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but at the same time rejoice to find, think it plainly appears, that the that, in this enlightened age, there present exorbitant price of proviis ignorance still left amongst us, lions, and all the necessaries of life, fufficient to produce so disinterested chiefly arises from the increase of a patriot.
our taxes, and of our riches; that, Lastly, from the foregoing pre- is, from public 'poverty and primises one consequence evidently vate opulence, the faral disease appears, which seems to have é. which has put a period to all the fcaped the fagacity of our wifeft greatest and moft flourishing empoliticians, which is, that a nation pires of the world: their deftruc. may, nay muft, inevitably be ruin. tive effects have been fufficiently ed, who every year increases her known in all ages ; but the remedebts, notwithstanding her acqui. dy successfully to be applied to fitions by conqueft or commerce them, is yet a secret. No acqui. bring in double or treble the sums lition of foreign wealth can be efwhich she is obliged to borrow ; fectual for this purpose: was our and this by a chain of causes and whole national debt to bę at once consequences, which the efforts of paid off, by the introduction of all no human power or wisdom are the treasures of the East, it would able to difunite. New debts re- but accelerate our destruction ; for quire new taxes ; and new taxes 'such a vast and sudden influx of must increase the price of provi. riches would so enhance our exfons : new acquisitions of wealth, pences, and decrease the value of by decreasing the value of money, money, that we should at once be fill aggravate this evil, and render overwhelmed with luxury and want. them ftill dearer; this dearness of The moft concise method of cure provisions must augment the price would be to take fuperabundant of labour; this must advance the wealth from individuals, and with price of all manufactures; and this it discharge the debts of the public; muft deftroy trade; the deftruction but here justice, liberty, and law, of trade muft ftarve the poor, ex- would obstruct our progress with pel the manufactures, and intro. insurmountable difficulties. Whoduce universal bankruptcy, riot, ever therefore would attempt this and confusion. Artificers of all salutary, but arduous undertaking, kinds will, by degrees, migrate must not begin by extirpating en. into cheaper countries: the num- groffers and regraters, nor by deber of clergy, whose education Iroying rats and sparrows, those must grow more expensive, and great forestallers of the public incomes less valuable, will be in- markets; but by gradually paying sufficient for parochial duty: the off that debt, not only by econopay of navies and armies must be my, but by the most avaricious augmented, or they will no longer parlimony, and as far as poflible, by defend a country which cannot narrowing those channels, through maintain them ; but rather them. which riches have flowed in such selves become her internal and most torrents into the pockets of private dangerous enemies.
men : he must be deaf to all mes. From what has been here faid, I cantile application for opening new inlets of commerce at the public and impracticable ; for not exc. expence : he must boldly refift all cuting which, government is arpropofitions for settling new colo- raigned; the ignorant support nies upon parliamentary estimates; them, the factious make use of and most carefully avoid entering them, and oppositions, knowing into new wars : in short, he must what it is to be hungry, pathetical. obftinately refuse to add one hun. ly bewail the miseries of the poor, dred thousand pounds to the na. The dowager at the quadrille table tional debt, though by that means inveighs loudly against the cruelty millions could be introduced thro' of parliament, for
disregarding the the hands of individuals, How voice of the people, and suffering far these measures are practicable, provisions to continục at fo exor or consistent with the honour, dig. bitant a price; calls a king; and nity, or even advantage of this if the happens to be beafted, grows country in other respects, I cannot more outrageous agaioft the mini. determine ; but this I will venture try; while the filent old general, to affirm, that by no others this her unfortunate pariner, in three calamity, so loudly and fo juftly at sentences recommends military exthis time complained of, can ever ecution on all butchers, bakers, be redressed.
poulterers, and fish mongers, as the By what has been here thrown most equitable and most effectual out, I would by no means be un- remedy: Were these impertinences derstood to mean to discourage the productive of no mischief, they legislature from inquiring into a. would be only ridiculous, and un buses, of which I doubt not but worthy of a serious confutation; there are many, and applying to but as them the most efficacious and speedy remedies; much less to disap
He nuge feria ducunt prove the salutary measures they have already taken to redress this evil, the wiseft, and perhaps the they tend to deceive, to disaponly ones which are practicable for point, and to exasperate the minds that end. I propose only to leffen of the vulgar, and to leave those of the unreasonable expectations ma- their betters disconiented, and dil. ny have formed of their success, fatisfied with government ;, whatand the indignation consequent ever shall explain the true and funfrom their disappointment; and todamental causes of this calamity Item a little thote torrents of ab. to the people, and give some check surdities, with which one is over to the nonsense, which is every whelmed in all companies, both where wrote, talked, and propa. male and female. Every politi- gated on this subject, is an attempt cian at a coffee-house has a noftrum which may render great and imfor this disease, which he pro. portant-service both to the social nounces infallible ; and abuses ad- and the political world, miniftration for not immediately adopting it. Projectors every day hold forth schemes upintelligible
In male ;
An Tay upon theatrical imitation ; Confined by his art to this single
extracted from the dialogues of subject; this artist is only capable Plato, by 1. 9. Rouffeau. (Tran- of making this, or other palaces pated from a vol. of Rouffiau's fimilar: but there are some that works newly published.)
are much more universal, who pro
duce all that can be executed by establishment of our imagi- world; all that is produced by na. hary republic, the more strongly it ture, all that can be rendered vifi. appears to me, that we have pre. ble in heaven, upon earth, in hell, scribed for it laws that are useful even the gods themselves. You and appropriated to the nature of comprehend that these marvellous man. I find, in particular, that it artists are painters, and indeed, the was necessary to give as we have most ignorant of men can do the done, fome bounds to the licences fame with a looking-glass. You of poets, and to forbid their using will tell me that the painter does any part of their art that relates to not make these things, but only imitation. We will now, if you their images : the workman does please, refume this subject; and in no more who really fabricates them, the belief that you will not inform as he copies a model that exists beagainst me to those dangerous ene- fore him. mies, I will acknowledge, that I I there see three palaces very disa look upon all dramatic writers as tinct. First, the original model, or the corrupters of the people. For idea, that exifted in the mind of whoever, letting themselves be a- the architect, in nature, or at least mused by their images, are inca- in its author, with all the posible pable of receiving them in their ideas of which it is the spring. real point of light, or of giving Secondly, the palace of the archi. these fables such correction as they tect, which is the image of this require. Whatever respect I en- model ; and at length the palace tertain for Homer, their model and of the painter, which is the image first master, I do not think I owe of that of the architect. Thus God, more to him than I do to truth; the architect, and the painter, are and in order to begin by securing the author of these three palaces. it to me, I shall endeavour to trace The first palace is the original idea, what is imitation.
existing by itself; the second is the To imitate a thing, an idea must image of this; the third is the be fornied. This idea is abstract, image of the image, or what we abfolute, fole, and independent of properly call imitation. Hence it the number of copies of this thing follows, that imitation does not, which may exist in nature. This as it is imagined, hold the second idea is always antecedent to its rank, but the third in the order of execution : fo the architect who beings; and that no image being builds a palace, hath the idea of a exact and perfect, imitation is als palace before he sets about build. ways at a ftill more diftant degree ing it. He does not construct the from truth, than it is believed. model he follows, and this model The architect may construc se was previously in his mind. veral palaces upon the fame model;
the painter draw several pictures endeavour to give an exact and true from the same palace : but as to the representation of the object, but the type, or original model, it is fingu- appearance. He paints it as it seems Jar, for if there were two which re. to be, and not as it really is; he sembled each other, they would be paint it in one single point of view; no longer original; they would and this point of view being the have an original model common to choice of his own will, he renders, both, and that alone would be the according as he pleases, the same real type. All that I have faid here object agreeable, or deformed, to of painting is applicable to theatri. the eyes of the spectator. Wherecal'imitation ; but before we de. fore it does not depend upon them scend to this, let us examine a little to judge of the thing imitated, in closer the imitations of the painter. itself; but they are compelled to
He does not only confine his judge of it upon certain appearimitations in his pictures to the ances, and as it pleases the imitaimages of things, that is, the fenfi- tor; they often judge by mere ble productions of nature, and the habit, and there are arbiters even works of art; but he does not even in imitation*.
Experience evinces that the finest harmony does not flatter an ear that is not preposseffed in its favour; that nothing but custom renders concord agree. able, and makes us distinguish it from the most dissonant intervals. As to the fimplicity of the connection, upon which it has been endeavoured to lay the bahis of the pleasure of harmony, I have fet forth in the Encyclopediæ, under the word Conformance, that this principle is not to be maintained, and I think it is easy to prove all our harimony is a barbarous, gothic invention, which has, only by the extent of time, become an imitative art. A studious magiftrate, who at his leisure hours, instead of going to hear music, amuses himself to fathom its systems, has discovered that the fimilitude of a fifth, is only as two to three by approximation, and that this fimilitude is ftri&tly incommensurable. No one at least can deny its being so upon our harpsichords, by virtue of the modification, which does not prevent there fifths, thus modified, to appear agreeable to us. Now, in such a cale, where is the fimplicity of the connection which should sender them fifths ? We are not yet certain whether our system of music is not founded upon mere conventions ; neither do we know, whether or not, the principles are entirely arbitrary; or whether another system, substituted in its place, would not by cuftum equally please us. This question is difcuffed in ano. ther place. By a pretty natural analogy, these reflections might excite others upon the subject of painting, as the style of a picture, the agreement of colours, certain parts of the design, which are more arbitrary than is generally believed, and where imitation itself must fubmit to the rules of convention. Why dare not painters attempt some new imitations, which have nothing against them but their.Dovelty, and which, on the other hand, seem to spring from the art ? For example, it is only a play for them to make a plain surface appear in relief; how comes it then that none amongst them have endeavoured to give the appearance of a plain surface to a relief: 'If they make a flat ceiling appear vaulted, why do not they make a vaulted one appear. Hat? Hades, they will say, change appearances, at various points of view, which is not the case with plain surfaces. " 'Let us remove this difficulty, and desire a painter to paint and colour a statue in such a manner as to appeai Aar, even, and of the fame colour, without any design, in only one light, and a single
point of view. These observations would not, perhaps, be unworthy the confideration of the enlightened virtuoso, who lias reasoned so well upon the art.
The art of representing objects how to paint. Incapable of giving is very different from that of mak.' a reason for any of the things that ing them known. The first pleases are in his picture, he doubly imwithout instructing ; the latter in poses upon us by his imitation, as ftruets without pleasing. The artist well in offering us a vague and who draws a plan, and takes exact fi&itious appearance, the fault of dimensions, does nothing that is which, neither he nor we can disa very agrecable to the fight; where. tinguish, as by ufing false measures fore his work is fought for only by to produce this appearance ; that artists : but he who traces a per, is to say, by changing all the real spective, Aatters the multitude and dimensions according to the laws the ignorant, because he teaches of perspective; so that if the senses them nothing, and offers them only of the spectator are not deceived, the appearance of what they knew but view the picture as it really is, before. Add to this, that mensu- he will be imposed upon, as to the ration supplying us with succesive appearance of things represented, dimensions, gradually teaches us or else will find them all fictitious. the truth of things; whereas ap- The illusion will nevertheless be pearance presents us with all at such, that fools and children will once, and with the opinion of a
be imposed upon, and fancy they greater extent of understanding, see objects which the painter himthe fenses are flattered by the se. self is unacquainted with, and duction of self-love.
workmen whose art he knows noThe representations of the pain. thing of. ter, deftitute of all reality, do not Let us from this example suspect produce this' appearance, but by those people who are so universal, the affiftance of some trifling fhades, who are proficients in every art, and some Night resemblance, which adepts in every science, who know he imposes for the thing itself. If every thing, reason upon every there were any mixture of truth in thing, and seem to unite in them. his imitations, he should be ac. selves alone the talents of all man. quainted with the object that he kind. If any one should tell us imitates; he should be a naturalist, he is acquainted with such a won. a workman, a physician, before he derful man, assure him, without were a painter. But, on the con. hesitation, that he is the dupe to trary, the extent of his art is the impositions of a quack, and founded only in his ignorance, and that all the knowledge of this great the only reason he paints, is, be philosopher, hath no other founcause he has no occafion for any, dation than the ignorauce of his know ledge. When he offers us a admirers, who cannot diftinguish meditating philofopher, an astroa error from truth, not imitation from nomer ftudying the planets, a ge. the thing imitated. ometrician drawing sections, a This leads us to an examination turner at work; does he thereby of tragic writers ; and Homer, know how to work, to calculate, their chief. For several aver, that to meditate, to observe the planets? a tragic poet should know every not in the leaft; he only knows thing; that he thould have fathom,