Sunny Memories Of Foreign Lands - Volume 2 - By Harriet Beecher Stowe


It has occurred to me, that the superior stability of the English
aristocracy, as compared with that of other countries - Page 119
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It Has Occurred To Me, That The Superior Stability Of The English Aristocracy, As Compared With That Of Other Countries, Might Be Traced, In Part, To Their Relations With The Representative Branch Of The Government.

The eldest son and heir is generally returned to the House of Commons by the vote of the people, before he is called to take his seat in the House of Peers.

Thus the same ties bind them to the people which bind our own representatives - a peculiarity which, I believe, never existed permanently with the nobles in any other country. By this means the nobility, when they enter the House of Lords, are better adapted to legislate wisely for the interests, not of a class, but of the whole people.

The next day the house was filled with company, and the Leeds offering was presented, the account of which you will see in the papers. Every thing was arranged with the greatest consideration. I saw many interesting people, and was delighted with the strong, religious interest in the cause of liberty, pervading all hearts. Truly it may be said, that Wilberforce and Clarkson lighted a candle which will never go out in England.

Monday we spent in a delightful visit to Fountains Abbey; less rich in carvings than Melrose, but wider in extent, and of a peculiar architectural beauty. We lunched in what _was_ the side gallery of the refectory, where some drowsy old brother used to read the lives of saints to the monks eating below. We walked over the graves of abbots, and through the scriptorium, which reminded me of the exquisite scene in the Golden Legend, of the old monk in the scriptorium busily illuminating a manuscript.

In the course of the afternoon a telegraph came from the mayor of Liverpool, to inquire if our party would accept a public breakfast at the town hall before sailing, as a demonstration of sympathy with the cause of freedom. Remembering the time when Clarkson began his career, amid such opposition in Liverpool, we could not but regard such an evidence of its present public sentiment as full of encouragement, although the state of my health and engagements rendered it necessary for me to decline.

Tuesday we parted from our excellent friends in Leeds, and soon found ourselves once more in the beautiful Dingle; our first and our last resting-place on English shores.

Sad letters from home met us there; yet not sad, since they only told us of friends admitted before us to that mystery of glory for which we are longing - of which all that we have seen in art or nature are but dim suggestions and images.

A deputation from Ireland here met me, presenting a beautiful bog oak casket, lined with gold, and carved with appropriate national symbols, containing an offering for the cause of the oppressed. They read a beautiful address, and touched upon the importance of inspiring with the principles of emancipation the Irish nation, whose influence in our land is becoming so great. Had time and strength permitted, it had been my purpose to visit Ireland, to revisit Scotland, and to see more of England. But it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

And now came parting, leave taking, last letters, notes, and messages.

The mayor of Liverpool and the Rev. Dr. Raffles breakfasted with us, and after breakfast Dr. R. commended us in prayer to God. Could we feel in this parting that we were leaving those whom we had known for so brief a space? Never have I so truly felt the unity of the Christian church, that oneness of the great family in heaven and on earth, as in the experience of this journey. A large party accompanied us to the wharf, and went with us on board the tender. The shores were lined with sympathizing friends, who waved their adieus to us as we parted. And thus, almost sadly as a child might leave its home, I left the shores of kind, strong Old England - the mother of us all.


*** END OF SUNNY MEMORIES OF FOREIGN LANDS V2 by Harriet Beecher Stowe ***

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