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proper to persons of high rank and station. All men of right feeling have acknowledged that the Sovereign of this great realm has not bitherto possessed a proper London residence. Whether he was to inhabit an ancient hospital for lepers, as at St. James's, or to be lodged by the bounty of a Lord Dorchester at Carlton House, it must be confessed that the Nation has hitherto done nothing towards providing a metropolitan palace becoming the royal dignity. If a situation were now to be chosen, we should decidedly prefer Buckbine Hill in Hyde-Park, to any spot which has yet been named. We think the accommodation of the king in some one of his own parks should be the first consideration; and though we cannot too highly appreciate the generous reluctance to abridge the space set apart for the recreation of his subjects, which decided his majesty to rebuild Buckingham house, rather than chuse another site, we must say that very unbecoming objections and much foolish talk have been maintained about invading the parks. For our parts we should not have grudged the cost of such a palace even at the expense of two millions, considering it due to the monarch of this great empire, and well knowing that money so expended goes to the reward of British talent and industry; and we cannot but regret that the king's seruples, aided perhaps by a parțiality for the place of his nativity, finally determined him to adopt an inferior situation, and a design, the estimates for which scarcely reach a tenth of that amount.
The Letter to Sir Charles Long,' (reported to be the offspring of a female pen,) seems chiefly designed to recommend the appointment of a Committee of Taste to direct all the architectural improvements of the metropolis. Many people already believe in the existence of such a committee, in the persons of the six noblemen and gentlemen, with Sir Charles Long as their chairman, to whose judgment the Lords of the Treasury from time to time referred the designs for public monuments in St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey. But there ended their functions, which were purely honorary. We cannot concur in the suggestions of the fair writer; and we venture to think Sir Charles himself would be of our opinion, though high authorities have recommended the appointment of a permanent commission, similar to that already chosen for the limited object of the repairs of Windsor castle. In the House of Commons warm discussions took place last year, on the merits of some of our new buildings, and the facade of one was rebuilt on the recommendation of a committee. We acknowledge ourselves indebted to them for that improvement, but we are of opinion that such interposition should be rare. As the king's ministers are responsible for the expenditure of the public money, we think (without reference to their personal quali
fications) that they are the most proper persons to decide upon the adoption of plans submitted to them by the Board of Works.
The last of the pamphlets we have to notice, though printed quly for private circulation, is written, we believe, by Sir Charles Long; we are therefore disposed to interpret many of its suggestions as hints of works which may in due time be executed. It is remarkable for the unaffected good taste and judgment of its observations, and especially those on the opening of the Strand and other great public avenues. The recommendation for removing the line of houses which separates King-street from Par, liament-street, and those on the right of Bridge-street, would, if adopted,
be a magnificent, though, we fear, a very costly improvement. The hints for supplanting the forest trees which skirt the Park, by flowering shrubs, and dressing the ground in a gayer style, are in excellent taste, and would convert even the gloomy alleys of St. James's Park into a lively and agreeable promenade. We are rejoiced to learn from such authority that the plan and elevation of the Palace now rising on the ruins of Buckingham House promise both splendour, and convenience, and, as it is now decided on, that the work is proceeding rapidly. But as the foundation of Carlton House is declared to be absolutely unsafe, and the building is to be pulled down immediately, his majesty, for the next two or three years, will have no London Palace except St. James's, which, though admirably arranged for holding his Court, is quite unfitted for a domestic residence. We hear also that the Arch of Constantine, with some variations and additions, and glittering with the newly invented mosaic gold, is to form the approach to the new palace, as the long-promised triumphal monument of the victories of Trafalgar and Waterloo. We had once hoped to see these national trophies erected elsewhere, but we honour the feeling which induces his Majesty to associate them .with his own palace, and we only hope that the structure may be erected at Hyde Park Corner, as the royal entrance from Windsor; the front which is to commemorate the great achievement of the Duke of Wellington, facing Apsley House, and the other, dedicated to the memory of Nelson, looking towards Westminster. In this commanding position it would be an object of constant interest to all who enter this avenue of the metropolis, where every passer-by would view it with a grateful sense of those services which it is destined to commemorate.
We yield our entire assent to all the author has said in praise of the great works carrying on at Windsor. We have had the advantage of inspecting these, and, we think, though Mr. Wyatville has had to grapple with many unforeseen difficulties, he has surmounted them with great ingenuity. As antiquaries, certainly, ,
we would have demanded that all the repairs should have been made, as was at first proposed, in the severe style of the age of Edward III.; but had this been done, much of the comfort and convenience of the royal Residence must have been sacrificed to the stern uniformity of the Castle. The architect doubtless felt himself entitled to introduce such variations in style as occurred between the era of its commencement by William of Wykeham, and that of the additions by Elizabeth; and in giving a more ornamental exterior, he has been enabled to afford great improvement in the internal arrangement. We are sorry, though not surprized, to learn that the ruinous condition of the whole building (which could not be discovered till some progress had been made in these alterations) will require a further grant to a large amount. The beautiful chapel of St. George, now imprisoned betwixt the Collegiate Houses, should be freed from these incumbrances. The buildings of that part of the town, which has encroached upon the castleditch, must also be removed, and when the terrace is carried, on a lower level, completely round the south and west sides, nothing will
be wanting to render Windsor Castle the most splendid palace in Europe.
Upon the subject of the National Gallery, the author of the < Short Remarks' writes con amore, and we trust that all which he recommends, as to the formation of the Collection, will be adopted. It is vain to look back upon what such a Gallery might have possessed from sources which are now passed away. The dispersion of the magnificent collection of Charles I., formed by that accomplished monarch with the truest taste and judgment, is now irretrievable. The pictures sold by the parliament after his death may yet be traced among the first collections on the continent; but few of them have yet returned to this country. But the æra of good taste is at length revived. A just estimate of the value of such works (as public property) is now entertained. The Houghton Gallery would not in our days have been driven to seek a purchaser on the confines of the Arctic circle; and we may congratulate our countrymen that the nucleus' of a British Gallery is already formed. The munificent donation of the entire collection of Sir George Beaumont does honour to that distinguished connoisseur; and the purchase of the pictures belonging to the late Mr. Angerstein has secured some of the finest specimens of the great masters. We are persuaded that 'several of the most eminent collectors will add to these hereafter by donation or bequest. Mr. Holwell Carr has already signified his intention of thus disposing of his beautiful Italian pictures, and we believe that many such gifts have been already lost to the public from the mere want of a national depository. The diffusion
of knowledge in the fine arts amongst all' men of liberal education has excited a concurrent feeling on the part of the legislature, and funds will not be wanting to promote this interesting object. Since the purchase of Mr. Angerstein's collection, indeed, only four pictures have been bought for the National Gallery: they are the productions of Correggio, of Titian, of Annibal Carracci, and of Nicholas Poussin, and they are (as all pictures thus acquired for the use of the public ought to be) of the first class. The number of pictures offered for sale for this purpose is innumerable; but we think that none but the purest works of the most eminent painters should be added to the collection by purchase. The opportunities of making such acquisitions are now but seldom presented, and we believe that those, under whose recommendation they are likely to be made, are fully sensible of the necessity of proceeding cautiously and slowly in offering their advice. No entire collections should be purchased hereafter; but whenever the élite' of any such can be obtained, a liberal price ought to be given for works of established celebrity. The two pictures of Correggio, (one of which was in the collection of Charles I.) brought to England by the Marquess of Londonderry, and two of those by Murillo, in the collection of Marshal Soult, now offered for sale at Paris, are well worthy the attention of our government. But, while in search of the finest specimens of the most celebrated foreign masters, we trust those to whom these purchases are confided will neglect no opportunity of acquiring some of the choicest productions of such as are truly British. The works of Gainsborough, Wilson, Hogarth, and Reynolds, should hold a conspicuous place in the National Gallery of England.
The pamphlet of Sir Charles Long closes with a just tribute to the liberality which his present Majesty has shown to the Arts, specifying, among other instances, the recent gift of a large and valuable series of naval portraits to the Gallery of Greenwich Hospital. The King's desire to gratify the public taste has been often shown by the liberal contribution of his pictures to the Exhibition in Pall Mall; and we understand that, as Carlton House is to be pulled down immediately, his Majesty has graciously signified his permission that the whole of his private collection should be removed for the same purpose to the British Gallery until the new palace is ready to receive them.
It is now probable that a splendid building, designed for the use of the National Gallery of Paintings and Sculpture, will be erected on the north side of the new square at Charing Cross, to supplant the Mews, and to extend from Pall Mall East to St.
Martin's church.* We trust the idea of placing a Parthenon in the centre of that area for the service of the Royal Academy is finally abandoned. We always thought it would be highly inconvenient, as well as impolitic, to accumulate all our public treasures under one roof, especially in a situation so remote às Great Russell-street. But we learn that the proposal for separating the sculptures froin the Maseum has created much discussion among its trustees. Certain difficulties are indeed presented by the conditions under which some of the donations have been made; but these, we think, might easily be arranged with the Governinent.
In directing the public attention to the improvement of London, two distinct objects are to be kept in view. The first (much outweighing the other in importance) is to provide the most complete and uninterrupted communication throughout this extensive metropolis. The second is the increase of its architectural splendour.
With respect to the first, we would especially notice the very defeetive means of intercourse from west to east. The immense crowds constantly swarming along the Strand, Fleet-street, Cheapside, and Cornhill, whether in carriages or on foot, are miserably eramped in their progress. Several hundred thousand persons daily traverse this principal thoroughfare, and have to struggle almost for each step, as they hasten to their destinations. We are rejoiced to see that the attention of the legislature is now directed towards this important object, and that the plans they have adopted for the improvement of Charing Cross provide for the opening of the Strand as far as Exeter Change, which, though deserving respect as a remnant of Burleigh House, has long been an obstacle to this great thoroughfare. We trust that the liberal co-operation of Lord Exeter and the Duke of Bedford in the further improvements contemplated in that quarter, will be followed by that of Lord Salisbury, so as to give a free access through his property also. The removal of all the houses on the west side of St. Martin's-lane, as far as the church, including the Golden Cross Inn, and the whole of the contiguous buildings, will form a noble square facing Whitehall, and will rescue the noble palace of the Percys (once the hospital of St. Mary Rouuceval) from the Strand.
If, after the removal of the commercial embarrassments, which have lately agitated the country, parliament should consent to make an annual grant, under the administration of commissioners, for improving the principal avenues of the metropolis, (not for the criticism of architectural elevations, the widening of the whole line
* The barracks will be erected in the rear.