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with their acquifitions. The fharpers had the looks of camelions; they every minute changed their appearance, and fed on fwarms of flies which fell as fo many cullies amongst them. The bully feemed a dunghill cock, he crested well, and bore his comb aloft; he was beaten almoft by every one, yet still fung for triumph; and only the mean coward pricked up the ears of a hare to fly before him. Criticks were turned into cats, whofe pleasure and grumbling go together. Fops were apes in embroidered jackets. Flatterers were curled spaniels, fawning and crouching. The crafty had the face of a fox, the flothful of an afs, the cruel of a wolf, the ill-bred of a bear, the leachers were goats, and the gluttons fwine. Drunkenness was the only vice that did not change the face of its professors into that of another creature; but this I took to be far from a privilege, for these two reafons; because it fufficiently deforms them of itself, and because none of the lower ranks of beings is guilty of fo foolish an intemperance.
As I was taking a view of thefe reprefentations of things, without any more order than is ufual in a dream, or in the confufion of the world itself, I perceived a concern within me for what I faw; my eyes began to moiften, and as if the virtue of that water with which they were purified was loft for a time, by their being touched with that which arose from a paffion, the clouds immediately began to gather again, and clofe from either hand upon the profpect. I then turned towards my guide, who addreffed
addreffed himself to me after this manner : You have seen the condition of mankind when it descends from its dignity; now therefore guard yourself from that degeneracy by a modeft greatness of spirit on one fide, and a conscious fhame on the other. Endeavour also with a generofity of goodness to make your friends aware of it; let them know what defects you perceive are growing upon them; handle the matter as you fee reason, either with the airs of fevere or humourous affection; fometimes plainly defcribing the degeneracy in its full proper colours, or at other times letting them know that if they proceed as they have begun, you give them to fuch a day, or so many months, to turn bears, wolves, or foxes, &c. Neither neglect your more remote acquaintance, where you fee any worthy and fufceptible of admonition; expose the beasts whose qualities you see them putting on, where you have no mind to engage with their perfons. The poffibility of their applying this is very obvious: The Egyptians faw it fo clearly, that they made the pictures of animals explain their minds to one another instead of writing; and indeed it is hardly to be miffed, fince fop took them out of their mute condition, and taught them to speak for themselves with relation to the actions of mankind.
GUARDIAN. N° 66.
HERE is a fet of mankind, who are wholly employed in the ill-natured office of gathering up a collection of ftories that leffen the reputation of others, and spreading them abroad with a certain air of fatisfaction. Perhaps, indeed, an innocent and unmeaning curiofity, a defire of being informed concerning those we live with, or a willingnefs to profit by reflection upon the actions of others,, may fometimes afford an excufe, or fometimes a defence, for inquifitivenefs; but certainly it is beyond all excuse, a tranfgreffion against humanity, to carry the matter further, to tear off the dreffings, as I may fay, from the wounds of a friend, and expose them to the air in cruel fits of diverfion; and yet we have fomething more to bemoan, an outrage of an higher nature, which mankind is guilty of when they are not content to spread the ftories of folly, frailty and vice, but even enlarge them, or invent new ones, and blacken characters, that we may appear ridiculous or hateful to one another.. From fuch practices as these it happens, that some feel a forrow, and others are agitated with a spirit of revenge; that fcandals or lies are told, because
another has told fuch before; that refentments and quarrels arise, and injuries are given, received, and multiplied, in a scene of vengeance.
All this I have often obferved, with abundance of concern; and having a perfect defire to further the happiness of mankind, I lately fet myself to confider the caufes from whence fuch evils arife, and the remedies which may be applied. Whereupon I fhut my eyes to prevent diftraction from outward objects, and a while after shot away, upon an impulfe of thought, into the World of Ideas, where abftracted qualities become vifible in fuch appearances as were agreeable to each of their natures.
That part of the country, where I happened to light, was the most noify that I had ever known. The winds whistled, the leaves ruftled, the brooks rumbled, the birds chattered, the tongues of men were heard, and the echo mingled fomething of every found in its repetition, fo that there was a ftrange confufion and uproar of founds about me. At length, as the noise ftill encreased, I could difcern a man habited like a herald (and, as I afterwards understood) called Novelty, that came forward, proclaiming a folemn day to be kept at the house of Common Fame. Immediately behind him advanced three nymphs, who had monftrous appearances. The first of thefe was Curiofity, habited like a virgin, and having an hundred ears upon her head to ferve in her enquiries. The fecond of thefe was Talkativenefs, a little better grown; the feemed to
be like a young wife, and had an hundred tongues to spread her stories. The third was Cenforioufnefs, habited like a Widow, and furrounded with an hundred fquinting eyes of a malignant influence, which fo obliquely darted on all around, that it was impoffible to fay which of them had brought in the information the boafted of. Thefe, as I was informed, had been very inftrumental in preferving and rearing Common Fame, when upon her birthday fhe was fhuffled into a croud, to escape the search which Truth might have made after her and her parents. Curiofity found her there, Talkativenefs conveyed her away, and Cenforiousness fo nurfed her up, that in a fhort time he grew to a prodigious fize, and obtained an empire over the universe; wherefore the Power, in gratitude for these services, has fince advanced them to her higheft employments. The next who came forward in this proceffion was a light damfel, called Credulity, who carried behind them the lamp, the filver veffel with a fpout, and other inftruments proper for this folemn occafion. She had formerly feen these three together, and conjecturing from the number of their ears, tongues and eyes, that they might be the proper Genii of Attention, Familiar Converfe, and Ocular Demonftration, she from that time gave herfelf up to attend them. The last who followed were some who had clofely muffled themfelvs in upper garments, fo that I could not difcern who they were; but just as the foremoft of them was come