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[159] is commonly found in these cloistered establishments, and Peacock is an excellent talker.

We were invited to a party at the Skrines', but declined, so as to stay as late as we could with our admirable old friend, whose kindliness, gayety of heart, and talent have been our constant delight since we have been in Cambridge. At last, between eleven and twelve, we took our leave, and the old gentleman, coming down stairs and following us to the gate of his College, gave us a sort of paternal benediction in the open street. We parted from him with great regret.

A night passed at Milton, Lord Fitzwilliam's delightful place in Northamptonshire, where the kind hospitality of three years before was renewed, was followed by a course of cathedrals and show-houses, on the northern route, from Ely to Alnwick, until the Scottish Border country was reached.

The hills which we crossed, in order to strike the Tweed at its most favorable point, were dreary and barren enough, and the ranges of huts or hovels we saw, scattered through their ridges, in which live a sort of bondmen, of a peculiar character, were anything but agreeable to look upon. I did not before suppose that anything so nearly approaching servitude was still to be found in England; but here it is, not better than was the condition of the serfs in Bohemia before Joseph Il's time, or those in Silesia before they were liberated by the present King of Prussia. I doubt whether there is anything so bad now in Europe, out of Russia.1

1 William Howitt describes this condition of the people in his ‘Rural Life of England,’ in a chapter on the ‘Bondage System of the North of England.’

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