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No. 4. SATURDAY, FEB. 14, 1807.
Χείλων ερωτη θείς τίς διαφερεσινοι πεπαιδευμένοι τών άπαιδευτων; ;
έφη έλπίσιν άγαθαίς. .
Chilo being asked, What constituted the difference between the accomplished and the ignorant? ree plied, The hopes of distinction and reward.
CAILO APUD Diogen. LAERT.
For the following letter on the connexion between genius and patronage, and on the reward and honour which the Grecian States bestowed on the arts and sciences, I am indebted to a learned correspondent, whose name it would be an honour for me to insert. The investigation is curious, and supplies food for reflection. My readers will probably unite with me in wishing a continuation of the subject.
To the Director.
It is the proud prerogative of genius, to create to itself distinction, and to exercise authority upon the minds of men. In the earliest ages of the world, superior personal prowess, and extraordinary efforts of valour, obtained the control and the command of armies, pointed out the paths of victory, and extended territorial possessions. Intellectual superiority went a great deal farther. The effect of personal superiority was relatively transient; that of the mind was perpetual. The rewards and honours and distinctions paid to each, were proportioned to the effects, which the mass of mankind felt and acknowledged. They bowed the knee to valour with reverence and admiration ; but they adored the mind, which taught the salutary arts of life, which tempered the ferocity of the savage, and enlightened the gloom of ignorance.
Such must have been the emotions of men, when the mere useful arts alone were known and exercised ; before the poet dipped his pen in the colours of the rainbow; before the artist gazed with rapture on the works of nature, and endeavoured to transfuse her beauties and her wonders to his canvass ; before the statuary taught his marble to breathe.
The advance from the useful to the ornamental arts, must have been slow and progressive. Man first constructed his hut, to shelter him from the inclemency of the seasons ; long must the interval have been before it was thought to decorate the walls with pictures, with statues, or with tapestry. Man must long have been familiar with the gloom and intricacy of the forest, with the hoarse murmur of the waterfall, before be could conceive the possibility of representing their effects with fidelity and interest a second time, and by artificial It is probable, that the first successful efforts of genius, as they must have provoked delight and excited astonishment, impressed the minds of ignorant and superstitious mortals with the idea of preternatural agency. Thus, perhaps, the first altars were constructed to Pan, to Ceres, or to Bacchus. But this would be too remote and too intricate an investigation. Our idea and intention is, to convey to the reader some ability to comprehend what was in different ages of the world the disposition of men, to compensate and reward the powers of intellect, which were exerted to meliorate and adorn the condition of life.
In this particular, in the remote ages of mankind, there could be no fixed principle. Rewards of merit must have been wayward and irregular; depending on the caprice, or the opulence, or local condition, of states or individuals, for whose use, or service, or gratification, the intellectual powers of genius were in any form exercised.