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den destined for use, termed relative beauty, shall be dispatched in few words. In gardening, relative beauty need never stand in opposition to intrinsic beauty; all the ground that can be requisite for use, makes but a small proportion of an ornamented field; and may be put in any corner without obstructing the disposition of the capital parts. At the same time, a kitchen garden or an orchard is susceptible of intrinsic beauty and may be so artfully disposed among the other parts, as by variety and contrast to contribute to the beauty of the whole. In this respect, architecture requires a greater stretch of art, as will be seen immediately for as intrinsic and relative beauty must often be blended in the same building, it becomes a difficult task to attain both in any perfection.
In a hot country, it is a capital object to have what may be termed a summer garden ; a spot of ground disposed by art and by nature to exclude the sun, but to give free access to the air. In a cold country, the capital object should be a winter garden, open to the sun, sheltered from wind, dry under foot, and taking on the appearance of summer by variety of evergreens. The relish of a country life, totally extinct in France, is decaying fast in Britain. But as many people of fashion, and some of taste, pass the winter, or part of it, in the country, it is amazing that winter gardens should be overlooked. During summer, every field is a garden; but during half of the year, the weather is seldom so good in Britain as to afford comfort in the open air without shelter; and yet seldom so bad as not to afford comfort with shelter. Beside providing for exercise and health, a winter garden may be made subservient to education, by introducing a habit of thinking. In youth, lively spirits give too great a propensity to pleasure and amusement, making us averse to serious occupation. That untoward bias may be corrected in some degree by a winter garden, which produces in the mind a calm satisfaction, free from agitation of passion, whether gay or gloomy; a fine tone of mind for meditation and reasoning.
I proceed now to rules and observations that more peculiarly concern architecture. Architecture, being an useful as well as a fine art, leads us to distinguish buildings and parts of buildings into three kinds,namely, what are intended for utility solely, what for ornament solely, and what for both. Buildings intended for utility, such as detached offices, ought partly to correspond precisely to that intention; the slightest deviation from the end in view is a blemish. In general, it is the perfection of every work of art, that it fulfils the purpose for which it is intended; and every other beauty, in opposition, is improper. But in things intended for ornament, as pillars, obelisks, triumphal arches, beauty alone ought to be regarded. The great difficulty of contrivance respects buildings that are intended to be useful as well as ornamental. These ends, employing different and often opposite means, are seldom united in perfection; and the only practicable method in such buildings is, to favor ornament less or more according to the character of the building: in palaces, and other edifices sufficiently extensive to admit a variety of useful contrivance, regularity justly takes the lead; but in dwelling-houses, that are too small for a variety of contrivance, utility ought to prevail, neglecting regularity as far as it stands in opposition to convenience.
Intrinsic and relative beauty, being founded on different principles, must be handled separately. I begin with relative beauty, as of the greater importance. The proportions of a door are determined by the use to which it is destined. The door of a dwelling-house is confined to seven or eight feet in height, and three or four in breadth. The proportions proper for the door of a barn or coach-house are different, because to study intrinsic beauty in a coach-house or barn, is improper. The principal door of a palace demands all the grandeur that is consistent with the proportions
dictated by utility: it ought to be elevated and approached by steps, and adorned with pillars supporting an architrave. The door of a church ought to be wide, to afford an easy passage for a multitude, and the width regulates the height. The size of windows ought to be proportioned to that of the room they illuminate. The steps of a stair ought to be accommodated to the human figure, without regarding any other proportion: they are accordingly the same in large and in small buildings, because both are inhabited by men of the same size.
I proceed to consider intrinsic beauty blended with that which is relative. Though a cube in itself is more agreeable than a parallelopipedon, yet a large parallelopipedon set on its smaller base, is by its elevation more agreeable; and hence the beauty of a Gothic tower. But supposing this figure to be destined for a dwelling-house, to make way for relative beauty, we immediately perceive that utility ought chiefly to be regarded, and that the figure, inconvenient by its height, ought to be set upon its larger base: for which reason, a figure spread more upon the ground than raised in height, is always preferred for a dwellinghouse, without excepting even the most superb palace.
As to the divisions within, utility requires that the rooms be rectangular; for otherwise void spaces would be left. An hexagonal figure leaves no void spaces, but
, it determines the rooms to be all of one size, which is convenient. A room of a moderate size
may but in very large rooms this figure must give place to a parallelogram, which can more easily be adjusted than a square to the smaller rooms contrived entirely for convenience. A parallelogram, at the same time, is best calculated for receiving light; because, to avoid cross lights, all the windows ought to be in one wall; and the opposite wall must be so near as to be fully lighted, otherwise the room will be obscure. The height of a room exceeding nine or ten feet, has little
be a square;
or no relation to utility, and therefore proportion is the only rule for determining a greater height.
In palaces and sumptuous buildings, intrinsic beauty ought to have the ascendant over that which is relative. But in dwelling-houses of moderate size, intrinsic beauty cannot be displayed in any perfection, without wounding relative beauty; and yet architects never give over attempting to reconcile these two incompatibles; how otherwise should it happen, that of the endless variety of private dwelling-houses, there is scarce an instance of any one being chosen for a pattern ?
Nothing can be more evident, than that the form of a dwelling-house ought to be suited to the climate: and yet no error is more common, than to copy in Britain the form of Italian houses; not forgetting even those parts that are purposely contrived for air, and for excluding the sun.
Having said what appeared necessary upon relative beauty, the next step is, to view architecture as one of the fine arts. In the works of nature, rich and magnificent, variety prevails: and in works of art that are contrived to imitate nature, the great art is to hide every appearance of art; which is done by avoiding regularity, and indulging variety. But in works of art, that are original, and not imitative, the timid hand is guided by rule and compass; and accordingly in architecture strict regularity and uniformity are studied, as far as is consistent with utility.
Proportion of parts is not only itself a beauty, but is inseparably connected with a beauty of the highest relish, that of concord or harmony; which will be plain from what follows. A room of which the parts are all finely adjusted to each other, strikes us with the beauty of proportion. It strikes us, at the same time, with a pleasure far superior : the length, the breadth, the height, the windows, raise each of them separately an emotion: these emotions are similar, and though faint when felt separately, they produce in conjunction the emotion of concord or harmony, which is extremely pleasant. On the other hand, where the length of a room far exceeds the breadth, the mind, comparing together parts so intimately connected, immediately perceives a disagreement or disproportion which disgusts. But this is not all: viewing them separately, different emotions are produced, that of grandeur from the great length, and that of meanness or littleness from the small breadth, which in union are disagreeable by their discordance. Hence it is, that a long gallery, however convenient for exercise, is not an agreeable figure of a room: we consider it, like a stable, as destined for use, and expect not that in any other respect it should be agreeable.
Regularity and proportion are essential in buildings destined chiefly or solely to please the eye, because they produce intrinsic beauty. But a skilful artist will not confine his view to regularity and proportion: he will also study congruity, which is perceived when the form and ornaments of a structure are suited to the purpose for which it is intended. The sense of congruity dictates the following rule, That every building have an expression corresponding to its destination: a palace ought to be sumptuous and grand; a private dwelling, neat and modest ; a playhouse, gay and splendid; and a monument, gloomy and melancholy. A heathen temple has a double destination : it is considered chiefly as a house dedicated to some divinity, and in that respect it ought to be grand, elevated, and magnificent; it is considered also as a place of worship, and in that respect it ought to be somewhat dark or gloomy, because dimness produces that tone of mind which is suited to humility and devotion. A Christian church is not considered to be a house for the Deity, but merely a place of worship: it ought therefore to be decent and plain, without much ornament: a situation ought to be chosen low and retired; because the congregation, during worship, ought to be humble and