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[264] scholar, as well as a statesman.1 I have met few men in Europe who have so satisfied my expectations as this extraordinary young man, who, at the age of about thirty, has thus risen to the height of power, in one of the most despotic governments in the world, by the mere force of talent, without friends or intrigue. I dined with him twice, once quite alone, and was struck with his various, original, and graceful style of conversation. I have now become so weary with the perpetual change of acquaintance, that I generally seek, wherever I go, to make myself, as familiar as I can in one house, at the expense of all others. . . . . The one to which I went the most frequently in London, and where I spent a part of many evenings, was Lord Holland's,2 and certainly, for an elegant literary society, I have seen nothing better in Europe. Lord Holland himself is a good scholar, and a pleasant man in conversation; Sir James Mackintosh was staying in his house, Sydney Smith and Brougham came there very often, and Heber and Frere, Lord Lansdowne, Lord Lauderdale, Lord Auckland, Lord John Russell, etc., and I do not well know how dinners and evenings could be more pleasant. There was no alloy but Lady Holland, whom I did not like,. . . . but I should have been very foolish if I had suffered this to prevent my enjoyment, when to avoid it I had only to talk to some one else3 . Lord Holland is an open-hearted gentleman, kind, simple, and hospitable, a scholar with few prejudices, and making no pretensions, either on the score of his rank, his fortune, his family, his culture, or anything else. I never met a man who so disarms opposition in discussion, as I have often seen him, without yielding an iota, merely by the unpretending simplicity and sincerity of his manner. He is said to resemble Mr. Fox in his face, and certainly is like Mr. Fox's busts; but I should think there was more mildness in his physiognomy than I can find in Mr. Fox's portraits.

1 See ante, pp. 180 and 248. Palmella had been Portuguese plenipotentiary at the Congress of Vienna, and afterwards held other high offices.

2 Then living in St. James's Square.

3 Lady Holland was polite and even kind in after years to Mr. Ticknor, who used to attribute it to a little passage of arms that once occurred between them. She characteristically remarked to him, that she believed New England was originally colonized by convicts, sent over from the mother country. Mr. Ticknor replied that he was not aware of it, but said he knew that some of the Vassall family—ancestors of Lady Holland—had settled early in Massachusetts, where a house built by one of them was standing in Cambridge, and a marble monument to a member of the family was to be seen in King's Chapel, Boston. Lady Holland was, for a moment, surprised into silence; then questioned him about the monument, and asked him to send her a drawing of it, which he did.

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