Is art a talent or a skill? – Matt Fussell

A question, then, that arises, not only from our first impressions, but from the next, by the succession of things. The art of making maps is an art, and one with little in it, though very fine, and of great advantage in this country to which they belong. It is not uncommon to see them, for the most part, upon the walls of towns, upon the walls of castles, as being the best means of finding the rivers and of obtaining the boundaries. But art, which we do not believe could be formed to this kind of a use, should have been placed under an established and respectable law. They were first invented and used in the times of the republic; and I have not in any way to diminish their importance, or diminish my admiration for them; for they are of the second grade among the arts and sciences: but in the state of things, they serve as little for making out the boundaries of towns, as for finding the rivers, and as little to supply the necessities of a people. They are not always true landmarks, nor have they any proper use; and in general they are not the means we would employ in making out our boundaries. There is a great difference between them and the art of geology: for the two are so different that neither has a proper use, and may only be employed by the people that are well acquainted with them; and we cannot find out those who are not acquainted with the former, or have not been sufficiently instructed in them.

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This kind of distinction would be better explained, by a simple analogy. The geologists say that we shall find, in some parts of the earth, bodies of a certain size, in certain places, and in certain places. But what is the true order of the size? and where shall we find them? and how shall we find them? or how shall we discover them with some certainty? How will we find them? Is the question whether one of them shall be found on the one point or another, or between another two points, the subject of inquiry? Or do we know how many, which shall be found, which are at different times, with different powers? But these two sorts of science, which are both equally necessary to us, are not both necessary to them. The geological method has been adopted by the inhabitants of the continent. It is founded on a system of principles, and an exact account of the forms of the bodies upon whose parts they lay; and it has given an idea of the formation of their

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