prThe ancestors of the Greeks held the celebrated wrestlers who were victors in the Olympic, Pythian, Isthmian and Nemean games in such esteem, that, decorated with the palm and crown, they were not only publicly thanked, but were also, in their triumphant return to their respective homes, borne to their cities and countries in four horse chariots, and were allowed pensions for life from the public revenue. When I consider these circumstances, I cannot help thinking it strange that similar honours, or even greater, are not decreed to those authors who are of lasting service to mankind. Such certainly ought to be the case; for the wrestler, by training, merely hardens his own body for the conflict; a writer, however, not only cultivates his own mind, but affords every one else the same opportunity, by laying down precepts for acquiring knowledge, and exciting the talents of his reader.
prThe ancestors of the Greeks have appointed such great honours for the famous athletes who are victorious at the Olympian, Pythian, Isthmian, and Nemean games, that they are not only greeted with applause as they stand with palm and crown at the meeting itself, but even on returning to their several states in the triumph of victory, they ride into their cities and to their fathers’ houses in four-horse chariots, and enjoy fixed revenues for life at the public expense. When I think of this, I am amazed that the same honours and even greater are not bestowed upon those authors whose boundless services are performed for all time and for all nations. This would have been a practice all the more worth establishing, because in the case of athletes it is merely their own bodily frame that is strengthened by their training, whereas in the case of authors it is the mind, and not only their own but also man’s in general, by the doctrines laid down in their books for the acquiring of knowledge and the sharpening of the intellect.