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He was usually reserved, but he was ready for action all the time. His full, smooth lips, sensitive as a child's, would tell a student of facial lines how vivid was his life, though absolutely under his cool command. He was a delightful companion even when little was said, because his eyes spoke with a sort of apprehension of your thought, so that you felt that your expression of face was a clear record for him, and that words would have been a sort of anticlimax. His companionship was exquisitely restful, since it was instinctively sympathetic. He did not need to exert himself to know you deeply, and he saw all the good in you there was to know; and the weakness and the wrong of any heart he weighed as nicely in the balance of tender mercy as we could do in pity for ourselves. I always felt a great awe of him, a tremendous sense of his power. His large eyes, liquid with blue and white light and deep with dark shadows, told me even when I was very young that he was in some respects different from other people. He could be most tender in outward action, but he never threw such action away. He knew swine under the cleverest disguise. speak of outward acts of tenderness. As for his spirit, it was always arousing mine, or any one's, and acting towards one's spiritual being invisibly and silently, but with gentle earnestness. He evinced by it either a sternly sweet dignity of tolerance, or a generous approbation, or a sadly glanced, adverse comment that lashed one's inner consciousness with remorse. He was meditative, as all those are who care that the world is full of sorrow and sin, but cheerful, as those are who have the character and genius to see the finite beauty and perfection in the world, which are sent to the true-hearted as indications of heaven. He could be full of cheer, and at the same time never lose the solemnity of a perception of the Infinite, -that familiar fact which we, so many of us, have ceased to fear, but which the greatest men so remember and rever
ence. He never became wholly merged in fun, however gay the games in which he joined with us children; just as a man of refinement who has been in war never quite throws aside the dignity of the sorrow which he has seen. He might seem, at a superficial glance, to be the merriest of us all, but on second thoughts he was not. Of course, there were times when it was very evident to me that my father was as comfortable and happy as he cared to be. When he stood upon the hearth-rug, before the snapping, blushing English fire (always poked into a blaze towards evening, as he was about to enter the parlor), - when he stood there with his hands clasped behind him, swaying from side to side in a way peculiar to him, and which recalled the many sea-swayed ancestors of his who had kept their feet on rolling decks, then he was a picture of benevolent pleasure. Perhaps, for this moment, the soldier from the battlefields of the soul ceased to remember scenes of cruelty and agony. He swayed from side to side, and raised himself on his toes, and creaked his slippered heels jocosely, and smiled upon me, and lost himself in agreeable musings. He was very courteous, entirely sincere, and quiet with fixed principles as a great machine with consistent movement. He treated children handsomely; harshness was not in him to be subdued, and scorn of anything that was honestly developing would have seemed to him blasphemy. He stooped to my intelligence, and rejoiced it. We were usually a silent couple when off for a walk together, or when we met by chance in the household. I suppose that we were seeing which could outdo the other at "holding the tongue." But still, our intercourse, as I remarked before, might be complete. I knew him very well indeed, his power, his supremacy of honesty, his wealth of refinement. And he, I was fully aware, could see through me as easily as if I were a soul in one of his own books.
His aspect avoided, as did that of his art, which exactly reproduced his character, anything like self-conscious picturesqueness. It is pleasant to have the object of our regard unconscious of himself. He had a way of ignoring, while observing automatically, all accessories, which reminded us that his soul was ever awake, and waiting to be made free of earthly things and common ideas. During our European life he frequently wore a soft brown felt hat and a brown talma of finest broadcloth, whose Greek - like folds and double-decked effect were artistic, but did not tempt him to pose or remember his material self. He was as forgetful of his appearance as an Irishman of the true quality, who may have heard something about his coat or his hair, but has let slip from his mind what it was, and cares not, so long as the song of his comrades is tender and the laughter generous. In some such downright way, I was convinced, my father regarded the beauty and stateliness which were his, and for which he had been praised all through his existence. He forgot himself in high aims, which are greater than things seen, no matter how fine soever.
We made a very happy family group as we gladly followed and looked upon him when he took ship to start for the Liverpool Consulate; and of this journey and the new experiences which ensued my mother writes to Dr. Peabody as follows:
STEAMER NIAGARA, ATLANTIC OCEAN,
long. And why do you suppose it was so long? Mr. Ticknor says that always they give a salute of two guns; but that yesterday so many were thundered off because Mr. Hawthorne, the distinguished United States consul and author, was leaving the shore, and honoring her Majesty's steamship with his presence. While they were stabbing me with their noise I was ignorant of this. Perhaps my wifely pride would have enabled me to bear it better if I had known that the steamer were trembling with honor rendered to my husband. After this we were quiet enough, for we were moving magically over a sea like a vast pearl, almost white with peace. I never saw anything so fair and lovely as the whole aspect of the mighty ocean. Off on the horizon a celestial blue seemed to meet the sky. Julian sat absorbed. He did not turn his head, but gazed and gazed on this, to him, new and wondrous picture. Seeing a point of land running out, he said, "That, I suppose, is the end of America! I do not think America reaches very far!" I managed to change his beaver and plume for his great straw Fayal hat, but he would not turn his head for it. It was excessively hot. An awning was spread at the stern, and then it was very comfortable. I heard that the British minister was on board, and I searched round to find him out. I decided upon a fine-looking elderly gentleman who was asleep near the helm-house. Afterwards the mailagent came to Mr. Hawthorne and said the minister wished to make his acquaintance; and behold, here was my minister, a stately, handsome person, with an air noble and of great simplicity and charm of manner. Mr. Hawthorne introduced me, but I had no conversation then. Later, I had a very delightful interview. . . . Near by stood a gentleman whom I supposed his attaché; and with him I had a very long and interesting conversation. We had a nice talk about art and Rome, and America and
England, and architecture. I do not yet know his name, but only that his brother was joint executor with Sir Robert Peel on the estate of Hadley, the artist. This unknown told me that the minister was an exquisite amateur artist, and his portfolio was full of the finest sketches. This accounted for the serene expression of his eyes, that rest contemplatively upon all objects. Mr. Silsbee looks so thin and pale that I fear for him; but I will take good care of him. At table, Mr. and Mrs. Hawthorne have the seats of honor, on either hand of the captain. He is a very remarkable man. The minister told me that he sailed with him five years ago, when the captain was very young, and he was then astonished at his skill and power of command; that the captains of these great English steamers are picked men, trained in the navy, and eminent for ability and accomplishment, and that Captain Leitch is remarkable among the best. It was good to see his assured military air, as he walked back and forth while we moved out of the beautiful harbor. He made motions with his hand with such an air of majesty and conscious power. His smile is charming, and his voice fine. The enunciation of Mr. Crampton, the minister, is also wonderfully fine. Mr. Mr. Crampton says that these steamers have run for seventeen years, and that not one accident has happened, and not a man been lost, except that once a steamer was lost in a fog, but all the passengers and crew were safely got off. Una enjoys herself very much, and reads the Tanglewood Tales, and walks and races on the upper deck with Julian, this fine cold morning. It is glorious, glorious,— this blue surrounding sea, and no land. Your affectionate daughter,
ment ago we were in Boston Harbor, and how can I be three thousand miles afar? If we had had more difficulty, storms, and danger, I could realize it better; but it seems like a pleasure excursion on a lake. I sit in a parlor, with one great, broad window from ceiling to floor, a casement opening upon a balcony, which commands a handsome street. It does not look like Boston, and, Mr. Hawthorne says, not like New York, but like Liverpool. People are going to church, and the bells are chiming in a pleasant jangle. Every gentleman has an umbrella under his arm, for it is bright sunshine one moment, and a merry little shower the next.
I spoke in my note from Halifax of Mr. Crampton, and a gentleman whom I thought his attaché. Mr. Crampton we lost at Halifax, but the supposed attaché remained; and I was glad, for he was the most interesting person in the steamer. We in vain tried to discover his name, but at last found it to be Field Talfourd, brother of Sir Thomas Talfourd, author of Ion. I had very charming conversations with him. He was a perfect gentleman, with an ease of manner so fascinating and rare, showing high breeding, and a voice rich and full. Whenever he spoke, his words came out clear from the surrounding babble and all the noise of the ship, so that I could always tell where he was. He is one of the primitive men, in contradistinction to the derivative (as Sarah Clarke once divided people). He seemed never at a loss on any subject soever; and when the passengers were trying feats of skill and physical prowess to pass the time, I saw Mr. Talfourd exhibit marvelous power as a gymnast in performing a feat which no one else would even attempt. His education was all-sided, body and mind, apparently; and, with all, this charm of gentlemanliness, not very often met with in America. It seems to require more leisure and a deeper culture than we
19th July. We all have colds now, except Mr. Hawthorne, with whom earth's maladies have nothing to do. Julian and Una are homesick for broad fields and hilltops. Julian, in this narrow, high room, is very much like an eagle crowded into a canary-bird's cage! They shall go to Prince's Park as soon as I can find the way; and there they will see water and green grass and trees. They think of the dear Wayside with despair. As soon as possible we shall go into the country. Yesterday the waning Consul, Mr. Crittendon, called. Mr. Hawthorne likes him much.
Americans have yet, to produce such a quite a feast, and fine raspberries. The head of the Waterloo House, Mr. Lynn, is a venerable-looking person, resembling one's idea of an ancient duke, dressing with elaborate elegance, and with the finest ruffled bosoms. Out of peculiar respect to the Consul of the United States, he comes in at the serving of the soup, and holds each plate while I pour the soup, and then, with great state, presents it to the waiter to place before each person. After this ceremony he retires with a respectful obeisance. This homage diverts Mr. Hawthorne so much that I am afraid he will smile some day. The gravity of the servants is imperturbable. One, Mr. Hawthorne calls our Methodist preacher. The service is absolutely perfect.
21st July. An Oxford graduate, who went to see Mr. Hawthorne in Concord, called to see him, and brought his father, a fine-looking gentleman. Their name is Bright. Mary Herne thought the son was Eustace Bright himself! To-day the father came to invite us all out to West Derby to tea on Saturday, and the son is coming for us. There the children will see swans and gardens and green grass, and they are in raptures. Young Henry Bright is a very enthusiastic young gentleman, full of life and emotion; and he very politely brought me from his gardens a radiant bouquet of flowers, among which the heliotrope and mossroses and all other roses and mignonette make delicious fragrance. Yesterday Miss Lynch sent me a bunch of mossrose buds, nine! Just think of seeing together nine moss-rose buds! Henry Bright brought the Westminster Review to Mr. Hawthorne, and said he should bring him all the new books. Mrs. Train called to see me before she went to town [London], and Mr. Hawthorne and I went back with her to the Adelphi, and walked on to see a very magnificent stone building, called St. George's Hall. It is not quite finished; and as far as the mist would allow me to see, it was sumptuous. . . . We have strawberries as large as small peaches, one being
Your affectionate child,
The Brights, especially Henry Bright, appear frequently in the Note-Books, and their names occur very often in my mother's letters. The young Oxford graduate I remember most distinctly. He was thin, and so tall that he waved like a reed, and so shining-eyed that his eyes seemed like icebergs; they were very prominent. His nose was one of your English masterpieces, a mountainous range of aristocratic formation; and his far-sweeping eyebrows of delicate brown, his red, red lips and white doglike teeth, and his deeply cleft British chin were a source of fathomless study. In England a man can be extraordinarily ordinary and material; but the men of culture are, as a rule, remarkably forcible in unique and deep-cut characteristics, both of face and of mind, with a prevailing freedom from self-analysis — except privately, no doubt.
Henry Bright and my father would sit on opposite sides of the fire; Mr. Bright with a staring, frosty gaze directed unmeltingly at the sunny glow of the coals as he talked, his slender long fingers propping up his charming head (over which
his delicately brown hair fell in closegliding waves) as he leaned on the arm of his easy-chair. Sometimes he held a book of Tennyson's poetry to his near-. sighted, prominent eyes, as closely as two materials could remain and not blend into one. He recited The Brook in a fine fury of appreciation, and with a sure movement that suggested well the down-tumbling of the frolicking element, with its undercurrent of sympathizing pathos, the life-blood of the stream. "For men may come, and men may go, but I go on for ever!" rang in my empty little head for years, and summed up, as I guessed, all of Egyptian wisdom and spiritual perpetuity in a single suggestive fact. Mr. Bright had a way of laughing that I could never cease to enjoy, even in the faint echo of retrospect. It always ended in a whispered snort from the great mountain range of his nose. He laughed often, at his own and my father's remarks, and at the close of the tumbling diction of The Brook; and he therefore frequently snorted in this sweeping-of-the-wind fashion. I listened, spellbound. He also very gently and breezily expressed his touched sensibility, after some recitation of his of rare lines from other poems, but in the same odd manner. My father stirred this beloved friend with judicious, thought-developing opposition of opinion concerning all sorts of polite subjects, but principally, when I overheard, concerning the respective worth of writers. The small volume of Tennyson which Mr. Bright held in his two hands caressingly, with that Anglo-literary filliping of the leaves which is so great a compliment to any book, contained for him a large share of Great Britain's greatness. His brave heart beat for Tennyson; I think my father's did not, though his head applauded. My mother, for her part, was entranced by the goldsmith's work of the noble poet, and by the gems enclasped in its perfection of formative art,-perfections within the pale of convention
and fashion and romantic beauty which make lovely Tennyson's baronial domain. Henry Bright wrote verses, too; and he was beginning to be successful in a certain profound interest which customarily absorbs young men of genuine feeling who are not yet married; and therefore it was worth while to stir the young lover up, and hear what he could say for The Princess and The Lord of Burleigh. My mother, in a letter written six months after we had reached England, and when he was established as a household friend, draws a graphic picture of his lively personality :
ROCK PARK, December 8, 1853.
.. We had a charming visit from Henry Bright a fortnight ago. He stayed all night, and he talks I was going to say, like a storm; but it is more like a breeze, for he is very gentle. He is extremely interesting, sincere, earnest, independent, warm and generous hearted; not at all dogmatic; full of questions, and with ready answers. He is highly cultivated, and writes for the Westminster.... Eustace Bright, as described in the Wonder-Book, is so much like him in certain things that it is really curious: "Slender, pale, yet of a healthy aspect, and as light and active as if he had wings to his shoes." He is also nearsighted, though he does not wear spectacles. His eyes are large, bright, and prominent, rather, indicating great facility of language, which he has. He is an Oxford scholar, and has decided literary tastes. He is delicately strung, and is as transparent-minded and pure-hearted as a child, with great enthusiasm and earnestness of character; and though a Liberal, very loyal to his Queen and very admiring of the aristocracy. This comes partly by blood, as his mother has noble. blood in her veins from various directions, even the Percys and Stanleys, and is therefore a native aristocrat. He enjoyed his visit to America extremely, and says Boston is the Mecca of English