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have been at once completed in all its parts ; but the cry was still “ throw it open,” and the premium was awarded to an architect of Gloucestershire, who, having expended all the means at hand in the essential parts of the design, left unfinished the more decorative portion, which I presume had constituted the main reason for its selection. Designs for a new church and market-place were called for: the premiums were obtained by architects of London. The only instance of local success up to the time of which I speak—was one in which the award of the appointed judge was set aside to make way for the appointed party!

I candidly believe, that if every opportunity afforded me by trusting confidence had been open to competition, I should never have obtained a single premium. At the same time, the reasonable sufficiency of my adopted designs, in the very moderate artistic pretension. opportunity allowed, and in the mere general convenience economy permitted, has been usually acknowledged. The truth is, when an architect is preparing for competition, he is thinking much of the ad captandum features of his design : when preparing plans under immediate commission, he gives his care and ingenuity more to the utilitarian requirements of the building, and makes the exhibitory pictorial no more than modestly accordant with the means of outlay and the essential service of the structure. This alludes, of course,, to structures of the ordinary moderate scale and character. When an edifice of national importance, or of great scale and cost, is to be erected, the fame and remuneration attendant on success are: well worth the hazard of time and industry. Even the exhibition of the rejected designs may greatly benefit the authors. They may fail with honour; and if only especially mentioned, the mention goes forth to the world. Unconstrained by economic necessity, their artistic conceptions may be indulged. The contest, in the first instance, may not immediately refer to the building which is to be erected, but to a design which may justly occasion a decision as to the architect who shall be employed. The aim of the competitors being higher than mere pecuniary gain, and their judges, in such a case, being at least the best that can be had, they are content to believe that he, who has obtained the first premium for his trial design, has exhibited an ability coincident with the magnitude of the occasion; and, whatever form the great structure, as erected, may finally assume, no question will arise on any wrong done to the other competitors by its variation from the probationary plan. But in respect to the ordinary building, public or private, in which is required a maximum of accommodation at a minimum cost, it were more fair and considerate to engage some one competent architect to make several designs, from which a final plan of compromising satisfaction may be formed, than to obtain a number of plans from as many architects, the selected one of whom (by incompetent judgment most likely) may be ultimately so called upon to reduce and vary his design, that it becomes no longer what it was, and perhaps not so good as others might have been if altered to the same amount.

At this time, some of the better of my poor works were executed, viz., the Post-office at Devonport, the Plymouth Cottonian Library, and the interior of the Plymouth Mechanics' Institute. In the two latter, I was obliged to interfere with previously existing buildings designed by my predecessor Foulston, and no one can regret more than I do the

necessity which compelled even the substitution of the best of mine for anything of his. The construction of the Cottonian Library enforced the destruction of the front part of the Town Library, in which Foulston had shown his usual taste by a modified version of the monument of Thrasyllus at Athens; and I had only to hope the more ornate character of my building, as a piece of pictorial street architecture, would reconcile the general eye to the loss of its former object.

The peculiar form of the new Lecture-hall of the Mechanics’ Institute would never have been allowed, had not the awkward shape of the ground compelled its adoption; and to this accident-noway affecting my own credit--the members are indebted for a room which, for hearing and seeing the lecturer, is admitted to be excellent. The room is two squares in length. From the points where they unite, the sides of one of the squares (instead of being parallel, or continuous with those of the other) converge towards the end, and finish with an alcove. The lecturer, in this alcove, has his audience entirely before him, and his voice radiates only within the divergent confines of so much space as may be occupied without disadvantage to any of the sitters in front of him. He has no lateral sitters to strain their necks in looking across, instead of directly at him; and the great advantage of this, in all cases where drawings or diagrams are employed, must be obvious. While the Devonport Post-office and Plymouth Mechanics’ Institute were erecting, two of my pupils (Mr. Arthur and Mr. Norman) were winning their laurels by respectively building the Post-office at Plymouth and Mechanics' Institute at Devonport. Floreant !

I now retained, very properly, but a small share in the miscellaneous works of the towns, and could have been content with less, had my peers and professional pupils been my only successful rivals ; but, when ranges of street buildings and large shops were to be seen rising under the superintendence of carpenters and others, whose native powers had exempted them from all the cost and toiling study of professional appren. ticeship,-when, in short, there were such marked evidences to the truth that “genius may be independent of all educational aid, and that it is, in fact, manifested by a contempt for any pretensions founded on a long course of study,” it became evident that I was, from the first, innocent of all genius,—that I had been formerly imposed upon as a believing pupil, -that I had since imposed upon nine fathers and sons, as a professing teacher,—that my lectures were all a sham-my writings a flam-and that the only consolation attending this wholesome state of humiliation was the thought that, before my deficiency and deception were discovered, I had “feathered my nest."

They can but say, I had the crown:

They cannot call me fool as well as knave.
A reunion was at this time effected with one who had been

my travel ling companion in Italy some twenty-five years before, viz., Arthur Basset, Esq., of Watermouth, in North Devon. He told me, one sunny morning in the Coliseum, that if he outlived his father he should have some employment for me; and it so turned out that the job first promised was about the last work done. To balance, however, this re

vival of one friend, there was the loss of another, who had been kind in the extreme, and for whom I had professionally done much, with not less satisfaction to him than emolument to myself. He had consigned one more work to me. The design was highly approved, and the building completed. Some constructive defects in the joinery soon appeared. Other defects were suspected. A “report” was drawn up by a surveyor. It reflected on the builder's honesty and on my want of vigilance. My employer was gravely annoyed—his lady furious! The “report” was answered to the satisfaction of the steward of the gentleman, so far at least as to reduce the charge of dishonesty and neglect to a case of simple misfortune. Nevertheless, my old friends were friends no more ; and had I been guilty to the full extent first supposed, I could not have suffered more severely than by the distress which the failure of explanation occasioned.

The vexations inseparable from my profession were now becoming too much for me, and ideas of retirement suggested themselves. Against the artistic pleasures of architectural practice there was such a set-off of large labour and troubles great and small

, that I thought of acceding to a proposal more than once made, of taking a partner, and of shortly, for a “fair consideration,” leaving him in sole possession. Some active and practically educated new man, with more nerve, enterprise, and enduring temperament than myself, would do well, where I (one of a former period) might, under the new order of things, do but indifferently. The total resignation of my business to such a man—not partaking of my ecclesio-phobia"-might produce me from one to two thousand pounds. My pupils were fairly established, with connexions of their own. Some additional means were essential to my retirement, and I was now"open to treat.”

My old master in London, Mr. Lapidge, was one of the applicants on behalf of his son ; but, it may well be asked, “What of my brother ?” I have alluded to the impression I had that he would do better for himself than I could do for him. I believed he was steadily advancing as an engineer in London, and that he might be disinclined to resume the mere practice of a provincial architect; but at this very time intelligence reached me of certain severe trials of misfortune and sickness, which, with an honourable manliness, he had endeavoured to conceal! My resolve was instantly taken. Who, under these discovered circumstances, so fit as he to stand in my place ? Architect and engineer, strong in mind, as evinced by his up-bearing under trial, and with none of my anti-diocesan antipathies, for we had often done brotherly battle on the subject. Down he came to Plymouth; and I need not say his old fellow-students gave him willing welcome. In truth, they were not more likely to be interfered with by him (perhaps less) than by such a new comer as might otherwise have been left in my position. The particular one of my pupils

, whom I had more especially aided, might indeed regard him only as a rival brother; and I shall certainly never forget the

way in which he received my first intimation of his old friend's arrival.

Wightwick and Damant" was now the title of the firm. The junior took the labouring oar; and so we pulled along for some two years to

the end of this chapter. He was engaged with me in the Cottopian Library and Mechanics' Institute.

And thus, my fourth “move" was drawing towards its close. A sense of having stayed out my time was strangely mingled with that of having only just reached the period when my stay were most desirable. But no: if I had obtained the experience that made me a "wiser,” it had also made me a “sadder" man. I had lost my strength for doing, in learning to do. A vast amount of leisure had been expended in a vain endeavour to propound architectural principles to the elect of the Athenæum and the intelligent of the Mechanics’ Institute; in a vain and fallacious effort to instil into the public generally a feeling for my art; and to win some recognition of the standing to which I had most presumptuously aspired, as the most industrious architectural teacher in my locality, and therefore as the most self-taught. I found that all my partial success was, as Malvolio says, “Fortune--nothing but fortune," and that my endeavours to deserve it had been failure nothing but failure! To suppose otherwise would have been to accuse many of thoughtless neglect; and I chose rather to look the truth boldly in the face, and to impute the relaxation of their interest to that modified appreciation which left me to take my chance with others who were at least as good as I. They had, in short, “ found me out," and it was time to decide on taking myself off.

Where should I go? Born in Wales (though not Welsh by blood), I thought of becoming a Welshman. The romantic scenery of Snowdonia had ever peculiar charms even to my Alpine experienced mind, 50 I conceived the felicity of living in a cottage at the foot of the sovereign Welsh mountain, and there continuing my existence till it might "fade in the music” of the Welsh harp. Away I sped on a reconnoitring expedition to Caernarvon ; and a dispute, of about four pounds' value, with the landlord of a house that offered, with some rather unfavourable experiences of the feelings entertained by the Celt towards the Saxon, determined me to suspend my aspirations as a mountaineer.

I next treated for a house in Chester, on the old walls of which I had often trotted as a child, and on the level of whose famous race-course I had plucked daisies, with that innocent incipiency of radicalism which a Conservative might have sighed to behold ; but stopping, on my travel homeward, with a friend at Clifton, my fickle heart became enamoured of the scenic beauties of that charming locality, and I returned to Plymouth with information for my wife that on the following Midsummer-day, quick approaching, I should become the occupant of No. 5, Seymourplace, Clifton, with a vote for the historically famed borough of the city of Bristol! Here, however, I was not destined to remain.

Some weeks were yet to intervene before the day of departure ; and my Plymouth friends had therefore time to prepare themselves for the great loss they were about to experience. I could not, however, without emotions, which proved far more than I had anticipated, contemplate leaving the many whose regard I had secured by other than professional ties ; and, on their part, more feeling than I had ventured to expect was evinced. A public soirée was given me by the Mechanics’ Institute of Devonport ; and a similar compliment would have been paid by that of Plymouth, had circumstances allowed it. Both of them presented me

with farewell addresses, still more gratifying in their earnest cordiality than in the flattering terms wherein they were couched; and the Athenæum did not suffer its old servant to depart without a tribute more than worthy of him. Some thirty builders of the three towns subscribed to present me with the handsomest ornament of my drawing-room-a solid silver inkstand of much metal-value and exquisite design, bearing an inscription which I can, with delicacy, only simply refer to ; while the resident chief engineer, the late A. H. Bampton, Esq., likewise gifted me with a present of similar material and beauty.

MY LAST MOVE, OR MOVE OFF. MARVELLOUS are the advantages of the railroads ! and, among them, is that afforded to the gigantic furniture van, which supersedes all the cost and trouble of wooden cases and private packing ; enabling us to leave our old house, with all its contents, just as we have lived in it, and to have all things, in a few hours, or at most a day or two, redelivered to us in our new one.

On a fine summer's morning, a huge van was at the door of No. 3, Athenæum-terrace; and, before we had breakfasted, mirrors, pictures, prints, books, and bookshelves, bad left the walls of our sitting-rooms bare of their furniture and ornaments, with nothing remaining but those melancholy dust-marks, sadly denoting the places which were to know their old dependents

' no more! Friends dropped in with their brief, but feeling, “farewells;" and, among them, were some of the truest : old servants, who had married from the house, and who now came, with their presents, and their tears more precious far. The wheeled chair arrived at the door, and its accustomed draughtsman (a veteran pensioner of the Marines) was ready to carry away for the last time a burden long and most willingly borne. My poor wife was in her seat, with a faithful maiden on one side and “ master" on the other; and away we went, followed by my brother and his weeping wife, to the railroad station, departure side—to await only a few minutes the signal which was to “whistle us off.” The unconcerned draught-demon, with its concentrated strength of many horses, was hoarsely uttering its boisterous impatience to be gone; and the last coming passengers were running through all sorts of wrong directions towards the right. “ Now then !any more passengers going on?” Some hand-shakes--some kisses-some broken words of farewell -some tearful looks of intense silence—a slamming of coach doors-a brief

pause--the last ejaculation, “ All right!"-one more door-slama shrill blast !-a move-slow-not so slow-quick-quicker-quicker still, and still quicker and more quick-till we are in speed-over the street bridge between the banks of the cutting-over the road bridgeby the gaol—past the cemetery—through the tunnel—full speed ! (without engine power, for it is down the incline)-Heavens, what a rate ! quicker yet !--the old abandoned station-house-estuary of the PlymSaltram Woods-yes, Lord Morley's at home ; flag flying—Plympton station-of which®“ Express” takes no more notice than an emperor toadstool—and Plymouth was a place, in which I had lived, loved, laboured, and flourished for near a quarter of a century !

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