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Lc, from which he derives his reward. He paffes from cabin to cabin, purchafing a share 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 sustaining, 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 fpeedy and important effects on the condition of the profeffors of a rude and scanty 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 eafe 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 progress of inequality, which makes the few opulent enough to be patrons, degrades the many too much to be admirers. The ardent pasfion, and the frequent inaction of favage life exift no longer in the indigent drudgery of a civilized peafant. The care of fubfiftence absorbs feeling, and the sense of dependence extinguishes pride. They have no longer leifure or enthusiasm to listen with rapture to the fong, or attend with anxious curiofity to the iffue of the tale.
It is in this state, that bards and Sennachies are the household officers of the great; an ufage of which a remnant still 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 thofe great households which are the channel of the expenditure of the opulent in a certain state 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 intercourfe continues in a greater or lefs degree from the first appearance of moderate refinement to the meridian fplendour of literature. Examine the first 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 less fplendid reputation, in every country. But the diffufion of literature raises rival patrons, and the condition of the author still 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 indiscriminate 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.
Gleanings of Biography.
Marfbal General Keith.
THE Ruffians and Turks, in their war before the laft, having diverted themfelves long enough in murdering one another, for the fake of variety, thought proper to treat of a peace. The commiffioners for this purpose were, Marshal General Keith and the Turkish Grand Vifier. These two perfonages met, and the interpreters of the Rufs and Turkish betwixt them. When all was concluded, they arofe to feparate; the Marshal made his bow with hat in hand, and the Vifier his falam, with turban on his head: But when these ceremonies of taking leave were over, the Vifier turned fuddenly, and coming up to Keith, took him freely by the hand, and in the broadeft Scotch dialect, fpoken by the lowest and most illiterate of our countrymen, declared warmly, that it made him unco happy, now he was fae far frae hame, to meet a countryman in his exalted station. Keith ftared with all his eyes; but at laft the exclamation came, and the Vifier told him, My father, faid he, was bell-man of Kirkaldy in Fife, and I remember to have feen you, fir, and your brother often occafionally paffing..
This ftrange anecdote, I received fome years ago from a refpectable and learned Baronet of Scotland, who told me that he had it affirmed to him for truth, but did not remember his authority;-perhaps fome of your readers may be able to folve this difficulty, or contradict the story upon good authority. I am,
Your humble fervant,/
To the Editor of the Bee.
On the Utility of Law-fuits.
HAVING Occafion lately to hear the minister of a neighbouring parish, I was fomewhat ftaggered at the general intendment of his fermon, wherein he folicited, with a becoming fervour, his auditors to live in peace and harmony with each other, and to drop and forbear connection with lawyers and lawfuits. The immediate corollary which I naturally drew from this doctrine, was, that he meant to ftarve the attorney. On the mind of one, who, from fpeculative principles, had receded from being a candidate for the clerical gown, and had betaken himfelf to the profeffion of the law, with a firm refolution to maintain his integrity, this earnest request of his ghoftly director could not fail to make a deep impreffion. "If, fays I to myself, if I am of a profeffion which the depravity of mankind has ren"dered indifpenfible in fociety, fo is the parfon. Law"fuits must be founded in material justice, for their object is justice. The oppreffion of the petty-fogger "extends to the purse, or at fartheft to personal durefs; "but the zeal of the polemic and fectary has led him "to the effufion of blood. Are the labours of the
lawyer as serviceable to the community as the skill "of the artist or the industry of the labourer?" Here I confefs I was puzzled for an answer; but a little reflection made me exclaim, in the language of Falstaff, "It is no fin for a man to labour in his vocation."
The refult of my researches was, that a multiplicity of law-fuits is in feveral refpects beneficial to mankind; and furely, he who contributes to promote the general welfare, merits the retribution of applaufe.
Meeknefs and charity are the striking traits of the Christian character. The haughty pagan trampled, with exultation, on his proftrate foe: But the humble votary of Christianity is taught to bewail the misfortune of an enemy. The mild precepts of our holy religion are calculated to refine the morals, to improve the understanding, and to better the heart: And perhaps it was owing to their intrinfic value, and fuperior tendency to civilize mankind, that the refinement and polished manners of the moderns have fo far exceeded thofe of the ancient inhabitants of Italy and Greece.
What befits the man of morality, is not furely repugnant to the functions of a Chriftian. Both ought to feel the philanthropic glow; both ought to yield to the fympathetic fenfations of friendship and benevolence. It is the duty of both to heal the differences of mankind: But furely neither can be justly cenfured for aiding the injured in their claims of redrefs of wrongs. That an individual has prostituted his profeffion; that hundreds have fuffered by the chicanery of the terriers of the law, can no more be objected to the liberal profeffor, than the affumed prerogative of the Roman pontiff in the remiffion of fins, can vilify religion, or the petty larceny of a taylor can stamp a ftigma on the trade.
Having thus premifed, I fhall proceed to ftate fome of the advantages which mankind derive from lawfuits: And,
1. Philofophers tell us, that man, in a state of na ture, or in the first stages of civil life, is guided folely by his instincts and paffions; and that the selfish and groffer affections predominate. The defires of the favage are limited to his food, his female, and fleep. If he is disturbed in the enjoyment of these by the intrufion of his neighbour; if the latter feizes the prey or the wives of the former, what is the confequence? the immediate forfeiture of life: The keennefs of appetite ør infatiate revenge prompts the one to butcher the o̟