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indulgence with which women of a certain class are viewe ed in Italy, of the ignominy with which they are treated in Great Britain, has, upon the whole, the best effect in society. But I have observed, that the public courtesans in England often become quite abandoned, and forget all sense of gratitude or affection, even to their parents. But in Italy, women who never put any value on the virtue of chastity, those who sell their favours for money, display a goodness of character in other respects, and continue their duty and attachment to their parents as long as they live: Foreigners who form a connection with a girl in this country, find themselves very often obliged to maintain the father, mother, and whole family to which she belongs, The lover generally considers this as a very troublesome circumstance, and endeavours to inspire his Italian inistress with that total neglect of her family which prevails among women of her stamp in other countries; but he very
seldom succeeds. An Italian woman is unwilling to quit her native city and her family, even for a man she loves; and seldom does, till he makes some provision for her nearest relations."
• You seem to have a very great affection for the Ita·lian ladies; and, as far as I can perceive,' said I, your
passion is universal to the whole class in question; but you have said nothing to the essential article of religion, It is to be hoped, they do not allow the duties of their profession to make them neglect their souls.'
• I see,' replied the painter, ' you are disposed to laugh at all I have said in their favqur; but in answer to your question, I will fairly own, that their religious, or, if
you please, we shall rather call them their superstitious, sentiinents, seem to be no way influenced by their profession; nor are the duties of their profession in any degree affected by these sentiments. They attend mass, and the ceremonies of devotion, with as much punctuality as if their lives were regular in all other respects; and they pass their lives, in other respects, as if they had never heard of any religious system but that of Epicurus. In some coun,
tries of Europe, women of their stamp often despise every appearance of decency, assume the disgusting depravity of male debauchees, with all the airs of affected infidelity, and real profligacy; but here they always remember they are women; and, after they have lost the most valued and brightest ornament of their sex, still endeavour to retain some of the others.'
• After all you have said in their favour,' said I, their condition is certainly not to be envied. If, therefore, you have any regard for your young Venus, you will do well to leave her under the care of her mother, and never endeavour to introduce her into the community whose eulogium you have been making.'
When I returned from the house of this artist, I found Mr. waiting for me at our lodgings. He has of late paid his court very assiduously to a lady of high rank in this place: she is distinguished, even here, for a punctili. ous observance of all the ceremonies appointed by the church, and could not eat meat on a meagre day, or devis ate from the canonical regulations in any point of equal importance, without remorse ; but in matters of gallantry, she has the reputation of being infinitely more liberal, both in her sentiments and practice. She has been for some time provided with a very able and respectable lover, of her own country. This did not make her blind to the good qualities of Mr. —, with whom she formed a a very intimate connection, soon after his arrival here ; not that she prefers him to her other lover, but merés ly from a strong sense of the truth and beauty of his arithmetical axiom-one and one make two. The new arrangement with our countryman, however pleasing to the lady, gave offence to her father confessor. The scrupulous ecclesiastic was of opinion, that a connection of this nature with a heretic was more criminal than with a man of her own communion. Mr. - was just come from the lady to our lodgings; "he had found her in worse humour than he had ever observed before, though her temper is not the mildest in the world. Mr.
entered as the confessor went out; she shut the door after him with a violence which shook the whole house, muttering as she returned to her seat, Che ti possino Cascar le braccia Vecchio Dondolone. Mr. expressed his concern on seeing her so much agitated. "No wonder,' said she,
. 6 that stubborn Animalaccio who is just gone out, has had the insolence to refuse me absolution. As I expected you this morning, I sent for him betimes, that the matter might have been expedited before you should come; but here I have been above an hour endeavouring to persuade him, but all to no purpose; nothing I could say was able to mollify the obstinate old greasy rascal? Mr. joined in abusing the confessor's perverseness, hinting, at the same time, that she ought to despise it as a matter of little importance ; that she was sure of receiving absolution sooner or later; and, whenever it happened, all the transactions of the interval would be comprehended within that act of grace. Upon the strength of this reasoning, Mr. - was proceeding to fulfil the purpose of his visit with as much alacrity as if the most complete discharge had been granted for all proceedings.Pian Piano Idol mio, cried the lady, bisogna rimettersi alla voluntà di Dio.' She then told her lover, that although she despised the confessor as much as he could do, yet she must take care of her own soul; that not having settled her accounts with heaven for a considerable time, she was determined not to begin a new score till the old should be cleared ; adding, for her principal reason, Patto chiaro, amico caro.
I Bkg you may not suspect me of affectation, or that I wish to assume the character of a connoisseur, when I tell you, that I have very great pleasure in contemplating the antique statues and busts, of which there are such numbers in this city. It is a natural curiosity, and I have
had it all my life in a strong degree, to see celebrated men, those whose talents and great qualities can alone render the present age an interesting object to posterity, and prevent its being lost, like the dark ages which succeeded the destruction of the Roman empire, in the oblivious vortex of time, leaving scarcely a wreck behind. The durable monuments raised to fame by the inspiring genius of Pitt, and the invincible spirit of Frederick, will command the admiration of future ages, outlive the power of the empires which they aggrandized, and forbid the period in which they flourished, from ever passing away like the baseless fabric of a vision. The busts and statues of those memorable men will be viewed, by succeeding generations, with the same regard and attention which we now bestow on those of Cicero and Cæsar: We expect to find something peculiarly noble and expressive in features which were animated, and which, we imagine, must have been in some degree modelled, by the sentiments of those to whom they belonged. It is not rank, it is character alone which interests posterity. We know that men may be seated on thrones, who would have been placed more suitably to their talents on the working-table of a tailor; we therefore give little attention to the busts or coins of the vulgar emperors. In the countenance of Claudius, we expect nothing more noble than the plegmatic tranquillity of an acquiescing cuckold ; in Caligula or Nero, the unrelenting frown of a negro-driver, or the insolent air of any unprincipled ruffian in power. Even in the high-praised Augustus we look for nothing essentially great, nothing superior to what we see in those minions of fortune, who are exalted, by a concurrence of inci. dents, to a situation in life to which their talents would never have raised them, and which their characters never deserved. In the face of Julius we expect to find the traces of deep reflection, magnanimity, and the anxiety natural to the man who had overturned the liberties of his native country, and who must have secretly dreaded the resentment of a spirited people; and in the face of Mare cus Brutus we look for independence, conscious integrity, and a mind capable of the highest effort of virtue.
It is natural to regret, that, of the number of antique statues which have come to us tolerably entire, so great a proportion are representations of gods and goddesses. Had they been intended for real persons, we might have had a perfect knowledge of the face and figure of the greatest part of the most distinguished citizens of ancient Greece and Rome. A man of unrelaxing wisdom would smile with contempt, and ask, if our having perfect representations of all the heroes, poets, and philosophers recorded in history, would make us either wiser or more learned ? to which I answer, That there are a great many things, which neither can add to my small stock of learning nor wisdom, and yet give me more pleasure and satisfaction than those which do; and, unfortunately for mankind, the greatest part of them resemble me in this particular.
But though I would with pleasure have given up a great number of the Jupiters and Apollos and Venuses, whose statues we have, in exchange for an equal, or even a smaller, number of mere mortals whom I could name; I by no means consider the statues of those deities as uninteresting. Though they are imaginary beings, yet each of them has a distinct character of his own of classical authority, which has long been impressed on our memories; and we assume the right of deciding on the artist's skill, and applauding or blaming, as he has succeeded or failed in expressing the established character of the god intended. From the ancient artists having exercised their genius in forming the images of an order of beings superior to mankind, another and a greater advantage is supposed to have followed ; it prompted the artists to attempt the uniting in one form, the various beauties and excellences, which nature had dispersed in many. This was not so easy a task as may by soine be imagined; for that which has a fine effect in one particular face or person, may appear a deformity when combined with a different