Page:Johnson - Rambler 2.djvu/223

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N° 91.

lous; they therefore contrived new expedients, and hoped at last to prevail by their multitudes which were always increasing, and their perseverance which Hope and Impudence forbad them to relax.

Patronage having been long a stranger to the heavenly assemblies, began to degenerate towards terrestrial nature, and forget the precepts of Justice and Truth. Instead of confining her friendship to the Sciences, she suffered herself, by little and little, to contract an acquaintance with Pride, the son of Falsehood, by whose embraces she had two daughters, Flattery and Caprice. Flattery was nursed by Liberality, and Caprice by Fortune, without any assistance from the lessons of the Sciences.

Patronage began openly to adopt the sentiments and imitate the manners of her husband, by whose opinions she now directed her decisions with very little heed to the precepts of Truth; and as her daughters continually gained upon her affections, the Sciences lost their influence, till none found much reason to boast of their reception, but those whom Caprice or Flattery conducted to her throne.

The throngs who had so long waited, and so often been dismissed for want of recommendation from the Sciences, were delighted to see the power of those rigorous Goddesses tending to its extinction. Their patronesses now renewed their encouragements. Hope smiled at the approach of Caprice, and Impudence was always at hand to introduce her clients to Flattery.

Patronage had now learned to procure herself reverence by ceremonies and formalities, and, in-