Saturday, March 28, 2009

.... devoted to literature .....

"Mrs. Jamieson's drawing-room was cheerful; the evening sun came streaming into it, and the large square window was clustered around with flowers.  The furniture was white and gold; not the later style, Louis Quatorze, I think they call it, all shells and twirls; no, Mrs. Jamieson's chairs and tables had not a curve or a bend about them.  The chair and table legs diminished as they neared the ground, and were straight and square in all their corners.  The chairs were all a-row against the walls, with the exception of four or five, which stood in a circle around the fire.  They were railed with white bars across the back, and nobbed with gold; neither the railings nor the nobs invited to ease.  There was a japanned table devoted to literature, on which lay a Bible, a Peerage, and a Prayer-Book.  There was another square Pembroke table dedicated to the Fine Arts, on which were a kaleidoscope, conversation-cards, puzzle-cards (tied together to an interminable length with faded pink satin ribbon), and a box painted in fond imitation of the drawings which decorate tea-chests.  Carlo lay on the worsted-worked rug, and ungraciously barked at us as we entered.  Mrs. Jamieson stood up, giving each a torpid smile of welcome, and looking helplessly beyond us at Mr. Mulliner, as if she hoped he would place us in chairs, for, if he did not, she never could.  I suppose he thought we could find our way to the circle around the fire, which reminded me of Stonehenge, I don't know why."

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