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




































































































 -  It is a slow, but not unpleasant gait, and if the
creature were not so insignificantly small, as to make - Page 5
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It Is A Slow, But Not Unpleasant Gait, And If The Creature Were Not So Insignificantly Small, As To Make

You feel much as if you were riding upon a cat, it would be quite a pleasant affair. After dismounting

I crept through a hole in a hedge, and looked for some flowers; and, in short, made the most that I could of my interview with nature, till it came time to go home to dinner, for our dinner hour at Mr. B.'s is between one and two; quite like home. In the evening we were to dine at Lord Shaftesbury's.

After napping all the afternoon we went to Grosvenor Square. There was only a small, select party, of about sixteen. Among the guests were Dr. McAll, Hebrew professor in King's College, Lord Wriothesley Russell, brother of Lord John, and one of the private chaplains of the queen, and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr. McAll is a millenarian. He sat next to C. at table, and they had some conversation on that subject. He said those ideas had made a good deal of progress in the English mind.

While I was walking down to dinner with Lord Shaftesbury, he pointed out to me in the hall the portrait of his distinguished ancestor, Antony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, whose name he bears. This ancestor, notwithstanding his sceptical philosophy, did some good things, as he was the author of the habeas corpus act.

After dinner we went back to the drawing rooms again; and while tea and coffee were being served, names were constantly being announced, till the rooms were quite full.

Among the earliest who arrived was Mr. - - , a mulatto gentleman, formerly British consul at Liberia. I found him a man of considerable cultivation and intelligence, evincing much good sense in his observations.

I overheard some one saying in the crowd, "Shaftesbury has been about the chimney sweepers again in Parliament." I said to Lord Shaftesbury, "I thought that matter of the chimney sweepers had been attended to long ago, and laws made about it."

"So we have made laws," said he, "but people won't keep them unless we follow them up."

He has a very prompt, cheerful way of speaking, and throws himself into every thing he talks about with great interest and zeal. He introduced me to one gentleman, I forget his name now, as the patron of the shoeblacks. On my inquiring what that meant, he said that he had started the idea of providing employment for poor street boys, by furnishing them with brushes and blacking, and forming them into regular companies of shoeblacks. Each boy has his' particular stand, where he blacks the shoes of every passer by who chooses to take the trouble of putting up his foot and paying his twopence. Lord Shaftesbury also presented me to a lady who had been a very successful teacher in the ragged schools; also to a gentleman who, he said, had been very active in the London city missions. Some very ingenious work 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.

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