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useful talent a man can be master of, I look upon cunning to be the accomplishment of little, mean, ungenerous
minds. Discretion points out the noblest ends to us, and pursues the most proper and laudable methods of attaining them : Cunning has only private selfish aims, and sticks at nothing which may make them fucceed. Discretion has large and extended views, and, like a well-formed eye, commands a whole horizon : Cunning is a kind of short-fightedness, that discovers the minutest objects which are near at hand, but is not able to discern things at a distance. Difcretion, the more it is discovered, gives a greater authority to the person who poffefses it: Cunning, when it is once detected, loses its force, and make a man incapable of bringing about even those events which he might have done, had he paffed only for a plain
Discretion is the perfection of reason, and a guide to us in all the duties of life, cunning is a kind of instinct, that only looks out after our immediate interest and welfare. Discretion is only found in men of ftrong fenfe and good understand ings: Cunning is often to be met with in brutes themfelves, and in persons who are but the feweft removes from them. In short cunning is only the mimick of discretion, and may pass upon weak men, in the same manner as vivacity is often miftaken for wit, and gravity for wisdom.
The cast of mind which is natural to a discreet man, makes him look forward into futurity, and consider what will be his condition millions of ages heoce, as well as what it is at present. He knows that the misery of happiness which are reserved for him in another world, lose nothing of their reality by being placed at so great distance from hini. The objects do not appear little to him becaufe they are remote. He considers that those pleafures and pains which lie hid in eternity approach nearer to him every moment, and will be pre
fent with him in their full weight and measure, as much as those pains and pleasures which he feels at this
very instant. For this reason he is careful to secure to himself that which is the proper hap-piness of his nature, and the ultimate design of his being. He carries his thought to the end of every. action, and considers the most diftant as well as the most immediate effects of it. He supersedes every little prospect of gain and advantage which offers itself here, if he does not find it consistent with his views of an hereafter. In a word, his hopes are full of immortality, his schemes are large and glori. ous, and his conduct suitable to one who knows his true interest, and how to pursue it by proper methods.
I have, in this essay upon discretion, considered' it both as an accomplishment and as a virtue, and have therefore described it in its full extent; not: only as it is conversant about worldly affairs, but as it regards our whole existence; not only as it is the guide of a mortal creature, but as it is in: general the director of a reasonable being. It is in this light that discretion is represented by the Wise Man, who sometimes mentions it under the. name of discretion, and sometimes under that of wisdom. It is indeed (as described in the latterpart of this paper) thie greatest wisdom, but at the same time in the power
every one to attain. Its advantages are infinite, but its acquisition eafy; or to speakof her in thewords of the Apochryphal writer whom I quoted in my last Saturday's paper, Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away, yet she is eafily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her. She preventeth them that defire her, in making herself first known unto them. He that seeketli her early, shall have no great travel : for he fball find her sitting at his doors. To think therefore uport her is perfection of wisdom, and whoso watcheth for her fall quickly be without care. For foe goeth about seeking such as are worthy of her, sheweth herself fa
vourably unto them in the ways, and meeteth them in every thought.
N° 226. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19..
-Mutum eft pictura poema.
my forrow in several speculations, that the art of painting is made fo little use of to the improvement of our
When we consider that it places the action of the person represented in the most agreeable aspect imaginable, that it does not only express the paflion or concern as it fits upon him who is drawn, but has under those features the height of the painter's imagination, What strong images of virtue and humanity might we not expect would be inftilled into the mind from the labours of the pencil ? There is a poetry which would be understood with much less capacity, and less expence of time, than what is taught by writings; but the use of it is generally perverted, and that admirable fkill prostifuted to the baseft and most unworthy ends. Who is the better man for beholding the most beautiful Venus, the best wrought Bacchanal, the images of sleeping Cupids, languishing nymphs, or any of the representations of gods, goddesses, demigods, fatyrs, Polyphemes, sphinxes, or fawns? But if the virtues and vices, which are fometimes pretended to be reprefented under fi:ch draughts, were given us by the painter in the characters of real life, and the persons of men and women whose actions have rendered them laudable or infamous; we should not fee a good history-piece without receiving an instructive lecture. There needs no other proof of this truth, than the testimony of every reasonable creature who has feen the cartons in her Majef='
ty's gallery at Hampton-Court : These are representations of no less actions than those of our blessed Saviour and his apostles. As I now fit and recollect the warm images which the admirable Raphael has raised, it is impossible even from the faint traces in one's memory of what one has not seen these two years, to be unmoved at the horror and reverence which appear in the whole assembly when the mercenary man fell down dead; at the amazement of the man born blind, when he first receives fight;, or at the graceless indignation of the forcerer, when he is struck blind. The lame, when they first find strength in their feet, stand doubtful: of their new vigour. The heavenly apostles appear acting thefe great things, with a deep sense of the infirmities which they relieve, but no value of themselves who administer to their weakness. They know themselves to be but instruments; and the generous distress they are painted in when divine honours are offered to them, is a representation in the most exquisitive degree of the beauty of holi. ness. When St. Paul is preaching to the Athenie ans, with what wonderful art are almost all the different tempers of mankind represented in that.. elegant audience? You see one credulous of all that is said, another wrapt up in deep suspense, another saying there is some reason in what he says, another angry that the apostle destroys a favourite opinion which he is unwilling to give up, another wholly. convinced and holding out his hands in rapture, while the generality attend, and wait for the opinion of those who are of leading characters in the affembly. I will not preterd so much as to mention that chart in which is drawn the appearance of our bleffed Lord after his resurrection. Present. authority, late sufferings, humility and majesty, despotick command, and divine love, are at once. feated in his celestial aspect. The figures of the eleven apostles are all in the fame paffion of admi
ration, but discover it differently according to their characters. Peter receives his master's orders on his knees with an admiration mixed with a more particular attention: The two next with a more open ecstasy, though still constrained by the awe of the divine presence : The beloved disciple, whom I take to be the right of the two first figures, has in his countenance wonder drowned in love ; and the last personage, whose back is towards the fpeçtators, and his side towards the presence, one would fancy to be St. Thomas, as abashed by the conscience of his former diffidence; which perplexed concern it is possible Raphael thought too hard a task to draw but by this acknowledgment of the difficulty to describe it.
The whole work is an exercise of the highest piety in the painter ; and all the touches of a religious mind are expressed in a manner much more forcible than can poilibly be performed by the most moving eloquence. These invaluable pieces are very justly in the hands of the greatest and most pious sovereign in the world; and cannot be the frequent object of every one at their own leisure : But as an engraver is to the painter what a printer is to an author, it is worthy her Majesty's name, that she has encouraged that noble artist, Monfieur Dorigny, to publish these works of Raphael. We have of this Gentleman a piece of the transfiguration, which, I think, is held a work second to none in the world.
Methinks it would be ridiculous in our people of condition after their large bounties to foreigners of no name or merit, should they overlook this occafion of having, for a trifling subscription, a work which it is impossible for a man of sense to bebold without being warmed with the noblest sentiments, that can be inspired by love, admiration, compasfion, conteinpt of this world, and expectation of a better.