[London—Monday, 4 July 1859]

Monday July 4th Detained a little by a late breakfast. Obliged to speak to Mrs Hughes and in the end unintentionally to blame the servant (through Mrs H.) who was at the root of the matter. We started at 12 o’clk for the Paddington Station on our way to see Captain Mayne Reid. A fine carriage came to the station for us with two servants in livery and soon we landed at the door of the cottage where we found the Captain himself in waiting at the gate and his pretty wife standing in the door-way. Our visit to these people provided us with sufficient subject matter for a romance. She, so pale, pretty—and fragile, he, so strong, bold, prejudiced, fiery and intellectual so over-whelming in fact to most persons and doubly so to her; t’was a strange picture.

We drove in the afternoon to Beaconsfield where Burke lived died and was buried. A sweet old town it was too in the afternoon-light. We sat down in the pew where Burke sate and read the inscription over his tomb. From Beaconsfield we drove to Stoke Pogis while the light grew yellow in the west streaking the black-dark yews with gold. We brought leaves from Grey’s tomb.

In the evening we remembered it was the 4th of July and Captain Reid talked finely and as few know how to talk about America, its people & its government. Capt. M.R. is like a remnant of the dark ages and the feudal systems.


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