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ful to run no risque, nor willingly to lose the sinallest share of the little it possesses.

. It is a pleasure also to see learned men disputing without bitterness, anger, or passion, as Tully tells us, he was disposed to do: [p] Nos & refellere sine pertinaciâ, & refelli sine iracundiá, parati sumus. Our age has furnished us with several instances of this virtue; but had we no other than F. Mabillon, he would do infinite honour to literature. In his disputes with the famous abbé de la Trape, his mildness and moderation, as we all know, gave him a great advantage over his adversary. There was another, who was able to dispute with him as well in point of modesty as learning ; this was F. Papebrochius, who gave occasion to his writing his book de re diplomaticá.

“I own,” says this learned jesuit, in a Latin letter he wrote to F. Mabillon upon this subject, which he gave

, him leave to publish,

that I have no other satisfac“ tion in having written upon this matter, than that “ of having given you an opportunity of drawing up

so accurate a performance. It is true at first I found “some uneasiness, upon reading your book, to see “ myself confuted in such a manner, as I knew not “how to answer ; but the usefulness and beauty of

so valuable a work soon conquered my weakness; and overjoyed to see the truth set in so clear a light, I invited my companion in study to share with me “in my admiration. For which reason, make no “ scruple, as often as you have opportunity, to de“ clare publicly, that I am wholly of your opinion.”

There is an artificial and studied modesty, which covers a secret pride; but here we have an ingenuous simplicity, which shews plainly it came from the heart. I cannot finish what I have to say upon F. Mabillon, without taking notice that the late archbishop of Rheims (le Tellier) presenting him to king Lewis XIV. said to him thus, Sir, I have the honour to present to your majesty, the most learned and most modest monk in your kingdom.

[P] Acad. Quæst. I. 2. n. 5.
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Another character still, which is very amiable in a man of learning, is to be always ready to let others share in his labours, to communicate his reinarks to them, to assist them with his reflections, and to contribute to the utmost of his power to the perfection of their works. I question whether any one ever carried this point farther than M. de Tillemont. His collections and extracts, which were the fruit of many years labour, became the property of every one that had occasion for them. Ile was never afraid, as is too usual amongst men of learning, that his works should lose the merit of invention, or the grace of novelty, by being shewn to others before they were published. And the same praise is due to [9] M. d'Herouval. Though a contempt of glory and vain reputation prevented him from publishing any thing himself, yet his zeal for the public good gave him a share in almost all the works that were sent abroad in his time, by his communicating to the authors his discoveries, his observations, and his manuscripts.

Reputation. This is looked upon as the dearest and most valuable treasure belonging to mankind, even by persons of the greatest probity; and an indifferenceconcerning it, and much more the despising it, scem absolutely not to be admitted. [r] What can be expected indeed from one that is unconcerned about the judyment which the rest of the world, and especially men of honesty, shall pass upon his conduct? It is not only, as Tully observes, the sign of unsupportable pride and conceitedness, but the mark of having perfectly abancioned all modesty.

And yet to be over-solicitous after praise, to be grecdy of it, and eager in pursuing it, and to seem in some measure to beg it, instead of being the character - [9] Ant. de Vion, auditeur des quorum. Nam negligere quid de

se quisque sentiat, non solum arro. [r] Adhibenda est quædam re- gantis est, sed etiam omnino dissoverentia & optimi cujusque, & reli-, luti. Cffic. l. i n. 99.

of

comptes.

of a great soul, is the most certain sign of a vain and light disposition, which feeds upon wind, and takes the shadow for the substance.

Yet this is the weakness of the most part of mankind, and sometimes even of such as are distinguished by peculiar merit, which induces them often to seek for glory where it is not to be found.

[8] Philip of Macedon was not the most scrupulous in his choice of the means, which were to procure him a solid Reputation. He was fond of every kind of glory, and on every kind of occasion. He was, as an orator, vain of his eloquence. He reckoned upon the victories his chariots had gained in the Olympic games, and took great care to have them engraved on his coins. He gave lessons in music, and undertook to correct the masters of it; which occasioned one of them to make that ingenious answer, which, without offence, was very capable of shewing him his error: God forbid, Sir, you should ever be so unhappy as to know these matters better than I do. He himself

gave a like lesson to his son for having shewn too much skill in music at an entertainment; Are you not ashamed says he to him, that you can sing so well ? In short, there are certain branches of knowledge, which are very commendable in private persons, whose only business is to follow them, that a prince ought but slightly to be acquainted with, as it would be beneath his dignity to affect a greater skill in them, and as his time ought to be taken up in matters of greater weight and importance. [t] Nero, who did not want for wit and spirit, was blamed for neglecting the occupations proper to his station, and amusing himself with engraving, painting, singing, and driving of chariots.

prince, who has a taste of true glory, does not aspire to such a Reputation. He understands what it is deserves his application, and from what he should abstain ; and how great an inclination soever he may have for the sciences, even the most valuable, he does not give himself up entirely to them, but studies them like a prince, with that sober and discreet moderation, which [u] Tacitus admired in his father-in-law Agricola, Retinuit, quod est difficillimum, et sapientiá modum.

[s] Plut. in Vit. Alex.

cælare, & pingere, cantus, aut re[t] Nero puerilibus statim annis gimen equorum exercere.

Tacit. vividum animuin in alia detorsit;

Annal. l. 13. C. 3.

[x] Tully finds a pitiful vanity in the secret joy which Demosthenes felt upon hearing himself praised by a poor herb-woman, as he was passing by. And

a yet he himself was much fonder of commendation than the Greek orator.

[y]This he freely owns upon an occasion where he surprisingly describes the effects of human weakness. He was returning from Sicily, where he had been quæstor, with a strong imagination that nothing was talked of in Italy but himself, and that his quæstorship was the subject of every tongue. Passing by Puzzoli, whither the baths had drawn abundance of company, Is it long, says somebody to him, since you left Rome? Pray, what is doing there ? I, says he, in great surprise, am just come from my province. That's true, says the other, I beg pardon, from Africa. No, an

, swers Tully, with an air of scorn and indignation, from Sicily. Why, says a third, who pretended to know more than the rest, don't you know that he has been quæstor at Syracuse: where indeed he had not, for his province lay in a different part of the island. Tully was quite out of countenance, and to get rid of the affair, threw himself into the crowd, and so marched off: and this adventure, he adds, was more useful to him, than all the compliments he had expected could have been.

And yet it does not appear, that he was less fond of praise afterwards, than he had been before. All the world knows how carefully he laid hold of every opportunity to talk of himself, so as to become insupportable. But nothing lets us more into his character than his [z] letter to the historian Lucceius, in which he openly and ingenuously discovers his weakness in (4) Vit. Agric. c. 4.

[y]Cic. Orat. pro Planc. n.64,66. (*) Tusc. Cuest. I. 5.n. 103. [+] Ep. 12. lib. 5.

this particular. He pressed him to write the history of his consulship, and publish it in his life-time; to the end, said he, that I may be the better known, and personally enjoy my glory and reputation, ut & cæteri viventibus nobis ex libris tuis nos cognoscant, & nosmetipsi vivi gloriola nostra perfruamur. He importunes him not to keep scrupulously to the strict laws of history, but to make some allowances to friendship, even at the expence of truth, and not be afraid of speaking more to his advantage than perhaps he thought was due. Itaque te planè etiam atque etiam rogo, ut & ornes ea rehementiùs etium quàm fortasse sentis, & in eo leges historiæ negligas... amorique nostro plusculum etiam, quam concedit veritas, largiaris.

Such are almost all mankind, and often without perceiving it themselves. For, to hear Tully talk, he was as remote as possible from any such weakness. [a] Nihil est in me inane, says he to Brutus, neque enim debet. No body, [b] says he again in a letter to Cato, was ever less fond of commendation and the vain applauses of the people, than I am. Si quisquam fuit-unquam remotus, & naturâ, & magis etiam (ut mihi quidem sentire videor) ratione atque doctriná, ab inani laude & sermonibus vulgi, ego profectò is sum.

To comprehend the better how little and mean this vanity is, we need but open our eyes, and consider how great and noble is the opposite conduct. A few choice articles, which I shall liere propose, will set the matter in a clear light. I. TO BEAR PRAISE WITH PAIN, AND TO SPEAK

OF ONE'S SELF WITH MODESTY. This virtue, which seems to throw a veil over the most glorious actions, and is careful only to conceal them, serves to set them off the more, and give them a greater lustre.

Niger, who took the title of emperor in the east, refused the panegyric they would have spoke in his [a] Ad Brut, ep. 3.

[b] Ep. 4. lib. 15. ad Famil.

praise,

a

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