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[176] for such mere trifles, seems almost incredible. But Niebuhr had it; so had Scott, and so has Humboldt; four examples—including Brougham—which are remarkable enough. I doubt not that much of the success of each depended on this extraordinary memory, which holds everything in its grasp. I dined with the Geological Club, and afterwards attended a meeting of the Geological Society . . . . We sat down to table nearly thirty strong; Whewell of Cambridge, the President of the Society, in the chair, and Stokes, the witty lawyer, as its Vice-President. Among the persons present were Sedgwick and Buckland, Murchison, Lord Cole, Mr. Ponsonby, the Marquess of Northampton, Babbage, Hallam, and especially Sir John Herschel, just returned from the Cape of Good Hope, and decidedly at this moment the lion of London. I sat between Sir John and Babbage, and had an excellent time. Sir John is a small man, and, I should think, a little more than fifty years old, and growing gray; very quiet and unpretending in his manner, and though at first seeming cold, getting easily interested in whatever is going forward. . . . At half past 8 we adjourned in mass, after a very lively talk, from the tavern, which was the well-known ‘Crown and Anchor,’ in the Strand, to the Geological Rooms at Somerset House. . . . . Sedgwick read a synopsis of the stratified rocks of Great Britain; an excellent, good-humored extemporaneous discussion followed, managed with much spirit by Greenough, the first President, and founder of the Society; Murchison; Lyell, the well-known author; Stokes; Buckland; and Phillips of York. . . . . May 24.—Dined at Holland House, with Lady Fitzpatrick, Mr. Akerley,—who has done such good service as chairman of the committee on the Poor-Laws,—Lord Shelburne, Sir James Kempt,— who is thankful to be no longer Governor-General of Canada,— Lord John Russell, Allen, and two others. It was a pleasure to dine in that grand old Gilt Room, with its two ancient, deep fireplaces, and to hear Lord Holland's genial talk, for I cannot help agreeing with Scott, that he is the most agreeable man I have ever known. The reason, I apprehend, is, that to the great resources of his knowledge he adds a laissez-aller, arising from his remarkable good-nature, which is quite irresistible. We passed the evening in the great library, Addison's picture-gallery, one of the most luxurious and agreeable spots in the world. I talked a good deal with Sir J. Kempt about the Canadas, which he seems to regard much as we do in the United States, and condemns—as Lord Holland did plainly—

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