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and our future hostess, Mrs. Wigham, entered the carriage with the lord provost, and away we drove, the crowd following with their shouts and cheers. I was inexpressibly touched and affected by this. While we were passing the monument of Scott, I felt an oppressive melancholy. What a moment life seems in the presence of the noble dead! What a momentary thing is art, in all its beauty! Where are all those great souls that have created such an atmosphere of light about Edinburgh ? and how little a space was given them to live and to enjoy!
We drove all over Edinburgh, up to the castle, to the university, to Holyrood, to the hospitals, and through many of the principal streets, amid shouts, and smiles, and greetings. Some boys amused me very much by their pertinacious attempts to keep up with the carriage.
“Heck,” says one of them, “that's her; see the courls.”
The various engravers, who have amused themselves by diversifying my face for the public, having all, with great unanimity, agreed in giving prominence to this point, I suppose the urchins thought they were on safe ground there. I certainly think I answered one good purpose that day, and that is, of giving the much oppressed and calumniated class, called boys, an opportunity to develop all the noise that was in them
a thing for which I think they must bless me in their remembrances.
At last the carriage drove into a deep gravelled yard, and we alighted at a porch covered with green ivy, and found
elves once more at home.
MY DEAR SISTER:
You may spare your anxieties about me, for I do assure you, that if I were an old Sevres China jar, I could not have more careful handling than I do. Every body is considerate ; a great deal to say, when there appears to be so much excitement. Every body seems to understand how good for nothing I am; and yet, with all this consideration, I have been obliged to keep my room and bed for a good part of the time. One agreeable feature of the matter is, it gave me an opportunity to make the acquaintance of the celebrated homeopathic physician, Dr. Henderson, in whose experiments and experience I had taken some interest while in America.
Of the multitudes who have called, I have seen scarcely any.
Mrs. W., with whom I am staying, is a most thoughtful nurse. They are Friends, and nothing can be more a pattern of rational home enjoyment, without ostentation and without parade, than a Quaker family.
Though they reject every thing in arrangement which savors of ostentation and worldly show, yet their homes are exquisite in point of comfort. They make great use of flowers and natural specimens in adorning their apartments, and also indulge to a chaste and moderate extent in engravings and works of art. So far as I have observed, they are all “teetotalers ;” giving, in this respect, the whole benefit of their example to the temperance cause
To-morrow evening is to be the great tea party here. How in the world I am ever to live through it, I don't know.
The amount of letters we found waiting for us here in Edinburgh was, if possible, more appalling than in Glasgow. Among those from persons whom you would be interested in hearing of, I may mention a very kind and beautiful one from the Duchess of Sutherland, and one also from the Earl of Carlisle, both desiring to make appointments for meeting us as soon as we come to London. Also a very kind and interesting note from the Rev. Mr. Kingsley and lady. I look forward with a great deal of interest to passing a little time with them in their rectory. Letters also from Mr. Binney and Mr. Sherman, two of the leading Congregational clergymen of London. The latter officiates at Surrey Chapel, which was established by Rowland Hill. Both contain invitations to us to visit them in London.
As to all engagements, I am in a state of happy acquiescence, having resigned myself, as a very tame lion, into the hands of my keepers.
Whenever the time comes for me to do any thing, I try to behave as well I can, which, as Dr. Young says, is all that an angel could do in the same circumstances.
As to these letters, many of them are mere outbursts of feeling ; yet they are interesting as showing the state of the public mind. Many of them are on kindred topics of moral reform, in which they seem to have an intuitive sense that we should be interested. I am not, of course, able to answer them all, but C- does, and it takes a good part of every day. One was from a shoemaker's wife in one of the islands, with a copy of very fair verses. Many have come accompanying little keepsakes and gifts. It seems to me rather touching and sad, that people should want to give me things, when I am not able to give an interview, or even a note, in return. C- wrote from six to twelve o'clock, steadily, answering letters.
April 26. Last night came off the soirée. The hall was handsomely decorated with flags in front. We went with the lord provost in his carriage. The getting in to the hall is quite an affair, I assure you, the doorway is blocked up by such a dense crowd; yet there is something very touching about these crowds. They open very gently and quietly, and they do not look at you with a rude stare, but with faces full of feeling and intelligence. I have seen some looks that were really beautiful ;' they go to my heart. The common people appear as if they knew that our hearts were with them. How else should it be, as Christians of America ? a country which, but for one fault, all the world has reason to love.
We went up, as before, into a dressing room, where I was presented to many gentlemen and ladies. When we go in, the cheering, clapping, and stamping at first strikes one with a strange sensation ; but then every body looks so heartily pleased and delighted, and there is such an all-pervading atmosphere of geniality and sympathy, as makes one in a few moments feel quite at home. After all I consider that these cheers and applauses, are Scotland's voice to America, a recognition of the brotherhood of the countries.
We were arranged at this meeting much as in Glasgow. The lord provost presided ; and in the gallery with us were distinguished men from the magistracy, the university, and the ministry, with their wives, besides the members of the antislavery societies. The lord provost, I am told, has been particularly efficient in all benevolent operations, especially those for the education of the poorer classes. He is also a zealous supporter of the temperance cause.
Among the speakers, I was especially interested in Dr. Guthrie, who seems to be also a 'particular favorite of the public. He is a tall, thin man, with a kind of quaintness in his mode of expressing himself, which sometimes gives an air of drollery to his speaking. He is a minister of the Free Church, and has more particularly distinguished himself by his exertions in behalf of the poorer classes.
One passage in his speech I will quote, for I was quite amused with it. It was in allusion to the retorts which had been made in Mrs. Tyler's letter to the ladies of England, on the defects in the old country.
“I do not deny,” he said, “ that there are defects in our country. What I
say of them is this — that they are incidental very much to an old country like our own. Dr. Simpson knows very well, and so does every medical man, that when a man gets old he gets very infirm, his blood vessels get ossified, and so on; but I shall not enter into that part of the subject. What is true of an old country is true of old men, and old women, too. I am very much disposed to say of this young nation of America, that their teasing us with our defects might just get the answer which a worthy member of the church of Scotland gave to his son, who was so dissatisfied with the defects in the church, that he was determined to go over to a younger communion. "Ah, Sandy, Sandy, man, when your lum reeks as lang as ours, it will, may be, need sweeping too.'* Now, I do not deny that we need sweeping;
When your chimney has smoked as long as ours, it will, may be, need sweeping too.