Page:Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home (Volume 1).djvu/44

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41
SOUTHAMPTON.

short waist. Strange, that a woman who had her classic eye, and her passion for moulding forms after antique models, should submit to the tyranny of a French milliner's levelling fashion! Her beautiful arms are classically manifest—bare as Juno's. Lawrence employed thirty hours on each of them!

We all lunched with Mrs. ——. An English lunch is our country dinner, served at our country hour, and of much the same material. Different in the respect, that whatever is to be eaten is placed on the table at the same time, and very different, inasmuch as you are served by three or four men in livery, instead of a girl in a dress unquestionably of her own choosing. Mrs. ——'s vegetable-dishes are a precious relic of Mrs. Siddons. They are silver, and bear her initials and an inscription from the lawyers of Edinburgh, by whom they were presented to her.

After lunch, Miss —— took us in her carriage, stowing the girls in the rumble, through Lord Ashdown's and Mr. Fleming's parks. We drove a mile through the latter, with thick borderings and plantations of shrubbery on each side of us, so matted, and with such a profusion of rhododendron as to remind me of passages in the wilds of western Virginia. This, you know, is a plant not native to this country, but brought with much pains and expense from ours. We have not English wealth to lavish on parks and gardens, but with taste and industry