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“ The most perfectly harmonious production in architecture that exists, is, by the concurrent opinion of the best judges in all ages since its production, the Parthenon at Athens. Whether this structure owes its perfection to an acquaintance with a particular system of applying the natural principles of form to architecture, lost to succeeding ages, or to the natural genius of the designer alone, is a matter of doubt, and may ever remain so. But, whether the knowledge of the artist was acquired or intuitive, it must be admitted that the elements of harmony are transcendently displayed in this great work.
“The melody, or general outline, of the temple itself seems to enter into combination with the hill upon which it stands, and thus to make up the harmonic triad of the third class of forms. This is endeavoured to be shown in Plate XIV. In the centre of the diagram formed by the repetition of the line 1st to 5th, within the ellipsis, it will be observed that the component parts of the temple occur, as marked by the strong line. These being removed from the barmony of combination to that of succession, the curve of the ellipsis becomes its fundamental bass, and the temple itself supplies the other two component parts of a melody.
“ The melody is only appreciable at such a distance as allows the general outline of the temple, in combination with the hill upon which it was placed, to be encompassed by the eye of the spectator : consequently, when he ascended the Acropolis, the curvilinear forms, which at a distance made up the harmonic triad, disappeared. Instead of which, however, the most beautiful harmony of combination was presented to his view, accompanied, as has been proved by late investigations, with an equally perfect harmony of colour. The curvilinear form, so amply supplied in the distance, which, like cool colours in nature, always predominate in the most pleasing combinations, he now finds in equal proportionate quantity, not only in the horizontal and perpendicular lines of the columns, but in the exquisite bas-reliefs which embellish the frieze and tympanum. The taste and knowledge of the artist is further disylayed; for, that there might be no harsh or sudden transition from the curved to the perfectly straight line, the architrave, frieze, and cornice approach the tympanum by an almost imperceptible curve.
“ In thus gliding, by an imperceptible gradation, from one component part of harmony into another, a facility easily attainable in form, but which can only be attained in music by the human voice, is made available.
“ The portico, or front elevation of this temple, from the base of the columns to the extreme point of the pediment, is inscribed by the parallelogram adopted in this treatise as the second of the general series of forms. It has been already observed, that geometricians have given no definite rules for the proportions of this particular form; but that in question has peculiarities which are worthy of remark in this place.
" It is the only rectilinear form that is not produced by the intersection of the mediant line drawn from the first to the fifth division of the circle, therefore requiring in its formation the second line, which is drawn from the first to the third division. Neither the equilateral triangle, the square, nor the rhombus, can be produced by any smaller number of forms of a similar kind and proportion to themselves than four; and it takes the same number of parts to reproduce a parallelogram of any other proportions ; but this can be reproduced by three and also by four. If its length be divided into the semitonic division of twelve, its breadth will be seven of those divisions; consequently, when three are placed together perpendicularly, their length will be collectively twenty-one of those divisions.
“ In this triple capacity it seems in the present case to be employed, and its shorter dimension is therefore divided, as shown in the scale, Plate XV. The subdivision of the parts of this unequal structure are, agreeably to this scale, as follows:
“The perpendicular and obviously curvilinear portion ends, and the horizontal or rectilinear portion begins, on the seventh semitonic division of the parallelogram, the perfect fifth or dominant of the present scale of the mu
sician. The horizontal or apparently rectilinear part ends, and the oblique or angular part commences, on the next musical consonance, the sixth or submediant of the same scale. (Plate XV.)
Taking the dimensions from the elevation of the portico as given in Stuart's Athens, the minute groove cut below the capital of the column is one of these semitonic divisions. From centre to centre of the columns on each side of the middle space is three of those divisions; and this is continued, with a slight deviation, till the last division, which must include the outer column. The space which includes the columns is exactly the proportion of the second parallelogram produced within the ellipsis, as the first was within the circle. "If this be divided into twelve parts, the capital will be found to be one of these in height, and the triglyphs one of the same in breadth. But these matters can only be properly investigated by the architect, whose education enables him to enter into details with which the unprofessional are necessarily unacquainted." (p. 40.).
The conclusion at which the author arrives is, “ that form, like sound and colour, has its three primaries; and that consequently there can be no perfectly harmonious combination of forms in which one of these is wanting; and that the distinctions of harmony, like those of sound and colour, depend upon a predominance of one, and a subordination of the other two, in the composition.” (p. 42.)
Granting the premises, it is impossible to deny that the conclusion is legitimate ; but the difficulty is, to show the application of the doctrine in such a manner as shall be intelligible to architects who are not at the same time conversant with the theory of music. We cannot help thinking that, as the theory is undoubtedly founded in nature, this might have been done, at all events, to such an extent as to carry conviction to artists who have no musical knowledge.
In an appendix to the work are the following paragraphs, which every artist can understand and appreciate, and which would seem to justify our opinion, that the theory might have been brought down nearer to the capacities of those who, like ourselves, are ignorant of the science of music.
“ It has been observed, that the series of forms in which the ellipsis takes the place of the circle exercises a softer influence on the eye ; and that the combinations of those forms are more natural, and the harmonies they produce more pleasing, than those arising out of the combinations of the forms which have the circle for their key. This would, at first sight, appear quite paradoxical. But it must be taken into consideration, that we are made to view nature with two eyes, whose rays traverse or cross each other horizontally; and that, consequently, any object of a horizontally elongated kind can be more easily encompassed by the visual rays than any of the more primary or homogeneous forms. The eye, in this double capacity, associates its rays at once with the forms in which the three elements, earth, air, and water, are generally presented to our view, and in which, consequently, the landscape-painter generally transfers their effects to his canvass.
Landscape composition has its linear harmony, as well as architecture, sculpture, or historical painting; and it likewise consists in the judicious arrangement of the three elementary parts of form, or the straight line, the angular line, and the curved line. In this, as in every case where various forms are combined, there can be no perfect composition, unless the harmonic triad be present. But the parts of this triad must not be jumbled promiscuously together, however irregular the general characte rof the subject may be ; for, if linear harmony exists, there must be system in it, as there is in every other kind of harmony; and this system must consist in certain geometrical rules. Such a system is attempted to be developed in the foregoing treatise; and it is assumed that it has the leading features of a natural theory in the extreme simplicity of its elementary parts, and the endless variety of combination of which they are susceptible.
“ The harmony of forms depends much on the propriety of their position, and a strict adherence to the key or tonie in a composition. The three primary forms, the circle, the triangle, and the square, have cach only one proper position. The first, indeed, can take no position but one, while the secondary and tertiary forms have two proper positions, the horizontal and vertical.
These positions must be strictly adhered to; for obliquity in this case is inadmissible, and, as already shown, can only be employed to produce angular forms. When the circle is the key or tonic adopted, the square and the equilateral triangle will be the leading features of the forms introduced into the composition. When the ellipsis is the tonic, their leading features will be the parallelogram and rhombus, whether the composition be horizontal or vertical. There can be no properly harmonious composition in which this classification is not attended to. No doubt men of great genius can do this instinctively, and to such, a knowledge of rules is superfluous : but rules are requisite to enable the generality of mankind to appreciate judiciously the works of men of genius.” (p. 48.)
ART. JII. An introductory Lecture, delivered at King's College,
London, January 24. 1842, on the Principles and Practice of Architecture. To which are now added a few Notes, and some further Remarks on the modern Practice of Competition. By William Hosking, F.S.A., Architect and Civil Engineer. London, 1842.
Pamph. 8vo, pp. 42. The pages of this pamphlet are occupied in enumerating the various kinds of buildings, and operations connected with them, which fall within the province of the architect to originate and direct, with the author's particular opinions on the modern practice of competition. We shall make one short extract, for the sake of the last sentence.
“ The largest class of buildings yet remains; and it will be found that, great as the variety of requirement is in buildings distinguished as public, it is even greater in the class of dwelling-houses; for, although every house may be resolved into the three departments which the uses and habits of social life require (every house having its sitting-room, its sleeping-room, and its cooking-room), the nobleman's mansion must have these multiplied and extended, with accessories to include all that human wants and wishes can demand; whilst the shopkeeper is content to expose his goods for sale in the best parts of his house, and to cook, eat, and sleep where his business may leave him room; and the labourer, in his turn, is but too glad to find his cottage so arranged by the economic skill of the architect, that cooking, eating, and sleeping have each a separate apartment. The idea of a peasant's cottage being included in the studies of an architect may excite a smile ; but, if architects were more employed upon peasants' cottages, there might be less occasion for their services in building county hospitals and union workhouses.”
ART. IV. Literary Notices. FREQUENT complaints have been made to us that we do not state the prices of the books which we review or recommend ; and the reason is, that cannot do so, except under particular circumstances, without incurring the advertisement duty. We propose, however, in future to adopt the mode followed in the Literary Gazette, Atheneum, and similar journals, to give a monthly list of books, which we think worth purchasing or reading by gardeners or their employers, with their prices, unless we find some consequences resulting from the publishing of such a list, which we do not anticipate. Our list for this month is :
Hlay on Form, 4to, 16s. (rev. p. 126.).
A POCKET Plant-Case for Ladies. Some young ladies of our acquaintance who are remarkably fond of gardening, and particularly of raising plants from seed, having been lately residing principally' in London, where they have no garden, have contrived a very ingenious substitute for a hotbed, by having recourse to their side pockets as a source of heat for germinating seeds. The seed, enveloped in some moist moss, is put in a small tin case, commonly one which has been used for pepperment lozenges, or acidulated drops. The case, so filled, is carried about the person constantly during the day, and put with the pocket under the pillow during the night. When the seeds have germinated, and the plumule, as well as the radicle, has appeared, the seed, having now become a plant, is taken out and planted in a pot. The same ladies have germinated seeds by suspending them over water in a hyacinth glass, or small carafe ; and in this manner they have raised trees from filberts, which, being afterwards planted in the open ground in the country, have, in the course of a few years, borne fruit. * They have also raised oaks, sweet chestnuts, and various other plants.
Welch's Bricks for forming circular Flues, without any ad
д 6 ditional expense for materials or labour beyond what is necessary for the common square fiues, well deserve the attention of the architect and builder. Two moulds are all that are necessary to effect
a the object, viz. moulds to make the bricks (a and b, fig. 13.), each 9 in. long. The idea is a peculiarly happy one and does Mr. Welch great credit. He has taken out a patent for it. Any direction may be given to the flues by beveling the bricks, which, of course, will require other two moulds.
Fig. 13. Welch's Bricks for circular Flues. Cond.
Turf Drains are used in different parts of the country, particularly in meadows and pastures. Mr. Saul recommends section fig. 14., and as a cover fig. 15., which is 10 in. long, 7 in. broad on the upper side, 5 in. broad on the under side, and 39 in. thick. When made of peat and thoroughly dried
View of a
in the sun, they are remarkably strong, and will last many years : some in this part of the country have stood for thirty years, both in land pastured
and under the plough. A man will cut about 2,500 of
rows to dry in the sun and wind. Fig. 15. Fig. 14. Section of a
dried Peat CoveringThey stand a few weeks in this Turf Drain.
Turf for a Drain. way, and are then turned over and remain for some time longer. They are then piled up in rows three deep, so that the sun and wind get better at them than if they were all on the ground. In this state they remain till they are completely dried; they are then made into large stacks till they are wanted for use. The stacks are so made that the rain passes off them the same as off the roof of a house. These peats are sold at 5s. per thousand. The prime cost may be considered about 3s. per thousand. The man has about 2s. 6d. per day, and labourer 2s. The time of cutting them is in April and June ; it will not do to cut them till the frost is over.
Fig. 14. shows the drain cut and furnished with the peat cover. The drain is cut from 20 in. to 30 in. deep, as circumstances may require. The workmen have spades made on purpose. The price of making these drains is 24d. per rood, so called here, which is seven yards in length, the materials being laid at the place. At this price a man will make about 2s. per day. When the covers are placed on the drain, a little strong gravel or small stones are put in, as shown in the figure, to take the top water into the drain. The drain covers being on the principle of the wedge, weight increases rather than diminishes their strength, which is not the case with common draining tiles.M. Saul. Garstang, Dec. 22. 1842.
Perhaps the following plan may be added to the one above described. Where peat earth is not to be got, I have seen the following mode practised to a great extent, and it has been fairly proved to stand for a great number of years. The plan is simply this. Line out the drains in pasture lands; and, in cutting out the top sod, do it on the wedge system. The drains are cut the same as in fig. 14. The plan is called sod-draining. These sod-drain covers are cut so that the grass side is downwards. They are about 6 in. thick, and of the same length and breadth as the peat covers shown in fig. 15., and they are laid in the drain in the way before mentioned. I have been induced to try whether these sod covers could be forced into the drain by pressure, and have jumped upon them for this purpose, but found that the more I jumped upon them, the stronger they were ; so that, after the drains have been filled up according to the plan I sent you, there is no fear of their being injured by either cattle or carts passing over them.— Idem. Dec. 29, 1842.
By a subsequent letter from Mr. Saul, we learn that the Duke of Hamilton is supposed to have housed more than 100,000 of the turf-drain covers (fig. 15. above) on his estate in the neighbourhood of Lancaster, and that he would have housed more if they had been to be got ; but the demand by other proprietors and by farmers has greatly exceeded the supply.
Flower-pots with hollow Sides (figs. 16. and 17.), by Mr. Brown of Ewell, and Mr. Saul of Garstang.
Mr. Brown's Pot with hollow Sides (fig. 16. copied from the Gard. Chron. for 1842, p. 803.) may have the vacuity filled with water through a small orifice in the rim shown in the figure, or left empty at pleasure. Every