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was more sensible to glory than interest, ventured, notwithstanding the extreme delicacy of the Athenians in this particular, to insert his name, or at least the resemblance of his countenance, on a famous statue; as judging he could have no better recompence for all his labour than to share an immortality with it, whereof he had been the author and cause.
We know with what ardour the painters entered the list against one another, and how eagerly they disputed for the prize. Their works were exposed in public, and judges that were alike excellent and uncorruptible adjuged the victory to the most deserving.
Parrhasius and Zeuxis contended in this manner with each other. The latter had drawn grapes so exactly alike, that the birds came and pecked at them. The other had drawn a curtain. Zeuxis, proud of the mighty suffrage of the birds, with an insulting air bid him draw aside his curtain, and shew what he had done. [x] He soon found his mistake, and yielded the palm to his rival, ingenuously confessing himself conquered, for he had only deceived the birds,
whereas Parrhasius had deceived him, as great a master as he was in the art.
What I have observed of the passion, excited by a single man in Athens for arts and sciences, may shew us of what service emulation may be to a state, when applied to things useful to the public, and restrained and kept within just bounds. How great an honour has Greece derived from the great artists and learned men she produced in such abundance, whose works, superior to the injury of time and malignity of envy, are still looked upon, and ever will be, as the rule of a good taste and model of perfection? Honours and rewards annexed to merit, rouze and awaken industry, animate the soul, and raise mankind as it were from stupefaction and lethargy, and in a short time fill a kingdom with illustrious persons of every
[x] Intellecto errore, concessit palmam ingenuo pudore, quoniam ipse volucres fefellisset, Parrhasius
se artificem. Plin. l. 35.
kind. The late M. Colbert, minister of state, set apart forty thousand crowns a year, to be distributed among such as excelled in any art or science; and he often told [y] soine that were admitted to an intimacy with him, upon whose intelligence and recominendation be relied in this particular, that if there was a man of merit in the kingdom that suffered, or was in want, it was to be charged upon their consciences, who would be answerable for it. Such expences as these never ruin a state ; and a minister, who has a sincere love for his prince and country, can scarce serve thein better, than by procuring them such inestimnable advantages, and so lasting a glory, at so small an expence. For as  Horace has said upon another occasion, when men of probity are under any necessity, friends
may be purchased at a cheap rate; Vilis amicorum est annona, bonis ubi quid deest. LI Mr. Perrault, & M. l'Abbé Gallois. (z) Hor. l. 1. Ep. 12.