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tention: the two next with a more open ecstacy, though still constrained by the awe of the divine presence: the beloved disciple, whom I take to be the right of the two first figures, has in his countenance wonder drowned in love ; and the last personage, whose back is to
e wards the spectators, and his side towards the presence, one would fancy to be St. Thomas; as abashed by the conscience of his former diffidence : which perplexed concern it is possible Raphael thought too hard a task to draw, but by this acknowledgment of the difficulty to describe it.
The whole work is an exercise of the highest piety in the painter; and all the touches of a religious mind are expressed in a manner much more forcible than can possibly be performed by the most moving eloquence. These invaluable pieces are very justly in the hands of the greatest and the most pious sovereign in the world ; and cannot be the frequent object of every one at their own leisure ; but as an engraver
; is to the painter, what a printer is to an author, it is worthy her majesty's name, that she has encouraged that noble artist, Monsieur Dorigny, to publish these works of Raphael. We have of this gentleman a piece of the Transfiguration, which, I think, is held a work second to none in the world.
Methinks it would be ridiculous in our people of condition, after their large bounty to foreigners of no name or merit, should they overlook this occasion of having, for a trifling subscription, a work which it is impossible for a man of sense to behold, without being warmed with the noblest sentiments that can be inspired by love, admiration, compassion, contempt of this wor}d, and expectation of a better.
It is certainly the greatest honour we can do our country, to distinguish strangers of merit who apply to us with modesty and diffidence, which generally accompanies merit. No opportunity of this kind ought to be neglected; and a modest behaviour should alarm
us to examine whether we do not lose something excellent under that disadvantage in the possessor of that quality. My skill in paintings, where one is not directed by the passion of the pictures, is so inconsiderable, that I am in very great perplexity when I offer to speak of any performances of painters, of landskips, buildings, or single figures. This makes me at a loss how to mention the pieces which Mr. Boul exposes to sale by auction on Wednesday next in Chandois-street: but having heard him commended by those who have bought of him heretofore for great integrity in his dealing, and overheard him himself
, though a laudable painter, say nothing of his own was fit to come into the room with those he had to sell, I feared I should lose an occasion of serving a man of worth, in omitting to speak of his auction.
No. CCXXVII. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20.
"Ω μoι εγώ τι παθω και τι και δύο:ο;; ουχ υπακούεις και
IN my last Thursday's paper I made mention of a place called The Lover's Leap, which I find has raised a great curiosity among several of my corresponelents. - I there told them that this leap was used to be taken from a promontory of Leucas. This Leucas was formerly a part of Arcanania, being joined to it by a narrow neck of land, which the sea has by length of time overflowed and washed away ; so that at present Lercas is divided from the continent, and is a little island in the Ionian sea. The promontory of this island from whence the lover tock his leap, was formerly called Leucate. If the reader has a mind to know both the island and the promontory hy their modern titles, he will find in his map the ancient island of Leucas under the name of St. Mauro, and the ancient promontory of Leucate under the name of The Cape of St. Mauro.
Since I am engaged thus far in antiquity, I must observe that Theocritus in the motto prefixed to my paper, describes one of his despairing shepherds addressing himself to his mistress after the following manner : “ Alas! what will become of me? Wretch 6 that I am! Will you not hear me? I will throw “ off my clothes, and take a leap into that part of “ the sea which is so much frequented by Olphis the “ fisherman. And though I should escape with my “ life, I know you will be pleased with it.” I shall leave it with the critics to determine whether the place which this shepherd so particularly points out, was not the above-mentioned Leucate, or at least some other lover's leap, which was supposed to have had the same effect. I cannot believe, as all the interpreters do, that the shepherd means nothing farther here than that he would drown himself, since he represents the issue of this leap as doubtful, by adding, that if he should escape with life, he knows his mistress would be pleased with it; which is, according to our interpretation, that she would rejoice any way to get rid of a lover who was so troublesome to her.
After this short preface, I shall present my reader with some letters which I have received upon this subject. The first is sent me by a physician.
• Mr. Spectator, « THE Lover's Leap, which you mention in your 223d paper, was generally, I believe, a very effec
tual cure for love, and not only for love, but for all other evils. In short, Sir, I am afraid it was such
a leap as that which Hero took to get rid of her pas(sion for Leander. A man is in no danger of break• ing his heart, who breaks his neck to prevent it. • I know very well the wonders which ancient authors 6 relate concerning this leap ; and in particular that
very many persons who tried it, escaped not only o with their lives but their limbs. If by this means • they got rid of their love, though it may in part be
ascribed to the reasons you give for it; why may we not suppose that the cold bath into which they
plunged themselves, had also some share in their • cure? A leap into the sea, or into any creek of salt 6 waters, very often gives a new motion to the spirits, 6 and a new turn to the blood : for which reason we
prescribe it in distempers which no other medicine will reach. I could produce a quotation out of a
very venerable author, in which the frenzy produ(ced by love is compared to that which is produced ' by the biting of a mad-dog. But as this compari
son is a little too coarse for your paper, and might (look as if it were cited to ridicule the author who has made use of it: I shail only hint at it, and de
sire you to consider whether, if the frenzy produIced by the two different causés be of the same nature, • it may not very properly be cured by the same
* Mr. Spectator, • I AM a young woman crossed in love. My story ' is very long and melancholy. To give you the • heads of it: A young gentleman, after having • made his applications to me for three years toge
• ther, and filled my head with a thousand dreams of
happiness, some few days since married another. Pray tell me in what part of the world your pro'montory lies, which you call The Lover's Leap, • and whether one may go to it by land ? But alas, I am o afraid it has lost its virtue, and that a woman of our ( times would find no more relief in taking such a
leap, than in singing an hymn to Venus. So that · I must cry out with Dido in Dryden's Virgil,
“ Ah! cruel heaven, that made no cure for love !"
" Your disconsolate servant,
Mister Spictatur, • MY heart is so full of lofes and passions for Mrs. "Gwinifrid, and she is so pettish and over-run with • cholers against me, that if I had the good happiness 6 to have my dwelling (which is placed by my creat
crand-father upon the pottom of an hill) no farther (distance but twenty miles from the Lofer's Leap, " I would indeed indeafour to preak my neck upon • it on purpose. Now, good Mister Spictatur of • Creat Pritain, you must know it, there is in Caer• narvanshire a very pig mountain, the clory of all ( Wales, which is named Penmainmaure, and you ( must also know, it is no creat journey on foot from ! me ; but the road is stony and bad for shoes. • Now, there is upon the forehead of this mountain • a very high rock, (like a parish steeple) that com(eth a huge deal over the sea, so when I am in my « melancholies, and I do throw myself from it, I do « desire my fery cood friend to tell me in his Spicta(tur, if I shall be cure of my griefous lofes ; for
there is the sea clear as class, and as creen as the « leek : then likewise if I be drown and preak my i neck, if Mrs. Gwinifrid will not lofe me afterwards.