comfort and enjoyment of life, or limit " supply/' Ke concerned himself but little about them. Times of comparative peace had succeeded those of trouble and turmoil, though they were not destined to continue for very long. King, queen, and courtiers, not looking for, and therefore not discovering, the presence of the thunder-clouds in whose womb was pent up one of the most appalling outbursts of popular fury the world has ever seen, passed their days in dalliance with whatever appealed to their fancies, and devoted their energies almost exclusively to the pursuit of enjoyment, so long as serious exertion of any kind, mental or physical, was. not required for the gratification of their desires. The notes of the shepherd's pipe had, in truth, taken the place of the bray of the trumpet; silks, velvets, brocades, ruffles, and satin shoes had ousted the martial cuirass and spurred heel from the scene; ministers' " portfolios" and despatch boxes were filled with love-lorn ditties; swords rusted in their scabbards; even the duello was interdicted; and it might almost be said that the only truly militant member of the community who kept his weapons in constant readiness was Dan Cupid himself, the shafts from whose bow continued- to speed as unerringly as ever.
This, and much more in a similar vein, was what there -was to be symbolised, and it is this which accounts for the presence, indeed the predominance, in "Louis-Seize" decoration of almost every imaginable symbol and emblem that could suggest to the mind in the most delightful manner the cultivation of the arts of peace, and, to a still greater extent, the pursuit of pleasure rather than the suggestion of strife, conflict, and conquest. The spirit pervading the court was indeed caught and crystallised, if I may so express it, by the disciples of Watteau and Boucher ; a spirit of dolce far nienU} delightful enough to enjoy where circumstances will permit its indulgence, but which, under the social conditions prevailing in France at the time, could not but lead to awful disaster.
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