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[409] from the rest of the party, and asked me a great many questions about the practical operation of the ballot in the United States, and gave his opinion very freely on the relations of the two countries. He said that as we get along further from the period of our Revolution and the feelings that accompanied it, we get along easier together; that Jefferson and Madison disliked England so much that they took every opportunity to make difficulty; that Monroe was a more quiet sort of person, but that J. Q. Adams ‘hated England’; and that they much preferred the present administration, which seemed sincerely disposed to have all things easy and right. He asked if Van Buren was likely to be the next President. I told him I thought he would be. He said he was a pleasant and agreeable man, but he did not think him so able as Mr. McLane, who preceded him.1 He asked if there was no chance for Webster. I told him I thought there was but little. He said that from what he had read of his speeches, and what he had heard about him, he supposed Webster was a much stronger man than Van Buren, etc., etc. His manner was always frank, and often gay, and during the whole dinner, and till he went away, which was not till about eleven o'clock, I should not—if I had not known him to be Prime Minister—have suspected that any burden of the state rested on his shoulders.

It struck me as singular that dinner was not at all delayed for him; so that we sat down without him and without inquiry, except that, after we were at table, Lady Holland asked Lady Cowper if her brother would not come. To which she replied, he certainly would. Even at last, when he came in, so little notice was taken of him that, though he sat opposite to me,—and the party was very small and at a round table,—I did not perceive his arrival, or suspect who he was, until I was introduced to him some moments afterwards. Another thing struck me, too; the King was alluded to very unceremoniously when Lady Mary Fox was not present. Without saying directly that he had done a very vulgar thing, Lord Melbourne said the King had actually, the day before yesterday, proposed fourteen toasts and made a quantity of speeches at his own table; intending to be understood that the King had done what was entirely unbecoming his place. Indeed, it was plain, the King is not a favorite among his present ministers.

Public business was much talked about,—the corporation bill, the motion for admitting dissenters to the universities, etc., etc.; and as to the last, when the question arose whether it would be debated on

1 As Ministers of the United States to England.

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