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Mr. Toogood that the promulgators of such doctrines ought to be consigned to
the treadmill. The philanthropist walked off from the country gentleman, and
proceeded to hold forth to young Crotchet, who stood silent, as one who listens,
but in reality without hearing a syllable. Mr. Crotchet, senior, as the master of the
house, was left to entertain himself with his own meditations, till the Reverend
Doctor Folliott tore himself from Mr. Mac Quedy, and proceeded to expostulate
with Mr. Crotchet on a delicate topic.
There was an Italian painter, who obtained the name of Il Bragatore, by the
superinduction of inexpressibles on the naked Apollos and Bacchuses of his
betters. The fame of this worthy remained one and indivisible, till a set of heads,
which had been, by a too common mistake of Nature's journeymen, stuck upon
magisterial shoulders, as the Corinthian capitals of "fair round bellies with fat
capon lined," but which Nature herself had intended for the noddles of porcelain
mandarins, promulgated simultaneously from the east and the west of London,
an order that no plaster-of-Paris Venus should appear in the streets without
petticoats. Mr. Crotchet, on reading this order in the evening paper, which, by the
postman's early arrival, was always laid on his breakfast-table, determined to fill
his house with Venuses of all sizes and kinds. In pursuance of this resolution,
came packages by water-carriage, containing an infinite variety of Venuses.
There were the Medicean Venus, and the Bathing Venus; the Uranian Venus,
and the Pandemian Venus; the Crouching Venus, and the Sleeping Venus; the
Venus rising from the sea, the Venus with the apple of Paris, and the Venus with
the armour of Mars.
The Reverend Doctor Folliott had been very much astonished at this unexpected
display. Disposed, as he was, to hold, that whatever had been in Greece, was
right; he was more than doubtful of the propriety of throwing open the classical
adytum to the illiterate profane. Whether, in his interior mind, he was at all
influenced, either by the consideration that it would be for the credit of his cloth,
with some of his vice-suppressing neighbours, to be able to say that he had
expostulated; or by curiosity, to try what sort of defence his city-bred friend, who
knew the classics only by translations, and whose reason was always a little
ahead of his knowledge, would make for his somewhat ostentatious display of
liberality in matters of taste; is a question on which the learned may differ: but,
after having duly deliberated on two full-sized casts of the Uranian and
Pandemian Venus, in niches on each side of the chimney, and on three alabaster
figures, in glass cases, on the mantelpiece, he proceeded, peirastically, to open
his fire.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. These little alabaster figures on the mantelpiece, Mr.
Crotchet, and those large figures in the niches--may I take the liberty to ask you
what they are intended to represent?
MR. CROTCHET. Venus, sir; nothing more, sir; just Venus.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. May I ask you, sir, why they are there?
MR. CROTCHET. To be looked at, sir; just to be looked at: the reasons for most
things in a gentleman's house being in it at all; from the paper on the walls, and