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Great Painters

I imagine, that when our Cosways visit each other, if it happens that their friend is not at home, they are incapable, by the perfection of their art, to leave any peculiar beauties behind them, of which a Connoisseur could say—‘Certainly Cosway has been here to-day; for who but Cosway could express this line, or infuse this grace!'

The ancient Apelles, on a visit to a brother Artist, acted in this manner—He went purposely to Rhodes to see Protogenes. When he arrived at the Painter’s house, he found him absent; but, observing on his easel an unfinished picture, he snatched a brush, and drew a line exquisitely delicate. When the slave asked him to leave his name, he answered—‘Your master will know who I am when he sees his picture.’ The slave, on his master’s return, informed him of what had passed. Protogenes, examing the line, exclaimed—‘This must be by the hand of Apelles! he is certainly at Rhodes!’ He took up the brush, and dreew another line still more delicate than the former; and instructed the slave, when the stranger should return, only to shew him that line. Apelles returned, and blushing, he found himself surpassed! But what did he do? He took the brush, and divided the line of Protogenes into two parts by a third, which it was impossible a fourth could divide. Protogenes, when he examined it, exclaimed—‘Now do I know, for certain, that Apelles is at Rhodes!’ He went to the ship; and acknowledging himself vanquished, led his beloved friend and rival to his house.

Raphael painted a Man who was in a high fever with so much skill, and so perfect a resemblance, that a Physician, who never passed for a Connoisseur, at the first sight of the portrait, declared that the original must have been in a dangerous fever.