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Towards the end of May, in compliance with the earnest requefts of the Marquis de Girardin and his lady, Mr. Rouffeau took up his refidence at Ermenonville, the estate of that nobleHere he dwelt with his wife in a neat little house, at a fmall distance from the caftle, feparated from it by a tuft of trees, and adjoining to a wood, where he walked every day, and gathered plants for his Herbal. The Marquis was, by his taste. and character, juft the man, that Rouffeau wanted for a friend and companion: he was a zealous admirer of the philofophy of this fingular genius, loved a folitary life, and indulged the citizen of Geneva in his paffion for liberty and independence; the Marchioness was of the fame turn. Accordingly, Rouffeau vifited them frequently: he was always of their musical parties, and was so pleased with one of their children, who was about ten years old, that he voluntarily took a fhare in his education; but his fudden death blafted this project, and the circumstances of the departure of this extraordinary man were as follows:
"Mr. Rouffeau rofe in perfect health, to all appearance, on Thursday morning at five o'clock (his ufual hour in fummer), and walked with his young pupil. About seven he returned to his house alone, and afked his wife if breakfast was ready? Finding it was not, he told her he would go for some moments into the wood, and defired her to call him when breakfast was on the table. He was accordingly called, returned home, drank a dish of coffee, went out again and came back a few minutes after. About eight, his wife went down ftairs to pay the account of a Smith, but fcarcely had the been a moment below, when he heard Mr. Rouffeau complain. She returned immediately and found him fitting on a chair, with a ghastly, countenance, his head reclining on his hand, and his elbow fuftained by a defk. What is the matter, my dear friend, faid fhe, are you indifpofed? I feel, answered he, a painful anxiety, and the keen pains of a cholic. Upon this Mrs. Rouffeau left the room, as if the intended to look for fomething, and fent to the castle an account of her husband's illness. The Marchioness, on this alarming news, ran with the utmost expedition to the cottage of the philofopher, and that the might not alarm him, fhe faid fhe came to enquire whether the mufic that had been performed during the night in the open air before the castle, had not difturbed him and Mrs. Rouffeau.-The philofopher replied, with the utmost tranquility of tone and afpect, Madam, I know very well that it is not any thing relative to music that brings you here: -I am very fenfible of your goodness:-but I am much out of order, and I beg it as a favour that you will leave me alone with my wife. to whom I have a great many things to fay at this inftant. Madame de Girardin immediately withdrew. Upon this Mr. Rouffeau. defired his wife to fhut the door, to lock it on the infide, and
to come and fit by him. I fhall do fo, my dear friend, faid she; I am now fitting beside you—how do you find yourself?
"Rouleau. I grow worfe-I feel a chilly cold-a fhivering over my whole body-give me your hands and fee if you can warm me—Ah!—that gentle warmth is pleasing—but the pains of the colic return-they are very keen.
"Mrs. Rousseau. Do not you think, my dear friend, that it would be proper to take some remedy to remove these pains? "Rouffeau. My dear-be fo good as to open the windows, that I may have the pleasure of seeing once more the verdure of that field—how beautiful it is! how pure the air! how ferene the sky!-What grandeur and magnificence in the aspect of nature!
"Mrs. Rouffeau. But my good friend, why do these objects affect you so particularly at present ?
"Rouffeau. My dear-It was always my earnest defire that it would please God to take me out of the world before you —my prayer has been heard-and my wifh will foon have its accomplishment.—Look at that Sun, whose smiling aspect feems to call me hence!-There is my God-God himselfwho opens to me the bofom of his paternal goodness, and invites me to tafte and enjoy, at laft, that eternal and unalterable tranquility, which I have so long and so ardently panted after. --My dear spouse-do not weep-you have always defired to fee me happy, I am now going to be truly fo!-Do not leave me: I will have none but you to remain with me-you, alone, fhall close my eyes.
"Mrs. Rouffeau. My dear-my good friend-banifh those apprehenfions and let me give you fomething-I hope that this indifpofition will not be of a long continuance!
"Rouffeau. I feel in my breaft fomething like sharp pins, which occafion violent pains-My dear-if I have ever given you any uneafiness and trouble, or expofed you, by our conjugal union, to misfortunes, which you would otherwife have avoided, I hope you will forgive me.
"Mrs. Rouffeau. Alas! my dear friend, it is rather my duty to afk your pardon for any uneafy moments you may have fuffered on my account, or through my means.
"Rouffeau. Ah! my dear, how happy a thing is it to die, when one has no reafon for remorfe or felf-reproach!Eternal Being! the foul that I am now going to give thee back, is as pure, at this moment, as it was when it proceeded from thee: render it partaker of thy felicity! My dear-I have found in the Marquis of Girardin and his lady, the marks of even parental tenderness and affection: -tell them that I revere their virtues, and that I thank them, with my dying breath, for all the proofs I have received of their goodness and friendship:-I de
fire that you may have my body opened immediately after my death, and that you will order an exact account to be drawn up of the state of its various parts:-Tell Monfieur and Madame de Girardin, that I hope they will allow me to be buried in their gardens, in any part of them that they may think proper.
"Mrs. Rouffeau. How you afflict me-my dear friend! I intreat you, by the tender attachment you have always profeffed for me, to take fomething.
"Rouffeau. I fhall-fince you defire it-Ah! I feel in my head a ftrange motion!-a blow which-I am tormented with pains-Being of Beings! God! (here he remained for a confiderable time with his eyes raised to heaven) My dear spouse! let me embrace you !-help me to walk a little."
Here his extreme weakness prevented his walking without help, and Mrs. Rousseau being unable to support him, he fell gently on the floor, where, after having remained for fome time motionlefs, he fent forth a deep figh and expired.
Four and twenty hours after his decease his body was opened, in prefence of a competent number of witneffes, and an inqueft being held by the proper officers, the furgeons declared upon oath, that all the parts of the body were found, and that a ferous apoplexy, of which palpable marks appeared in the brain, was the cause of his death.
The Marquis de Girardin ordered the body to be embalmed; after which it was laid in a coffin of oak, lined with lead, and was buried in the Isle of Poplars, which is now called Elyfium. The spot is charming, and looks like an enchanted region: It is of an oval form, fifty feet in length and thirty-five in breadth. The water which furrounds it, flows in a filent ftream, and the winds feem unwilling to ruffle its furface or to augment its motion, which is almost imperceptible. The fmall lake that is formed by this gentle current, is furrounded by hillocks, which feparate it from the other parts of nature, and shed on this retreat a mysterious kind of filence, that diffufes through the mind of the fpectator, a melancholy propenfity of the humane kind. These hillocks are covered with trees, and are terminated at the margin of the lake, by folitary paths, which are now and will be long frequented by fentimental visitors, cafting a penfive look towards Elyfium.
This feat of Ermenonville, has been more or less described (though without being named) in the laft article of our Appendix for July 1778, in which we gave a particular account of an elegant Treatife compofed by its proprietor. It belonged formerly to the famous Gabrielle d'Etrées, whofe charms the love of Henry IV. has rendered immortal; and is about four leagues diftant from Chantili.. The Marquis, whofe exquifite tafte has
fo happily improved this noble feat, had confecrated the wild parts of it to Rouffeau, even before he became perfonally acquainted with that fingular man. Among other objects of curiofity to be feen in this feat, there is on a rifing ground, a temple dedicated to philofophy, which is not yet entirely finished. The interior of this edifice is adorned with five columns; on the first
are inscribed the words,
on the fecond,
Rouffeau, Naturam. dealt with in these inscriptions, it may be observed in justification of M. Girardin (or at least as an alleviation of his fault) that how various foever the literary talents of M. de Voltaire may have been, yet the diftinctive and predominant lines of his genius, and even of his character, were wit and pleafantry. It is beyond all doubt, that for one movement of admiration that he excited by his graver talents, he has excited one hundred fits of laughter (or fmiles thereunto approaching) by his merry ones. Even his most serious philofophical difcuffions were tinged with drollery, and an habitual grin was always lurking under the most folemn modification of his countenance.
If the philofophers should think Voltaire too hardly
When Mr. Rouffeau was called to inhabit a manfion invisible to us, the Marquis de Girardin was building for him a neat dwelling at Ermenonville, remarkable for its elegant fimplicity. and the beauty of its fituation: his prefent occupation is the erection of a fepulchral monument to cover the remains of his departed friend, in the Ifle of Poplars. This mausoleum is to be conftructed of white marble, with the buft of the deceased by Houdon; and its decorations are to be in the best taste. One of its fides will exhibit two doves for Eloifa;-another, a mother fuckling her child for Emilius;-a third, children facrificing on the altar of nature;-and the fourth, a Lyre, with other fymbols of poetry and mufic. The infcription which is intended for this monument is long; it contains a pompous encomium on the genius, fentiments, and moral character of Mr. Rouffeau, and concludes with the following paragraph, which we think remarkable: "He was deeply affected with the fublimity of religion; the majesty of the gospel fent a folemn voice to his heart: he embraced with ardor the hopes it adminifters: he relished with a lively tafte the pleasures it yields to his last breath, and his pure and virtuous foul took its flight, with confidence and joy, to the bofom of his God." GER
GERMANY and the NORTH.
II. Eloge de Voltaire, &c. i. e. The Eulogy of Voltaire reaa to the Royal Academy of Sciences and Belles Lettres at Berlin, at an EXTRAORDINARY MEETING appointed for THAT PURPOSE the 26th of November, 1778. Berlin. 8vo.-In the ufual courfe of things it is the poet who crowns the hero, but in the piece before us we find this order reversed, and fee the hero twining a garland round the temples of the poet. We have alfo, here, another fingularity, viz. the mind of a Monarch, amidst the infirmities of unftable health, and the fatigues and cares of a campaign (which may be termed a military game at chefs played by 200,000 men on each fide) fo tranquil as to enable him to employ his leifure moments, in compofing the Eulogy of a Man of Letters. It is a great acquifition to have a mind thus at ease, nor is it disagreeable to fhew it in this afpect; and, if we were Auftrians in the Emperor's army, we should be lefs daunted at the march of a Pruffian detachment, than at a fight of this Eulogy of Voltaire. Be that as it will, this Eulogy difcovers in the Royal Author, a lover of letters, a protector of genius, and as good an orator as a King ought to be. We fay as a King ought to be, for we think that what Ovid faid of Majefty and Love (that they do not fuit each other *), is much more applicable to Majefty and Oratory. Any thing that favours of effort and ftudy, fuch as pompous imagery and high-founding periods, is incompatible with Royal dignity, which is always fuppofed to operate with eafe. What therefore a French overweening critic would call flat and heavy in many of the periods, and in fome whole pages of this Royal production, we rather chuse to call majestic. There is, however, a kind of oratory in the tone of invective, which our Author (if we may fpeak thus familiarly) employs against the clergy, for their opposing a man who wanted to overturn the religion established in his Majefty's dominions, and in many other kingdoms, and to fend all its minifters the Lord knows where. This circumftance of the clergy has given the King's eloquence an uncommon degree of energy in feveral paffages: facit indignatio verfus. But there is another circumftance attending this Eulogy, which redounds much to the honour of the Royal Author, and that is, the difinterested generofity of the praises he bestows on the character and memory of Voltaire; for we are affured, upon the very best information, that his Majesty's encomiums on this famous poet could not poffibly be the effect of gratitude, but resembles more the exer
* Non bene conveniunt nec in una fede morantur
Majeftas et amor. —