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[37] him? This has been a stormy day, and I have hardly seen Stratford aright; for the associations of the place seem to harmonize with a soft, sunshiny day. It is something, however, to walk about the streets, which are so hallowed by the memory of that master mind.

It is now my birthday; I am twenty-eight years old; and my host, Mr. E. Flower,—in whose cottage, on the skirts of the town, I am staying,— was astonished at hearing my age. He had supposed me at least thirty-five,—perhaps forty! But time goes on apace; and I shall soon be even at that longest goal. I have now deserted London for a short excursion to several places in the country which I have not yet seen. I have just left Warwick, where I passed two days with Mr. Collins,1 the M. P. for the borough. Of course, I visited Kenilworth and Warwick Castles. The first, you know, is a ruin; but it is very extensive, being the largest ruin I have yet seen,—larger than Glastonbury Abbey, where old Dunstan made the Devil cry out, by an unceremonious pinch of the nose. Warwick is beautiful in its position, its towers, its court-yard, and its paintings. After the very ample experience I have had of English country-places, it did not strike me so much as it has some Americans. It is not so large as Wentworth, nor so comfortable and magnificent—the two combined—as Holkham, nor so splendid as Chatsworth; and it has nothing which will compare with the feudal entrance and hall of Raby Castle, nor any room equal to the drawing-room of Auckland Castle; but still, it seems almost perfect in its way. The towers and walls are commanding; the rooms are elegant, and have a beautiful prospect across the Avon, which washes the foot of the precipitous rock on which the castle stands: some of the paintings are divine. There is a ‘Loyola,’ by Rubens, which undoes all the bad impressions left on my mind by that artist, after his infamous productions in the Louvre. The Warwick Vase is in the centre of the greenhouse.

London, Jan. 12.

After leaving Stratford, I went, amid rain and gusts of wind beneath which ships were then sinking on the coast, to Birmingham. Here I saw Mrs. Tuckerman's brother-in-law,—Mr. Francis,—who treated me very kindly, though I was unable to stay to enjoy his attentions; Mr. Wills,2 author of the new book on ‘Circumstantial Evidence;’ Scholefield, M. P.,3 &c.: but my visit was quite hurried, as I was obliged by my engagements to hasten back to town. We have heard of the dreadful loss of the packets. I had written several letters, which were on board those ill-fated ships, and which will perhaps never reach their destination. To you I had written a very long letter,—partly dated, I think, from Milton Park,4 and giving an account of my adventures in fox-hunting with Lord Fitzwilliam; one also to Dr. Palfrey, enclosing a letter interesting to him, which I received from Sir

1 William Collins, a resident of Warwick.

2 William Wills, author of ‘Essay on the Principles of Circumstantial Evidence,’ published in Feb., 1838. He died in 1860.

3 Joshua Scholefield, representing Birmingham.

4 Letter not lost, ante, Vol. II. p. 31.

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