Sivut kuvina

that the House of Lords was and is the supreme court of appeal. The magnates of the 13th century, however, by themselves lack such a power. Possibly a certain affinity between Parliament and judicial proceedings, may lurk in two further trifles: the Speaker, the origin of whose office remains problematic to our author, may have got his name prolocutor from the Anglo-Saxon forespeca ; and the arrangement of the seats of the lords, according to the oldest engravings reproduced in this book, may go back to the four benches of the Teutonic doomsmen.

To a court of law, however, an accused party or two litigants must essentially belong. Nor was it justice, but a share of government and its emoluments, that the barons aimed at when they cried for more frequent parliaments. Prof. Pollard, indeed, explains lucidly that gradually those petitions originally coming from individuals grew into common petitions, by aiming at the same purpose, and therefore attained political import and furthered legislation. As whole corporations gave in petitions, thousands of provincial people came in contact with the centre of state; and the crown knew well that the petitioners would be more willing to grant taxes, if their wishes were granted. Nevertheless, those unorganised travellers from the country to Westminster differed widely from the knights and burgesses coming to parliament, because these were elected by, and were not only responsible to, but also bound, their constituents.

Prof. Pollard has ingeniously discovered, in a field so well ploughed already, the new fact that the nine assemblies summoned by writ between 1275 and 1298 nowhere bear the official name of Parliament, and that the fifteen 'parliaments' of that period were not summoned by writ. These Parliaments, he concludes, were small judicial councils, while financial and general affairs were left to the large assemblies of feudatories summoned by writ; and he supposes Edward I to have amalgamated the two institutions by summoning them to the same place and term and to common sessions for certain purposes.

But could such a bipartition exist without being remarked in some contemporary writer or record ? Nor was the limitation to judicial business or the exclusion of non-judicial councillors absolute in the so-called Parliaments. Vol. 236,-No. 469.

2 B

Emphasising the embryonic state of Parliament before the 14th century the author quotes Fleta, who seems to ignore the continuous unity of preceding and ensuing sessions, when he speaks in the plural of the king's 'parliaments,' which are to him nothing but expanded great councils of state. The summoning of representatives of boroughs and counties to Westminster for legal affairs possibly suggested to Edward I the wise measure of giving the election of members of parliament to the county court. But Edward did not create the House of Commons-still less did Montfort; nor did he introduce hereditary peerage, which in many respects looks now unlike its ancestor, by his special writ of summons. (This last statement, though historically incorrect, has been converted into a legal fact because it was acknowledged by law.) Nor did the division into two Houses exist under him. The three estates are indeed mentioned for the first time in 1421, under the influence of the French constitution. The author ought not, however, to deny that the clergy formed one estate; the duality of convocations is no counter-argument. He considers it still necessary, doubtless with good reason, to refute again popular errors though long exploded; for instance, that the crown's financial demands were the sole or even the first purpose of Parliament; that every subject (before 1918) was represented; or that representation was in the days of yore coveted as a privilege by the electors or as an honour by the member. The Commons did not, as our author repeats, from the first constitute a necessary element of parliament or one estate, nor did Knights and Burgesses then deliberate together. The Lords did not form two estates; else the assent of the Commons would not have been absolutely required for the validity of a law, nor could the temporal lords, as they did in the 14th and 16th centuries, have outvoted the prelates on questions of the gravest importance between Church and State.

Many happy remarks about the social influences of Parliament are scattered through Prof. Pollard's book. For instance, he points out that the higher middle classes were drawn into closer contact with the centre of the state in proportion as sessions were short but frequent, and almost every time attended by new members. The

social gulf between the classes in the 14th century seems to him narrower, and nobility a less exclusive caste, than it is in our day. England's national and political unity, doubtless strengthened by Parliament, is here chiefly ascribed to the merit of Parliament. But it existed before 1300; and its causes-insularity, and the work of the Norman monarchy being perhaps the chief -in contradistinction to the conditions of less lucky neighbours, have often been explained. As the history of the English State begins for Prof. Pollard in 1066, he could not pay regard to the opinion I expressed in 1913 * and have not changed since, that the ecclesiastical and bureaucratic sides of the Norman great council, the predecessor of the House of Lords, find their lineal ancestry in the witena-gemot. It is not without hesitation that I dare to commend to his revision a sentence in a field entirely his own: The politicians who effected the Anglican reformation claimed that religion should be the affair of the people and not the domain of the priests. We seem to hear the biographer overrating his hero, or possibly the lecturer desirous of catching the ear of his audience, when Prof. Pollard deems Parliament to be England's greatest gift to civilisation, or when he measures the political genius of a nation by the success of its representative system.

The remarks about Germany and her politicians were penned while the flame of international hatred was raging. The rich and often thoughtful literature about the future freedom positively paving the way to a higher social aim, in contradistinction to the negative liberty from fetters, which exists on the subject of Rechts- and Volksstaat, has apparently never reached him. Fair judge as he is, he would certainly, if he could study it, modify his condemnation in a revised edition, which his spirited work amply deserves.


* The National Assembly during the Anglo-Saxon Period' (Halle, 1913).


A History of French Architecture, from the death of

Mazarin till the death of Louis XV, 1661-1774. By Sir Reginald Blomfield, R.A. Two vols. Bell, 1921.

ENGLISH scholarship is debtor to Sir Reginald Blomfield for a remarkable series of books; and it is no small feat that one so busily occupied with the practice of his art should have done so much for its history and criticism. His first venture (in conjunction with Mr Inigo Thomas) was the little volume on the Formal Garden in England' (1892) which gave an impetus to the planning of gardens. The woeful landscape gardening,' which had run out in the waggling paths and shrubberies of suburban plots, has been discredited; and one of the definite architectural gains of our time and additions to the beauty and pleasure of life has been the spread of this out-of-doors design.

Sir Reginald's next task was the History of Renaissance Architecture in England' (1897). Some volumes of lectures and essays followed. In 1911 he brought out the first part of his French history, from the reign of Charles VIII to the death of Mazarin (1494–1661), and the two volumes before us bring it down to the limit the author has set himself. Much research has gone to their making. The buildings in their present condition have been studied and compared with the rich material of elevations and plans provided by the French draughtsmen and engravers of the 17th and 18th centuries. But beside the monuments themselves and the records of design for these and others that have disappeared, a mass of evidence is now available bearing upon the authors of the buildings, their official superiors, their assistant staff, the sums paid them, and the time occupied in construction. The most notable of these sources is · Les Comptes des Bâtiments du Roi' for the reign of Louis XIV, to whose printing and editing M. Jules Guiffrey devoted so much patience and learning. There are, besides, the proceedings of the Academy of Architecture, the correspondence of the Directors of the School of Rome, and other magazines of fact. From such documents the author, as in his previous volumes, draws conclusions about the share of

architects in various works which sometimes challenge accepted history. Among previous critical authorities J. F. Blondel, the architect-historian, comes in for high praise, and his views are often endorsed by his 20thcentury successor.

The book has the amount of illustration it could bear without expanding beyond reasonable limits of size and cost. The plates are reduced versions of the engraved plans and elevations of Marot and others, supplemented by Sir Reginald's own pencil sketches. For completeness photographs are also needed, in spite of their peculiar disabilities, but for these we must go to the collections of Planat and Rümler, to monographs on Versailles, the Louvre, and the Châteaux of France. One of the best productions of the kind is the Petit Trianon' of Messrs Arnott and Wilson, an exhaustive array of measured drawings and well-executed photographs. The order of Sir Reginald's book is biographical, with occasional chapters of introduction and summary. It is written with its author's customary lucidity and vigour.

Sir Reginald Blomfield's scholarship has never been mere scholarship; it has aimed at practice, and he continues to restate and drive home the doctrine that was the burden of his English history and of the earlier French. His attitude and insistence are best understood if we recall the doctrines that he was up against when he began to write. Ruskin, the prophet of a previous generation, was alive to beauties in the enrichment of architecture rather than to its large essentials. For him and his followers the Renaissance was a dead hand upon the intense and fine imagery of medieval building. Morris and the Arts and Crafts group who succeeded looked upon the architect as a 'man in the office' who smothered the life of the craftsman'; and their ideal was a state of things in which a building would come together by the co-operation of the stone-worker, wood. worker, and so forth, without the intervention of a general designer. Now, whatever we call such a designer, he must certainly have existed when the great Gothic buildings took shape. A period followed when this general control was more uncertain. The tradition of Gothic construction lingered while Renaissance detail filtered in. The amalgam had many charms, witness such a

« EdellinenJatka »