Part 2 out of 2
which we were placed went across at the head. When we are placed,
the herald stands behind the Lord Mayor and cries: "My Lords,
Ladies, and Gentlemen, pray silence, for grace." Then the chaplain
in his gown, goes behind the Lord Mayor and says grace. After the
second course two large gold cups, nearly two feet high, are placed
before the Mayor and Mayoress. The herald then cries with a loud
voice: "His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, the American
Minister, the Lord Chief Baron," etc., etc. (enumerating about a
dozen of the most distinguished guests), "and ladies and gentlemen
all, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress do bid you most heartily
welcome and invite you to drink in a loving cup." Whereupon the
Mayor and Mayoress rise and each turn to their next neighbor, who
take off the cover while they drink. After my right-hand neighbor,
the Lord Mayor-elect, had put on the cover, he turns to me and says,
"Please take off the cover," which I do and hold it while he drinks;
then I replace the cover and turn round to Mr. Bancroft, who rises
and performs the same office for me while I drink; then he turns to
his next neighbor, who takes off the cover for him. I have not felt
so solemn since I stood up to be married as when Mr. Bancroft and I
were standing up alone together, the rest of the company looking on,
I with this great heavy gold cup in my hand, so heavy that I could
scarcely lift it to my mouth with both hands, and he with the cover
before me, with rather a mischievous expression in his face. Then
came two immense gold platters filled with rose water, which were
also passed round. These gold vessels were only used by the persons
at the head table; the other guests were served with silver cups.
When the dessert and the wine are placed on the table, the herald
says, "My Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen, please to charge your
glasses." After we duly charge our glasses the herald cries:
"Lords, Ladies, and Gentlemen, pray silence for the Lord Mayor." He
then rises and proposes the first toast, which is, of course, always
"The Queen." After a time came the "American Minister," who was
obliged to rise up at my elbow and respond. We got home just after
And now let me try to give you some faint idea of Audley End, which
is by far the most magnificent house I have seen yet. It was built
by the Earl of Suffolk, son of the Duke of Norfolk who was beheaded
in Elizabeth's reign for high treason, upon the site of an abbey,
the lands of which had been granted by the crown to that powerful
family. One of the Earls of Suffolk dying without sons, the EARLDOM
passed into another branch and the BARONY and ESTATE of Howard de
Walden came into the female line. In course of time, a Lord Howard
de Walden dying without a son, his title also passed into another
family, but his estate went to his nephew, Lord Braybrooke, the
father of the present Lord. Lady Braybrooke is the daughter of the
Marquis of Cornwallis, and granddaughter of our American Lord
The house is of the Elizabethan period and is one of the best
preserved specimens of that style, but of its vast extent and
magnificence I can give you no idea. We arrived about five o'clock,
and were ushered through an immense hall of carved oak hung with
banners up a fine staircase to the grand saloon, where we were
received by the host and hostess. Now of this grand saloon I must
try to give you a conception. It was, I should think, from seventy-
five to one hundred feet in length. The ceiling overhead was very
rich with hanging corbels, like stalactites, and the entire walls
were panelled, with a full-length family portrait in each panel,
which was arched at the top, so that the whole wall was composed of
these round-topped pictures with rich gilding between.
Notwithstanding its vast size, the sofas and tables were so disposed
all over the apartment as to give it the most friendly, warm, and
Lady Braybrooke herself ushered me to my apartments, which were the
state rooms. First came Mr. Bancroft's dressing-room, where was a
blazing fire. Then came the bedroom, with the state bed of blue and
gold, covered with embroidery, and with the arms and coronet of
Howard de Walden. The walls were hung with crimson and white
damask, and the sofas and chairs also, and it was surrounded by
pictures, among others a full length of Queen Charlotte, just
opposite the foot of the bed, always saluted me every morning when I
awoke, with her fan, her hoop, and her deep ruffles.
My dressing-room, which was on the opposite side from Mr.
Bancroft's, was a perfect gem. It was painted by the famous Rebecco
who came over from Italy to ornament so many of the great English
houses at one time. The whole ceiling and walls were covered with
beautiful designs and with gilding, and a beautiful recess for a
couch was supported by fluted gilded columns; the architraves and
mouldings of the doors were gilt, and the panels of the doors were
filled with Rebecco's beautiful designs. The chairs were of light
blue embroidered with thick, heavy gold, and all this bearing the
stamp of antiquity was a thousand times more interesting than mere
modern splendor. In the centre of the room was a toilet of white
muslin (universal here), and on it a gilt dressing-glass, which gave
pretty effect to the whole.
I sat at dinner between Lord Braybrooke and Sir John Boileau, and
found them both very agreeable. The dining-room is as magnificent
as the other apartments. The ceiling is in the Elizabethan style,
covered with figures, and the walls white and gold panelling hung
with full-length family portraits not set into the wall like the
saloon, but in frames. In the evening the young people had a round
game at cards and the elder ones seemed to prefer talking to a game
at whist. The ladies brought down their embroidery or netting. At
eleven a tray with wine and water is brought in and a quantity of
bed candlesticks, and everybody retires when they like. The next
morning the guests assembled at half-past nine in the great gallery
which leads to the chapel to go in together to prayers. The chapel
is really a beautiful little piece of architecture, with a vaulted
roof and windows of painted glass. On one side is the original cast
of the large monument to Lord Cornwallis (our lord) which is in
Westminster Abbey. After breakfast we passed a couple of hours in
going all over the house, which is in perfect keeping in every part.
We returned to the library, a room as splendid as the saloon, only
instead of pictured panels it was surrounded by books in beautiful
gilt bindings. In the immense bay window was a large Louis Quatorze
table, round which the ladies all placed themselves at their
embroidery, though I preferred looking over curious illuminated
missals, etc., etc.
The next day was the meeting of the County Agricultural Society. . .
. At the hour appointed we all repaired to the ground where the
prizes were to be given out. . . . Lord Braybrooke made first a most
paternal and interesting address, which showed me in the most
favorable view the relation between the noble and the lower class in
England, a relation which must depend much on the personal character
of the lord of the manor. . . . First came prizes to ploughmen, then
the plough boys, then the shepherds, then to such peasants as had
reared many children without aid, then to women who had been many
years in the same farmer's service, etc., etc. A clock was awarded
to a poor man and his wife who had reared six children and buried
seven without aid from the parish. The rapture with which Mr. and
Mrs. Flitton and the whole six children gazed on this clock, an
immense treasure for a peasant's cottage, was both comic and
affecting. . . . The next morning we made our adieus to our kind
host and hostess, and set off for London, accompanied by Sir John
Tyrrell, Major Beresford, and young Mr. Boileau.
LETTER: To W.D.B.
LONDON, November 4, 1847
Dear W.: . . . Mr. Bancroft and I dined on Friday, the 22d, with
Mr. and Mrs. Hawes, under-Secretary of State, to meet Mr. Brooke,
the Rajah of Sarawak, who is a great lion in London just now. He is
an English gentleman of large fortune who has done much to
Christianize Borneo, and to open its trade to the English. I sat
between him and Mr. Ward, formerly Minister to Mexico before Mr.
Pakenham. He wrote a very nice book on Mexico, and is an agreeable
and intelligent person. . . . On Wednesday A. and I went together to
the National Gallery, and just as we were setting out Mr. Butler of
New York came in and I invited him to join us. . . . While we were
seated before a charming Claude who should come in but Mr. R.W.
Emerson and we had quite a joyful greeting. Just then came in Mr.
Rogers with two ladies, one on each arm. He renewed his request
that I would bring my son to breakfast with him, and appointed
Friday morning, and then added if those gentlemen who are with you
are your friends and countrymen, perhaps they will accompany you.
They very gladly acceded, and I was thankful Mr. Emerson had chanced
to be with me at that moment as it procured him a high pleasure.
Yesterday your father and I dined with Sir George Grey. . . . About
four o'clock came on such a fog as I have not seen in London, and
the newspapers of this morning speak of it as greater than has been
known for many years. Sir George Grey lives in Eaton Place, which
is parallel and just behind Eaton Square. In going that little
distance, though there is a brilliant gas light at every door, the
coachman was completely bewildered, and lost himself entirely. We
could only walk the horses, the footman exploring ahead. When the
guests by degrees arrived, there was the same rejoicing as if we had
met on Mont St. Bernard after a contest with an Alpine snow-storm. .
. . Lady Grey told me she was dining with the Queen once in one of
these tremendous fogs, and that many of the guests did not arrive
till dinner was half through, which was horrible at a royal dinner;
but the elements care little for royalty.
On Saturday we dined at the Duc de Broglie's. He married the
daughter of Madam de Stael, but she is not now living. I was very
agreeably placed with Mr. Macaulay on one side of me, so that I
found it more pleasant than diplomatic dinners usually. At the
English tables we meet people who know each other well, and have a
common culture and tastes and habits of familiarity, and a fund of
pleasant stories, but of course, at foreign tables, they neither
know each other or the English so well as to give the same easy flow
to conversation. I am afraid we are the greatest diners-out in
London, but we are brought into contact a great deal with the
literary and Parliamentary people, which our colleagues know little
about, as also with the clergy and the judges. I should not be
willing to make it the habit of my life, but it is time not misspent
during the years of our abode here. . . . The good old Archbishop of
York is dead, and I am glad I paid my visit to him when I did. Mr.
Rogers has paid me a long visit to-day and gave me all the
particulars of his death. It was a subject I should not have
introduced, for of that knot of intimate friends, Mr. Grenville, the
Archbishop, and himself, he is now all that remains.
. . . On Monday evening I went without Mr. Bancroft to a little
party at Mrs. Lyell's, where I was introduced to Mrs. Somerville.
She has resided for the last nine years abroad, chiefly at Venice,
but has now come to London and taken a house very near us. . . . Her
daughter told me that nothing could exceed the ease and simplicity
with which her literary occupations were carried on. She is just
publishing a book upon Natural Geography without regard to political
boundaries. She writes principally before she rises in the morning
on a little piece of board, with her inkstand on a table by her
side. After she leaves her room she is as much at leisure as other
people, but if an idea strikes her she takes her little board into a
corner or window and writes quietly for a short time and returns to
join the circle.
Dr. Somerville told me that his wife did not discover her genius for
mathematics till she was about sixteen. Her brother, who has no
talent for it, was receiving a mathematical lesson from a master
while she was hemming and stitching in the room. In this way she
first heard the problems of Euclid stated and was ravished. When
the lesson was over, she carried off the book to her room and
devoured it. For a long time she pursued her studies secretly, as
she had scaled heights of science which were not considered feminine
by those about her.
I put down my pen yesterday when the carriage came to the door for
my drive. It was a day bright, beaming, and exhilarating as one of
our own winter days. I was so busy enjoying the unusual beams of
the unclouded sun that I did not perceive for some time that I had
left my muff, and was obliged to drive home again to get it. While
I was waiting in the carriage for the footman to get it, two of the
most agreeable old-lady faces in the world presented themselves at
the window. They were the Miss Berrys. They had driven up behind
me and got out to have a little talk on the sidewalk. I took them
into Mr. Bancroft's room and was thankful that my muff had sent me
back to receive a visit which at their age is rarely paid. . . . I
found them full of delight at Mr. Brooke, the Rajah of Sarawak, with
whose nobleness of soul they would have great sympathy. He is just
now the lion of London, and like all other lions is run after by
most people because he is one, and by the few because he deserves to
be one. Now, lest you should know nothing about him, let me tell
you that at his own expense he fitted out a vessel, and established
himself at Borneo, where he soon acquired so great [an] ascendancy
over the native Rajah, that he insisted on resigning to him the
government of his province of Sarawak. Here, with only three
European companions, by moral and intellectual force alone, he
succeeded in suppressing piracy and civil war among the natives and
opened a trade with the interior of Borneo which promises great
advantages to England. . . . Everybody here has the INFLUENZA--a
right-down influenza, that sends people to their beds. Those who
have triumphed at their exemption in the evening, wake up perhaps in
the morning full of aches in every limb, and scoff no longer. . . .
Dinner parties are sometimes quite broken up by the excuses that
come pouring in at the last moment. Lady John Russell had seven
last week at a small dinner of twelve; 1,200 policemen at one time
were taken off duty, so that the thieves might have had their own
way, but they were probably as badly off themselves.
LETTER: To Mr. and Mrs. I.P.D.
LONDON, December 16, 1847
My dear Uncle and Aunt: . . . On Saturday Mr. Hallam wrote us that
Sir Robert Peel had promised to breakfast with him on Monday morning
and he thought we should like to meet him in that quiet way. So we
presented ourselves at ten o'clock, and were joined by Sir Robert,
Lord Mahon, Macaulay, and Milman, who with Hallam himself, formed a
circle that could not be exceeded in the wide world. I was the only
lady, except Miss Hallam; but I am especially favored in the
breakfast line. I would cross the Atlantic only for the pleasure I
had that morning in hearing such men talk for two or three hours in
an entirely easy unceremonious breakfast way. Sir Robert was full
of stories, and showed himself as much the scholar as the statesman.
Macaulay was overflowing as usual, and Lord Mahon and Milman are
full of learning and accomplishments. The classical scholarship of
these men is very perfect and sometimes one catches a glimpse of
awfully deep abysses of learning. But then it is ONLY a glimpse,
for their learning has no cumbrous and dull pedantry about it. They
are all men of society and men of the world, who keep up with it
everywhere. There is many a pleasant story and many a good joke,
and everything discussed but politics, which, as Sir Robert and
Macaulay belong to opposite dynasties, might be dangerous ground.
After dinner we went a little before ten to Lady Charlotte
Lindsay's. She came last week to say that she was to have a little
dinner on Monday and wished us to come in afterwards. This is
universal here, and is the easiest and most agreeable form of
society. She had Lord Brougham and Colonel and Mrs. Dawson-Damer,
etc., to dine. . . . Mrs. Damer wished us to come the next evening
to her in the same way, just to get our cup of tea. These nice
little teas are what you need in Boston. There is no supper, no
expense, nothing but society. Mrs. Damer is the granddaughter of
the beautiful Lady Waldegrave, the niece of Horace Walpole, who
married the Duke of Gloucester. She was left an orphan at a year
old and was confided by her mother to the care of Mrs. Fitzherbert.
She lived with her until her marriage and was a great pet of George
IV, and tells a great many interesting stories of him and Mrs.
Fitzherbert, who was five years older than he.
LETTER: To W.D.B.
LONDON, December 30, 1847
Dear W.: Your father left me on the 18th to go to Paris. This is
the best of all seasons for him to be there, for the Ministers are
all out of town at Christmas, and in Paris everything is at its
height. My friends are very kind to me--those who remain in town. .
. . One day I dined at Sir Francis Simpkinson's and found a pleasant
party. Lady Simpkinson is a sister of Lady Franklin, whom I was
very glad to meet, as she has been in America and knows many
Americans, Mrs. Kirkland for one. . . . Then I have passed one
evening for the first time at Mr. Tagent's, the Unitarian clergyman,
where I met many of the literary people who are out of the great
world, and yet very desirable to see.
There, too, I met the Misses Cushman, Charlotte and Susan, who
attend his church. I was very much pleased with both of them. I
have never seen them play, but they will send me a list of their
parts at their next engagement and I shall certainly go to hear
them. They are of Old Colony descent (from Elder Cushman), and have
very much of the New England character, culture, and good sense. On
Monday I dined at Sir Edward Codrington's, the hero of Navarino,
with the Marquis and Marchioness of Queensberry, and a party of
admirals and navy officers. On Tuesday I dined at Lady Braye's,
where were Mr. Rogers, Dr. Holland, Sir Augustus and Lady Albinia
Foster, formerly British Minister to the United States. He could
describe OUR COURT, as he called it, in the time of Madison and
January 1, 1848
This evening, in addition to my usual morning letter from your
father, I have another; a new postal arrangement beginning to-day
with the New Year. He gives me a most interesting conversation he
has just been having with Baron von Humboldt, who is now in Paris.
He says he poured out a delicious stream of remarks, anecdotes,
narratives, opinion. He feels great interest in our Mexican
affairs, as he has been much there, and is a Mexican by adoption.
His letter, dated the 31st December, says: "Madam Adelaide died at
three this morning." This death astonished me, for he saw her only
a few evenings since at the Palace. She was a woman of strong
intellect and character, and her brother, the King, was very much
attached to her as a counsellor and friend. . . . There were more
than 100 Americans to be presented on New Year's Day at Paris, and,
as Madam Adelaide's death took place without a day's warning, you
can imagine the embroidered coats and finery which were laid on the
Saturday, January 7th
Yesterday, my dear son, I had a delightful dinner at the dear Miss
Berrys. They drove to the door on Thursday and left a little note
to say, "Can you forgive a poor sick soul for not coming to you
before, when you were all alone," and begging me to come the next
day at seven, to dine. There was Lady Charlotte and Lady Stuart de
Rothesay, who was many years ambassadress at Paris, and very
agreeable. Then there was Dr. Holland and Mr. Stanley, the under-
Secretary of State, etc. In the evening came quite an additional
party, and I passed it most pleasantly. . . . Your father writes
that on Friday he dined at Thiers' with Mignet, Cousin, Pontois, and
Lord Normanby. He says such a dinner is "unique in a man's life."
"Mignet is delightful, frank, open, gay, full of intelligence, and
of that grace which makes society charming." . . . Your father to-
day gives me some account of Thiers. He is now fifty: he rises at
five o'clock every morning, toils till twelve, breakfasts, makes
researches, and then goes to the Chambers. In the evening he always
receives his friends except Wednesdays and Thursdays, when he
attends his wife to the opera and to the Academie.
LETTER: To Mr. and Mrs. I.P.D.
LONDON, January 28th, 1848
My dear Uncle and Aunt: . . . Last Monday I received [this] note
from George Sumner, which I thought might interest you: "My dear
Mrs. Bancroft: I hasten to congratulate you upon an event most
honorable to Mr. Bancroft and to our country. The highest honor
which can be bestowed in France upon a foreigner has just been
conferred on him. He was chosen this afternoon a Corresponding
Member of the Institute. Five names were presented for the vacant
chair of History. Every vote but one was in favor of Mr. Bancroft
(that one for Mr. Grote of London, author of the 'History of
Greece'). A gratifying fact in regard to this election is that it
comes without the knowledge of Mr. Bancroft, and without any of
those preliminary visits on his part, and those appeals to
academicians whose votes are desired, that are so common with
candidates for vacancies at the Institute. The honor acquires
double value for being unsought, and I have heard with no small
satisfaction several Members of the Academy contrast the modest
reserve of Mr. Bancroft with the restless manoeuvres to which they
have been accustomed. Prescott, you know, is already a member, and
I think America may be satisfied with two out of seven of a class of
History which is selected from the world."
LETTER: To T.D.
LONDON, February 24, 1848
My dear Brother: . . . Great excitement exists in London to-day at
the reception of the news from France. Guizot is overthrown, and
Count Mole is made Prime Minister. The National Guards have sided
with the people, and would not fire upon them, and that secret of
the weakness of the army being revealed, I do not see why the
Liberal party cannot obtain all they want in the end. Louis
Philippe has sacrificed the happiness of France for the advancement
of his own family, but nations in the nineteenth [century] have
learned that they were not made to be the slaves of a dynasty. Mr.
Bancroft dines with the French Minister to-day, not with a party,
but quite EN FAMILLE, and he will learn there what the hopes and
fears of the Government are.
The news this morning is only from Amiens, which has risen in
support of France. The railways are torn up all round Paris, to
prevent the passage of troops, and the roads and barriers are all in
possession of the people. All France will follow the lead of Paris,
and what will be the result Heaven only knows.
LETTER: To I.P.D.
LONDON, February 26, 1848
My dear Uncle: . . . On Thursday Mr. Bancroft dined with Count
Jarnac, the Minister in the Duc de Broglie's absence, and he little
dreamed of the blow awaiting him. The fortifications and the army
seemed to make the King quite secure. On Friday Mr. Bancroft went
to dine with Kenyon, and I drove there with him for a little air.
On my return Cates, the butler, saluted me with the wondrous news of
the deposition and flight of the royal family, which Mr. Brodhead
had rushed up from his club to impart to us. I was engaged to a
little party at Mr. Hallam's, where I found everybody in great
To-day we were to have dined with Baron de Rothschild, but this
morning I got a note from the beautiful baroness, saying that her
sister-in-law and her mother with three children, had just arrived
from Paris at her house in the greatest distress, without a change
of clothes, and in deep anxiety about the Baron, who had stayed
Our colleagues all look bewildered and perplexed beyond measure. . .
. The English aristocracy have no love for Louis Philippe, but much
less for a republic, so near at hand, and everybody seemed perplexed
On Sunday the Duc de Nemours arrived at the French Embassy, and
Monday the poor Duchess de Montpensier, the innocent cause of all
the trouble. No one knows where the Duchess de Nemours and her
young children are, and the King and Queen are entirely missing. At
one moment it is reported that he is drowned, and then, again, at
To-day the French Embassy have received despatches announcing the
new government, and Count Jarnac has immediately resigned. This
made it impossible for the Duc de Nemours and the Duchess de
Montpensier to remain at the Embassy, and they fell by inheritance
to Mr. Van de Weyer, whose Queen is Louis Philippe's daughter. The
Queen has taken Louis Philippe's daughter, Princess Clementine, who
married Prince Auguste de Saxe-Coburg to the Palace, but for State
Policy's sake she can do nothing about the others. Mr. Van de Weyer
offered Mr. Bates's place of East Sheen, which was most gratefully
This morning came Thackeray, who is the soul of PUNCH, and showed me
a piece he had written for the next number.
The King has arrived. What a crossing of the Channel, pea-jacket,
woollen comforter, and all! The flight is a perfect comedy, and if
PUNCH had tried to invent anything more ludicrous, it would have
failed. Panic, despotism, and cowardice.
These things are much more exciting here than across the water. We
are so near the scene of action and everybody has a more personal
interest here in all these matters. The whole week has been like a
long play, and now, on Saturday night, I want nothing but repose.
What a dream it must be to the chief actors! The Queen, who is
always good and noble, was averse to such ignominious flight; she
preferred staying and taking what came, and if Madam Adelaide had
lived, they would never have made such a [word undecipherable]
figure. Her pride and courage would have inspired them. With her
seemed to fly Louis Philippe's star, as Napoleon's with Josephine. .
. . Mr. Emerson has just come to London and we give him a dinner on
Tuesday, the 14th. Several persons wish much to see him, and
Monckton Milnes reviewed him in BLACKWOOD.
LETTER: To W.D.B.
LONDON, March 11, 1848
Dear W.: . . . Yesterday we dined at Lord Lansdowne's. Among the
guests were M. and Madam Van de Weyer, and Mrs. Austin, the
translatress, who has been driven over here from Paris, where she
has resided for several years. She is a vehement friend of
Guizot's, though a bitter accuser of Louis Philippe, but how can
they be separated? She interests herself strongly now in all his
arrangements, and is assisting his daughters to form their humble
establishment. He and his daughters together have about eight
hundred pounds a year, and that in London is poverty. They have
taken a small house in Brompton Square, a little out of town, and
one of those suburban, unfashionable regions where the most
accommodations can be had at the least price. What a change for
those who have witnessed their almost regal receptions in Paris!
The young ladies bear very sweetly all their reverses. . . . Guizot,
himself, I hear, is as FIER as ever, and almost gay. Princess de
Lieven is here at the "Clarendon," and their friendship is as great
Yesterday we had an agreeable dinner at our own house. Macaulay,
Milman, Lord Morpeth and Monckton Milnes were all most charming, and
we ladies listened with eager ears. Conversation was never more
interesting than just now, in this great crisis of the world's
affairs. Mr. Emerson was here and seemed to enjoy [it] much.
Friday, March 17th
Things look rather darker in France, but we ought not to expect a
republic to be established without some difficulties. . . . You
cannot judge of the state of France, however, through the medium of
the English newspapers, for, of course, English sympathies are all
entirely against it. They never like France, and a republic of any
kind still less. A peaceful and prosperous republic in the heart of
Europe would be more deprecated than a state of anarchy. The
discussion of French matters reveals to me every moment the deep
repugnance of the English to republican institutions. It lets in a
world of light upon opinions and feelings, which, otherwise, would
not have been discovered by me.
Sunday, March 19th
Yesterday we breakfasted at Mrs. Milman's. I was the only lady, but
there were Macaulay, Hallam, Lord Morpeth, and, above all, Charles
Austin, whom I had not seen before, as he never dines out, but who
is the most striking talker in England. He has made a fortune by
the law in the last few years, which gives him an income of 8,000
pounds. He has the great railroad cases which come before the House
of Lords. . . . On Tuesday came a flying report of a revolution in
Berlin, but no one believed it. We concluded it rather a
speculation of the newsmen, who are hawking revolutions after every
mail in second and third editions. We were going that evening to a
SOIREE at Bunsen's, whom we found cheerful as ever and fearing no
evil. On Monday the news of the revolution in Austria produced a
greater sensation even than France, for it was the very pivot of
conservatism. . . . On Thursday I received the letter from A. at
eight A.M., which I enclose to you. It gives an account of the
revolution in Berlin.
LETTER: To T.D.
The old world is undergoing a complete reorganization, and is
unfolding a rapid series of events more astonishing than anything in
history. Where it will stop, and what will be its results, nobody
can tell. Royalty has certainly not added to its respectability by
its conduct in its time of trial. Since the last steamer went,
Italy has shaken off the Austrian yoke, Denmark has lost her German
provinces, Poland has risen, or is about to rise, which will bring
Russia thundering down upon Liberal Europe. . . . Our whole
Diplomatic Corps are certainly "in a fix," and we are really the
only members of it who have any reason to be quite at ease. Two or
three have been called home to be Ministers of Foreign Affairs, as
they have learned something of constitutional liberty in England.
England is, as yet, all quiet, and I hope will keep so, but the
Chartists are at work and Ireland is full of inflammable matter.
But England does love her institutions, and is justly proud of their
comparative freedom, and long may she enjoy them. . . . On Sunday
Mr. Emerson dined with us with Lady Morgan and Mrs. Jameson--the
authoress. On Monday I took him to a little party at Lady Morgan's.
His works are a good deal known here. I have great pleasure in
seeing so old a friend so far from home. . . . I think we shall have
very few of our countrymen out this spring, as travelling Europe is
so uncertain, with everything in commotion. Those who are passing
the winter in Italy are quite shut in at present, and if war begins,
no one knows where it will spread.
LETTER: To W.D.B.
LONDON, April 7, 1848
. . . On Wednesday we had an agreeable dinner at Mrs. Milner
Gibson's. Mr. and Mrs. Disraeli, Mr. and Mrs. Sheridan (brother of
Mrs. Norton), etc., were among the guests. After dinner I had a
very long talk with Disraeli. He is, you know, of the ultra Tory
party here, and looks at the Continental movements from the darkest
point of view. He cannot admit as a possibility the renovation of
European society upon more liberal principles, and considers it as
the complete dissolution of European civilization which will, like
Asia, soon present but the ashes of a burnt-out flame. This is most
atheistic, godless, and un-christian doctrine, and he cannot himself
believe it. The art of printing and the rapid dissemination of
thought changes all these things in our days.
LETTER: To I.P.D.
This is the day of the "Great Chartist Meeting," which has terrified
all London to the last degree, I think most needlessly. The city
and town is at this moment stiller than I have ever known it, for
not a carriage dares to be out. Nothing is to be seen but a
"special constable" (every gentleman in London is sworn into that
office), occasionally some on foot, some on horseback, scouring the
streets. I took a drive early this morning with Mr. Bancroft, and
nothing could be less like the eve of a revolution. This evening,
when the petition is to be presented, may bring some disturbance,
not from the Chartists themselves, but from the disorderly persons
who may avail themselves of the occasion. The Queen left town on
Saturday for the Isle of Wight, as she had so lately been confined
it was feared her health might suffer from any agitation. . . . I
passed a long train of artillery on Saturday evening coming into
town, which was the most earnest looking thing I have seen. . . .
To-day we were to have dined at Mrs. Mansfield's, but her dinner was
postponed from the great alarm about the Chartists. There is not
the slightest danger of a revolution in England. The upper middle-
class, which on the continent is entirely with the people, the
professional and mercantile class, is here entirely conservative,
and without that class no great changes can ever be made. The Duc
de Montebello said of France, that he "knew there were lava streams
below, but he did not know the crust was so thin." Here, on the
contrary, the crust is very thick. And yet I can see in the most
conservative circles that a feeling is gaining ground that some
concessions must be made. An enlargement of the suffrage one hears
now often discussed as, perhaps, an approaching necessity.
Friday, April 14
The day of the Chartists passed off with most ridiculous quiet, and
the government is stronger than ever. . . . If the Alien Bill
passes, our American friends must mind their p's and q's, for if
they praise the "model republic" too loudly, they may be packed off
at any time, particularly if they have "long beards," for it seems
to be an axiom here that beards, mustaches, and barricades are
cousins-german at least. . . . Mr. Bancroft goes to Paris on Monday,
the 17th, to pass the Easter holidays. He will go on with his
manuscripts, and at the same time witness the elections and meeting
of the Convention.
LETTER: To W.D.B.
LONDON, April 19, 1848
Dear W.: . . . To-day I have driven down to Richmond to lunch with
Mrs. Drummond, who is passing Easter holidays there. On coming home
I found a letter from Mr. Bancroft from which I will make some
extracts, as he has the best sources of knowledge in Paris. "Then I
went to Mignet, who, you know, is politically the friend of Thiers.
He pointed out to me the condition of France, and drew for me a
picture of what it was and of the change. I begin to see the
difference between France and us. Here they are accustomed to BE
governed. WE are accustomed to GOVERN. HERE power may be seized
and exercised, if exercised in a satisfactory manner; with us the
foundation of power, its constitutionality and the legality of its
acts are canvassed and analyzed. Here an unpopularity is made away
with by a revolution, and you know how WE deal with it. Thus,
power, if in favor, may dare anything, and if out of favor is little
likely to be forgiven." . . . "Our fathers had to unite the thirteen
States; here they have unity enough and run no risk but from the
excess of it. My hopes are not less than they were, but all that
France needs may not come at once. We were fourteen years in
changing our confederation into a union, perhaps France cannot be
expected to jump at once into perfect legislation or perfect forms.
Crude ideas are afloat, but as to Communism, it is already exploded,
or will be brushed away from legislative power as soon as the
National Assembly meets, though the question of ameliorating the
condition of the laboring class is more and more engaging the public
mind." . . . "I spent an hour with Cousin, the Minister of a
morning. He gave me sketches of many of the leading men of these
times, and I made him detail to me he scene of Louis Philippe's
abdication, which took place in a manner quite different from what I
had heard in London." . . . "Cousin, by the way, says that the Duc
de Nemours throughout, behaved exceedingly well. Thence to the Club
de la Nouvelle Republique. Did not think much of the speaking which
I heard. From the club I went to Thiers, where I found Cousin and
Mignet and one or two more. Some change since I met him. A leader
of opposition, then a prime minister, and now left aground by the
shifting tide." . . . "Everybody has given up Louis Philippe,
everybody considers the nonsense of Louis Blanc as drawing to its
close. The delegates from Paris will full half be UNIVERSALLY
acceptable. Three-fourths of the provincial delegates will be
MODERATE republicans. The people are not in a passion. They go
quietly enough about their business of constructing new
institutions. Ledru-Rollin, Louis Blanc, and Flocon tried to lead
the way to ill, but Lamartine, whose heroism passes belief and
activity passes human power, won the victory over them, found
himself on Sunday, and again yesterday, sustained by all Paris, and
has not only conquered but CONCILIATED them, and everybody is now
firmly of opinion that the Republic will be established quietly." .
. . "But while there are no difficulties from the disorderly but
what can easily be overcome, the want of republican and political
experience, combined with vanity and self-reliance and idealism, may
throw impediments in the way of what the wisest wish, VIZ., two
elected chambers and a president."
LETTER: To W.D.B.
LONDON, May 5, 1848
My dear W.: . . . Last evening, Thursday, we went to see Jenny
Lind, on her first appearance this year. She was received with
enthusiasm, and the Queen still more so. It was the first time the
Queen had been at the opera since the birth of her child, and since
the republican spirit was abroad, and loyalty burst out in full
force. Now loyalty is very novel, and pleasant to witness, to us
who have never known it.
LONDON, May 31, 1848
. . . Now for my journal, which has gone lamely on since the 24th of
February. The Queen's Ball was to take place the evening on which I
closed my last letter. My dress was a white crepe over white satin,
with flounces of Honiton lace looped up with pink tuberoses. A
wreath of tuberoses and bouquet for the corsage. We had tickets
sent us to go through the garden and set down at a private door,
which saves waiting in the long line of carriages for your turn.
The Diplomatic Corps arrange themselves in a line near the door at
which the Queen enters the suite of rooms, which was at ten
precisely. She passes through, curtseying and bowing very
gracefully, until she reaches the throne in the next room, where she
and the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Saxe-Weimar and her
daughters, who are here on a visit, etc., sit down, while Prince
Albert, the Prince of Prussia and other sprigs of royalty stand
near. The dancing soon began in front of the canopy, but the Queen
herself did not dance on account of her mourning for Prince Albert's
grandmother. There was another band and dancing in other rooms at
the same time. After seeing several dances here the Queen and her
suite move by the flourish of trumpets to another room, the guests
forming a lane as she passes, bowing and smiling. Afterward she
made a similar progress to supper, her household officers moving
backwards before her, and her ladies and royal relatives and friends
following. At half-past one Her Majesty retired and the guests
departed, such as did not have to wait two hours for their
carriages. On Saturday we went at two to the FETE of flowers at
Chiswick, and at half-past seven dined at Lord Monteagle's to meet
Monsieur and Mademoiselle Guizot. He has the finest head in the
world, but his person is short and insignificant.
On Wednesday we dined at Lady Chantrey's to meet a charming party.
Afterward we went to a magnificent ball at the Duke of Devonshire's,
with all the great world. On Friday we went to Faraday's lecture at
the Royal Institution. We went in with the Duke and Duchess of
Northumberland, and I sat by her during the lecture. On Saturday
was the Queen's Birthday Drawing-Room. . . . Mr. Bancroft dined at
Lord Palmerston's with all the diplomats, and I went in the evening
with a small party of ladies. On coming home we drove round to see
the brilliant birthday illuminations. The first piece of
intelligence I heard at Lady Palmerston's was the death of the
Princess Sophia, an event which is a happy release for her, for she
was blind and a great sufferer. It has overturned all court
festivities, of course, for the present, and puts us all in deep
mourning, which is not very convenient just now, in the brilliant
season, and when we had all our dress arrangements made. The Queen
was to have a concert to-night, a drawing-room next Friday, and a
ball on the 16th, which are all deferred. . . . I forgot to say that
I got a note from Miss Coutts on Sunday, asking me to go with her
the next day to see the Chinese junk, so at three the next day we
repaired to her house. Her sisters (Miss Burdetts) and Mr. Rogers
were all the party. At the junk for the first time I saw Metternich
and the Princess, his wife.
LETTER: To W.D.B.
LONDON, June 29, 1848
My dear W.: . . . When I last left off I was going to dine at Miss
Coutts's to meet the Duchess of Cambridge. The party was brilliant,
including the Duke of Wellington, Lord and Lady Douro, Lady Jersey
and the beautiful Lady Clementina Villiers, her daughter, etc. When
royal people arrive everybody rises and remains standing while they
stand, and if they approach you or look at you, you must perform the
lowest of "curtsies." The courtesy made to royalty is very like the
one I was taught to make when a little girl at Miss Tuft's school in
Plymouth. One sinks down instead of stepping back in dancing-school
fashion. After dinner the Duchess was pleased to stand until the
gentlemen rejoined us; of course, we must all stand. . . . The next
day we dined at the Lord Mayor's to meet the Ministers. This was a
most interesting affair. We had all the peculiar ceremonies which I
described to you last autumn, but in addition the party was most
distinguished, and we had speeches from Lord Lansdowne, Lord
Palmerston, Lord John, Lord Auckland, Sir George Grey, etc.
LETTER: To W.D.B.
LONDON, July 21, 1848
I was truly grieved that the last steamer should go to Boston
without a line from me, but I was in Yorkshire and you must forgive
me. . . . I left off with the 26th of June. . . . The next evening
was the Queen's Concert, which was most charming. I sat very near
the Duke of Wellington, who often spoke to me between the songs. . .
. The next day we went with Miss Coutts to her bank, lunched there,
and went all over the building. Then we went to the Tower and the
Tunnel together, she never having seen either. So ignorant are the
West End people of city lions. . . . And now comes my pleasant
Yorkshire excursion. We left London, at half-past three, at
distance of 180 miles. This was Saturday, July 8. At York we found
Mr. Hudson ready to receive us and conduct us to a special train
which took us eighteen miles on the way to Newby Park, and there we
found carriages to take us four miles to our destination. We met at
dinner and found our party to consist of the Duke of Richmond, Lord
Lonsdale, Lord George Bentinck, Lord Ingestre, Lord John Beresford,
Lady Webster, whose husband, now dead, was the son of Lady Holland,
two or three agreeable talkers to fill in, and ourselves.
Lady Webster, Mr. Bancroft, and myself, went to Castle Howard, as
Lord Morpeth had written to his mother that we were to be there and
would lunch with her. Castle Howard is twenty-five miles the other
side of York, which is itself twenty-five miles from Newby. But
what is fifty miles when one is under the wing of the Railway King
and can have a special engine at one's disposal. On arriving at the
Castle Howard station we found Lord Carlisle's carriage with four
horses and most venerable coachman waiting to receive us. We enter
the Park almost immediately, but it is about four miles to the
Castle, through many gates, which we had mounted footmen open for
us. Lady Carlisle received us in the most delightful manner. . . .
I was delighted to see Lord Morpeth's home and his mother, who
seldom now goes to London. She was the daughter of the beautiful
Duchess of Devonshire, and took me into her own dressing-room to
show me her picture. . . . On Wednesday we went into York to witness
the reception of Prince Albert, to see the ruins of St. Mary's
Abbey, the Flower Show, to lunch with the Lord Mayor, and above all,
to attend prayers in the Minister and hear a noble anthem. The
Cathedral was crowded with strangers and a great many from London.
The next day was the day of the great dinner, and I send you the
POST containing Mr. Bancroft's speech. It was warmly admired by all
who heard it.
At ten at night we ladies set out for York to go [to] the Lord
Mayor's Ball, where the gentlemen were to meet us from the dinner.
Everybody flocked round to congratulate me upon your father's
speech. Even Prince Albert, when I was led up to make my curtsey,
offered me his hand, which is a great courtesy in royalty, and spoke
of the great beauty and eloquence of Mr. B.'s speech. The Prince
soon went away: the Lord Mayor took me down to supper and I sat
between him and the Duke of Richmond at the high table which went
across the head of the hall. Guildhall is a beautiful old room with
a fine old traceried window, and the scene, with five tables going
the length of the hall and the upper one across the head, was very
gay and brilliant. There were a few toasts, and your father again
made a little speech, short and pleasant. We did not get home till
half-past three in the morning. . . . On Friday morning [July 14th]
many of the guests, the Duke of Richmond, etc., took their departure
and Mr. Hudson had to escort Prince Albert to town, but returned the
same evening. . . . The next day we all went to pay a visit to an
estate of Mr. Hudson's [name of estate indecipherable] for which he
paid five hundred thousand pounds to the Duke of Devonshire. . . .
It is nobly situated in the Yorkshire wolds, a fine range of hills,
and overlooking the valley of the Humber, which was interesting to
me, as it was the river which our Pilgrim fathers sailed down and
lay in the Wash at its mouth, awaiting their passage to Holland.
They came, our Plymouth fathers, mostly from Lincolnshire and the
region which lay below us. I thought of them, and the scene of
their sufferings was more ennobled in my eyes, from their
remembrance than from the noble mansions and rich estates which
feast the eye.
On Monday morning we left Newby for York on our way home. It so
happened that the judges were to open the court that very morning,
on which occasion they always breakfast with the Lord Mayor in their
scarlet robes and wigs, the Lord Mayor and aldermen are also in
their furred scarlet robes and the Lady Mayoress presents the judges
with enormous bouquets of the richest flowers. We were invited to
this breakfast, and I found it very entertaining. I was next the
High Sheriff, who was very desirous that we should stay a few hours
and go to the castle and see the court opened and listen to a case
or two. The High Sheriff of a county is a great character and has a
carriage and liveries as grand as the Queen's. After breakfast we
bade adieu to our York friends, and set off with our big bouquets
(for the distribution was extended to us) for home.
LETTER: To T.D.
LONDON, August 9, 1848
My dear Brother: . . . On Saturday we set off for Nuneham, the
magnificent seat of the late Archbishop of York, now in possession
of his eldest son, Mr. Granville Harcourt. . . . The guests besides
ourselves were Sir Robert and Lady Peel, Lord and Lady Villiers,
Lord and Lady Norreys, Lord Harry Vane, etc. We considered it a
great privilege to be staying in the same house with Sir Robert
Peel, and I had also the pleasure of sitting by him at dinner all
the three days we were there. He was full of conversation of the
best kind. Mr. Denison and Lady Charlotte, his wife, were also of
our party. She was the daughter of the Duke of Portland and sister
of Lord George Bentinck, Sir Robert's great antagonist in the House.
On Sunday morning we attended the pretty little church on the estate
which with its parsonage is a pleasing object on the grounds. The
next day the whole party were taken to Blenheim, the seat of the
famous Duke of Marlborough, built at the expense of the country.
The grounds are exquisite, but I was most charmed by the collection
of pictures. Here were the finest Vandykes, Rubens, and Sir Joshua
Reynolds which I have seen. Sir Robert Peel is a great connoisseur
in art and seemed highly to enjoy them. Altogether it was a truly
delightful day: the drive of fifteen miles in open carriages, and
through Oxford, being of itself a high pleasure. Yesterday we
returned to London, and on Thursday we set out for Scotland.
LETTER: To Mr. and Mrs. I.P.D.
EDINBURGH, August 16, 1848
My dear Uncle and Aunt: . . . Of Edinburgh I cannot say enough to
express my admiration. The Castle Rock, Arthur's Seat, Salisbury
Craigs and Calton Hill are all separate and fine mountains and, with
the Frith of Forth, the ocean and the old picturesque town, make an
assemblage of fine objects that I have seen nowhere else. Mr.
Rutherford, the Lord Advocate, who is of the Ministry, had written
to his friends that we were coming, and several gentlemen came by
breakfast time the next morning. Mr. Gordon, his nephew, married
the daughter of Prof. Wilson, and invited us to dine that day to
meet the professor, etc. . . . We drove out after breakfast into the
country to Hawthornden, formerly the residence of Drummond the poet,
and to Lord Roslin's grounds, where are the ruins of Roslin Castle
and above all, of the Roslin Chapel. . . . After lingering and
admiring long we returned to Edinburgh just in season for dinner at
Mr. Gordon's, where we found Prof. Wilson, and another daughter and
son, Mrs. Rutherford, wife of the Lord Advocate, and Capt.
Rutherford, his brother, with his wife. We had a very agreeable
evening and engaged to dine there again quite EN FAMILLE, with only
the professor, whose conversation is delightful.
The next morning we went out to Craigcrook, Lord Jeffrey's country
seat, to see and lunch with him. He was confined to his couch. . .
. He is seventy-three or seventy-four, but looks not a minute older
than fifty. He has a fine head and forehead, and most agreeable and
courteous manners, rather of the old school. As he could not rise
to receive me he kissed my hand. Mrs. Jeffrey is an intelligent and
agreeable woman but has been much out of health the last year. She
was Miss Wilkes of New York, you know. The house was an old
castellated and fortified house, and with modern additions is a most
beautiful residence. Capt. Rutherford told me that when he received
the Lord Advocate's letter announcing that we were coming, he went
to see Lord Jeffrey to know if he would be well enough to see us,
and he expressed the strongest admiration for Mr. Bancroft's work.
This may have disposed them to receive us with the cordiality which
made our visit so agreeable. Mr. Empson, his son-in-law and the
president editor of the Edinburgh Review, was staying there, and
after talking two hours with Lord and Mrs. Jeffrey we took with him
a walk in the grounds from which are delightful and commanding views
of the whole environs, and never were environs so beautiful.
LETTER: To W.D.B.
TARBET ON LOCH LOMOND, August 28, 1848
Dear W. . . . Being detained here by rain this morning I devote it
to you and to my journal. . . . The next day was Sunday but the
weather being fine we concluded to continue our journey, and
followed the Tay seeing Birnam Wood and Dunsinane on our way up to
Dunkeld, near to which is the fine seat of the Duke of Athol. We
took a delightful walk in the beautiful grounds, and went on to
Blair Athol to sleep. This is the chief residence of the Duke of
Athol and he has here another house and grounds very pretty though
not as extensive as those at Dunkeld. . . . When the innkeeper found
who we were he insisted on sending a message to the Duke who sent
down an order to us to drive up Glen Tilt and met us there himself.
We entered through the Park and followed up the Tilt. Nothing could
be more wild than this narrow winding pass which we followed for
eight miles till we came to the Duke's forest lodge. Here were
waiting for us a most picturesque group in full Highland dress: the
head stalker, the head shepherd, the kennel keepers with their dogs
in leashes, the piper, etc., etc. They told us that the Duke had
sent up word that we were coming and he would soon be there himself.
In a few moments he appeared also in full Highland costume with bare
knees, kilt, philibeg, etc. He told us he had then on these
mountains 15,000 head of dear, and thought we might like to see a
START, as it is called. The head stalker told him, however, that
the wind had changed which affects the scent, and that nothing could
be done that day. The Duke tried to make us amends by making some
of his people sing us Gaelic songs and show us some of the athletic
Highland games. The little lodge he also went over with us, and
said that the Duchess came there and lived six or seven weeks in the
autumn, and that the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch rented it for
many years while he was a minor. If you could see the tiny little
rooms, you would be astonished to find what the love of sport can do
for these people who possess actual palaces.
After dining again upon salmon and grouse at the pretty little inn,
we took a post chaise to go on to Taymouth, a little village
adjoining Lord Breadalbane's place. We did not arrive at the inn
till after eight and found it completely full. . . . We were sent to
the schoolmaster's to sleep in the smallest of little rooms, with a
great clock which ticked and struck so loud that we were obliged to
silence it, to the great bewilderment, I dare say, of the scholars
the next day. Before we were in bed, there was a knock at the door,
which proved to be from Lord Breadalbane's butler, to say that he
had been commissioned to enquire whenever we arrived at the inn, as
his Lordship had heard that we were in Scotland and wished us to
make them a visit.
Next morning before we were up came a note from Lord Breadalbane
urging us to come immediately to the Castle. . . . Taymouth Castle,
though not more than fifty years old, has the air of an old feudal
castle. . . . As we were ushered up the magnificent staircase
through first a large antechamber, then through a superb hall with
lofty ceiling glowing with armorial bearings, and with the most
light and delicate carving on every part of the oaken panelling,
then through a long gallery, of heavier carving filled with fine old
cabinets, into the library, it seemed to me that the whole Castle
was one of those magical delusions that one reads of in Fairy Tales,
so strange did it seem to find such princely magnificence all alone
amid such wild and solitary scenes. I had always the feeling that
it would suddenly vanish, at some wave of an enchanter's wand, as it
must have arisen also. The library is by far the finest room I ever
saw. Its windows and arches and doorways are all of a fine carved
Gothic open work as light as gossamer. One door which he lately
added cost a thousand pounds, the door alone, not the doorway, so
you can judge of the exquisite workmanship. Here Lady Breadalbane
joined us, whom I had never before met. . . . During dinner the
piper in full costume was playing the pibroch in a gallery outside
the window, and after he had done a band, also in full Highland
dress, played some of the Italian, German as well as Scotch music,
at just an agreeable distance. I have seen nothing in England which
compares in splendor with the state which is kept up here.
We passed Wednesday and Thursday here most agreeably, and we rode or
walked during the whole days. Lord Breadalbane, by the way, has
just been appointed Lord High Chamberlain to the Queen in place of
Lord Spencer. I am glad of this because we are brought often in
contact with the Lord Chamberlain, but it is very strange to me that
a man who lives like a king, and through whose dominions we
travelled a hundred miles from the German Ocean to the Atlantic, can
be Chamberlain to any Queen. These feudal subordinations we
republicans cannot understand. . . . We stopped at the little town
of Oban. After reading our letters and getting a dinner, we went
out just before sunset for a walk.
We wished much to see the ruins of Dunolly. We passed the porter's
lodge and found ourselves directly in the most picturesque grounds
on the very shore of the ocean and with the Western Islands lying
before us. Mr. Bancroft sent in his card, which brought out
instantly the key to the old castle, and in a few moments Capt.
MacDougal and Mr. Phipps, a brother of Lord Normanby's, joined us.
They pointed out the interesting points in the landscape, the Castle
of Ardtornish, the scene of Lord of the Isles, etc., in addition to
the fine old ruin we came to see. We lingered till the lighthouses
had begun to glow, and I was reminded very much of the scenery at
Wood's Hole, which I used to enjoy so much, only that could not
boast the association with poetry and feudal romance. We then went
into the house, and found a charming domestic circle in full evening
dress with short sleeves, so that my gray travelling cloak and straw
bonnet were rather out of place. Here were Mrs. Phipps, and Miss
Campbell, her sister, daughters of Sir Colin Campbell, and to my
great delight, Captain MacDougal brought out the great brooch of
Lorn, which his ancestor won from Bruce and the story of which you
will find in the Lord of the Isles. It fastened the Scotch Plaid,
and is larger than a teacup. He described to me the reverential way
in which Scott took it in both hands when he showed it to him. The
whole evening was pleasant and the more so from being unexpected. .
. . One little thing which adds always to the charm of Scotch
scenery is the dress of the peasantry. One never sees the real
Highland costume, but every shepherd has his plaid slung over one
shoulder, making the most graceful drapery. This, with the
universal Glengarry bonnet, is very pretty.
At Glasgow we intended to pay a visit of a day to the historian
Alison, but found letters announcing Governor Davis's arrival in
London with Mr. Corcoran and immediately turned our faces homeward.
We were to have passed a week on our return amidst the lakes, and I
protested against going back to London without one look at least.
So we stopped at Kendal on Saturday, took a little carriage over to
Windermere and Ambleside and passed the whole evening with the poet
and Mrs. Wordsworth, at their own exquisite home on Rydal Mount. At
ten o'clock we went from there to Miss Martineau, who has built the
prettiest of houses in this valley near to Mrs. Arnold at Fox Howe.
As we had only one day we made an arrangement with Miss Martineau to
go with us and be our guide, and set out the next day at six o'clock
and went over to Keswick to breakfast. From thence we went to
Borrowdale, by the side of Derwentwater, and afterward to Ulswater
and home by the fine pass of Kirkstone. On my return, I found the
Duke and Duchess of Argyle had been to see us.
The time of closing the despatch bag has come and I must hurry over
my delight at the scenery of the lakes. I could have spent a month
there, much to my mind. We arrived home on Monday and early next
morning came Mr. Davis and Mr. Corcoran. They went to see the
Parliament prorogued in person by the Queen.
LETTER: To Mr. and Mrs. I.P.D.
LONDON, December 14, 1848
Dear Uncle and Aunt: On Friday we dined at Mr. Tufnell's, who
married last spring the daughter of Lord Rosebery, Lady Anne
Primrose, a very "nice person," to use the favorite English term of
praise. . . . Sir John Hobhouse was of our party and he told us so
much of Byron, who was his intimate friend, as you will remember
from his Life, that we stayed much longer than usual at dinner. . .
. On Tuesday we were invited to dine with Miss Coutts, but were
engaged to Mr. Gurney, an immensely rich Quaker banker, brother of
Mrs. Fry. His daughter is married to Ernest Bunsen, the second son
of our friend. We were delighted with the whole family scene, which
was quite unlike anything we have seen in England. They live at
Upton Park, a pretty country seat about eight miles from us, and are
surrounded by their children and grandchildren. Their costume and
language are strictly Quaker, which was most becoming to Mrs.
Gurney's sweet, placid face. . . . Louis Napoleon's election seems
fixed, and is to me one of the most astounding things of the age.
When we passed several days with him at Mr. Bates's, I would not
have given two straws for his chance of a future career. To-night
Mendelssohn's "Elijah" is to be performed, and Jenny Lind sings. We
had not been able to get tickets, which have been sold for five
guineas apiece the last few days. To my great joy Miss Coutts has
this moment written me that she has two for our use, and asks us to
take an early dinner at five with her and accompany her.
LETTER: To I.P.D.
LONDON, June 8, 1849
I thank you, my dear Uncle, for your pleasant letter, which
contained as usual much that was interesting to me. And so Mr. and
Mrs. Lawrence are to be our successors. . . . Happy as we have been
here, I have a great satisfaction that we are setting rather than
rising; that we have done our work, instead of having it to do.
Like all our pleasures, those here are earned by fatigue and effort,
and I would not willingly live the last three years over again, or
three years like them, though they have contained high and lasting
gratifications. We have constantly the strongest expressions of
regret at our approaching departure, and in many cases it is, I
know, most genuine. My relations here have been most agreeable, and
particularly in that intellectual circle whose high character and
culture have made their regard most precious to me. The
manifestations of this kindness increase as the time approaches for
our going and we are inundated with invitations of all kinds.
Young Prescott is here. I wish Prescott could have seen his
reception at Lady Lovelace's the other evening when there happened
to be a collection of genius and literature. What a blessing it is
SOMETIMES to a son to have a father.
To-morrow we dine with Lord John Russell down at Pembroke Lodge in
Richmond Park. On Monday we breakfast with Macaulay. We met him at
dinner this week at Lady Waldegrave's, and he said: "Would you be
willing to breakfast with me some morning, if I asked one or two
other ladies?" "Willing!" I said, "I should be delighted beyond
measure." So he sent us a note for Monday next. I depend upon
seeing his bachelor establishment, his library, and mode of life.
On Wednesday we go to a ball at the Palace. But it is useless to go
on, for every day is filled in this way, and gives you an idea of
London in the season.
LETTER: To I.P.D.
LONDON, June 22, 1849
My dear Uncle: Yesterday I passed one of the most agreeable days I
have had in England at Oxford, where I went with a party to see Mr.
Bancroft take his degree. . . . Nothing could have gone off better
than the whole thing. Mr. Bancroft went up the day before, but Mrs.
Stuart Mackenzie and her daughter, with Lady Elizabeth Waldegrave,
Louisa, and myself went up yesterday morning and returned at night.
We lunched at the Vice-Chancellor's (where Mr. B. made a pleasant
little informal speech) and were treated with great kindness by
everybody. I wish you could have seen Mr. Bancroft walking round
all day with his scarlet gown and round velvet cap, such as you see
in old Venetian pictures. From this time forward we shall have the
pain of bidding adieu, one by one, to our friends, as they leave
town not to return till we are gone.