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“ A singular thing, which I had forgot to mention, is that the women have not found obscenity enough in the book. I do not know what your London ladies may think of the matter.
“ I have received but two or three of the letters you have done me the honor to write to me. I trespass upon your patience, fo shall conclude with requesting that you will still find time to read me now and I am, my lord, with all imaginable respect, Your most obedient humble servant,
CRE BILLO N."
S A M E.
Paris, July 26, 1742. " It would certainly be an unparalleled instance of good-nature, and such as, in my heart, I could not approve, though I were the object of it, if you should think me capable of ing ratitude towards you, and could forgive it. I have been but three weeks without writing to you; and this interval I allowed myself, only because in the last letter I ever received from you, which is that in which you set me right in the affair of the Sopha, you told me you was going to Spa, and I thought I must allow you time to get thither. As the post has not thought proper to bring me your la ft letters, I knew nothing of your staying in England; and towards the beginning of this month, I wrote to you to Spa. If you should recover that letter, my lord, you will see that I was duly sensible of what your generous friend hip had suggested for me. As it is very possible it may never be se: t you, as the post has not of late been very attentive to those kind of things, I will endeavour, my lord, to recollect what I said in that letter.
" You are the man in the world from whom I fould soonest accept affiftance, because you are of all men him whom I molt esteem; and because I am of opinion that the same principle which prompts us to oblige, is the only one which can suffer us to contract obligations; and that nothing is so grating as to be beholden to one whom you would be ashamed to own as a benefactor. I beg, therefore, my lord, you will not think it is out of pride that I have retuled your kind offer 3 I ain incapable of any such impertinence. What I prize most in the world is your friendship. I had no right to expect that such small talents as mine should ever entitle me to so valuable an acquifition, and I shall never forget that I owe it much more to your goodness than to my own merit. I am so fincerely devoted to you, that, with your ge: nerous disposition, you must feel more satisfaction in having a faithful servant, than vexation in having an unprofitable one.
“ I am glad you drink the Bath waters, as I suppose the physicians have thought them more adviseable than those of Spa; but I could have wished it had been otherwise, as I had flattered myself that, at your return, you would have come and spent some time in France; and I had already laid some very pretty schemes for the time you would be amongst us.
" At last my banishment is at an end; and, thank God, I can now hold up my head in Paris. I don't think I shall avail myself much of the permission that has been granted me to live there, nor do I believe I Mall return thither before winter, unless you should come, which I Çannot now hope for, after your Bath journey.
" We have nothing nerv here, but an impertinence of Voltaire's, who has taken it into his head to congratulate the K. of P. on the fine trick he plays us. I think, if it is extremely foulish to be so wedded to one's own country, as to admire its follies, and to fancy that no kind of merit is to be found but at home, there is an extreme meanness in not resenting the affronts that are put upon it. The philofopher may be lets hurt by fuch things than another man, but he must be no patriot who can rejoice at them. Though the ministry have not been plealed with this letter, they have been wise enough to take no notice of it, and have not thought, like the public, thar the author ought to be bapithed, 1
* I told your lordip in that letter which miscarried, that, difcou-Fayed by ali ihe nonsense I heard about my last work, I was a long while before I would or could write any thing more, and when I could, I did not find myself in a condition to go on with the book, of which you permitted me to read you a specimen last year. However, as I was defilous of employing my time, which, in the country, rather hangs heavy upon the hands of a man who has no avocations, who does not love cards, and who is free from all other passions, I betook myself to writing, and went on with a little novel, somewhat historical, very fimple, and yet written in the most pompous style. It is a mere trifle, but I bestow as much attention upon it as if it were the most consider. able work in the world. In a word, I consider that you are to read it; and that is sufficient to induce me not to neglect it. I hope it will be fit to appear, and that you will permit me to send it you.
“ If it were not for Pamela, my lord, we fould be at a loss what to read, and what to talk of. I have at last read it in my turn, and, whatever our censorious triflers of both sexes may fay, who judge only by fine writing, and make the jargon of their own tea-tables the itandard of every thing, I have found it very interesting. I could have wished indeed, that the translation had been somewhat more elegant. There are many low expressions, which seem to be more the cranflator's fault than the author's. One thing I like, though many people dilike it here, is, that he has kept up to the manners of the original, and has not foolishly substituted our own. Pamela in a French dress would, in my opinion, have been very ridiculous.
“ In the midit of a thousand little trifling circumstances, which in themselves do not seem calculated to engage the attention, or to move the paffons, but which neceflarily arise from the mean itation of the heroine, the reader feels himself so affected as to-lhed tears ; at least the book has made me cry more than once. I find it full of sound moral, sentiment, truth, workings of the heart well hit off, and well laid open; but sometimes too the same workings are brought on again, and produce no new sensation, which I think a great fault. For, in my opinion, the same thing Thould never be represented over again, when once it has spent its force, unless it is productive of some fresh incident, kill more striking than the former ; which is not the case with
Pamela, where the very fame picture is exhibited over and over, to no : manner of purpose.
For my part, my lord, I have found Pamela more vain than virtuous. Her pride is hurt by being attacked like a woman of the town, and she is displeased at her admirer, for taking liberties without ever having made love to her. I shall say as Mr. B .... I would lay any wager, that a French petit maitre, who should have sacrificed to Pamela's pride some of the pretty speeches he reserved for a dutchess, wrote her fome billets doux, kified her hands five or fix times, and thrown himself at her feer, would have prevailed in less than a forcnight.
"If he repents having married her, he may thank himself. Besides, to say the truth, I find her fo filly and so awkward after marriage! I observe the never prays in bed, which is, I believe, the only piece of furniture in her house that does not afford matter for her pious ejaculations. I am told the author is preparing a sequel ; methinks his fourth volume should be a warning to him to let that alone. But I ain aware that I am growing as tedious as that volume. You must forgive me, as I bave been so long without saying a word to you. I am, my lord, with all imaginable respect and attachment,
CRE BILLO N."
To M. CREBILLON.
London, Aug. 26, O. S. “ The post has of late been more propitious to ine than usual, and has brought me your two last letters in due time. If it has brought you my letters as punctually, you will have seen by my last, that I was no longer under that uneasiness, which former disappointments had given me. Now, I even think myself obliged to the post for its negligence, which has procured me fuch' flattering marks of your friendship, and of your sentiments for me. I may affure you wish truth that they are reciprocal; but it is my misfortune, that though my sentiments are the fame, I have not the same power of expressing them.
“ Some advantageous truths there are, which favour too much of flattery, for want of a certain delicacy in the manner of telling them ; as there is a kind of flattery, which, by the help of that delicacy, appears to be but plain truth. That talent is peculiarly yours, and has almost made me believe that I deserved all you fay of me.
“ I confefs my toible with regard to flattery. I ain as fond of it as Voltaire can possibly be ; but with this differenze, that I love it only from a masterly hand. I am dainty, he is greedy of it. I have a good nátural appetite for it, he an unsatiable craving, which makes him eagerly devour it, though served up by the very worst of cooks.
“ I am very sensible that all this is just the fame, as if I were to sav, Pray, fir, flatter me as much as you please, I shall be heartily glad of it. I do not deny the charge, nor am I ashamed of it. Landari d laudato viro, has at all times been accounted a very pardonable ambition; and Tully, writing to such another as yourfelt, tells him more than once, orna me.
“ I understand that perfectly well; but I cannot comprchend how a man is not disgufied at the flattery of those whote approbation would be 3 disgrace to him if it were real.
3. Voltaire rehearsed to me last year, at Brussels, several passages pie of his Mahomet, in which I found some very fine lines, and some thoughts more brilliant than juit. But I foon perceived that he had Jefus Christ in view, in the character of Mahoinet; and I wondered this had not been observed at Lille, where it had been acted just before I arrived there. I even met with a good catholic at Lille, who had more zeal than penetration, and who was greatly edified at the manner in which that impostor, and enemy to christianity, was represented.
** As for unconnected scenes, and misplaced incidents, if you do not like them, you do not like Voltaire. In his writings, his subject is out of the queition ; and all you are to expećt is, bold tallies, and a set of brilliant and fingular notions, which he wants to convey to the public, no matter where or how.
6 This I could overlook; he is not the first author who has been carried away, by a lively imagination, beyond the bounds of reason and accuracy; but what I cannot forgive him, and what is really unpardonable, is the great pains he takes to propagate a doctrine, alike jernicious to civil lociety, and contrary to the general religion of all countrie:.
is much question whether it is allowable for any man to write a. gainit the worship and beliet of his own coun:ry, even it he were convinced in his owe mind t!:at they were not tiee from error, op account of the disturbance and disorder it would occasion. But I am very cer. tain no man is at liberty to attack the foundations of all morality, and to break shole ties, which are lo necefliry, and already too weak, to reitrain mankind wishin the bounds of duty:
Notwithstanding all the toppery, errors, and impertinence of authors, I will never consent to your giving up the name, much less the trade. The public would be too great a loter, and so should I, and your elf too. Belides, the more detects are observable in any fet of men, the more crelicable it is to belong to that society, and yet be free from its detects, which is the case with
yoll. Amonyit writing animals, as you define authors, the animal that writes well is as scarce, as the animal that makes ule of his reason is amongit rational animals, as we are called. Go on then, and in fpire of all the male and feinale coxcombs, continue to deferve the distinction you have acquired on so many accounts, and even add to it, by adding to the number of your volumes. Give its but enough, and I am in no care for the reli,
De te nam cætera (umes." Book the Second contains Letters to Solomon Dayrolles, Esq; żnd some other friends. In this series are contained a number of entertaining and inftructive anecdotes of public characters and transactions. We can spare rooin, however, only for one letter.
TO SOLOMON DAYROLLES, Eij; at the Hague.
London, Feb. 28, 1757. I have been too long in your debt ; but the trui reaton has beer, that I had no fpecie to pay you in; and wiat I give you even nou, dots noi amount to a jenny in the pound'. Puric i. al.es h.ve bien long, and are still, too undecypherable for me to understand, consequently to relate. Fox out of place, takes the lead in the house of commons ; Pitt, secretary of state, declares that he is no minister, and has no ininifterial influence. The duke of Newcastle and lord Hard, wicke lye by, and declare themselves for neither party. Byng is reprieved for a fortnight ; what will become of him at last
, God knows : for the late admiralty want to shoot hiin to excuse themselves ; and the present admiralty want to save him, in order to lay the blame upon their predecessors.
" The fright, that your friend Nr. Van-haaren has put the Dutoh into, by telling them the French army is intended for Cleves and Gueldres, is a most idle alarm. They are not of importance enough to be in danger ; nobody thinks of them now. Hanover is evidently the object, and the only racional one, of the operations of the French ariny; not as Hanover, but belonging to the King of England, and that electorate is to be a reply to the present state of Saxony, The fields of Bohemia and Moravia will become Golgothas, or fields of blood, this year; for probably an hundred thousand human creatures will perish there this year, for the quarrel of two individuals. The king of Pruflia will, I fuppofe, feek for battle, in which, I think, he will be victorious. The Austrians will, I suppose, avoid it if they can, and endeavour to dellroy his armies, as they did the French ones in the last war, by harrafling, intercepting convoys, killing ftraglers, and all the feats of their irregulars. Thele are my political dreains, or prophecies, for perhaps they do not deserve the name of reasonings.
" The Bath did me more good than I thought any thing could do me; but all that good does not amount to what builders call halfrepairs, and only keeps up the shattered fabric a little longer than it would have stood without them : bat take my word for it, it will stand but a very little while longer. I am now on my grand climacteric, and shall not compleat it. Fontenelle's last words at a hundred, were, je sufre d'étre (a): (I feel the pain of being). Deaf and infirm as I am, I can with truth say the faine thing at fixty-three. In
" His end was
(a) Lord Chefterfild wrote this but ax weeks after the death of Pontenclle; but, as his information of that celebrated frenchman's observations on his own death is imperfect, the readers will not be displealed to find here
។ more accurate, as well as fuller, account of his dying weruis, given us by his countryman M le Cat in his eulogy of that great man ; * the lait period of a machine, fertled by the laws of nature,
His death was not preceded by any sickness; nine days before it happened, he perceived
a cantiderale diminution in his freuth, and prepared for his diffolution " by pörforming the duties of an honci man and a cariflian. It prused “ however, much flower than he expected, which made him sav 'three days
before his lait : I did not think 1 jhould baye madu so much aila about sy i ing. He continued a philosopher in the latt, and preserved the full juz inent of all his facultivs. He reliceted upon his own situation, jum he wouil have done upon that of another man, and seemed to be oblerving
a phenomenon. Drawing very near his end, he faid, this is the film “ death I bave ever seen; and his portician haring asked him, whether he
was in pain, or what he felt, bis antwver was, feed nothing but a dificulty of cxifling. (Je ne lens autre chose qu'une lihculté d':