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 ***