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HOUGH it would be quite impossible to give any exact idea as to the period when the identical first advertisement of any kind made its appearance, or what particular clime has the honour of introducing a system which now plays so important a part in all civilised countries, there need be no hesitation in ascribing the origin of advertising to the remotest possible times—to the earliest times when competition, caused by an increasing population, led each man to make efforts in that race for prominence which has in one way or other gone on ever since. As soon as the progress of events or the development of civilisation had cast communities together, each individual member naturally tried to do the best he could for himself, and as he, in the course of events, had naturally to encounter rivals in his way of life, it is not hard to understand that some means of preventing a particular light being hid under a bushel soon presented itself. That this means was an advertisement is almost certain ; and so almost as long as there has been a world—or quite as long, using the term as it is best understood now—there have been advertisements. At this early stage of history, almost every trade and profession was still exercised by itinerants, who proclaimed their wares or their qualifications with more or less flowery encomiums, with, in fact, the advertisement verbal, which, under some circumstances, is still very useful. But the time came when

the tradesman or professor settled down, and opened what, C

for argument's sake, we will call a shop. Then another method of obtaining publicity became requisite, and the crier stepped forward to act as a medium between the provider and the consumer. This is, however, but another form of the same system, and, like its simpler congener, has still an existence, though not an ostentatious one. When the art of writing was invented, the means of extending the knowledge which had heretofore been simply cried, was greatly extended, and advertising gradually became an art to be cultivated. Very soon after the invention of writing in its rudest form, it was turned to account in the way of giving publicity to events in the way of advertisement; for rewards for and descriptions of runaway slaves, written on papyri more than three thousand years ago, have been exhumed from the ruins of Thebes. An early but mythical instance of a reward being offered in an advertisement is related by Pausanias,” who, speaking of the art of working metals, says that the people of Phineum, in Arcadia, pretended that Ulysses dedicated a statue of bronze to Neptune, in the hope that by that deity's intervention he might recover the horses he had lost; and, he adds, “they showed me an inscription on the pedestal of the statue offering a reward to any person who should find and take care of the animals.” The Greeks used another mode of giving publicity which is worthy of remark here. They used to affix to the statues of the infernal deities, in the temenos of their temples, curses inscribed on sheets of lead, by which they devoted to the vengeance of those gods the persons who had found or stolen certain things, or injured the advertisers in any other way. As the names of the offenders were given in full in these singular inscriptions, they had the effect of making the grievances known to mortals as well

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as immortals, and thus the advertisement was attained. The only difference between these and ordinary public notices was that the threat of punishment was held out instead of the offer of reward. A compromise was endeavoured generally at the same time, the evil invoked being deprecated in case of restitution of the property. A most interesting collection of such imprecations (dirae defixiones, or xaráðsquoi) was found in 1858 in the temenos of the infernal deities attached to the temple of Demeter at Cnidus. It is at present deposited in the British Museum, where the curious reader may inspect it in the second vase-room. A common mode of advertising, about the same time, was by means of the public crier, xàgvá. In comparatively modern times our town-criers have been proverbial for murdering the king's English, or, at all events, of robbing it of all elecutionary beauties. Not so among the Greeks, who were so nice in point of oratorical power, and so offended by a vicious pronunciation, that they would not suffer even the public crier to proclaim their laws unless he was accompanied by a musician, who, in case of an inexact tone, might be ready to give him the proper pitch and expression. But this would hardly be the case when the public crier was employed by private individuals. In Apuleius (“Golden Ass”) we are brought face to face with one of these characters, a cunning rogue, full of low humour, who appears to have combined the duties of crier and auctioneer. Thus, when the slave and the ass are led out for sale, the crier proclaims the price of each with a loud voice, joking at the same time to the best of his abilities, in order to keep the audience in good humour. This latter idea has not been lost sight of in more modern days. “The crier, bawling till his throat was almost split, cracked all sorts of ridiculous jokes upon me [the ass]. “What is the use,’ said he, ‘of offering for sale this old screw of a jackass, with his foundered hoofs, his ugly colour, his sluggishness in everything but vice, and a hide that is nothing but a ready-made sieve P Let us even make a present of him, if we can find any one who will not be loth to throw away hay on the brute.” In this way the crier kept the bystanders in roars of laughter.”” The same story furnishes further particulars regarding the ancient mode of crying. When Psyche has absconded, Venus requests Mercury “to proclaim her in public, and announce a reward to him who shall find her.” She further enjoins the divine crier to “clearly describe the marks by which Psyche may be recognised, that no one may excuse himself on the plea of ignorance, if he incurs the crime of unlawfully concealing her.” So saying, she gives him a little book, in which is written Psyche's name and sundry particulars. Mercury thereupon descends to the earth, and goes about among all nations, where he thus proclaims the loss of Psyche, and the reward for her return :—“If any one can seize her in her flight, and bring back a fugitive daughter of a king, a handmaid of Venus, by name Psyche, or discover where she has concealed herself, let such person repair to Mercury, the crier, behind the boundaries of Murtia,f and receive by way of reward for the discovery seven sweet kisses from Venus herself, and one exquisitely delicious touch of her charming tongue.” A somewhat similar reward is offered by Venus in the hue and cry she raises after her fugitive son in the first idyl of Moschus, a Syracusan poet who flourished about 250 years before the Christian era: “If any one has seen my son Eros straying in the cross roads, [know ye] he is a runaway. The informer shall have a reward. The kiss of Venus shall be your pay; and if you bring him, not the bare kiss only, but, stranger, you shall have something

* Apuleius, Golden Ass, Book viii., Episode 8. + The spot here mentioned was at the back of the Temple of Venus Myrtia (the myrtle Venus), on Mount Aventine in Rome.

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