Page:Ruskin - The Seven Lamps of Architecture.djvu/162

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120 THE LAMP OF BEAUTY its lines off at the top and turn them outwards, you have lost its unity and space. It is an including form no longer, but an added, isolated line, and the ugliest possible. Look abroad into the landscape, and see if you can discover any one so bent and fragmentary as that of this strange windlass-looking dripstone. You cannot. It is a monster. It unites every element of ugliness, its line is harshly broken in itself, and un- connected with every other ; it has no harmony either with structure or decoration, it has no architectural support, it looks glued to the wall, and the only pleasant property it has, is the appearance of some likelihood of its dropping off. I might proceed, but the task is a weary one, and I think I have named those false forms of decoration which are most dangerous in our modern architecture as being legal and accepted. The barbarisms of individual fancy are as countless as they are con- temptible ; they neither admit attack nor are worth it ; but these above named are countenanced, some by the practice of antiquity, aU by high authority : they have depressed the proudest, and contaminated the purest schools, and are so established in recent practice that I write rather for the barren satisfaction of bearing witness against them, than with hope of inducing any serious convictions to their prejudice. XV. Thus far of what is not ornament. What orna- ment is, will without difficulty be determined by the application of the same test. It must consist of such studious arrangements of form as are imitative or sug- gestive of those which are commonest among natural existences, that being of course the noblest ornament which represents the highest orders of existence, (imitated flowers are nobler than imitated stones, imitated animals, than flowers ; imitated human I form, of all animal forms the noblest. But aU are I Combined in the richest ornamental work ; and the Irock, the fountain, the flowing river with its pebbled