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[290] has a comfortable and somewhat ample establishment, near the East India College, of which he is, as everybody knows, a professor. He is agreeable everywhere, but more so at home, I suspect, than anywhere else.

It was a small party in honor of the wedding of Sismondi, who had, a few days earlier, married a sister of Lady Mackintosh, Miss Allen, a cultivated lady, who, with her two sisters, I had seen often at Rome, and whom I felt that I already knew pretty well. Sismondi, too, I had known at Paris, in the society of the De Broglies and De Staels, during the preceding winter. To these were added Lord John Russell, and Malthus, who is attached to the same college with Sir James. It was, therefore, a party well calculated to call out each other's faculties and to interest a stranger. Lord John was more amusing than I had known him in London or at Woburn. Sismondi, with his newborn gallantry, very gracious but not very graceful, undoubtedly did his best, for he was brought into direct contact with Malthus, from whose doctrines he had differed in his own treatise on the same subject, recently published; while Sir James, who delights in the stir and excitement of intellectual discussion, seemed to amuse himself by beating round on all sides, now answering Lord John with a story of the last century, now repeating poetry to Mrs. Sismondi, and now troubling the discussion of the eminent political economists with his ponderous knowledge of history, statistics, and government, in short, the subjects on which all three were most familiar and oftenest differed. Malthus is, what anybody might anticipate, a plain man, with plain manners, apparently troubled by few prejudices, and not much by the irritability of authorship, but still talking occasionally with earnestness. In general, however, I thought he needed opposition, but he rose to the occasion, whatever it might be.

But Sir James led in everything, and seemed more interested and more agreeable than I had seen him in London society. I suppose that, on the whole, I have never met with an Englishman whose conversation was more richly nourished with knowledge, at once elegant and profound, if I ever met with one who was his equal. What is best in modern letters and culture seems to have passed through his mind and given a peculiar raciness to what he says. His allusions to his reading are almost as abundant as Scott's, and, if they are not poured out so rapidly or with such wasteful carelessness, it is, perhaps, because he has an extraordinary grace in his manner of introducing them, and a sort of skilful finish in all he says.

Malthus, living in the neighborhood, went home at the end of the

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