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are huddled together, without any other thread of connection than the accidental and fortuitous one of their having successively come under the notice of the traveller. What should we say to any other work composed on the same principle? What if Milton, after the speech of Satan in Paradise Lost, were to treat us to an account of his last dinner; or Shakspeare, after the scene of the tomb in Juliet, were to tell us of the damp sheets in which he slept last night ; or Gibbon, after working up the enthusiasm of his readers by the account of the storming of Constantinople by the Crusaders, was to favour us with a digression on the insolence of the postilions in Roumelia ? All the world would see the folly of this ; and yet this is precisely what is constantly done by travellers, and tolerated by the public, because it is founded on nature. Founded on nature! Is everything that is actually true, or real, fit to be recorded or worthy of being recounted ? Sketches from nature are admirable things, and are the only foundation for correct and lasting pictures ; but no man would think of interposing a gallery of paintings with chalk drawings or studies of trees. Correctness, fidelity, truth, are the only secure bases of eminence in all the arts of imitation ; but the light of genius, the skilful arrangement, the principles of composition, the selection of topics, are as necessary in the writer of travels as in the landscape painter, the historian, or the epic poet.
Of all the fine arts, architecture is the one which appears most likely to attain great and deserved eminence in these regions. We have no need of imagination to figure to ourselres what, in time to come, this noble art may become in this northern clime. We have only to look at the cathedrals and monasteries which, in stately. magnificence or ruined splendour, overspread the land, to be satisfied that greatness is here within the reach of our people ; that it is suited to their taste, their habits, and their disposition ; and that neither its cloudy sky nor frigid atmosphere have been able to chill the flights of great and original genius in this department In the other fine arts we appear to be struggling against the stream. Painting languidly contends with the vis inertie in its professors, arising from the experienced inability of purchasers, generally speaking, to distinguish a good work from an indifferent one. Sculpture, notwithstanding the wealth which has been lavished, and the talent which has been turned to that direction, has never yet attained to an equality with the great works of Grecian or Italian art; but architecture, in some departments, is unrivalled in the British isles. An Englishman feels mortified as he leads a foreigner of taste through the vast accumulation of conceit and absurdity which characterises the monuments of Westminster Abbey, and which so seriously weakens the effect of its noble aisles ; he looks in vain for a gallery of British artists to satisfy an eye accustomed to the works of Claude or Carracci. But he points with exultation to the pinnacles of Lincoln, the dome of St Paul's, and prophesies, that when in the revolutions of
ages all the other structures of these times shall have been swept away-when the desolation of Nineveh shall be renewed on the site of Paris, and a vast accumulation of mounds alone indicate the mighty expanse of London,even then Waterloo bridge will still span with undecaying solidity the floods of the Thames ; and the solitary savage will pause as he beholds through the openings of the forest the stately towers of York Cathedral.
As architecture is the only one of the fine arts which seems congenial to the taste of our people, and in which the revolution of ages has produced works worthy of immortal endurance, the future cultivation of it becomes an object of the highest interest and importance. It is obvious that the final reputation of every nation depends as much, perhaps more, on the structures which they have reared as on the writings they have produced, or the conquests they have gained. If we examine with attention the nations which are sanctified in our recollections by a halo of imperishable lustre, we shall find that nothing has impressed our imaginations so strongly as the great and durable edifices which they have constructed, and which still rear their hoary heads through the obscurity of time, as if to emulate the eternity of nature, and defy the tendency to decay which she has in general impressed on all the works of man. We read in the Bible, and are familiar from our childhood with the Assyrians and Babylonians; but even the veneration inspired by that holy record is increased when we behold the mighty structures they have reared still standing on the plain of Shinar—when, from the summit of the green mounds on the Tigris, we trace the vast circumference of the walls of Nineveh, and in the gigantic pile of the Birs-Nimrod, with its summit scathed by fire, and torrents furrowing its sides, we behold the imperishable remains of the Tower of Babel. Egypt is regarded by all nations as the common mother of knowledge and civilisation ; but great as the blessings have been which she communicated to man, they would have been forgotten in the revolutions of ages, and its rich plains have become as obscure as those of the Quorra or the Congo, did not the stately remains of Luxor yet exist in undecaying beauty amidst the sands of the desert, and the pyramids still stand “ erect and unshaken above the floods of the Nile." Ex
quisite as are the poems, admirable the historians, profound
shores of the Euphrates to the Atlantic Ocean, owes much of the magic of its name to the noble remains of its architectural splendour; and the traveller, as he passes under the Amphitheatre of Titus, ceases to wonder at the saying of the pilgrims—“While the Colosseum stands, Rome shall stand; while Rome stands, the world shall stand.”
It is the same with modern times. Ask the American traveller what it is which impressed him most with the land of bis fathers when he first approached it from the Atlantic Ocean, and he will answer that it is neither its harbours nor its scenery, its rivers nor its mountains, its lakes nor its cataracts, which produced an indelible impression on his mind. All these his own Transatlantic wilds could equal or excel. It is its cathedrals and monastic remains which captivated his imagination; it is their stately piles, rising amidst the green meadows or shady woods with which they are surrounded, which gave a peculiar and undefined charm to English scenery, and carried him back in imagination to the Edwards and the Henrys, and the Catholic times and the
age of chivalry, and gave to inanimate stone all the charm of historical lore. Let any one who has visited all that is beautiful and interesting which it contains, whether in urban magnificence or rural beauty, consider what objects are engraven on his memory in the brightest colours, and have taken their place in secret cells, never to be disturbed while life endures. He will find it is her castles and her cathedrals-her abbeys and monasteries. He will think of Fountains Abbey, raising its light and airy arches from the
green and closely-shaven turf of the little valley in which it stands; and its magnificent trees almost equalling the elevation even of its lofty aisles. He will think of Tintern casting a holy air over the secluded shades of the Wye, and picture in imagination the gorgeous festoons of ivy hanging over its mouldering windows, and the leafy screen which shrouds from profane gaze the exquisite details of its tracery. He will call to mind Rivaulx Abbey, rising in solemn majesty in its lovely vale ; and the last rays of the evening sun projecting its graceful arches against the dark overhanging wood of Duncombe Park. He will think of Conway still, as in the days of Edward, with its massive round towers and picturesque walls surmounting the captive streams of Wales; and Warwick yet standing in undecayed strength, the fit abode of the “knocker-down and putter-up of kings. He will think of the red towers of Bothwell, surmounting the green masses of foliage which surround their base, and the close-shaven turf which descends in rapid slope to the Clyde, and the dark-brown caverns of that classic stream at its foot; or of Castle Campbell, erect though mouldering in gray and dreary solitude, amidst the hanging forests and sounding cataracts of Caledonia; or of Kenilworth, encircled by the green meadows and stately oaks of Warwickshire, rich in ivy, and architectural decoration, and storied association. Durham will rise up to his recollection with its gorgeous towers in the middle distance, the ancient pile of the bishop's palace in the foreground, and hanging woods in the background; or Gloucester, with the light and fairy open
work of its minarets projected in the glow of an evening sky. London itself, with all its greatness, its riches, and its recollections, yields to the magic of architectural magnificence; and when the mind reverts to it at a distance, and when not distracted by particular objects of pursuit, it thinks neither of its theatres nor its opera, its parks nor its squares, its fashion nor its genius,--but of the gray and massy piles which surmount or bestride the Thames--of its granite bridges and forest of spires-of Westminster Abbey closing the scene at one extremity, and the vast dome of St Paul's towering above clouds and smoke like a giant at the other.
Turn to the Continent. Every traveller knows the unbounded, the incalculable effect of the architectural riches