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In Europe, we have had no great monuments of flattery before Louis XIV. His father, Louis XIII. had very
little incense offered him; we find no mention of him, except in one or two of Malherbe's odes. There, indeed, according to custom, he is called " thou greatest of kings"--as the Spanish poets say to the king of Spain, and the English poets (laureate) to the king of England; but the better part of his praises is bestowed on cardinal Richelieu, whose soul is great and fearless; who practises so well the healing art of government, and who knows how to cure all our evils:
Dont l'âme toute grande est une âme hardie,
Qu'il ne sache guérir.* Upon Louis XIV. flattery came in a deluge. But he was not like the man said to have been smothered by the rose-leaves heaped upon him; on the contrary, he thrived the more.
Flattery, when it has some plausible pretext, may not be so pernicious as it has been thought: it sometimes encourages to great acts; but its excess is vicious, like the excess of satire.
La Fontaine says, and pretends to say it after Æsop :
On ne peut trop louer trois sortes de personnes ;
So honest Æsop said—and so say I. Honest Æsop said no such thing ; nor do we find that he flattered any king, or any concubine. It must not be thought that kings are in reality flattered by all the flatteries that are heaped upon them; for the greater part never reach them.
* From one of Malherbe's odes. Why, then, did not Richelieu cure Malherbe of the malady of writing such dull verses.
One very common folly of orators, is that of exhausting themselves in praising some prince who will never hear of their praises. But what is most lamentable of all is, that Ovid should have praised Augustus even while he was dating “ de Ponto.
The perfection of the ridiculous might be found in the compliments which preachers address to kings, when they have the happiness of exhibiting before their majesties. “To the reverend father Gaillard, preacher to the king.” Ah! most reverend father, dost thou preach only for the king ? Art thou like the monkey at the fair, which leaps“ only for the king ?"
FORCE (PHYSICAL). What is force?' where does it reside? whence does it come? does it perish ? or is it ever the same?
It has pleased us to denominate force' that weight which one body exercises upon another. Here is a ball of two hundred pounds weight on this floor: it presses the floor, you say, with a 'force' of two hundred pounds. And this you call a 'dead force.' But are not these words dead' and ' force' a little contradictory? Might we not as well say 'dead alive'-yes and no at once ?
This ball ‘weighs.' Whence comes this "weight?' and is this weight a 'force ?' If the ball were not impeded, would it go directly to the centre of the earth? Whence has it this incomprehensible property ?
It is supported by my floor; and you freely give to my floor the “ vis inertiæ”—“ inertiæ" signifying inactivity,' “impotence.' Now is it not singular that impotence should be denominated force?
What is the living force which acts in your arm and your leg? What is the source of it? How can it be supposed that this force exists 'when you are dead? Does it go and take up its abode elsewhere, as a man goes to another house when his own is in ruins ?
How can it have been said that there is always the same force in nature. There must, then, have been
always the same number of men, or of active beings equivalent to men.
Why does a body in motion communicate its force to another body with which it comes in contact?
These are questions which neither geometry, nor mechanics, nor metaphysics can answer. arrive at the first principle of the force of bodies, and of motion, you must ascend to a still superior principle. Why is there "anything ?”
FORCE-STRENGTH. These words have been transplanted from simple to figurative speech. They are applied to all the parts of a body that are in motion, in action ;—the force of the heart, which some have made four hundred pounds, and some three ounces; the force of the viscera, the lungs, the voice; the force of the arm.
The metaphor which has transported these words into moralş has made them express a cardinal virtue. Strength, in this sense, is the courage to support adversity, and to undertake virtuous and difficult actions; it is the “ animi fortitudo.”
The strength of the mind is penetration and depth“ ingenii vis.” Nature gives it as she gives that of the body: moderate labour increases, and excessive labour diminishes it.
The force of an argument consists in a clear exposition of clearly-exhibited proofs, and a just conclusion: with mathematical theorems it has nothing to do; because the evidence of a demonstration can be made neither more nor less; only it may be arrived at by a longer or a shorter path,-a simpler or more complicated method. It is in doubtful questions that the force of reasoning is truly applicable.
The force of eloquence is not merely a train of just and vigorous reasoning, which is not incompatible with dryness; this force requires Aoridity, striking images, and energetic expressions. Thus it has been said, that the sermons of Bourdaloue have most force, those of Massillon more elegance. Verses may have strength,
and want every other beauty. The strength of a line in our language consists principally in saying something in each hemistich.
Strength in painting is the expression of the muscles, which, by feeling touches, are made to appear under the flesh that covers them. There is too much strength when the muscles are too strongly articulated. The attitudes of the combatants have great strength in the battles of Constantine, drawn by Raphael and Julio Romano; and in those of Cæsar, painted by Le Brun. Inordinaté strength is harsh in painting and bombastic
Some philosophers have asserted that force is a property inherent in matter; that each invisible particle, or rather monad, is endowed with an active force; but it would be as difficult to demonstrate this assertion as it would be to prove that whiteness is a quality inherent in matter, as the Trevoux Dictionary says in the article INHERENT.
The strength of every animal has arrived at the highest when the animal has attained its full growth. It decreases when the muscles no longer receive the same quantity of nourishment; and this quantity ceases to be the same when the animal spirits no longer communicate to the muscles their accustomed motion. It is probable that the animal spirits are of fire, inasmuch as that old men want motion and strength in proportion as they want warmth.
FRANCHISE, A WORD which always gives an idea of liberty in whatever sense it is taken; a word derived from the Franks, who were always free: it is so ancient, that when the Cid besieged and took Toledo, in the eleventh century, franchies or franchises were given to all the French who went on this expedition, and who established themselves at Toledo. All walled cities had franchises, liberties, and privileges, even in the greatest anarchy of feudal power. In all countries possessing
assemblies or states, the sovereign swore, on his accession, to guard their liberties.
This name, which has been given generally to the rights of the people, to immunities, and to sanctuaries or asylums, has been more particularly applied to the quarters of the ambassadors of the court of Rome. It was a piece of ground around their palaces which was larger or smaller according to the will of the ambassador. The ground was an asylum for criminals, who could not be there pursued.
This franchise was restricted under Innocent XI. to the inside of their palaces. Churches and convents had the same privileges in Italy, but not in other states. There are in Paris several places of sanctuary in which debtors cannot be seized for their debts by common justice, and where mechanics can pursue their trades without being freemen. Mechanics have this privilege in the Faubourg St. Antoine, but it is not an asylum like the Temple.*
The word franchise, which usually expresses the liberties of a nation, city, or person, is sometimes used to signify liberty of speech, of counsel, or of a law proceeding; but there is a great difference between speaking with frankness and speaking with liberty. In a speech to a superior, liberty is a studied or too great boldness, ---frankness outstepping its just bounds. To speak with liberty, is to speak without fear; to speak with frankness, is to conduct yourself openly and nobly. To speak with too much liberty, is to become audacious; to speak with too much frankness, is to be too open-hearted.+
It would not be amiss to know something true concerning the celebrated Francis Xavero, whom we call
* We need not mention the former similar instances of White Friars and the Mint, in London and Southwark. We believe there are no privileged places in Great
Britain at present, except the royal palaces and their precincts.-T.
+ A little Gallic this, but English courts and high places can very well exemplify these definitions.-T.: .