From This World to the Next
Henry Fielding

Part 2 out of 3

would have broke it."


Julian passes into a fop.

"My scene of action was Rome. I was born into a noble family,
and heir to a considerable fortune. On which my parents,
thinking I should not want any talents, resolved very kindly and
wisely to throw none away upon me. The only instructors of my
youth were therefore one Saltator, who taught me several motions
for my legs; and one Ficus, whose business was to show me the
cleanest way (as he called it) of cutting off a man's head. When
I was well accomplished in these sciences, I thought nothing more
wanting, but what was to be furnished by the several mechanics in
Rome, who dealt in dressing and adorning the pope. Being
therefore well equipped with all which their art could produce, I
became at the age of twenty a complete finished beau. And now
during forty-five years I dressed, I sang and danced, and danced
and sang, I bowed and ogled, and ogled and bowed, till, in the
sixty-sixth year of my age, I got cold by overheating myself with
dancing, and died.

"Minos told me, as I was unworthy of Elysium, so I was too
insignificant to be damned, and therefore bade me walk back


Adventures in the person of a monk.

"Fortune now placed me in the character of a younger brother of a
good house, and I was in my youth sent to school; but learning
was now at so low an ebb, that my master himself could hardly
construe a sentence of Latin; and as for Greek, he could not read
it. With very little knowledge therefore, and with altogether as
little virtue, I was set apart for the church, and at the proper
age commenced monk. I lived many years retired in a cell, a life
very agreeable to the gloominess of my temper, which was much
inclined to despise the world; that is, in other words, to envy
all men of superior fortune and qualifications, and in general to
hate and detest the human species. Notwithstanding which, I
could, on proper occasions, submit to flatter the vilest fellow
in nature, which I did one Stephen, an eunuch, a favorite of the
emperor Justinian II, one of the wickedest wretches whom perhaps
the world ever saw. I not only wrote a panegyric on this man,
but I commended him as a pattern to all others in my sermons; by
which means I so greatly ingratiated myself with him, that he
introduced me to the emperor's presence, where I prevailed so far
by the same methods, that I was shortly taken from my cell, and
preferred to a place at court. I was no sooner established in
the favor of Justinian than I prompted him to all kind of
cruelty. As I was of a sour morose temper, and hated nothing
more than the symptoms of happiness appearing in any countenance,
I represented all kind of diversion and amusement as the most
horrid sins. I inveighed against cheerfulness as levity, and
encouraged nothing but gravity, or, to confess the truth to you,
hypocrisy. The unhappy emperor followed my advice, and incensed
the people by such repeated barbarities, that he was at last
deposed by them and banished.

"I now retired again to my cell (for historians mistake in saying
I was put to death), where I remained safe from the danger of the
irritated mob, whom I cursed in my own heart as much as they
could curse me.

"Justinian, after three years of his banishment, returned to
Constantinople in disguise, and paid me a visit. I at first
affected not to know him, and without the least compunction of
gratitude for his former favors, intended not to receive him,
till a thought immediately suggested itself to me how I might
convert him to my advantage, I pretended to recollect him; and,
blaming the shortness of my memory and badness of my eyes, I
sprung forward and embraced him with great affection.

"My design was to betray him to Apsimar, who, I doubted not,
would generously reward such a service. I therefore very
earnestly requested him to spend the whole evening with me; to
which he consented. I formed an excuse for leaving him a few
minutes, and ran away to the palace to acquaint Apsimar with the
guest whom I had then in my cell. He presently ordered a guard
to go with me and seize him; but, whether the length of my stay
gave him any suspicion, or whether he changed his purpose after
my departure, I know not; for at my return we found he had given
us the slip; nor could we with the most diligent search discover

"Apsimar, being disappointed of his prey, now raged at me; at
first denouncing the most dreadful vengeance if I did not produce
the deposed monarch. However, by soothing his passion when at
the highest, and afterwards by canting and flattery, I made a
shift to escape his fury.

"When Justinian was restored I very confidently went to wish him
joy of his restoration: but it seems he had unfortunately heard
of my treachery, so that he at first received me coldly, and
afterwards upbraided me openly with what I had done. I
persevered stoutly in denying it, as I knew no evidence could be
produced against me; till, finding him irreconcilable, I betook
myself to reviling him in my sermons, and on every other
occasion, as an enemy to the church and good men, and as an
infidel, a heretic, an atheist, a heathen, and an Arian. This I
did immediately on his return, and before he gave those flagrant
proofs of his inhumanity which afterwards sufficiently verified
all I had said.

"Luckily I died on the same day when a great number of those
forces which Justinian had sent against the Thracian Bosphorus,
and who had executed such unheard-of cruelties there, perished.
As every one of these was cast into the bottomless pit, Minos was
so tired with condemnation, that he proclaimed that all present
who had not been concerned in that bloody expedition might, if
they pleased, return to the other world. I took him at his word,
and, presently turning about, began my journey."


Julian passes into the character of a fiddler.

"Rome was now the seat of my nativity. My mother was an African,
a woman of no great beauty, but a favorite, I suppose from her
piety, of pope Gregory II. Who was my father I know not, but I
believe no very considerable man; for after the death of that
pope, who was, out of his religion, a very good friend of my
mother, we fell into great distress, and were at length reduced
to walk the streets of Rome; nor had either of us any other
support but a fiddle, on which I played with pretty tolerable
skill; for, as my genius turned naturally to music, so I had been
in my youth very early instructed at the expense of the good
pope. This afforded us but a very poor livelihood: for, though
I had often a numerous crowd of hearers, few ever thought
themselves obliged to contribute the smallest pittance to the
poor starving wretch who had given them pleasure. Nay, some of
the graver sort, after an hour's attention to my music, have gone
away shaking their heads, and crying it was a shame such
vagabonds were suffered to stay in the city.

"To say the truth, I am confident the fiddle would not have kept
us alive had we entirely depended on the generosity of my
hearers. My mother therefore was forced to use her own industry;
and while I was soothing the ears of the crowd, she applied to
their pockets, and that generally with such good success that we
now began to enjoy a very comfortable subsistence; and indeed,
had we had the least prudence or forecast, might have soon
acquired enough to enable us to quit this dangerous and
dishonorable way of life: but I know not what is the reason that
money got with labor and safety is constantly preserved, while
the produce of danger and ease is commonly spent as easily, and
often as wickedly, as acquired. Thus we proportioned our
expenses rather by what we had than what we wanted or even
desired; and on obtaining a considerable booty we have even
forced nature into the most profligate extravagance, and have
been wicked without inclination.

"We carried on this method of thievery for a long time without
detection: but, as Fortune generally leaves persons of
extraordinary ingenuity in the lurch at last, so did she us; for
my poor mother was taken in the fact, and, together with myself,
as her accomplice, hurried before a magistrate.

"Luckily for us, the person who was to be our judge was the
greatest lover of music in the whole city, and had often sent for
me to play to him, for which, as he had given me very small
rewards, perhaps his gratitude now moved him: but, whatever was
his motive, he browbeat the informers against us, and treated
their evidence with so little favor, that their mouths were soon
stopped, and we dismissed with honor; acquitted, I should rather
have it said, for we were not suffered to depart till I had given
the judge several tunes on the fiddle.

"We escaped the better on this occasion because the person robbed
happened to be a poet; which gave the judge, who was a facetious
person, many opportunities of jesting. He said poets and
musicians should agree together, seeing they had married sisters;
which he afterwards explained to be the sister arts. And when
the piece of gold was produced he burst into a loud laugh, and
said it must be the golden age, when poets had gold in their
pockets, and in that age there could be no robbers. He made many
more jests of the same kind, but a small taste will suffice.

"It is a common saying that men should take warning by any signal
delivery; but I cannot approve the justice of it; for to me it
seems that the acquittal of a guilty person should rather inspire
him with confidence, and it had this effect on us: for we now
laughed at the law, and despised its punishments, which we found
were to be escaped even against positive evidence. We imagined
the late example was rather a warning to the accuser than the
criminal, and accordingly proceeded in the most impudent and
flagitious manner.

"Among other robberies, one night, being admitted by the servants
into the house of an opulent priest, my mother took an
opportunity, whilst the servants were dancing to my tunes, to
convey away a silver vessel; this she did without the least
sacrilegious intention; but it seems the cup, which was a pretty
large one, was dedicated to holy uses, and only borrowed by the
priest on an entertainment which he made for some of his
brethren. We were immediately pursued upon this robbery (the cup
being taken in our possession), and carried before the same
magistrate, who had before behaved to us with so much gentleness:
but his countenance was now changed, for the moment the priest
appeared against us, his severity was as remarkable as his candor
had been before, and we were both ordered to be stripped and
whipped through the streets.

"This sentence was executed with great severity, the priest
himself attending and encouraging the executioner, which he said
he did for the good of our souls; but, though our backs were both
flayed, neither my mother's torments nor my own afflicted me so
much as the indignity offered to my poor fiddle, which was
carried in triumph before me, and treated with a contempt by the
multitude, intimating a great scorn for the science I had the
honor to profess; which, as it is one of the noblest inventions
of men, and as I had been always in the highest degree proud of
my excellence in it, I suffered so much from the ill-treatment my
fiddle received, that I would have given all my remainder of skin
to have preserved it from this affront.

"My mother survived the whipping a very short time; and I was now
reduced to great distress and misery, till a young Roman of
considerable rank took a fancy to me, received me into his
family, and conversed with me in the utmost familiarity. He had
a violent attachment to music, and would learn to play on the
fiddle; but, through want of genius for the science, he never
made any considerable progress. However, I flattered his
performance, and he grew extravagantly fond of me for so doing.
Had I continued this behavior I might possibly have reaped the
greatest advantages from his kindness; but I had raised his own
opinion of his musical abilities so high, that he now began to
prefer his skill to mine, a presumption I could not bear. One
day as we were playing in concert he was horribly out; nor was it
possible, as he destroyed the harmony, to avoid telling him of
it. Instead of receiving my correction, he answered it was my
blunder and not his, and that I had mistaken the key. Such an
affront from my own scholar was beyond human patience; I flew
into a violent passion, I flung down my instrument in a rage, and
swore I was not to be taught music at my age. He answered, with
as much warmth, nor was he to be instructed by a strolling
fiddler. The dispute ended in a challenge to play a prize before
judges. This wager was determined in my favor; but the purchase
was a dear one, for I lost my friend by it, who now, twitting me
with all his kindness, with my former ignominious punishment, and
the destitute condition from which I had been by his bounty
relieved, discarded me for ever.

"While I lived with this gentleman I became known, among others,
to Sabina, a lady of distinction, and who valued herself much on
her taste for music. She no sooner heard of my being discarded
than she took me into her house, where I was extremely well
clothed and fed. Notwithstanding which, my situation was far
from agreeable; for I was obliged to submit to her constant
reprehensions before company, which gave me the greater
uneasiness because they were always wrong; nor am I certain that
she did not by these provocations contribute to my death: for,
as experience had taught me to give up my resentment to my bread,
so my passions, for want of outward vent, preyed inwardly on my
vitals, and perhaps occasioned the distemper of which I sickened.

"The lady, who, amidst all the faults she found, was very fond of
me, nay, probably was the fonder of me the more faults she found,
immediately called in the aid of three celebrated physicians.
The doctors (being well fee'd) made me seven visits in three
days, and two of them were at the door to visit me the eighth
time, when, being acquainted that I was just dead, they shook
their heads and departed.

"When I came to Minos he asked me with a smile whether I had
brought my fiddle with me; and, receiving an answer in the
negative, he bid me get about my business, saying it was well for
me that the devil was no lover of music."


The history of the wise man.

"I now returned to Rome, but in a very different character.
Fortune had now allotted me a serious part to act. I had even in
my infancy a grave disposition, nor was I ever seen to smile,
which infused an opinion into all about me that I was a child of
great solidity; some foreseeing that I should be a judge, and
others a bishop. At two years old my father presented me with a
rattle, which I broke to pieces with great indignation. This the
good parent, being extremely wise, regarded as an eminent symptom
of my wisdom, and cried out in a kind of ecstasy, 'Well said,
boy! I warrant thou makest a great man.'

"At school I could never be persuaded to play with my mates; not
that I spent my hours in learning, to which I was not in the
least addicted, nor indeed had I any talents for it. However,
the solemnity of my carriage won so much on my master, who was a
most sagacious person, that I was his chief favorite, and my
example on all occasions was recommended to the other boys, which
filled them with envy, and me with pleasure; but, though they
envied me, they all paid me that involuntary respect which it is
the curse attending this passion to bear towards its object.

"I had now obtained universally the character of a very wise
young man, which I did not altogether purchase without pains; for
the restraint I laid on myself in abstaining from the several
diversions adapted to my years cost me many a yearning; but the
pride which I inwardly enjoyed in the fancied dignity of my
character made me some amends.

"Thus I passed on, without anything very memorable happening to
me, till I arrived at the age of twenty-three, when unfortunately
I fell acquainted with a young Neapolitan lady whose name was
Ariadne. Her beauty was so exquisite that her first sight made a
violent impression on me; this was again improved by her
behavior, which was most genteel, easy, and affable: lastly, her
conversation completed the conquest. In this she discovered a
strong and lively understanding, with the sweetest and most
benign temper. This lovely creature was about eighteen when I
first unhappily beheld her at Rome, on a visit to a relation with
whom I had great intimacy. As our interviews at first were
extremely frequent, my passions were captivated before I
apprehended the least danger; and the sooner probably, as the
young lady herself, to whom I consulted every method of
recommendation, was not displeased with my being her admirer.

"Ariadne, having spent three months at Rome, now returned to
Naples, bearing my heart with her: on the other hand, I had all
the assurances consistent with the constraint under which the
most perfect modesty lays a young woman, that her own heart was
not entirely unaffected. I soon found her absence gave me an
uneasiness not easy to be borne or to remove. I now first
applied to diversions (of the graver sort, particularly to
music), but in vain; they rather raised my desires and heightened
my anguish. My passion at length grew so violent, that I began
to think of satisfying it. As the first step to this, I
cautiously inquired into the circumstances of Ariadne's parents,
with which I was hitherto unacquainted: though, indeed, I did
not apprehend they were extremely great, notwithstanding the
handsome appearance of their daughter at Rome. Upon examination,
her fortune exceeded my expectation, but was not sufficient to
justify my marriage with her, in the opinion of the wise and
prudent. I had now a violent struggle between wisdom and
happiness, in which, after several grievous pangs, wisdom got the
better. I could by no means prevail with myself to sacrifice
that character of profound wisdom, which I had with such uniform
conduct obtained, and with such caution hitherto preserved. I
therefore resolved to conquer my affection, whatever it cost me;
and indeed it did not cost me a little.

"While I was engaged in this conflict (for it lasted a long time)
Ariadne returned to Rome: her presence was a terrible enemy to
my wisdom, which even in her absence had with great difficulty
stood its ground. It seems (as she hath since told me in Elysium
with much merriment) I had made the same impressions on her which
she had made on me. Indeed, I believe my wisdom would have been
totally subdued by this surprise, had it not cunningly suggested
to me a method of satisfying my passion without doing any injury
to my reputation. This was by engaging her privately as a
mistress, which was at that time reputable enough at Rome,
provided the affair was managed with an air of slyness and
gravity, though the secret was known to the whole city.

"I immediately set about this project, and employed every art and
engine to effect it. I had particularly bribed her priest, and
an old female acquaintance and distant relation of hers, into my
interest: but all was in vain; her virtue opposed the passion in
her breast as strongly as wisdom had opposed it in mine. She
received my proposals with the utmost disdain, and presently
refused to see or hear from me any more.

"She returned again to Naples, and left me in a worse condition
than before. My days I now passed with the most irksome
uneasiness, and my nights were restless and sleepless. The story
of our amour was now pretty public, and the ladies talked of our
match as certain; but my acquaintance denied their assent,
saying, 'No, no, he is too wise to marry so imprudently.' This
their opinion gave me, I own, very great pleasure; but, to say
the truth, scarce compensated the pangs I suffered to preserve

"One day, while I was balancing with myself, and had almost
resolved to enjoy my happiness at the price of my character, a
friend brought me word that Ariadne was married. This news
struck me to the soul; and though I had resolution enough to
maintain my gravity before him (for which I suffered not a little
the more), the moment I was alone I threw myself into the most
violent fit of despair, and would willingly have parted with
wisdom, fortune, and everything else, to have retrieved her; but
that was impossible, and I had now nothing but time to hope a
cure from. This was very tedious in performing it, and the
longer as Ariadne had married a Roman cavalier, was now become my
near neighbor, and I had the mortification of seeing her make the
best of wives, and of having the happiness which I had lost,
every day before my eyes.

"If I suffered so much on account of my wisdom in having refused
Ariadne, I was not much more obliged to it for procuring me a
rich widow, who was recommended to me by an old friend as a very
prudent match; and, indeed, so it was, her fortune being superior
to mine in the same proportion as that of Ariadne had been
inferior. I therefore embraced this proposal, and my character
of wisdom soon pleaded so effectually for me with the widow, who
was herself a woman of great gravity and discretion, that I soon
succeeded; and as soon as decency would permit (of which this
lady was the strictest observer) we were married, being the
second day of the second week of the second year after her
husband's death; for she said she thought some period of time
above the year had a great air of decorum.

"But, prudent as this lady was, she made me miserable. Her
person was far from being lovely, but her temper was intolerable.

During fifteen years' habitation, I never passed a single day
without heartily cursing her, and the hour in which we came
together. The only comfort I received, in the midst of the
highest torments, was from continually hearing the prudence of my
match commended by all my acquaintance.

"Thus you see, in the affairs of love, I bought the reputation of
wisdom pretty dear. In other matters I had it somewhat cheaper;
not that hypocrisy, which was the price I gave for it, gives one
no pain. I have refused myself a thousand little amusements with
a feigned contempt, while I have really had an inclination to
them. I have often almost choked myself to restrain from
laughing at a jest, and (which was perhaps to myself the least
hurtful of all my hypocrisy) have heartily enjoyed a book in my
closet which I have spoken with detestation of in public. To sum
up my history in short, as I had few adventures worth
remembering, my whole life was one constant lie; and happy would
it have been for me if I could as thoroughly have imposed on
myself as I did on others: for reflection, at every turn, would
often remind me I was not so wise as people thought me; and this
considerably embittered the pleasure I received from the public
commendation of my wisdom. This self-admonition, like a memento
mori or mortalis es, must be, in my opinion, a very dangerous
enemy to flattery: indeed, a weight sufficient to counterbalance
all the false praise of the world. But whether it be that the
generality of wise men do not reflect at all, or whether they
have, from a constant imposition on others, contracted such a
habit of deceit as to deceive themselves, I will not determine:
it is, I believe, most certain that very few wise men know
themselves what fools they are, more than the world doth. Good
gods! could one but see what passes in the closet of wisdom! how
ridiculous a sight must it be to behold the wise man, who
despises gratifying his palate, devouring custard; the sober wise
man with his dram-bottle; or, the anti-carnalist (if I may be
allowed the expression) chuckling over a b--dy book or picture,
and perhaps caressing his house-maid!

"But to conclude a character in which I apprehend I made as
absurd a figure as in any in which I trod the stage of earth, my
wisdom at last but an end to itself, that is, occasioned my

"A relation of mine in the eastern part of the empire
disinherited his son, and left me his heir. This happened in the
depth of winter, when I was in my grand climacteric, and had just
recovered of a dangerous disease. As I had all the reason
imaginable to apprehend the family of the deceased would conspire
against me, and embezzle as much as they could, I advised with a
grave and wise friend what was proper to be done; whether I
should go myself, or employ a notary on this occasion, and defer
my journey to the spring. To say the truth, I was most inclined
to the latter; the rather as my circumstances were extremely
flourishing, as I was advanced in years, and had not one person
in the world to whom I should with pleasure bequeath any fortune
at my death.

"My friend told me he thought my question admitted of no manner
of doubt or debate; that common prudence absolutely required my
immediate departure; adding, that if the same good luck had
happened to him he would have been already on his journey; 'for,'
continued he, 'a man who knows the world so well as you, would be
inexcusable to give persons such an opportunity of cheating you,
who, you must be assured, will be too well inclined; and as for
employing a notary, remember that excellent maxim, Ne facias per
alium, quod fieri potest per te. I own the badness of the season
and your very late recovery are unlucky circumstances; but a wise
man must get over difficulties when necessity obliges him to
encounter them.'

"I was immediately determined by this opinion. The duty of a
wise man made an irresistible impression, and I took the
necessity for granted without examination. I accordingly set
forward the next morning; very tempestuous weather soon overtook
me; I had not traveled three days before I relapsed into my
fever, and died.

"I was now as cruelly disappointed by Minos as I had formerly
been happily so. I advanced with the utmost confidence to the
gate, and really imagined I should have been admitted by the
wisdom of my countenance, even without any questions asked: but
this was not my case; and, to my great surprise, Minos, with a
menacing voice, called out to me, 'You Mr. there, with the grave
countenance, whither so fast, pray? Will you please, before you
move any farther forwards, to give me a short account of your
transactions below?' I then began, and recounted to him my whole
history, still expecting at the end of every period that the gate
would be ordered to fly open; but I was obliged to go quite
through with it, and then Minos after some little consideration
spoke to me as follows:--

" 'You, Mr. Wiseman, stand forth if you please. Believe me, sir,
a trip back again to earth will be one of the wisest steps you
ever took, and really more to the honor of your wisdom than any
you have hitherto taken. On the other side, nothing could be
simpler than to endeavor at Elysium; for who but a fool would
carry a commodity, which is of such infinite value in one place,
into another where it is of none? But, without attempting to
offend your gravity with a jest, you must return to the place
from whence you came, for Elysium was never designed for those
who are too wise to be happy.'

"This sentence confounded me greatly, especially as it seemed to
threaten me with carrying my wisdom back again to earth. I told
the judge, though he would not admit me at the gate, I hoped I
had committed no crime while alive which merited my being wise
any longer. He answered me, I must take my chance as to that
matter, and immediately we turned our backs to each other."


Julian enters into the person of a king.

"I was now born at Oviedo in Spain. My father's name was
Veremond, and I was adopted by my uncle king Alphonso the chaste.

I don't recollect in all the pilgrimages I have made on earth
that I ever passed a more miserable infancy than now; being under
the utmost confinement and restraint, and surrounded with
physicians who were ever dosing me, and tutors who were
continually plaguing me with their instructions; even those hours
of leisure which my inclination would have spent in play were
allotted to tedious pomp and ceremony, which, at an age wherein I
had no ambition to enjoy the servility of courtiers, enslaved me
more than it could the meanest of them. However, as I advanced
towards manhood, my condition made me some amends; for the most
beautiful women of their own accord threw out lures for me, and I
had the happiness, which no man in an inferior degree can arrive
at, of enjoying the most delicious creatures, without the
previous and tiresome ceremonies of courtship, unless with the
most simple, young and unexperienced. As for the court ladies,
they regarded me rather as men do the most lovely of the other
sex; and, though they outwardly retained some appearance of
modesty, they in reality rather considered themselves as
receiving than conferring favors.

"Another happiness I enjoyed was in conferring favors of another
sort; for, as I was extremely good-natured and generous, so I had
daily opportunities of satisfying those passions. Besides my own
princely allowance, which was very bountiful, and with which I
did many liberal and good actions, I recommended numberless
persons of merit in distress to the king's notice, most of whom
were provided for. Indeed, had I sufficiently known my blessed
situation at this time, I should have grieved at nothing more
than the death of Alphonso, by which the burden of government
devolved upon me; but, so blindly fond is ambition, and such
charms doth it fancy in the power and pomp and splendor of a
crown, that, though I vehemently loved that king, and had the
greatest obligations to him, the thoughts of succeeding him
obliterated my regret at his loss, and the wish for my
approaching coronation dried my eyes at his funeral.

"But my fondness for the name of king did not make me forgetful
of those over whom I was to reign. I considered them in the
light in which a tender father regards his children, as persons
whose wellbeing God had intrusted to my care; and again, in that
in which a prudent lord respects his tenants, as those on whose
wealth and grandeur he is to build his own. Both these
considerations inspired me with the greatest care for their
welfare, and their good was my first and ultimate concern.

"The usurper Mauregas had impiously obliged himself and his
successors to pay to the Moors every year an infamous tribute of
an hundred young virgins: from this cruel and scandalous
imposition I resolved to relieve my country. Accordingly, when
their emperor Abderames the second had the audaciousness to make
this demand of me, instead of complying with it I ordered his
ambassadors to be driven away with all imaginable ignominy, and
would have condemned them to death, could I have done it without
a manifest violation of the law of nations.

"I now raised an immense army; at the levying of which I made a
speech from my throne, acquainting my subjects with the necessity
and the reasons of the war in which I was going to engage: which
I convinced them I had undertaken for their ease and safety, and
not for satisfying any wanton ambition, or revenging any private
pique of my own. They all declared unanimously that they would
venture their lives and everything dear to them in my defense,
and in the support of the honor of my crown. Accordingly, my
levies were instantly complete, sufficient numbers being only
left to till the land; churchmen, even bishops themselves,
enlisting themselves under my banners.

"The armies met at Alvelda, where we were discomfited with
immense loss, and nothing but the lucky intervention of the night
could have saved our whole army.

"I retreated to the summit of a hill, where I abandoned myself to
the highest agonies of grief, not so much for the danger in which
I then saw my crown, as for the loss of those miserable wretches
who had exposed their lives at my command. I could not then
avoid this reflection--that, if the deaths of these people in a
war undertaken absolutely for their protection could give me such
concern, what horror must I have felt if, like princes greedy of
dominion, I had sacrificed such numbers to my own pride, vanity,
and ridiculous lust of power.

"After having vented my sorrows for some time in this manner, I
began to consider by what means I might possibly endeavor to
retrieve this misfortune; when, reflecting on the great number of
priests I had in my army, and on the prodigious force of
superstition, a thought luckily suggested itself to me, to
counterfeit that St. James had appeared to me in a vision, and
had promised me the victory. While I was ruminating on this the
bishop of Najara came opportunely to me. As I did not intend to
communicate the secret to him, I took another method, and,
instead of answering anything the bishop said to me, I pretended
to talk to St. James, as if he had been really present; till at
length, after having spoke those things which I thought
sufficient, and thanked the saint aloud for his promise of the
victory, I turned about to the bishop, and, embracing him with a
pleased countenance, protested I did not know he was present; and
then, informing him of this supposed vision, I asked him if he
had not himself seen the saint? He answered me he had; and
afterwards proceeded to assure me that this appearance of St.
James was entirely owing to his prayers; for that he was his
tutelar saint. He added he had a vision of him a few hours
before, when he promised him a victory over the infidels, and
acquainted him at the same time of the vacancy of the see of
Toledo. Now, this news being really true, though it had happened
so lately that I had not heard of it (nor, indeed, was it well
possible I should, considering the great distance of the way),
when I was afterwards acquainted with it, a little staggered me,
though far from being superstitious; till being informed that the
bishop had lost three horses on a late expedition, I was

"The next morning, the bishop, at my desire, mounted the rostrum,
and trumpeted forth this vision so effectually, which he said he
had that evening twice seen with his own eyes, that a spirit
began to be infused through the whole army which rendered them
superior to almost any force: the bishop insisted that the least
doubt of success was giving the lie to the saint, and a damnable
sin, and he took upon him in his name to promise them victory.

"The army being drawn out, I soon experienced the effect of
enthusiasm, for, having contrived another stratagem[9] to
strengthen what the bishop had said, the soldiers fought more
like furies than men. My stratagem was this: I had about me a
dexterous fellow, who had been formerly a pimp in my amours. Him
I dressed up in a strange antic dress, with a pair of white
colors in his right hand, a red cross in his left, and having
disguised him so that no one could know him, I placed him on a
white horse, and ordered him to ride to the head of the army, and
cry out, 'Follow St. James!' These words were reiterated by all
the troops, who attacked the enemy with such intrepidity, that,
notwithstanding our inferiority of numbers, we soon obtained a
complete victory.

[9] This silly story is told as a solemn truth (i.e., that St.
James really appeared in the manner this fellow is described) by
Mariana, 1.7, Section 78.

"The bishop was come up by the time that the enemy was routed,
and, acquainting us that he had met St. James by the way, and
that he had informed him of what had passed, he added that he had
express orders from the saint to receive a considerable sum for
his use, and that a certain tax on corn and wine should be
settled on his church for ever; and lastly, that a horseman's pay
should be allowed for the future to the saint himself, of which
he and his successors were appointed receivers. The army
received these demands with such acclamations that I was obliged
to comply with them, as I could by no means discover the
imposition, nor do I believe I should have gained any credit if I

"I had now done with the saint, but the bishop had not; for about
a week afterwards lights were seen in a wood near where the
battle was fought; and in a short time afterwards they discovered
his tomb at the same place. Upon this the bishop made me a
visit, and forced me to go thither, to build a church to him, and
largely endow it. In a word, the good man so plagued me with
miracle after miracle, that I was forced to make interest with
the pope to convey him to Toledo, to get rid of him.

"But to proceed to other matters.--There was an inferior officer,
who had behaved very bravely in the battle against the Moors, and
had received several wounds, who solicited me for preferment;
which I was about to confer on him, when one of my ministers came
to me in a fright, and told me that he had promised the post I
designed for this man to the son of count Alderedo; and that the
count, who was a powerful person, would be greatly disobliged at
the refusal, as he had sent for his son from school to take
possession of it. I was obliged to agree with my minister's
reasons, and at the same time recommended the wounded soldier to
be preferred by him, which he faithfully promised he would; but I
met the poor wretch since in Elysium, who informed me he was
afterwards starved to death.

"None who hath not been himself a prince, nor any prince till his
death, can conceive the impositions daily put on them by their
favorites and ministers; so that princes are often blamed for the
faults of others. The count of Saldagne had been long confined
in prison, when his son, D. Bernard del Carpio, who had
performed the greatest actions against the Moors, entreated me,
as a reward for his service, to grant him his father's liberty.
The old man's punishment had been so tedious, and the services of
the young one so singularly eminent, that I was very inclinable
to grant the request; but my ministers strongly opposed it; they
told me my glory demanded revenge for the dishonor offered to my
family; that so positive a demand carried with it rather the air
of menace than entreaty; that the vain detail of his services,
and the recompense due to them, was an injurious reproach; that
to grant what had been so haughtily demanded would argue in the
monarch both weakness and timidity; in a word, that to remit the
punishment inflicted by my predecessors would be to condemn their
judgment. Lastly, one told me in a whisper, 'His whole family
are enemies to your house.' By these means the ministers
prevailed. The young lord took the refusal so ill, that he
retired from court, and abandoned himself to despair, whilst the
old one languished in prison. By which means, as I have since
discovered, I lost the use of two of my best subjects.

"To confess the truth, I had, by means of my ministers, conceived
a very unjust opinion of my whole people, whom I fancied to be
daily conspiring against me, and to entertain the most disloyal
thoughts, when, in reality (as I have known since my death), they
held me in universal respect and esteem. This is a trick, I
believe, too often played with sovereigns, who, by such means,
are prevented from that open intercourse with their subjects
which, as it would greatly endear the person of the prince to the
people, so might it often prove dangerous to a minister who was
consulting his own interest only at the expense of both. I
believe I have now recounted to you the most material passages of
my life; for I assure you there are some incidents in the lives
of kings not extremely worth relating. Everything which passes
in their minds and families is not attended with the splendor
which surrounds their throne--indeed, there are some hours
wherein the naked king and the naked cobbler can scarce be
distinguished from each other.

"Had it not been, however, for my ingratitude to Bernard del
Carpio, I believe this would have been my last pilgrimage on
earth; for, as to the story of St. James, I thought Minos would
have burst his sides at it; but he was so displeased with me on
the other account, that, with a frown, he cried out, 'Get thee
back again, king.' Nor would he suffer me to say another word."


Julian passes into a fool.

"The next visit I made to the world was performed in France,
where I was born in the court of Lewis III, and had afterwards
the honor to be preferred to be fool to the prince, who was
surnamed Charles the Simple. But, in reality, I know not whether
I might so properly be said to have acted the fool in his court
as to have made fools of all others in it. Certain it is, I was
very far from being what is generally understood by that word,
being a most cunning, designing, arch knave. I knew very well
the folly of my master, and of many others, and how to make my
advantage of this knowledge.

"I was as dear to Charles the Simple as the player Paris was to
Domitian, and, like him, bestowed all manner of offices and
honors on whom I pleased. This drew me a great number of
followers among the courtiers, who really mistook me for a fool,
and yet flattered my understanding. There was particularly in
the court a fellow who had neither honor, honesty, sense, wit,
courage, beauty, nor indeed any one good quality, either of mind
or body, to recommend him; but was at the same time, perhaps, as
cunning a monster as ever lived. This gentleman took it into his
head to list under my banner, and pursued me so very assiduously
with flattery, constantly reminding me of my good sense, that I
grew immoderately fond of him; for though flattery is not most
judiciously applied to qualities which the persons flattered
possess, yet as, notwithstanding my being well assured of my own
parts, I passed in the whole court for a fool, this flattery was
a very sweet morsel to me. I therefore got this fellow preferred
to a bishopric, but I lost my flatterer by it; for he never
afterwards said a civil thing to me.

"I never balked my imagination for the grossness of the
reflection on the character of the greatest noble--nay, even the
king himself; of which I will give you a very bold instance. One
day his simple majesty told me he believed I had so much power
that his people looked on me as the king, and himself as my fool.

At this I pretended to be angry, as with an affront. 'Why, how
now?' says the king; 'are you ashamed of being a king?' 'No,
sir,' says I, 'but I am devilishly ashamed of my fool.'

"Herbert, earl of Vermandois, had by my means been restored to
the favor of the Simple (for so I used always to call Charles).
He afterwards prevailed with the king to take the city of Arras
from earl Baldwin, by which means, Herbert, in exchange for this
city, had Peronne restored to him by count Altmar. Baldwin came
to court in order to procure the restoration of his city; but,
either through pride or ignorance, neglected to apply to me. As
I met him at court during his solicitation, I told him he did not
apply the right way; he answered roughly he should not ask a
fool's advice. I replied I did not wonder at his prejudice,
since he had miscarried already by following a fool's advice; but
I told him there were fools who had more interest than that he
had brought with him to court. He answered me surlily he had no
fool with him, for that he traveled alone. 'Ay, my lord,' says
I, 'I often travel alone, and yet they will have it I always
carry a fool with me.' This raised a laugh among the
by-standers, on which he gave me a blow. I immediately
complained of this usage to the Simple, who dismissed the earl
from court with very hard words, instead of granting him the
favor he solicited.

"I give you these rather as a specimen of my interest and
impudence than of my wit--indeed, my jests were commonly more
admired than they ought to be; for perhaps I was not in reality
much more a wit than a fool. But, with the latitude of unbounded
scurrility, it is easy enough to attain the character of wit,
especially in a court, where, as all persons hate and envy one
another heartily, and are at the same time obliged by the
constrained behavior of civility to profess the greatest liking,
so it is, and must be, wonderfully pleasant to them to see the
follies of their acquaintance exposed by a third person.
Besides, the opinion of the court is as uniform as the fashion,
and is always guided by the will of the prince or of the
favorite. I doubt not that Caligula's horse was universally held
in his court to be a good and able consul. In the same manner
was I universally acknowledged to be the wittiest fool in the
world. Every word I said raised laughter, and was held to be a
jest, especially by the ladies, who sometimes laughed before I
had discovered my sentiment, and often repeated that as a jest
which I did not even intend as one.

"I was as severe on the ladies as on the men, and with the same
impunity; but this at last cost me dear: for once having joked
on the beauty of a lady whose name was Adelaide, a favorite of
the Simple's, she pretended to smile and be pleased at my wit
with the rest of the company; but in reality she highly resented
it, and endeavored to undermine me with the king. In which she
so greatly succeeded (for what cannot a favorite woman do with
one who deserves the surname of Simple?) that the king grew every
day more reserved to me, and when I attempted any freedom gave me
such marks of his displeasure, that the courtiers who have all
hawks' eyes at a slight from the sovereign, soon discerned it:
and indeed, had I been blind enough not to have discovered that I
had lost ground in the Simple's favor by his own change in his
carriage towards me, I must have found it, nay even felt it, in
the behavior of the courtiers: for, as my company was two days
before solicited with the utmost eagerness, it was now rejected
with as much scorn. I was now the jest of the ushers and pages;
and an officer of the guards, on whom I was a little jocose, gave
me a box on the ear, bidding me make free with my equals. This
very fellow had been my butt for many years, without daring to
lift his hand against me.

"But though I visibly perceived the alteration in the Simple, I
was utterly unable to make any guess at the occasion. I had not
the least suspicion of Adelaide; for, besides her being a very
good-humored woman, I had often made severe jests on her
reputation, which I had all the reason imaginable to believe had
given her no offense. But I soon perceived that a woman will
bear the most bitter censures on her morals easier than the
smallest reflection on her beauty; for she now declared publicly,
that I ought to be dismissed from court, as the stupidest of
fools, and one in whom there was no diversion; and that she
wondered how any person could have so little taste as to imagine
I had any wit. This speech was echoed through the drawing-room,
and agreed to by all present. Every one now put on an unusual
gravity on their countenance whenever I spoke; and it was as much
out of my power to raise a laugh as formerly it had been for me
to open my mouth without one.

"While my affairs were in this posture I went one day into the
circle without my fool's dress. The Simple, who would still
speak to me, cried out, 'So, fool, what's the matter now?'
'Sir,' answered I, 'fools are like to be so common a commodity at
court, that I am weary of my coat.' 'How dost thou mean?'
answered the Simple; 'what can make them commoner now than
usual?'--'O, sir,' said I, 'there are ladies here make your
majesty a fool every day of their lives.' The Simple took no
notice of my jest, and several present said my bones ought to be
broke for my impudence; but it pleased the queen, who, knowing
Adelaide, whom she hated, to be the cause of my disgrace,
obtained me of the king, and took me into her service; so that I
was henceforth called the queen's fool, and in her court received
the same honor, and had as much wit, as I had formerly had in the
king's. But as the queen had really no power unless over her own
domestics, I was not treated in general with that complacence,
nor did I receive those bribes and presents, which had once
fallen to my share.

"Nor did this confined respect continue long: for the queen, who
had in fact no taste for humor, soon grew sick of my foolery,
and, forgetting the cause for which she had taken me, neglected
me so much, that her court grew intolerable to my temper, and I
broke my heart and died.

"Minos laughed heartily at several things in my story, and
then, telling me no one played the fool in Elysium, bid me go
back again."


Julian appears in the character of a beggar.

"I now returned to Rome, and was born into a very poor and
numerous family, which, to be honest with you, procured its
livelihood by begging. This, if you was never yourself of the
calling, you do not know, I suppose, to be as regular a trade as
any other; to have its several rules and secrets, or mysteries,
which to learn require perhaps as tedious an apprenticeship as
those of any craft whatever.

"The first thing we are taught is the countenance miserable.
This indeed nature makes much easier to some than others; but
there are none who cannot accomplish it, if they begin early
enough in youth, and before the muscles are grown too stubborn.

"The second thing is the voice lamentable. In this qualification
too, nature must have her share in producing the most consummate
excellence: however, art will here, as in every other instance,
go a great way with industry and application, even without the
assistance of genius, especially if the student begins young.

"There are many other instructions, but these are the most
considerable. The women are taught one practice more than the
men, for they are instructed in the art of crying, that is, to
have their tears ready on all occasions: but this is attained
very easily by most. Some indeed arrive at the utmost perfection
in this art with incredible facility.

"No profession requires a deeper insight into human nature than
the beggar's. Their knowledge of the passions of men is so
extensive, that I have often thought it would be of no little
service to a politician to have his education among them. Nay,
there is a much greater analogy between these two characters than
is imagined; for both concur in their first and grand principle,
it being equally their business to delude and impose on mankind.
It must be confessed that they differ widely in the degree of
advantage which they make by their deceit; for, whereas the
beggar is contented with a little, the politician leaves but a
little behind.

"A very great English philosopher hath remarked our policy, in
taking care never to address any one with a title inferior to
what he really claims. My father was of the same opinion; for I
remember when I was a boy, the pope happening to pass by, I
tended him with 'Pray, sir;' 'For God's sake, sir;' 'For the
Lord's sake, sir;'--To which he answered gravely, 'Sirrah,
sirrah, you ought to be whipped for taking the Lord's name in
vain;' and in vain it was indeed, for he gave me nothing. My
father, overhearing this, took his advice, and whipped me very
severely. While I was under correction I promised often never to
take the Lord's name in vain any more. My father then said,
'Child, I do not whip you for taking his name in vain; I whip you
for not calling the pope his holiness.'

"If all men were so wise and good to follow the clergy's example,
the nuisance of beggars would soon be removed. I do not remember
to have been above twice relieved by them during my whole state
of beggary. Once was by a very well-looking man, who gave me a
small piece of silver, and declared he had given me more than he
had left himself; the other was by a spruce young fellow, who had
that very day first put on his robes, whom I attended with 'Pray,
reverend sir, good reverend sir, consider your cloth.' He
answered, 'I do, child, consider my office, and I hope all our
cloth do the same.' He then threw down some money, and strutted
off with great dignity.

"With the women I had one general formulary: 'Sweet pretty
lady,' 'God bless your ladyship,' 'God bless your handsome face.'
This generally succeeded; but I observed the uglier the woman
was, the surer I was of success.

"It was a constant maxim among us, that the greater retinue any
one traveled with the less expectation we might promise ourselves
from them; but whenever we saw a vehicle with a single or no
servant we imagined our booty sure, and were seldom deceived.

"We observed great difference introduced by time and circumstance
in the same person; for instance, a losing gamester is sometimes
generous, but from a winner you will as easily obtain his soul as
a single groat. A lawyer traveling from his country seat to his
clients at Rome, and a physician going to visit a patient, were
always worth asking; but the same on their return were (according
to our cant phrase) untouchable.

"The most general, and indeed the truest, maxim among us was,
that those who possessed the least were always the readiest to
give. The chief art of a beggar-man is, therefore, to discern
the rich from the poor, which, though it be only distinguishing
substance from shadow, is by no means attainable without a pretty
good capacity and a vast degree of attention; for these two are
eternally industrious in endeavoring to counterfeit each other.
In this deceit the poor man is more heartily in earnest to
deceive you than the rich, who, amidst all the emblems of poverty
which he puts on, still permits some mark of his wealth to strike
the eye. Thus, while his apparel is not worth a groat, his
finger wears a ring of value, or his pocket a gold watch. In a
word, he seems rather to affect poverty to insult than impose on
you. Now the poor man, on the contrary, is very sincere in his
desire of passing for rich; but the eagerness of this desire
hurries him to over-act his part, and he betrays himself as one
who is drunk by his overacted sobriety. Thus, instead of being
attended by one servant well mounted, he will have two; and, not
being able to purchase or maintain a second horse of value, one
of his servants at least is mounted on a hired rascallion. He is
not contented to go plain and neat in his clothes; he therefore
claps on some tawdry ornament, and what he adds to the fineness
of his vestment he detracts from the fineness of his linen.
Without descending into more minute particulars, I believe I may
assert it as an axiom of indubitable truth, that whoever shows
you he is either in himself or his equipage as gaudy as he can,
convinces you he is more so than he can afford. Now, whenever a
man's expense exceeds his income, he is indifferent in the
degree; we had therefore nothing more to do with such than to
flatter them with their wealth and splendor, and were always
certain of success.

"There is, indeed, one kind of rich man who is commonly more
liberal, namely, where riches surprise him, as it were, in the
midst of poverty and distress, the consequence of which is, I
own, sometimes excessive avarice, but oftener extreme
prodigality. I remember one of these who, having received a
pretty large sum of money, gave me, when I begged an obolus, a
whole talent; on which his friend having reproved him, he
answered, with an oath, 'Why not? Have I not fifty left?'

"The life of a beggar, if men estimated things by their real
essence, and not by their outward false appearance, would be,
perhaps, a more desirable situation than any of those which
ambition persuades us, with such difficulty, danger, and often
villainy, to aspire to. The wants of a beggar are commonly as
chimerical as the abundance of a nobleman; for besides vanity,
which a judicious beggar will always apply to with wonderful
efficacy, there are in reality very few natures so hardened as
not to compassionate poverty and distress, when the predominancy
of some other passion doth not prevent them.

"There is one happiness which attends money got with ease,
namely, that it is never hoarded; otherwise, as we have frequent
opportunities of growing rich, that canker care might prey upon
our quiet, as it doth on others; but our money stock we spend as
fast as we acquire it; usually at least, for I speak not without
exception; thus it gives us mirth only, and no trouble. Indeed,
the luxury of our lives might introduce diseases, did not our
daily exercise prevent them. This gives us an appetite and
relish for our dainties, and at the same time an antidote against
the evil effects which sloth, united with luxury, induces on the
habit of a human body. Our women we enjoy with ecstasies at
least equal to what the greatest men feel in their embraces. I
can, I am assured, say of myself, that no mortal could reap more
perfect happiness from the tender passion than my fortune had
decreed me. I married a charming young woman for love; she was
the daughter of a neighboring beggar, who, with an improvidence
too often seen, spent a very large income which he procured by
his profession, so that he was able to give her no fortune down;
however, at his death he left her a very well accustomed
begging-hut, situated on the side of a steep hill, where
travelers could not immediately escape from us, and a garden
adjoining, being the twenty-eighth part of an acre, well planted.

She made the best of wives, bore me nineteen children, and never
failed, unless on her lying-in, which generally lasted three
days, to get my supper ready against my return home in an
evening; this being my favorite meal, and at which I, as well as
my whole family, greatly enjoyed ourselves; the principal subject
of our discourse being generally the boons we had that day
obtained, on which occasions, laughing at the folly of the donors
made no inconsiderable part of the entertainment; for, whatever
might be their motive for giving, we constantly imputed our
success to our having flattered their vanity, or overreached
their understanding.

"But perhaps I have dwelt too long on this character; I shall
conclude, therefore, with telling you that after a life of 102
years' continuance, during all which I had never known any
sickness or infirmity but that which old age necessarily induced,
I at last, without the least pain, went out like the snuff of a

"Minos, having heard my history, bid me compute, if I could, how
many lies I had told in my life. As we are here, by a certain
fated necessity, obliged to confine ourselves to truth, I
answered, I believed about 50,000,000. He then replied, with a
frown, 'Can such a wretch conceive any hopes of entering
Elysium?' I immediately turned about, and, upon the whole, was
rejoiced at his not calling me back."


Julian performs the part of a statesman.

"It was now my fortune to be born of a German princess; but a
man-midwife, pulling my head off in delivering my mother, put a
speedy end to my princely life.

"Spirits who end their lives before they are at the age of five
years are immediately ordered into other bodies; and it was now
my fortune to perform several infancies before I could again
entitle myself to an examination of Minos.

"At length I was destined once more to play a considerable part
on the stage. I was born in England, in the reign of Ethelred
II. My father's name was Ulnoth: he was earl or thane of
Sussex. I was afterwards known by the name of earl Goodwin, and
began to make a considerable figure in the world in the time of
Harold Harefoot, whom I procured to be made king of Wessex, or
the West Saxons, in prejudice of Hardicanute, whose mother Emma
endeavored afterwards to set another of her sons on the throne;
but I circumvented her, and, communicating her design to the
king, at the same time acquainted him with a project which I had
formed for the murder of these two young princes. Emma had sent
for these her sons from Normandy, with the king's leave, whom she
had deceived by her religious behavior, and pretended neglect of
all worldly affairs; but I prevailed with Harold to invite these
princes to his court, and put them to death. The prudent mother
sent only Alfred, retaining Edward to herself, as she suspected
my ill designs, and thought I should not venture to execute them
on one of her sons, while she secured the other; but she was
deceived, for I had no sooner Alfred in my possession than I
caused him to be conducted to Ely, where I ordered his eyes to be
put out, and afterwards to be confined in a monastery.

"This was one of those cruel expedients which great men satisfy
themselves well in executing, by concluding them to be necessary
to the service of their prince, who is the support of their

"Edward, the other son of Emma, escaped again to Normandy;
whence, after the death of Harold and Hardicanute, he made no
scruple of applying to my protection and favor, though he had
before prosecuted me with all the vengeance he was able, for
the murder of his brother; but in all great affairs private
relation must yield to public interest. Having therefore
concluded very advantageous terms for myself with him, I made no
scruple of patronizing his cause, and soon placed him on the
throne. Nor did I conceive the least apprehension from his
resentment, as I knew my power was too great for him to

"Among other stipulated conditions, one was to marry my daughter
Editha. This Edward consented to with great reluctance, and I
had afterwards no reason to be pleased with it; for it raised
her, who had been my favorite child, to such an opinion of
greatness, that, instead of paying me the usual respect, she
frequently threw in my teeth (as often at least as I gave her any
admonition), that she was now a queen, and that the character and
title of father merged in that of subject. This behavior,
however, did not cure me of my affection towards her, nor lessen
the uneasiness which I afterwards bore on Edward's dismissing her
from his bed.

"One thing which principally induced me to labor the promotion of
Edward was the simplicity or weakness of that prince, under whom
I promised myself absolute dominion under another name. Nor did
this opinion deceive me; for, during his whole reign, my
administration was in the highest degree despotic: I had
everything of royalty but the outward ensigns; no man ever
applying for a place, or any kind of preferment, but to me only.
A circumstance which, as it greatly enriched my coffers, so it no
less pampered my ambition, and satisfied my vanity with a
numerous attendance; and I had the pleasure of seeing those who
only bowed to the king prostrating themselves before me.

"Edward the Confessor, or St. Edward, as some have called him,
in derision I suppose, being a very silly fellow, had all the
faults incident, and almost inseparable, to fools. He married my
daughter Editha from his fear of disobliging me; and afterwards,
out of hatred to me, refused even to consummate his marriage,
though she was one of the most beautiful women of her age. He
was likewise guilty of the basest ingratitude to his mother (a
vice to which fools are chiefly, if not only, liable); and, in
return for her endeavors to procure him a throne in his youth,
confined her in a loathsome prison in her old age. This, it is
true, he did by my advice; but as to her walking over nine
plowshares red-hot, and giving nine manors, when she had not one
in her possession, there is not a syllable of veracity in it.

"The first great perplexity I fell into was on the account of my
son Swane, who had deflowered the abbess of Leon, since called
Leominster, in Herefordshire. After this fact he retired into
Denmark, whence he sent to me to obtain his pardon. The king at
first refused it, being moved thereto, as I afterwards found, by
some churchmen, particularly by one of his chaplains, whom I had
prevented from obtaining a bishopric. Upon this my son Swane
invaded the coasts with several ships, and committed many
outrageous cruelties; which, indeed, did his business, as they
served me to apply to the fear of this king, which I had long
since discovered to be his predominant passion. And, at last, he
who had refused pardon to his first offense submitted to give it
him after he had committed many other more monstrous crimes; by
which his pardon lost all grace to the offended, and received
double censure from all others.

"The king was greatly inclined to the Normans, had created a
Norman archbishop of Canterbury, and had heaped extraordinary
favors on him. I had no other objection to this man than that he
rose without my assistance; a cause of dislike which, in the
reign of great and powerful favorites, hath often proved fatal to
the persons who have given it, as the persons thus raised inspire
us constantly with jealousies and apprehensions. For when we
promote any one ourselves, we take effectual care to preserve
such an ascendant over him, that we can at any time reduce him to
his former degree, should he dare to act in opposition to our
wills; for which reason we never suffer any to come near the
prince but such as we are assured it is impossible should be
capable of engaging or improving his affection; no prime
minister, as I apprehend, esteeming himself to be safe while any
other shares the ear of his prince, of whom we are as jealous as
the fondest husband can be of his wife. Whoever, therefore, can
approach him by any other channel than that of ourselves, is, in
our opinion, a declared enemy, and one whom the first principles
of policy oblige us to demolish with the utmost expedition. For
the affection of kings is as precarious as that of women, and the
only way to secure either to ourselves is to keep all others from

"But the archbishop did not let matters rest on suspicion. He
soon gave open proofs of his interest with the Confessor in
procuring an office of some importance for one Rollo, a Roman of
mean extraction and very despicable parts. When I represented to
the king the indecency of conferring such an honor on such a
fellow, he answered me that he was the archbishop's relation.
'Then, sir,' replied I, 'he is related to your enemy.' Nothing
more passed at that time; but I soon perceived, by the
archbishop's behavior, that the king had acquainted him with our
private discourse; a sufficient assurance of his confidence in
him and neglect of me.

"The favor of princes, when once lost, is recoverable only by the
gaining a situation which may make you terrible to them. As I
had no doubt of having lost all credit with this king, which
indeed had been originally founded and constantly supported by
his fear, so I took the method of terror to regain it.

"The earl of Boulogne coming over to visit the king gave me an
opportunity of breaking out into open opposition; for, as the
earl was on his return to France, one of his servants, who was
sent before to procure lodgings at Dover, and insisted on having
them in the house of a private man in spite of the owner's teeth,
was, in a fray which ensued, killed on the spot; and the earl
himself, arriving there soon after, very narrowly escaped with
his life. The earl, enraged at this affront, returned to the
king at Gloucester with loud complaints and demands of
satisfaction. Edward consented to his demands, and ordered me to
chastise the rioters, who were under my government as earl of
Kent: but, instead of obeying these orders, I answered, with
some warmth, that the English were not used to punish people
unheard, nor ought their rights and privileges to be violated;
that the accused should be first summoned--if guilty, should make
satisfaction both with body and estate, but, if innocent, should
be discharged. Adding, with great ferocity, that as earl of Kent
it was my duty to protect those under my government against the
insults of foreigners.

"This accident was extremely lucky, as it gave my quarrel with
the king a popular color, and so ingratiated me with the people,
that when I set up my standard, which I soon after did, they
readily and cheerfully listed under my banners and embraced my
cause, which I persuaded them was their own; for that it was to
protect them against foreigners that I had drawn my sword. The
word foreigners with an Englishman hath a kind of magical effect,
they having the utmost hatred and aversion to them, arising from
the cruelties they suffered from the Danes and some other foreign
nations. No wonder therefore they espoused my cause in a quarrel
which had such a beginning.

"But what may be somewhat more remarkable is, that when I
afterwards returned to England from banishment, and was at the
head of an army of the Flemish, who were preparing to plunder the
city of London, I still persisted that I was come to defend the
English from the danger of foreigners, and gained their credit.
Indeed, there is no lie so gross but it may be imposed on the
people by those whom they esteem their patrons and defenders.

"The king saved his city by being reconciled to me, and taking
again my daughter, whom he had put away from him; and thus,
having frightened the king into what concessions I thought
proper, I dismissed my army and fleet, with which I intended,
could I not have succeeded otherwise, to have sacked the city of
London and ravaged the whole country.

"I was no sooner re-established in the king's favor, or, what was
as well for me, the appearance of it, than I fell violently on
the archbishop. He had of himself retired to his monastery in
Normandy; but that did not content me: I had him formally
banished, the see declared vacant, and then filled up by another.

"I enjoyed my grandeur a very short time after my restoration to
it; for the king, hating and fearing me to a very great degree,
and finding no means of openly destroying me, at last effected
his purpose by poison, and then spread abroad a ridiculous story,
of my wishing the next morsel might choke me if I had had any
hand in the death of Alfred; and, accordingly, that the next
morsel, by a divine judgment, stuck in my throat and performed
that office.

"This of a statesman was one of my worst stages in the other
world. It is a post subjected daily to the greatest danger and
inquietude, and attended with little pleasure and less ease. In
a word, it is a pill which, was it not gilded over by ambition,
would appear nauseous and detestable in the eye of every one; and
perhaps that is one reason why Minos so greatly compassionates
the case of those who swallow it: for that just judge told me he
always acquitted a prime minister who could produce one single
good action in his whole life, let him have committed ever so
many crimes. Indeed, I understood him a little too largely, and
was stepping towards the gate; but he pulled me by the sleeve,
and, telling me no prime minister ever entered there, bid me go
back again; saying, he thought I had sufficient reason to rejoice
in my escaping the bottomless pit, which half my crimes committed
in any other capacity would have entitled me to."


Julian's adventures in the post of a soldier.

"I was born at Caen, in Normandy. My mother's name was Matilda;
as for my father, I am not so certain, for the good woman on her
death-bed assured me she herself could bring her guess to no
greater certainty than to five of duke William's captains. When
I was no more than thirteen (being indeed a surprising stout boy
of my age) I enlisted into the army of duke William, afterwards
known by the name of William the Conqueror, landed with him at
Pemesey or Pemsey, in Sussex, and was present at the famous
battle of Hastings.

"At the first onset it was impossible to describe my
consternation, which was heightened by the fall of two soldiers
who stood by me; but this soon abated, and by degrees, as my
blood grew warm, I thought no more of my own safety, but fell on
the enemy with great fury, and did a good deal of execution;
till, unhappily, I received a wound in my thigh, which rendered
me unable to stand any longer, so that I now lay among the dead,
and was constantly exposed to the danger of being trampled to
death, as well by my fellow-soldiers as by the enemy. However, I
had the fortune to escape it, and continued the remaining part of
the day and the night following on the ground.

"The next morning, the duke sending out parties to bring off the
wounded, I was found almost expiring with loss of blood;
notwithstanding which, as immediate care was taken to dress my
wounds, youth and a robust constitution stood my friends, and I
recovered after a long and tedious indisposition, and was again
able to use my limbs and do my duty.

"As soon as Dover was taken I was conveyed thither with all the
rest of the sick and wounded. Here I recovered of my wound; but
fell afterwards into a violent flux, which, when it departed,
left me so weak that it was long before I could regain my
strength. And what most afflicted me was, that during my whole
illness, when I languished under want as well as sickness, I had
daily the mortification to see and hear the riots and excess of
my fellow-soldiers, who had happily escaped safe from the battle.

"I was no sooner well than I was ordered into garrison at Dover
Castle. The officers here fared very indifferently, but the
private men much worse. We had great scarcity of provisions,
and, what was yet more intolerable, were so closely confined for
want of room (four of us being obliged to lie on the same bundle
of straw), that many died, and most sickened.

"Here I had remained about four months, when one night we were
alarmed with the arrival of the earl of Boulogne, who had come
over privily from France, and endeavored to surprise the castle.
The design proved ineffectual; for the garrison making a brisk
sally, most of his men were tum- bled down the precipice, and he
returned with a very few back to France. In this action,
however, I had the misfortune to come off with a broken arm; it
was so shattered, that, besides a great deal of pain and misery
which I endured in my cure, I was disabled for upwards of three

"Soon after my recovery I had contracted an amour with a young
woman whose parents lived near the garrison, and were in much
better circumstances than I had reason to expect should give
their consent to the match. However, as she was extremely fond
of me (as I was indeed distractedly enamored of her), they were
prevailed on to comply with her desires, and the day was fixed
for our marriage.

"On the evening preceding, while I was exulting with the eager
expectation of the happiness I was the next day to enjoy, I
received orders to march early in the morning towards Windsor,
where a large army was to be formed, at the head of which the
king intended to march into the west. Any person who hath ever
been in love may easily imagine what I felt in my mind on
receiving those orders; and what still heightened my torments
was, that the commanding officer would not permit any one to go
out of the garrison that evening; so that I had not even an
opportunity of taking leave of my beloved.

"The morning came which was to have put me in the possession of
my wishes; but, alas! the scene was now changed, and all the
hopes which I had raised were now so many ghosts to haunt, and
furies to torment me.

"It was now the midst of winter, and very severe weather for the
season; when we were obliged to make very long and fatiguing
marches, in which we suffered all the inconveniences of cold and
hunger. The night in which I expected to riot in the arms of my
beloved mistress I was obliged to take up with a lodging on the
ground, exposed to the inclemencies of a rigid frost; nor could I
obtain the least comfort of sleep, which shunned me as its enemy.

In short, the horrors of that night are not to be described, or
perhaps imagined. They made such an impression on my soul, that
I was forced to be dipped three times in the river Lethe to
prevent my remembering it in the characters which I afterwards
performed in the flesh."

Here I interrupted Julian for the first time, and told him no
such dipping had happened to me in my voyage from one world to
the other: but he satisfied me by saying "that this only
happened to those spirits which returned into the flesh, in order
to prevent that reminiscence which Plato mentions, and which
would otherwise cause great confusion in the other world."

He then proceeded as follows: "We continued a very laborious
march to Exeter, which we were ordered to besiege. The town soon
surrendered, and his majesty built a castle there, which he
garrisoned with his Normans, and unhappily I had the misfortune
to be one of the number.

"Here we were confined closer than I had been at Dover; for, as
the citizens were extremely disaffected, we were never suffered
to go without the walls of the castle; nor indeed could we,
unless in large bodies, without the utmost danger. We were
likewise kept to continual duty, nor could any solicitations
prevail with the commanding officer to give me a month's absence
to visit my love, from whom I had no opportunity of hearing in
all my long absence.

"However, in the spring, the people being more quiet, and another
officer of a gentler temper succeeding to the principal command,
I obtained leave to go to Dover; but alas! what comfort did my
long journey bring me? I found the parents of my darling in the
utmost misery at her loss; for she had died, about a week before
my arrival, of a consumption, which they imputed to her pining at
my sudden departure.

"I now fell into the most violent and almost raving fit of
despair. I cursed myself, the king, and the whole world, which
no longer seemed to have any delight for me. I threw myself on
the grave of my deceased love, and lay there without any kind of
sustenance for two whole days. At last hunger, together with the
persuasions of some people who took pity on me, prevailed with me
to quit that situation, and refresh myself with food. They then
persuaded me to return to my post, and abandon a place where
almost every object I saw recalled ideas to my mind which, as
they said, I should endeavor with my utmost force to expel from
it. This advice at length succeeded; the rather, as the father
and mother of my beloved refused to see me, looking on me as the
innocent but certain cause of the death of their only child.

"The loss of one we tenderly love, as it is one of the most
bitter and biting evils which attend human life, so it wants the
lenitive which palliates and softens every other calamity; I mean
that great reliever, hope. No man can be so totally undone, but
that he may still cherish expectation: but this deprives us of
all such comfort, nor can anything but time alone lessen it.
This, however, in most minds, is sure to work a slow but
effectual remedy; so did it in mine: for within a twelve-month I
was entirely reconciled to my fortune, and soon after absolutely
forgot the object of a passion from which I had promised myself
such extreme happiness, and in the disappointment of which I had
experienced such inconceivable misery.

"At the expiration of the month I returned to my garrison at
Exeter; where I was no sooner arrived than I was ordered to march
into the north, to oppose a force there levied by the earls of
Chester and Northumberland. We came to York, where his majesty
pardoned the heads of the rebels, and very severely punished some
who were less guilty. It was particularly my lot to be ordered
to seize a poor man who had never been out of his house, and
convey him to prison. I detested this barbarity, yet was obliged
to execute it; nay, though no reward would have bribed me in a
private capacity to have acted such a part, yet so much sanctity
is there in the commands of a monarch or general to a soldier,
that I performed it without reluctance, nor had the tears of his
wife and family any prevalence with me.

"But this, which was a very small piece of mischief in comparison
with many of my barbarities afterwards, was however, the only one
which ever gave me any uneasiness; for when the king led us
afterwards into Northumberland to revenge those people's having
joined with Osborne the Dane in his invasion, and orders were
given us to commit what ravages we could, I was forward in
fulfilling them, and, among some lesser cruelties (I remember it
yet with sorrow), I ravished a woman, murdered a little infant
playing in her lap, and then burned her house. In short, for I
have no pleasure in this part of my relation, I had my share in
all the cruelties exercised on those poor wretches; which were so
grievous, that for sixty miles together, between York and Durham,
not a single house, church, or any other public or private
edifice, was left standing.

"We had pretty well devoured the country, when we were ordered to
march to the Isle of Ely, to oppose Hereward, a bold and stout
soldier, who had under him a very large body of rebels, who had
the impudence to rise against their king and conqueror (I talk
now in the same style I did then) in defense of their liberties,
as they called them. These were soon subdued; but as I happened
(more to my glory than my comfort) to be posted in that part
through which Hereward cut his way, I received a dreadful cut on
the forehead, a second on the shoulder, and was run through the
body with a pike.

"I languished a long time with these wounds, which made me
incapable of attending the king into Scotland. However, I was
able to go over with him afterwards into Normandy, in his
expedition against Philip, who had taken the opportunity of the
troubles in England to invade that province. Those few Normans
who bad survived their wounds, and had remained in the Isle of
Ely, were all of our nation who went, the rest of his army being
all composed of English. In a skirmish near the town of Mans my
leg was broke and so shattered that it was forced to be cut off.

"I was now disabled from serving longer in the army; and
accordingly, being discharged from the service, I retired to the
place of my nativity, where, in extreme poverty, and frequent bad
health from the many wounds I had received, I dragged on a
miserable life to the age of sixty- three; my only pleasure being
to recount the feats of my youth, in which narratives I generally
exceeded the truth.

"It would be tedious and unpleasant to recount to you the several
miseries I suffered after my return to Caen; let it suffice, they
were so terrible that they induced Minos to compassionate me,
and, notwithstanding the barbarities I had been guilty of in
Northumberland, to suffer me to go once more back to earth."


What happened to Julian in the person of a tailor.

"Fortune now stationed me in a character which the ingratitude of
mankind hath put them on ridiculing, though they owe to it not
only a relief from the inclemencies of cold, to which they would
otherwise be exposed, but likewise a considerable satisfaction of
their vanity. The character I mean was that of a tailor; which,
if we consider it with due attention, must be confessed to have
in it great dignity and importance. For, in reality, who
constitutes the different degrees between men but the tailor? the
prince indeed gives the title, but it is the tailor who makes the
man. To his labors are owing the respect of crowds, and the awe
which great men inspire into their beholders, though these are
too often unjustly attributed to other motives. Lastly, the
admiration of the fair is most commonly to be placed to his

"I was just set up in my trade when I made three suits of fine
clothes for king Stephen's coronation. I question whether the
person who wears the rich coat hath so much pleasure and vanity
in being admired in it, as we tailors have from that admiration;
and perhaps a philosopher would say he is not so well entitled to
it. I bustled on the day of the ceremony through the crowd, and
it was with incredible delight I heard several say, as my clothes
walked by, 'Bless me, was ever anything so fine as the earl of
Devonshire? Sure he and Sir Hugh Bigot are the two best dressed
men I ever saw.' Now both those suits were of my making.

"There would indeed be infinite pleasure in working for the
courtiers, as they are generally genteel men, and show one's
clothes to the best advantage, was it not for one small
discouragement; this is, that they never pay. I solemnly
protest, though I lost almost as much by the court in my life as
I got by the city, I never carried a suit into the latter with
half the satisfaction which I have done to the former; though
from that I was certain of ready money, and from this almost as
certain of no money at all.

"Courtiers may, however, be divided into two sorts, very
essentially different from each other; into those who never
intend to pay for their clothes; and those who do intend to pay
for them, but never happen to be able. Of the latter sort are
many of those young gentlemen whom we equip out for the army, and
who are, unhappily for us, cut off before they arrive at
preferment. This is the reason that tailors, in time of war, are
mistaken for politicians by their inquisitiveness into the event
of battles, one campaign very often proving the ruin of
half-a-dozen of us. I am sure I had frequent reason to curse
that fatal battle of Cardigan, where the Welsh defeated some of
king Stephen's best troops, and where many a good suit of mine
unpaid for, fell to the ground.

"The gentlemen of this honorable calling have fared much better
in later ages than when I was of it; for now it seems the fashion
is, when they apprehend their customer is not in the best
circumstances, if they are not paid as soon as they carry home
the suit, they charge him in their book as much again as it is
worth, and then send a gentleman with a small scrip of parchment
to demand the money. If this be not immediately paid the
gentleman takes the beau with him to his house, where he locks
him up till the tailor is contented: but in my time these scrips
of parchment were not in use; and if the beau disliked paying for
his clothes, as very often happened, we had no method of
compelling him.

"In several of the characters which I have related to you, I
apprehend I have sometimes forgot myself, and considered myself
as really interested as I was when I personated them on earth. I
have just now caught myself in the fact; for I have complained to
you as bitterly of my customers as I formerly used to do when I
was the tailor: but in reality, though there were some few
persons of very great quality, and some others, who never paid
their debts, yet those were but a few, and I had a method of
repairing this loss. My customers I divided under three heads:
those who paid ready money, those who paid slow, and those who
never paid at all. The first of these I considered apart by
themselves, as persons by whom I got a certain but small profit.
The two last I lumped together, making those who paid slow
contribute to repair my losses by those who did not pay at all.
Thus, upon the whole, I was a very inconsiderable loser, and
might have left a fortune to my family, had I not launched forth
into expenses which swallowed up all my gains. I had a wife and
two children. These indeed I kept frugally enough, for I half
starved them; but I kept a mistress in a finer way, for whom I
had a country-house, pleasantly situated on the Thames, elegantly
fitted up and neatly furnished. This woman might very properly
be called my mistress, for she was most absolutely so; and though
her tenure was no higher than by my will, she domineered as
tyrannically as if my chains had been riveted in the strongest
manner. To all this I submitted, not through any adoration of
her beauty, which was indeed but indifferent. Her charms
consisted in little wantonnesses, which she knew admirably well
to use in hours of dalliance, and which, I believe, are of all
things the most delightful to a lover.

"She was so profusely extravagant, that it seemed as if she had
an actual intent to ruin me. This I am sure of, if such had been
her real intention, she could have taken no properer way to
accomplish it; nay, I myself might appear to have had the same
view: for, besides this extravagant mistress and my
country-house, I kept likewise a brace of hunters, rather for
that it was fashionable so to do than for any great delight I
took in the sport, which I very little attended; not for want of
leisure, for few noblemen had so much. All the work I ever did
was taking measure, and that only of my greatest and best
customers. I scare ever cut a piece of cloth in my life, nor was
indeed much more able to fashion a coat than any gentleman in the
kingdom. This made a skillful servant too necessary to me. He
knew I must submit to any terms with, or any treatment from, him.

He knew it was easier for him to find another such a tailor as me
than for me to procure such another workman as him: for this
reason he exerted the most notorious and cruel tyranny, seldom
giving me a civil word; nor could the utmost condescension on my
side, though attended with continual presents and rewards, and
raising his wages, content or please him. In a word, he was as
absolutely my master as was ever an ambitious, industrious prime
minister over an indolent and voluptuous king. All my other
journeymen paid more respect to him than to me; for they
considered my favor as a necessary consequence of obtaining his.

"These were the most remarkable occurrences while I acted this
part. Minos hesitated a few moments, and then bid me get back
again, without assigning any reason."


The life of alderman Julian.

"I now revisited England, and was born at London. My father was
one of the magistrates of that city. He had eleven children, of
whom I was the eldest. He had great success in trade, and grew
extremely rich, but the largeness of his family rendered it
impossible for him to leave me a fortune sufficient to live well
on independent of business. I was accordingly brought up to be a
fishmonger, in which capacity I myself afterwards acquired very
considerable wealth.

"The same disposition of mind which in princes is called ambition
is in subjects named faction. To this temper I was greatly
addicted from my youth. I was, while a boy, a great partisan of
prince John's against his brother Richard, during the latter's
absence in the holy war and in his captivity. I was no more than
one-and-twenty when I first began to make political speeches in
public, and to endeavor to foment disquietude and discontent in
the city. As I was pretty well qualified for this office, by a
great fluency of words, an harmonious accent, a graceful
delivery, and above all an invincible assurance, I had soon
acquired some reputation among the younger citizens, and some of
the weaker and more inconsiderate of a riper age. This,
co-operating with my own natural vanity, made me extravagantly
proud and supercilious. I soon began to esteem myself a man of
some consequence, and to overlook persons every way my superiors.

"The famous Robin Hood, and his companion Little John, at this
time made a considerable figure in Yorkshire. I took upon me to
write a letter to the former, in the name of the city, inviting
him to come to London, where I assured him of very good
reception, signifying to him my own great weight and consequence,
and how much I had disposed the citizens in his favor. Whether
he received this letter or no I am not certain; but he never gave
me any answer to it.

"A little afterwards one William Fitz-Osborn, or, as he was
nicknamed, William Long-Beard, began to make a figure in the
city. He was a bold and an impudent fellow, and had raised
himself to great popularity with the rabble, by pretending to
espouse their cause against the rich. I took this man's part,
and made a public oration in his favor, setting him forth as a
patriot, and one who had embarked in the cause of liberty: for
which service he did not receive me with the acknowledgments I
expected. However, as I thought I should easily gain the
ascendant over this fellow, I continued still firm on his side,
till the archbishop of Canterbury, with an armed force, put an
end to his progress: for he was seized in Bowchurch, where he
had taken refuge, and with nine of his accomplices hanged in

"I escaped narrowly myself; for I was seized in the same church
with the rest, and, as I had been very considerably engaged in
the enterprise, the archbishop was inclined to make me an
example; but my father's merit, who had advanced a considerable
sum to queen Eleanor towards the king's ransom, preserved me.

"The consternation my danger had occasioned kept me some time
quiet, and I applied myself very assiduously to my trade. I
invented all manner of methods to enhance the price of fish, and
made use of my utmost endeavors to engross as much of the
business as possible in my own hands. By these means I acquired
a substance which raised me to some little consequence in the
city, but far from elevating me to that degree which I had
formerly flattered myself with possessing at a time when I was
totally insignificant; for, in a trading society, money must at
least lay the foundation of all power and interest.

"But as it hath been remarked that the same ambition which sent
Alexander into Asia brings the wrestler on the green; and as this
same ambition is as incapable as quicksilver of lying still; so
I, who was possessed perhaps of a share equal to what hath fired
the blood of any of the heroes of antiquity, was no less restless
and discontented with ease and quiet. My first endeavors were to
make myself head of my company, which Richard I had just
published, and soon afterwards I procured myself to be chosen

"Opposition is the only state which can give a subject an
opportunity of exerting the disposition I was possessed of.
Accordingly, king John was no sooner seated on his throne than I
began to oppose his measures, whether right or wrong. It is true
that monarch had faults enow. He was so abandoned to lust and
luxury, that he addicted himself to the most extravagant excesses
in both, while he indolently suffered the king of France to rob
him of almost all his foreign dominions: my opposition therefore
was justifiable enough, and if my motive from within had been as
good as the occasion from without I should have had little to
excuse; but, in truth, I sought nothing but my own preferment, by
making myself formidable to the king, and then selling to him the
interest of that party by whose means I had become so. Indeed,
had the public good been my care, however zealously I might have
opposed the beginning of his reign, I should not have scrupled to
lend him my utmost assistance in this struggle between him and
pope Innocent the third, in which he was so manifestly in the
right; nor have suffered the insolence of that pope, and the
power of the king of France, to have compelled him in the issue,
basely to resign his crown into the hands of the former, and
receive it again as a vassal; by means of which acknowledgment
the pope afterwards claimed this kingdom as a tributary fief to
be held of the papal chair; a claim which occasioned great
uneasiness to many subsequent princes, and brought numberless
calamities on the nation.

"As the king had, among other concessions, stipulated to pay an
immediate sum of money to Pandulph, which he had great difficulty
to raise, it was absolutely necessary for him to apply to the
city, where my interest and popularity were so high that he had
no hopes without my assistance. As I knew this, I took care to
sell myself and country as high as possible. The terms I
demanded, therefore, were a place, a pension, and a knighthood.
All those were immediately consented to. I was forthwith
knighted, and promised the other two.

"I now mounted the hustings, and, without any regard to decency
or modesty, made as emphatical a speech in favor of the king as
before I had done against him. In this speech I justified all
those measures which I had before condemned, and pleaded as
earnestly with my fellow-citizens to open their purses, as I had
formerly done to prevail with them to keep them shut. But, alas!
my rhetoric had not the effect I proposed. The consequence of my
arguments was only contempt to myself. The people at first
stared on one another, and afterwards began unanimously to
express their dislike. An impudent fellow among them, reflecting
on my trade, cried out, 'Stinking fish;' which was immediately
reiterated through the whole crowd. I was then forced to slink
away home; but I was not able to accomplish my retreat without
being attended by the mob, who huzza'd me along the street with
the repeated cries of 'Stinking fish.'

"I now proceeded to court, to inform his majesty of my faithful
service, and how much I had suffered in his cause. I found by my
first reception he had already heard of my success. Instead of
thanking me for my speech, he said the city should repent of
their obstinacy, for that he would show them who he was: and so
saying, he immediately turned that part to me to which the toe of
man hath so wonderful an affection, that it is very difficult,
whenever it presents itself conveniently, to keep our toes from
the most violent and ardent salutation of it.

"I was a little nettled at this behavior, and with some
earnestness claimed the king's fulfilling his promise; but he
retired without answering me. I then applied to some of the
courtiers, who had lately professed great friendship to me, had
eat at my house, and invited me to theirs: but not one would
return me any answer, all running away from me as if I had been
seized with some contagious distemper. I now found by
experience, that as none can be so civil, so none can be ruder
than a courtier.

"A few moments after the king's retiring I was left alone in the
room to consider what I should do or whither I should turn
myself. My reception in the city promised itself to be equal at
least with what I found at court. However, there was my home,
and thither it was necessary I should retreat for the present.

"But, indeed, bad as I apprehended my treatment in the city would
be, it exceeded my expectation. I rode home on an ambling pad
through crowds who expressed every kind of disregard and
contempt; pelting me not only with the most abusive language, but
with dirt. However, with much difficulty I arrived at last at my
own house, with my bones whole, but covered over with filth.

"When I was got within my doors, and had shut them against the
mob, who had pretty well vented their spleen, and seemed now
contented to retire, my wife, whom I found crying over her
children, and from whom I had hoped some comfort in my
afflictions, fell upon me in the most outrageous manner. She
asked me why I would venture on such a step, without consulting
her; she said her advice might have been civilly asked, if I was
resolved not to have been guided by it. That, whatever opinion I
might have conceived of her understanding, the rest of the world
thought better of it. That I had never failed when I had asked
her counsel, nor ever succeeded without it;--with much more of
the same kind, too tedious to mention; concluding that it was a
monstrous behavior to desert my party and come over to the court.

An abuse which I took worse than all the rest, as she had been
constantly for several years assiduous in railing at the
opposition, in siding with the court-party, and begging me to
come over to it; and especially after my mentioning the offer of
knighthood to her, since which time she had continually
interrupted my repose with dinning in my ears the folly of
refusing honors and of adhering to a party and to principles by
which I was certain of procuring no advantage to myself and my

"I had now entirely lost my trade, so that I had not the least
temptation to stay longer in a city where I was certain of
receiving daily affronts and rebukes. I therefore made up my
affairs with the utmost expedition, and, scraping together all I
could, retired into the country, where I spent the remainder of
my days in universal contempt, being shunned by everybody,
perpetually abused by my wife, and not much respected by my

"Minos told me, though I had been a very vile fellow, he thought
my sufferings made some atonement, and so bid me take the other


Julian recounts what happened to him while he was a poet.

"Rome was now the seat of my nativity, where I was born of a
family more remarkable for honor than riches. I was intended for
the church, and had a pretty good education; but my father dying
while I was young, and leaving me nothing, for he had wasted his
whole patrimony, I was forced to enter myself in the order of

"When I was at school I had a knack of rhyming, which I unhappily
mistook for genius, and indulged to my cost; for my verses drew
on me only ridicule, and I was in contempt called the poet.

"This humor pursued me through my life. My first composition
after I left school was a panegyric on pope Alexander IV, who
then pretended a project of dethroning the king of Sicily. On
this subject I composed a poem of about fifteen thousand lines,
which with much difficulty I got to be presented to his holiness,
of whom I expected great preferment as my reward; but I was
cruelly disappointed: for when I had waited a year, without
hearing any of the commendations I had flattered myself with
receiving, and being now able to contain no longer, I applied to
a Jesuit who was my relation, and had the pope's ear, to know
what his holiness's opinion was of my work: he coldly answered
me that he was at that time busied in concerns of too much
importance to attend the reading of poems.

"However dissatisfied I might be, and really was, with this
reception, and however angry I was with the pope? for whose
understanding I entertained an immoderate contempt, I was not yet
discouraged from a second attempt. Accordingly, I soon after
produced another work, entitled, The Trojan Horse. This was an
allegorical work, in which the church was introduced into the
world in the same manner as that machine had been into Troy. The
priests were the soldiers in its belly, and the heathen
superstition the city to be destroyed by them. This poem was
written in Latin. I remember some of the lines:--
Mundanos scandit fatalis machina muros,
Farta sacerdotum turmis: exinde per alvum
Visi exire omnes, maguo cum murmure olentes.
Non aliter quam cum llumanis furibundus ab antris
It sonus et nares simul aura invadit hiantes.
Mille scatent et mille alii; trepidare timore
Ethnica gens coepit: falsi per inane volantes
Effugere Dei--Desertaque templa relinquunt.
Jam magnum crepitavit equus, mox orbis et alti
Ingemuere poli: tunc tu pater, ultimus omnium
Maxime Alexander, ventrem maturus equinum
Deseris, heu proles meliori digne parente."

I believe Julian, had I not stopped him, would have gone through
the whole poem (for, as I observed in most of the characters he
related, the affections he had enjoyed while he personated them
on earth still made some impression on him); but I begged him to
omit the sequel of the poem, and proceed with his history. He
then recollected himself, and, smiling at the observation which
by intuition he perceived I had made, continued his narration as

"I confess to you," says he, "that the delight in repeating our
own works is so predominant in a poet, that I find nothing can
totally root it out of the soul. Happy would it be for those
persons if their hearers could be delighted in the same manner:
but alas! hence that ingens solitudo complained of by Horace:
for the vanity of mankind is so much greedier and more general
than their avarice, that no beggar is so ill received by them as
he who solicits their praise.

"This I sufficiently experienced in the character of a poet; for
my company was shunned (I believe on this account chiefly) by my
whole house: nay, there were few who would submit to hearing me
read my poetry, even at the price of sharing in my provisions.
The only person who gave me audience was a brother poet; he
indeed fed me with commendation very liberally: but, as I was
forced to hear and commend in my turn, I perhaps bought his
attention dear enough.

"Well, sir, if my expectations of the reward I hoped from my
first poem had balked me, I had now still greater reason to
complain; for, instead of being preferred or commended for the
second, I was enjoined a very severe penance by my superior, for
ludicrously comparing the pope to a f--t. My poetry was now the
jest of every company, except some few who spoke of it with
detestation; and I found that, instead of recommending me to
preferment, it had effectually barred me from all probability of
attaining it.

"These discouragements had now induced me to lay down my pen and
write no more. But, as Juvenal says,
--Si discedas, Laqueo tenet ambitiosi
Consuetudo mali.

I was an example of the truth of this assertion, for I soon
betook myself again to my muse. Indeed, a poet hath the same
happiness with a man who is dotingly fond of an ugly woman. The
one enjoys his muse, and the other his mistress, with a pleasure
very little abated by the esteem of the world, and only
undervalues their taste for not corresponding with his own.

"It is unnecessary to mention any more of my poems; they had all
the same fate; and though in reality some of my latter pieces
deserved (I may now speak it without the imputation of vanity) a
better success, as I had the character of a bad writer, I found
it impossible ever to obtain the reputation of a good one. Had I
possessed the merit of Homer I could have hoped for no applause;
since it must have been a profound secret; for no one would now
read a syllable of my writings.

"The poets of my age were, as I believe you know, not very
famous. However, there was one of some credit at that time,
though I have the consolation to know his works are all perished
long ago. The malice, envy, and hatred I bore this man are
inconceivable to any but an author, and an unsuccessful one; I
never could bear to hear him well spoken of, and writ anonymous
satires against him, though I had received obligations from him;
indeed I believe it would have been an absolute impossibility for
him at any rate to have made me sincerely his friend.

"I have heard an observation which was made by some one of later
days, that there are no worse men than bad authors. A remark of
the same kind hath been made on ugly women, and the truth of both
stands on one and the same reason, viz., that they are both
tainted with that cursed and detestable vice of envy; which, as
it is the greatest torment to the mind it inhabits, so is it
capable of introducing into it a total corruption, and of
inspiring it to the commission of the most horrid crimes


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