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The Ways of Men
written by "Gregory, Eliot, 1854-1915"
...of the Venetian accordion had got his instrument well drawn out and balanced on its end, he perceived that it dwarfed the adjacent buildings, so cast about in his mind for a scheme to add height and dignity to the rest of the block.  One day the astonished neighborhood saw what appeared to be a “roomy suburban villa” of iron rising on the roof of the old Hoffman House.  The results suggests a small man who, being obliged to walk with a giant, had put on a hat several times too large in order to equalize their heights! How astonished Pericles and his circle of architects and sculptors would be could they stand on the corner of Broadway and Twenty-eighth Street and see the miniature Parthenon that graces the roof of a pile innocent of other Greek ornament?  They would also recognize their old friends, the ladies of the Erechtheum, doing duty on the Reveillon Building across the way, pretending to hold up a cornice, which, being in proportion to the building, is several hundred times too big for them to carry.  They can’t be seen from the sidewalk,—the street is too narrow for that,—but such trifles don’t deter builders from decorating when the fit is on them.  Perhaps this one got his caryatides at a bargain, and had to work them in somewhere; so it is not fair to be hard on him. If ever we take to ballooning, all these elaborate tops may add materially to our pleasure.  At the present moment the birds, and angels, it is to be hoped, appreciate the effort.  I, perhaps, of all the inhabitants of the city, have seen those ladies face to face, when I have gone on a semi-monthly visit to my roof to look for leaks! “It’s all very well to carp and cavil,” many readers will say, “but ‘Idler’ forgets that our modern architects have had to contend with difficulties that the designers of other ages never faced, demands for space and light forcing the nineteenth-century bui...

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