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torian: But if he was ill rewarded in the age he lived in, pofterity has made ample amends.

It would be hard indeed, not to allow him fo much poetical licence as is neceffary for every Epic poem, as diftinguished from a history; and, with this allowance, he may bid defiance to every thing that can be faid against him.

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Of the theoretical view which I have attempted in my laft, of the progrefs of literature as a profeffion, abundant historical illuftration may be produced. Its latter fages peculiarly claim notice; and the literary history of England will afford the first example. From the age of Elizabeth till the middle of the reign of George II, patronage, in various gradations, existed. The gradual afcendant obtained by the public voice, and the repulfion of pa trons, by the increased multitude of literary pretenders, may be traced with confiderable precifion. Before the restoration, there will scarcely be found any English author, (except a dramatist, who neceffarily, in all ages, depends on popular favour), whofe chief remune rations did not arise from individual munificence. In the reign of Charles II, that class of men who are now called authors by profeffion, may be faid to have arifen. The public judgment then began to gain fome ascendant; popular rivals arose to the favoured authors of the nobility and the court. Settle contested the palm with Dryden; and it became neceffary for all pretenders to literature to court the public fuffrage. The ge neral caufes which I have ftated in the last number, rápidly accelerated the growth of authorship and the downfal of patronage. The reign of Queen Anne fur.

nishes perhaps the first marked and precife examples of profeffed authors. That defignation evidently and exclufively belongs to Pope. Swift, Addison, Prior, and Steele, were political adventurers; but Pope was folely an author by profeffion; he was devoted alone to letters; he felt or affected a fcorn of the adulation which purchases patronage; and he fought affluence and glory from the public favour, which fo amply repaid his toil. An aristocracy of patrons, it is true, till continued to divide with the people the fovereignty of literature; they did not affect to emulate the munificence of a more early period; they were ftill jealous of the reputation of a skill fuperior to that of the vulgar, and a generofity towards men of letters, beyond the mere purchase of their works. This was the age of Subfcription; for this body of patrons was fmall enough to be pervaded by individual folicitation or influence ! But the multiplicity of fuitors foon extinguished even this remnant of patronage, and left men of letters to be patronized only by thofe who derived profit from the diftribution of their works, as the merchant is the best patron of the manufacturer.

No fooner had this inevitable revolution in the state of literature been completed, than its profeffors raised the loudeft clamour against the Gothic infenfibility of the great to the charms of compofition, and the calamities. of genius. The inferior arts too, it was exclaimed, had obtained that patronage, which was denied to the more elegant and liberal. Mufic and painting, which, without derogating from thefe delightful arts, cannot furely be compared to poetry, have fupplanted her in the favour of the oppulent. Had not men of letters been too keenly affected by their own condition, they might have seen in this last circumftance, the folution of the phenomenon. The profeffors of thefe new arts were not too numerous to be patronized; and they accordingly became what literary men had been in the infancy of literature, the objects of a difcriminative and

munificent patronage. These arts will in their turn undergo the fame revolution, when the number of artifts becomes formidable to the descrimination and munificence of the great. It is unneceffary to remark, how happily these changes coincide with the general facts which it has been the object of this effay to eftablifh. A collateral cause indeed operates, to confine patronage to the inferior arts at the period of which I am speaking. The glory that was to be gained by the encouragement of letters, had been almost exhaufted by their earlier patrons. The fame, therefore, that could be conferred by it was fecond rate, while the new arts prefented to the vanity of patronage an unexplored path. Hence from Mecenafes, the nobility became Dilettanti. It is not unworthy of incidental remark, that from that moment commenced the degradation of the English nobles as a body. When they ceased to feel any pride in patronifing literature, they loft their moft powerful incentive to cultivate it. A nobleman of genius and learning became a phænomenon; and nothing but occafional democratic ingraftments, could have preferved any femblance of life in a faplefs and withering trunk.

To apply the fame principles to another body of men mentioned above, the Greek philofophers, it appears to me, that the fame change from patronage to authorship, from dependance on individuals to dependance on the public, which we have remarked in modern times, is difcernible in their history. The bigoted veneration which furrounds these philofophers with fuch awful fplendor, will be shocked at the audacity of him who attempts to difpel the mist, to expose them in commercial plainness, and reduce them to a modern level. It is probably this bigoted veneration, which has hitherto prevented their hiftorians from viewing in its true light, the fimple fact, which feems to me complete evidence of a change in their condition as authors, fimilar to what has occurred in our own age, To be concluded in our next.

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To the Editor of the Bee.

On the Teft Act.

FROM your last number, I was happy to fee, that amidst your agricultural and chemical difquifitions, you or your correfpondents are not quite inattentive to the (in my opinion) very important application regarding the Teft. The General Affembly have thought proper to apply for a REPEAL of the act, fo far as refpects Prefbyterians. But is this fhaping the application properly? Instead of a repeal, fhould they not have applied for an explanation of it? Does it, on a legitimate construction, really extend to Scotch Prefbyterians? Nay, is there not reafon to doubt, whether, at the union, it was understood, or meant to do fo?

If it extends to us, it must do fo in one of three ways, either, Ift, At common law, unless we can fhelter ourselves under any fpecial exception in the articles of union; or 2dly, Because its extenfion to us is exprefsly provided for in the articles of union; or, 3dly, implied in them.

1. Suppofing then the articles totally filent on the fubject, and viewing it on the principles of legal interpretation, does it extend to Prefbyterian communicants ?

We must begin by diftinguishing certain offices, as thofe in the Common Pleas, King's Bench, Magiftracies of burghs, &c. &c. all properly English; as are others, again, properly Scotch. A Scotchman, therefore, who offers himself for any of the former defcription, cannot reasonably complain of being fubjected to the teft. But with refpect to offices in the army, navy, revenue, offices neither English nor Scotch, but British:

Whether with respect to these, the teft act can comprehend Scotch Prefbyterians, I fhall now briefly inquire.

That act paffed a century before the union was thought of. It had in view, therefore, diffenters only. But, derogating from the rights of the citizen, it must be rigidly interpreted. A new fect, no doubt, though not existing, and therefore not particularly in the eye of the legislature at paffing the act, will nevertheless be comprehended, and juftly; the test excluding diffenters, not on account of their particular tenets, but on account of what is common to all of them, their deviation from the establishment? But does Prefbyterianism, established by law, and folemnly fecured in the enjoyment of all its rights and privileges, deviate from the establishment? At common law, then, can the test foundly be conftrued to comprehend religionists differenced from diffenters by the want of that circumftance which is common to all diffenters, and which makes them obnoxious to the operation of the teft? Religionifts, whofe fingular predicament not having been foreseen, could not be provided for? On the contrary, as the teft act was framed for the protec tion of epifcopacy, because it was, at the date of it, the eftablished religion of the country; and as at prefent, neither the Church of England, nor Kirk of Scotland, is the established religion of, but are both of them established religions in Great Britain, ought not the test act, in common sense, not to fay found law, be conftrued to stretch its fostering wings over the latter likewife; thus protecting the two legal fects from the multiplicity of diffenting fectaries, whichr law may tolerate, indeed, but does not recognife? Neither can this conftruction be faid to be contrary to the spirit of the act, or opening the door of offices to Popish or other diffenters indifcriminately, fince all of them, and particularly the former, whom the teft is faid chiefly to ftrike at,

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