Impressions of England

You will probably want me to give you my impressions of England. Well then, I saw many of the old towns and castles. Oxford made the greatest impression upon me of all the rest. After the richness of Oxford, even London pales its ineffectual historic splendor. I saw Greenwich Hospital; the ‘Leviathan;’ the Tunnel; Thames; and I saw—a Beadle! Clark, you never saw a beadle!—a real original Bumble! Something flamed forth from a middle-age church porch in Warwick; it blazed down the street, a figure in trappings of scarlet, and I thought it was the W. of Babylon—of the Apocalypse. But no; it held a bell, and wore a cocked hat; it approached me—stopped; raised the cockéd hat, and uttered these remarkable words, ‘Werry fine mornin’, Sir’ —replaced the chapeau, and walked away, like Hamlet’s father.

Editor’s Table, 1858

September 9, 2014