In the following attempt to set forth the true character of the architecture of the Renaissance I have endeavoured to reduce mere descriptions of buildings to a minimum, and to give graphic illustrations enough to make the discussions clear.
In presenting this book to the public, it is deemed just to say that the idea of writing a history of the Capitol was first urged upon the author by Captain Howard F. Kennedy, and that, in the preparation of the work, he has collaborated by furnishing facts and data collected by him during his long association with the building, and embraced in his lecture, familiar to tourists and many others. This production is submitted to the public with the hope that it may merit a generous welcome at their hands. If it fails to enlarge the scope of information already accumulated by other writers, or to awaken in the minds and hearts of the people greater interest and pride in their Capitol—the great forum of the law-making power of the government—such a result cannot be attributed to a want of careful research or long-continued faithful labor.
Everyone who comes to Egypt has heard of the pyramids, but comparatively few know more about them than that they are tall and pointed, and, in a vague way, that they are very old. Some people have an idea that they were the buildings that the Children of Israel built for Pharaoh under the lash of Egyptian overseers, and it surprises many when they come to realise that the pyramids had been standing for more than a thousand years before the Children of Israel ever saw Egypt.