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takings; and Francis is one of those monarchs, who occupy a higher rank in the temple of fame, then either their talents or performances entitle them to hold. This pre-eminence he owed to many different circumstances. The superiority which Charles acquired by the victory of Pavia, and which, from that period, he preserved through the remainder of his reign, was so manifest, that Francis' struggle against his exhorbitant and growing dominion, was viewed by most of the other powers not only with that partiality which naturally arises from those who gallantly maintain an unequal contest but with the favor due to one who was resisting a common enemy, and endeavoring to set bounds to a monarch, equally formidable to them all. The characters of princes, too, especially among their cotemporaries, depend, not only upon their talents for govern ment, but upon their qualitics as men. Francis, notwithstanding the many errors conspicuous in his foreign policy and domestic administration, was nevertheless, humane, beneficent, generous. He possessd dignity without pride, affability free from meanness, and courtesy exempt from deceit. All who had access to know him,and no man of merit was ever denied that privilege, respected and loved him. Captivated with his personal qualities, his subjects forgot his defects as a monarch; and admiring him, as the most accomplished and amiable gentleman in his dominions, they hardly murmured. at acts of maladministration; which in a prince of less engaging disposition, would have been deemed unpardonable.
This admiration, however, must have been temporary only, and would have died away with the courtiers who bestowed it; the illusion arising from his private virtues must have ceased, and posterity would have judged of his public conduct with its usual impartiality: But another circumstance prevented this; and his name hath Been transmitted to posterity with increasing reputation. Science and the arts had, at that time, made little progress in France. They were just beginning to advance beyond the limits of Italy, where they had revived, and which had hitherto been their only seat. Francis
took them immediately under his protection, and vied with Leo himself, in the zeal and munificence, with which he encouraged them. He invited learned men to his court, he conversed with them familiarly, he employed them in business, he raised them to offices of dignity, and honored them with his confidence. That race of men, not more prone to complain when denied the respect to which they fancy themselves entitled,than apt to be pleased when treated with the distinction which they consider as their due, thought they could not exceed in gratitude to such a benefactor, and strained their invention, and employed all their ingenuity, in panegyric.
Succeeding authors, warmed with their descriptions of Francis' bounty, adopted their encomiums, and refined upon them. The appellation of Father of Letters bestowed upon Francis, had rendered his memory sacred among historians; and they seem to have regarded it as a sort of impiety, to uncover his infirmities, or to point out his defects. Thus Francis, notwithstanding his inferior abilities and want of success, hath more than equalled the fame of Charles. The virtues which he possessed as a man, have entitled him to greater admiration and praise than have been bestowed upon the extensive genius, and fortunate arts, of a more capable, but less amiable rival.
XVII. The Supper and Grace.-STERNE.
A SHOE coming loose from the orefoot of the thillhorse, at the beginning of the ascent of mount Taurira, the postillion dismounted, twisted the shoe off and put it in his pocket: As the ascent was of five or six miles, and that horse our main dependence, I made a point of having the shoe fastened on again as well as we could; but the postillion had thrown away the nails, and the hammer in the chaise box being of no great use without them, I submitted to go on.
He had not mounted half a mile higher, when coming to a flinty piece of road, the poor devil lost a second shoe, and from off his other forefoot. I then got out of the chaise in good earnest; and, seeing a house about
a quarter of a mile to the left hand, with a great deal ado 1 prevailed upon the postillion to turn up to it. The look of the house, and every thing about it, as we drew nearer soon reconciled me to the disaster. It was a little farm house, surrounded with about twenty acres of vineyard, about as much corn; and close to the house, on one side, was a potagerie of an acre and a half, full of every thing which could make plenty in a French peasant's house; and on the other side, was a little wood, which furnished wherewithal to dress it. It was about eight in the evening when I got to the house; so I left the postillion to manage his point as he could; and, for mine, I walked directly into the house.
The family consisted of an old gray headed man and his wife, with five or six sons and sons in law, and their several wives, and a joyous genealogy out of them.
They were all sitting down together to their lentilsoup: A large wheaten loaf was in the middle of the table; and a flaggon of wine at each end of it promised joy through the stages of the repast-it was a feast of
The old man rose up to meet me, and with a respectful cordiality would have me sit down at the table. My heart was sit down the moment I entered the room; so I sat down at once, like a son of the family; and, to invest myself in the character as speedily as I could, E instantly borrowed the old man's knife, and taking up the loaf, cut myself a hearty luncheon; and, as I did it I saw a testimony in every eye, not only of an honest welcome but of a welcome mixed with thanks, that I had not seemed to doubt it.
Was it this, or tell me, Nature, what else was it that made this morsel so sweet-and to what magic I owe it that the draught I took of their flaggon was so delicious with it, that it remains upon my palate to this hour?
If the supper was to my taste, the grace which followed was much more so.
When supper was over, the old man gave a knock upon the table with the haft of his knife, to bid them prepare for the dance. The moment the signal was giv
en, the women and girls ran altogether into the back apartments to tie up their hair, and the young men to the door to wash their faces, and change their sabots (wooden shoes) and in three minutes every soul was ready, upon a little esplanade before the house to begin. The old man and his wife come out last, and, placing me betwixt them, sat down upon a sofa of turf by the door.
The old man had some fifty years ago, been no mean performer upon the vielle; and, at the age he was then of, touched it well enough for the purpose. His wife sung now and then a little to the tune, then intermitted, and joined her old man again, as their children and grandchildren danced before them.
It was not till the middle of the second dance, when for some pauses in the movement, wherein they all seemed to look up, I fancied I could distinguish an elevation 1 of spirit, different from that which is the cause or the effect of simple jollity. In a word, I thought I beheld religion mixing in the dance; but, as I had never seen her so engaged, I should have looked upon itnow as one of the illusions of an imagination which is eternally misleading me, had not the old man, as soon as the dance ended, said, that this was their constant way; and that all his life long, he made it a rule, after supper was over, to call out his family to dance and rejoice; believing, he said, that a cheerful and contented mind was the best sort of thanks to heaven that an illiterate peasant could pay. Or learned prelate either, said 1.
MANY are the silent pleasures of the honest peasant, who rises cheerfully to his labor.-Look into his dwelling-where the scene of every man's happiness chiefly lies; he has the same domestic endearments- -as much joy and comfort in his children, and as flattering hopes of their doing well-to enliven his hours and gladden his heart,as you would conceive in the most affluent station. And I make no doubt, in general, but if the true account of his joys and sufferings were to be balanced with those of his betters-that the upshot would prove to be a little more than this; that the rich man had the
more meat-but the poor man the better stomach;-the one had more luxury-more able physicians to attend and set him to rights;-the other, more health and soundness in his bones, and less occasion for their help; that, after these two articles betwixt them were balancod-in all other things they stood upon a level—that the sun shines as warm-the air blows as fresh, and the earth breathes as fragrant upon the one as the other ;and they have an equal share in all the beauties and real benefits of nature.
XIX.-House of Mourning-IB.
LET us go into the house of mourning made so by such afflictions as have been brought in merely by the common cross accidents and disasters to which our condition is exposed-where, perhaps, the aged parents sit broken hearted, pierced to their souls, with the folly and indiscretion of a thankless child-the child of their prayers, in whom all their hopes and expectations centered :-Perhaps, a more affecting scene-a virtuous family lying pinched with want, where the unfortunate support of it, having long struggled with a train of misfortunes, and bravely fought up against them, is now piteously borne down at the last-overwhelmed with a cruel blow, which no forecast or frugality could have prevented. O God! look upon his afflictions. Behold him distracted with many sorrows, surrounded with the tender pledges of his love; and the partener of his careswithout bread to give them; unable from the remembrance of better days to dig ;-to beg ashamed.
When we enter into the house of mourning, such as this-it is impossible to insult the unfortunate,even with an improper look. Under whatever levity and dissipation of heart such objects catch our eyes-they catch likewise our attentions, collect and call home our scattered thoughts, and exercise them with wisdom. A transcient scene of distress,such as is here sketched,how soon does it furnish materials to set the mind at work! How necessarily does it engage it to the consideration of the miseries, and misfortunes, the dangers and calamities to which the life of man is subject! By holding up such