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tion he makes, and run down every character he attacks. For all this he rewards them exactly as he does his favourite dogs, by allowing them to dirty his parlour, and feed at his table; and, like the master of many a pack, he is despised by all his neighbours who have understanding, and hated by all those who want it.
Nothing is more difficult than the art of a patron ; the power of patronising is but one ingredient in its composition. A patron must be able to read mankind, and to conciliate their affections; he must be so deserving of praise, as to be independent of it; yet receive it as if he had no claim, and give it value where it is just, by resisting adulation. He must have that dignity of demeanour, which may keep his place in the circle; yet that gentleness, which may not overpower the most timid. or overawe the meanest. If he patronises the arts, he must know and feel them;
yet he must speak to the learned as a learner, and often submit the correctness of his taste to the errors of genius. With so many qualifications requisite for a patron, it is not wonderful that so few should arise; or that the bunglers whom we see attempt the part, should so frequently make enemies by offices of friendship, and purchase a lampoon at the price of a panegyric.
There is a sort of female patronage, of which I cannot forbear taking notice, though it be somewhat out of place here. It is considered as of little importance, though, I am apt to believe, its consequences are sometimes of a very serious nature. In some great houses, my lady, as well as my lord, has a train of followers, who contend for that honour which her intimacy is held to confer, and emulate those manners which her rank and fashion are supposed to sanctify. Let
the humanity of such a patroness lead her to beware, lest her patronage be fatal to her favourites. If the glare of grandeur, or the luxuries of wealth, deprive them of the relish of sober enjoyments; if the ease of fashionable behaviour seduce them from the simplicity of purer manners; they will have dearly purchased the friendship which they court, or the notice which they envy. Let such noble persons consider, that, to the young ladies they are pleased to call their friends, those sober pleasures, those untainted manners, are to be the support of celibacy, the dower of marriage, the comfort and happiness of a future life. It were cruel, indeed, if, by any infringement of those manners, any contempt for those pleasures (too easily copied by their inferiors,) they should render the little transient distinctions which they bestow in kindness, a source of lasting misery to those who receive them.
To the behaviour of the rich, the above observations may apply ; wealth, in a commercial country like ours, conferring, in a great measure, the dignity of title or of birth. There are, however, some particular errors, into which the possessors of suddenly acquired fortunes are apt to fall, that defeat the ends at which they aim, that disgust where they meant to dazzle, and only create envy where they wish to excite admiration. When Lucullus, at a dinner to which he has invited half a dozen of his old acquaintance, shews his side-board loaded with plate, and brings in seven or eight laced servants to wait at table, I do not reckon the dinner given, but sold. I am expected to pay my reckoning as much as in a tavern; only here I am to give my admiration, and there my money ; and it is certain, that many men, and some very narrow ones too, will sooner part with the last than with the former. I have sometimes seen a high-spirited poor man at Lucullus's table, affronted by the production of Burgundy, and refuse Champaigne, because it had the borachio of our landlord's fourscore thousand pounds upon it. This was honest, and Lucullus had not much title to complain; but he knows not how often his Burgundy and Champaigne are drank by fellows who tell all the world, next day, of their former dinners with him at a shilling ordinary, with sixpenny-worth of punch, by way of regale, upon holidays.
There is an obligation to complacency, I had almost said humility of manners, which the acquisition of wealth or station lays on every man, though it has often, especially on weak minds, a directly op posite effect. A certain degree of inattention, or even rudeness, which from an equal we may easily pardon, from a sų.