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quent, to inflame them with their own glories. At the foot of the throne sat three false Graces; Flattery with a shell of paint, Affectation with a mirror to practise at, and Fashion ever changing the posture of her clothes. These applied themselves to secure the conquests which Self-Conceit had gotten, and had each of them their particular polities. Flattery gave new colours and complexions to all things; Affectation new airs and appearances, which, as she said, were not vulgar; and Fashion both concealed some home defects, and added some foreign external beauties. · As I was reflecting upon what I saw, I heard a voice in the crowd bemoaning the condition of mankind, which is thus managed by the breath of Opinion, deluded by Error, fired by Self-Conceit, and given up to be trained in all the courses of Vanity, till Scorn or Poverty come upon us. These expressions were no sooner handed about, but I immediately saw a general disorder, till at last there was a parting in one place, and a grave old man, decent and resolute, was led forward to be punished for the words he had uttered. He appeared inclined to have spoken in his own defence, but I could not observe that any one was willing to hear him. Vanity cast a scornful smile at him; Self-Conceit was angry; Flattery, who knew hinn for Plain-Dealing, put on a vizard, and turned away ; Affectation tossed her fan, made mouths, and called him Envy or Slander; and Fashion would have it, that at least he must be Ill-Manners. Thus slighted and despised by all, he was driven out for abusing people of merit and figure; and I heard it firmly resolved, that he should be used no better wherever they met with him hereafter.'
I had already seen the meaning of most part of that warning which he had given, and was considering how the latter words should be fulfilled, when a
mighty noise was heard without, and the door was blackened by a numerous train of harpies crowding in upon us. Folly and Broken-Credit were seen in the house before they entered. Trouble, Shame, Infamy, Scorn, and Poverty, brought up the rear. Vanity, with her Cupid and Graces, disappeared ; her subjects ran into holes and corners; but mauy of them were found and carried off (as I was told by one who stood near me) either to prisons or cellars, solitude or little company, the mean arts or the viler crafts of life. “But these,' added he with a disdainful air, ' are such who would fondly live here, when their inerits neither matched the lustre of the place, nor their riches its expences. We have seen such scenes as these before now; the glory you saw will all return when the hurry is over. I thanked him for his information; and believing him so incorrigible as that he would stay till it was his turn to be taken, I made off to the door, and overtook some few, who, though they would not hearken to PlainDealing, were now terrified to good purpose by the example of others. But when they had touched the threshold, it was a strange shock to them to find that the delusion of Error was gone, and they plainly discerned the building to hang a little up in the air without any real foundation. At first we saw nothing but a desperate leap remained for us, and I a thousand times blamed iny unmeaning curiosity that had brought me into so much danger. But as they began to sink lower in their own minds, methought the palace sunk along with us, till they were arrived at the due point of esteem which they ought to have for themselves; then the part of the building in which they stood touched the earth, and we depart. ing out, it retired from our eyes. Now, whether they who stayed in the palace were sensible of this descent, I cannot tell ; it was then my opinion that
they were not. However it be, my dream broke up at it, and has given me occasion all my life to reflect upon the fatal consequences of following the suggestions of Vanity.
I WRITE to you to desire, that you would again touch upon a certain enormity, which is chiefly in use among the politer and better-bred part of mankind; I mean the ceremonies, bows, curtsies, whisperings, smiles, winks, nods, with other familiar arts of salutation, which take up in our churches so much time that might be better employed, and which seem so utterly inconsistent with the duty and true intent of our entering into those religious assemblies. The resemblance which this bears to our indeed proper behaviour in theatres, may be some instance of its incongruity in the above-mentioned places. In Roman-catholic churches and chapels abroad, I myself have observed, more than once, persons of the first quality, of the nearest relation, and intimatest acquaintance, passing by one another unknowing as it were, and unknown, and with so little notice of each other, that it looked like having their minds more suitably and more solemnly engaged; at least it was an acknowledgment that they ought to have been so. I have been told the same even of Mahometans, with relation to the propriety of their demeanour in the conventions of their erroneous worship: and I cannot but think either of them sufficient laudable patterns for our imitation in this particular.
I cannot help, upon this occasion, remarking on the excellent memories of those devotionists, who upon returning from church shall give a particular account how two or three hundred people were dressed : a thing, by reason of its variety, so difficult
to be digested and fixed in the head, that it is a miracle to me how two poor hours of divine service can be timé sufficient for so elaborate an undertaking, the duty of the place too being jointly, and no doubt oft pathetically, performed along with it. Where it is said in sacred writ, that “ the woman ought to have a covering on her head because of the angels,” the last word is by some thought to be metaphorically used, and to signify young men. Allowing this interpretation to be right, the text may not appear to be wholly foreign to our present purpose.
• When you are in a disposition proper for writing on such a subject, I earnestly recommend this to you; and am,
N° 461. TUESDAY, AUGUST 19, 1712.
Sed non ego credulis illus.
VIRG. Ecl. ix. 34. But I discern their fatt'ry from their praise.
DRYDEN. For want of time to substitute something else in room of them, I am at present obliged to publish compliments above my desert in the following letters. It is no small satisfaction, to have given occasion to ingenious men to employ their thoughts upon sacred subjects from the approbation of such pieces of poetry as they have seen in my Saturday's papers. I shall never publish verse on that day but what is written by the same hand*; yet shall I not accompany
those writings with eulogiums, but leave them to speak for themselves.
FOR THE SPECTATOR.
? Mr. SPECTATOR, .
"You very much promote the interests of virtue, while you reform the taste of a profane age; and persuade us to be entertained with divine poems, whilst we are distinguished by so many thousand humours, and split into so many different sects and parties; yet persons of every party, sect, and humour, are fond of conforming their taste to yours. You can transfuse your own relish of a poem into all your readers, according to their capacity to receive; and when you recommend the pious passion that reigns in the verse, we seem to feel the devotion, and grow proud and pleased inwardly, that we have souls capable of relishing what the Spectator approves.
• Upon reading the hymns that you have published in some late papers, I had a mind to try yesterday whether I could write one. The cxivth psalm appears to me an admirable ode, and I began to turn it into our language. As I was describing the journey of Israel from Egypt, and added the divine presence amongst them, I perceived a beauty in this psalm which was entirely new to me, and which I was going to lose ; and that is, that the poet utterly conceals the presence of God in the beginning of it, and rather lets a possessive pronoun go without a substantive, than he will so much as mention any thing of divinity there. " Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion or kingdom.” The reason now seems evident, and this conduct necessary : for, if God had appeared before, there could be no wonder why the mountains should leap and the sea