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[216] frail boats, and afterwards William of Normandy, passed to the conquest of England. Their waves dash now with the same foamy crests as when these two conquerors timidly entrusted themselves to their bosom. Civilization, in the mean time, with its attendant servants—commerce, printing, and Christianity—has been working changes in the two countries on either side; so that Caesar and William, could they revisit the earth, might not recognize the lands from which they passed, or which they subdued. The sea receives no impress from man. This idea Byron has expanded in some of the most beautiful stanzas he has written in the ‘Childe Harold.’

On Christmas Day, besides writing in his journal, he wrote letters to Hillard and Judge Story. To Hillard he wrote: ‘It is now seventeen days, and I am without news of you and your affairs, and of all our common friends; and I feel sad to think that many more days will elapse before I shall hear from you. When you write, dwell on all particulars; tell me about all my friends, give me every turn of the wheel.’ To Judge Story he wrote: ‘It is now about seven o'clock on the evening of Christmas; allowing about five hours for difference of time between this longitude and Cambridge, it will be about two o'clock with you; and your family, with Mrs. Story in restored health, I trust, are now assembling for the happy meal. I have just left the dinner-table, where I remembered all in a glass of Burgundy.’ In both letters, as in his journal, he dwelt upon the historic scenes which belong to the English Channel. While writing the letter to Judge Story, a French whaleman came in sight, ‘the tricolor flapping in the wind,’ the first sail seen during the voyage,—a refreshing sight, but momentary, as both vessels were speeding in opposite directions. On the evening of the 25th, the captain descried dimly Start Point, in Devonshire; and the next morning Sumner saw Cape Barfleur, about fifteen miles to the right, –his first glimpse of Europe, and ‘the first land he had seen since the afternoon of the eighth, when he went below while the headlands of New Jersey were indistinctly visible on the distant horizon.’

On account of unfavorable winds encountered in the Channel, the ‘Albany’ did not come to anchor at the Havre docks till early on the morning of the 28th,—less than twenty days from the time of sailing.


Dec. 26, 1837. At half-past 2 o'clock this afternoon a pilot from Havre came aboard. We were still off Cape Barfleur, and, as he informed me,

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