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“If any one wishes to know the customs of centuries ago in England, let him go to Cambridge.

“Sitting at the window of the hotel, he will see the scholars, the fellows, the masters of arts, and the masters of colleges passing along the streets in their different gowns. Very unbecoming gowns they are, in all cases; and much as the wearers must be accustomed to them, they seem to step awkwardly, and to have an ungraceful feminine touch in their motions.

“Everything that you see speaks of the olden time. Even the images above the arched entrance to the courts around which the buildings stand are crumbling slowly, and the faces have an unearthly expression.

“If the visitor is fortunate enough to have an introduction to one of the college professors, he will be taken around the buildings, to the libraries, the ‘Combination’ room to which the fellows retire to chat over their wine, and perhaps even to the kitchen.

“Our first knowledge of Cambridge was the entrance to Trinity College and the Master’s Lodge.

“We arrived in Cambridge just about at lunch timeone o’clock.

“Mrs. Airy said to me, ’Although we are invited to be guests of Dr. Whewell, he is quite too mighty a man to come to meet us.” Her sons, however, met us, and we walked with them to Dr. Whewell’s.

“The Master’s Lodge, where Dr. Whewell lives, is one of the buildings composing the great pile of Trinity College. One of the rooms in the lodge still remains nearly as in the time of Henry VIII. It is immense in size, and has two oriel windows hung with red velvet. In this room the queen holds her court when she is in Cambridge; for the lodge then becomes a palace, and the ‘master’ retires to some other apartments, and comes to dinner only when asked.

“It is said that the present master does not much like to submit to this position.

“In this great room hang full-length portraits of Henry and Elizabeth. On another wall is a portrait of Newton, and on a third the sweet face of a young girl, Dr. Whewell’s niece, of whom I heard him speak as ‘Kate.’

“Dr. Whewell received us in this room, standing on a rug before an open fireplace; a wood fire was burning cheerily. Mrs. Airy’s daughter, a young girl, was with us.

“Dr. Whewell shook hands with us, and we stood. I was very tired, but we continued to stand. In an American gentleman’s house I should have asked if I might sit, and should have dropped upon a chair; here, of course, I continued to stand. After, perhaps, fifteen minutes, Dr. Whewell said, ‘Will you sit?’ and the four of us dropped upon chairs as if shot!

“The master is a man to be noted, even physically. He is much above ordinary size, and, though now gray-haired, would be extraordinarily handsome if it were not for an expression of ill-temper about the mouth.

“An Englishmen is proud; a Cambridge man is the proudest of Englishmen; and Dr. Whewell, the proudest of Cambridge men.

“In the opinion of a Cambridge man, to be master of Trinity is to be master of the world!

“At lunch, to which we stayed, Dr. Whewell talked about American writers, and was very severe upon them; some of them were friends of mine, and it was not pleasant. But I was especially hurt by a remark which he made afterwards. Americans are noted in England for their use of slang. The English suppose that the language of Sam Slick or of Nasby is the language used in cultivated society. They do not seem to understand it, and I have no doubt to-day that Lowell’s comic poems are taken seriously. So at this table, Dr. Whewell, wishing to say that we would do something in the way of sight-seeing very thoroughly, turning to me, said, ’We’ll go the whole hog, Miss Mitchell, as you say in America.’

“I turned to the young American girl who sat next to me, and said, ’Miss S., did you ever hear that expression except on the street?’ ‘Never,’ she replied.

“Afterwards he said to me, ’You in America think you know something about the English language, and you get out your Webster’s dictionary, and your Worcester’s dictionary, but we here in Cambridge think we know rather more about English than you do.’

“After lunch we went to the observatory. The Cambridge Observatory has the usual number of meridian instruments, but it has besides a good equatorial telescope of twenty feet in length, mounted in the English style; for Mr. Airy was in Cambridge at the time of its establishment. In this pretty observatory, overlooking the peaceful plains, with some small hills in the distance, Mr. and Mrs. Airy passed the first year of their married life.

“Professor Challis, the director, is exceedingly short, thick-headed (in appearance), and, like many of the English, thick-tongued. While I was looking at the instruments, Mrs. Airy came into the equatorial house, bringing Mr. Adams, the rival of Leverrier,another short man, but bright-looking, with dark hair and eyes, and again the thick voice, this time with a nasal twang. He is a fellow of Pembroke College, and master of arts. If Mr. Adams had become a fellow of his own college, St. John, he must have gone into holy orders, as it is called; this he was not willing to do; he accepted a fellowship from Pembroke.

“Mr. Adams is a merry little man, loves games with children, and is a favorite with young ladies.

“At 6.30 we went again to the lodge to dine. We were a little late, and the servant was in a great hurry to announce us; but I made him wait until my gloves were on, though not buttoned. He announced us with a loud voice, and Dr. Whewell came forward to receive us. Being announced in this way, the other guests do not wait for an introduction. There was a group of guests in the drawing-room, and those nearest me spoke to me at once.

“Dinner was announced immediately, and Dr. Whewell escorted me downstairs, across an immense hall, to the dining-room, outside of which stood the waiters, six in number, arranged in a straight line, in livery, of course. One of them had a scarlet vest, short clothes, and drab coat.

“As I sat next to the master, I had a good deal of talk with him. He was very severe upon Americans; he said that Emerson did not write good English, and copied Carlyle! I thought his severity reached really to discourtesy, and I think he perceived it when he asked me if I knew Emerson personally, and I replied that I did, and that I valued my acquaintance with him highly.

“I got a little chance to retort, by telling him that we had outgrown Mrs. Hemans in America, and that we now read Mrs. Browning more. He laughed at it, and said that Mrs. Browning’s poetry was so coarse that he could not tolerate it, and he was amused to hear that any people had got above Mrs. Hemans; and he asked me if we had outgrown Homer! To which I replied that they were not similar cases.

“Altogether, there was a tone of satire in Dr. Whewell’s remarks which I did not think amiable.

“There were, as there are very commonly in English society, some dresses too low for my taste; and the wine-drinking was universal, so that I had to make a special point of getting a glass of water, and was afraid I might drink all there was on the table!

“Before the dessert came on, saucers were placed before each guest, and a little rose-water dipped into them from a silver basin; then each guest washed his face thoroughly, dipping his napkin into the saucer. Professor Willis, who sat next to me, told me that this was a custom peculiar to Cambridge, and dating from its earliest times.

“The finger bowls came on afterwards, as usual.

“It is customary for the lady of the house or the ‘first lady’ to turn to her nearest neighbor at the close of dinner and say, ’Shall we retire to the drawing-room?’ Now, there was no lady of the house, and I was in the position of first lady. They might have sat there for a thousand years before I should have thought of it. I drew on my gloves when the other ladies drew on theirs, and then we waited. Mrs. Airy saw the dilemma, made the little speech, and the gentlemen escorted us to the door, and then returned to their wine.

“We went back to the drawing-room and had coffee; after coffee new guests began to come, and we went into the magnificent room with the oriel windows.

“Professor Sedgwick came earlyan old man of seventy-four, already a little shattered and subject to giddiness. He is said to be very fond of young ladies even now, and when younger made some heartaches; for he could not give up his fellowship and leave Cambridge for a wife; which, to me, is very unmanly. He is considered the greatest geologist in England, and of course they would say ‘in the world,’ and is much loved by all who know him. He came to Cambridge a young man, and the elms which he saw planted are now sturdy trees. It is pleasant to hear him talk of Cambridge and its growth; he points to the stately trees and says, ‘Those trees don’t look as old as I, and they are not.’

“I did not see Professor Adams at that time, but I spent the whole of Monday morning walking about the college with him. I asked him to show me the place where he made his computations for Neptune, and he was evidently well pleased to do so.

“We laughed over a roll, which we saw in the College library, containing a list of the ancestors of Henry VIII.; among them was Jupiter.

“Professor Adams tells me that in Wales genealogical charts go so far back that about half-way between the beginning and the present day you find this record: ‘About this time the world was created’!

“November 2. At lunch to-day Dr. Whewell was more interesting than I had seen him before. He asked me about Laura Bridgman, and said that he knew a similar case. He contended, in opposition to Mrs. Airy and myself, that loss of vision was preferable to loss of hearing, because it shut one out less from human companionship.

“Dr. Whewell’s self-respect and immense self-esteem led him to imperiousness of manner which touches the border of discourtesy. He loves a good joke, but his jests are serious. He writes verses that are touchingly beautiful, but it is difficult to believe, in his presence, that he writes them. Mrs. Airy said that Dr. Whewell and I riled each other!

“I was at an evening party, and the Airy boys, young men of eighteen and twenty, were present. They stood the whole time, occasionally leaning against a table or the piano, in their blue silk gowns. I urged them to sit. ‘Of course not,’ they said; ’no undergraduate sits in the master’s presence!’

“I went to three services on ‘Scarlet Sunday,’ for the sake of seeing all the sights.

“The costumes of Cambridge and Oxford are very amusing, and show, more than anything I have seen, the old-fogyism of English ways. Dr. Whewell wore, on this occasion, a long gown reaching nearly to his feet, of rich scarlet, and adorned with flowing ribands. The ribands did not match the robe, but were more of a crimson.

“I wondered that a strong-minded man like Dr. Whewell could tolerate such trappings for a moment; but it is said that he is rather proud of them, and loves all the etiquette of the olden time, as also, it is said, does the queen.

“In these robes Dr. Whewell escorted me to churchand of course we were a great sight!

“Before dinner, on this Scarlet Sunday, there was an interval when the master was evidently tried to know what to do with me. At length he hit upon an expedient. ‘Boys,’ he said to the young Airys, ’take Miss Mitchell on a walk!’

“I was a little surprised to find myself on a walk, ‘nolens volens;’ so as soon as we were out of sight of the master of Trinity, I said, ’Now, young gentlemen, as I do not want to go to walk, we won’t go!’

“It was hard for me to become accustomed to English ideas of caste. I heard Professor Sedgwick say that Miss Herschel, the daughter of Sir John and niece to Caroline, married a Gordon. ’Such a great match for her!’ he added; and when I asked what match could be great for a daughter of the Herschels, I was told that she had married one of the queen’s household, and was asked to sit in the presence of the queen!

“When I hear a missionary tell that the pariah caste sit on the ground, the peasant caste lift themselves by the thickness of a leaf, and the next rank by the thickness of a stalk, it seems to me that the heathen has reached a high state of civilizationprecisely that which Victoria has reached when she permits a Herschel to sit in her presence!

“The University of Cambridge consists of sixteen colleges. I was told that, of these, Trinity leads and St. John comes next.

“Trinity has always led in mathematics; it boasts of Newton and Byron among its graduates. Milton belonged to Christ Church College; the mulberry tree which he planted still flourishes.

“Even to-day, a young scholar of Trinity expressed his regret to me that Milton did not belong to the college in which he himself studied. He pointed out the rooms occupied by Newton, and showed us ’Newton’s Bridge,’ ’which will surely fall when a greater man than he walks over it’!

“Milton first planned the great poem, ‘Paradise Lost,’ as a drama, and this manuscript, kept within a glass case, is opened to the page on which the dramatis personae are planned and replanned. On the opposite page is a part of ‘Lycidas,’ neatly written and with few corrections.

“The most beautiful of the college buildings is King’s Chapel. A Cambridge man is sure to take you to one of the bridges spanning the wretched little stream called the ‘Silver Cam,’ that you may see the architectural beauties of this building.

“It is well to attend service in one or the other of the chapels, to see assembled the young men, who are almost all the sons of the nobility or gentry. The propriety of their conduct struck me.

“The fellows of the colleges are chosen from the ‘scholars’ who are most distinguished, as the ‘scholars’ are chosen from the undergraduates. They receive an income so long as they remain connected with the college and unmarried.

“They have also the use of rooms in the college; they dine in the same hall with the undergraduates, but their tables are placed upon a raised dais; they have also little garden-places given them.

“‘What are their duties?’ I asked Mr. Airy. ’None at all; they are the college. It would not be a seat of learning without them.’

“They say in Cambridge that Dr. Whewell’s book, ‘Plurality of Worlds,’ reasons to this end: The planets were created for this world; this world for man; man for England; England for Cambridge; and Cambridge for Dr. Whewell!

“Ambleside, September 13. We have spent the Sunday in ascending a mountain, I have a minute route marked out for me by Professor Airy, who has rambled among the lakes and mountains of Cumberland and Westmoreland for months, and says that no man lives who knows them better than he.

“In accordance with these directions, I took a one-horse carriage this morning for Coniston Waters, in order to ascend the ‘Old Man.’ The waiter at the ‘Salutation’ at Ambleside, which we made headquarters, told me that I could not make the ascent, as the day would not be fine; but I have not travelled six months for nothing, and I knew he was saying, ’You are fine American geese; you are not to leave my house until you have been well plucked!’which threat he will of course keep, but I shall see all the ‘Old Men’ that I choose. So I borrowed the waiter’s umbrella, when he said it would rain, and off we went in an open carriage, a drive of seven miles, up hill and down dale, among mountains and around ponds (lakes they called them), in the midst of rich lands and pretty mansions, with occasionally a castle, and once a ruin, to diversify the scenery.

“Arrived at Coniston Hotel, the waiter said the same thing: ’It’s too cloudy to ascend the “Old Man;"’ but as soon as it was found that if it was too cloudy we did not intend to stay, it cleared off amazingly fast, and the ponies were ordered. I thought at first of walking up, but, having a value for my feet and not liking to misuse them, I mounted a pony and walked him.

“He was beautifully stupid, but I could not help thinking of Henry Colman, the agriculturist, who, when in England, went on a fox-hunt. He said, ‘Think of my poor wife’s old husband leaping a fence!’

“But I soon forgot any fear, for the pony needed nothing from me or the guide, but scrambled about any way he chose; and the scenery was charming, for although the mountains are not very high, they are thrown together very beautifully and remind me of those of the Hudson Highlands. Then the little lakes were lovely, and occasionally we came to a tarn or pond, and exceedingly small waterfalls were rushing about everywhere, without any apparent object in view, but evidently looking for something. And spite of the weatherwise head-waiter of the ‘Salutation’ and of him of Coniston Inn, the day was beautiful. We had to give up the ponies when we were half a mile from the top, and clamber up ourselves. The guide was very intelligent, and pointed out the lakes, Windermere, Coniston; and the mountains, Helvellyn, Skiddaw, and Saddleback; but at one time he spoke a name that I couldn’t understand, and forgetting that I was in England and not in America, I asked him to spell it. He replied, ‘Theys call it so always.’ He did not fail, however, to ask questions like a Yankee, if he couldn’t spell like one. ’Which way be ye coming?’’From America.’’Ye’ll be going to Scotland like?’’Yes.’’Ye’ll be spending much money before ye are home again.’

“When we were quite on top of the mountain I asked what the white glimmering was in the distance, and he said it was, what I supposed, an arm of the sea.

“The shadows of the flying clouds were very pretty falling on the hills around us, and the villages in the valleys beneath looked like white dots on the green.

“Sunday, Sep, 1857. We have been to see Miss Southey to-day. I sent the letter which Mrs. Airy gave me yesterday, and with it a note saying that I would call to-day if convenient.

“Miss Southey replied at once, saying that she should be happy to see me. She lives in a straggling, irregular cottage, like most of the cottages around Keswick, but beautifully situated, though far from the lake.

“Southey himself lived at Greta Hall, a much finer place, for many years, but he never owned it, and the gentleman who bought it will permit no one to see it.

“Miss Southey’s house is overgrown with climbing plants, has windows opening to the ground, and is really a summer residence, not a good winter home.

“When Southey, in his decline, married a second wife, the family scattered, and this daughter, the only unmarried one, left him.

“We were shown into a pleasant parlor comfortably furnished, especially with books and engravings, portraits of Southey, Wordsworth, and others.

“Miss Southey soon came down; she is really pretty, having the fresh English complexion and fair hair. She seems to be a very simple, pleasant person; chatty, but not too much so. She is much engrossed by the care of three of her brother’s children, an old aunt, and a servant, who, having been long in the family, has become a dependant. Miss Southey spoke at once of the Americans whom she had known, Ticknor being one.

“The old aunt asked after a New York lady who had visited Southey at Greta Hall, but her niece reminded her that it must have been before I was born!

“Miss Southey said that her father felt that he knew as many Americans as Englishmen, and that she wanted very much to go to America. I told her that she would be in danger of being ‘lionized;’ she said, ’Oh, I should like that, for of course it is gratifying to know how much my father was valued there.”

“I asked after the children, and Miss Southey said that the little boy had called out to her, ’Oh! Aunt Katy, the Ameriky ladies have come!

“The three children were called in; the boy, about six years old, of course wouldn’t speak to me.

“The best portrait of Southey in his daughter’s collection is a profile in waxa style that I have seen several times in England, and which I think very pretty.

“We went down to Lodore, the scene of the poem, ’How does the Water come Down,’ etc., and found it about as large as the other waterfalls around herea little dripping of water among the stones.


MY DEAR FATHER: This is Sir John Herschel’s place. I came last
night just at dusk.

According to English ways, I ought to have written a note, naming the hour at which I should reach Etchingham, which is four miles from Collingwood; but when I left Liverpool I went directly on, and a letter would have arrived at the same time that I did. I stopped in London one night only, changed my lodging-house, that I might pay a pound a week only for letting my trunk live in a room, instead of two pounds, and started off again.

I reached Etchingham at ten minutes past four, took a cab, and set off for Sir John’s. It is a large brick house, no way handsome, but surrounded by fine grounds, with beautiful trees and a very large pond.

The family were at dinner, and I was shown into the

There was just the light of a coal fire, and as I stood before it Sir John bustled in, an old man, much bent, with perfectly white hair standing out every way. He reached both hands to me, and said, “We had no letter and so did not expect you, but you are always welcome in this house.” Lady Herschel followedvery noble looking; she does not look as old as I, but of course must be; but English women, especially of her station, do not wear out as we do, who are “Jacks at all trades.”

I found a fire in my room, and a cup of tea and crackers were
immediately sent up.

The Herschels have several children; I have not seen Caroline,
Louise, William, and Alexander, but Belle, and Amelie, and
Marie, and Julie, and Rosa, and Francesca, and Constance, and
John are at home!

The children are not handsome, but are good-looking, and well brought up of course, and highly educated. The children all come to table, which is not common in England. Think what a table they must set when the whole twelve are at home!

The first object that struck me in the house was Borden’s map of Massachusetts, hanging in the hall opposite the entrance. Over the mantelpiece in the dining-room is a portrait of Sir William Herschel. In the parlor is a portrait of Caroline Herschel, and busts of Sir William, Sir John, and the eldest daughter.

I spent the evening in looking at engravings, sipping tea, and talking. Sir John is like the elder Mr. Bond, except that he talks more readily; but he is womanly in his nature, not a tyrant like Whewell. Sir John is a better listener than any man I have met in England. He joins in all the chit-chat, is one of the domestic circle, and tells funny little anecdotes. (So do Whewell and Airy.)

The Herschels know Abbot Lawrence and Edward Everettand everywhere these two have left a good impression. But I am certainly mortified by anecdotes that I hear of “pushing” Americans. Mrs. sought an introduction to Sir John Herschel to tell him about an abridgment of his Astronomy which she had made, and she intimated to him that in consequence of her abridgment his work was, or would be, much more widely known in America. Lady Herschel told me of it, and she remarked, “I believe Sir John was not much pleased, for he does not like abridgments.” I told her that I had never heard of the abridgment.

There are other guests in the house: a lady whose sister was among those killed in India; and her husband, who is an officer in the army. We have all been playing at “Spelling” this evening, with the letters, as we did at home last winter.

Sunday, 15th. I thought of going to London to-day, but was easily persuaded to stay and go with Lady Herschel to-morrow. All this afternoon I have spent listening to Sir John, who has shown me his father’s manuscript, his aunt’s, beautifully neat, and he told me about his Cape observations.

The telescope used at the Cape of Good Hope lies in the barn (the glass, of course, taken care of) unused; and Sir John now occupies himself with writing only. He made many drawings at the Cape, which he showed me, and very good ones they are. Lady Herschel offers me a letter to Mrs. Somerville, who is godmother to one of her children. I am afraid I shall have no letter to Leverrier, for every one seems to dislike him. Lady Herschel says he is one of the few persons whom she ever asked for an autograph; he was her guest, and he refused!

Just as I was coming away, Sir John bustled up to me with a sheet of paper, saying that he thought I would like some of his aunt’s handwriting and he would give it to me. He had before given me one of his own calculations; he says if there were no “war, pestilence, or famine,” and one pair of human beings had been put upon the globe at the time of Cheops, they would not only now fill the earth, but if they stood upon each other’s heads, they would reach a hundred times the distance to Neptune!

I turned over their scrap-books, and Sir John’s poetry is much better than many of the specimens they had carefully kept, by Sir William Hamilton. Sir William Hamilton’s sister had some specimens in the book, and also Lady Herschel and her brother.

Lady Herschel is the head of the houseso is Mrs. Airyso, I suspect, is the wife in all well-ordered households! I perceived that Sir John did not take a cup of tea until his wife said, “You can have some, my dear.”

Mr. Airy waits and waits, and then says, “My dear, I shall lose
all my flesh if I don’t have something to eat and drink.”

I am hoping to get to Paris next week, about the 23d. I have had
just what I wanted in England, as to society.

“November 26. A few days ago I received a card, ’Mrs. Baden Powell, at home November 25.’ Of course I did not know if it was a tea party or a wedding reception. So I appealed to Mrs. Airy. She said, ’It is a London rout. I never went to one, but you’ll find a crowd and a good many interesting people.’

“I took a cab, and went at nine o’clock. The servant who opened the door passed me to another who showed me the cloak-room. The girl who took my shawl numbered it and gave me a ticket, as they would at a public exhibition. Then she pointed to the other end of the room, and there I saw a table with tea and coffee. I took a cup of coffee, and then the servant asked my name, yelled it up the stairs to another, and he announced it at the drawing-room door just as I entered.

“Mrs. Powell and the professor were of course standing near, and Mrs. Admiral Smyth just behind. To my delight, I met four English persons whom I knew, and also Prof. Henry B. Rogers, who is a great society man.

“People kept coming until the room was quite full. I was very glad to be introduced to Professor Stokes, who is called the best mathematician in England, and is a friend of Adams. He is very handsomealmost all Englishmen are handsome, because they look healthy; but Professor Stokes has fine black eyes and dark hair and good features. He looks very young and innocent. Stokes is connected with Cambridge, but lives in London, just as Professor Powell is connected with Oxford, but also lives in London. Several gentlemen spoke to me without a special introductionone told me his name was Dr. Townby [Qy., Toynbie], and he was a great admirer of Emersonthe first case of the sort I have met.

“Dr. Townby is a young man not over thirty, full of enthusiasm and progress, like an American. He really seemed to me all alive, and is either a genius or crazythe shade between is so delicate that I can’t always tell to which a person belongs! I asked him if Babbage was in the room, and he said, ‘Not yet,’ so I hoped he would come.

“He told me that a fine-looking, white-headed, good-featured old man was Roget, of the ‘Thesaurus;’ and another old man in the corner was Dr. Arnott, of the ‘Elements of Physics.’ I had supposed he was dead long ago. Afterwards I was introduced to him. He is an old man, but not much over sixty; his hair is white, but he is full of vigor, short and stout, like almost all Englishmen and Englishwomen. I have met only two women taller than myself, and most of them are very much shorter. Dr. Arnott told me he was only now finishing the ‘Elements,’ which he first published in 1827. He intends now to publish the more mathematical portions with the other volumes. He was very sociable, and I told him he had twenty years ago a great many readers in America. He said he supposed he had more there than in England, and that he believed he had made young men study science in many instances.

“I asked him if Babbage was in the room, and he too said, ‘Not yet.’ Dr. Arnott asked me if I wore as many stockings when I was observing as the Herschelshe said Sir William put on twelve pairs and Caroline fourteen!

“I stayed until eleven o’clock, then I said ‘Good-by,’ and just as I stepped upon the threshold of the drawing-room to go out, a broad old man stepped upon it, and the servant announced ‘Mr. Babbage,’ and of course that glimpse was all I shall ever have!

“Edinboro’, September 30. The people of Edinboro’, having a passion for Grecian architecture, and being very proud of the Athenian character of their city, seek to increase the resemblance by imitations of ancient buildings.

“Grecian pillars are seen on Calton Hill in great numbers, and the observatory would delight an old Greek; its four fronts are adorned by Grecian pillars, and it is indeed beautiful as a structure; but the Greeks did not build their temples for astronomical observations; they probably adapted their architecture to their needs.

“This beautiful building was erected by an association of gentlemen, who raised a good deal of money, but, of course, not enough. They built the Grecian temple, but they could not supply it with priests.

“About a hundred years ago Colin Maclaurin had laid the foundation of an observatory, and the curious Gothic building, which still stands, is the first germ. We laugh now at the narrow ideas of those days, which seemed to consider an observatory a lookout only; but the first step in a work is a great stepthe others are easily taken. There was added to the building of Maclaurin a very small transit room, and then the present edifice followed.

“When the builders of the observatory found that they could not support it, they presented it to the British government; so that it is now a government child, but it is not petted, like the first-born of Greenwich.

“There are three instruments; an excellent transit instrument of six and a half inches’ aperture, resting on its y’s of solid granite. The corrections of the errors of the instrument by means of little screws are given up, and the errors which are known to exist are corrected in the computations.

“Professor Smyth finds that although the two pillars upon which the instrument rests were cut from the same quarry, they are unequally affected by changes of temperature; so that the variation of the azimuth error, though slight, is irregular.

“The collimation plate they correct with the micrometer, so that they consider some position-reading of the micrometer-head the zero point, and correct that for the error, which they determine by reflection in a trough of mercury. With this instrument they observe on certain stars of the British Catalogue, whose places are not very well determined, and with a mural circle of smaller power they determine declinations.

“The observatory possesses an equatorial telescope, but it is of mixed composition. The object glass was given by Dr. Lee, the eye-pieces by some one else, and the two are put together in a case, and used by Professor Smyth for looking at the craters in the moon; of these he has made fine drawings, and has published them in color prints.

“The whole staff of the observatory consists of Professor Smyth, Mr. Wallace, an old man, and Mr. Williamson, a young man.

“The city of Edinboro’ has no amateur astronomers, and there are two only, of note, in Scotland: Sir William Bisbane and Sir William Keith Murray.

“From the observatory, the view of Edinboro’ is lovely. ‘Auld Reekie,’ as the Scotch call it, always looks her best through a mist, and a Scotch mist is not a rare eventso we saw the city under its most becoming veil.

“October, 1857. I stopped in Glasgow a few hours, and went to the observatory, which is also the private residence of Professor Nichol. Miss Nichol received me, and was a very pleasant, blue-eyed young lady.

“I found that the observatory boasts of two good instruments: a meridian circle, which must be good, from its appearance, and a Newtonian telescope, differently mounted from any I had seen; cased in a composition tube which is painted bright bluerather a striking object. The iron mounting seemed to me good. It was of the German kind, but modified. It seemed to me that it could be used for observations far from the meridian. The iron part was hollow, so that the clock was inside, as was the azimuth circle, and thus space was saved.

“They have a wind and rain self-register, and a self-registering barometer, marking on a cylinder turned by a clock, the paper revolving once an hour.

“When I was at Dungeon Ghyll, a little ravine among the English lakes, down which trickles an exceedingly small stream of water, but which is, nevertheless, very picturesque,as I followed the old man who shows it for a sixpence, he asked if we had come a long way. ‘From America,’ I replied. ‘We have many Americans here,’ said he; ’it is much easier to understand their language than that of other foreigners; they speak very good English, better than the French or Germans.’

“I felt myself a little annoyed and a good deal amused. I supposed that I spoke the language that Addison wrote, and here was a Westmoreland guide, speaking a dialect which I translated into English before I could understand it, complimenting me upon my ability to speak my own tongue.

“I learned afterwards, as I journeyed on, to expect no appreciation of my country or its people. The English are strangely deficient in curiosity. I can scarcely imagine an Englishwoman a gossip.

“I found among all classes a knowledge of the extent of America; by the better classes its geography was understood, and its physical peculiarities. One astronomer had bound the scientific papers from America in green morocco, as typical of a country covered by forests. Among the most intelligent men whom I met I found an appreciation of the different characters of the States. Everywhere Massachusetts was honored; everywhere I met the horror of the honest Englishman at the slave system; but anything like a discriminating knowledge of our public men I could not meet. Webster had been heard of everywhere. They assured me that our really great men were known, our really great deeds appreciated; but this is not true. They make mistakes in their measure of our men; second-rate men who have travelled are of course known to the men whom they have met; these travellers have not perhaps thought it necessary to mention that they represent a secondary class of people, and they are considered our ‘first men.’ The English forget that all Americans travel.

“I was vexed when I saw some of our most miserable novels, bound in showy yellow and red, exposed for sale. A friend told me that they had copied from the cheap publications of America. It may be so, but they have outdone us in the cheapness of the material and the showy covers. I never saw yellow and red together on any American book.

“The English are far beyond us in their highest scholarship, but why should they be ignorant of our scholars? The Englishman is proud, and not without reason; but he may well be proud of the American offshoot. It is not strange that England produces fine scholars, when we consider that her colleges confer fellowships on the best undergraduates.

“England differs from America in the fact that it has a past. Well may the great men of the present be proud of those who have gone before them; it is scarcely to be hoped that the like can come after them; and yet I suppose we must admit that even now the strong minds are born across the water.

“At the same time England has a class to which we have happily no parallel in our countrya class to which even English gentlemen liken the Sepoys, and who would, they admit, under like circumstances be guilty of like enormities. But the true Englishman shuts his eyes for a great part of the time to the steps in the social scale down which his race descends, and looks only at the upper walks. He has therefore a glance of patronizing kindness for the people of the United States, and regards us of New England as we regard our rich brethren of the West.

“I wondered what was to become of the English people! Their island is already crowded with people, the large towns are numerous and are very large. Suppose for an instant that her commerce is cut off, will they starve? It is an illustration of moral power that, little island as that of Great Britain is, its power is the great power of the world.

“Crowded as the people are, they are healthy. I never saw, I thought, so many ruddy faces as met me at once in Liverpool. Dirty children in the street have red cheeks and good teeth. Nowhere did I see little children whose minds had outgrown their bodies. They do not live in the school-room, but in the streets. One continually meets little children carrying smaller ones in their arms; little girls hand in hand walk the streets of London all day. There are no free schools, and they have nothing to do. Beggars are everywhere, and as importunate as in Italy. For a well-behaved common people I should go to Paris; for clean working-women I should look in Paris.

“I saw a little boy in England tormenting a smaller one. He spat upon his cap, and then declared that the little one did it. The little one sobbed and said he didn’t. I gave the little one a penny; he evidently did not know the value of the coin, and appealed to the bigger boy. ’Is it a penny?’ he asked, with a look of amazement. ‘Yes,’ said the bigger. Off ran the smaller one triumphant, and the bigger began to cry, which I permitted him to do.”