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Are best to art and ancient taste allied,


For ancient taste those forms has best applied.
Till this be learn'd, how all things disagree!
How all one wretched, blind barbarity!
The fool to native ignorance confin'd,
No beauty beaming on his clouded mind;
Untaught to relish, yet too proud to learn,
He scorns the grace his dulness can't discern..
Hence reason to caprice resigns the stage,
And hence that maxim of the ancient Sage,


Of all vain fools with coxcomb talents curst, "Bad Painters and bad Poets are the worst."

When first the orient rays of beauty move 65 The conscious soul, they light the lamp of love;

Nôsse quid in rebus natura creârit ad artem
Pulchrius, idque modum juxta, mentemque vetustam;
Quâ sine barbaries cæca et temararia pulchrum
Negligit, insultans ignotæ audacior arti,
Ut curare nequit, quæ non modo noverit esse;
Illud apud veteres fuit unde notabile dictum,
"Nil Pictore malo securius atque Poetâ."

Cognita amas, et amata cupis, sequerisq; cu


Passibus assequeris tandem quæ fervidus urges :


Love wakes those warm desires that prompt

our chace,

To follow and to fix each flying grace:
But earth-born graces sparingly impart
The symmetry supreme of perfect art:


For tho' our casual glance may sometimes meet With charms that strike the soul, and seem complete,

Yet if those charms too closely we define,
Content to copy nature line for line,

Our end is lost. Not such the Master's care,
Curious he culls the perfect from the fair; 76
Judge of his art, thro' beauty's realm he flies,
Selects, combines, improves, diversifies;
With nimble step pursues the fleeting throng,
And clasps each Venus as she glides along. 80

Illa tamen quæ pulchra decent; non omnia casus
Qualiácumque dabunt, etiamve simillima veris :
Nam quamcumque modo servili haud sufficit ipsam
Naturam exprimere ad vivum: sed ut arbiter artis, s
Seliget ex illâ tantùm pulcherrima Pictor ;-
Quodque minus pulchrum, aut mendosum, corriget


Marte suo, formæ Veneres captando fugaces.

Yet some there are who indiscreetly stray, Where purblind practice only points the way; Who every theoretick truth disdain,

And blunder on mechanically vain.

Some too there are, within whose languid breasts A lifeless heap of embryo knowledge rests, 86 When nor the pencil feels their drowzy art, Nor the skill'd hand explains the meaning heart. In chains of sloth such talents droop confin'd: Twas not by words Apelles charm'd man



Hear then the Muse; tho' perfect beauty


Above the reach of her descriptive powers,


a Utque manus grandi nfl nomine practica dignum Assequitur, primum arcanæ quam deficit artis Lumen, et in præceps abitura ut cæca vagatur; Sic nihil ars opera manuum privata supremtim Exequitur, sed languet iners uti vincta lacertos; Dispositumque typum non linguâ pinxit Apelles.

Ergo licet tota normam haud possimus in arte Ponere, (cum nequeant quæ sunt pulcherrima dici,)

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II. De Speculatione et


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Yet will she strive some leading rules to draw From sovereign Nature's universal law;

Stretch her wide view o'er ancient Art's do


Again establish Reason's legal reign,


Genius again correct with science sage,
And curb luxuriant fancy's headlong rage.
Right ever reigns its stated bounds between,
"And taste, like morals, loves the golden


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• Some lofty theme let judgement first supply, Supremely fraught with grace and majesty; For fancy copious, free to every charm That lines can circumscribe or colours warm;

Nitimur hæc paucis, scrutati summa magistræ
Dogmata Naturæ, artisque exemplaria prima
Altius intuiti; sic mens habilisque facultas,
Indolis excolitur, Geniumque Scientia complet;
Luxuriansque in monstra furor compescitur Arte.
"Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines,

"Quos ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum."


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His positis, erit optandum thema, nobile, pulchrum,

III. Of the Subject.

f III. De Argumento.

Still happier, if that artful theme dispense 105 A poignant moral and instructive sense.


8 Then let the virgin canvas smooth expand, To claim the sketch and tempt the Artist's hand: Then, bold INVENTION, all the powers diffuse, Of all thy sisters thou the noblest Muse: Thee every art, thee every grace inspires; Thee Phoebus fills with all his brightest fires. Choose such judicious force of shade and light

As suits the theme, and satisfies the sight;

Quodque venustatum, circa formam atque colorem,

Sponte capax, amplam emeritæ mox præbeat Arti Materiam, retegens aliquid salis et documenti.



Tandem opus aggredior; primoq; occurrit in albo Disponenda typi, concepta potente Minervâ, Machina, quæ nostris INVENTIO dicitur oris Illa quidem priùs ingenuis instructa sororum Artibus Aonidum, et Phoebi sublimior æstu.


* Quærendasque inter posituras, luminis, umbræ,

Invention the first part i Inventio prima Picturæ

of painting.

IV. Disposition or economy of the whole.


* IV. Dispositio, sive operis totius œconomia.

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