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“ He allows himself these relaxations only when he “ is tired with the more weighty affairs and con"cernments.” Finally, that they would univerfally contend to do some great thing, as who fhould noft merit of the sciences, by setting their hands to the promotion of experimental and useful knowlege, for the universal benefit and good of mankind. · This, this alone, would render them deservedly honourable indeed ; and add a luftre to their memories, beyond that of their painted titles, which (without some folid virtue) render but their defects the more confpicuous to those, who know how to make a right estimate of things, and, by whose tongues and pens only, their trophies and elogies can ever hope to surmount and out-laft the vicillitudes of fortune.
c H A P. VI.
Of the new way of engraving, or Mezzotinto,
Prince RUPERT, COUNT PALATINE OF
E have already advertised the reader in one
of our preliminaries, why we did omit what had been by us prepared for the accomplishment · of the more mechanical part of the CHALCOGRAPHICAL art: but it was not out of the least design to abufe him in the title at the frontispeice of this history; since we believed he would most readily commute for the defect of a mystery fo vulgar, to be gratified with another altogether “rare, extra“ ordinary, universally approved of, admired by « all who have considered the effects of it, and, « which (as yet) has by none been ever published.”
Nor may I, without extraordinary ingratitude, conceal that illuftrious NAME which did communicate it to me; nor the obligation which the curious have to that heroic PERSON, who was pleased to impart it to the werld, though by so incompetent and unworthy an-instrument.
It would appear a paradox, to discourse to you of a graving, without a graver, burin, point, oro aqua fortis, and yet is THIS performed without the assistance of either. That what gives our most perite and dextrous artists the greatest trouble, and is longest finishing; (for such are the hatches
and deepest shadows in plates) should be here the least considerable, and the most expeditious ; that, on the contrary, the lights should be in this the most laborious, and yet performed with the greatest facility; that what appears to be effected with so little curiosity, should yet so accurately resemble what is generally esteemed the very greatest, viz. that a PRINT should emulate even the best of DRAWINGS CHIARO OSCURO, or (as the ITALIANS term it) peices of the MEZZOTINTO, so as nothing either of UGO DA CARPI, or any of those other masters who pursued his attempt, and whose works we have already celebrated, have exceeded or indeed approached, especially for that of PorTRAITS, FIGURES, tender LANDSCHAPES, and History, &c. to which it seems most appropriate and applicable.
This obligation then we have to his HIGHNESS PRINCE RUPERT, Count PALATINE OF Rhine, &c. who has been pleased to cause the instruments to be expresly fitted, to shew me, with his own hands, how to manage and conduct them on the plate, that it might produce the effects I have so much magnified, and am here ready to shew the world, in a peice of his own illustrious touching * which he was pleased to honour this work withal, not as a venal addition to the price of the book (though for which alone it is most valuable) but a particular grace, as a specimen of what we have alleged, and to adorn this present chapter,
* The MEZZOTINTO in this edition, is an EXACT COPY of Prince RUPERT's, done by Mr. HOUSTON.