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THE ALBERT,MEMORIAL IN HYDE…

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THE ALBERT,MEMORIAL IN HYDE PARK. The dedicatory inscription of the Memorial (the Queen a visit to which was noted in our columna yesterday) is in blue glass mosaic on aground of gold, and is written round the four sides of the monument, just above the great arches. It is simple even to baldness; it expresses grati- tud4J, but says nothing whatever of affection, agd is silent as to the Prince's private life, to which, at least, as much as to his public life, he owes his fame and name, and thia Memorial. It runs as follows :— Queen Victoria and Her People To the Memory of Albert, Prince Consort, As a Tribute of their Gratitude For a Life devoted to the Public Good." Were the Albert Memorial but the work of some former age, did it but stand in Florence, or Munich, or Paris, or in any other capital but our own, every English critic would call it beautiful, and every English tourist would see it with admiration. As it is, there is little fear of its failing to please the public, but there are sure to be critics enough to say that its decoration is mere "ginger- bread," that it has no business out of doors, that it is false in construction because it could not stand unless strengthened inwardly by girders, that the granite pillars are too light and the canopy topheavy, that this or that feature is bad altogether and has no business to be introduced—and so on. If the most costly materials and the most exquisite workmanship are ginger- bread," if we are to admit in arehitecturo that the mere presence of "outward thrust" Above an arch, by whatever means it may be effectually corrected, is false construction, if the only indication of the strength of a cQlumn is to be clumsiness and a certain circumference, if when we build a Gothic shrine we are to be altogether tied and bound in a chain of mediaeval precedents, if we are to believe one or two captious tongues instead of our own eyes, then, indeed, the Albert Memorial is all wrong in architecture, and all wrong in appearance. But those, and we are of them, who maintain the contrary of each of these suppositions, will not listen to the criticism of critics who, no doubt, have on their shelves, or in their minds, designs of their own ever so much better than Mr. Scott's, and we shall prefer to admire as it deserves to be admired this elaborate and beautiful trophy of the kindred arts. Like other beautiful things, it has its blemishes. The site is not all that it ought to be, or might have been; the sculpture is not all of it good the inscription is poor and prosaic, and no word or emblem in the whole memorial commemorates the Prince Consort's cardinal virtue—that purity of life, rare among princps, to which bis character and fame owe half their lustre. But, though it may have these, and other shortcomings, the memorial is still well worthy of him and us. So, at least, we think, and so, we venture to say, will any one think who looks upon it with an eye that is single and a judg- ment unprejudiced. Go and see it on any one of these summer afternoons. Its shafts of clustered granite shining in the sun, the points of sunlight glittering on ita gem-like enamels, the bright gilding and the bronze statues, the golden angels that look up to heaven and the golden angels that look down to earth, the throned figures of the mosaics, the white marble of the lesser sculpture, pure and gleaming against the granite, the cyclopean blocks which form the central pedestal, and the black bases of the pillars, the four great groups of' sculpture bound together by the gildod railing, the solid and well-chiselled stairs, the hundred statues of the frieze, the figures in the spandrels of the arches, the rich orna- ments of the roof and spire, and over all the steadfast cross seeming to sail against the sailing clouds—whoever does not find these things beautiful in themselves, and more beautiful taken together, must be hard to please, and not worth the elfort.- Times. <

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