John Chetwode Eustace.

A classical tour through Italy, an. MDCCCII (Volume 1) online

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VOL. I. , C



18 PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE.



SCULPTURE.

VI. We come in the next place to
Sculpture. Some acquaintance with ana-
tomy is a desirable preliminary to the
knowledge of this art; therefore he who
wishes to form correct notions of the sta-
tues, which he must necessarily examine
during his travels, would do well to attend
a few anatomical lectures previous to his
departure from the University. The best
method of acquiring a correct and natural
taste in sculpture is, without doubt, to in-
spect frequently the masterpieces of the art,
to compare them with each other, and
to converse occasionally with the best in-
formed artists.



thod which has never yet succeeded, their employers would
oblige them to adhere strictly to the ancients, and by adopt-
ing their forms and proportions to adorn England with the
noblest edifices of Greece and of Italy.



PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE. 19



PAINTING.

VII. Du Fresnoy's Art of Painting, and
Sir Joshua Reynolds's well known dis-
courses, together with much observation
and frequent conversation with persons well
versed in this enchanting art, may enable
attentive observers to distinguish the dif-
ferent schools, to observe the characteristic
excellence of each great master, the pecu-
liar beauty of every celebrated piece, and
give them, if not the eruditos oculos, the
discriminating eye of the professed artist,
at least the liberal satisfaction of the judi-
cious admirer.

MUSIC.

VIII. As Italy is acknowledged to be
the first country in the world for Music,
both with regard to composition and exe-



2a PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE.

culion, something perhaps may be ex=
pected on that subject also. But, much
as we may value music, yet I think that
young travellers ought rather to be cau-
tioned against its allurements than exposed
by preparatory lessons to their dangerous
influence.

Music in Italy has lost its strength and
its dignity ; it is little calculated either to
kindle patriotism or to inspire devotion ; it
does not call forth the energies of the mind,
nor even touch the strings of melancholy.
It tends rather by its effeminacy to bring
dangerous passions into action, and like the
allegorical stream of antiquity, to unman
those who allow themselves to be hurried
down its treacherous current. Plato would
have forbidden such music, and banished
its professors from his republic ; at all events
it neither wants nor deserves much encou-
rag^iient, and we may at least be allowed
to caution the youthful traveller against a



PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE. 91

taste that too often leads to low and dis-
honourable connexions.

IX. I have now pointed out the prepa-
ratory knowledge which I think necessary
to all travellers who wish to derive from
their Italian Tour, their full share of in-
formation and amusement. I will next
proceed, according to my plan, to point
out such dispositions, as will contribute
very materially to this object, by removing
prejudices, and leaving the mind fully open
to the impressions of experience and ob-
servation.

All the dispositions alluded to, are in-
cluded in one short but comprehensive
expression, an unprejudiced mind. This ex-
cellent quality is the result of time and ob-
servation, of docility and benevolence. It
does not require that we should be indif-
ferent to the prosperity of our own country
or bhnd to its pre-eminence; but, that we
should shew some indulgence to the errors^



22 PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE.

and some compassion for the sufferings of
less favoured nations. Far be it from me,
to wish to repress that spirit of patriotism
which forms one of the noblest features of
the national character, and still farther
every idea of encouraging the unfeeling
sect, who conceal general indifference,
under the affectation of philanthropy, and
sacrifice the feelings of the patriot, to
the pretended benevolence of the philo-
sopher.

But attachment to our own country,
and partiahty to its reputation, do not
oblige us to despise those nations, which
having been once tumbled from the pinna-
cle of Glory, are held by a series of disas-
trous revolutions and irresistible circum-
stances in a state of dependence and of
consequent degradation. On the contrary,
the numberless evils and abuses which
result from slavery and oppression, cannot
but excite sentiments of compassion and of



PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE. 2S

sympathy. Scipio, when he beheld the
flames o^ Carthage ascending to the skies,
exclaimed with a prophetic application to
Rome then triumphant,



EC fMv yaf To'Se o



Online LibraryJohn Chetwode EustaceA classical tour through Italy, an. MDCCCII (Volume 1) → online text (page 5 of 27)