Of Designs; their Value and Rules.
BEING to treat of the Designs of Edifices, we shall collect and tran- scribe into this our Work, all the most curious and useful Observations left us by the Ancients, and which they gathered in the actual Execution of these Works; and to these we shall join what- ever we ourselves may have discovered by our Study, Application and Labour, that seems likely to be of Use. But as we desire, in the hand- ling this difficult, knotty, and commonly ob- scure Subject, to be as clear and intelligible as possible; we shall, according to our Custom, explain what the Nature of our Subject is; which will shew the Origin of the important Matters that we are to write of, at their very Fountain-Head, and enable us to express the Things that follow, in a more easy and per- spicuous Style. We shall therefore first lay down, that the whole Art of Building consists in the Design, and in the Structure. The whole Force and Rule of the Design, consists in a right and exact adapting and joining to- gether the Lines and Angles which compose and form the Face of the Building. It is the Property and Business of the Design to appoint to the Edifice and all its Parts their proper Places, determinate Number, just Proportion 16 and beautiful Order; so that the whole Form of the Structure be proportionable. Nor has this Design any thing that makes it in its Na- ture inseparable from Matter; for we see that the same Design is in a Multitude of Buildings, which have all the same Form, and are exact- ly alike as to the Situation of their Parts and the Disposition of their Lines and Angles; and we can in our Thought and Imagination con- trive perfect Forms of Buildings entirely sepa- rate from Matter, by settling and regulating in a certain Order, the Disposition and Conjunc- tion of the Lines and Angles. ….