REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Fool, sir, is a harsh term: call not thy brother a fool.
MR. CROTCHET. Sir, neither the cheesemonger nor the justice is a brother of mine.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Sir, we are all brethren.
MR. CROTCHET. Yes, sir, as the hangman is of the thief; the squire of the poacher; the judge of the libeller; the lawyer of his client; the statesman of his colleague; the bubble-blower of the bubble-buyer; the slave-driver of the negro; as these are brethren, so am I and the worthies in question
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. To be sure, sir, in these instances, and in many others, the term brother must be taken in its utmost latitude of interpretation: we are all brothers, nevertheless. But to return to the point. Now these two large figures, one with drapery on the lower half of the body, and the other with no drapery at all; upon my word, sir, it matters not what godfathers and godmothers may have promised and vowed for the children of this world, touching the devil and other things to be renounced, if such figures as those are to be put before their eyes.
MR. CROTCHET. Sir, the naked figure is the Pandemian Venus, and the half-draped figure is the Uranian Venus; and I say, sir, that figure realises the finest imaginings of Plato, and is the personification of the most refined and exalted feeling of which the human mind is susceptible; the love of pure, ideal, intellectual beauty.
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. I am aware, sir, that Plato, in his Symposium, discourseth very eloquently touching the Uranian and Pandemian Venus: but you must remember that, in our universities, Plato is held to be little better than a misleader of youth; and they have shown their contempt for him, not only by never reading him (a mode of contempt in which they deal very largely), but even by never printing a complete edition of him; although they have printed many ancient books, which nobody suspects to have been ever read on the spot, except by a person attached to the press, who is, therefore, emphatically called "the reader."
REV. DR. FOLLIOTT. Why, sir, to "the reader" aforesaid (supposing either of our universities to have printed an edition of Plato), or to any one else who can be supposed to have read Plato, or, indeed, to be ever likely to do so, I would very willingly show these figures; because to such they would, I grant you, be the outward and visible signs of poetical and philosophical ideas: but, to the multitude, the gross, carnal multitude, they are but two beautiful women, one half undressed, and the other quite so.