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lour; but they have the feed of every virtue, and make as good foldiers as any, when they carry arms under a foreign power. It is certain that they have a great fhare of genius, a fingular aptitude in acquiring the Sciences; and you would imagine they were born Harlequins, fo expreflive are their geftures, even from their infancy.
You will next travel by the famous Appian Way, which by its age is become wretchedly inconvenient, and you will arrive at Naples, the Parthenope of the Ancients, where the afhes of Virgil are depofited, and where you will fee a laurel growing, which could not poffibly be better placed.
Mount Vefuvius on one fide, and the Elyfian Fields on the other, will prefent a moft matchiefs view to you; and after being fatisfied with this delightful profpect, you will find yourself furrounded by a multitude of Neapolitans, lively and ingenious, but too much addicted to pleafure and idlenefs, to become what they otherwife might be. Naples might be a delightful place, if it was not for the crouds of people of the loweft rank, who have the appearance of unhappy wretches, or robbers, though often without being either the one or the other.
The churches are magnificently decorated, but their architecture is in a wretched tafte, and by no means comparable to the Roman. You will have a fingular pleasure in traverfing the environs of this town, which is most delightful, from its delicious fruits, charming views, and fine fituations. You will penetrate into the famous fubterranean city of Herculaneam, which was fwallowed up in a former age by an eruption of Mount Vefuvius. If the mountain happens to be raging, you will fee torrents of fire iffuing from its bowels, and majelically overfpreading the country. You will fee a collection of whatever has been recovered out of Herculaneum, at Portici; and the environs of Puzzuolo, fung by the Prince of Poets, will infpire you with a true paffion for poetry.
You must walk with the Loeid in your hand, and compare the cave of the Cumaan Sybil and Acheron with what Virgil has faid on thofe fubjects.
You will return by Caferta, which from its decorations, marbles, extent, and aqueducts worthy of ancient Rome, is the finest place in Europe: and you will make a visit to Mount Caffino, where the fpirit of St. Benedict has fubfifted uninterruptedly above a dozen ages, in fpite of the immenfe riches of that fuperb monastery.
Florence, from whence the fine arts have iffued, and where their most magnificent mafler-pieces are depofited, will prefent other objects to your view. There wou will admire a city, which, accor ding to the remark of a Portuguese, should only be fhewn on Sundays, it is fo handfome and beautifully decorated. You will every where trace the fplendour and elegance of the family of Medici, inícribed in the annals of tafte as the rellorers of the fine arts.
Leghorn is a well inhabited fea-port, of great advantage to Tufcany. Pifa always has men of learning, on every subject, in its fchools. Sienna, remarkable for the purity of its air and language, will intereft you in a very fingular manner. Parma, placed in the "mid of fertile pastures, will thew you a theatre which can contain
fourteen thousand people, and where every one can hear what is faid, though spoken in a whifper. Placentia will appear to you worthy of the name it bears, as its delightful fituation mult captivate every traveller..
You will not forget Modena, as it is the country of the famous Muratori, and a city celebrated for the name which it has given to its fovereigns.
You will find at Milan the fecond church in Italy, for fize and beauty more than a thoufand marble ftatues decorate its outfide, and it would be a mafter piece, if it had a proportionable front. The fociety of its inhabitants is quite agreeable, ever fince it was befieged by the French. They live there as they do in Paris, and every thing, even to the hofpitals and church-yards, prefents an air of fplendour. The Ambrofian library must engage the curious; and the Ambrofian ritual no lefs engage the churchman, who wishes to know the ufages of the church, as well as thofe of antiquity.
The Boromean Ifles will next attract your curiofity, from the accounts you must have had of them. Placed in the middle of a delightful lake, they prefent to your view whatever is magnificent or gay in gardens.
Genoa will prove to you that it is truly fuperb in its churches and palaces. There you will fee a port famous for its commerce, and the refort of ftrangers. You will fee a Doge changed almost as often as the fuperiors of communities, and with fcaice any greater authority.
And lastly Turin, the refidence of a court where the virtues have long inhabited, will charm you with the regularity of its buildings, the beauty of its fquares, the ftraightnefs of its ftreets, and the fpirit of the people; and there you will agreeably finish your journey.
I have been juft making the tour of Italy, most rapidly and at little expence, as you fee, to invite you to it in reality:-'tis fufficient to sketch paintings to fuch a master as you.
I make no mention of our morals to you; they are not more corrupt than among other people, let malice fay what it will; they vary only their fhades according to the difference of the govern ments.-The Roman does not refemble the Genoefe, nor the Venetian the Neapolitan; but you may say of Italy as of the whole world, that, with fome little distinctions, it is here as it is there, a little good and a little bad.
I do not attempt to prejudice you in favour of the agreeableness of the Italians, nor of their love of the arts and fciences: you will very foon perceive it when you come among them; you of all men, with whom one is delighted to converfe, and to whom it will always be a pleasure to say that one is his moft humble and moft obedient 'fervant.
I have taken the opportunity of a leifure moment to give you fome idea of my country; it is only a coarfe daubing, which in another hand would have been a beautiful miniature; the subject de1erves it, but my pencil is not fufficiently delicate for the execution.' The above letter was written, as appears by the date, about three years before Ganganelli was created Cardinal.
The following is addreffed to a periodical Reviewer:
To the ABBE LAM1, at Florence:
I always read your writings with pléafure, my dear Abbé, but I with you would always give the reafons of your cenfures. Inftead of faying, for example, that the fyle of fuch a work is incorrect; that there are trifles which disfigure the beauty of the bock; you should plainly thew it. Rules have always need of examples.
How would you have an author correct himself, and the Public adopt your manner of judging, if you only cenfure vaguely, and do not point out the place where the writer has forgot himself?
There is hardly any book of which it may not be faid, that it contains fome careless or affected expreffions. When you speak in general, it gives room to believe that you have only glanced your eye over the work of which you are giving an account, and that you are in hate to get rid of the trouble.
Another omiffion is, your not fhewing the best parts of the work. The good taste of the Journalist (Reviewer) requires that he fhould be attentive to this. It a work is not worth the trouble of reading, it is better not to announce it at all, than to rail at the writer. It is illiberal to abufe a work merely to make the Public merry at the expence of the Auther.
It were to be wished that Rome would adopt the practice of Paris, and that we fhould have feveral periodical theets appear fuc cellively. We have only a miferable Diario (Journal), which con tains nothing but infipid fluff, without the least inftruction. The duty of an enlightened Reviewer is both necefiary and honourable, in a country where letters are cultivated. Nobody knows better than [ do what a country owes to a writer who ties himself down to give an analysis of the books that are printed, every week, or every month, to make known the genius of the nation. It is the least expensive, and the most compendious method of extending knowledge, and of teaching to judge foundiy.
I thould have no idea of the ftate of literature in France, if it were not for the French Journals, which my friends are so obliging as to fend me. When they are fevere without fatire, exact without trifing, just and never partial, they discharge their duty to the fatis. faction of the Public. Mine is complete, every time that I can re new to you the fentiments of eleem and affection with which
I am, &c.'
The Good Father's advice to his critical friend, is certainly right, according to the fcheme of the foreign Journals; and could it be adopted by the English Monthly Reviewers, their talk would prove much more agreeable than it is,-to themfelves, we mean, but not more useful to the Public. Our brethren on the continent do not admit all publications into their Reviews; they have, therefore, more room to expatiate; and their attention is chiefly beftowed on works of fome importance, whose merits they may try and determine, by the established laws of criticism. We, on the other hand, are obliged by our plan, to take notice of every new book and pamphlet that appears in the British do
minions; and to feparate the corn from the tares, and the heep from the goats: but, in doing this, were we always to give our reasons' for pronouncing a tare a tare, or a goat a goat, we should find our work fwell moft enormously under our hands, and far exceed the bounds of a literary Journal. Befide, in our Catalogue-articles, particularly, we often meet with publications which are fo much beneath all criticifm, (and which, yet, must be noticed) that it would be the vileft proftitution of the noble art we profefs, were we formally to apply iis rules to the investigation of fuch rubbish.-The fame remark may fuffice for an anfwer to Father Ganganelli's other obfervation, viz. that if a work is not worth the trouble of reading, it is better not to announce it at all,' &c. With the good Father's leave, we apprehend that when a work is not worth the reading, though it comes recommended to us with a ponipous or fpecious advertisement in the news-papers, it is the indifpenfible duty of the Reviewer to announce that very circumtance to the Public. The detection of thofe Catch-penny. fcribblers, or thofe dunces, or coxcombs, whofe works are only a difgrace to the prefs, is, perhaps, the most useful and truly meritorious part of the Reviewers undertaking. It would, indeed, be illiberal' to abufe' a work, as our illuftrious admonisher obferves, but justice is not abufe; nor is it illiberal' to give to a bad writer his proper deferts: if, by his ignorance, or im pertinence, or impudence, he merits only contempt or ridicule, why should not such a devil of a feribbler have his duc, as well as any other devil?
Ganganelli has, in a fubfequent letter to the fame perfon, fome farther obfervations on literary journals, to which we can have no objection."
I cannot join in your opinion, my dear Abbé, of the book you have criticifed with fo much feverity. I do not think fo indifferently of it as you do. There are principles, views, and beauties in it, which render it interefting. Some negligences of tyle do not disfigure a book altogether. The ftyle is only the bark; and fometimes the tree may be good, though the bark is good for nothing. Unfortunately, in this age, we are lefs attached to things than to words. The diation too often determines the fate of the book. I have run over a multitude of pamphlets printed at Paris, which had nothing in them but a rapid and feducing ftyle. One is obliged to afk himfelf what the author meant to fay, and yet he does not know. It is not furprising, that in a country where they are fo fingularly fond of drefs and tinfel, they fhould be pleafed with a production whofe outward appearance conflitutes all its merit.
There are fome fubjects that of them felves are tivate the attention; while there are others which garded, without the paffport of a brilliant ftyle. would attend to this difference.
fufficient to capwill not be reAn able writer
• I shall
I fhall be very glad if you will analyfe two different works which have just appeared here; Converfation with One's felf, and The Elements of Metaphyfics. The first is fingularly interefting, as it elevates the foul upon the wreck of the paffions and fenies. The fecond is not lefs fo, as it tends to render its fpirituality and immortality demonftrable. These are two metaphyfical productions differently prefented: the Converfation with a clearness which makes it univerfally understood; the Elements with a depth which prevents its being generally read.
I look upon your paper as an alarm-bell, which prevents our Italians from fleeping over literature and the fciences. In a warm climate there is need of being frequently roused, in order to fludy. The mind flumbers like the body, if we do not take care to fpur it up, and in that flate we have neither fpirit to read nor to think.
Florence was always renowned for learning and tafte, and I am not afraid of the Florentines degenerating while you continue to instruct them. A periodical work executed with difcernment, gives light to the understanding, fupports emulation, and makes up for the want of perufing a multitude of works, which we have not time to read, or means to procure.
When I read a journal which gives an account of the productions printed in Europe, I learn to know the genius of the different na tions, and I perceive that an Englishman does not write like a German, nor think like a Frenchman. This national difference, which diftinguishes the people by their manner of writing and thinking, perfuades me that the moral world is a copy of the natural one, and that there are minds like faces, which have no fort of refemblance.
Adieu. I leave you to throw myself among the thorns of con troversy, where I certainly fhall not find the flowers which I perceive in your writings.'
There can be no queftion that, as Father G. intimates, a literary Review (fuch as OURS, no doubt!) ought to be regarded as a public benefit, i. e. it gives light to the under standing, fupports emulation, and makes up for the want of a multitude of books, which we have not time to read, nor means to procure.' Thank ye, Reverend Sir, for the good opinion you entertain of us; and we humbly beg leave to falute your Holiness's Slipper.
We fhall conclude this article with an extract of a letter, the contents of which are peculiarly applicable to the prelent circumftances of our own country.
TO A PRELATE.
Unite yourself with me, that we may revenge the memory of Sextus Quintus. I was moved to a degre of warmth yesterday in fupporting him against fome who called him a cruel pope, a pontiff unworthy of reigning. It is aftonishing how this character which has been bellowed upon him is fupported, and what footing it has obtained in the world.
Is it reasonable to judge fo great a man, without once reflecting on the times in which he lived, when Italy fwarmed with robbers;