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of the revenue, to continue a system so prejudicial to the best interests of society."
The measure thus pressed on the consideration of government is one to which no possible violence of political partisanship (in whatever quarter) could affix a stigma. It is a measure which would extend some degree of benefit to each member of every class of society; but would extend most to those of all classes who are engaged in active endeavours to promote the best interests of their fellows.* Ministers of the Gospel, Authors, Artists, Schools, Educational Societies, Art Unions, Statistical Societies, Charitable Institutions of every kind, would feel a new and boundless channel opened to their exertions. They perceive the importance of means from which they are now almost wholly debarred, and they pray the government to remove the obstructions which yet withhold them. Can the government refuse to listen to the prayer ?
* The immense importance of this measure to commerce is but its second claim to attention. It is, however, matter of public notoriety, that seventy of the largest banking and trading firms of the city of London have petitioned for the uniform penny rate of postage, paid in advance.
“Non cum animis artes cæli ex penetralibus ceciderunt; sed exquisite et natæ sunt in terris hîc omnes, et cum processu temporum paulatim meditatione conflatæ."-Arnobius.
“Gemmas, marmor, ebur, tyrrhena sigilla, tabellas,
Sunt qui non habeant est qui non curat habere.”
OF THE FOUNDATION OF SCHOOLS OF DESIGN.
If it be true of all pursuits that excellence can only be obtained by patient and unremitting study, it is eminently so of the Fine Arts. In this domain genius itself, unaccompanied by diligent labour, can accomplish even less than in many others. But the study necessary to make an Artist, in the true sense of that lofty term, must be thoroughly individual; and there is great reason to doubt whether such Schools as we are most familiar with, have been of much use in respect of the highest branches of Art.
West declared, while President of the Royal Academy, that scarcely three out of three hundred academic students became distinguished for their talent.* Barry and Fuseli, its professors of Painting, have made the same complaint.
But if experience does not warrant the expectation that scholastic institutions will produce many men of eminence in the higher walks of Art, they may still, if
* This has been mentioned as though it were a proof of the inefficiency of the Royal Academy individually. The observation was a general one, and appears to have had no such individual reference.
† There is an excellent remark too on this subject in a note to Sir Martin Shee's Elements of Art.