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With kind recollections of England and the home feeling he had once enjoyed there, Mr. Irving had been much disturbed of late by noticing, in the Madrid "Gazette,” articles from English journals in which all our acts and intentions in regard to the Oregon question and the dispute with Mexico were grossly misrepresented, and we were reviled as a people without principle or faith. As the "Gazette was exclusively a Court paper, edited by persons about the Government, he took occasion to inquire of Mr. Isturiz, the Minister of State, whether these British calumnies were believed and countenanced by the Cabinet. Mr. Isturiz assured him that he had not noticed the offensive articles, and that he would take care to have them excluded for the future.


In another letter, showing how much he deprecated the effect of these persevering attempts to debase the national name, he remarks: "A rancorous prejudice against us has been diligently inculcated of late years by the British press, and it is daily producing its fruits of bitter


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"Bulwer," he once exclaimed to the British Minister at Madrid, in strong excitement on the same subject, "I should deplore exceedingly a war with England, for depend upon it, if we must come to blows, it will be serious work for both. You might break our head at first, but by Heaven! we would break your back in the end."

Late in July, in a letter to me, he has this allusion to the final adjustment of the Oregon embroilment :—

The settlement of the Oregon question is a vast event for our national credit and national prosperity. The war with Mexico will in all probability be wound up before long, and then our commercial affairs will have no external dangers to apprehend for a long series of years.

I have reason to congratulate myself that, in a quiet way, I was enabled, while in England, to facilitate the frank and confiding intercourse of Mr. McLane and Lord Aberdeen, which has proved so beneficial to the settlement of this question; so that, though I did not publish the pamphlet I had prepared, my visit to England was not without its utility.

On the 25th of July, Mr. Irving informs me that General Saunders had arrived about three days before. "I, of course," he adds, "am busy preparing to pass the legation into his hands as soon as he has been accredited, which will probably be two or three days hence. I shall then take my departure almost immediately, having made all my travelling preparations.' Soon after, he closes his diplomatic letters to Mrs. Paris with this account of his audience of leave:

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A few evenings since, I had my audience of the Queen, to deliver the letter of the President announcing my recall. Ten o'clock was the hour appointed. Though sated with court ceremonies, I could not but feel a little sensitive on visiting the royal palace for the last time, and passing through its vast apartments but partially lighted up. I found the Queen in an inner cabinet, attended by the Minister of State and several ladies and gentlemen in waiting. I had prepared my speech in Spanish, which was to the following effect :


"I have the honor to deliver into the hands of your Majesty a letter from the President of the United States, announcing my recall from

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the post of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in this Court.

"I am charged by the President to express, on delivering this letter to your Majesty, his constant and earnest desire to maintain the amicable relations which so happily exist between the two countries.

"For my own part, I can assure your Majesty that I shall carry with me into private life the same ardent desire for the welfare of Spain, and the same deep interest in the fortunes and happiness of its youthful sovereign, which have actuated me during my official career; and now I take leave of your Majesty, wishing you, from the bottom of my heart, a long and happy life, and a reign which may form a glorious epoch in the history of this country."

The following is as close a translation as I can make of the Queen's reply:

"It is with much regret that I receive the announcement of your recall from the post of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States near my person.

"Very gratifying to me are the wishes you express for the happiness of Spain. On that, I found the happiness which you desire for me personally, and the glory of my reign.

"You may take with you into private life the intimate conviction that your frank and loyal conduct has contributed to draw closer the amicable relations which exist between North America and the Spanish nation, and that your distinguished personal merits have gained in my heart the appreciation which you merit by more than one title."

This little speech reads stiff in translation, but it is very graceful and gracious in the original, and I have been congratulated repeatedly on receiving one so much out of the cold, commonplace style of diplomacy. In fact, my farewell interview with the whole of the royal family was extremely satisfactory. .

The Minister of State (Mr. Isturiz) has likewise been uncommonly cordial in his expressions of regret at my departure. In a word, from the different members of the Cabinet, and from my colleagues of the diplomatic corps, I have met with nothing but the most gratifying testimonials of esteem and good will in my parting interviews.

Thus closes my public career. At six o'clock this evening I set off from Madrid, in company with Mr. Weismuller, a connection of the Rothschilds, stationed at this capital, to post for France in a private carriage. My saddest parting will be with the Albuquerques, who seem to me more like relatives than friends.

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My intention is to push for England almost without stopping, so as to be ready to embark in one of the August steamers, should certain public business with which I may be intrusted by the Spanish Government render it necessary.

I regret that the late arrival of General Saunders at Madrid, and various concurring circumstances, should oblige me to give up all the farewell visits I had promised to pay to certain of my European friends, and should render my stay with our dear sister so brief as it must now be. I have promised them and myself, however, a supplementary visit to Europe after I have been home some time, and have got all my American affairs in order; when I will pass a few months in revisiting persons and places endeared to me by past pleasures and kindnesses.

This last purpose was never fulfilled. Mr. Irving had reached London by the middle of August, and early in September he bade adieu forever to European scenes, embarking in the steamer Cambria for Boston, where he arrived on the 18th of that month, after an absence from his native country of nearly four years and a half. The following afternoon he took steamboat at New York for Tarrytown, two miles north of Sunnyside.

"I long to be once more back at dear little Sunnyside,

while I have yet strength and good spirits to enjoy the simple pleasures of the country, and to rally a happy family group once more about me. I grudge every year of absence that rolls by. To-morrow is my birthday. I shall then be sixty-two years old. The evening of life is fast drawing over me; still I hope to get back among my friends while there is yet a little sunshine left." So wrote the Minister from the midst of his court life at Madrid, April 2d, 1845. It was the 19th of September, 1846, when the impatient longing of his heart was gratified and he found himself restored to his home for the thirteen years of happy life still remaining to him.

A month or two before his official mission closed at Madrid, he had dismissed a correspondent's suggestion that he should rent the cottage, in the following terms :-

I have some Scotch blood in my veins, and a little of the feeling, with respect to my cottage, that a poor devil of a laird has for the stronghold that has sheltered his family. Nay, I believe it is the having such an object to work for, which spurs me on to combat and conquer difficulties ; and if I succeed in weathering a series of hard times without striking my flag, I shall be largely indebted to my darling little Sunnyside for furnishing me the necessary stimulus. So no more talk of abandoning the cottage. In the words of Thomas the Rhymer

"Betide, betide, whate'er betide,
Haig shall be Haig of Bemerside."

So far, indeed, from renting the cottage, his first concern was to build an addition to it, and enlarge its accommodations, which were quite too cramped for the number

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