Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/33

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most of it many times, I am always glad to listen, so quaint are his descriptions of everything he owns, and so sincerely does he believe in the personalities and lineage of each individual piece.

“I found it,” he continued, “in a little chapel in Ravenna. For years it had stood outside the cabinet of Alessandro, one of the Florentine dukes. Think of all the men and women who have sat in it, and of all the cruel and anxious thoughts that raced through their brains while they waited for an audience with the tyrant! Nothing like a chair for stirring up old memories and traditions. And do you see the carved heads on the top! I assure you they are alive! I have caught them smiling or frowning too often at the talk around my table not to know. Once when De Bouf, the great French clown was here, the head next you came near splitting itself in two over his grimaces, and when Marcot told one of his pathetic stories that other one wept such tears that I had to mop them up to keep the velvet from being spoilt. You don’t believe it?—you laugh! Ah!—that is just like you modern writers—you do not believe anything—you have no imagination! You must measure things with a rule! You must