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THE May 1-9,79.03.
Of the earliest state of Greece.
1. The first notices we have of every country are fabulous and uncertain. Among an unenlightened people every imposmature is likely to take place, for ignorance is the parent of credu.
lity. Nothing, therefore, which the Greeks have transmitted to
2. Poets were the first who began to record the actions of
3. It would be vain, therefore, and beside the present purpose, to give a historical air to accounts which were never meant to be transmitted as true. Some writers, indeed, have laboriously undertaken to separate the truth from the fable, and to give us an unbroken narrative from the first dawning of tradition to the display of undoubted history; they have levelled down all mythology to their own apprehensions : every fable is made to look with an air of probability. Instead of a golden fleece, Jason goes in pursuit of a great treasure; instead of destroying a chimera, Bellerophon reclaims a mountain; instead of a hydra, Hercules overcomes a robber.