The next thing of course was to build a suitable house. I well remembered the old maxim that "fools build houses and wise men but them." I think, however, that the fools must be a very useful class of community; for if they did not build, the wise ones must go houseless. But this wise saying, though very good perhaps for cities, will no answer for the country. In the city, if the house is satisfactory, and the neighborhood good, all is right It matters not whether the "seventy-nine" lot is high or low, rich or poor. But in the purchase of a farm - even a thirty acre farm - there are other considerations vastly more important than the value or convenience or beauty of the house. The nature and fertility of the soil - the convenience to market - the varieties of fruit in the orchard - is of the first consideration; - even a running brook, is of more value to many farms than would be a costly house. These are facts I have learned by observation and experience, and I have no doubt they will be of service to some of my readers.

In searching for a plan for my house, I visited many residences I had previously noticed as being remarkable for their beauty or novelty; but finding nothing that came up to my ideas of what my house should be, I applied to an architect, stating the sum of money I wished to expend. In a few days I had a beautifully colored picture of a house that all said was very pretty, and I concluded it was about what I wanted. Some time after, on examining the ground plan, which I had almost forgotten in my admiration of the pretty picture, I found it lacked many conveniences. Some changes were made for the better, and I now regret that I did not make other and more important modifications. I have too much parlor, and too little kitchen and diningr-oom; too much show, and too little comfort Downing remarked that the garden is the country parlor. We residents of the country have but little company in the winter, and in the summer the parlor is deserted for the lawn and the garden.

My drawings and specifications I presented to several builders, but to my utter astonishment I found them to be a set of sharpers, as all of them wanted to charge me double the price the architect declared the house could be built for. In this dilemma I applied to Mr. Architrave - the celebrated architect I had employed -who confirmed my suspicions as to the character of builders generally, by stating that as a class, they were always ready to impose upon the inexperienced, and in such cases would charge double a fair and remunerative price. He advised me to hire men by the day, employ a good mechanic as foreman, and in this way he assured me I could build my house for less than the estimate. This plan pleased me, as by it I should not only get my house built at a fair price, but effectually circumvent the men who were endeavoring to take advantage of my inexperience.

I acted upon this advice, but sad to relate, my house was not half finished, and the money I had appropriated to this purpose was exhausted. This was my first hard lesson. The house unfinished was useless, worse than useless - an unsightly object - a monument of folly. It must be finished. So I continued to advance cash, as required, and when the building was completed it had cost more than double the architect's estimate, and one-fourth more than the proposed contract price of the builders, which I had believed so exorbitant But the house was done, and I thought myself pretty well done for. There was some satisfaction, however, in knowing the last day's work to be done, and the last bill paid, as my funds had been suffering from a rapid decline ever since the commencement of the work.

I always endeavor to derive some benefit even from my mistakes and misfortunes, and having taken some lessons in the high school of experience, I feel competent to give advice. My knowledge cost me a trifle, but my readers are welcome to it without charge.

If you are about to build, first determine on the number of rooms you need, their size and arrangement, and then build the house to suit the rooms. Don't first determine the size and form of the house, and arrange the rooms to suit it This is as foolish as building a good house on a poor foundation. Arrange the rooms so as to be convenient to each other. It is a poor plan to place the kitchen in one corner of the house, and the dining-room in another. Never build a house in a hurry, or you will repent it at your leisure. Don't think you can build a large house for a small price; or that you have any particular faculty that will enable you to build much cheaper than your neighbors, or you will be deceived. You may be quite a genius, but genius will not pay for bricks and mortar.

Arrange your plan thoroughly and satisfactorily, even to the smallest details, before you commence building. Changes afterwards are troublesome and expensive.

After you have obtained an estimate from two or three competent, reliable builders, be assured that your house will cost you the sum estimated. Don't try to beat them at their own trade. The experiment will make you a wiser, and perhaps a sadder man. If you can not afford to build so costly a house, change your plan.