Front Page Titles (by Subject) Intro. INTRODUCTION - Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, vol. 3
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Intro. INTRODUCTION - Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, vol. 3 
Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, ed. Douglas den Uyl (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2001). 3 vols. Vol. 3.
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BEFORE we enter on the Examination of our Historical Sketch, it may be proper to remark, that by the word Tablature (for which we have yet no name in English, besides the general one of Picture) we denote, according to the original word Tabula, a Work not only distinct from a mere Portraiture, but from all those wilder sorts of Painting which are in a manner absolute, and independent; such as the Paintings in Fresco upon the Walls, the Cielings, the Stair-Cases, the Cupolo’s, and other remarkable Places either of Churches or Palaces.
(2.) Accordingly we are to understand, that it is not merely the Shape or Dimension of a Cloth, or Board, which denominates the Piece or Tablature; since a Work of this kind may be compos’d of any colour’d Substance, as it may of any Form; whether square, oval or round. But ’tis then that in Painting we may give to any particular Work the Name of Tablature, when the Work is in reality “a Single Piece, comprehended in one View, and form’d according to one single Intelligence, Meaning, or Design; which constitutes a realWhole, by a mutual and necessary Relation of its Parts, the same as of the Members in a natural Body.” So that one may say of a Picture compos’d of any number of Figures differently rang’d, and without any regard to this Correspondency or Union describ’d, That it is no more a real Piece or Tablature, than a Picture wou’d be a Man’s Picture, or proper Portraiture, which represented on the same Cloth, in different places, the Legs, Arms, Nose, and Eyes of such a Person, without adjusting them according to the true Proportion, Air, and Character which belong’d to him.
(3.) This Regulation has place even in the inferior degrees of Painting; since the mere Flower-Painter is, we see, oblig’d to study the Form of Festons, and to make use of a peculiar Order, or Architecture of Vases, Jars, Cannisters, Pedestals, and other Inventions, which serve as Machines, to frame a certain proportionate Assemblage, or united Mass; according to the Rules of Perspective; and with regard as well to the different shapes and sizes of his several Flowers, as to the harmony of Colours resulting from the whole: this being the only thing capable of rendering his Work worthy the name of a Composition or real Piece.
(4.) So much the more, therefore, is this Regulation applicable to History-Painting, where not only Men, but Manners, and human Passions are represented. Here the Unity of Design must with more particular exactness be preserv’d, according to the just Rules of poetick Art; that in the Representation of any Event, or remarkable Fact, the Probability, or seeming Truth, which is the real Truth of Art, may with the highest advantage be supported and advanc’d: as we shall better understand in the Argument which follows on the historical Tablature of The Judgment ofHercules; who being young, and retir’d to a solitary place in order to deliberate on the Choice he was to make of the different ways of Life, was accosted (as our Historian relates) by the two Goddesses, Virtue and Pleasure. ’Tis on the issue of the Controversy between these Two, that the Character of Hercules depends. So that we may naturally give to this Piece and History, as well the Title of The Education, as the Choice or Judgment ofHercules.