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To the Author of the LONDON
rightly judge not to be of the least MAGAZINE,
importance, tho' it may seem at first SIR,
to concern appearances rather than T is not at all material to ac
realities, and to be nothing more quaint you, by what accident the
than a circumstance contained in, or enclos'd letter fell into my hands :
implied by, the great parts of the It is sufficient to assure you, that I A character and conduct of such a am under no particular obligation to
king. It is of his perfonal behaviour, conceal it; nor do I break any pri
of his manner of living with other vate trust in conveying it to the
men, and, in a word, of his private publick. If you think proper to
life, that you desire me to speak.
Let me begin then by saying,
That all the decency and grace (the
of the Latins) which becomes this
on this or on any character, that is not
founded in virtue. But for want of
this, a character that is so, will lose
at all times part of the lustre belongOf the Private Life of a Prince. C ing to it, and may be sometimes not
a little misunderstood and underva-
lued. Beauty is not separable from
the icks, from virtue : But as a man
under which I fome, so he may be virtuous without
have consider'd D being amiable.
KING, Icmit- When that is not given, we may see
and the beauty of some particular reasons, and in a thousand manners, parts: A judge of the art may see which I shall not llay to enumerate. further, he may allow for what is Against these therefore, men who are wanting, and discern the full merit incapable of falling into the others, of a compleat work in one that is must be still on their guard, and no in perfect. But vulgar eyes will not men so much as princes. When be fo ftruck; the work will appear A their minds are filled and their hearts to them defective, and (as it is) un- warmed with true notions of governfinished: So that without knowing ment, when they know their duty, preciicly what they difike, they may and love their peopli, they will not admire, but they will not be pleased. fail, in the great parts they are to act, Thus in moral characters, tho' every in the council, in the field, and in all part be virtuous and great, tho. the arduous affairs that belong to their the few and small defects in it be B kingly office; at least they will not concealed under the blaze of those begin to fail by failing in them. But fhining qualities that compensate for as they are men, susceptible of the them; yet is not this enough even fame impressions, liable to the same in private life: It is less so in pub- errors, and exposed to the same pallick life, and still less so in that of fions, so they are likewise exposed a prince.
to more and stronger temptations, There is a certain species liberalis, C than others. Besides, the elevation in more easily understood than explained, which they are placed, as it gives and felt than defined, that must be
them great advantages, gives them acquired and rendered habitual to
great disadvantages too, that often him. A certain propriety of words countervail the former. Thus, for and actions, that result from their instance, a little merit in a prince is conformity to nature and character, seen and felt by numbers ; it is mulmust always accompany him, and D tiplied, as it were, and in proportion crcate ai air and manner, that run to this effect his reputation is raised uniformly thro' the whole tenour of by it. But then a little fuiling is conduct and bchaviour. This air and
feen and felt by numbers to0; it is manner muit be fo far from any kind multiplied in the same manner, and or degree of affctition, that they his reputation finks in the same procannoi be attained except by him who
portion. is void of all assectation. We il- E I spoke above of defeets that may Juftrate this to ourselves, and mal;e be concealed under the blaze of great it more sensible, by reseding on the and shining qualities. This may be conduct of good dramatick or epick the case, as it has been that of some writers. They draw the characters princes. There goes a tradition, which they bring on the scene from that Henry the fourth of France asked nature, they fullain them thro' the a Spanish ambassador, what miltrelles whole piece, and make their actors F the king of Spain had? The ainbatsäneither say nor do any thing that is dor replied (like a formal pedant) not exacily proper 10 the character that his maiter was a prince who cach of them represents. Oderint feared God, and had no mistrefies but dum metuart, came properly out of the queen. Hinry the fourth felt the the mouth of a tyrant ; but Euripidis refection, and asked him in return would never have given that execra- with some contempt, “ Whether his ble sentence to Mines or tricus. G“ malier had not virtucs enough to
A man of ferfe and vircuc both, " cover one vice?" will not fall into any great impro- The faults or defects that may be priety of charac, or i.deccrcy of thus covered or compensated, are (I condus: But he may fide o be lur- think) those of the man, rather than frized rato malone, from a thousand
those of the king; such as arise from Other characters might be brought conftitution, and the natural rather to contraste with this : The first Scithan the moral character; such as pio Africanus, for example, orthe eldmay be deemed accidental starts of eft Cato ; (and there will be no obpassion, or accidental remiffness in jection to a comparison of such citi. fome unguarded hours ; surprizes, zens of Rome as these were, with if I may say so, of the man on the A kings of the first magnitude.) Now king. When these happen seldom, the reputation of the first Scipio was and pass soon, they may be hid, like not so clear and uncontroverted in spots in the sun, but they are spots private as in publick life; nor was he fill. He who has the means of allowed by all, to be a man of such seeing them, will see them; and he severe virtue, as he affected, and as who has not, may feel the effects of that age required. Nævius was them without knowing precisely the B thought to mean him in some verses cause. When they continue (for Gellius has preserved, and Valerius here is the danger, because if they Antias made no scruple to assert, that continue they will increase) they are far from returning the fair Spaniard spots no longer, they spread a gene- to her family, he debauch'd and sal shade, and obscure the light in kept her. Notwithstanding this, which they were drowned before. what authority did he not maintain? The virtues of the king are lost in C In what esteem and veneration did the vices of the man.
he not live and die? With what paAlexander had violent passions, and negyricks has not the whole torrent those for wine and women were pre- of writers rolled down his reputation dominant after his ambition. They even to these days? This could not were spots in his character before have happened, 'if the vice imputed they prevailed by the force of habit ; to him had shewn it self in any scanas soon as they began to do so, the D dalous appearances, to eclipse the king and the hero appeared less, the luftre of the general, the consul, or rake and bully more: Persepolis was the citizen. The same reflexion might burnt at the instigation of Thais, and be extended to Cato, who loved wine Clytus was killed in a drunken brawl. as well as the other loved women. He repented indeed of these two hor- Men did not judge in those days, as rible actions, and was again the king Seneca was ready to do in his, That and hero upon many occasions. But E drunkenness could be no crime if Cato he had not been enough on his guard, drank ; but Cato's passion, as well when the strongest incitements to va- as that of Scipio, was subdued and nity and to sensual pleasures offered kept under by his publick character. themselves at every moment to him: His virtue warmed instead of cooling. And when he stood in all his easy by this indulgence to his genius or hours surrounded by women and eu- natural temper; and one may gather nuchs, by the pandars, parafites, and F from what Tully puts into his mouth buftoons of a voluptuous court, they in the treatise concerning Old Age, who could not approach the king ap- that even his love of wine was renproach'd the man, and by seducing dered subservient, instead of doing the man, they betrayed the king. hurt, to the measures he pursued in His faults became habits : The Ma- his publick character, cedonians, who did not or would not Give me leave to infift a little on see the one, saw the other; and he G the two first Cæfars, and on Mark fell a sacrifice to their resentments, Anthony. (I quote none of them as to their fears, and to those factions good men, but I may quote them that will arise under an odious go- all as great men, and therefore proyernment, as well as under one that perly in this place ; linçe a PaBrows into contempt.
triot King must avoid the defects said to defame them, might pass, and that diminish a great character, as did pass, for the calumny of party. well as those that corrupt a good But Anthony threw off all decorum one.) Old Curio callcd Julius Cesar from the first, and continued to do so the husband of every wife, and the to the last. Not only vice but inwife of every husband, referring to decency became habitual to him. He his known adulteries, and to the com- A ceased to be a general, a consul, a pliances that he was suspected of in triumvir, a citizen of Rome : He behis youth for Nicomedes. Even his came an Egyptian king, sunk into own soldiers, in the licence of a luxurious effeminacy, and proved he triumph, sung lampoons on him for was unfit to govern men, by suffering his profusion as well as lewdness. himself to be governed by a woman.
The youth of Augustus was defamed His vices hurt him, but his habits as much as that of Julius Cæfar, and B ruind him. If a political modesty at both as much as that of Anthony. least had made him disguise the first, When Rome was ransacked by the they would have hurt him less, and pandars of Auguftus, and matrons he might have escaped the last : But and virgins stripped and searched like he was so little sensible of this, that Slaves in a market, to choose the fit- in a fragment of one of his letters to test to satisfy his lust, did Anthony Auguflus, which Suetonius has predo more? When Julius fet no bounds C served, he endeavours to justify himto his debauches in Egypt, except self by pleading this very habit. those fatiety imposed, poflquam cpu
“ What matter is it who we lie with? kis Bacchoque modum lasata voluptas (says he) This letter may find you imposuit ; when he trifled away his perhaps with Tertulla, or Terentime with Cleopatra in the very crisis “ tilla, or others that he names. 1 of the civil war, and till his troops “ lie with Cleopatra, and have I refused to follow him any further in D « not done fo these two years?" his effeminate progress up the Nile ; These great examples which I have
Did Anthony do more ? No; all produced may appear in some fort three had vices, which would have figures bigger than the life. Few been so little born in any former age virtues and few vices grow up, in of Rome, that no man could have
parts of the world, and in these raised himself under the weight of latter ages, to the size of those I them to popularity and to power. E have mentioned, and none have scenes But we must not wonder that the wherein to exert themselves. But people who bore the tyrants, bore the truths I am desirous to inculcate the libertines ; nor that indul. will be as justly delivered in this gence was shewn to the vices of the
manner, and perhaps more strongly great, in a city where universal cor- felt. Failings or vices that fow ruption and profligacy of manners from the same source of human nature, were established : And yet even in F that run the same course thro' the this city, and among these degene- conduct of princes, and have the fate Romans, certain
it is, that diffe- fame effects on their characters, and rent appearances, with the same vi. consequently on their government and ces, helped to maintain the Cæfars, their fortune, have all the proportion and ruined Anthony. I might pro- necessary to my application of them. duce many anecdotes to new how It matters little, whether a prince the two former saved appearances, G who abandons that common decorum whilst their vices were the most fa- which results from nature, and which grant, and made so much amends for reason prescribes, abandons the partithe appearances they had not saved, cular decorums of this country or that, by those of a contrary kind; that a of this age or that, which result from great part at least of all, which was