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is not either with mere luck, or mere ambition, at least in the worldly acceptation of that term. If some of the individuals we have mentioned have risen to great wealth or high civil dignities, it is not for this that we have mentioned them. We bring them forward to shew that neither knowledge, nor any of the advantages which naturally flow from it, are the exclusive inheritance of those who have been enabled to devote themselves entirely to its acquisition from their youth upwards. We shall have occasion to shew this still more strikingly, when we come to trace the history of some of those powerful minds, whose very education has been actually their own work,—who, without even the assistance of a master, any how obtained, are recorded to have made themselves learned scholars, or able philosophers, or accomplished artists. For all, or nearly all, of the individuals we have hitherto enumerated, many as may have been the difficulties they have had to contend with in the endeavour to procure instruction, have nevertheless obtained and enjoyed at last the advantages of a regular education. Still the love of knowledge, at least, must have sprung up in many of them long before the opportunity of acquiring it had been found; and their merit, and the praise due to them, is that, surrounded, as they were, by all manner of difficulties and discouragements, they rested not until they had fought their way to the instruction for which they longed. Their example also shews that many of those impediments, which, in ordinary cases, altogether prevent the pursuit of knowledge, are impediments only to the indolent or unaspiring, who make, in truth, their poverty or their low station bear the blame which ought properly to ·be laid upon their own irresolution or indifference. It was not wealth or ease which these noble enthusiasts sought; it was the bondage and degrada
tion of ignorance alone from which they panted to emancipate themselves. All they wanted was ' an opportunity of acquiring that knowledge, which might lift them to a higher station in society, but would certainly elevate their moral and intellectual being, and bring them an inexhaustible multitude of gratifications, such as no wealth, no station, no worldly circumstances whatever, could confer. Some of them, as we have remarked, even continued to work at their original employments long after they had obtained that superior education which might have entitled them to aspire to a higher place; and we shall have to quote numerous other instances in the sequel, of persons who, although possessed of the highest mental cultivation, have not permitted that circumstance to withdraw them even from occupations that are generally supposed to be very uncongenial to literary tastes and habits.
Looking generally upon these examples, we may safely affirm that no man was ever induced to engage with any degree of eagerness in the pursuit of knowledge by the mere hope of thereby bettering his worldly circumstances. That may have sometimes been temptation enough to allure an individual to procure for himself a few lessons in arithmetic, or navigation, or any of those kindred branches of education the utility of which is equally obvious; but it demands a much stronger and more deep-seated excitement to sustain the mind in that long and earnest pursuit of knowledge, which alone can ever lead to intellectual acquirements of any lofty order. Such a pursuit will never be entered upon, or at least very
proceeded in, by any one, except him who loves knowledge entirely or chiefly for her own sake. It is to such a person only that we hold up
examples of Heyne, and Winckelman, and the other illustrious conquerors of fortune whom we have named, as
guides and encouragements. To none besides are they fitted to be either the one or the other. With regard to the great mass of the population, any counsel or exhortation which would attempt to raise them above the rank in which they have been born and reared, must, from the nature of things, be totally inoperative. But it is right, that the individual who, although poor, and unknown, and uneducated, longs for education as his chief earthly good, and feels within himself the strength and resolution to undergo all things for the sake of obtaining it, should be shown by the example of those who, under the same impulse, have surmounted difficulties as formidable as his own, that no difficulties, however great, are any reason for despair.
Artists rising from the lower to the higher branches. B. Cellini ; Q.
Matsys; Ibbetson; Kent; Towne; Kirby; Sehiavoni ; Hogarth; Sharp ; Thew; Caslon.-Late Learners. Cromwell; Sir W. Jones; Cato Censor; Alfred; Moliere ; Valerianus; Vondel; Pilot; Pauc. ton; Ogilby.
There is one mode in which ingenious and aspiring workmen have sometimes raised themselves above the trade they were bred up to; of which we may give a few examples, as it does not imply any violent abandonment of their original occupation, but on the contrary arises in some degree naturally out of pursuits into which it has led them. We allude to cases of the mere working mechanic elevating himself into an artist, in a department kindred to that of his first exertions; and cases of the artist himself making his way from a lower to a higher department of his art. Thus, in Italy especially, it has not been uncommon for working goldsmiths, or those of them at least who have been employed in copying designs in the metal, to carry the study of their profession so far as to attain proficiency in the art of design itself; and some individuals, thus educated, have become eminent painters or sculptors. BenvenUTO CELLINI is one instance, who, while serving an apprenticeship to a goldsmith, acquired a knowledge not only of chasing, but also of drawing, engraving, and statuary, and afterwards became one of the greatest sculptors of his age; and several others might be mentioned. Workers in gold and silver, however, are not the only sort of smiths who have in this way attained to a proficiency in the fine arts. The old Dutch
Painter, QUINTIN MATSYS, was originally a blacksmith and farrier, on which account he is often called, the Blacksmith of Antwerp, the town where he pursued this humble vocation. Having, when a young man, been attacked by a disorder which left him too much debilitated to return to the heavier work of his trade, which was his only means of support for himself and a widowed mother, he was forced to turn his attention to the fabrication of such light and ornamental articles as it was then fashionable to construct of wrought iron; and he obtained considerable reputation, in particular, by an inclosure and covering of this description, which he made for a well in the neighbourhood of the great church of Antwerp. He began, however, at length to find even such work as this too laborious; and was in great difficulties as to what he should do, when the thought occurred to him, or rather to one of his friends, that as he had shewn considerable talent for the art of design, in many of the ornamental articles he had been in the habit of making, it might be worth his while to try what he could accomplish in a simple style of drawing : for example, in painting a few of those small pictures of saints which were wont to be distributed by the religious orders of the city to the people, on occasion of certain of their solemn processions. The idea was adopted, and Matsys succeeded in his ņew attempt, to the admiration of everybody. From that time painting became his profession, and he devoted himself to it with so much zeal and success, as not only to acquire a great deal of reputation in his own day, but to leave several works which are still held in considerable estimation. Among these is one at Windsor, "The Misers," which has been often engraved ; and certainly deserves all the popularity that has so long been attached to it. It consists of two figures