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of her own relations in every one of my children, though, by the way, I have a little chub-faced boy as like me as he can stare, if I durst say so: but what most angers me, when she sees me playing with any of them upon my knee, she has begged me more than once to converse with the children as little as possible, that they may not learn any of my aukward tricks.
"You must further know, since I am opening my heart to you, that she thinks herself my superior in sense as much as she is in quality, and therefore treats me like a plain well-meaning man, who does not know the world. She dictates to me in my own business, sets me right in point of trade; and if I disagree with her about any of my ships at sea, wonders that I will dispute with her, when I know very well that her great-grandfather was a flag officer.
"To complete my sufferings, she has teazed me for this quarter of a year last past, to remove into one of the squares at the other end of the town, promising, for my encouragement, that I shall have as good a cock-loft as any gentleman in the square; to which the Honourable Oddly Enville, Esq. always adds, like a jack-a-napes as he is, that he hopes it will be as near the court as possible.
"In short, Mr. SPECTATOR, I am so much out of my natural element, that to recover my old way of life, I would be content to begin the world again, and be plain Jack Anvil; but, alas! I am in for life, and am bound to subscribe myself, with great sorrow - of heart,
"Your humble servant,
"JOHN ENVILLE, Knt."
Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis
OUR late news-papers being full of the project now on foot in the court of France, for establishing a political academy, and I myself having received letters from several virtuosos among my foreign correspondents, which give some light into that affair, I intend to make it the subject of this day's Speculation. A general account of this project may be met with in the Daily Courant of last Friday, in the following words, translated from the Gazette of Amsterdam.
Paris, February 12. "It is confirmed, that the king has resolved to establish a new academy for politics, of which the Marquis de Torcy, minister and secretary of state, is to be protector. Six academicians are to be chosen, endowed with proper talents, for beginning to form this academy, into which no person is to be admitted under twenty-five years of age they must likewise have each an estate of two thousand livres a year, either in possession, or to come to them by inheritance. The king will allow to each a pension of a thousand livres. They are likewise to have able masters to teach them the ne cessary sciences, and to instruct them in all the treaties of peace, alliance, and others which have been made in several ages past. These members are to meet twice a week at the Louvre. From this seminary are to be chosen secretaries to ambassies, who by degrees may advance to higher employments."
Cardinal Richlieu's politics made France the terror of Europe. The statesmen who have appeared in that nation of late years, have, on the contrary, rendered it either the pity or contempt of its neigh
bours. The cardinal erected that famous academy which has carried all the parts of polite learning to the greatest height. His chief design in that institution, was to divert the men of genius from meddling with politics, a province in which he did not care to have any one else to interfere with him. On the contrary, the Marquis de Torcy seems resolved. to make several young men in France as wise as himself, and is therefore taken up at present in establishing a nursery of statesmen.
Some private letters add, that there will also be erected a seminary of petticoat politicians, who are to be brought up at the feet of Madam de Maintenon, and to be dispatched into foreign courts upon any emergencies of state; but as the news of this last project has not been yet confirmed, I shall take no farther notice of it.
Several of my readers may doubtless remember, that upon the conclusion of the last war, which had been carried on so successfully by the enemy, their generals were many of them transformed into ambas sadors; but the conduct of those who have com. manded in the present war, has, it seems, brought so little honour and advantage to their great mo narch, that he is resolved to trust his affairs no lon ger in the hands of those military gentlemen.
The regulations of this new academy very much deserve our attention. The students are to have in possession, or reversion, an estate of two thousand French livres per annum, which, as the present exchange runs, will amount to at least one hundred and twenty-six pounds English. This, with the royal allowance of a thousand livres, will enable them to find themselves in coffee and snuff; not to mention news-papers, pens and ink, wax and wafers, with the like necessaries for politicians.
A man must be at least five-and-twenty before he can be initiated into the mysteries of this academy, though there is no question, but many grave per
sons of a much more advanced age, who have been constant readers of the Paris Gazette, will be glad to begin the world anew, and enter themselves upon this list of politicians.
The society of these hopeful young gentlemen is to be under the direction of six professors, who, it seems, are to be speculative statesmen, and drawn out of the body of the royal academy. These six wise masters, according to my private letters, are to have the following parts allotted to them.
The first is to instruct the students in state legerdemain, as how to take off the impression of a seal, to split a wafer, to open a letter, to fold it up again, with other the like ingenious feats of dexterity and art. When the students have accomplished themselves in this part of their profession, they are to be delivered into the hands of their second instructor, who is a kind of posture-master.
>. This artist is to teach them how to nod judiciously, to shrug up their shoulders in a dubious case, to connive with either eye, and, in a word, the whole practice of political grimace.
The third is a sort of language-master, who is to instruct them in the style proper for a foreign minister in his ordinary discourse. And, to the end that this college of statesmen may be thoroughly practised in the political style, they are to make use of it in their common conversations, before they are employed either in foreign or domestic affairs. If one of them asks another what o'clock it is, the other is to answer him indirectly, and, if possible, to turn off the question. If he is desired to change a louis d'or, he must beg time to consider of it. If it be enquired of him, whether the king is at Versailles or Marlie, he must answer in a whisper. If he be asked the news of the last gazette, or the subject of a proclamation, he is to reply, that he has not yet read it or, if he does not care for explaining himself so
far, he needs only draw his brow up in wrinkles, or elevate the left shoulder..
The fourth professor is to teach the whole art of political characters and hieroglyphics; and to the end that they may be perfect also in this practice, they are not to send a note to one another, (though it be but to borrow a Tacitus or a Machiavel,) which is not written in cypher.
Their fifth professor, it is thought, will be chosen out the society of jesuits, and is to be well read in the controversies of probable doctrines, mental reservations, and the rights of princes. This learned man is to instruct them in the grammar, syntax, and construing part of treaty-latin; how to distinguish between the spirit and the letter; and likewise demonstrate how the same form of words may lay an an obligation upon any prince in Europe, different from that which it lays upon his Most Christian Majesty. He is likewise to teach them the art of finding flaws, loop-holes, and evasions, in the most so: lemn compacts, and particularly a great rabbinical secret, revived of late years by the fraternity of jesuits, namely, that contradictory interpretations of the same article, may both of them be true and valid.
When our statesmen are sufficiently improved by these several instructors, they are to receive their last polishing from one who is to act among them as master of the ceremonies. This gentleman is to give them lectures upon those important points of the elbow-chair, and the stair-head, to instruct them in the different situations of the right-hand, and to furnish them with bows and inclinations of all sizes, measures, and proportions. In short, this professor is to give the society their stiffening, and infuse into their manners that beautiful political starch, which may qualify them for levees, conferences, visits, and make them shine in what vulgar minds are apt to look upon as trifles.