Page:Letters from Abroad to Kindred at Home (Volume 1).djvu/16

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George Hotel, Portsmouth, June 4, 1839.

My Dear C.,

Captain S.'s cutter took us off the ship this morning at nine o'clock. It was at last a sad parting from our messmates, with whom we have been for a month separated from all the world, and involved in a common destiny; and from the ship, which seems like a bit of home, for the feet of the friends we have left there have trodden it.

When I touched English ground I could have fallen on my knees and kissed it; but a wharf is not quite the locale for such a demonstration, and spectators operate like strait-jacketa upon enthusiasm, so I contented myself with a mental salutation of the home of our fathers, the native land of one of our dearest friends, and thee birthplace of "the bright, the immortal names" that we have venerated from our youth upward.

I forewarn you, my dear C., not to look for any statistics from me—any "Valuable information." I shall try to tell you truly what I see and hear; to "chronicle," as our friend Mr. Dewey says, "while they are fresh, my sensations." Everything looks novel and foreign to us: the quaint forms of the old, sad-coloured houses; the arched, antique gateways;