Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/174

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


ceremony. And yet it was a delightful period, and a most instructive one, for the antiquary, even if it did end with the guillotine. I have always thought that nothing so clearly defines the taste and intelligence of a nation as their furniture and house decoration. The frivolities of the Monarchs of the period is to be found in every twist and curve of their several styles, just as the virility and out-door life of the Greeks and Romans are expressed in their solid-marble benches and carved-stone sofas. Since I have no place in my gardens for ruins of this kind, I do not collect them—nor would I if I had. There should be, I think, a certain sane appropriateness in every collection, even in so slight a one as my own, and a Greek garden with a line of motor cars on one side and a Normandy church on the other would, I am afraid, be a little out of keeping,” and he laughed softly.

“But you haven’t kept close to that rule in this room,” said Herbert, gazing about him. “We have everything here from Philip the Second to Napoleon the Third.”

“I have kept much closer than you think, Monsieur Herbert. The panels, ceiling, furniture, and stained glass, as well as the fireplace, are more or less of one period. The fixtures,