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ture, which the desire of building suitable habitations for various deities brought to perfection. Sculpture arose from, and was matured by the universal prevalence of polytheism. Painting most probably was principally indebted to the same cause ; and when they arose again in Italy, they were cherished, protected by, and it may be said incorporated with the religion of the times, which then possessed the greatest influence over the reason and passions, as well as the temporal estate of man. To describe and illustrate the wonderful events, -sublime nature, and important objects of christian theology, was at once the pride, the labour, and the nutriment of historical painting ; and the reason why its progress was so long retarded in England may be found in that intolerant bigotry which accompanied the reformation.
... It is evident, therefore, that other causes, besides the possession of a free government, are requisite to produce the arts among us ; and if we depend on that alone, we shall continue without those sources of intellectual elegance and refinement, to which other nations are indebted for their brightest points of superiority. But seeing that neither our religious nor political institutions are calculated to hold out much inducement, how are we to transplant them into our soil 2 How shall they be nourished, and be made to polo scyons of native growth? That they may grow, when transplanted, let the soil (as was observed before) be fitted to receive them; for what Hume observes generally, may justly be particularly applied to the imitative arts ; that they cannot make much progress, or produce emionent men, except a share of the same spirit and genius be antece
demly diffused through the people among whom they arise. The means,by which this spirit may be generated and diffused, it is worth while to consider. The first step, is to induce artists of eminence, or men of genius promising to arrive at eminence, whether foreigners or natives, whenever they appear, by such encouragement, as will make it worth their while to remain anā exert their talents in this country: and this encouragement must not only be of a pecuniary nature, but must also consistin that respectful attention, which will give them a due degree of consequence in society; and which, if they possess that elevation of mind which the arts are calculated to inspire, and which they never fail to inspire in men of real genius, will be always esteemed as the most grateful and congenial reward of their labours. It is also equally essential to the adequate compensation of real genius, that all unqualified pretenders shouki be universally discountenanced ; for there are quacks among artists as well as among physicians, and when such persons are able successfully to practice their impositions, the arts themselves suffer a ternporary disgrace, and artists of merit are defrauded of their just portion of respectability and profit. Persons, who have laid out their money in what they believed were works of art and exertions of talent, finding themselves imposed upon by gaudy daubings, or the re. fuse of European auctions, are too often disposed to doubt all they have heard of the dignity of art, and to withhold, indiscriminately, from every professor, that liberafi. ty which they once bestowed in vain. This renders it necessary to be able to discriminate between good and bad, between the works of a master and the feeble imitations of a novice, between the vigorous though frequently rude efforts of real genius, and that insipid smoothness, tawdry finery, and mechanical dexterity, which too often assumes its character. To attain this knowledge, is the acquisition of taste. “What then is taste, but the internal pow'rs Active and strong, and feelingly alive To each fine impulse a discerning sense Of decent and sublime, with quick dis1st From *. deform’d, or disarrang'd, or gross In species " Or, to use the language of an elegant prose writer,” “Taste is the power of selecting the best,” hence says he, “its effect is necessarily extended to conduct and character.” And he adds this beautiful, and strikingly just remark, “In a polished nation, half the portion of existing vice may be ascribed to bad taste, to the want of that culti definition.
* Hoare's inquiry into the cultivation,
and present state of the arts in England. .Aug. 24th. E. E. --SILVA. .No. 18.
vous shrie de me laisser tranquille”; and that he died without any confession. That Voltaire should have written against the Catholick religion, may be palliated in considering its excessive abuses ; but the vanity of displaying his wit led him much farther, than he probably intended. His opinion of the necessity of a religion may be known from this famous line : “So Dieu n'existait flas, il faudrait l'inventer.” OSSIAN AND HOMER.
There are in Ossian many pleasing passages ; but the perpetual recurrence of the same images and a continual effort to effect the sublime, so wearies the mind that I can never read but a few pages at a time. Ossian resembles a tremendous rock, overhung with waving woods, where you may discover foaming cataracts, gloomy caverns, and dismal precipices. Homer is like a fertile country, in which you may at once contemplate the variegated beauties of woods and waterfalls ; torrents, which rush with impetuosity from lofty mountains, and streams, which murmur through Arcadian vales. Like the shield of Achilles, the poems of Homer present the whole world to our view.
Definition of MAN.
The best, which has ever been given, is anonymous. “Man is a cooking animal.” Disquisitions upon man are among the most abstruse that perplex metaphysicians. Much of the difficulty has arisen from establishing a wrong Men are naturally mad; different individuals approximate in different degrees towards reason. Many are completely mad, none are perfectly rational. Whatever distance some few, more
Vol. III. No. 8, 3E
fortunate than the rest, may have passed in the attainment of rationality ; still every day of their life will discover some symptoms of their original state. Every man occasionally finds deviations from the path of reason, in every one of his acquaintance, which cannot be accounted for on any other position, than the one I have assumed, that men are naturally mad. FAINTING. * Many circumstances, highly af. fecting in narration, are glaringly improper for the tablet of the painter. Of this class is the circumstance of the Grecian Daughter affording nutriment to her aged parent. The story is barely tolerable in the hands of the serious dramatist; but on canvas, the figure of an old man, placed in the situation of an unconscious infant, is perfectly disgusting. * TAstro. To assign correct rules for taste is not easier than to give a definition of beauty. It has puzzled polite scholars, metaphysicians, and artists. The standard in different individuals and different nations is widely different. The gout of the French varies as much from the gusto of the Italians, as from the taste of the English, and they are all equally remote from the onderscheidend vermoogen of the Dutch. I am led to think,that the most accurate standard will be to decide by taste in eating. A treatise upon the progress of the culinary art would be very interesting. The advances of society towards perfection, and its gradual decline, will be found to keep pace with the advancement and decay of the art of cooking. What a number of gradations between the roaming Tartar, inebriated with fermented mare's milk, and the refined epi'curean of polished society, pouring libations of Burgundy and Madeira to beauty or patriotism Cooking never came nearer to perfection in the Roman empire, than under the emperour Augustus ; though, like the Roman manners, it retained something of the barbarity of the republick, It gradually decayed with the decay of letters and the glory of the empire, till the art was buried, with all others, in the obscurity of the middle ages. It rose again into notice, with the revival of letters, under the patronage of the Medici; but attainedits greatest perfection in modern Europe, during the brilliant period of Louis XIV. It was in the reign of his voluptuous successor, that scientifick men digested and published its theory and practice in many inestimable volumes. I could enlarge much on this interesting topick, if I did not contemplate publishing at some future day (and hereby give notice to all subject-seeking authors, in the present exhausted state of literature and science) a work with this title, An inquiry into the firogress of civil society, as connected with the culinary art ; and an attemsit to establish, usion firincisiles drawn from this art, a true standard of taste. music k. Modern musick resembles Gothick architecture, whose parts, instead of captivating, puzzle and confound ; while the harmonious strains of antiquity, like the Grecian temples, charm by an union of grandeur and simplicity. MANSFIELD AND CRATHAM. The judgment of the younger Lyttleton is conspicuous in the following brief mention of two very
eminent characters. “ The two
principal orators of the present age,
(and one of them perhaps a greater than has been produced in any age) are the Earls of Mansfield and Chatham. The former is a great man, Ciceronian ; but I should think inferiour to Cicero. The latter is a greater man; Demosthenian, but superiour to Demosthenes. The first formed himself on the model of the great Roman orator ; he studied, translated, rehearsed, and acted his orations. The second disdained imitation, and was himself a model for eloquence, of which no idea can be formed, but by those, who have seen or heard him. His words have sometimes frozen my young blood into stagnation, and sometimes made it pace in such a hurry through my veins, that I could scarce support it. He embellished his ideas by classical amusements, and occasionally read the sermons of Barrow, which he considered a mine of nervous expressions ; but, not content to correct and instruct imagination by the works of mortal men, he borrowed his noblest images from the language of inspiration.” v ANIERE's PR AEDIUM. RusTic UM. VANIERE was one of the modern writers of Latin poetry, and a learned Jesuit. His Prædium Rusticum, a poem, consisting of sixteen books, on Husbandry, has been too slightly appreciated by Doctor Warton. But Mr. Murphy in the preface of his translation of the sixteenth book, entitled The Bees, vindicates Vaniere with powerful cogency. His fourteenth Book, which contains the history and management of Bees, was translated by Mr. M. many years ago, when the famous Italian and Freuch
- roetry. . . .
cribe the lines
. . .419 :* - . . . - ** which exhibit these amazing citizens, commencing the labours of the morning :
As when an army, at the dawn of day, Marshal their bold brigades, in dread array; The trumpet’s clangour, ev'ry breast alarms, And the field glitters with their burnish'd arms. So the bees, summon'd to their daily toil, Arise, and meditate their fragrant spoil ; And ere they start, in fancy wing their way, And in the absent field devour their prey. No rest, no pause, no stay 5 the eager band Rush through the gate, and issue on the land: # wild of wing, a teeming meadow choose, e each flower, and sip sectareous dews. For depradation while the rovers fly, Should some sagacious bee a garden spy, Or a rich bed of roses newly o Scorning to taste the luxury alone, she summons all her friends; her friends obey; They tho they press, they, urge, they seize their prey; Rush to the soc *śr each blooming flow'r, and from that reservoir the sweets devour; Till, with the liquids from that source distill'd, Their eager thirst their honey-bags has fill’d. AUntir’d they work, insatiate still for more, And viscous matter for their domes explore. That treasure gain'd, in parcels small and neat They mould the spoil, and press it with their feet; Then in the bohich nature's hand has twini ound their legs, a safe conveyance find. or yet their labours cease; their time they pass In rolling on the leaves, until the mass Clings to their bodies, then in wild career, Loaded with booty, to their cells they steer. oon as the spring its genial warmth renews, And from the rising flow’rs calls forth the dews, Th’industrious multitude on ev'ry plain Begin the labours of the vast campaign, Ere the parch'd meadows mourn their verdure fled, And the sick rose-bud hangs its drooping head.
Yes, shielded from the woes of life
No more bright Hope's fantastick train,
Vain solace—still the heart must mourn
From warm ascetion's wishes torm
Unconscious now that matchless face