'Of Genius', in The Occasional Paper, and Preface to The Creation
Exuitur, Geniumq; meum prostratus adorat. Propert. l. 4. El. 9 V. 43.
The Heathens had a Notion, that every Man upon his Birth was given up to the[A] Conduct of some invisible Being, who was to form his Mind, and govern and direct his Life. This Being the Greeks called[B] [Greek: Daimôn or Daimonion]; the Latins, Genius. Some of them suppos'd a[D] Pair of Genij were to attend every Man from his Birth; one Good, always putting him on the Practice of Virtue; the other Bad, prompting him to a vicious Behaviour; and according as their several Suggestions were most attended to, the Man became either Virtuous or Vicious in his Inclinations: And from this Influence, which the Genius was suppos'd to have towards forming the Mind, the Word was by degrees made to stand for the Inclination itself. Hence[E] indulgere Genio