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Title: Impressions of England; or, Sketches of English Scenery and Society

Author: A. Cleveland Coxe

Release date: January 13, 2017 [eBook #53952]

Language: English

Credits: E-text prepared by Mardi Desjardins and the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team ( from page images digitized by the Google Books Library Project ( and generously made available by Internet Archive (



E-text prepared by Mardi Desjardins
and the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team
from page images digitized by
the Google Books Library Project
and generously made available by
Internet Archive


Note: Images of the original pages, digitized by Google, are available through Internet Archive. See





















When I travelled, I saw many things; and I understand more than I can express.

Ecclus. xxxiv. 11.









Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1855,




In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States for the

Southern District of New York.




Stereotyper and Electrotypist,

17 Dutch-st., cor. Fulton,

New York.


GEO. RUSSELL & CO., Printers

61 Beekman-street, N. Y.

















A. C. C.

Baltimore, 1855.


The following sketches pre-suppose, on the part of the reader, a familiarity with English subjects, and with the geography, history and literature of England. The writer has endeavored to avoid the common-places of travel, and has made no allusion to topics which are generally understood, such as the petty annoyances one meets at hotels, and the coldness and phlegm of fellow-travellers. He has also forborne to dwell on the greater evils of English society, because these have been thoroughly discussed and exposed, as well by Englishmen as by foreigners. Besides, our countrymen are kept constantly in view of that side of the matter, and there would be no relish of novelty to excuse him for treating them afresh to whole pages made up of the untrustworthy statistics of Dissenting Almanacs, and the rant of Irish members of Parliament. Although English travellers have often dealt unfairly with us, he prefers to show his dislike of such examples, by forbearing to imitate them. Nor does he regard a different course as due to his love of country. A clergyman who devotes his life to the holiest interests of his native land, and who daily thinks, and prays, and toils, and exhorts others, in behalf of her wants—alike those which are purely religious and those which pertain to letters, to education and to society in general—may surely excuse himself from vociferous professions of patriotism. He freely avows his love of country to be consistent with a perception of her faults and deficiencies, and mainly to consist in a high appreciation of her many advantages; in a sense of responsibility for the blessings of which she has made him partaker; and in a studious desire always to remember what is due to her reputation, so far as his humble share in it may be concerned. Whether at home or abroad, he would endeavour so to act as never to disgrace her; but he cannot sympathize with the sort of patriotism which rejoices in the faults of other countries, or which travels mainly to gloat over them. Least of all, can he share in any petty comparisons of ourselves with our mother country. If there be Englishmen who take any pleasure in our defects, he is sorry for their narrowness; if any American finds satisfaction in this or that blemish of English society, he cannot comprehend it. He considers a sacred alliance between the two countries eminently important to mankind; and he who would peril such interests, for the sake of some trivial matter of personal pride, must be one of the most pitiable specimens of human nature, be he American or Briton.

He has aimed, therefore, to present his countrymen with a record of the pleasures which travel in England may afford to any one pre-disposed to enjoy himself, and able to appreciate what he sees. He confesses, also, that he has though rather confined himself to an exhibition of the bright side of the picture, because he fears that many of his countrymen are sceptical as to its existence. He suspects that Americans too commonly go to England prepared to dislike it, and soon cross the channel determined to be happy in France.

As a great measure of his own enjoyment depended upon the fact, that he mingled freely with English society, he thinks it proper to say that he owed his introductions chiefly to a few English friends with whom he had corresponded for years beforehand. He supplied himself with very few introductions from his native land, and even of these he presented only a part; and in accepting civilities he was careful to become indebted for them, only when he had a prospect of being able, in some degree, to return them. As the inter-communion of the Churches tends to make the interchange of hospitalities more frequent, he was the rather desirous in nothing to presume on the good-will at present existing; the abuse of which will certainly defeat the ends for which it has been so generously promoted.

Having given years to the study of the British Constitution, and to the Literature and Religion of England, he has for a long time been accustomed to watch its politics, and its public men. He has, therefore, spoken of several public characters, both Whigs and Tories, in a manner which their respective admirers will hardly approve, but, as he believes, without prejudice, and as a foreigner may do, with more freedom than a fellow-subject. In such expressions of personal opinion he has given an independent judgment, and he is very sure that many of his English friends will be sorry to see some of his criticisms on their leading statesmen. It is but just to them to say, that in remarks on the Sovereign, and her amiable Consort, the writer has spoken entirely for himself, and with a freedom, in which their loyalty and affection never allow them to indulge. He believes that an impartial posterity will, nevertheless, sustain the views with respect to political matters which he has expressed, and he considers it part of the duty of a traveller, in detailing his impressions, to be frank on such subjects, in avowing “how it strikes a stranger.”

He desires also to confess another purpose, in preparing and publishing this little work. He has aimed to present, prominently, to his readers, the distinguishing and characteristic merits of English civilization. Innumerable causes are now at work to debase the morals of our own countrymen. With the contemporaries of Washington, that high social refinement which was kept up amid all the evils of our colonial position, has well-nigh passed away. The dignity of personal bearing, the careful civility of intercourse, and the delicate sense of propriety which characterized the times of our grandfathers, have disappeared. The vulgarizing influences of a dissocial sectarianism are beginning to be perceived. The degrading effects of sudden wealth; the corruptions bred of luxury; the evils of a vast and mongrel immigration; and not least, the vices communicated to our youth, by contact with the Mexican and half-Spanish populations contiguous to our southern frontier; all these corrosive elements are operating among us with a frightful and rapid result. The contrast with such tendencies, of the sober and comparatively healthful progress of society in our ancestral land, the writer supposes, cannot but be acceptable at least to those of his countrymen who deprecate this deterioration, and who, for themselves and their families, are anxious to cultivate an acquaintance with those domestic, educational and religious institutions which have given to England her moral power and dignity among the nations of the civilized world.

These sketches were originally contributed to the New-York Church Journal, but are here given in a revised and complete form. They are a record of the memorable year 1851—a year to which English history will look back as the last, and the full-blown flower of a long peace. The revival of the imperial power in France, at the close of that year, has opened a new era in Europe, the effects of which upon the British Empire can hardly be foreseen.

A. C. C.

Baltimore, 1855.



Holyhead—Incidents of the Voyage—Oxford stage-coach and Stratford guide-post—Easter-bells and Easter solemnities—An Elizabethan Mansion—A Roger-de-Coverley picture in real life—A Fancy Chapel—An old fashioned Vicarage.


Aspect of a Cathedral-town—Lichfield Cathedral, its injuries and restorations—St. Chad, and Stowe-Church—Lord Brooke, his sacrilege and retribution—Dr. Johnson and his penance—The Three-Crowns Inn—Evening Service at the Cathedral—A Midland-county custom.


Brummagem Bishops—American oak in King Edward’s School—New-England in Deritend—Oscott—Italian Catholicity—Pugin and the Papists—The Oratory and Mr. Newman—An Oratorian Sermon—Romish Methodism.


Scene at a London Railway Station—A drive to Pall-Mall—Whitehall and Hungerford Bridge—The new Bishop of Lincoln—The S. P. G. House—Nell Gwynne—Westminster Abbey—The Jerusalem Chamber—Lord John Thynne—The Coronation Vestments.


Historic Scenes in Westminster Hall—The Scene it presents in our days—The New Palace and Victoria Tower—The silent Highway—Lambeth Palace—Chelsea, and Martin the painter—Whitehall Palace and Garden—Oratorio at Chelsea—Sara Coleridge and other members of the poet’s family.


Bury Street, St. James—The Lungs of London—Riding in Rotten-Row—First view of the Crystal-palace—The venerable S. P. G.—The Bishop of Oxford—First glimpse of Oxford—Cuddesdon Palace—A Sermon at St. Ebbe’s—A country Church—Bishop Lowth’s Epitaph on his daughter.


Forest-hill—A walk in the country—Miltonian scenery—Mary Powell’s birth-place—A dame’s School—Milton’s Well—A neat-handed Phillis—Elucidations on the spot—Sir William Jones.


Oxford—William of Wykeham—New College and its Gardens—Magdalen—Addison’s Walk—Scene in the Convocation-house—May-morning hymn on Magdalen Tower—Scenery of the surrounding country—Morning-bells and a walk in the College-grounds.


The Queen’s Progress to the Crystal-palace—The mob in the Park—The Queen’s return—Her appearance at Buckingham Palace—Americans at a discount—The interior view of the Great Exhibition—A high-priced day and a low-priced day—The end of the bubble—Jack in the Green.


The Chapel Royal of St. James—The Duke of Wellington at his prayers—The Sermon—The Duke at the Holy Communion—St. Paul’s Cathedral—How it compares with St. Peter’s—Effect of the Choral Service—Dean Milman—St. Barnabas’, Pimlico, and its Mediævalisms—Fashion at St. George’s—The Bishop of Nova-Scotia.


Ramblings in London—All-hallows, Barking—First view of the Tower—The Sovereigns on horseback—Historical relics—The Armada and its cargo—The block and the axe—The jewel-room—Laud and Strafford—Prisoners’ inscriptions—The graves in the Tower-Chapel—The Traitors’ gate.


House of Commons—Message from the Lords—D’Israeli—Lord John—The Speaker—The Abbey and Whitehall at dead of night—The Papal Aggression—The course of the Whigs with the Papists—The Irish Brigade—Lord John and D’Israeli in a personal debate—Feebleness of Ministerial measures.


Decorations of the House of Lords—Their wholesome moral—The future of the new Chamber—The Aristocracy—Manners in Parliament—The Lord Chancellor Truro—The London Police—Their impartiality.


Exhibitions of Art—Westminster Bridge—Lambeth—A wherry on the River—Temple Gardens and Church—Twelfth-Night—To the ball on the dome of St. Paul’s—Descent to the Crypts—Nelson’s Tomb—The Thames Tunnel—Shipping.


The Cries of London—Covent Garden Market—The Savoy—St. Clement Danes and Dr. Johnson—Anecdote of Johnson at Temple-bar—Lincoln’s Inn—Heralds’ College—The Times—The Old Bailey—A Trial for Murder—A Visit to the Dead—Milton’s Grave—Grub-street—Chaucer’s Tabard.


Charms of Society in London—The London Season—Breakfast-parties—Dining out—Children at the Dessert—Evening-parties—Historical Costumes—A literary party at Lady Talfourd’s—Influence of high refinement on individual character—Pronunciation—A breakfast at Samuel Rogers’.


Exeter College, Oxford—A Sunday at Oxford—Common-room of Oriel—Visit to Nuneham Courtenay—Parish-school—Society in Oxford—Life of an Oxonian Fellow—A visit to Dr. Routh—Relics of Laud—Oxford Martyrs—Libraries and Museum—Chapel of Merton—A boat-race.


Iffley Church—Radley, and a walk through Bagley Wood—Making a Doctor of Divinity—A drive through the country—Parish-stocks—Incidents of the journey—Old villages—Descent into the Vale of Gloucester—A picture in real scenery.


Worcester Cathedral—Coaching to Malvern—Great and Little Malvern—Tewksbury—Wars of the Roses—Bredon—Sunday at Kemerton—May’s Hill—The Cuckoo—Gloucester—The Church at Highnam—Architectural beauty of Gloucester Cathedral—Effect in twilight.


The Old Palace of St. James—Preparations for going to Court—The procession of carriages—The Presentation—The Queen and Prince Albert—A drawing-room—The Ladies—Decorations of the royal apartments—Portraits in the Corridor—Reflections.


A visit to Harrow Weald—Ascension Day—Oak-leaves in honor of the Restoration—Cricket—Evening Service, and a remarkable Sermon—Coventry—Peeping Tom and Lady Godiva—Kenilworth—The ruins—Guy’s Cliff—Piers Gaveson—Warwick Castle.


Stratford-upon-Avon—The Red-Horse Inn—Geoffrey Crayon—The Birth-place of Shakspeare—New-Place—Walk to Shottery—The Churchyard—The Church and Tomb—The Epitaph of Shakspeare’s daughter—Influence of the Church on the mind of Shakspeare.


Nottingham—Lord Byron’s reputation—The Castle—Derby—The Wye—Haddon Hall—Gallery—Chapel—Chatsworth—Matlock-Bath—Shrewsbury—A Sedan-chair—Welsh Emigrants—Chester—Eaton-Hall.


St. Winifred’s Well—The Vale of Clwyd—Rhuddlan—St. Asaph—A Welsh Inn—Welsh hospitality—The Welsh service in a rural Church—The Holy Clerk of Llanerch—Mrs. Hemans—St. Mary’s Well—Conway Castle.


Bangor—Menai Straits, and a Trip to Caernarvon—Llanberis and Dolbardan—Caernarvon Castle—The Eagle tower—Nant Ffrancon—Capel Curig—Corwen—Valle Crucis—Llangollen—Miss Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler.


Gypsies—The Man of Ross—Market day—Monmouth—Tintern Abbey in a storm—A Vicar’s children—The Wind-cliff—Tintern in sunshine—The Severn—Clifton, Bristol and St. Mary Redcliffe—Chatterton—Bristol Cathedral—Mrs. Mason’s tomb—A dissenting minister—His charity.


Glastonbury—King Arthur’s coffin—Restorations at Wells—Ordination at Bradfield—Solemnities of the Jubilee—Willis’s Rooms—A Centenarian—Speeches at St. Martin’s Hall—The Archbishop in his Study—The Jubilee Sermons—Samuel Warren.


Jubilee-service at the Cathedral—A Lord Mayor’s Feast—Lord Glenelg—Eton College—St. George’s Chapel and Windsor Castle—A Dame’s House—A swim in the Thames—Hampton Court—Pictures and Cartoons—Hursley Church, and the Poet Keble—Winchester School—St. Cross Hospital—Relics.


Winchester Cathedral—Wykeham and Wayneflete—Cardinal Beaufort—Bishop Fox—Stephen Gardiner—The Altar—Reliquary chests—Izaak Walton—An American Vicar—His ingenuities—Salisbury Plain and Stonehenge—George Herbert—Netley Abbey—The Isle of Wight—Portsmouth—Chichester—Brighton.


St. Augustine’s, Canterbury—Queen Bertha’s Church—The Patriarchal Cathedral—Becket—The Black Prince—Archbishop Howley—The Dane John—Drive to Borne—The Judicious Hooker—One of the Squirearchy—Rochester—Westminster Archives—Chapel of Henry VII.—Grave of Addison—British Museum—Richmond Hill—Thomson’s grave—Pope’s skull.


The Encænia at Oxford—The uproar—Bedford and John Bunyan—Fourth of July—The gates of Caius—Comparison of the two Universities—Chancellor Albert—Old Hobson—The Isthmus of Sues—Milton’s Mulberry—The small Colleges—The Fitzwilliam—King’s College—Trinity.


Ely Cathedral—Its beautiful restorations—Peterborough—The graves of two Queens—A King of Spades—Lincoln and Bishop Grostete—The Cathedral—Jews’ House—The City of Constantine—York Minster—Ripon—Fountains’ Abbey—Durham—The Bishop of Exeter—The University—Newcastle—Amen Corner.


Return from Scotland—Gretna Green—Carlisle—The Lakes—Windermere—Dr. Arnold’s enthusiasm—An American Sunday and an English one—Grassmere—A Poet’s Widow—A walk to Keswick—Cockney rhetoric—Derwentwater—A Poet’s Sepulchre—Penrith—The Countess’ Pillar—Dotheboys Hall—Rokeby—Kirkstall Abbey.


A pilgrimage to Olney—Cowper’s services to Literature—Anti-Snobbery—Cowper’s pedigree—A lace-maker—Olney bridge—The Summer-house—Weston-Underwood—The Wilderness—Cowper’s Autograph and Adieu—The Greek Slave—White-bait at Greenwich—The Prime Meridian—The pensioners—Good-night.


Return from the Continent—Despatches—England and Southern Europe—The Sepulchre of Andrewes—Westminster by Candlelight—St. Bartholomew’s, Moor-lane—The Anglican Reformers—Superficial views of travellers—Dissent in England—Tithes—The late Recusancy—Newman and the Dublin Review—The English Bible—Conclusion.



First and Second Thoughts—A Warwickshire Welcome.

About noon, one hazy April day, I found myself approaching the British coast, and was informed by the Captain of our gallant steamer, that in a few minutes we should gain a glimpse of the mountains of Wales. Instead of rushing to the upper-deck, I found myself forced by a strange impulse to retire to my state-room. For nearly thirty years had my imagination been fed with tales of the noble island over the sea; and for no small portion of that period, its history and its institutions had been a favorite subject of study. To exchange, forever, the England of my fancy for the matter-of-fact England of the nineteenth century, was something to which I was now almost afraid to consent. For a moment I gave way to misgivings; collected and reviewed the conceptions of childhood; and then betook myself, solemnly, to the reality of seeing, with my own eyes, the land of my ancestors, in a spirit of thankfulness for so great a privilege. I went on deck. There was a faint outline of Snowdon in the misty distance; and before long, as the mist dispersed, there, just before us, was the noble brow of Holyhead.

It reminded me of the massive promontory opposite Breakneck, as we descend the Hudson, towards West Point: but the thought that it was another land, and an old as well as an ancestral one, strangely mingled with my comparative memories of home. There is something like dying and waking to life again, in leaving one’s home, and committing one’s self to such a symbol of Eternity as the Ocean, and then, after long days and nights, beholding the reality of things unknown before, and entering upon new scenes, with a sense of immense separation from one’s former self. Oppressive thoughts of the final emigration from this world, and descrying, at last, “the land that is very far off,” were forced upon me. We doubled the dangerous rocks of Skerries, and began to coast along the northern shore of Anglesea: and then, with my perspective-glass, I amused myself contentedly, for hours, as I picked out the objects presenting themselves on the land. Now a windmill, now a village, and now—delightful sight—a Christian spire! It was night-fall when our guns saluted the port of Liverpool, and our noble steamer came to anchor in the Mersey.

Our voyage had been a very pleasant, and a highly interesting one. Extraordinary icebergs had been visible for several successive days, and had given us enough of excitement to relieve the tediousness of the mid-passage. Our two Sundays had been sanctified by the solemnities of worship; and the only mishap of our voyage had been such as to draw forth much good feeling, and to leave a very deep impression. One of the hands had been killed by accidental contact with the engine, and had been committed to the deep with the Burial Service of the Church, in the presence of all on board. A handsome purse was immediately made up for the surviving mother of the deceased; and the painful event tended greatly to the diffusion of a fraternal sympathy among the entire company. We became as one family: and now, before retiring for the night, I was requested, by those who remained on board, to offer a solemn thanksgiving to Almighty God, for our safe deliverance from the perils of the sea. This it gave me pleasure to do; and the words of the Psalmist rose in our evening devotions, “Then are they glad because they are at rest; and so he bringeth them unto the haven where they would be.” The noble vessel in which we had accomplished our voyage now lies many fathoms deep in the sea. It was the Arctic.

On landing, in the morning, I inwardly saluted the dear soil, on which I was permitted at last to place my feet, and on which I could not feel, altogether, a foreigner. I ran the gauntlet of tide-waiters, and the like, without anything to complain of, and, after a bath at the Adelphi, made my way to St. George’s Church. Here, for the first time, I joined in the worship of our English Mother; though it was difficult to conceive myself a stranger, until the expression—“Victoria, our Queen and Governor”—recalled the fact that I was worshipping with the subjects of an earthly Sovereign, as well as among my brethren of the glorious City of God.

A letter awaited me at the Post Office, which invited me to spend my rest-days with a dear friend. So, after a hasty survey of Liverpool, which I did not care to inspect minutely, I took an early evening train for Warwickshire, and was soon speeding athwart highways, and through hedges, towards my friend’s abode. Even my glimpses of England, from the flying carriage, were enough to occupy my mind delightfully: and often did some scene upon the road-side, or in the sprouting fields, recall incidents of history, or passages of poetic description, which filled me with emotion, and greatly heightened my preconceptions of the pleasures before me, in the tour which I thus began.

So it happened that my first night on shore was passed beneath the roof of a pleasant English parsonage. My host had been, for years, my correspondent, and though we had never met before, we counted ourselves old friends. My bed-room had been prepared for me, and furnished with such things, in the way of books and the like, as, it was fancied, would suit my tastes. One window overlooked the Church; and another, over the churchyard, and its green graves, commanded a pretty view of the fields. It was the Holy Week. I was waked every morning by the bell for early prayers. The Bishop of W—— had sent me his permission to officiate, and when I went to Church, it was always as a priest of the One Communion. I was at home: as much so as if I had lived, for years, in the house where I was a guest. We kept the holy time together, and limited our diversions to pleasant and somewhat professional walks. We visited, for example, a parochial establishment, in which some twenty widows were lodged, by the benevolent charity of an individual. Every widow had her own little cottage, and the entire buildings enclosed a square, in which was their common garden. There was also a small chapel; and in each little home there was a text inscribed over the fire-place, encouraging charity, forbearance, and love to God. Here was a quiet Beguinage, built many years ago, and never heard of: but there are many such, in England, dear to God, and the fruits of his Church. I visited also a school founded by King Edward Sixth; and having, on my first landing at Liverpool, paid a visit to its Blue Coat Hospital, founded by a prosperous seaman of the port, and furnishing a noble example to all sea-port cities, I had seen not a little to charm me with the religion of England, before I had been a week on her shores. Our quiet walks through lanes and by-paths, were not less gratifying in their way. The hedges and the fields, gardens and residences, the farms and the very highways, were full of attractions to my eye, and the more so, because my companion seemed to think he could find nothing to show me! He knew not the heart of an American, fond of his mother country, and for the first time in his life coming into contact with old-fashioned things. A heavy wagon, lumbering along the road to market, and inscribed, “John Trott, Carrier, Ashby-de-la-Zouche”—was enough to set me thinking of past and present, of the poetry of Ivanhoe, and the prose of a market-wain; and when I saw a guide-post, which for years had directed travellers “To Stratford,” only twenty miles off, I could almost have bowed to it. A stage coach came along, bearing “Oxford” on its panels; and the thought that it had started that very morning from the seat of the University, and had raised the dust of Stratford-on-Avon, made its wheels look dignified. To enjoy England one must be an American, and a hearty and earnest member of the Anglican Church. Even the cry of “hot cross buns,” which waked me on Good Friday morning, reviving the song of the nursery, and many more sacred associations with the day, made me thankful that I was no alien to the spirit of the solemnities, which even a traditionary cry in the streets tends to fasten upon the heart and conscience of a nation.

Easter morning came at last, and I was up with the sun, and out for a walk. It came with a bright sunrise, and many cheerful notes from morning birds. I was confident I heard a lark singing high up in the air, for though I could not see the little fellow, I could not mistake the aspiring voice. His Easter Carol was a joyous one, and I set it to the familiar words—

Christ, our Lord, is risen to-day,

Sons of men and angels say!

The hedges were just in leaf: here and there the hawthorn had blossomed, but the weather was too cold for its silvery beauty; and one almost pitied the few adventurous flowers, that, like good Churchmen, seemed only to have come out in conscientious regard to the day. I finished my morning walk by a turn or two through the church-yard, every grave of which was sparkling with dews, illuminated by the Easter sun. How forcibly the scene represented the resurrection: “The dew of thy birth is of the womb of the morning.”

As I entered the parsonage, I heard the bells chiming from a distant parish church. My reverend friend met me with the salutation—“the Lord is risen;” to which I could not but fervently respond in the same primitive spirit. We had a festal breakfast, after family prayers, and soon it was time for service. I could willingly have been a worshipper in private, but submitted to the authority of the parson, and became one of his curates for the day. We emerged from the Vestry in due order of the Psalmist—“the singers going before,” men and boys alike in surplices; the latter with red cheeks, and white ribbons to tie their collars, looking like little chubby cherubs, and when they lifted their voices, sounding still more like them. The chancel was neatly decorated; a few flowers placed over the altar, and an inscription on its cloth, “I am the Bread of Life.” With the choral parts of the service I was surprised, as well as delighted. Boys and men all did their parts, in a manner which would have done honor to the authorities of a Cathedral, and I observed that the congregation generally accompanied the choir, especially the children in the galleries. I had never before heard the Athanasian Hymn as part of the regular Service, and I was greatly impressed by its majestic effect. After the Nicene Creed, I ascended the pulpit, and preached “Jesus and the Resurrection,” and then, returning to the Altar, celebrated the Holy Eucharist, according to the English rite, administering to my reverend brethren and the lay-communicants. To this high privilege I was pressingly invited by the pastor himself, in token of entire communion with the Church in America; and thus I was able to join my personal thanksgivings for the mercies of a voyage, and my prayers for my absent flock and family, to a public exercise of the highest functions of my priesthood, at the altar of an English Church.

The many incidents of the day, which afforded me ever fresh delight, might lose their charm, if reduced to narration, or might strike the reader as proofs of my facility to be gratified. But I cannot but mention that, strolling away, in the afternoon, to see how service was performed at another Church, I was gratified to find it filled with devout worshippers of the plainer sort, attentively listening to a very excellent sermon, appropriate to the day. While the preacher was warmly enlarging upon the promise of a glorious resurrection, and I was quite absorbed in his suggestions, I suddenly caught a glimpse, among the crowd of worshippers, of a figure which startled me, as forcibly illustrative of the words of the preacher, “thy dead men shall live.” It was the recumbent effigy of an old ecclesiastic of the fifteenth century, which I had not observed before. As if listening to the preacher, in joyful hope, there it lay upon the tomb, hands clasped placidly together, and looking steadfastly towards heaven! How it seemed to join the hopes of the dead with those of the living, and to give force to every word which fell from the pulpit concerning the glory which shall be revealed in all those who sleep in Jesus!

With Easter-Monday our holidays, in the school-boy sense, began. My reverend friend proposed a visit to the Vicar, to whose patronage he owed his own incumbency of the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, in B——. Off we started on foot, passing through the suburbs of a populous town, and finally emerging into the open country. We came suddenly in sight of the old Church of A——; its beautiful spire and gables admirably harmonizing with the surrounding view, and telling a silent story of long past years. Beyond it, a majestic avenue of elms disclosed at its extremity a mansion of Elizabethan architecture and date; not the less reverend in my associations for the fact that Charles the First slept in it just before Edgehill fight, and that a cannon-ball, still lodged in the stair-case, attests the perilous honor which his Sacred Majesty was thus pleased to bestow on its occupant. The solemn dignity of an old English residence of this kind, had heretofore been to me a thing of imagination; now it was before my eye, not a whit less pleasing in its reality. The rooks were chattering in its venerable trees, which seemed to divide their predilections about equally with the steeple; and I am told that they are such knowing birds, that whenever you see a rookery, you may be sure that there is both orthodox faith, and at least one sort of good-living in the neighborhood.

Had I challenged my friend to show me a genuine Roger-de-Coverley picture in real life, as the entertainment of my holiday, I must have admitted myself satisfied with this scene at A——. Not only did the old hall, and the church, in all particulars, answer to such a demand; not only did a river run by the church-yard; not only were fields beyond, with cattle grazing, corn sprouting, and hedges looking freshly green; but when I entered the church-yard gate, lo! a rustic party, in holiday trim, were hanging about the old porch, awaiting the re-appearance of a bridal train, which had just gone in. It wanted but the old Knight himself and his friend the Spectator, to make the whole scene worthy of the seventeenth century.

I entered the church, and found it in all respects just such an interior as I had longed to see; apparently the original of many a pleasing print, illustrating Irving’s “Sketch-Book” and similar works, the delight of my childhood, and still affording pleasure in recollection. Its ample nave, widened by rows of aisles, terminated in the arch of a long chancel, at the altar of which stood not only one matrimonial couple, but actually five or six, whom two curates were busily uniting in the holy bonds of wedlock. When the procession returned from the altar, they passed into the vestry to register their names, and one of the curates coming to the door of the church, found another group of villagers, at the font, presenting a child for baptism. Following my friend into the vestry, I was presented to the Vicar himself, who seemed the genius loci in all respects; a venerable gray-haired old gentleman, in his surplice, full six feet in stature, and worthy to sit for a portrait of Dr. Rochecliffe, in Woodstock. It was now time for service, and I was desired to robe myself, and accompany him into the chancel, two curates, the clerk, and some singers leading the way. I was put into a stall, marked with the name of some outlying chapelry of the parish, and appropriate to its incumbent when present. The chancel was filled with monuments, of divers ages and styles. At my left hand lay the effigies of a knight and his good dame, in Elizabethan costume; beyond were a pair of Edward III.’s time; opposite were figures of the period of Henry VI. and much earlier; the knights all in armor, and some with crossed legs, as a token that they had fought in Palestine. The service was intoned by one of the curates, in a severe old tone, authorized in Archbishop Cranmer’s time, which the Vicar afterwards assured me was very ancient, and the only genuine music of the Church of England. When the service was concluded, there was a churching to be attended to, at the south porch of the church, and to this duty one of the curates was deputed, while the Vicar himself detained us in the chancel with an enthusiastic antiquarian illustration of the monuments, to which I was a most willing listener. Here slept the de Erdingtons, and there the Ardens: such and such was their story; and such and such were the merits of the sculpture. Chantrey had visited these figures, and assured him that they were the finest in the kingdom; and if I imagined, at the time, that such was merely Sir Francis’ courtesy to the worthy Vicar, I hope I may be forgiven, for some subsequent acquaintance with such things inclines me to believe the sculptor was sincere. On the walls were the heavy tablets of the Hanoverian period, and our attention was directed to the marked decline of art, from the period of the Crusades down to the Georges, growing worse and worse till George Fourth’s time, which improved the existing style, and was succeeded by a period of rapid return to correct taste and principle. Of all this the Church itself bore witness. Here the worthy man pointed out marks of its various stages of decline: here were barbarous repairs; there a sad blunder of old Church-wardens; here a wanton mutilation of Hanoverianism in 1790, when the very worst things happened to the holy and beautiful house; and there, at last, was a fine restoration of our own times.

We were next conducted to the church-yard, the Vicar having doffed his surplice, and assumed his usual habit, which partook of the dignity and taste of its wearer in a pleasing degree. His hat was specially ecclesiastical, and turned up at the sides, and over his cassock and bands he wore a clerical surtout, so that as he strode over the graves, in his small-clothes, displaying a finely proportioned leg, his entire figure might have been thought contemporary with that of his brother of Wakefield. We now learned the history of the Church, its great tithe, and its various plunderings under successive bad kings. We viewed the tower and spire from every possible point of vantage, and then went round the walls to see where a window had been blocked up, or a doorway broken through, or a pointed arch displaced for a square-headed debasement of the Tudor period. I never found before so good a “sermon in stones.” An ancient yew-tree was pointed out as having afforded boughs, before the reformation, for the celebration of Palm-Sunday. We adjourned to the Vicarage, where luncheon was served in the Library, a room filled with the choicest volumes; and then we were dismissed for a walk, promising to return, for our dinner, at five o’clock.

Our road soon brought us to E ——, where a Romish Chapel had been lately erected, by a man of fortune, in minute and extravagant reproduction of Mediævalism. It was a thing for a glass case; a piece of admirable art; a complete Pugin; and no doubt in the middle ages would have been a very suitable thing for its purposes; but, in our day, it seemed as little suited to Rome as to Canterbury. The Pope himself never saw such a place of worship, and would scarcely know how to use it; and it was chiefly interesting to me as enabling me to see, at a glance, what the finest old Parish Churches of England had been in the days of the Plantagenets. At any rate, they were never Tridentine, and they were always Anglican. This beautiful toy had a frightful Calvary in the church-yard; but the interior was adorned with the finest carvings in Caen stone, and brilliant colorings and gildings à la Froissart. The pulpit was adorned with the story of Becket, in very delicate sculpture, and around the Church were stations, or representations of the different stages of the Passion, carved elaborately in wood, and beautifully colored. The Virgin’s Altar and Chapel were gems of art; and, of course, replenished with striking proofs that they “worship and serve the creature more than the Creator.” I turned away heart-sick, that such unrealities of a dead antiquity could be employing the whole soul of any Englishman, and even tempting some into apostacy from the simple but always dignified Church of their ancestors. Let taste be the handmaid of religion, and all is well: but here was religion led captive by antiquarian fancy.

Many other objects of interest filled up our day. We made a complete circuit, crossing green fields, leaping ditches, and breaking through hedges. Up hill and down dell, and through fragrant country lanes; here a river, and there a pool; now a farm, and then a mill. Yellow gorse was in flower by the road-sides. We met many parties of village people enjoying their Easter sports, and dressed in holiday attire. This day, at least, it seemed merry England still. We came to Witton Manor-house, and thence caught a distant view of the spire, towards which it grew time to return. Immense elms, of darker look than those of New-England, beautified the view in every direction; and the landscape was diversified by many smaller trees, marking the water-courses. We came out, at last, by the old Hall, the exterior of which we closely examined, imagining the scene around its gates when the royal Stuart came to be its guest. Like many other mansions of the olden time, it is deserted now; and the deepening twilight in which we viewed it, harmonized entirely with the thoughts which it inspired. So we returned to the Vicarage, and again were warmly welcomed. At dinner we were presented to Mrs. ——, the Vicar’s wife, who seemed to take the liveliest interest in my country and its Church, and kindly to appreciate my own enjoyment of the events of the day. After dinner the Vicar lighted his long pipe, and continued his exceedingly interesting discourse about the olden time. I could see that he was no admirer of the Crystal Palace, and all that sort of thing. I had met a laudator temporis acti, whose character and venerable appearance gave him a right to lament the follies of our own age; and seldom have I enjoyed more keenly any intellectual treat than I did his arm-chair illustrations of past and present, as compared together. On his favorite topics of Church-music and Architecture he was very earnest and intelligent. The Northamptonshire Churches, he assured me, were the finest in England; and kindly introducing me to the summa fastigia rerum, he took me to the very garret, to hunt up some superb plates of his favorite localities. When I bade adieu to this Vicarage, it was as one leaves an old friend. Such hospitality, and such heart afforded to a stranger! Thus early had I found that old English manners are not yet extinct, and that the fellowship of the Church admits even a foreigner to their fullest enjoyment. It was eleven o’clock when we reached the no less hospitable home from which I started in the morning.


Easter Holidays—Lichfield and Dr. Johnson.

My reverend friend accompanied me to Lichfield, as our occupation for Easter-Tuesday; kindly expressing his desire to have a share in the enthusiasm, with which he justly imagined the first sight of an ancient cathedral would inspire a visiter from America. And although Lichfield is by no means one of the most impressive specimens of English cathedral architecture, as it is small, and not very well kept, I was very glad to begin my pilgrimage to the cathedrals with this venerable Church, the see of the primitive and apostolic St. Chad; the scene of some of the most severe and melancholy outrages of the Great Rebellion; and the sacred spot, in which some of the earliest and most durable impressions were made upon the character of the truly great Dr. Johnson. Familiar with all I expected to see, so far as books and engravings could make me so, it was thrilling to set out for my first visit to such a place, and I was obliged to smother something like anxiety lest the reality should fall far below anticipation. How would it strike me, after all? I was to tread, at last, the hallowed pavement of an ancient minster, in which the sacrifices of religion had been offered for centuries, and occupying a spot which had been drenched with the blood of primitive martyrs; I was to join in the solemn chant of its perpetual services; I was to go round about its walls, and mark well its bulwarks, and survey its towers, and to trace the tokens of those who had once set up their banners there, and broken down its carved work with axes and hammers, and defiled the place of its sanctuary. No English mind, to which ancient things have been familiar from birth, could possibly have appreciated my inward agitation at the prospect of such a day; and, as I took my seat in the train, I could not but wonder at the indifference of my fellow-passengers, to whom booking for Lichfield was an every-day affair, and whose associations with that city were evidently those of mere business, and downright matter-of-fact.

The three spires, crowning the principal towers of the Church, soon came in sight, and beneath its paternal shadow were clustered the humbler roofs of the town. How like a hen gathering her chickens under her wings, is a true cathedral amid the dwellings which it overshadows, and how completely is its true intent set forth by this natural suggestion of its architecture! I had never, before, seen a city purely religious in its prestige, and I felt, as soon as my eyes saw it, the moral worth to a nation of many such cities scattered amid the more busy hives of its industry. On alighting, I could not but remark to my companion, the still and Sabbath-like aspect of the city. “It is generally so,” he answered, “with our cathedral towns; they are unlike all other places.” This is their reproach in the eyes of the economist; but such men never seem to reflect that the cathedral towns owe their existence to the fact they are such, and would, generally, have no population at all, but for their ecclesiastical character. Why can they not see, besides, that such a place as Lichfield is as necessary to a great empire, as a Sheffield? It bred a Johnson—and that was a better product for England than ever came out of a manufactory of cotton or hardware. Probably, just such a mind could have been reared only in just such a place. “You are an idle set of people,” said Boswell to his master, as they entered Lichfield together. “Sir,” replied the despot, “we are a city of philosophers: we work with our heads, and make the boobies of Birmingham work for us with their hands.”

But here at length is the cathedral, and service is going on! A moment’s survey of its western front, so old, so enriched with carvings and figures, so defiant of casual observation, and so worthy of careful study—and we pass inside—and here is the nave, and the massive and dim effect of the interior—somehow not all realized at once, and yet overpowering. We reach the choir, and a verger quietly smuggles us within. After a moment’s kneeling, we observe that the Epistle is reading, and the service about to close. In a few minutes my first impressions of worship in a cathedral are complete, and they are very unsatisfactory. I had reached the sanctuary too late for the musical parts of the solemnity, and there was rather a deficiency than an excess of ceremonial, in the parts I saw. A moment’s inspection convinced me that Lichfield Cathedral is, by no means, over-worked by its Dean and Chapter. Alas! I said to myself, what we could do with such a foundation in my own city, in America! We might have such a school of the prophets as should be felt in all the land: we would make it the life of the place; the seat of perpetual preachings, and prayers, and catechizings, and councils; a citadel of power to the faith, and a magazine of holy armor and defences for the Church. Why do not these worthy Canons wake up, and go to work, like genuine sons and successors of St. Chad?

We now went the rounds of the Church, with the stupid verger for our orator, and I began to experience the intolerable annoyance complained of by all travellers. “Oh, that he might hold his tongue! We know it—we know it—only let us alone, and here’s your shilling”—said my inmost heart, a score of times, but still he mumbled on. He was most impressive in detailing the exploits of the Puritans: here they hacked, and there they hewed; this was done by Cromwell’s men—when they broke into the old Bishops’ sepulchres; and that, when they hunted a cat, with the hounds, through the nave and aisles. Here they tooted with the broken organ pipes, and there the soldiers mounted the pulpit, and preached à la Woodstock. They went so far as to cut up their rations of flesh meat on the altar, and they baptised a calf at the font; but, enough; mine eyes have seen that there were such men in England two hundred years ago, and oh, let us pray that we may not deserve such judgments again. It was refreshing to stop before the tomb of Bishop Hacket, and to thank God, who put it into his heart to be a repairer of the breach. The Bishop had his failings, but what he did for his cathedral should cover a multitude of sins, if he had so many. He was the man who, during the worst scenes of the rebellion, was threatened by a soldier with instant death, unless he desisted from the prayers which he was then offering, in the Church of St. Giles, Holborn, and who answered, calmly, “you do what becomes a soldier, but I shall do as becomes a priest,” and so went on with the service. At the Restoration, being already three-score and ten, he was appointed to this See. He found the cathedral almost a ruin; thousands of round shot, and hand-grenades had been fired upon it; the pinnacles were battered to pieces, and the walls and spires seemed ready to fall, while the interior was a mass of filth and desolation. The very next day after his arrival, he set his own horses to work in clearing away the rubbish, and for eight years he devoted his wealth and labor, and made perpetual efforts among the zealous laity of the kingdom, to achieve and pay for the restoration of the Church, which he thus accomplished. Finally he reconciled the holy place by a solemn ceremonial, and re-instituted the services. When he heard the bells ring, for the first time, being then confined to his bed-chamber, he went into another room to hear the sound; but, while he blessed God that he had lived to enjoy it, said it was his knell, and so, soon after, died like old Simeon.

We paused before the busts of Johnson and Garrick, and the monuments of Miss Seward and Lady M. W. Montague, and also before a monument lately erected to some soldiers who perished in India, over which the flags of their victories were displayed. The kneeling figure of the late Bishop Ryder is pleasing and appropriate; but the object of universal attraction is the monument of two children, by Chantrey, so generally known and admired in prints and engravings. I cannot say that the style of this monument comports well with the surrounding architecture, but in itself it is beautiful, and bespeaks that sentimental love of children for which the Church of England has made the English people remarkable, beyond other Christian nations. The epitaph is a sad blemish, but the reposing Innocents make you forget it. So simple and sweet is their marble slumber, which, of itself, speaks “the Resurrection and the Life.”

The cathedral-close is open and spacious, and one gains a very good view of the architecture, on all sides of the exterior. I sat down beneath some trees, at the eastern extremity of the Church, and for a long while gazed at the old stones, from the foundation to the topmost spire. They told of centuries—how mutely eloquent! All was so still that the rooks and jackdaws, chattering in the belfries, supplied the only sounds. There was the bishop’s palace at my right, the scene of Anna Seward’s bright days, and of some of Dr. Johnson’s happiest hours. The ivy almost covers its modest but ample front. The close is a little picture of itself; too much, perhaps, like the swallows’ nests, around the altar, in the warm and inactive contentment with which it must tend to surfeit any but the most conscientious of God’s ministers.

On one side of the cathedral is a pretty pool, and altogether, in this point of observation, it presents a beautiful view. Swans are kept in this water, and go oaring themselves about, without that annoyance from boys and vagabonds, which prevents their being kept in public places, in our country. They came familiarly to us, and even followed us a long distance, as we walked on the margin of the pool, as if doing the honors of the place to ecclesiastical visitors. We now took a walk through the meadows, to Stowe, distant about half-a-mile, and presenting another pleasant picture, with its old, but beautiful parish-church. Here we found tokens of that work of Church restoration which is going on throughout all England, and which will make the age of Victoria enviably famous with future generations. The little Church was in perfect keeping, throughout; severely plain, but strictly Anglican, and full of reverend simplicity. There were some pews in the Church, but the new sittings were all open, and apparently free. We looked with some interest at the monument of Lucy Porter, daughter of the lady who afterwards became the wife of Dr. Johnson. Hard by the Church is the well of St. Chad, to which I next paid a visit, and from which I was glad to drink. It is twined with roses, and neatly arched over with masonry, on which is chiselled CE. EP.—that is, Ceadda Episcopus, and here, in the seventh century, the holy man lived and baptized. St. Chad, though a Saxon by birth, was in British orders, of the primitive ante-Gregorian succession, and held the See of York, until his own humility, and the Roman scruples of the Archbishop of Canterbury, transferred him to Lichfield, where he lived the life of an apostle, and from which he itinerated through the midland counties, very often, on foot, in the spirit of a truly primitive missionary. It was with exceeding veneration for the memory of his worth and piety, that I visited this scene of his holy life, and blessed God for the mercies which have issued thence, even to my own remote country. Such are the world’s true benefactors: the world forgets them, but their record is with God; and He will make up His jewels yet, in the sight of the assembled universe.

Returning, we had the cathedral before us, all the way, in truly delightful prospect. I observed the birds that darted across our path with peculiar pleasure, and could not but remark that the sparrows were John Bull’s own sparrows, having, in comparison with ours, a truly English rotundity and plumpness, which should no doubt be credited to the roast-beef of Old England, and to good ale, withal, or to something equivalent in the diet of birds. We now took a turn into the city, and first, went to see the house, in a window of which Lord Brooke was seated when he received the fatal bullet from the cathedral. It seems a great distance for such a shot; and this fact heightens the peculiarity of the occurrence. There is a little tablet, fixed in the wall, recording the event. As it took place on St. Chad’s day, and as the shot was fired by a deaf and dumb man in the tower, putting out the eye with which the Puritan besieger had prayed he might behold the ruins of the cathedral, and killing him on the spot, it is not wonderful that the providence was regarded as special and significant. Sacrilege has been dangerous sport ever since the days of Belshazzar. It was a more gratifying occupation to seek next the birth-place of Dr. Johnson, with which pictures had made me so familiar, that when I came suddenly into the market-place, I recognized the house and St. Mary’s Church, and even the statue, all as old acquaintances. The pillars at the corners of the house give it a very marked effect, and one would say, at the outset, that it must have a history. It is not unworthy of such a man’s nativity. The Church in which the future sage was christened is almost directly opposite; and as I came in view of it, I looked for its projecting clock, and found it, just as I had seen it in engravings. The statue of Dr. Johnson is placed in the market square, just before the house in which he first saw the light. It was the gift of one of the dignitaries of the cathedral to the city. Did poor Michael Johnson, the bookseller, ever console his poverty and sorrows, as he looked from those windows on a stormy day, with visions of this tribute to the Christian genius of his son? Perhaps, just where it stands, he often saw his boy borne to school on the backs of his playmates, in triumphal procession; and this incident of his childhood is now wrought into the monumental stone. In another bas-relief, he is seen as a child of three years old, perched on his father’s shoulder, listening to Dr. Sacheverel, as he preaches in the cathedral. In a third is illustrated that touching act of filial piety, the penance of the sage in Uttoxeter market. For an act of disobedience to his poor hard-faring father, done when he was a boy, but haunting him through life with remorse, the great man went to the site of his father’s humble book-stall in the market-place, and there stood bare-headed in the storm, one rainy day, bewailing his sin, and honoring the lowliness of the parental industry which provided for the wants of his dependent years. What moral sublimity! worthy indeed of a memorial, and doubtless recorded in the book of the Lamb that was slain to take away his sin!

Opposite St. Mary’s, and next door to the birth-place, we found the “Three Crowns Inn,” where Johnson chose to stay, with sturdy independence, when he visited Lichfield, refusing even the hospitalities of Peter Garrick. I suppose the room in which we lunched was the scene of another instance of true greatness in Dr. Johnson, who, with the dignity of a gentleman, entertained here a friend of his humbler days, “whose talk was of bullocks,” and whose personal appearance was by no means agreeable, but to whose tiresome volubility, in things of his own profession, the sage extended the most patient and condescending attention. We could not but drink our mug of ale to the memory of the immortal old man of ten thousand honest prejudices, and as many virtues; in whom “has been found no lie,” and who has made his own massive character, in some respects, the ideal of a genuine Englishman.

We visited the hospital and Church of St. John Baptist, a charitable foundation of an old Bishop of Lichfield, who was also a munificent benefactor of Brazen-nose College, at Oxford. It is a queer, out-of-the-way, little blessing, of the sort which attracts no attention, but which bespeaks a Church at work among the people, of the like of which England is full. I was much pleased with this fragrant little flower of charity, for such it seemed, hiding, like the violet, out of sight, but heavenly when discovered. The Church of St. Michael, Green-hill, next attracted me, standing on an eminence, and crowning it with a conspicuous tower and spire. An avenue of venerable elms leads to its portal, and I found it open. The font, which is a relic of very high antiquity, has lately been restored to its place; and nearly the whole of the nave is a late restoration. Here, then, is another proof of the revival of primitive life and zeal in the Church of England! And all so truly national; Anglican and yet Catholic; consistent with self, and with antiquity, and attesting a continuous ecclesiastical life, from the days of Ceadda, and his predecessors, until now.

The Evening Service at the cathedral was far more gratifying than the morning’s experience had led me to anticipate. The evening sun streamed through the windows of the clere-story with inspiring effect, and the Magnificat quite lifted me up to the devotional heights I had desired to attain, in such a place. Then came the anthem, suitable to Easter-week—“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.” How amiable the beautiful and holy place in which such strains have been heard for ages! In passing through the streets, on my way home, I saw one of the popular sports of the Easter-holidays, peculiar to the midland counties, and a relic of the many frolics in use before the Reformation. Some buxom lasses were endeavoring to lift, or heave, a strapping youth, who, in no very gallant style, repelled the embraces and salutations of his female aggressors. I take it for granted, however, that he was not released until he had been handsomely lifted into the air, and made to purchase his freedom by a substantial fine. This is a custom confined, of course, to the vulgar—but even among them, according to my judgment, “more honored in the breach than in the observance.”


Birmingham—The Oratory—Newman.

Going up to London, I tarried for a few days at Birmingham, a town not pleasing to my fancy, and yet one which no tourist in England would choose to omit. I found it, indeed, as Leland described it three hundred years ago, “to be inhabited of many smithes, that use to make knives, and all manner of cutting tooles: and many lorimers, that make bittes, and a great many naylors; so that a great part of the town is maintayned by smithes who have their sea-coal out of Staffordshire.” To this, I cannot help adding, in the style of old Fuller, that “there be divers many also who do make buttons; and a great store of all things gilt, and showy, and not costlie nor precious withal, do come out of Brummagem; for which also the new bishoppes which Cardinal Wiseman did lately make therein, be commonly called the Brummagem hierarchie, that is to say, not so much Latin bishoppes as Latten bishops; latten being much used in Brummagem, and is made of stone of calamine and copper, or chiefly of brass.” I confess that good part of my interest in Birmingham proper was to see what this new hierarchy were about.

The Town-Hall has been often enough described and praised, and is, no doubt, very fine; but I did not go to England to see Grecian temples, and I took much more satisfaction in any old frame house of three centuries ago, than in the frigid and formal show of all its columns.

On the whole, I think King Edward’s Grammar School the most interesting object in the town. Though the buildings were erected very lately, they are in the true academic style of Cambridge and Oxford. The pile is massive and imposing, and I was pleased to find that the solid oak of its noble rooms is the production of American forests. Here I first saw how English boys are made scholars; the drill being obvious to even a moment’s glance; every motion and look of the masters, who walk up and down among the boys in their college gowns, implying a discipline and method, of which our schools are too commonly destitute. Queen’s College is also worthy of a visit, and I was much pleased with some of the pictures which I saw in its hall, among which was an old one of Mary Queen of Scots, representing her with her child, James Stuart. Who ever conceived of Mary as a motherly creature, or of the old pedant king as an unbreeched boy? Yet such were they in this painting, which was no doubt true, as well as beautiful, in its time. With the churches of Birmingham I was not particularly impressed. St. Martin’s, the “old paroch-church” of Leland’s day, scarcely retains any remnant of its ancient self, except the spire, which leans, and seems likely to fall. The sovereign hill of the town is surmounted by St. Philip’s, which ought to be a cathedral, and the seat of a school of the prophets, but which looks like nothing more than a plethoric Hanoverian temple, in which indolent and drowsy worldliness would be content to say its prayers not more than once a week. I was better pleased with a church in the suburbs, built in George Fourth’s day, and partaking both of the merits and defects of that period of transition, when the church was in palmy prosperity as “the venerable establishment.” Here first I saw an English funeral, evidently of one of the humbler class, all parties walking on foot, and the coffin carried on a bier. The curate met the procession at the gate, in his surplice and cap, and then reverently uncovering his head, led the way into the house of God, the consoling words of the service gradually dying on my ear, as the rear of the funeral train disappeared within. The parsonage is close at hand, an ecclesiastical looking house of most appropriate and pleasing aspect; and the abode, as I can testify from personal knowledge, of the true spirit of an English parish priest—such an one as Hooker and Herbert would have rejoiced to foreknow. In his Church the prayers are perpetual; the fire never going out on the altar, and its gates standing open, as it were, night and day. The vicinity is known as “Camp Hill,” for here was the furious Rupert once in garrison; but a queer old house, all gables and chimneys, is pointed out, upon the hill, as the former lodging of his redoubtable adversary, old Noll himself. Hence we stretch into the country, and gain those pleasant extremes of Warwickshire, which Leland noteth, not forgetting the return by Sandy Lane, through “Dirty End,” which, since the days of his chronicle, is euphuized into Deritend. This place is full of what the Brummagem Cardinal would call slums, and one of them, as if on purpose to affront a portion of my countrymen, displayed to my astonishment, on a street sign, the name of “New-England.” Did any returned pilgrim settle down here, and give the last retreat of his poverty this name?

“Born in New-England, did in London die,”

is a well-known epitaph, which may possibly explain this circumstance; for, said Dr. Johnson, “who that was born in New-England, would care to die there,” or words to that effect. Yet I confess, for life or death, I have scarcely seen any place in our own New-England which would not be preferable to this, although Leland calls Dirty End “a pretty street with a mansion of tymber hard on the bank of a brook, with a proper chapel close by.” Here I stopped before the aged front of the “Old Crown Inn,” which I take to be the same “tymber” mansion, having all the odd corners, and juttings-forth, and quaint appurtenances of centuries long gone by. These out-of-the-way ramblings and searches were far more to my taste than the gaudy sights of the shops and manufactories.

I went out to Oscott, and took a survey of the enemy’s headquarters, to begin with. Here Tridentinism shows her best front, and yet it falls far below what I had been led to expect. The college is built of brick, but is prettily situated, and commands a fine view from the leads, to which I ascended, for a prospect of the surrounding country. There is little architectural merit in any part of the structure, and the general appearance of things, throughout, is below that of collegiate institutions in England, or on the Continent. I was pleased, however, with the rooms set apart for ecclesiastical visitors, so far as their furniture was suitable to offices of private devotion, and not merely to those of rest and recreation; and I was not sorry to see in the Library a pretty large selection of standard English divines, though I am painfully suspicious that they are not there to be freely used by all who would read and study them. The chapel is gaudy, yet in true Mediæval character, and somewhat impressive. The other rooms are labelled—pransorium, deversorium, and the like, or surmounted with the names of the divers arts, as Rhetorica, Dialectica, and so on. In the common-room are showy portraits of the chiefs of the Romish recusancy in England, some of whom look like saints, and some like Satan. There was a portrait of Pugin, to which I directed the attention of the official who served as guide. He sneered significantly, and said Pugin was a queer fellow, which meant that they had found him not so blind as they wished him to be, to his fatal mistake in joining them. He studied Mediæval Anglicanism, with the illusion that it was all one with modern Tridentinism, and had left his mother Church in the vain hope that he should find a more congenial sphere for his antiquarian tastes, among the English Papists. But he found the past even more absolutely ignored at Oscott than at Oxford. Anglicans are glad to retain all that may be safely retained of their own antiquity: but Romanists are Italian throughout, and any thing that is national, is schismatical. They know nothing of Augustine and little of Anselm; they date from Trent, and to that all must conform. Old liturgies, old customs, old principles, as he in vain tried to recommend them, they laughed at as utterly obsolete: and he in turn scoffed at their Romanesque, and their Oratorianism, as infinitely less Catholic than the Anglican Gothic, and the Anglican Prayer-Book. Poor fellow! he has since died in a mad-house—a noble genius, but the victim of theory, and of unreal conceptions as to the diseases and the cure of the times.

If I was disappointed at Oscott, much more at St. Chad’s, their new cathedral in Birmingham. So much was said about this attempt, that I had supposed it a chef d’œuvre of the architect, and a complete trap for dilettanti Anglicans. It is the reverse of all this, being so poor, and even niggard in its entire conception and execution, that I am sure it must be a spoiled Pugin, if his at all. It is of brick, and of small dimensions, and not cleanly. Its crypts are instructive as to the way in which the crypts of the old cathedrals were formerly used, being fitted up for masses for the dead, but not much adorned. They are damp, dark, and somewhat offensive, as they are used for burial.

Strolling out to Edgbaston, I saw the rising walls of Newman’s Oratory. This, too, is strictly conformed to his new Italian idea of religion, which scrupulously eschews the old English architecture, associated as that is with Magna Charta and the Constitutions of Clarendon, and with three hundred years of absolute independence. This is in strict agreement with his development theory. The Romanism of the present is the rule, and that is Italian: the past was immature and undigested, and hence savored, more or less, of nationality. How vastly more severed, then, from the historical antecedents of his country is the British papist, than the genuine Anglican!

While I was in Birmingham, Mr. Newman yet occupied his temporary Oratory, in the neighborhood of Camp-Hill. It was an old distillery, and, of course, was but an ill-looking place for worship. Wishing to see him and his sect, I went one day to the spot, and pushing aside a heavy veil at the door, such as is common in Italian churches, found myself in a low and dirty-looking place of worship, in which the first object that met my eye was an immense doll of almost ludicrous aspect, near the door, representing the Virgin, with the crescent beneath her feet. Bishop Ullathorne proves Mohammed to have been the first believer in the Immaculate Conception, so that we cannot but admit the propriety of the symbol. Before this image several youth, with broad tonsures, and in long cassocks, were kneeling, in a manner truly histrionic. One of them rose and asked if I would like to be shown the library, and so conducted me up a dark and narrow stair-case into a large apartment, in which were no books, but which appeared to be hung with baize, like the rooms of an artist. He informed me that the books were in petto, and would, by and by, be manifested; apologizing for the present deficiency.

A person, in like costume with my conductor, and with a shaven crown even more grotesque, was pacing to and fro in the room, apparently devoting himself to a book which he held in hand. At a question of mine, addressed to my guide, as to where Mr. Newman might be, this personage turned sharply round and answered, “he has been all day in the Confessional, where he would be glad to see you.” “Who is that person?” I demanded, looking towards the strange apparition, as he continued pacing up and down, and addressing my guide. “Father Ambrose,” was the reply. “Yes, but what is his name beyond the walls of the Oratory?” The young man, rather reluctantly, lisped out, “Mr. S——.” “Mr. S——,” I rejoined, “late of —— College, Oxford! Can it be possible?” I looked at him, utterly unable to conceal my surprise, and pitied him in my heart. The youths whom I had seen were doubtless all, like him, young men of promise and of parts only a few years since, in Oxford; and now to see them thus ignobly captive, and performing such unreal and corrupting dramatics, in an age of wants and works, and of awful realities, like this! But where was the ignis fatuus of the bog into which they had fallen? Inquiring for their Master, I was informed he was to preach in their chapel on a certain evening, and accordingly I attended at the appointed time. It was during the Octave of Easter, and on entering, I observed that the altar was a bank of flowers, looking more like the shelves of a conservatory, than the table of the Lord. Above this horticultural display towered a thing of wax and glass and spangles, (or what seemed to be such,) as the apparent divinity of the shrine. It was a shameful burlesque of the Virgin, and utterly incompetent to excite one religious or reverent thought in any mind not entirely childish, or depraved in taste. It was surrounded with tawdry finery, and looked like the idol of a pagoda. The room was well lighted, and filled with the sort of people usually frequenting Romish chapels in this country. A few well-dressed persons seemed to be strangers, and like myself were treated with great civility. The chancel was filled with the youths I had seen before, wearing over their cassocks the short jacket-like surplice, usual in Italy. These were offering some prayers in English, but they could not be called English prayers; and then followed a hymn, given out and sung very much in the style of the Methodists. I could not distinguish what it was altogether, but the hymn-book which they use was given me in Birmingham, and consists, in a great degree, of such ditties as this, which they apparently address to the image over the altar:—

“So age after age in the Church hath gone round,

 And the Saints new inventions of homage have found;

Conceived without sin, thy new title shall be

 A new gem to thy shining, sweet Star of the Sea!”

Many hymns in the collection are not only lack-a-daisical in the extreme, but highly erotic, and even nauseously carnal. I could scarcely believe my eyesight, so senseless seemed the ceremony; and yet here were educated men, Englishmen, sons of a pure and always majestic Church, and familiar with the Holy Scriptures from their infancy! How shall we account for such a phenomenon in the history of the human mind, and of the human soul?

While the singing was going on, a lank and spectral figure appeared at the door of the chancel—stalked in, and prostrated himself before the altar. This was followed by a succession of elevations and prostrations, awkward in the extreme, and both violent and excessive: but whether required by the rubric, or dictated by personal fervor only, they added nothing to the solemnity of the scene. Meanwhile the hymn was continued by the disciples, as fanatically as the pantomime was performed by the Master. But could this be the man? Could this be he who once stood in the first pulpit of Christendom, and from his watch-tower in St. Mary’s, told us what of the night? Was this the burning and shining light who for a season allowed us to rejoice in his light? What an eclipse! I felt a chill creep over me as he mounted his rostrum, and turned towards us his almost maniacal visage. There could be no mistake. It was, indeed, poor fallen Newman. He crossed himself, unfolded a bit of broad ribbon, kissed it, put it over his shoulders, opened his little Bible, and gave his text from the Vulgate—Surrexit enim, sicut dixit—“He is risen, as he said.” The preaching was extemporaneous; the manner not fluent; the matter not well arranged; gesticulations not violent nor immoderate; the tone, affectedly earnest; and the whole thing, from first to last, painfully suggestive of a sham; of something not heartily believed; of something felt to be unreal by the speaker himself. And yet “the hand of Joab was in it.” There was no denying the craft of no common artist. He dwelt chiefly on Sicut dixit—to which he gave a very Newman-like force, repeating the words over and over again. “Sicut dixit, my friends, that is, as he said, but as you would not believe! This was a reproach: as much as to say—What did you expect? Were you not told as much? Of course, he is risen, for he said so!” In this way the preacher reached the point of his discourse, which was, that “the original disciples themselves, who thought they knew and loved Christ—nay, who did love him, and came to embalm his body, after he was crucified—had so little faith, as to deserve a rebuke, instead of a commendation. They had to be harshly reminded of what Jesus had said to them with his own mouth. Well, just so in our day, thousands who think they know and love him, have yet no real faith; don’t believe, in short, what the Church requires them to believe, and hence are strangers to the Catholic faith.” Drawing illustrations from the days of Noe (so he called him) and many Old Testament histories, he endeavored to show, in like manner, that God had always required men to believe the very things they were not willing to believe: and hence he drew his conclusion that the slowness of men to believe all that Romanism prescribes, is mere want of faith. It would have been quite to the point to have shown a sicut dixit in support of the matters which he endeavored to force upon us, before he asked us to admit that denying the “Deification of Mary,” is all the same thing as doubting the Resurrection of Christ from the dead; but of course this joint was wanting. I was amused at the ingenuity, but shocked at the juggle of such an argument, which was simply this—that because it is sinful to doubt what Christ has said, therefore it is equally sinful to doubt what he never said, and what is directly contrary to many things which he did expressly say! The orator, in delivering this apology for his new faith, by no means forgot a little plea for himself personally, in which I saw evidence of his wounded pride. He said, “Christ thus sent a rebuke to his disciples for not believing what he said; and you know how hard it is, for even us, to bear such unbelief in our friends. We know we are sincere; but they say, for example, he is artful, he don’t believe his own words, he deceives; or, if they don’t say that, then they say, he is crazy, he is beside himself, he has lost his wits.” On this he enlarged with much feeling, for he was pleading his own cause, and in fact he rambled on in this direction till he had nearly forgotten his argument. But I was amused at one instance of his forgetting himself in particular. In referring to the hard names Christ himself had to bear, he had occasion to quote St. Matthew xxvii., 63, where the Romish version reads, “Sir, we have remembered that that seducer said, yet living, etc.” But before he knew it, he forgot that he was an actor, and unwittingly quoted the smoother rendering of his good old English Bible, “Sir, we remember that that deceiver said while he was yet alive.” While dwelling on the words that deceiver, he bethought himself that he was quoting heresy, and hobbled as well as he could into some other equivalent, but whether the very words of his new Bible or not, I cannot affirm. There were other similar haltings of the tongue, which show that a man may have a good will to say the Romish Shibboleth, and yet betray himself occasionally, by “not framing to pronounce it right.” Newman certainly forgot the talismanic aspirate on this occasion; he seemed to be conscious of playing a part, and, altogether, when he had done, I left the place, contented to have done with him. Alas! that gold can be thus changed, and the fine gold become so dim!

I could not learn that he was doing much by all his efforts; in fact he was said to be somewhat crest-fallen and irritable, about things in Birmingham. His Oratorians were going about the streets in queer, and, in fact, ridiculous garments, and attracting stares and jibes, and no doubt they felt themselves martyrs; but there is, after all, much sturdy common sense in John Bull’s hatred of the absurd, and few can think any better of folly for wearing its cap in broad daylight. The results God only can foresee; but a delusion so patent, one would think—if it must have its day—must also find daylight enough in the very shortest day in the year to kill it outright.

They showed me, at the Oratory, a wax cast of the face of St. Philip Neri, and a very pleasant and benevolent one it was. He was an Italian Wesley, and the Pope was his bitter adversary, in his life-time, interdicting him, and refusing him the Sacraments, and almost excommunicating him. But somehow or other when he was out of the way, it became convenient to canonize him, as a sort of patron of enthusiasts of a certain class, who find in his fraternity, a free scope for their feelings and passions. Oratorianism is the Methodism of the Trent religion, but has a virtual creed of its own, and is as really a sect as Methodism was in the life-time of its founder. Hence it is odious to many even of the new converts, and many old-fashioned Romanists abhor it. I left the Oratory of Mr. Newman with a deep impression that he has yet a remaining character to act, very different from that in which he now appears, but in which it will be evident that he is far from satisfied, at this time, with the direction which he has given to his own movement, and with the grounds on which he has chosen to rest his submission to the Pope.


Arrival in London, and first two days.

In early life I had always promised myself a first view of London, either approaching the Tower by water, and taking in the survey of steeples, bridges, and docks, or else descending from Hampstead, on the top of a rapid coach, and beholding the great dome of St. Paul’s, arising amid a world of subordinate roofs, and looming up through their common canopy of cloud-like smoke. Alas! for all such visions, we have reached the age of the rail: and, consequently, I found myself, one afternoon, set down in a busy, bustling station-house, with a confused sensation of having been dragged through a long ditch, and a succession of dark tunnels, and with a scarcely less confused conception of the fact, that I was in London. A few policemen loitering about, and a line of cabs and ’busses of truly English look, confirmed the conviction, however, that I was really in the Metropolis, and I soon found myself looking up my luggage, in the business way of one accustomed to the place, and without a single rapture or emotion of the marvellous. Some things were very different from an American station-house; as, for example, the dignity of an ecclesiastical gentleman emerging from the first-class carriages in cocked-hat, and solemn cravat and surtout, his short-clothes eked into pantaloons by ponderous leggings, buttoned about his black stockings, and his whole deportment evincing a reverend care of his health and personal convenience—the inevitable umbrella especially, neatly enveloped in varnished leather, and tucked under the consequential arm; or again, the careful avoidance of the crowd evinced by a dignified lady, accompanied by her maid, and watching with an eye-glass the anxious manipulations of a footman, in showy livery, piling up a stack of trunks, hat-boxes, and what not, all inscribed, “Lady Dashey, Eaton Place, Belgrave Square.” Getting into a cab, with my very democratic luggage safely rescued from the vans, and forcing an exit through vehicles of all ranks, from the dog-cart up to the lumbering coach, with footman behind, and my lord inside, I emerge at length into London streets from the Euston Square Station, and begin to make my way towards the focus of the world. How mechanically I jog along, just as if I had lived here all my life, and without the least conformity to the fact that my pulse is quickening, and mine eye straining to realize a long ideal, which in a few minutes will be substantial fact! Every street-sign arrests my eye, “Paddington New Road,” “Gower Place,” “Torrington Square,” “Keppell Street,” “Bedford Square,” “Great Russell Street,” “Bloomsbury,” “Bond Street,” “Seven Dials,” “St. Martin’s Lane,” and now I begin to know where I am. There is St. Martin’s—there the lion with a long tail on Northumberland House—here is Trafalgar Square—I see Charles First on horseback, at Charing Cross—and here old George Third, with his queue, at the head of Cockspur Street—and here the Haymarket and Pall Mall, and here I am set down at the hospitable door of a friend, first known in America, and who has kindly insisted on my spending my first few days in London as his guest. It was an unexpected pleasure, but a great one, to receive my first impressions of London in the agreeable company of the Reverend Ernest Hawkins, a person singularly qualified to share the feelings of a stranger, but upon whose valuable time I should not have ventured to trespass, except at his own friendly instance. After renewing the acquaintance, formed during his short visit to our country in 1849, the question was, Where shall we begin? A fine day was already clouded over, and alternate light and shade were inviting and again discouraging out-door amusements. However, a turn through St. James’s Park to Whitehall was practicable enough, and at Whitehall I was resolved to begin. Forth we go, step into the Athenæum Club House, and descend into the Park, by the Duke of York’s Column, descrying through the mist the towers of Westminster Abbey, and soon passing through the Horse-Guards, stand “in the open street before Whitehall.” There is the Banqueting-room—there the fatal window—here is the very spot, where the tide turned between old and new, and parted on an axe’s edge. That martyrdom! What that has happened in Church and State, not only among Anglo-Saxons, but in the greater part of Europe, since 1649, has not resulted from the deed of blood done here!

My kind friend took me out upon Hungerford Bridge, and bade me use my eyes, and tell the different objects if I could. I turned towards Lambeth, saw the old towers through the gray mist, and began with indescribable pleasure to single out St. Mary’s, Lambeth, the New Parliament Houses, Westminster Hall, the Abbey, St. Margaret’s, and so forth, till turning round, I descried St. Paul’s, (vast, sublimely so, and magnificently tutelary,) and nearer by, Somerset House and the bridges, and the little steamers shooting to and fro beneath their noble arches. Enough for a first glimpse! We went into Regent Street, and by Burlington Arcade into Piccadilly, and turning into St. James’s Street, I first saw the old Palace at its extremity, looking just as one sees it in Hogarth’s picture of “the Rake going to Court,” in the last century, old and shabby, and venerable altogether. Such was my first ramble in London and Westminster.

I was so happy as to meet at dinner that evening, a small party of the clergy of the Metropolis, in whose company the hours went rapidly and delightfully by, with many warm, and, I dare say, heartfelt expressions of interest in America and her Church; the whole presided over by my reverend entertainer, with the most animating spirit of dignified cordiality. The general desire which prevails to know something of a new Bishop of the Church, may excuse my particularizing the Rev. John Jackson, Rector of St. James’s, Westminster, and Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen, who was one of the party, as a person of very unassuming, but attractive manners, of whose subsequent elevation to the See of Lincoln, it has given me no little pleasure to learn.

With what a world of new and confused emotions, I tried to drop to sleep after such a day! The roof beneath which I was reposing was an historic one. Standing in the precincts of St. James’s, it had once been the abode of the beautiful but unhappy Nell Gwynne, the one of all those wretched creatures who disgraced the Court of the Second Charles, for whom one feels more pity than scorn; and for whom, remembering the comparative goodness of her natural qualities, and her own plaintive lament over her education in a pot-house to fill glasses for drunkards, there must have been compassion from the Father of Mercies, and possibly pardon from the blood that cleanseth from all sin, her penitent death being more than probable. It is certainly gratifying that a mansion once given up to such associations is now turned into an abode of piety and benevolence, and made the head quarters of the operations of the venerable S. P. G. In the chamber where I was lodged, had lately rested those estimable missionaries, Bishops Field, and Medley, and Gray, and Strachan; and I felt unworthy to lay my head where such holy heads had been pillowed. But a blessing seemed to haunt the spot which they, and many like them, had reconciled to virtue, and hallowed by their pure repose; and I slumbered sweetly, dreaming of Lud’s town, and King Lud, and of divers men of divers ages, who had come to London, upon manifold errands, to seek their fortunes there, and there to flourish and wax great, or to rise and fall, until now it was my lot to mingle with its living tides, and then to pass away again to my far-off home, as “a guest that tarrieth but a night.”

When I rose in the morning, I looked out into the park, and now for the first time, gained a clear idea of that strange scene described in Evelyn’s Memoirs, as occurring between King Charles and Mistress Nelly, while the grovelling monarch was walking with him in the Mall. The wretched woman was standing on a terrace, at the end of her garden, and looking over into the park, when the king turns from Evelyn, and going towards her, holds a conversation with her in that public place and manner. “I was heartily sorry at this scene,” says the pure-minded journalist; and indeed it forboded no little evil to both Church and nation, as well as to the miserable Prince who could thus debase his crown and character, in the face of the open day, and of a virtuous man.

And now, having a whole day before me, I began by attending divine service in Westminster Abbey. Through the park and Birdcage-walk, I went leisurely to old Palace Yard, passing round the Abbey and St. Margaret’s, and so entered by Poets’ Corner. Service was going on, and of course I gave myself as much as possible to its sacred impressions, but was unable to repress some wandering thoughts, as my eyes caught the long lines and intersections of nave and aisles, or turned upwards to the clere-story, where the smoky sunlight of a London morning was lingering along the old rich tracery and fret-work, to which every cadence of the chaunt seemed to aspire, and where just so, just such sunbeams have come and gone as quietly over all the most speaking and eventful pageants of the British Empire, since William First was crowned here, in the midst of those Norman and Saxon antagonists whose blood now runs mingled in the veins of the British people. Nay, we must send back our thoughts at least so far as Edward the Confessor, who was also crowned here, and whose sepulchre is hard at hand. What thoughts of human splendor, and of human nothingness! The anthem was—Awake up my Glory—and as it rose and fell, and tremulously died away, distributing its effect among innumerable objects of decayed antiquity, I seemed to catch a new meaning in the strain of the psalmist. How many tongues were mute, and ingloriously slumbering around me—the tongues of poets and of princes and of priests: but the living should praise the Lord in their stead, and in this place that humbles the glory of men, it was good to sing—“Set up thyself, oh God, above the heavens, and thy glory above all the earth.” When the service was over, I preferred to leave the Abbey, with this general effect still upon me, and to take it, at some other time, in details: and so, with only a few glances at the familiar objects in Poet’s Corner, I passed thoughtfully through the choir, which is extended down the nave, and so into the south aisle, and out into the cloisters. I took passing notice of the Andre monument, and of the Thynne monument, which I recognized by their sculpture alone. I saw at once that I was not likely to be satisfied with such ill-placed memorials, interesting as they may be in themselves. In the cloisters, I was so fortunate as to meet Lord John Thynne; and on being introduced to his Lordship, and remarking that “I remembered very well his connection with the Abbey, as Sub-dean, from Leslie’s Picture of the Coronation,” (in which he bears the chalice, as the Archbishop gives the Bread of the Sacrament to Queen Victoria,) he courteously suggested that perhaps I might think it worth while to look at the coronation robes, which are not usually seen by visitors, but which were in his custody, and which he should be happy to have me see. His Lordship then led the way into the famous Jerusalem Chamber, a place not ordinarily shown, but full of interest, not only as the scene of the swooning of Henry Fourth, but as the seat of the Holy Anglican Synod, which has since revived, (“Laud be to God,”) in the same Jerusalem where Henry died. This place is by no means such as my fancy had led me to suppose, but has the air of having been remodeled in James First’s time, although an ancient picture of Richard Second—I think in tapestry—is sunk in the wainscot. The chamber is small, and of very moderate architectural merit, but must always be a place of deep and hallowed associations. Adjoining this is the Refectory of the Westminster school-boys, into which we were shown, and where his Lordship reminded us that the tables were made of the oak of the Spanish Armada. They were full of holes, burned into them by the Westminster boys, who are always ambitious each to “leave his mark” in this way: so that as you look at them, you may fancy this to have been burned by little George Herbert, or Ben Jonson, or John Dryden, or Willie Cowper, or Bob Southey—all of whom have, in their day, sat on the forms of Westminster. Until so late as 1845, this refectory was warmed by the ancient brazier, the smoke escaping through the louvre in the roof. On coming to the Deanery, Dr. Buckland reformed this ancient thing, and a very ugly stove now reigns in its stead, as a monument of the Dean’s utilitarianism and nineteenth-century ideas on all possible subjects.

After we had carefully inspected this interesting hall, Lord John was as good as his word, and took us to see the robes, but precisely where he took us, it would be hard for me to say. It was in some room contiguous, where a fidgety little woman with keys in her hands, attended as mistress of the robes, and opening the repository of the sacred vestments, displayed them with such profound obsequiousness to the mildly dignified ecclesiastic who conducted us, that if she called him “my lord” once, she did so some twenty times in a single minute. The readers of Mrs. Strickland’s “Queens of England” will not require me to enlarge upon these superb vestments, now dimmed and faded in their splendour by the lapse of nearly two centuries, since they were made for the coronation of the luckless, and almost brainless, James the Second. They are worn at coronations only, by the clergy of the Abbey, and we had the pleasure of seeing our reverend guide in his appropriate cope as Sub-dean; the same which he wore when Victoria was crowned, and which has been worn by his predecessors, successively, at the coronations of William and Mary, Queen Anne, the four Georges, and William the Fourth. Similar vestments in form, though not in splendour, are to this day the rubrical attire of the clergy of the English Church in celebrating the Holy Communion, but I believe they are now never used, although they were in use at least in Durham Cathedral, so late as the middle of the last century. Having seen these interesting and historical vestments, we thanked the amiable dignitary, to whom we had been indebted for so much polite attention, and took our leave, emerging into Dean’s Yard, and so finding our way to the New Houses of Parliament.


Sight-seeing—Westminster Hall.

My emotions on first entering Westminster Hall, were scarcely inferior to those excited by the Abbey. Of course my first glance was towards the oaken roof, whose noble span, and elaborate construction, have been so largely eulogized, but which derives a richer glory than its material one, from the moral sublimity of the historic events, to which its venerable shadow has been lent. Beneath this roof the Constitution of England has steadily and majestically matured for centuries; and to this spot belongs the somewhat mysterious credit of an assimilating power, akin to that of digestion in the human system. Whatever has been the food, it has always managed to turn it into wholesome nutriment, and to add it to the solid substance of the British State in the shape of bone and sinew, or of veins and nerves. It has been the scene of violence and outrage, and of both popular and imperial tyranny. No matter! Out of all this evil has always come substantial good. The roof dates from Richard Second’s time; and scene the first is the usurpation of the fiery Bolingbroke. Here rose up that daring subject, amid astounded bishops and barons, and crossing himself broadly on the breast, profanely uttered the famous bravado—“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, I, Henry of Lancaster, do challenge this reaume of Englande”—adding mysterious words, from which it is equally difficult to say on what grounds he did or did not rest his claims. Here old Sir Thomas More forfeited his head, for high treason against “the best of princes,” as he had long called old Harry Eighth; and here sat old Hal himself, at Lambert’s trial, interrupting every fresh rejoinder of the reformer, with the savage assurance—“Thou shalt burn, Lambert!” I looked towards the great window beneath which he sat—and, lo! it was no longer a window, but an open way, just constructed for access to the New Houses of Parliament—a noble alteration, and a very speaking symbol too, in my opinion; for thus, in the path of history, and from the seat of law, will the future Senate of the Empire go to their responsible labors as stewards of the noblest inheritance that exists among mankind. Let them think, as they pass, of Strafford and of Charles; how in suffering and sorrow they contributed to the British people that distinguishing element of loyalty, which has rendered healthful their not less characteristic love of liberty. Too many, I fear, imbued with the superficial views of Macaulay, invest with sublimer associations the fanatical Court which tried and condemned their Sovereign. Here sat those bold, bad men; and daring, indeed, was their work; nor do I doubt that it has been over-ruled for good to England; but then it should not be forgotten, that the subsequent history of progressive and rational freedom is far more directly the result of the wholesome resistance opposed by Church and Crown to the spirit of anarchy, than to anything in that spirit itself. Had the King of England been a Bourbon—had the Church of England been a Genevan or a Roman one, that flood must have washed all landmarks away: and the fabric of Constitutional Liberty, which now attracts the admiration of all thinking men, could never have been constructed. Honour, then, to the martyrs of Law and of Religion, who, beneath this roof, built up the only barrier that has turned back the turbulent waves of modern barbarism! I stood, and thought of Charles, with sorrow for his grievous faults, but yet with gratitude for the manly recompense he offered here to a people whom he had unintentionally injured through their own antiquated laws, but whom he defended against the worse tyranny of lawless usurpation, by his majestic protest in this Hall, and by sealing it with his blood. Here, too, the seven bishops delivered the Church and State of England when they stood up against the treacherous son of Charles, and completed the triumph of the Church by proving it as true to the people, as it had been to the throne, on the same foundation of immutable principle. This was the roof that rang with the shouts of vindicated justice, when those fathers of the Church were set free! I looked up, and surveyed every beam and rafter with reverence. The angels, carved in the hammer-beams, were looking placidly down, each one with his shield upon his breast, like the guardian spirits of a nation, true to itself and to ancestral faith and order. The symbol is an appropriate one; for the frame-work of the British Constitution is like this roof of Richard in many respects, but in none more than this—that the strength and beauty of the whole are fitly framed together, with inseparable features of human wisdom and of divine truth; the latter being always conspicuous, and investing all with reverend dignity and grace.

The floor of the old Hall presents a less sentimental aspect, and might easily plunge imagination, by one step, into the ridiculous. Here are the barristers walking about with clients, and with each other, arm in arm, their gray wigs of divers tails, some set awry, and some strongly contrasted with black and red whiskers, giving them a ludicrous appearance; while their gowns, some of them shabby enough, are curiously tucked under the arm, or carelessly dangling about the heels, apparently an annoyance to the wearers, in either case. The several courts were in session, in chambers which open out of the hall, along its sides. I stepped into the Chancellor’s Court, where sat Lord Truro, listening, or perhaps not listening, to the eminent Mr. Bethell. His Lordship in his walrus wig, with a face proverbially likened to the hippopotamus, seemed to represent the animal kingdom, as well as that of which the mace and seal-bag, lying before him, were the familiar tokens. The court-room is very small, popular audiences being not desirable, and open doors being all that popular right can require. Here the same barristers looked far from ludicrous—their attire seemed to fit the place and its duties. Doubtless the influence of such things is an illusion, but nevertheless it is a useful one, and contributes to the dignity, which it only appears to respect. We need some such things in our Republic. Next I stepped into the Vice-Chancellor’s Court, and saw Sir J. L. Knight Bruce administering the law; and here I was introduced to several eminent lawyers, whose cauliflower wigs covered a world of learning and of grave intelligence. Stepping into the Common Pleas, there sat in a row, Lord Chief Justice Jervis, and Justices Creswell, Williams and Talfourd. I could not but look with interest at the author of Ion, but in the disguise of his magistracy, I looked in vain for any feature which I could identify with his portraits. In the Court of Queen’s Bench, Lord Campbell was presiding, with three others; in the Bail Court, I saw Justice Coleridge; and in the Court of Exchequer, Lord Chief Baron Pollock, with Barons Park, Platt and Martin. Thus, with the greatest facility, and in a very short space of time, can one see the most favoured sons of the British Themis, and gain a good idea of the dignity and close attention to business with which these courts are managed. The Supreme Court of our own country, is far inferior in appearance, although it is the only American Court which admits of any comparison with these, and yet it is allowed on all hands, that “the law’s delay” in England is an intolerable grievance, and that the expense of obtaining justice, at these tribunals, is of itself a crying injustice.

Sallying forth into the street, I went round to view the rising splendours of the Victoria Tower, the massive proportions of which almost dwarf those of the Abbey. It confuses the beholder by the elaborate richness of its details, its profuse symbolism, and all the variety of its heraldic and allegorical decoration. When completed, it will give a new, but harmonious aspect, to the acres of sacred and princely architecture which spread around; but these English builders are very slow in its construction, and prefer that it should rise only ten feet a year, rather than hazard its chance of continuing forever. How differently we go ahead in America! This new palace of Westminster will still be many years in finishing, but it is worthy of the nation to let it thus grow after its own fashion. Alas! one fears, however, that it is to be made the scene of the gradual taking down of the nation itself. It is too likely to prove the house in which John Bull will be worried to death by his own family.

In company with a friend, I next “took water” at Westminster bridge, for a trip down the river. This silent highway is now as busy as the Strand itself—the spiteful little steamers that ply up and down, being almost as numerous and as noisy as the omnibusses. Very swiftly we glide along the river’s graceful bend, passing Whitehall, Richmond Terrace, and the house lately occupied by Sir Robert Peel; shooting under Hungerford bridge, past old Buckingham house, and the Adelphi Terrace, and so under Waterloo bridge, to the Temple Gardens, where we land, and where I find myself delighted with the casual survey of the different walks and buildings, and especially with the Temple Church. Emerging into Fleet-street, choked with carts and carriages, here is Temple-bar! Passing under its arches, we are in the Strand, and so make our way to Charing-Cross. Having made a complete circuit, by land and water, I again went to Westminster bridge, and stepping into a steamer sailed up the river to Chelsea. Here we pass the river-front of the New Houses of Parliament; and granting that there is a monotony of aspect in the long stretch of the pile, as it rises from the water, I think it must be allowed that, when complete, with its towers and decorations, the whole, taking the Abbey also into view, will furnish the noblest architectural display in the world. Westminster bridge should be reconstructed, in harmony with the rest, and then, whoever may find fault with the scene, may be safely challenged to find its parallel for magnificence and imperial effect.

And yet looking to the other side of the river, how far more attractive to my eye were the quiet gardens and the venerable towers of Lambeth! Its dingy brick, and solemn little windows, with the reverend ivy spreading everywhere about its walls, seemed to house the decent and comely spirit of religion itself: and one could almost gather the true character of the Church of England, from a single glance at this old ecclesiastical palace, amid the stirring and splendid objects with which it is surrounded. Old, and yet not too old; retired, and yet not estranged from men; learned, and yet domestic; religious, yet nothing ascetic; and dignified, without pride or ostentation; such is the ideal of the Metro-political palace, on the margin of the Thames. I thought as I glided by, of the time when Henry stopped his barge just here to take in Archbishop Cranmer, and give him a taste of his royal displeasure: and of the time when Laud entered his barge at the same place, to go by water to the Tower, “his poor neighbours of Lambeth following him with their blessings and prayers for his safe return.” They knew his better part.

We had a fine view of Chelsea Hospital, and passed by Chelsea Church, famous for the monument of Sir Thomas More. We landed not far from this Church, and called upon Martin, whose illustrations of Milton and “Belshazzar’s Feast” have rendered him celebrated as a painter of a certain class of subjects, and in a very peculiar style. He was engaged on a picture of the Judgment, full of his mannerism, and sadly blemished by offences against doctrinal truth, but not devoid of merit or of interest. He asked about Allston and his Belshazzar, and also made inquiries about Morse, of whose claim as the inventor of the Electric Telegraph, he was entirely ignorant. Returning, we landed at Lambeth, and my friend left his card at the Archbishop’s; observing, as we passed into the court, that we should find the door of the residence itself standing open, with a servant ready to receive us, as we accordingly did. Such is the custom.

We then crossed Westminster bridge, and went to Whitehall, on foot, visiting the Banqueting-room, now a royal chapel. The Apotheosis of James the First, by Rubens, adorns the roof, but I tried in vain to be pleased with it. The first question—“which is the fatal window through which King Charles passed to the scaffold”—I asked quite in vain, for nobody seems to be entirely sure about it. The chapel is heavy, and unecclesiastical, although more like a sanctuary, in appearance, than the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. We went into the court, or garden behind the Banqueting-house, to look at James Second’s statue, by Grinling Gibbons. It is in Roman costume, and defiled by soot and dust, and the peculiar pointing position of one of its hands, has given currency to a vulgar error, that it indicates the spot where the blood of Charles fell from the scaffold. A soldier mounts guard in this place, for it is yet regarded as a royal palace; all beside is quiet, and I often returned to the spot during my residence in London, as one well fitted for meditation, recalling such historical associations as memory retained, and striving in vain to conceive it possible that here, in very deed, such thrilling scenes were enacted two hundred years ago. Even now there is nothing ancient about the looks of Whitehall. It requires an effort to connect it at all with the past: and when one sees the vane upon its roof, and imagines it the very one to which James Second was always looking, while he prayed the Virgin and all the Saints to keep William of Orange off the coast, even the era of 1688 seems reduced to a modern date, and stripped of all its character as something ancestral, and belonging to past time. I confess that in this garden of Whitehall, I awoke from an American illusion, and began to feel that two centuries is a very short period of time; just as afterward, on the Continent, the scale took another slide upwards, and taught me to feel that everything is modern which has happened since the Christian era. This discovery gives one a curious sensation, and I am not sure that I am the happier for having seen monuments of real antiquity, which have had the effect of freshening the comparative antiquity of England, and of reducing everything in America to the dead level of time present. I was happier when I visited the ruins of the old Fort on Lake George, and innocently imagined it a spot both ancient and august.

My reader will think my day sufficiently full already, but I must not conclude without some reference to the pleasures of the evening. I drove out to Chelsea, where the pupils of St. Mark’s Training College performed the Oratorio of “Israel in Egypt.” The hail-stone chorus was given with great effect, and several of the solos and recitatives were creditably executed. I saw there, among others, Lord Monteagle, better known as Mr. Spring Rice, but was more pleased with an introduction to the head of the College, Mr. Derwent Coleridge, who showed me a very striking portrait of his father—“the rapt one of the godlike forehead,” and made some feeling allusions to his brother Hartley, then lately dead. I saw also another member of this interesting family, Sara Coleridge, one of the cleverest of womankind. Returning to London, I stepped from the carriage at Hyde Park Corner, where chariots and wheels of every description were still rumbling incessantly, and where the gas-lamps made it light as day, though it was now eleven o’clock. I looked at Apsley-house, where the Iron Duke was then living, and so made my way along Piccadilly and St. James’s-street, as pleasantly as if I had known them all my days, but thinking such thoughts as nothing but an American’s earliest experiences of London life can possibly inspire.


Hyde Park—Excursion to Oxfordshire.

My plan was to fix my head-quarters in London, and to make excursions thence into the various parts of the country which I desired to see. This enabled me to choose my times for being in the Metropolis, and also for visiting other places; and I found it better, on many accounts, than the more usual method of seeing London all at once, and then going through the rest of England in a tour. I took lodgings in Bury-street, St. James’s, a time-honored place for the temporary abode of strangers, and in all respects convenient for my purposes. On looking into Peter Cunningham, I found I had unwittingly placed myself near the old haunts of several famous men of letters. Dean Swift lodged in this street in 1710, and Sir Richard Steele about the same time. Crabbe took his turn here in 1817, and here Tom Moore was sought out by Lord Byron, a few years earlier. Just round the corner, in Jermyn-street, Gray used to sojourn; and there, too, Sir Walter Scott lodged for the last time in London, after his return from the Continent in 1832. Hard by, still lives old Samuel Rogers, and Murray’s famous publishing-house is but a few steps out of the way. I was, at first, a little provoked at Cunningham for getting up a book which tends to put the most stupid visitor of London on a footing with the man whose general reading has fitted him to enjoy it: but many little pleasures which he thus supplied me, by recalling things forgotten, quite altered my humour towards him; especially as I soon reflected that the traveller to whom he only restores such information, must always have the advantage over one who gains it for the first time, at second hand.

I could now step into St. James’s Park, and freshen my appetite for breakfast, while enjoying its delightful air, and venerable associations. I soon learned how to protract my walk, passing Buckingham Palace, up Constitution Hill, and so into Hyde Park—where one may spend the day delightfully, and almost fancy himself in the country. Indeed, stretching one’s rambles into Kensington Gardens, it is not easy to be moderate in the enjoyment, or to return without fatigue; so vast is the extent of these successive ranges, and so much of England can one find, as it were, in the midst of London. Oh, wise and prudent John Bull, to ennoble thy metropolis with such spacious country-walks, and to sweeten it so much with country air! Truly these lungs of London are vital to such a Babylon, and there is no beauty to be compared to them in any city I have ever seen. Talk of the Tuilleries—talk of the Champs Elysées—you may throw in Luxembourg and Jardin des Plantes to boot, and in my estimation Hyde Park is worth the whole. I do not think the English are half proud enough of their capital, conceited as they are about so many things besides. They are ashamed of Trafalgar Square and some other slight mistakes, and they always apologize for London, and wonder what a foreigner can find to please him, in the mere exterior of its immensity. But foreigner, forsooth! I always felt that an Anglo-American may feel himself far more at home in London, than many who inhabit there. Who are the reigning family, but a race of Germans, never yet completely naturalized either in Church or State? What is England to Prince Albert, except as he can use it for his own purposes? But to me, and to many of my countrymen, it is as dear as heart’s blood; every fibre of our flesh, every particle of our bone, and the whole fabric of our thought, as well as the vitalizing spirit of our holy religion, being derived from the glorious Isle, in whose own tongue we call her blessed. It is not as unfilial to America, but only as faithful to the antecedents of my own beloved country, that I ask no Englishman’s leave to walk the soil of England with filial pride, and in some sense to claim “a richer use of his,” than he himself enjoys. He dwells in it, and uses it of necessity for some ignoble purposes; but I have no associations with the malt-tax, or with manufactories. England reveals herself to me only in her higher and nobler character, as the mother, and nurse, and glorious preceptress of the race to which I belong. Hence, I say, it is only a true American who can feel the entire and unmixed sentiment and poetry of England.

It was soon after my arrival in the Metropolis that I went, one afternoon, to see the display of horsemanship, in Hyde Park. Strange that the scene of so much aristocratic display should be known as “Rotten-Row!” It is a road for saddle-horses exclusively, and very exclusive are the equestrians generally, who enjoy their delightful exercise in its pale. Here you see the best of horse-flesh, laden with the “porcelain-clay” of human flesh. The sides of the road are lined with pedestrians, some of whom touch their hats to the riders, and are recognized in turn; but most of them look wishfully on the sport of others, as if they were conscious that they were born to be nobody, and were unfeignedly sorry for it. Ha! how dashingly the ladies go by, and how ambitiously their favored companions display their good fortune in attending them! Here a gay creature rides independently enough, with her footman at a respectful distance. She is an heiress, and the young gallants whom she scarcely deigns to notice, are dying of love for her and her guineas. Here comes an old gentleman and his two beautiful daughters. It is Lord ——, and the elder of the twain is soon to be married, the fortunate expectant being a nobleman of large estates. We look in vain this afternoon for “the Duke.” But very likely we shall see him before our walk is done. Yonder whirls a barouche, with outriders. It is the Queen and Prince Albert taking an airing. A Bishop comes along on horseback. “It must be one of the Irish Bishops,” said the friend with whom I was walking, “for I certainly have never seen him before.”

I now saw the Crystal Palace for the first time, and scarcely looked at it at all. It was just what every body knows, from ten thousand pictures. I had a prejudice against it, at this time, heightened by the fact that many, whom I had met, had innocently taken it for granted that an American must, of course, have come to England to see the show. The idea of going to England to look at anything short of England itself! Besides, I supposed it a mere toy of Prince Albert’s—just the thing for a Dutch folly—or, like the Russian ice-palace,

————“Work of imperial dotage,

Shining, and yet so false!”

I looked, therefore, and passed by. A fine walk we had to Kensington Gardens, and round by Bayswater, returning across Hyde Park. It was pleasant to see the good use to which these vast grounds are put by the People proper. Children and their nurses seem to take their fill of them. It was George the Second, I think, who asked Walpole what it would cost to fence in St. James’s Park, so as to keep the people out. “Only three crowns,” was the reply; and the heavy Hanoverian learned an important lesson, as to the difference between British freemen, and the sort of people he had been wont to deal with, in his darling Electorate.

One morning I attended a meeting of the Venerable S. P. G. The estimable Bishop of Bangor presided, and the ordinary monthly business was despatched. On this occasion, I was so happy as to meet with Lord Lyttleton, Mr. Beresford Hope, and others, whose names are familiar to American Churchmen, as identified with zeal and devotion to the noble work of Evangelization. The American Church, and her relations with her nursing Mother, were frequently alluded to; and, as an act of Christian recognition, I found myself admitted a corresponding member of the Society. Though I could not suppose the compliment a personal one, designed as it was in honor of the Orders of our Church, I felt it no small privilege to receive this humble share in the noble organization to which, under God, our Church owes its existence; and I felt it the more, as being myself the descendant of a lowly but devoted Missionary, who died in the service of the Society. I was pleased with the earnest, but very quiet and affable spirit of this meeting. No show, nor swelling words; and yet the spiritual interests of empires, and of national Churches, present and yet to be, the fruits of the Society’s labors, were deeply and religiously weighed, and dealt with. Beautiful tokens of the Society’s fruitfulness hung round the walls—portraits of English Missionary Bishops, such as Heber, and Selwyn, and Broughton. These are its trophies.

My first excursion into the country was made somewhat earlier than I had forecasted, in accepting a kind invitation to Cuddesdon, from the Bishop of Oxford. This promised me the double pleasure of an immediate acquaintance with Oxford itself, and of a no less agreeable introduction to the eminent prelate, whose elevation to that See has so highly served the dearest interests of the Church, not in England only, but also throughout Christendom. The name of Wilberforce has received new lustre in the person of this gifted divine; and certainly there was no one in England whom I more desired to see, for the sake of the interest inspired by public character and by published works. His known hospitality, and interest in visitors from all parts of the world, relieved me from surprise in receiving this unexpected attention, and I felt sure I should experience no disappointment in indulging the confidence and affection inspired by such cordiality. Arriving in Oxford, I threw myself into a cab, and set off for the Bishop’s residence, about eight miles distant—taking a drive through High-street, in my way. Every object seemed familiar; I could scarcely believe that I was, for the first time, looking at those venerable walls. Here was St. Mary’s—here All Souls—here Queen’s—and there is the tower of Magdalen. Even “the Mitre” and “the Angel” looked like Inns, in which I had often “taken mine ease.” A few gownsmen were loitering along the streets, but the town was quite deserted, it being the Easter holiday time. Here, at last, were the old gables of Magdalen; and now I pass the Cherwell, and get a view of Magdalen-walks on one hand, and of Christ Church meadows on the other. And now a tollgate, and now the country road—and I can scarce conceive that I have passed through Oxford, and that mine eyes have really seen it, and that fancy, and the pictures, are no longer my chief medium of knowing how it looks. How rapidly I have lost the use of helps on which I have depended for years! Like the lame man healed, I can hardly believe that I have gone on crutches. But honestly, now—is the reality up to what I looked for? Thus I thought, and questioned, as I jogged along.

Cuddesdon is the name of a little hamlet in Oxfordshire, on a wooded hill, overlooking a wide extent of country, besprinkled with many similar hamlets, and distinguished by a pretty parish Church, and the adjoining residence, or palace, of the Bishop. The residence is one of those rambling and nondescript houses, of ecclesiastical look, which one associates with English rural scenery; but of a class which it is difficult to characterize, except as something too modest for a nobleman’s seat, and something too lordly for a vicarage. The nearness of the parish Church might, indeed, suggest the idea of the parson’s abode—but what should a parish priest want of so large a house, or of the little private chapel which, on one side, makes a conspicuous part of the pile? On the whole, one might conceive it the residence of a Bishop without being told the fact, or before descrying the arms of the See, over the entrance, encircled by the Garter, of which most noble Order, the Bishop is Chancellor. Nothing could exceed the kindness and affability with which the estimable prelate received me, and made me welcome as his guest: his manner, at once dignified and engaging, sufficing immediately to make a visitor at home in his presence, however deeply impressed with reverence for his person. I esteemed it an additional privilege to be presented to the Bishop’s brother, Archdeacon Wilberforce, then just arrived at the palace from his own residence in Yorkshire: and I soon found, among the guests of the Bishop, several other persons of eminent position in society, from whose agreeable intercourse I derived the highest satisfaction. I had arrived on a Saturday, and, after a pleasant evening, the week was solemnly closed in the private chapel, with appropriate prayers. Here, twice every day, all the members of the household, the family, the guests, and the servants together, are assembled before the Lord their Maker, while the Bishop, like a patriarch, assisted by his chaplains, offers the sacrifices of prayer and thanksgiving, and sanctifies his house. It was beautiful, on one occasion, to see such a household together receiving the Holy Eucharist, and it was good to participate in the solemnity. The sanctity of my privilege, as the guest of such a family, forbids any further allusion to the delightful scenes of domestic piety of which I was so confidingly made a sharer; but I cannot withhold a tribute to the character of a true Bishop, who has incidentally enabled me to testify of at least one English prelate, that “he serves God with all his house,” and makes that service the one thing indispensable and most important, in all the distributions of private life, its kindly offices, and endearing charities.

I accompanied his Lordship, next day, into Oxford, where he preached at St. Ebbe’s to a very large congregation. This Church is very plain and countryfied—astonishingly so for Oxford; but the worshippers were devout and earnest in their attention. The sermon was suited to the Service for the day, and I was not disappointed in the manner, nor yet in the matter, of it. The Bishop is a truly eloquent man. His voice is sweet, and often expressive of deep feeling, or of tender emotion. He uses more action than most English preachers, or rather he has much less of inactivity in his preaching. Occasionally he looks off from his manuscript, and launches into warm extemporaneous address. Altogether, I regard him as very happily combining the advantages of the English and American pulpits. More than any other of whom I know anything, he unites the delicacy and refinement of the former with the earnestness and practical effect of the latter.

After a short visit to Wadham College, where I had the pleasure of meeting the late Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dr. Symmons, we returned to Cuddesdon. Our road lay through the village of Wheatley, where the bells were chiming for service as we passed. Ascending the hills, we alighted and walked; and, by and by, the good Bishop, pointing to a little hamlet not far off, said to me, “there lived, once upon a time, a man named John Milton. There is Forest Hill—there is Shotover—and walking over these hills, he composed Allegro and Penseroso.” How it thrilled my soul, as I listened to his words, and looked delightedly over the scenes to which he directed my attention! We soon reached Cuddesdon, and attended divine service in the parish Church, which was filled chiefly with a rustic people, many of them in hob-nailed shoes, and brown frocks, neatly arrayed, but in the manner of a peasantry, such as we know nothing about in America. The chancel of the Church has been lately restored by the Bishop, and is in excellent taste and keeping throughout. The Church itself is a cruciform one, originally Norman, but much altered, and in parts injured, during successive ages. Its aisles are early English; but many details, in perpendicular, have been introduced in different portions of the pile. Here and there in the wood-work are touches of Jacobean re-modeling. Still, altogether, it is a most interesting Church, and it afforded me great pleasure to worship there, with the rustics and their Bishop, and with a pretty fair representation of the divers ranks of English society, all uniting, happily and sweetly, in their ancestral worship. It was a delicious day, and the glimpses of sky and country, which we gained through the portals and windows, were additional inspirers of gratitude to God. After service, the Bishop led me round the Church, and showed me the grave where one of his predecessors had laid a beloved child. A stone lay upon it, containing the exquisite lament of Bishop Lowth for his daughter, which I remembered to have seen before, but which never seemed half so touching and pathetic as now, while Bishop Wilberforce repeated it from the chiseled inscription:—

“Cara Maria, Vale; at veniet felicius ævum

   Quando iterum tecum, sim modo dignus, ero:

 Cara redi, læta tum dicam voce, paternos

   Eja age in amplexus, cara Maria, redi!”

That evening, as we sat at the Bishop’s table, the bells of Cuddesdon pealed forth a curfew chime. Oh, how sweet! A lady then reminded me that Cuddesdon was one of the “upland hamlets,” alluded to in L’Allegro,—

“Where the merry bells ring round,

 And the jocund rebecks sound.”

And so happily closed my day, that, but for some reverting thoughts to the dear home I had left behind me, I must say I went as sweetly to sleep, in the spell of its delights, as did poor Pilgrim in that chamber of his Progress, from whence he was sure of a view of the Delectable Mountains as soon as he should awake in the morning.


Miltonian ramble—Forest-hill, etc.

Horton, in Buckinghamshire, is supposed to have supplied to Milton the imagery of the Allegro and Penseroso, chiefly because he there composed those delightful poems, in which the very essence of what is most poetical in the scenery and rural life of England is so admirably condensed. But if it could be shown that, so early in the maiden life of Mary Powell as when these poems appeared, she had become the cynosure of Milton’s eyes, and had attracted him to Forest-Hill as a visitor, it might, one would suppose, be very fairly maintained, that this place alone answers, in all respects, to the demands of the poetry in question. It may at least be said with justice, that when the poet visited Forest-Hill with his bride, he realized more perfectly there than anywhere else, the rural delights which he has so exquisitely detailed; and which he has invested at one time with the sprightly aspect in which Nature reveals herself to youth and health, and, at another, with the more sentimental beauties which she wears before the eye of refined and meditative maturity. However, it was not for me to settle such nice questions. Forest-Hill lies not far from Milton, where the poet’s grandfather lived, and from which comes his name; and Shotover-Forest, of which the grandfather was ranger, is part of the same vicinage. It is very probable that the Powells were early friends of the poet, and that his youthful imagination was wont to haunt the whole hill-country thereabout, in honour of the lady’s charms to whom he afterwards gave his hand. Such at least was my creed, for the time, when I enjoyed a delightful walk over the scenes in the company of intelligent persons whose remarks often heightened not a little the extraordinary pleasures of the day.

Among the Bishop’s guests, at breakfast, there was the usual planning of occupations for the morning, and I heard with great satisfaction the proposal of a walk to Forest-Hill, in which it was supposed I might be glad to share. Our party was soon made up, consisting of the Archdeacon, the Rev. Mr. J——, Sir C—— A——, a young Etonian closely related to the Bishop’s family, and the Bishop’s youngest son. After some preliminary reconnoiterings about the hamlet of Cuddesdon itself, (of which the adjoining slopes and meadows furnish very pretty views,) off we went, well shod and with sturdy staves in hand, and in all respects well-appointed for an English ramble; which implies everything requisite for thorough enjoyment of the diversion. We stretched our legs, as Walton would say, over Shotover-Hill, encountering a variety of rustic objects in the fields and farms; here a fold of sheep, and there a hedge, and again a ditch, or a turnip-field, but everything in its turn was of interest to me as presenting, in some form or other, a contrast to similar objects in my own country, the advantage being generally in favor of England, so far as the picturesque is concerned. I can indeed think of many a walk in America, incomparably more interesting than this in the character of its scenery; but what I mean is, that the same kind of country with us, would have been almost devoid of interest. Thus, instead of presenting field after field, cultivated like a garden, beautifully hedged and exhibiting every mark of careful husbandry; or a succession of green pastures, in which fine cattle, and the whitest and fattest of sheep were disposed in a manner entirely suitable to the painter; or instead of a succession of views of the most pleasing variety; here a hamlet and spire, and there a neat cottage, and there a lordly mansion among trees, and there a snug farmhouse: the same number of miles with us, over a slightly undulating country, devoted to pasturage and farming, would scarcely have offered a single scene on which the eye could rest with satisfaction. At length, we reached Shotover-Lodge, which has unfortunately been rebuilt within the last hundred years, but the original of which supplies the ideal of those famous lines in L’Allegro

“Russet lawns and fallows gray

 Where the nibbling flocks do stray;

 Towers and battlements it sees

 Bosomed high in tufted trees,

 Where perhaps some beauty lies,

 The cynosure of neighboring eyes.”

Next we descended into a daisied meadow, and looked for the plowman and the milkmaid, as it was yet too early for the tanned haycock, or the mower whetting his scythe. Here the Archdeacon recalled to my mind a criticism of Warton’s, which I had quite forgotten, asking me if I remembered the meaning of the lines—

“And every shepherd tells his tale,

 Under the hawthorn in the dale,”

in which the idea is not that of narrative, or eclogue, but the more English one of Thyrsis turning the sheep out of fold for the day, and counting them, one by one; that is, telling the tale, like the tale of brick exacted by the Egyptians, as we read in Genesis. Many such comments from my companions gave great inspiration to the ramble, which brought us at last up the sides of Forest-Hill itself, where we first encountered some cottages of surprising neatness, inhabited by thrifty tenants, who farmed a few acres of their own hiring. Here Sir C——, like a true Protectionist, stopped to ask a few questions of Hodge and his family about the prospects of “the British farmer,” and the practical results of Cobdenism; and I fancied, from the interest taken in the disclosures by my young friend from Eton, that the lads who now play cricket on the banks of the Thames, under “the antique towers,” are not unlikely, at some future day, to maintain the rights of the landed gentry, with the same primary reference to agriculture which so largely distinguishes Mr. Disraeli. And now we came to the little Church of Forest-Hill, where, for aught I know, Milton was married to the daughter of the good old cavalier, but where he could not have been surrounded by a very great crowd of rejoicing friends upon the happy occasion, as the sacred place will scarcely contain threescore persons at a time. It has no tower, but only one of those pretty little gable-cots for the bell, so familiar of late in our own improving architecture of country Churches. The altar-window is near the road, and the bell-gable is at the other extremity, surmounting the slope of the land, on a pretty terrace of which, embosomed among the trees and shrubs, is situated the parsonage. The little Church itself is of the early English period, but has repairs in almost every variety of pointed style, and some in no style at all. It has had very little aid from the builder, however, for nearly a century. In the early Caroline period, or a little before the date of Milton’s marriage, it was probably new-roofed and put into good order, possibly as the result of injunctions from the King and Council, with some of whom, “the filthy-lying of Churches” was not reckoned a proof of growing godliness in the nation. Accordingly I noticed on one of the tie-beams of the roof, the inscription, C. 1630 R., and again on the door, C. R. 1635. In the churchyard is a remarkably fine holly tree, and, what is still more interesting, the grave of Mickle, the translator of the Lusiad. Here he lies, ignorant alike that his Lusiad is almost forgotten, and that his little ballad of Cumnor-Hall has reproduced itself in the world-famous story of Kenilworth. We ventured to call at the parsonage, where we were very courteously shown the parish-register, a little old parchment book, in which I observed the entry of Mary Powell’s christening, and also the record of burial of persons brought in after such and such a fight, in the Civil Wars. In a nice little cottage hard by, we found an old dame teaching half-a-dozen children; and if any one marvels at my mentioning so insignificant a fact, let me say that it was one of the most pleasing of my day’s adventures to visit this school, which seemed to be the original of many a queer cut, familiar from the painted story-books of the nursery. The cottage seemed to contain but one room, the dame’s bed being turned up against the wall, and neatly concealed by a check curtain. The windows were casements, with diamond panes—and the walls were so thick, that the window-sill afforded space for several boxes of plants, set there for the sunlight. The floor was so neat, that it might have served for a table without offence to the appetite; sundry shelves shone with polished pewter and tin; the whitewash, without and within, was fresh and sweet; and sundry vines were trained about the door. The little scholars, evidently the children of laboring people, were tidy in their appearance too, and they sat, each upon his stool, with A-B-C-Book held demurely before the nose, and eyes asquint at the visitors. Every thing convinced me that the old dame was a strict disciplinarian, whose “moral suasion” consisted in the rod of Solomon, fairly displayed before the eyes of the urchins, and no doubt faithfully used. And yet nothing could exceed the good-nature and propriety of her appearance, except the humility with which she seemed to regard the literary pretensions of her academy. Good-bye, dame! Reverend is thy little starched cap, and dignified thy seat in the corner of the chimney. True, they teach greater things hard by, at Oxford; but thou art an humble co-worker with its ablest Dons and Doctors: and happy are the children, who have only to peep out of their school-house door to see the top-rounds of the ladder, about the foot of which they climb; even the towers of Christ Church, and of Magdalen, and the dome of the Radcliffe Library.

“Yes,” said one of my companions—“when the Great Tom of Oxford rings its hundred-and-one of a summer evening, then, standing on this hill, you will get the meaning of Milton’s lines:—

“’Oft, on a plat of rising ground

 I hear the far-off curfew sound,

 Over some wide-watered shore,

Swinging slow, with sullen roar.’”

To which I ventured to object, that although the heavy sound of a bell like the Great Tom would alone justify the description in the last of these lines, I saw nothing in the view before me, to account for the allusion to a “wide-watered shore.” This, however, was met by the assurance that the little rivulet, which might be seen in the mead, was not unfrequently lost in a spreading inundation, and that at such times nothing could be more descriptive than the very words of the poem! This, I was bound to admit as satisfactory. And now I made a discovery of my own. Hard by the dame’s cottage I found a spring, overarched with substantial masonry, and adorned with ivy. I suggested that John Milton had certainly tasted of that water, for that the well was antique, and evidently designed for the use of a gentleman’s household; to which Sir C——, who is a judge of such matters, at one assented, pronouncing it of the period of Mary Powell’s youth, and paying my discovery the practical compliment of producing his sketch-book, and drawing it on the spot. A similar drawing he made of the Powell house itself, to which we now proceeded. It presents the remains of a much larger house, but even in its reduced dimensions, is quite sufficient for a comfortable farmer. Still the rose, the sweet-briar and eglantine are redolent beneath its casements; the cock, at the barn-door, may be seen from any of its windows; and doubtless the barn itself is the very one in which the shadowy flail of Robin Goodfellow threshed all night, to earn his bowl of cream. In the house itself we were received by the farmer’s daughter, who looked like “the neat-handed Phillis” herself; although her accomplishments were, by no means, those of a rustic maiden, for she evidently had entered fully into the spirit of the place, and imbued herself with that of the poetry in no mean degree. We were indebted to her for the most courteous reception, and were conducted by her into several apartments of the house, concerning all of which she was able to converse very intelligently. In the kitchen, with its vast hearth and over-hanging chimney, we discovered tokens of the good-living for which the old manor-house was no doubt famous in its day: and in its floor, was a large stone said to have been removed from a room, now destroyed, which was formerly the poet’s study. The garden, in its massive wall, and ornamented gateway, and an old sundial, retains some trace of its manorial dignities in former times—when the maiden Mary sat in her bower, thinking of her inspired lover; or when, perchance, the runaway wife sighed and wept here over a letter brought by the post, commanding Mistress Milton to return to her duty in a dark corner of London, on pain of her husband’s displeasure, and of being made the heroine of a book on divorce! Our fair conductress next called our attention to an outhouse, now degraded to the office of domestic brewing, but which she supposed to be the “still, removed place” of Penseroso; and in proof of the nobler office to which it had been originally designed, she pointed out the remains of old pargetting, or ornamental plaster-work, in its gables. The grace with which she used this term of art, would have rejoiced the soul of an ecclesiological enthusiast. Moreover, she brought forth a copy of Sir William Jones’ Letters, and pointed out to us his description of the place, proving that our researches on Forest-Hill can make no pretensions to originality, though certainly he could not boast of the advantages we derived from the illustrative powers of our hostess. It was her idea that the house had originally been a convent; and this notion, she said, receives force from the lines:—

“Come, pensive nun, devout and pure,

 Sober, steadfast, and demure,” etc—

imagery, which, in her opinion, could only be suggested by the associations of the spot. Many a worse theory in literature has been built upon foundations quite as slender; and so without committing ourselves to this interpretation, but with many thanks for the hint, and for all her civility, we respectfully bade adieu to the house, and its respectable occupants, with all necessary apologies for our intrusion.

Next morning, when I met Sir C—— at breakfast, he startled me by throwing upon the table two accurate and beautiful drawings of the well and mansion at Forest-Hill. He had produced them from the little sketches which I had seen him take upon the spot; and as they must have been made either very late at night, or very early in the morning, they were pleasing proofs of his kind disposition to gratify and oblige me, by the gift of a memorial of our Miltonian day, that must long afford me the additional pleasure of renewing its associations with him. In a few hours I bade farewell to Cuddesdon; but it so turned out that some of the acquaintances there formed, were subsequently renewed in other places, and in travel on the Continent. Nor can I forbear to mention with gratitude, that the kind attentions of the Bishop to his guest, so far from ceasing when I had taken leave, were continued through the whole period of my sojourn in England, and frequently opened to me unexpected sources of benefit and enjoyment.

But I must not conclude without observing, with reference to Forest-Hill, that Sir William Jones declares its groves to have been long famous for nightingales; while, at the same time, by distinctly recognizing the “distant mountains that seem to support the clouds,” as part of the view to be gained from the summit of the hill, he has done much to identify the spot as indeed the true scene of the poems. It is allowed that nothing like mountains are to be seen from Horton; but Sir William fully justifies the allusion, as suited to Forest-Hill, while at the same time he removes all ground for the hackneyed complaint, that this reference to mountains is a blemish to the poem, as being wholly unwarranted by the character of English scenery.


Oxford—New College—Magdalen.

Now came my first day in Oxford—a day depended upon from boyhood, and from which I had expected more quiet and meditative delight than from any other enjoyment whatever. To every one who has made English literature and English history a study, I need not explain why. But Oxford has not only a literary prestige: it is so intimately connected with the history of our holy religion, that all other associations receive, as it were, an unction from this. Every college has its history; every stone, and every tree, and every turf, suggest ennobling reflections, as memorials of departed worth, but the hallowed memory of Martyrs sheds over all a deep and sober glory, that awes while it inspires. I know that our age has seen men, aye, and Oxford men, who could sneer at the reverend names of Cranmer, and Latimer, and Ridley: but who that has a heart not absolutely dead to generous emotion, but must feel a warm re-action in view of such impotent malignity? Who, in the days of the apostate and the dupe, can go to Oxford without blessing God that other days have left us the blessed example of men faithful unto death, and triumphing in the fire?

I stopped at “The Angel,” but it was not long before I found myself hospitably taken up, and transported to the house of a friend in the Turl, next door to Exeter College. My kind entertainer was one widely known throughout Anglo-Saxondom, not only by the books which he publishes, but by those also which he writes: and to whose elementary works on architecture we, in America, are indebted for about all that is popularly known of that beautiful art and science. As it was now vacation, I had an opportunity of seeing Oxford first, as it were, in scene, without the dramatis personæ; and no one is more capable than my kind host, of explaining the antiquarian and architectural glories of Oxford to a stranger. As he courteously gave me his valuable time, I made my primary rounds under his guidance.

As I came into Oxford, from Cuddesdon, I heard the bells of St. Mary’s in full peal, and experienced an exhilarating emotion that greatly heightened my impressions. After my arrival in the Turl—a name which indicates that the street was once a country-lane, guarded by a turn-stile—I took my second walk through the city, my first having been on the previous Sunday, passing from St. Ebbe’s to Wadham College, with the Bishop. Now, beginning with New College and the glories of William of Wykeham, I felt a new impulse of wonder and admiration, as if the half had not been told me. In vain does the pedant complain of the architecture here displaying the genius of that munificent founder, and tell us that it marks a decline from the elevation of the decorated period; for who can but see, in what is called decline, something much more like an elaborate adaptation of sacred art to academic purposes, exhibiting high invention, and a sense of the fitting and appropriate, which proves a taste truly refined, and a fancy rich and creative? So, at least, it strikes me; and the moral element is not less observable, the very stones seeming vital and instinct with the designer’s great soul and spirit. Thus the gateways, as has been well remarked, exhibit strength and utility, with little to advertise what is within; the domestic part is simple, and chaste and homelike; the hall bespeaks a generous hospitality, and suggests the social and civilizing character with which religion invests the table and the meal, and elevates it to a feast of reason; while, at last, the chapel is full of divine majesty, and commands abasement of self in the house of God, and at the gate of heaven. Wykeham was, for his day, a reformer, as really as Wyckliffe, and nothing is more certain than that the true Anglican alone has a right to glory in his achievements. They mark a period of contest with the papacy, every step of which contributed to the ultimate liberation of the Church of England from its Italian yoke, and they were perfected in that English spirit, against which the Pope was always at war, and which late apostates from our Nicene faith detest and anathematize as schism. True it is that we differ with Wykeham and Waynefleet in many items of opinion and practice, in which they were no wiser than their times; but they are one with us, historically, in the communion of the Church of England, in the maintenance of her individuality and independence, and in the confession of the Nicene Creed, as the authorized symbol of Christendom. These impressions, forced upon me within these walls, and growing on me every day that I spent in England, returned with ten-fold power after I had seen the Continent, and again beheld English Churches and colleges, and felt their essential antagonism to what is Italian and Tridentine, and their almost physical tendency towards the production of such a Church, in their ultimate result, as the Anglican Communion is at this day, and is likely to be in future. Let us depend upon it, and act upon it, as a fact in the providence and design of God, that the Church of England, from the first day she was planted until now, has been, as it were, “the Church in the wilderness;” retaining always a primitive and individual element, and preparing for eventual manifestation in the pure glory of the Bride, the great adversary of the harlot, with whose painted front and virago fury she now patiently contends.

Although the modern parts of the College are conspicuous from the gardens, I found in them a fascination which I can hardly account for or describe. The ancient city walls, with their bastions and defences, are still preserved as the boundaries of the premises, and possibly it is to them, with their embowering verdure and isolating effect, that one owes a feeling of enchanting seclusion and quietude. Here my trans-Atlantic eyes first beheld the loop-holes and embrasures of mediæval fortification; first grasped the idea of intramural siege, and bow-and-arrow fight! It struck me overwhelmingly with a sense of loss and mental injury, that I should have known only faintly, and from books, what thus the Oxford student receives in passive impressions of reality—the ennobling idea of our connections with the past, and its paternal relations to us. To see every day the walls on which one’s forefathers, ages ago, patrolled in armor, or from which they aimed the cross-bow; to walk and study and repose habitually under their shadow; to have always, in sport and in toil, in sorrow and in joy, such monuments of time and history about one: how ought it not to refine and mature the character; and make a man feel his place between two eternities; and inspire him to live well the short and evil day in which, if ever, what he does for futurity must be done quickly, and with might!

But now, somehow or other, we emerged into “The Slipe,” where one gets a fine external view of old wall, chapel and tower. But I was impatient to see Magdalen College, and Addison’s Walk, and thither we bent our way. Passing under its new and beautiful gateway, I stood before that effective grouping of architectural detail which makes up the western front. Here are tower, turret and portal, chapel, lodge, and non-descript doorway; here are great window, and oriel, and all sorts of windows besides; and trees and vines lending grace to all; and here is that queer little hanging pulpit, for out-door preaching, which, with all the rest, always made Magdalen, to my boyish taste, the very Oxford of Oxford. And I am not sure that this notion was a wrong one; for now that my ideal has received the corrections of experiment, what college shall I prefer to Magdalen? Perfect and entire is Wadham, where, in the warden’s lodge, I first broke academic bread; lordly is Christ Church, with its walks and its quadrangles; lovely is Merton, as it were the sister of Christ Church, and gracefully dependent; New College is majestic; All Souls worthy of princes: but Magdalen alone is all that is the charm of others, compendious in itself; yielding only a little to each rival in particulars, but in the whole excelling them all.

In Addison’s walk I gave myself up to delightful recollections of the Spectator, and marvelled not that the thorough-bred Englishman of that bewitching collection, was the product, in part, of such a spot as this! Here that great refiner of our language breathed the sentiment of his country, and nourished the spirit that knew how to appreciate her, and how to transfuse the love of her into others. I defy the most stupid visitor to feel nothing of enthusiasm here! I made the circuit of the meadow, surveyed the bridge over the Cherwell, took a view of Merton-fields and Christ Church meadows; and, after meeting with the late Vice-President, Dr. Bloxam, and encountering in him a cordiality of reception which I can never forget, concluded by attending prayers in the chapel. I was placed in a stall, and had as favorable a position, for sight and sound, as I could have desired. The service was sung throughout—although, as it was now vacation, comparatively few were in attendance besides the singers themselves. I observed that here, as in other college-chapels, the chapel itself is the choir of a cruciform Church, the ante-chapel is the transept, and the nave is wanting. Add the nave, that is, and you have a cathedral, or minster, complete. In the ante-chapel of Magdalen, there are always persons devoutly following the service; and although they can see nothing, they hear it with very sweet effect, the chaunt being softened by their separation from the singers, while it is articulate and altogether devotional.

Magdalen became my home in Oxford, for there I more frequently walked, and worshipped, and visited than elsewhere—and there, for a time, I was lodged; while in its grounds I became a frequent and familiar guest; taking, in grateful confidence, the repeated invitations which I received from Dr. Bloxam and other members of the College, although obliged to decline far more of their kindness than I could possibly accept. During this first visit I dined in the Hall, meeting a number of eminent members of the University, and greatly enjoying their conversation. This superb Hall is lined with portraits of the distinguished sons of Magdalen. As I sat at meat, Addison’s portrait was just before me, and at the end of the Hall was the portrait of one whom I am accustomed to reverence even more, as the pattern of the true Anglican pastor, the pure and holy Hammond. All around hung the venerable pictures of great and historical personages, who have illustrated their college in becoming illustrious themselves. Among such worthies, none can forget Bishop Horne, who, although he died in 1792, was the immediate predecessor in the presidency of Dr. Routh, the present incumbent, now very nearly a hundred years of age. This venerable and extraordinary man is, indeed, as was often said to me—“the greatest wonder of Oxford.”

But how many are the sources of delight in this august University! Even the meanest are not unworthy of note. At dinner, in the Hall, for example, I remarked, that the queer old mug from which I was drinking, was the gift to the College of “Robert Greville, second son of Lord Brooke;” and when we adjourned to the common-room, for fruit and conversation, the traditions of the spot, which were recounted, were all of historical interest. In this very room, that sturdy champion of his College, Bishop Hough, by boldly resisting the Commissioners of the Popish James, with their three troops of horse at the door, paved the way for the Revolution of 1688; and yet no College in Oxford was so much distinguished for its subsequent loyalty to the house of Stuart as Magdalen—following, in this, the example of Bishop Ken and the non-jurors, who liked the usurpation of William quite as little as the oppression of James. A Jacobite goblet was put into my hand, bearing the inscription Jus suum cuique, which admirably apologizes for the position of the College, in both these historical issues; while, on the other side, is the legend, to which I gave emphatic utterance, as I drank—Vivat Magdalena! After an hour in the common-room, we returned to the Hall, where the choristers were rehearsing the anthem for the next service, and where I heard not a little sweet singing during the evening. The fire was brightly blazing in its chimneys; and the light and shade of the vast apartment, with its pictures reflecting the playful glare from painted armor, or robes of lawn, and academic scarlet, to say nothing of the visages of ancient worthies clad in such array, very much heightened the effect of the scene.

Before returning to London, besides making a general survey of the city, I became somewhat more particularly acquainted with Christ Church, its hall, and common-room: and with its chapel, which is the cathedral. In Oriel College, also, I passed some pleasant moments, and drank of the College beer, from an old traditional cup of the time of Edward Second. I also worshipped at St. Mary’s, and did the same at St. Thomas’s, a picturesque and venerable fabric in the outskirts of the city, near the site of Oseney Abbey. Here the late restorations were very fine; and, although it is a parochial Church only, the service was sung. I observed a somewhat excessive external devotion on the part of a few of the worshippers, which struck me unfavorably; but, perhaps, in times of less dubious allegiance to the Church, I should not have noticed it as peculiarly pharisaical. I paid a visit to the Bodleian and the Picture Gallery, and inspected the architecture of “the Schools;” and, finally, saw some ceremonies in the Convocation House, which were very well worth seeing, as illustrating the academic system of Oxford. Several masters-of-arts were made, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Plumptre, presiding, in his scarlet robes; but all was done with an entire absence of pomp, and in presence of very few spectators. I was the more surprised, as this was the first day of Easter-term; and, from the general peal from towers and steeples, one might have supposed it a great day. Even the ceremony of admitting the new proctors, and the Latin speech of one of them going out, seemed hardly to have any interest for the academics, or others. The Heads of Houses were assisting, and looked well; and, when all was over, there was a procession, the Vice-Chancellor going in state, solemnly preceded by the bedels, with their maces—profanely called pokers by the undergraduates. There was, however, no strut, but rather the contrary. You saw, at a glance, that all this was the mechanical routine of the University, done as business; and so regarded by every body concerned. It is only when men are acting that they become sublimely ridiculous.

This remark applies to the May-morning celebration, on top of the Tower of Magdalen. To read of it, one would think it must be a romantic, or enthusiastic, piece of absurdity: but done, as a matter of course, and in continuity, year after year, from ancient times, it has, on the spot, a very different effect. The custom dates from 1501, the first year of the 16th century, when, in gratitude for a royal benefaction from Henry VII., a Hymn to the Holy Trinity, with the Collect of Trinity Sunday, and other solemnities, were instituted as a commemoration, to be celebrated on the first day of May. The produce of two acres of land, part of the royal gift, was at the same time to be distributed between the President and fellows. It now goes to pay for an entertainment supplied to the choristers, in the College-hall, at which a silver grace-cup is passed around with great formality. The boys have a complete holiday, moreover, and from sunrise to sunset are set free from College-bounds; but it must be understood that the boys here spoken of are those of the school and choir—not the undergraduates, of whom there are precious few at Magdalen—which is not an educational establishment, but a society of educated men, devoted to academic pursuits. But I suppose I need not explain the difference between such Colleges and our own, now so generally understood. To remedy what is considered by the progress-men a crying evil, and to turn the splendid revenues of Magdalen to the largest benefit of the largest number, is one of the professed purposes of the late Royal Commission: but, unfortunately, no confidence can be placed in its professions. Were the thing in the hands of true Churchmen, and relieved from the tinkering of Lord John Russell, there can be no doubt that a competent and moderate University reform might vastly augment the resources of the Anglican Communion, and furnish a noble and safe expansion to her missionary and colonization enterprises. The Lord hasten such a genuine improvement, and deliver the University from the rash and presumptuous hands of political capitalists and adventurers!

I was premonished by one of the Dons, that there would be very little danger of over-sleeping on a May-morning in Oxford, for that an old remnant of Druidical times still flourishes unrestrained among the lads of the town. This is nothing less than the blowing of all sorts of dissonant horns, about the streets, in honor of the British Flora, from the earliest peep of May-day; as if to remind every body of the shame of sleeping when nature is displaying her fairest and most fragrant charms. Awakened, then, by the promised croaking, up I rose, and repaired to the College, towards which the whole tide of early-risers was setting. Here, those who are not admitted to the Tower, station themselves in the street below, or line the bridge of the Cherwell, awaiting the aerial music. As I slowly wound my way to the top of the tower, I caught beautiful views through its loop-holes, and breathed occasional puffs of delicious air. On the summit were gathered almost as many gownsmen, and others, as half the place would hold: the other half was railed off for the singers—men and boys, in their surplices and caps, with sheets of music in their hands. The view of the surrounding country, towards Forest-hill and Cuddesdon, or round by Nuneham and Stanton Harcourt, to Woodstock, was exceedingly lovely—and, of course, the more so, for the inspiration of the hour. As the clocks of Oxford chimed the hour of five, every head was reverently uncovered—and, while the morning sun made all the landscape glitter, forth broke the sweet music of the old Latin hymn:—

“Te Deum patrem colimus,

 Te laudibus prosequimur:

 Qui corpus cibo reficis,

 Cœlesti mentem gratia.”

Alas! it was too soon over; for while it lasted, looking up into the blue heavens, one could almost imagine himself amid the clouds, and surrounded by the melodies of the heavenly host. As soon as it was done, the bells beneath us began their chorus, and the tower fairly rocked and reeled. After lingering for a time, to survey the effects of a bright morning on the domes and spires of the University, and on the aged trees of Christ-Church meadows and the windings of the river, I descended to the walks, and there passed an hour, sauntering about, as it were, in the very foot-prints of Addison and Bishop Horne. The bells discoursed their music for a full hour; the rooks chattered, and made holiday in the tree-tops; the sweet-briar and rose perfumed the cloisters; the deer bounded across the College park; and wherever I went, or wherever my eye rested, I saw nothing to remind me that this world is a wretched and work-day world, and that England is full of misery and sin. For a time, rhyme seemed reason, and fancy fact. In the enchantment of that delightful May-morning, one might be forgiven for loving life and being fain to see many such good days.


The Crystal Palace—Opening, etc.

Having frankly confessed my prejudices against the Great Exhibition, I must now as frankly own that I am ashamed of them. The whole thing was indeed strongly marked by the spirit of the age, and was, therefore, such as no one who sees and understands the faults of our own times can enthusiastically admire. Yet, little by little, I saw so much in it which illustrates the better elements of that spirit, and which is capable of being directed to noble results in behalf of the whole family of man, that, to some degree, I rejoice in the complete success of that splendid experiment. I was nicely punished for my folly at the outset, in losing the pageant of the opening, of which I took no pains to be a spectator, until it was quite too late to obtain admittance. If I lost any thing, however, I suffered in good company. I am astonished, at this time, to remember the indifference of many Englishmen, in different ranks of society, to the entire project, until its success was demonstrated. From The Times, which was a great grumbler at first, and from old Blackwood, which railed at the Temple of Folly, down to the shopkeepers in Regent-street, there was a wide-spread feeling of contempt for Prince Albert’s hobby, as likely to cost more than it would come to: while sincere apprehensions were entertained that something revolutionary and bloody might be the result of the collection of vast bodies of men, with a large proportion of foreign republicans among them, into the bosom of the Metropolis. How idle all this seems now! At the time, I am sure, very few were satisfied that it was altogether idle; and I fancy the Queen and Prince Albert themselves wished the thing well over, for some time before it was fairly inaugurated.

I went into Oxfordshire without making any plans to see the show, and remained over the morning of the first of May, to hear the hymn on the Tower of Magdalen. This was the day of the opening of the Palace, and accordingly I immediately hastened to London, to see how it would end. Riot and murder were the very least of evil results predicted by some, and our American press had anticipated nothing less than general pillage and insurrection. On arriving in London, I found that if I had only secured my ticket beforehand, I might have been at the show, as well as at the Oxford solemnity; for it was yet early in the day. Immense masses of men were pouring into Hyde Park, as I drove down the Edgeware road, and the crowd and crush of vehicles was not less surprising. It was with difficulty that I made my way through Piccadilly, especially as my cab emerged into the vicinity of Hyde-Park-corner. The police were everywhere on duty, but there was no mob, properly speaking, to require their interference. Thousands of the humbler classes, men, women and children, in their best clothes, were endeavouring to enjoy the holiday, and get a sight of the Queen. That was all, at this hour—and so it continued through the day. Towards noon, the crowd in the Park grew oppressive, and the slightest accident might have bred a confusion, in which life would have been sacrificed; but there was absolutely nothing but good-natured pushing and thrusting, and the occasional squall of an infant, whose mother was more engaged to save her tawdry finery, than to secure the safety of her child.

Finding myself one of the people, I resolved to enjoy a nobody’s share of the sight-seeing. Some English friends whom I found in the same predicament, and who assured me I had lost nothing worth a guinea to see, volunteered to accompany me into the Park, where they thought it not unlikely the most exciting scenes of the day would come off. So then, we elbowed and pushed our progress into the Park, and were elbowed and pushed in return quite as much as we cared to be. At last, it became impossible to fight it out three abreast, and we agreed to “divide and conquer.” The last I saw of my friends, one was here and the other there, amid a crowd of hats and faces swaying about, with exclamations and entreaties in behalf of coats and shins, and toes, and umbrellas. We looked laughing adieus, and saw each other no more. At length I found myself in the line of the Queen’s procession, and hired a convenient standing-place to see her progress to the Palace. On she came at last, preceded by those superb horse-guards, who dashed magnificently through the crowd, and were themselves the finest military spectacle I had ever beheld. Several of the Court carriages followed, one containing the Crown-Prince of Prussia; and then came the Queen’s, distinguished by many horses, coachmen, and footmen; the coach itself glittering with gold; the horses splendidly caparisoned; and the servants in showy liveries, with powdered hair, cocked-hats, and immense nosegays thrust into their bosoms. The cockneys, however, had expected to see the coronation coach, and were accordingly much disappointed with this modicum of show. Then followed more horse-guards, kicking up the gravel into the faces of the plebeians, and sinking, with their haunches to the earth, as their riders spurred them into proud prancings and curvettings, as if to intimate that the very beasts knew they were attending the Sovereign of many Empires to a festival of all nations. Whew! how they dashed along! and soon a discharge of artillery announced her arrival at the Palace; nor was it long before another discharge of the guns proclaimed the ceremony concluded, and the Great Exhibition opened. Everybody looked happy and contented; and everybody, with wife and children in the bargain, appeared to be on the spot.

As the royal carriage passed, I observed the Queen to be apparently uneasy, and apprehensive. The glass was up, and she was giving herself that constant motion which was Louis Philippe’s art of safety on like occasions. Without any distrust of her people, she may have remembered the attempt of the madman, Oxford, and she knew that any similar desperado must have a better chance of success on a day like this. I saw the little princes, and the royal head, therefore, to great disadvantage; but fortune favored me with a fuller satisfaction on their return. While everybody was pressing towards the Crystal Palace, I now turned against the tide, and gradually extricating myself from the Park, passed down Constitution Hill, and finally arrived at Buckingham Palace just in time to get a full view. The crowd here was very light, and I saw everything to great advantage. The Queen was evidently in high spirits, the glass down, and she bowing most maternally. I was within a few feet of her, and lifted my hat in homage to the broad, good-humoured smile with which she seemed to regard her enthusiastic subjects. The grand-daughter of George the Third looks exceedingly like her venerable ancestor, and a glance suggested to me what must have been his appearance in his younger days. Her features are by no means unfeminine, though far from delicate; she was a little flushed, and hence less fair than she is painted; but her exhilaration at the happy conclusion of her morning, gave an attractiveness to her expression which she lacked when I afterwards saw her, on more splendid occasions, languid with the routine of a drawing-room at St. James’s, and sick enough, I dare say, of its heartlessness and formality. After the Queen passed into her residence, I supposed the pageant ended, but shortly after there arose a shout, which convinced me I was mistaken. I turned, and saw her exhibiting herself to the people in the balcony of the palace, in the centre of a very splendid group, and with the little Prince of Wales, and the Princess Royal, at her side. The Princess Alice, the Crown Prince of Prussia, and the Duchess of Sutherland, were in the splendid circle, but the Prince Consort I did not discover. The shouts of the people were not so vociferous as I should have anticipated; and the royal party soon withdrew. I afterwards learned that this was a novel proceeding, and was meant by her Majesty as an act of most gracious and particular condescension. I trust my republican interest in the spectacle was none the worse, however, for being wholly unsuspicious of the gratitude with which it should have been mingled. I looked not without reverence, at the Sovereign Lady, and not without solemn thoughts of futurity at her lovely little family of children. But the influence of my country was so far upon me, that I never conceived at the time, that her Majesty was doing more than might have been expected of her, in honour of her loyal and most decorous people.

To Americans in London the Crystal Palace soon became a sore subject. We were the laughing-stock of nations; and I confess, when I first visited the vast desert at the American end of the show, in which many of the articles exhibited were even worse than the lack of others which ought to have been there, I felt myself disposed, for a minute, to blush for my country. It would have been the very poverty of patriotism to plead that a few items of our contribution were of very great merit; and self-respect would not permit me to multiply apologies, or even explanations. What was really good spoke for itself. What was bad, or indifferent, was simply inexcusable. The fact is, our progress in the arts of civilization was not at all represented; and after observing the things which attracted attention, from other countries, I felt sorry that nobody had thought of making similar exhibitions for us. It really pained me to reflect, that I had seen much more attractive exhibitions in our provincial towns; and I was quite sure that one day’s work, in each of our great cities, might have sufficed to collect a far better show of industrial produce out of the ordinary market. Fortunately, the yacht “America” came in at the last moment to “pluck up our drowning honour by the locks;” and if we could but stop bragging about it, that would be enough, until some future occasion may afford us an opportunity of showing what American mechanics and manufacturers are able to achieve in their various departments of skill and ingenuity.

I was pained to observe the feeling engendered by the Exhibition between England and America, and by the highly-irritated recriminations of ill-bred representatives of both countries, on the spot. On the other hand, I was sometimes amused by the ludicrous attempts of some well-meaning Englishman to be complimentary. He would choke out something about the “Greek Slave,” and then pass rapidly to speak of his delight in meeting with a model of Niagara Falls: an execrable thing, which only served still further to confuse the unusually mudded ideas of that prodigy of Nature, entertained by the English generally. As it was simply an immense map of the Niagara, it of course represented the Falls on such a scale as entirely deprived them of sublimity and beauty: and so, when the speaker would enlarge upon the magnificence of this feature of our country, I usually took some satisfaction in confessing that the better half of the Falls is, after all, on the British side, and that I was sorry he could find nothing to praise that was entirely ours. The only instance in which I encountered rudeness upon this subject, was an absurd one, in a railway carriage, when a Paisley manufacturer, a little the worse for whiskey, and very rich in his brogue, after some impudent remarks, which led me to decline conversation, stuck his face into mine, with the startling announcement—“ye can’t mak’ shawls in your country!

On my first visit to the Exhibition, I must own that my prejudices were utterly dispelled. The meagre effect of the exterior was forgotten in the enchantment of the view within. It was a high-priced day, when rank and fashion had the scene to itself. The place where the interest of the whole was concentrated was that beneath the transept, commanding, as it did, the entire view; and where the great trees, preserved within the building, furnished a comparative measure of the whole. The crystal roof showered a soft day-light over the immense interior; the trees and curious plants gave it a cheerful and varied beauty; the eye bewildered itself in a maze of striking objects of luxury and taste; musical instruments, constantly playing, bewitched the ear, their tones blending, from various distances and directions, in a kind of harmonious discord; fountains were gurgling and scattering their spray, like diamonds and pearls; and, amid all, moved the high-born beauty, and the rank and pride of England, mixed with auxiliar representatives of foreign states, but not unconscious of their own superiority, even while they seemed to forget that they were insular, in their easy transition through the pavilion, from England to France, and from France to Austria, and from Austria to India and China. I thought of “the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them:” did the vision which the Tempter disclosed to the Man of Sorrows glitter more ravishingly than this?

But others have written so well on this magnificent spectacle, that I must not enlarge upon my own impressions. It grew upon me, to the last. It was an encyclopædia, which I am glad to have consulted. It was, in fact, a great piece of luck to a traveller. How much of Europe it showed him in a day: how many leagues of travel it would have cost to have gained the information, with respect to divers countries, which here unfolded itself beneath one mighty roof! I am convinced, moreover, that its influence, on the whole, was good. It was opened and dedicated by prayer, and the blessing of the Primate; it was presided over by the religious spirit of the British Empire; it illustrated the pacific and domestic influences of a female reign; it furnished a striking proof of the stability and self-reliance of the Government, as well as of the tranquil prosperity of the state; it united many nations in a common and friendly work; it furnished a touching but sublime commentary upon the lot of man, to eat bread in the sweat of his brow, and it redeemed itself from the spirit of that other Babel, upon the plains of Shinar, by bearing, inscribed upon its catalogue, the text—“The earth is the Lord’s, and all that therein is: the compass of the world, and they that dwell therein.”

On one of the days which admitted “the people,” I took my stand in a corner of the quiet gallery, over the transept, and looked down on the swarming hive with a meditative pleasure. England was there, city and country, the boor and the shopkeeper, and all sorts and conditions of men. The unspeakable wealth of nations stood secure, and glittered, untouched, among them all. All men are brothers, indeed; and tears came to my eyes as I surveyed those sons of toil gazing for a moment upon luxury, and trying to extract a day’s satisfaction in beholding the pomps and vanities which Providence helps them, so sternly, to renounce. Each soul—worth infinitely more than all; and the purchase of the blood that is beyond all price! Oh God, how solemn the theatre, in which such a scene was presented to my eye; and what thoughts it gave me of glory and of vanity, of human joys and sorrows; of the speedy day when all that multitude shall have passed from a world as transient as the show which then amused them; and of the day not very distant, when they, with all nations, shall stand before the Son of Man!

It is a good thing that the better counsel prevailed, and that the Crystal Palace, when it had served its purpose, was taken utterly away. It is now a thing of history, so far as Hyde-Park is concerned; and the Transept Tree will long be its best memorial to surviving generations. In this way its memory will have a moral value, till the end of time. A bubble, like the world, it has glittered and vanished. An epitome of nations and kingdoms, and manners and men, it has served its purpose, and been removed by its imperial architects. Who can doubt that, in like manner, when their noble ends are accomplished, the heavens shall be folded up as a vesture; and “the great globe itself, with all which it inherits,” shall forever pass away, according to His promise, who is King of kings and Lord of lords?

It would have been pity not to have seen poor Jack-in-the-Green, on a May-day, in London; and yet I had quite forgotten the sweep, and his right to a share in the festival, until I saw the sight itself, as I chanced to be passing through one of the streets of the West-end. A chimney of green things, it seemed to be; walking along, and nearly or quite concealing the occupant, who gave it motion, while a crowd of boys did honour to the show. The game seemed to consist, in pausing before certain doors, and soliciting a gratuity. Certain it is, that no one can grudge a penny to such an applicant, or behold the one day’s sport of the poor climbing-boy, without wishing he may succeed in trying to make the most of it. Lady M. W. Montague is said to have invented this beneficial anniversary of sweepdom, and the moving obelisk of green seemed to me no unmeet memorial of her benevolence. Better this, than the column of the Place Vendôme, unless it be better to be remembered for levying a world-wide tribute of blood and tears, than for giving one new object of hope and joy to the children of sorrow!

During the residue of the week I was engaged in the ordinary lionizing, but met several agreeable persons in company, dining one day at the Rectory of St. George’s East, and another day at Clapham. My first impressions of the enormous extent of London were gained in passing between these limits, and yet as vast a suburb lay unexplored beyond the former, as I had travelled through to reach the latter. Clapham is called four miles from the metropolis, but one reaches it, by omnibus, with no very clear idea of having left London at all. And so, in every direction, London seems interminable, and villages known to us from books as highly rural, and as affording delightful retreats from the city, are found, to our surprise, to be incorporated with the great Babel itself, and that by no means as its extremities.


St. James—Wellington—St. Paul’s.

I had been invited by Dr. Wesley, Dean of the Chapel Royal of St. James’s, to attend service there on Sunday morning. It was the Second Sunday after Easter. The old clock above the palace gate-way pointed eight o’clock as I entered the colour-court, and saw the flag of the regiment on duty, drooping about its staff, inscribed with the names of famous victories. All the region round about seemed to be fast bound in slumber. It was the cool, quiet Sunday morning of smoky London, to which only the most casual glimmer of sunlight gave any warm announcement of the advancing day. How still it seemed! A solitary sentinel, in scarlet, stood, six feet high, at the gate. “Service begun yet?” said I; and he answered, mechanically, “yes, the Duke just gone in.” I passed on; knocked at the door of the chapel; mentioned the Dean’s name as my warrant, and was admitted. The beadle, in livery, showed me to a seat, and after my devotions, I was able to look around. It was a plain place of worship, and quite small; just large enough for the royal household, none of whom, however, were now present, the Court being at Buckingham Palace. The book in my seat was stamped with the royal initial of William Fourth, and marked for some great officer of the household. There was one seat between me and the pulpit, the seats running along the wall, like stalls, and not as ordinary pews. The altar at the end of the Church, beyond the pulpit, was the conspicuous object of course, and the window above it—which one might hardly take for an altar-window in the street-view—gave the chief light to the holy place. Was this the same chapel in which Evelyn so often anxiously marked the behaviour of Charles and the Duke of York, at the celebration of the Eucharist? The place has been much changed, but I indulged the idea of its essential sameness. On the altar were the usual candlesticks, and the glittering gold plate of great size and massiveness, in the midst of which was conspicuous the Offertory-basin, bearing the royal cypher of Queen Anne. There was no one in the chapel but the beadle and—one other person, in the seat next me, at my right. There, in a dim corner, directly under the pulpit—quite crouchingly and drawn together, eyes shut, and white head bowed down, Roman nose and iron features, and time-worn wrinkles, all tranquilized—sat in silence the hero of Waterloo. He was in the plainest morning dress of an English gentleman, frock-coat of blue, and light trowsers. I scarcely looked at him, and yet gained, in a moment, an impression of his entire person, which I shall never lose. Occasionally I could not resist the temptation of a glance at the great man, but who would venture to stare at the Duke of Wellington in such a place, and at such a time? The Dean of the chapel entered, with another clergyman, who was habited for the pulpit. A clerical personage, attended by two ladies, at the same time, came in as I had done, and, during the sermon, there were four other persons present. The Dean began the Communion Service, which surprised me, as I had expected the usual Morning Prayer. Was the Duke about to communicate? Was I to see him in the most solemn act of our holy religion? Was I to kneel beside him to receive the same cup of salvation and bread of life? It gave me solemn thoughts of our common insignificance, in presence of Him whose majesty filled the place, and on whose glorious Cross and Passion, I endeavoured to fix all my thoughts. For ages in this chapel, sovereigns and princes had literally brought gold and incense, (as they do still, annually, on the Feast of the Epiphany,) and offered their vows unto the King of kings; and now, there I knelt with the greatest human being on the footstool; the first man of the first nation; the great man of the greatest Empire on which the sun ever shone; a man of blood, of battles, and of victories, coming as a worshipper of the Prince of Peace, to crave salvation and receive its pledge! ‘And yet, a greater than Solomon is here,’ said my inward thought, ‘and therefore let this impressive moment be a foretaste of that terrible hour when the Judge of all the earth shall sit upon his throne, and when all worldly glories must shrink to nothingness before His Majesty.’

I could not but observe the Duke, at the saying of the Nicene Creed. As usual, in England, he faced about to the East, and at the name of Jesus, the great Captain of his salvation, he bowed down his hoar head full low, as if he were indeed a soldier of the cross, and not ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified. The Duke was certainly not as eminent for sanctity as for his many other qualities; but who shall say that his worship was that of the formalist, or that the secret of his soul, which is with God, may not have presented to His eye the contrition and the faith of a sinner “much forgiven!” Surely, the splendours which seem so attractive to the superficial, must, long since, have become burdensome to him; and few, so well as he, have been able to confirm by experience the faithful witness of inspiration, that “man at his best estate is altogether vanity.”

The Dean is a grandson of the celebrated Charles Wesley, and I was somewhat disappointed that he was not the preacher. The text, it seemed to me, had been selected not without reference to the great person, whose attendance at the chapel is sometimes solitary, and who having entered on his eighty-third year on the preceding Thursday, might be supposed to regard this Sunday as one of more than ordinary solemnity. “Though thy beginning was small, thy latter end shall greatly increase”—(Job viii:7)—such was the text, and the reverend preacher dwelt on the approach of death, and spoke of “men covered with worldly wealth and honours, making their end in remorse and misery.” If the deafness of the Duke did not prevent his hearing, many parts of the sermon must have affected him, but he retained the immoveable and drowsy look of which I have spoken before, and sat close in his corner. The residue of the service proceeded as usual; five persons, myself and the beadle included, being the only persons present besides the officiating clergy. The collection at the Offertory was duly made as in parish churches, and at the proper time (the beadle opening the doors of our pews) the altar was surrounded. Supposing that some etiquette might be observed in such a place, I was very much pleased to find that the contrary was the case; and that all present were expected to approach the altar together. The Duke tottered up, just before me, and I knelt down at his side, just where the beadle indicated my place. Of course I had other things to think of at such a solemn moment, and I know nothing of his deportment, at the sacrament, except that it seemed humble and reverential. When all was over, and the Duke had retired, the Dean, who had beckoned me to remain, for the consumption of the residue of the sacrament, expressed great satisfaction at the presence of an American clergyman, and spoke affectionately of our Church. He told me that the Duke communicated thus regularly on the first Sunday of every month: and I was glad, as I left the chapel, that I had been so happy as to see him for the first time when engaged in such a duty. He is now gone to the dread realities we there confessed; and there is something peculiarly touching in the recollection of that morning at St. James’s, when that cup of salvation, out of which kings and queens have, so often, drank their weal or woe, passed from his lips to mine. It made me feel, at the time, both out of place, and yet at home; for what had I to do in a royal chapel, and in the company of the worldly great? and yet I was there because it was my Father’s house, and because my right to the children’s bread is the same as theirs, even the mercy which redeemed all men’s souls at the same unspeakable price.

When I next saw the Duke of Wellington, I had the honour of being presented to him, and of observing his person and his manners more narrowly, in a scene of private festivity. I saw him once again, and that, too, was at St. James’s, amid all the splendours of the Court, dressed in his military uniform, and glittering with decorations. Even there he was the “observed of all observers,” and long will it be before such another shall be seen amid its splendours, giving, rather than receiving lustre, in the face of the throne itself. But to have seen the old hero bowing at the throne of grace, and asking mercy as a miserable sinner, through the precious blood-shedding of Jesus Christ, will often be one of the things which I shall most pleasingly recall, when I see some poor dying cottager, or tenant of a garret, taking into his hand, with as good a right, the same cup of salvation.

When I first came into the neighborhood of St. Paul’s, I was far more impressed than I had expected to be with its dingy, but still sublime exterior. With this Cathedral I had no very agreeable associations. Erected during the first period of decline in correct taste and sound theology, subsequent to the Rebellion, it naturally partakes of the cold formality of the age, and is altogether as Anti-Anglican as pedantry and an over-estimation of the classical in art could make it. It is in the style of a Roman Basilica, rather than of an English Church, and is far more suitable to Tridentine notions, than any Church in England erected before the Reformation. Still, it is beautiful; I think exceedingly so: and St. Peter’s, in the Vatican, is as inferior to this, in model, as this is inferior to St. Peter’s in dimensions and internal magnificence. I give my opinion boldly, for I feel sure that there can be no just room for difference of opinion as to this matter. The more I saw of St. Peter’s, the less was I satisfied with its ill-conceived and awkwardly developed bulk; while every time I saw St. Paul’s, I found myself more and more in love with its rich combinations of grace and majesty. How it came to pass that Michael Angelo and his partners produced only a magnificent monster, while Sir Christopher Wren came so near producing a model of magnificence, it may be hard to tell; but though the latter has its faults, no one can do less than admit, that if the immensity of St. Peter’s embodied the same outline and proportions which are preserved in St. Paul’s, the whole effect of the front, as you approach it between the colonnades of Bernini, would be inconceivably better. St. Paul’s unfortunately has no such approach; but its great dome looms before you, as you begin to ascend Ludgate-hill, for all the world like a peak of the Alps descried through the gorge of Gondo. When the promised improvements are made in the neighborhood of the churchyard, and when a better finish and composition of details are adopted at the eastern end, or choir, of the cathedral, it may safely lay claim to the finest coup d’œil of its kind in Christendom. Its defects are notorious, but they appear to me of minor importance; and the double portico, at the west end, so mercilessly criticised by the mere grammarians of architecture, strikes me as worthy of high commendation, as a happy license in the poetry of the art, distinguishing a Christian Church from a heathen temple. The Pantheon and Madeleine at Paris are doubtless more correct, but they look—the one as if Voltaire and Rousseau might have ordered it expressly for their Mausoleum, and the other as if Julian himself had built it in grateful remembrance of his early friends, the Parisians.

I leave my readers to imagine the sort of enthusiasm with which I first sauntered about the purlieus of the cathedral, and inquired of my guide-book the actual site of the old Paul’s Cross, and strove to conjure up the images, thereto pertaining, by witness of the chronicler. Alas! how much rather would I have seen the old Paul’s, which poor Laud so munificently repaired in the ill taste of his day; and that old pulpit, in which Richard Hooker wagged his venerable head, than all this Italian and classical display of Wren’s! There is no relish of the past in it: and it has little that is truly religious in its effect on the mind. Yet as being St. Paul’s, one feels that a Greek and Roman composition would not befit any other of the apostles, so well as it does the one that was a Roman citizen, and the Doctor of the Gentiles.

Going to St. Paul’s to morning service, on Sunday, the fourth of May, I entered the south transept, and for the first time beheld its interior. The effect of the immense vault of the dome, as it first struck my sight, was overpowering—the more so, because at that moment, a single burst of the organ, and the swell of an Amen from the choir, where service was already begun, filled the dome with reverberations, that seemed to come upon me like thunder. I was so unprepared for anything impressive in St. Paul’s, that I felt a sort of recoil, and the blood flushed to my temples. I said to an American friend, who happened to be with me—“after all, ’tis indeed sublime!” I now went forward with highly excited expectations, and the voice of the clergyman intoning the prayers, within the choir, increased my anxiety to be, at once, upon my knees. I glanced at the monument of Howard, and entered beneath the screen. The congregation seemed immense. A verger led us quite up to the altar, and as he still found no place, conducted us out into the aisle, where I passed the kneeling statue of Bishop Heber, with a trembling emotion of love and admiration, and so was led about and put into a stall, (inscribed, “Weldland,” with the legend, Exaudi Domine justitiam,) where, kneeling down, I gave myself up to the solemn worship of God. And solemn worship it was! I never, before or since, heard any cathedral chaunting, whether in England or on the Continent, that could be compared to it for effect. The clergyman who intoned the Litany, knelt in the midst of the choir looking towards the altar. Even now I seem to be hearing his full, rich voice, sonorously and articulately, chaunting the suffrage—by thy glorious Resurrection and Ascension—to which organ and singers gave response—Good Lord deliver us—as with the voice of many waters. Then, as the next suffrage was continued, the throbbings and echoes of this organ-blast supplied a sort of under-current to its simple tone, at first pouring down from the dome like the floods of Niagara, and then dying off along the distant nave and aisles like mighty waves of the ocean. Tears gushed from my eyes, and my heart swelled to my throat, as this overwhelming worship was continued. It was all so entirely unexpected! Cold, cheerless, modern, all but Hanoverian St. Paul’s—who dreamed of such a worship here! Yet so it was; and I am sure, from subsequent experience, that it is capable of being made a most attractive cathedral, and a very useful one. Knock away that detestable screen, and put the organ in a better place; confine the choir to the clergy, and compel all the canons, singers and officials of every grade to be there; fit up the Altar end, and make it new with a pictured window, in keeping with the architecture and vastness of the place; subdue the light; set the pulpit at the head of the nave, and let the entire Church be filled with worshippers and hearers: and then, with a little decoration, and warm colouring to aid the improved effect, we shall hear no more of the chilliness and poverty of this august interior. It might be made a great Missionary Church for the seamen and other laboring classes of the city and port of London; while the aisles should furnish a succession of chapels, for services at successive hours, and for Sunday schools, and catechizings. Church Societies also, such as the S. P. G., might be allowed their chapels, in which, before sailing, Missionaries might receive the Sacrament, or offer thanks after arriving at home. One would think, moreover, that a fitting use might be found for the great balcony, over the lower portico, at the west-end, if only the Dean and Chapter would imitate the May-morning hymn of Magdalen, and, in that public place, offer annual prayers and thanksgivings to God, for the health, peace, and prosperity of the vast Metropolis, to which they might make themselves the very centre of spiritual life, by a little inventive effort, in the line of useful and benevolent reform. Oh, for a besom and a reformer first, and then for the line and plummet of the builder!

Dean Milman appeared in the pulpit, and preached a well-written sermon (from Acts xvii. 26,) with evident reference to the influx of divers nations at the inauguration of the Great Exhibition. But the Apostle, for whom the cathedral is named, would have preached very differently, I am persuaded, to the assembled Gentiles. In the congregation, I discovered many foreign faces, and recognized, (by the familiar tokens of angular features, goat-locks under the chin, and collars turned down,) not a few of the more inquisitive and irreverent class of our own countrymen, who seemed to think the rhetorical powers of the worthy Dean altogether inferior to those of the stump, the camp-meeting, and the Tabernacle in Broadway. I must allow that, if such were their impressions, they are not much to blame. The editor of Gibbon, and of Horace, has other claims to our respect, and richly deserves an eminent station in the Academy, or in schools of Taste and Art; but the orthodoxy of a Hooker, and the zeal of a Whitefield, are the better qualifications for such a post as the Deanery of St. Paul’s ought to be. Even a little enthusiasm might be excused in cathedral preaching, as vastly preferable to the frigid decorum of a style and manner quite too rigidly harmonious with the Corinthian and classical details of the surrounding architecture.

The same day I attended Evening Service at St. Barnabas’, Pimlico, of which everybody has heard something. At this time Mr. Bennett had ceased to be the incumbent, and I was informed that the less defensible practices of this Church had been discontinued, in obedience to the injunctions of the Bishop. I cannot say I saw anything that need have given great offence, in ordinary times and circumstances: but I saw not a little which, in the time of apostacies and scandals, would more inevitably scandalize the weaker brethren, than would many far more serious sins against charity and brotherly kindness. Had these things been other than absolutely indifferent in themselves, or had they been less seemingly imitative of some ceremonies foreign to our primitive Catholicity, one might have said, at any rate, that they were quite as tolerable as the corresponding ultraisms of the opposing extreme in the Church. I certainly tried to feel both charity and fraternal sympathy for the brethren of St. Barnabas’, for I had heard them well-reported of for many good works. Yet, my impressions were not altogether favorable. On the whole, the effect was that of formalism beyond anything I ever saw in our Communion. The architecture was somewhat too highly charged with mediævalism for reformed Anglican worship, but would be not less inappropriate, in several particulars, to modern Romanism. It was antiquarian, rather than practical in any respect. The service seemed to be performed in the same æsthetic and almost histrionic spirit, even where the rubric was strictly complied with. One could not say just what was inexcusable, and yet felt that little was done unto edifying. The evil seemed to be that its good was made to be evil spoken of, by the excessive and unnatural, if not unreal way in which it was exhibited. Good there was, undoubtedly, in the original idea of this Church, and one scruples to impeach the motive of such displays of zeal for the glory of God: but we have the positive rule of St. Paul, given by precept and example, that everything beyond what is the ordinance and custom of the Church, is to be subordinated to the great work of evangelizing men compassed with infirmities, and who oppose to the Gospel the divers prejudices of the Gentile and the Jew. I am very much afraid the contrary is the rule at St. Barnabas’. After the Evening Service, the congregation was dismissed without a Sermon. Although the assembly was far from large, and however true it may be that prayers are better than preaching, in certain circumstances, I certainly felt that a few words of exhortation might have added a spirit of reality to the solemnities, and could not have seemed out of place on the Lord’s Day, even at Evening Service. Still it is but just to say that the services are so arranged, in this church, as to secure an average both of teaching and worship, much greater than is usual elsewhere. With all this, why cannot a bonâ fide English air of earnestness be given to the whole thing? Let us have a living ceremonial, at least, and a real one. The reading which I heard was not English reading: if the preaching be of the same sort, no wonder the people consider the whole a mere imitation of foreign performances. An external standard, and not the spirit of the English rubric, appears to be before the eyes of the ministers; just as a similar standard, and not the law, seems to have guided Dr. Lushington in his late decision against them. Strange that while his judgment demolishes furniture to which nothing but bigotry can object, he leaves the brazen doors of the chancel, which are repugnant to common sense, as they almost conceal the altar.

Later in the evening, I attended St. George’s, Hanover-Square, the Church so distinguished for marriages in high-life, and for a fashionable prestige altogether. Here one sees Hanover indeed! The names of its successive Churchwardens are emblazoned on the galleries, and I observed that they were generally those of noblemen and gentry. Fashion was much too prominent. A young and well-looking preacher, in Episcopal robes, appeared in the pulpit, and discoursed articulately, and with some spirit, (on Rev. xxii. 17,) though not remarkably in other respects. This was the new Bishop of Nova Scotia, who has since entered into the labors of his missionary field with great diligence and success.

I had attended four distinct services in divers parts of the Metropolis this day, and I was informed that I might easily have attended as many more. Very different hours are kept in different parishes; and it is not unusual for one, two, or even three Morning Services to be celebrated in the same Church, to accommodate different classes of worshippers. Such is one fruit of the awakened vitality of the Church of England.


Rambles—The Tower.

In Paternoster-Row I cruised about, and came to Amen Corner quite too soon for satisfaction. I strove also to understand the precise bounds of Little Britain, as I plodded therein, and bethought me of its right worshipful reputation for books and men of letters in olden times. In Cheapside, I could see nothing but John Gilpin and his family, till I came to Bow Church, and, by good luck, heard a full peal of the very bells that make cockneys, and that whilom made poor Whittington o’ the Cat a Lord Mayor. What they were ringing for did not appear, as the Church was shut. So I fared on through the Poultry and Corn-hill, paying due deference to the Royal Exchange, till on a sudden, by some odd crooks and twistings through the very ventricles of this heart of the Metropolis, I came before the Tower. It gave me a thrill of emotion to see it before me: and ‘here is Tower-Hill,’ said I—‘here stood the scaffold—and I am sure these walls must have been the last things seen, before they closed their eyes forever, by Strafford, and by Laud, and by so many before and after.’ And these the towers of Caesar, and their history the history of England almost ever since his conquest!

The Church of All-Hallows, Barking, happened to stand open, much to my satisfaction, as I was threading a very narrow and old-fashioned street near the Tower; and I entered, with a thrill of emotion, to behold the venerable interior, where the service for the burial of the dead was read over the bleeding corpse of Archbishop Laud, as it was brought in just after the axe had made him a martyr, and here temporarily interred. I remembered that Southey remarks that the Prayer-Book itself seemed to share in his funeral, for on the same day, the Parliament made it a crime to use it in any solemnity whatever: and I endeavored to recall the scene of desolation which must then have smitten to the heart any true son of the Church of England who was its spectator, beholding, as he did, the Primate of all England going down into the sepulchre, as the last, apparently, of his dignity and order; the Church herself beheaded, if not destroyed, with him; and the Prayer-Book reading its own burial! Thank God, there I stood, two hundred years later, a living witness of the resurrection of that Church and its ritual, and of its powerful life, in the new world of the West. I trust I did not offer a vain thanksgiving upon the spot. I then looked at the old tombs and brasses, which are interesting, if not fine. Here kneel a worshipful old knight and his dame, with their nine or ten children, demurely cut in alabaster, upon the common tomb of the parents; and there is a brass, said to be Flemish, commemorating another pair, who were laid to rest the same year that saw Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More beheaded and interred in this same Church. Here, too, is some fine carving; and some of the pews have curious adornings, in token of their being the place for magistrates and high parochial functionaries, of divers degrees. Surely, no one should fail to see this Church when he visits the Tower.

And now I turned towards that old historic pile, repeating, as it rose upon my sight, those striking lines of Gray’s—

“Ye Towers of Julius, London’s lasting shame,

 With many a foul and midnight murder fed!”

Its very foundations were laid in blood, if so be, indeed, as the old chronicler asserts, “its mortar was tempered with the blood of beasts;” and for long ages it has never slaked its thirst for the blood of human beings, till now, in the halcyon days of Victoria, it stands a lonely monument of those barbarian elements, out of which has risen the nobler fabric of British freedom. Nor should it be forgotten, that popular violence as well as princely tyranny, has glutted the spot with murder. Of the many worthies whom we must remember here, none were more grossly butchered than Laud and Strafford, the victims of a ravening fanaticism; unless we except those gentler sufferers, whose sex and spotless innocence leave their murderers without even the appearance of excuse. A cold chill fell upon me as I entered the fatal precincts, thinking how many had passed the same gates never to return. If there be a haunted spot in all the world, it should be this Tower; and, indeed, strange stories are on credible record, which might well assist the fancy in conceiving that the ghosts of its old tenants, of the fouler sort, do sometimes revisit the scene of their dark and dreadful deaths.

The red-liveried yeomen, in the costume of the guards of Edward VI., receive you as you enter the gate beneath its old portcullis, and these are themselves no poor auxiliaries to your efforts at reproducing the past. One of them (they are popularly known as beef-eaters) conducts you to the Armory and Jewel-room forthwith, it being taken for granted that you have come to see these things particularly. Imagine yourself, then, passing through an immense outer-wall, in the circuit of which are set, like sentinels, the several inferior citadels, known as the Bloody Tower, the Beauchamp Tower, and the like. You gain the open court, or area, and in the centre rises the immense quadrangular and turreted mass, which overhangs this part of London: it is the Keep, or White Tower, called also Cæsar’s, though built by William the Norman. You pass the Bloody Tower, in which the young princes were smothered by the hunch-back Richard, and are shown into the Armory. Here you see, amid all sorts of bristling weapons, the sovereigns of England, from Edward I. to James II., all on horseback, and most of them in the armour of their times. The growth and decline of knightly harness is thus exhibited entire, from the “twisted mail” of Edward’s hauberk, down to the merely ornamental breast-plate of the recreant Stuart. What a procession! Some of the visors are down, and others are lifted—but to an imaginative eye, every figure appears instinct with vitality. Their very steeds, in their plated steel and ancient housings, seem clothed with thunder. Elizabeth, of course, retains her own fantastic costume, but there she sits before you, in spite of her peacock display, a glorious memorial of Tilbury, and you can fancy her prancing before her troops, and inspiring them to repel the “foul scorn” of the Armada. That very suit of armour, now stuffed with the resemblance of her father, was once worn by bluff old Hal himself; and further on, is the beautiful array of steel, in which the goodly limbs of the Royal Martyr were once actually encased. Nor are the heroes of this august Valhalla without other trophies of their times and achievements. Here are bills, pikes and partizans, Lochaber-axes and glaives, broadswords and stilettoes; and then all manner of fire-arms, from the earliest and heaviest matchlock down through all the grades of muskets, to musketoons, pistols, and pistolets. And then there are saw-shot, and bar-shot, and spike-shot, and star-shot; and then culverins and petards; and weapons offensive and defensive of all sorts and kinds. And they bear marks of having been well used in their day. Here the wars of the Roses have battered a helmet and pierced a shield: through that hole in the corslet, once spouted the rich blood of a hero at Tewksbury: that visor was rusted by the last sigh of another such as Marmion, on Flodden-field. Even this bludgeon of a staff, with pistols at the handle, has dealt midnight blows in the hands of the British Blue-beard, as he patrolled the streets of his capital, in the spirit of Haroun Al Raschid, somewhat heightened by the spirit of wine.

I was not above looking curiously and thoughtfully at the exhibition of Popery, displayed in the relics of the Armada. At the Crystal Palace there was a very bold and enticing parade of the modern instruments of this Protean enthusiasm, in the shape of candlesticks and monstrances, thuribles and pyxes, and all sorts of embroideries, spangles, laces, and millinery. By such things it would convert England now. In Elizabeth’s day, its missionaries were less attractive. Bilboes, collars, thumb-screws, and iron cravats; stocks, fetters, and manacles; a sort of portable Inquisition was, in short, the great reliance of the Pope in those times, for the reduction of the heretic English: and here, no doubt, old Fuller would go on to say, that “if forsooth we should feel closely about the fine things of even modern Poperie, we might, perchance, find a prickly point, or a sharp edge, or a rough chain, if not faggots and gun-powder also, stowed away among all their fancy stuffes and petticoats.” I could not satisfy myself with looking at these antiquarian treasures however, nor shall I attempt to satisfy my reader by detailing them. Let him think how he would feel to touch the very axe that divided the little fair neck of Anne Boleyn, and the stiffer sinews of the Earl of Essex. Even the block on which old Lovat laid his worthless head, loaded with crimes as many as his hoary hairs, gives one a shudder, though no man pitied him when he fell. It is, moreover, a monument of interest, because there the axe stayed, and has never since been lifted on the head of a British subject. He died in 1746, in the cause of the young Pretender; and possibly this fact suggested to me the thought, (by which alone I can convey any just idea of this Armory,) that the whole exhibition seems to be a complete property-room of the Waverley novels. If the characters of those successive tales could have deposited in one room the antiquarian implements and costumes to which they gave a sort of resurrection, they would have furnished us with very much such a collection as that of this Armory of the Tower.

A new stone strong room has been built for the Royal Jewels, and one now sees the Regalia by day-light. It is a glittering show; but nothing seems to be very ancient in the collection, except the spoon wherewith anointing oil has been poured on all the royal heads that have been crowned since the days of Edward the Confessor. How many Archbishops have held its handle; how many princes have been touched with its bowl! At the bare thought, all the history of England seemed to rise before my sight, and I felt that there is a value in such symbols of a Nation’s continuous existence. When displayed, not as gewgaws of a vulgar pomp, but as the memorials of a fruitful antiquity, they cannot but inspire a sentiment of veneration in every beholder, and serve to keep alive the vestal flame of loyalty and love for a throne which is invested, indeed, with traditional splendours, but which rests on the surer foundations of existing freedom and righteous law.

When I stood again in the open court, I longed to be told nothing so much as where the old Archbishop was confined, when he gave Strafford that parting benediction. It had been arranged by Usher, their common friend, that they should thus take leave of one another. The noble Strafford came forth walking to the scaffold on Tower-hill, but craved permission to do his last observance to his friend. For a moment he feared the old primate had forgotten him, but just then he appeared at the dismal window of his own prison. “My Lord—your prayers and your blessing”—said Strafford, kneeling down: and the benediction was given accordingly; after which the primate swooned in a fit of sorrow, while the stout Earl rising, said, “God protect your innocence,” and then stepped onward with a military bearing, and passed to his execution, as if it were to a triumph. Somewhere here, all this went on! I could almost fancy it before my eye. Then, too, I thought of Raleigh. And here, hard by, was the undoubted spot, within the walls, where stood the scaffold on which suffered the Queens Anne Boleyn and Katharine Howard; and Lady Jane Gray, more lovely and more innocent than either. But it was not the thing to be looking at such a spot in broad daylight. How much I should have been pleased with the privilege of lodging, just one night in the White Tower, not to sleep, but to stand at my window and look out upon the Court, and upon Tower-hill, by pale moonlight, and so—to think, and think, and think!

By dint of perseverance, I gained admission to the Beauchamp Tower, occupied at present by some officers as a mess-room. The apartments are covered with carvings and inscriptions, the work of many illustrious prisoners, in past times, and with some that merely tell of human sorrow, mysteriously, and without the name of any one that is known, to satisfy the curiosity they excite. A rich carving, in which figures the well-known bear and ragged staff, reveals the prison thoughts of Dudley, Earl of Warwick, father-in-law to the Lady Jane. There is another inscription, very naturally ascribed to poor Lord Guilford Dudley—the simple letters IANE. His sweet Jane was soon to breathe her farewells to him from her own lonely cell, and, after seeing his bleeding corpse brought in from the scaffold, to follow him to the block. The initials R. D. betray the work of another Dudley, who lived to be the favorite of Elizabeth, and the dismal husband of Amy Robsart. Here figure also memorials of Henry’s victims, and of the Marian Confessors, and not a few of those who suffered under the last of the Tudors. Underneath these rooms is the “rats’ dungeon,” where many have suffered the extreme of human agony; and directly overhead is “the doleful prison” of Anne Boleyn. Remorseless, indeed, must have been the heart of her husband, if in truth she sent him the letter, said to have been endited there, and if, after reading it, he could still abandon to the block the head that had so often reclined in his bosom.

I was resolved not to leave these awful precincts until I had also visited the Church of St. Peter ad Vincula, the burial-place of so many of those whom I had thus endeavored to recall to mind. After some patience and perseverance I was admitted, and stood upon what a clever writer has justly called one of the saddest spots on earth. So many graves, of so many destroyed worthies, are here gathered together, that one necessarily thinks, as he stands by them, of the day of judgment. What a resurrection there will be in this place at that day—a resurrection of the just and the unjust! The Church is sadly disfigured, and should be reverently restored, but its pointed arches and mural monuments, with kneeling figures, and one rich altar-tomb, with effigies, still elevate the interior above an ordinary effect. Near this tomb repose the bodies of the weak Kilmarnock and the sturdy Balmerino; and upon my saying something about them to the sexton, he told me that, in digging lately, he had come to the relics of their coffins. He then lifted a cushion in one of the seats, and showed me the coffin-plates, which he had taken from the earth. Sure enough, there they were, quite legible, inscribed with their names and titles, and the sad date, 1746. I remembered how I had read in a contemporary number of “The Gentleman’s Magazine,” and in Horace Walpole’s gossip, the contrary impressions made upon these Jacobites by the scene in which they were to suffer. Kilmarnock acted pitiably, for his conscience was alive to his sin and folly; but Balmerino was troubled with very little of a conscience whatever, and what he had was such as to persuade him that he was dying in a good cause. The old hero cried “God save King James,” to the last; and, striding up to his coffin, put on his glasses, and read this very inscription, and said it was all right. Now, I was reading it fresh from the earth, after a hundred years had gone by. It greatly moved me. Then, I thought of Laud hobbling into this chapel, lame and feeble, leaning on his servant, but standing up amid the people, while the preacher railed at him; said preacher wearing his gown over a buff jerkin, as the holder, at the same time, of a parochial benefice in Essex, and the captaincy of a troop of horse in the rebel army! But where did memories begin or end, when I tried to collect them in such a place? Here lies, beneath the altar, the daring Duke of Monmouth, hacked and hewed to death by his awkward headsman; and, not less barbarously murdered, here lies that venerable lady, the last of the Plantagenets. Cromwell lies there, for helping Henry Bluebeard; and there, too, More and Fisher, for resisting him; Anne Boleyn and Lord Rochford lie there, for being innocent; and Katherine Howard and lady Rochford, for being guilty. Two Dukes are buried between the two Queens; and there Lord Guilford Dudley once more reposes with his lovely Lady Jane. Here lies brother slain by brother, the slayer sharing, in his turn, the fate of the slain; and these, with Monmouth, mercilessly condemned by his uncle, and the two Queens murdered by their own husband, seem to accomplish the melancholy record with associations of crime the most complicate, and of accountability the most dreadful that can well be imagined. Oh, God! what reckonings yet to be settled by Thee alone, are laid up against that day, even in the little compass of these walls.

I made a parting circuit to survey the Bloody Tower and its sharp-toothed portcullis—the only one in England that still rises and falls in a gate-way, and refuses not its office; the Bowyer’s Tower, in which poor Clarence was drowned in Malmsey; the Brick Tower, said to have been the prison of Lady Jane Grey; and the Salt Tower, which, with its adjoining wall, I found nearly demolished, and in process of restoration. Finally, I went round upon the water-side and surveyed the Traitor’s Gate, so called. Here, then, are the jaws of this devouring monster, sated at last, apparently; but who knows? Under that arch have passed, one after another, those great historic characters, whose names we have already reviewed. They abandoned hope when they entered here; and almost always with good reason. One alone on whom, in youthful sorrow, and by a sister’s cruel injunction, these massive gates yawned and closed, became, in turn, their mistress; and—alas! for human nature—made them often gape for others. Think of Elizabeth Tudor passing under this arch, the captive of the Bloody Mary! Who then could have foreseen the days of Hooker, and of Burleigh, and of Shakspeare? Think of old Laud in his barge, day after day, returning through this arch from his trial, to his prison, exhausted and panting like a hart pierced by the archers, from the cruel shafts of Prynne and his confederates, but accompanied, perhaps, by his noble defender, Sir Matthew Hale. Oh! could he but have seen the Anglican Church of the nineteenth century, how thin would have seemed the clouds which were gathering around her at that awful period, and which he feared, no doubt, were to overwhelm her forever. Such were some of the thoughts, partly sad, but largely grateful, with which I found myself chained to the place; and even when it was time to go, still disposed to linger about the spot, and bend musingly above the Traitors’ Gate of the Tower.


Two Nights in the House of Commons.

As soon as I could devote an evening to the purpose, I made my first visit to the House of Commons, going at a very early hour in the afternoon, and sitting through the whole till after midnight. This House, since removed to the new Palace, then held its sessions in what was formerly the House of Lords, said to be the scene of all the historic events which have illustrated that body for ages, down to the reign of William Fourth. It was fitted up for the Commons after the fire of 1834, which destroyed St. Stephen’s Chapel. It was, first of all, the hall of Edward Confessor’s Palace; was subsequently the scene of a fierce passage in the life of Cœur-de-Lion; and also of that romantic incident which Shakspeare makes the first scene in his Richard Second. There Bacon presided, and was impeached, and fell. Lord Chatham’s expiring effort was made there; and there he thundered those noble remonstrances against the American war, in which our own history is so intimately concerned. Its fitting-up, however, for the temporary use of the Commons, gave it a very modern appearance, and it was as plain as can well be imagined. Before I returned to America, its interior had been pulled to pieces, and the materials sold under the hammer. I saw it, therefore, in the Omega of its legislative uses, centuries having expired since its Alpha. Mr. Lawrence, our worthy Ambassador, had kindly supplied me with a ticket, which admitted the bearer to the diplomatic benches. These are on the floor of the House, and are only separated from those of the members by a nominal division; so that, in fact, I found myself surrounded by them. At first the House was thin, and it grew thinner towards seven o’clock; but at about nine o’clock it began to fill again, the members returning from their dinners, most of them in full dress. The earlier hours were consumed in dull and unimportant matters, and business seemed to drag on like the daylight, till the place began to be as stupid as it was dark and gloomy; when suddenly the Speaker touched a bell, and a flood of soft light was showered from the ceiling, not a lamp or burner being visible. This mode of illumination was quite new to me, although I have heard of similar effects produced in the same way in America. It seemed to quicken and cheer up everything, till the Speaker left his place suddenly, (for refreshments, it was said,) and then all stood still, the members yawning and lounging about, and talking in a very undignified manner. When the Speaker returned, business seemed to have begun. A message was received from the House of Lords, with the usual formalities; but, I observed that as the messenger backed out, making his three bows, he stumbled, and excited a laugh, at which he also laughed, and then retired, winking and exchanging grimaces with sundry acquaintances, as much as to say—who cares. He was dressed in wig and gown, and was probably one of the clerks of the Lords; and he was attended in the Commons by the Sergeant-at-Arms, who was dressed in court-costume, and during the ceremony carried the Mace on his shoulder. The sight of “that bauble” revived the recollection of scenes in the House of Commons of a very different character.

The great business of the evening was a debate on the Malt-tax, which brought out all the strength of the House, and enabled the opposition to talk “Protection,” with a show of very great sympathy for the distresses of “the British farmer.” Mr. Disraeli made a great speech, in his way; but it is a very poor way, his whole manner being declamatory and sophomorical in the extreme. I had met him several times as I sauntered through Pall Mall, and looked in vain for any traces in his face and manner of the clever author of Coningsby and its successors. A jaunty and rather flashy young man, with black ringlets, twisted about a face quite devoid of elevated expression—such was the impression he gave me in the open air, and in the House of Commons I saw nothing at variance with it. He is certainly a man of parts, but that such as he should have forced his way to the Leadership of the House of Commons, only proves the extreme mediocrity of this generation. That he is a Jew is a great bar to his advancement, although he is a Jewish Christian. He affects, however, to be very proud of his Oriental origin, and perhaps he may be so; but one feels that he cannot be confided in, and that he is a mere adventurer. He seemed to me to ape Sir Robert Peel, in his way of thrusting his arm behind the skirts of the coat, and exposing the whole waistcoat in a flaring manner. I have heard as good talking at a debating club as he treated us to that night in the House of Commons. Still he made some good hits at Ministers, and was often interrupted by cries of hear, hear, hear, which are rather muttered than vociferated around the benches. He has since been Chancellor of the Exchequer, himself adopting the very policy which he then abused in terms the most noisy and passionate.

Ministers were, of course, not slow in replying, and I had a chance of beholding some of the expiring grimaces of Lord John Russell, whose feeble government was just ready to fall to pieces of itself. I knew the man as soon as I saw him in the House. There he sat, under a hat that seemed to extinguish his features, trying to laugh and look good-natured. At last he rose, and I observed that the familiar caricatures of Punch were in fact good likenesses. He is his own caricature. A diminutive utterer of “great, swelling words;” paltry, and yet pompous; and altogether as insignificant a person as I ever saw dressed in brief authority. He had only a few plain things to say, and yet he contrived to utter them, as if he were saying—“I am Sir Oracle.” Cries of divide had circulated pretty freely during the whole debate, and now I saw a division. A personage who had been very polite to me during the evening, volunteered to put me where I might see the whole process. Just before the division, members came running in from the clubs, and the “whipper-in” returned to his seat, having discharged his duty in securing the attendance of votes for the Government. Members had been pairing off the whole time, apparently to attend a ball or the Opera, as the pairs were nearly always in full dress. Their negotiations seemed to be made near the bar of the House, and the Speaker was constantly silencing the buzz of members and spectators, by the cry of “order—order,” or “order at the bar,” which Mr. Shaw Lefevre knows how to speak most potently. At length for the division, the galleries were cleared at the sound of certain bells, which the Speaker appeared to pull; but my kind Mentor clapped me into a sort of lobby, like a closet, in the door of which was a pane of glass, through which I saw the entire performance at my ease, and quite by myself. Less fortunate visitors were entirely ejected, and then the members themselves went into the lobby, and so passed in again, their names being pricked by the tellers as they passed, and the whole operation taking but a few minutes. The Ministry had a handsome majority. Before the House rose that evening, there was another division; and it so happened that I heard most of the men of mark. Sir Charles Wood, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hume and Bright, the amusing Colonel Sibthorp, and the Milesian Reynolds, all talked, and some of them several times. Mr. Keogh excited the significant cry of oh, oh, with laughter, and made some sport by rejoining, “the gentlemen may cry oh, but still it is true.” An allusion to the Scottish Universities brought Sir Robert Inglis to his feet, and he said a few pertinent words, in a manner worthy of himself as the best specimen in the House of a true English gentleman of the old school. Mr. Sidney Herbert spoke in a handsome manner, and Mr. Gladstone also made a very spicy little speech, which seemed to annoy his opponents not a little. The House sat till two o’clock, but I finally gave it up, and left before the end. As I came out into Old Palace Yard, and saw the towers of the Abbey in the still solemnity of the night, it seemed more strikingly majestic than before. I thought what mighty interests of Empires had been settled here, and how often Chatham, Fox, Pitt and Canning, had emerged at midnight from such scenes as I had just left, looking on the same towers, beneath which they now moulder in the dust. The sombre mass of the Abbey seemed a commentary on the hot debates from which I was retiring; a speaking monitor of the transient interests of the present, and of the eternal issues of futurity, as well as of the unchangeableness of the past.

As I walked slowly to my lodgings, I passed Whitehall. Scarce any one was in the street, and all was silence. I stopped, and gazed on the white walls of the Banqueting-room, and said to myself, ‘how strange! here I am alone on this most memorable spot, in the deep and solemn night. Can it be that here, where all is now so quiet, there stood two hundred years ago a crowd of human beings, every one of whom was experiencing, at the moment, emotions the most singularly mixed and tumultuous that ever agitated the human soul? Can it be that from this same white wall issued the figure of King Charles, and that there—just there—he knelt at the block, and in a moment was a headless corpse? Even so! Here rose that groan of a mighty multitude, sighing as one man, and there the ghastly headsman stood, holding up the royal head by its anointed locks, and crying—this is the head of a traitor!’ I almost turned about to see whether Cromwell’s troopers were not charging down upon me, so strong was the impression of the spot; but just then, the sight of a solitary policeman, patrolling beneath a gas-lamp, recalled me to myself, and I fared thoughtfully, by the statue at Charing-Cross, towards my temporary home.

The Papal aggression was still, in spite of the Crystal Palace and its wonders, an absorbing topic, and my second visit to the House of Commons had been set for an evening when a debate upon that exciting subject was to be part of the entertainment. I felt sure that such an evening in the House would be, in some measure, an historical one, and might be useful to me through life, in watching the course of religious and political events. Besides, I wanted to hear a debate that should enable me to compare, by its unity of subject, a Parliament of Victoria, with those of the Plantagenets and Tudors. I had my desire.

It seems impossible for the American mind to appreciate rightly the very grave injury which has been done to the British nation by the attempt of the Papal Court to erect Episcopal Sees, and bestow corresponding titles within the jurisdiction of the British Church, and under the shadow of the British Crown. But when it is considered that the Pope has thus attempted to exercise a power to which he could never have aspired even when England wore his yoke, and which would not now be suffered by any Popish sovereignty in Europe; when, to say nothing of the outrage to the Church of England, the direct attempt upon the allegiance of subjects is considered, and its bearings upon the future are duly weighed: no well-informed mind can hesitate a moment as to the propriety of the feelings which it so generally inflamed, or retain any other astonishment, than a profound one, at the feebleness and utter imbecility of the measures with which the advisers of the greatest Sovereign in existence have allowed her to meet the invasion. It was not a moment for hesitation, or for consulting economics; a demand should have been made upon the Pontiff for an immediate alteration of his attitude towards England, and the least attempt to palter on his part should have been responded to by a British fleet off Civita Vecchia. If France was an obstacle to such a demonstration, and if “the peace of Europe” must be kept at all hazards,—even the hazard of a speedy Armageddon to pay for it—if such be the England of 1850—alas for the extinction of the England of 1588! Is the spirit of Elizabeth past revival?

Since 1830, the whigs, laboring, as Mr. Macaulay now confesses, under a delusion as to the ameliorated spirit of the Papacy, have gradually advanced the Romanists to great power and influence. They had introduced them to parliaments; had flattered them with ecclesiastical titles; and unavailingly tried to propitiate them with gifts. Finally, hoping to secure the Pope’s aid in the management of Ireland, they had advanced, step by step, to a point from which they could not recede, and at which they ventured to go further, and actually invite him to the daring encroachment, which to their horror and amazement, set all England in a blaze. At every step of this infamous and foolish compromise with Rome, true Churchmen had protested, and pleaded, and struggled in vain; but these true men were now confounded in the disgrace of an alarming apostacy, owing to a popular misapprehension, and it was easy to turn the whole fury of the fire upon them. Lord John, detected in the very act of inviting the Pope’s attempt, had the cunning to point at them, and lay it on the “Tractarians.” The trick succeeded: the Romanizers were gratified, for they wished well to any but the friends of a Church which they meant to abandon and destroy; the Evangelicals swelled the outcry, which brought popular gales to their own canvass; and the Ministry chuckled behind their fingers. The Romanists were triumphant, since they had the Ministry in their power; and the only real sufferers by all the tumult and indignation thus aroused, were the very class who alone had contested every inch of ground with Popery and the Whigs, from the “Emancipation” of 1829, to its sequel and direct consequence, the “Aggression,” twenty years afterwards!

Such was the very just review of the existing question, which in different ways was brought before the House on the evening of the ninth of May, 1851. The debate was on a motion of Mr. Urquhart, to the effect that “the act of the Pope had been encouraged by the conduct and declarations of her Majesty’s Government; and that large expectations of remedy had been stimulated by Lord John’s letter to the Bishop of Durham, which his measures had entirely disappointed.” The member pressed his resolution (offered as an amendment to the proposed bill) by a reference to the history at which we have glanced, and by calling to mind some former passages in the political life of the Prime Minister, which it could scarcely have been comfortable for him to hear just at that moment. Sir George Grey, in a very feeble speech, replied in behalf of his friend, from the Treasury bench, and amused himself at some length, at the expense of Mr. Urquhart, without really affecting his argument. Lord John Manners retorted with not a little force, at least in his matter. He declared the proposed amendment a mere truism, and yet one of practical utility. Lord John had successfully thrown dust in the eyes of the people. Lord Powis and Mr. Dudley Perceval had in vain endeavored to place the facts before the country. Then followed a passage of pungency and truth. “The Prime Minister,” he said, “had twice encouraged the acts against which his puny and delusive legislation was now directed; had twice defeated the modest attempt of the Church of England to place Bishops of her own in the great towns now occupied by the Pope; had granted to Popish Bishops, in all the Colonies, precedence over Anglican Bishops; had yielded similar favors to the Romish titularies in Ireland; had pertinaciously resisted the fair demands of the Irish Church for Scriptural Education; and yet—after a public policy which had been one unvaried monotone of insult and wrong to the Church of England—had contrived, by one magic stroke of the pen, to place himself before the country as the champion of English Protestantism, and as the only effectual antagonist of the encroachments of the Church of Rome.” A Romish member now rose, and, while opposing the amendment, paid a singular tribute to its truth. “He was not the man to blame the noble Lord for encouraging the Pope’s measures; but he blamed him for now attempting to contend with the direct consequences of his own flattering policy.” After a rambling and incoherent speech, of tiresome length, from a Mr. Stanford, who supported the amendment, Sir Robert Inglis rose and opposed it with characteristic dignity, and with that grave and sober earnestness which, under the manifest control of taste and judgment, seems always uppermost in all his utterances. He showed that, if the amendment were passed, it would defeat the bill. However true, therefore, he must oppose it, because the bill was all that the Government had offered to do, and something must be done. He had no objection to calling on the Government to do more; he thought that Lord John might fairly be asked to meet, in full, the expectations he had excited; but he could not vote for an amendment which would effectually prevent the doing of anything to carry out the just wishes of the country.

Sir Robert, during his remarks, dropped an expression, for the first time, if I am not mistaken, which soon became familiar. He spoke of the opposition of the Irish Brigade, referring to the Romish members then sitting, and voting together, with an appearance of complete drill, and of absolute obedience to one command. The expression was repeated as a quotation by another member, and raised a laugh, as something freshly caught up, and this seemed to mark it as a hit. Finally, Mr. Reynolds, the apparent leader of the Brigade, gave it complete success by replying to it. Sir Robert, after quietly delivering his remarks, had walked round from his seat, and was conversing with a friend, (while he twirled in his hand a rose, that he had taken from his button-hole,) when Mr. Reynolds stepped into his place, with a sort of bog-trotting movement, and facetiously remarked that, it might seem strange to see him standing, as it were, in the shoes of the venerable baronet, who had just called him and his countrymen, “the Irish Brigade.” He then acknowledged that they were banded together against the bill, and “against every other, good or bad, which its author might propose.” He thus avowed their purpose, to throw their entire force against the Government, until Lord John should be driven out of power. He then went on with Irish volubility, and the no less characteristic accent of the Patlander, to belabor Lord John’s bill. He told not a little truth: called it “sham legislation;” stuck out his finger towards the Minister, and said, “If ye pass it, ye dare not put it into execution.” Here, however, he gave it the praise of being quite the thing for its purpose—“a cruel and persecuting measure—which, as such, had received the approbation of the Protestant watchdog of Oxford University.” By this epithet, significant of high fidelity, but not intended to be particularly respectful, he gave Sir Robert a Rowland for his Oliver.

The residue of this gentleman’s speech was amusing enough, as coming from a Papist. He was for liberty of conscience; couldn’t bear to think of religious persecution; and, as for the Queen, she had no subjects in the world that could compare with her Irish subjects, for the devoted affection with which they regarded her. One would think it a pity that such homage as he professed for a heretic sovereign, had not been as fashionable among his co-religionists in the days of Guido Fawkes, or of the Spanish Armada.

At last, Lord John himself rose to reply. I thought of the history of the house of Bedford, from the back-stairs of Henry VIII., when, as Burke expresses it, “the lion having gorged his share of the Ecclesiastical carcase, flung the offal to his jackal,” down to the council-chamber of Victoria, where the jackal still waits on the lion, in the shape of this insatiable devourer of the Church’s bread, and not less insatiable thirster for her blood. How should he dare lift up his voice to apologize for the brand of infamy which this evening’s debate had stamped upon his career as a Minister, or rather which it merely showed to have been already set by his own hands! Forth he stepped, like himself alone, and with the same pomposity to which I have already adverted, went through a few incantations, which ended in a fresh transformation of the diminutive conjurer before us, into a most earnest “deviser of securities for the crown and the nation.” He called the opposition “mean and shabby”—for such courtesies seem to be the seven locks of a rhetorical Samson, in his conception—and with a front of brass, only equalled by the audacity of his imputations upon true sons of the Church of England, declared “there had been nothing in the conduct of the Government which had a tendency to provoke the aggression.” He sat down, in his littleness, and was instantly pounced upon by Disraeli, from the opposite side of the table, as it were by a hungry terrier. “Is it a fact,” then, said he, “or is it not, that the First Minister of the Crown has himself in this House expressed an opinion, that he saw no harm in Romish Bishops assuming territorial titles in this realm of England? Is it a fact, or is it not, in the recollection of this House, and in the burning memory of this country? Is it a fact, or is it not, that a Secretary of State, in another place, has expressed his hope that Romish Bishops would soon take seats as Peers of Parliament in the House of Lords? Is it a fact, or is it not, that a member of the Cabinet has been sent as Plenipotentiary to Italy, and held frequent and encouraging conversations with the Pope? Is it a fact, or is it not, that the Pope condescended to intimate to said Ambassador his gracious purposes to do something that might affect England; and is it a fact, or is it not, that the Plenipotentiary thought it unnecessary to inquire what it might be?”

Lord John here rallied, and interrupted the speaker, by saying that “he had admitted the fact of a report that the Pope said so, but had also stated that Lord Minto denied having heard it.” Thus terrier seemed to have rat in his fangs, but rat could still show his teeth to terrier. It was the first impeachment to which he had ventured any reply; and, by replying to this, he convicted himself of the more grave charges, which he was obliged to hear in silence, with his hat slouched down over his criminal features. Who can feel any respect for an English patrician, caught in such a felony, and proved as truly a moral delinquent, on a gigantic scale, as ever a petty thief at the Old Bailey on a small one? Oh! for a conscience in mankind to save their sympathy for the poor wretch in the bail-dock, and to consign to merited infamy the titled and decorated offender, whose crime is unfaithful stewardship in the State, and treason to the Crown Imperial of the Most High God! I have no abstract prejudice against a peerage. For my own country only do I deprecate the idea of an aristocracy; but what are patricians worth, if they cannot present to the State, in which they are an organic part, a high and wholesome example of integrity and honour? In my heart, therefore, as I looked at this scion of the house of Bedford in his moral degradation, I felt—would that he might know the unaffected pity with which a republican looks at him from this gallery, as a man, in this great crisis of history, false to his rank, false to his sovereign, false to his country, and false to his Redeemer.

Mr. Disraeli paid no attention to his disclaimers, but, as it were, buffeted him smartly with another hit—“Is it a fact, or is it not, that the Vice-Royalty of Ireland was in indirect communication with the Pope, and expressed affection for his person, and reverence for his character?” This brought out enthusiastic cheers; and Lord John tried to emerge from beneath his hat, to look contemptuous. Ministers had a small majority. But Lord John must have felt that his time was coming, while, no doubt, Mr. Disraeli began to draw as near in fancy, to the envied bench on which he sat so little at ease. The latter had done decidedly better than when I heard him before; but, when the division was taken, I could not but say to myself—is this all that England’s Senators have to say in such a matter? I felt that there were few of them alive to the importance of the thing in hand; and that no one seemed equal to the support of old England in consistency with herself. Was this, indeed, the Senate in which Burke had uttered his voice? Was it the hall in which Chatham had rescued from the last disgrace the honour of his country? And were there to be no words, like his—burning words—living words—immortal words—to prove forever that England took not her shame in abject submission! At least no such words were spoken. There was not even a John of Gaunt there, to bewail the disgrace of “the dear, dear isle,”

“Dear for her reputation through the world;”

and, notwithstanding the eminent exceptions to the remark, I said to myself, as I left the House after midnight—I seem to have been hearing only a “debate in the Senate of Lilliput.”

It seemed strange, before I sat at breakfast, early next morning, to take up the Times, and read, in four or five columns, a very tolerable report of the whole proceedings, and many of the words which seemed, even then, to have scarcely ceased to sound in my ear. I cannot but add the remark, that it is a great pity the amendment, which I had heard debated, failed to pass. It would have loaded Lord John with the full consequences of his own conduct, and it would have saved England from the degradation of enacting a law, devised as a mere expedient, and which affords to the enemy the darling satisfaction of defying it with impunity.


The House of Lords—Their Lordships in Session.

The new House of Lords is a superb specimen of modern art; and, in every way, is worthy of the hereditary Senate of the British Empire. Perhaps it is too small for full effect, and yet, if larger, it would hardily answer the purposes of speaking and hearing. Its dimensions, however, are symbolical of its character, as intended for the use of a very select assembly; and would seem to indicate, moreover, (to copy once more the manner of Fuller,) that the Whigs are not to reign forever, seeing that if such as my Lord John Russell should long continue in power, there would need be built a much larger hall to contain all the broken lawyers, hack politicians, Popish Bishops, and rich Jews, who might justly expect, from former examples, to be fitted up with coronets, coats of arms, and patents of nobility. The like idea seems to obtain, moreover, in the decorations of the hall, in which History is artfully blended with Religion and Chivalry; implying, if my republican comprehension can rightly interpret this writing on the wall, that to be a true patrician, one must have historical antecedents, and should represent some great fact in the annals of one’s country; and that such antecedents, to be made honourable to an individual, must be sustained by personal worth, and by that refined and sublimated virtue which is called honour. Thus, for example, a Nelson or a Wellington is a nobleman by the historic origin of his family, although of modern date; while, with respect to “all the blood of all the Howards,” it is equally true, that if devoid of corresponding traits of magnanimity and honesty, its degenerate inheritor is, after all, only fit to be hooted at as a poltroon and a villain. This principle I fully understand, American as I am. I feel that something is due to the worthy representative of a name illustrious in the annals of a great nation; but your mere Lord Moneybags, or the spiritless and unprincipled shadow of a name that was once right-honourable, are creatures with whose acquaintance I should feel it somewhat discreditable to be bored. Every man who has moral worth, and who respects himself accordingly, must entertain a degree of honest contempt for such company, somewhat akin to that of good old Johnson, in his thread-bare coat, when he wrote his inimitable letter to Chesterfield.

However, their Lordships’ House! There is the Throne; and I defy any one to look at the Throne of England without veneration. It is a gorgeous seat, over which appear the royal arms, while on its right and left are seats for the Prince Consort and the Prince of Wales. A splendid canopy overhangs the dais on which these seats are ranged, and the dais itself is covered with a carpet of “scarlet velvet pile, spotted with heraldic lions and roses.” The ceiling is ribbed with massive gilded bands, and richly bossed and set with devices in all the colours of blazonry. Between the lofty windows are niches intended to receive the bronze statues of the old Magna Charta Barons, while the windows themselves are filled with stained glass, commemorative of the Kings and Queens of England. The subordinate ornaments and furniture are all in keeping. On the right hand of the Throne, are the seats appropriate to the Bishops, where the Church “lifts her mitred front” before the Sovereign, and teaches her by whom she reigns, and how she may execute judgment. But directly in front of the Throne is the woolsack, covered with red cloth, and otherwise made suitable to “the keeper of the Queen’s conscience,” who ordinarily sits thereon. Before this are the clerks’ table and seats, and then the bar; while on either hand range the crimson benches of the Peers. At the end of the hall is the reporters’ and strangers’ gallery, of very small dimensions, from which, however, one gets the best view of the whole interior, and of the striking pictures over the Throne. These are happily chosen as to subjects, and well executed as frescoes. In the centre is the Baptism of King Ethelbert—the symbol of a truly Christian realm: on one side is the Black Prince receiving the Garter—a symbol of genuine chivalry; and on the other is Henry, Prince of Wales, submitting to imprisonment for an assault upon Judge Gascoigne—a most speaking exhibition of the time-honoured relations subsisting between British Royalty and British Law. It will be a wholesome thing for every future Prince of Wales to look at this picture, before he presumes to sit down under it. It may really have an important influence in moulding the character of future Kings. God grant it may!

In surveying this splendid apartment, the mind naturally goes forward, since it presents the fancy with no past history. What is to be its future? Is this House to be the scene of a further development of vast imperial resources? Is it to be graced by a perpetuated aristocracy, surviving every change in society and in arts, by the force of their own character, as furnishing a high example to mankind of “whatsoever things are lovely and of good report?” Is this roof to resound with the voices of high-minded men, asserting from age to age their privilege to be foremost in defence of religion and of humanity, and to do and to suffer for the good of their fellow-subjects, and the welfare of mankind? Is the British Peerage to grow brighter with high moral qualities, than with hereditary honours, and to be cherished by an enlightened spirit of public virtue as a standard of all that is honourable, and as a pattern of what is most excellent in the ideal of the true Christian gentleman? Or must the sad reverse be true, and must this House be the scene of the last act in the eventful history of England? Shall a factitious nobility be crowded into these chief seats of the realm; men devoid of ennobling antecedents, and not less so of honour and of worth? Shall the decay of a mighty Empire be marked by such a House of Lords as may facilitate the plans of the demagogue, sinking the Sovereign to a Doge, and the Church to a State hireling, and giving to the Commons the unrestrained privilege of revolution and anarchy? These are questions which a well-wisher to the British Empire cannot but suggest, in view of events which have lately taken place; and especially in view of the fact, that the House of Lords has not unfrequently of late suffered itself to be disgraced by breaches of Christian courtesy, not to say of common decency, which, if multiplied in such a conspicuous place, must tend to barbarize the world. Let us hear no more of disgraceful scenes in the American Congress, till hereditary noblemen, who have little else to do, can furnish mankind with a wholesome example of high legislative decorum! For unless noblemen will reflect upon their position, and act upon convictions of what is necessary to the credit of their rank, in a day when true gentlemen are by no means rare, outside their glittering circle, and even among plain republicans, they must not wonder if they too should become as a worn-out form, or an exploded theory. Who knows how soon this superb hall of legislation may be exhibited as the chief memorial of their existence? If the British Peerage proves untrue to the Church of England, and degrades itself to the bare responding of an Amen to every momentary Credo of Ministers and Commons, what use of such machinery? This palace shall be even as those of Venice. This gorgeous interior shall be kept under the key of the mere cicerone, and shown as a thing of the past to the staring traveller, as he marvels over tarnished gilding and faded damask, and at every tread disturbs the dust upon its floor, or breaks through cobwebs dangling from its ceiling.

When one sees, in the writings of such a man as Dr. Arnold, confessions of annoyance, if not of a sense of injury, from the existence of a privileged class, to which merit must constantly give way, where otherwise it would be entitled to precedence; and when one discovers, even in the highest seats of British intellect and piety, a certain deference to mere rank, which seems humiliating; and when one finds something of the spirit of tuft-hunting diffused through all classes alike, from the Tory school-boy to the Whig Bishop; one feels indeed that there may be arguments against the aristocratic element in society, which have never been stated in their list of grievances by political agitators. But, after all, in an old country like England, the aristocracy exists, and there is no destroying it without destroying the nation. The infernal guillotine itself cannot wholly make way with it, as France has learned to its sorrow. What then? It must be modified and perpetuated. It must be purified, and worked in with society, as its ornament, but not its fabric. This is what is done already in England. The nobility, the clergy, the gentry, the literati, the professional classes, and then the people—after all, in England they are one; “shade unperceived and softening into shade,” and joined and knit together by habits, tastes, alliances, and interests, in a wonderful order. Much yet remains to be done, and will be done, to smooth down remaining asperities between rank and rank; but the British aristocracy may be said, even now, to be a genuine one, identified with everything great and good in the nation, and, on the whole, presenting a wholesome example to other classes in the State. In all probability, so virtuous an aristocracy has never been seen elsewhere among mankind. Among them may be found specimens of human nature, whose physical and mental endowments, together with their moral worth, and intellectual accomplishments, entitle them to the highest admiration of their fellow-men. We are too well aware that side by side with such, may sit, adorned with equal rank and titles, some wretch, whose coronet has been purchased by infamy, and whose hereditary decorations are but the mockery of a character, every way pestilent and detestable. The English themselves are used to it; but it strikes a republican with amazement that such creatures should be noble, even “by courtesy.”

To see the House, as I saw it first, empty, and for the sake of its architecture and decoration, one gets a ticket by applying at the adjoining office of the Lord Chamberlain, on specified days. To attend the sessions of the House of Lords, one must possess an autograph order by a Peer. With this I was kindly supplied, not only for one night, but for four; the orders being given me in blanks, which I was permitted to fill with any dates that might best suit my convenience. It so happened that little was going on in the House of Lords while I was in London, and I did not see it to advantage. As I heard several of its most eminent members elsewhere, however, and frequently met with them in society, I had less to regret than would otherwise have been the case. In the House itself, I saw enough to familiarize me with its appearance and manners, and the rest is easily imagined, when one has before him the Times’ report of any particular scene.

Lord Truro, sitting on the woolsack, was the first object that struck me on entering—and it was by no means a majestic one. He is a Russell Chancellor, and of course no Clarendon. Shades of Somers and of Eldon, what a figure I saw in your old seat! The sight of the Bishops, in their robes, with the old Primate, in his wig, reminded me of Chatham’s appeal to “that right reverend bench, and the unsullied purity of their lawn.” Their Lordships were few in number, and among them the Bishop of Oxford was the man of mark. I doubt if he has his equal in the House for “thoughts that breathe and words that burn.” The Lords temporal were lounging about their benches, hats on or off, as chanced to be, and what little speaking I heard, was by no means such as to rouse them to particular attention. A hesitating, stuttering, and very awkward utterance would even seem to be the fashion in this noble House. I looked in vain for Lord Brougham, not because I have any great respect for him, but because one may be pardoned for trying to see such a curiosity, when it is, possibly, just under one’s nose. He has been vastly over-rated, and will soon be forgotten. In general, their Lordships looked like well-bred gentlemen, and there was about them a certain air of travel and of finish, which marks the habituated man of the world. Some of them were plainly dressed, but others were evidently men of fashion. One thing they ought to know and feel, and that is—that much is given them, and much will be required of them. No doubt every position has its qualifying disadvantages and trials; yet it must be allowed that no station in which a human being can find himself placed by his Creator, affords so many advantages, at the very outset, for usefulness and happiness in life, as that of a young English Peer of competent fortune and sound mind, with a healthful body, and a good education. What a hint for such a man is that challenge of nature’s own nobleman, St. Paul—Who maketh thee to differ from another, and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?

An incident which created some excitement in fashionable circles, shortly after the opening of the Crystal Palace, will illustrate one feature of British civilization which will not be out of place in connection with these remarks on the aristocracy. Everybody has heard of the London Police, their admirable drill, and great efficiency. Their impartial enforcement of the rules of the Great Exhibition was peculiarly illustrative of these characteristics, and also of the spirit of law and order, as paramount and inflexible in the Metropolis. No departure from these rules was allowed to any one; and carriage after carriage, all blazing with heraldic splendours, and filled with rank and beauty, was forced to change its route by the simple waving of a policeman’s finger. It so happened that a dashing young fellow, a scion of the noble house of S——, driving his own equipage through Hyde Park, ventured to disobey. On this the policeman seized the horse’s head, and backed him. The hot-blooded Jehu instantly raised his whip, and struck the policeman several violent blows over the face and head. The result was his immediate arrest; and on being carried before the Magistrate, young S—— found himself committed for ten days imprisonment, which he accordingly fulfilled with exemplary submission, wearing jail-clothes, and performing sundry penances, precisely as if he had been the humblest offender in the land. On the same day that this happened, a cabman whom I had engaged to take me, in a hurry, to a certain part of the town, drove me rapidly through St. James’s Park, and was just making his escape into the street, near Buckingham Palace, when he was stopped, in the gate, by a policeman, and ordered instantly back, with a threat of severe punishment should he again trespass where he knew that only private carriages were admitted. As my time was precious, I ventured to interpose, and exhausted every art, in vain, to induce the inexorable policeman to allow the cab to pass on. He little knew my sincere respect for him, and the real satisfaction I took in thus finding him “a brick for his principles.” Finally, I offered to alight, and discharge the cabman there; but this also the policeman respectfully forbade. “It would never do,” he said, “to allow cabmen to take such liberties; the cab must go back;” but then he advised me not to pay the fellow a single penny, as he was not entitled to anything but an arrest, for exemption from which he might be thankful. I was exceedingly annoyed, in spite of my admiration for authority, but thought it best to submit without further parley. Next day I heard of the fate of the Honorable Mr. S——, and, on the whole, felt glad that I had got off so easily. Thus it seems that law is law in London, for all classes alike; and if the stranger, in his cab, is not permitted to violate it, he may at least console himself with the fact that he would fare no better if he were a home-born aristocrat in a dashing tilbury. It is this well-defined system of society, in which every man knows his rights, and where even privilege is limited, and as absolutely held in check as license, that makes even humble life in England, in spite of all its burdens, a life of liberty and contentment. Theoretical equality may exist with far less of real independence, and we who value ourselves on self-government, are perhaps in danger of finding ourselves without government, and too jealous of authority to submit even to law.


St. Mary’s, Lambeth—Temple—St. Paul’s—Tunnel.

Time never need hang heavily on one’s hands in London. A stroll in the Parks is an unfailing resource in fair weather: when it was wet, I used to take refuge under cover of some exhibition. The National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square, and the Vernon Gallery, gratuitously opened to the public, in Marlborough House, were quite a resource; although the annual show of pictures in the former was nothing extraordinary. The portrait of Dr. Wiseman was displayed there, and a sight of it cured me of all curiosity to see more of him. Its coarse and sensual effect afforded a very striking contrast to the refined and intellectual head of the Bishop of London, which was hung vis-à-vis, perhaps not without design. But of pictures I do not propose to speak particularly.

In the cool of a charming May morning I sauntered forth, and crossed Westminster Bridge. It was too late for the full enjoyment of Wordsworth’s emotions, on that thoroughfare, for already the city was astir; and yet there was enough in the scene it commanded to make one stop a few moments and conjure up the imagery of his inimitable sonnet:—

“Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie

 All bright and glittering in the smokeless air!

   Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep:

 The river glideth at his own sweet will;

   Dear God! the very houses seem asleep,

 And all that mighty heart is lying still!”

So I passed on to Lambeth, and came by Bishop’s Walk, under the walls of the Archbishop’s gardens, to Morning Prayer at St. Mary’s. It was here, under the shadow of this Church, that the poor Queen of James, the Runagate, stood shivering on a stormy night, with her unfortunate little babe packed up in a basket, awaiting a start to France. Had the baby only cried, how different might have been the history of the British Crown and nation! A great many Scotchmen would have lived quietly through the greater part of the succeeding century, who (as the baby slept soundly) were only born to be hanged, shot, and beheaded; and then, in all probability, we should have had no Waverley novels! However, I now found the Church a ruin; only its tower standing, and a bit of the chancel, while the rebuilding was going bravely on. But I am glad to say that the daily service was not therefore interrupted. The chancel was roughly boarded up, and protected from the weather, and there a good congregation was at prayer when I entered, two curates officiating. I was rejoiced to worship there, in such a primitive way. The bones of the brave old primate Bancroft, and of good Archbishop Tenison were beneath us as we knelt; and the meek Secker reposes hard by.

After breakfast, at the Rectory, in a room overlooking the archiepiscopal grounds, I went to the river, and hunted up one of those deposed and antiquated things—a wherry, resolved to go by water, in the old fashioned way, from Lambeth to the Temple. Now, then, I was legitimately afloat upon “the silent highway,” only that the hideous little steamers would destroy my anti-modern imaginations, as they paddled triumphantly by. I was trying to imagine myself in the primate’s barge, with Cranmer or with Laud; or again, as I “shot the bridge, with its roar of waters,” I conjured up the day when Dryden, with his fashionable companions, took water, that they might the better hear the distant guns, by which they knew “the fleet, under his Royal Highness, was then engaging the Dutch upon the coast, and that a great event was then deciding.” Ah! it was the poetry of the Thames to go upon it with oars, and to hear the waterman lament the degenerate days of steam; or to draw out his Allegro by questions about the “champion of the river,” and the great rowing match soon to come off, to the probable discomfiture of that hero’s further claims to that dignity. The salt talked very bad dry English, but his wet vocabulary was truly rich; and I left his boat at Blackfriars Bridge, with a sort of feeling that, instead of a few paltry shillings he had earned by his conduct on the voyage, the not unusual compliment to affable sea-captains, of “a vote of thanks, and a piece of plate.”

I now went to the Temple Gardens, where, according to great Will, began the wars of York and Lancaster, by the plucking of the two roses; and, for a while, I sauntered about those pleasant walks, in the company of one of the benchers, feeling very much as if I had found a little Oxford on the margin of the Thames. After a subsequent visit to the room which Dr. Johnson once inhabited, and sauntering through courts and alleys, where one sees many a celebrated name painted over a door, as a business sign, we entered the Temple Church. Great restorations have been made here of late, at an immense expense, and generally in good taste and on correct principles, save that unsightly seats, too much like pews, encumber the space in front of the altar, which ought to be entirely open. What a reverend old Church; built in the twelfth century by Crusaders, and consecrated by a Patriarch of Jerusalem! Under its walls, inside, lies Selden, and outside, lies Oliver Goldsmith; but, to me, its most sacred interest is the fact, that here the immortal Hooker erected those noble defences of the Church of England which broke the rising tide of Puritanism, and ultimately saved us from its floods. Here that great “Master of the Temple,” while his inmost soul was panting for a quiet country cure, bore patiently the heat and burthen of the day, in wearisome conflict with the dogged Travers, who could always preach “Geneva in the afternoon, against the morning Canterbury.” On entering “the Round,” you are struck with its venerable effect, heightened by the fine figures of the old Templars, stretched, cross-legged, upon the floor. These figures were sadly mutilated, but have been admirably restored. The Round is free from pewing, and opens into the choir, where the benchers’ stalls are ranged on either hand. The two societies of the Middle and Inner Temple worship here together, and their respective arms—a Pegasus and a Lamb—are interchanged in the showy decorations of the vaulting.

I ascended into the triforia by a cork-screw staircase, pausing to enter the famous Penitential Cell—a dismal hole in the wall, in which a refractory Templar was sometimes confined, but which offered him the consolations of religion, by means of a hagioscope, or slit in the masonry, through which he could see the altar of the Church, and join in the devotions of his brethren—though it may be feared he more generally responded to their chant with anything but benediction. In the triforia are happily preserved all the monuments which lately disfigured the walls below: and so set are the benchers against any renewing of a bad example, that I was told they had resisted the erection of even Hooker’s bust in the choir. This I was sorry to hear, as one really felt the want of it on looking about the walls which once reflected the sounds of his earnest and persuasive voice. And what was my surprise, on my next visit, to find a workman setting it there, just as it should be! It was covered. I begged him to let me see it. ‘Honour to thy old square cap, thou venerable and judicious Richard,’ said my inmost heart, as the well-known features emerged in all their dignity; and then I asked if I was so fortunate as to be the very first to salute it. The workman, who was the sculptor himself, assured me that I was. ‘It is well,’ I answered, ‘that an American clergyman should have the privilege. We know how to value in America the great defender of Law and of Religion, and much as England owes to Hooker, America owes infinitely more, or will do so when the Church shall have proved herself, as she will in the end, the salvation of the Republic.’

Under the roof of the Middle Temple Hall, where the benchers, barristers and students still dine together, was first acted on Twelfth night, 1602, Shakspeare’s play, so called. A visit to that noble hall, and a sight of its celebrated equestrian Charles First, by Vandyck, gave me great delight. There are also several other royal portraits, and many heraldic memorials of the great historic lawyers who once “ate their terms” within its walls. The hall of the Inner Temple is less striking, but of similar character. One wonders what future Lord Chancellor sits daily at these boards, among the students. But in the Inner Temple, I thought chiefly of that gentle Templar, more gentle than its armorial Lamb, who once sat with them, the author of “the Task.”

My next visit was an ambitious one. I spent an hour, or so, in climbing to the ball of St. Paul’s, within which, of course, I ensconsed myself, and indulged in very sublime reflections. The fact is, however, that it was very hot, and when some half dozen cockneys had wedged themselves in, after me, I verily thought the chances lay between smothering and being toppled down in a lump into the street (400 feet below) like a big pippin; for the ball shook and trembled upon the rods which support it, in a manner by no means soothing to excitable nerves. I was glad when I got safely back to the “Golden Gallery,” and could cool myself, and look down on the roofs and chimneys of the million at one glance. Here is your true view of London! Here that “mighty heart” is seen, and felt, and heard in its throbbings. Here a thoughtful man finds food for reflection, and a benevolent one for interceding prayer. Oh, God! to think of the life and death, the joy and misery, the innocence and the guilt, and all the mixed and mingled passions, emotions, thoughts, and deeds which are going on beneath these roofs, along those labyrinthine streets, and alleys, and in all this circuit of miles and miles, and close-packed human beings! God alone understands the issues there deciding: it is too much for one to dwell upon a single moment; but, thank God for the assurance that “He remembereth that we are but dust:” yea, thank God, for a Saviour and an High Priest, who can be touched with the feeling of human infirmities!

In the successive stages of mounting to the ball, one passes, of course, many objects of interest. The original model of St. Paul’s is well worthy of inspection, as conveying Wren’s own ideal of the cathedral. He was so attached to it, that he cried when forced to depart from it; but it strikes me as greatly inferior to the actual design. It might better suit the dilettanti, but except in the unreality of the second story, which is a mere screen to the roofing and buttresses, I can see nothing to regret in the substitution. The model room is also the depository of sundry old and tattered flags, which, after escaping “the thunder of the captains, and the shoutings,” were formerly suspended in the dome. It was fashionable to say that they desecrated it—but why so? The God of battles and the Prince of Peace are one: and I can see no reason why the flags of Waterloo should not be hung up before the Lord of Hosts, in His Holy Temple. The question is merely one of taste; but the flags may be as well considered as tokens of peace, as trophies of war; and why should not the providence of God, as the giver of all victory, be thus recognized, by a significant acknowledgment, that to Him, and not to the Duke of Wellington, for example, we owe the general peace which has for so long a period blessed the world, since the overthrow of Napoleon? It is a sublime association with this cathedral, that it was first used for Divine Service in celebrating the Peace of Ryswick, which, with all its faults, has secured to England inestimable blessings: and, perhaps the virtual appeal to God, which is made by connecting His awful name with the awful issues of battles, may have a happy effect on the national conscience. It may make men afraid of mere wars of ambition; may keep in view the fact, that peace only should be the end of conflict; and may also correct the sentimentalism which fails to see that war may sometimes be a just and a holy exertion of that magistracy with which God has girded the loins of rulers, and for which they are responsible to Him who commands them not to “wear the sword in vain.”

The Library is a place of little interest to one who has but little time. You look with reverence at the great bell, which thunders out the death of time from hour to hour, and only tolls when a Prince’s departure, or that of some great ecclesiastic, is to be announced to the nation. The vastness of the clock and its dial, give you fresh impressions of the enormous scale of everything about you, and the Whispering Gallery is reached with a sense of fatigue, which quite accords with this effect. Here a bore of a fellow shows off the petty experiment of the whisper, and stuns you by slamming a door; after which you are vexed to find that the paintings of the dome have disappeared under the humid influences of the London climate. It is only when these first annoyances are over, that you regain entire command of your thoughts, and are able to measure “the length and breadth, and depth and height,” of the noble dome within whose concavity you are now walking about, and perchance listening to the glorious swell of the organ below. The architecture of this dome becomes easily understood, as one ascends between its inner and outer surfaces, and one cannot but regret to find that the former is so vastly disproportioned to the latter. Here the triumph of Michael Angelo, and the one grand superiority of St. Peter’s, begins to be powerfully felt. Wren has constructed his dome prosaically; the rhetoric and the poetry of architecture are sublimely displayed in the work of the mighty Florentine.

During the ascent, you emerge from time to time to open air, and get external views from the successive galleries. London chimneys are, at first, below you, and then the steeples, and then even its canopy of smoke and vapour; and all its mingling sounds come to your ear at last like the murmur of the sea. “How dizzy ’tis to cast one’s eyes so low.” The elevation is indeed considerable; but with such a Babel at one’s feet; with the fleets and the treasures of nations all in sight; and with a million of men swarming like ants in their mole-hill, just below, it is one’s own fault if the moral elevation be not far more sublime, and if the impressions of the hour are not forcibly suggestive of a glimpse of the world from the mansions of eternity.

After a very cursory inspection of the ill-judged sculpture in the nave and transepts, and a more affectionate visit to the statue of Howard, to the kneeling figure of Heber, and that of Bishop Middleton, which represents him as confirming two Indian children, I had time to survey the crypts before the Evening Service. Here lie Reynolds, and West, and Lawrence, and several of their brothers of the Academy; and here, in a sort of chapel, which admits the external air and light through a grating, lies the architect himself—the truly great Sir Christopher.

“Lie heavy on him earth, for he

 Laid many a heavy load on thee!”

But now you come to the circular vault, upheld by massive pillars, and lighted partially from the dome above, but more strongly by gas-burners, where you stand before the sepulchre of Nelson. The sarcophagus is an empty relic of Cardinal Wolsey’s ambition, but looks so modern, that one is tempted to believe he ordered it in prophetic spirit, expressly for its present purpose. After all, it is not Nelson’s sepulchre, for he is buried under it. The hero and the ecclesiastic have alike been compelled to accept a “little earth for charity,” and this hollow semblance of a coffin dangles like that of Mohammed, between them. Alas! that Nelson’s tomb should suggest any meaner thoughts than those of his genius and glory; but it was in fact a relief to turn to the simple monument of Collingwood, and to be able to say, here lies not only a decaying hero, but a slumbering Christian.

I looked for the monument of Dr. Donne with especial interest. You grope amid interesting relics of old St. Paul’s, a fragment of Lord Chancellor Hatton’s effigy, a piece of Dean Colet’s, and another of Sir Nicholas Bacon’s. At last, in one corner of a dismal cell, feebly lighted by a grated window from without, you see the old worthy, in his shroud, precisely as Walton describes the figure, but leaning against the wall like a ghost, or rather like one of the dried corpses in the Morgue, on the Great St. Bernard. You think of his truly heavenly mind, and strange life; of his rusty old poetry, and sound old sermons; of his ancestor, Sir Thomas More, and of his descendant, William Cowper. It is strange that no one ever thinks of Cowper as the inheritor of this double genius, and as owing some features of his intellect not less to the rhyming Dean of St. Paul’s, than to the author of Utopia. One would hope that under the Deanship of another poet, the graceful and scholarly Milman, this one historic relic of the old cathedral, and of a brother of the sacred lyre, might be set in a fitter place, or at least more decently erected in the place where it now seems irreverently set aside to moulder and be forgotten.

The Thames Tunnel was pronounced, by Canning, “the greatest bore in England:” he was bored to death by applications for Government aid in completing it, and hence spoke feelingly. It is now apparently done, though not finished, and is a cockney wonder, well worth a visit. Were it only in actual use as a thoroughfare under the bed of the Thames, thus realizing the original conception, it would not be without an element of true sublimity; but to see it degraded to a miserable show, scarcely paying for its keeper, and serving only to enable the visitor to say that he has walked under the Thames, is enough to justify one in naming it a folly. Its uses, however, may even yet be demonstrated to be great, and I cannot but feel that this noble work has not been executed for naught. It will even yet have a history. Pity it is that the Duke of Wellington had no occasion to use it, in planning the defences of the city on the memorable tenth of April, 1848. It needed but the passage of a single regiment, under his command, through this mysterious excavation, for actual purposes of surprise and stratagem, to give the place a charm forever; and had such a passage been by chance accomplished in the night, and led by the Duke in person, for the sake of some masterly result, a new and romantic interest would have been added as well to his own marvellous story, as to that of the Tunnel itself. If the caverny wine vaults of the London Docks were but connected with the Tunnel on one side, and the Tower on the other, so that there might be a sub-marine passage to the Tower, from the Surrey side, it would at least furnish associations of a military character to this daring achievement of Brunel.

Such were some of the random suggestions of my fancy, as I descended the shaft, on the Wapping-side. I entered the dark hole, with a vague realization of the descent of the Trojan hero into the shades of old. The first glance reveals a narrow street, with very narrow side-walks, or trottoirs, arched over with masonry, which is quite devoid of anything remarkable in itself. It is here and there a little damp-looking, but not more so perhaps than tunnels under ground. Gas burns along the dismal vault, but hardly lights it; enabling one to amuse himself with the thought of seeing fire beneath a river, and to pick his way comfortably; but otherwise only rendering darkness visible. The corresponding way, or the other half, is quite filled up with stalls and shops, in which they offer, here a raree-show, and there refreshments. A wretched grinding organ fills the cavern with doleful music, and little peddlers offer things for sale. So few, however, seem to be passing, that one wonders how they find it worth while to carry on this mermaid merchandise. You are so bored with their importunity, that it is not without an effort that you compose yourself, and reflect that fishes are swimming, and that the keels of countless ships, with the wealth of nations in their holds, are passing over your head, and that the very smallest breach in the arch above would “hurl an ocean on your march below.” This is the one great idea of the Tunnel. I passed through and emerged at Rotherhithe, and then descending, returned in the same way. It occurred to me, what if Guy Fawkes the Second should fill this place with gunpowder, and touch off the magazine, by electric telegraph, just as a royal fleet was passing the critical point! Strange to say, it might be so arranged, by means of the telegraph and Cardinal Wiseman, that the Pope himself, sitting in his armchair at the Vatican, might produce this terrible explosion in the Thames; and I suppose he is quite as likely to do it, as he is to effect the other results which he and the Cardinal (or the Cardinal and he) are actually attempting.

The shipping which one beholds in the vicinity of the Tunnel, is such as to produce a powerful impression upon the mind, in favour of the vast scale on which the commerce of London is maintained with the whole world. Truly—“the harvest of the river is her revenue, and she is a mart of nations.” As compared with the port of New-York, the narrowness of the river here rather increases than lessens the effect, bringing the forest of masts and the bulk of steamers close together, while, in our great harbour, they are stretched along such a circuit of shore, or anchored in such an expanse of water, as materially diminishes the general impression of multitude and immensity. It must be remembered, however, that in estimating the tonnage of London, a vast number of vessels are included which are never thought of at the Custom-house in New-York. Thus, our river craft, which supply the city with produce for the market, such as eggs, poultry and the like, with the whole fleet of our domestic steamers, go for nothing with us; while on the contrary, the hoys that bring the like from the Low Countries and the coast of France, with the steamers that ply to other British ports, are all religiously reckoned in the commercial lists of the British Metropolis. With this abatement, one is surprised to see how respectable a proportion the tonnage of New-York bears to that of the populous Tyre of England; a proportion which is probably destined to a direct reversal at no distant period, when once the Pacific and the Australian and Asiatic coasts are fairly opened to our direct trade through the Isthmus of Darien.


London Sights and By-places.

It is surprising how deep-rooted in one’s mind is the nonsense literature of the nursery, and how practically useful it often renders itself in the serious occasions of life. The Cries of London, and the rhymes of Mother Goose may often point a moral of grave importance to mankind; but not less were they serviceable to me, in enlivening many a nook and corner of the great Metropolis, whenever I gave myself up to a city stroll, as I frequently did, without plan, and in the merest mood of adventure. ‘Heigho! here is Holborn’—or again—‘this, then, is Eastcheap’—or similar exclamations in view of St. Bride’s or St. Helen’s—such were my entertainments, as I moved musingly along, among stock-jobbers and Jews. The sight of Pannier Alley, or Pudding Lane, I am free to confess, raised emotions truly lively and refreshing; and seldom was I in want of associations, equally sentimental and profound, while I traversed, with all the reverence of a pilgrim, the mighty realms of Cockaigne.

From Charing-cross to Temple-bar, in spite of the modern improvements, one picks not a little of this sort of pleasure as he saunters along. Turning aside for a moment, let us step into Covent-gardens. There is the Church, so memorable from Hogarth’s picture; and so illustrative of the piety and taste of the Russels, one of whom being forced to build it here, amid his thousand tenants, gave Inigo Jones the order, and suggested the munificence of his plans in the words—“anything—a barn will do.” Accordingly, a barn it is. I searched its precincts for the grave of Butler, that marvellous Daguerreotypist of Puritanism, whose rhymes and aphorisms will live as long as the language which they so curiously shape and conjure into forms the most congenial to their pith and purpose. In the market one lingers amid the fruits and flowers, which here, every morning, offer to the Londoners a toothsome and brilliant display. “Buy my roses”—“cherry ripe, cherry red”—“strawberries, your honour”—and “flowers all a-blowing, all a-growing”—such are the sounds with which you are for a moment emparadised, albeit in London streets. Here also you spy an alderman’s dinner at every turn, and wonder how Chatterton could have contrived to starve, within call of such a surfeit. But alas! full many a ragged visitor looks on with lean and hungry stare, and famishes the more bitterly for the sight of plenty, which he cannot enjoy.

But resuming our walk, we again step aside to look at the Savoy. To do this, we pitch down hill, towards the Thames; and there is all that remains of the famous Palace, in the little homely old Church, to which I did reverence in gratitude to God for the famous Conference, which resulted in enriching the Prayer-book with several good things, (and with the significant addition of two words in the Litany, rebellion and schism, amongst the rest,) as the result of the Restoration. Next we survey the splendours of Somerset House, not without regretting the obliteration of the old historical landmarks which it has deposed. In the middle of the street, before it, is the Church of St. Mary-le-Strand, where stood, in good old times, that famous May-pole, so profane and odious to the Round-heads, but which makes so picturesque a figure in our visions of the past. It perished honourably at last, for when no longer used for Spring dances and revels, it was given to Sir Isaac Newton, who hung his telescope thereto, and made it serve him in exploring the stars. So come we to St. Clement Danes, where grave visions of Johnson, keeping Easter, and approaching the Holy Sacrament with fear and trembling, give dignity to its otherwise lack-lustre appearance. And here is the Bar, where we enter Fleet-street and the city, and where less serious memories of the great moralist afflict one’s desire to preserve propriety. Fancy him here, with Boswell to look at him, holding on to a post, and making the night resound with his ha-ha, as he burst into earth-shaking laughter over his own wit. Even in his day, this gate of the city used, occasionally, to be set with the grim heads of decapitated traitors, and I remembered that, for once, poor Goldsmith got the better of him here, by an apt allusion to the ghastly spectacle. They had been moralizing together in Westminster Abbey, where Johnson had pointed to the busts in Poets’ Corner, and whispered, in a ponderous Latin quotation, to his brother poet—“perhaps our heads shall yet be set with theirs.” Poor Goldy kept his wit pent up till he arrived at this spot, when, pointing Johnson to the grim skulls of his fellow-Jacobites, he slyly repeated—“perhaps our heads shall yet be set with theirs!” In further honour of these worthies, I hunted up that orthodox chop-house, “the Mitre,” and explored with awe the dingy precinct of “Bolt-Court:” nor should I have forgotten, before leaving the Strand, to make worthy mention of “Clement’s Inn,” where I surveyed, for a few minutes, what remains of that ancient haunt of Falstaff’s memories; remembering too that “forked radish” of a man whom Falstaff’s recollections did so vilely disparage. But time would fail me to detail my various ins and outs, as I surveyed the streets of London from St. Dunstan’s to Whitefriars.

In company with a gentleman of the Middle Temple, I went one morning to Lincoln’s Inn, and surveyed its Hall and Library, which have been lately restored, in the style and taste of the olden time. I had the pleasure of looking at Lord Erskine’s statue, under the kindly guidance of one of his descendants. In the chapel, the pulpit where Heber used to preach, was my chief object of interest. Lincoln’s Inn Fields attracted my attention, for a time, though it is hard to conjure up, in such a spot as it is at present, the scaffold and the block, and poor Lord William Russell saying his last prayers. To the Temple gardens I then repaired for a little stroll, and there encountered the Crown-prince of Prussia, making his survey of the place, attended by his suite. He moves rapidly, and cuts a good figure. What he is, we shall be likely to know if we live to see him reign. From the Temple to Alsatia is but a step, and here I walked in painful honour of Nigel Olifaunt, as long as the sights and smells, which still preserve a thievish richness, would allow a mere romance to support my enthusiasm. And so from Whitefriars to Blackfriars, where, upon the very walls of ancient London, “the Times Newspaper” now flourishes, in its modern offices, and oft “with fear of change, perplexes monarchs.” I had been so happy as to make the acquaintance of Mr. Walter, its eminent proprietor; and under his hospitable roof, in Upper Grosvenor-street, I met with some of the most agreeable personages whom I encountered in the society of the Metropolis. The day’s adventures closed with a visit to Herald’s College, and to Doctors’ Commons. A slight inspection of the latter sufficed; but as I was in company with one who had business at the former, I lingered for a while in its worshipful chambers, and was glad to see something of the process of the anti-republican mystery to which it is devoted. Here are the historic books, from which pedigrees are furnished; and here are the authorities for quarterings and emblazonings, and all such changes in coat-armour as marriages and entailments may make necessary. Some interesting relics are shown of the days when knights and tournaments, and battles too, were in higher esteem than now; and one cannot but be entertained with the beautiful drawings and colourings of the divers artists here employed to “gild the refined gold” of British gentility. In the quadrangle of the College are the escutcheons of the Stanleys, marking the site of the ancient Derby House.

I had met, more than once, with Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, and by his invitation, I took an opportunity to be a spectator at the Old Bailey one morning, when some flagrant criminals were to be tried. It is a horrid spectacle, but one would see everything, except the last act at Newgate, on many reasonable grounds. I shuddered as I entered the street before the prison, where such crowds of brutal human beings have long been wont to congregate around the gallows. Dr. Dodd was not hanged here, but I could think of him only as I entered the doleful little courtroom in which he was tried. I found an inferior magistrate trying some petty offenders; but when this was over, the judges, in their robes and wigs, made their appearance, preceded by the sheriff, dressed in a full court suit, and bearing a drawn sword. The judges were Baron Alderson, and my kind friend, Judge Talfourd. I was seated, by his order, in a raised box, or pew, at the side of the bench, apparently reserved for invited strangers. Directly one Francis Judd, a youth of seventeen, was put to the bar, to be tried for the murder of his father! There was about the very opening of this trial something stern and awful, which the poor prisoner appeared to feel. He stood pale and haggard, picking the sprigs of rue, which, according to custom, were stuck in the spikes before him, and seemed simply sensible of the fact that he was in the clutches of the law. There was a majesty about the administration of justice here, which is utterly wanting in our courts. The case was opened with short speeches—the witnesses were examined—the instrument which dealt the death blow was produced, and some bloody relics were exhibited by the policemen who had detected the culprit. The case was clear against the lad, but he looked stupidly on. Then came the summing up. His counsel admitted the deed, but claimed that it was only manslaughter. The judge told the jury it was for them to say whether it was murder or not. They conferred awhile—they looked at the prisoner, and he at them—they gave their verdict—manslaughter. Baron Alderson, who seemed to have his black cap just ready to put on, thrust it aside, and lifting his glass to his eye, to survey the poor wretch, said:—“Francis Judd, the jury have found you guilty of manslaughter. For my own sake, and far more for yours, I thank God they have. Had it been a verdict of murder, I could not have found fault with it, and my duty would have been more, far more, painful than it is now. I have looked in vain for proper signs of emotion in you during this trial. I am sorry you have not shown some feelings of horror at your awful guilt. A father’s slaughter! The weapon with which you struck the old man’s gray head brought before your eyes, and even the covering of his pillow, stained with the blood! Poor youth, he may have been stern with you, but still he was your father. Your punishment will be severe, but it will give you time to meditate and repent—the sentence of the court is, that you be transported for life.” The whole trial had just taken one hour and a half by the watch. Yet all had been fair, and merciful. What a contrast to an American trial! Francis Judd was then removed, and soon another culprit, bullet-headed and brute featured, was standing in his place. I had seen enough, and, bowing to Judge Talfourd, I took my departure. I passed St. ’Pulchre’s, whose bell still tolls the knell of the convicts, and whose solemn clock is their last measure of time.

I went into the crypts of one of the old London Churches, to survey its Norman architecture, and there found myself standing amid piles of coffins, of all sizes and descriptions. Open gratings let in the light from the streets, and disclosed the passers-by, who seemed unconscious of the fact, that catacombs were so near. I never was in such an awful place before. The smell was not so bad as I should have supposed would be the case, and chloride of lime was sprinkled liberally about. But here were the coffins of a family, piled one upon another—a consumptive mother, and her one, two, three, five, or six children, in successive stages of decay. What a story it told—that pile of mortality! Here was a coffin, so large that Goliath might lie in it. “Eight men never carried that coffin,” said the sexton, and on it I read the name of some beef and pork consuming Londoner, whilom a substantial pillar of the Exchange. The sexton next brought me to a case, which he opened, exhibiting the dried corpse of a female. “This was here,” said he, “in the time of the great fire of London, and was then dried as you see.” Next he came to a sort of chest, standing upright, and opening like a closet. He opened it, and displayed two mummy-like figures, singularly dried, and undecayed. He moved their horrid heads upon their shoulders, and said—“They were twin brothers that were hung, sir, long ago, sir, in George Third’s time.” I mentioned what I had seen to a friend in the Temple. “I am surprised,” said he, “but you have seen the poor fellows whose fate sealed that of Dr. Dodd. They are the two Perreaus hanged for forgery in 1776; of whom Lord Mansfield said to the King—‘they must be regarded as murdered men, if your Majesty pardons Dr. Dodd.’”

At another time, I paid my respects to the famous “London-stone,” a Roman relic set in the wall of St. Swithin’s, and familiar to Shakspeareans, as the throne of the redoubtable Jack Cade. Of course, I went to see Smithfield, reeking with smells, even when void of cattle and swine, and donkeys, but still venerable for the fires of martyrdom with which it was once illuminated. Hard by is St. Bartholomew’s, whose tower once reflected the light of those flames of the Bloody Mary. So too, I visited old St. John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, familiar from the vignette on the “Gentleman’s Magazine,” and suggestive of Cave, and of Johnson’s first ventures upon his patronage. I went through and through the gate, and surveyed both sides with curious interest. There it has stood since the Crusades, and the dust and cobwebs in its old turrets have been gathering for ages undisturbed. An old inhabitant told me she once opened a dark stair-way, and tried to go up, but the dry dust nearly choked her. So lounging about, I ranged through Aldersgate, Charterhouse-Square, and the Barbican, and, of course, to St. Giles’, Cripplegate. There I visited the grave of Milton, once so rudely profaned during the repairs of the Church, and still almost unmarked. Here Cromwell was married, while as yet “guiltless of his country’s blood,” and here lies buried Foxe, the Martyrologist. Holy Bishop Andrewes was once incumbent of St. Giles’, and this is its fairest memory. In the churchyard is a great curiosity, nothing less than a portion of the old wall of London. Its foundations are of Roman origin, and what I saw was, doubtless, built by Alfred, to keep off the Danes! I had never seen a piece of masonry so interesting. It is a bastion of massive structure, yet by no means formidable as the fortifications of a city. And did the soldiers of immortal Alfred really man this wall; and did London ever need such a bulwark against the Danes?

My Miltonic enthusiasm being now excited, I sought out Bunhill fields, and the Old Artillery ground, near which he once dwelt. Moreover, I fared through Grub-street, in whose garrets have dwelt the rhyming tribes, idealized by Hogarth’s Distressed Poet, from time immemorial. Tom Moore enjoys a laugh at our American “Tiber,” formerly “Duck Creek;” but what shall excuse the fact,—which, by the slightest substitution, I may tell in his own line—

“That what was Grub-street once is Milton now!”

The corporation of London must have made this change after a very heavy dinner. Grub-street, however, has been always famous for very light ones; and if Milton did verily inhabit here, in her day, it is not surprising that Mary Powell bewailed her maiden life, and ran away into Oxfordshire. But enough of him and her. My reader will be more gratified to learn that on crossing to Southwark, I had no difficulty in discovering the mean and narrow entrance to an old-fashioned court, over which is still legible, the following inscription—“This is the inne where Sir Jeffry Chaucer and the nine-and-twenty pilgrims lay, in their journey to Canterbury, Anno 1383.” It was “the Tabard” then, and it is, by some strange corruption, “the Talbot” now. Here then was that charmed spot, from which went forth those devotees of St. Thomas-à-Becket, who talked so merrily, and often so well; and whose quaint portraiture as it has been preserved by genius, so embalms the peculiarities of thought, of manners, and of language, which characterized our English forefathers, in that marvellous age, when Wycliffe in prose, and Chaucer in poetry, laid the foundation of our Anglo-Saxon Literature, and scattered many goodly seeds of a reformation in religion. I was entranced by the associations of the place, for it is yet an Old English Inn, and looks as if it might still be the identical hostelry, built as it is around the inn-yard, with galleries, and ancient windows, and odd devices. It is but a halting-place for wagoners and countrymen; but, in spite of myself, I could not resist the temptation to enter its humble door, and order a little something, for Chaucer’s sake, to refresh a wayfarer.

But, to resume my rambles, behold me, by various crooks and turns, visiting Houndsditch and Billingsgate, and St. Ethelburga’s, and St. Helen’s. This St. Helen, by-the-way, is the mother of Constantine, and a part of London wall she built herself; so that, from England to “stubborn Jewry,” her architecture is her monument. I surveyed what is left of Crosby Hall; visited “the old lady in Threadneedle-street,” otherwise called the Bank of England; and, returning, heard the stupendous bells of Bow in their full harmony. That day was the festival of “the Sons of the Clergy.” I arrived at St. Paul’s in time to see the procession entering the great western door; the Archbishop, the Bishop of London, and the Lord Mayor, with other worshipful civic dignitaries, making its most conspicuous part. I lingered without the choir, till the services were quite advanced, and again had an opportunity of enjoying the effect of the distant service, and the rich reverberations of the dome.


London Society.

I have spoken of my daily occupations with little or no allusion to that, which proved to me the chief charm of life in London, its delightful society. It would be a poor tribute to modern civilization to regard the social pleasures of a brilliant capital, as presenting a secondary topic of remark; and yet so sacred are even the most public of domestic civilities, that whatever goes on under a private roof, seems necessarily invested with a character, to which types cannot do justice, without, at the same time, becoming sacrilegious. The ethics of travel are, even yet, by no means settled; for persons who should be authorities, have been often betrayed into the setting of an example, which, if all were free to follow it, would permit society to be infested with hordes of literary pirates, whose flag would be fatal to the freedoms and confidences of civilized intercourse, everywhere. On both sides of the Atlantic such social corsairs have too frequently paraded their spoils. It is not so much with the fear of their ignominy before mine eyes, as in view of that Golden Rule which they have flagrantly transgressed, that I shall restrict myself, in my narratives, to the most general allusions to social scenes, and to the mention of such names only as are more or less publicly known.

One needs only a few competent letters as a passport to English hospitality. After first introductions, the way of the stranger who behaves himself, is as open as in his own land. Hospitality is, in fact, a truly English virtue. Nowhere else does the word imply so much genuine kindness. Nowhere else does it so completely make the stranger at home. Morning, noon, and night, it follows you up with its benevolent perseverance, and seems to exact the minimum of ceremony in return. It does not satisfy itself with politeness; it shows you the soul of friendship; and that, while it allows you all the freedom of a passenger, when you might otherwise feel embarrassed by your inability to reciprocate such proofs of good will. The truth is, there is real heart in the civilities which are proffered, and where politeness is rooted in sincerity, it is always considerate, inventive and unfailing. An English gentleman, whatever his circumstances, as soon as he knows that you are entitled to his attentions, does all that he can to make you really happy. If his means are small he is not ashamed to offer you the best he can give, and he is pleased with his success, if he feels that you have accepted his hospitality in the spirit which prompted it. Contented, self-respecting, hearty Christian love is the root of the matter, in those true specimens of English nature, which are uppermost in my memory, as I write, and “whatsoever things are lovely” are but the generous product of that sound and healthful stock. Happy is he who has made a genuine Englishman his friend, for such a friendship implies the fullest confidence, and is a tribute to accredited integrity and worth.

In London, during “the season,” there is an incessant round not only of fashionable entertainments, but also of such as are indeed feasts of reason and of soul. You are invited to breakfast at ten or eleven o’clock, and are sure to meet an agreeable company, as few as the Graces, or as many as the Muses. One after another the guests drop in, in morning dress, and among them are a number of ladies who sit at table in their bonnets, and generally add not a little to the liveliness of the company. There is nothing, perhaps, before you besides an egg, with your tea and toast; but the side-board is loaded with substantials, and you have a variety of fruits to conclude the repast. The party conduct themselves as if time were plenty, and easy conversation goes round; your host occasionally drawing you out, on subjects upon which you are supposed to be informed. After an hour or more, there is a general breaking up, and Sir Somebody begs you to take a seat in his carriage, which is waiting at the door, or Mr. Blank proposes walking with you to the “University Club House;” or you draw off to keep some other engagement. Ten to one you breakfast somewhere else to-morrow, as the consequence of making yourself as little disagreeable as possible to-day; and so it goes on to your heart’s content, through the week.

You are invited to dinner, at any hour from five to eight, sometimes, of course, very unceremoniously, and sometimes in full form. You go at the hour appointed, and discover that punctuality has ceased to be fashionable in London. I was often surprised to observe the latitude given to guests, and taken by the cook. At dinners, everything goes on as with us, save that there is some form in announcing the guests, and also in placing them at table. The servant vociferously proclaims “Mr. Green”—as he flings open the door of the drawing-room, and if for a moment you find yourself abashed by the noise which you find yourself making, it is afterwards very agreeable to know who is who, upon the arrival of others. A reverend personage enters in an ecclesiastical coat, with silk apron, or cassock, and you hear him proclaimed as “the Lord Bishop of ——,” or as “the Dean of ——.” A pleasing, but quiet-looking gentleman appears, under the sound of a name familiar as that of one of her Majesty’s Cabinet Ministers. “Lord ——” is announced, and you behold a somewhat distingué figure, wearing a glittering decoration around the neck, or upon the breast. Several literary or professional personages complete the company; and when the ladies are waited upon to the dining-room, you are sure to be paired with the suitable party, and to find yourself placed with careful reference to your insignificance or importance, as the case may be. As to the table, the good old English courses seem to be giving way to foreign customs, as with us. It is not unusual to sit down to flowers and fruits, and confectionary, and to see nothing else for your dinner, except as the soup and other dishes are brought you in succession, the meats being carved by the servants, and all the old-fashioned notions, as to vegetables and side dishes, very much Frenchified, and revolutionized. Grace before meat, and after the removal of the cloth, was always faithfully performed in the circles which I frequented; but I was sorry to hear that this new style of serving the table has somewhat affected those Christian proprieties, by confounding “the egg and the apples,” and leaving one in doubt as to where the dinner proper begins, or where it arrives at a legitimate conclusion.

The conversation at these dinners never seemed to me as animated as that of breakfast parties. Even the half hour after the withdrawal of the ladies, and the disappearance of servants, was less sociable and sprightly. I must say, however, that I entirely disagree with the profound Mr. Boswell, as regards the introduction of children at the dessert, which, in my opinion, greatly enlivens such occasions. In they come, rosy and beautiful, fresh from the nursery toilet, and bringing joy and hilarity in their eyes and faces! The son and heir steals up to his father; a lovely girl is permitted by mamma to come timidly to you. I was, indeed, a little surprised at a nobleman’s table, when his boy, a youth of twelve or fourteen, came to his side, to find the little fellow introduced as “Lord C——,” instead of Harry or Willie, as it would have been with us; but, as nothing could exceed the familiar and affectionate manner in which the title was spoken, I saw at once that it was natural enough to others, however unwonted to my Republican ear, to see a mere child so formally announced. After this announcement he was called simply “C——,” as if it had been his Christian name, and I was pleased with his simple and unaffected manners throughout. English children appear to be “under tutors and governors,” and generally behave with becoming deference to elder persons. I remember not a few of my little friends in England, with real affection. Blessings, then, I say, on the children, and may it never be unfashionable for them to be seen amid fruit and flowers, at an American or an English table!

I accepted a few invitations to evening parties, but what to call them I hardly knew. The superb apartments, in which they were given, were crammed with the company; there were perpetual exits and entrances; cries were constantly heard below of—“Lady K——’s carriage stops the way;” while the incessant grinding of wheels in the street proclaimed the arrival and departure of the great and the gay, as they went the rounds of many a similar scene during the same evening. At a splendid residence in Piccadilly, I was presented on such an occasion to the Duke of Wellington. He wore a plain black suit, with a star on the breast of his coat; and when I first saw him he was standing quite apart, with a noiseless and even retiring dignity of appearance, to which his white head gave the chief charm. I had no idea that I was near him, till turning suddenly, his unmistakeable figure was before me. The rooms were one blaze of rank and fashion; but for a while I could see no one but the old hero. When I was introduced, I could do little more than bow, and accept his polite recognition, for he was quite deaf, and I had observed that conversation was evidently distasteful to him.

On another evening, just after the Queen’s State Ball, I was amused to meet, in a similar scene, the dresses and costumes which had lately figured at the Palace. They were of historical character, and hence peculiarly interesting. Here was Henrietta Maria, the Queen of Charles First, and there was a lady of the Court of Charles the Second. The stiff court fashions of the Georges were also represented, and one could easily imagine himself among Chesterfields and Rochesters. But, thank God, the British Peerage, in our day, is dignified by better men, and amid this brilliant masquerading, I first met with young Lord Nelson, so justly beloved for his active interest in all good works, and found him most agreeable in conversation, which, even in such an assembly, was entirely in keeping with his character. Here, too, I saw and conversed with the Duke of Newcastle, since an important member of the British Ministry, but then, and always, as I feel sure from his unaffected tone of remark, not less than from his general reputation, an earnest Christian, anxious to be a faithful steward, and to do what he can for the extension of the kingdom of Christ among all mankind.

The general interest felt in this country in the author of Ion, may excuse my particular mention of a party at Lady Talfourd’s, in which the literary and legal professions were more fully represented. Here one saw the Barons of Westminster-Hall in their proper persons, without the burthen of robes and wigs: while moving about the rooms, one encountered a poet or popular novelist, and not least, the amiable host himself. He made kind inquiries concerning several of my distinguished countrymen, and touching upon matters of law, paid a very high compliment to the ability and legal skill with which the trial of Professor Webster had been managed in Boston. Judge Talfourd appeared then in the prime of life, and inspired me with respect by his modest but dignified personal demeanour. He has since died a death, on the bench, more impressive than that of heroes on the field.

With regard to the tone of society in general, I think every stranger must be struck with its elevation, whether intellectually or morally considered. An English gentleman is generally highly educated. Society consists of cultivated persons, male and female, whose accomplishments are not displayed, but exist as a matter of course, and as essential to one’s part in the duties and civilities of life. No one ventures to feel better informed than his neighbour, and hence there is a general deference to other men’s opinions, and a reserve in expressing one’s own, which is highly significant of extreme civilization and refinement. Such a state of society, however, has its drawbacks. Character often becomes neutralized, and genius itself dulled and flattened, where to distinguish one’s self is felt to be an impropriety, and where the manifestation of decided thought or feeling would be eccentric, and even rude. Hence I observed a sort of uniformity in manner and expression, which is sometimes depressing; and when upon some private occasion, I discovered that the smooth, quiet personage whom I had seen only in the dull propriety in which the pressure of company had held him, like a single stone in an arch, was a man of feeling, of taste, of varied information, and accurate learning, I said to myself—‘what a lamentable waste is here!’ This man who should have been enriching the world with his stores of erudition and of reflection, has never conceived of himself as having anything to impart, or by which his fellow-man should profit. His accomplishments are, like his fortune and respectability, his mere personal qualifications for a position in society, in which he is contented merely to move, without shining, or dispensing anything more than the genial warmth of good humour and benevolence. There are thousands of such men in England, living and dying in the most exquisite relish of social pleasures, and deriving daily satisfaction from their own mental resources, but contributing nothing to the increase of the world’s intellectual wealth, and never dreaming of their attainments as talents which they are bound to employ. They live among educated men—knowledge is a drug in their market: of course they know this or that, but so does everybody else, and what have they to confer? It would be an impertinence for them (so they seem to feel) to teach or to dictate an opinion. Dr. Johnson has left a remark, in the records of his biographer, upon this tendency of refinement to abase individual merit, and I am sure a dogmatist like himself would not now be supported in English society. So very odd and unaccountable a phenomenon, even were his manners less forbidding, would be intolerable in intelligent circles, to say nothing of those of splendour and fashion. England exhibits just now the smooth and polished surface of a social condition which has no marked inequalities. Even rank fails to create those chasms and elevations which were once so striking and formidable. Gentlemen are very nearly alike, whatever their antecedents. All are well-informed, all have travelled, all are well-bred, and alike familiar with the world. The Universities, too, have done not a little to assimilate characters. Minds have been fashioned in one mould, and opinions shaped by one pattern. Even language and expression, and personal carriage are reduced to a common formula. I closely watched the pronunciation of thorough-bred men, and often drew them into classical quotations, to observe their delicacy in prosody, and their manner of pronouncing the Latin. I prefer very much the German or Italian theories of classical orthoepy; but for mere longs and shorts, there is no such adept as an English tongue. They carry it into the vernacular, however, against all analogy, and often startle an American by what seems elaborate pedantry and affectation. You are confounded by an allusion to Longfellow’s Hyperion—accent on the penultimate; or you are puzzled by the inquiry whether any doctrinal differences exist between the English and American Churches—second syllable made studiously long! Yet the man would be thought an intolerable ass who should display his knowledge of purely French or Teutonic derivatives, by a similar deference to etymology: and no one thinks of carrying out this principle in all words of like analogy. Usage, however, with all its caprices, settles every dispute; and we Americans have no resource but conformity, unless we prefer to appear provincial. English usage must be the law of the English tongue, and the fashions of the court and capital are the standard of usage.

Among the authors of England, I had desired to see especially Mr. Samuel Rogers, who is now the last survivor of a brilliant literary epoch, and whose long familiarity with the historical personages of a past generation, would of itself be enough to make him a man of note, and a patriarch in the republic of letters. Though now above ninety years of age, he still renders his elegant habitation an attractive resort, and I was indebted to him for attentions which were the more valuable, as he was, at that time, suffering from an accident, and hence peculiarly entitled to deny himself entirely to strangers. His house, in St. James’s-street, has been often described, and its beautiful opening on the Green Park is familiar from engravings. Here every Englishman of literary note, during the last half century, has been at some time a guest, and if its walls could but Boswellize the wit which they have heard around the table of its hospitable master, no collection of Memorabilia with which the world is acquainted, could at all be compared with it. Here I met the aged poet, at breakfast; Sir Charles and Lady Lyell completing the party. He talked of the past as one to whom the present was less a reality, and it seemed strange to hear him speak of Mrs. Piozzi, as if he had been one of the old circle at Thrale’s. When a boy, he rang Dr. Johnson’s bell, in Bolt Court, in a fit of ambition to see the literary colossus of the time, but his heart failed him at the sticking point, and he ran away before the door was opened. Possibly the old sage himself responded to the call, and as he retired in a fit of indignation, moralizing on the growing impertinence of the age, how little did he imagine that the interruption was a signal tribute to his genius, from one who, in the middle of the nineteenth century, should be himself an object of veneration as the Nestor of Literature!



My reader will be ready to forget London for a time; and perhaps also to accompany me on an excursion. I went to Oxford, for a few days, to keep some appointments, and found it far more delightful than before, as the men were all up, and everything looking bright and lively. The trees in the gardens and meadows were in fine leaf; and many shrubs in full blossom, so that what Nature has done for Oxford began to be as apparent as the enchantments it derives from Art. In the gardens of Exeter College I observed a Virginia creeper, luxuriantly covering the walls, and had a good opportunity of contrasting its effect with that of the ivy, for which, in our country, it is so generally substituted. It is certainly more cheerful, but lacks the dignity of its sullen rival. There is a fig-tree trained against the college walls, said to be that favourite of one of its former worthies, which a graceless Soph once stripped of its fruit, leaving only a single fig, which he labelled, “a fig for Dr. Kennicott.” Many are the minor traditions of Oxford, of a similar sort. Every tree and shrub seems to have a history, and “green memories” are here something more than a figure of speech.

A Sunday at Oxford affords one, at least, the opportunity for constant attendance upon Divine Service. I went, at 7 o’clock, to St. Mary’s, where the Holy Eucharist was celebrated, and where I thankfully received the Sacrament, with a considerable number of the parishioners, and members of the University. After breakfast, at Jesus College, I returned to St. Mary’s, to hear the Bampton Lecturer—Mr. Wilson, of St John’s. The lecture was delivered, of course, before the University, the Undergraduates filling the gallery, and the Dons the nave below. The lecturer, preceded by the bedels, entered in company with the Vice-Chancellor, to whom he bowed, as he turned to the pulpit stairs. Mounting to his place, and covering his face with his cap, he offered his private prayers, and then began the bidding-prayers, in the usual form—making special mention of St. John’s College, and of its benefactors, “such as were Archbishop Laud, etc.” But let no one imagine that this was an instance of spontaneous reverence for the Anglican Cyprian, for the lecture which followed might have moved the very bones of the martyr in his grave, so utterly did it conflict with the doctrines of the Church. It was evidently received with great dissatisfaction. It was decidedly clever, as to form and structure; but savoured of Bunsenism quite too much for the taste of a genuine Churchman. It was read in a dull, dry manner, more befitting the doctrine than the occasion. But, I must own that I greatly admire this way of University preaching; and the freedom of a sermon, thus delivered, by itself, apart from the service, and as a distinct thing, having its own time and object. Subsequently, the Church having been emptied, and filled again by a different congregation, the parochial service and sermon went on in all respects, as usual. Then, in the afternoon, there was a sermon before the University, preceded by the bidding-prayers, as in the morning; save that the preacher made special mention of Oriel College, of which he was a member, commemorating its benefactors, “such as were King Edward the Second, etc.” Then followed a powerful sermon, which evidently produced a great sensation. The Church was crowded, for the preacher was a general favourite. His manner was earnest, and often eloquent: and, in tones of most solemn and vigorous rebuke, he protested against the slavish dependence to which the State seemed resolved to reduce the Church. The Gorham case seemed to be in the preacher’s mind, and perhaps the flagrant elevation to the Episcopate of Dr. Hampden.

The parochial service again followed; after which I dined in the Hall of Oriel, where I met the preacher among his old collegians, and greatly enjoyed the company in general. After dinner, we went to service in the College Chapel; and after this there were still services in several places, though I did not attend them. It would have been hard to have named an hour in the whole day when services were not going on somewhere in this City of Holy Places.

In the Common-room of Oriel, I met with a very agreeable person, to whom I owed not a little of subsequent pleasure, and to whom I became warmly attached. At his instance, during the week, I substituted the more recherché pleasure of a visit to Nuneham Courtenay, for the more ordinary cockney pilgrimage to Blenheim. I went in his company, and in his own carriage, and had no reason to regret my adoption of his advice. The grounds of Nuneham are proverbial for the beauty of genuine English landscape, and a range in this noble park affords continual prospects of cultivated fields, and snug hamlets, and the silvery windings of the Isis through the meads. The gardens and shrubbery are interspersed with urns and tablets and inscriptions, in the Shenstone style, and among them I observed a cenotaph of the poet Mason. The taste of the more artificial charms of Nuneham is somewhat antiquated, and smacks of the Hanoverian age, now happily departing: but it does one good to see these things, as illustrating the period to which they belong. I was all the time thinking of Jemmy Thomson, as I rambled among the elms and yews of Nuneham; and especially when I came to a clump of those spreading beeches, with smooth columnar trunks, on which his swains were wont to endite their amatory verses. Glimpses of Oxford, which one catches now and then, add a special charm to this noble demesne, and the Thames glitters here and there in the view to enliven a broad survey of rural scenery, which can hardly be said to lack anything appropriate to its English character. The Church of Nuneham is the grand mistake. It looks like a fane erected to the goddess of the wood, by some ancient Grecian, and provokes something less pleasing than a smile, when one learns that it is the successor of a genuine old English church, which was judged a blemish to the classical charms of the house and gardens. Of the rectory, although it is of modern design, I can speak with more satisfaction. It is a charming residence, such as an American parson seldom inhabits, but which one loves to see others enjoying, and adorning with every domestic grace. Here we lunched, substantially, concluding our repast with gooseberry-tart and cream, such as no one ever tastes except in England; thus gaining a conception of the rich glebe and pasturage of Nuneham, which a more sentimental tourist might fail to carry away from a mere feast of the eye.

We visited the parish-school, and I was particularly struck with the neatness and order of the little academy, and not less with the exactness of the instruction. The children of the peasantry were the scholars, and, instead of jackets, the boys nearly all wore the little plaited shirt of coarse brown linen, so familiar to us from pictures, but so unlike anything worn by American children, however humble in station. They were very closely examined by their teachers, and their answers were generally correct. America was pointed out on the map, and when I was introduced to the little urchins as an American, it was amusing to see their surprise. They seemed to pity me for living so very far away! Then they were catechized. It did me good to hear the familiar words, so often uttered by little voices around the chancel rails of my own parish-church, now repeated, in the same way, by these little English Christians. Some of the subsidiary questions amused me, and not less the answers, especially those under the phrase—“to honour and obey the Queen, and all that are put in authority under her.” Then came the clause—“to order myself lowly and reverently to all my betters.” “And who are your betters?” asked the master: to which, “Lady Waldegrave,” and other names of the gentle inhabitants of Nuneham Courtenay, were most loyally responded. In practical matters of a more strictly religious character, the questions and replies were highly gratifying, and often caused the tears to spring in my eyes, in view of the manifold blessings which such instructions cannot fail to convey to a nation, and to the souls of all who receive them. Alas! for the schools of our country, where the children come together under the blight of divers creeds, or of utter unbelief, and where in solemn deference to the spirit of sect and party, religion is daily less and less a tolerated element in the training of immortal souls!

We drove pleasantly back to Oxford, passing Sanford, and Cowley, and Iffley, and stopping at the Church of Littlemore, which has been lately much improved, and in which we found service going on. A drive into Oxford, from almost any direction, cannot fail to please, so inspiring is the sight of the city itself, and our return from Littlemore afforded, at least to myself, some new and charming views of its prominent features, which were now becoming quite familiar.

For several days I lingered in the bewitching society of the University, sharing its hospitalities, and daily revelling in the inspection of its curiosities and antiquities. With what a spell does the enjoyment of those mornings and evenings revive in my fancy as I write. A breakfast-party at Merton, the cool breeze of the morn coming in at the windows, fragrant from the meadows; an extemporary lunch in the crypts of St. John’s, tapping the college beer, and inspecting the ancient masonry of its Gothic vaults, once the substructions of a monastery; a dinner in the lordly hall of Magdalen, with dessert and conversation in the Common-room; an evening party at Oriel, among wits, and poets, and divines! Who would not allow that such are substantial pleasures, realizing “those Attic nights, and refections of the gods,” of which our fancy is full, in the earlier enthusiasm of classical pursuits! And then the discourse was so animating and refreshing. No hackney talk of dull common-place sentiment, or of small-beer literature; but a roving, haphazard, review of grave and gay together; a deep and earnest discussion of religious themes; a sprightly dash into politics; quick questions and replies about America, and republics, and democracies; illustrative quotations of a fresh and spontaneous character, often garnished with some ingenious misapplication, or original supply of words, for the sake of sport; a sharp debate about the civil wars; a dissection of Macaulay; a clever story of old Parr; and reviving anecdotes of Oxford and old times; with a glow of kindly and religious feeling in all, without cant or ostentation; these were the filling up of successive days and nights in those halls and chambers of dear, dear Oxford, which I cannot remember without a grateful thrill, and which I can only put aside from covetous regret, by calm faith that “it is more blessed to give than receive.” After all, it is in every way more worthy of a Christian, to toil in the wilderness, than to recline in the bowers, and to enter into the labours of by-gone generations. Yes—dear as are the delights of a life in academic shades, and unparalleled as are the advantages of mind and body with which Oxford ennobles her children, I would prefer a Divinity chair at Nashotah, to a fellowship at Magdalen, or to the richest benefice which the University can bestow. It is hazardous to enjoy too much; and how great the responsibility in such a world as this, of receiving anything for which we may fail to make a return to God and men, and which must go to make our stewardship more fearful, against the day of account!

We have gifts differing. Far be it from me to insinuate that the life of an Oxford Fellow is ordinarily an idle or useless one. Many of them are as laborious and as useful men as ever wrote or thought, and great are the blessings which they diffuse around them. Too often have their generous hospitalities been mistaken for habitual self-indulgences; and even guests who have tasted their wine without a murmur, have sometimes gone away to complain of convivialities, of which they were themselves the exacting proponents. But when the question is not as to them, but as to ourselves, we are surely at liberty to prefer our humbler and less favoured lot! Shall we repine because we are Americans, and because we shall never live to see an Oxford in our own dear country? God forbid! I love to think that it is theirs to enjoy, and mine only to remember; and that if toil and self-denial are the lot of an American clergyman, he is, nevertheless, fulfilling a mission more immediately like that of his glorious Master, and less fraught with temptations to make one’s heaven this side the grave.

I had seen the Duke of Wellington and Samuel Rogers. There was one whom I desired to see besides, and on some accounts, with deeper interest, to complete my hold upon the surviving past. For sixty years had Dr. Routh been president of Magdalen, and still his faculties were strong, and actively engaged in his work. I saw him in his 97th year; and it seemed as if I had gone back a century, or was talking with a reverend divine, of the olden time, who had stepped out of a picture-frame. He sat in his library, in gown and bands, wearing a wig, and altogether impressing me as the most venerable figure I had ever beheld. Nothing could exceed his cordiality and courtesy, and, though I feared to prolong my visit, his earnestness in conversation more than once repressed my endeavour to rise. He remembered our colonial clergy, and related the whole story of Bishop Seabury’s visit, and of his application to the Scottish Church, which Dr. Routh himself first suggested. ‘And now,’ said I, ‘we have thirty Bishops and 1,500 clergy.’ He lifted his aged hands, and said, “I have, indeed, lived to see wonders,” and he added devout expressions of gratitude to God, and many inquiries concerning our Church. I had carried an introduction to him from the Rev. Dr. Jarvis, and at the same time, announced the death of that lamented scholar and divine, whose funeral I had attended a few days before I sailed from America. He spoke of him with affection and regret, and also referred to his great regard for Bishop Hobart. I could not say farewell to such a patriarch, in the meaningless forms of ordinary intercourse, and, as I rose to depart, I craved his blessing, and humbly knelt to receive it. He placed his venerable hand upon my head, and said—“God Almighty bless you, for Jesus Christ’s sake,” and so I took my departure, with my heart full, and with tears in my eyes.

Going, quite alone, to St. John’s College, I indulged myself in delightful meditations as I lounged in its gardens, and watched the young gownsmen shooting arrows at a target, or enjoying themselves about the walks. I went into the quadrangle, that munificent monument of Laud’s affection for his beloved college. I passed on to the chapel. The door was not locked, and I entered it alone. Beneath the altar lies the Archbishop’s mutilated corpse; and there, too, lies the stainless Juxon, whom he loved so well, and who served the last moments of Charles the First with the holy offices of the Church. I gave myself up to the powerful impressions of the spot, and spent a few minutes in very solemn meditations. In the library of the college I afterwards saw the pastoral crook of the martyred Primate; the little staff which supported his tottering steps on the scaffold, and the cap which covered his venerable head only a few minutes before it fell from the block.

In the street, before Balliol College, the martyrs Latimer and Ridley were burned. Perhaps the precise spot is not known; but among the paving-stones, there is fixed in the earth a little cross, sunk to a level with the street, and simply designating the supposed site of the stake. It was one of my pleasures, during this visit to Oxford, to meet with Bishop Otey, then just arrived from America; and I had the pleasure of conducting that excellent missionary prelate to this sacred spot of suffering for Christ. I shall never forget the enthusiasm with which he uncovered his head, as he stood there, and blessed God for the testimony of His Martyrs; and I am sure he will forgive this allusion to the scene, for it greatly impressed me at the time, and even now seems very striking. “We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, as shall never be put out”—said old Latimer to Ridley, in 1555, and in spite of fire and faggot, and Armada, and Gunpowder plot, and Father Petrie, and Father Newman, there stood in 1851, the Bishop of Tennessee, blessing God for the light of that candle in the wilds of America! A superb memorial of the three Oxford Martyrs stands not far from the place where they suffered—and should have stood just here, where it would have been more conspicuous and appropriate—but I felt that such an incident far more powerfully attested the prophecy. How strange it seemed, in St. Mary’s, on the preceding Sunday, to reflect that from those very aisles, not longer since than three such lives as Dr. Routh’s might measure, the venerable Primate of all England had been ruthlessly dragged forth, by the hands of brethren in the priesthood, and by the same hands burnt to death, hard by, with the mockery of thanksgiving to God, and in the name of zeal for His glory! Truly, Rome may thank herself for the abhorrence with which the universal Anglo-Saxon race (among whom a few emasculate exceptions are not to be reckoned,) regard alike her blandishments and her cruelties.

How rapidly flew the hours in which I lounged in the Bodleian and other libraries, or went from college to college, to inspect its pictures and antiquities! Here, a manuscript of Cædmon, which the Anglo-Saxon professor kindly interpreted to me as I inspected it; and there, a Chaucer, and “the Game of Chesse,” from the primitive press of Caxton, exposed to my admiring gaze the small beginnings of the wonderful Literature of the English tongue. In the Ashmolean Museum I beheld, with still greater reverence, the jewel once worn by the immortal Alfred, to which I felt that Victoria’s Koh-i-noor was but a twinkling and lack-lustre pendant. In the curious old muniment-room of Merton, I was scarcely less pleased to behold the venerable charters and patents, engrossed in ancient characters, and sealed with quaint historic seals, by which their lands and hereditaments are still retained, and from which the whole Collegiate System of Oxford is derived. The chapel of this charming college is worthy of the noble foundation to which it belongs; and, as my amiable cicerone was an accomplished architectural artist and antiquarian, I was not allowed to inspect its details superficially. His own hand had, very recently, restored the elaborate decorations of the vaulting, in beautiful colours and designs; and he appeared to appreciate the high privilege which he had enjoyed, of mingling his own handiwork, in this manner, with that of ancient and inventive genius. His mediæval tastes had perhaps become a hobby with him; I observed, with pain, some morbid symptoms of unreality in his excessive devotion to the mere æsthetics of religion; but did not then suppose, as since has proved the sad result, that he was destined to add another to those children of the captivity, who, by the rivers of Babylon, have so estranged themselves from Sion, that their tongue seems indeed to have been smitten with the palsy of untruth, and their right hand to have forgotten its cunning.

I saw, one pleasant evening, the first boat-race of the season. Going into Christ Church Meadows, in company with several gownsmen, we soon joined a crowd of under-graduates, and others who were seeking the banks of the Isis. The rival boats were still far up the stream, but here we found their flags displayed upon a staff, one above the other, in the order of their respective merit, at the last rowing match. The flag of Wadham waved triumphant, and the brilliant colours of Balliol, Christ Church, Exeter, etc., fluttered scarce less proudly underneath. What an animated scene those walks and banks exhibited, as the numbers thickened, and the flaunting robes of the young academics began to be seen in dingy contrast with the gayer silks and streamers of the fair! Even town, as well as gown, had sent forth its representatives, and you would have said some mighty issue was about to be decided, had you heard their interchange of breathless query and reply. A distant gun announced that the boats had started, and crowds began to gather about a bridge, in the neighbouring fields, where it was certain they would soon be seen, in all the speed and spirit of the contest. Crossing the little river in a punt, and yielding to the enthusiasm which now filled the hearts and faces of all spectators, away I flew towards the bridge, and had scarcely gained it when the boats appeared—Wadham still ahead, but hotly pressed by Balliol, which in turn was closely followed by the crews of divers other colleges, all pulling for dear life, while their friends, on either bank, ran at their side, shouting the most inspiriting outcries! The boats were of the sharpest and narrowest possible build, with out-rigged thole-pins for the oars. The rowers, in proper boat-dress, or rather undress, (close-fitting flannel shirt and drawers,) were lashing the water with inimitable strokes, and “putting their back” into their sport, as if every man was indeed determined to do his duty. “Now, Wadham!” “Now, Balliol!” “Well pulled, Christ Church!” with deafening hurrahs, and occasional peals of laughter, made the welkin ring again. I found myself running and shouting with the merriest of them. Several boats were but a few feet apart, and stroke after stroke not one gained upon another, perceptibly. Where there was the least gain, it was astonishing to see the pluck with which both winner and loser seemed to start afresh; while redoubled cries of “Now for it, Merton,” “Well done, Corpus,” and even “Go it, again”—which I had supposed an Americanism—were vociferated from the banks. All at once—“a bump!” and the defeated boat fell aside, while the victors pressed on amid roars of applause. The chief interest, however, was, of course, concentrated about “Wadham,” the leader, now evidently gained upon by “Balliol.” It was indeed most exciting to watch the half-inch losses which the former was experiencing at every stroke! The goal was near; but the plucky Balliol crew was not to be distanced. A stroke or two of fresh animation and energy sends their bow an arm’s length forward. “Hurrah, Balliol!” “once more”—“a bump!” “Hurrah-ah-ah!” and a general cheer from all lungs, with hands waving and caps tossing, and everything betokening the wildest excitement of spirits, closed the contest; while amid the uproar the string of flags came down from the tall staff, and soon went up again, with several transpositions of the showy colours—Wadham’s little streamer now fluttering paulo-post; but victorious Balliol flaunting proudly over all. It was growing dark; and it was surprising how speedily the crowd dispersed, and how soon all that frenzy of excitement had vanished like the bubbles on the river.


Iffley—A Drive Across the Country.

A visit to Magdalen School, and a subsequent dinner with the scholars, (who are the singers in the chapel), was another of my pleasures, from which I derived fresh convictions of the superior training of English school-boys, alike in physical, mental, and moral discipline. Everything was done with method and precision. The boys looked fresh and rosy, and perfectly happy, and yet their master was as evidently strict with them, as he was also kind. Some of them will win scholarships in the college, and from that, fellowships; and so will make their way to the highest posts of honour and usefulness, for which they will be thoroughly furnished in all respects. There is a new Educational College at Radley, several miles from Oxford, of which the projector and founder is the well-known Mr. Sewell, of Exeter—by whose kind invitation I went out, one day, to visit it. I was kindly accompanied by a distinguished Fellow of Oriel, who with several young men, whom he had enlisted for the purpose, gave me a row up the Thames to Iffley. We took our boat, in Christ Church meadows, and so went over the scene of the race which I have endeavoured to describe. I was unfortunately made steersman, and more than once found myself running the bow of the boat into the bushes, while I stared around me, at every beast and bird, and at every wall, and every bush, and at every green thing, with a greener look no doubt, to my unlucky companions, than anything in the scene besides. It was the Thames—or the Isis if you please—it was the river of the Oxonians; and I lost myself, in contemplations, on the most trifling suggestion of novelty, or of age, which surrounding objects presented. This little voyage was realizing to me the dreams of many years; and when we landed near the picturesque old mill, with which so many drawings and engravings have made every one acquainted, I felt that anything but my pilotage was to be credited with our escape from shipwreck. My conscience accuses me of having paid attention to everything except my immediate duty.

Iffley Church, as every Ecclesiologist will tell you, is a study of itself. Five windows in this Church are said to present the characteristics of five periods of pointed architecture, extending through as many centuries; while the details of enrichment and design afford innumerable specimens of inventive art, embracing somewhat of the rude and elemental Saxon, with the riper and more varied beauties of Norman embellishment. The church is supposed to have been built in the earlier part of the twelfth century; it affords many interesting examples of subsequent alteration and repair; and has lately received much attention, in the way of retouching and restoring its olden beauties. In the churchyard is the remnant of its ancient cross, and also a yew tree scarcely less aged, but much decayed. The font, which stands near the door, is of large dimensions and of very curious construction, generally supposed to be Norman, and of the same date with the Church. Although the beautiful interior retains some useless appendages of mediæval rites no longer practised, it is a most fitting and becoming Anglo-Catholic church, and one in every way satisfactory, as it stands, to the purposes of the English Liturgy. Without and within, it was, at the time I visited it, the most interesting object of its kind which I had ever seen.

On resuming our boat, which had been lifted above the dam by means of a lock, we rowed about a mile further up the river, and then, taking to the fields, went across them to Radley. Here I met Mr. Sewell, and went with him to see Radley Church, a picturesque little temple, and then over his college, chapel and grounds. This college is a very interesting experiment, and aims to combine, on a plan somewhat novel, several important elements of academic and religious life. The taste which has presided over its establishment is very apparent, and not less the benevolence and piety of its founder. I was surprised to find it, although so entirely new, presenting everywhere the appearance of age and completeness. The architecture of the chapel especially, though plain in comparison with that of almost all older structures of a similar kind, is yet very effective; and the service, as performed in it, by the aid of the pupils, was exceedingly inspiring and refreshing. After a visit which I was kindly led to protract beyond my intent, I returned to Oxford on foot, in the company of Mr. Sewell. Our path lay through Bagley-Wood, and never shall I forget the charming conversational powers of my guide, or the pleasure of wandering, with such a companion, through the tangled and briery copse, and intervening glades of that academic forest. At last we struck the Abingdon road, and entered Oxford by the bridge under the Tower of Magdalen.

Amid so many recollections of a graver character, there is one connected with Oxford which never revives without exciting a smile. I went one day into the House of Convocation, where the Vice-Chancellor was conferring degrees, in a business way, very few, besides those immediately interested, being present. Among the candidates was one very portly individual, who, either from his advancing years, or because of some new preferment, had felt it his duty to incur the expense of being made, in course, a Doctor of Divinity. It was evidently many years since the proposing Doctor had been familiar with University forms and ceremonies; and it appeared to me that some very rustic parish had probably, in the meantime, enjoyed the benefit of his services. When the performance required him to do this, or that, it was apparent that the worthy divine was not a little confused, while it was still more painfully clear, that his confusion afforded anything but feelings of regret to the junior portion of the academical body which surrounded him. When required to kneel before a very youthful looking proctor, an audible titter went the rounds, as his burly figure sank to the floor, amid the balloons of silk with which he was invested, to say nothing of the gaudy colours which he now wore, for the first time, with ill-suppressed satisfaction. But the Oath of Abjuration was to be administered, and this proved the most critical part of the proceedings: for, oath as it was, it was made almost a farcical formality, by the manner in which it was taken. As this oath is a little antiquated, at any rate, and seems hardly demanded by the present relations between a powerful sovereign and the mere shadow of a pontiff who now apes Hildebrand, on the Seven Hills, it would seem good taste to go through with it with as little display of furious Protestantism as possible. So evidently thought the proctor, but not so the Doctor elect, whose powerful imagination probably suggested to him that Victoria was Queen Elizabeth, and Dr. Wiseman a Babbington, as no doubt he is. If her Majesty labours under similar impressions, she has at least one loyal subject, and it would have done her heart good to have heard the utterance of his loyalty on this occasion; for with most earnest emphasis did he swear, that “he did from his heart detest and abjure, as impious and heretical, that damnable doctrine and position, that princes excommunicated by the Pope, may be deposed or murthered by their subjects,” &c., &c. So, no doubt, thought and felt all present; but as the Doctor seemed to consider himself, for the moment, a sort of Abdiel, and spoke with an epic dignity somewhat unusual to the Convocation house, it was irresistibly ludicrous to behold the smothered merriment of the youthful Oxonians, who shook their sides while the Doctor fulmined, and who seemed to think both him and the Pope a little too old for Young England and the nineteenth century.

My excursion to Nuneham Courtenay proved but the preface to a much more important episode, in company with the same agreeable friend who was my guide on that occasion, and who now drew me into a change of plans and purposes, to which I owed much subsequent pleasure. We were at breakfast together, in the rooms of a common friend at Merton, when the scheme was perfected for a drive through Oxfordshire, in his private carriage, and for several subsequent excursions, of which the centre should be his residence, near Cheltenham. A friend, then keeping his terms for a Master’s degree, at New Inn Hall, gave us his company for a few hours, on the way; and a delightful companion he proved, not only for his essential qualities as such, but because he happened to have been a tourist in America, and was able to imagine, in some degree, how an American must regard the contrast continually furnished him by a tour in England. Our road first took us over a corner of Berkshire, through a pleasing variety of hills and vales, sighting Cumnor on the left, and passing Wytham on the other hand, and so again entering Oxfordshire, by a bridge over the Thames, which here makes a bend among the little mountains. Our first stage was complete when we arrived at Eynsham, where we drew up at the village inn, and contrived to pass an hour very pleasantly, although, from the appearance of the place, one would say, at first, it was fit only to sleep in. How quiet a village can be, even in populous and busy England, and so hard by Oxford! There stood the slender market-cross that had survived the storms of centuries, and the more violent batterings of Puritan iconoclasts. Broken and bruised as it was, it seemed good for centuries more, amid so peaceful a community as now surrounds its venerable tutelage. Whether the exemplary character of the present inhabitants be owing at all to the parish stocks, which stand near the cross, in most Hudibrastic grouping with surrounding objects, I cannot determine; but there they are, and I could fancy a stout brace of Puritans, of Butler’s sort, undergoing its salutary penance; or even one of Hogarth’s unlucky wights experiencing the rude sympathies of men and boys in the passiveness of its bondage. How speaking a picture of rigorous parochial justice those queer old stocks, under lee of the market-house, afforded to my imagination! How many vagrant feet and ankles have there been relieved from the curse of Cain! how many a vagabond they have furnished with persuasives to rest and meditation! Really—one could not be properly pensive, in sight of such a commentary on human guilt and misery: for the parish stocks are but of distant kin to gallows and guillotine, and hardly more than little brothers of whipping-post and pillory; their ignominy being rather that of ridicule than of scorn, and their severity being the very least of all the penalties of law. I did not know that such instruments of wholesome discipline were still in existence under the English sceptre, and hence my amusement and surprise to behold them, and to find so many memories of their history reviving at the sight; among which were prominent those classical verses of the Anti-Jacobin—

“Justice Oldmixen put me in the parish-

                      Stocks, for a vagrant.”

Verily a queer old place is Eynsham, from the days of King Ethelred, the Unready, who had a villa here, and those of King Stephen, who gave it the very equivocal privilege of a market “on the Lord’s day,” under the patronage of its Abbot and its monks. On inquiring for the remains of the Abbey, we were informed that some new relics of its ancient chapel and cemetery had just been discovered in a neighbouring field. We had therefore the pleasure of seeing, sure enough, the encaustic tiles of its sanctuary, just laid bare, after ages of concealment in the earth. They were of various patterns and devices, St. George and the Dragon forming, apparently, a conspicuous part of the design. But the old gardener who showed us these discoveries, went on to tell us that in digging further, he had just laid bare some frames which he should like to have us see, and so leading us to another part of the ground, he showed us the frames, indeed, which proved to be nothing less than the skeletons of the old monks of Eynsham, protruding from their graves. Often had these same “frames” sung in the choir, and walked over those same tiles we had just been viewing. How old they might be we could not say; but they were the bones of old Christians, and most probably of Christian priests, and there they had been laid in hope of the Resurrection, so that it seemed to me almost profane to be staring at them, as if they were a show. Requiescant in pace.

The village church had been an appurtenance of the Abbey, and was, no doubt, comely in its day. It had suffered not a little, however, from whitewash, and other Churchwarden-isms. There had evidently been a fine rood-loft, but every vestige of it was gone, save that there was the solid stair-way in the wall, and there again the door-way, still open, through which the ancient Gospeller used to make his appearance in the loft, to read the Holy Evangel for the day. ‘Poor fellow,’ thought I, ‘when did he climb those steps, and issue from that door, for the last time? Was he indeed a Gospeller, grateful for a chance thereafter to read the Word of God, in the vulgar tongue; or was he some Marian Monk, who had raked the coals about Latimer and Ridley, in Oxford, and who trembled, while he sung his Latin Missal, lest the news of Elizabeth’s accession should prove too true?’ How strange it would seem to an American priest, to find himself officiating, Sunday after Sunday, in a church whose very walls are a monument, not only of the Reformation, but of “Hereford Use,” and “Salisbury Use,” or other usages now forever superseded, but which had a long existence, and have left their mark, alike in stone and timber, and in the vernacular Liturgy of the Church of England!

We left the little village, and pursued our journey very pleasantly till we met the Oxford coach coming down, in full drive, but stopping as we hailed it, in behalf of our friend of New Inn Hall. He was obliged to return, for sleeping a single night out of Oxford, during his term, would disqualify him for his degrees. So we reluctantly saw him climb to a lofty seat, among a motley crew of passengers, and whirl away, as we waved him our adieu. We continued our journey to Witney, where again we paused, to survey its ancient cruciform Church—which would make a fine cathedral in America—and to take our luncheon with the good vicar, who received us very hospitably. I was surprised at the greatness of the Church, and the beauty of many of its details, but I believe it was once an Abbey Church, and its architectural merits are such as to have furnished not a few favourite examples to ecclesiological publications. The village itself is a decayed one, having formerly been of consequence as the seat of a famous blanket manufacture, which made “Witney” a household word with housewives, especially in cold weather. Our drive next brought us to Minster-Lovel, the scene of the “Old English Baron;” and next to a “deserted village,” which looked as little like Auburn as possible, for it had been built by a pack of infidels, to show the world what a village ought to be, and so had speedily become as dead as Pompeii. It was now “for sale,” but no one seemed disposed to buy, and I suspect it may yet be had at a bargain. England is no soil for fools to flourish in; and it is a pity that when they find it out, they are so wont to come to America, where they join the Mormons, or set up for superfine republicans, and vent their hatred of England in our newspapers, which are then quoted by the writers in the London Times, as proof of American feelings towards the mother country.

The country we were now traversing had once been scoured by the troopers of the fiery Rupert, and my friend, whom I will call Mr. V——, finding my enthusiasm rising at the mention of his clarion and jack-boots, began to play upon me by suggesting that some mounds which we saw in the distance were the remains of one of his encampments. This was a very fine idea, but, resolved to hunt up the local traditions with respect to it, I asked a passing boor if he could tell me anything about the barrows. Oh, for a page of “the Antiquary,” to give my reader some conception of the effect produced by the reply! “Prætorian here—Prætorian there,” said old Edie Ochiltree, “I mind the bigging o’t;” and with equal bathos responded my boor—“Them there be some old brick-yards!” “Alas!” cried I—“it is Monkbarns and castrametation, over again;” and a laugh arose from the Oxford pilgrims, at which the boor startled, and fled away, no doubt with strong persuasion that we were a pair of madmen, just broke loose from the deserted settlement aforesaid, of which, I should have mentioned, the neighbouring peasantry seemed to entertain a very wholesome fear.

Commend me to Burford, our next halting-place, as a village of most exemplary independence of this nineteenth century. Some old houses, which struck me as I entered it, bore an inscription by which I learned that a good burgess built them for a charitable use in the time of Queen Elizabeth. I should think no house had been built in Burford since that date, so entirely unlike a modern town is its chief street, with all its lanes and by-ways. Here, now, was England—the England we read of! None of your Manchesters and Liverpools, but an innocent, sleepy old village that was of vast repute when those snobbish places were unknown. Here met a Church Synod, A. D., 685, to settle the question about the British Easter usages, and here worthy Peter Heylin was born in 1600. The little river Windrush runs through the place, and on its banks stands the ancient Church of St. John the Baptist, to which we repaired forthwith. Here we found an unexpected treat, in the exceeding richness of its Norman architecture, and in the many delicate traces of its former perfection, which had escaped the ravages of time. The tower and spire, the south porch and the windows, afforded a most entertaining and instructive study. Some old inscriptions remained, entreating the passer-by to pray for the departed soul of such and such benefactors. The interior enchanted me. Here was a “Silvester aisle,” in which, for generation after generation, certain worthies of that name have been buried under costly monuments, most curious to behold. But what pleased me most was one of those huge monuments, like an ancient state-bed, with canopy and posts complete, on which lay, side by side, a worthy knight and his dame, persons of a famous repute under Queen Elizabeth, and the grand-parents of the stainless Falkland. “Sir Launcelot Tanefield” was the name of the knight, and if I mistake not, he was, at one time, Lord Chief Justice of England, and Burford was his native place. From this charming old Church I could hardly tear myself away. I suspect few travellers have visited it, and I congratulated myself on having met with such a friend as V——, to draw me out of the beaten track, and show me something of England, that is England still.

Continuing our journey, we passed an old Manor house, picturesquely seated in a valley, at which I could have looked contentedly for an hour, so entirely did it answer to my ideas of many a manorial residence, which had pleased my boyish fancy, in novels and romances. Next we passed Barrington Park, the seat of Lord Dynevor, and soon after, another beautiful park, the seat of Lord Sherborne. And now, our journey lay over one of the Cotswold hills, which reminded me somewhat of a drive over Pokono, in Pennsylvania, so lonely and even wild did it seem, in comparison with the country we had just been traversing. We came to North Leach, where again we alighted to survey a Church, perched on a rising ground, above the houses of the village, which are mostly very old, with curious gables, and built along narrow lanes, in very primitive style. This Church had suffered more from accidental causes, than that at Burford, but was scarcely less interesting to me. Its curious gurgoyles particularly arrested my attention, and within, some good brasses, and other monuments. It has a fine porch, and its general architecture seems of a period somewhat between the decorated and the perpendicular. We were now in Gloucestershire, and I shall never forget that it was in passing over a hill near Stow-on-the-Wold, that I first heard the nightingale. “There,” said V——, “there is Philomela! not mourning, but wooing; ’tis her love-note”—and I listened with a sense of enchantment. Perhaps I was in the mood to be delighted, for certainly I had never spent a day in such charming travel before, and I was conscious of a pleasure, which I cannot describe, arising from the realization of my dreams, in forecasting, through a long series of years, such a journey through England.

In descending the Cotswold hills, I caught, here and there, some enchanting views; little churches perched upon the brows of hillocks, or half buried in the vales; or farm-houses and cottages not less beautifully situated; or the seats of country squires and other gentry, embosomed amid trees, or lifting their chimnies above a few lordly elms. But the charm of all was yet reserved for me; and just after sunset, as we wound around a broad hillside, I came upon a scene, at which, it seemed to me, I might have gazed all my life without weariness or satiety. ‘Stop—stop! my dear V——, where are you driving?’ said I, beseeching him to rein up, and let me look for a few minutes on as perfect a picture of English scenery as ever Gainsborough portrayed, all spread before us, without a blemish; its lights and shadows just as an artist would have them; and yet vivid with nature, beyond all that an artist could create. The time, remember, was evening, in one of its sweetest effects of sky and atmosphere, cool and calm; the lighter landscape deeply green; the shadows brown and dying into night; the water shining here like burnished steel, and there lying in shade, as darkly liquid as a dark eye in female beauty. The view was a narrow dell, just below the road, in which stood an old manor house, ivied to its chimney tops, and encircled by a moat. Smoke of the most delicate blue was floating thinly from its chimnies, into the clear air; and just at hand was peeping, from a dense growth of trees, the belfry of a very tiny Church, which seemed to be there only on purpose to complete the picture. Cattle were grazing in the meads, and under a vast and sombre yew tree, sat a group of farm-servants, shearing the largest sheep of the flock, the wool flaking off upon the green grass, like driven snow. While we gazed on this living picture, with mute pleasure, the soft notes of a bird added sweet sounds to the enchantment of sight, and I sat, as in a spell, without speaking a word. My friend V—— himself, who had been laughing at me all day, for my enjoyment of what to him were common and unsuggestive objects, fairly gave up at this point, and owned it was a sight to make one in love with life. Even now I have lying before me a letter in which he refers to this view of “the sheep-shearing,” and concludes by the pathetic announcement that the horse to which we were indebted for that day’s progress, has since been sold to a coach proprietor, and now runs leader from Evesham to Stratford. “Little thinks he,” continues the letter, “as the lash of the cruel Jehu touches his flank, of the classic ground he travels; little recks he of Harry of Winchester, Simon de Montfort, or our friend Rupert—for Rupert had a desperate struggle thereabouts—or yet of Queen Bess, as he enters Bedford, in Warwickshire, or even of the immortal Will, as he halts at Stratford.”

So winding down our road, amid firs and oaks, and enjoying new beauties at every turn, we came through Charlton Kings, into the broad and teeming vale, adorned by modern Cheltenham. It is a noble amphitheatre, to which the bold outline of the Cotswold hills gives dignity, and which abounds with minor charms on every side. I was soon lodged at my friend V——’s, after due introduction to his family, including a visit to the nursery, where some lovely children were allowed to salute me with their innocent kisses, and thus to make me sure of a welcome to their father’s house.



My first excursion with my friend V——, was to Worcester and Malvern. In Worcester of course the great attraction is the cathedral, and thither we went immediately upon our arrival, and found Service going on. We lingered without the choir, and listened to the anthem, as it rose from the voices within; and then, as the prayers went on, in the monotone of chaunting, varied by the occasional cadence of the priest, and the sweet response of the singers, we had an opportunity of worship which I trust was not only enjoyed, but reverently appropriated in devotion. Service ended, the verger, with his mace, issued from the doors of the choir, preceding the singers in their surplices, and the residentiary canons—far too feeble a force, however, for a cathedral, in which “the spirit of a living creature” should always be “within the wheels,” giving motion and reality to the routine of daily prayers, and fasts, and festivals. There is no excuse for the present condition of the English cathedrals. They require the most thorough reforms to make them felt as blessings. At Worcester I began to feel that such was the case, and the painful conviction increased upon me, throughout my subsequent tour.

We now surveyed the venerable temple, and experienced the usual annoyance of the verger’s expositions. Here was the monument of King John; and there the chapel tomb of Arthur, Prince of Wales, the first husband of Queen Katherine of Arragon. Here, too, are shown the statues of St. Oswald, an early bishop of this see, and of Wolstan, another bishop who laid the foundation of the existing cathedral, in the eleventh century. The choir is impressive, but the eastern window struck me as too predominantly green, and altogether as somewhat kaleidoscopic. Among the more modern monuments, a small bas-relief, by Bacon, struck me as very meritorious. A widow with her three children gathered about her, and bending to the storm of sorrow, was the fitting memorial of a departed husband and father. Or was it that the group reminded me of the treasures of my own far-off home, and of the scene which an Atlantic storm might so easily create around the fireside that would be trimmed for my return! At any rate, it touched me, and reminded me that I was in a house of prayer, where ejaculations might be wafted from the heart, and answered three thousand miles away. Other associations made me pause before the tomb of Bishop Hough, that brave old president of Magdalen, to whose resistance of the Popish James I have referred before. The sculpture is by Roubilliac, but is free from the usual affectations of that artist; and the scene in Magdalen College is represented on the base of the monument. We lingered about the exterior for some time, and were particularly struck with the flying buttresses of the choir, as the most pleasing portion of the venerable structure. After a visit to one of the prebendal residences in the cloisters, we loitered about the town for an hour, and then took the top of the stage-coach for Malvern.

Several coaches were starting at the same time for diverse points of the compass, and here we had before us something of the moribund system of travel of the days of George the Fourth. The flaming red liveries of the whip and the guard, with the notes of the bugle as we whirled over the Severn, gave one a sense of the poetry of locomotion which suggested some foolish sighs over the achievements of invention, and the age of the rail. However, it was something to be thankful for, that there was as yet no tunnel under Malvern hills. Crack went the whip—and away sprung the horses, and very soon the tower of the cathedral was all we could see of Worcester. We passed the Teme, and drove through Powick and Mather. The fields were fragrant with the blossoms of the bean; the open road-side was garnished with flowering furze; and the cottages stood forth, neat and comfortable, amid embowering laburnums, and lilacs, and guelder-roses. ‘Ah, yes—I grant you, England is a beautiful country, but you Englishmen don’t know how to enjoy it half as much as your American cousins; not that we have not glorious scenery at home, but that we have no such garden, as England seems to be, from one sea to the other.’ So I said to my companion.

We ascended the Malvern hills, on a brisk trot, by a good road stretching along the face of the hills, and soon entered the smart and showy town of Great Malvern itself, which overhangs the charming vale of Gloucester, and affords a view of the winding Severn, and many beautiful villages, churches, and seats. The towers of several abbeys, with those of the cathedrals of Gloucester and Worcester, adorn the prospect, and the distant ridge of the Cotswolds completes the picture. The Abbey Church of Great Malvern proved, of itself, sufficient to reward our visit to the place, but my friend V——, found at one of the hotels, a party of his friends enjoying a brief sojourn in this delightful retreat, for the benefit of its air and springs—for “Ma’vern,” as everybody knows, is a fashionable watering-place. Good reason have I to remember the spot where I first met the amiable W——s, to whose subsequent attentions I owed so much pleasure on my northern tour; and I trust they too may be willing to remember our holiday at Malvern. I was particularly gratified with the adventurous spirit of the ladies, who insisted on doing us the honours of the place, considering us as their guests. Under their kindly guidance we climbed the hills, and visited the Holy Well, and the well of St. Ann’s, and finally reached the summit of the Malverns, where we gained a magnificent sight into Herefordshire, and could see to the best advantage the nearer beauties of the vale of the Severn. We walked along the ridge, pausing to rest awhile, and to enjoy the scenery, near the Worcestershire beacon, and so passing down on the Hereford side, and returning through a gap called the Wych, we parted with our fair guides at Malvern Wells, and taking a post-chaise started on a delightful drive across the valley.

It was a beautiful afternoon, and our route took us through a great variety of country scenes. Now we skirted the base of the Malverns; and now reached the picturesque Church of Little Malvern; and now descended, amid overhanging trees, into the valley of the Severn, partly darkened by the stretching shadow of the hills, and partly glittering with reflections of the descending sun. My friend V——, who seemed to have friends everywhere, was so well acquainted with the neighbouring gentry, that he was quite at liberty to enliven our drive, by leaving the high road and crossing the park of this or that beautiful residence which happened to lie in our way. Thus we gained fine views of several elegant mansions and their surrounding grounds. At the lodge of one of these parks, as we entered, I was struck with a curious tree, called the peacock yew, from the showy pavonazetto of its foliage: but the oddities of nature, after all, are far less attractive than her ordinary beauties. At last we re-crossed the Severn, and entered Tewksbury. It has been justly remarked that this place appears to have stood still for five hundred years. Its massive abbey, with its magnificent Anglo-Norman tower, has the advantage therefore of standing in the company of contemporary walls and roofs, instead of being an insulated lump of Mediævalism, in a mass of nineteenth century brick and plaster. I was wholly unprepared for so splendid a specimen of cathedral architecture as this abbey proved to be; and when I entered the sacred place, I was quite overwhelmed with its effect. It is of great length, and the aisles are separated from the nave by a series of immense Saxon pillars, which convey an idea of strength and sombre dignity wholly different from the impressions produced by the light and springing shafts of the perpendicular and decorated Gothic. Its great window is a solitary example of such vast and solemn combinations of proportion and detail; its Norman arches being deeply recessed in the gigantic wall, and its height commensurately sublime. While we surveyed this stupendous interior, the rich shadows and faint illuminations produced by the close of day, greatly heightened the impressiveness of the architecture and the awful associations of this ancient sanctuary and cemetery. It was indeed sublime to reflect that under the shade of these walls was waged the last battle of the House of Lancaster, and that the noble ashes of its heroes were everywhere under foot, as we paced its aisles. We surveyed one after another the tombs of Clarence, of Somerset, of Wenlock, and De Clifford, moralizing on the Providence which reduced the Norman blood of England just in the time and manner best suited to give the Commons room to rise; and which laid these proud patricians in the dust, that out of the dust might spring the freedom and the power which now invest the world with Anglo-Saxon glory. God only is wise—God only great! Issuing from a small door in one of the aisles of the abbey, we entered a green and peaceful meadow, to which the deepening twilight gave a grave and rich effect, heightened not a little by the shadows of the abbey towers, and by the croaking of rooks and daws among the buttresses and pinnacles. Here was the fatal field where the red-rose was smothered forever in red blood. “Lance to lance, and horse to horse”—here its fated champions struck the last blow for Margaret and her son. Here the young prince himself asserted, face to face with usurping York, the rights which his fathers had not less usurped from the fallen Plantagenet; and here, for his boldness and for his fatal royalty, he fell beneath the rapier, the last blood of Lancastrian majesty spouting from his many wounds. Can it be, so green a field was ever so crimson? It was impossible to conjure up the scenes of a period so long gone by; and yet not less impossible to stand on such a field, without some communion with the spirit of departed ages.

With a worthy clergyman of Tewksbury, we finally quenched our enthusiasm in a cup of tea, and buried the swelling thoughts of Margaret’s wrongs, under the juicy morsels of a mutton-chop. As we sat at our repast, I observed that our reverend entertainer had “a river at his garden’s-end.” “Yes,” was his reply—“the Avon!” I had supposed it the Severn, of course; but when he thus reminded us of its noble confluent, after our historical communion with Shakspeare in the battle-field, all my enthusiasm returned again, and, in spite of tea and mutton-chop, I felt a thrill to find myself so near the river of the immortal Swan of Stratford. Here, indeed, it finds its fitting union with the larger waters, and runs with Severn to the sea. But now, it seemed to me fragrant and vocal with a spirit caught from the banks of Stratford churchyard, and its murmurs continually repeated the lines—

“Clarence is come; false, fleeting, perjured Clarence,

 That stabbed me in the field, by Tewksbury.”

During my visit at Cheltenham, we contrived to spend a Sunday in the country—and such a Sunday as should realize my ideas of an English Sunday among a rural population. Early in the morning we went to Bredon, and there surveyed its parish Church, just opened for Divine service, and exhibiting a neat interior, which, but for my growing familiarity with so many superior examples, I should have considered very noteworthy. In the floor of the nave is a plain slab covering the grave of “Bishop Prideaux, 1650.” This Church, too, showed the hand of the restorer, and had been much improved and beautified in the spirit of what I suppose will be called the Victorian Restoration. Leaving this Church, we started over the field for Kemerton. It was a beautiful morning—what I am wont to call a George-Herbert-Sunday; and as I went through the fragrant meads and harvest lands, or turned into a shady lane, amid the hawthorn hedges, I felt those quiet influences stealing over me which are the sweetest preparation for enjoyment in the house of God. By and by we descried above the foliage the tower of Kemerton Church; and hard by was the parsonage, where that estimable dignitary, the venerable Archdeacon Thorp, gave us a most cordial welcome. Before service, my friend V—— called me aside into the churchyard, and pointed to a little grave beautifully decorated with fresh flowers. I understood at once that it was the grave of a beloved child he had lately lost, and whose transient but lovely life had shed a charm around these scenes of its sweet and holy habitation, and endeared them to the hearts of all who knew him. For a moment I entered into the sorrows of a bereaved parent, and wept with one that wept.

The service in Kemerton Church is performed in some respects very simply, in others, one might say, elaborately, for most of it is sung. There is no organ, and the singers are plain farmers and village-lads, yet they have places in the chancel, and wear surplices, and sing with very agreeable effect. When Morning Service was over, I proposed a quiet ramble through the fields, with my friend, for my heart was quite full of the solemnities of which the Holy Communion formed a part. As we were about to leave, we observed the bell-ringers taking their stand under the tower, which opened into the Church, with great reverence and propriety in their behaviour. The Archdeacon informed us that they were all worthy parishioners, who understood the nature of the humblest office in the house of God, and who rung the bells with a sense of serving the temple, and sounding forth the glory of the Lord. When we had gone about a quarter of a mile from the Church, we heard the bells ringing, accordingly, and sweet music did they discourse. They seemed indeed full of Sabbath blessing; full of peace and good will to men. “This, dear V——,” said I, “This is enchanting, and more, ’tis heavenly! Shall I ever forget this peaceful Sunday noon in England?” As I looked around, all seemed, as the Gospel would make the whole earth appear, if only sinful men would let it; all blossomed as the rose. A church but a few rods in one direction—and another less than a mile before us—and many others near us, all around! All churches too—not so many tokens of religious strife and schism, but each to its own little nest of villagers, the centre of one faith, of one baptism, and the worship of one Lord. Ah—here is the true glory of England! Mile after mile, in some counties, seems to be marked by church after church; each beautiful in its kind, the monument of ancestral piety among its rural worshippers, and the tutelary of their rude forefathers’ graves, that cluster beneath its eaves. One wonders what a dissenter is made of, when he beholds these rural churches, and their happy influence over a rustic population. We extended our walk to Overbury Church, an old Norman structure of small dimensions, beautifully restored, and in perfect repair. The congregation had just withdrawn, and the breath of prayer seemed lingering in the sanctuary. My ramble was completed before the Evening Service began, and certainly never saw I Sunday so liveried before, to celebrate the holy tide. The hawthorn was everywhere in flower; butter-cups, daisies, lilacs, cowslips, and every variety of contemporary blossom, were to be seen in all the fields and cottage-gardens; and the very sheep and cattle, resting in the shadow of the trees, seemed to know it was the holy day. Where else, save in England, is holy tide ever so entirely what holy tide should be?

The Evening Prayer was divided, as in all the English cathedrals, so that the sermon followed the second lesson. Then came the Canticle, and the rest of the prayers. This arrangement follows the original idea of Catechising at the Evening Prayer, and has many advantages. I was privileged to be the preacher, and I spake with a sincere appreciation of the duty, as a privilege indeed. It appeared strange to me, when service was over, to reflect that Kemerton Church is many hundred years old, and yet that, in all probability, never had any one stood in its pulpit before, who was not a subject of the English crown.

Among the valuable acquaintances which I formed at Cheltenham, I reckon myself fortunate in that of the Rev. Alexander Watson, now of Marychurch, Devon, so well known by his many publications in defence of Church doctrine, and in aid of practical religion. It was in his company that I visited Gloucester, and added to my stock of travelling experiences another day of memorable enjoyment. After a pleasant breakfast party, at his hospitable table, we started in a private carriage, for a somewhat circuitous drive, to that “godly city;” passing Leckhampton, under lee of the tallest peaks of the Cotswolds, and so by Birdlip Wood, and Cooper’s Hill. Far away, on the other side of the valley, a prominent headland was pointed out to me, as May’s Hill. It is a not less conspicuous landmark from the Severn, and once served to save from shipwreck a mariner, named May, just returning from the sea; in consequence of which, he planted its summit with a clump of trees, and made provision for keeping them there perpetually. At a little distance I descried a hamlet, and a Church, which my friend pointed out to me as Chozen, at the same time informing me that it was spelt Churchdown. This is but one of many amusing specimens of the wide variance which often exists, between the spelling and pronouncing of English proper names. At Shurdington we paused to visit its pretty Church, surrounded by a shady field, and found it undergoing entire restoration at the expense of the curate. Both the restoration, and the munificence of its promoter, were the rather interesting, as being no uncommon things. Such proofs of life and godliness are everywhere encountered, at the present day, in England. I found myself more and more delighted, as we drove on, with the scenery, and often with the road itself, so beautifully hedged and shaded, and affording so many points of interest to an observing eye. Here was the tower of Badgworth Church, and here was Brockworth. Churches everywhere—and everywhere, upon the face of field and farm, the tokens of that industry and thrift, of that order and decency, with which the Church alone can ennoble the aspect of civilization. The same charm which I had observed in the features of society, and which I had traced to harmony in religion, appeared to me, here and elsewhere, transferred in a great degree to the very soil, to its culture, and to its embellishment. Nature itself seemed to have borrowed a grace, and a glory, from the holy Faith, of which such monuments were visible at every turn, in spires and towers peering above the green trees, and gleaming amid the wide-spread bounties of God, whose adorable name they seemed to display as the giver of all. As we slowly ascended the slope of Cooper’s Hill, walking behind our carriage, and surveying the scene to right and left, with reflections such as these, we heard a note from the deep foliage of Birdlip Wood, which arrested us, and brought to my mind many scraps of poetry, such as Logan’s, or Wordsworth’s—

————shall I call thee bird,

Or but a wandering voice?

It was the cuckoo! I had never heard it before, except in wooden imitation from the perch of a German clock. I shall not soon forget its effects, upon the still beauty of the hour and the scene, as I heard it for the first time, in nature’s own sweet modulations and heart-touching pathos.

Hucklecot new Church we only sighted, but at Upton St. Leonard’s we made a halt, and visited the Church, the parsonage, and the school. The Church was a gem of its kind, with interesting monuments and architectural objects, and had been freshly restored. The schools were lately built by a munificent lady of rank, and the parsonage was apparently new; the whole furnishing another instance of what is going on, almost universally. Passing Robinwood-hill on the left, as we continued our drive, we soon entered Gloucester, of which the glorious cathedral tower had long been the conspicuous object in our view.

Here we visited the Church of St. Mary-de-Crypt, (lately restored) where the admirers of Whitfield would chiefly think of him, and where, perhaps, he ought to have been more thought of by the Church, and so saved from the extravagances of his subsequent career. We went also to see St. Michael’s and St. Mary-de-Lode, (fresh restorations again) and finally visited the scene of Bishop Hooper’s fiery martyrdom. The death of Hooper dignifies the otherwise inglorious memory of a prelate who did not a little to spoil his own work as a reformer, by tampering with Geneva. And it is curious how much of puritanism he seems to have bequeathed to his see; Glos’ter having been the proverbial haunt of the “godlie” in Cromwell’s time, and having bred the zealous evangelist, to whom I have already alluded as originally illuminating with his enthusiasm, the cold interior of St. Mary-de-Crypt. Strange, that after beginning here as a deacon of the Church, he should now lie buried under a puritan pulpit in New England, having completely revolutionized the Calvinism of our own country, and entailed upon it the Convulsionism of which it is now expiring. Had the zeal of Whitfield been according to his knowledge, and had the dormant Hanoverian age, which produced him, by the law of reaction, only known how to use him, he might have left behind him some less equivocal fruits of missionary enterprise.

Before speaking of the cathedral, I must allude to our visit to Highnam, on the other side of the Severn. Here we found a Church, lately erected entire, at a cost of £30,000, by a single individual—nave, chancel, tower, and spire complete, and all affording a model of ecclesiastical art, worthy of standing in the neighbourhood of some of its noblest originals. To see a Victorian Church, and one thus erected by private munificence, comparing so favourably with some of the most admired specimens of the middle ages, not only in general construction, but in the most elaborate details, was indeed refreshing to the eye and to the heart. The chancel and altar were especially noteworthy, adorned as they were with the most delicate sculpture, in Caen stone, and instinct with the life and beauty of a healthful symbolism. Into the chancel opened a small sepulchral chapel, which exceedingly interested my feelings, and warmed my admiration of the whole. Two memorial windows were dedicated, each to the remembrance of a departed child, and between them stood, in a niche, the marble bust of their departed mother. Blessed religion of Jesus, which makes the dead in Christ so dear, and which so beautifies their memory: which so sanctifies the ties of earth, and so triumphs over death, in its power to render them eternal! Here was a family nest, indeed, hung upon the altar of the Lord of Hosts! My eyes glistened as I read, beneath the lovely effigy of the Christian wife and mother, an inscription to “Anna Maria Isabella G—— P——; in fulfilment of whose pious purpose this Church was erected to the glory of God, by her husband.” Then followed the texts—including an allusion to the children, as well as their mother—“And they shall be mine in that day when I make up my jewels:”—“The Lord grant unto them that they may find mercy of the Lord in that day.” I can scarcely remember anything of the kind which ever more powerfully touched the springs of Christian sympathy within me; those sacred springs of the heart, which can never issue in their fullest flow, till they have been fed by the hallowed love of the husband and the father.

Returning to the town, I devoted nearly the whole of the remainder of the afternoon to the cathedral; accompanied most of the time, by the friend to whom I had owed the pleasures of the day, and to whom I at last bade a reluctant farewell. I had been greatly benefited, not only by his intelligent conversation on indifferent topics, but by his earnestness in those particularly, which Christian priests should discuss most freely in each other’s company. He left me to the kind attention of a worthy dignitary of the cathedral, the Rev. Sir John S——, in the enjoyment of whose polite hospitalities I spent the evening of this charming day.

The exterior of the cathedral, as seen from every point of vantage, in neighbouring gardens, or from the solemn seclusion of the surrounding precincts, was not less striking, in its way, than that of any similar structure I had yet beheld; but the internal survey was more impressive, by far, than that of any other, except Westminster Abbey. It is one of the largest of its class of buildings, and in its different portions, presents an epitome of pointed art, in its several stages of progress through a period of five hundred years. Here is the Anglo-Norman nave, with massive columns, like those of Tewksbury; then comes the choir, with its rich and delicate elaborations; and then the Lady-Chapel, which is a little paradise of architecture. The solid crypts beneath, dating from the tenth century, present a singular instance of groining, in their square and solid ribs, entirely unadorned; while the cloisters, in the style of the fifteenth century, seem to have exhausted the skill of the architect, in the exceeding richness of their tracery, and pendant vaulting. The very defects of the building seem to have contributed to its graces, for when I had admired the aerial effect of a slender arch, springing athwart the transepts and attaching itself to the roof, as if its solid stone were a mere hanging festoon, I was told that this was, in fact, a blemish, and had been introduced into the original plan, only to strengthen the walls. I went into the triforia, and tried the whispering-gallery, but had no time to amuse myself with such small experiments, amid so many incentives to a higher employment of my opportunities. I am sorry that the marvellous beauty of the Lady-Chapel still demands the hand of a restorer. The “godly” Cromwellians have left the traces of their hammers on all its carved work, and it is sadly despoiled. Would that the same skill and taste which reared the Church at Highnam might be permitted to make this holy place worthy of an English cathedral! That the English people still suffer these mother-churches of the nation to remain as too many of them are, is one of their greatest national disgraces. When they are restored as they might be, and managed as they should be, then, and not till then, must they command the unmingled admiration and delight of every intelligent visitor.

After a thorough inspection of the cathedral, in the broad light of day, I was kindly invited by Sir John to visit it again, as the day was about to close. We entered, by his private key, and were alone in the vast and awful interior. Going into the nave, he said to me, as I paused to observe the solemn perspective—“Whose bones, do you suppose, are now beneath your feet?” I stepped aside, as he added, “You are standing on the grave of Bishop Warburton.” So much wit and genius in the dust! Yet in what nobler sepulchre could earth to earth be delivered, to await the resurrection? Hard by, are the monuments of two of the world’s benefactors; that of Jenner, who poured water upon the flame of the noisome pestilence, and that of Raikes, who first “gathered the children” into Sunday Schools. There is another modern monument, deserving of mention, as one of that purely Anglican type, which tends to divinify domestic love, and the holy relations of the wife and mother. A female figure, with a babe, appear in the radiant marble, invited by angels into Paradise, from the waves of the sea. It is from the pure chisel of Flaxman, and commemorates one who died in the perils of childbirth, while encompassed by the perils of the great deep.

Less pleasing, yet even more impressive, was the quaint effigy, in old carved oak, of Robert, Duke of Normandy, surnamed Curthose. You touch it and it moves, and you involuntarily start. It is, of course, very light, and lies upon the tomb so loosely that it is easily disturbed; and then, it seems as if the old Norman were about to rise and confront you, as an audacious intruder upon his repose. But how shall I describe the effect of the marble effigy of poor King Edward the Second, as I saw it, in the solemn twilight, and in the unbroken silence of the deserted cathedral? There was that outstretched figure, and that sad outline of a face composed in death, and hands clasped in resignation; but its dread appearance was as if imploring God, against the cruel murderers who had done him such awful violence. I thought of Gray’s sketchy but descriptive lyric, and muttered to myself:—

“Those shrieks of death through Berkeley’s roofs that ring;

 Shrieks of an agonizing king.”

The neighbouring peasant woke at the outcry of the tortured sufferer, and crossed himself; for he suspected what the devil was doing in the castle. Here now lies the victim of that horrid regicide, but there is something in the sculpture of his visage, that reminds the visitor, that “God shall bring to light the hidden things of darkness.” This powerful impression lingered with me, as I paced the cloisters, and revived, when at a late hour of the night I was awakened by the chimes of the cathedral clock charming the darkness with a solemn tune, and lifting the thoughts of the listener to communion with his God.


The Court of St. James.

Who knows not by heart the face of the Royal Palace of St. James? That such a house should have been a Palace in the days of Wolsey, seems strange enough to one who has seen at Oxford what even a college was, in Wolsey’s conception: but that it should still be a Palace, when Pall Mall and St. James’s-street are full of club-houses, that would scarcely take any part of it for a kitchen, with the condition of setting it on their own ground—this seems stranger still. Yet a Palace may it long continue; for not until the government of England shall be that of some revolutionary parvenu, will it cease to be a speaking symbol of the genuine dignity of the British Crown! The Queen of England can afford to hold her Court in an old, worn-out mansion, and to let the opulence of her subjects erect the most striking contrast at its side. Build as they may—St. James is not cast into the shade: it is historical and royal. There are few illustrations to be found more à propos to the superiority of a mental over a physical grandeur.

In returning to London from my Glo’stershire excursion, one of my purposes was to be presented at Court; a gratification which I had been advised to allow myself, and which the American Minister had politely proffered me. An experienced courtier supplied me with the necessary hints as to dress, and the etiquette of the Court; and accordingly, on a levee day, I was duly presented, as preparatory to going to Court, on the more splendid occasion of a drawing-room. The presentation of gentlemen always takes place at a levee, and no one of the male sex can attend a drawing-room who has not been previously presented. Ladies do not attend levees at all, and consequently a levee is a very dull affair, when compared with the brilliant spectacle which they make of a drawing-room, not less by their beauty, than by the glitter of their diamonds, and the flaunting of their trains.

As a clergyman, I was freed from any great burden of expense in the matter of costume, canonicals being the proper dress for one of the priestly function, and my ordinary suit of robes being in very good condition. A pair of enormous shoe-buckles was almost the only additional item to be thought of; and an Oxford cap was pronounced by my kind adviser, Sir John S——, quite as proper as the absurd little apology for a three-cornered hat, (tucked under the arm,) which is considered the more exquisite finish to the clerical exterior, on such occasions. My next concern was to furnish myself with a Brougham, (or chariotee,) and with a driver wearing a sort of livery; hackney-coaches not being sufferable within the precincts of the Palace. A couple of cards, of unusual magnitude, one of which bore the name of my presenter, with my own, was the last requisite; and thus munimented, I had only to fall into the line of aristocratic equipages, sweeping down St. James’s-street, and to await my turn for alighting at the doors of the Palace.

How different the scene in Hogarth’s day, when they went to Court in sedan-chairs, and when the “Rake, arrested for debt,” (as portrayed in his dramatic colours,) was the very ideal of a courtier. Yet there stands the old Palace, precisely as it figures in that graphic picture, and here are the successors of the characters who fill up its back-ground, if not those of the hero himself! Such were my reflections as I found myself moving, very leisurely, in the procession of wheels, along the splendid street, amid crowds of gaping spectators, kept at respectful distance by the heels of the horses of the mounted guards, and by the vigorous exertions of the police. My further reflections were not of a very self-sufficient sort; for who could be very much elated at finding himself cutting so little of a figure, and, in fact, making an absolute blemish, in such a pageant? Yet, I had no occasion to be ashamed, as I felt that my hired brougham was as much the thing for my republican self-respect, as the gilded coaches and gorgeous liveries before me and behind me were for titled lords and ladies. In fact, if I could not be vain, I was not without a little Johnsonian pride, in the entire consistency and reality of my turn-out. Hired court-dresses, and swords, and buckles, have been not unheard-of things for an appearance at Court. I was at least habited in no borrowed plumes, and was going in the same vestments which I had often worn in my pulpit, to be presented by the representative of my own Government, as a plain American parish-priest. As for my hired brougham, it was countenanced by so many of its own kind, that its humble appearance occasioned no surprise even among the staring crowd, it being quite usual for professional gentlemen to use such an equipage. But the carriages of the nobility, in general, are truly superb: that is to say—if they are not ridiculous. They look, for all the world, (with their gilding, emblazonings and trappings, their powdered coachmen, and footmen holding on behind, three in a row, with staves and cocked hats,) like the carriage of Cinderella in the nursery-book. And indeed, on a drawing-room day, the fair creatures within, in their ostrich-plumes, and lace, and diamonds, as revealed to vulgar eyes through the glass-windows, often seem to realize the fabulous beauty of Cinderella herself with their dazzling complexions and delicate airs. Not alone the vulgar, however, but many of the personal friends of the fair parties are viewing them, all the time, from the neighbouring balconies and shop-fronts. The levee attracts less of a crowd, and yet there was crowd enough, and very stupid was my approach to Pall-Mall. There—you wait till called in your turn, and meanwhile have time to look at the mounted trumpeters, pursuivants, and guards, in liveries of scarlet and gold, drawn up before the gates. At last, setting forward, you enter the court-yard, with as much of a flourish as your whip can make for you, and alight at the door of the Palace, making your way, first along a corridor, and then slowly up a grand stair-case, to the suite of apartments opened for the occasion. As you enter these apartments, you throw your card into a basket, and pass on amid files of yeomen of the guard, wearing the Tudor livery, and holding their halberds, and looking like old statues of wood or stone, or rather like the wax figures in a museum. When the time comes for you to enter the royal presence, you are met at the door of the throne-room by a gentleman in waiting, to whom you deliver your second card, that you may be properly announced. This card is handed to another official, and you are ushered through a file of ladies of honour towards her Majesty, who stands beneath a canopy, with Prince Albert at her side, the centre of the brilliant circle, and (as I am glad to say) making a truly royal appearance. Here your name is called out, and that of the party who presents you, and then—an American simply advances and bows to the Queen, repeats the salaam to her princely consort, and so retires backwards, not turning his heel upon the royal presence. A British subject goes through the more formidable ceremony of falling on one knee, and kissing the royal hand. Now it so happened that her Majesty—owing no doubt to my attire, which was the same as that of her own clerical subjects—evidently mistook me for one; and my gallantry was in consequence sorely put to the test,—for, advancing with great dignity, the Queen was just proffering her hand, and I was beginning to balance between the republicanism of my knee, and the courtesy of my heart, when the anxious official promptly repeated the form—“presented by the American Minister.” Of course her Majesty took the hint, and most gracefully withdrew, with a courteous recognition and a pleasant smile, while I finished my democratic homage with as much self-possession as was in my power, repeated my obeisance to Prince Albert, and bowed myself backward through the gorgeously apparelled circle of diplomats, making my especial respects to our own Minister, and so retiring into the adjoining apartment.

On this occasion the Queen’s appearance impressed me, in all respects, more favorably than I had expected; but, on the other hand, Prince Albert struck me as less princely, and less intelligent, than I had supposed him to appear. A lady would here interpose with the question as to her Majesty’s dress, and I must allow that, from my own observation, I could not speak with certainty on that important subject, but the Times next morning asserted it to have been—“a train of white watered silk, chenée with gold, and green and silver, trimmed with tulle and white satin ribands, and ornamented with diamonds; and a petticoat of white satin and tulle, with satin ribands to correspond; and a head-dress of emeralds and diamonds.” The Duchess of Sutherland and Lady Jocelyn were conspicuous among the ladies in attendance, and Prince Albert was attended by Lord George Lennox, with his groom and his equerry. It would have been a very magnificent spectacle, had not the small and stifled appearance of the throne-room given a cramped look to the royal party, and detracted from the majesty which always requires “ample room and verge” for its full effect on the imagination.

The drawing-room was held in honour of the Queen’s birthday, about a week later. I could now go freely, without the ceremony of a presentation, merely depositing my card in the basket, from which, I suppose, the Times reports of attendants at the Palace are made up. In approaching St. James, everything was as before, save that the crowd was greater, and the carriages conveying ladies of rank more superb. On alighting, and entering the corridor, I was enchanted by the display of splendour and beauty which filled it, and in which there was everything but order to make it all that one could imagine of a courtly pageant. Brilliant indeed; but such a jam! The crowd was a perfumed and dazzling one; but not less a crowd than one in the streets. Here were peers and peeresses of every rank, and the daughters of peers, and new brides, and many a young beauty coming for the first time, and trembling with excitement, yet bewildered with delight. There is no denying the striking beauty of many of these high-born damsels; their complexions were lily-and-rose, and health was as generally characteristic of their appearance as beauty. I observed the trepidation of some of them, as their finery was subjected to the pressure of the patrician throng, and as they gathered their trains over the ivory arm, evidently thinking anxiously of the critical moment when they must allow it to flaunt gracefully, and catch it up not less so, in the presence of their Sovereign. No doubt all had been practised for weeks beforehand, till each was an adept, in the eyes of waiting-maids and mammas. Mingled with these gay creatures were grave judges in their wigs, and fierce-looking officers in their uniforms, and wild-looking Highland chieftains, bare-legged, but plaided and plumed, and making a showy figure in their clan-tartans. One of the yeomen-of-the-guard remarked, in my hearing, as I passed, that this was the greatest attendance at Court he had ever known. The Crystal Palace had filled the town, and there were many foreigners. I saw some Persian and other Oriental costumes in the throng; and, on the whole, the poorest figures were those in the ordinary gentleman’s court suit, with the cocked-hat, and hair-powder of the last century. This style of dress seemed to be avoided as far as possible, military uniforms predominating. In mounting the great stair-case, if our progress was slow, there was everything to relieve its tediousness. The ascending rows of glittering uniforms and fine female figures were a study in themselves. I observed the lovely Lady ——, whom I had met a few hours before, at a breakfast, and was amused with the entire change of her appearance which those few hours had made. Lord Lyttleton, who had been at the same breakfast party, now appeared in a military suit. Quite a number of the clergy were interspersed among the fair and brave; and as a polite young officer offered me precedence, and cautioned me to beware of his spurs, he whispered—“Cedant arma togæ is about all the Latin I retain.” Gaining a landing on the stair-case, we were next amused by observing the great personages descending by a corresponding stair-case, from the royal presence. A servant called for the carriage of each party, as they successively appeared, and so one always knew who was coming. At last came a great man whom all knew without any help, as he tottered down, dressed in his Field-Marshal’s uniform, of which the gay decorations strangely contrasted with his white head and bowed shoulders. As I watched the old hero descending, step by step, I could not but think of the lower descent he must soon make into the dust, and oh! what a moral was furnished, at that moment, by the glittering honours he wore upon his breast. Dukes, earls, and cabinet ministers, and several ambassadors, with wives and daughters, came following each other in splendid succession, till at last I gained the ante-chamber, and had something else to look at. Here I could move more freely, and renew my impressions of the Palace. Several persons whom I had met elsewhere were so polite as to join me, and to enter into conversation, which very pleasantly beguiled the time. The exits and entrances were in themselves enough to amuse and fill up one’s time. Almost every variety of official decoration and costume, known to heralds and antiquarians, seemed to be worn by somebody, and amongst the comers and goers were some distinguished individuals in arts and arms. In this room were one or two of Lely’s pictures, and among them, if I remember rightly, that of Catharine of Braganza. Queen Anne also looked on us, from the walls, and her Majesty’s odious old great-great-grandfather, George the Second. As I fell into the line which moved toward the throne-room, I came to a window looking over the park and private garden of the Palace. Oh! what tales of Caroline, and Hanoverian, gossip and scandal, the sight recalled. There was her Majesty’s state carriage, awaiting the conclusion of the ceremonies, to convey her back to Buckingham Palace. The squab of a driver was sleeping on his box—a mere mortal in spite of his livery, his hair-powder, and the nosegay in his bosom. In my turn, I passed before her Majesty, much as before. I hardly saw, in full, the ceremony of a female presentation, although there were several just before and after me, for the crowd was intolerable, and my escape from the presence of royalty into the freer apartments beyond, was truly refreshing. I passed into an armory, or room ornamented with such old weapons and defences as one sees at the Tower. Finally, as before, I left the Palace through a long corridor, ornamented with portraits of the Kings of England, down to Charles the First. This portrait reminded me of the last night on earth of that sovereign, which he passed beneath this roof: and of the last sacrament which he received, in the chapel of St. James. This is the most sacred association with the Old Palace, and it is the only one that is enough sacred, to sink the ill memories of its Georgian traditions. The English underestimate Charles the First, and do not seem to reflect that many of those elements of their Constitution, on which they are most wont to value themselves, have been bequeathed to them by the spirit in which he maintained the royalty, and suffered for the Church. If the brutal Cromwell is remembered with commendation, because of some liberties which were the secondary results of his usurpation, why should not the failings of Charles be forgotten, in gratitude for the great conservative principles which he taught the English people, by the signal ability with which he baulked his adversaries in debate, and by his truly sublime behaviour in the last stages of his reign? Say what they will, thought I, as I looked at his portrait—had Charles the First been a Louis the Sixteenth, I should not, to-day, have seen a descendant of Alfred on the Throne of Great Britain.



I went into the country on Ascension Day to keep the feast, at an interesting place in the neighbourhood of Harrow. As I was rushing at the last minute to gain a seat in the railway train, I saw a hand beckoning me from one of the carriages, and so took my seat beside the Bishop of Oxford. He was going to spend the day at the same place, a fact of which I had not the least idea beforehand, but which, of course, greatly heightened my anticipations of pleasure, on making the discovery. Arrived, the Bishop was received by the Rev. Mr. ——, and I was kindly invited to accompany him to breakfast, after a brief survey of the attractions of the place. First, we went with our reverend host to see a sort of training school, in which he was giving some young men of limited means all the substantial parts of a University education. We went into their chapel, and joined in the devotions with which they began their day. We were then conducted through the establishment connected with which was a printing press, worked by the pupils, and a chemical laboratory, in which they were producing stained glass for the chapel. In the garden I saw a novelty in the horticultural art, which struck me as not unworthy of imitation. A small piece of ground had been ingeniously shaped into a miniature Switzerland. Here, for example, was the Righi, with a corresponding depression for the Lake of the Four Cantons. A bucket of water poured into such a depression, makes the little scene into an artificial reality, serving to convey a geographical idea much more forcibly than any map could possibly do. From this college we went to an “Agricultural School,” where some plain farmer’s boys, in their working attire, were gathered to prayers before engaging in the labour of the day. A certain amount of education is furnished to these lads, in return for their toil, and they pay some fees beside; the plan proposing to elevate this class of the peasantry, especially in morals and religious knowledge. Thence, we went to the parish-schools which were also opened by prayer; and then the children were catechised, in the presence of the Bishop. After this we adjourned to breakfast, and then went to the Church; a very plain, but substantial and architectural one, lately substituted for its dilapidated predecessor. The Bishop preached, entirely extemporaneously, having been pressed into the service against his intentions. As he eloquently exhorted us to follow our ascended Lord, I could not but think how entirely different from the ordinary American notion of an English Bishop, in labors and in spirit, was this estimable prelate. The Holy Communion followed, and there was a large number of devout partakers, representing all classes of society. I was glad to see, for example, some plain farmers, in their frocks, and two of the railway-guards, in their liveries.

While walking through the lanes, with the Bishop and this laborious pastor, a little boy ran up to us with oak-leaves, and a branch containing oak-apples. It was the 29th of May; and the Bishop playfully asked the lad why he carried them. “To remember King Charles,” said the little fellow—as he further enforced the sale of these memorials of the Restoration.

During the residue of the day, I shared the labours of the pastor, as he went about the parish, visiting here a sick person, and there a poor one; and, towards evening, returning to the grounds of the training school, I joined in a game of cricket, which the young men were playing in high glee. Chasing the ball as it bounded over the field, or hid itself in the hedge; scratching my hands with nettles, and joining in the shouts of frolic, with these happy youths; and finally sitting at my leisure to watch the beautiful evening sky, against which stood out the graceful spire and foliage of Harrow-on-the-Hill, while the neighbouring bells of Stanmore pealed a sunset song, I could not but murmur to myself, with Gray—

“I feel the gales that from ye blow,

 A momentary bliss bestow,

   As, waving fresh their gladsome wing,

 My weary soul they seem to soothe,

 And, redolent of joy and youth,

   To breathe a second spring.”

In rambling about, we had a good view of the former residence of Queen Adelaide, in which she had lately died. She was much beloved and respected for her unaffected piety, and her manifold good works.

In the twilight we went to church again. The service was sung to a very pleasing chant, in which all joined with heart, and then the pastor entered the pulpit, and preached, extemporaneously, on the text, “It is expedient for you that I go away.” The sermon was an allegory, of exceeding beauty, perfectly sustained throughout, and that, to all appearance, without effort. I shall never forget it, nor the powerful impression it produced at the time. I have, since, quoted it entire, in my own pulpit, (with full credit to the source from which it was derived,) and was happy to observe the effect it was capable of producing, even at second hand. I left the scene of this pleasing day’s experiences, with a sweet elevation of feeling, inspired by the solemnities in which I had engaged, and by the sermons which I had been so fortunate as to hear. Oh! lovely Church of England, how little they know thee who revile thee! how unworthy of their baptism are they who have cast themselves from thy motherly bosom!

My next excursion was into Warwickshire. I went first to Coventry, a city of which one of my humble ancestry was Mayor, more than two centuries ago, and for which I entertained a sort of hereditary respect. It retains much of the aspect it must have borne during that worthy’s incumbency; for a more mediæval-looking town I saw not in England. Still unmodernized are its ancient streets and alleys. The houses jut out, story above story, their gables fronting the way, and so close together, in the upper parts, that neighbours may light their pipes with each other across the street, as they lean out of their windows. The famous three spires of Coventry belong to as many different churches, but seem to equalize the place in cathedral glories with Lichfield, its sister see. The spire of St. Michael’s, which is chief among them, is, indeed, singularly beautiful: and the triplet is well harmonized, and gives the town a majestic appearance as one approaches it. A town of many spires, in America, is generally a town of many wrangling creeds; and the major part of the steeples are but vulgar rivals, realizing the droll idea of Carlyle’s eel-pot, in which each individual eel is trying to get his head higher than his neighbour’s. The fact, however, is less droll than melancholy, when one thinks of the sickening results, upon a community, of so many religions, all claiming to be reputable types of Christ’s dear Gospel, although so widely differing among themselves that some must necessarily be its pestilent antagonists. Dissocial habits; cold incivilities; open wars; disgraceful rivalries; bickering animosities; and a degraded moral sentiment—these are the things signified by your poly-steepled towns in our own land, and God only knows the irreligion and the contempt for truth, which are festering within them, as the result of these acrid humours; but as yet, it is not generally so in England. The three spires of Coventry all point faithfully to the throne of the Triune God, and are symbols of one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. Oh, that all who dwell under their shadow knew the blessings of their ministrations, and received them in spirit and in truth!

The melodious bells of St. Michael’s rung, as I lingered about its venerable walls; but the interior was undergoing a costly restoration, and was so obstructed with scaffolding, that I could catch but little of the effect of its solemn length of nave and chancel, and of the intersecting arches of its aisles. I afterwards visited Trinity; and also the ancient St. Mary’s Hall, the scene of the civic pomps of Coventry, and filled with antiquarian interest in itself and in its contents. It was not difficult to conjure up the ancient shows of the adjoining church-yard when Holy Week was celebrated by dramatic mysteries. But what interested me more than all the rest, was the grotesque head of a mediæval clown, projecting from an old house, with a most striking expression of vulgarly impertinent curiosity. The reader of Tennyson’s exquisite chef d’œuvre, will, of course, recognise “Peeping Tom” in this description. Fabulous may be that beautiful legend of the Lady Godiva, but the men of Coventry believe it still: and still, on every Friday in the week of Holy Trinity, its annual fair is opened with a commemorative procession, in which a fair boy, dressed in well-knit hosiery, but apparently naked, rides through the ancient streets, with long and golden hair flowing from head to foot, and covering his body, as the representative of the sweet bride of Earl Leofric, who made the burghers of Coventry toll-free, and “gained herself an everlasting name.” They were making great preparations for this pageant when I was there, but on the whole I preferred not “to march through Coventry with them.”

From Coventry to Kenilworth, of course. It was late in the afternoon when I started the rooks in those old ruins, and sat down to watch their flight about its ivied towers. Here was, indeed, a place for thought, and for sentimentalism. How the romance of Scott, that once so bewitched me, (as I read it, stretched in boyish luxury upon the floor of the verandah of an American villa, on the dear banks of the Hudson,) now rose about me in a strange dream of reality; and how tormenting the endeavour to separate the true history from the charming fable! Here the finely wrought Gothic masonry, and delicate mouldings, and deeply recessed windows of the great banqueting-room, stand without a roof; and the ivy that climbs the solid walls, and twists among the shattered mullions and transoms, is rooted inside of the once hospitable hall, and beneath the very point in space, where once the haughty Queen Elizabeth sat in state, on a splendid dais, with Burleigh, and Leicester, and Raleigh around her, while these cold, damp walls lifted about them their magnificent tapestries, and gorgeous blazonries of heraldic honour. In that bay window she once reclined, to look over the park, and to think thoughts too deep for utterance. The rich architectural work of these chambers betrays their former splendid uses; and one grudges, to the great serpent-like convolutions of the ivy-vines, the sole proprietorship of their surviving graces. Yet there they hang their melancholy leaves; and the beautiful desolation is possibly rich enough in its moral effect on the heart of the visitor, to make one contented on the whole, that the pile was once so great in design, and so exquisite in detail, and that the ruin is now so complete. Poor Amy Robsart!

Up and down I went, thinking only of her wrongs. Now the worn steps wound up to a turret, and now descended to a secret postern. Here was the orchard, and there the lake, and there the plaisance: now you look out of a prison-like window, and now you stand in the deep recess of a lordly oriel. Going into the ancient grounds, I scattered a hundred sheep, and away they went, bounding over grass as green and velvety, as they were white and fleecy. These are the successors of those red deer, fallow deer, and roes, which once stored the chase. The “swifts” darted from bush to bush, and the thrushes fluttered in the hawthorn; and then all was as still as if the past hung over the place like a spell, and as if it were haunted with its own history. Of all this noble castle, there remains only one outer part, which can shelter a human inhabitant. The barbican, beneath which Elizabeth must have made that superb entrance, is still a dwelling; but its occupant is a plain farmer, who would, no doubt, prefer to be more snugly housed. It seemed strange to find such a picturesque abode devoted to so homely a use. How glad I should be to hire it, myself, for a summer lodge, provided I might have the range of the surrounding domains, without the annoyance of everybody’s intrusion, and provided I had nothing better to do than to read romances and history!

Here this farmer lives, in a room of panelled oaken wainscot, enclosed by walls that might defy artillery. The chimney-piece is a massive bit of antiquity, partly alabaster curiously wrought, and partly wood of rich and costly carving. The ragged-staff of Dudley is conspicuous, in the decorations; it betrays the relics of its former gilding; the speaking initials R. L. tell the story of its origin, and the motto Droit et Loyal shows itself, as if in mockery of historical justice, amid the arms and cognizances of the once proud possessor of the princely castle of Kenilworth.

The long twilight enabled me to visit Leamington Priors, and to get a very pleasing impression of its trim and fair abodes, and showy modern streets. Then away, by night, to Warwick, where I slept at the “Warwick Arms,” after such a comfortable supper, as one finds nowhere, at the close of a traveller’s day, except at an English Inn.

It proved a most beautiful morning, next day, and I was up very early, resolved, before tasting breakfast, to taste all the sweets of the hour of prime, in one of the most beautiful rural districts of England. I walked out some two or three miles, on the Kenilworth road, to Guy’s Cliff, and to the scene, beyond it, of Piers Gaveson’s murder. The beauty of the day and of the Scenery, the song of birds, and the blossoms of the hawthorn along the road, were singularly in keeping with the imagery by which the poet has pictured the early history of a reign, strikingly coincident with that in which Gaveson’s fortune was made and ruined:—

“Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,

   While proudly riding o’er the azure realm,

 In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes,

   Youth on the prow, and pleasure at the helm!”

At length, leaping a slight fence, I made my way through a clovered field, and then through a pretty grove, to what was once Blacklow hill. Here is still a sort of cave, which I readily found among the hazels; and on the eminence above it, rises a strongly built and severe looking monument, surmounted by a cross of solid proportions, the whole singularly adapted to the place and purpose. It is a work of late years, and the happy thought of the proprietor of Guy’s Cliff. There was something stirring, too, in reading, in the loneliness of that morning hour, the following inscription on the face of the monument, viz:—“In the hollow of this rock was beheaded, July 1, 1312, by barons lawless as himself, Piers Gaveson, Earl of Cornewall, the minion of a hateful king, and in life and death a memorable instance of misrule.” What a picture of the ferocious past was conjured up by that expression—“beheaded by barons as lawless as himself.” The sweet Avon was flowing through the meads below; there gleamed the feudal towers of Warwick, in the glowing sunrise; and just so it was, that July morning, five hundred years ago, when this rock rang with oaths and curses, the barkings of that fierce Guy de Beauchamp, whom Gaveson had called “the black hound of Arden.” That insult was here avenged in blood; but it only served to fire the thirst of the regicide. Those features upturned to heaven, in the choir of Gloucester, and those imploring hands of poor King Edward, came back, in thought, once more.

Pictures have made my readers familiar with the scenery of Guy’s Cliff. There it stands, on the Avon—in unpretending beauty, ivied up to its chimnies, here an oriel, and there a turret, the very ideal of a fair lady’s bower, and one of the goodliest of “the merry homes of England.” There is a mill over against it, where I stood and admired its quiet romance, in the glory of that summer morning, as the gilding of the sunlight lay on the cold gray of its towers. At the mill, the farmer-lads were washing sheep, and as they plunged in the fleecy ewes, and soused them over and over again, in the sparkling waters of the Avon, I thought an artist would ask no fairer study, for his pencil, than the scene before me. I confess I could not safely look on it without repeating the Tenth Commandment, and I quite deposed my project of renting the Gate-house of Kenilworth, in thinking how much better I should like Guy’s Cliff for my habitation.

My walk into Warwick, again, was full of pleasure. I heard the clock strike in the tower of St. Mary’s, which I saw over a forest of trees, gaily lighted by the sun; and then came a tune from its chime. I paused before old houses, and stared at the curious ancient gateway, under which we had passed in the night. After breakfast I visited the Church, and especially the Beauchamp Chapel, where the ancient lords of Warwick lie on their proud tombs, in sculptured mail, beside their dainty dames, in more delicate attire. This chapel is, of its kind, the finest in the kingdom; the superb tomb of Charles the Bold and Mary of Burgundy, when I saw it at Bruges, reminded me of it, and seemed less imperial. I cannot now recall it in detail, as I wish I could, for the sake of accurate criticism; but at the time I was greatly struck with the state and splendour of such beauty—for ashes! Fulke Greville’s monument is also memorable, if only for the striking tribute it pays to private friendship; for the inscription furnished by himself ekes out the fact of his being “Councillor to King James,” by that of his claim to write himself—“The friend of Sir Philip Sydney.”

I went over Warwick Castle, of course, and surveyed the grounds from the porter’s lodge, where are shown the armour and the porridge-pot of great Guy, and fair Phælice’s slippers, to the garden-house, wherein is kept the gigantic vase from Tivoli. What eyes for natural beauty had those builders of old times! The Avon seems just here to be made for Warwick Castle, and Warwick Castle seems made for it. On the whole, I have seen no residence in Europe, save Windsor Castle, that seemed to me more princely than this. ’Tis not the creation of vulgar opulence, or of an Aladdin-like fortune—but it seems the growth of ages, and the natural concentration of architectural beauty and strength. From its windows such a view of the landscape—in the landscape such views of it! And then its relics and antiquities; its pictures and its portraits; its bed-rooms, and halls, and drawing-rooms; its boudoirs, and its bowers; its chapel, and its whole together—who can but wonder at them, and who would want them? Mine is not so vast an ambition—such “an unbounded stomach.” On the whole I am so reasonable a man, that to gratify my utmost longings for a home—this side “the house not made with hands”—I would take Guy’s Cliff, and leave Warwick Castle untroubled by any writ of ejectment from even a roving wish, or wild, ungoverned thought.



Only nine miles to Stratford-upon-Avon! With what a flush of delighted expectation I climbed the coach, and left the Warwick Arms, in the hope of beholding with my eyes, in less than two short hours, the home of Shakspeare, and that world-famous church to which he bequeathed his bones! And yet there was something like a misgiving at the heart. My imagination had been familiar, for years, with a certain ideal of Stratford, that had grown into my whole structure of thought concerning Shakspeare and his times. It had been constructed from here a print, and there a traveller’s tale, and had taken life and beauty from detached anecdotes, and little inklings of historic light, that had come sweetly to me from my boyhood, in some inexplicable manner. In part the product of enthusiastic study, when college oil, that should have been burned in honour of Euclid, and Napier, and Newton, was stealthily sacrificed at the shrine of the great master of the human heart, I had possessed for years, a Stratford of my own; a pet village of my soul, such as Shakspeare should have lived in: and now—in a few hours, all this was to be deposed forever; dull realities were to eclipse the brilliant picture of the fancy, and thenceforth I must know only the Stratford of fact. Would the realization pay me for the downfall of the vision? Alas! what is life but a continual balance between loss and gain; what pleasure do we acquire, without the sacrifice of something almost as sweet? How long the boy looks at his bright penny before he gives it for the toothsome sugar-plum; and how often the bright penny comes back to him, as the substantial wealth, of which the moment’s gratification has deprived him.

As the coach began to draw near Stratford, I found myself greatly excited; and every object began to assume a sort of conscious connection with immortal genius. The very road,—but much more the trees,—and even more, those features of the landscape which might be supposed unchanged by the lapse of centuries, seemed instinct with their past communion with a great creative mind. His spell was on them. He had once been familiar with these scenes. He had gathered many an image, many a thought, and, I doubt not, many a refreshing hope, from intercourse with their spring and summer beauties; and they had been not less instructive to him, perhaps, in the season of the sere-leaf, or in that of the wintry wind. Yonder was Charlecote—beyond the Avon: its park still stretching thro’ the vale, and hiding the old historic hall. But the thought of that juvenile deer-stalking, gave speaking life to even the distant scene. There is some sensitive principle in our nature, to which such associations so powerfully appeal, that nothing is more real, for a time, than the communion we hold with departed greatness, through the medium of objects with which it was once conversant. This reality I never felt so strongly as now. At last we came in sight of that “star-ypointing pyramid”—the spire of Stratford. The gentle tumult of feelings with which it ruffled my inmost nature, for a moment, and the calm enjoyment that succeeded, were enough to pay me for crossing the Atlantic.

I was duly set down at the Red Horse Inn, and ushered into the trim little parlour, and even into the elbow-chair, of which I had read, aforetime, in the pages of Geoffrey Crayon. Mine host readily recognizes an American, and never fails to produce, on such an occasion, the “sceptre” of the said Geoffrey, wherewith he once poked the coals, in the smoking grate of said parlour, and, for a tranquil moment, was “monarch of all he surveyed.” Indeed, if Shakspeare reigns in Stratford, it must be allowed that the Red Horse is, nevertheless, the principality of Crayon, and that it is rapidly rising into a formidable rivalship of New Place, and the Guildhall, on the strength of Crayon’s reputation, to say nothing of the landlord’s ale. In short, no visitor to Stratford has ever left there such a lasting impression of his footsteps, as our own delightful Irving: and it was pleasant, indeed, thus, at the very threshold of my visit, to find, even in the broad glare of Shakspeare’s glory, the star of our countryman revolving steadily in its own peculiar orbit, and shining as no mean satellite of that great central sun of Anglo-Saxon literature.

I should be a bold man, indeed, to attempt to add anything to Irving’s description of Stratford-upon-Avon. I have only the adventures of my day to tell of, and they were few and simple. I followed in the beaten track to the old tumble-down cottage, which is called the birth-place of Shakspeare, and which was doubtless the scene of his infancy. I recognized at once, the original of many a well-thumbed print, and of many a descriptive page. Timber from the forest of Arden; clay from the bed of the Avon; sticks and mud at best compose the nest in which the Mighty Mother brought the immortal Swan to light. It was once a better nest than now. A butcher has degraded it to serve as shambles, and it has yet the appearance of a stall for meat, although it is no longer used, except as a relic, the show-woman being its only tenant. Here, in spite of its transmutations, you cannot but fancy the elder Shakspeare, “with spectacles on nose,” sitting in the spacious chimney, and teaching little Will his alphabet, or telling him, beside the winter’s fire, of the “mysteries” he had seen played, near by, at Coventry, when he was a boy. Through the door, you seem yet to see the marvellous urchin, with his satchel, creeping unwillingly to school: or, back he comes, with shining face, to tell that the Queen’s players have just arrived from London, to play “Troy-town,” at the Guildhall! Here, at all events, day after day went over that mysterious young head, filling it with impressions, not one of which ever seems to have escaped it, and preparing its tenant genius to be the great bridge between old and modern England, by means of which, feeling, as well as fact, runs on continuously, in the line of English History, and gives it a unity and a vitality which the annals of other nations lack. Oh, strange, immortal, universal Will! How supernatural the interest that hangs about thine every step, from the cradle to the grave.

You ascend a few creaking stairs, and you are in the very room where the first of his Seven Ages was, no doubt, duly signalized by himself, “mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.” How many lives have been the mere pendants of the life that here flickered in its first lighting, and which a puff of air might have put out—the world none the sadder for its loss! Yet now, how supreme the dominion of that one soul, these scribbled walls attest; where vulgar enthusiasm is not more legible, than that of the worldly great, of foreign scholars and sovereign princes, and of intellectual autocrats scarce less imperial than Shakspeare himself. How powerful the inspiration of the genius loci, is best proved by the fact that among the scribblings one reads the autograph of Walter Scott. Verily, there is no fame like Shakspeare’s! Subduing, as he does, the instincts of all classes alike, and entering as he does, into the sympathies of all nations, he must be regarded less as a man of genius, than as a noble instrument of God, for subordinating human passions and affections to some superior purpose of His own, perhaps not yet conceived. The rise of a Christian literature, and that the purest which the world has ever possessed, is dated from the age of which he was the bright peculiar star; and the whole Anglo-Saxon race must ever recognize in him the original master of many of its forms of thought, a rich contributor to its idiom and language, and the constructor of some of its strongest sentiments of civilization, of morals, and of religion.

The site of the New Place is occupied by a solid mansion, which, devoid of interest in itself, commands a moment’s attention, as occupying the spot on which Shakspeare’s prosperous days were passed, and which was emphatically his home. All that remains of him, in this place, and its immediate neighbourhood, is nevertheless soon seen and dismissed, as nothing but the enthusiasm of an idolator would detect anything specially attractive in a statue set up by Garrick at the Town Hall, and a few other memorials, too minute, or too modern, to deserve much delay in their inspection. I reserved my raptures for the walk to Shottery. Striking into the fields, I pleased myself with the conviction that air and earth are still very much the same in them, as when the boy Shakspeare played truant, and sported among their sweets. The birds and the flowers are still as gay as when he preferred to learn their lessons, rather than the schoolmaster’s; and when I turned into a shady lane, all green and white with hawthorn, or plucked the peas’ blossom in the upland, or the buttercup and daisy in the meadow, I felt sure that his foot had fallen where they grew, and that they had given him pleasure, and taught him morals, which the world has willingly taken at second-hand, and will never “willingly let die.” Yes, the very labouring oxen, and the pasturing cows, seemed to me of a superior breed. Short-horn, or Devonshire, or whatever they may be to the farmer, they were, in my esteem, not less than Shaksperean beef fed on the grass of Stratford, and feeding my imagination with images of the animated nature of the same scenery, as it was three hundred years ago. I came to several pretty farm cottages, with shrubbery in their little door-yards, and at one of these I knocked, thinking it must be Anne Hathaway’s; but the damsel who opened the door seemed not much flattered by the inquiry, for Anne, though she was Shakspeare’s wife, was not an honest woman, by the parish register, and has little honour in her own village. However, the damsel pointed out my way, with milk-maid courtesy, and away I went with traveller-like apologies. Here, then, at last, was the scene of Will’s discreditable courtship; and here, if they deceived me not, descendants of the Hathaways live still. The house is in two parts, like nave and chancel in ecclesiastical architecture; timbered and plastered, like the birth-place aforesaid, and thatched in the picturesque style so dear to Crayon artists and sketchers; its little windows peeping out of the straw, like sharp eyes under the shaggy brows of an old pensioner, sunning himself in front of an ale-house. I am glad to say that roses, and other flowers, were duly set about the cottage, as one which I plucked, and brought away, bears witness. They showed me some old Hathaway furniture, and among others an enormous bedstead of Elizabethan date, on which, they would have me believe, that many of the poet’s dreams had visited him. There was also an ancient oaken chair: and finally, some bed and table linen was taken out of an old chest. It was evidently homespun, and they believed it to be Anne’s work, as well as property. With this view of the matter, however, the initials E. H. did not entirely agree, and although I was inclined to yield this objection at the moment, when credulity was allowable, I do not now flatter myself that I have seen the bedstead or the bed-clothes of Shakspeare. It is something better that I have seen the Church in which he was christened, and where he now lies, under the chancel; and where he was taught to pray; and where he often knelt, one would fain believe, in true contrition; and where he learned, from some lowly parson, unknown to fame, many of those sublime and gospel verities, which have given, even to his poorer themes, their savor of immortality.

The avenue of limes which leads to the church-porch, is rather stiff than otherwise. The “way to Parish Church” was probably unpaved, and perhaps unshaded, when Will tottered over it, to be catechised; or when, in maturer years, he sought the House of God with reverence, among the multitude that kept holy day. The Church itself is of Anglo-Norman date, and was originally such in its architecture, but has frequently been altered and repaired, at various periods. It is cruciform, and would be not unworthy of a visit for its own sake. The churchyard is full of graves, and the Avon flows under its walls. I sat there, for nearly an hour, quite alone, trying to grasp the full idea of the spot. A lubberly scow came paddling along on the turbid river; and the rooks started up, and then lighted upon the old gray tower; and some sheep came nibbling among the graves; and finally, two or three children ran about me, and kept me company, for awhile; but oh! how unconscious seemed all these of the great reality of the place, and how still and solemnly the poet slumbered on, in his sepulchre, unconscious of this prosy nineteenth century, which thus wags on without him. I took out my tablets in a sort of reverie; wrote down the date, and scribbled on at random, as follows: ‘Here, in the churchyard of Stratford, I am sitting on the stone-wall, which defends it from the Avon, and at the foot of which, its fringe of flags grows rank, amid the slime. The sun, through the half-misty atmosphere, is falling tenderly on the limes; birds are singing; a rook cawing; nobody is near, but the breeze whispers, socially, through the elms overhead. How still the old spire points up to heaven! How dearly the grass clings to the tower and belfry, growing there in every “coigne of vantage!” And this quiet old chancel, too! Within these walls was Shakspeare made a member of Christ, and here he waits the Judgment. Oh, Will! how much for thee imports the Scripture, “by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned!”’

The old legendary sexton of Irving’s visit has passed away, and another reigns in his stead. Availing myself of his keys, I excused him from any further effort of his tongue, and surveyed the solemn interior in peace. Here, too, the hand of restoration has been freshly at work, and has set the holy house in order. The Church which enfolds the tomb of Shakspeare is dedicated to the Holy Trinity—the God who made him, and whom he adored. The meagre god of unbelief would never have filled such a soul as his, or moved him to kneel down; but how often that overwhelming Mystery of Faith must have thrilled him here, as he repeated the creed, or chanted the Te Deum! At last I stood before the famous bust, and looked upon that sublime forehead, and those composed features, and said to it silently those brotherly lines of Milton, which the sight brings naturally to mind. Then I read the inscription, and spelled out, letter by letter, the words of that imprecatory verse, in which Shakspeare’s self is as legible as anything else. “Good friend, for Jesu’s sake,” etc.—Amen, was my response. It was a moment to remember, but not to describe.

I next tried to satisfy myself as to the sense of Mistriss Hall’s epitaph, which is ambiguous; and on which the inspection of the original throws little additional light. It tells us first, that she was “witty above her sexe,” and second, that she was “wise to salvation,” and then adds:

“Something of Shakspeare was in that—but this

 Wholly of him, with whom she’s now in blisse.”

Now, of course, this him must mean her Saviour, with whom she is in Paradise; yet, it may mean, for all that, her father Shakspeare; and the question is, was not the ambiguity a quaint conceit, and intended to be a doublet? If so, as it has often struck me, whatever we may think of its taste, it is an important testimony to the maturer character of the poet; since its secondary meaning would be, to give it in paraphrase—that her wit had something in it of Shakspeare, but that her piety was wholly learned of her father, with whom she now reaps its reward. Now if we exclude this idea, it would almost seem to force us into the sad reverse; for certainly, as it is first read, it seems to imply that she was not indebted to her father for any of her religion, though she was for her wit. Of course, it may be answered, that wisdom unto salvation is so exclusively from Christ, as its meritorious cause, that nothing else is to be taken into account, as its instrument; but is this the sole idea of the verse? Very likely; and yet after all, I wonder that its ambiguous character has never attracted the attention of the many who have raked and scraped the very dust of Stratford for something rich and strange. Certain it is, that, like many readings of Shakspeare himself, it wants but a change of emphasis, from word to word, to give two or three different senses, any one of which is tolerable, although it is an intolerably bad epitaph, after all.

I believe the droppings of this Church of Stratford bedew the works of Shakspeare, from the first sonnet to the last play, and that here he was schooled to that strict law of his dramas, which runs through all, and by which he always “shows virtue her own feature, and scorn her own image,” instead of fitting the mask of propriety upon the front of shame. More than all, it was here that he learned that reverence for the name of Jesus, with which he so often embalms his pages, and which so often makes them melodious to a believer’s ear and heart. How much, too, the first and second lesson out of “the Bishop’s Bible”—how much the Epistle and Gospel, and the Psalter, taught him, not only of sonorous English, but of Christian doctrine and morals! I am sure these influences may be detected in his works; and as I looked at the very spot where his young idea was taught to shoot toward heaven, I felt that this was the sublimest association of the place. Here once (my fancy suggested) he may have heard in the lesson for the day—suffer chyldren to come unto Me, and then, a few verses afterwards, he must have been struck with the contrast, when the parson read on—it is easier for a camell to go thorow a nedle’s eye, etc. He was now a prosperous man, and had just purchased New-Place, and obtained a grant of Arms. His conscience therefore pricked him with the question—Was he one of the rich men for whom admission into heaven was to be so hard? The parson mounted the pulpit, and quoted much learned stuff out of Sir John Maundeville, to explain the orientalism of the lesson: and among other things, he threw out the idea that the postern gate of an Eastern city was so small, that it was impossible for a beast of burthen to pass through it, and was usually called “the needle’s eye,” and hence the force of the comparison. All this, Shakspeare, who was thinking his own thoughts, heard only incoherently, and he got a somewhat confused idea of the postern and needle; but being, just then, at work on his Richard the Second, he goes home, and puts his Sunday reverie into the mouth of his hero, thus:—

“My thoughts of things divine are intermixed

 With scruples, and do set the word itself

 Against the word,

 As thus—Come little ones; and then, again,

It is as hard to come, as for a camel

To thread the postern of a needle’s eye.

Such at least is the story, which this passage suggests to me as, very possibly, the way in which it came to him. I often trace to a similar source, that is, to the open Scriptures, and the vernacular services of the Church of England, the innumerable Siloan streams which freshen and even sanctify his verse. The great themes of redemption may be found richly illustrated in many passages; and I think I could select from his works enough of sacred poetry to fill a little volume, and one fit to be kept as a companion to the Prayer-Book and the Christian Year. I cannot credit the scandal that Shakspeare died of a debauch, nor do I believe he was less than an ordinary Christian. While the secrets of his heart are with his God, we may at least, in Christian charity, believe that the friend of publicans and sinners may have seen in him a practical dependence upon that Atonement which, by the mouth of Portia, he has preached so well:—

                        —“Therefore, Jew,

Though justice be thy plea, consider this,

That in the course of justice none of us

Should see salvation; we do pray for mercy.”

As I departed, I plucked a branch of ivy from the Church wall, near the spot where his dust awaits the resurrection. It was brought home with me to America—the land in which he has more readers than anywhere else in the whole world. How little he foresaw this, when in compliment to James the First, he recorded (if the passage be his own) the prediction that James should “make new nations;” adding—what proves rather true of himself—

“Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine,

 His honour, and the greatness of his name

 Shall be!”

A threatening rain prevented my walking to Charlecote, but I went away contented. I was inclined to indulge a little in Jacques’ vein, and the melancholy clouds began to favour us with congenial tears, as—reduced to sober prose—I made my way in the storm, on the top of a stage-coach, through what was once the Forest of Arden.


Haddon Hall—Chatsworth—Shrewsbury—Chester.

After renewing my acquaintance with the hospitable friends at B——, with whom I had passed my Easter, I made an excursion into Derbyshire, with an episodical trip to Nottingham. My chief attraction to this latter place was that of an invitation from sundry relatives of my B—— friends to visit them, though the town is certainly well worthy of being visited for itself. For the sake of poor Kirke-White, one would wish to hunt up his lowly birth-place, and some would say that Newstead Abbey deserves a traveller’s homage. In fact, the Park and Abbey are the great charm of the neighbourhood, to most visitors; but I must own that I could not bring myself to make a pilgrimage to the scene of those orgies for which it is chiefly distinguished. On making some such remark to a worthy ex-magistrate of the borough, I was struck with the downright English common sense of his reply,—“You are quite right”—said he—“no one thinks much of Lord Byron, in these parts, where he was known; he cheated the tradesmen with whom he had dealings, and made himself so odious, that when his remains were brought through Nottingham, to be buried, we could not make up our minds to pay him any honours!” So much for romance and misanthropy! Genius, without honour and morality, is despicable indeed: and one even doubts the sentimental refinement of the man, of whom an intimate friend and companion could say, with anything like epigrammatic truthfulness, that “he cried for the press, and wiped his eyes with the public.”

A visit to the castle, and its caves, to which my reverend friend from B—— conducted me, well repaid us for our walk to the eminence on which it stands in ruins. It belonged to the late Duke of Newcastle, and was burned, as I remember very well, during the Reform riots, by an infuriate mob: but it is supposed, that the stiff old aristocrat whom they meant to injure, was very well pleased with the outrage. He did not inhabit it; he was well reimbursed for his loss; and was relieved from the tax of keeping up an unnecessary residence. The caves which undermine the castle, are famous for their historical connection with the story of the “She-wolf of France:” for through them was made the entrance into the fortress, which resulted in the arrest of Isabella and her paramour. They still point out a certain cave, as Mortimer’s; but the whole rock is riddled by fissures and loop-holes, and appears to be very soft and friable. From the summit one gets a beautiful view of Clifton-grove and the Vale of Trent; and on another side of Belvoir Castle, (pronounced Beaver,) the seat of the Duke of Rutland. The “Field of the Standard” is near the castle, and I surveyed, with deep feeling, the spot where King Charles set up his ensign, to be torn down by the storm the same night, and to be even more unfortunate, in the issue, than the omen seemed to require. After a visit to a few of the churches and public buildings, and a single night under one of its roofs, I was off to Derbyshire.

With Derby itself I was not long detained, though I cannot but remember, with pleasure, the acquaintance I formed there with several very agreeable persons. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Derby is the historical reminiscence, that here the progress of the Stuart standard was finally, and forever arrested. It is surprising that “Royal Charlie” ever succeeded in pushing his invasion to this point: but thus much he effected, in the fatal ’45, and the spot where he was lodged, in Derby, is still shown by the townsfolk, with interest, if not enthusiasm.

Even railway glimpses of Derbyshire give one many pleasurable emotions, abounding as it does in beautiful valleys and streams, and in abrupt rocky hills—jocosely described by Walton, as frightful and savage, to such a degree that he affects surprise at the sight of a church among them, and asks whether there be verily any Christians in such a country. When, at last, I found myself strolling along the Wye, and conversing with an angler, in the green mead, just within sight of the battlements of Haddon Hall, all the delicious nature and good humour of old Izaak came upon me, and observing that nothing near me seemed to be of modern fashion, I was almost transported back two centuries, and fancied myself for a moment at his side, learning, like Venator, to love angling, and so to weather the evil days of Cromwell—studying to be quiet in that vocation, and to mind my own business, as the apostle doth enjoin. It had been my purpose to visit Dove-dale, in honour of Walton, but this I found impracticable, and the nearest I could come to it was now realized. Blessings on his worthy memory! for though I be not an accepted brother of the angle, having never enjoyed great luck when I have gone a fishing, yet do I allow the art all honour, and do consider it the becoming recreation for a Churchman; admitting its connection with the catechism, and saying Amen to divers other postulates of Walton, of like grave and self-evident character.

I must own that I found Haddon Hall of considerably less dimensions than I had foreshadowed to my fancy. I had supposed its smallest chamber one of those gigantic apartments, in which candles and fire-light must strive in vain to throw their illumination from the chimney-piece to the opposite wainscot; or in which a nocturnal guest might find the freest exercise of imagination, in looking after noises, towards the dark distance, from the lamp at his bedside, of the waving hangings and creaking doors. It is not altogether such a house as that; and yet if there be a better site for the residence of a ghost, or a troop of them, I have never seen it. Your nervous man should never try to lodge there. It is stripped of nearly all its furniture, save only such as is requisite to give full effect to midnight sounds and mysterious moanings. Its history is lost in that of the dim and traditionary ages of the Plantagenets; the windows of its lonely chapel bear the date 1427; and the last touches of the builder were given to it at least three hundred years ago. There it stands—a relic of the domestic architecture of feudal England. Here are turreted and embattled gate-ways, and quadrangular courts, enclosed as if to stand a siege. The kitchen is designed for the largest hospitality; spits, dressers and chopping block, all speaking of the bountiful housekeeping of the olden time—to say nothing of the vast chimneys, which seem made to roar with Christmas fires perpetually. You ascend a great stair-case, on which it seems almost profane to set a modern foot, so entirely does it bespeak its ancient right to be trodden by the doughty and dainty steps of lords and dames, in the attire of by-gone centuries. You enter a room hung with antique tapestry, now ready to drop into tatters. You push-to the old squeaking doors, and drop these hangings, and it no longer appears how you got in, or how you may get out. You understand at once the allusions of many an old play, and almost expect to find some thievish figure lurking behind the arras. Hangings they truly are, for hooks are built into the wall, and to these the arras are attached. But the “Long Gallery” is the place in which a ghost would naturally air himself. It is wainscoated and floored with oak, and ornamented with various carved devices and emblems, such as the rose, and the thistle, and the boar’s head; and then it has deep recessed window-seats and oriels; and some of them look out on the sunny terraces of the garden, and suggest vague ideas of romance, and create phantom ladies of olden time, to fill up the scene, and rich illustrative stories to make them interesting. No doubt real hearts have throbbed here with high and tender emotions: and events which we know only as the dry details of history, have filled these silent chambers with notes of joy or sorrow, with the wail of the widow or the forlorn maiden, or with the voice of the bridegroom and the bride. The stately Elizabeth is said to have once figured in this gallery, at a ball.

The architecture of the great hall is severely antique, and suggests a rude and uncivil age, in spite of its air of dignity and hospitality. The men who dined here evidently wore swords, and the loving-cup and health-drinking were no mere ceremonies; the party who drank, as he lifted his arm, looking narrowly at the friend who stood up to guard him. A hand-cuff which is fastened to the wood-work seems to hint that guests were sometimes troublesome after taking plenty of sack. I could think of nothing but Twelfth-night revels in this curious old place, adorned as it is with the antlers of stags that were hunted long ago, and whose venison once smoked on the board.

The terraced gardens, with their shades, and balusters, and steps, and walks, and portals, are in keeping with all the rest, and the tale of the Lady Dorothea Vernon, and of her mysterious elopement, is enough to fill them with the charm of romance. From one of the towers you look down upon the whole range of roofs and courts, and then gaze far away over a beautiful view of the vale of Haddon. Before you depart you are shown some ancient utensils belonging to the place, such as jack-boots, and match-locks, and doublets. These are kept in the apartment of my reverend brother, the domestic chaplain, whoever he may have been; but whether he had any use for such things I cannot bear testimony. The adjoining chapel in which he officiated is very small, and quite plain. The ancient piscina, beside the altar, tells its simple story of the rites which, according to the mediæval liturgy of England, hallowed it of yore. It conjured up before my fancy the midnight mass of Christmas, as described by Scott—

“That night alone, of all the year,

 Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear.”

It was, at any rate, no Tridentine Eucharist, though it was a mutilated one; and sad as were the scenes of debauchery with which those solemnities are associated, I could not but trust that, even here, Christ crucified had been truly worshipped, of old, on the solemn feast of his Nativity, and on many other occasions of Christian joy or penitence. Who would not cling to such communion with ancient piety? And yet this natural sympathy, when morbidly developed, has done more than all things else together, to bewitch the imaginative with Romanism, and to make them slavish captives to a Church which has retained nothing mediæval except that newfangled creed, to which the departed spirit of Mediæevalism has bequeathed none of its poetry, and which only exists as the inanimate slough of its superstition.

Compared with Haddon Hall, the superb modern residence of Chatsworth struck me as tame and spiritless. The mansion has indeed a pleasant seat: and the deer, bounding over the velvet turf of its park, or the peacock, strutting amid its balusters and fountains, give it indeed a lordly look of opulent show, without much ease. Yet what is it, at best, but the dull round of “my lord’s apartments,” without one association beyond that of my lord’s great wealth and luxury? I should be ashamed to confess, indeed, that I was not pleased with the pictures, and more than pleased with the exquisite carvings and magnificent sculpture, viewed merely as works of art; but I was fatigued with the vast worldliness of such a house, and felt that it would better have suited a Hadrian, than it does a Christian nobleman of England. Such a residence as Warwick Castle comes to its possessor historically, and a nobleman may well keep it up; but Chatsworth seems built for display, and must be altogether too much for comfort. I am glad if its possessor enjoys it—but I should rather dwell in the humblest parsonage in England. Nature itself, as seen from the windows of Chatsworth, has a combed and dressy look. Its vast conservatory—the original of the Crystal Palace—is well worth a visit, and its gardens are curious enough, but the water-works are elaborately frivolous. I was promised a fine artificial cataract—but lo! in the side of a beautiful hill I saw a stone stair-case, and by-and-by the water came sluggishly down stairs, like a little girl, in white dress, afraid to let go of the hand rail, as she leaps timidly from step to step. “Good morning, Miss Cataract,” said I, “that will do!”

The same clipped and artificial beauty belongs to the neighbouring village of Edensor, and the whole seems the more unreal as contrasting violently with the natural features of this wild and ruggedly beautiful country. I am glad to have seen Chatsworth, but I should not care to see it again, though the desolate Haddon Hall never recurs in my memory, without awakening fresh longings to be once more in Derbyshire, and to saunter again along its rushing Wye.

With my visit to Matlock Bath, I was much better satisfied. Here indeed is Derbyshire, in spite of spruce inns and fashionable boarding-houses. I scampered over the hills, (having first climbed them with more pleasure than fatigue,) and went from view to view with increasing transports. This region is all cliff and ravine, and precipice and chasm; yet in every direction the eye is refreshed and delighted, and the mind takes pleasure alike in thinking that it is scarcely English scenery, and that it is yet strikingly unlike anything but England after all! These sharp outlines, and bold walls of rock, for example, you say are somewhat Swiss; but as you look over them, towards the horizon, you see that their foliage and their verdure are English, absolutely; and then, looking down the chasm, at your feet, you see a trim and neat little village, and houses set in gardens, and peeping out from shrubbery, and especially a church, altogether such as no one ever sees save in England only! I entered the Speedwell mine, and went through the usual experiments with lights amid the spar, but, on the whole, the subterranean part of Matlock was what I liked least about it. I felt lonely, however, in enjoying my ramble about so beautiful a place, and the company of certain loved ones in America was longed for over and over again to make it all that I desired. From this delightful place I made my way to Shrewsbury.

Beautiful is Shrewsbury, without and within! Its spires and its towers give you far-off promise of a place worthy of the traveller’s halt, and when you enter its old-fashioned streets, you are not disappointed. I found the market-place, with its hall and surrounding mansions, quite as unmodernized as those of towns in the north of France. The projecting gable of many an old timbered house confronts you as you go hither and thither through the borough, and very often the woodwork of such houses is fancifully arranged and ornamented, in a manner highly effective and picturesque. Their modern tenants paint the timbers with grave, but appropriate colours, and whitewash the plastered walls which intervene, thus bringing out the full design of the ancient architect in a neat and striking manner. I saw, in one of the streets, a chair carried by bearers, precisely as in Hogarth’s prints, and which seemed to have been in use ever since Hogarth’s day. Its occupant was a portly female, who might have graced the Court of Queen Anne, so far as her appearance was concerned, and what with such an apparition, in a place altogether so antique, I found myself for a moment quite in doubt whether the nineteenth century were actually in existence, with its many inventions.

I went through the beautiful and finely-wooded field called the Quarry, and the walk called St. Chad’s, and crossed one of the bridges over the Severn to the Abbey Church. Here I found some interesting monuments and architectural curiosities; and the neighbourhood seemed to abound in similar relics of what must once have been a very large conventual establishment. At St. Mary’s, there was a Jesse-window and some tombs, which afforded me a gratifying occupation for awhile; then the ruins of an old castle, such as they are, attracted me; and, though last, not least, the fragments of a very ancient church, being merely its chancel, dedicated to St. Chad. The school in which Sir Philip Sydney was reared, and where Fulke Grevil became his friend, still swarms with the ingenuous youth of England, and I encountered them at every turn, in the highways and by-ways of the town. What an element of education it must be of itself for a lad to be sent to a school that has such a history! Such thoughts made me faint of heart for a moment, when I felt the irreparable poverty of my own country in historical associations. The inestimable dowry of a glorious antiquity can never mingle its ennobling qualities with our national character. We may, and we do, enjoy immense compensations; but what reflective American does not give way at times to a melancholy sense that he has indeed “no past at his back,” and that God has isolated him involuntarily, by this great fact, from the fellowship of nations! “But here comes a Shrewsbury boy,” said I, amid such thoughts, “what cares he for Sydney, more than an ordinary American lad at school?” Sure enough! Why then be sentimental? It is, after all, only a certain class of minds, that receives powerful impressions from anything past or future: and I believe an American youth can enjoy such impressions effectively, by means of a healthful imagination, while an English youth may often find it hard to divest the realities with which he is daily conversant, of the degrading effects of familiarity. Such is my calmer judgment.

I tasted the famous “Shrewsbury cakes” at the station-house, and having spent several hours “by Shrewsbury clock,” in this pleasing survey of the old borough, I left it with regret, purposing to return, and to make excursions from it to a neighbouring seat to which I had been kindly invited, and also to Hodnet, which I greatly desired to see, in honour of the gentle and beloved Heber. In these plans, however, I was disappointed. As you leave Shrewsbury for the north, you gain a most agreeable view of the town, which stands on a fair peninsula in the bright embrace of the Severn. It is a place full of poetry. On one side are the Welsh Mountains; on the other, amid Salopian fields, you descry the columnar monument of Lord Hill; but the tall spires and the Abbey Tower tell more eloquently of Hotspur.

At Chirk station a Welsh family entered the train, gabbling their consonants most unintelligibly; but I soon discovered from their adieus, and their tears and sighs, that they were emigrants going to Liverpool to ship for America. This stirred up a warm home-feeling: I found that one of them could talk English, and I was not long in finding a way to their hearts. They were going to Wisconsin, and were very willing to be advised on ordinary matters. I tried, also, to impress them with my own ideas of the privileges they might enjoy under the care of the Nashotah Missionaries; but I fear they were dissenters, as the Welsh peasantry too often are, and that my endeavours to add to the burthens of my esteemed brethren of that diocese were quite unavailing. I slept that night at Chester.

But I despair of describing Chester. Elsewhere in England you meet with ancient houses and picturesque streets; but Chester is all antiquity. What you would go miles to see, when in search of the quaintly beautiful, is here multiplied before you in almost every house. In the first place it is a walled town. I made the circuit of the walls in the morning, with constant emotions of astonishment; for they are in good repair, and seem even yet to have their use, whereas, I had imagined them to be mere relics of the past. I came to the Tower upon the wall, from the summit of which Charles the First beheld the total rout of his army. It is a mere watch-tower; but as the memorial of a great event, it would be hard to imagine a monument more striking. There is much more to interest the passenger as he goes on, looking now into houses built into the wall like swallows’ nests, and now into church-yards, and now into a race-course, and again into a river: but a thoughtful tourist, and especially one from America, will find it hard to think of anything but that Tower, and the mighty issues which were once deciding before it, in view of an august and awfully interested spectator. Poor King! as he descended from it, what must have been his emotions?

The streets of Chester are said still to preserve the outlines of the Roman camp, from which the town derives its name. They are a great curiosity in themselves, and seem to have been cut down into the rock, while the houses were reared on the banks, above the level thus obtained. And such houses! Gable after gable, timbered, pargetted, enriched with carving, and jutting over the street—each one “a picture for painters to study!” And where are the trottoirs, or side-walks? Lo! the houses all run down to the carriage-way; but what should be their front rooms, above the basement floor, are mere verandahs, through the whole line of which freely walks the public, always under cover, and always at home! These “rows” (even more than the walls) are the feature of Chester which most strikes the stranger; especially as the opposite houses, which he beholds in passing through them, are full of curious objects for any one whose eye delights in the antique. On one, for example, are rich emblematic or fanciful decorations and carvings; on another, a scene from Scripture history is cut in uncouth style; while another bears the legend: God’s providence is mine inheritance, 1652. A good inheritance always, but especially in Cromwell’s time. The guide-book says, that in the great plague of the year thus designated, this house was the only one which the destroying angel did not visit. Hence the pious inscription.

But there is no doing justice to old Chester, on a tourist’s page. Its cathedral is a poor one, and so crumbling are its walls and buttresses, that every shower washes down a plentiful soil, from the decomposing stone. I lingered without weariness, however, in its aisles and cloisters, and must say that its service was sung delightfully, although the singers were few, and the clergy fewer still. The same disgraceful poverty and lifelessness, which I had remarked elsewhere, characterized the visible force of the establishment; and I could not but say to myself, if this feeble performance is, nevertheless, so edifying and effective, what might not be the blessed result of a vitalized cathedral body, serving God night and day in His Temple, as God should be always served, in this rich and ancient Church of an empire which professes to be Christian, and which God has so unspeakably exalted among the nations of the earth.

The other ecclesiastical objects of the town were duly visited, and then I took a boat on the Dee, and was rowed toward Eaton Hall, which I finally reached on foot, after a walk through the surrounding park. This was, till very lately, regarded as the finest possible specimen of modern Gothic, in the domestic line, and a vast amount of Cockney admiration has been wasted on it. I found it undergoing repairs, which must greatly improve it; but, after all, it is a meagre thing, when one has seen the Gothic of the cathedrals, or of such a castle as Kenilworth. I did not see much of the interior, as visitors were necessarily excluded, in favour of the workmen; and so after visiting the conservatories, and various outlying dependencies of this great house, I left it, not greatly overwhelmed with what I had seen. I was better pleased with my return voyage, on the Dee, and with the river-view of Chester.


A Trip into Wales.

From the walls of Chester, one has a very tempting prospect before him in the mountains of Wales. To Wales I now took my way, and first of all alighted at Holywell station, to visit the wondrous shrine and fountain of St. Winifred. A Welsh lady had advised me, by all means, to pay this homage to her native place, and had sportively prepared me to see something very strange, indeed, in the legendary well of its tutelar. The story which she told me was this, in short: that the well had sprung from the earth, in the olden time, just where the head of the Holy Winifred, fair and lovely as it was, touched the earth, when her barbarous lover, Caradoc, smote it off, to revenge his disappointed passion. Be this as it may, I found, in Holywell, a very remarkable pool and fountain, by which lay a great number of impotent folk, as formerly they did at Bethesda, in Jewry, waiting for the moving of the waters. But no—these waters always move. The fountain gushes up with violence, and runs with a full tide. Whether it cures or not, I cannot say. It is supposed to do so; and is used for healing purposes by hundreds. The crutches of many of those who have been healed, are reverently hung up over the well; and several inscriptions have been cut, deep in the stone walls and pillars of the Church which rises above it, expressive of gratitude for cure. Here James the Second came to worship, in his dotage, in 1686. The Irish Romanists, and modern converts, consider it a sort of duty to uphold the miraculous reputation of the well, and are very zealous in such tributes to the legend and the saint. One may certainly believe that it is a healing spring, without swallowing the whole story about St. Winifred; and for one, I am far from unwilling to see such springs resorted to, and used, in a religious spirit, as the gift of God. Nay, if we might but have the truth, and not a “superstitious vanity,” I should rejoice to see them connected with the memory of God’s saints; and, as I washed in the crystal waters, I allowed myself to believe that the spot had indeed been famous for some holy martyrdom, which perverse ingenuity has distorted into the fable aforesaid—of which I have only given the least ridiculous part. A fine and fragrant moss, which grows about the well, and some red spots in the stone, have furnished additional material to the fabulists, which tradition has not failed to preserve; but the light and graceful temple which rises over it, with a figure of the saint, and which is ascribed to Margaret, the mother of Henry the Seventh, is its most substantial monument. It is now a chapel of the adjoining parish church, and I found it filled with plain benches, and used for a Sunday-school room, and for service in the English tongue.

But I was en route for the vale of Clwyd, (pronounced Clooyd,) and so landing at Rhyl, I took a Welsh jaunting-car to St. Asaph. At the very entrance of the vale stands an old historic castle, in utter ruins, but overhung with ivy, and nobly bastioned, and presenting a very venerable appearance. It was built before the Norman invasion, and stands near the scene of that ancient battle, still commemorated in the national air—Morva Rhuddlan—which is full of traditional melancholy and plaintive sweetness. Near Rhuddlan Castle a bridge spans the Clwyd, adding a very picturesque feature to the scene; and just as you descend to the bridge, you observe, on the projecting wall of a mean cottage, the following inscription: “This fragment is the remains of the building in which King Edward the First held his Parliament, A. D. 1283.” Oh! what a romantic land is Wales. England is fine prose; but Wales is all poetry. Even here I fell in love with it; for Rhuddlan is a truly historic pile. Almost its meanest memory is that of the progress of the second Richard, who tarried here on his way to Flint, to be deposed by Bolingbroke. Its latest memory, however, is that of the national Bardic Festival, called an Eisteddfod, which was celebrated here in 1850, with sad if not fatal results. A staging gave way, during the performance, and several of the fair and noble received severe contusions.

I enjoyed a pleasant ride to St. Asaph, which finally disclosed to my view a cathedral of very unpretending dimensions, on a pretty hill, with a few houses grouped under its shadow, and a sightly bridge of stone. This the City of St. Asaph! Even so—for it is an ancient Episcopal See, and therefore it is a city, while Liverpool is but a town. Therefore do I love St. Asaph, because, of all cities I ever saw, it looks most like a village. Indeed, as a village it would be much to my liking, as still and quiet above most villages, and sweetly embosomed among trees, over which the solid tower of the ancient church presides with a motherly air, and ticks a sleepy time from its solemn clock. It was Saturday night when I reached the Mostyn Arms, and ordered my supper, and my bed-room. ‘Here then,’ said I, ‘I will spend a Sunday in supremest loneliness; here I know nobody and am known of none; I will be a mystery to mine host of the inn, who seems to have no other guest, dropping nothing of mine errand in these parts, but going my way on Monday morning, with an air of dignified secrecy, and leaving him to imagine, as he may, what could have brought me to St. Asaph.’

A quiet breakfast at the inn was served with such noiseless neatness and despatch, at the appointed hour, that I grew sad with my bachelor comfort, feeling first, that I ought not to enjoy so much, except at home, and then longing to be there. It was not my hostess’s unimpeachable fare; bread all crisp without, and all snowy sponge within; butter golden and fragrant; prawns, gathered freshly from the clean sands of Rhyl; eggs, that were never cold, and that now were hot to the very second of culinary time; and divers varieties and fruits that feasted the imagination even more than they gratified the taste; it was not this substantial and meritorious breakfast that made the Mostyn Arms a delightful resting-place; but it was that entire order and decency that invested all, and that forbade the idea of a hotel, and seemed to remind me that it was Sunday; it was this that first charmed me, and then made me lonely, and then positively sad. There is often a domestic character about such an inn, in England and Wales, that is positively religious. I remember one, in which the innkeeper always invited his guests to family prayers.

The cathedral is the very plainest of its kind, but the choir is not without effective dignity and beauty. I attended the morning service, which was that of Pentecost, with exceeding pleasure; and yet I observed with pain, that except the children of the Sunday-school, there were few present, who were not, unmistakeably, of the higher classes, or at least of those which are considered very respectable. Where were the poor? The liveried servants of the neighbouring gentry, in their powder and plush, were perhaps of the humblest class represented; but, of course, they are not the people. I was pleased, however, to see several of them kneeling with their masters’ families at the Holy Communion.

After service, I was lingering among the tombs, in the churchyard, and had particularly observed that of the excellent Bishop Barrow, when one of the clergy approached me, and said, “You are a clergyman, I’m sure; I beg you’ll come home with me to dinner!” Never was I so much surprised, in my life, by such a salutation. Welsh hospitality was proving more than a Highland welcome! I expressed my scruples to accept an invitation which was probably based on the idea that I was an Englishman, and a clergyman of the National Church; but only so much the more did my new acquaintance press me to dine with him, offering to take me, after dinner, to a little Welsh parish, in the mountains, where he promised that I should hear the service in Welsh, and also a Welsh sermon, from himself. So very attractive a bill it was impossible to resist, and presenting my card, I promised to be at the appointed place, at the proper hour. But I little knew how great a pleasure was in store for me.

I easily found my way to the house, which stood back from the road; a modest mansion, encircled with trees and shrubs. My friend himself opened the door, uttering a Welsh salutation, which he interpreted to me by a warm grasp of the hand, while he pointed me to a Welsh inscription on the wall—that text of the beloved disciple, which enjoins him who loves God to love his brother also. I was yet in the first flush of grateful excitement, when I was ushered into a small drawing-room, where a lady advanced and gave me a cordial greeting. The clergyman introduced me to his wife, and to another lady who was with her, and pointing to a portrait on the wall, which I immediately recognized, said, “you will perhaps be glad to know that you are in a poet’s house, that this is the poet’s likeness, and that my wife is the poet’s sister.” I started and said—“Can it be that this is Rhyllon?” I saw, in an instant, that I was so happy as to have found my way, in this manner, to the residence of the late Mrs. Hemans, and to an acquaintance with that sister, of twin genius, whose music is as widely known as some of the most popular of Mrs. Hemans’ delightful lyrics.

I was made to feel at home, without further preface, and the dinner-hour passed delightfully, in conversation suited to the day and the services of the morning, with many recognitions of the power of our holy religion to obliterate differences of nationality and of education, and to bind entire strangers in practical brotherhood. The hour came to repair to the mountain sanctuary, which proved to be several miles distant, and the whole party of us went together, in a Welsh vehicle of peculiar shape, but well suited to the road. As we began to ascend into the hills, a fine view of the vale of Clwyd presented itself. From the great mountain ranges, on the north and west, to the crowned crag on which rises the Castle of Denbigh, the eye took a majestic sweep, over one of the loveliest valleys in Great Britain, and one full of romance and poetry. At last we came to the Church, a most primitive little structure, of ancient date, with a mere bell-gable, instead of a tower and spire, but of a most ecclesiastical pattern in every respect. The villagers of Tremeirchion were crowding the doorway, and on entering, I found a large assembly of the Welsh peasantry, neatly attired, and exceedingly intelligent in their appearance. A Welsh Prayer-book was put into my hand, which, being a strict translation of the English, I was enabled to use very profitably, in following the service. The whole was novel and attractive. I observed some old tombs and monuments, and was particularly pleased to find the altar, the candlesticks, and other parts of the Church, garnished with Pentecostal flowers—alike fragrant and suggestive of festive emotions, in harmony with the blessed day of the Holy Comforter. But the sweet and simple worship of the villagers absolutely enraptured me. Their responses were given in earnest, and their chants were particularly touching. I was especially pleased with the Gloria Patri, which, as perpetually recurring, I soon caught up, and was able to sing with them, in a language of which, in the morning, I had not known a word. Even now it lingers in my ear, with all the charms of that plaintive intonation which seemed to me characteristic of the Welsh tongue, and which singularly comports with its prestige, as the language of an ancient and romantic people, whose nationality has been never subdued, notwithstanding the ages of its absorption into that of a stronger race.

The sermon was delivered with emotion, apparently extemporaneously, and was heard with fixed attention throughout. From the text, which I picked out in a Welsh Testament, I was able to gather some of its drift, and frequently to detect a scriptural quotation. It was evidently a Whitsuntide sermon, and the Holy Ghost, his gifts and consolations, were the blessed theme. A sweet hymn concluded the service; and then, in the churchyard, this excellent pastor presented me to several of his worthy parishioners. How was I surprised when one of them asked me, in English, if I had ever been at Nashotah! A friend and relative of his had emigrated to Wisconsin, and had there been taken up by the brethren of that Mission, concerning which he had sent home many interesting accounts. I can scarcely do justice, with my pen, to the thrill of feeling inspired by finding that the blessed influences of Nashotah were felt, by brethren of a diverse tongue, far away over sea and land, in that lonely nook of the Welsh mountains.

Deep in the wall of Tremeirchion Church is set the ancient tomb of an old priest of Llanerch, who was once its pastor. He was the wonder of his age for wisdom, and especially for the lore with which, like Solomon, he spake of trees and of plants. It was he who first translated the Te Deum into Welsh, and such was his sanctity that Satan could gain no advantage over him, except through his love of science. So then, as the story goes, Satan promised to reveal to him some mighty secret of nature, on condition that, after death, he might claim him; and that, whether buried in the Church, or without, there should be no release from the bond. The wily clerk accepted the bargain, and became so wise that all the land confessed his astonishing attainments, as beyond comparison, in their day; but Satan, for once, was outwitted. The sage took good care that his body should be buried neither without nor within the Church; and accordingly it is shown to this day, as part of the wall itself, and jurists are agreed that Satan must be nonsuited whenever he ventures to set up a claim against the holy clerk of Llanerch.

When I ventured to contrast, in conversation with my friend, the delightful fervour of this service, with the coldness of that which I had attended in the morning, at the cathedral, he answered, with feeling:—“We Welshmen love our own language; we talk English in traffic and in business, but Welsh is the language of our hearts. The Church has too generally neglected or even outraged this principle. Our Bishops have been seldom able to address us in the speech of our affections; the dissenters have earned many captive, merely by employing the tongue of the people, in their exciting harangues. Where the Welsh are served in their own tongue by their hereditary Church, they seldom forsake her, and my little parish is but a small example of what might be universal, if the Welsh were but considered worthy of being conciliated, by a tribute to their hereditary feelings, and their unconquerable nationality.” These appeared to me the counsels of truth and soberness. The Welsh are truly a people, in spite of their ancient subjugation, and deserve to be treated as such, all the more for their loyalty to the British Crown, and for the remarkable partiality which they seem to entertain towards the Prince of Wales, whose dignity I discovered to be something more, after all, than a mere fiction of heraldry.

Our drive home was full of beautiful views, and after descending into the valley, we pursued our way through Llanerch park, a fine estate, with which I was much pleased, although the agreeable company into which I had fallen might have made me satisfied with a scene far less lovely in itself. I spent a long evening at Rhyllon, restrained from departing by their kind importunities, and not unwilling to prolong a personal interview which must necessarily be the last, as well as the first, of what I could not but recognize as an enduring friendship. Conversation very naturally turned upon the departed glories of Rhyllon, as the nest of that tuneful nightingale, who filled up a most brilliant era of British poesy, by the graceful addition of a genuine female genius. I had always admired Mrs. Hemans, chiefly because of her truly feminine muse; because, in other words, her poetry is such as man can never produce. Unlike others of her sisterhood, she seems to have been unambitious of masculine effort, content to be her own fair self, and to give utterance to the delicious sentiments, the gushing affections, and the rapt enthusiasm which belong to the heart of woman. Delightful songstress! it was happiness, indeed, to linger for a moment in her charming abode, and to gather from the conversation of those who had known and loved her, such hints of her life and character as a delicate fondness for her memory was not unwilling to drop in conversation, for the benefit of a sincere admirer. It was all the more valuable, too, as mingling with many personal recollections of Bishop Heber, whose connections with St. Asaph made him very frequently a guest at Rhyllon. It may be imagined that I was loth to say farewell; but at last I tore myself away with those pains of parting, which are the penalty of a traveller’s friendships. The clock of the old cathedral tolled eleven as I passed under its aged tower on my return to the inn.

In the morning I rose early, and took a walk down the vale, some two or three miles, to a secluded spot, where ancient piety had erected a chapel over a fountain, and where it now stands in one of the most picturesque piles of ruin I ever beheld. This was a favorite haunt of Mrs. Hemans, and one to which she has devoted some sweet verses. It goes, among the English, by the title of “St. Mary’s Well,” but the Welsh call it Pfynonver Capél, a very musical and pleasing name, as they pronounce it. There it stands in a green mead, under the shade of a tufted hill, enwound with ivy and covered with venerable moss; you enter the door, and in the sacred floor you behold a pool of lucid water, encompassed with an ancient kerb of stone, which preserves all the grace of outline of the base of a massive column in a Gothic cathedral. The old architect has shown, in this peculiarity of his pool, a truly inventive genius. I am sure the legends of the sacred spot must have been many and most romantic.

A hurried walk back to St. Asaph, concluded my sojourn in the vale of Clwyd. Verily, “it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps;” my plans in visiting this retired spot had all been frustrated; but so happy a disappointment has seldom fallen to my lot. The very slender enjoyment of puzzling mine host, with surmises as to my mysterious errand, had been lost in one of the richest pleasures of my life, and I went my way from a place which I had sought a few hours before as containing nobody to whom I could make myself known, feeling that it would be dear to me till death, as the home of beloved friends.

I continued my journey by railway towards the Menai Straits, catching pleasant views by sea and land, especially those of Abergele and Gwyrch Castle. At Conway I stopped for an hour to survey the interesting ruins of its castle, into which the railroad has made its way, piercing the ancient walls, after spanning the river with a tubular bridge, and thus adding the utilitarian wonders of modern architecture to the decaying splendours of the mediæval builder. The castle is a mass of ruin within, but retains all its external form and comeliness of tower and battlement. It was built by Edward I., and was the scene of many of the gayest revelries of his court, during the period in which he forged the chains of the Principality. I found the descriptions of my guide-book so literally correct, with respect to its present condition, that I need only transcribe them. “The walls on all sides are covered with a green drapery of luxuriant ivy, and a meadow of grass lies in the open area of its courts. The warden’s duty is supplied by a whole tribe of crows, whose solemn parley is heard the instant that a stranger’s foot approaches, and the towers are all alive with blackbirds, and birds of all colours, whose notes resound the livelong day, throughout the deserted domain.” From the summit of one of the towers I had a fine view of the Conway, and of its widening entrance to the sea. A fisherman’s boat, left on the sands by the receding tide, added to the spirit of the scene, which in every respect was worthy of an artist’s study.


Welsh Scenery and Antiquities.

The railway between Conway and Bangor runs along the sea-shore, close under the lee of the bold and rocky promontories, that defy the waves, on this imperial coast. Often indeed we found ourselves plunged into the black night of the tunnels which become necessary, in many places, from the precipitous nature of these cliffs, but, in general, I found even the distasteful confusion of a railway train incompetent to detract much from the emotions of sublimity inspired by the passage along such a shore. On one side, the sea was foaming under us, and on the other Penmaenmawr lifted its gigantic bulk to the clouds. Occasionally, as at Aber, we passed a beautiful glen, descrying waterfalls and other picturesque scenery; and by keeping a good look-out, I had a full view of the cavern called Ogo, which opens to the sea, high up in a calcareous cliff, with a mouth, singularly like the arched entrance of a gothic minster. It is said to have afforded a retreat, in ancient times, to the invading army of England. At last, we descried the baronial towers of Penrhyn Castle, beautifully situated, on the foundations of an old Welsh palace, the fame of whose bold chiefs has, for ages, been the theme of bardic eulogy in Wales; and soon after, we were set down, at Bangor. It is a city in a vale, enclosed by an amphitheatre of hills, and opening to the sea, with a fine view of the Menai Straits, and of the very striking water-front of Beaumaris, on the opposite shore of Anglesea.

I found the cathedral, though an important feature in a view of the town, a very humble specimen of its class; and the service which I attended, during a pouring rain, was indifferently performed. I retreated to the finely-situated hotel on the straits, and near the Menai Bridge, where, in the company of many other disappointed tourists, I was forced to grumble away an afternoon, from which I had expected no little pleasure. An angry wind was chafing the surface of the Menai water, and the little steamers, and other vessels, that went furiously by, were the only objects to animate the otherwise gloomy spectacle, on which I gazed listlessly, from the windows of the George Hotel.

The next morning, though with an unsettled sky, gave us better weather, and I went forth to view the scenery, and to cross the Menai Suspension-Bridge, which, though now eclipsed by its neighbour, the far-famed Tubular, is to me much the more interesting of the two, as really a beautiful specimen of art, and not unworthy of the surrounding scenery. Crossing this bridge, and finding on the other shore of Anglesea a little steamer, with a load of Whitsuntide excursionists, going down to Caernarvon, I lost no time in getting on board, and soon had the satisfaction of passing under both the chain-bridge and the tube, and of realizing, from that position, the immense height at which they overhang the tides of the Menai. As creations of genius, they are indeed sublime; and when a coach is seen creeping over the one, in bigness as it were a fly; or when a railway train thunders through the other, and yet seems in comparison with it a mere toy, as it emerges and smokes along its way, one gets an idea of the immensity of each conception, which invests mechanic art with something like the attractive splendours of the painting and the poem. In the evening, as the sun was near its setting, I surveyed the great tube at my leisure, and walked over its roof, while a train was passing under me. It was surprising to observe its untrembling strength, and its security at so great a height, and with a span so vast: but I was even more delighted with the views it afforded me, of the glorious scenery, mountain and marine, with which it is encompassed. They are singularly enriched with the charms of art and nature. The shipping, the suspension-bridge, with its arches and festoons; the towns of Beaumaris and Bangor; the tall column of the Marquis of Anglesea, and many pleasant villages and seats, as you look towards Caernarvon, afford a pleasing addition to the richly wooded shores, the flowing waters, the indented line of coast, the swelling hills, and last, but not least, the glorious succession of peaks that stretch along the eastern background from Snowdon, to the Great Orme’s Head, which rises like a wall from the sea.

But I must not forget my excursion to Caernarvon, through these straits, which resemble so much the picturesque rivers of my own land. Many objects of interest enlivened the trip; but when, at last, the old walls of Caernarvon Castle rose before my sight, in all their feudal grandeur and historic dignity, I felt like one inspired with rapture, though not the less impressed with a sense of something awful and august. The character of Edward as a tyrant and a conqueror, seemed to stand before me in monumental gloom and massive solemnity—and when I thought of the feeble cries of the first Prince of Wales, as he came to light in this stronghold of feudal tyranny, and coupled them with those midnight shrieks, at Berkeley, on the Severn, in which his inglorious life was extinguished, I realized afresh all those creeping chills of terror, with which the wildest imagery of romance affects the sensitive imagination of childhood. There it stood, magnificently irregular in outline, frowning over the little town beneath, like a coarse bully domineering over a timid boy. Its towers are really stupendous, and the aspiring parapets and embattled turrets, that bristle up from their grim summit, make a strangely confused, but self-consistent figure, against the mountain back-ground, or the clear blue sky overhead. With such a fortress in full sight, it was most thrilling to give its history a mental review. Piled there by a cruel conqueror, to overawe the Welsh people, six hundred years ago, it seems less terrible with regard to them, than with reference to the story of his Queen, and his child. Such a nest for a new-made mother, and her babe! In the depth of winter, the stern husband sent Queen Eleanor here, to give birth to her child. In one of its most gloomy recesses the royal infant was born; and thus the insulting victor was enabled to continue the sovereignty of Wales, in his own family, while literally fulfilling his pledge, to give the Welsh a prince—born in their own country, who could speak no English, and whose character was without fault! Such a sovereign they had promised to accept, and to obey; and hence the title of the eldest son of British sovereigns ever since. Thus, what is morally a mean and knavish fraud, is clothed, in historic narrative, with the glory of a warlike stratagem, and survives in imperial heraldry as if there were no truth in the saying of the poet, that the herald’s art can never “blazon evil deeds, or consecrate a crime.”

I was not altogether fortunate in my holiday, for the weather was alternating, continually, between shower and sunshine, and when I was fairly on the top of a stage-coach, for Llanberis, I found, to my sorrow, that shower was about to predominate for a time. However, to Llanberis I went, reserving a close inspection of the castle to my return. At intervals, I could get some idea of the loveliness of that charming lake, and of the wild glories of its surrounding scenery; but ill-luck prevailed, and Snowdon wore his cap of clouds, nearly all the time, and I was forced to retire at last, somewhat surly with disappointment. I visited, however, the ruins of Dolbardan Castle, the central fortress of a chain of similar muniments, by which the ancient clans of Wales endeavoured to secure these mountain passes against the invaders. It stands, in picturesque dignity, upon the peninsula, which divides the waters of Llanberis into twin lakes, and is apparently the guardian of both. Here some Welsh lads, with a donkey, were sheltering themselves from the rain, and, by dint of much entreaty, and a very tempting appliance of money, I gained from them a Welsh song, which growing somewhat animated as they proceeded, cheered up the sombre scene, and gave to those antiquated ruins a moment’s restoration of the echoes of minstrelsy, and of the musical tongue with which they resounded of yore, in peace and war, when the figures of bards and heroes were the familiar tenants of the spot. As I returned to Caernarvon, the rain began to abate, and gradually the clouds withdrew, to my great satisfaction. The castle again rose before me, reviving the impressions with which I had first beheld it, but less stern, perhaps, from the land side, than when beheld from the sea. I was soon beneath its walls, which I first surveyed, in circuit, with increased astonishment and pleasure. The materials for this vast structure are said to have been furnished, in part, by the ruins of Segontium, the neighbouring station of the ancient Roman army; but the feudal character now impressed on the old stones is, to me, far more interesting than their primitive history. The eagle-tower, in which the young Prince is said to have been born, is itself a fortress of massive solidity, and presents to the waters a front of bold defiance; while on the other side, now blocked up and forlorn of aspect, beneath a lofty arch, is the gate, by which the expectant mother entered the gloomy hold, and which still goes by her name. The remains of a moat and drawbridge are visible, and so are the grooves in which the iron-toothed portcullis once rose and fell. I entered by a gate which looks toward the town, and over which is sculptured a rude effigy of the royal builder, deeply scarred by time. Within, the huge walls appear as an empty shell; they rise, like those of the great Roman amphitheatre, around an area of desolation. Here and there, indeed, are the remains of state apartments, and of royal chambers, still marked by delicate architectural tracery and handsome enrichment; but you tread on hillocks and grassy verdure, which swell above their buried splendours, and everywhere the ruin appears absolute and complete. By time-worn and dangerous stairways of stone, you wind up to the summits of the towers, and your guide constantly cautions you to beware of slipping, or of setting foot upon treacherous places. To me, the greatest interest was presented by the narrow corridors, which run between the inner and outer walls of the entire circuit, lighted only by the loop-holes, through which the signal horn was once sounded, and the arrow shot forth, and which open into embrasures that were filled of yore with armed men. Here is the projecting battlement, by which they protected the gateway below, its floor is perforated for the discharge of missiles, and to enable the defenders of the castle to pour down scalding water, and melted lead, upon the heads of its assailants. In perambulating these gloomy recesses, I gained distinct ideas of mediæval life and warfare, from which my knowledge of history, such as it is, received a vast augmentation of freshness and reality.

Dismissing my guide, I sat down on the summit of the eagle-tower and lost myself in revery. The daws, chattering amid the battlements, alone interrupted the solemn stillness of the moment. Before me was Snowdon, now disrobed of the clouds he had worn through the day, and lifting a bald crown of snow to the skies. The serried outline of his dependant mountains beautifully varied the scenes toward which they stretched away on every side. I turned, and there was the broad glare of the descending sun upon the sea: I was looking towards my own dear home. In the midst of meditative pleasures, I longed for the companionship of many, between whom and me there rolled a thousand leagues of ocean; and, for awhile I forgot, in the melancholy of that reflection, the romantic impressions which are peculiar to the spot. When I recovered my thoughts, it was only to feel more forcibly the solemnity of the short life, in which we stand between so dread a past, and so momentous a future; and before I descended from that lofty station, I knelt and worshipped Him who, alone, is Everlasting.

The weather increased in serenity as the day declined. I heard the clatter of hoofs, and a coach-horn sounding in the streets, and hastily took my seat, for a drive to Bangor, relinquishing a projected tour through Beddgelert and Tremadoc, which I had found impracticable, with reference to other plans. My drive in return was not less agreeable than my sail in coming. Everywhere the scene was beautiful, and I was amused with the chatter of a couple of Welsh peasant women, in short petticoats and men’s hats, who had mounted the coach-top and sat by my side.

We had bright moonlight that evening, on the waters of the Menai, and a band amused us, with music, in the grounds of the hotel. I was agreeably surprised to hear, in close connection with the national air of England, the sprightly strain of “Hail Columbia,” which, however inferior as a musical composition, had a strong power over me, as I heard it then, and I breathed a warm aspiration to God for a blessing on my native land.

We were favoured with a glorious morning, and I took stage-coach, soon after breakfast, for a drive through North Wales. After whirling through the suburbs of Bangor, and traversing the “Bethesda slate-quarries,” we entered the terrific pass of Nant Ffrancon. On a reduced scale, the scenery here is quite Swiss. The rains had swelled the mountain torrents, and everywhere they were leaping down the steeps, in beautiful threads of silver, which terminated in fine cascades. The road wound along the side of a mountain, with a deep descent beneath; and there was spread out a broad green valley, level as a floor, with a river winding through, and the figure of an angler stalking along its bank. On the further side of the vale rose another mountain, abruptly, to the skies. I was reminded of Nant Ffrancon afterwards, in the Swiss Oberland, after crossing the Brunig into the Vale of Meyringen, as I was making my way towards Interlachen. These Welsh Alps are indeed destitute of snowy tops and descending glaciers. Yet they are full of sublime features; and the flocks which climb their sides, with fleeces of milky whiteness, give a pastoral air to the solitude, which subdues the otherwise repulsive aspect of some of their features.

It is vain for me to attempt a minute description of the pleasures of this day’s drive. The scenery was richly varied, and after seeing the finest scenery of Savoy, and of the Swiss Cantons, I still recall it with satisfaction, and long to go through it once more. Our way lay along the skirts of the dreary Lake Ogwen, and then over its desolate heath; from which our emerging into the enchanting Yale of Capel Curig, was like turning from a page of Dante’s Inferno to a passage in his description of Paradise. Here majesty and loveliness indeed combine, in the sweet diversity of woods and waters, and vales and mountains, to furnish an ideal of natural beauty, which might satisfy a poet or a painter. Amid all, rises the glorious summit of old Snowdon, of which I obtained my finest impressions from this spot. The scenery of the river Swallow, by which our way continued, is marvellously picturesque, and its waterfall is admirable, even to the eye of an American. Near Bettws-y-coed, the panorama assumed a more pastoral character, and gave us a glimpse into the Vale of Llanrwst; and then, for a long time, every turn opened new scenes of beauty and delight. At Cerrig-y-Druddion, if the scenery was distasteful again, not so were the trout from the mountain streams, on which I made a delicious repast. It was from this place, to which the poor prince had made good his retreat, that the primitive Caradoc, with his family, were carried prisoners to Rome, where he made that famous speech, which is the memorial of his name. Through various scenes of interest, which I might be more willing to enumerate, were only their names pronounceable, I reached Corwen, where was the hold of Glendower, and where, in the ancient Church, I visited the tomb inscribed Jorwerth, Vicarius de Corvaen Ora pro eo. At the inn sat an old blind Welshman, playing the Welsh harp, and soliciting charity, which, for Homer’s sake, no one could refuse. Thenceforward the scenery again increased in interest.

The Vale of Edeyrnion opened into our view as we continued our journey along the windings of the beautiful outlet of the Bala Lake, and from hence to Llangollen, beauty, rather than grandeur, was characteristic of the scenery. But no every-day sort of beauty is to be imagined when I speak of this charming region, at which it was a feast to look, even for a moment. The swells and slopes of the land; the variety of the foliage; the graceful curves of the river-banks; and the outlines of the mountainous distance, with the hues which various tillage, and crops, gave to the meadows and the upland, were continual sources of delight, in which there was no monotony, and no surfeit. Nothing was wanting, but only the kindling eye of some enraptured friend to meet my own, and a voice to say with mine, “This indeed is a paradise!” Such would be the exclamation of any admirer of natural scenery, at the point where the ruinous pile of the Abbey of Valle Crucis lifts into view the arch and tracery of its great East window, amid the harmonious boughs and verdure of gigantic trees. It is a favourite view with painters, and has become familiar from the efforts of both pencil and burin. Scarcely less so is the conical hill, which overhangs Llangollen, and on the summit of which some remnants of wall that serve to give a very picturesque completeness to its outline, retain the name of Castell Dinas Bran, with the reputation of a primeval British work. At Llangollen, a handsome bridge, which spans the river Dee, blends with the prospect of the town in pleasing proportion. I climbed a little eminence, and broke through a sort of copse, into the pleasant grounds of Plas Newydd, the famous retreat of two eccentric ladies, who, not quite a hundred years ago, while Llangollen was yet unsung and unknown, became recluses of the Vale, and lived here in philosophical contempt of the world, and in ardent communion with nature. They both rest in the parish churchyard, where one stone records their several dates, and those of an humble girl, who was long their faithful servant. As they were persons who had figured in the gay world, their story has become a sort of local tradition, which is always repeated with respect; and portraits of Miss Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler, in full Welsh costume, are sold in the shops, and hung up at the inn. I could not greatly admire their cottage; but it was, no doubt, quite snug, and pretty enough for two old ladies that were of a mind to be philosophers.


The Wye and the Severn—Bristol and Wells.

The next day found me again ascending the Malvern hills, on a coach-top, the guard playing the merriest notes, upon his horn, as we rapidly trotted through the town. After another view of the vale of Gloucester, we turned into Herefordshire, and descended into the valley that spreads from the western slope of the Malverns. We had fine views of Edensor, the estate of Lord Somers, and of a monumental column, upon the crown of a hill. I was glad, too, to see on the roadside, marking some parochial boundary, a stone cross, such as is frequent on the Continent, and might, without any evil, be a familiar object in any Christian country. As we approached Ledbury, we met a band of gipsies in their proverbial rags and wretchedness, skulking along the road, and exhibiting very few of those bewitching peculiarities of appearance with which painters and romancers are fond of investing them. I had never met them before, and was sorry not to be able to stop and talk with them. An impression of awe haunted me for some time as I meditated upon their mysterious barbarism, and tried to recall the glimpse of their weird features, which I had caught as they passed by. I never saw any of their kind, on any other occasion afterwards, and think they must be growing scarce, even in England.

At Ledbury I was particularly struck with an outside view of the parish Church, which is but one of a thousand churches in England which of themselves are enough to reward a traveller for journeying through it. Sir Walter Scott has justly awarded to them the credit of being the most beautiful temples in the world, and the most becoming for their holy purposes. Our next stage brought us to Ross so famous for the memory of John Kyrle and his beneficent deeds. Its “heaven-directed spire” surmounts the hill, on which the town is built; and every where, in Ross, the traces of his good works, as well as many of the works themselves, survive to consecrate his name. The house in which he dwelt is adorned with a medallion portrait of “the man of Ross,” sunk in the wall, and visible to every passenger. He was indeed all that the poet has made him in descriptive verse; and he was something more, for he was a zealous Churchman, and a faithful attendant upon the daily service. I made my way to the Church, and was pleased to find its churchyard cross entire, and a cross upon its gable. The interior, though very old fashioned, was adorned with flowers, in honour of Pentecost, and its monuments are many and curious. Among them was one of those altar-tombs, on which lie at full length a knight and his sweet dame, the latter with her delicate hand held in his rough grasp, as if their union were inseparable by death itself. I was deeply touched by such a memorial of love, which we must believe to have been sincere, and to which fancy attributes all that is constant on the part of the lady, and all that is chivalrous on the part of her lord. But where is the monument of Kyrle? There is a bust and an inscription, but his monument, like Christopher Wren’s, is the Church itself; for he built its spire, and something more beside. There is a story, too, that when the bells were cast, he was present, and threw into the melting metal a silver tankard, from which he and the workmen had just drunk to the king’s health. As I was passing round, the sexton said to me, “you shall now see something that you never saw before,” and he pointed out a couple of elm trees, growing in the Church, and reaching to the roof. What is the more remarkable, they are growing in the pew where the Man of Ross was accustomed to worship, as if to testify the fidelity of God to the promise—“He shall be like a tree, planted by the water-side, his leaf also shall not wither.” One would almost believe that they must have been planted on purpose, but the truth is rather the reverse. They are in fact the fruit of Kyrle’s own planting; for he set a row of elms in the churchyard, which were cut down by a churlish vicar, but from which these shoots have sprung up in the house of God, as it were in silent remonstrance. It is hard not to see something providential in the coincidence, by which, what would be a curiosity anywhere, is thus connected with the blessed example of one of the most benevolent and virtuous of mankind. The trees screen one of the windows, and appear to thrive in the climate of the sanctuary, their leaves putting forth earlier, and falling later than those of the trees in the churchyard.

A fair was going on in the town, and the streets were filled with the peasantry. Everywhere pedlars were setting forth the merits of their wares, and among them was a fellow bawling—“Here’s the last dying speech and confession, &c.”—as he exhibited the doleful print of a gallows and its dangling victim. Such incidents are not rarely met in the narratives of a certain class of novelists, and I have certainly read, somewhere, of just such a market-day as I encountered at Ross. I walked slowly down the hill into the valley of the Wye, turning constantly to observe the fine situation of the town, till the coach overtook me. The country here is rich but simply pretty, and as yet it revealed none of the glories for which the Wye is celebrated. Goodrich Court, a modern mansion, is a fine object, however, and the remains of Goodrich Castle are an imposing feature in the scene; and all the more so for its association with the cavaliers, from whom it was finally taken by Cromwell, and reduced to ruins. As you enter Monmouthshire, a glorious view begins to open, and from about this point the scenery of the river increases in wildness and grandeur. I was, at first, at a loss to know why Wordsworth should have called the Wye sylvan, for such was far from being its character, in Herefordshire; but now the entire appropriateness of the epithet was disclosed, and yet I am well aware that I lost many of the finest features of the stream by not descending it in a boat. With Monmouth itself, I was somewhat disappointed, its Church having suffered many things of many churchwardens, and the remains of the priory, where Henry the Fifth was born, having become incorporated with the modern walls of a boarding-school. I left Monmouth with gratitude to Fluellyn for his idea of its wondrous resemblance to Macedon, which I should not have imagined, had he not helped the world to it. The glories of the scenery round St. Briavel’s and near the tiny little Church at Llandogo, should have had the further benefit of his minute and luminous descriptive powers, as I can liken it to nothing else in the world but itself, for its combination of simply rural features, with those which are highly picturesque. An American is struck with the charm imparted to such scenery, by a pretty church or a neat and secluded hamlet, quite as much as he is impressed by the scenery itself; and I was often led to think what the valley of the Mohawk might be, had it the advantage of that still retirement, and of those Arcadian groves, which impart a peculiar effect to the sterner beauties of the Wye. At Tintern Parva we were shown the ancestral habitation of Fielding, and passed a new church which was well worthy of note. But the neighbourhood of Tintern Abbey eclipsed every other thought, and I strained my sight for the earliest possible glimpse of the delightful vision. A storm which had been threatening, broke upon us, unfortunately, at the critical point, and I first beheld that magnificent ruin in circumstances which increased its desolation. In spite of the rain, however, I embraced an opportunity of entering its walls and surveying it for a few moments, amid the wild confusion of the elements. The rain dashing through its rich but broken tracery, and the wind tossing the gorgeous drapery of its mantling ivy, with the melancholy sighs it gave amid the columns, and along the aisles, deepened the solemn impression of the spot, and gave a heightened interest to the thoughts of its former sacred uses, when it resounded with the chant of priests and the swells of music from the organ. As I purposed a more leisurely visit in fairer weather, I was willing to have seen it thus amid storm and tempest. I resumed my journey to Chepstow; and as the storm soon abated, and was succeeded by sunshine, I had many fine views of the windings of the river, some of which are very bold, sweeping, amid precipitous banks, crowned with the richest foliage and verdure. Chepstow itself has many beauties, as seen from the Wye, and after slightly surveying the town and castle, I crossed the iron bridge, and drove to Tidenham, where a kind welcome awaited me at the vicarage, from one with whom I had corresponded long before I left America. I was sorry, however, to find myself a source of disappointment to the children of my kind entertainers, who had been unable to divest themselves, notwithstanding the benevolent dissuasions of their parents, of the romantic idea that the American visitor would present himself in aboriginal costume, and contribute to their amusement by exhibiting his red visage, and lending them his bow and arrows. Their father is now a Missionary Bishop, in Africa.

This vicarage is of modern erection, but in very good ecclesiastical style, and has a pretty garden, in which I saw my amiable friend the vicar taking the air, when I rose in the morning. I was glad that so pleasant an abode had fallen to the lot of so good a man. After breakfast, while he visited his poor and sick, I went on a little pony, with a servant at my side, to Cockshoot Hill, which looks down upon the Wye nearly opposite the Windcliff. Tidenham itself stands on a narrow peninsula, with the Wye on one side, and the broad Severn on the other, and just below Cockshoot Hill this peninsula forces the river Wye to make an extraordinary bend beneath its precipitous banks, on which stands the pretty hamlet of Llancaut. The view, at this point, is therefore peculiarly fine, and affords, in one spot called “Double-view,” the unusual spectacle of both rivers—the Wye, with its sylvan charms on one hand, and the expanse of the Severn, with its ships and steamers, on the other. I was best pleased with the Wye, the Windcliff, the projecting rocks called the Twelve Apostles, and the entire scene on that side, as far as the eye could stretch, above and below. The farms and fruit-trees of the peninsula were also pleasing in their way, and the more so, because it was now the season of blossoms, and every breeze was fragrant. My return was enlivened by views of the Severn, which were often much heightened in effect by the turns of the road, and the openings amid thick trees, through which I descried them; and I was gratified to be joined by a labouring man, who insisted on walking with us, and pointing out favourite prospects, apparently not so much in hopes of a fee, as to testify his regard for a guest of the vicar, of whom he spoke in unbounded terms of respect, as the blessing of the country round. I found the Church opened, and service going on: and when it was over, was informed by the vicar himself of the various merits of the sacred place as an architectural specimen. The font was an ancient Norman one, of lead, and is regarded as curious. So are the windows, which exhibit a semi-flamboyant tracery, by no means common. A gradual restoration is going on, at the expense of the vicar and his personal friends; but I was amused by the white-washed tower, which remains thus disfigured, while the rest of the Church has been reduced to its natural color. It seems that this white tower has long been a landmark of the Severn, and serves a useful purpose, in the piloting of vessels. With an interference which would strike us Americans as very arbitrary, the Government, therefore, forbade that the tower of Tidenham Church should be made to look any less like a whited sepulchre; and so it stands, as a pillar of salt, to this day.

The rest of the day was devoted to an excursion to Tintern, to which the ladies contributed their agreeable society. The party proved a very cheerful one, and we encountered scarcely any fatigue of which our fairer associates did not bear their full share. In surveying the remains of Chepstow castle, only, were we without their company. I found it a noble ruin, even after my visit to Caernarvon. It was reduced to ruin by Cromwell, after a desperate fight, but one of its towers was long afterwards—for twenty years—the prison of Henry Marten, the regicide. It must once have been a splendid hold of feudalism, and its halls and windows still retain many traces of the Saxon and Norman richness of its original beauty.

We climbed the Windcliff, and thence surveyed the combined glories of land, and sea, and of inland stream, which are its peculiar charm. Where else can be seen such a prospect: such inland river scenery, blended with the view of a broad arm of ocean, side by side, and apparently not united? It would be vain for me to attempt description, but I found it all I could ask; and on that breezy height recalled to mind those incomparable lines of Wordsworth, composed upon the spot or near it, in which he exhorts the lover of Nature to store up such scenes in memory, and thus make “the mind a mansion for all lovely forms.” There are caves below, through which one of my female friends led me like a Sybil; and then I went under her kind escort through a wild American-like wood, to rejoin our carriage. Two miles more of delightful scenery, and I stood again in Tintern Abbey, and wandered through its holy aisles, and climbed to its venerable summit. Here, over the lofty arches of the transept, I walked, as in a path through a wood, the shrubbery growing wildly on both sides, as on the brow of a natural cliff. White roses flourish there in abundance; and it is only at intervals that you can get a glimpse of the Abbey-floor beneath. Around you is a beautiful prospect of the river, and of an amphitheatre of hills; and when you stand in the aisles below, and view these same hills through the broken windows, you feel that they should never have been glazed, except with transparent glass. On the whole, when the beauty of its situation is fully taken into consideration, in addition to the original graces of its architecture,—its graceful pillars, its aerial arches, its gorgeous windows,—and when we observe the fond effect with which nature has clothed the pile in verdure, as if resuming her power with tenderness, and striving to repair the decays of art, with her own triumphant creations; when all these, and other attractions which cannot be enumerated in description, are united in the estimate, I cannot but give to Tintern Abbey the credit of being the fairest sight, of its kind, which ever filled my vision. I have since seen many similar objects, combining architectural beauties with those of nature, but were I allowed to choose one more glimpse of such a picture, among all, I think I should say to the enchanter—“let me have another look at Tintern.”

Crossing the broad mouth of the Severn, in a little steamer, we entered the Avon, of a fine afternoon, just as a fleet of similar steamers, taking the tide at flood, were hurrying out to sea. It was a most animating sight, as one after another chased by—this for London, that for Dublin, another for Glasgow, and so on; all flaunting the red cross of St. George, and displaying a full company on deck. I was agreeably surprised by the beauty of this river, which is varied by woods and cliffs, and many striking objects, among which a little ruinous chapel, upon a verdant peninsula, particularly struck me, and the more so, as having been formerly used by fishermen, before going upon their voyages in the channel, as a place of prayer for protection and success. But this river has an historical claim upon the affectionate regard of America, as having sent forth two expeditions to our shores, of the greatest consequence to our whole continent. Upon these waters crept forth to sea, in 1497, the little “Matthew,” on whose deck stood Sebastian Cabot, “uncovering his fine Venetian head” to take a last farewell of his native city, as he boldly stood out to the ocean in search of the New World. Upon that expedition depended the discovery of the mainland of America, and the occupation of the northern half by the Anglo-Saxon race. To this glorious reminiscence has been added the fine contrast presented by the “Great Western,” as she launched forth, in this same river, only a few years ago, in her majestic strength, to inaugurate a new era in the art of navigation, and to unite the Old World and the New by bonds of intercommunication, which imagination itself had never ventured to portray in their present stage of wonderful development. “Upon no waters,” says a popular writer, “save those of the winding Avon, have two such splendid adventures as these been enterprized.”

Passing under the heights of Clifton, and landing in Cumberland basin, I climbed the steep, took my lodgings at Clifton, and then went on foot into Bristol, over Brandon-hill, enjoying the magnificent panorama which unfolds on every side, and comprehends the finest features of town and country, of water and of land. My first thought was the famous Church of St. Mary Redcliffe, and thither I took my way. The poetry of Chatterton was the delight of my boyhood, and this Church I had long desired to see. I found it undergoing restoration, but not the less open to inspection. It is indeed a masterpiece of architecture; its clustered pillars, and the fan-like spread of its vaulting, with its fourfold aisles, and rich quatrefoil windows, affording the keenest satisfaction to the artist, and affecting every man of taste with overwhelming emotions of religion, which may well be made salutary to the soul. Here are some pictures by Hogarth, of a character superior to his general efforts; one of which, representing “the Ascension of our Lord,” shows him to have possessed fine sensibilities, and a delicate appreciation of the more poetical provinces of his art. The monument of “Master Canynge,” the Mayor, who figures so richly in the “Bristowe tragedy,” attracted my profound attention, as did also several others less mentionable, though very interesting. Of Chatterton himself, no monument is to be seen, save the old muniment-room, and the chests, from which he fished his bold idea. The monument, which was erected a few years since to his memory, has for some reason been removed, and now lies dishonoured in the crypt. It is impossible to think of that marvellous boy without pity, in spite of his moral delinquencies; and I can scarcely read the ballad of Charles Bawdin without tears, excited as much by the fate of its author, as of its hero. His moral perceptions must have been of a fine cast, or he never could have conceived that poem; and who would not choose to believe that had he encountered mercy and loving-kindness from those who ought to have befriended him, his splendid genius might have been made a rich blessing to himself and to the world?

As the solemn twilight was coming on, I visited the cathedral. I had not promised myself much from such a visit, for ’tis a mutilated pile, of which the entire nave is lacking. Yet, whether it was the effect of the dim and dying daylight, or whether the architecture and the sepulchral charms of the holy place overpowered me, I left it with the profoundest impressions of awe and tender emotion. The old Norman Chapter-house is an architectural gem, with its intersecting arcades, its rich diapering, and nail-head ornaments, its twisted mouldings, and spiral columns, and the zig-zag groinings of its roof. In the vestry I was shown a curious Saxon carving of Christ saving a soul. My attention was also directed, by the sub-sacrist who attended me, to the ruins of the Bishop’s palace, which fell under the violence of the mob, in 1831, when good Bishop Gray so beautifully distinguished himself and his Order, by exhibiting an apostolic harmony of meekness and resolution. But it was in walking the aisles of the cathedral itself, under the deepening shadows of the evening, that I experienced the full effects which such a place should inspire. From the old and decaying monuments of knights and their dames, I passed with elevated feeling to the modern achievements of Bacon and of Chantry. A kneeling female figure, reflecting the faint light from its pale features and white drapery, and standing out of the darkness, like a pure soul emerging from the valley of the shadow of death, gave me a sensation of unspeakable reverence. Hard by, a chequered day-beam played on the fine outline of a bust of Robert Southey, and this apparition also affected me; but when I came to the little tablet which marks the grave of Mrs. Mason, and spelt out, word by word, the incomparable tribute of conjugal love which it bears, I was overwhelmed; and as I read (I am not ashamed to own it) my tears dropped upon the marble floor. There was barely daylight enough for the effort, but I had known the poem from my earliest childhood, and possibly to this fact I must attribute its overpowering effect upon my feelings. It is to be condemned perhaps as an epitaph; but who can think of criticism when borne along on such a tide of heavenly affection and triumphant faith? I trembled to think I was standing upon the relics of so much loveliness and purity.

“Take, holy earth, all that my soul holds dear!”

She must have been an angel, to have inspired so much feeling as agony has compressed into that one line! and then, what an image of more than mortal beauty rises before us as we read—

“Speak, dead Maria! breathe a strain divine,

 Even from the grave thou shalt have power to charm.”

And did ever love paint such a portrait, in a few touches of passionate apostrophe, as in those in which the heart of her husband speaks on?

“Bid them be chaste, be innocent, like thee;

   Bid them in duty’s sphere as meekly move!

 And, if as fair, from vanity as free;

   As firm in friendship, and as fond in love!”

Never was the glory of true female character so enshrined in language before; but this is not all! The ideal of the Christian woman is brought out in its completeness in what follows:—

“Tell them—though ’tis an awful thing to die,

 ——’Twas even to thee!”

Here is the tender form, and timid step, with all the heroism of the female saint, descending into the dark valley: and at the same time here is the transcendent tribute—

’Twas even to thee!

And now comes triumphant faith:—

   ——“Yet that dread path once trod,

Heaven lifts its everlasting portals high,

  And bids the pure in heart behold their God.”

I am probably failing in my desire to carry my reader along with me in my own conception of the exceeding merit of these verses, as embodying some of the sublimest, and some of the tenderest affections of the regenerate heart, with the smallest possible sacrifice of that eloquence which is generally mute, in proportion to its expressiveness: but I cannot deny myself the pleasure of recording the fact, that their power over my own feelings, as I read them on the spot, and in the circumstances which I have hinted, was such as beggars description.

A moonlight ramble on the heights of Clifton, and another in the early morning, next day, concluded my rapid visit to this region; and I took the top of the coach soon after to the city of Wells. This little journey over the Mendip hills, which gave me frequent opportunities for walking, was enlivened by the conversation of a sharp-featured little dissenting minister, who volunteered his opinions upon all subjects, and who seemed peculiarly anxious to give me his own opinions of the clergy of the Church. “There are,” said he, with an oracular look, and the keen expression of a desire to know how the fact might strike me, “there are 18,000 Church clergymen in England: of these, there may possibly be 4,000 who are in different degrees evangelical; 4,000 are vicious and idle; and 10,000, including all the young clergy, are Puseyites, who neither know how to teach the Gospel, nor what the Gospel is!” He thought there was no prospect of any disruption between Church and State; and, at last, whispered in my ear, that he had serious thoughts of emigrating to America. I was amazed at this little man’s utterly unconscious lack of Christian charity. Of the 10,000 clergy whom he thus denounced in the gross, as evil-minded men, I had myself been for weeks closely associated with many, in whom I had seen exemplified every Christian grace, and from whom I had gathered lessons of practical piety, for which I had reason to bless God. For patience in tribulation, and for pastoral fidelity; for lives devoted to the good of men, and fervent with zeal for the glory of God, I had never seen their equals; and now, to hear them stigmatized in a manner so cool and professional, by one who soon betrayed his personal animosity by adding—“and us, dissenting preachers, they treat as a race of upstart tinkers”—made me lament for poor human nature and its deceitful workings even in good men’s hearts! I consoled my friend by hinting that, in America, the Presbyterian and Congregational pastors had long professed a somewhat similar contempt for the clergy of the Church, having for nearly two centuries been the religious chieftains of our country; but I ventured to intimate that we did not on that account feel the less respect for ourselves, or think it right to deny them the credit of many estimable qualities, and the right of being judged by Him who alone searcheth the heart. I believe it was after this, that the worthy man proposed adding himself to our population; a scheme in which I could not discourage him, convinced, as I was, that a taste of our religious condition might perhaps change his views as to the comparative evils of the English Church, and those of the Saturnalia of unbelief which are fast developing under the influences of our illimitable sectarianism.


Glastonbury—Wells—The Jubilee.

I found in the ruins of the abbey at Glastonbury a full reward for my efforts to pay them a visit. The architecture of these ruins is of a character widely different from that of Tintern; and the surrounding scenery, though marked by one bold eminence called the Tor, is that of a fat agricultural region, wholly unlike the romantic valley of the Wye. Yet the old wattled church of the early Britons which once stood here; the tradition that Joseph of Arimathea proclaimed the gospel on this spot; the legendary interest that attaches to the memory of St. Dunstan, and the superb remains of what was once the richest monastery in the kingdom, invest the now silent precincts of the Abbey with peculiar charms. The chapel called St. Joseph’s is still an exquisite specimen of art, and in its crypt is a spring reputed to derive extraordinary virtues from some association with his visit. A huge stone coffin, lying empty and dishonoured in the aisle of the Abbey Church, was shown to me as having once contained the corpse of King Arthur. Here again was the figure of an old abbot; and as I strode over the clovered floor of the holy place, amid broken corbels and shattered columns, I found an artist seated among them, at his task, sketching the beautiful remnant of an old turret, which rises amid the surrounding wreck, almost the only uninjured memorial of the former glory of the pile. At a distance, which gives one an idea of the great extent of the old establishment, stands the kitchen of the monastery still entire. It is an octagon, of vast circumference, and contains several curious relics of the Abbey. I next visited St. Benedict’s Church, which disputes with several others the claim of being the oldest in the kingdom; and so, taking a post-chaise, drove back to Wells, after a due reverence to the celebrated thorn which is said to be the lineal successor of St. Joseph’s walking-stick, and which blooms every year, at Christmas as well as in the early summer. Of its blossoming at Christmas, or Epiphany, I suppose there can be no doubt. I was assured, on the spot, that such was the case. King Charles used to make merry with the papists by calling their attention to the fact that it refused to observe the Gregorian Calendar; and when, in 1752, New Style was introduced into England, some two thousand of the neighbouring peasantry assembled to watch this thorn on Christmas-eve, who, when they found it stubbornly postponing its homage, but punctually putting forth blossoms at Old Christmas, as usual, refused to recognize the novelty, and kept their holidays accordingly. It must be supposed, therefore, that Twelfth day is the real festival which it honours with its strange efflorescence.

The cathedral of Wells struck me as surpassing all that I had yet seen, in its way. The exterior view is fine, and the front is enriched with the most lavish display of sculpture, kings, queens, and saints, each in an embellished niche, and all together conveying a most gorgeous impression to the beholder. But the interior was far more impressive. Its nave was fitted with a pulpit and benches, and had the appearance of being used and frequented. But the choir and Lady-chapel were in process of restoration, on a magnificent scale, and appeared, indeed, quite new. Here was a modern work, not inferior to the old: and when I observed the rich effect of the creamy Caen stone, contrasted with the dark and polished pillars of Purbeck marble, and marked the effective introduction of colours and gilding, amid the delicate foliations and tracery of stalls and tombs, then, first, I understood what must have been the magnificence of these cathedrals, when new and entire! It was pleasing to see such proof that the Church is still instinct with all the spirit of mediæval taste, under the influences of restored purity of religion; and that all the cunning of Bezaleel can be still employed by our reformed ritual, though the craft of Demetrius, in making shrines for idolatrous services, is no longer required.

I will not weary my reader with the numerous details of this glorious pile, nor with those of the Bishop’s palace, its moat and drawbridge; nor yet with memories of the blessed Bishop Ken, which still linger in fragrance about these holy places: but I must observe, that the present Bishop has done a good work in restoring to his cathedral the important feature of a theological school. In his palace is their chapel, a most appropriate one; and as I went through the cathedral, it was pleasant to see several students in their gowns, lingering here and there in the aisles, and vanishing and re-appearing amid the columns.

A romantic drive from Wells, full of interesting views, brought me to Bath. Here, too, was much to see; but its Abbey is a poor object after Wells, and the town of Beau Nash need not long detain an ecclesiastic. I left, in the night, for Berkshire; and next day, which was Sunday, was present at an Ordination, held at Bradfield Church, by the Bishop of Oxford. The Church, and neighbouring College, at which I was a guest, are well worthy of description; but I have only space to add, that the ceremonial of Ordination differed from our own only in the minute particulars of the oath of supremacy, and in the Bishop’s sitting in his chair while administering the imposition of hands. Thirteen priests, and a larger number of deacons, were admitted to Orders. The preacher was the estimable Sir George Prevost; and at Evening Prayer, I had the great satisfaction of addressing the newly ordained clergy, by appointment of the Bishop, and afterwards of dining with him, and them, at the College, where I am happy to testify that all things were done unto edifying, until the close of the day. I was charmed with the Bishop’s manner in private intercourse with his younger clergy; and not less gratified to learn that the Ordination had been preceded by his personal conference with each individual, in which the awful responsibilities of the ministry had been freely enforced, and fully recognized. Those whom I had seen ordained, had come to that solemnity, therefore, with the fullest sense of its unspeakable consequences to their souls; and, so far as could be ascertained, with holy resolutions to be faithful unto death.

The solemnities of the Jubilee of the Venerable S. P. G., now called me back to London, and to a renewal of its social pleasures. On the morning of the 16th of June, I attended, at Westminster Abbey, with a large number of the clergy, the opening services. It was a memorable occasion; the choir of the Abbey being filled with a dense crowd of worshippers, among whom, to judge by their looks and complexions, were men “out of every nation under heaven.” The Bishop of London was the preacher, and gave us an appropriate sermon, characterized by the finish for which his performances are noted, and not deficient in feeling or fervour. It contained gratifying allusions to the American Church, one of whose prelates, Bishop Otey, was present, in the sanctuary, and assisting in the services. A large number of communicants knelt at the altar; and while several of my English friends made an effort to receive at the hands of the Bishop of Tennessee, in gratifying their feelings of Catholic intercommunion, I found an equal satisfaction in receiving the Holy Sacrament from the Archbishop of Canterbury. During the whole solemnity, which filled up several hours, my mind was powerfully impressed with the historical spirit of the place; and while I listened to the sermon, glancing occasionally upward to the vaulted roof, or allowing my eye to wander away among the columns of the nave or choir, it was impossible to divest myself of associations the most sublime, that seemed to swarm around me, like “a cloud of witnesses,” blending the interminable past with the momentary present. Here we were, in our turn, upon the stage, the great actors of past centuries lying all around us! Through yonder gate, beneath the great rose-window, pomp and procession have entered this holy place, age after age; and here, one after another, each as real in its time as that which occupies us now, have the great solemnities of the nation been celebrated. These arches and aisles looked just as they look this minute on the day when Laud ushered in King Charles to receive his crown, and when, just here, he was presented, to the Lords and Commons assisting at that pregnant moment, as their anointed Sovereign. The thought of all that has since passed on the same spot, seemed to compress into the mere drama of an hour, the mighty history of which such was the opening scene. Then the thought of the entire ignorance of futurity, by which such a pageant was made real in its time! Imagination places us back among the men of a by-gone age; but we cannot strip our individuality of its historic knowledge, and we behold their doings with the eyes of a seer. I seemed to be listening to the shout of “Long live King Charles”—and at the same moment foreseeing the scaffold at Whitehall. I seemed to wonder that others could be ignorant of what was coming: and to feel compelled to forewarn the King of the dreadful future. Just so the jubilant coronation of Charles the Second, and the melancholy inauguration of his successor, flitted before me, with the events of years condensed into a moment: and then again I found myself going back to the days of Elizabeth and her hateful sire; and so mounting to the Plantagenets and Normans. It is said that we cannot think of two things at once: but certainly, while I was absorbed in the sermon, I was yet occupied with such thoughts as these, and, in fact, was giving the preacher the full benefit of all this as a background, while I looked on him as the prominent figure of the picture. The psalms for the day had been exceedingly suggestive and appropriate; they were the Deus venerunt, the Qui regis Israel, and the Exultate Deo; and all the while I was mentally contrasting 1851 with 1651, and saying, “What hath God wrought!” That day, two hundred years ago, the Puritans were in the Abbey, making havoc of its holy things, and exulting over the annihilation of the Church of England. They supposed her exterminated, “root and branch:” it was a felony to read one of her ancient Collects in the poorest cottage of the land. And now! I was surrounded by representatives of her communion, who had come up to keep her one hundred and fiftieth missionary festival from the uttermost parts of the earth. Beside the Primate of all England, stood before me the Bishops of Argyle, of Jamaica, and of Tennessee. Around me were kneeling Africans, Asiatics, and Americans, with the islanders of the South Seas, all partakers of her holy fellowship: and passing from such a past to such a present—what a leap my spirit took into the future. Another jubilee—and another! Who shall set a limit to the ingathering of nations; to the latter-day triumphs of the Gospel!

“Visions of Glory, spare my aching sight;

 Ye unborn ages crowd not on my soul.”

When the services were over, it took some time to emancipate myself from the spell of the place, and I wandered to and fro in the Abbey. A dear friend, a fellow of Oriel College, caught me by the hand, and pointed to the slab beneath my feet. It covered Samuel Johnson. “Surely old Samuel’s bones must have been stirred to-day by the Church’s Jubilee,” said I, “but don’t think you have shown me his grave for the first time; I already know all the choice spots in this floor, and have knelt on that very slab, and given God thanks for his servant Samuel.”

I dined that day with a party of zealous Churchmen, and supporters of the S. P. G.; and, in the evening, went to an ecclesiastical conversazione at Willis’ Rooms. We drove, in a private carriage, through Hyde Park and St. James’s, and were set down at “Almack’s” as superbly as if we had come on as gay an errand as is the more usual one of its visitors. But those brilliant rooms were now thronged with a graver company, the object of the festivity being to do honour to foreign ecclesiastics and pastors, who might be in London on occasion of the Jubilee and the Crystal Palace. I was presented to the Primate, who conversed with a simplicity of manner the most impressive, and invited me to Lambeth with a sort of cordiality, the very reverse of that stateliness and etiquette which it was not unnatural to expect in the address of one so exalted in station. I was much pleased with his venerable appearance, and accepted the kind appointment of an hour, which he named, for my visit to the Archiepiscopal palace, with peculiar pleasure. His Grace was surrounded by his brother Bishops, among whom I saw, for the first time, the Archbishop of Dublin; a prelate of acknowledged talent, but whose gifts would have better fitted the Academy than the throne of a Primate. An Oriental Archimandrite completed the group in this quarter; and other parts of the rooms swarmed with solemn looking men, talking German and French with their English entertainers, or vainly essaying civilities in Low Dutch and Danish. One of these personages, who looked as if he might have figured, with credit to himself, at the Synod of Dort, attacked me in the dialect of the Flemings, to my utter consternation. I could only stammer out a little gibberish, as a reply, and precipitately sounded a retreat, in utter distrust of my ability to sustain a further conversation with my unknown colloquist to mutual satisfaction. I soon afterward made the acquaintance of the Chevalier Bunsen, with whom, as one of the curiosities of the age, I was not sorry to have this opportunity of exchanging a few words. The Chevalier is at home on every subject, and I found him communicative on the favourite topic which I ventured to start, by referring to a common friend, whom he had known very well in Rome. One after another I encountered, during the evening, many eminent and agreeable personages, among whom were officers of the army, dignitaries of the Church, several Bishops, and the Earl of Harrowby. The company was altogether a brilliant one, in spite of the polemical figures who constituted so important a part of it; and the stars and decorations of the nobility, and of foreign officials, were quite conspicuous, among the white neckerchiefs and black broadcloth of the ecclesiastics and pastors.

I breakfasted, next morning, with the Rector of St. Martin’s in the Fields, and then accompanied him, on a visiting tour, about his parish. First, I went to the parish-school, which had lately been rebuilt, and was deemed a model. Prince Albert, who interests himself in such things, was to visit it that very day, and I was kindly asked by the Rector to be of the company, but was otherwise engaged. One of the peculiarities of this building was its ingenious contrivance of a play-ground—if that may be so called, which was some fifty or sixty feet above the earth. Land being costly in the parish of St. Martin’s, the building was planned with a double roof, the lower one being flat, and surrounded with a high fence, affording a safe and ample space for the recreation of the children; while the roof above them served as an awning against the sun, or as a shelter from the rain. A fine view, and as pure an atmosphere as London can afford, were additional advantages of the arrangement. Next, we visited the parochial baths and wash-houses, in which the poor have the best opportunity for washing and drying clothes, and also of keeping their persons in a neat and wholesome condition, at the cost of a few pennies. The benevolence and utility of the establishment must be obvious. Next the Rector took me to see Coleman, one of his parishioners, who was then in his 102d year, and a fine and healthy-looking man at that. What is better, he is unfeignedly pious, and joined devoutly in the prayers which were offered by his pastor, responding with fervour, and saying, in reply to one of his questions—“I know that my Redeemer liveth.” This aged Christian owes his serene and consoling faith, under God, to his early training in the charity school, established in this parish by Archbishop Tennison. He was a pupil in that school when George the Second died, and remembers the tolling of the great bell of St. Paul’s, to announce the event. He also remembers the Coronation of George the Third, and the procession, which he saw as it went to the Abbey, on that occasion. Think of his living to see, as he did, the procession of Victoria to the Crystal Palace, with the same pair of eyes! It was gratifying to hear his testimony to the vast improvement in manners which has been going on in London since he was a boy. He remembers the nights and days which Hogarth has so frightfully depicted; and he says, too truly, that to be a gentleman, was to be a rake, almost universally, when he was a boy. “It was as much as one’s life was worth,” he says, “to walk the streets, at night, in those days.” The same day, I heard Mr. Sydney Herbert remark, in his speech at St. Martin’s Hall, that this age is reputed better than its antecessors, chiefly because, while it cares not what a man may be at heart, it compels him to be decent.

This meeting at St. Martin’s Hall, by the way, must not be forgotten. It was part of the Jubilee. Prince Albert presided, and did so, I must allow, in a very princely style, so far as his personal bearing was concerned. As he entered, which he did with great dignity, the whole assembly rose, and sang God Save the Queen. This struck me as exceedingly handsome and appropriate: but I was not so well pleased with the fulsome adulation with which some of the speakers, afterwards, seemed to think it necessary to bedaub him. He was himself guilty of a flagrant breach of propriety, as it struck me, in alluding to William of Orange, who happened to be on the throne when the Charter of the S. P. G. was signed and sealed, as “the greatest sovereign who ever reigned in Great Britain.” To this ill-judged compliment to one of the foreign adventurers who have succeeded in planting themselves in British palaces, a few gaping mouths in the auditory ejaculated the response, “hear, hear”—for which the sentence was evidently a studied catch: but I am glad to say that the greater part of the assembly was not such as to be so entrapped. It was a failure, absolutely, though the Times reported “great applause,” as a matter of course. When a prince condescends to set up for a critic upon royalty, he deserves no better success: and the ill taste of this particular attempt, on such an occasion, seemed to me offensive in the extreme. It is plain that the prince has learned his historical alphabet from Macaulay, and has studied no further: but I considered this straw as indicative of a coming wind, with which the founder of the House of Coburg should not have threatened the Church so soon. He may yet reap the whirlwind himself, or bequeath it to his children: for it is evident, to me, that amiable and estimable as he is, in many respects, and beloved as he is by a loyal people as the consort of their Queen, he is an alien to true British feeling, and an enemy to the Anglican Church. He would Germanize the nation if possible; above all, he longs to Bunsenize the national religion.

On the whole, I found myself too much of an American Churchman to relish this meeting. It was humiliating to see the venerable Archbishop paying such deference to one who, though so nearly allied to the throne, is in no wise entitled to especial homage from so august a personage as the Primate of all England: and I considered it insufferable that such official personages as Lord John Russell, and Earl Grey, should be chief speakers, merely because of their position, although flagrant enemies of the Church’s holiest principles. A more turgid piece of bombast than the former delivered, I have never chanced to hear, and his whole appearance was, to me, ludicrously revolting. It must not be supposed, however, that the meeting went off without effect. It was nobly redeemed by admirable speeches from Sydney Herbert, the Duke of Newcastle, Sir Robert Inglis, and the Earl of Harrowby, as well as from the Bishops of Oxford and London. Lord Harrowby, in particular, reflecting on the Walpoles and the Graftons of former ministerial epochs with just severity, gave Lord John some wise counsels, while apparently congratulating him on his widely different policy, in patronizing Missions! Mr. Sydney Herbert was truly eloquent, and threw out several sparkling abstractions, which greatly raised my estimate of his mental power; but the natural orator, among them all, was the Bishop of Oxford, whose delightful voice, pleading for the creation of a staff of native Missionaries in Africa, India, and China, infused a thrill of feeling through every heart, as he wound up with the scriptural example of those whose first transports, in receiving the Gospel, found vent in the expression—“We do hear them speak, in our tongues, the wonderful works of God.”

As duly appointed, I waited on the Archbishop at Lambeth, and was received with very little ceremony, into his study,—a spacious apartment, plainly furnished, and overlooking the garden of the Palace. His manner was, as before, extremely simple and affable; and he conversed upon divers ecclesiastical subjects with an appearance of zeal, and with a general tone of elevated churchmanship, for which he is certainly not celebrated as a Primate. It was with the profoundest reverence that I listened to the successor of Augustine and of Cranmer; and not without deference did I venture to express myself, in his presence, even on American subjects. As I rose to depart, he followed me to the door of the room, with something exceedingly winning and paternal in his farewell; and kindly invited me to dine with him, on a day which he named, as the only one when he expected to be at home for some time. This pleasure I was forced to deny myself, owing to a previous engagement; and I accordingly concluded my visit to Lambeth, at this time, by going the usual rounds in company with an official, to whom His Grace committed me. My readers may well imagine my emotions in surveying the Lollard’s Tower, the gallery of historic portraits, the library, and other apartments, of this most interesting pile; but perhaps they might not wholly appreciate the feelings with which I knelt in the chapel, and returned thanks for our American Episcopacy, on the spot where it was imparted to the saintly White. I lingered, for a long time, in the gardens, thinking of Laud, of Juxon, and of Sancroft; and dwelling, with peculiar gratification in my imagination, upon the scenes between Laud and “Mr. Hyde,” of which these gardens were the witness, as mentioned in the pictured pages of Clarendon.

The solemn octave of the Jubilee included Sunday the 22d of June, on which day special sermons were preached in many pulpits, in London, and collections made in behalf of the Society. I received an appointment to preach at Bow Church, and accordingly did so, taking as a text Genesis ix. 27, and endeavouring to show that the existence of our own Church, in the Western World, is a fulfilment of the prophecy, “God shall enlarge Japhet, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem.” But a greater privilege awaited me in the evening of the same day, when it was my happy lot to perform a similar duty, in the Temple Church, standing in Hooker’s pulpit, and preaching to a congregation of the highest intelligence and character, upon the spread of the Church in America. It was a fine afternoon, and that glorious Church was filled with such an assembly as I had never before seen gathered together on an occasion of ordinary worship. Besides the Bishops of Winchester and Edinburgh, who happened to be present, with the Master of the Temple, and other clergy, the benchers were numerously represented, and the finest legal talent of the empire was undoubtedly there collected. To judge by the large attendance of ladies, (some of them of the highest rank,) the Templars were also accompanied by their families: to whom, I suppose, the music furnishes a powerful attraction, as it is justly celebrated; and the organ, though selected two hundred years ago, by the critical ear of the bloody Judge Jeffreys, is of a tone proverbially sweet. The attendance of strangers, drawn together by the same attraction, was also very large, the round church as well as the choir, being apparently filled. I was much moved by the anthem—“Tell it out among the heathen that the Lord is King”—and when it was time for me to ascend the pulpit, and to preach to such an Areopagus, it may be imagined that it was not without feelings of emotion, such as I had never before experienced in the performance of my official duties. That old historic spot, where Hooker had struggled to preserve the falling Church of a single kingdom, was now occupied by my pilgrim feet; and coming from a new world, I was to attest, before such an assembly, and in the presence of God, the blessings which that noble struggle had secured, not to England only, but through her to the wilds of America, and to the unborn generations of a new and mighty people in another hemisphere. The text was the prophecy of David, (Psalm xlv. 17,) “Instead of thy fathers thou shalt have children, whom thou mayest make princes in all lands:” and it was my effort, (as I trust I may say, without too free a personal confession) to improve so interesting an opportunity, in commending my country to the respect of those who heard me, while confessing the just claims upon her gratitude, of the Mother land, from which she is proud to derive the blessings of the Gospel, and the institutions of enlightened freedom, guarded by the supremacy of law. After service, the Master of the Temple, taking me into his adjoining residence, showed me a table which once belonged to his great predecessor, Hooker, and allowed me to sit down in Hooker’s chair. He also showed me some memorials of Bishop Heber, whose missionary labours in India he had assisted, as his chaplain. The evening was passed under the domestic roof of Dr. Warren, the eminent bencher, whose remarkable production, “Ten thousand a-year,” has added to his other distinctions, that of reforming the romance literature of the age, and of introducing a tone of high Christian morality, in place of that fashionable depravity which Bulwer had caught from Byron, and substituted for the decent propriety of Scott. To his polite hospitalities I was indebted for some of my happiest hours in London: and the conclusion of this Holy Day was rendered memorable by many warm expressions of regard for my country and her Church, inspired by his conversation, in the genial society of his family and friends.


Lord Mayor’s Banquet—Eton College—Hampton.

The Jubilee festival at Westminster Abbey was not allowed to supersede the annual sermon at St. Paul’s; and accordingly, on the 18th of June, I attended the service in the cathedral, and heard the Bishop of St. Asaph. The service was performed with the aid of “all the choicest music of the kingdom,” for the choirs of the royal palaces of Windsor and St. James’s were added, on this occasion, to the ordinary musical force of the cathedral, with very great effect. The clergy, with the Bishops, entered in procession through the nave, and the Lord Mayor in robes, and with the civic sword borne before him, figured in the pageant, and occupied his stall. The sermon was scarcely audible where I sat, within the rails of the sanctuary, but it seemed to be earnestly delivered. Then came the Hallelujah Chorus—which I certainly never before heard so impressively performed. “And He shall reign for ever and ever—King of kings, and Lord of lords!” The reverberations of the dome, and the long resounding echoes of those noble aisles prolonged the strain, and made it like the voice of many waters in the new Jerusalem.

It was Waterloo-day; and, while the Duke was supposed to be feasting his friends at Apsley House, the Lord Mayor, at the Mansion-house, gave a city feast to the Clergy of London, with others, among whom I had the honour of being numbered. It was, in fact, a dinner given to the S. P. G., in honour of its Jubilee; and I owed my invitation to the kind offices of the Bishop of Oxford. The Mansion-house is the official residence of the Lord Mayor, and it is a conspicuous object in Lombard-street, near the Bank of England. On arriving, we were shown into an ante-room, where the Lord Mayor received us, and we were presented to the Lady Mayoress. The room was filled with company, and here I met several distinguished personages whom I had not seen before. I was particularly pleased with being introduced, by Dean Milman, to Dr. Croly, for whose genius and productions I have a high regard. The dinner was served in the Egyptian Hall, so called from its original resemblance to a hall described by Vitruvius. It is a spacious banquet-room, and looks very well when lighted, although destitute of such specimens of art as would best furnish its nudity of wall, and its many “coignes of vantage.” The chief table crossed the hall at one end, and at right angles with this, four long tables stretched through the apartment. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress sat in state at the head, the former wearing his glittering collar and jewel, as well as his robes, with the city mace, sword, and other splendid insignia displayed before him. The Archbishop, with the Bishops, were seated on his right and left, dressed in their silk gowns and cassocks, in which costume all the clergy present were attired. The ladies made a very superb appearance, and I should suppose the whole company numbered about two hundred persons. The display of plate, and the general show of splendour, was sumptuous, in all respects, answering to one’s ideas of a Lord Mayor’s feast. An old-fashioned civic custom, moreover, was observed with a certain degree of punctilio, which, while highly becoming, was yet to me highly amusing, and made me feel, all the time, as if I were dining with the great Whittington himself, especially when his Lordship sent me a glass, and invited me to the high honour of drinking with him. The mayor of such a metropolis is, indeed, for the time, a right worshipful personage, and in the then incumbent I saw before me a most pleasing representative of the magistracy of the greatest capital of Christendom. He is attended with a degree of state quite worthy of a sovereign. It was odd, I must own, to see his chaplain come forward, in the style described by the cynical Macaulay, and, after saying grace, retire. So, too, the presence of his post-boy, in flaming jacket and short-clothes, and glittering cap, with many other servants, in showy and old-fashioned liveries, gave an antique appearance to the magnificence of the scene. The dinner was served with like attention to ancient ceremonies, soup, venison, comfits and all. Before the dessert, instead of finger-glasses, golden ewers were borne about, filled with rose-water, and thus every body performed his abstersion most fragrantly. At the head of each table was then set an enormous golden chalice, with a cover curiously wrought, the Lord Mayor having a still more magnificent one placed before him. What next? The toast-master appeared behind his lordship’s chair, and began—“My Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, my Lord Bishop of London”—and so on through the roll of Bishops—“my Lords, Ladies and gentlemen! the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress greet you in a loving cup, and give you a hearty welcome.” The Mayor and Mayoress then rose, and taking the loving cup in hand, she uncovered it for him, with a graceful courtesy, to which he returned a bow, and then drank, wiped the chalice with his napkin, allowed it to be covered, and then sat down, while the lady, turning to the Archbishop, who rose accordingly, repeated the ceremony, save that he uncovered the cup, and it was her turn to taste the draught. Thus the cup went round. It was my duty to begin the rite at the table at which I sat, and happily I received the kindest instructions beforehand from my partner, so that I did my duty well enough for a novice: but a more beautiful ceremony, as the pairs successively rose and sat, along the splendid room, I never beheld. I thought of Vortigern and Rowena: but the origin of the custom is said to have been even before the days—

      When they carved at the meal

      In their gloves of steel,

And drank the red wine thro’ the helmet barr’d;

and when, as one lifted his arm to drink, it was deemed a necessary precaution that one should stand up to guard him from a fifth-rib. With less ceremony, the custom still obtains in the halls of Oxford; but where the ladies take a part in it, it is certainly a most graceful embellishment of feasting.

Instead of the usual grace after meat, a party of male and female singers appeared at the foot of the hall, and reverently sang a little hymn, all the company rising. His Lordship then informed the company that “on occasion of receiving his friends at the Mansion-house, it was his privilege to dispense with all rules save those which governed the ancient entertainments of the city of London, one of which enabled him to request the ladies to remain at the table, and to hope for the continued honour of their company during the evening.” After this velvety preface, he pronounced the first toast, with a similar softness, and then the toast-master shouted—“My lords, ladies and gentlemen, the Lord Mayor has given the Queen.” All rose, and drank loyally, and then came “God save the Queen,” which was heartily sung. “Please to charge your glasses for the next toast,” was the perpetual cry of the toast-master for the next hour, and always the toast was announced with like formality, the speeches and the music, that followed, being all that could be desired. The venerable Archbishop, whose wig gave him a reverend air of the last century, was peculiarly happy in replying to the usual compliments to their right reverend lordships, who all stood while he spoke in their name. The Bishop of Winchester, his younger brother, who wore his jewel as prelate of the order of the Garter, made a very fine appearance. The Bishop of Oxford also wore his decoration as chancellor of that order; and I observed that, on such occasions, he always wore it with the rosette face displayed, while, in divine service, over his Episcopal costume, the other face was exhibited; and very appropriately, as it consists of a pearl ground, with a simple cross, as in an armorial shield. A trifling fact! and yet where one is closely observing the peculiarities of a Church, thus intimately working in with all the civil and social institutions of a mighty empire, the man is a fool who would not be willing to note it. It is with a view to a just delineation of these workings, as they are, that I often refer to incidents, of little account in themselves. This dinner at the Mansion-house was especially noteworthy, as contrasted with the spirit of a civic banquet in our own great towns; and I must own, that if it be desirable that the genius of Christianity should interpenetrate, and transfuse all the forms of civilized life, the contrast is not in our favour.

The entertainment concluded at a comparatively early hour; and then I drove to another, at the residence of the estimable Miss Burdett Coutts, in Piccadilly. Here, among other celebrated men, in the most brilliant party I ever saw, I first met Lord Nelson; and yet again next morning, I met him, before breakfast, attending the daily service at Curzon chapel. The week passed delightfully, in frequent social festivities; and I cannot but particularize a pleasant breakfast party at Mr. Beresford Hope’s—and one of those admirably contrived ones, at Sir Robert Inglis’, in which everybody is so sure to meet with everybody and every thing that is agreeable. On another occasion, at his table, I sat next to Lord Glenelg, and ventured to engage him in conversation on the subject of the hymns of his brother, the late Sir Robert Grant, which are so prominent in our Church Collection, alike for their scholarly and refined taste, and their devotional fervor. He seemed pleased to learn of the value set upon them in America; and soon after, on returning to my lodgings, I found upon my table, as a present from his lordship, a beautiful copy of his brother’s poems, which I shall always highly value.

During the week, I went up to Eton—the place of places, which I had longed to see, and where I was now invited to visit an enthusiastic Etonian. This excursion involved, of course, a visit to Windsor, whose imperial towers so magnificently over-shadow the nest of the choicest progeny of England. Never did I receive such ideas of the moral grandeur of the British Constitution, as comprehending Church, State and Society, as, when, from the fields of Eton College, I surveyed the unparalleled abode of the British sovereign; and then, from the terrace of the castle, looked back upon that nursery of British youth; its studious halls, its venerable chapel, its ample fields for sport, and the crystal waters of the Thames, flowing between; fit emblem of joyous youth, passing on to the burthen of the world and the ocean of eternity.

When Gray looked from that terrace, over the same scene, and conceived his incomparable Ode, he said all that one ought to say, and I will attempt no more. One question, however, which he could only ask, it is reserved for us to answer.

Who foremost now delight to cleave,

With pliant arm thy glassy wave, &c.?

Among the boys whom he then saw running and swimming, and driving hoop and playing cricket, in the old familiar scene, was he who afterwards conquered Napoleon. I saw the name of Wellesley, with those of Fox and others as celebrated, carved in the college oak. There, too, were the busts of Hammond and Pearson, and of Gray himself. The famous men of Eton seemed to be around me in legions. Who could not catch manliness and might amid such associations? All day I loitered about those meads, and towards evening went upon the Thames with a merry party, to see a juvenile boat race, in the Oxford fashion. Oh, the sport of those happy boys! One boat swamped, but the little fellows swam lustily to shore, and ran home laughing. It was the fragrant hay-time. Every prospect—every breeze was pleasing. As the boats hurried by, and those patrician lads pulled away at their oars, like day-labourers, I saw how the mind and muscles are alike developed at Eton. How can the body be feeble, that is reared with such lusty exercise: how can the mind but conceive high thoughts, that pursues its very sports with “those antique towers” on one hand, and that stupendous castle, lifting its gigantic bulk, and stretching its majestic walls, upon the other? The boys look upon the right, and there sages, patriots, heroes, priests and princes have been bred: they turn to the left, and there their Sovereign lives in august retirement; her imperial banner waves above the keep; and beneath that solemn chapel sleeps the Royal Martyr, and the dust of mighty kings, whose names are the material of history.

I made the usual circuit of the castle; but with the details which every guide-book furnishes, I would not fatigue my readers. For the mere show of royal furniture, my mind could find little room; and mere State-apartments, as such, were even a distasteful sight. But the noble architecture, and unrivalled site of the castle; its histories, and the charm which association gives to every tower and window, and to the whole scene with which it fills the eye—these are the sublime elements with which Windsor inspires the soul, and impregns the imagination. Hoc fecit Wykeham—is the inscription one catches, deep cut in the wall of one of the towers: an equivoque which the ambitious architect is said to have interpreted, as implying that the work was the making of him, when asked by his royal patron how he dared to claim the castle as a creation, and turn it into a memorial of himself. But who can appropriate Windsor? The humble poet, by a single song, has taken its terrace to himself; and every stone, and every timber, might bear some appropriate and speaking legend. I thought chiefly of Charles the First. How he loved this castle! How he would have adorned it, and what a home of worth and genius he would have made it, had he not fallen on evil times! That truly English heart beat warmly here, a few weeks before it ceased to beat forever; and along this esplanade was borne his bleeding body, (on which fell the symbolic snow of a passing cloud,) to its last sublime repose. “So went the white king to his rest,” says a quaint historian: and when, at Evening Prayer in St. George’s chapel, I reflected that his solemn relics were underneath, I felt a reviving affection for his memory, almost like that of personal love. The dying sunbeams gilded the carvings of the sanctuary and the banners of the knights; I sat in one of the stalls near the altar, and observed near me the motto—cœlum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt. When at length the anthem swelled through the gorgeous chapel—Awake up my glory—I could not but respond, inwardly, that it was meet that the glory of God should be thus perpetually uplifted in the palace of a Sovereign, whom he has so magnified in the earth. And to which of her Sovereigns does England owe it, that she is not now either a cracked Commonwealth, without God and without government, or else an iron despotism, in the grasp of successful usurper? He who sleeps under that chapel said that he died “a martyr for the people:” and so he did. On the principle by which Macaulay attributes the liberties of England to her Cromwells, we might attribute salvation to Judas and Pontius Pilate.

In the twilight I returned to Eton, and went and mused in the chapel, after searching out the slab that covers Sir Henry Wotton. Then to one of the Dames’ houses, (a tasteful abode,) where several oppidans were domiciled, with whom I attended family prayers. These oppidans are the day-scholars of Eton: having no rooms in the college, and sharing none of its funds. They are the greater part of the Etonians, the sons of gentlemen and of the nobility, who, of course, do not require the scholarships. After a sweet sleep, interrupted by hearing the clock strike and the chimes playing at Windsor, I rose to another delightful day, and soon after breakfast attended the service in the chapel. Five hundred and fifty boys were here gathered as worshippers. The service was an hour long, it being the Anniversary of the Queen’s Accession. Yet, for the whole time, did those youths maintain the decorum of gentlemen, and worship with the fervor of Christians. This reverence in worship is said to have greatly increased during late years among the Eton boys, many of whom are communicants. It speaks well for their homes, as well as for their college. What promise for the future of the Empire!

In short, the boys of Eton seem to study well, to play well, to fare well, to sleep well, to pray well. It was a holiday, and I went into the grounds to see the cricket match: I visited the library, the boys’ rooms, and the halls. It is a literal fact, that they still revere their “Henry’s holy shade;” for pictures of “the meek usurper,” are to be found in almost every chamber. Last of all, I went to the river with an Etonian friend, stripped, and plunged in. I could not leave that spot without a swim; and accordingly, after a struggle with father Thames, I emerged, and soon after left Eton in a glow of genial warmth and lively enthusiasm. If “manners maketh man,” Eton cannot fail to be the nursery of great men, so long as it is true to itself and to the Church of God.

My next visit was to Hampton Court, for which I found a day quite insufficient, when reduced to the actual hours which one is permitted to devote to the survey of such a wilderness of natural and artificial charms, and to the enjoyment of their historical interest. In the grounds of the palace, and in Bushy Park, I found a formal grandeur, so entirely becoming a past age, and so unusual in this, that it impressed me with feelings of melancholy the most profound. Those avenues of chestnuts and thorns, those massive colonnades and dreamy vistas, wear a desolate and dreary aspect of by-gone glory, in view of which my spirits could not rise. They seemed only a fit haunt for airy echoes, repeating an eternal Where? Nothing later than the days of Queen Anne seems to belong to the spot. You pass from scenes in which you cannot but imagine Pope conceiving, for the first time, his “Rape of the Lock,” into a more trim and formal spot, where William of Orange seems likely to appear before you, with Bishop Burnet buzzing about him, and a Dutch guard following in the rear. Then again, James the Second, with the Pope’s nuncio at his elbow, and a coarse mistress flaunting at his side, might seem to promise an immediate apparition; when once more the scene changes, and the brutal Cromwell is the only character who can be imagined in the forlorn area, with a file of musketeers in the back-ground, descried through a shadowy archway. Here is a lordly chamber where the meditative Charles may be conceived as startled by the echo of their tread; and here another, where he embraces, for the last time, his beloved children. There, at last, is Wolsey’s Hall, and here one seems to behold old Blue-beard leading forth Anne Boleyn to a dance. It still retains its ancient appearance, and is hung with mouldering tapestry and faded banners, although its gilding and colors have been lately renewed. The ancient devices of the Tudors are seen here and there, in windows and tracery, and the cardinal’s hat of the proud churchman, who projected the splendors of the place, still survives, in glass, whose brittle beauty has thus proved less perishable than his worldly glory.

Yet let no one suppose the magnificence of Hampton Court to consist in its architecture. One half is the mere copy of St. James’s, and the other is the stupid novelty of Dutch William. The whole together, with its parks, and with its history, is what one feels and admires. I am not sure but Royal Jamie, with his Bishops and his Puritans on either side was as often before me, when traversing the pile, as anything else: and for him and his Conference the place seems fit enough, having something of Holyrood about it, and something Scholastic, or collegiate, also. Queen Victoria should give it to the Church, as a college for the poor, and so add dignity to her benevolence, which has already turned it into a show for the darling “lower classes.” I honour the Queen for this condescension to the people; and yet, as I followed troops of John Gilpins through the old apartments, and observed their inanimate stare, and booby admiration, it did strike me that a nobler and a larger benefit might be conferred upon them, in a less incongruous way. Perhaps the happiest thought would be to make it for the clergy just what Chelsea is to the army, and Greenwich to the naval service.

Among the interminable pictures of these apartments, some most precious, and some execrable, the original Cartoons of Rafaelle of course arrest the most serious and reverent attention. There hang those bits of paper, slightly colored, but distinctly crayoned and chalked, on which his immortal genius exhausted its finest inspiration! Who knows not, by heart, the Lame Man at the Beautiful Gate, St. Paul Preaching at Athens, the Sacrifice at Lystra, and Elymas struck blind? These are the autographs of those sublime works; and the Vatican itself may envy their possession to Hampton Court. But, beyond their antiquarian interest, I must own they have not for me the attractiveness of a beautiful copy: it would be a fine thing to own Shakspeare’s autograph of Hamlet, but who would not rather read and study the play in the clear type and paper of a modern edition? Next to the Cartoons, I found most interesting the old historic canvas of Holbein, with its paste-board figures; and after that, the intensely significant series, which may be picked out, from room to room, as displaying the spirit of English reigns. Look at that glorious Van Dyck! How the rich romance of the Cavaliers invests its mellow lights and melancholy shades! There the voluptuous age of the Restoration swims before the eye in the dreamy coloring of Lely. See how old Kneller hardens every tint, and stiffens every line, as he essays to paint for William of Orange! Then comes Reynolds, throwing a hectic brilliancy over the starched figures and unyielding features of the Georgian age; and last of all West, with his brick-dust Hanoverians, surrendering art itself a prisoner to the intolerable prose and incurable beer-drinking of his times! Here and there I found a Lawrence, instinct with the spirit of a happy revival, and giving promise of better things to come. The collections are also rich in specimens of Flemish and Italian art; and warmed me with a desire hardly felt before in England, to be off on a contemplated tour of the Continent.

On my way to Winchester, I was led to stop for an hour at Basing-stoke, by an idle curiosity to behold a place in which some of my forefathers once resided. It gave me an opportunity of visiting the tomb of the elder Warton, close by the altar of the parish Church. From Winchester I went by post, in the twilight, over downs, and through dingles and dales, to Hursley, where I entered the Church, and found Mr. Keble and his curate celebrating Evening Prayers. I had brought with me, from Hampton Court, a feeling of overpowering depression, and having seen the admired poet in circumstances so fitting to his character as a Christian priest, I was about to turn away, and drive back to Winchester, when another impulse suddenly prevailed, and I ventured to present myself. I had a preconception of his piety and unworldliness, that affected me with awe, and embarrassed me, in approaching him; nor did anything in his cordiality divest him of something that restrained me in his presence. Nothing could be more simple and unaffected than his manner; and yet, in a word, it was as if George Herbert had risen from his grave, and were talking with me, in a familiar way. He would not hear of my departure, but instantly made me his guest; and thenceforth I was in a dream, from the time that I first saw him till I bade him farewell. Nothing could be more kind than his hospitality; nothing more delightful than the vision on which I opened my eyes, in the morning, and looked out on his Church, and the little hamlet contiguous. Hursley is a true poet’s home. It is as secluded as can well be imagined. England might ring with alarms, and Hursley would not hear it: and it seems all the more lonely, when one learns that Richard Cromwell retired hither, from a throne, and after waxing old in a quiet contentment, died here in peace, and now sleeps beneath the tower of the Church, just under the vicar’s windows, with all the cousinry of the Cromwells around him. A wise fool was Richard! But to think of a Cromwell lying still, in such a Church as Mr. Keble has made this of Hursley! It has been lately rebuilt, from the foundation, all but the tower, and its symbolism and decoration are very rich, though far from being overdone. The taste that has enshrined itself in “the Christian Year,” has here taken shape in stones. One of the windows, the gift of friends, is an epitome of that delightful work, and displays the chief festivals, beginning with the Circumcision. In the minute adornment of the corbels, my attention was called to a beautiful idea, which runs through the whole series, and which is said to furnish the hint for interpreting the ornaments of older churches. Entering the south porch, you observe the sculptured heads of the reigning sovereign and the present bishop of the See; and then, at the door, those of St. Helena, and St. Augustine of Canterbury. At the chancel arch are St. Peter and St. Paul; and over the altar, beneath the arch of the East window, are the figures of our Lord, and of His Virgin Mother. Thus, from the present, the mind is carried on to the past; and from pastors and rulers, through doctors and apostles, up to Christ. The north porch exhibits the heads of Ken and Andrewes, of Wykeham and Fox; while the corbels of the exterior arch of the east window, bear those of Ambrose and Athanasius. The tower of the Church is finished by a graceful spire, and the gilded cock surmounts the pile—

                        “——to tell

How, when Apostles ceased to pray, they fell.”

A grateful feeling comes over me at every remembrance of my visit to Hursley, for I felt all the time like an intruder, receiving privileges beyond my power to repay, while my kind entertainer seemed as one who desires no such tribute to his genius as mere tourists are wont to afford. An inferior character might be flattered to find himself sought out, of every traveller; but all the heartfelt kindness of the vicar of Hursley was no disguise, to me, of a spirit that loves the Paradise of a blessed seclusion from the world, and which nothing but benevolence can prompt to welcome the stranger, that desires to see him face to face, and to thank him for the soothing influences and inspiring harmonies of his perennial songs.

At Winchester, there are three great sights, besides several of minor interest: the hospital of St. Cross, the college of Wykeham, and the cathedral. Let me first speak of the school, a sort of Eton, but less aristocratic, and certainly far less attractive in its site and circumstances. It glories, nevertheless, in its founder, and in his fellow-architect, Waynflete, and in many eminent names in Church and State. Enough that it bred Bishop Ken; and that his initials may be found, cut with his boyish hand, in the stone of the cloisters. In the chapel, what chiefly arrests the eye, is the gorgeous window, with its genealogy of the Saviour, displayed in the richest colours and designs. The library, within the area of the cloisters, was an ancient chantry, designed for masses for the dead in the surrounding graves: and, I confess, I wish it were still a chapel, in which prayers might be offered, and the dead in Christ commemorated, although not as aforetime. Without particularly describing the hall, or refectory, I must not omit to mention the time-honoured Hircocervus, or picture of “the Trusty-servant,” which hangs near the kitchen, and which emblematically sets forth those virtues in domestics, of which we Americans know nothing. It is a figure, part man, part porker, part deer, and part donkey; with a padlock on his mouth, and various other symbols in his hands and about his person, the whole signifying a most valuable character. This for the college menials; but the boys also are made to remember by it, that, for a time, “they differ nothing from a servant, though they be lords of all.” In the lofty school-room, they are further taught, in symbols, the Medo-Persian character of the laws of the school. A mitre and crosier are displayed as the rewards of scholarship and fidelity; an ink-horn and a sword intimate that a blotting-out and cutting-off await the incorrigible; while a scourge suggests the only remedy, known to the school, short of the final penalty. Under these salutary emblems, the Wykeham boys of many generations have read and pondered the legends, which explain them severally, thus—Aut disce—aut discede—manet sors tertia cædi! Tables of the college laws are set up with like publicity, after the manner of the Decemvirs. It is evident that the Wykehamists are in no danger of forgetting that “manners maketh men.”

Through a pleasant meadow, and by a clear stream, I made my way to the hospital of St. Cross, founded by Bishop De Blois seven hundred years ago: yet, in conformity with the will of that prelate, when I knocked at the porter’s lodge, I was duly presented with a slice of bread and a horn of wholesome beer, which I was just then quite thankful to receive, and to despatch in honour of his memory. To such a dole is everybody entitled who applies in the same manner: and a larger charity is, at stated times, distributed at the same place, to the neighbouring poor. The establishment to which I was admitted, after such an introduction, is one of the most interesting objects I ever saw. Its old courts and halls reminded me not a little of Haddon; a pair of leathern pitchers were shown me, as vessels which once held ale for Cardinal Beaufort: but its chapel is indeed a relic of surpassing interest. It is built in cathedral form, and combines both Saxon and Norman details, with the first formal step towards the pointed arch. From the intersection of two of its circular arches, according to some, sprang Salisbury cathedral—the whole idea, from crypt to the vanishing point of its spire. And from this last remnant of conventual life, why should not the true idea of such establishments be in a similar manner revived throughout Christendom? Here live some dozen poor and aged men, who else would have no home on this side heaven. Each wears a flowing garment of black, with a silver cross shining on its cape: they call one another brother; they study to be quiet; prayer is their only business; and order and neatness reign throughout the holy place. No one can visit St. Cross without praying that the Church of England may be blessed with hundreds more of just such homes for aged poverty, and that wherever wealth abounds in her communion, it may be devoted to erecting them.


Winchester Cathedral—Relics—Netley Abbey.

In Winchester Cathedral I attended Morning Service, on the feast of St. John Baptist. I am sorry to say that here, too, the service is ill-performed; not that there is nothing to enjoy in it, even now: but that when one reflects what ought to be the daily worship of such a cathedral, and what it might be, if the laws of the cathedral were enforced, and if a holy zeal were more characteristic of its dignitaries: there is nothing to say but—shame on things as they are. When will the conscience of England clamour against such disgraceful poverty of cathedral worship; and when will the brain of England wake up to a sense of what these churches might do for the nation, if rightly served and administered? The feature of this cathedral which most impresses the stranger, is its far-sweeping length of nave and choir, with the light or shadowy vistas, through columns and arches, which seem to multiply its interminable effect. In its details it is also very rich, and several of its monuments are of unequalled magnificence. Here lies, in his superb chantry, William of Wykeham, whose mitred and crosiered effigy, stretched at full length upon his sepulchre, seems sublimely conscious of repose, after a life of vast achievement, in rearing schools for youth, and colleges for the learned, and palaces for princes, and hospitals for the poor, and temples for God. Bishop Wayneflete is not less superbly sepulchred in a small chapel, or chantry, of elegant design, beautifully enriched, and gilded, and kept in complete repair by the Fellows of his College, at Oxford. His effigy bears, in clasped hands, a heart, which he thus uplifts to heaven, as it were, in fervent response to the Sursum Corda of the Liturgy. Over against this chantry rises, in twin magnificence, that of Cardinal Beaufort: but in spite of its placid air, beneath those solemn tabernacles one looks upon his figure with painful remembrances of the death-scene which Shakspeare has so powerfully depicted. “He dies and makes no sign,” is the awful thought that haunts the mind, as one lingers about this perpetual death-bed; and yet it is not difficult to conclude the inspection with the more charitable ejaculation of King Henry—

“Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all.

 Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close,

 And let us all to meditation.”

But Bishop Fox’s monument and chapel are even more affecting than any of these, from its peculiar combination of ingenious sepulchral devices, with elaborate graces of architecture. It is overpowering, after examining the splendours of its canopy and fretwork, to descend to the little grated recess beneath, where the subject of all this monumental glory is represented in the humiliation of death and the grave. It seems like looking into Hades. One sees a ghastly figure of emaciation and decay; the eyes lying deep in their sockets, in a frightful stage of decomposition, and the whole frame exhibiting the power of death over the flesh of the Saints, but suggesting that, while patiently submitting to the worst that worms can do, it rests in hope and speaks out of the very grave—“I know that my Redeemer liveth.” In a corresponding chapel, but of low architectural character, on the other side of the choir, lies the cruel Stephen Gardiner, the unfortunate son of an adulterous Bishop, and the fitting purveyor of fire and faggot to the Bloody Mary. The nuptials of this sulphurous sovereign with Philip of Spain, were celebrated, by-the-way, in the Lady-Chapel of this cathedral. Strange that the same Church which entombs her favourite Gardiner, should also contain the sepulchre of that bloated Hanoverian, the notorious Hoadly, surrounded with such emblems as the cap of liberty, and the Magna Charta, in close juxta-position with the crosier and the Holy Bible! The character of the Bishop would have been better symbolized by some ingenious device illustrative of the truth, that—“the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib.”

One cannot but hope that the superb altar-screen of this cathedral will be more fully restored than at present, and that a proper altar, or Holy Table, will be added, such as may illustrate the true spirit of the Anglican Liturgy, and the richness of its Orthodoxy. A poverty-stricken altar is surely no recommendation of reformed religion; and were I only an ecclesiologist, it would delight me to show that such a Holy Table as even the Court of Arches could not presume to desecrate, might be erected, in strict conformity with the Anglican ritual, and in perfect keeping with such a choir, that should put to shame the tawdry Babylonianism of the Romish altars on the Continent.

While speaking of the choir, let me not forget the little chests which surmount the screens of the sanctuary. Who can look at them without emotion, when informed that they contain all that remains of princes and priests, and of mighty kings, and fair ladies, their queens. There are the remains of Canute and of Rufus, of “Queen Emma and the Bishops Wina and Alwyn.” On one may be read the inscription—“King Edmund, whom this chest contains, oh, Christ receive.” Another, marking the era of the Rebellion, with a striking trophy of its infamy, bears the legend—“In this chest, in the year 1661, were deposited the confused relics of princes and prelates, which had been scattered by sacrilegious barbarism, in the year 1642.” The havoc made by the Puritans in this holy place is everywhere painfully visible. The beautiful chapel, in the rear of the choir, is filled with fragments of carved work and mutilated sculpture, which bear silent witness against the “axes and hammers” of the Puritans: while many a corresponding “stone out of the wall” seems to cry shame, and “many a beam out of the timber, to answer it.” The noble figure of a knight, in bronze, upon an altar tomb, bears the marks of their indiscriminate violence, in deep cuts or hacks made by a sword, apparently in a spirit of wanton brutality. It was refreshing to turn from such Vandal tokens, to the simple memorial of one who lived in the age that produced them, but whose character furnishes altogether as striking a contrast to the turbulent spirit of his times, as the still waters and green pastures of his native land afford to the elements of the Lapland storm. In Prior Silkstede’s chapel, I paid a parting reverence to the slab that covers the honourable remains of Izaak Walton. Verily, he served God in his generation: for when they knew not how to sport at all, he spake of fishes, and when again they sported like fools, he spake of men.

After a walk through sweet meads, and by a clear stream, I climbed St. Katherine’s hill, and took a full view of the city and its suburbs; and soon after left for Salisbury. It was, indeed, a feast day, that day of St. John the Baptist, on which I saw two such cathedrals as Winchester and Salisbury: the former, characterized by all the grandeur of the long-drawn aisle—the latter, by all the glory of the culminating spire. The emotions inspired by the one were those of a well-chanted service; but I found the effect of the other like that of a rapturous anthem. I speak now of the external views only: and certainly my first view of Salisbury, that fine midsummer evening, was as a vision of Paradise. The heavenward shooting of all its parts, and the consummate unity of effect with which they all blend in the sky-piercing pyramid, around which they are grouped, exceeds all that I ever saw of the kind. I only grudged to the levels of Salisbury, what ought rather to crown such a sovereign hill as that of Lincoln.

This Church is familiar to the architect as the full-blown flower of his art. It stands in a lonely retirement from the town, and, sitting down in its precincts to enjoy the view, I found myself uninterrupted in my meditations for a long, delightful hour, the only intruders being some nibbling sheep that pastured under the walls, and the chattering rooks, that seemed to amuse themselves in making a spiral flight round the spire, and so winding up from its base to its tapering point. Beautiful for its figure and its decoration, is that spire, and so is the incomparable tower, from which it springs like a plant; and wherever the eye rests in wandering over the splendours of its surrounding walls, buttresses, pinnacle, arches, and gables, all is in keeping, and one spirit seems to animate the pile. I am sorry to confess disappointment as to the interior. It is so neglected, and has been so much impaired. The clustered columns that support the tower have yielded to its weight, and are visibly bowed and sprung from their piers. The chapter-house exhibits a shameful neglect, and its beautiful decorations have suffered from violent abuse. The present Bishop is exerting himself effectually, however, in the work of restoration: and one cannot but hope that the next generation will see this cathedral the seat of a living and working system of diocesan zeal, and the centre of Gospel life and influence to the surrounding rural district, and its many needy souls.

A series of altar tombs, in the nave and aisles, gives a peculiar effect to the spaces between the columns, and to the arches above. Among them is the tomb of an unfortunate nobleman, who was hanged for murder some three hundred years since, and over which was, for a long time, suspended the silken noose which suspended him. The tomb of a boy-bishop, marked by a little figure in pontificals, is a curious relic of mediæval mummeries; and not less so is the sepulchre of Bishop Roger, a Norman, who first attracted the admiration of King Henry I., by the galloping pace at which he contrived to get through a mass. I paid a more reverent tribute to the plain slab that covers Bishop Jewell, who, with all his faults, deserves the rather to be reverenced, because this age has bred a set of men, who seem to take pleasure in spitting upon his memory, while defiling, with equal insolence, the face of their Mother the Church.

As evening came on, I took a post-chaise for Amesbury and Figheldean, where I had been invited to visit that interesting personage, Mr. Henry Caswall, a clergyman who has done, perhaps, more than any other man, to make known, in England, the history and peculiar characteristics of the American Church. He is by birth an Englishman; he is nevertheless in American orders, and thus, in his person, unites the Church in which he ministers to that in which he received his commission. The interest with which I now sought his acquaintance may therefore be imagined. After a pleasing drive over the downs, and a rapid inspection of the curious remains of “Old Sarum,” I found myself in a small, but picturesque hamlet, in which almost every house was thatched, clustered at the foot of a knoll, on which rose the parish Church of “Filedean”—for so it is pronounced. In a few minutes I was Mr. Caswall’s guest, and, for the first time since leaving home, I was able to talk over American subjects with one who entirely understood them. After a cordial reception by his amiable family, a long and cheerful review of American matters closed this very happy and memorable day.

I was much entertained to observe in Mr. Caswall many of those traits of enterprise and efficiency which seemed to me to be developments of what we should call Western life, though the English would consider them simply American. That he is naturally enterprising and ingenious to a great degree, I am sure no one can doubt: it was probably this characteristic which originally led him, though a nephew of the Bishop of Salisbury, to seek the wilds of Ohio, and to become a Missionary under Bishop Chase. But who, that had not been disciplined to invention in our Missionary field, could exhibit, as he does, the fruits of this faculty, in an exuberant degree, amid all the comforts of an English vicarage! A river runs near his Church; he has boats upon it of his own construction, and one has paddle-wheels. In the tower of his ancient Church, there ticks a clock of very curious mechanism: it is entirely of his own manufacture; he cast one of its wheels in Kentucky, and bought another in New-York! So, too, he has lately built an organ, which discourses excellent music; and his other ingenuities are innumerable, to say nothing of his very able works, in which he always contrives to tell what is worth knowing, and to say what is just to the point.

In his neighbourhood is Milstone, the birth-place of Addison, to which he conducted me with obliging enthusiasm. The native nest is a modest parsonage, hard by the Church, which is one of the very humblest of its kind, and has no tower. I peeped in at the windows, and saw where Addison was baptized. Our walk was extended to Durrington, where a fine Church was re-appearing on the foundations of a very ancient one. In the afternoon of the same day, this kind friend took me to Amesbury, where the remains of a Roman encampment are still visible in some trenches and hillocks, which were made by the soldiers of Vespasian. Thence we went to see the grounds of the once celebrated Duchess of Queensbury, and a grotto, which was formerly frequented by the poet Gay. We passed an old lodge upon this estate, which gave shelter, during the Reign of Terror, to a community of French nuns. Next, we drove to the famous Stonehenge, on Salisbury plain. To me, these gigantic remains of Druid superstition were of surpassing interest: and while my friend explained to me the various theories of their origin and use, I found the actual inspection of this old scene of horrible idolatry, the rather fascinating, because from its still existing altar, one can just descry over the hills in the horizon, the needle-like point of the spire of Salisbury. I never felt before, that England had once been Pagan, and that the Gospel had conquered it, and made it all that Salisbury is, as compared with this accursed temple of the idol Bel. The Chaldean Shepherds seem indeed to have shared their superstition with those of Salisbury.

We drove over the plains, so called, to visit Wilton, and my attention was continually attracted by the shepherds and their flocks, not unlike, in some respects, to those who are seen on the Roman Campagna. Their dogs, who do the work of men, in searching stragglers, and in driving and tending the sheep, are interesting objects. Of course the story of Hannah More came often to mind as we encountered these sights. But other interesting associations were excited by the evident remains of old Roman roads, which traversed these pasturages in ancient times. There were, besides, some strange circular hollows, in form like saucers, of undoubted Roman origin, which lay on either side of our way as we drove over a sort of ridge-road. As we left the downs, we had a fine view of the surrounding country, and descried Trafalgar House, the seat of Lord Nelson, at a distance. We passed a noble estate of the Pembroke family; and visited the magnificent Church, at Wilton, reared by Mr. Sydney Herbert, at his personal expense of sixty thousand pounds. It is a superb Anglican basilica, a curiosity in England, as departing from the historical architecture of the realm, and closely resembling the finest churches of Italy. It is, however, a blessing to the place, and is largely frequented by the poor. From this splendid Church we drove to a still more interesting one, although a church as remarkably poor as this is costly. The smallest and plainest little Church I had yet seen in England was reached at last, and reverently entered. A few pews, a chancel and Holy Table of starving plainness, and a pulpit to match! This was holy Herbert’s Church—this was Bemerton! I climbed, and then crawled into the little box of a belfry, to see the bell which he tolled when he was instituted; and then I went outside, and looked in at the window, through which he was descried tarrying long at prayer, on his face, before the altar. How a good life can glorify what otherwise would be utterly without attractions! Even in America, I have seldom seen a church look so mean as that at Bemerton: yet few places have I ever visited with more of awe and affection; and verily, all the embellishments of the Sistine Chapel failed to produce in me such a sense of the beauty of holiness, as did the sight of the humble altar, at which ministered before the Lord two hundred years ago, that man of God, George Herbert.

Reaching Southampton early in the evening of a mid-summer day, I had time enough, during the long twilight, for an excursion to Netley Abbey, which I made in a boat, rowed by an old waterman and his son, a lad of twelve years. The descending sun threw its radiance over the bright Southampton water, as we left the pier, and a pathway of burnished gold seemed to lie in our wake, as we glided rapidly along. The boy volunteered to sing a little hymn which he had learned at Sunday School, and, accordingly the praise of God was sweetly wafted by the sunset breezes that played about us; and if I have heard more romantic strains on the Venetian waters, since then, from the gondoliers, I can testify that they were no sweeter, and not half so inspiring to a devout disposition. This beautiful bay was filled with many sails, and the neighbouring shores, on every side, were highly picturesque. We reached the “glad nook,” whose corrupted Latin name survives, in Netley, just in time to disturb the composures of the rook and owl, as they were congratulating themselves on the close of the day, and settling for the night, the one in his dormitory, and the other in his watch-tower. There was enough of day to display the entire beauty of the ruins, and enough of melancholy night to give them a mysterious solemnity. Here I stumbled over piles of rubbish, overgrown with grass and wall-flowers, among which slender trees have sprouted side by side with the branching columns of the architect; while through graceful tracery, and broken vaulting, I looked up into the deep heaven, and descried the first stars as they began to twinkle in its unfathomable azure. I fancied I could hear the gentle sigh of the waters on the pebbled beach, which spreads hard by beneath its walls, and the charms of the spot, as a home of religion, became very vividly impressed on my mind as the soft susurrations appeared to bewail the loss of responsive vesper-songs from the consecrated pile. It was a bewitching hour for such a visit: and when I went down into crypts, and gloomy vaults, which were barely light enough to enable me to feel my way, and to descry the surrounding outlines of Gothic ruin, through loop-holes and doorways festooned with luxuriant ivy, all that I ever read of romance, in its wildest forms, seemed conjured about me. It was quite dark as we returned, but the waters glittered with tremulous reflections of many lights on the shore; and our little pilot sung—“There’s a good time coming, boys!” with a sort of pathetic thrill, which made me love him, and I prayed that he might live to see the good time which he so feelingly promised himself. I conversed with him freely, and found that he had been taught of God, in the bosom of the Church.

Next morning I took the steamer to Cowes. The sail down the sea of Southampton was very pleasant, and my fancy was as busy as my sight, as we skirted along the shore, from which the “New Forest” stretches away towards Dorsetshire, covering many a square mile of merry England with woods as dense as those of our own primeval wilds. How exciting to reflection, the view of a wood which, for so many ages, has perpetuated the violence of William the Norman, and the tragic memory of Rufus! A gay little French woman, who knew nothing of the history, however, and who seemed to take me for an Englishman, expressed herself, in her sprightly vernacular, in terms of rapturous delight, with reference to the scenery alone. She was overwhelmed with the luxurious beauty of England, as contrasted with the penury which stares you in the face for leagues and leagues in France, in places where nature only needs a little aid from cultivation to assume a face as cheerful as those of its inhabitants. When we passed Calshot Castle, and had the Isle of Wight in full view, I was nearly as much inspired as herself. The admirable service which the island renders to the British fleet, became apparent as we looked towards those “leviathans afloat,” at Spithead; but I turned with greater interest towards the Solent, and tried hard to descry that lonely spur of Hampshire, on which stands Hurst Castle, the scene of one of the most thrilling episodes in the closing history of Charles the First. As we approached Cowes, it reminded me of Staten Island, off New-York, and, at first, I hardly knew to what I owed the association, though the similarity of scene is considerable; but when a second glance showed me a noble ship, of unmistakeable American proportions, with the American ensign fluttering at her peak, just under the lee of the island, I felt the home-feeling overpoweringly, and could have shouted my salutation to my country’s oak, with full lungs and a fuller heart! I pointed it out to the French woman, and told her of my country, and then I was saluted with her voluble congratulations, in such terms as showed that she, at least, thought it a land of which one has a right to be proud.

Osborne House is a prominent object, on the rising bank of the Medina, as one drives from Cowes toward Newport, and I looked with no little interest at the beautiful home in which Victoria and Albert live the life of private people, without sacrificing the dignity which they owe it to the nation to sustain. It delights me to say that they have the reputation of cultivating, there, every domestic virtue; and I was charmed with a popular print, which one sees in the neighbourhood, representing the family at Osborne, on their knees, with the prince reading prayers among his children.

I was fortunate in visiting this gem of the sea, during the most pleasant part of the year. The hay-makers were at work, and everywhere a delicious fragrance filled the air. Our drive from Newport to Chale afforded many pleasing views, and my first view of the open sea was enchanting. The channel was as smooth as glass, and the vessels that lay upon it scarcely seemed to move. From the celebrated Black-gang Chine, the view of the chalky coast of Dorset, the curving shore of Freshwater-bay, and the bristling file of cliffs, called “the Needles,” was truly superb. Then wheeling round the bold head of St. Catherine’s Downs, we entered that sweet realm of Faerie, called the Undercliff, where a palisade of rock rises on one side of the road, and the sea-beach lies below, the exposure being such as to receive the breath and the sunshine of the genial south, with all the vigorous breezes of the ocean. Here the roses bloom all the year in the open air, and Nature has made it all that Nature could, by a combination of her charms. Indeed, the circuit of the coast, from here to Yaverland, seen, at various hours of the day, in all the shifting effects of the sun and shadows, affords a panorama of incomparable attractions: here a dense grove, and there a deep cleft in the rocks, intercepting the sea-view, and then, again, a fresh apocalypse of beauty, breaking upon the sight, at some unexpected turn of the way. The murmur of ocean comes to the ear just as the eye catches the numberless smiles of its surface, and a glimpse through green foliage will often discover a brilliant perspective, in which the blue sea, and the gray rocks, and the fading horizon, are enlivened by a stretching show of snowy canvas, reflecting the golden light of the sun, sail after sail, the tiniest glittering far off on the verge of the expanse, like a star in the twilight.

The Tom-thumb Church of St. Lawrence, with walls six feet high, and all the rest in proportion; the beauties of Ventnor, and Bonchurch, and Shanklin Chine; in short, the entire scenery of the Undercliff is enchanting, and bewitches one with a desire to build a tabernacle there, and to rest from one’s labours. At Brading, I paused, in honour of good Legh Richmond, and visited the grave of his “Young Cottager.” Ryde is a pleasant place enough, something like our Staten Island towns in situation, and in many other particulars. But my drive from Ryde to Newport, through Wooton and Fern-hill, disclosed many of those inland scenes of rural beauty, for which the Isle of Wight is unsurpassed. Hedges, thick and green, on each side of the road, with wild woodbine twisting all over them, and loading the air with perfumes, were the appropriate frame-work of rich fields, waving with golden crops, fragrant with new-mown hay, or filled with pasturing cattle, while here and there they enclosed a little garden full of flowers, or were broken by the prettiest cottages in all the world, neatly whitewashed, and trimly thatched, and planted about with white and red roses, clambering over the windows, mounting to the eaves, and even straggling among the straw, to the ridge of the roof. Again I caught a glimpse of the towers of Osborne; but it seemed to me that the Queen herself might be willing to exchange them for these charming little snuggeries of her contented peasantry.

But I came to the Isle, above all, to see Carisbrooke Castle, and thither I went, after a night at Newport. It was a bright, unclouded morning, and I went alone. Over a little bridge you pass to the great doorway, between two massive towers, hung with verdure, and pierced with cross-shaped arrow-slits. All was as quiet and as beautiful as if no history brooded over the spot, with strange and melancholy witchery. The twitter of a bird, the nodding of a wild rose in the morning breeze, the sparkling of the dew upon the leaves, all seemed to share something of the mysterious spell. ‘How still, and yet how speaking, thought I, this scene of mighty personal struggles, of a crisis of ages, of overwhelming sorrows! Is it not conscious of its own dignity? Poor Charles! after seeing thy brief wrestling with adversity, it has lapsed into desolation, and lets the world have its own way, while it alone wears enduring tokens of sympathy with thee!’

I saw the window where the King made one last effort to be free. Sir Thomas Herbert’s portraiture rose all before me, and a thousand busy thoughts, which any one may imagine, but which language fails to arrest, much more to convey. Ascending to the keep, surveying the undulating scenery, and loitering here and there among the ruins, the past, the entrancing past floated around me like an atmosphere; and I felt how much more powerful than romance, is the charm of historic fact, when invested with living interest, by associations of religion, by connections with surviving realities, and by the perpetual attraction and moral sublimity of an example of greatness and worth, tried in the furnace of affliction.

Nor did I forget that lily among thorns, the little princess who died in this doleful prison, of a broken heart, after bewailing her father’s murder a single year. The sweet child, Elizabeth! what a thought it was to imagine her moaning her young life away, amid these gloomy walls, surrounded only by the butchers of her adored parent, mocking her woes! Among tales of childhood’s sorrows, there have been few like hers.

Everybody has heard of “a pebble in Carisbrooke well.” I tried the usual experiments, and saw a lamp let down in it, three hundred feet, and then drank of the water, drawn by donkey-power, with all the sublime emotions conceivable on such an occasion. There is a story that the well was originally of Roman construction, and that the Romans had a fortress here, which it first supplied. At any rate, it is a very good well, and no doubt administered many a refreshing draught to the royal prisoners, to whom “a cup of cold water” was well nigh all that the charity of the place afforded.

Crossing from the Isle of Wight to Portsmouth, I had a fine sight, in the incessant broadsides which were fired by her Majesty’s ship, the “Vengeance,” anchored at Spithead, apparently for exercise, or sport. The gallant ship, the blazing port-holes, the rolling clouds of smoke, and the reverberating thunders, made our transit, from shore to shore, one of exciting interest. The “Royal George” went down just in that anchorage, and there she lies now. I paid a visit to the “Victory,” in the harbour of Portsmouth, after an unsuccessful effort to board the beautiful yacht, in which the Queen makes her progresses by sea. On the deck of the “Victory” fell the idolized Nelson: a small brass plate marks the spot. After looking at this, and trying to reproduce the scene, I descended to the cock-pit, and surveyed the dark and gloomy cell in which he breathed his last, reclining against a huge rib of his ship. Poor soul! If he had but served God as he served his King, there would have been a glory in that death, beyond that of “victory, or Westminster Abbey.” After a rapid survey of the dock-yards, I made my way, by rail, to Chichester.

A fine market-cross distinguishes this city, and is kept in excellent repair. But the great attraction is, of course, its cathedral, a mutilated but still noble structure, which I found well worthy of a visit. It exhibits some praiseworthy restorations, and I was pleased to find that its nave is frequently used for sermons. It has many tombs and monuments of note, and many of its architectural peculiarities are attractive. Relics and antiquities connected with the history of the See are shown, and it is painful to find, in one apartment, mysterious evidence of the ill uses to which a church could be put, before the Reformation. In the Bishop’s Consistory Court, there is a secret door in the wainscot looking like a mere panel. This moves with a slide, and covers a massive gate, with a lock, which opens into a strong room, once used as a prison. It was no doubt the scene of suffering for conscience sake, in the days of the Lollards.

After having so lately described other cathedrals of much greater interest, I will only add, concerning this, that I was much pleased to note among its monuments the modern one, by Flaxman, commemorative of the poet Collins. Architecturally, indeed, it is out of place: but the unfortunate bard was a native of the cathedral precinct, and the Christian artist has seized upon that incident in his unhappy life, which attests the consolations which highest genius may derive from the same source that makes childhood wise unto salvation. “I have but one book,” said he to a visitor, shortly before he died, as he held up the New Testament, and added—“the best.”

My next stage was Brighton, where I enjoyed a sea-bath, and a brief survey of that beautiful creation of fashion. But my chief enjoyment here was received in the delightful hospitalities of a distinguished family, which I shall always remember with sincere regard, as embracing some of the most agreeable persons I have ever met. Among the varieties of English character which have most charmed me, those to which I now gratefully refer, are often reviving in memory, as affording a true ideal of domestic happiness, enlivened by sentiment, and hallowed by a spirit of devotion.

I was forced to make a very rapid survey of the southern coast, passing by the old abbey at Lewes and the castle at Pevensey; and pausing scarcely an hour upon the noble beach at Hastings, and amid the ruins of its castle. With greater regret I was forced to omit visits to Battle Abbey, to Hever Castle, and to Penshurst, to the last-named of which I had an especial drawing, for the sake of Hammond and Sir Philip Sydney. I was engaged to spend St. Peter’s day at Canterbury, and to be the anniversary preacher, a privilege to which I was willing to sacrifice, many other pleasures. Passing, therefore, through some pretty Kentish scenery, and pausing to visit the old monuments at Ashford, I made my way, before nightfall, to the city of pilgrimages, and was received as a guest within the Warden’s lodge at St. Augustine’s. An anniversary dinner was served in the hall, at which several distinguished personages were present; and afterwards I saw the ceremony of admitting a scholar to the foundation. I then visited the room over the gateway, which lodged King Charles I., on his bridal tour; and, after service in the chapel, retired to my room in this holy and religious home of the Church’s children.


St. Augustine’s Chapel—St. Martin’s—Addison—Thompson.

In the chapel of St. Augustine we kept St. Peter’s Day, and commemorated the benefactors of the college. It was a cheering spectacle to behold around me those missionary youths, devoted to the noblest warfare which can enlist the energies of man, and destined, as I could not but pray, to see and to achieve great things in the extension of the kingdom of Immanuel upon earth. And how inspiring to them the associations with which they are surrounded! On the very spot which they inhabit, the Missionary Augustine preached the Gospel to their ancestors, when Anglo-Saxons were but pagans, and now they go forth from it, as from the very centre of Christian civilization, to bear the precious seed to the uttermost isles of the sea, so that what England is, Australia may become.

In the afternoon, I preached in old St. Martin’s, which probably is the very oldest Church in England. Its name of St. Martin is probably a second designation, given to it when it was fitted up for the use of good Queen Bertha, before the conversion of her husband, Ethelbert. Such a Church is spoken of by Bede, as having been built before the Romans left the island; and as Roman bricks, of unquestionable antiquity, are a large portion of the material of this Church, it is on this and other accounts generally dated from A. D. 187, and supposed to have been originally erected by some good Cornelius of the Roman army. Be that as it may, Queen Bertha’s tomb is in the choir to this day: and the ancient font is with good reason supposed to be that in which Ethelbert was baptized. What hoary antiquity, what venerable and august dignity invest this sacred place! It is of humble dimensions, and both without and within bears the marks of its primitive character, in its plainness and simplicity, but it is kept in good repair, and regarded with the affectionate reverence which is so becoming. The yews and the ivy which adorn it with their shade, are, apparently, almost as old as the Church: and the church-yard gently slopes from the church-door to the road-side, giving a beautiful elevation to the old pile, and presenting a highly picturesque effect to the passer-by.

But how shall I describe the cathedral, whose huge bulk everywhere lifts itself into sight above this curious and reverend old town? The metropolis of the Anglo-Catholic communion is graced by an Archiepiscopal church, every way worthy of the majestic relations which it bears to Christendom. There it stands, like the Church of England itself, worthy to be “the joy of the whole earth,” and not more magnificent and imposing, than harmoniously chastened throughout with an air of sovereign splendour subdued by solemn propriety. There is about it, as compared with other English cathedrals, a sort of aggregated look, strikingly significant of the massively conglomerate body which the Anglican Church has already become, and something of which has characterized her from the beginning. The double cross, in form of which the cathedral is built, very appropriately, in view of its primacy, heightens this effect: and the result is, that its prestige is well sustained, when the pilgrim sees before him the head church of his religion. A blessing on its ancient towers, and may it more and more become “dear for its reputation through the world.”

On Sunday and the day following, when I attended service in the cathedral, I had the best opportunities for surveying it throughout, under the attentive guidance of Lord Charles Thynne and the estimable Archdeacon Harrison. I am glad to say that the service here was very effectively celebrated, though a larger force would have been more worthy of the place and of the work. The organ is quite concealed in the triforia, and its sound is somewhat peculiar as it issues from those high cells, in perfect unison with “the full-voiced choir below.” As to the effect of the cathedral upon the eye, I remember no interior, save that of Milan, which can compare with it for impressiveness; and if, from general effect, we descend to details, this cathedral is vastly the more solemn and magnificent of the twain. Its altar, for example, is one of the most lofty in Christendom, the choir rising from the nave by a long flight of steps, and the altar being elevated, in like manner, very high above the level of the choir. The several ascents and various levels of the Church, instead of too much breaking its whole, seem to add an air of vastness and sublimity to the general design. But when one surveys, now the nave, and looks upwards into the tower, and along the far-sweeping vaultings, and now the choir and its intersecting arches and vistas; or descends to that varied undercroft, with its chapels and sepulchres, and twisted columns, and French inscriptions; or mounts to make circuit of the tombs and chapels, pausing within “Becket’s Crown” to admire its unique and anomalous elegance; and then makes his way through the cloisters into the chapter-house, and finally escapes into outer day, and looks up again at the vast pile, through which he has been wondering and wandering so long—the impression left upon the mind is one of astonishment, like that of the Queen of Sheba, when “there was no more spirit in her.” I had seen the spot where Becket fell beneath the stout blows of his murderers—the marble floor which received his blood still exhibiting a speaking memorial of the tragedy, in a small mutilation which was made in sawing out the bloody block, to be carried to Rome as a relic; I had seen the remains of the same prelate’s shrine, where his sovereign submitted to flagellation, where princes presented so many costly oblations, and which once glittered with such gorgeous wealth before the eye of Erasmus; I had seen the stone-stairs leading up to his sepulchre, worn away by the thousands of devotees, among which I reckoned those of certain Canterburie pilgrims, accompanied by Dan Chaucer himself; I had seen the tomb of the Black Prince, with his lion-like effigy—over which dangles his surcoat, a thing of tatters, but which no one can behold without emotion, when he reflects that it once encased the beating heart and chivalrous breast of that gallant Plantagenet. I had beheld the recumbent effigies of the usurping Lancaster, Henry IV., and his Queen, Joan of Navarre; and I had surveyed the memorial works, or sepulchres, of the primates of all England, from Lanfranc to Chichely; but after all, I bore away no remembrance more pleasing than that of the monumental window and tomb of the late Archbishop Howley, commemorating, as they do, a most worthy prelate, and marking the great epoch of a revival of theology, and of practical faith, throughout the Church of England. This tomb is surmounted by the recumbent effigy of the Bishop, and presents a most graceful specimen of reviving art. He is habited in his sacred vestments, to which the addition of the cope gives completeness and effect; and as the Archbishop wore that vestment at the coronation of Queen Victoria, there was reality to justify its use. In short, I was glad to see that even in the cathedral of Canterbury, and without servility in copying the antique, our own age can erect a monument, and surmount it with a figure, literally true to its original, which is worthy of the place as a work of art; and which, if it is more modest than the mediæval sepulchres which surround it, is still in perfect keeping with all their splendour; while it tells the simple story of a primacy the most brilliant in its contemporary achievements of any that has ever blessed the Church of England, since the days of Augustine. It will be forever celebrated as distinguished by the rapid extension of Anglican Catholicity in all quarters of the globe, and by a holy effort for the restoration of unity to the Church of God.

The city of Canterbury abounds in quaint nooks and corners—old gates, and fragments of wall;—and, in particular, is marked by an ancient mound, or artificial hill, called the Dane John, which is much reverenced as a work of the aboriginal Britons. Some will have it that it was raised against the Danes, as its name appears to import; but it strikes me as something of religious origin, and not unlike those mysterious tumuli which abound in our own Western country. If truly British, indeed, who knows but some primeval Madoc built both it and them?

It was my fortune to hear in the cathedral, as an anthem, that chef d’œuvre of Sternhold and Hopkins, which must have been written in some fit of poetical inspiration, vouchsafed to them for those two verses only—

“The Lord descended from above

 And bowed the heavens high,” &c.

The extract has been set to noble music, but who was the composer I cannot say. After a visit to the Deanery, and a gratifying survey of its long gallery of ecclesiastical portraits, I was shown into the surrounding gardens, and conducted to almost every part of the cathedral precincts, and finally dismissed by an ancient gate, which, owing to some tradition, retains the romantic name of Queen Bertha’s postern. But let me not conclude my remembrances of Canterbury without a warm tribute to the delightful society to which I was introduced at St. Augustine’s, and among the dignitaries of the cathedral. The esteemed Warden, who received me as his guest, and who so kindly entertained me, deserves my most grateful acknowledgments.

On the morning of my departure, rising very early, and accompanied by a friend, to whom I had become warmly attached since my arrival in England, I drove out, through pleasant Kentish scenery, to the parsonage of Borne, which is from Canterbury three miles distant, according to Izaak Walton; following the example of the many, who once did so, to see the face of the venerable and judicious Richard Hooker, though I could only hope to see his tomb, and the church in which he ministered. I shall never forget that morning drive, nor the reverence with which, at length, I beheld Hooker’s own church, and the parsonage in which he so loved to see God’s blessings spring out of the earth about his door. I entered the holy place, and there was his bust, coloured by the old artist to represent life: and looking at it, through my hands, so as to shut out the surrounding parts of the monument, I was verily able to conceive that I beheld good Master Hooker in his pulpit, about to speak. It imprinted a live idea of the man upon my memory, which I would not lose for many costlier things. The place called up many of those graphic anecdotes which his quaint biographer has chronicled concerning him; but I was especially reminded of that scene between the Puritan intruders and the old parish clerk, who, when they sat down on joint stools to partake their communion, said, as he resigned the keys with a heavy heart, “Take the keys and lock me out, for all men will say Master Hooker was a good man and a good scholar, and I am sure it was not used to be thus in his days.” I could not but remember, moreover, that within those walls Hooker had passed many a lonely Ember-day, locked up for fasting and prayer; and ‘who knows’ said I to myself, ‘but we are even now realizing the blessed answers to those intercessions for the Church, in all parts of the world?’

On my way up to London, I paid a visit at S—— Park, the residence of a young country squire, who had lately taken his degrees at Cambridge, married, and settled here on his hereditary estate. The life of an English gentleman, of this degree, has always struck me, as nearly the most perfect realization of sublunary bliss, which the world affords. Nor did the glimpse which I thus gained of such a life, in the least disappoint me. The young mistress of the mansion, in the momentary absence of her husband, kindly made herself my guide, over a portion of the estate, in search of him. No ceremony—and no attempt to appear fine. In a moment she was ready, and as she led me hither and thither, she was not above taking me to her poultry-yard, and her dairy, and showing me her amateur farming. We entered a fine field of standing corn—the golden wheat of Kent—and as we passed through the narrow foot-path, my fair guide informed me ’twas their way to parish church, and just then I descried the church itself, at a little distance, in its modest beauty, at the foot of a hill. A lark flew up, and she pointed at the little fellow, as he mounted the skies, and poured out his song, reminding me of a remark I had made to her, that we have no sky-larks in America. She entered a pretty farm-house, where a decent-looking family were just taking their tea: they treated her as they would have done a descended angel, while she, in the prettiest tones, inquired whether they “had seen their Master thereabout,” and so, thanking them, departed. We soon encountered the young “Master,” who gave me a kind welcome, and showed me the further attractions of the estate. Then home, and soon to dinner, and after that, a pleasant summer evening sauntering about the doors and under the old trees of the park, where the rooks kept up a great cawing in consequence of our intrusion. In many respects, the place did not differ much from many American residences that I have visited; but in others it did, and chiefly in the entire ease and nature with which everybody, from the squire to his humblest menial, nay, even the house-dog, fitted his place, and seemed to enjoy it. We have no servants in America, though we have slaves. All white-complexioned people scorn to obey. Hence the misery and the stiffness of housekeeping, and the deplorable multiplication of those vulgar establishments called “fashionable hotels.” Let me add, concerning this happy abode of unostentatious English comfort and refinement, that what especially pleased me was the devout appearance of the household servants at family prayers. They all joined in the devotions, and each had a Prayer-book in hand, which appeared to be a cherished companion of their daily routine. Happy the household where all the inmates, from the least to the greatest, have one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.

The ancient castle and the cathedral of Rochester were taken in my way up to London; but, interesting as they are in themselves, I might fail to make them attractive, in a description so vague as I should be obliged to give them, and so, with a passing tribute to their merits, as religious and feudal monuments of the past, I must again return to London.

In frequent visits to Westminster Abbey, I had become familiar with every portion of it, including cloisters, chapter-house, and library. In the library, by the politeness of one of the dignitaries, I was favoured with a minute inspection of some of its most precious historical deposites. Such were the dies from which were struck the coins of Henry Fourth, and many succeeding sovereigns, rude works of art, depending upon blows of the hammer to produce their impression. In the chapter-house is the original Domesday-book, and many other historical documents. I was shown the instrument by which Edward I. was authorized, by twenty-three competitors, to settle the Crown of Scotland upon one of their number. The seal of Bruce’s father is very distinctly visible. Here are Henry VII.’s very minute instructions to his commissioners to examine the personal claims to his choice, of a young princess, whom he proposed to marry, with their not over-gallant reports. A superbly decorated instrument, dated at Amiens, August 18, 1527, and signed by Henry VIII., and Francis, was also a great curiosity. It has a golden seal, with the legend—Plurima servantur fœdere, cuncta fide. Among other parchments, one signed by Mary, as Queen of France, with her husband Francis II., was interesting. I saw also the stamp, used by Henry VIII., to affix his signature to parchments, in his dying days; a prayer-book of Queen Elizabeth’s; and a fine old Missal of 1380, from which some zealous reformer had erased the service for Becket’s-day, and several prayers for the Pope.

But all these were inferior in interest to the tombs and chapels of the Abbey. Many of the monuments are in wretched taste, and a general banishment to the cloisters, of those which are not in keeping with the architecture of the church, would be a great improvement. The residue should then be repaired and decorated. But even as they are, they present a most interesting epitome of history, and a most affecting commentary on the vanity of worldly grandeur and greatness. With Henry VII.’s chapel, and its royal sepulchres, I was greatly impressed, and the near neighbourhood of the tombs of Mary and Elizabeth, struck me as forcibly as if I had never heard of the strange proximity, in which they, who once could scarcely live in the same world, here mingle their dust with the same span of earth, and side by side, await the judgment. Oh, what pomp of sepulture attests the universal reign of death in this ancient temple! Here, in the chapel of Edward the Confessor, stands the throne, which has been the glory and the shame of so many who lie sleeping around it. The rough old stone, inserted in its base, is the Scottish palladium; and the old monkish fable makes it one of the stones of Jacob’s pillow, at Bethel. The monuments of Edward III., and Queen Philippa, and that of Henry V., commanded my especial attention. Above the latter, are preserved the saddle, shield, and helmet, which he used at Agincourt. The body of Edward I. rests beneath a plain altar-tomb. In the centre of the chapel is the shrine of St. Edward: and it is as near as possible to these relics of their predecessors, that English sovereigns are still anointed and crowned in the adjoining choir. At such times, if these silent tombs are startled by the shouts of the multitude that cry—Long live the King, how much more forcibly they must speak to him, in their mute expressiveness, reminding him of his nothingness, and calling him to prepare for a long home in the dust!

To the reflections of Addison and of Irving, in this consecrated pile, I shall not attempt to add my own. The sweet interpreter of the moral of this wonderful place, sleeps appropriately under its tutelage, and few are the graves within it, which more affect a kindred heart. To see the grave of Addison, which was lately marked by a small white stone, in the pavement of one of the chapels, suggests a kind of postscript to his own musings; and, as I stood, thoughtfully, over it, I seemed to hear his voice, out of the sepulchre, confirming his living words. I thought, moreover, how much has been done, since his day, to add to the interest of the holy place—even in addition to his own grave! How many tombs I saw, which he did not—his own among them! Addison knew nothing of Johnson’s sepulchre; stood not by the rival relics of Pitt and Fox; thrilled not as he approached the resting-place of a Wolfe, or a Wilberforce; and little dreamed how much more than the shrine of Kings, his own last bed would impress a stranger from America, in the nineteenth century. How transcendant the enchantment with which genius invests its possessor, where it is paired with virtue! With what refreshment I often turned from the royal tombs to the Poets’ Corner; and there, with what reverence did I turn most frequently to the monuments of those whose high artistic inspiration was characterized by the pure spirit of love to God. It was pleasing to behold the memorials of Chaucer, and of “rare Ben Jonson;” but with a fonder veneration I paused more frequently before that of the stainless Spenser. I thought of his words concerning “the laurel”—and how fittingly they apply to this Abbey, as the—

      “——Meed of mighty conquerors

And poets sage.”

With a different sort of pleasure I surveyed the wonders of the British Museum. There, a scholar can find all he needs in the way of literary food, freely bestowed. I do not admire the new buildings; but the Institution is worthy of a great nation, and reflects eternal honour on George the Third. Will the Smithsonian, at Washington, ever rival it? Its newest and its oldest treasures, were the great stones from Nineveh, so cleverly described by the Quarterly. With what emotions I surveyed those illegible hieroglyphics; and scraped acquaintance with those “placid grinning kings, twanging their jolly bows over their rident horses, wounding those good-humoured enemies, who tumble gaily off the towers, or drown, smiling in the dimpling waters, amidst the ἀνήριθμον γέλασμα of fish.”

The English, though a proud people, are really very moderate in their appreciation of the manifold charms of their incomparable isle. When I surveyed the river-view from Richmond-hill, I recalled the glorious waters of my own dear country, and many a darling scene which is imperishably stamped in my mind’s eye, and asked myself whether, indeed, this was more delightful to the sight than those. I was slow to admit anything inferior in the scenery of the Hudson and Susquehanna, when I compared them with so diminutive a stream as the Thames, and I even reproved myself for bringing them into parallel; but over and over again was I forced to allow, that “earth has not anything to show more fair,” than the rich luxuriance of the panorama which I then surveyed. A river whose banks are old historic fields, and whose placid surface reflects, from league to league of its progress, the towers of palaces and of churches which, for centuries, have been hallowed by ennobling and holy associations; which flows by the favourite haunts of genius, or winds among the antique halls of consecrated learning; and which, after sweeping beneath the gigantic arches, domes and temples of a vast metropolis, gives itself to the burthen of fleets and navies, and bears them magnificently forth to the ocean; such an object must necessarily be one of the highest interest to any one capable of appreciating the mentally beautiful and sublime; but when natural glories invest the same objects with a thousand independent attractions, who need be ashamed of owning an overpowering enthusiasm in the actual survey, and something scarcely less thrilling in the recollection! When I afterward looked towards Rome, and descried the dome of St. Peter’s from Tivoli, I felt, as Gray has somewhere observed, that nothing but the intellect is delighted there, while on Richmond-hill, the soul and the sense alike are ravished with the view, and fail to conceive anything more satisfying of its kind. If ever, which God forbid, the barbarian should overrun this scene, and make ruins of its surrounding villas and churches, the contemplative visitor of a future generation will still linger on those heights with far more of complicated and harmonious satisfaction than can possibly refresh the eye that wanders over the dreary Campagna. Yet how few of the great and fashionable in England have ever allowed themselves to appreciate the glories of their own scenery after this sort!

But whether on those lofty banks, or down by the river-side, or wherever I wandered amid their green retreats, I owned to myself one sad disappointment. I repeated over and over again those verses, learned in school-days, in which Collins bewails the poet of the Seasons:—

“Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore,

  When Thames in summer wreaths is dressed,

And oft suspend the dashing oar,

  To bid his gentle spirit rest.”

Where was “yonder grave,” and where “yon whitening spire?” It was with some chagrin that I followed my directions into the dullest haunts of the town, and into a modernized church, in an unromantic street, and there soliloquized, over a miserable brass plate, amid a pile of pew-lumber—“In such a grave your Druid lies!” It is amusing, on a few square inches of worthless metal, as entirely devoid of artificial value as it is of intrinsic worth, to observe the vanity with which a man of rank has contrived to write his own name in as large letters as those of the poet’s. “The Earl of Buchan, unwilling that so good a man, and so sweet a poet, should be without a memorial, has denoted the place of his interment, &c.”—so reads the inscription. The Earl has at least the merit of having exactly expressed the character of his tribute, for it denotes the place, and that’s all. One would think a Scottish nobleman might have spared a few guineas in doing something better for the grave of his countryman.

A glimpse of Twickenham, and of the spire of the church where Pope is entombed, were all that I allowed myself, in honour of a bard whose faultless verse is no excuse for the frequent indecency and paganism of its sentiment. It is a curious and revolting fact that his skull has been purloined, and now belongs to a phrenologist. I caught a railway view of Dachet-lane, famous for Falstaff’s experiences in the buck-basket, and so once more to Windsor! I stopped, over a train, to enjoy one more walk on the castle terrace, and one more look at Eton college, and then hastened on to Oxford, to attend the Commemoration. I accepted the hospitalities of my friends of Magdalen, who lodged me in the rooms formerly occupied by the Bishop of Exeter.

During my visit I did not fail to see the celebrated Dr. Pusey, who struck me as a younger man than he is generally supposed to be. His appearance indicates nothing eccentric or ascetic, and his manners are those of a gentleman at home in the society of his fellow-men. He has friends and foes at Oxford, as well as elsewhere, but all seem to regard him with respect as a man of piety and learning. To me he was less a lion, however, because I have always regarded the application of his name to the great movement of 1833, as a mere instance of popular caprice. His share in it has been less than that of many others; neither the credit of its good, nor the disgrace of its evil, belongs to him in any superlative degree. Its progress has left him, with others, far in the rear of its existing interests; and what has been stigmatized as Puseyism is perhaps, when fairly distinguished from the extravagances of a few fanatics and sophists, the English phase of a world-wide return to principles that were the life of Christianity, long before Popery was in existence, and ages before it had bred Protestantism by its violent reaction.


Oxford and Cambridge.

I had seen Oxford in vacation, and again during term; I had now the privilege of attending its Encænia. The occasion brings many distinguished persons to the University, and the pleasures of dining and breakfasting in the college-halls, and with private parties, are greatly enhanced by such additions to the company of eminent residents. The ceremonies in the Academic theatre sadly disappointed me. Imagine an open area, filled with gownsmen and their friends, and surrounded by tiers of boxes filled with ladies, above which, near the ceiling, is elevated a third tier, full of undergraduates. The Dons and doctors, in their robes, sit on either side of the Vice-Chancellor, at one extremity of the theatre, in a place something between a row of boxes and an orchestra. In the presence of ladies and of such grave and reverend seniors, one naturally expects decorum from all parties; but though I had often read of the frolics in which the undergraduates are permitted to indulge on these occasions, I confess I was not fully prepared for the excessive and prolonged turbulence of the scene. While awaiting the opening of the ceremonial, it was well enough to laugh at the cheers of the youth as they called out successively the names of favourite public personages, or at their sibilations, when the names of “Lord John Russell” and “Cardinal Wiseman” were proposed for merited derision. But when, again and again, as the venerable Vice-Chancellor rose to make a beginning, his voice was vociferously outnoised by that of the boys overhead, I began to think the joke was carried a little too far. There had been some omission of customary music, and to supply the deficiency, uprose those legions of youth, and shouted—God save the Queen, in full chorus, stanza after stanza, till the Dons looked eminently disloyal in their impatience. The Creweian Oration was delivered by the Public Orator, and I was particularly desirous of marking his pronunciation of Latin words, as well as the general merit of a performance in which once, upon a like occasion, Bishop Lowth so handsomely acquitted himself. But, I think, I speak within bounds when I say that scarcely an entire sentence could be heard, from beginning to end. All manner of outcries assailed the speaker, from his rising till he surceased. At one time, an extremely impudent personality excited a general smile. The orator waxed warm as he spoke, and growing quite rubicund of visage, some flagitious freshman cried out—“Pray stop; it makes me hot to look at you.” Several distinguished individuals, bishops and generals, and scientific men, were presented to receive the Doctorate in Civil Law, and now I supposed the hospitality of the University would suffice to shield the eminent personages from the annoyance of such untimely fun. But there was no cessation, and when Sir W. Page Wood was presented, there was a merry cry of “inutile lignum,” at which no one laughed more heartily than the party himself. Verily, thought I, if this were unheard of in England, and were only set down in the book of some peregrine Dickens, as what he saw in America, at a Harvard Commencement, how inevitably would it figure in reviews and newspapers as a telling fact against the disorganizing tendencies of democratic education! In Oxford, it is regarded as a mere outbreak of youthful merriment, and such is indeed the case: and yet, unless Encænia and Saturnalia are synonymous terms, one must be allowed to think the custom best honoured in the breach. I must add, that during the delivery of a poem, by an undergraduate, his comrades showed more respect, and the tumult subsided for a time, like that of Ephesus, on the remonstrance of the town-clerk. The young poet pronounced his numbers in the same tribune where once stood Reginald Heber, enchanting all hearers with his “Palestine.”

A lunch in the superb new hall of Pembroke, of which many ladies partook with the other guests, giving the hall an unusually gay appearance; a dinner at Oriel, and afterwards sport with bowls, and other games, in the garden of Exeter; and, finally, a very agreeable evening party at Magdalen; these were the other occupations of the day, in which I greatly enjoyed the society with which I mingled. I was particularly pleased to observe the enthusiasm of the female visitors of Oxford, many of whom had come up for the first time, and were less acquainted with the place than myself. It was a novel pleasure, on my part, to turn cicerone, and to explain to a group of English ladies, the wonders of the University.

Next morning, after breakfast at Merton, and a lunch at Jesus College, with some kind friends who were preparing to leave Oxford for the Long Vacation, I went, in the company of some of them, to Bedford, and there took coach for Cambridge. I thought of John Bunyan, who once inhabited the county-jail, in this place, and there composed his wonderful allegory; and as I began to travel along the banks of the Ouse, I thought of William Cowper, who was one of the first to do justice to his piety and genius. If the Church of England, sharing in the fault of the times, (and visiting others with far milder penalties than both Papists and Puritans laid upon her) was in any sort a party to his ill-usage, it must be owned that she has done him full justice, in the end. He owed his enlargement to the Bishop of Lincoln’s interposition, and Cowper and Southey have affixed the stamp, and given currency to the gold of his genius. I am ashamed that he was not taken into the Bishop of Lincoln’s house, and made a deacon, and so cured of the mistaken enthusiasm which was evidently the misfortune of the tinker, and not the natural bent of the man.

Our journey lay over a dull and level country, and there was little to enliven it, except the conversation of a young Oxonian going to see the rival University. A cantab, returning from Oxford, maintained a good-natured debate with him, in favour of his own alma-mater. We went through St. Neot’s, where I remembered Cowper again; descried at the distance of some twenty miles the majestic bulk of Ely Cathedral, and finally greeted the fair vision of King’s College, conspicuous among the other academic homes of Granta. It was the fourth of July—and thoughts of the very different scenes through which my friends were passing in America, were continually in my mind. Here it was not thought of, though a day which has left its mark upon Great Britain, and the world. Was it the day of a rebellion? By no means; unless the day that seated William of Orange on the throne of England was such. Our fathers ceased to be Englishmen, because a corrupt and incompetent Ministry were resolved that they should no longer be freemen. I thank God we are no longer at the mercy of such men as Lord John Russell, and Sir William Molesworth. So I mused, even as I stood, for the first time, in venerable Cambridge, where some of my forefathers were educated, and where I felt it a sort of wrong to be disinherited of a filial right to feel at home.

I was not disappointed, disagreeably, in Cambridge, but the reverse; and it grew upon me every hour that I was there. One of my first visits was to the truly poetical courts of Caius, where the singular quaintness of its three gates charmed alike my sight and fancy. “Before honour is humility”—and here the proverb is translated into architecture. You must pass through the gate of humility, and the gate of virtue, before emerging through the gate of honour. Strange that the beneficent founder of this college, like Dr. Faust, in Germany, should have left his name to legend-makers and fabulists, and so to comedy, and the “Merry Wives of Windsor.”

The noble twin of Oxford is certainly inferior in the appearance which she first presents to a stranger, and yet, from the first, the chapel of King’s is a superb sight, which even Oxford might almost grudge to her sister. I greatly regretted reaching Cambridge during a vacation, when comparatively few of the gownsmen were on the spot. Still, having become so familiar with academic manners, in Oxford, it seemed hardly necessary to do more than survey the still-life of Cambridge, in order to understand it as well. The diversities between the Universities are indeed many, and all my prepossessions are in favour of Oxford; and yet, after a brief external survey of her rival, and much conversation with some of her loyal sons, I can easily understand their attachment to her, and the pride they take in her reputation, as well as their firm conviction of her superiority. To an American, indeed, the late election of so unfit a person as Prince Albert to be their Chancellor, is a surprising thing; and it is no very bright omen, for the University, that the prince already aims to shape it, as near as possible, after the similitude of Bonn, his own garlicky, blouse-wearing, and pipe-smoking Alma Mater, in Teutschland. But, on the other hand, the spirited resistance which was made to that measure, in bold opposition even to the known wishes of a beloved Queen, is instanced, by many Cantabrigians, as a proof of devotion to great principles, of which they have reason to be proud. They have a thousand better reasons for being proud of their University, and would that their Chancellor, who is otherwise so well qualified, had the power to appreciate and feel them half as warmly as many an American does, from the depth of his soul!

Cambridge struck me as an older and less modernized place than Oxford. Its streets are a labyrinth, and many of them present the appearance of Continental, rather than of Insular Europe. One of the first things that struck me was the conduit erected by the same “old Hobson” whom Milton celebrates, and from whom comes the adage of “Hobson’s choice.” He was a carrier, and kept horses to let, but made the Cantabs take the horse that stood next the stable-door whenever they came to hire. He certainly was a remarkable man, for what other carrier was ever consigned to immortality by a monument in Cambridge, by a practical proverb, and by a memorial in the verse of such a poet as Milton?

As the means of information respecting Cambridge are in everybody’s hands, and as the picturesque of its colleges and grounds is familiar from engravings, I shall spare my reader the trouble of details which might seem a repetition of those of Oxford. In St. John’s college, which its own men are accused of considering the University, I found the chapel, though small and plain, a most attractive place. Its “non-juror windows,” and other memorials, revive many historical names. I know not why the Johnians have received the Pindaric epithet of Swine, but so it is; and the peculiarly pretty bridge, spanning the Cam, which unites its quadrangles and halls, has accordingly won the sportive name of the “Isthmus of Sues.” In the very pleasant grounds adjacent, I plucked a leaf from the silver-beech, said to have been planted by Henry Martyn, and breathed a blessing on his memory. A fellow of Trinity kindly devoted himself to showing me the attractions of his college, and they are very great. The library is a Valhalla of literary heroes, the sons of Trinity, whose busts adorn the alcoves: and the statue of Byron, by Thorwaldsen, is a superb addition to its treasures of art, which, on the whole, will do no harm here, excluded as it was from Westminster Abbey, by a virtuous abhorrence of the bold blasphemer whom it represents, and thus stamped as deep with infamy as it is otherwise clothed with attractiveness. Among the relics of the collection, there were two which any man must behold with reverence: a lock of Sir Isaac Newton’s hair, and the original manuscripts of Paradise Lost, and of Lycidas! Then to the chapel—that chapel which ever since I read “the Records of a Good Man’s Life,” in school-boy days, I had longed to see, and where I had often wished it had been my lot to pray, in college life. In the ante-chapel, there was that statue of Newton, so beautifully described by the author, as arresting the melancholy attentions of a consumptive youth, as he passed it, for the last time, in his surplice, and confessed that this had been too much his idol, in that house of God, filling his enthusiasm with the worship of genius, when he should have thought only of his Maker. I shall never forget the thrills of excited imagination with which I received some of my first impressions of Cambridge, in reading that story of Singleton: and now they all revived as I stood upon the spot.

Among the attractions of the small colleges, I must not omit to mention the chapel of Jesus College, which has lately undergone a thorough restoration, and presents one of the most beautiful specimens of revived mediævalism in art which I have ever seen. It is the work of an accomplished gentleman of the college, assisted to some extent by the voluntary contributions of undergraduates. Nothing of the kind which I saw in Oxford can compare with this exquisite Oratory. I went to Christ’s college and saw Milton’s mulberry—a pleasant memorial of his best days; the days when he was the “lady of his college” for youthful comeliness, and the man of his college for the genius that produced Lycidas, and for the unsoured feelings that could yet appreciate “the high embowed roofs,” and the “studious cloisters” by which he was there surrounded. Happy would it have been for him, had he kept that youthful heart! The mulberry is propped up like an old man on his staff, and shielded from the weather by a leaden surtout, but must soon cease to be the last living thing that connects with the name of Milton.

What a place is Cambridge, when its minor colleges suggest such names! As I passed what was formerly Bennet college, I thought of Cowper’s lines on his brother. There, too, was Pembroke, suggesting thoughts of Bramhall and of Andrewes—of Andrewes whom even Milton could praise, albeit he was a prelate. There was Peterhouse, reminding me of good old Cosin. More than all—there was little Caius (pronounced Keys) where Jeremy Taylor, the poor sizar and the barber’s son, passed so often to and fro, beneath its quaint old gates, bearing a soul within him, which in after years he poured forth, like another Chrysostom, and made a treasure for all time. I am sorry to say there is another college there, which suggests the odious name of Cromwell, the man who kindled the fiery coals in which the golden heart of Taylor, and the hearts of thousands more, were well refined, and seven times purified.

The Fitzwilliam Museum is a noble collection of antique sculpture and architectural relics, with a library and paintings, and has been housed superbly in a building, which is a great ornament to Cambridge, although built, in modern taste, and in Grecian style, suiting the things it contains better than the place which contains it. I received far more pleasure, however, from a visit to the celebrated round church, which has been lately restored, and whose name, St. Sepulchre, refers it to the era of the Crusades. But how shall I speak of King’s College Chapel? I was not so fortunate as to see it filled with its white-robed scholars, but its own self was sight enough. “Such awful perspective”—indeed! Such tints from such windows—such carvings—such a roof! It springs and spreads above you, light as the spider’s web, and yet it is all massive stone, and its construction is an architectural miracle. I climbed to the roof, and walked upon that same vaulting, as upon a solid stone-pavement. It is put together in mathematical figures, and on principles purely scientific; but modern architects are puzzled to explain them. Above this, there is another roof, which is exposed to the weather, and from which one enjoys a fine view of the town and the surrounding country. The walks and avenues of limes, which stretch before King’s, and which connect with the grounds of Trinity and St. John’s, are inferior to nothing in Oxford, and are generally pronounced by Cambridge men superior to Christ church meadows and the walks of Magdalen. I strolled among some magnificent limes in the grounds of Trinity, which might well apologise for a student’s opinion, that no other college in the world has such grounds and trees. As for the river Cam, its beautiful bridges, I am sorry to say, are reflected in a very sluggish and dirty tide, called “silvery” only by poetical license.

Dining in the hall of Trinity, I was overwhelmed by the sublime associations of such a place, as illustrated by the portraits around me. Everywhere were the pictures of great historic sons of this college; here was Pearson, and there was Barrow; and before us, as we sat at meat, were Bacon and Sir Isaac Newton. What children has this Mother borne; not for herself, but for all mankind! And thus much I will say for Cambridge, as compared with Oxford, that whereas amid the architectural glories of the latter, one almost forgets the glory of her sons, you are reminded, at every turn in Cambridge, that her chief jewels are the great men she has brought forth. One cannot give her all the credit, indeed: she has been singularly fortunate; but when hers are Bacon, and Newton, and Milton, and Taylor, and stars, in constellations, of scarcely minor magnitude, what university in Christendom can call itself superior? If Granta has her peer, there is nothing that is more than that on earth.


Cathedral Tour—The Border.

A cathedral tour now lay between me and Scotland, to which I began to make my way rapidly. All that I had yet seen of architecture, promised to be the mere preface to what was still before me, in the splendours of Ely, of Peterborough, of Lincoln, of York, and of Durham. To my reader it will be impossible to convey the idea of variety and ever-novel delight with which these successive miracles of the builder’s art impressed me, as I passed from one to the other, from day to day; but I will touch on the more special characteristics of each, in full confidence that what is most striking in old historic monuments, like these, can never tire the head that is furnished alike with eyes and brains.

The train took me swiftly to Ely, over a fenny district, which supplied nothing of interest, except the distant view of the towers, which loomed up, more and more, as we drew nigh the little city. How different this railway approach from that celebrated by Wordsworth:—

“A pleasant music floats along the mere,

 From monks in Ely chanting service high,

 Whileas Canute the king is rowing by!”

I found this magnificent work partly in ruins—partly undergoing a beautiful restoration; and as the pavement of the choir was torn up, I beheld a stone-coffin, in which, perhaps, lie the bones of one of those very monks, who were singing in the days of King Canute. At my request, one of the workmen raised the lid of the coffin, and there lay the skull and bones of an old ecclesiastic, the former quite entire; or, perhaps, it was St. Ethelfreda herself, who began her building here in the seventh century. If so, they are repairing her works, in the nineteenth, in a spirit of nobler art, than she ever imagined. The restorations are truly superb, and a future visitor will find the choir of Ely one of the most impressive temples in Christendom. What an age of restorations this is, in the Church of England! ’Tis a nobler reformation than that of three hundred years ago—for that was, necessarily, one of haste and of overthrow. Now a calm constructiveness is at work, holding fast all that was gained before; but giving it the finish, which was impossible then. And these material restorations are but the symbol of a great spiritual awakening, concerning which, there is one painful thought which no student of English History should ever forget. It is this, that but for the Puritans, all this would have been done in the seventeenth century! Greater and better men were then on the stage than any that are now living, and all that the age of Victoria is doing for Christ, it was in the heart of King Charles to do. It is impossible to say what might not have been the blessed results for the Universe had the Church of England been in a condition to tempt the Church of France to an alliance in 1682. All we can say on the other hand, is that, let Macaulay declaim as he may, progressive freedom would have been established in England without the paradoxical intervention of a Cromwell, while there is nothing left us, as the direct results of Puritanism, except a few Socinian congregations, and the “Dissenters’ Chapels’ Bill.”

The massiveness of some portions of this cathedral, and the lightness and grace of others, are very impressive. Its length is very great, and the vista “long drawn out.” Amid its ancient monuments I spent a solemn hour of musing, while the light of the descending sun, through the clere-story and lantern, showered a soft and melancholy radiance over the whole interior, admirably harmonizing with the reflections it necessarily inspired.

I found Peterborough another sleepy little city, and the cathedral beautifully situated, with the Bishop’s palace hard by. It is a severe, but grand exterior, and presides over the surrounding trees, and roofs, like a sort of divinity. It is quite free of encroachment from other buildings; but its close, or precinct, is guarded by a circuit of prebendal, and other ecclesiastical houses, with turreted and arched gateways, which seem to command a reverent approach to the sacred spot. I omit a technical description of the architecture, but must be allowed to give some account of the Sunday I spent there, and of one or two little things that deeply affected me.

While the bells were thundering for Morning Service, I stood in the nave, wholly lost in contemplation of its plain, but massive majesty. A train of children entered, with their teachers, evidently a Sunday-school. I watched the little procession as it wound its way amid the columns, and turned to the left of the choir. Following them, I saw them enter the choir, by a small side-door, and as they stepped into it, every little foot fell on a slab of stone, in the centre of which was a little brass plate, not so large as one’s hand. When all had gone in, and were kneeling in their meek array, I drew near, and stooped down to see over whose dust they had been treading. I read a few words, but they thrilled me like electricity—“Queen Katherine, 1536!” Here, then, lies that proud daughter of Arragon, whose mournful history has left its mark upon nations, and upon Christendom! The scene in Shakspeare rose before me—Pope—Cardinals—Princes—Henry VIII. This stone covers all, and peasants’ babes trip over it as lightly as if the life that lies extinguished there, had been as simple as their own!

In the corresponding spot, on the other side, lies just such another slab, over another sepulchre. The body has been removed to Westminster Abbey; but its first repose was here. The brass has been torn out; but it once read, “Queen Mary, 1587”—for here the poor Queen of Scots was laid, headless, and festering in her cerements, six months after that fatal day, in the neighbouring Fotheringay Castle. The date of her interment offers the best apology for the severity she had suffered, although nothing can excuse the sin of Elizabeth. It was the year before the Spanish Armada; and it is now known that she had, two years previously, given her kingdom to Philip II., inviting that bloody bigot to set up his Inquisition among her Scottish subjects, and excluding her own son from his right. Such was her crime against her own people, aimed, however, more especially at England, by her fanatical zeal. Between these solemn tombs of a Queen of France, and a daughter of Spain, I worshipped that day, and received the Holy Communion, to my comfort. The anthem was a familiar strain, from Mozart, which we sing in America to the Christmas hymn, set to words from the Psalter—Quam magnificata opera tua! The Bishop of Peterborough was the preacher, and I heard him again at Evening Service. As you leave the nave through the western entrance, you see an odd portrait set against the wall, that of a grave-digger, spade in hand. Underneath, you read—“R. Scarlett, died 1594, aged 98.” He buried the two Queens, and the inhabitants of the town twice over, as you learn from uncouth rhymes subjoined. Was ever such a “king of spades?”

Next morning I saw “Lincoln, on its sovereign hill,” and heard the Great Tom—“swinging slow with sullen roar.” The restorations going on in the choir had driven the service into a little chapel, near the west end; but the singing was very sweet, and solemn, though entirely without ceremony. I devoted the morning to the survey of this model of art, which I like the better, because it is, in part, a monument of the Anglican Liberties, as they were maintained in the middle ages, against the Roman Pontiff. The central tower is the work of brave old Bishop Grostéte, in the thirteenth century. He was the predecessor of Wycliffe and Cranmer, in defying the Pope, and in spite of papal anathemas, he died in peaceful possession of his See. All honour to his pious memory.

It is the custom to admire the west front of this cathedral extravagantly; but I confess that with all that there is to admire in its separate parts, the whole seems, to me, ill-composed. The towers, more particularly, strike me as possessing no unity with the mass of architecture, behind which they rise, as from a screen, whose broad rectangular frontage detracts from the apparent height. It is only as seen from the foot of the hill, that the whole architectural bulk affects the eye sublimely, towering majestically over the town, which crouches at its base. The whole pile affords to the architectural student every luxury of his art, both within and without; but such were the desecrations which it suffered from the Cromwellians, that few of those gorgeous shrines, for which it was formerly distinguished, remain, to delight the ordinary visiter. In the cloisters have lately been discovered some Roman remains: a mosaic pavement, in particular, such as the traveller is so often shown in Italy. “The Jew’s house,” so called, a relic of mediæval art, was more interesting to me, as connected with the legend of the little martyr who lies in the cathedral, and who is celebrated by Chaucer, in the tale of the Prioress.

The City of York makes an imposing show, crowned by the glories of its vast minster, and walled in, like Chester, with ancient ramparts, which nearly encircle the town. How singular the reflection that Constantine the Great was a native Yorkshire-man, born in this town, in A.D. 272! Here, too, his father died, in A.D. 307, and he succeeded to the empire, going forth to reform pagan Rome, as I trust the spirit of England has even now gone forth to do the same for Rome papal. Here, too, died the Emperor Severus vainly striving to reconcile his sons Caracalla and Geta. Among the monuments of the Roman Forum, these names afterward reminded me of York; while, across the broad Atlantic, the immense city where I had been brought up, had always been to me, her memorial. How many were the reflections with which I walked the whole circuit of her walls, and surveyed the town, the ancient castle, and the surrounding scenery, and then sailed upon the river beneath! The beautiful ruins of an old abbey, near the river, still delight the antiquarian; but after cursorily surveying these, I hastened to the cathedral.

The western front of the minster is worthy of its extraordinary fame. The semi-barbarian features of many of the cathedrals are here superseded by what might seem to be the idealized perfection of their rude details. The unity which was wanting in Lincoln, seemed to be here complete and entire; and the rich and delicate tracery which invests it has the appearance of an elaborate tissue of lace, fitted over the stone after the substantial part was complete. From other points of view, the impression is less of grace, and more of majesty. The whole is sublime in its effect beyond that of any other cathedral that I ever saw; and even in Milan, I could not but say to myself, as I gazed on its wonderful Duomo—“after all, it is, as compared with York, only a beautiful monster.” There is something about it which realizes the idea of a cathedral, in its model form; and this is a charm that is wanting in many others of its class. In its ample choir, I was more affected by the service than at any other place, with the exception perhaps of Canterbury, so far as it depended on the elevating influence of mere architecture, consciously felt and employed to ennoble the sacrifice of praise and prayer. With the survey of the chapter-house, cloisters, and tombs, I was less interested than with repeated efforts to take in the vast sweep of the interior, and to animate it with visions of what it may yet become, when Deans and Canons wake up to the immense responsibility of their opportunities to work for the glory of God. The tone of the service, and the swell of the organ, even now, give wings to worship, when the anthem rises beneath this lofty vault, and dies away in the profound depth of the nave, or spreads itself amid aisles and columns, with multiplied reverberations and undulations of harmony; but oh! what might not be its heavenly effect, were the choir and nave all one, and filled with kneeling thousands, lifting up their voice with one accord in the overwhelming common-prayer of the Anglican Church! A friend of mine, who was once present, in Yorkminster, on a Sunday, realized something very near what I strove to imagine. The congregation was swelled by the presence of several regiments of soldiers, who appeared to take part in the worship, and whose gay uniforms, as they knelt on the mosaic floor, received a richer splendour from the tinted lights that flowed down from lofty windows, where meek saints and mighty princes seem to live again in the lustre of their portraiture.

An early start next morning, a short railway trip, and then a stage-coach drive of two miles, and then a walk through the fields, brought me to S—— parsonage, before breakfast, where a kindly welcome awaited me from my Malvern acquaintances. A day had been planned for me by the kind lady of the parsonage, and though it threatened rain, she laughed at the idea of abandoning it on that account. An American lady would scarcely have thought of it, even in fair weather, as the excursion involved not a little exercise of the foot. Off we went in a pony-carriage to Ripon, where I had time for a hasty inspection of the minster, lately made a cathedral. It is a severe specimen of Early English, and affords much to interest the student; but very little to make a story of, unless we adopt Camden’s explanation of St. Wilfrid’s needle in the crypt. It is a narrow perforation of the masonry, through which ladies were sometimes required to pass, when, as Fuller says, “those who could not thread the needle pricked their own credit.”

We went through the grounds of Studley Royal, enjoying a diversified view of beautiful park scenery, till we came to the neighbourhood of Fountains Abbey, and exchanged our drive for a walk. We passed through woods, and by little lakes, and over rustic bridges, and came at last into a walk richly embowered with trees, along a height, where the foliage completely screened the view below. Our fair conductress promised us a lunch at a little halting-place called Anne Boleyn’s Seat. I did not tell her that I had foreknowledge of the trick she meant to play upon me; but I sincerely wish that I had never heard of it, for my own sake as well as hers. Arrived at the spot, we sat down to rest, when suddenly the lady flung open a door, and before us was such a view as can be seen nowhere else in the world. We were balconied, in a lofty window, and below was the beautiful valley and meadow: at the extremity of which, rise the ancient walls, chapel window, and tower of Fountains Abbey—the most poetical ruin in existence. All Italy has nothing to show, that can be compared with it for beauty, especially if we take into account the extraordinary charms of the wooded steeps that surround it, and of the green velvet mead, from which it lifts itself like the creation of enchantment. Its architecture is vast and majestic in scale, and the ivy has contrived to festoon and mantle its magnificence, in such wise as to lend it a grace it never could have possessed even in its first glory. There is a more sylvan charm about Tintern. Fountains Abbey is the perfection of artificial beauty, for even its surrounding nature is impressed with a look of long and complete subjugation to the hand of consummate art.

I assured our fair enchantress, that although I had heard of this surprise before, her playfulness had not been lost on me. I had expected to enjoy it only under the humdrum operation of an ordinary guide. She had heightened the effect by her talismanic touch and artistic air, and I was free to confess that the effect produced was such, that “the half had not been told me.” A little streamlet runs through the meadow, like a silver thread upon emerald; and nothing which a painter could wish is wanting to make the scene a picture of delight. I could not but think of the still waters, and the green pastures, and the glorious mansions of a better world.

The Abbey was Cistercian, as the fat valley in which it stands might indicate, according to the rhyme:—

“Bernard the vales, as Benedict the steeps,

 But towering cities did Loyola love.”

It was founded, in fact, in the time of St. Bernard, under the first impulses communicated to Europe by his vast enthusiasm. But it is in vain that we look for any traces of his asceticism, in the luxurious splendour of every portion of this noble pile. Here you enter the lordly refectory; you pass to the ample kitchen, and ascend to the long range of dormitories. What prince on earth is better lodged? The chapter-house is on the same scale of dignity; and the cloisters are a long perspective of pillared arches, through which the eye can scarcely penetrate to the end. But the church, with its elaborate chapels, of which nearly half the pillars are standing in their gracefulness, beggars description. Its floor is green turf, and its walls are hung with living tapestry; but it seems still a vast cathedral, and the more beautiful, for its heavenly vault, and its windows, opening in all their rich variety of form, bright glimpses of wood and sky. Everything is in keeping, and the whole is such an epitome of the monastic system as suggests alike its glory and its shame. The excavations are still going on, and like those of Pompeii, they are revealing the most minute and tell-tale particulars of monastic life. One cannot altogether regret that such establishments are of the past, and yet the experiment of their reform should have been fairly tried, before destruction made it forever impossible to restore them to noble and pious uses.

Near the Abbey is a yew-tree of great antiquity, beneath which, tradition says, the first colony of monks assembled, and planned their future home. In a secluded spot, a little further on, I came to Fountains Hall, a pleasant manorial residence. It was built in the time of the first Stuart, and, I am sorry to add, of materials, quarried in the old Abbey. Such being the case, I am glad it is not mine. Sacrilege is so fatal a sin, that I hardly dared to take away a bit of moss from the Abbey walls; and to remove a cubic inch of its masonry, was a liberty from which I shrank, as a sort of irreverence to God.

Adieu to Fountains—but the scene will never leave my mental vision, which will retain as tenaciously, also, the recollection of those whose company enabled me to enter into the spirit of the scene, as I never can when alone. Reluctantly bidding them farewell, I went by rail to South Shields, on a visit to an estimable M.P., whose acquaintance I had made in London. He is a man of great natural refinement, and of very superior accomplishments, having greatly distinguished himself in early life, at Oxford, though his retiring disposition has kept him from the ambitious dignities which he might easily have commanded. Though there are few, in England, to whom I became more attached, I must add that it was neither from political nor religious affinities. He is as much of a dissenter as a churchman can well be, and as little of a John Bull as an Englishman can well be; but it is my creed, that none but the most narrow-minded mortals limit their society to those who share their own likes and dislikes, and never has my contempt for Sallust’s rule of friendship been more richly rewarded than in the relations which I formed with Mr. I——. With his liberal feelings towards America, I was particularly gratified; and it was pleasant indeed to listen to this estimable man, as he generously eulogized several of my countrymen, whom he had made his friends. Most attractive too was his unassuming piety. His Greek Testament was his familiar companion, and he was sometimes betrayed into scholarly criticisms of its text, which I could not always adopt, but which I was forced to admire, as drawn from stores of classical knowledge and accuracy. I felt it a great privilege to be his guest, and fell asleep in my chamber, full of happy reflections on the pleasures of the day, and lulled by the sounds of the sea, which breaks on the boundaries of his demesne. The morning light came to my window over the German Ocean, for the King of Denmark is next neighbour to my friend in that direction.

I was now among the collieries, but had no desire to know anything about them. I saw the mouths of the doleful pits which descend to these human burrows, and to think of the miserable population below, was enough! There they live, and die, and are buried while they live, and are far more wretched, I should imagine, than the servile class, in most cases, among us. The amelioration of life in the collieries, is by no means neglected however. England is alive to the spiritual and temporal destitution of her poor, of every condition; and happy will it be for us, when our national evils are as deeply felt as those of England are by Englishmen; when they are as temperately and freely discussed, and as boldly submitted to an enlightened spirit of progress and reform.

With my estimable friend, I visited Durham, its cathedral and University, and enjoyed great privileges in so doing, as the result of his kindness. On our way, he pointed out the secluded and saintly Jarrow, and the tower of Bernard Gilpin’s Church. In this neighbourhood occur two names that startle an American: he comes to Franklin, and to Washington, little villages which have imparted their names to hundreds of places in America, by first giving them to two really great men. With us, places are named from individuals; but in England, the reverse is more frequently the case.

“Stupendous”—is the epithet for the cathedral of Durham. It is the poetry of the frigid zone of architecture, as Milan cathedral is of its tropics. The first impressions, on entering, were instinctively those of the patriarch—“how dreadful is this place—this is none other than the House of God.” At York, I had said—‘this is the gate of heaven.’ Here an overpowering solemnity brooded over every thought, and I less admired than wondered. One thing was most pleasing: there is no screen, and the eye ranges through nave and choir, unrestrained, to the altar itself to which a bas-relief of the last supper, gives a fine effect. Under the guidance of Canon Townsend, who had lately returned from his most primitive visit to the Pope, we surveyed the entire cathedral and its adjoining courts, all alike builded for everlasting, if the solidity and grandeur of its masonry be any index of its design. We visited “the Galilee,” and the tomb of the venerable Bede, the “nine altars,” at the eastern end, and the tomb of St. Cuthbert. Also, the chapter-house, hallowed by the names of Aidan and Finan, those apostles of the North, who came forth from Iona to illuminate our Saxon ancestors. I pity the man who claims no kin with their ancient faith and piety! They infused into the Church of England many elements of its present character, and Bernard Gilpin was their legitimate son, even more than Bede himself.

In the library, we were shown, by the polite dignitary who was our guide, many antiquarian and literary curiosities. The stole of St. Cuthbert, taken from his coffin, and some needlework of the sister of Alfred, were of the number, and divers manuscripts, on vellum, of great beauty, and one the autograph of Bede! Some modern copes, of the time of Charles First, were shown us, as having been worn in Divine Service, in the cathedral, according to the rubric, till Warburton laid them aside. We also visited the University, which now fills the old castle of Durham. This castle was built by William the Conqueror, and was long the residence of the Bishops, as Lords of the Palatinate. Its old Norman chapel is very interesting, and the modern fittings are in good taste throughout, and turn it to good account. In one of the prebendal houses, we found the Bishop of Exeter, a prelate of great distinction, and celebrated for making warm friends and bitter foes. Canon Townsend gave us our lunch, at his own table, and warmly eulogized the American Church, which he designs to visit. He also praised our country and its achievements. His burning desire seems to be to unite all Christians, once more, in one holy fellowship of faith and worship, and it was in this spirit that he visited the Vatican, and exhorted the Pope to repent. It was the last testimony to Pius Ninth, before he dared to commit that damning sin against Christian charity, on the 8th of December, 1854. In my opinion, Canon Townsend need not be ashamed of having preached the Gospel at Rome also.

I crossed the river Wear, and gained from its well-wooded bank, the best view of the cathedral. It rises on the opposite bank, high over the stream, like part of the rock on which it is built. It presents the appearance of entire “unity with itself.” Massive and ponderous dignity invests the whole pile, and with the advantage of its deep descent to the river, I know not where to look for anything that seems at once so fixed to the earth, and yet so aspiring in its gigantic stretch towards heaven. The cathedral at Fribourg, in Switzerland, not only lacks its grandeur, but is too far from the edge of the steep, on which it stands, to derive much character from it. Durham, on the contrary, grows out of the cliff itself, and it is hard to say where the natural architecture terminates, and art begins.

I heard the service, in the cathedral, and it was effectively performed. From preference, I occupied the extremity of the nave, and enjoyed its distant effect. The Episcopal throne, in this cathedral, is a great curiosity. Had I not been told it was a throne, I should have said it was a gallery, or orchestra. Its style is altogether curious, and unique; but I should think his Lordship would prefer any place in the cathedral, to such a strange eminence. I left Durham, with great regret that I could not linger for a long time, amid its venerable and sacred attractions.

A good portion of the succeeding day was given to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, its smutty old-town, and its spruce and showy new-town. Here is Norman England on one hand, and England of the Reform-bill on the other. Standing upon one of its lofty bridges, I surveyed the town, and the river, and felt more pleased with what I saw than I had supposed it possible for me to be with such a coal-hole.

Out of the hole I climbed, however, to the height on which stands its old castle, built by Robert Curthose, son of William the Conqueror. It is a dingy tower, at best; but massive, and full of historic interest. Its chapel, only a few yards square, and dimly lighted, is remarkable for some of the finest specimens extant, of the Saxon arch. Its parts are distinctly marked, as chancel, nave, sacristy, and the like; but it is more like the chapel of an Inquisition, than of a royal castle. Several rooms in the castle are filled with Roman relics, all found in the neighbourhood of the town; and often, when I afterwards visited Rome, and thought of this far distant place, did it give me new ideas of her ancient power, to reflect upon her identity here and there, and upon the skill in overcoming difficulties, which, in that barbarian day, made her to be felt as really upon the Tyne, as upon the Tiber. I saw very soon the same marks of Roman conquest, far away in Scotland, near Elgin, and Inverness.

And to Scotland I now made my way, without stopping. Flying through Northumberland, I caught many glimpses of its scenery and antiquities, about Warkworth and Alnwick. Far out at sea, I spied the lofty bulk of Holy Island, or Lindisfarne, the Iona of England. I instinctively bared my head to it. At length I sighted Berwick-upon-Tweed, the Amen Corner of England, where the Church ceases, and the Kirk begins. Anon, I was over the Border.


The Lakes and the Lakers.

As I am now detailing my “Impressions of England,” I must leave out my Scottish chapters, for Scotland is far too rich in material to be smuggled into the world under any cover except its own. After a most interesting visit to this romantic land, I again saw England as I approached the Cumberland mountains, at Ecclefechan, and in spite of my delight in Caledonia, I somehow felt that it was home. I reached “Gretna Green” from a direction the opposite of that which is the fashion for runaways, and hence saw nothing of “the blacksmith;” but I was informed that he duly posts himself at the station when the train approaches from the other direction, and very frequently finds customers. It is not now as in the days of posting; and if a brace of lovers can make sure of a train in advance of pursuers, they are quite safe. The next train may bring the frantic friends and parents; but the wedding is already performed, according to the barbarous law of North Britain. It has been remarked as something singular, if not disgraceful, that several who have risen to be Lord-Chancellors of the southern kingdom, were, in early life, married in this way. After a moment’s pause at the Gretna station, we were whirled across the Sark, with a glimpse of the Solway, and soon I was in “merrie Carlisle.” I entered it, thanks be to Bishop Percy, with special thoughts of “Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough, and William of Cloudeslee.” The poetry of the town is, in fact, concentrated in that ballad of ballads. As a border town, it has always been subject to those fearful scenes and tragedies, which only war creates: and its history is a romance, from the days of the Conquest to those of the Pretender, whose flag once waved on its walls. It is charmingly situated, and well watered by its three rivers; but its castle and its cathedral are its chief objects of interest, and offer little that can be described with effect, after a review of more striking specimens of their kind. Among the tombs in the latter, is that of Archdeacon Paley, the moralist, who “could not afford to keep a conscience.” I did not regard it with any great emotion. The adjacent Deanery, at one time inhabited by Bishop Percy, was more interesting to me, for whatever he may have been as a bishop, I cannot doubt that his taste and industry in literature have produced a vast result in the poetry and letters of his native tongue. I have often amused myself, not only with his “ballads” themselves, but with an effort to trace their immediate and remote effects on the taste, and even upon the genius of England. They are very striking, and prove what may be the lasting results of a very humble sort of literary enterprise, when it is founded on “truths that wake to perish never.”

I was in the region of the Lakes, and felt upon me already the powerful influences which its great poets have left it for an heritage forever. The noble range of the Cumberlands seemed to lift their monumental heads, in memory of Southey and Wordsworth. I went to Kendal, and sighted the castle where Katherine Parr was born, but was glad to take the earliest train to Bowness. Welcome was the sight of Windermere, brightly reflecting the evening sky, and encircled by an army of mountains, lifting their bristling pikes as if to defend it, like a virgin sister in her loveliness. Who can forget Dr. Arnold’s enthusiastic return to this dear spot, from the Continent: his just comparison of its charms with those of foreign scenes, and his close noting of the very minutes that lingered as he hasted to his home at Fox How? To me, there is all the heart of poetry in his honest effusion of genuine English feeling. “I see the Old Man and the Langdale Pikes, rising behind the nearer hills so beautifully! We open on Windermere, and vain it is to talk of any earthly beauty ever equalling this country, in my eyes. No Mola di Gaeta, no Valley of the Velino, no Salerno or Vietri can rival, to me, this Vale of Windermere, and of the Rotha. Here it lies in the perfection of its beauty, the deep shadows on the unruffled water; and mingling with every form, and sound, and fragrance, comes the full thought of domestic affections, and of national and of Christian: here is our own house and home: here are our own country’s laws and language: and here is our English Church!” Good! glorious! every word. I can feel it all, and the last words more than he did. It is to the Church that England owes all the rest, and yet that palladium (I hate the word) of England’s holiest, and dearest, and best peculiarities, he would fain have Germanized! I believe, in my heart, he was better than his theories, and would have been the first to shrink from his own dreams of reform, had he lived to see them coming into shape as realities. I cannot but follow his speaking memoranda:—“Arrived at Bowness, 8.20; left at 8.31; passing Ragrigg Gate, 8.37; over Troutbeck Bridge, 8.51; here is Ecclerigg, 8.58; and here Lowood Inn, 9.04 and 30 seconds!” No fast man, at the Derby, ever held his watch more breathlessly; he was speeding home, and there he was in twenty minutes more, at his own “mended gate,” wife and darlings all round papa, and so ends his journal! Oh, what so enviable as a home, just here? My own is far away—and I stop at Lowood Inn, grateful for such inns as England only affords, and proposing to spend such a Sunday as England only hallows. I am not forgetful of my own dear land; I love her Hudson, as I can never love even an English lake; but the janglings of a Sunday in America, the unutterable wretchedness of perpetuated quarrels among Christians, and all the sadness of religious disunion, in its last stage of social disorganization, take away my sense of repose, when I survey an American landscape, and the spires of our villages; and who can measure the indifference, the atheism, and the godless contempt for truth which all this breeds? Good Lord! when shall this plague of locusts disappear from our sky? When shall all Christians who love Christ in truth and soberness, agree to love one another?

At Lowood Inn I spent such a Sunday, as I had promised myself, at St. Asaph. A morning and evening walk, by the lake, was its morning and evening charm, and calm, sweet enjoyment of the service was its substantial blessing. Here, Southey’s words came forcibly to mind, as I recalled the common worship, in which my beloved friends, at home, were uniting with me; the Prayer-book its blessed telegraph!

“Oh, hold it holy! it will be a bond

 Of love and brotherhood, when all beside

 Hath been dissolved; and though wide ocean roll

 Between the children of one fatherland,

 This shall be their communion: they shall send,

 Linked in one sacred feeling, at one hour,

 In the same language, the same prayer to heaven,

 And each remembering each in piety,

   Pray for the other’s welfare.”

Early on Monday morning, in a fairy-like little steamer, I made a circuit of the lake, enjoying fine weather, and delightful views. The clouds took the shape of everything beautiful during the day, now hanging over the “Pikes,” like legions of angels, and now building themselves up into domes and cathedrals, upon the summits of the everlasting hills. As for the lake itself, it is something between Lake George and Cayuga Lake: its scenery in some parts, even finer than the finest of the one, and its tamer parts, almost always equal to the best of the other. Lake George, however, in its exceeding wildness, has its own special charm for me; and Windermere is too artificially beautiful, on the whole, to rival it. Towards noon, I went, by coach, to Grassmere, passing through Ambleside, and by the late residence of Wordsworth, and enjoying the views of Rydalmere, and Knab Scaur, and then of Grassmere itself, with its sweet church, deep in the vale. The inn at Grassmere is well placed, on a slight ascent from the valley, and provides a toothsome repast for the tourist. I went on horse-back, over hill and dale, to “Dungeon Ghyll,” a cataract well known to readers of Wordsworth, but less interesting in itself, though curious as well as pretty, than the scenery through which one passes to get there. The mountain ranges, and peaks, as they come into sight, and seem to shift their positions, are sufficient, I should think, to make the region ever new in its peculiar attractions, especially when one takes into account the endless variety imparted to such scenes by the different seasons, hours of the day, states of the atmosphere, and conditions of sky and clouds. Wise poets were these Lakers! And how “Kit North” must have revelled in these palaces of nature! As I slowly returned, I caught my last glimpse of Windermere, and then saw the vale of Grassmere, in its evening beauty. Arrived at the churchyard, I sought the grave of Wordsworth. A plain grave, and his name merely. The river rushing by lulls his repose. A carriage drove up, and seeing a female mourner approach, attended by a servant, or waiting-maid, I withdrew, and pretended to be otherwise engaged. The lady scattered flowers on the grave of the poet, and stood there awhile, musing. It was his widow; and when she had left the sacred spot, I returned, and admired the fragrant and beautiful tokens of her affection, which, as I learned, she every day renews. I gathered some wild flowers, growing by the grave, and resolved to bear them to Keswick, and leave them on the grave of Southey. This pilgrimage I was determined to make, on foot; and having arranged for my luggage to be sent to a convenient point, I started accordingly, late in the afternoon, with a walk of twelve miles before me; to do which, I gave myself three hours for the walking, and one for resting and idling. I expected to reach Keswick by early moonlight, for the moon was new, and the days long. Mine host thought it too late for a start, after a fatiguing day; but I had practised in Scotland, and knew my strength, and the inspiration of the spot was such that I felt no weariness. On the contrary, it is impossible to describe the flow of spirits with which I began and ended this walk. Passing Helm Crag, I decided that the “old woman” on the top, is far more like a millenial group, in colossal sculpture, for it greatly resembles a lion with a lamb in its embrace. At every step, Wordsworth and Southey revive in memory; every pebble seems to have attracted their love, and taken its place in their poetry. After a long, but gradual ascent, we reach the cairn that covers King Dunmail’s bones, and looking back at the charming view, say farewell to Grassmere. In the distance, ahead, what looms up? The guide-book says Skiddaw. There once lived Southey; there now he sleeps. As I left this neighbourhood, I observed to my surprise, another group on the mountain, in all respects like the “old woman,” only turned the other way. Both are formed by loose rocks on the height of the mountain; but I have seen no mention of this one. And now my way lay along the base of the “mighty Helvellyn.” The road was easy to the foot, and innumerable are its charms. I came to the lovely Thirlmere, or Leatheswater: the views of the surrounding crags, and of the water itself, wearing a more beautiful aspect, for the hour and the departing daylight. Blue-bells were everywhere growing by the road, in handfulls. I stopped to examine a stone which seems to record the death of a Quaker’s favourite horse. A carriage came along, which proved to be full of cockney tourists. One of them descended and read, as follows:—“Thirtieth of ninth month, 1843;

“Fallen from ’is fellow’s side,

   The steed beneath (h)is lying;

  (H)in ’arness ’ere ’e died,

   ’Is (h)only fault was dying.”

The pathos with which these words were uttered was truly Pickwickian, and the step from the sublime to the ridiculous was so effectually taken by my feelings, that for a long way beyond, Helvellyn re-echoed to my laughter. Passing Thirlmere, the sweet vale of St. John opened a bewitching prospect, and I loved it for its name. Leaving it on my right, I then turned toward Keswick, and as the last light of day disappeared, there, before me, lay Derwentwater, the new moon shedding a tremulous light on its bosom. This, then, was Southey’s own Keswick, and Skiddaw rose over head! I slept soundly and sweetly at the “Royal Oak.”

In the morning, I took a barge, and was rowed round the lake, which did not disappoint me. One of the men had been a servant of Southey’s, and he told me many anecdotes of his master. “Yonder, it seems to me, I can see him now,” said the fellow, “walking with a book in his hand.” He described him as good to the poor, and said, “he often gave five shillings, at a time, to my mother.” In wet weather he still took the air, and walked well on clogs. I was much charmed with the islets of the lake, and the singular traditions which invest them all with so much interest. The romantic stories of the unfortunate family of Derwentwater, whose earls were attainted for their share in the Pretender’s rebellion, are partly connected with one of these islands, and the lake itself seems made for a scene of romance. Windermere is not to be compared with it. I was rowed to Lodore, and saw “how the water comes down.” Sometimes ’tis a mere burlesque of the poem; but I saw it in full force, and entirely justifying all the participles which the genius of Southey has contrived to set going, like a cataract, out of the fountain of his brain. After this, I swam in the lake, tempted to do so by the double attraction of its pellucid waters, and its Castalian associations.

I visited Southey’s grave, in Crosthwaite churchyard. ’Twas solemn to see the grass growing, and its tall spears shaking in the breeze, over the head of that fine genius, and the heart of that good and faithful man. In the church, where he so often prayed, a superb statue of the poet lies, at full length, on an altar-tomb. I placed in the marble hand the flowers I had brought from the grave of Wordsworth, a tribute to their friendship, and a token of my homage for both. Great and good men; they were the “lucida sidera” of English literature, in a dark and evil time and now that their sweet influence has triumphed over the clouds and vapours which obscured their first rising, how calmly they shine, in heaven, and brighten the scenes they have left behind!

Greta Hall, the poet’s late residence, stands a little back from the road, in the shadow of Skiddaw. I paid a visit to a daughter of the bard, who loves to linger near her father’s grave; and it was delightful to observe the simplicity with which she entered into the enthusiasm of a pilgrim to that shrine of her affections. The aged Mrs. Lovel, whose name is familiar to the readers of Coleridge, and his contemporaries, also allowed me to be presented to her. It was affecting to see a group of Southey’s lovely little grand-children with her, in mourning for a mother. They are richer in the heritage of his name and character than if they were the heirs of the Derwentwaters, and restored to all their honours and estates.

By coach to Penrith, by the vale of St. John, and Huttonmoor. On the moor, I saw a cottage, with an inscription too deep for me, of which my reader shall have the benefit. It was this:—

“I. W.

This building’s age, these letters show,

Though many gaze, yet few will know.


A Waltonian puzzle in its quaintness, not to speak of the initials! Driving by Graystoke, in which is an old town-cross, we had a sight of its church and castle. But two odd-looking farm-houses, which we passed, presenting at a distance the appearance of forts, surprised me more, by their American names, “Mount Putnam,” and “Bunker-hill.” They were built and named soon after the battle: and the whip laughed as he slyly surmised, that the Duke of Norfolk, to whom they belong, “must have been afraid the ’Mericans were coming over.” At Penrith, I visited the extraordinary grave in the churchyard, called the Giant’s. Its history is lost in the obscure of antiquity; but one Owen is said to lie there, at full length, the head and footstones being fifteen feet apart. The stones are tall needles, of curious form, and covered with Runic carvings and unintelligible words. Not far from Penrith, are some ancient caverns, marked by traces of gigantic inhabitants, such as iron-gratings, and other relics worthy of the habitation of Giant Despair.

Next morning, we were favoured with a brilliant sky and cool breeze, and I took the top of the coach for a drive across the country, through Westmoreland, into Yorkshire. A sweet odour of hay-making filled the air as we started; and soon we had fine views of Brougham-hall, and castle, with a small adjoining park. A more interesting object to me was a small column, by the roadside, celebrated by Wordsworth, called the Countess of Pembroke’s Pillar. It was erected in the evil days of Cromwell, not to celebrate a battle, or a crime, but as a monument of love. On that spot, in her better days, the Lady Anne Clifford had parted, for the last time, with her beloved mother, the Countess Dowager of Pembroke, and she therefore caused this stone to be set as a memorial, and inscribed accordingly. But she did yet more, for hard by is a stone table, on which the anniversary of that parting is annually celebrated by a dole of bread to the poor of the parish of Brougham, to pay for which she left the annual sum of four pounds to the church forever. This is giving a stone to those who ask bread, in an orthodox way. The inscription ends with Laus Deo; and my heart responded in the manner which Wordsworth suggests. “Many a stranger,” he says, “though no clerk, has responded Amen, as he passed by.” Our drive continued a pleasant one till we came to Appleby, an interesting old town, through which runs the river Eden. In its church are monuments of the Lady Anne Clifford and her mother. At Brough, we came to an old castle, erected before the Conquest. Its church has a pulpit, hewn of a single stone; and they tell a good story of its bells. A worthy drover of the adjoining moors, once brought a fine lot of cattle to market, promising to make them bellow all together, and to be heard from Brough to Appleby. Accordingly with the money they sold for, he gave the parish a peal of bells, which constantly fulfils his vow. He deserves to be imitated by richer men. At Brough the coach left me, and I took a post-chaise over the dreary region of Stainmuir; dreary, just then, but not so in the sporting-season, when the moor is alive with hunters and fowlers. At Bowes, again, emerging from the moorlands, we came to the remains of a castle, and to the less interesting relics of a school, which had disappeared under the influence of a general conviction, that it was the original “Dotheboys Hall.” A dull place is Bowes; but striking over a rugged country, northward, I came soon into the charming valley of the Tees, and so arrived at the secluded church and parsonage of Romaldkirk, on a visit to a clergyman, who bearing my maternal name, and deriving from the same lineage, in times long past, yet claimed me as a relative, and welcomed me as a brother. I found a missionary from India, addressing a few of his parishioners, in an adjoining school-house, and there I first saw my hospitable friend, and joined with him in the solemnities of a missionary meeting, among a few of the neighbouring peasantry. With this estimable clergyman, and his family, I tarried till the third day, enjoying greatly their attentive hospitalities, and trying to catch trout in the Tees. The very sound of this rushing river recalled the story of Rokeby, and amid its overhanging foliage, I almost fancied I could see skulking the pirate-figure of Bertram Risingham.

I was not allowed to leave this happy roof unattended. The eldest son of the family, a young Cantab, took me more than twenty miles, to Richmond, through a most romantic country, allowing me to visit the ruins, near Rokeby, and to stop at many interesting spots. We journeyed through Barnard Castle, and by Egglestone Abbey, and met with several adventures in our “search of the picturesque,” but at last emerged into the surprising scenery of Richmond, which I found beautiful beyond all that its name implies, and not unworthy of sharing it with its southern namesake, on the Thames. It is the older of the two, and is remarkable for something more than beauty. It has a touch of grandeur about it, and the ruins of its old historic castle, on the banks of the Swale, full of traditions of feudal sovereignty, and still massive and venerable in appearance, give an imposing air of majesty to the town. The aspect of the valley of the Swale is almost American, in its wildness, in many parts, and I keenly relished even my railway journey through a region so inviting to delay. I made my way to Leeds, where, amid smoke, and much that is disagreeable, stands the interesting Church of St. Mary’s, lately renewed and beautified by its faithful vicar, Dr. Hook. I had barely time to visit this sacred place, and contenting myself with having sighted Kirkstall Abbey, in the vale of Aire, I continued my journey to my first English home, in Warwickshire. The glimpses of Derbyshire scenery which I enjoyed, in my rapid journey, were full of beauty: and the mishap of losing a trunk, gave me the opportunity of putting to the test the fidelity of the English railway system. As soon as I discovered that some blunder had been committed, I informed the guard, and at the first station, telegraphic messages were despatched, and in a short time my trunk followed me to the parsonage, where I passed the Sunday with my friend.



More than once have I betrayed, in the course of my narrative, a strong affection for the name and memory of Cowper. To his poetry and letters, I was introduced in early childhood, by the admiring terms in which a beloved parent often quoted and criticised them; and no subsequent familiarity with them has, in the least, impaired my relish for their peculiar charms. I regard him as the regenerator of English poetry, and as the morning-star of all that truly illustrates the nineteenth century. A gentle but powerful satirist of the evils of his own times, he was a noble agent in the hand of God, for removing them, and making way for a great restoration. Without dreaming of his mission, he was a prime mover in the great action which has thrown off the lethargy of Hanoverianism, and awakened the Church of England to world-wide enterprises of good; and though the injudicious counsels of good John Newton gave a turn to his piety, which may well be deplored in its consequences upon himself, it is ground for rejoicing that the influences of the Church upon his own good taste, were strong enough to rescue his contributions to literature from the degrading effects of religious enthusiasm. If any one will take the trouble to compare “the Task” with such a production as Pollok’s “Course of time,” he will be struck with the force of my remark, for there the same enthusiasm exhibits itself as developed by sectarianism. I was surprised to find how many places in England were fraught with recollections of this retired and sedentary poet. A distant view of St. Alban’s, the banks of the Ouse, the churchyard of St. Margaret’s, and the school-room, at Westminster, the gardens of the Temple, and the little village of St. Neot’s all recalled him to mind, in his various moods, of suffering and dejection. Even the ruins of Netley Abbey revived his memory, for there he seems to have been filled with novel emotions, as an unwonted tourist, with whom romantic scenes were far from familiar. The opposite pole of poetic association became electric in Cheapside, where so many John Gilpins still keep shop, if they do not “ride abroad.” But I frequently passed, on the railway, a village in Hertfordshire, which is invested with memories of a more elevated and affecting character. It was not only the birth-place of the poet, (as well as of Bishop Ken,) but its church-tower is that from which he heard the bell tolled on the burial-day of his mother. Its parsonage was the scene of all those maternal tendernesses, which he has so touchingly celebrated; and who that has shared the love of a Christian mother, can fail to reverence the bard, who has so inimitably enshrined, in poetry, the best and holiest instincts of the human heart, as exhibited in the mutual loves of the mother and her son? I could not leave England without first paying a pilgrimage to those scenes of his maturer life, which have become classic from their frequent mention in his poems.

As I was taking my ticket for a second-class passage to the nearest point on the railway to Olney, I happened to meet a gentleman who had just bought his, and with whom I had the pleasure of some acquaintance. Knowing him to be connected, by marriage and position, with some of the most aristocratic families in the kingdom, I very naturally said to him—“I’m going the same way with you, but shall lose the pleasure of your company, for I’ve only a second-class ticket.” I was amused with his answer:—“Yes, for I’ve only a third-class ticket.” He briefly explained that he was forced to economize, and that, although he did not like it, the inconvenience of a seat among a low-class of people, for a short time, was not so intolerable as a collapsed purse, “especially” he added, “as I am thus enabled to travel in the first-class carriages when I travel with my wife.” Such is the independence as to action, and the freedom as to confession of economy, which characterize a well-bred man, whose position in society is settled; and I could not but think how snobbish, in the contrast, is the conduct of many of my own countrymen, who, if they ever use prudence, in their expenses, are afraid to have it known. An aristocracy of money is not only contemptible in itself, but it curses a land with a universal shame of seeming prudent. It makes the dollared upstart fancy himself a gentleman, while the true gentleman is degraded in his own eyes, as well as in the estimation of the vulgar, by the fact, that his house is small, his furniture plain, and his table frugal. Hence so much upholstery in America; so much hotel-life; and such a contempt for quiet respectability.

This anecdote is not out of place in a chapter devoted to Cowper. The poet was a man of gentle blood, and, in every sense of the word, a gentleman. Many an English nobleman is vastly inferior to him in point of extraction. He was descended from the blood-royal of Henry Third, and in divers ways was allied to the old aristocracy of England. He used to be visited at Olney, by persons of quality, in their chariots; and titled ladies were glad to accept his hospitalities. But his home at Olney, where he lived for years, was one of the humblest in the place, and even his darling residence, at Weston, was such a dwelling as most country-parsons would consider barely comfortable. Now, I do not mean to say that John Bull prefers such an establishment for a gentlemen’s habitation; but I do mean that nobody in England would be so insane as to think less of a gentleman, for living thus humbly, especially if he lived so from principle.

As I came to Newport-Pagnel, a respectable elderly person drove by, in an open carriage, whom the whip pointed out to me as Mr. Bull; the son of Cowper’s old friend, whom he delighted to call his dear Taurus. Having a few minutes to spare in the place, and a proper introduction, I called at his house, and was glad to be shown a portrait of the venerable personage himself—the “smoke-inhaling Bull” of the Letters. A lady of the family politely gave me all needed directions, but assured me I should be greatly disappointed in Olney, where “there was nothing to see but old houses, and a general aspect of decay.” I said—‘Yes, but the house is there—and the summer-house—and the spire—and the bridge?’ I was answered that these were yet remaining, though somewhat the worse for wear and weather; and so, having succeeded in hiring a horse, off I went, alone. As I approached the neighbourhood of Olney, the first truly Cowperish sight that struck me—and I had never seen such a sight before in my life—was a living illustration of his lines:—

“Yon cottager that weaves at her own door,

 Pillow and bobbins, all her little store!”

She little knew how much pleasure the sight of her gave to a passing stranger, with whom her art had been rendered poetically beautiful, by the charms of Cowper’s verse. This is, in fact, the secret of his spell as a poet, the power of investing even homely things, in real life, with a certain fascinating attractiveness. He avoids the romantic and the poetical, in choosing his themes; but he elevates what is common to a dignity and beauty unknown before. He is the most English of English bards, and I love him for teaching me to see a something even in the English poor, which makes them, to me, vastly more interesting than the romantic peasantry of Italy. True, the latter tread the vintage, and the other only stack the corn; but the English cottage has the Bible in it, and its children learn the Ten Commandments, and also learn that “cleanliness is next to godliness;” while in Italy, among fleas and other vermin, the idle parents sit lazily in the sun, and the children run after the traveller’s coach-wheel, lying while they beg, and showing by their religious vocabulary, that Bacchus and Maria are confounded in their imagination as saints of the same calendar.

At length I saw the spire of Olney, and soon I crossed the bridge, over whose “wearisome, but needful length,” used to come the news from London, to solace Cowper’s winter evenings. I was not long in finding the poet’s most unpoetical home, now occupied by a petty shop-keeper, who has turned his parlour into a stall. Here he lived, however, and here he sang: here, motherly Mrs. Unwin made tea for him, and Lady Austen gave him “the sofa” for his “Task.” Under these stairs once lodged Puss, Tiney, and Bess; those happy hares which, alone of their kind, have had a local habitation, and will always have a name. In the garden, I saw where the cucumber-vine used to grow, and where Puss used to ruminate beneath its leaves, like Jonah under his gourd. An apple-tree was pointed out to me as “set by Mr. Cowper’s own hands.” The garden has been pieced off, and to see the “summer-house,” I was forced to enter, by a neighbour’s leave, another enclosure. Here is the little nestling-place of Cowper’s poesy—the retreat where his Egeria came to him. In the fence, is still the wicket he made, to let him into the parsonage-grounds, when Newton was his confessor. ‘Here, then,’ I said, ‘one may fancy the lily and the rose, growing in rivalry; and another rose just washed in a shower; and the sound of the church-going bell, and a thousand other minute matters in themselves, all taking their place in the poetic magazine of Cowper, and so coming into verse, through his brain, as the mulberry leaf becomes silk, by another process of spinning.’ It was a small field for such a harvest, and yet “the Task” grew here.

And now, another mile brought me to the more agreeable Weston-Underwood, the resort of all his walking days at Olney, and the dear retreat of his later life; the dearer, because bestowed by the lovely Lady Hesketh. This is, indeed, a residence worthy of a poet, and though all who once rendered it so charming to Cowper have passed away, I was agreeably surprised to find no important feature changed. A painful identity belongs to it: you recognize, at every step, the fidelity of the poet’s descriptive powers, and it seems impossible that he who has made the scene part of himself, has been for half a century in his grave, while all this survives. You enter the desolate park of the Throckmortons, and there is “the alcove,” with its commanding view, so dear to the poet’s eye, and Olney spire in the distance. You pass into “the Wilderness,” now a wilderness indeed, for it is neglected and overgrown. Here are a couple of urns, now green with moss, and lovingly clasped by ivy, but each marked with familiar names, and graced by Cowper’s playful verse. The one adorns the grave of “Neptune,” Sir John Throckmorton’s pointer; the other is the monument of “Fop,” his lady’s favourite spaniel. I hailed this memorial of “Lady Frog’s” pet; but was far more moved to descry, before long, at the end of a flowery alley, the antique bust of Homer, which Cowper so greatly valued, and to which he gave a Greek inscription, which Hayley was proud to do into English:—

“The sculptor? Nameless though once dear to fame;

 But this man bears an everlasting name.”

Here, then, that “stricken deer that left the herd,” was led to a sweet covert at last, and went in and out, and found pasture, under the guidance of one “who had himself been hurt by the archers.” With what enchantment these haunts of hallowed genius inspired me! And yet never felt I so melancholy before. The utter loneliness of the scene; the fact that they who had bestowed its charm, were all, long ago, dead; and then that painful reality—everything else there, as it should be; the Task, no poem, but a verity, and before my eyes; but Cowper, Hayley, Austen, Hesketh, all gone forever; these thoughts were oppressive. I sat down, and almost wept, as I repeated the names of those who were so “lovely and pleasant in their lives,” and who now are undivided in death! It was an hour of deeper feeling than I had realized before, at any shrine of departed genius, in England.

I went to the house, and rejoiced in the comfort it must have afforded Cowper, in his latter days. It is neat and comfortable, and the village is a pretty one, trim and thrifty in its look, and sufficiently poetical. It has “an air of snug concealment,” which must have been most congenial to its gifted inhabitant, and it was not unsuited to his fondness for receiving his friends as guests. I went into the poet’s chamber, and also into that which Lady Hesketh used to occupy. In the former, there is a sad autograph of the poet, in lead-pencil, behind a window-shutter. The window had been walled up, and only lately re-opened, when the pencilling was found. It is one of the poet’s last performances—an adieu to Weston, written there, as he left it forever:—

“Farewell dear scenes forever closed to me,

 O for what sorrows must I now exchange ye!”

No wonder he lamented a departure from such a retreat, into nearer proximity to the bad world. Walking in the park, beneath its avenue of ancient limes, I envied the nibbling flocks that were straying about, and the cattle that were reclining in their shade. So peaceful! If life were given us for ignoble devotion to self, I know of nothing within reach of a clergyman’s humble fortune to which I should more ardently aspire, than such an abode as Weston, where a golden mean between what is common and what is poetical in scenery, and situation, still offers every inducement to a man of taste to settle down, and live contentedly; or, like Walton, “to serve God, and go a fishing.”

On returning to London, I was rejoiced to meet an old and intimate friend, from America, whose genius has given him distinction, at home and abroad—Mr. Huntington, the artist. With him I, once more, visited the Crystal Palace, and enjoyed the benefit of his criticisms in surveying the works of art, there displayed. We were interested to observe a constant group of admiring spectators hanging around the Greek Slave, of our countryman, Mr. Powers. Other nude figures, although many of them were far better calculated to appeal to coarse curiosity, were comparatively neglected, so that we could not but consider the amount of interest which this work secured, a proof of something superior, in its character. I own that, for my own part, I do not like it. The subject is a sensual one, and does not appeal to any lofty sentiment. Beauty in chains, and exposed in the shambles, is a loathesome idea, at best.

I went with Mr. Huntington to the rooms of the British Institution, in Pall-Mall, where is a fine collection of paintings, by British and foreign masters. It was a great advantage to me to be prepared by the hints of so eminent an artist, for my continental tour, and often, in the galleries of Italy, I had occasion to thank my friend for enabling me to appreciate many things which would, otherwise, have escaped me. At the exhibition of water-coloured paintings, I was astonished, by the rich collection, and the exceeding beauty of many of the pictures. The fruit, and flower pieces, of Hunt, were almost miracles. He paints a bird’s nest, with the eggs, and every straw, so perfect, that the bird would infallibly attempt to sit in it, and he contrives to bestow it in a hedge of hawthorn, so green and white, and so entirely natural, that you would not think of taking the nest, without making up your mind to be sorely scratched. It would make May-morning of a winter-day, to have a few such paintings to look at, and no one who loves nature could ever be tired of them.

The weather was as hot, at this time, in London, as it is ordinarily, at the same season, in Baltimore or New-York. It was the middle of August, and the moon being near the full, the nights were very beautiful; and I observed it the more, because neither sun nor moon have much credit for making London attractive. Late at night, I could see the Wellington statue almost as distinctly from the Marble arch, as at Hyde-park corner, and the scenery of the Park, by moonlight, was enchanting. When shall we have such parks in all our large towns?

Next day, with Huntington, and Gray, both of our National Academy, I went out to Greenwich Hospital, to survey the place, and to enjoy a parting white-bait dinner. We went down in a steamer, enjoying the excursion the more for our comparisons of all we saw with the Bay of New-York, and the Hudson. It was pleasant, now and then, to discern an American vessel, and to know her at once, by her graceful form, amid a forest of masts.

Greenwich is the great outside park of London, the resort of thousands of her pleasure-seekers, of the humble class. The Royal Observatory stands on a commanding eminence, and the slope of its hill towards the river, is the favourite sporting place of mammas and children. As a prime meridian, however, I always regret that it is not deposed, by the religion of England, which ought to take the lead in making Jerusalem the starting point for all Christian reckonings. The wings of the morning should rise every day, from the Holy Sepulchre, and there evening should come down to brood, with everything to make it the first, and the last place, in the minds and hearts of a ransomed world.

Greenwich Hospital is, indeed, a palace of the poor. On the terrace, between its wings, one cannot but be impressed with a sense of the greatness of a nation which thus lodges the humblest of its worn-out defenders. The old pensioners, hobbling about, in their blue uniforms, and cocked-hats, move your profound respect. Their wounds, and battered visages, seem to speak of storm and shipwreck, and of shell and broadsides, in every climate under heaven. They can tell wonderful things of Nelson and of Collingwood; and all seem to address you, like Burns’ hero, with the tale,

“How they served out their trade

 When the Moro low was laid,

         At the sound of the drum.”

In “the Painted Hall,” which is full of pictures of naval battles, one sees how terribly their pensions have been earned. There, too, is shown the coat worn by Nelson, when he fell, and it is stained with his blood. It was a comfort to turn from this temple of the Maritime Mars, to that of the Prince of Peace. The old sailors have a superb chapel, elaborately adorned, and furnished with an altar-piece, by West, “the shipwreck of St. Paul.” From a little book which I picked up in Paris, written by a Frenchman, and a Romanist, I gather that the service, in such places, in England, is very impressive, and that the contrast, in France, is not in favour of the Romish religion. He describes the chaunting, and apparent devotion of the soldiers, as very striking; and he seems to have been especially struck with their responses to the Ten Commandments. He adds—“all that would make us laugh in France:” and he goes on to say—“if it be answered that our soldiers are at liberty to go to mass, I reply, that’s true; but for all that, a young conscript, religiously educated at home, would be ridiculed so unsparingly for continuing in his pious habits, that he could not long resist the bad examples of his comrades.” At Greenwich, the Bible and Prayer-book are the constant companions of many an old salt; and bad as all armies and navies must be, I could not but think that there is a great advantage, in the morale, of Chelsea and Greenwich, as compared with the Invalides.

We adjourned to our White-bait—a fish, according to the same French authority, most delicate and delicious, and to be eaten only at Greenwich, because it is necessary to transfer them, instantly, from the water to the frying-pan, and thence to the plate, and because they are fished only in the Thames. I fully agree with Monsieur, as to the attractions of the plat, especially when enjoyed in good company. The dinner ended, my friends accompanied me to the Southwark station, at London, where I had all things in readiness for a start: and bidding them a warm farewell, I reached Dover in a few hours, and soon embarked for Ostend. The sea was calm, and heaving in long, broad, glittering swells; and as the chalky cliffs of Dover, gleaming in the cloudless moonlight, gradually sank in the distance, I felt that no native Briton ever waved a more affectionate salute to the bright isle, than that with which I said good-night to Albion.



It was four months later than the incidents of my last chapter, when after a tour on the Continent, I found myself safely landed at Dover, in the gray dawn of a winter’s morning. I had left Paris, in all the frightful confusion consequent upon the coup d’état of Louis Napoleon. In touching, once more, the free and happy soil of England, if I could not say—“This is my own, my native land,” I could yet feel that it was the sacred land of my religion, of my parentage, and of my mother tongue. I was, once more, at home, and ceased to feel myself a foreigner, as I had done in France and Italy. How good and honest, sounded again in my ears, the language of Englishmen! As “bearer of despatches” from Paris, to our ambassador at London, I was landed with the advantage of precedence, and very rapidly passed through the custom-house. The state of things in France, and the feverish anxiety, in England, to learn the changes of every hour, invested my trifling diplomatic dignity with a momentary importance, strikingly diverse from its insignificance at other times: and I was amused to see how much curiosity was felt by the officials as to the mighty communications which might be going up to London in my portmanteau. Even an old salt, as I stepped ashore, could not forbear accosting me with—“Any news this morning, yer honour?” ‘Bad news,’ said I, ‘the Frenchmen are going to have a bloody day of it; be thankful you are an Englishman.’ “So I am, your honour,” was his hearty, and most honest reply.

I had been travelling in Southern Europe, where, to borrow a thought of Dr. Arnold’s, no one can be sure that anything is real, which he seems to see: where Savans are not scholars—where captains are not soldiers—nor judges lawyers—where noblemen are not men of honour—where priests are not pure—nor wives and matrons chaste. I was, again, in the land of facts, a land deeply involved, indeed, in the sins and miseries of a fallen world; but still a land, where, for centuries, everything has been steadily advancing towards a high realization of human capabilities, alike in the physical, and mental, and moral of man’s nature. I was once more in a land where it is base to lie; where domestic purity and piety find their noblest illustrations, whether in palaces or cottages; and where not even luxury and pride have been able to vitiate the general conviction of all classes, that righteousness alone exalteth a nation, and that sin is a reproach to any people.

On arriving in London, my very first employment was to visit the tomb of the holy Bishop Andrewes, at St. Mary’s, Southwark. The prelate is represented, at full length, stretched upon his sepulchre, and right dear it was, after long tarrying amid the monuments of popes and cardinals, to behold, once more, that of an honest and true man, and a saint of God, who, in his day and generation, was “a burning and a shining light.” The tomb of the exemplary and amiable poet Gower, is also in this Church, and has often been described.

Attending Evening Service at Westminster Abbey, on the following Sunday, I was so much struck with the effect produced by the light of candles, in the choir, that it seemed to me, I had never before fully felt the wonderful impressiveness of that Church, nor even of the church service. The surpliced singers, ranged in their stalls—the many faces of the worshippers—and the lofty arches of the sombre architecture received a new aspect, from the mingled light and shade, and the tones of worship were imbued, by association, with something strange and solemn. Deep under the vaultings lay the shadows, and here and there shone out a marble figure, or glimmered a clustered column. When the organ sent its tremulous tide far down the nave, it seemed to come back in echoes, like the waves of the sea—the more effective, because of the distance through which it had stretched and rolled the surge of sound; and when the responsive Amens rose, one after the other, from the voices of the singers, plaintively interrupting the petitions, and marking the impressive stillness of the intervals between, which were filled only with the low monotone of prayer, then I felt how amiable are the temples of the Lord of Hosts, and how fair a resemblance of that temple not made with hands, where they rest not, day nor night, from their hymns, and responsive praises. By the sides of the altar fared two immense wax lights, giving a fine effect to the sanctuary. After the Second Lesson, the preacher, Canon C——, ascended the pulpit, in his surplice, and preached the sermon; after which, the Evening Prayer continued, as after a baptism, the choir taking up the Nunc dimittis, followed by the creed, the collects, the anthem, and the prayers, while the organ thundered through the lengths and heights of the abbey. I joined the throng which passed down the nave, and looking back again and again, I received such powerful impressions of the sublimity of the place, as had been wholly wanting to the effect by daylight, as experienced on former occasions. One parting look through the western door, through the dimly illuminated perspective, and then I turned slowly and thoughtfully away. On the preceding Sunday, I had left the cathedral service, at Rouen, in circumstances precisely similar, and my mind naturally fell into a comparative train of thought. There was a great similarity in the effects produced on the senses by the two services. A stranger to the Latin and English languages, would have failed to note any marked difference between them. He would have recognized the Catholic unities of the two rites, and would have failed to observe their diversities, papal and reformed. The French sermon had been vastly better than the English one: the former was preached by an orator, the latter by a spiritless and formal favourite of Lord John Russell. Yet, between the two solemnities, in their entire effect, the disparity was greatly in favour of the English service, which was audibly and reverently performed, while the other was mumbled, and not understood by the congregation. I felt that the Church of England was strong, if compared with that of France, in her heritage of Catholic and Apostolic truth, as distinguished from the systematic falsehoods, which have made the religion of the other, a mere fable, in the general estimation of the French people.

At a later hour, the same evening, it was my lot to preach in St. Bartholomew’s, Moor-lane, in the pulpit once filled by the worthy Archbishop Sharpe. The incumbent of this Church had lately discovered at Sion College a collection of papers and books once belonging to the saintly Bishop Wilson; and he placed in my hands, for that evening, the original Sacra Privata of that holy and venerable prelate. I could not but think how much we may owe it to his prayers, that the Church of England is now what she is, as compared with what she was in his day; and, in preaching, I took great delight in paying a parting tribute to that Church, as compared with the churches of the continent.

I am convinced that the debt which England and the world owe to the Anglican Reformers of the sixteenth century, has never been properly appreciated. Like the air which we breathe, but do not perceive, the spirit with which they have invested the religion of England, is that of life and health. They banished nothing but the fogs and noxious exhalations of the middle ages; and, as the result, we find England hale and hearty, and bearing more fruit in her age, while the churches which allowed the Tridentine vapours to become their atmosphere, are perishing in the agues and fevers of a long and ghastly decline. Look at Spain and Italy!

And I cannot forbear, in conclusion, to remark, that when American travellers go to England, and copy the false statistics of some infidel almanac, to justify their railings against the National Church, they are about as wise as John Bull is, when he takes the statistics of our (immigrant) pauperism and crime, as a test of the true state of American society. It is true that there are great abuses connected with the establishment; and it is also true that they are deplored by no class of Englishmen, half so much as they are by the true churchman. If the Church could be left to herself, they would be immediately reformed; but the very creatures who rail at her, because of them, are they who refuse to give her the freedom which she claims, and who do the most to enslave her to the State power. I am no friend to that power in the Church of God; but they who prate against the church, because of her misfortunes, deserve the rebuke of all thinking men, whose knowledge of history, and of the existing state of the world, enables them to compare what has been done for England, by that church, even in her fetters, with what all other religions put together have done for the residue of the world. When we reflect upon the three great achievements of that Church for English liberty—the Reformation, the Restoration of the Constitution and Monarchy, and the repudiation of the Popish Stuarts, we may well afford to laugh at such sneers as a Macaulay endeavours to raise against her, on the ground of blemishes with which his own reckless and treacherous political allies have deformed and afflicted her. And when we attempt to estimate the blessings she has diffused through the whole Anglo-Saxon people, and by them through the world, who can refrain from blessing the dear Church which has placed the English Bible in every cottage, and which, for three centuries, has read the Ten Commandments, every Lord’s day, in the ears of millions of the people? It is only when we think of what that Church has done, in spite of the golden chains which fetter her, and in spite of the political miscreants who have always hung like hounds upon her heels and hands, that we can rightly estimate her strong vitality, and her vast beneficence.

And let it be remembered, too, that all that is good among English dissenters, is sucked from the Church, as the parasite derives its nourishment from the oak. The dissenters are mainly the small-tradesmen of England, a people intelligent enough to perceive the faults of their hereditary religion, but not generally enlightened enough to know its value and its services to themselves. They are like the Dutch boors, who thought the sun did no good among the Flemings, because they saw it so seldom, and who concluded that daylight came from the clouds, which were always visible. Whoever will take the pains to contrast the dissenters of England with those of Germany, will learn how much even they derive from the Church, against which they so ignorantly rail.

I desire to speak with great respect of many of the dissenters of England, who, like their estimable Doddridge, are such by the force of circumstances only, while they love and revere the Church of the nation; but I have known even American Presbyterians to experience the greatest revulsion of feeling against the mass of English dissenters, after actual contact with their coarse and semi-political religionism. I was not less surprised than gratified, moreover, to observe very lately, in a widely circulated American newspaper, edited by eminent Presbyterians, a full vindication of the Church of England from the odious and false views current among us in America, with respect to the system of tithes. The writer was himself an English or Irish dissenter, and he frankly asserted the fact, that in paying his tithes, he suffered no wrong, and contributed nothing to the establishment, which did not belong to her. “In short,” said he, “the Church owns one-tenth of my rent, and I am quite as willing to pay it to her, as to pay the nine-tenths to my other landlord.” The nine-tenths might go to a popish priest; but does he who pays it contribute to uphold Popery? No more than one who hires his house of a play-actor, supports the stage.

But although the decline of dissent, in England, is universally admitted, it is generally imagined that Popery is growing. So it is if the immigration from Ireland, of thousands of navvies, who have built Romish chapels and convents, out of their earnings on the railways, be the basis of the remark. But nothing was ever more over-rated than the late Apostacy, which is the fruit of a mere personal influence, over a few young men at Oxford, gained by one brilliant sophist, and perniciously directed by him towards ultramontane Romanism. It has spent itself already in a spasmodic revolt against common sense, which is breeding a reaction towards rationalism: but the Church of England is as much in danger from Irvingism as from Newmanism; and Wesleyanism was vastly more energetic against her than either. The chagrin and disappointment of Mr. Newman himself is most apparent. After numbering the “educated men” whom he had involved in his own downfall as a hundred, he confesses that their defection from the Church has scarcely been felt by her. “The huge creature from which they went forth,” he says, “showed no consciousness of its loss, but shook itself, and went about its work as of old time.” Yes, but with a newer and mightier energy than ever before, and that in both hemispheres. The unhappy man seems to have imagined that by getting into a balloon, he could kick the earth from its orbit: but the planet still revolves around the sun, while he dangles in the air, lost in the brilliant clouds of his own imaginations, and fancying his petty elevation as sublime as her pathway through the skies.

In the same manner, the Dublin reviewers are continually deploring their powerless expenditure of vast resources against the religion of England, which stands in its fortress of Scriptural truth, more impregnable than Gibraltar. Let the reader reflect, for a minute, on the essential characteristic of the Anglican Reformation, as it began under Wycliff, in a translation of the Scriptures, and then weigh the importance of the following citation from a Romish periodical.

“Who will not say,” says the Dublin Review, “that the uncommon beauty and marvellous English of the Bible is not one of the great strongholds of heresy in this country. It lives on the ear like a music that can never be forgotten, like the sound of the church-bell, which the convert hardly knows how he can forego. Its felicities often seem to be almost things rather than mere words. It is part of the national mind, and the anchor of national seriousness. The memory of the dead passes into it. The potent traditions of childhood are stereotyped in its verses. The power of all the gifts and trials of a man is hidden beneath its words. It is the representative of his best moments, and all that there has been about him of soft, and gentle, and pure, and penitent, and good, speaks to him forever out of the English Bible. It is his sacred thing, which doubt has never dimmed, and controversy never soiled. In the length and breadth of the land, there is not a Protestant with one spark of righteousness about him, whose spiritual biography is not in his Saxon Bible.”

Action and reaction are always equal; and it is my own opinion that the hand of God is visible in the permission of the late scandals, and their sequel will demonstrate that He has been infusing into modern Romanism a spirit which will blow it to atoms. Among the beardless boys, who have swelled the numerical strength of the apostacy, there are some prodigals who will yet come to themselves, and remember their father’s house with penitent tears: and as to their leaders, the ex-Jesuit Steinmetz in his narrative of a residence at Stoneyhurst, introduces the following striking view of the case, which sustains my own impressions. “Though the men of Rome,” he says, “exult in this reaction (as they call it) which is making Oscott a refugium peccatorum, perhaps from among the very men whose captive chains clank in their triumphal thanksgiving, there will be shot the lethalis arundo, the deadly arrow that will pierce and cling to the side of their mother church in the appointed time. It is not children that they are receiving; but full-grown men, accustomed most pertinaciously to think for themselves. They began with being reformers, and it must be confessed with some of the boldness of reformers. Will they be content to change their skins? To become sheep, from having been, as it were, wolves? To smother the cunning and the clever thought, which seems so flattering to one’s own vanity, in the cold, dead ashes of papal infallibility? We shall see.” This is reasonable, and consoling. We may not live to see it; but a rebellion against Truth must have its rebound, and Church and State will be stronger for such rebellions in the end.

If then, the decline of English arts and arms be near, of which I am by no means as confident as some, it will be a very slow decline, and coincident with a new glory, and a brighter one, than England yet has known. Instead of armies, she is now sending forth soldiers of the Prince of Peace. She has discovered that it is cheaper and wiser to sustain missionaries than bayonets. The era of her greatest work is before her. She is to become the nursing mother of nations, and in her language, the sound of the Gospel is to go forth into all lands, and unto the end of the world. Hers is the deposit of the faith once delivered to the saints. The Roman Churches have divorced themselves from the promises, and in the Catholicity of England chiefly is fulfilled the promise of Christ, to be always with His own Apostolic commission, even to the end of the world. At the same time, there is a moral life in English society, which must long salt the State, and preserve it from decay. I appeal to the common sense of Christian men, and I ask, in what other country under heaven is there such a mass of domestic and social purity? Where else is there so large a benevolence, so masculine a religion, so enlightened a conscience, among any people? England has her shame as well as her glory; she is part and parcel of a sinful world; but her light is not hid under a bushel: and if the hope of the world be not in her candle, I am at a loss to know where to find encouragement as a Christian, that the Gospel is to become universal. I believe, indeed, that my own country is to share, with her, this magnificent career of peaceful conquest. We are bone of her bone, and flesh of her flesh: but I believe, also, that before we can heal the nations, we must first heal ourselves of the wretched religious anarchy which is the bane of our education, our society, and our National character.

After lingering for a few days in the society of my friends, in London and Oxford, I was, once more, for a short time, the guest of the friend to whom this memorial is inscribed, and met at his table, again, the venerable Vicar, who was one of the first to welcome me to England. To part with such friends, and their families, perhaps forever, was only to become aware how deeply I had entwined with theirs, my brotherly feelings and Christian regards. But I had been long enough enjoying myself amid the scenes and friendships which even our holy religion, while it alone can produce them, forbids to our self-indulgence, in a world where every Christian is called to the work of a missionary. Much as I longed to mingle in the delights of an English Christmas, I felt the call of duty, and the blessedness of giving as greater than that of receiving. My own parishioners expected to see me at the altar, on the approaching feast, and my heart warmed towards them, as deserving my best endeavours to gratify their reasonable wishes. Thanks, under God, to the good steamer Baltic, and its skillful commander, I escaped the perils of a wintry sea, and on Christmas-eve, was restored to my flock, and family, in Hartford. On the following day, as I celebrated the Holy Eucharist, I trust it was not without befitting gratitude to God, nor without a new and profound sense of the blessings we owe to him, whose Gospel is the spirit of “peace on earth, and of good-will to men.”






(Sign of the Imperial Folio Bible),



Oxford University Editions.

They have just published:—

Two Superior Editions of

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Styles and Prices as follows:—


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(1)Turkey Morocco, super extra,gilt edges$2.00
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HThese Editions are printed in a superior manner, and excel other editions, of same general style, in the size of type of the Psalms and Hymns.

UNISON OF THE LITURGY. From Advent to Ash-Wednesday. By Archer Gifford, A. M. 12mo. 328 pages.

Price, $1.00.

It is pleasing to see a mind which has been long given to the duties of a severe profession, turning thus for relief and diversion into the brighter field of theological literature. Mr. Gifford has already gained a distinction in New Jersey by several legal works, which have had the patronage of our Legislature, and now we have another volume from his pen, intended, as it were, for a dutiful offering to his Church.

The design of the work is to unfold and illustrate the more profound and unapparent excellencies of that most elaborate of all productions, the Episcopal Liturgy. Although there may be a difference of opinion as to the utility of this manual of devotional formularies, yet no one can fail to admire it as an æsthetical composition. The manner in which it has been arranged and ordered is most strikingly beautiful. It is a frame filled with moveable pieces. On no two occasions of its use does it appear exactly alike, but constantly assumes new combinations with the progressive sentiment of the ecclesiastical year. These ever changing portions within this unalterable framework are wholly of a Scriptural character. For every Sunday, two chapters are selected from the Old Testament, and two from the New, called the “Lessons;” and two brief passages, chosen for their weighty and emphatic import, called the “Epistle” and the “Gospel,” are appropriately prefixed by a comprehensive and leading prayer, whose substance has been gathered out of them, called the “Collect.” But this is not merely a superficial arrangement: an aim and a principle underlies it all. Every Sunday and Holy-day has an especial subject assigned to it, either doctrinal or preceptive, which runs through and dictates all these variations of the Service. Thus in every week the Scriptures are made, by these manifold citations from them, to cluster around some central thought and flash their light upon it.

It is this which has furnished the design of Mr. Gifford’s book. The Prayer-Book has had many commentators, all of whom have alluded to the nearly-inspired wisdom of those who put it together. The further they penetrate it the more they seem to discover the long-forgotten ideal and matured plan out of which it grew. The remarkable fact of an intentional unison of its apparently diverse parts, has only been partially observed, and it has been left to Mr. Gifford to discover and prove in every case the beautiful appositeness of all to one nucleus idea. This, under the heading of each Sunday, he distinctly sets forth, and then traces its radiations first through the Collect, then through the Epistle, then through the Gospel, then through all the Lessons, to its remoter scintillations in the Catechism and the Articles of Religion.

Such is the fine conception around which the above work has grown. The service of each Sunday is analyzed and outlined—all the information that could be compressed into a small space is given, and a rich variety of association instantly suggested to the devout worshipper. Probably no one could have been found better fitted for such a task than Mr. Gifford, and his cultivated taste and wide range of study have been now so successfully called into requisition that we find here the thoughts and beauties of many different writers blended about his own design in a many-hued mosaic.

It is at once a noble eulogy upon the Liturgy, and a practical standard guide to its use. In this latter, its real purpose, it most admirably succeeds. The moral or spirit of each day being fully set forth, the attention is sustained and devotion quickened by the new colors and the defined interest thus thrown over the Service as it proceeds. A Liturgy is liable to abuse if people may go blindly and desultorily through it, but here the clue of every recurring service is seized and industriously pursued for them. One prominent topic is seen to draw its line of light round all its parts, and bind them together as with a girdle of gold.

We have been glad to devote more than usual space to the notice of this work, because it is the production of one of our townsmen. A few specimen pages appeared about a year ago, which received the approbation of many of the most distinguished men in the Episcopal Church, and the author, thus encouraged, has put forth the present handsome volume, designing to follow it by another, thus completing the circle of the year.

Newark Daily Advertiser

The work will do good in two ways: first, by furnishing valuable practical matter for private reading and instruction; and secondly, by dissipating the mist which some writers have conjured up, in their efforts to show that the Prayer Book was a piece of patch-work, with an Arminian or a Popish Liturgy, and Calvinistic Articles; than which, no fancy could be more foolish or futile.


SERMONS FOR THE TIMES. By the Rev. Charles Kingsley, Author of “Village Sermons,” “Alton Locke,” etc. 12mo., 360 pages.

Price, 75 cents.

These Sermons are Kingsley all over; deep, daring, dashing penetrating; vigorous. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * It strikes us as being a kind of preaching that we want just now—that it is indeed preaching “for the times;” in character with the times, and, therefore, adapted for the times: yet, not in any spirit of compromise with the world therein, but rather combating the spirit of the world with the Spirit of Christ, in a matter-of-fact way. We think, therefore, that the Clergy may find some useful hints in the pages of this volume, while the Laity may peruse them with practical advantage.


These are remarkable Sermons, as were those of his former volume. They are models of a plain and direct style; sparkling with forcible allusions and applications. They illustrate the teaching of our Catechism to a considerable extent, and often in the happiest manner, regarding it as a symbol of Catholic truth. They are worth reading for their power and demonstrations of most important doctrines, little heeded in these times, when the Puritan and Sectarian spirit seeks to prevail.

Banner of the Cross.

This is a reprint of one of the most characteristic, if not one of the most extraordinary volumes of the day, which no one can read without interest, and few without profit. There is something striking, not to say startling, about everything the author says; and yet the language is so simple and appropriate, as to be perfectly intelligible to every one.


A capital volume it is—his style seems to gain in directness, crispness, vigor, and momentum, as he grows older. It is as clear as English can be made. A healthy common sense rules throughout * * * * * * In our day when muddy heads do so greatly abound, a volume of such sturdy, pungent, powerful and illuminating Saxon, is of the highest worth.

Church Journal.

They are incomparable Sermons for Lay-reading.

SERMONS FOR THE TIMES. By the Rev. Charles Kingsley, Author ofVillage Sermons,” “Alton Locke,” etc. 12mo., 360 pages.

Price, 75 cents.

These sermons abound in striking thoughts, presented with remarkable clearness and simplicity.

Christian Witness.

* * * * With all the faults of these sermons, we should like to see them in the hands of our evangelical clergy. * * *

Southern Churchman.

These sermons were written by the same pen that wrote “Alton Locke,” and “Yeast.” It has been said that the author is only a baptised infidel, and that he desecrates his pulpit and his clerical character to the unhallowed purpose of promulgating a skepticism, whose only redeeming feature is that it is ill-concealed. These “Sermons for the Times” make an entirely different impression on us. They seem to us to be the heart utterances of one whose views are on some points, indeed, a little peculiar, but who holds, with a clear intelligence and lively faith, the great truths of the Gospel of Christ. If Infidelity can sincerely preach and practice the doctrines with which this volume is rife, we think it will be doing as much to convert the world to true religion as some religionists we wot of, whose strength is so exhausted in proving other folks heretics, that they have little left to make themselves or the world the servants of God. To such, and to all, we commend the “Sermons for the Times.” They will do all good.

Ohio Farmer.

This second volume of sermons by Mr. Kingsley contains the earnest words of an English clergyman upon the evils of the times. They are addressed to the hearers of a country parish church, in plain, honest Saxon, enforcing the Church Catechism and rebuking the selfishness, dishonesty, irreverence, profligacy and godlessness of the day. In quaint, straightforward simplicity, they remind us of the services of the good Hugh Latimer, of blessed memory.

Rome Daily Sentinel.

The discourses are remarkable for their simplicity, yet they evince rare intellectual power, and each page gives evidence of the genius of the author.

Boston Evening Transcript.

They are so practical and sensible that they will be read with profit and pleasure by all persons who are seekers after truth.

Boston Daily Advertiser.

OUR CHURCH MUSIC.A Book for Pastors and People. By Richard Storrs Willis. 12mo., 138 pages.

Price, 50 cents.

The Church has a good right to look to Mr. Richard S. Willis, as being, perhaps, of all our youthful native musicians, the one of whom she may expect the most true hearted and efficient service. His training, however scientific, has not been that which would qualify him the most readily for usefulness in this field: but there is an earnest devotion of spirit, a reaching forth after the deep and the true, a growing strength and manliness, exercised and made firm by a steady industry, which promise the best results. He has just issued a neat little volume on Our Church Music, a Book for Pastors and People, which is the best and most thoughtful practical essay that has for a long time appeared among us.

Church Journal.

Were it not for the copyright on this admirable book, we should be compelled to transfer large portions of it to our pages. As it is, we hope to give, hereafter, some specimens of it, and in the mean time, cordially recommend it for its interest and the usefulness of its suggestions.

Episcopal Recorder.

Many of the articles collected in this pleasant and thoughtful volume have been already published in our columns; and we are glad to know that they have attracted that attention among our readers which they deserve. The series is now completed, by the addition of others, not so well adapted to a journal like this, because requiring diagrams, etc., to illustrate them, but harmonious with those in tone and teaching, and equally rich in useful suggestions. Mr. Willis has brought the finest musical cultivation of Europe to assist him in his task, but has never allowed his artistic taste and knowledge to overlay and smother his native good sense, or his instinctive perception of what is demanded in true church music. We have found his writings on this subject instructive and quickening; the more so, perhaps, because our own half-formed thoughts have often been brought back to us by him, more fully and clearly expressed than they had been to ourselves, and clothed with the authority that belongs to one who is so rapidly becoming a recognised Master in his chosen department.


OUR CHURCH MUSIC.A Book for Pastors and People. By Richard Storrs Willis. 12mo., 138 pages.

Price, 50 cents.

Mr. Willis in this work considers church music mainly as a part of worship, which is its true and original design, and not as a mere entertainment interposed between the graver offices of devotion and instruction. He points out the objections to the common modes of conducting church music, stating them with a good deal of force and vivacity. * * * * Mr. Willis thinks that to make our music what it ought to be, “we need to simplify the congregational style and amplify the choir style.” He gives some practical suggestions, well worthy of consideration, respecting the singing of children in churches, the position of the choir and organ, the importance of clergymen possessing some knowledge of music as an art, and the training of the youth of a congregation in singing. In a second part of his treatise, Mr. Willis considers what subjects are proper for hymns, the adaptation of hymns to music, the treatment of words, the expression given to them in singing, and the introduction of what he calls “secular efforts” in church music. His views on all these subjects bear witness to his fine taste and careful study of the subject. Mr. Willis has given to both the scientific and practical part of music the study of years, and is entitled to speak on the subject with a tone of decision.

New York Evening Post.

The author is possessed of a profound scientific musical education, perfected in the best schools in Europe. Since his return home he has been engaged in editing the Musical World, a paper which has done more than all other publications together to diffuse and popularize a correct musical taste in this country. His journal is not confined, however, to musical criticism, but comprehends also every other branch of the Fine Arts, and is characterized by candid and intelligent exposition and elegant discussion. Mr. Willis has given much attention to Church Music, and the just views so ably and earnestly enforced in the Musical World, are beginning to produce a practical impression that exhibits itself extensively in improvements introduced into that department of public worship. These he has embodied into a volume bearing the title “Our Church Music: a book for Pastors and People.” It is full of interest to the pastor, the choir, and the congregation.

New York Journal of Commerce.

OUR CHURCH MUSIC.A Book for Pastors and People. By Richard Storrs Willis. 12mo. 138 pages.

Price, 50 cents.

A little work, designed—as the title page indicates—“for Pastors and People,” and one that may be advantageously studied by both. The author is most favorably known to our lettered and musical community, as editor of that excellent periodical, “The Musical World;” but he here takes his stand upon a broader basis. He does not treat of the choral arrangements generally prevalent in the tone or spirit of a Professor. He sinks the Art, of which he is a practised master, under the solemn claims of the dignity and hallowed purposes of Church worship, and plies his arguments for the benefit of congregations alone. He complains—and with reason—that in many of the American churches, the singing and chanting are just as much performances, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, as though auditors and singers were in a concert-room; and points out very simply and cogently how this evil has arisen, and how it may be modified, if not removed. Psalmody also comes in for an examination; and we must say we have been greatly struck with the combined boldness, delicacy, and religious sentiment, displayed by Mr. Willis, in handling a somewhat delicate theme—one in which many of the Clergy are averse to having outsiders meddle.—In short, this duodecimo of one hundred and thirty pages is an exceedingly suggestive little work; its common sense and practical view bringing it within the comprehension of non-professional readers. It has greatly interested us. May it be of use.


A book this, full of common sense, and most happily adapted to the state of things in ten thousand places of worship in the United States. As we have turned over its pages we have exclaimed again and again, “How true! How well said! Would that everybody could read it!” The adoption of the suggestions made in this volume would work a speedy revolution in our Church music, transforming it from a mere professional display, into simple and beautiful, because heartfelt, worship. Let it then be widely circulated.

Ohio Farmer.

A glance over its chapter-headings will reveal to all interested in the subject of the volume, the richness of its themes. The manner of their discussion seems to us judicious and sensible, and almost wholly in the right direction. We do not accord with some of the criticisms of the work, but we certainly believe that its author is in advance of the world in his teachings, and that the study of his treatise must make our church music better.


HEART AND HOME TRUTHS.—By the Rev. R. Whittingham, Jr. 12mo., 188 pages.

Price, 75 cents.

Heart and Home Truths is the modest title of a work, in which will be found much more than the average of deep thought, and true tender feeling. From the contemplation of the most familiar features of natural things, the nature of Truth is beautifully illustrated, and the modes by which it is to be attained are shown to be in the closest analogy with the other works of Him, who hath composed in one Spirit, both the Book of Nature and the Book of Revelation. Its doctrinal tone is high and uncompromising, though altogether devoid of harshness; and the drapery of style is as rich with the embroidery of fancy and a glowing imagination, as the glorious face of nature itself can make it. This unpretending work will make a way for the Truth in the minds of many, upon whom a more didactic manner would be thrown away.

Church Journal.

THE END OF CONTROVERSY, CONTROVERTED.—By the Rt. Rev. John H. Hopkins, D.D., Bishop of Vermont. In two vols. 12mo., 918 pages.

Price, $2.00.

The well-known work of the Romish Bishop, Milner, entitled, “The End of Controversy,” was recommended some years ago by the Romish Bishop Kenrick, to all our Bishops, as a book, the perusal of which would bring them into the Romish Church; a movement which he exhorted them to take soon, lest their people should all go before them, and leave them alone. That work is still extensively circulated throughout all this country, and many earnest Protestants have long desired a work which might be a popular as well as a conclusive reply. This want is now supplied. Milner is plausible, ingenious, bold, unscrupulous, and withal readable. The difficulty has been hitherto, not to answer the book—for that has been done again and again—but to answer it in such a way as would enable them to meet the enemy upon his own ground. The well-known familiarity of the Bishop of Vermont with every phase of the Romish controversy, his thorough learning, clear reasoning, and brilliant and effective style, have all contributed to make this one of the most successful of his contributions to the cause of Truth. And the present position of the controversy with Rome, and the keenness with which public attention is aroused to meet her terrible aggressions, will give occasion for the circulation of works like this, which, without ever compromising or ignoring the truth still remaining in the midst of corruption, yet, throughout, maintains the most vigorous and triumphant opposition to the errors of Rome.

A PRESBYTERIAN CLERGYMAN LOOKING FOR THE CHURCH.—By the Rev. Flavel S. Mines. 12mo., 600 pages.

Price, $1.25.

This is now acknowledged to be the leading work in the Controversy between Episcopacy and Presbyterianism. It has already had a more extensive circulation than any other; and from the vigorous style of the author, his glowing and copious rhetoric, the popular ease with which he handles his subject, and the masterly skill with which he arranges his argument, so that the full force of every point shall, as it were, stare the reader in the face, there is small probability that this brilliant and standard work will ever be superseded.

DICTIONARY OF THE CHURCH.—By the Rev. William Staunton. 12mo., 474 pages.

Price, $1.00.

This is the original work, which has since been the model of others in England and elsewhere. In clearness of style, and fulness of detail as regards everything peculiar to the Protestant Episcopal Church in this country, it is altogether without a rival. It will aid many a Churchman to render a reason for the System of the Church; and, to those not of her Communion, it will explain fully everything which at first sight may appear to them strange or inappropriate.

THE PLAIN SONG OF THE CHURCH. Recently Published. 16mo., 80 pages.

Price, 38 cents.

For congregational chanting, to be done in unison by all those who can sing, the ancient plain song of the Church is the only music which will ensure success. The real Gregorians have been much talked of on this side of the water; but this is the first and only work in which they have yet appeared. All other publications containing them, have so far modified or altered them, as to ruin their true effect. In simplicity and plasticity, in strength and dignity, and manly character, no other chants are to be compared with them. The above work includes all the Canticles of Morning and Evening Prayer, together with the occasional Anthems appointed for Easter Day, Thanksgiving, the Consecration of a Church, and the Institution of a Minister. It gives also the ancient notation for all the parts of the Service which may be performed chorally. The canto fermo is in the ancient character; the accompaniment is in the modern notation.

MEN AND TIMES OF THE REVOLUTION; or, Memoirs of Elkanah Watson; Including Journals of Travels in Europe and America, from 1777 to 1842, with his Correspondence with Public Men, and Reminiscences and Incidents of the Revolution. Edited by his son, Winslow C. Watson. 8vo., 460 pages.

Price, $1.50.

Mr Watson has contributed an interesting and valuable work to the literature of the Revolution. A worthy descendant of the Pilgrims, he traversed our country several times during the period of the War; and for about five years he travelled in England, France, Holland and Flanders, associating familiarly, at home and abroad, with statesmen, philosophers, and military men, a shrewd observer, diligently recording his observations and reflections.

Publisher’s Critic.

“The American Merchant,” as we saw him in our boyhood at the Academy from the easel of the great American artist, Copley, the powder fresh on his hair, and the shimmer of the velvet leaving us in doubt whether his coat was the handiwork of the painter or the tailor—the American Merchant, Elkanah Watson, lives still on the canvas of Copley, in colors that time has ripened, and not impaired; but all that is mortal of this man of Revolutionary times, has been gathered to his fathers; and his son, Winslow C. Watson, Esq., here presents us with a volume of reminiscences, whose only fault is its brevity.

Evening Post.

* * * * These posthumous papers will be universally welcomed by the public. They form an invaluable repository of facts and reflections, which will materially aid the researches of the biographer and the historian. Mr. Watson’s correspondence with public men, his familiar intercourse with the prominent characters of the Revolution, his observations in Europe at a time when the fortunes of America were trembling in the balance, exhibit in a new light the multitude of influences which, in the Old World and in the New, were brought to bear in favor of our independence, and finally led to its acknowledgment, first by France, Holland and Spain, and lastly by the mother country. * * * * * * * * * * * * * But here we must leave this fascinating volume, not, however, without urging our readers to seek a further acquaintance with its pages.

New York Evening Mirror.

MEN AND TIMES OF THE REVOLUTION; or, Memoirs or Elkanah Watson; Including Journals of Travels in Europe and America, from 1777 to 1842, with his Correspondence with Public Men, and Reminiscences and Incidents of the Revolution. Edited by his son, Winslow C. Watson. 8vo., 460 pages.

Price, $1.50.

The title-page of this volume indicates very justly its real character. The first seventy-five pages of the book are filled with exceedingly interesting reminiscences of Mr. Watson’s early life, including the minute details of his experience and observations in his travels on horseback from Connecticut to South Carolina and back, immediately after the commencement of the Revolutionary War. The following one hundred and sixty pages embrace a record of his experience and observation during a four years’ sojourn and travel in Europe, from 1779 to 1784; and the remaining two hundred and twenty pages are occupied with recollections pertaining to a multitude of places, incidents, and individuals, and with extracts from his correspondence with many persons of distinction in the past generation. The period through which the volume takes the reader, the rare opportunities afforded its author of acquiring a personal knowledge of its political history and the varied phases of its society, his quick and keen observation, and his constant habit of recording what he saw and heard, and his impressions in regard to men and events, render it not only an interesting and instructive volume, but an important acquisition to our sources of national history.

Protestant Churchman.

This is an entertaining and instructive biography of a gentleman who was a leading American merchant during the Revolution.

Episcopal Recorder.

* * * Few men had so long and varied an experience. More than half these memoirs is an autobiography; the remainder has been compiled from the manuscripts, correspondence, &c., of the deceased. The whole work is exceedingly entertaining, and will be of service to future historians.

N. Y. Commercial Advertiser.

His travels, his extensive acquaintance with all sorts of people, extending up from the Revolution until a very recent period, make a volume of much more than ordinary interest.

New Haven Morning Journal and Courier.


Transcriber’s Note:

The book cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

Hyphenation and archaic spellings have been retained as in the original.

Punctuation has been corrected without note. Other errors have been corrected as noted below:


page xi, town—Litchfield Cathedral, ==> town—Lichfield Cathedral,

page 11, an ancient minister, ==> an ancient minster,

page 31, entered by Poet’s corner. ==> entered by Poets’ Corner.

page 32, objects in Poet’s Corner, ==> objects in Poets’ Corner,

page 33, the Dean’s ultilitarianism ==> the Dean’s utilitarianism

page 50, character of it scenery ==> character of its scenery

page 70, joys and sorows; ==> joys and sorrows;

page 118, busts in Poet’s corner, ==> busts in Poets’ Corner,

page 122, familiar to Shakspereans, ==> familiar to Shakspeareans,

page 123, visiting Hounsditch and Billingsgate, ==> visiting Houndsditch and Billingsgate,

page 140, manuscript of Cœdmon, ==> manuscript of Cædmon,

page 165, Mall and St. James’ street ==> Mall and St. James’s-street

page 166, down St. James’-street, and ==> down St. James’s-street, and

page 166, (as pourtrayed in his ==> (as portrayed in his

page 168, by Lord George Lenox ==> by Lord George Lennox

page 193, tine artificial cataract ==> fine artificial cataract

page 239, most pleasing representive ==> most pleasing representative

page 246, Hanoverians, surrending art ==> Hanoverians, surrendering art

page 259, towards the Solant ==> towards the Solent

page 276, yet, unless Encœnia ==> yet, unless Encænia

page 288, St. Wilfrids’ needle ==> St. Wilfrid’s needle

page 304, enthusiasm exibits itself ==> enthusiasm exhibits itself