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sound, in connection with its analogies to light, and in its ab. stract principles, has been investigated within the last fifty years with a rich harvest of results, few attempts have been successfully made to apply these principles to practical purpo
And this conclusion was reached “after visiting the principal halls and churches of Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.” It is not difficult for the voice to "fill" an ordinary apartment. But in large halls for public addresses, there are elements in the calculation beyond the mere dimensions; as for instance, the echo. It is not enough that so many cubic yards of space be roofed in—so many as perhaps might not surpass the reach of almost any man's lung-power. There must be proportionate collocation of walls and pillars and ceiling ; careful study of hights and distances, surface and projection. A mis-grouping of these will sometimes throw back the voice with a resonance which fills all the intervals of sound, and defeats the clearest enunciation; and sometimes will catch and dissipate the tones before they can reach the more distant hearers. A trying case of the latter description was pointed ont to us a few months ago—a new church, in which the greater part of the dedicatory services were mere pantomime to the rear half of the assembly; they saw the motions, but they heard nothing. A sounding board, necessarily an intruder, has been since introduced; but the ban of malformation is written there, and no subsequent renaissance can expunge it. Is it not true that
“minister's sore throat can be traced to the hoarse exertions of the unfortunate preacher to “ fill” his misshapen church? Will not bronchitis and pneumonia continge to decimate the clerical ranks until our architects shall give us churches less difficult for the voice? The effort of the preacher to make himself heard is greatly diminished by a concave reflecting surface behind him. Put a recess in the rear of the stand, constructed upon parabolic or ellipsoidal curves, and of sufficient size to bring the speaker a little inside of its focus; sent abroad by a vocal reflector like that, his words would go clearly and distinctly into every region of the house,
* Prof. Henry. Smithsonian Report, 1836, p. 223. VOL. XXI.
and that too with little more than half the effort made to fill an audience room of the ordinary sort. And it need not be a bald cavity. You may give it the decorative finish of either of the orders which admit the arch at all. You may embellish and make it a most ornamental relief to the wall, as well as the most useful aid to the voice.
Another restraint is forced on the preacher almost universally by the inaptness of the platform and desk. The platform is disproportionately high. The minister need not be lifted out of the range of the people. A slight rise on the main floor answers all the conditions of the case. The preacher can see the people, and the people the preacher. Above that, every inch of elevation is an inch of isolation, sundering the speaker from his audience, chilling him and dulling them. With galTeries, this elevation must be increased. But we will hazard the assertion, that where there are no galleries, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the platforms, if reduced in hight onehalf, will be increased in convenience tenfold. The preacher need not be lifted out of the close neighborhood of his people's sympathies. Let him look abroad on a sea of faces, not down on a sea of heads. For that purpose you need not mount him in a rood loft, up among the rafters. Do let the poor man stand down somewhere near those he is talking to. In an auditorium which will seat a thousand persons, the feet of the preacher need not be above the heads of the audience. Even in the case where there are galleries, the platform is invariably pushed up to a needless hight; and that, in part, for the reason that the galleries themselves are so high. Both could be, and should be lowered. Then having graduated the point of elevation,—having given the preacher his FOU OFW somewhere within reasonable vicinage of his hearers, do not pile on it a pulpit of sufficient enormity to over-cancel the kindness. If
you would astonish your minister with the jus civitatis, if you would give him the unwonted freedom of the place, try the effect of a simple table or a light movable desk; but I adjure you, Messrs. Bureau of Construction, do not wall him about with a huge bastion of mahogany and make him a prisoner.
We are confident that these and similar alterations in the fitting of our churches would remove many hindrances from the way of freely preaching and attentively hearing the gospel. Whenever Christian Art shall amend her models with this purpose in view, there needs no divination to assure us that the church on earth will be in a condition to gather more trophies than now. We commiserate those parishes whose legacy from sainted generations comes down in the shape of an ancient edifice, charged with memories of deeds and men canonized in history, and therefore too sacred to be approached by the rude hand of modern renovation. Let our fathers' House of Prayer stand, reverend, untouched. We venerate it. It sheltered the noble and pure of a better day. It witnessed the worship of men who knew better to build states than to build houses ; who thought less of fabricating the beams of the woods into architectural forms than of adjusting the grand principles of liberty and religion into the ground-work of a free empire. Because such men bowed in that sanctuary of antiquity, we revere it. We approach it in silence. We enter with uncovered heads. Up the aisle, still creaking with the echo of their firm tread, we reverently wander. We place ourselves with dim awe in the old square pew where they once sat. We timidly lift our eyes up the dizzy old pulpit, under whose pendant sounding board we almost expect to hear the service begun by some risen Mather reading the olden rhyme, and then half consciously turn to the ancient gallery, to see if among the singers we shall recognize John Alden and the maidenly Priscilla. Let them stand just as they were-gallery, pulpit, and pew; grotesque carving, and cornice fringed with quaint little cubes, and sounding board decorate with curious loopings and wrig glings of hoop iron. Let them stand, remembrancers of the wonderful past. But shall we build like them? Shall we take the fresh timbers from the forest, or the newly cleaved blocks from the quarry, and fashion them to the same hallowed unconthness? No. Let us leave the unarchitectural forms, but preserve the holy faith, of the fathers. Their untutored art bequeathed to us many errors; their simplicity, their reverence, their devotion, we may safely copy. No man frames his ship with kettle bows, because his great grandsire, of happy memory, used long years ago to sail a Bombay teak-built Indiaman, out of whose lazy hulk he could never persuade, with the fairest gale, more than five reluctant knots. There is a sharper build now, that promises quicker voyage and speedier profits. Equally idle for us on shore to embarrass the House of God with the cumbrous configuration which ought long since to have been laid on the shelf beside the forgotten model of the Indiaman. Those frigid forms repress the freeness and chill the ardor of the gospel. Repudiate them. Give them over to the realm of the past. Though inscribed all over with hallowed memories, it is mistaken tenderness to sacrifice to the dead the wants of the living. The present must not suffer by our cherishing the past. The pasha of Egypt cannot forget that the catacombs which burrow the hills for miles around his favorite Alexandria, must once have been fraught with the most sacred associations of the human heart. But it does not forbid his making heavy drafts of material from those sepulchral quarries, to reconstruct into public works which subserve the interests of the living. He finds no spectral men-atarms entombed there to guard the long-buried adamantine treasure. Nor need our ancient churches refuse their consecrated stones to the importunity of recreating Art. The hand of a purer architecture can repile the hallowed material in more shapely form for the same holy use, “bringing forth the headstone with shoutings, crying Grace, Grace, unto it.” “And the glory of this latter House shall be greater than the former."
ARTICLE IV.-PERSONAL HISTORY OF LORD BACON.
Personal History of Lord Bacon, from unpublished papers.
By WILLIAM HEPWORTH Dixon, of the Middle Temple. 1861. 8vo. Pp. 424. Boston: Ticknor & Fields.
Bacon. By Hon. John W. EDMONDS. Knickerbocker, April,
1861, page 378.
The moral character of Lord Bacon has always been a nuisance to the friends both of science and morality. The deriders of the former have pointed to him as a proof of the pernicious influence of great scientific acquirements. The friends of the latter have been constantly taunted with the depravity of one whose maxims lie at the foundation of systems of morality. Any man who could justly rescue the reputation of the great philosopher from the load of opprobrium under which it has sunk would be regarded as a benefactor of the human race. When therefore we saw a work advertised, with a pretentious assurance that the author had had access to new sources of information, from which the purity of Lord Bacon's character would be established, we eagerly bought the book and read it with avidity. But we were soon compelled to come to the conclusion, that Dixon's Personal History of Lord Bacon is a failure and a cheat. There is in it scarcely any. thing new, except a few letters written to himself and an elder brother, when boys or young men, by their mother, and their answers, from which it may be inferred that the mothers of those days had much the same maternal fears and anxieties as those of the present age, and that the future chancellor and his brother gave about as much occasion for them, as the fast young men of this generation. But the principal part of the book consists of a labored attempt to deny facts, which have again and again been established, beyond all reasonable doubt, and to reason away inferences, against the clear light of reason