Chapter 12: Dred, 1856.
- Second visit to England. -- a glimpse at the queen. -- the Duke of Argyll and inverary. -- early correspondence with Lady Byron. -- Dunrobin Castle and its inmates. -- a visit to Stoke Park. -- Lord Dufferin. -- Charles Kingsley at home. -- Paris revisited. -- Madame Mohl's receptions.
After reaching England, about the middle of August, 1856, Mrs. Stowe and her husband spent some days in London completing arrangements to have an English edition of “Dred” published by Sampson Low & Co. Professor Stowe's duties in America being very pressing, he had intended returning at once, but was detained for a short time, as will be seen in the following letter written by him from Glasgow, August 29, to a friend in America:--
After her husband's departure for the United States, Mrs. Stowe, with her son Henry, her two eldest daughters, and her sister Mary (Mrs. Perkins), accepted the Duke of Argyll's invitation to visit the Highlands. Of this visit we catch a pleasant glimpse from a letter written to Professor Stowe during its continuance, which is as follows:--
 From Dunrobin Castle one of his daughters writes to Professor Stowe:
We spent five most delightful days at Inverary, and were so sorry you could not be there with us. From there we went to Oban, and spent several days sight-seeing, finally reaching Inverness by way of the Caledonian Canal. Here, to our surprise, we found our rooms at the hotel all prepared for us. The next morning we left by post for Dunrobin, which is fifty-nine miles from Inverness. At the borders of the duke's estate we found a delightfully comfortable carriage awaiting us, and before we had gone much farther the postilion announced that the duchess was coming to meet us. Sure enough, as we looked up the road we saw a fine cavalcade approaching. It consisted of a splendid coach-and-four (in which sat the duchess) with liveried postilions, and a number of outriders, one of whom rode in front to clear the way. The duchess seemed perfectly delighted to see mamma, and taking her into her own carriage dashed off towards the castle, we following on behind.At Dunrobin Mrs. Stowe found awaiting her the following note from her friend, Lady Byron:--
From this pleasant abiding-place Mrs. Stowe writes to her husband:--
Henry Stowe returned to America in October to enter Dartmouth College, while the rest of the party pursued their way southward, as will be seen by the following letters:--
 After leaving York, Mrs. Stowe and her party spent a day or two at Carlton Rectory, on the edge of Sherwood Forest, in which they enjoyed a most delightful picnic. From there they were to travel to London by way of Warwick and Oxford, and of this journey Mrs. Stowe writes as follows to her son Henry--
The next morning we were induced to send our things to London, being assured by Mr. G. that he would dispatch them immediately with some things of his own that were going, and that they should certainly await us upon our arrival. In one respect it was well for us that we thus rid ourselves of the trouble of looking after them, for I never saw such blind, confusing arrangements as these English railroads have. When we were set down at the place where we were to change for Warwick, we were informed that probably the train had gone. At any rate it could only be found on the other side of the station. You might naturally think we had nothing to do but walk across to the other side. No, indeed! We had to ascend a flight of stairs, go through a sort of tubular bridge, and down another pair of stairs. When we got there the guard said the train was just about to start, and yet the ticket office was closed. We tried the door in vain. “You must hurry,” said the guard. “ How can we?” said I, “ when we can't get tickets.” He went and thumped, and at last roused the dormant intelligence inside. We got our tickets, ran for dear life, got in, and then waited ten minutes! Arrived at Warwick we had a very charming time, and after seeing all there was to see we took cars for Oxford. The next day we tried to see Oxford. You can  have no idea of it. Call it a college! it is a city of colleges,--a mountain of museums, colleges, halls, courts, parks, chapels, lecture-rooms. Out of twentyfour colleges we saw only three. We saw enough, however, to show us that to explore the colleges of Oxford would take a week. Then we came away, and about eleven o'clock at night found ourselves in London. It was dripping and raining here, for all the world, just as it did when we left; but we found a cosy little parlor, papered with cheerful crimson paper, lighted by a coal-fire, a neat little supper laid out, and the Misses Low waiting for us. Was n't it nice? We are expecting our baggage to-night. Called at Sampson Low's store to-day and found it full everywhere of red “ Dreds.”Upon reaching London Mrs. Stowe found the following note from Lady Byron awaiting her:--
To this note the following answer was promptly returned:--
Having dispatched this note, Mrs. Stowe wrote to her husband concerning their surroundings and plans as follows:--
After filling a number of other pleasant engagements in England, among which was a visit in the family of Charles Kingsley, Mrs. Stowe and her party crossed the Channel and settled down for some months in Paris for the express purpose of studying French. From the French capital she writes to her husband in Andover as follows:
Under date of December 28, Mrs. Perkins writes:
On Sunday we went with Mr. and Mrs. (Jacob) Abbott to the Hotel des Invalides, and I think I was never more interested and affected. Three or four thousand old and disabled soldiers have here a beautiful and comfortable home. We went to the morning service. The church is very large, and the colors taken in battle are hung on the walls. Some of them are so old as to be moth-eaten. The service is performed, as near as possible, in imitation of the service before a battle. The drum beats the call to assemble, and the common soldiers march up and station themselves in the centre of the church, under the commander. All the services are regulated by the beat of the drum. Only one priest officiates, and soldiers are stationed around to protect him. The music is from a brass band, and is very magnificent. In the afternoon I went to vespers in the Madeleine,  where the music was exquisite. They have two fine organs at opposite ends of the church. The Adeste Fidelis was sung by a single voice, accompanied by the organ, and after every verse it was taken up by male voices and the other organ and repeated. The effect was wonderfully fine. I have always found in our small churches at home that the organ was too powerful and pained my head, but in these large cathedrals the effect is different. The volume of sound rolls over, full but soft, and I feel as though it must come from another sphere. In the evening Mr. and Mrs. Bunsen called. He is a son of Chevalier Bunsen, and she a niece of Elizabeth Fry,--very intelligent and agreeable people.Under date of January 25, Mrs. Stowe writes from Paris-
Here is a story for Charley. The boys in the Faubourg St. Antoine are the children of ouvriers, and every day their mothers give them two sous to buy a dinner. When they heard I was coming to the school, of their own accord they subscribed half their dinner money to give to me for the poor slaves. This fivefranc piece I have now; I have bought it of the cause for five dollars, and am going to make a hole in it and hang it round Charley's neck as a medal. I have just completed arrangements for leaving the girls at a Protestant boarding-school while I go to Rome. We expect to start the 1st of February, and my direction will be, E. Bartholimeu, 108 Via Margaretta.