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conception, and exalt the taste ; especially · in an age and country where the passion for

fame was the stimulant to all great exertions, and furnished to every one the most generous gratification. The philosophic Socrates, that wondrous man among the Greeks, was him, self a statuary, and is said to have sculptured three very beautiful figures of the Graces, Without intending any thing unhandsome to later artists, the same elevation of mind can, not be equally affirmed of them. The motive of gain, always sordid and depressing, and equally accessible to the lowest minds, has too much usurped over the more generous one of fame. · I shall conclude this essay, which perhaps is already too long, with another very pow

erful argument in favour of Grecian art · which may be inferred from the great length of time that it fourished, and the innumer rable producțions which it furnished. This argued a degree of fame attached to it, and an encouragement to rivalship, of which we have no example. We may judge of this :12


from the immense number of works which .escaped the repeated plunder of the Romans; and from the valuable remnant which to our day has survived the destruction of ages, of successive revolutions, and the rudest barbarism. Memmius, Æmilius Verres, and proconsuls, and prætors, and generals, and Romans of rank and taste, beyond all calculable amount, might have been thought to have exhausted Greece of her rich treasures of art; but succeeding to them Tiberius Nero carried off a valuable plunder from the Acropolis, Delphi, and Olympia, and yet in these very places not fewer than three thousand statues were remaining in the time of Pliny. Can any thing in modern times compare to this ? Can modern artists recur to so grand a feast of the senses, so glorious a school for instruction in their art? Does the patronage of later times present any thing like such a provocative to genius and rivalship, as we may presume to have been the character of Greek and Roman antiquity?

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The propensity which human nature has, in every age and nation, discovered for spectacles and representations of a tragic kind, though it be universally confessed that the sensations and passions excited thereby are in their nature painful, and often exquisitely so, is at first view so singular and contradictory a phænomenon, as could not fail to draw the attention of moralists and philosophers; and challenge all their ingenuity to reconcile so irregular a trait of the human character with the most approved likeness of the human mind. There are, indeed, some examples of this propensity so rude, uncivilized, and inhuman, as mock all efforts of ingenuity to reduce them to a consistent and .agreeable system. Such were the exhibitions


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of gladiators among the Romans; the tour. naments and justs of Gothic chivalry; such are the bull-fights of the Spaniards ; the combats with the broad sword; the bull-baitings, cock-fights, and Shrove-tide amusements of our own nation; together with the horrid jollity of the North American tribes, exulting over the tortures of their ill-fated prisoners. : ,

44 wees Most or all of these national reproaches are, in a greater or less degree, the offspring of a rude military genius and sayage heroism; which, by an early familiarity with the excesses and cruelties of war, let loose in all its wildness, have triumphed over nature, over the kinder dictates of a general humanity. In these, the pleasure of the spectators, unnatural as it is, is pure and unmixed; by whatever means they have subdued their minds to the capacity of this pleasure, when once the relish is acquired, their continued propensity to such scenes is per fectly natural, as it is not combated by any feeling of sympathetic pain during the ex


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