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The hint your Lordship is so good as to give me for a work like Montfaucon's Monuments de la Monarchie Françoise, has long been a subject that I have wished to see executed, nor in point of mate. rials do I think it would be a very difficult one. The chief impedi. ment was the expence, too great for a private fortune. The exiravagant prices extorted by English artists is a discouragement to all public undertakings. Drawings from paintings, tombs, &c. would be very dear. To have them engraved as they ought to be, would exceed the compass of a much ampler income than mine, which, though equal to my largest wish, cannot measure itself with the rapa. city of our performers.
i But, my Lord, if his Majesty was pleased to command such a vork, on so laudable an idea as your Lordship’s, nobody would be more ready than myself to give his assistance. I own, I think I could be of use in it, in collecting or pointing out materials, and I would readily take any trouble in aiding, supervising, or directing such a plan. Pardon me, my Lord, if I offer no more; I mean, that I do not undertake the part of composition. I have already trespassed too much upon the indulgence of the public; I wish not to disgust them with hearing of me, and reading me. It is time for me to have done ; and when I shall have completed, as I almost have, the history of the Arts, on which I am now engaged, I did not purpose to tempt again the patience of mankind. But the case is very different with regard to my trouble. My whole fortune is from the bounty of the crown, and from the public; it would ill become me to spare any pains for the King's glory, or for the honour and satisfaction of my country; and give me leave to add, my Lord, it would be an ungrateful return for the distinction with which your Lordship has condescended to honour me, if I withheld such trifling aid as mine, when it might in the least tend tv adorn your Lordship's administration. From me, my Lord, permit me to say, these are not words of course, or of compliment, this is not the language of flattery ; your Lordship knows I have no views, perhaps knows that, insignificant as it is, my praise is never detached from my esteem : and when you have raised, as I trust you will, real monuments of glory, the most contemptible characters in the inscription dedicated by your country, may not be the testimony of, my Lord,
• Your Lordship's most obedient humble servant, • Feb. 15, 1762.
•HOR. WALPOLE. After having explained whence his income was derived, and its amount, our author has given the public the satisfaction of informing them how the savings. from his establishment were expended, by “ a Description of his Villa at Strawberry Hill near Twickenham ;" with a minute inventory of the furniture, pica tures, curiosities, &c. 1784 ; including a list of the books printed at the Strawberry Hill press, with interior representa: tions, exterior views, and ground-plans of the building, very neatly engraved.
We were tempted to copy the preface to this description : but the article is already extended to a sufficient length; and
besides, the place and its curious contents are too well known to render an extract necessary.
Mr. Walpole seems through life to have wished for notice as a connoissieur in painting and architecture, as well as in literature ; and as the building on Strawberry Hill and its furniture form an unique among villas, he could not have obtained fame on so small a scale at a less expence, by any similar draft on public notice. Gothic architecture, so appropriate to sacred purposes on account of its gloomy grandeur, lost its secular favour at the same period as that which abridged the Barons of their feudal rights and military splendour. It is not likely now that more churches will be built in the Gothic style ; and if it were possible to embalm specimens of the most beautiful and fantastic members of that order, for the inspection of our descendants who may survive churches, it would be a curious legacy to posterity:- but of whatever utility this Gothic miniature may be to future times, it has certainly contributed not a little to its founder's celebrity. Imitations are numerous, not only in his neighbourhood, but throughout the kingdom.
The perusal of this catalogue, even without a view of the ob. jects which it describes, is amusing and instructive to those who wish to form an idea of the taste and costume of our ancestors. We certainly dee'm ourselves more wise and enlightened than them, in having simplified state and grandeur; the mere sight of which, however, formerly gave infinitely more pleasure, than can be derived from ideal equality at present. Mr. Walpole's collection consisted not only of « rags of popery,” but of rags of nobility and aristocracy. The minute catalogue of cups and saucers, and saucers without cups, will perhaps seem frivolous, and impress some readers with no magnificent idea of the noble collector's magnitude of mind; and if, in his defence, we should say that the most trifling parts of the collection are links of a cháin, we shall, perhaps, be told that it is a hair-chain to fetter fleas. The great number of portraits of our princes, antient nobility, gentry, poets, and eminent artists, composes a very interesting part of our history, while the collection remains entire; and the furniture, in the revolutions of fashion, may save the trouble of invention, by inducing the renewal of antient forms and patterns.
On modern Gardening. This historical tract on the origin, cultivation, and embellishments of garden-ground, is fulī of sound sense and good taste. No whim, daintiness, nor singu. larity, appears; and all that the author praises, and proposes to practice, flashes conviction, and seems indisputable There are a selection and force in the expression of his ideas, which not only manifest him to be a master of the subject, · Rev. SEPT. 1798.
but of our language. He is never more agreeable than in his serious productions.
His Counter Address : to the Public, in defence of his friend General Conway, now first acknowleged, is composed on a subject that has been long since superseded by more novel and consequently more interesting events. Such zeal and warmth of affection, as plainly appear in this tract, never fail to do honour to the author's heart, though they may not succeed in convincing the public. General Conway, an able, an amiable, and honourable man, though constantly in the service of government, was seldom a cordial friend to administration. It would be of no use now to revive old complaints, and party animosities: but how seldom is it that the blame attaches only to one side in politics! In all discussions of this kind, the public has its prejudices as well as the antagonists; the servants of the crown are as sure of being defended by one party, as those who have offended administration are of being defended by opposition. There is no character, however heroic, able, and seraphic, that can please the whole nation: nor any so defective, blameable, and politically atrocious, that they will not find advocates to defend their cause. The times were turbulent and factious:the expediency of general warrants was the question ; and ministry were too unwilling to part with them, not to treat as an enemy to government every servant of the crown who joined Wilkes's friends in wresting these instruments from their hands : yet the gratitude of the country is due to those, by whose exertions this despotic power was abolished.
[To be continued.]
Art. VII. a Series of Plays : in which it is attempted to delineate
the stronger Passions of the Mind. Each Passion being the Subject of a Tragely and a Comedy. 8vo. Pp. 401. 6s. Boards. Cadell jun. and Davies. 1798. N the present fallen state of the drama, when rant is pathos,
and a pun is wit, and when pasteboard pageantries and German spectres have almost driven Shakspeare and Congreve from the stage,, we cannot but applaud any aitempt to “hold the mirror up to Nature,” and to exhibit a faithful picture of manners' and life. .
The author of this volume has more than the merit of good intention. Though his versification is sometimes rugged and inharmonious, and his style has an antientry of plırase which often savours of affectation, yet his characters are in general strongly discriminated, and his scenes abound in beautiful passages. .
In the first play, where love is the passion under review, he has thus described it in its birth:
* Basil. O! it is admirable !
Bas. Her form, her face, her motion, ev'ry thing!
The first tumults soon subside into tenderness and melancholy:
Oft in the watchful post, or weary march,
His hero has all the extravagancies of the passion; and all its gloomy imaginations : • For ever lost! what art thou now to me? Shall the departed gaze on thee again? Shall I glide past thee in the midnight hour, Whilst thou perceiv'st it not, and thinkst perhaps 'Tis but the mournful breeze that passes by ?
(Pauses again, and gazes at the window, till the light disappears.) 'Tis gone, 'tis gone! these eyes have seen their last ! The last impression of her heavenly form! The last sight of those walls wherein she lives, The last blest ray of light from human dwelling ! I am no more a being of this world, Farewell! farewell! all now is dark for me!'
In the fourth act, the dazzling brightness of a summer-cloud is strikingly illustrated : • As tho' an angel, in his upward flight, Had left his mantle floating in mid-air.'
The following brief description of a beautiful boy, in the arms of his nurse, deserves notice: • How steadfastly he fix'd his looks upon me, His dark eyes shining through forgotten tears !' Every reader will on this occasion remember that line of Gray,
The tear forgot as soon as shed but the sentiment is here wrought into a picture,
The playfulness of childhood is not less happily pourtrayed :
They say I am;
The subject of the last play is hatred; though hatred cannot surely be classed among the passions. It is forcibly written; and the following scene, in which a reconciliation is attempted, inay serve as a fair specimen of the whole,
"Enter REZENVELT. (De Monfort goes up to receive Rezenvelt, who meets him
with a cheerful countenance.)
To Jane. Madam, I am devoted to your service,
(To Freberg.) Well, my gentle friend, You see I have not linger'd long behind.
Freb. No, thou art sooner than I look'd for thee.
Rex. A willing heart adds feather to the heel,
De Mon. Then let me say, that with a grateful mind
No, no, De Monfort,
Freb. Ay, let it rest with the departed shades
Your future days enrich. O heavenly friendship! 'Thou dost exalt the sluggish souls of men,
By thee conjoin’d, to great and glorious deeds