Letters to His Son

Letters to His Son

第247章 LETTER CLX(2)

must be taken young,or it will never be easy or seem natural.Come,come,say they (substituting,as is frequently done,assertion instead of argument),depend upon it he will do very well:and you have a great deal of reason to be satisfied with him.I hope and believe he will do well,but I would have him do better than well.I am very well pleased with him,but I would be more,I would be proud of him.I would have him have lustre as well as weight.Did you ever know anybody that reunited all these talents?Yes,I did;Lord Bolingbroke joined all the politeness,the manners,and the graces of a courtier,to the solidity of a statesman,and to the learning of a pedant.He was 'omnis homo';and pray what should hinder my boy from being so too,if he 'hath,as I think he hath,all the other qualifications that you allow him?Nothing can hinder him,but neglect of or inattention to,those objects which his own good sense must tell him are,of infinite consequence to him,and which therefore I will not suppose him capable of either neglecting or despising.

This (to tell you the whole truth)is the result of a controversy that passed yesterday,between Lady Hervey and myself,upon your subject,and almost in the very words.I submit the decision of it to yourself;let your own good sense determine it,and make you act in consequence of that determination.The receipt to make this composition is short and infallible;here I give it to you:

Take variety of the best company,wherever you are;be minutely attentive to every word and action;imitate respectively those whom you observe to be distinguished and considered for any one accomplishment;then mix all those several accomplishments together,and serve them up yourself to others.

I hope your fair,or rather your brown AMERICAN is well.I hear that she makes very handsome presents,if she is not so herself.I am told there are people at Paris who expect,from this secret connection,to see in time a volume of letters,superior to Madame de Graffiny's Peruvian ones;I lay in my claim to one of the first copies.

Francis's Genie -[Francis's "Eugenia."]--hath been acted twice,with most universal applause;to-night is his third night,and I am going to it.I did not think it would have succeeded so well,considering how long our British audiences have been accustomed to murder,racks,and poison,in every tragedy;but it affected the heart so much,that it triumphed over habit and prejudice.All the women cried,and all the men were moved.The prologue,which is a very good one,was made entirely by Garrick.The epilogue is old Cibber's ;but corrected,though not enough,by Francis.He will get a great deal of,money by it;and,consequently,be better able to lend you sixpence,upon any emergency.

The parliament of Paris,I find by the newspapers,has not carried its point concerning the hospitals,and,though the King hath given up the Archbishop,yet as he has put them under the management and direction 'du Grand Conseil',the parliament is equally out of the question.This will naturally put you upon inquiring into the constitution of the 'Grand Conseil'.You will,doubtless,inform yourself who it is composed of,what things are 'de son ressort',whether or not there lies an appeal from thence to any other place;and of all other particulars,that may give you a clear notion of this assembly.There are also three or four other Conseils in France,of which you ought to know the constitution and the objects;I dare say you do know them already;but if you do not,lose no time in informing yourself.These things,as I have often told you,are best learned in various French companies:but in no English ones,for none of our countrymen trouble their heads about them.To use a very trite image,collect,like the bee,your store from every quarter.In some companies ('parmi les fermiers generaux nommement')you may,by proper inquiries,get a general knowledge,at least,of 'les affaires des finances'.When you are with 'des gens de robe',suck them with regard to the constitution,and civil government,and 'sic de caeteris'.This shows you the advantage of keeping a great deal of different French company;an advantage much superior to any that you can possibly receive from loitering and sauntering away evenings in any English company at Paris,not even excepting Lord A------.Love of ease,and fear of restraint (to both which I doubt you are,for a young fellow,too much addicted)may invite you among your countrymen:but pray withstand those mean temptations,'et prenez sur vous',for the sake of being in those assemblies,which alone can inform your mind and improve your manners.

You have not now many months to continue at Paris;make the most of them;get into every house there,if you can;extend acquaintance,know everything and everybody there;that when you leave it for other places,you may be 'au fait',and even able to explain whatever you may hear mentioned concerning it.Adieu.

Dormer StanhopePhilip