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fine, there it is, and he must go
The old man perceives the Count's preference for me: it makes him angry. When I am present, he takes every opportunity to depreciate the Count: I naturally take up his defence, and that encreases his displeasure. Yesterday I was well aware that when he aimed a stroke at my friend, he meant that it should also hit me.—" For the common affairs of the world," said he, " the Count may do very well; his style is good, and he writes with facility; but, like other great geniuses, he has no solid learning." I longed to strike him; . ...i for for to what purpose is argument with such a kind of animal? However, as that was not possible, I answered^ with some warmth, that every re-. spect was due to him, both for his understanding and his character; that he was the only man I had ever met with, whose extensive genius raised him so high above the common level, and who yet retained all his activity in business. This was algebra to his conceptions; and I withdrew, least some new absurdity in him should raise my choler too much. It is you that are the authors of my ill-fortune; you, all of you, jvho forced me to bend my neck to ? this this yoke, and preached activity to me. If the man who plants potatoes, and carries them to town on market-days, is not a more active being than I am, then let me work ten years longer at the cursed galley to which I am now chained.
Distaste and lassitude, those fashionable miseries which reign amongst the silly people who affect an unmixt society; the ambition of rank! how they toil, how they watch to gain precedence! What poor and contemptible passions, and how plain to be seen! We have a woman here, for example,who never ceases to entertain the company with
accounts accounts of her family, and her estates. Any stranger who heard her would suppose she was a silly creature, whose head was turned by some flight pretence at least to rank, or the lordship of a manor; but still more ridiculous, she is the daughter of a steward's clerk in this neighbourhood. I cannot conceive how the human race can so debase itself.
I do indeed every day perceive more and more how absurd it is to judge of others by one's self. And it is with so much difficulty that I stop the ferment of my blood, and keep my heart at peace, that I very readily leave every one to pursue the
path he has chosen; but at the same time I ask a like permission for myself.
These paltry distinctions between the inhabitants of the same town, are what disturb me most. I know perfectly well, that inequality of conditions is necessary, and how much I myself gain by it. But I would not have this institution come in my way and hinder me, when I might enjoy some pleasure, some shadow of happiness upon this earth.
I have lately made an acquaintance with a Miss B. a very agreeable girl; who, notwithstanding the formality and stiffness of the people