« PreviousContinue »
Acceleration of time, in works of nature, may well be esteemed inter magnalia natura. And even in divine miracles, acceleration of time is next to the creating of the matter.”_ LORD BACON.
E consider loan exhibitions of works of art
valuable for delight and instruction. I act upon this thought in giving descrip
tions of what is most admirable and useful in houses of many types: the higher classes for aim ; the middle class, where the examples evince high culture, for standard ; and some dwellings of the humblest class, where excellent fitness has been attained, will show what may be done by the poorest means thoughtfully applied. 46
This, as in the parallel cases of loan exhibitions,
or the school of agriculture formed by the exemplar lands of our great proprietors, is a means of distributing riches for the use of all; both owner and admirer make their profit, the usufruct, right usury of wealth; the admirer having, as compensating advantage for non-possession, the service of wealth without its burden. The wearer of the crown can scarce delight in it so much as the beholder.
Taste is the surface of science; and it is wide as science is deep. Science is as the ground, taste as the flowers thereon. Go deep as we may, we can never reach the bottom of any science, and its galleries are illimitable. Taste is a thing of growth, changing with our life and circumstances : the more catholic it becomes, so much the wider will be our range of enjoyment, until our liking embraces all excellence, and adapts liking to fitness. Taste is a possession to be cultivated, not disputed: to culture there is no end, neither is there to dispute; but one is profitable, the other wasteful. Taste, being a plant of luxuriant growth, must be pruned and root-pruned, or it will suck the life-juices; and, arguing from general to particular, speaking of applied taste as one would of applied science, by the time the tasteful house is perfected its owner will be brought to poverty. Taste not under control, or taste held higher than principle, will hollow the deepest purse. Many fortunes are squandered in this path, and