BUILDING RECOMMENDED-THE TIMBER WORK.
Towards the middle of March, the weather being fine, the works were resumed, and instructions for executing the floors and roofs had to be given to the carpenter, that no time might be lost. Paul was beginning to understand his cousin's sketches more readily, and to be able to make himself useful. Besides, he had acquired the excellent habit of asking for explanations when he had reason to suppose on a first view that he could not faithfully inter pret a rough sketch; and Eugene was not sparing of explanation and commentaries. His patience was inex haustible. Nevertheless, every time Paul was embarrassed and was unable to solve a difficult question, before putting him in the way to do so, Eugene used to let him try for a reasonable time.
"Reflect,"he would say to him,"and you will be sure to find some solution. If it is not the right one, I will help you; but you must get some result for yourself. It is impossible to have a clear understanding of a solution given by a person who understands the matter, until we have thoroughly considered it, and made some efforts to solve the given problem ourselves. This is a necessary preliminary exercise, and one which puts the mind in a right state for comprehending. Draw a general section of the main building through the billiard-room and your brother-in-law's study : I mean a transverse section which will indicate the walls, the floors, the fire-places, and roofs. You have nearly all the necessary elements. Endeavour to arrange the whole in proper order, that you may make all the parts of the building clear to yourself. I do not wish to see this section till you have finished it. Not till then shall I correct it; and that correction will be of advantage to you." Making use, therefore, of the details already drawn, Paul drew the transverse section, not without difficulty; but the roof-timbers were singularly conceived, - their com position appeared to him difficult and complicated. He did not know how to close the wide opening between the billiard-room and the drawing-room. The dormer-windows of the roof embarrassed him considerably. Besides, he
had much difficulty in realizing the junction of all these parts. In spite of all his efforts he could not succeed in representing clearly their relative positions. He was not satisfied, and frankly told his cousin so.
"I am very glad,"replied the latter,"that you are not satisfied. It would be a bad sign if you were, for it would prove that you had not made any great effort. Your walls are fairly in their right place according to the section we have taken. But the timbers, the dormer-windows ! this could not hold together, and is wanting in simplicity.
Why so many pieces of wood Have you assured yourself of their utility? We have walls; let us make use of them. Why not make use of the wall which separ ates the billiard-room from the study to bear the roofing timbers in part? - especially as this wall receives chimney flues, which must surely be carried up through the roof. You did not remember the chimneys; that is thoughtless ness, for you see them marked in the plans of the ground floor and of the first and second floors." "I certainly thought of them,"replied Paul;"but I did not know how to carry them up through the roof.," "And so you did not draw them; that is certainly a way of avoiding the difficulty; but yet you know they must go up through the roof. That I cannot approve of; putting aside a question is not solving it. Come, let us revise all this together." The section was soon corrected (Fig. 46), and Eugene did not fail to furnish it in detail, according to the uses of the apartments through which the section was drawn; which pleased Paul greatly, as he could thus realize the billiard room completed, with its opening into the drawing-room, his brother-in-law's study, with its doors;'then above, his bed-room, dressing-room, and the two attic rooms. This drawing appeared to him charming; he could fancy him self already entering the apartments and enjoying his sister's surprise on examining these interiors. He was wanting to show all these pretty things to Madame de Gandelau directly, but Eugene persuaded him to have a little patience.