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Sir Francis Bacon


Essay 45

Of Building.      
1 HOuses are built to Liue in, and not to Looke on: Therefore let Vse bee preferred before Vniformitie; Except where both may be had. Leaue the Goodly Fabrickes of Houses, for Beautie only, to the Enchanted Pallaces of the Poets: Who build them with small Cost. Hee that builds a faire House, vpon an ill Seat, committeth Himselfe to Prison. Neither doe I reckon it an ill Seat, only, where the Aire is Vnwholsome; But likewise where the Aire is vnequall; As you shall see many Fine Seats, set vpon a knap of Ground, Enuironed with Higher Hilles round about it: whereby the Heat of the Sunne is pent in, and the Wind gathereth as in Troughes; So as you shall haue, and that suddenly, as great Diuersitie of Heat and Cold, as if you Dwelt in seuerall Places. Neither is it ill Aire onely, that maketh an ill Seat, but Ill Wayes, Ill Markets; And, if you will consult with Momus, Ill Neighbours. I speake not of many More: Want of Water; Want of Wood, Shade, and Shelter; Want of Fruitfulnesse, and mixture of Grounds of seuerall Natures; Want of Prospect; Want of Leuell Grounds; Want of Places, at some neare Distance, for Sports of Hunting, Hauking, and Races; Too neare the Sea, too remote; Hauing the Commoditie of Nauigable Riuers, or the discommoditie of their Ouerflowing; Too farre off from great Cities, which may hinder Businesse; Or too neare them, which Lurcheth all Prouisions, and maketh euery Thing deare: Where a Man hath a great Liuing laid together, and where he is scanted: All which, as it is impossible, perhaps, to finde together, so it is good to know them, and thinke of them, that a Man may take as many as he can: And if he haue seuerall Dweilings, that he sort them so, that what hee wanteth in the One, hee may finde in the Other. Lucullus answered Pompey well; Who when hee saw his Stately Galleries, and Roomes, so Large and Lightsome, in one of his Houses, said; Surely, an excellent Place for Summer, but how doe you in Winter? Lucullus answered; Why, doe you not think me as wise, as some Fowle are, that euer change their Aboad towards the Winter?
2 To passe from the Seat, to the House it selfe; We will doe as Cicero doth, in the Oratours Art; Who writes Bookes De Oratore, and a Booke he entitles Orator: Whereof the Former deliuers the Precepts of the Art; And the Latter the Perfection. We will therefore describe a Princely Pallace, making a briefe Modell thereof. For it is strange to see, now in Europe, such Huge Buildings, as the Vatican, and Escuriall, and some Others be, and yet scarce a very Faire Roome in them.
3 First therefore, I say, you cannot haue a Perfect Pallace, except you haue two seuerall Sides; A Side for the Banquet, as is spoken of in the Booke of Hester; And a Side; for the Houshold: The One for Feasts and Triumphs, and the Other for Dwelling. I vnderstand both these Sides, to be not onely Returnes, but Parts of the Front; And to be vniforme without, though seuerally Partitioned within; And to be on both Sides, of a Great and Stately Tower, in the Middest of the Front; That as it were, ioyneth them together, on either Hand. I would haue on the Side of the Banquet, in Front, one only Goodly Roome, aboue Staires, of some Fortie Foot high; And vnder it, a Roome, for a Dressing or Preparing Place, at Times of Triumphs. On the other Side, which is the Houshold Side, I wish it diuided at the first, into a Hall, and a Chappell, ( with a Partition betweene; ) Both of good State, and Bignesse: And those not to goe all the length, but to haue, at the further end, a Winter, and a Summer Parler, both Faire. And vnder these Roomes, A Faire and Large Cellar, suncke vnder Ground: And likewise, some Priuie Kitchins, with Butteries, and Pantries, and the like. As for the Tower, I would haue it two Stories, of Eighteene Foot High a peece, aboue the two Wings; And a Goodly Leads vpon the Top, railed with Statua's interposed; And the same Tower to bee diuided into Roomes, as shall be thought fit. The Staires likewise, to the vpper Roomes, let them bee vpon a Faire open Newell, and finely raild in, with Images of Wood, cast into a Brasse Colour: And a very faire Landing Place at the Top. But this to be, if you doe not point, any of the lower Roomes, for a Dining Place of Seruants. For otherwise, you shall haue the Seruants Dinner, after your owne: For the Steame of it will come vp as in a Tunnell. And so much for the Front. Only, I vnderstand the Height of the first Staires, to be Sixteene Foot, which is the Height of the Lower Roome.
4 Beyond this Front, is there to be a Faire Court, but three Sides of it, of a Farre Lower building, then the Front. And in all the foure Corners of that Court, Faire Staire Cases, cast into Turrets, on the Outside, and not within the Row of Buildings themselues. But those Towers, are not to be of the Height of the Front; But rather Proportionable to the Lower Building. Let the Court not be paued, for that striketh vp a great Heat in Summer, and much Cold in Winter. But onely some Side Alleys, with a Crosse, and the Quarters to Graze, being kept Shorne, but not too neare Shorne. The Row of Returne, on the Banquet Side, Let it be all Stately Galleries; In which Galleries, Let there be three, or fiue, fine Cupola's, in the Length of it, placed at equall distance: And fine Coloured Windowes of seuerall workes. On the Houshold Side, Chambers of Presence, and Ordinary Entertainments, with some Bed-chambers; And let all three Sides, be a double House, without Thorow Lights, on the Sides, that you may haue Roomes from the Sunne, both for Fore-noone, and After-noone. Cast it also, that you may haue Roomes, both for Summer, and Winter: Shadie for Summer, and Warme for Winter. You shall haue sometimes Faire Houses, so full of Glasse, that one cannot tell, where to become, to be out of the Sunne, or Cold: For Inbowed Windowes, I hold them of good Vse; ( In Cities indeed, Vpright doe better, in respect of the Vniformitie towards the Street; ) For they bee Prettie Retiring Places for Conference; And besides, they keepe both the Wind, and Sunne off: For that which would strike almost thorow the Roome, doth scarce passe the Window. But let them be but few, Foure in the Court, On the Sides onely.
5 Beyond this Court, let there be an Inward Court of the same Square, and Height; Which is to be enuironed, with the Garden, on all Sides: And in the Inside, Cloistered on all Sides, vpon Decent and Beautifull Arches, as High as the first Story. On the Vnder Story, towards the Garden, Let it be turned to a Grotta, or Place of Shade, or Estiuation. And onely haue opening and Windowes towards the Garden; And be Leuell vpon the Floare, no whit sunke vnder Ground, to auoid all Dampishnesse. And let there be a Fountaine, or some faire Worke of Statua's, in the Middest of this Court; And to be Paued as the other Court was. These Buildings to be for Priuie Lodgings, on both Sides; And the End, for Priuie Galleries. Whereof, you must fore-see, that one of them, be for an Infirmary, if the Prince, or any Speciall Person should be Sicke, with Chambers, Bed-chamber, Anticamera, and Recamera, ioyning to it. This vpon the Second Story. Vpon the Ground Story, a Faire Gallery, Open, vpon Pillars: And vpon the Third Story likewise, an Open Gallery vpon Pillars, to take the Prospect, and Freshnesse of the Garden. At both Corners of the further Side, by way of Returne, Let there be two Delicate or Rich Cabinets, Daintily Paued, Richly Hanged, Glased with Crystalline Glasse, and a Rich Cupola in the Middest; And all other Elegancie that may be thought vpon. In the Vpper Gallery too, I wish that there may be, if the Place will yeeld it, some Fountaines Running, in diuers Places, from the Wall, with some fine Auoidances. And thus much, for the Modell of the Pallace: Saue that, you must haue, before you come to the Front, three Courts. A Greene Court Plaine, with a Wall about it: A Second Court of the same, but more Garnished, with little Turrets, or rather Embellishments, vpon the Wall: And a Third Court, to make a Square with the Front, but not to be built, nor yet enclosed with a Naked Wall, but enclosed with Tarrasses, Leaded aloft, and fairely garnished, on the three Sides; And Cloistered on the Inside, with Pillars, and not with Arches Below. As for Offices, let them stand at Distance, with some Low Galleries, to passe from them, to the Pallace it Selfe.

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