Imatges de pàgina
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which was not till the third Day after this melartcholy Accident, his Body was found entire, and without any Marks of Violence upon it, exactly in the fame Posture that he fell, and looking more like a Man asleep than dead. During all this time my Mother and I were at Misenum. But as this has no Connection with your History, fo your Enquiry went no farther than concerning my Uncle's Death ; with that therefore I will put an End to my Letter : Suffer me only to add, that I have faithfully related to you what I was either an Eye-witness of myself, or received immediately after the Accident happen'd, and before there was time to vary the Truth. You will chuse out of this Narrative such Circumstances as shall be most suitable to your Purpose ; for there is a great Difference between what is proper for a Letter, and an History; between writing to a Friend, and writing to the Public. Farewel.

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L E T T E R VIII.

Piiny to Romanus Firmus. S you are my Countryman, my Schoolfellow, and the earliest

my

Youth: as there was the strictest Friendship between my Mother and Uncle, and your Father ; a Happiness which I also enjoy'd as far as the great Inequality of our Ages would admit: can I fail (biassed as I am towards your Interest by so many strong and weighty Reasons) to contribute all in my Power to the Advancement of your Dignity? The Rank you bear in our Province as a Decurio, is a Proof that you are pofleffed at least of a hundred thousand Sefterces; but that we may also have the PleaTure of seeing you a Roman Knight, give me leave to present you with three hundred thousand, in order to make up the Sum requisite to entitle you to that Dignity. The long Acquaintance we have had, leaves me no room to doubt you will ever be forgetful of this Instance of my Friendfhip. And I need not advise you (what if I did not know your Disposition I should) to enjoy this Honour with the Modesty that becomes one who received it from me ; for the Dignity we poffefs by the good Offices of a Friend, is a kind of facred Trust, wherein we have his Judgment, as well as our own Character to maintain, and therefore to be guarded with peculiar Attention. Farewel.

LE T

L E T T E R IX.

PLINY to MAXIMUS.

Í

THINK I may claim a Right to ask the same Services

of you for my Friends, as I would offer to yours if I were in your Station. Arrianus Maturius is a Person of great Eminence among the Altinates. When I call him so, it is not with respect to his Fortunes (which however are very corfiderable ;) it is in view to the Purity, the Integrity, the Prudence, and the Gravity of his Manners. His Counsel steers me in my Affairs, and his Judgment directs me in my Studies; for Truth; Honour and Knowledge, are the shining Qualities which mark his Character. He loves me (and I cannot express his Affection in stronger Terms) with a Tenderness equal to yours. As he is a Stranger to Ambition, he is contented with remaining in the Equestrian Order, when he might easily have advanced himself into a higher Rank. It behoves me however to take care his Merit be rewarded with the Honours it deserves; and I would fain without his Knowledge or Expectation, and probably too contrary to his Inclination, add to his Dignity. The Poft I would obtain for him should be soinething very honourable, and yet attended with no Trouble. I beg when any thing of that Nature offers you would think of him; it will be an Obligation, which both he and I shall ever remember with the greatest Gratitude. For tho' he has no aspiring Wishes to satisfy, he will be as sensible of the Favour as if he had received it in consequence of his own Desirés. Farewel.

L ETTER X.

PLINY to CATILIUS.

I

this Agreement before-hand, that you dismiss me foon, and treat me frugally. Let our Entertainment abound only in philofophical Conversation, and even that too with Moderation. There are certain Midnight Parties, which Cato himself could not safely fall in with : tho I must confess at the same

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time,

time, that 7. Cafar when he reproaches him upon that Head, exalts the Character he endeavours to expose ; for he describes those Persons who met this reeling Patriot, as blushing when they discovered who he was; and adds, you would have thought that Cato had deteEled them, and not they Cato. Could he place the Dignity of Cato in a stronger Light than by representing him thus venerable even in his Cups? As for ourselves nevertheless, let Temperance not only speak our Table, but regulate our Hours: for we are not arrived at so high a Reputation, that our Enemies cannot censure us but to our Honour. Farewel.

L ET TER XI.

PLINY to TITIANUS.

W

HAT are you doing? And what do you purpose to

do ?. As for myself, I pass my Life in the moft agreeable, that is, in the most disengaged manner imaginable. I do not find myself therefore, in the Humour to write a long Letter, tho’ I am to read one. I am too much a Man of Pleasure for the former, and just idle enough for the latter : for none are inore indolent, you know, than the voluptuous, or have more Curiosity than those who have nothing to do. Farewel.

LETTER XII.

To Monsieur Du LIONNE at Rome.

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SIR,

HO' 10 Man treated me so ill at Rome as yourself; and

I must place to your Account some of the most difagreeable Hours I passed in all my Travels; yet be assured I never saw any Person in my Life that I had lo strong an Inclination to revisit, or to whom I would more willingly do the best Services in my Power. It is not very usual to gain a Man's Friendship, at the same time that one ruins his Fortune. This Success however you have had, and your Advantage was so much more considerable than mine in all Respects, that I had not the Power to defend myself against you in either of those Instances, but you won both my Money and my Heart at the same time. If I am so happy as to find a Place in yours, I shall esteem that Acquisition as an Over-balance to all my Loffes, and shall look upon myself as greatly a Gainer in the Commerce that passed between us. Tho' your Acquaintance, indeed, haft coft me pretty dear, I do not by any means think I have paid its full Value, and I would willingly part with the same Sum to meet with a Man in Paris of as much Merit as yourself. This being the literal Truth, you may be well assured, Sir, that I shall omit nothing in my Power to preserve an Honour I so highly esteem; and that I shall not very easily give up a Friend whom I purchased at so dear a Price. I have accordingly performed every thing you desired in the Affair about which you wrote to me; as I shall obey you with the fame Punctuality in every other Inftance that you shall command me. For I am with all the Affection that I ought,

tune.

Sir, Your, &c.

VOITURE.

LETTER XIII.

To the Marchioness de RAMBOUILLET.

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MADAM,
INCE I had the Honour of seeing you,

I have suffer'a greater Pains than I am able to express. Still however, I did not forget to execute your Commands; and in paffing by Espernay I attended, as your Proxy, the Funeral of the Mareschal Strozzi. His Tomb appear'd to me fo magnificent, that in the Condition I was in, and finding myself ready conveyed thither, I had a most violent Inclination to be buried with him. But they made fome Difficulty of complying with my Proposal, as they found I had still some remaining Warmth left in me. I resolved therefore to have my

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Body Body transported to Nancy; where at length, Madam, it is arrived, but so lean and worn out, that believe me, many a Corpse is interr'd that is much less so. Tho' I have been already here these eight Days, I have not yet been able to recover my Strength, and the longer I repose, the more I find myself fatigued. In Truth I perceive such an infinite Difference between that Fortnight which I had the Honour of passing with you, and the fame Space of Time which I have spent since, that I am astonish'd how I have been able to support it; and I look upon myself and Monsieur Margonne, who teaches School in this place, as two the most wretched Instances in the World of the Inconstancy of Fortune. I am every Day attacked with a Shortness of Breath, and fainting Fits, without being able to meet with the leaft Drop of Treacle; and I am more indisposed than ever I was in all my Life, in a Place where I cannot be supplied with a proper Medicine. Thus, Madam, I much fear that Nancy will be as fatal to me as it was to the Duke of Bourgogne, - and that after having like him, escaped the greatest Dangers, and refifted the most powerful Enemies, I am deftin d to end my Days in this Town. I shall struggle however against that Misfortune as much as possible ; for I must confess I am extremely unwilling to leave the World, when I reflect that I shall by that means never have the Honour of seeing you again. I should indeed exceedingly regret, that after having escaped Death by the Hands of the most amiable Woman in the Universe, and miffed so many glorious Occasions of expiring at your Feet ; I should come here at lait to be buried three hundred Leagues from your Presence, and have the Mortification when I rise again, of finding myself once more in Lorrain,

I am, MADAM,

Your, &c.

VOITURE.

LET

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