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Now this is a circumstance well wore fices; we wish only to guard against thy of consideration. The utmost the ruinous idea, that novelty is to be force of Italian genius has, for above attained in the Grecian architecture, five hundred years, been directed to or that we are creating new edifices wards the Grecian architecture; and in when we are only borrowing at second the attempt to give variety and novel- hand from the masters of antiquity. ty to its forms, many of her greatest Now since such is the limit and the men have been unremittingly engaged. nature of the art, that, to obtain beauThat they have 'uniformly failed in ty, we must recur to the models of ansuch attempts cannot be imputed to tiquity, is it not better to draw at once want of genius in those who engaged from the pure fountain of Grecian exin them, where the names of Michael cellence than lower down, where the Angelo, of Bramante, of Palladio and stream has been polluted by the interSansuvino, are to be found amongst mixture of more turbid waters? And the number. The same men who would it not be a proud thing for this were most successful in extending the country, that, while all nations, from bounds of invention in painting and the time of Pericles, have concurred in sculpture, and whose genius was most admiring the Parthenon, in Scotland uncontrolled in these arts, have felt alone were artists to be found of suffithemselves obliged to copy the ancients cient magnanimity to renovate that in architectural design : or where they edifice, and a people to be met with have deviated from them, have left capable of appreciating the benefits perpetual monuments of the futility of which would attend its restoration ? their attempt. Let us take wisdom Again, it is said that the Parthenon from their failure, and not seek to of Athens would lose much of its beaupass limits which the genius of Mi- ty by being transferred to Scotland; chael Angelo and Bramante was unable and that what is admirable in Grecian
marble, and under an Athenian sun, So sensible indeed have all men of would appear very different in freetaste become of this leading truth in stone, and in our cloudy atmosphere
. architectural design, that the most Those who make this observation eminent architects of the present day are not duly aware either of the excelaim at nothing else but restoring, lence of the Edinburgh freestone, without variation, the monuments of of the qualities on which the grandeur antiquity. The County Rooms of of the Doric architecture depends. Edinburgh is exactly copied, so far as Perhaps there is no where to be found the columns go, from the Eryctheum a species of stone more admirably am of Athens; the pillars in Waterloo dapted for the purpose of ornamental Place are taken from the same inodel; architecture than that which is to be the beautiful inner-gate of the college obtained in the vicinity of Edinburgh; is taken from the lower order of the and of this the extreme beauty of the Colyseum ; the portico of the court at capitals recently erected there affords Glasgow is copied from the temple of sufficient proof. And certainly there Neptune, and that of the court at Per is no species of architecture so entirely from the temple of Ceres at Pestum. independent of all exterior things, and Nay, in the design which has been in which so much of the beauty congiven for a National Monument, the sists in proportion and general form very eminent architect who formed it as the Doric. As a proof of this, it is has followed entirely the mausoleum only necessary to observe, that the ceof Adrian, before its pillars were car- lebrated temples of Pestum are not ried to the church of St Paul beyond only composed of coarse stone, but the walls. In mentioning this, we greatly corroded and injured by the have not the slightest intention of de- effects of time; yet, such as they are, preciating from the merit of the very more than one writer" has given them distinguished artists who gave these the preference even to the colossal different designs; on the contrary, we dome and splendid marbles of St regard it as the highest proof of their Peter's. judgment and taste, that they have A more prevalent idea seems to be, selected so well the model of their edi that, with the funds which may pro
* Eustace, vol. 3. 72 p.
bably be collected for this purpose, it so massy and simple, that a small sum, is in vain to think of imitating the comparatively speaking, when judiParthenon of Athens; an edifice erect- ciously applied on such an edifice, proed by Pericles in the days of his im- duces a more imposing effect, and goes perial splendour, and with the aid of farther in the production of beauty, contributions from all the subject than perhaps ten tiines the sum, in a states in Greece. This objection pro- more costly style of building. Of this ceeds entirely from a mistaken idea in there cannot be a stronger example point of fact as to the expense of re- than is to be met with in Italy, where storing this edifice on the same scale the Temple of Neptune at Pestum with the inal; and from the real captivates most travellers, even more state of the fact, we draw the strong, than the splendid dome of St Peter's ; est arguments for its adoption. although the former could be erected
The Parthenon could certainly be here for as many thousands as it would erected on the Calton Hill, on the require millions to attempt even to same dimensions with the original, for rival the latter. £40,000. In making this estimate, we It is another very serious considerahave reason to believe, that we are ra tion in this view, that if an edifice be ther beyond than within the mark. It adopted similar to any of the Estabis 240 feet long, 120 broad, and some lished Churches or triumphal buildwhat under 60 feet high. The reason ings in modern Europe, the inferiority of the expense of erecting it being so which it must exhibit to its prototype small, is, that its beauty consists so will immediately occur to every obmuch in form and proportion which
If a church with a dome be cost nothing; and that the Doric or selected, the recollection of St Paul's der is so simple in its capitals and cor and St Peter's will instantly recur to nices. Now, in what other style of the spectator, and it will be the boast architecture could we hope for that of the Italians, that the National Movery limited sum to form any build- nument of Scotland possesses no greater ing which would possess a tenth part magnificence than is to be met with in of the beauty, or interest, by which the ordinary churches in every city of this could be distinguished.' In almost Italy. If the Gothic style be preferred, every other order, beauty consists much the unapproachable splendour of the in the richness of ornament, or the English Cathedrals will sink it at once profusion of details; and without a into insignificance and contempt. If great expenditure, it is entirely hope- the Corinthian or Ionic orders be less to aim at distinction. Such is the chosen, the magnificence of the Pariexpense with which the rich pinnacles sian or Venetian edifices, on which the and fretted work of the Gothic is at- riches of royal magnificence, or the tended, that York Cathedral, we are wealth of the Imperial Republic have told, cost £3,000,000; and yet great been lavished, will occur in painful expense is unavoidable in that order, contrast to the Scottish patriot. It is for it is matter of common observa- in the Doric Temple alone that the tion, that without the richness of its National Monument of Scotland could details Gothic architecture would be in have no rival in modern Europe ; and a great measure devoid of interest. by availing ourselves of the rock which St Paul's cost £1,500,000 even when it nature has given us for its pedestal, was built, which was above a century and the materials which she has put ago ; and we have the authority of into our hands for its construction, it Eustace for saying, that though the is in our power to raise an edifice which marbles of which it is composed were will attract the eye of taste even from found in the ruins of the ancient city, the splendid facade of the Louvre, or St Peter's at Rome cost twelve millions the pillared scenery of Venice. Sterling. No one can look for an in It is contended by others, that the stant at the superb facade of the Calton Hill, if loaded with this massy Louvre, or at the portico of the Pan- Temple, in addition to those which are theon at Paris, without seeing that an already placed upon it, would be too edifice of a similar rich and florid style crowded, or that the magnitude of the would exceed the probable funds which edifice would appear disproportioned to may be collected for this undertaking the size of the base on which it must It is the peculiar advantage therefore stand. of the Doric Temple, that its forms are In regard to the last objection, that
the magnitude of the Parthenon is and of the metropolis which it prounsuited to the size of the Calton Hill, fesses to ornament. Could we then, it proceeds entirely on a misapprehen- in clearing the way for the Parthenon, sion of the fact. The Calton Hill is get rid of this prominent deformity, in fact larger than the Acropolis of we would not only positively add the Athens; the situation which Pericles greatest ornament to the metropolis, and Phidias selected for the Temple but negatively do perhaps equal service of Minerva, and to the admirable by withdrawing its greatest blemish. choice of which the experience of two There is, no doubt, a natural and thousand years has united in bearing very laudable prejudice against begintestimony: If any one will consider ning one work of ornament by pulling how small a proportion, one hundred down another. But if the building, yards in length, and fifty in breadth, which is to be removed, while it prowhich is the dimension of the base of fesses to be an ornament, is in fact the Grecian Temple, bears to the plain only a disgrace, it may well be doubtwhich forms the top of the hill on ed, whether there is any policy in supo which it is proposed to restore the edi- porting it. Least of all, is there any fice, it will readily occur, that this ob- wisdom in such a course of proceeding, jection is without foundation.
when, by so doing, we are prevented In regard again to the argument from raising another edifice, dedicated which we have often heard urged, that to the same hero, more worthy of his the Calton Hill would, by such an ade glory, and more consonant to the imdition, become too crowded, this ap- proved taste of the times? If Nelson's pears to us to be an objection of much Monument were removed, unquestionthe same kind, as if the proprietor of a ably, the committee for forming the house were to refuse to admit the Ve National Monument, would raise annus de Medicis into his drawing-room, other pillar to that great man, in some for fear of incommoding his tables and other central situation ; in the centre, chairs. It is surely unnecessary to ob- for example, of St Andrews Square. serve, that on a spot so conspicuous as The pillar of Antoninus might be rethe Calton Hill, and set apart, as it stored there for £4000; and surely all now is, for the purpose of public or- parties would concur in giving a place nament, it would be advisable, at any to such a monument, to that hero, in rate, to gain the addition of the most that fine situation. The sum thus ex. beautiful edifice which human genius pended by the committee for the Nahas ever formed. Even, therefore, if tional Monument, would be in fact it were necessary, in the attainment of the purchase money of the site of their this object, to pull down Nelson's Mo- edifice ; and surely, in no other situanument, it would be a sacrifice worth tion could they either obtain so fine a making for the end which is in view. site for so small a sum ; or in any This edifice, while it undoubtedly does other way do so important a service to honour to the patriotism and public the metropolis, as by withdrawing the spirit of the inhabitants of this city, is present non-descript monument, and a lasting blot on the public taste.” It raising in its place one of those superb was built during the war, before we columns, whose grandeur seems to have had obtained the assistance of Playfair awed even the barbarians of the north and Elliot, and before a knowledge of into respect for its magnificence. And architecture had made any progress thus, while the rock of Edinburgh amongst us. As it now stands it is re- would vie with the Acropolis in the garded by every stranger as a blemish matchless glories of its triumphal ediupon the taste of a people whose sub- fice, the level extent of the New Town sequent advance in correct feeling has would
rival the plain of Rome, in the been so remarkable, and as such we superb columns which yet grace the believe it is felt by every native who memory, and perpetuate the triumphs has turned his attention to the subject. of Trajan and Antoninus.* Occupying the finest and most promi But though we are individually fully nent position in the city at the end of convinced of the wisdom of such a Waterloo Place, it is unworthy both measure, yet we anxiously wish it to be of the hero to whom it is consecrated, understood, that the plan of restoring
• It is already determined to erect the pillar of Trajan at the west end of the New Town, in memory of Lord Melville.
DIFFERENT SPOTS ON THE CALTON
the Parthenon is wholly independent of of modern genius; it is by putting beany such proceeding. We are in fore their eyes the perfection of antiformed, that from a local plan, made quity that we are most likely to inspire by Mr Reid, who has lately visited them with its spirit; it is by compelAthens, and is intimately acquainted ling them to enter the lists with so rewith all the dimensions of the build- doubted a rival, that we are most ing, it appears that there are THREE likely to secure for them the victory.
And if it shall be found, that the inteHILL, on either of which it might be rior bears away the prize, even from the built, without interfering either with exterior design of Phidias, no one will Nelson's Monument or the Astrono, more sincerely rejoice in it than ourmical Observatory. To those who selves, or feel more deeply the triumph doubt the degree in which the Par- of modern over ancient art. thenon would ornament our metro Should the Parthenon be selected as polis, if placed on that commanding the model of the National Monument, situation, we earnestly recommend to we are convinced the public taste inspect the views which that artist has would soon fix on the Calton Hill as made of the Grecian Temple placed the spot alone fitted for its adoption, there, with all the appendages of the as the form of the Doric temple, grand edifices at present existing upon it. and imposing on a rocky eminence, The publication of an engraving of sinks into insignificance on a plain. that design would, we are convinced, Of this the superiority of the effects of remove all hesitation from the public the temple of Minerva at Athens, both mind on the subject ; and such a mea to the temple of Jupiter Olympius, and sure, we venture to suggest, as well the temple of Theseus, which stand in befitting the approved taste and public the plain, is' a sufficient demonstraspirit of the existing committee. tion. The Greeks always chose, where
The last objection which we have they had it in their power, a rocky emiheard urged against the measure for nence for their temples : and the taste which we contend is, that the form of of such men, unequalled in the perthe Parthenon is inconsistent with the fection of their designs, and best quapurpose of a church for divine service, lified to judge of the situations adapt such as it is proposed to make of the ed for their own architecture, is not National Monument. Whether this lightly to be rejected. In fact, the spire plan will ever be carried into effect, or the dome seem fitted to give digniand whether the funds will ever a- ty and variety to level cities, while the mount to such a sum, as to authorise massy form and open pillars of the the endowing of clergy for the pro- Doric temple are adapted for the sumposed establishment, may well be mit of eminences, where their weight doubted. But without entering into is relieved by the light seen through that question, it is sufficient to ob- their interstices, and the unity of efserve, that in a room of such great di- fect arising from the similarity of their mensions as the interior of the Par- sides is brought into view. Imaginathenon would afford, upwards of tion can hardly conceive the addition 200 feet long, and nearly 60 high, which such an edifice would make to with an arched roof, and capable of the beauty of the city, whether seen being lighted entirely from the top, when its noble outline was first illumi. the genius of our modern architects nated by the light of the morning sky, might surely create a church of the or where its western front flamed in most magnificent form and the finest the rays of the setting sun. And it is proportions. Here, then, is the place no trivial matter that, while the Nawhere the genius of our own country tional Monument, placed on any other has an ample field for exerting itself. situation would adorn only a particuLet the exterior of the building be lar quarter of the city, and augment taken from the work of Phidias, and the splendour of a single street, placed let its interior be wholly modelled by on that superb eminence it would be modern artists. Let the genius of an seen on every side, and form the greate tiquity, and of our times, be brought est ornament of every landscape. fairly in competition; and, like rival In conclusion, we cannot avoid call beauties side by side, let the most per- ing the attention of our readers to the fect bear off the prize. It is by so do- great addition which the selection of ing that we can best rouse the exertions such a model as the Parthenon wou!
undoubtedly make to the amount of had been inspired by the venerable
ALASTOR; OR, THE SPIRIT OF SOLITUDE: AND OTHER POEMS.
BY PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.*
We believe this little volume to be of manhood, to adopt a species of poe-
through familiarity with all that is excellent those who, like us, cherish high hopes universe. He drinks deep of the fountains of this gifted but wayward young man, of knowledge, and is still insatiate. The to see what advances his intellect has magnificence and beauty of the external made within these few years, and to world sinks profoundly into the frame of compare its powerful, though still im- his conceptions, and affords to their modifiperfect display, in his principal poem cations a variety not to be exhausted. So with its first gleamings and irradia- long as it is possible for his desires to point tions throughout this production al. towards objects thus infinite and unmeasurmost of his boyhood. In a short
ed, he is joyous, and tranquil, and self-pospreface, written with all the enthu- objects cease to suffice. His mind is at
sessed. But the period arrives when these siasm and much of the presumption of length suddenly awakened and thirsts for youth, Mr Shelley gives a short ex intercourse with an intelligence similar to planation of the subject of " Alastor; itself. He images to himself the Being or, the Spirit of Solitude,” which we whom he loves. Conversant with speculacannot say throws any very great light tions of the sublimest and most perfect na. upon it, but without which, the poem tures, the vision in which he embodies his would be, we suspect, altogether un
own imaginations unites all of wonderful,
or wise, or beautiful, which the poet, the intelligible to ordinary readers. Mr Shelley is too fond of allegories; and The intellectual faculties, the imagination,
philosopher, or the lover could depicture. a great genius like his should scorn, the functions of sense, have their respective now that it has reached the maturity requisitions on the sympathy of corresporid
• London, Baldwin, Cradock, & Joy, and Carpenter & Sonsa, 1816.