ページの画像
PDF
ePub

1814.) Mr. Elmes on a Misrepresentation of Mr. Eustace.

233 tion from standing in need of their late The cupola of St. Paul's is a vast and insertion? or were those fractures occu- admirably constructed machine of arcbisioned by the cutting away and weaken- tective skill, composed of three parts: ing the substructure by an equally blame- an inner hemispherical dome,* of a proable want of knowledge ? Are the chains per height for the interior; a cone that tknt are inserted in the cone und inner is raised upwards to support the landone of St. Paul's essentially necessary thorn, and an outer dome of oak timto its present stability ? or are they only ber, covered with lead, which is one of wise preventives, in the too.certain event the most scientific and perfect pieces of af decay or the decomposition of the ma- limber construction the world can boast; terials of the edifice **

nor have I any fear in asserting that its I am nol at present going to draw a durability will be fully equal to stone in parallel between every part of these two that situation. I shall abstain from commagnificent edifices, but only to answer menting on the above, but refer your a note of Mr. Eustace's; therefore, I readers to the works on St. Paul's specie shall next proceed to the designs of the fied in the last note, where they will find domes. What man of taste, and know- plans, an elevation, il section, and a view ledge of architecture, but must prefer of this pride of our metropolis, from the the fine tour de dome, as the French drawings alluded to in the beginning emphatically call it, which forms the of this letter, and in which they will base; the majestic peristyle that encir. also find a most elaborate and excellent cles it, and with an originality and a criticism on the building, by my friend skill that can never be too much come and learned coadjutor, Mr. Edmund mended, conceals the necessary contre- Aikin, who most completely answers to forts, and converts them into a splendid Mr.Eustace's definition of such a critic as beauty? If we proceed upwards, who he would submit to, understanding the can fail drawing comparisons abundantly subject perfectly, and being. " a skilful in favour of St. Paul's, between the full architect, thoroughly acquainted with winterrupted sweep of the donie, built the difficulties and resources of his art." in the form of

These he may compare with his own “ Heaven, vast concave, ample dome, documents, or with the best description with its concealed yet effectual wiodows, of St. Peter's, which I cannot presume to contrasted with the petty luthern lights recommend to him, or take as accurate a anel dormant windows, which disfigure survey of St. Paul's as he did of St. Peter's, and destroy at once the simplicity and in which I shall be happy to accompany the beauty of the latter? Well, there him, and if he carries with him an unfore, does Mr. Eustace say, “it does prejudiced mind, I can anticipate with not give a just idea of that of St. Peter's.” certainty what will be the result.

“The inner dome of the former,” con- Of the interiors of the the two rivals, I tinues our critic, “is of brick, not very shall at present say nothing, though well vulike the conical form of a glass-house, prepared to defend the plaioness and The dome to which the edifice owes all simplicity of St. Paul's, from the differits external grandeur is a mere wooden ence of their uses, and from its not have roof, raised over the other at a consider. ing been finished, which sufficiently, able distance, and covered with copper! accounts for his just complaints of which conceals the poverty of its mate- “ its cold dark stone walls and naked rials !” Can Mr. Eustace have ever once vaults.” given himself the trouble of ascending I shall trouble you with a few more the dome of St. Paul's? or would a man short parallels of the rival structures, as of his liberal and enquiring, mind have they arise in my mind, and then concriticized and condemned it without ? clude. Our celebrated califice was the Yet he has assumed facts that are not, production of one single architect, who, and blundered no less than three times blessed with a singular length of days, in the last-quoted four lines. How a had the happiness of seeing this effort dome can be conical, I must really leave of his comprehensive inind realize itself him to explain : it is too comical for my in rival magnificence of ancient art bedefinition: I will prove the external fore his eyes were closed by the King dome to be no “ mere wooden roof,” of terrors. nor is it covered with copper at all.

See the section published in the “ Fine These questions are treated of more Arts of the English School,” and in a sepa. fully in the course of Popular Lectures on rate work on this cathedral only, by Taylor, Civil Architecture, which I am preparing for Holborn, where all these several parts are warly publication.

geometrically laid open.

li New MONTHLY MAQ,-No. 9.

VOL. II.

234 Mr. Elines on a Misrepresentation of Mr. Eustace. (Oct. 1,

The ceremony of laying what is those of hundreds who visit tbe cathe: called the first stone took place on June dral. the 21st, 1675; and the building was I shall now turn to a more agreeable finished by the son of the architect lay- topic; and in the name of my profession ing the last stone on the top of the lan- thank Mr. Eustace for his just and corthorn in 1710; but the finishing of the rect views of the state of architecture in ornaments did not take place till 1723. England, a subject on which I have just It is stated, as a curious coincidence, published a letter to Thomas Hope, that it was begun and completed in the Esq. &c. &c. in the 6th number of the space of thirty-five years, by one archi- Pamphleteer, and regret much not hartect, one principal mason, and one bishop ing seen bis excellent work previous to of London.

printing, although mine was written Ou the other hand, St. Peter's went more than three years ago. I cannot through the hands of twelve successive but quote the following admirable note, architects, continued 155 years building, which so forcibly backs my scheme of in the pontificates of nineteen Popes, having professors of the fine arts in the assisted by the powerful interests of the universities. “ No art,” says he, “deRoman See, attended by the first artists serves more attention than architecture, in the world, and favoured by nature in because no art is so often caller into being contiguous to the inarble quarries action, tends so much to tbe embellishof Tivoli. In their actual dinensions ment, or contributes more to the reputhere is certainly a vast difference; nor tation of a country. It ought, therefore, should Mr. Eustace in a succeeding at all events, to occupy some portion of note have given their relative magni- time in a liberal education. Had such tudes as a proof of superiority in the a method of instruction, as that which is Roinan structure; for let this be a stan- here recommended, been adopied a cendard of comparison, then is the rudest of tury ago, (what inelancholy reflections the works of the lower en pire superior arise in my mind at this consideration) to the choragic monument of Lysicrates the streets of London, Oxford, and at Athens, or the peristyle rotunda near Cambridge would not present so many Tivoli. The palm of 'magnitude must shapeless buildings, all raised at an certainly be ceded to the Roman basilica, enormous expense, as is designed for but here we stop. Most who have scen and carefully investigated it, declare thal on entering it, from the immense Nation.” This is the cause of that deheight of the dome, the building appears fect in the British metropolis, of which smaller than it really is; and they can not only Mr. Eustace but other travellers scarcely credit that nearly 730 feet ilm? complain. He is certainly not singular consunied in its length. This defect has in acknowledying “ that the metropolis been most judiciously avoided by our of the British einpire, though the first illustrious countryman, who, skilled in city in Europe, and I suppose in the the various and powerful science of world, for neatness, convenience, and optics, as well as in every branch of na- cleanliness, is yet inferior in architectural philosophy, rightly judged, and by tural embellishments to most capitals. a bold contrivance, corrected this by the Augustus found Rome of brick; and in interposed dome, which, by concentra- his last moments boasted that he had ting within due limits the range of the left it of marble.” London, I trust, spectator's eye, with 500 feet alone in has found its Augustus in the Prince lengtb, gives, when compared with the Regent. height (as it is only by comparison that

Mr. Fustace will, I am sure, pardon the appearances of things can be termed any appearance of severity in these reeither great or small) an appearance of marks, which ere occasioned entirely by greater proportional maynitude. There a regard to truth and justice; and it are few, who have not by ascending would be no less an act of injustice in the edifice, convinced themselves to the me, to conclude without thanking him contrary, but believe that the painted most licarıily for the great entertainment, doine, by Sir James Thornhill, is the in- deliylit, and information, he has presented terior of the dome they see on the out- me in his inost useful an! able volumes. side, and can scarcely think even that

Inm, &c. so high as it internally appears. These

James ELMES were formerly my thoughts, and are No. 3, Alfred Place, Bedford-square,

Aug. 21, 1814.

ETERNAL MONUMENTS OF THE OPULENCE
AND TIIE B.ID TASTE OF THE BRITISE

1814.)

[ 235 ]

MEMOIRS OF EMINENT PERSONS.

BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR of sir BENJA• obtained the provincial rank of lieuteMIN TIOMPSOX, COUNT Of RUMFORD. nant-colonel, and became entitled to

IF a life devoted to the cultivation half-pay. Soon after his return to Engof science, with a view to increase the land, in 1784, his majesty was pleased comforts and promote the happiness of to confer on him the honour of knight mankind, is the must legitimate claiın to hood. eminence, then must the name of Count In the same year Sir Benjamin ThompRumford rank in the very first class of son made a tour upon the Continent, the distinguished characters of the pre- and at Strasbury became acquainted with Bent age, and command the admiration the present King of Bavaria, then Prince and gratitude of posterity, when the me- of Deuxponts, who so warmly recommory of inen, wbose talents have been mended him to his relative and predeexerted only for the annoyance of the cessor, the then reigning Elector Palahuman race, is lost in oblivion, or strip- tine and Duke of Bavarii, that the latter ped of its fictitious splendour, become invited him into his service, with an the object of universal execration. offer of the most honourable terms.

Benjamin Thompson was born in 1752, Having obtained his Majesty's permisin the little town of Rumford in New sion, he repaired to Münich, and was England, where his parents, who be- employed by his Electoral Highness in longed to the middling class of society, effecting the most salutary reforms in resided. Their son received the best the various departinents of his governeducation that this obscure place could ment. He arranged the military affairs, afford; but there is every reason to be- and introduced a new system of order, lieve that he owed more to his own in- discipline, and economy, among the dustry and thirst of knowledge, than to troups; constantly endeavouring in all the instructions of a master. So early his operations to unite the interest of were his talents developed, that he began the soldier with that of civil society, and to instruct others at a period when to render the military furce, even in young men in general are only obtaining time of peace, subservient to the public instruction for themselves. He also good. inarried advantageously early in life, and The next object to which he directed obtained the rank of a major in the ini- his attention was the suppression of menlitia of his native district. Hc had begun dicity. Not only the capital, but the to cultivate the sciences with success, whole country, swarmed with beggars, when the unhappy contest between the who levied contributions on the indusmother country and her American colo- trious inhabitants,-- stealing, robbing, nies, in which he espoused the cause of and leading a life of indolence and the the former, drove lim from his native most shameless debauchery. Mendicity land. His local knowledge, and exten- was actually formed into a trade, and sive information, gained him the ac- the many thousands who subsisted hy it quaintance and respect of the British seemed to consider their profession, like generals in Ancrica, which, however, he others, entitled to peculiar rights and Soon quitted, and repaired to England. privileges. To such a pitch was this Here he was consulted on the state and notion carried, that no house, no church, probable issue of the war; and Lord was free froin their annoyance; and George Germaine, who then presided either the magistrates would not or durst Over the American department, conceived not interfere with them; while the mili, such a friendship for Mr. Thompson, tary, from a mistaken principle of delithat he gave him an honourable post in cacy, would have deeined themselves his office, and a general invitation to his dishonoured by seizing the individuals, table. When the war was drawing to- and putting a stop to the growing evil

. wards a close, and it was evident that Sir Benjamin, who had by this time been the American department must be anni- decorated hy the sovereign with the inhilated together with the British domi- signia of various orders, promoted to the Dion in America, the same nobleman, rank of lieutenant-general, and been with a view to make some provision for created Count of Rumford, afier the bis friend, sent him over to New York, place of his nativity, determined to ap-. where be raised a regiment of dragoons, ply a remedy to go intolerable a nuir

236

Memoir of the Life of Count Rumford. [Oct. 1, sance. Having prepared a building for these poor creatures were first brought the reception of the mendicants, and together, I used very frequently to visit materials for their employment, he fixed them to speak kindly to them--and to upon the 1st of January, 1790, (New encourage them; and I seldom passed Year's day having been peculiarly set through the halls where they were at apart for giving alıns in Bavaria,) as work without being a witness to the most the most favourable for the commence- moving scenes. Objects formerly the ment of his operations. Accompanied most miserable and wretched, whom I by the field-officers of the regiments in had seen for years as beggars in the garrison at Münich, and the chiet ma- streets; young women, perhaps the ungistrates of the city, to whoin he had happy victims of seduction, who, having previously communicated his plan, he lost their reputation, and been turned sallied forth into the streets, and, to pre- adrift in the world, without a friend and vent the possibility of disgrace being without a home, were reduced to the attached to so salutary a measure, he necessity of begging to sustain a miserabegan hy arresting the first beggar he ble existence, now recognized me as met with his own hand. No sooner had their benefactor, and with tears droptheir commander set the example, than ping fast from their cheeks, continued the officers and soldiers, without making their work in the most expressive silence. any difficulty, cleared the streets with If they were asked what was the matter equal promptitude and success, but at with them, their answer was, “Nothing;" the same time with all imaginable good accompanied by a look of affectionate nature, so that before night not a single regard, so exquisitely touching, as frebeygar was to be seen in the whole me- quently to draw lears from the most intropolis. As fast as they were arrested, sensible of the by-standers. they were conducted to the town-hall, “As examples of success are some. where their names were inscribed, and times more efficacious in stiinulating they were then dismissed with directions mankind to action than the most splento repair the next day to the new work- did reasonings and admonitions, it is house provided for them, where they upon my success in the enterprize, that would find employment and a sufficiency my hopes of engaging others to follow of wholesome food. By persevering in such an example, are chiefly founded; this plan, and by the establishment of and hence it is, that I insist, with 50 the most excellent practical regulations, much perseverance on the pleasure the count so far overcame prejudice, which this success afforded me. I am habit, and attachment, that these here aware that I expose myself to being sustofore iniserable objects began to che- pected of ostentation, particularly by rish the idea of independence-to feel a those who are not able to enter fully pride in oblaining an honest livelihood -- into my situation and feelings; but why to prefer industry to idleness, and de- should I not mention the marks of affeceency to filth, rags, and the squalid tionate regard and respect which I rewretchedness attendant on beygary. In ceived from the poor people, for whose order to attain these important objects, happiness I interested myself; and the he introduced new manufactures intó testimonies of the public esteem with the electoral dominions, and having, which I was honoured? Will it be reco during a journey in Italy for the reco- koned vanity if I mention the concern very of his health, made himself ac- which the poor of Münich expressed in quainted with the establishments for the so affecting a manne; when I was danrelief of the indigent in some parts of gerously ill ?-that they went publicly in that country, he entertained hopes of a body in procession to the cathedral enabling the poor of Bavaria to live church, where they heard divine service comfortably by the manufacture of cloth- performed, and put up public prayers ing for the poor of Italy.

for my recovery?-that four years afterThe change wrought in the hcarts and wards, on hearing that I was again dane sentiments of those whose external situa- gerously ill at Naples, they of their own tion the count bad undertaken to im- accord set apart an hour each evening prove, could not fail to afford the high- after they had finished work to pray

for est gratification to a mind like his. Every me? Will it be thought improper to reader of the least sensibility must envy mention the affecting reception I met him the emotions which, while he is de with from them on my first visit to the scribing these improvements, suggested work-house on iny return to Münich passages such as the following :-"Wlien after an absence of fifteen months; .

1814.] Memoir of the Life of Count Rumford.

237 scene which drew tears from all who improvements on fire-places had been were present?—and must I refuse my adopted in the mansions of many distinself the satisfaction of describing the guished individuals, he turned his attenfèie I gave them in return in the English tion towards the public establishments, Garden, at which 1800 poor people of all and he had in a short time the satisface ages, and above 30,000 of the inhabitants tion to know that there was scarcely a of Münich assisted?--and all this plea- gentleinan's house in England which was sure I must foregn, merely that I may not better and more comfortably warmed not be thought vain and ostentatious ? by his new method. Scotland and Ire. Be it so then ; but I would just beg leave land soon followed the example, and the to call the reader's attention to my feel- Count repaired to the capitals of both ings on the occasion, and then let bim these portions of the empire, with a ask himself if any earthly reward can view to give effect to his beveficial possibly be supposed greater, any enjoy- schemes. meots more complete, than those I re- To his hints also the country was inceived. Let him figure to himself, if he debted for the establishment of numerous can, my situation, sick in bed, worn out soup societies, which, during periods of by intense application, and dying, as scarcity, have contributed materially to every body thought, a martyr in the alleviate the wants of the poor, not only cause to which I had devoted myself:- in the metropolis, but throughout the let him imagine, I say, my feelings, upon whole kingdom. hearing the confused noise of the prayers If, however, the attention of Count of a multitude of people who were pas- Rumford was chiefly directed to the sing by in the streets, upon being told bodily comforts of his fellow-creatures, that it was the poor of Münich, many he was by no means unmindful of literahundreds in number, who were going in ture and the sciences. On the 12th of procession to the church to put up pub- July, 1796, he transferred to the Royal lic prayers for me-for a private person, Society of London, of which he was a stranger, a Protestant!' I believe it is vice-president, and to whose Transactions the first instance of the kind that ever he was upwards of 25 years a distinhappened; and I dare venture to affirm, guished contributor, 1,000!. stock in the thai no proof could be stronger than 3 per cent consols, with a view that the this, thai the measures adopted for interest be applied every two years as a making these poor people happy were premium to the author of the most imreally successful.”

portant discovery or useful improvement Among the other advantages reaped which shall be made known to the pubby Bavaria from the Count's residence lic in any part of Europe, during the ihere, that of the cultivation and actual preceding two years, on heat or light; use of potatoes as an edible, will the preference to be always given to appear not a little extraordinary. It such discoveries as shall in the opinion is, however, not the less true, that it of the president and council tend inost was lie who first overcame the pre- to the benefit of mankind. To his ac. judices of the people of that country tive exertions also must be chiefly ascriagainst this root, that he enriched their led the foundation of the Royal İnstituagricalture, and enlarged their stock of tion, the model and parent of several provisions by its introduction. Invari. Other establishments of a similar nature, ably directing his attention to objects of though on a less extensive scale, subgeneral utility to his fellow-creatures, the sequently formed in the British metroCount also undertook a variety of expe- polis. riments, with a view to the economy of The latter years of the life of this use. food and fuel, the result of which were ful man and disinterested pluilanthropist the soups and improved fire-places so were spent in France, in the cultivation well known by his name.

of his favourite sciences, till death puc After paying a visit to England in a period to his labours, on Sunday, Aug, 1795 and 1796, the Count finally quitted 21, 1814, at his country-seat at Auteuil, Bavaria, and returned to this country in

near Paris. 1799. He was for some years inces- The literary productions of Count santly engaged in prosecuting his experi- Rumford have obtained a wide circulaments on the construction of chimneys tion, having been translated into various and the means of increasing the quantity languages, and are consequently well of beat, which is tantamount to decrea- known. His papers in the Philosophical sing the consumption of fuel. After bis Transactions, chiefly on matters con

« 前へ次へ »