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is rather a mezzo-relievo than a statue, and it is well known, that they used reliefs sometimes with profusion, as in the Saxon gateway of the abbey at Bury, the gate of the temple church at London, and the two gates at Ely, &c.
“ The want of pinnacles, and of tracery in the vaults, are afterwards mentioned, but may as well be placed here too (in short), among the other characteristics.
“ Escutcheons of arms are hardly (if ever) seen in these fabrics, which are the most frequent of all decorations in after-times.
“ P. 34. Beside the chevron work (or zig-zag moulding) so common, which is here mentioned, there was also,
“ The Billeted-moulding, as if a cylinder should be cut into small pieces of equal length, and these stuck on alternately round the face of the arches, as in the choir at Peter. borough, and at St. Cross, &c.
“ The Nail-head, resembling the heads of great nails driven in at regular distances, as in the nave of old St. Paul's, and the great tower of Hereford, &c.
“ The Nebule, a projection terminated by an undulating line as under the upper range of windows, on the outside at Peterborough
“ Then to adorn their vast massive columns there was the spiral-grove winding round the shafts, and the net, or lozengea work, overspreading them; both of which appear at Durham, and the first in the undercroft at Canterbury.
“ These few things are mentioned only, because Mr. Benthani's work is so nearly complete in this part, that one would wish it were quite so. His own observationi may doubtless suggest to him many more peculiarities, which, however minute in appearance, are not contemptible, because they directly belong to his subject, and contribute to ascertain the age of an edifice at first sight. The great deficiency is from Henry the Vith's time to the Reformation, when the art was indeed at its height.
5 P. 30. At York, under the choir, remains much of the old work, built by Archbishop Roger, of Bishop's-bridge, in Henry Ild's. reign; the arches are but just pointed, and rise on short round pillars, whose capitals are adorned with animals and foliage,
P. 37. Possibly the pointed arch might take its rise from those arcades we see in the early Norman (or Saxon) buildings on walls, where the wide semicircular arches cross and intersect each other, and form thereby at their intersection exactly a narrow and sharp pointed arch. In the wall south of the choir at St. Cross, is a facing of such wide, round, in
terlaced arches by way of ornament to a flat vacant space; only so much of it as lies between the legs of the two neighbouring arches, where they cross each other, is pierced through the fabric, and forms a little range of long pointed windows. It is of King Stephen's time.
“ P. 43. As Mr. B. has thought it proper to make a compliment to the present set of Governors in their respective churches; it were to be wished he would insert a little reflection on the rage of repairing, beautifying, whitewashing, painting, and giiding, and above all, the mixture of Greek (or Roman) ornaments in Gothic edifices. This well-meant fury has been and will be little less fatal to our ancient magnificent edifices, than the Reformation and the civil Wars.
" Mr. G. would wish to be told (at Mr. Bentham's leisure) whether over the great pointed arches, on which the western tower at Ely rises, any thing like a semicircular curve appears in the stone work ? and whether the screen (or roodloft) with some part of the south-cross, may not possibly be a part of the more ancient church built by Abbot Simeon and Fitz-Gilbert?"
P. S. The foregoing letter is without date; but that will appear from the circumstances above related.
Yours, &c. 1784, April
LXXVIII. Anecdotes of Literature, by Dr. Johnson.
Dec. 26. No apology will be necessary either to yourself or to your learned readers, for introducing to their notice the following very curious anecdote in literary history, a4o thenticated as it is by the introductory letter of my most respected and respectable friend Dr. Johnson. I will only observe, that it confirms (what, as far as it went, appears now very evident to be authentic) a memorandum which I communicated in your volume for 1781, whence it appears that the proposals for the Ancient Universal History were published Oct. 6, 1729; and that the authors of the first seven volumes were the gentlemen whose names
appear below*. The MS. of Mr. Swinton shall be pre. sented to the curators of the Museum,
P. S. Dec. 14. The date to the above billet, and to Dr. Johnson's lewer, will shew that, amidst the pangs of illness, the love of truth, and an attachment to the interests of literas. ture, were still predominant. His letter, I may add, appears in public, not only by his permission, but by his express desire. And it may be matter of some exultation to Mr. Urban, whom Dr. Johnson always acknowledged to have been one of his earliest patrons, that the Gentleman's Magazines should have been by him selected as the repository of perhaps the last scrap he ever dictated for the press. That he had a considerable share in compiling the * Parliamentary Debates' in your early volumes is well known, and will ever be an honour to his memory. Yet such was the goodness of his heart, that no longer ago than, Tuesday last, the 7th of December, he declared to the writer of these lines, “ that those debates were the only parts of his writings which then gave him any compunction; but that at the time he wrote them he had no conception he was imposing upon the world, though they were frequently written from very slender materials, and often from none at all, the mere coinage of his own imagination. He never," the good man added, " wrote any part of his work with equal velocity, Three columns of the Magazine in an hour," he said, was no uncommon effort, which was faster than most persons could have transcribed that quantity. In one day, in particular, and that not a very long one, he wrote twelve pages, more in quantity than ever he wrote at any other time, except in the Life of Savage, of which 48 pages in octavo were the production of one long day, including a part of the night.” Of his friend Cave, he always spoke with great affection ; yet, says he, “ Cave (who never looked out of his window but with a view to the
* Vol. I. Mr. Sale, translator of the Koran.'
II. George Psalmanaazer.
IV. The same as Vol. III.
Rev. John Swinto.
Gentleman's Magazine) was a penurious paymaster*; he would contract for lines by the hundred, and expect the long hundred; but he was a good man, and always delighted to have his friends at his table.”
To Mr. Nichols.
The late learned Mr. Swinton of Oxford having one day remarked that one man, meaning, I suppose, no man but himself, could assign all the parts of the Ancient Universal History to their proper authors; at the request of Sir Robert Chambers, or of-myself, gave the account which I now transmit to you in his own hand, being willing that of so great a work the history should be known, and that each writer should receive his due proportion of praise from posterity.
I recommend to you to preserve this scrap of literary intelligence in Mr. Swinton's own hand, or to deposit it in the Museum, that the veracity of this account may never be doubted.
I am, Sir,
Your most humble servant, Dec. 6, 1784.
Turks, Tartars, and Moguls.
* It appears, however, from an account now before us, under his own hand, that he received from Mr. Cave by different payments, from Aug, 2, 1738, to April 21, 1739, 47 guineas, “ in relation to a Version of Father Paul, begun Aug. 2, 1738.” Of this version, which was intended to have been published by subscription, six sheets were actually printed ; but another translation being at the same time announced under the patronage of Dr. (afterwards Bishop) Pearce, the designs of both proved abortive.
The History of the Dissertation on the Peop'ing of America.
on the Inuependency of the Arabs. The Cosmogony, and a small part of the History im
mediately following. By Mr. Sale. To the Birth of Abraham. Chiefly by Mr. Shelvock. History of the Jews, Gauls, and Spaniards. By Mr. Psal
nianaazar. Xenophon's Retreat. By the same. History of the Persians, and the Constantinopolitan Em
pire. By Dr. Campbell. History of the Romans. By Mr. Bower. 1784, Dec.
LXXIX. Remarks on Webb's " Enquiry into the Beauties of
MR. URBAN, THE author of the following Remarks has been so highly delighted in the perusal of Mr. Webb's book, in which there appears so much learning, so much good sense, so fine a taste, and so many excellent observations, that it is not without some reluctance that he finds himself obliged to differ, in some few particulars, from this ingenious writer ; but the opinion he has of Rubens (perhaps partiality for him) is such, that he hopes to be escused in endeavouring to vindicate that painter's character.
Page 13, 14. “The first affections of the eye are always ill placed; it is enamoured with the splendid impositions of Rubens.” &c.--Why impositions, by way of reproach, when in a proper sense, it would be the highest praise; for the very business of painting is to impose, and he who does it most effectually is the greatest artist.
It may justly be said of Rubens, that, in many respects, he has had no equal; and particularly in colouring, not only as to the truth of the local colours, but in all the effects produced by colours; in the chiaro oscuro, of general light and shadow, in the keeping or degradation, in the arrangeient or distribution of the parts, so as to produce a great and beautiful whole, or tout ensemble, as the French express
By Mr. liighmore.