Beschreibung

Besides, fiction, under divers forms, such as fables, apologues, novels, allegories, and tales, constitutes a large portion of the literature of every nation to this we may add the utility, nay, even the necessity of disguising truth, in order to make it acceptable to our imperfection; and more than all, the good frequently resulting from these modest productions ought to stimulate those on whom Heaven has bestowed the same kind of talent, to employ it in exposing vice and reforming the corruptions of society. But if the imperfection and weakness of our hearts der fiction necessary to us, a similar necessity results from the languor and inaction of our minds: for in proportion to the extent of public corruption, individual application of the mind to severe and serious study diminishes. Insen sibly all continued exercise of the powers of his under standing becomes irksome to man, and he finally considers thought and ennui to be synonymous terms. This is, without doubt, a deplorable and alarming symptom of the decline of society but we are obliged to confess its exist ence, and, not possessing the power of changing, we must submit to its caprices and satisfy its necessities.

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