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is a great thoroughfare and a fine open space | pearance of narrowness; and had some(it is understood that the houses in Bridge thing like fan tracery been adopted for the street are to come down), where proces- roofs, but with the fairy lightness that cast sions and shows can be seen from the iron would have enabled the architect to square, the bridge, and the river, that the introduce, and the interstices glazed with Queen's and Peers' state entrances, with colored glass, we might fairly have challeng the Peers' house, should have been placed; ed the world to produce any thing like it. not as they now are, in a back street of In these halls, too, might have been placed Westminster; and had this been done, and the memorials of our great men; one court the south end devoted to the Commons, might have been devoted to our literary there would have been good grammar and men, another to our men of science, whilst good taste in building that part of a plainer the others would have been occupied by and less pretending style than the north, our heroes and statesmen. Their statues half devoted to royalty and the peers. This might have stood in the centre, and their would have been more appropriate to the illustrious deeds have been painted on the confined situation, and the saving of ex- walls. pense as great as the additional conveni

ence.

If, however, the exterior shows all these defects, and many more, which it would be tedious to point out, the interior is far worse, which will be easily understood when it is stated that one-fourth of the whole area is occupied by eleven large and seven small courts; and as these are all entirely surrounded by high buildings, they will be at best but damp ill-ventilated well holes, whose floors the sun will seldom see. They increase the expense of the building to an extent not easily calculated, not only by spreading it over a quarter more space, but they actually present more lineal feet of stone-fence wall than the whole exterior of the new building put together.

Had the architect adopted one great court, with a glazed roof running behind the river front, and divided into four compartments by the two houses and the central hall, these compartments forming four halls might have been surrounded by three tiers of arcades, something similar to the galleries of our old inn court yards, thus affording easy and cheerful access to all the apartments, and doing away with the tunnel-like corridors which at present occupy half the building. If, in addition to this, he had raised the roof of his ground floor about ten feet, and lighted it with good honest windows, instead of the loopholes which at present scarce admit light to render it habitable, a much smaller building would have afforded far more accommoda

tion.

It is not easy to conceive any thing that would, architecturally speaking, have been more magnificent than this range of halls, extending at least 700 feet in length, and broken by the arcades supporting the houses and central hall, so as to take off every ap

By bringing the ground floor into use, it would not only have given the building more height, which it much wants, but have provided space, in conjunction with the halls, for coffee rooms, committee rooms, waiting rooms of all sorts; and by adopting four covered courts instead of the open ones, so much space might have been attained that the building might have been set back fifty feet from the present line of front, and a good broad terrace road obtained, from which the river front might have been seen; at present it is entirely lost, and cannot be seen near enough to be examined from a boat; the present terrace, of thirty feet wide, is too narrow to admit of the building being viewed from it, besides not being accessible to the public.

Had these difficulties been foreseen and studied, and these or some such suggestions adopted, the public and members would have been both externally and internally much better accommodated, and there would have been more space for the officers and all concerned with parliament; there would have been some meaning and expression in the building; and last, though not least, it could have been erected for half what the present one will cost; for, independently of the saving of space, and of the expensive decorations of the southern half, there would have been no rebuilding of the bridge, no pulling down of Abingdon street, and no erecting a new terrace in the river in the front of the present one, which must come, though not yet spoken of*

* When it was determined to introduce Dr. Reid's system of ventilation, a lofty chimney was required to carry off the smoke and vapors, and introduce this feature so as to make it ornamental, Mr. Barry, instead of considering how he could turns over his books and draws out a lofty tower with a very high spire. When asked why he

There are law courts now in the course of erection at Liverpool which surpass even these in extravagance, and possess all the

While these things were going on at Westminster, Mr. Barry produced a design for the law courts in Lincoln's-inn fields in the pure Grecian Doric style of the Parthe-beauties and all the defects of the English

non!

classical school to an extent never before In comparing this design with that for perpetrated; for here the architect has not the Parliament houses, the first thing that only managed to introduce deep colonnades strikes the observer is, that one or the other on all the sides of the building that are of them must be essentially wrong and seen, but by an excess of misapplied ingebad, which we leave for others to decide. nuity, has managed effectually to hide every There is no difference of climate between window, so that on the east front, extendthe two localities, and no difference of pur-ing four hundred and twenty feet, three pose between the two buildings which could small doors are the only openings by which justify so extraordinary a difference as exists apparently light or air can be admitted to between the two designs. At Westminster, the interior, and one solitary doorway is all the windows in the river and street the only opening to the south. There is fronts are exposed to the sun, without even no dome with its eye, no skylight,—all is a cornice to throw a shadow; at Lincoln's darkness and mystery. When finished, the inn, there would have been only eight building will have the appearance of a vast windows, with a very small portion of wall, gloomy mausoleum; no one will be able to on which the sun could shine, the whole conceive how such a windowless and chimbuilding being inclosed in a cage of one neyless* pile could be made serviceable to hundred and fifty massive Doric columns, the purposes of living men; yet this mysteso as to be entirely in the shade, an ab-rious pile is devoted to transactions of pubsurdity that would not have been tolerated, lic business, and, what is still more strange, and, as far as we are aware, which never was to the gay amusements of singing and practised, even in the temperate climate of dancing. Greece (except in a temple which was not inhabited, and where there were no windows in the walls), and it can scarcely be conceived how a man could propose such a plan in the gloomy latitudes of Lincoln'sinn fields. On the south front a few pillars might not have been inappropriate; but the north front was to have been precisely the same as the south, and these only differ in extent from the east and west fronts,-all shaded by the same useless colonnades.*

had chosen this form, he replied, " My object in putting it into that form was to make the central tower differ as much as possible in outline from the two other towers, by which a more picturesque effect would be produced!" Reasons for making a chimney like a church steeple! It further creeps out that the apertures are to be concealed; but that it may continue to look unlike what it is meant for, he first proposes to use only coke in the building, or to have an extra furnace to consume the smoke.

Out of evil, however, good may come; and if this absurdity of having a steeple for a chimney forces the architect to devise some means of consuming the smoke, it will be a public benefit.

* There is something extremely amusing in the naiveté with which Lord Langdale, when examined before the Committee of the House of Commons relative to this building, expressed his surprise that the records should here be buried in the vaults of the basement, while at Westminster it was proposed to place them in the ascending stories of a lofty tower. So little did his lordship know of the principles of British architecture,

Should the government recur to the idea of a classical Walhalla, this is a design infinitely more appropriate to the purpose than Klenze's copy of the Parthenon.

We are far from asserting that Mr. Barry is to blame for what he has thus done amiss; he is a man of taste and talent, and had he been brought up in a better school would have done what would have been creditable to himself and his employers. In copying, as he conceives correctly, and sacrificing every thing to the correctness of the copy, he has only done what any other architect would have done in his place; and, had he attempted any originality, he might have let the job pass by him into less worthy hands.

If we only consider what it is we ask of our architects, we shall see how impossible it is that they could satisfactorily answer

that he thought what was the proper place for them in one instance would be the proper place in the other; and it does not seem ever to have occurred to him that, when in Lincoln's-inn fields, he must consider himself and his records as Greek and in Greece, while at Westminster it was only necessary to consider himself as carried back to the stormy times of the wars of the Roses.

Few men would find out that the copy of the Temple of the Winds, at Athens, standing in an inclosure at the distance of some hundred of feet, has to do duty for all the chimnies of the establishment.

the calls made on them. Here-an archi-j ary or gradus, write a respectable copy of tect is ordered to design an immense pile verses which can be understood and transin pure Gothic; there-another in as pure lated by others, while the nonsense verses Grecian; the Duke of Sutherland wishes (to use a school-boy, though expressive his country seat to be rebuilt in the Italian; phrase) of other architects never having and Lord Frances Egerton, his town house been understood by their authors, are likely in the style of Kent or Gibbs. Mr. Barry to puzzle antiquarians to the end of the may have to-morrow an order for a Sara- chapter.

But this is not enough; for, to use his own words, "The great test of architectural beauty is the fitness of the design to the purpose for which it was intended, and that the style of a building should so correspond with its use that the spectator may at once perceive the purpose for which it was erected."

cenic or an Egyptian building, or heaven In these copying days, however, it is knows what, and great would be the aston-something to have an architect who has so ishment of his patron if he refused. There thoroughly studied the style in which he is is not another architect in London who to build that he can copy it correctly, and would not undertake to have the design his buildings have not only the general ready in a month or six weeks; yet do we form, but really the meaning and some of think of what we are asking? Suppose the spirit of the ancient ones. some learned man, the cleverest and most learned of his day, were to set up for a like universal genius, and one bookseller gave him an order for an epic poem in Greek, after the manner of Homer, and another demanded some books of Latin poems, like those of Horace, a third might wish for an Italian epic, like Ariosto's, a fourth might wish for a German imitation of the Nieblungen, and others might ask for Arabic or Hindoo poems of approved models, while the more moderate would only demand correct imitations of Spenser or Shakspeare. Supposing a man were found who could and would undertake all this, he must be a cleverer man than the world has yet produced if even fashion or friendship could induce his contemporaries to read them, and it requires no great gift of prophecy to foresee that few of them would descend to posterity; yet this is not an exaggerated representation of what Mr. Barry has done, and what every articled apprentice of an architect is prepared to do, whenever he is lucky enough to have an opportunity.

No one is less inclined to dispute the truths of these words than we are; but the conclusion he draws from these premises, that we must erect churches in the same style, in the same form, and with the same details in every respect as those erected in the age of the earlier Edwards, or, at all events, prior to the accession of Henry VIII, appears to us to be one of the most singular non sequiturs that ever enthusiasm led a man into, and doing himself exactly what he reprobates in others; for the educated and refined Englishman of the pres ent day is much more like the civilized republican of the classic times, both in tastes and habits, than he is to his rude and semi-barbarous ancestors, of the times Mr. Welby Pugin is almost the only of the Plantagenets and Tudors. The architect in England who has seen the ab- bold, bull-headed, blood-thirsty baron of surdity of this cosmopolite practice, and those days, is an animal of a different has devoted his whole energies to the study species from the delicate and refined arisof one style, and indeed almost one branch tocrat of ours. The ignorant domineering of that style, so that he may fairly be called priest is not our educated clergyman; the a Gothic ecclesiastical architect. Even unacknowledged tiers état differ widely with him, however, this does not seem to from our all-powerful commons; and the have been so much the result of a reason-independent artisan of our times would ed conviction as of an enthusiastic admi- scarcely acknowledge kindred with the unration for the works of our forefathers, and fortunate serf of those days; yet Mr. Pugin what is of more importance to our present subject, he has only seen half the difficulty; for though, to continue the metaphor, he does not profess to write in all languages, he still insists in writing in a dead one: true it is that he can read any page in this language that is placed before him, and can, even without diction

overlooks all these distinctions, and would have us reconstruct, in the nineteenth century, the buildings which expressed the feelings and were in every detail fitted for our ancestors of the fourteenth and fifteenth century.

It might please some enthusiastic persons that we should give up our science and

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detail copied from any other bridge, not one ornament applied that had not a meaning, nor one thing added that was not seen to be wanted by the sound sense and mechanical knowledge of its builders; yet there is. a magnificence in this bridge amounting even

building in Great Britain built on the same principles of sound common sense, we should probably have to apply to it the same epithet.

civilization, and return to the barbarous ignorance and simplicity of those days; but it requires no great sagacity to foresee that, so far from retroceding, we cannot even stand still, but must advance; and although, because we have no other art to admire, we are now wild after correct copies of old to splendor, and could we point to one churches, it is quite evident that neither the symbolism nor the monkish superstition of the middle ages can have any permanent hold on an enlightened people. It is true the classical element is fast disappearing from our system of education, from our laws, and from our philosophy; but must we, therefore, go back to the middle ages to supply its place? Are the Nieblungen, and the Lays of the Minstrels, to become our class-books instead of the Greek and Roman poets? Is the feudal system to resume the place of the code of Justinian? and the doctrines of the dark ages, that of the philosophy of Aristotle or Plato? And, as a corollary to all this, is Gothic art to supersede classical? Our belief is, that we can have no true art till a modern English element supersedes both.

The names of Watt, Brindley, Smeaton, Telford, and Rennie, or of our Stevensons, Brunels, Lindleys, and Cleggs, are names to which an Englishman refers with pride, and stand in strong contrast with those of their contemporary builders of the present day; the former have contributed, as much as almost any class of men, to the advancement of civilization, and to the glory of the nation, and may almost be said to have created an art which is daily becoming of more and more importance. The latter, on the contrary, have done nothing to which we can refer with unmixed satisfaction, and much that has made us a laughing-stock to surrounding nations.

They have created nothing and advanced nothing; yet so closely do these professions approach at some points, that it is difficult to draw a line between them, and to say what works belong to the one, and what to the other; but their mode of treating their subject differs as light does from darkness. The one admits of no rule but fitness and propriety, and the dictates of reason and common sense; the other, copying and disguising, never thinking of what is most fit or most useful, and worshipping the shadow of exotic art.

It has been lucky for us that the ancients have left us fewer examples of their engineering works than productions of their architects. Our medieval ancestors indulged but rarely in roads or bridges; and besides this, the exigencies of locality, and above all the exigencies of estimates, which are usually carefully looked at in the utilitarian works executed by our engineers, have allowed them less temptation to copy, and less means of doing so than their brother builders, and the consequence is, that they may challenge Rome, or the whole world, to match either the magnificence or the taste of our public works. It is true we Such an impulse has lately been given. possess some "truly Roman works," the by our railways and canals to the science taste of which is very questionable; and of engineering, that it now occupies almost both Blackfriars and Waterloo bridges nar- as much of the public attention as archirowly escaped being spoilt by the interfer- tecture, and as there is more probability ence of the architects, who fortunately, of this influence increasing than diminhowever, have left nothing to mark their ishing, we may hope that the sound prinpresence but the absurd Ionic and Grecian ciples which have enabled engineers to Doric columns that stand on the piers-in execute such satisfactory works may exthe one case supporting an enormously tend to our architects, and that we may heavy granite parapet, and in the other in company with a most incongruous Roman balustrade. But since those days the engineering interest has acquired a predominance which enables it to walk alone; and in London bridge they have produced a specimen of bridge building, perfect in all its parts, and as yet unrivalled in the world, and this simply because there is not one

soon see some improvements in their designs; but much ignorance and longrooted prejudice must first be conquered, and, above all, the patrons of art must learn to take more interest in the subject than they have hitherto done, and to think more for themselves.

It has been truly and beautifully remarked by a late German writer, that true art is like

a natural flower that cannot exist without | James Crofton in an elegant barouche, acroot, and stem, and leaves; but false art, companied by a little fairy flaxen-haired boy like an artificial flower, can dispense with of three years of age. My friend advised all these, to it, useless encumbrances.

The metaphor, we fear, applies too truly to the arts in this country. We have copied the flowers of every foreign land, and so long accustomed ourselves to their gorgeous brilliancy, that we are now unwilling to turn to the humbler but sweeter scented blossoms of our own native land; and beginning to be dissatisfied with these artificial productions, we are equally unwilling to try and naturalize them, by planting the seeds in our gardens, and waiting the long years that must elapse before a seedling becomes *?

a tree.

CONFESSIONS OF AN ILLEGIBLE WRITER,*

BY MRS. ABDY.

From the Metropolitan.

me by all means to propose immediately to Charlotte, and I wrote to her from Richmond, offering her my hand and heart, and telling her that I should return home on the evening of the following day. The next evening I reached home a little before eight, anxiously hoping to find a letter from Charlotte. I was welcomed in the passage by my mother and sister, and somewhat surprised at the extreme warmth and cordiality of their reception.

Well, my dear William," said my mother, "you have not treated me as you ought to have done, in excluding me from your confidence in the important matter of the choice of a wife; but I am too well pleased with your taste to lecture you very severely on your reserve."

"Let me assure you," said my sister, "that I am equally well pleased with the prospect of so desirable a relative.”

I looked from one to the other in astonishment. "I confess," I said, "that I have made an offer of marriage, and I have every reason to think it will be accepted; but how can you possibly know any thing about it?"

"Why," said my mother, looking rather embarrassed, "to tell you the truth, William, a letter directed in a lady's hand was laid before me, and I opened it without looking very intently on the superscription; it was a very prettily worded acceptance of your offer."

CHARLOTTE EASTON had but a small fortune, and her connexions were exclusively among the middling classes; but she was beautiful, sensible, and amiable, and evidently regarded me with very favorable eyes. 'The only drawback to my happiness in her society arose from the evident disapprobation of my mother and sister to the attentions that I showed to her. They had no personal dislike to Charlotte-such a feeling would indeed have been impossible-but they thought, to use their own expression, that "I might do much better for myself;" "Such a heart, such a temper, such in short, they gave their vote and interest eligible connexions," added my mother. to another lady in the neighborhood, Eligible connexions," I said to myself; a meagre, peevish, middle-aged spinster," my mother has become surprisingly humwhom they advocated because she had fif- ble; Charlotte Easton's connexions are teen thousand pounds, and could talk of only eligible inasmuch as they are worthy my brother the baronet."

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"She has excellent sense," said my sister.

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and respectable people." However, my feelings were those of exceeding compla cency towards my mother and sister, over whose prejudices I believed the graces and amiable qualities of my Charlotte to have obtained a complete conquest.

These recommendations had no great force with me; my own income was sufficiently easy to support a wife in comfort, and I had a perfect horror of the title of baronet ever since my unfortunate blunder in regard to Sir David Drewett. While pondering on the expediency of immediately offering to Charlotte Easton, I was in-in store for you." vited to spend a week with my old friend at Richmond, where, by-the-by, I had the daily pleasure of seeing Mr. and Mrs.

* Concluded from page 387.

"And now, my dear William," pursued my mother, "I have an agreeable surprise

"I have already been agreeably surprised," I said; “I think I can hardly be more so."

"When I had read the letter of my dear daughter-in-law elect," continued my mo

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