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stones and jewels, in being vain of them, or in not knowing how to talk of any thing else? And on the other hand, how truly worthy is it in a person of the first quality to be above such trifles, to place her honour and glory in the good education of her children, in sparing no expence towards the bringing it about, and in shewing that nobleness and greatness of soul do equally belong to both sexes?.

•[t] De Beaunes, archbishop of Bourges, in the ora“tion he made to the states of Blois against luxury, “and principally with respect to coaches, which several

persons of mean condition began to make use of, highly commends the modesty of the premier president du Thou's lady, who, to set an example

to other ladies of quality, was always content to be “ carried behind another on horseback, when she

made her visits in the town.” What merits praise in this little story, is not the visiting on horseback, (such were the customs of those times) but the noble greatness of soul in this lady, who thought, that the giving others an example of modesty and simplicity was the best manner of supporting the dignity of her station, and becoming in reality a premier president.

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This was carried in the declension of the republic to an almost incredible excess, and under the enperors they still rose upon the gluttony of their prede[u] Lucullus, who in other respects was a ma

of excellent qualities, upon his return from the war, attempted to substitute the glory of magnificence to that of his arms and battles, and turned all his studies that way. l'le laid out immense sums upon his houses and gardens, and was still more expensive at his table. He required it every day to be served upin the same sumptuous manner, though nobody was to dine with him. As his steward was one day excusing the meanness of

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[1] Opuss. de Leysel.

[u] Plut. in Luculli.

his dinner, because there was no company,“ Did you “ not know,” says he, “ that Lucullus was to eat at “ Lucullus's house to-day.” Tully and Pompey not giving credit to the reports of his ordinary magnificence, were resolved one day to surprise him, and be satisfied whether it was so or not. And meeting him, in public, they invited themselves, and would not allow him to give any directions to his domestics about their entertainment. He therefore barely ordered that dinner should be served up in the hall of Apollo. The entertainment was got ready with so much celerity and opulence, as surprised and astonished his guests. They did not know that the hall of Apollo was a watch-word, and signified that the feast should aId:ount to [x] fifty thousand drachms.

If good eating and drinking were capable of procuring solid glory, Lucullus was the greatest man of

But who sees not, how pitiful and silly it was to place his honour and reputation in making the world believe, that he every day squandered enormous and senseless expences for the gratification of his own private appetite? I question whether his guests, who mightily commended and adınired, no doubt, such prodigious magnificence, were much wiser than he. For it was they supported his folly and distemper. [y] Irritamentum est omnium, in qua insunimus, admirator & conscius. “ To admire the folly of a madman “ is to promote his folly." And the saine may be said of all that outward magnificence, by which men strive to make themselves considerable, large apartments, valuable furniture, and rich garments. [=] It is all for shew, and not for ease; for the spectators, and not for the inaster. Place hiin in solitude, and you make him frugal and modest, and all this vanity is at an end.

his age.


(x) 2500 livres.

derant: sanabis ista, si absconde[y] Senec. Ep. 94.

ris. Id. Ep. 94. (z) Quid miraris ? Quid stupes ? Assuescamus à nobis removere Pompa est. Ostenduntur istæ res, pompam, & usus rerum non orna. non possidentur. Senec. Ep. 110. menta metiri. Id. de Tranquil. Ambitio & luxuria scenam desi. Animæ, c. g.


But to give a different instance of this folly. [a] A person, entering Anthony's kitchen, was surprised to see eight wild boars roasting at the same time. He judged there was like to be a great deal of company, , but was mistaken. Whilst Anthony was at Alexandria there was always a magnificent entertainment ready to be served up about supper-time, that whenever Anthony was pleased to call for it, he might have his table covered with the most exquisite meats.

I forbear to mention such extravagant and wild expences, as a dish made up of the tongues of the scarcest birds in the universe, or several pearls of immense price infused and dissolved in a certain liquor,

a for the pleasure of swallowing down a million at a draught.

To these monsters of luxury, who are a disgrace to mankind, let us oppose the modesty and frugality of a Cato, the honour of his age and commonwealth ; I mean the elder, who is usually sirnamed the Censor. [6] He boasted that he had never drank any other wine, but such as was drunk by his workmen and domestics, never bought a supper which exceeded thirty sestertia, * nor ever wore a garment which cost above an hundred drachms of silver. He learnt to live thus, he said, from the example of the famous Curius, that great man who drove Pyrrhus out of Italy, and had thrice the honour of a triumph. The house he had lived in, in the country of the Sabines, was near to Cato's, and for this reason he looked upon it as a model the more venerable from being in his neighbourhood. It was this Curius the embassadors of the Samnites found in a poor little cottage, sitting in the chimney-corner boiling of roots, who rejected their presents with disdain, telling them, that whoever could be content with such a supper did not want gold; and that for his part he thought it more honourable to command over those who had riches, than to have them himself.

[a] Plut. in Vit. Anton. [b] Plut. in Vit. Cat. Cens.
* About three shillings.


These cxamples may be too old perhaps to make any impression upon the generality of mankind in our age: but they had such an effect upon several of the greatest Roman emperors, that though they were in full possession of riches and power, though they were to support the majesty of a large empire, and had the profusion of their predecessors in every kind before their eyes, they thought they could not aspire to be really great, but as they rose above that corruption of their own age, and resembled those venerable models of antiquity, formed upon the rules of the purest reason and the justest taste of solid Glory.

It was by studying these great originals, that Vespasian declared himself an enemy to all pomp, pleasures and entertainments, and that he followed the modesty and frugality of the ancients in every thing about him. It was by these virtues he checked the course of public luxury and prodigality, especially with respect to eating. And this disorder (c) which under Tiberius seemed to be past all remedy, and had increased excessively under the succeeding bad princes, and which the laws, armed with all the terrors of punishment, had not been able to suppress, [d] gave way to the bare example he set of sobriety and tem-. perance, and the desire others had of pleasing him by. doing as he did. [e] In the same manner he threw a scandal and disgrace upon luxury and effeminacy, by taking away a comunission from a young man to whom he had given it, because he was perfumed when he came to thank liim for it. I had rather, said he, you had stunk of garlic.

The emperors Nerva, Trajan, Antoninus, Marcus Aurelius, Severus, Alexander, Pertinax, Aurelian, Tacitus, Claudius II. and Probus, all princes who have done the greatest honour to the throne, guided by the same taste, and disciples of the same masters, al

(c) Tacit. Ann. l. 3. c. 52. in principem & æmulandi amor,

[d] Præcipuus adstricti moris validior quàm pæna ex legibus, & auctor Vespasianus fuit, antiquoip- metus. Tacit. Ann. 1. 3. c.55. * gultu viétuque : obsequium inde [c] Suet, 1. 8. c. 8. VOL. II.




ways took care to be very frugal and modest in their tables, and banished all expence and delicacy from them with the utmost severity. Most of them, whilst in the camp, [f] eat the common food that was given to the army; and Alexander, to satisfy the soldiers that he fed as they did, caused his tent to be always open, whilst he was at his meals. When he was not in the field, [g] the daily expence of his house, to our great astonishment, was so small, that now-a-days it would scarce suflice a private family. He had no gold utensils, and his silver plate did not amount to three hundred marks; so that when much company was to dine with him, he would borrow the plate of his friends, with their servants to wait on them; not keeping more officers in his palace, than he commonly stood in need of. And this not out of any parsimonious disposition, for never prince was more liberal, [h] but out of a thorough conviction, as he would often say, that the grandeur and glory of the empire did not consist in splendor and magnificence, but in the strength of the state, and the virtue of those who governed it. [i] Ptolemy, king of Egypt, had long before set a like example of modesty. He had very little plate in his palace, no more than was requisite for his own private use. And when he invited any of his friends to dine with him, he would send and borrow theirs, [k] declaring it was more worthy of a king to enrich others, than to be rich himself.

What is reported of the emperor Probus, [l] who holds one of the first places in the number of great princes, and under whom the Roman empire arrived


[f] Cheese, bacon, beans, pulse. [i] The son of Lagus. Plut. ix.

(8] Fifteen pints of wine a day, Apophthegm. thirty pounds of meat, and eighty [A] Te Ghetti Eye anerile»

[]έλεγε το σλετίζει» pounds of bread, Only they added sivas Raoudszótipor. a green goose on feast days, and [!] Synesius names him Carinus, upon great solemnities a pheasant or but M. Tillemont, after F. Peta. two, and two capons. Lamp. in vius, is of opinion that it agrees Vit. Alex.

better with Probus. [6] Ibid.


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