women as household decorators.
It once happened to me to spend a day or two in a country-house where the different rooms gave unconscious object-lessons to show the gradual change of taste in household decoration.
One room-the sitting-room of an elderly invalid-represented what might be called the iron age of furnishing; everything was dark mahogany and hair-cloth; there was not a chair or a sofa on which you could retain your seat without a struggle, so polished and so slippery were they all. The walls were hung with dark portraits in dark frames, or smaller daguerreotypes in circles of black walnut; the only spots of color were found in one faded sampler, and in the gilded circular frame of a very small mirror hung too high for use. It was curious to pass from this sombre abode into the bedroom I occupied, which had been fitted up by an elder sister, long since married, and whose girlhood fell in what might be called the glacial period of thirty years ago. Here everything was white instead of dark-white Parian statuettes, white fluffy embroideries, a white cross cut