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election for most of the members for Norfolk, defeated Mr Windham once,-and another time was the means of securing his return. Mr Wind. ham lost his seat ultimately, on account of certain practices deemed corrupt proved against him ; probably he would not condescend to do secretly what he held right in itself, and the legitimate and salutary influence of property. Another private gentleman of this county, residing very near Newmarket, the late Mr Th. re. turned his income for the income-tax at L.35,000 a-year. You hear everywhere in England of these princely fortunes.
After spending three days agreeably at Bury St Edmonds, we continued our journey towards London, by Cambridge. I am inclined to think English society pleasantest out of London. There is more leisure, as much information, and manners equally good; for nobody is provincial in this country. You meet nowhere with those persons who never were out of their native place, and whose habits are wholly local,-nobody above poverty who has not visited London once in his life ; and most of those who can, visit it once a-year. To go up to town from 100 or 200 miles distance, is a thing done on a sudden, and without any previous deliberation. In France, the people of the provinces used to make their will
before they undertook such an expedition. Cui. tivation of mind, and elegance of manners, are more conspicuous comparatively among women than among men.
There is more difference between the women of this country and those I have seen elsewhere, than between the men of the same countries respectively. The men appear to me less universal than they were in France, formerly at least ; but they know better what they do know. They are less apt to say every thing which comes into their heads,—they think before they speak,--they have less vanity, and more pride. This is wise and respectable, but does not form, perhaps, a state of society very amusing. The women are no less remarkable for their discretion and reserye ; but it is the reserve of modesty instead of that of pride,-not volun. tary nor insurmountable.
Commercial communications and exchanges are not better established here, or upon an easier and more convenient footing, than mental ones. Science, anecdotes, politics, fashions, even the most frivolous, every thing that can interest the mind of all descriptions of persons who have any mind at all, circulates through its appropriate channel, day by day, week by week, or quarter by quarter, to the remotest corner of the country as regularly and abundantly as in London. Every body finds on his table, at stated days and
hours, the newspaper, the journal, or the review, to which he subscribes ; and if he cannot afford to subscribe, he will at least find all these things at the circulating library, the reading-room, or the book.club of the next little town or village. He may know exactly, let his life be otherwise ever so obscure and solitary, what is going on at court, in parliament, at the opera ; what routs, births, deaths, marriages, and elopements have taken place among people of consequence. Deeper works will give him the spirit and criticism of most literary novelties, on abstruse, edifying, or amusing subjects. Novels, in shoals, will finally serve to fill up any portion of his time, his whole life if he pleases, with every variety of sentimental distresses and pleasures the human faculties are capable of feeling. Poetry is so happily cultivated in England,--the present generation par. ticularly has produced so many admirable specimens of it,—that the feelings it imparts are become familiar. Women, with more time, more curiosity, and livelier feelings than men, know better how to avail themselves of these opportunities; and the tincture of science, of literature, and of every accomplishment, is in general unmixed with pedantry. It is an every day dress which they are at ease in, and does not unfit them for the common business of life, and the duties of their station. I do not know whether this
light and easy regimen is, generally speaking, calculated to form strong and original constitutions of mind; such, however, thrive under any management, when the germ and power are in us; and England, of all countries in the world, shews the least signs of mental feebleness and enervation
its inhabitants. There are almost everywhere book-societies or clubs, variously constituted. They are generally composed of ten or twelve persons, contributing annually a certain sum for the purchase of books. Any of them may propose a book, which, when read by all the associates who choose, is put up for sale among them. The person who recommended the purchase is obliged to take it at half price, if no one bids higher. The annual contri. bution is commonly from one to four guineas.
The English are very fond of biography and posthumous letters of illustrious persons. The French literature abounds in memoires,--the English in lives and letters. It is the gossiping of clever people, and it must be owned that there is a great charm in this reading ; you seem to lift a corner of the veil which covers the human heart, and every man feels a curiosity to compare that of others with his own. They do not confine themselves to English lives and letters. There are, for instance, Mad. du Deffand's letters, published in London in French, and Prince
Eugene's memoirs, (genuine or not, very interesting.) We are very proud in France of our language being the polite language of Europe, and the diplomatic language, and even of our knowing no other. A blind man might as well be proud that every body looks at him, while he does not look at any one. The English see from their windows across the channel all that passes on the continent; hear all that is said, and read all that is published, without translation, and in its original form; and they are far better au fait of our literature, ancient and modern, than we are in the provinces of France.
We visited Cambridge on our way to London. This little town contains the celebrated university, or rather the university contains the town. Several of the colleges are magnificent; but the chapel of one of them (King's College) attracts general attention. It is a long square, 316 feet by 84, of a singularly light and beautiful Gothic. Nothing can exceed the high finish of the inside ; immense painted windows, separated by light piers, pour in a fine temperate light, and make the Gothic arch, 80 feet above your head, appear suspended in the air. The curious are conducted over this arch, and walk over the thin flat stones, with the consciousness that a mere shell, not more than four or five inches in thickness, alone separates them from a blessed eternity.