one moment, and imagine Mr. Greenwood or Dr. Lyman Beecher riding at a rail fence, and some thirty or forty persons looking on and shouting, ‘Hurrah for Greenwood! Hurrah for Beecher!’ None of the clergymen who were out were young men; they were all more than forty-five, if not fifty. They mingled in all the light conversation of the field,—one of them told a story which I would not venture to trust to this sheet,—and they were addressed by all with the utmost familiarity. I did not hear one of them addressed by the title of ‘Mr.,’ except by myself, though most of the company were fifteen or twenty years younger than themselves. These little things will reveal to you more than several pages of dissertation. Every day that I was out it rained,—the first day incessantly,—and yet I was perfectly unconscious of it, so interested did I become in the sport. Indeed, sportsmen rather wish a rain, because it makes the ground soft. We generally got home about five o'clock; and I will give you the history of the rest of the day, that you may see how time passes in one of the largest houses in England. Dinner was early, because the sportsmen returned fatigued, and without having tasted a morsel of food since an early breakfast. So, after our return, we only had time to dress; and at five and a half o'clock assembled in the library, from which we went in to dinner. For three days I was the only guest here,—during the last four we have had Professor Whewell,—so that I can describe to you what was simply the family establishment. One day I observed that there were only nine of us at table, and there were thirteen servants in attendance. Of course the service is entirely of silver. You have, in proper succession, soup, fish, venison, and the large English dishes, besides a profusion of French entrees, with ice-cream and an ample dessert,—Madeira, Sherry, Claret, Port, and Champagne. We do not sit long at table; but return to the library,—which opens into two or three drawing-rooms, and is itself used as the principal one,—where we find the ladies already at their embroidery, and also coffee. Conversation goes languidly. The boys are sleepy, and Lord Fitzwilliam is serious and melancholy; and very soon I am glad to kill off an hour or so by a game at cards. Sometimes his Lordship plays; at other times he slowly peruses the last volume of Prescott's ‘Ferdinand and Isabella.’ About eleven o'clock I am glad to retire to my chamber, which is a very large apartment, with two large oriel windows looking out upon the lawn where the deer are feeding. There I find a glowing fire; and in one of the various easy chairs sit and muse while the fire burns, or resort to the pen, ink, and paper, which are carefully placed on the table near me. I have given you an off-hand sketch of English fox-hunting. I was excited and interested by it, I confess; I should like to enjoy it more, and have pressing invitations to continue my visit or renew it at some future period. But I have moralized much upon it, and have been made melancholy by seeing the time and money that are lavished on this sport, and observing the utter unproductiveness of the lives of those who are most earnestly engaged in it, —like my Lord's family, whose mornings are devoted to it, and whose evenings are rounded by a sleep. I should not forget to tell you that in the library, where we pass our evenwings,
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 16 : events at home.—Letters of friends.— December , 1837 , to March , 1839 .—Age 26 - 28 .
Chapter 17 : London again.—characters of judges.—Oxford.—Cambridge— November and December , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 18 : Stratford-on-avon.—Warwick.—London.—Characters of judges and lawyers.—authors.—society.— January , 1839 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 19 : Paris again.— March to April , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 20 : Italy .— May to September , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 21 : Germany .— October , 1839 , to March , 1840 .—Age, 28 - 29 .
Chapter 22 : England again, and the voyage home.— March 17 to May 3 , 1840 . —Age 29 .
Chapter 23 : return to his profession.— 1840 - 41 .—Age, 29 - 30 .
Chapter 24 : Slavery and the law of nations.— 1842 .—Age, 31 .
Chapter 25 : service for Crawford .—The Somers Mutiny.—The nation's duty as to slavery.— 1843 .—Age, 32 .
Chapter 27 : services for education.—prison discipline.—Correspondence.— January to July , 1845 .—age, 34 .
Chapter 28 : the city Oration,— the true grandeur of nations. —an argument against war.— July 4 , 1845 .—Age 34 .
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