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See! sportive fate; to punish aukward pride,
You show us, Rome was glorious, not profuse,
Must Bishops, Lawyers, Statesmen, have the skill
NOTES. VER. 19. See! sportive fate, to punish aukwardpride, ] Pride is one of the greatest mischiefs, as well as absurdities of our nature ; and therefore, as appears both from profane and sacred History, has ever been the more peculiar object of divine vengeance. But aukward Pride intimates such abilities in its owner, as eases us of the apprehension of much mischief from it; so that the poet supposes such a one secure from the serious resentment of Heaven, though it may permit fate or fortune to bring him into the public contempt and ridicule, which his native badness of heart so well deserves.
VER. 23. The Earl of Burlington was then publishing the Designs of Inigo Jones, and the Antiquities of Rome by Palladio. P.
Ver. 28. And of one beauty many blunders make ;] Because
S. Ep. IV. Load some vain Church with old Theatric state, Turn Arcs of triumph to a Garden-gate ; 30
the road to Taft, like that to Truth, is but one ; and those to Error and Absurdity a thoujand,
VER. 29. Load fome vain Church with old Thentric flate,] In which there is a complication of absurdities, arising both from their different natures and forms: For the one bcing for religious service, and the other only for civil amusement, it is impoflible that the profufe and lascivious ornaments of the latter should be' ome the modeity and sanctity of the other. Nor will any cxum, les of this vanity of drefs in the sacred buildings of antiquity justify this imitation; for those ornaments inight be very lui ale to a Temple of Bacchus, or Venus, which would ill become the fobriety and purity of the present Religion.
B: fides, it should be considered, that the usual form of a Theatre would only permit the architectonic ornaments to be placed on the outward face; whereas those of a Church may be as com'n dioufiy, and are more properly put within ; particularly in heat and Joie pent-up Cities, where the incessant driving of the smoke, in a little time corrodes and destroys all outward ornaments of this kind; especially if the members, as is the common talte, be small and little.
Our Gothic ancestors had juster and manlier notions than these modern mimics of Greek and Roman magnificence : which, because the thing does honour to their genius, I shall endeavour to explain. All our ancient churches are called, without diflinction, Gothic; but erroneously. They are of two forts; the one built in the Saxon times; the other during our Norman race of kings. Several Cathedral and Cellegiate Chuches of the first fort are yet remaining, cither in whole or in part; of which this was the Original: When the Saxon kings became chriftian, their picty, (which was the piety of the times) confiftcd in building Churches at home, and performing pilgrimages to the Holy Land: and these spiritual exeruises afilted and supported one another. For the inolt venerable as well as most elegant molets of religious editice; were then in Palestinc. From these our Saxon Builders took the whole of their idcas, as may be suen by comparing the
your Ornaments, and hang them all On some patch'd dog-hole'ek'd with ends of wall;
drawings which travellers have given us of the churches yet standing in that country, with the Saxon remains of what we find at home; and particularly in that sameness of style in the la!er religious edifices of the Knights Templars profeffedly built upon the model of the church of the holy Sepulchre 'at Jerusalem) with the earlier remains of our Saxon Edifices. Now the architecture of the Holy Land was entirely Grecian, but greatly fallen from its ancient elegance. Our Saxont performance was indeed a bad copy of it, and as much inferior to the works of St. Helene, as her's were to the Grecian models the had followed: Yet still the footsteps of ancient art appeared in the circular archés, the entire columns, the division of the entablature, into a sort of Architrave, Frize and Corniche, and a solidity equally diffused over the whole mass.. This, by way of distinction, I would call the SAXON Architecture.
But our Norman works had a very different original. When the Goths had conquered Spain, and the genial warmth of the climate, and the religion of the old Inhabitants, had ripened their wits, and inflamed their mistaken piety (both kept in exercise by the neighbourhood of the Saracens, thro' emulation of their science and aversion to their superstition, they struck out a new species of Architecture unknown to Greece and Rome; ' upon original principles,' and ideas much 'nobler than what had given birth even to classical magnificence. For having been accustomed, during the gloom of pàganism, to worship the Deity in Groves (a practice common to all nations) When their new Religion required covered'edifices, they ingeniously projected to make them resemble Groves, kas nearly as the diftance of Architecture would permit; at once indulging their old prejudices, and providing for their present conveniencies, by a cool receptacle in a sultry climate. And with what art and success they executed the project appears from hence, That no attentive observer ever viewed a regular Avenue of well grown trees: intermixing their branches over head, but it presently put him in mind of the long Vifto thro' a Gothic Cathedral; or ever entered one of the larger and more
Then clap four slices of Pilaster on’t,
clegant Edifices of this kind, but it represented to his imagination an Avenue of trees. And this alone is what can be truly called the Gothic style of Building.
Under this idea of lo extraordinary a species of Architecture, all the irregular transgressions against art, all the monstrous offences against nature, disappear ; every thing has its reason, every thing is in order, and an harmonious Whole arises from the studious application of means proper and proportioned to the end. For could the Arches be otherwise than pointed when the Workman was to imitate that curve which branches make by their intersection with one another? Or could the Columns be otherwise than split into distinct shafts, when they were to represent the Stems of a group of Trees? On the same principle was formed the spreading ramification of the stone-work in the windows, and the stained glass in the interstices; the one being to represent the branches, and the other the leaves of an opening Grove; and both concurring to preserve that gloomy light inspiring religious horror. Lastly, we see the reason of their studied averfion to apparent solidity in these stupendous masses, deemed so absurd by men accustomed to the apparent as well as real strength of Grecian Architecture. Had it been only a wanton exercise of the Artist's skill, to shew he could give real strength without the appearance of any, we might indeed admire his superior science, but we mult needs condemn his ill judgment. But when one considers, that this surprizing lightnels was necessary to complete the execution of his idea of a rural place of worship, one cannot fufficiently admire the ingenuity of the contrivance.
This too will account for the contrary qualities in what I call the Saxon Architecture. These artists copied, as has been faid, from the churches in the holy Land, which were built on the models of Grecian architecture; but corrupted by prevailing barbarism; and still further depraved by a religious idea. The first places of Christian worship were Sepulchres and subterraneous caverns, froin neceflity, low and heavy. When Cliristianity became the Religion of the State, and sumptuous
Shall call the winds thro' long arcades to roar, 35
brother Peer, A certain truth, which many buy too dear : 40
hinted to your
COMMENT A RY,
A certain truth,–]
I. The first part of it (from * 38 to 99) delivers rules for attaining to the MAGNIFICENT in just expence; which is the
Temples began to be erected, they yet, in regard to the first pious ages, preserved the massive Style: made ftill more venerable by the Church of the holy Sepulchre : Where, this Style was, on a double account, followed and aggravated.
Such then was Gothic ARCHITECTURE. And it would be no discredit to the warmest admirers of Jones and Palladio to acknowledge it has its merit. They must at least confess it had a nobler birth, tho' an humbler fortune, than the Greek and ROMAN ARCHITECTURE.
Ver. 30. Turns Arcs of triumph to a Garden-gate; ] This absurdity seems to have arisen from an injudicious imitation of what these Builders might have heard of, at the entrance of the antient Gardens of Rome: But they don't consider, that those were public Gardens, given to the people by some great man after a triumph; to which, therefore, Arcs of this kind were very
suitable ornaments. Ver. 36. Proud to catch cold at a Venetian door ; ) In the foregoing instances, the poet exposes the absurd imitation of