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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 disease is attended with a false appebility. How often at the theatre is the tear of tite, 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 enstretched 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, overstrained as to produce the most jarring dis- but also cheated, hurried, and perplexed, by the cords. artifice of deception, business, intricacy, and intrigue; a kind of low juggle, which may be terned the legerdemain of genius.
In this state of depravity the mind can not enjoy, nor indeed distinguish the charms of natural and moral beauty and decorum. The ingenuous blush
If so little regard is paid to nature when she knocks so powerfully at the breast, she must be altogether neglected and despised in her calmer mood of serene tranquillity, when nothing appears to recommend her but simplicity, propriety, and innocence. 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 puto: 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 foundation of sensibility, and can not be disjoined without offering violence to both. But virtue must be informed, and taste instructed, otherwise they will both remain imperfect and ineffectual:
Those ears that are offended by the notes of the thrush, the blackbird, and the nightingale, will be regaled and ravished by the squeaking fiddle touch
by a musician, who has no other genius than that which lies in his fingers; they will even be entertained with the rattling of coaches, and the alarming knock, by which the doors of fashionable people are so loudly distinguished. The sense of smelling, that delights in the scent of excrementitious animal juices, such as musk, civet, and urinous salts, will loath the fragrance of new-mown hay, the sweet-brier, the honey-suckle, and the rose. The organs that are gratified with the taste of sickly veal bled into a palsy, crammed fowls, and dropsical brawn, peas without substance, peaches without taste, and pine-apples without flavour, will certainly nauseate the native, genuine, and salutary taste of Welsh beef, Banstead mutton, and barn-door fowls, whose juices are concocted by a natural digestion, and whose flesh is
As at her Isthmian games, a fading pomp!
Her full assembled youth innumerous swarm'd,
On a tribunal raised Flaminius' sat;
A victor he from the deep phalanx pierced
mired for science, renowned for unextinguishable love of freedom, nothing can be more affecting than this instance of generous magnanimity of the RoHAVING explained what we conceive to be true taste, 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 fortunately lost.
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 physician Philip, even after he had received intimaproper means have been used to form the manners, and attach the mind to virtue. The heart, culti-tion that poison was contained in the cup; a noble and pathetic scene! which hath acquired new digvated by precept and warmed by example, improves in sensibility, which is the foundation of taste. By a Le Sueur. Humanity is melted into tears of nity and expression under the inimitable pencil of distinguishing the influence and scope of morality, and cherishing the ideas of benevolence, it acquires a habit of sympathy, which tenderly feels responsive, like the vibration of unisons, every touch of moral beauty. Hence it is that a man of a social heart, entendered by the practice of virtue, is awakened to the most pathetic emotions by every uncommon instance of generosity, compassion, and greatness of soul. Is there any man so dead to sentiment, so lost to humanity, as to read unmoved the generous behaviour of the Romans to the states of Greece, as it is recounted by Livy, or embellished by Thomson in his poem of Liberty? Speaking of Greece in the decline of her power, when her freedom no longer existed, he says:
tender admiration, by the deportment of Henry IV. of France, while his rebellious subjects com In pelled him to form the blockade of his capital. chastising his enemies, he could not but remem
they were his people; and knowing they were reduced to the extremity of famine, he generously connived at the methods practised to supply them with provision. Chancing one day to meet two peasants, who had been detected in these practices, as they were led to execution they implored his clemency, declaring in the sight of Heaven, they had no other way to procure subsistence for their wives and children; he pardoned them on the spot, and giving them all the money that was in his purse, "Henry of Bearne is poor," said he, "had he more money to afford, you should have it-go home to your families in peace; and remember your duty to God, and your allegiance to your sovereign." Innumerable examples of the same kind may be selected from history, both ancient and modern, the study of which we would therefore strenuously recommend.
Of iron-coated Macedon, and back
The swelling sea, the rocks and vocal hills-
Each other straining in a strict embrace,
Nor strain'd a slave; and loud exclaims, till night,
To one acquainted with the genius of Greece, the character and disposition of that polished people, ad
'His real name was Quintus Flaminius.
Historical knowledge indeed becomes necessary on many other accounts, which in its place we will explain; but as the formation of the heart is of the first consequence, and should precede the cultivation of the understanding, such striking instances of superior virtue ought to be culled for the perusal of the young pupil, who will read them with eagerness, and revolve them with pleasure. Thus the young mind becomes enamoured of moral beauty, and the passions are listed on the side of humanity. Meanwhile knowledge of a different species will go hand in hand with the advances of morality, and the understanding be gradually extended. Virtue and sentiment reciprocally assist each other, and both conduce to the improvement of perception. While the scholar's chief attention is employed in learning the Latin and Greek languages, and this is generally the task of childhood and early youth, it is even then the business of the preceptor to give his mind a turn for observation, to direct his powers of discernment, to point out the distinguishing marks of character, and dwell upon the charms of moral and intellectual
Nor word for word translate with painful care—
beauty, as they may chance to occur in the classics | Cicero tells us, that in translating two oration 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 habui 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 tention, 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 canNec verbum verbo curabis reddere fidus dour of Aristides, surnamed the Just, whom the Interpresguilty cabals of his rival Themistocles exiled from 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 substi chancing 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 all the pomp of affluence, with which Pyrrhus endeavoured to seduce him from the arms of his country. He will approve with transport the noble generosity of his soul in rejecting the proposal of that prince's physician, who offered to take him off by poison; and in sending the caitiff bound to his sovereign, whom he would have so basely and cruelly betrayed.
In this manner the preceptor will sow the seeds of that taste, which will soon germinate, rise, blossom, and produce perfect fruit by dint of future care and cultivation. In order to restrain the luxu riancy of the young imagination, which is apt to run riot, to enlarge the stock of ideas, exercise the reason, and ripen the judgment, the pupil must be engaged in the severer study of science. He must learn geometry, which Plato recommends for
In reading the ancient authors, even for the pur-strengthening the mind, and enabling 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 Sappho 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. No
Nothing 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 Sublime, 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 come more intimate with the beauties of the writing, and the idioms of the language, from which he ranslates; at the same time it will form his style, and by exercising his talent of expression, make
of government, the rise and decline of empires, the revolution of arts, the variety of character, and the vicissitudes of fortune.
The knowledge of history enables the poet not only to paint characters, but also to describe magim 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 his 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 wallowing in ordure, or of such exaggeration of circumstance and feature as a beggar lousing himself on a dunghill, though may 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 world must allow that the scenes were bounds of probability; and these, generally speak-taken from nature, because the merit of the imita ing, the knowledge of history will ascertain. It tion would be greatly overbalanced by the vile There are nevertheless many would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to choice of the artist. find a man actually existing, whose proportions scenes of horror, which please in the representa should answer 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.
Were we to judge every production by the rigorparts to the other celebrated piece called the Venus de Medicis; therefore it may be truly affirmed, ous rules of nature, we should reject the Iliad 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 tragedy 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 lines 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 pattern, according to which his idea was is ravished with enchanting images, and the heart warmed to rapture and ecstasy, we inust allow that modelled, and produced in execution. poetry is a perfection to which nature would gladly aspire; and that though it surpasses, it does not deviate from her, provided the characters are marked with propriety and sustained by genius. Charac
Every body knows the story of Zeuxis, the famous painter of Heraclea, who, according to Pliny, invented the chiaro oscure, or disposition of light and shade, among the ancients, and excelled all his contemporaries in the chromatique, or art of ters therefore, both in poetry and painting, may be 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 to 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, we 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. speaking their own dialects; but should an Eng lish mimic either, we are apt to burst out into a loud laugh of applause, being surprised and tickled by the imitation alone; though, at the same time, we can not but allow that the imitation is imperfect. We are more affected by reading Shakspeare's de scription of Dover Cliff, and Otway's picture of the Old Hag, than we should be were we actually
It is the business of art to imitate nature, but not with a servile pencil; and to choose those attitudes and dispositions only, which are beautiful and engaging. With this view, we must avoid all disagreeable prospects of nature which excite the
Præbete igitur mihi qusesa, inquit, ex istis virginibus formosissimas, dum pingo id, quod pollicitus sum vobis, ut placed on the summit of the one, or met in reality mutum in simulacrum ex animali exemplo veritas transfera- with such a beldame as the other: because in readtur.--Ile autem quinque delegit.-Neque enim putavit om
nia, quæ quæreret ad venustatem, uno in corpore se reperire ing these descriptions we refer to our own experi posse; ideo quod nihil simplici in genere omnibus ex partibus ence, and perceive with surprise the justness of the imitations. But if it is so close as to be mistaken perfectum natura expolivi-Cic. lib. ii. de lav. cap. i
for nature, the pleasure then will cease, because ing, sculpture, music, eloquence, and architecture. the unos or imitation no longer appears. All these are founded on imitation; and all of them Aristotle 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 rom his infancy; that the first per-poetry and eloquence, 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 tation 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; resemblance 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 phenomena, which, though every day repeated, can never be viewed without internal emotion. Those would break forth in exclamations expressive of the passion produced, whether surprise or gratitude, terror or exultation. The rising, the apparent course, the setting, and seeming renovation of the sun; the revolution of light and darkness; the splendour, change, and circuit of the moon, and the canopy of heaven bespangled with stars, must have produced expressions of wonder and adoration. "O glorious luminary! great eye of the world! source of that light which guides my steps! of that heat which warms me when chilled with cold! of that influence which cheers
Humano capii cervicem pictor equinam
Suppose a painter to a human head
The magazine of nature supplies all those images which compose the most beautiful imitations. This the artist examines occasionally, as he would con- the face of nature! whither dost thou retire every evening with the shades? whence dost thou spring every morning with renovated lustre, and never fading glory? Art not thou the ruler, the creator, the god, of all I behold? I adore thee, as thy child, thy slave, thy suppliant! I crave thy protection, 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 would obscure the face of nature. The birds begin at thy approach: even the trees, the herbs, and the to warble, and every animal is filled with gladness paint-flowers, seem to rejoice with fresher beauties, and send forth a grateful incense to thy power, whence
* Επ-ποια δη και ή της τραγωδίας ποιησις, ετι ft their origin is derived! A number of individuals
waraedice nas i dituraμCorointian, xaltas avitis
inspired with the same ideas, would join in these
sult a collection of masterly sketches; and selecting particulars for his purpose, mingles the ideas with a kind of enthusiasm, or To Suor, which is that gift of Heaven we call genius, and finally produces such a whole as commands admiration and applause.
The study of polite literature is generally sup posed to include all the liberal arts of poetry,