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when he sees the forms of government change with the disposition of the people; and the affectation of ignorance and illiberality assumed by the higher orders at home, in their dress, manners, and conversation? We readily grant a propensity in the inferior orders to imitate the actions of their superiors ; but is not imitation the height of flattery ? and does not a readiness to receive and copy the depraved manners of a superior order, suppose a previous depravity in the people?
Perhaps the only true criterion of the utility or dangerous tendency of this passion, is the disposition of the times; for the same spirit which in a more corrupt period carries the enthusiast for it to the height of excess and extravagance, would, in an era of more simple manners, have produced the exact reverse ;
Lucullus, when frugality could charm,
Had roasted turnips in his sabine farm. And Cincinnatus, had he lived in a period less disposed to honour a virtuous poverty, might probably have changed the frugality of his simple meal, for the luxury of the Apollo.
The present path to glory, and consequently that which its votaries pursue, is faction; and even in this lesser world the observer may discover a demagogue in embryo, distinguished perhaps only for stronger powers of vociferation. But here, as upon all other occasions, the MICROCOSMOPOLITAN would wish to avoid misapprehension, and while he reprobates a turbulence of behaviour, does not wish his readers entirely to discard their judgment and free-will, and to degrade themselves to the rank of nonentities, or, according to a more accepted phrase, ciphers. The great increase of the abovementioned species calls for attention; whether it proceeds from a prevailing idea that an individual,
like a numerical figure, is made of more consequence by the addition of a cipher, or from a fear in its promoters, of a discovery of their own weakness; as the cruel policy of Semiramis had its origin in an apprehension, that her sex might be discovered by an unprecedented want of beard. From whatever cause the present increase of this species arises, it is now grown to so formidable a height, as to re. quire the attention of the public, and more particularly of the MICROCOSMOPOLITAN.
I would wish 'to present to the perusal of my readers, the following lines, not entirely foreign from some part of this essay; and at the same time admonish them, that the smile of Melpomene at the birth of a poet is useless, without that of his readers on his publication.
Within the sounding quiver's hollow womb
Repose the darts of praise and harmony;
By the great Almighty Mind,
This rescued from the eager wave
From daring actions safety seeks, and fame,
Or whirl their neighing coursers thro' the flame.
The Indian youth beneath the shade
More loves repose and peace,
But order, hear'n-descended queen,
Alone you fix the bounds between
O nymph! and o'er this isle
The angry seas no longer roar,
The sword of vengeance pours a sanguine ray,
Shake the blue pestilence, and adverse sway Of refluous battle, o'er some bigb vic'd land;
Thro' the sick air the power of poison flies, By gentler breezes now no longer fann'd, Sultry and still; the nalive breathes and dies.
Yet often free from selfish fear,
The son attends his father's bed,
In pleasing painful mood to shed.-
some needy house their wither'd hand Where modest want alone retires to die,
Yet social love bas shed her influence bland,
In its partition should be multiplied,
Tho’sympathy to thousands should divide Our pleasures; but when urg'd by dire distress, The grief by others felt is made the less.
Not so the ills Sedition sows,
Wbile secure his sail is spread,
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1786.
Animo umbris rerum satisfacere.
Bacon, de Augm. Scien. To satisfy the mind with speculation. Oppida quodam tempore florentissima, nunc prostrata et diruta
ante oculos jacent. --SULP. ad Cic. The ruios of cities, formerly flourishing and powerful, now lie
scattered before my eyes. As I am naturally of a thoughtful and speculative turn of mind, it is a fạvourite amusement with me, not only to traverse the well-known regions of Ancient History, but to launch into the wider ocean of conjecture, and explore in fancy, the