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lost all connection with my catholic friends. I have since reflected with surprise, that as the Romish clergy of every part of Europe maintain a close correspondence with each other, they never attempted, by letters messages,

to rescue me from the hands of the heretics, or at least to confirm my zeal and constancy in the profession of the faith. Such was my first introduction to Lausanne; a place where I spent nearly five years with pleasure and profit, which I afterwards revisited without compulsion, and which I have finally selected as the most grateful retreat for the decline of

my life."

He soon, however, became reconciled to his situation, and derived great benefits from the residence of Lausanne. He here entered upon a course of intense study. He went nearly through a complete round of the Latin classics, and their most celebrated commentators. He acquired also some acquaintance, though not very extensive, with Grecian literature, Grotius, (Puffendorf, Locke, Crousaz, and Pascal, entered also into his round of study. He opened a correspondence with Crevier, the successor of Rollin, professor Breitinger of Zurich, and Matthew Gesner of Gottingen. He made also a journey through Switzerland. At this time too he became acquainted with . Mademoiselle Curchod; but the nature of their connection will best be related in his own words, though some what more pompous than the subject requires.

“ I besitate, from the apprehension of ridicule, when I approach the delicate subject of my early love. By this word I do not mean the polite attention, the gallantry, without hope or design, wbich has originated in the spirit of chivalry, and is interwoven with the texture of French manners. I understand by this passion, the union of desire, friendship, and tenderness, which is inflamed by a single female, which prefers her to the rest of her sex, and which seeks her possession as the supreme or the sole happiness of our being. I need not blush at recollecting the object of my choice; and




though my love was disappointed of success, I am rather proud that I was once capable of feeling such a pure and exalted sentiment. The personal attractions of Mademoiselle Curchod were embellished by the virtues and talents of the mind. Her fortune was humble, but her family was respectable. Her mother, a native of France, had preferred her religion to her country. The profession of her father did not extinguish the moderation and philosophy of his temper, and he lived content with a small salary and laborious duty, in the obscure lot of minister of Crassy, in the mountains that separate the Pays de Vaud from the county of Burgundy. In the solitude of a sequestered village, he bestowed a liberal, and even learned, education on his only daughter. She surpassed his hopes by her proficiency in the sciences and languages; and in her short visits to some relations at Lausanne, the wit, the beauty and erudition of Mademoiselle Curchod were the theme of universal applause. The report of such a prodigy awakened my curiosity ; I saw and loved. I found her learned without pedantry, lively in conversation, pure in senti. ment, and elegant in manners; and the first sudden emotion was fortified by the habits and knowledge of a more familiar acquaintance. She permitted me to make her two or three visits at her father's house. I passed some happy days there in the mountains of Burgundy, and her parents honourably encouraged the connection. In a calm retirement the gay vanity of youth no longcr fluttered in her bosom; she listened to the voice of truth and passion, and I might presume to hope that I had made some impression on a virtuous heart. At Crassy and Lausanne I indulged my dream of felicity; but, on my return to England, I soon discovered that my father would not hear of this strange alliance, and that without his consent I was myself destitute and helpless. After a painful struggle, I yielded to my fate; I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son ; my wound was insensibly healed by time, absence, and the habits

of a new life. My cure was accelerated by a faithful report of the tranquillity and cheerfulness of the lady herself, and my love subsided in friendship and esteem. The minister of Crassy soon afterwards died; his stipend died with him; his daughter retired to Geneva, where, by teaching young ladies, she earned a hard subsista ence for herself and her mother, but in her lowest distress she maintained a spotless reputation, and a digni. fied behaviour. A rich banker of Paris, a citizen of Geneva, had the good fortune and good sense to discover and possess this inestimable treasure ; and in the capital of taste and luxury she resisted the temptations of wealth, as she had sustained the hardships of indigence. The genius of her husband has exalted him to the most conspicuous station in Europe. In every change of prosperity and disgrace be has reclined on the bosom of a faithful friend; and Mademoiselle Cur. chod is now the wife of M. Necker, the minister, and perhaps the legislator, of the French monarchy."

In the course of this residence at Lausanne, Gibbon was converted again to the religion of his parents. On christmas 1754, aster, as he states, a full conviction, he received the sacrament in the church of Lausanne. His father, hearing of his conversion, progress in learn, ing, and propriety of conduct, determined to recall him ; a summons which he obeyed, though not apparently without some reluctance, so completely, during his absence, had his habits become those of a foreigner. His father had married again during his absence ; and Gibbon seems to have come over with considerable prejudices against bis stepmother. These, however, were soon dissipated by acquaintance; and they even became intimate friends. His residence was now divided between the town and the country; and we shall describe, in his own words, the manner in which he spent his time in both. First, of his town life he says:

“ The metropolis affords many amusements, which are open to all. It is itself an astonishing and perpe.

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tual spectacle to the curious eye ; and each taste, each sense may be gratified by the variety of objects which will occur in the long circuit of a morning walk. I assiduously frequented the theatres at a very propitious era of the stage, when a constellation of excellent actors, both in tragedy and comedy, was eclipsed by the meridian brightness of Garrick, in the maturity of his judgment, and vigour of his performance. The pleasures of a town life are within the reach of every man who is regardless of his health, his money, and his company. By the contagion of example I was sometimes seduced; but the better habits, wbich I had formed at Lausanne, induced me to seek a more ele. gant and rational society; and if my search was less easy and successful than I might have hoped, I shall at present impute the failure to the disadvantages of my situation and character. Had the rank and fortune of my parents given them an annual establishment in London, their own house would have introduced me to a numerous and polite circle of acquaintance. But my father's taste had always preferred the highest and the lowest company, for wbich he was equally qualified ; and, after a twelve years retirement, , he was no longer in the memory of the great with whom he had associated. I found myself a stranger in the midst of a vast and unknown city; and at my entrance into life I was reduced to some dull family parties, and some scattered connections, which were not such as I should bave chosen for myself. The most useful friends of my father were the Mallets : they received me with civility and kindness, at first on his account, and afterwards on my own; and (if I may use Lord Chesterfield's words) I was soon domesticated in their house. Mr. Mallet, a name among the English poets, is praised by an unforgiving enemy for the ease and elegance of bis conversation, and his wife was not destitute of wit or learning. By his assistance I was introduced to Lady Hervey, the mother of the present Earl of Bristol.

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Her age

and infirmities confined her at home; her dinners were select ; in the evening her house was open to the best company

of both sexes and all nations ; nor was I displeased at her preference and affectation of the manners, the language, and the literature of France. But my progress in the English world was in general left to my own efforts, and those efforts were languid and slow. I had not been endowed by art or nature with those happy gifts of confidence and address which unlock every door and every bosom; nor would it be reasonable to complain of the just consequences of my sickly childhood, foreign education, and reserved temper. While coaches were rattling through Bond Street, I have passed many a solitary evening in my lodging with my books. My studies were sometimes interrupted by a sigh which I breathed towards Lausanne ; and on the approach of spring I withdrew without reluctance from the noisy and extensive scene of crowds without company, and dissipation without pleasure. In each of the twenty-five years of my acquaintance with London (1758–1783) the prospect gradually brightened ; and this unfavourable picture most properly belongs to the first period after my return from Switzerland.”

His country life seems to have been little more to his taste :

6. As my stay at Buriton was always voluntary, I was received and dismissed with smiles; but the comforts of my retirement did not depend on the ordinary pleasures of the country. My father could never inspire me with his love and knowledge of farming. I never handled a gun, I seldom mounted an horse; and my philosophic walks were soon terminated by a shady bench, where I was long detained by the sedentary amusement of reading or meditation. At home I occupied a pleasant and spacious apartment; the library on the same floor was soon considered as my peculiar domain ; and I might say with truth, that I was never less alone than when by myself. My sole complaint

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