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whatever she offers them, and, as soon as they have received it, to go on in quest of a more lasting acquisition.
S. What acquisition do you mean?
0. C. That which they may obtain from Scr. Ince, if they can arrive safe to her.
S. And what is that she gives them?
0. C. The true knowledge of what is really good, and the firm, certain, and unchangeable possession of it. He therefore commands them to quit Fortune immediately, in pursuit of this; and when they come to those women, who, as I told you before, were INTEMPERANCE and VOLUPTUOUSNESS, to leave them too directly, and not to mind whatever they can say ; but to go on for the inclosure of FALSE SCIENCE ; there he bids them stay a little while, to get what may be useful to them on the rest of their road, and then to leave her directly too, and go on for True Science. These are the orders which the Genius gives to all that enter into life ; and whoever transgresses or neglects them will be a miserable wretch. I have now explained the whole of the parable contained in this painting ; but if you have any particular question to ask in relation to any thing that I have said, I am very ready to answer it.
S. We are much obliged to you. Pray then, what is it that the Genius orders them to get in the inclosure of Science, falsely so called ?
0. C. Whatever may be of use to them.
S. And what is there, that may be of use to them? 0. C. Literature, and so much of the sciences as Plato says may serve people in the beginning of their lives as a bridle, to keep them from being drawn away by idler pursuits.
S. And is it necessary for all who would arrive at True Science, to do this?
0. C. No, it is not necessary, but it may bę useful; though, in truth, these things themselves do not contribute towards making them the better
S. Not contribute at all towards making them better!
0. C. Not at all, for they may be as good without them. And yet they are not wholly unuseful; for they may sometimes help us, as interpreters do, to the meaning of a language we don't understand: but, after all, 'tis better to under, stand the language ourselves, than to have any need of an interpreter; and we may be good, without the assistance of learning.
S. In what then have the learned any advantage over others towards becoming better men ?
0. C. Why do you imagine they should have any advantage ; since you see they are deceived like others, as to what is good or bad; and continue to be as much involved in all manner of vices? for there is nothing that hinders a man, who is a master of literature, and knowing in all the sciences, from being at the same time a drunkard, or in, temperate, or covetous, or unjust, or villainous, or, in one word, imprudent in all his ways.
S. 'Tis true, we see too many instances of such.
0. C. Of what advantage then is their learn, ing, toward making them better men ?
S. You have made it appear, that it is of none; but
pray what is the reason of it ? 0. C. The reason is this : that when they are got into the second inclosure, they fix there as if they were arrived at True Science. And what can they get by that? since we see several persons, who go on directly from INTEMPERANCE, and the other Vices in the first inclosure, to the inclosure of True Science, without ever calling in where these learned persons have taken up their abode. How then can the learned be said to have any advantage over them? On the contrary, they are less apt to exert themselves, or to be instructed, than the former.
S. How can that be?
0. C. Because they who are in the second inclosure, not to mention any other of their faults, at least profess to know what they do not know : so that they acquiesce in their ignorance, and have no motive to stir them up toward the seeking of True Science. Besides, do you not observe another thing; that the OPINIONS, from the first inclosure, enter in among them, and converse with them, , as freely as with the former? so that they are not at all better even than they; unless RePENTANCE should come to them, and should convince them, that it is not SCIENCE they have been embracing all this while ; but only the false appearance of her, which has deceived them. But while they continue in the same mind they are in, there is no hope left for them. To close all, my friends, what I would entreat of you is, to think over every thing I have said to you, to weigh it well in your minds, and to practise accordingly. Get a habit of doing right, whatever pain it costs you ; let no difficulties deter you, in the way to Virtue: and account every thing else despicable, in comparison of this. Then will the lesson that I have taught you, prove to yourselves a lesson of HAPPINESS,
THE GREEK COMEDY,
TRANSLATED FROM BRUMOY *.
CONCLUDE this work according to my pro. mise, with an account of the Comick Theatre, and intreat the reader, whether a favourer or an enemy of the ancient Drama, not to pass
censure upon the authors or upon me, without a regular per, usal of this whole work. For, though it seems
* Published by Mrs Lennox in 4to, 1759. To the third volume of this work the followin Advertisement is prefixed. “ In this volume, the Discourse on the Greek Co“medy, and the General Conclusion, are translated by the “ celebrated author of the Rambler. The Comedy of the “ Birds, and that of Peace, by a young Gentleman. The " Comedy of the Frogs, by the learned and ingenious Dr " Gregory Sharpe. The Discourse upon the Cyclops, by “ John Bourrya, Esq. The Cyclops, by Dr Grairger, au,
thor of the translation of Tibullus." E.