[A variant in the MS. of the passage from this point to the end of § 3 is as follows:]

But woe to those who have not strength to do this, and who go through the world one mingled heap of prejudices and habits and accepted necessities and formalisms, drifted and decaying creatures of internal im- pulse moving as puppets and speaking as echoes thinking as they are told.

Now as the creations of Architecture are peculiarly dependent on the Now as the creations of Architecture are peculiarly dependent on the

Yet do not let it be supposed that I mean any idea of stubbornness or absolute ungovernableness to be attached to the definition of True Vitality. All real life is known by its depending on nourishment from without; by its being rooted in, or traceable to, something precedent to itself; by its being in a certain degree ductile, mobile, alterable, and sensible: only it is not passively so, not slavishly so. It accepts nourishment only of a certain kind, chooses what is good for it, and rejects the rest. It does not clutch everything offered to it with convulsive acquisitiveness it yields to influence of certain kind but only in degrees consistent with its own independence. In proportion to its youthfulness, it is yielding to external force, and eager to receive external nourishment: in proportion to its age, it is stable and fruitful. Now there are certains periods in the life of nations and individuals in which this real life is strong and progressive: others in which it is languid and encrusted, like a stream of lava growing cold others in which it is tending to utter extinction and yet making some advance like the head of the stream of lava by the tumbling over and over of its frozen blocks. At last it ceases altogether, and the pseudo-life takes or may take its place. There is nothing in which these steps are so clearly and consistently manifested as in the Art of nations: and as it has just been said that Architecture is especially de- pendent on the expression of human vitality so it is especially liable to be corrupted by the spurious vitality which succeeds it.

The architecture so corrupted which may be properly described as Dead architecture, of which that of our own day throughout Europe is the most melancholy example, may be always recognised by the absence of certain characters which I shall endeavour to explain ; although they are not so strictly defined.


Last modified 9 July 2010

6 May 2019