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XXIV. But Dutchmen don't incline much to the risible, They're pleased to call themselves The Dilettanti :
So all these things with them are still the go. The President's the first I chanced to shew 'em; Absurdities are on the Y still visible,
He writes more malagrugrously than Dante, Which were so on the Thames some time ago. The City of the Plague's a shocking poem ; Mynheer would think his daughter quite a Jeesabel, But yet he is a spirit light and jaunty, Should not the whole remain in statu quo.
And jocular enough to those that know him. The plaits of gold or silver on the forehead- To tell the truth, I think John Wilson shines The Hannel girth-protuberance most horrid. More o'er a bowl of punch than in his lines. XVIII.
XXV. But if I once should fairly enter in
Wilson discussed, the tenor of my speech To what at present I am glancing merely,
On to his Croupier-Secretary ran, To strip a Dutchman's madam to her skin, A person thoroughly qualified to teach I can assure the reader most sincerely,
The linguo of the Virtuoso clan, So wide a subject, were I in the pin,
Pictures and prints alike within his reach. Would last me out at least a canto clearly.
-He is, in short, a most uncommon man ; Perhaps I'll do it at some other season
The Painters view him with a fearful eye; Just now it must be rhyme, but scarcely reason. For me, I'm always mute when David's by. XIX.
XXVI. But to return in this new style of Frere's,
The next that I enlarged upon was Allan, A phrase which oft hath been, and oft must be).- That peerless master of the modern brush, I dined, when last in Holland, at Mynheer's ;
Born to restore a Muse from splendour fallen, No one was there but David Laing and me, Born to see garlands of the Deathless Bush And a Dutch minister, one Vander Schpiers,
(In spite of Envy's poisonous tendrils crawling) Domestic tutor in the family
Cling round his honoured brow, in glory's flush; To give Mevrouw the praise that is her due,
A famous fellow also o'er his toddy,
And, bating Artists, liked by every body,
Then touched I off friend Lockhart (Gibson John), On excellent boiled pig and roasted salmon :
So fond of jabbering about Tieck and Schlegel, The Parson hummed us a long grace demurely,
Klopstock and Wieland, Kant and Mendelsohn, But otherwise he seemed to sink the Flamen. All High Dutch quacks, like Spurzheim or I noticed, though his guts, he said, were poorly,
Feinagle. He laid in full three poundsof grease and gammon.
Him the Chaldee ycleped the Scorpion. Braun set some famous Rhenish on the table ;
The claws, but not the pinions, of the eagle, We drank and smoked as long as we were able.
Are Jack's: but though I do not mean to flatter,
Undoubtedly he has strong powers of satire.
Par nobile, the Schetkys next I hit,
-Gibson (who t’other day hath changed his lot); And, what some won't agree to, its variety.
The Master of St Luke's, whom yonder Pit David and I sucked all their doctrines down,
With long vivas heard comic Liston quote. But over-doses generate satiety ;
Then Nicholson, to whom so oft I sit : So we, to pay them back in their own coin,
You've seen his etching, sure, of Walter Scott. Began in praise of Scotland to rejoin ;
-Some half-a-dozen others I could name;
Among the rest was Baxter---yes--lui-même.
My tongue next glided to the praise of Pat, (David, the most sagacious and the best,
Who loves not Robertson in Embro' city ? As all Old Reekie's erudites opine,
Dutch girls would call him Cupid, for he's fat, Of Scottish Bibliopoles, who knows the zest
Wears spectacles, is sly, and keen, and witty. And cream of every title-page Aldine ;
Next Peter Hill you might be sure of that. A famous Bibliomaniac, and a shrewd,
Next one, whom if you know not, more's the pityWho turns his madness to no little good.)
John Douglas one of the true genuine tribe
Mistake me notur gentlemanly Scribe.
He chiefly sung the praise of a sale dinner ; That there's no saying when I might have stopped, I on Young's tavern principally raved,
How long I had poured on right merrily Ore soluto. I'm a glorious spinner.
My tale of Worthies yet undeveloped I painted to the set, in colours vivid,
To the rude dwellers of the Zuyder Zee ; The portrait of full many a curious sinner But looking round, asleep they all had dropped. Who comes, with ready head and readier tongue, “ Babbler !” a bird is whispering in my ear, To kill his evenings in thy house, Bill Young ! “ Take the same hint-close Canto Second here." VOL. III.
REPORT OF THE
POINTED BY THE SOCIETY OF DI-
COMMITTEE, AP- plan for this repair tended to remove
The Committee hold, that in altera OTT'S PLANS FOR THE REPAIR OF ing an ancient building, the principle
to be followed is, that of adhering as GILES, EDINBURGH.
closely to the original plan as is con
sistent with any tolerable degree of The Committee, to whom it was refer- beauty. Feeling in all its force the red to examine the plans of the intend- influence of time and ancient associaed repair on the cathedral church of tions, they would rather sacrifice a St Giles, have now to submit the fol- considerable beauty, than lose any part lowing report.
of a structure, venerable for its age, or This church appears to have been rendered illustrious by its history. originally planned on a regular design: In this point of view, they regard the but having been erected at various in- repair now going forward upon Westtervals, it is far from being uniform in minster-abbey and York-minster, as its architecture. More recently, like- in the purest taste, because it is a wise, the alterations which it has un- mere renewal of the stones of those dergone have invariably been in a vi- buildings in their original form. They tious taste; and while not beautiful in do not contend that this species of rethemselves, they have obscured, or al- pair is applicable to their present subtogether superseded, those parts of the ject. They are willing to admit, that original structure to which they appli- here there is much to remove; but ed. As it now stands, therefore, the they are, at the same time, anxious to Committee do not view this building impress, that there is also much to reas a fine specimen of the Gothic archi- tain; and that it is the duty of the tecture. Still it is one which deserves guardians of taste to resist all changes considerable praise. Its general form which can with propriety be avoided. approaches near enough to regularity to In this way, it is with no small regive it all the grandeur of a cathedral. gret they have observed, in the plans There is much beauty also in many of now submitted to the magistracy, a its individual parts; and the tower very marked disregard of the ancient with which it is surmounted is one of building. The new cathedral may, the noblest of that description in the or may not, be beautiful. The Comisland.
mittee do not deny that it possesses But its great age would entitle it to considerable beauty : but it bears no be held sacred by Scotsmen, even if it resemblance to the ancient cathedral; possessed no intrinsic beauty deserving it is an original building in the school of preservation. The records of this of Mr Elliott, not a renovation of the church stretch back into an antiquity ancient building; and this they hold, so remote as the ninth century : it has without reference to its intrinsic charsince become connected with many acter, to be a primary and fundamenimportant events in Scottish history: tal objection to the design. here, particularly, Knox and Melville Another observation which they have asserted the liberties of their country, made, is of a character akin to the forand preached up the Reformation ;
If there be reasons, in good and within it and without, are depo- feeling and just taste, for resisting desited the bones of martyrs and great viations from the original plan of the men, whose high names serve to cast building, it is obvious that these apply a lustre over the very decay of its walls. with tenfold force to any project for
Relics such as these are to be touch- its absolute demolition. But it is one ed with a delicate hand. Looking branch of the plans under consideraaround upon the prison-houses with tion, to make away with a part of the which this building has been polluted, building, and that, perhaps, the most the incongruous' repairs which it has highly ornamented of the whole, the suffered, and the paint with which its Tolbooth church, which is to be retower has been disfigured, and its fad- moved in order to enlarge the access ing inscriptions obliterated, the Com- into the Parliament Square, and at the mittee confess, that it was not without same time to save the corner room in alarm they heard of a new alteration the adjoining building (itself a monuextending to all its parts being in pro- ment of the worst taste, and unlikely, gress; nor has the examination of the from its appearance, to endure so long
as the cathedral), now occupied as the shall hereafter be visited. The tower gown-room of the faculty of advocates. of this cathedral, so beautiful without, It may be proper to remove this church; has never yet been brought to heighten it does not boast of an antiquity so re- the effect of the interior. Till the mote as the adjoining building; and year 1599, it was used as the common the Committee are ready, therefore, to prison of the town ; and since that pelearn cause for its destruction ; but riod, it has been appropriated to the they neither perceive the necessity of bells,--at all times separated from the the enlarged access wanted, nor do halls below by a flooring which exists they see any thing in the adjoining to this day. But the Committee, while building entitling it to immunity at they regard it as contrary to good taste, the expense of its more venerable neigh- that any part of the exterior of a buildbour ; and undoubtedly they hold, ing (as in the domeof St George's church that this building cannot be touched here) should excite expectations, which, without a reason approaching nearly to within, are disappointed, are strongly necessity.
led to recommend, that the tower of Having stated these sentiments, the St Giles should be cleared of all its Committee feel, that it may probably incumbrances, and thrown open withbe conceived unnecessary to make any in, so as to become a part-and a gloobservations on the details of a plan, rious part-of the central hall.* the general scope of which they are Among the advantages resulting thus disposed so strongly to condemn. from this suggestion, it would be no But it is due to the artist who has inconsiderable one, that the ancient prepared it, and perhaps may be re- windows of the tower would improve garded as a part of their duty to the the light of the transept (a light too, society, to offer some remarks of a more it will be remembered, coming from limited character; and, in doing so, above, and therefore of the finest quathey trust that the society will give lity); while the opening of these winthem credit for acting in a spirit of dows would give beauty to the exteperfect conciliation towards the archi- rior. tect, who has not failed even here to The dial-plate and bells might, in display much of that genius and sci- this event, be disposed in turrets to be entific knowledge by which his works erected at either extremity of the are in general distinguished.
transept, or, more properly, at the west With these feelings, it is gratifying front, which was originally, and ought to the Committee to be enabled to perhaps once more to be rendered, the commence their remarks with praise. grand entrance of the cathedral. In the disposition of the interior, Mr Having thus far commended the arElliott proposes to divide the church chitect's disposition of the interior, the into three great halls, one occupying Committee regret that they have little the transept, and the others being more to approve in his designs. The placed in the nave of the building. extreme regularity of his whole plan This plan meets the entire approbation (giving it too much the character of an of the Committee. They particularly enlarged modern chapel), and the uniapprove the suggestion of throwing the formity of his windows and whole detransept into one great hall, adapted, tails, they should doubt being accordas it will admirably be, for the pur- ing to the feeling of the true Gothic ; poses of music, and yet to become, as which, though not without rule, is yet they hope, a receptacle for statuary impatient of restraint, and undoubtedand painting
ly wanders, in its finest specimens, inBut in this part of the architect's to many fantastic singularities. And plans, the Committee submit that there here, perhaps, is to be found the danhas been an important omission. Who- ger and difficulty of re-modelling, in ever has visited York-minster will re- our times, an ancient Gothic structure. member, with no ordinary emotion, the Our ancestors, without character to feeling with which, standing in the sustain, and indulging thus in all the centre of the church, he looked up license of barbarism, could venture from below upon the whole unbroken height of that noble tower. Such
* The Committee take it for granted that pleasure, the Committee think, it is in
this is practicable,-a matter, however, the power of the artist renewing St which will obviously require to be determin. Giles, to give to those by whom it ed by professional men.
upon irregularities, which yet, by a Committee do not see why here there fortunate error, have proved beautiful. should be a deviation ; at the same But where is the modern who can time that they doubt extremely, how safely accompany them in such a cause? far the inclined line (not forming an He must remember his name; he must acute angle, which is usual in Gothic bow to rule ; he dare not wander be- buildings, and accords with the preyond precedent; and thence it will sent architecture of this church, but ever result, that his designs, imitated
one very obtuse) is in itself beautiful. after a model not formed by rule, will The Committee have observed, with be deficient in that boldness and vari- some regret, that of the numerous ety of design which redeem the pro- niches and rich canopies in the outer bable defects of the original. This, wall of the cathedral, and which apthe Committee humbly think, is re- parently were a favourite ornament of markably the case in the present in- the original architect, the plan under stance ; and acknowledging, as they consideration retains only one or two, do, the talents of the architect, they and these of the meanest character. cannot help regarding this circum- The Committee regard this as an imstance as a confirmation of the general proper disregard of the original style views with which they felt it their of the building; and it is one which duty to set out in this report.
reminds them of another most imporDescending a little more into de- tant suggestion,—that whatever alteratail, the Committee beg to observe it tions may ultimately be made, espeas a curious circumstance, that the cial care should be taken that every architect, in planning the new win- ornamental stone now existing in any dows, has taken the present eastern part of the building, and removed in windows as his model for the whole; the course of the repair, should be while it is believed, that the eastern preserved and replaced in some other front altogether (to the depth of twen- situation ; so that, in every particular, ty or thirty feet) is an addition made as much of the original character may to the ancient building in times com- be retained as is possible. paratively modern, and this may be The Committee might point out regarded as not the surest guide to other circumstances in the plan which the original plan. Another circum- have attracted their observation, such stance, which occurs no fewer than as the baldness of the east front, three times, the Committee cannot which is without ornament, and wants help disapproving. They allude to the buttresses found in the other quarthe design of making the greatest win- ters of the church. But they are dows on the church rest immediately anxious to quit this part of their duon doors. The Committee have heard ty, and to bring their report to an end, doubts expressed, as to the admissibi- by submitting the views which they lity of this circumstance in a pure have taken as to the mode in which Gothic structure; but they do not rest the proposed repair should be contheir objection on this ground, be- ducted. cause they are aware that it is war- They have already intimated, that ranted by numerous precedents. They there is much in the history of this venture, however, to assert, that it church deserving of investigation, and offends against picturesque beauty, to they are informed, that in various bring the two openings so close to- quarters it abounds with inscriptions, gether, as to be embraced unavoidably which may tend to elucidate this, and in one view; while each differs so probably at the same time may throw much in dimensions and in style from light on the original plan of the buildthe other, that they cannot harmonize; ing. The Committee, therefore, are and that it thus would be advisable to of opinion, that, previous to any other separate them by a decided interval, step whatever being taken, a careful leaving each to be felt by itself.
survey should be made of the whole The Committee farther object to antiquities of the church, the result of the form which the architect has given which, aided by a collection of all the to the upper wall of the four extre- drawings connected with it which can mities of the cross, which descends be procured, will materially facilitate, from the centre in a slightly inclining and in all probability greatly improve, line. The whole other upper walls of the works of the artist who is to be the cathedral are horizontal; and the employed.
This being done, the Committee Committee have reason to believe, that, would recommend that advertisement without the destruction of any of its should be made of certain rewards to parts, or at least by means of a dibe given for the best plans which shall minution in the height of the aisles be offered for the repair ; and they terminating here, this front might make this suggestion, because they easily be rendered worthy of its place, believe that, in a work so eminent, and be again restored to its dignity, as and in its character so national, as the the great entrance to the cathedral. present, the greatest artists of the With regard to the interior of the island will not deem it unworthy of new churches, the Committee would them to enter into the competition. fain hope, that they might be complet
With regard to the principles on ed without the incumbrance of gallewhich the alteration ought to be con- ries, destroying, as these do, the symducted, the sentiments of the Commit- metry of the arches in which they tee may in general be discovered from are placed ; and that, if seats of digthe observations which they already nity are wanted, these might be found have had occasion to submit. The by means of something slightly elechief difficulty to be expected will of vated, in the manner of the stalls course arise from the question, whe- which are found in cathedrals. The ther the church should be restored to pulpits also, they think, ought not, as the proper cathedral form in which it in these plans, to be placed before winmay be supposed to have existed be-dows. And having long felt how fore the chapels and accessary build- greatly the seating of the churches de ings now attached to it were erected ? tracts from their beauty, they cannot or, whether these buildings should be help wishing, that, by means of sofas suffered to remain ? and, whether the screwed to the ground but not coneast end, which is new, should be taken cealing it, or in some other way, a down, and thrown back to its original more elegant substitute might be found place ? or, whether it should be allow- for the ponderous and suffocating boxed to stand, in the hope that it may es now in use, and which have nothing be laid open hereafter, by the fall of to recommend them but ancient custom. the buildings now opposed to it? Retaining those parts of the building
On these subjects, the Committee which have now been pointed out are, upon the whole, inclined to think, decorating the west front in a manner that it would be unadvisable to re- worthy of the grand entrance of the move either the Tolbooth Church, the ancient cathedral-raising bell-towers Assembly Aisle, or the east front. The there, and again rearing the cross in Tolbooth Church and the Assembly the east-restoring the ancient ornaAisle they would retain; because, while mented gate of Haddow's Hold-rethey are beautiful in themselves, they turning to the original doors and wincreate no irregularity inconsistent with dows, with no slavish adherence to the principles of Gothic architecture, their defects, but with a general rebut rather produce a variety reconcile- gard to their original appearance-exable to its best taste : and because, far- posing the interior of the tower to the ther, the Committee are informed, that hall below, and probably giving a new the Assembly Aisle is insufficient for front to the north transept--removits purposes, unless by means of an en- ing the paint from the spire, and croachment on the area of the adjoin- pointing the whole building with lime ing church ; in which way, it might -removing the galleries from the be expedient to devote the Tolbooth churches-restoring the ancient inChurch to the meetings of the Assem- scriptions to their primitive freshness bly; and they would protect the east -rejecting every alteration which is not front, because it undoubtedly is of imperiously demanded by the rules of great antiquity.
good taste, and in every change adShould these suggestions be adopt- hering, in the style of the additions, ed, it will at once occur, that the west ornaments, and whole design, to the front of the church will require consi- original character of the cathedralderable alteration. This, which, in this Committee think, that the Magiscathedral architecture, is the grand en- trates of Edinburgh will thus perform trance and most decorated part of the a work reflecting honour on thembuilding, is, in the present instance, selves, and tending to the permanent the most mean. Still, however, the advantage of their city.