The Spectator, Volume 2. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,123 pages of information about The Spectator, Volume 2..
whom I take to be the Right of the two first Figures, has in his Countenance Wonder drowned in Love; and the last Personage, whose Back is towards the Spectator[s], and his Side towards the Presence, one would fancy to be St. Thomas, as abashed by the Conscience of his former Diffidence; which perplexed Concern it is possible Raphael thought too hard a Task to draw but by this Acknowledgment of the Difficulty to describe it.

The whole Work is an Exercise of the highest Piety in the Painter; and all the Touches of a religious Mind are expressed in a Manner much more forcible than can possibly be performed by the most moving Eloquence.  These invaluable Pieces are very justly in the Hands of the greatest and most pious Sovereign in the World; and cannot be the frequent Object of every one at their own Leisure:  But as an Engraver is to the Painter what a Printer is to an Author, it is worthy Her Majesty’s Name, that she has encouraged that Noble Artist, Monsieur Dorigny, [5] to publish these Works of Raphael.  We have of this Gentleman a Piece of the Transfiguration, which, I think, is held a Work second to none in the World.

Methinks it would be ridiculous in our People of Condition, after their large Bounties to Foreigners of no Name or Merit, should they overlook this Occasion of having, for a trifling Subscription, a Work which it is impossible for a Man of Sense to behold, without being warmed with the noblest Sentiments that can be inspired by Love, Admiration, Compassion, Contempt of this World, and Expectation of a better.

It is certainly the greatest Honour we can do our Country, to distinguish Strangers of Merit who apply to us with Modesty and Diffidence, which generally accompanies Merit.  No Opportunity of this Kind ought to be neglected; and a modest Behaviour should alarm us to examine whether we do not lose something excellent under that Disadvantage in the Possessor of that Quality.  My Skill in Paintings, where one is not directed by the Passion of the Pictures, is so inconsiderable, that I am in very great Perplexity when I offer to speak of any Performances of Painters of Landskips, Buildings, or single Figures.  This makes me at a loss how to mention the Pieces which Mr. Boul exposes to Sale by Auction on Wednesday next in Shandois-street:  But having heard him commended by those who have bought of him heretofore for great Integrity in his Dealing, and overheard him himself (tho a laudable Painter) say, nothing of his own was fit to come into the Room with those he had to sell, I fear’d I should lose an Occasion of serving a Man of Worth, in omitting to speak of his Auction.


[Footnote 1:  Swift to Stella, Nov. 18, 1711.

Do you ever read the SPECTATORS?  I never do; they never come in my way; I go to no coffee-houses.  They say abundance of them are very pretty; they are going to be printed in small volumes; Ill bring them over with me.]

[Footnote 2: 

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The Spectator, Volume 2. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.