We can pave a dozen square yards of floor with them. How utterly we despise the silly little bricks of the toyshops! They are too small to make a decent home for even the poorest lead soldiers, even if there were hundreds of them, and there are never enough, never nearly enough; even if you take one at a time and lay it down and say, "This is a house," even then there are not enough.
The building-fund for the Duomo was raised in Como and its districts. Boxes were placed in all the churches to receive the alms of those who wished to aid the work. The clergy begged in Lent, and preached the duty of contributing on special days. Presents of lime and bricks and other materials were thankfully received.
It was formidably high, and garnished horribly with broken bottles; but it was also old, and when I came to pick at the mortar with my screw-driver, I found it reasonably rotten with age and damp. I removed four bricks to make footholes in different positions up the wall.
Suppose a human husband and wife were to start erecting their house in Piccadilly Circus, let us say; and suppose the man spent all the day steadily carrying bricks up the ladder while his wife laid them, never asking her how many she wanted, whether she didn't think he had brought up sufficient, but just accumulating bricks in a senseless fashion, bringing up every brick he could find.
In color, thickness, sanitary shapes, variety of designs, fire-proof qualities, polished smoothness and durability, these bricks recommend themselves to the favor of the general public, wherever they go. Without any effort in the line of advertising, the general demand for them has continued to increase, until brick-making has become the leading lucrative industry on the farm.
But as yet he had not entered the garden. That lay on the other side of the Mission. Vanamee passed down the colonnade, with its uneven pavement of worn red bricks, to the last door by the belfry tower, and rang the little bell by pulling the leather thong that hung from a hole in the door above the knob.
The last place I noticed as a favourite one in towns is on the half-bricks left projecting in perpendicular rows at the sides of unfinished houses, Half a dozen nests may be counted at the side of a house on these bricks; and like the starlings, they rear several broods, and some are nesting late in the autumn.
It was a grand scene, really inspiring forty or fifty masons on the line, perhaps half as many helpers or mixers, the Italians carrying bricks, and a score of carpenters now arriving under another foreman to set the beams and lay the joists as the walls rose upward.
But Michelangelo always dreamed on a scale utterly disproportionate to the foolish little span of life allotted to us and the S. Lorenzo façade was never even begun. The piazza which these untidy bricks overlook is now given up to stalls and is the centre of the cheap clothing district.
All lights went out, and the German soldiers groped about in the darkness amid the splinters of glass and the fallen bricks, searching for the wounded by the sound of their groans. It was but one scene along the way to that blood-bath through which they had to wade to the trenches of the Somme. Flights of British airplanes circled over the villages on the way.