- Departure for Europe. -- arrival in England. -- State of feeling there. -- Mr. Roscoe. -- Chirk Castle. -- Dr. Parr. -- arrival in London. -- Mr. Vaughan. -- Mr. Sharp. -- Sir Humphry Davy. -- Gifford. -- Lord Byron. -- anecdotes of Bonaparte. -- Mr. Murray. -- Mr. West. -- Mr. Campbell. -- Mrs. Siddons. -- leaves London. -- arrival in Gottingen.
Mr. Ticknor was now twenty-three years old, in full vigor of health and activity of mind, having faithfully used his powers and opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge, both of books and men. In person he was slight, of medium height, and well proportioned. He was light and active in his movements, and continued so through life. His complexion was dark and rich; his eyes, large, and so dark that they might almost be called black, were very bright and expressive. His hair, also dark, was thick, and inclined to curl. His memory was exact and retentive, enabling him to enrich conversation with fact, anecdote, and quotation. His vivacity of feeling, quick perceptions, and ready sympathy not only made him socially attractive, but secured him attached friends. He was cordially welcomed in the society of Boston, and was a favored guest in its best houses. Intercourse with cultivated minds, the affection of a few friends of his own age and similar tastes, and the happy influences of his home were necessities to him; while, with fresh, unworn spirits, he enjoyed, like others, the forms and amusements of general society. He had now completed, as far as was possible, his preparation for a residence and course of study abroad; and, on reaching home after his journey to Virginia, found, to his surprise, that his passage had been taken for the voyage. During his absence several of his friends had decided to go to Europe, some in  search of health and some of instruction; and his father, anticipating his wishes, had secured for him a place in the same vessel. The separation from home cost him a severe struggle, and nothing could have enabled him to keep his resolution but the clear perception that it was the only means by which he could fit himself for future usefulness in the path he had chosen. He sailed in the Liverpool packet, on the 16th of April, 1815. He had the happiness of the companionship of four of his most valued and intimate friends,—Mr.Perkins and Mrs. Samuel G. Perkins, Mr. Edward Everett, and Mr. Haven, of Portsmouth, N. H. Among other passengers were two young sons of Mr. John Quincy Adams, on their way to join their father, then United States Minister at St. Petersburg. Mr. Ticknor wrote many pages during his voyage to his father and mother, full of affection and cheering thoughts, and giving incidents and details, to amuse their solitary hours. The last page gives his first natural feeling at the startling news that met the passengers as they entered the Mersey.
Many years later he dictated his recollections of the state of feeling he observed on his arrival in England.
In May, 1815, I arrived in Liverpool. When I left Boston, Bonaparte was in Elba, and all Europe in a state of profound peace. The  pilot came on board as we approached the mouth of the Mersey, and told us that Bonaparte was in Paris, and that everything was preparing for a general war against him. Having been bred in the strictest school of Federalism, I felt as the great majority of the English people felt, in that anxious crisis of their national affairs; but, on reaching Liverpool, I soon found that not a few people looked upon the matter quite differently. Mr. Roscoe, mild and philosophical in his whole character, was opposed to the war, and, at a dinner at Allerton, gave the usual whig argument against it, in a manner that very much surprised me. On my way up to London I stopped at Hatton, and made a visit to Dr. Parr. He certainly was not very gentle or philosophic in his opposition. ‘Sir,’ said he, in his solemn, dogmatical manner, with his peculiar lisp, which always had something droll about it,—‘thir, I should not think I had done my duty, if I went to bed any night without praying for the success of Napoleon Bonaparte.’ Another fact belonging to this period and state of feeling in England was told me at Keswick, in 1819, by Mr. Southey. He said that in the spring of 1815 he was employed in writing an article for the ‘Quarterly Review’ upon the life and achievements of Lord Wellington. He wrote in haste the remarkable paper which has since been published more than once, and the number of the ‘Review’ containing it was urged through the press, so as to influence public opinion as much as possible, and to encourage the hearts of men throughout the country for the great contest. At the same time a number of the ‘Edinburgh’ was due. Sir James Mackintosh had written an able and elaborate article, to show that the war ought to have been avoided, and that its consequences to England could only be unfortunate and inglorious. The number was actually printed, stitched, and ready for distribution; but it was thought better to wait a little for fear of accidents, and especially for the purpose of using it instantly after the first reverse should occur, and to give it the force of prophecy. The battle of Waterloo came like a thunder-clap. The article was suppressed, and one on ‘Gall and his Craniology’ was substituted for it. There it may still be found. I think Mr. Southey said he had seen the repudiated article.While in Liverpool, Mr. Ticknor made the acquaintance of Mr. Roscoe, then in the enjoyment of wealth as well as fame,  and gives a sketch of him in a letter to his friend, Mr. Daveis:—
Of the acquaintances whom I found or formed in Liverpool, I know not that you will be much interested to hear of any but Mr. Roscoe, whom you already know as an author, and probably as the Lorenzo of his native city; for, like the happy subject he has chosen, he is himself a lover of, and a proficient in, the fine arts, and has done more to encourage and patronize learning than all his fellow-citizens put together. But he is now beginning to bend with age, and has retired from active pursuits, both as a man of letters and a banker. Still, however, he loves society, and his fine house (Allerton Hall, eight miles from Liverpool) is open to all strangers,—whose company he even solicits. There he lives in a style of splendor suited to his ample fortune; and, what is singular, he lives on the very estate where his father was gardener and his mother housekeeper. There I passed one day with him, and called on him afterwards and spent a couple of hours, and found him exceedingly simple in his manners, and uncommonly pleasant in his conversation. For a man of sixty-five, his vivacity and enthusiasm were very remarkable, and were very remarkably expressed, as he showed me a large collection of Burns's original Mss., beginning with the earliest effusions, as contained in the copy-books mentioned, I believe, in his brother's letter to Dr. Currie, and ending with the last letter he ever wrote,—the letter to his wife,—which, if I recollect right, concludes Dr. Currie's collection. These papers, Mr. Roscoe seems to preserve with a sort of holy reverence, and he read me from among them several characteristic love-letters, and some Jacobite pieces of poetry, which have never been, and never will be published, with a degree of feeling which would have moved me in one of my own age, and was doubly interesting in an old man.Mr. Ticknor left Liverpool on the 17th of May, and arrived in London on the 25th of the same month, travelling in the leisurely style of those days; passing through Chester, St. Asaph's, Llangollen, Shrewsbury, Birmingham, and Warwick; everywhere charmed with the aspect of a rich and cultivated country glowing with the bloom and verdure of an English spring. In addition to a copious correspondence with relatives and friends at home, it was his custom to keep full journals of his life and experiences during his whole residence in Europe, from which we shall often draw. 
His first evening in London was spent at the theatre, witnessing the performance of Miss O'Neil in ‘The Gamester,’ of whom he thus writes to his father: ‘I can truly say I never knew what acting was until I saw her.1 The play was “The Gamester.” I cried like a school-boy, to the great amusement of the John Bulls who were around me in the pit. All night my dreams did homage to the astonishing powers of this actress, and my first waking imaginations this morning still dwelt on the  hysterical laugh when she was carried off the stage. I absolutely dread to see her again.’ Mr. Ticknor remained in London a little more than a month, which was to him a period of animated interest and high enjoyment. It was the height of the London season, when Parliament was in session, and the great metropolis gathered within its folds a large proportion of the science, literature, and art of the whole country. Uncommon social opportunities were held out to him, and the kindness with which he was received was an unbiassed tribute to his social gifts; for London society, though hospitable, is fastidious, and will not tolerate any one who cannot contribute his fair share to the common stock of entertainment. In some respects his good fortune was rare and exceptional, for it so happened that he saw frequently, and on easy and familiar terms, Lord Byron, the most brilliant man of letters in England, and Sir Humphry Davy, the most brilliant man of science. Every hour of his time was agreeably filled with social engagements or visits to the many points of interest with which his reading had made him familiar, and the high pulse of his enjoyment is felt in his letters and journals.
Mr. Ticknor left London on the 30th of June with the same delightful party of friends with whom he had crossed the ocean, and, crossing by Harwich, landed at Helvoetsluys. There, he says, ‘We took the only two machines in the village,—a coach, which seemed to be without springs, and a wagon, which did not even pretend to have any,—to transport us to Rotterdam. Our road, the whole distance, went over a dyke, and some portions of it were on the coast, where the broad ocean leans against the land.’ From Rotterdam, they went to the Hague, Leyden, Haarlem, Amsterdam, and Utrecht, where he parted from Mr.Perkins and Mrs. Perkins, and Mr. and Miss Haven; and with Mr. Everett and young Perkins,4 went on his way to  Gottingen. Of this parting, he says: ‘It was not, indeed, like the bitterness of leaving home, but it was all else, and, indeed, in the sense of desolation, the same. For more than three months we had lived together as one family, . . . . and the affections which had long existed were ripened into the nearest intimacy.’ On the 13th of July, at Amsterdam, he tells his father that he has been busy in buying books and seeing sights, and then says:—
The country itself is a standing miracle perpetually before my eyes, which loses none of its power to excite my wonder by losing its novelty. It is impossible to give any good reason for it, but I cannot entirely divest myself of a sensation of insecurity, whenever I recollect that I am living many feet below the surface of the sea, and protected from its inundation only by works of human invention and strength, which in other cases avail so little against the power of the element. When, on entering Amsterdam, I passed over the narrow neck that unites it to the mainland, and saw the sea chafing against the shores on each side of me, much higher than the road on which I was travelling, I could not help feeling something as a French gentleman did, who, after receiving an invitation to dine in Amsterdam, had occasion to pass over the isthmus on a stormy day, when the ocean was rather more violent than it commonly is, and, instead of returning to observe his engagement, hastened to the Hague, and sent back, for an excuse, that he had seen the water breaking over the dike, and was sure that Amsterdam could not exist two days longer; and yet nothing can be more absurd, though I am sure nothing can be more natural, than these feelings and fears. . . . .From Amsterdam he proceeded directly to Gottingen, where he arrived on the 4th of August.