LONDON, June 3.


According to request I will endeavor to keep you informed of all our goings on after you left, up to the time of our departure for Paris.

We have borne in mind your advice to hasten away to the continent. C. wrote, a day or two since, to Mrs. C. at Paris, to secure very private lodgings, and by no means let any one know that we were coming. She has replied, urging us to come to her house, and promising entire seclusion and rest. So, since you departed, we have been passing with a kind of comprehensive skip and jump over remaining engagements. And first, the evening after you left, came off the presentation of the inkstand by the ladies of Surrey Chapel.

Our kind Mr. Sherman showed great taste as well as energy in the arrangements. The lecture room of the chapel was prettily adorned with flowers. Lord Shaftesbury was in the chair, and the Duchess of Argyle and the Marquis of Stafford were there. Miss Greenfield sang some songs, and there were speeches in which each speaker said all the obliging things he could think of to the rest. Rev. Mr. Binney complimented the nobility, and Lord Shaftesbury complimented the people, and all were but too kind in what they said to me—in fact, there was general good humor in the whole scene.

The inkstand is a beautiful specimen of silverwork. It is eighteen inches long, with a group of silver figures on it, representing Religion with the Bible in her hand, giving liberty to the slave. The slave is a masterly piece of work. He stands with his hands clasped, looking up to heaven, while a white man is knocking the shackles from his feet. But the prettiest part of the scene was the presentation of a gold pen, by a band of beautiful children, one of whom made a very pretty speech. I called the little things to come and stand around me, and talked with them a few minutes, and this was all the speaking that fell to my share. Now this, really, was too kind of these ladies, and of our brotherly friend Mr. S., and I was quite touched with it; especially as I have been able myself to do so very little, socially, for any body's pleasure. Mr. Sherman still has continued to be as thoughtful and careful as a brother could be; and his daughter, Mrs. B., I fear, has robbed her own family to give us the additional pleasure of her society. We rode out with her one day into the country, and saw her home and little family. Saturday morning we breakfasted at Stafford House, I wish you could have been there. All was as cool, and quiet, and still there, as in some retreat deep in the country. We went first into the duchess's boudoir,—you remember,—where is that beautiful crayon sketch of Lady Constance. The duchess was dressed in pale blue. We talked with her some time, before any one came in, about Miss Greenfield. I showed her a simple note to her grace in which Miss G. tried to express her gratitude, and which she had sent to me to correct for her. The duchess said, "0, give it me! it is a great deal better as it is. I like it just as she wrote it."

People always like simplicity and truth better than finish. After entering the breakfast room the Duke and Duchess of Argyle, and Lord Carlisle appeared, and soon after Lord Shaftesbury. We breakfasted in that beautiful green room which has the two statues, the Eve of Thorwaldsen and the Venus of Canova. The view of the gardens and trees from the window gave one a sense of seclusion and security, and made me forget that we were in great, crowded London. A pleasant talk we had. Among other things they proposed various inquiries respecting affairs in America, particularly as to the difference between Presbyterians and Congregationalists, the influence of the Assembly's Catechism, and the peculiarities of the other religious denominations.

The Duke of Argyle, who is a Presbyterian, seemed to feel an interest in those points. He said it indicated great power in the Assembly's Catechism that it could hold such ascendency in such a free country.

In the course of the conversation it was asked if there was really danger that the antislavery spirit of England would excite ill feeling between the two countries.

I said, were it possible that America were always to tolerate and defend slavery, this might be. But this would be self-destruction. It cannot, must not, will not be. We shall struggle, and shall overcome; and when the victory has been gained we shall love England all the more for her noble stand in the conflict. As I said this I happened to turn to the duchess, and her beautiful face was lighted with such a strong, inspired, noble expression, as set its seal at once in my heart.

Lord Carlisle is going to Constantinople to-morrow, or next day, to be gone perhaps a year. The eastern question is much talked of now, and the chances of war between Russia and Turkey.

Lord Shaftesbury is now all-engaged upon the fête of the seven thousand charity children, which is to come off at St. Paul's next Thursday.

The Duchesses of Sutherland and Argyle were to have attended, but the queen has just come to town, and the first drawing room will be held on Thursday, so that they will be unable. His lordship had previously invited me, and this morning renewed the invitation. Our time to leave London is fixed for Friday; but, as I am told, there is no sight more peculiar and beautiful than this fête, and I think I can manage both to go there and be forward with my preparations.

In the afternoon of this day I went with Lord Shaftesbury over the model lodging houses, which I have described very particularly in a letter to Mr. C. L. B.

On Thursday, at five P. M., we drove to Stafford House, to go with her grace to the House of Parliament. What a magnificent building! I say so, in contempt of all criticism. I hear that all sorts of things are said against it. For my part, I consider that no place is so utterly hopeless as that of a modern architect intrusted with a great public building. It is not his fault that he is modern, but his misfortune. Things which in old buildings are sanctioned by time he may not attempt; and if he strikes out new things, that is still worse. He is fair game for every body's criticism. He builds too high for one, too low for another; is too ornate for this, too plain for that; he sacrifices utility to aesthetics, or aesthetics to utility, and somebody is displeased either way. The duchess has been a sympathizing friend of the architect through this arduous ordeal. She took pleasure and pride in his work, and showed it to me as something in which she felt an almost personal interest.

For my part, I freely confess that, viewed as a national monument, it seems to me a grand one. What a splendid historic corridor is old Westminster Hall, with its ancient oaken roof! I seemed to see all that brilliant scene when Burke spoke there amid the nobility, wealth, and fashion of all England, in the Warren Hastings trial. That speech always makes me shudder. I think there never was any thing more powerful than its conclusion. Then the corridor that is to be lined with statues of the great men of England will be a noble affair. The statue of Hampden is grand. Will they leave out Cromwell? There is less need of a monument to him, it is true, than to most of them. We went into the House of Lords. The Earl of Carlisle made a speech on the Cuban question, in the course of which he alluded very gracefully to a petition from certain ladies that England should enforce the treaties for the prevention of the slave trade there; and spoke very feelingly on the reasons why woman should manifest a particular interest for the oppressed. The Duke of Argyle and the Bishop of Oxford came over to the place where we were sitting. Her grace intimated to the bishop a desire to hear from him on the question, and in the course of a few moments after returning to his place, he arose and spoke. He has a fine voice, and speaks very elegantly.

At last I saw Lord Aberdeen. He looks like some of our Presbyterian elders; a plain, grave old man, with a bald head, and dressed in black; by the by, I believe I have heard that he is an elder in the National kirk; I am told he is a very good man. You don't know how strangely and dreamily this House of Lords, as seen to-day, mixed itself up with my historic recollections of by-gone days. It had a very sheltered, comfortable parlor-like air. The lords in their cushioned seats seemed like men that had met, in a social way, to talk over public affairs; it was not at all that roomy, vast, declamatory national hall I had imagined.

Then we went into the House of Commons. There is a kind of latticed gallery to which ladies are admitted—a charming little oriental rookery. There we found the Duchess of Argyle and others. Lord Carlisle afterwards joined us, and we went all over the house, examining the frescoes, looking into closets, tea rooms, libraries, smoking rooms, committee rooms, and all, till I was thoroughly initiated. The terrace that skirts the Thames is magnificent. I inquired if any but members might enjoy it. No; it was only for statesmen; our short promenade there was, therefore, an act of grace.

On the whole, when this Parliament House shall have gathered the dust of two hundred years,—when Victoria's reign is among the myths,—future generations will then venerate this building as one of the rare creations of old masters, and declare that no modern structure can ever equal it.

The next day, at three o'clock, I went to Miss Greenfield's first public morning concert, a bill of which I send you. She comes out under the patronage of all the great names, you observe. Lady Hatherton was there, and the Duchess of Sutherland, with all her daughters.

Miss Greenfield did very well, and was heard with indulgence, though surrounded by artists who had enjoyed what she had not—a life's training. I could not but think what a loss to art is the enslaving of a race which might produce so much musical talent. Had she had culture equal to her voice and ear, no singer of any country could have surpassed her. There could even be associations of poetry thrown around the dusky hue of her brow were it associated with the triumphs of art.

After concert, the Duchess of S. invited Lady H. and myself to Stafford House. We took tea in the green library. Lady C. Campbell was there, and her Grace of Argyle. After tea I saw the Duchess of S. a little while alone in her boudoir, and took my leave then and there of one as good and true-hearted as beautiful and noble.

The next day I lunched with Mrs. Malcolm, daughter-in-law of your favorite traveller, Sir John Malcolm, of Persian memory. You should have been there. The house is a cabinet of Persian curiosities. There was the original of the picture of the King of Persia in Ker Porter's Travels. It was given to Sir John by the monarch himself. There were also two daggers which the king presented with his own hand. I think Sir John must somehow have mesmerized him. Then Captain M. showed me sketches of his father's country house in the Himalaya Mountains: think of that! The Alps are commonplace; but a country seat in the Himalaya Mountains is something worth speaking of. There were two bricks from Babylon, and other curiosities innumerable.

Mrs. M. went with me to call on Lady Carlisle. She spoke much of the beauty and worth of her character, and said that though educated in the gayest circles of court, she had always preserved the same unworldly purity. Mrs. M. has visited Dunrobin and seen the Sutherland estates, and spoke much of the Duke's character as a landlord, and his efforts for the improvement of his tenantry.

Lady Carlisle was very affectionate, and invited me to visit Castle
Howard on my return to England.

Thursday I went with Lord Shaftesbury to see the charity children. What a sight! The whole central part of the cathedral was converted into an amphitheatre, and the children with white caps, white handkerchiefs, and white aprons, looked like a wide flower bed. The rustling, when they all rose up to prayer, was like the rise of a flock of doves, and when they chanted the church service, it was the warble of a thousand little brooks. As Spenser says,—

  "The angelical, soft, trembling voices made
   Unto the instruments respondence meet."

During the course of the services, when any little one was overcome with sleep or fatigue, he was carefully handed down, and conveyed in a man's arms to a refreshment room.

There was a sermon by the Bishop of Chester, very evangelical and practical. On the whole, a more peculiar or more lovely scene I never saw. The elegant arches of St. Paul's could have no more beautiful adornment than those immortal flowers.

After service we lunched with a large party, with Mrs. Milman, at the deanery near by. Mrs. Jameson was there, and Mrs. Gaskell, authoress of Mary Barton and Ruth. She has a very lovely, gentle face, and looks capable of all the pathos that her writings show. I promised her a visit when I go to Manchester. Thackeray was there with his fine figure, and frank, cheerful bearing. He spoke in a noble and brotherly way of America, and seemed to have highly enjoyed his visit in our country.

After this we made a farewell call at the lord mayor's. We found the lady mayoress returned from the queen's drawing room. From her accounts I should judge the ceremonial rather fatiguing. Mrs. M. asked me yesterday if I had any curiosity to see one. I confessed I had not. Merely to see public people in public places, in the way of parade and ceremony, was never interesting to me. I have seen very little of ceremony or show in England. Well, now, I have brought you down to this time. I have omitted, however, that I went with Lady Hatherton to call on Mr. and Mrs. Dickens, and was sorry to find him too unwell to be able to see us. Mrs. Dickens, who was busy in attending him, also excused herself, and we saw his sister.

To-morrow we go—go to quiet, to obscurity, to peace; to Paris—to Switzerland: there we shall find the loneliest glen, and, as the Bible says, "fall on sleep." For our adventures on the way, meanwhile, I refer you to C.'s journal.

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