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in his garden when I arrived, but he was immediately called, and came in, with one of those great white wigs on his head, with which we learned, when boys, to associate impressions of gravity and wisdom. Mrs. and her two daughters were employed about the domestic affairs, and, while the clergyman entertained me with remarks on religious sects, polemic divinity, American writers of sermons, and other professional topics, the cloth was laid, at one o'clock, and arrangements for dinner were evidently in great forwardness. It was in vain that I attempted to take my leave, feeling it not perfectly proper to extend a morning call so as to include dinner; their frankness and hospitality silenced or overcame my scruples, and I consented to stay. In the mean time one of the ladies sat down at the piano, and entertained us with music, and the father next invited me to go with him, and see the parish church and burying ground. On our return, we partook of what was, in every respect, a Connecticut family din
I could hardly persuade myself that I was not in my own country, and few occurrences since I have been in England, have been so interesting to my feelings. I will mention only one other circumstance, and this you will
pronounce still more like Connecticut than any thing I have mentioned. Because I happened to be dressed in black, an impression, it seems, had, from the moment of my arrival, prevailed in the family, that I was a clergyman. I do not doubt that they would have treated me with equal kindness had their impressions been otherwise; but it was unpleasant to me to disappoint the calculations of aid on the approaching Sabbath, which I found that my worthy host had formed; for, after we had returned from our visit to the parish church, he very gravely re
marked, seeming to consider it as a matter of course) that he should expect my assistance in the desk, on the next Sunday. The explanation which necessarily followed, caused much mirth in the family, and although some little degree of mutual embarrassment was produced by the mistake, it ended so pleasantly, that I did not regret the occurrence.
There has been a thunder storm this evening, with torrents of rain, which have disengaged such quantities of hepatic gas, from the subterranean receptacles of filth, that the air has been, for hours, extremely offensive. I am told that sudden and heavy rains usually produce this effect in London, and that sometimes the gas
is so abundant as to blacken the silver utensils in the closets. These
gases are varieties of hydrogen gas, or inflamable air, principally the sulphuretted and carburetted gases ; they are generated by pụtrefaction, in the vaults and sewers, and the effect of showers may be in part to render this putrefaction more active, and thus to generate more gas, but principally to expel that which is already formed, and which needs nothing but hydrostatic pressure to force it out of the pores and cavities which it occupies.
August 5.- I have had occasion this morning to call with a friend on a man not a little known to the literary and scientific world, and one to whom I was almost a stranger. I had often heard that distinguished literary men were prone to be vain, but I never have seen so striking an example of it combined with so much good nature, and amiableness, as in this instance. After finishing our business, the conversation turned on the reviews of London, of which this gentleman complained, on the score of personal injustice done to bimself. But, to convince us
that the world was not wholly undiscerning of merit, he brought us a number of little articles which he had, at various times, received as tokens of esteem from distinguished personages, and he came back from his study loaded with books, turned down in dogs' ears, to passages
where himself or his works were quoted or praised, and with the utmost frankness and composure he bestowed on himself and his own productions the same commendations which, I have no doubt, he would with equal readiness have given to another who in his opinion deserved them.
The same companion went with me to call on the American ministers, to pay our respects to them as the representatives of our country: I allude to our minister resident, Mr. Monroe, and to Mr. Bowdoin who is now accidentally in London on his way to Spain. Both gentlemen received us with the greatest civility and kindness, which was the more gratifying as we were without introduction and performed this service for each other; we received offers of service and kindness, and left them not a little pleased with the urbanity of our ambassadors. A circumstance occurred while we were inquiring for Mr. Monroe's residence, which seems to evince that the dignity of an ambassador is not duly appreciated by every body in London. We went first to Dover-street, rapped at a house where we were told that the American ambassador lived : a woman came to the door, of whom we inquired whether his excellency, the American minister was at home; she replied that no such person lived there, but that she believed we should find something of the kind at the next house.
After tea, as it was a fine serene evening, I walked with an acquaintance out to Hampstead, a delightful village, situated four miles north of London, on a high hill, which overlooks the metropolis and the country around for many miles. Very near Hampstead, on the same range of hills, stands Highgate, another pleasant village. Thomson in the prospect from Richmond-Hill has alluded to these two eminences under the name of " the sisterhills.” Our walk was principally through green fields, among herds of very fine cows, which are fed here to supply London with milk. We saw a corps of volunteer riflemen firing at a mark, to acquire that skill for which there is still some reason to believe they may yet find occasion. We returned to town in a beautiful moon light evening, and arrived somewhat fatigued, after a ramble of eight or ten miles, but, sitting to write the occurrences of the day, has rested me again, and fitted me for quiet repose.
August 6.—I have been with an English companion to see the manufactory of carpets at Saffron-hill in London. There I had the pleasure of witnessing, on a large scale, the execution of most of the processes, by which those beautiful stuffs are produced, which adorn the floors of our halls and parlours. The weaving is extremely ingenious, but eludes my powers of description.
On our return, we went into Gray's Inn Gardens, to look at a tree under which the great Lord Bacon used to sit while writing and reading. He was a stulent at Gray's Ion, and this his favourite tree is preserved with great veneration.
We went next to Hatton Garden, where is a principal seat of inquiry into offences against the peace. This inquiry is held before a single magistrate, who proceeds in a very summary way, binding over, or dismissing the party, as he thinks proper. We went into the court, and heard an examination and decision in the course of five minutes.
The police of London must be very good, or the people uncommonly well disposed, for the place is almost as free from turmoil as a village.
I was invited to-day to dine with a club at the British Coffee House, on an occasion of considerable interest, and carried with me a ticket of admission, signed by the member who had invited me, in which I was named as a visitor. But, on placing my foot upon the stairs, to ascend to the club-room, a servant demanded of me half a guinea, and, upon my expressing my surprise at such a demand, he told me it was for my wine and dinner. I told him that I came as a guest, and prodụced my ticket. He replied that this made no difference, every body must pay. Supposing that it might be an imposition, and, if not, conceiving the demand indelicate and inadmissible, I withdrew; but, I find, upon inquiry, that the servant was honestly doing his duty. I mention the circumstance without either commendation or censure, as being illustrative of some deviation, in the case of clubs in this country, from the received rules of private hospitality.