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[373] strong habit with them all: a remark could not be made without an offer to support it by a bet. If they were walking in the garden, one observed on the distance of a certain object, and straightway a bet was offered and taken with regard to it; and on one occasion the young De Mauley——who, besides being the heir of a peer and at present a member of the House of Commons, has just married one of the handsomest women I ever saw in any country— offered to bet that he could run a certain distance within a given time. The bet was taken, the ground measured: he took off his boots and coat and waistcoat, ran, and gained the bet. At cards, they were always disposed to make the sum played for quite high. I have found it universal in England to play for money; sober persons make the sum sixpence on each point,—a term which I do not understand, though I have gained several points, as I have been told. I played one evening with Lord Fitzwilliam as my partner; and we won between us about a pound, which was duly paid and received. Another evening, I played with the young Scarborough and De Mauley and a clergyman. I then won; and the clergyman paid me five shillings. Now, I must confess that I have disliked all this very much. I do not fancy cards in their best estate,—especially do I not fancy them when so nearly allied to gaming. I however took my seat at the tables in order to make a set, and fell in silently and without any question with what appeared to be the received usage. Indeed, so strong is the custom in this regard as to give rise to another, which is quite different, I believe, from that in America. Among us, man and wife never are partners,—are they? Here, as I heard Lord Fitzwilliam observe, they always are partners,—because, otherwise, they would gain nothing: it would do a man no good to win from his wife. You know very well that Lord Fitzwilliam is a person of the greatest purity of character and religious feeling. I will not abandon my reminiscences of Wentworth without speaking of the young lady who was so beautiful,— beautiful, in my sight, beyond most that I have ever seen. She was a daughter of Lord Duncannon, and newly married to the young personage I have mentioned. I do not remember any face in England, except that which passed before my eyes at Ravensworth Castle, so captivating. English ideas of country-life you will somewhat understand, when I tell you that she said, ‘London at this season is intolerable; and even a villa is not to be endured.’ Now, a villa is a neat, pretty spot, with fifteen or one hundred acres of land occupied by a garden,—being precisely what all the ‘places’ and ‘seats’ round Boston are. Nothing here is dignified as a place or seat, unless the grounds are so extensive that one may take his drive without crossing the borders of his own property, and the ladies may, with their own hands, drive their pony-phaetons through the winding paths of its woods.

I have seen York Minster. These wonderful piles of Gothic architecture fill my mind with an intenser glow than aught else I have seen or felt in England. Is not that saying a good deal? My happiest moments in this island have been when I saw Salisbury and Durham cathedrals. Much happiness have I enjoyed in the various distinguished and interesting society in which I have been permitted to mingle; but greater than all this was that which I felt when I first gazed upon the glorious buildings I have mentioned.

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Charles William Wentworth (1)
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