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them too should be open. One material part of the remedy for want of room, I should think would be found in a repetition of the service in the church, during the whole day of Sunday, when people might attend at the hours that suited them best: and as a larger number of the priesthood would be required to divide the duty, more employment would be provided for our unbeneficed clergy. Unless some regulation of this sort be adopted, I much fear that all the churches we have built, or may build, will be found inadequate to the accommodation of the people at large. ,
Pursuing the line of communication commenced with, we pass through a street of handsome houses to the intersected circus in Oxford-street, totally without effect from the want of elevation. One story more would have given it mark and distinction; and you would not traverse it, as you do now, without noticing any thing but the convenience of the opening that has been made there.
A place of worship auxiliary to St. George's Hanover Square, the work of Mr. Cockerel, strikes you, as you enter on the division of the new communication, after crossing Oxford-street. Nobody passes by it without notice, and I should say without approbation. The author is said to have authority for all he has done there, although the volutes of the capitals of his Ionic columns, and particularly of his pilasters, are such as ordinary observers do not find elsewhere. I should have liked them better if they had been more customary : they seem to aim at embellishment through eco centricity. What the destination of the two towers, by which the building is flanked, may turn out to be, does not appear : if they are without use they had better not have been there : they have occasioned additional expense, without adding to the beauty of the structure. When a handsome church or chapel is built, it is a great pity if it happens not to be insulated. The piles of houses joined close to this, on each side, on a regular plan, would make it appear that the portico, in the centre, formed a part of their frontispiece : this occasions some ambiguity; and, what is worse, mixes up the sacred with the profane. There are plenty of vi. cious examples of this sort in Italy; especially at Venice and Genoa; excusable, in some degree, on account of the very conç tracted space on which those two fine cities are built; but surely when we raise temples to the author of all space, we ought to afford them a proper share of one of his distinguished attributes.
Our nobility and gentry who reign in the country, are, for the most part, lodged in houses in town, the outsides of which are of the plainest and most monotonous description; it is not therefore unnatural that we should wonder at a vicissitude of things that brings our shop-keepers to palaces, or to a representation of them. not, indeed, composed of such precious materials as those in the two cities I have lately mentioned, Venice and Genoa ; but being of an aristocratic character, they must be allowed to be altogether a singular misapplication of a grand design. Without this manifest absurdity, however, we should have had no Regent Street; no eclipsing rival of Bond Street"; the space, beauty and variety of which, at once, reconciles us to this its fundamental objection.
Fairly to estimate the advantages we have derived from this metamorphosis, we ought to bring our recollection back to Swallow Street, and its neighborhood. That part of it which has been allotted to Mr. Soane, is a nondescript, or, at least, a singua larity to which we, non-initiated, find it difficult to affix any denomination. It is a work of fancy perhaps, and may, therefore, hit the taste of some one or other ; but I venture to say, that the portion of building opposite to New Burlington Street will not add to the reputation of an artist, so well known for ingenuity and ability. - I cannot agree with those who are averse from colonnades and arcades in our metropolis. In Italy, and other hot climates, where they are most frequently met with, they are meant as a protectioa from the heat of the sun ; but why not adopt them here as a defence against an opposite inconvenience ? Rain. The objection made to them is, that they deprive the lower part of houses, and especially shops, of light: but this does not apply where, as in squares and broad streets, there is always sufficient, except in the depth of winter'; and particularly, if raised to a proper height. In narrow passages, as in the neighborhood of Leicester Square, the houses themselves obstruct the light; but where is there more trade carried on than there, and in some of the confined regions of the city ?
The Quadrant is very near being a fine thing, and if it could have been made a circus, would have proved a magnificent feature in our capital. Even if colonnades, of the same dimensions, had been carried from hence up to Portland Place, or as far as Oxford Street only, as I have been told was originally projected, the public would have soon found the benefit of it, and similar shelter in other parts would have been provided. This Quadrant, although a splendid and convenient novelty, has some glaring defects: when you look at it from the adjoining street, at a certain distance, the smoothness of the protracted curve, without any order of architec
If Bonaparte had been allowed to come here from St. Helena, and live as a private individual, frequenting our coffee-houses, &c., and, as Mr. O'Meara has told us, he would have been glad to do, he might have exclaimed, in one of his rambles through this street, “ Ah, voilà les fiers boutiguiers qui n'ont detroné!".
ture to relieve it, is tiresome to the eye ; and the long line at the top uncrowned, and without a balustrade, is particularly tedious. The balustrade over the colonnade, and which at present serves as a continued balcony, might have been placed with much advantage on the summit of the whole building; and iron work, as of the lighter effect, might have reigned round below in its stead. Both at a distance from, and passing through the colonnade (which is but an adjunct), it appears too principal, and eclipses entirely the unadorned and unsubstantial houses above it. Half columns, or pilasters there, would have given some show of solidity But a fault most reprehensible and unaccountable meets the eye in the separation of a part of these buildings, by which their want of depth and substance is betrayed in the most inartificial manner; insomuch as to make them appear almost as a wall, with false windows, raised for a façade. Coming into the Quadrant, on the left, from Piccadilly, and walking into the centre of it, you arrive at a passage for carriages across it, and under the continued columns; when, on looking up, you perceive a suspension of the buildings (hiatus valdè deflendus!) an interval terminating with so little thickness, that it can hardly be supposed to be any part of a real house. The obvious remedy for this gross blunder is by leaving no interval at all, and by filling up the spaces over the pas sages, with a wall and false windows, if it could not be done otherwise. And this is the more extraordinary, as on the opposite side, nearer to the northern end, another passage has been left free be: low, and the building continued without any interruption above it.
The County Insurance Office is a handsome structure, in a chaste, well proportioned, and excellent style: it is complimentary to Carlton House, as forming a termination of the view from it: it stands well on the rising ground, and is a sort of compensation for the turn you are led to take from the straight and splendid street you have just left. '
The four segments of a circle which you pass here in descending from Piccadilly have somewhat more of solidity in appearance than those of which they are nearly the prototype, in Oxford Street. They have the same defect--want of elevation i
An artist may sometimes lose more credit by the neglect of little things than some of much greater consequence. Ridiculous conceits, placed immediately within the sphere of observation, such as the little topsy-turvy pillars that decorate the shop windows in this part of the new street, have occasioned a good deal of pleasantry at Mr. Nash's expense; and people will not let him escape from it'; for when it was asked by some one, of what order these spil lars were, the answer was, Mr. NW's positive order. It would have been easy to have obtained more applause at the removal of this silly ornament, when found to displease, than disapprobation at their original adoption.
The rest of this part of the communication, including Waterloo Place, notwithstanding the faults which may be found in it, as well as the disadvantage of its declivity as a site, has produced a varied, amusing, and elegant effect : but that is all: without loftiness and large proportions, you can produce no grandeur. Our mode of lodging ourselves, and aversion to climbing, preclude the possibility of attaining this characteristic: besides, if the houses here had been higher, Carlton House, which stands in the bottom, would have sunk into deeper humility, and been almost annihi. lated by them. The chapel, on the right hand side, as you descend, the work of Mr. Repton, is equally objectionable with that which I have before mentioned, near Oxford Street, as being pent up by houses on each side. The proportions are fair ; but the superstructure of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates (vulgarly called the Lanthorn of Demosthenes) as a steeple, is improper and absurd in its application; although thousands pass by it without notice. It has, however, in deference to those who have observed it, and upon it, been somewhat curtailed. What is, perhaps, more censurable, as more obvious, is the insertion of sacrificial implements, pateræ, &c. of a pagan temple, into the Doric frieze, without necessity. Mr. N. on the opposite side has provided himself with a splendid hotel; a circumstance by which we feel ourselves agreeably assured that he has been no loser by the great undertakings with which we are so well satisfied, in general.-Nothing can be more appropriate than the Tuscan bread and cheese columns before Warren's Hotel, oppoşite the United Service Club; (the ox heads and the pateræ should have been transferred hither from Mr. Cockerel's chapel ;) they invite you to the consumption of all edible articles; and, as signs are now abolished, we consider them as typical of Mr. Warren's calling.'
In a most uncourtier-like manner rises the lofty Opera House, in the immediate vicinity of Carlton House ; and, although it be not comparable to the palace as a specimen of architecture, yet it does away entirely with the distinction of the latter. It is, in itself, a
i 1 There is another substitute for signs, lately invented, and much employed by a namesake of the person whose house is here alluded to. However beneficial it may prove to individuals, it is not very ornamental to our city. This practice is consigned in the following Epigram:
Warrei), they say, has got the start in
proof, that loftiness and large dimensions alone are not sufficient to produce the grandiose in effect : it has no members that strike; and it seems to have been designed so exclusively for a profitable concern, that if it were not for the colonnade and arcades round it, it would appear almost as much a warehouse as any one of those belonging to the East India Company. Passing it through the Haymarket, you would not find where the principal entrance is; there being nothing of projection to announce it. It is a complete contrast to the elegant little theatre on the other side of the way, which shows, on the contrary, nothing but its entrance, but which is in the best style. Nor would any one suspect the larger edifice to be an opera house, surrounded as it is by shops below, if he were not to look up, and discern a piece of sculpture in relief, representing (like a sign to invite your custom) a strange medley of heathen deities, mixed up with performers in coats and waistcoats, à la moderne, as at a rehearsal. Singular as this contrivance is to show you where you are going, it has its use; but the feuds, law-suits, and mismanagement of the concerns within, lead you rather to look on the Opera House as the Temple of Discord, than one dedicated to harmony and the muses. .
We have gained here columns and shelter from the covered way, (the best of umbrellas,) but the heavy balustrade super-imposed cuts off a third of the windows of the whole building, and deprives it of so much of that which would have left it some grace and propriety. As you pass along, at the end of Pall Mall, and look up and down at it, you will perceive that these curtailed windows are not concentral with the arches that form the extremities of the colonnade--a grievous fault, not to be passed over-a false concord in architecture !
Well; notwithstanding all this, let us look back to what this quarter was formerly, with the filthy Market Lane now exchanged for a convenient bazaar, and we ought to be tolerably satisfied. But, when we come to review, for a moment, the space which we have traversed from the beginning of it to this spot, independent of the buildings on each side, we must be convinced (and democracy itself will allow) that the greatest attention has been paid to the pedestrian part of the public. By the establishment of so fine and broad a flag-pavement as accompanies it all the way, together with the gas lamp-posts, which in fact are magnificent candelabra, we may venture to say that it is not surpassed by any street in Europe.
It would be disrespectful to pass by Carlton House without notice. Having stood many years, it cannot be ranged, indeed, in the class of “ modern buildings and improvements.” It has undergone the criticism of the period at which it was raised, and VOL. XXV.