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we were told, opened into Mr. Nelson's grounds. We drove across two or three broad fields-opened as many common country gates. Nothing had the appearance of the approach to a gentleman's seat. I began to feel dubious. It seemed very much of an intrusion for three persons to drive up to a gentleman's house after dark, and ask quarters for the night. The Kennedys laughed at my scruples. It was the custom in Virginia. Mr. Nelson would be glad to receive us. "Perhaps," said I, "he may not have room." "O, yes; he has lately enlarged his house. You will find yourself in clover." We drove on. No signs of a house. We might have mistaken the road. At length we saw a light twinkling at a distance. It appeared to be from a small house. More consultation. This might not be Mr. Nelson's; or he might not have enlarged his house. For my part, I was so fatigued, that I declared myself resigned to quarters in a barn, provided Mr. Nelson would allow me a little clean straw. The road gradually wound up to the house. As we approached, the moon, rising above a skirt of forest trees, lit up the scene, and we saw a noble mansion crowning a rising ground, with grand portico and columns, and wings surmounted with battlements. We drove up to the door. A negro boy came forth, like a dwarf from an enchanted castle. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson were both from home! What was to be done? It was too late to go wandering about the country in quest of other quarters. Would Mr. and Mrs. Nelson be home soon? O, yes; they had gone to make a visit in the neighborhood, and would be back to tea. Mr. Nelson's mother-inlaw was in the house; that would do. We alighted; entered a spacious hall upward of twenty feet wide, with a beautiful circular staircase; thence into a noble dining-room, where the tea table was set out, but nobody present. After a time, the mother-in-law made her appearance. Mr. John Kennedy was slightly acquainted with her, and introduced us. She was very civil, and by no means disposed to set the dogs on us. I began to have hopes of something better than the barn. After a time, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson came home. They accosted us in true Virginia style. Mr. Nelson claimed some acquaintance with me. He reminded me of his haying introduced himself to me three years before, at the Revere House in Boston, when I was on there with the G―s; and said he had a prior ac

quaintance, having been one of a committee of the students at the University of Charlottesville, who, about twenty years since, waited on me at the hotel to invite me to accept a public dinner.

In a word, we were made at once to feel ourselves at home; invited to pass several days there. Mr. Nelson would take us all about the country, and make us acquainted with all his neighbors.

We had glorious quarters that night. The next day Mr. Nelson took us to Greenway Court. Had a large party of the neighboring gentlemen to meet us at dinner; and it was with great difficulty we got away in time to return in the evening to Winchester.

So much for my expedition to Greenway Court.

To-morrow I set off, with Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy, on our return to Ellicott's Mills, and in the beginning of next week shall take my departure for New York, to be at my post at the Astor Library on Wednesday.

The following is an extract from a letter to Mrs. Kennedy, written after his return home :

How comes on the "house that Jack built "-or is to build? I envy Kennedy the job of building that tower, if he has half the relish that I have for castle-building-air castles, or any other. I should like nothing better than to have plenty of money to squander on stone and mortar, and to build chateaux along the beautiful Patapsco with the noble stone which abounds there; but I would first blow up all the cotton mills (your father's among the number), and make picturesque ruins of them; and I would utterly destroy the railroad; and all the cotton lords should live in baronial castles on the cliffs, and the cotton-spinners should be virtuous peasantry of both sexes, in silk skirts and small-clothes, and straw hats, with long ribbons, and should do nothing but sing songs and choruses, and dance on the margin of the river.

Of late, I have gratified my building propensity in a small way, by putting up a cottage for my gardener and his handsome wife, and have

indulged in other unprofitable improvements incident to a gentleman cultivator. A pretty country retreat is like a pretty wife-one is always throwing away money in decorating it. Fortunately, I have but one of those two drains to the purse, and so do not repine.

I see you are again throwing out lures to tempt me back to Baltimore, and sending me messages from M- D and dear little "Lu;" and I have a letter from Mr. Andrew Kennedy, inviting me to come to Cassilis and the Shenandoah, when I am tired of the Hudson. Ah, me! I am but mortal man, and but too easily tempted; and I begin to think you have been giving me love powders among you-I feel such a hankering toward the South. But be firm, my heart! I have four blessed nieces at home hanging about my neck, and several others visiting me, and holding me by the skirts. How can I tear myself from them? Domestic affection forbids it!

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HE following letter was addressed to Mrs. Kennedy, just as her husband was about to start on a Southern tour with Mr. Fillmore, the late President, which was to have taken place the previous spring, but was prevented by the death of Mrs. Fillmore. Mr. Kennedy had intimated a wish that Mr. Irving should accompany them; "but I have no inclination," he writes, "to travel with political notorieties, to be smothered by the clouds of party dust whirled up by their chariot wheels, and beset by the speech-makers and little great men and bores of every community who might consider Mr. Fillmore a candidate for another presidential term." "Douce Davie," mentioned in the letter, was the name of a horse his correspondent used to ride, and which he had often mounted at Ellicott's Mills.

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SUNNYSIDE, February 21, 1854.


I met Mr. Meredith in town on Saturday last, and he told me that Kennedy had been unwell. If it is that affection of the head of which he complained last year, tell him I have found, in my own case, great relief from homœopathy, to which I had recourse almost accidentally, for I am rather slow at adopting new theories. I can now apply myself to literary occupation day after day for several hours at a time, without any recurrence of the symptoms that troubled me. In fact, my head seems to be as hard as ever it was-though perhaps somewhat heavier.

You tell me Kennedy is about to set off with Mr. Fillmore on his Southern tour, and would like to have me for a companion. Heaven preserve me from any tour of the kind! To have to cope at every turn with the host of bores of all kinds that beset the paths of political notorieties! To have to listen to the speeches that would be made, at dinners and other occasions, to Mr. Fillmore and himself; and to the speeches that Mr. Fillmore and he would make in return! Has he not found out, by this time, how very borable I am? Has he not seen me skulk from bar-rooms, and other gathering-places, where he was making political capital among the million? Has he forgotten how, last summer, a crew of blatant firemen, whose brass trumpets gave him so much delight, absolutely drove me into the wilderness? No, no. I am ready at any time to clatter off on Douce Davie into the woods, with the gentle Horseshoe, or to scale the Alleghanies with him (barring watering-places); but as to a political tour, I would as lief go campaigning with Hudibras or Don Quixote.

You ask me how I have passed my time this winter. Very much at home-dropping into town occasionally to pass a few hours at the Astor Library, but returning home in the evening. I have been but once or twice at the opera, and to none of Julien's concerts. Still my time has passed pleasantly in constant occupation; though I begin to think that I often toil to very little purpose, excepting to keep off ennui, and give a zest to relaxation..

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