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ing ling was added to the names of things that were the objects of love.
Some we retain still, as dar-ling (or little dear), and a few others. But, to this day, in ordinary conversation, it is usual to add the endearing name of little, to every thing we love: the French and Italians make use of these affectionate diminutives even more than we. In the animal creation out of our own species, it is the small we are inclined to be fond of; little birds, and some of the smaller kinds of beasts.
A great beautiful thing is a manner of expression scarcely ever used; but that of a great ugly thing, is very common.
There is a wide difference between admiration and love. The sublime, which is the cause of the former, always dwells on great objects and terrible; the latter, on small ones and pleasing. We submit to what we admire, but we love what submits to us; in one case we are forced, in the other, we are flattered, into compliance.
In short, the ideas of the sublime and beautiful stand on foundations so different, that it is hard, I had almost said impossible, to think of reconciling them in the same subject, without considerably lessening the effect of the one or the other upon the passions, so that attending to their quantity, beautiful objects are comparatively small,
MINOS, A FABLE.
(From the Museum.)
MINOS was looked upon as the justest king upon earth. He governed his Cretans with equity; and was highly favoured by the gods. One day in particular, when he was retired into the sacred grotto, in the gardens behind his palace, he fell into a dream, or rather vision.
Mercury appeared to him with a mild and pleasing aspect, and told him that he came by order of Jupiter to bring hiin before his presence in the highest heavens. He was immediately conveyed through the air by his divine conductor, quite up to the Palace of Light, much above the fixed stars. On their arrival there, they saw Jupiter sitting on a throne, with a pair of scales in his hands (as the goddess of Justice is generally represented in statues) and a number of little weights, with strange characters on them, piled up in two heaps on each side of hiin. Before him stood a spirit just departed from our world, who turned away his face as struck on a suddeu with shame and confusion.
That spirit, says Mercury, is just going to receive his sentence for what he has done on earth; . and it seems likely to go worse with him than he expected. All the actions of man, you know, must be either good, bad, or indifferent. We above call those actions only good, which produce some real benefit or happiness among men; and those bad which produce some real mischief or unhappiness. Every action that does neither, we call indifferent. Every good action, as soon as performed, is marked down on a golden weight, like those you see on the right hand of Jupiter) exactly proportioned in size to the good produced by such action; and every bad one is marked on a brass weight exactly proportioned to the evil produced. The weights thus marked belonging to the same man, are kept always in two different parcels, during the life of the man; and immediately on his death, are brought before Jupiter, and put into these scales. If the gold weights are the heaviest, he is adjudged worthy of bliss, and if the brass, the contrary. It is but too evident to one's eyes in this case, that the brass weights are the most numerous and most ponderous.
As Mercury was saying this, Jupiter called out to the spirit to turn his face towards him and receive his sentence; and Minos knew him to be Sebastor the rich Cretan, and one of the chief citizens of Gnossus* ; on which he could not conceal the greatness of his astonishment. “What,” cried he, “is Sebastor going to be condemned by Jupiter ! That Sebastor, who passed so many hours every day before leis shrine, and who offered up an hundred oxen on his altars, on our last great festival! Why, he was considered as the most devout inan in all the island of Crete !" “ If you will suspend your wonder a little,” says Mercury,
hear his sentence." All this while Jupiter looked on him with a mixture of sterness and compassion. “Un“ happy mortal," said he," you see how widely
you were mistaken! The unerring weights are “ against you. Had you done more real good " with the riches entrusted to your care, the right “ scale would have prevailed, but instead of “ doing good to man, you only thought of “ making presents to the gods. It is now too “ late for you to learn, that the gods are not to “ be bribed; and as you have done so very
little that has been beneficial to mankind, your " lot must be to go to those that have been use« less in their generation."
* The capital of Crete, where Minos and his court resided.
After thus giving his sentence, Jupiter turned towards Minos, and dismissed him with the following words.
“ Minos; you have seen our way “ of judging; your justice and good actions are “ marked down on golden weights here, and
they are more than I ever yet saw for any “ prince on earth. It is for this reason, that I “ intend hereafter to constitute you my deputy; “ and to make you the chief disposer of all the
spirits that come from your world. Go on, « follow the laws of justice and virtue while you “ live, and when you die and arrive at the dig. “ nity I have assured to you,
rules « of judgment, and place every one in more “ bliss or unhappiness hereafter, in exact propor« tion to the overbalance of happiness or misery, " that he may have occasioned in the whole of his life. Let this be
your rule; and “ then you will judge men in the same manner " as they are judged by Jupiter himself."