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and variety it afterwards assumed, appeared at once with all its distinctive marks and features." After throwing aside some of the minuter delicacies, and geometrical forms, which it afterwards assumed, and which his lordship honourably leaves out of the consideration, we have, we believe, left little to which his lordship's observations can be applied. Towers, we have shewn, are old enough, and they occupied the same situation in the earlier as in the later buildings. Buttresses are no more peculiar to Gothic architecture than stone and mortar; and in what, we ask, do those old Norman ones, at the west end and north front of Durham, differ from those at Winchester, but in lightness and ornament? And at Lincoln, indeed, those on the west side of the great transept have, by decoration and greater elevation, been actually converted from the earlier into the richer Gothic, while those on the east side remain as at first.
"But," says the reviewer," if the pointed style was formed by the gradual developement of the Norman style, there would be many distinct instances of the transition style." Many distinct traces of it we have shewn there are-they are every where apparent-and considering it was the ambition, and direct purpose of every succeeding architect, employed either to repair or beautify, to remove all trace of them, and the long interval that separates our age from theirs, it is only extraordinary that so many still exist. But the reviewer seems to expect a series of entire cathedrals in this" transition style." If so, he is rather unconscionable. Gothic architecture, we repeat, is the production of original mind, and mind does not take centuries in developing itself. The most extraordinary change in the literature of this country, perhaps of the world, took place in the 15th century; from comparative darkness, it burst into the full blaze of its meridian glory. A steady and attentive observer will, indeed, perceive the dark clouds, that, in the beginning, lay congregated in huge masses, seeming to sleep in eternal quiet, separating gradually, pierced through by some gleam of the coming light, until the whole were swallowed up and gone; but there is no neutral moment between darkness and light, when ignorance and knowledge sported together in fellowship. So was it with architecture in the 12th and 13th centuries. The advance of knowledge, and the progress of intelligence, are here and there discoverable;-not in a
transition style," for a style necessarily supposes something consistent and accordant; but in the want of style; in fluctuation and uncertainty ;-not in the character, but the want of character, that is peculiar to such periods;-until the round and cumbrous architecture, with its horizontal lines of ornament, gave way before the genius of the age, and Gothic archi
tecture was perfected and established by the master genius, possibly, of some great man. If a " transition style" were really the characteristic of an age, which in its very nature wants the determined purpose that can alone give character, we might expect to find it in our literature, where all that ever did exist, exists now; not in architecture, where every passing century bears with it some "rich-proud cost of out-worn buried age."
But this subject is usually considered too much in detail, "too curiously," as Horatio says. The men most skilful, are not always the best to take an enlarged and philosophical view of it. It is not, as we have before observed, the separate parts that compose a cathedral, that make up Gothic architecture; there is the mind that is apparent in piling these together; and as we would rather bid the student, that should inquire in what consisted the excellence of Shakspeare, to open the volume, than write volumes to give inadequate notions of him; so to the same inquiries about Gothic architecture, we would answer, go and see. Its foundation, we repeat, was in original mind; and the direction of that mind was given by the genius of the age. The genius of the architect expanded and enlarged, because it was protected and encouraged; and the grander proportions and the minuter divisions of his work, its multitude of ornaments, the division of its windows, their mullions and tracery, were but the natural progress of science so encouraged, and wealth still increasing, till it ended in the gem-like chapels of the 15th and 16th centuries; and we must here observe, that these chapels differ more from the earlier specimens of Gothic architecture, than the latter do from the Anglo-Norman, that preceded them: if, therefore, we are content to have imported the one, we must seek out another crusade, and a new eastern world, whence we brought back the other.
But it is clear we did not import the one; it did not "appear at once, with all its distinctive marks and features;"-it was slow, though not creeping in its progress, subject to experiment, and adopted from success; all the works of the 13th century are full of variety ;—there seems to have been no known standard, no determinate end, no heard-of perfection, which there would have been had models existed any where; but every separate architect availed himself of all that was previously known, and sought for no further excellence. To this purpose is a passage in Mr. Wild's description of Lincoln, a work that, like his Worcester, lately published, cannot be too highly commended.*
* In looking over these works lately, we were struck with their
VOL. X. PART I.
"In the earlier examples selected from this cathedral the gradual advancement of architecture is rather marked by the improvement of taste, than by any distinctive alteration of style; but in the present, [the Presbytery] although the antecedent characteristics are retained, they are blended with much novelty of design and decoration. Thus the buttresses have their use and solidity in some measure disguised by ornaments, the pedimental terminations being decorated with crockets, creepers, and finials; the angles with clusters of slender columns, and the faces with brackets and canopies, for the reception of statues. The windows which were before of single lights, are here divided into several, by mullions and tracery of geometrical forms, an invention peculiar to pointed architecture, and of the highest importance, as it enabled architects to increase the size of their windows to any dimensions required, and thus to render them important features in their designs. In short, in every particular a greater degree of lightness and elegance may be observed. The mouldings, although they retain the forms before used, are smaller and more numerous— and in the ornamental parts considerable improvement is also apparent, the foliage, so tastefully and profusely introduced, being in no small degree imitative of the variety and luxuriance of nature.'
This is the progress of art in every thing. That the advance of Gothic architecture was rapid and surprising, almost beyond credibility, to an age and people, among whom three centuries have produced only one cathedral, is easily enough understood; but it is only so from a want of imagination to transport ourselves back to those ages, when such buildings were undertaken by individuals, and from not remembering that probably more cathedrals than now exist in all Europe, were then erected in less than three centuries. Besides, it is easy enough to account for "the general and contemporary adoption of the style," without his lordship's supposition. The Quarterly Reviewer, indeed, says, "The intercourse between the various states of Europe was then hazardous, desultory, and unfriendly;" but, in reference to the present subject, this is entirely erroneous. The clergy were a distinct body of people, in constant communication, and Rome was to them all a common home, to and from which, they were in constant progress-the temporalities and spiritual dignities of all the churches in Europe, were within the grasp of the Pope; foreigners, therefore, were not unfrequently appointed to sees
extraordinary beauty; and could not but wonder at the progress that has been made in all illustrative architectural works within the last half century. Some of the plates, both in the Lincoln and Worcester, are perfect pictures, and have about the same relation to the engravings in Grose and Pennant, that the plates in the Gentleman's Magazine have to works of art. Mr. Britton's works are also beautiful.
and benefices in Britain, and Englishmen as often obtained ecclesiastical preferment abroad;-these things tended to the "simultaneous" communication of knowledge; but, if any further explanation be wanting, we have it in the certainty, that foreigners were not unfrequently engaged here as architects, and that some of the most celebrated foreign ecclesiastical structures were the works of Englishmen. And let us add, that, after all, the general and contemporary adoption is no more extraordinary, than the general and contemporary abandonment, which seems to have excited no astonishment, and to be barely remembered. Similar causes were, we think, operative on both occasions. The power, the riches, the magnificence of the Romish religion and clergy were, in the one instance, flourishing and increasing, in the other, declining, and on the eve of a revolution that eventually swept away the pomp and splendour of its being, and tore from the universal church some of the fairest and wealthiest of its votaries. Europe was soon engaged in theological discussion, and controversial divinity; the mitred prelates found it politic to conceal, rather than make ostentatious display of their wealth and power; and even in those countries where the Pope's authority and the Catholic religion still prevailed, they were both "shorn of their beams;" for no man, we think, can doubt that the Reformation had a moral influence from one end of Europe to the other, and awakened speculation and inquiry, where before men's minds were subdued, humble, and confiding.
In the quotation from the Earl of Aberdeen, reference is made to the opinion of Horace Walpole, and what we have said is in confirmation of that opinion; but we must observe, in justice to later writers, that his was an opinion thrown out incidentally, and as far as it rested on authority, was erroneous. He supposed that shrines were the prototypes of Gothic architecture. They were, no doubt, the prototypes of the florid Gothic, but where are these shrines antecedent to Gothic architecture itself? They are like Gothic architecture in the east, no where to be met with. We have it in proof, we think, that larger buildings came with the pointed arch, and that, for some time, magnitude and beauty grew together. Shrines came afterwards; their minute proportions were transferred to larger buildings; and sometimes engrafted on old ones; till at length, the passion for ornament took such hold on the imagination, that the age could produce nothing but a shrine, and King's College, and Henry the Seventh's Chapel, and others, are the evidence.
ART. II.-The Adventures of Alexander the Corrector; the Third Part. Giving an Account of his wonderful Escape from an Academy at Bethnal Green, by cutting with a Knife the Bedstead to which he was chained: and of the Dissolution of the pretended Court of the Blind Bench, and their designs against the Corrector. And an Account of his Application at St. James's Palace for the Honour of Knighthood, and his conduct at Guildhall as a Candidate for one of the Representatives in Parliament of this great Metropolis. With an Account of his Law Adventures, while he acted the part of a Counsellor, in the King's Bench in Westminster Hall. which is added, a History of his Love Adventures, with his Letters, and a Declaration of War sent to the amiable Mrs. Whitaker, a Lady of a shining Character and great Revenues. Interspersed with various religious Reflections, shewing the necessity of appointing a Corrector of the People, or of taking some effectual measures for a speedy and thorough Reformation. London: printed for the Author, and sold by A. Dodd, &c.
Though divers good and sufficient reasons have hitherto prevented us from figuring amongst the members of the Roxburgh club, yet, in a small way, we delight in the acquisition and collection of scarce and curious books. Many an hour have we spent in town and in the country, in examining the contents of book-stalls, and of those miserable magazines of trumpery, where a few volumes may not unfrequently be found buried amidst heaps of old iron, cordage, earthenware, and the other vilia scruta, for which it is astonishing that their grim, unwashed proprietors can find any customers. Nor have our excursions in search of cheap and antiquated literature been confined to this island. We have given a hog (six-pence English) for a volume, which an Hibernian bibliopolist on Ormond Quay, Dublin, has, with the modesty characteristic of his countrymen, at the commencement of our negociation, estimated at five shillings-and, on the Quai Malaquais, at Paris, we have purchased for an ecu, a quatro cento, upon the description of a fellow copy, on which Mr. Dibdin has expended three pages in his Catalogue of Lord Spenser's library. Researches of this kind, it is true, are often very unprofitable," Experto crede, Lector benevole." But occasionally, like a miner hitting upon a rich vein of metal, we have detected literary curiosities lurking in most unpromising quarters, and at the cost of a shilling have possessed ourselves of a prize, which has for an even