cannot help saying that Jeffrey is superlatively eminent as a converser,— light, airy, poetical, argumentative, fantastical, and yet full of the illustrations of literature and history. He indulged me with reminiscences of his old Boston acquaintances, when he visited us in 1814,—G. Cabot, whom he thought a shrewd, powerful man, and also Mr. Lowell (John undoubtedly), both of whom, he said, inclined against republics to such a degree that he thought it his duty, in conversation, to say something in behalf of them; Otis, quite a superficial man; and another person, with a very handsome wife, who he would venture to say was quite a fool! I supplied the name at once, and his Lordship recognized it. But it would be impossible to follow his graceful tongue. Our English did, indeed, fall mended from his lips. Words the most apt, and yet out of ordinary reach, came at his bidding, like well-trained servants. He spoke of anciently passing along the streets of Edinburgh, and having water ejaculated upon his head. But I shall become a Boswell, and will check this theme. What a different man is Lockhart, with whom I dined at Lady Gifford's,1 the dowager, last Sunday; he is without words, conversation, heart, or a disposition to please, throwing nothing into the stock of social intercourse, and keeping himself aloof from all the hearty currents of life. I ought to tell you that my host at present is a lineal descendant of Robert Bruce (of which he boasts much), and also of the famous Sir Thomas Craig, of the times of James I., who wrote that venerable folio on Jus Feudale, in which I have whilom moiled, and who died in the house where I now am. His accomplished family have all read Mr. Prescott's book with the greatest interest, and have made earnest inquiries after his health and the present condition of his eyes. They first read the book, being interested in the subject, without knowing it to be that of an American.
Lanfire House, Ayrshire, Sept. 24.Jeffrey against all the world! While in Edinburgh I saw much of him, and his talent, fertility of expression, and unlimited information (almost learning), impressed me more and more. He spoke on every subject, and always better than anybody else. Sydney Smith is infinitely pleasant, and instructive too; but the flavor of his conversation is derived from its humor. Jeffrey is not without humor, but this is not a leading element. He pleases by the alternate exercise of every talent; at one moment by a rapid argument, then by a beautiful illustration, next by a phrase which draws a whole thought into its powerful focus, while a constant grace of language and amenity of manners, with proper contributions from humor and wit, heighten these charms. I have been fortunate in knowing as I have known,—ay, in knowing at their hearths—the three great men of the ‘Edinburgh Review,’ —Smith, Brougham, and Jeffrey. But there is a fourth,—John A. Murray,