Chapter 22: England again, and the voyage home.—March 17 to May 3, 1840. —Age 29.
's English friends greeted him warmly, and filled his brief sojourn in London
It was pleasant to meet again those dearest to him,—Ingham, Morpeth, and Parkes
,—and also to renew his association with Austin
, Sydney Smith
, the Grotes, Rogers
, and others.
He failed to see Lord Brougham, who was at the time absent.
On his last day in London
, he dined with Hallam
Among the many expressions of regret at parting with him, and of interest in his welfare, were the following:—
James S. Wortley
wrote, April 3, from Liverpool
, where he was then attending the Northern Circuit
The members of our Circuit all join with me in regretting that they have missed you, and in wishing you every happiness and prosperity upon your return to your own land.
I shall always rejoice in hearing good news of your fortunes; and if ever you can return among us, I can assure you of a warm and hearty welcome.
You have had better opportunities of seeing all classes of society, and all that is interesting among us, than any other of your countrymen, and I trust that your experience may not disincline you to revisit us.
And now comes the saddest word that can be written,—farewell.
We shall long and kindly remember you. You have made an impression on this country, equally honorable to England and to you.We have convinced you that we know how to value truth and dignified simplicity, and you have taught us to think much more highly of your country,—from which we have hitherto seen no such men. We can only desire you not to forget us entirely, but to let us hear that you are happy and well.
May God bless and prosper you!
Choosing his homeward voyage by a sailing vessel as less expensive than one by steamer, he left London
, Friday, April 3,
and sailed the next day from Portsmouth
, with Dr. Joseph Cogswell
and N. P. Willis
as fellow passengers.
He left land with a heart full of gratitude for all he had enjoyed her people.
Without blindly approving her insti<*> customs, he had seen much in her older society which would yet be realized in our newer and less cultured his youth he loved the country where he had passed s days, and he never after loved her less.
Next to t of the African race, no political object was ever so co<*> him as perpetual peace between England
and the United
<*> There came a time when in the discharge of his duty, as <*> understood it, he set forth in strong language her failure to deal justly with us in our conflict with a pro-slavery Rebellion.
He spoke then with the profound conviction that lasting peace between the two nations, and also the wider interests of civilization, required an end of the controversy; and that, as the first step towards a complete settlement, the English
people should be brought by an emphatic statement to realize the full justice and import of our case: but his regard for them, and his interest in their welfare were as lively then as in his youth.
On his fourth and final visit to Europe
, a third of a century after the first, he passed the last night, before sailing on his return, with John Bright, at Rochdale
, when he spoke with admiration of England
, and of her public men, and with much tenderness of the many friends he counted among her well-known names.
's social career in England
did not make him less an American and a republican.
Writing a few years later, he said: ‘I have always enjoyed the refinement of the best society; but I have never sat in the palaces of England
, without being pained by the inequality of which the inordinate luxury was a token.’
To Judge Story
he wrote from London
, March 18, 1839:—
I cannot hesitate to say that the representation should be equalized, that a place of three hundred voters should not send the same representatives with a place of five thousand; and I also think that something should be done (and the abolition of the law of primogeniture strikes me as the simplest and most efficient means) to break the aristocracy, to reduce estates, and to divide them.
It is the law of primogeniture that indirectly keeps up the Established Church, the army, and navy; for all these are so many asylums for younger sons.
You, who have never been out of America, have no conception of the power of the aristocracy.
You will not believe me influenced by any mad, democratic tendencies, when I say that England has trials
of no common character to encounter.
That she may go through them in peace I fervently hope.
Although while in England
his associations and friendships had no limitation of party or sect, he found his affinities on political and social questions among the Austins, Parkes
, Molesworth, Senior
, and others of their school.
These were the political freethinkers of their time,—drawing their inspirations from Jeremy Bentham
Their fearlessness in speculations on the problems of society and government harmonized with tne natural tendency of Sumner
While the favorits pupil of Story and Greenleaf
, he was yet at no time of their strongly conservative type of thought; and he returned from Europe
more than ever a doctrinaire
’ arrived at New York, Sunday, May 3.
, on landing, met his brother Albert, then living in the city.
That day or the next he dined with his classmate, John O. Sargent
, who remembers that ‘he was full of his trip, and conversed very pleasantly about it. His appearance had been very materially improved under the hands of a London tailor.
He had lost, too, some of the leanness and lankness of face and figure which he carried through his school and college days, and was beginning to fill out, and to assume more of the portly air of his later days.’
On his arrival in Boston
happened to meet him as he was walking from the railway station, wearing a light-colored mackintosh, looking rather English in costume, and carrying in his hand some Exchequer tallies.10
He went to the family house in Hancock Street, where a letter from his sister Mary, which awaited him in New York, bade him welcome; and where his home was to be during his mother's life.