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[445] weathers. Last year he went in this way to Milton, eighty-nine miles, in a single day, and will probably do the same this year. All this comes of fox-hunting.

October 6.—To-day, for the first time in my life, I have witnessed and joined a fox-hunt,—a thing as different from all I ever witnessed before as anything can well be, and which I suppose I saw in great perfection, for Lord Spencer tells me the establishment for it here is as fine as any in England, if not the finest .. . . . We reached home about five o'clock, rather late, for dinner was to be at six, as it is ‘the Public Day,’ or the day on which the family — in observance of a custom formerly common among the chief nobility, but now hardly kept up at all except here-receive any of their neighbors who think fit to come and who think themselves fit to come. In this way Lord Fitzwilliam keeps open house once a week during the two or three months he lives in Yorkshire, it being understood that persons do not generally avail themselves of the invitation more than once in a season; and in this way he avoids all the embarrassments and heart-burnings which would be the inevitable consequence of selecting, sorting, and inviting formal parties.

The whole state and ceremony of the house is observed on these occasions, to which people come ten, twenty, and even forty miles or more. To-day there were a little more than twenty, the most curious of whom was old Lady G., eighty-four years old, covered with diamonds, laces, and feathers.1. . . . The party was received in the beautiful saloon,. . . . and the procession to dinner across the enormously large hall, headed by the chaplain in his canonicals, was quite a solemnity. . .. . Mr. Lowe was in full costume, bands and all, and asked a blessing and returned thanks. The dinner itself was much as usual, but there was of course a greater show of plate. Lord Fitzwilliam was not well enough to appear.

The journey from Wentworth House to London, between the 8th and 13th of October, was crowded with interest and beauty, and the ten days passed in London were busy, not only by reason of the kind attentions of friends, but with the necessary preparations for a migration to the Continent. In a resume of this autumnal visit in London, Mr. Ticknor says:—

1 Note by Mr. Ticknor: ‘I asked Lord Fitzwilliam what could induce a person like Lady G., above eighty years old and deaf, to come thirty or forty miles to a dinner—He said, “ Only because she has done it every year for above half a century.” ’

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