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add to their mosques, for the conveniency of calling upon the people, froun them, to come to prayers, as they reject the use of bells." The dates of these erections ane not known; nor is it of consequence to this enquiry that they should be ascertained. “ Thus much, however, we know, that the edifice of St. Sophia, at Constantinopte, erected in the seventh century (acknowledged to have been the model of the Mahometans since they became masters of it, in the 15th century, in building their mosques) kas neither a pointed arcla nox a pinnacle, in the whole of its oririnal work.”
In Persia“ we find, indeed, the pointed arch, in a few bridges, and other public buildings; but we have no records to attest the date of any of these ; and we bave, otherwise, sufficient reason to believe thera, to be posterior, not only to Gengis Khan, in the 13th century, but, also, to Tamerlane, in the 15th; both of whom swept off from that country all its monuments.”
In India, observes Dr. Milner, " there are several mansa leums, and other buildings, with the cinquefoil arck, and other decorations, which might seem to belong to the latest order of the pointed style. But these are, confessedly, of a very recent date. * There is no account at all of the building of the temple of Madura, which, also, has some resemblance with our pointed architecture. It appears, however, not to be very ancient. The original style of India, as it appears in their stupendons excavations, and other ancient works, is much the same with the primitive style of Egypt.”
Notwithstanding the decisive strain of the above observations, I am induced to believe, from the intelligence of those who have visited different eastern countries, that a curious field of enquiry is still open, in regard to the ancient architecture of many of those districts. It will be evident that our present deductions are chiefly made from the accounts presented by travellers who had a multiplicity of objects in view, many of which were of greater
• See Daniel's Indian views.
importance than a disquisition, merely curious, in regard to a mysterious passage in the history of a single art, however noble. Clearer ideas upon this subject may be attained, if the day should ever arrive in which an antiquary, who had one object alone in consideration, returus from the east, with accurate drawings, and written descriptions, of the buildings which are there largely distributed, certainly without known record, but sometimes evincing, in many architectural particulars, very great and interesting antiquity.
The subject of the architecture of the east, as supposed to be connected with the adaptation of the pointed style to English buildings, will be slightly resumed in a future page; but I cannot avoid noticing, in the present place, a remark of Dr. Milner, which, although of a subordinate import, still appears to be too ingenious for neglect.
This tearned writer draws an inference from history, as to the improbability of the pointed style proceeding from information conveyed through the crusaders, by comparing the date of the first crasade with the appearance of this mode, and by a notice of persons who had previously visited the Holy Land.
The first crusade commenced in 1096, and terminated, by the conquest of Jerusalem, in 1099. Assuredly, the pointed order of architecture was not known in England for many years after the fatter date; yet numerous splendid buildings were erected, at almost unlimited expense, between that time and the presumed period of its adoption, or invention.-Gundulph, the memorable ecclesiastical architect of Rochester cathedral, of the chapel in the Tower of London, and several other structures, "had made a journey of devotion to the Holy Land* (in com. pany with William, who afterwards became Archbishop of Rouen, and was, himself, one of the architects of its cathedral) a little before the first crusade; and, of course, surveyed the buildings of that country at his leisure. Yet, in vain do we examine his
• Monach. Roffen. Vit. Gund. Ang. Sac. p. 274.
subsisting works at Rochester and in London, for an arch, a pillar, or a moulding, in the style under consideration."*
On the other hand, the opinions of Sir Christopher Wren have lately been vindicated by Mr. Haggitt, in the second of “Two Letters,” both of which display mnch industry of remark and great erudition. This writer, among other instances favouring the possibility of the pointed style being derived from the east, states the occurrence of pointed arches, accompanied with inscriptions in the Cuphic character, which is supposed to have fallen into disuse since the tenth century. The importance of this information is obvious, as it would appear to supply the place of circumstantial record, and to prove, according to the extent of Mr. Hazgiit's observations, that the characteristical arch of this order existed in the east, previous to the date of the Crusades.
The next theory to be poticed, is marked by considerable in. genuity, but has still less foundation in distinguishable probability of fact, than that of Sir Christopher Wren. Mr. Murphy, in the Introduction to his history, plans, and elevations of the church of Batalha, supposes that the whole system of Pointed, or English, architecture is founded on attention to a pyramidal form of structure; and thus ascribes its origin to Egypt.
The characteristical arch of this style he considers as not governing the composition, but as following in the general order of things; not as a cause, but as a concomitant part.-—“ If we take,” observes Mr. Murphy, “a comprehensive view of any of these structures externally, we shall perceive thal not only the arch, but every vertical part of the whole superstructure, terminates in a point;" and he acids that the general form, is viewed from any of the principal entrances, “ will be found to have a pyramidical tendency."
These positions are illustrated by a notice of the componeut parts of such edifices. “ Each of the buttresses and turrets are crowned with a small pyramid. If niches are introduced, they are crowned with a pyramidical canopy. The arches of the doors and windows terminate in a point; and every little necessary ornament, which encircles the whole, has a pointed or angular tendency. Spires, pimacles, and pointed arches are always found to accompany each other; and clearly, imply a system founded on the principles of the pyramid.” :
• Ecclesiastical architecture of the Middle ages, p. 56.
According to this theory, the arch in such buildings, as is intimated above, “ was made pointed, because no other form could have been introduced, with equal propriety, in a pyramidal figure, to answer the different purposes of uniformity, fitness, and strength; and its origin must, consequently, be attributed not to accident. but to ordination."
The cause to which Mr. Murphy assigns this alleged imitation of the pyramid in Christian structures, is curious, and is captivating froin its novelty and boldness. He observes that spires were introduced in the 12th century, about the time that the practice of burying in churches became general over Europe; and he supposes that the pyramidal form of the spire, was used as the denotation of a church comprising a cemetery. This representation he imagines to have been borrowed “ froin the ancient Egyptians, who placed the pyramid over their cemeteries, as denoting the scal under the emblem of a fame of fire, (whence it is supposed to derive iis origin) thus to testify their belief of its immortality.”
If we separate the architectural part of this system from the ingenuity of its allusion to the customs of the Egyptians and other aucient nations, we shall find that it is scarcely sufficient to account for many leading peculiarities of the pointed style, inde. pendent of a general tendency to the pyramidal figure. In such a point of view, (as has been remarked by a recent critical writer) pediments and gable-ends,which must have been coeval with build. ing itself, in every age and country, “ may be called the parents of pointed architecture, with more apparent reason than the pyra. mids." However alluring may prove the notious of Mr. Murphy,
respecting the origin of the spire, (that germ, according to his system, of all the splendid and intricate varieties of this style) it may appear probable to many persons, that such an elevated "feature of our ancient churches was merely designed, in the sim. plicity of its first intention, to act as a guide to the place of worship, when rural roads, throughout the whole country, were devious, and rendered more obscure by 'thick masses of forest and woodland.
Governor Pownall, in an essay inserted in the ninth volume of Archæologia, appears to believe that the principle of the pointed style was derived from vaulted ceilings of stone, executed in imitation of timber-work; and from other erections, composed of timber, which he attributes to the north, and terms Teutonic.
Mr. Knight* asserts " that the style of architecture which we call cathedral or monastic Gothic, is manifestly a corruption of the sacred architecture of the Greeks or Romans, by a mixture of the Moorish or Saracenesque, which is formed out of a combiuation of Egyptian, Persian, and Hindoo."
Mr. Hawkinst believes that “the Gothic style was not wholly an original invention, or discovery of forms before unknown.” On the contrary, he tbinks that it was “ rather a combination of a variety of peculiarities, which had, at different periods, been separately introduced into the then existing style of architecture, and a judicious adaptation of each to the others.”—This truly surprising and felicitous combination, he supposes to have first appeared in France, and to have been thence “ transplanted to" Italy, England, and other countries.
The claim of Italy to structures in the pointed style, of a very early date, was brought forwards, with much confidence of accuracy, some few years back, by Mr. Smirke ; but a judicious antiquary, Sir Henry Englefield, detected the error into which this
* Enquiry into the principles of Taste.