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ELEMENTS OF CRITICISM.
can obene that is the chon balle Town of winchestertit lively active people & The ar
too much for his statue. The same objection lies
I am more doubtful whether the same objection lies
It is observed above of gardening, that it contributes to rectitude of manners, by inspiring gaiety and benevolence. I add another observation, That both ardening and architecture contribute to the same ena! by inspiring a taste for neatness and elegance. In Scotland, the regularity and polish even of a turnpike road has some influence of this kind
the poor people in the neighborhood. They become fond of regularity and neatness; which is displayed, first upon their yards and little inclosures, and next within-doors. A taste for regularity and neatness, thus acquired, is extended by degrees to dress, and even to behavior and
The author of a history of Switzerland, describing the fierce manners of the plebeians of Berne three or four centuries ago, continually inured to success in war, which made them insolently aim at a change of government in order to establish a pure democracy, observes, that no circumstance tended more to sweeten their manners, and to make them fond of peace, than the public buildings carried on by the senate for ornamenting their capital; particularly a fine town-house, and a magnificent church, which to this day, says our author, stands its ground as one of the finest in Europe.
REVIEW. To what are gardening
and architecture now improved. Does the author propose to treat them as useful or fine arts ?
What are the two different destinations of gardening and archiLecture?
What does this variety of destination bestow on these arts?
What is the other thing wanted to bring architecture to perfection ?
What should be a ruling principle in gardening and architecture?
How is it violated ?
What is the simplest plan of a garden?--a more complex ?the third kind ?—the completest plan?
What is important in this plan?
Where should regularity be studied, and where should it not be studied?
How should trees be disposed ?
Is it necessary, in gardening, to oppose relative to intrinsic beauty?
What is a summer garden?
Into what three kinds are buildings and parts of buildings dis . tributed ?
What is required buildings intended for utility?
What is required in the door of a dwelling-house?---of a palace? of a church?
Whence arises the beauty of a Gothic tower?
What is chiefly necessary in works of art that are intended to imitate nature?
How is this done?
What is the effect of a well-proportioned room?-of an ill-proportioned one ?
In what are regularity and proportion essential?-why?
What do columns express?
Why should the room, which first receives us on entering a house, not be large?
What suit of rooms is proposed for a very large house?
What is the inconvenience of a double row of windows in the jame room?
What should be the chief study of the architect? What sort of ornament do private dwellings admit?_temples, triumphal arches, and other buildings intended for show ?
Where should statues be placed ?
With respect to destination, what order is classed with the Doric? -what with the Corinthian?
How should the ornaments of the three orders be contrived ?
What rule with respect to buildings is dictated by utility?-what
Why are statues employed for supports disagreeable?
How do gardening and architecture contribute to rectitude of manners ?
Standard of Taste. It is a common proverb that there is no disputing about taste. One thing at first view is evident, that if the proverb holds true with respect to taste in its proper meaning, it must hold equally true with respect to our other external senses: if the pleasures of the palate disdain a comparative trial, and reject all criticism, the pleasures of touch, of smell, of sound, and even of sight, must be equally privileged. At that rate, a man is not within the reach of censure, even where he prefers the Saracen's Head upon a sign-post before the best tablature of Raphael, or a rude Gothic tower before the finest Grecian building; or where he prefers, an unpleasant smell before that of the most odoriferous flower, or discords before exquisite harmony.
If the pleasures of external sense be exempted from criticism, why not every one of our pleasures, from whatever source derived? If taste in its proper sense cannot be disputed, there is little room for disputing it in its figurative sense. The proverb accordingly com
Sprehends both; and in that large sense may be resolved into the following general proposition, That with respect to the perceptions of sense, by which some objects appear agreeable, some disagreeable,
there is no such a thing as a good or a bad, a right or a wrong ;
that every man's taste is to himself an ultimate standard without appeal; and consequently that there
is no ground of censure against any one who prefers Blackmore before Homer, selfishness before benevolence, or cowardice before magnanimity.
The proverb in the foregoing examples is indeed carried very far: it seems difficult, however, to sap its foundation, or attack it successfully from any quarter; every man is equally a judge of what ought to be agreeable or disagreeable to himself. Is it not whimsical and absurd, to assert, that a man ought not to be pleased when he is, or that he ought to be pleased when he is not ?
This reasoning may perplex, but will never afford conviction : every one of taste will reject it as false, however unqualified to detect the fallacy. Though no man of taste will assent to the proverb as holding true in every case, no man will affirm that it holds true in no case; there are objects that we may like or dislike indifferently, without any imputation upon our taste. Were a philosopher to make a scale for human pleasures, he would not think of making divisions without end: but would rank together pleasures arising perhaps from different objects, either as conducing to happiness, or differing so imperceptibly as to make a separation unnecessary. Nature has taken this course as to the generality of mankind. There may be subdivisions without end; but we are only sensible of the grosser divisions, comprehending pleasures equally affecting: to these the proverb is applicable in the strictest sense; for with respect to pleasures of the same rank, what ground can there be for preferring one before nother? If a preference in fact be given