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been swept into the fine spacious poor-houses. The cottages are all of rough stone and thatched. Their general average look is thus : [Here is a pen and ink sketch of a hovel.] Out of such houses I have again and again seen handsome and joyous families pouring, with here and there a pallid, fever-looking creature. So open and welcoming a smile I never saw prevail in any human faces. Calves walk in and out of many cottages as freely as the yellow-haired children. About Antrim and especially the Moravian settlement, Grace Hill, we see what care and taste may do. Such vales, such hills, such gateways, bleaching grounds like fields of snow, such hedges, and such green and gold, as even Devonshire might own. Such might all Ireland be, if the priests had chosen to instruct their slaves.
DUBLIN, September 17, 1851. From Belfast we crossed the county Armagh to Castle Blayney and Dublin. Thus far, there is no part of my travels which I would so readily repeat, as my Irish trip. The mode of travelling, the roads, the access to the people, the awakening of human sympathies, the physical geography, the rapid comparison of races, must make me ever mindful of it. I have seen grander scenes, and a few more beautiful, but none more lovely than all Ulster and a part of Leinster. True I see much misery, but compassion is a healthful feeling; and while I admire some nations, I can truly add I love the Irish. For surface I believe there is no such country in the world. I have seen no part, out of towns, where there is any level. The roads are as smooth as this table. You have no idea of the demigods the priests have become. They might this day make Ireland happy, by teaching their wretched worshippers to read, to build, to till, and to keep clean. The Protestant regions are like Scotland you can instantly tell the difference by rags, stench, and merry ignorance.
Dublin shows extremes of magnificence and squalid woe, such as seldom meet. The better sort of people strike me as the handsomest I ever saw. There is one type of face which predominates and is peculiarly Irish-black hair and eye-lashes, large clear blue eyes, red and white skin of unusual delicacy, and a joyous, arch expression playing through all. Happy Dublin, if it were not the capital of a ruined land.
Leaving Dublin the 19th September, the traveller passed through Kildare, Thurles, Inch, Limerick. Thence by Ennis, (County Clare), Gort, (County Galway,) to Galway, the fifth city of Ireland, but “far, far beyond all I ever dreamed of for squalor, filth, and poverty.” On the 22d left Gal
OXFORD, September 26, 1851. I came here to dinner yesterday from Liverpool, 176 miles. We touched Rugby village, about a mile from the school. It is vacation here, which is bad; but the claustral silence, and venerable solitude, and regal-ecclesiastical state of this monastic city of palaces is surely unique. The impression is that of an awful dream. You have read so long and so much about Oxford that I should think it idle to repeat what is in a score of books. I will set down some incoherencies not in print.
Oxford is larger, greater, and lordlier than Cambridge. It has more colleges, more large colleges, and an aggregate of architectural glories beyond Cambridge; but Oxford has nothing like King's College, Cambridge, and little like Trinity, and no grounds like those of the last named. There is a family-likeness in the two towns, but Oxford is more antique, civic, mediæval, and proud. Cambridge has incomparably the more beautiful site. There is no chapel in Oxford, or the world, like King's at Cambridge. There is no Hall at Cambridge like Christ Church here. The turf is close-shaven, cut every few days, rolled and swept, and is unlike any thing known among us, the moist climate favouring grass. Flowers abound, not only in the landscape-gardening of the immense college-greens, but in the windows of fellows. Some of the quadrangles here are not green, but gravelled. Christ Church meadow is surrounded by a walk of a mile, and elms three centuries old. You may lose yourself in the groves and thickets of some of these river-gardens. I learn that the “men” seldom prefer them to the streets. The halls or refectories, are, as a whole, less regal than at Cambridge, except only Christ Church, where they daily provide for three hundred in
Around these are portraits, generally full-length, of great members. The painted glass windows in the chapels are by far the best I have met with, especially five Flemish windows in New college chapel, (William of Wyckham's.) The feeling in these cloisters," quods," and parks, (where deer come to your hand,) is that of absolute sequestration from the world. Pusey's house, in one of the inner corners of Christ Church, is just the spot to generate such fancies as his.
The system here, though inexpressibly fascinating, is out of harmony with the age. In every buttery-entrance, where you look to espy a monk under the black honey-combed arches, you see the placards of “ Time Tables of N. W. Railway.” The present Warden of All-Souls (where there are none but
way and crossed the country by Athlone and Maynooth to Dublin. On the 23d to Holyhead and Liverpool.
fellows,) is the first married warden. The pressure of the age will certainly bring collapse on these outworn cenobitic shells. I feel it every moment in a country where steam affects every inch, and trains thunder by some places twenty in a day. The agitation about exclusive privileges and overgrown foundations every year shakes down part of the old pile, as in regard to the income of Bishops, by the late Act. A clergyman here is regarded everywhere with a deference unknown anywhere else. But as a class they evidently feel very fully that they are on their good behaviour, and that public opinion cannot be disregarded. Some, I believe many, are labouring to gain good will to the church, in the best of all ways.
It would consume pages, and emulate guide-books, to tell of college after college, chapel after chapel, halls, gardens, portraits, statues, libraries, and cloisters. Books of great size are taken up with this. Dr. Routh, author of the Reliquiæ Sacræ, Master of Magdalen College, has his portrait in the Bodleian, æt. 96. He is the oldest living Oxonian.
The general effect produced by Oxford is soothing to my mind in a high degree. Such self-contained wealth of learning, such seclusion from the stir of life, such yielding of every thing to learned honours, such architectural glory, such libraries, such lawns, such trees, such prizes held out to studious ambition, such histories of past genius, such mighty and beloved names, such costly display of taste, such approaches to what Rome was and would fain be, exist here only and at Cambridge, and more here than there. But it all strikes me as a tree whose root is dead in the earth, vast, green, and lovely, but destined to die presently. I doubt whether the glory has not already passed away. The true Oxonian spirit is that of Newman and Pusey; but it is not of the age. Such a chapel as Christ College, which has lately been repaired at an expense of $90,000, is fitted to absorb a young man in reveries, but they are of an age which cannot live again. My hopes rise beyond what I am able to report during this rapid tour, that God is working by new agencies, and a new zeitgeist
, and our new world, to bring in a new kingdom. So far from letting my intense and scarce excusable fondness for the relics of darker ages tempt me to wish them back again, or try to imitate them, I am even more filled with a sense of the gigantic progress of the modern arts and civilization. One day at the Exhibition, one day at Birmingham and Manchester, or one day on any one trunk of English railways, is worth volumes to awaken expectation. I have meditated, I trust not unusefully, amidst objects which have the odour of past ages. My reigning sentiment, after hurrying and exciting travel among the thousands of this unspeakably teeming population of Europe, is an impression that men and generations pass away like the herb of the field, but the Word of the Lord abideth forever; his kingdom is coming; his house is going up; his plan is unfolding; old traditionary things which vain man calls eternal, are crumbling; new things predicted, but not expected, are rolling in like a flood; our life and that of our children, is but a link in the great chain. I trust I can sometimes add, “ Thy kingdom come: Thy will be done."
1 Dr. Routh nearly completed his century, dying December 22, 1854. 2 Dr. Alexander left Oxford September 26th, arrived the same day at.
Birmingham-on the 27th passed on to Liverpool. Here he heard Mr. McNeile, whom he places with Dr. Cook, of Belfast, as “by a long way the most eloquent men I have heard in these climates." On the first of October he embarked on the steamer Atlantic, Captain West. On the 12th (Sunday) he and Bishop Otey preached in the saloon. After a stormy run, the steamer reached New York October 15th, and the same evening Dr. Alexander joined his family at Princeton.
LETTERS WHILE PASTOR OF FIFTH AVENUE
CHURCH, NEW YORK.
PRINCETON, October 18, 1851. I WRITE more to stay my mind during hours of waiting than to communicate much. My father seems to grow weaker. He believes himself to be on his death-bed, and this more than any symptoms of a grave character makes us apprehend the same. I think his perception and judgment greater than in any moment of his life. “An endless train of minute arrangements have occupied his mind, each of which he has settled in the most summary way. He says his views are what they have always been; that he has never feared to die; that he has never seen so proper a time to die; that all his prayers have been answered; that he has no ecstasy but assured belief; and that no one should pray for his recovery.
He says his views of God's goodness are expressed by“HOW MARVELLOUS is thy loving-kindness, &c." Every one of us, even my dear mother, feels most calm when nearest to the scene of suffering. The affairs of the Church employ far more of my father's words than any family concerns. He talked an hour with me on the prospects of the truth in Scotland. The whole tone of his discourse is free from what John Livingston calls “ shows,” being precisely what it always was—passing with childlike ease from the settling of a bill to the grace and glory of the gospel. He said, “ I have this morning been reviewing the plan of salvation, and assuring myself of my acceptance of it. I am in peace. The transition from this world to another, so utterly unknown, is certainly awful, and would be destructive, were it not guarded by Christ; I know he will do all well.”
My father, with an authority which no one could parley with,