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We sat down to dinner about thirty strong. The conversation was chiefly political and high ministerial, but the young gentlemen talked a good deal about the day's sport, which, just at this moment, when the shooting season is closing, is a matter of importance. . . . . As we returned to the saloon, we found a band of music playing in the long gallery, which we were obliged to traverse in its whole length. After coffee and tea had been served, the party was a little increased by visitors from the neighborhood, and for those who were disposed to dance there was the long gallery and music, but no ceremony. . . . .

The marquess is seventy years old,1 but well preserved, and a specimen of the gentlemen of the last generation, with elegant, easy manners, and a proud, graceful courtesy. Lady Salisbury is but little younger, yet able to ride on horseback every day, and even to join occasionally in the chase. . . . . I became, of course, acquainted with most of the persons there; but those that interested and pleased me most were the Marchioness of Downshire and her two daughters, the Ladies Hill, beautiful girls and much accomplished, with whom I danced all the evening. I know not when I have enjoyed myself in the same way so much and so simply. . . . .

[The next morning] Lord Cranbourne2 took me out and showed me the antiquities of the house and the beauties of the place. We rode about the fine park, stopped a little to see a shooting battue that was going on, went over the farming arrangements, etc., all marked with that extensive completeness and finish which it is seldom wrong to presuppose when an English nobleman's seat is concerned. . . . .

On returning to the saloon [after dinner of the second day], we found that a great deal of company had come, and in the course of an hour, the nobility and gentry of the county were collected there. It was, in fact, an annual ball that Lady Salisbury, who loves old fashions, gives every winter, in compliance with ancient usage, to the respectable families in the county, besides being at home, as it is called, one evening in every week to any who are disposed to come and dance without show or ceremony. . . . . The evening to me was delightful. I liked this sort of hospitality, which is made to embrace a whole county. The next morning I came back to London,. . . . and the following day early set off for the North.

I went, however, at first, no farther than Bedfordshire, where I passed three days at the splendid seat of the Duke of Bedford. The entrance to Woburn Abbey is by a Roman gateway opening into the

1 First Marquess of Salisbury, died in 1823.

2 Eldest son of Lord Salisbury.

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