Page images
PDF
EPUB

No. 226. Humanity might we not expect would be instilled into Monday, the Mind from the Labours of the Pencil? This is a Nov. 19, 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 Skill prostituted to the basest 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, Demygods, Satyrs, Polyphemes, Sphinxes or Fauns? But if the Virtues and Vices which are sometimes pretended to be represented under such Draughts, were given us by the Painter in the Chari acters of real Life, and the Persons of Men and Women whose Actions have rendered them laudable or in famous; we should not see 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 seen the Cartons in her Majesty's Gallery at Hampton-Court: These are Repre sentations of no less Actions than those of our Blessed Saviour and his Apostles. As I now sit 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 Horrour and Reverence which appears in the whole Assembly when the mer cenary Man fell down dead; at the Amazement of the Man born blind, when he first receives Sight, or at the graceless Indignation of the Sorcerer, 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 these 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 exquisite Degree of the Beauty of Holiness When St. Paul is preaching to the Athenians, with what

wonderful

wonderful Art are almost all the different Tempers of No. 226. Mankind represented in that elegant Audience You Monday,

Nov. 19, I see one credulous of all that is said, another wrapt up 1711 in deep Suspence, another saying there is some reason in what he says, another angry that the Apostle de stroys 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 Charcacters in the Assembly. I will not pretend so much as to mention that Chart on which is drawn the Appearance of our Blessed Lord after his Resurrection Present Authority, late Suffering, Humility and Majesty, Despotick Command and Divine Love, are at once seated in his Celestial Aspect. The Figures of the Eleven Apostles are all in the same Passion of Admiration, 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 Extasie, 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 Spectator and his Side to wards 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 re expressed in a manner much more forcible than can possibly be performed by the most moving Eloquence. These invaluable Pieces are very justly in the Hands of he greatest and most pious Soveraign in the World, and cannot be the frequent Object of every one at their wn Leisure : But as an Engraver is to the Painter, what

Printer is to an Author, it is worthy Her Majesty's Name, that she has encouraged that noble Artist

, Monsieur Dorigny, to publish these Works of Raphael

. We

No. 226.
Monday,
Nov. 19,
1711

We have of this Gentleman a Piece of the Transfigura tion, which 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 Occasion of having, for a trifling Subscription, a Work which it is impossible for a Man of Sense to behold, without being warmed with the noblest Sentiments that can be inspired by Love, Admiration, Compassion, Contempt of this World, and Expectation of a Better.

It is certainly the greatest Honour we can do our Country, to distinguish Strangers of Merit who apply to us with Modesty and Diffidence, which generally accompanies Merit No Opportunity of this kind ought to be neglected; and a modest Behaviour should alarm us to examine whether we do not lose something excel lent under that Disadvantage in the Possessor of that Quality. My Skill in Paintings, where one is not directed by the Passion of the Pictures, is so inconsider, able, that I am in very great Perplexity when I offer to speak of any Performances of Painters of Landskips, Buildings, or single Figures. This makes me at a Loss how to mention the pieces which Mr. Boul exposes to Sale by Auction on Wednesday next in Shandois street But having heard him commended by those who have bought of him heretofore for great Integrity in his Dealing, and overheard him himself (tho a laudable Painter) say nothing of his own was fit to come into the Room with those he had to sell, I feared I should lose an Occasion of serving a Man of Worth in omitting to speak of his Auction,

ADVERTISEMENT There is arrived from Italy a Painter who acknow ledges himself the greatest Person of the Age in that Art, and is willing to be as renowned in this Island as he declares he is in foreign Parts.

The Doctor paints the Poor for nothing.

T

Tuesday

No. 227.

No. 227.

Tuesday, [ADDISON.]

Tuesday, November 20,

Nov, 20, "Ώ μoι εγώ τι πάθω ; τί ο δύσσοος; ουχ υπακούεις ;

1711.
Ταν βαίταν αποδύς εις κύματα τηνα αλεύμαι,
Ωπερ τως θύννως σκοπιάζεται "Όλπις ο γριπεύς·

Κήκα μη 'ποθάνω, τό γε μάν τεόν αδύ τέτυκται.-Τheoc.
IN my last Thursday's Paper I made mention of a

raised a great Curiosity among several of my Correspondents. I there told them that this Leap was used a to be taken from a Promontory of Leucas. This Leucas was formerly a Part of Acarnanía, being joined to it by a narrow Neck of Land, which the Sea has by length of time overflowed and washed away; so that at present Leucas is divided from the Continent, and is a little Island in the Ionian Sea. The Promontory of this Island, from whence the Lover took his Leap, was formerly called Leucate. If the Reader has a mind to know both the Island and the Promontory by their Modern Titles, he will find in his Map the Ancient Island of Leucas under the Name of St Mauro, and the Ancient Promon

tory of Leucate under the Name of the Cape of St. Mauro, - Since I am engaged thus far in Antiquity, I must observe that Theocritus in the Motto prefixed to my Paper, describes one of his despairing Shepherds address. ing himself to his Mistress after the following manner, Alas! What will become of me? Wretch that I am! Will you not hear me ? I'll throw off my Cloaths, and take a Leap into that part of the Sea which is so much frequented by Olphis the Fisherman. And tho' I should escape with my Life, I know you will be pleased with it. I shall leave it with the Criticks to determine whether the Place which the Shepherd so particularly points out, was not the above mentioned Leucate, or at least some other Lover's Leap, which was supposed to have had the same Effect. I cannot believe, as all the Interpreters do, that the Shepherd means nothing further here, than that he would drown himself, since he represents the issue of his Leap as doubtful, by adding that if he should escape with Life, he knows his Mistress would be pleased with it; which is, according

to

II 165

H

No. 227. to our Interpretation, that she would rejoice any way to Tuesday, get rid of a Lover, who was so troublesome to her. Nov. 20, After this short Preface I shall present my Reader 171L

with some Letters which I have received upon this Subject. The first is sent me by a Physician,

* Mr. SPECTATOR, The Lover's Leap which you mention in your Two hundred and twenty third Paper, was generally, I believe, a very effectual Cure for Love, and not only for Love, but for all other Evils. In short, Sir, I am afraid it was such a Leap as that which Hero took to get rid of her Passion for Leander. A Man is in no danger of break ing his Heart, who breaks his Neck to prevent it I know very well the Wonders which Ancient Authors relate concerning this Leap; and in particular, that very many Persons who tried it escaped not only with their Lives, but their Limbs. If by this means they got rid of their Love, tho' it may in part be ascribed to the Reasons you give for it; why may not we suppose

, that the Cold Bath into which they plunged themselves, had also some share in their Cure 3 A Leap into the Sea, or into any Creek of Salt Waters, very often gives a new Motion to the Spirits, and a new Turn to the Blood, for which reason we prescribe it in Distempers which no other Medicine will reach. I could produce a Quotation out of a very venerable Author, in which the Phrenzy produced by Love is compared to that which is produced by the biting of a mad Dog. But as this Comparison is a little too coarse for your Paper, and might look as if it were cited to ridicule the Author who has made use of it, I shall only hint at it, and desire you to consider whether if the Phrenzy produced by these two different Causes be of the same Nature, it may not very properly be cured by the same Means

I am,

Sir, Your most humble Servant,

and Well-wisher, ESCULAPIUS.'

Mr.

« PreviousContinue »