Quotes Houses II

October 22nd to 28th


They entered the hall— just such a high light hall as such a house should own. A slim-balustered staircase, wide and shallow and once creamy white, climbed out of it under a long oval window. On either side delicately moulded doors gave onto wool-lumbered rooms, whose sea-green mantlepieces were adorned with nymphs, scrolls, and Cupids in low relief.


This is from “An Habitation Enforced” in Actions and Reactions.

George Chapin, an American businessman who has suffered a breakdown from overwork, is travelling in Europe with his wife Sophie to recuperate. In deepest Sussex farmland they happen on a deserted and elegant old house. They fall in love with it, buy it and settle down to make a new life in the English countryside.

The old farmhouse, weather-tiled to the ground, took almost the colour of a blood-red ruby in the afternoon light. The pigeons pecked at the mortar in the chimney-stacks; the bees that had lived under the tiles since it was built filled the hot August air with their booming; and the smell of the box-tree by the dairy window mixed with the smell of earth after rain, bread after baking, and a tickle of wood-smoke.


This is from “Hal o’ the Draft” in Puck of Pook’s Hill.

After a rainy afternoon, the sun has come out, and the children and their companions have walked out through the grass to the knoll where Little Lindens stands, on the Bateman’s estate.

It expresses Rudyard Kipling’s deep love of the sights and sounds and smells of the home place where he had settled in the English countryside.

Then we came to silence more profound—the utter quiet of an old, low-roofed, deep-verandahed house, sitting with its hands folded among its lawns, terraces, bathing-ponds, statues and flaming-flowered trees …  its deep breathing spirit, through all the low-lighted rooms, opening one out of another, drew from unaltering generations. One wanted to know about this house. Who had lived here in the old days? And particularly, who lived here now of nights?


This is from São Paulo and a Coffee Estate, one of Kipling’s  articles from his visit to Brazil in 1927. collected in 1927.

Kipling was entrances by this graceful old house, which spoke of hundreds of  years of tradition.