Then it was that I was in communion with no single mind,— bright and gifted though it be,—but with whole generations. Those voiceless walls seemed to speak; and the olden time, with its sceptred pall, passed before me. Oh! it was with a thrill of pleasure that I looked from the spire of Salisbury, and wandered among the heavy arches of Durham, which I can never forget. At Durham I was with a most distinguished ornament of the Church,—Dr. Gilly,1—and with my namesake, the Lord Bishop of Chester,2 with Gally Knight,3 the old college friend of Byron, and with Dr. Buckland;4 but those venerable walls were more interesting, by far, than all that these men could say. And I remember no feast so rich in elevated pleasure,—not those where the contributions of wit and learning have ‘outdone the meats, outdone the frolic wine.’ Let me say, however, that York did not produce this fine effect. I saw it on a rainy day, and with my mind full of my journey to the South.
Boston, Oct. 29.Not from ‘famous Boston town,’ where I first drew breath, do I write, but from the small place on the distant coasts of Lincolnshire, whence John Cotton, ‘whose fame was in all the churches,’ went to settle our New England. I saw the old parsonage which Cotton left for the woods of America, and tapped at the back door with a venerable, triangular knocker,—which, I doubt not, the hands of the Puritan preacher had often known, before he forsook the soft cushion of the Established Church and the shadow of that fine Gothic pile, on which, even in his day, so many centuries had shed their sunshines and showered their storms. And a glorious pile is this parish church of Boston, built in the time of Edward III.! I wish we could remove it to our city. In every thing else we have immeasurably outstripped the English town, which numbers about thirteen thousand people, and has all the air of a provincial place. There is a windmill, which, with its broad vans, is so like that which once stood at the South End, that I would have sworn to its identity.
Holkham House,5 Nov. 2, 1838.This house has not the fresh magnificence of Chatsworth (the princely residence of the Duke of Devonshire), the feudal air of Raby and Auckland