| Alberti, Leone Battista Architecture 1755, tr. Leoni, James |
contrived for different Seasons, some to be used
n Summer, others in Winter; and others as we
may say in the middle Seasons.
Summer require Water and the Verdure of
Gardens; those for Winter, must be warm and
have good Fire-places.
Both should be large,
pleasant and delicate.
There are many Ar
guments to convince us that Chimnies were in
Use among the Ancients; but not such as ours
One of the Ancients says, the Tops
of the Houses smoke, Et fumant culmina tecti:
And we find it continues the same all over
Italy to this Day, except in Lombardy and
Tuscany, and that the Mouths of none of the
Chimnies rise higher than the Tops of the
Houses. Vitruvius says, that in Winter Par
lours it is ridiculous to adorn the Ceiling with
handsome Painting, because it will be present
ly spoilt by the constant Smoke and continual
Fires; for which Reason the Ancients used to
paint those Ceilings with Black, that it might
seem to be done by the Smoke itself.
too, that they made Use of a purified Sort of
Wood, that was quite clear of Smoke, like our
Charcoal, upon which Account it was a Dis
pute among the Lawyers, whether or no Coal
was to come under the Denomination of Wood;
and therefore it is probable they generally used
moveable Hearths or Chafing-pans either of
Brass or Iron, which they carried from Place to
Place where-everthey had Occasion to make a
And perhaps that warlike Race of Men,
hardened by continual Incampments, did not
make so much Use of Fire as we do now; and
Physicians will not allow it wholesome, to be
too much by the Fire-side. Aristotle says,
that the Flesh of Animals gains its Firmness
and Solidity from Cold; and those whose Busi
ness it is to take Notice of Things of this Na
ture have observed, that those working Men
who are continually employed about the Fur
nace have generally dry wrinkled Skins; the
Reason of which they say is, because the Jui
ces, of which the Flesh is formed, are exhaust
ed by the Fire, and evaporate in Steam.
Germany, Colchos, and other Places, where Fire
is absolutely necessary against the extreme
Cold, they make Use of Stoves; of which we
shall speak elsewhere.
Let us return to the
Chimney, which may be best made serviceable
in the following Manner.
It must be as direct
as possible, capacious, not too far from the
Light, it must not draw the Wind too much,
but enough however to carry up the Smoke,
which else would not go up the Tunnel.
these Reasons do not make it just in a Corner,
nor too far within the Wall, nor let it take up
the best Part of the Room where your chief
Guests ought to sit.
Do not let it be in
commoded by the Air either of Doors or Win
dows, nor should it project too sar out into the
Let its Tunnel be very wide and car
ried up perpendicular, and let the Top of it
rise above the highest Part of the whole Build
ing; and this not only upon Account of the
Danger of Fire, but also to prevent the Smoke
from being driven down the Chimney again by
any Eddy of Wind on the Top of the House.
Smoke being hot naturally mounts, and the
Heat of the Flame quickens its Ascent: When
it comes therefore into the Tunnel of the
Chimney, it is compressed and straitened as in
a Channel, and being pushed on by the Heat
of the Fire, is thrust out in the same Manner
as the Sound is out of a Trumpet.
And as a
Trumpet, if it is too big, does not give a clear
Sound, because the Air has Room to rowl about
in it; the same will hold good with Relation
to the Smoke in a Chimney.
Let the Top of
the Chimney be covered to keep out Rain, and
all round the Sides let there be wide Holes for
the Passage of the Smoke, with Breaks projec
ting out between each Hole to keep off the
Violence of the Wind.
Where this is not so
convenient, erect an upright Pin, and on it hang
a brass Cover broad enough to take in the
whole Mouth of the Chimney, and let this Co
ver have a Vane at the Top like a Sort of
Crest, which like a Helm may turn it round
according to the Wind.
Another very good
Method also is to set on the Chimney Top some
Spire like a Hunter's Horn, either of Brass or
baked Earth, broader at one End than the
other, with the broad End turned downwards
to the Mouth of the Chimney; by which
means the Smoke being received in at the
broad End, will force its Way out at the Nar
row, in Spite of the Wind.
To the Parlours
we must accommodate the Kitchen, and the
Pantry for setting by what is left after Meals,
together with all Manner of Vessels and Linen.
The Kitchen ought to be neither just under the
Noses of the Guests, nor at too great a Dis
tance; but so that the Victuals may be brought
in neither too hot nor too cold, and that the
Noise of the Scullions, with the Clatter of
their Pans, Dishes and other Utensils, may not
The Passage through which
the Victuals are to be carried, should be hand
some and convenient, not open to the Weather,