and craftsmen of all ages, sparing neither pains nor expense to place on record, in a form worthy of them, the wondrous story of the greatest achievements of those old workers. It is not my intention, at the present time at all events, to follow the example of these chroniclers, except in a very modest way, and, as I have already explained, so far only as may be essential to the attainment of the particular object I have in view. That object, I think, must have become apparent by this time.
In the preceding chapters, the plan adopted has not been to give merely a simple description of the models presented just as they stand, and no more ; but it has been my constant endeavour, in all cases, to probe far more deeply into the question, to show the origin, growth, and final development of each particular style, and, as far as possible, to give its genealogical tree. In following my attempt to do this, it cannot but have become apparent to the reader that, just as in the domain of millinery and dress generally we have, as a nation, been guided for generations by the French, have noted even the slightest changes of fashion in the Gay Capital and seized with avidity upon the modes created there ; so, in the furnishing and beautifying of our homes, we have never hesitated to draw, and draw most freely, our inspiration from the creations of the ébénistes and tapissiers of France. We have not, it is true, indulged this propensity fully during recent years ; but, as has been made clearly evident, we certainly did so, and with a very grasping hand, in past centuries, and most particularly during the eighteenth. It has naturally followed, that in the chapters treating on the work of the great English cabinet makers of the last-named period, references to the "Louis-Quatorze," the "Louis-Quinze," and the " Louis-Seize," have frequently recurred. We have been forced to acknowledge that the most important phases of our " Chippendale," " Heppelwhite," and " Sheraton," were inspired to a great extent by them. This
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