Page:Our Philadelphia (Pennell, 1914).djvu/59

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39
A CHILD IN PHILADELPHIA

luxury in the rosewood and reps masterpieces of a deplorable period with which they were furnished, or in their decoration of beaded cushions and worsted-work mats and tidies, the lavish gifts of a devoted family. But I cannot remember the parlours and forget the respect with which they once inspired me. I own to a lingering affection for their crowning touch of ugliness, an ottoman with a top of the fashionable Berlin work of the day—a white arum lily, done by the superior talent of the fancy store, on a red ground filled in by the industrious giver. It stood between the two front windows, so that we might have the additional rapture of seeing it a second time in the mirror which hung behind it. Opposite, between the two windows of the back parlour, was a "Rogers Group" on a blue stand; and a replica, with variations, of both the ottoman and the "Rogers Group" could have been found in every other Philadelphia front and back parlour. I recall also the three or four family portraits which I held in tremendous awe, however I may feel about them now; and the immensely high vases, unique creations that could not possibly have been designed for any purpose save to ornament the Philadelphia mantelpiece; and the transparent lamp-shade, decorated with pictures of cats and children and landscapes, that at night, when the gas was lit, helped to keep me awake until I could escape to bed; and the lustre chandeliers hanging from the ceiling—what joy when one of the long prisms came loose and I could capture it and, looking through it, walk across the parlours