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The question is one of small moment. Certainly good art pays as well as mediocre. And the cost of preparing ads is very small compared with the cost of insertion.

I don't understand the meaning of this sentence: The question is one of small moment. And this sentence: Certainly good art pays as well as mediocre.

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"The question is one of small moment." - the question is one of small importance.

"good art pays as well as mediocre" - you can get as much money from good art as you can from mediocre art.

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  • When you get an answer to your question, it is customary to mark it as 'the answer' with the checkmark symbol you will find to its left. You can only do that to one answer; if there are mutliple ones, it is also customary to use the earliest one. If you find any answer useful (including 'the' answer), it is customary to upvote it. The people who post these answers get a few points when their answers are accepted and upvoted. These are the ways people are recognized for volunteering their time, and how we all know that an answer was useful and/or that you got the answer you were looking for. – rcook Aug 24 '20 at 12:10
  • It is best to accept the answer that most answers your question, rather than merely the earliest one. Questioners are often advised to wait a while before marking an answer as accepted. – Michael Harvey Aug 24 '20 at 12:31
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Moment can also mean "importance." If you say something is "of little/small moment," then you are saying it doesn't matter. (Vocabulary.com)

In indeed, Merriam-Webster also notes this meaning:

importance in influence or effect

  • decisions of moment must be made by our government (L. H. Evans)

Therefore, the sentence "The question is one of small moment" means that the question has/is of little (negligible) importance.

As for the other statement, "Certainly good art pays as well as mediocre" states that good art is not better paid than mediocre art. You might have been confused by "the art pays well which is an instance of middle construction, described by some as "active in form but passive in meaning". E.g.

  • Sports cars sell quickly.(meaning: Sports cars are sold quickly)
  • The woolens wash well. (meaning: The woolens are washed well.)

Therefore your sentence has the meaning:

"Certainly good art is paid as well as mediocre art. (the middle construction "good art pays well" is more idiomatic, as Gngram confirms).

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