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night session of congress during the exciting controversy over the Kansas and Nebraska bill, the architect of the capitol asked for an appropriation of one hundred thousand dollars for a new dome. It was voted that night, but by the time the old dome was removed the appropriation had been exhausted, and congress was pushed, though grudging it, to give a second hundred thousand to complete the work. The new dome is a magnificent piece of work, made of cast-iron plates bolted together in huge upright ribs like those of a vessel, rising above the balustrade of the building two hundred and eighteen feet, and weighing nine million pounds. It rests on an octagonal base rising ninety-three feet above the basement floor, and, as it leaves the top line of the building, consisting of a peristyle of thirty-six fluted iron columns, twenty-seven feet high. The apex of the dome is crowned by a magnificent bronze statue of Freedom, designed by Crawford, and standing nineteen and a quarter feet high. The attitude of the figure is one of poise and strength, yet it is full of feminine grace and softness. It faces the east and overlooks, not the city as it now lies, but the level plains to the east of the capitol where it was once supposed the city would lie.

THE WHITE HOUSE.

PROR:

ROBABLY no building in the world has, in the short space of one

century, been the centre of more power, more patlıcs, more sentiinent, more historical interest-perhaps of more tragedi --than 14 big white house, with its plain, unpretentious exterior, that stands overlooking the broad Potomac and the low Virginia hills. Hero twenty-three Presidents have lived, and two have died. From here went Lincoln, to be the martyr of a dastard's buliet; from here iver: Garfield in the flush of his genial, sunny life, to be brought back to suffer long weeks of manfully borne pain, and to die, at last, ky the sea-side. Here died Harrison, a martyr to office, and here linilly, bluff Zachary Taylor breathed his last. Here, was married in her bright young girlhood the sweet daughter of our greatest generai, and here, too, in the last administration, was consummated the pretty romance of the President's life, while a whole Nation looked on with sentimental interest and approval.

But the plain, modest house gives no hint of all this. From the outside it is merely a spacious, substantial dwelling, with white walls, small, old-fashioned windows, and an utter absence of effect or pretense. Any successful merchant of a western city may live in a better. In the front and rear of the building are large porticoes, supported by plain white pillars. In point of artistic beauty and architectural fitness, the smaller portico at the rear is much the finer of the two. On the ground floor of the Executive mansion, as it is properly called, are the big east room, extending the entire depth of the buildirg, the green room, the red room and the oval blue room. Besides these parlors, there is the long corridor back of the vestibule, running crosswise and leading past the three parlors to the conservatory beyond,

and the state and private dining-rooms. The east room, where Mrs. Adams used to dry the Executive under-garments, is used by the President for public receptions, and is the only room open at all times for the inspection of visitors. The room is too large and too plain to admit of much decorative effect. It has a thick carpet of old gold and olive shades, with massive chairs and tête-à-têtes upholstered with plush of the same shade, large mirrors, a table or two, and a few decorative pieces, together with the paintings of Washington and Jefferson. The other apartments of the mansion are more luxurious and home-like. The prevailing tone of the blue room is the green-blue known as robin's-egg. The parlor is oval in shape and has long been the favorite parlor of the Presidents' wives. The red room, used as a reception parlor by the ladies of the White House, is in dark reds, and with its piano, screens and magnificent carved-wood mantel is the handsomest of the three private parlors. Opening from this is the state dining-room, in tones of yellow, seating thirty-eight guests at its long table. Here hangs the fine portrait of Mrs. Hayes, presented to the government by the Women's Christian Temperance Union, perhaps by way of reminder at state dinners, of the cold water principles it commemorates.

One of the most beautiful effects on the ground floor is in the long corridor, where "the light coming through the partition of wrinkled, stained-glass mosaic, makes a marvelously rich and gorgeous effect, falling upon the silver niches where stand dwarf palmetto trees, and the silver net-work of the ceiling and the sumptuous furniture."

On the upper floor, which is reached by a private stairway at the end of the long corridor, are the private apartments of the President's family, including the library, which is directly over the blue room, and is, like that, oval in form. On this floor also are the Executive offices, reached by a public stairway which ascends from the small hall between the vestibule and the east room.

A wide hall runs from end to end of the second story, but is partitioned off in order to separate the family rooms of the President from the offices. Besides the sleeping rooms of the servants, there are but seven chambers in the Executive mansion. The hospitality of the White House must, therefore, necessarily be limited, if the President has even a moderately large household of his own. However, there is still the big state guest chamber, which stands for the intentional, if not the actual, hospitality of the Executive mansion.

The social life at the White House is, of course, largely determined by

the wish of its occupants. There are certain events that must be provided for, however. There must be two or three public receptions during a session of congress, a New Year's reception, with attendance of the senators and congressmen, of the foreign ambassadors, of the officers of the army and navy, and lastly of the pushing, powerful public. The dinner invitations of the President usually include within the season, the senators, the justices of the supreme court, the cabinet, the foreign ministers and certain distinguished men in the house and in the army and navy. There is also once or twice in the season a reception given by the President for the senators and the representatives and their families, for which cards are issued.

Of course, there is much informal social life in the White House, and that is, perhaps, the most enjoyable—a few guests to luncheon or dinner, with music and conversation in the evening, after the custom of any other well-conducted family. Formerly, there was a traditional etiquette which sorbade a President to make visits or to be a guest in the house of any friend. But General Grant, with his prompt common sense, saw fit to break through this precedent, and his successors have been glad to follow his example. Now the President has all the social liberty he desires; he may make calls, dine out, attend receptions and avail himself of all his social privileges, to his own pleasure. "It is pleasing to notice,” says a keen observer of men and things at the capital, “that the tendency of White House customs is toward less formality and more ease and freedom of social intercourse, rather than in the other direction. And this is remarkable at a time when our new moneyed aristocracy is aping the manners of courts and surrounding itself with liveried flunkies.”

and the state and private dining-rooms. The east room, where Mrs. Adams used to dry the Executive under-garments, is used by the President for public receptions, and is the only room open at all times for the inspection of visitors. The room is too large and too plain to admit of much decorative effect. It has a thick carpet of old gold and olive shades, with massive chairs and tête-à-têtes upholstered with plush of the same shade, large mirrors, a table or two, and a few decorative pieces, together with the paintings of Washington and Jefferson. The other apartments of the mansion are more luxurious and home-like. The prevailing tone of the blue room is the green-blue known as robin's-egg. The parlor is oval in shape and has long been the favorite parlor of the Presidents' wives. The red room, used as a reception parlor by the ladies of the White House, is in dark reds, and with its piano, screens and magnificent carved-wood mantel is the handsomest of the three private parlors. Opening from this is the state dining-room, in tones of yellow, seating thirty-eight guests at its long table. Here hangs the fine portrait of Mrs. Hayes, presented to the government by the Women's Christian Temperance Union, perhaps by way of reminder at state dinners, of the cold water principles it commemorates.

One of the most beautiful effects on the ground floor is in the long corridor, where “the light coming through the partition of wrinkled, stained-glass mosaic, makes a marvelously rich and gorgeous effect, falling upon the silver niches where stand dwarf palmetto trees, and the silver net-work of the ceiling and the sumptuous furniture.”

On the upper floor, which is reached by a private stairway at the end of the long corridor, are the private apartments of the President's family, including the library, which is directly over the blue room, and is, like that, oval in form. On this floor also are the Executive offices, reached by a public stairway which ascends from the small hall between the vestibule and the east room.

A wide hall runs from end to end of the second story, but is partitioned off in order to separate the family rooms of the President from the offices. Besides the sleeping rooms of the servants, there are but seven chambers in the Executive mansion. The hospitality of the White House must, therefore, necessarily be limited, if the President has even a moderately large household of his own. However, there is still the big state guest chamber, which stands for the intentional, if not the actual, hospitality of the Executive mansion.

The social life at the White House is, of course, largely determined by

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