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that, by appealing to these, a good writer will al-consolidated by free air and exercise. In such a ways be able to force himself into the hearts of his total perversion of the senses, the ideas must be readers: but even the strongest passions are weak- misrepresented; the powers of the imagination ened, nay, sometimes totally extinguished, by mu- disordered; and the judgment, of coursequence, untual opposition, dissipation and acquired insensi- sound. The discase is attended with a false appebility. How often at the theatre is the tear of rite, which the natural food of the mind will not sympathy and the burst of laughter repressed by satisfy. It will prefer Ovid to Tibullus, and the a ridiculous species of pride, refusing approbation rant of Lee to the tenderness of Otway. The to the author and actor, and renouncing society soul sinks into a kind of sleepy idiotism, and is diwith the audience! This seeming insensibility is verted by toys and baubles, which can only be not owing to any original defect. Nature has pleasing to the most superficial curiosity. It is en. stretched the string, though it has long ceased to livened by a quick succession of trivial objects, that vibrate. It may have been displaced and distract. glisten and dance before the eye; and, like an ined by the violence of pride; it may have lost its fant, is kept awake and inspirited by the sound of tone through long disuse; or be so twisted or a rattle. It must not only be dazzled and aroused, overstruined as to produce the most jarring dis- but also cheated, hurried, and perplexed, by the cords.
artitice of deception, business, intricacy, and inIf so little regard is paid to nature when she trigue; a kind of low juggle, which may be terined knocks so powerfully at the breast, she must be al- the legerdemain of genius. together neglected and despised in her calmer mood In this state of depravity the mind can not enjoy, of serene tranquillity, when nothing appears to nor indeed distinguish the charms of natural and recommend her but simplicity, propriety, and in- moral beauty and decorum. The ingenuous blush nocence. A person must have delicate feelings of native innocence, the plain language of ancient that can taste the celebrated repartee in Terence : faith and sincerity, the cheerful resignation to the Homo sum; nihil humani a me alienum pulo : will of Heaven, the mutual affection of the chari"I am a man ; therefore think I have an interest ties, the voluntary respect paid to superior dignity in every thing that concerns humanity.” A clear or station, the virtue of beneficence, extended even blue sky, spangled with stars, will prove an insipid to the brute creation, nay the very crimson glow object to eyes accustomed to the glare of torches of health, and swelling lines of beauty, are deand tapers, gilding and glitter; eyes that will turn spised, detested, scorned, and ridiculed, as ignorance, with disgust from the green mantle of the spring, rudeness, rusticity, and superstition. Thus we so gorgeously adorned with buds and foliage, flow- see how moral and natural beauty are connected; ers and blossoms, to contemplate a gaudy silken and of what importance it is, even to the forma. robe, striped and intersected with unfriendly tints, tion of taste, that the manners should be severely that fritter the masses of light, and distract the vi- superintended. This is a task which ought to sion, pinked into the most fantastic forms, flounced, take the lead of science; for we will venture to and furbelowed, and fringed with all the littleness say, that virtue is the foundation of taste; or of art unknown to elegance.
rather, that virtue and taste are built upon the same Those ears that are offended by the notes of the foundation of sensibility, and can not be disjoined thrush, the blackbird, and the nightingale, will be without offering violence to both. But virtue must regaled and ravished by the squeaking fiddle touch- be informed, and taste instructed, otherwise they ed by a musician, who has no other genius than will both remain imperfect and ineffectual: that which lies in his fingers; they will even be entertained with the rattling of coaches, and the Qui didicit patriæ quid debeat, et quid amicis, alarming knock, by which the doors of fashionable
Quo sit amore parens, quo frater amandus, et hospes,
Quod sit Conscripui, quod judicis officium, quæ people are so loudly distinguished. The sense of
Partes in bellum missi ducis; ille prifecto smelling, that delights in the scent of excrementi
Reddere persona scit conveniencia cuique. tious animal juices, such as musk, civet, and uri
Horace nous salts, will loath the fragrance of new-mown The critic, who with nice discernment knows, hay, the sweet-brier, the honey-suckle, and the What to his country and his friends he owes;
The organs that are gratified with the taste How various nature warms the human breast, of sickly veal bled into a palsy, crammed fowls,
To love the parent, brother, iriend, or guest;
What the great functions of our judges are, and dropsical brawn, peas without substance,
Or senators, and generals sent to war; peaches without taste, and pine-apples without fla
He can distinguish, with unerring art, vour, will certainly nauseate the native, genuine, The strokes peculiar to each different part. and salutary taste of Welsh beef, Banstead mutton, and barn-door fowls, whose juices are con- Thus we see taste is composed of nature imcocted by a natural digestion, and whose flesh is proved by art; of feeling tutored by instruction.
mired for science, renowned for unextinguishable ESSAY XIII.
love of freedom, nothing can be more affecting than Having explained what we conceive to be true
this instance of generous magnanimity of the Rotaste, and in some measure accounted for the pre- fruition of those liberties which they had so un
man people, in restoring them unasked to the full valence of vitiated taste, we should proceed to point out the most effectual manner, in which a natural
The mind of sensibility is equally struck by the capacity may be improved into a delicacy of judgment, and an intimate acquaintance with the Bel- generous confidence of Alexander, who drinks les Lettres. We shall take it for granted, that without hesitation the potion presented by his phy. proper means have been used to form the manners tion that poison was contained in the cup; a noble
sician Philip, even after he had received intimaand attach the mind to virtue. The heart, culti
and pathetic scene! which hath acquired new dig. vated by precept and warmed by example, improves in sensibility, which is the foundation of taste. By nity and expression under the inimitable pencil of distinguishing the influence and scope of morality,
a Le Sueur. Humanity is melted into tears of and cherishing the ideas of benevolence, it acquires tender admiration, by the deportment of Henry a habit of sympathy, which tenderly feels respon
IV. of France, while his rebellious subjects com sive, like the vibration of unisons, every touch of pelled him to form the blockade of his capital. In moral beauty. Hence it is that a man of a social chastising his enemies, he could not but remem heart, entendered by the practice of virtue, is ber they were his people ; and knowing they were awakened to the most pathetic emotions by every
reduced to the extremity of famine, he generously uncommon instance of generosity, compassion, and connived at the methods practised to supply them greatness of soul. Is there any man so dead to with provision. Chancing one day to meet two sentiment, so lost to humanity, as to read unmov- peasants, who had been detected in these practices ed the generus behaviour of the Romans to the as they were led to execution they implored his states of Greece, as it is recounted by Livy, or em
clemency, declaring in the sight of Heaven, they bellished by Thomson in his poem of Liberty ? had no other way to procure subsistence for their Speaking of Greece in the decline of her power, and giving them all the money that was in his
wives and children; he farvoned them on the spot when her freedom no longer existed, he says:
purse, "Henry of Bearne is poor," said he, "had As at her Isthmian games, a fading pomp!
he more money to afford, you should have it-go Her full assembled youth innumerous swarmd, home to your families in peace; and remember On a tribunal raised Flarninius' sat; A victor he from the deep phalanx pierced
your duty to God, and your allegiance to your soveOf iron-coated Macedon, and back
reign.” Innumerable examples of the same kind The Grecian tyrant to his bounds repellid:
may be selected from history, both ancient and In the hizla thoughtless gaiety of game,
modern, the study of which we would therefore While spuit alune their unambitious hearts
strenuously recommend. Possesed; the sulden trumpet sounding hoarsa, Bade silence o’er the bright assembly reign.
Historical knowledge indeed becomes necessary Then thus a herald—“To the states of Greece
on many other accounts, which in its place we will The Roman people, unconfined, restore
explain; but as the formation of the heart is of Their countries, cities, liberties, and laws;
the first consequence, and should precede the culTaxes remit, and garrisons withdraw."
tivation of the understanding, such striking inThe crowd, astonish'd hall, and half inform’d, Stared dubious round, some question'd, some exclaim'd stances of superior virtue ought to be culled for the (Like one who, dreaming between hope and fear, perusal of the young pupil, who will read thema Is lost in anxious joy) “Be that again
with eagerness, and revolve them with pleasure. -Be that again proclaim'd distinct and loud!
Thus the young mind becomes enamoured of nioral Loud and distinct it was again proclaim'd;
beauty, and the passions are listed on the side of And still as midnight in the rural shade, When the gale słumbers, they the words devour'd.
humanity. Meanwhile knowledge of a different Awhile severe amazement held them mute,
species will go hand in hand with the advances of Then bursuing broad, the boundless shout to heaven murality, and the understanding be gradually exFrom many a thousand hearts ecstatic sprung! tended. Virtue and sentiment reciprocally assist On every liand rebellowed to them joy;
each other, and both conduce to the improvement The swelling sea, the rocks and vocal hillsLike Bacchanals they flew,
of perception. While the scholar's chief attention Each other straining in a strict embrace,
is employed in learning the Latin and Greek lanNor strain'd a slave; and loud exclaims, till nighh guages, and this is generally the task of childhood Round the proconsul's tent repeated rung.
and early youth, it is even then the business of To one acquainted with the genius of Greece, the the preceptor to give his mind a turn for observa character and disposition of that polished people, au- tion, to direct his powers of discernment, to point
out the distinguishing marks of character, and dwell upon the charms of moral and intellectual
His real name was Quintus Flaminius,
beauty, as they may chance to occur in the classics | Cicero tells us, that in translating two orationis that are used for his instruction. In reading Cor- which the most celebrated orators of Greece pro nelius Nepos, and Plutarch's Lives, even with a nounced against each other, he performed this task, view to grammatical improvement only, he will in- not as a servile interpreter, but as an orator, presensibly imbibe, and learn to compare ideas of serving the sentiments, forms, and figures of the greater importance. He will become enamoured original, but adapting the expression to the taste of virtue and patriotism, and acquire a detestation and manners of the Romans: in quibus non verfor vice, cruelty, and corruption. The perusal of bum pro verbo necesse habæi reddere, sed genus 'the Roman story in the works of Florus, Sallust, omnium verborum vimque servavi; "in which I Livy, and Tacitus, will irresistibly engage his at- did not think it was necessary to translate literally lention, expand his conception, cherish his memo- word for word, but I preserved the natural and full ry, exercise his judgment, and warm him with a scope of the whole." of the same opinion was noble spirit of emulation. He will contemplate Horace, who says, in his Art of Poetry, with love and admiration the disinterested can
Nec verbum verbo curabis reddere fidus dour of Aristides, surnamed the Just, whom the
Interpresguilty cabals of his rival Themistocles exiled from
Nor word sør word translate with painful care his ungrateful country, by a sentence of Ostracism. He will be surprised to learn, that one of his fellow- Nevertheless, in taking the liberty here granted, we citizens, an illiterate artisan, bribed by his enemies, are apt to run into the other extreme, and substichancing to meet him in the street without know. tute equivalent thoughts and phrases, till hardly ing his person, desired he would write Aristides on any features of the original remain. The metahis shell (which was the method those plebeians phors of figures, especially in poetry, ought to be used to vote against delinquents), when the inno- as religiously preserved as the images of painting, cent patriot wrote his own name without com- which we can not alter or exchange without deplaint or expostulation. He will with equal as stroying, or injuring at least, the character and tonishment applaud the inflexible integrity of Fa-style of the original. bricius, who preferred the poverty of innocence to In this manner the preceptor will sow the seeds all the pomp of affluence, with which Pyrrhus of that taste, which will soon germinate, rise, blosendeavoured to seduce him from the arms of his som, and produce perfect fruit by dint of future caro country. He will approve with transport the no- and cultivation. In order to restrain the luxu. ble generosity of his soul in rejecting the proposal riancy of the young imagination, which is apt to of that prince's physician, who offered to take run riot, to enlarge the stock of ideas, exercise the him off by poison; and in sending the caitiff bound reason, and ripen the judgment, the popil must be to his sovereign, whom he would have so basely engaged in the severer study of science. He must and cruelly betrayed.
learn geometry, which Plato recommends for In reading the ancient authors, even for the pur- strengthening the mind, and enabliog it to think poses of school education, the unformed taste will with precision. He must be made acquainted with begin to relish the irresistible energy, greatness, geography and chronology, and trace philosophy and sublimity of Homer; the serene majesty, the through all her branches. Without geography and melody, and pathos of Virgil; the tenderness of chronology, he will not be able to acquire a distinct Sapplio and Tibullus ; the elegance and propriety idea of history; nor judge of the propriety of many of Terence; the grace, vivacity, satire, and senti- interesting scenes, and a thousand allusions, that ment of Horace.
present themselves in the works of genius. NoNothing will more conduce to the improvement thing opens the mind so much as the researches of the scholar in his knowledge of the languages, of philosophy; they inspire us with sublime conas well as in taste and morality, than his being ceptions of the Creator, and subject, as it were, all obliged to translate choice parts and passages of nature to our command. These bestow that liberal the most approved classics, both poetry and prose, turn of thinking, and in a great measure contribute especially the latter ; such as the orations of De- to that universality, in learning, by which a man mosthenes and Isocrates, the treatise of Longinus of taste ought to be eminently distinguished. But on the Subliine, the Commentaries of Cæsar, the history is the inexhaustible source from which he Epistles of Cicero and the younger Pliny, and the will derive his most useful knowledge respecting two celebrated speeches in the Catilinarian con- the progress of the human mind, the constitution spiracy by Sallust. By this practice he will be- of government, the rise and decline of empires, the come more intimate with the beauties of the writ- revolution of arts, the variety of character, and the ing, and the idioms of the language, from which he vicissitudes of fortune. cranslates; at the same time it will form his style, The knowledge of history enables the poet not und by exercising his talent of expression, make only to paint characters, but also to describe mag. uim a more perfect master of his mother tongue. nificent and interesting scenes of battle and adven
ture. Not that the poet or painter ought to be re- ideas of abhorrence and disgust. For example, strained to the letter of historical truth. History painter would not find bis account in exhibiting represents what has really happened in nature; the the resemblance of a dead carcass half consumed other arts exhibit what might have happened, with by vermin, or of swine wallowiug in ordure, or of such exaggeration of ciroumstance and feature as a beggar lousing himself on a dunghill, though
be deemed an improvement on nature: but these scenes should be painted ever so naturally, this exaggeration must not be carried beyond the and all the worlå must allow that the scenes were bounds of probability; and these, generally speak- taken from nature, because the merit of the imitaing, the knowledge of history will ascertain. It fuion would be greatly overbalanced by the vile would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to choice of the artist. There are nevertheless many find a man actually existing, whose proportions scenes of horror, which please in the representa should auswer to those of the Greek statue distin- tion, from a certain interesting greatness, which guished by the name of the Apollo of Belvedere; we shall endeavour to explain, when we come to or to produce a woman similar in proportion of consider the sublime. parts to the other celebrated piece called the Venus Were we to judge every production by the rigorde Medicis; therefore it may be truly affirmed, ous rules of nature, we should reject the liad of that they are not conformable to the real standard Homer, the Æneid of Virgil, and every celebrated of nature: nevertheless every artist will own, that edy of antiquity and the present times, because they are the very archetypes of grace, elegance, there is no such thing in nature as a Hector or and symmetry; and every judging eye must be- Turnus talking in hexameter, or an Othello in hold them with admiration, as improvements on blank verse: we should condemn the Hercules of the lives and lineaments of nature. The truth is, Sophocles, and the Miser of Moliere, because we the sculptor or statuary composed the various pro- never knew a hero so strong as the one, or a wretch portions in nature from a great number of different so sordid as the other. But if we consider poetry subjects, every individual of which he found im- as an elevation of natural dialogue, as a delightful perfect or defective in some one particular, though vehicle for conveying the noblest sentiments of hebeautiful in all the rest; and from these observa-roism and patriot virtue, to regale the sense with tions, corroborated by taste and judgment, he form- the sounds of musical expression, while the fancy an ideal patiern, according to which his idea was is ravished with enchanting images, and the heart modelled, and produced in execution
warmed to rapture and ecstasy, we inust allow that Every body knows the story of Zeuxis, the fa- poetry is a perfection to which nature would gladmous painter of Heraclea, who, according to Pliny, ly aspire; and that though it surpasses, it does not invented the chiaro oscuro, or disposition of light deviate from her, provided the characters are markand shade, among the ancients, and excelled alled with propriety and sustained by genius. Charac his contemporaries in the chromatique, or art of ters therefore, both in poetry and painting, may ba colouring. This great artist being employed to a little overcharged or exaggerated without offerdraw a perfect beauty in the character of Helen, to ing violence to nature; nay, they must be exagbe placed in the temple of Juno, culled out five of gerated in order to be striking, and w preserve the the most beautiful damsels the city could produce, idea of imitation, whence the reader and spectator and selecting what was excellent in each, com- derive in many instances their chief delight. If bined them in one picture according to the predis- we meet a common acquaintance in the street, wo position of his fancy, so that it shone forth an see him without emotion; but should we chance to amazing model of perfection. In like manner spy his portrait well executed, we are struck with every man of genius, regulated by true taste, en- pleasing admiration. In this case the pleasure tertains in his imagination an ideal beauty, con- arises entirely from the imitation. We every day ceived and cultivated as an improvement upon na- hear unmoved the natives of Ireland and Scotland ture: and this we refer to the article of invention. -peaking their own dialeets; but should an Eng
It is the business of art to imitate nature, but not lish mimic either, we are apt to burst out into a with a servile pencil; and to choose those attitudes loud laugh of applause, being surprised and tickled and dispositions only, which are beautiful and en-by the imitation alone; though, at the same time, kuging. With this view, we must avoid all dis- we can not but allow that the imitation is imperfect. agreeable prospects of nature which excite the We are more affected by reading Shakspeare's de
scription of Dover Cliff, and Otway's picture of • Præbete igitur mihi qusesa, inquit, ex istis virginibus the Old Hag, than we should be were we actually formosissimas, dum pingo id, quod pollicitus sum vobis, ue placed on the summit of the one, or met in reality muuum in simulacrum ex animali exemplo veritas transfera- with such a beldame as the other : because in read. tur.--Ille autem quinque delegil. ---Neque enim pritavit omnia, quæ quæreret ad venustatem, uno in corpore se reperire
ing these descriptions we refer to our own experiposee: idori quod nihil simplici in genere onnibus ex puruibus ence, and perceive with surprise the justness of the perfecluna nawra expolivie ---Cic. lib. i. de Loy. cap. i imitations. But if it is so close as to be mistaken
for nature, the pleasure then will cease, because ing, sculpture, music, eloquence, and architecture. the plungis or imitation no longer appears. All these are founded on imitation; and all of them
Ariswtle says, that all poetry and music is imi- mutually assist and illustrate each other. But as tation,* whether epic, tragic, or comic, whether painting, sculpture, music, and architecture, can vocal or instrumental, from the pipe or the lyre. not be perfectly attained without long practice of He observes, that in man there is a propensity to manual operation, we shall distinguish them from imitate even from his infancy; that the first per- poetry and cloquence, which depend entirely on ceptions of the mind are acquired by imitation; and the faculties of the mind; and on these last, as on seems to think, that the pleasure derived from imi- the arts which immediately constitute the Belles lation is the gratification of an appetite implanted Lettres, employ our attention in the present inby nature. We should rather think the pleasure quiry: or if it should run to a greater length than it gives arises from the mind's contemplating that we propose, it shall be confined to poetry alone; a excellency of art which thus rivals nature, and subject that comprehends in its full extent the seems to vie with her in creating such a striking province of taste, or what is called polite literature; rese.nblance of her works. Thus the arts may be and differs essentially from eloquence, both in its justly termed imitative, even in the article of in- end and origin. vention : for in forming a character, contriving an Poetry sprang from ease, and was consecrated incident, and describing a scene, he must still keep to pleasure ; whereas eloquence arose from necesnature in view, and refer every particular of his sity, and aims at conviction. When we say poetry invention to her standard; otherwise his produc- sprang from ease, perhaps we ought to except that tion will be destitute of truth and probability, species of it which owed its rise to inspiration and without which the beauties of imitation can not enthusiasm, and properly belonged to the culture subsist. It will be a monster of incongruity, such of religion. In the first ages of mankind, and even as Horace alludes to, in the beginning of his Epistle in the original state of nature, the unlettered mind to the Pisos:
must have been struck with sublime conceptions,
with admiration and awe, by those great phenomeHumano capki cervicem pictor equinam
na, which, though every day repeated, can never Jungere si velit, et varias inducere plumas
be viewed without internal emotion. Those Undique collatis membris, ut turpiter atrum Desinat in piscem, mulier formosa superne:
would break forth in exclamations expressive of Speciatum admissi risum teneatis, amici ?
the passion produced, whether surprise or grati
tude, terror or exultation. The rising, the apSuppose a painter to a human head Should join a horse's neck, and wildly spread
parent course, the setting, and seeming renovaThe various plumage of the feather'd kind
tion of the sun; the revolution of light and darkOver limbs of different boasts, absurdly join'd; ness; the splendour, change, and circuit of the Or if he gave to view a beauteous maid
moon, and the canopy of heaven bespangled with Above the waist with every charm array'd;
stars, must have produced expressions of wonder Should a foul fish her lower parts unfold,
and adoration. “O glorious luminary! great Would you nou laugh such pictures to behold?
eye of the world! source of that light which guides The magazine of nature supplies all those images my steps ! of that heat which warms me when which compose the most beautiful imitations. This chilled with cold! of that influence which cheers the artist examines occasionally, as he would con- the face of nature! whither dost thou retire every sult a collection of masterly sketches; and selecting evening with the shades ? whence dost thou spring particulars for his purpose, mingles the ideas with every morning with renovated lustre, and never a kind of enthusiasm, or to Suor
, which is that gift fading glory? Art not thou the ruler, the creator, of Heaven we call genius, and finally produces the god, of all I behold? I adore thee, as thy child, such a whole as commands admiration and ap- thy slave, thy suppliant! I crave thy protection, plause.
and the continuance of thy goodness! Leave me not to perish with cold, or to wander solitary in utter darkness! Return, return, after thy wonted
absence, drive before thee the gloomy clouds that ESSAY XIV.
would obscure the face of nature. The birds begin The stuly of polite literature is generally sup at thy approach: even the trees, the berhs, and the
to warble, and every animal is filled with gladness posed to include all the liberal arts of poetry, paint- Powers, seem to rejoice with fresher beauties, and
send forth a grateful incense to thy power, whence * ET Tone da xe24 in the apagadies Trongis, eti do their origin is derived !” A number of individuals x couced ice xu i S:Guerue 6: TONTINN, xu tus avastixis i inspired with the same ideas, would join in these
226 x2:42 PISTIRNS 147OTUJ X RYOUT! Cutus orisons, which would be accompanied with corres. Εμμος Ες το συνολο.
Iponding gesticulations of the body. They would