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But how greatly did the sense of Mr. Andrew improve in vigor from the time he procured a library! He lives with books as with men, and is careful in his choice of them. What a pleasure it is to gain instruction, to enlarge one's mind by studying the best works of the greatest authors.
He congratulates himself on being born at a time when human reason is tending toward perfection. "How unhappy should I have been," he used to say, "if the age I live in had been that in which they used to condemn to the galleys those who wrote against the categories of Aristotle."
Distress had weakened the springs of Mr. Andrew's soul; but good fortune restored their elasticity. There are many Andrews in the world to whom nothing is wanting but a turn of the wheel of fortune to make of them men of true merit. He is now well acquainted with all the affairs of Europe, and especially with the progress of the human understanding.
He recently remarked to me, that Reason travels by slow journeys from north to south, in company with her two intimate friends, Experience and Toleration. Agriculture and Commerce attend them. When Reason presented herself in Italy, the congregation of the Index sternly repulsed her. All she could do, was to secretly send some of her agents, who, in spite of her enemies, do some good. Let but some years more pass, and it is to be hoped that the country of the Scipios will no longer be that of harlequins in monks' habits.
She has sometimes met with cruel foes in France; but she has now so many friends in that kingdom, that she stands a good chance of at length becoming first minister there.
When she presented herself in Bavaria and Austria, she found two or three great wig-blocks that stared at her with stupid and astonished eyes. Their greeting was: "Madam, we never heard of you; we do not know you." Her answer to which was: "Gentlemen, in time you will come to know me, and to love me. I have been well received at Berlin, at Moscow, at Copenhagen, at Stockholm. It is long ago that I have been naturalized by Act of Parliament in England, through the labors of Locke, Gordon, Trenchard, Lord Shaftsbury, and a number of others of the same nation. You will, some day or other, confer on me the like grant. I am the daughter of Time. I expect every thing from my father."
When she passed over the frontiers of Spain and Portugal, she blessed God on observing that the fires of the Inquisition were less frequently kindled. She rejoiced on seeing the Jesuits expelled; but was afraid that, while the country had been cleared of the foxes, it was still left exposed to the ravages of wolves.
If she makes any fresh attempts to gain entrance into Italy it is thought she will begin by establishing herself at Venice; and that she will take up her abode in the kingdom of Naples, in spite of the liquefaction of the saint's blood in that country, which awakens in her mind mournful reflections on human credulity. It is pretended, that she has an infallible secret for untying the strings of a crown, which are entangled, nobody knows how, in those of a mitre.
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