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The sacerdotal office which thou madest suit to me for, I conferred upon thee, after having denied it to others, whose fathers have ever borne arms in my service.
Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. JACQUES AMIOT, grand almoner of France, one day related to me this story, much to the honor of a prince of ours (and ours he was upon several very good accounts, though originally of foreign extraction), that in the time of our first commotions, at the siege of Rouen, this prince, having been advertised by the queen-mother of a conspiracy against his life, and in her letters particular notice being given him of the person who was to execute the business (who was a gentleman of Anjou or of Maine, and who to this effect ordinarily frequented this prince’s house), discovered not a syllable of this intelligence to any one whatever; but going the next day to the Mont Sainte Catherine, from which our battery played against the town (for it was during the time of the siege), and having in company with him the said lord almoner, and another bishop, he saw this gentleman, who had been denoted to him, and presently sent for him; to whom, being come before him, seeing him already pale and trembling with the conscience of his guilt, he thus said, “ Monsieur such a one, you guess what I have to say to you; your countenance discovers it; ’tis in vain to disguise your practice, for I am so well informed of your business, that it will but make worse for you, to go about to conceal or deny it: you know very well such and such passages” (which were the most secret circumstances of his conspiracy), “and therefore be sure, as you tender your own life, to confess to me the whole truth of the design.” The poor man seeing himself thus trapped and convicted (for the whole business had been discovered to the queen by one of the accomplices), was in such a taking, he knew not what to do; but, folding his hands, to beg and sue for mercy, he threw himself at his prince’s feet, who taking him up, proceeded to say, “ Come, sir; tell me, have I at any time done you offence?We repute physicians fortunate when they hit upon a lucky cure, as if there was no other art but theirs that could not stand upon its own legs, and whose foundations are too weak to support itself upon its own basis; as if no other art stood in need of Fortune’s hand to help it.For my part, I think of physic as much good or ill as any one would have me: for, thanks be to God, we have no traffic together.“ What then,” said he, “is it possible that I am to live in perpetual anxiety and alarm, and suffer my would-be assassin, meantime, to walk abroad at liberty?Shall he go unpunished, after having conspired against my life, a life that I have hitherto defended in so many civil wars, in so many battles by land and by sea?
Cinna is convict; forgive him, he will never henceforth have the heart to hurt thee, and it will be an act to thy glory.” Augustus was well pleased that he had met with an advocate of his own humor; wherefore, having thanked his wife, and, in the morning, countermanded his friends he had before summoned to council, he commanded Cinna all alone to be brought to him; who being accordingly come, and a chair by his appointment set him, having ordered all the rest out of the room, he spake to him after this manner: “ In the first place, Cinna, I demand of thee patient audience; do not interrupt me in what I am about to say, and I will afterwards give thee time and leisure to answer.