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is ever to be attended to, as it is one part of beauty, as has been already said: but that what I mean by distinctness of parts in this place may be better understood, it will be proper to explain it by an example.

When you would compose an object of a great variety of parts, let several of those parts be distinguished by themselves, by their remarkable difference from the next adjoining, so as to make each of them as it were one well-shaped quantity or part, as is marked by the dotted lines in figure* (these are like what they call passages in music, and in writing paragraphs) by which means, not only the whole, but even every part, will be better understood by the eye: for confusion will hereby be avoided when the object is seen near, and the shapes will seem well varied, though fewer in number, at a distance; as figure | supposed to be the same as the former, but removed so far off that the eye loses sight of the smaller members.

The parsley-leaf f, in like manner, from whence a beautiful foliage in ornament was originally taken, is divided into three distinct passages; which are again divided into other odd numbers; and this method is observed, for the generality, in the leaves of all plants and flowers, the most simple of which are the trefoil and cinquefoil. .

Light and shade, and colours, also must have their distinctness to make objects completely beautiful; but of these in their proper places only I will give you a general idea of what is here meant by the

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beauty of distinctness of forms, lights, shades, and
colours, by putting you in mind of the reverse effects
in all them together.
· Observe the well-composed nosegay how it loses
all its distinctness when it dies; each leaf and flower
then shrivels and loses its distinct shape; and the firm
colours fade into a kind of sameness: so that the whole
gradually becomes a confused heap.

If the general parts of objects are preserved large at first, they will always admit of farther enrichments of a small kind, but then they must be so small as not to confound the general masses or quantities.—Thus you see variety is a check upon itself when overdone, which of course begets what is called a petit taste and a confusion to the eye.

It will not be amiss next to shew what effects an object or two will have that are put together without, or contrary to these rules of composing variety. Figure * is taken from one of those branches fixt to the sides of common old-fashioned stove-grates by way of ornament, wherein you see how the parts have been varied by fancy only, and yet pretty well: close to which f is another, with about the like number of parts; but as the shapes neither are enough varied as to their contents, nor in their sitúations with each other, but one shape follows its exact likeness : it is therefore a disagreeable and tasteless figure, and for the same reason the candlestick, fig. I is still worse, as there is less variety in it. Nay, it

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would be better to be quite plain, as figure *, than
with such poor attempts at ornament.

These few examples, well understood, will, I ima-
gine, be sufficient to put what was said at the beginning
of this chapter out of all doubt, viz. that the art of com-
posing well is no more than the art of varying well ;
and to shew, that the method which has been here
explained must consequently produce a pleasing pro-
portion amongst the parts; as well as that all deviations
from it will produce the contrary. Yet to strengthen
this latter assertion, let the following figures, taken
from the life, be examined by the above rules for
composing, and it will be found that the indian-fig or
torch-thistle, figure t, as well as all that tribe of un-
couth shaped exotics, have the same reasons for being
ugly, as the candlestick, fig. 40; as also that the
beauties of the Lily I and the calcidonian Iris $ pro-
ceeds from their being composed with great variety,
and that the loss of variety, to a certain degree, in the
imitations of those flowers underneath them (fig. 45
and 46) is the cause of the meanness of their shapes,
though they retain enough to be called by the same

Hitherto, with regard to composition, little else P, 45 but forms made up of straight and curved lines have been spoken of, and though these lines have but little variety in themselves, yet by reason of the great diversifications that they are capable of in being joined with one another, great variety of beauty of the more useful sort is produced by them, as in neces

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sary utensils and building: but in my opinion, build-
ings as I before hinted, might be much more varied
than they are, for after fitness hath been strictly and
mechanically complied with, any additional ornamen-
tal members, or parts, may, by the foregoing rules,
be varied with equal elegance; nor can I help thinking,
but that churches, palaces, hospitals, prisons, com-
mon houses and summer houses, might be built more
in distinct characters than they are, by contriving
orders suitable to each; whereas were a modern
architect to build a palace in Lapland, or the West
Indies, Paladio must be his guide, nor would he dare
to stir a step without his book.

Have not many gothic buildings a great deal of consistent beauty in them? perhaps acquired by a series of improvements made from time to time by the natural persuasion of the eye, which often very near answers the end of working by principles; and sometimes begets them. There is at present such a thirst after variety, that even paltry imitations of Chinese buildings have a kind of vogue, chiefly on account of their novelty : but not only these, but

any other new-invented characters of building might P. 46 be regulated by proper principles. The mere orna

ments of building, to be sure, at least might be
allowed a greater latitude than they are at present;
as capitals, frizes, &c. in order to increase the beauty
of variety.

Nature, in shells and flowers, &c. affords an infinite choice of elegant hints for this purpose ; as the original of the Corinthian capital was taken from nothing more, as is said, than some dock-leaves growing

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up against a basket. Even a capital composed of the awkward and confined forms of hats and periwigs, as fig. * in a skilful hand might be made to have some beauty.

However, though the moderns have not made many additions to the art of building, with respect to mere beauty or ornament, yet it must be confessed, they have carried simplicity, convenience, and neatness of workmanship, to a very great degree of perfection, particularly in England; where plain good sense hath preferred these more necessary parts of beauty, which every body can understand, to that richness of taste which is so much to be seen in other countries, and so often substituted in their room.

St. Paul's cathedral is one of the noblest instances that can be produced of the most judicious application of every principle that has been spoken of. There you may see the utmost variety without confusion, simplicity without nakedness, richness without taudriness, distinctness without hardness, and quantity without excess. Whence the eye is entertained throughout P.47 with the charming variety of all its parts together; the noble projecting quantity of a certain number of them, which presents bold and distinct parts at a distance, when the lesser parts within them disappear; and the grand few, but remarkably well-varied parts that continue to please the eye as long as the object is discernible, are evident proofs of the superior skill of Sir Christopher Wren, so justly esteemed the prince of architects,

* Fig. 48. P. 1,

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