, December 10, 1818
, to January 12, 1819
—The dinner-hour at Paris
is six o'clock or half past 6. I always dined in company, generally either at Count Pastoret
's, at the Duc de Duras
', at the Count de Ste. Aulaire
's, or, if I had no special engagement, at the Duc de Broglie
's, on whose table I always had a plate.
Dinner is not so solemn an affair at Paris
as it is almost everywhere else.
It is soon over, you come out into the salon, take coffee and talk, and by nine o'clock you separate.
Half an hour later the soirees
They are the most rational form of society I have yet seen, but are here pushed to excess.
Those who are known and distinguished so much as to be able to draw a circle about them, take one or two evenings in each week and stay at home to receive, with very little ceremony, all whom they choose to invite to visit them.
There are, therefore, a great number of these parties, and often, of course, several fall on the same night.
A person who has an extensive acquaintance will make several visits of this sort every evening,. . . . and that he is in fact obliged to do it is its only objection; for if it were possible to take just as much of it as you like and no more, I do not know that a system of social intercourse could be carried to greater perfection than this is in France
. . . . . You come in without ceremony, talk as long as you find persons you like, and go away without taking leave, to repeat the same process in another salon. . . . . The company is very various, but it should be remembered, to the credit of French manners, that men of letters are much sought in it. I was never anywhere that I did not meet them, and under circumstances where nothing but their literary merit could have given them a place. . . . . All, however, is not on the bright side. . . . Almost everybody who comes to these salons comes to say a few brilliant things, get a reputation for esprit
,—the god who serves for Penates
in French houses,—and then hasten away to another coterie to produce the same effect.
This is certainly the general tone of these societies; it is brilliant, graceful, superficial, and hollow. . . . .
I had a specimen of the varieties of French society, and at a very curious and interesting moment, for it was just as the revolution took place in the Ministry, by which the Duke de Richelieu
was turned out, and Count Decazes
put in. . . . . The most genuine and unmingled ultra society I met, was at the Marchioness de Louvois
'. She is an old lady of sixty-five, who emigrated in 1789,
and returned in 1814; and her brother, the present Bishop
, who was then French Minister at Venice
, retreated at the same time to the upper part of Germany
, and continued an exile as long as the family he served.
I never went there that the old lady did not read me a good lecture about republicanism; and if it had not been for the mild, equal good sense of the Bishop
, I should certainly have suffered a little in my temper from her attacks, supported by a corps of petits Marquis
de l'ancien regime, who were always of her coterie. . . .
The Duchess de Duras
' society was ultra too, but ultra of a very different sort.
It was composed of much that is distinguished in the present management of affairs, to which she has been able to add many men of letters without distinction of party.
This is the result of her personal character.
She is now about thirty-eight years old, not beautiful, but with a striking and animated physiognomy, elegant manners, and a power in conversation which has no rival in France
since the death of Mad. de Stael
Her natural talents are of a high order, and she has read a great deal; but it is her enthusiasm, her simplicity and earnestness, and the graceful contributions she levies upon her knowledge to give effect to her conversation, that impart to it the peculiar charm which I have seen operate like a spell, on characters as different as those of Chateaubriand
, and Talleyrand
I liked her very much, and went to her hotel often, in fact sometimes every day. On Sundays I dined there.
, and Alexis de Noailles
were more than once of the party; and the conversation was amusing, and once extremely interesting, from the agony of political feeling, just at the moment when the king deserted them, and gave himself up to Mons. Decazes
On Tuesday night she received at home, and all the world came,. . . . and I think, except the politics, it was as interesting a society as could well be collected.
On Saturday night, as wife of the first Gentleman of the Bedchamber, she went to the Tuileries and received there, or, as it is technically called, did the honors of the Palace. . . . . I think I have never seen the honors of a large circle done with such elegance and grace, with such kind and attentive politeness, as Mad. de Duras
used to show in this brilliant assembly.
But it was neither in the Court
circle at the Tuileries, nor in her own salon on Tuesdays, nor even at her Sunday dinners, that Mad. de Duras
was to be seen in the character which those who most like and best understand her thought the most interesting.
Once when I dined with her entirely alone, except her youngest daughter, and
once when nobody but De Humboldt
was there, I was positively bewitched with her conversation.
One evening she made a delightful party for the Duchess
, of only five or six persons, —my old friend the Viscount de Senonnes
, and two or three ladies; and Chateaubriand
read a little romance on the Zegri and Abencerrages of Granada
, full of descriptions glowing with poetry, like those of the environs of Naples
in ‘The Martyrs.’. . . . Between four and six o'clock every day her door was open to a few persons, and this was the time all most liked to see her4
. . . .
The Countess Pastoret
's was, too, an ultra house, for her husband is entirely of the Bourbon party, and takes a good deal of interest in politics; but, in general, the political tone did not prevail, for he is a member of the Institute
, and a man of considerable learning. . . . Mad. de Pastoret
asked me to three little dinners, and once, when Camille Jourdain
, and La Place were there.
These parties were extremely simple, rational, and pleasant.
This, in fact, is exactly Mad. de Pastoret
She has natural talent, and has cultivated herself highly. . . . I have seldom seen a better balanced mind, or feelings more justly regulated. . . . I have talked with many persons who have passed through the horrors of the Revolution, but no descriptions I have received have produced such an effect on my feelings, as those given by Mad. de Pastoret
's simple and unpretending, but touching eloquence.
It reminded me of La Roche Jacquelin. . . . . Since the death of her son, Mad. de Pastoret
has never been into the world, and therefore is at home every evening, and sees only those who will not exact a formal return of visit for visit.
Among those who came there most frequently was the old Due de Crillon
, the representative of Henry IV.'s Crillon
,. . . . and such men as Cuvier
and La Place, who, like Count Pastoret
himself, belong, by their age and character, to an elder state of society, and by their political situation take a deep interest in the affairs of the day.
One of the stories that Mad. de Pastoret
told me was indeed touching5
. . . . . During the worst period of the Revolution, she livedas she did when I knew her, and I believe as she always did—in a luxurious hotel on the Place
She was, in fact, for some
time confined there,—with the guillotine in the middle of it,—and not allowed to go out of her house, any more than the rest of her family, who were all royalists.
Suddenly, her husband was arrested and imprisoned.
The front of the house was entirely closed up, and light, and, as far as possible, sound, were excluded.
But there was no room to which the grating, rattling sound of the axe, as it fell, did not more or less penetrate, or where the shouts of the cruel multitude were not heard, as, now and then, though rarely, they expressed their triumphant satisfaction at the death of some peculiarly obnoxious victim.
The dreadful thing to Mad. de Pastoret
was that, being unable to get any information whatever concerning her husband, the axe never fell but she asked herself whether it might not have been for him. On one occasion she obtained special permission to go out, under surveillance, and she employed it to visit the foreign ministers, —some of whom she knew,—and obtain their intercession for her husband.
The person who received her with the most kindness was the American Minister
, Mr. Morris
. Mons. Pastoret
afterwards escaped from France
, and was for some time in exile.
He has since been Chancellor
, and has published law-books of great merit.
The Countess de Ste. Aulaire
's salon was the place of meeting for the Doctrinaires, Decazes
' party, which triumphed while I was in Paris
, and to whose triumph Mad. de Ste. Aulaire
contributed not a little.
She is a beautiful woman, with an elegant mind, and much practical talent; and her husband, a relation of Decazes
, is one of the powerful men of their party, and a leading member in the Chamber of Deputies
Their house used to be called ‘the Ministry,’ and Mad. de Ste. Aulaire
's parties, ‘the ministerial parties’; for Decazes
came occasionally, and Barante
, etc., were there nearly every Tuesday night; and as this convocation happened on one of the evenings of Mad. de Duras
', I two or three times witnessed singular contrasts on going from one to the other, just as the great question of the change of Ministry, which lasted above a fortnight, was in the agony of agitation. . . . .
The Princess Aldobrandini6
was at home every night.
She is not as beautiful as she was when I knew her in Italy
, but she has lost none of her vivacity, and talks still as fast as ever.
A good many Italians came to her hotel, and among them my old friend, Count Confalonieri
; but the old Duc de la Rochefoucauld
, her grandfather, was the most amusing and interesting of all the persons I met there.
It is the same who was in America
, and he still retains
the hardy, vigorous, independent mind that must always have distinguished one who has passed without loss of honor through so many revolutions, and is still as good-humored and kind as all his friends have uniformly found him. . . . .
The Duchess de Grammont
had a soiree
for the Liberals every Saturday night, to which I always went before going to the Tuileries, in order to see and hear both sides together.
The persons who came to it were merely a part of those who went to Mad. de Broglie
's, and it was generally rather dull. . . .
I went more frequently to the Duchess de Broglie
's than anywhere else.
She has the same tender, affectionate character she had when I saw her watching over her mother's failing health, the same openhearted frankness, and the same fearless independence of the world and its fashions, that has always distinguished her. . . . . I have seldom seen any one with deeper and more sincere feelings of tenderness and affection, and never a Frenchwoman with so strong religious feelings; and when to this is added great simplicity and frankness, not a little personal beauty, and an independent, original way of thinking, I have described one who would produce a considerable effect in any society.
In her own she is sincerely loved and admired. . . . .
These were the houses to which I went most frequently, and the persons I best knew at Paris
, excepting my countrymen. . . . . Humboldt
, I think, I saw, either by accident or otherwise, nearly every day, and of all the men I have known, he is, in some respects, the most remarkable; the man on whom talent and knowledge have produced their best and most generous effects. . . . .
The last day I was in Paris
, Mad. de Broglie
made a little dinner-party for me, to which she asked Humboldt
, De Pradt
, and two or three other persons, whom I was very glad to see before leaving Paris
It happened too to be Monday night, and therefore I passed the remainder of the evening in her salon, upon which my latest recollections of Paris
rest, for I left her hotel about one o'clock, and a very short time afterwards was on the road to Calais
On the 18th of January, 1819, I came to London
], by the way of Canterbury
, getting thus a view of the agricultural prospects in the county of Kent
, and struck for the third time with the bustle which, from so far, announces the traveller's approach to the largest and most active capital in Europe
. . . . .
I went to see the kind and respectable Sir Joseph Banks
several times, and renewed my acquaintance with the Marquess of Lansdowne, passed a night with my excellent friend Mr. Vaughan
, etc. . . . . I found here, too, Count Funchal
,. . . . and was very glad to know more of Count Palmella
, whom I had known a little at the Marquis
's, and who is certainly an accomplished gentleman and
scholar, as well as a statesman.12
I have met few men in Europe
who have so satisfied my expectations as this extraordinary young man, who, at the age of about thirty, has thus risen to the height of power, in one of the most despotic governments in the world, by the mere force of talent, without friends or intrigue.
I dined with him twice, once quite alone, and was struck with his various, original, and graceful style of conversation.
I have now become so weary with the perpetual change of acquaintance, that I generally seek, wherever I go, to make myself, as familiar as I can in one house, at the expense of all others. . . . . The one to which I went the most frequently in London
, and where I spent a part of many evenings, was Lord Holland's,13
and certainly, for an elegant literary society, I have seen nothing better in Europe
Lord Holland himself is a good scholar, and a pleasant man in conversation; Sir James Mackintosh
was staying in his house, Sydney Smith
came there very often, and Heber
, Lord Lansdowne, Lord Lauderdale, Lord Auckland, Lord John Russell
, etc., and I do not well know how dinners and evenings could be more pleasant.
There was no alloy but Lady Holland
, whom I did not like,. . . . but I should have been very foolish if I had suffered this to prevent my enjoyment, when to avoid it I had only to talk to some one else14
. Lord Holland is an open-hearted gentleman, kind, simple, and hospitable, a scholar with few prejudices, and making no pretensions, either on the score of his rank, his fortune, his family, his culture, or anything else.
I never met a man who so disarms opposition in discussion, as I have often seen him, without yielding an iota, merely by the unpretending simplicity and sincerity of his manner.
He is said to resemble Mr. Fox
in his face, and certainly is like Mr. Fox
's busts; but I should think there was more mildness in his physiognomy than I can find in Mr. Fox
Sir James Mackintosh
is a little too precise, a little too much made up in his manners and conversation, but is at the same time very exact, definite, and logical in what he says, and, I am satisfied, seldom has occasion to regret a mistake or an error, where a matter of principle or reasoning is concerned, though, as he is a little given to affect universal learning, he may sometimes make a mistake in matters of fact.
As a part of a considerable literary society, however, he discourses most eloquent music, and in private, where I also saw him several times, he is mild, gentle, and entertaining.
But he is seen to greatest advantage, and in all his strength, only in serious discussion, to which he brings great disciplined acuteness and a fluent eloquence, which few may venture to oppose, and which still fewer can effectually resist.
, who is a kind of secretary to Lord Holland, and has lived in his family many years, is a different man. He has a great deal of talent, and has written much and well, in the ‘Edinburgh Review
’; he has strong feelings and great independence of character, which make him sometimes oppose and answer Lady Holland
in a curious manner.
He has many prejudices, most of them subdued with difficulty, by his weight of talent and his strong will, but many still remaining, and, finally, warm, sincere feelings, and an earnest desire to serve those he likes.
Sir James Mackintosh
said of him to me, that, considering the extent of his knowledge, he had never known anybody in whom it was so accurate and sure; and though there is something of the partiality of an old friendship in the remark, there is truth in it, as the ‘Review of Hallam
's Middle Ages
’ and many others will prove.
, however, was not a man to contribute a great deal to such general conversation as that at Lord Holland's. It was necessary to sit down alone with him in a corner, or on a sofa, and then his conversation was very various and powerful, and showed that he had thought deeply, and made up his mind decisively, upon a great many subjects.
, who then happened to be in London
, was in one respect the soul of the society.
I never saw a man so formed to float down the stream of conversation, and, without seeming to have any direct influence upon it, to give it his own hue and charm.
He is about fifty, corpulent, but not gross, with a great fund of good-nature, and would be thought by a person who saw him only once, and transiently, merely a gay, easy gentleman, careless of everything but the pleasures of conversation and society.
This would be a great injustice to him, and one that offends him, I am told; for, notwithstanding
the easy grace and light playfulness of his wit, which comes forth with unexhausted and inexhaustible facility, and reminded me continually of the phosphoric brilliancy of the ocean, which sparkles more brightly in proportion as the force opposed to it is greater, yet he is a man of much culture, with plain good-sense, a sound, discreet judgment, and remarkably just and accurate habits of reasoning, and values himself upon these, as well as on his admirable humor.
This is an union of opposite qualities, such as nature usually delights to hold asunder, and such as makes him, whether in company or alone, an irresistibly amusing companion; for, while his humor gives such grace to his argument that it comes with the charm of wit, and his wit is so appropriate that its sallies are often logic in masquerade, his good-sense and good-nature are so prevalent that he never, or rarely, offends against the proprieties of life or society, and never says anything that he or anybody else need to regret afterwards.
, whom I knew in society, and from seeing him both at his chambers and at my own lodgings, is now about thirty-eight, tall, thin, and rather awkward, with a plain and not very expressive countenance, and simple or even slovenly manners.
He is evidently nervous, and a slight convulsive movement about the muscles of his lips gives him an unpleasant expression now and then.
In short, all that is exterior in him, and all that goes to make up the first impression, is unfavorable.
The first thing that removes this impression is the heartiness and good — will he shows you, whose motive cannot be mistaken, for such kindness can come only from the heart.
This is the first thing, but a stranger presently begins to remark his conversation.
On common topics, nobody is more commonplace.
He does not feel them, but if the subject excites him, there is an air of originality in his remarks, which, if it convinces you of nothing else, convinces you that you are talking with an extraordinary man. He does not like to join in a general conversation, but prefers to talk apart with only two or three persons, and, though with great interest and zeal, in an undertone.
If, however, he does launch into it, all the little, trim, gay pleasure-boats must keep well out of the way of his great black collier, as Gibbon
said of Fox
. He listens carefully and fairly—and with a kindness that would be provoking, if it were not genuine—to all his adversary has to say, but when his time comes to answer, it is with that bare, bold, bullion talent which either crushes itself or its opponent. . . . . Yet I suspect the impression Brougham
generally leaves is that of a good-natured friend.
At least, that is the impression I have most frequently found, both in England
and on the Continent.
is an elegant gentleman, a kind of literary, amateur Maecenas
, with a very fine and curious library; in short, a man in whom a gentlemanly air prevails, both in his manners, accomplishments, talents, and knowledge, all of which may be considered remarkable.
is a slovenly fellow.
His remarks on Homer
, in the ‘Classical Journal,’ prove how fine a Greek scholar he is; his ‘Quarterly Reviews,’ how well he writes; his ‘Rovers, or The Double Arrangement,’ what humor he possesses; and the reputation he has left in Spain
, how much better he understood their literatures than they do themselves: while, at the same time, his books left in France
, in Gallicia, at Lisbon
, and two or three places in England
; his manuscripts, neglected and lost to himself; his manners, lazy and careless; and his conversation, equally rich and negligent, show how little he cares about all that distinguishes him in the eyes of the world.
He studies as a luxury, he writes as an amusement, and conversation is a kind of sensual enjoyment to him. If he had been born in Asia
, he would have been the laziest man that ever lived. . . . .
There were of course more who came there, the Ordes, Bennett
, Lord William Russell
, etc., etc., besides Counts Palmella
; but those I have described, and who were there often, constituted the proper society at Lord Holland's, and gave it that tone of culture, wit, and good talk without pretension, which make it, as an elegant society, the best I have seen in Europe
It was in this society I spent all the leisure time I had while I was in London
Two days I passed very pleasantly at the Marquess of Salisbury
's. He lives at Hatfield
, Herts., in a fine establishment, once a residence of James I., and built by him; though a part of it is older, and contains the room where Elizabeth was imprisoned by her sister Mary, and wrote the verses that still remain to us. It is surrounded by a large park, full of venerable oaks, and is a kind of old baronial seat, which well suits with the species of hospitality exercised there.
The long gallery is a grand, solemn hall, which, with its ornaments, carries the imagination at once back to the period when it was built; and King James's room, an enormous saloon, fitted up with grave magnificence, is said to be one of the most remarkable rooms in England
. . . . . I arrived late in the afternoon,. . . . and, while I was dressing, a large party of gentlemen that had been out hunting passed under my windows, on their return to the hall, with all the uproar and exultation of success. . . . .
We sat down to dinner about thirty strong.
The conversation was chiefly political and high ministerial, but the young gentlemen talked a good deal about the day's sport, which, just at this moment, when the shooting season is closing, is a matter of importance. . . . . As we returned to the saloon, we found a band of music playing in the long gallery, which we were obliged to traverse in its whole length.
After coffee and tea had been served, the party was a little increased by visitors from the neighborhood, and for those who were disposed to dance there was the long gallery and music, but no ceremony. . . . .
The marquess is seventy years old,16
but well preserved, and a specimen of the gentlemen of the last generation, with elegant, easy manners, and a proud, graceful courtesy.
is but little younger, yet able to ride on horseback every day, and even to join occasionally in the chase. . . . . I became, of course, acquainted with most of the persons there; but those that interested and pleased me most were the Marchioness of Downshire
and her two daughters, the Ladies Hill
, beautiful girls and much accomplished, with whom I danced all the evening.
I know not when I have enjoyed myself in the same way so much and so simply. . . . .
[The next morning] Lord Cranbourne17
took me out and showed me the antiquities of the house and the beauties of the place.
We rode about the fine park, stopped a little to see a shooting battue that was going on, went over the farming arrangements, etc., all marked with that extensive completeness and finish which it is seldom wrong to presuppose when an English nobleman's seat is concerned. . . . .
On returning to the saloon [after dinner of the second day], we found that a great deal of company had come, and in the course of an hour, the nobility and gentry of the county were collected there.
It was, in fact, an annual ball that Lady Salisbury
, who loves old fashions, gives every winter, in compliance with ancient usage, to the respectable families in the county, besides being at home, as it is called, one evening in every week to any who are disposed to come and dance without show or ceremony. . . . . The evening to me was delightful.
I liked this sort of hospitality, which is made to embrace a whole county.
The next morning I came back to London
,. . . . and the following day early set off for the North
I went, however, at first, no farther than Bedfordshire
, where I passed three days at the splendid seat of the Duke
The entrance to Woburn Abbey
is by a Roman gateway opening into the
park, through which you are conducted, by an avenue of venerable elms, through fine varieties of hill and dale, woodland and pasture, and by the side of streamlets and little lakes, above three miles. . . . . I arrived late in the afternoon. . . . . At half past 6 Lord John Russell
, who had just returned from shooting, made me a visit, and carried me to the saloon and introduced me to his father and family.
I was received with an English welcome, and a few minutes afterwards we sat down to table.
There were about twenty guests at the Abbey, the Marquess and Marchioness of Woodstock
and Countess Jersey
, Earl Spencer,18
Marquess Tavistock, Lord
and Lady Ebrington
and Lady William Russell
, Mr. Adair
, etc. The dinner was pleasant,—at least it was so to me,—for I conversed the whole time with Mr. Adair
formerly the British Minister
, and a man of much culture, and Lady Jersey
, a beautiful creature with a great deal of talent, taste, and elegant knowledge, whom I knew a little on the Continent. . . . .
In the evening the party returned to the great saloon, called the Hall
of State, and every one amused himself as he chose, either at cards, in listening to music, or in conversation, though several deserted to the billiard-room.
For myself, I found amusement enough in talking with Lady Jersey
, or Lord John Russell
, or the old and excellent Earl Spencer, but I think the majority was rather captivated with Lady Ebrington
's music. . . . .
The next morning, at ten o'clock, found us mustered in the breakfast-room.
It was a day of no common import at a nobleman's countryseat, for it was the last of the shooting season.
was anxious to have a quantity of game killed that should maintain the reputation of the Abbey, for the first sporting-ground in Great Britain
; and therefore solemn preparations were made to have a grand battue of the park, for it was intended, in order to give more reputation to the day's success, that nothing should be shot out of it; nor, indeed, was there any great need of extending the limit, for the park is twelve miles in circumference.
, Lord John, and myself declined, as no sportsmen, and so the number was reduced to eleven, of whom seven were excellent shots.
The first gun was fired a little before twelve, the last at half past 5; and when, after the dinner-cloth was removed in the evening, the game-keeper appeared, dressed in all his paraphernalia, and rendered in his account, it was found that four hundred and four hares, partridges, and pheasants had been killed, of which more
than half were pheasants.
The person who killed the most was Lord Spencer, though the oldest man there.
This success, of course, gave great spirits to the party at dinner, a good deal of wine was consumed, —though nobody showed any disposition to drink to excess,—and the evening passed off very pleasantly.
It was certainly as splendid a specimen as I could have hoped to see, of what is to be considered peculiarly English in the life of a British nobleman of the first class at his country-seat.
I enjoyed it highly.
The next day was much more quiet.
Several of the party went to town, and, though Lord Auckland and one or two others came down to the Abbey, the number was seriously diminished.
I had the more time and opportunity to see the establishment and become acquainted with its inhabitants.
Considered as a whole, Woburn Abbey
is sometimes called the finest estate in England
As I went over it, I thought I should never find an end to all its arrangements and divisions.
Within—besides the mere house, which is the largest and most splendid I have seen—is the picture-gallery, containing about two hundred pieces, many of which, of the Spanish
schools, are of great merit; and the library, which is a magnificent collection of splendid books, composed of beautiful editions of the best authors, in all languages, besides a mass of engravings and maps.
I could have occupied myself in these apartments for a month.
Outside, there are the aviary, fish-ponds, greenhouses, the gardens, tennis-court, riding-school, etc., and a gallery containing a few antiques that are curious, especially the immense Lanti vase, which has been much talked about, and well deserves it. . . . .
is now about fifty-five, a plain, unpretending man in his manner, reserved in society, but talking well when alone, and respectable in debate in the House of Peers
; a great admirer of the fine arts, which he patronizes liberally; and, finally, one of the best farmers in England
, and one of those who have most improved the condition of their estates by scientific and careful cultivation. . . . . Lord John is a young man of a good deal of literary knowledge and taste, from whose acquaintance I have had much pleasure.20
On the 4th February I left the hospitality, kindness, and quiet enjoyment of Woburn Abbey
, and went over to Cambridge
. . . . . Of the society at Cambridge
I had a pretty fair specimen, I imagine, though I passed only three days there.
The first afternoon, on my arrival, I went to young Craufurd
's, son of Sir James, whom I knew in Italy
He had just taken his degree, and is to receive a fellowship
's in a few days, so that he is rather more than a fair specimen of their manners and learning.
I dined with him in their hall, and passed the evening with him at his room, in one of those little parties the young men make up, to drink wine and have a dessert after dinner.
Those I met with him were clearly above the common level, as I knew he himself was; but still, admitting them to be among the best, I was struck with the good tone that prevailed among them, their sensible and sometimes acute conversation, and their easy, gentlemanly manners.
I must, too, add, that, although I saw others of his acquaintance at breakfast the next morning, and occasionally met students elsewhere, I did not find any material difference. . . . .
The second day I was in Cambridge
I passed entirely with Professor Monk
who went round with me all the morning, to show me the buildings and curiosities of the place. . . . . There was much pleasure in this, and I was rather sorry when dinner-time came, which is a pretty formidable thing in Cambridge
I dined to-day in the great dinner-hall of Trinity, with Professor Monk
and the Fellows and Professors attached to that college.
We were at a separate table with the Gentlemen Commoners
, and fared very well.
The mass of students was below, and a slight distinction was made in their food.
I met here the Vice-Master
, Renouard, Sedgwick
, Judgson; the Dean
, Dobree, Monk
's rival in Greek
; and, after dinner, went to the Combination Room
, where much wine was drunk, much talk carried on. The tone of this society was certainly stiff and pedantic, and a good deal of little jealousy was apparent, in the manner in which they spoke of persons with whom they or their college or their university had come into collision. . . . . I ought to add, that we passed the evening at Mr. Sedgwick
's rooms, where there were only a few persons from several different colleges, among whom better manners and a finer tact in conversation prevailed. . . . .
and Dr. Clarke
were not in Cambridge
One person, however, I knew there, who was both a scholar and an accomplished gentleman, Dr. Davy
of Caius, to whom Lord Holland gave me letters, and from whom I received a great deal of kindness.
I breakfasted with him alone, and enjoyed the variety of his conversation, always nourished with good learning, but never hardened with pedantry. . . . In the afternoon he carried me to dine with a club which originated in attachment to the fallen Stuarts
, and was therefore called ‘The Family,’ but has long since become a mere dinner-party every fortnight.
Six of the fourteen Masters were there, Smyth
of Modern History, and two or three other professors.
I was amused with the severity of their adherence to ancient customs and manners, and was somewhat surprised to find pipes introduced after dinner, not so much because smoking was liked, as because it was ancient in the usages of the club. . . .
My journey to the North
was a journey of speed, and, of course, I saw little and enjoyed less. . . . . Two or three points and moments, however, I shall not easily forget.
The first was York
I arrived there on Sunday morning, and remained until the next day, but I passed the greater part of my time in its grand Gothic cathedral.
It is one of those great monuments of the ponderous power of the clergy of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries which are scattered all over Europe
, and whose unfinished magnificence shows how suddenly this power was broken up. York
is as grand and imposing as almost any of them, I think, unless it be that at Seville
, where there is a solemn harmony between the dim light that struggles through its storied windows, the dark, threatening masses of the pile itself, the imposing power of the paintings,. . . . and the deep, wailing echoes of that worship which is to be found and felt, in all its original dignity and power, only beyond the Pyrenees
. . . . Excepting that, I know nothing that goes before York
. . . . .
The next point that surprised me was Newcastle
I merely passed the night there,. . . . but the appearance of the country about it was extraordinary.
At the side of every coal-pit a quantity of the finer parts that are thrown out is perpetually burning, and the effect produced by the earth, thus apparently everywhere on fire, both on the machinery used and the men busied with it, was horrible.
It seemed as if I were in Dante
's shadowy world. . . . .