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great stretch of open ground or the comparatively small squares-Place Vendome, with its stately fronts of the eighteenth century; Place des Vosges, with its more formal, less pompous frontage of the seventeenth century, and intact; even the garden of the Palais Royal, with its much altered Louis Quinze façades, he would say, if he loves the town and not a feeble imitation of the country, he would say that he preferred, and certainly loved better the smaller and more limited “squares." The Place Dauphine was lovely when the present writer first saw it, in 1860, and the houses of the time of Henry IV were still in place, as indeed those of the Place des Vosges are yet, and yet the Place Dauphine is a little triangle, small compared with the other larger reservations named above. On the other hand, the great opening around the Rond Point, also cited
grounds about large public buildings; and, finally, of the suburbs, which, as yet, do not tell very powerfully on the general character of the city. The ancient city, the Vienna of the Middle Ages and following centuries, has not preserved much of its very ancient appearance, but is still an old town enough; it has but little important architecture, though that little is of first-rate quality. But the great Ring street which encircles it is unique in Europe, and is probably the most important piece of landscape architecture in connection with a city which Europe has to show. This gives us the term which has to be applied to such municipal improvements as these.
Landscape architecture is, indeed, the proper name for such stately extensions and reservations and their architectural treatment. In the same sense it was landscape architecture which made the fortune of the Chicago Exposition of 1893. The Court of Honor, with the group of buildings about it, was so much more effective than the architecture of any one of the separate buildings would seem to have made possible, that it was a curious study to every artist in such matters who attended the exhibition and took time to examine its external aspect.
And it is to be noticed that this is precisely the one manifestation of the new movement toward Municipal Art which is most likely to obtain universal popular favor, and also most likely to be understood by those officials, not often men of educated or of socially elevated classes, who will have to administer these changes in the future. We shall not get the public to care much whether the design for a building facing on these great avenues, squares and parkways is very fine or not; the public has never seen fine designs in modern work, and knows not how to judge of them when they appear, if ever; the public would be apt to reject a thoroughly well made design for such a building on some fantastical ground or other, having nothing very much to do with its true artistic merit.
It goes without saying that the official would be indifferent to the architectural character of such a building and would look upon it wholly from the point of view of the personal equation-he would think only whose influence was to be considered the most nearly irresistible in the matter, and to whom he must, of necessity, defer. On the other hand, the landscape architecture effect-the effect produced by greater or less open space filled more or less with trees and broken more or less by peeps and vistas-that is very easily understood by the public, that is nearly certain to please if it is managed with any skill at all, that can be so explained to the official mind as to become an accepted object of official care. There is, therefore, a ready means of placating both the more careless and the more critical part of the community. There is nothing to prevent the building of admirable buildings if only you can persuade the architects to design such buildings; for the public will not reject them merely on account of their beauty or dignity. On the other hand, there is nothing to prevent the laying out of grounds with a very strongly attractive popular character in their design, and the buildings can be prevented from that unfortunate dwarf
above, amounts to nothing because the houses facing on it are not sufficiently impressive to affect the spectator who approaches this from the avenue of the Champs Elysées. The still larger circle where stands the Arc de l'Etoile is, of course, nothing in itself; it is a mere site for the gigantic Arch of Triumph.
In connection with this, the recent changes in the city of Vienna are well worthy of notice. Vienna consists of a crowded and picturesque ancient town, once defended by lofty ramparts which, in a memorable instance, rolled back the tide of Turkish invasion; a not large town-its whole extent about three thousand by four thousand feet-of a broad avenue encircling this, a boulevard, in fact, as it replaces the ancient walls, an avenue known by many different names, and of indeterminate extent, varying width, and indefinite character, seeing that it opens into an uncounted number of gardens or small parks as well as the planted
ing which we have had occasion to name in regard to the Paris open places by the simple expedient of planting trees so judiciously arranged that they will prevent the full view of the façades from a distance greater than should be allowed for such inspection.
But little room is left in which to consider the doings of the one society which, in America, at least, has been conceived, and for a time carried on in strict accordance with a novel and wholly independent scheme. The Municipal Art Society of New York has been recently reorganized, the attempted abandonment of the society having been prevented by the appearance in its councils of a new set of officers and the establishment of a new controlling influence. For the ten years, more or less, during which the old society existedthat is, the society in its original shape—this was its plan: It collected money from its members and spent that money in paying for works of art specially ordered and carried out under the direction of a managing council. Two important works only were brought to perfection; one the wall painting by Edward Simmons, in the Criminal Court building; the other the monument on Fifth avenue, and backed up by the retaining and enclosing wall of Central Park, to Richard Morris Hunt, the architect. Each of these undertakings is in artistic character far superior to the average of our American works of art ordered for public use and put on public exhibition. The wall paintings are of very surprising merit and would compare favorably with their neighbors if set up in any city of the world. The monument, less abso
lutely a success, but still far enough from being a failure, is adorned by sculpture which lacks only a certain reserve, a less pronounced personality leading it away from monumental sculpture, a little too far toward what we know as genre. This much said by way of criticism, the two works of art are to be accepted together as the most important result of the action of any organization known to us, and it is in every way regrettable that the Municipal Art Society should have followed so unfortunate a method of raising money, a method which seemed to tax the impecunious artist for the sake of his brother artist, while it let the millionaire go free.
The Municipal Art Society, in its present form, like the Municipal Art League in Chicago and other similar societies, is too new to be judged. What it may come ,to is only in part indicated.
RUSSELL STURGIS, A. M., Ph. D.
NEWELL, ROBERT H., who, under the name of “Orpheus C. Kerr," had a national reputation as a humorist, was found dead July 12, at his home, 128 First Place, Brooklyn. He is believed to have died about ten days before from the effects of the heat.
Mr. Newell had lived in Brooklyn for several years. He was born in New rk, December 13, 1836, and after being graduated from college entered upon a career as a newspaper writer. He became literary editor of the New York Jercury, which position he held until 1862. He was a writer for the New York World from 1869 to 1874.
Mr. Newell was the author of "Versatilities,” "The Palace Beautiful," and other poems, "Cloven Foot," an American adaptation of Dickens' “Edwin Drood;" “Avery Glibun; or, Between Two Fires," an America: roma e; "The Walking Doll," "Studies in Stanzas," “There Was Once a Man," ani "Smoked Glass." Mr. Newell was bachelor.
THE NICARAGUA CANAL.-FIRST SUGGESTIONS OF AN INTER-OCEANIC CANAL. The idea of connecting the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by cutting a canal across the Isthmus of Panama was broached by the Spanish as early as 1529. Twenty-one years later the route by Lake Nicaragua and the San Juan River was suggested by the Portuguese as a more feasible one. The imagination of the seventeenth century saw on this isthmus the future commercial emporium of the nations, .and so sought to control it. The French Academy discussed the subject in 1740, and the Spanish surveyed a route in 1779. In general, however, it may be said that for many centuries the idea was hardly more than a vision of the future. Apparently the earlier years of the twentieth century are to witness the realization of those brilliant dreams of the past; and, almost certainly, it will take place under the guidance, if not under the direct control, of a nation whose life extends into this past scarcely more than one of the almost four centuries which have elapsed since the first dreamer saw his vision. Many nations in the past-as Holland, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden and Scotland, as well as England, France and Spain-sought to turn the dream into a reality, but the fates willed otherwise. It seems to have been left for Americans themselves to pierce their own continent and to control its destiny.
RISE OF AMERICAN INTEREST IN THE SUBJECT. Alexander von Humboldt, the great German scientist, was the first to call the attention of the American government to the importance of such a canal for its future welfare. Yet a quarter of a century passed without action. In 1825, Señor Canoza, the minister of the Central American Confederacy to Washington, addressed Mr. Clay in regard to the advantages of a canal by the Nicaragua route; but the only action taken was the investigation of the question by the American charge d'affaires, who secured information concerning the surveys and their reliability. The following year an American company, including DeWitt Clinton of Erie Canal fame, entered into a contract to construct the canal; but nothing was done, as the $5,000,000 which they estimated as necessary was not forthcoming. But little more remains to be said of this early period. In 1837 Lieut. James Bailey, an American, made a survey for the Confederacy of the Central American States; and, two years later, after an investigation of all the surveys and estimates, Mr. John L. Stephens reported to the United States government in favor of the Nicaragua route.
CONFLICT OF AMERICAN AND EXGLISH INTEREST; THE CLAYTON-BULWER TREATY. The Mexican War and the acquisition of California changed the entire point of view, and marked the opening of a new era. People and statesmen alike recognized the political importance of the canal in bringing the new West into close
SAN JUAN RIVER. This view is near the Atlantic entrance to the Nicaragua Canal. Upon the hill is seen the remains of
the old fortification.
touch with the older states of the Atlantic Coast. The commercial instinct of the American people was also aroused. Their vision was no longer directed toward Europe alone. The Orient, which has since the days of Marco Polo so fascinated men, was seen to lie open at this western door. The struggle between Great Britain and the United States for control of the isthmus now became acute, and from 1810 to 1850 the relations of the two nations were in a critical condition. England strengthened her position in Belize, entered into closer alliance with the Indian king of the Mosquito Coast, took possession of the Bay Islands, and in 1848, as an ally of the Mosquito king, seized San Juan and changed its name to Greytown. Meanwhile the government of the United States was not inactive. President Polk in 1848 sent Mr. Hise as charge d'affaires to investigate conditions. Without authority, in fact even against instructions, he concluded a treaty with Nicaragua which secured very favorable terms for the United States. It provided for the construction of a canal through which the war vessels of the United States, as well as its merchantmen, were to have the right of perpetual navigation; and the Congress of the United States could charter companies for the construction of the canal. In return for these privileges, the United States was to maintain Nicaragua in the possession of its rightful territory. President Taylor recalled Mr. Hise and sent Mr. Squier in his stead. The latter also concluded a very favorable treaty, which secured to the United States free right of transit, but neutralized the canal. These two treaties were in the hands of President Taylor in 1850. His administration wished to see Great Britain withdraw entirely from Central America, claiming that her presence there was in contravention of the Monroe Doctrine.
By a skillful use of the above-named treaties on the part of the administration, England was forced into negotiations with the United States which resulted in the Clayton-Bulwer treaty of 1850, the prime object of which was to compel Great Britain to abandon her possessions or claims in Central America. In Article 1 this treaty provides that neither the United States nor Great Britain “will ever obtain or maintain for itself any exclusive control over the said
ship canal; agreeing that neither will ever erect antee of the neutrality of the canal; each
Doubt in regard to the meaning of this the meaning of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, provision arose almost before the treaty was practically nothing was accomplished. A consigned, and the issue was sharply discussed for cession was obtained by Commodore Vandermany years. Great Britain claimed it applied bilt for an overland route and ship canal across only to future acquisitions (thus leaving large the isthmus. The former became famous as areas under English influence), while the one of the California routes, but nothing was United States held that it necessitated the done looking to the construction of the canal. withdrawal of England from all territorial Civil war and reconstruction absorbed the enclaims in Central America. Some years later ergy and thought of the American people durEngland in a series of treaties made with the ing the next ten years, so that not until about Central American governments, yielded all her 1870 did interest again begin to center on a claims, thus virtually conforming to the Ameri canal route. This renewed interest was greatcan interpretation of the treaty. Some Ameri- ly enlivened, however, by the completion of can statesmen have since held that her action the Suez Canal in 1869, and still further
between 1850 and 1860, in thus continuing to hold certain possessions, violated the treaty, thus rendering it void, or at least voidable, at the option of the United States. It has also been claimed that Mr. Clayton was so intent on the one thought of eliminating British territorial claims in Central America that he admitted a more dangerous principle when he joined with Great Britain in a mutual guarantee of a neutral ship canal, since he thus admitted the British right to decision important American questions, and also denied to the United States the right to construct, own and control an isthmian canal if future conditions should ever demand such a policy-in short, that he abandoned the point of ultimately most vital importance in order to gain an Immediate end. Of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty. the only other important article, for our present purpose, was that providing for a mutual guar
strengthened in 1878 by the concession to a
TENDENCIES TOWARD AMERICAN CONTROL; AT-
canal at Panama was reserved to the United States. But this treaty, as well as one of like tenor negotiated by Secretary Fish, the following year, was rejected. The idea continued to grow, however, and was finally, March 8, 1880, clearly expressed by President Hayes in these words: “The policy
of this country is a canal under American control. The United States cannot consent to the surrender of this control to any European power, or to any combination of European powers," adding that the canal would form “virtually a part of the coast line of the United States.".
Mr. Blaine, as President Garfield's Secretary of State, began a long and vigorous controversy with Lord Granville over the ClaytonBulwer treaty and the right to control the Nicaragua Canal. He disclaimed any intent on the part of the United States to obtain any special commercial privileges, but added that the United States would "insist upon her right to take all needful precautions against the possibility of the Isthmus transit being in any event used offensively against her interests upon the land or upon the sea.” Then, after calling attention to the fact that Great Britain provided in every way for the protection and safety of her territory and colonies, he added: “It is hardly conceivable that the same great
sailing for the defense of our coast and the protection of the lives of our people." Mr. Blaine held that the neutralization of the canal by agreement among the powers of Europe would last only till the first cannon was fired, when it would probably be seized by the strongest power and turned to its own uses. Wars among European nations, he said, were common. In a hundred years, on the other hand, the United States had only once engaged in conflict with any European power. He held it probable that the next century would see no such war, and hence claimed that the best way to make the canal neutral was to put it under the control of the United States, the one nation least liable to engage in war, and at the same time the most interested in the canal itself. He then adds: "For self-protection to her own interests, therefore, the United States, in the first instance, asserts her right to control the Isthmus transit; and secondly, she offers, by such control that absolute neutrality of the canal, as respects European powers, which can
power which considers herself justified in taking these precautions for the safety of a remote colony on another continent, should object to the United States adopting similar, but far less demonstrative, measures for the protection of the distant shores of her own domain, for the drawing together of the extremes of the Union in still closer bonds of interest and sympathy, and for holding in the quiet determination of an honorable self-defense, the absolute control of the great waterway which shall unite the two oceans, and which the United States will always insist upon treating as a part of her coast line. If a hostile movement should at any time be made against the Pacific Coast threatening danger to its people, and destruction to its property, the government of the United States would feel that it had been unfaithful to its duty, and neglectful toward its own citizens, if it permitted itself to be bound by a treaty which gave the same right through the canal to a warship, bent on an errand of destruction, that is reserved to its own navy,
in no other way be certainly attained and last. ingly assured." At a later point in his argument he remarks: “It is the desire and determination of the United States that the canal shall be used only for the development and increase of peaceful commerce among all the nations, and shall not be considered a strategic point in warfare, which may tempt the aggressions of belligerents, or be seized under the compulsions of military necessity by any of the great powers that may have contests in which the United States has no stake, and will take no part. If it be asked why the United States objects to the assent of European governments to the terms of neutrality for the operation of the canal, my answer is that the right to assent implies the right to dissent, and thus the whole question would be thrown open for contention as an international issue. It is the fixed purpose of the United States to confine it strictly and solely as an American question to be dealt with and decided by American governments."
Mr. Blaine's successor, Mr. Frelinghuysen,