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hordland & Siebber is
FASHION, MUSIC, AND ROMANCE.
THE PHILOSOPHER AND HIS PUPIL
THE Marquis de Touranges was a remarkable instance of the inconsistency of human nature in general, and of French human nature in particular; he had all, and more than all, that could render a reasonable man happy, yet his desires were still unsatisfied. That, says the reader, is not very wonderful. No, it is the common lot of human nature; but it is something uncommon for a man to make himself miserable in the midst of every earthly blessing, merely because he cannot have the portfolio of prime minister.
Such was the case with our good marquis. He had, in his own opinion, all the talents necessary to guide the helm of the state; he had also the personal favour of his sovereign, who had long distinguished him by his private friendship; but Louis XV., though himself no conjuror, had yet wisdom enough to know that nature had not cut out De Touranges for a prime minister. He liked his conversation, was pleased to have him near his person, took his advice in the choice of wines, his opinion on the merits of different sauces; said publicly that he should not know what to do without De Touranges; yet year after year passed, and the Marquis saw that this excess of favour, which filled the rest o. the courtiers with envy, led eventually to nothing.
The Marquis asked himself in vain what could be the reason of it? Not any neglect of his, that was clear; for he had presented the king with memorials upon every branch connected with the administration, in which he had proved to demonstration, in his own opinion, that every thing was going to wreck and ruin, and that it was indispensably necessary for him to take the helm, or the vessel o. the state would be lost. The good tempered Louis received the memorials very graciously, put them in his pocket, and thought no more about them. If, at their next meeting, De Touranges ventured to point at any thing they contained,
the king generally evaded the subject by an abrupt transition to the merits of the new opera, or the beauty of the favourite's foot, or some other subject of equal importance.
Wearied out at length with suspense and disappointment, the Marquis took the resolution to retire to his country seat, in the hope that he was so necessary to the king that he would soon be recalled upon his own terms; and he swore to himself very devoutly that he would accept of nothing less than the portfolio; no, the king might offer what he pleased, stars and ribbonds, even a dukedom, should have no effect in drawing him from his retreat; he would be minister, or he would stay where he was.
During some time he employed himself in collecting and arranging all the arguments that he meant to use to his royal master in support of his resolutiona very useless task as it turned out, for the king made no attempt to induce him to break it.
The disappointment sat heavy upon him, and he would have been half dead between chagrin and ennui, had he not always preserved the humane and patriotic hope that affairs would continue to go from bad to worse, so as at last to force the monarch to employ him. Still this, for him a happy period, did not arrive. He next resolved to lower his high pretensions, and determined not to refuse even a share in the ministry, because, as he wrote to his correspondents in Paris, we must sacrifice everything to the good of our country. But this magnanimous resolution was unavailing; no share was offered to him.
He was sitting one day reflecting upon his misfortune, and puzzling his brains in vain to find out some means of compassing his desires; his apartment opened into the magnificent garden of the château; a burst of childish laughter made him raise his head, and he perceived his only daughter, Adrienne, flying up the walk opposite to which he was seated in full chase of a little butterfly.
The Marquis thought as much of his daughter as he could think of anything but the portfolio; but never had he, till that moment, been struck by her surpassing loveliness. Her attitudes, as she chased her expected prize, were full of grace, and displayed in the most striking manner the exquisite proportions of her nymph-like figure, while the glow that exercise had given to her check, and the pleasure that lighted up her regular and noble features, gave to her countenance a character of loveliness almost superhuman.
"Come and embrace me, Adrienne !" But Adrienne heard not; for at that moment she had secured her meditated prize, and in an instant she bounded into the saloon to present it to her father. She exhibited it with no small share of pride, running over at the same time the whole history of the chase, of which the marquis heard not a word. His thoughts were employed upon the object which he had been chasing all his life, and that he fancied he had now found an