I've Often Thought I Should Like To Live At Hampton Court.
It looks so
peaceful and so quiet, and it is such a dear old place to ramble round in
the early morning before many people are about.
But, there, I don't suppose I should really care for it when it came to
actual practice. It would be so ghastly dull and depressing in the
evening, when your lamp cast uncanny shadows on the panelled walls, and
the echo of distant feet rang through the cold stone corridors, and now
drew nearer, and now died away, and all was death-like silence, save the
beating of one's own heart.
We are creatures of the sun, we men and women. We love light and life.
That is why we crowd into the towns and cities, and the country grows
more and more deserted every year. In the sunlight - in the daytime,
when Nature is alive and busy all around us, we like the open hill-sides
and the deep woods well enough: but in the night, when our Mother Earth
has gone to sleep, and left us waking, oh! the world seems so lonesome,
and we get frightened, like children in a silent house. Then we sit and
sob, and long for the gas-lit streets, and the sound of human voices, and
the answering throb of human life. We feel so helpless and so little in
the great stillness, when the dark trees rustle in the night-wind. There
are so many ghosts about, and their silent sighs make us feel so sad.
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