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The lame, when they first find strength in their feet, stand doubtful of their new vigour. The heavenly apostles appear acting these great things, with a deep sense of the infirmities which they relieve, but no value of themselves who administer to their weakness. They know themselves to be but instruments; and the generous distress they are painted in when divine honours are offered to them, is a representation in the most exquisite degree of the beauty of holiness. When St. Paul is preaching to the Athenians, with what wonderful art are almost. all the different tempers of mankind represented in that elegant audience? You see one credulous of all that is said, another wrapped up in deep suspense, another saying there is some reason in what he says, another angry that the Apostle destroys a favourite opinion which he is unwilling to give up, another wholly convinced and holding out his hands in rapture; while the generality attend, and wait for the opinion of those who are of leading characters in the assembly. I will not pretend so much as to mention that chart on which is drawn the appearance of our blessed Lord after His Resurrection. Present authority, late suffering, humility, and majesty, despotic command and divine? love, are at once seated in His celestial aspect. The figures of the eleven apostles are all in the same passion of admiration, but discover it differently according to their characters. Peter receives his Master's orders on his knees, with an admiration mixed with a more particular attention; the two next with a more open ecstasy, though still constrained by the awe of the Divine? Presence; the beloved disciple, whom I take to be the right of the two first figures, has in 1 • Brotherly' (folio).
2 Celestial' (folio).
his countenance wonder drowned in love; and the last personage, whose back is towards the spectator 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," to publish these works of Raphael. We have of this gentleman a piece of the Transfiguration, which is held a work second to none in the world.
1 Hazlitt (* Round Table') described this paper of Steele's as the best criticism in the Spectator.'
2 Michael Dorigny, painter and engraver, native of St. Quentin, pupil and son-in-law of Simon Vouet, whose style he adopted, was professor in the Paris Academy of Painting, and died at the age of forty-eight, in 1665. His son and Vouet's grandson, Nicola Dorigny, in aid of whose undertaking Steele wrote this paper in the Spectator, had been invited from Rome by several of the nobility, to produce, with licence from the Queen, engravings from Raphaeľs cartoons at Hampton Court. He offered eight plates 19 inches high, and from 25 to 30 inches long, for four guineas subscription, although, he said in his prospectus, the five prints of Alexander's Battles after Lebrun were often sold for twenty guineas (Morley). Dorigny finished his cartoons in 1719, and was knighted in the following year. He died in 1746. Dorigny's advertisement appeared in No. 205 of the Spectator and following oumbers.
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 landscapes, 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 Chandos Street. But having heard him commended by those who have bought of him heretofore for great integrity in his dealing, and overheard him himself (though a laudable painter) say nothing of his own was fit to come into the room with those he had to sell, I feared I should lose an occasion of serving a man of worth in omitting to speak of his auction.
1 The following advertisement appeared in this number, in the original issue : “To be sold by auction, a curious collection of old Italian paintings and drawings, being the collection of Mr. Robert, late of St. Paul's Churchyard, painter, deceased ; on Wednesday, the 21st of this instant November, at four o'clock in the afternoon, at Tom's Coffee-House, in St. Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, where catalogues may be had, and the prints seen this day until the time of sale.' Vertue says he had seen a pocket-book of sketches and views of Derbyshire, by Philip Boul, in imitation of Salvator Rosa. Steele's allusion seems to be the only evidence that Boul executed anything in painting (Walpole’s • Anecdotes of Painting,' 1888, ii. 217).
There is arrived from Italy a Painter who acknowledges himself the greatest person of the age in that art, and is willing to be as renowned in this island as he declares he is in foreign parts.
The Doctor paints the poor for nothing. T.
No. 227. Tuesday, Nov. 20, 1711
"Nuor éryøv, Ti náow; ádúoooos ; oủx ÚTTAKOVELS ;
-Theoc., Idyl. iii. 12, 24-26. IN my last Thursday's paper 'I made mention of a I place called the Lover's Leap, which I find has lover took his leap, was formerly called Leucate. If the reader has a mind to know both the island and the promontory by their modern titles, he will find in his map the ancient island of Leucas under the name of St. Mauro, and the ancient promontory of Leucate under the name of the Cape of St. Mauro.
raised a great curiosity among several of my correspondents. I there told them that this leap was used to be taken from a promontory of Leucas. This Leucas was formerly a part of Acarnania, being joined to it by a narrow neck of land, which the sea has by length of time overflowed and washed away; so that at present Leucas is divided from the continent, and is a little island in the Ionian sea. The promontory of this island, from whence the
1 No. 223. 2 • Being separated from' (folio).
Since I am engaged thus far in antiquity, I must observe that Theocritus in the motto prefixed to my paper, describes one of his despairing shepherds addressing himself to his mistress after the following manner: ‘Alas! what will become of me? Wretch that I am! Will you not hear me? I'll throw off my clothes, and take a leap into that part of the sea which is so much frequented by Olphis the fisherman. And though I should escape with my life, I know you will be pleased with it. I shall leave it with the critics to determine whether the place which this shepherd so particularly points out was not the above-mentioned Leucate, or at least some other lover's leap, which was supposed to have had the same effect. I cannot believe, as all the interpreters do, that the shepherd means nothing further here, than that he would drown himself, since he represents the issue of his leap as doubtful, by adding that if he should escape with life,' he knows his mistress would be pleased with it; which is, according to our interpretation, that she would rejoice any way to get rid of a lover who was so troublesome to her.
After this short preface I shall present my reader with some letters which I have received upon this subject. The first is sent me by a physician :
1 . With his life' (folio).