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[53] somewhat like his old friend Dr. Johnson,—wears just such a coat and waistcoat, and the same kind of dirty bob-wig,—and rolls himself about in his chair, as Boswell tells us Johnson did. His conversation was fluent and various,—full of declamation and sounding phrases like his writings,—and as dictatorial as an emperor's. He chose those subjects which he thought would be most interesting to me; and, though he often mistook in this, he never failed to be amusing.

On American politics, he was bold and decisive. He thought we had ample cause for war, and seemed to have a very favorable opinion of our principal men, such as Jefferson and Madison, and our late measures, such as Monroe's conscription plan, and the subject of taking Canada,—though it was evident enough that he knew little about any of them. ‘Thirty years ago,’ said he in a solemn tone, which would have been worthy of Johnson,—‘thirty years ago, sir, I turned on my heel when I heard you called rebels, and I was always glad that you beat us.’ He made some inquiries on the subject of our learning and universities, of which he was profoundly ignorant, and spoke of the state of religion in our section of the country—in particular of Dr. Freeman's alterations of the Liturgy, which he had seen—with a liberal respect, much beyond what I should have expected from a Churchman. When I came away, he followed me to the door, with many expressions of kindness, and many invitations to come and spend some time with him, on my return to England, and finally took leave of me with a bow, whose stately and awkward courtesy will always be present in my memory whenever I think of him.

His first evening in London was spent at the theatre, witnessing the performance of Miss O'Neil in ‘The Gamester,’ of whom he thus writes to his father: ‘I can truly say I never knew what acting was until I saw her.1 The play was “The Gamester.” I cried like a school-boy, to the great amusement of the John Bulls who were around me in the pit. All night my dreams did homage to the astonishing powers of this actress, and my first waking imaginations this morning still dwelt on the ’

1 This must be taken as a proof of the power Miss O'Neil exercised, for Mr. Ticknor had often seen Cooke in Boston, and placed his acting above that of any male actor whom he saw in Europe. He saw Cooke in Shylock nine times in succession, generally leaving the theatre after Shylock's last scene.

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