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ELEMENTS

O F

CRITICIS M.

The SIXTH EDITION.

WITH THE

AUTHOR'S LAST CORRECTIONS AND ADDITIONS.

VOLUME I.

Home
Flements

Cit BG

of criticism
1:

EDINBURGH:

Printed for JOHN BELL and WILLIAM CREECH;
And for T. CADELL and G. ROBINSON, London.

M,DCC,LXXXV..

BIBLIOTHECA REGIA

MONACENSIS.

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G.

SIR,

ΤΗ

HE Fine Arts have ever been encouraged by wife Princes, not fingly for private amusement, but for their beneficial influence in fociety. By uniting different ranks in the fame elegant pleasures, they promote benevolence by cherishing love of order, they enforce fubmiffion to government: and by infpiring delicacy of feeling, they make regular government a double blef

THESE

[vi]

THESE Confiderations embolden me to hope for your Majefty's patronage in behalf of the following work, which treats of the Fine Arts, and attempts to form a standard of tafte, by unfolding those principles that ought to govern the taste of every individual.

IT is rare to find one born with fuch delicacy of feeling, as not to need inftruction it is equally rare to find one fo low in feeling, as not to be capable of inftruction. And yet, to refine our taste with refpect to beauties of art or of nature, is fcarce endeavoured in any femi*nary of learning; a lamentable defect, confidering how early in life tafte is fufceptible of culture, and how difficult to reform it if unhappily perverted. To furnish materials for fupplying that defect, was an additional motive for the prefent undertaking.

To

To promote the Fine Arts in Britain, has become of greater importance than is generally imagined. A flourishing commerce begets opulence; and opulence, inflaming our appetite for pleasure, is commonly vented on luxury, and on every fenfual gratification: Selfishness rears its head; becomes fashionable; and, infecting all ranks, extinguishes the amor patria, and every fpark of public fpirit. To prevent or to retard fuch fatal corruption, the genius of an Alfred cannot devife any means more efficacious, than the venting opulence upon the Fine Arts: riches fo employ'd, instead of encouraging vice, will excite both public and private virtue. Of this happy effect, ancient Greece furnishes one shining instance; and why should we defpair of another in Britain ?

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In the commencement of an auspicious reign, and even in that early period of life when pleasure commonly is the fole

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