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[371]

I cannot conclude this letter without letting you know the splendid hospitality and friendly notice which I received from Lord Morpeth when I was in Ireland. His position is eminent; but he is as good and simple as he is eminent in the government and aristocracy. From Wentworth I go to York, to see the Minster; and then to visit Lord Leicester, in the grandest house in England, as he told me; then to London, to sit in Westminster Hall.

As ever, affectionately,


To George S. Hillard.

Wentworth House, Oct. 26, 1838.
my dear Hillard,—You know all about this vast place from books. It will therefore be quite vain for me to send you a sketch, even if I had the disposition to do so,—writing, as I now do, after dinner in the long gallery, where are many of those paintings by Vandyke, Reynolds, and Raphael, of which all the world has heard, and where also the ladies are assembled for the evening's diversions. I cannot content myself, however, without saying that nothing which I have previously seen in Paris, or other parts of England, in Scotland or Ireland, had prepared me for the vast and magnificent scale of this establishment. The house is certainly the largest private edifice I have ever seen; and, I think, larger than any public one, except the Palace of Versailles. The front is unquestionably the finest specimen of architecture I have looked upon. I shrink from going into details; but you may conceive the extent of the establishment in some degree, when you know that there are upwards of two hundred horses. I have had an opportunity here of witnessing, under favorable circumstances, English races, and seeing the conduct of the younger portion of the aristocracy of this great country. I assure you it has been deeply interesting. But more interesting, by far, was it to look upon the wonderful features of Strafford,—the original owner of these estates, and the ancestor of Lord Fitzwilliam,—perpetuated by Vandyke. Here are several of the productions of this renowned artist; and the whole place, when you consider that it has passed through the hands of that great lord and of the Marquis of Rockingham, so memorable in the time of our Revolution, breathes an air of deep historical interest. Lord Fitzwilliam is one of the mildest and purest of men. You will be glad to hear that Prescott's book was in his Lordship's hands, and also in those of several of the ladies of the house; and Lord Fitzwilliam told me that Earl Grey expressed to him the highest opinion of its merits. I should not fail to add that Lord Morpeth—whose distinguished position you well know, and to whom I am indebted, not simply for hospitality, but for the greatest and most friendly kindness—inquired with great interest about Mr. Prescott; and Mr. Labouchere,1 whom I met at his Lordship's table, spoke of his work


1 Henry Labouchere, 1798-1869. He was a member of Parliament from 1826 to 1859, became Privy Councillor in 1835, and was Vice-president of the Board of Trade from 1835 to 1839, and again from 1847 to 1852; Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1846 to 1847; Colonial Secretary from 1855 to 1858, and was raised to the peerage as Baron Taunton in 1859. His second wife, to whom he was married in 1852, was Lady Mary Matilda Georgiana, a daughter of the sixth Earl of Carlisle, and sister of Sumner's friend, Lord Morpeth. His visit to this country has been mentioned already, ante, p. 305. Sumner visited Lord Taunton in July, 1857, at his seat at Stoke.

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