previous next

[78] I whiled away with dear Lord Morpeth. We discussed politics; and he freely confided to me his views about the Cabinet, of which he is a member, and spoke of his own ambition and of the future before him, as to a bosom friend. I have dined with Lord Lansdowne, who received me, as he ever has, in the most friendly manner, and has assured me of the warmest welcome to his house if I should ever visit London again; and, since dinner, I have been to the Marquis of Northampton's. It was his first soiree as President of the Royal Society; and here I found all that is most distinguished in science, literature, and politics, and literally troops of friends. The London world here seemed to empty itself. The many invitations which I have received to tarry still longer I will not attribute entirely to personal feelings; but I know that I should do injustice to some, if I did not give credit to their professions. I was engaged to-night at two other places,—Hallam's and Hume's; but I have come away from Lord Northampton's sad and little disposed for any further society. This night snaps my relations with this great place,—so full of good, and great, and learned, and refined men. My reminiscences will be to me better than a fortune; to think of what I have seen and heard will be a source of pleasure, of which I cannot be deprived. Among the most gratifying testimonies which I have received is a sort of valedictory letter from Lord Denman. You will not think me vain, because I tell you of these things. I should not be doing justice to your friendship, if I did not by so doing enable you to share my satisfaction. I ought to be satisfied with what I have seen; for I have often been told—several times this very day —that I have seen more of England and of its society not only than any foreigner, but even than a native. As a stranger I have ranged over party lines, and have seen men of all the various nuances, and men of science and literature of every degree; and I have to reflect, as I have before told you, that I have not asked for an introduction since I have been in England. With Lord Morpeth I am intimate. He is thirty-eight, and yet he said to me: ‘You and I are about the same age.’ I find that I am generally supposed to be from thirty-five to forty. Ingham, who is much older himself, made a greater mistake.

After the long letter I have written, you can hardly expect any extended remarks on English and American society, as compared. It is probable that you will be able to make the comparison for yourself. I am almost afraid to do it, for fear of being misunderstood. In England, what is called society is better educated, more refined, and more civilized than what is called society in our country. You understand me to speak of society,—as society,—and not of individuals. I know persons in America who would be an ornament of any circle anywhere; but there is no class with us that will in the least degree compare with that vast circle which constitutes English society. The difference of education is very much against us. Everybody understands French, and Latin, and Greek,—everybody except Chantrey. Mrs. Jameson,1 who likes America, said with great feeling that the resemblance and

1 Mrs. Anna Jameson, 1797-1860; author of ‘The Poetry of Sacred and Legendary Art,’ and other works. She married in 1824, and accompanied her husband to Canada. A separation followed, and she returned to England. Sumner met her in Paris in 1857, or later.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Northampton (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (1)
Canada (Canada) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Anna Jameson (2)
Charles Sumner (1)
Robert Ingham (1)
Joseph Hume (1)
Jonathan French (1)
Francis Chantrey (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1860 AD (1)
1857 AD (1)
1824 AD (1)
1797 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: