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when Rome was lefs fecure than a foreft, and modeft women were infulted in her streets at mid-day?
The feverity of Sextus Quintus, who is improperly called cruel, would in fuch circumstances be at least as pleafing in the fight of God, as the piety of Pius V.
'We have seen that thousands of men have been affaffinated under the reign of fome popes, without the murderers being brought to punishment: then was the time when it might have been faid with propriety, that the popes were cruel but when Sextus Quintus put to death nearly fifty robbers to fave the lives of his fubjects, to reeftablish morals in the midst of the cities, and fecurity in the heart of the country, at a time when there was neither law, nor order, nor reftraint; this was an act of justice and zeal, useful to the Public, and therefore agreeable to God.
Nothing is fo dreadful for a country as too mild a government. Crimes make a thousand times more victims than well-timed punishments. The Old Teftament is full of examples of justice and terror, and they were commanded by God himself, who furely cannot be accused of cruelty.'
As every reader of the foregoing letter will make the application we mean,-we would here beg leave, with all due deference and humility, to recommend its contents to the SERIous confideration of ONE, whom it might be deemed indelicate to name, on this occafion; but on whofe WISDOM and RESOLUTION, thoufands and tens of thoufands chiefly depend for the fafety of their perfons, and the protection of their property. Let us hope, therefore, that henceforth, the utmost care will be taken to prevent the fhameful abuse of a preregative, which furely was not defigned to be, what it notoriously has been, an encouragement, rather than a terror, to evil doers. The following infcription, in golden capitals, over the door of the Council-chamber, might often prove a feafonable admonition to those who enter it:
MERCY TO THE WICKED, IS CRUELTY TO THE WORTHY.
ART. VIII. The Works in Architecture of ROBERT and JAMES ADAM, Efquires. No. IV. Containing Defigns of fome public Buildings. Fol. Imp. Paper. 11. 1 s. Becket. 1776.
Nour accounts of the former parts of this magnificent publication, we fufficiently, and, it is hoped, juftly, commended the elegance and taste manifefted by Meffrs. Adam, in their architectural performances, as well as in their defigns for ornamental furniture. The fpecimens publifhed in the three preceding Numbers, were, thofe of part of the defigns of SIONHOUSE; part of thofe of Lord Mansfield's villa at KENWOOD+;
See Review, vol. xlix. p. 451.
and thofe of LUTON PARK-HOUSE, the feat of Lord Bute, in Bedfordihire.
Befide the engravings, there are prefatory difcourfes to thefe feveral publications, in which we obferve a variety of general and critical remarks, relative to the fcience of architecture, and to the beauties difplayed in the noble models left us by the ancients, Of thefe we have, occafionally, given fome extracts; and we fhall continue, in like manner, to oblige those of our Readers who are curious with refpect to this pleafing fubject.
Public buildings, fay our ingenious Authors, are the most fplendid ornaments of a great and opulent people. The purpoles for which they are intended, admit of magnificence in the delign, and require folidity in the conftruction.
Such buildings muft, of courfe, contain great and spacious apartments for the meeting of numerous aflemblies; and, confequently, they are fufceptible of more grandeur, as well in their external decoration, as in their internal diftribution.
The frequent, but neceffary, repetition of windows in private houses, cuts the façade into minute parts, which render it difficult, if not impoffible, to preferve that greatnefs and fimplicity of compofition, which, by impofing on the imagination, ftrikes the mind.
The mafter, who has not an opportunity to diftinguish himself by displaying his abilities in works of real greatnefs, will naturally betake himself to other refources, and, following the most approved examples of Greece and Rome, endeavour to call forth the admiration of mankind by the beauty and variety of his forms, by the richness and fertility of his invention, and by the elegance and delicacy of his ornamental decorations. A thefe may be adopted, with great propriety, in Imall rooms and private apartments.
In this refpect, painting and architecture may very juftly be compared. The most celebrated painters of the Italian fchool, trufting to the greatness of their compofitions, to their Jarge maffes of light and fhade, and to the fplendor and eclat of their general effe&t, never entered with fcrupulous minutenefs into all the detail of the various parts; while the Flemish artift, fenfible of the fmallnefs of his field, endeavours to avail himself of every particular circumftance, by entering with precifion into the confideration of the minute detail, by defcribing: every part with the utmoft accuracy and correctnefs, and by heightening, with force and brilliancy of colour, every acceffary that can give elegance and vivacity to his fmall but exquifite and highly finished performance.'
Review, vol. iii. p. 49,
In this preface our Authors have introduced fome obfervations on Horace, Lib. II. Carmen 15, in which, as they apprehend, the Bard has unjustly complained, that, in his time, the Romans were become fo extremely expenfive in their private houfes and gardens, as to render them the lefs capable of expending large fums upon, and of attending to the decoration and magnificence of, their public buildings.
To fhew how little foundation there was for a complaint of. this kind, Mers. Adam have given a very particular detail of the public works erected, and restored, at Rome, in the time when Horace wrote,-greater, and more numerous, than any former period could boaft; the lift is curious, and, we believe, extremely accurate: but, for particulars, we must refer our Readers to the book.-We have, however, by the way, fome doubt whether Horace is juftly chargeable with any mifreprefentation of his countrymen, with refpect to the fubject of the ode in question. He there contrafts the plainnefs and economy of the old Romans, with the extravagance of his cotemporaries; at the fame time praifing the magnificence of the former, with respect to whatever concerned the public edifices, especially those which were dedicated to the gods. To this frugality in private life, they were, indeed, obliged by their circumstances; for though the public revenues were ample, the fortunes of in-. dividuals were narrow; as Horace himself obferves. But when Rome was enriched by the plunder of the world, and immenfe perfonal fortunes were amaffed, the citizens, in courfe, grew luxurious; they forgot that parfimony in which they formerly prided themselves; and all the elegancies and ornaments of poifhed life were introduced into their palaces and gardens,-to their tables, their furniture, and every thing that the wantonof wealth and profperity makes men with for. This degeneracy, or this improvement (the Reader has his choice of the terms) is what Horace complains of; but we do not perceive that he charges the Romans of the Auguftan age, with neglect of the public edifices; and our Authors have clearly fhewn that they were by no means liable to fuch a charge. And if, as Meflrs, Adam have expreffed themfelves, it was not poffible the grandeur and decoration of public works could be neglected, at a time when the ingenious Vitruvius lived, and the fplendid Auguftus reigned,'-how was it poffible for their cotemporary, Horace, to bring against them an accufation of parfimony with regard to the Public, which every one would know to be groundless; and for which, too, there was not the least occafion or pretence, as the wealth of the Romans, at that glorious period, was equal to every thing that the grandeur of the state, as well as the luxury of individuals, could require.
Having mentioned the high regard paid by the Heathen Romans to the fplendor of their temples, &c. our Authors proceed to remark, that the bigotted zeal and fuperftitious pomp of the Roman-Catholic religion have produced a like profufion and magnificence in the public works of modern Italy;' and to that cause, it is added, however incompatible it may feem to be with general fcience, and liberal ideas, Italy owes its vaft progrefs and prefent fplendor in the arts of elegance.'
With regard to Great Britain, the, it is obferved, Never had, fince the firft acquired power and opulence, the fame motive for calling forth abilities and talents for the fine arts: neither has the form of our government, nor the decent fimplicity of our religion, ever demanded any fuch exertion; nor is it probable that they ever will, while we continue a free and flourishing people. Though, therefore, we have, within a hort period of years, made confiderable progrefs in almost every art, and demonftrated, by many convincing proofs, that this country, when roufed, is capable of admirable efforts of native genius; yet we must not expect that the fine arts will ever meet with their most ample reward, or attain their utmoft degree of perfection, deprived as they are, of that emulation which is excited by public works, and by the honourable applaufe of a refined and difcerning Public.'
The engravings contained in this Number, are,
1. A view of part of Whitehall, thewing the Admiralty-Office, with a new Gateway, defigned and executed in the year 1760. Alfo a part of the Horfe Guards, &c.
2. Elevation of an House at Whitehall, restored as a board-room for the Paymafter-General and Commiffioners of ChelfeaHofpital, and Office for Invalids.
3. Plan of the principal ftory of the Society's House, and of the Secretary's Houfe adjoining.
4. Elevation of the Houfe of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, fituated in John Street, Adelphi.
5. Plans of the first and fecond ftories of the Office for the Public Records of Scotland.
6. South elevation of the Register-Office, or Building for containing the Public Records of Scotland, fituated in the New Town of Edinburgh, fronting the bridge.
7. Section through the center line of the Regifter-Office, from North to South.
8. Ornamental furniture, &c.
Though we heartily with fuccefs to this periodical publication, yet the price feeming fo high, may poffibly prove an impediment to the fale. The price, however, is, in truth, pro
portionally lower than is ufual, in works of this kind; as it does not amount to more than 2 s. 6 d. each, for plates of fuch a fize and fuch elegance, as might entitle them, according to the cultom of printfellers, to be fet at, perhaps, double the rate at which they are offered to the Connoiffeur by the prefent terms of publication.
(By our CORRESPONDENTS.)
HE fifth and laft volume of the Ornithologia methodicè digefta, &c. i. e. the Methodical Syftem of Ornithology, one of the moft fplendid works that has appeared of late years in Italy, and which is defigned to illuftrate one of the most agreeable branches of natural hiftory, was published some months ago by Vanni the bookfeller. Six hundred plates, elegantly engraved, coloured by the ableft artists of Florence, and illuftrated by the ample and learned explications of M. MANETTI, an eminent phyfician and naturalift, adorn this noble work. In the twenty plates that enrich this fifth volume, we find, among other birds, the phenicopter, the pelican, pigeon, fwan, duck, goose, At the end of this volume there blackbird, the ufh, penguin, &c. is not only a general index of the Matters contained in the whole Work, but also a catalogue of all the birds delineated and defcribed in the preceding volumes, together with their names in Italian, Latin, English, and French, and a diftinct account of the genus and Species.
MI L A N.
II. Cofmographia Phyfica & Mathematica Pars Altera, de Rotationis motu & Phænomenis inde pendentibus. 4to. 1776. This fecond part of the Phyfical and Mathematical Syftem of Cofmography of the learned Father FRISI (whole name will thine in the annals of philofophy when the annals of monachifm will be buried in deferved oblivion) treats of the kind of motion called Rotation, in the fyftem of nature, and points out the phenomena, and the effects that depend upon this principle. In the former part of this excellent work *, the ingenious and learned Author treated the Theory of Periodical Motions, and, under this general title, defcribed the laws of periodical motion that are obferved by the celeftial bodies, whether in circular, elliptical, or parabolical orbits, or conic fections, confidered the pertur bations of circular motion, laid down the theory of the moon
Mentioned in our Number for April, 1775, P. 319.