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think, when we call scientific studies useful, and the productions of art only ornamental, that there is something intrinsically different in their respective natures. But if we examine our own feelings, and judge of science by its influence on ourselves, we shall be obliged to confess, that although less obviously, it is, in fact, as much recommended to us by the pleasures to which it ministers, as those arts that we regard as entirely devoted to the excitement of agreeable emotions.
“ Of all the arts, the art of building is that which most prominently attracts attention. Invented in the country, and brought to perfection in the town, it owes its origin, like every other human contrivance, to necessity. Man, naked at his birth, thrown upon the earth, exposed to the cold, the wet, and the heat, and to the concussion of other bodies, was constrained to seek artificial means of protection. The rain obliged him to fly for shelter to trees and caverns, the only habitations with which nature has provided her fa. vourite; for, in the improvable faculties bestowed on his mind, she has furnished him with the means of constructing abodes suitable to himself and to the growth of his wants, as they increase by the improvement of his condition. The same instinct which led him to take refuge from the shower, taught him to prefer those trees of which the branches were most thickly interwoven,--and, when they were insufficient, to draw the boughs closer over his head. The process of reasoning from this experience, to the considerations which led him to form permanent bowers, requires no illustration.
“Every hypothesis, framed to account for the various styles of architecture, ascribes them to the form of the structures first raised by the inhabitants of the countries in which they respectively originated. The aisles of the Gothic cathedral, and that rich foliage of carving with which its vaults are embowered, cannot be seen
without immediately suggesting the idea of a grove ; and in the structure of the Grecian temple, we may trace the characteristics of an edifice originally formed of trees hewn and pruned for the convenience of transportation ; for Grecee was not a woody country, like those northern regions which gave birth to Gothic architecture. In Egypt, where trees are still more rare than in Greece ; where, indeed, there is nothing that can be properly compared to our idea of a tree, we find the character of the architecture partaking of the features of what must have been the early habitations of a people necessitated by their inarborous climate, to make their permanent retreats and the sanctuaries of their gods in the hollows and caverns of the earth. The architecture which would arise among such a people we should expect to be dark, massy, and stupendous ; and, accord, ingly, we find in that of Egypt, and of other countries which resemble it in local circumstances, temples and labyrinths that rival in extent and intricacy the grottos of nature, and pyramids that emulate the everlasting hills in magnitude and durability. In the more oriental nations we find the same general principle, and in their permanent structures a similar resemblance to the features of what were probably the primeval habitations of the natives. In the light and pavilion-like appearance of the Chinese buildings, we may see the hereditary indications of a people that formerly resided in tents, and such temporary abodes as were likely to be constructed by the inhabitants of a country abounding in extensive plains, and of a climate unfavourable to the growth of trees, and yet not so hot as to oblige the natives to seek shelter in natural or artificial exca. vations.
“ The first savage who, in the construction of his hut, united a degree of symmetry with solidity, must be regarded as the inventor of architecture. Multiply
ing improvements upon the first result of a combined plan of the reason and imagination, after a series of errors and accidents, a code of rules came to be estab, lished, by which the art of building has since continued to be regulated. The study of these rules furnishes a knowledge of the science of architecture.
“ Although necessity was the mother of architecture, climate dictated the choice of materials employed in the construction of buildings, and chance directed the fancy of individuals in the selection of ornaments. History, in recording that Callimachus of Corinth was led to think of forming the Corinthian capital by observing the beautiful effect of a vase accidentally placed in the midst of a bunch of cellery, has furnished us with a fact which proves, although a natural law governs man in choosing the style of architecture, and climate prescribes to him the materials, that the peculiarities of individual genius, and not the effect of any general principle of taste, develops the beauties of ornament.
“ Taste is formed by the contemplation of works of art, and the perfection of art consists in exhibiting the greatest degree of beauty with the utmost possible resemblance to the natural models. Taste, therefore, does not instruct us to prefer, for any general reason, any one particular style of architecture to another, but only to observe and disapprove of deviations from what is natural.
“Every pleasure, after enjoyment, occasions a new want. The shelter and protection obtained from architecture incited man to seek enjoyments in the improvement of the art of building. When his corporeal necessities are supplied, the restlessness of his mind leads him to seek additional pleasures, by new modifications of the means which supplied his corporeal necessities.
“ In the Greek colonies of Asia Minor, architecture is supposed to have first attained excellence. At least the best authors on the history of the arts agree in stato
ing, that the Doric and Ionic orders were first perfectly constructed there ; and it may be questioned if, in the lapse of more than twenty centuries, any improvement has been added to the august simplicity of the Doric, or to the unaffected elegance of the Ionic column. The Corinthian, which is of much later invention, though more elaborately ornamented than the other two, is, by many of the most approved taste, deemed inferior to them as an order. It retains less of the resemblance of the original natural model. It has more about it that may be regarded as superfluous, and the foliage of the capital is obviously a redundancy placed there for no other purpose than the display of skill and expense.The Corinthian pillars of the porticos of St Paul's in London are esteemed very pure specimens of that or. der ; but their appearance is less impressive than that of the Doric columns, which still remain among the ruins of the Temple of Minerva at Athens. More than two thousand years have elapsed, and the remnants of the Greek architecture still afford models, which, never having been equalled, seem incapable of being further improved. It may indeed be said, that the genius of ancient Greece has furnished eternal models of art as well as of literature to Europe.
“ About the time that the Doric was raised to perfection in Ionia, the Etruscans invented the Tuscan, a similar order, but a grosser style ; and the Romans, after the simple and dignified manners of their republic had passed away, demonstrated, by the invention of the Composite, and their preference for that gaudy order, how much the corruption of their morals had infected their taste.
“ The Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite orders constitute what is properly understood by the classes of architecture. They are arranged with distinct, appropriate, and peculiar ornaments; and their
proportions are regulated by rules which cannot be violated without impairing their beauty. This is not the case with any other kind of architecture, and hence all other modifications of the art of building are called styles, in contradistinction to orders. It is true, that in England the Society of Antiquaries, and several private amateurs of the arts, have of late endeavoured to classify and illustrate the different styles of architecture in the ancient baronial and ecclesiastical edifices of Great Britain, but the inqury has not yet terminated, although it has ascertained that the Saxon, Norman, and Gothic, or, as the latter is now perhaps properly called, the English order, have characteristics as distinct as those of the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, and codes of general rules that may prove to be peculiar to each.
“ The human mind has an innate disposition to admire order, and to seek pleasure by the classification of objects. Hence architecture is considered as consisting of three distinct species, civil, military, and naval. I may be justified in adding a fourth, ecclesiastical; for it is impossible to visit any part of Europe, without being convinced that the buildings consecrated to religious rites could not, without radical alterations, be applied to any other use. The cathedral, with its vast aisles, its solemn vaults, and adjoining cloisters, is as obviously constructed for a special purpose, as the fortress, the ship, or the mansion.
“ Phelones, of Byzantium, about three hundred years before the Christian era, composed a treatise on the engines of war and military architecture. He is, therefore, justly regarded as the father of engineers; and the principles which he is supposed to have elucidated continued to be acted upon till the invention of gunpowder. Italy, that has for so many ages been unknown as a military nation, claims, for Senmicheli of Verona, the glory of having established the principles