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expressive; he spoke with great precision on every subject; when he conversed upon medicine, which was frequently the case, I observed in him the most profound principles and the clearest understanding.
He had lost his first wife in June, 1770, and it was not till October, 1782, that he entered again into the marriage union. Both his matrimonial alliances were, however, propitious to his felicity. The happiness of this latter union was never disturbed for a moment; and during the last years of his life, this excellent womian was the tutelary angel that directed, sustained, and consoled him. He was thirty years older than her, which in the generality of connubial engagements, would have been looked upon as a great disparity ; but genius is never either young or old, and persons endow ed with it are always of the same age. It was at this period that he resumed, and finished, near thirty years after his first essay, his great work on Solitude: 'It is in four volumes ; the two first of which appeared in 1784, and the two lait in 1786.
His work upon Solitude was received with great eclat, not only in Germany, but wherever German is read, and procured him a correspondence which gratified him extremely ; I mean thar of the empress of Russia, to whom the book had been sent without his knowledge : it was not indeed to be expected that he should think of offering to such a sovereign a work which fo well paints the happiness to be enjoyed in retirement from the world. That princess, however, was so well pleased with it, that she determined herself, to send her thanks to the author. The 26th of January, 1786, a courier from M. de Groffe, envoy from Ruflia to Hamburgh, brought M. Zimmerman a small box containing a ring, set with diamonds of extraordinary size and beauty, with a golden medal, bearing on one side the figure of the empress, and on the other the happy reform of the Russian monarchy. That princess had also added a note in her own hand-writing, containing these remarkable VOL. II.
words : “ To M. Zimmerman, counsellor of state, and physician of his Britannic majesty, to thank him for the excellent precepts he has given mankind in his book
This note was accompanied by a let. ter from M. de Grosse, who proposed to him, by defire of the Empress, to come and pass a few months in the fummer at St. Petersburgh, because she wished to be personally acquainted with him. His letter to the em. press was full of expressions of gratitude ; but he wrote to M. de Grosse, that he feared he could not undertake the journey without endangering his health, though if her majesty continued to defire it, he would undertake it. The empress difpensed with it in the most gracious manner, by writing to him, “ that she did not with his health should suffer on account of the pleasure the should experience from the journey.” This correspondence lafted fix years, till the commencement of 1791, when the empreis dropped it all at once. The ordinary füb. jects of their letters were politics, literature, and philofophy. “ All those of the empress contain the moft elevated sentiments, and every mark of an amiable mind.” Phyfic was never once mentioned; but the often said to him, and seemed to with him to say in public, that her health was good, and did not cost her thirty fols *
a year. She, however, caused it to be proposed to him, without appearing in it herself, to establish himself at St. Petersburgh as her first physician ; and he was offered a falary of ten thousand roubles. When he had refused the offer, she desired him to procure young phyficians and surgeons for her armies, and for those towns of the empire that were in want of them; several of those he sent have become rich and happy; and, in gratitude for the service he had rendered the state, she fent to him the cross of the order of Wladomir; another time the fent him two elegant golden medals, struck in
honour of M. Morloff, upon account of the plague at Moscow, and the destruction of the Turkish fleet.
He was soon after invited to attend on the late king of Prussia, at Potzdam, where he arrived on the 230 of June, 1786. He has given us the particulars of this journey, with the enthusiasm of a man who had, from his youth, contemplated the history of Frederick the Great. He loved that prince ; and, far from feeing him in the light of the author of “ The Prusfian Monarchy," he published in German, immediately upon
appearance of that work, in 1788, “ Frederick the Great defended against the Count de Mirabeau ;' and, in the year 1790, having collected other papers and converfations, he combined them under the following title, in 3 vols. 12mo. “ Fragments of Frederick the Great ; being Collections toward a History of his Life, of his Reign, and of his Character."
Is it not surprizing that Zimmerman, who was an immortal advocate for the grand doctrines of Christani. iy, should have been so infatuated in his admiration of the king of Pruffia, sometimes known by Frederick the Great, as not to perceive that the monarch whoin he so greatly admired, was in league for the destruction of our common religion, with men of fome talents, but of no principle whatsoever? The letters of the late Frederick are no secret : his correspondence with Voltaire, Diderot, &c. &c. &c. is open to the inspection of the public. At the time when those letters appeared, they were not treated with that attention which they demanded. Though avowed, it was hardly believed, that the fcheme of extirpating the Christian fyftem from the nations of Europe, and with it the whole of their civil habits and constitutions, would be persevered in, and, as we know but too well, in part accomplished by a few atheistical men. But the reader shall see, in the clear colour of unbiaffed narration, the origin of these fright, ,ful difempers.
In going to the north, which for several ages paft has been the cradle of sects, as the south had heretofore been, Zimmerman did not lose fight of them. He faw one spring up under his eye which attracted his whole attention, and well merited that of the whole universe, since it is evident that its aim is, finally, to destroy all religion and all order : it is the Secret Society of the Illumirated of Germany, which is faid to be totally different from the Illuminated, or Martinists of France, who appear to them more ridiculous than dangerous, and belong to the ancient Rosicruciars, who are called by the Germans, in derision, 'Erleuchete. The sects of Mesmerism, of Cagliostrism, and of Martinism, have, fuccefsively, engrossed the conversation of France; ihey have been admired by women of every description, whr, in the mania of physical sciences, imagine themselves Baillys or Lavoisiers, when they have repeated a few phrases which they do not understand. They have been em. braced, protected, and professed, by many little men with great names ; by some men of ability, seduced by the love of the marvellous, and by the pleature of defending, and even rendering plausible the most absurd opinions ; followed by the idle multitude, to whom any thing that can, for a moment, rescue them from their insignificance is precious, and utterly despised by all tr. lightened men. The two former are dead and forgotten t, and if the
* I have not seen the creed of this feet, and I do not know whether it has been published; but it is very attracting by one of its generally known, and certainly well-proved attributes, the raising of spirits.
+ The report of the commissaries named to examine magnetism, composed by the late M. Bailly, is a chef d'æxtre which demonitrates its nullity: but season has never cured enthusiam, sidicule does it much more effectually. The lieu
third still exist, it is in fo feeble a state as to be in continual expectation of dissolution. But such is not the case with the Secret Order of the Illuminated of Germany, which has made rapid progress. Zimmerman knew all its principles, felt all their danger, paid great attention to their progress, and withed to make others, whose in. terest it was to prevent their effects, equally vigilant.
Let this feet, which I must necessarily speak of, but which I mention with regret, because I know nothing of it myself, let this sect, I say, be that of the Freemafons, or of the Jesuits, which is very improbable, since we know of no doctrine belonging to the first, which has become an instrument in the hands of the Illumi. nated *, and we find nothing in all the inculpations made tenant of police, who thought it improper to tolerate any longer this madness, or to act against it with severity, recollected, probably, that nothing had been able to prevent all Paris from running to the physican of Chaudray, but that he had been introduced in a ridiculous scene in a comedy, and from that time was no more spoken of. He employed the fame means: a witty piece, called The Modern Doelors, was played, and nothing more was heard of tubs, somnambulism, or being en rapport. Other sects in medicine, which came a few years fince from the north, more dangerous than Mesmerism, and which have also found followers, (what extravagant syitem may not hope to find them ?) extremely well deserve the repetition of this comedy.
* There have appeared in the German language, several works on the Illuminées. I know of none in French, (though there certainly may be others) except Mirabeau on “ The Prussian Monarchy under Frederick the Great;"_" Secret Hitory of the Court of Berlin ;” and “ Letters to the author of the Quotidienne, by one of its Subscribers.” It is from the late M. Zimmerman's letters, from fonie other information, of the truth of which I cannot doubt, and from these three works, that I shall deduce what I have farther to say of them.
“ The heads of the Illuminated founded their order upon that of the fefuits, but proposing views diametrically oppofite."- Mirabeau, Prufian Monarchy, vol. v. page 97.