- Abbotsford. -- Edinburgh. -- Maxwells of Terregles. -- Wordsworth and Southey. -- Manchester. -- Mr.Greg And Mrs. Greg. -- Oxford. -- Althorp. -- London. -- return to America.
 After an excursion as far north as the season allowed, and a visit of one night at Carstairs, on the Clyde, the handsome establishment of Mr. Monteith, the party arrived on the 5th of May at Dumfries, and went the next day to Terregles, the old seat of the Maxwells and Earls of Nithsdale. Here they were expected by Mr.Maxwell and Mrs. Marmaduke Maxwell, old acquaintances of the party at Wighill Park in 1835.
It is one of those ample estates with a large, hospitable, luxurious house upon it, such as abound through the whole island. Its present possessor is Marmaduke Constable Maxwell, and the estate has belonged for four centuries and more to his ancestors, the great Maxwell family, which rose on the fall of the Douglases, and for a long time was the most powerful family in all the South of Scotland. . .—. For a long period they were the proud Earls of Nithsdale, a title which was forfeited, . . . . for adherence to the Stuarts, in 1716. For the last century they have been simply the retired, rich old Catholic family of the Maxwells. When we arrived the brothers8 were at service in their own chapel, and Mrs. Maxwell, who is a Protestant, received us. She is little altered by her change of name and position, and must always be gentle and lady-like. The brothers came soon afterwards,—honest, frank, intelligent men, just in the prime of life,—and with them was Mr. Weld, another rich Catholic, somewhat older, and brother of the late Cardinal Weld. . . . . Nobody else was in the house but Mr. Reed, a Catholic priest. . . . . After a little refreshment we walked out on the lawn and round the park and some of the grounds. The old trees, full of rooks, were witness to the antiquity of the family, while the nice, new stone cottages, which are necessarily rented at a rate that barely pays for their repairs, bore no less witness to the kindliness of its present head. The dinner was in the French style, and very luxurious; after which the brothers, who hold Sunday to be a jour de fete, and are very fond of music, played on a fine organ, and sang glees and airs. . . . May 7.—The first thing this morning, after a luxurious Scotch breakfast, they showed us some of the curiosities of their ancient house. The most interesting, if not the most remarkable, was the cloak with which the last Countess of Nithsdale, in 1715, disguised her husband, and freed him from the Tower. . . . . I inquired about this extraordinary woman, and find they have a good many memorials  and letters of hers, besides the delightful one that records the story of her lord's escape. The other very curious relic they showed us was a prayer-book belonging to Mary Queen of Scots. The family were at all times her faithful adherents, and just before she left Scotland to put herself under the protection of Elizabeth,—which the Maxwells most strenuously resisted,—she stayed a night with them, and in the morning, when she went away, left this prayer-book as a keepsake. Having shown us these and other curiosities, Mrs. Maxwell proposed to take us to their great memorial, the ruins of Carlaverock Castle, the scene of their family's ancient splendor, and not only so, but the scene of Allan Cunningham's Sir Marmaduke Maxwell, and the Ellangowan Castle, of Scott's ‘Guy Mannering.’ We gladly consented, and, driving through Dumfries, went down through a fine country, to the point where the Nith joins the Solway. There we found these grand ruins, standing in the solitude of their neglected old age. The first castle, which was destroyed by fire in the year 1300, has left few or no proper remains; the present widespread ruins belong to the castle that was built immediately afterwards, and which was maintained till it was taken by Cromwell, who could not prevail on the Earl of Nithsdale to surrender, though reduced to great extremity, until he had the written orders of the King to that effect. . . . . The ruins are finely situated, extensive, and picturesque, and were shown to us by an old warder,—maintained there by the Maxwells,—now eighty-three years old, who kept a school in the village fifty-three years, and who, in showing them, repeated long passages from Grose, . . . . besides fragments from Burns, and snatches of old poetry in honor of the castle and the family. . . . .On the 8th of May, arriving at Keswick:—
Southey received us as usual, in his nice and somewhat peculiar library, but seemed more sad, and abstracted even, than he did when we last saw him. One of his daughters only was at home, Bertha, a very pleasing person; and there was, besides, Mrs. Lovell, the sister of his late wife, and a Polish Count, a very intelligent man, who seemed to have travelled everywhere . . . . I talked chiefly with Southey himself, who seemed to like to be apart from those around him, and to talk in a very low, gentle tone of voice. He showed me a curious letter from Brougham, soon after he became Chancellor, asking Southey's advice about encouraging literature by rewards to men of letters; and his answer, saying that all he thought desirable was  a proper copyright law. He showed me, too, some curious books, in which he takes great delight, and with which he has filled his modest house, the bedchambers, staircases, and all. But his interest in all things seems much diminished, and I left him with sad feelings. . . . . May 9.—. . . . We were expected at Wordsworth's, and were most heartily welcomed, with real frank kindness, as old friends. It was nearly their dinner-time, . . . . and we took the meal with them. It was simple as possible, . . . . and the servants took our places when we left them, and dined directly after us. Afterwards we walked an hour . . . . on the terrace, and through the little grounds, while Mr. Wordsworth explained the scenery about us, and repeated passages of his poetry relating to it. Mrs. Wordsworth asked me to talk to him about finishing the Excursion, or the Recluse; saying, that she could not bear to have him occupied constantly in writing sonnets and other trifles, while this great work lay by him untouched, but that she had ceased to urge him on the subject, because she had done it so much in vain. I asked him about it, therefore. He said that the Introduction, which is a sort of autobiography, is completed. This I knew, for he read me large portions of it twenty years ago. The rest is divided into three parts, the first of which is partly written in fragments, which Mr. Wordsworth says would be useless and unintelligible in other hands than his own; the second is the Excursion; and the third is untouched. On my asking him why he does not finish it, he turned to me very decidedly, and said, ‘Why did not Gray finish the long poem he began on a similar subject? Because he found he had undertaken something beyond his powers to accomplish. And that is my case.’ We controverted his position, of course, but I am not certain the event will not prove that he has acted upon his belief. At any rate, I have no hope it will ever be completed, though after his death the world will no doubt have much more than it now possesses. We remained two or three hours with him in this sort of talk, and recollections of our meetings, . . . . and then took a cheerful leave of him and Mrs. Wordsworth, feeling that we left true friends behind us, even if we never see them again.After passing a day or two at the Dales', near Manchester, where they were most kindly invited by Mr.Greg and Mrs. W. R. Greg, whose acquaintance they had made in Rome, Mr.Ticknor and Mrs. Ticknor went on to Oxford. 
On this Sunday passed at Althorp, Mr. Ticknor wrote the following letter:— 
Reaching London on the 22d of May, Mr. Ticknor was again plunged, for two weeks, into the excitements of ‘the season.’ On the day after his arrival he received and paid some visits, and thus describes Lord Brougham:—
He has gained a good deal of flesh since I knew him in 1818-19, and is even improved in that particular since I saw him at York three years ago. But in other respects I do not think he is changed for the better. He showed a very disagreeable disposition when he spoke of Jeffrey and Empson . . . . . It was really ungentlemanlike and coarse to speak as he did, of two persons who were formerly his associates, and are still, in all respects of general intercourse, his equals. What struck me most, however, was his marvellous memory. He remembered where I lodged in London in 1819, on what occasions he came to see me, and some circumstances about my attendance on the committee of the House of Commons on Education; which I had myself forgotten, till he recalled them to me. Such a memory,  for such mere trifles, seems almost incredible. But Niebuhr had it; so had Scott, and so has Humboldt; four examples—including Brougham—which are remarkable enough. I doubt not that much of the success of each depended on this extraordinary memory, which holds everything in its grasp. I dined with the Geological Club, and afterwards attended a meeting of the Geological Society . . . . We sat down to table nearly thirty strong; Whewell of Cambridge, the President of the Society, in the chair, and Stokes, the witty lawyer, as its Vice-President. Among the persons present were Sedgwick and Buckland, Murchison, Lord Cole, Mr. Ponsonby, the Marquess of Northampton, Babbage, Hallam, and especially Sir John Herschel, just returned from the Cape of Good Hope, and decidedly at this moment the lion of London. I sat between Sir John and Babbage, and had an excellent time. Sir John is a small man, and, I should think, a little more than fifty years old, and growing gray; very quiet and unpretending in his manner, and though at first seeming cold, getting easily interested in whatever is going forward. . . . At half past 8 we adjourned in mass, after a very lively talk, from the tavern, which was the well-known ‘Crown and Anchor,’ in the Strand, to the Geological Rooms at Somerset House. . . . . Sedgwick read a synopsis of the stratified rocks of Great Britain; an excellent, good-humored extemporaneous discussion followed, managed with much spirit by Greenough, the first President, and founder of the Society; Murchison; Lyell, the well-known author; Stokes; Buckland; and Phillips of York. . . . . May 24.—Dined at Holland House, with Lady Fitzpatrick, Mr. Akerley,—who has done such good service as chairman of the committee on the Poor-Laws,—Lord Shelburne, Sir James Kempt,— who is thankful to be no longer Governor-General of Canada,— Lord John Russell, Allen, and two others. It was a pleasure to dine in that grand old Gilt Room, with its two ancient, deep fireplaces, and to hear Lord Holland's genial talk, for I cannot help agreeing with Scott, that he is the most agreeable man I have ever known. The reason, I apprehend, is, that to the great resources of his knowledge he adds a laissez-aller, arising from his remarkable good-nature, which is quite irresistible. We passed the evening in the great library, Addison's picture-gallery, one of the most luxurious and agreeable spots in the world. I talked a good deal with Sir J. Kempt about the Canadas, which he seems to regard much as we do in the United States, and condemns—as Lord Holland did plainly—  the whole course of Sir Francis Head, as far as the United States are concerned. He had intended to ask Head to dine to-day, and as I expressed a good deal of regret that I had not seen him, he said he would invite him soon, and let me know when he would come; but seemed a little surprised that I should be pleased to meet one who had just been abusing my country so thoroughly, confessing, at last, that he had omitted him to-day, thinking I might be unwilling to meet him. Lady Holland, I really think, made an effort to be agreeable, and she certainly has power to be so when she chooses; but I think I could never like her. May 25.—Began the morning with a long and most agreeable visit from Sedgwick of Cambridge, one of those visits which are only made in England, I think, and there only when people take some liking to one another. . . . . Few men, anywhere, are so bright and active-minded as this most popular of the English professors. Afterwards I went by appointment to see old Mr. Thomas Grenville, elder brother of the late Lord Grenville, and uncle of the present Duke of Buckingham. He was one of the negotiators of our treaty of 1783, and was first Lord of the Admiralty; but retired from affairs many years ago, on the ground that he preferred quietness and literary occupation to anything else. A few years ago he declined an addition of £ 10,000 a year to his large fortune, saying he had enough, and that he preferred ‘it should go on’—as he expressed it—to the next generation that would be entitled. He is now nearly eighty-four years old, and lives in that old, aristocratic quarter, St. James's Square, next to Stafford House. He is admirably preserved for his age, and took apparent pleasure in showing me his library, about which Lord Spencer had written to him, asking him to show it to me. It consists of twenty-two thousand volumes; but what is remarkable about it is, that not only is every book in rich, solid, tasteful binding, but it may almost be said that every book is in some way or other a rarity, if not by the small number of copies known to exist of it, at least by something peculiar in some other way. Such beautiful miniatures I never saw before in books, as in two or three that he showed me; and in individual cases, for instance Milton and Cervantes, his collection of the original editions is absolutely complete, which I have never seen elsewhere. Of course it is not to be compared to the library at Althorp, though even there it would frequently fill gaps; but take it altogether,—the library, its owner, and  his house,—it is one of the most perfect, consistent, and satisfactory things I have ever seen. . . . May 26.—. . . . To Mortimer House to dine with Lord Fitzwilliam. Besides the family, there was the Bishop of Hereford,—Musgrave,— the Bishop of Durham,—Maltby,—Sedgwick, Lord and Lady Radnor, and Miss Bouverie,—their pretty daughter,—Lord Brougham, and Dr. Birkbeck, the father of Mechanics' Institutes and popular lecturing. He is a nice, round, warm old gentleman. . . . . Sedgwick was eminently agreeable, as he always is; and Brougham was violent and outrageous, extremely rude and offensive to Maltby and Sedgwick, but very civil to Lady Charlotte and Lady Radnor. I never saw anybody so rude in respectable society in my life. Some laughed, some looked sober about it, but all thought it was outrageous. Sedgwick was the only person who rebuked him, and he did it in a manner rather too measured and moderate for my taste . . . About eleven o'clock we got away from Lord Fitzwilliam's and went to Mr. Babbage's, who, at this season, gives three or four routs on successive weeks. It was very crowded to-night, and very brilliant; for among the people there were Hallam, Milman and his pretty wife; the Bishop of Norwich,—Stanley,—the Bishop of Hereford, —Musgrave,—both the Hellenists; Rogers, Sir J. Herschel and his beautiful wife, Sedgwick, Mrs. Somerville and her daughters, Senior, the Taylors, Sir F. Chantrey, Jane Porter, Lady Morgan, and I know not how many others. We seemed really to know as many people as we should in a party at home, which is a rare thing in a strange capital, and rarest of all in this vast overgrown London. Notwithstanding, therefore, our fatiguing day, we enjoyed it very much. May 27.—To-day being Sunday, we have kept as quiet as we could, refusing invitations. . . . . In the afternoon we had a very long and agreeable visit from Rogers, who showed great sensibility when speaking of his last visit to Scott, which he said he was obliged to shorten in order to keep an appointment with other friends, and then added—as if the thought had just rushed upon him, and filled his eyes with tears,—‘and they too are dead.’ It was some time before he could command himself enough to speak again. While we were at dinner Senior came in, and stayed with us very agreeably, having come to ask us to dine with them some day before we go; but we have none left. May 28.—. . . . On our return home we had visits from the Misses Luxmoore11 and their brother, the Dean of St. Asaph, . . . . who  have taken a house for a few weeks to enjoy London, and from the pretty Mrs. Milman, whose kind and urgent invitations to dinner we were really sorry to refuse. After they were gone we went to visit Lady Mulgrave, who is just arrived from Ireland . . . . . She is ‘fair, fat, and forty,’ I should think; but she has a certain sort of beauty still, most sweet and winning manners, and a great deal of tact and intelligence. She is fit to be a queen, every inch. Indeed, all these Ravensworths are remarkable people. Scott's visit to them, which he so well describes, shows what a race they are. May 29.—We are beginning now to be extremely busy, in our labors to finish up this three-years' absence from home, and get our affairs ready for embarkation. . . . . In the evening I went to a late and very aristocratic dinner at Murchison's, the great geologist and man of fortune, at the west end of the town, who seems to have his house really at the ultra west end, so that I thought I never should get there. The party, however, was worth the trouble, for it was a striking mixture of talent and aristocracy and fashion. The talent might be considered as represented by Sedgwick, Lubbock,—the mathematician, whom I liked a good deal,—Lockhart, and Murchison; and the aristocracy and fashion, by the haggard, dried — up Lady Davy, Sir Charles Dalbiack,—the Commander of the Cavalry,—the Duke and Duchess of Roxburgh,— both young, handsome, and well-bred,—and the Earl of Dartmouth, who renewed an acquaintance I had with him formerly at Rome, and invited me to his place in Staffordshire. It was all quite agreeable. Even Lockhart was softened by the society, and introduced the subject of ‘Ferdinand and Isabella,’ which he would not have done if he had not been very amiable. . . . . He promised, when he should be in the country, to look it over, and if he finds it what he expects to find it, to give it to some person who understands Spanish literature, to make an article about it . . . . . This is a good deal, and it is still more that he was really good-humored about it . . . . . It was a pleasant time with such people, but we did not stay late; and when we left, I took Sedgwick to the Athenaeum, and there bade him farewell with much regret. He goes to Cambridge to-morrow. May 30.—. . . . A party at Mr. Bates's, entirely American, except Baron Stockmar, a Saxon, formerly confidential secretary to Prince Leopold, now much about the Queen. I had him pretty much to myself, and found him very acute, and full of knowledge. He talks English almost like a native. May 31.—We breakfasted, by very especial invitation, with Rogers,  in order to look over his pictures, curiosities, etc.; and therefore nobody was invited to meet us but Miss Rogers and the Milmans. We had a three-hours' visit of it, from ten till past one, and saw certainly a great amount of curious things; not only the pictures, but drawings, autographs, little antiques; in short, whatever should belong to such a piece of bijouterie and virtu as Rogers himself is. Nor was agreeable conversation wanting, for he is full of anecdotes of his sixty or seventy years experience. Among other things, he told me that Crabbe was nearly ruined by grief and vexation at the conduct of his wife for above seven years, at the end of which time she proved to be insane. . . . . We dined with our friends the Edward Villiers', where we always enjoy ourselves, and where we always meet remarkable people. Today there was a Mr. Lewis,12 evidently a very scholar-like person; Sir Edmund Head; Henry Taylor, the poet; and Mr. Stephen,13 the real head of the Colonial Office, an uncommon man, son of Wilberforce's brother-in-law, the author of ‘War in Disguise.’ He is, I apprehend, very orthodox, and, what is better, very conscientious. He told me that his father wrote the ‘Frauds of Neutral Flags’—which so annoyed us Americans, and brought out Mr. Madison in replywholly from the relations of the subject to the slave-trade; his purpose being to resist all attempts on our part, or on the part of any other nation, to stop the English right—or practice—of search, because without that he was persuaded the slave-trade could never be practically and entirely abolished. The present state of things seems to justify his fears, if not his doctrines. June 1.—. . . . After all, however, I found time to make a visit to Carlyle, and to hear one of his lectures. He is rather a small, spare, ugly Scotchman, with a strong accent, which I should think he takes no pains to mitigate. His manners are plain and simple, but not polished, and his conversation much of the same sort. He is now lecturing for subsistence, to about a hundred persons, who pay him, I believe, two guineas each . . . . . To-day he spoke—as I think he commonly does—without notes, and therefore as nearly extempore as a man can who prepares himself carefully, as it was plain he had done. His course is on Modern Literature, and his subject to-day was that of the eighteenth century; in which he contrasted Johnson and Voltaire very well, and gave a good character of Swift. He was impressive, I think, though such lecturing could not well be very  popular; and in some parts, if he were not poetical, he was picturesque. He was nowhere obscure, nor were his sentences artificially constructed, though some of them, no doubt, savored of his peculiar manner. June 2.—. . . . I dined at Kenyon's, with a literary party: Reed, the author of ‘Italy’; Dyce, the editor of ‘Old Plays,’ whom I was very glad to see; H. N. Coleridge; and especially Talfourd, the author of ‘Ion’; with a few others. Talfourd I was glad to see, but he disappointed me. He is no doubt a poet of genius, within certain limits, and a very hard-working, successful lawyer, but he is a little too fat, red-faced, and coarse in his appearance. . . . . He talks strikingly rather than soundly, defending Cato, for instance, as an admirable, poetical tragedy; and was a little too artificial and too brilliant, both in the structure and phraseology of his sentences and in the general tone of his thoughts . . . . However, we got along very well together, and about eleven o'clock I took him to Babbage's, where there was a grand assembly, lords and bishops in plenty. . . . . The only person to whom I was introduced, that I was curious about, was Bulwer, the novelist; a white-haired, white-whiskered, white-faced fop, all point device, with his flowing curls and his silk-lined coat, and his conversation to match the whole. . . . . June 3.—We began the day with a breakfast at Miss Rogers's, in her nice house on Regent's Park, which is a sort of imitation—and not a bad one either—of her brother's on St. James's. She has some good pictures, among which is Leslie's Duchess and Sancho, the best thing of his I have seen of late years; and she keeps autographs, curiosities, and objects of virtu, just like her brother. Best of all, she is kind and good-humored, and had invited very pleasant friends to meet us,—Leslie, Babbage, Mackintosh, and her brother, who was extraordinarily agreeable, and made us stay unreasonably late. We then made some visits P. P. C., and on coming home received many, which we were sorry to receive, because they were intimations that our expected departure would hardly permit us to see these kind friends again . . . . . As soon as they were gone I hurried out to dine at Holland House. It was a larger party than is quite common at that very agreeable round table . . . . . We dined, of course, in the grand Gilt Room, and had at table Mr. Ellice, one of Lord Melbourne's first cabinet, and brother-in-law of Lord Grey; Lady Cowper and her daughter, Lady Fanny,—mater pulchra, filia pulchrior; Lord John Russell, the Atlas of this unhappy administration; . . . . . Lord and Lady Morley; Stanley, of the Treasury; Gayangos,—the  Spaniard I was desirous to see, because he is to review Prescott's book; and Sir Francis Head . . . . . It was certainly as agreeable as a party well could be. I took pains to get between Head and Gayangos at dinner, because I wanted to know them both. The Spaniard——about thirty-two years old, and talking English like a native, almost—I found quite pleasant, and full of pleasant knowledge in Spanish and Arabic, and with the kindliest good — will towards ‘Ferdinand and Isabella.’ Sir Francis Head, on the contrary,—a little short man, with quick, decisive motions, and his reddish hair cut very close to his head,—I found somewhat stiff; but the difficulty, as I soon discovered, was, that he did not feel at his ease, knowing that he is out of all favor with the present administration, two or three of the leading members of which were at table. However, Lord Holland's genial good-nature in time thawed all reserve, and before we followed the ladies into the grand old library the conversation was as free as possible. Sir Francis, however, I observed, made his escape early. The rest of us stayed very late, gossiping and talking over odd books, old Spanish manuscripts, and the awkward state of parties in England. I was sorry to come away, for I shall never be there again; but it was nearly one o'clock when I reached the Brunswick. June 4.—We breakfasted at Milman's, in his nice, comfortable establishment in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, with only Mr. and Miss Rogers and Rio,14 a Frenchman learned in what relates to the Middle Ages, and who, from talking English very well, has had good success in London literary society of late. They were all pleasant, Rogers especially so. I was amused, and not sorry, to hear him say that Bulwer, though of a good old family and enjoying a certain degree of popularity, had never been able to establish for himself a place in the best London society. He added, that he himself had never seen him so as to know him, though he supposed he must have met him in large parties; a curious fact, considering Rogers's own universality. He urged us again to dine with him to-morrow, said he would give up dining abroad himself and insure us seats at the opera, to see Taglioni, who appears for the first time; in short, he was exceedingly kind. But it is out of the question. To-morrow is our last day in London. . . . . June 5.—. . . . We went to breakfast at Kenyon's, where we met Davies Gilbert,—the former President of the Royal Society,—Guillemard, young Southey, and Mr. Andrew Crosse, of Somersetshire,  who has made so much noise of late with his crystallized minerals, formed by galvanic action, and especially with the insects that appeared in some experiments with acids and silica. The object of the breakfast was to show these minerals and insects, and they are really very marvellous and curious. Crosse, too, is worth knowing; a fine, manly, frank fellow, of about fifty years old, full of genius and zeal. It was an interesting morning, but it was ended by a very sad parting; for Kenyon is an old and true friend, and when he stood by the carriage door as we stepped in, we could none of us get out the words we wanted to utter.Leaving London on the 6th of June, Mr. Ticknor and his family embarked at Portsmouth on the 10th, on board a sailing packet. The first steamer that crossed the Atlantic, the Sirius, made its first voyage from England to the United States that spring; but, when Mr. Ticknor was obliged to decide on the mode of his return, she had not been heard from, and he did not think it wise to risk the safety of his family on such a new experiment.