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tecture, as between truth and imagination in poetry.
Utility is not to be obviously sacrificed to beauty, in the one case; truth and probability are not to be outraged for the cause of fiction and fancy, in the other. In the severer styles of architecture, beauty and utility approach, so as to be almost identical. Where utility is more strongly than ordinary the main design, the proportions which produce it, raise the sense or feeling of beauty, by a sort of reflection or deduction of the mind. It is said that ancient Rome had, perhaps, no finer specimens of the classic Doric, than were in the sewers which ran under her streets, and which were of course always to be covered from human observation ; so true is it, that cultivated taste is always pleased with justness of proportion; and that design, seen to be accomplished, gives pleasure. The discovery and fast increasing use of a noble material, found in vast abundance, nearer to our cities than the Pentelican quarries to Athens, may well awaken, as they do, new attention to architectural improvement. If this material be not entirely well suited to the elegant lonic, or the rich Corinthian, it is yet fitted, beyond marble, beyond perhaps almost any other material, for the Doric, of which the appropriate character is strength, and for the Gothic, of which the appropriate character is grandeur.
It is not more than justice, perhaps, to our ancestors, to call the Gothic the English, classic architecture; for in England, probably, are its most distinguished specimens. As its leading characteristic is grandeur, its main use would seem to be sacred. It had its origin, indeed, in ecclesiastical architecture. Its evident design was to surpass
the ancient orders, by the size of the structure and its far greater heights ; to excite perceptions of beauty, by the branching traceries and the gorgeous tabernacles within ; and to inspire religious awe and reverence by the lofty pointed arches ;—the flying buttresses, the spires, and the pinnacles, springing from beneath, stretching upwards towards the heavens with the prayers of the worshippers. Architectural beauty having always a direct reference to utility, edifices, whether civil or sacred, must of course undergo different changes, in different places, on account of climate, and in different ages, on account of the different states of other arts, or different notions of convenience. The hypethral temple, for example, or temple without a roof, is not to be thought of in our latitudes; and the use of glass, a thing not now to be dispensed with, is also to be accommodated, as well as it may be, to the architectural structure. These necessary variations, and many more admissible ones, give room for improvements to an indefinite extent, without departing from the principles of true taste. May we not hope, then, to see our own city celebrated as the city of architectural excellence? May we not hope, to see our native granite reposing in the ever during strength of the Doric, or springing up in the grand and lofty Gothic, in forms which beauty and utility, the eye and the judgment, taste and devotion, shall unite to approve and to admire ? But while we regard sacred and civil architecture as highly important, let us not forget that other branch, so essential to personal comfort and happiness,—domestic architecture, or common house building. In ancient times, in all governments, and under despotic governments in all times, the convenience or gratification of the monarch, the government or the public, has been allowed too often, to put aside considerations of personal and individual happiness. With us, different ideas happily prevail. With us, it is not the public, or the government, in its corporate character, that is the only object of regard. The public happiness is to be the aggregate of the happiness of individuals. Our system begins with the individual man. It begins with him when he leaves the cradle; and it proposes to instruct him in knowledge and in morals, to prepare him for his state of manhood; on his arrival at that state, to invest him with political rights, to protect him, in his property and pursuits, and in his family and social connexions ; and thus to enable him to enjoy as an individual, moral, and rational being, what belongs to a moral and rational being. For the same reason, the arts are to be promoted for their general utility, as they effect the personal happiness and well being of the individuals who compose the community. It would be adverse to the whole spirit of our system, that we should have gorgeous and expensive public buildings, if individuals were at the same time to live in houses of mud. Our public edifices are to be reared by the surplus of wealth, and the savings of labor, after the necessities and comforts of individuals are provided for; and not, like the Pyramids, by the unremitted toil of thousands of half starved slaves. Domestic architecture, therefore, as connected with individual comfort and happiness, is to hold a first place in the esteem of our artists. Let our citizens have houses cheap, but comfortable ; not gaudy, but in good taste; not judged by the portion of earth which they cover, but by their symmetry, their fitness for use, and their durability.
Without farther reference to particular arts, with which the objects of this society have a close connexion, it may yet be added, generally, that this is a period of great activity, of industry, of enterprise in the various walks of life. It is a period, too, of growing wealth, and increasing prosperity. It is a time when men are fast multiplying, but when means are increasing still faster than men. An auspicious moment, then, it is, full of motive and encouragement, for the vigorous prosecution of those inquiries, which have for their object the discovery of farther and farther means of uniting the results of scientific research to the arts and business of life.)
IMPORTANCE TO PRACTICAL MEN OF SCI
AND ON THE
ENCOURAGEMENTS TO ITS PURSUIT.
BY EDWARD EVERETT.
*** The following Essay is compiled from a discourse delivered by the author,
at the opening of the Mechanics’ Institute in Boston, in November, 1827; - an address before the Middlesex County Lyceum, at Concord, in No
vember, 1829; and an oration before the Columbian Institute at Washington, in January, 1830. The publication of those addresses, at the time of their delivery, was requested, but was delayed on the ground that they formed, severally, parts of a general view of the subject, which it was the intention of the author to complete at some future period. That intention has been fulfilled, as far as it was in the power of the author, in the following Essay, which is respectfully dedicated to the associations before whom the above-mentioned addresses were delivered.
The object of the Mechanics’ Institute is, to diffuse useful knowledge among the mechanic class of the community. It aims, in general, to improve and inform the minds of its members; and particularly to illustrate and explain the principles of the various arts of life, and render them familiar to those, who are to exercise these arts as their occupation in society. It is also a proper object of the Institute to point out the connection between the mechanic arts and the