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count of their excellence in any of these parts of it, is like adjudging the prize of heroic, dramatic, ly, ric, or burlesque poetry, to him who has done well in any one of them
• Where there are the greatest geniuses, and most helps and encouragements, it is reasonable to suppose an art will arrive to the greatest perfection ; by this rule let us consider our own country with respect to face-painting. No nation in the world delights so much in having their own, or friends or relations pictures; whether from their national good nature, or having a love to painting, and not being encouraged in the great article of religious pictures, which the purity of our worship refuses the free use of, or from whatever other course. Our helps are not inferior to those of any other people, but rather they are greater; for what the antique statues and bass-reliefs which Italy enjoys are to the historypainters, the beautiful and noble faces with which England is confessed to abound, are to face-painters; and besides we have the greatest number of the works of the best masters in that kind of any people, not without a competent number of those of the most excellent in every other part of painting. And for encouragement, the wealth and generosity of the English nation affords that in such a degree, as artists have no reason to complain.
o And accordingly in fact face-painting is no where so well performed as in England: I know not whether it has lain in your way to observe it, but I have, and pretend to be a tolerable judge. I have seen what is done abroad, and can assure you, that the honour of that branch of painting is justly due to us. I appeal to the judicious observers for the truth of what I assert. If foreigners have oftentimes, or even for the most part excelled our natives, it ought to be imputed to the advantages they have met with here, joined to their own ingenuity and industry,
nor has any one nation distinguished themselves so as to raise an argument in favour of their country ; but it is to be observed that neither French nor Italians, nor any one of either nation, notwithstanding all our prejudices in their favour, have, or ever had, for any considerable time, any character among us as face-painters.
This honour is due to our own country; and has been so for near an age ; so that instead of going to Italy, or elsewhere, one that designs for portraitpainting ought to study in England. Hither such should come from Holland, France, Italy, Germany, &c. as he that intends to practice any other kinds of painting, should go to those parts where it is in greatest perfection. It is said the blessed virgin descended from heaven to sit to St. Luke ; I dare venture to affirm, that if she should desire another Madona to be painted by the life, she would come to England; and am of opinion that your present president, Sir Godfrey Kneller, from his improvement since he arrived in this kingdom, would perform that office better than any foreigner living. I am, with all possible respect,
(most obedient servant, &c.'
The ingenious letter signed The Weather-Glass, with several others, were received, but came too late.
· It had not come to my knowledge, when I left off the Spectator, that I owe several excellent sentiments and agreeable pieces in this work to Mr. Ince of Gray's Inn.
· R. STEELE.
I N D E X.
ACTION, a necessary qualification in an orator, N. 541.
meet with from the public, N. 501.
502; the vicious taste of our English audiences, ibid.
their works, N. 529.
BACON (Sir Francis) his extraordinary learning and parts,
of a shrew of a wife, N. 482.
Spectator, N. 504.
Biton and Clitobus, their story related, and applied by the
Spectator, N. 483.
ful Being, N. 543.
CALAMITIES not to be distinguished from blessings, N.
person, N. 474.
soul, N. 537.
ried state, N. 500.
N. 505 ; and desire of glory, 554.
Spectator's club, N. 517; his legacies, ibid.
DAPPERWIT (Tom) his opinion of matrimony, N. 482 ;
recommended by Will Honeycomb to succeed him in the
Spectator's club, 530.
storm, N. 483.