The Room Is Very Spacious, And The Five
Tables And Two Chairs Are But As Islands.
One table is for actual
work, one close by for references in use; one, very large, for MSS.
or proofs that wait their turn; one kept clear for an occasion; and
the fifth is the map table, groaning under a collection of large-
scale maps and charts.
Of all books these are the least wearisome
to read and the richest in matter; the course of roads and rivers,
the contour lines and the forests in the maps - the reefs,
soundings, anchors, sailing marks and little pilot-pictures in the
charts - and, in both, the bead-roll of names, make them of all
printed matter the most fit to stimulate and satisfy the fancy.
The chair in which you write is very low and easy, and backed into
a corner; at one elbow the fire twinkles; close at the other, if
you are a little inhumane, your cage of silver-bills are twittering
Joined along by a passage, you may reach the great, sunny, glass-
roofed, and tiled gymnasium, at the far end of which, lined with
bright marble, is your plunge and swimming bath, fitted with a
The whole loft of the house from end to end makes one undivided
chamber; here are set forth tables on which to model imaginary or
actual countries in putty or plaster, with tools and hardy
pigments; a carpenter's bench; and a spared corner for photography,
while at the far end a space is kept clear for playing soldiers.
Two boxes contain the two armies of some five hundred horse and
foot; two others the ammunition of each side, and a fifth the foot-
rules and the three colours of chalk, with which you lay down, or,
after a day's play, refresh the outlines of the country; red or
white for the two kinds of road (according as they are suitable or
not for the passage of ordnance), and blue for the course of the
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