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know how many frusta and blocks quarried at
the same time were rejected, left behind, and
have long since mouldered. We see the
decayed and the decaying blocks set in the
walls of St. Paul's, as also those blocks which
remain sound; but in the quarry, the
Commissioners found only those which had endured. It
is the same class of evidence as that given by
anti-sanitarians, when they find a few aged people
in an unhealthy district; but the sanitarian will
persist in taking infantile mortality as the best
test of the unwholesomeness or healthiness of
any district; and our architect will do wisely if
he take a parallel test as to the life of a stone
when quarried. That quarry which produces
the most satisfactory test of endurance, or life,
in stones, after a five years' exposure to the
elements, will yield the best stones for building

The Commissioners also say: " Colour is of
more importance in the selection of a stone for
a building to be situated in a populous and
smoky town than for one to be placed in an
open country, where all edifices usually become
covered, as above stated, with lichens; for,
although in such towns those fronts which are
not exposed to the prevailing winds and rains
will soon become blackened, the remainder of
the building will constantly exhibit a tint
depending upon the natural colour of the material
employed." The artist feeling, and not the
scientific knowledge of the Commissioners, has
again had full play and expression. One would
think that an architect about to erect any building
liable to have, at least, two of its fronts
blackened and disfigured by smoke, dust, and
soot, need not be so very particular as to the
uniform colour of the other fronts.

The Commissioners, as previously mentioned,
state that they found the stones in highly-decorated
architecture, as a rule, most decayed, because
the grain of the stone is more exposed
than in buildings of plainer design. By the
published evidence it appears, however, that sandstones
and limestones are found equally perfect in
buildings of Norman and subsequent dates, as also
that both sandstones and limestones have alike
mouldered. Examples of magnesian limestone, or
dolomite in buildings, in an advanced state of
decay, are given; as " The churches of York and
a large portion of the Minster, Howden Church,
Doncaster Old Church, and others in that part
of the country, many of which are so much
decomposed that the mouldings, carvings, and
other architectural decorations are often entirely
effaced." And yet the Commissioners recommend
"the magnesian limestone, or dolomite,
of Bolsover Moor and its neighbourhood, as the
most fit and proper material to be employed in
the proposed new Houses of Parliament."

There is, it is true, evidence, in certain
buildings named, of the endurance of magnesian
limestone, but there is evidence equally strong
as to the endurance of sandstone; and there
are certain remarks stating that "the nearer
the magnesian limestone approaches to equivalent
proportions of carbonate of lime and
carbonate of magnesia, the more crystalline
and better they are in every respect." But
results show that the stone brought to the
new Houses of Parliament and there used,
cannot be crystalline because it is not enduring.
The recommendation of the Commissioners, and
the results, are not unlike Mr. BUCKSTONE'S non
sequitur in the farce: " Have you the mark of a
strawberry on your left arm?" " No." " Then
you are my long lost brother." Is the stone
from the quarries of Bolsover crystalline and
durable? No. Then it is the best stone with
which to build the new Houses of Parliament.


STRICTLY speaking, we start as it were from
The Post; and though this phrase may have a certain
offensive familiarity and racing flavour,
obtaining principally among sporting gentlemen, I
can only repeat advisedly that we start from The
Post. Literally, and without quip or evasion,
we do start from The Post. It is the expedition
of the day. I do not envy the man who, with a
tame sneaking regularity, would have his letters
brought to him at his hotel by the accredited
functionary. There is a dull sleepy uniformity
in that old world process. More wholesome far is
that early plunge into the bath of Roman morning
air; that brisk going forth with lightest
heart into this strange atmosphere, which braces,
and makes the nerves and fibres tingle, and fills
with the hope and passion of a day newly begun.
We bound along a street, singingmaking
for the Post Pontifical. Cheerful, then, the
shop windows opening their shutter-eyes; cheerful
the gay French gaillards, all trim and bright,
stepping out lightly to relieve the guard; cheerful
the veiled ladies, missal in hand, tripping in
at church doors for morning mass. There is no
such elastic medium in the world as a douche of
Roman morning air.

The great square court of the huge palace,
labelled in golden letters " POSTA PONTIFICIE,"
is more like an Exchange. The men who crowd
together there, and come and go and pass and
repass, seem on 'Change. The poor baited
souls at the pigeon-holes, who shuffle letters
like cards, and shuffle the same pack ten thousand
times in the day, must have a weary
time of it. What a fine sense of hearing they
ought to have! All nations crowding desperately
at the pigeon-holes, and frantically calling
their own name. Polyglot din of " Tagenblitz!"
"Greiner!" " Chopoffski!" " Kissemlieff!"
"Murphy! I say! Murphy?" " De Brimont,
monsieur!" and from afar off, from the very
outskirts, in rich stentorian bass, "Smith
Smith, please!—anything for Smith?"

I say again, in an Eternal City I would not
have my letters tendered to me in the regular
way, for any consideration. I call this, pleasantly,
the Morning Postal Surprise. It has all the
excitement of drawing in the lottery, and none
of the expense. There is all the gentle titillation
of a protracted suspense: the struggle for the
windowthe hoarse denunciation of selfplaintive

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