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- Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands V2 - 4/64 -

done in the ragged schools was set on the table for the company to examine, and excited much interest.

I talked a little while with Lord Wriothesley Russell. From him we derived the idea that the queen was particularly careful in the training and religious instruction of her children. He said that she claimed that the young prince should be left entirely to his parents, in regard to his religious instruction, till he was seven years of age; but that, on examining him at that time, they were equally surprised and delighted with his knowledge of the Scriptures. I must remark here, that such an example as the queen sets in the education of her children makes itself felt through all the families of the kingdom. Domesticity is now the fashion in high life. I have had occasion to see, in many instances, how carefully ladies of rank instruct their children. This argues more favorably for the continuance of English institutions than any thing I have seen. If the next generation of those who are born to rank and power are educated, in the words of Fenelon, to consider these things "as a ministry," which they hold for the benefit of the poor, the problem of life in England will become easier of solution. Such are Lord Shaftesbury's views, and as he throws them out with unceasing fervor in his conversation and conduct, they cannot but powerfully affect not only his own circle, but all circles through the kingdom. Lady Shaftesbury is a beautiful and interesting woman, and warmly enters into the benevolent plans of her husband. A gentleman and lady with whom I travelled said that Lord and Lady Shaftesbury had visited in person the most forlorn and wretched parts of London, that they might get, by their own eyesight, a more correct gauge of the misery to be relieved. I did not see Lord Shaftesbury's children; but, from the crayon likenesses which hung upon the walls, they must be a family of uncommon beauty.

I talked a little while with the Bishop of Tuam. I was the more interested to do so because he was from that part of Ireland which Sibyl Jones has spoken of as being in so particularly miserable a condition. I said, "How are you doing now, in that part of the country? There has been a great deal of misery there, I hear." He said "There has been, but we have just turned the corner, and now I hope we shall see better days. The condition of the people has been improved by emigration and other causes, till the evils have been brought within reach, and we feel that there is hope of effecting a permanent improvement."

While I was sitting talking, Lord Shaltesbury brought a gentleman and lady, whom he introduced as Lord Chief Justice Campbell and Lady Strathheden. Lord Campbell is a man of most dignified and imposing personal presence; tall, with a large frame, a fine, high forehead, and strongly marked features. Naturally enough, I did not suppose them to be husband and wife, and when I discovered that they were so, expressed a good deal of surprise at their difference of titles; to which she replied, that she did not wonder we Americans were sometimes puzzled among the number of titles. She seemed quite interested to inquire into our manner of living and customs, and how they struck me as compared with theirs. The letter of Mrs. Tyler was much talked of, and some asked me if I supposed Mrs. Tyler really wrote it, expressing a little civil surprise at the style. I told them that I had heard it said that it must have been written by some of the gentlemen in the family, because it was generally understood that Mrs. Tyler was a very ladylike person. Some said, "It does us no harm to be reminded of our deficiencies; we need all the responsibility that can be put upon us." Others said, "It is certain we have many defects;" but Lord John Campbell said, "There is this difference between our evils and those of slavery: ours exist contrary to law; those are upheld by law."

I did not get any opportunity of conversing with the Archbishop of Canterbury, though this is the second time I have been in company with him. He is a most prepossessing man in his appearance--simple, courteous, mild, and affable. He was formerly Bishop of Chester, and is now Primate of all England.

It is some indication of the tendency of things in a country to notice what kind of men are patronized and promoted to the high places of the church. Sumner is a man refined, gentle, affable, scholarly, thoroughly evangelical in sentiment; to render him into American phraseology, he is in doctrine what we should call a moderate New School man. He has been a most industrious writer; one of his principal works is his Commentary on the New Testament, in several volumes; a work most admirably adapted for popular use, combining practical devotion with critical accuracy to an uncommon degree. He has also published a work on the Evidences of Christianity, in which he sets forth some evidences of the genuineness of the gospel narrative, which could only have been conceived by a mind of peculiar delicacy, and which are quite interesting and original. He has also written a work on Biblical Geology, which is highly spoken of by Sir Charles Lyell and others. If I may believe accounts that I hear, this mild and moderate man has shown a most admirable firmness and facility in guiding the ship of the establishment in some critical and perilous places of late years. I should add that he is warmly interested in all the efforts now making for the good of the poor.

Among other persons of distinction, this evening, I noticed Lord and Lady Palmerston.

A lady asked me this evening what I thought of the beauty of the ladies of the English aristocracy: she was a Scotch lady, by the by; so the question was a fair one. I replied, that certainly report had not exaggerated their charms. Then came a home question--how the ladies of England compared with the ladies of America. "Now for it, patriotism," said I to myself; and, invoking to my aid certain fair saints of my own country, whose faces I distinctly remembered, I assured her that I had never seen more beautiful women than I had in America. Grieved was I to be obliged to add, "But your ladies keep their beauty much later and longer." This fact stares one in the face in every company; one meets ladies past fifty, glowing, radiant, and blooming, with a freshness of complexion and fulness of outline refreshing to contemplate. What can be the reason? Tell us, Muses and Graces, what can it be? Is it the conservative power of sea fogs and coal smoke--the same cause that keeps the turf green, and makes the holly and ivy flourish? How comes it that our married ladies dwindle, fade, and grow thin--that their noses incline to sharpness, and their elbows to angularity, just at the time of life when their island sisters round out into a comfortable and becoming amplitude and fulness? If it is the fog and the sea coal, why, then, I am afraid we never shall come up with them. But perhaps there may be other causes why a country which starts some of the most beautiful girls in the world produces so few beautiful women. Have not our close-heated stove rooms something to do with it? Have not the immense amount of hot biscuits, hot corn cakes, and other compounds got up with the acrid poison of saleratus, something to do with it? Above all, has not our climate, with its alternate extremes of heat and cold, a tendency to induce habits Of in-door indolence? Climate, certainly, has a great deal to do with it; ours is evidently more trying and more exhausting; and because it is so, we should not pile upon its back errors of dress and diet which are avoided by our neighbors. They keep their beauty, because they keep their health. It has been as remarkable as any thing to me, since I have been here, that I do not constantly, as at home, hear one and another spoken of as in miserable health, as very delicate, &c. Health seems to be the rule, and not the exception. For my part, I must say, the most favorable omen that I know of for female beauty in America is, the multiplication of water cure establishments, where our ladies, if they get nothing else, do gain some ideas as to the necessity of fresh air, regular exercise, simple diet, and the laws of hygiene in general.

There is one thing more which goes a long way towards the continued health of these English ladies, and therefore towards their beauty; and that is, the quietude and perpetuity of their domestic institutions. They do not, like us, fade their cheeks lying awake nights ruminating the awful question who shall do the washing next week, or who shall take the chambermaid's place, who is going to be married, or that of the cook, who has signified her intention of parting with the mistress. Their hospitality is never embarrassed by the consideration that their whole kitchen cabinet may desert at the moment that their guests arrive. They are not obliged to choose between washing their own dishes, or having their cut glass, silver, and china left to the mercy of a foreigner, who has never done any thing but field work. And last, not least, they are not possessed with that ambition to do the impossible in all branches, which, I believe, is the death of a third of the women in America. What is there ever read of in books, or described in foreign travel, as attained by people in possession of every means and appliance, which our women will not undertake, single-handed, in spite of every providential indication to the contrary? Who is not cognizant of dinner parties invited, in which the lady of the house has figured successively as confectioner, cook, dining-room girl, and, lastly, rushed up stairs to bathe her glowing cheeks, smooth her hair, draw on satin dress and kid gloves, and appear in the drawing room as if nothing were the matter? Certainly the undaunted bravery of our American females can never enough be admired. Other women can play gracefully the head of the establishment; but who, like them, could be head, hand, and foot, all at once?

As I have spoken of stoves, I will here remark that I have not yet seen one in England; neither, so far as I can remember, have I seen a house warmed by a furnace. Bright coal fires, in grates of polished steel, are as yet the lares and penates of old England. If I am inclined to mourn over any defection in my own country, it is the closing up of the cheerful open fire, with its bright lights and dancing shadows, and the planting on our domestic hearth of that sullen, stifling gnome, the air-tight. I agree with Hawthorne in thinking the movement fatal to patriotism; for who would fight for an airtight!

I have run on a good way beyond our evening company; so good by for the present.


May 13. Dear father:--

To-day we are to go out to visit your Quaker friend, Mr. Alexander, at Stoke Newington, where you passed so many pleasant hours during your sojourn in England. At half past nine we went into the Congregational Union, which is now in session. I had a seat upon the platform, where I could command a view of the house. It was a most interesting assemblage to me, recalling forcibly our New England associations, and impressing more than ever on my mind how much of one blood the two countries are. These earnest, thoughtful, intelligent-looking men seemed to transport me back to my own country. They received us with most gratifying cordiality and kindness. Most naturally Congregationalism in England must turn with deep interest and sympathy to Congregationalism in America. In several very cordial addresses they testified their pleasure at seeing us among them, speaking most affectionately of you and your labors, and your former visit to England. The wives and daughters of many of them present expressed in their countenances the deepest and most affectionate feeling. It is

Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands V2 - 4/64

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