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every kind, a gaudy richness in dress, an oppressive load of ornament in building, and a grandeur overstrained and puerile universally. I must observe, that people of bad taste and little genius almost always lay a great stress on trivial inatters, and are ostentatious and exact in singularities, or in a decorum in trifles. When people of mean parts appear in high stations, and at the head of the fashionable world, they cannot fail to introduce a false embroidered habit of mind : people of nearly the same genius, who make up the crowd, will admire and follow them; and at length solitary taste, adorned only by noble simplicity, will be lost in the general example.

Also when a nation is much corrupted; when avarice and a love of gain have seized upon the hearts of men; when the nobles ignominiously bend their necks to corruption and bribery, or enter into the base mysteries of gaming; then decency, elevated principles, and greatness of soul, expire; and all that remains is a comedy or puppet-show of elegance, in which the dancing-master and peer are upon a level, and the mind is understood to have no part in the drama of politeness, or else to act under a mean disguise of virtues which it is not possessed of,




The Sciences having long seen their votaries labouring for the benefit of mankind without a reward, pnt up their petition to Jupiter for a more equitable distribution of riches and honours. Jn. piter was moved at their complaints, and touched with the approaching miseries of men, whom the Sciences, wearied with perpetual ingratitude,

were now threatening to forsake, and who would · have been reduced by their departure to feed in

dens upon the mast of trees, to hunt their prey in deserts, and to perish under the paws of animals stronger and fiercer than themselves.

A Synod of the celestials was therefore convened, in which it was resolved, that Patronage should descend to the assistance of the Sciences. Patronage was the daughter of Astrea, by a mortal father, and had been educated in the school of Truth, by the Goddesses, whom she was now appointed to protect. She had from her mother that dignity of aspect, which struck terrour into false merit, and from her mistress that reserve, which made her only accessible to those whom the Sciences brought into her presence.

She came down with the general acclamation of all the powers that favour learning. Hope danced before her and Liberality stood at her side, ready to scatter by her direction the gifts which Fortune, who followed her, was commanded to supply. As she advanced towards Parnassus, the cloud which had long hung over it, was immediately dispelled. The shades, before withered with drought, spread their original verdure, and the flowers that had languished with chilness, brightened their colours, and invigorated their scents : the Muses tuned their harps and exerted their voices; and all the concert of Nature welcomed her arrival.

On Parnassus she fixed her residence, in a palace raised by the Sciences, and adorned with whatever could delight the eye, elevate the imagination, or enlarge the understanding. There she dispersed the gifts of Fortune, with the impartiality of Justice and discernment of Truth. Her gate stood always open, and Hope sat at the portal, inviting to entrance all whom the Sciences numbered in their train. The court was therefore thronged with innumerable multitudes, of whom, though many returned disappointed, seldom any had confidence to complain : for Patronage was universally known to neglect few, but for want of the due claims to her regard. Those, therefore, who had solicited her favour without success, generally withdrew from public notice, and either diverted their attention to meaner employments, or endeavoured to supply their deficiencies by closer application.

In time, however, the number of those who had miscarried in their pretensions grew so great, that they became less ashamed of their repulses ; and instead of hiding their disgrace in retirement, began to besiege the gates of the palace, and obstruct the entrance of such as they thought likely to be more caressed. The decisions of Patronage, who was but half a Goddess, had been sometimes erroneous; and though she always made haste to rectify her mistakes, a few instances of her fallibility encouraged every one to appeal from her judgment to his own and that of his companions, who were always ready to clamour in the common cause, and elate each other with reciprocal applause.

Hope was a steady friend to the disappointed, and Impudence incited them to accept a second invitation, and lay their claim agaid before Patronage. They were again, for the most part, sent back with ignominy, but found Hope not alienated, and Impudence more resolutely zealous; they therefore contrived new expedients, and hoped at last to prevail by their multitudes, wlich were always increasing, and their perseverance, which Hope and Impudence forbad them to relax.

Patronage having been long a stranger to the heavenly assemblies, began to degenerate towards terrestrial nature, and forgot the precepts of Justice and Truth. Instead of confining her friendship to the Sciences, she suffered herself, by little and little, to contract an acquaintance with Pride, the son of Falsehood, by whose embraces she had two daughters, Flattery and Caprice. Flattery was nursed by Liberality, and Caprice by Fortune, without any assistance from the lessons of the Sciences.

Patronage began openly to adopt the sentiments and imitate the manners of her husband, by whose opinion she now directed her decisions with very little heed to the precepts of Truth; and as her daughters continually gained upon her affections, the Sciences lost their influence, till none found much reason to boast of their reception but those whom Caprice or Flattery conducted to her throne.

The throngs who had so long waited, and so often been dismissed for want of recommendation from the Sciences, were delighted to see the power of those rigourous Goddesses tending to its extinction. Their patronesses now renewed their encouragements. Hope smiled at the reproach of Caprice, and Impudence was always at hand to introduce her clients to Flattery.

Patronage had now learned to procure herself reverence by ceremonies and formalities, and instead of admitting her petitioners to an im. mediate audience, ordered the antichamber to be erected, called among mortals, the Hall of Expectation. Into this hall the entrance was easy to those whom Impudence had consigned to Flattery, and it was therefore crowded with a promiscuous throng, assembled from every corner of the earth, pressing forwards with the utmost eagerness of desire, and agitated with all the anxieties of competition.

They entered this general receptacle with ardour and alacrity, and made no doubt of speedy access under the conduct of Flattery to the presence of Patronage. But it generally happened that they were here left to their destiny, for the inner doors were committed to Caprice, who opened and shut them, as it seemed, by chance, and rejected or admitted without any settled rule of distinction. In the mean time, the miserable attendants were left to wear out their lives in alternate exultation and dejection, delivered up to the sport of Suspicion, who was always whispering into their ear designs against them which were never formed, and of Envy, who diligently pointed out the good fortune of one or other of their competitors.

Infamy flew round the hall, and scattered mildews from her wings, with which every one was


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