They probably had been brought across the Atlantic by the original emigrant, and carefully preserved ever since. They stood in diagonally opposite corners of the room, and upheld the hugest of feather beds, with gay, home-made worsted coverlets and valances that shamed the hues of the rainbow.

In effect, according to the proverb, To a shitten tail fails never ordure, he hath found, it seems, some simple ninny in those rude times of old, when the wearing of high round bonnets was in fashion, who gave some trust to his writings, according to which they carved and engraved their apophthegms and mottoes, trapped and caparisoned their mules and sumpter-horses, apparelled their pages, quartered their breeches, bordered their gloves, fringed the curtains and valances of their beds, painted their ensigns, composed songs, and, which is worse, placed many deceitful jugglings and unworthy base tricks undiscoveredly amongst the very chastest matrons and most reverend sciences.

Homespun linen is no longer to be had, and dyes are no longer the pure, simple, hold-fast juices which certain plants draw from the ground; and try as we may to emulate or imitate the old embroidered valances which hung from the testers of the high-post bedsteads and concealed the dark cavities beneath, and the coverlet besprinkled with bunches of impossible flowers done in home-concocted shades of color upon heavy snow-white linen, we fall far short of the intrinsic merits of those early hangings.

His dome bed was yellow as to its upper works, with crimson valances above and yellow valances below. This bed was a modest sample of the careful and uncompromising reconstitution of a period which he had everywhere carried out in his abode. The drawing-room, with its moulded ceiling and huge recessed window, had presented an admirable field for connoisseurship.

This was the "next best bed" which was a sufficiently important item to be left to heirs. Sheets, variously mentioned, were of canvas or of Holland, generally, the latter, being an unbleached coarse linen. By the middle of the century, valances and curtains around the beds "to shut out the night air" were in general use.

We need all the light the windows give, so there are no curtains except the orange-colored taffeta valances at the top. I devised sliding doors of mirrors that are pulled out of the wall at night to fill the recessed space of the windows. Ventilation is afforded by the open fireplace, and by mechanical means.

Large valances of silk, embroidered with flowers of gay colors, which were rather faded, fell from the wide windows; the fittings of the room were simple, but in excellent taste. Two well trained servingmen were in attendance on the company. On perceiving Athos, Aramis advanced toward him, took him by the hand and presented him to Scarron.

After satisfying myself of the fastening of the door, I began to walk round the room, peering round each article of furniture, tucking up the valances of the bed and opening its curtains wide. In one place there was a distinct echo to my footsteps, the noises I made seemed so little that they enhanced rather than broke the silence of the place.

There were Flemish carved-oak cabinets, and big Japan vases; a mantelpiece draped with dusty crimson velvet, a broken Venetian glass above it, and a group of rusty-looking arms on each side; long limp amber curtains to the three tall windows, with festooned valances in an advanced state of disarrangement and dilapidation.

For furniture it boasted a vast four-post bedstead with canopy, valances and quilt of crimson serge, a couple of worm-eaten armchairs, two tapestry-covered chairs in walnut wood, an aged bureau, and a timepiece on the mantel-shelf. The Seigneur Rouzeau, Jerome-Nicolas' master and predecessor, had furnished the homely old-world room; it was just as he had left it.