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To these considerations of an extravagant expenditure and the absence of every chance of promotion, there was added in the case of Vauvenargues the still more powerful drawback of irretrievably broken health. The winter-march from Prague to Egra had sown fatal seed.

Pardon me, Monseigneur, if it has led me into any extravagance of expression. "I am, etc." To this last appeal the Minister for Foreign Affairs did respond in a brief and perfunctory note, promising to find an occasion of bringing the talents of Vauvenargues to the notice of the King, but nothing resulted.

I find myself writing like an illegitimate son of La Rochefoucauld, or of Vauvenargues. But, it is true that I am fifty years old, and I am not mature. I am undeveloped somewhere. The question for me to consider is, whether this development is to be accomplished by my being guilty of an act of egregious folly. Dans la cinquantaine! The reflection should produce a gravity in men.

Vauvenargues has a saying to the effect that men very often, without thinking of it, form an idea of their face and expression from the ruling sentiment of which they are conscious in themselves at the time. He hints that this is perhaps the reason why a coxcomb always believes himself to be handsome.

It was for his perception of this truth, we may notice in passing, that Comte awarded to Vauvenargues a place in the Positivist Calendar; 'for his direct effort, in spite of the universal desuetude into which it had fallen, to reorganise the culture of the heart according to a better knowledge of human nature, of which this noble thinker discerned the centre to be affective.

It is a French conception, and one to which our language does not readily, or gracefully, lend itself. In the mind of Vauvenargues the idea of "gloire" took the central place, and we may form an intelligent conception of the meaning he stamped upon the word, by repeating some of his axioms. He says: "The flush of dawn is not so lovely as the earliest experiences of gloire.

The Éloge in which Vauvenargues commemorates the virtues and the pitiful fate of his friend, is too deeply marked with the florid and declamatory style of youth to be pleasing to a more ripened taste. He complained that nobody who had read it observed that it was touching, not remembering that even the most tender feeling fails to touch us, when it has found stilted and turgid expression.

This moral union of merit, glory and renown, in triple splendour revolving round each other, was the main object of Vauvenargues' contemplation, and he admits that the central passion of his life was "l'amour de la gloire." What, then, is the exact meaning of "la Gloire," which the dictionaries superficially translate by "glory," a very different thing?

We note, then, at once that the amour-propre of the seventeenth century, the sentiment against which we saw the most burning arrows of La Rochefoucauld directed, was not the source of Vauvenargues' desire of glory; that with him renown was not a matter of egotistic satisfaction, but of altruistic stimulus, awakening in others, by a happy rivalry, sentiments of generosity and self-sacrifice which might redeem society and the dying world of France.

Yet Vauvenargues took life seriously enough, and it was just because he took it seriously, that he had no inclination to air his wit or practise a verbal humour upon the stuff out of which happiness and misery are made. One or two fragments will suffice.