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the love of reputation soe far as never to aim at it by sinistrous devices, or strive to obtain it by such discourses or actions as accord not with real conscientious conviction; and which, if pursued, will finally terminate in infamy and disgrace.
Another main spring of a goodly reputation, is in the prudent and happy ordering of common discourse, and in the choice of intimate companions.
In the ordering of discourse to give frequent occasion to the fhewing forth of the wit and knowledge of those with whom we converse, rather than our own; and not to push or jade any argument to the discontentment of the prolocutors, and still lefs to dart out sharp speeches, that are picquant and go to the quick; but try to furnish a pure and pleasing sort without bittern, and use satyre rather as a shield than javelin in the struggle of argument.
In the choice of companions to prefer such as have been of the acquaintance of your youth, that have no pursuits of ambition or profit of like nature with your own; that have been known to vindicate your conduct when your back was turned, and have animadvérted freely on your conduct to your face. Such companions may ripen into friends, and thus bring a phoenix into your haunts, out of whose afhes may spring in their children the solacement of your old age. Thus much concerning the art of obtaining and preserving a good name may suffice*.
*The Editor hopes his ingenious correspondent will pardon the freedom he has used in modernising the orthography a little, especially in regard to the common words, be, we, he, &c. One reason for this was the difficulty of getting it done without casual mistakes, which occasioned a disagreeable want of uniformity in the work; but the principal cause was that he has received several hints from correspondents requesting it.
`ON THE FINE ARTS.
But unfortunately for these very learned philosophers it has happened by a very strange fatality, that at the present time, in spite of these unanswer-able arguments, dame Nature, in one of those freaks which the often takes, as one might say on purpose to confound the wisdom of the wise, has so contrived matters as to raise painters of this isle to the first eminence in almost every department of the art of painting. Gavin Hamilton is allowed, even by foreigners, to be at this time above all his competitors in the historic line; unless some of the English school dispute the palm with him. Jacob More, a native of Edinburgh, who was bred a house painter, if I mistake not with old Norrie, is without doubt the first landscape painter in the world; and at this moment, even while he continues to produce new paintings daily, his pictures bring a higher price than those of Claude de Loraine, who has held the first rank in that line for a century past. Sir Jofhua Reynolds has raised portrait painting to a degree of dignity among the fine arts formerly unknown. By the elegance of his attitudes, the easy flow of his outline, and the unaffected though graceful simplicity which he has thrown into all his pictures, he has chastened even the taste of the connoifseur, while he charms the most ignorant beholder. Stubbs never had an equal for painting horses and other domestic animals; Elmer for dead game pofsefses merit of a superlative degree; and Wedgewood has introduced an elegance of form, and a delicacy in the mode of ornamenting even the most common pieces of furniture, that can be rivalled on
277 ly by the disciples that he himself has formed. But I should never have done were I to enumerate the various artists of the British school, who now claim an eminent degree of merit in the imitative arts.
Nature having thus belied the prophecies and fine spun theories of the French dictators in philosophy and science, they also have now altered their tone, and instead of attempting to prove, as heretofore, that Britain was incapable of producing a tolerable painter of any sort, they now discover that Britain pofsesses advantages beyond any other nation; and clearly demonstrate that the British school must of, necefsity rise to a supreme excellence in this art, which none other could ever hope to reach. Whether their prophecies in this respect will prove more true than their former assertions, we pretend not to say; but it is certain that our countrymen will be very willing to believe them in regard to this particular. For their satisfaction the following extract is selected from the last work on the fine arts published in France that has come in our way, not doubting but it will give very general satisfaction to our readers.
Extracts from the DICTIONAIRE des ARTS de PEIN-
The different Schools of Painting characterised. A NEW School is lately formed in England. Though yet in its infancy it has acquired reputation by its succefs; it deserves the applause, and ought to excite the emulation of its seniors, because it is disVOL. XIV.
tinguished by an attention to the noblest branches of the art, excellence of composition, beauty of figure, sublimity of idea, and truth of exprefsion. It is hitherto known to us only by engravings; but artists who have seen the paintings produced in it, have afsured us, that some of its masters unite excellence in colouring with the more sublime parts of the art.` Their colouring is less glaring than that of the Flemish and Venetian painters, and resembles that of the Lombard school. Sir Joshua Reynolds is well known by his discourses on the arts; and the print engraved from his picture of count Ugolino is universally admired. The lovers of the fine arts have also been enabled, by means of prints, to form some estimate of the talents of Mefsrs West, Copley, Gainsborough, Brown, &c. It is said that the Englifh school has produced excellent painters of horses. In each school the distinguishing character may be traced to its cause. In the Roman school it must be ascribed to the excellent education of its first artists, and the beautiful productions discovered amid the ruins of ancient Rome. In the Venetian school to the splendour introduced there by the commerce of the east, to the frequency of festivals and masquerades, and to other circumstances which obliged artists to paint persons magnificently drefsed. In the Dutch school it may be attributed to the sphere of life in which their artists chiefly conversed; they frequented mean public houses, and the work fhops of the lower clafs of mechanics, where they saw vulgar grotesque figures, and were ac