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Title: John and Betty's History Visit
Author: Williamson, Margaret, 1886-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "John and Betty's History Visit" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



JOHN AND BETTY'S HISTORY VISIT

BY

MARGARET WILLIAMSON

_ILLUSTRATED FROM PHOTOGRAPHS_

BOSTON LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO.



Published, March, 1910

COPYRIGHT, 1910, BY LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO.

_All rights reserved_

JOHN AND BETTY'S HISTORY VISIT

Norwood Press

BERWICK & SMITH CO.

Norwood, Mass.

U. S. A.



[Illustration: THEY SUDDENLY SAW THE TREMENDOUS CATHEDRAL LOOMING UP
BEFORE THEM.--_Page 70._]



CONTENTS


 CHAPTER                                                    PAGE

     I. FIRST IMPRESSIONS                                     9

    II. THE FIRST EVENING                                    15

   III. WESTMINSTER ABBEY                                    20

    IV. PENSHURST PLACE: THE HOME OF SIR PHILIP SIDNEY       37

     V. THE TOWER OF LONDON                                  50

    VI. ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL AND ITS VICINITY                65

   VII. A SUNDAY NIGHT CHAT                                  83

  VIII. WINDSOR CASTLE, STOKE POGES, AND ETON SCHOOL         94

    IX. MORE ABOUT LONDON                                   107

     X. RICHMOND AND HAMPTON COURT PALACE                   122

    XI. STRATFORD-ON-AVON                                   138

   XII. A DAY IN WARWICKSHIRE                               161

  XIII. WARWICK AND KENILWORTH CASTLES                      181

   XIV. SHERWOOD FOREST AND HADDON HALL                     203

    XV. WINCHESTER, SALISBURY, AND STONEHENGE               222

   XVI. CLOVELLY                                            238

  XVII. ROCHESTER AND CANTERBURY                            251

 XVIII. GOOD-BY TO LONDON                                   273

        INDEX                                               289



ILLUSTRATIONS


 THEY SUDDENLY SAW THE TREMENDOUS CATHEDRAL
   LOOMING UP BEFORE THEM (_Page 70_)             _Frontispiece_

                                                          FACING
                                                           PAGE

 "OH, WHAT'S THIS PLACE? I AM SURE I HAVE SEEN
   PICTURES OF IT!"                                          12

 "DO YOU REMEMBER THOSE QUAINT LITTLE VERSES
   ABOUT 'BOW BELLS'?"                                       16

 "I ONLY WISH I COULD BE A GUARD AND RIDE A HORSE
   LIKE ONE OF THOSE!"                                       20

 "THERE'S THE ABBEY RIGHT AHEAD OF US"                       26

 "WHAT'S THE USE OF HAVING SO MANY DOORS?"                   40

 "THIS SEEMS TO SPEAK OF PEACE, HAPPINESS, AND SAFETY"       44

 "I WANT TO SEE WHO THOSE FELLOWS IN THE FUNNY
   RED UNIFORMS ARE"                                         50

 "THE KING CANNOT PROCEED INTO THE 'CITY' WITHOUT
   BEING FIRST RECEIVED AT TEMPLE BAR BY THE
   LORD MAYOR"                                               68

 "I'D FEEL LIKE 'LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY' GOING
   AROUND WITH THOSE CLOTHES ON!"                            84

 "YOU REMEMBER, DON'T YOU, HAVING THE GUIDE POINT
   OUT LONDON BRIDGE?"                                       88

 THE MOSS-GROWN SAXON PORCH                                  96

 JOHN MILTON LIVED THERE AFTER HE FLED FROM LONDON          106

 "OH, HERE'S THE OLD CORONATION CHAIR, ISN'T IT?"           114

 "EVERY TIME I VISIT THIS PALACE I MARVEL AT THE
   AMOUNT OF HISTORY WITH WHICH IT IS CONNECTED"            136

 "WHY, I DIDN'T SUPPOSE IT WAS AS BIG AS THAT!"             140

 "DID ANNE TRULY LIVE HERE?"                                164

 "THEY KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THEY ARE, AND THAT
   THIS GARDEN WOULDN'T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT
   THEM"                                                    184

 "IT STILL SEEMS ALIVE WITH MEMORIES OF THE FAIR
   DOROTHY VERNON"                                          218

 "THERE STILL REMAINS THE QUESTION OF HOW THESE
   TREMENDOUS STONES WERE BROUGHT HERE"                     236

 ONE OF PLASTER AND THATCH, OVERGROWN WITH ROSES            240

 "YOU'LL FIND NOTHING AT ALL LIKE THIS STRANGE
   LITTLE CLOVELLY"                                         250

 "WILLIAM OF SENS, IN 1184, FINISHED THE BUILDING
   WHICH WE NOW SEE"                                        264

 OLD GENTLEMEN, STOUT LADIES, YOUNG PEOPLE, AND
   SMALL CHILDREN, ALL RIDE IN ENGLAND                      286



JOHN AND BETTY'S HISTORY VISIT



CHAPTER ONE

FIRST IMPRESSIONS


Two eager young Americans sat, one on each side of the window of an
English train, speeding towards London. They had landed only that
morning, and everything seemed very strange to them, as they watched
the pretty scenes from the car-window. The lady who had met them at
the steamer, was an old friend of the family, who had often been to
America, and was well known to the children, though they had never
seen her son and daughter, whom they had come to visit. Mrs. Pitt soon
aroused them by saying:--

"Come, John, we are almost there, so please fetch down Betty's wraps
from the rack. Here are your umbrellas; you may take Betty's bag and
I'll take yours. Yes, it is really England, and soon we'll be in
London, where Philip and Barbara are very impatiently waiting to meet
the American friends with whom they have been exchanging letters for
so long. They have been studying history hard, and have learned all
they possibly could about their own country, which they love, and want
you to know, too. They have never seen very much of England, and this
is an excellent chance for them to do some sight-seeing with you. I
think you'll have a jolly time seeing all the strange sights and
customs, and visiting some historic places. Now, you must not expect
to find Philip and Barbara just like your friends at home; English
children dress very differently, and may use some expressions which
you do not exactly understand, but you'll soon become accustomed to
them all. Here we are at Waterloo Station."

As the guard swung open the door, two impatient young people hurried
up to the party.

"Here we are, Mother; did they come?"

John and Betty shyly shook hands with their English friends, but did
not find anything to say, just at first. Mrs. Pitt went to the
luggage-van, to find the children's trunks, and the others followed.

"Aren't the trains funny, John?" said Betty, nervously holding her
brother's hand.

"See, this is the baggage part of the car, but isn't it small!"

"Oh, there are several on each train," explained Philip. "Are your
vans any bigger?"

"There are our trunks, Mrs. Pitt," called John. "I know them by the
C's we pasted on the ends."

"Here, porter, put this luggage on a four-wheeler, please," and Mrs.
Pitt and her charges crowded in, the luggage was piled on top, and
they drove away.

"Do you think you will like London?" asked Barbara of Betty, rather
anxiously.

Betty ventured to answer, "Oh, I think so, only it is very different
from New York."

It certainly was! Great, top-heavy buses swung and lurched past them,
some of them drawn by splendid horses, but still more with motors. The
outsides of the vehicles were covered with all sorts of gay
advertisements and signs, in bright and vivid colors; in this way, and
in their tremendous numbers, they differ from the New York buses on
Fifth Avenue.

"To-night, we will take you out for a ride on top of a bus if you
like, John," said Philip.

John, losing his shyness, began to ask questions, and to give his
opinion of the things he saw.

"I think the buses are great! I shall always choose that seat just
behind the driver, where I can talk to him. He must have fine stories
to tell, doesn't he, Philip? I like the hansoms, too. There really
seem to be more hansoms than anything else in London! Just look,
Betty, at that long row there in the middle of the street! I suppose
they are waiting for passengers. And there's a line of 'taxis,' too.
My, but these streets are crowded! Fifth Avenue isn't in it!"

Philip and Barbara looked at each other and smiled. All the sights
which were so familiar to them, seemed very novel to their American
visitors.

"I suppose it would be just the same to us, if we were to visit New
York," said Barbara. "Those bus-horses, which you admire, do look very
fine at first, but the work is so hard on them, that they only last a
very short time. Their days are about over now, for soon we shall have
only the motor-buses."

[Illustration: "OH, WHAT'S THIS PLACE? I AM SURE I HAVE SEEN PICTURES
OF IT!"--_Page 12_.]

"Oh, what's this place?" cried John excitedly. "I am sure I have seen
pictures of it! Why, Philip, I think you once sent me some
post-cards which showed this!"

"Oh, yes, this is Trafalgar Square," broke in Mrs. Pitt. "People
sometimes call it the center of all London. Here is the celebrated
statue of Lord Nelson--here, in the middle; see all the flower-girls,
with their baskets, around its foot. That large building, with the
pillars, is the National Gallery, where I may take you to see the
pictures. The church near it they call St. Martin's-in-the-Fields.
Yes, it doesn't seem a very appropriate name now, but once it really
was 'in the fields,' it has stood here so long. Do you notice all the
streets leading out from this great square? That way is the direction
of the Strand and Fleet Street; Westminster Abbey is not far away; and
you can see the towers of the Houses of Parliament--just there. You
will soon grow more familiar with all this. Now, we must go this way,
and before long, we shall be at home. I think you'll be glad to rest
after your tiresome journey. This is Regent Street, where many of the
shops are. Aren't they attractive?"

"Yes," said John, "but how very low the buildings are! As far as I can
see they are all of the same height. They are almost all yellow, too,
and with the bright buses the scene is very gay."

They rode along for some time, the silence being often broken by
exclamations and questions. John and Betty could not understand how
people avoided being run over when they all dashed across the street,
right under the very noses of the horses. It was amusing to see people
stumbling up the narrow, winding stairs of the buses, as they jolted
along, and even the signs over the shops attracted some attention.
They wondered if the King and Queen could shop in them all, for so
many bore the words, "Jewelers to T. R. M.," or "Stationers to Their
Royal Majesties." London seemed very large to them on this first
drive--very strange and foreign, and they were glad when the cab drew
up before a big house in a spacious square, and the rest cried, "Here
we are at home!"



CHAPTER TWO

THE FIRST EVENING


The big library at Mrs. Pitt's home was a fascinating place, the two
visitors thought. The ceiling was high, the wainscoting was of dark
wood, and the walls were almost entirely lined with book-cases. John
was delighted with some little steps, which you could push around and
climb up on to reach the highest shelves. This room suggested great
possibilities to both the young visitors, for, as they were to stay
many months, there would certainly be days when it would be too wet to
go out, and they could by no means entirely give up their reading.

As they had felt rather chilly on their bus-ride that evening, the
four young people all came into the library upon their return, and
drew their chairs up to the tiny grate. Betty and John had greatly
enjoyed this new experience, for they had been truly English. Having
jumped aboard while the bus was moving slowly, near the curb, they
had scrambled up the little steps and taken the seats behind the
driver. They had not noticed much about where they were going, for it
had all seemed a jumble of many lights, crowds of people, and noise.
But John had slipped a coin into the driver's hand, and there had been
a steady stream of stories from that moment. London bus-drivers have
plenty to tell, and are not at all loath to tell it--especially after
the encouragement of a tip. John was delighted to hear about the time,
one foggy Christmas Eve, when his friend had "sat for four hours, sir,
without daring to stir, at 'Yde Park Corner." John envied him the
splendid moment when the fog had finally lifted and disclosed the
great mass of traffic, which had been blinded and stalled for so long.

As John stood in front of the fire thinking it all over, he suddenly
exclaimed, "It was fun to hear that driver drop his h's; that was real
Cockney for you!"

Betty looked puzzled for a moment, and then said, "Wasn't it supposed
that only people who had been born within the sound of the bells of
old Bow Church could be real Cockneys?"

[Illustration: "DO YOU REMEMBER THOSE QUAINT LITTLE VERSES ABOUT BOW
BELLS?"--_Page 17._]

"That's right, Betty; your history is good," said Mrs. Pitt, who had
just entered; "but John, I must tell you that dropping h's is not
necessarily Cockney. The peculiar pronunciation of vowels is what
characterizes a true Cockney's speech, but many others drop h's--the
people of Shropshire for instance.

"Do you children remember those quaint little verses about Bow Bells?"
continued Mrs. Pitt. "In the days when Dick Whittington was a boy, and
worked at his trade in London, it was the custom to ring Bow Bells as
the signal for the end of the day's work, at eight o'clock in the
evening. One time, the boys found that the clerk was ringing the bells
too late, and indignant at such a thing, they sent the following
verses to him:

     "'Clerke of the Bow Bells,
       With the yellow lockes,
     For thy late ringing,
       Thou shalt have knockes.'

"The frightened man hastened to send this answer to the boys:

     "'Children of Chepe,
       Hold you all stille,
     For you shall have Bow Bells
       Rung at your wille.'"

"That was bright of them," commented John, as he rose to take off his
coat.

Philip and Barbara had long since thrown off their wraps and pulled
their chairs away from the fire, saying how warm they were. Even after
John had dispensed with his coat, Betty sat just as near the tiny
blaze as she could, with her coat still closely buttoned.

"No, thanks; I want to get warm," she answered, when they spoke of it.
"It seems to me that it's very cold here. Don't you ever have bigger
fires?"

As Betty spoke, the little blaze flickered and almost went out.

"I'll shut the window," said Philip. "I remember, now, how cold
Americans always are over here. Mother has told us how frightfully hot
you keep your houses. We don't like that, for we never feel the cold.
Why, just to show you how accustomed to it we English are, let me tell
you what I read the other day. At Oxford University, up to the time of
King Henry VIII, no fires were permitted. Just before going to bed the
poor boys used to go out and run a certain distance, to warm
themselves. Even I shouldn't care for that!"

"Let's make some plans for to-morrow," exclaimed Mrs. Pitt. "What
should you like to see first, Betty?"

"I want to go somewhere on a bus!" was John's prompt answer, at which
everybody laughed except Betty.

"Oh, yes, but let's go to Westminster Abbey just as soon as possible,
John. I've always wanted so much to see it, that I don't believe I can
wait now. Think of all the great people who have been associated with
it," said Betty very earnestly.

"Very well, I quite agree on taking you first to the Abbey," said Mrs.
Pitt. "It is a place of which I could never tire, myself. And strange
to say, I very seldom, if ever, get time to go there, except when I'm
showing it to strangers. Why! It's twenty-five minutes past nine this
very minute, children; you must go to bed at once!"



CHAPTER THREE

WESTMINSTER ABBEY


The first thing that Betty heard the following morning was a gentle
knock upon her bedroom door, and a voice saying, "It's seven o'clock,
and will you have some sticks, Miss?"

"What sticks? What for?" Betty asked sleepily.

They were for a fire, it seemed, and Betty welcomed the idea. She was
soon dressed, and Barbara came to show her the way to the
breakfast-room.

"You can't think how good it does seem not to be thrown about while
dressing, as we were on the steamer! Do you know that I can't help
stepping up high over the door-sills even yet!" laughed Betty, as they
went downstairs together. "Mrs. Moore, the friend of mother's in whose
care we came, you know, told me that I should probably feel the motion
for some time after landing."

[Illustration: "I ONLY WISH I COULD BE A GUARD AND RIDE A HORSE LIKE
ONE OF THOSE!"--_Page 21._]

To the surprise of John and Betty, there was a very hearty breakfast
awaiting them. They had expected the meager tea, toast, and jam, which
some Americans consider to be customary in English homes, because it
is encountered in the hotels.

Early in the morning, the buses were even more crowded than the night
before, and they had some difficulty in finding seats. John placed
himself beside a soldier dressed in a scarlet coat and funny little
round cap held on sidewise by a strap across his chin, with every
intention of starting up a conversation with him; but one glance at
his superior air discouraged the boy from any such attempt. When they
arrived at Trafalgar Square again, they jumped off, and walked down
towards the towers of the Houses of Parliament. In front of the Horse
Guards they stood in admiration of the two mounted sentries, stationed
there.

"Those black horses are great!" cried John. "How fine those fellows do
look sitting there like statues in their scarlet uniforms, and their
shiny helmets with the flying tails to them! I only wish I could be a
Guard, and ride a horse like one of those!"

"Would you rather be a Horse Guard, or a bus-driver, John?" asked
Betty teasingly.

"Sometimes you see dozens of the Guards together; that's a fine
sight!" said Barbara, after the laugh had subsided. "They escort the
King when he goes out in state. Oh, you'll see them often."

That comforted John somewhat, but he could not resist turning around
for several glances towards the gateway where the Guards were.

"Why do they always stand there?" he questioned.

Mrs. Pitt explained that they were organized by Charles II, who needed
all possible protection to enable him to hold the throne after his
exile in foreign lands. After the days of Cromwell, times were very
unsettled, and many disturbances were likely to occur. Hence the duty
of these Guards was probably to keep the peace (the 'prentices and
common people were very hot-headed), and to escort the King, as they
still do.

"Perhaps," she went on, "you don't understand who the 'prentices were.
Long ago it was the custom to apprentice boys to one of the great and
powerful guilds or companies. These were organizations of many
merchants belonging to the same trade; such as shipbuilders,
carpenters, candle-makers, and so forth. Their main object was to see
that the work which was turned out was good. Every man belonged to his
guild; some were for 'common and middling folks,' while kings and
princes were members of others. A great deal of good was done by these
companies, for each, besides aiding and protecting its own members,
usually had some other charity. For instance, the guild at Lincoln fed
yearly as many poor as there were members of the guild; and another
kept a sort of inn for the shelter of poor travelers. The guilds
played an important part in the life of the time. Well, as I was
saying, when a boy had chosen the trade which was to his taste, he
went to the city, and was apprenticed to a member of one of the
guilds, with whom he usually lived. The boys were called 'prentices.
Their life was not an easy one, and yet, it seems to me that they must
have enjoyed it. In those days, there were great tournaments and grand
processions of kings, with hundreds of servants and followers, all
splendidly dressed in brilliant colors. Men wore magnificent clothes
of silks and velvets and cloth-of-gold, with costly jewels, such as
ropes of pearls; and their servants, whose duty it was to go before
their masters on the street, wore suits of livery with the silver
badge of their master. London in those days was a wonderfully busy
place! On board the ships sailing up the river were men in strange
costumes, from foreign lands. The 'prentices would often stop work to
watch a company of Portuguese sailors pass, or a gorgeous procession
of bishops with their retainers; and from this little verse we know
that they did not always return very quickly to their duties. Do you
know this?

     "'When ther any ridings were in Chepe,
     Out of the shoppe thider would he lepe;
     And till that he had all the sight ysein,
     And danced well, he would not come again.'

"There were always processions, too, in winter as well as in summer,
for the people seemed not to mind rain or storm in the least. The boys
had many holidays,--there were frequent pageants, feasts, and
celebrations of all kinds,--and on the whole, I think they must have
been very happy in spite of the long hours of work, don't you?
Another curious custom was the keeping of cudgels in every shop for
the use of the 'prentices, in case of a fight--and I imagine that they
were numerous. Now, come close to me, children, while we cross this
street; there's the Abbey right ahead of us."

As they entered the north transept of Westminster Abbey, the dim
light, in contrast to the sunshine outside, was almost blinding. At
first, all was indistinct except the great rose-window, in the
opposite transept, through which the light strayed in many colors. The
morning service was in progress, so they sat down near the door, and
listened and looked. How beautiful!--how tremendous it all was! Even
John's overflowing spirits were quieted, it was so wonderfully
impressive! The rose-window still stood out clearly against the deep
shadows all about it, but a faint light could now be seen coming in
through the little windows, high up near the roof,--the clerestory
windows, they are called. Betty could see the massive roof, the long
aisles crowded with marble monuments, and the pillars. The canon's
voice was heard intoning in a deep, monotonous key; reading followed,
and then some one sang, in a high, clear voice, which seemed to come
from far away, and yet to fill all the space of the great building.
Betty could not have spoken a word; she was filled with a kind of
wondering awe such as she had never known before.

John, more matter-of-fact, was examining the statues nearest to him.

He touched Betty's arm to attract her attention, and said, "See, there
are lots of statues here, Betty, but I only know the names of William
Pitt and Benjamin Disraeli, 'Twice Prime-Minister.' Do you remember
him? Wonder if William Pitt was an ancestor of our Mrs. Pitt!" he
rambled on, not seeing that his sister took no notice of him.

As for Betty, she scarcely knew that any one had spoken to her. She
seemed to be back in the Middle Ages, and the present had vanished
away.

When the service was ended, they walked about, examining the monuments
as they went.

[Illustration: "THERE'S THE ABBEY RIGHT AHEAD OF US."--_Page 25._]

"This long, broad aisle extending from the main entrance to the choir
is called the nave," explained Mrs. Pitt. "The shorter aisles which
form the crossing are the transepts, and the choir is always the
eastern end of the building, containing the altar. These are facts
which you will want to learn and remember."

"The kings and queens are all buried here, aren't they, Mrs. Pitt?"
questioned John. "Will they put King Edward here, too, when he dies?"

"A great many kings and queens are buried here, though not all," Mrs.
Pitt told them. "The Royal Tombs are there, behind those gates, in the
chapels which surround the choir. We can't go in there unless we take
a guide, and I thought we would wait for another day to visit the
lovely chapel of Henry VII and all the famous tombs. I don't want you
to see too much at one time. No, John, King Edward probably will not
be buried here. Queen Victoria, his mother, lies at a place called
Frogmore, near Windsor, and it is likely that her son will choose that
spot, also. Here's the Poets' Corner, and there is at least one face
which I'm sure you will be glad to see. This is it."

As she spoke, the party stopped in front of the well-known bust of our
poet, Longfellow, which I suppose every American is proud to see.

"So they read 'Hiawatha,' even in England," Betty remarked.

"There are tablets all over the floor, under our feet! Look, I'm
standing on Dickens' grave this very minute! And there's 'Oh, Rare Ben
Jonson,' right there on the wall; I've always heard of that. And
here's Spenser, and Chaucer, and Browning, and Tennyson, very close
together. Oh! It's dreadful! I don't want to step on them! Why,
everybody who ever was anybody seems to be here!" gasped John,
forgetting his grammar in his interest.

"Here are busts of Scott (there's the man for me!), and Burns,
Goldsmith, and Coleridge; I know all these names. Here's a statue of
Shakespeare, though of course he isn't buried here. There's a tablet
to Jenny Lind. Wasn't she a singer? Seems to me I've heard my grandpa
speak of her. And, if here isn't Thackeray's grave--there in the floor
again! Well! Well!"

"Come over here, John, and see this," called Philip, pointing to a
tomb on which was this inscription:

     Thomas Parr of ye county of Salop, born A.D. 1483. He lived
     in the reignes of ten princes, viz.--King Edward IV, King
     Edward V, King Richard III, King Henry VII, King Henry VIII,
     King Edward VI, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, King James, and
     King Charles; aged 152 years, and was buryed here, 1635.

"Well, that beats them all!" laughed John, who was greatly pleased.

Mrs. Pitt now led the rest into the little chapel of St. Faith, off
the south transept, where they sat down to rest.

"It's the most wonderful place I ever dreamed of!" said Betty quietly,
as though she were talking to herself. "This little chapel is the
quaintest, oldest thing I ever saw! The walls are so dark; that tiny
window up so high, hardly lets in any light at all; and the altar,
with the faded picture, is so strange! I can't believe it is the
twentieth century; the people in the Abbey now don't seem real to me
at all. They look so small and shadowy beside the huge statues of
people of other days! Surely the people the statues represent belong
here, and not we! Why, I feel so far back in history that I shouldn't
be in the least surprised to see Raleigh, or Chaucer, or Queen
Elizabeth, walk into this chapel, right now! I should probably go up
and say 'How do you do?'" she added laughingly.

Betty did not know that any one had heard her talking, but Mrs. Pitt
had been listening, and when Betty was silent, she said:

"Come, let's go out into the sunshine of the cloisters now. I am
really afraid to have Betty stay in here any longer! The first thing
we know, she'll be disappearing into the Middle Ages! She's almost
there now!"

As they went through the low door into the cloisters, she continued,
"I want to explain to you children, that in connection with this
Abbey, as with all, there was for centuries a great monastery; and
that the buildings which we shall see, as well as the cloisters, had
to do with the monks. Henry VIII dissolved all the monasteries in
England, you remember."

The ancient cloisters of Westminster Abbey are deeply interesting and
impressive. They are four arcades built around the square grass-plot,
which was the monks' burial-ground. The fine tracery of the windows is
now much broken, and is crumbling away with age, but its exquisite
carving is still plainly seen. The original pavement yet remains; it
is much worn by the feet of the monks, and is almost covered by
tablets which mark the resting-places of the abbots, as well as of
others. The members of our party were touched, as are all, by the
pathetic simplicity of the epitaph: "Jane Lister, Dear Childe, 1688."
Those four short words suggest a sad story about which one would like
to learn more.

"You must know," said Mrs. Pitt, "that the cloisters were something
besides burial-places. Here the monks spent most of their time, for
this was the center of the life of the monastery. The southern
cloister, over opposite, was the lavatory, and there the monks were
forced to have their heads shaved,--every two weeks in summer, and
every three in winter. These walls were then painted with frescoes,
the floor and benches were covered with rushes or straw, the windows
were partly glazed, and lamps hung from the ceiling. In one of the
cloisters was held a class of novices, taught by a master, and this
was the beginning of Westminster School. I believe the pupils were
allowed to speak only French. How would you like that?"

Adjoining the cloisters are numerous little passageways, with low
arches, which lead into tiny courts dotted with flowers and little
fountains. In the houses about, live the canons of the Abbey and
others connected with the church. Lovely glimpses of sunlight and the
bright colors of flowers are seen at the ends of these dark, ancient
passages.

Westminster School may also be reached from the cloisters. Our party
stood a moment in the doorway of the schoolroom to see the splendid
old hall, with its fine oaken roof. This was once the dormitory of the
monks, but is now taken up with the boys' "forms," or desks, piled
with books. The walls above the wainscoting, and the window-recesses,
are covered with signatures of the scholars,--some of them famous, for
the school was begun as long ago as the time of Henry VIII, who was
the founder. The visitor may see the name of the poet, Dryden, on one
of the desks; he was a pupil there, as were also Sir Christopher Wren,
the architect; Ben Jonson; Southey, the poet; and John and Charles
Wesley.

"What is that iron bar for?" questioned the curious John, pointing to
a long bar which stretches from wall to wall, across the middle of the
room.

"That divides the Upper and Lower Classes," was the prompt reply of
Mrs. Pitt, whose stock of knowledge seemed endless. "At one time, a
curtain was hung over that bar. Don't you know the story which is told
in the 'Spectator Papers,' about the boy who accidentally tore a hole
in this curtain? He was a timid little fellow, and was terrified at
the thought of the punishment which he felt sure would be his. One of
his classmates came to the rescue, saying that he would take the blame
upon himself, which he did. It was years later, when the timid boy had
become a great judge, that the Civil War broke out, and he and his
friend took opposite sides. The kind man who had saved his friend from
punishment was a Royalist, and was captured and imprisoned at Exeter,
where the other man happened to come at the same time, with the
Circuit Court. At the moment when nothing remained but to sentence the
'rebels,' the judge recognized his friend, and by making a very
hurried trip to London, he was able to secure a pardon from Cromwell,
and thus succeeded in saving the man's life."

"That was fine!" said John. "He did pay him back after all, didn't
he? I thought he wasn't going to."

"Now, we will just look into the Chapter House and the old Jerusalem
Chamber, before we go," said Mrs. Pitt, as they left the school.

The Chapter House is a beautiful, eight-sided room, dating from the
thirteenth century. Here the business of the monastery was always
conducted, and at the meetings which came every week, the monks were
allowed to speak freely, and to make complaints, if they wished. Here
also the monks were punished.

"They used to whip them against that central pillar, there," the guard
explained. "Here sat the abbot, opposite the door, and the monks sat
on benches ranged around the room. Parliament met here for many years,
too, its last session in this room being on the day that the great
King Hal died."

The Chapter House has been restored now, and the windows are of modern
stained-glass. In the cases are preserved some valuable documents, the
oldest being a grant of land, made by King Offa, in 785.

To reach the Jerusalem Chamber, it is necessary to go through a part
of the cloisters, and into the court of the Deanery. On one side is
the old abbot's refectory, or dining-hall, where the Westminster
school-boys now dine. John went boldly up the steps and entered. After
a few minutes, he came running out again, exclaiming:

"Nobody stopped me, so I went right in, and looked around. A maid was
setting the tables, and I noticed that she stared at me, but she
didn't say anything, so I stayed. The hall is great! It isn't very
large, but is paneled and hung with portraits. The old tables, a
notice says, are made from wood taken from one of the vessels of the
Spanish Armada. Wonder how they found it and brought it here! I was
just going to ask the maid, when a savage-looking man appeared and
said I had no business there. So I came away. I don't care; I saw it,
anyway!" he added, as they approached the entrance of the Jerusalem
Chamber.

All three sides of this little court were the abbot's lodgings, and
are now the deanery. The Jerusalem Chamber was built about 1376, as a
guest-chamber for the abbot's house.

"The name is curious, isn't it?" remarked Mrs. Pitt. "It probably came
from some tapestries which formerly hung there, representing the
history of Jerusalem. It was in this room, right here in front of the
fireplace, according to tradition, that Henry IV died. A strange dream
had told the King that he would die in Jerusalem, and he was actually
preparing for the journey there, when he was taken very ill, and they
carried him into this room. When he asked where they had brought him,
and the reply was, 'To the Jerusalem Chamber,' he died satisfied. Many
bodies have lain here in state, too,--among them, that of Joseph
Addison, whom they afterwards buried in the Abbey. When we come again,
I will show you his grave. Now, notice the bits of ancient
stained-glass in the windows, and the cedar paneling; except for that,
there is nothing specially noteworthy here."

As they left the Dean's Yard and crossed the open space in front of
the great western towers of the Abbey, John and Betty agreed that if
they could see nothing more in England, they were already repaid for
their long journey across the ocean.



CHAPTER FOUR

PENSHURST PLACE: THE HOME OF SIR PHILIP SIDNEY


In Charing Cross Station one morning, Mrs. Pitt hurried up to the
"booking-office," as the English call the ticket-office, to "book"
five tickets to Penshurst. While the man was getting her change, she
turned and said to Philip:--

"Please ask that guard who is standing there, on which platform we
shall find the 9.40 train for Penshurst."

Philip did so, and returned with the information that they should go
to Platform 8. So they all mounted the steps and walked over the
foot-bridge which always runs across and above all the tracks, in an
English station. There was a bench on the platform, and they sat down
to await the arrival of the train. About 9.35, five minutes before the
train was to start, John happened to see a train official sauntering
by, and asked him if it was correct that the Penshurst train left from
that platform.

The man stared. "Really, you are quite mistaken," he drawled; "that
train leaves from Platform 2. You had better hurry, you know; you
haven't much time."

John waited for nothing more, but ran to tell the rest, and they all
started for the other end of the station. Up the steep steps again ran
Mrs. Pitt, with the four young people following. Along the bridge they
flew till they reached Platform 2, and then they almost fell down the
steps in their hurry, for the train was already there.

When they were fairly seated in a third-class carriage, John, still
out of breath, exclaimed:--

"Whew! My! I never ran faster in my life, did you, Philip? How the
girls kept up, I don't know! You're a first-class sprinter all right,
Mrs. Pitt! We'd like you on our football team, at home! My, but I'm
hot!"

He paused for breath, and then went on excitedly:

"There was a close call for you! We'd have lost it if I hadn't spoken
to that guard, just in fun! There we were calmly waiting, and all of a
sudden, we took that wild dash across the bridge! It was great! I
hope somebody caught a photograph of us! I'd like to see one! How
stupid of the guard to make that mistake! They never seem to know very
much, anyway. If I ever am a guard, I shall be different; I shall know
things!"

They all had a good laugh over the adventure, and Mrs. Pitt assured
John that when he was a guard, they would all promise to use his
station.

"Don't these trains seem different from ours, Betty?" the future guard
asked of his sister. "It seems so queer to me why they want to take a
perfectly good, long car, and chop it up from side to side, into
little narrow rooms, like this! What's the use of having so many
doors?--one on each side of every 'compartment'! And then, they put
handles only on the outside, so you have to let down the window and
lean away out to open it for yourself, if the guard doesn't happen to
do it for you! We Americans couldn't waste so much time!"

Just then, Betty, who could contain herself no longer, burst out
laughing.

"Why, what in the world's the matter?" cried Barbara.

Betty could only point to a passing train. "It's only the funny
little freight cars!" she finally explained, rather ashamed that she
had let her feelings escape in that way. "They look so silly to us!
They seem about a third the size of the ones at home. Really, these
remind me of a picture in my history-book, of the first train ever run
in America!"

Mrs. Pitt smiled. "Yes, I can imagine just how strange they must seem
to you, for I remember very well how I felt the first time I ever rode
in one of your trains. To me, one of the most interesting things about
visiting a foreign country, is to see the different modes of travel."

"Oh, please understand that I think so, too!" urged Betty. "It was
only that I couldn't help laughing just at first, you see. I wouldn't
have your trains just like ours for anything, and I'm sure that John
wouldn't either."

[Illustration: "WHAT'S THE USE OF HAVING SO MANY DOORS?"--_Page 39._]

"Now," said Mrs. Pitt, "there is a little confession which I feel that
I ought to make. It's about where we are going to-day. Probably most
people would blame me for not taking you to Windsor or Hampton Court,
on your first trip out of town. Both those places are charming, but
I wanted to show you, first of all, this dear little corner of Kent.
All tourists flock to Windsor and Hampton Court, but a great many do
not know about this tiny, out-of-the-way village, with which I fell in
love years ago. Penshurst Place was the home of Sir Philip Sidney, and
is still owned by a member of the same family. You know that Sir
Philip lived in Queen Elizabeth's time, and that his name stands for
the model of a perfect courtier and ideal gentleman. He died when he
was very young--only thirty-two, I think--and he did very little which
you would suppose could have made him so famous. That is, it was
little in comparison with what Raleigh and Drake accomplished, and yet
the name of Sidney ranks with all the rest. It seems to have been more
in the way he did things, than in what he did. Of course, you remember
the story of his death,--that when he was dying, he passed a cup of
water which was brought him, to another dying soldier, saying, 'Thy
need is greater than mine.' Well, to-day we shall see where he was
born and bred,--where Ben Jonson, Edmund Spenser, and Queen Elizabeth
all visited."

They were now riding through Kent, in which county is some of the most
picturesque English scenery. Although it was only the last of April,
the grass was the freshest green, the great trees were in full leaf,
and primroses were beginning to spring up in the fields. They sped
through little villages of thatched-roofed cottages, each with its
tiny garden of gay flowers. There were little crooked lanes, bordered
by high hedges, and wide, shady roads, with tall, stately elms on
either side, and fields where sheep grazed.

"Oh, there's a cottage which looks like Anne Hathaway's!" exclaimed
Betty. "It couldn't be, could it? Anyway, it's real story-book
country!"

They left the train at the little station of Penshurst, two miles from
the village. Behind the building stood a queer, side-seated wagon,
with one stout horse. The driver, when Philip found him, seemed loath
to bestir himself, but was finally persuaded to drive them to the
castle.

Penshurst village proved to be even prettier than those they had seen
from the train. The Lord of Penshurst Place is a very wise,
appreciative man, and he has made a rule that when any cottage in the
village is found to be beyond repair, it shall be replaced by a new
house exactly like the original. In consequence, the houses look
equally old and equally attractive, with their roofs of grayish
thatch, and the second stories leaning protectingly over the lower
windows, overgrown with rose-vines.

Mrs. Pitt went into the tiny post-office to buy their tickets of
admission to the castle, and when she called out that there were also
pretty post-cards to be had, the others quickly followed. Having
chosen their cards, they all walked through the little church-yard,
with its ancient yew trees, and out into a field from which they could
see Penshurst Place itself.

"Why! isn't it a huge place!" cried Barbara. "This is just as new to
Philip and me, you know, Betty, for we have never been here, either."

"How charmingly situated it is!" exclaimed Mrs. Pitt enthusiastically.
"Just a glance at it would tell you that it was never a strong
fortress. Like Raby Castle, another favorite of mine, I believe that
Penshurst never stood a siege. But it is so stately and graceful,
standing in the center of these perfect lawns and groups of noble old
trees! It is a beautiful contrast to the many fortress-castles! This
seems to speak of peace, happiness, and safety."

The castle covers a great deal of ground, and is low and square, with
here and there a turret. A terrace, or broad walk, runs the length of
the front of the building, where the moat formerly was, and the party
crossed this to reach the entrance-way. His Lordship came out just
then, with his dog, and glanced kindly at the eager young people.
Continuing, they crossed a square court, and came to a second gateway,
where a servant met them and conducted them into the old-time
Baronial-hall, dating from the fourteenth century.

"This," announced the guide with tremendous pride, "we believe to be
the only banquet-hall now remaining in England, where the ancient
fireplace in the center of the room still exists. You'll see many fine
halls, but you'll not see another such fireplace."

[Illustration: "THIS SEEMS TO SPEAK OF PEACE, HAPPINESS, AND SAFETY."
_Page 44._]

John went up to investigate, and found that right in the middle of the
vast room was a high hearth, on which some logs were piled. "But
how----?" he was asking, when the guide's explanations flowed on once
more:

"Yes, the smoke went out through a little hole in the roof. This
hall has never been restored, you see. That's the best thing about it,
most people think, lady. Here's the oak paneling, turned gray with
age; there, up on the wall, are the original grotesque figures, carved
in wood; here, are two of the old tables, as old as the hall; and
there's the musicians' gallery, at that end, over the entrance."

Mrs. Pitt was leaning against one of the massive tables, with her eyes
partly closed. "Let's just imagine the grand feasts which have been
held here," she mused. "I can almost see the Lord and Lady, dressed in
purple and scarlet, sitting with their guests at a table across this
end of the room. A board stretches down the length of the hall, and
here sit the inferiors and retainers. A long procession of servants is
winding always around the tables, bearing great roasts, birds,
pasties, and all sorts of goodies, on huge platters, high above their
heads. Up in the gallery here, the musicians are playing loudly and
gayly, and even when they cease the guests do not lack for
entertainment, for the fool, in his dress of rainbow colors, is
continually saying witty things and propounding funny riddles. In such
a place much elegance and ceremony were the necessary accompaniments
of a grand feast. In a book giving instructions for the serving of the
Royal table, is this direction, which always interested me: 'First set
forth mustard with brawn; take your knife in your hand, and cut the
brawn in the dish, as it lieth, and lay on your Sovereign's trencher,
and see that there be mustard.' As you see, they were exceedingly fond
of mustard. Richard Tarleton, an actor of Queen Elizabeth's time, who
was much at Court as jester, is reported as having called mustard 'a
witty scold meeting another scold.'"

The guide was growing impatient, and Mrs. Pitt ceased, saying
reluctantly, "Well, I suppose we must go on."

A servant rang a bell, and soon, down some stairs came a dear little
old lady dressed in stiff black silk, with white apron and cap, and
mitts on her hands. She escorted the party up the stairs, into her
domain.

"Wouldn't you just know to look at her that she had been in the family
all her life?" whispered Barbara to Betty.

First they saw the Ball-room, a stately apartment in which hang three
very valuable chandeliers, which Queen Elizabeth gave to Sir Henry
Sidney. The next room is still called "Queen Elizabeth's Room," for
here that Queen slept when upon a visit to the house. The same
furniture which she used is still in place, as well as some tapestries
made in honor of the visit, by Lady Sidney.

"If Queen Elizabeth slept in that bed," remarked Betty, "she couldn't
have been very tall."

Their guide, taking this as criticism of one of her beloved treasures,
was quick to say:

"It only looks short, because it's so uncommon wide, begging your
pardon, Miss."

"Did that stool belong to anybody?" questioned Barbara, tactfully
changing the subject. "It looks as if it has a history."

"And it has, Miss; that stool was used by the late Queen Victoria (God
bless her!), at her coronation at Westminster Abbey!" and the loyal
old lady patted the black velvet stool respectfully.

The rooms and corridors of the old house are crowded with things of
interest. Sir Philip's helmet is there, and a bit of his
shaving-glass. In a small room called the "Pages' Closet," are
preserved rare specimens of china--Queen Elizabeth's dessert-set, in
green, and Queen Anne's breakfast-set, in blue and white. Betty and
Barbara were deeply interested in Mary Stuart's jewel-case, and they
laughed over a very curious old painting which shows Queen Elizabeth
dancing. The long picture-gallery is lined with portraits--most of
them Sidneys--and among them those of the mother of Sir Philip, and of
his sister, the Countess of Pembroke, for whom he wrote his "Arcadia."

When they again passed through the Ball-room on their way out, they
were shown a little square window on one of the walls, which they had
not noticed before.

"Why! I can see down into the Banquet-hall!" exclaimed Philip, who had
climbed up to look through.

"Yes," said their guide, "in the olden times, the master at the ball
could look through there to see how the servants were behaving, down
in the hall below."

Out on the lawn again, they lingered for a few minutes while Mrs. Pitt
reminded them that there is every reason to believe that under those
very trees Spenser wrote his "Shepherd's Calendar."

Reluctantly they left the castle and walked back to the carriage,
which awaited them in the village.

"If all English castles are as beautiful as Penshurst Place," declared
Betty earnestly, "I can't go back to America until I have seen every
one!"



CHAPTER FIVE

THE TOWER OF LONDON


"I should think they'd call it 'The Towers,' instead of 'The Tower,'"
remarked Betty, surveying the curious, irregular jumble of buildings
before her, as they left the bus.

"That's true," Mrs. Pitt agreed; "but I suppose the name was first
given to the White Tower, which is the oldest part and was built by
William the Conqueror as long ago as 1080. Why did they call it the
White Tower? Well, I believe it was because they whitewashed the walls
in the thirteenth century. Why, what's the matter, John?"

"I want to see who those fellows in the funny red uniforms are," John
called back, as he ran ahead.

[Illustration: "I WANT TO SEE WHO THOSE FELLOWS IN THE FUNNY RED
UNIFORMS ARE."--_Page 50._]

When they reached the entrance, they saw John admiring a group of
these "fellows," who stood just inside the gate. In reality, they are
old soldiers who have served the King well, and are therefore
allowed to be the keepers and guides of the Tower. They bear the
strange name of "beefeaters" (a word grown from the French
"buffetiers"), and are very picturesque in their gorgeous scarlet
uniforms, covered with gilt trimmings and many badges, a style of
costume which these custodians have worn ever since the time of Henry
VIII, and which was designed by the painter, Holbein.

Any one may pay sixpence for a ticket which entitles him to wander
about the precincts of the Tower, and to see the "Crown Jewels," and
the armory, but Mrs. Pitt, being more ambitious for her young friends,
had obtained a permit from the Governor of the Tower. This she
presented to the "beefeater" who stood by the first gateway, after
they had crossed the great empty moat. The old man stepped to a tiny
door behind him, opened it, disclosing a small, winding stair, and
called "Warder! Party, please!"

A venerable "beefeater" with white hair and beard came in answer to
the summons, and bowing politely to the party, immediately started off
with them. They set out along a little, narrow, paved street, lined
by ancient buildings or high walls.

"They do say h'as 'ow the Princess Elizabeth, afterwards Queen, was
h'imprisoned in that room, up there," stated the guide, pointing to a
small window in a wall on their left. "By Queen Mary's h'orders she
was brought in through the Traitor's Gate, there. That was a great
disgrace, you know, Miss," he said to Betty, "for h'all the State
prisoners entered by there, and few of them h'ever again left the
Tower."

Before them some steps led down to a little paved court, and beyond,
under a building, they saw the terrible Traitor's Gate,--a low, gloomy
arch, with great wooden doors. The water formerly came through the
arch and up to the steps, at which the unfortunate prisoners were
landed. As the Princess Elizabeth stepped from the boat, she cried,
"Here landeth as true a subject, being a prisoner, as ever landed at
these stairs; and before Thee, O God, I speak it!"

"Isn't there a proverb, 'A loyal heart may be landed at Traitor's
Gate'?" questioned Mrs. Pitt; and turning to the guide she added,
"Wasn't it right here where we are standing that Margaret Roper
caught sight of her father, Sir Thomas More, after his trial?" As the
guide nodded his assent, she went on, "You all remember Sir Thomas
More, of course,--the great and noble man whom Henry VIII beheaded
because he would not swear allegiance to the King as head of the
Church in England. In those days, an ax was always carried in the boat
with the prisoner, on his return to the Tower, after the trial. If the
head of the ax was turned toward the victim, it was a sign that he was
condemned. It was here, as I said, that Margaret Roper stood with the
crowd, eagerly watching for the first glimpse of her beloved father;
and when he came near and she saw the position of the ax, she broke
away from the soldiers, and flung herself into her father's arms. The
two were so devoted that their story has always seemed an especially
pathetic one to me. I suppose there were many like it, however."

"Indeed there were, lady," returned the guide, quite moved.

Just opposite Traitor's Gate is the Bloody Tower, the most picturesque
bit of the entire fortress. The old portcullis there is known as the
only one in England which is still fit for use. At the side is an
ancient and rusty iron ring, which attracted John's attention so much
that he asked about it.

"Boatmen coming through the Traitor's Gate yonder, used to tie their
boats to that ring," the "beefeater" told them. "That shows you 'ow
much farther h'up the water came in those days. H'in a room over the
gateway of the Bloody Tower there, the Duke of Clarence, h'according
to some, drowned himself in a butt of Malmsey wine; and in h'an
adjoining room, they say that the little Princes were murdered by
h'order of their uncle, the powerful Duke of Gloucester, who stole
their right to the throne. Right 'ere, at the foot of these steps, is
where 'e 'urriedly buried them, h'after 'is men 'ad smothered them."

The children stood gazing at the little window over the gateway, their
eyes big with horror. It did not seem as though such terrible things
could have been done there in that little room, into which the sun now
poured through the tiny window.

Every night at eleven o'clock, the warder on guard at the Bloody
Tower challenges the Chief Warder, who passes bearing the keys. Each
time this conversation follows:--

"Who goes there?"

"Keys."

"Whose keys?"

"King Edward VII's keys."

"Advance King Edward VII's keys, and all's well."

Not until then, may the keys in the Chief Warder's care be allowed to
pass on.

Some steps just beyond lead into the Wakefield Tower, where the "Crown
Jewels" are now kept. The "beefeater" remained below, but Mrs. Pitt
took the young people up into the little round room where the splendid
crowns and other jewels are seen, behind iron bars. After examining
minutely the objects on view, while leaning just as far as possible
over the rail, John burst out with:

"Just look at those huge salt-cellars!" pointing to several very large
gold ones. "I should say that the English must be about as fond of
salt as they are of mustard, to have wanted those great things! Oh, I
don't care for these!" he added. "They are stupid, I think! Imagine
being King Edward, and owning such elegant crowns, scepters, and
things, and then letting them stay way down here at the Tower, where
he can't get at them! What's the use of having them, I'd like to know!
Oh, come on! I've seen enough of these!"

"Wait just a minute, John," interrupted Betty. "See! here's Queen
Victoria's crown, and in it is the ruby that belonged to the Black
Prince, and which Henry V wore in his helmet at Agincourt! Just
think!" with a sigh. "Now I'll go."

"Speaking of crowns," observed Mrs. Pitt, in passing down the stairs,
"have you ever heard about the large emerald which George III wore in
his crown, at his coronation? During the ceremony, it fell out, and
superstitious people regarded it as a bad omen. Their fears were
realized when that sovereign lost something much dearer to him than
any jewel: his American Colonies."

The previously-mentioned White Tower stands in the center of all the
other surrounding buildings. It is large and square, with turrets at
the four corners,--an ideal old fortress. As they approached, the
guide took out some keys and unlocked a door, starting down some
steps into the darkness. "Oh, the dungeons!" gasped Betty, and she and
Barbara shivered a little, as they followed.

Just at the foot they halted, and the guide showed them some round
holes in the floor.

"'Ere's where they fastened down the rack. This 'ere's the Torture
Chamber. You may think that being so near the entrance, the cries of
the victims could be 'eard by the people outside, lady, but these
walls are so thick that there was no possible chance of that. Ah, down
in these parts is where we still see things, ladies!"

"Why, what do you mean?" whispered John, dreading and yet longing to
hear.

Thus encouraged, their guide continued:--

"Once h'every month, it is my turn to watch down 'ere, during the
night. Some of us don't like to admit it, lady, but we h'all dread
that! Many things which 'ave never been written down in 'istory, 'ave
'appened in these 'ere passages and cells! Ah, there are figures glide
around 'ere in the dead o' night, and many's the times I've 'eard
screams, way in the distance, as though somebody was being 'urt! Now,
this way, please, and I'll show you Guy Fawkes's cell,--'im h'as was
the originator of the Gunpowder Plot, and tried to blow up the 'ouses
of Parliament."

They felt their way along the uneven floors, and peered into the
darkness of Guy Fawkes's cell, which was called "Little Ease."

"Just imagine having to stay long in there!" sighed Betty. "Not able
to stand up, lie down, or even sit up straight! Did they make it that
way on purpose, do you think?"

"They certainly did, Miss," declared the guide. "They tried to make
'im confess 'o 'ad associated with 'im in the plot; but 'e wouldn't,
and they finally put 'im on the rack, poor man! A terrible thing was
that rack!"

"Let's come away now," broke in Mrs. Pitt quickly. "I really think we
have all had about enough of this, and there are more cheerful things
to be seen above."

So they threaded their way out to the entrance again, getting whiffs
of damp, disagreeable air from several dark dungeons, and passing
through a number of great apartments stacked with guns. It was a
relief to gain the main part of the building, where other people were,
and plenty of warmth and sunlight. Their spirits rose, and they
laughed and joked while climbing the narrow, spiral stairs.

The large room in which they found themselves was filled with weapons
also, and various relics of the old Tower. It was used as the great
Banqueting-hall when the Tower was the Royal Palace, as well as the
fortress, the State prison, the Mint, the Armory, and the Record
Office. The apartment above this was the Council Chamber. They went
up.

"It was here that Richard II gave up his crown to Henry of Bolingbroke
who became Henry IV, by demand of the people," said Mrs. Pitt.
"Richard was a weak, cruel king, you remember, and was confined in a
distant castle, where he was finally murdered. Suppose we examine some
of this armor now. This suit here belonged to Queen Elizabeth's
favorite, the Earl of Leicester. Notice the initials R. D., which
stand for his name, Robert Dudley. This here was made for Charles I
when he was a boy; and that belonged to Charles Brandon, Duke of
Suffolk; and this, to Henry VIII himself. Aren't they interesting?
Yes, what's that you have found, Barbara?"

The two boys were absorbed in the armor for some time, but Barbara and
Betty liked a figure on horseback, which represents Queen Elizabeth as
she looked when she rode out in state. It is strangely realistic, for
the figure is dressed in a gown of the period said to have belonged to
that Queen.

"Do you suppose that jewels were sewn into the dress where those round
holes are?" asked Betty, gently touching the faded velvet with one
finger.

They all examined the dreadful instruments of torture, some of them
taken from the Armada, and the ghastly headsman's block and mask, and
then they descended the winding stairs again and went into the little
shadowy St. John's Chapel, on the floor with the Banqueting-hall.

"I want you all to remember that this is called the 'most perfect
Norman chapel in England,'" began Mrs. Pitt. "Some day when you have
learned more about architecture, that will mean a great deal to you.
These heavy circular pillars and the horseshoe arches show the ancient
Norman style. It's a quaint place, isn't it? Here Brackenbury, the
Lieutenant of the Tower, was praying one evening when the order came
to him to murder the two little Princes. In this chapel, the Duke of
Northumberland, the aged father of Lady Jane Grey, heard Mass before
he went out to execution. 'Bloody Mary' came here to attend service
upon the death of her brother, Edward VI. Somewhere on the same floor
of this tower, John Baliol, the Scotch King, was imprisoned and lived
for some time in great state. There is (at any rate, there was) a
secret passage between this chapel and the Royal Apartments. I have
read so much about the dreadful conspirators who skulked about the
Tower, and the fearful deeds that were done here, that I can almost
see a man in armor, with drawn sword, lurking behind one of these
pillars!"

Some soldiers in their gay uniforms were parading on Tower Green when
they went out again, and the scene was a merry, bright one.

"How different from the days when the scaffold stood under those
trees!" exclaimed Mrs. Pitt, as they approached the fatal spot. "Here
perished Lady Jane Grey, Anne Boleyn, Katharine Howard, and Queen
Elizabeth's unfortunate favorite, the Earl of Essex. Most of the
victims were beheaded just outside, on Tower Hill. Now, we'll look
into St. Peter's Chapel."

It is a gloomy, unattractive enough little chapel, but there are
buried here many illustrious men and women, whose lives were unjustly
taken by those in power. Here lie the queens who suffered at the
Tower, and, strangely enough, their tombs are mostly unmarked. John
Fisher, the ancient Bishop of Rochester, lies here, and Guildford
Dudley, husband to Lady Jane Grey, the Earl of Arundel, Sir Thomas
More, and many others whose names are forever famous.

Our party visited the little room in the Beauchamp Tower, which so
many examine with intense interest. Many people were imprisoned there,
and the walls are literally covered with signatures, verses,
coats-of-arms, crests, and various devices cut into the stone by the
captives. Perhaps the most famous is the simple word "JANE," said to
have been done by her husband, Guildford Dudley. A secret passage has
been discovered extending around this chamber, and probably spies were
stationed there to watch the prisoners and listen to what they said.

"That's the Brick Tower," said Mrs. Pitt, pointing to it with her
umbrella, as she spoke. "There's where Lady Jane Grey was imprisoned,
and there Sir Walter Raleigh lived during his first stay at the Tower.
It was when he was in the Beauchamp Tower, however, that he burnt part
of his 'History of the World,' the work of many years. It happened in
a curious way! Do you know the story? He was at his window one morning
and witnessed a certain scene which took place in the court beneath.
Later, he talked with a friend who had been a nearer spectator of this
identical scene, and they disagreed entirely as to what passed.
Raleigh was very peculiarly affected by this little incident. He
reasoned that if he could be so much mistaken about something which
had happened under his very eyes, how much more mistaken must he be
about things which occurred centuries before he was born. The
consequence was that he threw the second volume of his manuscript into
the fire, and calmly watched it burn. Think of the loss to us! Poor
Raleigh! He was finally beheaded, and I should think he would have
welcomed it, after so many dreary years of imprisonment. He is buried
in St. Margaret's Church, beside Westminster Abbey, you know."

"Was there a real palace in the Tower?" inquired Betty, while they
retraced their steps under the Bloody Tower and back toward the
entrance. "Isn't there any of it remaining?"

"Yes, there was a palace here once, for royalty lived in the Tower
through the reign of James I. No part of it now exists, however. It
stood over beyond the White Tower, in a part which visitors are not
now allowed to see."

On a hill just outside the Tower, in the center of a large, barren
square, is a little inclosed park with trees and shrubbery. Here stood
the scaffold where almost all of the executions were held. The place
is now green and fruitful, but it is said that on the site of the
scaffold within the Tower, grass cannot be made to grow.

As they walked toward a station of the "Tube," an underground railway,
John suddenly heaved a great sigh of relief and exclaimed:

"Well, I tell you what! I've learned heaps, but I don't want to hear
anything more about executions for a few days! What do you all say?"



CHAPTER SIX

ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL AND ITS VICINITY


When Betty came down to her breakfast the following morning, she found
her plate heaped with letters and fascinating little parcels of
different shapes. For a moment she looked puzzled, then she exclaimed:

"Oh! I know! It's my birthday, and I'm having such a splendid time
sight-seeing, that I had forgotten all about it! How lovely!" as she
glanced again at the presents.

"See, John!" she cried, opening the first package, which had an
American postmark, "see what mother has sent me! It is such a pretty
tan leather cover, with little handles, to put on my Baedeker. You
know I always carry the guidebook, and read about things for Mrs.
Pitt. Now, I can keep the book clean, and besides, people can't
recognize me as an American just from seeing my red book! That's a
fine idea, I think!"

John thought that his sister was not opening the bundles quite fast
enough, so he pounced upon one and unwrapped it for her.

"This long thing is father's gift, Betty. It's an umbrella, of course,
and a fine one! Here's a card which says, 'Knowing that two umbrellas
could never be amiss in England, I send this.' Do you suppose he
guessed that you'd lost yours?"

After the bundles were all opened, the letters hurriedly devoured, and
Betty had at last settled down to eating her cold breakfast, Mrs. Pitt
said:

"I had not decided exactly what we would do to-day, and now I think
I'll let the birthday girl plan. Where will you go, Betty?"

After due consideration, Betty announced that she would choose to
visit St. Paul's Cathedral, and afterwards, by way of contrast, to
have lunch at the Cheshire Cheese.

"What in the world's that?" inquired John.

Mrs. Pitt laughed. "You'll see, for we'll go there, as Betty suggests,
when we have seen St. Paul's. I'm not sure whether you'll care to have
lunch there, but we'll look in, at any rate. It's rather different
from the places where you are accustomed to take your lunch! No, you
must wait, John! I'm not going to tell you any more about it!"

"What a beautiful day!" Betty cried, taking her seat on the bus a
little later. "I do wish it wouldn't always be so windy, though! I
almost lost my hat then!"

"As you stay longer in London, you'll notice that a really clear day
is almost always a very windy one as well. We Londoners have to accept
the two together," Mrs. Pitt told the visitors.

Leaving Trafalgar Square, the bus carried them by Charing Cross
Station, in front of which is a copy of the old Charing Cross. Edward
I, when his queen, Eleanor of Castile, died, put up many crosses in
her memory, each one marking a spot where her body was set down during
its journey to Westminster Abbey for burial. A little farther along,
the bus passed the odd little church of St. Mary-le-Strand, which is
on an "island" in the middle of that wide street and its great busy,
hurrying traffic. It is good to remember that on that very spot, the
maypole once stood. Narrow side streets lead off the Strand, and
looking down them one may see the river, and understand why the
street was so named. It originally ran along by the bank of the
Thames, and the splendid houses of the nobles lined the way.

"These fine stone buildings on our left are the new Law Courts, and
the griffin in the center of the street marks the position of old
Temple Bar. There! We've passed it, and now we are in Fleet Street.
Temple Bar was the entrance to the 'City,' you know. To this day the
King cannot proceed into the 'City' without being first received at
Temple Bar, by the Lord Mayor. At one time, the city of London
comprised a small area (two and a quarter miles from end to end), and
was inclosed by walls and entered by gates. Originally there were but
four gates,--Aldgate, Aldersgate, Ludgate, and Bridgegate. Think what
a small city it was then! It is curious to know that in spite of that,
there were then one hundred and three churches in London. The real
center of life for centuries was at 'Chepe,' or Cheapside, as it is
now called. You'll see it later."

[Illustration: "THE KING CANNOT PROCEED INTO THE 'CITY' WITHOUT BEING
FIRST RECEIVED AT TEMPLE BAR BY THE LORD MAYOR."--_Page 68._]

Betty had been looking eagerly, even while she listened to what Mrs.
Pitt was saying. Her eyes now rested upon an old church, over the
door of which stood a queer, blackened statue of a queen.

"The church is St. Dunstan's," responded Mrs. Pitt again. "That old
statue of Queen Elizabeth is one of the few things which escaped the
great fire in the reign of Charles II. The figure once stood on the
ancient Lud Gate of the city. They say that it was in the church-yard
of St. Dunstan's that John Milton sold his wonderful poem of 'Paradise
Lost' for five pounds."

"Let's see,--that would be twenty-five dollars, wouldn't it? I haven't
your English money clear in my mind yet," John confided to Philip. "I
can't somehow feel that it's real money unless it's in dollars and
cents."

Philip soon pointed to a little alley-way on their left, and said,
"The Cheshire Cheese is in a little court back of there. You can't
think how many buildings, courts, and alleys are hidden in behind all
of these shops. Some of the old inns, or coffee-houses, which were
famous are (or were) there. Now, here's Ludgate Hill, and in a minute
you'll have a view of St. Paul's."

St. Paul's Cathedral stands on a hill, and because of its position
and huge dome it is the most conspicuous of London's landmarks. But,
because of the closely surrounding buildings, it is much hidden from
near view. As the bus mounted Ludgate Hill, having passed under the
railroad-bridge, they suddenly saw the tremendous cathedral looming up
before them.

They paused for a moment by the statue of Queen Anne, in front of the
main entrance, while Mrs. Pitt, following her delightful habit,
reminded them of certain notable facts.

"No one knows exactly how long there has been a church upon this
site," she began, beckoning them closer to her, as the noise of the
traffic was so great, "but Bede, the oldest historian, says that a
chapel was built here by a Saxon king, before the time of the Romans.
When Sir Christopher Wren, the architect, built this present edifice,
after the great fire of 1666, he found relics of three periods,--the
Saxon, the British, and the Roman. St. Paul's has been burned five
times. The last fire (the one of which I just spoke) destroyed the
church which we know as 'old St. Paul's.' Now, let's go in, for there
is much to be seen."

Next to St. Peter's at Rome, St. Paul's in London is the largest
church, in the world. The first impression a person gets is one of
great vastness and bareness, for, unlike Westminster Abbey, here one
does not encounter at every step famous statues, memorials, and
graves. The nave is tremendous in width and in length. Chapels open
from both sides, but they seem far off and shadowy. Way in the
distance is the choir, the altar, and the group of chairs used at
services. Everything is quiet, empty, and bare.

"I never imagined such a huge church!" said Betty, much impressed. "I
feel lost and cold, somehow. What are you thinking, Mrs. Pitt? I'm
sure we'd all like to hear."

"I was just picturing, as I always do when I come here, the scenes the
nave of old St. Paul's presented in Henry VIII's time. Would you like
to hear? Well, in the sixteenth century, this nave was called 'Paul's
Walke,' and it was a place of business. Yes," she assured them, as
John and Betty exclaimed, "down these aisles were booths where
merchants of all kinds sold their wares. Counters were built around
the pillars, and even the font was used by the vendors. Pack-horses
laden with merchandise streamed always in and out, and crowds of
people elbowed their way about, shouting and gesticulating excitedly."

"But didn't they have any services at all in St. Paul's Cathedral?"
asked Betty wonderingly.

"Oh, yes!" continued Mrs. Pitt, "the services went on just the same.
The people were used to the noise and confusion. Here came the tailors
to look at the fine new clothes which the young dandies wore when they
took their morning promenades. All the latest books and poems were
always to be found on sale here. Bishop Earle wrote 'Paul's Walke--you
may cal--the lesser Ile of Great Brittaine. The noyse in it is like
that of Bees, in strange hummings, or buzze, mixt of walking, tongues,
and feet; it is a kind of still roare, or loud whisper.'

"I am glad to be able to say, however," she continued, "that before
that dreadful period, there was a time when the cathedral was not so
dishonored. Once these walls were covered with valuable shrines,
pictures, and tapestries, and costly jewels glittered everywhere.
There was one huge emerald which was said to cure diseases of the
eyes. Here came John Wycliffe, the great reformer, at the summons of
the Archbishop of Canterbury, to answer for the publication of his new
doctrines. Here, Henry of Bolingbroke prayed for his successful
seizure of the throne, and here he also wept over the grave of his
father, John of Gaunt. Sir Philip Sidney was buried here, and his
father-in-law, Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's secretary;
and there was a magnificent monument to Sir Christopher Hatton, Lord
Chancellor, but these were all destroyed by the Great Fire."

About the aisles and nave are many monuments to great soldiers,
sailors, painters, statesmen, literary men, and others. Most of them
are very ugly, and our party did not linger long over these. After
walking under the dome, and looking up into its tremendous heights,
they went down into the crypt, which is really the most interesting
part of the cathedral.

The crypt is vast, dark, and gloomy. Other parties may be heard
walking about and talking in the distance, without being seen, and
their voices echo strangely. In the "Painters' Corner," Sir Joshua
Reynolds, West, Lawrence, Landseer, and Turner, all famous artists,
lie buried beneath the pavement. Sir Christopher Wren, surrounded by
members of his family, lies under the dome, as was his wish. Lord
Nelson and the Duke of Wellington both have splendid tombs there.

"These are all we now have of the monuments of the old cathedral,"
remarked Mrs. Pitt, pointing to where in a corner some mutilated
figures, heads, and broken monuments lay, all in a heap.

John was delighted when it was proposed to climb up into the dome, and
to test the "Whispering Gallery," on the way. It seemed an endless
climb up the spiral stairs, and Mrs. Pitt, Barbara, and Betty lagged
behind. When they finally came out into the great round gallery, the
two boys were over on the opposite side. Betty, after waving to them,
sat down on a bench against the wall, and suddenly she heard John's
voice, saying "Glad to see you at last!" She put her lips to the wall
and whispering an answer, found that John could hear her, too. They
were having quite a lengthy conversation, holding first their lips to
the wall to speak, and then their ears to listen, when Mrs. Pitt
interrupted them.

"That's great fun, but we have still a hard climb before us," she
reminded them. "I think we had better go on."

The remainder of the way was much more difficult, as the steps were
steeper and narrower than ever, but they at last emerged on the little
platform, running around the top of the dome.

"My, what a view!" they cried.

"Yes, you're the first visitors in many a day who could see so far,"
the man in charge told them.

If the terrible black smoke which comes from the hundreds of chimneys,
and the fog permit one to see it all, the view is truly fine. It is
especially interesting to trace the river in its various curves, and
to pick out the many bridges which span it. Another striking feature
is the immense number of spires. The guide pointed out the churches to
them, and also the different parts of the city.

"If you thought it was windy on the bus, Betty, I wonder what you call
this," exclaimed Barbara, grasping her hat with both hands. "I'm going
down now."

The others were quite ready to follow, and they wound their way down,
down, down, until they stood again on the main floor, under the dome.

"This is called St. Paul's Church-yard," said Mrs. Pitt, leading the
way around back of the cathedral. "This used to be a very busy place.
St. Paul's School was here, within the yard, as well as many shops.
The first printer who produced books for children had his shop in this
corner. In the days when the interior of the building was put to such
dreadful uses, the outside was treated quite as badly. Shops of all
kinds were built up against the cathedral, and sometimes the noise
which the carpenters made greatly disturbed those at the service
within. It must have been shocking indeed! It is said that for a very
small sum, the sexton would allow boys to climb up and ring the bells
as much as they liked; and, on the day of Queen Mary's coronation, she
saw a Dutchman standing on the weather-vane, waving a flag."

"My! I'd like to have seen that!" cried John, to whom such gymnastic
feats appealed.

While they walked back to the Cheshire Cheese, Mrs. Pitt explained to
them what St. Paul's Cathedral once comprised.

"In the London of the Middle Ages, the Church ruled supreme," she told
them. "At least one-fourth of the entire city was owned by the
churches and the religious houses. To carry on the monasteries and
churches, a tremendous number of people were necessary. At St. Paul's,
in 1450, there were:

     The bishop,
     Four archdeacons,
     The treasurer,
     The precentor,
     The chancellor,
     Thirty greater canons,
     Twelve lesser canons,
     Fifty chaplains, and
     Thirty vicars.

These were of the higher rank; there were innumerable others of lower
rank, such as the master of the singing-school, the binder, and the
translator. The brewer, in 1286, brewed 67,814 gallons, and the baker
baked about 40,000 loaves. This gives one a little idea of what it
meant to conduct a cathedral in those days of the all-powerful
Church."

Between the poor shops of Fleet Street, open many little passages, and
these lead into tiny courts and winding alleys. The entrance to one of
them is marked with the sign, "Wine Office Court." Directly off from
this narrow, dark alley stands the famous Cheshire Cheese, the only
genuine old-time tavern or "coffee-house" which still exists
unchanged. It is a little, low building, with quaint bow-window of
square panes.

"Why, we can't all get in there, can we?" laughed John, as Mrs. Pitt
stepped inside. The door is very small, and the hallway was so crowded
by curious visitors, and by jostling, pushing waiters, that it did not
seem possible for another person to enter. They managed, however, to
elbow their way through the crowd into the celebrated "coffee-room"
itself.

That "coffee-room" is splendid! The ceiling is very low, and the walls
are wainscoted in dark wood. Although the room is so small, there are
numerous long tables, and old-fashioned, high-backed settles. One
seat, in the corner farthest from the door, is marked with a little
tablet, telling us that there was Dr. Johnson's chosen place. Several
pictures of that noted gentleman adorn the walls. It always seems
very much out of keeping with the quaintness of the room, to find it
full of laughing, chattering Americans. A few quiet English clerks
come there for their noon meal, but the majority of the patrons of the
Cheshire Cheese are the tourists.

"There's nothing to do but to wait here until we can get seats," said
Mrs. Pitt; so they all remained standing in the middle of the floor,
directly in the path of the waiters, until finally some seats were
free, and they slid into one of the long benches which extend down
each side of the tables, placed endwise to the wall.

"Are you sorry you proposed coming here?" Mrs. Pitt asked Betty,
watching with amusement her crest-fallen face as she saw the soiled
linen, and untidy look of the entire table.

"Oh, no," Betty answered doubtfully, "only I guess people come here
more because Dr. Johnson did, than because they like it."

Mrs. Pitt laughed. "That's very true," she said. "The service isn't
exactly prompt, either. We've already waited quite fifteen minutes, I
am sure. I ordered lark pie and Cheshire cheese for you, of course.
Every one takes them on his first visit here."

The lark pie was Dr. Johnson's favorite dish, but that fact does not
suffice to make it very enjoyable. Betty frankly confessed that she
could not manage to eat hers, but John pretended to be very
industrious over his, although he did a good deal of looking about the
room and commenting upon things he saw.

"There's even sawdust on the floor," he announced jubilantly. "Did you
ever! My! How hot and stuffy it is here! Were all old inns just like
this, Mrs. Pitt?"

"Yes, pretty much so, I think," was the response. "There were ever so
many of them, you know, and each was frequented by a certain class of
men. For instance, there was the 'British Coffee-house,' where all the
Scotch visitors went; there was 'Robin's,' which was noted for its
foreign bankers and ambassadors; and there was 'Dolly's Chophouse,'
where the wits congregated. Most of the famous clubs held their
meetings at one or another of the 'coffee-houses,' too. The 'Spectator
Club' met at 'Button's Coffee-house,' and there the 'Spectator Papers'
had their beginnings. There Addison, Steele, Pope, and others, spent
their leisure hours. Some of the London clubs of the eighteenth
century had very queer names!" she continued. "There was the 'Ugly
Club,' the 'Quack Club,' the 'Beefsteak Club,' the 'Split-Farthing
Club,' and the 'Small Coalmen's Music Club,' for example. Here, at the
Cheshire Cheese, Goldsmith often came with Dr. Johnson. Can't you
imagine the two sitting over at that table, with Boswell not far away,
patiently listening, quill in hand? Dr. Johnson was very careless and
untidy, you know, and invariably spilled his soup. It was he who used
to walk up and down Fleet Street touching every post he passed!"

All this time they had been waiting for their cheese. When it finally
came, it proved to be much better than the lark pie. The cheese is
served in little three-cornered tins, and is poured hot over crisp
pieces of toast.

When they had finished, they went up the winding stairs to see the
room where the famous "Literary Club" used to meet. Dr. Johnson's
chair is preserved there.

"Didn't Dr. Johnson live near here, too, Mother?" asked Barbara, as
they came out again into the court.

"Yes, I believe he lived in both Johnson and Bolt Courts," Mrs. Pitt
told them. "His haunts were all about here. In number six, over there,
Goldsmith is said to have written 'The Vicar of Wakefield.'"

From there, they walked up Fleet Street, discussing their unusual
lunch as they went. They had all enjoyed it,--even Betty.

She made them all laugh, however, by announcing seriously, "I'm glad I
went, but I think it is just about as nice to read about lunching
there, as to really do it. And then, you wouldn't be quite so hungry
afterwards!"



CHAPTER SEVEN

A SUNDAY NIGHT CHAT


It was Sunday afternoon, and the time for John and Betty to send their
weekly letters home. The day was a beautiful one in early spring, the
grass and trees in the garden behind the house were very green, birds
were singing outside, people were continually walking by, and the
letters progressed but slowly. Every few moments Betty stole a glance
out-of-doors, and John sat leaning his elbow on the desk chewing the
end of his penholder, while he gazed steadily out of the window.

"Well, what do you think of it all, John?" asked Betty thoughtfully.
"Aren't we glad we came, and aren't Mrs. Pitt and Barbara and Philip
good to us?"

"Just splendid!" exclaimed John most emphatically. He had turned away
from the window now, and was entering earnestly into the conversation.
"I just tell you what, Betty, it's a different thing to peg away at
an old, torn history-book at school, and to come over here and see
things and places, while Mrs. Pitt tells you about them! Why, I
honestly like English history the way we're learning it now!"

Betty smiled in an elder-sisterly fashion. "Well, I always did like to
study history, but it surely makes it nicer and easier to do it this
way. But besides that, John, don't you think it's queer and very
interesting to see the way the English do things--all their customs, I
mean. They're so different from ours! Why, when I first saw Barbara
that day at the train, I thought it was the funniest thing that her
hair was all hanging loose down her back. I wouldn't think of being so
babyish! I thought perhaps she'd lost off her ribbon maybe, but she's
worn it that way ever since. And her little sailor-hat looks so
countrified as she has it,--'way down over her ears!"

[Illustration: "I'D FEEL LIKE 'LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY' GOING AROUND
WITH THOSE CLOTHES ON!"--_Page 84._]

"I know it; it seemed mighty funny to me to see Philip's black suit
with the long trousers, his broad collar, and skimpy short coat! It's
what all the boys at the Eton School wear, he says. They must feel
like fools! Why, I'd feel like--like--'Little Lord Fauntleroy' going
around with those clothes on all the time!" John's voice was full of
scorn, yet his eyes twinkled with fun. "But, the high hat, just like
father's opera-hat, which Philip wears, beats it all!" he continued.
"I'm so used to it now, though, that I don't think of it any more.
It's queer how soon you get used to things! It's just like riding
along the streets, and keeping to the left instead of to the right.
The first time I rode in a hansom (you weren't there that day, Betty)
and we suddenly turned a corner, keeping close to the left curb, I
poked open the little door in the roof and shouted, 'Hey there!
Mister! You'll bump into something if you don't look out!' The driver
just stared; he didn't seem to know what I was talking about."

"Yes," went on Betty in her turn, "keeping to the left did seem queer
at first. You know, John, how often we have wished that Dan and the
automobile were over here. Honestly, I think Dan would surely have an
accident! He never could remember to keep to the left! Now, we simply
must go on with our letters! Begin when I say three! One--two--(hurry,
John, you haven't dipped your pen!), three!" and both commenced to
write industriously.

The letters were finally finished just as the tea-bell rang. Betty ran
to wash her hands, and then they went down to the library, where tea
was served every afternoon that they were at home.

"Why! I quite like tea over here!" Betty remarked. "I never drink it
at home! Mother would be so surprised if she saw me! Do all English
people drink it every afternoon as you do, Mrs. Pitt?"

"Yes, it seems to go with the English people, somehow. We'd quite as
soon think of doing without our breakfast or dinner as our
four-o'clock-tea. You've noticed, my dear, how I always manage to get
my tea at some little shop when we are on one of our sight-seeing
tours. Really, I am quite lost without it! Oh! it's just a habit, of
course." As she spoke, Mrs. Pitt poured herself another cup.

When the tea things had been removed, and a fire was lighted, stories
were called for.

"Tell us some of the stories you know about different places and old
customs, Mother," urged Barbara.

"Very well," said Mrs. Pitt willingly. "Let--me--see! You remember,
don't you, having the guide point out London Bridge to you, from the
top of St. Paul's, day before yesterday? That's the oldest bridge, you
know, for it seems to have existed as long ago as we know anything of
London itself. But legend has it that before there was any bridge over
the Thames, people crossed in a ferry which was run by a certain John
Overs. This man naturally became rich, as very many people were always
paying him for taking them across the river, but he was a great miser.
The ferryman had one fair daughter about whom he was as miserly as he
was with his money,--keeping her shut up out of reach of her lover.
One day, John Overs thought he would like to save the cost of
providing food for his household, so he pretended to be dead. He
expected that his servants would fast in consequence, as was the
ancient custom; but so great was their joy when they thought their
master dead, that they all began to dance, to make merry together, and
to feast upon all they found in the house. The old miser stood this
just as long as he could, and then he sprang up to lay hands upon
them. The servants fled, believing that it was something
supernatural--all except one, who, more daring than the rest, killed
his master with his weapon. So old John did die after all, but in an
unexpected way.

"Part the second of my story tells of how the monks of a neighboring
abbey finally consented to bury the body; when the abbot returned,
however, he was very angry at what they had done, and gave the friars
some orders. They dug up the body of the poor old boatman, tied it to
the back of an ass, and turned the animal loose. The body was finally
thrown off at the place of public execution (directly under the
gallows), and there it was buried and remained. Meanwhile the
daughter, Mary, was having more trouble. Immediately upon the death of
her father, she had sent for her lover, but in coming to her, he had
been thrown off his horse and killed. This was too much for the
unfortunate girl, who decided to retire to a nunnery, leaving her
entire fortune to found the church of 'St. Mary Overy.' That is the
real name of the church now known as Southwark Cathedral, which stands
just across London Bridge. Now, how do you like that story?"

[Illustration: "YOU REMEMBER, DON'T YOU, HAVING THE GUIDE POINT OUT
LONDON BRIDGE?"--_Page 86._]

"Great!" exclaimed John. "Whoever thought that up had a vivid
imagination, all right!"

"Why, don't you believe it, John?" said Betty, who always took
everything most seriously.

When they were quiet again, Mrs. Pitt talked on.

"London Bridge, up to the time of the Great Fire, was crowded with
houses, you know, and there was even a chapel there. Over the gate at
the Southwark end of the bridge, the heads of traitors were exhibited
on the ends of long poles. Here Margaret Roper, whom you met at the
Tower, came, bargained for, and at last secured the head of her
father, Sir Thomas More. But, to go back to the houses! Hans Holbein,
the painter, and John Bunyan, the poet, are both said to have resided
on London Bridge. I also like the story which tells of a famous wine
merchant, named Master Abel, who had his shop there. Before his door,
he set up a sign on which was the picture of a bell, and under it were
written the words, 'Thank God I am Abel.' Here's a picture of old
London Bridge. Imagine how quaint it must have looked crowded by these
picturesque old houses, and with its streets filled with travelers.
All those entering London from the south came across that bridge,
which was consequently a great thoroughfare. Near the Southwark side
of the bridge is where the Tabard Inn stood--the inn from which the
Canterbury Pilgrims set out; and near the bank, known as Bankside in
those days, was the celebrated Globe Theatre, connected with
Shakespeare and his associates. The popular Paris Gardens were there,
too, where the sport of bear-baiting was seen in Queen Elizabeth's
time. If we went over there, we could see the former sites of these
historic places, but they are now covered by unattractive, modern
buildings or great breweries. It's hard to conjure up the Globe
Theatre out of present-day Southwark," she added with a sigh, as if
she were speaking to herself. "Not far from the site of the Tabard
Inn, a picturesque, gabled house once stood, in which John Harvard was
born. Yes, John, that was the man who founded Harvard College, at your
American Cambridge."

"Yes, and I mean to go there myself some day!" announced John,
immediately fired by the familiar name of our oldest university. "My
father went, you know."

Mrs. Pitt and the two girls spent the remainder of the evening in
talking over plans for the next day, but John's thoughts had been
turned to college, and so he and Philip had a lively time comparing
notes about English and American colleges.

"Where do you mean to go, Philip?" John inquired.

"Oh, to Cambridge, of course! My father, his father, and all my family
for generations back have been to Trinity College, Cambridge. That's
the largest college in England, and was founded by Henry VIII. Oh,
it's jolly there! There are old quadrangles around which the men live;
there's a beautiful old chapel, built in the Tudor period; and there's
the dining-hall. That's grand! Back of the college is the river, the
Cam. There's a lovely garden there, and over the river on which the
men go boating, is an old bridge. I had a cousin who lived in the
rooms which Byron once occupied. He, Macaulay, Tennyson, Thackeray,
Dryden, and many other famous men went there. Oh, it's the only
college for me! I shall be there in three years, I hope!"

"Well, Harvard's our oldest college. It was founded by your John
Harvard almost as soon as Boston itself, and 'Teddy' Roosevelt went
there! It's good enough for me! The only trouble is that they can't
seem to beat at football, somehow, and I mean to play and see if I
can't help 'em win. That's the only trouble with old Harvard, though,"
John said, feeling that he must be loyal to his college in this
international discussion; "otherwise she's all right! There's the
Stadium, where all the big games are played, and there's the Charles
River for us to row on. There are loads of fine new buildings, too,
and I'd like those better than the old ones. We don't care who lived
in 'em! Oh, the fellows at Harvard have a splendid time!"

Mrs. Pitt had overheard some of this conversation with much amusement,
for the ideas and ideals of the two boys were so different, and so
very characteristic of each.

"I think you'd enjoy a visit to Cambridge, John," she said. "We must
try to manage it. You'd find one of our colleges very unlike yours in
America. Both Oxford and Cambridge Universities are made up of many
colleges, you know; at Oxford, there are twenty-two, and at Cambridge,
eighteen. Each college has its own buildings, its own professors, its
own chapel and dining-hall, and each college is complete in itself,
although they all belong to one university. You would think the rules
very strict! When the Cambridge men go to chapel, and at other
specified times, they are required to wear their gowns and queer
little flat caps, called 'trenchers' or 'mortar-boards.' At Oxford,
the gates of each college are closed at nine o'clock every evening; a
man may stay out later (even until twelve), if he can give a good
reason for it. If he remains out all night, though, he is immediately
dismissed. How would you like that?" she laughed, seeing John's
disgusted expression. "There are men called 'scouts,' who look after
the men's rooms, and bring them their breakfast. The students are very
carefully watched, and if one of them stays away from his meals at the
dining-hall more than two or three times a week, the affair is
investigated."

"My! When we go to college in America, we are men, and can look after
ourselves!" John drew himself up very straight, and spoke with great
dignity. "Cambridge may be older and have more--more--'associations,'
but I'd rather go to Harvard."



CHAPTER EIGHT

WINDSOR CASTLE, STOKE POGES, AND ETON SCHOOL


"It's only a little more than twenty miles out to Windsor," remarked
Mrs. Pitt, one June morning. "Suppose we go in the motor, and then we
can have a glimpse of both Stoke Poges and Eton School, on the way."

There were always many exclamations of delight at mention of the
"motor," so it was settled, and the party set out at ten o'clock, all
in the highest of spirits. It was slow and difficult driving through
the city streets, but the English chauffeur was quite used to keeping
to the left, as well as being perfectly familiar with the rules which
govern the traffic, so he had none of the accidents which Betty and
John had prophesied that their father's American chauffeur would not
be able to avoid. Very soon, however, they had reached the suburbs,
and then they came into the open country.

They could go faster now, and the big touring-car sped over the
wonderfully smooth roads at a speed which delighted the young people.
The weather was proving a bit uncertain. Every little while, a tiny
shower descended upon them out of a blue sky full of great white
clouds, the sun shining warm and bright all the while.

"Oh, don't let's put up any umbrella," exclaimed Betty, during one of
the showers. "Rain never seems to do any harm in England. You don't
get wet, and never mind it a bit. Truly, I like it, for it's so pretty
to see it raining with the sun out. There! now, it's stopped again!
Just see that lovely rainbow!"

The English country is always beautiful in its individual way, but it
is especially so on one of these showery days, when every leaf and
flower looks fresher than ever with the rain-drops glistening on it.
Now and then, they slowed down while passing through a busy town,
where pretty ladies and children in little two-wheeled carts drove
about doing the morning marketing. Most of the way, however, lay
through country roads bordered by green-hedged fields in which the
ever-present sheep grazed; and here and there were high brick walls
over which the stately, vine-covered homes were just visible. There
were also picturesque little workmen's cottages at the edge of the
wood, and lodges covered with climbing-roses.

It seemed as though they had only been riding a very short time when,
upon emerging from a shady road, they drew up at a little gateway.
John felt impatient at having to stop, and looked questioningly around
at Mrs. Pitt from his place on the front seat. The others were already
getting out, he found, and Mrs. Pitt was saying:

"This is Stoke Poges, and I want you to see it, for it's such a lovely
spot. Probably you have all learned in school parts of Gray's 'Elegy,'
and very likely you never cared or thought much about the poem. Even
if that's true, you can't possibly help loving this peaceful,
beautiful place, in which it was written."

[Illustration: THE MOSS-GROWN SAXON PORCH.--_Page 97._]

They were now walking along a little path which led into the
church-yard. A straight gravel walk stretches between the graves, up
to the ancient church, which is very small, and has one tower closely
covered with ivy. The fine old Saxon porch, and one doorway show great
age; but it is in the whole effect rather than in any detail of the
little church and its surroundings that the charm lies. One cannot
imagine a more quiet, remote spot! On one side is the group of
yew-trees which Gray mentions in the poem, and in their shelter are
the hoary stones which mark the graves of the "rude forefathers of the
hamlet." Standing there, one almost hesitates to speak above a whisper
for fear of arousing something or somebody out of sleep, or of
breaking the wonderful spell of the place. Pausing under those trees,
and feasting one's eyes upon the lovely, rural scene, not a sound
reaches the ear except the twitter of the birds, and perhaps the faint
jingle of a cow-bell. Mrs. Pitt gave a start at the sound of John's
voice, when he suddenly said:

"Let's go and find Gray's tomb, Philip; the guidebook says it's on the
other side of the church."

The rest lingered for just one more look at the little church, with
its vines, and the rich, dark-red brick-work of the moss-grown Saxon
porch, which the sun touches lovingly as it filters through the heavy
leafage of the yew-trees; then they followed Philip and John.

Close to the outer wall of the church is a large tomb in which Gray is
buried with his beloved mother. No word on the slab tells that the
famous poet is buried within; there is only his mother's epitaph,
which Gray wrote, and in which he speaks of himself as "the only child
who had the misfortune to outlive her."

When Mrs. Pitt came up, John was standing near the tomb with his hat
off, saying, "All right, Mr. Gray; I'll read your poem over again just
as soon as ever I get home."

The bustling, lively scenes of Eton School presented a marked contrast
to the quiet of Stoke Poges. Moving about the grounds between the
different school-buildings, were dozens of boys all dressed in the
regulation Eton suit, such as Philip himself wore. They were laughing,
shouting, and playing games, just like other boys, but such actions
somehow seemed out of keeping with their quaint costumes. From the
automobile John looked down upon them, his eyes full of wonder and
surprise.

"I suppose they are real boys," he said in a puzzled way, "but they
don't look like them."

While Philip talked with some of his friends, and John lingered near
the group, the others visited the beautiful Eton Chapel, and were
especially interested in the familiar picture of Sir Galahad, which
hangs there. The principal buildings of the school are ranged about
two large courts; in the center of the Outer Quadrangle is a bronze
statue of Henry VI, the founder of the school. The library is valuable
and contains some costly books and manuscripts. Fox, Peel, Chatham,
Wellington, and Shelley were Eton boys, and the latter's autograph may
still be seen on one of the desks.

As they left Eton and crossed the bridge over the Thames, they duly
admired the magnificent view of Windsor Castle, which may be enjoyed
from that point. Above its many roofs and towers stands the great
round keep, the oldest part of the castle, having been built by Edward
III.

The castle is on a hill in the center of the town, and the quaint,
red-roofed houses reach even to its walls. After passing the statue of
Queen Victoria, the automobile left the party at the entrance to the
castle, through Henry VIII's gateway, carved with the Tudor Rose.
Inside, they joined a party and were shown about by a guide.

They saw so many buildings that John and Betty found it rather
bewildering. In thinking it over afterwards, certain objects remained
most clearly in their memory.

"St. George's Chapel is really the most beautiful thing there, of
course," said Betty, as they rode away. "I never saw such carving as
there is on the seats--no, stalls--in the choir! Henry VIII, Jane
Seymour, and poor Charles I are buried there, too. I like those faded
banners and the coats-of-arms which belonged to the Knights of the
Garter. The whole place is lovely, I think. There are lots of little
chapels off from it, too, like Westminster Abbey; didn't the guide say
that the tomb of Queen Victoria's father, the Duke of Kent, is there?"

"Yes," answered Mrs. Pitt, "and I hope you haven't forgotten the
Albert Chapel. It adjoins St. George's, you remember, and we stood in
the doorway when our turn came and looked in. It is very old, and is
on the site of an ancient chapel of St. Edward, but Queen Victoria
made it what it is now, and restored it in honor of her husband,
Prince Albert. The interior is truly remarkable for its fine marbles,
mosaics, sculptures, stained-glass, and precious stones. I fancy they
would not especially appeal to you, however. How did you like the
State Apartments? It was fortunate that the Royal Family was not in
residence, so that we could be admitted."

"Well," began John, "they made us hurry so that I didn't see very
much. That guide drove us along as though we were a flock of sheep! I
liked that big room though, where all the portraits of the generals
are. They called it the Waterloo Room, didn't they? Anyway, there were
splendid pictures of Wellington, Metternich, Blücher, and lots of
other fellows. Did you see the busts of Wellington and Marlborough in
one of the other rooms, Philip? There are silk flags which hang over
both the busts, and that cross old guide growled out that they are
replaced every year on the anniversaries of the two
battles;--Wellington gets a new flag on June 18th, because of Waterloo
in 1815, and Marlborough gets his on August 13th, on account of the
battle of Blenheim in 1704."

"In that room," explained Mrs. Pitt, "is where the 'command'
theatrical performances are held. When the King hears the report of a
play which he thinks he would like, he simply commands the company to
come to him; and if he happens to be at Windsor, he and the Court
witness the play in the Waterloo Chamber. Your American Sousa's Band
played there once. I saw Betty and Barbara lingering before the large
picture of Charles I and his family. I am glad you liked it, girls,
for that's an especial delight of mine. Dear little 'Baby Stuart' is
so lovable! That was in the Van Dyck Room, which contains many of that
master's works. Those State Apartments are only for the use of Royal
guests, you understand, when they come on visits. I always wish that
we could see the King or Queen's private rooms, don't you? It would be
so interesting. What's your favorite part of the castle, Barbara?"

"Oh, I like the terrace better than anything else," Barbara answered,
without a moment's hesitation. "The view of the valley, with the river
and Eton Chapel in the distance, is so pretty! Then, there is
something so stately and impressive about the wide, long terrace
itself. I once read that it was Queen Elizabeth's favorite walk, and
there couldn't be a more appropriate place for a queen to choose. I
like that gateway with E. R. on it, showing that it was built in
Elizabeth's reign; and it's fun to look up to the little bay-window
which is said to have been her room. Then I like the old Curfew
Tower, too," she added.

"Yes," broke in Mrs. Pitt. "That's one of the gloomiest parts of the
whole castle, in its history as well as in its aspect. Of course,
terrible things happened at Windsor just as they did elsewhere; but
although Windsor dates from a very early period, and figures in the
reigns of all the sovereigns, its history contains more of the bright
and happy than of the tragic. Down in a miserable, windowless cell in
the lower part of the Curfew Tower, it is wrongly said that Queen Anne
Boleyn was put to spend the night before her execution, as you know,
and there still remain in the Tower some fearful instruments of
torture. The Horseshoe Cloister near there, is very ancient, and the
houses are delightfully mediæval. Did you look in some of the tiny
windows as we passed through? It is said that in a small hall there,
in the Horseshoe Cloister, Shakespeare's 'Merry Wives of Windsor' was
first produced."

"Who was it that the guide told us was imprisoned near the Round
Tower, and who fell in love with a lady whom he saw walking in the
gardens? I have forgotten the names." It was Betty who spoke, for she
had been quietly thinking over the visit.

"That was young James of Scotland, whom Henry V caused to be captured
in time of truce, and thrown into prison at Windsor, where he remained
almost twenty years. The English treated him kindly, however, and he
spent his time in studying and watching the lady in the garden, who
afterwards became his queen."

"Oh! But, really, the stables are best of all!" exclaimed Philip, who
loved horses like a true Briton. "I do like to go there and be shown
about by one of those men in the black suits and yellow vests, and the
bright cockades in their silk hats. Once when I was little, one of
them let me go into a stall and feed some sugar to a splendid great
horse named Black Beauty. I wished I could do it to-day, too! All the
carriages which carry the Court ladies are stupid, I think, but the
horses and ponies are jolly!" whereupon Philip and John went off into
an animated discussion about the horses of the Royal Stables, and how
much they envied the men who cared for them.

"Oh, what a sweet little village!" cried Betty, jumping up excitedly,
as the automobile slowed down and entered a little narrow lane.

Chalfont St. Giles is an extremely picturesque, old-time village. Its
thatched-roofed cottages huddle together in a beautiful green valley,
and about the edge of a pond where ducks swim, and happy, barefooted
children play. One of the old houses is a place of interest to many,
as the great poet, John Milton, lived there after he fled from London
at the time of the plague.

The poet's home is a most primitive cottage with low ceilings, and a
little dark room, lighted by one casement window, in which he may have
written part of "Paradise Lost." When standing in that chamber, one is
reminded of the well-known picture which shows the blind Milton
dictating one of his poems to a daughter. Outside is a delightful
old-fashioned garden in which the largest and reddest of poppies grow,
and where it is said that Milton loved to linger.

"I wish we needn't hurry," sighed Mrs. Pitt, "but I'm afraid we'll be
late to dinner. See, we are short of time already!"

So they quickly took their seats again for the short trip back to
town, and drew their wraps about them, as the air had grown chilly.
They all felt rather tired, and were silent as they reviewed in mind
the history and scenes of Windsor Castle, one of the most beautiful
and certainly the most famous of English royal residences.

[Illustration: JOHN MILTON LIVED THERE AFTER HE FLED FROM
LONDON.--_Page 105._]



CHAPTER NINE

MORE ABOUT LONDON


"Big Ben," the great bell on the clock-tower, was just booming ten
deep strokes as our party neared the Houses of Parliament. A steadily
rushing stream of people, buses, hansoms, and trucks (not forgetting
bicycles, which are still numerous in England), was pouring across
Westminster Bridge, and swinging around the corner into the wide
street called Whitehall; but in the near vicinity of the graceful,
long building, with its pinnacles and spires, in which the English
laws are made, all was quiet and few people were moving about. In a
square court from which steps lead down to the river, a sentinel was
pacing back and forth.

"In the days when the Thames was the most used highway of the
Londoners, here was probably one of the places where the nobles could
step on shore from their luxurious barges." Mrs. Pitt said this as
they were looking down upon the soldier from the street above.

Close up against one side of the Houses of Parliament is Westminster
Hall, with its quaint row of supporting buttresses. This ancient
edifice was built by William Rufus, the son of the Conqueror himself.
Having entered by St. Stephen's Porch, the usual approach, they went
down a few steps at the left into this fine old room. It is empty now,
and its vastness is unadorned except by some statues of kings and
queens along the sides.

"This hall," stated Mrs. Pitt, "was first begun by William Rufus, but
it has been restored and added to at various times by many of the
other sovereigns. It also formed part of the ancient Palace of
Westminster. I want you to notice especially the oak roof with its
heavy timbers, and unsupported by any columns. It is considered very
fine in its construction, and I think it beautiful, as well. Have you
the guidebook, Philip? Read to us some of the great events of the hall
while we stand here."

So Philip began. "Well, some of the earliest meetings of Parliament
were held here; also, all the kings as far down the line as George IV
have celebrated their coronation feasts in this hall. Here Charles I
was tried and condemned (there's a brass in the floor which marks
where he stood at the trial), and here Cromwell in royal purple robes
was received as Lord Protector. Some of the others who were tried here
are William Wallace, the Scotch patriot, Sir Thomas More, Sir Thomas
Wyatt, Guy Fawkes, and the Earls of Essex and Strafford. Until very
recently the Law Courts adjoined here."

"Thank you, Philip; now, if you are ready, Betty, we'll go on and see
something more of this great building."

It gives one a slight idea of the extent of the huge structure to know
that therein are one hundred stairways and eleven hundred rooms!
Visitors are shown the "King's Robing-room," the "Victoria or Royal
Gallery," the "Prince's Chamber," and so many rooms and corridors,
that it is impossible to remember them all, or even to appreciate them
at the time of a visit. Fine wall paintings, statues, and rich
decorations of all kinds abound. Both the rooms where sit the House of
Peers and the House of Commons, respectively, are magnificent
apartments; perhaps the former is rather more splendid in appearance,
with its stained-glass windows picturing all the English sovereigns,
its frescoes, and throne, with the gilded canopy.

As they finally passed out and started over toward Westminster Abbey,
Mrs. Pitt said:

"It was at one of these entrances (perhaps at the very one by which we
just left), that a most curious thing happened in 1738. It had just
been decided that ladies should no longer be permitted in the
galleries of the Houses. Certain noble dames who were most indignant
at this new rule, presented themselves in a body at the door. They
were, of course, politely refused admission, and having tried every
known means of gaining entrance, they remained at the door all day,
kicking and pounding from time to time. Finally, one of them thought
of the following plan. For some time they stood there in perfect
quiet; some one within opened a door to see if they were really gone,
whereupon they all rushed in. They remained in the galleries until the
'House rose,' laughing and tittering so loudly that Lord Hervey made a
great failure of his speech. Wasn't that absurd? It seems that there
were 'Suffragettes' long before the twentieth century."

Arrived at the Poets' Corner once again, they found that one of the
vergers was just about to conduct a party "in behind the scenes," as
Barbara called it. "Behind the scenes" includes the Chapel of Henry
VII and that of Edward the Confessor, besides the many smaller ones
which surround the choir.

These little irregular chapels are crowded with all sorts of tombs,
from those of the long effigy to those of the high canopy. Sometimes a
husband and wife are represented on the tomb, their figures either
kneeling side by side, or facing each other. Often the sons and
daughters of the deceased are shown in quaint little reliefs extending
all around the four sides of a monument. The figures are of alabaster
or marble, and there are frequently fine brasses on them which bear
the inscriptions. It is interesting to remember that the effigy or
reclining figure of a Crusader always has the legs crossed.

A flight of black marble steps leads up to Henry VII's Chapel. Betty
thought this reminded her a little of the choir of St. George's Chapel
at Windsor,--and it is true that the two are somewhat similar. To
build this memorial to himself, Henry VII tore down another chapel,
and also an old house in which the poet Chaucer once lived. The
loveliest feature of this chapel is the "fan-tracery" of the ceiling.
Its delicacy and grace are very beautiful! There are wonderfully
carved oak choir-stalls here also, each having been assigned to a
certain Knight of the Order of the Bath, and decorated with the
Knight's armorial bearings. Above each stall is a sword and a banner
of faded colors. The tomb of the founder, Henry VII, and of his wife,
Elizabeth of York, is in the center of the chapel, and surrounded by a
brass screen. George II and several members of his family, Edward VI,
Charles II, William and Mary, Queen Anne and her consort, and
Cromwell, are all buried near by--most of them having no monuments. In
the north aisle of this chapel is the tomb of the great Queen
Elizabeth, and just opposite it, in the south aisle, is that of her
cousin and enemy, poor Mary Queen of Scots.

Just behind the high altar is the chapel of Edward the Confessor,
containing the once splendid, mediæval tomb of that sainted King. Its
precious stones have been stolen away now, and the whole is covered
by a gorgeous cloth put there at the coronation of Edward VII.

"I've seen the tombs of so many kings and queens," exclaimed John,
heaving a sigh, "that I truly can't take in any more. Why, they're so
thick all around here that you can't move without bumping into three
or four of 'em! There's Henry V, and overhead the shield and helmet he
used at Agincourt; and here's Edward I, and Richard II, and Edward
III, and Queen Eleanor, and Queen Philippa. Who was she? Oh, here's
the old Coronation Chair, isn't it?" At sight of this, he once more
became interested.

This famous old chair was made in the time of Edward I, and every
English sovereign since that day has been crowned in it. Underneath
the seat of the chair is kept the ancient Stone of Scone, which is
said to have been used as a pillow by the patriarch Jacob. Edward I,
in 1297, brought the stone from Scotland as a sign of his power over
that country, and placed it in the Abbey. King Edward III's sword and
shield-of-state stand beside the chair. There is something about these
three objects which makes one stand long before them. They are so
ancient--so deeply impressive--and embody so much of English history
itself.

In a little room above one of the smaller chapels are found the
curious Wax Effigies. These figures made of wax, and of life size,
were carried at funerals, and were intended to look like the deceased,
and dressed in their clothes. They are very ghastly, robed in their
faded, torn garments, as each peers out from its glass-case. Queen
Elizabeth, Charles II, William and Mary, Queen Anne, General Monk,
William Pitt, and Lord Nelson are among those represented.

Betty stood before the figure of Queen Elizabeth, whose waxen face is
pinched and worn, and really most horrible to look at.

"Didn't she die propped up on the floor in all her State robes?" asked
Betty.

"Yes," was Mrs. Pitt's reply. "It isn't any wonder that she looked
like that, is it? She is said to have been beautiful in her youth, but
later, she became so very ugly that her ladies-in-waiting got false
looking-glasses, for they didn't dare to allow their mistress to see
her wrinkles."

[Illustration: "OH, HERE'S THE OLD CORONATION CHAIR, ISN'T IT?"--_Page
113._]

After lingering for a short time in the grand old Abbey, they all
mounted a bus and rode down to Bishopsgate Street to take lunch, at
Crosby Hall.[A] This splendid old example of a London mediæval palace
(having had a varied career since its great days), is now turned into
a restaurant, and our party took seats at a long table in what was
once the Banqueting-hall.

[Footnote A: Crosby Hall was taken down in 1908, but is soon to be
re-erected in Chelsea, near the site of the home of Sir Thomas More.]

"This is really a very historic old house," declared Mrs. Pitt. "It
was built in 1470 by Alderman Sir John Crosby, who died about the time
it was finished, and it passed into the hands of the Duke of
Gloucester, afterwards Richard III. Here, that cruel man had the news
of the successful murder of the little Princes in the Tower, and here
held his great feasts--in this room, I suppose."

They were all looking about at the lofty hall with its carved oak
ceiling, minstrels' gallery, stained-glass windows, and large
fireplace.

"This has recently all been restored, and I suppose it gives us a very
slight idea of its past glory. Later on, Sir Thomas More lived here,
and then Philip Sidney's sister, the Countess of Pembroke, owned it.
Shakespeare mentions it in his play of 'Richard III,' you know. In
mediæval times, there were many great houses in London (Baynard's
Castle and Cold Harbour foremost among them), but all except a little
part of Crosby Hall have disappeared. The owners of these houses, the
wealthy nobles, lived in great magnificence, having four, six, or even
eight hundred servants. Just fancy how large the establishments must
have been! In Queen Elizabeth's day, the French Ambassador was lodged
here with four hundred retainers. At that time, there were more great
palaces in London than there were in Verona, Florence, Venice, and
Genoa, all counted together; but instead of being situated on the
Grand Canal or in a spacious square, the English palaces stood in
narrow, filthy streets, surrounded by the poor hovels of the common
people.--It seems to me that our lunch is a long time coming," she
commented.

Adjoining Crosby Hall is a very interesting church--St. Helen's, which
has been called the "Westminster Abbey of the City," because of famous
citizens of "the City," who are buried there. Among them is Sir Thomas
Gresham, the great merchant of Queen Elizabeth's reign, who founded
the Royal Exchange, and did much to increase London's trade. The
church--dating mostly from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century--is
very quaint and old. It consists of two parallel naves, divided by
pillars.

"The church was once connected with an ancient nunnery which covered
the whole square outside. The naves were originally quite separated by
a partition; one side was used by the nuns, and the other by the
regular members of the parish. Shakespeare once lived in St. Helen's
parish, and is charged up on the church books with a sum of something
over five pounds." Mrs. Pitt gave this information as they walked
about, gradually growing accustomed to the dim light.

"See here, John," whispered Philip; "here's something interesting.
It's this little square hole in the wall, which is called the 'nuns'
squint.' That woman, whom I suppose is the caretaker, has just been
telling me what that means. You see, the nunnery was on this side, or,
at any rate, the part where the nuns slept. When a nun was dying, the
rest would carry her to that little 'squint,' and in that way she
could look through to the church and see the altar."

Leaving St. Helen's Place, and passing the picturesque, narrow façade
(or front) of Crosby Hall, Mrs. Pitt took them along Cheapside, one of
the most crowded streets of the city. The amount of traffic is
tremendous there, and it is said that sometimes teams are held eight
hours in the alleys before they can get out. They noted Bow Church,
and the site of John Gilpin's house at the corner of Paternoster Row.

"Oh, is that the John Gilpin in Cowper's poem?" cried John, excitedly.
"He lived here, did he? And where did he ride to?"

"I believe he went out through Tottenham and Edmonton. Mrs. Gilpin was
at the Bell Inn at Edmonton when she saw her husband fly by. Over the
entrance at the Bell is such a funny picture of the scene! They don't
know just where he went, do they, Mother?" inquired Barbara.

"No, I rather think not," was Mrs. Pitt's laughing answer. "Let's walk
through Paternoster Row, now. The little bookshops are so old and
quaint! For centuries the booksellers have been loyal to this
locality, but I hear that they are beginning to move elsewhere now.
Here's Amen Corner, and Ave Maria Lane is not far away. In London,
there's a reason for the name of almost every street. The monks, in
walking from the river to St. Paul's, used to be telling their beads
and reciting their prayers all the while. You see, the Ave Maria was
said at this point, and back at the corner came an Amen. In olden
days, the makers of rosaries and paternosters had their shops in the
little street we have just left, as well as the booksellers. The
streets leading off Cheapside show what business was carried on there;
for instance, on the south side are Bread, Candles, Soap, Fish, and
Money-changing; and on the north side are Wood, Milk, Iron, Honey, and
Poultry. By the by, the poet Milton was born in Bread Street. The
ironmongers congregated in Ironmongers Lane; the vintners or
wine-merchants were in the Vintry; and the makers of hosiery in
Hosiery Lane. Now we'll go to Chancery Lane, and pay a short visit to
the Record Office, for there are some things there which I want you to
see."

The Public Record Office is a modern building, constructed for the
purpose of keeping the valuable State documents and archives, which,
during the present reign, have been moved from the Tower and the
Chapter House of Westminster Abbey. The different departments of
government are continually handing over to the Record Office papers
which are no longer needed for daily use. Among the intensely
interesting treasures of this museum are the logbooks of the Royal
Navy, and dispatches from Marlborough, Wellington, and others. There
are State papers of Wolsey, and Thomas Cromwell, and letters of all
the kings and queens, as well as of Chaucer, the Black Prince, Raleigh
at the Tower, Lady Jane Grey as Queen, Sir Philip Sidney on his
death-bed, and many, many others of equal interest.

"Why, you'd need a whole week to see all these!" exclaimed Betty,
looking up from her examination of a paper containing the confessions
of Guy Fawkes.

Mrs. Pitt glanced at her quickly. She was excited, and her face was
flushed.

"Yes, and we must not stay any longer, for we have seen enough for one
day. I want to show you just one more thing before we go, however, and
this is more wonderful than all the rest. See, it is the great
Doomsday Book!"

Carefully kept under glass, in cases furnished with dark shades to
pull over when the books are not being examined, are the two large
volumes of what is known as the "Doomsday Book." On the ancient,
yellowed parchment pages, and in strange old characters, are the
records, made at the time of William the Conqueror, of the disposal of
the lands of England among his Norman nobles. It is simply impossible
to believe that it is authentic,--that such a very ancient relic
really can exist!

They soon felt tired and ready to leave any further examination of the
papers until another visit, however. There are times when all
sight-seers, no matter how enthusiastic, come to a point where for
that day they can appreciate no more. So our party adjourned to a
little tea-shop in Regent Street, and afterwards, to make a few
purchases at that fascinating shop,--Liberty's.



CHAPTER TEN

RICHMOND AND HAMPTON COURT PALACE


"Well, I really don't care much how long the boat is in coming,"
exclaimed Betty delightedly. "It's such fun to watch all the other
boats going up and down the river, and to look up at busy Westminster
Bridge!"

Our friends were at the little landing in the shadow of the
above-mentioned bridge, awaiting the arrival of the steamer which was
to carry them to Kew Gardens. It was early morning, and the distant
roar of the traffic from the great bridge above reached them together
with the shrill whistles of all the different river craft.

"Hey! There goes _Sir Walter Raleigh_ under the bridge there! I can
see the name just as plainly! And,--well I never!--there come _Lady
Jane Grey_ and _Sir Thomas More_! Do all the boats have names like
that? Wonder how the great people would like it if they knew! _Sir
Thomas_ is an express; he's on official business this morning, and
isn't going to stop! Now! here comes _Queen Elizabeth_ herself!
Nothing less than a queen for me! I hope we'll take her!" John cried
excitedly.

The _Queen Elizabeth_ did prove to be the Kew and Hampton Court boat,
so when the gangway was put across, the five went on board and took
some comfortable seats in the bow.

"Now, there are a number of things which I wish to point out to you
right away," remarked Mrs. Pitt, "so please be very attentive for a
few moments. Just as soon as we are started and go under Westminster
Bridge here, you will have the most beautiful view of the Houses of
Parliament, on your right. There! See if the great building isn't
graceful from here! And isn't its river-front imposing with all the
statues of the sovereigns!

"Now! Quickly! Look to the left, and see the building with the gateway
and square, blackened towers and battlements. That's Lambeth Palace,"
she added, "which has been the residence of the Archbishops of
Canterbury (or the 'Primates of England,' as they are called) for six
hundred years. It's a delightful old place, with its fine library, and
its several court-yards! It's very historic as well, for in one of
those towers, according to some people, the Lollards or followers of
the religious reformer, Wycliffe, are said to have been tortured.
Queen Elizabeth's favorite, the unfortunate Earl of Essex, was
imprisoned there, too.

"Here on our left was the famous amusement-park, Vauxhall, which was
so popular in the eighteenth century. Some day when you read
Thackeray's novels you will find it mentioned. There on the right is
Chelsea, where was Sir Thomas More's home. I think his grounds
bordered on the river, and he used to walk down to the bank, step into
his boat, and his son would row him to the city. At his house there he
was often visited by Henry VIII, Holbein, and the great Dutch scholar,
Erasmus. Just behind those trees is Cheyne Walk, where Thomas
Carlyle's house still stands. (There's the old Chelsea Church, which
is most interesting, and Chelsea Hospital for old pensioners.) There
have been many famous residents of Chelsea in more recent days; among
them George Eliot, the great novelist, who died there; Edward
Burne-Jones, the artist; Rossetti, the poet; Swinburne, Meredith, and
Whistler. There! now I'll leave you in peace to enjoy your boat-ride,
and the music."

They now came to a part of the river which is neither especially
historic nor attractive, and the young people amused themselves for a
while in talking, or listening to the rather crude music of some old
musicians on the boat. It was not long, however, before the banks
again became green and beautiful, and they passed odd little villages,
and comfortable country-houses, whose smooth terraces slope down to
the river. On the arrival of the boat at Kew, they went on shore and
walked towards the celebrated Gardens.

"Have Kew Gardens any story or history to them, or are they just
famous because of their flowers?" inquired Betty, as they passed
through the gateway, and caught glimpses of bright blossoms within.

"Oh, rather!" replied Mrs. Pitt. "You'll find plenty of history about
here, Betty. Let's look at the flowers first, though."

Kew Gardens are most immaculately cared for. Wide gravel-paths stretch
between the wonderful lawns, which are dotted with flower-beds of all
shapes. There are hot-houses containing tropical plants, and in the
"Rock Garden" is a pond where there are pelicans and other strange
water birds. The party spent an hour very happily in wandering about,
admiring the beautiful views as they went. Best of all were the
rhododendrons, which were glorious at this season in their riot of
pink, deep rose color, and lavender. Betty, who dearly loved flowers,
could hardly be enticed away from that fascinating spot, and was only
persuaded at mention of the old palace, which she had not yet seen.

When she reached it, she was rather disappointed. Kew Palace is not
large, and altogether, is quite unlike a palace, although it was the
favorite residence of George III and his queen, who died there in
1818.

"It just looks like any old red-brick Tudor house, which hasn't any
history at all. Even its rooms are all empty, and it isn't the kind of
a palace I like!" Betty declared in injured tones.

"Well, cheer up, Betty; we're going to Hampton Court Palace soon, and
I guess that'll suit you all right. Is this where we take the tram,
Mrs. Pitt? There's one coming now!" John ran out into the road and
gesticulated frantically, so that the motorman would be sure to stop.
That dignified English personage looked rather surprised, but John did
not care. He liked to take the lead, and to make himself useful
whenever it was possible.

The ride was not quite as enjoyable as they had hoped, because of a
very high wind. Upon their perch at the top of the tram, it required
about all their attention to keep their hats and other belongings from
blowing away. On the whole, they were quite content to get off at the
bridge at Richmond, and walk up the long hill to the famous Star and
Garter Inn.

"This hill seems longer than ever to-day, Mother," Barbara complained.
"When we reach that lovely surprise view (you know where I mean),
let's sit down and admire it while we rest a bit."

"Very well, we will," her mother panted; "we're nearly there now."

The view to which Barbara and her mother referred proved to be really
very beautiful. On one side of the hill is a little park from which a
precipice descends to the river. Looking through an opening in the
luxuriant foliage of the trees (an opening which takes the place of a
picture-frame), one sees a glorious view of the green valley below,
through which the lazy Thames winds dreamily; and if the day is clear,
Windsor Castle may just be discerned in the distance.

"Philip, you and John go and engage one of those drivers over opposite
the hotel, to take us for a little drive in the Park; as soon as I
order our luncheon, I'll be out again to go along." With that, Mrs.
Pitt disappeared for a few moments into the Star and Garter.

Richmond Park is a favorite resort for tourists, and driving and
bicycle parties. It contains some fine old trees, and a great many
deer which add to its attractiveness. Mrs. Pitt directed the coachman
not to drive about much, however, but to show them two points of
interest.

"This is the 'King's Mound,'" she observed, as the horses slowed down.
"Yes, that little low mound of earth just this side of the clump of
trees. I'll admit that it looks uninteresting enough; but it is known
as the spot where Henry VIII stood while listening for the sound of
the gun at the Tower, which told him of the execution of Anne Boleyn."

"Ugh!" Betty interposed, in disgusted tones, giving a little shudder.
"Think how he must have felt! Horrid old thing!"

"Don't be silly, Betty!" retorted John. "I guess a little thing like
that wouldn't trouble him!"

Almost in the center of the Park is a house called White Lodge, which
has long been a royal residence. It is approached by an avenue, which
was the scene of Jeanie Deans's interview with Queen Caroline, as
Scott describes it in his "Heart of Midlothian."

Their lunch was quickly over, and they were again on their way down
the long hill. In the town of Richmond, they mounted another tram for
the forty-minute ride to Hampton Court.

"If we only had had a bit more time," Mrs. Pitt apologized, "I should
have shown you what still remains of the famous old palace of
Richmond. Henry VIII and Elizabeth both held their courts there often,
and there the latter died in 1603. The palace was destroyed by order
of Parliament in 1649; only a small part of it was spared, and in that
the widow of Charles I, poor Queen Henrietta Maria, was allowed to
live. Are you getting plenty of history, Betty, my dear?"

"Oh, yes, but I'm always ready for more," smiled that young lady in
response.

The tram set them down very near the great palace of Hampton Court.
They went quickly through the entrance-gates of wrought iron, and
walked towards the building itself. This West Front is as Wolsey left
it, and is made of the old crimson bricks, with here and there a black
one. Passing under the gatehouse, they came into the Green or Base
Court, and here they paused to look about them.

"You'll remember that the great and powerful Cardinal Wolsey built
Hampton Court," suggested Mrs. Pitt. "He lived in regal state, and had
almost as large a retinue of servants and followers as the King
himself. To gratify his great love for splendor and luxury, he built
this magnificent residence for himself. He was in need of a home a
little removed from the city, where he could rest and enjoy the fresh
air. Yet it was also accessible to London, for he could be rowed up
the river in his barge. Wolsey's two great ambitions--wealth and
power--were both gratified, and for a while all went well; but time
brought the King's displeasure, and it was he who took possession at
Hampton Court after the complete disgrace which led to the death of
the Cardinal. Henry VIII tore down some of Wolsey's buildings, and put
up new ones in their stead; and other monarchs added portions also;
for instance, the huge State Apartments were erected under the
supervision of Sir Christopher Wren, and by order of King William III.
We shall see all these later on. Have you noticed those little oriel
windows of the gatehouse? They are the originals of Wolsey's palace,
and I think this court here is also much the same as he built it. In
his day there were pretty latticed windows in these surrounding
buildings, a grass plot in the center, and around these narrow
passages Wolsey probably rode on his ass."

"Ass!" cried John. "What for? With all his money, couldn't he even
have a horse?"

"Oh, rather!" Mrs. Pitt laughed. "No doubt Wolsey would have liked
one, but he was wise enough to always follow custom in such matters as
had to do with his outward appearance and attitude. All religious men
rode on asses; it was the habit of the day. Now, come this way, and
see the Great Hall. Oh, Philip! Please fetch me my umbrella; I left it
on the step in the court, there!"

Leading into the second or Clock Court, is Anne Boleyn's gateway.
Under this is a broad flight of stairs which takes one to the Great
Hall, erected by Henry VIII, probably on the site of Wolsey's earlier
hall. It is a grand old room with a fine timber roof, and complete
with its daïs or raised platform at the end, its minstrels' gallery
over the entrance doors, its old tapestries, stags' heads, and suits
of armor, and its windows mostly filled with modern stained-glass. Out
of the hall are two smaller apartments, which also contain good
tapestries. From here, the visitor again descends to Anne Boleyn's
gateway.

"What a funny old clock!" exclaimed Betty, spying it, up above on the
tower under which they had just passed. "It seems to be so mixed up,
somehow, that I can't tell the time by it."

"It is curious! It's Henry VIII's Astronomical Clock; it has all sorts
of appliances and strange attachments. That's why you can't read it.
It was recently repaired and set going again."

"The King's Grand Staircase" is broad, stately, and quite as
impressive as its name, and this leads to the pompous State
Apartments. These great square rooms, one opening out of another,
seemed endless to the young people, and contained no attractions for
them. The walls are covered with pictures, some of which are fine, but
there are so many which are very similar that even Sir Peter Lely,
Holbein, and Van Dyck become hopelessly tiresome. These rooms also
contain some old furniture which is interesting, but on the whole, the
best thing about them is the ever charming view of the gardens from
the windows. The visitor may enter one tiny room called "Wolsey's
Closet," which is deeply impressive with its paneled walls and ancient
ceiling. The very atmosphere of the sixteenth century still seems to
linger here, and one can easily believe that nothing herein has been
changed since the great Cardinal used it daily. Near this is a long
gallery which is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of Queen
Catharine Howard. After the dullness of the State Apartments, this
possessed great interest for the boys, and they lingered here as long
as Mrs. Pitt would allow. They were forced to come away disappointed,
however, without having heard even one little scream.

"You'd better spend the night here, John," remarked Philip, in teasing
tones. "That's the proper time to see and hear ghosts." John decided
not to wait, however.

Of all the one thousand rooms of the great palace, they saw only one
more, and that was Henry VIII's Gothic Chapel, gorgeous in its fine
carving and gilding, and in which the magnificent ceremony of the
baptism of Prince Edward, afterwards Edward VI, was held.

The gardens of Hampton Court are perhaps better known and enjoyed than
the palace itself. They are very extensive, and are laid out in the
French style. Directly before the long front of William III's
addition, is a great round basin with a fountain, and beyond stretches
the "Long Canal,"--a straight and narrow artificial pond, bordered by
very beautiful trees. Then there is the "Home Park" on either side of
the canal; here Henry VIII and Catharine Howard probably wandered
often during their long honeymoon at Hampton Court; and here William
III was riding on the day when he was thrown from his horse and
killed.

There is what is called the "Wilderness,"--in reality a maze--which
was greatly enjoyed by the party; and nearer the palace, again, is the
tennis-court, where that game has been played for three centuries and
a half. Some of the players here have been Henry VIII, the Earl of
Leicester, Charles I, Charles II, and the present King, Edward VII,
when he was Prince of Wales.

"And didn't that American, Pettitt, play here?" inquired John. "He won
the World's Championship in England, you know. Yes, I thought it was
here, though the word Hampton Court never meant much to me before
to-day."

There is still the remarkable Hampton Court Vine, the fame of which
has spread so far. The vine fills a whole greenhouse, and one of its
branches is a hundred and fourteen feet long. The attendant told Betty
that the crop consists of about eight hundred bunches, each one
weighing a pound. Having duly marveled at this, they explored Queen
Mary's lovely bower or arbor, where that Queen used to sit with her
ladies at the tapestry-frames.

"Dear me, let's go back now!" said Betty. "I'm sure we've been miles
over these grounds."

So they walked along the paths where Henry VIII made love to Anne
Boleyn and Catharine Howard, where Queen Elizabeth took her morning
walks, and where Pope, Swift, Addison, and Walpole wandered in more
recent days.

"I think I haven't mentioned Cromwell to you in connection with
Hampton Court, but he must not be forgotten, for he came here after he
was made Protector, and lived with as much pomp and splendor as any
king. Every time I visit this palace I marvel at the amount of history
with which it is connected, and at the number of scenes for which it
was the setting!"

As she spoke, Mrs. Pitt was leading the way to the railroad-station. A
London train came along very soon, fortunately, but they ran up and
down in vain looking for seats in their customary third-class
compartment. These were all crowded, the following day being a "bank
holiday," so when the guard at last came to their rescue, he put them
in a first-class compartment. This greatly interested John and Betty,
as they had not seen one before.

[Illustration: "EVERY TIME I VISIT THE PALACE I MARVEL AT THE AMOUNT
OF HISTORY WITH WHICH IT IS CONNECTED."--_Page 136._]

"It isn't so very different, after all," commented Betty. "The
cushions are a little nicer, and there's carpet on the floor, but
that's the only change from an ordinary third-class carriage."

"I know it," said Philip. "And most English people never think of
traveling first-class except on a long journey; for it really is very
little better, and the price is so ruinously dear!"



CHAPTER ELEVEN

STRATFORD-ON-AVON


"We're going to stay in a really, truly old inn at last, aren't we!"
Betty gave a sigh of satisfaction and walked rapidly along by Mrs.
Pitt's side, as that lady led the way from the station at Stratford to
the famous Red Horse Hotel.

"Stratford is exactly like any other little English town," John was
commenting to Philip. "There are plenty of new houses made of shiny,
red bricks, and all put close together in blocks, with their tiny
lawns and gardens in front. I suppose they build that way even in the
small towns, because you haven't as much room to spread out as we have
in America. Too bad, though, I say! Makes a little town look just like
a big city, only smaller. I thought Stratford would be different!" His
tones betrayed not a little disappointment.

As they came into the central and older part of the town, however,
even John was forced to admit that it was "different," after all.
Along Stratford's narrow, clean little streets stand many old houses
adorned with great oak timbers, quaint inscriptions, and carvings; and
quicker than all else, the sight of these, remaining here and there
between the more modern structures, makes one feel the antiquity of
the place. These houses totter a little, and lean their upper stories
over the street,--perhaps with a kind of curiosity to see better the
strange and more and more startling scenes which the centuries bring
forth. For instance, what must these ancient houses, which perchance
witnessed the passing of some splendid pageant of the "spacious times
of Queen Elizabeth," think of the bustle and prosperous commercial air
which the town has gradually taken on? What of the sight-seers whose
automobiles go tearing along, uttering weird and frightful sounds? No
wonder the old houses stand on tiptoe and bend farther and farther
over the street in their amazement and horror!

The young people were delighted with the odd little Red Horse Hotel.
As it was market-day, the wide street before it was crowded with
people, and down the middle was a row of queer, covered wagons, in
which the farmers bring their produce, and which are used as stalls on
arrival at the market-place. The little hotel is severely plain and
square, and has a passage leading into an old-time court-yard. Inside,
it has quaint little rooms filled with antique furniture, narrow
corridors, and uneven floors, with here a step up, and there two steps
down. Leaving their luggage in the rooms assigned to them, the party
immediately set out for "the Birthplace," as all Stratford people
invariably call the famous Shakespeare house on Henley Street.

"Is that it!" gasped John, as they stood on the opposite side of the
way and gazed across at the first home of the great Poet. "Why, I
didn't suppose it was as big as that! And it doesn't look old a bit!"

Shakespeare's birthplace has been too often pictured, and is far too
familiar to all to need any description given it here. Perhaps it does
seem rather larger than we imagined, and the outside certainly looks
surprisingly strong and new.

[Illustration: "WHY I DIDN'T SUPPOSE IT WAS AS BIG AS THAT!"--_Page
140._]

"But you know it now belongs to the nation," Mrs. Pitt explained,
"and is always kept in perfect condition. The last restoration was
finished only about fifty or sixty years ago. Although the house was
so completely renewed, the greatest care was used to make it look as
nearly as possible as it did at the time of Shakespeare's birth in
1564. That window above the entrance, with the little diamond panes,
is the original, and is in the room in which the Poet was born."

Going under the old porch and through the door with its high
threshold, our friends found themselves in the family living-room of
the house. It is low and rather dark, and has whitewashed walls and an
earthen floor. This was in all probability the kitchen and dining-room
as well, and one is reminded of the fact by a huge fireplace which
juts out into the room. In olden times this would have been filled
with great pots and kettles hanging over the fire on cranes. The
chimney is deep enough and wide enough to have two little seats within
it--one on either side. John quickly bent down and seated himself
where he could look straight up the chimney and see a square patch of
blue sky.

When Mrs. Pitt saw him, she smiled and said, "No doubt, Shakespeare
himself, when he was a small boy, often sat right there with his
brothers and sisters. It must have been very pleasant on cold winter
evenings, to creep into these 'inglenooks,' as they were called,
beside the great blazing fire, and tell stories. I think the children
should have felt themselves very lucky to have such delightfully warm
quarters!"

From a small entry at the rear of this room, the narrow winding stairs
lead to the floor above. Before going up, Mrs. Pitt wrote their names
in the huge Visitors' Book. Betty was much pleased to find, while
carelessly turning its pages, the name of a girl friend who had been
in England the previous summer.

"How queer that I should see Evelyn's name!" she exclaimed; "but I
guess almost everybody who visits England comes to this house."

"Aye! We 'ave thousands of visitors 'ere every year, Miss, and the
most of 'em are Americans, it do appear to me! They do be powerful
fond o' Shakespeare!" The attendant shook his head knowingly as he
gave Betty this information.

One of the most interesting rooms in the whole world is that chamber
on the second floor in which the great Shakespeare was born. In
itself, it is not in any way remarkable; it contains but a chair or
two, and an old table, which holds a bust of the Poet. But its plaster
walls, low ceiling, and even its window-panes, are inscribed with the
names of great people,--poets, authors, statesmen, men of all
countries, occupations, and beliefs,--who have journeyed here to pay
their tribute to the greatest of all poets and writers.

"Whenever I meet people who believe that Lord Bacon or any other man
wrote Shakespeare's plays, I never discuss the question with them, for
I have no arguments to withstand their claims," said Mrs. Pitt
intently. "I only remind myself that if such men as Browning,
Thackeray, Kean, Scott, and Carlyle, who have all left their
signatures here, believed that the 'immortal Shakespeare' wrote his
own plays, I can feel safe in believing so, too. Therefore I want you
to understand, children, that you are standing in the room where
Shakespeare was born, and be glad all your lives when you remember
that you have seen it."

The other room on the second floor--a kind of attic--contains an
important picture of Shakespeare. It is called the "Stratford
Portrait," as it was discovered in that native town, and it is now
thought to have been painted in the eighteenth century, from a bust.

The Shakespeare house is double. In the other half, which is now a
museum, John Shakespeare, the father of the Poet, used to have his
shop and carry on his trade, or trades, for, like many people at that
time, he had several. This museum now contains many relics of
Shakespeare, which are more or less authentic, as well as a large
number of First Editions of his plays. The young people were
interested in an old desk, much scratched and marred, which it is
supposed that the Poet used when at the Guild School. It is not clear
whether it was when he was a pupil there, or at the time he was
"Junior Master," as he is thought to have been by some. The desk is
long and narrow, having but one little opening into which a hand could
be reached to pull out the books. It occurred to John that it would
have been a very convenient place to hide apples or pickles, or any
such forbidden articles, as the master could never even suspect their
existence in that dark interior.

"You will see where that desk once stood," remarked Mrs. Pitt, "for
later, I shall show you the old Guild Hall, and the room where the
Stratford boys had their lessons. Now, we are all hungry, and we'll go
straight to the Shakespeare Hotel and have some luncheon. Don't you
all approve that plan?"

Before leaving "the Birthplace," it must be remembered that there
exists a really very picturesque old English garden. In it were
planted, about fifty years ago, a quantity of the flowers which are
mentioned in the plays of Shakespeare, and the result is a very lovely
mass of brightly-colored, old-fashioned flowers.

At the Shakespeare Hotel, they were served a typically English
luncheon of mutton, peas seasoned with mint, greens, and afterwards a
"gooseberry tart." John and Betty were in gales of laughter when the
shy, rosy-cheeked maid asked if they would have some "jammed fingers."

"What in the world does she mean?" inquired Betty, between her
giggles.

"I don't know, I am sure. Do you, Barbara? Oh, yes I do! Probably she
means 'jam fingers.' I have heard the name. Please bring us some,"
Mrs. Pitt requested.

The "jammed fingers" proved to be long strips of pastry with jam
between. They were very good, and John and Betty much preferred them
to the sour gooseberries, to which they had not taken at all kindly.

The Shakespeare Hotel is much like its neighbor, the Red Horse, except
for the fact that each room bears the name of one of Shakespeare's
plays.

"How lovely it would be to sleep in the 'Romeo and Juliet' room,--if
there is one!" Betty sighed. "I almost wish we had planned to stay
here, although I do want to write letters on the table in Washington
Irving's room at the Red Horse!"

Very near the Shakespeare Hotel is what is known as the "John Harvard
House,"[B]--more accurately, the girlhood home of the mother of John
Harvard. It is high and narrow, but fully as picturesque as is the
nearby Tudor House, which is large and square. Both are excellent
examples of Elizabethan houses, and are very quaint and pretty. The
lower floor of the Tudor House is a most fascinating shop, in which
one may find a really astonishing number of post-cards, books,
pictures, and little souvenirs relating to Shakespeare.

[Footnote B: This has just recently been restored and presented to
Harvard College. The old house will in the future serve as a
rendezvous for visiting Americans.]

"Seems to me, everything, from the hotel to the cheapest post-card,
has the name of Shakespeare attached to it somehow!"

"You are quite right, John!" agreed Mrs. Pitt. "The modern town has
grown up and literally lives upon Shakespeare! Without him, and the
immense number of visitors which his memory brings, Stratford could
hardly exist at all, as there are no factories or important industries
here."

A long, beautiful afternoon of sight-seeing followed. First, came a
visit to the site of Shakespeare's home of New Place, to see the old
foundations. As they stood looking down at the few pathetic remains,
Mrs. Pitt explained how the house happened to be pulled down.

"It was shameful!" she cried indignantly. "I dislike to think of the
man who was responsible for its destruction. The house was an old
one, even in Shakespeare's day, as it was probably erected in 1490 by
Sir Hugh Clopton. A historian named Leland of the sixteenth century
says this about New Place and its surroundings: 'There is a right
goodly chappell, in a fayre street towardes the south ende of the
towne dedicated to the Trinitye; this chappell was newly re-edified by
one Hugh Clopton, Mayor of London; this Hugh Clopton builded also by
the north side of this chappell a praty house of brick and tymbre,
wherein he lived in his latter dayes and dyed.' To appreciate that
fully, you should see the queer old spelling! Well, to continue,
Shakespeare left New Place to his eldest daughter, Susanna Hall, and I
don't know just how long it remained in the family. However, at length
it was in the possession of the Rev. Francis Gastrell, who cut down
Shakespeare's celebrated mulberry-tree because too many visitors
troubled him by coming there to see it. In 1759, he became so angry in
a quarrel about the taxes imposed upon New Place, that he had it torn
down and the material sold. I can never forgive him for that! It seems
to me that I never knew of anger having led to a more outrageously
unjust and deplorable act!" Mrs. Pitt's eyes flashed, and her face
was flushed from her feeling of what one might almost be pardoned for
terming "righteous indignation."

Leaving New Place, they turned into Chapel Lane, which borders on one
side the grounds formerly belonging to the Poet's estate.

"Let me give you just a little description of this street in
Shakespeare's time," Mrs. Pitt reflected. "You must know that sanitary
conditions were fearful then, and that Stratford was as bad, if not
worse, than other towns in that respect. Even as late as 1769, when
Garrick visited here, he considered it 'the most dirty, unseemly,
ill-paved, wretched-looking town in all Britain.' The people had
absolutely no idea of cleanliness. In Stratford, there were six places
where it was lawful to dump rubbish,--right in the street! Just fancy!
Sometimes these dumps prevented a man from making his way about the
town. Chapel Lane was considered the worst part of the whole place,
for besides the fact that there was a dump here, the neighbors in the
vicinity seemed to be more than usually untidy and
shiftless,--allowing their pigs to wander about loose, for instance.
That was the kind of street which Shakespeare must have entered every
time he left his own house. Think of it! Some people have, I believe,
attributed his early death to the unhealthful conditions of his
surroundings. Inside the homes, things were but little better. People
laid rushes on the floor in the place of carpets, and these became
filthy from dirt, mud, and other things which clung to them. Fresh
rushes were brought but seldom. The churches were not often swept or
cleaned, either. Once, when the roof of the Guild Chapel was being
repaired, a certain man and his wife were appointed to sweep the
interior and clear away the cobwebs. A widow used to sweep the
market-place. She was provided with her utensils,--a shovel,
broom-stick, and bundle of twigs--and was paid six shillings and
eightpence a year. How carefully and how often do you suppose she
swept? Dear me! I sometimes have wished that I had lived in Queen
Elizabeth's age, but when I remember some of the terrible
circumstances of that time, I cannot be too thankful that I live in
the twentieth century!"

They had been standing before the old Guild Hall for some few minutes
while Mrs. Pitt finished what she was saying. They now turned to
admire and examine it more closely. It is a building of plaster and
huge timbers, long and low, with a second story projecting slightly
over the lower. The old hall on the ground floor is said to be where
the boy Shakespeare first saw a play. A room just above it was the
Grammar School, which Shakespeare probably attended for five years,
and where the desk shown at "the Birthplace" may have been used by
him.

"It was rather different going to school in those days!" declared Mrs.
Pitt. "The hours were very long, the lessons hard, and the masters
strict, and not unwilling to use the rod for the slightest
misdemeanor. There have been terrible stories of boys being much hurt,
or even killed as a result of this practice. The pupils sat on narrow
benches, their heavy books propped up before them on long tables. It
must have been very hard to stay here in this dark room and listen to
the master's voice reciting monotonous Latin, while birds sang and the
fair world of an English summer was just out of reach. If Shakespeare
was a real boy,--and we think he was--he was surely describing his own
feelings when he wrote the lines in 'As You Like It' about:

     'The whining schoolboy, with his satchel,
     And shining morning face, creeping like snail
     Unwillingly to school,--'"

As they had already walked a good deal that day, Mrs. Pitt found a
carriage, and they drove to Trinity Church and the Shakespeare
Memorial. On the way, the driver pointed out the home of Marie
Corelli, the writer. It is an attractive, square house, which presents
a very gay appearance, with a box of bright flowers on every
window-ledge.

Trinity Church stands close beside the picturesque Avon. The waters
flow gently against the rushes, making a soft music, and the breeze
just stirs the leaves of the tall trees which keep guard over the
graves in the church-yard. One feels something of the peace and quiet
of Stoke Poges, but here the presence,--or, rather, the memory--of the
great Shakespeare hovers over all, and every one hastens inside to see
the tomb.

The church is ancient--in part dating from the twelfth century--and it
contains many interesting monuments, but somehow the whole seems like
one huge memorial to Shakespeare. On the floor, at one side of the
chancel, is the slab which marks the Poet's grave, and which bears the
famous epitaph, said to have been written by himself:

     "Good frend; for Jesus' sake forbeare
     To digg the dust encloased heare;
     Bleste be y{e} man y{e} spares thes stones,
     And curst be he y{t} moves my bones."

On the wall above the tomb is the monument,--a bust of Shakespeare, on
which the original colors have recently been restored. Nearby are
buried Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's wife, his daughter, Susanna Hall,
and her husband, and other members of the family.

For some minutes our party stood quietly looking over the altar-rail
at the grave and its inscription, but finally, the arrival of some
loud-voiced, laughing tourists, who conscientiously made fun of
everything they saw, caused them to turn away.

Mrs. Pitt then called their attention to some of the stained-glass
windows. "Two of them were given by Americans," she said. "This one
here pictures the Seven Ages of Man, which Shakespeare describes in
'As You Like It,' Do you see? Now come to the back of the church and
look at the parish register, which contains the record of the baptism
and burial of Shakespeare. Here it is."

A glass case holds this precious relic, and by studying carefully the
quaint old writing, the words "Shakespeare" and the dates can be
traced.

"Think how fortunate that this register was preserved!" exclaimed Mrs.
Pitt, leaning over to examine it again. "Important records of births,
marriages, and deaths, as well as notable events, were always kept in
these books, and yet the people generally did not consider them of
much value. The parchment leaves were often torn out and used to
rebind schoolbooks, or to line a housewife's cooking-utensils! Fancy!
Some vergers, however, recognized the great worth of these books and
preserved them with care. Luckily the men of this church were of that
type."

Here the modern verger, in his flowing black gown, accosted them, and
urged them to buy some of the Shakespeare Post-cards, at a shilling
each. Having purchased several, and posted them then and there to
various friends, they left the church and walked down the lovely path,
shaded by arching lime-trees. They then drove to the Shakespeare
Memorial, which also stands near the river.

This large, irregular building of red brick and stone, with its one
high tower, was erected in 1879. In it is a theatre where plays are
given every spring, on the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, as well
as at certain other times. The children were amused at seeing a
rehearsal in progress on the stage.

"How absurd Lady Macbeth does look strutting about and clasping her
hands, dressed in that black skirt, shirt-waist, and sailor hat!"
Betty laughed.

In this Memorial Building are many photographs and paintings of
celebrated actors and actresses in Shakespearean rôles, as well as a
very fine library. There is so much to be seen here--so much
detail--that our friends only took a very hasty look about, and then
went up into the tower to see the view. Stretched out below them, the
quaint little town of Stratford and the lovely green meadows through
which the Avon flows, made a very effective picture!

It was now late afternoon, and the sun was getting lower and lower.
They did not feel like doing any more real sight-seeing, yet it was
still too delightful out-of-doors to return to the hotel, so Mrs.
Pitt, who always had some fascinating plan ready, suggested that they
walk through the Weir Brake.

"What's that, Mother? You never took us there!" exclaimed Barbara.

"Didn't I? Well, I'll show it to you, and I am sure you will like it,
too," their mother promised. "Come on! We'll cross this little
foot-bridge, and go along the opposite bank."

The view of Holy Trinity Church from across the river is very
charming. The luxuriant foliage almost hides it except for the old
gray spire, which rises most gracefully above the tree-tops. They
strolled happily along over the rough field, Betty stopping sometimes
to gather a few attractive blossoms to add to her bunch of
wildflowers. The light was wonderfully soft and lovely, and the sun
had gone down only to leave behind it a sky glorious in its tints of
pink and lavender, with the deep blue still remaining above.

"Now, we're coming to the Weir Brake!" announced Mrs. Pitt
triumphantly. "Take care, Barbara! Don't trip over that stump!"

They followed their guide over a stile, across a field where the smell
of new-mown hay was sweet, through some bars, and finally along a
narrow, rough path on a steep bank close to the Avon. This was the
beginning of the Weir Brake, where Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway may
perhaps have done their courting, as Mrs. Pitt suggested.

The Avon is narrow at this point, and flows rather swiftly. The sunset
sky was reflected in its waters, which were overshadowed by willow
trees, rushes, and ferns. On the bank was a tangle of underbrush and
wild flowers, and above, the great trees,--the elms, of which
Shakespeare so often speaks. As they rambled on and on, the trees
seemed to grow larger, and more and more gnarled and picturesque.

"Oh! Can't you just see Titania and Oberon and all the other fairies
dancing here and playing games about these trees! It looks exactly
like a stage-setting for 'As You Like It' or 'Midsummer Night's
Dream,'" exclaimed Betty, who was fascinated with what she saw. The
evening was just dark enough to produce a weird but beautiful effect
of shadows under the elm trees.

"I'm rejoiced that it appeals to you so, Betty!" cried Mrs. Pitt.
"That's just as I always feel! It seems as though you could actually
touch spots of which Shakespeare must have been thinking when he wrote
certain passages. And it is a fact that he did often have this or
similar places in mind; for, although the scene of 'A Midsummer
Night's Dream' was supposed to be in Greece, Shakespeare allowed his
characters and his entire background to be as absolutely English as he
was himself. You know that in olden times, the Forest of Arden covered
much of Warwickshire; even these old trees with which we are now
surrounded, are remnants of that splendid woodland which is so
familiar to us through Shakespeare. It was surely in just such a scene
that Titania and the other fairies danced, and where Snug, Bottom,
Flute, Snout, and the rest came to practice their play,--those
so-called Athenians, who were so exactly like Stratford tradesmen of
Shakespeare's day. Certainly it was under just such trees that Hermia,
and Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius wandered!

"And see there where those branches touch the water," she soon
continued; "might not that have been the very place where poor Ophelia
lost her life? Listen!

     'There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
     That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;'

Isn't that a perfect description of this very spot? And then:

     'I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
     Where oxslips and the nodding violet grows,--'

Just see the violets all about us here! There are the 'pale
cowslips,' too! Do you see? Oh, it's wonderful,--wonderful to find so
many of the very flowers which Shakespeare loved and talked of so
much!--the daisy, the musk-rose and woodbine! There's some right by
your foot, Betty. But come, come, we really must go now! We'll go back
by the field above, where it is not so steep and dark. Come, John!"

So they hurriedly retraced their steps toward the town. In skirting
the fields on the hill-top, they once had to pick their way with some
difficulty through holes in bristling hedges, and Mrs. Pitt and the
girls were forced to run away from a buck, but these were little
incidents to which they were all quite equal, and they arrived at the
Red Horse Hotel, nothing daunted, just as the dinner-gong sounded
loudly.



CHAPTER TWELVE

A DAY IN WARWICKSHIRE


Betty did spend the evening "writing letters in Washington Irving's
room at the Red Horse," as she had planned. It was in that quaint,
tiny parlor that Irving wrote his well-known paper about
Stratford-on-Avon, and perhaps Betty hoped to benefit by the literary
atmosphere. At any rate, the letters were accomplished with great ease
and rapidity, after her curiosity had been satisfied by an examination
of the room.

Washington Irving's armchair is there, and the old poker with which he
is said to have tended the fire. On the walls hang the pictures of a
number of actors and actresses who have played Shakespearean parts.
Except for these, the room differs very little from the rest of the
inn. About nine-thirty, the children started up to bed, Betty,
enthusiastic at the prospect of a high four-poster, which "you really
have to run and give a jump to get into." She and Barbara did not
stay long awake to enjoy it, however, for it seemed as though their
heads had hardly touched the pillows before the maid was calling them,
and the bright sun was pouring in at the windows.

Very early they set out to walk "across the fields to Anne." The
little village of Shottery, where stands the cottage known all the
world over as "Anne Hathaway's," is only about a mile distant from
Stratford, and our party gayly took the path through the
fields,--perhaps the very one over which Shakespeare trod when he was
Anne's lover. This led them first past the "back-yards" of Stratford,
then over a stile and through the green meadows, where daisies and
cowslips abound. As they went along, Mrs. Pitt repeated to them the
following little verse from Shakespeare's "Winter's Tale":

     "Jog on, jog on, the footpath way,
     And merrily hent the stile-a;
     A merry heart goes all the way,
     Your sad tires in a mile-a."

The boys learned this, and half-chanted, half-sang it over and over
while they all kept time to the rhythm.

"There's Shottery, I guess!" Betty called, interrupting the singers,
as she caught sight of a pretty little group of thatched-roofed
cottages. "It seems a very short 'mile-a,' doesn't it!"

Anne Hathaway's cottage is even more picturesque than its neighbors,
or does this only seem so because of the associations which it has for
all? Every one knows the picture of the cottage. One end stands close
to the country road, and in front of it, behind a green hedge, is the
garden. Growing on the cottage walls are at least half a dozen
different kinds of roses, as well as honeysuckle and jasmine, which
clamber way up and mingle with the heavy thatch. The old
casement-windows with their thick panes of glass were swung open to
let in the morning's fresh air. A young girl dressed in pink and
carrying a broom, appeared on the doorstep as Philip opened the gate.
She was evidently rather surprised to see such early visitors, but she
said they might go in. While Mrs. Pitt paused to speak with her,
Betty, who had already rushed inside, called out: "Here's the old
settle! I know it from its pictures!"

Sure enough, there it was, close beside the great fireplace,--we hope
just where it has always been ever since Anne Hathaway and
Shakespeare sat there together.

"But, Mother, is that really the same bench, and did Anne truly live
here?" questioned the all too matter-of-fact Barbara.

"My dear daughter," began Mrs. Pitt, feigning great severity; "banish
that thought immediately! Just for one little hour we are going to
know that Anne did live here,--that Will said 'Will you?' and Anne
said 'I will,' right on this very bench. I quite refuse to listen to
any doubts on the subject for to-day! You write our names in the book,
please, Philip. I'm going to rest myself here in Anne's
rocking-chair!"

The girl with the broom looked at her visitor in a puzzled way, and
began,--"But, lady, I brought that chair here with me only----" But
Mrs. Pitt quickly interrupted her, asking some trifling question. Her
illusions were not to be disturbed, it seemed, and the girl beat a
retreat.

"Well, Mother," said Philip, "you aren't the only one who has ever
believed in the house! Here in this old Visitors' Book are the names
of Dickens, Longfellow, Holmes, General Grant, Edwin Booth, Mary
Anderson, and----"

[Illustration: "DID ANNE TRULY LIVE HERE?"--_Page 164._]

"Never mind the rest, Phil; if General Grant said so, it's true! He
knew what he was talking about!" And so John settled the question.

A flag-stone floor is all this little room can boast of, and a low
ceiling of huge timbers, but it has an air of homelikeness and cosy
comfort, nevertheless. At the windows are flowers which nod to their
cousins out in the garden; some gray knitting usually lies on the
table; and there is the huge fireplace with all its cranes, different
hooks, pots and kettles; and the crowning glory of all, the old oak
settle, upon which every visitor religiously seats himself.

"Isn't there any upstairs?" demanded John, before many minutes.

"Oh, yes! May we go up, please?" Mrs. Pitt asked of the attendant.
"Yes, thank you; I know the way, and I'll be careful."

So they climbed the rickety stairs, and saw a little bedroom under the
eaves, in which stands an old, very forlorn-looking "four-poster."

"I'm so glad that tiresome, truthful person let us come up alone,"
said Mrs. Pitt, panting. "If she had come, too, I could not have
explained that this was Anne's bedroom. She used to sit by this
window and dream about Will, and watch for his coming, too. She----"

"Don't spoil it all, Mother," pleaded Barbara. "Perhaps it really was
her room!"

"And didn't I just say as much?" her mother laughed. "But seriously!
This room never appealed to me as does the one below. Anne couldn't
have been very comfortable up here. If she was tall, she could hardly
have stood up straight because of the slanting roof."

So laughingly, they went downstairs and toward the patch of bright
yellow sun-flowers in the farthest corner of the garden. The young
girl followed them. "Shall I point out the different flowers?" she
timidly inquired.

They were duly shown the "rosemary for remembrance," the "pansies for
thoughts," and a great many others of Shakespeare's loved flowers. The
view of the cottage from the group of tall sun-flowers is most
charming. There is surely nothing in the world more picturesque than a
thatched-roof.

Arrived once again at the Red Horse, they all packed up their
belongings, and Mrs. Pitt went over to the station with a boy, who
wheeled the luggage. When the suit-cases were duly labeled
"Leamington," and the station-master had received his tip of a
shilling, to insure his remembering them, Mrs. Pitt returned to the
hotel, where she found five bicycles lined up. At sight of her, the
rest came running out. "This is great!" cried John, already astride
one of the bicycles, and impatient for the start.

"Yes," answered Mrs. Pitt, much pleased by the enthusiasm. "I thought
this would be rather better than driving out to Charlecote and back,
and then taking the train to Leamington. I know the roads, and am
delighted at riding once more! I had my divided-skirt with me, you
see, in case of this very emergency. You girls will manage somehow;
your skirts are fairly short." This was to Barbara and Betty, and then
they were off.

The ride of about four miles to Charlecote seemed all too short, for,
as Betty expressed it, "the roads are so smooth and level that I can't
stop. My wheel just goes of itself!" They first came in sight of
Charlecote Park, where there are still great numbers of deer. As the
party passed, the graceful creatures rose from the tall grass, making
an extremely pretty picture. They tried in vain to coax them to the
fence.

"Deer in Shakespeare's time must have been tamer, or he couldn't have
stolen one," observed John knowingly.

"Isn't the 'Tumble-down Stile' near here, Mother?" Barbara questioned.

"Yes, it's just beyond this turn in the road. There it is now! So long
as we are believing all we see to-day, I feel quite justified in
telling you that when the youthful Shakespeare was escaping with his
deer on his shoulders, he fled by way of this stile. Touch that top
rail, John, and see what will happen. No, this end of the rail!"

As John put his hand on the place which Mrs. Pitt designated, that end
gave way and hit the three other rails, so that they also bent down to
the ground. John was much amused, and repeated the motion again and
again.

"Did Shakespeare fall over that stile when he was trying to climb it
with the deer, and did they catch him then?" he asked eagerly.

"Yes, that's the story, and, of course, we know it is true! Now, come
this way to the gatehouse. I was able to get permission, through an
influential friend, to take you inside. I am so glad, for not every
one has such good fortune. This woodland," motioning to the fine old
oaks, as they sped along, "is also a part of the ancient Forest of
Arden. That wood was so dense in this county in the thirteenth
century, that the King ordered the Constable of Warwickshire to cut
down six acres in breadth between Warwick and Coventry, to insure the
greater safety of travelers."

They were now getting distant glimpses of the fine Elizabethan
residence itself. It was built in 1558, the year of Elizabeth's
accession to the throne, and was made in the general shape of the
letter E, in honor of that Queen. The color of the ancient bricks has
been softened and beautified by the hand of Time, which has also
caused heavy vines to grow upon, and in certain places, almost to
cover the walls. The different courts, gateways, and gables, are
therefore most picturesque. The present owner, a descendant of the Sir
Thomas Lucy whom Shakespeare knew and ridiculed, permits visitors (the
privileged few) to see the Great Hall and the library.

The former is the most interesting of all the apartments, for here one
stands in the very room where Shakespeare is said to have been
questioned by the pompous Sir Thomas Lucy, after the deer-stealing
episode. This lofty hall has a slight modern atmosphere about it now,
but the dark paneling, bits of really old glass in the windows, and,
above all, the bust of Shakespeare, recall the past very vividly to
mind.

Most historians admit that there is some truth in the story that
Shakespeare came into unpleasant contact with the Lord of Charlecote,
through a more or less serious boyish prank; but not all believe that
there can be any truth in the statement that he was brought into the
Great Hall by the forester who caught up with him at the "Tumble-down
Stile." It may be, however, that Shakespeare was later on friendly
terms with the Lucy family, and so it is possible that he was then
entertained in the hall.

"You know," remarked Mrs. Pitt, "that the disgrace of that affair with
Sir Thomas Lucy is thought to have caused Shakespeare to leave his
native town and go to seek his fortune in far-away London. Therefore
the prank is said by some to have been a most important, though
seemingly trivial event in the Poet's life. Shakespeare's revenge
upon the owner of lovely Charlecote came later, when he very plainly
described Sir Thomas in his plays, under the name of 'Justice
Shallow.'"

Another room at Charlecote is very attractive,--that is, the old
library. There is preserved some wonderful inlaid furniture which
tradition describes as a gift from Queen Elizabeth to Leicester, and
which consequently would once have found a place at Kenilworth Castle.
A very charming view of the lawn sloping gently down to the river is
seen from the library windows.

Within the precincts of Charlecote is a beautiful church which was
erected by Mrs. Henry Spenser Lucy, in 1852, upon the site of an
ancient chapel. Here there are huge tombs in memory of three Lucys,
and also an interesting monument to the wife of Sir Thomas, with its
tribute to her lovely character, supposed to have been written by
Shakespeare's "Justice Shallow" himself, who seems at least to have
been a devoted husband. This last-mentioned monument was originally a
part of the older edifice, of course.

It was now about noon, and they were feeling rather hungry, so at a
short distance from Charlecote they selected an inviting place by the
roadside, and there they unpacked the lunch which Mrs. Pitt had
brought. How good it did taste! They all thoroughly enjoyed the
picnic, and when a scarlet automobile went rushing past them, the
ladies' veils fluttering in the breeze, Betty merely remarked:--"An
auto's lovely, of course, but to-day I'd rather have a bicycle. It
seems more appropriate, somehow."

"Yes," Mrs. Pitt responded. "When you are in such a beautiful county
as this, and want to see it well, a bicycle is best. And then, I think
it is more respectful to Shakespeare to go through his beloved haunts
at a fairly leisurely pace. I imagine that he never would have
understood how any one could care so little for Warwickshire as to go
whirling and jiggling along through it in a motor, at thirty miles an
hour."

Betty had absent-mindedly picked a daisy from the tall grass in which
she was sitting, and was pulling off its petals, reciting the little
verse about:

     "Rich man,
     Poor man,
     Beggar man,
     Thief."

"Oh, dear! It's thief!" she cried, making up a wry face. "I'd rather
have any one than that!"

"Try the other verses," suggested Barbara, entering into the fun.

"What others?" asked Betty in much surprise. "I didn't know there were
any more."

"Dear me, yes," Mrs. Pitt broke in. "I used to know several of them
myself,--the one about the house:

     'Big house,
     Little house,
     Pig-stye,
     Barn,'

and about the conveyances:

     'Coach,
     Carriage,
     Spring-cart,
     Wheelbarrow.'

Wasn't there one more, Barbara? Oh, yes, about the dress materials:

     'Silk,
     Satin,
     Muslin,
     Rags.'"

"Well, well!" exclaimed Betty. "I never heard those. They must be just
English."

"Perhaps so. At any rate, when I was a little girl, I used to say
them, and believe in them, too. I lived here in Warwickshire, in my
childhood, you know; my father was rector of a tiny village not far
from Coventry. There are ever so many queer old rhymes, verses, and
customs still common among Warwickshire children."

"Tell Betty about some of them, Mother," Barbara urged. "I'm sure that
she'd like to hear, and we don't need to start on just yet."

Mrs. Pitt leaned thoughtfully against the lowered bars, at the
entrance to a field. "I'll have to think about it," she said; but she
soon added, "There was the 'Wishing Tree.' I remember that."

"What was it?" the two girls eagerly questioned. John and Philip,
privately considering this talk "silly stuff," had retired to the
farther side of a hay-rick, where they were whittling industriously.

"The 'Wishing Tree' was a large elm that stood in the park of a
neighboring nobleman's estate. To all the girls of the village, it was
a favorite spot, and we used to steal through the hedge and very
cautiously approach the tree. If the cross old gardener happened to
see us he'd come limping in our direction as fast as his lame legs
could carry him, calling out angrily that if we did not 'shog off
right away, he'd set his ten commandments in our faces.' That's an odd
expression, isn't it? It's very, very old,--so old that Shakespeare
was familiar with it and used it in one of his plays--'King Henry VI,'
I think. The gardener meant that he would scratch us with his ten
fingers--but he wouldn't have, for he was too kind-hearted in spite of
his threats. He was a queer man, with a brown, wrinkled old face. I
can see him just as though it were yesterday."

"What was that you said?" asked Betty. "'Shog off!' What does it
mean?"

"Simply Warwickshire for 'Go away,'" was Mrs. Pitt's careless answer.
Her thoughts had gone back to her childhood.

"You forgot to tell us what the 'Wishing Tree' was for," Betty timidly
suggested, fearful of interrupting her reminiscences.

"Why, so I did! We would tiptoe all alone up to the tree, and if,
under its wide branches, we made a wish, we thought it was sure to
come true. There was another curious old game of finding out how many
years we were to live, by a ball. We would bounce it upon the hard
ground, and catching it again and again in our hands, would chant all
the while:

     'Ball-ee, ball-ee, tell me true,
     How many years I've got to go through,
     One, two, three, four,--'

If that had proved true, I shouldn't be here to-day to tell of it,
for I was never very skillful with the ball, and could only catch it
ten or fifteen times at the most."

Mrs. Pitt laughed. "There is so much of ancient folk-lore here in
Warwickshire," she went on. "I remember that the old country people
always crossed themselves or said some charm for a protection, when
one lone magpie flew over their heads. That meant bad luck, for the
verses said:

     'For one magpie means sorrow,
       Two, mirth,
     Three, a wedding,
       And four, a birth.'

Why, what is it, Barbara?"

Barbara had jumped to her feet, and was wildly waving her arms about
her head. "It's only a bee," she said, rather ashamed. "I don't like
them quite so near."

It was delightful to ride along on this "rare day in June," through
the fair county of Warwickshire,--the "Heart of England." If they were
just a bit uncomfortably warm on the hill-top where the sun beat down
upon the fields and open road, they were soon again in the beautiful
woodland, where the cool air refreshed them, or passing through the
street of some remote village, shaded by giant elms. In each little
hamlet, as well as the row of peaceful thatched cottages, with smoke
curling upwards from their chimneys, there was the ancient
vine-covered church, with perhaps a Norman tower, where the rooks
found a home, and the gray old rectory close at hand.

When Betty asked if it was in a church "like this" that Mrs. Pitt's
father preached, and if her former home resembled the particular
rectory they then chanced to be passing, Mrs. Pitt replied, "Yes, my
home was somewhat like this one. All English country churches and
rectories look very much alike,--that is, almost all are vine-covered,
and very old and quaint--yet, I think each has its own very distinct
individuality, too."

Mrs. Pitt, of course, wanted some tea, so about four o'clock they
stopped at a clean little cottage, near a stretch of woodland. Mrs.
Pitt herself dismounted and stepped up to the door, which stood
hospitably open. A little flaxen-haired child ran out curiously at the
sound of the knock, and then, frightened, scampered away to call her
mother. That good woman, in her neat black dress and stiffly-starched
white apron, at once understood the situation.

"You just seat yourselves there under the trees," she ordered them,
"and I'll bring right out a shive off a loaf of bread, and a tot o'
tea for each of you."

The young people looked puzzled at this speech, but Mrs. Pitt
smilingly led the way to the place their hostess designated. In a
surprisingly short time the woman brought out a table (having scorned
the assistance of the two boys), spread it with an immaculately clean
cloth, and set thereon a very tempting loaf of brown bread and a pot
of steaming tea. There was also jam, of course. While they enjoyed
their meal, she stood by, her hands on her hips, and a radiant smile
upon her face at the praises of her guests. Every few moments the
little girl would peep out from behind the cottage, and once she
almost came up to the group under the trees; but her mother, when she
spied her, sent her hastily back, saying by way of an apology:--"She's
all swatched, but she's only my reckling, you must know." As they rode
away into the woods, the good woman stood in the middle of the road
waving her table-cloth for good-by.

"Wasn't she a dandy!" John burst out. "Couldn't understand what she
said, though! Might just as well have been Greek!"

"She certainly did have some old Warwickshire expressions!" laughed
Mrs. Pitt. "I don't know when I've heard that word 'reckling.' It
simply means her youngest child, who she said was all 'swatched.' That
signifies being untidy, but I am sure I couldn't see the tiniest spot
of dirt anywhere upon the child."

Betty was rather glad when they at last jumped off their bicycles at
the hotel in Leamington.

"I guess I'm not used to quite such long rides as you," she said. "It
has been beautiful, though, and I wouldn't have come by train for
anything. I just love Warwickshire, and everything about it,
especially the language, which I mean to learn while I am here."



CHAPTER THIRTEEN

WARWICK AND KENILWORTH CASTLES


The bicycles were returned to their owner in Stratford, and Mrs.
Pitt's plan was to drive to Warwick and Kenilworth the following day.
Consequently it was a great disappointment at breakfast-time to see
gray and threatening clouds overhead, from which rain very soon began
to descend. The day was also very cold, and such a chilling wind was
blowing and whistling around the corners of the hotel, that fires were
lighted in all the tiny grates.

"Whoever heard of such cold weather in June!" John protested, not in
the best of spirits at being shut up in the house. "It's horrid, I
say! Ugh! If my fur coat was here, I should put it on, and then get
inside the fireplace, too."

At this very dismal burst of feeling from John, Mrs. Pitt came to the
rescue, suggesting a game of billiards. John brightened very
considerably after this, and the remainder of the day was pleasantly
spent in writing letters, playing games, and reading aloud from
Scott's "Kenilworth," in preparation for the morrow's visit to that
castle.

"Just think of seeing the very spot in the garden where Queen
Elizabeth met Amy Robsart! And perhaps the same room where she slept.
Oh, I can hardly wait till morning!" sighed Betty rapturously.
"Kenilworth" had long been one of her favorite books.

At bedtime Mrs. Pitt, inwardly rather uncertain about the prospects of
the weather, was outwardly most cheerful with her assurance that she
"felt sure it would be fine in the morning."

Mrs. Pitt was "usually right about things," as the children had long
since discovered, and this proved no exception to the rule. The sun
shone brightly on the morrow, and the whole country-side looked as
though it had been washed and cleaned so as to appear at its loveliest
for the visitors.

The drive through Leamington revealed a very pretty watering-place,
with baths, parks, gay streets of shops, and many neat little private
villas, each being dignified by a name.

"How do they ever find names enough to go around?" Betty thought to
herself.

They soon left the town behind, and a short drive along the perfectly
smooth, wide, country road, brought them to the well-known bridge over
the Avon, and revealed the fact that the river had not lost a bit of
its beauty since they left it at the Weir Brake. It is from this
bridge that the famous view of Warwick Castle is to be had, and a more
charming picture cannot well be imagined. Just at a bend of the river,
the great gray front looms up, long and straight, the turrets here and
there giving it a most formidable air of old-time majesty and
strength.

Leaving the carriage at the castle entrance, Mrs. Pitt led the way up
the narrow walk, bounded by high walls of rock, to which the damp moss
clings and over which flowers and trailing vines hang. Finally they
passed under an old gateway with a portcullis, and found themselves in
the inner court-yard of the castle, which is almost round in shape.
Old towers or buildings very nearly surround this court, and in the
center is a wonderfully smooth grass-plot, which is sometimes used as
a tennis-court. Several stately peacocks strutted about displaying
their magnificent feathers. They were very tame, and almost allowed
Betty to come near enough to touch them. She was delighted when the
largest most obligingly dropped a gorgeous feather at her very feet.

"For a souvenir!" she exclaimed, as she picked it up. "How dear of
him! I like peacocks even if they are proud! I would be, if I lived
here! They know how important they are, and that this garden wouldn't
be complete without them."

[Illustration: "THEY KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THEY ARE, AND THAT THIS GARDEN
WOULDN'T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT THEM."--_Page 184._]

"Do you see that high mound?" asked Mrs. Pitt, pointing to the
northern end of the court. "There Æthelflæd, the daughter of Alfred
the Great, is supposed to have built a castle, and thus the history of
Warwick may be said to have commenced in 914. Just fancy! Since that
day, many great families have been in possession here (De Newburghs,
Beauchamps, Nevilles, Plantagenets),--from traditional Guy of Warwick
to 'Warwick the King-maker,' and all along the line to the Greville
family, which has owned it since 1759. 'Warwick the King-maker,' or
Richard Neville, was the famous baron who possessed such wonderful
power in England that he could make and unmake kings at his will. It
was he who captured poor, weak Edward IV, and brought him here as a
prisoner. Of Guy of Warwick, the great warrior and hero, I shall
tell you more when we are at Guy's Cliff, where he lived. He is really
more associated with that place than this. You will see here, however,
what is known as 'Guy's Porridge Pot.' It is an interesting old
vessel, very large and made of metal. Most probably it had nothing
whatever to do with the great Guy; some authorities consider, because
of the existence of this little rhyme, that it belonged to a certain
Sir John Talbot, who died about 1365.

     'There is nothing left of Talbot's name,
     But Talbot's pot and Talbot's Lane.'

But let's go over to that door by which we enter. There comes a guide
with his party; perhaps we can go in with them."

They found the interior of Warwick Castle very delightful, and in a
perfect state of preservation, for the family of the present Earl
occupy it often. The ever-present Great Hall is here more grand and
lofty than that of Charlecote, though it has not the appearance of as
great antiquity as the one at beautiful Penshurst Place. Its walls are
lined with old suits of armor, but, nevertheless, the room is
furnished with comfortable easy-chairs, as the family, when in
residence, use this as their living-room. Among the collection of
armor is the helmet of Oliver Cromwell, and a whole miniature suit of
mail which was once worn by the little dwarfed son of Robert Dudley,
the famous Earl of Leicester. In a great bay-window, overlooking the
Avon, stands the huge caldron of Guy of Warwick. Strangely enough, an
exquisite Elizabethan saddle of green velvet had found a temporary
resting-place in its great depths.

"I think this Cedar Room is very beautiful," remarked Mrs. Pitt, as
they stepped into that apartment. "Do you see that the walls are
entirely of cedar wood from floor to ceiling? Isn't the effect rich,
and doesn't it smell good? Do you notice the fine carving, and the
pictures,--some of Van Dyck's best works? Oh! I must not call your
attention to so many things all at once!"

In the Green Drawing-room, the Red Drawing-room, the State Bed-room,
and the various other rooms and corridors, are priceless treasures of
art; for besides invaluable paintings by the greatest masters, there
are here beautiful pieces of furniture, made of tortoise-shell and
inlaid with gold or pearl, and ancient marriage-chests, which once
belonged to Italian princesses of bygone days. The armory contains one
of the most valuable collections in England, and in the State Bed-room
are many relics of Queen Anne. One really wearies of so much
costliness which it is utterly impossible to appreciate at one visit.

"Haven't we time to walk in the gardens a little longer?" asked
Barbara, wistfully. To her, Nature was nearer and dearer than all the
wonders of art and history.

After a ramble through the bewitchingly lovely gardens,--going across
ancient drawbridges, spanning long-unused, grass-grown moats; under
little postern-gates; into rustic grottoes--they at last came to the
conservatory, in which is preserved the "Warwick Vase." This is made
of white marble, carved with various devices.

"It has a curious history," answered Mrs. Pitt, in reply to the
children's questions. "In 1770, some workmen found it at the bottom of
a small lake which is about sixteen miles from Rome. Of course, it is
not possible to determine with any certainty how it came to be there,
but as Hadrian's Villa was in A.D. 546 occupied by a king of the
Goths, an enemy who was then laying siege to Rome, it has been thought
that the vase was cast into the lake, to save it from the hands of the
invaders. The second Earl of Warwick was its purchaser."

Slowly and unwillingly they wended their way back through the gardens,
to the central court of the castle, and then out under the old
gateway.

"My!" cried John, "it must have taken heaps of soldiers to defend a
place like this in the Middle Ages! I wish I'd been here when it was
just plumb full of great warriors,--when the moat had water in it, the
drawbridge worked, and sentinels called out to you for the password as
you came near the gate. I suppose they could peep out at you from
those little windows up high, too." John looked longingly back, as
they walked away.

"Oh, yes!" continued Mrs. Pitt, in tones which made the girls shudder.
"From those windows they rained shot down upon the enemy. And there
are little slits in the wall from which men poured boiling metal or
tar upon those besieging the castle. Upon the roof of Guy's Tower
there, it is thought that a huge machine used to stand,--a machine for
slinging down great stones. Oh, yes; there were dungeons here,
too,--deep, dark, damp, and evil-smelling dungeons, into which many
prisoners were thrown. Why, it was from here that Piers Gaveston, the
unfortunate favorite courtier of Edward II, was taken out and executed
upon a hill close by. Underneath the fine halls where splendid
banquets were carried on, out of sight and reach of the fair gardens
and lawns, there were always poor prisoners who were shut away from
the daylight for years perhaps, and laboriously carving crests or
verses in the stone walls, to while away the hours."

Mrs. Pitt suddenly burst into peals of laughter as she saw the pained
expressions upon the faces of the two girls; then a glance at the
rapt, enthusiastic attention of John, caused her to become serious
again.

"Never mind, girls," she said gravely. "Such things are now gone
forever; people have advanced too far in their ideas to ever permit of
more of those unjust acts and horrible punishments. I can never
believe that the world isn't growing daily better! And, boys, it is
all very well to love and long for the golden deeds and knightly
ideals of the men of mythical King Arthur's Court, for instance; read
about them all you can, and try to imitate them, but never wish back
the terrible conditions of warfare and brutality which existed at the
time. The kindly thoughts and acts will endure always, but the
rest,--never!"

Silently they took their seats in the carriage, and the coachman next
drove them to Saint Mary's Church, which stands in the quaint village
of Warwick. Its old tower holds ten bells, and these play every four
hours. There is a different tune for each day, which is always changed
at midnight. The Warwick towns-people, living near their church, must
have an enviable musical education, for they have continually dinned
in their ears all sorts of tunes, from the "Easter Hymn" to "The Blue
Bells of Scotland."

On the site of Saint Mary's, an ancient church is believed to have
stood, prior to William the Conqueror. The present edifice, having
been much altered and added to by various benefactors, and at very
various times, presents a rather confused and not especially pleasing
appearance architecturally. All visitors to the town are attracted
there, however, by the presence of the Beauchamp Chapel, which
contains the tomb of the Earl of Leicester.

Having paid the entrance fee, Mrs. Pitt and her charges were permitted
to descend the few steps leading from the church proper into the
Beauchamp Chapel. It is very beautiful, and was built in 1443, by
William Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who intended it as his memorial.
It was once most elaborate with its fine marbles, monuments adorned
with precious stones, and the gold statuettes which filled its niches,
but these have long since been carried away. The tomb of Ambrose
Dudley, who was named the "Good Earl of Warwick," stands in the
center, and against the wall is that of the great Leicester and the
Countess, his wife.

"Look here," called Mrs. Pitt. "Here lies their son, the little boy
who wore the armor which you saw over at the castle. The inscription
speaks of him as 'That noble impe, the young Lord Denbigh, their
infant son and heir.' 'Impe' in those days had no such meaning of
mischievous as we give it to-day. It then simply signified a young
boy."

Betty was much impressed by a small flight of winding stairs, just off
the chapel, which are entirely worn down in the middle.

"Was it because so many monks went up there?" she asked.

"Yes, so it is said," was Mrs. Pitt's reply. "Perhaps it may have been
a kind of confessional, where the monks knelt."

There was one more thing in the church which they paused to note; that
is, the tomb of Fulke Greville, the first Lord Brooke, who was stabbed
by a valet, in 1628. Greville was "servant to Queene Elizabeth,
conceller to King James, and frend to Sir Philip Sidney," as the
inscription tells us; and it would seem that the greatest emphasis and
respect was even then given the fact that he was "frend to" the noble
Sir Philip Sidney.

Nearby, the quaint buildings of Leicester's Hospital still stand. Here
was a monastery until the Dissolution, or the breaking up, of all the
religious houses, under Henry VIII. When the property came into the
hands of Leicester in 1571, he made the house into a hospital for
twelve men. The present brethren have all been soldiers of the Crown,
who now receive a pension and are spending the remainder of their
days in the sunny nooks and corners of the old timbered houses. One of
these brethren who showed the party about, was a most curious old
character, and afforded the young people no end of amusement. He
invariably gave his information in a very loud voice, which was
absolutely without expression, and his eyes were kept steadily fixed
upon some distant point.

He showed them the ancient hall in which Sir Fulke Greville once
received King James, and it seemed to give him the keenest pleasure to
describe how that King was "right royally entertained."

"Oh, ye're right, lady," he panted, "the 'ospital was founded by
Robert Dudley, Lord Leicester, 'e 'o was much at Elizabeth's court,
h'as you all know. And it's a descendant h'of 'is, or of 'is sister,
as you may say, 'o 'as the right to appoint the master 'ere in this
'ospital to this day. 'E's Lord D'Lisle and Dudley, of Penshurst Place
h'in Kent,--'im as is descended direct from the Lady Mary, sister of
Robert Dudley, 'o married Sir 'Enry Sidney. H'its 'e 'o appoints the
master h'over us this very day. But as I was saying,--it was 'ere
that 'is Majesty King James was right royally h'entertained."

"Yes," broke in John, interrupting the rapid flow of expressionless
words. "We'll remember that all right." Then in an aside to Philip, he
whispered: "That's the ninth time he has said 'right royally
entertained.' I'm going to keep count."

Having examined an embroidered curtain, the work of Amy Robsart at
Cumnor Hall, the King of Dahomey's State Execution Sword, which seemed
a bit out of place amid the surroundings, and an old battle-ax,
supposed to have been used for one side or the other on the Field of
Hastings, in 1066, they bade farewell to their guide (who had suddenly
ceased his mechanical orations like a clock which has run down), and
drove away toward Kenilworth.

Guy's Cliff next called for attention. It is first seen at the end of
a long, stately avenue lined by great trees. At the back of the castle
flows a stream, at this point widened out into a miniature lake, on
the bank of which stands a very ancient, moss-covered Saxon mill. The
castle across the water and the old mill make such very attractive
pictures that their vicinity is always frequented by numbers of
artists, sitting under their big umbrellas.

As the party stood under the trees by the mill, Mrs. Pitt gathered the
young people about her.

"Now, I want to tell you the story of Guy of Warwick, for whom this
Guy's Cliff was called. He lived long, long ago (if he really did live
at all), when England had great tracts of unsettled country, where men
were afraid to go for fear of horrible monsters. This brave young Guy
was a strong warrior, and he became famous because he slew the Dun
cow, and other terrible animals which were tormenting the country
folk. Guy later went off to the Crusades. These were pilgrimages which
devout men made to Jerusalem, in the endeavor to win back that city
from the Turks. Guy was gone some time from England--years
probably--and when he came back, he lived the life of a hermit, in a
cave near here. The story goes that his wife used to carry food to him
each day, and that she never recognized him until he was dying and
revealed to her his identity."

Here Mrs. Pitt was forced to pause for breath, and John broke in
excitedly, "Oh, let's go and see the cave! Can't we?"

"I'm afraid not, John. You see, Guy's Cliff belongs to Lord Algernon
Percy, and the cave is on his private premises. I fear we would not be
allowed to visit it,--especially as the family is now in residence at
the castle. Did I tell you that Guy and his faithful wife were buried
together in the cave?"

After taking lunch at the King's Arms Hotel at Kenilworth, and seeing
the room in which Scott wrote his novel, they proceeded to the castle.
The afternoon was warm and sunny, with a blue sky and a summer haze
over the landscape,--the kind of afternoon which invites one to
day-dreams. Consequently, Mrs. Pitt ensconced herself against the
crumbling wall of Cæsar's Tower, put up her umbrella to keep off the
glare of the sun, and sat dreaming over the remains of the once
magnificent castle. Meanwhile the young people, accompanied by a
guide, climbed all over the ruin. They scrambled up narrow stairs in
thick walls, climbed as high as it was safe to go on old towers, and
explored the dark chambers and passages near the old Banqueting-hall.

"This tower is supposed to be where Amy Robsart's lodgings were,"
their dignified guide told them, and then he boldly spoiled Betty's
delight, by saying, "It's queer now how fascinated all visitors are by
Amy Robsart. Of course, they've read of her in Scott's novel, but
curiously enough, that's the only part of the tale which is not taken
strictly from history. No one really knows whether Amy Robsart ever
was at Kenilworth, and at any rate, it doesn't seem at all likely that
she was here at the time of Queen Elizabeth's famous visit of 1563."

"O dear!" Betty sighed, really bitterly disappointed. "I always liked
the part about Amy best of all, and now it isn't true at all!"

"Never mind, Miss; there would be plenty of interest attached to the
old place, even if Scott had never written of it. Oh, I know it's a
great book, and makes that particular period of Kenilworth's history
remarkably vivid. What I mean is, that the old castle is not dependent
on Scott for its grand history and reputation." He looked above him at
the beautiful oriel-windows of the Banqueting-hall, as if he loved
every stone there. After a few such speeches, even the children began
to notice that he was "different from most guides"; he used most
excellent English, was very neatly dressed, had a pleasant, refined
face, and seemed to take an especial interest in the young people.

The guide went on in his deep voice. "Kenilworth was built in 1120, by
Geoffrey de Clinton, Lord Chamberlain to Henry I. Later, it came into
the possession of the great Simon de Montfort, and it then
successfully withstood a siege; but it was during the Civil Wars that
Cromwell's soldiers reduced the splendid castle to these almost
equally splendid ruins. Of course, it was at the height of its glory
when the Earl of Leicester owned it, and Queen Elizabeth came here on
a visit. I'm sure you have all read about that famous week,--of all
the pageants, feasts, carnivals, and displays of fireworks upon the
lake. The lake was there; water covered all those low fields back of
the castle. At that time, the main approach was here," pointing to
where a rustic bridge crosses a little ravine. "There was once a large
bridge there, and from that entrance the Queen had her first glimpse
of the castle where she was to be so magnificently entertained."

Just then Barbara saw that her mother had risen and was motioning
that it was time for them to go. So they reluctantly left the guide,
thanking him as Philip handed him his fee. That gentleman (for so he
really seemed) doffed his hat most politely, and appeared genuinely
sorry to have them go. As Betty turned to take a last look at the old
Banqueting-hall, she saw him standing just where they had left him,
and a bit wistfully watching them walk away. When they were once again
in the carriage and driving toward Coventry, they described the guide
to Mrs. Pitt, who showed much interest. Barbara thought that he was a
poor scholar or teacher, who was taking that way of earning a little
during the summer months; John was sure he was a nobleman in disguise,
for some highly romantic, secret reason; Philip could not even imagine
who he might be, so great was the mysterious atmosphere about him; but
Betty added: "He's surely a gentleman, and he was such an interesting,
polite guide, that I wish they were all like him."

"Yes, it is curious," agreed Mrs. Pitt. "I'd like to have been along
with you, for I should have enjoyed studying him. I have once or twice
before come across just such puzzling characters. I once spent a
month at a small hotel down in Devonshire, where there was a
head-waiter who always interested me. I decided that he must have a
history, and it was proved that I was right when I discovered him a
few months later, dining with a lady at one of the most aristocratic
hotels in London. I'll never forget my sensations when I realized why
his face was so familiar, and where I had seen it before! That mystery
was never explained, and I'm afraid yours never will be."

They found Coventry a delightful old town. Here it was that so many of
the Miracle Plays used to be given in olden times. The "Coventry
Plays" were famous, and Mrs. Pitt took the party to the court-yard of
Saint Mary's Hall, where they were wont to be performed; for such
entertainments always took place in the open air,--in squares or
courts, the stage being rudely constructed upon a wagon, which could
be taken from place to place.

At the corner of two streets is an absurd figure of "Peeping Tom,"
which recalls the fabled ride of the Lady Godiva, and her sacrifice to
procure the freedom of the people of Coventry from unjust taxes.

Coventry streets are very narrow and crooked (Hawthorne once said that
they reminded him of Boston's winding ways), and there are many
picturesque houses, their upper stories jutting out over the street.
One most charming example of sixteenth century architecture is Ford's
Hospital, a home for forty aged women. The street front is unique in
its construction of timbers, gables, and carvings. Inside is an
oblong, paved court, overhung by the second story of the building.

"It's like Leicester's Hospital at Warwick, only this is really more
quaint, isn't it? The old ladies peeping out from their little rooms
are dear! I'm going to make friends with them," Betty declared, as she
disappeared under one of the low doorways. She was soon seen
accompanying an old dame on crutches, who was hobbling out to show off
her bit of a garden, back of the house.

On the return trip to Leamington, they were rather quiet. Having seen
so many famous places, it was natural that they should wish to think
them over. The driver approached Leamington by another road than that
by which they had left it, and it took them past Stoneleigh Abbey,
the country seat of Lord Leigh. It is situated in the midst of
woodland, which has been called "the only real bit of old Arden Forest
now to be found in Warwickshire."

"They say that the Abbey is remarkably beautiful," said Mrs. Pitt,
"but I've never been fortunate enough to see it at any nearer range.
The house is not very old, having been erected in the eighteenth
century, but it stands on the site of a Cistercian Abbey, of which one
gateway still remains."

It was late when they reached the hotel at Leamington, and they were
forced to hurry in order to be dressed in time for dinner. The gong
found them all assembled, however, for such a day of sight-seeing
makes one hungry. They all had a good laugh at Betty, for when she was
caught in a "brown study," and Mrs. Pitt asked to hear her thoughts,
she replied:

"Oh, I was thinking over what a lovely day it has been,--especially at
Kenilworth!" and then added with a sigh, "If I only could know who
that guide was, everything would be perfect!"



CHAPTER FOURTEEN

SHERWOOD FOREST AND HADDON HALL


Betty could scarcely sit still in the train which was carrying her
towards Mansfield, from sheer excitement at the anticipation of
actually seeing the haunts of Robin Hood. Ever since Mrs. Pitt had
mentioned that town as the gateway of the Sherwood Forest of Betty's
dreams, the name had seemed an enchanted one to her. As they had come
only the comparatively short journey from Leeds, they arrived at
Mansfield in the middle of the morning, and being Friday, the public
square presented its usual busy scenes of market-day. Vendors were
shouting their wares, long-suffering babies who had been unwillingly
brought along were crying, women were loudly chattering in shrill
voices, and a poor little dog, who in some mysterious way was being
made to play a part in a Punch and Judy Show, was yelping piteously.

"Well," began Betty, who could think of only Robin Hood--her dear
hero, whose story was about to be made even more vivid to
her--"perhaps this is the very market where he came when he had bought
out the butcher's stock of meat and was selling it for kisses to the
lasses of the town. Oh, do you suppose it is the same place?"

"Why, no!" interrupted John, in the decisive tones which he always
used when confident of his superior knowledge. "'Nottingham Town' was
where Robin Hood and his whole gang of fellows always went!"

"Yes, that was really more associated with the famous outlaw than
Mansfield. You'll see Nottingham this afternoon, or, at any rate,
to-morrow. Now, come this way to the Swan Hotel. While you girls
unpack, I'll see that some horses are harnessed so that we can soon
set off to the forest." Mrs. Pitt then led the way from the
market-square toward the inn of which she had spoken.

Before the carriage was ready, the young people had thoroughly
explored this remarkable old house. Perhaps the most notable thing
about it is the spiral staircase of solid oak, which is three hundred
years old; but the entire building is filled with little passages and
unexpected, remote nooks and corners, which, like the quaint bedrooms,
are crowded with curios, old pictures, and superb antique furniture.
Betty declared she had never seen such a "darling old four-poster" as
the one which stood in her room, the favorite Number Nine for which
all visitors clamor. Altogether, they considered it a most delightful
place, and Betty thought that without too great a stretch of the
imagination, she could even think of Robin Hood or Little John there.

The hostess hastened to prepare a delicious, early lunch especially
for the party, and having partaken of it, they went at once to the
open carriage which was drawn up in the odd little inn-yard. John, as
usual, claimed the seat beside the driver, the others settled
themselves, and they started off.

No sooner had they reached the open country than Betty's pent-up
spirits overflowed entirely.

"Oh, do you see that little river flowing through the meadows?" she
suddenly cried, standing up to point at it excitedly. "See the reeds
along its edges, the field of tall grain, and the old tree trunk
which has fallen across the water! I just know that must be the place
where Robin first met Little John. They had a fight on a narrow
foot-bridge, you know, and Little John (who wasn't 'little' at all)
was the stronger, and tumbled Robin Hood over into the brook. Don't
you remember, John? That looks exactly like the picture in my Howard
Pyle's 'Robin Hood,' at home. Oh, I'm perfectly sure it must be the
same place! Aren't you, Mrs. Pitt?"

This enthusiasm of Betty's was soon caught by the rest, and during the
whole afternoon they took turns in telling, one after another, the
"Merry Adventures of Robin Hood," as they recalled them. There could
not be a section of country which more perfectly suggests the setting
for that particular group of legends which has been associated with
it. Here surely is the identical woodland through which Robin Hood and
his merry men roamed. No one could possibly mistake it! Here are the
very same trees, behind which one can almost see lurking the men in
"Lincoln green." Here are ideal little glades carpeted with dainty
ferns, here and there touched with the sunlight which flashes between
the leaves. Sometimes the road emerges from the forest, and winds
along through broad fields,--the "high road" bordered by green meadows
and hedgerows.

"You know," began Mrs. Pitt, her eyes sparkling with fun, "when Robin
and his men had been in hiding for some days or weeks, perhaps,
because the old Sheriff of Nottingham was trying particularly hard to
catch them at the time, some of the most venturesome ones, not being
able to exist longer under the restraint, would start off in search of
adventure; and leaving a bit reluctantly the heart of Sherwood Forest,
they always made straight for the 'high road.' Now in just such a
place as this, by the cross-roads, Little John, garbed as a gray
friar, met the three lasses who were carrying their eggs to the market
at Tuxford. He swung one basket from his rosary, about his neck, and
took one in either hand, and thus he accompanied the maids to town. Am
I right? Is that the tale?"

"Yes," continued Philip, taking up the story where his mother had left
off; "then he went to a 'fair, thatched inn,' you know, and he sat
drinking with the tinker, the peddler, and the beggar, when the two
rich brothers from Fountains Abbey came out to start again on their
journey to York. Little John thought there'd be some fun, and perhaps
some good money for him, if he decided to go part of the way with
them, so he did. Don't you remember that one brother was very tall and
thin, and the other very short and stout? They were proud and ashamed
of being seen on the road in the company of a poor friar whose gown
was too short for him, as was Little John's. But he insisted upon
staying by, and strode along between their two nags. Whenever they met
anybody--beggars, fair lords and ladies, or fat Bishops--Little John
called out: 'Here we go; we three!'"

"And then," broke in Betty, her face literally radiant, "don't you
know how Little John finally robbed them? That was best of all! When
they came to a certain parting of the ways, he did consent to leave
them, but first he asked for a few pence, as he was poor. Both
brothers declared that they hadn't any money, at which Little John
insisted upon their kneeling down on the dusty road and praying to the
good St. Dunstan to send them each ten shillings, so that they could
continue their journey in safety and comfort. You know, he thought it
such a pity for two such worthy brothers to be in sore need of food
and drink!" The children were unconsciously lapsing into the language
of the Robin Hood stories, as they rattled on and on.

"Well," Betty went on, "Little John prayed and prayed, and then he
asked the brothers to feel and see if the good St. Dunstan hadn't sent
them something. Time after time this performance was repeated, and
still they said they had nothing. Finally Little John himself felt in
their pouches and found,--oh, heaps of money! He left the brothers ten
shillings each, and carried away the rest, saying he was sure that the
good St. Dunstan had meant it for him! Oh, I think I like Little John
best of all,--almost better even than Robin Hood! He always did such
cute things!"

By this time, they were nearing some of the big palaces which gave
this section of the country the name of "The Dukeries," from the fact
that so many noblemen have lived there. Earl Manvers, the Duke of
Newcastle, and the Duke of Portland, all have tremendous estates
between the towns of Worksop and Edwinstowe. Some of the stately
houses were pointed out in the distance behind the trees, but neither
Barbara nor Betty, Philip nor John, paid the slightest heed to them.
Their minds were fixed on Robin Hood, and they saw only the Sherwood
Forest which he knew. When Betty looked at Clumber House, across a
pretty little lake, she only said:

"Perhaps near that lake was where Robin found Alan-a-Dale, the dear
minstrel."

"Oh, no, Betty; it was by a fountain that he found Alan-a-Dale,"
Barbara politely corrected.

"Yes, that's so, Barbara," Betty replied, in all seriousness. "I
forgot."

There was one thing upon the estate of the Duke of Portland which did
greatly interest the party, however; that is, an old gnarled oak which
is called "Robin Hood's Larder."

"Ye see, 'e came 'ere to store 'is venison, and to 'ang it up to dry.
'E was a clever chap, 'e was. 'E 'id it inside the trunk." The driver
grinned from ear to ear, as he gave this valuable information.

Getting out to explore, the children found that the huge tree is
hollow, and propped up to postpone the sad day when it will surely
collapse altogether. Many old tree-trunks, all over Sherwood Forest,
are like this, and in some of them John could stretch his full length
upon the ground. Near "Robin Hood's Larder" is the spot where,
according to Scott, the outlaw met with King Richard of the Lion
Heart,--or, at least, so say the local guidebooks.

"Yes," said Mrs. Pitt, understanding at once; "don't you remember that
in Scott's 'Ivanhoe'? Another version of this famous meeting is in
Howard Pyle's book. King Richard was at Nottingham Town, you know, and
having a curious desire to meet with Robin Hood, he and his friends
went into Sherwood Forest, dressed as friars. Robin and his men found
them, of course, and made them guests at a feast. Later, there was
shooting, and Robin Hood, having once missed the mark, applied to the
King, whom he did not recognize, for a punishment. Thereupon King
Richard arose, rolled up his sleeve, and gave such a blow as Robin had
never felt before. It was afterwards that Sir Richard of the Lea
appeared upon the scene, and disclosed the identity of the powerful
stranger. Then Robin Hood, Little John, Will Scarlet, and Alan-a-Dale
followed the King to London at the royal wish, and left Sherwood for
many a long day."

They were now passing through a very dense part of the wood. Close
about the feet of the oaks, a thick, tangled underbrush grows. Some of
the old trees seem to be gray with age, and their whitish, twisted
branches offer a sharp contrast to the dark shadows, and make a weird,
ghostlike effect.

"Oh!" exclaimed Betty, "it must have been in just such a spot as this
in the forest that Gurth in 'Ivanhoe' suddenly came upon a company of
Robin Hood's men. Gurth was the Saxon, you know. He had been to Isaac,
the Jew, at York, and was carrying back the ransom money to his
master, Ivanhoe. Of course, poor Gurth thought he would surely be
robbed, when he discovered in whose society he was; but as you said,
Mrs. Pitt, Robin Hood never took money from honest men, especially
when it was not their own. They led Gurth farther and farther into the
depths of Sherwood. I can just imagine it was a place like
this,--where the moonlight lit up these ghostly trees, and the red
glow of the camp-fire showed Gurth's frightened face. He was quite
safe, though, for he proved that the money was his master's, and Robin
let him go, and even showed him the way to the 'skirts of the forest,'
as he did the Sheriff of Nottingham."

All this time the carriage had been rolling along, and as they neared
an open space in the forest, John suddenly caught sight of something
which made him turn to his friend, the driver, and exclaim: "Oh, what
are they?"

Stretching away for quite a distance on either side of the road were
rows and rows of tiny, peaked houses or coops. The coachman told them
that here was where they breed the pheasants which are hunted. When
the birds have reached a certain age, they are set free, and a gun is
fired in their midst to give them a taint of the wild. John was much
interested, in spite of the fact that he considered it "a mean trick."
It really does not seem quite fair to take excellent, kindly care of
any animal or bird, allow it to believe you are its friend, and then
to suddenly turn it loose and proceed to hunt it for mere sport.

In strange contrast to the merry drive through Sherwood Forest, was a
little incident which occurred in a village on the edge of "The
Dukeries" district, where they halted to water the horses. On one side
of the quaint main street is a row of old, old houses, where for many
years have lived the aged people who are usually provided for by the
nobleman to whom that village belongs.

All the tiny houses were empty at the time of this visit, with the
exception of one where lived a dear old lady, by herself, her
neighbors having all died. Mrs. Pitt went in to call upon her, as do
most strangers passing through here, and was touched by her pathetic
speech. She said they were simply waiting to tear down the houses
until she should go, and looking tearfully up into Mrs. Pitt's face,
added: "I'm eighty-six years old now, and I won't last much longer,
but I can't go until the Lord calls me, can I?" In spite of this, she
insisted that she was quite happy, for she had her "good feather
bed,"--and what more could she need?

The following morning, the party went by train to Nottingham, where
they spent a short time in exploring. The present town is much like
others, except in its legendary connection with Robin Hood. All
visitors might not find it as fascinating as did Mrs. Pitt and the
young people, who knew it as the abode of the disagreeable Sheriff
whom Robin Hood heartily hated, and upon whom he continually played so
many tricks, always evading punishment most successfully. They
pictured the gay procession of soldiers and knights which accompanied
King John when he entered that city, as the Sheriff's guest; and to
them the old market-square (the largest in all England) suggested the
scene of Robin Hood's masquerade as a butcher. There they halted and
imagined him standing beside his booth, and calling out: "Now who'll
buy? who'll buy? Four fixed prices have I. Three pennyworths of meat I
sell to a fat friar or priest for sixpence, for I want not their
custom; stout aldermen I charge threepence, for it doth not matter to
me whether they buy or not; to buxom dames I sell three pennyworths of
meat for one penny, for I like their custom well; but to the bonny
lass that hath a liking for a good tight butcher, I charge nought but
one fair kiss, for I like her custom the best of all."

"It was here in Nottingham that Will Stutely had his narrow escape,
wasn't it?" questioned Betty. "He was captured by the Sheriff's men
at 'Ye Blue Boar Inn,' and they brought him to town and would have
hanged him, if Robin Hood and his men hadn't arrived just in time to
save his life. Once Little John came to Nottingham Town and lived for
some time in the Sheriff's own castle, pretending to be the cook. My!
what lots of things happened here!"

Not far away are splendid Chatsworth House, one of the palaces of the
Duke of Devonshire, and lovely Haddon Hall, with its romantic story,
and both of these famous places received a visit from Mrs. Pitt and
her party.

Chatsworth, I am afraid, was not fully appreciated by our friends. It
has a most beautiful situation--in the valley of the Derwent, which
rushes along through the extensive park; the house itself is
magnificent--filled with fine marble halls and rooms, and costly
treasures of art; and in the gardens almost every sovereign of Europe
seems to have planted some kind of a tree. One curious thing did
wonderfully please the children's fancy; that is, a marvelous
weeping-willow tree, from the metal twigs and branches of which tiny
streams of water come at a sign from the gardener. But somehow, on the
whole, Chatsworth is cold and unfeeling, and failed to appeal to the
party.

Not so was it with Haddon Hall! The most prosaic summer tourist could
hardly fail to be moved by admiration of its delights. It is still a
real home, and seems alive with memories of the fair Dorothy Vernon
and her family. The old castle has scarcely changed at all since the
sixteenth century, and one feels as though the great lords and ladies
of Queen Elizabeth's time had thoughtfully stepped out on the terrace,
in order that we might wander through their noble old dwelling.

The custodian was having her afternoon-tea when the party arrived; she
did not think of hurrying in the slightest, but leisurely finished
this most important meal, and then received the visitors' fees and
allowed them to enter.

"I feel as though I had walked into a story!" remarked Betty quietly.
"Is Dorothy at home?"

The various buildings of Haddon Hall are built around two square
courts. The oldest bit is the ancient chapel, in part dating from
Norman times, and in which the Vernon family worshiped for four
hundred years. It still contains some old wooden pews, and traces of
grotesque paintings may be seen upon its walls.

"Where are we going now?" whispered Barbara, keeping close to Betty,
as the guide led them down a very dark passage, with an uneven stone
floor. "Oh, it's the kitchen!"

A light had now been struck, and the huge fireplaces of this kitchen
of bygone days could be seen. Everything seemed complete, even to the
woodbox which once held the tremendous logs.

"How in the world could they see to cook in such a dark place?"
inquired the practical John.

"Oh, there were probably great torches fastened to the walls, and then
there are some tiny windows. When your eyes grow accustomed to the dim
light, you can see fairly well. I should think, though, that once in a
while, the cook might have put a little too much salt in the pasty,"
Mrs. Pitt replied laughingly.

An exceedingly curious feature of Haddon's Banqueting-hall is an iron
bracket with a ring, which is between the entrance doors. Naturally,
Mrs. Pitt was called upon to explain this.

[Illustration: "IT STILL SEEMS ALIVE WITH MEMORIES OF THE FAIR DOROTHY
VERNON."--_Page 217._]

"Well," said she, "it's worth an explanation, for it has a strange
purpose. Any guest who could not or would not drink as much as was
required of him by the laws of hospitality, had his arm fastened up to
that ring, and what he had refused to take was poured down his sleeve.
Fancy! For my part, I should consider that a sad waste! Speaking of
drinking, I wonder if you really know what it means when a man pledges
or drinks a health. It's a very ancient custom! Back in the days of
Saxon England, it very often happened that a man would be stabbed
while drinking, so it became the habit for him to turn to his neighbor
and ask if he would 'pledge' him. If he agreed, his duty was to keep
guard over his friend who wished to drink. A trace of this caution
still exists at Queen's College, Oxford. There the students who wait
upon the 'fellows,' stand behind them and place their right thumbs
upon the table."

The round steps in the Long Gallery are said to have been cut from one
great oak, grown on the estate. Up these they went, and followed the
guide to the celebrated Ball-room, which is so often and so
beautifully pictured. This long room is exquisite with its carved
paneling, polished, inlaid floor, and lovely bay-windows overlooking
the terrace.

"Here the ball was in progress at the time of Dorothy Vernon's escape.
It was the wedding night of Dorothy's sister, wasn't it? At any rate,
while every one was engrossed in the dancing and merrymaking, Dorothy
quietly slipped away, ran through this door here, along the terrace,
and out to a certain tree in the park where her lover was awaiting her
with the horses. That's the story, and certainly it is a pretty one,"
concluded Mrs. Pitt.

Just off the Ball-room is the State Bed-room, which claims to have had
Queen Elizabeth as an occupant. The great bed, fourteen feet six
inches high, is considered one of the finest in England, and is
finished in green velvet and white satin.

They strolled out through Dorothy Vernon's door and along the lovely
terrace, over which the solemn yew-trees hang low. From here is seen a
charming view of the garden, hemmed in upon one side by that part of
the castle containing the Ball-room. The sun was just setting as they
lingered upon the steps of the terrace, and it flooded everything with
a golden light. The scene was so beautiful that all were silent as
they gazed and gazed. Betty finally rose with a deep sigh, and said:

"Well, I suppose Dorothy knew what she was about, but I'm sure that I
should never have run away from Haddon Hall!"



CHAPTER FIFTEEN

WINCHESTER, SALISBURY, AND STONEHENGE


It was not until they were well on their way toward Winchester, that
Mrs. Pitt found a chance to tell the young people something about that
ancient city which they were so soon to see.

"Winchester has a cathedral, hasn't it?" Betty had inquired. "I always
like to see those."

"Yes, indeed," replied Mrs. Pitt. "There surely is a cathedral, for
it's the longest one in all Europe with the exception of St. Peter's
at Rome. I'm certain you will enjoy that; but what I think you'll
appreciate even more are the associations which Winchester has with
the life of Alfred the Great. You all remember about him, don't you!"

"The fellow who burnt the cakes?" put in John, jeeringly.

"Yes, but he was also 'the fellow' who led his army at a time when
the country was in great danger--who dressed as a minstrel and dared
to go even into the very camp of the enemy, so as to investigate their
movements. You certainly like that in him, John?"

"I know it! That was great!" John answered warmly. "Please tell us
some more about him, Mrs. Pitt."

"To me he has always been one of the most lovable as well as admirable
characters in all our English history. He came to the throne at a time
when his wise leadership was greatly needed, and he fought long and
valiantly for his country. When he burnt the cakes, John, it was
merely because his thoughts were so busy with the plans for England's
future. Alfred made Winchester the capital of his whole realm, and
here he lived with all the court, when there was peace in the land.
Part of Alfred's boyhood had been spent here, too, when he was the
pupil of the wise St. Swithin; and, at Winchester, he made the good
and just laws for which he will always be remembered. Within the walls
of old Wolvesley Castle, the famous 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' was
commenced, at the command of the King. But besides all these useful
deeds, Alfred had such a beautiful personality that his family and
all the people of his kingdom loved him, and called him 'the perfect
King.' I have long admired this little tribute which one historian has
given Alfred the Great. He says this; I think these are the very
words: 'He was loved by his father and mother, and even by all the
people, above all by his brothers. As he advanced through the years of
infancy and youth, his form appeared more comely than that of his
brothers; in look, in speech, and in manners, he was more graceful
than they. His noble nature implanted in him from his cradle a love of
wisdom above all things.' And so, through all the centuries between
his time and ours, King Alfred's name has stood for all that is just,
kind, wise, and beautiful."

"Where was King Alfred buried, Mother?" asked Barbara.

"I'll show you his grave--or what is supposed to be his. But here we
are at Winchester now!" cried Mrs. Pitt; "and the sun has come out
just for our special benefit, too!"

In a "cathedral town," one is usually drawn first of all to the
cathedral itself, it being the central point about which the whole
town seems to cluster; and so it was that Mrs. Pitt led the way down
the shaded walk between the broad stretches of lawn surrounding the
great structure. To her great disappointment, an ugly net-work of
staging entirely spoiled the effect of the exterior of the building.

"I once read a book which an American wrote about his trip abroad,"
related Mrs. Pitt. "It amused me very much! After visiting a really
remarkable number of churches and important buildings which were
undergoing reconstruction or strengthening, this gentleman ventured
the belief that the authorities must have made a mistake in the date
of his arrival, for everything seemed to point to the preparation of a
splendid reception to him anywhere from a week to a month later. I
feel that way to-day. The Winchester people certainly could not have
expected us just yet. It's a pity that we cannot see this grand
cathedral at its best!"

The usual feeling of quiet awe came over the party upon entering the
edifice, and this was here somehow increased by the vastness of the
interior. Their footsteps echoed strangely on the stone floor, and
looking up at the arches above her head, Betty began to walk about on
tiptoe.

"The marriage of Queen Mary with Philip of Spain took place in this
cathedral," Mrs. Pitt said. "In Bishop Langton's Chapel here, is an
old chair said to have been used by the Queen at the ceremony. Notice
the six wooden chests above that screen. They contain the bones of
some of the old, old kings--William Rufus, Canute, Egbert, Ethelwolf,
and others. Once upon a time, there was a very famous shrine
here--that of St. Swithin. You remember the legend which tells how the
body of that saint was delayed from being removed to the chapel
already fitted to receive it, by forty days of rain. That's why when
we have nasty, rainy weather in England, we always blame St. Swithin.

"I'll show you the tomb of the well-known authoress, Jane Austen, and
that of Izaak Walton, who is buried in one of the chapels. The former
lived her last days and died in this town, and it was in the little
river Itchen which flows through Winchester, that Izaak Walton used to
fish. They were both laid to rest here in the cathedral, near the
scenes which they dearly loved."

The environs of the cathedral are very pretty, and one of the most
picturesque features is the old Deanery, where Charles II once lodged.
Just outside the cathedral close is the modest little house which was
Jane Austen's home.

Winchester School was visited,--a very famous old institution which is
connected with New College, Oxford, and was built by William of
Wykeham in 1396,--and the vine-covered ruins of old Wolvesley Castle,
which stand on the outskirts of the town, and near the river.

"Didn't you say that this was where King Alfred had them write the
'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'?" Betty asked of Mrs. Pitt. "Will you please
tell us what that was? I don't seem to remember very well."

"Well, dear, the 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' is the 'first history of the
English People,' as some one has correctly said. Part of it was
written by Alfred himself, and the rest was done by others, under his
direction. It is simply a record of all important events which were
written down as they took place. The 'Chronicle' grew and grew for
about two hundred and fifty years, the last mention being of the
accession to the throne of Henry II, in 1154. For many years it was
kept here at its birthplace, but it has now been moved to the library
of Corpus Christi College at Oxford. You see, therefore, that this
important work really marked the start of the wonderful succession of
literary productions which Englishmen have brought forth in these one
thousand years."

Quite at the other end of the town from Wolvesley Castle is the County
Court, a fine old hall, which once upon a time formed part of a castle
built by William the Conqueror. Mrs. Pitt had some difficulty in
finding the caretaker who could admit them, and not until they were
actually inside did the children understand why she was so very
anxious that they should see it.

Many were the exclamations of delight, however, when the guide pointed
to the wall at one end of the Norman room, and told them that the
round, flat object hanging thereupon was "King Arthur's Round Table."

"What!" cried Betty, her mouth wide open in her excitement, "the very
table at which the knights sat!--Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain, Sir
Perceval, Sir Galahad, and all the rest! Why, I never knew it was
here, or I should have come to see it before anything else! To think
of it's being the real table!"

It was hard for Mrs. Pitt to tell Betty that all the legends
concerning this table are pure fiction. "Not all authorities consider
its identity absolutely certain," she admitted unwillingly, "but we're
going to believe in it just the same. It must date from the sixth
century! Fancy! However, it was all repainted in the time of Henry
VIII, and these peculiar stripes and devices were the work of some
sixteenth century brush."

Betty sat right down on the floor, and stared up at the table of her
adored King Arthur and his knights. With much difficulty could Mrs.
Pitt persuade her to leave the hall, and that was not accomplished
until after Betty had trustingly inquired of the guide whether he knew
where the chairs were in which the knights sat when they gathered
about the table, for "she'd like so much to find them right away."

Passing under a gate of the old city-wall, and along the quaint
streets of the town, the party came to Hyde Abbey,--or what little now
remains of it.

"Alfred's body was first buried in the old minster (cathedral); then
it was carried to the new; and last of all, it was removed by the
monks here to Hyde Abbey, which monastery Alfred himself had founded.
In the eighteenth century the Abbey was almost entirely destroyed, and
then it was that Alfred's true burial-place was lost sight of. Later
still, in making some excavations here, the workmen found an ancient
coffin which was examined and believed to be that of the King.
Reverently it was reburied and marked with a flat stone, and this
doubtful grave is the only trace we now have of Alfred the Great."
They had all quietly followed Mrs. Pitt to the spot where, across the
way from the Abbey, they saw the grave.

Before returning to the hotel that night, Mrs. Pitt suggested that
they go to see the old Hospital of St. Cross.

"It's only about a mile from the town," she said. "There's a charming
little path along the banks of the Itchen, and I think we'd enjoy the
walk in the cool of the afternoon."

Mrs. Pitt was quite correct. It proved a delightful stroll, leading
them to the fertile valley in which Henry de Blois built his Hospital
of St. Cross, by the side of the pleasant little river.

"The Hospital was really founded by Henry de Blois, but three
centuries later, Cardinal Beaufort took much interest in it, made some
changes and improvements, and greatly aided in its support," the
children were told. "To this day, there is a distinction between the
St. Cross Brethren and the Beaufort Brethren, but this is chiefly
confined to the matter of dress. Seventeen men are living here now,
and are most kindly treated, fed, clothed, and allowed to plant and
tend their own tiny gardens."

But the most interesting feature of St. Cross--that which in so
remarkably vivid a way holds its connection with the past--is the
dole. Since the reign of King Stephen, no one applying for food or
drink at the Beaufort Tower of St. Cross Hospital, has ever been
turned away. To each has been given, during all the centuries, a drink
of beer and a slice of bread. A slight distinction is made between
visitors by the scrutiny of the Brethren; for, to the tramp is handed
a long draught of beer from a drinking-horn and a huge piece of bread,
while to some are offered the old silver-mounted cup, and wooden
platter.

"Can we have some?" John inquired. "I think I might not like the beer,
but the bread would be all right, and I'm hungry!"

In spite of Betty's reproving cry of "Why, John!" Mrs. Pitt motioned
him to go up to the gate, and ring.

"Yes, it's quite proper for us to apply for the dole," she said.
"Emerson and Carlyle once did so, and I imagine they were not in any
greater need of it than are we."

As John received his portions and was looking at them a bit dubiously,
Philip called out to him, "Don't take so much that you can't eat your
dinner, Jack!" and then, seeing that John had already set down the
food untouched, they all laughed merrily.

After breakfasting at Winchester the following morning, an early train
carried the party to the town of Salisbury, there to see the fairest
of the English cathedrals,--that is, in Mrs. Pitt's opinion, of
course.

To say that Salisbury Cathedral stands in the center of a velvet-like
lawn, to mention the fact that a little stream flows musically by, to
add that the towers and lines of the building itself are wonderfully
graceful, is attempting to describe things as they exist, but wholly
inadequate in the impression which it gives to the reader. There is an
indescribable fascination about Salisbury Cathedral, which a person
must see to understand. Any one who is at all responsive to the charm
of great architecture, can sit for hours under the old trees on the
little common, and drink in the whole scene,--the beautiful building
with its delicate shapes outlined in shadows upon the green grass.

"No doubt it is a generally accepted fact that Lincoln is the finest
of the English cathedrals," Mrs. Pitt explained after a time. "Perhaps
Durham comes next in line, and Canterbury has great historical
interest. I only assert that to me Salisbury is the most beautiful.
You know, Betty, that the construction of most cathedrals was extended
over many years,--even many generations, usually. Salisbury was an
exception to that rule, for it was begun and finished within forty
years (1220 to 1260), and therefore has rare harmony and uniformity of
style."

There are many quaint streets and buildings in the town of Salisbury,
but these become familiar though always delightful sights to the
visitor who gives a good share of his time to old England. Having
noted the old-fashioned King's Arms Inn, which was a secret
meeting-place of the Royalists after the battle of Worcester, the
party had an early lunch, and then set out to drive the ten miles to
Stonehenge.

The road which they took begins to ascend gradually, and after about a
mile and a half brought them to the high mound which was once "the
largest entrenched camp in the kingdom," according to Betty's
leather-covered Baedeker. This was the site of Old Sarum, a fort
during the Roman occupation, and afterwards a Saxon town. Numerous
interesting remains of the camp are here, and the high elevation
affords an excellent view of Salisbury and the surrounding country.

The rest of the drive was not particularly enjoyable. A sharp wind
blew over the high Salisbury Plains, which are bare and not very
picturesque to see. In the center of this great stretch of plain
stands that strange relic of the past known as Stonehenge. Being on an
elevation, the stones stand out weirdly against the sky as the visitor
approaches, and give him a foretaste of the peculiar mystery which
pervades the place.

The section is surrounded by a wire fence, and a man collects a fee of
a shilling before admitting any one into the company of these gigantic
rocks, which are standing or lying about in various positions. It
seems as though there were originally two great circles, one inside
the other, formed by huge oblong stones, set up on end as a child
might arrange his blocks. On the tops of these, others are in some
places still poised, though many have fallen. One great stone lies
broken across the altar.

After the young people had climbed about and thoroughly explored the
ruins, they gathered around Mrs. Pitt to hear her explanation of the
place.

"Well," she began, "it is generally believed that we see here the
remains of an ancient temple of the Druids. They were half-mythical
creatures who are thought to have inhabited England in prehistoric
times. They worshiped Nature,--particularly the Sun, and lived
out-of-doors entirely. Most people consider them to have been the
originators of this strange work, though it has also been attributed
to the Saxons, the Danes, and, I believe, even the Phoenicians. But
no matter what people were the real builders, there still remains the
question of how these tremendous stones were brought here in days when
there was no machinery, and in a district near which no stone-quarries
could possibly have been. That has puzzled men in all ages."

The laughter and chatter of the members of a large "Personally
Conducted" party, who were having their late lunch in the field just
outside the picket-fence, grated upon Mrs. Pitt's nerves. Even more
than in a cathedral with solid walls and a roof, here in this
open-air, ruined temple, dating from unknown ages, one is filled with
deepest reverence. It almost seems possible to see the ancient Druids
who worshiped there, dressed in robes of purest white.

In spite of the blue sky, the bright sunshine of early afternoon, and
the nearness of very noisy, human tourists, Betty so felt the strange
atmosphere which envelopes these huge sentinels of the past, that she
suddenly exclaimed:

"Oh, please, Mrs. Pitt, let's go back to Salisbury! I can't bear this
any longer."

[Illustration: "THERE STILL REMAINS THE QUESTION OF HOW THESE
TREMENDOUS STONES WERE BROUGHT HERE." _Page 236._]

So they drove slowly away over the fields, and as Mrs. Pitt turned for
a last glance behind, she saw the stones looming up in lonely majesty,
and thought to herself, "They have a secret which no one will ever
know."



CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CLOVELLY


A big, high, lumbering coach with four horses was slowly carrying Mrs.
Pitt and her young charges toward Clovelly,--that most famous of all
English fishing-villages. Betty, having discovered a photograph of it
some weeks before, had not ceased talking to the others of her great
desire to see the place; and finally Mrs. Pitt postponed her plans for
visiting other and more instructive towns, packed up the young people,
and started for lovely Devonshire. "Well," the kind lady had thought
to herself, "perhaps it will be just as well for them to have a short
holiday, and go to a pretty spot where they can simply amuse
themselves, and not have to learn too much history. Bless their little
hearts! They surely deserve it, for their brains have been kept quite
busy all the spring,--and I believe I shall enjoy Clovelly once again,
myself!"

Now that they were actually there, the realization was proving even
more delightful than the anticipation. The weather was perfect, and to
drive along the cliffs and moors, with a fresh, cool breeze blowing up
from the blue water below, was wonderfully exhilarating. Their route
led through a country where innumerable bright red poppies grow in the
fields of grain, and where there are genuine "Devonshire lanes," shut
in by tall hedges and wild flowers. Sometimes they clattered through
the narrow streets of a tiny village, while the coachman snapped his
whip, and the postilion in his scarlet coat and brass buttons, sounded
his bugle loudly. As they rolled by farmhouses, heads would appear
curiously at the windows, while children ran out to watch that
important event,--the passing of the daily coach. One rosy-cheeked
girl in a blue pinafore tossed a bunch of yellow cowslips up into Mrs.
Pitt's lap, calling out, "Cowslips, lady; thank ye!" When a sixpence
was thrown down to her, she smiled, courtesied primly, and then
disappeared into the nearest cottage,--one of plaster and thatch,
overgrown with roses.

However, the crowning joy of the day, even in the opinion of John,
who was difficult to please, was the first glimpse of quaint little
Clovelly itself. The coach set them down in the middle of a field; a
few seafaring men stood about, there was a booth or two where old
women sold fruit, a steep path was before them, but no town was
anywhere in sight.

"Don't let's go down there," John grumbled. "What's the use? I'd much
rather stay up on that front seat with the driver."

Mrs. Pitt smiled knowingly, and still led the way on down the walk.
The hedges on either side were so high and thick that they could not
see beyond them, and the children were really speechless when the path
suddenly came to an end, and the whole queer little street of Clovelly
lay before them. For a second no word was spoken, then all burst out
at once.

"Well, what do you think of that?" chuckled John. "Just look at the
donkeys!"

"And the pink and white doll's houses!" exclaimed Barbara.

"And the funny cobble-stone street!" cried Philip.

[Illustration: ONE OF PLASTER AND THATCH, OVERGROWN WITH ROSES.--_Page
239._]

"And the blue, blue water at its feet!" rhymed Betty, all
unconsciously. "I just know the Mediterranean isn't any bluer!"

"Isn't it the dearest, oddest little place!" put in Mrs. Pitt, summing
up all the children's remarks in one. "I do think it's----." But here
Betty interrupted her.

"Look at that little girl!" she fairly screamed. "Don't let her run
down that steep street like that! She mustn't do it!"

Mrs. Pitt, after one look at the child, merely laughed and replied,
"Don't worry, Betty; she's used to it. She's probably done it all her
life, and she'll never fall. Now, I turn you all loose for two hours.
Explore the place to your heart's content, for it will be long before
you see such another. Come to the New Inn (that's it, where the sign
is!) at one-thirty for luncheon."

Enthusiastically the four started off. At first they all picked their
way carefully and slowly down over the smooth, slippery stones, but
gradually they became more expert in keeping their balance, and could
go faster. The two boys made straight for the foot of the town to see
the harbor and fishing-boats; Barbara and Betty were bent on
investigating all the nooks, corners, and tiny shops of the little
place; and Mrs. Pitt contentedly settled herself on the miniature
piazza of the New Inn, and looked with never-failing interest and
delight at the scene before her.

To explain more in detail, Clovelly is built in what was once a
torrent-bed, and the village tumbles down from the top of the cliff to
the very edge of Hartland Bay. The droll, Italian-like cottages cling
to the hillside, or seem to grow directly out of the gray rock. At
first, the street descends rather gradually and straight, but after a
short distance, it zigzags first to left and then to right, twists and
turns, takes one under parts of houses, into private yards, out to
look-off points, and then pitches very, very abruptly down to the Red
Lion Inn, which guards the little harbor with its long, curving
sea-wall and tiny lighthouse.

From where Mrs. Pitt sat she had a splendid view up and down the
street, which was then crowded, it being the busiest time of the
season. Just below her, up against the piazza, sat an artist, bent
eagerly forward toward his easel, and absolutely oblivious of the
throngs of people who were noisily passing close by. There were
tourists in gay attire, children romping about in their queer shoes
with nails on the bottom to prevent slipping, big stalwart men sliding
luggage down on sledges, and patient little mules, which struggled up
with big trunks fastened to shelf-like saddles over their backs. To
this busy scene the bright little dwellings which line the way, add
the finishing touch. The roof of one house is on a level with the
second-story window of that above it; the vines are luxuriant,
climbing sometimes up over the very chimneys, and flower-beds and
flower-boxes are everywhere. A holiday, festive air seems universal.

"Where can one see such a scene?" mused Mrs. Pitt. "Not in Italy
surely, for there the 'picturesque dirt,' as they call it, is so much
in evidence. For my part, I prefer the exquisite neatness and
cleanliness of Clovelly."

Lunch at the New Inn tasted very good,--especially as here the young
people first made the acquaintance of the much-praised "Devonshire
cream." Served with wild strawberries, or any other fruit, this thick
cream is truly delicious, and unlike anything else. The meal itself
was partaken of in the Annex, a larger, newer house across the way,
but having finished, the party returned to the original hostelry. It
is the tiniest house imaginable, and the little rooms are so crowded
with furniture, the landlord's collection of fine old china, and
knick-knacks of all sorts, that John endangered many valued treasures
by his awkward movements. Once, in passing some people in the hall,
his elbow struck a small cabinet of blue china, and there would have
been a terrible catastrophe had not Mrs. Pitt arrived upon the scene
at the opportune moment.

"Oh, bother!" exclaimed John, very much irritated, and more ashamed of
his clumsiness than he cared to show. "How can a fellow have room to
breathe in a bandbox like this! Come along, Philip; I'm going down to
talk some more with those sailors."

The old fishermen who can no longer follow their loved trade sit
sunning themselves comfortably on the doorsteps of their Clovelly
homes, gazing dreamily out to sea. When Mrs. Pitt, Barbara, and Betty
went to find the boys toward tea-time, they discovered them sitting by
a group of these old cronies, who were ensconced upon a bench
affording a beautiful view of the lower part of the town, the bay, and
the cliffs of the rugged coast. The tide had filled the little
harbor, and numerous small boats with copper-colored sails bobbed
about on the opal waters; near the Red Lion Inn stood a row of
sleepy-looking mules waiting for the start up the street.

The men had been exchanging fishermen's yarns, much to the pleasure of
their audience, but when the ladies appeared, they commenced telling
ghost-stories or curious bits of folk-lore. One tale especially amused
the girls, although John thought he preferred the wild adventures of
the sea.

After looking long out over the bay, the particular old salt who was
then entertaining them, removed the pipe from between his teeth, and
began the following. Mrs. Pitt took pains to remember it, and this is
how it reads to this very day in her journal:

"The father of a certain fair young girl had been carried off by
smugglers, and kept for 'a year and a day,'--until a large sum of
money was finally paid for his release. He only lived a short time
after his return home, however, and his daughter died soon after, worn
out by anxiety about her father. This young lady's ghost continually
haunts a certain little village in Devon, where some of the fisherfolk
were said to have taken part in the kidnaping of her father. Instead
of doing anything more violent, the ghost simply appears on Sunday
mornings, just as the dinners are being cooked, and touches the meat
with her white, bony hand, thereby rendering it unfit to eat."

Mrs. Pitt's famous journal, which is often referred to, contains also
this story heard that day at Clovelly:

"In front of a certain farm-house was a large, flat stone, which
tradition said was as old as the Flood. Here, at midnight, there
always appeared a female figure, clad in a gray cloak and an
old-fashioned black bonnet. The apparition would remain there until
dawn, always knocking, knocking upon the stone. The inhabitants of the
house nearby became so used to 'Nelly the Knocker,' as she was called,
that they paid no attention whatever to her, did not fear her in the
least, and would even stop to examine her queer garments. Finally,
however, two young men of the family decided to solve the mystery, so
they blasted the rock one day. To their great surprise, underneath
were lying two large urns, packed with gold, which treasure enriched
them for the rest of their days. But 'Nelly the Knocker' came no
more."

In place of repairing to the somewhat stuffy dining-room at the inn,
they had their tea just outside one of the most sightly cottages, and
were served by a pretty young girl. The china was coarse and the thick
slices, cut with a big knife from huge loaves of bread, were by no
means daintily served, but it could not have tasted better, and John
ate a truly alarming amount of bread and jam.

At Clovelly, the summer twilights are very long and lovely, and down
on the breakwater our friends enjoyed this one to the full. One might
look over the blue expanse of bay and see the faint outlines of the
coast of Wales, and then turn and gaze at the picturesque harbor and
the quaint, hanging village, in the houses of which, lights were
slowly beginning to twinkle, one after another. They stayed until it
was quite dark, and were even then loath to wend their way up the
steep street, and to waste so many hours by going to bed in the
"Doll's House," as John persisted in calling the New Inn.

"Well," said Betty comfortingly, "it will be fun after all,--sleeping
in that funny wee inn, where there are only four bedrooms in the whole
house. I choose the one with the pink rose peeping in the window! I
saw it this morning. Come on."

The next day dawned as fair as one could wish, and at Mrs. Pitt's
suggestion a walk along the "Hobby Drive" was first taken. This
charming road was built by a Mr. Hamlin, the owner of the town of
Clovelly, who lives at Clovelly Court. The drive starts just at the
top of the village, and extends for three miles along the edge of the
cliffs. The views are startlingly beautiful! Through the fresh green
of the trees and vines, glimpses of the deep blue sea are to be had,
and to add to the vivid coloring, there is the peculiar red rock which
belongs to that part of the coast.

As they were retracing their steps, Mrs. Pitt said with slight
hesitation:

"I promise not to give you very much history while you are here, but I
must tell you just a bit about the relation which all this country
bears to Charles Kingsley's great book, 'Westward Ho!' Have you never
read it, John? Fancy! I'll get it for you at once! Well, Bideford is
the nearest town to Clovelly, and it was from there that Amyas Leigh,
Salvation Yeo, and all the rest set out with Sir Francis Drake. By the
by, that very sailor, Salvation Yeo, was born in the old Red Lion Inn,
at the foot of the Clovelly street. Oh, you'd like him, John, and all
his brave adventures! At Clovelly Court, in the days of the story,
lived Will Cary, another of the well-known characters in 'Westward
Ho!,' and in the little parish church very near there, Charles
Kingsley's father was rector. Kingsley himself was at Clovelly a great
deal, and probably gained here his knowledge of the seas and those who
sail them. One of those old fishermen last night (he who claimed to be
ninety-eight) told me that he used to know Charles Kingsley well, and
I suppose it is possible."

That afternoon toward tea-time, after another fascinating roam about
the town,--into its back-yards and blind alleys, and along its pebbly
beach,--as well as numerous exciting rides on the backs of the mules,
the party gathered on the tiny veranda of the New Inn, crowding it to
its utmost capacity. The purpose of this formal meeting was to decide
where they should go the following morning, as they were then leaving
Clovelly. Mrs. Pitt had promised them a week more of play in
Devonshire before their trip to Canterbury, and she advised visits to
Bideford, Minehead, Porlock, Lynton, Lynmouth, and finally Torquay. As
the young people had no ideas of their own upon the subject and as
they had vast confidence in anything Mrs. Pitt proposed, this plan was
at once adopted.

"These places are all by the sea," Mrs. Pitt continued, "and I'm quite
sure you'll like them. Torquay is just a watering-place, with big
hotels, terraces, and gardens, but oh! it is so lovely, and nearby is
the duckiest little village of Cockington! You'll never leave the
thatched cottages there, Betty! Lynmouth is very fine, with its
combination of mountain and seaside views, and its moors. Close by is
the Doone Valley, which figures so prominently in the story of 'Lorna
Doone,' and we'll visit that. It will all be beautiful--beautiful as
only England and Devonshire can be--but you'll find nothing at all
like this strange little Clovelly, so enjoy it while you may!"

[Illustration: "YOU'LL FIND NOTHING AT ALL LIKE THIS STRANGE LITTLE
CLOVELLY."--_Page 250._]



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

ROCHESTER AND CANTERBURY


As soon as the familiar chugging of the motor was heard at the front
door in Cavendish Square, John hurried out. Just as he was examining
all the chauffeur's arrangements for the trip, and looking with
approval over the entire automobile, the whir of the engine suddenly
gasped, struggled to catch its breath, and then ceased altogether. The
chauffeur, perfectly unconcerned, swung himself off from his seat and
sauntered around to "crank her up," but his expression of assurance
soon changed, for the motor refused to start.

John's face was pitiful to see. "Oh, bother!" he cried, running to
where the chauffeur stood, in front of the hood. "Why has it got to go
and spoil it all like that! It's mean, I say! Can't you fix her?
What's wrong?"

Off came the chauffeur's nicely-brushed coat, his clean hands handled
oily tools, and a big streak of grease soon appeared upon his
trousers. Great was his humiliation! After about fifteen minutes of
disagreeable work, all was well, however,--the engine started, and the
sound was again smooth and steady. John's expression was radiant, and
he came to help the ladies in, while the forlorn chauffeur retired to
make himself presentable.

"Now, we're off for Canterbury!" John announced triumphantly, as they
at last glided around a corner into Piccadilly.

Slowly and carefully they wended their way down to London Bridge,
crossed, and stopped for a moment before the site of the old Tabard
Inn.

"I'm going to take you to Canterbury by the very road which Chaucer's
pilgrims in all probability traveled, and I thought that to make the
illusion as perfect as possible, we really should halt here in
Southwark. This is where the pilgrims met, you know, and from here
they set out in the lovely month of April: the 'verray perfight,
gentil knight,' his son, the gay young squire, the stout Wife of Bath,
the dainty prioress, the pale clerk (or scholar), the merchant with
his fine beaver hat, the parson, the plowman, the pardonner, the
summoner, the cook, and all the rest! They traveled on horseback, you
remember, and to beguile the tedious hours when they advanced slowly
along the dusty road, they took turns in telling the stories which
Chaucer gives us in the wonderful 'Canterbury Tales.'"

"I never did know just why they went," Betty ventured, in some
confusion lest they should laugh at her.

"Neither did I!" John promptly seconded. "Please tell us, Mrs. Pitt."

"Dear me, yes! I certainly will, for you must surely understand that!"
After pausing a moment in order to think how best to make her meaning
clear, Mrs. Pitt went on in her pleasant voice. "You see, pilgrimages
were always made to some especial shrine! We'll take Becket's for an
example. After his terrible murder, Becket was immediately canonized
(that is, made a saint), and for many years a very celebrated shrine
to him existed at Canterbury Cathedral. In those days, sumptuous
velvets and abundant jewels adorned the shrines, and if a person
journeyed to one, it meant that his sins were all atoned for. It was a
very easy thing, you see. If a man had committed a wrong, all he had
to do was to go to some shrine, say certain prayers there, and he
thought himself forgiven. Such trips cost men practically nothing, for
pilgrims might usually be freely cared for at the monasteries along
the route; a man was quite sure of good company; and altogether, it
was very pleasant to see the world in this way. The numerous terrible
dangers to be met with only added the spice of excitement to many. In
short, such numbers of poor men started off on these religious
pilgrimages, leaving their families uncared for, that the clergy
finally were forced to interfere. Laws were then made which compelled
a man to procure a license for the privilege of going to a shrine, and
these permits were not granted to all. You understand then, that
toward noted shrines such as St. Thomas à Becket's, pilgrims singly
and in companies were always flocking, and among these was the little
group which Chaucer has made so familiar and real to us all."

"Here's Deptford," announced John by and by, seeing the name upon some
sign. "What went on here?"

"What makes you think anything 'went on here'!" Mrs. Pitt exclaimed.
"Fancy! What a curious boy!"

"Oh!" John burst out. "That's easy enough! I haven't seen more than
about two or three places in all this country where some fellow didn't
do something, or some important thing go on."

Mrs. Pitt pushed up her veil, removed her glasses, and wiped the tears
of laughter from her eyes. "I think you are about right, John. And
something did happen here in Deptford; in fact, there were several
things. First, I'll tell you that it was here that Queen Elizabeth
came in 1581 and visited the ship in which Drake had been around the
world. The Queen dined on board the vessel and knighted Drake while
there. Event number two was the death of Christopher Marlowe, one of
the greatest of all England's dramatists. Marlowe was only thirty
years old when he was killed in a vulgar fight in a tavern. Fancy!
Poor Anne of Cleves, after the early divorce from her royal husband,
lived near Deptford, at Place House. Writers say that she used often
to go up to London, and visit the Court, just as though she had not
been (for a few short days, to be sure) the 'first lady of the land,'
as you Americans say. Poor Anne! She always seemed a pitiful character
to my mind. She couldn't help it if Henry VIII didn't find her good to
look upon!"

Beyond Deptford, as they were smoothly gliding along, all at once
there came a loud report.

"Goodness!" cried John. "What in the world was that!" Then he shouted
with laughter at the frightened expression on Betty's face.

"Dearie me! It must be a 'blow-out'! Is that the trouble, Jo? Yes?
Well, come, girls; we may as well step out." There was forced
resignation in Mrs. Pitt's voice; she was trying not to mind the
delay.

For forty minutes she and the girls sat by the roadside and watched
the chauffeur and the two boys at work on the tire. It seemed as
though every part of this operation took longer than usual. The tools
seemed never so easily mislaid; it surely was a longer task than ever
to inflate the tube, and then to fit on the wheel-rim. Finally,
however, the three rose, grimy and dusty, but triumphant, and ready to
set forth once again.

The accident came just at the edge of Blackheath, amid very historic
surroundings. Some one has called Blackheath the Rotten Row of the
olden days, for there royalty and fashionable people of the town went
to ride and disport themselves, just as they now do in Hyde Park; and
there important guests on the way to London, were wont to be met with
much ceremony by the Mayor and certain great citizens. After the
battle of Agincourt, the victor, Henry V, when returning to London,
was given a magnificent reception at Blackheath, and many were the
speeches of praise which had been prepared. The great soldier cut them
all short, however, insisting that the honor be given God. At
Blackheath, his descendant, Henry VIII, first saw Anne of Cleves
(officially, that is), and straightway decided to divorce her. But
perhaps the most joyful scene of all those at Blackheath, took place
on the May morning when Charles II came into his own, and all England
was glad, after the dark days of the Commonwealth and the iron rule of
the sober Puritans.

"This," declared Mrs. Pitt a little later, "is 'Shooter's Hill.' That
should bear a familiar sound. How many have ever read Dickens's 'Tale
of Two Cities'? You have, I know, Philip. Well, in the second chapter,
the stage which carried Mr. Jarvis Lorry on his way, is described as
slowly mounting this very hill, while most of its passengers toil
along the wet, snowy road, by its side. Do you remember, Betty? You
must try to think over all of Dickens's works which you have ever
read, for we are coming to a district which that author knew well and
often put into his novels."

Sure enough, they almost felt as though they had stepped into the
world of Dickens's stories, for so many of the places mentioned
therein they were able to find. Slowly they drove through Rochester's
streets, stopping when they came to any spot of especial interest.

"Here's the old Bull Inn," said Mrs. Pitt, pointing it out as she
spoke. "It is supposed that there are no less than twenty-five inns
named in Dickens's 'Pickwick Papers' alone. This is one of them, for
Room Number Seventeen was Mr. Pickwick's bedroom, and there is also
Winkle's, which was 'inside of Mr. Tupman's.' Come, shall we go in?"

The landlord of the Bull has most carefully preserved and cared for
all which is of even the slightest interest in connection with Dickens
or his books. He most kindly took Mrs. Pitt and her party all about
the old house, showing them everything,--including the room where the
famous ball in "Pickwick Papers" was held.

Leaving the Bull, they noted the Crown Inn, on the site of the one
where Henry VIII went privately to take a look at Anne of Cleves, and
the old White Hart, built in Richard II's reign, which once sheltered
Samuel Pepys. In Restoration House (built in 1587) Charles II stayed
after his landing at Dover.

"'Dickens wrote thus about Restoration House in "Great
Expectations,"'" Betty read from the guidebook. "'I had stopped to
look at the house as I passed, and its seared red brick walls, blocked
windows and strong green ivy clasping even the stacks of chimneys with
its twigs and tendrils, as if with sinewy arms, made up a rich and
attractive mystery.'"

"Doesn't that describe it exactly?" exclaimed Mrs. Pitt, with
enthusiasm. "That house always fascinated me, too. When Dickens last
visited Rochester, it is said that he was seen gazing long at this old
place, and some have thought that the result of those reflections
would have appeared in the next chapter of 'Edwin Drood,' which novel,
as you know, he never finished. Now, we'll drive out to take a look
at Gad's Hill. Luckily, this is Wednesday, so we will be admitted."

After making inquiries, Mrs. Pitt learned that the owner of Gad's Hill
throws it open only on the afternoon of each Wednesday; so they took
their luncheon first, and then motored the mile and a half to
Dickens's home.

Gad's Hill is charming! Dickens was devoted to this square,
vine-covered house, where he resided from 1856 to the time of his
death, in 1870. The story goes that when he was a small boy the place
had a great attraction for him, and that one day his father, wishing
to spur him on in a way peculiar to parents, reminded him that if he
worked hard and persevered until he was a grown man, he might own that
very estate, or one like it.

As they left the house, Mrs. Pitt said, "This hill is the spot where
took place the robbery of the travelers in Shakespeare's 'Henry IV.'
The inn just opposite Gad's Hill is the Falstaff Inn, probably built
about Queen Anne's time. It used to have an old sign with pictures of
Falstaff and the 'Merry Wives of Windsor' upon it. I read that in the
olden days ninety coaches daily stopped here. Fancy!"

"Well," observed Betty, "I shall certainly enjoy reading Dickens
better than ever, when I get home, for now I've seen his study where
he wrote. It makes things so much more real somehow, doesn't it, Mrs.
Pitt?"

Having visited the cathedral and the old castle, they now left
Rochester, and found that the run to Canterbury was rather longer than
they had realized.

"But really, you know," Mrs. Pitt had intervened, "Rochester is just
about halfway between the two, London and Canterbury, I would say. And
we did stop quite a bit to see the sights connected with Dickens."

At last, however, about six in the afternoon, they came in sight of
Canterbury, its great cathedral towering over all,--its timbered
houses, old city-gate, and narrow, picturesque streets. As usual, the
young people who never seemed to need a rest, desired to start
sight-seeing at once, but unfortunately a sudden thunder-shower came
up to prevent.

"Oh, well, it will stop soon," Betty assured them. "It always does in
England."

This time, the weather was not so kind, however. The rain continued
persistently, and the party was forced to remain at the inn the entire
evening.

Sunshine, even though it be sometimes a bit dim and watery, is never
long absent during an English summer, so the morning dawned bright and
clear. Just as they set forth from the hotel, Betty felt in her coat
pocket and found that her precious red notebook, in which she
inscribed all interesting facts and discoveries, was missing.

Philip promptly came to the rescue, saying: "I saw you put it behind
you on the seat of the motor, yesterday, and it's probably there
still. I'll go to the garage and see."

Betty gave Philip a grateful little smile, but insisted upon
accompanying him on his search. They came upon the treasure just where
it had been left, and soon rejoined the rest of the party in the
cathedral close, where John was in the midst of taking some
photographs.

The first near view which they had of Canterbury Cathedral was in
approaching it from under old Christchurch Gateway. In spite of its
great age, the cathedral, in contrast with the much blackened gateway,
appears surprisingly white and fair. The exterior is very beautiful;
the two towers are most majestic, and beyond, one sees the graceful
Bell Tower, rising from the point where the transepts cross. In olden
days, a gilded angel stood on the very top of the Bell Tower, and
served as a beacon to the many pilgrims traveling toward Becket's
shrine.

Walking about inside the cathedral, they saw, behind the altar, the
position of the once famous shrine. All that now remain to remind one
that this ever existed are the pavement and steps, deeply worn by the
feet of many generations of devout pilgrims.

"I told you something of the splendor of this shrine," Mrs. Pitt
suggested to them. "It was said that after his visit to it, Erasmus
(the Dutch scholar and friend of Sir Thomas More, you know) in
describing it, told how 'gold was the meanest (poorest) thing to be
seen.' See, here is the tomb of Henry IV, the only king who is buried
here, and there's the monument to the Black Prince. Above hang his
gauntlets, helmet, coat, and shield. Do you see them, John?"

The northwest transept, so say all guidebooks and vergers (and they
certainly ought to be truthful), was the scene of the murder of the
Archbishop à Becket. There is even a stone in the floor which marks
the precise spot; but, contrary to her usual habit, Mrs. Pitt
absolutely pointed out that all this is false.

"I'm sorry, children," she said, "but I must contradict this. Becket
was killed at five o'clock on a dreary December afternoon of 1170.
Four years later, the cathedral was entirely destroyed by fire.
Therefore, it is not possible that they can show visitors the exact
spot where the tragedy took place. William of Sens came over from
France, and in 1184, finished the building which we now see.

"This nave," she continued, as they again entered it, "is one of the
longest in England, and the choir is several feet higher. Do you
notice? It is an unusual feature. Also, the fact that the walls bend
very gradually inward as they near the east end of the choir, is
worthy of note. Here, as at St. Paul's and a number of other
cathedrals, business was carried on, even during services, and
pack-horses and mules went trailing through. It's curious to think of,
isn't it?"

[Illustration: "WILLIAM OF SENS, IN 1184, FINISHED THE BUILDING WHICH
WE NOW SEE."--_Page 264._]

Canterbury's cloisters are wonderfully ancient. Blackened as they are
by the centuries, and their still exquisite carvings broken, yet here,
more than in the edifice itself, can one imagine the scene of Becket's
terrible death.

"The residence of the Archbishop stood alongside the church," Mrs.
Pitt proceeded, "and here the murderers came unarmed, upon their
arrival in the town, to interview him. Becket was unmoved by their
threats, so they left him to go and arm themselves. The entreaties of
the monks that their master should seek safety in the cathedral would
have been of no avail had not the hour for evening service arrived.
Can't you almost think how dark and cold these stones must have seemed
on that winter afternoon, when Becket marched along with majestic
deliberateness through these very cloisters, in by that little door,
and up to the altar. A feeling of dread and terror was everywhere.
Most of the monks had fled to places of hiding, and the Archbishop
found himself alone with his three or four faithful friends, whom he
commanded to unbolt the heavy church doors, which, in a panic, they
had barred. No sooner had the armed men rushed in than the challenge
came from Reginald Fitzurse, as Tennyson gives us the scene:

     'Where is the Archbishop, Thomas Becket?'

and Becket's brave answer:

                                         'Here.
     No traitor to the King, but Priest of God,
     Primate of England. I am he ye seek.
     What would ye have of me?'

They responded, 'Your life!' and there immediately followed the
horrible death."

Mrs. Pitt drew a long breath and sighed.

"Such were the deeds of those unenlightened days. These fierce Norman
knights, wishing to gain favor in the eyes of the King, and hearing
him say in a moment of anger, that he wished himself rid of the
troublesome Archbishop, they at once proceeded to Canterbury and
killed him. It was all the outcome of the continual strife and
struggle for power, between the Church and the State."

"What did they do to those three Normans?" demanded John indignantly.

"Nothing. I believe they went free. But Henry II himself tried to
atone for the deed in doing penance by walking barefooted to
Canterbury and Becket's shrine. Come, let's go outside now."

They then wandered about the precincts of the cathedral, pausing by
some lovely, ruined arches which tell of an ancient monastery.
Everywhere stretch smooth lawns, with grand old trees, and here and
there the houses of those connected with the church. Also, very close
by stands the King's School, which was founded by Archbishop Theodore
in the seventh century, 'for the study of Greek,' and later refounded
by Henry VIII. Here that famous Canterbury boy, Christopher Marlowe,
was educated. The school is well worth a visit, if only to see the
beautiful outside Norman stairway.

Mrs. Pitt next led the way down Mercery Lane, at the corner of which
stood The Chequers of Hope, the inn where Chaucer's pilgrims put up.

"You remember the old gate by which we entered the town yesterday,"
said Mrs. Pitt. "Well, under that same arch came the pilgrims as they
approached from London. Although the city-wall then boasted
twenty-one towers and six gates, the West Gate is the only remaining
bit. Here, at the inn which stood conveniently near the cathedral, the
pilgrims stayed, and in Mercery Lane they bought their
souvenirs,--probably rosaries or phials of Holy Water. At the further
end of the Lane stood the ancient rush-market. Rushes were then in
great demand, you recollect, for people used them to strew over their
floors."

One might stay on indefinitely in Canterbury, and still not discover
all its treasures and interesting nooks and corners. The streets are
narrow, crooked, and contain many very old houses. There is at
Canterbury a castle; one may see the ruins of St. John's Hospital, and
of St. Sepulchre's Nunnery, where Elizabeth Barton, the "Holy Maid of
Kent," once lived; the old gate of St. Augustine's Monastery still
stands, though it is now restored; by exploring, traces of the
city-wall may be found, and the weavers' houses which hang over the
little river offer a delightful view. Interest is endless in
Canterbury. But as it is impossible to see it all, especially in
limited time, the visitor usually seeks out the best known and most
famous places; and surely, after the great cathedral itself, ranks
St. Martin's Church.

A little way out of the town, and up against a sunny hillside, is this
tiny "Mother Church of England." Imbedded in the rough stone of the
square, Norman tower are the huge stems of giant vines. Altogether, a
more primitive, ancient appearing building cannot well be imagined.

"Well," remarked Betty impressively, "this is the very oldest place
we've been in yet. It makes me feel as Stonehenge did, somehow."

"Yes, that's true," assented Mrs. Pitt. "The two places do give you
similar sensations. It's simply that you feel the age. I've always
thought that if I were suddenly blindfolded, carried away, and set
down in St. Martin's Church at Canterbury, that I should know where I
was just from the atmosphere, which is so heavy with the weight of the
years."

It is claimed for St. Martin's that it is the most ancient church in
all England, a land filled with ancient churches. It is in the
vicinity of sixteen hundred years old, for Bede states that it was
built while the Romans were still in possession, and certain it is
that numerous Roman bricks may be seen to this day in the outer wall.
The church was perhaps erected for the use of Queen Bertha, whose
husband, Ethelbert, King of Kent, was also converted to Christianity,
and baptized here. After the arrival of St. Augustine, it is believed
that he and his followers came here to worship. Inside, the little
church is a curious conglomeration of different styles of
architecture; here a Roman doorway, there a Norman, and here an
ancient Saxon arch. Some of the relics in the church are the Saxon
font, built of twenty-two separate stones, a tomb which has been
called that of Queen Bertha, and two Elizabethan brasses. The party
found a most excellent and intelligent guide, a woman, who showed them
the vessel which held the Holy Oil (a very valuable thing), and the
"leper's squint," a slit in the wall to which the unfortunate sick men
were allowed to come and listen to the service.

"That's something like the 'nun's squint' at St. Helen's Church in the
city," observed Barbara.

On the way back to their hotel, John and Philip strayed into the old
Guildhall which contains some portraits, which failed to impress the
boys, however.

"S'pose they were old Mayors or some such fellows," said John, when
questioned as to what he saw. "Couldn't bear 'em, with their bright
velvet clothes and high ruffs. I'm glad I didn't live then! Excuse me
from ruffs!"

"If the important men of the town wore such gay and frivolous attire,
they had to pay for it surely," Mrs. Pitt added. "Last night I was
reading that in the records of Canterbury for the year 1556, the Mayor
was required to provide for his wife every year, before Christmas, a
scarlet gown and a bonnet of velvet. That was enforced by law! Fancy!
The women may have had a hand in that, for they very naturally wanted
to make sure not to be outdone by the men in the point of fine
clothes."

As the automobile again passed under the West Gate, on its way back to
London, Betty turned to Mrs. Pitt, and said in her quiet little way:

"I think you were right in what you said when we were at Salisbury. I
think, too, that's the most beautiful of all the cathedrals I've seen.
But Canterbury, both the town and church, is very, very interesting.
I like the stories about Becket and the pilgrims, too. I'd like to
come again some day. Please take hold of my hand, John; I want to
stand up a minute and watch that dear Bell Tower as long as I can."



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

GOOD-BY TO LONDON


"A wire for you, Master John."

The butler's interruption while the family was at breakfast one August
morning, caused a sudden hush of expectancy.

"A telegram for me!" replied John, trying to assume sufficient dignity
for the momentous occasion,--the arrival of the first message he had
ever received. "Why, what can it be?"

"Do open it, John. It must be a cable," Betty pleaded, fearing
something might be wrong at home.

"Yes, hurry, dear," put in Mrs. Pitt.

Just the second that the contents were revealed, a great shout of joy
went up, and John and Betty fairly jumped up and down in their
excitement.

"Father and mother coming!" John cried. "On the way now! Taking us to
Switzerland! It's great!"

Betty's radiant face showed what delight the prospect of seeing her
father and mother gave her. Glancing at Mrs. Pitt almost at once,
however, she hastened to say:

"We're both sorry to go away from you all, though, and I hope they'll
let us come back. We've had such a good time in England! Don't you
think we can go on with our trip here after Switzerland?"

"I really can't tell, dear, for this is all so unexpected. I don't
know what your father's plans may be, but I hope he will bring you
back to me. I'd be very sorry if it were all at an end! But to think I
shall so soon see your father!" Mrs. Pitt sat staring into the grate,
and seemed to be lost in her thoughts.

After the general commotion caused by the news had somewhat subsided,
and they had all adjusted themselves to the new plans, Mrs. Pitt
decided to spend the remaining week in the city, as she had still so
much there to show John and Betty. The weather being quite cool and
comfortable, they could easily go about.

It happened that two events of those busy days made an everlasting
impression on the minds of both John and Betty. First, there was
their glimpse of the King and Queen; and then, there was the fire.

As they emerged at about noon one day from the National Gallery, where
Mrs. Pitt had been showing them some of the best pictures, Philip
heard some one on the steps of the building say that the King and
Queen had come to town to be present at the unveiling of a statue.
They were soon to pass through St. James Park on their way from
Whitehall, it was understood, and our friends at once hastened in that
direction. For some time they waited with the crowd, and it was not
exactly agreeable, for the day was damp and foggy, and a fine rain had
set in. All the while, John was getting more and more aroused, and
when he finally saw a small company of the Horse Guards, he so forgot
himself as to shout:

"Hurrah! Here they come!"

Because of the rain, the Guards, wearing their blue capes lined with
scarlet, were rather less picturesque than usual, but the black horses
were as fine as ever.

"They step as if they were proud of going along with the King and
Queen," Betty said in a loud whisper to Barbara.

Between two small squadrons of the Guards came a modest closed
carriage in which Their Majesties rode. Fortunately for the young
visitors, they both kept bending forward and bowing very graciously
from the windows, so that they could be distinctly seen. The sober
British crowd was characteristically well-behaved. No demonstration of
any sort was given the Royalties, except that the men removed their
hats. Swiftly the carriage rolled up the wide avenue toward Buckingham
Palace.

"Humph! They don't make much fuss about it, do they?" was all John
said, while Betty was especially impressed by how very much the King
and Queen resembled their photographs.

The following morning an interesting trip to Smithfield was taken.
Going by the "Tube," the ride seemed a short one, and they soon found
themselves at Smithfield Market.

"Have you ever seen Faneuil Hall Market in Boston?" demanded Mrs. Pitt
laughingly, whereupon John and Betty, the two Bostonians, were rather
ashamed to admit that they had not.

"Somehow we never have time at home," was Betty's remark. "And I think
perhaps we never really wanted to very much, either."

"Well, you wouldn't understand why, then, but it always reminded me of
this great Smithfield Market," went on Mrs. Pitt and then added a bit
boastfully, "I've been to Faneuil Hall several times."

What they saw was a large, lofty building, with a roof of glass and
iron, equipped as a most thoroughly up-to-date meat-market. A street
runs directly through the center, and from this, one can get a
splendid idea of both halves.

"This great barren square of Smithfield was the place where they had
the tournaments in the olden days, and because of that, the name was
probably once 'Smooth-field.' Edward III held a brilliant tournament
here, and also Richard II, who invited many foreign guests to be
present for that important event. The processions which preceded, as
well as the tournaments themselves, were most elaborate. One old
writer fairly dazzles us by his description of 'sixty horses in rich
trappings, each mounted by an esquire of honor,--and sixty ladies of
rank, dressed in the richest elegance of the day following on their
palfreys, each leading by a silver chain a knight completely armed for
tilting. Minstrels and trumpets accompanied them to Smithfield amidst
the shouting population: there the Queen and her fair train received
them.' Then this same author tells at much length of the commencing of
the tournament, and says 'they tilted each other until dark. They all
then adjourned to a sumptuous banquet, and dancing consumed the
night.' For several days and nights this same performance was
repeated. That gives you a slight idea of the aspect Smithfield bore
in the days when it was far outside the limits of the 'City.'"

After pausing a few minutes in her talk, while they walked about the
square, Mrs. Pitt proceeded:

"In 1381, after the peasant uprising, the leader, Wat Tyler, was
killed here. And then, in the reigns of 'Bloody Mary' and of
Elizabeth, this was the place of public execution. Way back in 1305,
the patriot William Wallace was hanged here, and after him came a long
line of sufferers,--among them Anne Askew, Rogers, Bradford, and
Philpot, who were persecuted because of their adherence to the
Protestant Religion. After that terrible period, Smithfield was for
many years the only cattle-market in London; and here was held
Bartholomew Fair, also. Don't you agree that this square has had
about as varied a history as is very well possible?"

The church of St. Bartholomew the Great, one of the oldest and most
interesting in London, is reached from Smithfield by an inconspicuous
arch, which leads to a narrow walk close beside brick walls. At the
further end is the façade of the church, which boasts of having been
erected in 1123, by Rahere, who also founded the neighboring Hospital
of St. Bartholomew.

Once inside the doorway, the visitor feels as though he had actually
stepped back many centuries, for, as Baedeker says, "the existing
church, consisting merely of the choir, the crossing, and one bay of
the nave of the original Priory Church, is mainly pure Norman work, as
left by Rahere." Here again, the visitor encounters that strange
atmosphere which belongs to the place pervaded by great age.

"You see," explained Mrs. Pitt, "the church which we see is only a
very small part of the original edifice as Rahere built it. The
entrance from Smithfield was probably the door to the nave, which was
where the grave-yard now stands. It's curious, isn't it, how the
centuries alter things! Now, step over here, out of the way of the
door, and let me tell you a bit about this old church and its founder.
This Rahere was the King's jester, who came to see the error of his
ways, grew very religious, and went on a pilgrimage. While on his
journey back, he became seriously ill, and turned to St. Bartholomew
for healing, promising to build a hospital for poor men if his
petition were granted. He was cured, and on his return to London, he
built the hospital and also this church, in which he is himself
buried."

They were all delighted with this story, and went immediately to find
Rahere's tomb, of which the ancient effigy is covered by a fine canopy
of much later date. One other tomb is that of Sir Walter Mildmay, who
was Chancellor of the Exchequer to Queen Elizabeth, and founder of
Emmanuel College, Oxford. John discovered the following quaint
epitaph, which greatly amused the entire party:

     "Shee first deceased, Hee for a little Tryd,
     To live without her, likd it not, and dyd."

This adorns the tomb of John and Margaret Whiting, in the north
transept.

Some time was passed in this wonderful church,--climbing the tiny,
spiral stairs up to the clerestory, and going cautiously along the bit
of a walk at this dizzy height above the floor of the church.

It needs time and much study to appreciate this sad old church, which,
in spite of its broken pieces of marble, and ruined splendor and
perfection of form, still bravely stands,--a lonely and pathetic relic
of its grand past. A young person can scarcely understand it at all;
it needs a grown man or woman whose experience enables him to read in
the crumbling pillars and walls, stories of the times when England was
young, the Church was the great glory and power, and there still lived
men who were "fair and fortunate."

In the vicinity of Smithfield are a number of quaint nooks and corners
of old London. Many consider that the very best idea of the ancient
city may now be had in Cloth Fair and Bartholomew Close, both of which
are in this neighborhood. Here are still standing genuine Sixteenth
Century houses amid much darkness and dirt.

"Here in Bartholomew Close," stated Mrs. Pitt, "Benjamin Franklin
learned his trade of printing, and Washington Irving, John Milton, and
the painter Hogarth, all lived."

From Smithfield they hastily betook themselves, by means of hansoms,
to Crosby Hall, there to have luncheon. Mrs. Pitt laughed heartily
when John said how glad he was to be able to eat amid ancient
surroundings. He declared that he had been spending the entire morning
so very far back in the Middle Ages, that it would have been too great
a shock had he been taken immediately to a vulgar, modern restaurant.

When they had finished their luncheon and were waiting on a street
corner for the arrival of a certain bus, suddenly a thrill of
excitement went through the crowd, all traffic was quickly drawn up at
the sides of the street where it halted, and a weird cry of
"Hi-yi-yi-yi-yi" was heard in the distance.

"It's the fire-brigade," cried Philip, whereupon he and John were
tense with anticipation.

Down the cleared street came the galloping horses with the
fire-engines, the men clinging to them wearing dark-blue uniforms with
red bindings, big brass helmets, which gleamed in the sunshine, and
hatchets in their belts.

It happened that the fire was very near where our friends were
standing, so at the eager solicitations of the two boys, Mrs. Pitt
consented to follow on and watch operations.

"So it really is a fire this time," she said to Betty, as they hurried
along. "We have very, very few in London, and when the brigade is out,
it is generally only for exercise or practice. But, it will interest
you and John to see how we fight a fire, and to observe whether the
methods differ from yours."

A building on Bishopsgate Street was really very much on fire when the
party reached the spot, and the firemen were hard at work. Although
the buildings are not high (or at least not according to American
standards), the men use very strong ladders, which can be pulled out
so that they will reach to great heights. But the queerest thing of
all in John's estimation was the way in which the people on the top
floor of the building were rescued.

A long canvas tube was carried up a ladder by a fireman, who attached
it to the frame of an upper window. The occupants of that floor were
then slid one by one to the ground through this tube, being caught at
the bottom by the firemen.

"Well, did you ever see anything like that!" cried John, amazed at the
funny sight. "It's great, I say! I'd like to try it!"

All the way up town, the talk was of fires. John had been tremendously
interested in the English methods, and was planning to introduce the
use of the canvas tube to his own city through a good Irish friend of
his at a Boston fire-station.

"Honor bright, don't you have many fires over here?" he demanded of
Mrs. Pitt. "We have 'em all the time at home. It must be stupid here
without 'em!"

"No, we really have very few," Mrs. Pitt responded. "In winter, there
are a number of small outbreaks, but those are very slight. You see,
we burn soft coal, and if the chimney is not swept out quite
regularly, the soot which gathers there is apt to get afire. When a
chimney does have a blaze, the owner has to pay a fine of one pound,
or five dollars, to make him remember his chimney. In olden times,
perhaps two hundred and fifty years ago, there used to be a tax
levied on every chimney in a house. There's a curious old epitaph in
a church-yard at Folkestone, which bears upon this subject. It reads
something like this:

     'A house she hath, 'tis made in such good fashion,
     That tenant n'ere shall pay for reparation,
     Nor will her landlord ever raise her rent,
     Nor turn her out-of-doors for non-payment,
     From chimney-money too, this house is free,
     Of such a house who would not tenant be.'"

They all joined in a good laugh over this, but Betty remarked that she
thought it was "more of an advertisement for a house than an epitaph."

Their particular bus had been slowly making its way down Ludgate Hill,
along Fleet Street, into the Strand, through Trafalgar Square and
Piccadilly Circus, into Piccadilly itself, and had now reached Hyde
Park Corner, where our friends climbed down the stairs and swung
themselves off.

Betty was grumbling just a little. "I never can get down those tiny
stairs," she exclaimed, "without almost bumping my head and catching
my umbrella in the stair-rail!"

Mrs. Pitt smiled. "That shows you are not a true Londoner, my dear. We
are never troubled. But, never mind; they don't have buses in
Switzerland."

At this, Betty was instantly herself again. "London wouldn't be London
without the funny, inconvenient buses, I know. And it's dear, every
inch of it,--buses and all!"

Mrs. Pitt pointed out Apsley House, where lived the great Duke of
Wellington. A curious fact about this stately old mansion is that on
fine afternoons, the shadow of a nearby statue of this hero is thrown
full upon the front of his former home.

[Illustration: OLD GENTLEMEN, STOUT LADIES, YOUNG PEOPLE, AND SMALL
CHILDREN, ALL RIDE IN ENGLAND. _Page 287._]

As they were about to enter Hyde Park through the imposing gate, Mrs.
Pitt said:--

"When we stand here and gaze at this scene before us,--the crowd,
beautiful park, fine hotels, houses, and shops,--it is hard to realize
that this was a dangerous, remote district as recently as 1815. That
was the time of many daring robberies, you know, when it was not safe
walking, riding, or even traveling in a big coach, because of the
highwaymen. Even so late as the year I just mentioned, this vicinity
from Hyde Park to Kensington was patrolled, and people went about in
companies so as to be comparatively secure."

The remainder of that lovely afternoon was spent in Hyde Park,
watching the riding and driving. Having paid the fee of threepence
each for the use of their chairs, it was pleasant to sit and look on
at the gay sight. Old gentlemen, stout ladies, young people, and small
children, all ride, in England, and at certain times of the day,
during "the season" (May and June), Hyde Park is always filled with a
merry company. In midsummer it is rather more deserted, and yet the
walks stretching between the flower-beds, and the Serpentine stream,
are always flocking with people on summer Sundays or "bank holidays."

And so passed the last days which John and Betty spent in London. All
the favorite spots--Westminster Abbey, the Tower, Kensington Palace,
and many others--had to be revisited, just as though the young people
never thought to see them again; and then, at last came the day when
the father and mother were expected. They all trooped to Euston
Station to meet the train, and in triumph escorted the American
friends back to Cavendish Square. There they remained for two short
days and then carried the almost reluctant John and Betty away with
them. Mrs. Pitt, Philip, and Barbara remained behind on the platform,
waving a last good-by, and still hearing the many thanks and
expressions of gratitude which John and Betty had repeatedly poured
into their ears, in return for their delightful visit to England.

                         THE END.



INDEX


 Addison, Joseph, 136

 Alfred the Great, 222, 227, 229

 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 223, 227

 Anne of Cleves, 255, 257

 Anne, Queen, 70, 112, 114

 Arden, Forest of, 158, 169, 202

 "As You Like It," 157

 Austen, Jane, 226


 Bankside, 90

 Bartholomew Close, 281

 Bear-baiting, 90

 Becket, St. Thomas à, 254, 264

 Bell Inn, Edmonton, 118

 "Big Ben," 107

 Blackheath, 256

 Black Prince, Edward the, 120, 263

 Boleyn, Anne, 61, 103, 128, 136

 "Bow Bells," 17, 118

 Bunyan, John, 89

 Bus-drivers, 16

 Buses, 11


 Cambridge, 91

 Canterbury, 261
   Cathedral, 262
   Chequers of Hope Inn, 267
   Cloisters of Cathedral, 265
   Pilgrims, 90, 252, 267
   Shrine of St. Thomas à Becket, 263
   St. Martin's Church, 269
   Tales, 253

 Carlyle, Thomas, 124

 Caroline, Queen, 129

 Chalfont St. Giles, 105

 Charing Cross, 67

 Charlecote, 167
   Park, 167

 Charles I, 100, 102

 Charles II, 114, 257

 Chatsworth House, 216

 Chaucer, Geoffrey, 28, 112, 120, 252

 Cheshire Cheese, 78

 Clopton, Sir Hugh, 148

 Cloth Fair, 281

 Clovelly, 238
   Court, 248
   Hobby Drive, 248

 Cockney, 16

 Coventry, 200
   Ford's Hospital, 201
   "Peeping Tom," 200
   St. Mary's Hall, 200

 Cromwell, Oliver, 109, 136, 186, 198

 Crosby Hall, 115


 "Deans, Jeanie," 129

 Deptford, 254

 Devonshire, 238
   Cream, 243
   Legends of, 245

 Dickens, Charles, 28, 257

 Doomsday Book, 121

 Drake, Sir Francis, 249, 255

 Druids, 235


 Edward I, 67, 113
   III, 99, 113, 277
   the Confessor, 112

 Elizabeth, Queen, 52, 60, 69, 102, 112, 114, 129, 136, 169, 171, 197,
   220, 255

 Essex, Earl of, 61, 124

 Eton School, 98

 Evans, Mary Ann (George Eliot), 124


 Fawkes, Guy, 58, 120

 Fire Brigade, 282

 Fountains Abbey, 208

 Franklin, Benjamin, 282


 Gastrell, Rev. Francis, 148

 George III, 56, 126

 Gilpin, John, 118

 Globe Theatre, 90

 Gray, Thomas, 96

 Greville, Fulke, 192

 Grey, Lady Jane, 61, 120

 Gunpowder Plot, 58


 Haddon Hall, 216

 Hampton Court, 130

 Harvard, John, 90, 146

 Hathaway, Anne, 153, 157, 162

 Henrietta Maria, Queen, 129

 Henry II, 267
   IV, 59, 263
   V, 104, 113, 257
   VII, Chapel of, 111
   VIII, 100, 124, 128, 131, 257, 259

 Hogarth, William, 282

 Holbein, Hans, 89, 133

 Holy Trinity Church, Stratford, 152

 Horse Guards, 21, 275

 Houses of Parliament, 13, 107, 123

 Howard, Queen Catharine, 133, 136

 Hyde Park Corner, 16, 285


 Irving, Washington, 161, 282


 James I of Scotland, 104

 Jerusalem Chamber, 35


 Kenilworth Castle, 196

 Kew Gardens, 125
   Palace, 126

 Kingsley, Charles, 248


 Lambeth Palace, 123

 Leamington, 182

 Leicester, Earl of, 59, 135, 171, 191, 198

 "Little John," 206

 Lollards, 124

 London Bridge, 87


 Mansfield, 203

 Marlowe, Christopher, 255, 267

 Mary, Queen, 76, 226
   Queen of Scots, 112

 "Midsummer Night's Dream," 157

 Milton, John, 105, 282

 Miracle Plays, 200

 More, Sir Thomas, 53, 62, 89, 115, 124


 National Gallery, 13, 275

 Nelson, Lord, 13, 74, 114

 Nottingham, 204, 214


 Oxford, 18, 92


 Paternoster Row, 118

 Pembroke, Countess of, 48, 115

 Penshurst Place, 42

 Pepys, Samuel, 259

 "Pickwick Papers," 258

 Pitt, William, 26, 114

 Pope, Alexander, 136

 Prentices, 22

 "Princes, the Little," 54

 Public Record Office, 119


 Rahere, 279

 Raleigh, Sir Walter, 63, 120

 Richard I, 211
   II, 59, 113, 277
   III, 115

 Richmond Palace, 129
   Park, 128

 Robin Hood, 203

 Robsart, Amy, 182, 194

 Rochester, 258
   Bull Inn, 258
   Crown Inn, 259
   Falstaff Inn, 260
   Gad's Hill, 260
   Restoration House, 259
   White Hart Inn, 259

 Round Table, the, 228

 St. Augustine, 270
   Bartholomew the Great,
     Church of, 279
   Cross Hospital, 230
   Helen's Church, 116
   Mary Overy, Southwark, 88
   Paul's Cathedral, 69
   Swithin, 223, 226

 Salisbury Cathedral, 232

 Sarum, Old, 234

 Scott, Sir Walter, 196

 Shakespeare, William, 28, 90, 117, 140, 169

 Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 99

 Shooter's Hill, 257

 Shottery, 163

 Sidney, Sir Philip, 41, 73, 120

 Smithfield, 276
   Market, 276

 Southwark, 90, 252
   Cathedral, 88
   Tabard Inn, 90, 252

 Spenser, Edmund, 28, 49

 Star and Garter Inn, Richmond, 127

 Stoke Poges, 96

 Stonehenge, 234

 Stoneleigh Abbey, 201

 Stone of Scone, 113

 Stratford-on-Avon, 138
   the "Birthplace," 140
   Grammar School, 151
   Guild Chapel, 150
   Holy Trinity Church, 152
   John Harvard House, 146
   New Place, 147
   Red Horse Hotel, 138
   Shakespeare Hotel, 145
   Shakespeare Memorial, 155
   Weir Brake, 156

 Streets in London, names of, 119

 Swift, Dean, 136

 Tabard Inn, 90, 252

 "Tale of Two Cities," 257

 Thames River, the, 122

 Tower of London, 50

 Trafalgar Square, 13, 21

 Tyler, Wat, 278

 Vauxhall, 124

 Vernon, Dorothy, 217

 Wallace, William, 278

 Walpole, Horace, 136

 Warwick Castle, 183
   Guy of, 184, 195
   Guy's Cliff, 194
   Leicester's Hospital, 192
   St. Mary's Church, 190
   "The King-maker," 184
   Vase, 187

 Warwickshire, 167

 Weir Brake, Stratford, 156

 Wellington, Duke of, 74, 286

 Westminster Abbey, 20
   Chapter House, 34
   Cloisters, 30
   Hall, 108
   School, 32

 "Westward Ho!" 248

 White Lodge, 129

 William and Mary, 112, 114

 William III, 134
   Rufus, 108, 226

 Winchester, 222
   Cathedral, 224
   County Court, 228
   Hospital of St. Cross, 230

 Windsor Castle, 99, 128

 "Winter's Tale," 162

 Wolsey, Cardinal, 120, 130



Makers of England Series

By EVA MARCH TAPPAN, Ph.D.

Dr. Tappan's historical works have already become classics for the
young, and well do they deserve it, with their entertaining
descriptions, perfect English, and historical value. Such books are
the best that can be placed in the hands of children; and the fact
that while being instructive there is never a dull line is the highest
commendation that can be offered.

 =In the Days of Alfred the Great=
  Cloth     Fully illustrated                            =Price $1.00=

 =In the Days of William the Conqueror=
  Cloth     Illustrated by J. W. Kennedy                 =Price $1.00=

 =In the Days of Queen Elizabeth=
  Cloth     Illustrated from famous paintings            =Price $1.00=

 =In the Days of Queen Victoria=
  Cloth     Illustrated from paintings and photographs   =Price $1.00=

     Miss Tappan reads her authorities intelligently and selects
     her material wisely, always having her young audience well
     in mind. She has a clear idea of the requirements for
     interesting and stimulating young readers, and arousing in
     them a desire for further research. The entire series are
     admirably adapted to this end, and are warmly recommended to
     the attention of parents, teachers, and
     librarians.--"_Era_", _Philadelphia, Pa._



A Boy of a Thousand Years Ago

By HARRIET T. COMSTOCK. Large 12mo Profusely illustrated with
full-page drawings and chapter headings by GEORGE VARIAN $1.00

It will at once be understood that the "boy" of the story is Alfred
the Great in his youth, but it cannot be understood how delightful a
story this is until it is seen and read. The splendid pictures of
George Varian make this book superior among juveniles.

     "Not a boy lives who will not enjoy this book thoroughly.
     There is a good deal of first-class historical information
     woven into the story, but the best part of it is the
     splendid impression of times and manners it gives in old
     England a thousand years ago."--_Louisville
     Courier-Journal._

     "Mrs. Comstock writes very appreciatively of Little Alfred,
     who was afterward the Great, and from mighty meagre
     materials creates a story that hangs together well. The
     illustrations for this volume are especially
     beautiful."--_Boston Home Journal._


The Story of Joan of Arc FOR BOYS AND GIRLS

By KATE E. CARPENTER Illustrated by AMY BROOKS, also from paintings,
and with map Large 12mo Cloth $1.00

The favorite story of Joan of Arc is here treated in a uniquely
attractive way. "Aunt Kate" tells the story of Joan of Arc to Master
Harold, aged 11, and to Misses Bessie and Marjorie, aged 10 and 8,
respectively, to their intense delight. They look up places on the
map, and have a fine time while hearing the thrilling story, told in
such simple language that they can readily understand it all. Parents
and teachers will also be greatly interested in this book from an
educational point of view.

     "The tale is well told and the children will delight in
     it."--_Chicago Post._

     "Told so simply and clearly that young readers cannot fail
     to be entertained and instructed."--_Congregationalist,
     Boston._



CHILDREN OF OTHER LANDS SERIES

+When I Was a Boy in Japan+

By SAKAE SHIOYA Illustrated from photographs 12mo Cloth $.75

The author was born fifty miles from Tokio, and at the age of twelve
began the study of English at a Methodist school. Later he studied
Natural Science in the First Imperial College at Tokio, after which he
taught English and Mathematics. He came to America in 1901, received
the degree of Master of Arts at the University of Chicago, and took a
two years' post-graduate course at Yale before returning to Japan. No
one could be better qualified to introduce the Japanese to those in
America, and he has done it in a way that will delight both children
and parents.


+When I Was a Girl in Italy+

By MARIETTA AMBROSI 12mo Cloth Illustrated $.75

The author, Marietta Ambrosi, was born in Tyrol, having an
American-born mother of Italian descent, and a Veronese father. Her
entire girlhood was spent in Brescia and other cities of Northern
Italy, and in early womanhood she came with her family to America. Her
story gives a most graphic account of the industries, social customs,
dress, pleasures, and religious observances of the Italian common
people.


+When I Was a Boy in China+

By YAN PHOU LEE 12mo Cloth Illustrated from photographs $.75

New York Independent says: "Yan Phou Lee was one of the young men sent
to this country to be educated here, and finally matriculated at Yale,
where he graduated with honor. 'When I was a Boy in China' embodies
his recollections of his native country. It is certainly attractive,
with more room for nature to operate and play in freely than is
generally attributed to Chinese life."



ELBRIDGE S. BROOKS'S Books for Young Americans


=The True Story of Christopher Columbus=, called the Admiral. Revised
edition. New cover $1.50

     "With its thorough historical research and its novelty of
     treatment, it is the Columbus book of its time."--_The
     Interior_, Chicago.


=The True Story of George Washington=, called the Father of _His
Country_. 4to, cloth $1.50

"Although many excellent biographies of our first President have been
prepared for the young, we think that Mr. Brooks has presented the
best, and has sustained well if not added to his reputation gained by
his previous efforts in historical fields for young readers."--_S. S.
Library Bulletin._


=The True Story of Abraham Lincoln=, the American. Fully illustrated,
4to, cloth $1.50

     "His life reads like a romance, the best romance that ever
     was printed, and Mr. Brooks has done an admirable work....
     The story of Lincoln was never more ably told."--_Evening
     Post_, Chicago.


=The True Story of U. S. Grant=, the American soldier. Fully
illustrated, 4to, cloth $1.50

     "Carefully written in that style which makes Mr. Brooks so
     popular a writer with his young readers."--_The Pilgrim
     Teacher._


=The True Story of Benjamin Franklin=, the American statesman. Profusely
illustrated, 4to $1.50

The only popular life of the great Franklin written from a human
standpoint for the boys and girls of America.

These seven books are now in wide and acceptable use in American
homes, schools, and libraries. They are real stories, true stories,
that interest young readers in and out of school, and imperceptibly
pave the way for their becoming students of America's story and
readers of the bulkier books of American history and biography.

     "An entertaining and instructive series."--_Christian
     Endeavor World._


=The True Story of Lafayette=, the friend of America. One vol.,
illustrated, 4to $1.50

This volume, the seventh in the series of "Children's Lives of Great
Men," will appeal to all young Americans, and older ones as well, to
whom the name of Lafayette is ever dear. It is an absorbing, simply
told, and stirring story of a remarkable character in American
history, and is the "whole story" from the boyhood of the great
Frenchman to the close of his long, dramatic, and romantic career.



ELBRIDGE S. BROOKS'S BOOKS


=The True Story of the United States of America.= Profusely illustrated,
4to, cloth $1.50

This is in every sense a companion volume to the series of "Children's
Lives of Great Men." It tells the true story of the beginnings, rise,
and development of the republic of the United States, without the
dreary array of dates or the dull succession of events that so often
make up history for the young. Its object is to tell the story of the
people of America,--to awaken an interest in motives as well as
persons, in principle rather than in battles, in the patriotism and
manliness that make a people rather than in the simply personal
qualities that make the leader or the individual. The book is very
largely used for supplementary reading in schools, and is accepted as
the most popular "story" of the United States yet told for young
people.


=The Story of Our War with Spain.= Told for young Americans. Profusely
illustrated, one vol., 8vo $1.50

An authentic, complete, up-to-date, and reliable account of the war
for Cuban liberation in 1898, prepared after a careful study of the
best and latest data. It is at once comprehensive, graphic, and
entertaining, and well sustains the reputation earned by this author's
long list of interesting, instructive, and successful books for young
Americans.


=In Buff and Blue=: A STORY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Illustrated by
Merrill, one vol., 8vo $1.50

This stirring story of the Revolution details the adventures of one of
Washington's famous life-guards, who is a college mate of Alexander
Hamilton, and fights with him from Trenton to Yorktown. It deals with
school and camp in the "days that tried men's souls" here in America,
and introduces such famous characters as Washington, Hamilton,
Lafayette, Arnold, André, and Wayne. A splendid book for boys and
girls.


=The Story of the American Indian.= Profusely illustrated, 4to, cloth
$1.50

The first and only complete and consecutive story of the red men of
America. It is sympathetic but not sentimental, practical but not
one-sided, picturesque but not romantic. A book for all Americans to
read.


=The Story of the American Sailor.= Illustrated, 4to, cloth $1.50

The only story of the American blue-jacket, whaler, fisherman,
merchantman, and foremast-hand, cabin boy, captain, commodore, and
admiral. A grand book for all lovers of heroism on the
sea,--especially American heroism.



ELBRIDGE S. BROOKS'S BOOKS


=The Story of the American Soldier.= Illustrated, 4to, cloth $1.50

A stirring and graphic record of the American fighting man,--the
soldier who has secured peace through war,--from the days of
mound-builders and red Indians to those of Grant, Sherman, Sheridan,
and Miles.


=The Story of New York.= (STORY OF THE STATES SERIES.) Illustrated, 8vo,
cloth $1.50

This initial volume of the "Story of the States Series," of which Mr.
Brooks is editor, is a story of the beginnings and development of the
Empire State, told in a delightful and attractive manner.

     "More like a charming fireside legend, told by a grandfather
     to eager children, than the dry and pompous chronicles
     commonly labelled history."--_Critic_, New York.


=Storied Holidays=: A Cycle of Red-Letter Days. Illustrated by Howard
Pyle, 12mo, cloth $1.50

A unique and charming collection of historical stories about the
world's holidays, told by the author of "Historic Boys" and "Historic
Girls" Splendidly illustrated by Howard Pyle.

     "A book for buying and keeping that the children, as they
     grow up, and the parents, too, may dip into and
     read."--_Sunday School Times._


=The Boy Life of Napoleon=, afterwards Emperor of the French. Translated
and adapted for American children from the French of Madame Eugénie
Foa. Illustrated by Vesper L. George, and by numerous photographs. One
vol., square 8vo $1.25

"The style of the book is simple and graceful, and it has the merit of
historical accuracy, also of dramatic action. For those who wish their
boys and girls to study the life of the great Emperor of France, we
know of no better book than this."--_Literary World_, Boston.


=In Leisler's Times=: A Story of Knickerbocker New York, told for boys
and girls. Illustrated by W. T. Smedley, 12mo, cloth $1.50

A stirring, dramatic, and vivid historical tale, based on the
remarkable record of Jacob Leisler, earliest of American
patriots,--the first people's governor of New York.

     "A good boy's book; manly, patriotic, and readable."--_The
     Independent._


=In No Man's Land=: A Wonder Story. Illustrated by Childe Hassam, 12mo,
cloth $1.00

An "Alice in Wonderland" story about an American "Alice" whose name
was Ruthie, and who went to No Man's Land in a street-car. Full of fun
and fancy. The children's favorite wonder story.

     "Sparkles all over with glee.... There is not a dull line in
     it."--_The Dial._



W. O. STODDARD'S BOOKS

12mo Cloth Price per volume, $1.25


=DAN MONROE: A Story of Bunker Hill= Illustrated by W. F. Kennedy

In this volume the hero is one whose name is found in several
trustworthy records as the drummer boy of the Lexington militia, his
closest friend, Nat Harrington, being the fifer. The Concord fight,
the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the arrival of Washington are
introduced as parts of a carefully preserved historical outline.


=LONG BRIDGE BOYS= Illustrated by I. B. Hazelton

It tells the story of an actual attempt made by the Confederates of
Virginia, just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, to seize the
city of Washington by force of arms, and make prisoners of President
Lincoln and other high government officials.


=AHEAD OF THE ARMY= Illustrated by C. Chase Emerson

This is a lively narrative of the experiences of an American boy who
arrives in Mexico as the war with the United States is beginning.


=THE ERRAND BOY OF ANDREW JACKSON: A War Story of 1812= Illustrated by
Will Crawford

This tale is of the War of 1812, and describes the events of the only
land campaign of 1812-1814 in which the Americans were entirely
successful.


=JACK MORGAN: A Boy of 1818= Illustrated by Will Crawford

It is the adventures of a boy of the frontier during the great fight
that Harrison made on land, and Perry on the lakes for the security of
the border.


=THE NOANK'S LOG: A Privateer of the Revolution= Illustrated by Will
Crawford

The further adventures of the plucky Guert Ten Eyck, as he fought King
George on land and sea.


=THE DESPATCH BOAT OF THE WHISTLE: A Story of Santiago= Illustrated by
Frank T. Merrill

A breezy story of a newspaper despatch boat, in the war with Spain.


=GUERT TEN EYCK= Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill

A hero story of real American girls and boys, in the American
Revolution.


=THE PARTNERS= Illustrated by Albert Scott Cox

A capital story of a bright, go-ahead country girl and two boys who
helped her keep store.


=CHUCK PURDY: A New York Boy= Illustrated

A delightful story of boy life in New York City.


=GID GRANGER: A Country Boy= Illustrated

A capital story of American life.



George Gary Eggleston's Juveniles

 =The Bale Marked Circle X=
 A Blockade Running Adventure

Illustrated by C. Chase Emerson. 12mo, red cloth, illustrated cover,
$1.50.

Another of Mr. Eggleston's stirring books for youth. In it are told
the adventures of three boy soldiers in the Confederate Service who
are sent in a sloop on a secret voyage from Charleston to the Bahamas,
conveying a strange bale of cotton which holds important documents.
The boys pass through startling adventures: they run the blockade,
suffer shipwreck, and finally reach their destination after the
pluckiest kind of effort.


 =Camp Venture=
 A Story of the Virginia Mountains

Illustrated by W. A. McCullough. 12mo, dark red cloth, illustrated
cover, $1.50.

The _Louisville Courier Journal_ says: "George Gary Eggleston has
written a decidedly good tale of pluck and adventure in 'Camp
Venture.' It will be of interest to young and old who enjoy an
exciting story, but there is also a great deal of instruction and
information in the book."


 =The Last of the Flatboats=
 A Story of the Mississippi

Illustrated by Charlotte Harding. 12mo, green cloth, illustrated
cover, $1.50.

The _Brooklyn Eagle_ says: "Mr. George Gary Eggleston, the veteran
editor and author, has scored a double success in his new book, 'The
Last of the Flatboats,' which has just been published. Written
primarily as a story for young readers, it contains many things that
are of interest to older people. Altogether, it is a mighty good
story, and well worth reading."



_YOUNG DEFENDER SERIES_

By ELBRIDGE S. BROOKS


=IN DEFENCE OF THE FLAG=

=A Boy's Adventures in Spain and Cuba in the War of 1898=

Illustrated by W. F. STECHER 12mo Cloth $1.25

A story of action and adventure such as all healthy boys like, telling
of a plucky young American who defended his country's flag against
mobs in Spain and foemen in Cuba, and had many thrilling experiences.

     "Suffice it to say that he will be a lucky boy, with many a
     thrill before him, who finds this book in his Christmas
     stocking. Don is a hero after every boy's heart."--_Boston
     Herald._


=WITH LAWTON AND ROBERTS=

=A Boy's Adventures in the Philippines and the Transvaal=

Illustrated by C. CHASE EMERSON 12mo Cloth $1.25

The stirring adventures of a manly American boy who follows Lawton in
his last campaigns, and by a singular train of circumstances has
"moving accidents by flood and field," in two wars, with American
soldiers, Filipino insurrectos, Malay pirates, English troopers, and
Boer burghers.

     "Mr. Brooks presents vivid pictures of both wars, so widely
     separated. His pages are full of the swift-moving incidents
     which boys love. Dull indeed must be the young reader whose
     interest flags."--_Boston Journal._

=UNDER THE ALLIED FLAGS=

=A Boy's Adventures in China During the Boxer Revolt=

Illustrated by W. F. STECHER 12mo Cloth $1.25

The stirring story of an American boy's adventures in Tien Tsin and
Pekin, in the ranks of the International troops and as one of the
defenders of the beleaguered legations. Up-to-date, absorbing, and
full of healthy excitement. Characters who are in the stories "With
Lawton and Roberts" and "In Defence of the Flag" reappear in this
story.

     "Men and women, boys and girls, of all the mingled
     nationalities that made this war in China so picturesque,
     appear in the story and give it vigor, variety, and
     unflagging interest."--_Cleveland World._


For sale by all booksellers or sent postpaid on receipt of price by
the publishers,

LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO., BOSTON



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES:

1. Minor changes have been made to correct typesetters' errors;
otherwise, every effort has been made to remain true to the author's
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original word, in the book, had those characters in superscript.

3. In the advertising pages at the end of this e-text, the use of =
on either side of a phrase indicates that the title was typeset in a
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