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have sat down with him on the first convenient
rail of a fence, and talked with him as freely as
with my father. What is this 7 Is it that the
truly loftiest genius is imbued and identified, more
than any other, with the spirit of our common hu-
manity ? Is it that the noblest intellect is ever the
most simple, unsophisticated, unpretending, and
kindly Or, is it that Shakspeare's works were
a household treasure—his name a household word
—from my childhood It may be, that all of these
reasons have had their influence. And yet if I
were to state what seems to me to be the chief
reasons, I should put down these two words—un-
consciousness—of which Thomas Carlyle has so
nobly written, as one of the traits of genius—uncon-
sciousness and humanity. He was unconscious of
his greatness, and therefore would not have de-
manded reverence. He was an absolute imper-
sonation of the whole spirit of humanity, and there-
fore he is, as it were, but a part of one's self.
If anything were wanted to contrast with the
nobleness of Shakspeare, it might be found in a
horrible act of meanness perpetrated here, which
must draw from every visiter to this place, scarcely
less than his execration. Shakspeare's house fell,
after his death, into the hands of a clergyman–
whose name—but let his name perish This man,

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SHAKSPEARE, 121

being annoyed by the frequent visits of strangers to a mulberry tree before the house, first caused that to be cut down. And then, vexed by the levy of a poor rate opon the house, he angrily declared that it should never pay taxes again, and razed it to the ground !

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CHAPTER VI.

Blenheim—Oxford, its Colleges and Chapels—National Health —Ill Health of our People in America—Causes—Remedies.

BLENHEIM CASTLE AND PARK IN Woodstock— the present of the nation to Marlborough after the battle of Blenheim. The structure is immense, built on three sides of a square; the principal range of building one hundred and eighty feet long, and the side ranges nearly as much. The park is not larger than some others, nor so large; but it appears more extensive, from the openings through the trees—not vistas—but openings throughgroves and clumps of trees, in various directions, and extending, apparently, almost as far as the eye can reach.

‘On the borders of an artificial lake, and upon a fine swell of land, stood the old royal residence, celebrated in Scott's novel, “Woodstock.” Nothing now remains to mark the spot, but two large sycamores, planted when the castle was demol

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ished, and Rosamond's well. There are some remarkable oaks with immense trunks, (one twentyseven feet in circumference,) said to be as old as Henry the Seventh, standing in a distant part of the park. By-the-by, the principal trees in all the parks of England, and all over the country, indeed, are the oak and the beech. There are some cedars of Lebanon, yews, &c.; but few elms, and none that I have seen to compare with ours on the Housatonic and Connecticut. The chief attraction of this palace is found in its paintings. It is the first fine collection that I have seen. "There is a suite of rooms, four or five hundred feet long, filled with pictures—many of them

by the first masters,Vandyck, Rubens, Carlo Dolce,

Titian, Teniers, Rembrandt, Guido, &c. Nothing, I think, struck me so much as a Madonna, by Carlo Dolce. There is also a very striking full length portrait by Kneller, of Sarah, duchess of Marlborough—a very beautiful face, but looking as . if it might easily furnish expression to all the fiery passions ascribed to her. . The library surpasses every room that I have seen, for magnificence; the walls, the alcoves, the doorways, all of marble—the room probably two hundred feet long, and thirty feet high—seventeen

thousand volumes. The library looks upon the private gardens. * The chapel contains a magnificent marble mom. ment of the first duke and duchess of Marlbo. rough. On the road to Oxford, I saw for the first time, in travelling more than a thousand miles, wooden fences; in this country they are always stone, or turf, or hedges. Neither have I seen a shingle in the kingdom ; but always slate, tiles, stone, or thatch. Multitudes of women are to be seen everywhere, gleaning the harvest fields—sometimes fifty, seventy, in a field. They pick up what remains after the reaper, straw by straw, till they get a large bundle, and then carry it home on their heads. The harvests consist of wheat, barley, and oats. No Indian corn is grown here. OxFord, (August 14)—a city of spires, pinnacles, and Gothic towers, rising amid groves of trees. The twenty colleges, i. e. ranges and quadrangles of ancient buildings, mostly in the Gothic style, are amazingly impressive. Several of them have beautiful gardens and walks, and some of them are quite extensive. It is in vain to begin with Oxford; a week would not suffice for a description; and no description could tell what a walk is among these

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