Abbildungen der Seite


Taste and Criticism.


and are


aboat 4001b. weight, with the haire of | imagination; but they lose their relish his head onely.

gradually with their novelty ; “ June 16th, 1670. I went with some generally neglected in the maturity of friends to the Beare Garden, where life, which disposes to more serious were cock-fighting, beare and dog- and more important occupations. To fighting and beare and bull-baiting; it those who deal in criticism as a regubeing a famous day for all those but- lar science, governed by just princicherly, sports, or rather barbarous ples, and giving scope to judgment cruelties. The bulls did exceeding as well as to fancy, the fine arts are a well, but the Irish wolfe-dog greatly favourite entertainment; and in old exceeded, which was a tall grey-hound, age maintain that relish which they a stately creature indeede, who beate produce in the morning of life. a cruel mastiff. One of the bulls A philosophical inquiry into the toss'd a dog full into a lady's lap, as principles of the fine arts inures the she sat in one of the boxes at a consi- reflecting mind to the most enticing derable height from the arena. Two sort of logic; the practice of reasonpoor dogs were killed, and so all end- ing upon subjects so agreeable tends ed with the ape on horseback, and I to a habit; and a habit strengthening most heartily weary of the rude and the reasoning faculties, prepares the dirty pastime, what I had not seene, mind for entering into subjects more I think, in twenty years before." difficult and abstract. To have in

Helot. this respect a just conception of the

importance of criticism, we need but reflect upon the common method of

education; which, after some years The art of judging with propriety spent in acquiring languages, hurries concerning any object, or combina- us, without the least preparatory distion of objects, is what we call taste cipline, into the most profound philoand criticism. But in a more limited sophy. A more effectual method to sense, the science of criticism is con- alienate the tender mind from abstract fined to the fine arts. The principles science is beyond the reach of invenof the fine arts are best unfolded by tion; with respect to such speculastudying the sensitive part of our tions, the bulk of our youth contract nature, and by learning what objects a sort of hobgoblin terror, which is are naturally agreeable, and what are seldom, if ever, subdued. naturally disagreeable. The man who Those who apply to the arts are aspires to be a critic in these arts, trained up in a very different manner; mūst pierce still deeper: he must they are led, step by step, from the clearly perceive what objects are easier parts of the operation to those lofty, what low, what are proper or that are more difficult; and are not improper, what are manly, and what permitted to make a new motion till are mean or trivial. Hence a foun- perfected in those which regularly dation for judging of taste, and for precede it. The science of criticism reasoning upon it: where it is confor- appears then to be a middle link, conmable to principles, we can pronounce necting the different parts of education with certainty that it is correct; into a regular chain.

This science otherwise, that it is incorrect, and furnishes an inviting opportunity to perhaps whimsical. Thus the fine exercise the judgment: we delight to arts, like morals, become a rational reason upon subjects that are equally science; and, like morals, may be pleasant and familiar: we proceed cultivated to a high degree of refine-gradually from the simple to the more ment.

involved cases: and, in a due course A thorough acquaintance with the of discipline, custom, which improves principles of the fine arts redoubles all our faculties, bestows acuteness the entertainment these arts afford. upon those of reason, sufficient to To the man who resigns himself en- unravel all the intricacies of philotirely to sentiment or foeling, without sophy. interposing any sort of judgment, poetry, music, painting, are mere pas the reasonings employed upon the


Nor ought it to be overlooked, that time ; 'in the prime of life, indeed, arts are of the same kind with those they are delightful, being supported which regulate our conduct. Matheby the force of novelty

and the heat of matical and metaphysical reasonings


Taste and Criticism.--Jews.


have no tendency to improve social necessarily heightens our sensibility intercourse ; nor are they applicable of pain and pleasure, and of course to the common affairs of life: but a our sympathy, which is the capital just taste in the fine arts, derived branch of every social passion. Symfrom rational principles, furnishes pathy, in particular, invites a comelegant subjects for conversation, and munication of joys and sorrows, hopes prepares us for acting in the social and fears : such exercise, soothing state with dignity and propriety. and satisfactory in itself, is necessa

The science of rational criticism rily productive of mutual good-will tends to improve the heart not less and affection. than the understanding. It helps, in One other advantage of rational the first place, to moderate the selfish criticism is reserved to the last place, affections; by sweetening and harmo- being of all the most important; which vizing the temper, it is a strong anti- is, that it is a great support to moradote to the turbulence of passion and lity. No occupation attaches a man violence of pursuit; it procures to a more to his duty than that of cultivatman so much mental enjoyment, that, ing a taste for the fine arts: a just in order to be occupied, he is not relish of what is beautiful, proper, tempted in youth to precipitate into elegant, and ornamental, in writing or hunting, gaming, drinking ; nor in painting, in architecture or gardening, middle age to deliver himself over to is a fine preparation for the same just ambition ; nor in old age to avarice. relish of these qualities in character

Pride and envy, two disgustful and behaviour. To the man who has passions, find in the constitution no acquired a taste so acute and accomenemy more formidable than a deli- plished, every action wrong or improcate and discerning taste: the man per must be highly disgustful; if, in upon whom nature and culture have any instance, the overbearing power bestowed this blessing, feels great of passion sway him from his duty, he delight in the virtuous disposition and returns to it, upon the first reflection, actions of others ; he loves to cherish with redoubled resolution never to be them, and to publish them to the swayed a second time: he has now world : faults and failings, it is true, an additional motive tu virtue, a conare to hiin not less obvious; but these viction, derived from experience, that he avoids, or removes out of sight, happiness depends on regularity and because they give him pain. On the order, and that a disregard to justice other hand, a man void of taste, upon or propriety never fails to be punished whom the most striking beauties make with shame and remorse. but a faint impression, has no joy but in gratifying his pride or envy by the discovery of errors and blemishes. In a word, there may be other passions, In a Tract lately published at Paris, which, for a season, disturb the peace by M. Bail, the following is given as of society more than those mentioned: a fair calculation of the number of but no other passion is so unwearied. Jews in the different quarters of the an antagonist to the sweets of social globe:intercourse : these passions, tending In parti gants of Poland, before the { 1,000,000 assiduously to their gratification, put In Russia, including Moldavia and a man perpetually in opposition to Wallachia,

200,000 others; and dispose him niore to In all the states in which the Ger

500,000 relish bad than good qualities, even man language is spoken, in a companion.

How different that In Holland and the Netherlands, 80,000 disposition of mind, where every vir

In Sweden and Denmark,

5,000 In France,

50,000 tue in a companion or neighbour is, in England (of which London conby refinement of taste, set in its


tains 12,000). strongest light; and defects or ble- In the States in which Italian is

200,000 mishes, natural to all,

are suppressed, spoken, or kept out of view !

In Spain and Portugal,

10,000 In the United States,

3,000 Nor does delicacy of taste tend less In the Mohammedan States of Asia, to invigorate the social affections than


Europe, and Africa, to moderate those that are selfish. In Persia and the rest of Asia, in

500,000 To be convinced of this tendency, we

cluding China and India, need only relcct, that delicacy of taste

Total 6,598,000


Fragment of a Day-Book.


his having worn a monk's cowl during

his last illness. The king ascended (Continued from col. 370.)

the steeple of Iwan Welike (John the Moscow, 1st May, 1797.—The king Great) from whose top one can overhas profited by the absence of the look the whole immense city. There court, to look at all the curiosities of hangs a bell upon it, which was cast the Kremlin. Here one meets with under Elizabeth, and which is nine all the splendour of the ancient czaars Polish ells in diameter. It is still in and patriarchs. Amongst the dresses, use, but it is much smaller than that richly embroidered with pearls, there which the empress Anna had made, are some which weigh exactly as much and which, falling down, stuck so deep as the armour of the present knights in the earth, that one was obliged to of the imperial guard, viz. 60 pounds. dig around it, in order to show it to one showed also to the king a parch- the curious. By the piece which was ment rolled up in a cylindrical form, knocked off by the fall, one may perwhich contained a kind of law codex ceive the thickness of the metal, which of the czaar Alexei Michailowitch, amounts to more than half an ell; the father of Peter the Great, and which diameter is almost twelve ells, and the was preserved in a golden box, accord- height is fifteen: it must have cost at ing to the express command of Cathe- least 100,000 rubles. rina II. The same empress has be- “Not far from this buried bell is stowed many ecclesiastical ornaments a battery of seven immense cannons, and golden vases on the cathedral, and directed on the river, but long cut of these objects are not only covered with use, for fear of shaking the neighbourprecious stones, but the enamel-paint- ing buildings. The largest amongst ing and the beauty of the workman- these cannons is said to date from John ship surpass every thing that France the Severe, and would fire a ball of produced of the kind. The monument 150 pounds. In the armoury one finds in silver, which she had made for a amongst others, two swords of Peter lately canonized saint, and the picture the Great, whose length and weight and the surrounding ornaments, bear are in proportion with his size and the marks of a very different taste from strength; there are also a pair of his that which prevailed under the Grecian boots, and near them the boots and emperors. The king has also seen the the sword of his grandson Peter II. crown of Wladimir the Great, who laid whose property cuts, however, but a the foundation of the Russian mo

puny figure, as he died at the age of narchy at Kiew: the most antique fifteen. By the dress, which is accorddresses are ornamented with little bells, ing to the French fashion of that time, which remind one of Aaron's costume.

one perceives, that the star of the Amongst the furniture of the czaars, order of Alexander was fastened on there are also long silver chains, with the waistcoat, and only that of Andreas which the horses were yoked to the upon the coat. Amongst the number, chariots on days of ceremony. One less vases and pieces of furniture of of the largest rooms in the Kremlin is the ancient czaars, a clock may be disfilled with the model of a palace (by a tinguished, of which the grandson of Russian architect) which was to con- John the Severe is said to have made tain the whole of this kind of fortress, use, and another on which a cock crows with all its different courts and quite as well as that of gilded bronze churches; because, according to the in the Taurish palace, which is looked laws of the Russian church, no temple upon as a curiosity.” which has been once dedicated to God

6th May.-To-day the king rode on can ever be removed.

horseback up a bill, which is called The coronation took place in the Worobziwa Gora (Sparrow-mount) largest of these churches, where and from which one has the best pros, one shows, amongst other curiosities, pect of the town. which have been brought from Con- transported there a wooden palace, stantinople, one of the nails of the which had been erected in town to holy cross. Near to this church are the tombs of the czaars, covered

with festivities after the first peace with the

serve during the celebration of the rich stuffs : the grave of Iwan Wasile- Turks, but which is now decaying witch, surnamed the Severe,

is covered very fast: this is a pity ; because the with black velvet, in remembrance of declivity is so soft, and the situation

Catherine had

The very

Fragment of a Day-book.

410 very charming, the more so as it is a few hundred labourers and artists, increased' on one side by a wood, who have so nicely completed the whole, which had been planted on purpose.” there were no more than four or five

"6th May.-To-day the king gave a strangers; all the others were not only grand dinner. The Grand Duke Alex- Russians, but even bonsdmen of the ander was prevented from assisting by count. After the king had admired tooth-ache, and his spouse likewise the rooms, the frontispiece, and the refrained, to keep him company. The garden, he was led into the theatre, emperor and all the rest of the family where the Marriages of the Samnites arrived soon after two o'clock. Prince were represented by more than 300 Stanislaus and lady Muiszeck received bondsmen and women of the count:the guests at the coach-door, and the declamation and pantomine were borking at the top of the stairs. After the rowed from the French. lable was served, the king expected exact costume was uncommonly rich, that their imperial majesties would particularly that of the female peradvance by themselves; but the em- formers, who were covered with the peror wished him to present his arm count's jewels, to the value of at least to the empress, and to take his place 100,000 rubles. In the ballet, two of betwixt them, as was always the case the females showed themselves to when he dined at court. But as soon great advantage as dancers. After as their majesties were seated, the the play, the king had hardly stopped king placed himself opposite, and in the rooms, when he was led down served the soup: the plates were pre- again the same stairs, now covered sented by the chamberlains Trembocki with scarlet cloth, and he found the and Walski; but the emperor would saloon changed into a large bathnot allow them to continue, and desired room. Towards eleven o'clock, one them to get their own dinners; the showed him from the balcony the king's stewards handed therefore the tastefully-illuminated garden, and on dishes over to the imperial pages, &c. one of the pillars he saw his own name. There were 36 persons at table.- Upon this followed a very splendid Towards the middle of the dinner their supper. The count accompanied him majesties drank to the king's health, afterwards to the carriage door, and and this was soon after returned. After mentioned his hereditary gratitude, as dinner, the emperor conversed yet for his father as well as himself had some time with the king in private, received the Polish orders from the and invited him then for the next day. king. The whole road from Ostaukina (Added with sympathetic ink,) “I do to Moscow was illuminated on both not wish

to have my bulletins published sides by means of burning pitch-barin the Warsaw Gazette, because, by rels. On the journey back to the disposition which I observe here, Petersburg, the king saw a remarkable I must desire to be mentioned as little curiosity at Bronika.

This was a as possible in that quarter. One round hill in the midst of a large plain, treats me personally very well, but I about thirty fathoms high, and covered have it often repeated to me, that one with turf: nearly on the top are two would not like me to interest myself wells, whose water is on a level with for others. Our countrymen, hearing the soil. There is no other hill of a of the marks of friendship which the greater, or even of the same, height emperor bestows upon me, trouble within several miles' distance, and it me with letters and requests, to which becomes therefore difficult to account I can give no satisfactory answer, for the wells. Tradition says, that however painful my refusals may oracles were once delivered on the be.”

spot. Catharine II, has had a church 1st June. The king went with his erected there.” suite at seven in the evening to Ostau- Petersburg, 6th June.-The king kina, a country seat of count Schereme- has been seeing the triangular palace toff

, 3 wersts from town, and he found Tschesme, 7 wersts from here, where there more than 200 guests of the

first Catharine instituted the order of St. quality. The house had in the month George. An inscription in the first of November only one story; but a hall mentions, that the foundation of second has since been erected upon it, the church had been laid in presence entirely of wood, but so well decorated of Gustavus the Third of Sweden, and that one would never guess it. Amongst the

top in that of Josephus the Seconds

No. 27,- VOL. III.

2 D

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Fragment of a Day-Book.

412 The rooms of the upper story contain * Pleasure-Seat, Peterhof, 10th June. the pictures of the then living princes -The king has assisted at the celeand princesses, and amongst them, in bration of the Peter-and-Paul Feast bas relief, the ancient czaars. A round in the large chapel near his habitation. saloon is filled with the portraits of the He made here the acquaintance of now reigning family. Under a canopy, senator Von Pushkin, till hitherto which is spread over the portrait of director of the Academy of Arts ; from Catharine II. stands upon a table a him he learned that one was now busy golden inkstand, with many enamel with a plan of Peking, which had been paintings, which represent the deeds drawn on the spot, and would have of the Russians on the water. On the that advantage over the original, that first floor of this singular palace there the names of the streets are to be is a table-service of English earthen added in European language. The ware, painted gray upon gray, and original has been brought to Russia representing the finest country seats by one of the pupils, whom the count in England, and a green frog on the still maintains in China, partly to border of the plates. The palace is educate them for interpreters, and not only called Tchesme, in remem- partly to serve a Russian chapel in brance of the burning of the Turkish Peking: the above institution still fleet, but also Kirkiriki, on account exists, notwithstanding the frequent of the great number of frogs in the disputes and interruptions of trade beneighbourhood.

twixt the Chinese and the Russians.” “ After dinner count Stollberg was “3d July. The king is lodged here introduced to the king; he has been in the lower garden, quite near to the sent hither by the prince bishop of sea, and in the building called MonLubeck, and is a very learned and plaisir, which exists, in part, exactly estimable man; count Bernstoff, prime so as Peter the First built it; but Caminister of Danemark, is his brother- tharine the Second, whose own rooms in-law.”

were got ready for the king, has " Petersburg, 16th June, 1797.—The enlarged it very much. After the king called to-day on senator Soimo- parade, at which the emperor always noff, whose collection of pictures is assists, and after the christening of a not very numerous, but very well child of the prince Tscheslatoff, over chosen. It contains some valuable wbich their majesties stood as sponpieces; amongst others, the combat of sors, one gave notice to the king, that the Amazons against the Centaurs, by the emperor was waiting for him, and Luca Giordano, in which one admires he was, as usual, received in the most the great fidelity with which the artist cordial manner. As it was Friday, the has followed Ovid's descriptions: one dishes were all of the meagre kind, remarks also two figures, of which one yet not prepared with oil. After dinis found in the battle of Constantine by ner, the emperor himself showed all the Giulio Romano, and the other in the rooms, and particularly his study or battle near Arbela by Le Brun; with working-cabinet, with a brown wainsthis difference, however, that in the coting, exactly as in the time of Peter latter cases they represent men, whilst the First. Towards evening, the king Giardano introduces them as women, took an airing with their majesties in There is also a dessert-service of marble the extensive gardens. The emperor and precious stones, such as jasper, seems to have a great predilection for crystal, &c, which is very costly, and this finely-situated place, in which one excellently finished. A similar one, does yet meet with so many antiquated which the king had at Warsaw, is far buildings. The water-works in Peterbelow it. Most of the stones, which hof surpass the celebrated ones in one uses here as ornaments, are fur- Versailles. Supper was served on the nished at Ekatarinaburg in Siberia, shore of the sea, in the thick shade of where artists are established to whom the trees.” one needs only to send the drawings, 15th July.The king has seen, not with the certainty of being well served. far from this place, the niechanical The bronzes and golden ornaments institution of Catharine the Second, are nearly as well done here as in where, by means of a waterfall, marble France. Senator Soimonoff distin- and stones are cut and polished. One guishes himself as advantageously by has found of late in the immediate his manners as by his talents.”

vicinity of Peterhof, stones of two feet

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