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proscribed by him as clustered shafts and pointed arches. To build now as Englishmen built four centuries ago is only more absurd than to follow the fashions of classical antiquity. The number of modern Gothic churches in England rouses his indignation :

• There is not a town, scarcely a village, in the length and breadth of the land, which is not furnished with one of these forgeries : and so cleverly is this done in most instances, that, if a stranger were not aware that forgery is the fashion instead of being a crime, he might mistake the counterfeit for a really old Mediæval church.' (P. 342.)

The new Houses of Parliament are still more severely criticised :

Here it was determined to go a step further. Not only the exterior, but every room and every detail of the interior, was to be of the Tudor age. Even the sculpture was to be of the stiff formal style of that period ; Queen Victoria and her royal uncles and ancestors from Queen Elizabeth downwards, were all to be clothed in the garb of the earlier period, and have their names inscribed in the illegible characters then current. Every art and every device was to be employed to prove that history was a myth, and that the British Sovereigns, from Elizabeth to Victoria, all reigned before the two last Henrys! Or you are asked to believe that Henry VII. foresaw all that the lords and commons and committees would require in the nineteenth century, and provided this building for their accommodation accordingly. The Hindoos were actuated by the same childish spirit when they wrote their past history in the prophetic form of the Puranas. The trick hardly deceives even the ignorant Indian, and does not certainly impose on any Englishman.' (P. 343.)

There is, of course, the simple answer that no deception or imposition was intended; but the censure is in part deserved. If we have no national architecture, there may be no shame in adopting older forms which we find suitable for given purposes ; but the attempt to disguise the conditions of society at the present day in a classical or a Gothic garb is beneath contempt. "In the northern aisle of the nave of Westminster Abbey, the visitor is attracted by a memorial brass, representing a knight and his wife, who may have lived under the later Plantagenet kings. If he has not seen the Abbey for some time, he may wonder that it never caught his eye before, until, on spelling out the archaic characters of the inscription, he finds that the knight, to whose memory it was laid down, fought under Abercromby in Egypt. In the same aisle, a coloured window representing in mediæval guise certain mechanical works and feats of engineering, of which no one in the middle ages knew anything, may in like manner perplex him until he learns that the window is a memorial to the greatest railway engineer of the present age. But while in matters relating to our common life we are becoming more truthful, we are not, apparently, much nearer to the origination of a new style of architecture. In proportion as they depart from mere naked construction, our architects seem unable to escape from the magic circle of copying or adaptation. Mr. Fergusson denies that there is the slightest reason for a state of things which they have accepted as a necessity. His opponents will probably turn to this very volume for the justification of the existing practice.

In the fifteenth century the Italians discarded Gothic in favour of classical ornamentation. When in the seventeenth century classical forms found their way into England, the triumph of the new fashion was complete; and from that time to the present the designs of all architects have been more or less imitative. But when Mr. Fergusson states broadly,

that there are in reality two styles of architectural art, one * practised universally before the sixteenth century, and the

other since then' (p. 4.), he has passed over one exception, which would tell inconveniently against this sweeping rule. If the architects of the Cathedral of Dijon took to copying when they clothed its western front with pilasters and entablatures, the ancient Roman architects were guilty of the same offence when they disguised their genuine arched construction under forms borrowed from Greek art, or cast that construction away altogether. Of the two, the latter were incomparably more blameworthy. In the principle of their national architecture the Romans possessed a mine of inexhaustible wealth. From it sprang directly the Romanesque and then the Teutonic * developements of Christian art; and all the effect which the introduction of Greek forms had, was to arrest for several centuries this growth of the really living style which they cramped and stunted. With the Gothic architects of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the case was wholly different. The goodly tree which had yielded its fruits for a thousand years was withered and dead. The exaggerated richness of the chapel of King's College at Cambridge had been eclipsed by the prodigal magnificence of the Chapel of

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* We use this term as expressing in a single word the fact that Gothic, or pointed architecture, is the art really of only the Teutonic as distinguished from the Romance nations of Europe. It seems also to keep the religious reformation more thoroughly distinct from the revolution in art.

Henry VII. at Westminster; and this transient blaze of false glory was succeeded by a contented acquiescence in the poorest and the most debased forms, long before John of Padua designed Longleat, or Inigo Jones drew out his plans for Whitehall.

The result was inevitable. The intrusion of any new fashion was sure to thrust aside what was now nothing more than an effete tradition; and the Renaissance forms came in with all the force which could be imparted to them by the revival of classical learning. The Italians had never really loved or understood Gothic. To them, therefore, the classical architecture of their forefathers was a style not only more congenial, but, as it seemed, not thoroughly developed. Taken up with enthusiastic devotion, this style appeared, at first, likely to realise their brightest anticipations. How soon this prospect was clouded, the reader will best learn from Mr. Fergusson's pages. He will there see that the Italian or common sense' style, which Mr. Fergusson upholds as the only possible means for extricating us from our habits of servile imitation, has itself been exhausted, scarcely less than the Gothic.

The possibility or likelihood of future progress is, therefore, a question altogether distinct from the history of the modern styles; and Mr. Fergusson is perfectly right in saying that, from whatever point of view it may be regarded, that history must be to us a subject of very deep interest. “Either • it is wrong in us to persevere in copying, in which case we

ought to despise the history of this style; or, if we are `justified in our present practice, we cannot be mistaken in studying the steps by which we have arrived at its principles, • and, by an impartial criticism, attempting to estimate their ' value' (p. 4.). The inquiry may reveal the real cause which prevents the immediate invention of a new style; it must remove very much of the mystery with which we are apt to invest the introduction of the Renaissance designs. The results of that change are before us; but we are too commonly disposed to assume not only that the revolution was sudden, but that it encountered the real resistance which any living style of art must oppose to any other which may assail it. The countries which most eagerly took up the cause of the Reformation were the last to be invaded by the spirit of Renaissance art; and in England generations which had not known by experience the yoke of the Papacy adhered, however feebly or ignorantly, to the architecture of their forefathers. Precisely because their adherence was so weak, the victory of classical forms when once introduced was rendered certain and lasting. The uncouth splendours of Egyptian art were no temptation to the men who


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built and adorned the Parthenon; and the beauties of the classical orders would have been displayed to little purpose before those who were rearing the noble piles of Westminster, or Salisbury, or Lincoln. A perusal of Mr. Fergusson's pages would scarcely convince the reader, that the introduction of foreign forms could not in England or in France have been effected in the days of William of Wykeham or Wilars de Honcourt.

But an examination of the causes which rendered that possible in the time of Inigo Jones which was impossible in the days of the great Bishop of Winchester, must throw some light on the conditions under which we may look for the invention of a new style of architecture which not by a metaphor, but in strictness of speech, shall deserve the name of national. If in this, the most practical of all questions connected with the art, Mr. Fergusson's judgment is not so clear or so decisive as it might have been, we impute it simply to the want of that philosophical view which somewhat marred his account of the Gothic styles in the • Handbook of Architecture,' and which, in spite of the correctness of his taste, and his general impartiality, renders him a less authoritative judge of Gothic than of other forms of art.

That the inadequate treatment of these two points involves some important consequences, we do not attempt to deny. But having said thus much, we have no further abatements to make from the expression of our hearty concurrence with the spirit and tone of Mr. Fergusson's criticisms. His History of the • Modern Styles' displays the same honest appreciation of the beauties of every form of art, it has the same uncompromising exposure of their faults. Of the clearness and force with which he has everywhere laid bare the conditions of all architectural excellence, it would be hard to speak too highly; nor is our opinion on this point in any way modified, because we do not altogether concur in his practical suggestions for the removal of inconsistencies which we cannot disclaim and absurdities which we cannot conceal. It is, indeed, impossible that such a book should be published without doing great good; and probably there is no architect now living who will not be grateful to Mr. Fergusson for the method in which he has discussed the present state and the prospects of architecture throughout Europe. But, beyond this, there is much in the mere history of Renaissance art to make such a volume welcome. We cannot question the fact that there is now scarcely such a thing as really original design. Some centuries ago there was no design which was not original; but the changes which have brought about a result so marvellous by no means exhibit a constantly increasing degradation. The character which Renaissance architecture came to bear is widely different from that with which it started; and from time to time in its history there has been, especially in this country, a return to older forms. If Mr. Fergusson has not given a due weight to the protest which has left us such works as the chapel of Wadham College, Oxford, the distinction between the elder and later Renaissance in Italy and elsewhere has furnished him with a philosophical classification of later styles which unfortunately he has not attained in treating of the Gothic styles. The minute carefulness with which this distinction has been traced out constitutes the great merit of the work; and a better prospect will open before us when we honestly accept his conclusions, and confess that the most exquisite of the Gothic buildings, which have risen, or are rising around us, are copies not less than the Roman porticoes which are made to do service in our halls and palaces. But this confession will, in its turn, involve a charge of inconsistency in the view which Mr. Fergusson takes of Gothic and classic purism. If, without reference to the forms which they employ, our architects uniformly speak in a dead language, it is not easy to see why the retention of Italian forms should show greater freedom of thought or more of common sense than the retention of forms which at one time unquestionably met every want of our English forefathers. In one sense it may be said that the Anglo-Saxon is a dead language for us, but our present speech stands in a nearer relation to it than to the Romance dialects of Southern Europe.

In such questions as these, palpable exaggerations will serve no good purpose ; and Mr. Fergusson is scarcely consistent with the general principles of his book when he tells us that since the Reformation there is no building, the design of which is not borrowed from some country or people with whom our only associations are those derived from education alone, wholly “ irrespective of either blood or feeling' (p. 3.). If we borrow . from the choir of Lincoln or the nave of Lichfield, we copy, but we copy from the works of those from whom we are lineally sprung, and who aided in no slight measure to raise the fair and goodly fabric of our English freedom.

If, however, the Reformation was not immediately connected with the introduction of Renaissance forms into Northern Europe, Mr. Fergusson is right in saying that it had the effect of arresting or repressing the passion for church-building which continued unchecked in Italy. But in Italy, the stronghold of

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