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“My friend, all speech and humor is short-lived, foolish, untrue. Genuine work alone, what thou workest faithfully, that is eternal.
“Take courage, then-raise the arm—strike home and that right lustilythe citadel of Hope must yield to noble desire, thus seconded by noble efforts.”
ARCHITECTURE is the work of nations; but we cannot have nations of great sculptors. Every house in every street of every city ought to be good architecture, but we cannot have Flaxman or Thorwaldsen at work upon it, nor if we choose only to devote ourselves to our public buildings, could the mass and majority of them be great, if we required all to be executed by great men; greatness is not to be had in the required quantity. Giotto may design a Campanile, but he cannot carve it, he can only carve one or two of the bas-reliefs at the base of it. And with every increase of your fastidiousness in the execution of your ornament, you diminish the possible number and grandeur of your buildings. Do not think you can educate your workmen, or that the demand for perfection will increase the supply; educated imbecility and finessed foolishness are the worst of all imbecilities and foolishnesses, and there is no free-trade measure which will ever lower the price of brains,—there is no California of common SCInSG. Suppose one of those old Ninevite or Egyptian builders, with a couple of thousand men—mud-bred, onion-eating creatures, under him, to be set to work, like so many ants, on his temple sculptures. What is he to do with them? He can put them through a granitic exercise of current hand; he can teach them all how to curl hair thoroughly into croche. coeurs, as you teach a bench of school-boys how to shape pot hooks; he can teach them all how to draw long eyes and straight noses, and how to copy accurately certain well-defined lines. Then he fits his own great designs to their capacities; he takes out of king, or lion, or god, as much as was expressible by croche-coeurs and granitic pothooks; he .hrows this into noble forms of his own imagining, and having mapped out their lines so that there can be no possibility of error, sets his two thousand men to work upon them, with a will and so many onions a day. Those times cannot now return. We have, with Christianity, recognised the individual value of every soul; and there is no intelligence so feeble but that its single ray may in some sort contribute to the general light.
It is foolish to carve what is to be seen forty yards off with the delicacy which the eye demands within two yards; not merely because it is lost in the distance, but because it is a great deal worse than lost; the delicate work has actually worse effect in the distance than rough work.
We may be asked, whether in advocating this adaptation to the distance of the eye, I obey my adopted rules of observance of natural law. Are not all natural things, it may be asked, as lovely near as far away? Nay, not so. Look at the clouds, and watch the delicate sculpture of their alabaster sides, and the rounded lustre of their magnificent rolling. They are meant to be beheld far away; they were shaped for their place, high above your head; approach them, and they fuse into vague mists, or whirl away in fierce fragments of thunderous vapor. Look at the crest of the Alp, from the far-away plains over which the light is cast, whence human souls have communion with it by their myriads. The child looks up to it in the dawn, and the husbandman in the burden