Page images
PDF
EPUB

"How much is all this different from drally less and less, as the spunginess what is required in the kindred art of of the paper literally imbibes the Drawing, and in whichi, experience tells moisture of the ink. On this lait us, that almost every young person will account it has been sometimes ob. foon appear to make a progress that not served ("y a figure bold enough, in. only gives real pleasure to the parent, deed), that there is as much difference but comparatively makes the tnition of hetwixt the appearance of a piece of a writing-mafter seem the efforts of fine penmannip, just finished and its downright weakness or stupidity. Here, appearance a few days afterwards, as if a young person have a leaf, á flower, between the same perion when living or other ealy and ordinary particular, and when dead. to draw, if the copy made come any Besides the arts that terminate (as thing near the original in thape, it will we have before observed) in agreeable in some degree be pleasing; because lafting productions, there are other kinds whatever form it have, it no doubt has in which their mere exbibition yields the been a thousand times justified in na- pleasure they are intended to produce; ture; and hence, on the powerful prin- such as Practiral Music, Dancing, Tumciple of imitation, it must exlibit or bling, and the like, and in which arts, suggest some degree of beauty. The there no doubt is manifeited great dexbeauties of drawing mostly refer to terity. But we may observe, that this general nature; and in that there is dexteri:y is ftill of a kind different from not required any very troublesome that mewn in writing; and whether it precision. Precision, then, being here require superior powers (inental and little wanted, and dexterity in handling organical) in what it performs, is left the pen or pencil not at all, we need not to the reader to judge, when he has wonder at the apparent superior pro. considered, that in the performance gress just noticed in that province of under notice they may gain their end tuition. Like' remarks might be made very laudably independent of the priwith respect to some other branches of cision required in the penman; lince education. But what is here intimated a succeflion of evanescent effects is may be sufficient to answer the purpose their object, without any regard to for which it is introduced, and which

an exact distinguishable routine, or manwill also shew the reason why, amid the ner of producing them, and in which a number of pieces of drawing exhibited kind of loose is given to an organical. in many families to the credit of the motion : whereas, on the contrary, we young people, we fo seldom find one find the Writer is governed more by, specimen of writing adorn the port- resiraints than exertions; more by ftriatly folio, or displayed behind glass in a prescribed mediums than by effective gilded frame.

ends; and that hence he is to attentive Another accidental disadvantage to confine his hand, that what he does which attends Penmanship may deserve' may be often injured by the beating of also to be just noticed. In perhaps a pulse. every other art there is something The reader may also just consider' gained to its intrinsic worth from the whether the art of striking flourishes natural beauties of its materials; frum' and letters (as it is called) with a locse the richnesi, texture, colour, c.; and elbow be not an art fomething like which beauties again are often set off those of the above kind, only that with polish, varnish, or (as the painters it can produce a permanent effect, which day). Effict from distance: whereas in is in itself both accurate and ingewriting this is so far from being the nious; and which friking has been case, that the performance every mi. fomewhere thus deicribed in very

elea nute looks the worfe after the ink is gant verse : dry upon the paper; for then a pleasing * Sure in its flight, tho swift as eaglesan glofs is at an end, and the beauty which wings,

['prings ;. arises from fineness of edge grows gra- The pen commands, and the bold figure

“ Swist, true, and fair, good readers, I present ;

Art, pen, and hand, have play'd their parts in me;
Mind, wit, and eye, do yield their free confent;

Skill, rule, and grace, give all their gains to thee;
Swift art, true pen, fair hand, together meet,
Mind, wit, and eye, fkill, rules, and grace co great."

[ocr errors]

1

While the flow pencil's di continued pace capital piece of writing deserves to Repeats the stroke, but cannot Inatch the appear among the productions of the grace."

polite arts; that the principles of Pen

manship are more numerous, and better Io fine, when we take into the pen.' founded on true taite, than may in inan's province the art of firiking juit cominon be imagined; that the grace. mentioned, and conlider the eminent ful and eziy flow of its touches will be beauties which may be produced by a often found superior to any thing pro. due intermixture of the various orna. duced in its imitation by the engraver inental hands now in 1, let off with and the rolling-prels; and that it has fcrawls (or flourishes) weil formed and truly merited the golden and filver judicioully placed, we ihall find (as has pens «hich have fometimes been given frequently been the case of late), thata by the public for its encouragement.:

LEISURE AMUSEMENTS.

NUMBER VI.

He who possesses abilities, without you will altogether lay it aside ? Until

fuiticient exertion to bring thole ihat time arrives, however, it thall be abilities into action, poflefies what is of my butinels to comply, as far as in my no benefit to himself or to fociety; for power, with your requeit; persuaded concerled abilities, like concealed gold, that my utmost endeavours will not have only imaginary valie.

make your folitude fuiferable; for if it In proof of tliis obfervation, I fhall had that effect, I am too lelt-interested, offer for the perufal of my readers the and know too well the benefits ariling following letter, which I have written from your conversation, to have trouto persuade a friend to return from vo bled you with this letter. luntary obscurity, and resume an active Since your departure, I assure you, part in society, for which his former my mind' has often been employed in conduct had mewn him peculiarly considering whatinducement you could formed. I am well aware the subject of have to take a ttep to unexpected, and it has been often difcuflod, and that fu contrary to your former conduct. I probably all the remarks may not be know it has not been uncommon for entirely new; for that would be more men ambitious of power to resign that than I could expect, when a Johnson course of life in which they find it im. has employed his unequalled powers poilıble to have their unruly wishes of ridicule and argument on the same gratitięd; but for Palamedes in the topic.

prime of life, with no ambition but the All the alterations I have made from saudable one of benefiting his fellowthe original, in the copy I here prelent .creatures, to embrace a life of obícurity, to the public, are to fubititute fictitious and hy that means voluntarily leflenthe for real names, and to retrench all para- , opportunities of gratifying that prailegraphs of a private, and consequently worthy ambition, leems a change not uninteresting nature.

eatly to be accounted for on rational

principles. London, August 13th, 1803. I can attribute this sudden alteration MY DEAR SIR,

to no other caule but a too implicit beWhen first I heard of your resolution lief in the poetical and, falle defcrip. to retire, you may perhaps recollect I tions of the pleatures of retirement, deprecated the delign, and foretuid it with which fome authors have thought would not be of long duration. My proper to amule themfelves. Like ine thoughts, I now find, were not far renowned hero of Cervantes, who by wrong; for although scarce settled in reading romanees in which the heroic your retreat. I find, by your lait letter, actions of chivalry were relateit, deteryour mind is ftill within the bustle of mined to imitate those actions, you this overgrown metropolis. It you have, by reading another species of have already flipped off the hermitis authors, become an enthusiastic admi. cloak so far, may not your friends rea rer of the equally imaginary scenes they fonably expect, in a longer period, that describe. But you should have remem.

P 2

bered,

bered, the best of authors are but men, those faculties will enable them. Tell and from that principle in human na me, my friend, whether you think it ture to be discontented with their own proper, abilities formed to direct the lot, have often praised that of another, affairs of a great nation, or defend it only because they are unacquainted against the attacks of an enemy, thould with its disadvantages.

be employed in keeping caterpillars Perhaps you would enquire what rea- from a favourite fruit-tree, or in varyson I have for supposing you incapable ing the tints of a tulip? Was Cincinof enjoying retirement? This query I natus at the plough so valuable, or la can very easily answer. You have to commendable, as when commanding an overcome a habit occasioned by living army, or in the Senate ? No! my friend, an active life. To overcome that habit the post of honour is always that in require's great resolution ; and that re- which we are able to do molt good to solution, I think, you do not possess. society. Pope, in his Sapphic Ode, has But I am far from thinking this want given us a picture of retirement; but 'of resolution in the least depreciates is the selfish inactivity he there describes your character; for bow many persons fo consonant with philanthropy as the distinguished for talents and virtue, virtuous exertions of the Man of Ross ? have, like yourself, formed plans of Inactivity, if we have the powers of retirement; yet how few have put action, is certainly ignoble; and I am these in execution, even when in their very sure, in whatever situation you power!

are settled, it will not be one of your But other circumstances give me rea- faults. I know you must be employed son to hope your retirement will vot be in acts of benevolence; but imagine very obstinate. I think, on maturely you will not have sufficient scope for considering the subject, you will be your abilities in the solitary walk of convinced that your conduct does not life you have lately chosen. become the title of a good member of I have now given you my sentiments Society, which you have hitherto so me on this subject, and have some hopes, if ritorioufly deserved. If I can persuade they do not convince, they will at least you of the truth of this remark, I am serve to bring the subject again under certain you will not be long in correcto your consideration. Give it but feing your error.

rious attention, and I am almost confiThat every man fhould benefit his dent of your conviction. If, however, fellow-mortals according to his abili. you still continue firm in your determities, and not defist until age or bodily nation,

your reply to the arguments I infirmity compels him, I think, is a have offered will give me much pleamaxim founded on the unalterable laws fure; for although your return to this of nature. That man cannot, then, be metropolis is what I earnestly with, called a good member of society, who yet, whatever be your place of res. js satisfied with the negative virtue of dence, doing no mischief, but he must employ his talents in doing good. Mankind

MY DEAR SIR, were not bleft with faculties to permit those faculties to lie dormant, but to Your sincere friend and admirer, act as far approaching perfection as

HERANIO,

I am,

BATAVIA ;

OR, A PICTURE OF THE UNITED PROVINCES : IN A SERIES OF LETTERS, WRITTEN DURING A TOUR THROUGH THE

BATAVIAN REPUBLIC IN THE YEAR 1802.

(Continued from Page 28.) LETTER VII.

If the building stood on the frontiers To tbe SAME.

of the town, it might be mistaken for a

Amsterdam, Mæy. fort or tower ; the basement foor of The next object which caught our at which is appropriated to the purposes

tention in this city was the Sur- of a weigh-bouse. Having ascended, geons' Hall, which we visited chiefly by a narrow, dirty staircase, to the aparton account of the paintings.

ments of the Museum, I could not but

admire a torpidity of feeling in the ref- of benches, which rise gradually above dent guide and his family, who were each other. deliberately drinking coffee amidst a In the vacant spaces under the higher groupe of skeletons! Could you have circles of benches, are crowded, in a avoided smiling at a scene like this? confused manner, several subjects of The flent horror which creeps o'er natural history, connected with the the soul, on viewing the awful relics studies of physic and anatomy; here of frail mortality, was relieved by the also, mixed with the filent throng of fang froid with which the old Skeleton- fishes, animals, &c. are preserved the monger drank his coffee, at every skeleton remains of those who were interval spinning out his thread of once the terror of minkind, robbers narrative with anecdotes of those once and murderers, diftinguished from the animated bones!! Query, Whether common herd of delinquents by their such a familiarity with the dry bones is hardy defiance and contempt of the not the firmeft barrier against the shocks laws: one lank skeleton is exhibited of mortality? Those who can view a without a morsel of flesh, and said to be keleton with so much composure, are, clad in the habiliments which witneffed probably, fortified more trongly againit the depredations which the owner comthe fears of death than those who have micted. Another is in the same itare, beheld it only at a distance. Perhaps who (it is said) leaped over a canal you can tell me, whether the idea of a eighteen feet wide, with a woman in ikeleton is always associated in the mind his arms; he is mounted upon the with that of a dissolution of the frame horse that he usually rode, and wears of nature? I am of opinion, that they now as venerable an aspect as any may, and frequently do, exist entirely Ghost of Monk Lewis or Mrs. Radindependent of each other; though cliffe. In contemplating such obje&s, they are so firmly united in me, that I the mind feels a secret horror and de could as soon accomplif an impossibi- teltation of vice; they appeal more lity as separate them in my own mind; powerfully to the feelings than the if the effect occur to the imagination, tame declamation of a world of mothe cause must go along with it; yet í ralists, and incline the heart more am fatisfied that our old man felt no effe&tually to the side of virtue than sensations of the kind.

the most impressive lessons of a di. Having finished his coffee and skele. vine : on seeing these, we are ready to tonian conversation, he conducted us exclaim into a mean apartment, filled with dried keletons, monstrous births, distorted And is this all! the poor remains of you {pines, and all the long et cetera which Who made so many tremble: you who, belong to the ftudy of anatomy; but Delpifing right and justice, bathed ią we turned with pleasure from a scene blood where there was nothing to amuse, but The mother and her siniling innocent! at the expence of our feelings, to an You, who mock'd at law's authority, eminent picture by Vandyke, wherein And bore, without controul, detested he has grouped several heads of the sway ?

(afhes most eminent in the professions of To think how low you lay, e'en your surgery and anatomy. Rembrandt's Cannot rest in peace ; but as the tranger piece is a chef d'æuvre. It represents looks a diffection, and is so nearly animated, With eyes of admiration on your bones, that a mind unaccustomed to such ope. The Keeper thakes the thong-bound rations feels a convulfive shock at this joints, and says, (prey'd well-executed counterfeit of reality. “ That man was a murd'rer, and nightly There are several portraits, two of Upon the defenceless and unwary !". which are attributed to Rubens; but

Cursed thought ! the admirers of this great matter will And cursed luft of wealth! Was it to not be eafily perfuaded to allow them so much merit; it is certain that they are Riches for some prodigal ? or to stay vaftly inferior to the other works of The loud appeals of hungry appetite that divine painter.

And yawning want, that thus you The Anatomy Hall is circular, with bought a table in the centre, round which are So hateful an immortality ?benches for the Professors; and the Or did you with, like th' incendiary of Students are seated round on ranges old,

To

heap up

To gain a deathless name, however base of forming a true estimate of the state The arts you might employ to purchase it? of manners and society wherever me He fir'd a temple, and thus incurrid are : proceeding on such a plan, we The hot releniment ot its worshippers. tall perceive, that those leveral actions No! to court such fame was never your and propenfities which appear inconintent.

[ure, fitent at first view are parts of a You hoped to save your lives from forfeit- whole, and may be referred indiscrimiAnd steal unknown to dark oblivion's nately to one source, from wbich every cell.

Ljuitice would, thought and perception emanates. Yes! you never dreami, perhaps, that A national character every where With iron vengeance, overtake your exilts: the people may make some pro. crimes,

gress in refinement, luxury may enero Hold you up a dread spectacle to man, vate, and science enlighten them, but And give to fame the record of your they only soften the figure, and thade it tate!

agreeably; the character, the phyfiogBlind but unerring, thee I chief revere, nomy, and physiology, fill bear the Who marks the tooiiteps of a murderer, marks of originality, are fiill unique. And follows clude the heels of villains. It is true, the texture of the mind is

ofte'n

very difficult to ascertain, even in Are you not astonished at the length the most systematical mode of investi. of iny poetical episode, cr, it you pleale, gation ; yet this dificulty is confidershapioły? Whatever faults it may have ably increased by the talle method of in respect of poetical nerit, your gene- conducting our reasoning on the fubpolity' and candour will excuse them; jećt; from cafes we inter principles, all I can say is, that it proceeded warm and on those principles erect a syitem

from the heart, and while the idea was as fallacions as the firit point of our | yet itiongly painted in the imagina: reasoning. It is the time in the phytition.

ology of the mind as in geometry; the To attempt a catalogue of the vari. book of Nature must be itudient closely, ous curiotities which excited particular it furnishes its with the roots or radical potice, is inconfiftent with my plan, principles of the human heart. He and too difficult for my abilities to exe who has well digested the eleinents of cute; to you the account would be Euclid has laid in a stock of conclusive infipid, as the fibjects only derive im- principles, with which he can segularly portance in the degree that we are ana proceed in the more abitrule Iciences, tomically inclined. The collection is the properties and relations of unvery extensive, and seemingly arranged known lines are inferred, obtained, and on a systematic plan.

demonttrated, from the properties of lines that are known. Ifihe geometri.

cian with to discover the relations of Having, in my lait, finished an account two lines to each other, or to a third of the Stadthouse and the Surgeons' line in a figure, he calls in his elementHall, you will undoubtedly expect this ary principles, draws a circle, erects or packet to contain tome defcription of the lets fall a perpendicular, draws a line Rasp and Spin Houles. So far you are parallel, or in a given angle to another right. It is generally my firit object line, &c.; and thus, from the relations on entering a town to vilit the public of the known lines, le discovers that edifices, as it is there we are to learn of the unknown ones. the outlines of the taste and manners of And he who has studied the book of the people. When this outline is care Nature is in poffeffion of a fund equally fully traced, the features may be gradu- rich and extentive. He can know noally and correctly obtained, if we ailimi- thing of mathematics who has not fixed late with the manners of the natives, in his memory a competent knowledge and attend them through every vary. of Euclid, at every ttep feeling in. ing scene; mark their political and volved in new difficulties; and he religious sentiments, their ideas of the will be ever liable to misconceptions social compact, their thoughts and sen- who has the trouble of searching for timents on the commonwealthis of a cause when an effect is produced : Greece and Rome. If we visit them in ftudy the human heart; there lies the their commercial transactions, in ail chain of causes to which every action their amusements, and the minutiæ of in life is correspondent. domestic economy, we fall hardly fail The Rasp House, or House of Core

rection,

LETTER VIII.

« PreviousContinue »