for any projected magnum opus was to attain notoriety. Can we then be surprised if every home that boasted a room to spare devoted it presumably to the pursuit of literary studies ?
So far as it lay within their power the cabinet makers, of course, were ready and willing to encourage and foster the existence of this state of things ; for it suited them admirably. In order to do so, and help at the same time to fill their order books, they devised all manner of articles designed to enhance the convenience and comfort of reading and writing, and for the reception of books and the storage of papers. Many of these were the direct ancestors of some of the most indispensable furnishing adjuncts of the well-appointed library and study of to-day.
The articles represented in Figs. I, 3, and 4, Plate IV., variously termed " secretary bookcases," " bureau bookcases," " escritoires," and u secrétaires," represent a type the manufacture of which was extensively cultivated. Similar ones were, as we have seen, well known at a much earlier date, and their lasting popularity is not one whit to be wondered at, for now, as then, they are a veritable " boon and blessing " to the literarily inclined, who desire to have their necessary books of reference and favourite authors handy, and their papers safe from the terrors of "tidying" operations, and the soul-stirring, as well as dust-stirring, ravages wrought by the ubiquitous duster.
Secrétaires almost precisely similar in character to those under consideration are still manufactured in very large numbers, but they have found a remarkably strong rival in the modern American " roll-top " desk ; an article which, during the past fifteen or twenty years, has been imported into this country by tens of thousands. Against this importation, regarded strictly from the utilitarian point of view, I have not a single word to say. The " roll-top " desk, indeed, provided it be by one of the reputable manufacturers, is in every respect an ideal one for the busy man who can dispense
Reference in Text
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