He gave little shrieks of pleasure, which brought a frown to the face of his companion, who was anxious to point out that a great deal of the Watteau was certainly pupil-work, that the Latours were not altogether "convincing" and the Nattiers though extremely pretty, "superficial." But Herr Schwarz brushed him aside. "Nein, nein, lieber freund! Dat Nattier is as fine as anything at Potsdam.
A group gathered daily behind the engine-yard to play horseshoe quoits, and Sanford pulled the mare to a walk on the fringes of this half-circle as old friends hailed him and shy lads with hair already sun-bleached wriggled out of the crowd to shake hands, Camerons, Jansens, Nattiers, Keenans, sons of the faithful. Bill Varian strolled up, his medical case under an arm. "I'm eating with you.
He began to talk of some pictures he had been studying in the Palace that day Nattiers, Rigauds, Drouais examples of that happy, sensuous, confident art, produced by a society that knew no doubts of itself, which not to have enjoyed so the survivors of it thought was to be for ever ignorant of what the charm of life might be. Fenwick spoke of it with envy and astonishment.
"Because some one, who was already overfed, must needs grab at a larger mess of pottage and we must pay! Unkind! degenerate!" Presently, after the English drawing-rooms, and the library, with its one Romney, came the French room, with its precious Watteaus, its Latours, its two brilliant Nattiers. And here Herr Schwarz's coolness fairly deserted him.
At tea-time conversation turned on the various beautiful things which the room contained its Nattiers, its Gobelins, its two dessus de portes by Boucher, and its two cabinets, of which one had belonged to Beaumarchais and the other to the Appartement du Dauphin at Versailles. Daphne restrained herself for a time, asked questions, and affected no special knowledge.