Spanish stronger; and the drawings of the old masters very numerous and very remarkable. We began then with the English school, which is, of course, the most amply represented, and gave a good deal of time to Hogarth, whose portraits are marvellous, and to Sir Joshua, whose works are of most unequal merit. . . . . The recent school was often excellent; Turner various and contradictory, but occasionally very fine; the Pre-Raffaellites ridiculous, almost without exception. On the whole, the English school was never before, anywhere, seen in such force or to such advantage. As we strolled round we picked up Gibson, the sculptor, who has come to stay at Cardwell's, and who is in all respects a very agreeable addition to our party. . . . . We dined late,—after eight o'clock,— but made nearly a three-hours' evening of it afterwards, so agreeable is the party, especially Lady Cranworth, than whom I have seen no lady in England more attractive and charming. She has lately been on a visit to old Mrs. Wordsworth, to whom she constantly writes, and for whom she has a loving sort of veneration that is quite beautiful. . . . . August 27.—I was up this morning in good season, . . . . writing letters, chiefly about the Library, and doing other Library work, which is now nearly finished. As soon as breakfast was done Cardwell said, ‘Ladies, you have just fifteen minutes,’ and in less time we were all packed into the carriage, and on our way to the railroad. The halls were not so full to-day, as the admission is two and sixpence instead of a shilling . . . . . We looked chiefly at pictures of note, and found our account in not permitting ourselves to be distracted. The number of such pictures is larger than I thought at first. There are a good many of the Dutch and Flemish schools that are first-rate. . . . . But the Murillos and Lord Hertford's collection are the glory of the whole exhibition. Again we had a pleasant drive home and a most agreeable evening, which ended late with a reluctant parting from Lady Head. August 28.—. . . . We fretted, at breakfast, at the diminution of our party, and Lady Cranworth threatens that when the Lord Chancellor comes, by and by, she will ask him to lay an injunction that I shall not go out of the kingdom. Indeed, Cardwell has made a sharp calculation that I can reach Liverpool to-morrow, an hour and a half before the steamer sails, even if I stop to-night, and I have agreed to do it, although my arrangements had all been made to sleep at the Adelphi before embarking. We breakfasted, as usual, somewhat late, but were off punctually.
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