The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau — Volume 08
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The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau — Volume 08

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Book VIII., by Jean Jacques RousseauThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Book VIII.Author: Jean Jacques RousseauRelease Date: December 6, 2004 [EBook #3908]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ROUSSEAU ***Produced by David WidgerTHE CONFESSIONS OF JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU(In 12 books)Privately Printed for the Members of the Aldus SocietyLondon, 1903BOOK VIII.At the end of the preceding book a pause was necessary. With this begins the long chain of my misfortunes deducedfrom their origin.Having lived in the two most splendid houses in Paris, I had, notwithstanding my candor and modesty, made someacquaintance. Among others at Dupin's, that of the young hereditary prince of Saxe-Gotha, and of the Baron de Thun, hisgovernor; at the house of M. de la Popliniere, that of M. Seguy, friend to the Baron de Thun, and known in the literaryworld by his beautiful edition of Rousseau. The baron invited M. Seguy and myself to go and pass a day or two atFontenai sous bois, where the prince had a house. As I passed Vincennes, at the sight of the dungeon, my feelings wereacute; the effect of which the baron perceived on my countenance. ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Confessionsof J. J. Rousseau, Book VIII., by Jean JacquesRousseauThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Book.IIIVAuthor: Jean Jacques RousseauRelease Date: December 6, 2004 [EBook #3908]Language: English*E*B* OSTOAK RRT OOUFS STEHIASU  P**R*OJECT GUTENBERGProduced by David Widger
THE CONFESSIONS OF JEAN JACQUESROUSSEAU(In 12 books)Privately Printed for the Members of the AldusSocietyLondon, 1903BOOK VIII.At the end of the preceding book a pause wasnecessary. With this begins the long chain of mymisfortunes deduced from their origin.Having lived in the two most splendid houses inParis, I had, notwithstanding my candor andmodesty, made some acquaintance. Among othersat Dupin's, that of the young hereditary prince ofSaxe-Gotha, and of the Baron de Thun, hisgovernor; at the house of M. de la Popliniere, thatof M. Seguy, friend to the Baron de Thun, andknown in the literary world by his beautiful editionof Rousseau. The baron invited M. Seguy andmyself to go and pass a day or two at Fontenaisous bois, where the prince had a house. As Ipassed Vincennes, at the sight of the dungeon, myfeelings were acute; the effect of which the baronperceived on my countenance. At supper theprince mentioned the confinement of Diderot. Thebaron, to hear what I had to say, accused the
prisoner of imprudence; and I showed not a little ofthe same in the impetuous manner in which Idefended him. This excess of zeal, inspired by themisfortune which had befallen my friend, waspardoned, and the conversation immediatelychanged. There were present two Germans in theservice of the prince. M. Klupssel, a man of greatwit, his chaplain, and who afterwards, havingsupplanted the baron, became his governor. Theother was a young man named M. Grimm, whoserved him as a reader until he could obtain someplace, and whose indifferent appearancesufficiently proved the pressing necessity he wasunder of immediately finding one. From this veryevening Klupssel and I began an acquaintancewhich soon led to friendship. That with the SieurGrimm did not make quite so rapid a progress; hemade but few advances, and was far from havingthat haughty presumption which prosperityafterwards gave him. The next day at dinner, theconversation turned upon music; he spoke well onthe subject. I was transported with joy when Ilearned from him he could play an accompanimenton the harpsichord. After dinner was over musicwas introduced, and we amused ourselves the restof the afternoon on the harpischord of the prince.Thus began that friendship which, at first, was soagreeable to me, afterwards so fatal, and of whichI shall hereafter have so much to say.tAht atm Dy irdeetruortn  wtoa sP raerlies,a sI eled afrrnoemd  tthhee  daugrnegeeaobnl,e  annedwstVhiantc ehne nheas df oorn  ah ipsr ipsaorno,l ew itthh e pcearsmtlies saionnd  tpo asrke eo fhis
friends. How painful was it to me not to be ableinstantly to fly to him! But I was detained two orthree days at Madam Dupin's by indispensablebusiness. After ages of impatience, I flew to thearms of my friend. He was not alone: D' Alembertand the treasurer of the Sainte Chapelle were withhim. As I entered I saw nobody but himself, I madebut one step, one cry; I riveted my face to his: Ipressed him in my arms, without speaking to him,except by tears and sighs: I stifled him with myaffection and joy. The first thing he did, afterquitting my arms, was to turn himself towards theecclesiastic, and say: "You see, sir, how much Iam beloved by my friends." My emotion was sogreat, that it was then impossible for me to reflectupon this manner of turning it to advantage; but Ihave since thought that, had I been in the place ofDiderot, the idea he manifested would not havebeen the first that would have occurred to me.I found him much affected by his imprisonment.The dungeon had made a terrible impression uponhis mind, and, although he was very agreeablysituated in the castle, and at liberty to, walk wherehe pleased in the park, which was not inclosedeven by a wall, he wanted the society of his friendsto prevent him from yielding to melancholy. As Iwas the person most concerned for his sufferings,I imagined I should also be the friend, the sight ofwhom would give him consolation; on whichaccount, notwithstanding very pressingoccupations, I went every two days at farthest,either alone, or accompanied by his wife, to passthe afternoon with him.
The heat of the summer was this year (1749)excessive. Vincennes is two leagues from Paris.The state of my finances not permitting me to payfor hackney coaches, at two o'clock in theafternoon, I went on foot, when alone, and walkedas fast as possible, that I might arrive the sooner.The trees by the side of the road, always lopped,according to the custom of the country, affordedbut little shade, and exhausted by fatigue, Ifrequently threw myself on the ground, beingunable to proceed any further. I thought a book inmy hand might make me moderate my pace. Oneday I took the Mercure de France, and as I walkedand read, I came to the following questionproposed by the academy of Dijon, for thepremium of the ensuing year, 'Has the progress ofsciences and arts contributed to corrupt or purifymorals?'The moment I had read this, I seemed to beholdanother world, and became a different man.Although I have a lively remembrance of theimpression it made upon me, the detail hasescaped my mind, since I communicated it to M.de Malesherbes in one of my four letters to him.This is one of the singularities of my memory whichmerits to be remarked. It serves me in proportionto my dependence upon it; the moment I havecommitted to paper that with which it was charged,it forsakes me, and I have no sooner written athing than I had forgotten it entirely. This singularityis the same with respect to music. Before I learnedthe use of notes I knew a great number of songs;the moment I had made a sufficient progress to
sing an air set to music, I could not recollect anyone of them; and, at present, I much doubtwhether I should be able entirely to go through oneof those of which I was the most fond. All Idistinctly recollect upon this occasion is, that on myarrival at Vincennes, I was in an agitation whichapproached a delirium. Diderot perceived it; I toldhim the cause, and read to him the prosopopoeiaof Fabricius, written with a pencil under a tree. Heencouraged me to pursue my ideas, and tobecome a competitor for the premium. I did so,and from that moment I was ruined.tAhlle t ihnee rvietsatb loef  emffye cmt isoff otrhtiusn emso dmuerinnt go fm eyr rliofre. wereMy sentiments became elevated with the mostinconceivable rapidity to the level of my ideas. Allmy little passions were stifled by the enthusiasm oftruth, liberty, and virtue; and, what is mostastonishing, this effervescence continued in mymind upwards of five years, to as great a degreeperhaps as it has ever done in that of any otherman. I composed the discourse in a very singularmanner, and in that style which I have alwaysfollowed in my other works. I dedicated to it thehours of the night in which sleep deserted me, Imeditated in my bed with my eyes closed, and inmy mind turned over and over again my periodswith incredible labor and care; the moment theywere finished to my satisfaction, I deposited themin my memory, until I had an opportunity ofcommitting them to paper; but the time of risingand putting on my clothes made me lose
everything, and when I took up my pen Irecollected but little of what I had composed. Imade Madam le Vasseur my secretary; I hadlodged her with her daughter, and husband, nearerto myself; and she, to save me the expense of aservant, came every morning to make my fire, andto do such other little things as were necessary. Assoon as she arrived I dictated to her while in bedwhat I had composed in the night, and this method,which for a long time I observed, preserved memany things I should otherwise have forgotten.tAos  Dsiodoenr oat.s  Hthe e wdaiss csoautrissfei ewd awsi tfhin tishhe epdr, oId suhctoiowne,d itand pointed out some corrections he thoughtnecessary to be made.However, this composition, full of force and fire,absolutely wants logic and order; of all the works Iever wrote, this is the weakest in reasoning, andthe most devoid of number and harmony. Withwhatever talent a man may be born, the art ofwriting is not easily learned.I sent off this piece without mentioning it toanybody, except, I think, to Grimm, with whom,after his going to live with the Comte de Vriese, Ibegan to be upon the most intimate footing. Hisharpsichord served as a rendezvous, and I passedwith him at it all the moments I had to spare, insinging Italian airs, and barcaroles; sometimeswithout intermission, from morning till night, orrather from night until morning; and when I was notto be found at Madam Dupin's, everybody
concluded I was with Grimm at his apartment, thepublic walk, or theatre. I left off going to theComedie Italienne, of which I was free, to go withhim, and pay, to the Comedie Francoise, of whichhe was passionately fond. In short, so powerful anattraction connected me with this young man, and Ibecame so inseparable from him, that the pooraunt herself was rather neglected, that is, I sawher less frequently; for in no moment of my life hasmy attachment to her been diminished.This impossibility of dividing, in favor of myinclinations, the little time I had to myself, renewedmore strongly than ever the desire I had longentertained of having but one home for Theresaand myself; but the embarrassment of hernumerous family, and especially the want of moneyto purchase furniture, had hitherto withheld mefrom accomplishing it. An opportunity to endeavorat it presented itself, and of this I took advantage.M. de Francueil and Madam Dupin, clearlyperceiving that eight or nine hundred livres a yearwere unequal to my wants, increased of their ownaccord, my salary to fifty guineas; and MadamDupin, having heard I wished to furnish myselflodgings, assisted me with some articles for thatpurpose. With this furniture and that Theresaalready had, we made one common stock, and,having an apartment in the Hotel de Languedoc,Rue de Grevelle St, Honor, kept by very honestpeople, we arranged ourselves in the best mannerwe could, and lived there peaceably and agreeablyduring seven years, at the end of which I removedto go and live at the Hermitage.
Theresa's father was a good old man, very mild inhis disposition, and much afraid of his wife; for thisreason he had given her the surname of LieutenantCriminal, which Grimm, jocosely, afterwardstransferred to the daughter. Madam le Vasseur didnot want sense, that is address; and pretended tothe politeness and airs of the first circles; but shehad a mysterious wheedling, which to me wasinsupportable, gave bad advice to her daughter,endeavored to make her dissemble with me, andseparately, cajoled my friends at my expense, andthat of each other; excepting these circumstances;she was a tolerably good mother, because shefound her account in being so, and concealed thefaults of her daughter to turn them to her ownadvantage. This woman, who had so much of mycare and attention, to whom I made so many littlepresents, and by whom I had it extremely at heartto make myself beloved, was, from theimpossibility of my succeeding in this wish, the onlycause of the uneasiness I suffered in my littleestablishment. Except the effects of this cause Ienjoyed, during these six or seven, years, the mostperfect domestic happiness of which humanweakness is capable. The heart of my Theresawas that of an angel; our attachment increasedwith our intimacy, and we were more and moredaily convinced how much we were made for eachother. Could our pleasures be described, theirsimplicity would cause laughter. Our walks, tete-a-tete, on the outside of the city, where Imagnificently spent eight or ten sous in eachguinguette.—[Ale-house]—Our little suppers at my
window, seated opposite to each other upon twolittle chairs, placed upon a trunk, which filled up thespare of the embrasure. In this situation thewindow served us as a table, we respired the freshair, enjoyed the prospect of the environs and thepeople who passed; and, although upon the fourthstory, looked down into the street as we ate.Who can describe, and how few can feel, thecharms of these repasts, consisting of a quarternloaf, a few cherries, a morsel of cheese, and half-a-pint of wine which we drank between us?Friendship, confidence, intimacy, sweetness ofdisposition, how delicious are your reasonings! Wesometimes remained in this situation until midnight,and never thought of the hour, unless informed ofit by the old lady. But let us quit these details,which are either insipid or laughable; I have alwayssaid and felt that real enjoyment was not to bedescribed.Much about the same time I indulged in one not sodelicate, and the last of the kind with which I haveto reproach myself. I have observed that theminister Klupssel was an amiable man; myconnections with him were almost as intimate asthose I had with Grimm, and in the end became asfamiliar; Grimm and he sometimes eat at myapartment. These repasts, a little more thansimple, were enlivened by the witty andextravagant wantonness of expression of Klupssel,and the diverting Germanicisms of Grimm, whowas not yet become a purist.