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[269] park, through which you are conducted, by an avenue of venerable elms, through fine varieties of hill and dale, woodland and pasture, and by the side of streamlets and little lakes, above three miles. . . . . I arrived late in the afternoon. . . . . At half past 6 Lord John Russell, who had just returned from shooting, made me a visit, and carried me to the saloon and introduced me to his father and family. I was received with an English welcome, and a few minutes afterwards we sat down to table. There were about twenty guests at the Abbey, the Marquess and Marchioness of Woodstock, Earl and Countess Jersey, Earl Spencer,1 Marquess Tavistock, Lord and Lady Ebrington, Lord and Lady William Russell, Mr. Adair, etc. The dinner was pleasant,—at least it was so to me,—for I conversed the whole time with Mr. Adair,2 formerly the British Minister at Vienna, and a man of much culture, and Lady Jersey, a beautiful creature with a great deal of talent, taste, and elegant knowledge, whom I knew a little on the Continent. . . . .

In the evening the party returned to the great saloon, called the Hall of State, and every one amused himself as he chose, either at cards, in listening to music, or in conversation, though several deserted to the billiard-room. For myself, I found amusement enough in talking with Lady Jersey, or Lord John Russell, or the old and excellent Earl Spencer, but I think the majority was rather captivated with Lady Ebrington's music. . . . .

The next morning, at ten o'clock, found us mustered in the breakfast-room. It was a day of no common import at a nobleman's countryseat, for it was the last of the shooting season. The Duke was anxious to have a quantity of game killed that should maintain the reputation of the Abbey, for the first sporting-ground in Great Britain; and therefore solemn preparations were made to have a grand battue of the park, for it was intended, in order to give more reputation to the day's success, that nothing should be shot out of it; nor, indeed, was there any great need of extending the limit, for the park is twelve miles in circumference. Mr. Adair, Lord John, and myself declined, as no sportsmen, and so the number was reduced to eleven, of whom seven were excellent shots. The first gun was fired a little before twelve, the last at half past 5; and when, after the dinner-cloth was removed in the evening, the game-keeper appeared, dressed in all his paraphernalia, and rendered in his account, it was found that four hundred and four hares, partridges, and pheasants had been killed, of which more


1 Second Earl Spencer.

2 Afterwards the Right Honorable Sir Robert Adair.

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