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Delectable mansion, hail! House not made of every wood! Lodging that pays no rent ; airy and commodious; which, owing no window-tax, art yet all casement, out of which men have such pleasure in peering and overlooking, that they will sometimes stand an hour together to enjoy thy prospects! Cell, recluse from the vulgar! Quiet retirement from the great Babel, yet affording sufficient glimpses into it! Pulpit, that instructs without note or sermon-book ; into which the preacher is inducted without tenth or first-fruit ! Throne, unshared and single, that disdainest a Brentford competitor! Honour without co-rival ! Or hearest thou, rather, magnificent theatre, in which the spectator comes to see and to be seen? From thy giddy heights I look down upon the common herd, who stand with eyes upturned, as if a winged messenger hovered over them; and mouths open, as if they expected manna. I feel, I feel, the true episcopal yearnings. Behold in me, my flock, your true overseer! What though I cannot lay hands, because my own are laid ; yet I can mutter benedictions. True otium cum dignitate! Proud Pisgah eminence! pinnacle sublime! O Pillory ! 'tis thee I sing! Thou younger brother to the gallows, without his rough and Esau palms, that with ineffable contempt surveyest beneath thee the grovelling stocks, which claim presumptuously to be of thy great race! Let that low wood know that thou art far higher born. Let that domicile for groundling rogues and base earth-kissing varlets envy thy preferment, not seldom fated to be the wanton baiting-house, the temporary retreat, of poet and of patriot. Shades of Bastwick and of Prynne hover over thee,-Defoe is there, and more greatly daring Shebbeare,—from their (little more
elevated) stations they look down with recognitions. Ketch, turn me.
I now veer to the north. Open your widest gates, thou proud Exchange of London, that I may look in as proudly! Gresham's wonder, hail! Í stand upon a level with all your kings. They and I, from equal heights, with equal superciliousness, o'erlook the plodding money-hunting tribe below, who, busied in their sordid speculations, scarce elevate their eyes to notice your ancient, or my recent, grandeur. The second Charles smiles on me from three pedestals ! He closed the Exchequer : I cheated the Excise. Equal our darings, equal be our lot.
Are those the quarters ? 'tis their fatal chime. That the ever-winged hours would but stand still ! but I must descend,-descend from this dream of greatness. Stay, stay, a little while, importunate hour-hand! A moment or two, and I shall walk on foot with the undistinguished many. The clock speaks one. I return to common life. Ketch, let me out.
1 A statue of Charles II.. by the elder Cibber, adorns the front of the Exchange. He stands also on high, in the train of his crowned ancestors, in his proper order, within that building. But the merchants of London, in a superfetation of loyalty, have, within a few years, caused to be erected another effigy of him on the ground in the centre of the interior. We do not hear that a fourth is in contemplation.
D EONTIUS, Duke of Lycia, who in times
| past had borne the character of a wise 199 K N and just governor, and was endeared to
all ranks of his subjects, in his latter days fell into a sort of dotage, which manifested itself in an extravagant fondness for his daughter Hidaspes. This young maiden, with the Prince Leucippus, her brother, were the only remembrances left to him of a deceased and beloved consort. For her, nothing was thought too precious. Existence was of no value to him but as it afforded opportunities of gratifying her wishes. To be instrumental in relieving her from the least little pain or grief, he would have lavished his treasures to the giving away of the one-half of his dukedom.
All this deference on the part of the parent had yet no power upon the mind of the daughter to move her at any time to solicit any unbecoming suit, or to disturb the even tenor of her thoughts. Thé humility and dutifulness of her carriage seemed to keep pace with his apparent willingness to release her from the obligations of either. She might have satisfied her wildest humours and caprices; but, in truth, no such troublesome guests found harbour in the bosom of the quiet and unaspiring maiden.
Thus far the pruilence of the princess served to counteract any ill effects which this ungovernable partiality in a parent was calculated to produce in à less virtuous nature than Hidaspes’; and this foible of the duke's, so long as no evil resulted from it, was passed over by the courtiers as a piece of harmless frenzy.
But upon a solemn day,-a sad one, as it proved for Lycia, -when the returning anniversary of the princess's birth was kept with extraordinary rejoicings, the infatuated father set no bounds to his folly, but would have his subjects to do homage to her for that day, as to their natural sovereign; as if he, indeed, had been dead, and she, to the exclusion of the male succession, was become the rightful ruler of Lycia. He saluted her by the style of Duchess ; and with a terrible oath, in the presence of his nobles, he confirmed to her the grant of all things whatsoever that she should demand on that day, and for the six next following; and if she should ask anything, the execution of which must be deferred until after his death, he pronounced a dreadful curse upon his son and successor, if he failed to see to the performance of it.
Thus encouraged, the princess stepped forth with a modest boldness; and, as if assured of no denial, spake as follows.
But, before we acquaint you with the purport of her speech, we must premise, that in the land of Lycia, which was at that time pagan, above all their other gods the inhabitants did in an especial manner adore the deity who was supposed to have influence in the disposing of people's affections in love. Him, by the name of God Cupid, they feigned to be a beautiful boy, and winged ; as indeed, between young persons, these frantic passions are usually least under constraint ; while the wings might signify the haste with which these ill-judged attachments are commonly dissolved, and do indeed go away as lightly as they come, flying awayı n an instant to light upon some newer fancy. They painted him blindfolded, because these silly affections of lovers make them blind to the defects of the beloved object, which every one is quicksighted enough to discover but themselves; or because love is for the most part led blindly, rather than directed by the open eye of the judgment, in the hasty choice of a mate. Yet with that inconsistency of attributes with which the heathen people commonly over-complimented their deities, this blind love, this Cupid, they figured with a bow and arrows; and, being sightless, they yet feigned him to be a notable archer and an unerring marksman. No heart was supposed to be proof against the point of his inevitable dart. By such incredible fictions did these poor pagans make a shift to excuse their vanities, and to give a sanction to their irregular affections, under the notion that love was irresistible ; whereas, in a well-regulated mind, these amorous conceits either find no place at all, or, having gained a footing, are easily stifled in the beginning by a wise and manly resolution.
This frenzy in the people had long been a source of disquiet to the discreet princess; and many were the conferences she had held with the virtuous prince, her brother, as to the best mode of taking off the minds of the Lycians from this vain superstition. An occasion, furnished by the blind grant of the old duke, their father, seemed now to present itself.
The courtiers then, being assembled to hear the demand which the princess should make, began to