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[345] would sooner commit the unpardonable sin than appear in boots: these will do for Paris, but not for England.

The meeting of the British Association is passing off very well. I have visited all the sections, and received particular attentions; I do not, however, think the benefits from it to be exactly of the nature usually attributed. I doubt if any important suggestions are here made, or new lights struck out. It affords a stage on which men like Babbage, Lardner, Whewell, &c. may fret their hour,—and I have verily seen some fretting from all,—and it helps to excite the public interest in the great concerns of science. In this point of view I hold it good. Three thousand people are collected together, who are all filled with notions—more or less vague—of the greatness and importance of science, and of the value of the honors won by its successful cultivation; but I doubt if many go away much instructed by it, or with any positive addition to their stores. Miss Martineau is here on a visit to her sister married in Newcastle; Dr. Lardner seems a coxcomb and pertinacious fellow.1

My present arrangements are to pass from here to Harperley Park, the seat of a retired barrister of fortune; then to Auckland Castle, the seat of the Bishop of Durham, and, as you well know, one of the great feudal residences of England; then to the seat of Mr. Blackett,2 the member for the County of Northumberland; and probably then to Lord Brougham's and the Lakes. My friend at Harperley Park has invited me particularly to shoot grouse on his moors. You will understand that all these places are very near each other. I must take another look at that time-worn priory, standing on a jutting rock, with the lighthouse close by, and then to bed.

As ever, your affectionate friend,

To George S. Hillard.

Oakwood, Sept. 2, 1838.
My dear Hillard,—Yours of several dates, July 23 and 27, found me at Newcastle. Glad was I, even in that feast of wise men, to hear of you and home and my home friends. The British Association had just concluded its sittings, but the philosophers had remained to attend the festival of a local society, at which the Duke of Northumberland or the Bishop of Durham has to preside. I was also invited; but went, as it were, incog., being unwilling to make myself an object for attention. What was my surprise when the Bishop of Durham,3 proposing the health of the distinguished foreigners present, singled me as the object of some particular remarks, which were received with no little applause. In the most unpremeditated manner

1 Dionysius Lardner, 1793-1859. After his escapade in 1840, he came to the United States, and delivered lectures until 1845, when he took up his residence in Paris.

2 Christopher Blackett.

3 Edward Malthy, 1770-1859. He became Bishop of Durham in 1836. A note of the Bishop, written Dec. 22, 1838, refers to Sumner's visit to Auckland Castle, and desires it to be repeated. Another, of March 15, 1839, invites him to dine at 28 Curzor Street, London

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