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might cost the army more. I cannot in conscience, answered M. Turenne, accept of this sum, for I had no intention to pass by the town.

The action of the great Scipio in Spain, when he added to the portion of a young captive princess the ransom her parents had brought to redeem her, gained him no less honour than the most famous of his conquests. A like action of the chevalier Bayard merits no less praise. [t] When Bresse was taken by storm from the Venetians, he saved a house from plunder, whither he had retired to have a dangerous wound dressed, which he had received in the siege, and secured the mistress of the family and her two daughters, who were hid in it. At his departure the lady, as a mark of her gratitude, offered him a casket containing two thousand five hundred ducats, which he obstinately refused. But observing that his refusal was very displeasing to her, and not caring to leave her dissatisfied, he consented to accept of her present, and calling to him the two young ladies to take his leave of them, he presented each of them with a thousand ducats to be added to their portion, and left the remaining five hundred to be distributed among the inhabitants that had been plundered.

But that we may have the better notion of the nobleness and greatness of a disinterested mind, let us consider it, not in generals and princes, whose glory and power may seem perhaps to heighten the lustre of this virtue, but in persons of a lower rank, who have nothing about them but the virtue itself to raise our admiration. A poor man, who was door-keeper to a boarding house in Milan, found a purse with two hundred crowns in it. The man who had lost it, in formed by a public advertisement, came to the house, and giving good proof that the purse belonged to him), the door-keeper restored it to him. The owner, full of joy and gratitude, offered his benefactor twenty crowns, which the other absolutely refused. He then [1] Vie du Chev. Bayard.


the poor.

came down to ten, and afterwards to five. But find

. ing him still inexorable, he throws his purse upon the ground, and in an angry tone, I have lost nothing, says he, nothing at all, if you thus refuse to accept of any thing. The door-keeper then accepted of five crowns, which he immediately distributed among

I have heard a lieutenant-general in the king's army say, that upon a certain occasion, when the soldiers were busy in stripping the bodies of the slain, the commanding officer, to encourage them to pursue the enemy, and at the same time to make amends for their loss, threw down among them forty to fifty pistoles, which he had in his pocket. The greatest part of them refused to share in this liberality, and thought it would dishonour them to want presents for doing their duty, and serving their king. The late M. de Louvois, being informed of this action, highly commended them, gave each of them a sum of money in sight of the army, and took care to advance them as occasion offered.

Whoever reads such stories as these cannot but be sensible of the impression they make upon his heart. Let us then compare so noble and generous a conduct with the low sentiments of abundance of persons, who seem to regard and value nothing in the great places they enjoy, but the opportunity to enrich themselves with ease, and we shall not scruple to conclude with Tully, that there is no vice so infamous, especially in persons of rank and office, as avarice. [u] Nullum igitur vitium tetrius quam avaritiá, præsertim in principibus, & rempublicam gubernantibus. Habere enim quastui rempublicam, non modò turpe est, sed sceleratum etiam fi nefarium.

This passion for money is a fault extremely dishonourable to men of learning, as on the other hand nothing gains them a greater reputation, than the looking upon Riches with indifference, [u] Lib. 2. Offic. n. 77.



Seneca, after such frequent and high encomiums on poverty, [.r] had great reason to reproach himself for his extravagant attachment to wealth, and those numberless acquisitions he made of lands, gardens, and magnificent buildings, not scrupling the practice of the most enormous usury to attain them, and bringing a disgrace entirely, if not upon philosophy, at least upon the philosopher.

All that he has said in one of his [y] discourses in defence of his conduct, will never convince us that he had not a strong inclination for Riches, and that he gave them entrance only in his house, and not into his heart. Sapiens non amat divitias, sed mavult; non in animum illas sed in domum recipit.

I am concerned [z] that Amiot, who was so great an honour to learning in his age, should have sullied his glory in some measure by this rust of avarice. He was a poor boy, andas is supposed the son of a butcher, and raised himself by his merit. He was made bishop of Auxerre, and grand almoner of France. Charles the IXth, whom he instructed and brought up, always called him his master, and sometimes diverting himself with him, would jestingly reproach him with his avarice. One day as Amiot was asking for a rich

. benefice, Ah! master, says the king, you used to say, that if you had but a thousand crowns a year, you should be satisfied. I believe you have that and more. Sir, answered he, my appetite increases with my food. He constantly attained what he asked for; and died worth above iwo hundred thousand crowns.

There is one now in the university, whom I dare not venture to name, because he is still living, but I cannot pass over in silence his noble and disinterested disposition. After he had taught philosophy in the college of Beauvais with great reputation, where he

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[x] Ubi est (addressing himself to exuberat? Tacit. Annal, 1. 14. Nero) animus ille modicis contentus? Tales hortos instruit, & per D] L. de Vit. Beat. c. 17, 52. hæc suburbana incedit, & tantis (z) Dia. de Bayle. agrorum spatiis, tam laco fænore VOL. II,


had been brought up as a scholar of the house, and was afterwards elected principal ; at the very time he was possessed of the highest dignity in the university, he was called to court to assist in the education of the present king of Spain, and has since had the honour of attending upon the young monarch, now on the throne. The two courts of France and Spain have strove to express their acknowledgments by offering him benefices and pensions, which he has always constantly refused, alledging for a reason, that his salary was more than sufficient to support him according to his station, in which his different employments, how distinguished soever, have never caused him to make the least alteration.


We seldom form a right judgment of objects that have a splendid outside, and strike the view by their

a external lustre. There are few persons, who hear of the famous pyramids of Egypt, without being transported with admiration, and extolling the grandeur and magnificence of the princes who raised them. And yet I question whether this admiration be well grounded, or those enormous piles of Building, which cost such immense sums, and occasioned the loss of so many men who were employed about them, and which were only intended for poinp and ostentation, [a] and not for any solid use; I question, I say, , whether such Buildings deserve to be spoke of with so much applause.

True greatness does not consist in desiring or doing what a disordered imagination, or a popular error represent as great and magnificent. It does not consist in attempting difficult things, purely because they are difficult. Nor is it affected with what seems wonderful, or actuated by the pleasure of surmounting impossibilities, as history relates of Nero, with whoin whatever seemed impracticable had the idea of grand. [6] Erat incredibilium cupitor.

[a] Pyramides regum pecunia 39. Hist. Nat. c. 12, otiosa ac stulta ostentio. Plin. lib.


[c] Cicero was of opinion, that only such works and Buildings really deserved admiration, as were designed for the public good, such as aqueducts, citywalls, citadels, arsenals, and sea-ports.

[d] He observes that Pericles, the principal man in Greece, was justly blamed for exhausting the public treasures in adorning the city of Athens, and enriching it with superfluous ornaments.

The Romans, from the foundation of the empire, had a very different taste. They had grandeur in their view, but in such matters only as concerned religion, or the public emolument. [e] Livy observes, that under Tarquinius Superbus they finished a work to carry off the waters of the town, and laid the foundations of the capitol with such magnificence, as after-ages have scarce been able to imitate; and we to this day admire the strength and beauty of the public ways, which were raised by the Romans in different parts, and still subsist almost entire after so many ages.

Alike judgment is to be passed upon the Buildings of private persons. [f]Tully examining what kind of house is proper for a person in a great office and

a of distinguished rank in the state, thinks lodging and use what ought principally to be regarded; to which a second view might be added, with regard to convenience and dignity; [s] but he particularly recommends the avoiding all excessive magnificence and expence, as the example never fails of becoming pernicious and contagious, men being generally apt not only to imitate, but to exceed others in this particular. Who, says Tully, has rivalled the famous Lucullus

[b] Tacit. Ann. lib. 15. C. 42. quo in genere mullum mali etiam in [C] Lib. 2. Offic. n. 6o. exemplo est. Studiosè enim plerique, [d] Ibid.

præsertim in hac parte, facta prinle] Lib. 1. n. 56.

cipium imitantur, ut L. Luculli if] Lib. 1. Offic. n. 138. summi viri virtutem quis ? at quam

is ] Cavendum est etiam, præser- multi villarum magnificentiam imia tim si ipse ædifices, ne extra modum tati sunt! Ibid. n. 40. sumptu & magnificentià prodeas:


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