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The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete by Jean Jacques Rousseau

Part 13 out of 13

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view the display of the stinking skins of a dresser of chamois leather.
My host was a man of a mean appearance, and a good deal of a rascal; the
next day after I went to his house I heard that he was a debauchee, a
gamester, and in bad credit in the neighborhood. He had neither wife,
children, nor servants, and shut up in my solitary chamber, I was in the
midst of one of the most agreeable countries in Europe, lodged in a
manner to make me die of melancholy in the course of a few days. What
affected me most was, that, notwithstanding what I had heard of the
anxious wish of the inhabitants to receive me amongst them, I had not
perceived, as I passed through the streets, anything polite towards me in
their manners, or obliging in their looks. I was, however, determined to
remain there; but I learned, saw, and felt, the day after, that there was
in the city a terrible fermentation, of which I was the cause. Several
persons hastened obligingly to inform me that on the next day I was to
receive an order conceived in the most severe terms, immediately to quit
the state, that is the city. I had nobody in whom I could confide; they
who had detained me were dispersed. Wildremet had disappeared; I heard
no more of Barthes, and it did not appear that his recommendation had
brought me into great favor with those whom he had styled his patrons and
fathers. One M. de Van Travers, a Bernois, who had an agreeable house
not far from the city, offered it to me for my asylum, hoping, as he
said, that I might there avoid being stoned. The advantage this offer
held out was not sufficiently flattering to tempt me to prolong my abode
with these hospitable people.

Yet, having lost three days by the delay, I had greatly exceeded the
twenty-four hours the Bernois had given me to quit their states, and
knowing their severity, I was not without apprehensions as to the manner
in which they would suffer me to cross them, when the bailiff of Nidau
came opportunely and relieved me from my embarrassment. As he had highly
disapproved of the violent proceedings of their excellencies, he thought,
in his generosity, he owed me some public proof of his taking no part in
them, and had courage to leave his bailiwick to come and pay me a visit
at Bienne. He did me this favor the evening before my departure, and far
from being incognito he affected ceremony, coming in fiocchi in his coach
with his secretary, and brought me a passport in his own name that I
might cross the state of Berne at my ease, and without fear of
molestation. I was more flattered by the visit than by the passport,
and should have been as sensible of the merit of it, had it had for
object any other person whatsoever. Nothing makes a greater impression
on my heart than a well-timed act of courage in favor of the weak
unjustly oppressed.

At length, after having with difficulty procured a chaise, I next morning
left this barbarous country, before the arrival of the deputation with
which I was to be honored, and even before I had seen Theresa, to whom I
had written to come to me, when I thought I should remain at Bienne,
and whom I had scarcely time to countermand by a short letter, informing
her of my new disaster. In the third part of my memoirs, if ever I be
able to write them, I shall state in what manner, thinking to set off for
Berlin, I really took my departure for England, and the means by which
the two ladies who wished to dispose of my person, after having by their
manoeuvres driven me from Switzerland, where I was not sufficiently in
their power, at last delivered me into the hands of their friend.

I added what follows on reading my memoirs to M. and Madam, the Countess
of Egmont, the Prince Pignatelli, the Marchioness of Mesme, and the
Marquis of Juigne.

I have written the truth: if any person has heard of things contrary to
those I have just stated, were they a thousand times proved, he has heard
calumny and falsehood; and if he refuses thoroughly to examine and
compare them with me whilst I am alive, he is not a friend either to
justice or truth. For my part, I openly, and without the least fear
declare, that whoever, even without having read my works, shall have
examined with his own eyes, my disposition, character, manners,
inclinations, pleasures, and habits, and pronounce me a dishonest man,
is himself one who deserves a gibbet.

Thus I concluded, and every person was silent; Madam d'Egmont was the
only person who seemed affected; she visibly trembled, but soon recovered
herself, and was silent like the rest of the company. Such were the
fruits of my reading and declaration.


A feeling heart the foundation of all my misfortunes
A religion preached by such missionaries must lead to paradise!
A subject not even fit to make a priest of
A man, on being questioned, is immediately on his guard
Adopted the jargon of books, than the knowledge they contained
All animals are distrustful of man, and with reason
All your evils proceed from yourselves!
An author must be independent of success
Ardor for learning became so far a madness
Aversion to singularity
Avoid putting our interests in competition with our duty
Being beat like a slave, I judged I had a right to all vices
Catholic must content himself with the decisions of others
Caution is needless after the evil has happened
Cemented by reciprocal esteem
Considering this want of decency as an act of courage
Conversations were more serviceable than his prescriptions
Degree of sensuality had mingled with the smart and shame
Die without the aid of physicians
Difficult to think nobly when we think for a livelihood
Dine at the hour of supper; sup when I should have been asleep
Disgusted with the idle trifling of a convent
Dissembler, though, in fact, I was only courteous
Dying for love without an object
Endeavoring to hide my incapacity, I rarely fail to show it
Endeavoring to rise too high we are in danger of falling
Ever appearing to feel as little for others as herself
Finding in every disease symptoms similar to mine
First instance of violence and oppression is so deeply engraved
First time in my life, of saying, "I merit my own esteem"
Flattery, or rather condescension, is not always a vice
Force me to be happy in the manner they should point out
Foresight with me has always embittered enjoyment
Hastening on to death without having lived
Hat, only fit to be carried under his arm
Have the pleasure of seeing an ass ride on horseback
Have ever preferred suffering to owing
Her excessive admiration or dislike of everything
Hold fast to aught that I have, and yet covet nothing more
Hopes, in which self-love was by no means a loser
How many wrongs are effaced by the embraces of a friend!
I never much regretted sleep
I strove to flatter my idleness
I never heard her speak ill of persons who were absent
I loved her too well to wish to possess her
I felt no dread but that of being detected
I was long a child, and am so yet in many particulars
I am charged with the care of myself only
I only wished to avoid giving offence
I did not fear punishment, but I dreaded shame
I had a numerous acquaintance, yet no more than two friends
Idea of my not being everything to her
Idleness is as much the pest of society as of solitude
If you have nothing to do, you must absolutely speak continually
In the course of their lives frequently unlike themselves
In company I suffer cruelly by inaction
In a nation of blind men, those with one eye are kings
Indolence, negligence and delay in little duties to be fulfilled
Indolence of company is burdensome because it is forced
Injustice of mankind which embitters both life and death
Insignificant trash that has obtained the name of education
Instead of being delighted with the journey only wished arrival
Is it possible to dissimulate with persons whom we love?
Jean Bapiste Rousseau
Knew how to complain, but not how to act
Law that the accuser should be confined at the same time
Left to nature the whole care of my own instruction
Less degree of repugnance in divulging what is really criminal
Letters illustrious in proportion as it was less a trade
Loaded with words and redundancies
Looking on each day as the last of my life
Love of the marvellous is natural to the human heart
Make men like himself, instead of taking them as they were
Making their knowledge the measure of possibilities
Making me sensible of every deficiency
Manoeuvres of an author to the care of publishing a good book
Men, in general, make God like themselves
Men of learning more tenaciously retain their predjudices
Mistake wit for sense
Moment I acquired literary fame, I had no longer a friend
Money that we possess is the instrument of liberty
Money we lack and strive to obtain is the instrument of slavery
More stunned than flattered by the trumpet of fame
More folly than candor in the declaration without necessity
Multiplying persons and adventures
My greatest faults have been omissions
Myself the principal object
Necessity, the parent of industry, suggested an invention
Neither the victim nor witness of any violent emotions
No sooner had lost sight of men than I ceased to despise them
No longer permitted to let old people remain out of Paris
Not so easy to quit her house as to enter it
Not knowing how to spend their time, daily breaking in upon me
Nothing absurd appears to them incredible
Obliged to pay attention to every foolish thing uttered
Obtain their wishes, without permitting or promising anything
One of those affronts which women scarcely ever forgive
Only prayer consisted in the single interjection "Oh!"
Painful to an honest man to resist desires already formed
Passed my days in languishing in silence for those I most admire
Piety was too sincere to give way to any affectation of it
Placing unbounded confidence in myself and others
Prescriptions serve to flatter the hopes of the patient
Priests ought never to have children--except by married women
Proportioned rather to her ideas than abilities
Protestants, in general, are better instructed
Rather bashful than modest
Rather appeared to study with than to instruct me
Read the hearts of others by endeavoring to conceal our own
Read description of any malady without thinking it mine
Read without studying
Remorse wakes amid the storms of adversity
Remorse sleeps in the calm sunshine of prosperity
Reproach me with so many contradictions
Return of spring seemed to me like rising from the grave
Rogues know how to save themselves at the expense of the feeble
Satisfaction of weeping together
Seeking, by fresh offences, a return of the same chastisement
Sin consisted only in the scandal
Slighting her favors, if within your reach, a unpardonable crime
Sometimes encourage hopes they never mean to realize
Substituting cunning to knowledge
Supposed that certain, which I only knew to be probable
Taught me it was not so terrible to thieve as I had imagined
That which neither women nor authors ever pardon
The malediction of knaves is the glory of an honest man
The conscience of the guilty would revenge the innocent
There is nothing in this world but time and misfortune
There is no clapping of hands before the king
This continued desire to control me in all my wishes
Though not a fool, I have frequently passed for one
To make him my apologies for the offence he had given me
True happiness is indescribable, it is only to be felt
Trusting too implicitly to their own innocence
Tyranny of persons who called themselves my friends
Virtuous minds, which vice never attacks openly
Voltaire was formed never to be(happy)
We learned to dissemble, to rebel, to lie
What facility everything which favors the malignity of man
When once we make a secret of anything to the person we love
When everyone is busy, you may continue silent
Whence comes it that even a child can intimidate a man
Where merit consists in belief, and not in virtue
Whole universe would be interested in my concerns
Whose discourses began by a distribution of millions
Wish thus to be revenged of me for their humiliation
Without the least scruple, freely disposing of my time
Writing for bread would soon have extinguished my genius
Yielded him the victory, or rather declined the contest

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