Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/465

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355
DOMESTIC LIFE

plays. A library and chapel were other necessary rooms, as was the long gallery.

The gallery, a wide and long corridor, often extended across the whole side or end of a house, and was one of the essential features of the larger Elizabethan mansion. It, however, was not in reality utilised to advantage as a corridor in order to give access to rooms. It was rather a walk and place of exercise, where one could get the light and take the air in bad weather.

Closets and drawers were not then in general use; and though chests were common articles of bedroom furniture, they did not obviate the necessity of a wardrobe, or room where the garments were hung upon pegs about the walls.

One very inconvenient feature of Elizabethan houses is of interest. The people, even of the better class, seem to have had no conception of or desire for privacy of daily life at home. In consequence, separate entrances to rooms were almost undreamed of. One room opened into another, and that into a third. So arranged were they that often a series of half a dozen apartments were so connected that in order to reach one of them it was necessary to traverse several or all of the others; and this, too, in the case of bedrooms. Furthermore, it was not an infrequent custom to convert one large room into sev-