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[364] curious, rich, and rare, and I worked a little among his Spanish books, and mean to work more, for there are good things among them. . . . .

From Stirling's, Head and I went to the British Museum, where, as he truly said, it was amusing enough that I should lionize him. But he had not been there, of course, for five years, since which everything is changed. He agreed with all whom I have heard speak of it, that the reading-room is the finest room in Europe, taking out churches. I am more and more impressed with it. I then made some calls, finding no one at home but Lord Ashburton, with whom I had a very interesting talk; then, after a walk for exercise with Twisleton, in Kensington Gardens,—the first I have been able to take since I came to London,—we passed a quiet and happy evening together, having refused to go to Milnes',1 lest we should all be quite worn out with dinners.

I cannot tell you how kind, gentle, and loving Ellen is to me, making me all but happy, and relieving my anxious thoughts more than they could be relieved anywhere else, separated as I am from you all. Nor can I tell you how much she is liked in society here, the very best of it. . . . . I hear of her on all sides. She is certainly a charming creature, and if I were to fail to love her, I should be very ungrateful.

A good many people come to see me, and I of course return their calls, but I have not time to tell you of them, still less to repeat, as I intended to do when I began this volume,. some of their good things . . . .

July 10.—I am invited thrice to breakfast this morning, and although I am sorry to miss Dean Trench, and should have liked the company at Senior's, including Lesseps,—whose father I knew at Lisbon in 1818,—yet I rather think I am in luck in being first engaged to Lord Stanhope . . . . . The breakfast was first-rate in all points, company and talk. Lady Evelyn Stanhope was the first person I saw,—young, pretty, unmarried. . . . . The next was Tocqueville; . . . . then came the Lyells, Lord Aberdeen, and Lord Caernarvon, a young nobleman of great fortune and promise, who, a few years ago, carried off the first honors at Oxford. All talked French . . . . . This gave Tocqueville, of course, the advantage, and nobody was sorry for it. He did his best, both with discussion and anecdote, and nobody can do better. The consequence was, that we sat late, two hours and a half; some of us, perhaps, lingering because we remembered that it is Tocqueville's last day. Before we separated, he came up to me


1 Monckton Milnes, now Lord Houghton.

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