The architect’s problems in dealing with clients impossible demands are illustrated in this extract. Imagine the size of the inscription necessary to make such large letters. Impossible to achieve while keeping the correct proportions of the pillar.
We think of vandalism as a 20th century phenomenon. So it is on a massive and near universal scale but graffiti have appeared throughout the centuries and here we have an example of awareness of the strong possibility that vandals would deface the monument.
Life and Correspondence of Mrs. Delany 15 February 1722-3
Lord Lansdowne to Colonel Bernard Granville
” ..• 1 thank you for the plan you sent me of the pillar erected upon Lansdowne, but I find the performer has not been exacLHis directions were to be sure of making tables for the inscription so large that the letters might be easily legible at a distance by any passenger on horseback … it was likewise forseen, that unless it was surrounded by a rail it would be impossible to hinder it from being defaced by comers and goers, who would be apt to scratch their own conceits and sentences upon it.”
Dear Miss Heber
Mrs. Bland to Miss Heber Seymour Street. 13 Sep. 1791
“Your acqaintance, Mr Hookham, has got a most tempting House. I was walking past it very lately & was kindly ask’d to Look at it. The Library & building of the House Cost £3000-& the first contains 10,000 Volumes to Let out to subscribers. The room is above 100 feet long, to have a large table in the middle, seats & other accomodation that, when Ladies have been walking with a Beau, they will find it the best way into Bond Street to Hook’em. n
M. Grosley Vall. P.74
London suffered from humidity and “WOUld be uninhabitable, if, to supply it with constant fuel, it had not’ a resource in sea-coal, which immense forests would be insufficient to furnish … in the month of Mayall the apartments in the British Museum, apartments as extraordinary on account of their number as their size, had a fire in them: not so much to warm the rooms, as to preserve from damps and humidity the books, the manuscripts, the maps, and the curious collection of ali sorts deposited in that fine building.