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o bed. . .. . What has struck me most today in Miss Edgeworth herself, is her uncommon quickness of perception, her fertility of allusion, and the great resources of fact which a remarkable memory supplies to her, combined into a whole which I can call nothing else but extraordinary vivacity. She certainly talks quite as well as Lady Delacour or Lady Davenant, and much in the style of both of them, though more in that of Lady Davenant. . . . August 22.—It has been a rainy day to-day, the first, properly so, that we have had since we left Liverpool, nearly two months ago. I was heartily glad of it, for it prevented all talk of driving into a country essentially flat and uninteresting, and kept us in the most interesting and agreeable society. We did not really separate during the whole day, from breakfast, at nine, until bedtime, half after eleven. The whole time was passed in the library, except the breakfast, which was protracted to an hour's length by sitting round the table;
eptember, Mr. Ticknor reached Wentworth House, Lord Fitzwilliam's princely establishment, and there four days were filled with rich and varied interest, and with the most true and delightful hospitality. Journal. Sunday, September 27.—After breakfast—which was rather late, and over which we lounged a good while—Lord Fitzwilliam asked who would drive to church; all but two of the ladies declined. It seems to be the custom of the house to employ the carriages as little as possible on Sundays, so that we made a formidable procession, the children and all constituting about twenty. Those of the tenantry who were in the churchyard-perhaps a dozen—drew up to the path and took off their hats as Lord Fitzwilliam passed in. . . . . The church is small, very old, and has nothing curious about it but a few old monuments, especially one to Lord Strafford's father and one to himself, all quite rude. He was the last distinguished person buried here; his son, with the Rockinghams, Fitzwi
August 21st (search for this): chapter 22
Chapter 22: Edgeworthtown. English lakes.-York. Doncaster. Wentworth house. Journal. August 21.—We set out pretty early this morning to make a visit, by invitation, to the Edgeworths, at Edgeworthtown, sixty-five English miles from Dublin. . . . The whole country we passed through was like a succession of prairies, so little inequality was there in the surface, and it was only at rare intervals we even saw any tolerably sized hills in the horizon. Nor were the objects on the road more various. . . . . The ruins of an old castle of the Leinsters, at Maynooth, two mounds, which were probably burial-places of the aborigines, a good many ruined churches, and a good many villages, some very squalid and wretched, and some as comfortable as the poorer Scotch hamlets, were all we noticed. . . . . At last we approached the house. There was no mistaking it. We had seen none such for a long time. It is spacious, with an ample veranda, and conservatory covering par
August 22nd (search for this): chapter 22
ad tea and coffee, and at half past 10 went to bed. . .. . What has struck me most today in Miss Edgeworth herself, is her uncommon quickness of perception, her fertility of allusion, and the great resources of fact which a remarkable memory supplies to her, combined into a whole which I can call nothing else but extraordinary vivacity. She certainly talks quite as well as Lady Delacour or Lady Davenant, and much in the style of both of them, though more in that of Lady Davenant. . . . August 22.—It has been a rainy day to-day, the first, properly so, that we have had since we left Liverpool, nearly two months ago. I was heartily glad of it, for it prevented all talk of driving into a country essentially flat and uninteresting, and kept us in the most interesting and agreeable society. We did not really separate during the whole day, from breakfast, at nine, until bedtime, half after eleven. The whole time was passed in the library, except the breakfast, which was protracted to
August 23rd (search for this): chapter 22
ough so long a day,—a little fatiguing to her. She was just the same to the last moment,—just as quick in repartee, and just as gay in her allusions and remarks,—but her countenance showed that her physical strength was hardly equal to it. Indeed, she is of a feeble constitution naturally, though for the last two years she has gained strength. It was, therefore, something of a trial to talk so brilliantly and variously as she did, from nine in the morning till past eleven at night. Sunday, August 23.—To-day was more quiet; not less interesting or agreeable than yesterday, but less exciting. We went to church with the family, who all seemed Episcopalians in principle and practice. Miss Edgeworth carried her favorite Prayer-book in a nice case, and knelt and made all the responses very devoutly. The church is small, but neat, and their pew is the place of honor in it, with a canopy and recess as large as any two other pews. . . . . On one side of the altar was a small, plain, o
August 24th (search for this): chapter 22
l showing an admiration for him, and a personal interest in him and his fame, which it was delightful to witness in the only person that could have been fancied his rival. During the evening she was very agreeable, and in the latter part of it very brilliant with repartee, so that we sat late together, not separating until midnight. Everything shows that her mind is as active, and as capable of producing Ennui, or The Absentee, now, as at any previous period. In fact, Helen proves it. August 24.—The house, and many of its arrangements,—the bells, the doors, etc.,—bear witness to that love of mechanical trifling of which Mr. Edgeworth was so often accused. It was only this morning that I fully learnt how to open, shut, and lock our chamber-door; and the dressing-glass, at which I have shaved for three mornings, is somewhat of a mystery to me still. Things are in general very convenient and comfortable through the house, though, as elsewhere in Ireland, there is a want of English<
September 2nd (search for this): chapter 22
rious, too, about our institutions in America, and their effect upon society and character, and made many shrewd as well as kind remarks about us; but is certainly not inclined to augur well of our destinies, for he goes upon the broad principle that the mass of any people cannot be trusted with the powers of government. In this sort of conversation a couple of hours passed very quickly away, and when I rose to leave him he took his staff and walked nearly back to Ambleside with me. September 2.—As it was not convenient for us to go up to Rydal and breakfast with Mr. Wordsworth, he came and breakfasted with us. His talk was like that of last evening, flowing and abundant, with an elevated moral and intellectual tone, and full of a kindliness that was not to be mistaken. We determined to pass the day in an excursion up Coniston Water, generally considered the most beautiful of the lakes, and he said he would go with us,—a great addition to a great pleasure. . . . . To show us th
September 3rd (search for this): chapter 22
teen miles and the visit seemed short, and soon after my return home I rejoined him at Rydal Mount and passed an extremely agreeable evening with him again, which he again ended by accompanying me back to Ambleside by a beautiful moonlight. September 3.—Mrs. Fletcher and her daughter came to breakfast with us; and though she is sixteen years older than she was when I saw her last, she is as interesting as ever, by her talent and enthusiasm. When we drove from Ambleside she accompanied us tocellent, gentle, matronly mother, a group which leaves such a kindly and harmonious impression on the mind as we are always glad to cherish there. . . . Bidding farewell to the Wordsworths and the Fletchers, we drove on to Keswick. Keswick, September 3.—We came here by invitation to pass the evening with Southey, but we accepted the invitation with some hesitation, for Mrs. Southey has been several months hopelessly deranged, and is supposed now to be sinking away. . .. . He received us very
September 6th (search for this): chapter 22
rth, though perhaps more excited. He says, however, that Ireland will not be tranquillized without bloodshed, admits that Sir Robert Peel is not a great man, and that England is now desperately in want of really great minds to manage its affairs. His conversation was very various, sometimes quite remarkable, but never rich or copious like Wordsworth's, and never humorous or witty. It was rather abundant in matters of fact, and often in that way quite striking and effective. . . . York, September 6.—We arrived here early, and established ourselves in the narrow, but neat and comfortable lodgings which we had previously secured for the Musical Festival week. The city, though old, seemed beautifully clean; and the streets, though close and dark, were filled with crowds of well-dressed people, many of whom, like ourselves, had been attracted by the great occasion. . . . In the latter part of the evening, the moon being at its full and very brilliant, we walked quite round the magnific
September 7th (search for this): chapter 22
though close and dark, were filled with crowds of well-dressed people, many of whom, like ourselves, had been attracted by the great occasion. . . . In the latter part of the evening, the moon being at its full and very brilliant, we walked quite round the magnificent minster, enjoying the effect of its glorious Gothic architecture by the light in which it can be most appropriately seen. It was very beautiful and very solemn, especially when viewed from near the gates of the Residence. September 7.—I met, this morning, Mr. William Vernon Harcourt, with whom I dined at Lord Mulgrave's in Dublin. He is the son of the Archbishop of York, first Residentiary Canon of the minster, and the most active and efficient manager of the Festival. . .. . The first instance of his kind attention was to give us the means of going to the garden of the Museum this morning, when the Duchess of Kent and the Princess Victoria were received there. . . . . September 8.—The first great day of the Festival
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