Old Country Life

Forsideomslag
Methuen, 1890 - 358 sider
I WONDER whether the day will ever dawn on England when our country houses will be as deserted as are those in France and Germany? If so, that will be a sad day for England. I judge from Germany. There, after the Thirty Years' War, the nobles and gentry set-to to build themselves mansions in place of the castles that had been burnt or battered down. In them they lived till the great convulsion that shook Europe and upset existing conditions social as well as political. Napoleon overran Germany, and the nobles and gentry had not recovered their losses during that terrible period before the State took advantage of their condition to transfer the land to the peasantry. This was not done everywhere, but it was so to a large extent in the south. Money was advanced to the farmers to buy out their landlords, and the impoverished nobility were in most cases glad to sell. They disposed of the bulk of their land, retaining in some cases the ancestral nest, and that only. No doubt that the results were good in one way-but where is a good unmixed? The qualifying evil is considerable in this case.
 

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Side 122 - My farm consisted of about twenty acres of excellent land, having given a hundred pounds for my predecessor's good-will. Nothing could exceed the neatness of my little enclosures ; the elms and hedge-rows appearing with inexpressible beauty. My house consisted of but one story, and was covered with thatch, which gave it an air of great snugness...
Side 109 - But the capital stroke, the leading step to all that has followed, was (I believe the first thought was Bridgman's) the destruction of walls for boundaries, and the invention of fosses — an attempt then deemed so astonishing, that the common people called them Ha! Ha's! to express their surprise at finding a sudden and unperceived check to their walk.
Side 103 - A Citizen is no sooner Proprietor of a couple of Yews, but he entertains Thoughts of erecting them into Giants, like those of Guild-hall. I know an eminent Cook, who beautified his Country Seat with a Coronation Dinner in Greens, where you see the Champion flourishing on Horseback at one end of the Table, and the Queen in perpetual Youth at the other.
Side 122 - Though the same room served us for parlour and kitchen, that only made it the warmer. Besides, as it was kept with the utmost neatness, the dishes, plates, and coppers, being well scoured, and all disposed in bright rows on the shelves, the eye was agreeably relieved, and did not want rich furniture.
Side 236 - They are all gone into the world of light ! And I alone sit lingering here; Their very memory is fair and bright, And my sad thoughts doth clear; It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast, Like stars upon some gloomy grove, Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest After the sun's remove.
Side 100 - The perfectest figure of a garden I ever saw, either at home or abroad, was that of Moor Park in Hertfordshire, when I knew it about thirty years ago. It was made by the Countess of Bedford, esteemed among the greatest wits of her time, and celebrated by Doctor Donne, and with very great care, excellent contrivance, and much cost; but greater sums may be thrown away without effect...
Side 187 - After that the King led a lady a single coranto; and then the rest of the lords, one after another, other ladies ; very noble it was, and great pleasure to see. Then to country dances, the King leading the first, which he called for, which was, says he, ' Cuckolds all awry,'1 the old dance of England.
Side 205 - T'other day, much in want of a subject for song, Thinks I to myself, I haye hit on a strain, Sure Marriage is much like a Devonshire lane.

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