Images de page
[ocr errors][merged small]

Art. XVI. Letters on exceffive Taxation. From a Philanthropil, to

bis Royal Highness George Prince of Wales, the Right Honourable Wil.
liam Pitt, firf Lord of the Treasury, and Chancellor of his Majesty's
Exchequer; and several other Noblemen of the firft Distinction : with
an Address to the People of Great Britain. 8vo. 25. 6d. Printed

for the Author, and sold by Fryer, London, 1785.
HE philanthropist is one of that numerous species of men,

whose schemes for diminishing, or paying off the national
debt, amuse the idle for a day, and then sink into oblivion.
He speaks highly of his own noflrum. “I will bind myself,
says he, under the severest penalty, to find resources that shall
remove every obnoxious tax, diminish the enormous debt, and
establifh a system that will prevent in future its accumulation,
even in war. Incredible as this may appear, I will answer
for its success: I neither require honour, or emolument, I
only ask your support.” We have given the appellation of
noftrum' to his scheme, because, like the medical quack, he
solicitously keeps the ingredients of his panacea from public
inspection. In his concluding letter to Mr. Pitt, he finishes
with saying, " The plan I have the most fanguine hope of is
by far more eligible, and may be put into practice without
much difficulty, though I cannot communicate it in writing.
Of its merits therefore we can form no judgment, and of
course cannot decide. We can only fay, that, unless - his ta-
lents for finance infinitely excel his literary accomplishments,
all trust in the philanthropist must be at an end. There is an
odd enthusiasm in this publication, not calculated to give the
most favourable impressions with respect to the understanding
of the author, though it strongly marks the warmth and be-
nevolence of his heart.


Art, XVII. Account of the present State and Arrangement of Mr. James

Tallie's Collection of Pafies and Impressions from ancient and modern
Gems: With a few Remarks on ihe Origin of engraving and hard
Stones; and the Methods of taking Impressions of them in different Sub-
fantes. By R. E. Rafpe. London. 1785. No Bookseller's Name.

UR countryman, Mr. Tassie, has been long distinguished

for the superior perfection to which he has brought his imitation of gems. His pastes are in the highest request over Europe, and the abilities of the ingenious artist rewarded with the warmest and most general approbation. To merit the pubJic applause, his endeavours have been equally indefatigable and successíul. His former catalogue amounted to 3106



numbers; but it is now increased to above 12,000, and forms the most complete collection that is any where to be met with, as it is an accumulation from the most remarkable cabinets, both in this kingdom, and on the continent.

A collection of this kind is, by most people, considered merely as a subject of curiosity ; but, when placed in its true light, it must be eiteemed an object of much higher import

It is a source of the purest knowledge to the sealengraver, the painter, and the statuary. It is one of the beft affiltants in the study of history and antiquities; and, in many respects, will be found a most useful handmaid to philosophy. It improves the taste, and enlightens the understanding.

These advantages did not escape the strong and penetrating mind of the present Empress of Ruffia, as will appear by the following extract from the pamphlet now before us.

• These fingular and obvious advantages, in number, variety, and contrast, of ancient modern works, have always been held in their proper estimation by the most enlightened connoisseurs, and seem to have been seen in their proper light by her Imperial Majesty the Empress of Russia; for, fome time ago, her majesty was graciovily pleased to avail herself of them, and to order, that a collection should be formed of perfect and durable impressions of ancient and modern gems, as complete and numerous as pollible ; secondly, that the gems from which they are taken, whether intaglios or cameos, should be executed in glass paftes, exactly imitating the respective colours of the originals ; thirdly, that the collection should be fcientifically arranged in suitable cabinets; and, fourthly, described in a corresponding catalogue, in which notice should be taken of their respective subjects, and all the particulars which can authenticate their history, and point out their merit, to promote the study of antiquities, and the art of engraving.'

A short abstract of the arrangement of this collection, will give the reader some idea of the infinite variety it contains.

It naturally divides itself into ancient and modern engravings. Under the first head are arranged Egyptian hieroglyphics, sacred animals, divinities, and priests. Balilidian, Gnostic and other abraxas, talismans and amulets, oriental and barbarous engravings. Greek and Roman originals, copies and modern imitations. The Greek and Roman engravings are subdivided into, ist. Mythology, or fabulous age, including the gods and inferior divinities, with their attributes, religious ceremonies, priests, &c. &c. 2dly. Heroic age, before the hege of Tioy. 3dly. Siege of Troy. 4thly. Historical age. This is subdivided into the history of Carthage, of Greece, of Kome, and historical subjects unknown. The first great divihon concludes with fabulous animals and chimeras, vases, and urns,


to 21S.

[ocr errors]

Under the head of modern engraving, we are presented with, ift. Religious subjects of the Old and New Testament, legends, and Christian allegory. 2dly. Portraits of kings and sovereigns. 3dly. Portraits of illustrious and celebrated perfons, in alphabetical order. 4thly. Portraits unknown. Sthly. Devices and emblems; and, lastly, cyphers, arms, supporters, and a medley of modern history.

From this imperfect sketch of the arrangement, it will be eafily seen what a fund of amusement and instruction is accumulated for the public. For the information of our readers, we shall transcribe the prices at which the various articles in the collection may be purchafed.

• For intaglio paftes, the size of feals and rings, from is. Ed. to 25. 6d. A beautiful imitation of a fine stone is charged more, in proportion to its perfection.

. For large intaglios, according to the colour and size, from 5s.

• For cameos, according to size and perfection, from 1os 6d. to 215.

Appliquées (that is to say, heads or figures glued to false grounds) are only deceptions, unsafe to use as rings, bracelets, &c. being liable to fall off and break; therefore only proper as pleasing ornaments, or furniture ; may be made from 55. and upwards, according to fize.

• For relievo impressions in white enamel, from gems, is. 6d. to 55. From large gemis bas-relicf, portraits, &c. from 55. to 215. not exceeding four inches diameter. Impreslions of this fize, in high relief, are charged in proportion to the diffculty.

· Impresions in red or other coloured sulphur, with neat gilt bor: ders, select number, 4d. each.

• For the whole collection, 3d. each.'

Mr. Raspe seems well acquainted with his subject, and has compressed much information within the small bounds of his pamphlet. We perfectly agree with him as to Mr. Wedgewood's pastes being made of clay, they can never enter into competition with those of Mr. Tafsie: It is well known to artists, and to every person in the least acquainted with these matters, that all mixtures of clay shrink, and, what is worse, fhrink unequally; which must neceflarily destroy the fine anrique contour, and, in every respect, produce incorrect impres: fions Mr. Taflie's composition is not liable to this objection, and gives the most faithful and perfect representation of the originals. His copies may, in truth, be considered as fac fimiles of all that is beautiful or curious in the works of engravers on genis, either in ancient or modern times.



ART. XVIII, La Colere de Xantippe, ou l'Edit des Deux Femmes. Poeme

Dramatique, par M -, Secretaire ordinaire de Monsieur, frere du Roi, &c.

Prix, i liv. Io sols. 8vo. broché. A. Athenes, et se trouve a Paris, Chez Valleyre l'aîné. 1784. The Anger of Xantippe, or the Edi&t of the two Wives. A Dramatic

Poem. ATHENS being depopulated by the plague, and a ruinous

war, an edict was promulgated, by which every citizen was permitted to have two wives. The author of this drama, l'Abbé Parmentier, supposes that Myrto, the grand-daughter of Aristides, piqued at the neglect of her lover Alcibiades, and taking advantage of the edict, offers herself as a second wife to Socrates, in whose houfe fhe had been educated. This, as was to be expected, is not relished by Xantippe; and gives the author an opportunity of painting the jealousy and violence of her temper. A fort of underplot, formed by the introduction of Euclid of Megara, gives him a further opportunity of delineating her character. The sanguinary Athenian edict against the citizens of Megara is well known. This constrained Euclid to attend the lectures of the attic philosopher under the disguise of a female. Being discovered in this difguise by the Grecian termagant, the mistakes him for a woman; fresh fuel is added to her jealousy, and his country being at the same time discovered, in a paroxym

of denounces him as a public enemy to the fenate,

Without entering further into the minutize of the plot, it may be sufficient to say that the author means to paint the excesses of passion and jealousy, in the character of Xantippe, and to give us a picture of wisdom, calmness, and good sense, with a dash of irony and sprightliness, in the person of Socrates. Myrto exhibits a strong and well-informed mini, combating against passion and inclination. Alcibiades is an agreeable coxcomb, who has good sense enough to sacrifice his follies to the pofleffion of an amiable and worthy woman. Lutect, the waiting maid, is a lively Gaul, with all the petulance of an abigail.

Such are the chief characters in the drama. We can fee that the author has endeavoured to display them as much, and to contrast them as forcibly, as he could ; his endeavours, however, have not been attended with any remarkable degree of success. Though there is some interest in the piece, and that it breathes a pure morality throughout, yet it is languid, and in most places deficient in the vis comica, the zest and soul of


rage, the

comedy. We shall select one of the least heavy passages in
the drama, as a specimen of the work, and that we may not
be accused of doing injustice to the author by a trandation,
we fhall give the extract in the original.
Soor. Vous connoiffez, Xantippe, cet arrêt

Que de la République a di&té l'intérêt,
Quand, par le trifte effet de la peste derniere,
Athènes, dont le Perle obsédoit la frontiere,
Recueilloit les moissons & saccageoit les biens,
Se trouva dans ses murs vuide de Citoyens :
Alors, pour prévenir la chûte malheureufe
Qu'entraînoit de soldats cette disette affreuse,
Le Sénat établit que, sans blesser les Loix,
Chacun pourroit avoir deux femmes à la fois ;
Enforte que l'Etat, vers le cinquieme lustre,

Plus que jamais peuplé, recouvrât tout son lastre.
Xant, (d'un ton rude.) Eh bien ?
Socr. Ce réglement, ce décret, entre nous,

Tout intérêt à part, comment le trouvez vous,

Ma femme ?
Xant. Impertinent, abfurde, abominable,

Sot, insoient.
Socr. Bon, bon ! cela n'est pas croyable.

Vous voules rire ?
Xant. Non : je ne ris point du tout.
Socr. Quel conte !
Xant. Par Junon! vous me pouffez à bout.
Sarr. Tant-pis.
Xant. Pourquoi ?
Socr. C'eft.
Xant. Quoi ?
Socr. C'eft.
Xant. Eh bien ?
Socr. Mais, sans doute,

Vous découvrez d'ici
Xant. Je ne vois rien, j'écoute :

Socr. C'est que l'époux, ma très-chere moitié,

Que Myrto veut bien prendre, est déjà marié.
Xant. Marié !
Socr. Marié.
Xant. Certes ! dans cette affaire

Myrto fait voir un goût bien extraordinaire.
Socr. Il se peut: cependant rien ne force son choix.
Xant. Et lui, qui de l'hymen subit déjà les loix,

Qui l'oblige à former cette nouvelle chaîne ?

L'inconstance, sans doute, á ce parti l'entraîne,
Socr. Point. C'est pour obéir aux ordres du Sénat,

Et tendre pour sa part au soutien de l'Etat.
Xant. J'entends : mais, aprés tout, sa femme y confent-elle ?


« PrécédentContinuer »