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much as he pleased ; but there was not a single instance of ebriety
After supper, the conversation was not con. fined to any particular subject; but turned on moral subjects generally, and it was maintained with such good sense, decorum, and gentleness of manner, though with every force of reason, as finished the opinion which the prince bad already entertained of those, to him, new beings. The company broke up as they pleased either to walk before retiring to repose, or to go to their different apartments. The prince was already as much one of the company, as if he bad resided for years among them.
At night he was shewn to an apartment which was well, though far from expensivelyfurnished, and the attendant informed him that he was to consider that room as his own, and that he was from that moment, to expect no other service than what was rendered to the community of which he was now considered a part. The ringing of a great bell would announce to him the meal-times.
The prince had no sooner entered the first comfortable couch, that he had enjoyed for
many nights, than, in spite of all the new objects which he had for reflection, he fell asleep, and did not awake till he heard the bell, which he supposed to announce the preparations for breakfast. He performed his ablution, for which every thing was prepared in his room, and descending into the hall, he saw several of the community standing in clusters, or walking about either by themselves, or in company. The first person to whom he addressed himself entered into conversation with him as readily as if he had been acquainted with him for years, and to the no little confusion of the prince, he discovered the features of the person whose proffered courtesy he had so indignantly rejected on his first arrival before the portals. He reminded his companion of the circumstance, but there was no occasion for it, as the other told him that he had recognized him from his very first entrance. The prince would have apologized to him for his rudeness, but the other would not hear of it. “ Believe me,” said he, “ that I was happy to see you, as I guessed, from your manners, that you would be easily drawn into the road to “ The TEMPLE OF FALSE PLEASURE," and be
swallowed up in its destructive vortex.” – The prince then related to him how heavily he had suffered for his unjust contempt, and he had scarcely time to end his narrative before the company were summoned to the breakfast room.
This meal was of tbe same complexion as the former one, – that is to say, plain but good. After it was ended, the prince requested the favour of his companion, (whose name was Ahoufaz) to take a walk with him round the Temple, and to show him whatever was worth seeing. Ahoufaz readily complied, and they walked out into the adjoining country, which was beautiful beyond description. They beheld the company in groupes at different places, somo exercising themselves at their favourite games, some debating, some reading. They approached one of the groupes just as they heard a venerable-looking old man propose, as a subject of debate, the following theme: -" In what does the real strength of a king consist?” The subject_excited the curisoity of the prince, who desired Aboufaz to stay and hear the debate. Some said that it lay in a full treasury, as money
was the sinew of war; others spake of a numerous, disciplined, standing army; others again asserted that the greatest strength of a monarch lay in justice and moderation, which would prevent his having any enemies to contend with.After all had delivered their opinions who chose to do so, the proposer, who, it seems, was always the last to speak on his own subject, declared that the real strength of a king, consisted in the hearts — the affections of his subjects — " When these are once his own,” added the orator, 5 he has all the other means, of which you have spoken, combined. His subjects' pockets are his treasury ; each individual will arm in his defence, and form an army not of mercenaries, but patriots; and the same means, by which he bas conciliated his subjects, will render him respected and dreaded by his neighbours.- This is the only art of reigning, and the only certain proof of it is that the king shall be able to bear testimony to his own conscience, that his people are become more wise and more happy under his government.” He had no sooner ended than the whole assembly voted him the palm by their applauses, and none
seemed better pleased than the vanquished orators. The prince was mightily struck with the decorum which was universal during the debate -- not a syllable was uttered in interruption- in contradiction in personal allusion ; there was no jealousy, no warmth, no need of a chairman to call to order, as is absolutely necessary in other debating societies, particularly political ones.
The prince was charmed with all that he heard or saw, and treasured it up in his mind. In short, six days elapsed rapidly, and on the seventh he was obliged by the rules of the Temple to depart, or to remain there during his life. When he retired to rest, he began to consider what course he should take. He concluded, that he had been so long absent that his royal parents, and the whole kingdom, must conclude, that he had been torn to pieces by some wild bcast, or had perished through hunger in the woods. Their grief on his account must be nigh over, and why should he return to a place where be had not one real friend,
but had made himself disgusting to all mankind .by his vices ?—“ Ah!” exclaimed he, “ I might