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Translated by R.D. Boylan Edited by Nathen Haskell Dole - page 7 / 106





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anything so unsteady, so uncertain, as my heart. But need I confess this to you, my dear friend, who have so often en- dured the anguish of witnessing my sudden transitions from sorrow to immoderate joy, and from sweet melancholy to violent passions? I treat my poor heart like a sick child, and gratify its every fancy. Do not mention this again: there are people who would censure me for it.

tinence all the more keenly.

I know very well that we are not all equal, nor can be so; but it is my opinion that he who avoids the common people, in order not to lose their respect, is as much to blame as a coward who hides himself from his enemy because he fears defeat.

The other day I went to the fountain, and found a young

MAY 15

The common people of the place know me already, and love me, particularly the children. When at first I associated with them, and inquired in a friendly tone about their various trifles, some fancied that I wished to ridicule them, and turned from me in exceeding ill-humour. I did not allow that circumstance to grieve me: I only felt most keenly what I have often before observed. Persons who can claim a certain rank keep them- selves coldly aloof from the common people, as though they feared to lose their importance by the contact; whilst wanton idlers, and such as are prone to bad joking, affect to descend to their level, only to make the poor people feel their imper-

servant-girl, who had set her pitcher on the lowest step, and looked around to see if one of her companions was approach- ing to place it on her head. I ran down, and looked at her. “Shall I help you, pretty lass?” said I. She blushed deeply. “Oh,

sir!” she exclaimed. “No ceremony!” I replied. She adjusted her head-gear, and I helped her. She thanked me, and ascended the steps.

MAY 17

I HAVE MADE all sorts of acquaintances, but have as yet found no society. I know not what attraction I possess for the people, so many of them like me, and attach themselves to me; and then I feel sorry when the road we pursue together goes only a short


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