most fragile and unreliable description, and ostensibly serving to support weighty superstructures—a task for which, both in reality and appearance, they were utterly unfitted. In their place we have sensible, straightforward, honest construction, conveying every suggestion of stability, though, at the same time, light and graceful in proportion; satisfying to the eye, and altogether free from the suspicion of impending and imminent collapse, which is so often associated with the creations of the preceding mode. It may be true that, so far as form was concerned, novelty was consequently, in this way, constantly sacrificed to good taste; but novelty is not to be looked upon as " the be-all and end-all of our strange existence upon earth/' and when it is attained at the expense of stability on the one hand, and good taste on the other, as so frequently is the case even to-day, the less we have of it the better. It is impossible to emphasise this point too strongly if the most distinctive features of the two styles are to be properly appreciated ; and the student must thoroughly grasp the fact that while, in the one place, the " Louis-Quinze" designer was perpetually striving to make his decoration constructional, the great aim in the "Louis-Seize" was to decorate construction.
In " Louis-Seize " forms themselves, then, we need not look for anything very striking or exceptional; if we do, our search will remain unrewarded by success. They are, in fact, precisely what they should be—speaking from the strictest point of view—admirably serving the purposes for which they were designed, and presenting no very great difficulties in execution to the craftsman possessed of average skill. Where the presence of supports, such as legs, trusses, brackets, and similar members, is called for, those provided are obviously of a character ttost exactly adapted for the requirements to be fulfilled, instead of being confused masses of contorted scrolls, leaves, shells, and other more or less extravagant detail, pressed into service to perform duties for which, by reason of their very
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