not simplicity, sentiment. Their beauty is very, very great, not a beauty of coloring alone, but a beauty of feature which is able to be patrician without being unkind; and if, as some American women say, they do not carry themselves well, it takes an American woman to see it. They move naturally and lightly-that is, the young girls do; mothers in England, as elsewhere, are apt to put on weight; but many of the mothers are as handsome in their well-wearing English way as their daughters.

Several irregular spaces are enclosed by low iron barriers, and in one of these the arriving groups of authorized people found other people of their kind, where the unauthorized people seemed by common consent to leave them. There was especially one enclosure which seemed consecrated to the highest comers; it was not necessary that they should make the others feel they were not wanted there; the others felt it of themselves, and did not attempt to enter that especial fairy ring, or fairy triangle. Those within looked as much at home as if in their own drawing-rooms, and after the usual greetings of friends sat down in their penny chairs for the talk which the present kodak would not have overheard if it could.

If any one were to ask me how I knew that these beautiful creatures were of supreme social value, I should be obliged to own that it was largely an assumption based upon hearsay. For all I can avouch personally in the matter they might have been women come to see the women who had not come. Still, if the effects of high breeding are visible, then they were the sort they looked. Not only the women, but the men, old and young, had the aristocratic air which is not aggressive, the patrician bearing which is passive and not

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active, and which in the English seems consistent with so much that is human and kindly. There is always the question whether this sort of game is worth the candle; but that is a moral consideration which would take me too far from the little scene I am trying to suggest; it is sufficient for the present purpose that the English think it is worth it. A main fact of the scene was the constant movement of distinguished figures within the sacred close, and up and down the paths past the rows of on-lookers on their penny chairs. The distinguished figures were apparently not the least molested by the multiplied and concentrated gazes of the on-lookers, who were, as it were, outside the window, and of the street. What struck one accustomed to the heterogeneous Sunday crowds of Central Park, where any such scene would be so inexpressibly impossible, was the almost wholly English personnel of the crowd within and without the sacred close. Here and there a Continental presence, French or German or Italian, pronounced its nationality in dress and bearing; one of the many dark subject races of Great Britain was represented in the swarthy skin and lustrous black hair and eyes of a solitary individual; there were doubtless various colonials among the spectators, and in one's nerves one was aware of some other Americans. But these exceptions only accented the absolutely English dominance of the spectacle. The alien elements were less evident in the observed than in the observers, where, beyond the barrier, which there was nothing to prevent their passing, they sat in passive rows, in passive pairs, in passive ones, and stared and stared. The observers were mostly men, and largely men of the age when the hands folded on the top of the stick express a pause in the emotions and the energies which has its pathos.

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There were women among them, of course, but the women were also of the age when the keener sensibilities are taking a rest; and such aliens of their sex as qualified the purely English nature of the affair lost whatever was aggressive in their difference.

It was necessary to the transaction of the drama that from time to time the agents of the penny-chair company should go about in the close and collect money for the chairs; and it became a question, never rightly solved, how the ladies who had come unattended managed, with their pocketless dresses, to carry coins unequalled in bulk since the iron currency of Sparta; or whether they held the pennies frankly in their hands till they paid them away. In England the situation, if it is really the situation, is always accepted with implicit confidence, and if it had been the custom to bring pennies in their hands, these ladies would have no more minded doing it than they minded being looked at by people whose gaze dedicated them to an inviolate superiority.

With us the public affirmation of class, if it were imaginable, could not be imaginable except upon the terms of a mutinous protest in the spectators which would not have been less real for being silent. But again I say the thing would not have been possible with us in New York; though in Newport, where the aristocratic tradition is said to have been successfully transplanted to our plutocratic soil, something analogous might at least be dramatized. Elsewhere that tradition does not come to flower in the open American air; it is potted and grown under glass; and can be carried out-doors only under special conditions. The American must still come to England for the realization of certain social ideals towards which we may be now straining, but

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which do not yet enjoy general acceptance. The reader who knows New York has but to try and fancy its best, or even its better, society dispersing itself on certain grassy limits of Central Park on a Sunday noon or afternoon; or, on some week-day evening, leaving its equipages along the drives and strolling out over the herbage; or receiving in its carriages the greetings of acquaintance who make their way in and out among the wheels. Police and populace would join forces in their several sorts to spoil a spectacle which in Hyde Park appeals, in high degree, to the æsthetic sense, and which might stimulate the historic imagination to feats of agreeable invention if one had that sort of imagination.

The spectacle is a condition of that old, secure society which we have not yet lived long enough to have known, and which we very probably never shall know. Such civilization as we have will continue to be public and impersonal, like our politics, and our society in its specific events will remain within walls. It could not manifest itself outside without being questioned, challenged, denied; and upon reflection there might appear reasons why it is well so.




E are quite as domestic as the English, but with us the family is of the personal life, while with them it is of the general life, so that when their domesticity imparts itself to their out-door pleasures no one feels it strange. One has read of something like this without the sense of it which constantly penetrates one in London. One must come to England in order to realize from countless little occasions, little experiences, how entirely English life, public as well as private, is an affair of family. We know from our reading how a comparatively few families administer, if they do not govern, but we have still to learn how the other families are apparently content to share the form in which authority resides, since they cannot share the authority. At the very top-I offer the conjecture towards the solution of that mystery which constantly bewilders the republican witness, the mystery of loyalty—is, of course, the royal family; and the rash conclusion of the American is that it is revered because it is the royal family. But possibly a truer interpretation of the fact would be that it is dear and sacred to the vaster British public because it is the royal family. A bachelor king could hardly dominate the English imagination like a royal husband and father, even if his being a husband and father were not one of the implications of that tacit


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