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Collection of Lord Mount-Stuart; beside fome miscellaneous prints.
Netley Abbey has been recommended to the attention of the Public by a poem which it occafioned some years ago.
· The plealing melancholy, observes this Writer, inspired by contemplacing the mouldering towers and ivy-mantled walls of ancient buildings, is universally felt and acknowledged, by občervers, of every sort and disposition ; but these scenes receive a double folemnity, when the remains are of the religious kind, such as churches and monasteries.
• Religious ruins not only strike pious persons with that reveren. tial awe, which the thoughts of their original destination must always command, but, as places of sepulture excite ideas equally applicable to all ranks and opinions, from the monarch to the beggar, whether believers or sceptics, it being impoffible to walk over a spot of ground, every yard of which covers the remains of a human being, once like ourselves, without the intrusion of the awful memento, that we must soon, very soon, occupy a like narrow tenement of clay; a consideration which will, for a moment, overcloud the most cheerful temper, and abftract from trifling pursuits, at least for a while, those of the most dissipated turn, and oblige them to bestow fome thoughts on that inevitable moment, when they are to deparc hence.
• Netley Abbey, an infide view of which is here given, Aands eminently distinguished among the monastic ruins of this country, for its peculiar fieness to excite chose folemn ideas just mentioned. For this it is indebted not only to the elegance of its construction, its size and extent, but also to the profufion of ivy with which it is overgrown, and which balf closes its figured windows, serving by its tober colour to set off the more lively green of a variety of plants and shrubs, which have spontaneously grown up within its walls, and out of the huge fragments fallen from its fretted roof, so as to form a fort of grove in the body of the church, which, by limiting the coup d'oeil of the spectator, husbands out the beauties of the scene, and, in appearance, trebles its real magnitude.
• Among these ruins, several of the different offices of the monar. tery are distinguishable, particularly the Abbot's kitchen, in which opens a vault, taid by the person who Thews the place to commu. nicate with the adjacent caitle. The historians of the spot, likewise, commonly point out the place wbere a sacrilegious malon met that fate with which he had been threatened by dreams and visions ; that is, was crushed to death by the fall of part of a window, he was attempting to take down, having first demolished the roof. This monattery was founded about the year 1239. For the sake of its materials, 'it has been dilapidated and plundered by different persons, till within these few years ; Mr. Dummer, the present proprietor, has caused it to be thut up, and a key to be left with a neighbouring cortager, who picks up a maintenance by Thewing it to the parties that come by water, from Southampton, to drink tea among these ruins; ao expedition the Editor of this work recommends to all perfons of tafe. The river runs within an hundred yards of the Abbey, which itands on an eminence surrounded by woods...
The second volume of the Repertory opens with an elegant print of White Knights, Berkshire, the seat of Sir Henry Englefield, Bart. The account of it is communicated by Governor Pownal, but is too long to admit of infertion. We are told
it was one of the first examples of the ferme ornèe. It is a real farm, under the highest degree of culture, dressed the mean while in every ornament which nature in her best country garb can wear; while other seats of greater extent and more enlarged defign, have each some one striking feature for which they are admired, this place, an harmonized assemblage of pleasing parts, has the singular merit of being a one whole, and becomes as such a model to this fashionable taste of a country feat.' We are rather surprised, that while we have a long and entertaining description of this seat in its present form, there should not be some brief account of the time of its ancient structure and use, which certainly comports with the design of this work.
It may be an amusement to many of our Readers to peruse an Order of Council, describing the dress of a page in the reign of Queen Elizabeth,' said to be copied from the original in the library of Thomas Astle, Esq.
• These are to praye and requier you to make psent ferch within your ward & charges psently to macke hew & cry for a yong Aripling of the age of xxii yeres, the coler of his aparell as foloweth: One doblet of yelow million fuftion ch'one half therof buttoned with peche colour buttons, & th’other halfe laced downwards one payer of peche color hose laced with smale tawnye lace a graye hat with a copper edge rounde aboute it with a bande pcell of the same hatt a payer of watched * fockings. Likewise he hath twoe clokes th’one of vessey collor garded with twoe gards of black clothe & twisted lace of carnation colour & lyned with crymson bayes & th’other is a red shipp ruffet colotr striped about the cape & downe the fore face twisted with two rows of twisted lace ruffet & gold buttons afore and uppon the sholdier being of the clothe itselfe set with the said twisted lace & and the buttons of ruslet filke & gold. This youthes name is Gilbert Edwodd & page to Si Valentine Browne Knight who is run awaye this fowerth day of January with theis parcells following, viz. A chaine of wyer worke goide with a button of the fame & a (malle ringe of golde at it two flagging chaines of golde th’one being marked with theis letters v. & b. uppon the locke, & th'other with a little broken jewell at it, one carkanet of pearle and jasynicts therto hangeing, a jewell like a marimade of gold enameled the tayle therof being set with diamonds the bellye of the made with a ruby & the fhilde a diamond the cheine of golde whereon it'hangeth is set with smale diamonds & rubyes & certeyne money in golde and white money.
To all Conflables Bayliffs & Hedboroughs, Burghlye Warwick
& co all other the Quene's Officers whatHun done Howard soever to whome the same belongech &
apperteyneth. Valentine Browne.
Concerning Concerning the print given in the first volume, of Edward the Black Prince, we find the following just remark, which ought
to be here inserted : 'To a person skilled in painting, this portrait · will seem both much out of drawing, and extremely fat; these
faults the engraver could easily have corrected, but in pictures of this kind, the exactness of the copy, even in defects, conftitutes the greatest value of the piece. Ancient portraits serve not only to hand down some resemblance of the perfon reprefented, but also the state of the arts at the time of their execotion. , Amendments would undoubtedly frustrate information in both there articles.'
The last extract which we shall at prefent lay before our Readers, is the Copy of Sir John Lesley's Letter to Sir Thomas Riddle, of Gatefhead, upon the fiege of Newcastle, by the Scots, in the year 1640.
i Sir Thomas, • Between me and God, it maks my heart bleed bleud, to see the warks gae thro' soe trim a garden as yours. I hae been (wa times wi' my cousin the General, & fae thall I fax time mare afore the wark gae that gate; but gin a'this be dune Sir Thomas, yee maun macke the twenty pound thretty, & l maun hae the tag'd tail'd a trooper that stands in the staw, & the little wee trim gaeing 5 thing that ftands in the neuk o'th ha' chirping and chiming at the noun tide of the day, and forty bows of beer to saw the mains witha'; and as I am a Chevalier of fortune, & a limb of the house of Rothes, as the muckle maun kist in Edinburg, auld kirk can weel witness for these aught' hundred years bygaine, nought shall kaith your house within or without, to the validome of a cwapenny chicken.
• I am your humble servant, JOHN LESSLEY, Major-general & Captain over fax score & twa men & some mare ; Crowner of Cumberland, Northumberland, Murrayland & Fife; Baillie of Kirkaldie ; Governor of 3 Burnt Island, & the Bass; Laird of Libertine, Tilly and Wolly; Silier Tacker of Stirling, Conftable of Leith, & Sir John Lessley, Knight to the Boot of a' that.'
One might be apt to suppose that this letter had been formed in ridicule of the Major-general. The editor should have taken care to acquaint us from whence it is communicated, and how far its authenticity is to be relied on.
Farther extracts from this work we propose to lay before our Readers in the next Number of our Review.
a Horse. b Clock. c Two bushels, d Barley. e Low lands.
hi Col. Scotland. For a description, see Pennant's Tour, lector of the land tax.
ART. III. A Discourse delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy,
on the Distribution of the Prizes, Dec. 16, 1773. By the Presidenta 4to. 3 S.
explain the original principles on which the rules of painta ing are founded ; to give the young artist an enlarged and liberal view of his studies; and to recommend to his attention an acquaintance with the passions and affections of the mind, from which all rules arise, and to which they are ultimately to be referred. The Author acknowledges that poetry has a more extensive induence over the mind than her sister art. Poetry operates by raising our curiosity, engaging the mind by degrees to take an interelt in the event, keeping that event suspended, and surprising at lalt with an unexpected catastrophe.'
The painter's art is more confined, and has nothing that corresponds with, or perhaps is equivalent to, this power and advantage of leading the mind on, till attention is totally engaged. What is done by painting is done at one blow; curiosity has received at once all the satisfaction it can ever have. There are, however, other intellectual qualities and dispositions which the painter can satisfy and affect as powerfully as the poet ; among these we may reckon our love of novelty, variety, and contralt; these qualities, on examination, will be found to refer to a certain activity and restlessness, which has a pleasure and delight in being exercised and put in motion ; art therefore only administers to those wants and desires of the mind.
The Author proceeds to explain more particularly in what manner the qualities of novelty, variety, and contrast, are agreeable to the mind, and how far they ought to be employed in works of art. As there is a principle of activity, so there is also a love of indolence in man, which is averse to every excellive exertion. This disposition, which must likewise be qualified by the painter, ought to limit the extent which he allows to the active principles. He must not, by a predilection for novelty, exclude the pleasure arising from the light of what is agreeable to old habits and customs; variety must not destroy the gratification derived from uniformity and repetition ; and contralt ought not to be carried to such a length as would fatigue the senses by a violent and perpétual opposition.
The Author's observations on this abstract, but important subject, are just and ingenious; but the nature of his under taking did not admit of his giving them their full extent. Those of our Readers who desire to see the same subject treated at greater length, may consult an ingenious French work, entitled, « The Theory of agreeable Sensations *;” in which this doctrine is
• Vid. Review, vol. ii. p. 66, & feq. Rev. July 1779.
explained explained philosophically, and confirmed by many examples drawn from art and nature.
In the performance before us, the Author illustrates his general remarks by the conduct of two eminent artists.
· Two instances occur to me of two painters (Rembrant and Pousn) of characters totally opposite to each other in every tespect, but in nothing more than in their mode of composition and management of light and shadow. Rembrant's manner is absolute Unity; he often has but one groupe, and exhibits little more than one spot of light in the midst of a large quantity of fhadow; if he has a second mass, that second bears no proportion to the principl.
Pousin, on the contrary, has scarce any principal mass of light at all, and his figures are often too much dispersed, without sufficient attention to place them in groupes.
· The conduct of those two painters is entirely the reverse of what might be expected from their general file and character; the works of Pouffin being as much distinguished for fimplicity, as those of Rembrant for combination. Even this conduct of Poussin might proceed from too great an affection to simplicity of another kind; too great a desire to avoid that oftentation of art, with regard to light and fadow, on which Rembrant so much wished to draw the attention : however, each of them ran into contrary extremes, and it is difficult to determine which is the most reprehensible, loth being equally distant from the demands of Nature, and the purpofes of Art.'
The Author observes, that it is the knowledge of those powers and faculties of our nature, to which Art addresses itself, that will enable the artist to distinguish between thofe rules that require implicit obedience, and those that are of less consequence, and may be more easily dispensed with. This is fufficiently illustrated by the practice of the greatest painters. We shall infert, as a specimen, what is said of a rule laid down by Fresnoy:
• It is given as a rule, for instance, by Fresnoy, That the principal Figure of a Subjeći mult appear in the midst of the Picture, under the principal light, to difinguish it from the ref. A painter who should think himself obliged strictly to follow this rule, would incumber himself with ncediefs difficulties; he would be confined to great uniformity of composition, and be deprived of many beauties which are incompatible with its observance. The meaning of this rule cxtends, or ought to extend, no furiher than this–That the principal Figure should be immediately distinguished at the first glance of the eye; but there is no necessity that the principal light should fall on the principal figure, or that the principal figure should be in the middle of the picture. It is sufficient that it be distinguished by its place, or by the attention of other figures pointing it out to the spectator.