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[178]

To George S. Hillard.

Cataract House (American side), Niagara Falls, Aug. 29, 1836.
my dear Hillard,—Your letter, postmarked Aug. 22, which I have just received, was full to repletion—if such a thing be possible of a friendly letter — with interesting facts, chronicling the circumstances of our little interests, and bringing me almost the company of the hours and days which have run their round in Boston since I left. Thank you for all, and am glad to know that my sister is no worse; that the judge is well; that Cushing is lord of my chair, and that all friends are as they were. I give you joy in Greenleaf's visits. While you have been easy and calm ‘as a summer's morning,’ I have been jolted over hundreds of miles of rough roads, and kept in a constant state of occupation and fermentation, by change of scene, accommodation, and objects of interest. I have literally not had time to sketch a word even to you or my sister before yester noon, except the scrawl of Saratoga Springs, which I trust you received tanquam sero. Since that note I have been to Ballston, where I passed two most agreeable days in company with several delightful women and men. Of the women, by far the most to my taste was Mrs. William Kent, with whom I could talk the livelong night, as she had that prompt, suggestive manner, combined of voice and expression, which would not suffer the springs of conversation to cease their flow. Mrs. De Witt Clinton, Judge Spencer, and many other interesting personages were there; also a young Scotch advocate,1 who has since been my travelling companion, and is now writing at the same table with me. He is the nephew of Lord Jeffrey, and an intimate friend of Sergeant Talfourd and other Englishmen of whom we are curious. He is thoroughly educated, and is indifferent in his manners and dress, though you will perceive in your intercourse with him that unbought grace which is supplied by natural goodness of heart and a considerable mingling with refined society. He will go with me to Quebec, and perhaps continue on to Boston. He is deeply interested in the present English Ministry, inclining towards radicalism, as does his friend Talfourd. Not the least point of interest about him is his ignorance of many things and persons about which our curiosity is very lively. He has never been present at a debate in Parliament, though he has often gone up to Bellamy's at midnight, in order to ascertain the result of a division, not liking to await the intelligence in the morning papers. To my inquiry about Bulwer, he said, ‘It so happened that I have never read any of his works.’ I have seen a pleasant letter of friendship, written him by Talfourd. Another intimate, to whom he is now writing, is Keen, the Chancery reporter, of the firm of Mylne & Keen, reporters of Lords Lyndhurst and Brougham. Hayward, of Faust, he knows well. He will visit Boston, when you will see him, as I shall feel it my duty as well as pleasure to show him our lions.

We left Ballston for Saratoga last Monday; were whirled over the beautiful railway from Schenectady to Utica, a distance of eighty miles, in about


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