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June 13.—I breakfasted this morning with Sir Humphry Davy, of whom we have heard so much in America. He is now about thirty-three, but with all the freshness and bloom of five-and-twenty, and one of the handsomest men I have seen in England. He has a great deal of vivacity,—talks rapidly, though with great precision, —and is so much interested in conversation, that his excitement amounts to nervous impatience, and keeps him in constant motion. He has just returned from Italy, and delights to talk of it,—thinks it, next to England, the finest country in the world, and the society of Rome surpassed only by that of London, and says he should not die contented without going there again.

It seemed singular that his taste in this should be so acute, when his professional eminence is in a province so different and remote; but I was much more surprised when I found that the first chemist of his time was a professed angler; and that he thinks, if he were obliged to renounce fishing or philosophy, that he should find the struggle of his choice pretty severe.

Lady Davy was unwell, and when I was there before, she was out, so I have not yet seen the lady of whom Mad. de Stael said, that she has all Corinne's talents without her faults or extravagances.

After breakfast Sir Humphry took me to the Royal Institution, where he used to lecture before he married a woman of fortune and fashion, and where he still goes every day to perform chemical experiments for purposes of research. He showed me the library and model-room, his own laboratory and famous galvanic troughs, and at two o'clock took me to a lecture there, by Sir James Smith, on botany, —very good and very dull.

June 15.—As her husband had invited me to do, I called this morning on Lady Davy. I found her in her parlor, working on a dress, the contents of her basket strewed about the table, and looking more like home than anything since I left it. She is small, with black eyes and hair, a very pleasant face, an uncommonly sweet smile, and, when she speaks, has much spirit and expression in her countenance. Her conversation is agreeable, particularly in the choice and variety of her phraseology, and has more the air of eloquence than I have ever heard before from a lady. But, then, it has something of the appearance of formality and display, which injures conversation. Her manner is gracious and elegant; and, though I should not think of comparing her to Corinne, yet I think she has uncommon powers. . . .

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