The party to-day consisted of Empson; Richardson, so much mentioned by Lockhart as Scott's friend; Mackenzie, son of the ‘Man, of Feeling,’ long Secretary-General in India; Phillips,1 the barrister; Murchison, the man of fashion and the great geologist; Professor Wilson, of the London University; Colonel Leake, the Greek traveller; and Wilkinson, the Egyptian traveller. We sat at a round table, just ten of us, and the service of plate, given to Mr. Elphinstone when he left Bombay, which covered the table so that the cloth could hardly be seen, was one of the richest and most tasteful I ever looked upon. There was not a person whom I met there to-day that was not a remarkable man,—remarkable by his culture and accomplishments, and by the consideration he enjoys in society. Of course, it was very agreeable. We talked about Scotland and Scott; about Lockhart, with whom Murchison is very intimate; about India, Rome, Bunsen, and the Archbishop of Cologne; about America and American literature; and—as its antipodes by antiquity and everything else—of Egypt. In short, the conversation was as various and pleasant as possible, and I stayed dreadfully late . . . . We did not sit down till half past 8, nor did we get up till midnight.
On the 14th of April Mr. Ticknor left London with his wife and his eldest daughter, and reached Cambridge early the same day. The following characteristic note awaited them there:—
Peter House, Wednesday.my dear Sir,—The chickens will wait your pleasure at the Bull at six, and I shall come down to you at eight, to show you the way to my cell. I am angling for some sirens, whom if I catch, your ladies will have some choice music. I have mounted you to the second story, that your bedroom may be close to your daughter's. The spring has peeped in upon us, and will not, I hope, change her mind after her April manner; still, our walks are not yet in any beauty. With best remembrances to your ladies,