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Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The

Mortar never becomes so hard and adhesive to the bricks


The

present is the first opportunity which has occurred of sending the plans. You will, accordingly, receive herewith the ground plan, the elevation of the front, and the elevation of the side. The architect having been much busied, and knowing that this was all which would be necessary in the beginning, has not yet finished the sections of the building. They must go by some future occasion, as well as the models of the front and side, which are making in plaster of Paris. These were absolutely necessary for the guide of workmen, not very expert in their art. It will add considerably to the expense, and I would not have incurred it, but that I was sensible of its necessity. The price of the model will be fifteen guineas. 1 shall know, in a few days, the cost of the drawings, which probably will be the triple of the model: however, this is but conjecture. I will make it as small as possible, pay it, and render you an account in my next letter. You will find, on examination, that the body of this building covers an area but two fifths of that which is proposed and begun; of course, it will take but about one half the bricks; and, of course, this circumstance will enlist all the workmen, and people of the art, against the plan. Again, the building begun is to have four porticoes; this but one. It is true that this will be deeper than those were probably proposed, but even if it be made three columns deep, it will not take half the number of columns. The beauty of this is insured by experience,
and by the suffrage of the whole world: the beauty of that is problematical, as is every drawing, however well it looks on paper, till it be actually executed: and though I suppose there is more room in the plan begun, than in that now sent, yet there is enough in this for all the three branches of government, and more than enough is not wanted. This contains sixteen rooms; to wit, four on the first floor, for the General Court, Delegates, lobby, and conference. Eight on the second floor, for the Executive, the Senate, and six rooms for committees and juries: and over four of these smaller rooms of the second floor, are four mezzininos or entresols, serving as offices for the clerks of the Executive, the Senate, the Delegates, and the Court in actual session. It will be an objection, that the work is begun on the other plan. But the whole of this need not be taken to pieces, and of what shall be taken to pieces, the bricks will do for inner work. Mortar never becomes so hard and adhesive to the bricks, in a few months, but that it may be easily chipped off. And upon the whole, the plan now sent will save a great proportion of the expense.

Hitherto, I have spoken of the capital only. The plans for the prison, also, accompany this. They will explain themselves. I send, also, the plan of the prison proposed at Lyons, which was sent me by the architect, and to which we are indebted for the fundamental idea of ours. You will see, that of a great thing a very small one is made. Perhaps you may find it convenient to build, at first, only two sides, forming an L; but of this, you are the best judges. It has been suggested to me, that fine gravel, mixed in the mortar, prevents the prisoners from cutting themselves out, as that will destroy their tools. In my letter of August the 13th, I mentioned that I could send workmen from hence. As I am in hopes of receiving your orders precisely, in answer to that letter, I shall defer actually engaging any, till I receive them. In like manner, I shall defer having plans drawn for a Governor's house, &c, till further orders; only assuring you, that the receiving and executing these orders, will always give me a very great pleasure, and the more, should I find that what I have done meets your approbation.


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