« AnteriorContinuar »
of pillars on each side, and great va years ago !) and the Tolbooth (to the riety of carvings ; the larger windows unutterable delight of the inhabitants) had mullions of stone for ornament, is journeying quickly to Fettes' Row, and for the conveniency of fixing the there to be transformed into common glass; the pillars that supported the sewers and drains, the irregular and roof were lofty and slender, and fre- grim visage of the Cathedral has been quently surrounded with small pillars, in a great measure unmasked. There that made them appear like a cluster; yet remain, however, the vile booths, the arches of the roof, like those of with their still more execrable chimthe doors and windows, were pointed; neys, to disfigure the south side of the the roof was covered with lead, and Cathedral in the Parliament Close ; the fabric ornamented on the top at but, Whitsuntide will come anon, and each end with pinnacles, and with a the existence of these aged deformities tower over the middle of the cross, on will be no more. which very lofty spires of wood and These changes have now rendered stone were frequently erected. * it necessary to embellish the exterior
The term Gothic always associates of the venerable Cathedral of St Giles ; with it notions of stupidity, ignorance, but as it may yet be some consideraand barbarism, and seems peculiarly able time, Nír Editor, ere the final arill applied to a style of architecture rangements are completed, I purwhich exhibits so much ingenuity pose at present, with your permission, and skill. Gibbon tells us, that, in to submit to your readers a few reA. D. 250, the Emperor Decius was marks on this interesting subject, first summoned to the banks of the which I hope will be acceptable to Danube by the invasion of the Goths; them, and perhaps prove useful to the and that powerful people remained directors of our public works. These masters of that country, and of Italy, observations may probably induce our till the year 553, when they were o- municipal rulers to contemplate the vercome by Narses, the Emperor Jus- advantages of studying that cardinal tinian's general. But it was not luter virtue, PRUDENCE, without which, than between the 12th and 16th cen as a celebrated philosopher once said, turies that Gothic architecture (so “ Knowledge becomes useless, wit rinamed) flourished, and was found in diculous, anl genius contemptible.” cathedrals, and many other stately On this Cathedral it is quite pracedifices, throughout several countries ticable, and, we believe, at a moderate of Europe ; and nowhere are there expence withal, to make most intersuch fine examples to be discovered esting and attractive alterations. as at this day exist in Britain.
The first object is unquestionably The application of the term Gothic, economy in conducting the whole opetherefore, to such buildings, is, in rations. The next thing of importpoint of taste and truth at least, doubta ance is an accurate investigation of ful, and to most persons it appears, as
the features of the Cathedral itself, indeed it does to me, absolutely absurd, whereby the period or periods of its
Now that the + Luckenbooths lave erection, and the precise character of been safely carted to Leith Wynd, its architecture, may be nearly (would it had been done some dozen tained, and thus the judgment guided
in drawing suitable plans. This buildSir Christ. Wren's Parentalia, p. 298. Horid description of the Gothic ob
ing was not erected when the rich and Bentham's Hist. Ely. Pref. Grose's Antiquities, Pref. p. 70.
tained, and care ought therefore to be 7. As the etymology of this word is not had, not to produce plans which would generally known, we shall quote Maitland's only tend to throw the whole out of account of it: “ The Scottish commerce keeping. A melancholy instance of formerly extended no farther than to France and the Low Countries ; from the * Lack of judgment, and want of attenlatter we got woollen-cwth, by the Flemings tion to this virtue, have been severely felt called Laken, the sellers whereof occupy- by every person of sound taste in this city: ing the Booth-raw, that name was forced in the melancholy case of St George's to give way to Likenabooths.” A name Church; where a disgusting substitute has which, the same author correctly predicted, been placed at a vastly greater expence would continue to be borne by these build- than the magnificent church in the originni ings, which, in 1753, he described as plan of Adam could have been crertest being “ rotten, noisome, and offensive.” for.
this may be discovered in the new whom will be found, than “is dreamt County-buildings lately erected here, of in your philosophy,") and by their where the ponderous entablature of decision let the choice of the plan be the edifice suits so badly with the determined. starved representation of that feature We shall write nothing at present in the one adjoining---indeed, they about that vile interpolation, the Pomutually destroy each other. It is lice-office, with its cabinet d'aisance admitted, that the architect found in front, and “ the deep damnation some authority in Stuart's Athens incurred by placing it under the hal. (Temple of Erechtheus) for the de- lowed roof of the Cathedral; because, corations of the county-buildings; from good authority, we know that it but the Greeks knew better than some is soon to be removed and “ 'twere of us in modern Athens, how to adapt well 'twere done quickly." one edifice to another, and how to in. In forwarding these projected and dulge in variety without injuring the desirable repairs on this Cathedral, it general effect of the whole.
is very likely that if the matter be conThe mode I would recommend to ducted with prudence, some pecuniary secure the best chance of success in assistance towards defraying the exobtaining a plan for the Cathedral is pence would be readily authorised by as follows, viz. Let the measurement the Honourable the Barons of Exa of the building, as it now stands, be chequer. The Cathedrals at Dunaccurately taken, together with the blane and Dunkeld, the chapel at Hom elevations of the four sides, and per- lyrood, and other edifices, have unhaps a longitudinal and transverse sec- dergone considerable repairs at the tion of the building,and let these be en- sight of the Ilonourable Barons, and, graved merely in outline. Let a set of if my information be correct, which I these impressions be sent to such artists doubt not, they recommended public as Mr Wyatt, Mr Wilkins, and Mr aid. Good reasons doubtless existed Smirke, of London, and to that most ac to induce these repairs thus to be decomplished scholar in Gothic architec- frayed; but there appear far stronger turé, Mr Blore, and request of thesegen- grounds for prompting these judges to tlemen to furnish plans for the altera- afford the necessary aid in the repair tion of the building in question. Im- of our metropolitan Cathedral. There pressions should also be sent to Mr the representative of majesty itself Burn and to Mr Elliot of this city, (for yearly holds a place. In this Cathe" in the multitude of counsellors there dral the Barons have a seat appropriatis safety,”) and, having procured and ed exclusively to their use. The Lords puid for the ideas of all these gentle- of Council and Session likewise attend men on this very important subject, divine service under the same roof; let the whole be submitted to the and in this church is the original seat most competent judges of which this of the magistrates of the city. city can boast, (a greater number of
The Cathedral of St Giles is cer. tainly capable of being formed in
to one of the most attractive edi. Notwithstanding the assertion of our
fices of this city,—but, again and worthy Sheriff, (to whose exertions in pro- again, we state, that every thing moting the many great improvements now depends on the judicious selection in progress, we are so very much indebted,) of the plan for altering and improve " that not a line of this building was with ing the building. I shall now take out its authority;" we apprehend that the leave of this subject for the present, architect will have some cudgelling of his in the hope, that before any thing con, brains, ere he can produce authority for the clusive is determined on, every bearmanner in which he has introduced and ing of the case will be carefully consqueezed the columns of the northern front, betwixt the lumpish and unmeaning Antæ,
sidered. May our public officers which he has thought proper to place there, weigh this matter deeply; and, lest in positive defiance of simplicity, and with the adage shall have escaped their reout the slightest appearance of utility. collection, may I just be permitted to Certain we are, that the Erechtheum
(from whisper, Qu'il n'y a pas quelquefois which he has taken the proportions of the moins d'habilité à sçavoir profiter d'un columns, &c.) can furnish no authority for bon conseil, qu'à se bien conseiller soi
GAN INTO THE SERVICE OF THE
ON THE INTRODUCTION OF THE OR- believe that the Supreme Being is
better pleased with what we dislike than with what is gratifying to us?
The clergy of Edinburgh, and by MR EDITOR,
far the greater number of the whole The delight which the clergy of church, have distinctly allowed that it Edinburgh seem to take in improving is proper to sing psalms in parts; and church-music, while it is exceedingly some of themselves are known to bear creditable to their taste and good their parts extremely well. The obsense, leads to a hope that they will ject of the Institution for Sacred Muat length sanction the introduction of sic, and of all the subordinate psalmthe organ into our church service. singing societies, is to teach singing The obstacles which have hitherto op- in parts. Now, this is undeniably for posed this appear now to be reduced the gratification of our own ears, and to a very small number. In former a clear admission that we believe that times, the Scottish Presbyterian mi- which gratifies ourselves to be agreenisters opposed instrumental music, able to Almighty God. Now, I would for no other reason than because it ask, Is there not as much risk, if not was used by the Roman and Lutheran more, of the attention being called churches. More lately, when their away from the object of devotion, by own prejudices began to give way, the the care which is requisite to keep opposition was continued out of re- the voice in tune, (in whatever part it spect to the prejudices of the people; may be adapted to,) as in going along and, at this day, some difficulty may with the heavenly sounds of an orbe found in any attempt to eradicate gan? In the care which the clergy of what was sown with so much care, all parties and persuasions have of and nourished until the root became late bestowed on the improvement of too mighty to be moved. But the psalm-singing, there is a clear admissturdiest oak at last yields to age; sion that we ought to sing in tune, in and time effects, without effort, what time, and in parts; or, in other words, baffles the strength and ingenuity of in a manner agrecable to ourselves. It man. We have had the good fortune follows, of course, that the admission to live to see the mighty stem of pre- must extend to the belief that the judice begin to decay, and we may Supreme Being is best pleased when hope soon to see the mouldering of we sing according to those laws which the root.
he has himself ordained for sound. He An argument which I lately heard has also so constituted us, that we are stated against the use of the organ, offended when any of those laws are and which seems to be the last that is broken. likely to have any weight with the I believe that it is very generally strict Presbyterians, deserves, in my felt, by all who are devout, and who opinion, some more particular notice, have a musical ear, that their devothan any of the foolish unmeaning tion is powerfully roused by the accant which, in past times, was found companiment of an organ. i humbly sufficient to keep prejudice alive. It conceive that such is human nature, has been stated, that, when the hu as to justify a parallel between wor. man frame is so constituted as to de- ship and manual labour. The mind rive pleasure from music, the gratific and the body are in such close concation of the ear becomes more im- nection, that when the one is pleased portant than the duty to that Being the other is also pleased, and when to whom praises are sung. I must the one is depressed and languid, the confess that, at first, this argument other feels oppressed. Some farmers felt somewhat weighty; and I was ra- in your vicinity take advantage of this ther at a loss how to answer it, al- fact ; and it is easily observed, that though I was at once satisfied that it the poor Highland reapers work more could be answered. It appears to me cheerily to the accompaniment of a that much, if not the whole, of its bagpipe than when they are left to force may be neutralized, and perhaps think on the distance they have traovercome, by attempting to resolve velled to earn their food, and a scanty these simple questions, Are we to praise pittance to maintain them on their God in a manner agreeable or disa dreary journey homewards. How greeable to ourselves? and, Are we to lustily do boatmen row, when the common
dence of a song regulates their strokes ! fat of oxen and the blood of lambs ; How steadily the ploughboy, and his and mankind have now reached that horses too, keep on a measured pace eminence on the mountain of knowwhen he whistles! So I maintain it ledge, from whence they look down is with worship. The earnestness with pity on the ignorance of man with which a psalm is sung when ac- while in that state which required companied, far outstrips the languor much ceremony to impress on him and harshness of voices, each voice the awfulness of heavenly majesty. pitching its own key, and drawling But still we consider melody as acout its tone in discord, to the often ceptable; and we now universally aduntuned voice of an unlearned pre- mit that harmony is proper. If an centor. How dull and sleepy a con- organ be objected to, because it is argregation becomes, when a sermon, tificial, the same objection ought to however well composed, is delivered have excluded harmony, which is alin a voice neither melodious nor im- so artificial. If harmony adds force pressive ! How eagerly it is listened and agreeableness to the voices of a to when the intonation and emphases congregation, the force and agreeableare skilfully and agreeably employedness are vastly increased by the acupon language properly adapted to the companiment of an organ; and sureorgans of pronunciation !
ly, if improvement be sought for at Every one is offended when a voice all, there can be neither reason nor in church is out of time or tune; and sense in fixing a limit to it. The this so frequently happened, that the more agreeable church service can be clergy themselves were sensible that made, the more will men be attracted, some remedy was necessary; and, ac- and the more earnestly will they percordingly, to be able to teach church form it. Nay, I maintain, that, if a music, is a qualification commonly re man can be attracted into a church quired in parish schoolmasters. “But by no other wish than to hear an or. it has never been stated as a reason gan, a most important object is gain, for improving church music, that the ed; for, if a sinner be once tempted improvement would be agreeable to to behold the good assembled and the object of worship. The reason joining in devotion, his heart may be was, undeniably, that it was neces- turned, and he may repent. Can sary to remove what was offensive to there be any thing bad in what may ourselves, and to substitute what was produce such an effect as to draw the agreeable. How very short the next heart of a sinner towards the seat of step is need not be demonstrated. To mercy and forgiveness ? call in the aid of an organ, to direct The performance of voluntaries, in our voices, and to add force and so- the English service, has been objected lemnity to the sound of the praise to, and, I am disposed to think, justwhich we offer, cannot be less pleasingly. Lovers of music are apt to be emto our Maker than were the sounds of ployed, during the performance of the harp, the dulcimer, the sacbut, such pieces, in judging of the merits psaltery, cymbals, &c. which his cho- of the composition, of the skill of the sen people employed in their devo- organist, and of the power and other tions.
qualities of the instrument. I must It is no unfrequent argument in the acknowledge, however, that I have pulpit, “ You pay respect to the great heard voluntaries of a character which men of the earth; how much more powerfully impressed on me a feeling ought you to pay respect and give ho- of deep solemnity; and an organist of nour to Him, who is greater than the judgment may, unquestionably, second greatest ?” if, when we entertain a the preacher in a very effectual mangreat personage, we offer to him every ner. On the whole, however, I am thing which can gratify sense, why against voluntaries, and every thing should we not adă to the power of in which the congregation does not our voices the finest artificial sounds join. that can be produced, when we offer I will not occupy your pages, nor homage to Him on whom we all de the attention of your readers, longer pend ? Such sounds gratify no gross at present. There may be objections sense : they soothe and elevate the to the introduction of the organ of soul. We have ceased to think that which I am ignorant, and which I the Almighty can be pleased with the should be happy to see fairly and can
REMARKS ON THE HISTORY OF PAINT
ING IN SCOTLAND.
didly stated. Toleration is all that is tional taste; and, though a few indiwanted; not that every Presbyterian viduals, during the last century, atchurch should have an organ. It is tained considerable eminence as prowell known, that, in an extent of fessional painters, it is impossible to Scotland, nearly equal to one half, name any one of these whose accomthe gown and band dare not be worn, plishments and genius were of so lest the wearer should be stoned; but transcendant a nature, as either to it is tolerated elsewhere, and those shed a new lustre upon the character who do not wear it find no fault with of his country, or to give a decided those who do. I trust that the time is impulse to the taste of his contempoat hand, when those congregations raries. who may choose to have organs, will Most of the eminent painters who be as little molested as those whose formerly flourished in this country, pastors preach in the gown and band. had studied abroad; and it is curious I conclude by observing, that those of to observe how decidedly the exerScotland are the only Presbyterians, tions of their genius were determined I believe, who have not organs in their by the combined influence of the mochurches. A very fine one, built un- dels they had studied during their der the direction of a Scotch minister, preparatory labours, and of the cir. Mr Liston, has been lately sent to the cumstances of the society in which Scotch church at Calcutta.--I am, Sir, they were placed, when they returnyours,
A PRESBYTERIAN. ed, as practitioners, to their native Edinburgh, October 1817.
land. The style of painting in which the great foreign masters seem chiefly to have delighted, was that appropri. ated to history or portrait ; and in a country like Scotland, which was
chiefly remarkable for the poverty and MR EDITOR,
dependence of the mass of the comAs the very respectable journal munity, the feudal pride of the great which you have lately undertaken to proprietors, and the military achieveconduct, has long been distinguished ments by which its history had been for its cordial support of every im- distinguished, the genius of its artists provement peculiarly Scottish, I trust was naturally directed into a line of yon will readily give admission to the study corresponding to these circumfollowing observations on a subject stances. We find, accordingly, that which I consider to be of the very the works of Jamieson, who is genefirst importance, both to the character rally considered as the Vandyke of of this city, and to the progress of Scotland, were chiefly of that kind the country-I mean the present state which can be appropriately employed of painting in Scotland. It is a sub- in decking the sombre walls of an uniject to which, amidst the multifurious versity ;-—and that those foreign artdiscussions that have lately engaged ists who, from time to time, settled all minds, far less attention has been in this country, and who seem succesgiven, than, from its importance and sively to have led the taste of the nainterest, we might naturally have ex- tion, have left us scarcely any thing pected; and I shall, therefore, take but those solemn figures which now the liberty of introducing the more throw a sepulchral gloom over our immediate object of this paper by public halls. Of this order are those some observations on the previous pseudo-portraits of our Scottish mohistory of the art in this country. narchs which cover the walls of Holy
Scotland cannot be considered as roodhouse, and which were the prohaving ever possessed a school of paint- ductions of De Wit, an artist, it is ing. The poverty of the country it said, of the Flemish school, and in his self, and the active part which its in own days of no slender reputation. habitants have taken in the political To the same class belong also the transactions of the last two hundred portraits executed by Sir John Meyears, have combined in turning the dina, a native of Brussels, who, for attention of Scotchmen rather tostudies his eminence as an artist, had been connected with the conduct of affairs, knighted in this country, and whose than to those more tranquil pursuits chef-d'æuvres are still, I believe, to be which aim at the improvement of na- seen in high preservation in the Sure