BROOKLYN, Dec. 17, 1845.
MR. GREELEY: I had the pleasure of listening last evening to a Lecture delivered before the Brooklyn Lyceum by Mr. Charles Lane, from London. The speaker commenced by stating the strong desire which every young American feels to visit the land of his ancestors, and demonstrated that this privilege need not be limited exclusively to the wealthier class of the community.—Then taking his auditor by the hand he wafted him across the Atlantic, conducted him through the thoroughfares of London, and never ceased his kind attentions till he had made his guest acquainted with all the most important objects of interest in that wonderful metropolis. The audience listened in rapt attention for an hour and a quarter, charmed by the rich sonorous voice and the elegant enunciation of the speaker, no less than by his clear, graphic sketches of the external and internal world of London. No superficial relation of facts, however interesting and amusing, could have sustained the interest of the audience for so long a time: it was evident to all that the speaker stood on an elevated point of observation and saw far below surfaces into the central realities of things, and that he possessed not only a penetrating eye but a tender and loving heart which tinged every object with its own life-glow and coloring.
No one could listen to him without feeling that, though he had received much, he might expect yet more from a mind so highly endowed, so richly stored, and so gifted with the power of imparting its treasures.
In conclusion I would recommend to all who wish to spend an hour with pleasure and profit to themselves to lose no opportunity of hearing Mr. Lane whenever he may choose to address the Public.
The lecture designated in this notice is intended to show young mechanics and others who are anxious to gain the solid benefits of travel in liberalizing the mind and storing it with knowledge which cannot be acquired at home, and yet have not money to go in the customary way, how they may gratify these laudable desires. Mr. Lane shows them how they may cross the water, live in London, and study what is to be learnt in that central point on a vast multitude of topics, with a thoroughness and to a profit never attainable by those who live in expensive hotels and pay a guinea for every step they take. They can do this, he affirms, as the Yankee boy travels over this continent, as the journeymen of the different crafts traveled and “got their education” in Germany, paying their way by their own exertions, and enjoying means of ascertaining truths and facts which they could not otherwise.
In this point of view the lecture would be very interesting to young men, and whether satisfied or not that his hints could in this way be made of practical utility, his account of London must be the means of much instruction. He has lived there many years, in the midst of men and affairs, possessing an enlarged comprehension, refinement and originality in observation, and power to draw the inference from the fact rarer than either. He expresses himself in writing with fullness and energy, and his voice and enunciation are of singular beauty. He is not here for the purpose of lecturing, but rather to learn what relates to this country by quiet residence and employment in it, but we hope that the latter will be afforded him by frequent requests that he will tell us what few have seen or could tell so well of England and the English.*
“Lecture by Mr. Lane.” New-York Daily Tribune, 19 December 1845, p. 2.