they are amid their own proper surroundings, in the field, garden, meadow, and woodland ; clothing the hills, and filling the valleys with verdure; were never intended, and are absolutely unfitted, for the performance of the thousand-and-one duties associated with the furnishings of the modern home. Primitive man might be, indeed had to be, content with the service of a tree-stump for a table, a log for a seat, the shells of nuts or rinds of fruit for his cooking and feeding utensils, and Mother Earth for his couch ; but we are primitive man no longer. With every generation since Eve rejoiced over the advent of her firstborn, fresh needs, or supposed needs, have arisen or have been created. From the very first moment when man, as a " thinking animal/' discovered that he was endowed with the inventive faculty, it has been his desire and endeavour to satisfy those needs, finding, as he has always done, that Nature makes but scant provision for them on her own account, preferring to leave the supply to the ingenuity of her children. It must be recognised that an overwhelming preponderance of those needs has been simply an accompaniment of advances in civilisation by which they have been created; they were never experienced, nor dreamed of, by man in his original and natural state; they are essentially artificial, and must, therefore, be provided for by artificial means. Nature supplied furnishings for the cave-dwellings of pre-historic periods—though even they had to be cut and hewn by mortal beings, and fulfilled fairly well the modest requirements of those days ; but if she were looked to nowadays to fit out even the humblest cottage in the least pretentious manner imaginable, her resources would indeed be found sadly at fault. No. She provides the materials with a free and generous hand j the power to fashion them to our will is ours to a very great degree, and we are left to do with them the best that we are able. Nature will do many things, but design or provide our furniture ready-made for us she will
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