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HE Fine Arts have ever been en
couraged by wife Princes, not fingly for private amusement, but for their beneficial influence in fociety. By uniting different ranks in the fame elegant pleafures, they promote benevolence: by cherishing love of order, they enforce fubmiffion to government and by inspiring delicacy of feeling, they make regular government a double bleffing.
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 taste, 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 tafte with respect to beauties of art or of nature, is fcarce endeavoured in any feminary 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 furnifh materials for fupplying that defect, was an additional motive for the prefent undertaking.
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 patriae, and every spark of public fpirit. To prevent or to retard fuch fatal corruption, the genius of an Alfred cannot devise any means more efficacious, than the venting opulence upon the Fine Arts: riches fo employed, inftead of encouraging vice, will excite both public and private virtue. Of this happy effect, ancient Greece furnishes one fhining inftance; and why should we defpair of another in Britain?
In the commencement of an aufpicious reign, and even in that early period of life when pleasure commonly is the fole purfuit, your Majefty has uniformly displayed to a delighted people, the nobleft principles, ripened by early culture; and, for that reafon, you will be the more disposed to favour every rational plan for advancing the art of training up youth. Among the ma-. ny branches of education, that which tends to make deep impreffions of virtue, ought to be a fundamental object in a well-regulated government: for depravity of manners will render ineffectual the most falutary laws; and, in the midst of opulence, what other means to prevent fuch depravity but early and virtuous difcipline? The British difcipline is fufceptible of great improvements; and, if we can hope for them, it must be from a young and accomplished Prince, eminently fenfible of their impor