The thing then to determine, is, supposing perfection of plan and execution to be provided for in any public building, what is the next perfection of which it is capable? To decide this intelligibly, it may be useful to prove the analogy, if there is any analogy, between the art of the beautiful in building, and another art which may be more easily agreed on, viz: the art of the beautiful in speaking, if there is in fact any practical analogy between architecture and eloquence. In the first place then, they have each one quality in common, that of being effete without being called into existence for a purpose; a building without an object, or a speech without a motive, is simply impertinent. The one, to be sure, has all the primitive quarries, mines, and forests of nature, for its material; the other has but one alphabet of a few letters, for its primary resource.

The next process in the one, is to convert its material into shapes, proved by experience to have single positive qualities suited for single specific purposes, and stones, nails, and timbers are the result; a similar process takes place in the other, and we have words. Combination then takes place in each, for the embodiment of more knowledge. Walls, floors and roofs on the one hand; sentences, clauses, sections, on the other; the result in one is a building, in the other a speech. The analogy seems perfect up to this point, and only fails when attempted to be instituted between the object of the one and the motive of the other. These are different; the object of a building is to embody working facts deduced from principles; the object of a speech, is from working facts already in existence, to hew out principles that shall result in future action. It is in its essence progressive: it acts as the engineer who takes the level, and the pioneer who removes the obstacles in the way of improvement, while it is the mission of architecture to supply the paving stones that moke that way a road fit for convenient use; and in its most extended sense it is the privilege of architecture to embody what is doing, and that only.

A man may surely be justified in saying of a people - give me a list of their buildings, and I will give you a list of their occupations, and the principles that are at work there; but such a list would never show what such a people would do, or what its principles would be at a future time. To form a private opinion on that point, it would be necessary for a man to take up the thread of the argument, where the facts showed that the art of eloquence had left it, and argue the matter out, silently or otherwise, according to the requirements of the latter art. This difference in the analogy which clearly exists, has, however, nothing to do with the machinery or working of either art, an J for the purposes of the present case the analogy seems perfect. To place then a public speech on the same artistic footing on which our public building was left previous to this digression, it must first be calculated to achieve its end thoroughly, and be clearly enunciated. Now is there any other perfection that ought, beyond cavil, to find its expression in a public speech? Certainly there is atleast one, and that one is courtesy.

A senator, who should defend a rude speech, however forcible, on the ground that he did not consider that the public paid him for occupying his time on such a subject, would be considered foolishly ignorant. A speech, to be good, according to universal acknowledgment, must be, at any rate, both forcible and elegant or courteous. The presence of one quality will not compensate for the absence of the other, and this elegance must not be protruded; it must be inherent, it must be thought of beforehand in every word, clause and sentence, to give satisfaction. No generally offensive speech, will be mended by tacking stereotyped compliments on to it, which would only make it the more insulting; it must achieve its end, and in the process of achieving it, whatever other perfection it may realize, it must at least offend as little as possible; otherwise it is felt to be tyrannical and insupportably selfish, and is justly disliked by all who bear it spoken. Now this deduction may, without the slightest alteration, be applied to every public building; what other perfection it may, beyond convenience and stability, be capable of, it must at least offend as little as possible; otherwise it is felt to be tyrannical and insupportably selfish, and is justly disliked by all who see it built.

If the truth of this deduction is granted, the argument may readily be carried forward through all its various stages to this point, that a great public speech on a great public question, affords one of the limited natural opportunities for the highest efforts of the art of eloquence; and if it is right for government to insist on such opportunities being neglected, it is equivalent to affirming that man has been gifted by his Creator with capacity for realising a certain perfection, but that they feel bound in this political position to say they are instructed by the people to consider this an unnecessary gift, and have accordingly made up their minds to strangle every palpable opportunity that occurs for its exercise; and the argument thus carried forward, applies as accurately to architecture as to eloquence, for that the Creator created man with a capacity to develope beauty in buildings, no one will deny; or, according to all rules of consistency, that the buildings for the most valuable and important purposes, are the only proper field for the highest possible developments of that capacity, and therefore the simple case is that the government is placed in the position of asserting that they are instructed by the people to ignore the existence and deny the opportunity for the use of the noblest gifts of the Creator.

One other objection has been raised, and that is, that the admission of the right of government to include, in any way, such subjects as architecture, in its idea of public wants, and to spend public money thereon, has an unavoidable tendency towards corruption in the state; that it is much better that such matters should be left for free development by the people at large; and that the government should not mix up any irrelevant matters with its own special department.

To take the last expression of pseudo-policy first, it is surely clear, that however it may apply to art or architecture, or anything in general, it is manifestly impertinent to the particular case under consideration - the case of a public building - because the people at large, whatever their wish, have no opportunity to develope, except through their government, anything in a matter that is unavoidably under the sole control of that government. Therefore, this pseudo-policy points simply to utter non-development in national instances, which alone are being discussed. Next, of the unavoidable tendency to corruption; that is the positive basis of the objection. It is at once confessed that it is not without the bounds of possibility that this objection may be a true one; but if true, let us see what is the position it involves. In the first place, it palpably admits that all the laws are insufficient, either to prevent, detect, or punish dishonesty. If not, why can it not be prevented, or detected and punished, in such a flagrant case as the one under discussion, - one thai must of necessity occur under the immediate eye of the very makers and guardians of those laws.

In the second place, it asserts that all the professional and business men in the country, whose abilities or interests are connected with the erection of buildings, are rogues, for if there is one honest man among them, it is the natural course for faithful agents to see that he, at least, is fully employed. In the third place, it asserts that all the members of the government are rogues, (corruption pre-supposing collusion.) For if there is one honest man among them, it is the clear policy, even of the dishonest who con-stitue the remainder, to appoint that one to see that, (in a mattcr in which they are not individually, as dishonest persons, interested,) they are not injured by the mis-appropriation of funds, that each, in his capacity of a member of the community, is taxed to realise. In the fourth place, it asserts that all the political majorities of the constituencies arc rogues for if there is one honest man in any of them, aye, or out of any of them, even in the minorities, why is he not elected to the government office, when it must be clear to all the remainder, (rogues though they be,) that be alone has the capacity for acting in a manner disconnected with unprincipled private interest, - the only man, in fact, whom any one of them would feel safe to be any gainer by appointing.

The objection then, reduced to its elements, is practically a four-fold accusation against the character of the laws, the professional men, the government, and the people of the United States. This insulting accusation will hardly be allowed, and yet it may be said, " the thing don't work, it won't work, it has been proved not to work, and therefore, in spite of all far-fetched conclusions, it is better to get rid of it altogether." All that can be said to this is, that if it does not work; it is without a particle of doubt because some of those conclusions or accusations, are actual in some point - and whatever that point may be, it is respectfully recommended that it forthwith be discovered, and exhibited to the government as a discredit to the nation, and as an appropriate opportunity for employing any " getting rid" force that may be at hand; and if this course is asserted by objectors to be impossible, it only remains, in the beautiful language of the immortal bard, to " pity their ignorance, and despise 'em for it." C. V.

Neverburgh,Jan., 1852.