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. Πτολεμαῖος ὁ Φιλοπάτωρ κατασκευάσας Ὁμήρῳ Νεῶν, αὐτὸν μὲν καλῶς ἐκάθισε κύκλῳ δὲ τὰς πόλεις περιέστησε τοῦ ἀγάλματος ὅσαι ἀντιποιοῦνται τοῦ Ὁμήρου.Αἰλιαν.
  2. Strabo, ſpeaking of Smyrna, ſays, Ἔστι δὲ καὶ βιβλιοθήκη; καὶ τὸ Ὁμήρειον; στοὰ τετράγωνος, ἔχουσα Νεῶν Ὁμήρου καὶ ξόανον· ἀντιποιοῦνται γὰρ καὶ οὗτοι διαφερόντως τοῦ Ποιητοῦ. Καὶ δὴ καὶ Νόμισμα τὶ χαλκοῦν παρ’ αὐτοῖς Ὁμηρείον λέγεται.Στραβ. βιβ. ιδ.. This Structure was built by Lyſimachus, one of Alexander’s Succeſſors.
  3. Ἀμφισβητοῦσι δὲ καὶ Ὁμήρου Χῖοι͵ μαρτύριον μέγα τοὺς ὉΜΗΡΊΔΑΣ καλουμένους, ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ ἐκείνου γένους προχειριζόμενοι.Στραβ. βιβ. ιδ.