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Of stone, and sometimes even of marble, with pediments and balustrades, and ornamental windows, and richly-chased keystones, and flights of steps, and here and there a statue, the structure was quite Palladian, though a little dingy, and, on the whole, very imposing. There were suites of rooms which had no end, and staircases which had no beginning.

So on they went, past Moor Cottage, where they saw through the curtains Cousin Charlotte at her solitary meal, and waved gaily to her; over the bridge and down on the fascinating river-bank where all sorts of treasures lurked, and the roots of the trees, rising out of the soft earth, formed steps and seats and balustrades and all sorts of things.

Except for these three months, my habits, as they formed themselves after my father's death, were for a long time these: Of the nine other months I spent about two in Devonshire, where by this time, through inheritance, a new home was open to me Lauriston Hall, overlooking Torbay, whose waters were visible from the windows through a screen of balustrades and rhododendrons.

Among the thorns of the hedge he looked for an opening he had discovered in the days when he used to hover about the house. He went through, and his feet sank into the fine, sandy soil of the orange-groves. Above the tops of the trees, the house itself could be seen, white in the moonlight. The rain-troughs of the roof and the balustrades of the balconies shone like silver.

The lava pavement, carefully cleaned, shone like any mosaic, and the royal troops, with their proudly waving plumes, made a double living hedge on each side of the street. The balconies, windows, and terraces, the stands with their unsubstantial balustrades, and the wooden galleries set up during the night, were loaded with spectators, and looked not unlike the boxes of a theatre.

The sides were flanked with thistles, that shot up like candelabra, of green bronze, twisted and curved into the semblance of birds' heads, with all the fantastic elegance of Chinese incense-burners. Between the broken balustrades drooped tresses of stonecrop, light greenish locks, spotted as with mouldiness.

Into her principal hall, far down, circular, one descended by a circle of steps of marble, round which stood a colonnade of Cuban cedar, supporting candelabra and silks; and from atrium-pools sunk in the floor twelve twining fountains brandished spiral sprays, the floor being of a glassy marble, polished with snakestone, suffused with blushes at the coloured silks and at a roof gross with rose and pomegranates, hanging chandeliers; round the raised centre of the floor stood two balustrades, three feet high, hung with silks, the inner circle thirty feet across, higher than the outer, forty-five across: a roseate room, strewn with cushions, colours, flushes; but that raised space was empty: reserved for a throne.

The parlour was wainscoted, and communicated to strangers a magnetic and instinctive consciousness of rats and mice. The staircase was very gloomy and very broad, with balustrades so thick and heavy that they would have served for a bridge.

The whole place, with its repeated steps, its balustrades, its massive and plentiful stonework, is full of the air of the last century sent bien son dix-huitième siècle; none the less so, I am afraid, that, as I read in my faithful Murray, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes the block, the stake, the wheel had been erected here for the benefit of the desperate Camisards.

Search made in every direction. No J. D. weeping bitterly, and inconsolable. Renewed reference to young Gazelle. Appropriate, but unavailing. Towards evening, strange boy calls. Brought into parlour. Broad nose, but no balustrades. Says he wants a pound, and knows a dog. Declines to explain further, though much pressed.

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