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rice, the defendant, had thus grievously injured dame Earth, the plaintiff, she was hereby ordered to take that treasure, of which she had feloniously robbed the faid plaintiff by ransacking her bosom, and restore it back to her without diminution or retention. From this fentence it will follow, says Jupiter to the bye-ftanders, that in all future ages, the retainers of Avarice shall bury and conceal their riches, and thereby restore to the earth what they take from her.

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THE elegant part of mankind, who are not in. mersed in mere animal life, but employ themselves in the operations of the mind, may be divided into the learned and conversible. The learned are such as have chosen for their portion the higher and more difficult operations of the mind, which require leisure and folitude, and cannot be brought to per. fection, without long preparation and severe labour. The conversible world join to a fociable disposition, and a taste for pleasure, an inclination for the easier and more gentle exercises of the understanding, for obvious reflections on human affairs, and the duties of


common life, and for observation of the blemishes or perfections of the particular objects that furround them. Such subjects of thought furnish not fufficient employment in solitude, but require the company and conversation of our fellow creatures, to render them a proper exercise for the mind; and this brings mankind together in society, where every one displays his thoughts and observations in the best manner he is able, and mutually gives and receives information, as well as pleasure.

The separation of the learned from the conversible world seems to have been the great defect of the last age, and must have had a very bad influence both on books and company : for what possibility is there of finding topics of conversation fit for the entertainment of rational creatures, without having recourse sometimes to history, poetry, politics, and the more obvious principles, at least, of philosophy.? Must our whole discourse be a continued series of gossipping stories and idle remarks? Must the mind never rise higher, but be perpetually

Stun'd and worn out with endless chat,
Of Will did this, and Nan did that.

This would be to render the time spent in company the most unentertaining, as well as the most unprofitable, part of our lives.

On the other hand, learning has been as great a Joser by being fhut up in colleges and cells, and lecluded from the world and good company. By that means every part of what we call belles lettres became totaliy barbarous, being cultivated by men without any taste for life or manners, and without that liberty and facility of thought and expression which can only be acquired by conyerlation. Even philosophy went to wreck by this moping recluse method of ftudy, and became as chimerical in her conclusions, as she was unin. telligible in her style and manner of delivery: and, indeed, what could be expected from men who never consulted experience in any of their reason. ings, or who never searched for that experience, where alone it is to be found, in common life and conversation ?

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It is with great pleasure I observe that men of letters in this age, have loft, in a great measure, that shyness and bashfulness of temper, which kept them at a distance from mankind; and, at the fame time, that men of the world are proud of borrowing from books their moft agreeable topics of conversation. It is to be hoped, that this league between the learned and conversible worlds, which is fo happily begun, will be still farther improved to their mutual advantage ; and to that end, I know nothing more advantageous than fuch Efsays as those, with which I endeavour to entertain the public. In this view, I cannot but consider myself as a kind of refident or ambassador from the dominions of learning to those of conversation, and

{hall think it my constant duty to promote a good correspondence betwixt these two states, which have so great a dependance on each other. I shall give intelligence to the learned of whatever palles in company, and shall endeavour to import into company whatever commodities I find in my native country proper for their use and entertainment. The balance of trade we need not be jealous of, nor will there be any difficulty to preserve it on both fides. The materials of this commerce must chief iy be furnished by conversation and common life: the manufacturing of them alone belongs to learning.

As it would be an unpardonable negligence in an ambassador not to pay his refpects to the fovereign of the state where he is commissioned to refide ; so it would be altogether inexcusable in me not to addrefs myself with a particular respect to the fair sex, who are the sovereigns of the empire of conversation. I approach them with reverence; and were not my countrymen, the learned, a stub. born independent race of mortals, extremely jealous of their liberty, and unaccustomed to subjection, I should resign into their fair hands, the fovereign authority over the republic of letters. Asthecafestands, my commission extends no farther than to defire a league, offensive and defensive, against our common enemies, against the enemies of reason and beauty, people of dull heads and cold hearts. From this moment let us pursue them with the severest vengeance: let no quarter be given, but to those of found under

standings standings and delicate affections; and these charac. ters, it is to be presumed, we fhall always find inseparable.


To be serious, and to quit the allusion before ft be worn thread bare, I am of opinion, that women, that is, women of sense and education (for to such alone I address myself) are much better judges of all polite writing than men of the same degree of understanding; and that it is a vain panic, if they be so far terrified with the common ridicule that is levelled against learned ladies, as utterly to abandon

kind of books and study to our sex. Let the dread of that ridicule have no other effect than to make them conceal their knowledge before fools, who are not worthy of it, nor of them. Such will still presume upon the vain title of the male sex to affect a superiority above them; but my fair readers may be assured, that all men of sense, who know the world, have a great deference for their judgment of such books as lye within the compafs of their knowledge, and repose more confidence in the delicacy of their taste, though unguided by rules, than in all the dull labours of pedants and commentators. In a neighbouring nation, equally. famous for good taste, and for gallantry, the ladies are, in a manner, the sovereigns of the learned world, as well as of the conversible; and no polite writer pretends to venture before the public, without the approbation of some celebrated judges of that sex. Their verdict is, indeed, sometimes complained of; and, in particular, I find, that the ad

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