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"Every niche in this Temple conspires to fill the beholder with awe.... Tradition has handed down to superstitions posterity such a chain of Miracles that every side of the wall
to which you may turn offers to
your view a new and solemn object consecrated to the memory of some
wonderful event....Added to thisi
all Delphos believe in the absolute presence and superintendence of the God.
"Thus my eyes from the first
moment they could distinguish....were accustomed to gaze on every thing
wonderfuL..' and my ears eagerly
caught the sounds of surprizing events, which my tutors earnestly sought to impress on my belief.
"This was a most necessary study... as it soon became my duty to attend
strangers whose curiosity brought
them to visit the temple.......and, to
describe the origin merits or
character, of the innumerable paintings statues and sculptures
which embellished it as well as to
make a pompous display of the singularly beautiful and costly presents with which the zealous partisans of the Deity had filled the apartments and domes of this splendid edifice.
"Nothing so astonishes the senses of inexperience as the dazzling view of immense riches.......I was accustomed
to behold gold silver .jewels
pearls ..and every precious kind of
curiosity which the offerings of
Crowned Heads of Cities....and of
private Wealth had been for centuries past pouring into our treasury.
." I knew not how other minds might have borne the constant sight of all this magnificence but I grew fatigued with viewing such gorgeous pageantry of devout superstition I
considered them as glittering baubles
of no more consequence than the
play-thing of a child, which the want
of novelty soon robs of captivation
The simple statueof a Solon, in my eyes
possessed infinitely more charms.
"I was too young....for a long time
to form any adequate idea of the
real worth of these deified heroes
I surveyed these images attentively.... and, while I pondered on the virtues
which distinguished their originals
I could feel my heart inspired with veneration and respect for such superior excellencies.
From the efFects these powerful ob-.
jects had on my fancy then I have
since learnt to applaud, the Grecian Priests, who so wisely deified the Muses, and the Graces....Religion depends on impression...Its interests are preserved by the avidity with which
we receive them in our infancy
and, when Reason would enable us to judge for ourselves, the Sentiment is so indelibly engraven on the heart, it resists all innovation.
"Sperstitionhas no absolute advantage over reason; but advantages
are created by its early admission into the heart, before our unfolding faculties can oppose its entrance How
simple a task it is, to mould an unformed mind! particularly when
the fascinating art of astonishing the
soul, acts as a prelude to ensnare it
What can be more natural, than to believe in the divinity of an Appollo
to feel his influence his very
Presence.....when every object which surrounds you, from the first dawn of observation, proclaims the workmanship and dwelling of a Superior!
"Who can behold the unrivalled statue of Phidias, and not ascribe its
excellence to super-human powers !...
The minds of Men are as various
as their birth and education Hence
the heroic bravery of the Spartan.... the insinuating politeness of the Athenian the pompous arrogance of the
The mathematician looks down contemptuously on the poet the thrifty
merchant laughs at the speculating
philosopher The one seeks to grasp
a real object and mocks the visionary pursuits of the other The mere
mechanic is a machine who cannot move, except when he is wound up by
certain springs The rough sailor
personifies the boisterous element to
which he is attached The soldier
habitually despises the danger he is
accustomed to and the untutored
peasant is crafty by nature, though unacquainted with the refinements of art.
VOL II. G