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rather than in New England, may still further improvements be looked for? Where is ship building cither a greater business, or pursued with more skill and eagerness?
In civil, sacred, and domestic architecture, present appearances authorise the strongest hopes of improvement. These hopes rest, among other things, on unambiguous indications of the growing prevalence ofa just taste. The principles of architecture arc founded in nature, or good sense, as much us the principles of epic poetry. The art constitutes a beautiful medium, between what belongs to mere fancy, and what belongs entirely to the exact sciences. In its forms and modifications, it admits of infmite variation, giving broad room for invention and genius; while, in its general principles, it is founded on that which long experience and the concurrent judgment of ages have ascertained to be generally pleasing. Certain relations, of parts to parts, have been satisfactory to all the cultivated generations of men. These relations constitute what is called proportion, and this is the great basis of architectural art. This established proportion is not to be followed merely because it is ancient, but because its lise, and the pleasure which it has been found capable of giving to the mind, through tho eye, in ancient times, and modern times, and all civilized times, prove that its principles are well founded, and just; in the same manner that the Iliad is proved, by the consent of all nges, to be a good poem.
Architecture, I have said, is an art that unites, in a singular manner, the useful and the beautiful. It is not to be inferred from this, that everything in architecture is beautiful, or is to be so esteemed, in exact proportion to its apparent utility. No more is meant, than thai nothing which evidently thwarts utility can or ought to be accounted beautiful; because, in every work of art, the design is to be regarded, and what defeats that design, cannot be considered as well done. The French rhetoricians have a maxim, that in literary composition, " nothing is beautiful which is not true." They do not intend to say, that strict and literal truth is alone beautiful in poetry or oratory; but they mean that, that which grossly offends against probability, is not in good taste, in either. The same relation subsists between beauty and utility in architecture, as between truth and imagination in poetry. Utility is not to be obviously sacrificedtobeauty, in the one case; truth and probability arc not to be outraged for the cause of fiction and fancy, in the other. In the severer styles of architecture, beauty and utility approach, so as to be almost identical. Where utility is more strongly than ordinary the main design, the proportions which produce it, raise the sense or feeling of beaut v, by a sort of reflection or deduction of the mind. It is said that ancient Rome had perhaps no finer specimens of the classic Doric, than were in the sewers which ran under her streets, and which were of course always'to be covered from human observation: so true is it, that cultivated taste is always pleased with justness of proportion; and that design, seen to be accomplished, gives pleasure. l'he discovery and fast increasing u^e of a noble material, found in vast abundance, nearer to our cities than the Pentelican quarries to Athens, may well awaken, as they do, now attention to architectural improvement. If this material be not entirely well suited to the elegant Ionic, or the rich Corinthian, it is yet fitted, beyond marble, beyond perhaps almost any other material, for the Doric, of which the appropriate character is strength, and for the Gothic, of which the appropriate character is grandeur.
It is not more than justice, perhaps, to our ancestors, to call the Gothic the English, classic architecture; for in England, probably, arc its most distinguished specimens. As its leading characteristic is grandeur, its main use would seem to be sacred. It had its origin, indeed, in ecclesiastical architecture. Its evident design was to surpass the ancient orders, by the size of the structure and its far greater heights; to excite perceptions of beauty, by the branching traceries and the gorgeous tabernacles within; and to inspire religious awe and reverence by the lofty pointed arches;—the flying buttresses, the spires, and the pinnacles, springing from beneath, stretching upwards towards the heavens with the prayers of the worshippers. Architectural beauty having always adirect reference to utility, edifices, whether civil or sacred, must of course undergo different changes, in different places, on account of climate, and in different ages, on account of the different states of other arts, or different notions of convenience. The hypethral temple, for example, or temple without a roof, is not to be thought of in our latitudes; and the use of glass, a thing not now to be dispensed with, is also to be accommodated, as well as it may be, to the architectural structure. These necessary variations, and many more admissible ones, give room for improvements to an indefinite extent, without departing from the principles of true taste. May we not hope, then, to see our own city celebrated as the city of architectural excellence? May we not hope, to see our native granite reposing in the ever during strength of the Doric, or springing up in the grand and lofty Gothic, in forms which beauty and utility, the eye and the judgment, taste and devotion, shall unite to approve and to admire? But while we regard sacred and civil architecture as highly important, let us not forget that other branch, so essential to personal comfort and happiness,—domestic architecture, or common housebuilding. In ancient times, in all governments, and under despotic governments in all times, the convenience or gratification of the monarch, the government, or the public, has been allowed too often, to put aside considerations of personal and individual happiness. With us, different ideas happily prevail. With us, it is not the public, or the government, in its corporate character, that is the only object of regard. The public happiness is to be the aggregate of the happiness of individuals. Our system begins with the individual man. It begins with him when he leaves the cradle; and it proposes to instruct him in knowledge and in morals, to prepare him for his state of manhood: on his arrival at that state, to invest him with political rights, to protect him, in his property and pursuits, and in his family and social connexions; and thus to enable him to enjoy as an individual, moral, and rational being, what belongs to a moral and rational being. For the same reason, the arts are to be promoted for their general utility, as they effect the personal happiness and well being of the individuals who compose the community. It would bo adverse to the whole spirit of our system, that wo should have gorgeous and expensive public buildings, if individuals were at the sumo time to live in houses of mud. Our public edifices are to be reared by the surplus of wealth, and the savmgs of labor, after the necessities and comforts of individuals are provided for; and not, like the Pyramids, by the unremitted toil of thousands of half starved slaves. Domestic architecture, therefore, as connected with individual comfort mid happiness, is to hold a first place in the esteem of our artists. Let our citizens have houses cheap, but comfortable; not gaudy, but in good taste; not judged by the portion of earth which they cover, but by their symmetry, their fitness for use, and their durability.
Without farther reference to particular arts, with which the objects of this society have a close connexion, it may yet be added, generally, that this is a period of great activity, of industry, of enterprise in the various walks of life. It is a period, too, of growing wealth, and increasing prosperity. It is a time when men are fast multiplying, but when means are increasing still faster than men. An auspicious moment, then, it is, full of motive and encouragement, for the vigorous prosecution of those inquiries, which have tor their object the discoverv of farther and further means of uniting the results of scientific research to the arts and business of life.
ON THE TRIAL OF JOHN F. KNAPP, FOR THE MURDER OF JOSEPH WHITE, ESQ. OF SALEM, IN THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, MASSACHUSETTS j ON THE NIGHT OF THE 6th OF APRIL, 1830.
Mr. White, a highly respectable and wealthy citizen of Salem, about eighty yean of age, was found on the morning of the 7th of April, 1830, in his bed murdered, under each circumstances as to create a strong sensation in that town, and throughout the coaaDunity.
Richard Crowninshield, George Crowninshield, Joseph J. Knapp, and Johu F. Knapp, were a few weeks after arrested on a charge of having perpetrated the murder, and committed for trial. Joseph J. Knapp, soon after, under the promise of favor from government, made a full confession of die crime,and the circumstances attending it. In a few days after this disclosure was made, Richard Crowninshield, who was supposed to have been tbe principal assassin, committed suicide.
A special session of the Supreme Court was ordered by the Legislature, for the trial of the Prisoners at Salem, in July. At that time, John F. Knapp was indicted as principal in the murder, and George Crowninshield and Joseph J. Knapp as accessories.
On account of the death of Chief Justice Parker, which occurred on the 26th of July, 'the Court adjourned to Tuesday, the Stl day of August, when it proceeded in tbe trial <£ John F. Knapp. Joseph J. Knapp, being called upon, refused to testify, and the pledge of the Government was withdrawn.
At the request of the prosecuting officers of tire Government, Mr. Webster appeared m counsel and assisted in the trial.
Mr. Dexter addressed the Jury on behalf of the Prisoner, and was succeeded by Mr. Webster, in the following Speech:
I Am little accustomed, gentlemen, to the part which I am now mitempting to perform. Hardly more than once or twice, has it happened to me to be concerned, on the side of the government, in any criminal prosecution whatever; and never, until the present occasion, in any case affecting life.
But I very much regret that it should have been thought necessary to suggest to you, that I am brought here to " hurry you agamn1 the law, and beyond the evidence." I hope I have too much regard for justice, and too much respect for my own character, to attempt either; and were I to make such attempt, I am sure, that in Ibis court, nothing can be carried against the law, and that gentlemen, intelligent and just as you are, are not, by any power, to be hurried beyond the evidence. Though I could well have wished to shun this occasion, I hare not felt at liberty to withhold my professional assistance, when it is supposed that I might be in some degree useful, in investigating and discussing the truth, respecting this most extraordinary murder. It has seemed to be a duty, incumbent on me, as on every other citizen, to do my besj, and my utmost, to bring to light the perpetrators of this crime./Against the prisoner at the bar, as an individual, I cannot have rhc slightest prejudice. I would not do him the smallest injury or injustice. But I do not affect to be mdifferent to the discovery, and the punishment of this deep guilt. I cheerfully share in the opprobrium, how much soever it may be, whieh is cast on those who feel and manifest on anxious concern that all who had a part in planning, or a hand in executing this deed of midnight assassination, may be brought to answer for their enormous crime, at the bar of public justice. Gentlemen, it is a most extraordinary case. In some respects, it has hardly a precedent anywhere; certainly none in our Sew England history. This bloody drama exhibited no suddenly excited ungovernable rage. The actors in it were not surprised bv any lion-like temptation springing upon their virtue, and overcoming it, before resistance could begin. Nor did they do the deed to glut savage vengeance, or satiate long settled and deadly hate. It was a cool, calculating, money-making murder.—It was all "hire and salary, not revenge. It was the weighing of money against lite; the counting out ot so many pieces of silver, against so many ounces of blood.
An aged man, without an enemy in the world, in his own house, and in his own bed, is made the victim of a butcherly murder, for mere pay.—Truly, here is a new lesson for painters and poets. Whoever shall hereafter draw the portrait of murder, if he will show it as it has been exhibited in an example, where such example was last to have been looked for, in the very bosom of our New England society, let him not give it the grim visage of Moloch, the brow knitted by revenge, the face black with settled hate, and the bloodshot eye emitting livid fires of malice. Let him draw, rather, a decorous, smoothfaced, bloodless demon; a picture in rcpose, rather than in action; not so much on example of human nature, in its depravity, and in its paroxysms of crime, as an infernal nature, a fiend, m the ordinary display and developement of his character.
The deed was executed with a degree of self-possession and steadiness, equal to the wickedness with which it was planned. The circumstances, now clearly in evidence, spread out the whole scene before us. Deep sleep hud fallen on the destined victim, and on all beneath his roof. A healthful old man, to whom sleep was sweet, the first sound slumbers of the night held him in their soft but strong embrace. The assassin enters, through the window already prepared, into an unoccupied apartment.—With noiseless foot he paces the lonely hall, half lighted by the moon; he winds up the ascent of the stairs, and reaches the door of the chamber. Of this, he moves the lock, by soft and continued pressure, till it turns on its hinges; and he enters, and beholds his victim before him. The room was uncommonly open to the admission of light. The face of the innocent slecper was turned from the murderer, and the beams of the moon, restmg on the gray locks of his aged temple, showed him