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2dly, Ardens Virtus. It is impoffible for a person to be happy if his mind is gnawed by reflections on ill spent life, or diftracted with unfatisfied defires, and disorderly paffions.

"3dly, and laftly. Dis geniti, which was an expreffion used by the ancients to exprefs what we more fimply call, men of a good family. Though no defcent, however illustrious, can compenfate for want of perfonal merit, yet where that favourable circumftance concurs in a person that has the two foregoing neceffary qualifications, it contributes much to elevate the mind, and affifts it to contemn low pursuits. Such men too are generally fo early initiated in the art of idleness, that it becomes habitual to them, and they enjoy it with an ease and elegance that can scarcely ever be attained by


"I have often known worthy men whofe industry had raised them to a great fortune, who then purchased an eftate in the country in hopes of enjoying that happy idlenefs that is the fubject of my difcourfe. But the firft vifits of ceremony were fcarce paid and received, when they and their neighbours were equally diffatisfied with one another, for no other reason, but because the parties on one fide having been habituated to bufinefs, knew not how to enjoy their leisure with that ease the other could do who had been idle all their lives.

"I have made fuch a progrefs in this art, as is fcarcely credible. I received fome days ago a letter from a friend in London, telling me he had recovered two hundred pounds for me that I had despaired of, and that I might draw for it when I pleafed. Most people would have gone to town immediately, but I put off my journey till to-morrow, when I must neceffarily go however, and if it were not that I am obliged to pay away part of it, I would almost rather want the money than be at the trouble of negotiating the bufinefs at a

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banker's. Do I not deferve a diftinguished place a. the favourite fons of idleness?


"I am, Sir, with regard, your faithful humble


March 26th
1777. S

J. F."

As I propose, in the continuation of this Effay in fome future Number of the Bee, to enter seriously into the difcuffion of the proper education and exercise of the legitimate fons and daughters of idleness, I fhall content myself in this place to obferve, that the idlenefs I defcribe is fyftematic; that it leads to tranquillity in the midst of variety; that it is epicurean in practice, but in principle ftoic; that it is focial, yet independent of external circumflances; that it is eafy and gay, yet not flippant; multifarious, yet not irregular, or confufed in its operations; that it enables its practitioners to be continually amufing to others without preffing upon their time, and more important occupations; that it is ferviceable in town, in the country, at home and abroad; travels with you, and follows you in your night gown to your elbow-chair, leaves you not on your pillow, awakes with you in the morn ing, and carries you through all the viciffitudes of your existence.

A detached thought.

THE person we love is always more efteemed than he deferves; the perfon we do not love, we always efteem the least it is in our power; we even feek to defpise him, and for ordinary fucceed in it. At first, that contempt is not fincere ; but infenfibly it becomes more fo; and at laft we grow to hate in good earnest, to despise an estimable perfon against whom we have fome cause of hatred: If, however, we are forced to esteem him, we hate him the more for that,

On the Hiftory of Authors by Profeffion.

No. II.

I HAVE attempted to establish in my last paper*, that authors by profeffion, or a class of men who derive their chief fubliftence from literary exertion, have ever exifted in fociety, among the rudeft, as well as the most refined nations, under the most venerable, as well as the most contemned fortas. Homer chaunting his ballads, or Socrates delivering his moral inftructions, correfpond in this particular with the unfkilful bard of the moft favage tribe, or the venal fophift of the most corrupted age. But it is to be remarked, that there are two diftinct modes in which the profeffion of letters has exifted, either by becoming objects of the munificence of individuals, or by miniftering to the pleasure of the public. The firft is the state of patronage: The second that to which has been annexed the vulgar obloquy of authorship. Under no other form can the literary profeffion appear; and the alternation of these constitutes its hiftory. It is not a little remarkable, that this alternation affords a new example of that circle in human affairs, that return to the point from which their progrefs began; which, in other provinces, has attracted the attention of enlightened obfervers.

Authorship is the form which appears in the earliest period of fociety; it is fucceeded by patronage, which again, in a fucceffion equally uniform and inevitable, gives place to authorship, the ftate which occupies the rudeft and the moft refined portions of the focial progrefs. This may be obviously illuftrated in detail. The bard muft owe his fubfiftence to the grateful hofpitality of his whole tribe. He is therefore completely in a ftate of authorship. He minifters pleafure to that pub* Vol. I. p. 62.

lic, from which he derives his reward. He paffes from cabin to cabin, purchafing a fhare in their joys by the recital of his tale and his fong. In that fimple and equal ftate, no individual poffeffes opulence to become a patron ; and perhaps no favage amateur could afford the luxury of fuftaining, for a confiderable length of time, his bard. Hence the neceffity of fucceffively exhibiting his talents to his whole tribe, of courting his little public, and becoming, in the modern fenfe, an author by profeffion.

But the inequality of property, which fo early arises in fociety, produces speedy and important effects on the condition of the profeffors of a rude and fcanty literature. The chief, who firft outftrips his neighbours in opulence, courts with avidity the man whofe traditional knowledge can give fplendor to his lineage, or whose poetical powers can add renown to his exploits. The genealogist and the poet find a ready accefs to his board. They gladly abandon a precarious and defultory life, for an cafe and a luxury, which it requires only flattery to purchase, and obfequioufnefs to enfure.

In this ftate, literature is not only invited to dependence, by the munificence of her patrons, but she is driven into it by the callous ignorance of a public no longer fufceptible of her charms: For the fame progrefs of inequality, which makes the few opulent enough to be patrons, degrades the many too much to be admirers. The ardent paffion, and the frequent inaction of favage life exift no longer in the indigent drudgery of a civilized peasant. The care of fubfiftence absorbs feeling, and the sense of dependence extinguishes pride. They have no longer leisure or enthufiafm to liften with rapture to the fong, or attend with anxious curiofity to the iffue of the tale.

It is in this state, that bards and fennachies are the household officers of the great; an ufage of which a remnant ftill remains to libel the English intellect, in the royal establishment of a Poet Laureat. The progress of fociety, however, changes this domeftic into a more

diftant dependence. The diffolution of those great houfeholds which are the channel of the expenditure of the opulent in a certain ftate of manners, gives patronage a new form. The patron ftill rewards the poet; but it is not by hofpitality, it is by prefents. He pays him in money, not in kind. This intercourse continues in a greater or lefs degree from the first appearance of moderate refinement to the meridian splendour of literature. Examine the firft dawnings of polite letters in a country. There will always be found fome one patron, of whofe household all the profeffors of literature are but a fort of extra officers. A Leo X, a Francis I, a Cofmo de Medicis, will be found, though with lefs fplendid reputation, in every country. But the diffufion of literature raises rival patrons, and the condition of the author ftill farther recedes from domeftic dependence. The habits of reading, at length, reach that portion of mankind, who form the public; and their collective patronage divides with individual munificence, the hopes and the homage of the author. Meantime, the fuffrage of the public becomes daily more important, from the increase of its literary ardour; while the fame cause increases the number of pretenders to a degree fo formidable, as to deter patrons from the labour of felection, and to reduce them to a dilemma in which they muft either launch into an expenditure too immense for their revenue, or attempt a discrimination too laborious for their indolence, and too arduous for their skill. They take refuge in indifcriminate rejection; patronage ceafes, and the profeffion of letters is once more thrown on the public. Authorship thus clofes as it had opened the progress.-Authors had exifted in the favage ftate, because there were too few patrons ; and they revived in the most civilized, because there were too many authors. The fame principle operated in both cafes. Whether there are too few fources, or too many objects of patronage, is in effect of the fame amount.

A. D.

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