Brillon's gardens, and what fine walks they contain; you know the handsome flight of a hundred steps, which lead from the terrace above to the lawn below. You have been in the practise of visiting this amiable family twice a week, after dinner, and it is a maxim of your own, that "a man may take as much exercise in walking a mile up and down-stairs as in ten on level ground."
His own disciple, Brillon, tells us of La Bruyère that, "the author of the work which this age has most admired was at least ten years writing it, and about as long hesitating whether he would write it or not." The "Caractères" was finished in 1687; Brillon's estimate takes us back to 1667 or earlier, and the brilliant success of the "Maximes" dates from 1665.
I am convinced now of the justness of Poor Richard's remark that "Our debts and our sins are always greater than we think for." Gout. So it is. You philosophers are sages in your maxims, and fools in your conduct. Franklin. But do you charge, among my crimes, that I return in a carriage from Mr. Brillon's? Gout.