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venture to interfere in the matter ; that you took no part in such matters. This ought to be the substance of your letter, which you may smooth over with as many honeyed phrases as you please.
I think that a visit to Europe, with me as minister, would spoil you outright. Besides, it would consume your little independence. One grave objection to my acceptance of the mission, for which I have no personal inclination, would be your situation. I should dislike to leave you behind, in the care of any person I know. I think there is a decided improvement in your last letter. Your great fault was that your sentences ran into each other without proper periods.
Good night! I cannot say how many letters I have written to-day. Thank Heaven! to-morrow will be a day of rest. I do not now expect to visit Pittsburgh until after the first of April, though I have a pecuniary concern there of some importance.
With my kindest regards to Miss Macalester and the family, I remain, etc.
WASHINGTON, May 24, 1853, I have received your letter, and have not written until the present moment because I did not know what to write. It is now determined that I shall leave New York on Saturday, 9th July. cannot fix the day I shall be at home, because I am determined not to leave this until posted up thoroughly on the duties of the mission. I hope, however, I may be with you in the
I early part of next week, I am hard at work,
I went from Willard's to Mr. Pleasanton's last evening. Laura and Clemmie are well, and would, I have no doubt, send their love to you if they knew I was writing. I have seen but fow of the fashionables, but have been overrun with visitors.
Remember me kindly to Miss Hetty and to James, and believe me to be, etc.
New York, August 4, 1853. called to see me this morning, and was particularly amiable. He talked much of what his father had written and said to him respecting yourself, expressed a great desire to see you, and we talked much bagatelle about you. He intimated that his father had advised him to address you.
I told him he would make a very rebellious nephew, and would be hard to manage. He asked where you would be this winter, and I told him that you would visit your relations in Virginia in the course of a month, and might probably come to London next spring or summer. He said he would certainly see you, and asked me for a letter of introduction to you, which I promised to give him. As he was leaving, he told me not to forget it, but give it to the proprietor of the Astor House before I left, and I promised to do so. I told him that you had appreciated his father's kindness to you, felt honored and gratified for his (the father's) attentions, and admired him very much. He
knew all about your pleasant intercourse with his father in Philadelphia. There was much other talk which I considered, and still consider, to be bagatelle, yet the subject was pursued by him. As I have a leisure moment, I 'thought I would prepare you for an interview with him, in case you should meet.
is a man of rare abilities and great wit, and is quite eminent in his profession. His political course has been eccentric, but he still maintains his influence. I never saw him look so well as he did to-day. I repeat that I believe all this to be bagatelle; and yet it seemed to be mingled with a strong desire to see you.
Saturday Morning, August 6. And now, my dear Harriet, I shall go aboard the Atlantic this morning, with a firm determination to do my duty, and without any unpleasant apprehensions of the result. Relying upon that gracious Being who has protected me all my life until the present moment, and has strewed my path with blessings, I go abroad once more in the service of my country,
I with fair hopes of success. I shall drop you a line from Liverpool immediately upon my arrival. With my kindest regards to Miss Hetty, I remain,
ARRIVAL IN LONDON-PRESENTATION TO THE QUEEN AT OSBORNE
THE MINISTRY OF LORD ABERDEEN-MR. MARCY'S CIRCULAR ABOUT
THE reader has seen with what reluctance and for what
special purpose Mr. Buchanan accepted the mission to England. He left New York on the 1st of August, 1853, and landed at Liverpool on the 17th, whence he wrote immediately to his niece; and I follow his first letter to her with four others, extending to the middle of October.
[TO MISS LANE.]
ADELPHI HOTEL, LIVERPOOL, August 17th, 1853. MY DEAR HARRIET :
I arrived in Liverpool this morning, after a passage of about ten days and sixteen hours. I was sea-sick the whole voyage, but not nearly so badly as I had anticipated, or as I was in going to and returning from Russia. Captain James West, of Philadelphia, the commander of the Atlantic, is one of the most accomplished and vigilant officers and one of the most kind and amiable men I have ever known. I never wish to cross the Atlantic in any but a vessel commanded by him. We did not see the sun rise or set during the whole voyage.
The weather was either rainy or cloudy throughout, but many of the passengers were agreeable. Upon arriving here I found Mr. Lawrence, who came from London to receive me. It is my purpose to accompany him to London to-morrow, where I shall at first stay at the Clarendon Hotel. I do not yet know whether I shall take, or rather whether I can obtain, Mr. Ingersoll's house or not. I thought I would have to remain here some days to recruit; but I had scarcely got upon land before I felt perfectly well, and have enjoyed my dinner very much—the first meal for which I felt any appetite since I left New York. I shall write to you again as soon as I am settled at London, or probably sooner.
Although I left Wheatland with regret and a heavy heart, yet I am
resigned to my destiny, and shall enter upon the performance of my duties, with God's blessing, in a determined and cheerful spirit.
I received your letter in New York. I had not supposed there was any thing serious in Lily's apprehensions.
In the midst of calls and engagements, I have not time to write you a longer letter. Please to keep an eye on Eskridge and James Reynolds, as you promised.
Give my affectionate regard to Miss Hetty and Eskridge, and remember me to all my friends. In haste, I remain your affectionate uncle, etc.
LONDON, August 26th, 1853. I have received your letter written a few days after my departure from New York, which is mislaid for the moment, and it afforded me great pleasure. It is the only letter which I have yet received from the United States.
I was presented to the queen at Osborne, in the Isle of Wight, on Tuesday last, by the Earl of Clarendon, and delivered her my letter of credence. She has not many personal charms, but is gracious and dignified in her manners, and her character is without blemish. The interview was brief. Mr. Ingersoll,* who accompanied me to take his leave, and myself lunched at the palace with Lord Clarendon and several of the attachés of royalty. His conduct towards me is all I could have desired; and Miss Wilcox is a very nice girl.t They will pay a short visit to France and the continent, and return to the United States in October.
You have lost nothing by not coming to England with me. Parliament adjourned on last Saturday, and this was the signal for the nobility and gentry to go to their estates in the country. There they will remain until next February, and in the mean time London will be very dull. All gaiety in town is at an end, and has been transferred to the estates and country seats throughout the kingdom.
I have not yet procured a house, but hope to do so next week. I have just paid my bill for the first week at this hotel. I have two rooms and a chamber, have had no company to dine and have dined at home but three days, and the amount is £14 7s. 6d., equal to nearly $75.00.
It is my desire to see you happily married, because, should I be called away, your situation would not be agreeable. Still you would have plenty. Whilst these are my sentiments, however, I desire that you shall exercise your own deliberate judgment in the choice of a husband. View steadily all the consequences, ask the guidance of Heaven, and make up your own mind, and I shall be satisfied. A competent independence is a good thing, if it can be obtained with proper affection; though I should not care for fortune provided the man of your choice was in a thriving and profitable business and possessed a high and fair character. I had not supposed there was any thing serious in the conversation; certainly none of your relatives can interpose any just objec* Hlis predecessor.
+ Niece of Mr. Ingersoll.
tion. Be, horrever, fully persuaded in your own mind, and act after due reflection; and
God guide you! It will require some time to reconcile me to this climate. We have none of the bright and glorious sun and the clear blue sky of the United States; but neither have we the scorching heat, nor the mosquitos. I have slept comfortably under a blanket ever since I have been here, and almost every man you meet carries an umbrella. The winters, however, are not cold.
Society is in a most artificial position. It is almost impossible for an untitled individual who does not occupy an official position to enter the charmed circle. The richest and most influential merchants and bankers are carefully excluded. It is true, as we learned, that the niece of a minister at the head of his establishment does not enjoy his rank. At a dinner party, for example, whilst he goes to the head of the table, she must remain at or near the foot. Still, Miss Wilcox has made her way to much consideration, admiration and respect.
The rage which seems to pervade the people of the United States for visiting Europe is wonderful. It takes up much time at the legation to issue passports. London, however, is but a stopping place. They generally rush to Paris and the continent; and this, too, wisely, I have no doubt. I would not myself tarry at London longer than to see the sights. My promise to you shall be kept inviolate; and yet I have no doubt a visit to Europe with an agreeable party would be far more instructive and satisfactory to you than to remain for any considerable length of time with me in London. I thank my stars that
you would have had a dreary time of it for the next six months.
But the despatches are to be prepared and the despatch bag must close at five o'clock for the steamer of to-morrow. I have time to write no more, but to assure you that I am always your affectionate uncle, etc.
September 15, 1853. On the day before yesterday I received your kind letter of the 28th August, with a letter from Mary, which I have already answered. How rejoiced I am that she is contented and happy in San Francisco! I also received your favor of the 18th August in due time. I write to you this evening because I have important despatches to prepare for the Department to-morrow, to be sent by Saturday's steamer.
How rejoiced I am that you did not come with me! Perceiving your anxiety, I was several times on the point of saying to you, come along; but you would see nearly as much fashionable society at Wheatland as you would see here until February or March next. You cannot conceive how dull it is, though personally I am content. The beau monde are all at their countryseats or on the continent, there to remain until the meeting of Parliament. But what is worse than all, I have not yet been able to procure a house in which I would consent to live. I have looked at a great many,—the houses of the nobility and gentry; but the furniture in all of them is old, decayed