No. 84. Wednesday, June 6, 1711. Steele.

... Quis talia fando
Myrmidonum Dolopumve aut duri miles Ulyssei
Temperet a Lachrymis?'

Looking over the old Manuscript wherein the private Actions of Pharamond [1] are set down by way of Table-Book. I found many things which gave me great Delight; and as human Life turns upon the same Principles and Passions in all Ages, I thought it very proper to take Minutes of what passed in that Age, for the Instruction of this. The Antiquary, who lent me these Papers, gave me a Character of Eucrate, the Favourite of Pharamond, extracted from an Author who lived in that Court. The Account he gives both of the Prince and this his faithful Friend, will not be improper to insert here, because I may have Occasion to mention many of their Conversations, into which these Memorials of them may give Light.

'Pharamond, when he had a Mind to retire for an Hour or two from the Hurry of Business and Fatigue of Ceremony, made a Signal to Eucrate, by putting his Hand to his Face, placing his Arm negligently on a Window, or some such Action as appeared indifferent to all the rest of the Company. Upon such Notice, unobserved by others, (for their entire Intimacy was always a Secret) Eucrate repaired to his own Apartment to receive the King. There was a secret Access to this Part of the Court, at which Eucrate used to admit many whose mean Appearance in the Eyes of the ordinary Waiters and Door-keepers made them be repulsed from other Parts of the Palace. Such as these were let in here by Order of Eucrate, and had Audiences of Pharamond. This Entrance Pharamond called The Gate of the Unhappy, and the Tears of the Afflicted who came before him, he would say were Bribes received by Eucrate; for Eucrate had the most compassionate Spirit of all Men living, except his generous Master, who was always kindled at the least Affliction which was communicated to him. In the Regard for the Miserable, Eucrate took particular Care, that the common Forms of Distress, and the idle Pretenders to Sorrow, about Courts, who wanted only Supplies to Luxury, should never obtain Favour by his Means: But the Distresses which arise from the many inexplicable Occurrences that happen among Men, the unaccountable Alienation of Parents from their Children, Cruelty of Husbands to Wives, Poverty occasioned from Shipwreck or Fire, the falling out of Friends, or such other terrible Disasters, to which the Life of Man is exposed; In Cases of this Nature, Eucrate was the Patron; and enjoyed this Part of the Royal Favour so much without being envied, that it was never inquired into by whose Means, what no one else cared for doing, was brought about.

'One Evening when Pharamond came into the Apartment of Eucrate, he found him extremely dejected; upon which he asked (with a Smile which was natural to him)

"What, is there any one too miserable to be relieved by _Pharamond_,
that _Eucrate_ is melancholy?
I fear there is, answered the Favourite; a Person without, of a good
Air, well Dressed, and tho' a Man in the Strength of his Life, seems
to faint under some inconsolable Calamity: All his Features seem
suffused with Agony of Mind; but I can observe in him, that it is
more inclined to break away in Tears than Rage. I asked him what he
would have; he said he would speak to _Pharamond_. I desired his
Business; he could hardly say to me, _Eucrate_, carry me to the
King, my Story is not to be told twice, I fear I shall not be able
to speak it at all."

Pharamond commanded Eucrate to let him enter; he did so, and the Gentleman approached the King with an Air which spoke [him under the greatest Concern in what Manner to demean himself. [2]] The King, who had a quick Discerning, relieved him from the Oppression he was under; and with the most beautiful Complacency said to him,

"Sir, do not add to that Load of Sorrow I see in your Countenance,
the Awe of my Presence: Think you are speaking to your Friend; if
the Circumstances of your Distress will admit of it, you shall find
me so."

To whom the Stranger:

"Oh excellent _Pharamond_, name not a Friend to the unfortunate
_Spinamont_. I had one, but he is dead by my own Hand; [3] but, oh
_Pharamond_, tho' it was by the Hand of _Spinamont_, it was by the
Guilt of _Pharamond_. I come not, oh excellent Prince, to implore
your Pardon; I come to relate my Sorrow, a Sorrow too great for
human Life to support: From henceforth shall all Occurrences appear
Dreams or short Intervals of Amusement, from this one Affliction
which has seiz'd my very Being: Pardon me, oh _Pharamond_, if my
Griefs give me Leave, that I lay before you, in the Anguish of a
wounded Mind, that you, good as you are, are guilty of the generous
Blood spilt this Day by this unhappy Hand: Oh that it had perished
before that Instant!"

Here the Stranger paused, and recollecting his Mind, after some little Meditation, he went on in a calmer Tone and Gesture as follows.

"There is an Authority due to Distress; and as none of human Race is
above the Reach of Sorrow, none should be above the Hearing the
Voice of it: I am sure _Pharamond_ is not. Know then, that I have
this Morning unfortunately killed in a Duel, the Man whom of all Men
living I most loved. I command my self too much in your royal
Presence, to say, _Pharamond_, give me my Friend! _Pharamond_ has
taken him from me! I will not say, shall the merciful _Pharamond_
destroy his own Subjects? Will the Father of his Country murder his
People? But, the merciful _Pharamond_ does destroy his Subjects, the
Father of his Country does murder his People. Fortune is so much the
Pursuit of Mankind, that all Glory and Honour is in the Power of a
Prince, because he has the Distribution of their Fortunes. It is
therefore the Inadvertency, Negligence, or Guilt of Princes, to let
any thing grow into Custom which is against their Laws. A Court can
make Fashion and Duty walk together; it can never, without the Guilt
of a Court, happen, that it shall not be unfashionable to do what is
unlawful. But alas! in the Dominions of _Pharamond_, by the Force of
a Tyrant Custom, which is mis-named a Point of Honour, the Duellist
kills his Friend whom he loves; and the Judge condemns the Duellist,
while he approves his Behaviour. Shame is the greatest of all Evils;
what avail Laws, when Death only attends the Breach of them, and
Shame Obedience to them? As for me, oh _Pharamond_, were it possible
to describe the nameless Kinds of Compunctions and Tendernesses I
feel, when I reflect upon the little Accidents in our former
Familiarity, my Mind swells into Sorrow which cannot be resisted
enough to be silent in the Presence of _Pharamond_."

With that he fell into a Flood of Tears, and wept aloud.

"Why should not _Pharamond_ hear the Anguish he only can relieve
others from in Time to come? Let him hear from me, what they feel
who have given Death by the false Mercy of his Administration, and
form to himself the Vengeance call'd for by those who have perished
by his Negligence.'


[Footnote 1: See No. 76. Steele uses the suggestion of the Romance of 'Pharamond' whose

'whole Person,' says the romancer, 'was of so excellent a composition, and his words so Great and so Noble that it was very difficult to deny him reverence,'

to connect with a remote king his ideas of the duty of a Court. Pharamond's friend Eucrate, whose name means Power well used, is an invention of the Essayist, as well as the incident and dialogue here given, for an immediate good purpose of his own, which he pleasantly contrives in imitation of the style of the romance. In the original, Pharamond is said to be

'truly and wholly charming, as well for the vivacity and delicateness of his spirit, accompanied with a perfect knowledge of all Sciences, as for a sweetness which is wholly particular to him, and a complacence which &c ... All his inclinations are in such manner fixed upon virtue, that no consideration nor passion can disturb him; and in those extremities into which his ill fortune hath cast him, he hath never let pass any occasion to do good.'

That is why Steele chose Pharamond for his king in this and a preceding paper.]

[Footnote 2: the utmost sense of his Majesty without the ability to express it.]

[Footnote 3: Spinamont is Mr. Thornhill, who, on the 9th of May, 1711, killed in a duel Sir Cholmomleley Dering, Baronet, of Kent. Mr. Thornhill was tried and acquitted; but two months afterwards, assassinated by two men, who, as they stabbed him, bade him remember Sir Cholmondeley Dering. Steele wrote often and well against duelling, condemning it in the 'Tatler' several times, in the 'Spectator' several times, in the 'Guardian' several times, and even in one of his plays.]

Translation of motto:
VIRG. AEn. ii. 6.
'Who can such woes relate, without a tear,
As stern Ulysses must have wept to hear?'