Tory peer, Lord Ashburnham, asked me if I knew ‘a Mr. Channing.’ His Lordship had been reading with great admiration the discourse on ‘Self-Culture.’ Among the opposite contacts which I have had, was meeting at dinner the Earl of Haddington, the last Tory Viceroy of Ireland; and the next morning, while at breakfast with Lord Morpeth, encountering Lord Ebrington (now Lord Fortescue), who has just been sent to Ireland by the present ministry. Two days before, I had met the last Whig Viceroy, the Marquis of Normanby, at Lord Durham's. Let me acknowledge, in this already overgrown letter, the receipt of Felton's verses.1 I first gave them to Lord Brougham, and have also sent them to Lord Leicester at Holkham; to Mr. Justice Williams, now on his circuit; and to the Bishop of Durham: so that they are in the hands of the best anthologists in the kingdom. I mentioned them one day at dinner to Sir Francis Chantrey;2 and he prayed oyer, though he does not know a word of Greek. I have, accordingly, given him a copy. I do not know if I have ever spoken of Chantrey in my letters. He is an unlettered person, who was once a mere joiner, but has raised himself to a place in society, and to considerable affluence. He lives well, and moves in the highest circles. In personal appearance he is rather short and stout, without any refinement of manner; but he is one of the best-hearted men I have ever known. He has shown me the casts of all his works, and explained his views of his art. He gave me the history of his statue of Washington.3 He requested West to furnish him with a sketch for that: the painter tried, and then delayed, and then despaired, till Chantrey undertook it himself. The covering which I have sometimes heard called a Roman toga is nothing but a cloak. Chantrey laughed at the idea of its being a toga, saying that he had never seen one; it was modelled from a cloak,—a present from Canova to Chantrey. This cloak was stolen by a servant of an inn where the sculptor was changing horses. I shall send you some of Sir Henry Halford's verses:4 you know that he is one of the best Latin versifiers in England. They are a translation of Shakspeare's ‘To be, or not to be,’ &c., and of ‘Ay, but to die, and go we know not where.’ I was requested to give my evidence as that of an expert upon a question of admiralty law, to be used before the High Court of Admiralty. On grounds which I specified, I declined to do this, but gave my opinion in writing at some length. It was a subject with which I was quite at home. I received a most complimentary letter, and a professional fee of two guineas enclosed, and was told that the case was settled. I promptly returned the fee.
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 .
4 1766-1844. He was the brother of Mr. Justice Vaughan and of Sir Charles R. Vaughan, and exchanged his family name for that of a relative, from whom he had inherited a large fortune. He was physician to four successive sovereigns,—George III., George IV., William IV., and Victoria. He was President of the College of Physicians from 1820 until his death. His professional income is said to have been ten thousand pounds a year. He practised Latin composition in prose and verse.
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