Imatges de pÓgina
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mote, which infinite wisdom and power have combined to establish? What a volume of wisdom, what a noble theology do these discoveries open to us! While some superior geniuses have foared to thefe fublime fubjects, other fagacious and diligent minds have been enquiring into the most minute works of the infinite Artificer: the fame care, the fame providence is exerted thro' the whole, and we should learn from it that to true Wisdom utility and fitness appear perfection, and whatever is beneficial is noble.

HERCULES.

I approve of science as far as it is affistant to action. I like the improvement of navigation, and the difcovery of the greater part of the globe, because it opens a wider field for the master spirits of the world to bustle in.

CADMUS.

There spoke the foul of Hercules. But if learned men are to be esteemed for the af sistance they give to active minds in their schemes, they are not lefs to be valued for their endeavours to give them a right diI 3

rection,

rection, and moderate their too great ardor. The study of History will teach the warrior and the legislator, by what means armies have been victorious, and ftates have become powerful; and in the private citizen they will inculcate the love of liberty and order. The writings of Sages point out a private path of virtue, and shew that the best empire is felf-government, and fubduing our passions the noblest of conquests.

HERCULES.

The true spirit of heroism acts by a fort of infpiration, and wants neither the experience of history, nor the doctrines of philofophers to direct it. But do not arts and sciences render men effeminate, luxurious, and inactive; and can you deny that wit and learning are often made fubfervient to very bad purposes?

CADMUS.

I will own that there are fome natures fo happily formed, they hardly want the affiftance of a master, and the rules of art, to give them force or grace in every thing they do. But these heaven-infpired geniuses are few. As learning flourishes only where ease, plenty,

!

ty, and mild government fubfift, in so rich a foil, and under fo foft a climate, the weeds of luxury will fpring up among the flowers of art; but the fpontaneous weeds would grow more rank, if they were allowed the undisturbed poffeffion of the field. Letters keep a frugal temperate nation from growing ferocious, a rich one from becoming entirely sensual and debauched. Every gift of the Gods is fometimes abused; but wit and fine talents by a natural law gravitate towards virtue : accidents may drive them out of their proper direction; but fuch accidents are a fort of prodigies, and, like other prodigies, it is an alarming omen, and of dire portent to the times. For if Virtue cannot keep to her allegiance those men, who in their hearts confefs her divine right, and know the value of her laws, on whofe fidelity and obedience can she depend? May such geniufes never defcend to flatter Vice, encourage Folly, or propagate Irreligion; but exert all their powers in the fervice of Virtue, and celebrate the noble choice of those, who, like you, preferred her to Pleafure!

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DIALOGUE II,

MERCURY and a modern Fine LADY.

Mrs. MODISH.

NDEED, Mr. Mercury, I cannot have the pleasure of waiting upon you now. I am engaged, abfolutely engaged.

IND

MERCURY.

I know you have an amiable affectionate husband, and several fine children; but you need not be told, that neither conjugal attachments, maternal affections, nor even the care of a kingdom's welfare or a nation's glory, can excuse a person who has received a fummons to the realms of death. If the grim meffenger was not as peremptory as unwelcome, Charon would not get a paffenger, (except now and then an hypochondriacal Englishman) once in a century. You must be content to leave your husband and family, and pass the Styx.

Mrs. MODISH.

I did not mean to infift on any engage

ment

ment with my husband and children ; I never thought myself engaged to them. I had no engagements, but fuch as were common to women of my rank. Look on my chimney-piece, and you will fee I was engaged to the Play on Mondays, Balls on Tuesdays, the Opera on Saturdays, and to Card-affemblies the reft of the week, for two months to come; and it would be the rudeft thing in the world not to keep my appointments. If you will stay for me till the Summer-feafon, I will wait on you with all my heart. Perhaps the Elyfian Fields may be lefs deteftable than the country in our world. Pray have you a fine Vauxhall and Ranelagh? I think I should not dislike drinking the Lethe waters, when you have a full feafon.

MERCURY.

Surely you could not like to drink the waters of Oblivion, who have made pleafure the bufinefs, end, and aim of your life! It is good to drown cares; but who would wash away the remembrance of a life of gaiety and pleasure?

Mrs.

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