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The Architecture of the Dark Ages.


end, a few steps lead to the altar, or sacred society, in a large provincial town, when place; but the idol, formerly worshipped the following question was proposed for here, is gone from its place; which, how. discussion : “Why did architecture flourish ever, is adorned with a variety of beautiful during the dark ages ?" and I prepared the sculpture. Exposed as the roofless temple following paper, in order to its being read has been for so many ages to every storm, during the debate; but in the interim, I it is surprising the decorative parts of it have was called to a distance, and could not, not suffered more; but the shafts of many of therefore, attend at the proper time. It the pillars without, which face the north-east, has remained in my portfolio until now, have been rent and hollowed in some parts. and if you think it will amuse your readers,

“At Balbec, as at the other eastern it is at your service. ruins, a traveller must luxuriate on the

Sir, respectfully yours, pleasures of imagination, for he will get no

W. COLDWELL. luxury more substantial. The darkness King Square, Dec. 1, 1828. and misery of the good father's habitation I know of no age in the annals of man, were extreme : his hair hung long and which may with greater propriety be denobushy, like that of a Santon; and his whole minated the age of stone, literally as well garb and person looked as if water had as symbolically, than the middle or dark long been a stranger to them. He stood age. During this period, the feudal system in extreme fear of the Turkish governor. of government, and the superstitious rites

“Before sunrise in the morning we were of Rome, covered Europe. It was a long at the ruin, and the spectacle soon was and dreary age, wherein the tyrants of both magnificent. As the purple light covered

muscle and mind bore unlimited sway; the snowy mountains in front, the line of and woe unto that man who dared to opvapour at their feet had so entirely the pose either of those ruthless tyrants. It appearance of a river, that we could not, was the age of dungeons; when" imprisonfor some time, persuade ourselves it was ments, racks, and tortures, hung upon the not so.

The description in Lallah Rook, lips of lords, and priests as lordly; wherein of the plain and its ruins, is exquisitely

miseries and deaths held carnival, and riotfaithful; the minaret is on the declivity ed on the human race. All that knightnear at hand, and there wanted only the errantry fought to rescue, that novels dwelt muezzin's cry to break the silence. The upon with horror, or that romances poured golden light now rested on the six lone and forth to after-ages, in volume after volume, beautiful pillars, and gradually sank on the had its hydra reality in this awful age. temple, and the various portals and broken Man was armed against his fellow, and the masses that crowded the area around it._ law of the largest sword ruled in havock ; Carne's Letters from the East, vol. ii.p. 99. while superstition, dismal as Hades, pros

trated mind, and held, in inquisition's dungeons, sway over the very perceptions of

Not a word could be uttered, not

an action could be done, nor could a MR. EDITOR,—Sir, Poets treat of the golden thought arise, which was not subdued to age, the iron age, &c. but, as men say, I these, but the arm of vengeance reared its am no poet, be it mine to treat of the age imposing sword, and the stroke, even unto of stone.

death, was simultaneous with the tyrant We behold numbers of ancient and word which pronounced the doom. It was stately structures, and a great number of an age wherein innocence was a captive, imposing ruins, venerable from their anti- wherein righteousness was a crime, wherein quity, built of solid masonry, in almost truth was forlorn upon earth ; and wherein every part of Europe, all of which indicate the wilderness, the rocks, and the deserts that at a period antecedent to our own, alone, contained real devotion to Him, who architecture was cultivated up to a state of created, and who sustains all things ; to great perfection, viz. during the ages in whom be glory for ever. Amen. which these edifices were brought into The mode of warfare in use, and the being. But, when we look into history, we prevalence of war during the feudal system, find, to our surprisc, that these edifices owe were causes which called forth multitudes their origin to what history calls the dark of strong buildings, composed of solid ages. It appears from these premises, that ashlar, erected in a peculiar manner, to architecture flourished when the other arts subserve the purposes of chiefs and warriors. and the sciences were at the lowest ebb in The chiefs under this system were numeEurope. Some years ago, I became a rous, contiguous each to each, and each member of a literary and philosophical existed in defiance of the rest. Hence the


NO. I.


The Architecture of the Dark Ages.

328 necessity of each to resort to places of power, who feasted on the luscious and the strength, that he might dwell secure from rare, to surfeiting; in the lower stories, rioted surprise or assault, and enjoy that portion their retainers, if more vulgar, yet the of the earth which he had usurped. counterparts of chiefs above, minions at

The mode of warfare then in use was de hand to execute their vengeance; instant at sultory and predatory; it often consisted in their word, on whoever incurred their fierce sudden incursion, with a view to plunder ; displeasure ; while below, mid damps and and the barbarous manner in which it was darkness, groaned the captive, of comfort void conducted, led to massacres and violations and consolation; he heard aloft the festive of the innocent and unarmed; no age nor roar, and “the iron entered into his soul." sex was safe in the hands of the ruffians In whatever land a king bore sway, who were retainers to many of those feudal during this age of stone, his power was lords, while arms were in their hands, and maintained by the erection and possession numbers gave them a momentary ascen- of a greater number of these fortresses than dancy. To be rich, was a seductive object were held by any of his chiefs, in order, for plunder; to be beautiful, was an incite by this wide-spread power, to overawe ment to lust and ravishment; to be strong, these into the semblance of obedience, for was to court contest after contest, until the it was at best the semblance, rather than towering height was brought down to the the reality. general level; and to be wise and good, Frequently conspiracies and confederawas to incur the insult and the hatred of all. cies shook his throne; and in order to preHence arose the necessity of strong holds- serve the shadow of authority, he was places of defence for the innocent, wise, and obliged to connive at depredations which good, and places of retreat for the audaci- he durst not attempt to punish, and even ous and predatory hordes, who were, in give license to misrule, that, if not openly, this age, the scourges of every land. secretly defied his power. Thus laws,

These retreats were massive walls around human and divine, alike became null and cities and towns, castles and forts, inacces. void. sible situations, and walled stations, where- The superstitious rites which, as substiin animals, as well as mankind, could feed tutes for religion, were in universal use at large in security. The weapons in use during this age of stone, called into existwere swords, spears, lances, batile-axes, and ence their full share of these edifices of mauls, or clubs, &c.; and their artillery stone, as well as numbers framed wood. was bows and arrows. Against such wea- The imposing processions and ceremonies pons, a deep and wide ditch, with a steep of the Roman Catholic ritual, called for a scarp, and high and solid ashlar wall, corresponding awfulness in the form of the crowned with a broad rampart and stout structures beneath whose roofs they were embattled parapet, were deemed the most performed. Hence complicated arches and substantial defences; and these walls, flank- groins, clustered columns, screens dividing ed with towers, pierced with loop-holes for and subdividing, statuary, and carvings, artillery, or quarters for the lodgment and stained glass, imaging the unreal with the use of men at arms, were erected by every real, between mullions and beneath segchief who longed to increase his power, as ments on segments, piled so high as to bewell as by every wise ruler, who was de come awful, were every where in request, termined to hold what was his lawful patri- and multiplied accordingly. Vast cathemony; for barbarous force was the law of drals, beneath whose exalted groins, and the age which called these edifices into along whose extended aisles, the pageant existence.

procession marched, to the sound of pealing As detached goals possessed no security organs and oral melodies, producing an amidst the predatory manners of this age effect approaching the sublime, awed the of stone, so stone was resorted to, in order vulgar into adoration, and even astounded to incarcerate in safe keeping, the sturdy superior genius, if not into participation, prisoners brought in from these incursions ; yet into acquiescence with this pompous hence arose, in the most secure portion of unreal. In the intervals of columns, in the these castles, a huge stone tower, named the sequestered aisles, in the recesses of these keep, the base of which was a dungeon, structures, in fact, in every vacant part, wide and strong--a prison horrible; above, altars were erected, that masses might be beneath, around, all solid ashlar, often de- celebrated, and incense offered for the dead. void of air and light. In the middle stories Thus did the prolific doctrine of purgatory of this huge tower, frequent was the festive call forth the architect to erect pompous board, where wine was quaffed from bowls fabrics within these edifices of grandeur, as by chieftains, high-flown with insolence of well as the priest to officiate thereat, for the


The Architecture of the Dark Ages.

330 dead as well as for the living; and chapels In a village containing four hundred into saints, and shrines also containing relics, habitants, there is frequently not a single were added from generation to generation. house in existence, but such as an ordinary

But edifices of another description were country carpenter and mason would erect also called into existence by the superstitions with ease, without a single lesson from an of this age, Multitudes of women, as well architect; but if you collect these four as men, coveted to live in communities, hundred persons into one community, and secluded from the world, fancying that lodge them in a single fabric, you instantly their mortifications and prayers would be call superior mind to your aid, in order so works of supererogation, to be distributed to dispose the rooms and offices, that this to their fellow-mortals at pleasure, as pass- community shall be lodged, recreated, exports to mansions in the skies. From this ercised, and fed with freedom. And this predilection, arose monasteries, abbeys, pri- is also the case, where you wish to erect a ories, nunneries, &c. &c.-so many stately building, which shall at once detain in safe edifices, calculated to contain scores, and keeping the prisoners within its walls, and even hundreds, of these religious in com- effectually exclude the warriors who assault munity, with all their attendants. These it from without; and if, in addition to these, establishments included vestibules, halls, it must minister, not only to the convedormitories, cells, chapels, and, in many nience and comfort of its owners, but to instances, cathedrals of vast dimensions, their lusts for pageantry and grandeur, art with cloisters and courts ; and not unfre- of the most refined description must design quently with solid ashlar walls, surrounding and execute the fabrics. That such art

vast area, flanked with towers, and planned and erected these edifices, we are crowned with ramparts and embattled para convinced by the testimony of our senses pets, for other than celestial warfare, where at this day. No age gave birth to bolder many a mitred abbot displayed the cross, conceptions, and more masterly executions, not only as the emblem of peace, but as of trusses, groins, segments, clustered cothe ensign of war, and bade defiance to the lumns, pinnacles, towers, spires, &c. than hostile chiefs around. Thus not only did this; and no age has transmitted to us so the works of supererogation, by their indis- many examples of architectural worth. criminate sale to conscious sinners, but the But if we inherit the fabrics, we also in. masses for the dead, furnish funds for the herit their incongruities. In order to renerection and support of these fabrics. der these fortresses difficult of access, the

Can we wonder that architecture flou- most romantic situations were preferred for rished during this age of stone, when we their sites, and every avenue around them reflect how necessary a person the architect was straitened to the utmost by art, so that must then be on all occasions ? Man is the approaches thereto might be as difficult man in every age of time, and in no one as possible; thus was surprise prevented, age is he more a man than another ; it is and assault restrained: but we, who are the only needful to call, and straight comes his successors to this age of stone, have estagenius forth in all its genuine fulness. That blished an age of commerce. What lamighty thing, which we denominate mind, bour, then, has fallen to our lot, in rendering which' renders man so eminently superior to spacious and commodious these elevated every creature that he beholds around him, and straitened places, in order to afford to may be, and often, alas, is latent beneath our commerce freedom and convenience! ungenial circumstances; but no sooner do In those fabrics which superstition called these circumstances change, and the genial forth, ultimately there arose a similar inwarmth of spring visit his frozen genius, congruity, viz. an excess of architecture, than he springs into new life, and vigor- loading and deforming all their parts; we ously pursues his way. All the wealth, all hail, however, a revolution of the age of the power, all the honours of that age, superstition, into an age of real devotion. were lavished upon these structures, during This age, beholding this excess with disthat long and dreary period of darkness, gust, has removed in part the incongruous, and ambition found' its centre there; the and nearly restored many of these fabrics architect was in incessant request, and there to their pristine grandeur; and partial ruin fore his genius was furbished and shone in others has effected the selfsame thing. forth in his works, not only amidst his own, There is a dignity in simplicity, at which but to after-ages. In fact, he was greatly no complication, however artfully arranged, needed, must have been highly rewarded, can arrive, much less surpass. and often honoured; and these called forth space between the columns, at the ends of men of talent from the multitude, who ex- the aisles, and the recesses and spaces in ercised their eminent abilities therein. all directions, were crowded with projecting

When every 331

Yalloff Magnanimity.



altars and shrines, and even with chapels, In connection with this brief account of the each loaded with florid ornaments, these Yaloffs, we cannot forbear mentioning an fabrics within the fabric, however elegant anecdote that redounds very much to the in themselves, confused the effect, leaving honour of Damel, their king. On occasion to the eye no prominent object whereon to of a war between Damel and Abdulkader, dwell, and, like repletion on the palate, in- king of Foota Torra, a country to the west duced disgust; yea, such is the spectacle of Bondou, the latter, inflamed wifh zeal for presented by a Roman Catholic cathedral propagating his religion, sent an ambasat the present hour. The cathedrals and sador to Damel, accompanied by two of churches which are occupied by Protestants, the principal Bashreens, who carried each being partly stript of these incumbrances, a knife, fixed on the top of a long pole. present a more chaste outline, and approach When they obtained admission into the pre. their ancient grandeur; but it is in the sence of Damel, they announced the object partial ruin of one of these fabrics, that of their embassy in the following singular we behold the ancient grandeur of this manner:-“ With this knife, (said the amorder of architecture in perfection; there, bassador,) Abdulkader will condescend to stript of every extraneous projection, the shave the head of Damel, if Damel will pristine sublimity of the vast outline strikes embrace the Mahometan faith ; and with the beholder with awe, and induces those this other knife, Abdulkader will cut the feelings of veneration, which so highly de- throat of Damel, if Damel refuse to embrace light an intelligent mind.

it-take your choice." Damel coolly re(To be continued.)

plied, that he had no choice to make; he neither chose to have his head shaved, nor

his throat cut: and with this answer the The Yaloffs, Jalofs, or Jalloffs, are an ambassador was civilly dismissed. active, powerful, and warlike race of Abdulkader with a powerful army innegroes, and esteemed the most hand- vaded Damel's country. The inhabitants some of those people, who inhabit a great of the towns and villages filled up their part of that tract of Africa, which lies be- wells, destroyed their provisions, carried off tween the Mandingo states, on the river their effects, and abandoned their dwellings Gambia, to the south, and the Senegal, to as he approached. Thus he was led on the north and east.

from place to place, until he had advanced The Yaloffs differ from the Mandingoes, three days' journey into the country of the not only in language, but likewise in com- Yaloffs. Several of his men had died with plexion and features. Their noses are not fatigue and hunger by the way. This led so much depressed, nor the lips so protu- him to direct his march to a watering-place berant, as among the generality of Africans; in the woods, where his men, having allayed and although their skin is of the deepest their thirst, lay down, overcoine with fatigue, black, they are considered by the white to sleep among the bushes. In this situatraders as the most sightly negroes in this tion, they were attacked by Damel before part of the continent. They are divided day-break, and completely routed. Many into several independent states or kingdoms; were killed, and a great number taken which are frequently at war either with prisoners. Among the latter was Abdultheir neighbours, or with one another. In kader himself, who was led, as a miserable their manners, superstitions, and govern- captive, into the presence of Damel. The ment, however, they have a greater resem- behaviour of Damel on this occasion is blance to the Mandingoes, than to any celebrated, in terms and sounds of the other nation; but excel them in the manu- highest approbation, by the singing men. facture of cotton cloth, spinning the wool to When his royal prisoner was brought before a finer thread, weaving it in a broader loom, him in irons, and thrown upon the ground, and dyeing it of a better colour. Their the magnanimous Damel, instead of setting language is said to be copious and signi- his foot upon his neck, and stabbing him ficant, and is often learned by Europeans with his spear, according to the custom in trading to Senegal. Their Numerals are as such cases, addressed him in the following follows:

manner;_" Abdulkader, answer me this One-Ween Seven-Judom Yar question. If the chance of war had placed Two-Yar

Eight-Judom Yat me in your situation, and you in mine, how Three-Yat

Nine-Judom Yanet would you have treated me?” “I would Four-Yanet Ten-Fook

have thrust my spear into your heart," Five-Judom Eleven-Fooking returned Abdulkader with great firmness; Six-Judom Ween Ween, &c. "and I know that a similar fate awaits me."

Park's Travels, vol. i. « Not so," said Damel; “ my spear is in


Osseous System-Essay VII.




deed red with the blood of your subjects | surface presents a considerable degree of killed in battle, and I could now give it a convexity, having the inferior, to a certain deeper stain by dipping it in your own; extent, concave.

To the four last bones of but this would not build up my towns, nor the tarsus, (viz. the os cuboides, and three bring to life the thousands who fell in the cuneiformia,) are attached those of the metawoods. I will not therefore kill you in tarsus, in number five in each foot, and cold blood; but I will retain you as my similar in shape to those of the hand, slave, until I perceive that your presence in although larger, and supporting the bones your own kingdom will be no longer dan- of the toes. These are fourteen in each gerous to your neighbours; and then I will foot, there being in the great toe only two, consider of the proper way of disposing of and in each of the rest three, as in the you.” Abdulkader was accordingly retain- fingers; whereas in the hand, the thumb ed, and worked as a slave for three months; is formed of three bones, but, then, it is not at the end of which period, Damel listened connected to the carpus by an intervening to the solicitations of the inhabitants of metacarpal bone, of which it is deficient. Foota Torra, and restored to them their If the bones of the tarsus and metatarsus king

are larger and stronger than those of the carpus and metacarpus, on the other hand,

those of the toes are much smaller and ME- shorter than those of the fingers; hence it

is impossible that they should possess that (Continued from col. 234.)

pliability, that address and precision, with

which the fingers are so beautifully gifted. ESSAY VII.

Besides, there is no thumb to exert its Having enumerated, in our preceding antagonizing action, but the whole is conessay, the bones of the hand and arm, structed for bearing the weight of the body let us next attend to those of the inferior with a firm and even pressure on the ground, extremities. Of the thigh-bone, or femur, and so adapted for the purposes of walking, and its articulations at the hip and knee, running, and leaping. In these modes of with the protecting patilla, we have already progression, the toes (and especially the spoken; the bones of the leg, consisting of great toe) are accordingly in greater or less the tibia and fibula, have also been no- requisition, and called to a corresponding ticed; but it remains that we should exa- service. For example; in the attitude of mine the foot, and survey the arrangement standing erect, the sole of the foot, and the of the bones which form it.

toes, all press the ground evenly and firnily; The feet, although bearing a general but in walking we first place the sole similarity of outline to the hands, are not firmly down, then rise upon the toes of that formed in man for grasping or retaining, foot, elevating the heel, bending thenı back but for progression only, and they exhibit, at their articulations with the metatarsal consequently, a peculiar difference in the bones, so as to rest upon them and the ends arrangement of their osseous structure. As, of these bones the weight of the body, however, the hand is divided into carpus, while the other foot is thrown out for the metacarpus, and phalanges, or the finger- next step. In leaping, which is produced bones, so the foot is divided into the tarsus by a vigorous and sudden extension of the or instep, the metatarsus, and the phalanges, limbs, as well as in running, in which the or digites pedis.

heel is kept elevated, so as not to touch, or The bones of the tarsus are seven, differ- but very slightly touch, the ground, it is ing greatly in size and shape, yet all irre- upon the toes almost solely that the body gular and indefinite; the first is the astra- bears, and from which it springs forwards. galus. By this bone the foot is united to Weak therefore, and unendowed with adthe tibia and fibula, the articulation is dress, as the toes may seem, we find them hinge-like, and secured in a manner espe- notwithstanding of high importance in the cially firm, by numerous and powerful most necessary purposes of life; and con. ligaments. The next is the os calcis, or tributing their part to the well-being of the heel-bone, which is united to the astra- whole. galus; then comes the os scaphoides, or Having thus sketched an outline of the naviculare ; the fourth, fifth, and sixth are mechanism of the bones which form the termed ossa cuneiformiu; the seventh, the hands and feet in the human subject, let os cuboides. These bones, conjoined to us glance at the comparative similarity or each other upon mutual articulating sur- difference which these organs exhibit in the faces, and bound together by ligaments, lower orders of the animal creation ; the obconstitute the tarsus, which on the upper |ject is curious: passing along the chain from

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