I have passed five days with Brown in rambling round his grounds and in reading in his library. He wished to be remembered kindly to you. The smack of Edinburgh society still remains on my lips. There I saw, in a short time and in a most unfavorable season, many men of interest,—old companions of Scott,—and also those whose characters speak sufficiently for themselves. Tait asked me to meet De Quincey, the opium-eater; but I was engaged to ride with Lord Jeffrey, and could not go.
Strachur Park, Oct. 3, 1838.I close this letter at the seat of the Lord-Advocate of Scotland, in Argyleshire, in the very midst of the Highlands. As ever, yours affectionately,
C. S.P. S. Lord Jeffrey and Sydney Smith both spoke of Macaulay as a talker who said too much,—so much that Jeffrey thought he was not a popular diner out; and Sydney Smith said, when I told him that I had met Macaulay, ‘Well, you had talk enough for once in your life.’ Now I distinctly say that I saw nothing of this. He kept himself within bounds. Sir David Brewster told me that he received several letters from Lord Brougham, written in court when Chancellor, on light, one of them fourteen pages long.
To Judge Story.
Strachur Park, Oct. 4, 1838.my dear Judge,—I am the guest of the Lord-Advocate,1—a kind, agreeable gentleman, of about sixty-six. We are in the recesses of the Highlands, with mountain peaks about us in every direction; glassy lakes, in which are mirrored the surrounding objects; and far, far away from ‘the madding crowd's ignoble strife.’ Here is the great Temple of Nature; and none but her devout worshippers enter in. On the opposite shore of the loch is the castle of Inverary,—the celebrated seat of the Duke of Argyll, and the scene of some of the adventures of Captain Dalgetty in the ‘Legend of Montrose.’ After the ladies left the table at dinner, his Lordship inquired of me as to the extent of Lynch law in America. He said that it was the great stain of our country, and that it tended to create a distrust in the security of life, freedom, and property;2 for if you once recognize, a right in any persons to take the law into their own hands, or if, when they have taken it into their own hands, you do not perseveringly pursue them, you take away all security. This consideration is, by no means, new to you or to me. It is the palpable view, which is as plain as the road to mill; and yet why is it not enforced? Why will respectable men at home stand by and smile while the