Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 113
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 113
accorded them. They lived at ease in the roomy mansions on their great tenant-farmed estates; and they also usually owned fine houses in either New York or Albany, and sometimes in both. Their houses were really extremely comfortable, and were built with a certain stately simplicity of style which contrasted very favorably with the mean or pretentious architecture of most New York buildings dating back to the early or middle portions of the present century. They were filled with many rooms, wherein a host of kinsmen, friends, and retainers might dwell; and they had great halls, broad verandas, heavy mahoganyrailed staircases, and huge open fireplaces, which in winter were crammed with roaring logs. The furniture was handsome, but stiff and heavy; the books were few; and there were masses of silver plate on the sideboards of the large dining-rooms. The gentry carried swords, and dressed in the artificial, picturesque fashion of the English upper classes; whereas the commonalty went about their work in smocks or leather aprons. Near Trinity Church was the “mall,” or promenade for the fashionable set of the little colonial town. By an unwritten law none but the members of the ruling class used it; and no fine afternoons it was filled with a gayly dressed throng of young men and pretty girls, the latter attended by their negro waiting maids. Prominent in the crowd, were the



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