THE room looks out upon the square, which is so big and so fashionable that there is no business done in it.
By day there is a sound of carriages, but at a distance; for the house that contains the room is thrust a long way back and its walls are as thick as the walls of a castle. In the evening, the square shines with a thousand lights; at night, you can hear the rippling of the fountain, which never begins and never stops, cries, no one knowing what they are, and solitary steps that approach and retreat again.
The room is built high over the square. Its window is a door and leads to a balcony filled with red flowers. When the wind lashes them, their petals fly right over into the basin of the fountain and rock upon the water.
The room is long and deep.
Where the window is, the light streams in through the wide, stained-glass panes; but, inside, where the fireplace rises to the ceiling, it is always dark.
No one has ever seen the curtain drawn before the window. But, even if the sun could shine right into the room, it would never have seen a human being there. By day, the room is dead.
It is placed so strangely in the house that it seems to form no part of it. The life of every day passes outside it; and, even when the whole house is lighted up and the horses paw the ground in the gateway and glasses clink and music sounds in the great drawing-room, the door of the room remains constantly closed.
No one has ever crossed its threshold but the master of the house and his wife and the oldest servant in their employ.
For the room is the soul of the house and its tradition and its secret chamber.
It was destined for this purpose long ago by the man who built the house; and so cunningly did he contrive it that no one could guess that it was there, unless he knew of it. Then, when the work was ended, he sealed the architect’s tongue with a solemn oath and a heavy fee and the man kept his sworn word.
And the builder of the house decorated the room as richly as was possible according to the means of those days, with gilt and figured leather hangings and stained-glass window-panes and costly carpets from the East. But he placed no furniture in it until the very last. Then he brought two splendid armchairs which he had had made for him in Milan.吴雨珏：仁昌汉方是什么药／太坑人了（真实效果）