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A R G U M E N T

OF THE FIRST

EPIS T L E.

IntroductionThe flourishing state of Art in this country,

Disadvantages attending the modern Painter of Portraits --Short encomium on this branch of Art, with the account of its origin in the stary of the Maid of CorinthSuperiority of Historical PaintingSome account of the Greeks who excelled in it-Its destruction and revival in Italy-Short account of the most eminent Italian and Spanish Painters Those of Flanders and FranceThe corruption of Art

among the latter.

TO

TO

Mr. GEORGE ROMNE Y.

Ε Ρ Ι S T L Ε Ι.

B

LEST be the hour, when fav’ring gales restore

The travell’d artist to his native shore !
His mind enlighten'd, and his fancy fraught
With finest forms by ancient genius wrought;
Whose magic beauty charm’d, with spell sublime, 5
The scythe of Ruin from the hand of Time,
And mov’d the mighty leveller to spare

grace so exquisitely fair.
While you, whom Painting thus inspir’d to roam,
Bring these rich stores of ripen’d judgment home;
While now, attending my accomplish'd friend,
Science and Taste his soften'd colours blend;
Let the fond Muse, thu' with a transient view,
The progress of her sister art pursue;

Eager

Models of grace

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20

Eager in tracing from remotest time

15 The steps of Painting through each favour'd clime, To praise her dearest fons, whose daring aim Gain’d their bright stations on the heights of fame, And mark the paths by which her partial hand Conducts her Romney to this radiant band.

Painting, sweet Nymph! now leaves in lifeless trance Exhausted Italy, and tinsel France, And fees in Britain, with exulting eyes, Her vot'ries prosper, and her glories rise. Yet tho', my friend, thy art is thus carest,

25 And with the homage of the public blest, And Aourishes with growing beauty fair, The child of Majesty's adoptive care, The youthful artist still is doom'd to feel Obstruction's chilling hand, that damps his zeal : 30 Th’imperious voice of Vanity and Pride Bids him from Fancy's region turn aside, And quit the magic of her scene, to trace The vacant lines of some unmeaning face : E’en in this work his wishes still are crost,

35 And all the efforts of his art are lost;

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