RADCLIFFE LIBRARY, OXON.
ARCHITECTS AND OTHER ARTISTS IN THE REIGN OF GEORGE I.
THE stages of no art have been more distinctly marked than those of architecture in Britain. It is not probable that our masters, the Romans, ever taught us more than the construction of arches. Those, imposed on clusters of disproportioned pillars, composed the whole grammar of our Saxon ancestors. Churches and castles were the only buildings, I should suppose, they erected of stone. As no taste was bestowed on the former, no beauty was sought in the latter. Masses to resist, and uncouth towers for keeping watch, were all the conveniences they demanded. As even luxury was not secure but in a church, succeeding refinements were solely laid out on religious fabrics, till by degrees was perfected the bold scenery of Gothic architecture, with all its airy embroidery and pensile vaults. Holbein, as I have shown, checked that false, yet venerable style, and first attempted to sober it to classic measures ; but not having gone far enough, his imitators, without his taste, compounded a mongrel species, that had no boldness, no lightness, and no system. This lasted till Inigo Jones,