Strangers, politicians, men of letters, men of fashion, were all alike 경산오피 desirous to become acquainted with Père Jacquier. There was no pedantry, no vanity, in his mode of conversing, but if he thought himself neglected he was very unhappy; not offended, but like a child whom its 242parents have left at home. On this account Cardinal de Bernis used to say of him: “Le Père Jacquier a l’esprit d’un homme, et le cœur d’un enfant.” We used to see him almost every day, and he was so good as to take much pains with me in my studies. It so happened that an English naval officer came to Rome with a friend for a few weeks, and my mother was anxious that they should see everything most worthy of notice. This often engaged us so that we were not always at home at the hours Père Jacquier used to call. My mother found out that he was much vexed, and ordered me to write a note to him, to say that we had two friends who were very desirous to make his acquaintance, and would perhaps have some favour to ask of him. This set all right immediately: he became very intimate with them, and paid them every possible attention. He was a thoroughly good Christian, but by no means a bigot, and his intimacy with the philosophers made some people suspect his religious principles. But, for my part, I never heard a word from him which could be thought reprehensible by the severest moralist or most scrupulous Christian; and when some secret enemy wrote to the Bishop of his diocese, to complain of his frequenting the society of Voltaire and Madame du Châtelet, that prelate answered, “he wished those personages were always in such good company.” In fact, Père Jacquier 243had seen enough of the philosophers to be able to estimate them at their just value. His heart was too warm to sympathise with their cold selfishness and hypocritical philanthropy, and his mind too enlightened to adopt the errors of their systematic infidelity. He would say it is impossible to investigate the earth and the skies without adoring the Creator, or to feel the weakness of our nature without being a Christian.

Pope Ganganelli would have secularised Père Jacquier, but he declined it. He admitted that, if he had to begin life again, he would not be a monk, but it was now too late to make a change without necessity. He was very well satisfied, he said, with his present situation, which did not deprive him of the pleasure of seeing his friends: any alteration, therefore, would only make people talk to no purpose. Besides his pension as professor at Rome, he had one from the Duke of Parma, but he gave everything away, and very often had no money left before the end of the quarter. I think it was in the beginning of February, and the weather rather colder than usual, that he came in one morning and complained of not being well. My mother remarked his dress, and said: “Why, you have got on your summer clothing already, and must have caught cold.” He went home, and was laid up for some days, and we afterwards learned that a poor person having asked him for money when he 244had none to give, he had put on his summer dress and bestowed his winter one upon the mendicant.

Another day he came to us with a very pretty little watch in his hand, which he had won in a lottery. He was delighted with his prize, and begged me to accept of it, but my mother said: “Père Jacquier, I will tell you what to do with the watch. Take it to the man of whom you hire a carriage when you want one. I know you are exact in payment” (for that he was). “Let it be valued, and you will then have the pleasure of visiting your friends, whether it rain, or shine, for a long while.” He smiled and did as she advised, for he never liked to hire a carriage unless he could pay for it at once.

His conversation was full of anecdotes, which he related in the most clear and succinct manner. He was in correspondence with sensible and learned men of all countries, for he had no prejudices, but great discernment of character, and, though he liked to know every one who had a name in the world, he soon made the proper distinctions. One day, as we were looking at different portraits in a villa, the Chevalier de P., who was with us, observed one of Père Jacquier, and wrote under it the following lines, which are truly characteristic:

Sage et profond calculateur!
Heureux disciple d’Uranie!
Ses amis parlent de son cœur,
Et l’univers de son génie.
245There was a lady then at Rome who passed for being remarkably sensible and well informed; but one of her most intimate associates was a young man, who was thought the reverse of all that. I was told that Père Jacquier said to her: “Take care of what you are doing. I believe your conduct to be very correct; but when a man or a woman of great abilities is constantly seen with one of the other sex who has not those advantages, the world is ill natured enough to suppose that the intimacy is not of the mind.”[118]

The Emperor Joseph II. was at that time (1783) making many “reforms,” or “innovations,” as they were respectively designated by those who approved or disapproved of them. The Pope thought it expedient to take a journey to Vienna and converse with him on the subject, with a view, if possible, to stop his going too far. The Romans, who have a great talent for satire, criticised this project, and, like other nations, talked not too loyally of his proceedings. They particularly noticed the number of prelates he took with him. He has left us, they said, no one but Monsignore Resta and Monsignore Testa, the only two 경산오피 Cardinals who remained at Rome. It was also suggested that, as the Grand-Duke of Russia called 246himself “le Comte du Nord,” the Pope ought to leave his card as “l’Abbé du Midi.” The Pope, however, was received most courteously and respectfully by the Emperor, his family, and his subjects. He did not stay long, and when he came back he said that he was perfectly satisfied; that Joseph II. might have some odd ideas; but that, on the whole, he was a sensible, well-meaning man, a good Christian, and one who wished to promote the happiness of his people.

That Pius VI. was a great sovereign cannot be doubted. His draining the Pontine Marshes, his works at Terracina, which his unfortunate fate left unfinished, all he did for the arts, showed what he was. But these great undertakings could not be carried on without expense, and he was often straitened for money. And when these works were commenced how could he foresee the fatal storm that was rising? Had he not reason to believe that what he was doing would eventually enrich his country? His noble demeanour in adversity must have silenced those who were always finding fault with him in his prosperity, as it furnished an incontrovertible proof of the greatness of his mind.

Joseph II. returned his visit, and found at Rome Gustavus III., King of Sweden. A greater contrast could not be imagined than the appearance of those two monarchs. The Emperor, in a plain uniform, attended by an aide-de-camp in an equally 247simple military dress, and the King of Sweden, with his numerous suite of courtiers in velvets, satins, and embroidery, went to all the great parties; but no fêtes were given to them, at the Emperor’s particular request.

There was something in the manner of Gustavus III. very disadvantageous to him. He chatted much, but always began by a silly sort of laugh, which made one doubt his having the understanding or information which he really possessed. The gentlemen who were with him wore white handkerchiefs tied round one arm, in remembrance of what had been the signal for his partisans in the change of constitution by which he had so greatly offended many of the nobles of his country. It was supposed that these innovations had been suggested to him by M. de Vergennes, and by others, during his stay at Paris. He was apparently very partial to France, and he not only spoke, but wrote, the language perfectly, for I have read some very pretty French comedies composed by him in very good taste; and also a drama, entitled “Gustavus Vasa,” in Swedish, which he was supposed to have written. In this was introduced a scene in imitation of that where Richard III. sees the ghosts of the persons whose death he had caused. Here it is Christian, King of Denmark, who is said to have committed such cruelties in Sweden, and who was conquered by Gustavus 248Vasa and the brave Dalecarlians. One of the songs, for it is an opera, may be thus translated:

Noble shades! great sires arise!
Sweden’s heroes! knights of yore!
If her welfare still ye prize,
Give to Freedom life once more.
Say, shall tyrants—say, shall slaves,
Trample o’er your sacred graves?
No! your ghosts to war’s alarms
Let e’en thraldom’s name excite!
Stretch, vindictive, forth your arms
From the breast of endless Night!
Count de Fersen, who was so well known afterwards for his attempts to save the unfortunate Marie Antoinette,[119] and Count de Staël, who married Mademoiselle Necker, were of the King’s suite. It is well known that Gustavus was warmly hostile 경산오피 to the French revolution, which he was preparing to oppose in the most active manner when he was assassinated.

Travellers of all nations were to be met at Rome, and, what is usually called the best society not being very extensive, it was more easy to form acquaintances, and even intimacies, than in most other great cities. We knew almost all the English, and many of the foreigners. Amongst the latter was a Knight of Malta, the Commander de Dolomieu. He was a man of good family, from Dauphiny, and very agreeable in society. He had studied mineralogy and chemistry with great success, 249and had written a highly esteemed work on the great earthquake in Calabria.