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TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS · GEORGE PRINCE OF WALES.
Sir, In Dedications, especially rbose which Poets write, . Mankind expect to find little Sentiment, and less Truth. A grateful Imagination adorns its Benefacioj. wirbevery Virtue, and even flatiers with Sincerisi. Hence the portrait of each Patron of the Muses is . drawn wirb obe same Outline, and finished as e Model of Perfection. Instructed by the Errors of orbers, I presume not so make she Panegyrick of the Prince of Wales, nor to extol the Patronage of Literature as the mast shining Quality of a Prinee. Your Royal Highness will permit me to mention one sort of Patronage which can never be praised too much; that, I mean, which extending its Influence to the whole Society, forms and excites the Genius of Individuals by exalting the Spirit of the State.
Institutions, that revive, in a great and highly civilized People chose Virtues of Courage, Manbood, and Love of their Country, which are most apt, in the Progress of Refinement, to decay, produce at the same
sime that pleasing and ornamental Genius, which cannot subsist in a Mind that does not partake of those Qualities which it describes. . This is an Observation which has escaped the Norice of the greater Part of Writers, who have inquired into the Causes of the Growth and Decay of Poetry and Eloquence; but it has not escaped the Penetration of LONGINUS, who writing in the decline of the Roman Empire, and lamenting that the true Sublime was not to be found in the Works of his Time, boldly impures that Defeet to the Change of Policy; and enumerates with Indignation the Vices of Avarice, Effeminacy, and Pusillanimity, which, arising from the Loss of Liberty, had so enthralled and debased the Minds of Men, that they could not look up, as he calls it, to any thing elevated and sublime : And here, as in other Questions, the great Critic quotes the Authority of his Master HOMER, The Day of Slavery bereaves a Man of. half his Virtue. The Experience of succeeding Times bas shewn ebar Genius is affected by Changes less violent than the Loss of Liberty; that it ever flourishes in Times of Vigour and Enterprize, and , languishes amidst the sure Corruption of an inactive Age.
Your Royal Highness, as Heir Apparent of the British Empire, bath in view the noblest Field that ever a laudable Ambition entered. The envied State of this Nation cannot remain precisely as it is; obe
lide must flow, or ebb faster than it has ever flowed. A Prince destined in such a Period 10 reign, begins a memorable Era of Perfection or Degeneracy. The serious Cares and princely Studies of your roughly the visible Tenor of your generous and constant Mind, have filled the Breasts of all good Men with hopes of jou equal to their Wishes. That these Hopes may be fulfilled in their utmost Extent, is the sincere and ardent Prayer.of "
: Your Royal Highness's
* Most humble . Most obedient, And most devoted Servani, ni. . JOHN HOME.
The Author of the Tragedy of Douglas was originally designed for the Ministry—The Biographia remarks, that looking upon Tragedy as a Moral Poemn, inculcating the purest principles of Religion, he did not imagine the particular designation of his life as at all exempting him from thus indulging in the strong bent of Genius : He accordingly composed the Tragedy of Douglas.
The Kirk of Scotland however, conscientiously no doubt, endeavoured to win over this stray child from presumed perdition, and finding him resolutely bent upon standing the hazard of the die, they charitably persecuted not merely himself, but those who encouraged our young Bard.
If he bore up against all this inveterate wrong, he had the success of his piece to console him for what he might lose, and what was certainly better still for Home, the attention of the Earl of BUTE, who, like a true Mecenas, introduced him to the