Genius, Virtue, and Reputation

1.10. GENIUS, VIRTUE AND REPUTATION. There are few things so irreparably lost as Reputation.
Genius, Virtue, and Reputation, three intimate friends, agreed to travel over the island of Great Britain to see whatever might be worthy of observation. "But as some misfortune," said they, "may happen to separate us, let us consider before we set out by what means we may find each other again."
"Should it be my ill fate," said Genius, "to be severed from you my associates, which Heaven forbid, you may find me kneeling in devotion before the tomb of Shakespeare or rapt in some grove where Milton talked with angels or musing in the grotto where Pope caught inspiration."
Virtue with a sigh acknowledged that her friends were not very numerous but, "were I to lose you," she cried, "with whom I am at present so happily united, I should choose to take sanctuary in the temples of religion, in the places of royalty, or in the stately domes of ministers of state, but as it may be my ill fortune to be there denied admittance, inquire for some cottage where contentment has a bower, and there you will certainly find me."
"Ah, my dear companions," said Reputation, very earnestly, "you, I perceive, when missing, may possibly be recovered, but take care I entreat you, always to keep sight of me, for if I am once lost I am never to be retrieved." [more info]

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