Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/114

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Part II.

utilitarian practical common sense is assumed to be all that man should aim at. It may be so, but it is sad to think that beauty cannot be combined with sense.

Music alone, as being the most phonetic of the fine arts, has received among the Aryans a degree of culture denied to the others; but even here the tendency has been rather to develop scientific excellence than to appeal to the responsive chords of the human heart. Notwithstanding this, its power is more felt and greater excellence is attained in this science than in any other. It also has escaped the slovenly process of copying, with which the inartistic mind of the Aryans has been content to fancy it was creating Art in other branches.

If, however, these races have been so deficient in the fine arts, they have been as excellent in all the useful ones. Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, ship-building, and road-making, all that tends to accumulate wealth or to advance material prosperity, has been developed to an extent as great as it is unprecedented, and promises to produce results which as yet can only be dimly guessed at. A great, and, so far as we can see, an inevitable revolution, is pervading the whole world through the devotion of the Aryan races to these arts. We have no reason for supposing it will be otherwise than beneficial, however much we may feel inclined to regret that the beautiful could not be allowed to share a little of that worship so lavishly bestowed on the useful.


It follows, as a matter of course, that, with minds so constituted, the Aryans should have cultivated science with earnestness and success. The only beauty they, in fact, appreciated was the beauty of scientific truth; the only harmony they ever really felt was that of the laws of nature; and the only art they ever cared to cultivate was that which grouped these truths and their harmonies into forms which enabled them to be easily grasped and appreciated. Mathematics always had especial charms to the Aryan mind; and, more even than this, astronomy was always captivating. So, also, were the mechanical, and so, too, the natural sciences. It is to the Aryans that Induction owes its birth, and they probably alone have the patience and the sobriety to work it to its legitimate conclusions.

The true mission of the Aryan races appears to be to pervade the world with the useful and industrial arts, and so tend to reproduce that unity which has long been lost, to raise man, not by magnifying his individual cleverness, but by accumulating a knowledge of the works of God, so tending to make him a greater and wiser, and at the same time a humbler and a more religious servant of his Creator.