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To Mrs. Judge Howe, Cambridge.

ATHENAeUM Club,1 Nov. 22, 1838.
my dear Mrs. Howe,2—I should be cold, indeed, did I not cordially acknowledge your kind letter, which I have received by your nephew, Edward Lyman. I often think of Cambridge and the quiet life I have led there, and the many good friends who, I hope, will not forget me during a protracted absence. The ‘Book Club’ still exists. . . . We judge English authors better than the English themselves: all here are too near them. When I see the foppery of Bulwer every day, and hear his affected voice, should not that disenchant me from the spell of his composition? You, sitting in your rocking-chair and joining reading to your household duties, actually keep a better run of English literature than many—ay, than most —of the English themselves. London is so full, and teeming, and mighty, that it is next to impossible for anybody to do more than to attend to his own affairs and take care of himself. The magazines and reviews are not read here with half the avidity they are in America; and, when read, are not judged with the same dispassionate fairness. At the different clubs which I frequent, I find that I am generally the first person to take them up; and I have tried in vain at this club, where I now write, with a Lord of the Treasury snoring by my side, and where are all the literary men of London, to ascertain the authorship of an article in the last ‘Edinburgh Review.’ I have asked Mr. Hallam, Mr. Rogers, and numerous literary men and M. P. s; and cannot find out. In short, nobody cares for these things.

You see what a rambling letter I am writing,—if that can be called a letter which began as a note. I have been pleased to hear from your nephew the good reports of all your family. And so E——is married, and gone to the West! All the world is getting married or engaged. I shall find myself alone of my class,—a sort of fossil remains of the bachelor species. All my friends have renounced celibacy, and rejoice in the pleasures of a house of their own, with a pretty wife, and mayhap some little prattlers. Said Barry Cornwall to me yesterday, while he held in his hand a lovely little boy: ‘Have you any such beautiful pictures as this?’ What fine sentiment comes from married folks! And, indeed, a lovely child is a beautiful picture. I loved the poet more after he had put me that close question. His gentle countenance, which seemed all unequal to the energy which dictated ‘The Sea! the Sea!’ was filled with joyful satisfaction and love; and he hugged the boy to his bosom. What a loss is that of Hillard! I pity him from the bottom of my heart. To lose such a lovely picture was a loss beyond rubies. I hope he bears it well. . . . Felton seems happy and contented in the house he has builded. He is happy by nature. . . .

Remember me to all who care any thing about me; and believe me,

As ever, affectionately yours,

1 The Athenaeum Club (Pall Mall) was founded in 1824, by Sir Humphry Davy, Professor Faraday, Sir Francis Chantrey, Sir Walter Scott, Sir Henry Halford, Thomas Moore, Richard Heber, Sir Thomas Lawrence, and John Wilson Croker. Among its earliest members was Samuel Rogers; and among those who frequented it most was Theodore Hook.

2 Ante, Vol. I. pp. 164-16.

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