Sayfadaki görseller
[ocr errors]

“ Neither, yet, seest thou thy Soul, Ariftodemus; which, however, most assuredly governs thy body :-although it may well seem, by thy manner of talking, that it is Chance, and not Reafon, which governs thee.”

“ I do not despise the Gods, said Aristódemus; on the contrary, I conceive fo highly of their excellence, as to suppose they stand in no need either of me or of my services.”

« Thou mistakes the matter, Ariftodemus ;-—the greater magnificence they have shewn in their care of thee, so muchi the more honour and service thou owest them.”

“ Be affured, said Aristodemus, if I once could be persuaded the Gods took care of men, I should want no Monitor to remind me of my duty."

“ And canst thou doubt, Aristodemus, if the Gods take care of men! Hath not the glorious privilege of walking upright, been alone bestowed on him, whereby he may, with the better advantage, survey what is around him ;--contemplate, with more ease, those splendid objects which are above; and avoid the numerous ills and inconveniencies which would otherwise befal him? Other animals, indeed, they have, provided with feet, by which they may remove from one place to another ; but to man they have also given hands, with which he can form many things for his use; and make himself happier than creatures of any other kind. A tongue hath been bestowed on every other animal ;- but what animal, except man, hath the power of forming words with it; whereby to explain his thoughts, and make them intelligible to others ? And to fhew that the Gods have had regard to his very pleafures; they have not limited them like those of other animals, to times and seasons ; but man is left to indulge in them, whenever not hurtful to him.

“ But it is not with respect to the body alone that the Gods have shewn themselves thus bountiful to man! Their most excellent gift is that Soul they have infused into him ;—which so far furpasses what is elsewhere to be found. For by what animal, except man, is, even the existence of those Gods difcovered, who have produced, and still upheld, in such regular order, this beautiful and stupendous frame of the universe ? What other species of creatures are to be found, that can ferve !--that can adore them!-what other animal is able, like man, to provide against the assaults of heat and cold ;of thirst and hunger !--that can lay up remedies for the time of sickness ;--and improve the strength nature hath given, by a well-proportioned exercise !-that can receive, like him, information and instruction; or so happily keep in memory what he hath seen, and heard, and learnt? These things being so ;—who seeth not that man is, as it were, a God, in the midst of this visible creation ; so far doth he furpass, whether in the endowments of foul or body, all animals whatsoever, that have been produced therein! For, if the body of the ox, had been joined to the mind of man, the acuteness of the latter would have stood him in fmall stead; while unable to execute the well-designed plan: nor would the human form have been of more use to the brute, so long as it remained destitute of understanding. But in thee! Aristodemus, hath been joined to a wonderful Soul, a body no less wonderful ;—and sayest thou after this," the Gods take no thought for me!”—what wouldest thou then more, to convince thee of their care."

I would they should send and inform me, said Aristodemus, what things I ougbt, or ought not, to do; in like manner as thou sayelt, they frequently do to thee.”

“ And what then, Aristodemus! fuppofest thou, that when the Gods give out lome oracle to all the Athenians, they mean it not for thee?

---If, by their prodigies, they declare aloud to all Greece,-to all mankind,--the things which shall befal them ;--are they dumb to thee alone?--And art thou the only person whom they have placed beyond their care? Believert thou, they would have wrought, into the mind of man, a persuasion of their being able to make him happy or miserable, if fo be they had no such power?-or would not even ma.. himself,—long ere this,- have seen through the gross delufion ?-How is it, Aristodemus, thou rememberest, or remarkeft not, - that the kingdoms and common-wealths, most renowned as well for their wisdom as antiquity, are those whose piety and devotion hath been the moj? obfervable? and, that even man, himself, is never so well disposed to serve the Deity, as in that part of life when reason bears the greatest sway, and his judgment supposed in its full ftrength and maturity. Consider, my Aristodemus ! that the Sout which refides in thy body, can govern it at pleasure; why then may not the Soul of the universe, which pervades and animates every part of it, govern it in like manner?-If thine eye hath the power to take in many objects, and these placed at no small distance from it; marvel not if the eye of the Deity can, at one glance, comprehend the whole I-And as thou perceivest it not beyond thy ability to extend thy care as the same time to the concerns of Athens,—Egypt,--Sicily ;why thinkest thou, my Ariftodemus! that the Providence of God may not easily extend itself throughout the whole universe ?-As, therefore, among men, we make best trial of the affection and gratitude of our neighbour, by shewing him kindness; and discover his wisdom, by consulting bim in our distress ;--Do thou, in like manner, behave towards the Gods: and, if thou wouldst experience what their wisdom, and what their love, -render thyself deserving the communication of some of those divine fecrets which may not be penetrated by man; and are imparted to those alone, who confult, who adore, who obey the Deity. Then thalt thou, my Aristodemus! understand there is a Being, whose eye pierceth throughout all nature; and whose ear is open to every sound :-extended to all place ;-extending through all time; and whose bounty and care can know no other bounds, than those fixed by his own creation !"


" By this discourse, and others of the like nature, Socrates taught his friends, that they were not only to forbear whatever was impious, unjust, or unbecoming before men; but even when alone, they ought to have a regard to all their actions ; since the Gods have their eyes continually upon us; and none of our designs can be concealed from them.”

We shall close this article with acquainting our Readers, that they will find in this work some judicious Notes, by the learned and ingenious Mr. Harris of Salisbury: Author of Hermes *, and other much esteemed performances.

Tobferving that we je will, "perhaps, be matter of Yur

A Vindication of the exclusive Right of Authors to their own

Works: A Subje£t now under Consideration before the Twelve
Judges of England. 8vo. Is.

HE ingenious Author of this Vindication sets out with

surprize to those who are not accustomed to the use of artificial reason, that a question should be made-Whether at Common Law, an Author hath a perpetual and exclusive right to sell his own works?Doubtless it will; but it will be no matter of surprize to those who know how far such artificial

rca, fon may, by à ridiculous affectation of technical terms and phrafes, by making imaginary distinctions, and adopting

* See Review, vol. VI. page 129. 4


equivocal definitions, perplex the moft fimple and obvious of ail questions. Not that we can presume the present to be such, after being told, that it “ hath exercised the talents of some of our ableft advocates; and hath been found of such difficulty and importance, as to be referred to the confideration of the twelve Judges; before whom, after repeated arguments, the subject ftill lieth open for farther discuffion.” A very acute and subtle Casuist, indeed, has taken upon him, and that in a very shrewd and able manner, to controvert the right in question. The present Writer enters the lists on the opposite side, and snews himself, if not a greater Casuist, at least as intelligent a Lawyer as his adversary. In speaking of the pamphlet * of the former, we mentioned our design of leaving this matter to be controverted by the Icarned in the Law; but it having been intimated to us, that our Readers weuli naturally expect a more circumstantial account of an affair so interesting to literature; and as the piece before us is probably the last that may appear on this subject, before the vratter is finally determined; we shall endeavour to set the whole in a fair point of view, by giving a summary of the principal arguments advanced on both sides the queítion.

It is maintained, by those v:ho oppose the right contested, ist, That a literary copy is not susceptible of property.

2. That, if it were, it is incapable of perpetual, exclusive pofleflion.

3. That a right in such copy cannot be protected by law, and that it never has been protected by the common law of England.

4. That the establishment of such a right would be prejudicial to the advancement of letters, and even of ill-consequences to Authors themselves.

The advocates for this right undertake to prove the contrary of every particular: their several arguments will be confidered in due order.

To prove that a literary copy is not susceptible of property, the Author of the Enquiry, to which pamphlet che present is a reply, confiders this property as existing partly in the ideas contained in the book, and partly in the form and composition, by which it is most eally diftinguished and ascertain

An Enquiry into the Nature and Origin of Literary Prıperty. See Review for laf July, page 73. Rev.Sep. 1762.




The former, he says, is ideal, therefore incorporea), and yet totally different to every other incorporeal right acknowleged by law. Hence, he declares, the Author's right to his copy to be not real, but ideal and chimerical. To this, the prefent Writer replies; it is true, this property is not real, “in the technical sense of the word. But here lieth the error. He [the Author of the Enquiry) uses the word real ambiguously, not only as opposed to chimerical, but as contra-distinguished from personal property. Thus, when he faith, the children cannot inherit, or the wife be dowable of a literary copy, his conclusions are just, in the technical sense of those words. For an inheritance, and even a freehold cannot spring but out of lands, tenements, or hereditaments : or, as the old Lawyers would phrase it, something which founds in the realty. But tho' this property is not inheritable, it is tranfinillidie; that is, it may be transferred by the proprietor in his life-time; it may be bequeathed by will; or it may be divided according to the directions of law, in case of intestacy. Again, it is true, that a wife is not dowable of this property, because dower must issue out of lands or tenements : but a wife will be entitled, under the Statute of Distribution, to her share or portion of the profits arising from the fale of this property. ”

A farther argument is, however, made use of by the Author of the Enquiry, which the present Writer seems to have overlooked, respecting the difference between this and all other incorporeal rights." Every incorporeal right, says the Enquirer, acknowleged by law, is capable of diffeitlin. Grantee of a rent-seck at common law may be diffeised by a Refcous. An advowlon may be usurped. In the same mamer, rights of common, eslovers

inay be forcibly divested froin their leveral owners. But how can the proprietor of a copy be put out of poflcfion? Other men felling impressions will not prevent him from doing the fame."--Surely this Gentleman must be ignorant of the manner in which a profit arises from the sale of books! The more Venders there are of any book, the fewer imprefions must cacl be capable of felling. Whoerer fells the books offered to sale by another, prevents the latter, in effect, from disposing of what he offers to sale. To maintain the contrary, would be the same thing as to maintain, that if an hundred people had a right of common, the claim of a thoutand others would be no infringement of the riht of the former. This Writer, indeed, fars, “ if feveral persons claim cilovers in a wood, if there be sufficient


« ÖncekiDevam »