« السابقةمتابعة »
the girl) had often prescribed her; nor was she a scrupulous observer of truth, being prevailed on by a female friend called Slander, to insinuate to Jupiter an unlikely story of a blind Grecian (in reality a gallant of her own) who, she told him, had been intimate with all the Muses. Many other complaints of this kind being daily made, he at length banished them both from Olympus.
Being sentenced to dwell for ever on the earth, long they wandered about uncertain where they should settle. At last, through some misunder standing, the sisters parted. Wit lived for sometime very happily in Greece, till the fruitfulness of the soil and mildness of the climate invited her over to Italy. There too she dwelt, still pleased and pleasing; till the irruption of the Goths, and the desire of seeing her sister, obliged her to remove. After travelling long in search of Beauty, she arrived at an Island in the North, where, agreeable to her wishes, at length she found her. She found her indeed, but in a situation she by no means approved of, surrounded by a crowd of admirers; and, being taken with a splendid outside, of all the addresses she seemed most to encourage those of a glittering coxcomb, called Wealth. In spite of her sister's remonstrances, she married him. But though
they were as unhappy as Wit had foreseen they would be, yet, as they had a numerous progeny, she consented to undertake the care of the sons, while Beauty had an eye to the education of the daughters. But she, being desirous of marrying them to some sons that Wealth had by his former wife Vanity, attended only to their dress, their shape, and their air, and withal grew so fond of them, that they would certainly have been spoiled, if she had not prevailed on her sister to undertake their management too. She, leaving to Beauty their outward accomplishments, applied herself to the improvement of their minds; to Beauty they owed their natural endowments, to Wit their acquired ones; to the former they were indebted for the symmetry of their features, to the latter (assisted by Pallas) for the delicacy of their tastes. And even in their old age, when their mother had entirely abandoned them, Wit still continued to render them amiable by the help of her handmaid Good-humour, who smoothed every wrinkle, diffused over their faces a youthful bloom, and made them beloved, even in the decline of life, for sweetness of temper and affability of manners, enlivened with easy cheerfulness and innocent mirth.
STUDENT, vol. i. p. 361.
Vestemque reliuquere, ut anguis
Gauderet, prælonga senex aut cornua cervus.
Charm'd to throw off its vesture, like the snake,
THE brightness of the morning yesterday tempted me to enjoy it in the open air, out of the dirt and bustle of this busy town, and free from the intervention of that dusky cloud which the smoke of so many thousand chimneys continually spreads over its whole extent. It was about noon when I arrived at Kensington gardens; and it will not be easy to persuade those who had not this opportunity of feeling it, how warm, how enlivening the sun-beams were, or how evidently universal nature acknowledged and rejoiced in it.
The birds that had been silent for five whole months, now perched on the naked branches of the trees, looked up with a kind of joyful adoration to their enlivening deity, and began to plume themselves in his presence, and try their unaccustomed throats in songs of praise to him: the very boughs on which they stood, seemed to
disclaim their late dead, withered state; and swelling out in ten thousand buds, promised soon to meet his radiance with a more cheerful aspect: the little lambs that had hitherto, since their very birth, known no enjoyment beyond the supplying the calls of nature from the cold wet herbage, now seemed to feel new motions in their blood, and new ideas with them; and by a thousand antic friskings joined in the general joy.
I was contemplating all this from the side of the bason, and had afterwards occasionally turned my eye upon the liquid plane, and viewed, through it, the various things it covered: it was somewhat long before this thicker colder medium transmitted the influence that had invigorated the inhabitants of the air; but by degrees, the soul of nature, the Promethean universal fire, made its way through this obstacle.
It was with infinite satisfaction that I traced the gradation of this pleasing effect: I cast my eye upon the shallow part of the bason, where the fluid was most influenced; the sun darted his glowing beams uninterrupted on this spot, and soon began to triumph in the success of his influence. The smooth surface of the bottom began to elate itself in bubbles, and quickly after to send up parts of its green coat, with every rising bladder of detached air. These
were continued in long filaments to the surface, where the bubble that had raised them burst its watery shell, and mingled in the common expanse: the fibre which had marked its course remaining; and, with its congenial attendants, forming what the blind naturalist shall investigate as a plant, and trace in it imaginary organs.
The real plants, expanded flat upon the level surface, now began to rear their rough leaves, and their numbed branches; they rose to meet the cause of their new life at the surface, and to kindle into genial warmth to propagate their species.
The surface of the dusky floor, now naked, exposed more immediately to the influence of this inspiring deity, began soon after to disclose beings of a higher rank; myriads of worms were seen unwinding their coiled forms, and tossing their sportive tails about in wantonness and revelry; whole series of creatures, whose torpid state had before rendered them undistinguishable from the mud they lay among, began to expand their little limbs, and creep or swim, or emerge above the surface.
As I was contemplating the opening scene, I could not but persuade myself that the source of the Egyptian enthusiasm, all that had given