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    Book VI

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    Chapter 7
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    Hoc erat in votis: Modus agri non ila magnus
    Hortus ubi, et leclo vicinus aqua fons;
    Et paululum sylvae superhis forel.

    I cannot add, 'auctius acque di melius fecere'; but no matter, the former
    is enough for my purpose; I had no occasion to have any property there,
    it was sufficient that I enjoyed it; for I have long since both said and
    felt, that the proprietor and possessor are two very different people,
    even leaving husbands and lovers out of the question.

    At this moment began the short happiness of my life, those peaceful and
    rapid moments, which have given me a right to say, I have lived.
    Precious and ever--regretted moments! Ah! recommence your delightful
    course; pass more slowly through my memory, if possible, than you
    actually did in your fugitive succession. How shall I prolong, according
    to my inclination, this recital at once so pleasing and simple? How
    shall I continue to relate the same occurrences, without wearying my
    readers with the repetition, any more than I was satiated with the
    enjoyment? Again, if all this consisted of facts, actions, or words, I
    could somehow or other convey an idea of it; but how shall I describe
    what was neither said nor done, nor even thought, but enjoyed, felt,
    without being able to particularize any other object of my happiness than
    the bare idea? I rose with the sun, and was happy; I walked, and was
    happy; I saw Madam de Warrens, and was happy; I quitted her, and still
    was happy!--Whether I rambled through the woods, over the hills, or
    strolled along the valley; read, was idle, worked in the garden, or
    gathered fruits, happiness continually accompanied me; it was fixed on no
    particular object, it was within me, nor could I depart from it a single

    Nothing that passed during that charming epocha, nothing that I did,
    said, or thought, has escaped my memory. The time that preceded or
    followed it, I only recollect by intervals, unequally and confused; but
    here I remember all as distinctly as if it existed at this moment.
    Imagination, which in my youth was perpetually anticipating the future,
    but now takes a retrograde course, makes some amends by these charming
    recollections for the deprivation of hope, which I have lost forever.
    I no longer see anything in the future that can tempt my wishes, it is a
    recollection of the past alone that can flatter me, and the remembrance
    of the period I am now describing is so true and lively, that it
    sometimes makes me happy, even in spite of my misfortunes.

    Of these recollections I shall relate one example, which may give some
    idea of their force and precision. The first day we went to sleep at
    Charmettes, the way being up-hill, and Madam de Warrens rather heavy, she
    was carried in a chair, while I followed on foot. Fearing the chairmen
    would be fatigued, she got out about half-way, designing to walk the rest
    of it. As we passed along, she saw something blue in the hedge, and
    said, "There's some periwinkle in flower yet!" I had never seen any
    before, nor did I stop to examine this: my sight is too short to
    distinguish plants on the ground, and I only cast a look at this as I
    passed: an interval of near thirty years had elapsed before I saw any
    more periwinkle, at least before I observed it, when being at Cressier in
    1764, with my friend, M. du Peyrou, we went up a small mountain, on the
    summit of which there is a level spot, called, with reason, 'Belle--vue',
    I was then beginning to herbalize;--walking and looking among the bushes,
    I exclaimed with rapture, "Ah, there's some periwinkle!" Du Peyrou, who
    perceived my transport, was ignorant of the cause, but will some day be
    informed: I hope, on reading this. The reader may judge by this
    impression, made by so small an incident, what an effect must have been
    produced by every occurrence of that time.

    Meantime, the air of the country did not restore my health; I was
    languishing and became more so; I could not endure milk, and was obliged
    to discontinue the use of it. Water was at this time the fashionable
    remedy for every complaint; accordingly I entered on a course of it, and
    so indiscreetly, that it almost released me, not only from my illness but
    also from my life. The water I drank was rather hard and difficult to
    pass, as water from mountains generally is; in short, I managed so well,
    that in the coarse of two months I totally ruined my stomach, which until
    that time had been very good, and no longer digesting anything properly,
    had no reason to expect a cure. At this time an accident happened, as
    singular in itself as in its subsequent consequences, which can only
    terminate with my existence.

    One morning, being no worse than usual, while putting up the leaf of a
    small table, I felt a sudden and almost inconceivable revolution
    throughout my whole frame. I know not how to describe it better than as
    a kind of tempest, which suddenly rose in my blood, and spread in a
    moment over every part of my body. My arteries began beating so
    violently that I not only felt their motion, but even heard it,
    particularly that of the carotids, attended by a loud noise in my ears,
    which was of three, or rather four, distinct kinds. For instance, first
    a grave hollow buzzing; then a more distinct murmur, like the running of
    water; then an extremely sharp hissing, attended by the beating I before
    mentioned, and whose throbs I could easily count, without feeling my
    pulse, or putting a hand to any part of my body. This internal tumult
    was so violent that it has injured my auricular organs, and rendered me,
    from that time, not entirely deaf, but hard of hearing.

    My surprise and fear may easily be conceived; imagining it was the stroke
    of death, I went to bed, and the physician being sent for, trembling with
    apprehension, I related my case; judging it past all cure. I believe the
    doctor was of the same opinion; however he performed his office, running
    over a long string of causes and effects beyond my comprehension, after
    which, in consequence of this sublime theory, he set about, 'in anima
    vili', the experimental part of his art, but the means he was pleased to
    adopt in order to effect a cure were so troublesome, disgusting, and
    followed by so little effect, that I soon discontinued it, and after some
    weeks, finding I was neither better nor worse, left my bed, and returned
    to my usual method of living; but the beating of my arteries and the
    buzzing in my ears has never quitted me a moment during the thirty years'
    time which has elapsed since that time.

    Till now, I had been a great sleeper, but a total privation of repose,
    with other alarming symptoms which have accompanied it, even to this
    time, persuaded me I had but a short time to live. This idea
    tranquillized me for a time: I became less anxious about a cure, and
    being persuaded I could not prolong life, determined to employ the
    remainder of it as usefully as possible. This was practicable by a
    particular indulgence of Nature, which, in this melancholy state,
    exempted me from sufferings which it might have been supposed I should
    have experienced. I was incommoded by the noise, but felt no pain, nor
    was it accompanied by any habitual inconvenience, except nocturnal
    wakefulness, and at all times a shortness of breath, which is not violent
    enough to be called an asthma, but was troublesome when I attempted to
    run, or use any degree of exertion.

    This accident, which seemed to threaten the dissolution of my body, only
    killed my passions, and I have reason to thank Heaven for the happy
    effect produced by it on my soul. I can truly say, I only began to live
    when I considered myself as entering the grave; for, estimating at their
    real value those things I was quitting; I began to employ myself on
    nobler objects, namely by anticipating those I hoped shortly to have the
    contemplation of, and which I had hitherto too much neglected. I had
    often made light of religion, but was never totally devoid of it;
    consequently, it cost me less pain to employ my thoughts on that subject,
    which is generally thought melancholy, though highly pleasing to those
    who make it an object of hope and consolation; Madam de Warrens,
    therefore, was more useful to me on this occasion than all the
    theologians in the world would have been.

    She, who brought everything into a system, had not failed to do as much
    by religion; and this system was composed of ideas that bore no affinity
    to each other. Some were extremely good, and others very ridiculous,
    being made up of sentiments proceeding from her disposition, and
    prejudices derived from education. Men, in general, make God like
    themselves; the virtuous make Him good, and the profligate make Him
    wicked; ill-tempered and bilious devotees see nothing but hell, because
    they would willingly damn all mankind; while loving and gentle souls
    disbelieve it altogether; and one of the astonishments I could never
    overcome, is to see the good Fenelon speak of it in his Telemachus as if
    he really gave credit to it; but I hope he lied in that particular, for
    however strict he might be in regard to truth, a bishop absolutely must
    lie sometimes. Madam de Warrens spoke truth with me, and that soul, made
    up without gall, who could not imagine a revengeful and ever angry God,
    saw only clemency and forgiveness, where devotees bestowed inflexible
    justice, and eternal punishment.

    She frequently said there would be no justice in the Supreme Being should
    He be strictly just to us; because, not having bestowed what was
    necessary to render us essentially good, it would be requiring more than
    he had given. The most whimsical idea was, that not believing in hell,
    she was firmly persuaded of the reality of purgatory. This arose from
    her not knowing what to do with the wicked, being loathed to damn them
    utterly, nor yet caring to place them with the good till they had become
    so; and we must really allow, that both in this world and the next, the
    wicked are very troublesome company.

    It is clearly seen that the doctrine of original sin and the redemption
    of mankind is destroyed by this system; consequently that the basis of
    the Christian dispensation, as generally received, is shaken, and that
    the Catholic faith cannot subsist with these principles; Madam de
    Warrens, notwithstanding, was a good Catholic, or at least pretended to
    be one, and certainly desired to become such, but it appeared to her that
    the Scriptures were too literally and harshly explained, supposing that
    all we read of everlasting torments were figurative threatenings, and the
    death of Jesus Christ an example of charity, truly divine, which should
    teach mankind to love God and each other; in a word, faithful to the
    religion she had embraced, she acquiesced in all its professions of
    faith, but on a discussion of each particular article, it was plain she
    thought diametrically opposite to that church whose doctrines she
    professed to believe. In these cases she exhibited simplicity of art, a
    frankness more eloquent than sophistry, which frequently embarrassed her
    confessor; for she disguised nothing from him. "I am a good Catholic,"
    she would say, "and will ever remain so; I adopt with all the powers of
    my soul the decisions of our holy Mother Church; I am not mistress of my
    faith, but I am of my will, which I submit to you without reserve; I will
    endeavor to believe all,--what can you require more?"

    Had there been no Christian morality established, I am persuaded she
    would have lived as if regulated by its principles, so perfectly did they
    seem to accord with her disposition. She did everything that was
    required; and she would have done the same had there been no such
    requisition: but all this morality was subordinate to the principles of
    M. Tavel, or rather she pretended to see nothing in religion that
    contradicted them; thus she would have favored twenty lovers in a day,
    without any idea of a crime, her conscience being no more moved in that
    particular than her passions. I know that a number of devotees are not
    more scrupulous, but the difference is, they are seduced by constitution,
    she was blinded by her sophisms. In the midst of conversations the most
    affecting, I might say the most edifying, she would touch on this
    subject, without any change of air or manner, and without being sensible
    of any contradiction in her opinions; so much was she persuaded that our
    restrictions on that head are merely political, and that any person of
    sense might interpret, apply, or make exceptions to them, without any
    danger of offending the Almighty.

    Though I was far enough from being of the same opinion in this
    particular, I confess I dared not combat hers; indeed, as I was situated,
    it would have been putting myself in rather awkward circumstances, since
    I could only have sought to establish my opinion for others, myself being
    an exception. Besides, I entertained but little hopes of making her
    alter hers, which never had any great influence on her conduct, and at
    the time I am speaking of none; but I have promised faithfully to
    describe her principles, and I will perform my engagement--I now return
    to myself.

    Finding in her all those ideas I had occasion for to secure me from the
    fears of death and its future consequences, I drew confidence and
    security from this source; my attachment became warmer than ever, and I
    would willingly have transmitted to her my whole existence, which seemed
    ready to abandon me. From this redoubled attachment, a persuasion that I
    had but a short time to live, and profound security on my future state,
    arose an habitual and even pleasing serenity, which, calming every
    passion that extends our hopes and fears, made me enjoy without
    inquietude or concern the few days which I imagined remained for me.
    What contributed to render them still snore agreeable was an endeavor to
    encourage her rising taste for the country, by every amusement I could
    possibly devise, wishing to attach her to her garden, poultry, pigeons,
    and cows: I amused myself with them and these little occupations, which
    employed my time without injuring my tranquillity, were more serviceable
    than a milk diet, or all the remedies bestowed on my poor shattered
    machine, even to effecting the utmost possible reestablishment of it.

    The vintage and gathering in our fruit employed the remainder of the
    year; we became more and more attached to a rustic life, and the society
    of our honest neighbors. We saw the approach of winter with regret, and
    returned to the city as if going into exile. To me this return was
    particularly gloomy, who never expected to see the return of spring, and
    thought I took an everlasting leave of Charmettes. I did not quit it
    without kissing the very earth and trees, casting back many a wishful
    look as I went towards Chambery.

    Having left my scholars for so long a time, and lost my relish for the
    amusements of the town, I seldom went out, conversing only with Madam de
    Warrens and a Monsieur Salomon, who had lately become our physician. He
    was an honest man, of good understanding, a great Cartesian, spoke
    tolerably well on the system of the world, and his agreeable and
    instructive conversations were more serviceable than his prescriptions.
    I could never bear that foolish trivial mode of conversation which is so
    generally adopted; but useful instructive discourse has always given me
    great pleasure, nor was I ever backward to join in it. I was much
    pleased with that of M. Salomon; it appeared to me, that when in his
    company, I anticipated the acquisition of that sublime knowledge which my
    soul would enjoy when freed from its mortal fetters. The inclination I
    had for him extended to the subjects which he treated on, and I began to
    look after books which might better enable me to understand his
    discourse. Those which mingled devotion with science were most agreeable
    to me, particularly Port Royal's Oratory, and I began to read or rather
    to devour them. One fell into my hands written by Father Lami, called
    'Entretiens sur les Sciences', which was a kind of introduction to the
    knowledge of those books it treated of. I read it over a hundred times,
    and resolved to make this my guide; in short, I found (notwithstanding my
    ill state of health) that I was irresistibly drawn towards study, and
    though looking on each day as the last of my life, read with as much
    avidity as if certain I was to live forever.

    I was assured that reading would injure me; but on the contrary, I am
    rather inclined to think it was serviceable, not only to my soul, but
    also to my body; for this application, which soon became delightful,
    diverted my thoughts from my disorders, and I soon found myself much less
    affected by them. It is certain, however, that nothing gave me absolute
    ease, but having no longer any acute pain, I became accustomed to
    languishment and wakefulness; to thinking instead of acting; in short, I
    looked on the gradual and slow decay of my body as inevitably progressive
    and only to be terminated by death.

    This opinion not only detached me from all the vain cares of life, but
    delivered me from the importunity of medicine, to which hitherto, I had
    been forced to submit, though contrary to my inclination. Salomon,
    convinced that his drugs were unavailing, spared me the disagreeable task
    of taking them, and contented himself with amusing the grief of my poor
    Madam de Warrens by some of those harmless preparations, which serve to
    flatter the hopes of the patient and keep up the credit of the doctor.
    I discontinued the strict regimen I had latterly observed, resumed the
    use of wine, and lived in every respect like a man in perfect health,
    as far as my strength would permit, only being careful to run into no
    excess; I even began to go out and visit my acquaintance, particularly
    M. de Conzie, whose conversation was extremely pleasing to me. Whether
    it struck me as heroic to study to my last hour, or that some hopes of
    life yet lingered in the bottom of my heart, I cannot tell, but the
    apparent certainty of death, far from relaxing my inclination for
    improvement, seemed to animate it, and I hastened to acquire knowledge
    for the other world, as if convinced I should only possess that portion I
    could carry with me. I took a liking to the shop of a bookseller, whose
    name was Bouchard, which was frequented by some men of letters, and as
    the spring (whose return I had never expected to see again) was
    approaching, furnished myself with some books for Charmettes, in case I
    should have the happiness to return there.

    I had that happiness, and enjoyed it to the utmost extent. The rapture
    with which I saw the trees put out their first bud, is inexpressible!
    The return of spring seemed to me like rising from the grave into
    paradise. The snow was hardly off the ground when we left our dungeon
    and returned to Charmettes, to enjoy the first warblings of the
    nightingale. I now thought no more of dying, and it is really singular,
    that from this time I never experienced any dangerous illness in the
    country. I have suffered greatly, but never kept my bed, and have often
    said to those about me, on finding myself worse than ordinary, "Should
    you see me at the point of death, carry me under the shade of an oak, and
    I promise you I shall recover."

    Though weak, I resumed my country occupations, as far as my strength
    would permit, and conceived a real grief at not being able to manage our
    garden without help; for I could not take five or six strokes with the
    spade without being out of breath and overcome with perspiration; when I
    stooped the beating redoubled, and the blood flew with such violence to
    my head, that I was instantly obliged to stand upright. Being therefore
    confined to less fatiguing employments, I busied myself about the dove
    --house, and was so pleased with it that I sometimes passed several hours
    there without feeling a moment's weariness. The pigeon is very timid and
    difficult to tame, yet I inspired mine with so much confidence that they
    followed me everywhere, letting me catch them at pleasure, nor could I
    appear in the garden without having two or three on my arms or head in an
    instant, and notwithstanding the pleasure I took in them, their company
    became so troublesome that I was obliged to lessen the familiarity. I
    have ever taken great pleasure in taming animals, particularly those that
    are wild and fearful. It appeared delightful to me, to inspire them with
    a confidence which I took care never to abuse, wishing them to love me

    I have already mentioned that I purchased some books: I did not forget to
    read them, but in a manner more proper to fatigue than instruct me.
    I imagined that to read a book profitably, it was necessary to be
    acquainted with every branch of knowledge it even mentioned; far from
    thinking that the author did not do this himself, but drew assistance
    from other books, as he might see occasion. Full of this silly idea, I
    was stopped every moment, obliged to run from one book to another, and
    sometimes, before I could reach the tenth page of what I was studying,
    found it necessary to turn over a whole library. I was so attached to
    this ridiculous method, that I lost a prodigious deal of time and had
    bewildered my head to such a degree, that I was hardly capable of doing,
    seeing or comprehending anything. I fortunately perceived, at length,
    that I was in the wrong road, which would entangle me in an inextricable
    labyrinth, and quitted it before I was irrevocably lost.

    When a person has any real taste for the sciences, the first thing he
    perceives in the pursuit of them is that connection by which they
    mutually attract, assist, and enlighten each other, and that it is
    impossible to attain one without the assistance of the rest. Though the
    human understanding cannot grasp all, and one must ever be regarded as
    the principal object, yet if the rest are totally neglected, the favorite
    study is generally obscure; I was convinced that my resolution to improve
    was good and useful in itself, but that it was necessary I should change
    my method; I, therefore, had recourse to the encyclopaedia. I began by a
    distribution of the general mass of human knowledge into its various
    branches, but soon discovered that I must pursue a contrary course, that
    I must take each separately, and trace it to that point where it united
    with the rest: thus I returned to the general synthetical method, but
    returned thither with a conviction that I was going right. Meditation
    supplied the want of knowledge, and a very natural reflection gave
    strength to my resolutions, which was, that whether I lived or died, I
    had no time to lose; for having learned but little before the age of
    five-and-twenty, and then resolving to learn everything, was engaging to
    employ the future time profitably. I was ignorant at what point accident
    or death might put a period to my endeavors, and resolved at all events
    to acquire with the utmost expedition some idea of every species of
    knowledge, as well to try my natural disposition, as to judge for myself
    what most deserved cultivation.

    In the execution of my plan, I experienced another advantage which I had
    never thought of; this was, spending a great deal of time profitably.
    Nature certainly never meant me for study, since attentive application
    fatigues me so much, that I find it impossible to employ myself half an
    hour together intently on any one subject; particularly while following
    another person's ideas, for it has frequently happened that I have
    pursued my own for a much longer period with success. After reading a
    few pages of an author with close application, my understanding is
    bewildered, and should I obstinately continue, I tire myself to no
    purpose, a stupefaction seizes me, and I am no longer conscious of what I
    read; but in a succession of various subjects, one relieves me from the
    fatigue of the other, and without finding respite necessary, I can follow
    them with pleasure.

    I took advantage of this observation in the plan of my studies, taking
    care to intermingle them in such a manner that I was never weary: it is
    true that domestic and rural concerns furnished many pleasing
    relaxations; but as my eagerness for improvement increased, I contrived
    to find opportunities for my studies, frequently employing myself about
    two things at the same time, without reflecting that both were
    consequently neglected.

    In relating so many trifling details, which delight me, but frequently
    tire my reader, I make use of the caution to suppress a great number,
    though, perhaps, he would have no idea of this, if I did not take care to
    inform him of it: for example, I recollect with pleasure all the
    different methods I adopted for the distribution of my time, in such a
    manner as to produce the utmost profit and pleasure. I may say, that the
    portion of my life which I passed in this retirement, though in continual
    ill-health, was that in which I was least idle and least wearied. Two or
    three months were thus employed in discovering the bent of my genius;
    meantime, I enjoyed, in the finest season of the year, and in a spot it
    rendered delightful, the charms of a life whose worth I was so highly
    sensible of, in such a society, as free as it was charming; if a union so
    perfect, and the extensive knowledge I purposed to acquire, can be called
    society. It seemed to me as if I already possessed the improvements I
    was only in pursuit of: or rather better, since the pleasure of learning
    constituted a great part of my happiness.

    I must pass over these particulars, which were to me the height of
    enjoyment, but are too trivial to bear repeating: indeed, true happiness
    is indescribable, it is only to be felt, and this consciousness of
    felicity is proportionately more, the less able we are to describe it;
    because it does not absolutely result from a concourse of favorable
    incidents, but is an affection of the mind itself. I am frequently
    guilty of repetitions, but should be infinitely more so, did I repeat the
    same thing as often as it recurs with pleasure to my mind. When at
    length my variable mode of life was reduced to a more uniform course, the
    following was nearly the distribution of time which I adopted: I rose
    every morning before the sun, and passed through a neighboring orchard
    into a pleasant path, which, running by a vineyard, led towards Chambery.
    While walking, I offered up my prayers, not by a vain motion of the lips,
    but a sincere elevation of my heart, to the Great Author of delightful
    nature, whose beauties were so charmingly spread out before me! I never
    love to pray in a chamber; it seems to me that the walls and all the
    little workmanship of man interposed between God and myself: I love to
    contemplate Him in his works, which elevate my soul, and raise my
    thoughts to Him. My prayers were pure, I can affirm it, and therefore
    worthy to be heard:--I asked for myself and her from whom my thoughts
    were never divided, only an innocent and quiet life, exempt from vice,
    sorrow and want; I prayed that we might die the death of the just, and
    partake of their lot hereafter: for the rest, it was rather admiration
    and contemplation than request, being satisfied that the best means to
    obtain what is necessary from the Giver of every perfect good, is rather
    to deserve than to solicit. Returning from my walk, I lengthened the way
    by taking a roundabout path, still contemplating with earnestness and
    delight the beautiful scenes with which I was surrounded, those only
    objects that never fatigue either the eye or the heart. As I approached
    our habitation, I looked forward to see if Madam de Warrens was stirring,
    and when I perceived her shutters open, I even ran with joy towards the
    house: if they were yet shut I went into the garden to wait their
    opening, amusing myself, meantime, by a retrospection of what I had read
    the preceding evening, or in gardening. The moment the shutter drew back
    I hastened to embrace her, frequently half asleep; and this salute, pure
    as it was affectionate, even from its innocence, possessed a charm which
    the senses can never bestow. We usually breakfasted on milk-coffee; this
    was the time of day when we had most leisure, and when we chatted with
    the greatest freedom. These sittings, which were usually pretty long,
    have given me a fondness for breakfasts, and I infinitely prefer those of
    England, or Switzerland, which are considered as a meal, at which all the
    family assemble, than those of France, where they breakfast alone in
    their several apartments, or more frequently have none at all. After an
    hour or two passed in discourse, I went to my study till dinner;
    beginning with some philosophical work, such as the logic of Port-Royal,
    Locke's Essays, Mallebranche, Leibtnitz, Descartes, etc. I soon found
    that these authors perpetually contradict each other, and formed the
    chimerical project of reconciling them, which cost me much labor and loss
    of time, bewildering my head without any profit. At length (renouncing
    this idea) I adopted one infinitely more profitable, to which I attribute
    all the progress I have since made, notwithstanding the defects of my
    capacity; for 'tis certain I had very little for study. On reading each
    author, I acquired a habit of following all his ideas, without suffering
    my own or those of any other writer to interfere with them, or entering
    into any dispute on their utility. I said to myself, "I will begin by
    laying up a stock of ideas, true or false, but clearly conceived, till my
    understanding shall be sufficiently furnished to enable me to compare and
    make choice of those that are most estimable." I am sensible this method
    is not without its inconveniences, but it succeeded in furnishing me with
    a fund of instruction. Having passed some years in thinking after
    others, without reflection, and almost without reasoning, I found myself
    possessed of sufficient materials to set about thinking on my own
    account, and when journeys of business deprived me of the opportunities
    of consulting books, I amused myself with recollecting and comparing what
    I had read, weighing every opinion on the balance of reason, and
    frequently judging my masters. Though it was late before I began to
    exercise my judicial faculties, I have not discovered that they had lost
    their vigor, and on publishing my own ideas, have never been accused of
    being a servile disciple or of swearing 'in verba magistri'.

    From these studies I passed to the elements of geometry, for I never went
    further, forcing my weak memory to retain them by going the same ground a
    hundred and a hundred times over. I did not admire Euclid, who rather
    seeks a chain of demonstration than a connection of ideas: I preferred
    the geometry of Father Lama, who from that time became one of my favorite
    authors, and whose works I yet read with pleasure. Algebra followed, and
    Father Lama was still my guide: when I made some progress, I perused
    Father Reynaud's Science of Calculation, and then his Analysis
    Demonstrated; but I never went far enough thoroughly to understand the
    application of algebra to geometry. I was not pleased with this method
    of performing operations by rule without knowing what I was about:
    resolving geometrical problems by the help of equations seemed like
    playing a tune by turning round a handle. The first time I found by
    calculation that the square of a binocular figure was composed of the
    square of each of its parts, and double the product of one by the other;
    though convinced that my multiplication was right, I could not be
    satisfied till I had made and examined the figure: not but I admire
    algebra when applied to abstract quantities, but when used to demonstrate
    dimensions, I wished to see the operation, and unless explained by lines,
    could not rightly comprehend it.

    After this came Latin: it was my most painful study, and in which I never
    made great progress. I began by Port-Royal's Rudiments, but without
    success; I lost myself in a crowd of rules; and in studying the last
    forgot all that preceded it. A study of words is not calculated for a
    man without memory, and it was principally an endeavor to make my memory
    more retentive, that urged me obstinately to persist in this study, which
    at length I was obliged to relinquish. As I understood enough to read an
    easy author by the aid of a dictionary, I followed that method, and found
    it succeed tolerably well. I likewise applied myself to translation, not
    by writing, but mentally, and by exercise and perseverance attained to
    read Latin authors easily, but have never been able to speak or write
    that language, which has frequently embarrassed me when I have found
    myself (I know not by what means) enrolled among men of letters.

    Another inconvenience that arose from this manner of learning is, that I
    never understood prosody, much less the rules of versification; yet,
    anxious to understand the harmony of the language, both in prose and
    verse, I have made many efforts to obtain it, but am convinced, that
    without a master it is almost impossible. Having learned the composition
    of the hexameter, which is the easiest of all verses, I had the patience
    to measure out the greater part of Virgil into feet and quantity, and
    whenever I was dubious whether a syllable was long or short, immediately
    consulted my Virgil. It may easily be conceived that I ran into many
    errors in consequence of those licenses permitted by the rules of
    versification; and it is certain, that if there is an advantage in
    studying alone, there are also great inconveniences and inconceivable
    labor, as I have experienced more than any one.

    At twelve I quitted my books, and if dinner was not ready, paid my
    friends, the pigeons, a visit, or worked in the garden till it was, and
    when I heard myself called, ran very willingly, and with a good appetite
    to partake of it, for it is very remarkable, that let me be ever so
    indisposed my appetite never fails. We dined very agreeably, chatting
    till Madam de Warrens could eat. Two or three times a week, when it was
    fine, we drank our coffee in a cool shady arbor behind the house, that I
    had decorated with hops, and which was very refreshing during the heat;
    we usually passed an hour in viewing our flowers and vegetables, or in
    conversation relative to our manner of life, which greatly increased the
    pleasure of it. I had another little family at the end of the garden;
    these were several hives of bees, which I never failed to visit once a
    day, and was frequently accompanied by Madam de Warrens. I was greatly
    interested in their labor, and amused myself seeing them return to the
    hives, their little thighs so loaded with the precious store that they
    could hardly walk. At first, curiosity made me indiscreet, and they
    stung me several times, but afterwards, we were so well acquainted, that
    let me approach as near as I would, they never molested me, though the
    hives were full and the bees ready to swarm. At these times I have been
    surrounded, having them on my hands and face without apprehending any
    danger. All animals are distrustful of man, and with reason, but when
    once assured he does not mean to injure them, their confidence becomes so
    great that he must be worse than a barbarian who abuses it.

    After this I returned to my books; but my afternoon employment ought
    rather to bear the name of recreation and amusement, than labor or study.
    I have never been able to bear application after dinner, and in general
    any kind of attention is painful to me during the heat of the day. I
    employed myself, 'tis true, but without restraint or rule, and read
    without studying. What I most attended to at these times, was history
    and geography, and as these did not require intense application, made as
    much progress in them as my weak memory would permit. I had an
    inclination to study Father Petau, and launched into the gloom of
    chronology, but was disgusted at the critical part, which I found had
    neither bottom nor banks; this made me prefer the more exact measurement
    of time by the course of the celestial bodies. I should even have
    contracted a fondness for astronomy, had I been in possession of
    instruments, but was obliged to content myself with some of the elements
    of that art, learned from books, and a few rude observations made with a
    telescope, sufficient only to give me a general idea of the situation of
    the heavenly bodies; for my short sight is insufficient to distinguish
    the stars without the help of a glass.

    I recollect an adventure on this subject, the remembrance of which has
    often diverted me. I had bought a celestial planisphere to study the
    constellations by, and, having fixed it on a frame, when the nights were
    fine and the sky clear, I went into the garden; and fixing the frame on
    four sticks, something higher than myself, which I drove into the ground,
    turned the planisphere downwards, and contrived to light it by means of a
    candle (which I put in a pail to prevent the wind from blowing it out)
    and then placed in the centre of the above--mentioned four supporters;
    this done, I examined the stars with my glass, and from time to time
    referring to my planisphere, endeavored to distinguish the various
    constellations. I think I have before observed that our garden was on a
    terrace, and lay open to the road. One night, some country people
    passing very late, saw me in a most grotesque habit, busily employed in
    these observations: the light, which struck directly on the planisphere,
    proceeding from a cause they could not divine (the candle being concealed
    by the sides of the pail), the four stakes supporting a large paper,
    marked over with various uncouth figures, with the motion of the
    telescope, which they saw turning backwards and forwards, gave the whole
    an air of conjuration that struck them with horror and amazement. My
    figure was by no means calculated to dispel their fears; a flapped hat
    put on over my nightcap, and a short cloak about my shoulder (which Madam
    de Warrens had obliged me to put on) presented in their idea the image of
    a real sorcerer. Being near midnight, they made no doubt but this was
    the beginning of some diabolical assembly, and having no curiosity to pry
    further into these mysteries, they fled with all possible speed, awakened
    their neighbors, and described this most dreadful vision. The story
    spread so fast that the next day the whole neighborhood was informed that
    a nocturnal assembly of witches was held in the garden that belonged to
    Monsieur Noiret, and I am ignorant what might have been the consequence
    of this rumor if one of the countrymen who had been witness to my
    conjurations had not the same day carried his complaint to two Jesuits,
    who frequently came to visit us, and who, without knowing the foundation
    of the story, undeceived and satisfied them. These Jesuits told us the
    whole affair, and I acquainted them with the cause of it, which
    altogether furnished us with a hearty laugh. However, I resolved for the
    future to make my observations without light, and consult my planisphere
    in the house. Those who have read Venetian magic, in the 'Letters from
    the Mountain', may find that I long since had the reputation of being a

    Such was the life I led at Charmettes when I had no rural employments,
    for they ever had the preference, and in those that did not exceed my
    strength, I worked like a peasant; but my extreme weakness left me little
    except the will; besides, as I have before observed, I wished to do two
    things at once, and therefore did neither well. I obstinately persisted
    in forcing my memory to retain a great deal by heart, and for that
    purpose, I always carried some book with me, which, while at work,
    I studied with inconceivable labor. I was continually repeating
    something, and am really amazed that the fatigue of these vain and
    continual efforts did not render me entirely stupid. I must have learned
    and relearned the Eclogues of Virgil twenty times over, though at this
    time I cannot recollect a single line of them. I have lost or spoiled a
    great number of books by a custom I had of carrying them with me into the
    dove-house, the garden, orchard or vineyard, when, being busy about
    something else, I laid my book at the foot of a tree, on the hedge, or
    the first place that came to hand, and frequently left them there,
    finding them a fortnight after, perhaps, rotted to pieces, or eaten by
    the ants or snails; and this ardor for learning became so far a madness
    that it rendered me almost stupid, and I was perpetually muttering some
    passage or other to myself.

    The writings of Port-Royal, and those of the Oratory, being what I most
    read, had made me half a Jansenist, and, notwithstanding all my
    confidence, their harsh theology sometimes alarmed me. A dread of hell,
    which till then I had never much apprehended, by little and little
    disturbed my security, and had not Madam de Warrens tranquillized my
    soul, would at length have been too much for me. My confessor, who was
    hers likewise, contributed all in his power to keep up my hopes. This
    was a Jesuit, named Father Hemet; a good and wise old man, whose memory
    I shall ever hold in veneration. Though a Jesuit, he had the simplicity
    of a child, and his manners, less relaxed than gentle, were precisely
    what was necessary to balance the melancholy impressions made on me by
    Jansenism. This good man and his companion, Father Coppier, came
    frequently to visit us at Charmette, though the road was very rough and
    tedious for men of their age. These visits were very comfortable to me,
    which may the Almighty return to their souls, for they were so old that I
    cannot suppose them yet living. I sometimes went to see them at
    Chambery, became acquainted at their convent, and had free access to the
    library. The remembrance of that happy time is so connected with the
    idea of those Jesuits, that I love one on account of the other, and
    though I have ever thought their doctrines dangerous, could never find
    myself in a disposition to hate them cordially.

    I should like to know whether there ever passed such childish notions in
    the hearts of other men as sometimes do in mine. In the midst of my
    studies, and of a life as innocent as man could lead, notwithstanding
    every persuasion to the contrary, the dread of hell frequently tormented
    me. I asked myself, "What state am I in? Should I die at this instant,
    must I be damned?" According to my Jansenists the matter was
    indubitable, but according to my conscience it appeared quite the
    contrary: terrified and floating in this cruel uncertainty, I had
    recourse to the most laughable expedient to resolve my doubts, for which
    I would willingly shut up any man as a lunatic should I see him practise
    the same folly. One day, meditating on this melancholy subject,
    I exercised myself in throwing stones at the trunks of trees, with my
    usual dexterity, that is to say, without hitting any of them. In the
    height of this charming exercise, it entered my mind to make a kind of
    prognostic, that might calm my inquietude; I said, "I will throw this
    stone at the tree facing me; if I hit my mark, I will consider it as a
    sign of salvation; if I miss, as a token of damnation." While I said
    this, I threw the stone with a trembling hand and beating breast but so
    happily that it struck the body of the tree, which truly was not a
    difficult matter, for I had taken care to choose one that was very large
    and very near me. From that moment I never doubted my salvation: I know
    not on recollecting this trait, whether I ought to laugh or shudder at
    myself. Ye great geniuses, who surely laugh at my folly, congratulate
    yourselves on your superior wisdom, but insult not my unhappiness, for I
    swear to you that I feel it most sensibly.

    These troubles, these alarms, inseparable, perhaps, from devotion, were
    only at intervals; in general, I was tranquil, and the impression made on
    my soul by the idea of approaching death, was less that of melancholy
    than a peaceful languor, which even had its pleasures. I have found
    among my old papers a kind of congratulation and exhortation which I made
    to myself on dying at an age when I had the courage to meet death with
    serenity, without having experienced any great evils, either of body or
    mind. How much justice was there in the thought! A preconception of
    what I had to suffer made me fear to live, and it seemed that I dreaded
    the fate which must attend my future days. I have never been so near
    wisdom as during this period, when I felt no great remorse for the past,
    nor tormenting fear for the future; the reigning sentiment of my soul
    being the enjoyment of the present. Serious people usually possess a
    lively sensuality, which makes them highly enjoy those innocent pleasures
    that are allowed them. Worldlings (I know not why) impute this to them
    as a crime: or rather, I well know the cause of this imputation, it is
    because they envy others the enjoyment of those simple and pure delights
    which they have lost the relish of. I had these inclinations, and found
    it charming to gratify them in security of conscience. My yet
    inexperienced heart gave in to all with the calm happiness of a child,
    or rather (if I dare use the expression) with the raptures of an angel;
    for in reality these pure delights are as serene as those of paradise.
    Dinners on the grass at Montagnole, suppers in our arbor, gathering in
    the fruits, the vintage, a social meeting with our neighbors; all these
    were so many holidays, in which Madam de Warrens took as much pleasure as
    myself. Solitary walks afforded yet purer pleasure, because in them our
    hearts expanded with greater freedom: one particularly remains in my
    memory; it was on a St. Louis' day, whose name Madam de Warrens bore: we
    set out together early and unattended, after having heard a mass at break
    of day in a chapel adjoining our house, from a Carmelite, who attended
    for that purpose. As I proposed walking over the hills opposite our
    dwelling, which we had not yet visited, we sent our provisions on before;
    the excursion being to last the whole day. Madam de Warrens, though
    rather corpulent, did not walk ill, and we rambled from hill to hill and
    wood to wood, sometimes in the sun, but oftener in the shade, resting
    from time to time, and regardless how the hours stole away; speaking of
    ourselves, of our union, of the gentleness of our fate, and offering up
    prayers for its duration, which were never heard. Everything conspired
    to augment our happiness: it had rained for several days previous to
    this, there was no dust, the brooks were full and rapid, a gentle breeze
    agitated the leaves, the air was pure, the horizon free from clouds,
    serenity reigned in the sky as in our hearts. Our dinner was prepared at
    a peasant's house, and shared with him and his family, whose benedictions
    we received. These poor Savoyards are the worthiest of people! After
    dinner we regained the shade, and while I was picking up bits of dried
    sticks, to boil our coffee, Madam de Warrens amused herself with
    herbalizing among the bushes, and with the flowers I had gathered for her
    in my way. She made me remark in their construction a thousand natural
    beauties, which greatly amused me, and which ought to have given me a
    taste for botany; but the time was not yet come, and my attention was
    arrested by too many other studies. Besides this, an idea struck me,
    which diverted my thoughts from flowers and plants: the situation of my
    mind at that moment, all that we had said or done that day, every object
    that had struck me, brought to my remembrance the kind of waking dream I
    had at Annecy seven or eight years before, and which I have given an
    account of in its place. The similarity was so striking that it affected
    me even to tears: in a transport of tenderness I embraced Madam de
    Warrens. "My dearest friend," said I, "this day has long since been
    promised me: I can see nothing beyond it: my happiness, by your means,
    is at its height; may it never decrease; may it continue as long as I am
    sensible of its value-then it can only finish with my life."

    Thus happily passed my days, and the more happily as I perceived nothing
    that could disturb or bring them to a conclusion; not that the cause of
    my former uneasiness had absolutely ceased, but I saw it take another
    course, which I directed with my utmost care to useful objects, that the
    remedy might accompany the evil. Madam de Warrens naturally loved the
    country, and this taste did not cool while with me. By little and little
    she contracted a fondness for rustic employments, wished to make the most
    of her land, and had in that particular a knowledge which she practised
    with pleasure.

    Not satisfied with what belonged to the house, she hired first a field,
    then a meadow, transferring her enterprising humor to the objects of
    agriculture, and instead of remaining unemployed in the house, was in the
    way of becoming a complete farmer. I was not greatly pleased to see this
    passion increase, and endeavored all I could to oppose it; for I was
    certain she would be deceived, and that her liberal extravagant
    disposition would infallibly carry her expenses beyond her profits;
    however, I consoled myself by thinking the produce could not be useless,
    and would at least help her to live. Of all the projects she could form,
    this appeared the least ruinous: without regarding it, therefore, in the
    light she did, as a profitable scheme, I considered it as a perpetual
    employment, which would keep her from more ruinous enterprises, and out
    of the reach of impostors. With this idea, I ardently wished to recover
    my health and strength, that I might superintend her affairs, overlook
    her laborers, or, rather, be the principal one myself. The exercise this
    naturally obliged me to take, with the relaxation it procured me from
    books and study, was serviceable to my health.

    The winter following, Barillot returning from Italy, brought me some
    books; and among others, the 'Bontempi' and 'la Cartella per Musica', of
    Father Banchieri; these gave me a taste for the history of music and for
    the theoretical researches of that pleasing art. Barillot remained some
    time with us, and as I had been of age some months, I determined to go to
    Geneva the following spring, and demand my mother's inheritance, or at
    least that part which belonged to me, till it could be ascertained what
    had become of my brother. This plan was executed as it had been
    resolved: I went to Geneva; my father met me there, for he had
    occasionally visited Geneva a long time since, without its being
    particularly noticed, though the decree that had been pronounced against
    him had never been reversed; but being esteemed for his courage, and
    respected for his probity, the situation of his affairs was pretended to
    be forgotten; or perhaps, the magistrates, employed with the great
    project that broke out some little time after, were not willing to alarm
    the citizens by recalling to their memory, at an improper time, this
    instance of their former partiality.

    I apprehended that I should meet with difficulties, on account of having
    changed my religion, but none occurred; the laws of Geneva being less
    harsh in that particular than those of Berne, where, whoever changes his
    religion, not only loses his freedom, but his property. My rights,
    however, were not disputed: but I found my patrimony, I know not how,
    reduced to very little, and though it was known almost to a certainty
    that my brother was dead, yet, as there was no legal proof, I could not
    lay claim to his share, which I left without regret to my father, who
    enjoyed it as long as he lived. No sooner were the necessary formalities
    adjusted, and I had received my money, some of which I expended in books,
    than I flew with the remainder to Madam de Warrens; my heart beat with
    joy during the journey, and the moment in which I gave the money into her
    hands, was to me a thousand times more delightful than that which gave it
    into mine. She received this with a simplicity common to great souls,
    who, doing similar actions without effort, see them without admiration;
    indeed it was almost all expended for my use, for it would have been
    employed in the same manner had it come from any other quarter.

    My health was not yet re-established; I decayed visibly, was pale as
    death, and reduced to an absolute skeleton; the beating of my arteries
    was extreme, my palpitations were frequent: I was sensible of a continual
    oppression, and my weakness became at length so great, that I could
    scarcely move or step without danger of suffocation, stoop without
    vertigoes, or lift even the smallest weight, which reduced me to the most
    tormenting inaction for a man so naturally stirring as myself. It is
    certain my disorder was in a great measure hypochondriacal. The vapors
    is a malady common to people in fortunate situations: the tears I
    frequently shed, without reason; the lively alarms I felt on the falling
    of a leaf, or the fluttering of a bird; inequality of humor in the calm
    of a most pleasing life; lassitude which made me weary even of happiness,
    and carried sensibility to extravagance, were an instance of this. We
    are so little formed for felicity, that when the soul and body do not
    suffer together, they must necessarily endure separate inconveniences,
    the good state of the one being almost always injurious to the happiness
    of the other. Had all the pleasure of life courted me, my weakened frame
    would not have permitted the enjoyment of them, without my being able to
    particularize the real seat of my complaint; yet in the decline of life;
    after having encountered very serious and real evils, my body seemed to
    regain its strength, as if on purpose to encounter additional
    misfortunes; and, at the moment I write this, though infirm, near sixty,
    and overwhelmed with every kind of sorrow, I feel more ability to suffer
    than I ever possessed for enjoyment when in the very flower of my age,
    and in the bosom of real happiness.

    To complete me, I had mingled a little physiology among my other
    readings: I set about studying anatomy, and considering the multitude,
    movement, and wonderful construction of the various parts that composed
    the human machine; my apprehensions were instantly increased, I expected
    to feel mine deranged twenty times a day, and far from being surprised to
    find myself dying, was astonished that I yet existed! I could not read
    the description of any malady without thinking it mine, and, had I not
    been already indisposed, I am certain I should have become so from this
    study. Finding in every disease symptoms similar to mine, I fancied I
    had them all, and, at length, gained one more troublesome than any I yet
    suffered, which I had thought myself delivered from; this was, a violent
    inclination to seek a cure; which it is very difficult to suppress, when
    once a person begins reading physical books. By searching, reflecting,
    and comparing, I became persuaded that the foundation of my complaint was
    a polypus at the heart, and Doctor Salomon appeared to coincide with the
    idea. Reasonably this opinion should have confirmed my former resolution
    of considering myself past cure; this, however, was not the case; on the
    contrary; I exerted every power of my understanding in search of a remedy
    for a polypus, resolving to undertake this marvellous cure.

    In a journey which Anet had made to Montpelier, to see the physical
    garden there, and visit Monsieur Sauvages, the demonstrator, he had been
    informed that Monsieur Fizes had cured a polypus similar to that I
    fancied myself afflicted with: Madam de Warrens, recollecting this
    circumstance, mentioned it to me, and nothing more was necessary to
    inspire me with a desire to consult Monsieur Fizes. The hope of recovery
    gave me courage and strength to undertake the journey; the money from
    Geneva furnished the means; Madam de Warrens, far from dissuading,
    entreated me to go: behold me, therefore, without further ceremony, set
    out for Montpelier!--but it was not necessary to go so far to find the
    cure I was in search of.

    Finding the motion of the horse too fatiguing, I had hired a chaise at
    Grenoble, and on entering Moirans, five or six other chaises arrived in a
    rank after mine. The greater part of these were in the train of a new
    married lady called Madam du Colombier; with her was a Madam de Larnage,
    not so young or handsome as the former, yet not less amiable. The bride
    was to stop at Romans, but the other lady was to pursue her route as far
    as Saint-Andiol, near the bridge du St. Esprit. With my natural timidity
    it will not be conjectured that I was very ready at forming an
    acquaintance with these fine ladies, and the company that attended them;
    but travelling the same road, lodging at the same inns, and being obliged
    to eat at the same table, the acquaintance seemed unavoidable, as any
    backwardness on my part would have got me the character of a very
    unsociable being: it was formed then, and even sooner than I desired,
    for all this bustle was by no means convenient to a person in ill health,
    particularly to one of my humor. Curiosity renders these vixens
    extremely insinuating; they accomplish their design of becoming
    acquainted with a man by endeavoring to turn his brain, and this was
    precisely what happened to me. Madam du Colombier was too much
    surrounded by her young gallants to have any opportunity of paying much
    attention to me; besides, it was not worthwhile, as we were to separate
    in so short a time; but Madam de Larnage (less attended to than her young
    friend) had to provide herself for the remainder of the journey; behold
    me, then, attacked by Madam de Larnage, and adieu to poor Jean Jacques,
    or rather farewell to fever, vapors, and polypus; all completely vanished
    when in her presence. The ill state of my health was the first subject
    of our conversation; they saw I was indisposed, knew I was going to
    Montpelier, but my air and manner certainly did not exhibit the
    appearance of a libertine, since it was clear by what followed they did
    not suspect I was going there for a reason that carries many that road.

    In the morning they sent to inquire after my health and invite me to take
    chocolate with them, and when I made my appearance asked how I had passed
    the night. Once, according to my praiseworthy custom of speaking without
    thought, I replied, "I did not know," which answer naturally made them
    conclude I was a fool: but, on questioning me further; the examination
    turned out so far to my advantage, that I rather rose in their opinion,
    and I once heard Madam du Colombier say to her friend, "He is amiable,
    but not sufficiently acquainted with the world." These words were a
    great encouragement, and assisted me in rendering myself agreeable.

    As we became more familiar, it was natural to give each other some little
    account of whence we came and who we were: this embarrassed me greatly,
    for I was sensible that in good company and among women of spirit, the
    very name of a new convert would utterly undo me. I know not by what
    whimsicallity I resolved to pass for an Englishman; however, in
    consequence of that determination I gave myself out for a Jacobite, and
    was readily believed. They called me Monsieur Dudding, which was the
    name I assumed with my new character, and a cursed Marquis Torignan, who
    was one of the company, an invalid like myself, and both old and ill
    --tempered, took it in his head to begin a long conversation with me. He
    spoke of King James, of the Pretender, and the old court of
    St. Germain's; I sat on thorns the whole time, for I was totally
    unacquainted with all these except what little I had picked up in the
    account of Earl Hamilton, and from the gazettes; however, I made such
    fortunate use of the little I did know as to extricate myself from this
    dilemma, happy in not being questioned on the English language, which I
    did not know a single word of.

    The company were all very agreeable; we looked forward to the moment of
    separation with regret, and therefore made snails' journeys. We arrived
    one Sunday at St. Marcelein's; Madam de Larnage would go to mass; I
    accompanied her, and had nearly ruined all my affairs, for by my modest
    reserved countenance during the service, she concluded me a bigot, and
    conceived a very indifferent opinion of me, as I learned from her own
    account two days after. It required a great deal of gallantry on my part
    to efface this ill impression, or rather Madam de Larnage (who was not
    easily disheartened) determined to risk the first advances, and see how I
    should behave. She made several, but far from being presuming on my
    figure, I thought she was making sport of me: full of this ridiculous
    idea there was no folly I was not guilty of.

    Madam de Larnage persisted in such caressing behavior, that a much wiser
    man than myself could hardly have taken it seriously. The more obvious
    her advances were, the more I was confirmed in my mistake, and what
    increased my torment, I found I was really in love with her.
    I frequently said to myself, and sometimes to her, sighing, "Ah! why is
    not all this real? then should I be the most fortunate of men." I am
    inclined to think my stupidity did but increase her resolution, and make
    her determined to get the better of it.

    We left Madam du Colombier at Romans; after which Madam de Larnage, the
    Marquis de Torignan, and myself continued our route slowly, and in the
    most agreeable manner. The marquis, though indisposed, and rather
    ill-humored, was an agreeable companion, but was not best pleased at
    seeing the lady bestow all her attentions on me, while he passed
    unregarded; for Madam de Larnage took so little care to conceal her
    inclination, that he perceived it sooner than I did, and his sarcasms
    must have given me that confidence I could not presume to take from the
    kindness of the lady, if by a surmise, which no one but myself could
    have blundered on, I had not imagined they perfectly understood each
    other, and were agreed to turn my passion into ridicule. This foolish
    idea completed my stupidity, making me act the most ridiculous part,
    while, had I listened to the feelings of my heart, I might have been
    performing one far more brilliant. I am astonished that Madam de
    Larnage was not disgusted at my folly, and did not discard me with
    disdain; but she plainly perceived there was more bashfulness than
    indifference in my composition.

    We arrived at Valence to dinner, and according to our usual custom passed
    the remainder of the day there. We lodged out of the city, at the St.
    James, an inn I shall never forget. After dinner, Madam de Larnage
    proposed a walk; she knew the marquis was no walker, consequently, this
    was an excellent plan for a tete-a-tete, which she was predetermined to
    make the most of. While we were walking round the city by the side of
    the moats, I entered on a long history of my complaint, to which she
    answered in so tender an accent, frequently pressing my arm, which she
    held to her heart, that it required all my stupidity not to be convinced
    of the sincerity of her attachment. I have already observed that she was
    amiable; love rendered her charming, adding all the loveliness of youth:
    and she managed her advances with so much art, that they were sufficient
    to have seduced the most insensible: I was, therefore, in very uneasy
    circumstances, and frequently on the point of making a declaration; but
    the dread of offending her, and the still greater of being laughed at,
    ridiculed, made table-talk, and complimented on my enterprise by the
    satirical marquis, had such unconquerable power over me, that, though
    ashamed of my ridiculous bashfulness, I could not take courage to
    surmount it. I had ended the history of my complaints, which I felt the
    ridiculousness of at this time; and not knowing how to look, or what to
    say, continued silent, giving the finest opportunity in the world for
    that ridicule I so much dreaded. Happily, Madam de Larnage took a more
    favorable resolution, and suddenly interrupted this silence by throwing
    her arms round my neck, while, at the same instant, her lips spoke too
    plainly on mine to be any longer misunderstood. This was reposing that
    confidence in me the want of which has almost always prevented me from
    appearing myself: for once I was at ease, my heart, eyes and tongue,
    spoke freely what I felt; never did I make better reparation for my
    mistakes, and if this little conquest had cost Madam de Larnage some
    difficulties, I have reason to believe she did not regret them.

    Was I to live a hundred years, I should never forget this charming woman.
    I say charming, for though neither young nor beautiful, she was neither
    old nor ugly, having nothing in her appearance that could prevent her wit
    and accomplishments from producing all their effects. It was possible to
    see her without falling in love, but those she favored could not fail to
    adore her; which proves, in my opinion, that she was not generally so
    prodigal of her favors. It is true, her inclination for me was so sudden
    and lively, that it scarce appears excusable; though from the short, but
    charming interval I passed with her, I have reason to think her heart was
    more influenced than her passions.

    Our good intelligence did not escape the penetration of the marquis; not
    that he discontinued his usual raillery; on the contrary, he treated me
    as a sighing, hopeless swain, languishing under the rigors of his
    mistress; not a word, smile, or look escaped him by which I could imagine
    he suspected my happiness; and I should have thought him completely
    deceived, had not Madam de Larnage, who was more clear-sighted than
    myself, assured me of the contrary; but he was a well-bred man, and it
    was impossible to behave with more attention or greater civility, than he
    constantly paid me (notwithstanding his satirical sallies), especially
    after my success, which, as he was unacquainted with my stupidity, he
    perhaps gave me the honor of achieving. It has already been seen that he
    was mistaken in this particular; but no matter, I profited by his error,
    for being conscious that the laugh was on my side, I took all his sallies
    in good part, and sometimes parried them with tolerable success; for,
    proud of the reputation of wit which Madam de Larnage had thought fit to
    discover in me, I no longer appeared the same man.

    We were both in a country and season of plenty, and had everywhere
    excellent cheer, thanks to the good cares of the marquis; though I would
    willingly have relinquished this advantage to have been more satisfied
    with the situation of our chambers; but he always sent his footman on to
    provide them; and whether of his own accord, or by the order of his
    master, the rogue always took care that the marquis' chamber should be
    close by Madam de Larnage's, while mine was at the further end of the
    house: but that made no great difference, or perhaps it rendered our
    rendezvous the more charming; this happiness lasted four or five days,
    during which time I was intoxicated with delight, which I tasted pure and
    serene without any alloy; an advantage I could never boast before; and,
    I may add, it is owing to Madam de Larnage that I did not go out of the
    world without having tasted real pleasure.

    If the sentiment I felt for her was not precisely love, it was at least a
    very tender return of what she testified for me; our meetings were so
    delightful, that they possessed all the sweets of love; without that kind
    of delirium which affects the brain, and even tends to diminish our
    happiness. I never experienced true love but once in my life, and that
    was not with Madam de Larnage, neither did I feel that affection for her
    which I had been sensible of, and yet continued to possess, for Madam de
    Warrens; but for this very reason, our tete-a-tetes were a hundred times
    more delightful. When with Madam de Warrens, my felicity was always
    disturbed by a secret sadness, a compunction of heart, which I found it
    impossible to surmount. Instead of being delighted at the acquisition of
    so much happiness, I could not help reproaching myself for contributing
    to render her I loved unworthy: on the contrary, with Madam de Lamage,
    I was proud of my happiness, and gave in to it without repugnance, while
    my triumph redoubled every other charm.

    I do not recollect exactly where we quitted the marquis, who resided in
    this country, but I know we were alone on our arrival at Montelimar,
    where Madam de Larnage made her chambermaid get into my chaise, and
    accommodate me with a seat in hers. It will easily be believed, that
    travelling in this manner was by no means displeasing to me, and that I
    should be very much puzzled to give any account of the country we passed
    through. She had some business at Montelimar, which detained her there
    two or three days; during this time she quitted me but one quarter of an
    hour, for a visit she could not avoid, which embarrassed her with a
    number of invitations she had no inclination to accept, and therefore
    excused herself by pleading some indisposition; though she took care this
    should not prevent our walking together every day, in the most charming
    country, and under the finest sky imaginable. Oh! these three days!
    what reason have I to regret them! Never did such happiness return

    The amours of a journey cannot be very durable: it was necessary we
    should part, and I must confess it was almost time; not that I was weary
    of my happiness, but I might as well have been. We endeavored to comfort
    each other for the pain of parting, by forming plans for our reunion; and
    it was concluded, that after staying five or six weeks at Montpelier
    (which would give Madam de Larnage time to prepare for my reception in
    such a manner as to prevent scandal) I should return to Saint-Andiol, and
    spend the winter under her direction. She gave me ample instruction on
    what it was necessary I should know, on what it would be proper to say;
    and how I should conduct myself. She spoke much and earnestly on the
    care of my health, conjured me to consult skilful physicians, and be
    attentive and exact in following their prescriptions whatever they might
    happen to be. I believe her concern was sincere, for she loved me, and
    gave proofs of her affection less equivocal than the prodigality of her
    favors; for judging by my mode of travelling, that I was not in very
    affluent circumstances (though not rich herself), on our parting, she
    would have had me share the contents of her purse, which she had brought
    pretty well furnished from Grenoble, and it was with great difficulty I
    could make her put up with a denial. In a word, we parted; my heart full
    of her idea, and leaving in hers (if I am not mistaken) a firm attachment
    to me.

    While pursuing the remainder of my journey, remembrance ran over
    everything that had passed from the commencement of it, and I was well
    satisfied at finding myself alone in a comfortable chaise, where I could
    ruminate at ease on the pleasures I had enjoyed, and those which awaited
    my return. I only thought of Saint-Andiol; of the life I was to lead
    there; I saw nothing but Madam de Larnage, or what related to her; the
    whole universe besides was nothing to me--even Madam de Warrens was
    forgotten!--I set about combining all the details by which Madam de
    Larnage had endeavored to give me in advance an idea of her house, of the
    neighborhood, of her connections, and manner of life, finding everything

    She had a daughter, whom she had often described in the warmest terms of
    maternal affection: this daughter was fifteen lively, charming, and of an
    amiable disposition. Madam de Larnage promised me her friendship; I had
    not forgotten that promise, and was curious to know how Mademoiselle de
    Larnage would treat her mother's 'bon ami'. These were the subjects of
    my reveries from the bridge of St. Esprit to Remoulin: I had been advised
    to visit the Pont-du-Gard; hitherto I had seen none of the remaining
    monuments of Roman magnificence, and I expected to find this worthy the
    hands by which it was constructed; for once, the reality surpassed my
    expectation; this was the only time in my life it ever did so, and the
    Romans alone could have produced that effect. The view of this noble and
    sublime work, struck me the more forcibly, from being in the midst of a
    desert, where silence and solitude render the majestic edifice more
    striking, and admiration more lively, for though called a bridge it is
    nothing more than an aqueduct. One cannot help exclaiming, what strength
    could have transported these enormous stones so far from any quarry? And
    what motive could have united the labors of so many millions of men, in a
    place that no one inhabited? I remained here whole hours, in the most
    ravishing contemplation, and returned pensive and thoughtful to my inn.
    This reverie was by no means favorable to Madam de Larnage; she had taken
    care to forewarn me against the girls of Montpelier, but not against the
    Pont-du-Gard--it is impossible to provide for every contingency.

    On my arrival at Nismes, I went to see the amphitheatre, which is a far
    more magnificent work than even the Pont-du-Gard, yet it made a much less
    impression on me, perhaps, because my admiration had been already
    exhausted on the former object; or that the situation of the latter, in
    the midst of a city, was less proper to excite it. This vast and superb
    circus is surrounded by small dirty houses, while yet smaller and dirtier
    fill up the area, in such a manner that the whole produces an unequal and
    confused effect, in which regret and indignation stifle pleasure and
    surprise. The amphitheatre at Verona is a vast deal smaller, and less
    beautiful than that at Nismes, but preserved with all possible care and
    neatness, by which means alone it made a much stronger and more agreeable
    impression on me. The French pay no regard to these things, respect no
    monument of antiquity; ever eager to undertake, they never finish, nor
    preserve anything that is already finished to their hands.

    I was so much better, and had gained such an appetite by exercise, that I
    stopped a whole day at Pont-du-Lunel, for the sake of good entertainment
    and company, this being deservedly esteemed at that time the best inn in
    Europe; for those who kept it, knowing how to make its fortunate
    situation turn to advantage, took care to provide both abundance and
    variety. It was really curious to find in a lonely country-house, a
    table every day furnished with sea and fresh-water fish, excellent game,
    and choice wines, served up with all the attention and care, which are
    only to be expected among the great or opulent, and all this for thirty
    five sous each person: but the Pont-du-Lunel did not long remain on this
    footing, for the proprietor, presuming too much on its reputation, at
    length lost it entirely.

    During this journey, I really forgot my complaints, but recollected them
    again on my arrival at Montpelier. My vapors were absolutely gone, but
    every other complaint remained, and though custom had rendered them less
    troublesome, they were still sufficient to make any one who had been
    suddenly seized with them, suppose himself attacked by some mortal
    disease. In effect they were rather alarming than painful, and made the
    mind suffer more than the body, though it apparently threatened the
    latter with destruction. While my attention was called off by the
    vivacity of my passions, I paid no attention to my health; but as my
    complaints were not altogether imaginary, I thought of them seriously
    when the tumult had subsided. Recollecting the salutary advice of Madam
    de Larnage, and the cause of my journey, I consulted the most famous
    practitioners, particularly Monsieur Fizes; and through superabundance of
    precaution boarded at a doctor's who was an Irishman, and named

    This person boarded a number of young gentlemen who were studying physic;
    and what rendered his house very commodious for an invalid, he contented
    himself with a moderate pension for provisions, lodging, etc., and took
    nothing of his boarders for attendance as a physician. He even undertook
    to execute the orders of M. Fizes, and endeavored to re-establish my
    health. He certainly acquitted himself very well in this employment; as
    to regimen, indigestions were not to be gained at his table; and though I
    am not much hurt at privations of that kind, the objects of comparison
    were so near, that I could not help thinking with myself sometimes, that
    M. de Torignan was a much better provider than M. Fitz-Morris;
    notwithstanding, as there was no danger of, dying with hunger, and all
    the youths were gay and good-humored, I believe this manner of living was
    really serviceable, and prevented my falling into those languors I had
    latterly been so subject to. I passed the morning in taking medicines,
    particularly, I know not what kind of waters, but believe they were those
    of Vals, and in writing to Madam de Larnage: for the correspondence was
    regularly kept up, and Rousseau kindly undertook to receive these letters
    for his good friend Dudding. At noon I took a walk to the Canourgue,
    with some of our young boarders, who were all very good lads; after this
    we assembled for dinner; when this was over, an affair of importance
    employed the greater part of us till night; this was going a little way
    out of town to take our afternoon's collation, and make up two or three
    parties at mall, or mallet. As I had neither strength nor skill, I did
    not play myself but I betted on the game, and, interested for the success
    of my wager, followed the players and their balls over rough and stony
    roads, procuring by this means both an agreeable and salutary exercise.
    We took our afternoon's refreshment at an inn out of the city. I need
    not observe that these meetings were extremely merry, but should not omit
    that they were equally innocent, though the girls of the house were very
    pretty. M. Fitz-Morris (who was a great mall player himself) was our
    president; and I must observe, notwithstanding the imputation of wildness
    that is generally bestowed on students, that I found more virtuous
    dispositions among these youths than could easily be found among an equal
    number of men: they were rather noisy than fond of wine, and more merry
    than libertine.

    I accustomed myself so much to this mode of life, and it accorded so
    entirely with my humor, that I should have been very well content with a
    continuance of it. Several of my fellow-boarders were Irish, from whom I
    endeavored to learn some English words, as a precaution for Saint-Andiol.
    The time now drew near for my departure; every letter Madam de Larnage
    wrote, she entreated me not to delay it, and at length I prepared to obey

    I was convinced that the physicians (who understood nothing of my
    disorder) looked on my complaint as imaginary, and treated me
    accordingly, with their waters and whey. In this respect physicians and
    philosophers differ widely from theologians; admitting the truth only of
    what they can explain, and making their knowledge the measure of
    possibilities. These gentlemen understood nothing of my illness,
    therefore concluded I could not be ill; and who would presume to doubt
    the profound skill of a physician? I plainly saw they only meant to
    amuse, and make me swallow my money; and judging their substitute at
    Saint-Andiol would do me quite as much service, and be infinitely more
    agreeable, I resolved to give her the preference; full, therefore, of
    this wise resolution, I quitted Montpelier.

    I set off towards the end of November, after a stay of six weeks or two
    months in that city, where I left a dozen louis, without either my health
    or understanding being the better for it, except from a short course of
    anatomy begun under M. Fitz-Morris, which I was soon obliged to abandon,
    from the horrid stench of the bodies he dissected, which I found it
    impossible to endure.

    Not thoroughly satisfied in my own mind on the rectitude of this
    expedition, as I advanced towards the Bridge of St. Esprit (which was
    equally the road to Saint-Andiol and to Chambery) I began to reflect on
    Madam de Warrens, the remembrance of whose letters, though less frequent
    than those from Madam de Larnage, awakened in my heart a remorse that
    passion had stifled in the first part of my journey, but which became so
    lively on my return, that, setting just estimate on the love of pleasure,
    I found myself in such a situation of mind that I could listen wholly to
    the voice of reason. Besides, in continuing to act the part of an
    adventurer, I might be less fortunate than I had been in the beginning;
    for it was only necessary that in all Saint-Andiol there should be one
    person who had been in England, or who knew the English or anything of
    their language, to prove me an impostor. The family of Madam de Larnage
    might not be pleased with me, and would, perhaps, treat me unpolitely;
    her daughter too made me uneasy, for, spite of myself, I thought more of
    her than was necessary. I trembled lest I should fall in love with this
    girl, and that very fear had already half done the business. Was I
    going, in return for the mother's kindness, to seek the ruin of the
    daughter? To sow dissension, dishonor, scandal, and hell itself, in her
    family? The very idea struck me with horror, and I took the firmest
    resolution to combat and vanquish this unhappy attachment, should I be so
    unfortunate as to experience it. But why expose myself to this danger?
    How miserable must the situation be to live with the mother, whom I
    should be weary of, and sigh for the daughter, without daring to make
    known my affection! What necessity was there to seek this situation, and
    expose myself to misfortunes, affronts and remorse, for the sake of
    pleasures whose greatest charm was already exhausted? For I was sensible
    this attachment had lost its first vivacity. With these thoughts were
    mingled reflections relative to my situation and duty to that good and
    generous friend, who already loaded with debts, would become more so from
    the foolish expenses I was running into, and whom I was deceiving so
    unworthily. This reproach at length became so keen that it triumphed
    over every temptation, and on approaching the bridge of St. Esprit I
    formed the resolution to burn my whole magazine of letters from
    Saint-Andiol, and continue my journey right forward to Chambery.

    I executed this resolution courageously, with some sighs I confess, but
    with the heart-felt satisfaction, which I enjoyed for the first time in
    my life, of saying, "I merit my own esteem, and know how to prefer duty
    to pleasure." This was the first real obligation I owed my books, since
    these had taught me to reflect and compare. After the virtuous
    principles I had so lately adopted, after all the rules of wisdom and
    honor I had proposed to myself, and felt so proud to follow, the shame of
    possessing so little stability, and contradicting so egregiously my own
    maxims, triumphed over the allurements of pleasure. Perhaps, after all,
    pride had as much share in my resolution as virtue; but if this pride is
    not virtue itself, its effects are so similar that we are pardonable in
    deceiving ourselves.

    One advantage resulting from good actions is that they elevate the soul
    to a disposition of attempting still better; for such is human weakness,
    that we must place among our good deeds an abstinence from those crimes
    we are tempted to commit. No sooner was my resolution confirmed than I
    became another man, or rather, I became what I was before I had erred,
    and saw in its true colors what the intoxication of the moment had either
    concealed or disguised. Full of worthy sentiments and wise resolutions,
    I continued my journey, intending to regulate my future conduct by the
    laws of virtue, and dedicate myself without reserve to that best of
    friends, to whom I vowed as much fidelity in future as I felt real
    attachment. The sincerity of this return to virtue appeared to promise a
    better destiny; but mine, alas! was fixed, and already begun: even at
    the very moment when my heart, full of good and virtuous sentiments, was
    contemplating only innocence and happiness through life, I touched on the
    fatal period that was to draw after it the long chain of my misfortunes!

    My impatience to arrive at Chambery had made me use more diligence than I
    meant to do. I had sent a letter from Valence, mentioning the day and
    hour I should arrive, but I had gained half a day on this calculation,
    which time I passed at Chaparillan, that I might arrive exactly at the
    time I mentioned. I wished to enjoy to its full extent the pleasure of
    seeing her, and preferred deferring this happiness a little, that
    expectancy might increase the value of it. This precaution had always
    succeeded; hitherto my arrival had caused a little holiday; I expected no
    less this time, and these preparations, so dear to me, would have been
    well worth the trouble of contriving them.

    I arrived then exactly at the hour, and while at a considerable distance,
    looked forward with an expectancy of seeing her on the road to meet me.
    The beating of my heart increased as I drew near the house; at length I
    arrived, quite out of breath; for I had left my chaise in the town. I
    see no one in the garden, at the door, or at the windows; I am seized
    with terror, fearful that some accident has happened. I enter; all is
    quiet; the laborers are eating their luncheon in the kitchen, and far
    from observing any preparation, the servants seem surprised to see me,
    not knowing I was expected. I go up--stairs, at length see her!--that
    dear friend! so tenderly, truly, and entirely beloved. I instantly ran
    towards her, and threw myself at her feet. "Ah! child!" said she, "art
    thou returned then!" embracing me at the same time. "Have you had a
    good journey? How do you do?" This reception amused me for some
    moments. I then asked, whether she had received my letter? she answered
    "Yes."--"I should have thought not," replied I; and the information
    concluded there. A young man was with her at this time. I recollected
    having seen him in the house before my departure, but at present he
    seemed established there; in short, he was so; I found my place already

    This young man came from the country of Vaud; his father, named
    Vintzenried, was keeper of the prison, or, as he expressed himself,
    Captain of the Castle of Chillon. This son of the captain was a
    journeyman peruke-maker, and gained his living in that capacity when he
    first presented himself to Madam de Warrens, who received him kindly, as
    she did all comers, particularly those from her own country. He was a
    tall, fair, silly youth; well enough made, with an unmeaning face, and a
    mind of the same description, speaking always like the beau in a comedy,
    and mingling the manners and customs of his former situation with a long
    history of his gallantry and success; naming, according to his account,
    not above half the marchionesses who had favored him and pretending never
    to have dressed the head of a pretty woman, without having likewise
    decorated her husband's; vain, foolish, ignorant and insolent; such was
    the worthy substitute taken in my absence, and the companion offered me
    on my return!

    O! if souls disengaged from their terrestrial bonds, yet view from the
    bosom of eternal light what passes here below, pardon, dear and
    respectable shade, that I show no more favor to your failings than my
    own, but equally unveil both. I ought and will be just to you as to
    myself; but how much less will you lose by this resolution than I shall!
    How much do your amiable and gentle disposition, your inexhaustible
    goodness of heart, your frankness and other amiable virtues, compensate
    for your foibles, if a subversion of reason alone can be called such.
    You had errors, but not vices; your conduct was reprehensible, but your
    heart was ever pure.

    The new-comer had shown himself zealous and exact in all her little
    commissions, which were ever numerous, and he diligently overlooked the
    laborers. As noisy and insolent as I was quiet and forbearing, he was
    seen or rather heard at the plough, in the hay-loft, wood-house, stable,
    farm-yard, at the same instant. He neglected the gardening, this labor
    being too peaceful and moderate; his chief pleasure was to load or drive
    the cart, to saw or cleave wood; he was never seen without a hatchet or
    pick-axe in his hand, running, knocking and hallooing with all his might.
    I know not how many men's labor he performed, but he certainly made noise
    enough for ten or a dozen at least. All this bustle imposed on poor
    Madam de Warrens; she thought this young man a treasure, and, willing to
    attach him to herself, employed the means she imagined necessary for that
    purpose, not forgetting what she most depended on, the surrender of her

    Those who have thus far read this work should be able to form some
    judgment of my heart; its sentiments were the most constant and sincere,
    particularly those which had brought me back to Chambery; what a sudden
    and complete overthrow was this to my whole being! but to judge fully of
    this, the reader must place himself for a moment in my situation. I saw
    all the future felicity I had promised myself vanish in a moment; all the
    charming ideas I had indulged so affectionately, disappear entirely; and
    I, who even from childhood had not been able to consider my existence for
    a moment as separate from hers, for the first time saw myself utterly
    alone. This moment was dreadful, and those that succeeded it were ever
    gloomy. I was yet young, but the pleasing sentiments of enjoyment and
    hope, which enliven youth, were extinguished. From that hour my
    existence seemed half annihilated. I contemplated in advance the
    melancholy remains of an insipid life, and if at any time an image of
    happiness glanced through my mind, it was not that which appeared natural
    to me, and I felt that even should I obtain it I must still be wretched.

    I was so dull of apprehension, and my confidence in her was so great,
    that, notwithstanding the familiar tone of the new-comer, which I looked
    on as an effect of the easy disposition of Madam de Warrens, which
    rendered her free with everyone, I never should have suspected his real
    situation had not she herself informed me of it; but she hastened to make
    this avowal with a freedom calculated to inflame me with resentment,
    could my heart have turned to that point. Speaking of this connection as
    quite immaterial with respect to herself, she reproached me with
    negligence in the care of the family, and mentioned my frequent absence,
    as though she had been in haste to supply my place. "Ah!" said I, my
    heart bursting with the most poignant grief, "what do you dare to inform
    me of? Is this the reward of an attachment like mine? Have you so many
    times preserved my life, for the sole purpose of taking from me all that
    could render it desirable? Your infidelity will bring me to the grave,
    but you will regret my loss!" She answered with a tranquillity
    sufficient to distract me, that I talked like a child; that people did
    not die from such slight causes; that our friendship need be no less
    sincere, nor we any less intimate, for that her tender attachment to me
    could neither diminish nor end but with herself; in a word she gave me to
    understand that my happiness need not suffer any decrease from the good
    fortune of this new favorite.

    Never did the purity, truth and force of my attachment to her appear more
    evident; never did I feel the sincerity and honesty of my soul more
    forcibly, than at that moment. I threw myself at her feet, embracing her
    knees with torrents of tears. "No, madam," replied I, with the most
    violent agitation, "I love you too much to disgrace you thus far, and too
    truly to share you; the regret that accompanied the first acquisition of
    your favors has continued to increase with my affection. I cannot
    preserve them by so violent an augmentation of it. You shall ever have
    my adoration: be worthy of it; to me that is more necessary than all you
    can bestow. It is to you, O my dearest friend! that I resign my rights;
    it is to the union of our hearts that I sacrifice my pleasure; rather
    would I perish a thousand times than thus degrade her I love."

    I preserved this resolution with a constancy worthy, I may say, of the
    sentiment that gave it birth. From this moment I saw this beloved woman
    but with the eyes of a real son. It should be remarked here, that this
    resolve did not meet her private approbation, as I too well perceived;
    yet she never employed the least art to make me renounce it either by
    insinuating proposals, caresses, or any of those means which women so
    well know how to employ without exposing themselves to violent censure,
    and which seldom fail to succeed. Reduced to seek a fate independent of
    hers, and not able to devise one, I passed to the other extreme, placing
    my happiness so absolutely in her, that I became almost regardless of
    myself. The ardent desire to see her happy, at any rate, absorbed all my
    affections; it was in vain she endeavored to separate her felicity from
    mine, I felt I had a part in it, spite of every impediment.

    Thus those virtues whose seeds in my heart begun to spring up with my
    misfortunes: they had been cultivated by study, and only waited the
    fermentation of adversity to become prolific. The first-fruit of this
    disinterested disposition was to put from my heart every sentiment of
    hatred and envy against him who had supplanted me. I even sincerely
    wished to attach myself to this young man; to form and educate him; to
    make him sensible of his happiness, and, if possible, render him worthy
    of it; in a word, to do for him what Anet had formerly done for me. But
    the similarity of dispositions was wanting. More insinuating and
    enlightened than Anet, I possessed neither his coolness, fortitude, nor
    commanding strength of character, which I must have had in order to
    succeed. Neither did the young man possess those qualities which Anet
    found in me; such as gentleness, gratitude, and above all, the knowledge
    of a want of his instructions, and an ardent desire to render them
    useful. All these were wanting; the person I wished to improve, saw in
    me nothing but an importunate, chattering pedant: while on the contrary
    he admired his own importance in the house, measuring the services he
    thought he rendered by the noise he made, and looking on his saws,
    hatchets, and pick-axes, as infinitely more useful than all my old books:
    and, perhaps, in this particular, he might not be altogether blamable;
    but he gave himself a number of airs sufficient to make anyone die with
    laughter. With the peasants he assumed the airs of a country gentleman;
    presently he did as much with me, and at length with Madam de Warrens
    herself. His name, Vintzenried, did not appear noble enough, he
    therefore changed it to that of Monsieur de Courtilles, and by the latter
    appellation he was known at Chambery, and in Maurienne, where he married.

    At length this illustrious personage gave himself such airs of
    consequence, that he was everything in the house, and myself nothing.
    When I had the misfortune to displease him, he scolded Madam de Warrens,
    and a fear of exposing her to his brutality rendered me subservient to
    all his whims, so that every time he cleaved wood (an office which he
    performed with singular pride) it was necessary I should be an idle
    spectator and admirer of his prowess. This lad was not, however, of a
    bad disposition; he loved Madam de Warrens, indeed it was impossible to
    do otherwise; nor had he any aversion even to me, and when he happened to
    be out of his airs would listen to our admonitions, and frankly own he
    was a fool; yet notwithstanding these acknowledgements his follies
    continued in the same proportion. His knowledge was so contracted, and
    his inclinations so mean, that it was useless to reason, and almost
    impossible to be pleased with him. Not content with a most charming
    woman, he amused himself with an old red-haired, toothless waiting-maid,
    whose unwelcome service Madam de Warrens had the patience to endure,
    though it was absolutely disgusting. I soon perceived this new
    inclination, and was exasperated at it; but I saw something else, which
    affected me yet more, and made a deeper impression on me than anything
    had hitherto done; this was a visible coldness in the behavior of Madam
    de Warrens towards me.

    The privation I had imposed on myself, and which she affected to approve,
    is one of those affronts which women scarcely ever forgive. Take the
    most sensible; the most philosophic female, one the least attached to
    pleasure, and slighting her favors, if within your reach, will be found
    the most unpardonable crime, even though she may care nothing for the
    man. This rule is certainly without exception; since a sympathy so
    natural and ardent was impaired in her, by an abstinence founded only on
    virtue, attachment and esteem, I no longer found with her that union of
    hearts which constituted all the happiness of mine; she seldom sought me
    but when we had occasion to complain of this new-comer, for when they
    were agreed, I enjoyed but little of her confidence, and, at length, was
    scarcely ever consulted in her affairs. She seemed pleased, indeed, with
    my company, but had I passed whole days without seeing her she would
    hardly have missed me.

    Insensibly, I found myself desolate and alone in that house where I had
    formerly been the very soul; where, if I may so express myself, I had
    enjoyed a double life, and by degrees, I accustomed myself to disregard
    everything that, passed, and even those who dwelt there. To avoid
    continual mortifications, I shut myself up with my books, or else wept
    and sighed unnoticed in the woods. This life soon became insupportable;
    I felt that the presence of a woman so dear to me, while estranged from
    her heart, increased my unhappiness, and was persuaded, that, ceasing to
    see her, I should feel myself less cruelly separated.

    I resolved, therefore, to quit the house, mentioned it to her, and she,
    far from opposing my resolution, approved it. She had an acquaintance at
    Grenoble, called Madam de Deybens, whose husband was on terms of
    friendship with Monsieur Malby, chief Provost of Lyons. M. Deybens
    proposed my educating M. Malby's children; I accepted this offer, and
    departed for Lyons without causing, and almost without feeling, the least
    regret at a separation, the bare idea of which, a few months before,
    would have given us both the most excruciating torments.

    I had almost as much knowledge as was necessary for a tutor, and
    flattered myself that my method would be unexceptionable; but the year I
    passed at M. Malby's was sufficient to undeceive me in that particular.
    The natural gentleness of my disposition seemed calculated for the
    employment, if hastiness had not been mingled with it. While things went
    favorably, and I saw the pains (which I did not spare) succeed, I was an
    angel; but a devil when they went contrary. If my pupils did not
    understand me, I was hasty, and when they showed any symptoms of an
    untoward disposition, I was so provoked that I could have killed them;
    which behavior was not likely to render them either good or wise. I had
    two under my care, and they were of very different tempers. St. Marie,
    who was between eight and nine years old, had a good person and quick
    apprehension, was giddy, lively, playful and mischievous; but his
    mischief was ever good-humored. The younger one, named Condillac,
    appeared stupid and fretful, was headstrong as a mule, and seemed
    incapable of instruction. It may be supposed that between both I did not
    want employment, yet with patience and temper I might have succeeded;
    but wanting both, I did nothing worth mentioning, and my pupils profited
    very little. I could only make use of three means, which are very weak,
    and often pernicious with children; namely, sentiment, reasoning,
    passion. I sometimes exerted myself so much with St. Marie, that I could
    not refrain from tears, and wished to excite similar sensations in him;
    as if it was reasonable to suppose a child could be susceptible to such
    emotions. Sometimes I exhausted myself in reasoning, as if persuaded he
    could comprehend me; and as he frequently formed very subtle arguments,
    concluded he must be reasonable, because he bid fair to be so good a

    The little Condillac was still more embarrassing; for he neither
    understood, answered, nor was concerned at anything; he was of an
    obstinacy beyond belief, and was never happier than when he had succeeded
    in putting me in a rage; then, indeed, he was the philosopher, and I the
    child. I was conscious of all my faults, studied the tempers of my
    pupils, and became acquainted with them; but where was the use of seeing
    the evil, without being able to apply a remedy? My penetration was
    unavailing, since it never prevented any mischief; and everything I
    undertook failed, because all I did to effect my designs was precisely
    what I ought not to have done.

    I was not more fortunate in what had only reference to myself, than in
    what concerned my pupils. Madam Deybens, in recommending me to her
    friend Madam de Malby, had requested her to form my manners, and endeavor
    to give me an air of the world. She took some pains on this account,
    wishing to teach me how to do the honors of the house; but I was so
    awkward, bashful, and stupid, that she found it necessary to stop there.
    This, however, did not prevent me from falling in love with her,
    according to my usual custom; I even behaved in such a manner, that she
    could not avoid observing it; but I never durst declare my passion; and
    as the lady never seemed in a humor to make advances, I soon became weary
    of my sighs and ogling, being convinced they answered no manner of

    I had quite lost my inclination for little thieveries while with Madam de
    Warrens; indeed, as everything belonged to me, there was nothing to
    steal; besides, the elevated notions I had imbibed ought to have rendered
    me in future above such meanness, and generally speaking they certainly
    did so; but this rather proceeded from my having learned to conquer
    temptations, than having succeeded in rooting out the propensity, and I
    should even now greatly dread stealing, as in my infancy, were I yet
    subject to the same inclinations. I had a proof of this at M. Malby's,
    when, though surrounded by a number of little things that I could easily
    have pilfered, and which appeared no temptation, I took it into my head
    to covert some white Arbois wine, some glasses of which I had drank at
    table, and thought delicious. It happened to be rather thick, and as I
    fancied myself an excellent finer of wine, I mentioned my skill, and this
    was accordingly trusted to my care, but in attempting to mend, I spoiled
    it, though to the sight only, for it remained equally agreeable to the
    taste. Profiting by this opportunity, I furnished myself from time to
    time with a few bottles to drink in my own apartment; but unluckily,
    I could never drink without eating; the difficulty lay therefore,
    in procuring bread. It was impossible to make a reserve of this article,
    and to have it brought by the footman was discovering myself,
    and insulting the master of the house; I could not bear to purchase it
    myself; how could a fine gentleman, with a sword at his side, enter a
    baker's shop to buy a small loaf of bread? it was utterly impossible.
    At length I recollected the thoughtless saying of a great princess, who,
    on being informed that the country people had no bread, replied, "Then
    let them eat pastry!" Yet even this resource was attended with a
    difficulty. I sometimes went out alone for this very purpose, running
    over the whole city, and passing thirty pastry cook's shops, without
    daring to enter any one of them. In the first place, it was necessary
    there should be only one person in the shop, and that person's
    physiognomy must be so encouraging as to give me confidence to pass the
    threshold; but when once the dear little cake was procured, and I shut up
    in my chamber with that and a bottle of wine, taken cautiously from the
    bottom of a cupboard, how much did I enjoy drinking my wine, and reading
    a few pages of a novel; for when I have no company I always wish to read
    while eating; it seems a substitute for society, and I dispatch
    alternately a page and a morsel; 'tis indeed, as if my book dined with

    I was neither dissolute nor sottish, never in my whole life having been
    intoxicated with liquor; my little thefts were not very indiscreet, yet
    they were discovered; the bottles betrayed me, and though no notice was
    taken of it, I had no longer the management of the cellar. In all this
    Monsieur Malby conducted himself with prudence and politeness, being
    really a very deserving man, who, under a manner as harsh as his
    employment, concealed a real gentleness of disposition and uncommon
    goodness of heart: he was judicious, equitable, and (what would not be
    expected from an officer of the Marechausse) very humane.

    Sensible of his indulgence, I became greatly attached to him, which made
    my stay at Lyons longer than it would otherwise have been; but at length,
    disgusted with an employment which I was not calculated for, and a
    situation of great confinement, consequently disagreeable to me, after a
    year's trial, during which time I spared no pains to fulfill my
    engagement, I determined to quit my pupils; being convinced I should
    never succeed in educating them properly. Monsieur Malby saw this as
    clearly as myself, though I am inclined to think he would never have
    dismissed me had I not spared him the trouble, which was an excess of
    condescension in this particular, that I certainly cannot justify.

    What rendered my situation yet more insupportable was the comparison I
    was continually drawing between the life I now led and that which I had
    quitted; the remembrance of my dear Charmettes, my garden, trees,
    fountain and orchard, but, above all, the company of her who was born to
    give life and soul to every other enjoyment. On calling to mind our
    pleasures and innocent life, I was seized with such oppressions and
    heaviness of heart, as deprived me of the power of performing anything as
    it should be. A hundred times was I tempted instantly to set off on foot
    to my dear Madam de Warrens, being persuaded that could I once more see
    her, I should be content to die that moment: in fine, I could no longer
    resist the tender emotions which recalled me back to her, whatever it
    might cost me. I accused myself of not having been sufficiently patient,
    complaisant and kind; concluding I might yet live happily with her on the
    terms of tender friendship, and by showing more for her than I had
    hitherto done. I formed the finest projects in the world, burned to
    execute them, left all, renounced everything, departed, fled, and
    arriving in all the transports of my early youth, found myself once more
    at her feet. Alas! I should have died there with joy, had I found in
    her reception, in her embrace, or in her heart, one-quarter of what I had
    formerly found there, and which I yet found the undiminished warmth of.

    Fearful illusions of transitory things, how often dost thou torment us in
    vain! She received me with that excellence of heart which could only die
    with her; but I sought the influence there which could never be recalled,
    and had hardly been half an hour with her before I was once more
    convinced that my former happiness had vanished forever, and that I was
    in the same melancholy situation which I had been obliged to fly from;
    yet without being able to accuse any person with my unhappiness, for
    Courtilles really was not to blame, appearing to see my return with more
    pleasure than dissatisfaction. But how could I bear to be a secondary
    person with her to whom I had been everything, and who could never cease
    being such to me? How could I live an alien in that house where I had
    been the child? The sight of every object that had been witness to my
    former happiness, rendered the comparison yet more distressing; I should
    have suffered less in any other habitation, for this incessantly recalled
    such pleasing remembrances, that it was irritating the recollection of my

    Consumed with vain regrets, given up to the most gloomy melancholy, I
    resumed the custom of remaining alone, except at meals; shut up with my
    books, I sought to give some useful diversion to my ideas, and feeling
    the imminent danger of want, which I had so long dreaded, I sought means
    to prepare for and receive it, when Madam de Warrens should have no other
    resource. I had placed her household on a footing not to become worse;
    but since my departure everything had been altered. He who now managed
    her affairs was a spendthrift, and wished to make a great appearance;
    such as keeping a good horse with elegant trappings; loved to appear gay
    in the eyes of the neighbors, and was perpetually undertaking something
    he did not understand. Her pension was taken up in advance, her rent was
    in arrears, debts of every kind continued to accumulate; I could plainly
    foresee that her pension would be seized, and perhaps suppressed; in
    short, I expected nothing but ruin and misfortune, and the moment
    appeared to approach so rapidly that I already felt all its horrors.

    My closet was my only amusement, and after a tedious search for remedies
    for the sufferings of my mind, I determined to seek some against the evil
    of distressing circumstances, which I daily expected would fall upon us,
    and returning to my old chimeras, behold me once more building castles in
    the air to relieve this dear friend from the cruel extremities into which
    I saw her ready to fall. I did not believe myself wise enough to shine
    in the republic of letters, or to stand any chance of making a fortune by
    that means; a new idea, therefore, inspired me with that confidence,
    which the mediocrity of my talents could not impart.

    In ceasing to teach music I had not abandoned the thoughts of it; on the
    contrary, I had studied the theory sufficiently to consider myself well
    informed on the subject. When reflecting on the trouble it had cost me
    to read music, and the great difficulty I yet experienced in singing at
    sight, I began to think the fault might as well arise from the manner of
    noting as from my own dulness, being sensible it was an art which most
    people find difficult to understand. By examining the formation of the
    signs, I was convinced they were frequently very ill devised. I had
    before thought of marking the gamut by figures, to prevent the trouble of
    having lines to draw, on noting the plainest air; but had been stopped by
    the difficulty of the octaves, and by the distinction of measure and
    quantity: this idea returned again to my mind, and on a careful revision
    of it, I found the difficulties by no means insurmountable. I pursued it
    successfully, and was at length able to note any music whatever by
    figures, with the greatest exactitude and simplicity. From this moment I
    supposed my fortune made, and in the ardor of sharing it with her to whom
    I owed everything, thought only of going to Paris, not doubting that on
    presenting my project to the Academy, it would be adopted with rapture.
    I had brought some money from Lyons; I augmented this stock by the sale
    of my books, and in the course of a fortnight my resolution was both
    formed and executed: in short, full of the magnificent ideas it had
    inspired, and which were common to me on every occasion, I departed from
    Savoy with my new system of music, as I had formerly done from Turin with
    my heron-fountain.

    Such have been the errors and faults of my youth; I have related the
    history of them with a fidelity which my heart approves; if my riper
    years were dignified with some virtues, I should have related them with
    the same frankness; it was my intention to have done this, but I must
    forego this pleasing task and stop here. Time, which renders justice to
    the characters of most men, may withdraw the veil; and should my memory
    reach posterity, they may one day discover what I had to say--they will
    then understand why I am now silent.

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