the clock struck while he was reading a phrase, he would have shut his book without finishing it. His portions of time thus laid out, were some of them set apart to studies of one kind, and others to those of another: he had some for reflection, conversation, divine service, the reading of Locke, for his rosary, for visits, music and painting; and neither pleasure, temptation, nor complaisance, could interrupt this order: a duty he might have had to discharge was the only thing that could have done it. When he gave me a list of his distribution, that I might conform myself thereto, I first laughed, and then shed tears of admiration. He never constrained anybody nor suffered constraint: he was rather rough with people, who from politeness, attempted to put it upon him. He was passionate without being sullen. I have often seen him warm, but never saw him really angry with any person. Nothing could be more cheerful than his temper: he knew how to pass and receive a joke; raillery was one of his distinguished talents, and with which he possessed that of pointed wit and repartee. When he was animated, he was noisy and heard at a great distance; but whilst he loudly inveighed, a smile was spread over his countenance, and in the midst of his warmth he used some diverting expression which made all his hearers break out into a loud laugh. He had no more of the Spanish complexion than of the phlegm of that country. His skin was white, his cheeks finely colored, and his hair of a light chestnut. He was tall and well made; his body was well formed for the residence of his mind.

This wise—hearted as well as wise—headed man, knew mankind, and was my friend; this was my only answer to such as are not so. We were so intimately united, that our intention was to pass our days together. In a few years I was to go to Ascoytia to live with him at his estate; every part of the project was arranged the eve of his departure; nothing was left undetermined, except that which depends not upon men in the best concerted plans, posterior events. My disasters, his marriage, and finally, his death, separated us forever. Some men would be tempted to say, that nothing succeeds except the dark conspiracies of the wicked, and that the innocent intentions of the good are seldom or never accomplished. I had felt the inconvenience of dependence, and took a resolution never again to expose myself to it; having seen the projects of ambition, which circumstances had induced me to form, overturned in their birth. Discouraged in the career I had so well begun, from which, however, I had just been expelled, I resolved never more to attach myself to any person, but to remain in an independent state, turning my talents to the best advantage: of these I at length began to feel the extent, and that I had hitherto had too modest an opinion of them. I again took up my opera, which I had laid aside to go to Venice; and that I might be less interrupted after the departure of Altuna, I returned to my old hotel St. Quentin; which, in a solitary part of the town, and not far from the Luxembourg, was more proper for my purpose than noisy Rue St. Honor.

There the only consolation which Heaven suffered me to taste in my misery, and the only one which rendered it supportable, awaited me. This was not a trancient acquaintance; I must enter into some detail relative to the manner in which it was made.

We had a new landlady from Orleans; she took for a needlewoman a girl from her own country, of between twenty—two and twenty—three years of age, and who, as well as the hostess, ate at our table. This girl, named Theresa le Vasseur, was of a good family; her father was an officer in the mint of Orleans, and her mother a shopkeeper; they had many children. The function of the mint of Orleans being suppressed, the father found himself without employment; and the mother having suffered losses, was reduced to narrow circumstances. She quitted her business and came to Paris with her husband and daughter, who, by her industry, maintained all the three.

The first time I saw this girl at table, I was struck with her modesty; and still more so with her lively yet charming look, which, with respect to the impression it made upon me, was never equalled. Beside M. de Bonnefond, the company was composed of several Irish priests, Gascons and others of much the same description. Our hostess herself had not made the best possible use of her time, and I was the only person at the table who spoke and behaved with decency. Allurements were thrown out to the young girl. I took her part, and the joke was then turned against me. Had I had no natural inclination to the poor girl, compassion and contradiction would have produced it in me: I was always a great friend to decency in manners and conversation, especially in the fair sex. I openly declared myself her champion, and perceived she was not insensible of my attention; her looks, animated by the gratitude she dared not express by words, were for this reason still more penetrating.

She was very timid, and I was as much so as herself. The connection which this disposition common to both seemed to remove to a distance, was however rapidly formed. Our landlady perceiving its progress, became furious, and her brutality forwarded my affair with the young girl, who, having no person in the house except myself to give her the least support, was sorry to see me go from home, and sighed for the return of her protector. The affinity our hearts bore to each other, and the similarity of our dispositions, had soon their ordinary effect. She thought she saw in me an honest man, and in this she was not deceived. I thought I perceived in her a woman of great sensibility, simple in her manners, and devoid of all coquetry:—I was no more deceived in her than she in me. I began by declaring to her that I would never either abandon or marry her. Love, esteem, artless sincerity were the ministers of my triumph, and it was because her heart was tender and virtuous, that I was happy without being presuming.

The apprehensions she was under of my not finding in her that for which I sought, retarded my happiness more than every other circumstance. I perceived her disconcerted and confused before she yielded her consent, wishing to be understood and not daring to explain herself. Far from suspecting the real cause of her embarrassment, I falsely imagined it to proceed from another motive, a supposition highly insulting to her morals, and thinking she gave me to understand my health might be exposed to danger, I fell into so perplexed a state that, although it was no restraint upon me, it poisoned my happiness during several days. As we did not understand each other, our conversations upon this subject were so many enigmas more than ridiculous. She was upon the point of believing I was absolutely mad; and I on my part was as near not knowing what else to think of her. At last we came to an explanation; she confessed to me with tears the only fault of the kind of her whole life, immediately after she became nubile; the fruit of her ignorance and the address of her seducer. The moment I comprehended what she meant, I gave a shout of joy. "A Hymen!" exclaimed I; "sought for at Paris, and at twenty years of age! Ah my Theresa! I am happy in possessing thee, virtuous and healthy as thou art, and in not finding that for which I never sought."

At first amusement was my only object; I perceived I had gone further and had given myself a companion. A little intimate connection with this excellent girl, and a few reflections upon my situation, made me discover that, while thinking of nothing more than my pleasures, I had done a great deal towards my happiness. In the place of extinguished ambition, a life of sentiment, which had entire possession of my heart, was necessary to me. In a word, I wanted a successor to mamma: since I was never again to live with her, it was necessary some person should live with her pupil, and a person, too, in whom I might find that simplicity and docility of mind and heart which she had found in me. It was, moreover, necessary that the happiness of domestic life should indemnify me for the splendid career I had just renounced. When I was quite alone there was a void in my heart, which wanted nothing more than another heart to fill it up. Fate had deprived me of this, or at least in part alienated me from that for which by nature I was formed. From that moment I was alone, for there never was for me the least thing intermediate between everything and nothing. I found in Theresa the supplement of which I stood in need; by means of her I lived as happily as I possibly could do, according to the course of events.

I at first attempted to improve her mind. In this my pains were useless. Her mind is as nature formed it: it was not susceptible of cultivation. I do not blush in acknowledging she never knew how to read well, although she writes tolerably. When I went to lodge in the Rue Neuve des Petits Champs, opposite to my windows at the Hotel de Ponchartrain, there was a sun-dial, on which for a whole month I used all my efforts to teach her to know the hours; yet, she scarcely knows them at present. She never could enumerate the twelve months of the year in order, and cannot distinguish one numeral from another, notwithstanding all the trouble I took endeavoring to teach them to her. She neither knows how to count money, nor to reckon the price of anything. The word which when she speaks, presents itself to her mind, is frequently opposite to that of which she means to make use. I formerly made a dictionary of her phrases, to amuse M. de Luxembourg, and her 'qui pro quos' often became celebrated among those with whom I was most intimate. But this person, so confined in her intellects, and, if the world pleases, so stupid, can give excellent advice in cases of difficulty. In Switzerland, in England and in France, she frequently saw what I had not myself perceived; she has often given me the best advice I could possibly follow; she has rescued me from dangers into which I had blindly precipitated myself, and in the presence of princes and the great, her sentiments, good sense, answers, and conduct have acquired her universal esteem, and myself the most sincere congratulations on her merit. With persons whom we love, sentiment fortifies the mind as well as the heart; and they who are thus attached, have little need of searching for ideas elsewhere.

I lived with my Theresa as agreeably as with the finest genius in the world. Her mother, proud of having been brought up under the Marchioness of Monpipeau, attempted to be witty, wished to direct the judgment of her daughter, and by her knavish cunning destroyed the simplicity of our intercourse.

The fatigue of this opportunity made me in some degree surmount the foolish shame which prevented me from appearing with Theresa in public; and we took short country walks, tete-a-tete, and partook of little collations, which, to me, were delicious. I perceived she loved me sincerely, and this increased my tenderness. This charming intimacy left me nothing to wish; futurity no longer gave me the least concern, or at most appeared only as the present moment prolonged: I had no other desire than that of insuring its duration.

This attachment rendered all other dissipation superfluous and insipid to me. As I only went out for the purpose of going to the apartment of Theresa, her place of residence almost became my own. My retirement was so favorable to the work I had undertaken, that, in less than three months, my opera was entirely finished, both words and music, except a few accompaniments, and fillings up which still remained to be added. This maneuvering business was very fatiguing to me. I proposed it to Philidor, offering him at the same time a part of the profits. He came twice, and did something to the middle parts in the act of Ovid; but he could not confine himself to an assiduous application by the allurement of advantages which were distant and uncertain. He did not come a third time, and I finished the work myself.

My opera completed, the next thing was to make something of it: this was by much the more difficult task of the two. A man living in solitude in Paris will never succeed in anything. I was on the point of making my way by means of M. de la Popliniere, to whom Gauffecourt, at my return to Geneva had introduced me. M. de la Popliniere was the Mecaenas of Rameau; Madam de la Popliniere his very humble scholar. Rameau was said to govern in that house. Judging that he would with pleasure protect the work of one of his disciples, I wished to show him what I had done. He refused to examine it; saying he could not read score, it was too fatiguing to him. M. de la Popliniere, to obviate this difficulty, said he might hear it; and offered me to send for musicians to execute certain detached pieces. I wished for nothing better. Rameau consented with an ill grace, incessantly repeating that the composition of a man not regularly bred to the science, and who had learned music without a master, must certainly be very fine! I hastened to copy into parts five or six select passages. Ten symphonies were procured, and Albert, Berard, and Mademoiselle Bourbonois undertook the vocal part. Remeau, the moment he heard the overture, was purposely extravagant in his eulogium, by which he intended it should be understood it could not be my composition. He showed signs of impatience at every passage: but after a counter tenor song, the air of which was noble and harmonious, with a brilliant accompaniment, he could no longer contain himself; he apostrophised me with a brutality at which everybody was shocked, maintaining that a part of what he had heard was by a man experienced in the art, and the rest by some ignorant person who did not so much as understand music. It is true my composition, unequal and without rule, was sometimes sublime, and at others insipid, as that of a person who forms himself in an art by the soarings of his own genius, unsupported by science, must necessarily be. Rameau pretended to see nothing in me but a contemptible pilferer, without talents or taste. The rest of the company, among whom I must distinguish the master of the house, were of a different opinion. M. de Richelieu, who at that time frequently visited M. and Madam de la Popliniere, heard them speak of my work, and wished to hear the whole of it, with an intention, if it pleased him, to have it performed at court. The opera was executed with full choruses, and by a great orchestra, at the expense of the king, at M. de Bonneval's intendant of the Menus; Francoeur directed the band. The effect was surprising: the duke never ceased to exclaim and applaud; and, at the end of one of the choruses, in the act of Tasso, he arose and came to me, and, pressing my hand, said: "M. Rousseau, this is transporting harmony. I never heard anything finer. I will get this performed at Versailles."

Madam de la Poliniere, who was present, said not a word. Rameau, although invited, refused to come. The next day, Madam de la Popliniere received me at her toilette very ungraciously, affected to undervalue my piece, and told me, that although a little false glitter had at first dazzled M. de Richelieu, he had recovered from his error, and she advised me not to place the least dependence upon my opera. The duke arrived soon after, and spoke to me in quite a different language. He said very flattering things of my talents, and seemed as much disposed as ever to have my composition performed before the king. "There is nothing," said he, "but the act of Tasso which cannot pass at court: you must write another." Upon this single word I shut myself up in my apartment; and in three weeks produced, in the place of Tasso, another act, the subject of which was Hesiod inspired by the muses. In this I found the secret of introducing a part of the history of my talents, and of the jealousy with which Rameau had been pleased to honor me. There was in the new act an elevation less gigantic and better supported than in the act of Tasso. The music was as noble and the composition better; and had the other two acts been equal to this, the whole piece would have supported a representation to advantage. But whilst I was endeavoring to give it the last finishing, another undertaking suspended the completion of that I had in my hand. In the winter which succeeded the battle of Fontenoi, there were many galas at Versailles, and several operas performed at the theater of the little stables. Among the number of the latter was the dramatic piece of Voltaire, entitled 'La Princesse de Navarre', the music by Rameau, the name of which has just been changed to that of 'Fetes de Ramire'. This new subject required several changes to be made in the divertissements, as well in the poetry as in the music.

A person capable of both was now sought after. Voltaire was in Lorraine, and Rameau also; both of whom were employed on the opera of the Temple of Glory, and could not give their attention to this. M. de Richelieu thought of me, and sent to desire I would undertake the alterations; and, that I might the better examine what there was to do, he gave me separately the poem and the music. In the first place, I would not touch the words without the consent of the author, to whom I wrote upon the subject a very polite and respectful letter, such a one as was proper; and received from him the following answer:

"SIR: In you two talents, which hitherto have always been separated, are united. These are two good reasons for me to esteem and to endeavor to love you. I am sorry, on your account, you should employ these talents in a work which is so little worthy of them. A few months ago the Duke de Richelieu commanded me to make, absolutely in the twinkling of an eye, a little and bad sketch of a few insipid and imperfect scenes to be adapted to divertissements which are not of a nature to be joined with them. I obeyed with the greatest exactness. I wrote very fast, and very ill. I sent this wretched production to M. de Richelieu, imagining he would make no use of it, or that I should have it again to make the necessary corrections. Happily it is in your hands, and you are at full liberty to do with it whatever you please: I have entirely lost sight of the thing. I doubt not but you will have corrected all the faults which cannot but abound in so hasty a composition of such a very simple sketch, and am persuaded you will have supplied whatever was wanting.

"I remember that, among other stupid inattentions, no account is given in the scenes which connect the divertissements of the manner in which the Grenadian prince immediately passes from a prison to a garden or palace. As it is not a magician but a Spanish nobleman who gives her the gala, I am of opinion nothing should be effected by enchantment.

"I beg, sir, you will examine this part, of which I have but a confused idea.

"You will likewise consider, whether or not it be necessary the prison should be opened, and the princess conveyed from it to a fine palace, gilt and varnished, and prepared for her. I know all this is wretched, and that it is beneath a thinking being to make a serious affair of such trifles; but, since we must displease as little as possible, it is necessary we should conform to reason, even in a bad divertissement of an opera.

"I depend wholly upon you and M. Ballot, and soon expect to have the honor of returning you my thanks, and assuring you how much I am, etc."

There is nothing surprising in the great politeness of this letter, compared with the almost crude ones which he has since written to me. He thought I was in great favor with Madam Richelieu; and the courtly suppleness, which everyone knows to be the character of this author, obliged him to be extremely polite to a new comer, until he become better acquainted with the measure of the favor and patronage he enjoyed.

Authorized by M. de Voltaire, and not under the necessity of giving myself the least concern about M. Rameau, who endeavored to injure me, I set to work, and in two months my undertaking was finished. With respect to the poetry, it was confined to a mere trifle; I aimed at nothing more than to prevent the difference of style from being perceived, and had the vanity to think I had succeeded. The musical part was longer and more laborious. Besides my having to compose several preparatory pieces, and, amongst others, the overture, all the recitative, with which I was charged, was extremely difficult on account of the necessity there was of connecting, in a few verses, and by very rapid modulations, symphonies and choruses, in keys very different from each other; for I was determined neither to change nor transpose any of the airs, that Rameau might not accuse me of having disfigured them. I succeeded in the recitative; it was well accented, full of energy and excellent modulation. The idea of two men of superior talents, with whom I was associated, had elevated my genius, and I can assert, that in this barren and inglorious task, of which the public could have no knowledge, I was for the most part equal to my models.

The piece, in the state to which I had brought it, was rehearsed in the great theatre of the opera. Of the three authors who had contributed to the production, I was the only one present. Voltaire was not in Paris, and Rameau either did not come, or concealed himself. The words of the first monologue were very mournful; they began with:

O Mort! viens terminer les malheurs de ma vie.

[O Death! hasten to terminate the misfortunes of my life.]

To these, suitable music was necessary. It was, however, upon this that Madam de la Popliniere founded her censure; accusing me, with much bitterness, of having composed a funeral anthem. M. de Richelieu very judiciously began by informing himself who was the author of the poetry of this monologue; I presented him the manuscript he had sent me, which proved it was by Voltaire. "In that case," said the duke, "Voltaire alone is to blame." During the rehearsal, everything I had done was disapproved by Madam de la Popliniere, and approved of by M. de Richelieu; but I had afterwards to do with too powerful an adversary. It was signified to me that several parts of my composition wanted revising, and that on this it was necessary I should consult M. Rameau; my heart was wounded by such a conclusion, instead of the eulogium I expected, and which certainly I merited, and I returned to my apartment overwhelmed with grief, exhausted with fatigue, and consumed by chagrin. I was immediately taken ill, and confined to my chamber for upwards of six weeks.

Rameau, who was charged with the alterations indicated by Madam de la Popliniere, sent to ask me for the overture of my great opera, to substitute it to that I had just composed. Happily I perceived the trick he intended to play me, and refused him the overture. As the performance was to be in five or six days, he had not time to make one, and was obliged to leave that I had prepared. It was in the Italian taste, and in a style at that time quite new in France. It gave satisfaction, and I learned from M. de Valmalette, maitre d'hotel to the king, and son-in-law to M. Mussard, my relation and friend, that the connoisseurs were highly satisfied with my work, and that the public had not distinguished it from that of Rameau. However, he and Madam de la Popliniere took measures to prevent any person from knowing I had any concern in the matter. In the books distributed to the audience, and in which the authors are always named, Voltaire was the only person mentioned, and Rameau preferred the suppression of his own name to seeing it associated with mine.

As soon as I was in a situation to leave my room, I wished to wait upon M. de Richelieu, but it was too late; he had just set off for Dunkirk, where he was to command the expedition destined to Scotland. At his return, said I to myself, to authorize my idleness, it will be too late for my purpose, not having seen him since that time. I lost the honor of my work and the emoluments it should have produced me, besides considering my time, trouble, grief, and vexation, my illness, and the money this cost me, without ever receiving the least benefit, or rather, recompense. However, I always thought M. de Richelieu was disposed to serve me, and that he had a favorable opinion of my talents; but my misfortune, and Madam de la Popliniere, prevented the effect of his good wishes.

I could not divine the reason of the aversion this lady had to me. I had always endeavored to make myself agreeable to her, and regularly paid her my court. Gauffecourt explained to me the causes of her dislike: "The first," said he, "is her friendship for Rameau, of whom she is the declared panegyrist, and who will not suffer a competitor; the next is an original sin, which ruins you in her estimation, and which she will never forgive; you are a Genevese." Upon this he told me the Abbe Hubert, who was from the same city, and the sincere friend of M. de la Popliniere, had used all his efforts to prevent him from marrying this lady, with whose character and temper he was very well acquainted; and that after the marriage she had vowed him an implacable hatred, as well as all the Genevese. "Although La Popliniere has a friendship for you, do not," said he, "depend upon his protection: he is still in love with his wife: she hates you, and is vindictive and artful; you will never do anything in that house." All this I took for granted.

The same Gauffecourt rendered me much about this time, a service of which I stood in the greatest need. I had just lost my virtuous father, who was about sixty years of age. I felt this loss less severely than I should have done at any other time, when the embarrassments of my situation had less engaged my attention. During his life-time I had never claimed what remained of the property of my mother, and of which he received the little interest. His death removed all my scruples upon this subject. But the want of a legal proof of the death of my brother created a difficulty which Gauffecourt undertook to remove, and this he effected by means of the good offices of the advocate De Lolme. As I stood in need of the little resource, and the event being doubtful, I waited for a definitive account with the greatest anxiety.

One evening on entering my apartment I found a letter, which I knew to contain the information I wanted, and I took it up with an impatient trembling, of which I was inwardly ashamed. What? said I to myself, with disdain, shall Jean Jacques thus suffer himself to be subdued by interest and curiosity? I immediately laid the letter again upon the chimney-piece. I undressed myself, went to bed with great composure, slept better than ordinary, and rose in the morning at a late hour, without thinking more of my letter. As I dressed myself, it caught my eye; I broke the seal very leisurely, and found under the envelope a bill of exchange. I felt a variety of pleasing sensations at the same time: but I can assert, upon my honor, that the most lively of them all was that proceeding from having known how to be master of myself.

I could mention twenty such circumstances in my life, but I am too much pressed for time to say everything. I sent a small part of this money to my poor mamma; regretting, with my eyes suffused with tears, the happy time when I should have laid it all at her feet. All her letters contained evident marks of her distress. She sent me piles of recipes, and numerous secrets, with which she pretended I might make my fortune and her own. The idea of her wretchedness already affected her heart and contracted her mind. The little I sent her fell a prey to the knaves by whom she was surrounded; she received not the least advantage from anything. The idea of dividing what was necessary to my own subsistence with these wretches disgusted me, especially after the vain attempt I had made to deliver her from them, and of which I shall have occasion to speak. Time slipped away, and with it the little money I had; we were two, or indeed, four persons; or, to speak still more correctly, seven or eight. Although Theresa was disinterested to a degree of which there are but few examples, her mother was not so. She was no sooner a little relieved from her necessities by my cares, than she sent for her whole family to partake of the fruits of them. Her sisters, sons, daughters, all except her eldest daughter, married to the director of the coaches of Augers, came to Paris. Everything I did for Theresa, her mother diverted from its original destination in favor of these people who were starving. I had not to do with an avaricious person; and, not being under the influence of an unruly passion, I was not guilty of follies. Satisfied with genteelly supporting Theresa without luxury, and unexposed to pressing wants, I readily consented to let all the earnings of her industry go to the profit of her mother; and to this even I did not confine myself; but, by a fatality by which I was pursued, whilst mamma was a prey to the rascals about her Theresa was the same to her family; and I could not do anything on either side for the benefit of her to whom the succor I gave was destined. It was odd enough the youngest child of M. de la Vasseur, the only one who had not received a marriage portion from her parents, should provide for their subsistence; and that, after having along time been beaten by her brothers, sisters, and even her nieces, the poor girl should be plundered by them all, without being more able to defend herself from their thefts than from their blows. One of her nieces, named Gorton le Duc, was of a mild and amiable character; although spoiled by the lessons and examples of the others. As I frequently saw them together, I gave them names, which they afterwards gave to each other; I called the niece my niece, and the aunt my aunt; they both called me uncle. Hence the name of aunt, by which I continued to call Theresa, and which my friends sometimes jocosely repeated. It will be judged that in such a situation I had not a moment to lose, before I attempted to extricate myself. Imagining M. de Richelieu had forgotten me, and having no more hopes from the court, I made some attempts to get my opera brought out at Paris; but I met with difficulties which could not immediately be removed, and my situation became daily more painful. I presented my little comedy of Narcisse to the Italians; it was received, and I had the freedom of the theatre, which gave much pleasure. But this was all; I could never get my piece performed, and, tired of paying my court to players, I gave myself no more trouble about them. At length I had recourse to the last expedient which remained to me, and the only one of which I ought to have made use. While frequenting the house of M. de la Popliniere, I had neglected the family of Dupin. The two ladies, although related, were not on good terms, and never saw each other. There was not the least intercourse between the two families, and Thieriot was the only person who visited both. He was desired to endeavor to bring me again to M. Dupin's. M. de Francueil was then studying natural history and chemistry, and collecting a cabinet. I believe he aspired to become a member of the Academy of Sciences; to this effect he intended to write a book, and judged I might be of use to him in the undertaking. Madam de Dupin, who, on her part, had another work in contemplation, had much the same views in respect to me. They wished to have me in common as a kind of secretary, and this was the reason of the invitations of Thieriot.

I required that M. de Francueil should previously employ his interest with that of Jelyote to get my work rehearsed at the operahouse; to this he consented. The Muses Galantes were several times rehearsed, first at the Magazine, and afterwards in the great theatre. The audience was very numerous at the great rehearsal, and several parts of the composition were highly applauded. However, during this rehearsal, very ill-conducted by Rebel, I felt the piece would not be received; and that, before it could appear, great alterations were necessary. I therefore withdrew it without saying a word, or exposing myself to a refusal; but I plainly perceived, by several indications, that the work, had it been perfect, could not have succeeded. M. de Francueil had promised me to get it rehearsed, but not that it should be received. He exactly kept his word. I thought I perceived on this occasion, as well as many others, that neither Madam Dupin nor himself were willing I should acquire a certain reputation in the world, lest, after the publication of their books, it should be supposed they had grafted their talents upon mine. Yet as Madam Dupin always supposed those I had to be very moderate, and never employed me except it was to write what she dictated, or in researches of pure erudition, the reproach, with respect to her, would have been unjust.

This last failure of success completed my discouragement. I abandoned every prospect of fame and advancement; and, without further troubling my head about real or imaginary talents, with which I had so little success, I dedicated my whole time and cares to procure myself and Theresa a subsistence in the manner most pleasing to those to whom it should be agreeable to provide for it. I therefore entirely attached myself to Madam Dupin and M. de Francueil. This did not place me in a very opulent situation; for with eight or nine hundred livres, which I had the first two years, I had scarcely enough to provide for my primary wants; being obliged to live in their neighborhood, a dear part of the town, in a furnished lodging, and having to pay for another lodging at the extremity of Paris, at the very top of the Rue Saint Jacques, to which, let the weather be as it would, I went almost every evening to supper. I soon got into the track of my new occupations, and conceived a taste for them. I attached myself to the study of chemistry, and attended several courses of it with M. de Francueil at M. Rouelle's, and we began to scribble over paper upon that science, of which we scarcely possessed the elements. In 1717, we went to pass the autumn in Tourraine, at the castle of Chenonceaux, a royal mansion upon the Cher, built by Henry the II, for Diana of Poitiers, of whom the ciphers are still seen, and which is now in the possession of M. Dupin, a farmer general. We amused ourselves very agreeably in this beautiful place, and lived very well: I became as fat there as a monk. Music was a favorite relaxation. I composed several trios full of harmony, and of which I may perhaps speak in my supplement if ever I should write one. Theatrical performances were another resource. I wrote a comedy in fifteen days, entitled 'l'Engagement Temeraire',—[The Rash Engagement]—which will be found amongst my papers; it has no other merit than that of being lively. I composed several other little things: amongst others a poem entitled, 'l'Aliee de Sylvie', from the name of an alley in the park upon the bank of the Cher; and this without discontinuing my chemical studies, or interrupting what I had to do for Madam Dupin.

Whilst I was increasing my corpulency at Chenonceaux, that of my poor Theresa was augmented at Paris in another manner, and at my return I found the work I had put upon the frame in greater forwardness than I had expected. This, on account of my situation, would have thrown me into the greatest embarrassment, had not one of my messmates furnished me with the only resource which could relieve me from it. This is one of those essential narratives which I cannot give with too much simplicity; because, in making an improper use of their names, I should either excuse or inculpate myself, both of which in this place are entirely out of the question.

During the residence of Altuna at Paris, instead of going to eat at a 'Traiteurs', he and I commonly eat in the neighborhood, almost opposite the cul de sac of the opera, at the house of a Madam la Selle, the wife of a tailor, who gave but very ordinary dinners, but whose table was much frequented on account of the safe company which generally resorted to it; no person was received without being introduced by one of those who used the house. The commander, De Graville, an old debauchee, with much wit and politeness, but obscene in conversation, lodged at the house, and brought to it a set of riotous and extravagant young men; officers in the guards and mousquetaires. The Commander de Nonant, chevalier to all the girls of the opera, was the daily oracle, who conveyed to us the news of this motley crew. M. du Plessis, a lieutenant-colonel, retired from the service, an old man of great goodness and wisdom; and M. Ancelet, an officer in the mousquetaires kept the young people in a certain kind of order. This table was also frequented by commercial people, financiers and contractors, but extremely polite, and such as were distinguished amongst those of the same profession.

[It was to this M. Ancelet I gave a little comedy, after my own manner entitled 'les Prisouniers de Guerre', which I wrote after the disasters of the French in Bavaria and Bohemia: I dared not either avow this comedy or show it, and this for the singular reason that neither the King of France nor the French were ever better spoken of nor praised with more sincerity of heart than in my piece though written by a professed republican, I dared not declare myself the panegyrist of a nation, whose maxims were exactly the reverse of my own. More grieved at the misfortunes of France than the French themselves I was afraid the public would construe into flattery and mean complaisance the marks of a sincere attachment, of which in my first part I have mentioned the date and the cause, and which I was ashamed to show.]

M. de Besse, M. de Forcade, and others whose names I have forgotten, in short, well-dressed people of every description were seen there; except abbes and men of the long robe, not one of whom I ever met in the house, and it was agreed not to introduce men of either of these professions. This table, sufficiently resorted to, was very cheerful without being noisy, and many of the guests were waggish, without descending to vulgarity. The old commander with all his smutty stories, with respect to the substance, never lost sight of the politeness of the old court; nor did any indecent expression, which even women would not have pardoned him, escape his lips. His manner served as a rule to every person at table; all the young men related their adventures of gallantry with equal grace and freedom, and these narratives were the more complete, as the seraglio was at the door; the entry which led to it was the same; for there was a communication between this and the shop of Le Duchapt, a celebrated milliner, who at that time had several very pretty girls, with whom our young people went to chat before or after dinner. I should thus have amused myself as well as the rest, had I been less modest: I had only to go in as they did, but this I never had courage enough to do. With respect to Madam de Selle, I often went to eat at her house after the departure of Altuna. I learned a great number of amusing anecdotes, and by degrees I adopted, thank God, not the morals, but the maxims I found to be established there. Honest men injured, husbands deceived, women seduced, were the most ordinary topics, and he who had best filled the foundling hospital was always the most applauded. I caught the manners I daily had before my eyes: I formed my manner of thinking upon that I observed to be the reigning one amongst amiable: and upon the whole, very honest people. I said to myself, since it is the custom of the country, they who live here may adopt it; this is the expedient for which I sought. I cheerfully determined upon it without the least scruple, and the only one I had to overcome was that of Theresa, whom, with the greatest imaginable difficulty, I persuaded to adopt this only means of saving her honor. Her mother, who was moreover apprehensive of a new embarrassment by an increase of family, came to my aid, and she at length suffered herself to be prevailed upon. We made choice of a midwife, a safe and prudent woman, Mademoiselle Gouin, who lived at the Point Saint Eustache, and when the time came, Theresa was conducted to her house by her mother.

I went thither several times to see her, and gave her a cipher which I had made double upon two cards; one of them was put into the linen of the child, and by the midwife deposited with the infant in the office of the foundling hospital according to the customary form. The year following, a similar inconvenience was remedied by the same expedient, excepting the cipher, which was forgotten: no more reflection on my part, nor approbation on that of the mother; she obeyed with trembling. All the vicissitudes which this fatal conduct has produced in my manner of thinking, as well as in my destiny, will be successively seen. For the present, we will confine ourselves to this first period; its cruel and unforeseen consequences will but too frequently oblige me to refer to it.

I here mark that of my first acquaintance with Madam D'Epinay, whose name will frequently appear in these memoirs. She was a Mademoiselle D' Esclavelles, and had lately been married to M. D'Epinay, son of M. de Lalive de Bellegarde, a farmer general. She understood music, and a passion for the art produced between these three persons the greatest intimacy. Madam Prancueil introduced me to Madam D'Epinay, and we sometimes supped together at her house. She was amiable, had wit and talent, and was certainly a desirable acquaintance; but she had a female friend, a Mademoiselle d'Ette, who was said to have much malignancy in her disposition; she lived with the Chevalier de Valory, whose temper was far from being one of the best. I am of opinion, an acquaintance with these two persons was prejudicial to Madam D'Epinay, to whom, with a disposition which required the greatest attention from those about her, nature had given very excellent qualities to regulate or counterbalance her extravagant pretensions. M. de Francueil inspired her with a part of the friendship he had conceived for me, and told me of the connection between them, of which, for that reason, I would not now speak, were it not become so public as not to be concealed from M. D'Epinay himself.

M. de Francueil confided to me secrets of a very singular nature relative to this lady, of which she herself never spoke to me, nor so much as suspected my having a knowledge; for I never opened my lips to her upon the subject, nor will I ever do it to any person. The confidence all parties had in my prudence rendered my situation very embarrassing, especially with Madam de Francueil, whose knowledge of me was sufficient to remove from her all suspicion on my account, although I was connected with her rival. I did everything I could to console this poor woman, whose husband certainly did not return the affection she had for him. I listened to these three persons separately; I kept all their secrets so faithfully that not one of the three ever drew from me those of the two others, and this, without concealing from either of the women my attachment to each of them. Madam de Francueil, who frequently wished to make me an agent, received refusals in form, and Madam D'Epinay, once desiring me to charge myself with a letter to M. de Francueil received the same mortification, accompanied by a very express declaration, that if ever she wished to drive me forever from the house, she had only a second time to make me a like proposition.

In justice to Madam D'Epinay, I must say, that far from being offended with me she spoke of my conduct to M. de Francueil in terms of the highest approbation, and continued to receive me as well, and as politely as ever. It was thus, amidst the heart-burnings of three persons to whom I was obliged to behave with the greatest circumspection, on whom I in some measure depended, and for whom I had conceived an attachment, that by conducting myself with mildness and complaisance, although accompanied with the greatest firmness, I preserved unto the last not only their friendship, but their esteem and confidence. Notwithstanding my absurdities and awkwardness, Madam D'Epinay would have me make one of the party to the Chevrette, a country-house, near Saint Denis, belonging to M. de Bellegarde. There was a theatre, in which performances were not unfrequent. I had a part given me, which I studied for six months without intermission, and in which, on the evening of the representation, I was obliged to be prompted from the beginning to the end. After this experiment no second proposal of the kind was ever made to me.

My acquaintance with M. D'Epinay procured me that of her sister-in-law, Mademoiselle de Bellegarde, who soon afterwards became Countess of Houdetot. The first time I saw her she was upon the point of marriage; when she conversed with me a long time, with that charming familiarity which was natural to her. I thought her very amiable, but I was far from perceiving that this young person would lead me, although innocently, into the abyss in which I still remain.

Although I have not spoken of Diderot since my return from Venice, no more than of my friend M. Roguin, I did not neglect either of them, especially the former, with whom I daily became more intimate. He had a Nannette, as well as I a Theresa; this was between us another conformity of circumstances. But my Theresa, as fine a woman as his Nannette, was of a mild and amiable character, which might gain and fix the affections of a worthy man; whereas Nannette was a vixen, a troublesome prater, and had no qualities in the eyes of others which in any measure compensated for her want of education. However he married her, which was well done of him, if he had given a promise to that effect. I, for my part, not having entered into any such engagement, was not in the least haste to imitate him.

I was also connected with the Abbe de Condillac, who had acquired no more literary fame than myself, but in whom there was every appearance of his becoming what he now is. I was perhaps the first who discovered the extent of his abilities, and esteemed them as they deserved. He on his part seemed satisfied with me, and, whilst shut up in my chamber in the Rue Jean Saint Denis, near the opera-house, I composed my act of Hesiod, he sometimes came to dine with me tete-a-tete. We sent for our dinner, and paid share and share alike. He was at that time employed on his Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge, which was his first work. When this was finished, the difficulty was to find a bookseller who would take it. The booksellers of Paris are shy of every author at his beginning, and metaphysics, not much then in vogue, were no very inviting subject. I spoke to Diderot of Condillac and his work, and I afterwards brought them acquainted with each other. They were worthy of each other's esteem, and were presently on the most friendly terms. Diderot persuaded the bookseller, Durand, to take the manuscript from the abbe, and this great metaphysician received for his first work, and almost as a favor, a hundred crowns, which perhaps he would not have obtained without my assistance. As we lived in a quarter of the town very distant from each other, we all assembled once a week at the Palais Royal, and went to dine at the Hotel du Panier Fleuri. These little weekly dinners must have been extremely pleasing to Diderot; for he who failed in almost all his appointments never missed one of these. At our little meeting I formed the plan of a periodical paper, entitled 'le Persifleur'—[The Jeerer]—which Diderot and I were alternately to write. I sketched out the first sheet, and this brought me acquainted with D'Alembert, to whom Diderot had mentioned it. Unforeseen events frustrated our intention, and the project was carried no further.

These two authors had just undertaken the 'Dictionnaire Encyclopedique', which at first was intended to be nothing more than a kind of translation of Chambers, something like that of the Medical Dictionary of James, which Diderot had just finished. Diderot was desirous I should do something in this second undertaking, and proposed to me the musical part, which I accepted. This I executed in great haste, and consequently very ill, in the three months he had given me, as well as all the authors who were engaged in the work. But I was the only person in readiness at the time prescribed. I gave him my manuscript, which I had copied by a laquais, belonging to M. de Francueil of the name of Dupont, who wrote very well. I paid him ten crowns out of my own pocket, and these have never been reimbursed me. Diderot had promised me a retribution on the part of the booksellers, of which he has never since spoken to me nor I to him.

This undertaking of the 'Encyclopedie' was interrupted by his imprisonment. The 'Pensees Philosophiquiest' drew upon him some temporary inconvenience which had no disagreeable consequences. He did not come off so easily on account of the 'Lettre sur les Aveugles',—[Letter concerning blind persons.]—in which there was nothing reprehensible, but some personal attacks with which Madam du Pre St. Maur, and M. de Raumur were displeased: for this he was confined in the dungeon of Vincennes. Nothing can describe the anguish I felt on account of the misfortunes of my friend. My wretched imagination, which always sees everything in the worst light, was terrified. I imagined him to be confined for the remainder of his life. I was almost distracted with the thought. I wrote to Madam de Pompadour, beseeching her to release him or obtain an order to shut me up in the same dungeon. I received no answer to my letter: this was too reasonable to be efficacious, and I do not flatter myself that it contributed to the alleviation which, some time afterwards, was granted to the severities of the confinement of poor Diderot. Had this continued for any length of time with the same rigor, I verily believe I should have died in despair at the foot of the hated dungeon. However, if my letter produced but little effect, I did not on account of it attribute to myself much merit, for I mentioned it but to very few people, and never to Diderot himself.







 

BOOK VIII.



 

At the end of the preceding book a pause was necessary. With this begins the long chain of my misfortunes deduced from their origin.

Having lived in the two most splendid houses in Paris, I had, notwithstanding my candor and modesty, made some acquaintance. Among others at Dupin's, that of the young hereditary prince of Saxe-Gotha, and of the Baron de Thun, his governor; at the house of M. de la Popliniere, that of M. Seguy, friend to the Baron de Thun, and known in the literary world by his beautiful edition of Rousseau. The baron invited M. Seguy and myself to go and pass a day or two at Fontenai sous bois, where the prince had a house. As I passed Vincennes, at the sight of the dungeon, my feelings were acute; the effect of which the baron perceived on my countenance. At supper the prince mentioned the confinement of Diderot. The baron, to hear what I had to say, accused the prisoner of imprudence; and I showed not a little of the same in the impetuous manner in which I defended him. This excess of zeal, inspired by the misfortune which had befallen my friend, was pardoned, and the conversation immediately changed. There were present two Germans in the service of the prince. M. Klupssel, a man of great wit, his chaplain, and who afterwards, having supplanted the baron, became his governor. The other was a young man named M. Grimm, who served him as a reader until he could obtain some place, and whose indifferent appearance sufficiently proved the pressing necessity he was under of immediately finding one. From this very evening Klupssel and I began an acquaintance which soon led to friendship. That with the Sieur Grimm did not make quite so rapid a progress; he made but few advances, and was far from having that haughty presumption which prosperity afterwards gave him. The next day at dinner, the conversation turned upon music; he spoke well on the subject. I was transported with joy when I learned from him he could play an accompaniment on the harpsichord. After dinner was over music was introduced, and we amused ourselves the rest of the afternoon on the harpischord of the prince. Thus began that friendship which, at first, was so agreeable to me, afterwards so fatal, and of which I shall hereafter have so much to say.

At my return to Paris, I learned the agreeable news that Diderot was released from the dungeon, and that he had on his parole the castle and park of Vincennes for a prison, with permission to see his friends. How painful was it to me not to be able instantly to fly to him! But I was detained two or three days at Madam Dupin's by indispensable business. After ages of impatience, I flew to the arms of my friend. He was not alone: D' Alembert and the treasurer of the Sainte Chapelle were with him. As I entered I saw nobody but himself, I made but one step, one cry; I riveted my face to his: I pressed him in my arms, without speaking to him, except by tears and sighs: I stifled him with my affection and joy. The first thing he did, after quitting my arms, was to turn himself towards the ecclesiastic, and say: "You see, sir, how much I am beloved by my friends." My emotion was so great, that it was then impossible for me to reflect upon this manner of turning it to advantage; but I have since thought that, had I been in the place of Diderot, the idea he manifested would not have been the first that would have occurred to me.

I found him much affected by his imprisonment. The dungeon had made a terrible impression upon his mind, and, although he was very agreeably situated in the castle, and at liberty to, walk where he pleased in the park, which was not inclosed even by a wall, he wanted the society of his friends to prevent him from yielding to melancholy. As I was the person most concerned for his sufferings, I imagined I should also be the friend, the sight of whom would give him consolation; on which account, notwithstanding very pressing occupations, I went every two days at farthest, either alone, or accompanied by his wife, to pass the afternoon with him.

The heat of the summer was this year (1749) excessive. Vincennes is two leagues from Paris. The state of my finances not permitting me to pay for hackney coaches, at two o'clock in the afternoon, I went on foot, when alone, and walked as fast as possible, that I might arrive the sooner. The trees by the side of the road, always lopped, according to the custom of the country, afforded but little shade, and exhausted by fatigue, I frequently threw myself on the ground, being unable to proceed any further. I thought a book in my hand might make me moderate my pace. One day I took the Mercure de France, and as I walked and read, I came to the following question proposed by the academy of Dijon, for the premium of the ensuing year, 'Has the progress of sciences and arts contributed to corrupt or purify morals?'

The moment I had read this, I seemed to behold another world, and became a different man. Although I have a lively remembrance of the impression it made upon me, the detail has escaped my mind, since I communicated it to M. de Malesherbes in one of my four letters to him. This is one of the singularities of my memory which merits to be remarked. It serves me in proportion to my dependence upon it; the moment I have committed to paper that with which it was charged, it forsakes me, and I have no sooner written a thing than I had forgotten it entirely. This singularity is the same with respect to music. Before I learned the use of notes I knew a great number of songs; the moment I had made a sufficient progress to sing an air set to music, I could not recollect any one of them; and, at present, I much doubt whether I should be able entirely to go through one of those of which I was the most fond. All I distinctly recollect upon this occasion is, that on my arrival at Vincennes, I was in an agitation which approached a delirium. Diderot perceived it; I told him the cause, and read to him the prosopopoeia of Fabricius, written with a pencil under a tree. He encouraged me to pursue my ideas, and to become a competitor for the premium. I did so, and from that moment I was ruined.

All the rest of my misfortunes during my life were the inevitable effect of this moment of error.

My sentiments became elevated with the most inconceivable rapidity to the level of my ideas. All my little passions were stifled by the enthusiasm of truth, liberty, and virtue; and, what is most astonishing, this effervescence continued in my mind upwards of five years, to as great a degree perhaps as it has ever done in that of any other man. I composed the discourse in a very singular manner, and in that style which I have always followed in my other works. I dedicated to it the hours of the night in which sleep deserted me, I meditated in my bed with my eyes closed, and in my mind turned over and over again my periods with incredible labor and care; the moment they were finished to my satisfaction, I deposited them in my memory, until I had an opportunity of committing them to paper; but the time of rising and putting on my clothes made me lose everything, and when I took up my pen I recollected but little of what I had composed. I made Madam le Vasseur my secretary; I had lodged her with her daughter, and husband, nearer to myself; and she, to save me the expense of a servant, came every morning to make my fire, and to do such other little things as were necessary. As soon as she arrived I dictated to her while in bed what I had composed in the night, and this method, which for a long time I observed, preserved me many things I should otherwise have forgotten.

As soon as the discourse was finished, I showed it to Diderot. He was satisfied with the production, and pointed out some corrections he thought necessary to be made.

However, this composition, full of force and fire, absolutely wants logic and order; of all the works I ever wrote, this is the weakest in reasoning, and the most devoid of number and harmony. With whatever talent a man may be born, the art of writing is not easily learned.

I sent off this piece without mentioning it to anybody, except, I think, to Grimm, with whom, after his going to live with the Comte de Vriese, I began to be upon the most intimate footing. His harpsichord served as a rendezvous, and I passed with him at it all the moments I had to spare, in singing Italian airs, and barcaroles; sometimes without intermission, from morning till night, or rather from night until morning; and when I was not to be found at Madam Dupin's, everybody concluded I was with Grimm at his apartment, the public walk, or theatre. I left off going to the Comedie Italienne, of which I was free, to go with him, and pay, to the Comedie Francoise, of which he was passionately fond. In short, so powerful an attraction connected me with this young man, and I became so inseparable from him, that the poor aunt herself was rather neglected, that is, I saw her less frequently; for in no moment of my life has my attachment to her been diminished.

This impossibility of dividing, in favor of my inclinations, the little time I had to myself, renewed more strongly than ever the desire I had long entertained of having but one home for Theresa and myself; but the embarrassment of her numerous family, and especially the want of money to purchase furniture, had hitherto withheld me from accomplishing it. An opportunity to endeavor at it presented itself, and of this I took advantage. M. de Francueil and Madam Dupin, clearly perceiving that eight or nine hundred livres a year were unequal to my wants, increased of their own accord, my salary to fifty guineas; and Madam Dupin, having heard I wished to furnish myself lodgings, assisted me with some articles for that purpose. With this furniture and that Theresa already had, we made one common stock, and, having an apartment in the Hotel de Languedoc, Rue de Grevelle St, Honor, kept by very honest people, we arranged ourselves in the best manner we could, and lived there peaceably and agreeably during seven years, at the end of which I removed to go and live at the Hermitage.

Theresa's father was a good old man, very mild in his disposition, and much afraid of his wife; for this reason he had given her the surname of Lieutenant Criminal, which Grimm, jocosely, afterwards transferred to the daughter. Madam le Vasseur did not want sense, that is address; and pretended to the politeness and airs of the first circles; but she had a mysterious wheedling, which to me was insupportable, gave bad advice to her daughter, endeavored to make her dissemble with me, and separately, cajoled my friends at my expense, and that of each other; excepting these circumstances; she was a tolerably good mother, because she found her account in being so, and concealed the faults of her daughter to turn them to her own advantage. This woman, who had so much of my care and attention, to whom I made so many little presents, and by whom I had it extremely at heart to make myself beloved, was, from the impossibility of my succeeding in this wish, the only cause of the uneasiness I suffered in my little establishment. Except the effects of this cause I enjoyed, during these six or seven, years, the most perfect domestic happiness of which human weakness is capable. The heart of my Theresa was that of an angel; our attachment increased with our intimacy, and we were more and more daily convinced how much we were made for each other. Could our pleasures be described, their simplicity would cause laughter. Our walks, tete-a-tete, on the outside of the city, where I magnificently spent eight or ten sous in each guinguette.—[Ale-house]—Our little suppers at my window, seated opposite to each other upon two little chairs, placed upon a trunk, which filled up the spare of the embrasure. In this situation the window served us as a table, we respired the fresh air, enjoyed the prospect of the environs and the people who passed; and, although upon the fourth story, looked down into the street as we ate.

Who can describe, and how few can feel, the charms of these repasts, consisting of a quartern loaf, a few cherries, a morsel of cheese, and half-a-pint of wine which we drank between us? Friendship, confidence, intimacy, sweetness of disposition, how delicious are your reasonings! We sometimes remained in this situation until midnight, and never thought of the hour, unless informed of it by the old lady. But let us quit these details, which are either insipid or laughable; I have always said and felt that real enjoyment was not to be described.

Much about the same time I indulged in one not so delicate, and the last of the kind with which I have to reproach myself. I have observed that the minister Klupssel was an amiable man; my connections with him were almost as intimate as those I had with Grimm, and in the end became as familiar; Grimm and he sometimes eat at my apartment. These repasts, a little more than simple, were enlivened by the witty and extravagant wantonness of expression of Klupssel, and the diverting Germanicisms of Grimm, who was not yet become a purist.

Sensuality did not preside at our little orgies, but joy, which was preferable, reigned in them all, and we enjoyed ourselves so well together that we knew not how to separate. Klupssel had furnished a lodging for a little girl, who, notwithstanding this, was at the service of anybody, because he could not support her entirely himself. One evening as we were going into the coffee-house, we met him coming out to go and sup with her. We rallied him; he revenged himself gallantly, by inviting us to the same supper, and there rallying us in our turn. The poor young creature appeared to be of a good disposition, mild and little fitted to the way of life to which an old hag she had with her, prepared her in the best manner she could. Wine and conversation enlivened us to such a degree that we forgot ourselves. The amiable Klupssel was unwilling to do the honors of his table by halves, and we all three successively took a view of the next chamber, in company with his little friend, who knew not whether she should laugh or cry. Grimm has always maintained that he never touched her; it was therefore to amuse himself with our impatience, that he remained so long in the other chamber, and if he abstained, there is not much probability of his having done so from scruple, because previous to his going to live with the Comte de Friese, he lodged with girls of the town in the same quarter of St. Roch.

I left the Rue des Moineaux, where this girl lodged, as much ashamed as Saint Preux left the house in which he had become intoxicated, and when I wrote his story I well remembered my own. Theresa perceived by some sign, and especially by my confusion, I had something with which I reproached myself; I relieved my mind by my free and immediate confession. I did well, for the next day Grimm came in triumph to relate to her my crime with aggravation, and since that time he has never failed maliciously to recall it to her recollection; in this he was the more culpable, since I had freely and voluntarily given him my confidence, and had a right to expect he would not make me repent of it. I never had a more convincing proof than on this occasion, of the goodness of my Theresa's heart; she was more shocked at the behavior of Grimm than at my infidelity, and I received nothing from her but tender reproaches, in which there was not the least appearance of anger.

The simplicity of mind of this excellent girl was equal to her goodness of heart; and this is saying everything: but one instance of it, which is present to my recollection, is worthy of being related. I had told her Klupssel was a minister, and chaplain to the prince of Saxe-Gotha. A minister was to her so singular a man, that oddly confounding the most dissimilar ideas, she took it into her head to take Klupssel for the pope; I thought her mad the first time she told me when I came in, that the pope had called to see me. I made her explain herself and lost not a moment in going to relate the story to Grimm and Klupssel, who amongst ourselves never lost the name of pope. We gave to the girl in the Rue des Moineaux the name of Pope Joan. Our laughter was incessant; it almost stifled us. They, who in a letter which it hath pleased them to attribute to me, have made me say I never laughed but twice in my life, did not know me at this period, nor in my younger days; for if they had, the idea could never have entered into their heads.

The year following (1750), not thinking more of my discourse; I learned it had gained the premium at Dijon. This news awakened all the ideas which had dictated it to me, gave them new animation, and completed the fermentation of my heart of that first leaven of heroism and virtue which my father, my country, and Plutarch had inspired in my infancy. Nothing now appeared great in my eyes but to be free and virtuous, superior to fortune and opinion, and independent of all exterior circumstances; although a false shame, and the fear of disapprobation at first prevented me from conducting myself according to these principles, and from suddenly quarreling with the maxims of the age in which I lived, I from that moment took a decided resolution to do it.—[And of this I purposely delayed the execution, that irritated by contradiction f it might be rendered triumphant.]

While I was philosophizing upon the duties of man, an event happened which made me better reflect upon my own. Theresa became pregnant for the third time. Too sincere with myself, too haughty in my mind to contradict my principles by my actions, I began to examine the destination of my children, and my connections with the mother, according to the laws of nature, justice, and reason, and those of that religion, pure, holy, and eternal, like its author, which men have polluted while they pretended to purify it, and which by their formularies they have reduced to a religion of words, since the difficulty of prescribing impossibilities is but trifling to those by whom they are not practised.

If I deceived myself in my conclusions, nothing can be more astonishing than the security with which I depended upon them. Were I one of those men unfortunately born deaf to the voice of nature, in whom no sentiment of justice or humanity ever took the least root, this obduracy would be natural. But that warmth of heart, strong sensibility, and facility of forming attachments; the force with which they subdue me; my cruel sufferings when obliged to break them; the innate benevolence I cherished towards my fellow-creatures; the ardent love I bear to great virtues, to truth and justice, the horror in which I hold evil of every kind; the impossibility of hating, of injuring or wishing to injure anyone; the soft and lively emotion I feel at the sight of whatever is virtuous, generous and amiable; can these meet in the same mind with the depravity which without scruple treads under foot the most pleasing of all our duties? No, I feel, and openly declare this to be impossible. Never in his whole life could J. J. be a man without sentiment or an unnatural father. I may have been deceived, but it is impossible I should have lost the least of my feelings. Were I to give my reasons, I should say too much; since they have seduced me, they would seduce many others. I will not therefore expose those young persons by whom I may be read to the same danger. I will satisfy myself by observing that my error was such, that in abandoning my children to public education for want of the means of bringing them up myself; in destining them to become workmen and peasants, rather than adventurers and fortune-hunters, I thought I acted like an honest citizen, and a good father, and considered myself as a member of the republic of Plato. Since that time the regrets of my heart have more than once told me I was deceived; but my reason was so far from giving me the same intimation, that I have frequently returned thanks to Heaven for having by this means preserved them from the fate of their father, and that by which they were threatened the moment I should have been under the necessity of leaving them. Had I left them to Madam d'Upinay, or Madam de Luxembourg, who, from friendship, generosity, or some other motive, offered to take care of them in due time, would they have been more happy, better brought up, or honester men? To this I cannot answer; but I am certain they would have been taught to hate and perhaps betray their parents: it is much better that they have never known them.

My third child was therefore carried to the foundling hospital as well as the two former, and the next two were disposed of in the same manner; for I have had five children in all. This arrangement seemed to me to be so good, reasonable and lawful, that if I did not publicly boast of it, the motive by which I was withheld was merely my regard for their mother: but I mentioned it to all those to whom I had declared our connection, to Diderot, to Grimm, afterwards to M. d'Epinay, and after another interval to Madam de Luxembourg; and this freely and voluntarily, without being under the least necessity of doing it, having it in my power to conceal the step from all the world; for La Gouin was an honest woman, very discreet, and a person on whom I had the greatest reliance. The only one of my friends to whom it was in some measure my interest to open myself, was Thierry the physician, who had the care of my poor aunt in one of her lyings in, in which she was very ill. In a word, there was no mystery in my conduct, not only on account of my never having concealed anything from my friends, but because I never found any harm in it. Everything considered, I chose the best destination for my children, or that which I thought to be such. I could have wished, and still should be glad, had I been brought up as they have been.

Whilst I was thus communicating what I had done, Madam. le Vasseur did the same thing amongst her acquaintance, but with less disinterested views. I introduced her and her daughter to Madam Dupin, who, from friendship to me, showed them the greatest kindness. The mother confided to her the secret of the daughter. Madam Dupin, who is generous and kind, and to whom she never told how attentive I was to her, notwithstanding my moderate resources, in providing for everything, provided on her part for what was necessary, with a liberality which, by order of her mother, the daughter concealed from me during my residence in Paris, nor ever mentioned it until we were at the Hermitage, when she informed me of it, after having disclosed to me several other secrets of her heart. I did not know Madam Dupin, who never took the least notice to me of the matter, was so well informed: I know not yet whether Madam de Chenonceaux, her daughter-in-law, was as much in the secret: but Madam de Brancueil knew the whole and could not refrain from prattling. She spoke of it to me the following year, after I had left her house. This induced me to write her a letter upon the subject, which will be found in my collections, and wherein I gave such of my reasons as I could make public, without exposing Madam le Vasseur and her family; the most determinative of them came from that quarter, and these I kept profoundly secret.

I can rely upon the discretion of Madam Dupin, and the friendship of Madam de Chenonceaux; I had the same dependence upon that of Madam de Francuiel, who, however, was long dead before my secret made its way into the world. This it could never have done except by means of the persons to whom I intrusted it, nor did it until after my rupture with them. By this single fact they are judged; without exculpating myself from the blame I deserve, I prefer it to that resulting from their malignity. My fault is great, but it was an error. I have neglected my duty, but the desire of doing an injury never entered my heart; and the feelings of a father were never more eloquent in favor of children whom he never saw. But: betraying the confidence of friendship, violating the most sacred of all engagements, publishing secrets confided to us, and wantonly dishonoring the friend we have deceived, and who in detaching himself from our society still respects us, are not faults, but baseness of mind, and the last degree of heinousness.

I have promised my confession and not my justification; on which account I shall stop here. It is my duty faithfully to relate the truth, that of the reader to be just; more than this I never shall require of him.

The marriage of M. de Chenonceaux rendered his mother's house still more agreeable to me, by the wit and merit of the new bride, a very amiable young person, who seemed to distinguish me amongst the scribes of M. Dupin. She was the only daughter of the Viscountess de Rochechouart, a great friend of the Comte de Friese, and consequently of Grimm's who was very attentive to her. However, it was I who introduced him to her daughter; but their characters not suiting each other, this connection was not of long duration; and Grimm, who from that time aimed at what was solid, preferred the mother, a woman of the world, to the daughter who wished for steady friends, such as were agreeable to her, without troubling her head about the least intrigue, or making any interest amongst the great. Madam Dupin no longer finding in Madam de Chenonceaux all the docility she expected, made her house very disagreeable to her, and Madam de Chenonceaux, having a great opinion of her own merit, and, perhaps, of her birth, chose rather to give up the pleasures of society, and remain almost alone in her apartment, than to submit to a yoke she was not disposed to bear. This species of exile increased my attachment to her, by that natural inclination which excites me to approach the wretched, I found her mind metaphysical and reflective, although at times a little sophistical; her conversation, which was by no means that of a young woman coming from a convent, had for me the greatest attractions; yet she was not twenty years of age. Her complexion was seducingly fair; her figure would have been majestic had she held herself more upright. Her hair, which was fair, bordering upon ash color, and uncommonly beautiful, called to my recollection that of my poor mamma in the flower of her age, and strongly agitated my heart. But the severe principles I had just laid down for myself, by which at all events I was determined to be guided, secured me from the danger of her and her charms. During the whole summer I passed three or four hours a day in a tete-a-tete conversation with her, teaching her arithmetic, and fatiguing her with my innumerable ciphers, without uttering a single word of gallantry, or even once glancing my eyes upon her. Five or six years later I should not have had so much wisdom or folly; but it was decreed I was never to love but once in my life, and that another person was to have the first and last sighs of my heart.

Since I had lived in the house of Madam Dupin, I had always been satisfied with my situation, without showing the least sign of a desire to improve it. The addition which, in conjunction with M. de Francueil, she had made to my salary, was entirely of their own accord. This year M. de Francueil, whose friendship for me daily increased, had it in his thoughts to place me more at ease, and in a less precarious situation. He was receiver-general of finance. M. Dudoyer, his cash-keeper, was old and rich, and wished to retire. M. de Francueil offered me his place, and to prepare myself for it, I went during a few weeks, to Dudoyer, to take the necessary instructions. But whether my talents were ill-suited to the employment, or that M. Dudoyer, who I thought wished to procure his place for another, was not in earnest in the instructions he gave me, I acquired by slow degrees, and very imperfectly, the knowledge I was in want of, and could never understand the nature of accounts, rendered intricate, perhaps designedly. However, without having possessed myself of the whole scope of the business, I learned enough of the method to pursue it without the least difficulty; I even entered on my new office; I kept the cashbook and the cash; I paid and received money, took and gave receipts; and although this business was so ill suited to my inclinations as to my abilities, maturity of years beginning to render me sedate, I was determined to conquer my disgust, and entirely devote myself to my new employment.

Unfortunately for me, I had no sooner begun to proceed without difficulty, than M. de Francueil took a little journey, during which I remained intrusted with the cash, which, at that time, did not amount to more than twenty-five to thirty thousand livres. The anxiety of mind this sum of money occasioned me, made me perceive I was very unfit to be a cash-keeper, and I have no doubt but my uneasy situation, during his absence, contributed to the illness with which I was seized after his return.

I have observed in my first part that I was born in a dying state. A defect in the bladder caused me, during my early years, to suffer an almost continual retention of urine, and my Aunt Susan, to whose care I was intrusted, had inconceivable difficulty in preserving me. However, she succeeded, and my robust constitution at length got the better of all my weakness, and my health became so well established that except the illness from languor, of which I have given an account, and frequent heats in the bladder which the least heating of the blood rendered troublesome, I arrived at the age of thirty almost without feeling my original infirmity. The first time this happened was upon my arrival at Venice. The fatigue of the voyage, and the extreme heat I had suffered, renewed the burnings, and gave me a pain in the loins, which continued until the beginning of winter. After having seen padoana, I thought myself near the end of my career, but I suffered not the least inconvenience. After exhausting my imagination more than my body for my Zulietta, I enjoyed better health than ever. It was not until after the imprisonment of Diderot that the heat of blood, brought on by my journeys to Vincennes during the terrible heat of that summer, gave me a violent nephritic colic, since which I have never recovered my primitive good state of health.

At the time of which I speak, having perhaps fatigued myself too much in the filthy work of the cursed receiver-general's office, I fell into a worse state than ever, and remained five or six weeks in my bed in the most melancholy state imaginable. Madam Dupin sent me the celebrated Morand who, notwithstanding his address and the delicacy of his touch, made me suffer the greatest torments. He advised me to have recourse to Daran, who, in fact gave me some relief: but Morand, when he gave Madam Dupin an account of the state I was in, declared to her I should not be alive in six months. This afterwards came to my ear, and made me reflect seriously on my situation and the folly of sacrificing the repose of the few days I had to live to the slavery of an employment for which I felt nothing but disgust. Besides, how was it possible to reconcile the severe principles I had just adopted to a situation with which they had so little relation? Should not I, the cash-keeper of a receiver-general of finances, have preached poverty and disinterestedness with a very ill grace? These ideas fermented so powerfully in my mind with the fever, and were so strongly impressed, that from that time nothing could remove them; and, during my convalescence, I confirmed myself with the greatest coolness in the resolutions I had taken during my delirium. I forever abandoned all projects of fortune and advancement, resolved to pass in independence and poverty the little time I had to exist. I made every effort of which my mind was capable to break the fetters of prejudice, and courageously to do everything that was right without giving myself the least concern about the judgment of others. The obstacles I had to combat, and the efforts I made to triumph over them, are inconceivable. I succeeded as much as it was possible I should, and to a greater degree than I myself had hoped for. Had I at the same time shaken off the yoke of friendship as well as that of prejudice, my design would have been accomplished, perhaps the greatest, at least the most useful one to virtue, that mortal ever conceived; but whilst I despised the foolish judgments of the vulgar tribe called great and wise, I suffered myself to be influenced and led by persons who called themselves my friends. These, hurt at seeing me walk alone in a new path, while I seemed to take measures for my happiness, used all their endeavors to render me ridiculous, and that they might afterwards defame me, first strove to make me contemptible. It was less my literary fame than my personal reformation, of which I here state the period, that drew upon me their jealousy; they perhaps might have pardoned me for having distinguished myself in the art of writing; but they could never forgive my setting them, by my conduct, an example, which, in their eyes, seemed to reflect on themselves. I was born for friendship; my mind and easy disposition nourished it without difficulty. As long as I lived unknown to the public I was beloved by all my private acquaintance, and I had not a single enemy. But the moment I acquired literary fame, I had no longer a friend. This, was a great misfortune; but a still greater was that of being surrounded by people who called themselves my friends, and used the rights attached to that sacred name to lead me on to destruction. The succeeding part of these memoirs will explain this odious conspiracy. I here speak of its origin, and the manner of the first intrigue will shortly appear.

In the independence in which I lived, it was, however, necessary to subsist. To this effect I thought of very simple means: which were copying music at so much a page. If any employment more solid would have fulfilled the same end I would have taken it up; but this occupation being to my taste, and the only one which, without personal attendance, could procure me daily bread, I adopted it. Thinking I had no longer need of foresight, and, stifling the vanity of cash-keeper to a financier, I made myself a copyist of music. I thought I had made an advantageous choice, and of this I so little repented, that I never quitted my new profession until I was forced to do it, after taking a fixed resolution to return to it as soon as possible.

The success of my first discourse rendered the execution of this resolution more easy. As soon as it had gained the premium, Diderot undertook to get it printed. Whilst I was in my bed, he wrote me a note informing me of the publication and effect: "It takes," said he, "beyond all imagination; never was there an instance of alike success."

This favor of the public, by no means solicited, and to an unknown author, gave me the first real assurance of my talents, of which, notwithstanding an internal sentiment, I had always had my doubts. I conceived the great advantage to be drawn from it in favor of the way of life I had determined to pursue; and was of opinion, that a copyist of some celebrity in the republic of letters was not likely to want employment.

The moment my resolution was confirmed, I wrote a note to M, de Francueil, communicating to him my intentions, thanking him and Madam Dupin for all goodness, and offering them my services in the way of my new profession. Francueil did not understand my note, and, thinking I was still in the delirium of fever, hastened to my apartment; but he found me so determined, that all he could say to me was without the least effect. He went to Madam Dupin, and told her and everybody he met, that I had become insane. I let him say what he pleased, and pursued the plan I had conceived. I began the change in my dress; I quitted laced clothes and white stockings; I put on a round wig, laid aside my sword, and sold my watch; saying to myself, with inexpressible pleasure: "Thank Heaven! I shall no longer want to know the hour!" M. de Francueil had the goodness to wait a considerable time before he disposed of my place. At length perceiving me inflexibly resolved, he gave it to M. d'Alibard, formerly tutor to the young Chenonceaux, and known as a botanist by his Flora Parisiensis.

[I doubt not but these circumstances are now differently related by M. Francueil and his consorts: but I appeal to what he said of them at the time and long afterwards, to everybody he knew, until the forming of the conspiracy, and of which men of common sense and honor, must have preserved a remembrance.]

However austere my sumptuary reform might be, I did not at first extend it to my linen, which was fine and in great quantity, the remainder of my stock when at Venice, and to which I was particularly attached. I had made it so much an object of cleanliness, that it became one of luxury, which was rather expensive. Some persons, however, did me the favor to deliver me from this servitude. On Christmas Eve, whilst the governesses were at vespers, and I was at the spiritual concert, the door of a garret, in which all our linen was hung up after being washed, was broken open. Everything was stolen; and amongst other things, forty-two of my shirts, of very fine linen, and which were the principal part of my stock. By the manner in which the neighbors described a man whom they had seen come out of the hotel with several parcels whilst we were all absent, Theresa and myself suspected her brother, whom we knew to be a worthless man. The mother strongly endeavored to remove this suspicion, but so many circumstances concurred to prove it to be well founded, that, notwithstanding all she could say, our opinions remained still the same: I dared not make a strict search for fear of finding more than I wished to do. The brother never returned to the place where I lived, and, at length, was no more heard of by any of us. I was much grieved Theresa and myself should be connected with such a family, and I exhorted her more than ever to shake off so dangerous a yoke. This adventure cured me of my inclination for fine linen, and since that time all I have had has been very common, and more suitable to the rest of my dress.

Having thus completed the change of that which related to my person, all my cares tendered to render it solid and lasting, by striving to root out from my heart everything susceptible of receiving an impression from the judgment of men, or which, from the fear of blame, might turn me aside from anything good and reasonable in itself. In consequence of the success of my work, my resolution made some noise in the world also, and procured me employment; so that I began my new profession with great appearance of success. However, several causes prevented me from succeeding in it to the same degree I should under any other circumstances have done. In the first place my ill state of health. The attack I had just had, brought on consequences which prevented my ever being so well as I was before; and I am of opinion, the physicians, to whose care I intrusted myself, did me as much harm as my illness. I was successively under the hands of Morand, Daran, Helvetius, Malouin, and Thyerri: men able in their profession, and all of them my friends, who treated me each according to his own manner, without giving me the least relief, and weakened me considerably. The more I submitted to their direction, the yellower, thinner, and weaker I became. My imagination, which they terrified, judging of my situation by the effect of their drugs, presented to me, on this side of the tomb, nothing but continued sufferings from the gravel, stone, and retention of urine. Everything which gave relief to others, ptisans, baths, and bleeding, increased my tortures. Perceiving the bougees of Daran, the only ones that had any favorable effect, and without which I thought I could no longer exist, to give me a momentary relief, I procured a prodigious number of them, that, in case of Daran's death, I might never be at a loss. During the eight or ten years in which I made such frequent use of these, they must, with what I had left, have cost me fifty louis.

It will easily be judged, that such expensive and painful means did not permit me to work without interruption; and that a dying man is not ardently industrious in the business by which he gains his daily bread.

Literary occupations caused another interruption not less prejudicial to my daily employment. My discourse had no sooner appeared than the defenders of letters fell upon me as if they had agreed with each to do it. My indignation was so raised at seeing so many blockheads, who did not understand the question, attempt to decide upon it imperiously, that in my answer I gave some of them the worst of it. One M. Gautier, of Nancy, the first who fell under the lash of my pen, was very roughly treated in a letter to M. Grimm. The second was King Stanislaus, himself, who did not disdain to enter the lists with me. The honor he did me, obliged me to change my manner in combating his opinions; I made use of a graver style, but not less nervous; and without failing in respect to the author, I completely refuted his work. I knew a Jesuit, Father de Menou, had been concerned in it. I depended on my judgment to distinguish what was written by the prince, from the production of the monk, and falling without mercy upon all the jesuitical phrases, I remarked, as I went along, an anachronism which I thought could come from nobody but the priest. This composition, which, for what reason I knew not, has been less spoken of than any of my other writings, is the only one of its kind. I seized the opportunity which offered of showing to the public in what manner an individual may defend the cause of truth even against a sovereign. It is difficult to adopt a more dignified and respectful manner than that in which I answered him. I had the happiness to have to do with an adversary to whom, without adulation, I could show every mark of the esteem of which my heart was full; and this I did with success and a proper dignity. My friends, concerned for my safety, imagined they already saw me in the Bastile. This apprehension never once entered my head, and I was right in not being afraid. The good prince, after reading my answer, said: "I have enough of at; I will not return to the charge." I have, since that time received from him different marks of esteem and benevolence, some of which I shall have occasion to speak of; and what I had written was read in France, and throughout Europe, without meeting the least censure.

In a little time I had another adversary whom I had not expected; this was the same M. Bordes, of Lyons, who ten years before had shown me much friendship, and from whom I had received several services. I had not forgotten him, but had neglected him from idleness, and had not sent him my writings for want of an opportunity, without seeking for it, to get them conveyed to his hands. I was therefore in the wrong, and he attacked me; this, however, he did politely, and I answered in the same manner. He replied more decidedly. This produced my last answer; after which I heard no more from him upon the subject; but he became my most violent enemy, took the advantage of the time of my misfortunes, to publish against me the most indecent libels, and made a journey to London on purpose to do me an injury.

All this controversy employed me a good deal, and caused me a great loss of my time in my copying, without much contributing to the progress of truth, or the good of my purse. Pissot, at that time my bookseller, gave me but little for my pamphlets, frequently nothing at all, and I never received a farthing for my first discourse. Diderot gave it him. I was obliged to wait a long time for the little he gave me, and to take it from him in the most trifling sums. Notwithstanding this, my copying went on but slowly. I had two things together upon my hands, which was the most likely means of doing them both ill.

They were very opposite to each other in their effects by the different manners of living to which they rendered me subject. The success of my first writings had given me celebrity. My new situation excited curiosity. Everybody wished to know that whimsical man who sought not the acquaintance of any one, and whose only desire was to live free and happy in the manner he had chosen; this was sufficient to make the thing impossible to me. My apartment was continually full of people, who, under different pretences, came to take up my time. The women employed a thousand artifices to engage me to dinner. The more unpolite I was with people, the more obstinate they became. I could not refuse everybody. While I made myself a thousand enemies by my refusals, I was incessantly a slave to my complaisance, and, in whatever manner I made my engagements, I had not an hour in a day to myself.

I then perceived it was not so easy to be poor and independent, as I had imagined. I wished to live by my profession: the public would not suffer me to do it. A thousand means were thought of to indemnify me for the time I lost. The next thing would have been showing myself like Punch, at so much each person. I knew no dependence more cruel and degrading than this. I saw no other method of putting an end to it than refusing all kinds of presents, great and small, let them come from whom they would. This had no other effect than to increase the number of givers, who wished to have the honor of overcoming my resistance, and to force me, in spite of myself, to be under an obligation to them.

Many, who would not have given me half-a-crown had I asked it from them, incessantly importuned me with their offers, and, in revenge for my refusal, taxed me with arrogance and ostentation.

It will naturally be conceived that the resolutions I had taken, and the system I wished to follow, were not agreeable to Madam le Vasseur. All the disinterestedness of the daughter did not prevent her from following the directions of her mother; and the governesses, as Gauffecourt called them, were not always so steady in their refusals as I was. Although many things were concealed from me, I perceived so many as were necessary to enable me to judge that I did not see all, and this tormented me less by the accusation of connivance, which it was so easy for me to foresee, than by the cruel idea of never being master in my own apartments, nor even of my own person. I prayed, conjured, and became angry, all to no purpose; the mother made me pass for an eternal grumbler, and a man who was peevish and ungovernable. She held perpetual whisperings with my friends; everything in my little family was mysterious and a secret to me; and, that I might not incessantly expose myself to noisy quarrelling, I no longer dared to take notice of what passed in it. A firmness of which I was not capable, would have been necessary to withdraw me from this domestic strife. I knew how to complain, but not how to act: they suffered me to say what I pleased, and continued to act as they thought proper.

This constant teasing, and the daily importunities to which I was subject, rendered the house, and my residence at Paris, disagreeable to me. When my indisposition permitted me to go out, and I did not suffer myself to be led by my acquaintance first to one place and then to another, I took a walk, alone, and reflected on my grand system, something of which I committed to paper, bound up between two covers, which, with a pencil, I always had in my pocket. In this manner, the unforeseen disagreeableness of a situation I had chosen entirely led me back to literature, to which unsuspectedly I had recourse as a means of releaving my mind, and thus, in the first works I wrote, I introduced the peevishness and ill-humor which were the cause of my undertaking them. There was another circumstance which contributed not a little to this; thrown into the world despite of myself, without having the manners of it, or being in a situation to adopt and conform myself to them, I took it into my head to adopt others of my own, to enable me to dispense with those of society. My foolish timidity, which I could not conquer, having for principle the fear of being wanting in the common forms, I took, by way of encouraging myself, a resolution to tread them under foot. I became sour and cynic from shame, and affected to despise the politeness which I knew not how to practice. This austerity, conformable to my new principles, I must confess, seemed to ennoble itself in my mind; it assumed in my eyes the form of the intrepidity of virtue, and I dare assert it to be upon this noble basis, that it supported itself longer and better than could have been expected from anything so contrary to my nature. Yet, not withstanding, I had the name of a misanthrope, which my exterior appearance and some happy expressions had given me in the world: it is certain I did not support the character well in private, that my friends and acquaintance led this untractable bear about like a lamb, and that, confining my sarcasms to severe but general truths, I was never capable of saying an uncivil thing to any person whatsoever.

The 'Devin du Village' brought me completely into vogue, and presently after there was not a man in Paris whose company was more sought after than mine. The history of this piece, which is a kind of era in my life, is joined with that of the connections I had at that time. I must enter a little into particulars to make what is to follow the better understood.

I had a numerous acquaintance, yet no more than two friends: Diderot and Grimm. By an effect of the desire I have ever felt to unite everything that is dear to me, I was too much a friend to both not to make them shortly become so to each other. I connected them: they agreed well together, and shortly become more intimate with each other than with me. Diderot had a numerous acquaintance, but Grimm, a stranger and a new-comer, had his to procure, and with the greatest pleasure I procured him all I could. I had already given him Diderot. I afterwards brought him acquainted with Gauffecourt. I introduced him to Madam Chenonceaux, Madam D'Epinay, and the Baron d'Holbach; with whom I had become connected almost in spite of myself. All my friends became his: this was natural: but not one of his ever became mine; which was inclining to the contrary. Whilst he yet lodged at the house of the Comte de Friese, he frequently gave us dinners in his apartment, but I never received the least mark of friendship from the Comte de Friese, Comte de Schomberg, his relation, very familiar with Grimm, nor from any other person, man or woman, with whom Grimm, by their means, had any connection. I except the Abbe Raynal, who, although his friend, gave proofs of his being mine; and in cases of need, offered me his purse with a generosity not very common. But I knew the Abbe Raynal long before Grimm had any acquaintance with him, and had entertained a great regard for him on account of his delicate and honorable behavior to me upon a slight occasion, which I shall never forget.

The Abbe Raynal is certainly a warm friend; of this I saw a proof, much about the time of which I speak, with respect to Grimm himself, with whom he was very intimate. Grimm, after having been sometime on a footing of friendship with Mademoiselle Fel, fell violently in love with her, and wished to supplant Cahusac. The young lady, piquing herself on her constancy, refused her new admirer. He took this so much to heart, that the appearance of his affliction became tragical. He suddenly fell into the strangest state imaginable. He passed days and nights in a continued lethargy. He lay with his eyes open; and although his pulse continued to beat regularly, without speaking eating, or stirring, yet sometimes seeming to hear what was said to him, but never answering, not even by a sign, and remaining almost as immovable as if he had been dead, yet without agitation, pain, or fever. The Abbe Raynal and myself watched over him; the abbe, more robust, and in better health than I was, by night, and I by day, without ever both being absent at one time. The Comte de Friese was alarmed, and brought to him Senac, who, after having examined the state in which he was, said there was nothing to apprehend, and took his leave without giving a prescription. My fears for my friend made me carefully observe the countenance of the physician, and I perceived him smile as he went away. However, the patient remained several days almost motionless, without taking anything except a few preserved cherries, which from time to time I put upon his tongue, and which he swallowed without difficulty. At length he, one morning, rose, dressed himself, and returned to his usual way of life, without either at that time or afterwards speaking to me or the Abbe Raynal, at least that I know of, or to any other person, of this singular lethargy, or the care we had taken of him during the time it lasted.

The affair made a noise, and it would really have been a wonderful circumstance had the cruelty of an opera girl made a man die of despair. This strong passion brought Grimm into vogue; he was soon considered as a prodigy in love, friendship, and attachments of every kind. Such an opinion made his company sought after, and procured him a good reception in the first circles; by which means he separated from me, with whom he was never inclined to associate when he could do it with anybody else. I perceived him to be on the point of breaking with me entirely; for the lively and ardent sentiments, of which he made a parade, were those which with less noise and pretensions, I had really conceived for him. I was glad he succeeded in the world; but I did not wish him to do this by forgetting his friend. I one day said to him: "Grimm, you neglect me, and I forgive you for it. When the first intoxication of your success is over, and you begin to perceive a void in your enjoyments, I hope you will return to your friend, whom you will always find in the same sentiments; at present do not constrain yourself, I leave you at liberty to act as you please, and wait your leisure." He said I was right, made his arrangements in consequence, and shook off all restraint, so that I saw no more of him except in company with our common friends.

Our chief rendezvous, before he was connected with Madam d'Epinay as he afterwards became, was at the house of Baron d'Holbach. This said baron was the son of a man who had raised himself from obscurity. His fortune was considerable, and he used it nobly, receiving at his house men of letters and merit: and, by the knowledge he himself had acquired, was very worthy of holding a place amongst them. Having been long attached to Diderot, he endeavored to become acquainted with me by his means, even before my name was known to the world. A natural repugnancy prevented me a long time from answering his advances. One day, when he asked me the reason of my unwillingness, I told him he was too rich. He was, however, resolved to carry his point, and at length succeeded. My greatest misfortune proceeded from my being unable to resist the force of marked attention. I have ever had reason to repent of having yielded to it.

Another acquaintance which, as soon as I had any pretensions to it, was converted into friendship, was that of M. Duclos. I had several years before seen him, for the first time, at the Chevrette, at the house of Madam d'Epinay, with whom he was upon very good terms. On that day we only dined together, and he returned to town in the afternoon. But we had a conversation of a few moments after dinner. Madam d'Epinay had mentioned me to him, and my opera of the 'Muses Gallantes'. Duclos, endowed with too great talents not to be a friend to those in whom the like were found, was prepossessed in my favor, and invited me to go and see him. Notwithstanding my former wish, increased by an acquaintance, I was withheld by my timidity and indolence, as long as I had no other passport to him than his complaisance. But encouraged by my first success, and by his eulogiums, which reached my ears, I went to see him; he returned my visit, and thus began the connection between us, which will ever render him dear to me. By him, as well as from the testimony of my own heart, I learned that uprightness and probity may sometimes be connected with the cultivation of letters.

Many other connections less solid, and which I shall not here particularize, were the effects of my first success, and lasted until curiosity was satisfied. I was a man so easily known, that on the next day nothing new was to be discovered in me. However, a woman, who at that time was desirous of my acquaintance, became much more solidly attached to me than any of those whose curiosity I had excited: this was the Marchioness of Crequi, niece to M. le Bailli de Froulay, ambassador from Malta, whose brother had preceded M. de Montaigu in the embassy to Venice, and whom I had gone to see on my return from that city. Madam de Crequi wrote to me: I visited her: she received me into her friendship. I sometimes dined with her. I met at her table several men of letters, amongst others M. Saurin, the author of Spartacus, Barnevelt, etc., since become my implacable enemy; for no other reason, at least that I can imagine, than my bearing the name of a man whom his father has cruelly persecuted.

It will appear that for a copyist, who ought to be employed in his business from morning till night, I had many interruptions, which rendered my days not very lucrative, and prevented me from being sufficiently attentive to what I did to do it well; for which reason, half the time I had to myself was lost in erasing errors or beginning my sheet anew. This daily importunity rendered Paris more unsupportable, and made me ardently wish to be in the country. I several times went to pass a few days at Mercoussis, the vicar of which was known to Madam le Vasseur, and with whom we all arranged ourselves in such a manner as not to make things disagreeable to him. Grimm once went thither with us.

[Since I have neglected to relate here a trifling, but memorable adventure I had with the said Grimm one day, on which we were to dine at the fountain of St. Vandrille, I will let it pass: but when I thought of it afterwards, I concluded that he was brooding in his heart the conspiracy he has, with so much success, since carried into execution.]

The vicar had a tolerable voice, sung well, and, although he did not read music, learned his part with great facility and precision. We passed our time in singing the trios I had composed at Chenonceaux. To these I added two or three new ones, to the words Grimm and the vicar wrote, well or ill. I cannot refrain from regretting these trios composed and sung in moments of pure joy, and which I left at Wootton, with all my music. Mademoiselle Davenport has perhaps curled her hair with them; but they are worthy of being preserved, and are, for the most part, of very good counterpoint. It was after one of these little excursions in which I had the pleasure of seeing the aunt at her ease and very cheerful, and in which my spirits were much enlivened, that I wrote to the vicar very rapidly and very ill, an epistle in verse which will be found amongst my papers.

I had nearer to Paris another station much to my liking with M. Mussard, my countryman, relation and friend, who at Passy had made himself a charming retreat, where I have passed some very peaceful moments. M. Mussard was a jeweller, a man of good sense, who, after having acquired a genteel fortune, had given his only daughter in marriage to M. de Valmalette, the son of an exchange broker, and maitre d'hotel to the king, took the wise resolution to quit business in his declining years, and to place an interval of repose and enjoyment between the hurry and the end of life. The good man Mussard, a real philosopher in practice, lived without care, in a very pleasant house which he himself had built in a very pretty garden, laid out with his own hands. In digging the terraces of this garden he found fossil shells, and in such great quantities that his lively imagination saw nothing but shells in nature. He really thought the universe was composed of shells and the remains of shells, and that the whole earth was only the sand of these in different stratae. His attention thus constantly engaged with his singular discoveries, his imagination became so heated with the ideas they gave him, that, in his head, they would soon have been converted into a system, that is into folly, if, happily for his reason, but unfortunately for his friends, to whom he was dear, and to whom his house was an agreeable asylum, a most cruel and extraordinary disease had not put an end to his existence. A constantly increasing tumor in his stomach prevented him from eating, long before the cause of it was discovered, and, after several years of suffering, absolutely occasioned him to die of hunger. I can never, without the greatest affliction of mind, call to my recollection the last moments of this worthy man, who still received with so much pleasure, Leneips and myself, the only friends whom the sight of his sufferings did not separate from him until his last hour, when he was reduced to devouring with his eyes the repasts he had placed before us, scarcely having the power of swallowing a few drops of weak tea, which came up again a moment afterwards. But before these days of sorrow, how many have I passed at his house, with the chosen friends he had made himself! At the head of the list I place the Abbe Prevot, a very amiable man, and very sincere, whose heart vivified his writings, worthy of immortality, and who, neither in his disposition nor in society, had the least of the melancholy coloring he gave to his works. Procope, the physician, a little Esop, a favorite with the ladies; Boulanger, the celebrated posthumous author of 'Despotisme Oriental', and who, I am of opinion extended the systems of Mussard on the duration of the world. The female part of his friends consisted of Madam Denis, niece to Voltaire, who, at that time, was nothing more than a good kind of woman, and pretended not to wit: Madam Vanloo, certainly not handsome, but charming, and who sang like an angel: Madam de Valmalette, herself, who sang also, and who, although very thin, would have been very amiable had she had fewer pretensions. Such, or very nearly such, was the society of M. Mussard, with which I should had been much pleased, had not his conchyliomania more engaged my attention; and I can say, with great truth, that, for upwards of six months, I worked with him in his cabinet with as much pleasure as he felt himself.

He had long insisted upon the virtue of the waters of Passy, that they were proper in my case, and recommended me to come to his house to drink them. To withdraw myself from the tumult of the city, I at length consented, and went to pass eight or ten days at Passy, which, on account of my being in the country, were of more service to me than the waters I drank during my stay there. Mussard played the violincello, and was passionately found of Italian music. This was the subject of a long conversation we had one evening after supper, particularly the 'opera-buffe' we had both seen in Italy, and with which we were highly delighted. My sleep having forsaken me in the night, I considered in what manner it would be possible to give in France an idea of this kind of drama. The 'Amours de Ragonde' did not in the least resemble it. In the morning, whilst I took my walk and drank the waters, I hastily threw together a few couplets to which I adapted such airs as occurred to me at the moments. I scribbled over what I had composed, in a kind of vaulted saloon at the end of the garden, and at tea. I could not refrain from showing the airs to Mussard and to Mademoiselle du Vernois, his 'gouvernante', who was a very good and amiable girl. Three pieces of composition I had sketched out were the first monologue: 'J'ai perdu mon serviteur;'—the air of the Devin; 'L'amour croit s'il s'inquiete;' and the last duo: 'A jamais, Colin, je t'engage, etc.' I was so far from thinking it worth while to continue what I had begun, that, had it not been for the applause and encouragement I received from both Mussard and Mademoiselle, I should have throw n my papers into the fire and thought no more of their contents, as I had frequently done by things of much the same merit; but I was so animated by the encomiums I received, that in six days, my drama, excepting a few couplets, was written. The music also was so far sketched out, that all I had further to do to it after my return from Paris, was to compose a little of the recitative, and to add the middle parts, the whole of which I finished with so much rapidity, that in three weeks my work was ready for representation. The only thing now wanting, was the divertissement, which was not composed until a long time afterwards.

My imagination was so warmed by the composition of this work that I had the strongest desire to hear it performed, and would have given anything to have seen and heard the whole in the manner I should have chosen, which would have been that of Lully, who is said to have had 'Armide' performed for himself only. As it was not possible I should hear the performance unaccompanied by the public, I could not see the effect of my piece without getting it received at the opera. Unfortunately it was quite a new species of composition, to which the ears of the public were not accustomed; and besides the ill success of the 'Muses Gallantes' gave too much reason to fear for the Devin, if I presented it in my own name. Duclos relieved me from this difficulty, and engaged to get the piece rehearsed without mentioning the author. That I might not discover myself, I did not go to the rehearsal, and the 'Petits violons', by whom it was directed, knew not who the author was until after a general plaudit had borne the testimony of the work.

[Rebel and Frauneur, who, when they were very young, went together from house to house playing on the violin, were so called.]

Everybody present was so delighted with it, that, on the next day, nothing else was spoken of in the different companies. M. de Cury, Intendant des Menus, who was present at the rehearsal, demanded the piece to have it performed at court. Duclos, who knew my intentions, and thought I should be less master of my work at the court than at Paris, refused to give it. Cury claimed it authoratively. Duclos persisted in his refusal, and the dispute between them was carried to such a length, that one day they would have gone out from the opera-house together had they not been separated. M. de Cury applied to me, and I referred him to Duclos. This made it necessary to return to the latter. The Duke d'Aumont interfered; and at length Duclos thought proper to yield to authority, and the piece was given to be played at Fontainebleau.

The part to which I had been most attentive, and in which I had kept at the greatest distance from the common track, was the recitative. Mine was accented in a manner entirely new, and accompanied the utterance of the word. The directors dared not suffer this horrid innovation to pass, lest it should shock the ears of persons who never judge for themselves. Another recitative was proposed by Francueil and Jelyotte, to which I consented; but refused at the same time to have anything to do with it myself.

When everything was ready and the day of performance fixed, a proposition was made me to go to Fontainebleau, that I might at least be at the last rehearsal. I went with Mademoiselle Fel, Grimm, and I think the Abbe Raynal, in one of the stages to the court. The rehearsal was tolerable: I was more satisfied with it than I expected to have been. The orchestra was numerous, composed of the orchestras of the opera and the king's band. Jelyotte played Colin, Mademoiselle Fel, Colette, Cuvillier the Devin: the choruses were those of the opera. I said but little; Jelyotte had prepared everything; I was unwilling either to approve of or censure what he had done; and notwithstanding I had assumed the air of an old Roman, I was, in the midst of so many people, as bashful as a schoolboy.

The next morning, the day of performance, I went to breakfast at the coffee-house 'du grand commun', where I found a great number of people. The rehearsal of the preceding evening, and the difficulty of getting into the theatre, were the subjects of conversation. An officer present said he entered with the greatest ease, gave a long account of what had passed, described the author, and related what he had said and done; but what astonished me most in this long narrative, given with as much assurance as simplicity, was that it did not contain a syllable of truth. It was clear to me that he who spoke so positively of the rehearsal had not been at it, because, without knowing him, he had before his eyes that author whom he said he had seen and examined so minutely. However, what was more singular still in this scene, was its effect upon me. The officer was a man rather in years, he had nothing of the appearance of a coxcomb; his features appeared to announce a man of merit; and his cross of Saint Louis, an officer of long standing. He interested me: notwithstanding his impudence. Whilst he uttered his lies, I blushed, looked down, and was upon thorns; I, for some time, endeavored within myself to find the means of believing him to be in an involuntary error. At length, trembling lest some person should know me, and by this means confound him, I hastily drank my chocolate, without saying a word, and, holding down my head, I passed before him, got out of the coffee-house as soon as possible, whilst the company were making their remarks upon the relation that had been given. I was no sooner in the street than I was in a perspiration, and had anybody known and named me before I left the room, I am certain all the shame and embarrassment of a guilty person would have appeared in my countenance, proceeding from what I felt the poor man would have had to have suffered had his lie been discovered.

I come to one of the critical moments of my life, in which it is difficult to do anything more than to relate, because it is almost impossible that even narrative should not carry with it the marks of censure or apology. I will, however, endeavor to relate how and upon what motives I acted, with out adding either approbation or censure.

I was on that day in the same careless undress as usual, with a long beard and wig badly combed. Considering this want of decency as an act of courage, I entered the theatre wherein the king, queen, the royal family, and the whole court were to enter immediately after. I was conducted to a box by M. de Cury, and which belonged to him. It was very spacious, upon the stage and opposite to a lesser, but more elevated one, in which the king sat with Madam de Pompadour.

As I was surrounded by women, and the only man in front of the box, I had no doubt of my having been placed there purposely to be exposed to view. As soon as the theatre was lighted up, finding I was in the midst of people all extremely well dressed, I began to be less at my ease, and asked myself if I was in my place? whether or not I was properly dressed? After a few minutes of inquietude: "Yes," replied I, with an intrepidity which perhaps proceeded more from the impossibility of retracting than the force of all my reasoning, "I am in my place, because I am going to see my own piece performed, to which I have been invited, for which reason only I am come here; and after all, no person has a greater right than I have to reap the fruit of my labor and talents; I am dressed as usual, neither better nor worse; and if I once begin to subject myself to public opinion, I shall shortly become a slave to it in everything. To be always consistent with myself, I ought not to blush, in any place whatever, at being dressed in a manner suitable to the state I have chosen. My exterior appearance is simple, but neither dirty nor slovenly; nor is a beard either of these in itself, because it is given us by nature, and according to time, place and custom, is sometimes an ornament. People think I am ridiculous, nay, even absurd; but what signifies this to me? I ought to know how to bear censure and ridicule, provided I do not deserve them." After this little soliloquy I became so firm that, had it been necessary, I could have been intrepid. But whether it was the effect of the presence of his majesty, or the natural disposition of those about me, I perceived nothing but what was civil and obliging in the curiosity of which I was the object. This so much affected me that I began to be uneasy for myself, and the fate of my piece; fearing I should efface the favorable prejudices which seemed to lead to nothing but applause. I was armed against raillery; but, so far overcome, by the flattering and obliging treatment I had not expected, that I trembled like a child when the performance was begun.

I had soon sufficient reason to be encouraged. The piece was very ill played with respect to the actors, but the musical part was well sung and executed. During the first scene, which was really of a delightful simplicity, I heard in the boxes a murmur of surprise and applause, which, relative to pieces of the same kind, had never yet happened. The fermentation was soon increased to such a degree as to be perceptible through the whole audience, and of which, to speak—after the manner of Montesquieu—the effect was augmented by itself. In the scene between the two good little folks, this effect was complete. There is no clapping of hands before the king; therefore everything was heard, which was advantageous to the author and the piece. I heard about me a whispering of women, who appeared as beautiful as angels. They said to each other in a low voice: "This is charming: That is ravishing: There is not a sound which does not go to the heart." The pleasure of giving this emotion to so many amiable persons moved me to tears; and these I could not contain in the first duo, when I remarked that I was not the only person who wept. I collected myself for a moment, on recollecting the concert of M. de Treitorens. This reminiscence had the effect of the slave who held the crown over the head of the general who triumphed, but my reflection was short, and I soon abandoned myself without interruption to the pleasure of enjoying my success. However, I am certain the voluptuousness of the sex was more predominant than the vanity of the author, and had none but men been present, I certainly should not have had the incessant desire I felt of catching on my lips the delicious tears I had caused to flow. I have known pieces excite more lively admiration, but I never saw so complete, delightful, and affecting an intoxication of the senses reign, during a whole representation, especially at court, and at a first performance. They who saw this must recollect it, for it has never yet been equalled.

The same evening the Duke d' Aumont sent to desire me to be at the palace the next day at eleven o'clock, when he would present me to the king. M. de Cury, who delivered me the message, added that he thought a pension was intended, and that his majesty wished to announce it to me himself. Will it be believed that the night of so brilliant a day was for me a night of anguish and perplexity? My first idea, after that of being presented, was that of my frequently wanting to retire; this had made me suffer very considerably at the theatre, and might torment me the next day when I should be in the gallery, or in the king's apartment, amongst all the great, waiting for the passing of his majesty. My infirmity was the principal cause which prevented me from mixing in polite companies, and enjoying the conversation of the fair. The idea alone of the situation in which this want might place me, was sufficient to produce it to such a degree as to make me faint away, or to recur to means to which, in my opinion, death was much preferable. None but persons who are acquainted with this situation can judge of the horror which being exposed to the risk of it inspires.

I then supposed myself before the king, presented to his majesty, who deigned to stop and speak to me. In this situation, justness of expression and presence of mind were peculiarly necessary in answering. Would my timidity which disconcerts me in presence of any stranger whatever, have been shaken off in presence of the King of France; or would it have suffered me instantly to make choice of proper expressions? I wished, without laying aside the austere manner I had adopted, to show myself sensible of the honor done me by so great a monarch, and in a handsome and merited eulogium to convey some great and useful truth. I could not prepare a suitable answer without exactly knowing what his majesty was to say to me; and had this been the case, I was certain that, in his presence, I should not recollect a word of what I had previously meditated. "What," said I, "will become of me in this moment, and before the whole court, if, in my confusion, any of my stupid expressions should escape me?" This danger alarmed and terrified me. I trembled to such a degree that at all events I was determined not to expose myself to it.

I lost, it is true, the pension which in some measure was offered me; but I at the same time exempted myself from the yoke it would have imposed. Adieu, truth, liberty, and courage! How should I afterwards have dared to speak of disinterestedness and independence? Had I received the pension I must either have become a flatterer or remained silent; and, moreover, who would have insured to me the payment of it! What steps should I have been under the necessity of taking! How many people must I have solicited! I should have had more trouble and anxious cares in preserving than in doing without it. Therefore, I thought I acted according to my principles by refusing, and sacrificing appearances to reality. I communicated my resolution to Grimm, who said nothing against it. To others I alleged my ill state of health, and left the court in the morning.

My departure made some noise, and was generally condemned. My reasons could not be known to everybody, it was therefore easy to accuse me of foolish pride, and thus not irritate the jealousy of such as felt they would not have acted as I had done. The next day Jelyotte wrote me a note, in which he stated the success of my piece, and the pleasure it had afforded the king. "All day long," said he, "his majesty sings, with the worst voice in his kingdom: 'J'ai perdu mon serviteur: J'ai perdu tout mon bonheur.'" He likewise added, that in a fortnight the Devin was to be performed a second time; which confirmed in the eyes of the public the complete success of the first.

Two days afterwards, about nine o'clock in the evening, as I was going to sup with Madam D'Epinay, I perceived a hackney-coach pass by the door. Somebody within made a sign to me to approach. I did so, and got into it, and found the person to be Diderot. He spoke of the pension with more warmth than, upon such a subject, I should have expected from a philosopher. He did not blame me for having been unwilling to be presented to the king, but severely reproached me with my indifference about the pension. He observed that although on my own account I might be disinterested, I ought not to be so on that of Madam Vasseur and her daughter; that it was my duty to seize every means of providing for their subsistence; and that as, after all, it could not be said I had refused the pension, he maintained I ought, since the king seemed disposed to grant it to me, to solicit and obtain it by one means or another. Although I was obliged to him for his good wishes, I could not relish his maxims, which produced a warm dispute, the first I ever had with him. All our disputes were of this kind, he prescribing to me what he pretended I ought to do, and I defending myself because I was of a different opinion.

It was late when we parted. I would have taken him to supper at Madam d' Epinay's, but he refused to go; and, notwithstanding all the efforts which at different times the desire of uniting those I love induced me to make, to prevail upon him to see her, even that of conducting her to his door which he kept shut against us, he constantly refused to do it, and never spoke of her but with the utmost contempt. It was not until after I had quarrelled with both that they became acquainted and that he began to speak honorably of her.

From this time Diderot and Grimm seemed to have undertaken to alienate from me the governesses, by giving them to understand that if they were not in easy circumstances the fault was my own, and that they never would be so with me. They endeavored to prevail on them to leave me, promising them the privilege for retailing salt, a snuff shop, and I know not what other advantages by means of the influence of Madam d' Epinay. They likewise wished to gain over Duclos and d'Holback, but the former constantly refused their proposals. I had at the time some intimation of what was going forward, but I was not fully acquainted with the whole until long afterwards; and I frequently had reason to lament the effects of the blind and indiscreet zeal of my friends, who, in my ill state of health, striving to reduce me to the most melancholy solitude, endeavored, as they imagined, to render me happy by the means which, of all others, were the most proper to make me miserable.

In the carnival following the conclusion of the year 1753, the Devin was performed at Paris, and in this interval I had sufficient time to compose the overture and divertissement. This divertissement, such as it stands engraved, was to be in action from the beginning to the end, and in a continued subject, which in my opinion, afforded very agreeable representations. But when I proposed this idea at the opera-house, nobody would so much as hearken to me, and I was obliged to tack together music and dances in the usual manner: on this account the divertissement, although full of charming ideas which do not diminish the beauty of scenes, succeeded but very middlingly. I suppressed the recitative of Jelyotte, and substituted my own, such as I had first composed it, and as it is now engraved; and this recitative a little after the French manner, I confess, drawled out, instead of pronounced by the actors, far from shocking the ears of any person, equally succeeded with the airs, and seemed in the judgment of the public to possess as much musical merit. I dedicated my piece to Duclos, who had given it his protection, and declared it should be my only dedication. I have, however, with his consent, written a second; but he must have thought himself more honored by the exception, than if I had not written a dedication to any person.

I could relate many anecdotes concerning this piece, but things of greater importance prevent me from entering into a detail of them at present. I shall perhaps resume the subject in a supplement. There is however one which I cannot omit, as it relates to the greater part of what is to follow. I one day examined the music of D'Holbach, in his closet. After having looked over many different kinds, he said, showing me a collection of pieces for the harpsichord: "These were composed for me; they are full of taste and harmony, and unknown to everybody but myself. You ought to make a selection from them for your divertissement." Having in my head more subjects of airs and symphonies than I could make use of, I was not the least anxious to have any of his. However, he pressed me so much, that, from a motive of complaisance, I chose a Pastoral, which I abridged and converted into a trio, for the entry of the companions of Colette. Some months afterwards, and whilst the Devin still continued to be performed, going into Grimms I found several people about his harpsichord, whence he hastily rose on my arrival. As I accidently looked toward his music stand, I there saw the same collection of the Baron d'Holback, opened precisely at the piece he had prevailed upon me to take, assuring me at the same time that it should never go out of his hands. Some time afterwards, I again saw the collection open on the harpischord of M. d'Papinay, one day when he gave a little concert. Neither Grimm, nor anybody else, ever spoke to me of the air, and my reason for mentioning it here is that some time afterwards, a rumor was spread that I was not the author of Devin. As I never made a great progress in the practical part, I am persuaded that had it not been for my dictionary of music, it would in the end have been said I did not understand composition.

Sometime before the 'Devin du Village' was performed, a company of Italian Bouffons had arrived at Paris, and were ordered to perform at the opera-house, without the effect they would produce there being foreseen. Although they were detestable, and the orchestra, at that time very ignorant, mutilated at will the pieces they gave, they did the French opera an injury that will never be repaired. The comparison of these two kinds of music, heard the same evening in the same theatre, opened the ears of the French; nobody could endure their languid music after the marked and lively accents of Italian composition; and the moment the Bouffons had done, everybody went away. The managers were obliged to change the order of representation, and let the performance of the Bouffons be the last. 'Egle Pigmalion' and 'le Sylphe' were successively given: nothing could bear the comparison. The 'Devin du Village' was the only piece that did it, and this was still relished after 'la Serva Padroma'. When I composed my interlude, my head was filled with these pieces, and they gave me the first idea of it: I was, however, far from imagining they would one day be passed in review by the side of my composition. Had I been a plagiarist, how many pilferings would have been manifest, and what care would have been taken to point them out to the public! But I had done nothing of the kind. All attempts to discover any such thing were fruitless: nothing was found in my music which led to the recollection of that of any other person; and my whole composition compared with the pretended original, was found to be as new as the musical characters I had invented. Had Mondonville or Rameau undergone the same ordeal, they would have lost much of their substance.

The Bouffons acquired for Italian music very warm partisans. All Paris was divided into two parties, the violence of which was greater than if an affair of state or religion had been in question. One of them, the most powerful and numerous, composed of the great, of men of fortune, and the ladies, supported French music; the other, more lively and haughty, and fuller of enthusiasm, was composed of real connoisseurs, and men of talents, and genius. This little group assembled at the opera-house, under the box belonging to the queen. The other party filled up the rest of the pit and the theatre; but the heads were mostly assembled under the box of his majesty. Hence the party names of Coin du Roi, Coin de la Reine,—[King's corner,—Queen's corner.]—then in great celebrity. The dispute, as it became more animated, produced several pamphlets. The king's corner aimed at pleasantry; it was laughed at by the 'Petit Prophete'. It attempted to reason; the 'Lettre sur la Musique Francoise' refuted its reasoning. These two little productions, the former of which was by Grimm, the latter by myself, are the only ones which have outlived the quarrel; all the rest are long since forgotten.

But the Petit Prophete, which, notwithstanding all I could say, was for a long time attributed to me, was considered as a pleasantry, and did not produce the least inconvenience to the author: whereas the letter on music was taken seriously, and incensed against me the whole nation, which thought itself offended by this attack on its music. The description of the incredible effect of this pamphlet would be worthy of the pen of Tacitus. The great quarrel between the parliament and the clergy was then at its height. The parliament had just been exiled; the fermentation was general; everything announced an approaching insurrection. The pamphlet appeared: from that moment every other quarrel was forgotten; the perilous state of French music was the only thing by which the attention of the public was engaged, and the only insurrection was against myself. This was so general that it has never since been totally calmed. At court, the bastile or banishment was absolutely determined on, and a 'lettre de cachet' would have been issued had not M. de Voyer set forth in the most forcible manner that such a step would be ridiculous. Were I to say this pamphlet probably prevented a revolution, the reader would imagine I was in a dream. It is, however, a fact, the truth of which all Paris can attest, it being no more than fifteen years since the date of this singular fact. Although no attempts were made on my liberty, I suffered numerous insults; and even my life was in danger. The musicians of the opera orchestra humanely resolved to murder me as I went out of the theatre. Of this I received information; but the only effect it produced on me was to make me more assiduously attend the opera; and I did not learn, until a considerable time afterwards, that M. Ancelot, officer in the mousquetaires, and who had a friendship for me, had prevented the effect of this conspiracy by giving me an escort, which, unknown to myself, accompanied me until I was out of danger. The direction of the opera-house had just been given to the hotel de ville. The first exploit performed by the Prevot des Marchands, was to take from me my freedom of the theatre, and this in the most uncivil manner possible. Admission was publicly refused me on my presenting myself, so that I was obliged to take a ticket that I might not that evening have the mortification to return as I had come. This injustice was the more shameful, as the only price I had set on my piece when I gave it to the managers was a perpetual freedom of the house; for although this was a right, common to every author, and which I enjoyed under a double title, I expressly stipulated for it in presence of M. Duclos. It is true, the treasurer brought me fifty louis, for which I had not asked; but, besides the smallness of the sum, compared with that which, according to the rule, established in such cases, was due to me, this payment had nothing in common with the right of entry formerly granted, and which was entirely independent of it. There was in this behavior such a complication of iniquity and brutality, that the public, notwithstanding its animosity against me, which was then at its highest, was universally shocked at it, and many persons who insulted me the preceding evening, the next day exclaimed in the open theatre, that it was shameful thus to deprive an author of his right of entry; and particularly one who had so well deserved it, and was entitled to claim it for himself and another person. So true is the Italian proverb: Ogn' un ama la giustizia in cosa d altrui.—[Every one loves justice in the affairs of another.]

In this situation the only thing I had to do was to demand my work, since the price I had agreed to receive for it was refused me. For this purpose I wrote to M. d'Argenson, who had the department of the opera. I likewise enclosed to him a memoir which was unanswerable; but this, as well as my letter, was ineffectual, and I received no answer to either. The silence of that unjust man hurt me extremely, and did not contribute to increase the very moderate good opinion I always had of his character and abilities. It was in this manner the managers kept my piece while they deprived me of that for which I had given it them. From the weak to the strong, such an act would be a theft: from the strong to the weak, it is nothing more than an appropriation of property, without a right.

With respect to the pecuniary advantages of the work, although it did not produce me a fourth part of the sum it would have done to any other. person, they were considerable enough to enable me to subsist several years, and to make amends for the ill success of copying, which went on but very slowly. I received a hundred louis from the king; fifty from Madam de Pompadour, for the performance at Bellevue, where she herself played the part of Colin; fifty from the opera; and five hundred livres from Pissot, for the engraving; so that this interlude, which cost me no more than five or six weeks' application, produced, notwithstanding the ill treatment I received from the managers and my stupidity at court, almost as much money as my 'Emilius', which had cost me twenty years' meditation, and three years' labor. But I paid dearly for the pecuniary ease I received from the piece, by the infinite vexations it brought upon me. It was the germ of the secret jealousies which did not appear until a long time afterwards. After its success I did not remark, either in Grimm, Diderot, or any of the men of letters, with whom I was acquainted, the same cordiality and frankness, nor that pleasure in seeing me, I had previously experienced. The moment I appeared at the baron's, the conversation was no longer general; the company divided into small parties; whispered into each other's ears; and I remained alone, without knowing to whom to address myself. I endured for a long time this mortifying neglect; and, perceiving that Madam d'Holbach, who was mild and amiable, still received me well, I bore with the vulgarity of her husband as long as it was possible. But he one day attacked me without reason or pretence, and with such brutality, in presence of Diderot, who said not a word, and Margency, who since that time has often told me how much he admired the moderation and mildness of my answers, that, at length driven from his house, by this unworthy treatment, I took leave with a resolution never to enter it again. This did not, however, prevent me from speaking honorably of him and his house, whilst he continually expressed himself relative to me in the most insulting terms, calling me that 'petit cuistre': the little college pedant, or servitor in a college, without, however, being able to charge me with having done either to himself or any person to whom he was attached the most trifling injury. In this manner he verified my fears and predictions, I am of opinion my pretended friends would have pardoned me for having written books, and even excellent ones, because this merit was not foreign to themselves; but that they could not forgive my writing an opera, nor the brilliant success it had; because there was not one amongst them capable of the same, nor in a situation to aspire to like honors. Duclos, the only person superior to jealousy, seemed to become more attached to me: he introduced me to Mademoiselle Quinault, in whose house I received polite attention, and civility to as great an extreme, as I had found a want of it in that of M. d'Holbach.

Whilst the performance of the 'Devin du Village' was continued at the opera-house, the author of it had an advantageous negotiation with the managers of the French comedy. Not having, during seven or eight years, been able to get my 'Narcissis' performed at the Italian theatre, I had, by the bad performance in French of the actors, become disgusted with it, and should rather have had my piece received at the French theatre than by them. I mentioned this to La None, the comedian, with whom I had become acquainted, and who, as everybody knows, was a man of merit and an author. He was pleased with the piece, and promised to get it performed without suffering the name of the author to be known; and in the meantime procured me the freedom of the theatre, which was extremely agreeable to me, for I always preferred it to the two others. The piece was favorably received, and without the author's name being mentioned; but I have reason to believe it was known to the actors and actresses, and many other persons. Mademoiselles Gauffin and Grandval played the amorous parts; and although the whole performance was, in my opinion, injudicious, the piece could not be said to be absolutely ill played. The indulgence of the public, for which I felt gratitude, surprised me; the audience had the patience to listen to it from the beginning to the end, and to permit a second representation without showing the least sign of disapprobation. For my part, I was so wearied with the first, that I could not hold out to the end; and the moment I left the theatre, I went into the Cafe de Procope, where I found Boissi, and others of my acquaintance, who had probably been as much fatigued as myself. I there humbly or haughtily avowed myself the author of the piece, judging it as everybody else had done. This public avowal of an author of a piece which had not succeeded, was much admired, and was by no means painful to myself. My self-love was flattered by the courage with which I made it: and I am of opinion, that, on this occasion, there was more pride in speaking, than there would have been foolish shame in being silent. However, as it was certain the piece, although insipid in the performance would bear to be read, I had it printed: and in the preface, which is one of the best things I ever wrote, I began to make my principles more public than I had before done.

I soon had an opportunity to explain them entirely in a work of the greatest importance: for it was, I think, this year, 1753, that the programma of the Academy of Dijon upon the 'Origin of the Inequality of Mankind' made its appearance. Struck with this great question, I was surprised the academy had dared to propose it: but since it had shown sufficient courage to do it, I thought I might venture to treat it, and immediately undertook the discussion.

That I might consider this grand subject more at my ease, I went to St. Germain for seven or eight days with Theresa, our hostess, who was a good kind of woman, and one of her friends. I consider this walk as one of the most agreeable ones I ever took. The weather was very fine. These good women took upon themselves all the care and expense. Theresa amused herself with them; and I, free from all domestic concerns, diverted myself, without restraint, at the hours of dinner and supper. All the rest of the day wandering in the forest, I sought for and found there the image of the primitive ages of which I boldly traced the history. I confounded the pitiful lies of men; I dared to unveil their nature; to follow the progress of time, and the things by which it has been disfigured; and comparing the man of art with the natural man, to show them, in their pretended improvement, the real source of all their misery. My mind, elevated by these contemplations, ascended to the Divinity, and thence, seeing my fellow creatures follow in the blind track of their prejudices that of their errors and misfortunes, I cried out to them, in a feeble voice, which they could not hear: "Madmen! know that all your evils proceed from yourselves!"

From these meditations resulted the discourse on Inequality, a work more to the taste of Diderot than any of my other writings, and in which his advice was of the greatest service to me.

[At the time I wrote this, I had not the least suspicion of the grand conspiracy of Diderot and Grimm. otherwise I should easily. have discovered how much the former abused my confidence, by giving to my writings that severity and melancholy which were not to be found in them from the moments he ceased to direct me. The passage of the philosopher, who argues with himself, and stops his ears against the complaints of a man in distress, is after his manner: and he gave me others still more extraordinary; which I could never resolve to make use of. But, attributing, this melancholy to that he had acquired in the dungeon of Vincennes, and of which there is a very sufficient dose in his Clairoal, I never once suspected the least unfriendly dealing. ]

It was, however, understood but by few readers, and not one of these would ever speak of it. I had written it to become a competitor for the premium, and sent it away fully persuaded it would not obtain it; well convinced it was not for productions of this nature that academies were founded.

This excursion and this occupation enlivened my spirits and was of service to my health. Several years before, tormented by my disorder, I had entirely given myself up to the care of physicians, who, without alleviating my sufferings, exhausted my strength and destroyed my constitution. At my return from St. Germain, I found myself stronger and perceived my health to be improved. I followed this indication, and determined to cure myself or die without the aid of physicians and medicine. I bade them forever adieu, and lived from day to day, keeping close when I found myself indisposed, and going abroad the moment I had sufficient strength to do it. The manner of living in Paris amidst people of pretensions was so little to my liking; the cabals of men of letters, their little candor in their writings, and the air of importance they gave themselves in the world, were so odious to me; I found so little mildness, openness of heart and frankness in the intercourse even of my friends; that, disgusted with this life of tumult, I began ardently to wish to reside in the country, and not perceiving that my occupation permitted me to do it, I went to pass there all the time I had to spare. For several months I went after dinner to walk alone in the Bois de Boulogne, meditating on subjects for future works, and not returning until evening.

Gauffecourt, with whom I was at that time extremely intimate, being on account of his employment obliged to go to Geneva, proposed to me the journey, to which I consented. The state of my health was such as to require the care of the governess; it was therefore decided she should accompany us, and that her mother should remain in the house. After thus having made our arrangements, we set off on the first of June, 1754.

This was the period when at the age of forty-two, I for the first time in my life felt a diminution of my natural confidence to which I had abandoned myself without reserve or inconvenience. We had a private carriage, in which with the same horses we travelled very slowly. I frequently got out and walked. We had scarcely performed half our journey when Theresa showed the greatest uneasiness at being left in the carriage with Gauffecourt, and when, notwithstanding her remonstrances, I would get out as usual, she insisted upon doing the same, and walking with me. I chid her for this caprice, and so strongly opposed it, that at length she found herself obliged to declare to me the cause whence it proceeded. I thought I was in a dream; my astonishment was beyond expression, when I learned that my friend M. de Gauffecourt, upwards of sixty years of age, crippled by the gout, impotent and exhausted by pleasures, had, since our departure, incessantly endeavored to corrupt a person who belonged to his friend, and was no longer young nor handsome, by the most base and shameful means, such as presenting to her a purse, attempting to inflame her imagination by the reading of an abominable book, and by the sight of infamous figures, with which it was filled. Theresa, full of indignation, once threw his scandalous book out of the carriage; and I learned that on the first evening of our journey, a violent headache having obliged me to retire to bed before supper, he had employed the whole time of this tete-a-tete in actions more worthy of a satyr than a man of worth and honor, to whom I thought I had intrusted my companion and myself. What astonishment and grief of heart for me! I, who until then had believed friendship to be inseparable from every amiable and noble sentiment which constitutes all its charm, for the first time in my life found myself under the necessity of connecting it with disdain, and of withdrawing my confidence from a man for whom I had an affection, and by whom I imagined myself beloved! The wretch concealed from me his turpitude; and that I might not expose Theresa, I was obliged to conceal from him my contempt, and secretly to harbor in my heart such sentiments as were foreign to its nature. Sweet and sacred illusion of friendship! Gauffecourt first took the veil from before my eyes. What cruel hands have since that time prevented it from again being drawn over them!

At Lyons I quitted Gauffecourt to take the road to Savoy, being unable to be so near to mamma without seeing her. I saw her—Good God, in what a situation! How contemptible! What remained to her of primitive virtue? Was it the same Madam de Warrens, formerly so gay and lively, to whom the vicar of Pontverre had given me recommendations? How my heart was wounded! The only resource I saw for her was to quit the country. I earnestly but vainly repeated the invitation I had several times given her in my letters to come and live peacefully with me, assuring her I would dedicate the rest of my life, and that of Theresa, to render her happy. Attached to her pension, from which, although it was regularly paid, she had not for a long time received the least advantage, my offers were lost upon her. I again gave her a trifling part of the contents of my purse, much less than I ought to have done, and considerably less than I should have offered her had not I been certain of its not being of the least service to herself. During my residence at Geneva, she made a journey into Chablais, and came to see me at Grange-canal. She was in want of money to continue her journey: what I had in my pocket was insufficient to this purpose, but an hour afterwards I sent it her by Theresa. Poor mamma! I must relate this proof of the goodness of her heart. A little diamond ring was the last jewel she had left. She took it from her finger, to put it upon that of Theresa, who instantly replaced it upon that whence it had been taken, kissing the generous hand which she bathed with her tears. Ah! this was the proper moment to discharge my debt! I should have abandoned everything to follow her, and share her fate: let it be what it would. I did nothing of the kind. My attention was engaged by another attachment, and I perceived the attachment I had to her was abated by the slender hopes there were of rendering it useful to either of us. I sighed after her, my heart was grieved at her situation, but I did not follow her. Of all the remorse I felt this was the strongest and most lasting. I merited the terrible chastisement with which I have since that time incessantly been overwhelmed: may this have expiated my ingratitude! Of this I appear guilty in my conduct, but my heart has been too much distressed by what I did ever to have been that of an ungrateful man.

Before my departure from Paris I had sketched out the dedication of my discourse on the 'Inequality of Mankind'. I finished it at Chambery, and dated it from that place, thinking that, to avoid all chicane, it was better not to date it either from France or Geneva. The moment I arrived in that city I abandoned myself to the republican enthusiasm which had brought me to it. This was augmented by the reception I there met with. Kindly treated by persons of every description, I entirely gave myself up to a patriotic zeal, and mortified at being excluded from the rights of a citizen by the possession of a religion different from that of my forefathers, I resolved openly to return to the latter. I thought the gospel being the same for every Christian, and the only difference in religious opinions the result of the explanations given by men to that which they did not understand, it was the exclusive right of the sovereign power in every country to fix the mode of worship, and these unintelligible opinions; and that consequently it was the duty of a citizen to admit the one, and conform to the other in the manner prescribed by the law. The conversation of the encyclopaedists, far from staggering my faith, gave it new strength by my natural aversion to disputes and party. The study of man and the universe had everywhere shown me the final causes and the wisdom by which they were directed. The reading of the Bible, and especially that of the New Testament, to which I had for several years past applied myself, had given me a sovereign contempt for the base and stupid interpretations given to the words of Jesus Christ by persons the least worthy of understanding his divine doctrine. In a word, philosophy, while it attached me to the essential part of religion, had detached me from the trash of the little formularies with which men had rendered it obscure. Judging that for a reasonable man there were not two ways of being a Christian, I was also of opinion that in each country everything relative to form and discipline was within the jurisdiction of the laws. From this principle, so social and pacific, and which has brought upon me such cruel persecutions, it followed that, if I wished to be a citizen of Geneva, I must become a Protestant, and conform to the mode of worship established in my country. This I resolved upon; I moreover put myself under the instructions of the pastor of the parish in which I lived, and which was without the city. All I desired was not to appear at the consistory. However, the ecclesiastical edict was expressly to that effect; but it was agreed upon to dispense with it in my favor, and a commission of five or six members was named to receive my profession of faith. Unfortunately, the minister Perdriau, a mild and an amiable man, took it into his head to tell me the members were rejoiced at the thoughts of hearing me speak in the little assembly. This expectation alarmed me to such a degree that having night and day during three weeks studied a little discourse I had prepared, I was so confused when I ought to have pronounced it that I could not utter a single word, and during the conference I had the appearance of the most stupid schoolboy. The persons deputed spoke for me, and I answered yes and no, like a blockhead; I was afterwards admitted to the communion, and reinstated in my rights as a citizen. I was enrolled as such in the lists of guards, paid by none but citizens and burgesses, and I attended at a council-general extraordinary to receive the oath from the syndic Mussard. I was so impressed with the kindness shown me on this occasion by the council and the consistory, and by the great civility and obliging behavior of the magistrates, ministers and citizens, that, pressed by the worthy De Luc, who was incessant in his persuasions, and still more so by my own inclination, I did not think of going back to Paris for any other purpose than to break up housekeeping, find a situation for M. and Madam le Vassear, or provide for their subsistence, and then return with Theresa to Geneva, there to settle for the rest of my days.

After taking this resolution I suspended all serious affairs the better to enjoy the company of my friends until the time of my departure. Of all the amusements of which I partook, that with which I was most pleased, was sailing round the lake in a boat, with De Luc, the father, his daughter-in-law, his two sons, and my Theresa. We gave seven days to this excursion in the finest weather possible. I preserved a lively remembrance of the situation which struck me at the other extremity of the lake, and of which I, some years afterwards, gave a description in my New Eloisa.

The principal connections I made at Geneva, besides the De Lucs, of which I have spoken, were the young Vernes, with whom I had already been acquainted at Paris, and of whom I then formed a better opinion than I afterwards had of him. M. Perdriau, then a country pastor, now professor of Belles Lettres, whose mild and agreeable society will ever make me regret the loss of it, although he has since thought proper to detach himself from me; M. Jalabert, at that time professor of natural philosophy, since become counsellor and syndic, to whom I read my discourse upon Inequality (but not the dedication), with which he seemed to be delighted; the Professor Lullin, with whom I maintained a correspondence until his death, and who gave me a commission to purchase books for the library; the Professor Vernet, who, like most other people, turned his back upon me after I had given him proofs of attachment and confidence of which he ought to, have been sensible, if a theologian can be affected by anything; Chappins, clerk and successor to Gauffecourt, whom he wished to supplant, and who, soon afterwards, was him self supplanted; Marcet de Mezieres, an old friend of my father's, and who had also shown himself to be mine: after having well deserved of his country, he became a dramatic author, and, pretending to be of the council of two hundred, changed his principles, and, before he died, became ridiculous. But he from whom I expected most was M. Moultout, a very promising young man by his talents and his brilliant imagination, whom I have always loved, although his conduct with respect to me was frequently equivocal, and, not withstanding his being connected with my most cruel enemies, whom I cannot but look upon as destined to become the defender of my memory and the avenger of his friend.

In the midst of these dissipations, I neither lost the taste for my solitary excursions, nor the habit of them; I frequently made long ones upon the banks of the lake, during which my mind, accustomed to reflection, did not remain idle; I digested the plan already formed of my political institutions, of which I shall shortly have to speak; I meditated a history of the Valais; the plan of a tragedy in prose, the subject of which, nothing less than Lucretia, did not deprive me of the hope of succeeding, although I had dared again to exhibit that unfortunate heroine, when she could no longer be suffered upon any French stage. I at that time tried my abilities with Tacitus, and translated the first books of his history, which will be found amongst my papers.

After a residence of four months at Geneva, I returned in the month of October to Paris; and avoided passing through Lyons that I might not again have to travel with Gauffecourt. As the arrangement I had made did not require my being at Geneva until the spring following, I returned, during the winter, to my habits and occupations; the principal of the latter was examining the proof sheets of my discourse on the Inequality of Mankind, which I had procured to be printed in Holland, by the bookseller Rey, with whom I had just become acquainted at Geneva. This work was dedicated to the republic; but as the publication might be unpleasing to the council, I wished to wait until it had taken its effect at Geneva before I returned thither. This effect was not favorable to me; and the dedication, which the most pure patriotism had dictated, created me enemies in the council, and inspired even many of the burgesses with jealousy. M. Chouet, at that time first syndic, wrote me a polite but very cold letter, which will be found amongst my papers. I received from private persons, amongst others from Du Luc and De Jalabert, a few compliments, and these were all. I did not perceive that a single Genevese was pleased with the hearty zeal found in the work. This indifference shocked all those by whom it was remarked. I remember that dining one day at Clichy, at Madam Dupin's, with Crommelin, resident from the republic, and M. de Mairan, the latter openly declared the council owed me a present and public honors for the work, and that it would dishonor itself if it failed in either. Crommelin, who was a black and mischievous little man, dared not reply in my presence, but he made a frightful grimace, which however forced a smile from Madam Dupin. The only advantage this work procured me, besides that resulting from the satisfaction of my own heart, was the title of citizen given me by my friends, afterwards by the public after their example, and which I afterwards lost by having too well merited.

This ill success would not, however, have prevented my retiring to Geneva, had not more powerful motives tended to the same effect. M. D'Epinay, wishing to add a wing which was wanting to the chateau of the Chevrette, was at an immense expense in completing it. Going one day with Madam D'Epinay to see the building, we continued our walk a quarter of a league further to the reservoir of the waters of the park which joined the forest of Montmorency, and where there was a handsome kitchen garden, with a little lodge, much out of repair, called the Hermitage. This solitary and very agreeable place had struck me when I saw it for the first time before my journey to Geneva. I had exclaimed in my transport: "Ah, madam, what a delightful habitation! This asylum was purposely prepared for me." Madam D'Epinay did not pay much attention to what I said; but at this second journey I was quite surprised to find, instead of the old decayed building, a little house almost entirely new, well laid out, and very habitable for a little family of three persons. Madam D'Epinay had caused this to be done in silence, and at a very small expense, by detaching a few materials and some of the work men from the castle. She now said to me, on remarking my surprise: "My dear, here behold your asylum; it is you who have chosen it; friendship offers it to you. I hope this will remove from you the cruel idea of separating from me." I do not think I was ever in my life more strongly or more deliciously affected. I bathed with tears the beneficent hand of my friend; and if I were not conquered from that very instant even, I was extremely staggered. Madam D'Epinay, who would not be denied, became so pressing, employed so many means, so many people to circumvent me, proceeding even so far as to gain over Madam le Vasseur and her daughter, that at length she triumphed over all my resolutions. Renouncing the idea of residing in my own country, I resolved, I promised, to inhabit the Hermitage; and, whilst the building was drying, Madam D'Epinay took care to prepare furniture, so that everything was ready the following spring.





 




 

One thing which greatly aided me in determining, was the residence Voltaire had chosen near Geneva; I easily comprehended this man would cause a revolution there, and that I should find in my country the manners, which drove me from Paris; that I should be under the necessity of incessantly struggling hard, and have no other alternative than that of being an unsupportable pedant, a poltroon, or a bad citizen. The letter Voltaire wrote me on my last work, induced me to insinuate my fears in my answer; and the effect this produced confirmed them. From that moment I considered Geneva as lost, and I was not deceived. I perhaps ought to have met the storm, had I thought myself capable of resisting it. But what could I have done alone, timid, and speaking badly, against a man, arrogant, opulent, supported by the credit of the great, eloquent, and already the idol of the women and young men? I was afraid of uselessly exposing myself to danger to no purpose. I listened to nothing but my peaceful disposition, to my love of repose, which, if it then deceived me, still continues to deceive me on the same subject. By retiring to Geneva, I should have avoided great misfortunes; but I have my doubts whether, with all my ardent and patriotic zeal, I should have been able to effect anything great and useful for my country.

Tronchin, who about the same time went to reside at Geneva, came afterwards to Paris and brought with him treasures. At his arrival he came to see me, with the Chevalier Jaucourt. Madam D'Epinay had a strong desire to consult him in private, but this it was not easy to do. She addressed herself to me, and I engaged Tronchin to go and see her. Thus under my auspices they began a connection, which was afterwards increased at my expense. Such has ever been my destiny: the moment I had united two friends who were separately mine, they never failed to combine against me. Although, in the conspiracy then formed by the Tronchins, they must all have borne me a mortal hatred. He still continued friendly to me: he even wrote me a letter after his return to Geneva, to propose to me the place of honorary librarian. But I had taken my resolution, and the offer did not tempt me to depart from it.

About this time I again visited M. d'Holbach. My visit was occasioned by the death of his wife, which, as well as that of Madam Francueil, happened whilst I was at Geneva. Diderot, when he communicated to me these melancholy events, spoke of the deep affliction of the husband. His grief affected my heart. I myself was grieved for the loss of that excellent woman, and wrote to M. d'Holbach a letter of condolence. I forgot all the wrongs he had done me, and at my return from Geneva, and after he had made the tour of France with Grimm and other friends to alleviate his affliction, I went to see him, and continued my visits until my departure for the Hermitage. As soon as it was known in his circle that Madam D'Epinay was preparing me a habitation there, innumerable sarcasms, founded upon the want I must feel of the flattery and amusement of the city, and the supposition of my not being able to support the solitude for a fortnight, were uttered against me. Feeling within myself how I stood affected, I left him and his friends to say what they pleased, and pursued my intention. M. d'Holbach rendered me some services— in finding a place for the old Le Vasseur, who was eighty years of age and a burden to his wife, from which she begged me to relieve her.

[This is an instance of the treachery of my memory. A long time after I had written what I have stated above, I learned, in conversing with my wife, that it was not M. d'Holbach, but M. de Chenonceaux, then one of the administrators of the Hotel Dieu, who procured this place for her father. I had so totally forgotten the circumstance, and the idea of M. d'Holbach's having done it was so strong in my mind that I would have sworn it had been him.]

He was put into a house of charity, where, almost as soon as he arrived there, age and the grief of finding himself removed from his family sent him to the grave. His wife and all his children, except Theresa, did not much regret his loss. But she, who loved him tenderly, has ever since been inconsolable, and never forgiven herself for having suffered him, at so advanced an age, to end his days in any other house than her own.

Much about the same time I received a visit I little expected, although it was from a very old acquaintance. My friend Venture, accompanied by another man, came upon me one morning by surprise. What a change did I discover in his person! Instead of his former gracefulness, he appeared sottish and vulgar, which made me extremely reserved with him. My eyes deceived me, or either debauchery had stupefied his mind, or all his first splendor was the effect of his youth, which was past. I saw him almost with indifference, and we parted rather coolly. But when he was gone, the remembrance of our former connection so strongly called to my recollection that of my younger days, so charmingly, so prudently dedicated to that angelic woman (Madam de Warrens) who was not much less changed than himself; the little anecdotes of that happy time, the romantic day of Toune passed with so much innocence and enjoyment between those two charming girls, from whom a kiss of the hand was the only favor, and which, notwithstanding its being so trifling, had left me such lively, affecting and lasting regrets; and the ravishing delirium of a young heart, which I had just felt in all its force, and of which I thought the season forever past for me. The tender remembrance of these delightful circumstances made me shed tears over my faded youth and its transports for ever lost to me. Ah! how many tears should I have shed over their tardy and fatal return had I foreseen the evils I had yet to suffer from them.

Before I left Paris, I enjoyed during the winter which preceded my retreat, a pleasure after my own heart, and of which I tasted in all its purity. Palissot, academician of Nancy, known by a few dramatic compositions, had just had one of them performed at Luneville before the King of Poland. He perhaps thought to make his court by representing in his piece a man who had dared to enter into a literary dispute with the king. Stanislaus, who was generous, and did not like satire, was filled with indignation at the author's daring to be personal in his presence. The Comte de Tressan, by order of the prince, wrote to M. d'Alembert, as well as to myself, to inform me that it was the intention of his majesty to have Palissot expelled his academy. My answer was a strong solicitation in favor of Palissot, begging M. de Tressan to intercede with the king in his behalf. His pardon was granted, and M. de Tressan, when he communicated to me the information in the name of the monarch, added that the whole of what had passed should be inserted in the register of the academy. I replied that this was less granting a pardon than perpetuating a punishment. At length, after repeated solicitations, I obtained a promise, that nothing relative to the affair should be inserted in the register, and that no public trace should remain of it. The promise was accompanied, as well on the part of the king as on that of M. de Tressan, with assurance of esteem and respect, with which I was extremely flattered; and I felt on this occasion that the esteem of men who are themselves worthy of it, produced in the mind a sentiment infinitely more noble and pleasing than that of vanity. I have transcribed into my collection the letters of M. de Tressan, with my answers to them: and the original of the former will be found amongst my other papers.

I am perfectly aware that if ever these memoirs become public, I here perpetuate the remembrance of a fact which I would wish to efface every trace; but I transmit many others as much against my inclination. The grand object of my undertaking, constantly before my eyes, and the indispensable duty of fulfilling it to its utmost extent, will not permit me to be turned aside by trifling considerations, which would lead me from my purpose. In my strange and unparalleled situation, I owe too much to truth to be further than this indebted to any person whatever. They who wish to know me well must be acquainted with me in every point of view, in every relative situation, both good and bad. My confessions are necessarily connected with those of many other people: I write both with the same frankness in everything that relates to that which has befallen me; and am not obliged to spare any person more than myself, although it is my wish to do it. I am determined always to be just and true, to say of others all the good I can, never speaking of evil except when it relates to my own conduct, and there is a necessity for my so doing. Who, in the situation in which the world has placed me, has a right to require more at my hands? My confessions are not intended to appear during my lifetime, nor that of those they may disagreeably affect. Were I master of my own destiny, and that of the book I am now writing, it should never be made public until after my death and theirs. But the efforts which the dread of truth obliges my powerful enemies to make to destroy every trace of it, render it necessary for me to do everything, which the strictest right, and the most severe justice, will permit, to preserve what I have written. Were the remembrance of me to be lost at my dissolution, rather than expose any person alive, I would without a murmur suffer an unjust and momentary reproach. But since my name is to live, it is my duty to endeavor to transmit with it to posterity the remembrance of the unfortunate man by whom it was borne, such as he really was, and not such as his unjust enemies incessantly endeavored to describe him.







 

BOOK IX.



 

My impatience to inhabit the Hermitage not permitting me to wait until the return of fine weather, the moment my lodging was prepared I hastened to take possession of it, to the great amusement of the 'Coterie Holbachaque', which publicly predicted I should not be able to support solitude for three months, and that I should unsuccessfully return to Paris, and live there as they did. For my part, having for fifteen years been out of my element, finding myself upon the eve of returning to it, I paid no attention to their pleasantries. Since contrary to my inclinations, I have again entered the world, I have incessantly regretted my dear Charmettes, and the agreeable life I led there. I felt a natural inclination to retirement and the country: it was impossible for me to live happily elsewhere. At Venice, in the train of public affairs, in the dignity of a kind of representation, in the pride of projects of advancement; at Paris, in the vortex of the great world, in the luxury of suppers, in the brilliancy of spectacles, in the rays of splendor; my groves, rivulets, and solitary walks, constantly presented themselves to my recollection, interrupted my thought, rendered me melancholy, and made me sigh with desire. All the labor to which I had subjected myself, every project of ambition which by fits had animated my ardor, all had for object this happy country retirement, which I now thought near at hand. Without having acquired a genteel independence, which I had judged to be the only means of accomplishing my views, I imagined myself, in my particular situation, to be able to do without it, and that I could obtain the same end by a means quite opposite. I had no regular income; but I possessed some talents, and had acquired a name. My wants were few, and I had freed myself from all those which were most expensive, and which merely depended on prejudice and opinion. Besides this, although naturally indolent, I was laborious when I chose to be so. and my idleness was less that of an indolent man, than that of an independent one who applies to business when it pleases him. My profession of a copyist of music was neither splendid nor lucrative, but it was certain. The world gave me credit for the courage I had shown in making choice of it. I might depend upon having sufficient employment to enable me to live. Two thousand livres which remained of the produce of the 'Devin du Village', and my other writings, were a sum which kept me from being straitened, and several works I had upon the stocks promised me, without extorting money from the booksellers, supplies sufficient to enable me to work at my ease without exhausting myself, even by turning to advantage the leisure of my walks. My little family, consisting of three persons, all of whom were usefully employed, was not expensive to support. Finally, from my resources, proportioned to my wants and desires, I might reasonably expect a happy and permanent existence, in that manner of life which my inclination had induced me to adopt.

I might have taken the interested side of the question, and, instead of subjecting my pen to copying, entirely devoted it to works which, from the elevation to which I had soared, and at which I found myself capable of continuing, might have enabled me to live in the midst of abundance, nay, even of opulence, had I been the least disposed to join the manoeuvres of an author to the care of publishing a good book. But I felt that writing for bread would soon have extinguished my genius, and destroyed my talents, which were less in my pen than in my heart, and solely proceeded from an elevated and noble manner of thinking, by which alone they could be cherished and preserved. Nothing vigorous or great can come from a pen totally venal. Necessity, nay, even avarice, perhaps, would have made me write rather rapidly than well. If the desire of success had not led me into cabals, it might have made me endeavor to publish fewer true and useful works than those which might be pleasing to the multitude; and instead of a distinguished author, which I might possibly become, I should have been nothing more than a scribbler. No: I have always felt that the profession of letters was illustrious in proportion as it was less a trade. It is too difficult to think nobly when we think for a livelihood. To be able to dare even to speak great truths, an author must be independent of success. I gave my books to the public with a certainty of having written for the general good of mankind, without giving myself the least concern about what was to follow. If the work was thrown aside, so much the worse for such as did not choose to profit by it. Their approbation was not necessary to enable me to live, my profession was sufficient to maintain me had not my works had a sale, for which reason alone they all sold.

It was on the ninth of August, 1756, that I left cities, never to reside in them again: for I do not call a residence the few days I afterwards remained in Paris, London, or other cities, always on the wing, or contrary to my inclinations. Madam d'Epinay came and took us all three in her coach; her farmer carted away my little baggage, and I was put into possession the same day. I found my little retreat simply furnished, but neatly, and with some taste. The hand which had lent its aid in this furnishing rendered it inestimable in my eyes, and I thought it charming to be the guest of my female friend in a house I had made choice of, and which she had caused to be built purposely for me.

Although the weather was cold, and the ground lightly covered with snow, the earth began to vegetate: violets and primroses already made their appearance, the trees began to bud, and the evening of my arrival was distinguished by the song of the nightingale, which was heard almost under my window, in a wood adjoining the house. After a light sleep, forgetting when I awoke my change of abode, I still thought myself in the Rue Grenelle, when suddenly this warbling made me give a start, and I exclaimed in my transport: "At length, all my wishes are accomplished!" The first thing I did was to abandon myself to the impression of the rural objects with which I was surrounded. Instead of beginning to set things in order in my new habitation, I began by doing it for my walks, and there was not a path, a copse, a grove, nor a corner in the environs of my place of residence that I did not visit the next day. The more I examined this charming retreat, the more I found it to my wishes. This solitary, rather than savage, spot transported me in idea to the end of the world. It had striking beauties which are but seldom found near cities, and never, if suddenly transported thither, could any person have imagined himself within four leagues of Paris.

After abandoning myself for a few days to this rural delirium, I began to arrange my papers, and regulate my occupations. I set apart, as I had always done, my mornings to copying, and my afternoons to walking, provided with my little paper book and a pencil, for never having been able to write and think at my ease except 'sub dio', I had no inclination to depart from this method, and I was persuaded the forest of Montmorency, which was almost at my door, would in future be my closet and study. I had several works begun; these I cast my eye over. My mind was indeed fertile in great projects, but in the noise of the city the execution of them had gone on but slowly. I proposed to myself to use more diligence when I should be less interrupted. I am of opinion I have sufficiently fulfilled this intention; and for a man frequently ill, often at La Chevrette, at Epinay, at Raubonne, at the castle of Montmorency, at other times interrupted by the indolent and curious, and always employed half the day in copying, if what I produced during the six years I passed at the Hermitage and at Montmorency be considered, I am persuaded it will appear that if, in this interval, I lost my time, it was not in idleness.

Of the different works I had upon the stocks, that I had longest resolved in my mind which was most to my taste; to which I destined a certain portion of my life, and which, in my opinion, was to confirm the reputation I had acquired, was my 'Institutions Politiques. I had, fourteen years before, when at Venice, where I had an opportunity of remarking the defects of that government so much boasted of, conceived the first idea of them. Since that time my views had become much more extended by the historical study of morality. I had perceived everything to be radically connected with politics, and that, upon whatever principles these were founded, a people would never be more than that which the nature of the government made them; therefore the great question of the best government possible appeared to me to be reduced to this: What is the nature of a government the most proper to form the most virtuous and enlightened, the wisest and best people, taking the last epithet in its most extensive meaning? I thought this question was much if not quite of the same nature with that which follows: What government is that which, by its nature, always maintains itself nearest to the laws, or least deviates from the laws. Hence, what is the law? and a series of questions of similar importance. I perceived these led to great truths, useful to the happiness of mankind, but more especially to that of my country, wherein, in the journey I had just made to it, I had not found notions of laws and liberty either sufficiently just or clear. I had thought this indirect manner of communicating these to my fellow-citizens would be least mortifying to their pride, and might obtain me forgiveness for having seen a little further than themselves.

Although I had already labored five or six years at the work, the progress I had made in it was not considerable. Writings of this kind require meditation, leisure and tranquillity. I had besides written the 'Institutions Politiques', as the expression is, 'en bonne fortune', and had not communicated my project to any person; not even to Diderot. I was afraid it would be thought too daring for the age and country in which I wrote, and that the fears of my friends would restrain me from carrying it into execution.

[It was more especially the wise severity of Duclos which inspired me with this fear; as for Diderot, I know not by what means all my conferences with him tended to make me more satirical than my natural disposition inclined me to be. This prevented me from consulting him upon an undertaking, in which I wished to introduce nothing but the force of reasoning without the least appearance of ill humor or partiality. The manner of this work may be judged of by that of the 'Contrat Social', which is taken from it.]

I did not yet know that it would be finished in time, and in such a manner as to appear before my decease. I wished fearlessly to give to my subject everything it required; fully persuaded that not being of a satirical turn, and never wishing to be personal, I should in equity always be judged irreprehensible. I undoubtedly wished fully to enjoy the right of thinking which I had by birth; but still respecting the government under which I lived, without ever disobeying its laws, and very attentive not to violate the rights of persons, I would not from fear renounce its advantages.

I confess, even that, as a stranger, and living in France, I found my situation very favorable in daring to speak the truth; well knowing that continuing, as I was determined to do, not to print anything in the kingdom without permission, I was not obliged to give to any person in it an account of my maxims nor of their publication elsewhere. I should have been less independent even at Geneva, where, in whatever place my books might have been printed, the magistrate had a right to criticise their contents. This consideration had greatly contributed to make me yield to the solicitations of Madam d'Epinay, and abandon the project of fixing my residence at Geneva. I felt, as I have remarked in my Emilius, that unless an author be a man of intrigue, when he wishes to render his works really useful to any country whatsoever, he must compose them in some other.

What made me find my situation still more happy, was my being persuaded that the government of France would, perhaps, without looking upon me with a very favorable eye, make it a point to protect me, or at least not to disturb my tranquillity. It appeared to me a stroke of simple, yet dexterous policy, to make a merit of tolerating that which there was no means of preventing; since, had I been driven from France, which was all government had the right to do, my work would still have been written, and perhaps with less reserve; whereas if I were left undisturbed, the author remained to answer for what he wrote, and a prejudice, general throughout all Europe, would be destroyed by acquiring the reputation of observing a proper respect for the rights of persons.

They who, by the event, shall judge I was deceived, may perhaps be deceived in their turn. In the storm which has since broken over my head, my books served as a pretence, but it was against my person that every shaft was directed. My persecutors gave themselves but little concern about the author, but they wished to ruin Jean Jacques; and the greatest evil they found in my writings was the honor they might possibly do me. Let us not encroach upon the future. I do not know that this mystery, which is still one to me, will hereafter be cleared up to my readers; but had my avowed principles been of a nature to bring upon me the treatment I received, I should sooner have become their victim, since the work in which these principles are manifested with most courage, not to call it audacity, seemed to have had its effect previous to my retreat to the Hermitage, without I will not only say my having received the least censure, but without any steps having been taken to prevent the publication of it in France, where it was sold as publicly as in Holland. The New Eloisa afterwards appeared with the same facility, I dare add; with the same applause: and, what seems incredible, the profession of faith of this Eloisa at the point of death is exactly similar to that of the Savoyard vicar. Every strong idea in the Social Contract had been before published in the discourse on Inequality; and every bold opinion in Emilius previously found in Eloisa. This unrestrained freedom did not excite the least murmur against the first two works; therefore it was not that which gave cause to it against the latter.

Another undertaking much of the same kind, but of which the project was more recent, then engaged my attention: this was the extract of the works of the Abbe de Saint Pierre, of which, having been led away by the thread of my narrative, I have not hitherto been able to speak. The idea was suggested to me, after my return from Geneva, by the Abbe Malby, not immediately from himself, but by the interposition of Madam Dupin, who had some interest in engaging me to adopt it. She was one of the three or four-pretty women of Paris, of whom the Abbe de Saint Pierre had been the spoiled child, and although she had not decidedly had the preference, she had at least partaken of it with Madam d'Aiguillon. She preserved for the memory of the good man a respect and an affection which did honor to them both; and her self-love would have been flattered by seeing the still-born works of her friend brought to life by her secretary. These works contained excellent things, but so badly told that the reading of them was almost insupportable; and it is astonishing the Abbe de Saint Pierre, who looked upon his readers as schoolboys, should nevertheless have spoken to them as men, by the little care he took to induce them to give him a hearing. It was for this purpose that the work was proposed to me as useful in itself, and very proper for a man laborious in manoeuvre, but idle as an author, who finding the trouble of thinking very fatiguing, preferred, in things which pleased him, throwing a light upon and extending the ideas of others, to producing any himself. Besides, not being confined to the functions of a translator, I was at liberty sometimes to think for myself; and I had it in my power to give such a form to my work, that many important truths would pass in it under the name of the Abbe de Saint Pierre, much more safely than under mine. The undertaking also was not trifling; the business was nothing less than to read and meditate twenty-three volumes, diffuse, confused, full of long narrations and periods, repetitions, and false or little views, from amongst which it was necessary to select some few that were good and useful, and sufficiently encouraging to enable me to support the painful labor. I frequently wished to have given it up, and should have done so, could I have got it off my hands with a great grace; but when I received the manuscripts of the abbe, which were given to me by his nephew, the Comte de Saint Pierre, I had, by the solicitation of St. Lambert, in some measure engaged to make use of them, which I must either have done, or have given them back. It was with the former intention I had taken the manuscripts to the Hermitage, and this was the first work to which I proposed to dedicate my leisure hours.

I had likewise in my own mind projected a third, the idea of which I owed to the observations I had made upon myself and I felt the more disposed to undertake this work, as I had reason to hope I could make it a truly useful one, and perhaps, the most so of any that could be offered to the world, were the execution equal to the plan I had laid down. It has been remarked that most men are in the course of their lives frequently unlike themselves, and seem to be transformed into others very different from what they were. It was not to establish a thing so generally known that I wished to write a book; I had a newer and more important object. This was to search for the causes of these variations, and, by confining my observations to those which depend on ourselves, to demonstrate in what manner it might be possible to direct them, in order to render us better and more certain of our dispositions. For it is undoubtedly more painful to an honest man to resist desires already formed, and which it is his duty to subdue, than to prevent, change, or modify the same desires in their source, were he capable of tracing them to it. A man under temptation resists once because he has strength of mind, he yields another time because this is overcome; had it been the same as before he would again have triumphed.

By examining within myself, and searching in others what could be the cause of these different manners of being, I discovered that, in a great measure they depended on the anterior impressions of external objects; and that, continually modified by our senses and organs, we, without knowing it, bore in our ideas, sentiments, and even actions, the effect of these modifications. The striking and numerous observations I had collected were beyond all manner of dispute, and by their natural principle seemed proper to furnish an exterior regimen, which varied according to circumstances, might place and support the mind in the state most favorable to virtue. From how many mistakes would reason be preserved, how many vices would be stifled in their birth, were it possible to force animal economy to favor moral order, which it so frequently disturbs! Climate, seasons, sounds, colors, light, darkness, the elements, ailments, noise, silence, motion, rest, all act on the animal machine, and consequently on the mind: all offer a thousand means, almost certain of directing in their origin the sentiments by which we suffer ourselves to be governed. Such was the fundamental idea of which I had already made a sketch upon paper, and whence I hoped for an effect the more certain, in favor of persons well disposed, who, sincerely loving virtue, were afraid of their own weakness, as it appeared to me easy to make of it a book as agreeable to read as it was to compose. I have, however, applied myself but very little to this work, the title of which was to have been 'Morale Sensitive' ou le Materialisme du Sage. —[Sensitive Morality, or the Materialism of the Sage.]—Interruptions, the cause of which will soon appear, prevented me from continuing it, and the fate of the sketch, which is more connected with my own than it may appear to be, will hereafter be seen.

Besides this, I had for some time meditated a system of education, of which Madam de Chenonceaux, alarmed for her son by that of her husband, had desired me to consider. The authority of friendship placed this object, although less in itself to my taste, nearer to my heart than any other. On which account this subject, of all those of which I have just spoken, is the only one I carried to its utmost extent. The end I proposed to myself in treating of it should, I think, have procured the author a better fate. But I will not here anticipate this melancholy subject. I shall have too much reason to speak of it in the course of my work.

These different objects offered me subjects of meditation for my walks; for, as I believed I had already observed, I am unable to reflect when I am not walking: the moment I stop, I think no more, and as soon as I am again in motion my head resumes its workings. I had, however, provided myself with a work for the closet upon rainy days. This was my dictionary of music, which my scattered, mutilated, and unshapen materials made it necessary to rewrite almost entirely. I had with me some books necessary to this purpose; I had spent two months in making extracts from others, I had borrowed from the king's library, whence I was permitted to take several to the Hermitage. I was thus provided with materials for composing in my apartment when the weather did not permit me to go out, and my copying fatigued me. This arrangement was so convenient that it made it turn to advantage as well at the Hermitage as at Montmorency, and afterwards even at Motiers, where I completed the work whilst I was engaged in others, and constantly found a change of occupation to be a real relaxation.

During a considerable time I exactly followed the distribution I had prescribed myself, and found it very agreeable; but as soon as the fine weather brought Madam d'Epinay more frequently to Epinay, or to the Chervette, I found that attentions, in the first instance natural to me, but which I had not considered in my scheme, considerably deranged my projects. I have already observed that Madam d'Epinay had many amiable qualities; she sincerely loved her friends; served them with zeal; and, not sparing for them either time or pains, certainly deserved on their part every attention in return. I had hitherto discharged this duty without considering it as one, but at length I found that I had given myself a chain of which nothing but friendship prevented me from feeling the weight, and this was still aggravated by my dislike to numerous societies. Madam d' Epinay took advantage of these circumstances to make me a proposition seemingly agreeable to me, but which was more so to herself; this was to let me know when she was alone, or had but little company. I consented, without perceiving to what a degree I engaged myself. The consequence was that I no longer visited her at my own hour —but at hers, and that I never was certain of being master of myself for a day together. This constraint considerably diminished the pleasure I had in going to see her. I found the liberty she had so frequently promised was given me upon no other condition than that of my never enjoying it; and once or twice when I wished to do this there were so many messages, notes, and alarms relative to my health, that I perceived that I could have no excuse but being confined to my bed, for not immediately running to her upon the first intimation. It was necessary I should submit to this yoke, and I did it, even more voluntarily than could be expected from so great an enemy to dependence: the sincere attachment I had to Madam D'Epinay preventing me, in a great measure, from feeling the inconvenience with which it was accompanied. She, on her part, filled up, well or ill, the void which the absence of her usual circle left in her amusements. This for her was but a very slender supplement, although preferable to absolute solitude, which she could not support. She had the means of doing it much more at her ease after she began with literature, and at all events to write novels, letters, comedies, tales, and other trash of the same kind. But she was not so much amused in writing these as in reading them; and she never scribbled over two or three pages—at one sitting—without being previously assured of having, at least, two or three benevolent auditors at the end of so much labor. I seldom had the honor of being one of the chosen few except by means of another. When alone, I was, for the most part, considered as a cipher in everything; and this not only in the company of Madam D'Epinay, but in that of M. d'Holbach, and in every place where Grimm gave the 'ton'. This nullity was very convenient to me, except in a tete-a-tete, when I knew not what countenance to put on, not daring to speak of literature, of which it was not for me to say a word; nor of gallantry, being too timid, and fearing, more than death, the ridiculousness of an old gallant; besides that, I never had such an idea when in the company of Madam D'Epinay, and that it perhaps would never have occurred to me, had I passed my whole life with her; not that her person was in the least disagreeable to me; on the contrary, I loved her perhaps too much as a friend to do it as a lover. I felt a pleasure in seeing and speaking to her. Her conversation, although agreeable enough in a mixed company, was uninteresting in private; mine, not more elegant or entertaining than her own, was no great amusement to her. Ashamed of being long silent, I endeavored to enliven our tete-a-tete and, although this frequently fatigued me, I was never disgusted with it. I was happy to show her little attentions, and gave her little fraternal kisses, which seemed not to be more sensual to herself; these were all. She was very thin, very pale, and had a bosom which resembled the back of her hand. This defect alone would have been sufficient to moderate my most ardent desires; my heart never could distinguish a woman in a person who had it; and besides other causes useless to mention, always made me forget the sex of this lady.

Having resolved to conform to an assiduity which was necessary, I immediately and voluntarily entered upon it, and for the first year at least, found it less burthensome than I could have expected. Madam d'Epinay, who commonly passed the summer in the country, continued there but a part of this; whether she was more detained by her affairs in Paris, or that the absence of Grimm rendered the residence of the Chevrette less agreeable to her, I know not. I took the advantage of the intervals of her absence, or when the company with her was numerous, to enjoy my solitude with my good Theresa and her mother, in such a manner as to taste all its charms. Although I had for several years passed been frequently in the country, I seldom had enjoyed much of its pleasures; and these excursions, always made in company with people who considered themselves as persons of consequence, and rendered insipid by constraint, served to increase in me the natural desire I had for rustic pleasures. The want of these was the more sensible to me as I had the image of them immediately before my eyes. I was so tired of saloons, jets d'eau, groves, parterres, and of more fatiguing persons by whom they were shown; so exhausted with pamphlets, harpsichords, trios, unravellings of plots, stupid bon mots, insipid affections, pitiful storytellers, and great suppers; that when I gave a side glance at a poor simple hawthorn bush, a hedge, a barn, or a meadow; when, in passing through a hamlet, I scented a good chervil omelette, and heard at a distance the burden of a rustic song of the Bisquieres; I wished all rouge, furbelows and amber at the d—l, and envying the dinner of the good housewife, and the wine of her own vineyard, I heartily wished to give a slap on the chaps to Monsieur le Chef and Monsieur le Maitre, who made me dine at the hour of supper, and sup when I should have been asleep, but especially to Messieurs the lackeys, who devoured with their eyes the morsel I put into my mouth, and upon pain of my dying with thirst, sold me the adulterated wine of their master, ten times dearer than that of a better quality would have cost me at a public house.

At length I was settled in an agreeable and solitary asylum, at liberty to pass there the remainder of my days, in that peaceful, equal, and independent life for which I felt myself born. Before I relate the effects this situation, so new to me, had upon my heart, it is proper I should recapitulate its secret affections, that the reader may better follow in their causes the progress of these new modifications.

I have always considered the day on which I was united to Theresa as that which fixed my moral existence. An attachment was necessary for me, since that which should have been sufficient to my heart had been so cruelly broken. The thirst after happiness is never extinguished in the heart of man. Mamma was advancing into years, and dishonored herself! I had proofs that she could never more be happy here below; it therefore remained to me to seek my own happiness, having lost all hopes of partaking of hers. I was sometimes irresolute, and fluctuated from one idea to another, and from project to project. My journey to Venice would have thrown me into public life, had the man with whom, almost against my inclination, I was connected there had common sense. I was easily discouraged, especially in undertakings of length and difficulty. The ill success of this disgusted me with every other; and, according to my old maxims, considering distant objects as deceitful allurements, I resolved in future to provide for immediate wants, seeing nothing in life which could tempt me to make extraordinary efforts.

It was precisely at this time we became acquainted. The mild character of the good Theresa seemed so fitted to my own, that I united myself to her with an attachment which neither time nor injuries have been able to impair, and which has constantly been increased by everything by which it might have been expected to be diminished. The force of this sentiment will hereafter appear when I come to speak of the wounds she has given my heart in the height of my misery, without my ever having, until this moment, once uttered a word of complaint to any person whatever.

When it shall be known, that after having done everything, braved everything, not to separate from her; that after passing with her twenty years in despite of fate and men; I have in my old age made her my wife, without the least expectation or solicitation on her part, or promise or engagement on mine, the world will think that love bordering upon madness, having from the first moment turned my head, led me by degrees to the last act of extravagance; and this will no longer appear doubtful when the strong and particular reasons which should forever have prevented me from taking such a step are made known. What, therefore, will the reader think when I shall have told him, with all the truth he has ever found in me, that, from the first moment in which I saw her, until that wherein I write, I have never felt the least love for her, that I never desired to possess her more than I did to possess Madam de Warrens, and that the physical wants which were satisfied with her person were, to me, solely those of the sex, and by no means proceeding from the individual? He will think that, being of a constitution different from that of other men, I was incapable of love, since this was not one of the sentiments which attached me to women the most dear to my heart. Patience, O my dear reader! the fatal moment approaches in which you will be but too much undeceived.

I fall into repetitions; I know it; and these are necessary. The first of my wants, the greatest, strongest and most insatiable, was wholly in my heart; the want of an intimate connection, and as intimate as it could possibly be: for this reason especially, a woman was more necessary to me than a man, a female rather than a male friend. This singular want was such that the closest corporal union was not sufficient: two souls would have been necessary to me in the same body, without which I always felt a void. I thought I was upon the point of filling it up forever. This young person, amiable by a thousand excellent qualities, and at that time by her form, without the shadow of art or coquetry, would have confined within herself my whole existence, could hers, as I had hoped it would, have been totally confined to me. I had nothing to fear from men; I am certain of being the only man she ever really loved and her moderate passions seldom wanted another not even after I ceased in this respect to be one to her. I had no family; she had one; and this family was composed of individuals whose dispositions were so different from mine, that I could never make it my own. This was the first cause of my unhappiness. What would I not have given to be the child of her mother? I did everything in my power to become so, but could never succeed. I in vain attempted to unite all our interests: this was impossible. She always created herself one different from mine, contrary to it, and to that even of her daughter, which already was no longer separated from it. She, her other children, and grand-children, became so many leeches, and the least evil these did to Theresa was robbing her. The poor girl, accustomed to submit, even to her nieces, suffered herself to be pilfered and governed without saying a word; and I perceived with grief that by exhausting my purse, and giving her advice, I did nothing that could be of any real advantage to her. I endeavored to detach her from her mother; but she constantly resisted such a proposal. I could not but respect her resistance, and esteemed her the more for it; but her refusal was not on this account less to the prejudice of us both. Abandoned to her mother and the rest of her family, she was more their companion than mine, and rather at their command than mistress of herself. Their avarice was less ruinous than their advice was pernicious to her; in fact, if, on account of the love she had for me, added to her good natural disposition, she was not quite their slave, she was enough so to prevent in a great measure the effect of the good maxims I endeavored to instil into her, and, notwithstanding all my efforts, to prevent our being united.

Thus was it, that notwithstanding a sincere and reciprocal attachment, in which I had lavished all the tenderness of my heart, the void in that heart was never completely filled. Children, by whom this effect should have been produced, were brought into the world, but these only made things worse. I trembled at the thought of intrusting them to a family ill brought up, to be still worse educated. The risk of the education of the foundling hospital was much less. This reason for the resolution I took, much stronger than all those I stated in my letter to Madam de Francueil, was, however, the only one with which I dared not make her acquainted; I chose rather to appear less excusable than to expose to reproach the family of a person I loved. But by the conduct of her wretched brother, notwithstanding all that can be said in his defence, it will be judged whether or not I ought to have exposed my children to an education similar to his.

Not having it in my power to taste in all its plentitude the charms of that intimate connection of which I felt the want, I sought for substitutes which did not fill up the void, yet they made it less sensible. Not having a friend entirely devoted to me, I wanted others, whose impulse should overcome my indolence; for this reason I cultivated and strengthened my connection with Diderot and the Abbe de Condillac, formed with Grimm a new one still more intimate, till at length by the unfortunate discourse, of which I have related some particulars, I unexpectedly found myself thrown back into a literary circle which I thought I had quitted forever.

My first steps conducted me by a new path to another intellectual world, the simple and noble economy of which I cannot contemplate without enthusiasm. I reflected so much on the subject that I soon saw nothing but error and folly in the doctrine of our sages, and oppression and misery in our social order. In the illusion of my foolish pride, I thought myself capable of destroying all imposture; and thinking that, to make myself listened to, it was necessary my conduct should agree with my principles, I adopted the singular manner of life which I have not been permitted to continue, the example of which my pretended friends have never forgiven me, which at first made me ridiculous, and would at length have rendered me respectable, had it been possible for me to persevere.

Until then I had been good; from that moment I became virtuous, or at least infatuated with virtue. This infatuation had begun in my head, but afterwards passed into my heart. The most noble pride there took root amongst the ruins of extirpated vanity. I affected nothing; I became what I appeared to be, and during four years at least, whilst this effervescence continued at its greatest height, there is nothing great and good that can enter the heart of man, of which I was not capable between heaven and myself. Hence flowed my sudden eloquence; hence, in my first writings, that fire really celestial, which consumed me, and whence during forty years not a single spark had escaped, because it was not yet lighted up.

I was really transformed; my friends and acquaintance scarcely knew me. I was no longer that timid, and rather bashful than modest man, who neither dared to present himself, nor utter a word; whom a single pleasantry disconcerted, and whose face was covered with a blush the moment his eyes met those of a woman. I became bold, haughty, intrepid, with a confidence the more firm, as it was simple, and resided in my soul rather than in my manner. The contempt with which my profound meditations had inspired me for the manners, maxims and prejudices of the age in which I lived, rendered me proof against the raillery of those by whom they were possessed, and I crushed their little pleasantries with a sentence, as I would have crushed an insect with my fingers.

What a change! All Paris repeated the severe and acute sarcasms of the same man who, two years before, and ten years afterwards, knew not how to find what he had to say, nor the word he ought to employ. Let the situation in the world the most contrary to my natural disposition be sought after, and this will be found. Let one of the short moments of my life in which I became another man, and ceased to be myself, be recollected, this also will be found in the time of which I speak; but, instead of continuing only six days, or six weeks, it lasted almost six years, and would perhaps still continue, but for the particular circumstances which caused it to cease, and restored me to nature, above which I had, wished to soar.

The beginning of this change took place as soon as I had quitted Paris, and the sight of the vices of that city no longer kept up the indignation with which it had inspired me. I no sooner had lost sight of men than I ceased to despise them, and once removed from those who designed me evil, my hatred against them no longer existed. My heart, little fitted for hatred, pitied their misery, and even their wickedness. This situation, more pleasing but less sublime, soon allayed the ardent enthusiasm by which I had so long been transported; and I insensibly, almost to myself even, again became fearful, complaisant and timid; in a word, the same Jean Jacques I before had been.

Had this resolution gone no further than restoring me to myself, all would have been well; but unfortunately it rapidly carried me away to the other extreme. From that moment my mind in agitation passed the line of repose, and its oscillations, continually renewed, have never permitted it to remain here. I must enter into some detail of this second revolution; terrible and fatal era, of a fate unparalleled amongst mortals.

We were but three persons in our retirement; it was therefore natural our intimacy should be increased by leisure and solitude. This was the case between Theresa and myself. We passed in conversations in the shade the most charming and delightful hours, more so than any I had hitherto enjoyed. She seemed to taste of this sweet intercourse more than I had until then observed her to do; she opened her heart, and communicated to me, relative to her mother and family, things she had had resolution enough to conceal for a great length of time. Both had received from Madam Dupin numerous presents, made them on my account, and mostly for me, but which the cunning old woman, to prevent my being angry, had appropriated to her own use and that of her other children, without suffering Theresa to have the least share, strongly forbidding her to say a word to me of the matter: an order the poor girl had obeyed with an incredible exactness.

But another thing which surprised me more than this had done, was the discovery that besides the private conversations Diderot and Grimm had frequently had with both to endeavor to detach them from me, in which, by means of the resistance of Theresa, they had not been able to succeed, they had afterwards had frequent conferences with the mother, the subject of which was a secret to the daughter. However, she knew little presents had been made, and that there were mysterious goings backward and forward, the motive of which was entirely unknown to her. When we left Paris, Madam le Vasseur had long been in the habit of going to see Grimm twice or thrice a month, and continuing with him for hours together, in conversation so secret that the servant was always sent out of the room.

I judged this motive to be of the same nature with the project into which they had attempted to make the daughter enter, by promising to procure her and her mother, by means of Madam d'Epinay, a salt huckster's license, or snuff-shop; in a word, by tempting her with the allurements of gain. They had been told that, as I was not in a situation to do anything for them, I could not, on their account, do anything for myself. As in all this I saw nothing but good intentions, I was not absolutely displeased with them for it. The mystery was the only thing which gave me pain, especially on the part of the old woman, who moreover daily became more parasitical and flattering towards me. This, however, did not prevent her from reproaching her daughter in private with telling me everything, and loving me too much, observing to her she was a fool and would at length be made a dupe.

This woman possessed, to a supreme degree, the art of multiplying the presents made her, by concealing from one what she received from another, and from me what she received from all. I could have pardoned her avarice, but it was impossible I should forgive her dissimulation. What could she have to conceal from me whose happiness she knew principally consisted in that of herself and her daughter? What I had done for the daughter I had done for myself, but the services I rendered the mother merited on her part some acknowledgment. She ought, at least, to have thought herself obliged for them to her daughter, and to have loved me for the sake of her by whom I was already beloved. I had raised her from the lowest state of wretchedness; she received from my hands the means of subsistence, and was indebted to me for her acquaintance with the persons from whom she found means to reap considerable benefit. Theresa had long supported her by her industry, and now maintained her with my bread. She owed everything to this daughter, for whom she had done nothing, and her other children, to whom she had given marriage portions, and on whose account she had ruined herself, far from giving her the least aid, devoured her substance and mine. I thought that in such a situation she ought to consider me as her only friend and most sure protector, and that, far from making of my own affairs a secret to me, and conspiring against me in my house, it was her duty faithfully to acquaint me with everything in which I was interested, when this came to her knowledge before it did to mine. In what light, therefore, could I consider her false and mysterious conduct? What could I think of the sentiments with which she endeavored to inspire her daughter? What monstrous ingratitude was hers, to endeavor to instil it into her from whom I expected my greatest consolation?

These reflections at length alienated my affections from this woman, and to such a degree that I could no longer look upon her but with contempt. I nevertheless continued to treat with respect the mother of the friend of my bosom, and in everything to show her almost the reverence of a son; but I must confess I could not remain long with her without pain, and that I never knew how to bear restraint.

This is another short moment of my life, in which I approached near to happiness without being able to attain it, and this by no fault of my own. Had the mother been of a good disposition we all three should have been happy to the end of our days; the longest liver only would have been to be pitied. Instead of which, the reader will see the course things took, and judge whether or not it was in my power to change it.

Madam le Vasseur, who perceived I had got more full possession of the heart of Theresa, and that she had lost ground with her, endeavored to regain it; and instead of striving to restore herself to my good opinion by the mediation of her daughter attempted to alienate her affections from me. One of the means she employed was to call her family to her aid. I had begged Theresa not to invite any of her relations to the Hermitage, and she had promised me she would not. These were sent for in my absence, without consulting her, and she was afterwards prevailed upon to promise not to say anything of the matter. After the first step was taken all the rest were easy. When once we make a secret of anything to the person we love, we soon make little scruple of doing it in everything; the moment I was at the Chevrette the Hermitage was full of people who sufficiently amused themselves. A mother has always great power over a daughter of a mild disposition; yet notwithstanding all the old woman could do, she was never able to prevail upon Theresa to enter into her views, nor to persuade her to join in the league against me. For her part, she resolved upon doing it forever, and seeing on one side her daughter and myself, who were in a situation to live, and that was all; on the other, Diderot, Grimm, D' Holbach and Madam d'Epinay, who promised great things, and gave some little ones, she could not conceive it was possible to be in the wrong with the wife of a farmer-general and baron. Had I been more clear sighted, I should from this moment have perceived I nourished a serpent in my bosom. But my blind confidence, which nothing had yet diminished, was such that I could not imagine she wished to injure the person she ought to love. Though I saw numerous conspiracies formed on every side, all I complain of was the tyranny of persons who called themselves my friends, and who, as it seemed, would force me to be happy in the manner they should point out, and not in that I had chosen for myself.

Although Theresa refused to join in the confederacy with her mother, she afterwards kept her secret. For this her motive was commendable, although I will not determine whether she did it well or ill. Two women, who have secrets between them, love to prattle together; this attracted them towards each other, and Theresa, by dividing herself, sometimes let me feel I was alone; for I could no longer consider as a society that which we all three formed.

I now felt the neglect I had been guilty of during the first years of our connection, in not taking advantage of the docility with which her love inspired her, to improve her talents and give her knowledge, which, by more closely connecting us in our retirement would agreeably have filled up her time and my own, without once suffering us to perceive the length of a private conversation. Not that this was ever exhausted between us, or that she seemed disgusted with our walks; but we had not a sufficient number of ideas common to both to make ourselves a great store, and we could not incessantly talk of our future projects which were confined to those of enjoying the pleasures of life. The objects around us inspired me with reflections beyond the reach of her comprehension. An attachment of twelve years' standing had no longer need of words: we were too well acquainted with each other to have any new knowledge to acquire in that respect. The resource of puns, jests, gossiping and scandal, was all that remained. In solitude especially is it, that the advantage of living with a person who knows how to think is particularly felt. I wanted not this resource to amuse myself with her; but she would have stood in need of it to have always found amusement with me. The worst of all was our being obliged to hold our conversations when we could; her mother, who become importunate, obliged me to watch for opportunities to do it. I was under constraint in my own house: this is saying everything; the air of love was prejudicial to good friendship. We had an intimate intercourse without living in intimacy.

The moment I thought I perceived that Theresa sometimes sought for a pretext to elude the walks I proposed to her, I ceased to invite her to accompany me, without being displeased with her for not finding in them so much amusement as I did. Pleasure is not a thing which depends upon the will. I was sure of her heart, and the possession of this was all I desired. As long as my pleasures were hers, I tasted of them with her; when this ceased to be the case I preferred her contentment to my own.

In this manner it was that, half deceived in my expectation, leading a life after my own heart, in a residence I had chosen with a person who was dear to me, I at length found myself almost alone. What I still wanted prevented me from enjoying what I had. With respect to happiness and enjoyment, everything or nothing, was what was necessary to me. The reason of these observations will hereafter appear. At present I return to the thread of my narrative.

I imagined that I possessed treasures in the manuscripts given me by the Comte de St. Pierre. On examination I found they were a little more than the collection of the printed works of his uncle, with notes and corrections by his own hand, and a few other trifling fragments which had not yet been published. I confirmed myself by these moral writings in the idea I had conceived from some of his letters, shown me by Madam de Crequi, that he had more sense and ingenuity than at first I had imagined; but after a careful examination of his political works, I discerned nothing but superficial notions, and projects that were useful but impracticable, in consequence of the idea from which the author never could depart, that men conducted themselves by their sagacity rather than by their passions. The high opinion he had of the knowledge of the moderns had made him adopt this false principle of improved reason, the basis of all the institutions he proposed, and the source of his political sophisms. This extraordinary man, an honor to the age in which he lived, and to the human species, and perhaps the only person, since the creation of mankind, whose sole passion was that of reason, wandered in all his systems from error to error, by attempting to make men like himself, instead of taking them as they were, are, and will continue to be. He labored for imaginary beings, while he thought himself employed for the benefit of his contemporaries.

All these things considered, I was rather embarrassed as to the form I should give to my work. To suffer the author's visions to pass was doing nothing useful; fully to refute them would have been unpolite, as the care of revising and publishing his manuscripts, which I had accepted, and even requested, had been intrusted to me; this trust had imposed on me the obligation of treating the author honorably. I at length concluded upon that which to me appeared the most decent, judicious, and useful. This was to give separately my own ideas and those of the author, and, for this purpose, to enter into his views, to set them in a new light, to amplify, extend them, and spare nothing which might contribute to present them in all their excellence.

My work therefore was to be composed of two parts absolutely distinct: one, to explain, in the manner I have just mentioned, the different projects of the author; in the other, which was not to appear until the first had had its effect, I should have given my opinion upon these projects, which I confess might sometimes have exposed them to the fate of the sonnet of the misanthrope. At the head of the whole was to have been the life of the author. For this I had collected some good materials, and which I flattered myself I should not spoil in making use of them. I had been a little acquainted with the Abbe de St. Pierre, in his old age, and the veneration I had for his memory warranted to me, upon the whole, that the comte would not be dissatisfied with the manner in which I should have treated his relation.

I made my first essay on the 'Perpetual Peace', the greatest and most elaborate of all the works which composed the collection; and before I abandoned myself to my reflections I had the courage to read everything the abbe had written upon this fine subject, without once suffering myself to be disgusted either by his slowness or his repetitions. The public has seen the extract, on which account I have nothing to say upon the subject. My opinion of it has not been printed, nor do I know that it ever will be; however, it was written at the same time the extract was made. From this I passed to the 'Polysynodie', or Plurality of Councils, a work written under the regent to favor the administration he had chosen, and which caused the Abbe de Saint Pierre to be expelled from the academy, on account of some remarks unfavorable to the preceding administration, and with which the Duchess of Maine and the Cardinal de Polignac were displeased. I completed this work as I did the former, with an extract and remarks; but I stopped here without intending to continue the undertaking which I ought never to have begun.

The reflection which induced me to give it up naturally presents itself, and it was astonishing I had not made it sooner.

Most of the writings of the Abbe de Saint Pierre were either observations, or contained observations, on some parts of the government of France, and several of these were of so free a nature, that it was happy for him he had made them with impunity. But in the offices of all the ministers of state the Abbe de St. Pierre had ever been considered as a kind of preacher rather than a real politician, and he was suffered to say what he pleased, because it appeared that nobody listened to him. Had I procured him readers the case would have been different. He was a Frenchman, and I was not one; and by repeating his censures, although in his own name, I exposed myself to be asked, rather rudely, but without injustice, what it was with which I meddled. Happily before I proceeded any further, I perceived the hold I was about to give the government against me, and I immediately withdrew. I knew that, living alone in the midst of men more powerful than myself, I never could by any means whatever be sheltered from the injury they chose to do me. There was but one thing which depended upon my own efforts: this was, to observe such a line of conduct that whenever they chose to make me feel the weight of authority they could not do it without being unjust. The maxim which induced me to decline proceeding with the works of the Abbe de Saint Pierre, has frequently made me give up projects I had much more at heart. People who are always ready to construe adversity into a crime, would be much surprised were they to know the pains I have taken, that during my misfortunes it might never with truth be said of me, Thou hast deserved them.

After having given up the manuscript, I remained some time without determining upon the work which should succeed it, and this interval of inactivity was destructive; by permitting me to turn my reflections on myself, for want of another object to engage my attention. I had no project for the future which could amuse my imagination. It was not even possible to form any, as my situation was precisely that in which all my desires were united. I had not another to conceive, and yet there was a void in my heart. This state was the more cruel, as I saw no other that was to be preferred to it. I had fixed my most tender affections upon a person who made me a return of her own. I lived with her without constraint, and, so to speak, at discretion. Notwithstanding this, a secret grief of mind never quitted me for a moment, either when she was present or absent. In possessing Theresa, I still perceived she wanted something to her happiness; and the sole idea of my not being everything to her had such an effect upon my mind that she was next to nothing to me.

I had friends of both sexes, to whom I was attached by the purest friendship and most perfect esteem; I depended upon a real return on their part, and a doubt of their sincerity never entered my mind; yet this friendship was more tormenting than agreeable to me, by their obstinate perseverance and even by their affectation, in opposing my taste, inclinations and manner of living; and this to such a degree, that the moment I seemed to desire a thing which interested myself only, and depended not upon them, they immediately joined their efforts to oblige me to renounce it. This continued desire to control me in all my wishes, the more unjust, as I did not so much as make myself acquainted with theirs, became so cruelly oppressive, that I never received one of their letters without feeling a certain terror as I opened it, and which was but too well justified by the contents. I thought being treated like a child by persons younger than myself, and who, of themselves, stood in great need of the advice they so prodigally bestowed on me, was too much: "Love me," said I to them, "as I love you, but, in every other respect, let my affairs be as indifferent to you, as yours are to me: this is all I ask." If they granted me one of these two requests, it was not the latter.

I had a retired residence in a charming solitude, was master of my own house, and could live in it in the manner I thought proper, without being controlled by any person. This habitation imposed on me duties agreeable to discharge, but which were indispensable. My liberty was precarious. In a greater state of subjection than a person at the command of another, it was my duty to be so by inclination. When I arose in the morning, I never could say to myself, I will employ this day as I think proper. And, moreover, besides my being subject to obey the call of Madam d'Epinay, I was exposed to the still more disagreeable importunities of the public and chance comers. The distance I was at from Paris did not prevent crowds of idlers, not knowing how to spend their time, from daily breaking in upon me, and, without the least scruple, freely disposing of mine. When I least expected visitors I was unmercifully assailed by them, and I seldom made a plan for the agreeable employment of the day that was not counteracted by the arrival of some stranger.

In short, finding no real enjoyment in the midst of the pleasures I had been most desirous to obtain, I, by sudden mental transitions, returned in imagination to the serene days of my youth, and sometimes exclaimed with a sigh: "Ah! this is not Les Charmettes!"

The recollection of the different periods of my life led me to reflect upon that at which I was arrived, and I found I was already on the decline, a prey to painful disorders, and imagined I was approaching the end of my days without having, tasted, in all its plentitude, scarcely anyone of the pleasures after which my heart had so much thirsted, or having given scope to the lively sentiments I felt it had in reserve. I had not favored even that intoxicating voluptuousness with which my mind was richly stored, and which, for want of an object, was always compressed, an never exhaled but by signs.

How was it possible that, with a mind naturally expansive, I, with whom to live was to love, should not hitherto have found a friend entirely devoted to me; a real friend: I who felt myself so capable of being such a friend to another? How can it be accounted for that with such warm affections, such combustible senses, and a heart wholly made up of love, I had not once, at least, felt its flame for a determinate object? Tormented by the want of loving, without ever having been able to satisfy it, I perceived myself approaching the eve of old age, and hastening on to death without having lived.

These melancholy but affecting recollections led me to others, which, although accompanied with regret, were not wholly unsatisfactory. I thought something I had not yet received was still due to me from destiny.

To what end was I born with exquisite faculties? To suffer them to remain unemployed? the sentiment of conscious merit, which made me consider myself as suffering injustice, was some kind of reparation, and caused me to shed tears which with pleasure I suffered to flow.

These were my mediations during the finest season of the year, in the month of June, in cool shades, to the songs of the nightingale, and the warbling of brooks. Everything concurred in plunging me into that too seducing state of indolence for which I was born, and from which my austere manner, proceeding from a long effervescence, should forever have delivered me. I unfortunately remembered the dinner of the Chateau de Toune, and my meeting with the two charming girls in the same season, in places much resembling that in which I then was. The remembrance of these circumstances, which the innocence that accompanied them rendered to me still more dear, brought several others of the nature to my recollection. I presently saw myself surrounded by all the objects which, in my youth, had given me emotion. Mademoiselle Galley, Mademoiselle de Graffenried, Mademoiselle de Breil, Madam Basile, Madam de Larnage, my pretty scholars, and even the bewitching Zulietta, whom my heart could not forget. I found myself in the midst of a seraglio of houris of my old acquaintance, for whom the most lively inclination was not new to me. My blood became inflamed, my head turned, notwithstanding my hair was almost gray, and the grave citizen of Geneva, the austere Jean Jacques, at forty-five years of age, again became the fond shepherd. The intoxication, with which my mind was seized, although sudden and extravagant, was so strong and lasting, that, to enable me to recover from it, nothing less than the unforeseen and terrible crisis it brought on was necessary.

This intoxication, to whatever degree it was carried, went not so far as to make me forget my age and situation, to flatter me that I could still inspire love, nor to make me attempt to communicate the devouring flame by which ever since my youth I had felt my heart in vain consumed. For this I did not hope; I did not even desire it. I knew the season of love was past; I knew too well in what contempt the ridiculous pretensions of superannuated gallants were held, ever to add one to the number, and I was not a man to become an impudent coxcomb in the decline of life, after having been so little such during the flower of my age. Besides, as a friend to peace, I should have been apprehensive of domestic dissensions; and I too sincerely loved Theresa to expose her to the mortification of seeing me entertain for others more lively sentiments than those with which she inspired me for herself.

What step did I take upon this occasion? My reader will already have guessed it, if he has taken the trouble to pay the least attention to my narrative. The impossibility of attaining real beings threw me into the regions of chimera, and seeing nothing in existence worthy of my delirium, I sought food for it in the ideal world, which my imagination quickly peopled with beings after my own heart. This resource never came more apropos, nor was it ever so fertile. In my continual ecstasy I intoxicated my mind with the most delicious sentiments that ever entered the heart of man. Entirely forgetting the human species, I formed to myself societies of perfect beings, whose virtues were as celestial as their beauty, tender and faithful friends, such as I never found here below. I became so fond of soaring in the empyrean, in the midst of the charming objects with which I was surrounded, that I thus passed hours and days without perceiving it; and, losing the remembrance of all other things, I scarcely had eaten a morsel in haste before I was impatient to make my escape and run to regain my groves. When ready to depart for the enchanted world, I saw arrive wretched mortals who came to detain me upon earth, I could neither conceal nor moderate my vexation; and no longer master of myself, I gave them so uncivil a reception, that it might justly be termed brutal. This tended to confirm my reputation as a misanthrope, from the very cause which, could the world have read my heart, should have acquired me one of a nature directly opposite.

In the midst of my exultation I was pulled down like a paper kite, and restored to my proper place by means of a smart attack of my disorder. I recurred to the only means that had before given me relief, and thus made a truce with my angelic amours; for besides that it seldom happens that a man is amorous when he suffers, my imagination, which is animated in the country and beneath the shade of trees, languishes and becomes extinguished in a chamber, and under the joists of a ceiling. I frequently regretted that there existed no dryads; it would certainly have been amongst these that I should have fixed my attachment.

Other domestic broils came at the same time to increase my chagrin. Madam le Vasseur, while making me the finest compliments in the world, alienated from me her daughter as much as she possibly could. I received letters from my late neighborhood, informing me that the good old lady had secretly contracted several debts in the name of Theresa, to whom these became known, but of which she had never mentioned to me a word. The debts to be paid hurt me much less than the secret that had been made of them. How could she, for whom I had never had a secret, have one from me? Is it possible to dissimulate with persons whom we love? The 'Coterie Holbachique', who found I never made a journey to Paris, began seriously to be afraid I was happy and satisfied in the country, and madman enough to reside there.

Hence the cabals by which attempts were made to recall me indirectly to the city. Diderot, who did not immediately wish to show himself, began by detaching from me De Leyre, whom I had brought acquainted with him, and who received and transmitted to me the impressions Diderot chose to give without suspecting to what end they were directed.

Everything seemed to concur in withdrawing me from my charming and mad reverie. I was not recovered from the late attack I had when I received the copy of the poem on the destruction of Lisbon, which I imagined to be sent by the author. This made it necessary I should write to him and speak of his composition. I did so, and my letter was a long time afterwards printed without my consent, as I shall hereafter have occasion to remark.

Struck by seeing this poor man overwhelmed, if I may so speak, with prosperity and honor, bitterly exclaiming against the miseries of this life, and finding everything to be wrong, I formed the mad project of making him turn his attention to himself, and of proving to him that everything was right. Voltaire, while he appeared to believe in God, never really believed in anything but the devil; since his pretended deity is a malicious being, who, according to him, had no pleasure but in evil. The glaring absurdity of this doctrine is particularly disgusting from a man enjoying the greatest prosperity; who, from the bosom of happiness, endeavors, by the frightful and cruel image of all the calamities from which he is exempt, to reduce his fellow creatures to despair. I, who had a better right than he to calculate and weigh all the evils of human life, impartially examine them, and proved to him that of all possible evils there was not one to be attributed to Providence, and which had not its source rather in the abusive use man made of his faculties than in nature. I treated him, in this letter, with the greatest respect and delicacy possible. Yet, knowing his self-love to be extremely irritable, I did not send the letter immediately to himself, but to Doctor Tronchin, his physician and friend, with full power either to give it him or destroy it. Voltaire informed me in a few lines that being ill, having likewise the care of a sick person, he postponed his answer until some future day, and said not a word on the subject. Tronchin, when he sent me the letter, inclosed in it another, in which he expressed but very little esteem for the person from whom he received it.

I have never published, nor even shown, either of these two letters, not liking to make a parade of such little triumphs; but the originals are in my collections. Since that time Voltaire has published the answer he promised me, but which I never received. This is the novel of 'Candide', of which I cannot speak because I have not read it.

All these interruptions ought to have cured me of my fantastic amours, and they were perhaps the means offered me by Heaven to prevent their destructive consequences; but my evil genius prevailed, and I had scarcely begun to go out before my heart, my head, and my feet returned to the same paths. I say the same in certain respects; for my ideas, rather less exalted, remained this time upon earth, but yet were busied in making so exquisite a choice of all that was to be found there amiable of every kind, that it was not much less chimerical than the imaginary world I had abandoned.

I figured to myself love and friendship, the two idols of my heart, under the most ravishing images. I amused myself in adorning them with all the charms of the sex I had always adored. I imagined two female friends rather than two of my own sex, because, although the example be more rare, it is also more amiable. I endowed them with different characters, but analogous to their connection, with two faces, not perfectly beautiful, but according to my taste, and animated with benevolence and sensibility. I made one brown and the other fair, one lively and the other languishing, one wise and the other weak, but of so amiable a weakness that it seemed to add a charm to virtue. I gave to one of the two a lover, of whom the other was the tender friend, and even something more, but I did not admit either rivalry, quarrels, or jealousy: because every painful sentiment is painful for me to imagine, and I was unwilling to tarnish this delightful picture by anything which was degrading to nature. Smitten with my two charming models, I drew my own portrait in the lover and the friend, as much as it was possible to do it; but I made him young and amiable, giving him, at the same time, the virtues and the defects which I felt in myself.

That I might place my characters in a residence proper for them, I successively passed in review the most beautiful places I had seen in my travels. But I found no grove sufficiently delightful, no landscape that pleased me. The valleys of Thessaly would have satisfied me had I but once had a sight of them; but my imagination, fatigued with invention, wished for some real place which might serve it as a point to rest upon, and create in me an illusion with respect to the real existence of the inhabitants I intended to place there. I thought a good while upon the Boromean Islands, the delightful prospect of which had transported me, but I found in them too much art and ornament for my lovers. I however wanted a lake, and I concluded by making choice of that about which my heart has never ceased to wander. I fixed myself upon that part of the banks of this lake where my wishes have long since placed my residence in the imaginary happiness to which fate has confined me. The native place of my poor mamma had still for me a charm. The contrast of the situations, the richness and variety of the sites, the magnificence, the majesty of the whole, which ravishes the senses, affects, the heart, and elevates the mind, determined me to give it the preference, and I placed my young pupils at Vervey. This is what I imagined at the first sketch; the rest was not added until afterwards.

I for a long time confined myself to this vague plan, because it was sufficient to fill my imagination with agreeable objects, and my heart with sentiments in which it delighted. These fictions, by frequently presenting themselves, at length gained a consistence, and took in my mind a determined form. I then had an inclination to express upon paper some of the situations fancy presented to me, and, recollecting everything I had felt during my youth, thus, in some measure, gave an object to that desire of loving, which I had never been able to satisfy, and by which I felt myself consumed.

I first wrote a few incoherent letters, and when I afterwards wished to give them connection, I frequently found a difficulty in doing it. What is scarcely credible, although most strictly true, is my having written the first two parts almost wholly in this manner, without having any plan formed, and not foreseeing I should one day be tempted to make it a regular work. For this reason the two parts afterwards formed of materials not prepared for the place in which they are disposed, are full of unmeaning expressions not found in the others.

In the midst of my reveries I had a visit from Madam d'Houdetot, the first she had ever made me, but which unfortunately was not the last, as will hereafter appear. The Comtesse d'Houdetot was the daughter of the late M. de Bellegarde, a farmer-general, sister to M. d'Epinay, and Messieurs de Lalive and De la Briche, both of whom have since been introductors to ambassadors. I have spoken of the acquaintance I made with her before she was married: since that event I had not seen her, except at the fetes at La Chevrette, with Madam d'Epinay, her sister-in-law. Having frequently passed several days with her, both at La Chevrette and Epinay, I always thought her amiable, and that she seemed to be my well-wisher. She was fond of walking with me; we were both good walkers, and the conversation between us was inexhaustible. However, I never went to see her in Paris, although she had several times requested and solicited me to do it. Her connections with M. de St. Lambert, with whom I began to be intimate, rendered her more interesting to me, and it was to bring me some account of that friend who was, I believe, then at Mahon, that she came to see me at the Hermitage.

This visit had something of the appearance of the beginning of a romance. She lost her way. Her coachman, quitting the road, which turned to the right, attempted to cross straight over from the mill of Clairvaux to the Hermitage: her carriage stuck in a quagmire in the bottom of the valley, and she got out and walked the rest of the road. Her delicate shoes were soon worn through; she sunk into the dirt, her servants had the greatest difficulty in extricating her, and she at length arrived at the Hermitage in boots, making the place resound with her laughter, in which I most heartily joined. She had to change everything. Theresa provided her with what was necessary, and I prevailed upon her to forget her dignity and partake of a rustic collation, with which she seemed highly satisfied. It was late, and her stay was short; but the interview was so mirthful that it pleased her, and she seemed disposed to return. She did not however put this project into execution until the next year: but, alas! the delay was not favorable to me in anything.

I passed the autumn in an employment no person would suspect me of undertaking: this was guarding the fruit of M. d'Epinay. The Hermitage was the reservoir of the waters of the park of the Chevrette; there was a garden walled round and planted with espaliers and other trees, which produced M. d'Epinay more fruit than his kitchen-garden at the Chevrette, although three-fourths of it were stolen from him. That I might not be a guest entirely useless, I took upon myself the direction of the garden and the inspection of the conduct of the gardener. Everything went on well until the fruit season, but as this became ripe, I observed that it disappeared without knowing in what manner it was disposed of. The gardener assured me it was the dormice which eat it all. I destroyed a great number of these animals, notwithstanding which the fruit still diminished. I watched the gardener's motions so narrowly, that I found he was the great dormouse. He lodged at Montmorency, whence he came in the night with his wife and children to take away the fruit he had concealed in the daytime, and which he sold in the market at Paris as publicly as if he had brought it from a garden of his own. The wretch whom I loaded with kindness, whose children were clothed by Theresa, and whose father, who was a beggar, I almost supported, robbed us with as much ease as effrontery, not one of the three being sufficiently vigilant to prevent him: and one night he emptied my cellar.

Whilst he seemed to address himself to me only, I suffered everything, but being desirous of giving an account of the fruit, I was obliged to declare by whom a great part of it had been stolen. Madam d'Epinay desired me to pay and discharge him, and look out for another; I did so. As this rascal rambled about the Hermitage in the night, armed with a thick club staff with an iron ferrule, and accompanied by other villains like himself, to relieve the governesses from their fears, I made his successor sleep in the house with us; and this not being sufficient to remove their apprehensions, I sent to ask M. d'Epinay for a musket, which I kept in the chamber of the gardener, with a charge not to make use of it except an attempt was made to break open the door or scale the walls of the garden, and to fire nothing but powder, meaning only to frighten the thieves. This was certainly the least precaution a man indisposed could take for the common safety of himself and family, having to pass the winter in the midst of a wood, with two timid women. I also procured a little dog to serve as a sentinel. De Leyre coming to see me about this time, I related to him my situation, and we laughed together at my military apparatus. At his return to Paris he wished to amuse Diderot with the story, and by this means the 'Coterie d'Holbachique' learned that I was seriously resolved to pass the winter at the Hermitage. This perseverance, of which they had not imagined me to be capable, disconcerted them, and, until they could think of some other means of making my residence disagreeable to me, they sent back, by means of Diderot, the same De Leyre, who, though at first he had thought my precautions quite natural, now pretended to discover that they were inconsistent with my principles, and styled them more than ridiculous in his letters, in which he overwhelmed me with pleasantries sufficiently bitter and satirical to offend me had I been the least disposed to take offence. But at that time being full of tender and affectionate sentiments, and not susceptible of any other, I perceived in his biting sarcasms nothing more than a jest, and believed him only jocose when others would have thought him mad.

By my care and vigilance I guarded the garden so well, that, although there had been but little fruit that year the produce was triple that of the preceding years; it is true, I spared no pains to preserve it, and I went so far as to escort what I sent to the Chevrette and to Epinay, and to carry baskets of it myself. The aunt and I carried one of these, which was so heavy that we were obliged to rest at every dozen steps, and which we arrived with it we were quite wet with perspiration.

As soon as the bad season began to confine me to the house, I wished to return to my indolent amusements, but this I found impossible. I had everywhere two charming female friends before my eyes, their friend, everything by which they were surrounded, the country they inhabited, and the objects created or embellished for them by my imagination. I was no longer myself for a moment, my delirium never left me. After many useless efforts to banish all fictions from my mind, they at length seduced me, and my future endeavors were confined to giving them order and coherence, for the purpose of converting them into a species of novel.

What embarrassed me most was, that I had contradicted myself so openly and fully. After the severe principles I had just so publicly asserted, after the austere maxims I had so loudly preached, and my violent invectives against books, which breathed nothing but effeminacy and love, could anything be less expected or more extraordinary, than to see me, with my own hand, write my name in the list of authors of those books I had so severely censured? I felt this incoherence in all its extent. I reproached myself with it, I blushed at it and was vexed; but all this could not bring me back to reason. Completely overcome, I was at all risks obliged to submit, and to resolve to brave the What will the world say of it? Except only deliberating afterwards whether or not I should show my work, for I did not yet suppose I should ever determine to publish it.

This resolution taken, I entirely abandoned myself to my reveries, and, by frequently resolving these in my mind, formed with them the kind of plan of which the execution has been seen. This was certainly the greatest advantage that could be drawn from my follies; the love of good which has never once been effaced from my heart, turned them towards useful objects, the moral of which might have produced its good effects. My voluptuous descriptions would have lost all their graces, had they been devoid of the coloring of innocence.

A weak girl is an object of pity, whom love may render interesting, and who frequently is not therefore the less amiable; but who can see without indignation the manners of the age; and what is more disgusting than the pride of an unchaste wife, who, openly treading under foot every duty, pretends that her husband ought to be grateful for her unwillingness to suffer herself to be taken in the fact? Perfect beings are not in nature, and their examples are not near enough to us. But whoever says that the description of a young person born with good dispositions, and a heart equally tender and virtuous, who suffers herself, when a girl, to be overcome by love, and when a woman, has resolution enough to conquer in her turn, is upon the whole scandalous and useless, is a liar and a hypocrite; hearken not to him.

Besides this object of morality and conjugal chastity which is radically connected with all social order, I had in view one more secret in behalf of concord and public peace, a greater, and perhaps more important object in itself, at least for the moment for which it was created. The storm brought on by the 'Encyclopedie', far from being appeased, was at the time at its height. Two parties exasperated against each other to the last degree of fury soon resembled enraged wolves, set on for their mutual destruction, rather than Christians and philosophers, who had a reciprocal wish to enlighten and convince each other, and lead their brethren to the way of truth. Perhaps nothing more was wanting to each party than a few turbulent chiefs, who possessed a little power, to make this quarrel terminate in a civil war; and God only knows what a civil war of religion founded on each side upon the most cruel intolerance would have produced. Naturally an enemy to all spirit of party, I had freely spoken severe truths to each, of which they had not listened. I thought of another expedient, which, in my simplicity, appeared to me admirable: this was to abate their reciprocal hatred by destroying their prejudices, and showing to each party the virtue and merit which in the other was worthy of public esteem and respect. This project, little remarkable for its wisdom, which supported sincerity in mankind, and whereby I fell into the error with which I reproached the Abbe de Saint Pierre, had the success that was to be expected from it: It drew together and united the parties for no other purpose than that of crushing the author. Until experience made me discover my folly, I gave my attention to it with a zeal worthy of the motive by which I was inspired; and I imagined the two characters of Wolmar and Julia in an ecstasy, which made me hope to render them both amiable, and, what is still more, by means of each other.

Satisfied with having made a rough sketch of my plan, I returned to the situations in detail, which I had marked out; and from the arrangement I gave them resulted the first two parts of the Eloisa, which I finished during the winter with inexpressible pleasure, procuring gilt-paper to receive a fair copy of them, azure and silver powder to dry the writing, and blue narrow ribbon to tack my sheets together; in a word, I thought nothing sufficiently elegant and delicate for my two charming girls, of whom, like another Pygmalion, I became madly enamoured. Every evening, by the fireside, I read the two parts to the governesses. The daughter, without saying a word, was like myself moved to tenderness, and we mingled our sighs; her mother, finding there were no compliments, understood nothing of the matter, remained unmoved, and at the intervals when I was silent always repeated: "Sir, that is very fine."

Madam d'Epinay, uneasy at my being alone, in winter, in a solitary house, in the midst of woods, often sent to inquire after my health. I never had such real proofs of her friendship for me, to which mine never more fully answered. It would be wrong in me were not I, among these proofs, to make special mention of her portrait, which she sent me, at the same time requesting instructions from me in what manner she might have mine, painted by La Tour, and which had been shown at the exhibition. I ought equally to speak of another proof of her attention to me, which, although it be laughable, is a feature in the history of my character, on account of the impression received from it. One day when it froze to an extreme degree, in opening a packet she had sent me of several things I had desired her to purchase for me, I found a little under-petticoat of English flannel, which she told me she had worn, and desired I would make of it an under-waistcoat.

This care, more than friendly, appeared to me so tender, and as if she had stripped herself to clothe me, that in my emotion I repeatedly kissed, shedding tears at the same time, both the note and the petticoat. Theresa thought me mad. It is singular that of all the marks of friendship Madam d'Epinay ever showed me this touched me the most, and that ever since our rupture I have never recollected it without being very sensibly affected. I for a long time preserved her little note, and it would still have been in my possession had not it shared the fate of my other notes received at the same period.

Although my disorder then gave me but little respite in winter, and a part of the interval was employed in seeking relief from pain, this was still upon the whole the season which since my residence in France I had passed with most pleasure and tranquillity. During four or five months, whilst the bad weather sheltered me from the interruptions of importunate visits, I tasted to a greater degree than I had ever yet or have since done, of that equal simple and independent life, the enjoyment of which still made it more desirable to me; without any other company than the two governesses in reality, and the two female cousins in idea. It was then especially that I daily congratulated myself upon the resolution I had had the good sense to take, unmindful of the clamors of my friends, who were vexed at seeing me delivered from their tyranny; and when I heard of the attempt of a madman, when De Leyre and Madam d'Epinay spoke to me in letters of the trouble and agitation which reigned in Paris, how thankful was I to Heaven for having placed me at a distance from all such spectacles of horror and guilt. These would have been continued and increased the bilious humor which the sight of public disorders had given me; whilst seeing nothing around me in my retirement but gay and pleasing objects, my heart was wholly abandoned to sentiments which were amiable.

I remark here with pleasure the course of the last peaceful moments that were left me. The spring succeeding to this winter, which had been so calm, developed the germ of the misfortunes I have yet to describe; in the tissue of which, alike interval, wherein I had leisure to respite, will not be found.

I think however, I recollect, that during this interval of peace, and in the bosom of my solitude, I was not quite undisturbed by the Holbachiens. Diderot stirred me up some strife, and I am much deceived if it was not in the course of this winter that the 'Fils Naturel'—[Natural Son]—of which I shall soon have occasion to speak, made its appearance. Independently of the causes which left me but few papers relative to that period, those even which I have been able to preserve are not very exact with respect to dates. Diderot never dated his letters—Madam d'Epinay and Madam d' Houdetot seldom dated theirs except the day of the week, and De Leyre mostly confined himself to the same rules. When I was desirous of putting these letters in order I was obliged to supply what was wanting by guessing at dates, so uncertain that I cannot depend upon them. Unable therefore to fix with certainty the beginning of these quarrels, I prefer relating in one subsequent article everything I can recollect concerning them.

The return of spring had increased my amorous delirium, and in my melancholy, occasioned by the excess of my transports, I had composed for the last parts of Eloisa several letters, wherein evident marks of the rapture in which I wrote them are found. Amongst others I may quote those from the Elysium, and the excursion upon the lake, which, if my memory does not deceive me, are at the end of the fourth part. Whoever, in reading these letters, does not feel his heart soften and melt into the tenderness by which they were dictated, ought to lay down the book: nature has refused him the means of judging of sentiment.

Precisely at the same time I received a second unforeseen visit from Madam d'Houdetot, in the absence of her husband, who was captain of the Gendarmarie, and of her lover, who was also in the service. She had come to Eaubonne, in the middle of the Valley of Montmorency, where she had taken a pretty house, from thence she made a new excursion to the Hermitage. She came on horseback, and dressed in men's clothes. Although I am not very fond of this kind of masquerade, I was struck with the romantic appearance she made, and, for once, it was with love. As this was the first and only time in all my life, the consequence of which will forever render it terrible to my remembrance, I must take the permission to enter into some particulars on the subject.

The Countess d'Houdetot was nearly thirty years of age, and not handsome; her face was marked with the smallpox, her complexion coarse, she was short-sighted, and her eyes were rather round; but she had fine long black hair, which hung down in natural curls below her waist; her figure was agreeable, and she was at once both awkward and graceful in her motions; her wit was natural and pleasing; to this gayety, heedlessness and ingenuousness were perfectly suited: she abounded in charming sallies, after which she so little sought, that they sometimes escaped her lips in spite of herself. She possessed several agreeable talents, played the harpsichord, danced well, and wrote pleasing poetry. Her character was angelic—this was founded upon a sweetness of mind, and except prudence and fortitude, contained in it every virtue. She was besides so much to be depended upon in all intercourse, so faithful in society, even her enemies were not under the necessity of concealing from her their secrets. I mean by her enemies the men, or rather the women, by whom she was not beloved; for as to herself she had not a heart capable of hatred, and I am of opinion this conformity with mine greatly contributed towards inspiring me with a passion for her. In confidence of the most intimate friendship, I never heard her speak ill of persons who were absent, nor even of her sister-in-law. She could neither conceal her thoughts from anyone, nor disguise any of her sentiments, and I am persuaded she spoke of her lover to her husband, as she spoke of him to her friends and acquaintances, and to everybody without distinction of persons. What proved, beyond all manner of doubt, the purity and sincerity of her nature was, that subject to very extraordinary absences of mind, and the most laughable inconsiderateness, she was often guilty of some very imprudent ones with respect to herself, but never in the least offensive to any person whatsoever.

She had been married very young and against her inclinations to the Comte d'Houdetot, a man of fashion, and a good officer; but a man who loved play and chicane, who was not very amiable, and whom she never loved. She found in M. de Saint Lambert all the merit of her husband, with more ageeeable qualities of mind, joined with virtue and talents. If anything in the manners of the age can be pardoned, it is an attachment which duration renders more pure, to which its effects do honor, and which becomes cemented by reciprocal esteem. It was a little from inclination, as I am disposed to think, but much more to please Saint Lambert, that she came to see me. He had requested her to do it, and there was reason to believe the friendship which began to be established between us would render this society agreeable to all three. She knew I was acquainted with their connection, and as she could speak to me without restraint, it was natural she should find my conversation agreeable. She came; I saw her; I was intoxicated with love without an object; this intoxication fascinated my eyes; the object fixed itself upon her. I saw my Julia in Madam d'Houdetot, and I soon saw nothing but Madam d'Houdetot, but with all the perfections with which I had just adorned the idol of my heart. To complete my delirium she spoke to me of Saint Lambert with a fondness of a passionate lover. Contagious force of love! while listening to her, and finding myself near her, I was seized with a delicious trembling, which I had never before experienced when near to any person whatsoever. She spoke, and I felt myself affected; I thought I was nothing more than interested in her sentiments, when I perceived I possessed those which were similar; I drank freely of the poisoned cup, of which I yet tasted nothing more than the sweetness. Finally, imperceptibly to us both, she inspired me for herself with all she expressed for her lover. Alas! it was very late in life, and cruel was it to consume with a passion not less violent than unfortunate for a woman whose heart was already in the possession of another.

Notwithstanding the extraordinary emotions I had felt when near to her, I did not at first perceive what had happened to me; it was not until after her departure that, wishing to think of Julia, I was struck with surprise at being unable to think of anything but Madam d' Houdetot. Then was it my eyes were opened: I felt my misfortune, and lamented what had happened, but I did not foresee the consequences.

I hesitated a long time on the manner in which I should conduct myself towards her, as if real love left behind it sufficient reason to deliberate and act accordingly. I had not yet determined upon this when she unexpectedly returned and found me unprovided. It was this time, perfectly acquainted with my situation, shame, the companion of evil, rendered me dumb, and made me tremble in her presence; I neither dared to open my mouth or raise my eyes; I was in an inexpressible confusion which it was impossible she should not perceive. I resolved to confess to her my troubled state of mind, and left her to guess the cause whence it proceeded: this was telling her in terms sufficiently clear.

Had I been young and amiable, and Madam d' Houdetot, afterwards weak, I should here blame her conduct; but this was not the case, and I am obliged to applaud and admire it. The resolution she took was equally prudent and generous. She could not suddenly break with me without giving her reasons for it to Saint Lambert, who himself had desired her to come and see me; this would have exposed two friends to a rupture, and perhaps a public one, which she wished to avoid. She had for me esteem and good wishes; she pitied my folly without encouraging it, and endeavored to restore me to reason. She was glad to preserve to her lover and herself a friend for whom she had some respect; and she spoke of nothing with more pleasure than the intimate and agreeable society we might form between us three the moment I should become reasonable. She did not always confine herself to these friendly exhortations, and, in case of need, did not spare me more severe reproaches, which I had richly deserved.

I spared myself still less: the moment I was alone I began to recover; I was more calm after my declaration—love, known to the person by whom it is inspired, becomes more supportable.

The forcible manner in which I approached myself with mine, ought to have cured me of it had the thing been possible. What powerful motives did I not call to my mind to stifle it? My morals, sentiments and principles; the shame, the treachery and crime, of abusing what was confided to friendship, and the ridiculousness of burning, at my age, with the most extravagant passion for an object whose heart was preengaged, and who could neither make me a return, nor least hope; moreover with a passion which, far from having anything to gain by constancy, daily became less sufferable.

We would imagine that the last consideration which ought to have added weight to all the others, was that whereby I eluded them! What scruple, thought I, ought I to make of a folly prejudicial to nobody but myself? Am I then a young man of whom Madam d'Houdetot ought to be afraid? Would not it be said by my presumptive remorse that, by my gallantry, manner and dress, I was going to seduce her? Poor Jean Jacques, love on at thy ease, in all safety of conscience, and be not afraid that thy sighs will be prejudicial to Saint Lambert.

It has been seen that I never was a coxcomb, not even in my youth. The manner of thinking, of which I have spoken, was according to my turn of mind, it flattered my passions; this, was sufficient to induce me to abandon myself to it without reserve, and to laugh even at the impertinent scruple I thought I had made from vanity, rather than from reason. This is a great lesson for virtuous minds, which vice never attacks openly; it finds means to surprise them by masking itself with sophisms, and not unfrequently with a virtue.

Guilty without remorse, I soon became so without measure; and I entreat it may be observed in what manner my passion followed my nature, at length to plunge me into an abyss. In the first place, it assumed the air of humility to encourage me; and to render me intrepid it carried this humility even to mistrust. Madam d'Houdetot incessantly putting in mind of my duty, without once for a single moment flattering my folly, treated me with the greatest mildness, and remained with me upon the footing of the most tender friendship. This friendship would, I protest, have satisfied my wishes, had I thought it sincere; but finding it too strong to be real, I took it into my head that love, so ill-suited to my age and appearance, had rendered me contemptible in the eyes of Madam d'Houdetot; that this young mad creature only wished to divert herself with me and my superannuated passion; that she had communicated this to Saint Lambert; and that the indignation caused by my breach of friendship, having made her lover enter into her views, they were agreed to turn my head and then to laugh at me. This folly, which at twenty-six years of age, had made me guilty of some extravagant behavior to Madam de Larnage, whom I did not know, would have been pardonable in me at forty-five with Madam d' Houdetot had not I known that she and her lover were persons of too much uprightness to indulge themselves in such a barbarous amusement.

Madam d' Houdetot continued her visits, which I delayed not to return. She, as well as myself, was fond of walking, and we took long walks in an enchanting country. Satisfied with loving and daring to say I loved, I should have been in the most agreeable situation had not my extravagance spoiled all the charm of it. She, at first, could not comprehend the foolish pettishness with which I received her attentions; but my heart, incapable of concealing what passed in it, did not long leave her ignorant of my suspicions; she endeavored to laugh at them, but this expedient did not succeed; transports of rage would have been the consequence, and she changed her tone. Her compassionate gentleness was invincible; she made me reproaches, which penetrated my heart; she expressed an inquietude at my unjust fears, of which I took advantage. I required proofs of her being in earnest. She perceived there was no other means of relieving me from my apprehensions. I became pressing: the step was delicate. It is astonishing, and perhaps without example, that a woman having suffered herself to be brought to hesitate should have got herself off so well. She refused me nothing the most tender friendship could grant; yet she granted me nothing that rendered her unfaithful, and I had the mortification to see that the disorder into which the most trifling favors had thrown all my senses had not the least effect upon hers.

I have somewhere said, that nothing should be granted to the senses, when we wished to refuse them anything. To prove how false this maxim was relative to Madam d' Houdetot, and how far she was right to depend upon her own strength of mind, it would be necessary to enter into the detail of our long and frequent conversations, and follow them, in all their liveliness during the four months we passed together in an intimacy almost without example between two friends of different sexes who contain themselves within the bounds which we never exceeded. Ah! if I had lived so long without feeling the power of real love, my heart and senses abundantly paid the arrears. What, therefore, are the transports we feel with the object of our affections by whom we are beloved, since the passions of which my idol did not partake inspired such as I felt?

But I am wrong in saying Madam Houdetot did not partake of the passion of love; that which I felt was in some measure confined to myself; yet love was equal on both sides, but not reciprocal. We were both intoxicated with the passion, she for her lover, and I for herself; our sighs and delicious tears were mingled together. Tender confidants of the secrets of each other, there was so great a similarity in our sentiments that it was impossible they should not find some common point of union. In the midst of this delicious intoxication, she never forgot herself for a moment, and I solemnly protest that, if ever, led away by my senses, I have attempted to render her unfaithful, I was never really desirous of succeeding. The vehemence itself of my passion restrained it within bounds. The duty of self-denial had elevated my mind. The lustre of every virture adorned in my eyes the idol of my heart; to have soiled their divine image would have been to destroy it. I might have committed the crime; it has been a hundred times committed in my heart; but to dishonor my Sophia! Ah! was this ever possible? No! I have told her a hundred times it was not. Had I had it in my power to satisfy my desires, had she consented to commit herself to my discretion, I should, except in a few moments of delirium, have refused to be happy at the price of her honor. I loved her too well to wish to possess her.

The distance from the Hermitage to Raubonne is almost a league; in my frequent excursions to it I have sometimes slept there. One evening after having supped tete-a-tete we went to walk in the garden by a fine moonlight. At the bottom of the garden a considerable copse, through which we passed on our way to a pretty grove ornamented with a cascade, of which I had given her the idea, and she had procured it to be executed accordingly.

Eternal remembrance of innocence and enjoyment! It was in this grove that, seated by her side upon a seat of turf under an acacia in full bloom, I found for the emotions of my heart a language worthy of them. It was the first and only time of my life; but I was sublime: if everything amiable and seducing with which the most tender and ardent love can inspire the heart of man can be so called. What intoxicating tears did I shed upon her knees! how many did I make her to shed involuntarily! At length in an involuntary transport she exclaimed: "No, never was a man so amiable, nor ever was there one who loved like you! But your friend Saint Lambert hears us, and my heart is incapable of loving twice." I exhausted myself with sighs; I embraced her—what an embrace! But this was all. She had lived alone for the last six months, that is absent from her husband and lover; I had seen her almost every day during three months, and love seldom failed to make a third. We had supped tete-a-tete, we were alone, in the grove by moonlight, and after two hours of the most lively and tender conversation, she left this grove at midnight, and the arms of her lover, as morally and physically pure as she had entered it. Reader, weigh all these circumstances; I will add nothing more.

Do not, however, imagine that in this situation my passions left me as undisturbed as I was with Theresa and mamma. I have already observed I was this time inspired not only with love, but with love and all its energy and fury. I will not describe either the agitations, tremblings, palpitations, convulsionary emotions, nor faintings of the heart, I continually experienced; these may be judged of by the effect her image alone made upon me. I have observed the distance from the Hermitage to Eaubonne was considerable; I went by the hills of Andilly, which are delightful; I mused, as I walked, on her whom I was going to see, the charming reception she would give me, and upon the kiss which awaited me at my arrival. This single kiss, this pernicious embrace, even before I received it, inflamed my blood to such a degree as to affect my head, my eyes were dazzled, my knees trembled, and were unable to support me; I was obliged to stop and sit down; my whole frame was in inconceivable disorder, and I was upon the point of fainting. Knowing the danger, I endeavored at setting out to divert my attention from the object, and think of something else. I had not proceeded twenty steps before the same recollection, and all that was the consequence of it, assailed me in such a manner that it was impossible to avoid them, and in spite of all my efforts I do not believe I ever made this little excursion alone with impunity. I arrived at Eaubonne, weak, exhausted, and scarcely able to support myself. The moment I saw her everything was repaired; all I felt in her presence was the importunity of an inexhaustible and useless ardor. Upon the road to Raubonne there was a pleasant terrace called Mont Olympe, at which we sometimes met. I arrived first, it was proper I should wait for her; but how dear this waiting cost me! To divert my attention, I endeavored to write with my pencil billets, which I could have written with the purest drops of my blood; I never could finish one which was eligible. When she found a note in the niche upon which we had agreed, all she learned from the contents was the deplorable state in which I was when I wrote it. This state and its continuation, during three months of irritation and self-denial, so exhausted me, that I was several years before I recovered from it, and at the end of these it left me an ailment which I shall carry with me, or which will carry me to the grave. Such was the sole enjoyment of a man of the most combustible constitution, but who was, at the same time, perhaps, one of the most timid mortals nature ever produced. Such were the last happy days I can reckon upon earth; at the end of these began the long train of evils, in which there will be found but little interruption.

It has been seen that, during the whole course of my life, my heart, as transparent as crystal, has never been capable of concealing for the space of a moment any sentiment in the least lively which had taken refuge in it. It will therefore be judged whether or not it was possible for me long to conceal my affection for Madam d'Houdetot. Our intimacy struck the eyes of everybody, we did not make of it either a secret or a mystery. It was not of a nature to require any such precaution, and as Madam d'Houdetot had for me the most tender friendship with which she did not reproach herself, and I for her an esteem with the justice of which nobody was better acquainted than myself; she frank, absent, heedless; I true, awkward, haughty, impatient and choleric; We exposed ourselves more in deceitful security than we should have done had we been culpable. We both went to the Chevrette; we sometimes met there by appointment. We lived there according to our accustomed manner; walking together every day talking of our amours, our duties, our friend, and our innocent projects; all this in the park opposite the apartment of Madam d'Epinay, under her windows, whence incessantly examining us, and thinking herself braved, she by her eyes filled her heart with rage and indignation.

Women have the art of concealing their anger, especially when it is great. Madam d'Epinay, violent but deliberate, possessed this art to an eminent degree. She feigned not to see or suspect anything, and at the same time that she doubled towards me her cares, attention, and allurements, she affected to load her sister-in-law with incivilities and marks of disdain, which she seemingly wished to communicate to me. It will easily be imagined she did not succeed; but I was on the rack. Torn by opposite passions, at the same time that I was sensible of her caresses, I could scarcely contain my anger when I saw her wanting in good manners to Madam d'Houdetot. The angelic sweetness of this lady made her endure everything without complaint, or even without being offended.

She was, in fact, so absent, and always so little attentive to these things, that half the time she did not perceive them.

I was so taken up with my passion, that, seeing nothing but Sophia (one of the names of Madam d'Houdetot),I did not perceive that I was become the laughing-stock of the whole house, and all those who came to it. The Baron d'Holbach, who never, as I heard of, had been at the Chevrette, was one of the latter. Had I at that time been as mistrustful as I am since become, I should strongly have suspected Madam d'Epinay to have contrived this journey to give the baron the amusing spectacle of an amorous citizen. But I was then so stupid that I saw not that even which was glaring to everybody. My stupidity did not, however, prevent me from finding in the baron a more jovial and satisfied appearance than ordinary. Instead of looking upon me with his usual moroseness, he said to me a hundred jocose things without my knowing what he meant. Surprise was painted in my countenance, but I answered not a word: Madam d'Epinay shook her sides with laughing; I knew not what possessed them. As nothing yet passed the bounds of pleasantry, the best thing I could had done, had I been in the secret, would have been to have humored the joke. It is true I perceived amid the rallying gayety of the baron, that his eyes sparkled with a malicious joy, which could have given me pain had I then remarked it to the degree it has since occurred to my recollection.

One day when I went to see Madam d'Houdetot, at Eaubonne, after her return from one of her journeys to Paris, I found her melancholy, and observed that she had been weeping. I was obliged to put a restraint on myself, because Madam de Blainville, sister to her husband, was present; but the moment I found an opportunity, I expressed to her my uneasiness. "Ah," said she, with a sigh, "I am much afraid your follies will cost me the repose of the rest of my days. St. Lambert has been informed of what has passed, and ill informed of it. He does me justice, but he is vexed; and what is still worse, he conceals from me a part of his vexation. Fortunately I have not concealed from him anything relative to our connection which was formed under his auspices. My letters, like my heart, were full of yourself; I made him acquainted with everything, except your extravagant passion, of which I hoped to cure you; and which he imputes to me as a crime. Somebody has done us ill offices. I have been injured, but what does this signify? Either let us entirely break with each other, or do you be what you ought to be. I will not in future have anything to conceal from my lover."

This was the first moment in which I was sensible of the shame of feeling myself humbled by the sentiment of my fault, in presence of a young woman of whose just reproaches I approved, and to whom I ought to have been a mentor. The indignation I felt against myself would, perhaps, have been sufficient to overcome my weakness, had not the tender passion inspired me by the victim of it, again softened my heart. Alas! was this a moment to harden it when it was overflowed by the tears which penetrated it in every part? This tenderness was soon changed into rage against the vile informers, who had seen nothing but the evil of a criminal but involuntary sentiment, without believing or even imagining the sincere uprightness of heart by which it was counteracted. We did not remain long in doubt about the hand by which the blow was directed.

We both knew that Madam d'Epinay corresponded with St. Lambert. This was not the first storm she had raised up against Madam d'Houdetot, from whom she had made a thousand efforts to detach her lover, the success of some of which made the consequences to be dreaded. Besides, Grimm, who, I think, had accompanied M. de Castries to the army, was in Westphalia, as well as Saint Lambert; they sometimes visited. Grimm had made some attempts on Madam d'Houdetot, which had not succeeded, and being extremely piqued, suddenly discontinued his visits to her. Let it be judged with what calmness, modest as he is known to be, he supposed she preferred to him a man older than himself, and of whom, since he had frequented the great, he had never spoken but as a person whom he patronized.

My suspicions of Madam d'Epinay were changed into a certainty the moment I heard what had passed in my own house. When I was at the Chevrette, Theresa frequently came there, either to bring me letters or to pay me that attention which my ill state of health rendered necessary. Madam d'Epinay had asked her if Madam d'Houdetot and I did not write to each other. Upon her answering in the affirmative, Madam d'Epinay pressed her to give her the letters of Madam d'Houdetot, assuring her that she would reseal them in such a manner as it should never be known. Theresa, without showing how much she was shocked at the proposition, and without even putting me upon my guard, did nothing more than seal the letters she brought me more carefully; a lucky precaution, for Madam d'Epinay had her watched when she arrived, and, waiting for her in the passage, several times carried her audaciousness as far as to examine her tucker. She did more even than this: having one day invited herself with M. de Margency to dinner at the Hermitage, for the first time since I resided there, she seized the moment I was walking with Margency to go into my closet with the mother and daughter, and to press them to show her the letters of Madam d'Houdetot. Had the mother known where the letters were, they would have been given to her; fortunately, the daughter was the only person who was in the secret, and denied my having preserved any one of them. A virtuous, faithful and generous falsehood; whilst truth would have been a perfidy. Madam d' Epinay, perceiving Theresa was not to be seduced, endeavored to irritate her by jealousy, reproaching her with her easy temper and blindness. "How is it possible," said she to her, "you cannot perceive there is a criminal intercourse between them? If besides what strikes your eyes you stand in need of other proofs, lend your assistance to obtain that which may furnish them; you say he tears the letters from Madam d'Houdetot as soon as he has read them. Well, carefully gather up the pieces and give them to me; I will take upon myself to put them together."

Such were the lessons my friend gave to the partner of my bed.

Theresa had the discretion to conceal from me, for a considerable time, all these attempts; but perceiving how much I was perplexed, she thought herself obliged to inform me of everything, to the end that knowing with whom I had to do, I might take my measures accordingly. My rage and indignation are not to be described. Instead of dissembling with Madam d'Epinay, according to her own example, and making use of counterplots, I abandoned myself without reserve to the natural impetuosity of my temper; and with my accustomed inconsiderateness came to an open rupture. My imprudence will be judged of by the following letters, which sufficiently show the manner of proceeding of both parties on this occasion:

NOTE FROM MADAM D'EPINAY.
"Why, my dear friend, do I not see you? You make me uneasy. You have so often promised me to do nothing but go and come between this place and the Hermitage! In this I have left you at liberty; and you have suffered a week to pass without coming. Had not I been told you were well I should have imagined the contrary. I expected you either the day before yesterday, or yesterday, but found myself disappointed. My God, what is the matter with you? You have no business, nor can you have any uneasiness; for had this been the case, I flatter myself you would have come and communicated it to me. You are, therefore, ill! Relieve me, I beseech you, speedily from my fears. Adieu, my dear friend: let this adieu produce me a good-morning from you."

ANSWER.
"I cannot yet say anything to you. I wait to be better informed, and this I shall be sooner or later. In the meantime be persuaded that innocence will find a defender sufficiently powerful to cause some repentance in the slanderers, be they who they may."

SECOND NOTE FROM THE SAME.
"Do you know that your letter frightens me? What does it mean? I have read it twenty times. In truth I do not understand what it means. All I can perceive is, that you are uneasy and tormented, and that you wait until you are no longer so before you speak to me upon the subject. Is this, my dear friend, what we agreed upon? What then is become of that friendship and confidence, and by what means have I lost them? Is it with me or for me that you are angry? However this may be, come to me this evening I conjure you; remember you promised me no longer than a week ago to let nothing remain upon your mind, but immediately to communicate to me whatever might make it uneasy. My dear friend, I live in that confidence—There—I have just read your letter again; I do not understand the contents better, but they make me tremble. You seem to be cruelly agitated. I could wish to calm your mind, but as I am ignorant of the cause whence your uneasiness arises, I know not what to say, except that I am as wretched as yourself, and shall remain so until we meet. If you are not here this evening at six o'clock, I set off to morrow for the Hermitage, let the weather be how it will, and in whatever state of health I may be; for I can no longer support the inquietude I now feel. Good day, my dear friend, at all risks I take the liberty to tell you, without knowing whether or not you are in need of such advice, to endeavor to stop the progress uneasiness makes in solitude. A fly be comes a monster. I have frequently experienced it."

ANSWER.
"I can neither come to see you nor receive your visit so long as my present inquietude continues. The confidence of which you speak no longer exists, and it will be easy for you to recover it. I see nothing more in your present anxiety than the desire of drawing from the confessions of others some advantage agreeable to your views; and my heart, so ready to pour its overflowings into another which opens itself to receive them, is shut against trick and cunning. I distinguish your ordinary address in the difficulty you find in understanding my note. Do you think me dupe enough to believe you have not comprehended what it meant? No: but I shall know how to overcome your subtleties by my frankness. I will explain myself more clearly, that you may understand me still less.

"Two lovers closely united and worthy of each other's love are dear to me; I expect you will not know who I mean unless I name them. I presume attempts have been made to disunite them, and that I have been made use of to inspire one of the two with jealousy. The choice was not judicious, but it appeared convenient to the purposes of malice, and of this malice it is you whom I suspect to be guilty. I hope this becomes more clear.

"Thus the woman whom I most esteem would, with my knowledge, have been loaded with the infamy of dividing her heart and person between two lovers, and I with that of being one of these wretches. If I knew that, for a single moment in your life, you ever had thought this, either of her or myself, I should hate you until my last hour. But it is with having said, and not with having thought it, that I charge you. In this case, I cannot comprehend which of the three you wished to injure; but, if you love peace of mind, tremble lest you should have succeeded. I have not concealed either from you or her all the ill I think of certain connections, but I wish these to end by a means as virtuous as their cause, and that an illegitimate love may be changed into an eternal friendship. Should I, who never do ill to any person, be the innocent means of doing it to my friends? No, I should never forgive you; I should become your irreconcilable enemy. Your secrets are all I should respect; for I will never be a man without honor.

"I do not apprehend my present perplexity will continue a long time. I shall soon know whether or not I am deceived; I shall then perhaps have great injuries to repair, which I will do with as much cheerfulness as that with which the most agreeable act of my life has been accompanied. But do you know in what manner I will make amends for my faults during the short space of time I have to remain near to you? By doing what nobody but myself would do; by telling you freely what the world thinks of you, and the breaches you have to repair in your reputation. Notwithstanding all the pretended friends by whom you are surrounded, the moment you see me depart you may bid adieu to truth, you will no longer find any person who will tell it to you."

THIRD LETTER FROM THE SAME.

"I did not understand your letter of this morning; this I told you because it was the case. I understand that of this evening; do not imagine I shall ever return an answer to it; I am too anxious to forget what it contains; and although you excite my pity, I am not proof against the bitterness with which it has filled my mind. I! descend to trick and cunning with you! I! accused of the blackest of all infamies! Adieu, I regret your having the adieu. I know not what I say adieu: I shall be very anxious to forgive you. You will come when you please; you will be better received than your suspicions deserve. All I have to desire of you is not to trouble yourself about my reputation. The opinion of the world concerning me is of but little importance in my esteem. My conduct is good, and this is sufficient for me. Besides, I am ignorant of what has happened to the two persons who are dear to me as they are to you."

This last letter extricated me from a terrible embarrassment, and threw me into another of almost the same magnitude. Although these letters and answers were sent and returned the same day with an extreme rapidity, the interval had been sufficient to place another between my rage and transport, and to give me time to reflect on the enormity of my imprudence. Madam d'Houdetot had not recommended to me anything so much as to remain quiet, to leave her the care of extricating herself, and to avoid, especially at that moment, all noise and rupture; and I, by the most open and atrocious insults, took the properest means of carrying rage to its greatest height in the heart of a woman who was already but too well disposed to it. I now could naturally expect nothing from her but an answer so haughty, disdainful, and expressive of contempt, that I could not, without the utmost meanness, do otherwise than immediately quit her house. Happily she, more adroit than I was furious, avoided, by the manner of her answer, reducing me to that extremity. But it was necessary either to quit or immediately go and see her; the alternative was inevitable; I resolved on the latter, though I foresaw how much I must be embarrassed in the explanation. For how was I to get through it without exposing either Madam d'Houdetot or Theresa? and woe to her whom I should have named! There was nothing that the vengeance of an implacable and an intriguing woman did not make me fear for the person who should be the object of it. It was to prevent this misfortune that in my letter I had spoken of nothing but suspicions, that I might not be under the necessity of producing my proofs. This, it is true, rendered my transports less excusable; no simple suspicions being sufficient to authorize me to treat a woman, and especially a friend, in the manner I had treated Madam d'Epinay. But here begins the noble task I worthily fulfilled of expiating my faults and secret weaknesses by charging myself with such of the former as I was incapable of committing, and which I never did commit.

I had not to bear the attack I had expected, and fear was the greatest evil I received from it. At my approach, Madam d' Epinay threw her arms about my neck, bursting into tears. This unexpected reception, and by an old friend, extremely affected me; I also shed many tears. I said to her a few words which had not much meaning; she uttered others with still less, and everything ended here. Supper was served; we sat down to table, where, in expectation of the explanation I imagined to be deferred until supper was over, I made a very poor figure; for I am so overpowered by the most trifling inquietude of mind that I cannot conceal it from persons the least clear-sighted. My embarrassed appearance must have given her courage, yet she did not risk anything upon that foundation. There was no more explanation after than before supper: none took place on the next day, and our little tete-a-tete conversations consisted of indifferent things, or some complimentary words on my part, by which, while I informed her I could not say more relative to my suspicions, I asserted, with the greatest truth, that, if they were ill-founded, my whole life should be employed in repairing the injustice. She did not show the least curiosity to know precisely what they were, nor for what reason I had formed them, and all our peacemaking consisted, on her part as well as on mine, in the embrace at our first meeting. Since Madam d'Epinay was the only person offended, at least in form, I thought it was not for me to strive to bring about an eclaircissement for which she herself did not seem anxious, and I returned as I had come; continuing, besides, to live with her upon the same footing as before, I soon almost entirely forgot the quarrel, and foolishly believed she had done the same, because she seemed not to remember what had passed.

This, it will soon appear, was not the only vexation caused me by weakness; but I had others not less disagreeable which I had not brought upon myself. The only cause of these was a desire of forcing me from my solitude, by means of tormenting me.

[That is to take from it the old woman who was wanted in the conspiracy. It is astonishing that, during this long quarrel, my stupid confidence presented me from comprehending that it was not me but her whom they wanted in Paris.]

These originated from Diderot and the d'Holbachiens. Since I had resided at the Hermitage, Diderot incessantly harrassed me, either himself or by means of De Leyre, and I soon perceived from the pleasantries of the latter upon my ramblings in the groves, with what pleasure he had travestied the hermit into the gallant shepherd. But this was not the question in my quarrels with Diderot; the cause of these were more serious. After the publication of Fils Naturel he had sent me a copy of it, which I had read with the interest and attention I ever bestowed on the works of a friend. In reading the kind of poem annexed to it, I was surprised and rather grieved to find in it, amongst several things, disobliging but supportable against men in solitude, this bitter and severe sentence without the least softening: 'Il n'y a que le mechant qui fail feul.'—[The wicked only is alone.]—This sentence is equivocal, and seems to present a double meaning; the one true, the other false, since it is impossible that a man who is determined to remain alone can do the least harm to anybody, and consequently he cannot be wicked. The sentence in itself therefore required an interpretation; the more so from an author who, when he sent it to the press, had a friend retired from the world. It appeared to me shocking and uncivil, either to have forgotten that solitary friend, or, in remembering him, not to have made from the general maxim the honorable and just exception which he owed, not only to his friend, but to so many respectable sages, who, in all ages, have sought for peace and tranquillity in retirement, and of whom, for the first time since the creation of the world, a writer took it into his head indiscriminately to make so many villains.

I had a great affection and the most sincere esteem for Diderot, and fully depended upon his having the same sentiments for me. But tired with his indefatigable obstinacy in continually opposing my inclinations, taste, and manner of living, and everything which related to no person but myself; shocked at seeing a man younger than I was wish, at all events, to govern me like a child; disgusted with his facility in promising, and his negligence in performing; weary of so many appointments given by himself, and capriciously broken, while new ones were again given only to be again broken; displeased at uselessly waiting for him three or four times a month on the days he had assigned, and in dining alone at night after having gone to Saint Denis to meet him, and waited the whole day for his coming; my heart was already full of these multiplied injuries. This last appeared to me still more serious, and gave me infinite pain. I wrote to complain of it, but in so mild and tender a manner that I moistened my paper with my tears, and my letter was sufficiently affecting to have drawn others from himself. It would be impossible to guess his answer on this subject: it was literally as follows: "I am glad my work has pleased and affected you. You are not of my opinion relative to hermits. Say as much good of them as you please, you will be the only one in the world of whom I shall think well: even on this there would be much to say were it possible to speak to you without giving you offence. A woman eighty years of age! etc. A phrase of a letter from the son of Madam d'Epinay which, if I know you well, must have given you much pain, has been mentioned to me."

The last two expressions of this letter want explanation.

Soon after I went to reside at the Hermitage, Madam le Vasseur seemed dissatisfied with her situation, and to think the habitation too retired. Having heard she had expressed her dislike to the place, I offered to send her back to Paris, if that were more agreeable to her; to pay her lodging, and to have the same care taken of her as if she remained with me. She rejected my offer, assured me she was very well satisfied with the Hermitage, and that the country air was of service to her. This was evident, for, if I may so speak, she seemed to become young again, and enjoyed better health than at Paris. Her daughter told me her mother would, on the whole, had been very sorry to quit the Hermitage, which was really a very delightful abode, being fond of the little amusements of the garden and the care of the fruit of which she had the handling, but that she had said, what she had been desired to say, to induce me to return to Paris.

Failing in this attempt they endeavored to obtain by a scruple the effect which complaisance had not produced, and construed into a crime my keeping the old woman at a distance from the succors of which, at her age, she might be in need. They did not recollect that she, and many other old people, whose lives were prolonged by the air of the country, might obtain these succors at Montmorency, near to which I lived; as if there were no old people, except in Paris, and that it was impossible for them to live in any other place. Madam le Vasseur who eat a great deal, and with extreme voracity, was subject to overflowings of bile and to strong diarrhoeas, which lasted several days, and served her instead of clysters. At Paris she neither did nor took anything for them, but left nature to itself. She observed the same rule at the Hermitage, knowing it was the best thing she could do. No matter, since there were not in the country either physicians or apothecaries, keeping her there must, no doubt, be with the desire of putting an end to her existence, although she was in perfect health. Diderot should have determined at what age, under pain of being punished for homicide, it is no longer permitted to let old people remain out of Paris.

This was one of the atrocious accusations from which he did not except me in his remark; that none but the wicked were alone: and the meaning of his pathetic exclamation with the et cetera, which he had benignantly added: A woman of eighty years of age, etc.

I thought the best answer that could be given to this reproach would be from Madam le Vasseur herself. I desired her to write freely and naturally her sentiments to Madam d'Epinay. To relieve her from all constraint I would not see her letter. I showed her that which I am going to transcribe. I wrote it to Madam d'Epinay upon the subject of an answer I wish to return to a letter still more severe from Diderot, and which she had prevented me from sending.

Thursday.

"My good friend. Madam le Vasseur is to write to you: I have desired her to tell you sincerely what she thinks. To remove from her all constraint, I have intimated to her that I will not see what she writes, and I beg of you not to communicate to me any part of the contents of her letter.

"I will not send my letter because you do not choose I should; but, feeling myself grievously offended, it would be baseness and falsehood, of either of which it is impossible for me to be guilty, to acknowledge myself in the wrong. Holy writ commands him to whom a blow is given, to turn the other cheek, but not to ask pardon. Do you remember the man in comedy who exclaims, while he is giving another blows with his staff, 'This is the part of a philosopher!'

"Do not flatter yourself that he will be prevented from coming by the bad weather we now have. His rage will give him the time and strength which friendship refuses him, and it will be the first time in his life he ever came upon the day he had appointed.

"He will neglect nothing to come and repeat to me verbally the injuries with which he loads me in his letters; I will endure them all with patience—he will return to Paris to be ill again; and, according to custom, I shall be a very hateful man. What is to be done? Endure it all.

"But do not you admire the wisdom of the man who would absolutely come to Saint Denis in a hackney-coach to dine there, bring me home in a hackney-coach, and whose finances, eight days afterwards, obliges him to come to the Hermitage on foot? It is not possible, to speak his own language, that this should be the style of sincerity. But were this the case, strange changes of fortune must have happened in the course of a week.

"I join in your affliction for the illness of madam, your mother, but you will perceive your grief is not equal to mine. We suffer less by seeing the persons we love ill than when they are unjust and cruel.

"Adieu, my good friend, I shall never again mention to you this unhappy affair. You speak of going to Paris with an unconcern, which, at any other time, would give me pleasure."

I wrote to Diderot, telling him what I had done, relative to Madam le Vasseur, upon the proposal of Madam d'Epinay herself; and Madam le Vasseur having, as it may be imagined, chosen to remain at the Hermitage, where she enjoyed a good state of health, always had company, and lived very agreeably, Diderot, not knowing what else to attribute to me as a crime, construed my precaution into one, and discovered another in Madam le Vasseur continuing to reside at the Hermitage, although this was by her own choice; and though her going to Paris had depended, and still depended upon herself, where she would continue to receive the same succors from me as I gave her in my house.

This is the explanation of the first reproach in the letter of Diderot. That of the second is in the letter which follows: "The learned man (a name given in a joke by Grimm to the son of Madam d'Epinay) must have informed you there were upon the rampart twenty poor persons who were dying with cold and hunger, and waiting for the farthing you customarily gave them. This is a specimen of our little babbling.....And if you understand the rest it will amuse you perhap."

My answer to this terrible argument, of which Diderot seemed so proud, was in the following words:

"I think I answered the learned man; that is, the farmer-general, that I did not pity the poor whom he had seen upon the rampart, waiting for my farthing; that he had probably amply made it up to them; that I appointed him my substitute, that the poor of Paris would have no reason to complain of the change; and that I should not easily find so good a one for the poor of Montmorency, who were in much greater need of assistance. Here is a good and respectable old man, who, after having worked hard all his lifetime, no longer being able to continue his labors, is in his old days dying with hunger. My conscience is more satisfied with the two sous I give him every Monday, than with the hundred farthings I should have distributed amongst all the beggars on the rampart. You are pleasant men, you philosophers, while you consider the inhabitants of the cities as the only persons whom you ought to befriend. It is in the country men learn how to love and serve humanity; all they learn in cities is to despise it."

Such were the singular scruples on which a man of sense had the folly to attribute to me as a crime my retiring from Paris, and pretended to prove to me by my own example, that it was not possible to live out of the capital without becoming a bad man. I cannot at present conceive how I could be guilty of the folly of answering him, and of suffering myself to be angry instead of laughing in his fare. However, the decisions of Madam d'Epinay and the clamors of the 'Cote in Holbachique' had so far operated in her favor, that I was generally thought to be in the wrong; and the D'Houdetot herself, very partial to Diderot, insisted upon my going to see him at Paris, and making all the advances towards an accommodation which, full and sincere as it was on my part, was not of long duration. The victorious argument by which she subdued my heart was, that at that moment Diderot was in distress. Besides the storm excited against the 'Encyclopedie', he had then another violent one to make head against, relative to his piece, which, notwithstanding the short history he had printed at the head of it, he was accused of having entirely taken from Goldoni. Diderot, more wounded by criticisms than Voltaire, was overwhelmed by them. Madam de Grasigny had been malicious enough to spread a report that I had broken with him on this account. I thought it would be just and generous publicly to prove the contrary, and I went to pass two days, not only with him, but at his lodgings. This, since I had taken up my abode at the Hermitage, was my second journey to Paris. I had made the first to run to poor Gauffecourt, who had had a stroke of apoplexy, from which he has never perfectly recovered: I did not quit the side of his pillow until he was so far restored as to have no further need of my assistance.

Diderot received me well. How many wrongs are effaced by the embraces of a friend! after these, what resentment can remain in the heart? We came to but little explanation. This is needless for reciprocal invectives. The only thing necessary is to know how to forget them. There had been no underhand proceedings, none at least that had come to my knowledge: the case was not the same with Madam d' Epinay. He showed me the plan of the 'Pere de Famille'. "This," said I to him, "is the best defence to the 'Fils Naturel'. Be silent, give your attention to this piece, and then throw it at the head of your enemies as the only answer you think proper to make them." He did so, and was satisfied with what he had done.

I had six months before sent him the first two parts of my 'Eloisa' to have his opinion upon them. He had not yet read the work over. We read a part of it together. He found this 'feuillet', that was his term, by which he meant loaded with words and redundancies. I myself had already perceived it; but it was the babbling of the fever: I have never been able to correct it. The last parts are not the same. The fourth especially, and the sixth, are master-pieces of diction.

The day after my arrival, he would absolutely take me to sup with M. d'Holbach. We were far from agreeing on this point; for I wished even to get rid of the bargain for the manuscript on chemistry, for which I was enraged to be obliged to that man. Diderot carried all before him. He swore D'Holbach loved me with all his heart, said I must forgive him his manner, which was the same to everybody, and more disagreeable to his friends than to others. He observed to me that, refusing the produce of this manuscript, after having accepted it two years before, was an affront to the donor which he had not deserved, and that my refusal might be interpreted into a secret reproach, for having waited so long to conclude the bargain. "I see," added he, "D'Holbach every day, and know better than you do the nature of his disposition. Had you reason to be dissatisfied with him, do you think your friend capable of advising you to do a mean thing?" In short, with my accustomed weakness, I suffered myself to be prevailed upon, and we went to sup with the baron, who received me as he usually had done. But his wife received me coldly and almost uncivilly. I saw nothing in her which resembled the amiable Caroline, who, when a maid, expressed for me so many good wishes. I thought I had already perceived that since Grimm had frequented the house of D'Aine, I had not met there so friendly a reception.

Whilst I was at Paris, Saint Lambert arrived there from the army. As I was not acquainted with his arrival, I did not see him until after my return to the country, first at the Chevrette, and afterwards at the Hermitage; to which he came with Madam d'Houdetot, and invited himself to dinner with me. It may be judged whether or not I received him with pleasure! But I felt one still greater at seeing the good understanding between my guests. Satisfied with not having disturbed their happiness, I myself was happy in being a witness to it, and I can safely assert that, during the whole of my mad passion, and especially at the moment of which I speak, had it been in my power to take from him Madam d'Houdetot I would not have done it, nor should I have so much as been tempted to undertake it. I found her so amiable in her passion for Saint Lambert, that I could scarcely imagine she would have been as much so had she loved me instead of him; and without wishing to disturb their union, all I really desired of her was to permit herself to be loved. Finally, however violent my passion may have been for this lady, I found it as agreeable to be the confidant, as the object of her amours, and I never for a moment considered her lover as a rival, but always as my friend. It will be said this was not love: be it so, but it was something more.

As for Saint Lambert, he behaved like an honest and judicious man: as I was the only person culpable, so was I the only one who was punished; this, however, was with the greatest indulgence. He treated me severely, but in a friendly manner, and I perceived I had lost something in his esteem, but not the least part of his friendship. For this I consoled myself, knowing it would be much more easy to me to recover the one than the other, and that he had too much sense to confound an involuntary weakness and a passion with a vice of character. If even I were in fault in all that had passed, I was but very little so. Had I first sought after his mistress? Had not he himself sent her to me? Did not she come in search of me? Could I avoid receiving her? What could I do? They themselves had done the evil, and I was the person on whom it fell. In my situation they would have done as much as I did, and perhaps more; for, however estimable and faithful Madam d'Houdetot might be, she was still a woman; her lover was absent; opportunities were frequent; temptations strong; and it would have been very difficult for her always to have defended herself with the same success against a more enterprising man. We certainly had done a great deal in our situation, in placing boundaries beyond which we never permitted ourselves to pass.

Although at the bottom of my heart I found evidence sufficiently honorable in my favor, so many appearances were against me, that the invincible shame always predominant in me, gave me in his presence the appearance of guilt, and of this he took advantage for the purpose of humbling me: a single circumstance will describe this reciprocal situation. I read to him, after dinner, the letter I had written the preceding year to Voltaire, and of which Saint Lambert had heard speak. Whilst I was reading he fell asleep, and I, lately so haughty, at present so foolish, dared not stop, and continued to read whilst he continued to snore. Such were my indignities and such his revenge; but his generosity never permitted him to exercise them; except between ourselves.

After his return to the army, I found Madam d'Houdetot greatly changed in her manner with me. At this I was as much surprised as if it had not been what I ought to have expected; it affected me more than it ought to have done, and did me considerable harm. It seemed that everything from which I expected a cure, still plunged deeper into my heart the dart, which I at length broke in rather than draw out.

I was quite determined to conquer myself, and leave no means untried to change my foolish passion into a pure and lasting friendship. For this purpose I had formed the finest projects in the world; for the execution of which the concurrence of Madam d' Houdetot was necessary. When I wished to speak to her I found her absent and embarrassed; I perceived I was no longer agreeable to her, and that something had passed which she would not communicate to me, and which I have never yet known. This change, and the impossibility of knowing the reason of it, grieved me to the heart.

She asked me for her letters; these I returned her with a fidelity of which she did me the insult to doubt for a moment.

This doubt was another wound given to my heart, with which she must have been so well acquainted. She did me justice, but not immediately: I understood that an examination of the packet I had sent her, made her perceive her error; I saw she reproached herself with it, by which I was a gainer of something. She could not take back her letters without returning me mine. She told me she had burnt them: of this I dared to doubt in my turn, and I confess I doubt of it at this moment. No, such letters as mine to her were, are never thrown into the fire. Those of Eloisa have been found ardent.

Heavens! what would have been said of these! No, No, she who can inspire a like passion, will never have the courage to burn the proofs of it. But I am not afraid of her having made a bad use of them: of this I do not think her capable; and besides I had taken proper measures to prevent it. The foolish, but strong apprehension of raillery, had made me begin this correspondence in a manner to secure my letters from all communication. I carried the familiarity I permitted myself with her in my intoxication so far as to speak to her in the singular number: but what theeing and thouing! she certainly could not be offended with it. Yet she several times complained, but this was always useless: her complaints had no other effect than that of awakening my fears, and I besides could not suffer myself to lose ground. If these letters be not yet destroyed, and should they ever be made public, the world will see in what manner I have loved.

The grief caused me by the coldness of Madam d'Houdetot, and the certainty of not having merited it, made me take the singular resolution to complain of it to Saint Lambert himself. While waiting the effect of the letter I wrote to him, I sought dissipations to which I ought sooner to have had recourse. Fetes were given at the Chevrette for which I composed music. The pleasure of honoring myself in the eyes of Madam d'Houdetot by a talent she loved, warmed my imagination, and another object still contributed to give it animation, this was the desire the author of the 'Devin du Villaqe' had of showing he understood music; for I had perceived some persons had, for a considerable time past, endeavored to render this doubtful, at least with respect to composition. My beginning at Paris, the ordeal through which I had several times passed there, both at the house of M. Dupin and that of M. de la Popliniere; the quantity of music I had composed during fourteen years in the midst of the most celebrated masters and before their eyes:—finally, the opera of the 'Muses Gallantes', and that even of the 'Devin'; a motet I had composed for Mademoiselle Fel, and which she had sung at the spiritual concert; the frequent conferences I had had upon this fine art with the first composers, all seemed to prevent or dissipate a doubt of such a nature. This however existed even at the Chevrette, and in the mind of M. d'Epinay himself. Without appearing to observe it, I undertook to compose him a motet for the dedication of the chapel of the Chevrette, and I begged him to make choice of the words. He directed de Linant, the tutor to his son, to furnish me with these. De Linant gave me words proper to the subject, and in a week after I had received them the motet was finished. This time, spite was my Apollo, and never did better music come from my hand. The words began with: 'Ecce sedes hic tonantis'. (I have since learned these were by Santeuil, and that M. de Linant had without scruple appropriated them to himself.) The grandeur of the opening is suitable to the words, and the rest of the motet is so elegantly harmonious that everyone was struck with it. I had composed it for a great orchestra. D'Epinay procured the best performers. Madam Bruna, an Italian singer, sung the motet, and was well accompanied. The composition succeeded so well that it was afterwards performed at the spiritual concert, where, in spite of secret cabals, and notwithstanding it was badly executed, it was twice generally applauded. I gave for the birthday of M. d'Epinay the idea of a kind of piece half dramatic and half pantomimical, of which I also composed the music. Grimm, on his arrival, heard speak of my musical success. An hour afterwards not a word more was said on the subject; but there no longer remained a doubt, not at least that I know of, of my knowledge of composition.

Grimm was scarcely arrived at the Chevrette, where I already did not much amuse myself, before he made it insupportable to me by airs I never before saw in any person, and of which I had no idea. The evening before he came, I was dislodged from the chamber of favor, contiguous to that of Madam d'Epinay; it was prepared for Grimm, and instead of it, I was put into another further off. "In this manner," said I, laughingly, to Madam d'Epinay, "new-comers displace those which are established." She seemed embarrassed. I was better acquainted the same evening with the reason for the change, in learning that between her chamber and that I had quitted there was a private door which she had thought needless to show me. Her intercourse with Grimm was not a secret either in her own house or to the public, not even to her husband; yet, far from confessing it to me, the confidant of secrets more important to her, and which was sure would be faithfully kept, she constantly denied it in the strongest manner. I comprehended this reserve proceeded from Grimm, who, though intrusted with all my secrets, did not choose I should be with any of his.

However prejudiced I was in favor of this man by former sentiments, which were not extinguished, and by the real merit he had, all was not proof against the cares he took to destroy it. He received me like the Comte de Tuffiere; he scarcely deigned to return my salute; he never once spoke to me, and prevented my speaking to him by not making me any answer; he everywhere passed first, and took the first place without ever paying me the least attention. All this would have been supportable had he not accompanied it with a shocking affectation, which may be judged of by one example taken from a hundred. One evening Madam d'Epinay, finding herself a little indisposed, ordered something for her supper to be carried into her chamber, and went up stairs to sup by the side of the fire. She asked me to go with her, which I did. Grimm came afterwards. The little table was already placed, and there were but two covers. Supper was served; Madam d' Epinay took her place on one side of the fire, Grimm took an armed chair, seated himself at the other, drew the little table between them, opened his napkin, and prepared himself for eating without speaking to me a single word.

Madam d' Epinay blushed at his behavior, and, to induce him to repair his rudeness, offered me her place. He said nothing, nor did he ever look at me. Not being able to approach the fire, I walked about the chamber until a cover was brought. Indisposed as I was, older than himself, longer acquainted in the house than he had been, the person who had introduced him there, and to whom as a favorite of the lady he ought to have done the honors of it, he suffered me to sup at the end of the table, at a distance from the fire, without showing me the least civility. His whole behavior to me corresponded with this example of it. He did not treat me precisely as his inferior, but he looked upon me as a cipher. I could scarcely recognize the same Grimm, who, to the house of the Prince de Saxe-Gotha, thought himself honored when I cast my eyes upon him. I had still more difficulty in reconciling this profound silence and insulting haughtiness with the tender friendship he possessed for me to those whom he knew to be real friends. It is true the only proofs he gave of it was pitying my wretched fortune, of which I did not complain; compassionating my sad fate, with which I was satisfied; and lamenting to see me obstinately refuse the benevolent services he said, he wished to render me. Thus was it he artfully made the world admire his affectionate generosity, blame my ungrateful misanthropy, and insensibly accustomed people to imagine there was nothing more between a protector like him and a wretch like myself, than a connection founded upon benefactions on one part and obligations on the other, without once thinking of a friendship between equals. For my part, I have vainly sought to discover in what I was under an obligation to this new protector. I had lent him money, he had never lent me any; I had attended him in his illness, he scarcely came to see me in mine; I had given him all my friends, he never had given me any of his; I had said everything I could in his favor, and if ever he has spoken of me it has been less publicly and in another manner. He has never either rendered or offered me the least service of any kind. How, therefore, was he my Mecaenas? In what manner was I protected by him? This was incomprehensible to me, and still remains so.

It is true, he was more or less arrogant with everybody, but I was the only person with whom he was brutally so. I remember Saint Lambert once ready to throw a plate at his head, upon his, in some measure, giving him the lie at table by vulgarly saying, "That is not true." With his naturally imperious manner he had the self-sufficiency of an upstart, and became ridiculous by being extravagantly impertinent. An intercourse with the great had so far intoxicated him that he gave himself airs which none but the contemptible part of them ever assume. He never called his lackey but by "Eh!" as if amongst the number of his servants my lord had not known which was in waiting. When he sent him to buy anything, he threw the money upon the ground instead of putting it into his hand. In short, entirely forgetting he was a man, he treated him with such shocking contempt, and so cruel a disdain in everything, that the poor lad, a very good creature, whom Madam d'Epinay had recommended, quitted his service without any other complaint than that of the impossibility of enduring such treatment. This was the la Fleur of this new presuming upstart.

As these things were nothing more than ridiculous, but quite opposite to my character, they contributed to render him suspicious to me. I could easily imagine that a man whose head was so much deranged could not have a heart well placed. He piqued himself upon nothing so much as upon sentiments. How could this agree with defects which are peculiar to little minds? How can the continued overflowings of a susceptible heart suffer it to be incessantly employed in so many little cares relative to the person? He who feels his heart inflamed with this celestial fire strives to diffuse it, and wishes to show what he internally is. He would wish to place his heart in his countenance, and thinks not of other paint for his cheeks.

I remember the summary of his morality which Madam d'Epinay had mentioned to me and adopted. This consisted in one single article; that the sole duty of man is to follow all the inclinations of his heart. This morality, when I heard it mentioned, gave me great matter of reflection, although I at first considered it solely as a play of wit. But I soon perceived it was a principle really the rule of his conduct, and of which I afterwards had, at my own expense, but too many convincing proofs. It is the interior doctrine Diderot has so frequently intimated to me, but which I never heard him explain.

I remember having several years before been frequently told that Grimm was false, that he had nothing more than the appearance of sentiment, and particularly that he did not love me. I recollected several little anecdotes which I had heard of him by M. de Francueil and Madam de Chenonceaux, neither of whom esteemed him, and to whom he must have been known, as Madam de Chenonceaux was daughter to Madam de Rochechouart, the intimate friend of the late Comte de Friese, and that M. de Francueil, at that time very intimate with the Viscount de Polignac, had lived a good deal at the Palais Royal precisely when Grimm began to introduce himself there. All Paris heard of his despair after the death of the Comte de Friese. It was necessary to support the reputation he had acquired after the rigors of Mademoiselle Fel, and of which I, more than any other person, should have seen the imposture, had I been less blind. He was obliged to be dragged to the Hotel de Castries where he worthily played his part, abandoned to the most mortal affliction. There, he every morning went into the garden to weep at his ease, holding before his eyes his handkerchief moistened with tears, as long as he was in sight of the hotel, but at the turning of a certain alley, people, of whom he little thought, saw him instantly put his handkerchief in his pocket and take out of it a book. This observation, which was repeatedly made, soon became public in Paris, and was almost as soon forgotten. I myself had forgotten it; a circumstance in which I was concerned brought it to my recollection. I was at the point of death in my bed, in the Rue de Grenelle, Grimm was in the country; he came one morning, quite out of breath, to see me, saying, he had arrived in town that very instant; and a moment afterwards I learned he had arrived the evening before, and had been seen at the theatre.

I heard many things of the same kind; but an observation, which I was surprised not to have made sooner, struck me more than anything else. I had given to Grimm all my friends without exception, they were become his. I was so inseparable from him, that I should have had some difficulty in continuing to visit at a house where he was not received. Madam de Crequi was the only person who refused to admit him into her company, and whom for that reason I have seldom since seen. Grimm on his part made himself other friends, as well by his own means, as by those of the Comte de Friese. Of all these not one of them ever became my friend: he never said a word to induce me even to become acquainted with them, and not one of those I sometimes met at his apartments ever showed me the least good will; the Comte de Friese, in whose house he lived, and with whom it consequently would have been agreeable to me to form some connection, not excepted, nor the Comte de Schomberg, his relation, with whom Grimm was still more intimate.

Add to this, my own friends, whom I made his, and who were all tenderly attached to me before this acquaintance, were no longer so the moment it was made. He never gave me one of his. I gave him all mine, and these he has taken from me. If these be the effects of friendship, what are those of enmity?

Diderot himself told me several times at the beginning that Grimm in whom I had so much confidence, was not my friend. He changed his language the moment he was no longer so himself.

The manner in which I had disposed of my children wanted not the concurrence of any person. Yet I informed some of my friends of it, solely to make it known to them, and that I might not in their eyes appear better than I was. These friends were three in number: Diderot, Grimm, and Madam d'Epinay. Duclos, the most worthy of my confidence, was the only real friend whom I did not inform of it. He nevertheless knew what I had done. By whom? This I know not. It is not very probable the perfidy came from Madam d'Epinay, who knew that by following her example, had I been capable of doing it, I had in my power the means of a cruel revenge. It remains therefore between Grimm and Diderot, then so much united, especially against me, and it is probable this crime was common to them both. I would lay a wager that Duclos, to whom I never told my secret, and who consequently was at liberty to make what use he pleased of his information, is the only person who has not spoken of it again.

Grimm and Diderot, in their project to take from me the governesses, had used the greatest efforts to make Duclos enter into their views; but this he refused to do with disdain. It was not until sometime afterwards that I learned from him what had passed between them on the subject; but I learned at the time from Theresa enough to perceive there was some secret design, and that they wished to dispose of me, if not against my own consent, at least without my knowledge, or had an intention of making these two persons serve as instruments of some project they had in view. This was far from upright conduct. The opposition of Duclos is a convincing proof of it. They who think proper may believe it to be friendship.

This pretended friendship was as fatal to me at home as it was abroad. The long and frequent conversations with Madam le Vasseur, for, several years past, had made a sensible change in this woman's behavior to me, and the change was far from being in my favor. What was the subject of these singular conversations? Why such a profound mystery? Was the conversation of that old woman agreeable enough to take her into favor, and of sufficient importance to make of it so great a secret? During the two or three years these colloquies had, from time to time, been continued, they had appeared to me ridiculous; but when I thought of them again, they began to astonish me. This astonishment would have been carried to inquietude had I then known what the old creature was preparing for me.

Notwithstanding the pretended zeal for my welfare of which Grimm made such a public boast, difficult to reconcile with the airs he gave himself when we were together, I heard nothing of him from any quarter the least to my advantage, and his feigned commiseration tended less to do me service than to render me contemptible. He deprived me as much as he possibly could of the resource I found in the employment I had chosen, by decrying me as a bad copyist. I confess he spoke the truth; but in this case it was not for him to do it. He proved himself in earnest by employing another copyist, and prevailing upon everybody he could, by whom I was engaged, to do the same. His intention might have been supposed to be that of reducing me to a dependence upon him and his credit for a subsistence, and to cut off the latter until I was brought to that degree of distress.

All things considered, my reason imposed silence upon my former prejudice, which still pleaded in his favor. I judged his character to be at least suspicious, and with respect to his friendship I positively decided it to be false. I then resolved to see him no more, and informed Madam d'Epinay of the resolution I had taken, supporting, it with several unanswerable facts, but which I have now forgotten.

She strongly combated my resolution without knowing how to reply to the reasons on which it was founded. She had not concerted with him; but the next day, instead of explaining herself verbally, she, with great address, gave me a letter they had drawn up together, and by which, without entering into a detail of facts, she justified him by his concentrated character, attributed to me as a crime my having suspected him of perfidy towards his friend, and exhorted me to come to an accommodation with him. This letter staggered me. In a conversation we afterwards had together, and in which I found her better prepared than she had been the first time, I suffered myself to be quite prevailed upon, and was inclined to believe I might have judged erroneously. In this case I thought I really had done a friend a very serious injury, which it was my duty to repair. In short, as I had already done several times with Diderot, and the Baron d'Holbach, half from inclination, and half from weakness, I made all the advances I had a right to require; I went to M. Grimm, like another George Dandin, to make him my apologies for the offence he had given me; still in the false persuasion, which, in the course of my life has made me guilty of a thousand meannesses to my pretended friends, that there is no hatred which may not be disarmed by mildness and proper behavior; whereas, on the contrary, the hatred of the wicked becomes still more envenomed by the impossibility of finding anything to found it upon, and the sentiment of their own injustice is another cause of offence against the person who is the object of it. I have, without going further than my own history, a strong proof of this maxim in Grimm, and in Tronchin; both became my implacable enemies from inclination, pleasure and fancy, without having been able to charge me with having done either of them the most trifling injury, and whose rage, like that of tigers, becomes daily more fierce by the facility of satiating it.

[I did not give the surname of Jongleur only to the latter until a long time after his enmity had been declared, and the persecutions he brought upon me at Geneva and elsewhere. I soon suppressed the name the moment I perceived I was entirely his victim. Mean vengeance is unworthy of my heart, and hatred never takes the least root in it.]

I expected that Grimm, confused by my condescension and advances, would receive me with open arms, and the most tender friendship. He received me as a Roman Emperor would have done, and with a haughtiness I never saw in any person but himself. I was by no means prepared for such a reception. When, in the embarrassment of the part I had to act, and which was so unworthy of me, I had, in a few words and with a timid air, fulfilled the object which had brought me to him; before he received me into favor, he pronounced, with a deal of majesty, an harangue he had prepared, and which contained a long enumeration of his rare virtues, and especially those connected with friendship. He laid great stress upon a thing which at first struck me a great deal: this was his having always preserved the same friends. Whilst he was yet speaking, I said to myself, it would be cruel for me to be the only exception to this rule. He returned to the subject so frequently, and with such emphasis, that I thought, if in this he followed nothing but the sentiments of his heart, he would be less struck with the maxim, and that he made of it an art useful to his views by procuring the means of accomplishing them. Until then I had been in the same situation; I had preserved all my first friends, those even from my tenderest infancy, without having lost one of them except by death, and yet I had never before made the reflection: it was not a maxim I had prescribed myself. Since, therefore, the advantage was common to both, why did he boast of it in preference, if he had not previously intended to deprive me of the merit? He afterwards endeavored to humble me by proofs of the preference our common friends gave to me. With this I was as well acquainted as himself; the question was, by what means he had obtained it? whether it was by merit or address? by exalting himself, or endeavoring to abase me? At last, when he had placed between us all the distance that he could add to the value of the favor he was about to confer, he granted me the kiss of peace, in a slight embrace which resembled the accolade which the king gives to newmade knights. I was stupefied with surprise: I knew not what to say; not a word could I utter. The whole scene had the appearance of the reprimand a preceptor gives to his pupil while he graciously spares inflicting the rod. I never think of it without perceiving to what degree judgments, founded upon appearances to which the vulgar give so much weight, are deceitful, and how frequently audaciousness and pride are found in the guilty, and shame and embarrassment in the innocent.

We were reconciled: this was a relief to my heart, which every kind of quarrel fills with anguish. It will naturally be supposed that a like reconciliation changed nothing in his manners; all it effected was to deprive me of the right of complaining of them. For this reason I took a resolution to endure everything, and for the future to say not a word.

So many successive vexations overwhelmed me to such a degree as to leave me but little power over my mind. Receiving no answer from Saint Lambert, neglected by Madam d'Houdetot, and no longer daring to open my heart to any person, I began to be afraid that by making friendship my idol, I should sacrifice my whole life to chimeras. After putting all those with whom I had been acquainted to the test, there remained but two who had preserved my esteem, and in whom my heart could confide: Duclos, of whom since my retreat to the Hermitage I had lost sight, and Saint Lambert. I thought the only means of repairing the wrongs I had done the latter, was to open myself to him without reserve, and I resolved to confess to him everything by which his mistress should not be exposed. I have no doubt but this was another snare of my passions to keep me nearer to her person; but I should certainly have had no reserve with her lover, entirely submitting to his direction, and carrying sincerity as far as it was possible to do it. I was upon the point of writing to him a second letter, to which I was certain he would have returned an answer, when I learned the melancholy cause of his silence relative to the first. He had been unable to support until the end the fatigues of the campaign. Madam d'Epinay informed me he had had an attack of the palsy, and Madam d'Houdetot, ill from affliction, wrote me two or three days after from Paris, that he was going to Aix-la-Chapelle to take the benefit of the waters. I will not say this melancholy circumstance afflicted me as it did her; but I am of opinion my grief of heart was as painful as her tears. The pain of knowing him to be in such a state, increased by the fear least inquietude should have contributed to occasion it, affected me more than anything that had yet happened, and I felt most cruelly a want of fortitude, which in my estimation was necessary to enable me to support so many misfortunes. Happily this generous friend did not long leave me so overwhelmed with affliction; he did not forget me, notwithstanding his attack; and I soon learned from himself that I had ill judged his sentiments, and been too much alarmed for his situation. It is now time I should come to the grand revolution of my destiny, to the catastrophe which has divided my life in two parts so different from each other, and, from a very trifling cause, produced such terrible effects.

One day, little thinking of what was to happen, Madam d'Epinay sent for me to the Chevrette. The moment I saw her I perceived in her eyes and whole countenance an appearance of uneasiness, which struck me the more, as this was not customary, nobody knowing better than she did how to govern her features and her movements. "My friend," said she to me, "I am immediately going to set off for Geneva; my breast is in a bad state, and my health so deranged that I must go and consult Tronchin." I was the more astonished at this resolution so suddenly taken, and at the beginning of the bad season of the year, as thirty-six hours before she had not, when I left her, so much as thought of it. I asked her who she would take with her. She said her son and M. de Linant; and afterwards carelessly added, "And you, dear, will not you go also?" As I did not think she spoke seriously, knowing that at the season of the year I was scarcely in a situation to go to my chamber, I joked upon the utility of the company, of one sick person to another. She herself had not seemed to make the proposition seriously, and here the matter dropped. The rest of our conversation ran upon the necessary preparations for her journey, about which she immediately gave orders, being determined to set off within a fortnight. She lost nothing by my refusal, having prevailed upon her husband to accompany her.

A few days afterwards I received from Diderot the note I am going to transcribe. This note, simply doubled up, so that the contents were easily read, was addressed to me at Madam d'Epinay's, and sent to M. de Linant, tutor to the son, and confidant to the mother.

NOTE FROM DIDEROT.

"I am naturally disposed to love you, and am born to give you trouble. I am informed Madam d'Epinay is going to Geneva, and do not hear you are to accompany her. My friend, you are satisfied with Madam d'Epinay, you must go, with her; if dissatisfied you ought still less to hesitate. Do you find the weight of the obligations you are under to her uneasy to you? This is an opportunity of discharging a part of them, and relieving your mind. Do you ever expect another opportunity like the present one, of giving her proofs of your gratitude? She is going to a country where she will be quite a stranger. She is ill, and will stand in need of amusement and dissipation. The winter season too! Consider, my friend. Your ill state of health may be a much greater objection than I think it is; but are you now more indisposed than you were a month ago, or than you will be at the beginning of spring? Will you three months hence be in a situation to perform the journey more at your ease than at present? For my part I cannot but observe to you that were I unable to bear the shaking of the carriage I would take my staff and follow her. Have you no fears lest your conduct should be misinterpreted? You will be suspected of ingratitude or of a secret motive. I well know, that let you do as you will you will have in your favor the testimony of your conscience, but will this alone be sufficient, and is it permitted to neglect to a certain degree that which is necessary to acquire the approbation of others? What I now write, my good friend, is to acquit myself of what I think I owe to us both. Should my letter displease you, throw it into the fire and let it be forgotten. I salute, love and embrace you."

Although trembling and almost blind with rage whilst I read this epistle, I remarked the address with which Diderot affected a milder and more polite language than he had done in his former ones, wherein he never went further than "My dear," without ever deigning to add the name of friend. I easily discovered the secondhand means by which the letter was conveyed to me; the subscription, manner and form awkwardly betrayed the manoeuvre; for we commonly wrote to each other by post, or the messenger of Montmorency, and this was the first and only time he sent me his letter by any other conveyance.

As soon as the first transports of my indignation permitted me to write, I, with great precipitation, wrote him the following answer, which I immediately carried from the Hermitage, where I then was, to Chevrette, to show it to Madam d' Epinay; to whom, in my blind rage, I read the contents, as well as the letter from Diderot.

"You cannot, my dear friend, either know the magnitude of the obligations I am under to Madam d'Epinay, to what a degree I am bound by them, whether or not she is desirous of my accompanying her, that this is possible, or the reasons I may have for my noncompliance. I have no objection to discuss all these points with you; but you will in the meantime confess that prescribing to me so positively what I ought to do, without first enabling yourself to judge of the matter, is, my dear philosopher, acting very inconsiderately. What is still worse, I perceive the opinion you give comes not from yourself. Besides my being but little disposed to suffer myself to be led by the nose under your name by any third or fourth person, I observe in this secondary advice certain underhand dealing, which ill agrees with your candor, and from which you will on your account, as well as mine, do well in future to abstain.

"You are afraid my conduct should be misinterpreted; but I defy a heart like yours to think ill of mine. Others would perhaps speak better of me if I resembled them more. God preserve me from gaining their approbation! Let the vile and wicked watch over my conduct and misinterpret my actions, Rousseau is not a man to be afraid of them, nor is Diderot to be prevailed upon to hearken to what they say.

"If I am displeased with your letter, you wish me to throw it into the fire, and pay no attention to the contents. Do you imagine that anything coming from you can be forgotten in such a manner? You hold, my dear friend, my tears as cheap in the pain you give me, as you do my life and health, in the cares you exhort me to take. Could you but break yourself of this, your friendship would be more pleasing to me, and I should be less to be pitied."

On entering the chamber of Madam d'Epinay I found Grimm with her, with which I was highly delighted. I read to them, in a loud and clear voice, the two letters, with an intrepidity of which I should not have thought myself capable, and concluded with a few observations not in the least derogatory to it. At this unexpected audacity in a man generally timid, they were struck dumb with surprise; I perceived that arrogant man look down upon the ground, not daring to meet my eyes, which sparkled with indignation; but in the bottom of his heart he from that instant resolved upon my destruction, and, with Madam d' Epinay, I am certain concerted measures to that effect before they separated.

It was much about this time that I at length received, by Madam d'Houdetot, the answer from Saint Lambert, dated from Wolfenbuttle, a few days after the accident had happened to him, to my letter which had been long delayed upon the road. This answer gave me the consolation of which I then stood so much in need; it was full of assurance of esteem and friendship, and these gave me strength and courage to deserve them. From that moment I did my duty, but had Saint Lambert been less reasonable, generous and honest, I was inevitably lost.

The season became bad, and people began to quit the country. Madam d'Houdetot informed me of the day on which she intended to come and bid adieu to the valley, and gave me a rendezvous at Laubonne. This happened to be the same day on which Madam d'Epinay left the Chevrette to go to Paris for the purpose of completing preparations for her journey. Fortunately she set off in the morning, and I had still time to go and dine with her sister-in-law. I had the letter from Saint Lambert in my pocket, and read it over several times as I walked along, This letter served me as a shield against my weakness. I made and kept to the resolution of seeing nothing in Madam d'Houdetot but my friend and the mistress of Saint Lambert; and I passed with her a tete-a-fete of four hours in a most delicious calm, infinitely preferable, even with respect to enjoyment, to the paroxysms of a burning fever, which, always, until that moment, I had had when in her presence. As she too well knew my heart not to be changed, she was sensible of the efforts I made to conquer myself, and esteemed me the more for them, and I had the pleasure of perceiving that her friendship for me was not extinguished. She announced to me the approaching return of Saint Lambert, who, although well enough recovered from his attack, was unable to bear the fatigues of war, and was quitting the service to come and live in peace with her. We formed the charming project of an intimate connection between us three, and had reason to hope it would be lasting, since it was founded on every sentiment by which honest and susceptible hearts could be united; and we had moreover amongst us all the knowledge and talents necessary to be sufficient to ourselves without the aid of any foreign supplement. Alas! in abandoning myself to the hope of so agreeable a life I little suspected that which awaited me.

We afterwards spoke of my situation with Madam d'Epinay. I showed her the letter from Diderot, with my answer to it; I related to her everything that had passed upon the subject, and declared to her my resolution of quitting the Hermitage.

This she vehemently opposed, and by reasons all powerful over my heart. She expressed to me how much she could have wished I had been of the party to Geneva, foreseeing she should inevitably be considered as having caused the refusal, which the letter of Diderot seemed previously to announce. However, as she was acquainted with my reasons, she did not insist upon this point, but conjured me to avoid coming to an open rupture let it cost me what mortification it would, and to palliate my refusal by reasons sufficiently plausible to put away all unjust suspicions of her having been the cause of it. I told her the task she imposed on me was not easy; but that, resolved to expiate my faults at the expense of my reputation, I would give the preference to hers in everything that honor permitted me to suffer. It will soon be seen whether or not I fulfilled this engagement.

My passion was so far from having lost any part of its force that I never in my life loved my Sophia so ardently and tenderly as on that day, but such was the impression made upon me by the letter of Saint Lambert, the sentiment of my duty and the horror in which I held perfidy, that during the whole time of the interview my senses left me in peace, and I was not so much as tempted to kiss her hand. At parting she embraced me before her servants. This embrace, so different from those I had sometimes stolen from her under the foliage, proved I was become master of myself; and I am certain that had my mind, undisturbed, had time to acquire more firmness, three months would have cured me radically.

Here ends my personal connections with Madam d'Houdetot; connections of which each has been able to judge by appearance according to the disposition of his own heart, but in which the passion inspired me by that amiable woman, the most lively passion, perhaps, man ever felt, will be honorable in our own eyes by the rare and painful sacrifice we both made to duty, honor, love, and friendship. We each had too high an opinion of the other easily to suffer ourselves to do anything derogatory to our dignity. We must have been unworthy of all esteem had we not set a proper value upon one like this, and the energy of my sentiments which have rendered us culpable, was that which prevented us from becoming so.

Thus after a long friendship for one of these women, and the strongest affection for the other, I bade them both adieu the same day, to one never to see her more, to the other to see her again twice, upon occasions of which I shall hereafter speak.

After their departure, I found myself much embarrassed to fulfill so many pressing and contradictory duties, the consequences of my imprudence; had I been in my natural situation, after the proposition and refusal of the journey to Geneva, I had only to remain quiet, and everything was as it should be. But I had foolishly made of it an affair which could not remain in the state it was, and an explanation was absolutely necessary, unless I quitted the Hermitage, which I had just promised Madam d'Houdetot not to do, at least for the present. Moreover she had required me to make known the reasons for my refusal to my pretended friends, that it might not be imputed to her. Yet I could not state the true reason without doing an outrage to Madam d'Epinay, who certainly had a right to my gratitude for what she had done for me. Everything well considered, I found myself reduced to the severe but indispensable necessity of failing in respect, either to Madam d'Upinay, Madam d'Houdetot or to myself; and it was the last I resolved to make my victim. This I did without hesitation, openly and fully, and with so much generosity as to make the act worthy of expiating the faults which had reduced me to such an extremity. This sacrifice, taken advantage of by my enemies, and which they, perhaps, did not expect, has ruined my reputation, and by their assiduity, deprived me of the esteem of the public; but it has restored to me my own, and given me consolation in my misfortune. This, as it will hereafter appear, is not the last time I made such a sacrifice, nor that advantages were taken of it to do me an injury.

Grimm was the only person who appeared to have taken no part in the affair, and it was to him I determined to address myself. I wrote him a long letter, in which I set forth the ridiculousness of considering it as my duty to accompany Madam d' Epinay to Geneva, the inutility of the measure, and the embarrassment even it would have caused her, besides the inconvenience to myself. I could not resist the temptation of letting him perceive in this letter how fully I was informed in what manner things were arranged, and that to me it appeared singular I should be expected to undertake the journey whilst he himself dispensed with it, and that his name was never mentioned. This letter, wherein, on account of my not being able clearly to state my reasons, I was often obliged to wander from the text, would have rendered me culpable in the eyes of the public, but it was a model of reservedness and discretion for the people who, like Grimm, were fully acquainted with the things I forbore to mention, and which justified my conduct. I did not even hesitate to raise another prejudice against myself in attributing the advice of Diderot, to my other friends. This I did to insinuate that Madam d'Houdetot had been in the same opinion as she really was, and in not mentioning that, upon the reasons I gave her, she thought differently, I could not better remove the suspicion of her having connived at my proceedings than appearing dissatisfied with her behavior.

This letter was concluded by an act of confidence which would have had an effect upon any other man; for, in desiring Grimm to weigh my reasons and afterwards to give me his opinion, I informed him that, let this be what it would, I should act accordingly, and such was my intention had he even thought I ought to set off; for M. d'Epinay having appointed himself the conductor of his wife, my going with them would then have had a different appearance; whereas it was I who, in the first place, was asked to take upon me that employment, and he was out of the question until after my refusal.

The answer from Grimm was slow incoming; it was singular enough, on which account I will here transcribe it.

"The departure of Madam d'Epinay is postponed; her son is ill, and it is necessary to wait until his health is re-established. I will consider the contents of your letter. Remain quiet at your Hermitage. I will send you my opinion as soon as this shall be necessary. As she will certainly not set off for some days, there is no immediate occasion for it. In the meantime you may, if you think proper, make her your offers, although this to me seems a matter of indifference. For, knowing your situation as well as you do yourself, I doubt not of her returning to your offer such an answer as she ought to do; and all the advantage which, in my opinion, can result from this, will be your having it in your power to say to those by whom you may be importuned, that your not being of the travelling party was not for want of having made your offers to that effect. Moreover, I do not see why you will absolutely have it that the philosopher is the speaking-trumpet of all the world, nor because he is of opinion you ought to go, why you should imagine all your friends think as he does? If you write to Madam d'Epinay, her answer will be yours to all your friends, since you have it so much at heart to give them all an answer. Adieu. I embrace Madam le Vasseur and the Criminal."

[M. le Vasseur, whose wife governed him rather rudely, called her the Lieutenant Criminal. Grimm in a joke gave the same name to the daughter, and by way of abridgment was pleased to retrench the first word.]

Struck with astonishment at reading this letter I vainly endeavored to find out what it meant. How! instead of answering me with simplicity, he took time to consider of what I had written, as if the time he had already taken was not sufficient! He intimates even the state of suspense in which he wishes to keep me, as if a profound problem was to be resolved, or that it was of importance to his views to deprive me of every means of comprehending his intentions until the moment he should think proper to make them known. What therefore did he mean by these precautions, delays, and mysteries? Was this manner of acting consistent with honor and uprightness? I vainly sought for some favorable interpretation of his conduct; it was impossible to find one. Whatever his design might be, were this inimical to me, his situation facilitated the execution of it without its being possible for me in mine to oppose the least obstacle. In favor in the house of a great prince, having an extensive acquaintance, and giving the tone to common circles of which he was the oracle, he had it in his power, with his usual address, to dispose everything in his favor; and I, alone in my Hermitage, far removed from all society, without the benefit of advice, and having no communication with the world, had nothing to do but to remain in peace. All I did was to write to Madam d'Epinay upon the illness of her son, as polite a letter as could be written, but in which I did not fall into the snare of offering to accompany her to Geneva.

After waiting for a long time in the most cruel uncertainty, into which that barbarous man had plunged me, I learned, at the expiration of eight or ten days, that Madam d'Epinay was setoff, and received from him a second letter. It contained not more than seven or eight lines which I did not entirely read. It was a rupture, but in such terms as the most infernal hatred only can dictate, and these became unmeaning by the excessive degree of acrimony with which he wished to charge them. He forbade me his presence as he would have forbidden me his states. All that was wanting to his letter to make it laughable, was to be read over with coolness. Without taking a copy of it, or reading the whole of the contents, I returned it him immediately, accompanied by the following note:

"I refused to admit the force of the just reasons I had of suspicion: I now, when it is too late, am become sufficiently acquainted with your character.

"This then is the letter upon which you took time to meditate: I return it to you, it is not for me. You may show mine to the whole world and hate me openly; this on your part will be a falsehood the less."

My telling he might show my preceding letter related to an article in his by which his profound address throughout the whole affair will be judged of.

I have observed that my letter might inculpate me in the eyes of persons unacquainted with the particulars of what had passed. This he was delighted to discover; but how was he to take advantage of it without exposing himself? By showing the letter he ran the risk of being reproached with abusing the confidence of his friend.

To relieve himself from this embarrassment he resolved to break with me in the most violent manner possible, and to set forth in his letter the favor he did me in not showing mine. He was certain that in my indignation and anger I should refuse his feigned discretion, and permit him to show my letter to everybody; this was what he wished for, and everything turned out as he expected it would. He sent my letter all over Paris, with his own commentaries upon it, which, however, were not so successful as he had expected them to be. It was not judged that the permission he had extorted to make my letter public exempted him from the blame of having so lightly taken me at my word to do me an injury. People continually asked what personal complaints he had against me to authorize so violent a hatred. Finally, it was thought that if even my behavior had been such as to authorize him to break with me, friendship, although extinguished, had rights which he ought to have respected. But unfortunately the inhabitants of Paris are frivolous; remarks of the moment are soon forgotten; the absent and unfortunate are neglected; the man who prospers secures favor by his presence; the intriguing and malicious support each other, renew their vile efforts, and the effects of these, incessantly succeeding each other, efface everything by which they were preceded.

Thus, after having so long deceived me, this man threw aside his mask; convinced that, in the state to which he had brought things, he no longer stood in need of it. Relieved from the fear of being unjust towards the wretch, I left him to his reflections, and thought no more of him. A week afterwards I received an answer from Madam d'Epinay, dated from Geneva. I understood from the manner of her letter, in which for the first time in her life, she put on airs of state with me, that both depending but little upon the success of their measures, and considering me a man inevitably lost, their intentions were to give themselves the pleasure of completing my destruction.

In fact, my situation was deplorable. I perceived all my friends withdrew themselves from me without knowing how or for why. Diderot, who boasted of the continuation of his attachment, and who, for three months past, had promised me a visit, did not come. The winter began to make its appearance, and brought with it my habitual disorders. My constitution, although vigorous, had been unequal to the combat of so many opposite passions. I was so exhausted that I had neither strength nor courage sufficient to resist the most trifling indisposition. Had my engagements; and the continued remonstrances of Diderot and Madam de Houdetot then permitted me to quit the Hermitage, I knew not where to go, nor in what manner to drag myself along. I remained stupid and immovable. The idea alone of a step to take, a letter to write, or a word to say, made me tremble. I could not however do otherwise than reply to the letter of Madam d'Epinay without acknowledging myself to be worthy of the treatment with which she and her friend overwhelmed me. I determined upon notifying to her my sentiments and resolutions, not doubting a moment that from humanity, generosity, propriety, and the good manner of thinking, I imagined I had observed in her, notwithstanding her bad one, she would immediately subscribe to them. My letter was as follows:


 

HERMITAGE 23d NOV., 1757.

"Were it possible to die of grief I should not now be alive.

"But I have at length determined to triumph over everything. Friendship, madam, is extinguished between us, but that which no longer exists still has its rights, and I respect them.

"I have not forgotten your goodness to me, and you may, on my part, expect as much gratitude as it is possible to have towards a person I no longer can love. All further explanation would be useless. I have in my favor my own conscience, and I return you your letter.

"I wished to quit the Hermitage, and I ought to have done it. My friends pretend I must stay there until spring; and since my friends desire it I will remain there until that season if you will consent to my stay."

After writing and despatching this letter all I thought of was remaining quiet at the Hermitage and taking care of my health; of endeavoring to recover my strength, and taking measures to remove in the spring without noise or making the rupture public. But these were not the intentions either of Grimm or Madam d'Epinay, as it will presently appear.

A few days afterwards, I had the pleasure of receiving from Diderot the visit he had so frequently promised, and in which he had as constantly failed. He could not have come more opportunely; he was my oldest friend: almost the only one who remained to me; the pleasure I felt in seeing him, as things were circumstanced, may easily be imagined. My heart was full, and I disclosed it to him. I explained to him several facts which either had not come to his knowledge, or had been disguised or suppressed. I informed him, as far as I could do it with propriety, of all that had passed. I did not affect to conceal from him that with which he was but too well acquainted, that a passion equally unreasonable and unfortunate, had been the cause of my destruction; but I never acknowledged that Madam d'Houdetot had been made acquainted with it, or at least that I had declared it to her. I mentioned to him the unworthy manoeuvres of Madam d' Epinay to intercept the innocent letters her sister-in-law wrote to me. I was determined he should hear the particulars from the mouth of the persons whom she had attempted to seduce. Theresa related them with great precision; but what was my astonishment when the mother came to speak, and I heard her declare and maintain that nothing of this had come to her knowledge? These were her words from which she would never depart. Not four days before she herself had recited to me all the particulars Theresa had just stated, and in presence of my friend she contradicted me to my face. This, to me, was decisive, and I then clearly saw my imprudence in having so long a time kept such a woman near me. I made no use of invective; I scarcely deigned to speak to her a few words of contempt. I felt what I owed to the daughter, whose steadfast uprightness was a perfect contrast to the base monoeuvres of the mother. But from the instant my resolution was taken relative to the old woman, and I waited for nothing but the moment to put it into execution.

This presented itself sooner than I expected. On the 10th of December I received from Madam d'Epinay the following answer to my preceding letter:


 

GENEVA, 1st December, 1757.

"After having for several years given you every possible mark of friendship all I can now do is to pity you. You are very unhappy. I wish your conscience may be as calm as mine. This may be necessary to the repose of your whole life.

"Since you are determined to quit the Hermitage, and are persuaded that you ought to do it, I am astonished your friends have prevailed upon you to stay there. For my part I never consult mine upon my duty, and I have nothing further to say to you upon your own."

Such an unforeseen dismission, and so fully pronounced, left me not a moment to hesitate. It was necessary to quit immediately, let the weather and my health be in what state they might, although I were to sleep in the woods and upon the snow, with which the ground was then covered, and in defiance of everything Madam d'Houdetot might say; for I was willing to do everything to please her except render myself infamous.

I never had been so embarrassed in my whole life as I then was; but my resolution was taken. I swore, let what would happen, not to sleep at the Hermitage on the night of that day week. I began to prepare for sending away my effects, resolving to leave them in the open field rather than not give up the key in the course of the week: for I was determined everything should be done before a letter could be written to Geneva, and an answer to it received. I never felt myself so inspired with courage: I had recovered all my strength. Honor and indignation, upon which Madam d'Epinay had not calculated, contributed to restore me to vigor. Fortune aided my audacity. M. Mathas, fiscal procurer, heard of my embarrasament. He sent to offer me a little house he had in his garden of Mont Louis, at Montmorency. I accepted it with eagerness and gratitude. The bargain was soon concluded: I immediately sent to purchase a little furniture to add to that we already had. My effects I had carted away with a deal of trouble, and a great expense: notwithstanding the ice and snow my removal was completed in a couple of days, and on the fifteenth of December I gave up the keys of the Hermitage, after having paid the wages of the gardener, not being able to pay my rent.

With respect to Madam le Vasseur, I told her we must part; her daughter attempted to make me renounce my resolution, but I was inflexible. I sent her off, to Paris in a carriage of the messenger with all the furniture and effects she and her daughter had in common. I gave her some money, and engaged to pay her lodging with her children, or elsewhere to provide for her subsistence as much as it should be possible for me to do it, and never to let her want bread as long as I should have it myself.

Finally the day after my arrival at Mont Louis, I wrote to Madam d'Epinay the following letter:


 

MONTMORENCY, 17th December 1757.

"Nothing, madam, is so natural and necessary as to leave your house the moment you no longer approve of my remaining there. Upon you refusing your consent to my passing the rest of the winter at the Hermitage I quitted it on the fifteenth of December. My destiny was to enter it in spite of myself and to leave it the same. I thank you for the residence you prevailed upon me to make there, and I would thank you still more had I paid for it less dear. You are right in believing me unhappy; nobody upon earth knows better than yourself to what a degree I must be so. If being deceived in the choice of our friends be a misfortune, it is another not less cruel to recover from so pleasing an error."

Such is the faithful narrative of my residence at the Hermitage, and of the reasons which obliged me to leave it. I could not break off the recital, it was necessary to continue it with the greatest exactness; this epoch of my life having had upon the rest of it an influence which will extend to my latest remembrance.





 






 

BOOK X.



 

The extraordinary degree of strength a momentary effervescence had given me to quit the Hermitage, left me the moment I was out of it. I was scarcely established in my new habitation before I frequently suffered from retentions, which were accompanied by a new complaint; that of a rupture, from which I had for some time, without knowing what it was, felt great inconvenience. I soon was reduced to the most cruel state. The physician Thieiry, my old friend, came to see me, and made me acquainted with my situation. The sight of all the apparatus of the infirmities of years, made me severely feel that when the body is no longer young, the heart is not so with impunity. The fine season did not restore me, and I passed the whole year, 1758, in a state of languor, which made me think I was almost at the end of my career. I saw, with impatience, the closing scene approach. Recovered from the chimeras of friendship, and detached from everything which had rendered life desirable to me, I saw nothing more in it that could make it agreeable; all I perceived was wretchedness and misery, which prevented me from enjoying myself. I sighed after the moment when I was to be free and escape from my enemies. But I must follow the order of events.

My retreat to Montmorency seemed to disconcert Madam d'Epinay; probably she did not expect it. My melancholy situation, the severity of the season, the general dereliction of me by my friends, all made her and Grimm believe, that by driving me to the last extremity, they should oblige me to implore mercy, and thus, by vile meanness, render myself contemptible, to be suffered to remain in an asylum which honor commanded me to leave. I left it so suddenly that they had not time to prevent the step from being taken, and they were reduced to the alternative of double or quit, to endeavor to ruin me entirely, or to prevail upon me to return. Grimm chose the former; but I am of opinion Madam d'Epinay would have preferred the latter, and this from her answer to my last letter, in which she seemed to have laid aside the airs she had given herself in the preceding ones, and to give an opening to an accommodation. The long delay of this answer, for which she made me wait a whole month, sufficiently indicates the difficulty she found in giving it a proper turn, and the deliberations by which it was preceded. She could not make any further advances without exposing herself; but after her former letters, and my sudden retreat from her house, it is impossible not to be struck with the care she takes in this letter not to suffer an offensive expression to escape her. I will copy it at length to enable my reader to judge of what she wrote:


 

GENEVA, January 17, 1758.

"SIR: I did not receive your letter of the 17th of December until yesterday. It was sent me in a box filled with different things, and which has been all this time upon the road. I shall answer only the postscript. You may recollect, sir, that we agreed the wages of the gardener of the Hermitage should pass through your hands, the better to make him feel that he depended upon you, and to avoid the ridiculous and indecent scenes which happened in the time of his predecessor. As a proof of this, the first quarter of his wages were given to you, and a few days before my departure we agreed I should reimburse you what you had advanced. I know that of this you, at first, made some difficulty; but I had desired you to make these advances; it was natural I should acquit myself towards you, and this we concluded upon. Cahouet informs me that you refused to receive the money. There is certainly some mistake in the matter. I have given orders that it may again be offered to you, and I see no reason for your wishing to pay my gardener, notwithstanding our conventions, and beyond the term even of your inhabiting the Hermitage. I therefore expect, sir, that recollecting everything I have the honor to state, you will not refuse to be reimbursed for the sums you have been pleased to advance for me."

After what had passed, not having the least confidence in Madam d' Epinay, I was unwilling to renew my connection with her; I returned no answer to this letter, and there our correspondence ended. Perceiving I had taken my resolution, she took hers; and, entering into all the views of Grimm and the Coterie Holbachique, she united her efforts with theirs to accomplish my destruction. Whilst they manoevured at Paris, she did the same at Geneva. Grimm, who afterwards went to her there, completed what she had begun. Tronchin, whom they had no difficulty in gaining over, seconded them powerfully, and became the most violent of my persecutors, without having against me, any more than Grimm had, the least subject of complaint. They all three spread in silence that of which the effects were seen there four years afterwards.

They had more trouble at Paris, where I was better known to the citizens, whose hearts, less disposed to hatred, less easily received its impressions. The better to direct their blow, they began by giving out that it was I who had left them. Thence, still feigning to be my friends, they dexterously spread their malignant accusations by complaining of the injustice of their friend. Their auditors, thus thrown off their guard, listened more attentively to what was said of me, and were inclined to blame my conduct. The secret accusations of perfidy and ingratitude were made with greater precaution, and by that means with greater effect. I knew they imputed to me the most atrocious crimes without being able to learn in what these consisted. All I could infer from public rumor was that this was founded upon the four following capital offences: my retiring to the country; my passion for Madam d'Houdetot; my refusing to accompany Madam d'Epinay to Geneva, and my leaving the Hermitage. If to these they added other griefs, they took their measures so well that it has hitherto been impossible for me to learn the subject of them.

It is therefore at this period that I think I may fix the establishment of a system, since adopted by those by whom my fate has been determined, and which has made such a progress as will seem miraculous to persons who know not with what facility everything which favors the malignity of man is established. I will endeavor to explain in a few words what to me appeared visible in this profound and obscure system.

With a name already distinguished and known throughout all Europe, I had still preserved my primitive simplicity. My mortal aversion to all party faction and cabal had kept me free and independent, without any other chain than the attachments of my heart. Alone, a stranger, without family or fortune, and unconnected with everything except my principles and duties, I intrepidly followed the paths of uprightness, never flattering or favoring any person at the expense of truth and justice. Besides, having lived for two years past in solitude, without observing the course of events, I was unconnected with the affairs of the world, and not informed of what passed, nor desirous of being acquainted with it. I lived four leagues from Paris as much separated from that. capital by my negligence as I should have been in the Island of Tinian by the sea.

Grimm, Diderot and D'Holbach were, on the contrary, in the centre of the vortex, lived in the great world, and divided amongst them almost all the spheres of it. The great wits, men of letters, men of long robe, and women, all listened to them when they chose to act in concert. The advantage three men in this situation united must have over a fourth in mine, cannot but already appear. It is true Diderot and D'Holbach were incapable, at least I think so, of forming black conspiracies; one of them was not base enough, nor the other sufficiently able; but it was for this reason that the party was more united. Grimm alone formed his plan in his own mind, and discovered more of it than was necessary to induce his associates to concur in the execution. The ascendency he had gained over them made this quite easy, and the effect of the whole answered to the superiority of his talents.

It was with these, which were of a superior kind, that, perceiving the advantage he might acquire from our respective situations, he conceived the project of overturning my reputation, and, without exposing himself, of giving me one of a nature quite opposite, by raising up about me an edifice of obscurity which it was impossible for me to penetrate, and by that means throw a light upon his manoevures and unmask him.

This enterprise was difficult, because it was necessary to palliate the iniquity in the eyes of those of whose assistance he stood in need. He had honest men to deceive, to alienate from me the good opinion of everybody, and to deprive me of all my friends. What say I? He had to cut off all communication with me, that not a single word of truth might reach my ears. Had a single man of generosity come and said to me, "You assume the appearance of virtue, yet this is the manner in which you are treated, and these the circumstances by which you are judged: what have you to say?" truth would have triumphed and Grimm have been undone. Of this he was fully convinced; but he had examined his own heart and estimated men according to their merit. I am sorry, for the honor of humanity, that he judged with so much truth.

In these dark and crooked paths his steps to be the more sure were necessarily slow. He has for twelve years pursued his plan and the most difficult part of the execution of it is still to come; this is to deceive the public entirely. He is afraid of this public, and dares not lay his conspiracy open.

[Since this was written he has made the dangerous step with the fullest and most inconceivable success. I am of opinion it was Tronchin who inspired him with courage, and supplied him with the means.]

But he has found the easy means of accompanying it with power, and this power has the disposal of me. Thus supported he advances with less danger. The agents of power piquing themselves but little on uprightness, and still less on candor, he has no longer the indiscretion of an honest man to fear. His safety is in my being enveloped in an impenetrable obscurity, and in concealing from me his conspiracy, well knowing that with whatever art he may have formed it, I could by a single glance of the eye discover the whole. His great address consists in appearing to favor whilst he defames me, and in giving to his perfidy an air of generosity.

I felt the first effects of this system by the secret accusations of the Coterie Holbachiens without its being possible for me to know in what the accusations consisted, or to form a probable conjecture as to the nature of them. De Leyre informed me in his letters that heinous things were attributed to me. Diderot more mysteriously told me the same thing, and when I came to an explanation with both, the whole was reduced to the heads of accusation of which I have already spoken. I perceived a gradual increase of coolness in the letters from Madam d'Houdetot. This I could not attribute to Saint Lambert; he continued to write to me with the same friendship, and came to see me after his return. It was also impossible to think myself the cause of it, as we had separated well satisfied with each other, and nothing since that time had happened on my part, except my departure from the Hermitage, of which she felt the necessity. Therefore, not knowing whence this coolness, which she refused to acknowledge, although my heart was not to be deceived, could proceed, I was uneasy upon every account. I knew she greatly favored her sister-in-law and Grimm, in consequence of their connections with Saint Lambert; and I was afraid of their machinations. This agitation opened my wounds, and rendered my correspondence so disagreeable as quite to disgust her with it. I saw, as at a distance, a thousand cruel circumstances, without discovering anything distinctly. I was in a situation the most insupportable to a man whose imagination is easily heated. Had I been quite retired from the world, and known nothing of the matter I should have become more calm; but my heart still clung to attachments, by means of which my enemies had great advantages over me; and the feeble rays which penetrated my asylum conveyed to me nothing more than a knowledge of the blackness of the mysteries which were concealed from my eyes.

I should have sunk, I have not a doubt of it, under these torments, too cruel and insupportable to my open disposition, which, by the impossibility of concealing my sentiments, makes me fear everything from those concealed from me, if fortunately objects sufficiently interesting to my heart to divert it from others with which, in spite of myself, my imagination was filled, had not presented themselves. In the last visit Diderot paid me, at the Hermitage, he had spoken of the article 'Geneva', which D'Alembert had inserted in the 'Encyclopedie'; he had informed me that this article, concerted with people of the first consideration, had for object the establishment of a theatre at Geneva, that measures had been taken accordingly, and that the establishment would soon take place. As Diderot seemed to think all this very proper, and did not doubt of the success of the measure, and as I had besides to speak to him upon too many other subjects to touch upon that article, I made him no answer: but scandalized at these preparatives to corruption and licentiousness in my country, I waited with impatience for the volume of the 'Encyclopedie', in which the article was inserted; to see whether or not it would be possible to give an answer which might ward off the blow. I received the volume soon after my establishment at Mont Louis, and found the articles to be written with much art and address, and worthy of the pen whence it proceeded. This, however, did not abate my desire to answer it, and notwithstanding the dejection of spirits I then labored under, my griefs and pains, the severity of the season, and the inconvenience of my new abode, in which I had not yet had time to arrange myself, I set to work with a zeal which surmounted every obstacle.

In a severe winter, in the month of February, and in the situation I have described, I went every day, morning and evening, to pass a couple of hours in an open alcove which was at the bottom of the garden in which my habitation stood. This alcove, which terminated an alley of a terrace, looked upon the valley and the pond of Montmorency, and presented to me, as the closing point of a prospect, the plain but respectable castle of St. Gratien, the retreat of the virtuous Catinat. It was in this place, then, exposed to freezing cold, that without being sheltered from the wind and snow, and having no other fire than that in my heart; I composed, in the space of three weeks, my letter to D'Alembert on theatres. It was in this, for my 'Eloisa' was not then half written, that I found charms in philosophical labor. Until then virtuous indignation had been a substitute to Apollo, tenderness and a gentleness of mind now became so. The injustice I had been witness to had irritated me, that of which I became the object rendered me melancholy; and this melancholy without bitterness was that of a heart too tender and affectionate, and which, deceived by those in whom it had confided, was obliged to remain concentred. Full of that which had befallen me, and still affected by so many violent emotions, my heart added the sentiment of its sufferings to the ideas with which a meditation on my subject had inspired me; what I wrote bore evident marks of this mixture. Without perceiving it I described the situation I was then in, gave portraits of Grimm, Madam d'Epinay, Madam d' Houdetot, Saint Lambert and myself. What delicious tears did I shed as I wrote! Alas! in these descriptions there are proofs but too evident that love, the fatal love of which I made such efforts to cure myself, still remained in my heart. With all this there was a certain sentiment of tenderness relative to myself; I thought I was dying, and imagined I bid the public my last adieu. Far from fearing death, I joyfully saw it approach; but I felt some regret at leaving my fellow creatures without their having perceived my real merit, and being convinced how much I should have deserved their esteem had they known me better. These are the secret causes of the singular manner in which this work, opposite to that of the work by which it was preceded, is written.—[Discours sur l'Inegalite. Discourse on the Inequality of Mankind.]

I corrected and copied the letter, and was preparing to print it when, after a long silence, I received one from Madam d'Houdetot, which brought upon me a new affliction more painful than any I had yet suffered. She informed me that my passion for her was known to all Paris, that I had spoken of it to persons who had made it public, that this rumor, having reached the ears of her lover, had nearly cost him his life; yet he did her justice, and peace was restored between them; but on his account, as well as on hers, and for the sake of her reputation, she thought it her duty to break off all correspondence with me, at the same time assuring me that she and her friend were both interested in my welfare, that they would defend me to the public, and that she herself would, from time to time, send to inquire after my health.

"And thou also, Diderot," exclaimed I, "unworthy friend!"

I could not, however, yet resolve to condemn him. My weakness was known to others who might have spoken of it. I wished to doubt, but this was soon out of my power. Saint Lambert shortly after performed an action worthy of himself. Knowing my manner of thinking, he judged of the state in which I must be; betrayed by one part of my friends and forsaken by the other. He came to see me. The first time he had not many moments to spare. He came again. Unfortunately, not expecting him, I was not at home. Theresa had with him a conversation of upwards of two hours, in which they informed each other of facts of great importance to us all. The surprise with which I learned that nobody doubted of my having lived with Madam d'Epinay, as Grimm then did, cannot be equalled, except by that of Saint Lambert, when he was convinced that the rumor was false. He, to the great dissatisfaction of the lady, was in the same situation with myself, and the eclaircissements resulting from the conversation removed from me all regret, on account of my having broken with her forever. Relative to Madam d'Houdetot, he mentioned several circumstances with which neither Theresa nor Madam d'Houdetot herself were acquainted; these were known to me only in the first instance, and I had never mentioned them except to Diderot, under the seal of friendship; and it was to Saint Lambert himself to whom he had chosen to communicate them. This last step was sufficient to determine me. I resolved to break with Diderot forever, and this without further deliberation, except on the manner of doing it; for I had perceived secret ruptures turned to my prejudice, because they left the mask of friendship in possession of my most cruel enemies.

The rules of good breeding, established in the world on this head, seem to have been dictated by a spirit of treachery and falsehood. To appear the friend of a man when in reality we are no longer so, is to reserve to ourselves the means of doing him an injury by surprising honest men into an error. I recollected that when the illustrious Montesquieu broke with Father de Tournemine, he immediately said to everybody: "Listen neither to Father Tournemine nor myself, when we speak of each other, for we are no longer friends." This open and generous proceeding was universally applauded. I resolved to follow the example with Diderot; but what method was I to take to publish the rupture authentically from my retreat, and yet without scandal? I concluded on inserting in the form of a note, in my work, a passage from the book of Ecclesiasticus, which declared the rupture and even the subject of it, in terms sufficiently clear to such as were acquainted with the previous circumstances, but could signify nothing to the rest of the world. I determined not to speak in my work of the friend whom I renounced, except with the honor always due to extinguished friendship. The whole may be seen in the work itself.

There is nothing in this world but time and misfortune, and every act of courage seems to be a crime in adversity. For that which has been admired in Montesquieu, I received only blame and reproach. As soon as my work was printed, and I had copies of it, I sent one to Saint Lambert, who, the evening before, had written to me in his own name and that of Madam d' Houdetot, a note expressive of the most tender friendship.

The following is the letter he wrote to me when he returned the copy I had sent him.


 

EAUBONNE, 10th October, 1758.

"Indeed, sir, I cannot accept the present you have just made me. In that part of your preface where, relative to Diderot, you quote a passage from Ecclesiastes (he mistakes, it is from Ecclesiasticus) the book dropped from my hand. In the conversations we had together in the summer, you seemed to be persuaded Diderot was not guilty of the pretended indiscretions you had imputed to him. You may, for aught I know to the contrary, have reason to complain of him, but this does not give you a right to insult him publicly. You are not unacquainted with the nature of the persecutions he suffers, and you join the voice of an old friend to that of envy. I cannot refrain from telling you, sir, how much this heinous act of yours has shocked me. I am not acquainted with Diderot, but I honor him, and I have a lively sense of the pain you give to a man, whom, at least not in my hearing, you have never reproached with anything more than a trifling weakness. You and I, sir, differ too much in our principles ever to be agreeable to each other. Forget that I exist; this you will easily do. I have never done to men either good or evil of a nature to be long remembered. I promise you, sir, to forget your person and to remember nothing relative to you but your talents."

This letter filled me with indignation and affliction; and, in the excess of my pangs, feeling my pride wounded, I answered him by the following note:


 

MONTMORUNCY, 11th October, 1758.

"SIR: While reading your letter, I did you the honor to be surprised at it, and had the weakness to suffer it to affect me; but I find it unworthy of an answer.

"I will no longer continue the copies of Madam d'Houdetot. If it be not agreeable to her to keep that she has, she may sent it me back and I will return her money. If she keeps it, she must still send for the rest of her paper and the money; and at the same time I beg she will return me the prospectus which she has in her possession. Adieu, sir."

Courage under misfortune irritates the hearts of cowards, but it is pleasing to generous minds. This note seemed to make Saint Lambert reflect with himself and to regret his having been so violent; but too haughty in his turn to make open advances, he seized and perhaps prepared, the opportunity of palliating what he had done.

A fortnight afterwards I received from Madam d'Epinay the following letter:


 

Thursday, 26th.

"SIR: I received the book you had the goodness to send me, and which I have read with much pleasure. I have always experienced the same sentiment in reading all the works which have come from your pen. Receive my thanks for the whole. I should have returned you these in person had my affairs permitted me to remain any time in your neighborhood; but I was not this year long at the Chevrette. M. and Madam Dupin come there on Sunday to dinner. I expect M. de Saint Lambert, M. de Francueil, and Madam d'Houdetot will be of the party; you will do me much pleasure by making one also. All the persons who are to dine with me, desire, and will, as well as myself, be delighted to pass with you a part of the day. I have the honor to be with the most perfect consideration," etc.

This letter made my heart beat violently; after having for a year past been the subject of conversation of all Paris, the idea of presenting myself as a spectacle before Madam d'Houdetot, made me tremble, and I had much difficulty to find sufficient courage to support that ceremony. Yet as she and Saint Lambert were desirous of it, and Madam d'Epinay spoke in the name of her guests without naming one whom I should not be glad to see, I did not think I should expose myself accepting a dinner to which I was in some degree invited by all the persons who with myself were to partake of it. I therefore promised to go: on Sunday the weather was bad, and Madam D'Epinay sent me her carriage.

My arrival caused a sensation. I never met a better reception. An observer would have thought the whole company felt how much I stood in need of encouragement. None but French hearts are susceptible of this kind of delicacy. However, I found more people than I expected to see. Amongst others the Comte d' Houdetot, whom I did not know, and his sister Madam de Blainville, without whose company I should have been as well pleased. She had the year before came several times to Eaubonne, and her sister-in-law had left her in our solitary walks to wait until she thought proper to suffer her to join us. She had harbored a resentment against me, which during this dinner she gratified at her ease. The presence of the Comte d' Houdetot and Saint Lambert did not give me the laugh on my side, and it may be judged that a man embarrassed in the most common conversations was not very brilliant in that which then took place. I never suffered so much, appeared so awkward, or received more unexpected mortifications. As soon as we had risen from table, I withdrew from that wicked woman; I had the pleasure of seeing Saint Lambert and Madam de'Houdetot approach me, and we conversed together a part of the afternoon, upon things very indifferent it is true, but with the same familiarity as before my involuntary error. This friendly attention was not lost upon my heart, and could Saint Lambert have read what passed there, he certainly would have been satisfied with it. I can safely assert that although on my arrival the presence of Madam d'Houdetot gave me the most violent palpitations, on returning from the house I scarcely thought of her; my mind was entirely taken up with Saint Lambert.

Notwithstanding the malignant sarcasms of Madam de Blainville, the dinner was of great service to me, and I congratulated myself upon not having refused the invitation. I not only discovered that the intrigues of Grimm and the Holbachiens had not deprived me of my old acquaintance, but, what flattered me still more, that Madam d'Houdetot and Saint Lambert were less changed than I had imagined, and I at length understood that his keeping her at a distance from me proceeded more from jealousy than from disesteem.

[Such is the simplicity of my heart was my opinion when I wrote these confessions.]

This was a consolation to me, and calmed my mind. Certain of not being an object of contempt in the eyes of persons whom I esteemed, I worked upon my own heart with greater courage and success. If I did not quite extinguish in it a guilty and an unhappy passion, I at least so well regulated the remains of it that they have never since that moment led me into the most trifling error. The copies of Madam d' Houdetot, which she prevailed upon me to take again, and my works, which I continued to send her as soon as they appeared, produced me from her a few notes and messages, indifferent but obliging. She did still more, as will hereafter appear, and the reciprocal conduct of her lover and myself, after our intercourse had ceased, may serve as an example of the manner in which persons of honor separate when it is no longer agreeable to them to associate with each other.

Another advantage this dinner procured me was its being spoken of in Paris, where it served as a refutation of the rumor spread by my enemies, that I had quarrelled with every person who partook of it, and especially with M. d'Epinay. When I left the Hermitage I had written him a very polite letter of thanks, to which he answered not less politely, and mutual civilities had continued, as well between us as between me and M. de la Lalive, his brother-in-law, who even came to see me at Montmorency, and sent me some of his engravings. Excepting the two sisters-in-law of Madam d'Houdetot, I have never been on bad terms with any person of the family.

My letter to D'Alembert had great success. All my works had been very well received, but this was more favorable to me. It taught the public to guard against the insinuations of the Coterie Holbachique. When I went to the Hermitage, this Coterie predicted with its usual sufficiency, that I should not remain there three months. When I had stayed there twenty months, and was obliged to leave it, I still fixed my residence in the country. The Coterie insisted this was from a motive of pure obstinacy, and that I was weary even to death of my retirement; but that, eaten up with pride, I chose rather to become a victim of my stubbornness than to recover from it and return to Paris. The letter to D'Alembert breathed a gentleness of mind which every one perceived not to be affected. Had I been dissatisfied with my retreat, my style and manner would have borne evident marks of my ill-humor. This reigned in all the works I had written in Paris; but in the first I wrote in the country not the least appearance of it was to be found. To persons who knew how to distinguish, this remark was decisive. They perceived I was returned to my element.

Yet the same work, notwithstanding all the mildness it breathed, made me by a mistake of my own and my usual ill-luck, another enemy amongst men of letters. I had become acquainted with Marmontel at the house of M. de la Popliniere, and his acquaintance had been continued at that of the baron. Marmontel at that time wrote the 'Mercure de France'. As I had too much pride to send my works to the authors of periodical publications, and wishing to send him this without his imagining it was in consequence of that title, or being desirous he should speak of it in the Mercure, I wrote upon the book that it was not for the author of the Mercure, but for M. Marmontel. I thought I paid him a fine compliment; he mistook it for a cruel offence, and became my irreconcilable enemy. He wrote against the letter with politeness, it is true, but with a bitterness easily perceptible, and since that time has never lost an opportunity of injuring me in society, and of indirectly ill-treating me in his works. Such difficulty is there in managing the irritable self-love of men of letters, and so careful ought every person to be not to leave anything equivocal in the compliments they pay them.

Having nothing more to disturb me, I took advantage of my leisure and independence to continue my literary pursuits with more coherence. I this winter finished my Eloisa, and sent it to Rey, who had it printed the year following. I was, however, interrupted in my projects by a circumstance sufficiently disagreeable. I heard new preparations were making at the opera-house to give the 'Devin du Village'. Enraged at seeing these people arrogantly dispose of my property, I again took up the memoir I had sent to M. D'Argenson, to which no answer had been returned, and having made some trifling alterations in it, I sent the manuscript by M. Sellon, resident from Geneva, and a letter with which he was pleased to charge himself, to the Comte de St. Florentin, who had succeeded M. D'Argenson in the opera department. Duclos, to whom I communicated what I had done, mentioned it to the 'petits violons', who offered to restore me, not my opera, but my freedom of the theatre, which I was no longer in a situation to enjoy. Perceiving I had not from any quarter the least justice to expect, I gave up the affair; and the directors of the opera, without either answering or listening to my reasons, have continued to dispose as of their own property, and to turn to their profit, the Devin du Village, which incontestably belong to nobody but myself.

Since I had shaken off the yoke of my tyrants, I led a life sufficiently agreeable and peaceful; deprived of the charm of too strong attachments I was delivered from the weight of their chains. Disgusted with the friends who pretended to be my protectors, and wished absolutely to dispose of me at will, and in spite of myself, to subject me to their pretended good services, I resolved in future to have no other connections than those of simple benevolence. These, without the least constraint upon liberty, constitute the pleasure of society, of which equality is the basis. I had of them as many as were necessary to enable me to taste of the charm of liberty without being subject to the dependence of it; and as soon as I had made an experiment of this manner of life, I felt it was the most proper to my age, to end my days in peace, far removed from the agitations, quarrels and cavillings in which I had just been half submerged.

During my residence at the Hermitage, and after my settlement at Montmorency, I had made in the neighborhood some agreeable acquaintance, and which did not subject me to any inconvenience. The principal of these was young Loiseau de Mauleon, who, then beginning to plead at the bar, did not yet know what rank he would one day hold there. I for my part was not in the least doubt about the matter. I soon pointed out to him the illustrious career in the midst of which he is now seen, and predicted that, if he laid down to himself rigid rules for the choice of causes, and never became the defender of anything but virtue and justice, his genius, elevated by this sublime sentiment, would be equal to that of the greatest orators. He followed my advice, and now feels the good effects of it. His defence of M. de Portes is worthy of Demosthenes. He came every year within a quarter of a league of the Hermitage to pass the vacation at St. Brice, in the fife of Mauleon, belonging to his mother, and where the great Bossuet had formerly lodged. This is a fief, of which a like succession of proprietors would render nobility difficult to support.

I had also for a neighbor in the same village of St. Brice, the bookseller Guerin, a man of wit, learning, of an amiable disposition, and one of the first in his profession. He brought me acquainted with Jean Neaulme, bookseller of Amsterdam, his friend and correspondent, who afterwards printed Emilius.

I had another acquaintance still nearer than St. Brice, this was M. Maltor, vicar of Groslay, a man better adapted for the functions of a statesman and a minister, than for those of the vicar of a village, and to whom a diocese at least would have been given to govern if talents decided the disposal of places. He had been secretary to the Comte de Luc, and was formerly intimately acquainted with Jean Bapiste Rousseau. Holding in as much esteem the memory of that illustrious exile, as he held the villain who ruined him in horror; he possessed curious anecdotes of both, which Segur had not inserted in the life, still in manuscript, of the former, and he assured me that the Comte de Luc, far from ever having had reason to complain of his conduct, had until his last moment preserved for him the warmest friendship. M. Maltor, to whom M. de Vintimille gave this retreat after the death of his patron, had formerly been employed in many affairs of which, although far advanced in years, he still preserved a distinct remembrance, and reasoned upon them tolerably well. His conversation, equally amusing and instructive, had nothing in it resembling that of a village pastor: he joined the manners of a man of the world to the knowledge of one who passes his life in study. He, of all my permanent neighbors, was the person whose society was the most agreeable to me.

I was also acquainted at Montmorency with several fathers of the oratory, and amongst others Father Berthier, professor of natural philosophy; to whom, notwithstanding some little tincture of pedantry, I become attached on account of a certain air of cordial good nature which I observed in him. I had, however, some difficulty to reconcile this great simplicity with the desire and the art he had of everywhere thrusting himself into the company of the great, as well as that of the women, devotees, and philosophers. He knew how to accommodate himself to every one. I was greatly pleased with the man, and spoke of my satisfaction to all my other acquaintances. Apparently what I said of him came to his ear. He one day thanked me for having thought him a good-natured man. I observed something in his forced smile which, in my eyes, totally changed his physiognomy, and which has since frequently occurred to my mind. I cannot better compare this smile than to that of Panurge purchasing the Sheep of Dindenaut. Our acquaintance had begun a little time after my arrival at the Hermitage, to which place he frequently came to see me. I was already settled at Montmorency when he left it to go and reside at Paris. He often saw Madam le Vasseur there. One day, when I least expected anything of the kind, he wrote to me in behalf of that woman, informing me that Grimm offered to maintain her, and to ask my permission to accept the offer. This I understood consisted in a pension of three hundred livres, and that Madam le Vasseur was to come and live at Deuil, between the Chevrette and Montmorency. I will not say what impression the application made on me. It would have been less surprising had Grimm had ten thousand livres a year, or any relation more easy to comprehend with that woman, and had not such a crime been made of my taking her to the country, where, as if she had become younger, he was now pleased to think of placing her. I perceived the good old lady had no other reason for asking my permission, which she might easily have done without, but the fear of losing what I already gave her, should I think ill of the step she took. Although this charity appeared to be very extraordinary, it did not strike me so much then as afterwards. But had I known even everything I have since discovered, I should still as readily have given my consent as I did and was obliged to do, unless I had exceeded the offer of M. Grimm. Father Berthier afterwards cured me a little of my opinion of his good nature and cordiality, with which I had so unthinkingly charged him.

This same Father Berthier was acquainted with two men, who, for what reason I know not, were to become so with me; there was but little similarity between their taste and mine. They were the children of Melchisedec, of whom neither the country nor the family was known, no more than, in all probability, the real name. They were Jansenists, and passed for priests in disguise, perhaps on account of their ridiculous manner of wearing long swords, to which they appeared to have been fastened. The prodigious mystery in all their proceedings gave them the appearance of the heads of a party, and I never had the least doubt of their being the authors of the 'Gazette Ecclesiastique'. The one, tall, smooth-tongued, and sharping, was named Ferrand; the other, short, squat, a sneerer, and punctilious, was a M. Minard. They called each other cousin. They lodged at Paris with D'Alembert, in the house of his nurse named Madam Rousseau, and had taken at Montmorency a little apartment to pass the summers there. They did everything for themselves, and had neither a servant nor runner; each had his turn weekly to purchase provisions, do the business of the kitchen, and sweep the house. They managed tolerably well, and we sometimes ate with each other. I know not for what reason they gave themselves any concern about me: for my part, my only motive for beginning an acquaintance with them was their playing at chess, and to make a poor little party I suffered four hours' fatigue. As they thrust themselves into all companies, and wished to intermeddle in everything, Theresa called them the gossips, and by this name they were long known at Montmorency.

Such, with my host M. Mathas, who was a good man, were my principal country acquaintance. I still had a sufficient number at Paris to live there agreeably whenever I chose it, out of the sphere of men of letters, amongst whom Duclos, was the only friend I reckoned: for De Levre was still too young, and although, after having been a witness to the manoeuvres of the philosophical tribe against me, he had withdrawn from it, at least I thought so, I could not yet forget the facility with which he made himself the mouthpiece of all the people of that description.

In the first place I had my old and respectable friend Roguin. This was a good old-fashioned friend for whom I was not indebted to my writings but to myself, and whom for that reason I have always preserved. I had the good Lenieps, my countryman, and his daughter, then alive, Madam Lambert. I had a young Genevese, named Coindet, a good creature, careful, officious, zealous, who came to see me soon after I had gone to reside at the Hermitage, and, without any other introducer than himself, had made his way into my good graces. He had a taste for drawing, and was acquainted with artists. He was of service to me relative to the engravings of the New Eloisa; he undertook the direction of the drawings and the plates, and acquitted himself well of the commission.

I had free access to the house of M. Dupin, which, less brilliant than in the young days of Madam Dupin, was still, by the merit of the heads of the family, and the choice of company which assembled there, one of the best houses in Paris. As I had not preferred anybody to them, and had separated myself from their society to live free and independent, they had always received me in a friendly manner, and I was always certain of being well received by Madam Dupin. I might even have counted her amongst my country neighbors after her establishment at Clichy, to which place I sometimes went to pass a day or two, and where I should have been more frequently had Madam Dupin and Madam de Chenonceaux been upon better terms. But the difficulty of dividing my time in the same house between two women whose manner of thinking was unfavorable to each other, made this disagreeable: however I had the pleasure of seeing her more at my ease at Deuil, where, at a trifling distance from me, she had taken a small house, and even at my own habitation, where she often came to see me.

I had likewise for a friend Madam de Crequi, who, having become devout, no longer received D'Alembert, Marmontel, nor a single man of letters, except, I believe the Abbe Trublet, half a hypocrite, of whom she was weary. I, whose acquaintance she had sought lost neither her good wishes nor intercourse. She sent me young fat pullets from Mons, and her intention was to come and see me the year following had not a journey, upon which Madam de Luxembourg determined, prevented her. I here owe her a place apart; she will always hold a distinguished one in my remembrance.

In this list I should also place a man whom, except Roguin, I ought to have mentioned as the first upon it; my old friend and brother politician, De Carrio, formerly titulary secretary to the embassy from Spain to Venice, afterwards in Sweden, where he was charge des affaires, and at length really secretary to the embassy from Spain at Paris. He came and surprised me at Montmorency when I least expected him. He was decorated with the insignia of a Spanish order, the name of which I have forgotten, with a fine cross in jewelry. He had been obliged, in his proofs of nobility, to add a letter to his name, and to bear that of the Chevalier de Carrion. I found him still the same man, possessing the same excellent heart, and his mind daily improving, and becoming more and more amiable. We would have renewed our former intimacy had not Coindet interposed according to custom, taken advantage of the distance I was at from town to insinuate himself into my place, and, in my name, into his confidence, and supplant me by the excess of his zeal to render me services.

The remembrance of Carrion makes me recollect one of my country neighbors, of whom I should be inexcusable not to speak, as I have to make confession of an unpardonable neglect of which I was guilty towards him: this was the honest M. le Blond, who had done me a service at Venice, and, having made an excursion to France with his family, had taken a house in the country, at Birche, not far from Montmorency.

[When I wrote this, full of my blind confidence, I was far from suspecting the real motive and the effect of his journey to Paris.]

As soon as I heard he was my neighbor, I, in the joy of my heart, and making it more a pleasure than a duty, went to pay him a visit. I set off upon this errand the next day. I was met by people who were coming to see me, and with whom I was obliged to return. Two days afterwards I set off again for the same purpose: he had dined at Paris with all his family. A third time he was at home: I heard the voice of women, and saw, at the door, a coach which alarmed me. I wished to see him, at least for the first time, quite at my ease, that we might talk over what had passed during our former connection.

In fine, I so often postponed my visit from day to day, that the shame of discharging a like duty so late prevented me from doing it at all; after having dared to wait so long, I no longer dared to present myself. This negligence, at which M. le Blond could not but be justly offended, gave, relative to him, the appearance of ingratitude to my indolence, and yet I felt my heart so little culpable that, had it been in my power to do M. le Blond the least service, even unknown to himself, I am certain he would not have found me idle. But indolence, negligence and delay in little duties to be fulfilled have been more prejudicial to me than great vices. My greatest faults have been omissions: I have seldom done what I ought not to have done, and unfortunately it has still more rarely happened that I have done what I ought.

Since I am now upon the subject of my Venetian acquaintance, I must not forget one which I still preserved for a considerable time after my intercourse with the rest had ceased. This was M. de Joinville, who continued after his return from Genoa to show me much friendship. He was fond of seeing me and of conversing with me upon the affairs of Italy, and the follies of M. de Montaigu, of whom he of himself knew many anecdotes, by means of his acquaintance in the office for foreign affairs in which he was much connected. I had also the pleasure of seeing at my house my old comrade Dupont who had purchased a place in the province of which he was, and whose affairs had brought him to Paris. M. de Joinville became by degrees so desirous of seeing me, that he in some measure laid me under constraint; and, although our places of residence were at a great distance from each other, we had a friendly quarrel when I let a week pass without going to dine with him. When he went to Joinville he was always desirous of my accompanying him; but having once been there to pass a week I had not the least desire to return. M. de Joinville was certainly an honest man, and even amiable in certain respects but his understanding was beneath mediocrity; he was handsome, rather fond of his person and tolerably fatiguing. He had one of the most singular collections perhaps in the world, to which he gave much of his attention and endeavored to acquire it that of his friends, to whom it sometimes afforded less amusement than it did to himself. This was a complete collection of songs of the court and Paris for upwards of fifty years past, in which many anecdotes were to be found that would have been sought for in vain elsewhere. These are memoirs for the history of France, which would scarcely be thought of in any other country.

One day, whilst we were still upon the very best terms, he received me so coldly and in a manner so different from that which was customary to him, that after having given him an opportunity to explain, and even having begged him to do it, I left his house with a resolution, in which I have persevered, never to return to it again; for I am seldom seen where I have been once ill received, and in this case there was no Diderot who pleaded for M. de Joinville. I vainly endeavored to discover what I had done to offend him; I could not recollect a circumstance at which he could possibly have taken offence. I was certain of never having spoken of him or his in any other than in the most honorable manner; for he had acquired my friendship, and besides my having nothing but favorable things to say of him, my most inviolable maxim has been that of never speaking but in an honorable manner of the houses I frequented.

At length, by continually ruminating. I formed the following conjecture: the last time we had seen each other, I had supped with him at the apartment of some girls of his acquaintance, in company with two or three clerks in the office of foreign affairs, very amiable men, and who had neither the manner nor appearance of libertines; and on my part, I can assert that the whole evening passed in making melancholy reflections on the wretched fate of the creatures with whom we were. I did not pay anything, as M. de Joinville gave the supper, nor did I make the girls the least present, because I gave them not the opportunity I had done to the padoana of establishing a claim to the trifle I might have offered, We all came away together, cheerfully and upon very good terms. Without having made a second visit to the girls, I went three or four days afterwards to dine with M. de Joinville, whom I had not seen during that interval, and who gave me the reception of which I have spoken. Unable to suppose any other cause for it than some misunderstanding relative to the supper, and perceiving he had no inclination to explain, I resolved to visit him no longer, but I still continued to send him my works: he frequently sent me his compliments, and one evening, meeting him in the green-room of the French theatre, he obligingly reproached me with not having called to see him, which, however, did not induce me to depart from my resolution. Therefore this affair had rather the appearance of a coolness than a rupture. However, not having heard of nor seen him since that time, it would have been too late after an absence of several years, to renew my acquaintance with him. It is for this reason M. de Joinville is not named in my list, although I had for a considerable time frequented his house.

I will not swell my catalogue with the names of many other persons with whom I was or had become less intimate, although I sometimes saw them in the country, either at my own house or that of some neighbor, such for instance as the Abbes de Condillac and De Malby, M. de Mairan, De la Lalive, De Boisgelou, Vatelet, Ancelet, and others. I will also pass lightly over that of M. de Margency, gentleman in ordinary of the king, an ancient member of the 'Coterie Holbachique', which he had quitted as well as myself, and the old friend of Madam d'Epinay from whom he had separated as I had done; I likewise consider that of M. Desmahis, his friend, the celebrated but short-lived author of the comedy of the Impertinent, of much the same importance. The first was my neighbor in the country, his estate at Margency being near to Montmorency. We were old acquaintances, but the neighborhood and a certain conformity of experience connected us still more. The last died soon afterwards. He had merit and even wit, but he was in some degree the original of his comedy, and a little of a coxcomb with women, by whom he was not much regretted.





 




 

I cannot, however, omit taking notice of a new correspondence I entered into at this period, which has had too much influence over the rest of my life not to make it necessary for me to mark its origin. The person in question is De Lamoignon de Malesherbes of the 'Cour des aides', then censor of books, which office he exercised with equal intelligence and mildness, to the great satisfaction of men of letters. I had not once been to see him at Paris; yet I had never received from him any other than the most obliging condescensions relative to the censorship, and I knew that he had more than once very severely reprimanded persons who had written against me. I had new proofs of his goodness upon the subject of the edition of Eloisa. The proofs of so great a work being very expensive from Amsterdam by post, he, to whom all letters were free, permitted these to be addressed to him, and sent them to me under the countersign of the chancellor his father. When the work was printed he did not permit the sale of it in the kingdom until, contrary to my wishes an edition had been sold for my benefit. As the profit of this would on my part have been a theft committed upon Rey, to whom I had sold the manuscript, I not only refused to accept the present intended me, without his consent, which he very generously gave, but persisted upon dividing with him the hundred pistoles (a thousand livres—forty pounds), the amount of it but of which he would not receive anything. For these hundred pistoles I had the mortification, against which M. de Malesherbes had not guarded me, of seeing my work horribly mutilated, and the sale of the good edition stopped until the bad one was entirely disposed of.

I have always considered M. de Malesherbes as a man whose uprightness was proof against every temptation. Nothing that has happened has even made me doubt for a moment of his probity; but, as weak as he is polite, he sometimes injures those he wishes to serve by the excess of his zeal to preserve them from evil. He not only retrenched a hundred pages in the edition of Paris, but he made another retrenchment, which no person but the author could permit himself to do, in the copy of the good edition he sent to Madam de Pompadour. It is somewhere said in that work that the wife of a coal-heaver is more respectable than the mistress of a prince. This phrase had occurred to me in the warmth of composition without any application. In reading over the work I perceived it would be applied, yet in consequence of the very imprudent maxim I had adopted of not suppressing anything, on account of the application which might be made, when my conscience bore witness to me that I had not made them at the time I wrote, I determined not to expunge the phrase, and contented myself with substituting the word Prince to King, which I had first written. This softening did not seem sufficient to M. de Malesherbes: he retrenched the whole expression in a new sheet which he had printed on purpose and stuck in between the other with as much exactness as possible in the copy of Madam de Pompadour. She was not ignorant of this manoeuvre. Some good-natured people took the trouble to inform her of it. For my part, it was not until a long time afterwards, and when I began to feel the consequences of it, that the matter came to my knowledge.

Is not this the origin of the concealed but implacable hatred of another lady who was in a like situation, without my knowing it, or even being acquainted with her person when I wrote the passage? When the book was published the acquaintance was made, and I was very uneasy. I mentioned this to the Chevalier de Lorenzy, who laughed at me, and said the lady was so little offended that she had not even taken notice of the matter. I believed him, perhaps rather too lightly, and made myself easy when there was much reason for my being otherwise.

At the beginning of the winter I received an additional mark of the goodness of M. de Malesherbes of which I was very sensible, although I did not think proper to take advantage of it. A place was vacant in the 'Journal des Savans'. Margency wrote to me, proposing to me the place, as from himself. But I easily perceived from the manner of the letter that he was dictated to and authorized; he afterwards told me he had been desired to make me the offer. The occupations of this place were but trifling. All I should have had to do would have been to make two abstracts a month, from the books brought to me for that purpose, without being under the necessity of going once to Paris, not even to pay the magistrate a visit of thanks. By this employment I should have entered a society of men of letters of the first merit; M. de Mairan, Clairaut, De Guignes and the Abbe Barthelemi, with the first two of whom I had already made an acquaintance, and that of the two others was very desirable. In fine, for this trifling employment, the duties of which I might so commodiously have discharged, there was a salary of eight hundred livres (thirty-three pounds); I was for a few hours undecided, and this from a fear of making Margency angry and displeasing M. de Malesherbes. But at length the insupportable constraint of not having it in my power to work when I thought proper, and to be commanded by time; and moreover the certainty of badly performing the functions with which I was to charge myself, prevailed over everything, and determined me to refuse a place for which I was unfit. I knew that my whole talent consisted in a certain warmth of mind with respect to the subjects of what I had to treat, and that nothing but the love of that which was great, beautiful and sublime, could animate my genius. What would the subjects of the extracts I should have had to make from books, or even the books themselves, have signified to me? My indifference about them would have frozen my pen, and stupefied my mind. People thought I could make a trade of writing, as most of the other men of letters did, instead of which I never could write but from the warmth of imagination. This certainly was not necessary for the 'Journal des Savans'. I therefore wrote to Margency a letter of thanks, in the politest terms possible, and so well explained to him my reasons, that it was not possible that either he or M. de Malesherbes could imagine there was pride or ill-humor in my refusal. They both approved of it without receiving me less politely, and the secret was so well kept that it was never known to the public.

The proposition did not come in a favorable moment. I had some time before this formed the project of quitting literature, and especially the trade of an author. I had been disgusted with men of letters by everything that had lately befallen me, and had learned from experience that it was impossible to proceed in the same track without having some connections with them. I was not much less dissatisfied with men of the world, and in general with the mixed life I had lately led, half to myself and half devoted to societies for which I was unfit. I felt more than ever, and by constant experience, that every unequal association is disadvantageous to the weaker person. Living with opulent people, and in a situation different from that I had chosen, without keeping a house as they did, I was obliged to imitate them in many things; and little expenses, which were nothing to their fortunes, were for me not less ruinous than indispensable. Another man in the country-house of a friend, is served by his own servant, as well at table as in his chamber; he sends him to seek for everything he wants; having nothing directly to do with the servants of the house, not even seeing them, he gives them what he pleases, and when he thinks proper; but I, alone, and without a servant, was at the mercy of the servants of the house, of whom it was necessary to gain the good graces, that I might not have much to suffer; and being treated as the equal of their master, I was obliged to treat them accordingly, and better than another would have done, because, in fact, I stood in greater need of their services. This, where there are but few domestics, may be complied with; but in the houses I frequented there were a great number, and the knaves so well understood their interests that they knew how to make me want the services of them all successively. The women of Paris, who have so much wit, have no just idea of this inconvenience, and in their zeal to economize my purse they ruined me. If I supped in town, at any considerable distance from my lodgings, instead of permitting me to send for a hackney coach, the mistress of the house ordered her horses to be put to and sent me home in her carriage. She was very glad to save me the twenty-four sous (shilling) for the fiacre, but never thought of the half-crown I gave to her coachman and footman. If a lady wrote to me from Paris to the Hermit age or to Montmorency, she regretted the four sous (two pence) the postage of the letter would have cost me, and sent it by one of her servants, who came sweating on foot, and to whom I gave a dinner and half a crown, which he certainly had well earned. If she proposed to me to pass with her a week or a fortnight at her country-house, she still said to herself, "It will be a saving to the poor man; during that time his eating will cost him nothing." She never recollected that I was the whole time idle, that the expenses of my family, my rent, linen and clothes were still going on, that I paid my barber double that it cost me more being in her house than in my own, and although I confined my little largesses to the house in which I customarily lived, that these were still ruinous to me. I am certain I have paid upwards of twenty-five crowns in the house of Madam d'Houdetot, at Raubonne, where I never slept more than four or five times, and upwards of a thousand livres (forty pounds) as well at Epinay as at the Chevrette, during the five or six years I was most assiduous there. These expenses are inevitable to a man like me, who knows not how to provide anything for himself, and cannot support the sight of a lackey who grumbles and serves him with a sour look. With Madam Dupin, even where I was one of the family, and in whose house I rendered many services to the servants, I never received theirs but for my money. In course of time it was necessary to renounce these little liberalities, which my situation no longer permitted me to bestow, and I felt still more severely the inconvenience of associating with people in a situation different from my own.

Had this manner of life been to my taste, I should have been consoled for a heavy expense, which I dedicated to my pleasures; but to ruin myself at the same time that I fatigued my mind, was insupportable, and I had so felt the weight of this, that, profiting by the interval of liberty I then had, I was determined to perpetuate it, and entirely to renounce great companies, the composition of books, and all literary concerns, and for the remainder of my days to confine myself to the narrow and peaceful sphere in which I felt I was born to move.

The produce of this letter to D'Alembert, and of the New Elosia, had a little improved the state of my finances, which had been considerably exhausted at the Hermitage. Emilius, to which, after I had finished Eloisa, I had given great application, was in forwardness, and the produce of this could not be less than the sum of which I was already in possession. I intended to place this money in such a manner as to produce me a little annual income, which, with my copying, might be sufficient to my wants without writing any more. I had two other works upon the stocks. The first of these was my 'Institutions Politiques'. I examined the state of this work, and found it required several years' labor. I had not courage enough to continue it, and to wait until it was finished before I carried my intentions into execution. Therefore, laying the book aside, I determined to take from it all I could, and to burn the rest; and continuing this with zeal without interrupting Emilius, I finished the 'Contrat Social'.

The dictionary of music now remained. This was mechanical, and might be taken up at any time; the object of it was entirely pecuniary. I reserved to myself the liberty of laying it aside, or of finishing it at my ease, according as my other resources collected should render this necessary or superfluous. With respect to the 'Morale Sensitive', of which I had made nothing more than a sketch, I entirely gave it up.

As my last project, if I found I could not entirely do without copying, was that of removing from Paris, where the affluence of my visitors rendered my housekeeping expensive, and deprived me of the time I should have turned to advantage to provide for it; to prevent in my retirement the state of lassitude into which an author is said to fall when he has laid down his pen, I reserved to myself an occupation which might fill up the void in my solitude without tempting me to print anything more. I know not for what reason they had long tormented me to write the memoirs of my life. Although these were not until that time interesting as to the facts, I felt they might become so by the candor with which I was capable of giving them, and I determined to make of these the only work of the kind, by an unexampled veracity, that, for once at least, the world might see a man such as he internally was. I had always laughed at the false ingenuousness of Montaigne, who, feigning to confess his faults, takes great care not to give himself any, except such as are amiable; whilst I, who have ever thought, and still think myself, considering everything, the best of men, felt there is no human being, however pure he maybe, who does not internally conceal some odious vice. I knew I was described to the public very different from what I really was, and so opposite, that notwithstanding my faults, all of which I was determined to relate, I could not but be a gainer by showing myself in my proper colors. This, besides, not being to be done without setting forth others also in theirs and the work for the same reason not being of a nature to appear during my lifetime, and that of several other persons, I was the more encouraged to make my confession, at which I should never have to blush before any person. I therefore resolved to dedicate my leisure to the execution of this undertaking, and immediately began to collect such letters and papers as might guide or assist my memory, greatly regretting the loss of all I had burned, mislaid and destroyed.

The project of absolute retirement, one of the most reasonable I had ever formed, was strongly impressed upon my mind, and for the execution of it I was already taking measures, when Heaven, which prepared me a different destiny, plunged me into a another vortex.

Montmorency, the ancient and fine patrimony of the illustrious family of that name, was taken from it by confiscation. It passed by the sister of Duke Henry, to the house of Conde, which has changed the name of Montmorency to that of Enguien, and the duchy has no other castle than an old tower, where the archives are kept, and to which the vassals come to do homage. But at Montmorency, or Enguien, there is a private house, built by Crosat, called 'le pauvre', which having the magnificence of the most superb chateaux, deserves and bears the name of a castle. The majestic appearance of this noble edifice, the view from it, not equalled perhaps in any country; the spacious saloon, painted by the hand of a master; the garden, planted by the celebrated Le Notre; all combined to form a whole strikingly majestic, in which there is still a simplicity that enforces admiration. The Marechal Duke de Luxembourg who then inhabited this house, came every year into the neighborhood where formerly his ancestors were the masters, to pass, at least, five or six weeks as a private inhabitant, but with a splendor which did not degenerate from the ancient lustre of his family. On the first journey he made to it after my residing at Montmorency, he and his lady sent to me a valet de chambre, with their compliments, inviting me to sup with them as often as it should be agreeable to me; and at each time of their coming they never failed to reiterate the same compliments and invitation. This called to my recollection Madam Beuzenval sending me to dine in the servants' hall. Times were changed; but I was still the same man. I did not choose to be sent to dine in the servants' hall, and was but little desirous of appearing at the table of the great I should have been much better pleased had they left me as I was, without caressing me and rendering me ridiculous. I answered politely and respectfully to Monsieur and Madam de Luxembourg, but I did not accept their offers, and my indisposition and timidity, with my embarrassment in speaking; making me tremble at the idea alone of appearing in an assembly of people of the court. I did not even go to the castle to pay a visit of thanks, although I sufficiently comprehended this was all they desired, and that their eager politeness was rather a matter of curiosity than benevolence.

However, advances still were made, and even became more pressing. The Countess de Boufflers, who was very intimate with the lady of the marechal, sent to inquire after my health, and to beg I would go and see her. I returned her a proper answer, but did not stir from my house. At the journey of Easter, the year following, 1759, the Chevalier de Lorenzy, who belonged to the court of the Prince of Conti, and was intimate with Madam de Luxembourg, came several times to see me, and we became acquainted; he pressed me to go to the castle, but I refused to comply. At length, one afternoon, when I least expected anything of the kind, I saw coming up to the house the Marechal de Luxembourg, followed by five or six persons. There was now no longer any means of defence; and I could not, without being arrogant and unmannerly, do otherwise than return this visit, and make my court to Madam la Marechale, from whom the marechal had been the bearer of the most obliging compliments to me. Thus, under unfortunate auspices, began the connections from which I could no longer preserve myself, although a too well-founded foresight made me afraid of them until they were made.

I was excessively afraid of Madam de Luxembourg. I knew, she was amiable as to manner. I had seen her several times at the theatre, and with the Duchess of Boufflers, and in the bloom of her beauty; but she was said to be malignant; and this in a woman of her rank made me tremble. I had scarcely seen her before I was subjugated. I thought her charming, with that charm proof against time and which had the most powerful action upon my heart. I expected to find her conversation satirical and full of pleasantries and points. It was not so; it was much better. The conversation of Madam de Luxembourg is not remarkably full of wit; it has no sallies, nor even finesse; it is exquisitely delicate, never striking, but always pleasing. Her flattery is the more intoxicating as it is natural; it seems to escape her involuntarily, and her heart to overflow because it is too full. I thought I perceived, on my first visit, that notwithstanding my awkward manner and embarrassed expression, I was not displeasing to her. All the women of the court know how to persuade us of this when they please, whether it be true or not, but they do not all, like Madam de Luxembourg, possess the art of rendering that persuasion so agreeable that we are no longer disposed ever to have a doubt remaining. From the first day my confidence in her would have been as full as it soon afterwards became, had not the Duchess of Montmorency, her daughter-in-law, young, giddy, and malicious also, taken it into her head to attack me, and in the midst of the eulogiums of her mamma, and feigned allurements on her own account, made me suspect I was only considered by them as a subject of ridicule.

It would perhaps have been difficult to relieve me from this fear with these two ladies had not the extreme goodness of the marechal confirmed me in the belief that theirs was not real. Nothing is more surprising, considering my timidity, than the promptitude with which I took him at his word on the footing of equality to which he would absolutely reduce himself with me, except it be that with which he took me at mine with respect to the absolute independence in which I was determined to live. Both persuaded I had reason to be content with my situation, and that I was unwilling to change it, neither he nor Madam de Luxembourg seemed to think a moment of my purse or fortune; although I can have no doubt of the tender concern they had for me, they never proposed to me a place nor offered me their interest, except it were once, when Madam de Luxembourg seemed to wish me to become a member of the French Academy. I alleged my religion; this she told me was no obstacle, or if it was one she engaged to remove it. I answered, that however great the honor of becoming a member of so illustrious a body might be, having refused M. de Tressan, and, in some measure, the King of Poland, to become a member of the Academy at Nancy, I could not with propriety enter into any other. Madam de Luxembourg did not insist, and nothing more was said upon the subject. This simplicity of intercourse with persons of such rank, and who had the power of doing anything in my favor, M. de Luxembourg being, and highly deserving to be, the particular friend of the king, affords a singular contrast with the continual cares, equally importunate and officious, of the friends and protectors from whom I had just separated, and who endeavored less to serve me than to render me contemptible.

When the marechal came to see me at Mont Louis, I was uneasy at receiving him and his retinue in my only chamber; not because I was obliged to make them all sit down in the midst of my dirty plates and broken pots, but on account of the state of the floor, which was rotten and falling to ruin, and I was afraid the weight of his attendants would entirely sink it. Less concerned on account of my own danger than for that to which the affability of the marechal exposed him, I hastened to remove him from it by conducting him, notwithstanding the coldness of the weather, to my alcove, which was quite open to the air, and had no chimney. When he was there I told him my reason for having brought him to it; he told it to his lady, and they both pressed me to accept, until the floor was repaired, a lodging of the castle; or, if I preferred it, in a separate edifice called the Little Castle which was in the middle of the park. This delightful abode deserves to be spoken of.

The park or garden of Montmorency is not a plain, like that of the Chevrette. It is uneven, mountainous, raised by little hills and valleys, of which the able artist has taken advantage; and thereby varied his groves, ornaments, waters, and points of view, and, if I may so speak, multiplied by art and genius a space in itself rather narrow. This park is terminated at the top by a terrace and the castle; at bottom it forms a narrow passage which opens and becomes wider towards the valley, the angle of which is filled up with a large piece of water. Between the orangery, which is in this widening, and the piece of water, the banks of which are agreeably decorated, stands the Little Castle of which I have spoken. This edifice, and the ground about it, formerly belonged to the celebrated Le Brun, who amused himself in building and decorating it in the exquisite taste of architectual ornaments which that great painter had formed to himself. The castle has since been rebuilt, but still, according to the plan and design of its first master. It is little and simple, but elegant. As it stands in a hollow between the orangery and the large piece of water, and consequently is liable to be damp, it is open in the middle by a peristyle between two rows of columns, by which means the air circulating throughout the whole edifice keeps it dry, notwithstanding its unfavorable situation. When the building is seen from the opposite elevation, which is a point of view, it appears absolutely surrounded with water, and we imagine we have before our eyes an enchanted island, or the most beautiful of the three Boromeans, called Isola Bella, in the greater lake.

In this solitary edifice I was offered the choice of four complete apartments it contains, besides the ground floor, consisting of a dancing room, billiard room and a kitchen. I chose the smallest over the kitchen, which also I had with it. It was charmingly neat, with blue and white furniture. In this profound and delicious solitude, in the midst of the woods, the singing of birds of every kind, and the perfume of orange flowers, I composed, in a continual ecstasy, the fifth book of Emilius, the coloring of which I owe in a great measure to the lively impression I received from the place I inhabited.

With what eagerness did I run every morning at sunrise to respire the perfumed air in the peristyle! What excellent coffee I took there tete-a-tete with my Theresa. My cat and dog were our company. This retinue alone would have been sufficient for me during my whole life, in which I should not have had one weary moment. I was there in a terrestrial paradise; I lived in innocence and tasted of happiness.

At the journey of July, M. and Madam de Luxembourg showed me so much attention, and were so extremely kind, that, lodged in their house, and overwhelmed with their goodness, I could not do less than make them a proper return in assiduous respect near their persons; I scarcely quitted them; I went in the morning to pay my court to Madam la Marechale; after dinner I walked with the marechal; but did not sup at the castle on account of the numerous guests, and because they supped too late for me. Thus far everything was as it should be, and no harm would have been done could I have remained at this point. But I have never known how to preserve a medium in my attachments, and simply fulfil the duties of society. I have ever been everything or nothing. I was soon everything; and receiving the most polite attention from persons of the highest rank, I passed the proper bounds, and conceived for them a friendship not permitted except among equals. Of these I had all the familiarity in my manners, whilst they still preserved in theirs the same politeness to which they had accustomed me. Yet I was never quite at my ease with Madam de Luxembourg. Although I was not quite relieved from my fears relative to her character, I apprehended less danger from it than from her wit. It was by this especially that she impressed me with awe. I knew she was difficult as to conversation, and she had a right to be so. I knew women, especially those of her rank, would absolutely be amused, that it was better to offend than to weary them, and I judged by her commentaries upon what the people who went away had said what she must think of my blunders. I thought of an expedient to spare me with her the embarrassment of speaking; this was reading. She had heard of my Eloisa, and knew it was in the press; she expressed a desire to see the work; I offered to read it to her, and she accepted my offer. I went to her every morning at ten o'clock; M. de Luxembourg was present, and the door was shut. I read by the side of her bed, and so well proportioned my readings that there would have been sufficient for the whole time she had to stay, had they even not been interrupted.

[The loss of a great battle, which much afflicted the King, obliged M. de Luxembourg precipitately to return to court.]

The success of this expedient surpassed my expectation. Madam de Luxembourg took a great liking to Julia and the author; she spoke of nothing but me, thought of nothing else, said civil things to me from morning till night, and embraced me ten times a day. She insisted on me always having my place by her side at table, and when any great lords wished it she told them it was mine, and made them sit down somewhere else. The impression these charming manners made upon me, who was subjugated by the least mark of affection, may easily be judged of. I became really attached to her in proportion to the attachment she showed me. All my fear in perceiving this infatuation, and feeling the want of agreeableness in myself to support it, was that it would be changed into disgust; and unfortunately this fear was but too well founded.

There must have been a natural opposition between her turn of mind and mine, since, independently of the numerous stupid things which at every instant escaped me in conversation, and even in my letters, and when I was upon the best terms with her, there were certain other things with which she was displeased without my being able to imagine the reason. I will quote one instance from among twenty. She knew I was writing for Madam d'Houdetot a copy of the New Eloisa. She was desirous to have one on the same footing. This I promised her, and thereby making her one of my customers, I wrote her a polite letter upon the subject, at least such was my intention. Her answer, which was as follows, stupefied me with surprise.


 

VERSAILLES, Tuesday.

"I am ravished, I am satisfied: your letter has given me infinite pleasure, and I take the earliest moment to acquaint you with, and thank you for it.

"These are the exact words of your letter: 'Although you are certainly a very good customer, I have some pain in receiving your money: according to regular order I ought to pay for the pleasure I should have in working for you.' I will say nothing more on the subject. I have to complain of your not speaking of your state of health: nothing interests me more. I love you with all my heart: and be assured that I write this to you in a very melancholy mood, for I should have much pleasure in telling it to you myself. M. de Luxembourg loves and embraces you with all his heart.

"On receiving the letter I hastened to answer it, reserving to myself more fully to examine the matter, protesting against all disobliging interpretation, and after having given several days to this examination with an inquietude which may easily be conceived, and still without being able to discover in what I could have erred, what follows was my final answer on the subject.


 

"MONTMORENCY, 8th December, 1759.

"Since my last letter I have examined a hundred times the passage in question. I have considered it in its proper and natural meaning, as well as in every other which may be given to it, and I confess to you, madam, that I know not whether it be I who owe to you excuses, or you from whom they are due to me."

It is now ten years since these letters were written. I have since that time frequently thought of the subject of them; and such is still my stupidity that I have hitherto been unable to discover what in the passages, quoted from my letter, she could find offensive, or even displeasing.

I must here mention, relative to the manuscript copy of Eloisa Madam de Luxembourg wished to have, in what manner I thought to give it some marked advantage which should distinguish it from all others. I had written separately the adventures of Lord Edward, and had long been undetermined whether I should insert them wholly, or in extracts, in the work in which they seemed to be wanting. I at length determined to retrench them entirely, because, not being in the manner of the rest, they would have spoiled the interesting simplicity, which was its principal merit. I had still a stronger reason when I came to know Madam de Luxembourg: There was in these adventures a Roman marchioness, of a bad character, some parts of which, without being applicable, might have been applied to her by those to whom she was not particularly known. I was therefore, highly pleased with the determination to which I had come, and resolved to abide by it. But in the ardent desire to enrich her copy with something which was not in the other, what should I fall upon but these unfortunate adventures, and I concluded on making an extract from them to add to the work; a project dictated by madness, of which the extravagance is inexplicable, except by the blind fatality which led me on to destruction.

'Quos vult perdere Jupiter dementet.'

I was stupid enough to make this extract with the greatest care and pains, and to send it her as the finest thing in the world; it is true, I at the same time informed her the original was burned, which was really the case, that the extract was for her alone, and would never be seen, except by herself, unless she chose to show it; which, far from proving, to her my prudence and discretion, as it was my intention to do, clearly intimated what I thought of the application by which she might be offended. My stupidity was such, that I had no doubt of her being delighted with what I had done. She did not make me the compliment upon it which I expected, and, to my great surprise, never once mentioned the paper I had sent her. I was so satisfied with myself, that it was not until a long time afterwards, I judged, from other indications, of the effect it had produced.

I had still, in favor of her manuscript, another idea more reasonable, but which, by more distant effects, has not been much less prejudicial to me; so much does everything concur with the work of destiny, when that hurries on a man to misfortune. I thought of ornamenting the manuscript with the engravings of the New Eloisa, which were of the same size. I asked Coindet for these engravings, which belonged to me by every kind of title, and the more so as I had given him the produce of the plates, which had a considerable sale. Coindet is as cunning as I am the contrary. By frequently asking him for the engravings he came to the knowledge of the use I intended to make of them. He then, under pretence of adding some new ornament, still kept them from me; and at length presented them himself.

'Ego versiculos feci, tulit alter honores.'

This gave him an introduction upon a certain footing to the Hotel de Luxembourg. After my establishment at the little castle he came rather frequently to see me, and always in the morning, especially when M. and Madam de Luxembourg were at Montmorency. Therefore that I might pass the day with him, I did not go the castle. Reproaches were made me on account of my absence; I told the reason of them. I was desired to bring with me M. Coindet; I did so. This was, what he had sought after. Therefore, thanks to the excessive goodness M. and Madam de Luxembourg had for me, a clerk to M. Thelusson, who was sometimes pleased to give him his table when he had nobody else to dine with him, was suddenly placed at that of a marechal of France, with princes, duchesses, and persons of the highest rank at court. I shall never forget, that one day being obliged to return early to Paris, the marechal said, after dinner, to the company, "Let us take a walk upon the road to St. Denis, and we will accompany M. Coindet." This was too much for the poor man; his head was quite turned. For my part, my heart was so affected that I could not say a word. I followed the company, weeping like a child, and having the strongest desire to kiss the foot of the good marechal; but the continuation of the history of the manuscript has made me anticipate. I will go a little back, and, as far as my memory will permit, mark each event in its proper order.

As soon as the little house of Mont Louis was ready, I had it neatly furnished and again established myself there. I could not break through the resolution I had made on quitting the Hermitage of always having my apartment to myself; but I found a difficulty in resolving to quit the little castle. I kept the key of it, and being delighted with the charming breakfasts of the peristyle, frequently went to the castle to sleep, and stayed three or four days as at a country-house. I was at that time perhaps better and more agreeably lodged than any private individual in Europe. My host, M. Mathas, one of the best men in the world, had left me the absolute direction of the repairs at Mont Louis, and insisted upon my disposing of his workmen without his interference. I therefore found the means of making of a single chamber upon the first story, a complete set of apartments consisting of a chamber, antechamber, and a water closet. Upon the ground-floor was the kitchen and the chamber of Theresa. The alcove served me for a closet by means of a glazed partition and a chimney I had made there. After my return to this habitation, I amused myself in decorating the terrace, which was already shaded by two rows of linden trees; I added two others to make a cabinet of verdure, and placed in it a table and stone benches: I surrounded it with lilies, syringa and woodbines, and had a beautiful border of flowers parallel with the two rows of trees. This terrace, more elevated than that of the castle, from which the view was at least as fine, and where I had tamed a great number of birds, was my drawing-room, in which I received M. and Madam de Luxembourg, the Duke of Villeroy, the Prince of Tingry, the Marquis of Armentieres, the Duchess of Montmorency, the Duchess of Bouffiers, the Countess of Valentinois, the Countess of Boufflers, and other persons of the first rank; who, from the castle disdained not to make, over a very fatiguing mountain, the pilgrimage of Mont Louis. I owed all these visits to the favor of M. and Madam de Luxembourg; this I felt, and my heart on that account did them all due homage. It was with the same sentiment that I once said to M. de Luxembourg, embracing him: "Ah! Monsieur le Marechal, I hated the great before I knew you, and I have hated them still more since you have shown me with what ease they might acquire universal respect." Further than this I defy any person with whom I was then acquainted, to say I was ever dazzled for an instant with splendor, or that the vapor of the incense I received ever affected my head; that I was less uniform in my manner, less plain in my dress, less easy of access to people of the lowest rank, less familiar with neighbors, or less ready to render service to every person when I had it in my power so to do, without ever once being discouraged by the numerous and frequently unreasonable importunities with which I was incessantly assailed.

Although my heart led me to the castle of Montmorency, by my sincere attachment to those by whom it was inhabited, it by the same means drew me back to the neighborhood of it, there to taste the sweets of the equal and simple life, in which my only happiness consisted. Theresa had contracted a friendship with the daughter of one of my neighbors, a mason of the name of Pilleu; I did the same with the father, and after having dined at the castle, not without some constraint, to please Madam de Luxembourg, with what eagerness did I return in the evening to sup with the good man Pilleu and his family, sometimes at his own house and at others, at mine.

Besides my two lodgings in the country, I soon had a third at the Hotel de Luxembourg, the proprietors of which pressed me so much to go and see them there, that I consented, notwithstanding my aversion to Paris, where, since my retiring to the Hermitage, I had been but twice, upon the two occasions of which I have spoken. I did not now go there except on the days agreed upon, solely to supper, and the next morning I returned to the country. I entered and came out by the garden which faces the boulevard, so that I could with the greatest truth, say I had not set my foot upon the stones of Paris.

In the midst of this transient prosperity, a catastrophe, which was to be the conclusion of it, was preparing at a distance. A short time after my return to Mont Louis, I made there, and as it was customary, against my inclination, a new acquaintance, which makes another era in my private history. Whether this be favorable or unfavorable, the reader will hereafter be able to judge. The person with whom I became acquainted was the Marchioness of Verdelin, my neighbor, whose husband had just bought a country-house at Soisy, near Montmorency. Mademoiselle d'Ars, daughter to the Comte d'Ars, a man of fashion, but poor, had married M. de Verdelin, old, ugly, deaf, uncouth, brutal, jealous, with gashes in his face, and blind of one eye, but, upon the whole, a good man when properly managed, and in possession of a fortune of from fifteen to twenty thousand a year. This charming object, swearing, roaring, scolding, storming, and making his wife cry all day long, ended by doing whatever she thought proper, and this to set her in a rage, because she knew how to persuade him that it was he who would, and she would not have it so. M. de Margency, of whom I have spoken, was the friend of madam, and became that of monsieur. He had a few years before let them his castle of Margency, near Eaubonne and Andilly, and they resided there precisely at the time of my passion for Madam d'Houdetot. Madam d'Houdetot and Madam de Verdelin became acquainted with each other, by means of Madam d'Aubeterre their common friend; and as the garden of Margency was in the road by which Madam d'Houdetot went to Mont Olympe, her favorite walk, Madam de Verdelin gave her a key that she might pass through it. By means of this key I crossed it several times with her; but I did not like unexpected meetings, and when Madam de Verdelin was by chance upon our way I left them together without speaking to her, and went on before. This want of gallantry must have made on her an impression unfavorable to me. Yet when she was at Soisy she was anxious to have my company. She came several times to see me at Mont Louis, without finding me at home, and perceiving I did not return her visit, took it into her head, as a means of forcing me to do it, to send me pots of flowers for my terrace. I was under the necessity of going to thank her; this was all she wanted, and we thus became acquainted.

This connection, like every other I formed; or was led into contrary to my inclination, began rather boisterously. There never reigned in it a real calm. The turn of mind of Madam de Verdelinwas too opposite to mine. Malignant expressions and pointed sarcasms came from her with so much simplicity, that a continual attention too fatiguing for me was necessary to perceive she was turning into ridicule the person to whom she spoke. One trivial circumstance which occurs to my recollection will be sufficient to give an idea of her manner. Her brother had just obtained the command of a frigate cruising against the English. I spoke of the manner of fitting out this frigate without diminishing its swiftness of sailing. "Yes," replied she, in the most natural tone of voice, "no more cannon are taken than are necessary for fighting." I seldom have heard her speak well of any of her absent friends without letting slip something to their prejudice. What she did not see with an evil eye she looked upon with one of ridicule, and her friend Margency was not excepted. What I found most insupportable in her was the perpetual constraint proceeding from her little messages, presents and billets, to which it was a labor for me to answer, and I had continual embarrassments either in thanking or refusing. However, by frequently seeing this lady I became attached to her. She had her troubles as well as I had mine. Reciprocal confidence rendered our conversations interesting. Nothing so cordially attaches two persons as the satisfaction of weeping together. We sought the company of each other for our reciprocal consolation, and the want of this has frequently made me pass over many things. I had been so severe in my frankness with her, that after having sometimes shown so little esteem for her character, a great deal was necessary to be able to believe she could sincerely forgive me.

The following letter is a specimen of the epistles I sometimes wrote to her, and it is to be remarked that she never once in any of her answers to them seemed to be in the least degree piqued.


 

MONTMORENCY, 5th November, 1760.

"You tell me, madam, you have not well explained yourself, in order to make me understand I have explained myself ill. You speak of your pretended stupidity for the purpose of making me feel my own. You boast of being nothing more than a good kind of woman, as if you were afraid to being taken at your word, and you make me apologies to tell me I owe them to you. Yes, madam, I know it; it is I who am a fool, a good kind of man; and, if it be possible, worse than all this; it is I who make a bad choice of my expressions in the opinion of a fine French lady, who pays as much attention to words, and speak as well as you do. But consider that I take them in the common meaning of the language without knowing or troubling my head about the polite acceptations in which they are taken in the virtuous societies of Paris. If my expressions are sometimes equivocal, I endeavored by my conduct to determine their meaning," etc. The rest of the letter is much the same.

Coindet, enterprising, bold, even to effrontery, and who was upon the watch after all my friends, soon introduced himself in my name to the house of Madam de Verdelin, and, unknown to me, shortly became there more familiar than myself. This Coindet was an extraordinary man. He presented himself in my name in the houses of all my acquaintance, gained a footing in them, and eat there without ceremony. Transported with zeal to do me service, he never mentioned my name without his eyes being suffused with tears; but, when he came to see me, he kept the most profound silence on the subject of all these connections, and especially on that in which he knew I must be interested. Instead of telling me what he had heard, said, or seen, relative to my affairs, he waited for my speaking to him, and even interrogated me. He never knew anything of what passed in Paris, except that which I told him: finally, although everybody spoke to me of him, he never once spoke to me of any person; he was secret and mysterious with his friend only; but I will for the present leave Coindet and Madam de Verdelin, and return to them at a proper time.

Sometime after my return to Mont Louis, La Tour, the painter, came to see me, and brought with him my portrait in crayons, which a few years before he had exhibited at the salon. He wished to give me this portrait, which I did not choose to accept. But Madam d'Epinay, who had given me hers, and would have had this, prevailed upon me to ask him for it. He had taken some time to retouch the features. In the interval happened my rupture with Madam d'Epinay; I returned her her portrait; and giving her mine being no longer in question, I put it into my chamber, in the castle. M. de Luxembourg saw it there, and found it a good one; I offered it him, he accepted it, and I sent it to the castle. He and his lady comprehended I should be very glad to have theirs. They had them taken in miniature by a very skilful hand, set in a box of rock crystal, mounted with gold, and in a very handsome manner, with which I was delighted, made me a present of both. Madam de Luxenbourg would never consent that her portrait should be on the upper part of the box. She had reproached me several times with loving M. de Luxembourg better than I did her; I had not denied it because it was true. By this manner of placing her portrait she showed very politely, but very clearly, she had not forgotten the preference.

Much about this time I was guilty of a folly which did not contribute to preserve me to her good graces. Although I had no knowledge of M. de Silhoutte, and was not much disposed to like him, I had a great opinion of his administration. When he began to let his hand fall rather heavily upon financiers, I perceived he did not begin his operation in a favorable moment, but he had my warmest wishes for his success; and as soon as I heard he was displaced I wrote to him, in my intrepid, heedless manner, the following letter, which I certainly do not undertake to justify.


 

MONTMORENCY, 2d December, 1759.

"Vouchsafe, sir, to receive the homage of a solitary man, who is not known to you, but who esteems you for your talents, respects you for your administration, and who did you the honor to believe you would not long remain in it. Unable to save the State, except at the expense of the capital by which it has been ruined, you have braved the clamors of the gainers of money. When I saw you crush these wretches, I envied you your place; and at seeing you quit it without departing from your system, I admire you. Be satisfied with yourself, sir; the step you have taken will leave you an honor you will long enjoy without a competitor. The malediction of knaves is the glory of an honest man."

Madam de Luxembourg, who knew I had written this letter, spoke to me of it when she came into the country at Easter. I showed it to her and she was desirous of a copy; this I gave her, but when I did it I did not know she was interested in under-farms, and the displacing of M. de Silhoutte. By my numerous follies any person would have imagined I wilfully endeavored to bring on myself the hatred of an amiable woman who had power, and to whom, in truth, I daily became more attached, and was far from wishing to occasion her displeasure, although by my awkward manner of proceeding, I did everything proper for that purpose. I think it superfluous to remark here, that it is to her the history of the opiate of M. Tronchin, of which I have spoken in the first part of my memoirs, relates; the other lady was Madam de Mirepoix. They have never mentioned to me the circumstance, nor has either of them, in the least, seemed to have preserved a remembrance of it; but to presume that Madam de Luxembourg can possibly have forgotten it appears to me very difficult, and would still remain so, even were the subsequent events entirely unknown. For my part, I fell into a deceitful security relative to the effects of my stupid mistakes, by an internal evidence of my not having taken any step with an intention to offend; as if a woman could ever forgive what I had done, although she might be certain the will had not the least part in the matter.

Although she seemed not to see or feel anything, and that I did not immediately find either her warmth of friendship diminished or the least change in her manner, the continuation and even increase of a too well founded foreboding made me incessantly tremble, lest disgust should succeed to infatuation. Was it possible for me to expect in a lady of such high rank, a constancy proof against my want of address to support it? I was unable to conceal from her this secret foreboding, which made me uneasy, and rendered me still more disagreeable. This will be judged of by the following letter, which contains a very singular prediction.

N. B. This letter, without date in my rough copy, was written in October, 1760, at latest.

"How cruel is your goodness? Why disturb the peace of a solitary mortal who had renounced the pleasures of life, that he might no longer suffer the fatigues of them. I have passed my days in vainly searching for solid attachments. I have not been able to form any in the ranks to which I was equal; is it in yours that I ought to seek for them? Neither ambition nor interest can tempt me: I am not vain, but little fearful; I can resist everything except caresses. Why do you both attack me by a weakness which I must overcome, because in the distance by which we are separated, the over-flowings of susceptible hearts cannot bring mine near to you? Will gratitude be sufficient for a heart which knows not two manners of bestowing its affections, and feels itself incapable of everything except friendship? Of friendship, madam la marechale! Ah! there is my misfortune! It is good in you and the marechal to make use of this expression; but I am mad when I take you at your word. You amuse yourselves, and I become attached; and the end of this prepares for me new regrets. How I do hate all your titles, and pity you on account of your being obliged to bear them? You seem to me to be so worthy of tasting the charms of private life! Why do not you reside at Clarens? I would go there in search of happiness; but the castle of Montmorency, and the Hotel de Luxembourg! Is it in these places Jean Jacques ought to be seen? Is it there a friend to equality ought to carry the affections of a sensible heart, and who thus paying the esteem in which he is held, thinks he returns as much as he receives? You are good and susceptible also: this I know and have seen; I am sorry I was not sooner convinced of it; but in the rank you hold, in the manner of living, nothing can make a lasting impression; a succession of new objects efface each other so that not one of them remains. You will forget me, madam, after having made it impossible for me to imitate, you. You have done a great deal to make me unhappy, to be inexcusable."

I joined with her the marechal, to render the compliment less severe; for I was moreover so sure of him, that I never had a doubt in my mind of the continuation of his friendship. Nothing that intimidated me in madam la marechale, ever for a moment extended to him. I never have had the least mistrust relative to his character, which I knew to be feeble, but constant. I no more feared a coldness on his part than I expected from him an heroic attachment. The simplicity and familiarity of our manners with each other proved how far dependence was reciprocal. We were both always right: I shall ever honor and hold dear the memory of this worthy man, and, notwithstanding everything that was done to detach him from me, I am as certain of his having died my friend as if I had been present in his last moments.

At the second journey to Montmorency, in the year 1760, the reading of Eloisa being finished, I had recourse to that of Emilius, to support myself in the good graces of Madam de Luxembourg; but this, whether the subject was less to her taste; or that so much reading at length fatigued her, did not succeed so well. However, as she reproached me with suffering myself to be the dupe of booksellers, she wished me to leave to her care the printing the work, that I might reap from it a greater advantage. I consented to her doing it, on the express condition of its not being printed in France, on which we had along dispute; I affirming that it was impossible to obtain, and even imprudent to solicit, a tacit permission; and being unwilling to permit the impression upon any other terms in the kingdom; she, that the censor could not make the least difficulty, according to the system government had adopted. She found means to make M. de Malesherbes enter into her views. He wrote to me on the subject a long letter with his own hand, to prove the profession of faith of the Savoyard vicar to be a composition which must everywhere gain the approbation of its readers and that of the court, as things were then circumstanced. I was surprised to see this magistrate, always so prudent, become so smooth in the business, as the printing of a book was by that alone legal, I had no longer any objection to make to that of the work. Yet, by an extraordinary scruple, I still required it should be printed in Holland, and by the bookseller Neaulme, whom, not satisfied with indicating him, I informed of my wishes, consenting the edition should be brought out for the profit of a French bookseller, and that as soon as it was ready it should be sold at Paris, or wherever else it might be thought proper, as with this I had no manner of concern. This is exactly what was agreed upon between Madam de Luxembourg and myself, after which I gave her my manuscript.

Madam de Luxembourg was this time accompanied by her granddaughter Mademoiselle de Boufflers, now Duchess of Lauzun. Her name was Amelia. She was a charming girl. She really had a maiden beauty, mildness and timidity. Nothing could be more lovely than her person, nothing more chaste and tender than the sentiments she inspired. She was, besides, still a child under eleven years of age. Madam de Luxembourg, who thought her too timid, used every endeavor to animate her. She permitted me several times to give her a kiss, which I did with my usual awkwardness. Instead of saying flattering things to her, as any other person would have done, I remained silent and disconcerted, and I know not which of the two, the little girl or myself, was most ashamed.





 




 

I met her one day alone in the staircase of the little castle. She had been to see Theresa, with whom her governess still was. Not knowing what else to say, I proposed to her a kiss, which, in the innocence of her heart, she did not refuse; having in the morning received one from me by order of her grandmother, and in her presence. The next day, while reading Emilius by the side of the bed of Madam de Luxembourg, I came to a passage in which I justly censure that which I had done the preceding evening. She thought the reflection extremely just, and said some very sensible things upon the subject which made me blush. How was I enraged at my incredible stupidity, which has frequently given me the appearance of guilt when I was nothing more than a fool and embarrassed! A stupidity, which in a man known to be endowed with some wit, is considered as a false excuse. I can safely swear that in this kiss, as well as in the others, the heart and thoughts of Mademoiselle Amelia were not more pure than my own, and that if I could have avoided meeting her I should have done it; not that I had not great pleasure in seeing her, but from the embarrassment of not finding a word proper to say. Whence comes it that even a child can intimidate a man, whom the power of kings has never inspired with fear? What is to be done? How, without presence of mind, am I to act? If I strive to speak to the persons I meet, I certainly say some stupid thing to them; if I remain silent, I am a misanthrope, an unsociable animal, a bear. Total imbecility would have been more favorable to me; but the talents which I have failed to improve in the world have become the instruments of my destruction, and of that of the talents I possessed.

At the latter end of this journey, Madam de Luxembourg did a good action in which I had some share. Diderot having very imprudently offended the Princess of Robeck, daughter of M. de Luxembourg, Palissot, whom she protected, took up the quarrel, and revenged her by the comedy of 'The Philosophers', in which I was ridiculed, and Diderot very roughly handled. The author treated me with more gentleness, less, I am of opinion, on account of the obligation he was under to me, than from the fear of displeasing the father of his protectress, by whom he knew I was beloved. The bookseller Duchesne, with whom I was not at that time acquainted, sent me the comedy when it was printed, and this I suspect was by the order of Palissot, who, perhaps, thought I should have a pleasure in seeing a man with whom I was no longer connected defamed. He was greatly deceived. When I broke with Diderot, whom I thought less ill-natured than weak and indiscreet, I still always preserved for his person an attachment, an esteem even, and a respect for our ancient friendship, which I know was for a long time as sincere on his part as on mine. The case was quite different with Grimm; a man false by nature, who never loved me, who is not even capable of friendship, and a person who, without the least subject of complaint, and solely to satisfy his gloomy jealousy, became, under the mask of friendship, my most cruel calumniator. This man is to me a cipher; the other will always be my old friend.

My very bowels yearned at the sight of this odious piece: the reading of it was insupportable to me, and, without going through the whole, I returned the copy to Duchesne with the following letter:


 

MONTMORENCY, 21st, May, 1760.

"In casting my eyes over the piece you sent me, I trembled at seeing myself well spoken of in it. I do not accept the horrid present. I am persuaded that in sending it me, you did not intend an insult; but you do not know, or have forgotten, that I have the honor to be the friend of a respectable man, who is shamefully defamed and calumniated in this libel."

Duchense showed the letter. Diderot, upon whom it ought to have had an effect quite contrary, was vexed at it. His pride could not forgive me the superiority of a generous action, and I was informed his wife everywhere inveighed against me with a bitterness with which I was not in the least affected, as I knew she was known to everybody to be a noisy babbler.

Diderot in his turn found an avenger in the Abbe Morrellet, who wrote against Palissot a little work, imitated from the 'Petit Prophete', and entitled the Vision. In this production he very imprudently offended Madam de Robeck, whose friends got him sent to the Bastile; though she, not naturally vindictive, and at that time in a dying state, I am certain had nothing to do with the affair.

D'Alembert, who was very intimately connected with Morrellet, wrote me a letter, desiring I would beg of Madam de Luxembourg to solicit his liberty, promising her in return encomiums in the 'Encyclopedie'; my answer to this letter was as follows:

"I did not wait the receipt of your letter before I expressed to Madam de Luxembourg the pain the confinement of the Abbe Morrellet gave me. She knows my concern, and shall be made acquainted with yours, and her knowing that the abbe is a man of merit will be sufficient to make her interest herself in his behalf. However, although she and the marechal honor me with a benevolence which is my greatest consolation, and that the name of your friend be to them a recommendation in favor of the Abbe Morrellet, I know not how far, on this occasion, it may be proper for them to employ the credit attached to the rank they hold, and the consideration due to their persons. I am not even convinced that the vengeance in question relates to the Princess Robeck so much as you seem to imagine; and were this even the case, we must not suppose that the pleasure of vengeance belongs to philosophers exclusively, and that when they choose to become women, women will become philosophers.

"I will communicate to you whatever Madam de Luxembourg may say to me after having shown her your letter. In the meantime, I think I know her well enough to assure you that, should she have the pleasure of contributing to the enlargement of the Abbe Morrellet, she will not accept the tribute of acknowledgment you promise her in the Encyclopedie, although she might think herself honored by it, because she does not do good in the expectation of praise, but from the dictates of her heart."

I made every effort to excite the zeal and commiseration of Madam de Luxembourg in favor of the poor captive, and succeeded to my wishes. She went to Versailles on purpose to speak to M. de St. Florentin, and this journey shortened the residence at Montmorency, which the marechal was obliged to quit at the same time to go to Rouen, whither the king sent him as governor of Normandy, on account of the motions of the parliament, which government wished to keep within bounds. Madam de Luxembourg wrote me the following letter the day after her departure:


 

VERSAILLES, Wednesday.

"M. de Luxembourg set off yesterday morning at six o'clock. I do not yet know that I shall follow him. I wait until he writes to me, as he is not yet certain of the stay it will be necessary for him to make. I have seen M. de St. Florentin, who is as favorably disposed as possible towards the Abbe Morrellet; but he finds some obstacles to his wishes which however, he is in hopes of removing the first time he has to do business with the king, which will be next week. I have also desired as a favor that he might not be exiled, because this was intended; he was to be sent to Nancy. This, sir, is what I have been able to obtain; but I promise you I will not let M. de St. Florentin rest until the affair is terminated in the manner you desire. Let me now express to you how sorry I am on account of my being obliged to leave you so soon, of which I flatter myself you have not the least doubt. I love you with all my heart, and shall do so for my whole life."

A few days afterwards I received the following note from D'Alembert, which gave me real joy.


 

August 1st.

"Thanks to your cares, my dear philosopher, the abbe has left the Bastile, and his imprisonment will have no other consequence. He is setting off for the country, and, as well as myself, returns you a thousand thanks and compliments. 'Vale et me ama'."

The abbe also wrote to me a few days afterwards a letter of thanks, which did not, in my opinion, seem to breathe a certain effusion of the heart, and in which he seemed in some measure to extenuate the service I had rendered him. Some time afterwards, I found that he and D'Alembert had, to a certain degree, I will not say supplanted, but succeeded me in the good graces of Madam de Luxembourg, and that I Had lost in them all they had gained. However, I am far from suspecting the Abbe Morrellet of having contributed to my disgrace; I have too much esteem for him to harbor any such suspicion. With respect to D'Alembert, I shall at present leave him out of the question, and hereafter say of him what may seem necessary.

I had, at the same time, another affair which occasioned the last letter I wrote to Voltaire; a letter against which he vehemently exclaimed, as an abominable insult, although he never showed it to any person. I will here supply the want of that which he refused to do.

The Abbe Trublet, with whom I had a slight acquaintance, but whom I had but seldom seen, wrote to me on the 13th of June, 1760, informing me that M. Formey, his friend and correspondent, had printed in his journal my letter to Voltaire upon the disaster at Lisbon. The abbe wished to know how the letter came to be printed, and in his jesuitical manner, asked me my opinion, without giving me his own on the necessity of reprinting it. As I most sovereignly hate this kind of artifice and strategem, I returned such thanks as were proper, but in a manner so reserved as to make him feel it, although this did not prevent him from wheedling me in two or three other letters until he had gathered all he wished to know.

I clearly understood that, not withstanding all Trublet could say, Formey had not found the letter printed, and that the first impression of it came from himself. I knew him to be an impudent pilferer, who, without ceremony, made himself a revenue by the works of others. Although he had not yet had the incredible effrontery to take from a book already published the name of the author, to put his own in the place of it, and to sell the book for his own profit.

[In this manner he afterwards appropriated to himself Emilius.]

But by what means had this manuscript fallen into his hands? That was a question not easy to resolve, but by which I had the weakness to be embarrassed. Although Voltaire was excessively honored by the letter, as in fact, notwithstanding his rude proceedings, he would have had a right to complain had I had it printed without his consent, I resolved to write to him upon the subject. The second letter was as follows, to which he returned no answer, and giving greater scope to his brutality, he feigned to be irritated to fury.


 

MONTMORENCY, 17th June, 1760.

"I did not think, sir, I should ever have occasion to correspond with you. But learning the letter I wrote to you in 1756 had been printed at Berlin, I owe you an account of my conduct in that respect, and will fulfil this duty with truth and simplicity.

"The letter having really been addressed to you was not intended to be printed. I communicated the contents of it, on certain conditions, to three persons, to whom the right of friendship did not permit me to refuse anything of the kind, and whom the same rights still less permitted to abuse my confidence by betraying their promise. These persons are Madam de Chenonceaux, daughter-in-law to Madam Dupin, the Comtesse d'Houdetot, and a German of the name of Grimm. Madam de Chenonceaux was desirous the letter should be printed, and asked my consent. I told her that depended upon yours. This was asked of you which you refused, and the matter dropped.

"However, the Abbe Trublet, with whom I have not the least connection, has just written to me from a motive of the most polite attention that having received the papers of the journal of M. Formey, he found in them this same letter with an advertisement, dated on the 23d of October, 1759, in which the editor states that he had a few weeks before found it in the shops of the booksellers of Berlin, and, as it is one of those loose sheets which shortly disappear, he thought proper to give it a place in his journal.

"This, sir, is all I know of the matter. It is certain the letter had not until lately been heard of at Paris. It is also as certain that the copy, either in manuscript or print, fallen into the hands of M. de Formey, could never have reached them except by your means (which is not probable) or of those of one of the three persons I have mentioned. Finally, it is well known the two ladies are incapable of such a perfidy. I cannot, in my retirement learn more relative to the affair. You have a correspondence by means of which you may, if you think it worth the trouble, go back to the source and verify the fact.

"In the same letter the Abbe' Trublet informs me that he keeps the paper in reserve, and will not lend it without my consent, which most assuredly I will not give. But it is possible this copy may not be the only one in Paris. I wish, sir, the letter may not be printed there, and I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening; but if I cannot succeed, and that, timely perceiving it, I can have the preference, I will not then hesitate to have it immediately printed. This to me appears just and natural.

"With respect to your answer to the same letter, it has not been communicated to anyone, and you may be assured it shall not be printed without your consent, which I certainly shall not be indiscreet enough to ask of you, well knowing that what one man writes to another is not written to the public. But should you choose to write one you wish to have published, and address it to me, I promise you faithfully to add to it my letter and not to make to it a single word of reply.

"I love you not, sir; you have done me, your disciple and enthusiastic admirer; injuries which might have caused me the most exquisite pain. You have ruined Geneva, in return for the asylum it has afforded you; you have alienated from me my fellow-citizens, in return for eulogiums I made of you amongst them; it is you who render to me the residence of my own country insupportable; it is you who will oblige me to die in a foreign land, deprived of all the consolations usually administered to a dying person; and cause me, instead of receiving funeral rites, to be thrown to the dogs, whilst all the honors a man can expect will accompany you in my country. Finally I hate you because you have been desirous I should but I hate you as a man more worthy of loving you had you chosen it. Of all the sentiments with which my heart was penetrated for you, admiration, which cannot be refused your fine genius, and a partiality to your writings, are those you have not effaced. If I can honor nothing in you except your talents, the fault is not mine. I shall never be wanting in the respect due to them, nor in that which this respect requires."

In the midst of these little literary cavillings, which still fortified my resolution, I received the greatest honor letters ever acquired me, and of which I was the most sensible, in the two visits the Prince of Conti deigned to make to me, one at the Little Castle and the other at Mont Louis. He chose the time for both of these when M. de Luxembourg was not at Montmorency, in order to render it more manifest that he came there solely on my account. I have never had a doubt of my owing the first condescensions of this prince to Madam de Luxembourg and Madam de Boufflers; but I am of opinion I owe to his own sentiments and to myself those with which he has since that time continually honored me.

[Remark the perseverance of this blind and stupid confidence in the midst of all the treatment which should soonest have undeceived me. It continued until my return to Paris in 1770.]

My apartments at Mont Louis being small, and the situation of the alcove charming, I conducted the prince to it, where, to complete the condescension he was pleased to show me, he chose I should have the honor of playing with him a game of chess. I knew he beat the Chevalier de Lorenzy, who played better than I did. However, notwithstanding the signs and grimace of the chevalier and the spectators, which I feigned not to see, I won the two games we played: When they were ended, I said to him in a respectful but very grave manner: "My lord, I honor your serene highness too much not to beat you always at chess." This great prince, who had real wit, sense, and knowledge, and so was worthy not to be treated with mean adulation, felt in fact, at least I think so, that I was the only person present who treated him like a man, and I have every reason to believe he was not displeased with me for it.

Had this even been the case, I should not have reproached myself with having been unwilling to deceive him in anything, and I certainly cannot do it with having in my heart made an ill return for his goodness, but solely with having sometimes done it with an ill grace, whilst he himself accompanied with infinite gracefulness the manner in which he showed me the marks of it. A few days afterwards he ordered a hamper of game to be sent me, which I received as I ought. This in a little time was succeeded by another, and one of his gamekeepers wrote me, by order of his highness, that the game it contained had been shot by the prince himself. I received this second hamper, but I wrote to Madam de Boufflers that I would not receive a third. This letter was generally blamed, and deservedly so. Refusing to accept presents of game from a prince of the blood, who moreover sends it in so polite a manner, is less the delicacy of a haughty man, who wishes to preserve his independence, than the rusticity of a clown, who does not know himself. I have never read this letter in my collection without blushing and reproaching myself for having written it. But I have not undertaken my Confession with an intention of concealing my faults, and that of which I have just spoken is too shocking in my own eyes to suffer me to pass it over in silence.

If I were not guilty of the offence of becoming his rival I was very near doing it; for Madam de Boufflers was still his mistress, and I knew nothing of the matter. She came rather frequently to see me with the Chevalier de Lorenzy. She was yet young and beautiful, affected to be whimsical, and my mind was always romantic, which was much of the same nature. I was near being laid hold of; I believe she perceived it; the chevalier saw it also, at least he spoke to me upon the subject, and in a manner not discouraging. But I was this time reasonable, and at the age of fifty it was time I should be so. Full of the doctrine I had just preached to graybeards in my letter to D'Alembert, I should have been ashamed of not profiting by it myself; besides, coming to the knowledge of that of which I had been ignorant, I must have been mad to have carried my pretensions so far as to expose myself to such an illustrious rivalry. Finally, ill cured perhaps of my passion for Madam de Houdetot, I felt nothing could replace it in my heart, and I bade adieu to love for the rest of my life. I have this moment just withstood the dangerous allurements of a young woman who had her views; and if she feigned to forget my twelve lustres I remember them. After having thus withdrawn myself from danger, I am no longer afraid of a fall, and I answer for myself for the rest of my days.

Madam de Boufflers, perceiving the emotion she caused in me, might also observe I had triumphed over it. I am neither mad nor vain enough to believe I was at my age capable of inspiring her with the same feelings; but, from certain words which she let drop to Theresa, I thought I had inspired her with a curiosity; if this be the case, and that she has not forgiven me the disappointment she met with, it must be confessed I was born to be the victim of my weaknesses, since triumphant love was so prejudicial to me, and love triumphed over not less so.

Here finishes the collection of letters which has served me as a guide in the last two books. My steps will in future be directed by memory only; but this is of such a nature, relative to the period to which I am now come, and the strong impression of objects has remained so perfectly upon my mind, that lost in the immense sea of my misfortunes, I cannot forget the detail of my first shipwreck, although the consequences present to me but a confused remembrance. I therefore shall be able to proceed in the succeeding book with sufficient confidence. If I go further it will be groping in the dark.







 

BOOK XI.



 

Although Eloisa, which for a long time had been in the press, did not yet, at the end of the year, 1760, appear, the work already began to make a great noise. Madam de Luxembourg had spoken of it at court, and Madam de Houdetot at Paris. The latter had obtained from me permission for Saint Lambert to read the manuscript to the King of Poland, who had been delighted with it. Duclos, to whom I had also given the perusal of the work, had spoken of it at the academy. All Paris was impatient to see the novel; the booksellers of the Rue Saint Jacques, and that of the Palais Royal, were beset with people who came to inquire when it was to be published. It was at length brought out, and the success it had, answered, contrary to custom, to the impatience with which it had been expected. The dauphiness, who was one of the first who read it, spoke of it to, M. de Luxembourg as a ravishing performance. The opinions of men of letters differed from each other, but in those of any other class approbation was general, especially with the women, who became so intoxicated with the book and the author, that there was not one in high life with whom I might not have succeeded had I undertaken to do it. Of this I have such proofs as I will not commit to paper, and which without the aid of experience, authorized my opinion. It is singular that the book should have succeeded better in France than in the rest of Europe, although the French, both men and women, are severely treated in it. Contrary to my expectation it was least successful in Switzerland, and most so in Paris. Do friendship, love and virtue reign in this capital more than elsewhere? Certainly not; but there reigns in it an exquisite sensibility which transports the heart to their image, and makes us cherish in others the pure, tender and virtuous sentiments we no longer possess. Corruption is everywhere the same; virtue and morality no longer exist in Europe; but if the least love of them still remains, it is in Paris that this will be found.—[I wrote this in 1769.]

In the midst of so many prejudices and feigned passions, the real sentiments of nature are not to be distinguished from others, unless we well know to analyze the human heart. A very nice discrimination, not to be acquired except by the education of the world, is necessary to feel the finesses of the heart, if I dare use the expression, with which this work abounds. I do not hesitate to place the fourth part of it upon an equality with the Princess of Cleves; nor to assert that had these two works been read nowhere but in the provinces, their merit would never have been discovered. It must not, therefore, be considered as a matter of astonishment, that the greatest success of my work was at court. It abounds with lively but veiled touches of the pencil, which could not but give pleasure there, because the persons who frequent it are more accustomed than others to discover them. A distinction must, however, be made. The work is by no means proper for the species of men of wit who have nothing but cunning, who possess no other kind of discernment than that which penetrates evil, and see nothing where good only is to be found. If, for instance, Eloisa had been published in a certain country, I am convinced it would not have been read through by a single person, and the work would have been stifled in its birth.

I have collected most of the letters written to me on the subject of this publication, and deposited them, tied up together, in the hands of Madam de Nadillac. Should this collection ever be given to the world, very singular things will be seen, and an opposition of opinion, which shows what it is to have to do with the public. The thing least kept in view, and which will ever distinguish it from every other work, is the simplicity of the subject and the continuation of the interest, which, confined to three persons, is kept up throughout six volumes, without episode, romantic adventure, or anything malicious either in the persons or actions. Diderot complimented Richardson on the prodigious variety of his portraits and the multiplicity of his persons. In fact, Richardson has the merit of having well characterized them all; but with respect to their number, he has that in common with the most insipid writers of novels who attempt to make up for the sterility of their ideas by multiplying persons and adventures. It is easy to awaken the attention by incessantly presenting unheard of adventures and new faces, which pass before the imagination as the figures in a magic lanthorn do before the eye; but to keep up that attention to the same objects, and without the aid of the wonderful, is certainly more difficult; and if, everything else being equal, the simplicity of the subject adds to the beauty of the work, the novels of Richardson, superior in so many other respects, cannot in this be compared to mine. I know it is already forgotten, and the cause of its being so; but it will be taken up again. All my fear was that, by an extreme simplicity, the narrative would be fatiguing, and that it was not sufficiently interesting to engage the attention throughout the whole. I was relieved from this apprehension by a circumstance which alone was more flattering to my pride than all the compliments made me upon the work.

It appeared at the beginning of the carnival; a hawker carried it to the Princess of Talmont—[It was not the princess, but some other lady, whose name I do not know.]—on the evening of a ball night at the opera. After supper the Princess dressed herself for the ball, and until the hour of going there, took up the new novel. At midnight she ordered the horses to be put into the carriage, and continued to read. The servant returned to tell her the horses were put to; she made no answer. Her people perceiving she forgot herself, came to tell her it was two o'clock. "There is yet no hurry," replied the princess, still reading on. Some time afterwards, her watch having stopped, she rang to know the hour. She was told it was four o'clock. "That being the case," she said, "it is too late to go to the ball; let the horses be taken off." She undressed herself and passed the rest of the night in reading.

Ever since I came to the knowledge of this circumstance, I have had a constant desire to see the lady, not only to know from herself whether or not what I have related be exactly true, but because I have always thought it impossible to be interested in so lively a manner in the happiness of Julia, without having that sixth and moral sense with which so few hearts are endowed, and without which no person whatever can understand the sentiments of mine.

What rendered the women so favorable to me was, their being persuaded that I had written my own history, and was myself the hero of the romance. This opinion was so firmly established, that Madam de Polignac wrote to Madam de Verdelin, begging she would prevail upon me to show her the portrait of Julia. Everybody thought it was impossible so strongly to express sentiments without having felt them, or thus to describe the transports of love, unless immediately from the feelings of the heart. This was true, and I certainly wrote the novel during the time my imagination was inflamed to ecstasy; but they who thought real objects necessary to this effect were deceived, and far from conceiving to what a degree I can at will produce it for imaginary beings. Without Madam d'Houdetot, and the recollection of a few circumstances in my youth, the amours I have felt and described would have been with fairy nymphs. I was unwilling either to confirm or destroy an error which was advantageous to me. The reader may see in the preface a dialogue, which I had printed separately, in what manner I left the public in suspense. Rigorous people say, I ought to have explicity declared the truth. For my part I see no reason for this, nor anything that could oblige me to it, and am of opinion there would have been more folly than candor in the declaration without necessity.

Much about the same time the 'Paix Perpetuelle' made its appearance, of this I had the year before given the manuscript to a certain M. de Bastide, the author of a journal called Le Monde, into which he would at all events cram all my manuscripts. He was known to M. Duclos, and came in his name to beg I would help him to fill the Monde. He had heard speak of Eloisa, and would have me put this into his journal; he was also desirous of making the same use of Emilius; he would have asked me for the Social Contract for the same purpose, had he suspected it to be written. At length, fatigued with his importunities, I resolved upon letting him have the Paix Perpetuelle, which I gave him for twelve louis. Our agreement was, that he should print it in his journal; but as soon as he became the proprietor of the manuscript, he thought proper to print it separately, with a few retrenchments, which the censor required him to make. What would have happened had I joined to the work my opinion of it, which fortunately I did not communicate to M. de Bastide, nor was it comprehended in our agreement? This remains still in manuscript amongst my papers. If ever it be made public, the world will see how much the pleasantries and self-sufficient manner of M. de Voltaire on the subject must have made me, who was so well acquainted with the short-sightedness of this poor man in political matters, of which he took it into his head to speak, shake my sides with laughter.

In the midst of my success with the women and the public, I felt I lost ground at the Hotel de Luxembourg, not with the marechal, whose goodness to me seemed daily to increase, but with his lady. Since I had had nothing more to read to her, the door of her apartment was not so frequently open to me, and during her stay at Montmorency, although I regularly presented myself, I seldom saw her except at table. My place even there was not distinctly marked out as usual. As she no longer offered me that by her side, and spoke to me but seldom, not having on my part much to say to her, I was well satisfied with another, where I was more at my ease, especially in the evening; for I mechanically contracted the habit of placing myself nearer and nearer to the marechal.

Apropos of the evening: I recollect having said I did not sup at the castle, and this was true, at the beginning of my acquaintance there; but as M. de Luxembourg did not dine, nor even sit down to table, it happened that I was for several months, and already very familiar in the family, without ever having eaten with him. This he had the goodness to remark, upon which I determined to sup there from time to time, when the company was not numerous; I did so, and found the suppers very agreeable, as the dinners were taken almost standing; whereas the former were long, everybody remaining seated with pleasure after a long walk; and very good and agreeable, because M. de Luxembourg loved good eating, and the honors of them were done in a charming manner by madam de marechale. Without this explanation it would be difficult to understand the end of a letter from M. de Luxembourg, in which he says he recollects our walks with the greatest pleasure; especially, adds he, when in the evening we entered the court and did not find there the traces of carriages. The rake being every morning drawn over the gravel to efface the marks left by the coach wheels, I judged by the number of ruts of that of the persons who had arrived in the afternoon.

This year, 1761, completed the heavy losses this good man had suffered since I had had the honor of being known to him. As if it had been ordained that the evils prepared for me by destiny should begin by the man to whom I was most attached, and who was the most worthy of esteem. The first year he lost his sister, the Duchess of Villeroy; the second, his daughter, the Princess of Robeck; the third, he lost in the Duke of Montmorency his only son; and in the Comte de Luxembourg, his grandson, the last two supporters of the branch of which he was, and of his name. He supported all these losses with apparent courage, but his heart incessantly bled in secret during the rest of his life, and his health was ever after upon the decline. The unexpected and tragical death of his son must have afflicted him the more, as it happened immediately after the king had granted him for his child, and given him the promise for his grandson, the reversion of the commission he himself then held of the captain of the Gardes de Corps. He had the mortification to see the last, a most promising young man, perish by degrees from the blind confidence of the mother in the physician, who giving the unhappy youth medicines for food, suffered him to die of inanition. Alas! had my advice been taken, the grandfather and the grandson would both still have been alive. What did not I say and write to the marechal, what remonstrances did I make to Madam de Montmorency, upon the more than severe regimen, which, upon the faith of physicians, she made her son observe! Madam de Luxembourg, who thought as I did, would not usurp the authority of the mother; M. de Luxembourg, a man of mild and easy character, did not like to contradict her. Madam de Montmorency had in Borden a confidence to which her son at length became a victim. How delighted was the poor creature when he could obtain permission to come to Mont Louis with Madam de Boufflers, to ask Theresa for some victuals for his famished stomach! How did I secretly deplore the miseries of greatness in seeing this only heir to a immense fortune, a great name, and so many dignified titles, devour with the greediness of a beggar a wretched morsel of bread! At length, notwithstanding all I could say and do, the physician triumphed, and the child died of hunger.

The same confidence in quacks, which destroyed the grandson, hastened the dissolution of the grandfather, and to this he added the pusillanimity of wishing to dissimulate the infirmities of age. M. de Luxembourg had at intervals a pain in the great toe; he was seized with it at Montmorency, which deprived him of sleep, and brought on slight fever. I had courage enough to pronounce the word gout. Madam de Luxembourg gave me a reprimand. The surgeon, valet de chambre of the marechal, maintained it was not the gout, and dressed the suffering part with beaume tranquille. Unfortunately the pain subsided, and when it returned the same remedy was had recourse to. The constitution of the marechal was weakened, and his disorder increased, as did his remedies in the same proportion. Madam de Luxembourg, who at length perceived the primary disorder to be the gout, objected to the dangerous manner of treating it. Things were afterwards concealed from her, and M. de Luxembourg in a few years lost his life in consequence of his obstinate adherence to what he imagined to be a method of cure. But let me not anticipate misfortune: how many others have I to relate before I come to this!

It is singular with what fatality everything I could say and do seemed of a nature to displease Madam de Luxembourg, even when I had it most at heart to preserve her friendship. The repeated afflictions which fell upon M. de Luxembourg still attached me to him the more, and consequently to Madam de Luxembourg; for they always seemed to me to be so sincerely united, that the sentiments in favor of the one necessarily extended to the other. The marechal grew old. His assiduity at court, the cares this brought on, continually hunting, fatigue, and especially that of the service during the quarter he was in waiting, required the vigor of a young man, and I did not perceive anything that could support his in that course of life; since, besides after his death, his dignities were to be dispersed and his name extinct, it was by no means necessary for him to continue a laborious life of which the principal object had been to dispose the prince favorably to his children. One day when we three were together, and he complained of the fatigues of the court, as a man who had been discouraged by his losses, I took the liberty to speak of retirement, and to give him the advice Cyneas gave to Pyrrhus. He sighed, and returned no positive answer. But the moment Madam de Luxembourg found me alone she reprimanded me severely for what I had said, at which she seemed to be alarmed. She made a remark of which I so strongly felt the justness that I determined never again to touch upon the subject: this was, that the long habit of living at court made that life necessary, that it was become a matter of amusement for M. de Luxembourg, and that the retirement I proposed to him would be less a relaxation from care than an exile, in which inactivity, weariness and melancholy would soon put an end to his existence. Although she must have perceived I was convinced, and ought to have relied upon the promise I made her, and which I faithfully kept, she still seemed to doubt of it; and I recollect that the conversations I afterwards had with the marechal were less frequent and almost always interrupted.

Whilst my stupidity and awkwardness injured me in her opinion, persons whom she frequently saw and most loved, were far from being disposed to aid me in gaining what I had lost. The Abbe de Boufflers especially, a young man as lofty as it was possible for a man to be, never seemed well disposed towards me; and besides his being the only person of the society of Madam de Luxembourg who never showed me the least attention, I thought I perceived I lost something with her every time he came to the castle. It is true that without his wishing this to be the case, his presence alone was sufficient to produce the effect; so much did his graceful and elegant manner render still more dull my stupid propositi. During the first two years he seldom came to Montmorency, and by the indulgence of Madam de Luxembourg I had tolerably supported myself, but as soon as his visits began to be regular I was irretrievably lost. I wished to take refuge under his wing, and gain his friendship; but the same awkwardness which made it necessary I should please him prevented me from succeeding in the attempt I made to do it, and what I did with that intention entirely lost me with Madam de Luxembourg, without being of the least service to me with the abbe. With his understanding he might have succeeded in anything, but the impossibility of applying himself, and his turn for dissipation, prevented his acquiring a perfect knowledge of any subject. His talents are however various, and this is sufficient for the circles in which he wishes to distinguish himself. He writes light poetry and fashionable letters, strums on the cithern, and pretends to draw with crayon. He took it into his head to attempt the portrait of Madam de Luxembourg; the sketch he produced was horrid. She said it did not in the least resemble her and this was true. The traitorous abbe consulted me, and I like a fool and a liar, said there was a likeness. I wished to flatter the abbe, but I did not please the lady who noted down what I had said, and the abbe, having obtained what he wanted, laughed at me in his turn. I perceived by the ill success of this my late beginning the necessity of making another attempt to flatter 'invita Minerva'.

My talent was that of telling men useful but severe truths with energy and courage; to this it was necessary to confine myself. Not only I was not born to flatter, but I knew not how to commend. The awkwardness of the manner in which I have sometimes bestowed eulogium has done me more harm than the severity of my censure. Of this I have to adduce one terrible instance, the consequences of which have not only fixed my fate for the rest of my life, but will perhaps decide on my reputation throughout all posterity.

During the residence of M. de Luxembourg at Montmorency, M. de Choiseul sometimes came to supper at the castle. He arrived there one day after I had left it. My name was mentioned, and M. de Luxembourg related to him what had happened at Venice between me and M. de Montaigu. M. de Choiseul said it was a pity I had quitted that track, and that if I chose to enter it again he would most willingly give me employment. M. de Luxembourg told me what had passed. Of this I was the more sensible as I was not accustomed to be spoiled by ministers, and had I been in a better state of health it is not certain that I should not have been guilty of a new folly. Ambition never had power over my mind except during the short intervals in which every other passion left me at liberty; but one of these intervals would have been sufficient to determine me. This good intention of M. de Choiseul gained him my attachment and increased the esteem which, in consequence of some operations in his administration, I had conceived for his talents; and the family compact in particular had appeared to me to evince a statesman of the first order. He moreover gained ground in my estimation by the little respect I entertained for his predecessors, not even excepting Madam de Pompadour, whom I considered as a species of prime minister, and when it was reported that one of these two would expel the other, I thought I offered up prayers for the honor of France when I wished that M. de Choiseul might triumph. I had always felt an antipathy to Madam de Pompadour, even before her preferment; I had seen her with Madam de la Popliniere when her name was still Madam d'Etioles. I was afterwards dissatisfied with her silence on the subject of Diderot, and with her proceedings relative to myself, as well on the subject of the 'Muses Galantes', as on that of the 'Devin du Village', which had not in any manner produced me advantages proportioned to its success; and on all occasions I had found her but little disposed to serve me. This however did not prevent the Chevalier de Lorenzy from proposing to me to write something in praise of that lady, insinuating that I might acquire some advantage by it. The proposition excited my indignation, the more as I perceived it did not come from himself, knowing that, passive as he was, he thought and acted according to the impulsion he received. I am so little accustomed to constraint that it was impossible for me to conceal from him my disdain, nor from anybody the moderate opinion I had of the favorite; this I am sure she knew, and thus my own interest was added to my natural inclination in the wishes I formed for M. de Choiseul. Having a great esteem for his talents, which was all I knew of him, full of gratitude for his kind intentions, and moreover unacquainted in my retirement with his taste and manner of living, I already considered him as the avenger of the public and myself; and being at that time writing the conclusion of my Social Contract, I stated in it, in a single passage, what I thought of preceding ministers, and of him by whom they began to be eclipsed. On this occasion I acted contrary to my most constant maxim; and besides, I did not recollect that, in bestowing praise and strongly censuring in the same article, without naming the persons, the language must be so appropriated to those to whom it is applicable, that the most ticklish pride cannot find in it the least thing equivocal. I was in this respect in such an imprudent security, that I never once thought it was possible any one should make a false application. It will soon appear whether or not I was right.

One of my misfortunes was always to be connected with some female author. This I thought I might avoid amongst the great. I was deceived; it still pursued me. Madam de Luxembourg was not, however; at least that I know of, attacked with the mania of writing; but Madam de Boufflers was. She wrote a tragedy in prose, which, in the first place, was read, handed about, and highly spoken of in the society of the Prince Conti, and upon which, not satisfied with the encomiums she received, she would absolutely consult me for the purpose of having mine. This she obtained, but with that moderation which the work deserved. She besides had with it the information I thought it my duty to give her, that her piece, entitled 'L'Esclave Genereux', greatly resembled the English tragedy of 'Oroonoko', but little known in France, although translated into the French language. Madam de Bouffiers thanked me for the remark, but, however, assured me there was not the least resemblance between her piece and the other. I never spoke of the plagiarisms except to herself, and I did it to discharge a duty she had imposed on me; but this has not since prevented me from frequently recollecting the consequences of the sincerity of Gil Blas to the preaching archbishop.

Besides the Abbe de Bouffiers, by whom I was not beloved, and Madam de Bouffiers, in whose opinion I was guilty of that which neither women nor authors ever pardon, the other friends of Madam de Luxembourg never seemed much disposed to become mine, particularly the President Henault, who, enrolled amongst authors, was not exempt from their weaknesses; also Madam du Deffand, and Mademoiselle de Lespinasse, both intimate with Voltaire and the friends of D'Alembert, with whom the latter at length lived, however upon an honorable footing, for it cannot be understood I mean otherwise. I first began to interest myself for Madam du Deffand, whom the loss of her eyes made an object of commiseration in mine; but her manner of living so contrary to my own, that her hour of going to bed was almost mine for rising; her unbounded passion for low wit, the importance she gave to every kind of printed trash, either complimentary or abusive, the despotism and transports of her oracles, her excessive admiration or dislike of everything, which did not permit her to speak upon any subject without convulsions, her inconceivable prejudices, invincible obstinacy, and the enthusiasm of folly to which this carried her in her passionate judgments; all disgusted me and diminished the attention I wished to pay her. I neglected her and she perceived it; this was enough to set her in a rage, and, although I was sufficiently aware how much a woman of her character was to be feared, I preferred exposing myself to the scourge of her hatred rather than to that of her friendship.

My having so few friends in the society of Madam de Luxembourg would not have been in the least dangerous had I had no enemies in the family. Of these I had but one, who, in my then situation, was as powerful as a hundred. It certainly was not M. de Villeroy, her brother; for he not only came to see me, but had several times invited me to Villeroy; and as I had answered to the invitation with all possible politeness and respect, he had taken my vague manner of doing it as a consent, and arranged with Madam de Luxembourg a journey of a fortnight, in which it was proposed to me to make one of the party. As the cares my health then required did not permit me to go from home without risk, I prayed Madam de Luxembourg to have the goodness to make my apologies. Her answer proves this was done with all possible ease, and M. de Villeroy still continued to show me his usual marks of goodness. His nephew and heir, the young Marquis of Villeroy, had not for me the same benevolence, nor had I for him the respect I had for his uncle. His harebrained manner rendered him insupportable to me, and my coldness drew upon me his aversion. He insultingly attacked me one evening at table, and I had the worst of it because I am a fool, without presence of mind; and because anger, instead of rendering my wit more poignant, deprives me of the little I have. I had a dog which had been given me when he was quite young, soon after my arrival at the Hermitage, and which I had called Duke. This dog, not handsome, but rare of his kind, of which I had made my companion and friend, a title which he certainly merited much more than most of the persons by whom it was taken, became in great request at the castle of Montmorency for his good nature and fondness, and the attachment we had for each other; but from a foolish pusillanimity I had changed his name to Turk, as if there were not many dogs called Marquis, without giving the least offence to any marquis whatsoever. The Marquis of Villeroy, who knew of the change of name, attacked me in such a manner that I was obliged openly at table to relate what I had done. Whatever there might be offensive in the name of duke, it was not in my having given but in my having taken it away. The worst of it all was, there were many dukes present, amongst others M. de Luxembourg and his son; and the Marquis de Villeroy, who was one day to have, and now has the title, enjoyed in the most cruel manner the embarrassment into which he had thrown me. I was told the next day his aunt had severely reprimanded him, and it may be judged whether or not, supposing her to have been serious, this put me upon better terms with him.

To enable me to support his enmity I had no person, neither at the Hotel de Luxembourg nor at the Temple, except the Chevalier de Lorenzy, who professed himself my friend; but he was more that of D'Alembert, under whose protection he passed with women for a great geometrician. He was more, over the cicisbe, or rather the complaisant chevalier of the Countess of Boufflers, a great friend also to D'Alembert, and the Chevalier de Lorenzy was the most passive instrument in her hands. Thus, far from having in that circle any counter-balance to my inaptitude, to keep me in the good graces of Madam de Luxembourg, everybody who approached her seemed to concur in injuring me in her good opinion. Yet, besides Emilius, with which she charged herself, she gave me at the same time another mark of her benevolence, which made me imagine that, although wearied with my conversation, she would still preserve for me the friendship she had so many times promised me for life.

As soon as I thought I could depend upon this, I began to ease my heart, by confessing to her all my faults, having made it an inviolable maxim to show myself to my friends such as I really was, neither better nor worse. I had declared to her my connection with Theresa, and everything that had resulted from it, without concealing the manner in which I had disposed of my children. She had received my confessions favorably, and even too much so, since she spared me the censures I so much merited; and what made the greatest impression upon me was her goodness to Theresa, making her presents, sending for her, and begging her to come and see her, receiving her with caresses, and often embracing her in public. This poor girl was in transports of joy and gratitude, of which I certainly partook; the friendship Madam de Luxembourg showed me in her condescensions to Theresa affected me much more than if they had been made immediately to myself.

Things remained in this state for a considerable time; but at length Madam de Luxembourg carried her goodness so far as to have a desire to take one of my children from the hospital. She knew I had put a cipher into the swaddling clothes of the eldest; she asked me for the counterpart of the cipher,, and I gave it to her. In this research she employed La Roche, her valet de chambre and confidential servant, who made vain inquiries, although after only about twelve or fourteen years, had the registers of the foundling hospital been in order, or the search properly made, the original cipher ought to have been found. However this may be, I was less sorry for his want of success than I should have been had I from time to time continued to see the child from its birth until that moment. If by the aid of the indications given, another child had been presented as my own, the doubt of its being so in fact, and the fear of having one thus substituted for it, would have contracted my affections, and I should not have tasted of the charm of the real sentiment of nature. This during infancy stands in need of being supported by habit. The long absence of a child whom the father has seen but for an instant, weakens, and at length annihilates paternal sentiment, and parents will never love a child sent to nurse, like that which is brought up under their eyes. This reflection may extenuate my faults in their effects, but it must aggravate them in their source.

It may not perhaps be useless to remark that by the means of Theresa, the same La Roche became acquainted with Madam le Vasseur, whom Grimm still kept at Deuil, near La Chevrette, and not far from Montmorency.

After my departure it was by means of La Roche that I continued to send this woman the money I had constantly sent her at stated times, and I am of opinion he often carried her presents from Madam de Luxembourg; therefore she certainly was not to be pitied, although she constantly complained. With respect to Grimm, as I am not fond of speaking of persons whom I ought to hate, I never mentioned his name to Madam de Luxembourg, except when I could not avoid it; but she frequently made him the subject of conversation, without telling me what she thought of the man, or letting me discover whether or not he was of her acquaintance. Reserve with people I love and who are open with me being contrary to my nature, especially in things relating to themselves, I have since that time frequently thought of that of Madam de Luxembourg; but never, except when other events rendered the recollection natural.

Having waited a long time without hearing speak of Emilius, after I had given it to Madam de Luxembourg, I at last heard the agreement was made at Paris, with the bookseller Duchesne, and by him with Neaulme, of Amsterdam. Madam de Luxembourg sent me the original and the duplicate of my agreement with Duchesne, that I might sign them. I discovered the writing to be by the same hand as that of the letters of M. de Malesherbes, which he himself did not write. The certainty that my agreement was made by the consent, and under the eye of that magistrate, made me sign without hesitation. Duchesne gave me for the manuscript six thousand livres(two hundred and fifty pounds), half in specie, and one or two hundred copies. After having signed the two parts, I sent them both to Madam de Luxembourg, according to her desire; she gave one to Duchesne, and instead of returning the other kept it herself, so that I never saw it afterwards.

My acquaintance with M. and Madam de Luxembourg, though it diverted me a little from my plan of retirement, did not make me entirely renounce it. Even at the time I was most in favor with Madam de Luxembourg, I always felt that nothing but my sincere attachment to the marechal and herself could render to me supportable the people with whom they were connected, and all the difficulty I had was in conciliating this attachment with a manner of life more agreeable to my inclination, and less contrary to my health, which constraint and late suppers continually deranged, notwithstanding all the care taken to prevent it; for in this, as in everything else, attention was carried as far as possible; thus, for instance, every evening after supper the marechal, who went early to bed, never failed, notwithstanding everything that could be said to the contrary, to make me withdraw at the same time. It was not until some little time before my catastrophe that, for what reason I know not, he ceased to pay me that attention. Before I perceived the coolness of Madam de Luxembourg, I was desirous, that I might not expose myself to it, to execute my old project; but not having the means to that effect, I was obliged to wait for the conclusion of the agreement for 'Emilius', and in the time I finished the 'Social Contract', and sent it to Rey, fixing the price of the manuscript at a thousand livres (forty-one pounds), which he paid me.

I ought not perhaps to omit a trifling circumstance relative to this manuscript. I gave it, well sealed up, to Du Voisin, a minister in the pays de Vaud and chaplain at the Hotel de Hollande, who sometimes came to see me, and took upon himself to send the packet to Rey, with whom he was connected. The manuscript, written in a small letter, was but very trifling, and did not fill his pocket. Yet, in passing the barriere, the packet fell, I know not by what means, into the hands of the Commis, who opened and examined it, and afterwards returned it to him, when he had reclaimed it in the name of the ambassador. This gave him an opportunity of reading it himself, which he ingeniously wrote me he had done, speaking highly of the work, without suffering a word of criticism or censure to escape him; undoubtedly reserving to himself to become the avenger of Christianity as soon as the work should appear. He resealed the packet and sent it to Rey. Such is the substance of his narrative in the letter in which he gave an account of the affair, and is all I ever knew of the matter.

Besides these two books and my dictionary of music, at which I still did something as opportunity offered, I had other works of less importance ready to make their appearance, and which I proposed to publish either separately or in my general collection, should I ever undertake it. The principal of these works, most of which are still in manuscript in the hands of De Peyrou, was an essay on the origin of Languages, which I had read to M. de Malesherbes and the Chevalier de Lorenzy, who spoke favorably of it. I expected all the productions together would produce me a net capital of from eight to ten thousand livres (three to four hundred pounds), which I intended to sink in annuities for my life and that of Theresa; after which, our design, as I have already mentioned, was to go and live together in the midst of some province, without further troubling the public about me, or myself with any other project than that of peacefully ending my days and still continuing to do in my neighborhood all the good in my power, and to write at leisure the memoirs which I intended.

Such was my intention, and the execution of it was facilitated by an act of generosity in Rey, upon which I cannot be silent. This bookseller, of whom so many unfavorable things were told me in Paris, is, notwithstanding, the only one with whom I have always had reason to be satisfied. It is true, we frequently disagreed as to the execution of my works. He was heedless and I was choleric; but in matters of interest which related to them, although I never made with him an agreement in form, I always found in him great exactness and probity. He is also the only person of his profession who frankly confessed to me he gained largely by my means; and he frequently, when he offered me a part of his fortune, told me I was the author of it all. Not finding the means of exercising his gratitude immediately upon myself, he wished at least to give me proofs of it in the person of my governante, upon whom he settled an annuity of three hundred livres (twelve pounds), expressing in the deed that it was an acknowledgment for the advantages I had procured him. This he did between himself and me, without ostentation, pretension, or noise, and had not I spoken of it to anybody, not a single person would ever have known anything of the matter. I was so pleased with this action that I became attached to Rey, and conceived for him a real friendship. Sometime afterwards he desired I would become godfather to one of his children; I consented, and a part of my regret in the situation to which I am reduced, is my being deprived of the means of rendering in future my attachment of my goddaughter useful to her and her parents. Why am I, who am so sensible of the modest generosity of this bookseller, so little so of the noisy eagerness of many persons of the highest rank, who pompously fill the world with accounts of the services they say they wished to render me, but the good effects of which I never felt? Is it their fault or mine? Are they nothing more than vain; is my insensibility purely ingratitude? Intelligent reader weigh and determine; for my part I say no more.

This pension was a great resource to Theresa and considerable alleviation to me, although I was far from receiving from it a direct advantage, any more than from the presents that were made her.

She herself has always disposed of everything. When I kept her money I gave her a faithful account of it, without ever applying any part of the deposit to our common expenses, not even when she was richer than myself. "What is mine is ours," said I to her; "and what is thine is thine." I never departed from this maxim. They who have had the baseness to accuse me of receiving by her hands that which I refused to take with mine, undoubtedly judged of my heart by their own, and knew but little of me. I would willingly eat with her the bread she should have earned, but not that she should have had given her. For a proof of this I appeal to herself, both now and hereafter, when, according to the course of nature, she shall have survived me. Unfortunately, she understands but little of economy in any respect, and is, besides, careless and extravagant, not from vanity nor gluttony, but solely from negligence. No creature is perfect here below, and since the excellent qualities must be accompanied with some detects; I prefer these to vices; although her defects are more prejudicial to us both. The efforts I have made, as formerly I did for mamma, to accumulate something in advance which might some day be to her a never-failing resource, are not to be conceived; but my cares were always ineffectual.

Neither of these women ever called themselves to an account, and, notwithstanding all my efforts, everything I acquired was dissipated as fast as it came. Notwithstanding the great simplicity of Theresa's dress, the pension from Rey has never been sufficient to buy her clothes, and I have every year been under the necessity of adding something to it for that purpose. We are neither of us born to be rich, and this I certainly do not reckon amongst our misfortunes.

The 'Social Contract' was soon printed. This was not the case with 'Emilius', for the publication of which I waited to go into the retirement I meditated. Duchesne, from time to time, sent me specimens of impression to choose from; when I had made my choice, instead of beginning he sent me others. When, at length, we were fully determined on the size and letter, and several sheets were already printed off, on some trifling alteration I made in a proof, he began the whole again; and at the end of six months we were in less forwardness than on the first day. During all these experiments I clearly perceived the work was printing in France as well as in Holland, and that two editions of it were preparing at the same time. What could I do? The manuscript was no longer mine. Far from having anything to do with the edition in France, I was always against it; but since, at length, this was preparing in spite of all opposition, and was to serve as a model to the other, it was necessary I should cast my eyes over it and examine the proofs, that my work might not be mutilated. It was, besides, printed so much by the consent of the magistrate, that it was he who, in some measure, directed the undertaking; he likewise wrote to me frequently, and once came to see me and converse on the subject upon an occasion of which I am going to speak.

Whilst Duchesne crept like a snail, Neaulme, whom he withheld, scarcely moved at all. The sheets were not regularly sent him as they were printed. He thought there was some trick in the manoeuvre of Duchesne, that is, of Guy who acted for him; and perceiving the terms of the agreement to be departed from, he wrote me letter after letter full of complaints, and it was less possible for me to remove the subject of them than that of those I myself had to make. His friend Guerin, who at that time came frequently to see my house, never ceased speaking to me about the work, but always with the greatest reserve. He knew and he did not know that it was printing in France, and that the magistrate had a hand in it. In expressing his concern for my embarrassment, he seemed to accuse me of imprudence without ever saying in what this consisted; he incessantly equivocated, and seemed to speak for no other purpose than to hear what I had to say. I thought myself so secure that I laughed at his mystery and circumspection as at a habit he had contracted with ministers and magistrates whose offices he much frequented. Certain of having conformed to every rule with the work, and strongly persuaded that I had not only the consent and protection of the magistrate, but that the book merited and had obtained the favor of the minister, I congratulated myself upon my courage in doing good, and laughed at my pusillanimous friends who seemed uneasy on my account. Duclos was one of these, and I confess my confidence in his understanding and uprightness might have alarmed me, had I had less in the utility of the work and in the probity of those by whom it was patronized. He came from the house of M. Baille to see me whilst 'Emilius' was in the press; he spoke to me concerning it; I read to him the 'Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar', to which he listened attentively and, as it seemed to me with pleasure. When I had finished he said: "What! citizen, this is a part of a work now printing in Paris?"—"Yes," answered I, and it ought to be printed at the Louvre by order of the king."—I confess it," replied he; "but pray do not mention to anybody your having read to me this fragment."

This striking manner of expressing himself surprised without alarming me. I knew Duclos was intimate with M. de Malesherbes, and I could not conceive how it was possible he should think so differently from him upon the same subject.

I had lived at Montmorency for the last four years without ever having had there one day of good health. Although the air is excellent, the water is bad, and this may possibly be one of the causes which contributed to increase my habitual complaints. Towards the end of the autumn of 1767, I fell quite ill, and passed the whole winter in suffering almost without intermission. The physical ill, augmented by a thousand inquietudes, rendered these terrible. For some time past my mind had been disturbed by melancholy forebodings without my knowing to what these directly tended. I received anonymous letters of an extraordinary nature, and others, that were signed, much of the same import. I received one from a counsellor of the parliament of Paris, who, dissatisfied with the present constitution of things, and foreseeing nothing but disagreeable events, consulted me upon the choice of an asylum at Geneva or in Switzerland, to retire to with his family. An other was brought me from M. de ——, 'president a mortier' of the parliament of ——, who proposed to me to draw up for this Parliament, which was then at variance with the court, memoirs and remonstrances, and offering to furnish me with all the documents and materials necessary for that purpose.

When I suffer I am subject to ill humor. This was the case when I received these letters, and my answers to them, in which I flatly refused everything that was asked of me, bore strong marks of the effect they had had upon my mind. I do not however reproach myself with this refusal, as the letters might be so many snares laid by my enemies, and what was required of me was contrary to the principles from which I was less willing than ever to swerve. But having it within my power to refuse with politeness I did it with rudeness, and in this consists my error.

[I knew, for instance, the President de—— to be connected with the Encyclopedists and the Holbachiens]

The two letters of which I have just spoken will be found amongst my papers. The letter from the chancellor did not absolutely surprise me, because I agreed with him in opinion, and with many others, that the declining constitution of France threatened an approaching destruction. The disasters of an unsuccessful war, all of which proceeded from a fault in the government; the incredible confusion in the finances; the perpetual drawings upon the treasury by the administration, which was then divided between two or three ministers, amongst whom reigned nothing but discord, and who, to counteract the operations of each other, let the kingdom go to ruin; the discontent of the people, and of every other rank of subjects; the obstinacy of a woman who, constantly sacrificing her judgment, if she indeed possessed any, to her inclinations, kept from public employment persons capable of discharging the duties of them, to place in them such as pleased her best; everything occurred in justifying the foresight of the counsellor, that of the public, and my own. This, made me several times consider whether or not I myself should seek an asylum out of the kingdom before it was torn by the dissensions by which it seemed to be threatened; but relieved from my fears by my insignificance, and the peacefulness of my disposition, I thought that in the state of solitude in which I was determined to live, no public commotion could reach me. I was sorry only that, in this state of things, M. de Luxembourg should accept commissions which tended to injure him in the opinion of the persons of the place of which he was governor. I could have wished he had prepared himself a retreat there, in case the great machine had fallen in pieces, which seemed much to be apprehended; and still appears to me beyond a doubt, that if the reins of government had not fallen into a single hand, the French monarchy would now be at the last gasp.

Whilst my situation became worse the printing of 'Emilius' went on more slowly, and was at length suspended without my being able to learn the reason why; Guy did not deign to answer my letter of inquiry, and I could obtain no information from any person of what was going forward. M. de Malesherbes being then in the country. A misfortune never makes me uneasy provided I know in what it consists; but it is my nature to be afraid of darkness, I tremble at the appearance of it; mystery always gives me inquietude, it is too opposite to my natural disposition, in which there is an openness bordering on imprudence. The sight of the most hideous monster would, I am of opinion, alarm me but little; but if by night I were to see a figure in a white sheet I should be afraid of it. My imagination, wrought upon by this long silence, was now employed in creating phantoms. I tormented myself the more in endeavoring to discover the impediment to the printing of my last and best production, as I had the publication of it much at heart; and as I always carried everything to an extreme, I imagined that I perceived in the suspension the suppression of the work. Yet, being unable to discover either the cause or manner of it, I remained in the most cruel state of suspense. I wrote letter after letter to Guy, to M. de Malesherbes and to Madam de Luxembourg, and not receiving answers, at least when I expected them, my head became so affected that I was not far from a delirium. I unfortunately heard that Father Griffet, a Jesuit, had spoken of 'Emilius' and repeated from it some passages. My imagination instantly unveiled to me the mystery of iniquity; I saw the whole progress of it as clearly as if it had been revealed to me. I figured to myself that the Jesuits, furious on account of the contemptuous manner in which I had spoken of colleges, were in possession of my work; that it was they who had delayed the publication; that, informed by their friend Guerin of my situation, and foreseeing my approaching dissolution, of which I myself had no manner of doubt, they wished to delay the appearance of the work until after that event, with an intention to curtail and mutilate it, and in favor of their own views, to attribute to me sentiments not my own. The number of facts and circumstances which occurred to my mind, in confirmation of this silly proposition, and gave it an appearance of truth supported by evidence and demonstration, is astonishing. I knew Guerin to be entirely in the interest of the Jesuits. I attributed to them all the friendly advances he had made me; I was persuaded he had, by their entreaties, pressed me to engage with Neaulme, who had given them the first sheets of my work; that they had afterwards found means to stop the printing of it by Duchesne, and perhaps to get possession of the manuscript to make such alterations in it as they should think proper, that after my death they might publish it disguised in their own manner. I had always perceived, notwithstanding the wheedling of Father Berthier, that the Jesuits did not like me, not only as an Encyclopedist, but because all my principles were more in opposition to their maxims and influence than the incredulity of my colleagues, since atheistical and devout fanaticism, approaching each other by their common enmity to toleration, may become united; a proof of which is seen in China, and in the cabal against myself; whereas religion, both reasonable and moral, taking away all power over the conscience, deprives those who assume that power of every resource. I knew the chancellor was a great friend to the Jesuits, and I had my fears less the son, intimidated by the father, should find himself under the necessity of abandoning the work he had protected. I besides imagined that I perceived this to be the case in the chicanery employed against me relative to the first two volumes, in which alterations were required for reasons of which I could not feel the force; whilst the other two volumes were known to contain things of such a nature as, had the censor objected to them in the manner he did to the passages he thought exceptionable in the others, would have required their being entirely written over again. I also understood, and M. de Malesherbes himself told me of it, that the Abbe de Grave, whom he had charged with the inspection of this edition, was another partisan of the Jesuits. I saw nothing but Jesuits, without considering that, upon the point of being suppressed, and wholly taken up in making their defence, they had something which interested them much more than the cavillings relative to a work in which they were not in question. I am wrong, however, in saying this did not occur to me; for I really thought of it, and M. de Malesherbes took care to make the observation to me the moment he heard of my extravagant suspicions. But by another of those absurdities of a man, who, from the bosom of obscurity, will absolutely judge of the secret of great affairs, with which he is totally unacquainted. I never could bring myself to believe the Jesuits were in danger, and I considered the rumor of their suppression as an artful manoeuvre of their own to deceive their adversaries. Their past successes, which had been uninterrupted, gave me so terrible an idea of the power, that I already was grieved at the overthrow of the parliament. I knew M. de Choiseul had prosecuted his studies under the Jesuits, that Madam de Pompadour was not upon bad terms with them, and that their league with favorites and ministers had constantly appeared advantageous to their order against their common enemies. The court seemed to remain neuter, and persuaded as I was that should the society receive a severe check it would not come from the parliament, I saw in the inaction of government the ground of their confidence and the omen of their triumph.

In fine, perceiving in the rumors of the day nothing more than art and dissimulation on their part, and thinking they, in their state of security, had time to watch over all their interests, I had had not the least doubt of their shortly crushing Jansenism, the parliament and the Encyclopedists, with every other association which should not submit to their yoke; and that if they ever suffered my work to appear, this would not happen until it should be so transformed as to favor their pretensions, and thus make use of my name the better to deceive my readers.

I felt my health and strength decline; and such was the horror with which my mind was filled, at the idea of dishonor to my memory in the work most worthy of myself, that I am surprised so many extravagant ideas did not occasion a speedy end to my existence. I never was so much afraid of death as at this time, and had I died with the apprehensions I then had upon my mind, I should have died in despair. At present, although I perceived no obstacle to the execution of the blackest and most dreadful conspiracy ever formed against the memory of a man, I shall die much more in peace, certain of leaving in my writings a testimony in my favor, and one which, sooner or later, will triumph over the calumnies of mankind.

M. de Malesherbes, who discovered the agitation of my mind, and to whom I acknowledged it, used such endeavors to restore me to tranquility as proved his excessive goodness of heart. Madam de Luxembourg aided him in his good work, and several times went to Duchesne to know in what state the edition was. At length the impression was again begun, and the progress of it became more rapid than ever, without my knowing for what reason it had been suspended. M. de Malesherbes took the trouble to come to Montmorency to calm my mind; in this he succeeded, and the full confidence I had in his uprightness having overcome the derangement of my poor head, gave efficacy to the endeavors he made to restore it. After what he had seen of my anguish and delirium, it was natural he should think I was to be pitied; and he really commiserated my situation. The expressions, incessantly repeated, of the philosophical cabal by which he was surrounded, occurred to his memory. When I went to live at the Hermitage, they, as I have already remarked, said I should not remain there long. When they saw I persevered, they charged me with obstinacy and pride, proceeding from a want of courage to retract, and insisted that my life was there a burden to me; in short, that I was very wretched. M. de Malesherbes believed this really to be the case, and wrote to me upon the subject. This error in a man for whom I had so much esteem gave me some pain, and I wrote to him four letters successively, in which I stated the real motives of my conduct, and made him fully acquainted with my taste, inclination and character, and with the most interior sentiments of my heart. These letters, written hastily, almost without taking pen from paper, and which I neither copied, corrected, nor even read, are perhaps the only things I ever wrote with facility, which, in the midst of my sufferings, was, I think, astonishing. I sighed, as I felt myself declining, at the thought of leaving in the midst of honest men an opinion of me so far from truth; and by the sketch hastily given in my four letters, I endeavored, in some measure, to substitute them to the memoirs I had proposed to write. They are expressive of my grief to M. de Malesherbes, who showed them in Paris, and are, besides, a kind of summary of what I here give in detail, and, on this account, merit preservation. The copy I begged of them some years afterwards will be found amongst my papers.

The only thing which continued to give me pain, in the idea of my approaching dissolution, was my not having a man of letters for a friend, to whom I could confide my papers, that after my death he might take a proper choice of such as were worthy of publication.

After my journey to Geneva, I conceived a friendship for Moulton; this young man pleased me, and I could have wished him to receive my last breath. I expressed to him this desire, and am of opinion he would readily have complied with it, had not his affairs prevented him from so doing. Deprived of this consolation, I still wished to give him a mark of my confidence by sending him the 'Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar' before it was published. He was pleased with the work, but did not in his answer seem so fully to expect from it the effect of which I had but little doubt. He wished to receive from me some fragment which I had not given to anybody else. I sent him the funeral oration of the late Duke of Orleans; this I had written for the Abbe Darty, who had not pronounced it, because, contrary to his expectation, another person was appointed to perform that ceremony.

The printing of Emilius, after having been again taken in hand, was continued and completed without much difficulty; and I remarked this singularity, that after the curtailings so much insisted upon in the first two volumes, the last two were passed over without an objection, and their contents did not delay the publication for a moment. I had, however, some uneasiness which I must not pass over in silence. After having been afraid of the Jesuits, I begun to fear the Jansenists and philosophers. An enemy to party, faction and cabal, I never heard the least good of parties concerned in them. The gossips had quitted their old abode and taken up their residence by the side of me, so that in their chamber, everything said in mine, and upon the terrace, was distinctly heard; and from their garden it would have been easy to scale the low wall by which it was separated from my alcove. This was become my study; my table was covered with proofsheets of Emilius and the Social Contract and stitching these sheets as they were sent to me, I had all my volumes a long time before they were published. My negligence and the confidence I had in M. Mathas, in whose garden I was shut up, frequently made me forget to lock the door at night, and in the morning I several times found it wide open; this, however, would not have given me the least inquietude had I not thought my papers seemed to have been deranged. After having several times made the same remark, I became more careful, and locked the door. The lock was a bad one, and the key turned in it no more than half round. As I became more attentive, I found my papers in a much greater confusion than they were when I left everything open. At length I missed one of my volumes without knowing what was become of it until the morning of the third day, when I again found it upon the table. I never suspected either M. Mathas or his nephew M. du Moulin, knowing myself to be beloved by both, and my confidence in them was unbounded. That I had in the gossips began to diminish. Although they were Jansenists, I knew them to have some connection with D' Alembert, and moreover they all three lodged in the same house. This gave me some uneasiness, and put me more upon my guard. I removed my papers from the alcove to my chamber, and dropped my acquaintance with these people, having learned they had shown in several houses the first volume of 'Emilius', which I had been imprudent enough to lend them. Although they continued until my departure to be my neighbors I never, after my first suspicions, had the least communication with them. The 'Social Contract' appeared a month or two before 'Emilius'. Rey, whom I had desired never secretly to introduce into France any of my books, applied to the magistrate for leave to send this book by Rouen, to which place he sent his package by sea. He received no answer, and his bales, after remaining at Rouen several months, were returned to him, but not until an attempt had been made to confiscate them; this, probably, would have been done had not he made a great clamor. Several persons, whose curiosity the work had excited, sent to Amsterdam for copies, which were circulated without being much noticed. Maulion, who had heard of this, and had, I believe, seen the work, spoke to me on the subject with an air of mystery which surprised me, and would likewise have made me uneasy if, certain of having conformed to every rule, I had not by virtue of my grand maxim, kept my mind calm. I moreover had no doubt but M. de Choiseul, already well disposed towards me, and sensible of the eulogium of his administration, which my esteem for him had induced me to make in the work, would support me against the malevolence of Madam de Pompadour.

I certainly had then as much reason as ever to hope for the goodness of M. de Luxembourg, and even for his assistance in case of need; for he never at any time had given me more frequent and more pointed marks of his friendship. At the journey of Easter, my melancholy state no longer permitting me to go to the castle, he never suffered a day to pass without coming to see me, and at length, perceiving my sufferings to be incessant, he prevailed upon me to determine to see Friar Come. He immediately sent for him, came with him, and had the courage, uncommon to a man of his rank, to remain with me during the operation which was cruel and tedious. Upon the first examination, Come thought he found a great stone, and told me so; at the second, he could not find it again. After having made a third attempt with so much care and circumspection that I thought the time long, he declared there was no stone, but that the prostate gland was schirrous and considerably thickened. He besides added, that I had a great deal to suffer, and should live a long time. Should the second prediction be as fully accomplished as the first, my sufferings are far from being at an end.

It was thus I learned after having been so many years treated for disorders which I never had, that my incurable disease, without being mortal, would last as long as myself. My imagination, repressed by this information, no longer presented to me in prospective a cruel death in the agonies of the stone.

Delivered from imaginary evils, more cruel to me than those which were real, I more patiently suffered the latter. It is certain I have since suffered less from my disorder than I had done before, and every time I recollect that I owe this alleviation to M. de Luxembourg, his memory becomes more dear to me.

Restored, as I may say, to life, and more than ever occupied with the plan according to which I was determined to pass the rest of my days, all the obstacle to the immediate execution of my design was the publication of 'Emilius'. I thought of Touraine where I had already been and which pleased me much, as well on account of the mildness of the climate, as on that of the character of the inhabitants.

'La terra molle lieta a dilettosa Simile a se l'habitator produce.'

I had already spoken of my project to M. de Luxembourg, who endeavored to dissuade me from it; I mentioned it to him a second time as a thing resolved upon. He then offered me the castle of Merlon, fifteen leagues from Paris, as an asylum which might be agreeable to me, and where he and Madam de Luxembourg would have a real pleasure in seeing me settled. The proposition made a pleasing impression on my mind. But the first thing necessary was to see the place, and we agreed upon a day when the marechal was to send his valet de chambre with a carriage to take me to it. On the day appointed, I was much indisposed; the journey was postponed, and different circumstances prevented me from ever making it. I have since learned the estate of Merlou did not belong to the marechal but to his lady, on which account I was the less sorry I had not gone to live there.

'Emilius' was at length given to the public, without my having heard further of retrenchments or difficulties. Previous to the publication, the marechal asked me for all the letters M. de Malesherbes had written to me on the subject of the work. My great confidence in both, and the perfect security in which I felt myself, prevented me from reflecting upon this extraordinary and even alarming request. I returned all the letters excepting one or two which, from inattention, were left between the leaves of a book. A little time before this, M. de Malesherbes told me he should withdraw the letters I had written to Duchesne during my alarm relative to the Jesuits, and, it must be confessed, these letters did no great honor to my reason. But in my answer I assured him I would not in anything pass for being better than I was, and that he might leave the letters where they were. I know not what he resolved upon.

The publication of this work was not succeeded by the applause which had followed that of all my other writings. No work was ever more highly spoken of in private, nor had any literary production ever had less public approbation. What was said and written to me upon the subject by persons most capable of judging, confirmed me in my opinion that it was the best, as well as the most important of all the works I had produced. But everything favorable was said with an air of the most extraordinary mystery, as if there had been a necessity of keeping it a secret. Madam de Boufflers, who wrote to me that the author of the work merited a statue, and the homage of mankind, at the end of her letter desired it might be returned to her. D'Alembert, who in his note said the work gave me a decided superiority, and ought to place me at the head of men of letters, did not sign what he wrote, although he had signed every note I had before received from him. Duclos, a sure friend, a man of veracity, but circumspect, although he had a good opinion of the work, avoided mentioning it in his letters to me. La Condomine fell upon the Confession of Faith, and wandered from the subject. Clairaut confined himself to the same part; but he was not afraid of expressing to me the emotion which the reading of it had caused in him, and in the most direct terms wrote to me that it had warmed his old imagination: of all those to whom I had sent my book, he was the only person who spoke freely what he thought of it.

Mathas, to whom I also had given a copy before the publication, lent it to M. de Blaire, counsellor in the parliament of Strasbourg. M. de Blaire had a country-house at St. Gratien, and Mathas, his old acquaintance, sometimes went to see him there. He made him read Emilius before it was published. When he returned it to him, M. de Blaire expressed himself in the following terms, which were repeated to me the same day: "M. Mathas, this is a very fine work, but it will in a short time be spoken of more than, for the author might be wished." I laughed at the prediction, and saw in it nothing more than the importance of a man of the robe, who treats everything with an air of mystery. All the alarming observations repeated to me made no impression upon my mind, and, far from foreseeing the catastrophe so near at hand, certain of the utility and excellence of my work, and that I had in every respect conformed to established rules; convinced, as I thought I was that I should be supported by all the credit of M. de Luxembourg and the favor of the ministry, I was satisfied with myself for the resolution I had taken to retire in the midst of my triumphs, and at my return to crush those by whom I was envied.

One thing in the publication of the work alarmed me, less on account of my safety than for the unburdening of my mind. At the Hermitage and at Montmorency I had seen with indignation the vexations which the jealous care of the pleasures of princes causes to be exercised on wretched peasants, forced to suffer the havoc made by game in their fields, without daring to take any other measure to prevent this devastation than that of making a noise, passing the night amongst the beans and peas, with drums, kettles and bells, to keep off the wild boars. As I had been a witness to the barbarous cruelty with which the Comte de Charolois treated these poor people, I had toward the end of Emilius exclaimed against it. This was another infraction of my maxims, which has not remained unpunished. I was informed that the people of the Prince of Conti were but little less severe upon his, estates; I trembled less that prince, for whom I was penetrated with respect and gratitude, should take to his own account what shocked humanity had made me say on that of others, and feel himself offended. Yet, as my conscience fully acquitted me upon this article, I made myself easy, and by so doing acted wisely: at least, I have not heard that this great prince took notice of the passage, which, besides, was written long before I had the honor of being known to him.

A few days either before or after the publication of my work, for I do not exactly recollect the time, there appeared another work upon the same subject, taken verbatim from my first volume, except a few stupid things which were joined to the extract. The book bore the name of a Genevese, one Balexsert, and, according to the title-page, had gained the premium in the Academy of Harlem. I easily imagined the academy and the premium to be newly founded, the better to conceal the plagiarism from the eyes of the public; but I further perceived there was some prior intrigue which I could not unravel; either by the lending of my manuscript, without which the theft could not have been committed, or for the purpose of forging the story of the pretended premium, to which it was necessary to give some foundation. It was not until several years afterwards, that by a word which escaped D'Ivernois, I penetrated the mystery and discovered those by whom Balexsert had been brought forward.

The low murmurings which precede a storm began to be heard, and men of penetration clearly saw there was something gathering, relative to me and my book, which would shortly break over my head. For my part my stupidity was such, that, far from foreseeing my misfortune, I did not suspect even the cause of it after I had felt its effect. It was artfully given out that while the Jesuits were treated with severity, no indulgence could be shown to books nor the authors of them in which religion was attacked. I was reproached with having put my name to Emilius, as if I had not put it to all my other works of which nothing was said. Government seemed to fear it should be obliged to take some steps which circumstances rendered necessary on account of my imprudence. Rumors to this effect reached my ears, but gave me not much uneasiness: it never even came into my head, that there could be the least thing in the whole affair which related to me personally, so perfectly irreproachable and well supported did I think myself; having besides conformed to every ministerial regulation, I did not apprehend Madam de Luxembourg would leave me in difficulties for an error, which, if it existed, proceeded entirely from herself. But knowing the manner of proceeding in like cases, and that it was customary to punish booksellers while authors were favored; I had some uneasiness on account of poor Duchesne, whom I saw exposed to danger, should M. de Malesherbes abandon him.

My tranquility still continued. Rumors increased and soon changed their nature. The public, and especially the parliament, seemed irritated by my composure. In a few days the fermentation became terrible, and the object of the menaces being changed, these were immediately addressed to me. The parliamentarians were heard to declare that burning books was of no effect, the authors also should be burned with them; not a word was said of the booksellers. The first time these expressions, more worthy of an inquisitor of Goa than a senator, were related to me, I had no doubt of their coming from the Holbachiques with an intention to alarm me and drive me from France. I laughed at their puerile manoeuvre, and said they would, had they known the real state of things, have thought of some other means of inspiring me with fear; but the rumor at length became such that I perceived the matter was serious. M. and Madam de Luxembourg had this year come to Montmorency in the month of June, which, for their second journey, was more early than common. I heard but little there of my new books, notwithstanding the noise they made in Paris; neither the marechal nor his lady said a single word to me on the subject. However, one morning, when M. de Luxembourg and I were together, he asked me if, in the 'Social Contract', I had spoken ill of M. de Choiseul. "I?" said I, retreating a few steps with surprise; "no, I swear to you I have not; but on the contrary, I have made on him, and with a pen not given to praise, the finest eulogium a minister ever received." I then showed him the passage. "And in Emilius?" replied he. "Not a word," said I; "there is not in it a single word which relates to him."—"Ah!" said he, with more vivacity than was common to him, "you should have taken the same care in the other book, or have expressed yourself more clearly!" "I thought," replied I, "what I wrote could not be misconstrued; my esteem for him was such as to make me extremely cautious not to be equivocal."

He was again going to speak; I perceived him ready to open his mind: he stopped short and held his tongue. Wretched policy of a courtier, which in the best of hearts, subjugates friendship itself!

This conversation although short, explained to me my situation, at least in certain respects, and gave me to understand that it was against myself the anger of administration was raised. The unheard of fatality, which turned to my prejudice all the good I did and wrote, afflicted my heart. Yet, feeling myself shielded in this affair by Madam de Luxembourg and M. de Malesherbes, I did not perceive in what my persecutors could deprive me of their protection. However, I, from that moment was convinced equity and judgment were no longer in question, and that no pains would be spared in examining whether or not I was culpable. The storm became still more menacing. Neaulme himself expressed to me, in the excess of his babbling, how much he repented having had anything to do in the business, and his certainty of the fate with which the book and the author were threatened. One thing, however, alleviated my fears: Madam de Luxembourg was so calm, satisfied and cheerful, that I concluded she must necessarily be certain of the sufficiency of her credit, especially if she did not seem to have the least apprehension on my account; moreover, she said not to me a word either of consolation or apology, and saw the turn the affair took with as much unconcern as if she had nothing to do with it or anything else that related to me. What surprised me most was her silence. I thought she should have said something on the subject. Madam de Boufflers seemed rather uneasy. She appeared agitated, strained herself a good deal, assured me the Prince of Conti was taking great pains to ward off the blow about to be directed against my person, and which she attributed to the nature of present circumstances, in which it was of importance to the parliament not to leave the Jesuits an opening whereby they might bring an accusation against it as being indifferent with respect to religion. She did not, however, seem to depend much either upon the success of her own efforts or even those of the prince. Her conversations, more alarming than consolatory, all tended to persuade me to leave the kingdom and go to England, where she offered me an introduction to many of her friends, amongst others one to the celebrated Hume, with whom she had long been upon a footing of intimate friendship. Seeing me still unshaken, she had recourse to other arguments more capable of disturbing my tranquillity. She intimated that, in case I was arrested and interrogated, I should be under the necessity of naming Madam de Luxembourg, and that her friendship for me required, on my part, such precautions as were necessary to prevent her being exposed. My answer was, that should what she seemed to apprehend come to pass, she need not be alarmed; that I should do nothing by which the lady she mentioned might become a sufferer. She said such a resolution was more easily taken than adhered to, and in this she was right, especially with respect to me, determined as I always have been neither to prejudice myself nor lie before judges, whatever danger there might be in speaking the truth.

Perceiving this observation had made some impression upon my mind, without however inducing me to resolve upon evasion, she spoke of the Bastile for a few weeks, as a means of placing me beyond the reach of the jurisdiction of the parliament, which has nothing to do with prisoners of state. I had no objection to this singular favor, provided it were not solicited in my name. As she never spoke of it a second time, I afterwards thought her proposition was made to sound me, and that the party did not think proper to have recourse to an expedient which would have put an end to everything.

A few days afterwards the marechal received from the Cure de Dueil, the friend of Grimm and Madam d'Epinay, a letter informing him, as from good authority, that the parliament was to proceed against me with the greatest severity, and that, on a day which he mentioned, an order was to be given to arrest me. I imagined this was fabricated by the Holbachiques; I knew the parliament to be very attentive to forms, and that on this occasion, beginning by arresting me before it was juridically known I avowed myself the author of the book was violating them all. I observed to Madam de Boufflers that none but persons accused of crimes which tend to endanger the public safety were, on a simple information ordered to be arrested lest they should escape punishment. But when government wish to punish a crime like mine, which merits honor and recompense, the proceedings are directed against the book, and the author is as much as possible left out of the question.

Upon this she made some subtle distinction, which I have forgotten, to prove that ordering me to be arrested instead of summoning me to be heard was a matter of favor. The next day I received a letter from Guy, who informed me that having in the morning been with the attorney-general, he had seen in his office a rough draft of a requisition against Emilius and the author. Guy, it is to be remembered, was the partner of Duchesne, who had printed the work, and without apprehensions on his own account, charitably gave this information to the author. The credit I gave to him maybe judged of.

It was, no doubt, a very probable story, that a bookseller, admitted to an audience by the attorney-general, should read at ease scattered rough drafts in the office of that magistrate! Madam de Boufflers and others confirmed what he had said. By the absurdities which were incessantly rung in my ears, I was almost tempted to believe that everybody I heard speak had lost their senses.

Clearly perceiving that there was some mystery, which no one thought proper to explain to me, I patiently awaited the event, depending upon my integrity and innocence, and thinking myself happy, let the persecution which awaited me be what it would, to be called to the honor of suffering in the cause of truth. Far from being afraid and concealing myself, I went every day to the castle, and in the afternoon took my usual walk. On the eighth of June, the evening before the order was concluded on, I walked in company with two professors of the oratory, Father Alamanni and Father Mandard. We carried to Champeaux a little collation, which we ate with a keen appetite. We had forgotten to bring glasses, and supplied the want of them by stalks of rye, through which we sucked up the wine from the bottle, piquing ourselves upon the choice of large tubes to vie with each other in pumping up what we drank. I never was more cheerful in my life.

I have related in what manner I lost my sleep during my youth. I had since that time contracted a habit of reading every night in my bed, until I found my eyes begin to grow heavy. I then extinguished my wax taper, and endeavored to slumber for a few moments, which were in general very short. The book I commonly read at night was the Bible, which, in this manner I read five or six times from the beginning to the end. This evening, finding myself less disposed to sleep than ordinary, I continued my reading beyond the usual hour, and read the whole book which finishes at the Levite of Ephraim, the Book of judges, if I mistake not, for since that time I have never once seen it. This history affected me exceedingly, and, in a kind of a dream, my imagination still ran on it, when suddenly I was roused from my stupor by a noise and light. Theresa carrying a candle, lighted M. la Roche, who perceiving me hastily raise myself up, said: "Do not be alarmed; I come from Madam de Luxembourg, who, in her letter incloses you another from the Prince of Conti." In fact, in the letter of Madam de Luxembourg I found another, which an express from the prince had brought her, stating that, notwithstanding all his efforts, it was determined to proceed against me with the utmost rigor. "The fermentation," said he, "is extreme; nothing can ward off the blow; the court requires it, and the parliament will absolutely proceed; at seven o'clock in the morning an order will be made to arrest him, and persons will immediately be sent to execute it. I have obtained a promise that he shall not be pursued if he makes his escape; but if he persists in exposing himself to be taken this will immediately happen." La Roche conjured me in behalf of Madam de Luxembourg to rise and go and speak to her. It was two o'clock and she had just retired to bed. "She expects you," added he, "and will not go to sleep without speaking to you." I dressed myself in haste and ran to her.

She appeared to be agitated; this was for the first time. Her distress affected me. In this moment of surprise and in the night, I myself was not free from emotion; but on seeing her I forgot my own situation, and thought of nothing but the melancholy part she would have to act should I suffer myself to be arrested; for feeling I had sufficient courage strictly to adhere to truth, although I might be certain of its being prejudicial or even destructive to me, I was convinced I had not presence of mind, address, nor perhaps firmness enough, not to expose her should I be closely pressed. This determined me to sacrifice my reputation to her tranquillity, and to do for her that which nothing could have prevailed upon me to do for myself. The moment I had come to this resolution, I declared it, wishing not to diminish the magnitude of the sacrifice by giving her the least trouble to obtain it. I am sure she could not mistake my motive, although she said not a word, which proved to me she was sensible of it. I was so much shocked at her indifference that I, for a moment, thought of retracting; but the marechal came in, and Madam de Bouffiers arrived from Paris a few moments afterwards. They did what Madam de Luxembourg ought to have done. I suffered myself to be flattered; I was ashamed to retract; and the only thing that remained to be determined upon was the place of my retreat and the time of my departure. M. de Luxembourg proposed to me to remain incognito a few days at the castle, that we might deliberate at leisure, and take such measures as should seem most proper; to this I would not consent, no more than to go secretly to the temple. I was determined to set off the same day rather than remain concealed in any place whatever.

Knowing I had secret and powerful enemies in the kingdom, I thought, notwithstanding my attachment to France, I ought to quit it, the better to insure my future tranquillity. My first intention was to retire to Geneva, but a moment of reflection was sufficient to dissuade me from committing that act of folly; I knew the ministry of France, more powerful at Geneva than at Paris, would not leave me more at peace in one of these cities than in the other, were a resolution taken to torment me. I was also convinced the 'Discourse upon Inequality' had excited against me in the council a hatred the more dangerous as the council dared not make it manifest. I had also learned, that when the New Eloisa appeared, the same council had immediately forbidden the sale of that work, upon the solicitation of Doctor Tronchin; but perceiving the example not to be imitated, even in Paris, the members were ashamed of what they had done, and withdrew the prohibition.

I had no doubt that, finding in the present case a more favorable opportunity, they would be very careful to take advantage of it. Notwithstanding exterior appearances, I knew there reigned against me in the heart of every Genevese a secret jealousy, which, in the first favorable moment, would publicly show itself. Nevertheless, the love of my country called me to it, and could I have flattered myself I should there have lived in peace, I should not have hesitated; but neither honor nor reason permitting me to take refuge as a fugitive in a place of which I was a citizen, I resolved to approach it only, and to wait in Switzerland until something relative to me should be determined upon in Geneva. This state of uncertainty did not, as it will soon appear, continue long.

Madam de Boufflers highly disapproved this resolution, and renewed her efforts to induce me to go to England, but all she could say was of no effect; I had never loved England nor the English, and the eloquence of Madam de Boufflers, far from conquering my repugnancy, seemed to increase it without my knowing why. Determined to set off the same day, I was from the morning inaccessible to everybody, and La Roche, whom I sent to fetch my papers, would not tell Theresa whether or not I was gone. Since I had determined to write my own memoirs, I had collected a great number of letters and other papers, so that he was obliged to return several times. A part of these papers, already selected, were laid aside, and I employed the morning in sorting the rest, that I might take with me such only as were necessary and destroy what remained.

M. de Luxembourg, was kind enough to assist me in this business, which we could not finish before it was necessary I should set off, and I had not time to burn a single paper. The marechal offered to take upon himself to sort what I should leave behind me, and throw into the fire every sheet that he found useless, without trusting to any person whomsoever, and to send me those of which he should make choice. I accepted his offer, very glad to be delivered from that care, that I might pass the few hours I had to remain with persons so dear to me, from whom I was going to separate forever. He took the key of the chamber in which I had left these papers; and, at my earnest solicitation, sent for my poor aunt, who, not knowing what had become of me, or what was to become of herself, and in momentary expectation of the arrival of the officers of justice, without knowing how to act or what to answer them, was miserable to an extreme. La Roche accompanied her to the castle in silence; she thought I was already far from Montmorency; on perceiving me, she made the place resound with her cries, and threw herself into my arms. Oh, friendship, affinity of sentiment, habit and intimacy.

In this pleasing yet cruel moment, the remembrance of so many days of happiness, tenderness and peace, passed together augmented the grief of a first separation after an union of seventeen years during which we had scarcely lost sight of each other for a single day.





 




 

The marechal who saw this embrace, could not suppress his tears. He withdrew. Theresa determined never more to leave me out of her sight. I made her feel the inconvenience of accompanying me at that moment, and the necessity of her remaining to take care of my effects and collect my money. When an order is made to arrest a man, it is customary to seize his papers and put a seal upon his effects, or to make an inventory of them and appoint a guardian to whose care they are intrusted. It was necessary Theresa should remain to observe what passed, and get everything settled in the most advantageous manner possible. I promised her she should shortly come to me; the marechal confirmed my promise; but I did not choose to tell her to what place I was going, that, in case of being interrogated by the persons who came to take me into custody, she might with truth plead ignorance upon that head. In embracing her the moment before we separated I felt within me a most extraordinary emotion, and I said to her with an agitation which, alas! was but too prophetic: "My dear girl, you must arm yourself with courage. You have partaken of my prosperity; it now remains to you, since you have chosen it, to partake of my misery. Expect nothing in future but insult and calamity in following me. The destiny begun for me by this melancholy day will pursue me until my latest hour."

I had now nothing to think of but my departure. The officers were to arrive at ten o'clock. It was four in the afternoon when I set off, and they were not yet come. It was determined I should take post. I had no carriage, The marechal made me a present of a cabriolet, and lent me horses and a postillion the first stage, where, in consequence of the measures he had taken, I had no difficulty in procuring others.

As I had not dined at table, nor made my appearance in the castle, the ladies came to bid me adieu in the entresol where I had passed the day. Madam de Luxembourg embraced me several times with a melancholy air; but I did not in these embraces feel the pressing I had done in those she had lavished upon me two or three years before. Madam de Boufflers also embraced me, and said to me many civil things. An embrace which surprised me more than all the rest had done was one from Madam de Mirepoix, for she also was at the castle. Madam la Marechale de Mirepoix is a person extremely cold, decent, and reserved, and did not, at least as she appeared to me, seem quite exempt from the natural haughtiness of the house of Lorraine. She had never shown me much attention. Whether, flattered by an honor I had not expected, I endeavored to enhance the value of it; or that there really was in the embrace a little of that commiseration natural to generous hearts, I found in her manner and look something energetical which penetrated me. I have since that time frequently thought that, acquainted with my destiny, she could not refrain from a momentary concern for my fate.

The marechal did not open his mouth; he was as pale as death. He would absolutely accompany me to the carriage which waited at the watering place. We crossed the garden without uttering a single word. I had a key of the park with which I opened the gate, and instead of putting it again into my pocket, I held it out to the marechal without saying a word. He took it with a vivacity which surprised me, and which has since frequently intruded itself upon my thoughts.

I have not in my whole life had a more bitter moment than that of this separation. Our embrace was long and silent: we both felt that this was our last adieu.

Between Barre and Montmorency I met, in a hired carriage, four men in black, who saluted me smilingly. According to what Theresa has since told me of the officers of justice, the hour of their arrival and their manner of behavior, I have no doubt, that they were the persons I met, especially as the order to arrest me, instead of being made out at seven o'clock, as I had been told it would, had not been given till noon. I had to go through Paris. A person in a cabriolet is not much concealed. I saw several persons in the streets who saluted me with an air of familiarity but I did not know one of them. The same evening I changed my route to pass Villeroy. At Lyons the couriers were conducted to the commandant. This might have been embarrassing to a man unwilling either to lie or change his name. I went with a letter from Madam de Luxembourg to beg M. de Villeroy would spare me this disagreeable ceremony. M. de Villeroy gave me a letter of which I made no use, because I did not go through Lyons. This letter still remains sealed up amongst my papers. The duke pressed me to sleep at Villeroy, but I preferred returning to the great road, which I did, and travelled two more stages the same evening.

My carriage was inconvenient and uncomfortable, and I was too much indisposed to go far in a day. My appearance besides was not sufficiently distinguished for me to be well served, and in France post-horses feel the whip in proportion to the favorable opinion the postillion has of his temporary master. By paying the guides generously thought I should make up for my shabby appearance: this was still worse. They took me for a worthless fellow who was carrying orders, and, for the first time in my life, travelling post. From that moment I had nothing but worn-out hacks, and I became the sport of the postillions. I ended as I should have begun by being patient, holding my tongue, and suffering myself to be driven as my conductors thought proper.

I had sufficient matter of reflection to prevent me from being weary on the road, employing myself in the recollection of that which had just happened; but this was neither my turn of mind nor the inclination of my heart. The facility with which I forget past evils, however recent they may be, is astonishing. The remembrance of them becomes feeble, and, sooner or later, effaced, in the inverse proportion to the greater degree of fear with which the approach of them inspires me. My cruel imagination, incessantly tormented by the apprehension of evils still at a distance, diverts my attention, and prevents me from recollecting those which are past. Caution is needless after the evil has happened, and it is time lost to give it a thought. I, in some measure, put a period to my misfortunes before they happen: the more I have suffered at their approach the greater is the facility with which I forget them; whilst, on the contrary, incessantly recollecting my past happiness, I, if I may so speak, enjoy it a second time at pleasure. It is to this happy disposition I am indebted for an exemption from that ill humor which ferments in a vindictive mind, by the continual remembrance of injuries received, and torments it with all the evil it wishes to do its enemy. Naturally choleric, I have felt all the force of anger, which in the first moments has sometimes been carried to fury, but a desire of vengeance never took root within me. I think too little of the offence to give myself much trouble about the offender. I think of the injury I have received from him on account of that he may do me a second time, but were I certain he would never do me another the first would be instantly forgotten. Pardon of offences is continually preached to us. I knew not whether or not my heart would be capable of overcoming its hatred, for it never yet felt that passion, and I give myself too little concern about my enemies to have the merit of pardoning them. I will not say to what a degree, in order to torment me, they torment themselves. I am at their mercy, they have unbounded power, and make of it what use they please. There is but one thing in which I set them at defiance: which is in tormenting themselves about me, to force me to give myself the least trouble about them.

The day after my departure I had so perfectly forgotten what had passed, the parliament, Madam de Pompadour, M. de Choiseul, Grimm, and D'Alembert, with their conspiracies, that had not it been for the necessary precautions during the journey I should have thought no more of them. The remembrance of one thing which supplied the place of all these was what I had read the evening before my departure. I recollect, also, the pastorals of Gessner, which his translator Hubert had sent me a little time before. These two ideas occurred to me so strongly, and were connected in such a manner in my mind, that I was determined to endeavor to unite them by treating after the manner of Gessner, the subject of the Levite of Ephraim. His pastoral and simple style appeared to me but little fitted to so horrid a subject, and it was not to be presumed the situation I was then in would furnish me with such ideas as would enliven it. However, I attempted the thing, solely to amuse myself in my cabriolet, and without the least hope of success. I had no sooner begun than I was astonished at the liveliness of my ideas, and the facility with which I expressed them. In three days I composed the first three cantos of the little poem I finished at Motiers, and I am certain of not having done anything in my life in which there is a more interesting mildness of manners, a greater brilliancy of coloring, more simple delineations, greater exactness of proportion, or more antique simplicity in general, notwithstanding the horror of the subject which in itself is abominable, so that besides every other merit I had still that of a difficulty conquered. If the Levite of Ephraim be not the best of my works, it will ever be that most esteemed. I have never read, nor shall I ever read it again without feeling interiorly the applause of a heart without acrimony, which, far from being embittered by misfortunes, is susceptible of consolation in the midst of them, and finds within itself a resource by which they are counterbalanced. Assemble the great philosophers, so superior in their books to adversity which they do not suffer, place them in a situation similar to mine, and, in the first moments of the indignation of their injured honor, give them a like work to compose, and it will be seen in what manner they will acquit themselves of the task.

When I set of from Montmorency to go into Switzerland, I had resolved to stop at Yverdon, at the house of my old friend Roguin, who had several years before retired to that place, and had invited me to go and see him. I was told Lyons was not the direct road, for which reason I avoided going through it. But I was obliged to pass through Besancon, a fortified town, and consequently subject to the same inconvenience. I took it into my head to turn about and to go to Salins, under the pretense of going to see M. de Marian, the nephew of M. Dupin, who had an employment at the salt-works, and formerly had given me many invitations to his house. The expedition succeeded: M. de Marian was not in the way, and, happily, not being obliged to stop, I continued my journey without being spoken to by anybody.

The moment I was within the territory of Berne, I ordered the postillion to stop; I got out of my carriage, prostrated myself, kissed the ground, and exclaimed in a transport of joy: "Heaven, the protector of virtue be praised, I touch a land of liberty!" Thus blind and unsuspecting in my hopes, have I ever been passionately attached to that which was to make me unhappy. The man thought me mad. I got into the carriage, and a few hours afterwards I had the pure and lively satisfaction of feeling myself pressed within the arms of the respectable Rougin. Ah! let me breathe for a moment with this worthy host! It is necessary I should gain strength and courage before I proceed further. I shall soon find that in my way which will give employment to them both. It is not without reason that I have been diffuse in the recital of all the circumstances I have been able to recollect. Although they may seem uninteresting, yet, when once the thread of the conspiracy is got hold of, they may throw some light upon the progress of it; and, for instance, without giving the first idea of the problem I am going to propose, afford some aid in solving it.

Suppose that, for the execution of the conspiracy of which I was the object, my absence was absolutely necessary, everything tending to that effect could not have happened otherwise than it did; but if without suffering myself to be alarmed by the nocturnal embassy of Madam de Luxembourg, I had continued to hold out, and, instead of remaining at the castle, had returned to my bed and quietly slept until morning, should I have equally had an order of arrest made out against me? This is a great question upon which the solution of many others depends, and for the examination of it, the hour of the comminatory decree of arrest, and that of the real decree may be remarked to advantage. A rude but sensible example of the importance of the least detail in the exposition of facts, of which the secret causes are sought for to discover them by induction.







 

BOOK XII.



 

With this book begins the work of darkness, in which I have for the last eight years been enveloped, though it has not by any means been possible for me to penetrate the dreadful obscurity. In the abyss of evil into which I am plunged, I feel the blows reach me, without perceiving the hand by which they are directed or the means it employs. Shame and misfortune seem of themselves to fall upon me. When in the affliction of my heart I suffer a groan to escape me, I have the appearance of a man who complains without reason, and the authors of my ruin have the inconceivable art of rendering the public unknown to itself, or without its perceiving the effects of it, accomplice in their conspiracy. Therefore, in my narrative of circumstances relative to myself, of the treatment I have received, and all that has happened to me, I shall not be able to indicate the hand by which the whole has been directed, nor assign the causes, while I state the effect. The primitive causes are all given in the preceding books; and everything in which I am interested, and all the secret motives pointed out. But it is impossible for me to explain, even by conjecture, that in which the different causes are combined to operate the strange events of my life. If amongst my readers one even of them should be generous enough to wish to examine the mystery to the bottom, and discover the truth, let him carefully read over a second time the three preceding books, afterwards at each fact he shall find stated in the books which follow, let him gain such information as is within his reach, and go back from intrigue to intrigue, and from agent to agent, until he comes to the first mover of all. I know where his researches will terminate; but in the meantime I lose myself in the crooked and obscure subterraneous path through which his steps must be directed.

During my stay at Yverdon, I became acquainted with all the family of my friend Roguin, and amongst others with his niece, Madam Boy de la Tour, and her daughters, whose father, as I think I have already observed, I formerly knew at Lyons. She was at Yverdon, upon a visit to her uncle and his sister; her eldest daughter, about fifteen years of age, delighted me by her fine understanding and excellent disposition. I conceived the most tender friendship for the mother and the daughter. The latter was destined by M. Rougin to the colonel, his nephew, a man already verging towards the decline of life, and who showed me marks of great esteem and affection; but although the heart of the uncle was set upon this marriage, which was much wished for by the nephew also, and I was greatly desirous to promote the satisfaction of both, the great disproportion of age, and the extreme repugnancy of the young lady, made me join with the mother in postponing the ceremony, and the affair was at length broken off. The colonel has since married Mademoiselle Dillan, his relation, beautiful, and amiable as my heart could wish, and who has made him the happiest of husbands and fathers. However, M. Rougin has not yet forgotten my opposition to his wishes. My consolation is in the certainty of having discharged to him, and his family, the duty of the most pure friendship, which does not always consist in being agreeable, but in advising for the best.

I did not remain long in doubt about the reception which awaited me at Geneva, had I chosen to return to that city. My book was burned there, and on the 18th of June, nine days after an order to arrest me had been given at Paris, another to the same effect was determined upon by the republic. So many incredible absurdities were stated in this second decree, in which the ecclesiastical edict was formally violated, that I refused to believe the first accounts I heard of it, and when these were well confirmed, I trembled lest so manifest an infraction of every law, beginning with that of common-sense, should create the greatest confusion in the city. I was, however, relieved from my fears; everything remained quiet. If there was any rumor amongst the populace, it was unfavorable to me, and I was publicly treated by all the gossips and pedants like a scholar threatened with a flogging for not having said his catechism.

These two decrees were the signal for the cry of malediction, raised against me with unexampled fury in every part of Europe. All the gazettes, journals and pamphlets, rang the alarm-bell. The French especially, that mild, generous, and polished people, who so much pique themselves upon their attention and proper condescension to the unfortunate, instantly forgetting their favorite virtues, signalized themselves by the number and violence of the outrages with which, while each seemed to strive who should afflict me most, they overwhelmed me. I was impious, an atheist, a madman, a wild beast, a wolf. The continuator of the Journal of Trevoux was guilty of a piece of extravagance in attacking my pretended Lycanthropy, which was by no means proof of his own. A stranger would have thought an author in Paris was afraid of incurring the animadversion of the police, by publishing a work of any kind without cramming into it some insult to me. I sought in vain the cause of this unanimous animosity, and was almost tempted to believe the world was gone mad. What! said I to myself, the editor of the 'Perpetual Peace', spread discord; the author of the 'Confession of the Savoyard Vicar', impious; the writer of the 'New Eloisa', a wolf; the author of 'Emilius', a madman! Gracious God! what then should I have been had I published the 'Treatise de l'Esprit', or any similar work? And yet, in the storm raised against the author of that book, the public, far from joining the cry of his persecutors, revenged him of them by eulogium. Let his book and mine, the receptions the two works met with, and the treatment of the two authors in the different countries of Europe, be compared; and for the difference let causes satisfactory to, a man of sense be found, and I will ask no more.

I found the residence of Yverdon so agreeable that I resolved to yield to the solicitations of M. Roguin and his family, who, were desirous of keeping me there. M. de Moiry de Gingins, bailiff of that city, encouraged me by his goodness to remain within his jurisdiction. The colonel pressed me so much to accept for my habitation a little pavilion he had in his house between the court and the garden, that I complied with his request, and he immediately furnished it with everything necessary for my little household establishment.

The banneret Roguin, one of the persons who showed me the most assiduous attention, did not leave me for an instant during the whole day. I was much flattered by his civilities, but they sometimes importuned me. The day on which I was to take possession of my new habitation was already fixed, and I had written to Theresa to come to me, when suddenly a storm was raised against me in Berne, which was attributed to the devotees, but I have never been able to learn the cause of it. The senate, excited against me, without my knowing by whom, did not seem disposed to suffer me to remain undisturbed in my retreat. The moment the bailiff was informed of the new fermentation, he wrote in my favor to several of the members of the government, reproaching them with their blind intolerance, and telling them it was shameful to refuse to a man of merit, under oppression, the asylum which such a numerous banditti found in their states. Sensible people were of opinion the warmth of his reproaches had rather embittered than softened the minds of the magistrates. However this may be, neither his influence nor eloquence could ward off the blow. Having received an intimation of the order he was to signify to me, he gave me a previous communication of it; and that I might wait its arrival, I resolved to set off the next day. The difficulty was to know where to go, finding myself shut out from Geneva and all France, and foreseeing that in the affair each state would be anxious to imitate its neighbor.

Madam Boy de la Tour proposed to me to go and reside in an uninhabited but completely furnished house, which belonged to her son in the village of Motiers, in the Val de Travers, in the county of Neuchatel. I had only a mountain to cross to arrive at it. The offer came the more opportunely, as in the states of the King of Prussia I should naturally be sheltered from all persecution, at least religion could not serve as a pretext for it. But a secret difficulty: improper for me at that moment to divulge, had in it that which was very sufficient to make me hesitate. The innnate love of justice, to which my heart was constantly subject, added to my secret inclination to France, had inspired me with an aversion to the King of Prussia, who by his maxims and conduct, seemed to tread under foot all respect for natural law and every duty of humanity. Amongst the framed engravings, with which I had decorated my alcove at Montmorency, was a portrait of this prince, and under it a distich, the last line of which was as follows:

Il pense en philosophe, et se conduit en roi.

[He thinks like a philosopher, and acts like a king.]

This verse, which from any other pen would have been a fine eulogium, from mine had an unequivocal meaning, and too clearly explained the verse by which it was preceded. The distich had been, read by everybody who came to see me, and my visitors were numerous. The Chevalier de Lorenzy had even written it down to give it to D'Alembert, and I had no doubt but D' Alembert had taken care to make my court with it to the prince. I had also aggravated this first fault by a passage in 'Emilius', where under the name of Adrastus, king of the Daunians, it was clearly seen whom I had in view, and the remark had not escaped critics, because Madam de Boufflers had several times mentioned the subject to me. I was, therefore, certain of being inscribed in red ink in the registers of the King of Prussia, and besides, supposing his majesty to have the principles I had dared to attribute to him, he, for that reason, could not but be displeased with my writings and their author; for everybody knows the worthless part of mankind, and tyrants have never failed to conceive the most mortal hatred against me, solely on reading my works, without being acquainted with my person.

However, I had presumption enough to depend upon his mercy, and was far from thinking I ran much risk. I knew none but weak men were slaves to the base passions, and that these had but little power over strong minds, such as I had always thought his to be. According to his art of reigning, I thought he could not but show himself magnanimous on this occasion, and that being so in fact was not above his character. I thought a mean and easy vengeance would not for a moment counterbalance his love of glory, and putting myself in his place, his taking advantage of circumstances to overwhelm with the weight of his generosity a man who had dared to think ill of him, did not appear to me impossible. I therefore went to settle at Motiers, with a confidence of which I imagined he would feel all the value, and said to myself: When Jean Jacques rises to the elevation of Coriolanus, will Frederick sink below the General of the Volsci?

Colonel Roguin insisted on crossing the mountain with me, and installing me at Moiters. A sister-in-law to Madam Boy de la Tour, named Madam Girardier, to whom the house in which I was going to live was very convenient, did not see me arrive there with pleasure; however, she with a good grace put me in possession of my lodgings, and I eat with her until Theresa came, and my little establishment was formed.

Perceiving at my departure from Montmorency I should in future be a fugitive upon the earth, I hesitated about permitting her to come to me and partake of the wandering life to which I saw myself condemned. I felt the nature of our relation to each other was about to change, and that what until then had on my part been favor and friendship, would in future become so on hers. If her attachment was proof against my misfortunes, to this I knew she must become a victim, and that her grief would add to my pain. Should my disgrace weaken her affections, she would make me consider her constancy as a sacrifice, and instead of feeling the pleasure I had in dividing with her my last morsel of bread, she would see nothing but her own merit in following me wherever I was driven by fate.

I must say everything; I have never concealed the vices either of my poor mamma or myself; I cannot be more favorable to Theresa, and whatever pleasure I may have in doing honor to a person who is dear to me, I will not disguise the truth, although it may discover in her an error, if an involuntary change of the affections of the heart be one. I had long perceived hers to grow cooler towards me, and that she was no longer for me what she had been in our younger days. Of this I was the more sensible, as for her I was what I had always been. I fell into the same inconvenience as that of which I had felt the effect with mamma, and this effect was the same now I was with Theresa. Let us not seek for perfection, which nature never produces; it would be the same thing with any other woman. The manner in which I had disposed of my children, however reasonable it had appeared to me, had not always left my heart at ease. While writing my 'Treatise on Education', I felt I had neglected duties with which it was not possible to dispense. Remorse at length became so strong that it almost forced from me a public confession of my fault at the beginning of my 'Emilius', and the passage is so clear, that it is astonishing any person should, after reading it, have had the courage to reproach me with my error. My situation was however still the same, or something worse, by the animosity of my enemies, who sought to find me in a fault. I feared a relapse, and unwilling to run the risk, I preferred abstinence to exposing Theresa to a similar mortification. I had besides remarked that a connection with women was prejudicial to my health; this double reason made me form resolutions to which I had but sometimes badly kept, but for the last three or four years I had more constantly adhered to them. It was in this interval I had remarked Theresa's coolness; she had the same attachment to me from duty, but not the least from love. Our intercourse naturally became less agreeable, and I imagined that, certain of the continuation of my cares wherever she might be, she would choose to stay at Paris rather than to wander with me. Yet she had given such signs of grief at our parting, had required of me such positive promises that we should meet again, and, since my departure, had expressed to the Prince de Conti and M. de Luxembourg so strong a desire of it, that, far from having the courage to speak to her of separation, I scarcely had enough to think of it myself; and after having felt in my heart how impossible it was for me to do without her,. all I thought of afterwards was to recall her to me as soon as possible. I wrote to her to this effect, and she came. It was scarcely two months since I had quitted her; but it was our first separation after a union of so many years. We had both of us felt it most cruelly. What emotion in our first embrace! O how delightful are the tears of tenderness and joy! How does my heart drink them up! Why have I not had reason to shed them more frequently?

On my arrival at Motiers I had written to Lord Keith, marshal of Scotland and governor of Neuchatel, informing him of my retreat into the states of his Prussian majesty, and requesting of him his protection. He answered me with his well-known generosity, and in the manner I had expected from him. He invited me to his house. I went with M. Martinet, lord of the manor of Val de Travers, who was in great favor with his excellency. The venerable appearance of this illustrious and virtuous Scotchman, powerfully affected my heart, and from that instant began between him and me the strong attachment, which on my part still remains the same, and would be so on his, had not the traitors, who have deprived me of all the consolation of life, taken advantage of my absence to deceive his old age and depreciate me in his esteem.

George Keith, hereditary marshal of Scotland, and brother to the famous General Keith, who lived gloriously and died in the bed of honor, had quitted his country at a very early age, and was proscribed on account of his attachment to the house of Stuart. With that house, however, he soon became disgusted with the unjust and tyrannical spirit he remarked in the ruling character of the Stuart family. He lived a long time in Spain, the climate of which pleased him exceedingly, and at length attached himself, as his brother had done, to the service of the King of Prussia, who knew men and gave them the reception they merited. His majesty received a great return for this reception, in the services rendered him by Marshal Keith, and by what was infinitely more precious, the sincere friendship of his lordship. The great mind of this worthy man, haughty and republican, could stoop to no other yoke than that of friendship, but to this it was so obedient, that with very different maxims he saw nothing but Frederic the moment he became attached to him. The king charged the marshal with affairs of importance, sent him to Paris, to Spain, and at length, seeing he was already advanced in years, let him retire with the government of Neuchatel, and the delightful employment of passing there the remainder of his life in rendering the inhabitants happy.

The people of Neuchatel, whose manners are trivial, know not how to distinguish solid merit, and suppose wit to consist in long discourses. When they saw a sedate man of simple manners appear amongst them, they mistook his simplicity for haughtiness, his candor for rusticity, his laconism for stupidity, and rejected his benevolent cares, because, wishing to be useful, and not being a sycophant, he knew not how to flatter people he did not esteem. In the ridiculous affair of the minister Petitpierre, who was displaced by his colleagues, for having been unwilling they should be eternally damned, my lord, opposing the usurpations of the ministers, saw the whole country of which he took the part, rise up against him, and when I arrived there the stupid murmur had not entirely subsided. He passed for a man influenced by the prejudices with which he was inspired by others, and of all the imputations brought against him it was the most devoid of truth. My first sentiment on seeing this venerable old man, was that of tender commiseration, on account of his extreme leanness of body, years having already left him little else but skin and bone; but when I raised my eyes to his animated, open, noble countenance, I felt a respect, mingled with confidence, which absorbed every other sentiment. He answered the very short compliment I made him when I first came into his presence by speaking of something else, as if I had already been a week in his house. He did not bid us sit down. The stupid chatelain, the lord of the manor, remained standing. For my part I at first sight saw in the fine and piercing eye of his lordship something so conciliating that, feeling myself entirely at ease, I without ceremony, took my seat by his side upon the sofa. By the familiarity of his manner I immediately perceived the liberty I took gave him pleasure, and that he said to himself: This is not a Neuchatelois.

Singular effect of the similarity of characters! At an age when the heart loses its natural warmth, that of this good old man grew warm by his attachment to me to a degree which surprised everybody. He came to see me at Motiers under the pretence of quail shooting, and stayed there two days without touching a gun. We conceived such a friendship for each other that we knew not how to live separate; the castle of Colombier, where he passed the summer, was six leagues from Motiers; I went there at least once a fortnight, and made a stay of twenty-four hours, and then returned like a pilgrim with my heart full of affection for my host. The emotion I had formerly experienced in my journeys from the Hermitage to Raubonne was certainly very different, but it was not more pleasing than that with which I approached Columbier.

What tears of tenderness have I shed when on the road to it, while thinking of the paternal goodness, amiable virtues, and charming philosophy of this respectable old man! I called him father, and he called me son. These affectionate names give, in some measure, an idea of the attachment by which we were united, but by no means that of the want we felt of each other, nor of our continual desire to be together. He would absolutely give me an apartment at the castle of Columbier, and for a long time pressed me to take up my residence in that in which I lodged during my visits. I at length told him I was more free and at my ease in my own house, and that I had rather continue until the end of my life to come and see him. He approved of my candor, and never afterwards spoke to me on the subject. Oh, my good lord! Oh, my worthy father! How is my heart still moved when I think of your goodness? Ah, barbarous wretches! how deeply did they wound me when they deprived me of your friendship? But no, great man, you are and ever will be the same for me, who am still the same. You have been deceived, but you are not changed. My lord marechal is not without faults; he is a man of wisdom, but he is still a man. With the greatest penetration, the nicest discrimination, and the most profound knowledge of men, he sometimes suffers himself to be deceived, and never recovers his error. His temper is very singular and foreign to his general turn of mind. He seems to forget the people he sees every day, and thinks of them in a moment when they least expect it; his attention seems ill-timed; his presents are dictated by caprice and not by propriety. He gives or sends in an instant whatever comes into his head, be the value of it ever so small. A young Genevese, desirous of entering into the service of Prussia, made a personal application to him; his lordship, instead of giving him a letter, gave him a little bag of peas, which he desired him to carry to the king. On receiving this singular recommendation his majesty gave a commission to the bearer of it. These elevated geniuses have between themselves a language which the vulgar will never understand. The whimsical manner of my lord marechal, something like the caprice of a fine woman, rendered him still more interesting to me. I was certain, and afterwards had proofs, that it had not the least influence over his sentiments, nor did it affect the cares prescribed by friendship on serious occasions, yet in his manner of obliging there is the same singularity as in his manners in general. Of this I will give one instance relative to a matter of no great importance. The journey from Motiers to Colombier being too long for me to perform in one day, I commonly divided it by setting off after dinner and sleeping at Brot, which is half way. The landlord of the house where I stopped, named Sandoz, having to solicit at Berlin a favor of importance to him, begged I would request his excellency to ask it in his behalf. "Most willingly," said I, and took him with me. I left him in the antechamber, and mentioned the matter to his lordship, who returned me no answer. After passing with him the whole morning, I saw as I crossed the hall to go to dinner, poor Sandoz, who was fatigued to death with waiting. Thinking the governor had forgotten what I had said to him, I again spoke of the business before we sat down to table, but still received no answer. I thought this manner of making me feel I was importunate rather severe, and, pitying the poor man in waiting, held my tongue. On my return the next day I was much surprised at the thanks he returned me for the good dinner his excellency had given him after receiving his paper. Three weeks afterwards his lordship sent him the rescript he had solicited, dispatched by the minister, and signed by the king, and this without having said a word either to myself or Sandoz concerning the business, about which I thought he did not wish to give himself the least concern.

I could wish incessantly to speak of George Keith; from him proceeds my recollection of the last happy moments I have enjoyed: the rest of my life, since our separation, has been passed in affliction and grief of heart. The remembrance of this is so melancholy and confused that it was impossible for me to observe the least order in what I write, so that in future I shall be under the necessity of stating facts without giving them a regular arrangement.

I was soon relieved from my inquietude arising from the uncertainty of my asylum, by the answer from his majesty to the lord marshal, in whom, as it will readily be believed, I had found an able advocate. The king not only approved of what he had done, but desired him, for I must relate everything, to give me twelve louis. The good old man, rather embarrassed by the commission, and not knowing how to execute it properly, endeavored to soften the insult by transforming the money into provisions, and writing to me that he had received orders to furnish me with wood and coal to begin my little establishment; he moreover added, and perhaps from himself, that his majesty would willingly build me a little house, such a one as I should choose to have, provided I would fix upon the ground. I was extremely sensible of the kindness of the last offer, which made me forget the weakness of the other. Without accepting either, I considered Frederic as my benefactor and protector, and became so sincerely attached to him, that from that moment I interested myself as much in his glory as until then I had thought his successes unjust. At the peace he made soon after, I expressed my joy by an illumination in a very good taste: it was a string of garlands, with which I decorated the house I inhabited, and in which, it is true, I had the vindictive haughtiness to spend almost as much money as he had wished to give me. The peace ratified, I thought as he was at the highest pinnacle of military and political fame, he would think of acquiring that of another nature, by reanimating his states, encouraging in them commerce and agriculture, creating a new soil, covering it with a new people, maintaining peace amongst his neighbors, and becoming the arbitrator, after having been the terror, of Europe. He was in a situation to sheath his sword without danger, certain that no sovereign would oblige him again to draw it. Perceiving he did not disarm, I was afraid he would profit but little by the advantages he had gained, and that he would be great only by halves. I dared to write to him upon the subject, and with a familiarity of a nature to please men of his character, conveying to him the sacred voice of truth, which but few kings are worthy to hear. The liberty I took was a secret between him and myself. I did not communicate it even to the lord marshal, to whom I sent my letter to the king sealed up. His lordship forwarded my dispatch without asking what it contained. His majesty returned me no answer and the marshal going soon after to Berlin, the king told him he had received from me a scolding. By this I understood my letter had been ill received, and the frankness of my zeal had been mistaken for the rusticity of a pedant. In fact, this might possibly be the case; perhaps I did not say what was necessary, nor in the manner proper to the occasion. All I can answer for is the sentiment which induced me to take up the pen.

Shortly after my establishment at Motiers, Travers having every possible assurance that I should be suffered to remain there in peace, I took the Armenian habit. This was not the first time I had thought of doing it. I had formerly had the same intention, particularly at Montmorency, where the frequent use of probes often obliging me to keep my chamber, made me more clearly perceive the advantages of a long robe. The convenience of an Armenian tailor, who frequently came to see a relation he had at Montmorency, almost tempted me to determine on taking this new dress, troubling myself but little about what the world would say of it. Yet, before I concluded about the matter, I wished to take the opinion of M. de Luxembourg, who immediately advised me to follow my inclination. I therefore procured a little Armenian wardrobe, but on account of the storm raised against me, I was induced to postpone making use of it until I should enjoy tranquillity, and it was not until some months afterwards that, forced by new attacks of my disorder, I thought I could properly, and without the least risk, put on my new dress at Motiers, especially after having consulted the pastor of the place, who told me I might wear it even in the temple without indecency. I then adopted the waistcoat, caffetan, fur bonnet, and girdle; and after having in this dress attended divine service, I saw no impropriety in going in it to visit his lordship. His excellency in seeing me clothed in this manner made me no other compliment than that which consisted in saying "Salaam aliakum," i.e., "Peace be with you;" the common Turkish salutation; after which nothing more was said upon the subject, and I continued to wear my new dress.

Having quite abandoned literature, all I now thought of was leading a quiet life, and one as agreeable as I could make it. When alone, I have never felt weariness of mind, not even in complete inaction; my imagination filling up every void, was sufficient to keep up my attention. The inactive babbling of a private circle, where, seated opposite to each other, they who speak move nothing but the tongue, is the only thing I have ever been unable to support. When walking and rambling about there is some satisfaction in conversation; the feet and eyes do something; but to hear people with their arms across speak of the weather, of the biting of flies, or what is still worse, compliment each other, is to me an insupportable torment. That I might not live like a savage, I took it into my head to learn to make laces. Like the women, I carried my cushion with me, when I went to make visits, or sat down to work at my door, and chatted with passers-by. This made me the better support the emptiness of babbling, and enabled me to pass my time with my female neighbors without weariness. Several of these were very amiable and not devoid of wit. One in particular, Isabella d'Ivernois, daughter of the attorney-general of Neuchatel, I found so estimable as to induce me to enter with her into terms of particular friendship, from which she derived some advantage by the useful advice I gave her, and the services she received from me on occasions of importance, so that now a worthy and virtuous mother of a family, she is perhaps indebted to me for her reason, her husband, her life, and happiness. On my part, I received from her gentle consolation, particularly during a melancholy winter, through out the whole of which when my sufferings were most cruel, she came to pass with Theresa and me long evenings, which she made very short for us by her agreeable conversation, and our mutual openness of heart. She called me papa, and I called her daughter, and these names, which we still give to each other, will, I hope, continue to be as dear to her as they are to me. That my laces might be of some utility, I gave them to my young female friends at their marriages, upon condition of their suckling their children; Isabella's eldest sister had one upon these terms, and well deserved it by her observance of them; Isabella herself also received another, which, by intention she as fully merited. She has not been happy enough to be able to pursue her inclination. When I sent the laces to the two sisters, I wrote each of them a letter; the first has been shown about in the world; the second has not the same celebrity: friendship proceeds with less noise.

Amongst the connections I made in my neighborhood, of which I will not enter into a detail, I must mention that with Colonel Pury, who had a house upon the mountain, where he came to pass the summer. I was not anxious to become acquainted with him, because I knew he was upon bad terms at court, and with the lord marshal, whom he did not visit. Yet, as he came to see me, and showed me much attention, I was under the necessity of returning his visit; this was repeated, and we sometimes dined with each other. At his house I became acquainted with M. du Perou, and afterwards too intimately connected with him to pass his name over in silence.

M. du Perou was an American, son to a commandant of Surinam, whose successor, M. le Chambrier, of Neuchatel, married his widow. Left a widow a second time, she came with her son to live in the country of her second husband.

Du Perou, an only son, very rich, and tenderly beloved by his mother, had been carefully brought up, and his education was not lost upon him. He had acquired much knowledge, a taste for the arts, and piqued himself upon his having cultivated his rational faculty: his Dutch appearance, yellow complexion, and silent and close disposition, favored this opinion. Although young, he was already deaf and gouty. This rendered his motions deliberate and very grave, and although he was fond of disputing, he in general spoke but little because his hearing was bad. I was struck with his exterior, and said to myself, this is a thinker, a man of wisdom, such a one as anybody would be happy to have for a friend. He frequently addressed himself to me without paying the least compliment, and this strengthened the favorable opinion I had already formed of him. He said but little to me of myself or my books, and still less of himself; he was not destitute of ideas, and what he said was just. This justness and equality attracted my regard. He had neither the elevation of mind, nor the discrimination of the lord marshal, but he had all his simplicity: this was still representing him in something. I did not become infatuated with him, but he acquired my attachment from esteem; and by degrees this esteem led to friendship, and I totally forgot the objection I made to the Baron Holbach: that he was too rich.

For a long time I saw but little of Du Perou, because I did not go to Neuchatel, and he came but once a year to the mountain of Colonel Pury. Why did I not go to Neuchatel? This proceeded from a childishness upon which I must not be silent.

Although protected by the King of Prussia and the lord marshal, while I avoided persecution in my asylum, I did not avoid the murmurs of the public, of municipal magistrates and ministers. After what had happened in France it became fashionable to insult me; these people would have been afraid to seem to disapprove of what my persecutors had done by not imitating them. The 'classe' of Neuchatel, that is, the ministers of that city, gave the impulse, by endeavoring to move the council of state against me. This attempt not having succeeded, the ministers addressed themselves to the municipal magistrate, who immediately prohibited my book, treating me on all occasions with but little civility, and saying, that had I wished to reside in the city I should not have been suffered to do it. They filled their Mercury with absurdities and the most stupid hypocrisy, which, although, it makes every man of sense laugh, animated the people against me. This, however, did not prevent them from setting forth that I ought to be very grateful for their permitting me to live at Motiers, where they had no authority; they would willingly have measured me the air by the pint, provided I had paid for it a dear price. They would have it that I was obliged to them for the protection the king granted me in spite of the efforts they incessantly made to deprive me of it. Finally, failing of success, after having done me all the injury they could, and defamed me to the utmost of their power, they made a merit of their impotence, by boasting of their goodness in suffering me to stay in their country. I ought to have laughed at their vain efforts, but I was foolish enough to be vexed at them, and had the weakness to be unwilling to go to Neuchatel, to which I yielded for almost two years, as if it was not doing too much honor to such wretches, to pay attention to their proceedings, which, good or bad, could not be imputed to them, because they never act but from a foreign impulse. Besides, minds without sense or knowledge, whose objects of esteem are influence, power and money, and far from imagining even that some respect is due to talents, and that it is dishonorable to injure and insult them.

A certain mayor of a village, who from sundry malversations had been deprived of his office, said to the lieutenant of Val de Travers, the husband of Isabella: "I am told this Rousseau has great wit,—bring him to me that I may see whether he has or not." The disapprobation of such a man ought certainly to have no effect upon those on whom it falls.

After the treatment I had received at Paris, Geneva, Berne, and even at Neuchatel, I expected no favor from the pastor of this place. I had, however, been recommended to him by Madam Boy de la Tour, and he had given me a good reception; but in that country where every new-comer is indiscriminately flattered, civilities signify but little. Yet, after my solemn union with the reformed church, and living in a Protestant country, I could not, without failing in my engagements, as well as in the duty of a citizen, neglect the public profession of the religion into which I had entered; I therefore attended divine service. On the other hand, had I gone to the holy table, I was afraid of exposing myself to a refusal, and it was by no means probable, that after the tumult excited at Geneva by the council, and at Neuchatel by the classe (the ministers), he would, without difficulty administer to me the sacrament in his church. The time of communion approaching, I wrote to M. de Montmollin, the minister, to prove to him my desire of communicating, and declaring myself heartily united to the Protestant church; I also told him, in order to avoid disputing upon articles of faith, that I would not hearken to any particular explanation of the point of doctrine. After taking these steps I made myself easy, not doubting but M. de Montmollin would refuse to admit me without the preliminary discussion to which I refused to consent, and that in this manner everything would be at an end without any fault of mine. I was deceived: when I least expected anything of the kind, M. de Montmollin came to declare to me not only that he admitted me to the communion under the condition which I had proposed, but that he and the elders thought themselves much honored by my being one of their flock. I never in my whole life felt greater surprise or received from it more consolation. Living always alone and unconnected, appeared to me a melancholy destiny, especially in adversity. In the midst of so many proscriptions and persecutions, I found it extremely agreeable to be able to say to myself: I am at least amongst my brethren; and I went to the communion with an emotion of heart, and my eyes suffused with tears of tenderness, which perhaps were the most agreeable preparation to Him to whose table I was drawing near.

Sometime afterwards his lordship sent me a letter from Madam de Boufflers, which he had received, at least I presumed so, by means of D'Alembert, who was acquainted with the marechal. In this letter, the first this lady had written to me after my departure from Montmorency, she rebuked me severely for having written to M. de Montmollin, and especially for having communicated. I the less understood what she meant by her reproof, as after my journey to Geneva, I had constantly declared myself a Protestant, and had gone publicly to the Hotel de Hollande without incurring the least censure from anybody. It appeared to me diverting enough, that Madam de Boufflers should wish to direct my conscience in matters of religion. However, as I had no doubt of the purity of her intention, I was not offended by this singular sally, and I answered her without anger, stating to her my reasons.

Calumnies in print were still industriously circulated, and their benign authors reproached the different powers with treating me too mildly. For my part, I let them say and write what they pleased, without giving myself the least concern about the matter. I was told there was a censure from the Sorbonne, but this I could not believe. What could the Sorbonne have to do in the matter? Did the doctors wish to know to a certainty that I was not a Catholic? Everybody already knew I was not one. Were they desirous of proving I was not a good Calvinist? Of what consequence was this to them? It was taking upon themselves a singular care, and becoming the substitutes of our ministers. Before I saw this publication I thought it was distributed in the name of the Sorbonne, by way of mockery: and when I had read it I was convinced this was the case. But when at length there was not a doubt of its authenticity, all I could bring myself to believe was, that the learned doctors would have been better placed in a madhouse than they were in the college.

I was more affected by another publication, because it came from a man for whom I always had an esteem, and whose constancy I admired, though I pitied his blindness. I mean the mandatory letter against me by the archbishop of Paris. I thought to return an answer to it was a duty I owed myself. This I felt I could do without derogating from my dignity; the case was something similar to that of the King of Poland. I had always detested brutal disputes, after the manner of Voltaire. I never combat but with dignity, and before I deign to defend myself I must be certain that he by whom I am attacked will not dishonor my retort. I had no doubt but this letter was fabricated by the Jesuits, and although they were at that time in distress, I discovered in it their old principle of crushing the wretched. I was therefore at liberty to follow my ancient maxim, by honoring the titulary author, and refuting the work which I think I did completely.

I found my residence at Motiers very agreeable, and nothing was wanting to determine me to end my days there, but a certainty of the means of subsistence. Living is dear in that neighborhood, and all my old projects had been overturned by the dissolution of my household arrangements at Montmorency, the establishment of others, the sale or squandering of my furniture, and the expenses incurred since my departure. The little capital which remained to me daily diminished. Two or three years were sufficient to consume the remainder without my having the means of renewing it, except by again engaging in literary pursuits: a pernicious profession which I had already abandoned. Persuaded that everything which concerned me would change, and that the public, recovered from its frenzy, would make my persecutors blush, all my endeavors tended to prolong my resources until this happy revolution should take place, after which I should more at my ease choose a resource from amongst those which might offer themselves. To this effect I took up my Dictionary of Music, which ten years' labor had so far advanced as to leave nothing wanting to it but the last corrections. My books which I had lately received, enabled me to finish this work; my papers sent me by the same conveyance, furnished me with the means of beginning my memoirs to which I was determined to give my whole attention. I began by transcribing the letters into a book, by which my memory might be guided in the order of fact and time. I had already selected those I intended to keep for this purpose, and for ten years the series was not interrupted. However, in preparing them for copying I found an interruption at which I was surprised. This was for almost six months, from October, 1756, to March following. I recollected having put into my selection a number of letters from Diderot, De Leyre, Madam d' Epinay, Madam de Chenonceaux, etc., which filled up the void and were missing. What was become of them? Had any person laid their hands upon my papers whilst they remained in the Hotel de Luxembourg? This was not conceivable, and I had seen M. de Luxembourg take the key of the chamber in which I had deposited them. Many letters from different ladies, and all those from Diderot, were without date, on which account I had been under the necessity of dating them from memory before they could be put in order, and thinking I might have committed errors, I again looked them over for the purpose of seeing whether or not I could find those which ought to fill up the void. This experiment did not succeed. I perceived the vacancy to be real, and that the letters had certainly been taken away. By whom and for what purpose? This was what I could not comprehend. These letters, written prior to my great quarrels, and at the time of my first enthusiasm in the composition of 'Eloisa', could not be interesting to any person. They contained nothing more than cavillings by Diderot, jeerings from De Leyre, assurances of friendship from M. de Chenonceaux, and even Madam d'Epinay, with whom I was then upon the best of terms. To whom were these letters of consequence? To what use were they to be put? It was not until seven years afterwards that I suspected the nature of the theft. The deficiency being no longer doubtful, I looked over my rough drafts to see whether or not it was the only one. I found several, which on account of the badness of my memory, made me suppose others in the multitude of my papers. Those I remarked were that of the 'Morale Sensitive', and the extract of the adventures of Lord Edward. The last, I confess, made me suspect Madam de Luxembourg. La Roche, her valet de chambre, had sent me the papers, and I could think of nobody but herself to whom this fragment could be of consequence; but what concern could the other give her, any more than the rest of the letters missing, with which, even with evil intentions, nothing to my prejudice could be done, unless they were falsified? As for the marechal, with whose friendship for me, and invariable integrity, I was perfectly acquainted, I never could suspect him for a moment. The most reasonable supposition, after long tormenting my mind in endeavoring to discover the author of the theft, that which imputed it to D'Alembert, who, having thrust himself into the company of Madam de Luxembourg, might have found means to turn over these papers, and take from amongst them such manuscripts and letters as he might have thought proper, either for the purpose of endeavoring to embroil me with the writer of them, or to appropriate those he should find useful to his own private purposes. I imagined that, deceived by the title of Morale Sensitive, he might have supposed it to be the plan of a real treatise upon materialism, with which he would have armed himself against me in a manner easy to be imagined. Certain that he would soon be undeceived by reading the sketch and determined to quit all literary pursuits, these larcenies gave me but little concern. They besides were not the first the same hand had committed upon me without having complained of these pilferings.

[I had found in his 'Elemens de Musique' (Elements of Music) several things taken from what I had written for the 'Encyclopedie', and which were given to him several years before the publication of his elements. I know not what he may have had to do with a book entitled 'Dictionaire des Beaux Arts' (Dictionary of the Fine Arts) but I found in it articles transcribed word for word from mine, and this long before the same articles were printed in the Encyclopedie.]

In a very little time I thought no more of the trick that had been played me than if nothing had happened, and began to collect the materials I had left for the purpose of undertaking my projected confessions.

I had long thought the company of ministers, or at least the citizens and burgesses of Geneva, would remonstrate against the infraction of the edict in the decree made against me. Everything remained quiet, at least to all exterior appearance; for discontent was general, and ready, on the first opportunity, openly to manifest itself. My friends, or persons calling themselves such, wrote letter after letter exhorting me to come and put myself at their head, assuring me of public separation from the council. The fear of the disturbance and troubles which might be caused by my presence, prevented me from acquiescing with their desires, and, faithful to the oath I had formerly made, never to take the least part in any civil dissension in my country, I chose rather to let the offence remain as it was, and banish myself forever from the country, than to return to it by means which were violent and dangerous. It is true, I expected the burgesses would make legal remonstrances against an infraction in which their interests were deeply concerned; but no such steps were taken. They who conducted the body of citizens sought less the real redress of grievances than an opportunity to render themselves necessary. They caballed but were silent, and suffered me to be bespattered by the gossips and hypocrites set on to render me odious in the eyes of the populace, and pass upon them their boistering for a zeal in favor of religion.

After having, during a whole year, vainly expected that some one would remonstrate against an illegal proceeding, and seeing myself abandoned by my fellow-citizens, I determined to renounce my ungrateful country in which I never had lived, from which I had not received either inheritance or services, and by which, in return for the honor I had endeavored to do it, I saw myself so unworthily treated by unanimous consent, since they, who should have spoken, had remained silent. I therefore wrote to the first syndic for that year, to M. Favre, if I remember right, a letter in which I solemnly gave up my freedom of the city of Geneva, carefully observing in it, however, that decency and moderation, from which I have never departed in the acts of haughtiness which, in my misfortunes, the cruelty of my enemies have frequently forced upon me,

This step opened the eyes of the citizens, who feeling they had neglected their own interests by abandoning my defence, took my part when it was too late. They had wrongs of their own which they joined to mine, and made these the subject of several well-reasoned representations, which they strengthened and extended, as the refusal of the council, supported by the ministry of France, made them more clearly perceive the project formed to impose on them a yoke. These altercations produced several pamphlets which were undecisive, until that appeared entitled 'Lettres ecrites de la Campagne', a work written in favor of the council, with infinite art, and by which the remonstrating party, reduced to silence, was crushed for a time. This production, a lasting monument of the rare talents of its author, came from the Attorney-General Tronchin, a man of wit and an enlightened understanding, well versed in the laws and government of the republic. 'Siluit terra'.

The remonstrators, recovered from their first overthrow, undertook to give an answer, and in time produced one which brought them off tolerably well. But they all looked to me, as the only person capable of combating a like adversary with hope of success. I confess I was of their opinion, and excited by my former fellow-citizens, who thought it was my duty to aid them with my pen, as I had been the cause of their embarrassment, I undertook to refute the 'Lettres ecrites de la Campagne', and parodied the title of them by that of 'Lettres ecrites de la Montagne,' which I gave to mine. I wrote this answer so secretly, that at a meeting I had at Thonon, with the chiefs of the malcontents to talk of their affairs, and where they showed me a sketch of their answer, I said not a word of mine, which was quite ready, fearing obstacles might arise relative to the impression of it, should the magistrate or my enemies hear of what I had done. This work was, however known in France before the publication; but government chose rather to let it appear, than to suffer me to guess at the means by which my secret had been discovered. Concerning this I will state what I know, which is but trifling: what I have conjectured shall remain with myself.

I received, at Motiers, almost as many visits as at the Hermitage and Montmorency; but these, for the most part were a different kind. They who had formerly come to see me were people who, having taste, talents, and principles, something similar to mine, alleged them as the causes of their visits, and introduced subjects on which I could converse. At Motiers the case was different, especially with the visitors who came from France. They were officers or other persons who had no taste for literature, nor had many of them read my works, although, according to their own accounts, they had travelled thirty, forty, sixty, and even a hundred leagues to come and see me, and admire the illustrious man, the very celebrated, the great man, etc. For from the time of my settling at Motiers, I received the most impudent flattery, from which the esteem of those with whom I associated had formerly sheltered me. As but few of my new visitors deigned to tell me who or what they were, and as they had neither read nor cast their eye over my works, nor had their researches and mine been directed to the same objects, I knew not what to speak to them upon: I waited for what they had to say, because it was for them to know and tell me the purpose of their visit. It will naturally be imagined this did not produce conversations very interesting to me, although they, perhaps, were so to my visitors, according to the information they might wish to acquire; for as I was without suspicion, I answered without reserve, to every question they thought proper to ask me, and they commonly went away as well informed as myself of the particulars of my situation.

I was, for example, visited in this manner by M. de Feins, equerry to the queen, and captain of cavalry, who had the patience to pass several days at Motiers, and to follow me on foot even to La Ferriere, leading his horse by the bridle, without having with me any point of union, except our acquaintance with Mademoiselle Fel, and that we both played at 'bilboquet'. [A kind of cup and ball.]

Before this I had received another visit much more extraordinary. Two men arrived on foot, each leading a mule loaded with his little baggage, lodging at the inn, taking care of their mules and asking to see me. By the equipage of these muleteers they were taken for smugglers, and the news that smugglers were come to see me was instantly spread. Their manner of addressing me sufficiently showed they were persons of another description; but without being smugglers they might be adventurers, and this doubt kept me for some time on my guard. They soon removed my apprehensions. One was M. de Montauban, who had the title of Comte de la Tour du Pin, gentleman to the dauphin; the other, M. Dastier de Carpentras, an old officer who had his cross of St. Louis in his pocket, because he could not display it. These gentlemen, both very amiable, were men of sense, and their manner of travelling, so much to my own taste, and but little like that of French gentlemen, in some measure gained them my attachment, which an intercourse with them served to improve. Our acquaintance did not end with the visit; it is still kept up, and they have since been several times to see me, not on foot, that was very well for the first time; but the more I have seen of these gentlemen the less similarity have I found between their taste and mine; I have not discovered their maxims to be such as I have ever observed, that my writings are familiar to them, or that there is any real sympathy between them and myself. What, therefore, did they want with me? Why came they to see me with such an equipage? Why repeat their visit? Why were they so desirous of having me for their host? I did not at that time propose to myself these questions; but they have sometimes occurred to me since.

Won by their advances, my heart abandoned itself without reserve, especially to M. Dastier, with whose open countenance I was more particularly pleased. I even corresponded with him, and when I determined to print the 'Letters from the Mountains', I thought of addressing myself to him, to deceive those by whom my packet was waited for upon the road to Holland. He had spoken to me a good deal, and perhaps purposely, upon the liberty of the press at Avignon; he offered me his services should I have anything to print there: I took advantage of the offer and sent him successively by the post my first sheets. After having kept these for some time, he sent them back to me, "Because," said he, "no bookseller dared to sell them;" and I was obliged to have recourse to Rey taking care to send my papers, one after the other, and not to part with those which succeeded until I had advice of the reception of those already sent. Before the work was published, I found it had been seen in the office of the ministers, and D'Escherny, of Neuchatel, spoke to me of the book, entitled 'Del' Homme de la Monlagne', which D'Holbach had told him was by me. I assured him, and it was true, that I never had written a book which bore that title. When the letters appeared he became furious, and accused me of falsehood; although I had told him truth. By this means I was certain my manuscript had been read; as I could not doubt the fidelity of Rey, the most rational conjecture seemed to be, that my packets had been opened at the post-house.

Another acquaintance I made much about the same time, but which was begun by letters, was that with M. Laliand of Nimes, who wrote to me from Paris, begging I would send him my profile; he said he was in want of it for my bust in marble, which Le Moine was making for him to be placed in his library. If this was a pretence invented to deceive me, it fully succeeded. I imagined that a man who wished to have my bust in marble in his library had his head full of my works, consequently of my principles, and that he loved me because his mind was in unison with mine. It was natural this idea should seduce me. I have since seen M. Laliand. I found him very ready to render me many trifling services, and to concern himself in my little affairs, but I have my doubts of his having, in the few books he ever read, fallen upon any one of those I have written. I do not know that he has a library, or that such a thing is of any use to him; and for the bust he has a bad figure in plaster, by Le Moine, from which has been engraved a hideous portrait that bears my name, as if it bore to me some resemblance.

The only Frenchman who seemed to come to see me, on account of my sentiments, and his taste for my works, was a young officer of the regiment of Limousin, named Seguier de St. Brisson. He made a figure in Paris, where he still perhaps distinguishes himself by his pleasing talents and wit. He came once to Montmorency, the winter which preceded my catastrophe. I was pleased with his vivacity. He afterwards wrote to me at Motiers, and whether he wished to flatter me, or that his head was turned with Emilius, he informed me he was about to quit the service to live independently, and had begun to learn the trade of a carpenter. He had an elder brother, a captain in the same regiment, the favorite of the mother, who, a devotee to excess, and directed by I know not what hypocrite, did not treat the youngest son well, accusing him of irreligion, and what was still worse, of the unpardonable crime of being connected with me. These were the grievances, on account of which he was determined to break with his mother, and adopt the manner of life of which I have just spoken, all to play the part of the young Emilius. Alarmed at his petulance, I immediately wrote to him, endeavoring to make him change his resolution, and my exhortations were as strong as I could make them. They had their effect. He returned to his duty, to his mother, and took back the resignation he had given the colonel, who had been prudent enough to make no use of it, that the young man might have time to reflect upon what he had done. St. Brisson, cured of these follies, was guilty of another less alarming, but, to me, not less disagreeable than the rest: he became an author. He successively published two or three pamphlets which announced a man not devoid of talents, but I have not to reproach myself with having encouraged him by my praises to continue to write.

Some time afterwards he came to see me, and we made together a pilgrimage to the island of St. Pierre. During this journey I found him different from what I saw of him at Montmorency. He had, in his manner, something affected, which at first did not much disgust me, although I have since thought of it to his disadvantage. He once visited me at the hotel de St. Simon, as I passed through Paris on my way to England. I learned there what he had not told me, that he lived in the great world, and often visited Madam de Luxembourg. Whilst I was at Trie, I never heard from him, nor did he so much as make inquiry after me, by means of his relation Mademoiselle Seguier, my neighbor. This lady never seemed favorably disposed towards me. In a word, the infatuation of M. de St. Brisson ended suddenly, like the connection of M. de Feins: but this man owed me nothing, and the former was under obligations to me, unless the follies I prevented him from committing were nothing more than affectation; which might very possibly be the case.

I had visits from Geneva also. The Delucs, father and son, successively chose me for their attendant in sickness. The father was taken ill on the road, the son was already sick when he left Geneva; they both came to my house. Ministers, relations, hypocrites, and persons of every description came from Geneva and Switzerland, not like those from France, to laugh at and admire me, but to rebuke and catechise me. The only person amongst them, who gave me pleasure, was Moultou, who passed with me three or four days, and whom I wished to remain much longer; the most persevering of all, the most obstinate, and who conquered me by importunity, was a M. d'Ivernois, a merchant at Geneva, a French refugee, and related to the attorney-general of Neuchatel. This man came from Geneva to Motiers twice a year, on purpose to see me, remained with me several days together from morning to night, accompanied me in my walks, brought me a thousand little presents, insinuated himself in spite of me into my confidence, and intermeddled in all my affairs, notwithstanding there was not between him and myself the least similarity of ideas, inclination, sentiment, or knowledge. I do not believe he ever read a book of any kind throughout, or that he knows upon what subject mine are written. When I began to herbalize, he followed me in my botanical rambles, without taste for that amusement, or having anything to say to me or I to him. He had the patience to pass with me three days in a public house at Goumoins, whence, by wearying him and making him feel how much he wearied me, I was in hopes of driving him away. I could not, however, shake his incredible perseverance, nor by any means discover the motive of it.

Amongst these connections, made and continued by force, I must not omit the only one that was agreeable to me, and in which my heart was really interested: this was that I had with a young Hungarian who came to live at Neuchatel, and from that place to Motiers, a few months after I had taken up my residence there. He was called by the people of the country the Baron de Sauttern, by which name he had been recommended from Zurich. He was tall, well made, had an agreeable countenance, and mild and social qualities. He told everybody, and gave me also to understand that he came to Neuchatel for no other purpose, than that of forming his youth to virtue, by his intercourse with me. His physiognomy, manner, and behavior, seemed well suited to his conversation, and I should have thought I failed in one of the greatest duties had I turned my back upon a young man in whom I perceived nothing but what was amiable, and who sought my acquaintance from so respectable a motive. My heart knows not how to connect itself by halves. He soon acquired my friendship, and all my confidence, and we were presently inseparable. He accompanied me in all my walks, and become fond of them. I took him to the marechal, who received him with the utmost kindness. As he was yet unable to explain himself in French, he spoke and wrote to me in Latin, I answered in French, and this mingling of the two languages did not make our conversations either less smooth or lively. He spoke of his family, his affairs, his adventures, and of the court of Vienna, with the domestic details of which he seemed well acquainted. In fine, during two years which we passed in the greatest intimacy, I found in him a mildness of character proof against everything, manners not only polite but elegant, great neatness of person, an extreme decency in his conversation, in a word, all the marks of a man born and educated a gentleman, and which rendered him in my eyes too estimable not to make him dear to me.

At the time we were upon the most intimate and friendly terms, D' Ivernois wrote to me from Geneva, putting me upon my guard against the young Hungarian who had taken up his residence in my neighborhood; telling me he was a spy whom the minister of France had appointed to watch my proceedings. This information was of a nature to alarm me the more, as everybody advised me to guard against the machinations of persons who were employed to keep an eye upon my actions, and to entice me into France for the purpose of betraying me. To shut the mouths, once for all, of these foolish advisers, I proposed to Sauttern, without giving him the least intimation of the information I had received, a journey on foot to Pontarlier, to which he consented. As soon as we arrived there I put the letter from D'Ivernois into his hands, and after giving him an ardent embrace, I said: "Sauttern has no need of a proof of my confidence in him, but it is necessary I should prove to the public that I know in whom to place it." This embrace was accompanied with a pleasure which persecutors can neither feel themselves, nor take away from the oppressed.

I will never believe Sauttern was a spy, nor that he betrayed me: but I was deceived by him. When I opened to him my heart without reserve, he constantly kept his own shut, and abused me by lies. He invented I know not what kind of story, to prove to me his presence was necessary in his own country. I exhorted him to return to it as soon as possible. He setoff, and when I thought he was in Hungary, I learned he was at Strasbourgh. This was not the first time he had been there. He had caused some disorder in a family in that city; and the husband knowing I received him in my house, wrote to me. I used every effort to bring the young woman back to the paths of virtue, and Sauttern to his duty.

When I thought they were perfectly detached from each other, they renewed their acquaintance, and the husband had the complaisance to receive the young man at his house; from that moment I had nothing more to say. I found the pretended baron had imposed upon me by a great number of lies. His name was not Sauttern, but Sauttersheim. With respect to the title of baron, given him in Switzerland, I could not reproach him with the impropriety, because he had never taken it; but I have not a doubt of his being a gentleman, and the marshal, who knew mankind, and had been in Hungary, always considered and treated him as such.

He had no sooner left my neighborhood, than the girl at the inn where he eat, at Motiers, declared herself with child by him. She was so dirty a creature, and Sauttern, generally esteemed in the country for his conduct and purity of morals, piqued himself so much upon cleanliness, that everybody was shocked at this impudent pretension. The most amiable women of the country, who had vainly displayed to him their charms, were furious: I myself was almost choked with indignation. I used every effort to get the tongue of this impudent woman stopped, offering to pay all expenses, and to give security for Sauttersheim. I wrote to him in the fullest persuasion, not only that this pregnancy could not relate to him, but that it was feigned, and the whole a machination of his enemies and mine. I wished him to return and confound the strumpet, and those by whom she was dictated to. The pusillanimity of his answer surprised me. He wrote to the master of the parish to which the creature belonged, and endeavored to stifle the matter. Perceiving this, I concerned myself no more about it, but I was astonished that a man who could stoop so low should have been sufficiently master of himself to deceive me by his reserve in the closest familiarity.

From Strasbourgh, Sauttersheim went to seek his fortune in Paris, and found there nothing but misery. He wrote to me acknowledging his error. My compassion was excited by the recollection of our former friendship, and I sent him a sum of money. The year following, as I passed through Paris, I saw him much in the same situation; but he was the intimate friend of M. de Laliand, and I could not learn by what means he had formed this acquaintance, or whether it was recent or of long standing. Two years afterwards Sauttersheim returned to Strasbourgh, whence he wrote to me and where he died. This, in a few words, is the history of our connection, and what I know of his adventures; but while I mourn the fate of the unhappy young man, I still, and ever shall, believe he was the son of people of distinction, and the impropriety of his conduct was the effect of the situations to which he was reduced.

Such were the connections and acquaintance I acquired at Motiers. How many of these would have been necessary to compensate the cruel losses I suffered at the same time.

The first of these was that of M. de Luxembourg, who, after having been long tormented by the physicians, at length became their victim, by being treated for the gout which they would not acknowledge him to have, as for a disorder they thought they could cure.

According to what La Roche, the confidential servant of Madam de Luxembourg, wrote to me relative to what had happened, it is by this cruel and memorable example that the miseries of greatness are to be deplored.

The loss of this good nobleman afflicted me the more, as he was the only real friend I had in France, and the mildness of his character was such as to make me quite forget his rank, and attach myself to him as his equal. Our connection was not broken off on account of my having quitted the kingdom; he continued to write to me as usual.

I nevertheless thought I perceived that absence, or my misfortune, had cooled his affection for me. It is difficult to a courtier to preserve the same attachment to a person whom he knows to be in disgrace with courts. I moreover suspected the great ascendancy Madam de Luxembourg had over his mind, had been unfavorable to me, and that she had taken advantage of our separation to injure me in his esteem. For her part, notwithstanding a few affected marks of regard, which daily became less frequent, she less concealed the change in her friendship. She wrote to me four or five times into Switzerland, after which she never wrote to me again, and nothing but my prejudice, confidence and blindness, could have prevented my discovering in her something more than a coolness towards me.

Guy the bookseller, partner with Duchesne, who, after I had left Montmorency, frequently went to the hotel de Luxembourg, wrote to me that my name was in the will of the marechal. There was nothing in this either incredible or extraordinary, on which account I had no doubt of the truth of the information. I deliberated within myself whether or not I should receive the legacy. Everything well considered, I determined to accept it, whatever it might be, and to do that honor to the memory of an honest man, who, in a rank in which friendship is seldom found, had had a real one for me. I had not this duty to fulfill. I heard no more of the legacy, whether it were true or false; and in truth I should have felt some pain in offending against one of the great maxims of my system of morality, in profiting by anything at the death of a person whom I had once held dear. During the last illness of our friend Mussard, Leneips proposed to me to take advantage of the grateful sense he expressed for our cares, to insinuate to him dispositions in our favor. "Ah! my dear Leneips," said I, "let us not pollute by interested ideas the sad but sacred duties we discharge towards our dying friend. I hope my name will never be found in the testament of any person, at least not in that of a friend." It was about this time that my lord marshal spoke to me of his, of what he intended to do in it for me, and that I made him the answer of which I have spoken in the first part of my memoirs.

My second loss, still more afflicting and irreparable, was that of the best of women and mothers, who, already weighed down with years, and overburthened with infirmities and misery, quitted this vale of tears for the abode of the blessed, where the amiable remembrance of the good we have done here below is the eternal reward of our benevolence. Go, gentle and beneficent shade, to those of Fenelon, Berneg, Catinat, and others, who in a more humble state have, like them, opened their hearts to pure charity; go and taste of the fruit of your own benevolence, and prepare for your son the place he hopes to fill by your side. Happy in your misfortunes that Heaven, in putting to them a period, has spared you the cruel spectacle of his! Fearing, lest I should fill her heart with sorrow by the recital of my first disasters, I had not written to her since my arrival in Switzerland; but I wrote to M. de Conzie, to inquire after her situation, and it was from him I learned she had ceased to alleviate the sufferings of the afflicted, and that her own were at an end. I myself shall not suffer long; but if I thought I should not see her again in the life to come, my feeble imagination would less delight in the idea of the perfect happiness I there hope to enjoy.

My third and last loss, for since that time I have not had a friend to lose, was that of the lord marshal. He did not die but tired of serving the ungratful, he left Neuchatel, and I have never seen him since. He still lives, and will, I hope, survive me: he is alive, and thanks to him all my attachments on earth are not destroyed. There is one man still worthy of my friendship; for the real value of this consists more in what we feel than in that which we inspire; but I have lost the pleasure I enjoyed in his, and can rank him in the number of those only whom I love, but with whom I am no longer connected. He went to England to receive the pardon of the king, and acquired the possession of the property which formerly had been confiscated. We did not separate without an intention of again being united, the idea of which seemed to give him as much pleasure as I received from it. He determined to reside at Keith Hall, near Aberdeen, and I was to join him as soon as he was settled there: but this project was too flattering to my hopes to give me any of its success. He did not remain in Scotland. The affectionate solicitations of the King of Prussia induced him to return to Berlin, and the reason of my not going to him there will presently appear.

Before this departure, foreseeing the storm which my enemies began to raise against me, he of his own accord sent me letters of naturalization, which seemed to be a certain means of preventing me from being driven from the country. The community of the Convent of Val de Travers followed the example of the governor, and gave me letters of Communion, gratis, as they were the first. Thus, in every respect, become a citizen, I was sheltered from legal expulsion, even by the prince; but it has never been by legitimate means, that the man who, of all others, has shown the greatest respect for the laws, has been persecuted. I do not think I ought to enumerate, amongst the number of my losses at this time, that of the Abbe Malby. Having lived sometime at the house of his mother, I have been acquainted with the abbe, but not very intimately, and I have reason to believe the nature of his sentiments with respect to me changed after I acquired a greater celebrity than he already had. But the first time I discovered his insincerity was immediately after the publication of the 'Letters from the Mountain'. A letter attributed to him, addressed to Madam Saladin, was handed about in Geneva, in which he spoke of this work as the seditious clamors of a furious demagogue.

The esteem I had for the Abbe Malby, and my great opinion of his understanding, did not permit me to believe this extravagant letter was written by him. I acted in this business with my usual candor. I sent him a copy of the letter, informing him he was said to be the author of it. He returned me no answer. This silence astonished me: but what was my surprise when by a letter I received from Madam de Chenonceaux, I learned the Abbe was really the author of that which was attributed to him, and found himself greatly embarrassed by mine. For even supposing for a moment that what he stated was true, how could he justify so public an attack, wantonly made, without obligation or necessity, for the sole purpose of overwhelming in the midst of his greatest misfortunes, a man to whom he had shown himself a well-wisher, and who had not done anything that could excite his enmity? In a short time afterwards the 'Dialogues of Phocion', in which I perceived nothing but a compilation, without shame or restraint, from my writings, made their appearance.

In reading this book I perceived the author had not the least regard for me, and that in future I must number him among my most bitter enemies. I do not believe he has ever pardoned me for the Social Contract, far superior to his abilities, or the Perpetual Peace; and I am, besides, of opinion that the desire he expressed that I should make an extract from the Abby de St. Pierre, proceeded from a supposition in him that I should not acquit myself of it so well.

The further I advance in my narrative, the less order I feel myself capable of observing. The agitation of the rest of my life has deranged in my ideas the succession of events. These are too numerous, confused, and disagreeable to be recited in due order. The only strong impression they have left upon my mind is that of the horrid mystery by which the cause of them is concealed, and of the deplorable state to which they have reduced me. My narrative will in future be irregular, and according to the events which, without order, may occur to my recollection. I remember about the time to which I refer, full of the idea of my confessions, I very imprudently spoke of them to everybody, never imagining it could be the wish or interest, much less within the power of any person whatsoever, to throw an obstacle in the way of this undertaking, and had I suspected it, even this would not have rendered me more discreet, as from the nature of my disposition it is totally impossible for me to conceal either my thoughts or feelings. The knowledge of this enterprise was, as far as I can judge, the cause of the storm that was raised to drive me from Switzerland, and deliver me into the hands of those by whom I might be prevented from executing it.

I had another project in contemplation which was not looked upon with a more favorable eye by those who were afraid of the first: this was a general edition of my works. I thought this edition of them necessary to ascertain what books, amongst those to which my name was affixed, were really written by me, and to furnish the public with the means of distinguishing them from the writings falsely attributed to me by my enemies, to bring me to dishonor and contempt. This was besides a simple and an honorable means of insuring to myself a livelihood, and the only one that remained to me. As I had renounced the profession of an author, my memoirs not being of a nature to appear during my lifetime; as I no longer gained a farthing in any manner whatsoever, and constantly lived at a certain expense, I saw the end of my resources in that of the produce of the last things I had written. This reason had induced me to hasten the finishing of my Dictionary of Music, which still was incomplete. I had received for it a hundred louis(guineas) and a life annuity of three hundred livres; but a hundred louis could not last long in the hands of a man who annually expended upwards of sixty, and three-hundred livres (twelve guineas) a year was but a trifling sum to one upon whom parasites and beggarly visitors lighted like a swarm of flies.

A company of merchants from Neuchatel came to undertake the general edition, and a printer or bookseller of the name of Reguillat, from Lyons, thrust himself, I know not by what means, amongst them to direct it. The agreement was made upon reasonable terms, and sufficient to accomplish my object. I had in print and manuscript, matter for six volumes in quarto. I moreover agreed to give my assistance in bringing out the edition. The merchants were, on their part, to pay me a thousand crowns (one hundred and twenty-five pounds) down, and to assign me an annuity of sixteen hundred livres (sixty-six pounds) for life.

The agreement was concluded but not signed, when the Letters from the Mountain appeared. The terrible explosion caused by this infernal work, and its abominable author, terrified the company, and the undertaking was at an end.

I would compare the effect of this last production to that of the Letter on French Music, had not that letter, while it brought upon me hatred, and exposed me to danger, acquired me respect and esteem. But after the appearance of the last work, it was a matter of astonishment at Geneva and Versailles that such a monster as the author of it should be suffered to exist. The little council, excited by Resident de France, and directed by the attorney-general, made a declaration against my work, by which, in the most severe terms, it was declared to be unworthy of being burned by the hands of the hangman, adding, with an address which bordered upon the burlesque, there was no possibility of speaking of or answering it without dishonor. I would here transcribe the curious. piece of composition, but unfortunately I have it not by me. I ardently wish some of my readers, animated by the zeal of truth and equity, would read over the Letters from the Mountain: they will, I dare hope, feel the stoical moderation which reigns throughout the whole, after all the cruel outrages with which the author was loaded. But unable to answer the abuse, because no part of it could be called by that name nor to the reasons because these were unanswerable, my enemies pretended to appear too much enraged to reply: and it is true, if they took the invincible arguments it contains, for abuse, they must have felt themselves roughly treated.

The remonstrating party, far from complaining of the odious declaration, acted according to the spirit of it, and instead of making a trophy of the Letters from the Mountain, which they veiled to make them serve as a shield, were pusillanimous enough not to do justice or honor to that work, written to defend them, and at their own solicitation. They did not either quote or mention the letters, although they tacitly drew from them all their arguments, and by exactly following the advice with which they conclude, made them the sole cause of their safety and triumph. They had imposed on me this duty: I had fulfilled it, and unto the end had served their cause and the country. I begged of them to abandon me, and in their quarrels to think of nobody but themselves. They took me at my word, and I concerned myself no more about their affairs, further than constantly to exhort them to peace, not doubting, should they continue to be obstinate, of their being crushed by France; this however did not happen; I know the reason why it did not, but this is not the place to explain what I mean.

The effect produced at Neuchatel by the Letters from the Mountain was at first very mild. I sent a copy of them to M. de Montmollin, who received it favorably, and read it without making any objection. He was ill as well as myself; as soon as he recovered he came in a friendly manner to see me, and conversed on general subjects. A rumor was however begun; the book was burned I know not where. From Geneva, Berne, and perhaps from Versailles, the effervescence quickly passed to Neuchatel, and especially to Val de Travers, where, before even the ministers had taken any apparent Steps, an attempt was secretly made to stir up the people, I ought, I dare assert, to have been beloved by the people of that country in which I have lived, giving alms in abundance, not leaving about me an indigent person without assistance, never refusing to do any service in my power, and which was consistent with justice, making myself perhaps too familiar with everybody, and avoiding, as far as it was possible for me to do it, all distinction which might excite the least jealousy. This, however, did not prevent the populace, secretly stirred up against me, by I know not whom, from being by degrees irritated against me, even to fury, nor from publicly insulting me, not only in the country and upon the road, but in the street. Those to whom I had rendered the greatest services became most irritated against me, and even people who still continued to receive my benefactions, not daring to appear, excited others, and seemed to wish thus to be revenged of me for their humiliation, by the obligations they were under for the favors I had conferred upon them. Montmollin seemed to pay no attention to what was passing, and did not yet come forward. But as the time of communion approached, he came to advise me not to present myself at the holy table, assuring me, however, he was not my enemy, and that he would leave me undisturbed. I found this compliment whimsical enough; it brought to my recollection the letter from Madam de Boufflers, and I could not conceive to whom it could be a matter of such importance whether I communicated or not. Considering this condescension on my part as an act of cowardice, and moreover, being unwilling to give to the people a new pretext under which they might charge me with impiety, I refused the request of the minister, and he went away dissatisfied, giving me to understand I should repent of my obstinacy.

He could not of his own authority forbid me the communion: that of the Consistory, by which I had been admitted to it, was necessary, and as long as there was no objection from that body I might present myself without the fear of being refused. Montmollin procured from the Classe (the ministers) a commission to summon me to the Consistory, there to give an account of the articles of my faith, and to excommunicate me should I refuse to comply. This excommunication could not be pronounced without the aid of the Consistory also, and a majority of the voices. But the peasants, who under the appellation of elders, composed this assembly, presided over and governed by their minister, might naturally be expected to adopt his opinion, especially in matters of the clergy, which they still less understood than he did. I was therefore summoned, and I resolved to appear.

What a happy circumstance and triumph would this have been to me could I have spoken, and had I, if I may so speak, had my pen in my mouth! With what superiority, with what facility even, should I have overthrown this poor minister in the midst of his six peasants! The thirst after power having made the Protestant clergy forget all the principles of the reformation, all I had to do to recall these to their recollection and to reduce them to silence, was to make comments upon my first 'Letters from the Mountain', upon which they had the folly to animadvert.

My text was ready, and I had only to enlarge on it, and my adversary was confounded. I should not have been weak enough to remain on the defensive; it was easy to me to become an assailant without his even perceiving it, or being able to shelter himself from my attack. The contemptible priests of the Classe, equally careless and ignorant, had of themselves placed me in the most favorable situation I could desire to crush them at pleasure. But what of this? It was necessary I should speak without hesitation, and find ideas, turn of expression, and words at will, preserving a presence of mind, and keeping myself collected, without once suffering even a momentary confusion. For what could I hope, feeling as I did, my want of aptitude to express myself with ease? I had been reduced to the most mortifying silence at Geneva, before an assembly which was favorable to me, and previously resolved to approve of everything I should say. Here, on the contrary, I had to do with a cavalier who, substituting cunning to knowledge, would spread for me a hundred snares before I could perceive one of them, and was resolutely determined to catch me in an error let the consequence be what it would. The more I examined the situation in which I stood, the greater danger I perceived myself exposed to, and feeling the impossibility of successfully withdrawing from it, I thought of another expedient. I meditated a discourse which I intended to pronounce before the Consistory, to exempt myself from the necessity of answering. The thing was easy. I wrote the discourse and began to learn it by memory, with an inconceivable ardor. Theresa laughed at hearing me mutter and incessantly repeat the same phrases, while endeavoring to cram them into my head. I hoped, at length, to remember what I had written: I knew the chatelain as an officer attached to the service of the prince, would be present at the Consistory, and that notwithstanding the manoeuvres and bottles of Montmollin, most of the elders were well disposed towards me. I had, moreover, in my favor, reason, truth, and justice, with the protection of the king, the authority of the council of state, and the good wishes of every real patriot, to whom the establishment of this inquisition was threatening. In fine, everything contributed to encourage me.

On the eve of the day appointed, I had my discourse by rote, and recited it without missing a word. I had it in my head all night: in the morning I had forgotten it. I hesitated at every word, thought myself before the assembly, became confused, stammered, and lost my presence of mind. In fine, when the time to make my appearance was almost at hand, my courage totally failed me. I remained at home and wrote to the Consistory, hastily stating my reasons, and pleaded my disorder, which really, in the state to which apprehension had reduced me, would scarcely have permitted me to stay out the whole sitting.

The minister, embarrassed by my letter, adjourned the Consistory. In the interval, he of himself, and by his creatures, made a thousand efforts to seduce the elders, who, following the dictates of their consciences, rather than those they received from him, did not vote according to his wishes, or those of the class. Whatever power his arguments drawn from his cellar might have over this kind of people, he could not gain one of them, more than the two or three who were already devoted to his will, and who were called his 'ames damnees'.—[damned souls]—The officer of the prince, and the Colonel Pury, who, in this affair, acted with great zeal, kept the rest to their duty, and when Montmollin wished to proceed to excommunication, his Consistory, by a majority of voices, flatly refused to authorize him to do it. Thus reduced to the last expedient, that of stirring up the people against me, he, his colleagues, and other persons, set about it openly, and were so successful, that not-withstanding the strong and frequent rescripts of the king, and the orders of the council of state, I was at length obliged to quit the country, that I might not expose the officer of the king to be himself assassinated while he protected me.

The recollection of the whole of this affair is so confused, that it is impossible for me to reduce to or connect the circumstances of it. I remember a kind of negotiation had been entered into with the class, in which Montmollin was the mediator. He feigned to believe it was feared I should, by my writings, disturb the peace of the country, in which case, the liberty I had of writing would be blamed. He had given me to understand that if I consented to lay down my pen, what was past would be forgotten. I had already entered into this engagement with myself, and did not hesitate in doing it with the class, but conditionally and solely in matters of religion. He found means to have a duplicate of the agreement upon some change necessary to be made in it. The condition having been rejected by the class; I demanded back the writing, which was returned to me, but he kept the duplicate, pretending it was lost. After this, the people, openly excited by the ministers, laughed at the rescripts of the king, and the orders of the council of state, and shook off all restraint. I was declaimed against from the pulpit, called antichrist, and pursued in the country like a mad wolf. My Armenian dress discovered me to the populace; of this I felt the cruel inconvenience, but to quit it in such circumstances, appeared to me an act of cowardice. I could not prevail upon myself to do it, and I quietly walked through the country with my caffetan and fur bonnet in the midst of the hootings of the dregs of the people, and sometimes through a shower of stones. Several times as I passed before houses, I heard those by whom they were inhabited call out: "Bring me my gun that I may fire at him." As I did not on this account hasten my pace, my calmness increased their fury, but they never went further than threats, at least with respect to firearms.

During the fermentation I received from two circumstances the most sensible pleasure. The first was my having it in my power to prove my gratitude by means of the lord marshal. The honest part of the inhabitants of Neuchatel, full of indignation at the treatment I received, and the manoeuvres of which I was the victim, held the ministers in execration, clearly perceiving they were obedient to a foreign impulse, and the vile agents of people, who, in making them act, kept themselves concealed; they were moreover afraid my case would have dangerous consequences, and be made a precedent for the purpose of establishing a real inquisition.

The magistrates, and especially M. Meuron, who had succeeded M. d' Ivernois in the office of attorney-general, made every effort to defend me. Colonel Pury, although a private individual, did more and succeeded better. It was the colonel who found means to make Montmollin submit in his Consistory, by keeping the elders to their duty. He had credit, and employed it to stop the sedition; but he had nothing more than the authority of the laws, and the aid of justice and reason, to oppose to that of money and wine: the combat was unequal, and in this point Montmollin was triumphant. However, thankful for his zeal and cares, I wished to have it in my power to make him a return of good offices, and in some measure discharge a part of the obligations I was under to him. I knew he was very desirous of being named a counsellor of state; but having displeased the court by his conduct in the affair of the minister Petitpierre, he was in disgrace with the prince and governor. I however undertook, at all risks, to write to the lord marshal in his favor: I went so far as even to mention the employment of which he was desirous, and my application was so well received that, contrary to the expectations of his most ardent well wishers, it was almost instantly conferred upon him by the king. In this manner fate, which has constantly raised me to too great an elevation, or plunged me into an abyss of adversity, continued to toss me from one extreme to another, and whilst the populace covered me with mud I was able to make a counsellor of state.

The other pleasing circumstance was a visit I received from Madam de Verdelin with her daughter, with whom she had been at the baths of Bourbonne, whence they came to Motiers and stayed with me two or three days. By her attention and cares, she at length conquered my long repugnancy; and my heart, won by her endearing manner, made her a return of all the friendship of which she had long given me proofs. This journey made me extremely sensible of her kindness: my situation rendered the consolations of friendship highly necessary to support me under my sufferings. I was afraid she would be too much affected by the insults I received from the populace, and could have wished to conceal them from her that her feelings might not be hurt, but this was impossible; and although her presence was some check upon the insolent populace in our walks, she saw enough of their brutality to enable her to judge of what passed when I was alone. During the short residence she made at Motiers, I was still attacked in my habitation. One morning her chambermaid found my window blocked up with stones, which had been thrown at it during the night. A very heavy bench placed in the street by the side of the house, and strongly fastened down, was taken up and reared against the door in such a manner as, had it not been perceived from the window, to have knocked down the first person who should have opened the door to go out. Madam de Verdelin was acquainted with everything that passed; for, besides what she herself was witness to, her confidential servant went into many houses in the village, spoke to everybody, and was seen in conversation with Montmollin. She did not, however, seem to pay the least attention to that which happened to me, nor never mentioned Montmollin nor any other person, and answered in a few words to what I said to her of him. Persuaded that a residence in England would be more agreeable to me than any other, she frequently spoke of Mr. Hume who was then at Paris, of his friendship for me, and the desire he had of being of service to me in his own country. It is time I should say something of Hume.

He had acquired a great reputation in France amongst the Encyclopedists by his essays on commerce and politics, and in the last place by his history of the House of Stuart, the only one of his writings of which I had read a part, in the translation of the Abbe Prevot. For want of being acquainted with his other works, I was persuaded, according to what I heard of him, that Mr. Hume joined a very republican mind to the English Paradoxes in favor of luxury. In this opinion I considered his whole apology of Charles I. as a prodigy of impartiality, and I had as great an idea of his virtue as of his genius. The desire of being acquainted with this great man, and of obtaining his friendship, had greatly strengthened the inclination I felt to go to England, induced by the solicitations of Madam de Boufflers, the intimate friend of Hume. After my arrival in Switzerland, I received from him, by means of this lady, a letter extremely flattering; in which, to the highest encomiums on my genius, he subjoined a pressing invitation to induce me to go to England, and the offer of all his interest, and that of his friends, to make my residence there agreeable. I found in the country to which I had retired, the lord marshal, the countryman and friend of Hume, who confirmed my good opinion of him, and from whom I learned a literary anecdote, which did him great honor in the opinion of his lordship and had the same effect in mine. Wallace, who had written against Hume upon the subject of the population of the ancients, was absent whilst his work was in the press. Hume took upon himself to examine the proofs, and to do the needful to the edition. This manner of acting was according to my way of thinking. I had sold at six sous (three pence) a piece, the copies of a song written against myself. I was, therefore, strongly prejudiced in favor of Hume, when Madam de Verdelin came and mentioned the lively friendship he expressed for me, and his anxiety to do me the honors of England; such was her expression. She pressed me a good deal to take advantage of this zeal and to write to him. As I had not naturally an inclination to England, and did not intend to go there until the last extremity, I refused to write or make any promise; but I left her at liberty to do whatever she should think necessary to keep Mr. Hume favorably disposed towards me. When she went from Motiers, she left me in the persuasion, by everything she had said to me of that illustrious man, that he was my friend, and she herself still more his.

After her departure, Montmollin carried on his manoeuvres with more vigor, and the populace threw off all restraint. Yet I still continued to walk quietly amidst the hootings of the vulgar; and a taste for botany, which I had begun to contract with Doctor d'Ivernois, making my rambling more amusing, I went through the country herbalising, without being affected by the clamors of this scum of the earth, whose fury was still augmented by my calmness. What affected me most was, seeing families of my friends, or of persons who gave themselves that name, openly join the league of my persecutors; such as the D'Ivernois, without excepting the father and brother of my Isabel le Boy de la Tour, a relation to the friend in whose house I lodged, and Madam Girardier, her sister-in-law.

[This fatality had begun with my residence at, Yverdon; the banneret Roguin dying a year or two after my departure from that city, the old papa Roguin had the candor to inform me with grief, as he said, that in he papers of his relation, proofs had been found of his having been concerned in the conspiracy to expel me from Yverdon and the state of Berne. This clearly proved the conspiracy not to be, as some people pretended to believe, an affair of hypocrisy since the banneret, far from being a devotee, carried materialism and incredulity to intolerance and fanaticism. Besides, nobody at Yverdon had shown me more constant attention, nor had so prodigally bestowed upon me praises and flattery as this banneret. He faithfully followed the favorite plan of my persecutors.]

This Peter Boy was such a brute; so stupid, and behaved so uncouthly, that, to prevent my mind from being disturbed, I took the liberty to ridicule him; and after the manner of the 'Petit Prophete', I wrote a pamphlet of a few pages, entitled, 'la Vision de Pierre de la Montagne dit le Voyant, —[The vision of Peter of the Mountain called the Seer.]—in which I found means to be diverting enough on the miracles which then served as the great pretext for my persecution. Du Peyrou had this scrap printed at Geneva, but its success in the country was but moderate; the Neuchatelois with all their wit, taste but weakly attic salt or pleasantry when these are a little refined.

In the midst of decrees and persecutions, the Genevese had distinguished themselves by setting up a hue and cry with all their might; and my friend Vernes amongst others, with an heroical generosity, chose that moment precisely to publish against me letters in which he pretended to prove I was not a Christian. These letters, written with an air of self-sufficiency were not the better for it, although it was positively said the celebrated Bonnet had given them some correction: for this man, although a materialist, has an intolerant orthodoxy the moment I am in question. There certainly was nothing in this work which could tempt me to answer it; but having an opportunity of saying a few words upon it in my 'Letters from the Mountain', I inserted in them a short note sufficiently expressive of disdain to render Vernes furious. He filled Geneva with his furious exclamations, and D'Ivernois wrote me word he had quite lost his senses. Sometime afterwards appeared an anonymous sheet, which instead of ink seemed to be written with water of Phelethon. In this letter I was accused of having exposed my children in the streets, of taking about with me a soldier's trull, of being worn out with debaucheries,... and other fine things of a like nature. It was not difficult for me to discover the author. My first idea on reading this libel, was to reduce to its real value everything the world calls fame and reputation amongst men; seeing thus a man who was never in a brothel in his life, and whose greatest defect was in being as timid and shy as a virgin, treated as a frequenter of places of that description; and in finding myself charged with being......, I, who not only never had the least taint of such disorder, but, according to the faculty, was so constructed as to make it almost impossible for me to contract it. Everything well considered, I thought I could not better refute this libel than by having it printed in the city in which I longest resided, and with this intention I sent it to Duchesne to print it as it was with an advertisement in which I named M. Vernes and a few short notes by way of eclaircissement. Not satisfied with printing it only, I sent copies to several persons, and amongst others one copy to the Prince Louis of Wirtemberg, who had made me polite advances and with whom I was in correspondence. The prince, Du Peyrou, and others, seemed to have their doubts about the author of the libel, and blamed me for having named Vernes upon so slight a foundation. Their remarks produced in me some scruples, and I wrote to Duchesne to suppress the paper. Guy wrote to me he had suppressed it: this may or may not be the case; I have been deceived on so many occasions that there would be nothing extraordinary in my being so on this, and from the time of which I speak, was so enveloped in profound darkness that it was impossible for me to come at any kind of truth.

M. Vernes bore the imputation with a moderation more than astonishing in a man who was supposed not to have deserved it, and after the fury with which he was seized on former occasions. He wrote me two or three letters in very guarded terms, with a view, as it appeared to me, to endeavor by my answers to discover how far I was certain of his being the author of the paper, and whether or not I had any proofs against him. I wrote him two short answers, severe in the sense, but politely expressed, and with which he was not displeased. To his third letter, perceiving he wished to form with me a kind of correspondence, I returned no answer, and he got D'Ivernois to speak to me. Madam Cramer wrote to Du Peyrou, telling him she was certain the libel was not by Vernes. This however, did not make me change my opinion. But as it was possible I might be deceived, and as it is certain that if I were, I owed Vernes an explicit reparation, I sent him word by D'Ivernois that I would make him such a one as he should think proper, provided he would name to me the real author of the libel, or at least prove that he himself was not so. I went further: feeling that, after all, were he not culpable, I had no right to call upon him for proofs of any kind, I stated in a memoir of considerable length, the reasons whence I had inferred my conclusion, and determined to submit them to the judgment of an arbitrator, against whom Vernes could not except. But few people would guess the arbitrator of whom I made choice. I declared at the end of the memoir, that if, after having examined it, and made such inquiries as should seem necessary, the council pronounced M. Vernes not to be the author of the libel, from that moment I should be fully persuaded he was not, and would immediately go and throw myself at his feet, and ask his pardon until I had obtained it. I can say with the greatest truth that my ardent zeal for equity, the uprightness and generosity of my heart, and my confidence in the love of justice innate in every mind never appeared more fully and perceptible than in this wise and interesting memoir, in which I took, without hesitation, my most implacable enemies for arbitrators between a calumniator and myself. I read to Du Peyrou what I had written: he advised me to suppress it, and I did so. He wished me to wait for the proofs Vernes promised, and I am still waiting for them: he thought it best that I should in the meantime be silent, and I held my tongue, and shall do so the rest of my life, censured as I am for having brought against Vernes a heavy imputation, false and unsupportable by proof, although I am still fully persuaded, nay, as convinced as I am of my existence, that he is the author of the libel. My memoir is in the hands of Du Peyrou. Should it ever be published my reasons will be found in it, and the heart of Jean Jacques, with which my contemporaries would not be acquainted, will I hope be known.

I have now to proceed to my catastrophe at Motiers, and to my departure from Val de Travers, after a residence of two years and a half, and an eight months suffering with unshaken constancy of the most unworthy treatment. It is impossible for me clearly to recollect the circumstances of this disagreeable period, but a detail of them will be found in a publication to that effect by Du Peyrou, of which I shall hereafter have occasion to speak.

After the departure of Madam de Verdelin the fermentation increased, and, notwithstanding the reiterated rescripts of the king, the frequent orders of the council of state, and the cares of the chatelain and magistrates of the place, the people, seriously considering me as antichrist, and perceiving all their clamors to be of no effect, seemed at length determined to proceed to violence; stones were already thrown after me in the roads, but I was however in general at too great a distance to receive any harm from them. At last, in the night of the fair of Motiers, which is in the beginning of September, I was attacked in my habitation in such a manner as to endanger the lives of everybody in the house.

At midnight I heard a great noise in the gallery which ran along the back part of the house. A shower of stones thrown against the window and the door which opened to the gallery fell into it with so much noise and violence, that my dog, which usually slept there, and had begun to bark, ceased from fright, and ran into a corner gnawing and scratching the planks to endeavor to make his escape. I immediately rose, and was preparing to go from my chamber into the kitchen, when a stone thrown by a vigorous arm crossed the latter, after having broken the window, forced open the door of my chamber, and fell at my feet, so that had I been a moment sooner upon the floor I should have had the stone against my stomach. I judged the noise had been made to bring me to the door, and the stone thrown to receive me as I went out. I ran into the kitchen, where I found Theresa, who also had risen, and was tremblingly making her way to me as fast as she could. We placed ourselves against the wall out of the direction of the window to avoid the stones, and deliberate upon what was best to be done; for going out to call assistance was the certain means of getting ourselves knocked on the head. Fortunately the maid-servant of an old man who lodged under me was waked by the noise, and got up and ran to call the chatelain, whose house was next to mine. He jumped from his bed, put on his robe de chambre, and instantly came to me with the guard, which, on account of the fair, went the round that night, and was just at hand. The chatelain was so alarmed at the sight of the effects of what had happened that he turned pale and on seeing the stones in the gallery, exclaimed, "Good God! here is a quarry!" On examining below stairs, a door of a little court was found to have been forced, and there was an appearance of an attempt having been made to get into the house by the gallery. On inquiring the reason why the guard had neither prevented nor perceived the disturbance, it came out that the guards of Motiers had insisted upon doing duty that night, although it was the turn of those of another village.

The next day the chatelain sent his report to the council of state, which two days afterwards sent an order to inquire into the affair, to promise a reward and secrecy to those who should impeach such as were guilty, and in the meantime to place, at the expense of the king, guards about my house, and that of the chatelain, which joined to it. The day after the disturbance, Colonel Pury, the Attorney-General Meuron, the Chatelain Martinet, the Receiver Guyenet, the Treasurer d'Ivernois and his father, in a word, every person of consequence in the country, came to see me, and united their solicitations to persuade me to yield to the storm and leave, at least for a time, a place in which I could no longer live in safety nor with honor. I perceived that even the chatelain was frightened at the fury of the people, and apprehending it might extend to himself, would be glad to see me depart as soon as possible, that he might no longer have the trouble of protecting me there, and be able to quit the parish, which he did after my departure. I therefore yielded to their solicitations, and this with but little pain, for the hatred of the people so afflicted my heart that I was no longer able to support it.

I had a choice of places to retire to. After Madam de Verdelin returned to Paris, she had, in several letters, mentioned a Mr. Walpole, whom she called my lord, who, having a strong desire to serve me, proposed to me an asylum at one of his country houses, of the situation of which she gave me the most agreeable description; entering, relative to lodging and subsistence, into a detail which proved she and Lord Walpole had held particular consultations upon the project. My lord marshal had always advised me to go to England or Scotland, and in case of my determining upon the latter, offered me there an asylum. But he offered me another at Potsdam, near to his person, and which tempted me more than all the rest.

He had just communicated to me what the king had said to him about my going there, which was a kind of invitation to me from that monarch, and the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha depended so much upon my taking the journey that she wrote to me desiring I should go to see her in my way to the court of Prussia, and stay some time before I proceeded farther; but I was so attached to Switzerland that I could not resolve to quit it so long as it was possible for me to live there, and I seized this opportunity to execute a project of which I had for several months conceived the idea, and of which I have deferred speaking, that I might not interrupt my narrative.

This project consisted in going to reside in the island of St. Peter, an estate belonging to the Hospital of Berne, in the middle of the lake of Bienne. In a pedestrian pilgrimage I had made the preceding year with Du Peyrou we had visited this isle, with which I was so much delighted that I had since that time incessantly thought of the means of making it my place of residence. The greatest obstacle to my wishes arose from the property of the island being vested in the people of Berne, who three years before had driven me from amongst them; and besides the mortification of returning to live with people who had given me so unfavorable a reception, I had reason to fear they would leave me no more at peace in the island than they had done at Yverdon. I had consulted the lord marshal upon the subject, who thinking as I did, that the people of Berne would be glad to see me banished to the island, and to keep me there as a hostage for the works I might be tempted to write, and sounded their dispositions by means of M. Sturler, his old neighbor at Colombier. M. Sturler addressed himself to the chiefs of the state, and, according to their answer assured the marshal the Bernois, sorry for their past behavior, wished to see me settled in the island of St. Peter, and to leave me there at peace. As an additional precaution, before I determined to reside there, I desired the Colonel Chaillet to make new inquiries. He confirmed what I had already heard, and the receiver of the island having obtained from his superiors permission to lodge me in it, I thought I might without danger go to the house, with the tactic consent of the sovereign and the proprietors; for I could not expect the people of Berne would openly acknowledge the injustice they had done me, and thus act contrary to the most inviolable maxim of all sovereigns.

The island of St. Peter, called at Neuchatel the island of La Motte, in the middle of the lake of Bienne, is half a league in, circumference; but in this little space all the chief productions necessary to subsistence are found. The island has fields, meadows, orchards, woods, and vineyards, and all these, favored by variegated and mountainous situations, form a distribution of the more agreeable, as the parts, not being discovered all at once, are seen successively to advantage, and make the island appear greater than it really is. A very elevated terrace forms the western part of it, and commands Gleresse and Neuverville. This terrace is planted with trees which form a long alley, interrupted in the middle by a great saloon, in which, during the vintage, the people from the neighboring shores assemble and divert themselves. There is but one house in the whole island, but that is very spacious and convenient, inhabited by the receiver, and situated in a hollow by which it is sheltered from the winds.

Five or six hundred paces to the south of the island of St. Peter is another island, considerably less than the former, wild and uncultivated, which appears to have been detached from the greater island by storms: its gravelly soil produces nothing but willows and persicaria, but there is in it a high hill well covered with greensward and very pleasant. The form of the lake is an almost regular oval. The banks, less rich than those of the lake of Geneva and Neuchatel, form a beautiful decoration, especially towards the western part, which is well peopled, and edged with vineyards at the foot, of a chain of mountains, something like those of Cote-Rotie, but which produce not such excellent wine. The bailiwick of St. John, Neuveville, Berne, and Bienne, lie in a line from the south to the north, to the extremity of the lake, the whole interspersed with very agreeable villages.

Such was the asylum I had prepared for myself, and to which I was determined to retire alter quitting Val de Travers.

[It may perhaps be necessary to remark that I left there an enemy in M. du Teneaux, mayor of Verrieres, not much esteemed in the country, but who has a brother, said to be an honest man, in the office of M. de St. Florentin. The mayor had been to see him sometime before my adventure. Little remarks of this kind, though of no consequence, in themselves, may lead to the discovery of many underhand dealings.]

This choice was so agreeable to my peaceful inclinations, and my solitary and indolent disposition, that I consider it as one of the pleasing reveries of which I became the most passionately fond. I thought I should in that island be more separated from men, more sheltered from their outrages, and sooner forgotten by mankind: in a word, more abandoned to the delightful pleasures of the inaction of a contemplative life. I could have wished to have been confined in it in such a manner as to have had no intercourse with mortals, and I certainly took every measure I could imagine to relieve me from the necessity of troubling my head about them.

The great question was that of subsistence, and by the dearness of provisions, and the difficulty of carriage, this is expensive in the island; the inhabitants are besides at the mercy of the receiver. This difficulty was removed by an arrangement which Du Peyrou made with me in becoming a substitute to the company which had undertaken and abandoned my general edition. I gave him all the materials necessary, and made the proper arrangement and distribution. To the engagement between us I added that of giving him the memoirs of my life, and made him the general depositary of all my papers, under the express condition of making no use of them until after my death, having it at heart quietly to end my days without doing anything which should again bring me back to the recollection of the public. The life annuity he undertook to pay me was sufficient to my subsistence. My lord marshal having recovered all his property, had offered me twelve hundred livres (fifty pounds) a year, half of which I accepted. He wished to send me the principal, and this I refused on account of the difficulty of placing it. He then sent the amount to Du Peyrou, in whose hands it remained, and who pays me the annuity according to the terms agreed upon with his lordship. Adding therefore to the result of my agreement with Du Peyrou, the annuity of the marshal, two-thirds of which were reversible to Theresa after my death, and the annuity of three hundred livres from Duchesne, I was assured of a genteel subsistence for myself, and after me for Theresa, to whom I left seven hundred livres (twenty-nine pounds) a year, from the annuities paid me by Rey and the lord marshal; I had therefore no longer to fear a want of bread. But it was ordained that honor should oblige me to reject all these resources which fortune and my labors placed within my reach, and that I should die as poor as I had lived. It will be seen whether or not, without reducing myself to the last degree of infamy, I could abide by the engagements which care has always taken to render ignominious, by depriving me of every other resource to force me to consent to my own dishonor. How was it possible anybody could doubt of the choice I should make in such an alternative? Others have judged of my heart by their own.

My mind at ease relative to subsistence was without care upon every other subject. Although I left in the world the field open to my enemies, there remained in the noble enthusiasm by which my writings were dictated, and in the constant uniformity of my principles, an evidence of the uprightness of my heart which answered to that deducible from my conduct in favor of my natural disposition. I had no need of any other defense against my calumniators. They might under my name describe another man, but it was impossible they should deceive such as were unwilling to be imposed upon. I could have given them my whole life to animadvert upon, with a certainty, notwithstanding all my faults and weaknesses, and my want of aptitude to, support the lightest yoke, of their finding me in every situation a just and good man, without bitterness, hatred, or jealousy, ready to acknowledge my errors, and still more prompt to forget the injuries I received from others; seeking all my happiness in love, friendship, and affection and in everything carrying my sincerity even to imprudence and the most incredible disinterestedness.

I therefore in some measure took leave of the age in which I lived and my contemporaries, and bade adieu to the world, with an intention to confine myself for the rest of my days to that island; such was my resolution, and it was there I hoped to execute the great project of the indolent life to which I had until then consecrated the little activity with which Heaven had endowed me. The island was to become to me that of Papimanie, that happy country where the inhabitants sleep:

Ou l'on fait plus, ou l'on fait nulle chose.

[Where they do more: where they do nothing.]

This more was everything for me, for I never much regretted sleep; indolence is sufficient to my happiness, and provided I do nothing, I had rather dream waking than asleep. Being past the age of romantic projects, and having been more stunned than flattered by the trumpet of fame, my only hope was that of living at ease, and constantly at leisure. This is the life of the blessed in the world to come, and for the rest of mine here below I made it my supreme happiness.

They who reproach me with so many contradictions, will not fail here to add another to the number. I have observed the indolence of great companies made them unsupportable to me, and I am now seeking solitude for the sole purpose of abandoning myself to inaction. This however is my disposition; if there be in it a contradiction, it proceeds from nature and not from me; but there is so little that it is precisely on that account that I am always consistent. The indolence of company is burdensome because it is forced. That of solitude is charming because it is free, and depends upon the will. In company I suffer cruelly by inaction, because this is of necessity. I must there remain nailed to my chair, or stand upright like a picket, without stirring hand or foot, not daring to run, jump, sing, exclaim, nor gesticulate when I please, not allowed even to dream, suffering at the same time the fatigue of inaction and all the torment of constraint; obliged to pay attention to every foolish thing uttered, and to all the idle compliments paid, and constantly to keep my mind upon the rack that I may not fail to introduce in my turn my jest or my lie. And this is called idleness! It is the labor of a galley slave.

The indolence I love is not that of a lazy fellow who sits with his arms across in total inaction, and thinks no more than he acts, but that of a child which is incessantly in motion doing nothing, and that of a dotard who wanders from his subject. I love to amuse myself with trifles, by beginning a hundred things and never finishing one of them, by going or coming as I take either into my head, by changing my project at every instant, by following a fly through all its windings, in wishing to overturn a rock to see what is under it, by undertaking with ardor the work of ten years, and abandoning it without regret at the end of ten minutes; finally, in musing from morning until night without order or coherence, and in following in everything the caprice of a moment.

Botany, such as I have always considered it, and of which after my own manner I began to become passionately fond, was precisely an idle study, proper to fill up the void of my leisure, without leaving room for the delirium of imagination or the weariness of total inaction. Carelessly wandering in the woods and the country, mechanically gathering here a flower and there a branch; eating my morsel almost by chance, observing a thousand and a thousand times the same things, and always with the same interest, because I always forgot them, were to me the means of passing an eternity without a weary moment. However elegant, admirable, and variegated the structure of plants may be, it does not strike an ignorant eye sufficiently to fix the attention. The constant analogy, with, at the same time, the prodigious variety which reigns in their conformation, gives pleasure to those only who have already some idea of the vegetable system. Others at the sight of these treasures of nature feel nothing more than a stupid and monotonous admiration. They see nothing in detail because they know not for what to look, nor do they perceive the whole, having no idea of the chain of connection and combinations which overwhelms with its wonders the mind of the observer. I was arrived at that happy point of knowledge, and my want of memory was such as constantly to keep me there, that I knew little enough to make the whole new to me, and yet everything that was necessary to make me sensible to the beauties of all the parts. The different soils into which the island, although little, was divided, offered a sufficient variety of plants, for the study and amusement of my whole life. I was determined not to leave a blade of grass without analyzing it, and I began already to take measures for making, with an immense collection of observations, the 'Flora Petrinsularis'.

I sent for Theresa, who brought with her my books and effects. We boarded with the receiver of the island. His wife had sisters at Nidau, who by turns came to see her, and were company for Theresa. I here made the experiment of the agreeable life which I could have wished to continue to the end of my days, and the pleasure I found in it only served to make me feel to a greater degree the bitterness of that by which it was shortly to be succeeded.

I have ever been passionately fond of water, and the sight of it throws me into a delightful reverie, although frequently without a determinate object.

Immediately after I rose from my bed I never failed, if the weather was fine, to run to the terrace to respire the fresh and salubrious air of the morning, and glide my eye over the horizon of the lake, bounded by banks and mountains, delightful to the view. I know no homage more worthy of the divinity than the silent admiration excited by the contemplation of his works, and which is not externally expressed. I can easily comprehend the reason why the inhabitants of great cities, who see nothing but walls, and streets, have but little faith; but not whence it happens that people in the country, and especially such as live in solitude, can possibly be without it. How comes it to pass that these do not a hundred times a day elevate their minds in ecstasy to the Author of the wonders which strike their senses. For my part, it is especially at rising, wearied by a want of sleep, that long habit inclines me to this elevation which imposes not the fatigue of thinking. But to this effect my eyes must be struck with the ravishing beauties of nature. In my chamber I pray less frequently, and not so fervently; but at the view of a fine landscape I feel myself moved, but by what I am unable to tell. I have somewhere read of a wise bishop who in a visit to his diocese found an old woman whose only prayer consisted in the single interjection "Oh!"—"Good mother," said he to her, "continue to pray in this manner; your prayer is better than ours." This better prayer is mine also.

After breakfast, I hastened, with a frown on my brow, to write a few pitiful letters, longing ardently for the moment after which I should have no more to write. I busied myself for a few minutes about my books and papers, to unpack and arrange them, rather than to read what they contained; and this arrangement, which to me became the work of Penelope, gave me the pleasure of musing for a while. I then grew weary, and quitted my books to spend the three or four hours which remained to me of the morning in the study of botany, and especially of the system of Linnaeus, of which I became so passionately fond, that, after having felt how useless my attachment to it was, I yet could not entirely shake it off. This great observer is, in my opinion, the only one who, with Ludwig, has hitherto considered botany as a naturalist, and a philosopher; but he has too much studied it in herbals and gardens, and not sufficiently in nature herself. For my part, whose garden was always the whole island, the moment I wanted to make or verify an observation, I ran into the woods or meadows with my book under my arm, and there laid myself upon the ground near the plant in question, to examine it at my ease as it stood. This method was of great service to me in gaining a knowledge of vegetables in their natural state, before they had been cultivated and changed in their nature by the hands of men. Fagon, first physician to Louis XIV., and who named and perfectly knew all the plants in the royal garden, is said to have been so ignorant in the country as not to know how to distinguish the same plants. I am precisely the contrary. I know something of the work of nature, but nothing of that of the gardener.

I gave every afternoon totally up to my indolent and careless disposition, and to following without regularity the impulse of the moment. When the weather was calm, I frequently went immediately after I rose from dinner, and alone got into the boat. The receiver had taught me to row with one oar; I rowed out into the middle of the lake. The moment I withdrew from the bank, I felt a secret joy which almost made me leap, and of which it is impossible for me to tell or even comprehend the cause, if it were not a secret congratulation on my being out of the reach of the wicked. I afterwards rowed about the lake, sometimes approaching the opposite bank, but never touching at it. I often let my boat float at the mercy of the wind and water, abandoning myself to reveries without object, and which were not the less agreeable for their stupidity. I sometimes exclaimed, "O nature! O my mother! I am here under thy guardianship alone; here is no deceitful and cunning mortal to interfere between thee and me." In this manner I withdrew half a league from land; I could have wished the lake had been the ocean. However, to please my poor dog, who was not so fond as I was of such a long stay on the water, I commonly followed one constant course; this was going to land at the little island where I walked an hour or two, or laid myself down on the grass on the summit of the hill, there to satiate myself with the pleasure of admiring the lake and its environs, to examine and dissect all the herbs within my reach, and, like another Robinson Crusoe, built myself an imaginary place of residence in the island. I became very much attached to this eminence. When I brought Theresa, with the wife of the receiver and her sisters, to walk there, how proud was I to be their pilot and guide! We took there rabbits to stock it. This was another source of pleasure to Jean Jacques. These animals rendered the island still more interesting to me. I afterwards went to it more frequently, and with greater pleasure to observe the progress of the new inhabitants.

To these amusements I added one which recalled to my recollection the delightful life I led at the Charmettes, and to which the season particularly invited me. This was assisting in the rustic labors of gathering of roots and fruits, of which Theresa and I made it a pleasure to partake with the wife of the receiver and his family. I remember a Bernois, one M. Kirkeberguer, coming to see me, found me perched upon a tree with a sack fastened to my waist, and already so full of apples that I could not stir from the branch on which I stood. I was not sorry to be caught in this and similar situations. I hoped the people of Berne, witnesses to the employment of my leisure, would no longer think of disturbing my tranquillity but leave me at peace in my solitude. I should have preferred being confined there by their desire: this would have rendered the continuation of my repose more certain.

This is another declaration upon which I am previously certain of the incredulity of many of my readers, who obstinately continue to judge me by themselves, although they cannot but have seen, in the course of my life, a thousand internal affections which bore no resemblance to any of theirs. But what is still more extraordinary is, that they refuse me every sentiment, good or indifferent, which they have not, and are constantly ready to attribute to me such bad ones as cannot enter into the heart of man: in this case they find it easy to set me in opposition to nature, and to make of me such a monster as cannot in reality exist. Nothing absurd appears to them incredible, the moment it has a tendency to blacken me, and nothing in the least extraordinary seems to them possible, if it tends to do me honor.

But, notwithstanding what they may think or say, I will still continue faithfully to state what J. J. Rousseau was, did, and thought; without explaining, or justifying, the singularity of his sentiments and ideas, or endeavoring to discover whether or not others have thought as he did. I became so delighted with the island of St. Peter, and my residence there was so agreeable to me that, by concentrating all my desires within it, I formed the wish that I might stay there to the end of my life. The visits I had to return in the neighborhood, the journeys I should be under the necessity of making to Neuchatel, Bienne, Yverdon, and Nidau, already fatigued my imagination. A day passed out of the island, seemed to me a loss of so much happiness, and to go beyond the bounds of the lake was to go out of my element. Past experience had besides rendered me apprehensive. The very satisfaction that I received from anything whatever was sufficient to make me fear the loss of it, and the ardent desire I had to end my days in that island, was inseparable from the apprehension of being obliged to leave it. I had contracted a habit of going in the evening to sit upon the sandy shore, especially when the lake was agitated. I felt a singular pleasure in seeing the waves break at my feet. I formed of them in my imagination the image of the tumult of the world contrasted with the peace of my habitation; and this pleasing idea sometimes softened me even to tears. The repose I enjoyed with ecstasy was disturbed by nothing but the fear of being deprived of it, and this inquietude was accompanied with some bitterness. I felt my situation so precarious as not to dare to depend upon its continuance. "Ah! how willingly," said I to myself, "would I renounce the liberty of quitting this place, for which I have no desire, for the assurance of always remaining in it. Instead of being permitted to stay here by favor, why am I not detained by force! They who suffer me to remain may in a moment drive me away, and can I hope my persecutors, seeing me happy, will leave me here to continue to be so? Permitting me to live in the island is but a trifling favor. I could wish to be condemned to do it, and constrained to remain here that I may not be obliged to go elsewhere." I cast an envious eye upon Micheli du Cret, who, quiet in the castle of Arbourg, had only to determine to be happy to become so. In fine, by abandoning myself to these reflections, and the alarming apprehensions of new storms always ready to break over my head, I wished for them with an incredible ardor, and that instead of suffering me to reside in the island, the Bernois would give it me for a perpetual prison; and I can assert that had it depended upon me to get myself condemned to this, I would most joyfully have done it, preferring a thousand times the necessity of passing my life there to the danger of being driven to another place.

This fear did not long remain on my mind. When I least expected what was to happen, I received a letter from the bailiff of Nidau, within whose jurisdiction the island of St. Peter was; by his letter he announced to me from their excellencies an order to quit the island and their states. I thought myself in a dream. Nothing could be less natural, reasonable, or foreseen than such an order: for I considered my apprehensions as the result of inquietude in a man whose imagination was disturbed by his misfortunes, and not to proceed from a foresight which could have the least foundation. The measures I had taken to insure myself the tacit consent of the sovereign, the tranquillity with which I had been left to make my establishment, the visits of several people from Berne, and that of the bailiff himself, who had shown me such friendship and attention, and the rigor of the season in which it was barbarous to expel a man who was sickly and infirm, all these circumstances made me and many people believe that there was some mistake in the order and that ill-disposed people had purposely chosen the time of the vintage and the vacation of the senate suddenly to do me an injury.

Had I yielded to the first impulse of my indignation, I should immediately have departed. But to what place was I to go? What was to become of me at the beginning of the winter, without object, preparation, guide or carriage? Not to leave my papers and effects at the mercy of the first comer, time was necessary to make proper arrangements, and it was not stated in the order whether or not this would be granted me. The continuance of misfortune began to weigh down my courage. For the first time in my life I felt my natural haughtiness stoop to the yoke of necessity, and, notwithstanding the murmurs of my heart, I was obliged to demean myself by asking for a delay. I applied to M. de Graffenried, who had sent me the order, for an explanation of it. His letter, conceived in the strongest terms of disapprobation of the step that had been taken, assured me it was with the greatest regret he communicated to me the nature of it, and the expressions of grief and esteem it contained seemed so many gentle invitations to open to him my heart: I did so. I had no doubt but my letter would open the eyes of my persecutors, and that if so cruel an order was not revoked, at least a reasonable delay, perhaps the whole winter, to make the necessary preparations for my retreat, and to choose a place of abode, would be granted me.

Whilst I waited for an answer, I reflected upon my situation, and deliberated upon the steps I had to take. I perceived so many difficulties on all sides, the vexation I had suffered had so strongly affected me, and my health was then in such a bad state, that I was quite overcome, and the effect of my discouragement was to deprive me of the little resource which remained in my mind, by which I might, as well as it was possible to do it, have withdrawn myself from my melancholy situation. In whatever asylum I should take refuge, it appeared impossible to avoid either of the two means made use of to expel me. One of which was to stir up against me the populace by secret manoeuvres; and the other to drive me away by open force, without giving a reason for so doing. I could not, therefore, depend upon a safe retreat, unless I went in search of it farther than my strength and the season seemed likely to permit. These circumstances again bringing to my recollection the ideas which had lately occurred to me, I wished my persecutors to condemn me to perpetual imprisonment rather than oblige me incessantly to wander upon the earth, by successively expelling me from the asylums of which I should make choice: and to this effect I made them a proposal. Two days after my first letter to M. de Graffenried, I wrote him a second, desiring he would state what I had proposed to their excellencies. The answer from Berne to both was an order, conceived in the most formal and severe terms, to go out of the island, and leave every territory, mediate and immediate of the republic, within the space of twenty-four hours, and never to enter them again under the most grievous penalties.

This was a terrible moment. I have since that time felt greater anguish, but never have I been more embarrassed. What afflicted me most was being forced to abandon the project which had made me desirous to pass the winter in the island. It is now time I should relate the fatal anecdote which completed my disasters, and involved in my ruin an unfortunate people, whose rising virtues already promised to equal those of Rome and Sparta, I had spoken of the Corsicans in the 'Social Contract' as a new people, the only nation in Europe not too worn out for legislation, and had expressed the great hope there was of such a people, if it were fortunate enough to have a wise legislator. My work was read by some of the Corsicans, who were sensible of the honorable manner in which I had spoken of them; and the necessity under which they found themselves of endeavoring to establish their republic, made their chiefs think of asking me for my ideas upon the subject. M. Buttafuoco, of one of the first families in the country, and captain in France, in the Royal Italians, wrote to me to that effect, and sent me several papers for which I had asked to make myself acquainted with the history of the nation and the state of the country. M. Paoli, also, wrote to me several times, and although I felt such an undertaking to be superior to my abilities; I thought I could not refuse to give my assistance to so great and noble a work, the moment I should have acquired all the necessary information. It was to this effect I answered both these gentlemen, and the correspondence lasted until my departure.

Precisely at the same time, I heard that France was sending troops to Corsica, and that she had entered into a treaty with the Genoese. This treaty and sending of troops gave me uneasiness, and, without imagining I had any further relation with the business, I thought it impossible and the attempt ridiculous, to labor at an undertaking which required such undisturbed tranquillity as the political institution of a people in the moment when perhaps they were upon the point of being subjugated. I did not conceal my fears from M. Buttafuoco, who rather relieved me from them by the assurance that, were there in the treaty things contrary to the liberty of his country, a good citizen like himself would not remain as he did in the service of France. In fact, his zeal for the legislation of the Corsicans, and his connections with M. Paoli, could not leave a doubt on my mind respecting him; and when I heard he made frequent journeys to Versailles and Fontainebleau, and had conversations with M. de Choiseul, all I concluded from the whole was, that with respect to the real intentions of France he had assurances which he gave me to understand, but concerning which he did not choose openly to explain himself by letter.

This removed a part of my apprehensions. Yet, as I could not comprehend the meaning of the transportation of troops from France, nor reasonably suppose they were sent to Corsica to protect the liberty of the inhabitants, which they of themselves were very well able to defend against the Genoese, I could neither make myself perfectly easy, nor seriously undertake the plan of the proposed legislation, until I had solid proofs that the whole was serious, and that the parties meant not to trifle with me. I much wished for an interview with M. Buttafuoco, as that was certainly the best means of coming at the explanation I wished. Of this he gave me hopes, and I waited for it with the greatest impatience. I know not whether he really intended me any interview or not; but had this even been the case, my misfortunes would have prevented me from profiting by it.

The more I considered the proposed undertaking, and the further I advanced in the examination of the papers I had in my hands, the greater I found the necessity of studying, in the country, the people for whom institutions were to be made, the soil they inhabited, and all the relative circumstances by which it was necessary to appropriate to them that institution. I daily perceived more clearly the impossibility of acquiring at a distance all the information necessary to guide me. This I wrote to M. Buttafuoco, and he felt as I did. Although I did not form the precise resolution of going to Corsica. I considered a good deal of the means necessary to make that voyage. I mentioned it to M. Dastier, who having formerly served in the island under M. de Maillebois, was necessarily acquainted with it. He used every effort to dissuade me from this intention, and I confess the frightful description he gave me of the Corsicans and their country, considerably abated the desire I had of going to live amongst them.

But when the persecutions of Motiers made me think of quitting Switzerland, this desire was again strengthened by the hope of at length finding amongst these islanders the repose refused me in every other place. One thing only alarmed me, which was my unfitness for the active life to which I was going to be condemned, and the aversion I had always had to it. My disposition, proper for meditating at leisure and in solitude, was not so for speaking and acting, and treating of affairs with men. Nature, which had endowed me with the first talent, had refused me the last. Yet I felt that, even without taking a direct and active part in public affairs, I should as soon as I was in Corsica, be under the necessity of yielding to the desires of the people, and of frequently conferring with the chiefs. The object even of the voyage required that, instead of seeking retirement, I should in the heart of the country endeavor to gain the information of which I stood in need. It was certain that I should no longer be master of my own time, and that, in spite of myself, precipitated into the vortex in which I was not born to move, I should there lead a life contrary to my inclination, and never appear but to disadvantage. I foresaw that ill-supporting by my presence the opinion my books might have given the Corsicans of my capacity, I should lose my reputation amongst them, and, as much to their prejudice as my own, be deprived of the confidence they had in me, without which, however, I could not successfully produce the work they expected from my pen. I am certain that, by thus going out of my sphere, I should become useless to the inhabitants, and render myself unhappy.

Tormented, beaten by storms from every quarter, and, for several years past, fatigued by journeys and persecution, I strongly felt a want of the repose of which my barbarous enemies wantonly deprived me: I sighed more than ever after that delicious indolence, that soft tranquillity of body and mind, which I had so much desired, and to which, now that I had recovered from the chimeras of love and friendship, my heart limited its supreme felicity. I viewed with terror the work I was about to undertake; the tumultuous life into which I was to enter made me tremble, and if the grandeur, beauty, and utility of the object animated my courage, the impossibility of conquering so many difficulties entirely deprived me of it.

Twenty years of profound meditation in solitude would have been less painful to me than an active life of six months in the midst of men and public affairs, with a certainty of not succeeding in my undertaking.

I thought of an expedient which seemed proper to obviate every difficulty. Pursued by the underhand dealings of my secret persecutors to every place in which I took refuge, and seeing no other except Corsica where I could in my old days hope for the repose I had until then been everywhere deprived of, I resolved to go there with the directions of M. Buttafuoco as soon as this was possible, but to live there in tranquillity; renouncing, in appearance, everything relative to legislation, and, in some measure, to make my hosts a return for their hospitality, to confine myself to writing in the country the history of the Corsicans, with a reserve in my own mind of the intention of secretly acquiring the necessary information to become more useful to them should I see a probability of success. In this manner, by not entering into an engagement, I hoped to be enabled better to meditate in secret and more at my ease, a plan which might be useful to their purpose, and this without much breaking in upon my dearly beloved solitude, or submitting to a kind of life which I had ever found insupportable.

But the journey was not, in my situation, a thing so easy to get over. According to what M. Dastier had told me of Corsica, I could not expect to find there the most simple conveniences of life, except such as I should take with me; linen, clothes, plate, kitchen furniture, and books, all were to be conveyed thither. To get there myself with my gouvernante, I had the Alps to cross, and in a journey of two hundred leagues to drag after me all my baggage; I had also to pass through the states of several sovereigns, and according to the example set to all Europe, I had, after what had befallen me, naturally to expect to find obstacles in every quarter, and that each sovereign would think he did himself honor by overwhelming me with some new insult, and violating in my person all the rights of persons and humanity. The immense expense, fatigue, and risk of such a journey made a previous consideration of them, and weighing every difficulty, the first step necessary. The idea of being alone, and, at my age, without resource, far removed from all my acquaintance, and at the mercy of these semi-barbarous and ferocious people, such as M. Dastier had described them to me, was sufficient to make me deliberate before I resolved to expose myself to such dangers. I ardently wished for the interview for which M. Buttafuoco had given me reason to hope, and I waited the result of it to guide me in my determination.

Whilst I thus hesitated came on the persecutions of Motiers, which obliged me to retire. I was not prepared for a long journey, especially to Corsica. I expected to hear from Buttafuoco; I took refuge in the island of St. Peter, whence I was driven at the beginning of winter, as I have already stated. The Alps, covered with snow, then rendered my emigration impracticable, especially with the promptitude required from me. It is true, the extravagant severity of a like order rendered the execution of it almost impossible; for, in the midst of that concentred solitude, surrounded by water, and having but twenty-four hours after receiving the order to prepare for my departure, and find a boat and carriages to get out of the island and the territory, had I had wings, I should scarcely have been able to pay obedience to it. This I wrote to the bailiff of Nidau, in answer to his letter, and hastened to take my departure from a country of iniquity. In this manner was I obliged to abandon my favorite project, for which reason, not having in my oppression been able to prevail upon my persecutors to dispose of me otherwise, I determined, in consequence of the invitation of my lord marshal, upon a journey to Berlin, leaving Theresa to pass the winter in the island of St. Peter, with my books and effects, and depositing my papers in the hands of M. du Peyrou. I used so much diligence that the next morning I left the island and arrived at Bienne before noon. An accident, which I cannot pass over in silence, had here well nigh put an end to my journey.

As soon as the news or my having received an order to quit my asylum was circulated, I received a great number of visits from the neighborhood, and especially from the Bernois, who came with the most detestable falsehood to flatter and soothe me, protesting that my persecutors had seized the moment of the vacation of the senate to obtain and send me the order, which, said they, had excited the indignation of the two hundred. Some of these comforters came from the city of Bienne, a little free state within that of Berne, and amongst others a young man of the name of Wildremet whose family was of the first rank, and had the greatest credit in that city. Wildremet strongly solicited me in the name of his fellow-citizens to choose my retreat amongst them, assuring me that they were anxiously desirous of it, and that they would think it an honor and their duty to make me forget the persecutions I had suffered; that with them I had nothing to fear from the influence of the Bernois, that Bienne was a free city, governed by its own laws, and that the citizens were unanimously resolved not to hearken to any solicitation which should be unfavorable to me.

Wildremet perceiving all he could say to be ineffectual, brought to his aid several other persons, as well from Bienne and the environs as from Berne; even, and amongst others, the same Kirkeberguer, of whom I have spoken, who, after my retreat to Switzerland had endeavored to obtain my esteem, and by his talents and principles had interested me in his favor. But I received much less expected and more weighty solicitations from M. Barthes, secretary to the embassy from France, who came with Wildremet to see me, exhorted me to accept his invitation, and surprised me by the lively and tender concern he seemed to feel for my situation. I did not know M. Barthes; however I perceived in what he said the warmth and zeal of friendship, and that he had it at heart to persuade me to fix my residence at Bienne. He made the most pompous eulogium of the city and its inhabitants, with whom he showed himself so intimately connected as to call them several times in my presence his patrons and fathers.

This from Barthes bewildered me in my conjectures. I had always suspected M. de Choisuel to be the secret author of all the persecutions I suffered in Switzerland. The conduct of the resident of Geneva, and that of the ambassador at Soleure but too much confirmed my suspicion; I perceived the secret influence of France in everything that happened to me at Berne, Geneva and Neuchatel, and I did not think I had any powerful enemy in that kingdom, except the Duke de Choiseul. What therefore could I think of the visit of Barthes and the tender concern he showed for my welfare? My misfortunes had not yet destroyed the confidence natural to my heart, and I had still to learn from experience to discern snares under the appearance of friendship. I sought with surprise the reason of the benevolence of M. Barthes; I was not weak enough to believe he had acted from himself; there was in his manner something ostentatious, an affectation even which declared a concealed intention, and I was far from having found in any of these little subaltern agents, that generous intrepidity which, when I was in a similar employment, had often caused a fermentation in my heart. I had formerly known something of the Chevalier Beauteville, at the castle of Montmorency; he had shown me marks of esteem; since his appointment to the embassy he had given me proofs of his not having entirely forgotten me, accompanied with an invitation to go and see him at Soleure. Though I did not accept this invitation, I was extremely sensible of his civility, not having been accustomed to be treated with such kindness by people in place. I presume M. de Beauteville, obliged to follow his instructions in what related to the affairs of Geneva, yet pitying me under my misfortunes, had by his private cares prepared for me the asylum of Bienne, that I might live there in peace under his auspices. I was properly sensible of his attention, but without wishing to profit by it and quite determined upon the journey to Berlin, I sighed after the moment in which I was to see my lord marshal, persuaded I should in future find zeal repose and lasting happiness nowhere but near his person.

On my departure from the island, Kirkeberguer accompanied me to Bienne. I found Wildremet and other Biennois, who, by the water side, waited my getting out of the boat. We all dined together at the inn, and on my arrival there my first care was to provide a chaise, being determined to set off the next morning. Whilst we were at dinner these gentlemen repeated their solicitations to prevail upon me to stay with them, and this with such warmth and obliging protestations, that notwithstanding all my resolutions, my heart, which has never been able to resist friendly attentions, received an impression from theirs; the moment they perceived I was shaken, they redoubled their efforts with so much effect that I was at length overcome, and consented to remain at Bienne, at least until the spring.

Wildremet immediately set about providing me with a lodging, and boasted, as of a fortunate discovery, of a dirty little chamber in the back of the house, on the third story, looking into a courtyard, where I had for a view the display of the stinking skins of a dresser of chamois leather. My host was a man of a mean appearance, and a good deal of a rascal; the next day after I went to his house I heard that he was a debauchee, a gamester, and in bad credit in the neighborhood. He had neither wife, children, nor servants, and shut up in my solitary chamber, I was in the midst of one of the most agreeable countries in Europe, lodged in a manner to make me die of melancholy in the course of a few days. What affected me most was, that, notwithstanding what I had heard of the anxious wish of the inhabitants to receive me amongst them, I had not perceived, as I passed through the streets, anything polite towards me in their manners, or obliging in their looks. I was, however, determined to remain there; but I learned, saw, and felt, the day after, that there was in the city a terrible fermentation, of which I was the cause. Several persons hastened obligingly to inform me that on the next day I was to receive an order conceived in the most severe terms, immediately to quit the state, that is the city. I had nobody in whom I could confide; they who had detained me were dispersed. Wildremet had disappeared; I heard no more of Barthes, and it did not appear that his recommendation had brought me into great favor with those whom he had styled his patrons and fathers. One M. de Van Travers, a Bernois, who had an agreeable house not far from the city, offered it to me for my asylum, hoping, as he said, that I might there avoid being stoned. The advantage this offer held out was not sufficiently flattering to tempt me to prolong my abode with these hospitable people.

Yet, having lost three days by the delay, I had greatly exceeded the twenty-four hours the Bernois had given me to quit their states, and knowing their severity, I was not without apprehensions as to the manner in which they would suffer me to cross them, when the bailiff of Nidau came opportunely and relieved me from my embarrassment. As he had highly disapproved of the violent proceedings of their excellencies, he thought, in his generosity, he owed me some public proof of his taking no part in them, and had courage to leave his bailiwick to come and pay me a visit at Bienne. He did me this favor the evening before my departure, and far from being incognito he affected ceremony, coming in fiocchi in his coach with his secretary, and brought me a passport in his own name that I might cross the state of Berne at my ease, and without fear of molestation. I was more flattered by the visit than by the passport, and should have been as sensible of the merit of it, had it had for object any other person whatsoever. Nothing makes a greater impression on my heart than a well-timed act of courage in favor of the weak unjustly oppressed.

At length, after having with difficulty procured a chaise, I next morning left this barbarous country, before the arrival of the deputation with which I was to be honored, and even before I had seen Theresa, to whom I had written to come to me, when I thought I should remain at Bienne, and whom I had scarcely time to countermand by a short letter, informing her of my new disaster. In the third part of my memoirs, if ever I be able to write them, I shall state in what manner, thinking to set off for Berlin, I really took my departure for England, and the means by which the two ladies who wished to dispose of my person, after having by their manoeuvres driven me from Switzerland, where I was not sufficiently in their power, at last delivered me into the hands of their friend.

I added what follows on reading my memoirs to M. and Madam, the Countess of Egmont, the Prince Pignatelli, the Marchioness of Mesme, and the Marquis of Juigne.

I have written the truth: if any person has heard of things contrary to those I have just stated, were they a thousand times proved, he has heard calumny and falsehood; and if he refuses thoroughly to examine and compare them with me whilst I am alive, he is not a friend either to justice or truth. For my part, I openly, and without the least fear declare, that whoever, even without having read my works, shall have examined with his own eyes, my disposition, character, manners, inclinations, pleasures, and habits, and pronounce me a dishonest man, is himself one who deserves a gibbet.

Thus I concluded, and every person was silent; Madam d'Egmont was the only person who seemed affected; she visibly trembled, but soon recovered herself, and was silent like the rest of the company. Such were the fruits of my reading and declaration.







 

THE ETEXT EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:

A feeling heart the foundation of all my misfortunes
A religion preached by such missionaries must lead to paradise!
A subject not even fit to make a priest of
A man, on being questioned, is immediately on his guard
Adopted the jargon of books, than the knowledge they contained
All animals are distrustful of man, and with reason
All your evils proceed from yourselves!
An author must be independent of success
Ardor for learning became so far a madness
Aversion to singularity
Avoid putting our interests in competition with our duty
Being beat like a slave, I judged I had a right to all vices
Bilboquet
Catholic must content himself with the decisions of others
Caution is needless after the evil has happened
Cemented by reciprocal esteem
Considering this want of decency as an act of courage
Conversations were more serviceable than his prescriptions
Degree of sensuality had mingled with the smart and shame
Die without the aid of physicians
Difficult to think nobly when we think for a livelihood
Dine at the hour of supper; sup when I should have been asleep
Disgusted with the idle trifling of a convent
Dissembler, though, in fact, I was only courteous
Dying for love without an object
Endeavoring to hide my incapacity, I rarely fail to show it
Endeavoring to rise too high we are in danger of falling
Ever appearing to feel as little for others as herself
Finding in every disease symptoms similar to mine
First instance of violence and oppression is so deeply engraved
First time in my life, of saying, "I merit my own esteem"
Flattery, or rather condescension, is not always a vice
Force me to be happy in the manner they should point out
Foresight with me has always embittered enjoyment
Hastening on to death without having lived
Hat, only fit to be carried under his arm
Have the pleasure of seeing an ass ride on horseback
Have ever preferred suffering to owing
Her excessive admiration or dislike of everything
Hold fast to aught that I have, and yet covet nothing more
Hopes, in which self-love was by no means a loser
How many wrongs are effaced by the embraces of a friend!
I never much regretted sleep
I strove to flatter my idleness
I never heard her speak ill of persons who were absent
I loved her too well to wish to possess her
I felt no dread but that of being detected
I was long a child, and am so yet in many particulars
I am charged with the care of myself only
I only wished to avoid giving offence
I did not fear punishment, but I dreaded shame
I had a numerous acquaintance, yet no more than two friends
Idea of my not being everything to her
Idleness is as much the pest of society as of solitude
If you have nothing to do, you must absolutely speak continually
In the course of their lives frequently unlike themselves
In company I suffer cruelly by inaction
In a nation of blind men, those with one eye are kings
Indolence, negligence and delay in little duties to be fulfilled
Indolence of company is burdensome because it is forced
Injustice of mankind which embitters both life and death
Insignificant trash that has obtained the name of education
Instead of being delighted with the journey only wished arrival
Is it possible to dissimulate with persons whom we love?
Jean Bapiste Rousseau
Knew how to complain, but not how to act
Law that the accuser should be confined at the same time
Left to nature the whole care of my own instruction
Less degree of repugnance in divulging what is really criminal
Letters illustrious in proportion as it was less a trade
Loaded with words and redundancies
Looking on each day as the last of my life
Love of the marvellous is natural to the human heart
Make men like himself, instead of taking them as they were
Making their knowledge the measure of possibilities
Making me sensible of every deficiency
Manoeuvres of an author to the care of publishing a good book
Men, in general, make God like themselves
Men of learning more tenaciously retain their predjudices
Mistake wit for sense
Moment I acquired literary fame, I had no longer a friend
Money that we possess is the instrument of liberty
Money we lack and strive to obtain is the instrument of slavery
More stunned than flattered by the trumpet of fame
More folly than candor in the declaration without necessity
Multiplying persons and adventures
My greatest faults have been omissions
Myself the principal object
Necessity, the parent of industry, suggested an invention
Neither the victim nor witness of any violent emotions
No sooner had lost sight of men than I ceased to despise them
No longer permitted to let old people remain out of Paris
Not so easy to quit her house as to enter it
Not knowing how to spend their time, daily breaking in upon me
Nothing absurd appears to them incredible
Obliged to pay attention to every foolish thing uttered
Obtain their wishes, without permitting or promising anything
One of those affronts which women scarcely ever forgive
Only prayer consisted in the single interjection "Oh!"
Painful to an honest man to resist desires already formed
Passed my days in languishing in silence for those I most admire
Piety was too sincere to give way to any affectation of it
Placing unbounded confidence in myself and others
Prescriptions serve to flatter the hopes of the patient
Priests ought never to have children—except by married women
Proportioned rather to her ideas than abilities
Protestants, in general, are better instructed
Rather bashful than modest
Rather appeared to study with than to instruct me
Read the hearts of others by endeavoring to conceal our own
Read description of any malady without thinking it mine
Read without studying
Remorse wakes amid the storms of adversity
Remorse sleeps in the calm sunshine of prosperity
Reproach me with so many contradictions
Return of spring seemed to me like rising from the grave
Rogues know how to save themselves at the expense of the feeble
Satisfaction of weeping together
Seeking, by fresh offences, a return of the same chastisement
Sin consisted only in the scandal
Slighting her favors, if within your reach, a unpardonable crime
Sometimes encourage hopes they never mean to realize
Substituting cunning to knowledge
Supposed that certain, which I only knew to be probable
Taught me it was not so terrible to thieve as I had imagined
That which neither women nor authors ever pardon
The malediction of knaves is the glory of an honest man
The conscience of the guilty would revenge the innocent
There is nothing in this world but time and misfortune
There is no clapping of hands before the king
This continued desire to control me in all my wishes
Though not a fool, I have frequently passed for one
To make him my apologies for the offence he had given me
True happiness is indescribable, it is only to be felt
Trusting too implicitly to their own innocence
Tyranny of persons who called themselves my friends
Virtuous minds, which vice never attacks openly
Voltaire was formed never to be(happy)
We learned to dissemble, to rebel, to lie
What facility everything which favors the malignity of man
When once we make a secret of anything to the person we love
When everyone is busy, you may continue silent
Whence comes it that even a child can intimidate a man
Where merit consists in belief, and not in virtue
Whole universe would be interested in my concerns
Whose discourses began by a distribution of millions
Wish thus to be revenged of me for their humiliation
Without the least scruple, freely disposing of my time
Writing for bread would soon have extinguished my genius
Yielded him the victory, or rather declined the contest

 

 
     
         
 

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