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great and good man Robert Southey, all seemed such a sister, together with other devoted relato promise fairly, but a slow and fatal disease tives, accompanied her to Torquay, and there achad seized him even before the wedding-day, and curred the fatal event which saddened her bloom darkened around him to the hour of his death of youth, and gave a deeper hue of thought and In the pair of whom I am now to speak, the very feeling, especially of devotional feeling, to be reverse of this sad destiny has happily befallen, poetry. I have so often been asked what could and the health of the bride, which seemed gone be the shadow that had passed over that young forever, has revived under the influence of the heart, that now that time has softened the first climate of Italy, of new scenes, new duties, a agony it seems to me right that the world should new and untried felicity.
hear the story of an accident in which there was Elizabeth Barrett Browning is too dear to me much sorrow, but no blame. as a friend to be spoken of merely as a poetess. Nearly a twelvemonth had passed, and the inva. Indeed such is the influence of her manners, her lid, still attended by her affectionate companions, conversation, her temper, her thousand sweet had derived much benefit from the mild sea and attaching qualities, that they who know her breezes of Devonshire. One fine summer mombest are apt to lose sight altogether of her learning her favorite brother, together with two other ing and of her genius, and to think of her only fine young men, his friends, embarked on board as the most charming person that they have ever a small sailing-vessel, for a trip of a few hours. met. But she is known to so few, and the pecul. Excellent sailors all, and familiar with the coast, iar characteristics of her writings, their purity, they sent back the boatmen, and undertook themtheir tenderness, their piety, and their intense selves the management of the little craft. Danfeeling of humanity and of womanhood, have won ger was not dreamt of by any one ; after the for her the love of so many, that it will gratify catastrophe, no one could divine the cause, but them without, I trust, infringing on the sacred in a few minutes after their embarkation, and in ness of private intercourse to speak of her not sight of their very windows, just as they were wholly as a poetess, but a little as a woman. crossing the bar, the boat went down, and all When in listening to the nightingale, we try to who were in her perished. Even the bodies were catch a glimpse of the shy songster, we are moved never found. I was told by a party who was by a deeper feeling than curiosity.
traveling that year in Devonshire and Comwall, My first acquaintance with Elizabeth Barrett that it was most affecting to see on the corner commenced about fifteen years ago. She was houses of every village street, on every churchcertainly one of the most interesting persons that door, and almost on every cliff for miles and miles I had ever seen. Every body who then saw her along the coast, handbills, offering large rewards said the same ; so that it is not merely the im- for linens cast ashore marked with the initials of pression of my partiality, or my enthusiasm. Of the beloved dead; for it so chanced that all the a slight, delicate figure, with a shower of dark three were of the dearest and the best; one, I be curls falling on either side of a most expressive licve, an only son, the other the son of a widow face, large tender eyes richly fringed by dark eye- This tragedy nearly killed Elizabeth Barrett lashes, a smile like a sun-beam, and such a look She was utterly prostrated by the horror and the of youthfulness, that I had some difficulty in per- grief, and by a natural but a most unjust feeling, suading a friend, in whose carriage we went to that she had been in some sort the cause of the gether to Chiswick, that the translatress of the great misery. It was not until the following “ Prometheus" of Æschylus, the authoress of year that she could be removed in an invalid carthe “ Essay on Mind," was old enough to be riage, and by journeys of twenty miles a day, to introduced into company, in technical language, her afflicted family and her London home. The was out. Through the kindness of another in-house that she occupied at Torquay had been valuable friend, to whom I owe many obligations, chosen as one of the most sheltered in the place. but none so great as this, I saw much of her It stood at the bottom of the cliffs, almost close during my stay in town. We met so constantly to the sea; and she told me herself, that during and so familiarly that, in spite of the difference of that whole winter the sound of the waves rang age, intimacy ripened into friendship, and after in her ears like the moans of one dying. Still my return into the country, we corresponded she clung to literature and to Greek; in all probfreely and frequently, her letters being just what ability she would have died without that whole letters ought to be-her own talk put upon paper. some diversion to her thoughts. Her medical
The next year was a painful one to herself attendant did not always understand this. To and to all who loved her. She broke a blood prevent the remonstrances of her friendly physivessel upon the lungs, which did not heal. If cian, Dr. Barry, she caused a small edition of there had been consumption in the family that Plato to be so bound as to resemble a novel. He disease would have intervened. There were no did not know, skillful and kind though he were, seeds of the fatal English malady in her consti- that to her such books were not an arduous and tution, and she escaped. Still, however, the ves- painful study, but a consolation and a delight sel did not heal, and after attending her for above Returned to London, she began the life which a twelvemonth at her father's house in Wimpole- she continued for so many years, confined to one street, Dr. Chambers, on the approach of winter, large and commodious but darkened chamber ordered her to a milder climate. Her eldest broth- admitting only her own affectionate family and a er, a brother in heart and in talent worthy of few devoted friends (I, myself, have often joyfully traveled five-and-forty miles to see her, and / vited by a gentleman of the neighborhood to returned the same evening, without entering an- meet the wife and daughters of a certain Dr. other house); reading almost every book worth | Blamire. “An old friend of yours and mine," reading in almost every language, and giving quoth our inviter to my father. “Don't you reherself, heart and soul, to that poetry of which member how you used to flirt with the fair lady she seemed born to be the priestess.
| when you and Babington were at Haslar ? Faith, Gradually her health improved. About four if Blamire had not taken pity on her, it would years ago she married Mr. Browning, and im- have gone hard with the poor damsel! Howmediately accompanied him to Pisa. They then ever, he made up to the disconsolate maiden, settled at Florence; and this summer I have had and she got over it. Nothing like a new love for the exquisite pleasure of seeing her once more chasing away an old one. You must dine with in London, with a lovely boy at her knee, almost us to-morrow. I shall like to see the meeting." as well as ever, and telling tales of Italian ram. My father did not attempt to deny the matter. bles, of losing herself in chestnut forests, and Men never do. He laughed, as all that wicked scrambling on mule-back up the sources of ex- sex do laugh at such sins twenty years after, and tinct volcanoes. May Heaven continue to her professed that he should be very glad to shake such health and such happiness!
hands with his old acquaintance. So the next The same visit to London that brought me ac- day we met. quainted with my beloved friend, Elizabeth Bar- I was a little curious to see how my own dear rett, first gave ine a sight of Mr. Browning. It mother, my mamma that was, and the stranger was at a period that forms an epoch in the an- lady, my mamma that might have been, would nals of the modern drama—the first representa- bear themselves on the occasion. At first, my tion of “ Ion.”
dear mother, an exceedingly ladylike, quiet perI had the honor and pleasure of being the in- son, had considerably the advantage, being premate of Mr. and Mrs. Serjeant Talfourd (my ac- pared for the recontre and perfectly calm and complished friend has since worthily changed his composed ; while Mrs. Blamire, taken, I suspect, professional title—but his higher title of poet is by surprise, was a good deal startled and Austerindelible), having been, I believe, among the first ed. This state of things, however, did not last. who had seen that fine play in manuscript The Mrs. Blamire having got over the first shock, dinner party consisted merely of Mr. Wordsworth, comported herself like what she evidently was, a Mr. Landor, and I think Mr. Forster. By a sin- practiced woman of the world-would talk to no gular coincidence it was our host's birthday, and one but ourselves—and seemed resolved not only. no one present can forget the triumph of the to make friends with her successful rival, but to evening-a triumph of no common order as re- strike up an intimacy. This by no means engarded the number, the quality, or the enthu- tered into my mother's calculations. As the one siasm of the audience; the boxes being crammed advanced the other receded, and, keeping always to the ceiling, and the pit filled, as in an elder within the limits of civility, I never heard so much day, with critics and gentlemen.
easy chat put aside with so many cool and stately A large party followed the poet home to sup- monosyllables in my life. per, a party comprising distinguished persons of | The most diverting part of this scene, very almost every class ; lawyers, authors, actors, amusing to a stander-by, was, that my father, artists, all were mingled around that splendid the only real culprit, was the only person who board; healths were drunk and speeches spoken, throughout maintained the appearance and deand it fell to the lot of the young author of meanor of the most unconscious innocence. He **Paracelsus" to respond to the toast of “The complimented Mrs. Blamire on her daughters Poets of England." That he performed this task (two very fine girls)-inquired after his old friend, with grace and modesty, and that he looked still the Doctor, who was attending his patients in a younger than he was, I well remember ; but we distant town—and laughed and talked over bywere not introduced, and I knew him only by gone stories with the one lady, just as if he had those successive works which redeemed the not jilted her and played the kind and attentive pledge that “Paracelsus" had given, until this husband to the other, just as if he had never very summer, when going to London purposely made love to any body except his own dear to meet my beloved friend, I was by her present-wife. ed to her husband. Ah! I hope it will not be It was one of the strange domestic comedies fifteen years before we look each other in the which are happening around us every day, if we face again!
were but aware of them, and might probably have. INCIDENTS OF A VISIT AT THE HOUSE OF WILLIAM ended in a renewal of acquaintance between the совBETT.
two families but for a dispute that occurred toThe name of Blamire has always a certain in- ward the end of the evening between Mrs. Blaterest for me, in consequence of a circumstance, mire and the friend in whose house we were which, as it took place somewhere about five-and-staying, which made the lady resolve against forty years ago, and has reference to a flirtation accepting his hospitable invitations, and I half of twenty years previous, there can not now be suspect hurried her off a day or two before her much harm in relating.
time. Being with my father and mother on a visit This host of ours was a very celebrated perabout six miles from Southampton, we were in-son-no other than William Cohbett. Sporting,
not politics, had brought about our present visit ters, Arlic Dinmont, in her simplicity, her kindand subsequent intimacy. We had become ac-ness, and her devot on to her husband and her quainted with Mr. Cobbett two or three years children. before, at this very house, where we were now At this time William Cobbett was at the height dining to meet Mrs. Blamire. Then my father, of his political reputation; but of politics we a great sportsman, had met him while on a cours- heard little, and should, I think, have heard noing expedition near Alton-had given him a gray- thing, but for an occasional red-hot patriot, who hound that he had fallen in love with-had in- would introduce the subject, which our host vited him to attend another coursing meeting would fain put aside, and get rid of as speedily near our own house in Berkshire--and finally, as possible. There was something of Dandi: we were now, in the early autumn, with all man- | Dinmont about him, with his unfailing good-huner of pointers, and setters, and grayhounds, and mor and good spirits—his heartiness-his love spaniels, shooting ponies, and gun-cases, paying of field sports, and his liking for a foray. He the return visit to him.
was a tall, stout man, fair, and sun-burnt, with He had at that time a large house at Botley, a bright smile, and an air compounded of the with a lawn and gardens sweeping down to the soldier and the farmer, to which his habit of Bursledon River, which divided his (Mr. Cob. wearing an eternal red waistcoat contributed not bett's) territories from the beautiful grounds of a little. He was, I think, the most athletic and the old friend where we had been originally stay- vigorous person that I have ever known. No ing, the great squire of the place. His own thing could tire him. At home in the morning house-large, high, massive, red, and square, he would begin his active day by mowing his and perched on a considerable eminence-always own lawn, beating his gardener, Robinson, the struck me as not being unlike its proprietor. It best mower, except himself, in the parish, at was filled at that time almost to overflowing that fatiguing work. Lord Cochrane was there, then in the very height For early rising, indeed, he had an absolute of his warlike fame, and as unlike the common passion, and some of the poetry that we trace notion of a warrior as could be. A gentle, quiet, in his writings, whenever he speaks of scenery mild young man, was this burner of French fleets or of rural objects, broke out in his method of and cutter-out of Spanish vessels, as one should training his children into his own matutinal habsee in a summer day. He lay about under the its. The boy who was first down stairs was trees reading Selden on the Dominion of the called the lark for the day, and had, among other Seas, and letting the children (and children al- indulgences, the pretty privilege of making his ways know with whom they may take liberties) mother's nosegay, and that of any lady visitors. play all sorts of tricks with him at their pleasure. Nor was this the only trace of poetical feeling His ship's surgeon was also a visitor, and a young that he displayed. Whenever he described a midshipman, and sometimes an elderly lieuten- place, were it only to say where such a covey ant, and a Newfoundland dog; fine sailor-like lay, or such a hare was found sitting, you could creatures all. Then there was a very learned see it, so graphic--so vivid—so true was the clergyman, a great friend of Mr. Gifford, of the picture. He showed the same taste in the pur“Quarterly," with his wife and daughter-ex- chase of his beautiful farm at Botley, Fairthom; ceedingly clever persons. Two literary gentle- even in the pretty name. To be sure, he did men from London and ourselves completed the not give the name, but I always thought that it actual party; but there was a large fluctuating unconsciously influenced his choice in the purseries of guests for the hour, or guests for the chase. The beauty of the situation certainly day, of almost all ranks and descriptions, from did. The fields lay along the Bursledon River, the earl and his countess to the farmer and his and might have been shown to a foreigner as a dame. The house had room for all, and the specimen of the richest and loveliest English hearts of the owners would have had room for scenery. In the cultivation of his garden, too, three times the number
he displayed the same taste. Few persons exI never saw hospitality more genuine, more celled him in the management of vegetables, simple, or more thoroughly successful in the fruit, and flowers. His green Indian com-his great end of hospitality, the putting every body Carolina beans--his water-melons, could hardly completely at ease. There was not the slightest | | have been exceeded at New York. His wallattempt at finery, or display, or gentility. They fruit was equally splendid, and much as flowers called it a farm-house, and every thing was in have been studied since that day, I never saw a accordance with the largest idea of a great En- more glowing or a more fragrant autumn garglish yeoman of the old time. Every thing was den than that at Botley, with its pyramids of excellent-every thing abundant—all served with hollyhocks, and its masses of china-asters, of the greatest nicety by trim waiting damsels; and cloves, of mignonnette, and of variegated geranievery thing went on with such quiet regularity | um. The chances of life soon parted us, as, that of the large circle of guests not one could without grave faults on either sidė, people do find himself in the way. I need not say a word lose sight of one another: but I shall always more in praise of the good wife, very lately dead, look back with pleasure and regret to that visit. to whom this admirable order was mainly due. While we were there, a grand display of En. She was a sweet, motherly woman, realizing our glish games, especially of single-stick and wres notion of one of Scott's most charming charac- 1 tling, took place under Mr. Cobbete's auspices. Players came from all parts of the country—the clung even to their marriages de convenance, south, the west, and the north—to contend for and the very habits which would most have of fame and glory, and also, I believe, for a well- |fended our English notions, if we had seen them filled purse; and this exhibition which-quite in their splendid hôtels of the Faubourg St. Ger forgetting the precedent set by a certain princess, main, won tolerance and pardon when mixed up de jure, called Rosalind, and another princess, with such unaffected constancy, and such cheerde facto, called Celia-she termed barbarous, was ful resignation. the cause of his quarrel with my mamma that for the most part these noble exiles had a might have been, Mrs. Blamire.
trifling pecuniary dependency; some had brought In my life I never saw two people in a greater with them jewels enough to sustain them in their passion. Each was thoroughly persuaded of simple lodgings in Knightsbridge or Pentonville, being in the right, either would have gone to the to some a faithful steward contrived to forward stake upon it, and of course the longer they ar- the produce of some estate too small to have been gued the more determined became their convic- seized by the early plunderers; to others a rich tion. They said all manner of uncivil things ; English friend would claim the privilege of rethey called each other very unpretty names; she turning the kindness and hospitality of by-gone got very near to saying, “Sir, you're a savage;" years but very many lived literally on the prohe did say, “Ma'am, you're a fine lady;" they duce of their own industry, the gentlemen teach talked, both at once, until they could talk no ing languages, music, fencing, dancing, while longer, and I have always considered it as one their wives and daughters went out as teachers of the greatest pieces of Christian forgiveness or governesses, or supplied the shops with those that I ever met with, when Mr. Cobbett, after objects of taste in millinery or artificial flowers they had both rather cooled down a little, invited for which their country is unrivaled. No one Mrs. Blamire to dine at his house the next day. was ashamed of these exertions; no one was She, less charitable, declined the invitation, and proud of them. So perfect and so honest was we parted.
the simplicity with which they entered upon this As I have said, my father and he had too new course of life, that they did not even seem inuch of the hearty English character in com-conscious of its merit. The hope of better days mon not to be great friends; I myself was carried them gayly along, and the presenevil somewhat of a favorite (I think because of my was lost in the sunshiny future. love for poetry, though he always said not), and Here and there, however, the distress was too I shall never forget the earnestness with which real, too pressing to be forgotten; in such cases he congratulated us both on our escape from our good schoolmaster used to contrive all possuch a wife and such a mother. “She'd have sible measures to assist and to relieve. One been the death of you !" quoth he, and he be- venerable couple I remember well. They bore lieved it. Doubtless, she, when we were gone, one of the highest names of Brittany, and had spoke quite as ill of him, and believed it also possessed large estates, had lost their two sons, Nevertheless, excellent persons were they both; and were now in their old age, their sickonly they had quarreled about the propriety or ness, and their helplessness, almost entirely dethe impropriety of a bout at single-stick! Such pendent upon the labor of Malle. Rose, their a thing is anger!
grand-daughter. Rose—what a name for that A REMINISCENCE OF THE FRENCH EMIGRATION. pallid, drooping creature, whose dark eyes looked
In my childhood I knew many of the numer- too large for her face, whose bones seemed startous colony which took refuge in London from the ing through her skin, and whose black hair conhorrors of the First French Revolution. The trasted even fearfully with the wan complexion lady at whose school I was educated, and he was from which every tinge of healthful color had so much the more efficient partner that it was his long flown ! school rather than hers, had married a French For some time these interesting persons reg. man, who had been secretary to the Comte de ularly attended our worthy governess's sup Moustiers, one of the last embassadors, if not the per-parties, the objects of universal affection very last, from Louis Seize to the Court of St. and respect. Each seemed to come for the James's. Of course he knew many emigrants of sake of the other; Mademoiselle, always bring. the highest rank, and indeed of all ranks; and ing with her some ingenious straw-plaiting to being a lively, kind-hearted man, with a liberal make into the fancy bonnets which were then in hand, and a social temper, it was his delight to vogue, rarely raised her head from her work, or assemble as many as he could of his poor coun- allowed herself time to make a hasty meal. It trymen and countrywomen around his hospitable was sad to think how ceaseless must be the insupper-table.
dustry by which that fair and fragile creature Something wonderful and admirable it was could support the helpless couple who were cast to see how these dukes and duchesses, marshals upon her duty and her affection! At last they and marquises, chevaliers and bishops, bore ceased to appear at the Wednesday parties, and up under their unparalleled reverses! How very soon after (Oh! it is the poor that help the they laughed and talked, and squabbled, and poor!) we heard that the good Abbé Calonne flirted, senstant to their high heels, their rouge, (brother to the well-known minister) had underand tucir furbelows, to their old liaisons, their taken for a moderate stipend the charge of the polished sarcasms, their cherished rivalries! They venerable count and countess, while Malle. Rose,
Vol. IV.No. 22.-KK
with her straw-plaiting, took up her abode in our | but that time was long enough to strike Monsieur school-room, working as indefatigably through with a horror evinced by a series of shrugs which our verbs and over our exercises as she had soon rendered the dislike reciprocal. I never before done through the rattle of the tric-trac saw such a contrast between two men. The table and the ceaseless clatter of French talk. Frenchman was slim, and long, and pale ; and
Now this school of ours was no worse than allowing always for the dancing-master air, which other schools ; indeed it was reckoned among in my secret soul I thought never could be althe best conducted, but some way or other the lowed for, he might be called elegant. The Enfoul weed called exclusiveness had sprung up glishman was the beau ideal of a John Bull, por. among the half dozen great girls who, fifty years tentous in size, broad, and red of visage; loud ago, “ gave our lịttle senate laws,” to a point of tongue, and heavy in step; he shook the room that threatened to choke and destroy every plant as he strode, and made the walls echo when he of a more wholesome influence. Doubtless, long, spoke. I rather liked the man, there was so long ago the world and the world's trials, pros much character about him, and in spite of the perity with the weariness and the bitterness it coarseness, so much that was bold and hearty. brings, adversity with the joys it takes away, Monsieur shrugged to be sure, but he seemed have tamed those proud hearts! But, at the likely to run away, especially when the stranger's time of which I speak, no committee of countesses first words conveyed an injunction to the lady of deciding upon petitions for vouchers for a sub- the house" to take care that no grinning Frenchscription ball; no chapter of noble canonesses man had the ordering of his Betsy's feet. If examining into the sixteen quarters required for she must learn to dance, let her be taught by an their candidate ; could by possibility inquire more honest Englishman." After which declaration. seriously into the nice questions of station, posi- kissing the little girl very tenderly, the astoundtion, and alliance than the unfledged younglings ing papa took his departure. who constituted our first class. They were Puor Betsy! there she sat, the tears trickling merely gentlemen's daughters, and had no earth- down her cheeks, little comforted by the kind ly right to give themselves airs; but I suspect notice of the governess and the English teacher, that we may sometimes see in elder gentle and apparently insensible to the silent scorn of women the same disproportion, and that those her new companions. For my own part, I enwho might, from birth, fortune, and position as tertained toward her much of that pity which resume such a right, will be the very last to exert sults from recent experience of the same sort of their privilege. Luckily for me I was a little distressgirl, protected by my youth and insignificance “A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind." from the danger of a contagion which it requires I was a little girl myself, abundantly shy and a good deal of moral courage to resist. I re- awkward, and I had not forgotten the heart-tung member wondering how Mdlle. Rose, with her of leaving home, and the terrible loneliness of incessant industry, her open desire to sell her the first day at school. Moreover, I suspected bonnets, and her shabby cotton gown, would es- that in one respect, she was much more an obcape from our censors. Happily she was spared, ject of compassion than myself; I believed her avowedly because her birth was noble-perhaps to be motherless; so when I thought nobody because, with all their vulgar denunciations of was looking or listening, I made some girlish vulgarity, their fineries, and their vanities, the advances toward acquaintanceship, which she young girls were better than they knew, and was still too shy or too miserable to return, so respected in their hearts the very humility which that, easily repelled myself, as a bashful child they denounced.
is, our intercourse came to nothing. With my If, however, there was something about the elders and betters, the cancan, who ruled the fair Frenchwoman that held in awe the spirit of school, Betsy stood if possible lower than ever. girlish impertinence, chance soon bestowed upon They had had the satisfaction to discover not them, in the shape of a new pupil, an object only that he lived in the Borough, but that her which called forth all their worst qualities, with father (horror of horrors !) was an eminent cheeseout stint and without impediment.
factor!-a seller of Stilton! That he was very The poor child who was destined to become rich, and had a brother an alderman, rather made their victim, was a short, squat figure, somc- matters worse. Poor Betsy only escaped being where about nine or ten years of age; awkward sent to Coventry by the lucky circumstance of in her carriage, plain in her features, ill-dressed her going that metaphorical journey of her own and over-dressed. She happened to arrive at accord, and never under any temptation speak the same time with the French dancing-master, ing to any body one unnecessary word. a marquis of the ancien régime, of whom I am! As far as her lessons went she was, from the sorry to say, that he seemed so at home in his false indulgence with which she had been treated, Terpsichorean vocation, that no one could hardly very backward for her age. Our school was, fancy him fit for any other. (Were not les mar- however, really excellent as a place of instrucquis of the old French comedy very much like tion : so no studies were forced upon her, and dancing-masters? I am sure Molière thought so.) she was left to get acquainted with the house At the same time with the French dancing-mas- and its ways, and to fall into the ranks as she ter did our new fellow-pupil arrive, led into the could. room by her father; he did not stay five minutes, 1 For the present she seemed to have attached