SUNNY MEMORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS V2
SUNNY MEMORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS V2
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
..... "When thou haply seest
Some rare note-worthy object in thy travels
Make me partake of thy happiness."
IN TWO VOLUMES.
CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME.
Breakfast.--Macaulay.--Hallam.--Milman.--Sir R. Inglis.--
Lunch at Surrey Parsonage.--Dinner at Sir E. Buxton's.
Dinner at Lord Shaftesbury's.
Stoke Newington.--Exeter Hall.--Antislavery Meeting.
Windsor.--The Picture Gallery.--Eton.--The Poet Gray.
LETTER XXIII. Rev. Mr. Gurney.--Richmond the Artist.--Kossuth.--
Pembroke Lodge.--Dinner at Lord John Russell's.--Lambeth Palace.
Joseph Sturge.--The "Times" upon Dressmaking.--Duke of Argyle.--
Sir David Brewster.--Lord Mahon.--Mr. Gladstone.
London Milliners.--Lord Shaftesbury.
LETTER XXVII. Archbishop of Canterbury's Sermon to the Ragged
Scholars.--Mr. Cobden.--Miss Greenfield's Concert.--Rev. S. R. Ward.
--Lady Byron.--Mrs. Jameson.--George Thompson.--Ellen Crafts.
Model Lodging Houses.--Lodging House Act.--Washing Houses.
LETTER XXIX. Benevolent Movements.--The Poor Laws.--The Insane.--
Factory Operatives.--Schools &c.
LETTER XXX. Presentation at Surrey Chapel.--House of Parliament.--
Miss Greenfield's Second Concert.--Sir John Malcolm.--The Charity
London to Paris.--Church Music.--The Shops.--The Louvre.--Music at
the Tuileries.--A Salon.--Versailles.--M. Belloc.
The Louvre.--The Venus de Milon.
M. Belloc's Studio.--M. Charpentier.--Salon Musicale.--Peter
Parley.--Jardin Mabille.--Remains of Nineveh.--The Emperor.--
Versailles.--Sartory.--Pere la Chaise.--Adolphe Monod.--Paris to
Lyons.--Diligence to Geneva.--Mont Blanc.--Lake Leman.
Route to Chamouni.--Glaciers.
Chamouni.--Rousse the Mule.--The Ascent.
The Ice Fields.
Chamouni to Martigny.--Humors of the Mules.
Alpine Flowers.--Pass of the Tete Noir.
Ascent to St. Bernard.--The Dogs.
Castle Chillon.--Bonnevard.--Mont Blanc from Geneva.--Luther and
Calvin.--Madame De Wette.--M. Fazy.
A Serenade.--Lausanne.--Freyburg.--Berne.--The Staubbach.--
Wengern Alps.--Flowers.--Glaciers.--The Eiger.
Glaciers.--Interlachen.--Sunrise in the Mountains.--Monument to the
Swiss Guards of Louis XVI.--Basle.--Strasbourg.
Frankfort.--Lessing's "Trial of Huss."
To Cologne.--The Cathedral.
Cologne.--Church of St. Ursula.--Relics.--Dusseldorf.
To Leipsic.--M. Tauchnitz.--Dresden.--The Gallery.--Berlin.
The Dresden Gallery.--Schoeffer.
Berlin.--The Palace.--The Museum.
Wittenberg.--Luther's House.--Melanchthon's House.
Erfurt.--The Cathedral.--Luther's Cell.--The Wartburg.
The Smoker discomfited.--Antwerp.--The Cathedral Chimes.--To Paris.
Paris.--School of Design.--Egyptian and Assyrian Remains.--Mrs. S. C.
Hall.--The Pantheon.--The Madeleine.--Notre Dame.--Beranger.--French
Character.--Observance of Sunday.
Seasickness on the Channel.
York.--Castle Howard.--Leeds.--Fountains Abbey.--Liverpool.--Irish
This letter I consecrate to you because I know that the persons and
things to be introduced into it will most particularly be appreciated
In your evening reading circles Macaulay Sidney Smith and Milman
have long been such familiar names that you will be glad to go with me
over all the scenes of my morning breakfast at Sir Charles Trevelyan's
yesterday. Lady Trevelyan I believe I have said before is the sister
of Macaulay and a daughter of Zachary Macaulay--that undaunted
laborer for the slave whose place in the hearts of all English
Christians is little below saintship.
We were set down at Welbourne Terrace somewhere I believe about
eleven o'clock and found quite a number already in the drawing room.
I had met Macaulay before but as you have not you will of course ask
a lady's first question "How does he look?"
Well my dear so far as relates to the mere outward husk of the soul
our engravers and daguerreotypists have done their work as well as
they usually do. The engraving that you get in the best editions of
his works may be considered I suppose a fair representation of how
he looks when he sits to have his picture taken which is generally
very different from the way any body looks at any other time. People
seem to forget in taking likenesses that the features of the face
are nothing but an alphabet and that a dry dead map of a person's
face gives no more idea how one looks than the simple presentation of
an alphabet shows what there is in a poem.
Macaulay's whole physique gives you the impression of great strength
and stamina of constitution. He has the kind of frame which we usually
imagine as peculiarly English; short stout and firmly knit. There is
something hearty in all his demonstrations. He speaks in that full
round rolling voice deep from the chest which we also conceive of
as being more common in England than America. As to his conversation
it is just like his writing; that is to say it shows very strongly
the same qualities of mind.
I was informed that he is famous for a most uncommon memory; one of
those men to whom it seems impossible to forget any thing once read;
and he has read all sorts of things that can be thought of in all
languages. A gentleman told me that he could repeat all the old
Newgate literature hanging ballads last speeches and dying
confessions; while his knowledge of Milton is so accurate that if
his poems were blotted out of existence they might be restored simply
from his memory. This same accurate knowledge extends to the Latin and
Greek classics and to much of the literature of modern Europe. Had
nature been required to make a man to order for a perfect historian
nothing better could have been put together especially since there is
enough of the poetic fire included in the composition to fuse all
these multiplied materials together and color the historical
crystallization with them.
Macaulay is about fifty. He has never married; yet there are
unmistakable evidences in the breathings and aspects of the family
circle by whom he was surrounded that the social part is not wanting
in his conformation. Some very charming young lady relatives seemed to
think quite as much of their gifted uncle as you might have done had
he been yours.
Macaulay is celebrated as a conversationalist; and like Coleridge
Carlyle and almost every one who enjoys this reputation he has
sometimes been accused of not allowing people their fair share in
conversation. This might prove an objection possibly to those who
wish to talk; but as I greatly prefer to hear it would prove none to
me. I must say however that on this occasion the matter was quite
equitably managed. There were I should think some twenty or thirty
at the breakfast table and the conversation formed itself into little
eddies of two or three around the table now and then welling out into
a great bay of general discourse. I was seated between Macaulay and
Milman and must confess I was a little embarrassed at times because
I wanted to hear what they were both saying at the same time. However
by the use of the faculty by which you play a piano with both hands I
got on very comfortably.
Milman's appearance is quite striking; tall stooping with a keen
black eye and perfectly white hair--a singular and poetic contrast. He
began upon architecture and Westminster Abbey--a subject to which I am
always awake. I told him I had not yet seen Westminster; for I was now
busy in seeing life and the present and by and by I meant to go there
and see death and the past.
Milman was for many years dean of Westminster and kindly offered me
his services to indoctrinate me into its antiquities.
Macaulay made some suggestive remarks on cathedrals generally. I said
that I thought it singular that we so seldom knew who were the
architects that designed these great buildings; that they appeared to
me the most sublime efforts of human genius.
He said that all the cathedrals of Europe were undoubtedly the result
of one or two minds; that they rose into existence very nearly
contemporaneously and were built by travelling companies of masons
under the direction of some systematic organization. Perhaps you knew
all this before but I did not; and so it struck me as a glorious
idea. And if it is not the true account of the origin of cathedrals
it certainly ought to be; and as our old grandmother used to say
"I'm going to believe it."
Looking around the table and seeing how every body seemed to be
enjoying themselves I said to Macaulay that these breakfast parties
were a novelty to me; that we never had them in America but that I
thought them the most delightful form of social life.
He seized upon the idea as he often does and turned it playfully
inside out and shook it on all sides just as one might play with the
lustres of a chandelier--to see them glitter. He expatiated on the
merits of breakfast parties as compared with all other parties. He
said dinner parties are mere formalities. You invite a man to dinner
because you _must_ invite him; because you are acquainted with
his grandfather or it is proper you should; but you invite a man to
breakfast because you want to see _him_. You may be sure if you
are invited to breakfast there is something agreeable about you. This
idea struck me as very sensible; and we all generally having the fact
before our eyes that _we_ were invited to breakfast approved the
"Yes" said Macaulay "depend upon it; if a man is a bore he never
gets an invitation to breakfast."
"Rather hard on the poor bores" said a lady.
"Particularly" said Macaulay laughing "as bores are usually the
most irreproachable of human beings. Did you ever hear a bore
complained of when they did not say that he was the best fellow in the
world? For my part if I wanted to get a guardian for a family of
defenceless orphans I should inquire for the greatest bore in the
vicinity. I should know that he would be a man of unblemished honor
The conversation now went on to Milton and Shakspeare. Macaulay made
one remark that gentlemen are always making and that is that there
is very little characteristic difference between Shakspeare's women.
Well there is no hope for that matter; so long as men are not women
they will think so. In general they lump together Miranda Juliet
Desdemona and Viola
"As matter too soft a lasting mark to bear
And best distinguished as black brown or fair."
It took Mrs. Jameson to set this matter forth in her Characteristics
of Women; a book for which Shakspeare if he could get up ought to
make her his best bow especially as there are fine things ascribed to
him there which I dare say he never thought of careless fellow
that he was! But I take it every true painter poet and artist is
in some sense so far a prophet that his utterances convey more to
other minds than he himself knows; so that doubtless should all the
old masters rise from the dead they might be edified by what
posterity has found in their works.
Some how or other we found ourselves next talking about Sidney Smith;
and it was very pleasant to me recalling the evenings when your
father has read and we have laughed over him to hear him spoken of as
a living existence by one who had known him. Still I have always had
a quarrel with Sidney for the wicked use to which he put his wit in
abusing good old Dr. Carey and the missionaries in India; nay in
some places he even stooped to be spiteful and vulgar. I could not
help therefore saying when Macaulay observed that he had the most
agreeable wit of any literary man of his acquaintance "Well it was
very agreeable but it could not have been very agreeable to the
people who came under the edge of it" and instanced his treatment of
Dr. Carey. Some others who were present seemed to feel warmly on this
subject too and Macaulay said--
"Ah well Sidney repented of that afterwards." He seemed to cling to
his memory and to turn from every fault to his joviality as a thing
he could not enough delight to remember.
Truly wit like charity covers a multitude of sins. A man who has
the faculty of raising a laugh in this sad earnest world is
remembered with indulgence and complacency always.
There were several other persons of note present at this breakfast
whose conversation I had not an opportunity of hearing as they sat at
a distance from me. There was Lord Glenelg brother of Sir Robert
Grant governor of Bombay whose beautiful hymns have rendered him
familiar in America. The favorite one commencing "When gathering
clouds around I view" was from his pen. Lord Glenelg formerly Sir
Charles Grant himself has been the author of several pieces of
poetry which were in their time quite popular.
The historian Hallam was also present whose Constitutional History
you will remember gave rise to one of Macaulay's finest reviews; a
quiet retiring man with a benignant somewhat sad expression of
countenance. The loss of an only son has cast a shadow over his life.
It was on this son that Tennyson wrote his "_In Memoriam_."
Sir Robert H. Inglis was also present and Mr. S. held considerable
conversation with him. Knowing that he was both high tory and high
church it was an agreeable surprise to find him particularly gentle
and bland in manners earnest and devout in religious sentiment. I
have heard him spoken of even among dissenters as a devout and
earnest man. Another proof this of what mistakes we fall into when we
judge the characters of persons at a distance from what we suppose
likely to be the effect of their sentiments. We often find the
professed aristocrat gentle and condescending and the professed
supporter of forms spiritual.
I think it very likely there may have been other celebrities present
whom I did not know. I am always finding out a day or two after that
I have been with somebody very remarkable and did not know it at the
After breakfast we found on consulting our list that we were to
lunch at Surrey parsonage.
Of all the cities I was ever in London is the most absolutely
unmanageable it takes so long to get any where; wherever you want to
go it seems to take you about two hours to get there. From the West
End down into the city is a distance that seems all but interminable.
London is now more than ten miles long. And yet this monster city is
stretching in all directions yearly and where will be the end of it
nobody knows. Southey says "I began to study the map of London
though dismayed at its prodigious extent. The river is no assistance
to a stranger in finding his way; there is no street along its banks
and no eminence from whence you can look around and take your
You may take these reflections as passing through my mind while we
were driving through street after street and going round corner after
corner towards the parsonage.
Surrey Chapel and parsonage were the church and residence of the
celebrated Kowland Hill. At present the incumbent is the Rev. Mr.
Sherman well known to many of our American clergy by the kind
hospitalities and attentions with which he has enriched their stay in
London. The church maintains a medium rank between Congregationalism
and Episcopacy retaining part of the ritual but being independent in
its government. The kindness of Mr. Sherman had assembled here a very
agreeable company among whom were Farquhar Tupper the artist
Cruikshank from whom I received a call the other morning and Mr.
Pilatte M. P. Cruikshank is an old man with gray hair and eyebrows
strongly marked features and keen eyes. He talked to me something
about the promotion of temperance by a series of literary sketches
illustrated by his pencil.
I sat by a lady who was well acquainted with Kingsley the author of
Alton Locke Hypatia and other works with whom I had some
conversation with regard to the influence of his writings.
She said that he had been instrumental in rescuing from infidelity
many young men whose minds had become unsettled; that he was a devoted
and laborious clergyman exerting himself without any cessation for
the good of his parish.
After the company were gone I tried to get some rest as my labors
were not yet over we being engaged to dine at Sir Edward Buxton's.
This was our most dissipated day in London. We never tried the
experiment again of going to three parties in one day.
By the time I got to my third appointment I was entirely exhausted. I
met here some however whom I was exceedingly interested to see;
among them Samuel Gurney brother of Elizabeth Fry with his wife and
family. Lady Edward Buxton is one of his daughters. All had that air
of benevolent friendliness which is characteristic of the sect.
Dr. Lushington the companion and venerable associate of Wilberforce
and Clarkson was also present. He was a member of Parliament with
Wilberforce forty or fifty years ago. He is now a judge of the
admiralty court that is to say of the law relating to marine
affairs. This is a branch of law which the nature of our government in
America makes it impossible for us to have. He is exceedingly
brilliant and animated in conversation.
Dr. Cunningham the author of World without Souls was present. There
was there also a master of Harrow School.
He told me an anecdote which pleased me for several reasons; that
once when the queen visited the school she put to him the inquiry
"whether the educational system of England did not give a
disproportionate attention to the study of the ancient classics." His
reply was "that her majesty could best satisfy her mind on that point
by observing what men the public schools of England had hitherto
produced;" certainly a very adroit reply yet one which would be
equally good against the suggestion of any improvement whatever. We
might as well say see what men we have been able to raise in America
without any classical education at all; witness Benjamin Franklin