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with which it is stored. In truth, the impression arising from its great edifices is so powerful, it is so indelibly associated with the recollection of the places and states in which they are to be found, that it is altogether impossible to separate them. Do we hear of Venice?
We instantly think of the gay and beautiful buildings which surround the Place of St Mark, and the laughing crowds which loiter on its flagged pavement, and the Eastern barbaric magnificence of the church at its one extremity, and the chastened riches of architectural decoration on the three other sides. We think of the granite columns at the entrance of the Piazetta, and the triple-storied pillars which adorn the fronts of the palaces to the great canal, and the gorgeous magnificence of the sun setting over the harbour and the church of St Georgio- Maggiore and the Redentore from the gardens of St Dominique. Do we hear of Milan ?
Do we hear of Milan ? Instantly the picture of its exquisite cathedral rushes into the mind; and We see, with all the clearness of actual vision, its snow-white pinnacles, and thousands of glittering statues, rising in gay profusion into the clear blue sky of Italy. Genoa is mentioned :-We picture to ourselves the varied splendour of the view from the Lantern ; and the piles of palaces, domes, and battlements which are clustered on its slopes, and the blue sea at its foot, and the castellated heights above, and the overwhelming grandeur of the Strada Balbi. Naples :A beautiful bay arises in the mind, surrounded by precipitous mountains clad with vines and olives, dotted by churches, furrowed by torrents. Long lines of white palaces of stately elevation, with flat roofs, are seen ; domes rise at intervals to break the outline ; castles run far into the sca; fortresses overhang the dazzling piles ; dark masses of pine and green intervals of foliage are seen among the architectural monuments.
Even the recollection of the greatest capitals and most interesting historic scenes of Europe is mainly formed from the impressions of their architectural splendour. The severe simplicity of the Brandenburg Gate, the noble palace, and the imposing elevation of the Academy of Arts at Berlin, reward the traveller for the wearisome monotony of the sands of Prussia. The gigantic grandeur of the monuments of St Petersburg, the stupendous portico of the church of Cazan, the lofty pillar of Alexander, the granite quays, the rich decorations of the Admiralty and imperial palaces, the streets of columns, and long lines of pillared scenery on either bank of the Neva, befit a capital which aspires to govern half of the world. Even the great name of Napoleon owes half its lustre to the truly imperial splendour of his architectural conceptions; and not only his popularity with his subjects, but his fame among strangers, rest as much now on the monuments of Paris as the conquests of his armies. The chaste simplicity of the Bourse, the lovely pillars of the Madeleine, the stupendous grandeur of the arch of Neuilly, the magnificence of the pillar in the Place Vendome, have done as much for his fame as the triumph of Austerlitz, the victory of Jena, or the conquest of Tilsit.
Rome itself, the mistress of the world, the seat of empire alike in arts and in arms, the first in genius, greatness, and fame, is overshadowed in our recollection by the overwhelming grandeur of St Peter's; and while its palaces and its temples, its ruins and churches, its galleries and statues, are fading under the lapse of time, its stately dome, the matchless splendour of its interior decoration, survive in our recollection in imperishable lustre, and derive fresh brightness from the length of time in which they have been treasured in the stores of memory.
Examples of this sort may show the greatness and capabilities of which this noble art is susceptible, and the extraordinary degree to which it influences the character of a nation in future ages, and the estimate in which it is held by future generations of mankind. From various causes it is fitted to produce a greater and more durable impression on mankind than either poetry, painting, or sculpture. No one can have seen the exquisite peristyle of the Madeleine, the marbled magnificence of the interior of St Peter's, or the majestic arch of Neuilly, without feeling the truth of this observation. Architecture has one immense advantage over all the other rival arts—it is more durable. Edifices of stone or marble endure for ages ; if unassailed by the fury of man, they will survive thousands of years. There is something in this feeling of durability and permanence which adds inexpressibly to their effect, and gives to ancient
monuments a storied interest which belongs to none of the other works of art. What perfection of execution in any other work of human genius can rival the impression produced by the majestic monuments of Carnac and Luxor, still standing in undecayed beauty amidst the wreck of surrounding nations—the same in this hour as when they beheld the armies of Sesostris issue from the hundred gates of Thebes, three thousand five hundred years ago ? With what feelings of awe do we approach the temples of Pæstum, hoary and emaciated with age; which were old when Rome was young, and witnessed the adoration of their worshippers, when the Capitol was still a desert cliff, and wild beasts formed their dens in the caves of the Palatine! The Colosseum, with all its matchless grandeur, owes much of its solemnity to the long endurance of its gigantic walls. We recollect that they have witnessed the stately march of the Roman soldiery, and beheld the triumphs of the legions ; that they have resounded with the revels of the emperors, and been sanctified by the heroism of the martyrs; that they have survived the long night of the Middle Ages, and excited the veneration of the pilgrims, who flocked for a thousand years to the capital of the Faithful. In such cases, it is not a mere monument of art which we admire ; it is a relic of former ages which we venerate, a remnant of the pristine world which we contemplate ; and its timeworn walls are fraught with innumerable associations, and all the undying interest of historical recollection.
It is to this cause that much of the extraordinary interest of a great capital, if built of imperishable materials, and adorned by the monuments of successive ages, is owing. A great historic gallery rises before us : we see at the same instant the works of successive ages : a glance takes in at once the labour of a thousand years. The changes of manners, the revolutions of opinion, the fleeting objects of national desire, the varying flow of national fortunes, the triumphs of one age, the disasters of another ; the struggles of freedom, the submission of slavery; the fervour of piety, the neglect of infidelity; the sway of superstition, the selfishness of corruption, all arise in durable and visible array. Each fleeting change has imprinted its character on some lasting monument: and they all stand in grim
array, like a gallery of the dead before us, as if to testify at once the greatness, the nothingness, the corruption, and the immortality of man. Embark on that skiff which will send you forth like an arrow into the middle of the Thames. Those Gothic towers which rise above the flood cover the bones of the Confessor and Alfred; the Henrys and the Richards of ancient times repose beneath its pavement: the antique pile which adjoins it was the dining hall of Stephen. The majestic dome which towers above every other structure was the contemporary of Marlborough; a spire in the distance arises from the church, and covers the graves of the Templars; the massy arches which bestride the flood were erected amidst the fervour of gratitude to Wellington.
What are those gay and glittering piles which rise under a brighter sun, and into a clearer atmosphere, on the banks of a smaller river ? Yonder dark and heavy towers arose amidst the austerity of Gothic taste, and were loaded with the riches of Catholic superstition; they have witnessed the march of the Crusaders and the coronation of Henry IV.: that gilded dome attests the magnificence of Louis XIV., and covers the bones of Turenne : projecting into the stream is the ancient Tour du Nesle, the theatre of licentious tragedy; that beauteous row of columns conceals the windows from whence the massacre of St Bartholomew was ordered; that red obelisk marks the spot where Louis and Marie Antoinette, and Danton and Robespierre, were executed; that perfect peristyle was begun by Napoleon for the Temple of Glory ; that majestic arch in the distance was erected to the honour of the Grand Army. Ascend the Tower of the Capitol, and survey the mingled wreck of ages by which you are surrounded. You stand on the massy battlements which defied the arms of Brennus : the Roman senate-house, the palace of the Cæsars, are at your feet : that vast circular tomb on the banks of the Tiber contains the ashes of Adrian : yonder stupendous dome, which rises like a mountain in the west, covers the bones of St Paul ; it was reared by the genius of Michael Angelo, and adorned by the pencil of Raphael : the sculptured pillars, which surmount all modern edifices in their vicinity, were erected to the honour of Trajan and Antoninus, the greatest and best of the emperors : that massy pile which still survives, like the skeleton of a world, the ruin of all its contemporary structures, was reared by the captive hands of the Jews : under those arches the triumph of Aurelian, the captive Zenobia have passed. It is this wondrous and overwhelming concentration of historical interest into one focus, this presenting of it in actual objects to the senses, which constitutes the grand, the unequalled charm of architecture, and gives to genius, in that department, a lasting hold of the admiration of mankind, which the sister arts will seek in vain to attain.
We have prefaced our remarks on British architecture with these observations, which must be familiar to every person of historical information and travelled acquirement, in order to explain the grounds on which we object to the present state of the art amongst us. That we have genius in abundance; that the national taste is strongly running in this direction; that we have wealth to overflowing, and a people who derive sensible pleasure from architectural decoration, is obvious. If any one doubts this, let him drive from Hyde Park Corner, up Regent Street, and round Regent Park, and if he is candid he will confess, not only that Europe has not such a suite of architectural splendour to exbibit
, but that even imagination can hardly outstrip the gorgeous magnificence of the spectacle. But if
, after this cursory survey, we examine more in detail the structures which have passed in review, there will be much less room for national exultation. This magnificent array of pillared scenery is almost all composed of the most perishable materials : in half a century, if not renewed, it will all be levelled with the dust : to preserve its freshness and beauty requires a triennial expenditure on each front, of nearly a hundred pounds. The tout ensemble, as you advance, is rich and varied; but if the details of each separate edifice are examined, it will be found that many of them are in the most grotesque and barbarous taste: that, in the vain attempt to improve upon or vary the ancient orders, architectural monsters of the most shocking description have been produced ; and that not one building is to be seen in the long array which a century hence will exist, or convey to future ages the magnificence of the reign of