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a web of many textures

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We don't care whether pictures abound in a house
from pride, fashion, or taste, so that they be there. If
there is insensibility in the proprietor, he may be the
means of gratifying taste in others, or of awakening a
taste where it was lying inactive before. It is more delightful,
of course, where good taste prompts their supply;
then the pleasure of the exhibitor is added to the
gazer, be he never so humble, and the two realize a
better brotherhood, — not before recognized, perhaps, —
in the broad avenue of natural taste. How cheerful the
walls of a home look with them; and, by the rule of opposites,
how cheerless without them! It is a garden
without flowers, a family without children. Let an observing
man enter a house, and ten times in ten he can
decide the character of the proprietor. If he is a mean
man, there will be no pictures; if rich and ostentatious,
they will be gairish and costly, brought from over the
water, with expensive frames, and mated with mathematical
exactness; if a man of taste, the quality is observable,
and, whatever their number or arrangement, regard has
evidently been had to the beauty of subject and fitness,
with just attention to light and position. In humble
homes, when this taste exists, it still reveals itself, though
cheaply, but the quick eye detects it and respects it.
We have seen it in a prison, where a judicious placing
of a wood-cut or a common lithograph has given almost
cheerfulness to the stone walls on which it hung.