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with wisdom, fortune, and every thing else to have retrieved her: but that was impossible, and I had now nothing but time to hope a cure from. This was very tedious in performing it, and the longer as Ariadne had married a Roman cavalier, was now become my near neighbour, and I had the mortification of seeing her make the best of wives, and of having the happiness, which I had lost, every day before my eyes.
'If I suffered so much on account of my wisdom in having refused Ariadne, I was not much more obliged to it for procuring me a rich widow, who was recommended to me by an old friend, as a very prudent match, and, indeed, so it was; her fortune being superior to mine, in the same proportion as that of Ariadne had been inferior. I therefore embraced this proposal, and my character of wisdom soon pleaded so effectually for me with the widow, who was herself a woman of great gravity and discretion, that I soon succeeded; and as soon as decency would permit (of which this lady was the strictest observer), we were married, being the second day of the second week, of the second year, after her husband's death: for she said, she thought some period of time above the year had a great air of decorum.
'But prudent as this lady was, she made me miserable. Her person was far from being lovely, but her temper was intolerable. During fifteen years habitation I never passed a single day without heartily cursing her, and the hour in which we came together. The only comfort I received, in the midst of the highest torments, was from continually hearing the prudence of my match commended by all my acquaintance.
'Thus you see, in the affairs of love, I bought the reputation of wisdom pretty dear. In other matters I had it somewhat cheaper; not that hypocrisy, which * was the price I gave for it, gives one no pain. I have
'refused myself a thousand little amusements with a
'feigned contempt, while I have really had an inclina
'tion to them. I have often almost choked myself to
'restrain from laughing at a jest, and (which was perhaps
'to myself the least hurtful of all my hypocrisy) have
'heartily enjoyed a book in my closet, which I have
'spoke with detestation of in public. To sum up my
'history in short, as I had few adventures worth remem
'bering, my whole life was one constant lie; and happy
'would it have been for me if I could as thoroughly
'have imposed on myself, as I did on others: for reflec
'tion, at every turn, would often remind me I was not
'so wise as people thought me; and this considerably
'embittered the pleasure I received from the public com
'mendation of my wisdom. This self-admonition, like a
'memento mori or mortalis es, must be, in my opinion,
'a very dangerous enemy to flattery: indeed, a weight
'sufficient to counterbalance all the false praise of the
'world. But, whether it be, that the generality of wise
'men do not reflect at all, or whether they have from a
'constant imposition on others, contracted such a habit of
'deceit as to deceive themselves, I will not determine: it
'is, I believe, most certain, that very few wise men know
'themselves what fools they are more than the world
'doth. Good gods! could one but see what passes in
'the closet of wisdom! how ridiculous a sight must it
'be to behold the wise man, who despises gratifying
'his palate, devouring custard; the sober wise man
'with his dram-bottle; or, the anticarnalist (if I may
'be allowed the expression) chuckling over a b—dy
'book or picture, and perhaps caressing his house
'But to conclude a character, in which I apprehend I 'made as absurd a figure as in any in which I trod the stage of earth, my wisdom at last put an end to itself; that is, occasioned my dissolution.
'A relation of mine in the eastern part of the empire disinherited his son, and left me his heir. This happened in the depth of winter, when I was in my grand climacteric, and had just recovered of a dangerous disease. As I had all the reason imaginable to apprehend the family of the deceased would conspire against me, and embezzle as much as they could, I advised with a grave and wise friend, what was proper to be done; whether I should go myself, or employ a notary on this occasion, and defer my journey to the spring. To say the truth, I was most inclined to the latter; the rather as my circumstances were extremely flourishing, as I was advanced in years, and had not one person in the world to whom I should with pleasure bequeath any fortune at my death.
'My friend told me he thought my question admitted of no manner of doubt or debate; that common prudence absolutely required my immediate departure; adding, that if the same good luck had happened to him, he would have been already on his journey: for, continued he, a man who knows the world so well as you would be inexcusable to give persons such an opportunity of cheating you, who, you must be assured, will be too well inclined; and as for employing a notary, remember that excellent maxim, Ne facias per alhim, quod fieri potest per te. I own the badness of the season, and your very late recovery, are unlucky circumstances: but a wise man must get over difficulties when necessity obliges him to encounter them.
'I was immediately determined by this opinion. The duty of a wise man made an irresistible impression, and I took the necessity for granted, without examination. I accordingly set forward the next morning; very ternpestuous weather soon overtook me; I had not travelled three days before I relapsed into my fever, and died.
'1 was now as cruelly disappointed by Minos, as I had formerly been happily so. I advanced with the utmost confidence to the gate, and really imagined I should have been admitted by the wisdom of my countenance, even without any questions asked: but this was not my case; and, to my great surprise, Minos, with a menacing
voice, called out to me You Mr. there, with the
grave countenance, whither so fast, pray? Will you please, before you move any farther forwards, to give me a short account of your transactions below. I then began, and recounted to him my whole history, still expecting, at the end of every period, that the gate would be ordered to fly open; but I was obliged to go quite through with it, and then Minos, after some little consideration, spoke to me as follows:—
'You, Mr. Wiseman, stand forth if you please. Believe me, Sir, a trip back again to earth will be one of the wisest steps you ever took, and really more to the honour of your wisdom, than any you have hitherto taken. On the other side, nothing could be simpler, than to endeavour at Elysium; for who, but a fool, would carry a commodity, which is of snch infinite value in one place, into another where it is of none. But without attempting to offend your gravity with a jest, you must return to the place from whence you came: for Elysium was never designed for those who are too wise to be happy.
'This sentence confounded me greatly, especially as it seemed to threaten me with carrying my wisdom back again to earth. I told the judge, though he would not admit me at the gate, I hoped I had committed no crime, while alive, which merited my being wise any longer. He 'answered me, I must take my chance as to that matter; 'and immediately we turned our backs to each other.'
Julian enters into the person of a King.
I Was born at Oviedo in Spain. My father's name was Veremond, and I was adopted by my uncle, king Alphonso the chaste. I don't recollect, in all the pilgrimages I have made on earth, that I ever passed a more miserable infancy than now; being under the utmost confinement and restraint, and surrounded with physicians, who were ever dosing me; and tutors, who were continually plaguing me with their instructions; even those hours of leisure, which my inclination would have spent in play, were allotted to tedious pomp and ceremony, which, at an age wherein I had no ambition to enjoy the servility of courtiers, enslaved me more than it could the meanest of them. However, as I advanced towards manhood my condition made me some amends; for the most beautiful women of their own accord threw out lures for me, and I had the happiness, which no man in an inferior degree can arrive at, of enjoying the most delicious creatures without the previous and tiresome ceremonies of courtship, unless with the most simple, young, and unexperienced. As for the court ladies, they regarded me rather as men do the most lovely of the other sex; and though they outwardly retained some appearance of modesty, they in reality rather considered themselves as receiving than conferring favours. 'Another happiness I enjoyed was in conferring