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nishes perhaps the first marked and precife examples of profeffed authors. That defignation evidently and exclufively belongs to Pope. Swift, Addifon, 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 afRuence and glory from the public favour, which so 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 fubfcription; 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 laft circumftance, the folution of the phænomenon. The profeffors of these 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 defcrimination 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 caufe indeed operates, to confine patronage to the inferior arts at the period of which I am fpeaking. The glory that was to be gained by the encouragement of letters, had been almoft exhausted 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 most powerful incentive to cultivate it. A nobleman of genius and learning became a phænomenon; and nothing but occafional democratic ingraftments, could have preserved 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 discernible in their history. The bigoted veneration which furrounds thefe 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.
To the Editor of the Bee.
On the Teft Ac.
FROM your last number, I was happy to fee, that a-
If it extends to us, it must do fo in one of three ways, either, ift, At common law, unlefs we can fhelter ourselves under any special exception in the articles of union; or 2dly, Because its extenfion to us is expressly provided for in the articles of union; or, 3dly, implied in them.
i. Suppofing then the articles totally filent on the fubject, and viewing it on the principles of legal interpretation, does it extend to Prefbyterian communi
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 exifting, and therefore not particularly in the eye of the legislature at paffing the act, will nevertheless be comprehended, and juftly; the teft 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 teft 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 present, 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 fenfe, not to fay found law, be construed to stretch its fostering wings over the latter likewife; thus protecting the two legal fects from the multiplicity of diffenting fectaries, whiclr 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,
will fcruple to qualify by communicating in the Prefbyterian form, no less than in the Epifcopal.
2. Is its extenfion to Scotch Prefbyterians provided for in any of the articles of the union? This, nobody who has eyes to fee, and curiofity to peruse the articles themselves, (a curiofity fhamefully rare now a-days), will affert. It may be noticed, however, that in the English Parliament, a motion was made by the Archbishop of Canterbury, I believe, that the act of parliament, intitled "An act for preventing, &c. (the test. "act), fhould be inferted in the articles, and made a fun"damental condition of the intended union." Parl.deb. vol. 5. 104.
Which motion having been rejected, twenty-two noblemen protefled, because " we conceive that this "act doth deserve to be particularly mentioned, and "not left to double conftructions:" Expreffions, by the way, which plainly imply, that, in the opinion of these noblemen, at least, the articles left the extenfion of the test to Prefbyterians undetermined.
3. Neither do any of the articles imply its extenfion to Prefbyterians. On the contrary, feveral of them are inexplicable on that fuppofition. For example, article 4th enacts," that there be a communication of all o"ther rights, privileges, and advantages, which may
or do belong to the subjects of either kingdom, ex"cept where it is otherwife exprefsly agreed in these $6 articles." As freedom and intercourfe of trade was previously specified, therefore, "if all other rights" did not comprehend offices in the army, navy, revenue, what do they comprehend? But as fecuring the Pref byterian religion in all its rights, &c. was declared to be a fundamental and effential condition of the union, fo whatever rights are communicated to the Scots, are communicated to Prefbyterians. But can that be faid to be communicated to Prefbyterians, which previously to their enjoying, they must profess themselves Episcopals ? But laying this contradiction out of the queftion, atVOL. III.