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autograph, there were inserted some whimsical titles of books, such as Nebuchadnezzar on Grasses.'
But the most interesting thing in all the collection was the original document, with Milton's name, by which he transferred to his publisher, for ten pounds, the copyright of Paradise Lost. Next in interest to this was a portfolio, in which were arranged autograph letters from Pope and Dryden, Washington and Franklin, and several from Fox, Sheridan, and Scott, addressed to the poet himself. Among them was that written by Sheridan, just before his death, describing the extremity of his suffering, and praying Rogers to come to him. But I must check myself. A catalogue raisonné of what our eyes but glanced over would fill folios. I had the pleasure at breakfast of sitting next Mr. Babbage, whose name is so well known among us as the author of the self-calculating machine. He has a most remarkable eye, that looks as if it might penetrate science, or any thing else he chose to look into. He described the iron steamer now building, which has a larger tonnage than any merchant ship in the world, and expressed an opinion that iron ships would supersede all others; and another opinion that much concerns us, and which, I trust, may soon be verified--that in a few years these iron steamers will go to America in seven days!
Macaulay was of the party. His conversation resembles his writings; it is rich and delightful, filled with anecdotes and illustrations from the abounding stores of his overflowing mind. Some may think he talks too much ; but none, except from their own impatient vanity, could wish it were less.
'It was either at Mr. Rogers', or at a breakfast a few days after at Mr. R.'s sister's (whose house, by the way, is a fair pendant for his), that we had much Monkbarn's humor, from worthy disciples of that king of old bachelors, on the subject of matrimony. H. said there had been many a time in his life when he should have married, if he could some fine day have walked quietly into a village-church, and met at the altar a lady having come as quietly into another door, and then, after the marriage service, each have departed their separate way, with no observation, no speculation upon the engagement, no congratulations before or after. Rogers, who seems resolved to win the crown of celibiat martyrdom (is there a crown for it?), pronounced matrimony a folly at any period of life, and quoted a saying of some wicked Benedict, that, ' no matter whom you married, you would find afterward you had married another person.
No doubt; but, except with the idealizing lover, I believe the expectation is as often surpassed as disappointed. There is a generous opinion, for a single woman, of your married fortunes !'
- Ib. pp. 70-74. Miss Sedgwick was specially gratified by her interview with Joanna Baillie, whose dramatic productions are probably less known amongst the readers of the Eclectic than their merits deserve. The allusion to Lady Byron at the close of the follow
ing extract does nothing more than simple justice to that amiable and accomplished lady.
'I believe, of all my pleasures here, dear J. will most envy me that of seeing Joanna Baillie, and of seeing her repeatedly at her own home; the best point of view for all best women. She lives on Hampstead Hill, a few miles from town, in a modest house, with Miss Agnes Baillie, her only sister, a most kindly and agreeable person. Miss Baillie-I write this for J., for we women always like to know how one another look and dress—Miss Baillie has a well-preserved appearance; her face has nothing of the vexed or sorrowing expression that is often so deeply stamped by a long experience of life. It indicates a strong mind, great sensibility, and the benevolence that, I believe, always proceeds from it if the mental constitution be a sound one, as it eminently is in Miss Baillie's case. She has a pleasing figure -what we call lady-like-that is, delicate, erect, and graceful; not the large-boned, muscular frame of most English women. her own grey hair ; a general fashion by-the-way here, which I wish we elderly ladies of America may have the courage and the taste to imitate ; and she wears the prettiest of brown silk gowns and bonnets fitting the beau ideal of an old lady; an ideal she might inspire if it has no pre-existence. You would, of course, expect her to be, as she is, free from pedantry and all modes of affectation; but I think you would be surprised to find yourself forgetting, in a domestic and confiding feeling, that you were talking with the woman whose name is best established among the female writers of her country; in short, forgetting every thing but that you were in the society of a most charming private gentlewoman. She might (would that all female writers could !) take for her device a flower that closes itself against the noontide sun, and unfolds in the evening shadows.
We lunched with Miss Baillie. Mr. Tytler, the historian, and his sister were present. Lord Woodhouselee, the intimate friend of Scott, was their father. Joanna Baillie appears to us, from Scott's letters to her, to have been his favorite friend ; and the conversation among so many personally familiar with him naturally turned upon him, and many a pleasant anecdote was told, many a thrilling word quoted.
It was pleasant to hear these friends of Scott and Mackenzie talk of them as familiarly as we speak of W., B., and other household friends. They all agree in describing Mackenzie as a jovial, bearty sort of person, without any indication in his manners and conversation of the exquisite sentiment he infused into his writings. One of the party remembered his coming home one day in great glee from a cockfight, and his wife saying to him, 'Oh, Harry, Harry, you put all your feelings on paper !
' 'I was glad to hear Miss Baillie, who is an intimate friend of Lady Byron, speak of her with tender reverence, and of her conjugal infeli. city as not at all the result of any quality or deficiency on her part, but inevitable. Strange this is not the universal impression, after Byron's own declaration to Moore that 'there never was a better or
even a brighter, a kinder, or a more amiable and agreeable being than Lady B.''-Ib. pp. 74–77.
Carlyle, Hallam, and Sidney Smith are briefly sketched in a manner which may not be uninteresting to such of our readers as are acquainted with their writings, but have never had an opportunity of personal intercourse with these distinguished
The sketches are slight, and want filling up, nevertheless we transcribe them for the information of our young friends, who are naturally interested in all that pertains to the appearance and manner of such men.
• I may say that we have scaled the ladder of evening entertainments here, going from a six o'clock family tea up to a magnificent concert at L
house; and the tea at this home-like hour was at Carlyle's. He is living in the suburbs of London, near the Thames ; my impression is, in rather an humble way ; but when your eye is filled with a grand and beautiful temple, you do not take the dimensions of surrounding objects; and if any man can be independent of them, you mi ht expect Carlyle to be. His head would throw a phrenologist into ecstasies. It looks like the · forge of thought' it is; and his eyes have a preternatural brilliancy. He reminded me of what Lockhart said to me, speaking of the size of Webster's head, that he had brains enough to fill half-a-dozen hats.' Carlyle has as strong a Scotch accent as Mr. Combe. His manner is simple, natural, and kindly. His conversation has the picturesqueness of his writings, and flows as naturally, and as free from Germanism, as his own mountain streams are from any infusion of German soil. He gave us an interesting account of his first acquaintance with E-n. He was living with his wife in a most secluded part of Scotland. They had no neighbors, no communication with the world, excepting once a week or fortnight, when he went some miles to a post-office in the hope of a letter or some other intimation that the world was going on. One day a stranger came to them-a young American-and he seemed to them an angel.' They spoke of him as if they had never lost their first impression of his celestial nature. Carlyle had met Mr. Webster, and expressed a humorous surprise that a man from over the sea should talk English, and be as familiar as the natives with the English constitution and laws,
With all that priest or jurist saith,
Of modes of law, or modes of faith.' He said Webster's eyes were like dull furnaces, that only wanted blowing on to lighten them up. And, by the way, it is quite interesting to perceive that our great countryman has made a sensation here, where it is all but as difficult to make one as to make a mark on the ocean. They have given him the soubriquet of the Great Western, and they seem particularly struck with his appearance. A gentleman said to me, ‘His eyes open, and open, and open, and you think they will never stop opening;' and a painter was heard to exclaim, on see
ing him, “What a head! what eyes ! what a mouth! and, my God! what coloring !
"We had a very amusing evening at Mr. Hallam's, whom (thanks to F., as thanks to her for all my best privileges in London) I have had the great pleasure of seeing two or three times. But this kind of seeing is so brief and imperfect, that it amounts to little more than seeing the pictures of these great people. Mr. Hallam has a very pleasing countenance, and a most good-humored and playful manner. I quite forgot he was the sage of the Middle Ages. He reminded
; but his simplicity is more genuine; not at all that of the great man trying to play child. You quite forget, in the freedom and ease of the social man, that he is ever the hero in armour. We met Sidney Smith at his house, the best known of all the wits of the civilized world. The company was small; he was i' the vein, which is like a singer being in voice, and we saw him, I believe, to advantage. His wit was not, as I expected, a succession of brilliant explosions, but a sparkling stream of humor, very like — when he is at home, and i' the vein too; and, like him also, he seemed to enjoy his own fun, and to have fattened on it.
• He expressed unqualified approbation of Dickens, and said that 10,000 of each number of Nicholas Nickleby were sold. There was a young man present, who, being flushed with some recent literary success, ventured to throw himself into the arena against this old lionking, and, to a lover of such sport, it would have been pleasant to see how he crackled him up, flesh, bones, and all.'—Ib. pp. 85–88.
We close our extracts from this part of Miss Sedgwick's volume with the following group.
*I have met many persons here whom to meet was like seeing the originals of familiar pictures. Jane Porter, Mrs. Opie, Mrs. Austin, Lockhart, Milman, Morier, Sir Francis Chantrey, &c. I owed Mrs. Opie a grudge for having made me, in my youth, cry my eyes out over her stories ; but her fair, cheerful face forced me to forget it. She long ago forswore the world and its vanities, and adopted the Quaker faith and costume : but I fancied that her elaborate simplicity, and the fashionable little train to her pretty satin gown, indicated how much easier it is to adopt a theory than to change one's habits. Mrs. Austin stands high here for personal character, as well as for the very inferior but undisputed property of literary accomplishments. Her translations are so excellent that they class her with good original writers. If her manners were not strikingly conventional, she would constantly remind me of -; she has the same Madame Roland order of architecture and outline, but she wants her charm of natural. ness and attractive sweetness ; so it may not seem to Mrs. A.'s sisters and fond friends. A company attitude is rarely any body's best.
There is a most pleasing frankness and social charm in Sir Francis Chantrey's manner. I called him repeatedly Mr. Chantrey, and begged him to pardon me on the ground of not being native to the manner. He laughed good-naturedly, and said something of having
been longer accustomed to the plebeian designation. I heard from Mr. R. a much stronger illustration than this of this celebrated artist's good sense and good feeling too. Chantrey was breakfasting with Mr. R., when, pointing to some carving in wood, he asked R. if he remembered that, some twenty years before, he employed a young man to do that work for him. R. had but an indistinct recollection. I was that young man,' resumed Chantrey, and very glad to get the five shillings a day you paid me! Mr. B. told a pendant to this pretty story. Mr. B. was discussing with Sir Francis the propriety of gilding something, I forget what. B. was sure it could be done, Chantrey as sure it could not; and I should know,' he said, 'for I was once apprentice to a carver and gilder.' Perhaps, after all, it is not so crowning a grace in Sir Francis Chantrey to refer to the obscure morning of his brilliant day, as it is a disgrace to the paltry world that it should be so considered.
* I have seen Owen of Lanark—a curiosity rather from the sensation he at one time produced in our country, than from any thing very extraordinary in the man. He is pushing his theories with unabated zeal. He wasted an hour in trying to convince me that he could make the world over and set all to rights,' if he were permitted to substitute two or three truths for two or three prevailing errors; and on the same morning a philanthropical phrenologist endeavored to show me how, if his theory were established, the world would soon become healthy, wealthy, and wise. Both believe the good work is going on - happy men ! So it has always been ; there must be some philoso. pher's stone, some short-hand process, rather than the slow way of education and religious discipline which, to us, Providence seems to have ordained.'— Ib. pp. 92-94.
In our author's account of the manners of English society there is much shrewd observation and accurate pencilling. She writes in a spirit perfectly friendly, does full justice to whatever excellencies she noted, yet detects some blemishes to which our self-esteem renders us insensible. One of the chief advantages attending the perusal of such a work as the present is, the impartial view which is given of ourselves,—the un-English aspect under which we are assisted to look at our own habits and manners, the general condition of our society, and the points of attraction and repulsion which our character presents to foreigners. It is doubtless somewhat mortifying to our national vanity to learn that we are not quite perfect; yet it becomes us to be grateful to the instructress, who, by wise counsels conceived in much kindness, puts the means of self-improvement within our reach.
I have seen nothing here,' remarks Miss Sedgwick, “to change my opinion that there is something in the Anglo-Saxon race essentially adverse to the spirit and grace of society. I have seen more invention, spirit, and ease in one soirée in a German family at New York, than I have ever seen here, or should see in a season in purely American