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then you do not leave me to my repose, it may be said you are ungrateful too.

Gout. I can scarcely acknowledge that as any objection. As to quacks, I despise them; they may kill you indeed, but cannot injure me. And, as to regular physicians, they are at last convinced, that the gout, in such a subject as you are, is no disease, but a remedy; and wherefore cure a remedy? — but to our business, - there.

FRANKLIN. Oh! Oh! — for Heaven's sake leave me; and I promise faithfully never more to play at chess, but to take exercise daily, and live temperately.

Gout. I know you too well. You promise fair; but, after a few months of good health, you will return to your old habits; your fine promises will be forgotten like the forms of the last year's clouds. Let us then finish the account, and I will go. But I leave you with an assurance of visiting you again at a proper time and place; for my object is your good, and you are sensible now that I am your real friend.


And now I mention your friends, let me tell you, that I have in my way been trying to form some hypothesis to account for your having so many, and of such various kinds. I see that statesmen, philosophers, historians, poets, and men of learning of all sorts, are drawn around you, and seem as willing to attach themselves to you as straws about a fine piece of amber. It is not that you make pretensions to any of their sciences; and, if you did, similarity of studies does not always make people love one another. It is not, that VOL. II.


you take pains to engage them; artless simplicity is a striking part of your character. I would not attempt to explain it by the story of the ancient, who, being asked why philosophers sought the acquaintance of kings, and kings not that of philosophers, replied, that philosophers knew what they wanted, which was not always the case with kings. Yet thus far the comparison may go, that we find in your sweet society, that charming benevolence, that amiable attention to oblige, that disposition to please and be pleased, which we do not always find in the society of one another. It springs from you ; it has its influence on us all; and in your company we are not only pleased with you, but better pleased with one another, and with ourselves. I am ever, with great respect and affection, &c.

B. F.


CHAGRINÉ de votre résolution barbare, prononcée si positivement hier au soir, de rester seule pendant la vie en honneur de votre cher mari, je me retirois chez moi, tombois sur mon lit, me croyois mort, et que je me trouvois dans les Champs-Elisées.

On me demanda si j'avois envie de voir quelques personnages particuliers. “Menez-moi chez les philosophes.” “Il y en a deux qui demeurent ici près dans ce jardin ; ils sont de très-bons voisins, et très-amis l'un de l'autre.” “Qui sont-ils?” “Socrate et Helvétius.” “ Je les estime prodigieusement tous les deux; mais faites-moi voir premièrement Helvétius, parce que j'entends un peu de François et pas un mot de Grec." — Il m'a reçu avec beaucoup de courtoisie, m'ayant connu, disoit-il, de réputation il y avoit quelque temps. Il me demanda mille choses sur la guerre, et sur l'état présent de la religion, de la liberté, et du gouvernement en France. “ Vous ne demandez donc rien,” lui dis-je,“ de votre chère amie Madame Helvétius; et cependant elle vous aime encore excessivement, et il n'y a qu'une heure que j'étois chez elle.” “Ah!” dit-il, “vous me faites ressouvenir de mon ancienne félicité. Mais il faut l'oublier pour être heureux ici. Pendant plusieurs des premières années, je n'ai pensé qu'à elle. Enfin je suis consolé. J'ai pris une autre femme ; la plus semblable à elle que j'ai pu trouver. Elle n'est pas, il est vrai, tout-à-fait si belle, mais elle a autant de bon sens, beaucoup d'esprit, et elle m'aime infiniment. Son étude continuelle est de me plaire, et elle est sortie actuellement chercher le meilleur nectar et ambroisie pour me régaler ce soir ; restez avec moi et vous la verrez.” “ J'apperçois,” dis-je, “que votre ancienne amie est plus fidelle que vous; car plusieurs bons partis lui ont été offerts qu'elle a refusés tous. Je vous confesse que je l'ai aimée, moi, à la folie; mais elle étoit dure à mon égard, et m'a rejeté absolument pour l'amour de vous.” “ Je vous plains,” dit-il, “ de votre malheur; car vraiment c'est une bonne et belle femme, et bien aimable. Mais l'Abbé de la R ****, et l'Abbé M ****, ne sont-ils pas encore quelquefois chez elle ?” “Oui assurément; car elle n'a pas perdu un seul de vos amis.” “Si vous aviez gagné l'Abbé M **** (avec du bon café à la crême) à parler pour vous, vous auriez peut-être réussi ; car il est raisonneur subtil comme Duns Scotus ou St. Thomas; il met ses arguments en si bon ordre qu'ils deviennent presque irrésistibles. Et si l'Abbé de la R *** * avoit été gagné (par quelque belle édition d'un vieux classique) à parler contre vous, cela auroit été mieux; car j'ai toujours observé, que quand il lui conseilla quelque chose, elle avoit un penchant très-fort à faire le revers." A ces mots entra la nouvelle Madame Helvétius avec le nectar; à l'instant je l'ai reconnue pour être Madame Franklin, mon ancienne amie Américaine. Je l'ai réclamée, mais elle me dit froidement; “ J'ai été votre bonne femme quaranteneuf années et quatre mois; presqu'un demi-siècle ; soyez content de cela. J'ai formé ici une nouvelle connexion, qui durera à l'éternité."

Indigné de ce refus de mon Eurydice, je pris de suite la résolution de quitter ces ombres ingrates, et revenir en ce bon monde, revoir le soleil et vous.—Me voici!Vengeons-nous !



ent due to the mem remain single wou so

Mortified at the barbarous resolution pronounced by you so positively yesterday evening, that you would remain single the rest of your life, as a compliment due to the memory of your husband, I retired to my chamber. Throwing myself upon my bed, I dreamt that I was dead, and was transported to the Elysian Fields.

I was asked whether I wished to see any persons in particular; to which I replied, that I wished to see the philosophers. “There are two who live here at hand in this garden; they are good neighbours, and very friendly towards one another.” “Who are they?” “Socrates and Helvetius.” “I esteem them both highly; but let me see Helvetius first, because I understand a little French, but not a word of Greek.” I was conducted to him; he received me with much courtesy, having known me, he said, by character, some time past. He asked me a thousand questions relative to the war, the present state of religion, of liberty, of the government in France. “You do not inquire, then," said I, “after your dear friend, Madame Helvetius; yet she loves you exceedingly; I was in her company not more than an hour ago.” “Ah," said he, “you make me recur to my past happiness, which ought to be forgotten in order to be happy here. For many years I could think of nothing but her, though at length I am consoled. I have taken another. wife, the most like her that I could find; she is not indeed altogether so handsome, but she has a great fund of wit and good sense; and her whole study is to please me. She is at this moment gone to fetch the best nectar and ambrosia to regale me; stay here awhile and you will see her.” “I perceive," said I, “that your former friend is more faithful to you than you are to her; she has had several good offers, but has refused them all. I will confess to you that I loved her extremely; but she was cruel to me, and rejected me peremptorily for your sake.” “I pity you sincerely,” said he, " for she is an excellent woman, handsome and amiable. But do not the Abbé de la R**** and the Abbé M ***** visit her?" “Certainly they do; not one of your friends has dropped her acquaintance.” “If you had gained the Abbé M **** with a bribe of good coffee and cream, perhaps you would have succeeded; for he is as deep a reasoner as Duns Scotus or St. Thomas; he arranges and methodizes his arguments in such a manner that they are almost irresistible. Or, if by a fine edition of some old classic, you had gained the Abbé de la R **** to speak against you, that would have been still better; as I always oberved, that when he recommended any thing to her, she had a great inclination to do directly the contrary.” As he finished these words the new Madame Helvetius entered with the nectar, and I recognised her immediately as my former American friend, Mrs. Franklin! I reclaimed her, but she answered me coldly; “I was a good wife to you for forty-nine years and four months, nearly half a century ; let that content you. I have formed a new connexion here, which will last to eternity."

Indignant at this refusal of my Eurydice, I immediately resolved to quit those ungrateful shades, and return to this good world again, to behold the sun and you! Here I am; let us avenge ourselves !


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