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dom and reafon reigns among the people; they have been often known to act like fools, they are generally found to think like men.

The only danger that attends a multiplicity of publica tions is, that fome of them may be calculated to injure rather than benefit fociety. But where writers are nu merous, they also serve as a check upon each other; and perhaps a literary inquifition is the most terrible punishment that can be conceived to a literary tranfgreffor.

But, to do the English justice, there are but few of fenders of this kind; their publications in general aim at mending either the heart, or improving the common weal. The dulleft writer talks of virtue and liberty, and benevolence with efteem; tells his true ftory, filled with good and wholesome advice; warns against flavery, bri. bery, or the bite of a mad dog, and dreffes up his little useful magazine of knowledge and entertainment, at least with a good intention. The dunces of France, on the other hand, who have less encouragement, are more vicious. Tender hearts, languishing eyes, Leonora in love at thirteen, exatic transports, ftolen bliffes, are the frivolous fubjects of their frivolous memoirs. In England if a bawdy blockhead thus breaks in on the community, he fets his whole fraternity in a roar; nor can he escape, even though he should fly to nobility for shelter.

Thus, even dunces, my friend, may make themselves ufeful but there are others whom nature has bleft with talents above the reft of mankind; men capable of thinking with precision, and impreffing their thoughts with rapidity; beings who diffuse these regards upon mankind, which others contract and settle upon themselves. These deferve every honour from that community of which they

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are more peculiarly the children: to fuch I would give my heart, fince to them I am indebted for its humanity. Adieu.

LETTER LXXVI.

FROM HINGPO TO LIEN CHI ALTANGI, BY THÌ
WAY OF MOSCOW.

I STILL remain at Terki, where I have received

that money which was remitted here in order to release me from captivity. My fair companion still improves in my esteem; the more I know her mind, her beauty becomes more poignant; fhe appears charming, even among the daughters of Circaffia.

Yet were I to examine her beauty with the art of a statuary, I fhould find numbers here that far surpass her; nature has not granted her all the boafted Circaffian regu larity of feature, and yet she greatly exceeds the fairest of the country in the art of feizing the affections. Whence, I have often faid to myself, this refiftless magic that attends even moderate charms: though I regard the beau ties of the country with admiration, every interview weakens the impreffion, but the form of Zelis grows upon my imagination, I never behold her without an increase of tenderness and refpect. Whence this injuftice of the mind in prefering imperfect beauty to that which nature feems to have finished with care? whence the infatuation, that he whom a comet could not amaze, should be aftonished at a meteor? When reason was thus fatigued to

find an answer, my imagination pursued the subject, and this was the refult:

I fancied myself placed between two landscapes, this called the region of beauty, and that the valley of the graces; the one embellished with all that luxuriant nature could beftow the fruits of various climates adorned the trees, the grove refounded with mufic, the gale breathed perfume, every charm that could arise from symmetry and exact distribution were here conspicuous, the whole offering a profpect of pleasure without end. The valley of the graces, on the other hand, seemed by no means fo inviting; the ftreams and the groves appeared just as they ufually do in frequented countries; no magnificent parterres, no concert in the grove, the rivulet was edged with weeds, and the rock joined its voice to that of the nightingale. All was fimplicity and nature.

The most striking objects ever first allure the traveller. I entered the region of beauty with increafed curiofity, and promised myself endless fatisfaction, in being introduced to the prefiding goddess. I perceived feveral ftrangers, who entered with the fame design; and what furprised me not a little, was to fee several others haftening to leave this abode of feeming felicity.

After fome fatigue, I had at laft the honour of being introduced to the goddefs, who reprefented beauty in perfon. She was feated on a throne, at the foot of which flood several ftrangers, lately introduced like me, all gazing on her form in extacy. “Ah! what eyes! what lips! how clear her complexion! how perfect her shape! At thefe exclamations beauty, with downcaft eyes, would endeavour to counterfeit modesty, but foon again looking round as if to confirm every spectator in his favour

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able sentiments, sometimes she would attempt to allure us by fmiles; and at intervals would bridle back, in order to inspire us with respect as well as tenderness.

This ceremony lafted for fome time, and had fo much employed our eyes, that we had forgot all this while that the goddess was filent. We foon, however, began to perceive the defect : "What, (faid we, among each other,) are we to have nothing but languishing airs, soft looks, and inclinations of the head; will the goddess only deign to fatisfy our eyes?" Upon this one of the company stepped up to present her with fome fruits he had gathered by the way. She received the present most fweetly smiling, and with one of the whiteft hands in the world, but ftill not a word escaped her lips.

I now found that my companions grew weary of their homage; they went off one by one, and refolving not to be left behind, I offered to go in my turn; when just at the door of the temple I was called back by a female, whose name was Pride, and who seemed displeased at the behaviour of the company. "Where are you haftening ?" said she to me with an angry air," the goddess of beauty is here."-I have been to vifit her, madam, replied I, and find her more beautiful even than report had made her. "And why then will you leave her ?" added the female. I have seen her long enough, returned I; I have got all her features by heart. Her eyes are ftill the fame. Her nofe is a very fine one, but it is still just such a nose now, as it was half an hour ago: could fhe throw a little more mind into her face, perhaps I should be for wishing to have more of her company. "What fignifies," replied my female, "whether fhe has a mind or not; has the any occafion for a mind, fo formed as she

is by nature? If she had a common face, indeed, there might be fome reafon for thinking to improve it; but when features are already perfect, every alteration would but impair them. A fine face is already at the point of perfection, and a fine lady should endeavour to keep it fo; the impreffion it would receive from thought, would but difturb its whole economy."

To this speech I gave no reply, but made the best of my way to the valley of the graces. Here I found all those who before had been my companions in the region of beauty, now upon the fame errand.

As we entered the valley, the profpect infenfibly feemed to improve; we found every thing so natural, fɔ domeftic, and pleasing, that our minds, which before were congealed in admiration, now relaxed into gaiety and good humour. We had defigned to pay our respects to the prefiding goddess, but she was no where to be found.

One of our companions afferted, that her temple lay to the right; another to the left; a third infifted that it was ftraight before us; and a fourth that we had left it behind. In fhort, we found every thing familiar and charming, but could not determine where to feek for the grace in perfon.

In this agreeable incertitude we passed several hours, and though very defirous of finding the goddess, by no means impatient of the delay. Every part of the valley prefented fome minute beauty, which without offering itself at once, ftole upon the foul, and captivated us with the charms of our retreat. Still, however, we continued to fearch, and might ftill have continued, had we not been interrupted by a voice, which, though we could

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