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to Rotterdam, where they parted in July, 1823, to proceed on their different courses, he to Paris and they to their home in Bedfordshire, England. Mr. Irving visited them at this place a year afterwards, while publishing the "Tales of a Traveller," in July, 1824; and when years had intervened, they met again in London in 1832. Recalling their intercourse at this period in a publication after his death, the lady remarks:—
"Every spare evening he had he spent at our house. He was still the same time changed him very little. His conversation was as interesting as ever; his dark-gray eyes still full of varying feeling; his smile half playful, half melancholy, but ever kind. All that was mean, or envious, or harsh, he seemed to turn from so completely that when with him, it seemed such things were not. All gentle and tender affections, Nature in her sweetest or grandest moods, pervaded his whole imagination, and left no place for low or evil thoughts; and when in good spirits, his humor, his droll descriptions, and his fun would make the gravest or the saddest laugh."
[Mrs. Emily Fuller to Washington Irving.]
MY DEAR MR. IRVING :
May 25, 1856.
I think I ought to begin by telling you who is writing to you-Emily Foster, now Emily Fuller; and I address you, after so long a time, because I hope that my eldest boy Henry may have the happiness and advantage of meeting you, and making your acquaintance personally, as he has long ago by hearsay. I have been renewing former days. I have lately been reading over my old Dresden journal, where you are a part of our daily life, and feel it all over again so completely, I cannot believe all the time since has really passed. Then, too, in the course of last winter,
we were all living with you in the "Alhambra." We were reading it out loud in the evenings, and the sunshine, and moonlight, and fountains and Lindaraxa's garden became almost more real than the real fire and winter evenings. We also read the "Sketch Book" and "Bracebridge Hall," and I really thought they came upon me more fresh and more delightful than even the first time I read them-the touching expressions, and the arch, pretty humor-I could see you, your own self, as we read, and your very smile. How I should like to hear from you, dear Mr. Irving! I married soon after we met in London. Do you remember you used to come, and often spend the evening with us in Seymour Street? And now I have four boys and one little girl. They are all so good and promising as to add much to our happiness. school.. . . My eldest has a great desire to settle in the States, with a friend who goes out with him-a very nice, gentlemanly young I wish you would give us your advice as to situation,
Two of them are still at
Climate would be one of the first considerations; and they wish to go as far West as would be convenient.
I must not exceed my space. It will be such a real happiness to hear from you. Do tell me about yourself, dear Mr. Irving. You do not know how much and often I think of you.
Yours ever, most truly,
To this letter Mr. Irving sent the following reply, which came to me from Mrs. Fuller, accompanied by her own beautiful testimonial to his character, in a letter to myself, already before the reader :—
[To Mrs. Emily Fuller.]
MY DEAR MRS. FULLER :—
SUNNYSIDE, July 2, 1856.
You can scarcely imagine my surprise and delight, on opening your letter and finding that it came from Emily Foster. A thousand recol
lections broke at once upon my mind, of Emily Foster as I had known her at Dresden, young, and fair, and bright, and beautiful; and I could hardly realize that so many years had elapsed since then, or form an idea of her as Mrs. Emily Fuller, with four boys and one little girl. I wish you had given me a few more particulars about yourself, and those immediately connected with you, whom I have known. After so long an interval, one fears to ask questions, lest they should awaken painful recollections.
By the tenor of your letter, I should judge that, on the whole, the world has gone smoothly with you. Your children, you tell me, are all “so good and promising, as to add much to your happiness." How much of what is most precious in life is conveyed in those few words! You ask me to tell you something about myself. Since my return, in 1846, from my diplomatic mission to Spain, I have been leading a quiet life in a little rural retreat I had previously established on the banks of the Hudson, which, in fact, has been my home for twenty years past. I am in a beautiful part of the country, in an agreeable neighborhood, am on the best of terms with my neighbors, and have a house full of nieces, who almost make me as happy as if I were a married man. Your letter was put into my hands just as I was getting into the carriage to drive out with some of them. I read it to them in the course of the drive, letting them know that it was from Emily Foster, the young lady of whom they had often heard me speak, who had painted the head of Herodias, which hangs over the piano in the drawing-room, and who, I had always told them, was more beautiful than the head which she had painted; which they could hardly believe, though it was true. You recollect, I trust, the miniature copy of the head of Herodias which you made in the Dresden Gallery. I treasure it as a precious memorial of those pleasant days.
My health is excellent, though, at times, I have tried it hard by literary occupations and excitement. There are some propensities that grow upon men with age; and I am a little more addicted to the pen than I was in my younger days, and much more, I am told, than is prudent for a man of my years. It is a labor, however, in which I delight; and I am
never so happy of an evening as when I have passed the whole morning in my study, hard at work, and have earned the evening's recreation.
Farewell, my dear Mrs. Fuller. If any of those of your family whom I ever knew and valued are at hand, assure them that I ever retain them in cordial remembrance; and believe me, ever, my dear Emily Foster, your affectionate friend,
My next letter is one from Dickens to Mr. Irving, introducing a relative, glancing at a capital story of Mr. Irving of a dinner at Holland House, in which a clergyman's leg was a feature, and giving a comic yet touching anecdote of poor Rogers in his eclipse:
MY DEAR IRVING :
[From Charles Dickens.]
TAVISTOCK HOUSE, LONDON, July 5, 1856.
If you knew how often I write to you, individually and personally, my books, you would be no more surprised in seeing this note than you were in seeing me do my duty by that flowery julep (in what I dreamily apprehend to have been a former state of existence) at Baltimore. Will you let me present to you a cousin of mine, Mr. Bwho is associated with a merchant's house in New York? Of course, he wants to see you, and know you. How can I wonder at that? How can anybody?
I had a long talk with Leslie at the last Academy dinner (having previously been with him in Paris), and he told me that you were flourishing. I suppose you know that he wears a moustache-so do I, for the matter of that, and a beard too--and that he looks like a portrait of Don Quixote.
Holland House has four-and-twenty youthful pages in it now-twelve
for my lord, and twelve for my lady; and no clergyman coils his leg up under his chair all dinner time, and begins to uncurve it when the hostess goes. No wheeled chair runs smoothly in, with that beaming face in it; and -'s little cotton pocket handkerchief helped to make (I believe) this very sheet of paper. A half-sad, half-ludicrous story of Rogers is all I will sully it with. You know, I dare say, that, for a year or so before his death, he wandered, and lost himself, like one of the Children in the Wood, grown up there and grown down again. He had Mrs. Procter and Mrs. Carlyle to breakfast with him, one morning-only those two. Both excessively talkative, very quick and clever, and bent on entertaining him. When Mrs. Carlyle had flashed and shone before him for about three quarters of an hour on one subject, he turned his poor old eyes on Mrs. Procter, and, pointing to the brilliant discourser with his poor old finger, said (indignantly), “Who is she?" Upon this, Mrs. Procter, cutting in, delivered-(it is her own story)-a neat oration on the life and writings of Carlyle, and enlightened him in her happiest and airiest inanner; all of which he heard, staring in the dreariest silence, and then said (indignantly as before), “And who are you?”
Ever, my dear Irving, most affectionately and truly, yours,
While engrossed, as far as incessant interruptions would permit, by the task of preparing his fourth volume of the "Life of Washington" for the press, he writes a letter to his niece, at Paris, of which I extract some interesting passages. The "Pierre" mentioned in the first extract is not the biographer, but the eldest son of the author's brother Ebenezer, Pierre Paris Irving, an Episcopal clergyman, who had recently returned to his parochial duties from a brief excursion in Europe, which had extended to the Orkneys.