The Louisquinze

These reminiscences will serve to remind the reader of the fact that the times were not remarkable for lofty aspirations of earnest endeavour ; but in everything the satisfaction of the senses was placed before the cultivation of the intellect, though the intellect was, of course, cultivated in so far as it could be brought to minister to the more carnal appetites. It cannot be urged that the influence of the Comtesse du Barri was in any degree inferior to that of any other of the king's favourites ; for his Majesty's choice of companionship throughout was directed by the dictates of his own weak and libidinous disposition. It is remarkable and significant that, whereas the names which stand out most prominently during the preceding reign as those of men of colossal genius are the names of those who were employing their powers for the glorification of the monarchy, under Louis the Fifteenth the giant intellects seem to have been intent upon its demolition. François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire had, for instance, more than once full opportunity of judging from personal experience the efficiency of the system adopted in the Bastille for the repression of treason ; and saw his works publicly burned by the decree of Parliament. 4i Jean-Jacques," instead of singing the praises of the Bourbons and writing triumphal marches in their honour, was busily engaged upon his "Contrât Social." Marat was fanning the flames of the revolutionary spirit with all the energy with which nature had endowed his strangely warped intellect, and Joseph-Ignatius

Guillotin, M.D., was perfecting his gruesome working draw-

mgs, and testing his weights and levers. So I might continue, with reminiscence after reminiscence, but enough has been written to refresh the memory of the reader with regard to the influences at work when the furnishings were produced which we are now considering. .

Let us see, then, in what particular directions the character of French furniture became metamorphosed under these Prevailing conditions. A glance at the whole of the examples

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