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[367] beautiful grace and finish of the ancien regime. Once or twice when Macaulay was present this produced a curious contrast. He —Macaulay, I mean-talked French, indeed, and not bad as to idiom, but it was most amusingly hard and unwieldy, and poured forth, if not as triumphantly as he pours forth his English, yet with the same tone and accent. . . . .

July 14.—Your letter of June 27, addressed to Anna, came this morning. Thank you for it as much as if it were addressed to me, for I have had the full benefit of it. So have sundry of your friends, —as far as good news about you are concerned,—for I read it on my way down to Milman's, where I met the Heads, the Lyells, Macaulay, and Elwin, the editor of the ‘Quarterly,’ all of whom were glad to hear about you. We had a most agreeable breakfast; Macaulay doing, of course, pretty much all the talk, but doing it in a gayer, and even a more droll spirit, than I have known him to do it before. We laughed immoderately sometimes.

Yesterday evening I met a lot more of your friends at Lord Wensleydale's,—the Argylls, Milnes, etc. They all want to know about ‘Philip II.,’ but I can tell them very little. You must come and explain the matter yourself. If you will, you will find as glad a welcome as anybody can have, from as good people as are to be found anywhere. To-day, at dinner, I am to meet Grote. I forget whether you knew him. I mean to find out what he thinks about Philip, for though I do not doubt what his opinion on the whole will be, I am curious to know how he will give it, and it is well worth having in detail.

The condensation of social activity seems to be more absolute than ever this season. Besides invitations to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the forms of evening parties, . . . . they have now a sort of tea and talk meetings, with fruit and ices, from four to seven, which they call matinees, . . . . and which I am told are very agreeable, especially when they are given with music, in gardens, . . . . I have been asked to several, but have not yet been able to go. Lady Holland, however, is to give three in the next three weeks, which I hear are likely to be the best of the season, and which, no doubt, will be fine, under those grand old trees in the park round Holland House; where, though I miss some things that I wish had been preserved as records of the past, I find everywhere great improvements, and in excellent taste. To one of these matinees I mean to go. . . . .

Your laurels are very green, and grow fast; perhaps faster on the

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