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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 301 pages of information about The Absentee.

CHAPTER II

Full of what he had heard, and impatient to obtain further information respecting the state of his father’s affairs, Lord Colambre hastened home; but his father was out, and his mother was engaged with Mr. Soho, directing, or rather being directed, how her apartments should be fitted up for her gala.  As Lord Colambre entered the room, he saw his mother, Miss Nugent, and Mr. Soho, standing at a large table, which was covered with rolls of paper, patterns, and drawings of furniture:  Mr. Soho was speaking in a conceited dictatorial tone, asserting that there was no ‘colour in nature for that room equal to the belly-O’-the Fawn;’ which belly-O’-the Fawn he so pronounced that Lady Clonbrony understood it to be La Belle UNIFORME, and, under this mistake, repeated and assented to the assertion till it was set to rights, with condescending superiority, by the upholsterer.  This first architectural upholsterer of the age, as he styled himself, and was universally admitted to be by all the world of fashion, then, with full powers given to him, spoke en maitre.  The whole face of things must be changed—­there must be new hangings, new draperies, new cornices, new candelabras, new everything!

The upholsterer’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Glances from ceiling to floor, from floor to ceiling; And, as imagination bodies forth The form of things unknown, th’ upholsterer’s pencil Turns to shape and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name.

Of the value of a name no one could be more sensible than Mr. Soho.

’Your la’ship sees—­this is merely a scratch of my pencil—­your la’ship’s sensible—­just to give you an idea of the shape, the form of the thing.  You fill up your angles here with ECOINIERES—­round your walls with the Turkish tent drapery—­a fancy of my own—­in apricot cloth, or crimson velvet, suppose, or en flute, in crimson satin draperies, fanned and riched with gold fringes, en Suite—­intermediate spaces, Apollo’s heads with gold rays—­and here, ma’am, you place four CHANCELIERES, with chimeras at the corners, covered with blue silk and silver fringe, elegantly fanciful—­with my statira canopy here—­light blue silk draperies—­aerial tint, with silver balls—­and for seats here, the seraglio ottomans, superfine scarlet—­your paws—­griffin—­golden—­and golden tripods, here, with antique cranes—­and oriental alabaster tables here and there—­quite appropriate, your la’ship feels.

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