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[162] in complicated fashion out of paper, surrounded with white flowers and hung in a white frame against a white wall. On the mantle-piece stood a pair of cut-glass vases, bearing great clusters of dried grasses, bleached almost colorless by time. The furniture was of straw, and the counterpane was of white damask. If the room of the iron age was depressing, this was even more so; it was like passing from an underground cave into a chilly world of ice. But a third experience was offered on proceeding to the parlor, which had been given over to the charge of the youngest daughter, fresh from an art school. From this room every article of pure white or jet black had been banished; the eye wandered from one half tint to another, or if any bit of positive color arrested the gaze, it was some unexpected stroke of bold yellow or regal red. No two chairs were alike; nothing was paired; the carved marble mantle-piece was concealed by a lambrequin; there were screens, fans, a knot of some Oriental stuff at the back of every chair, three various vases of bulrushes, and seven seltzer-water jars painted by the young lady herself. This room did not belong to the iron age, nor yet to the glacial, but to the recent or Japanese formation. Considered as a step forward from the earlier stages represented in that house, it indicated a great advance; regarded as a finality, it was something to appall the human heart.

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Oriental (Oklahoma, United States) (1)

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