Page:Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands.djvu/337

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HAMPTON COURT.

��THIS palace, about twelve miles from London is, in its exterior, neither imposing nor symmetrical. A series of irregular quadrangles, portions of it are gratuitously accorded as abodes to the descendants of noble families, reduced in fortune ; so that it has been sometimes ironically called the "peer s poor- house."

Originally built by "Wolsey, and extorted from him, as a gift, by the jealous tyranny of his royal master, it was dilapidated during the wars of Cromwell, and beautified by William and Mary, who chose it as their favorite residence. In the conservatory, among many orange trees, two are pointed out as their coevals, which their antiquated aspect might seem to confirm. We paid our respects, to what visitants seldom overlook, the great, old Hamburgh vine. It has a chronology of nearly a century, and a whole green-house devoted to its accommodation. Its stalk is like the trunk of a tree, its main branch extends 110 feet, and its roots still further, running about eighteen inches below the surface. The gardeners, who were exceedingly proud

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