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Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/113

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Part II.
81
INTRODUCTION.

inconvenience; but in his heart he thinks it useless, and he neither will waste his time in thinking on the subject, nor apply those energies of his mind to its elaboration, without which nothing great or good was ever done in Art.

In addition to this, the immaterial nature of their faith has always deprived the Aryan races of the principal incentive to architectural magnificence.[1] The Turanian and Celtic races always have the most implicit faith in ceremonial worship and in the necessity of architectural splendor as its indispensable accompaniment. On the other hand, the more practical Aryan can never be brought to understand that prayer is either more sincere or is more acceptable in one form of house than in any other. He does not feel that virtue can be increased or vice exterminated by the number of bricks or stones that may be heaped on one another, or the form in which they may be placed; nor will his conception of the Deity admit of supposing that He can be propitiated by palaces or halls erected in honor of Him, or that a building in the Middle Pointed Gothic is more acceptable than one in the Classic or any other style.

This want of faith may be reasonable, but it is fatal to poetry in Art, and, it is feared, will prevent the Aryans from attaining more excellence in Architectural Art at the present time than they have done in former ages.

It is also true that the people are singularly deficient in their appreciation of colors. Not that actual color-blindness is more common with them than with other races, but the harmony of tints is unknown to them. Some may learn, but none feel it; it is a matter of memory and an exercise of intellect, but no more. So, too, with form. Other—even savage—races cannot go wrong in this respect. If the Aryan is successful in art, it is generally in consequence- of education, not from feeling; and, like all that is not innate in man, it yields only a secondary gratification, and fails to impress his brother man, or to be a real work of Art.

From these causes the ancient Aryans never erected a single building in India when they were pure, nor in that part of India which they colonized even after their blood became mixed; and we do not now know what their style was or is, though the whole of that part of the peninsula occupied by the Turanians, or to which their influence ever extended, is, and always was, covered by buildings, vast in extent and wonderful from their elaboration. This, probably, also is the true cause of the decline of Architecture and other arts in Europe and in the rest of the modern world. Wherever the Aryans appear Art flies before them, and where their influence extends


  1. Had there been no Pelasgi in Greece, there probably would have been no Architecture of the Grecian period.