Passages from the English Note-Books - Nathaniel Hawthorne - ebook

Passages from the English Note-Books ebook

Nathaniel Hawthorne



The "English Note-Books" were the result of Hawthorne's residence abroad, on being appointed Consul at Liverpool, by President Pierce. Although the "English Note-Books" are not so abundant in imaginative hints as the American, their range of topic and observation is wider, and they show how readily the author, who had lived as a recluse at home, adapted himself to society, to the obligations which his public position and his fame brought upon him.

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Passages from the English Note-Books

Nathaniel Hawthorne


Nathaniel Hawthorne – A Biographical Primer

Passages From The English Note-Books

Introductory Note To The English Note-Books

Preface. By Sophia Hawthorne


A Walk To Bebbington.

Rock Park.

Elizabeth Hampson.


Eaton Hall.

Conway Castle.



To The Lakes.

Newby Bridge.--Foot Of Windermere.

Furness Abbey.

The Lakes.

The Launch.

Smithell's Hall.









Aldershott Camp.


Battle Abbey.


London.--Milton-Club Dinner.

Reform-Club Dinner.


The House Of Commons.


Edinburgh.--The Palace Of Holyrood.

Holyrood Abbey.

High Street And The Grass-Market.

The Castle.


Dryburgh Abbey,





York Minster.






The Cathedral.



The Cathedral,

Netley Abbey,

To Blackheath

The Wine-Vaults Of The London Docks.


Christ Church.

Merton College,

Ratcliffe Library.

The Bodleian Library.

The Taylor Institute,

Hampton Court,


Omskirk Church.

The Cathedral.


To York.

Bolton Priory,


Easter Sunday,

The Minster.


Manchester Cathedral,

Mr. Browne's Free Library,


The Cathedral,

To Nottingham.


Newstead Abbey,


To Scotland.


Dumbarton Castle,



The Trosachs' Hotel.--Ardcheanochrochan.

Loch Katrine,

Brig Of Allan.







Durham Cathedral


Old Trafford, Manchester.






British Museum,


Passages from the English Note-Books, N. Hawthorne

Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck

86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9


ISBN: 9783849640989

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Nathaniel Hawthorne – A Biographical Primer

By Edward Everett Hale

American novelist: b. Salem, Mass., 4 July 1804; d. Plymouth, N. H., 19 May 1864. The founder of the family in America was William Hathorne (as the name was then spelled), a typical Puritan and a public man of importance. John, his son, was a judge, one of those presiding over the witchcraft trials. Of Joseph in the next generation little is said, but Daniel, next in decent, followed the sea and commanded a privateer in the Revolution, while his son Nathaniel, father of the romancer, was also a sea Captain. This pure New England descent gave a personal character to Hawthorne's presentations of New England life; when he writes of the strictness of the early Puritans, of the forests haunted by Indians, of the magnificence of the provincial days, of men high in the opinion of their towns-people, of the reaching out to far lands and exotic splendors, he is expressing the stored-up experience of his race. His father died when Nathaniel was but four and the little family lived a secluded life with his mother. He was a handsome boy and quite devoted to reading, by an early accident which for a time prevented outdoor games. His first school was with Dr. Worcester, the lexicographer. In 1818 his mother moved to Raymond, Me., where her brother had bought land, and Hawthorne went to Bowdoin College. He entered college at the age of 17 in the same class with Longfellow. In the class above him was Franklin Pierce, afterward 12th President of the United States. On being graduated in 1825 Hawthorne determined upon literature as a profession, but his first efforts were without success. ‘Fanshawe’ was published anonymously in 1828, and shorter tales and sketches were without importance. Little need be said of these earlier years save to note that they were full of reading and observation. In 1836 he edited in Boston the AmericanMagazine for Useful and Entertaining Knowledge, but gained little from it save an introduction to ‘The Token,’ in which his tales first came to be known. Returning to Salem he lived a very secluded life, seeing almost no one (rather a family trait), and devoted to his thoughts and imaginations. He was a strong and powerful man, of excellent health and, though silent, cheerful, and a delightful companion when be chose. But intellectually he was of a separated and individual type, having his own extravagances and powers and submitting to no companionship in influence. In 1837 appeared ‘Twice Told Tales’ in book form: in a preface written afterward Hawthorne says that he was at this time “the obscurest man of letters in America.” Gradually he began to be more widely received. In 1839 he became engaged to Miss Sophia Peabody, but was not married for some years. In 1838 he was appointed to a place in the Boston custom house, but found that he could not easily save time enough for literature and was not very sorry when the change of administration put him out of office. In 1841 was founded the socialistic community at Brook Farm: it seemed to Hawthorne that here was a chance for a union of intellectual and physical work, whereby he might make a suitable home for his future wife. It failed to fulfil his expectations and Hawthorne withdrew from the experiment. In 1842 he was married and moved with his wife to the Old Manse at Concord just above the historic bridge. Here chiefly he wrote the ‘Mosses of an Old Manse’ (1846). In 1845 he published a second series of ‘Twice Told Tales’; in this year also the family moved to Salem, where he had received the appointment of surveyor at the custom house. As before, official work was a hindrance to literature; not till 1849 when he lost his position could he work seriously. He used his new-found leisure in carrying out a theme that had been long in his mind and produced ‘The Scarlet Letter’ in 1850. This, the first of his longer novels, was received with enthusiasm and at once gave him a distinct place in literature. He now moved to Lenox, Mass., where he began on ‘The House of Seven Gables,’ which was published in 1851. He also wrote ‘A Wonder-Book’ here, which in its way has become as famous as his more important work. In December 1851 he moved to West Newton, and shortly to Concord again, this time to the Wayside. At Newton he wrote ‘The Blithedale Romance.’ Having settled himself at Concord in the summer of 1852, his first literary work was to write the life of his college friend, Franklin Pierce, just nominated for the Presidency. This done he turned to ‘Tanglewood Tales,’ a volume not unlike the ‘Wonder-Book.’ In 1853 he was named consul to Liverpool: at first he declined the position, but finally resolved to take this opportunity to see something of Europe. He spent four years in England, and then a year in Italy. As before, he could write nothing while an official, and resigned in 1857 to go to Rome, where he passed the winter, and to Florence, where he received suggestions and ideas which gave him stimulus for literary work. The summer of 1858 he passed at Redcar, in Yorkshire, where he wrote ‘The Marble Faun.’ In June 1860 he sailed for America, where he returned to the Wayside. For a time he did little literary work; in 1863 he published ‘Our Old Home,’ a series of sketches of English life, and planned a new novel, ‘The Dolliver Romance,’ also called ‘Pansie.’ But though he suffered from no disease his vitality seemed relaxed; some unfortunate accidents had a depressing effect, and in the midst of a carriage trip into the White Mountains with his old friend, Franklin Pierce, he died suddenly at Plymouth, N. H., early in the morning, 19 May 1864.

The works of Hawthorne consist of novels, short stories, tales for children, sketches of life and travel and some miscellaneous pieces of a biographical or descriptive character. Besides these there were published after his death extracts from his notebooks. Of his novels ‘The Scarlet Letter’ is a story of old New England; it has a powerful moral idea at bottom, but it is equally strong in its presentation of life and character in the early days of Massachusetts. ‘House of the Seven Gables’ presents New England life of a later date; there is more of careful analysis and presentation of character and more description of life and manners, but less moral intensity. ‘The Blithedale Romance’ is less strong; Hawthorne seems hardly to grasp his subject. It makes the third in what may be called a series of romances presenting the molding currents of New England life: the first showing the factors of religion and sin, the second the forces of hereditary good and evil, and the third giving a picture of intellectual and emotional ferment in a society which had come from very different beginnings. ‘Septimius Felton,’ finished in the main but not published by Hawthorne, is a fantastic story dealing with the idea of immortality. It was put aside by Hawthorne when he began to write ‘The Dolliver Romance,’ of which he completed only the first chapters. ‘Dr. Grimshaw's Secret’ (published in 1882) is also not entirely finished. These three books represent a purpose that Hawthorne never carried out. He had presented New England life, with which the life of himself and his ancestry was so indissolubly connected, in three characteristic phases. He had traced New England history to its source. He now looked back across the ocean to the England he had learned to know, and thought of a tale that should bridge the gulf between the Old World and the New. But the stories are all incomplete and should be read only by the student. The same thing may be said of ‘Fanshawe,’ which was published anonymously early in Hawthorne's life and later withdrawn from circulation. ‘The Marble Faun’ presents to us a conception of the Old World at its oldest point. It is Hawthorne's most elaborate work, and if every one were familiar with the scenes so discursively described, would probably be more generally considered his best. Like the other novels its motive is based on the problem of evil, but we have not precisely atonement nor retribution, as in his first two novels. The story is one of development, a transformation of the soul through the overcoming of evil. The four novels constitute the foundation of Hawthorne's literary fame and character, but the collections of short stories do much to develop and complete the structure. They are of various kinds, as follows: (1) Sketches of current life or of history, as ‘Rills from the Town Pump,’ ‘The Village Uncle,’ ‘Main Street,’ ‘Old News.’ These are chiefly descriptive and have little story; there are about 20 of them. (2) Stories of old New England, as ‘The Gray Champion,’ ‘The Gentle Boy,’ ‘Tales of the Province House.’ These stories are often illustrative of some idea and so might find place in the next set. (3) Stories based upon some idea, as ‘Ethan Brand,’ which presents the idea of the unpardonable sin; ‘The Minister's Black Veil,’ the idea of the separation of each soul from its fellows; ‘Young Goodman Brown,’ the power of doubt in good and evil. These are the most characteristic of Hawthorne's short stories; there are about a dozen of them. (4) Somewhat different are the allegories, as ‘The Great Stone Face,’ ‘Rappacini's Daughter,’ ‘The Great Carbuncle.’ Here the figures are not examples or types, but symbols, although in no story is the allegory consistent. (5) There are also purely fantastic developments of some idea, as ‘The New Adam and Eve,’ ‘The Christmas Banquet,’ ‘The Celestial Railroad.’ These differ from the others in that there is an almost logical development of some fancy, as in case of the first the idea of a perfectly natural pair being suddenly introduced to all the conventionalities of our civilization. There are perhaps 20 of these fantasies. Hawthorne's stories from classical mythology, the ‘Wonder-Book’ and ‘Tanglewood Tales,’ belong to a special class of books, those in which men of genius have retold stories of the past in forms suited to the present. The stories themselves are set in a piece of narrative and description which gives the atmosphere of the time of the writer, and the old legends are turned from stately myths not merely to children's stories, but to romantic fancies. Mr. Pringle in ‘Tanglewood Fireside’ comments on the idea: “Eustace,” he says to the young college student who had been telling the stories to the children, “pray let me advise you never more to meddle with a classical myth. Your imagination is altogether Gothic and will inevitably Gothicize everything that you touch. The effect is like bedaubing a marble statue with paint. This giant, now! How can you have ventured to thrust his huge disproportioned mass among the seemly outlines of Grecian fable?” “I described the giant as he appeared to me,” replied the student, “And, sir, if you would only bring your mind into such a relation to these fables as is necessary in order to remodel them, you would see at once that an old Greek has no more exclusive right to them than a modern Yankee has. They are the common property of the world and of all time” (“Wonder-Book,” p. 135). ‘Grandfather's Chair’ was also written primarily for children and gives narratives of New England history, joined together by a running comment and narrative from Grandfather, whose old chair had come to New England, not in the Mayflower, but with John Winthrop and the first settlers of Boston. ‘Biographical Stories,’ in a somewhat similar framework, tells of the lives of Franklin, Benjamin West and others. It should be noted of these books that Hawthorne's writings for children were always written with as much care and thought as his more serious work. ‘Our Old Home’ was the outcome of that less remembered side of Hawthorne's genius which was a master of the details of circumstance and surroundings. The notebooks give us this also, but the American notebook has also rather a peculiar interest in giving us many of Hawthorne's first ideas which were afterward worked out into stories and sketches.

One element in Hawthorne's intellectual make-up was his interest in the observation of life and his power of description of scenes, manners and character. This is to be seen especially, as has been said, in his notebooks and in ‘Our Old Home,’ and in slightly modified form in the sketches noted above. These studies make up a considerable part of ‘Twice Told Tales’ and ‘Mosses from an Old Manse,’ and represent a side of Hawthorne's genius not always borne in mind. Had this interest been predominant in him we might have had in Hawthorne as great a novelist of our everyday life as James or Howells. In the ‘House of Seven Gables’ the power comes into full play; 100 pages hardly complete the descriptions of the simple occupations of a single uneventful day. In Hawthorne, however, this interest in the life around him was mingled with a great interest in history, as we may see, not only in the stories of old New England noted above, but in the descriptive passages of ‘The Scarlet Letter.’ Still we have not, even here, the special quality for which we know Hawthorne. Many great realists have written historical novels, for the same curiosity that absorbs one in the affairs of everyday may readily absorb one in the recreation of the past. In Hawthorne, however, was another element very different. His imagination often furnished him with conceptions having little connection with the actual circumstances of life. The fanciful developments of an idea noted above (5) have almost no relation to fact: they are “made up out of his own head.” They are fantastic enough, but generally they are developments of some moral idea and a still more ideal development of such conceptions was not uncommon in Hawthorne. ‘Rappacini's Daughter’ is an allegory in which the idea is given a wholly imaginary setting, not resembling anything that Hawthorne had ever known from observation. These two elements sometimes appear in Hawthorne's work separate and distinct just as they did in his life: sometimes he secluded himself in his room, going out only after nightfall; sometimes he wandered through the country observing life and meeting with everybody. But neither of these elements alone produced anything great, probably because for anything great we need the whole man. The true Hawthorne was a combination of these two elements, with various others of personal character, and artistic ability that cannot be specified here. The most obvious combination between these two elements, so far as literature is concerned, between the fact of external life and the idea of inward imagination, is by a symbol. The symbolist sees in everyday facts a presentation of ideas. Hawthorne wrote a number of tales that are practically allegories: ‘The Great Stone Face’ uses facts with which Hawthorne was familiar, persons and scenes that he knew, for the presentation of a conception of the ideal. His novels, too, are full of symbolism. ‘The Scarlet Letter’ itself is a symbol and the rich clothing of Little Pearl, Alice's posies among the Seven Gables, the old musty house itself, are symbols, Zenobia's flower, Hilda's doves. But this is not the highest synthesis of power, as Hawthorne sometimes felt himself, as when he said of ‘The Great Stone Face,’ that the moral was too plain and manifest for a work of art. However much we may delight in symbolism it must be admitted that a symbol that represents an idea only by a fanciful connection will not bear the seriousness of analysis of which a moral idea must be capable. A scarlet letter A has no real connection with adultery, which begins with A and is a scarlet sin only to such as know certain languages and certain metaphors. So Hawthorne aimed at a higher combination of the powers of which he was quite aware, and found it in figures and situations in which great ideas are implicit. In his finest work we have, not the circumstance before the conception or the conception before the circumstance, as in allegory. We have the idea in the fact, as it is in life, the two inseparable. Hester Prynne's life does not merely present to us the idea that the breaking of a social law makes one a stranger to society with its advantages and disadvantages. Hester is the result of her breaking that law. The story of Donatello is not merely a way of conveying the idea that the soul which conquers evil thereby grows strong in being and life. Donatello himself is such a soul growing and developing. We cannot get the idea without the fact, nor the fact without the idea. This is the especial power of Hawthorne, the power of presenting truth implicit in life. Add to this his profound preoccupation with the problem of evil in this world, with its appearance, its disappearance, its metamorphoses, and we have a due to Hawthorne's greatest works. In ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ ‘The House of Seven Gables,’ ‘The Marble Faun,’ ‘Ethan Brand,’ ‘The Gray Champion,’ the ideas cannot be separated from the personalities which express them. It is this which constitutes Hawthorne's lasting power in literature. His observation is interesting to those that care for the things that he describes, his fancy amuses, or charms or often stimulates our ideas. His short stories are interesting to a student of literature because they did much to give a definite character to a literary form which has since become of great importance. His novels are exquisite specimens of what he himself called the romance, in which the figures and scenes are laid in a world a little more poetic than that which makes up our daily surrounding. But Hawthorne's really great power lay in his ability to depict life so that we are made keenly aware of the dominating influence of moral motive and moral law.

Passages From The English Note-Books


The dear and valued friend, who, by his generous and genial hospitality and unfailing sympathy, contributed so largely (as is attested by the book itself) to render Mr. Hawthorne's residence in England agreeable and homelike, these ENGLISH NOTES are dedicated, with sincere respect and regard, by


Introductory Note To The English Note-Books

By George Parsons Lathrop

LITTLE comment is needed in reference to the "English Note-Books," besides that which Mrs. Hawthorne made on first introducing them to the public. They were the result of Hawthorne's residence abroad, on being appointed Consul at Liverpool, by President Pierce. In 1857, just before leaving England for the Continent, Hawthorne, in writing to Mr. Fields, spoke of them as follows:--

"I made up a huge package the other day, consisting of seven closely written volumes of journal, kept by me since my arrival in England, and filled with sketches of places and men and manners, many of which would doubtless be very delightful to the public. I think I shall seal them up, with directions in my will to have them opened and published a century hence; and your firm shall have the refusal of them then."

The jesting tone of these sentences shows clearly enough that he really had no intention of arranging for the publication of the Notes after his death; and, in fact, he left no instructions concerning them. But Mrs. Hawthorne, in the Preface which follows the present editor's brief paragraphs, has explained the motives which led her to place her husband's journalsbefore the reading public. His object in writing them was to preserve for his own use, and the freshening of his recollection, those keen but fleeting impressions which are caused by the first contact with new scenes and persons, and never can be set forth with their original vividness unless promptly embodied in writing. Portions of the current record which Hawthorne so carefully preserved were afterwards recast and utilized in the chapters of "Our Old Home"; and, had he lived longer, further material from them would very likely have been introduced into his finished work. Among the papers left by him bearing on "Septimius Felton," was a list of references, with the dates, to passages in his English journals, containing matter which he probably thought would prove suggestive and useful when he should come to that part of the contemplated romance which was to enact itself amid English surroundings.

Although the "English Note-Books" are not so abundant in imaginative hints as the English, their range of topic and observation is wider, and they show how readily the author, who had lived as a recluse at home, adapted himself to society, to the obligations which his public position and his fame brought upon him. The larger intercourse with the world which he enjoyed in England was, indeed, much to his taste, notwithstanding the resolute devotion to solitude that he maintained in America, where the conditions seem to have been less well suited for bringing him into association with others, and left him to follow the dictates of an inborn reserve and shyness. Mrs. Hawthorne has expressed the hope that her husband's Note-Books might dispel the often-expressed opinion that he was gloomy or morbid; anddoubtless they have had, in a measure, this effect. The cheerful tone, blending with or rising above his natural pensiveness, is very noticeable in the present volumes; and Mrs. Hawthorne, observing how it gained in strength instead of diminishing with age, once expressed to the writer of these lines the belief that, had Hawthorne survived in full health to a riper age, he would have written more than he did in the genial strain of "Our Old Home," which had long before voiced itself in the Introduction to the "Mosses."

G. P. L.

Preface.By Sophia Hawthorne

IT seems justly due to Mr. Hawthorne that the occasion of any portion of his private journals being brought before the Public should be made known, since they were originally designed for his own reference only.

There had been a constant and an urgent demand for a life or memoir of Mr. Hawthorne; yet, from the extreme delicacy and difficulty of the subject, the Editor felt obliged to refuse compliance with this demand. Moreover, Mr. Hawthorne had frequently and emphatically expressed the hope that no one would attempt to write his Biography; and the Editor perceived that it would be impossible for any person, outside of his own domestic circle, to succeed in doing it, on account of his extreme reserve. But it was ungracious to do nothing, and therefore the Editor, believing that Mr. Hawthorne himself was alone capable of satisfactorily answering the affectionate call for some sketch of his life, concluded to publish as much as possible of his private records, and even extracts from his private letters, in order to gratify the desire of his friends and of literary artists to become more intimately acquainted with him. The Editor has been severely blamed and wondered at, in some instances, for allowing many things now published to see thelight; but it has been a matter both of conscience and courtesy to withhold nothing that could be given up. Many of the journals were doubtless destroyed; for the earliest date found in his English papers was that of 1835.

The Editor has transcribed the manuscripts just as they were left, without making any new arrangement or altering any sequence,--merely omitting some passages, and being especially careful to preserve whatever could throw any light upon his character. To persons on a quest for characteristics, however, each of his books reveals a great many, and it is believed that with the aid of the Notes (both English and English) the Tales and Romances will make out a very complete and true picture of his individuality; and the Notes are often an open sesame to the artistic works.

Several thickly written pages of observations--fine and accurate etchings--have been omitted, sometimes because too personal with regard to himself or others, and sometimes because they were afterwards absorbed into one or another of the Romances or papers in "Our Old Home." It seemed a pity not to give these original cartoons fresh from his mind, because they are so carefully finished at the first stroke. Yet, as Mr. Hawthorne chose his own way of presenting them to the public, it was thought better not to exhibit what he himself withheld. Besides, to any other than a fellow-artist, they might seem mere repetitions.

It is very earnestly hoped that these volumes of Notes--English, English, and presently Italian--will dispel an often-expressed opinion that Mr. Hawthorne was gloomy and morbid. He had the inevitable pensiveness and gravity of a person who possessedwhat a friend of his called "the awful power of insight"; but his mood was always cheerful and equal, and his mind peculiarly healthful, and the airy splendor of his wit and humor was the light of his home. He saw too far to be despondent, though his vivid sympathies and shaping imagination often made him sad in behalf of others. He also perceived morbidness, wherever it existed, instantly, as if by the illumination of his own steady cheer; and he had the plastic power of putting himself into each person's situation, and of looking from every point of view, which made his charity most comprehensive. From this cause he necessarily attracted confidences, and became confessor to very many sinning and suffering souls, to whom he gave tender sympathy and help, while resigning judgment to the Omniscient and All-wise.

Throughout his journals it will be seen that Mr. Hawthorne is entertaining, and not asserting, opinions and ideas. He questions, doubts, and reflects with his pen, and, as it were, instructs himself. So that these Note-Books should be read, not as definitive conclusions of his mind, but merely as passing impressions often. Whatever conclusions he arrived at are condensed in the works given to the world by his own hand, in which will never be found a careless word. He was so extremely scrupulous about the value and effect of every expression, that the Editor has felt great compunction in allowing a single sentence to be printed unrevised by himself; but, with the consideration of the above remarks always kept in mind, these volumes are intrusted to the generous interpretation of the reader. If any one must be harshly criticised, it ought certainly to be the Editor.

When a person breaks in, unannounced, upon the morning hours of an artist, and finds him not in full dress, the intruder, and not the surprised artist, is doubtless at fault.

S. H.

DRESDEN, April, 1870.


LIVERPOOL, August 4th, 1853.--A month lacking two days since we left America,--a fortnight and some odd days since we arrived in England. I began my services, such as they are, on Monday last, August 1st, and here I sit in my private room at the Consulate, while the Vice-Consul and clerk are carrying on affairs in the outer office.

* * * * *

The pleasantest incident of the morning is when Mr. Pearce (the Vice-Consul) makes his appearance with the account-books, containing the receipts and expenditures of the preceding day, and deposits on my desk a little rouleau of the Queen's coin, wrapped up in a piece of paper. This morning there were eight sovereigns, four half-crowns, and a shilling,--a pretty fair day's work, though not more than the average ought to be. This forenoon, thus far, I have had two calls, not of business,--one from an English captain and his son, another from Mr. H---- B----, whom I met in America, and who has showed us great attention here. He has arranged for us to go to the theatre with some of his family this evening.

* * * * *

Since I have been in Liverpool we have hardly hada day, until yesterday, without more or less of rain, and so cold and shivery that life was miserable. I am not warm enough even now, but am gradually getting acclimated in that respect.

Just now I have been fooled out of half a crown by a young woman, who represents herself as an English and destitute, having come over to see an uncle whom she found dead, and she has no means of getting back again. Her accent is not that of an English, and her appearance is not particularly prepossessing, though not decidedly otherwise. She is decently dressed and modest in deportment, but I do not quite trust her face. She has been separated from her husband, as I understand her, by course of law; has had two children, both now dead. What she wants is to get back to America, and perhaps arrangements may be made with some shipmaster to take her as stewardess, or in some subordinate capacity. My judgment, on the whole, is that she is an English woman, married to and separated from an English husband,--of no very decided virtue. I might as well have kept my half-crown, and yet I might have bestowed it worse. She is very decent in manner, cheerful, at least not despondent.

At two o'clock I went over to the Royal Rock Hotel, about fifteen or twenty minutes' steaming from this side of the river. We are going there on Saturday to reside for a while. Returning I found that Mr. B., from the English Chamber of Commerce, had called to arrange the time and place of a visit to the Consul from a delegation of that body. Settled for to-morrow at quarter past one at Mr. Blodgett's.

August5th.--An invitation this morning fromthe Mayor to dine at the Town Hall on Friday next. Heaven knows I had rather dine at the humblest inn in the city, inasmuch as a speech will doubtless be expected from me. However, things must be as they may.

At quarter past one I was duly on hand at Mr. Blodgett's to receive the deputation from the Chamber of Commerce. They arrived pretty seasonably, in two or three carriages, and were ushered into the drawing-room,--seven or eight gentlemen, some of whom I had met before. Hereupon ensued a speech from Mr. B., the Chairman of the delegation, short and sweet, alluding to my literary reputation and other laudatory matters, and occupying only a minute or two. The speaker was rather embarrassed, which encouraged me a little, and yet I felt more diffidence on this occasion than in my effort at Mr. Crittenden's lunch, where, indeed, I was perfectly self-possessed. But here, there being less formality, and more of a conversational character in what was said, my usual diffidence could not so well be kept in abeyance. However, I did not break down to an intolerable extent, and, winding up my eloquence as briefly as possible, we had a social talk. Their whole stay could not have been much more than a quarter of an hour.

* * * * *

A call, this morning, at the Consulate, from Dr. Bowring, who is British minister, or something of the kind, in China, and now absent on a twelvemonth's leave. The Doctor is a brisk person, with the address of a man of the world,--free, quick to smile, and of agreeable manners. He has a good face, rather English than English in aspect, and does not look much above fifty, though he says he is between sixty andseventy. I should take him rather for an active lawyer or a man of business than for a scholar and a literary man. He talked in a lively way for ten or fifteen minutes, and then took his leave, offering me any service in his power in London,--as, for instance, to introduce me to the Athenæum Club.

August8th.--Day before yesterday I escorted my family to Rock Ferry, two miles either up or down the Mersey (and I really don't know which) by steamer, which runs every half-hour. There are steamers going continually to Birkenhead and other landings, and almost always a great many passengers on the transit. At this time the boat was crowded so as to afford scanty standing-room; it being Saturday, and therefore a kind of gala-day. I think I have never seen a populace before coming to England; but this crowd afforded a specimen of one, both male and female. The women were the most remarkable; though they seemed not disreputable, there was in them a coarseness, a freedom, an--I don't know what, that was purely English. In fact, men and women here do things that would at least make them ridiculous in America. They are not afraid to enjoy, themselves in their own way, and have no pseudo-gentility to support. Some girls danced upon the crowded deck, to the miserable music of a little fragment of a band which goes up and down the river on each trip of the boat. Just before the termination of the voyage a man goes round with a bugle turned upwards to receive the eleemosynary pence and half-pence of the passengers. I gave one of them, the other day, a silver fourpence, which fell into the vitals of the instrument, and compelled the man to take it to pieces.

At Rock Ferry there was a great throng, forming a scene not unlike one of our muster-days or a Fourth of July, and there were bands of music and banners, and small processions after them, and a school of charity children, I believe, enjoying a festival. And there was a club of respectable persons, playing at bowls on the bowling-green of the hotel, and there were children, infants, riding on donkeys at a penny a ride, while their mothers walked alongside to prevent a fall. Yesterday, while we were at dinner, Mr. B. came in his carriage to take us to his residence, Poulton Hall. He had invited us to dine; but I misunderstood him, and thought he only intended to give us a drive. Poulton Hall is about three miles from Rock Ferry, the road passing through some pleasant rural scenery, and one or two villages, with houses standing close together, and old stone or brick cottages, with thatched roofs, and now and then a better mansion, apart among trees. We passed an old church, with a tower and spire, and, half-way up, a patch of ivy, dark green, and some yellow wall-flowers, in full bloom, growing out of the crevices of the stone. Mr. B. told us that the tower was formerly quite clothed with ivy from bottom to top, but that it had fallen away for lack of the nourishment that it used to find in the lime between the stones. This old church answered to my Transatlantic fancies of England better than anything I have yet seen. Not far from it was the Rectory, behind a deep grove of ancient trees; and there lives the Rector, enjoying a thousand pounds a year and his nothing-to-do, while a curate performs the real duty on a stipend of eighty pounds.

We passed through a considerable extent of private road, and finally drove over a lawn, studded with treesand closely shaven, till we reached the door of Poulton Hall. Part of the mansion is three or four hundred years old; another portion is about a hundred and fifty, and still another has been built during the present generation. The house is two stories high, with a sort of beetle-browed roof in front. It is not very striking, and does not look older than many wooden houses which I have seen in America. There is a curious stately staircase, with a twisted balustrade, much like that of the old Province House in Boston. The drawing-room is a handsome modern apartment, being beautifully painted and gilded and paper-hung, with a white marble fireplace and rich furniture, so that the impression is that of newness, not of age. It is the same with the dining-room, and all the rest of the interior so far as I saw it.

Mr. B. did not inherit this old hall, nor, indeed, is he the owner, but only the tenant of it. He is a merchant of Liverpool, a bachelor, with two sisters residing with him. In the entrance-hall, there was a stuffed fox with glass eyes, which I never should have doubted to be an actual live fox except for his keeping so quiet; also some grouse and other game. Mr. B. seems to be a sportsman, and is setting out this week on an excursion to Scotland, moor-fowl shooting.

While the family and two or three guests went to dinner, we walked out to see the place. The gardener, an Irishman, showed us through the garden, which is large and well cared for. They certainly get everything from Nature which she can possibly be persuaded to give them, here in England. There were peaches and pears growing against the high brick southern walls,--the trunk and branches of the trees being spread out perfectly flat against the wall, verymuch like the skin of a dead animal nailed up to dry, and not a single branch protruding. Figs were growing in the same way. The brick wall, very probably, was heated within, by means of pipes, in order to re-enforce the insufficient heat of the sun. It seems as if there must be something unreal and unsatisfactory in fruit that owes its existence to such artificial methods. Squashes were growing under glass, poor things! There were immensely large gooseberries in the garden; and in this particular berry, the English, I believe, have decidedly the advantage over ourselves. The raspberries, too, were large and good. I espied one gigantic hog-weed in the garden; and, really, my heart warmed to it, being strongly reminded of the principal product of my own garden at Concord. After viewing the garden sufficiently, the gardener led us to other parts of the estate, and we had glimpses of a delightful valley, its sides shady with beautiful trees, and a rich, grassy meadow at the bottom. By means of a steam-engine and subterranean pipes and hydrants, the liquid manure from the barn-yard is distributed wherever it is wanted over the estate, being spouted in rich showers from the hydrants. Under this influence, the meadow at the bottom of the valley had already been made to produce three crops of grass during the present season, and would produce another.

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The lawn around Poulton Hall, like thousands of other lawns in England, is very beautiful, but requires great care to keep it so, being shorn every three or four days. No other country will ever have this charm, nor the charm of lovely verdure, which almost makes up for the absence of sunshine. Without theconstant rain and shadow which strikes us as so dismal, these lawns would be as brown as an autumn leaf. I have not, thus far, found any such magnificent trees as I expected. Mr. B. told me that three oaks, standing in a row on his lawn, were the largest in the county. They were very good trees, to be sure, and perhaps four feet in diameter near the ground, but with no very noble spread of foliage. In Concord there are, if not oaks, yet certainly elms, a great deal more stately and beautiful. But, on the whole, this lawn, and the old Hall in the midst of it, went a good way towards realizing some of my fancies of English life.

By and by a footman, looking very quaint and queer in his livery coat, drab breeches, and white stockings, came to invite me to the table, where I found Mr. B. and his sisters and guests sitting at the fruit and wine. There were port, sherry, madeira, and one bottle of claret, all very good; but they take here much heavier wines than we drink now in America. After a tolerably long session we went to the tea-room, where I drank some coffee, and at about the edge of dusk the carriage drew up to the door to take us home. Mr. B. and his sisters have shown us genuine kindness, and they gave us a hearty invitation to come and ramble over the house whenever we pleased, during their absence in Scotland. They say that there are many legends and ghost-stories connected with the house; and there is an attic chamber, with a skylight, which is called the Martyr's chamber, from the fact of its having, in old times, been tenanted by a lady, who was imprisoned there, and persecuted to death for her religion. There is an old black-letter library, but the room containing it is shut, barred, andpadlocked,--the owner of the house refusing to let it be opened, lest some of the books should be stolen. Meanwhile the rats are devouring them, and the damps destroying them.

August9th.--A pretty comfortable day, as to warmth, and I believe there is sunshine overhead; but a sea-cloud, composed of fog and coal-smoke, envelops Liverpool. At Rock Ferry, when I left it at half past nine, there was promise of a cheerful day. A good many gentlemen (or, rather, respectable business people) came in the boat, and it is not unpleasant, on these fine mornings, to take the breezy atmosphere of the river. The huge steamer, Great Britain, bound for Australia, lies right off the Rock Ferry landing; and at a little distance are two old hulks of ships of war, dismantled, roofed over, and anchored in the river, formerly for quarantine purposes, but now used chiefly or solely as homes for old seamen, whose light labor it is to take care of these condemned ships. There are a great many steamers plying up and down the river to various landings in the vicinity; and a good many steam-tugs; also, many boats, most of which have dark-red or tan-colored sails, being oiled to resist the wet; also, here and there, a yacht, or pleasure-boat, and a few ships riding stately at their anchors, probably on the point of sailing. The river, however, is by no means crowded; because the immense multitude of ships are ensconced in the docks, where their masts make an intricate forest for miles up and down the Liverpool shore. The small, black steamers, whizzing industriously along, many of them crowded with passengers, make up the chief life of the scene. The Mersey has the color of a mud-puddle, and no atmosphericeffect, as far as I have seen, ever gives it a more agreeable tinge.

Visitors to-day, thus far, have been H. A. B., with whom I have arranged to dine with us at Rock Ferry, and then he is to take us on board the Great Britain, of which his father is owner (in great part). Secondly, Monsieur H., the French Consul, who can speak hardly any English, and who was more powerfully scented with cigar-smoke than any man I ever encountered; a polite, gray-haired, red-nosed gentleman, very courteous and formal. Heaven keep him from me!

At one o'clock, or thereabouts, I walked into the city, down through Lord Street, Church Street, and back to the Consulate, through various untraceable crookednesses. Coming to Chapel Street, I crossed the graveyard of the old Church of St. Nicholas. This is, I suppose, the oldest sacred site in Liverpool, a church having stood here ever since the Conquest, though, probably, there is little or nothing of the old edifice in the present one, either the whole of the edifice or else the steeple, being thereto shaken by a chime of bells,--or perhaps both, at different times,--has tumbled down; but the present church is what we Englishs should call venerable. When the first church was built, and long afterwards, it must have stood on the grassy verge of the Mersey; but now there are pavements and warehouses, and the thronged Prince's and George's Docks, between it and the river; and all around it is the very busiest bustle of commerce, rumbling wheels, hurrying men, porter-shops, everything that pertains to the grossest and most practical life. And, notwithstanding, there is the broad churchyard extending on three sides of it, just as it used to be a thousand years ago. It is absolutelypaved from border to border with flat tombstones, on a level with the soil and with each other, so that it is one floor of stone over the whole space, with grass here and there sprouting between the crevices. All these stones, no doubt, formerly had inscriptions; but, as many people continually pass, in various directions, across the churchyard, and as the tombstones are not of a very hard material, the records on many of them are effaced. I saw none very old. A quarter of a century is sufficient to obliterate the letters, and make all smooth, where the direct pathway from gate to gate lies over the stones. The climate and casual footsteps rub out any inscription in less than a hundred years. Some of the monuments are cracked. On many is merely cut "The burial-place of" so and so; on others there is a long list of half-readable names; on some few a laudatory epitaph, out of which, however, it were far too tedious to pick the meaning. But it really is interesting and suggestive to think of this old church, first built when Liverpool was a small village, and remaining, with its successive dead of ten centuries around it, now that the greatest commercial city in the world has its busiest centre there. I suppose people still continue to be buried in the cemetery. The greatest upholders of burials in cities are those whose progenitors have been deposited around or within the city churches. If this spacious churchyard stood in a similar position in one of our English cities, I rather suspect that long ere now it would have run the risk of being laid out in building-lots, and covered with warehouses; even if the church itself escaped,--but it would not escape longer than till its disrepair afforded excuse for tearing it down. And why should it, when its purposes might be better served in another spot?

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We went on board the Great Britain before dinner, between five and six o'clock,--a great structure, as to convenient arrangement and adaptation, but giving me a strong impression of the tedium and misery of the long voyage to Australia. By way of amusement, she takes over fifty pounds' worth of playing-cards, at two shillings per pack, for the use of passengers; also, a small, well-selected library. After a considerable time spent on board, we returned to the hotel and dined, and Mr. B. took his leave at nine o'clock.

August10th.--I left Rock Ferry for the city at half past nine. In the boat which arrived thence, there were several men and women with baskets on their heads, for this is a favorite way of carrying burdens; and they trudge onward beneath them, without any apparent fear of an overturn, and seldom putting up a hand to steady them. One woman, this morning, had a heavy load of crockery; another, an immense basket of turnips, freshly gathered, that seemed to me as much as a man could well carry on his back. These must be a stiff-necked people. The women step sturdily and freely, and with not ungraceful strength. The trip over to town was pleasant, it being a fair morning, only with a low-hanging fog. Had it been in America, I should have anticipated a day of burning heat.

Visitors this morning. Mr. Ogden, of Chicago, or somewhere in the Western States, who arrived in England a fortnight ago, and who called on me at that time. He has since been in Scotland, and is now going to London and the Continent; secondly, the Captain of the Collins's steamer Pacific, which sails to-day; thirdly, an English shipmaster, who complained thathe had never, in his heretofore voyages, been able to get sight of the English Consul.

Mr. Pearce's customary matutinal visit was unusually agreeable to-day, inasmuch as he laid on my desk nineteen golden sovereigns and thirteen shillings. It being the day of the steamer's departure, an unusual number of invoice certificates had been required,--my signature to each of which brings me two dollars.

The autograph of a living author has seldom been so much in request at so respectable a price. Colonel Crittenden told me that he had received as much as fifty pounds on a single day. Heaven prosper the trade between America and Liverpool!

August15th.--Many scenes which I should have liked to record have occurred; but the pressure of business has prevented me from recording them from day to day.

On Thursday I went, on invitation from Mr. B., to the prodigious steamer Great Britain, down the harbor, and some miles into the sea, to escort her off a little way on her voyage to Australia. There is an immense enthusiasm among the English people about this ship, on account of its being the largest in the world. The shores were lined with people to see her sail, and there were innumerable small steamers, crowded with men, all the way out into the ocean. Nothing seems to touch the English nearer than this question of nautical superiority; and if we wish to hit them to the quick, we must hit them there.

On Friday, at 7 P. M., I went to dine with the Mayor. It was a dinner given to the Judges and the Grand Jury. The Judges of England, during the time of holding an Assize, are the persons first inrank in the kingdom. They take precedence of everybody else,--of the highest military officers, of the Lord Lieutenants, of the Archbishops,--of the Prince of Wales,--of all except the Sovereign, whose authority and dignity they represent. In case of a royal dinner, the Judge would lead the Queen to the table.

The dinner was at the Town Hall, and the rooms and the whole affair were all in the most splendid style. Nothing struck me more than the footmen in the city livery. They really looked more magnificent in their gold-lace and breeches and white silk stockings than any officers of state. The rooms were beautiful; gorgeously painted and gilded, gorgeously lighted, gorgeously hung with paintings,--the plate was gorgeous, and the dinner gorgeous in the English fashion.

After the removal of the cloth the Mayor gave various toasts, prefacing each with some remarks,--the first, of course, the Sovereign, after which "GOD save the Queen" was sung, the company standing up and joining in the chorus, their ample faces glowing with wine, enthusiasm, and loyalty. Afterwards the Bar, and various other dignities and institutions, were toasted; and by and by came the toast to the United States, and to me, as their Representative. Hereupon either "Hail Columbia," or "Yankee Doodle," or some other of our national tunes (but Heaven knows which), was played; and at the conclusion, being at bay, and with no alternative, I got upon my legs, and made a response. They received me and listened to my nonsense with a good deal of rapping, and my speech seemed to give great satisfaction; my chief difficulty being in not knowing how to pitch my voice to the size of the room. As for the matter, it isnot of the slightest consequence. Anybody may make an after-dinner speech who will be content to talk onward without saying anything. My speech was not more than two or three inches long; and, considering that I did not know a soul there, except the Mayor himself, and that I am wholly unpractised in all sorts of oratory, and that I had nothing to say, it was quite successful. I hardly thought it was in me, but, being once started, I felt no embarrassment, and went through it as coolly as if I were going to be hanged.

Yesterday, after dinner, I took a walk with my family. We went through by-ways and private roads, and saw more of rural England, with its hedge-rows, its grassy fields, and its whitewashed old stone cottages, than we have before seen since our arrival.

August20th.--This being Saturday, there early commenced a throng of visitants to Rock Ferry. The boat in which I came over brought from the city a multitude of factory-people. They had bands of music, and banners inscribed with the names of the mills they belong to, and other devices: pale-looking people, but not looking exactly as if they were underfed. They are brought on reduced terms by the railways and steamers, and come from great distances in the interior. These, I believe, were from Preston. I have not yet had an opportunity of observing how they amuse themselves during these excursions.

At the dock, the other day, the steamer arrived from Rock Ferry with a countless multitude of little girls, in coarse blue gowns, who, as they landed, formed in procession, and walked up the dock. These girls had been taken from the workhouses and educated at a charity-school, and would by and by be apprenticedas servants. I should not have conceived it possible that so many children could have been collected together, without a single trace of beauty or scarcely of intelligence in so much as one individual; such mean, coarse, vulgar features and figures betraying unmistakably a low origin, and ignorant and brutal parents. They did not appear wicked, but only stupid, animal, and soulless. It must require many generations of better life to wake the soul in them. All America could not show the like.

August22d.--A Captain Auld, an English, having died here yesterday, I went with my clerk and an English shipmaster to take the inventory of his effects. His boarding-house was in a mean street, an old dingy house, with narrow entrance,--the class of boarding-house frequented by mates of vessels, and inferior to those generally patronized by masters. A fat elderly landlady, of respectable and honest aspect, and her daughter, a pleasing young woman enough, received us, and ushered us into the deceased's bed-chamber. It was a dusky backroom, plastered and painted yellow; its one window looking into the very narrowest of backyards or courts, and out on a confused multitude of back buildings, appertaining to other houses, most of them old, with rude chimneys of wash-rooms and kitchens, the bricks of which seemed half loose.

The chattels of the dead man were contained in two trunks, a chest, a sail-cloth bag, and a barrel, and consisted of clothing, suggesting a thickset, middle-sized man; papers relative to ships and business, a spyglass, a loaded iron pistol, some books of navigation, some charts, several great pieces of tobacco, and a fewcigars; some little plaster images, that he had probably bought for his children, a cotton umbrella, and other trumpery of no great value. In one of the trunks we found about twenty pounds' worth of English and English gold and silver, and some notes of hand, due in America. Of all these things the clerk made an inventory; after which we took possession of the money, and affixed the consular seal to the trunks, bag, and chest.

While this was going on, we heard a great noise of men quarrelling in an adjoining court; and, altogether, it seemed a squalid and ugly place to live in, and a most undesirable one to die in. At the conclusion of our labors, the young woman asked us if we would not go into another chamber, and look at the corpse, and appeared to think that we should be rather glad than otherwise of the privilege. But, never having seen the man during his lifetime, I declined to commence his acquaintance now.

His bills for board and nursing amount to about the sum which we found in his trunk; his funeral expenses will be ten pounds more; the surgeon has sent in a bill of eight pounds, odd shillings; and the account of another medical man is still to be rendered. As his executor, I shall pay his landlady and nurse; and for the rest of the expenses, a subscription must be made (according to the custom in such cases) among the shipmasters, headed by myself. The funeral pomp will consist of a hearse, one coach, four men, with crape hatbands, and a few other items, together with a grave at five pounds, over which his friends will be entitled to place a stone, if they choose to do so, within twelve months.

As we left the house, we looked into the dark andsqualid dining-room, where a lunch of cold meat was set out; but having no associations with the house except through this one dead man, it seemed as if his presence and attributes pervaded it wholly. He appears to have been a man of reprehensible habits, though well advanced in years. I ought not to forget a brandy-flask (empty) among his other effects. The landlady and daughter made a good impression on me, as honest and respectable persons.

August24th.--Yesterday, in the forenoon, I received a note, and shortly afterwards a call at the Consulate, from Miss H----, whom I apprehend to be a lady of literary tendencies. She said that Miss L. had promised her an introduction, but that, happening to pass through Liverpool, she had snatched the opportunity to make my acquaintance. She seems to be a mature lady, rather plain, but with an honest and intelligent face. It was rather a singular freedom, methinks, to come down upon a perfect stranger in this way,--to sit with him in his private office an hour or two, and then walk about the streets with him as she did; for I did the honors of Liverpool, and showed her the public buildings. Her talk was sensible, but not particularly brilliant nor interesting; a good, solid personage, physically and intellectually. She is an English woman.

In the afternoon, at three o'clock, I attended the funeral of Captain Auld. Being ushered into the dining-room of his boarding-house, I found brandy, gin, and wine set out on a tray, together with some little spice-cakes. By and by came in a woman, who asked if I were going to the funeral; and then proceeded to put a mourning-band on my hat,--a black-silk band,covering the whole hat, and streaming nearly a yard behind. After waiting the better part of an hour, nobody else appeared, although several shipmasters had promised to attend. Hereupon, the undertaker was anxious to set forth; but the landlady, who was arrayed in shining black silk, thought it a shame that the poor man should be buried with such small attendance. So we waited a little longer, during which interval I heard the landlady's daughter sobbing and wailing in the entry; and but for this tender-heartedness there would have been no tears at all. Finally we set forth,--the undertaker, a friend of his, and a young man, perhaps the landlady's son, and myself, in the black-plumed coach, and the landlady, her daughter, and a female friend, in the coach behind. Previous to this, however, everybody had taken some wine or spirits; for it seemed to be considered disrespectful not to do so.