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in architecture, in gardening, in equipage, in dress, &c: can ferve no other purpose but to disturb their imaginations, and to give them a general diftafte of themselves, and of every thing around them.
It is by no means, however, furprizing, that this character of TASTE fhould be fo univerfally fought after; as true TASTE is doubtless the highest point of perfection, at which human nature, in this her state of frailty, can poffibly arrive. A man endowed with this quality, poffeffes all his fenfes in the manner beft adapted to receive the impreffion of every true pleasure, which providence has fcattered with a liberal hand for the delight of its creatures. There is nothing intrinfically beautiful which does not furnish him with perpetual delight; as every thing ill-fashioned and deformed affects him with difguft and abhorrence. That is, in a word, the avenues of his mind are open only to thofe enjoyments that bring with them the paffports of truth
Philalethes is a man of TASTE, according to the tion I have here given of that quality. His conduct is influenced by fentiment as well as by principle; and if he were ever fo fecure of fecrecy and impunity, he would no more be capable of committing a low or a bale action, than of admitting a vile performance into his noble collection of painting and fculpture. His juft taste of the fine arts,, and his exquifite delicacy in moral conduct, are but one and the fame fenfe, exerting itself upon different objects; a love of beauty, order and propriety, extended to all their various intellectual and visible exhibitions. Accordingly, Philalethes is confiftent in every part of his character. You fee the fame elegant and noble fimplicity, the fame correct and judicious way of thinking, expreffed in his drefs, his equipage, his furniture, his gardens, and his actions.
How different is Micio from Philalethes! Yet Micio would be thought a man of TASTE. But the misfortune is, he has not a heart for it. I fay a heart, however odd the expreffion may found: for as a celebrated antient has defined an orator to be vir bonus dicendi pe3 ritus, so I must insist upon it, that a good heart is an
effential ingredient to form a good TASTE. When I fee Micio, therefore, diffipating his health and strength in lewd embraces and midnight revels; when I fee him throwing away over-night at the gaming-table, what he muft refufe the next morning to the juft clamours of his injured tradefmen; I am not the leaft furprized at his trimmed trees, his unnatural terraces, his French treillage, his Dutch parterres, his Chinese bells, and his tawdry equipage.
In fine, though every man cannot arrive at the perfection of this quality, yet it may be neceffary that he fhould be fufficiently inftructed, not to be deceived in his judgment concerning the claim of it in others. To this end the few following queries may be applied with fingular advantage. Is the pretender to TASTE proud? Is he a coxcomb? Is he a fpendthrift? Is he a gamefter? Is he a flanderer? Is he a drunkard? Is he a bad neighbour? a fham patriot? or a false friend? By this fhort catechifm every youth, even of the moft flender capacity, may be capable of determining who is NOT a man of TASTE. I am, &c.
Profperity and Adverfity. An Allegory.
[World, No. 84.]
ROSPERITY and Adverfity, the daughters of Providence, were fent to the houfe of a rich Phanician merchant, named Velasco, whose refidence was at Tyre, the capital city of that kingdom."
Profperity, the eldeft, was beautiful as the morning, and chearful as the fpring: but Adverfity was forrowful
Velafco had two fons, Felix and Uranio. They were both bred to commerce, though liberally educated, and had lived together from their infancy in the ftricteft harmony and friendship. But love, before whom all the affections of the foul are as the traces of a fhip upon the ocean, which remain only for a moment, threatened in
an evil hour to fet them at variance; for both were become enamoured with the beauties of Profperity. The nymph, like one of the daughters of men, gave encou ragement to each by turns; but to avoid a particular declaration, fhe avowed a refolution never to marry, unless her fifter, from whom she faid it was impoffible for her to be long feparated, was married at the fame time.
Velajco, who was no stranger to the paffions of his fons, and who dreaded every thing from their violence, to prevent confequences, obliged them by his authority to decide their pietenfions by lots; each previously engaging in a folemn oath to marry the nymph that should fall to his fhare. The lots were accordingly drawn ; and Profperity became the wife of Felix, and Adverfity of Uranio.
Soon after the celebration of thefe nuptials Velafco died, having bequeathed to his eldest fon Felix the house wherein he dwelt, together with the greatest part of his large fortune and effects.
The husband of Profperity was fo tranfported with the gay difpofition and enchanting beauties of his bride, that he cloathed her in gold and filver, and adorned her with jewels of inestimable value. He built a palace for her in the woods; he turned rivers into his gardens, and beautified their banks with temples and pavilions. He entertained at his table the nobles of the land, delighting their ears with mufic, and their eyes with magnificence. But his kindred he beheld as ftrangers, and the companions of his youth paffed by him unregarded. His brother alfo became hateful in his fight, and in process of time he commanded the doors of his houfe to be fhut against him.
But as the ftream flows from its channel and lofes itself among the vallies, unless confined by banks, fo alfo will the current of fortune be diffipated, unless bounded by œconomy. In a few years the estate of Felix was wafted by extravagance, his merchandize failed him by neglect, and his effects were seized by the merciless hands of creditors. He applied himself for fupport to the nobles and great men whom he had feasted and made prefents to, but his voice was as the voice of a ftran
a ftranger, and they remembered not his face. The friends whom he had neglected derided him in their turn, his wife alfo infulted him, and turned her back upon him and fled. Yet was his heart fo bewitched with her forceries, that he purfued her with entreaties, till byher hafte to abandon him, her mask fell off, and difcovered to him a face as withered and deformed, as before it had appeared youthful and engaging.
What became of him afterwards tradition does not relate with certainty. It is believed that he fled into Egypt, and lived precariously on the fcanty benevolence of a few friends, who had not totally deferted him, and that he died in a fhort time, wretched and an exile.
Let us now return to Uranio, who, as we have already obferved, had been driven out of doors by his brother Felix. Adverfity, though hateful to his heart, and a spectre to his eyes, was the conftant attendant upon his fteps: and to aggravate his forrow, he received certain intelligence that his richeft veffel was taken by a Sardinian pirate; that another was loft upon the Lybian Syrtes, and, to compleat all, that the banker with whom the greatest part of his ready money was entrusted, had deferted his creditors and retired into Sicily. Collecting, therefore, the fmall remains of his fortune, he bid adieu to Tyre, and, led by Adverfity through unfrequented roads, and forefts overgrown with thickets, he came at laft to a small village at the foot of a mountain. Here they took up their abode for fome time; and Adverfity, in return for all the anxiety he had fuffered, foftening the feverity of her looks, administered to him the most faithful coun fel, weaning his heart from the immoderate love of earthly things, and teaching him to revere the Gods, and to place his whole trust and happiness in their government and protection. She humanized his foul, made him modeft and humble, taught him to compaffionate the diftrefs of his fellow creatures, and inclined him to relieve them.
"I am fent, faid fhe, by the Gods to thofe alone "whom they love: for I not only train them up by my "fevere difcipline to future glory, but alfo prepare * them to receive with a greater relifh all fuch mode
rate enjoyments, as are not inconfiftent with this probationary ftate. As the fpider, when affailed, feeks fhelter in its inmoft web, fo the mind which I afflict, contracts its wandering thoughts, and flies for happiness to itself. It was I who raised the characters of Cato, Socrates, and Timoleon to fo divine a height, and fet them up as guides and examples to sc every future age. Profperity, my fmiling, but trea"cherous fifter, too frequently delivers thofe whom she *has feduced, "to be fcourged by her cruel followers, "Anguifh and Defpair: while Adverfity never fails to "lead those who will be inftructed by her, to the blifs"ful habitations of Tranquillity and Content."
Uranio liftened to her words with great attention; and as he looked earnestly on her face, the deformity of it seemed infenfibly to decreafe. By gentle degrees his averfion to her abated; and at last he gave himfelf wholly up to her counfel and direction. She would often repeat to him the wife maxim of the philofopher, "That thofe who want the fewest things, approach "neareft to the Gods who want nothing.' She admonished him to turn his eyes to the many thousands beneath him, instead of gazing on the few who live in pomp and fplendor; and in his addreffes to the Gods, inftead of afking for riches and popularity, to pray for a virtuous mind, a quiet ftate, an unblameable life, and a death full of good hopes.
Finding him to be every day more and more compofed and refigned, though neither enamoured of her face, nor delighted with her fociety, fhe at last addreffed him in the following manner.
"As gold is purged and refined from drofs by the "fire, fo is Adverfity fent by Providence to try and improve the virtue of mortals. The end obtained, my task is finished; and I now leave you, to go and give an account of my charge. Your brother, whose "lot was Profperity, and whofe condition you so much "envied, after having experienced the error of his "choice, is at laft releafed by death from the most "wretched of lives. Happy has it been for Uranio, "that his lot was Adverfity, whom if he remembers as