Crossing the Atlantic.—Arrival in England.—Reception in Liverpool.—Welcome to Scotland.—A Glasgow Tea-Party.—Edinburgh Hospitality.—Aberdeen.—Dundee and Birmingham.—Joseph Sturge.—Elihu Burritt.—London.—The Lord Mayor's Dinner.—Charles Dickens and his Wife.

The journey undertaken by Mrs. Stowe with her husband and brother through England and Scotland, and afterwards with her brother alone over much of the Continent, was one of unusual interest. No one was more surprised than Mrs. Stowe herself by the demonstrations of respect and affection that everywhere greeted her.

Fortunately an unbroken record of this memorable journey, in Mrs. Stowe's own words, has been preserved, and we are thus able to receive her own impressions of what she saw, heard, and did, under circumstances that were at once pleasant, novel, and embarrassing. Beginning with her voyage, she writes as follows:—

Liverpool, April 11, 1853.

My dear Children,—You wish, first of all, to hear of the voyage. Let me assure you, my dears, in the very commencement of the matter, that going to sea is not at all the thing that we have taken it to be.

Let me warn you, if you ever go to sea, to omit all preparations for amusement on shipboard. Don't leave so much as the unlocking of a trunk to be done after sailing. In the few precious minutes when the ship stands still, before she weighs her anchor, set your house, that is to say your stateroom, as much in order as if you were going to be hanged; place everything in the most convenient position to be seized without trouble at a moment's notice; for be sure that in half an hour after sailing, an infinite desperation will seize you, in which the grasshopper will be a burden. If anything is in your trunk, it might almost as well be in the sea, for any practical probability of your getting to it.

Our voyage out was called "a good run." It was voted unanimously to be "an extraordinary good passage," "a pleasant voyage;" yet the ship rocked the whole time from side to side with a steady, dizzy, continuous motion, like a great cradle. I had a new sympathy for babies, poor little things, who are rocked hours at a time without so much as a "by your leave" in the case. No wonder there are so many stupid people in the world!

We arrived on Sunday morning: the custom-house officers, very gentlemanly men, came on board; our luggage was all set out, and passed through a rapid examination, which in many cases amounted only to opening the trunk and shutting it, and all was over. The whole ceremony did not occupy two hours.

We were inquiring of some friends for the most convenient hotel, when we found the son of Mr. Cropper, of Dingle Bank, waiting in the cabin to take us with him to their hospitable abode. In a few moments after the baggage had been examined, we all bade adieu to the old ship, and went on board the little steam tender which carries passengers up to the city.

This Mersey River would be a very beautiful one, if it were not so dingy and muddy. As we are sailing up in the tender towards Liverpool, I deplore the circumstance feelingly.

"What does make this river so muddy?"

"Oh," says a by-stander, "don't you know that

"'The quality of mercy is not strained'?"

I had an early opportunity of making acquaintance with my English brethren; for, much to my astonishment, I found quite a crowd on the wharf, and we walked up to our carriage through a long lane of people, bowing, and looking very glad to see us.

When I came to get into the hack it was surrounded by more faces than I could count. They stood very quietly, and looked very kindly, though evidently very much determined to look. Something prevented the hack from moving on; so the interview was prolonged for some time.

Our carriage at last drove on, taking us through Liverpool and a mile or two out, and at length wound its way along the gravel paths of a beautiful little retreat, on the banks of the Mersey, called the "Dingle." It opened to my eyes like a paradise, all wearied as I was with the tossing of the sea. I have since become familiar with these beautiful little spots, which are so common in England; but now all was entirely new to me.

After a short season allotted to changing our ship garments and for rest, we found ourselves seated at the dinner table. While dining, the sister-in-law of our friends came in from the next door, to exchange a word or two of welcome, and invite us to breakfast with them the following morning.

The next morning we slept late and hurried to dress, remembering our engagement to breakfast with the brother of our host, whose cottage stands on the same ground, within a few steps of our own. I had not the slightest idea of what the English mean by a breakfast, and therefore went in all innocence, supposing I should see nobody but the family circle of my acquaintances. Quite to my astonishment, I found a party of between thirty and forty people; ladies sitting with their bonnets on, as in a morning call. It was impossible, however, to feel more than a momentary embarrassment in the friendly warmth and cordiality of the circle by whom we were surrounded.

In the evening I went into Liverpool to attend a party of friends of the anti-slavery cause. When I was going away, the lady of the house said that the servants were anxious to see me; so I came into the dressing-room to give them an opportunity.

The next day was appointed to leave Liverpool. A great number of friends accompanied us to the cars, and a beautiful bouquet of flowers was sent with a very affecting message from a sick gentleman, who, from the retirement of his chamber, felt a desire to testify his sympathy. We left Liverpool with hearts a little tremulous and excited by the vibration of an atmosphere of universal sympathy and kindness, and found ourselves, at length, shut from the warm adieu of our friends, in a snug compartment of the railroad car.

"Dear me!" said Mr. S.; "six Yankees shut up in a car together! Not one Englishman to tell us anything about the country! Just like the six old ladies that made their living by taking tea at each other's houses!"

What a bright lookout we kept for ruins and old houses! Mr. S., whose eyes are always in every place, allowed none of us to slumber, but looking out, first on his own side and then on ours, called our attention to every visible thing. If he had been appointed on a mission of inquiry, he could not have been more zealous and faithful, and I began to think that our desire for an English cicerone was quite superfluous.

Well, we are in Scotland at last, and now our pulse rises as the sun declines in the west. We catch glimpses of Solway Firth and talk about Redgauntlet. The sun went down and night drew on; still we were in Scotland. Scotch ballads, Scotch tunes, and Scotch literature were in the ascendant. We sang "Auld Lang Syne," "Scots wha hae," and "Bonnie Doon," and then, changing the key, sang "Dundee," "Elgin," and "Martyr."

"Take care," said Mr. S.; "don't get too much excited."

"Ah," said I, "this is a thing that comes only once in a lifetime; do let us have the comfort of it. We shall never come into Scotland for the first time again."

While we were thus at the fusion point of enthusiasm, the cars stopped at Lockerbie. All was dim and dark outside, but we soon became conscious that there was quite a number of people collected, peering into the window; and with a strange kind of thrill, I heard my name inquired for in the Scottish accent. I went to the window; there were men, women, and children gathered, and hand after hand was presented, with the words, "Ye're welcome to Scotland!"

Then they inquired for and shook hands with all the party, having in some mysterious manner got the knowledge of who they were, even down to little G., whom they took to be my son. Was it not pleasant, when I had a heart so warm for this old country? I shall never forget the thrill of those words, "Ye're welcome to Scotland," nor the "Gude night."

After that we found similar welcomes in many succeeding stopping-places; and though I did wave a towel out of the window, instead of a pocket handkerchief, and commit other awkwardnesses, from not knowing how to play my part, yet I fancied, after all, that Scotland and we were coming on well together. Who the good souls were that were thus watching for us through the night, I am sure I do not know; but that they were of the "one blood" which unites all the families of the earth, I felt.

At Glasgow, friends were waiting in the station-house. Earnest, eager, friendly faces, ever so many. Warm greetings, kindly words. A crowd parting in the middle, through which we were conducted into a carriage, and loud cheers of welcome, sent a throb, as the voice of living Scotland.

I looked out of the carriage, as we drove on, and saw, by the light of a lantern, Argyll Street. It was past twelve o'clock when I found myself in a warm, cosy parlor, with friends whom I have ever since been glad to remember. In a little time we were all safely housed in our hospitable apartments, and sleep fell on me for the first time in Scotland.

The next morning I awoke worn and weary, and scarce could the charms of the social Scotch breakfast restore me.

Our friend and host was Mr. Bailie Paton. I believe that it is to his suggestion in a public meeting that we owe the invitation which brought us to Scotland.

After breakfast the visiting began. First, a friend of the family, with three beautiful children, the youngest of whom was the bearer of a handsomely bound album, containing a pressed collection of the sea-mosses of the Scottish coast, very vivid and beautiful.

All this day is a confused dream to me of a dizzy and overwhelming kind. So many letters that it took brother Charles from nine in the morning till two in the afternoon to read and answer them in the shortest manner; letters from all classes of people, high and low, rich and poor, in all shades and styles of composition, poetry and prose; some mere outbursts of feeling; some invitations; some advice and suggestions; some requests and inquiries; some presenting books, or flowers, or fruit.

Then came, in their turn, deputations from Paisley, Greenock, Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Belfast in Ireland; calls of friendship, invitations of all descriptions to go everywhere, and to see everything, and to stay in so many places. One kind, venerable minister, with his lovely daughter, offered me a retreat in his quiet manse on the beautiful shores of the Clyde.

For all these kindnesses, what could I give in return? There was scarce time for even a grateful thought on each. People have often said to me that it must have been an exceeding bore. For my part, I could not think of regarding it so. It only oppressed me with an unutterable sadness.

In the afternoon I rode out with the lord provost to see the cathedral. The lord provost answers to the lord mayor in England. His title and office in both countries continue only a year, except in case of re-election.

As I saw the way to the cathedral blocked up by a throng of people who had come out to see me, I could not help saying, "What went ye out for to see? a reed shaken with the wind?" In fact I was so worn out that I could hardly walk through the building. The next morning I was so ill as to need a physician, unable to see any one that called, or to hear any of the letters. I passed most of the day in bed, but in the evening I had to get up, as I had engaged to drink tea with two thousand people. Our kind friends, Dr. and Mrs. Wardlaw, came after us, and Mr. S. and I went in the carriage with them. Our carriage stopped at last at the place. I have a dim remembrance of a way being made for us through a great crowd all round the house, and of going with Mrs. Wardlaw up into a dressing-room where I met and shook hands with many friendly people. Then we passed into a gallery, where a seat was reserved for our party, directly in front of the audience. Our friend Bailie Paton presided. Mrs. Wardlaw and I sat together, and around us many friends, chiefly ministers of the different churches, the ladies and gentlemen of the Glasgow Anti-Slavery Society and others. I told you it was a tea-party; but the arrangements were altogether different from any I had ever seen. There were narrow tables stretched up and down the whole extent of the great hall, and every person had an appointed seat. These tables were set out with cups and saucers, cakes, biscuit, etc., and when the proper time came, attendants passed along serving tea. The arrangements were so accurate and methodical that the whole multitude actually took tea together, without the least apparent inconvenience or disturbance.

There was a gentle, subdued murmur of conversation all over the house, the sociable clinking of teacups and teaspoons, while the entertainment was going on. It seemed to me such an odd idea, I could not help wondering what sort of a teapot that must be in which all this tea for two thousand people was made. Truly, as Hadji Baba says, I think they must have had the "father of all the tea-kettles" to boil it in. I could not help wondering if old mother Scotland had put two thousand teaspoonfuls of tea for the company, and one for the teapot, as is our good Yankee custom.

We had quite a sociable time up in our gallery. Our tea-table stretched quite across, and we drank tea in sight of all the people. By we, I mean a great number of ministers and their wives, and ladies of the Anti-Slavery Society, besides our party, and the friends whom I have mentioned before. All seemed to be enjoying themselves.

After tea they sang a few verses of the seventy-second psalm in the old Scotch version.

April 17. To-day a large party of us started on a small steamer to go down the Clyde. It was a trip full of pleasure and incident. Now we were shown the remains of old Cardross Castle, where it was said Robert Bruce breathed his last. And now we came near the beautiful grounds of Roseneath, a green, velvet-like peninsula, stretching out into the widening waters.

Somewhere about here I was presented, by his own request, to a broad-shouldered Scotch farmer, who stood some six feet two, and who paid me the compliment to say that he had read my book, and that he would walk six miles to see me any day. Such a flattering evidence of discriminating taste, of course, disposed my heart towards him; but when I went up and put my hand into his great prairie of a palm, I was as a grasshopper in my own eyes. I inquired who he was and was told he was one of the Duke of Argyll's farmers. I thought to myself if all the duke's farmers were of this pattern, that he might be able to speak to the enemy in the gates to some purpose.

It was concluded after we left Roseneath that, instead of returning by the boat, we should take carriage and ride home along the banks of the river. In our carriage were Mr. S. and myself, Dr. Robson, and Lady Anderson. About this time I commenced my first essay towards giving titles, and made, as you may suppose, rather an odd piece of work of it, generally saying "Mrs." first, and "Lady" afterwards, and then begging pardon. Lady Anderson laughed and said she would give me a general absolution. She is a truly genial, hearty Scotchwoman, and seemed to enter happily into the spirit of the hour.

As we rode on, we found that the news of our coming had spread through the village. People came and stood in their doors, beckoning, bowing, smiling, and waving their handkerchiefs, and the carriage was several times stopped by persons who came to offer flowers. I remember, in particular, a group of young girls bringing to the carriage two of the most beautiful children I ever saw, whose little hands literally deluged us with flowers.

At the village of Helensburgh we stopped a little while to call upon Mrs. Bell, the wife of Mr. Bell, the inventor of the steamboat. His invention in this country was at about the same time as that of Fulton in America. Mrs. Bell came to the carriage to speak to us. She is a venerable woman, far advanced in years. They had prepared a lunch for us, and quite a number of people had come together to meet us, but our friends said there was not time for us to stop.

We rode through several villages after this, and met everywhere a warm welcome. What pleased me was, that it was not mainly from the literary, nor the rich, nor the great, but the plain, common people. The butcher came out of his stall and the baker from his shop, the miller dusty with flour, the blooming, comely young mother, with her baby in her arms, all smiling and bowing, with that hearty, intelligent, friendly look, as if they knew we should be glad to see them.

Once, while we stopped to change horses, I, for the sake of seeing something more of the country, walked on. It seems the honest landlord and his wife were greatly disappointed at this; however, they got into the carriage and rode on to see me, and I shook hands with them with a right good will.

We saw several of the clergymen, who came out to meet us; and I remember stopping just to be introduced, one by one, to a most delightful family, a gray-headed father and mother, with comely brothers and fair sisters, all looking so kindly and homelike, that I should have been glad to accept the invitation they gave me to their dwelling.

This day has been a strange phenomenon to me. In the first place, I have seen in all these villages how universally the people read. I have seen how capable they are of a generous excitement and enthusiasm, and how much may be done by a work of fiction so written as to enlist those sympathies which are common to all classes. Certainly a great deal may be effected in this way, if God gives to any one the power, as I hope he will to many. The power of fictitious writing, for good as well as evil, is a thing which ought most seriously to be reflected on. No one can fail to see that in our day it is becoming a very great agency.

We came home quite tired, as you may well suppose. You will not be surprised that the next day I found myself more disposed to keep my bed than go out.

Two days later: We bade farewell to Glasgow, overwhelmed with kindness to the last, and only oppressed by the thought of how little that was satisfactory we were able to give in return. Again we were in the railroad car on our way to Edinburgh. A pleasant two hours' trip is this from Glasgow to Edinburgh. When the cars stopped at Linlithgow station, the name started us as out of a dream.

In Edinburgh the cars stopped amid a crowd of people who had assembled to meet us. The lord provost met us at the door of the car, and presented us to the magistracy of the city and the committees of the Edinburgh Anti-Slavery Societies. The drab dresses and pure white bonnets of many Friends were conspicuous among the dense moving crowd, as white doves seen against a dark cloud. Mr. S. and myself, and our future hostess, Mrs. Wigham, entered the carriage with the lord provost, and away we drove, the crowd following with their shouts and cheers. I was inexpressibly touched and affected by this. While we were passing the monument of Scott, I felt an oppressive melancholy. What a moment life seems in the presence of the noble dead! What a momentary thing is art, in all its beauty! Where are all those great souls that have created such an atmosphere of light about Edinburgh? and how little a space was given them to live and enjoy!

We drove all over Edinburgh, up to the castle, to the university, to Holyrood, to the hospitals, and through many of the principal streets, amid shouts, and smiles, and greetings. Some boys amused me very much by their pertinacious attempts to keep up with the carriage.

"Heck," says one of them, "that's her; see the courls!"

The various engravers who have amused themselves by diversifying my face for the public having all, with great unanimity, agreed in giving prominence to this point, I suppose the urchins thought they were on safe ground there. I certainly think I answered one good purpose that day, and that is of giving the much-oppressed and calumniated class called boys an opportunity to develop all the noise that was in them,—a thing for which I think they must bless me in their remembrances.

At last the carriage drove into a deep-graveled yard, and we alighted at a porch covered with green ivy, and found ourselves once more at home.

You may spare your anxieties about me, for I do assure you that if I were an old Sèvres china jar I could not have more careful handling than I do. Everybody is considerate; a great deal to say when there appears to be so much excitement. Everybody seems to understand how good-for-nothing I am; and yet, with all this consideration, I have been obliged to keep my room and bed for a good part of the time. Of the multitudes who have called, I have seen scarcely any.

To-morrow evening is to be the great tea-party here. How in the world I am ever to live through it I don't know.

The amount of letters we found waiting for us here in Edinburgh was, if possible, more appalling than in Glasgow. Among those from persons whom you would be interested in hearing of, I may mention a very kind and beautiful one from the Duchess of Sutherland, and one also from the Earl of Carlisle, both desiring to make appointments for meeting us as soon as we come to London. Also a very kind and interesting note from the Rev. Mr. Kingsley and lady. I look forward with a great deal of interest to passing a little time with them in their rectory.

As to all engagements, I am in a state of happy acquiescence, having resigned myself, as a very tame lion, into the hands of my keepers. Whenever the time comes for me to do anything, I try to behave as well as I can, which, as Dr. Young says, is all that an angel could do under the same circumstances.

April 26. Last night came off the soirée. The hall was handsomely decorated with flags in front. We went with the lord provost in his carriage. We went up as before into a dressing-room, where I was presented to many gentlemen and ladies. When we go in, the cheering, clapping, and stamping at first strikes one with a strange sensation; but then everybody looks so heartily pleased and delighted, and there is such an all-pervading atmosphere of geniality and sympathy, as makes me in a few moments feel quite at home. After all, I consider that these cheers and applauses are Scotland's voice to America, a recognition of the brotherhood of the countries.

The national penny offering, consisting of a thousand golden sovereigns on a magnificent silver salver, stood conspicuously in view of the audience. It has been an unsolicited offering, given in the smallest sums, often from the extreme poverty of the giver. The committee who collected it in Edinburgh and Glasgow bore witness to the willingness with which the very poorest contributed the offering of their sympathy. In one cottage they found a blind woman, and said, "Here, at least, is one who will feel no interest, as she cannot have read the book."

"Indeed," said the old lady, "if I cannot read, my son has read it to me, and I've got my penny saved to give."

It is to my mind extremely touching to see how the poor, in their poverty, can be moved to a generosity surpassing that of the rich. Nor do I mourn that they took it from their slender store, because I know that a penny given from a kindly impulse is a greater comfort and blessing to the poorest giver than even a penny received.

As in the case of the other meeting, we came out long before the speeches were ended. Well, of course I did not sleep all night, and the next day I felt quite miserable.

From Edinburgh we took cars for Aberdeen. I enjoyed this ride more than anything we had seen yet, the country was so wild and singular. In the afternoon we came in sight of the German Ocean. The free, bracing air from the sea, and the thought that it actually was the German Ocean, and that over the other side was Norway, within a day's sail of us, gave it a strange, romantic charm. It was towards the close of the afternoon that we found ourselves crossing the Dee, in view of Aberdeen. My spirits were wonderfully elated: the grand scenery and fine, bracing air; the noble, distant view of the city, rising with its harbor and shipping,—all filled me with delight. In this propitious state, disposed to be pleased with everything, our hearts responded warmly to the greetings of the many friends who were waiting for us at the station-house.

The lord provost received us into his carriage, and as we drove along pointed out to us the various objects of interest in the beautiful town. Among other things, a fine old bridge across the Dee attracted our particular attention. We were conducted to the house of Mr. Cruikshank, a Friend, and found waiting for us there the thoughtful hospitality which we had ever experienced in all our stopping-places. A snug little quiet supper was laid out upon the table, of which we partook in haste, as we were informed that the assembly at the hall were waiting to receive us.

There arrived, we found the hall crowded, and with difficulty made our way to the platform. Whether owing to the stimulating effect of the air from the ocean, or to the comparatively social aspect of the scene, or perhaps to both, certain it is that we enjoyed the meeting with great zest. I was surrounded on the stage with blooming young ladies, one of whom put into my hands a beautiful bouquet, some flowers of which I have now, dried, in my album. The refreshment tables were adorned with some exquisite wax flowers, the work, as I was afterwards told, of a young lady in the place. One of these designs especially interested me. It was a group of water-lilies resting on a mirror, which gave them the appearance of growing in the water.

We had some very animated speaking, in which the speakers contrived to blend enthusiastic admiration and love for America with detestation of slavery.

They presented an offering in a beautiful embroidered purse, and after much shaking of hands we went home, and sat down to the supper-table for a little more chat before going to bed. The next morning—as we had only till noon to stay in Aberdeen—our friends, the lord provost and Mr. Leslie, the architect, came immediately after breakfast to show us the place.

About two o'clock we started from Aberdeen, among crowds of friends, to whom we bade farewell with real regret.

At Stonehaven station, where we stopped a few minutes, there was quite a gathering of the inhabitants to exchange greetings, and afterwards, at successive stations along the road, many a kindly face and voice made our journey a pleasant one.

When we got into Dundee it seemed all alive with welcome. We went in the carriage with the lord provost, Mr. Thoms, to his residence, where a party had been waiting dinner for us for some time.

The meeting in the evening was in a large church, densely crowded, and conducted much as the others had been. When they came to sing the closing hymn, I hoped they would sing Dundee; but they did not, and I fear in Scotland, as elsewhere, the characteristic national melodies are giving way before more modern ones.

We left Dundee at two o'clock, by cars, for Edinburgh again, and in the evening attended another soirée of the workingmen of Edinburgh. We have received letters from the workingmen, both in Dundee and Glasgow, desiring our return to attend soirées in those cities. Nothing could give us greater pleasure, had we time or strength. The next day we had a few calls to make, and an invitation from Lady Drummond to visit classic Hawthornden, which, however, we had not time to accept. In the forenoon, Mr. S. and I called on Lord and Lady Gainsborough. Though she is one of the queen's household, she is staying here at Edinburgh while the queen is at Osborne. I infer, therefore, that the appointment includes no very onerous duties. The Earl of Gainsborough is the eldest brother of the Rev. Baptist W. Noel.

It was a rainy, misty morning when I left my kind retreat and friends in Edinburgh. Considerate as everybody had been about imposing on my time or strength, still you may well believe that I was much exhausted. We left Edinburgh, therefore, with the determination to plunge at once into some hidden and unknown spot, where we might spend two or three days quietly by ourselves; and remembering your Sunday at Stratford-on-Avon, I proposed that we should go there. As Stratford, however, is off the railroad line, we determined to accept the invitation, which was lying by us, from our friend, Joseph Sturge, of Birmingham, and take sanctuary with him. So we wrote on, intrusting him with the secret, and charging him on no account to let any one know of our arrival.

About night our cars whizzed into the depot at Birmingham; but just before we came in a difficulty was started in the company. "Mr. Sturge is to be there waiting for us, but he does not know us and we don't know him; what is to be done?" C. insisted that he should know him by instinct; and so, after we reached the depot, we told him to sally out and try. Sure enough, in a few moments he pitched upon a cheerful, middle-aged gentleman, with a moderate but not decisive broad brim to his hat, and challenged him as Mr. Sturge. The result verified the truth that "instinct is a great matter." In a few moments our new friend and ourselves were snugly encased in a fly, trotting off as briskly as ever we could to his place at Edgbaston, nobody a whit the wiser. You do not know how pleased we felt to think we had done it so nicely.

As we were drinking tea that evening, Elihu Burritt came in. It was the first time I had ever seen him, though I had heard a great deal of him from our friends in Edinburgh. He is a man in middle life, tall and slender, with fair complexion, blue eyes, an air of delicacy and refinement, and manners of great gentleness. My ideas of the "learned blacksmith" had been of something altogether more ponderous and peremptory. Elihu has been for some years operating, in England and on the Continent, in a movement which many in our half-Christianized times regard with as much incredulity as the grim, old warlike barons did the suspicious imbecilities of reading and writing. The sword now, as then, seems so much more direct a way to terminate controversies, that many Christian men, even, cannot conceive how the world is to get along without it.

We spent the evening in talking over various topics relating to the anti-slavery movement. Mr. Sturge was very confident that something more was to be done than had ever been done yet, by combinations for the encouragement of free in the place of slave grown produce; a question which has, ever since the days of Clarkson, more or less deeply occupied the minds of abolitionists in England. I should say that Mr. Sturge in his family has for many years conscientiously forborne the use of any article produced by slave labor. I could scarcely believe it possible that there could be such an abundance and variety of all that is comfortable and desirable in the various departments of household living within these limits. Mr. Sturge presents the subject with very great force, the more so from the consistency of his example.

The next morning, as we were sitting down to breakfast, our friends sent in to me a plate of the largest, finest strawberries I have ever seen, which, considering that it was only the latter part of April, seemed to me quite an astonishing luxury.

Before we left, we had agreed to meet a circle of friends from Birmingham, consisting of the Abolition Society there, which is of long standing, extending back in its memories to the very commencement of the agitation under Clarkson and Wilberforce. The windows of the parlor were opened to the ground; and the company invited filled not only the room, but stood in a crowd on the grass around the window. Among the peaceable company present was an admiral in the navy, a fine, cheerful old gentleman, who entered with hearty interest into the scene.

A throng of friends accompanied us to the depot, while from Birmingham we had the pleasure of the company of Elihu Burritt, and enjoyed a delightful run to London, where we arrived towards evening.

At the station-house in London we found the Rev. Messrs. Binney and Sherman waiting for us with carriages. C. went with Mr. Sherman, and Mr. S. and I soon found ourselves in a charming retreat called Rose Cottage, in Walworth, about which I will tell you more anon. Mrs. B. received us with every attention which the most thoughtful hospitality could suggest. One of the first things she said to me after we got into our room was, "Oh, we are so glad you have come! for we are all going to the lord mayor's dinner to-night, and you are invited." So, though I was tired, I hurried to dress in all the glee of meeting an adventure. As soon as Mr. and Mrs. B. and the rest of the party were ready, crack went the whip, round went the wheels, and away we drove.

We found a considerable throng, and I was glad to accept a seat which was offered me in the agreeable vicinity of the lady mayoress, so that I might see what would be interesting to me of the ceremonial.

A very dignified gentleman, dressed in black velvet, with a fine head, made his way through the throng, and sat down by me, introducing himself as Lord Chief Baron Pollock. He told me he had just been reading the legal part of the "Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin," and remarked especially on the opinion of Judge Ruffin, in the case of State v. Mann, as having made a deep impression on his mind.

Dinner was announced between nine and ten o'clock, and we were conducted into a splendid hall, where the tables were laid.

Directly opposite me was Mr. Dickens, whom I now beheld for the first time, and was surprised to see looking so young. Mr. Justice Talfourd, known as the author of "Ion," was also there with his lady. She had a beautiful, antique cast of head. The lord mayor was simply dressed in black, without any other adornment than a massive gold chain. We rose from table between eleven and twelve o'clock—that is, we ladies—and went into the drawing-room, where I was presented to Mrs. Dickens and several other ladies. Mrs. Dickens is a good specimen of a truly English woman; tall, large, and well developed, with fine, healthy color, and an air of frankness, cheerfulness, and reliability. A friend whispered to me that she was as observing and fond of humor as her husband.

After a while the gentlemen came back to the drawing-room, and I had a few moments of very pleasant, friendly conversation with Mr. Dickens. They are both people that one could not know a little of without desiring to know more.

After a little we began to talk of separating; the lord mayor to take his seat in the House of Commons, and the rest of the party to any other engagement that might be upon their list.

"Come, let us go to the House of Commons," said one of my friends, "and make a night of it." "With all my heart," replied I, "if I only had another body to go into to-morrow."

What a convenience in sight-seeing it would be if one could have a relay of bodies as of clothes, and slip from one into the other! But we, not used to the London style of turning night into day, are full weary already. So good-night to you all.

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