Page:Life and Writings of Homer.pdf/14

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An Enquiry into the Life

Learning, can exempt us from the Power of this agreeable Passion. Even a fancied Presence affects our Minds, and raises our Spirits both in Thought and Action. The Moralist's Direction extends its Influence to every part of Life; and at this moment I put it in practice, while I endeavour to enliven a few Thoughts, upon no mean Subject, by addressing them to your Lordship.

It is Homer, My Lord, and the Question which you looked upon as hitherto unresolved: “By what Fate or Disposition of things it has happened, that None have equalled him in Epic-Poetry for two thousand seven hundred Years, the Time since he wrote; Nor any, that we know, ever surpassed him before.” For this is the Man, whose Works for many Ages, were the Delight of Princes[1], and the Support of Priests, as well as the Wonder of the Learned, which they still continue to be.

However unsafe it might be, to have said so of old at Smyrna[2], where Homer was deified, or at Chios among his Posterity[3], I be-


  1. (Symbol missingGreek characters)
  2. Strabo, speaking of Smyrna, says, (Symbol missingGreek characters). This Structure was built by Lysimachus, one of Alexander’s Successors.
  3. (Symbol missingGreek characters)