« AnteriorContinuar »
· The few Notes which the Translator has inserted, and which are marked M, are merely critical, and relate only to the author's text or his own version.
NO T E S
. . ON THE
NOTE I.' Verse 1. Two Sister Muses, with alternate fire, &c. M. Du Piles opens his annotations here, with much learned quotation from Tertullian, Cicero, Ovid, and Suidas, in order to show the affinity between the two arts. But it may perhaps be more pertinent to substitute in the place of it all a single passage, by Plutarch ascribed to Simonides, and which our author, after having quoted Horace,'has literally translated: Ζωχραφίαν ειναι ΦΘΕΓΓΟΜΕΝΗΝ την Ποιησιν, ποιησιν δε ΣΙΓΩΣΑΝ την ζωγραφιαν. There is a Latin line somewhere to the same purpose, but I know not whether ancient or modern:
Poema Est Pictura loquens, mutum Pictura Poema. M.
NOTE II. VERSE 33.
That is to say, they belong intrinsically and of right. Mr. Wills, in the preface to his version of our poet, first detected the false translations of Du Piles and Dryden, which say, “ so much have these divine arts been honoured;" in consequence of which the Frenchman gives a note of four pages, enumurating the instances in which Painting and its Professors have been honoured by kings and great men, ancient and modern. Fresnoy had not this in his idea: He says, “ tantus inest divis honor artibus atque potestas," which Wills justly and literally translates, Such powers, such honours, are in arts divine.
' .. . M NOTE III. VERSE 51. 'Tis Painting's first chief business to explore, .. What lovelier forms in nature's boundless store, Are best to art and ancient taste allied, For ancient taste those forms has best applied.
The Poet, with great propriety, begins, by declaring what is the chief business of Theory and pronounces it to be a knowledge of what is beautiful in nature:
That form alone, where glows peculiar grace,
The genuine Painter condescends to trace. v.g. There is an absolute necessity for the Painter to generalize his notions ; to paint particulars is not to paint nature, it is only to paint circumstances. When the Artist has conceived in his imagination the image of perfect beauty, or the abstract idea of forms, he may be said to be admitted into the great Council of Nature, and to
Trace Beauty's beam to its eternal spring, And pure to man the fire celestial bring. v.19. To facilitate the acquisition of this ideal beauty, the Artist is recommended to a studious examination of ancient sculpture.
NOTE IV. Verse 55. Till this be learn’d, how all things disagree, How all one wretched, blind barbarity ! The mind is distracted with the variety of accidents, for so they ought to be called rather than forms: and the disagreement of