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in the physical world, and supposed the effects were to be confined within the circumcision and the law. The whole of civilised society is in a state of transition. The laws, institutions, the very ideas belonging to those ages of darkness and barbarism which followed the downfall of the Roman empire, are silently but rapidly passing away, and a new state of society is forming itself. A day will arrive in the progress of the human race, when every record or trace of our existing establishments will be regarded with the same curiosity with which we now regard those of the Roman power before its decline. The feudal arrangements of society which sprung up and overspread its ruins are, in their turn, decaying and giving place to other ideas and principles; and in this slow but certain succession of one system of human affairs to another, like the successive formations of rocks in geological science, the philosopher and the truly pious man hail in every change an evident amelioration of the moral and physical condition of mankind, a wonderful advance in religion, morality, good government, and well-being; and leave to the bigots in legislation and religious forms the inconsistent and fruitless attempt to hold back this mighty movement of divine and beneficent will for the improvement of the moral and physical condition of its creatures. These walls of the Flavian amphitheatre may witness in the next eighteen centuries

and no natural cause seems to forbid the idea of their enduring so long-changes and improvements in the state of human society, as great as those which have consigned them in our times to the lizard and the owl.


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GREAT is my veneration for the opinions of all constituted authorities from the pope's to the kirksession officer's from the lord of session's to the town-crier's-and doubly great for the opinions of the self-constituted authorities in the realms of literature and taste. In the courts of these authorities, animosity, virulence, and bad feeling rise high, just in proportion to the smallness and unimportance of the matters in question. With fear and trembling, therefore, I venture to propound my own secret heresy in a small matter of taste, and to avow that St. Peter's, the great cathedral of St. Peter, appears to me a great architectural failure. The parts are magnificent, and the whole of no effect by reason of the magnificence of the parts. They divide the effect, distract the attention of the spectator, and prevent any adequate impression from the first view of a structure so vast as a whole. The spectator only views it piecemeal, not as one mass. We all know that

St. Paul's, with its dome, could stand inside of St. Peter's; yet the impression of St. Paul's on the spectator is so much greater, that it is with difficulty, and upon consideration and comparison only, that he admits the dimensions of the fabric, and especially of the dome, to be so greatly inferior to St. Peter's; and he finds the dome of St. Paul's far more impressive and grand than that of St. Peter's, both in the near and in the distant view, both inside and outside. The reason I imagine to be, that the dome of St. Paul's is simple, without accompaniment; the spectator sees it, and it

without by any superfluity of parts, or within by any profusion of ornament. St. Peter's, again, is overloaded in the exterior by so many accompaniments of pillars, colonnades, and ornaments, that the mind receives no undivided impression from it as a whole. The inside, with its silk hangings, brilliant paintings, polished marble pillars, statues, gold and silver altar ornaments, is like a peep into a child's penny show-box. All is tinsel and glitter; neither the eye nor the mind takes it in as a whole; but views it in detail, and from the multiplicity and splendour of the parts, with a kind of painful distraction. You stand under the dome of St. Paul's with an undivided feeling of awe. You cross and recross St. Peter's before you are led to look up at all, so many other objects press upon your notice; and when you do, it is from comparison and reflection, not from immediate impression, that you arrive at the conclusion that it must be very vast and sublime; and that you ought to feel its grandeur, but somehow you don't.

An important principle in the fine arts, and in literary composition, is involved in this superior effect produced by the inferior structure of St. Paul's, in consequence of the simplicity and unobtrusiveness of its accompaniments or parts.

I have read or heard somewhere that architects admit that St. Peter's appears less than it is at first sight; but that this is its great perfection, as this impression of its smallness is produced by the just and perfect proportion of all its parts. But, with all submission to architects and artists, this is sheer jargon. Architecture, in common with sculpture and painting, addresses itself to the mind through the sense of sight, and its end and object are to impress the mind with feelings of the beauty, grandeur, or sublimity of the object it produces. Now what kind of perfection of proportion is that by which a building fails of this object of architecture; and by which material, labour, and talent are expended, in order to make a building appear less, and to produce an inferior impression on

the mind, through the sense of sight, to that which it might do? The end and object of piling all these stones upon each other were to produce at first sight impressions of sublimity, grandeur, or beauty upon the mind of the beholders. To send them home to reflect, calculate, and compare, in order to arrive at a just impression of the magnitude and sublimity of St. Peter's, is not the object of architecture as a fine art. The same

quantity of stones and human labour in any shape, would, upon consideration and reflection, produce this after-thought impression. To call that a just and perfect proportion which fails in the end and object of the art is the entailed nonsense of artists handed down from one generation to another, and adopted as hereditary undeniable axioms. In the fine arts, as in politics, many people can only see out of their neighbours' spectacles.

Rome is not quite so populous as Edinburgh. It contains 158,678 inhabitants. About a century ago, viz. in July, 1714, the inhabitants were found to amount to 143,000; but the Jews not being human beings at that time in the estimation of the church, and who amount to 8000 or 9000, were not included in that enumeration. The number of ecclesiastics in the present population is 5267; viz. 1478 secular clergy, 2208 monks or persons belonging to monastic establishments, and 1581 nuns. About a century ago, the whole ecclesiastical population was reckoned at 6285, and 1814 nuns. The houses of the middle and lower classes are four or five stories high, containing several families under one roof, with one common entry and stairs; and the streets are narrow, dirty, and without foot pavement. The Canongate and Cowgate of Edinburgh give a good idea of the ordinary streets of Rome. Half or more of the area within the walls is not occupied with buildings, and probably never was built upon. entered into the principle of the military fortification of cities before the invention of gunpowder, to leave such


centre from missiles, and would also furnish room and fodder for a day or two, for sheep or cattle driven upon an alarm within the walls. The enormous extent of walls around ancient cities, in some Eastern remains, of many leagues in circuit, is by no means an indication, as antiquarians consider it, of an enormous resident population; but merely of the numbers of men who from without as well as from within, and from a circle possibly of several leagues from the city, could be raised to man the walls on the approach of a besieging army. The fortifications constructing round Paris are laid out upon this old principle.

The expenditure of the large incomes of the nobility and high clergy resident in Rome, and of the revenues of the Papal States estimated to be about 1,800,000 pounds sterling, and of which the greater proportion is laid out in Rome itself, every thing being centralised in this city, and the considerable sums, besides, expended by strangers, should make Rome one of the wealthiest cities in the world, for this expenditure among her population has been going on for ages within her walls. Yet no city, except Naples, displays so much poverty and misery, and has so many wretched idle people wandering about in it. They live each in his station, beggar or banker, thief or prince, upon this money that is passing through. They breed up to the subsistence it gives, each in his station; are numerous enough to keep each other poor; and they do not labour. A people are not rich by the amount of money passing through their country; but by the amount of their own productive labour. Spain was, and Rome is, an example of the little benefit idle people derive from the mere unreproductive receipt and expenditure of money among them. They breed up to the amount, and are as poor as when the amount was small. Productive industry is

the only capital which enriches a people, and spreads national prosperity and well-being. "In all labour there is profit," says Solomon. What is the science of Political Economy, but a dull sermon on this text?

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