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joyed by the friend and companion of a king, in whom royalty and fcience have made a perfect union, the rareft phænomenon upon earth; the great comet will probably make a hundred revolutions, before they may be again" found fo perfectly combined in the head of a monarch.
WHO then in looking on the understanding of Voltaire, muft not pity him in this lofs; who that turns his eyes on the qualities of his heart, muft not defpife him for deferving it?
ALAS! fuch is the condition of fuperior intellects, that nature seems to have taken pleafure in humbling their fuperiority, by fome inferior qualities blended in the heart, which reduces almoft all men to the fame level; a Verulam and a Voltaire have only proved the wideft vibration of the pendulum, from the fartheft point of fuperior knowledge, to the oppofite of extreme folly, between which all the various characters of human kind may be found.
WITH extremes in neither, may I live uncareffed by the greateft, beloved by the best, and tafting neither exaltation nor debasement, die your friend, and that of mankind. Adieu, I am,
Your moft obedient.
: ri à X
To the Reverend Father FABIO MARETTI at Rome.
S it not true, that mankind in their accounts of nature's productions, have made their circle fhorter than they ought, and not enough attended to the whole progrefs which she takes?
PERHAPS, if we could penetrate into the parts which compofe this univerfe, we should discover all to be the ancient philofophy of the To ev, and in fact, no more than one eternal system of truth and perfection.
We are accustomed to fee, that every spring pushes forth the leaves and bloffoms, the juicy fummer fwells, and the purple autumn ripens, the clustering grape, and then conclude the procefs finished.
THIS is the annual course of nature in producing that fruit, fhort, and of fix months operations only; yet, this is not the whole process of that single production: years varying in themfelves, may generate the most perfect fruit but once in a hundred; and this enlarges the circle of nature in that refpect, and indicates that to know all the effects of funs, rains, and other causes, of the greatest excellency in the fruits of the earth, we should attend a longer circulation, than the fhort-lived revolution of fix months.
PERHAPS the whole combining caufes of this effect are not happily united but once in an age, and the perfect wine of Burgundy is as rare as a comet; tho' wine be the production of every year, as stars are every evening's profpect.
THE fame feems to be true in regard to mankind; tho' every year produces numbers of men, much resembling one another in form and understanding; yet, the happy union which creates genius comes extremely rare, and is in like manner a phænomenon of more than centuries, to VOL II. N produce
produce a comet upon earth; which, contrary to those in the heavens, is lefs gazed at and admired during its reign amongst the leffer mortals, than when it has paffed away, and is no longer visible but in its effects and remains.
THOSE whofe penetration fanfies that all mankind have been alike at all times, are extremely fuperficial; were the old Britons-like the prefent? And did the old Romans refemble thofe of Nero and Caligula's reign? Who was there in thefe latter times at Rome, who would have imitated the felf-devoted Decii? Will an Englishman at prefent refign his head to be fevered from his body, because he cannot renounce the oath which he has taken, as did the virtue of Sir Thomas More? will he fmile at the executioner, and with a ferenity of foul meet the block, as easily as a table fpread with dainties? No fires will ever more be lighted, to burn a wilLing martyr in this land, and perhaps in no other in Europe; the spirit is fled.
Is genius, as in resolution; in superior sense, as well as fuperior firmness of mind; in the foul, as in fruits and flowers; there are points of time