Imatges de pÓgina

Two sentences more, and I have done with the Anti-Jacobin. I am treated with the utmost superciliousness for attempting to prove that many male and female figures are to be found in London equal to the celebrated statues of the Venus de Medicis and the Apollo Belvidere, which were alluded to by the words Grecian Apollos and Venuses.-What, am I to be told that my powers of discrimination "are far above par," because I assert the British human form is equal to the conceptions of the antient Grecians ? This "Grey-beard," as he calls himself, must have studied the Arts in a Mercantile way indeed, or he would have pronounced my powers were below par in saying they were only equal, as, upon a moment's consideration, I am convinced there are hundreds of persons in London whose forms in general, and the swells of their muscles, as far sur pass the statues in question, excellent as they may be, as the works of God ever did and ever must exceed those of man. Indeed, the best Artists invariably acknowledge with humility and regret how very inferior their works are to the common productions of Nature. Then how extremely ridiculous are these words of the Reviewer: "That the Metropolis can furnish many beautiful figures both male and female, from the millions of its inhabitants, we readily allow; but that perfection of form and character which characterises an Apollo and a Venus, has but few, very few resemblances.” I am almost tempted to say the latter part of this paragraph is impious: The most complicated, wonderful, and beautiful specimen of the powers of the Creator, exceeded by the works of the


created; nay, so far exceeded as to leave but few even of resemblances!!! Has the Reviewer read that indefatigable and accurate author Keysler? Hear what he says of the Venus de Medicis, after paying it the just tribute due to superior excellence: "The head is by most Connoisseurs considered as too small in proportion to the rest of the body, particularly the hips; some censure the nose as too large; and possibly the furrow along the vertebræ of the back is something too deep, especially as the object represents a soft plump female; and both the bend of the arms and inclination of the body jointly conspire to lessen the depth of this furrow, if not totally to obliterate it. The fingers are remarkably long, and all, except the little finger of the left hand, destitute of joints; but this should not affect the reputation of the Artist, as it is sufficiently evident, that the hands had not received his last touches." It has often been asserted that the English Jacobin cordially hates his own countrymen, and endeavours to exalt the perfections of their enemies: the above fact seems to prove decidedly that an Anti-Jacobin treats an author with contempt, because he wished to say the truth of the Reviewer's countrymen. If the reverse was the case, and the British form was less perfect, I ought to have escaped censure merely for my amor patriæ.

It was to deprecate such criticism as the preceding, which I expected, through the experience of others, that I prescribed an Antidote in the Preface of the first edition.

And now I shall leave these two wise Reviewers "to chew the cud in their own way," according to the elegant expression of the Anti-Jacobin.


The Eclectic Review, in noticing this work, has confined itself to such observations as were highly proper, supposing the volume intended to form a complete history of the century. I have already explained the reasons why I offered it to the publick as it appeared, and shall not therefore repeat them; but I cannot avoid adding, I feel myself indebted for the offered suggestions, though they were anticipated. When gentlemanly reproof is tempered with praise, he must be an arrogant and presumptuous writer indeed who feels offended at the recital of his real or supposed errors. I shall give some commendatory extracts, and the Reviewer will permit me to refute one of his suppositions.

"We certainly approve Mr. M's choice of a subject; and highly should we have congratulated ourselves if collectors of equal diligence had performed the same task for the 17th and many preceding centuries which he has undertaken for the last."-" Mr. M. with equal modesty and prudence, intitles his volume Anecdotes."-" It presents some of the principal features of the times, and will afford amusement and knowledge to the present generation, and still more to future generations, who cannot by recollection compare the portrait with the original."-" Whoever desires to form a just estimate of the manners of the English in the 18th century will derive great assistance from Mr. M's collections."

After what has been said, I am sorry to be obliged to censure any part of this Review of my Anecdotes. Speaking of my prints of Dress, the Reviewer says, I should have consulted several works which he has


named, particularly Hogarth's labours, or family pictures, and adds: "We are very much afraid Mr. M's prints on this subject have been made up memoriter." The above sentence must be considered by every impartial person as perfectly unjustifiable, and insulting to my moral character. This instance sufficiently proves that I am personally unknown to the Reviewer, or he would also have known deceit and baseness form no part of my composition. It now remains for me to give my authorities for the sketches of dress, which are full as authentic as any the Reviewer has mentioned; and to his surprize and regret he will learn that the very Hogarth he blames me for neglecting is one of them.

Dress 1690-1715, is from a print published immediately after the coronation of William and Mary representing that event, offered to the world by one of the Heralds at Arms. Dress 1721 is from a wooden cut in a newspaper exhibiting the young beau of the day. Dress 1735 is three figures grouped from Hogarth's plates. Dress 1738 is the old maid in Coventgarden from Hogarth, the position of the figure altered. Dress 1745 from Hogarth, the attitudes different. Dress 1752, attitudes altered from a large print of Vauxhall-gardens. Dress 1766 from Rooker's view of Covent-garden Church. Dress 1773 from a Mezzotinto, figures altered. Dress 1779 the hint taken from Miss Burney's Evelina. Dress 1785 from a large Aquatinta of the interior of the Pantheon, Oxford-street, figures newly grouped. The two last the Reviewer knows to be correct.-In concluding this subject, I cannot do better than quote the words of the Reviewer

Reviewer of my work in the European Magazine for June 1808. Speaking of the Anecdotes of Dress, he could not omit noticing "a Chapter" that "has in a manner fixed these fleeting meteors of public absurdity, by a series of prints, that at once serve as embellishments and elucidations of the work."-" These prints we really wish our readers could see, because they are, in many instances, extremely curious, and also because, on subjects of this nature, an artist with a few strokes of his pencil can convey ideas in a much stronger manner to the mind than an author in pages of laboured description."

As I have candidly given the reader all that the preceding Reviewers have said against me, he will indulge me in adding a few words from those who praise me. Were all Reviews formed on the liberal plan which distinguishes the article concerning my Anecdotes in the European Magazine, every author must be gratified with the prospect of having his work fairly analysed, and receiving explanatory notices for a future edition, and rejoice that Reviews are published. In proceeding through the contents of my book this worthy critic has given explanations of such passages as his knowledge of London enabled him to illustrate, which I have inserted in the form of notes in their proper places in the present edition; and in this pursuit he has, to his great credit, never once indulged in captious exceptions against particular sentences, or spoken of every thing omitted and nothing inserted. The conclusion is extremely grateful to my feelings: "When we consider the labour which Mr.


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