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inches taller. Her friend Voltaire says she was born in 1706, in order to make her appear four years younger; but she was born on the 17th of December 1702, as it is easy to verify at the church of St. Roch. She was a colossus every way,+a miracle of strength and awkwardness; her feet were terrible, and her hands formidable. Her skin was like a nutmeg-grater. In short, the beautiful Emilie was an ugly life-guardsman, and must have been mad with algebra and geometry when she allowed Voltaire to speak about her beauty. She was always an intolerable pedant, and aimed at a reputation for transcendant intellect, whilst she mixed up everything that could be driven into her memory, making of it a sort of indigestible hotch-potch.” Sometimes she gives a rapid and eminently characteristic trait like the following, which so completely describes Fontenelle: “M. de Fontenelle had the greatest confidence, and the most tender esteem for—Strawberries.” Let us also remark that, in the midst of all this aristocratic gossip and drawing-room chat, there is a crowd of striking anecdotes beautifully related. We shall cite only the following, because it is short; not that we prefer it, but because it is soon finished. Voltaire often repeated it, and Fontenelle related it also (which is of more importance as an authority with the Marchioness of Crequy). “La Fontaine was very ill, and, having received his last sacrament, he asked his good friend Madame Cornuel (the same that Madame de Sévigné speaks of), whether it would not be quite proper that he should be carried in a cart to the gate of Notre-Dame, in his shirt, barefooted, and with a rope round his neck, as a penance for the tales he had written. “I must find somebody to carry the torch, for I have not strength to hold it; and I should be glad if one of the tall servants of our neighbour, the President Nicolay, would do it.’ “‘Make yourself easy, and die quietly, my good man,’ replied the old lady, who was not very clever, “you have been always as stupid as a goose.” “‘It is very true,' replied the great man, and it is very lucky for me that it is so. I hope God will forgive me on that account. Do not fail to tell everybody that I sinned from folly, and not from malice. It will be much less scandalous, will it not ?’ ‘Will you let me be quiet, and die in peace?" replied the dame. The Chevalier de la Salitere told Fontenelle that the confessor of La Fontaine, and all the persons present, burst into a laugh; and that the last words of La Fontaine were, ‘I see very well that I am become more stupid than God is holy, and that is indeed saying a great deal.'”
POLITICAL AND MORAL TESTAMENT, ADDRESSED BY ST. LOUIS TO HIS SON, WHO AFTERWARDS REIGNED BY THE NAME OF PHILIP THE BOLD.
THIs testament, or rather this piece of advice, is mentioned by historians, but we have never seen it given according to the version which we adopt as authentic, according to proofs which we shall shortly produce. Neither Bellefont, nor Mezerai, nor Robert Gaguin, nor Nicole Gille have seen the original text of this testament. They have all paraphrased it or travestied it, so that it is impossible to recognise in their narrations either the language or the intention of Louis. The inedited chronicles of St. Denis alone give it almost entirely conformable to the version which we shall transcribe. Historians have, moreover, all put this advice in the mouth of the dying King, which is in the first place very improbable, and which is contradicted by the manuscript now before us, wherein it is positively stated that Louis IX. made it and wrote it at Carthage with his own hand. This is one of the most precious manuscripts of the library of St. Genevieve: the first part contains a calendar; and as the fête of St. Louis is not marked in it, we suppose that it is anterior to the 11th August 1297, the day of his canonization, which must bring the age of the manuscript to about the year 1295 or 1296, and corroborates the authority of the WerSlon.
The following is a copy of the instructions of St. Louis, on the last leaf but one of the manuscript.
“And he felt well that he should pay the debt of nature, and he commanded him that he should strictly keep the lessons which follow, which the good King wrote with his own hand.
“HOW THE KING TAUGHT PHILIP HIS SON.
“1”. To love God. 2”. To beware of committing sin; 3°. Above all, any mortal sin.
“If any adversity or trouble happen to thee, receive it in good patience, and render thanks to our Lord, and think that thou hast deserved it: and if God give thee abundance of good, thank him humbly. Dear son, have thy heart pitiful and kind towards the poor, and comfort and help them. Listen devoutly to the service of the holy church. Cause good customs to be kept in thy kingdom, and bad ones to be abolished. Do not covet gifts nor taxes from the people except in very great necessity. If thou hast any thought weighing upon thy heart, tell it to thy confessor, or to any wise man who knows how to keep thy secret; so thou wilt bear the thought of thy heart more lightly. Take care that those of thy house be wise and loyal, and remember the Scripture which says, “ Choose out men who fear God, in whom is justice, and who hate avarice, and thou wilt profit, and govern well thy kingdom.” Suffer not any blasphemy to be uttered in thy presence. Be strict and rigid in maintaining justice towards thy people and thy nation, without turning to one side or to another. If any one shall seek a quarrel against thee, for any injury or any wrong done him by thee, or alleged against thee, let the truth prevail, and command thy judges that thou mayest be considered no more than any other person. If thou hast any thing belonging to another, restore it immediately without delay. Also endeavour to make thy people live in peace and justice, also the good towns and cities of thy realm, and maintain them in the state and freedom in which thy predecessors have kept them; for, by the strength of thy good cities and of thy good towns, powerful men will fear to undertake evil against thee. I well remember Paris, and the good towns of my realm, which aided me against the barons when I was newly crowned. Love and honour the holy church. Give to good persons who are of good and pure life, and always act by the advice of good people. Beware of making war against any Christian man, unless forced thereunto; and if he asks mercy of thee, thou shouldst pardon him, and take sufficient amends, that God may approve. Be, my dear son, diligent to have good officers, and inquire often of their actions, and how they behave in their offices. Inquire concerning those of thy own house oftener than of any others, whether they be too covetous or too tyrannical ; for, according to nature, the inferiors follow the example of the superiors; that is to say, when the master is wise and well-conducted, all those of his house take example by him, and are better for it. Labour, dear son, that bad believers be taken from the land; and especially keep in a large town Jews and all sorts of people who are against the faith. Take care that the expenses of thy house be reasonable and moderate. Finally, most dear son, I pray thee to honour my soul with many masses and prayers. I give thee all the blessings that a good father can give a son; and may the blessing of our Lord help thee, and give thee grace to do his will.”
This testament, an historical piece of some importance, in a moral as well as political point of view, offers a combination of wisdom, benevolence, and simplicity, which may be studied as a complement to the history of St. Louis, and also as a moral view of the state of France in the thirteenth century.