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ARCHITECTURAL magnificence has invariably been the exponent, as well as one of the most enduring monuments, of a nation's tendencies-the invariable exponent, because national art is inevitably stamped by the ruling influence, be it religion, commerce, or arms, which sways the whole thoughts and activity of a people.

Egyptian art, in its ponderous temples, tombs, and pyramids-constructed of the most enduring materials-its lavish hieroglyphics painted and incised, no less than the custom of embalming dusky generations, exhibits that love of perpetuation which consistently belonged to a nation teaching the doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul. There is about Egyptian relatively to Greek, and Roman monumental art too, a basic character correspond


ing with that which Egyptian teaching bore to the philosophies and civilizations which sprang out of it.

The simplicity, harmony, and balanced proportion of Grecian monumental art indicate the nation's aspirations after the perfect idea, its belief in the Phidian power of education gradually to mould a people intellectually and physically to an ideal standard, and to form the rough plastic humanity into men-heroes. The whole product of Grecian thought bears the stamp of high culture upon it, in its moderation, its completeness; and the intellectual precedence of antiquity is given to the nation which enthroned the Parthenon on a rock, which made its Temple to Wisdom a beacon seaward, and to the ages a very palace of art, compelling us to confess that the ancients, in this respect at least, attained to an excellence which we, with all our boasted progress, seem only doomed to beat about and fall short of.

How different the Roman to the Grecian monuments! for although the Romans frequently enlisted Grecian artists in their service, they either imperiously compelled or corrupted their taste, which, forced from its native purity, became ostentatious and florid in its adopted expression. There still remain triumphal arches, temples, arenas, camps, military roads, theatres, baths, and mural decorations on which lust of conquest, is indelibly branded. Rome, imperious in her strength,

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