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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/345

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having a hand in such a splendid monument—and of winning the power through it to do other splendid things. In all the work I've ever done, I've never had anything like the conviction of my power to do it right that I have now about this—to do it really nobly;—that sounds conceited, but nevertheless the conviction has been growing on me all along as I've studied out the problems. Hospitals have been a sort of hobby of mine in architecture,—not that I've ever built any, but I've been interested for a long time in the special problems that they offer; most of them are so monotonous, so obviously utilitarian—barracks for the sick;—and I've studied in a desultory way the best work of that kind that's been done, and I've thought about it a good deal. And since Colonel Halket's will has been made public, I've consulted doctors and surgeons to make sure of meeting all the practical requirements. Did Lydia tell you how the plan for the whole thing came to me one afternoon while I was sitting in the park?"

"She mentioned that that was the historic spot," replied Mr. Dunbar facetiously.

"Ah well," Stewart laughed, "I don't mean to make too much of my inspirations. I have them seldom enough; I ought to be allowed to be enthusiastic over them when they come. And this was one of my best; I'm afraid I never shall surpass it. Would you look at some of my drawings? I brought them home; of course they're rather undeveloped, but they'll give you an idea."

Mr. Dunbar was densely ignorant of the principles of architecture; but because the buildings of Stewart's plans seemed to him to suggest the Capitol at Washington—without the dome—a resemblance which he did not venture to mention for fear of being told that it did not exist—he concluded that they were good. He allowed Stewart to explain at length all the arrangements and beauties, but after a short time he ceased to listen. Stewart was a thoroughly competent architect; that fact anyway was