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patriotic indignation, refutes the charge, and we have all the compactness of argument and energy of the muse combined to gether. Exquisite as this is, we doubt whether the poet was sensible of it; he gazed with fervency on those illustrious models-kindled with indignation at the calumny, and brought those models and that calumny together: so true is the observation of that profound anatomist of moral nature, Edmund Burke, that "our passions sometimes instruct our reason." The author then proceeds to tell, in the same vein of impassioned poetry, how painting flourishes when cultivated by patronage that patronage overcomes every obstacle that nature herself erects to the improvement of the arts. He then turns with indignation and disdain on those English critics who deem it the perfection of taste to slander English genius. True to his trade, he pauses in his glowing career, to pay the tribute of a tear to those eminent artists of his country, whose genius and whose glory his native land inherits. In a voice of awful admonition, he remonstrates to the tyros of the graphic art, not to be led astray by the casual liking they may feel, and to conclude from them that they are capable of arriving at eminence. He feelingly portrays the obstacles they will have to encounterhe warns them that neither the rewards of fortune, the sole recompense of avaricious minds, nor glory, the only reward of an ambition more noble, dignified and commanding, infallibly await them, although genius may bestow on them her richest gifts. He tells them, that unless they feel that enthusiasm in the study that is always the incentive, and too often the only reward of genius, and which is alone sufficient to encounter the rugged obstacles that intervene, to throw aside their pencils and not become candidates for public shame. He then apostrophises the era rendered so illustrious by the administration of Lorenzo De Medici, and gives a character of that man equally compendious, forcible and just. He laments that the death of public liberty should be the era of the resurrection of the arts. This leads him by a gentle and beautiful gradation to consider the state of his native coun, try, and with a patriotic, disinterested spirit, he reprobates the thought that such an example should prove a precedent for her. Sooner would he renounce the art to which his soul is so

passionately devoted, than to behold the arts combining to decorate, by their various tributes, the tomb of his country's freedom. He looks for better things; and concludes with an ardent aspiration, that the favoured repository of liberty may remain to future ages the favoured repository of the arts. How tame and insipid does this narrative appear! How inadequate is the justice done to a poet, by attempting to comprehend his glowing and brilliant thoughts in prosaic language.

Notes are added by the author, in which he displays a knowledge, deep, extensive and accurate. We carefully avoid that general and indiscriminate remark, which is often an artifice adopted by ignorance to veil its own imbecility. He considers the arts in all their details, and marks with a scrutinizing eye their delicate and sometimes almost imperceptible diversities. We do not see that suffocating egotism, disgusting self confidence, and pomp of quotation manifested by the author of the Pursuits of Literature, whose notes seem to smother his poemon the contrary, whatever "he touches-he adorns." Knowing himself to be an accomplished and elegant writer, he is content that his works should speak for him, and does not deem it necessary to tell his reader the fact in so many words. His notes are in the strictest sense illustrative and explanatory, and it has often excited a smile on our lips, to observe the precise delicacy with which he throws out his metaphors. The style of his prose is said to resemble Burke's. We are compelled to differ from this opinion-Burke's drapery is always gorgeous and dazzling, always rich and variegated, but it is thrown negligently on the limbs, with that impatience that designates a mind aspiring after something of more importance. The moments Burke devotes to illustration are taken from his main design, and while we pause to admire the brilliancy of a particular paragraph, he has already the start of us-has arrived on several stages before us, and, with a scowl of anxiety, pauses and awaits our coming up. There is in all the productions of Burke an impatience of any thing like restraint or delay. He takes the reader or the auditor by main force, and makes him partake of his celerity of movement, however sluggish and inert he is by The reader is even sensible of pain in his intellectual


journey from the bustle, tumult and crowd of ideas by which he is surrounded. His mind is distracted in the same way that he would be in being ushered suddenly into a painting gallery, where every performance was executed by a consummate artist. Every object breaks upon him at once-his eye roams over each in a hurried and agitated manner, without leisure to examine one, and he returns filled with incongruous images, glittering cascades, dungeons, towers, rainbows, angels, men and devils, crowd and intersect, rise and fall in splendid and elaborate confusion. Shee, on the other hand, composes himself for the task; with all the painter's leisure, he touches and retouches his metaphor until it has acquired all the grace and delicacy he is capable of bestowing on it, and then with a smiling assurance presents it as not unworthy of regard. Surely, the man must be blind indeed to the grand characteristics of Burke that can discover his traces in the following passage. "Society is a grand machine, all the parts of which depend on each other in such delicate and intimate connection, and are so nicely adjusted by the cautious hands of time and experience, that it seems no easy matter for the most expert political mechanic to ascertain exactly what pin or wheel can be pulled out or removed, without danger to its most ingenious and essential movements. Interest, selfinterest is the firm supporting pivot on which the whole enginery rests and turns; want, passion, ambition are the main springs of its operation; wealth, honour, pleasure, glory, luxury, the principal wheels which communicating motion to all the dependant arrangements of minuter mechanism, at length set forward the golden hands of genius and taste, to move on the dial of existence and point to the brightest periods of time, and the most memorable epochas of man.” Now the sense of this passage is admirable, and the metaphor highly finished; but the illustration has almost entirely dissipated the meaning. We look for society, and see nothing but a watch, and if we do not hear its tick also, it is not the fault of Mr. Shee.

Burke, if such a metaphor had escaped him, would have dashed his pen over it in a pet, and would have censured himself for writing, and the reader still more for being detained by such a passage.

The second part of the poem opens with a declaration, that the present times are peculiarly inhospitable to the cultivation of the arts. This fact is attributed to a variety of causes, the prevalence of modern philosophy-metaphysics, chemistry, agriculture-the rage of speculation-the state of the world at the present awful crisis: all these have engrossed, in the opinion of our author, so much of public attention as to have excluded the patronage of the arts. The author having now roused himself, gives vent to an honest indignation against the prevalent taste of his countrymen, to disparage the works of her own artists. The voracious appetite for antiques, has for some time past been carried to a ridiculous excess. The English artist has been neglected, while every paltry fragment dug from the ruins of Herculaneum has been preserved with idolatrous reverance. The poet inveighs against this, and the invective is a most beautiful touch of nature. Aspiring to the honours of the pencil himself; stung with indignation at the unmerited sarcasms and censures which his profession has received; feeling all the contempt of an honest mind at the incompetency of his critics; mortified that foreigners should receive that patronage to which English genius had the right of precedency; these several passions operating on a brilliant and vivid fancy, have produced an almost unparalleled invective. We can observe distinctly, the curl of contempt around his lips, while he sneers at the critic, who laments the poverty of English skill: so dangerous is it to tamper with genius. At a time when insolent opulence meditates a triumph out of her sphere, and at the expense of penurious merit, she is provoking that irritable opponent to recriminate with ten fold interest, and industriously collecting materials for posterity to laugh at. There is scarcely a combination of contempt and derision, that this painter has not grasped, at the expense of those pseudo critics who have dared to disparage English talent. The effect was as might have been expected. Here was a vice to be amended, and before we could hope for its amendment, its folly and its absurdity must be detected and exposed. We should almost be led to believe, that this happy combination of circumstances was designed to provoke the satire of Shee. Here was truth to give pungency

to the invention-here was an English artist, who belonged to the tribe of those who were the outlaws of public patronagehere was one, whom nature had endowed with a luxuriancy of poetic genius, and an occasion opened for its sarcastic indulgence. He profited by this opportunity; his thrusts were home and direct, and the result was a reformation of public taste. Shee has given evidence to his critics, and at their expense, that the satiric muse has not perished in the general wreck of English taste. With what heart a false virtuoso could draw aside the curtain, expose the precious fragment of antiquity, and lament the decline of English genius, after the perusal of the following lines, we must confess we are unable to imagine.

"Behold! how pleas'd the conscious critic sneers!

While circling boobies shake their ass's ears;
Applaud his folly, and, to please his pride,
Bray forth abuse on all the world beside.

Hear him, ye gods! harangue of schools and styles
In pilfer'd scraps from Walpole and De Piles!
Direct the vain spectator's vacant gaze;

Drill his dult sense, and teach him where to praise.

Of every toy some tale of wonder frame
How this from Heav'n or Ottoboni came.
How that long pendant on plebeian wall
Or lumber'd in some filthy broker's stall,
Lay lost to fame till by his taste restor❜d,
Behold the gem shrin'd, curtain'd, and ador'd.
Hear him, ye powers of ridicule deplore,
The arts extinguish'd and the muse no more.
With shrug superior, and insulting phrase
Commiserate the darkness of our days.
Nor less, in ev'ry liberal mind debas'd,
The servile tribe, the tad-pole train of taste,
Who crown each block, as Jove in jest decrees,
And skip and squat around such fops as these.
A motly group-a party colour'd pack,
Of knave and fool—of quidnunc and of quack-
Of critic sops, insipid, cold and vain,

Done in the drip of some poor painter's brain;

Dabblers in science-dealers in virtu,

And sycophants of every form and hue.
Low, artists too, a busy, babbling fry,

That frisk and wriggle in a great man's eye.

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