The Rise of Fashion: A Reader

By Daniel Leonhard Purdy | Go to book overview

Notes

“The Man of the World”
1. 1. The author of a treatise entitled “The French Cook.”

“Discourse on the Arts and Sciences”
1. Princes always see with Pleasure the Increase of agreeable Arts and Superfluities, which do not occasion the Exportation of Money among their Subjects. For besides that they nourish them in that Littleness of Soul, so proper for Servitude; they know very well, that all those Wants which the People create to themselves, are so many Chains with which they better themselves. Alexander being desirous of keeping the Icthyophagi dependent upon him, obliged them to renounce their Fish Diet, and live upon Food common to other Nations; and the Savages of America, who always go naked, and live on the Produce of their Hunting, could never be conquered. In short, what Yoke can be imposed on Men, who are in want of nothing?
2. It must be observed that this is said of French Theatrical Entertainments, which are conducted with that Decency, and Regard to the Rules of Morality, that is not always to be found on the English Stage.
3. We easily see the Allegory of the Fable of Prometheus; and it does not appear, that the Greeks, who chained him down to Caucasus, had a more favorable Opinion of him, than the Egyptians had of their God Tenthus. “The Satyr,” says an ancient Fable, “would fain kiss and embrace Fire the first Time he saw it; but Prometheus cried out to him: “Satyr, thou wilt lament the Loss of thy Beard, for it burns as soon as it is touched.”
4. The less a Man knows, the more he thinks he knows. Did the Peripatetics doubt of any Thing? Has not Descartes constructed the Universe with Cubes and Vertices? And is there at this Day in Europe ever so mean a Naturalist who does not boldly explain that profound Mystery of Electricity, which perhaps will always remain so, in the Opinion of true Philosophers?

-341-

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