ABSTRACT

Two hundred and fifty years ago, Samuel Johnson wrote in The Rambler an allegory on the vagaries suffered by Truth (Bate & Strauss 1969, p. 149). Truth, daughter of Jupiter and Wisdom, was sent to humanity as a gift from the gods; Falsehood came from below. However, confronted by Prejudice and Passions, wounded by Impudence and Sophistry and Vanity and Obstinacy, Truth felt unable to survive among mankind and fled back to the gods. Still, Johnson went on to write,

Jupiter compassionated the world too much to grant [Truth] her request … [so the] Muses wove … a loose and changeable robe, like that in which Falsehood captivated her admirers; with this they invested Truth, and named her Fiction. She now went out again to conquer with more success; for when she demanded entrance of the Passions, they often mistook her for Falsehood, and delivered up their charge; but, when she had once taken possession, she was soon disrobed by Reason, and shone out, in her original form, with native effulgence and resistless dignity.

(Bate & Strauss 1969, p. 152)