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LITERARY WEEKLY INTELLIGENCER,
WEDNESDAY, MAY 30. 1792.
MEMOIRS OF CARDINAL DUBOIS.
With a portrait.
I GIVE the sketch of this singular character as a lesson in the art of rising at court. Many persons who live in the country entertain a very false notion of the talents that are necessary for advancing one's fortune, and obtaining places of trust in the higher departments of government; they, therefore, respect those people in a high degree who have proved successful, and look upon them as somewhat superior to human nature itself, both in regard to talents and dispositions. Those who have penetrated into the secrets of courts, and withdrawn the veil that conceals their real character from public view, know well, that no deception of the most expert performer of legerdemain tricks can be greater than this is. It is by no means my intention to penetrate deep in this mysterious walk; but as the professed object of this work, is to give my readers a just view of men and things, it is proper that they fhould be let see as VOL. ix.
May 30. much, as to abate somewhat of that idolatrous veneration for men in power, which has but too long been cherished in Europe.
The following sketch of the life of cardinal Dubois is translated from a splendid work now publishing in Paris, under the title of 'les illustres modernes ;' and the head is copied from the same work.
This prince of the church was not indebted to his birth for his high station. He was the son of a poor apothecary of Brive-la-Gaillarde. Many people, says the abbé de S. Pierre, were astonished at the greatnefs and the quickness of his fortune. But they did not reflect that he had a great talent for knowing the weak side of men, and great facility in adapting his conduct accordingly. They did not reflect that he slept little, that he scarce ever read, that he neither loved the table nor conversation; and consequently that he had four times as much time as any body else. They did not think that neither friendship, gratitude, nor probity, stood in the way of his projects, as of a just man. They did not consider that an ambitious person, whose fortune depends on a single man, whom he surrounds with spies, to gain his end quickly; while he is offended at nothing, but suffers. every thing with patience; while he wishes strongly, and especially when he can, to destroy in the mind of his master, by calumnies, all those who can approach him.
His first secret was to persuade the regent that there was neither probity among men, nor virtue among women; and that, in the ministry, men
of abilities, and who were fruitful in resources, ought to be preferred to those of an upright and just cha
Philip tasted these maxims of the preceptor of the duke of Chartres, who, from that moment, became the soul of the prince, by serving his pleasures. It was in vain that F. de la Chaise said that abbé Dubois was addicted to women and gaming. They answered him: That may be, but he does not attach himself, he does not get drunk, he never loves any thing. And the way to honour was open to him.
The archbishopric of Cambray became vacant: He had the boldnefs to demand it, but as if in jest. My ford, I dreamed last night that I was archbishop of Cambray. You make very ridiculous dreams! Why not make me archbishop of Cambray as well as another! You! you an archbishop! Dubois, however, publifhed on all sides that he had obtained the chair, to keep off pretenders: And he wrote to Destouches, who was at London as ambassador, to engage king George to ask the regent for the archbishopric of Cambray for the minister who had concluded the alliance be
tween the two nations. This proposal appeared very ridiculous to the king of England. How could you with, said he to Nericault, that a protestant prince fhould meddle with the making a prelate in France? The regent would laugh at it, and surely would not do it. Pardon me, Sire, he will laugh at it, but will do it neverthelefs. And directly, he presented to him a most prefsing letter ready writ The monarch signed it, and the most licentious of the clergy obtained the mitre of Fenelon. During