Saunterings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 261 pages of information about Saunterings.
the sweeps and glades of living green,—­turf on which you walk with a grateful sense of drawing life directly from the yielding, bountiful earth,—­a green set out and heightened by flowers in masses of color (a great variety of rhododendrons, for one thing), to say nothing of magnificent greenhouses and outlying flower-gardens.  Just beyond are Richmond Hill and Hampton Court, and five or six centuries of tradition and history and romance.  Before you enter the garden, you pass the green.  On one side of it are cottages, and on the other the old village church and its quiet churchyard.  Some boys were playing cricket on the sward, and children were getting as intimate with the turf and the sweet earth as their nurses would let them.  We turned into a little cottage, which gave notice of hospitality for a consideration; and were shown, by a pretty maid in calico, into an upper room,—­a neat, cheerful, common room, with bright flowers in the open windows, and white muslin curtains for contrast.  We looked out on the green and over to the beautiful churchyard, where one of England’s greatest painters, Gainsborough, lies in rural repose.  It is nothing to you, who always dine off the best at home, and never encounter dirty restaurants and snuffy inns, or run the gauntlet of Continental hotels, every meal being an experiment of great interest, if not of danger, to say that this brisk little waitress spread a snowy cloth, and set thereon meat and bread and butter and a salad:  that conveys no idea to your mind.  Because you cannot see that the loaf of wheaten bread was white and delicate, and full of the goodness of the grain; or that the butter, yellow as a guinea, tasted of grass and cows, and all the rich juices of the verdant year, and was not mere flavorless grease; or that the cuts of roast beef, fat and lean, had qualities that indicate to me some moral elevation in the cattle,—­high-toned, rich meat; or that the salad was crisp and delicious, and rather seemed to enjoy being eaten, at least, did n’t disconsolately wilt down at the prospect, as most salad does.  I do not wonder that Walter Scott dwells so much on eating, or lets his heroes pull at the pewter mugs so often.  Perhaps one might find a better lunch in Paris, but he surely couldn’t find this one.

PARIS IN MAY—­FRENCH GIRLS—­THE EMPEROR AT LONGCHAMPS

It was the first of May when we came up from Italy.  The spring grew on us as we advanced north; vegetation seemed further along than it was south of the Alps.  Paris was bathed in sunshine, wrapped in delicious weather, adorned with all the delicate colors of blushing spring.  Now the horse-chestnuts are all in bloom and so is the hawthorn; and in parks and gardens there are rows and alleys of trees, with blossoms of pink and of white; patches of flowers set in the light green grass; solid masses of gorgeous color, which fill all the air with perfume; fountains that dance

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Saunterings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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