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Fig. 6 shows a balustrade properly divided, with a void in the centre.

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Fig. 6.

Fig. 7 shows the same improperly treated; that is to say, with a pier in the centre.

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It is well known that the Greeks, while they never allowed a column in the centre of the fronts of their temples, did not scruple to use an unequal number of columns at the sides. It was supposed that the great difficulty of counting them would prevent any one from finding out whether there was an even or odd number. In balustrades, however, it is of vital importance, no matter how long they may be. Recollect the garden-walks

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Fig. 8.

inside, and consider the ill effect of a pier in the centre. — See Fig. 8.

Fig. 9 shows the balustrade treated properly, with a void opposite the walk.

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If a circular bay, as in Figs, io and 11, be made, it is quite allowable to place in the centre an object superior in character to the ordinary vases or

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» Fig. 10.

piers of the balustrade, though there is a still better treatment possible.

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Fig. ii.

Fig. 12 is merely the outside elevation of Fig. 9, supposing it were desirable to continue the walk to the lower level by means of steps. It is, in all respects, a satisfactory composition.

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It is important, even in trifling details, such as individual balusters, to treat them as piers, and consequently not place one in the centre, no matter how great the distance between the piers. If they are immediately under the windows of the house, as they are most likely to be, they are sure to be counted; and, when the offending baluster is once discovered, it becomes an eye-sore ever afterwards.

It may seem superfluous to allude to the importance of using half-piers and half-balusters. It is sometimes very convenient to dispense with the half or quarter piers; but it is a complete sacrifice of architectural propriety, and, when detected, is as offensive as the central baluster.

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Fig. 13 shows the application of a cylindrical or octagonal pier to portions of a balustrade. The square form of the pier, A, would give much confusion in lines, none of which are either parallel to or at right angles with the building. Either B or C would be satisfactory.

Variety and contrast need no special illustrations, inasmuch as everyone knows what is meant by those terms. Variety scarcely admits of explanation by means of diagrams : contrast is too simple to require them. — Adapted from "Garden Architecture and Landscape Gardening" by John Arthur Hughes.

ON FRUIT-CRITICS.

There is a distinction between professional and popular judgment in regard to fruits, which is a great puzzle to some people. Thus the Bartlett, in popular estimation, is at the head of all the early autumn pears. In the great markets, where you find one bushel of another sort, you will very likely find ten bushels of Bartletts; where you find one customer familiar with other varieties, whether Tyson or Sheldon or Rosteizer, you will find ten who are familiar with the Bartlett. Yet I think the pomologists proper are always disposed to speak rather apologetically of it: "A fair pear, to be sure, but lacking a certain "—well, something which belongs to the lessknown sorts. Nay, a very distinguished fruit-grower, into whose grounds I chanced to stroll upon a delightful September day, thought it necessary to excuse the appearance of a single Bartlett pear-tree in the midst of his beautiful pyramids of other growth: "It was an inadvertence; planted by error: he should regraft it."

The Concord holds nearly the same relative position among the newer grapes, in which I would include the Diana, Hartford Prolific, Delaware, Iona, Rogers's Hybrids, Israella, and Adirondac. The Concord does not, indeed, maintain the same kingship in the larger markets which belongs to the Bartlett among pears; yet it is the accepted type of a good grape, and a profitable one for the million.

The largest reason, perhaps, of this popular success, lies in the fact that both the Bartlett pear and the Concord grape can be easily grown; will bear all exposures, harsh treatment; and, without any thing more than the hap-hazard attention which the majority of fruit-growers bestow, will bear good crops, and come to full maturity. It would be idle to say that these considerations should not and do not count largely in their favor. And it is easily comprehensible how these same considerations should be made of little account by those assiduous cultivators who make it a matter of conscience to give extreme care and the nicest watchfulness to whatever they take in hand, and who count it a sin to treat any vine or tree with neglect. Ease of culture, however, and absolute hardiness, would not altogether account for the popularity of the fruits we have named. The public may be a buzzard, if you will, on the score of taste; but even buzzards have a taste. Pomologists must keep cool in their reckonings.

Professional and popular judgment vary in the matter of books as much as in the matter of fruits. Some author whose wares sell by thousands and tens of thousands this year and next, is, perhaps, the very one whom the astute critics of the recognized organs of literary taste pounce upon with a fury. The man of large and nice culture has no appetite for those grosser flavors, however new or however curiously composite, which may lie sweetly under the tongue of the multitude. All the world reads Mr. Trollope and Miss Braddon, though all the critics cry "Cave/" So, however much these latter gentlemen may praise the delicate touch and the artist-like achievement which belong to such a story as Miss Evans's " Romola," the bulk of the reading public is not won into either purchase or applause. The truth is, that all the finer tastes, whether in art, letters, or pomology, demand a very considerable culture for their establishment; more cultivation and more leisure for its attainment than the majority of either readers or fruit-lovers possess. Education is, indeed, doing very much every year to supply this culture; but when popular education shall have done its best, whether as regards books or fruits, there will remain a wide gap between the appreciative perceptions of those who devote themselves to special culture and those of the multitude. You or I may enjoy a good glass of any sound wine of Medoc, whereas the old connoisseur will smack his lips only over Lafitte or Chateau Margaux; yet it will never do for this latter to say that we, therefore, have a corrupt or vitiated taste.

I, by no means, would declare against the good services of those pomologists who are the most difficult critics of flavor: they are indeed the obstetricians and the monthly nurses of the vegetable world, — presiding at the birth of new products, and tending them with rare care through a helpless infancy, and (it must be said), like most officials of their class, showing exaggerated favor always to the latest born. Let them not become irascible if outsiders sometimes set aside their decisions, and cleave with tenderness to some of the elder-born among vegetable triumphs.

I know it will be said by the advanced fruit-growers, that the taste of the multitude must be educated up to their level, and that it is quite as easy to grow a fine-flavored fruit as one badly flavored. With due respect, however, I shall venture to except to both propositions.

The common taste cannot be educated up to the level of that which is established by years of special study and culture. The bulk of people have corn and axes to grind, and children to feed, and pleas to make, and sermons to preach, which will not admit of this special culture. I am not sure that a severely critical taste, either in fruit-flavor or intellectual products, would be desirable, if it could be secured. Critics are most excellent people in their place; but fill the world with them, and what a contentious, backbiting world it would become!

I think we may bless God that there is, and ever must be, a large appetite for common things; a public maw, which says grace, and falls to

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