THE CONFESSIONS

THE CONFESSIONS
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第264章 [1762](13)

From Strasbourgh, Sauttersheim went to seek his fortune in Paris,and found there nothing but misery.He wrote to me, acknowledginghis error.My compassion was excited by the recollection of our formerfriendship, and I sent him a sum of money.The year following, as Ipassed through Paris, I saw him much in the same situation; but he wasthe intimate friend of M.de Laliaud, and I could not learn by whatmeans he had formed this acquaintance, or whether it was recent orof long standing.Two years afterwards Sauttersheim returned toStrasbourgh, whence he wrote to me and where he died.This, in a fewwords, is the history of our connection, and what I know of hisadventures; but while I mourn the fate of the unhappy young man, Istill, and ever shall, believe he was the son of people ofdistinction, and that the impropriety of his conduct was the effect ofthe situations to which he was reduced.

Such were the connections and acquaintance I acquired at Motiers.

How many of these would have been necessary to compensate the cruellosses I suffered at the same time!

The first of these was that of M.de Luxembourg, who, after havingbeen long tormented by the physicians, at length became theirvictim, by being treated for the gout, which they would notacknowledge him to have, as for a disorder they thought they couldcure.

According to what La Roche, the confidential servant of Madam deLuxembourg, wrote to me relative to what had happened, it is by thiscruel and memorable example that the miseries of greatness are to bedeplored.

The loss of this good nobleman afflicted me the more, as he wasthe only real friend I had in France, and the mildness of hischaracter was such as to make me quite forget his rank, and attachmyself to him as my equal.Our connection was not broken off onaccount of my having quitted the kingdom; he continued to write tome as usual.

I nevertheless thought I perceived that absence, or my misfortune,had cooled his affection for me.It is difficult to a courtier topreserve the same attachment to a person whom he knows to be indisgrace with courts.I moreover suspected the great ascendancyMadam de Luxembourg had over his mind had been unfavorable to me,and that she had taken advantage of our separation to injure me in hisesteem.For her part, notwithstanding a few affected marks ofregard, which daily became less frequent, she less concealed thechange in her friendship.She wrote to me four or five times intoSwitzerland, after which she never wrote to me again, and nothingbut my prejudice, confidence, and blindness could have prevented mydiscovering in her something more than a coolness towards me.

Guy the bookseller, partner with Duchesne, who, after I had leftMontmorency, frequently went to the hotel de Luxembourg, wrote to methat my name was in the will of the marechal.There was nothing inthis either incredible or extraordinary, on which account I had nodoubt of the truth of the information.I deliberated within myselfwhether or not I should receive the legacy.Everything wellconsidered, I determined to accept it, whatever it might be, and to dothat honor to the memory of an honest man, who, in a rank in whichfriendship is seldom found, had had a real one for me.I had notthis duty to fulfill.I heard no more of the legacy, whether it weretrue or false; and in truth I should have felt some pain inoffending against one of the great maxims of my system of morality, inprofiting by anything at the death of a person whom I had once helddear.During the last illness of our friend Mussard, Leneipsproposed to me to take advantage of the grateful sense he expressedfor our cares, to insinuate to him dispositions in our favor."Ah!

my dear Leneips," said I, "let us not pollute by interested ideasthe sad but sacred duties we discharge towards our dying friend.Ihope my name will never be found in the testament of any person, atleast not in that of a friend." It was about this time that my lordmarshal spoke to me of his, of what he intended to do in it for me,and that I made him the answer of which I have spoken in the firstpart of my memoirs.

My second loss, still more afflicting and irreparable, was that ofthe best of women and mothers, who, already weighed down with years,and overburthened with infirmities and misery, quitted this vale oftears for the abode of the blessed, where the amiable remembrance ofthe good we have done here below is the eternal reward of ourbenevolence.Go, gentle and beneficient shade, to those of Fenelon,Bernex, Catinat, and others, who in a more humble state have, likethem, opened their hearts to true charity; go and taste of the fruitof your own benevolence, and prepare for your son the place he hopesto fill by your side.Happy in your misfortunes that Heaven, inputting to them a period, has spared you the cruel spectacle of his!

Fearing, lest I should fill her heart with sorrow by the recital of myfirst disasters, I had not written to her since my arrival inSwitzerland; but I wrote to M.de Conzie, to inquire after hersituation, and it was from him I learned she had ceased to alleviatethe sufferings of the afflicted and that her own were at an end.Imyself shall not suffer long; but if I thought I should not see heragain in the life to come, my feeble imagination would less delight inthe idea of the perfect happiness which I there hope to enjoy.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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