Victorian London - Publications - Social Investigation/Journalism - London by Day and Night, by David W.Bartlett, 1852 - Chapter 21 - Farewell

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THE rain fell in torrents as we stood one morning in the Euston Square Railway Station, with a band of our English friends around us - to speak the word, farewell! There were a few last words to say - and then the hissing of the engine warned us to take our seat in the train we bade our friends a long adieu; and were soon panting onwards towards Liverpool.
    Early the next morning our baggage was removed to the vessel which was to bear us homeward, across the great deep once more, and in a few hours we set out upon our long journey.
    No true-hearted American ever yet set sail from a foreign shore for the home-land without a feeling of enthusiastic joy. And yet there was somewhat of sorrow as well as gladness in our heart. When we gazed at the stars and stripes at the mast-head, pointing homeward, a thrill of joy shot through our heart; but when we turned to the English shores, dying in the distance, and which we had left forever, we grew sad. England's soft landscape, her grass-covered hills, and oaken forests ; her blue skies, and merry singing-birds, were gone from us. And then we thought of her romantic ruins - of the haunts of her poets - and the graves of her statesmen. We remembered how years ago, in America, we had been amazed by the giant intellect of Shakspeare - how Milton had awed us, and Scott delighted ;-how Chatterton's sad story had [-327-]enlisted our sympathies - how De Foe in still younger days had been the object of childish wonder and worship, as the author of "Robinson Crusoe." Yet since then we had walked in the very streets where Shakspeare walked ; seen Milton's birth-place and grave; rested where John Bunyan sleeps; visited the haunts of poor young Chatterton, and seen the room in which Daniel De Foe wrote "Robinson Crusoe!" And now we are leaving all - perhaps forever.
    Then there were beautiful English homes that had cherished is as a mother cherishes a child. When fever-stricken, gentle hands had ministered to our wants with the watchfulness of true affection. And now as we gazed from the vessel's deck, out upon the low, distant English shore, is it strange that we were sad?
    The sun was almost down, but before sinking behind the great Atlantic waves, his golden light fell sadly though beautifully upon the shore, and we bade England - as we now bid the reader - Farewell!


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