[It has been honestly urged by some of our severest democratic presses, that a government like ours should necessarily confine its duties to making and executing the laws, and that no powers being delegated to it for any other purposes, it has no right to assume them, even for public education by common schools, Ac., much less for that Species of higher education which grows out of a direct encouragement of the arts, as having a special influence in enlightening and refining the people at large, by the erection of fine building, galleries of pictures, statuary, etc. The following remarks, from one of our correspondents, have been written in answer to this doctrine, and are worthy of attention. En].

It is argued that the members of a republican government, like that of the United States, being appointed solely for the purpose of carrying out in practice the political will of the people, are not justified, in their official capacity, in devoting either their own time or attention, or the funds of the nation, to any other purpose whatever, and consequent* ly, that the fostering or advancement of the national taste, in matters of art, having nothing to do with politics, is a subject over which the members of the government have no control, and one with which they have no manner of business. This position, according to the strict limitation of the official powers, members are at present delegated to exercise, appears incontestible, and it seems evident that without being anew specially authorized by the people, the government has no right to sanction the expenditure of public time or public money, for any such purpose. It is, however, not uncommon to hear it asserted on this ground, that no outlay of thought or money on national public buildings, is justifiable, beyond what is necessary to procure, in the most commodious, substantial, and economical manner, the accommodation required.

Moreover, that architecture demands something beyond skillful planning, sound materials, and good workmanship, and that this " something beyond," not being absolutely requisite for the convenience or stability of the structure proposed to be erected, and having nothing to do with politics, is beyond the province of the government. As this deduction, though plausible, does not seem incontestible, it may be worth while to investigate its merits.

In the first place, then, it seems clear that the providing suitable national buildings, as public exigence requires, is a necessary part of the business of government - there is no other authority by which such works can consistently be set on foot; and it will hardly be denied by any one, that it is a duty of every government to take care that the public is not injured for want of proper attention being bestowed on such matters. Now, the art of building is every way in itself, as far removed from politics as the art of architecture; yet it appears that it may, (or rather must,) become the true policy of every government to have something to do with the art of building - consequently, it is evident that the simple non-connection of any subject with political questions or politics, according to the popular definition of the word, is not of itself, a sufficient reason for its being considered beyond the scope of the government, for the rule that fails in the one ease, can scarcely be held binding in the other. Before the consideration of any subject can be rightly ignored on this ground, it must be fairly proved to have no legitimate bearing on any act that the government, in its truly political character, is bound to perform.

The representatives of the nation, therefore, being forced, from the nature of the case, to undertake the responsibility of erecting suitable buildings for all the national exigencies of public business - are apparently bound to decide on the claim of architecture to a place in their calculations - not on the ground of its connection or disconnection with political questions, not in any way with reference to the encouragement its admission to consideration may give to art, nor to the effect it may have on the tastes of the people - but simply on the ground of its suitability or nnsuitability per se, to the particular national buildings they are called on to construct. This view of the matter, if correct, will at once materially narrow the question at issue, if we allow the word suitable to be only properly applied, when used to embody the idea of that perfect special fitness which it is the duty, as well of individuals as of publie bodies, to aim at expressing in every act, great or small, public or private, which they may essay to perform.

Is architecture then suitable to public buildings? Is it necessary for the purpose of making them " perfect" and " specially fit?" - that is the question, and the only question that properly belongs to the case under consideration. To arrive at any right conclusion on this point, it is clear that the meaning of the word architecture must be fairly understood and allowed beforehand. The most simple and true definition of it, that seems to be attainable, is that it is " the art of the beautiful in building." There seems no ground on which an argument could rest, capable of proving this to be a false definition, and as it is sufficiently intelligible, it seems needless to seek for any other. Taking then this definition as granted to be correct, architecture is the whole art of giving to a building all the beauties or perfections of which it is capable; perfection of plan and perfection of execution (of which buildings are undoubtedly capable) being of course parts of this whole, the remainder, whatever it is, being something beyond these.

The first deduction that necessarily follows, is that there is no such thing in existence, or capable of existing, as good building exclusive of architecture; for every quality in a professedly unarchitectural building, that gives it a title to the name of good, is necessarily a perfection or beauty either of convenience or construction; and "all" perfections and beauties in building, being claimed to be the peculiar province of architecture; such a building would not be unarchitectural, but partially architectural, and only good to the extent that it was architectural; this seems to be the true state of the case, and therefore the line drawn just now, for the convenience of argument, between the art of building and the art of architecture, appears to have no real existence, and consequently government, in erecting commodious public buildings, cannot ignore architecture entirely, and its claim to consideration becomes solely a question of degree - a question of how many or how few architectural beauties or perfections are suitable to the building nnder its control.