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hat they made concessions. Yet these concessions are infinite by his account.'
To read this account, one would imagine, that Mr. Sharp, upon the flight view he had of Ancona, had sat down to write a geographical, commercial, and political account of the place ; whereas he really says no more than what any inqui
sitive person might learn, fupposing him to have travelled with the rapidity described by Mr. Baretti.!; Ancona (says Mr. Sharp) is one of the most striking prospects in Italy; it stands both on the sumınit and the brow of a hill. It has a mole, a fine citadel, and, in short, is a flourishing town, when confidered under the disadvantages that every place labours here, from the infinite concessions that are made to the church, both by the commercial and the military parts of the nation. hardly to be expressed how beautiful the environs of Ancona are.'. What information is there in this passage, which a man upon the fpur might not have collected? There is nothing here descriptive either of the manners or customs of the inhabitants. Besides, how does Mr. Baretti know in what manner Mr. Sharp passed his time before he entered the posthouse. We believe that every gentleman who travels for im. provement, or out of curiosity, fpends as much time as he can either in the environs of a place he visits, or getting the necessary information concerning it, before he enters his inn to go to reft. Our author's sneer concerning the commercial and military parts of the nation characterizes an abjeet Italian, who dares not reflect that even sovereign power is a concession from the people: and that the greater the conceflions made to the church by the commercial and military parts of a nation are, they proye them to be the greater Naves and bigots. As to the phrase Anconitan nation, which is particularized as a note of ridicule, it is no expression of Mr. Sharp, but of Baruri himself, who either does not understand plain English, or has not candour enough to represent Mr. Sharp's meaning fairly,
As we do not, for an obvious reason which the reader will find in the next article, intend to make a thorough review of the performance before us, we shall confine ourselves to a few passages which Mr. Sharp, in his late pamphlet, seems to have overlooked..
Among other yery quibbling particulars concerning the prefent state of Sinigaglia, and the entries of merchant-ships into Ancona, and after some ironical praises of Mr. Sharp,
Where (fays-Mr. Baretti) was his good nature, when he betrayed somewhat like a wish in favour of the Barbary pirates, and even gave them a broad hint about the facility of plundering the treafures at Loretto ? Had he forgot that those
pirates are a gang of Mahometans and Jews, of the very worst kind, to say nothing of renegadoes ? One would think, that a good-natured man, and one of the best kind of Christians, could never be pleased to hear of any goods, whether wisely or superstiticufly employed, belonging to Christians of any denomination, carried away to Algiers or Tripoli, to promote the happiness of infidelity and the triumph of unbelievers. But good natured Christians, whether papists or protestants, whén inAuenced by a religious zeal, are often keener in their aversion and hatred than they are themselves aware of: and so the good natured Mr. Sharp has unwarily shewn, that he would not be forry if those pirates could run away with the Loretto treasure, and the miraculous inadona into the bargain. Nor did he consider that, if his bints were taken, the Loretto gold and jewels might enable those plunderers to break the peace with Old England, and put her at the expence of hill larger presents to keep them quiet.
We cannot answer for Mr. Sharp's way of thinking, but we are not afraid to say that, as Christians, we should not be sorry if such an event was to take place as that of infidels plundering Loretto We know very little difference between infidels and Italian idolators, as described by Mr. Baretti himself. In a political sense, we cannot clearly inake out the title of his Holiness to the treasures of Loretto, which we consider as the daw in the fable stuffed or stuck with foreign feathers; and were every nation to claim its own, we believe the old gentleman'at Rome must even be contented with the bare walls of the Santa Casa. Our author's abuse of the English government is a fresh proof of the gratitude which foreigners, bigotted to the Romish religion, repay for the protection and encouragement they meet with in this country:
Mr. Baretti then affects to ridicule Mr. Addison and Mr. Sharp for thinking it practicable for a handful of refolute men to surprize Loretio, and run away with its treasures, His wit upon this occasion is as stupid, as his reasoning is inconclusive, Mr. Baretti's ideas, perhaps, never carried him beyond the danger of scaling the walls of a nunnery, or that of a midnight serenade ; nor do we imagine that he had ever so much courage as even to read the exploits of English failors and soldiers during the last war. Is the strength of the pitiful environs pf Loretto, and the courage of their cffeminate inhabitants, to be compared with those of the Havannah, Guadaloupe, and Martinico ; nay, of places and countries which, in the last war, even small parties of the English surprized, took, or demolished ? But the ignorance with which our author writes on such a subject is pardonable in an Italian.
Mr. · Mr. Baretti fhews a specimen of his criticism in the English language by his remarks on the following words of Mr. Sharp: • Our late resident in Venice, upon his first arrival there, loudly proclaimed, that, should any Englishman be affaffinated during his residentship, no expence, no interceflion should prevent his bringing the criminal to condign punilhment.' In reading the above paffage, we will venture to affert, that no Englishman, who understands his mother-tongue, can have any other idea of the words loudly proclaimed, than that the resident took an opportunity, in every public company he mixed with, loudly to declare his resolution. But let us now see our author's curious criticisin.
• A proclamation, if I understand it right, is a public notice given by means of a crier. But did the English resident give notice by means of a crier, that he would bring to punish. ment any Venetian who should assassinate an Englishman? No certainly; because foreign ministers have no fuch right in the countries where they are sent to reside, and are, under no pretence, allowed to threaten the subjects of other sovereigns. Did he go himself about the streets and canals of Venice, publithing his intention with a loud voice? No certainly; because this had been even more ridiculous than the absurdity we combat.'
Had we not quoted Mr. Baretti's words, our readers might have found it difficult to believe that so much nonsense could be crowded into fo few lines.
The fifth chapter of Mr. Baretti's work contains a general panegyric upon his happy, virtuous countrymen. He raves againft Mr. Sharp in the three succeeding ones; and the same strain of panegyric and abuse of that gentleman is carried to the end of the first volume. In the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth chapters, which fall into the fecond volume, Mr. Baretti very modestly undertakes a defence of the Italian convents, nuns, friars, and idolatry, against Dr. Middleton and other protestant writers; and, after a few digressions upon the manners and customs of different nations in Italy, (all along abusing protestant writers with a matchless effrontery), he concludes his second volume with giving the lie to every dictate of common fense, and every principle of experience, philosophy, or learning.
To conclude: we consider this performance as a most audacious insult upon the constitution and church of England; because the avowed intention of the author is to defend his own countrymen, and to recommend their manners, practices, and religion, at the expence of every thing which ought to be dear not only to lover of liberty, but a rational being. We have, in perusing these volumes, carefully diftinguished between Mr.
Baretti's facts and opinions; and, admitting the former to be true, and the latter to be candid, we think the very apology he makes for his countrymen proves them to be saves and barbarians ; because they have no bond of society, except the most abject fear, indolence, fuperftition, and idolatry.
III. A View of the Customis, Manners, Drama, &c. of Italy, as
they are described in the Frusta Letteraria ; and in the Account of Italy in English, written by Mr. Baretti ; compared with the Letters from Italy, written by Mr. Sharp. By Samnuel Sharp, Esq. 8vo. Pr. 15. 6.d. Nicoll.
E should have inserted the preceding article two
months ago, had we not been informed that Mr. Sharp was preparing this publication for the press. The defence he makes against Mr. Baretti's attacks may be literally termed argumenta ad hominem ; for they are chiefly drawn from the Frufta Letteraria (or Literary Scourge) a work not un-like the Critical Review, which that gentleman published in the years 1763, 64, and 65; and which Mr. Sharp, to the amazement as well as conviction of mankind, has proved absolutely to contradict the most material facts advanced by Mr. Baretti in his account of Italy. Though Mr. Sharp has made those con tradictions, the ground-work of the pamphlet before us, yet he avails hinself of the misrepresentations of his antagonist's falle and unfair quotations from his Letters.
• Mr. Baretti (says Mr. Sharp) in his eulogium on the learned men of Italy, laments, however, the discouragements under which learning lies, and afcribes its present vigour to the ambition and curiosity of its admirers. He says, that learning cannot procure in our days that veneration to its professors from all classes of people, and especially from princes and great lords, which it procured to them soon after its restoration ; that a cardinal's hat is not now to be grasped at by climbing up the ladders of Greek and Latin ; that they have no king of Prussia for a patron and panegyrist, who will deign to take the trouble of gilding all Voltaire's filver, and all Algarotti's copper; that the trade of writing books is by no means a profitable trade; that not one writer in a hundred, ever got with his quill as much in a twelveinonth, as the worst hackney feribler in London can get in a week; that the impoflibility of making money by their literary labours, is not the only disadvantage that attends the learned of Italy; they are likewise to encounter many difficulties in the publicati o of their works. ' Nos thing is printed in Italy without being first licenfed by two, and sometimes more revisers, appointed by the civil and ecclesia tical governinent. These are to "perafe every manufcript
intended for the press; and sometimes their scrupulousness and timidity, sometimes their vanity or ill temper, and sometimes their ignorance and insufficiency, raise soʻmany objections, that a poor author is often made quite sick with his own productions. Yet he says, that long use has reconciled the Italians to this custom; and that, in the present state of things, Navery is preferable to liberty. Had Mr. Sharp drawn the Italians in the black colours here exhibited by Mr. Baretti," he might reasonably have incurred the indignation not only of Italians, but of every man who has any fense of the bleslings of liberty. Were our press to be set free, says Mr. Baretti, se. dition, defamation, profaneness, ribaldry, and other fuch be nefits, would then quickly circulate through all our towns, villages, and hamlets. Irreligion would be fubftituted in a great measure to bigotry and superstition; the pope would be calied antichrift, and mother church a whore ; fuch would be, amongst others, the blessed effects of a free press in Italy, çould we ever be indulged with it. But heaven avert we fhould! It is said that nobody knows the pleasures of madness but madien. The fame may be justly said of the peculiar advantages of Navery ; they are not to be conceived but by flaves. And if it be true, that learning cannot flourish, but in the fun-fhine of liberty; and if it be imposible, without a freedom of the press, ever to have in Italy fuch writers as the Johnsons and Warburtons of England, let Italy never have any, as long as their Alps and Appenines will stand; provided that on the other hand she never be ornamented by--Cætera desunt.
I shall not descant on this account of the general state of learning in Italy, which seems on the one hand to be represented as in the most flourishing situation; and on the other as labouring under almost infurmountable difficulties; but shall, proceed to the positive judgment that Mr. Baretti has passed on this subject in his Frufta Letteraria.
• FRUSTA LETTERARIA. • Page 290. Mr. Baretti asserts, that in point of learning the Italians are as far below the French, as the people of Morocco are
below the Italians. P. 191, That amongst the modern Tuscans, Cocchi alone writes a perfeally good prose-all the others are totally igno. ránt of a good stile, Count Gasparo Gozzi of Venice, however, approaches towards his manner, as does also a young professor at Padua, whose name I do not mention, because he, has never printed any book.-Al the Romans and Neapolitans write badly; I mean with regard to file.--In Piedmont and in Lombardy, I do not know any author who writes distinguish