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The conveniences, the decorations fociety for the encouragement of of life are not studied in Siberia, or arts will produce great benefits beunder a Nero. If severe morality fore they are perverted to mischiefs. would at any time expect to estabiith The bounties bestowed by that fo. a thorough reformation, I fear it ciety, for facilitating the necessaries muit chuse inhopitable climates, of life to the poor, for eneouraging and abolith ali jatitude from the the use of our own drugs and matelaws. A corporation of merchants rials, or for naturalizing those of would never have kept their oaths other countries are bestowed on to Lycurgus of oblerving his fta- noble principles and with patriot tutes 'till he returned. A good go- views. That fociety does not nevernment, that indulges its subjects glect even the elegancies of life: Arts in the exercise of their own thoughts, that are innocent in themselves, and will see a thousand invention beneficial to the country, either by springing up, refinements will fol. adding value to our productions, or low, and much pleasure and satis- by drawing riches as they invite faction will be produced at least be- strangers to visit us, are worthy the fore that excess arrives, which is so attention of good citizens; and justly said to be the forerunner of in all those lights that fociety suin. But all this is in the common acts upon a national and extensive course of things, which tend to per- plan. tection, and then degenerate. He The art, that is chiefly the subwould be a very ablurd legislator, ject of these pages, is one of the least who should pretend to set bounds likely to be perverted : Painting has to his country's welfare, left it seldom been employed to any bad Thould perish by knowing no bounds. purpose. Pictures are but the scenery Poverty will stint itselt; riches will of devotion. I question if Ra. be left to their own discretion; they phael himself could ever have made depend upon trade, and to circum- one convert, though he had exscribe trade is to annihilate it. It hausted all the expression of his is not rigid nor Roman to say it, but eloquent pencil on a series of popith a people had better be unhappy by doctrines and miracles. Pictures their own fault, than by that of cannot adapt themselves to the their government. A Censor morum
A Cenfor morum meanest capaci:ies, as unhappily is not a much grea:er blessing than the tongue can.
Nonsense may an Arbiter elegantiarum. The world, make an apprentice a catholic or a I believe, is not at all agreed that methodist; but the apprentice would the austerities of the Presbyterians fee that a very bad picture of St. were preferable to the licentiousness Francis was not like truth; and a under Charles Il. I pretend to de- very good picture would be above fend the one no more than the his feeling. Pictures may serve as other; but I am sure that in the helps to religion ; but are only an body politic, fymptoms that prog- appendix to idolatry; for the people nosticare ill, may indicate well. must be taught to believe in false All I meaned to say was, that the gods and in the power of saints, bedisposition to improvements in this fore they will learn to worship their country is the consequence of its images. I do not doubt but if vigour, The eltablishment of a some of the first reformers had been
at liberty to say exactly what they uncouth, that they were sure it thought, and no more than they could not have been built fince any thought, they would have permit' idea of grace had been transported ted one of the most ingenious arts into the island. Yet with this inimplanted in the heart of man by contestible security on their fide, che Supreme Being to be employed they hill had room for doubting towards his praise. But Calvin by Danes, Saxons, Normans, were all his tenure, as head of a sect, was ignorant enough to have claims to obliged to go all lengths. The peculiar ugliness in their fashions. vulgar will not list but for total con- It was difficult to ascertain the peritradictions: They are not struck by ods when one ungracious form joftseeing religion shaded only a little led out another: and this perplexity darker or a little lighter. It was at
at latt led them into such refinement, Constantinople alone where the very that the term Gothic Architecture, shopkeepers had fubtlety enough to inficted as reproach on fight for a letter more or less in a ancient buildings in general by our Greek adjective * that expressed an ancestors who revived the Grecian abstract idea. Happily at this time taste, is now considered but as a there is so total an extin&tion of all species of modern elegance, by those party-animosity both in religion and who wish to distinguish the Saxon politics, that men are at liberty to style from it. This Saxon style bepropose whatever may be useful to gins to be defined by flat and round their country, without its being arches, by some undulating zigzags imputed to them as a crime, and on certain old fabrics, and by a to invent what they mean should very few other characteristics, allevigive pleasure without danger of dences of barbarous and ignorant difpleasing by the very attempt." times. I do not mean to say simply
His reflections on the history of that the round arch is a proof of igArchitecture in England are ex- norance; but being so natural, it is tremely curious.
simply, when unaccompanied by 6 Vertue and several other curi. any graceful ornaments, a mark of ous persons have taken great pains a rude age---if attended by mishato enlighten the obscure ages of that pen and heavy decorations, a cerscience; they find no naines of ar- tain mark of it. The pointed arch, chitects, nay little more, than what that peculiar of Gothic architecture, they might have known without in- was certainly intended as an imi: quiring; that our ancestors had provement on the circular, and the buildings. Indeed Tom Hearne, men who had not the happiness of Brown Willis, and such illuilrators lighting on the fimplicity and prodid sometimes go upon more positive portion of the Greek orders, were ground: They did now and then however so lucky as to strike out a Itumble upon an arch, a tower, nay thousand graces and effects, which a whole church, fo dark, so ugly, so rendered their buildings magnificent,
* In the decline of the empire there were two feels who proceeded to the greatest violences against each other in the dispute whether the nature of the lecond person was 'Ouoco:05, co effentialis ; oro uostorns, fimilis essentix.
yet genteel, vast, yet light, * vener- 'hardiness in the execution of some able and picturesque. It is difficult of their works which would not for the nobleit Grecian temple to have sustained themselves if dictated convey half to many impresions to by mere caprice. There is a tradi: the mind, as a cathedral does of the tion that Sir Christopher Wren went beit Gothic taste---a proof of kill once a year to survey the roof of the in the architects and of address in chapel of King's college, and said the prietts who erecieł them. The that if any man would shew him latter exhausted their knowledge of where to place the first fone, he the pasions in composing edifices would engage to build such another. whofe pomp, mechanilm, vaults, That there is great grace in several tombs, painted windows, gloom and places even in their clusters of flenperspectives infused such sensations der pillars, and in the application of of romantic devotion; and they their ornaments, though the prinwere happy in finding artists capable ciples of the latter are so confined of executing such machinery. One that they may almost all be reduced must have talte to be sensible of the to the trefoil, extended and varied, beauties of Grecian architecture; I shall not appeal to the edifices one only wants pasions to feel themselves --- it is sufficient to obGothic. In St. Peter's one is con- ferve, that Inigo Jones, Sir Christovinced that it was built by great pher Wren and Kent, who certainly princes--In Westminster-abbey, understood beauty, blundered tinto one thinks not of the builder ; the the heaviest and clumsiest compofiJeligion of the place makes the first tions whenever they aimed at imita. impression ---and though stripped of tions of the Gothic--.-Is an art desits altars and shrines, it is nearer picable in which a great master · converting one to popery than all cannot shine ? the regular pageantry of Roman Considering how scrupulously our domes. Gothic churches infuse lu- architects confine themselves to anperftition ; Grecian, admiration. tique precedent, perhaps some deviThe papai see amaffed its wealth by ations into Gothic may a little reGothic cathedrals, and displays it in lieve them from that servile imitaGrecian temples.
tion. I mean that they should I certainly do not mean by this ftudy both tastes, not blend them: Jittle contrast to make any compari- that they should dare to invent in fon between the rational beauties of the one, since they will hazard noregular architecture, and the unre- thing in the other, When they trained licenciouineis of that which have built a pediment and portico, js cailed Gothic. Yet I am clear the Sibyl's circular temple, and that the persons who executed the tacked the wings to a house by a latter, had much more knowledge colonade, they leem au bout de leur of their art, more taite, more genius, Latin. If half a dozen manfions and more propriety than we chuse were all that remained of old Rome, to imagine. There is a magic instead of half a dozen temples, I
* For instance, the facade of the cathedral of Rheims.
+ In Lincoln's Inn chapel, the steeple of the church at Warwick, the King's. bench in Westminiter-hall, &c,
do not doubt but our churches would by the inundation of the northern resemble the private houses of Ro. nations; but his discoveries were man citizens. Our buildings must by no means answerable to his labe as Vitruvian, as writings in the bour. Of French builders he did days of Erasmus were obliged to be find a few names, and here and there Ciceronian. Yet confined as our an Italian or German. Of Enzlich architects are to few models, they he owns he did not meet with the are far from having made all the use leaft trace; while at the same time they might of those they possess. the founders of ancient buildings There are variations enough to be were every where recorded : so carestruck out to furnith new scenes of ful have the monks (the only hissingular beauty. The application of corians of those times) been to celeloggias, arcades, terrafies and fights brate bigotry and país cver the arts. of steps, at different stages of a build. But I own I take it for granted that ing, particularly in such fituations these seeming omillions are to be atas Whitehall to the river, would tributed to their want of perspicuity have a magnificent effect. It is true, rather than to neglect. As all the our climate and the expence of other arts were confined to cloybuilding in England are great re- fters, fo undoubtedly was architecftriations on imagination; but when ture too; and when we read that one talks of the extent of which such a bishop or such an abbot built architecture is capable, one must such and such an edifice, I am persuppose that pomp and beauty are suaded that they often gave the plans the principal objects; one speaks of as well as furnished the necessary palaces and public buildings; not funds; but as those chroniclers of shops and small houses----but scarce ever specify when this was I must rettrain this dissertation, and or was not the case, we must not at come to the historic part, which will this distance of time pretend to lie in a Imall compaís.
conjecture what prelates were or Felibien took great pains to as- were not capabe of directing their certain the revival of architecture, own foundations." after the destruction of the true tatte
* The arts flourished so much in convents to the last, that one Gyfford, à visitor employed by Thomas Cromwell to make a report of the state of those societies previous to their suppression, pleads in behalf of the house of Wolstrop, “ That there was not one religious person there, but that he could and did use, either embrotheryng, writing books with very tair hand, making their own garments, carving, painting, or gra'jing. Styrpe's memor. vol. i. p. 255.