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The fev'rish fool thus having said,
Astonish'd at so strange a sight, and
A week transpires, the sick fool's worse,
* There is another folly, which, when opposed to that at present under consideration, is no less ridiculous. It consists in placing too much reliance on physical aid; a very curious instance of which is related by the French histo
OY OF THE POET
L’ENVOY OF THE POET.
Need'st thou for a physician send?
The doctor can't prolong thine end.
rians, in the person of the savage Lewis XI. who, while he inflicted tortures on hundreds, was himself even more afflicted; for we are informed, that he was so much the slave of one Facques Coctier, his physician, that he suffered at his hands the most insolent and threatening language; conceiving that his life was solely preserved to him by the skill he professed; and Jacques Coctier, on such' occasions, would increase the horrors of the monarch, by exclaiming“ Je sçais que vous me donnerez mon congé, comme vous l'avez donné a d'autres;” then, rolling his eyes and swearing, he would add, “ mais vous ne vivrez pas huit jours apres." Upon which, the king would humbly crave mercy, and submit to any degradation. But at this conduct of Coctier to his sovereign we need not be surprised, when we are told by Gaguin, in his Latin history, that the wretch did not scruple to order as remedies for his royal patient, the warm blood of infants to drink, as well as to bathe in. That the reader, however, may learn the consummate folly of this monarch, in its full extent, it is necessary to add, that when he found the powers of medicine fail, Al mal mortale né medicar, nè medècina vale, he sent for a very pious hermit, THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOLS. Come, trim the boat, row' on each Rara Avis, Crowds flock to man my Stultifera Navis,
called Francois Martotille, whom he received with as much ceremony as if he had been the sovereign Pontiff, and to this pious old man he prostrated himself to earth, supplicat. ing by promises and gifts that he would intercede with Heaven, to grant him a prolongation of existence; but Martotille being too honest to profit by this foolery of the king, exhorted him, on the contrary, rather to think of the world to come, than the present state of existence; which advice was far from the monarch's wish, who therefore dismissed the hermit, and as a dernier resort, being wrought upon by superstitious' timidity, he literally caused various relics of saints to be arranged around his bed (which were not only brought from different parts of his own. dominions, but pro. cured at an enormous expense from Rome and Constanti. nople) by means of which, he conceived, that the approach of death would be barred from him. It is merely necessary to add, that the punition Lewis XI. thus experienced, seem. ed but a manifestation of the just ; vengeance of Omnipotence, for the sanguinary proceedings which characterized the reign of that monarch.
OF FOOLS THAT WILLINGLY PUT THEMSELVES IN
THE WAY OF PERIL.
Idemens! et sævas curre per Alpes,
Or sportsmen I've already spoken,
But now behold the buck quite dashing,
For fame as knight o'the whip thus striving,
* It is certain that though the rashest actions have at times been crowned with success, they are but few in num.
If racing, that the fool may win it,
ber, when compared with the destructive termination which has in general accompanied this species of folly.-Charles the Twelfth, of Sweden, proved himself a rash fool, in opposing the whole army of the Turks at Bender, when he had but a few followers; nor was there more real bravery in his conduct than was displayed some years back, by the fool who walked round the iron balustrade which appears at the summit of the monument; for in both cases, the same fact will_ hold good, viz. had the Swedish monarch been shot, no one would have pitied his fate, but branded him with the well earned appellation of fool; and, in like manner, if the idiot who sported himself on the rail of the monument, had been precipitated to the bottom, there would have been but one opinion—That his foolhardiness well merited its punishment. Such being the fact, let all rash: men, ere they undertake an action, consider only what will be the derision of mankind, if they fail, and that simple interrogatory will at once instruct them, whether or no their conduct is sanctioned by the dictates of reason, common sense, and prudence, for the latter requisite is as absolutely essential to real courage, as any other.