so life-giving by Wolsey when he made it his seat. They loved it and enjoyed it, and in Queen Anne's time, when under a dull sovereign the civility of England brightened to Augustan splendor, the deep-rooted stem of English poetry burst there into the most exquisite artificial flower which it ever bore; for it was at Hampton Court that the fact occurred, which the fancy of the poet fanned to a bloom, as lasting as if it were rouge, in the matchless numbers of The Rape of the Lock.

Such pleasure - parties as that in which the lovely Arabella Fermor lost her curl under the scissors of Lord Petre, must have had the best of the gayety, in the time of the first and second Georges, for Pope himself, writing of it in one of his visits in 1717, described the court life as one of dull and laborious etiquette. Yet what was fairest and brightest and wittiest, if not wisest in England graced it, and the names of Bellenden and Lepell and Montagu, of Harvey and Chesterfield, of Gay and Pope and Walpole, flash and fade through the air that must have been so heavy even at Hampton Court in these reigns. After all, it is the common people who get the best of it when some lordly pleasure-house for which they have paid comes back to them, as palaces are not unapt finally to do; and it is not unimaginable that collectively they bring as much brilliancy and beauty to its free enjoyment as the kings and courtiers did in their mutually hampered pleasures.

Though the Georges began to divide the palace up into the apartments for the kind of permanent guests of the state who now inhabit them, it was not until well into the time of the late queen that the galleries and gardens were thrown open, without price or restriction, to the public. Whosever the instinct or inspiration was, the graciousness of it may probably be

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attributed to the mother-hearted sovereign whose goodness gave English monarchy a new lease of life in the affections of her subjects, and raised loyalty to a part of their religion. I suppose that actual rags and dirt would not be admitted to Hampton Court, but I doubt if any misery short of them would be excluded. Our fellow-visitors were of all types, chiefly of the humbler English, and there were not many obvious aliens among them. With that passion and pride in their own which sends them holidaying over the island to every point of historic or legendary interest, and every scene famous for its beauty, they strayed about the grounds and garden-paths of Hampton Court and through the halls of state, and revered the couches and thrones of the dead kings and queens in their bed-chambers and councilchambers, and perused the pictures on the walls, and the frescoes in the roofs. Oftenest they did not seem persons who could bring a cultivated taste to their enjoyment, but fortunately that was not essential to it, and possibly it was even greater without that. They could not have got so much hurt from the baleful beauties of Charles's court without their history as with it, and where they might not have been protected by their ignorance, they were saved by their preoccupation with one another, for they mostly hunted the objects of interest in courting couples.

We were going, after we had shared their sight-seeing, to enjoy the special privilege of visiting one of the private apartments into which the palace has been so comfortably divided up. But here, I am sorry to say, I must close the door in the reader's face, and leave him to cool his heels (I regret the offensiveness of the expression, but I cannot help it) on the threshold of the apartment, at the top of the historic staircase which

he will have climbed with us, until we come out again. I do not mind telling him that nothing could be more charmingly homelike, and less like the proud discomfort of a palace, than the series of rooms we saw. For a moment, also, I will allow him to come round into the little picturesque court, gay with the window-gardens of its quaint casements, where we can look down upon him from the leads of our apartment. He ought to feel like a figure in an uncommonly pretty watercolor, for he certainly looks like one, under the clustering gables and the jutting lattices. But if he prefers coming to life as a sight-seer he may join us at the door of Cardinal Wolsey's great kitchen, now forming part of our hostess's domain. The vast hearth is there yet, with its crane and spit, and if the cardinal could come back he might have a dinner cooked at it for Edward VII, with very little more trouble than for Henry VIII. three or four hundred years ago. "But what in the world," the reader may ask me, putting his hand on an old sedan-chair, which is somewhere in the same basement, if not in the kitchen itself, "is this?" I answer him, quite easily: "Oh, that is the Push," and explain that though now mounted on wheels instead of poles, the sedan-chair is still in actual use, and any ladydweller in the apartments has the right of going to a dinner, or for what I know a "rout" in it, wherever it can be propelled within the precints of the palace.

I suppose it is not taken out into the town, and I do not know that the ladies of the apartments ever visit there. In spite of this misgiving, Hampton remains one of the innumerable places in England where I should like to live always. Its streets follow the Thames, or come and go from the shores so pleasantly, that there is a sense of the river in it everywhere; and though I

suppose people do not now resort to the place so much by water as they used, one is quite free to do so if one likes. We had not thought, however, to hire a waterman with his barge in coming, and so we poorly went back by the train. I say poorly in a comparative sense only, for there are many worse things in the world than running up to London in the cool, the very cool, of an April evening from Hampton Court. At such an hour you see the glad young suburban husbands, who have got home for the day, digging in the gardens at the backs of the pretty houses which your train passes, and the glad young wives, keeping round after them, and seeing they do not make play of their work. A neat maid in a cap pushes a garden-roller over the path, or a perambulator with a never-failing baby in it. The glimpse of domestic bliss is charming; and then it is such a comfort to get back to London, which seems to have been waiting, like a great plain, kind metropolis-mother, to welcome you home again, and ask what you would rather have for dinner.

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HE invention of Week-Ends is a feat of the English social genius dating since long after my stay of twenty-odd years ago. Like so many other English mysteries it is very simple, and consists of dedicating the waste space of time between Friday afternoon and Monday forenoon to visits out of town. It is the time. when, if you have friends within reasonable, or even unreasonable reach of London, you are asked down. Science has ascertained that in this interval of fifty or sixty hours no one can do anything, and that the time had better be frankly given up to pleasure.

Yet, for the alien sojourner in London, there are no such intervals between sights, or perhaps between engagements, and we found a whole week-end beyond our grasp, though ever so temptingly entreated to spend it here or there in the country. That was why we were going down to the place of a friend one Sunday morning instead of a Friday evening and coming back the same day instead of the next. But we were glad of our piece of a week-end, and we had reason to be especially grateful for the Sunday when we had it, for it was one of the most perfect of its kind. There used to be such Sundays in America when people were young, and I suppose there are such Sundays there yet for children; but if you are no longer so very young you will be more apt

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