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anything of Whalley's memorial, I was , rebel's unnatural crime. But I finally con-
There was something that touched me, hands have set, compared with these coward in spite of myself, in thus standing by these initials and memorials that skulk in the rude graves, and surveying the last relics grass ! of men born far away in happy English homes, who once made a figure among the
Sta, viator, judicem calcas! great men and were numbered with the A judge, before whose unblenching face the lawful senators of a free and prosperous sacred majesty of England once stood upon state! I own that, for a moment, I checked deliverance, and awaited the stern issues of my impulses of pity, and thought whether life and death ; an unjust judge, who, for it would not be virtuous to imitate the Jews daring to sit in judgment, must yet come in Palestine, who to this day throw a peb-forth from this obscure grave, and give ble at Absalom's pillar as they pass it in answer unto Him who is judge of quick and the King's Dale, to show their horror of the dead.
These opening lines of the simple dirge in, in a brief autobiography, written in 1840, Cymbeline found ready passage from our we find an interesting recollection of its aplips as we hung up in our Gallery its last pearance : “ I have a distinct remembrance accession, the portrait we this month en- of my birth-place,” she wrote, “though the grave. Shakspeare, in his mastery of the cottage has been for many years pulled human heart, here paints feelings which down and replaced by a very ugly red brick bring their meed of consolation, if not of mansion. It was a low, thatened building; rejoicing, to the mourners for the Early the walls and porch were partially covered Dead. He would have us think of them as with roses, honeysuckles, and other creepnot alone at rest but in security. No fur- ing plants; before the door was a large ther anxieties ; no more unquiet thoughts ! green plat, in the centre of which stood an Gaze on that gentle face and call to mind old apple tree, celebrated through the neighthat trouble can come there no more; that borhood for the excellence and abundance the weariness of hope deferred cannot longer of its produce ; and a large garden, full, if torment; that those temples may not pul- I remember rightly, of very beautiful flowsate with pain, nor those eyes send down ers, was attached. There were many trees their showers; and then, while with us you round the dwelling; and in my childish weep for so much promise too soon taken mind I well remember I used to compare it away, you can even say, “ It is well !” and to a bird's nest.”
Here, with the excepthink that the haven found is a bright ex- tion of a short time passed in Liverpool, change for the storms that rage without, when she was two years old, the opening threatening with destruction thc barks yet four years of her life were spent-four years, exposed to their fury.
which, in their brief compass, sufficed to Soon after our gifted contributor's de- show all the leading tendencies of her mind; cease, we gave our readers a brief memoir and to her watchful parents, to indicate the of her literary career. The sketch was gifts of their child—her heritage of weal slightly done--the work of a single sitting; or woe. but was received with some degree of inte- The dawning of the human mind is, to rest, as the first attempt at the poetess's its individual possessor, lost in clouds and biography. Since then many valuable con- thick darkness; but to the calm spectator, tributions have reached us; and we find a light is seen to glimmer and struggle kind of duty imposed on us now to give a through the unformed chaos,“ shining more fuller if not more faithful account, gathered and more unto the perfect day.” The from the rich materials which have found young child's reason awoke almost immeditheir way to our hands.
ately; an unwonted precocity of thought, Mary Anne Browne, the eldest of three united with great quickness of apprehension, children, was born at her father's house, and a most retentive memory, speedily deMaidenhead Thicket, Berks, on the 24th veloped themselves; and intellect and life of September, 1812. Paternally she de- might be said almost to have commenced rived descent from Sir Anthony Browne, a simultaneously. When two years of age, Kentish baronet, the lineal ancestor of the she could read fluently, having acquired the Lords Montagu. Her mother, after whom faculty not by the slow, heartbreaking proshe was named, was the only surviving child cess of mastering first the individual syllaof Captain John Simmons, of Liverpool; bles, but by forming an immediate acquaintand her maternal grandmother was the ance with the words themselves. Every daughter of Thomas Briarly, Esq., the re- word, once declared to her, was rememberpresentative of a well-known Lancashire ed as an old friend, and its pronunciation family. The house in which Miss Browne and meaning always kept in mind. Her was born has been long since removed; but, education was almost wholly imparted at
home; and her father, who was well quali-| Garden of England, and inviting to a thoufied for the duty, was her first preceptor. sand pleasant wanderings along his shelMr. Browne is yet living, and we feel some tered banks. And the neighboring common delicacy in alluding, therefore, to his per- was redolent with fragrant gorse and wildsonal fitness for such an office; yet we are flowers, and led away to woods, vocal with assured that his own intellectual tastes ex- birds in the summer season, and protected ercised their natural influence on his daugh against the biting colds of winter. Who ter's expanding mind, and while they made could else than be a belated wanderer at her acquainted with the stores of wealth laid times with such attractions ? “ I shall let up in her country's literature, prompted also my reader at once,” she writes in a characthe desire to possess similar acquirements. teristic passage, “into the whole round of Mr. Browne had a fine voice; and the win- my simple pleasures and pursuits. I need ter evenings, when the fireside showed its not say how I loved flowers and birds and attractions, were devoted to the perusal of butterflies, and all the population of the favorite volumes, of which he was generally fields and woods; how I looked every spring the reader. The miscellaneous knowledge for the first violet or primrose, as for a couplaced in the reach of a whole family, by rier announcing the return of a crowd of this happy mode, cannot be over-estimated; dearly-loved friends ; nor how I loved to while the power of selection, confided to a wander away from home, forgetting the time judicious head, contributes also its own and the distance ; nor how the sunset was value-a point on which it is unnecessary looked forward to, on a fine summer day, as to enlarge
if it were some splendid pageant. Neither When Mary Anne was four years old, need I detail the affectionate lectures on the family were constrained to leave their colds and chilblains, and torn frocks and house at the Thicket, owing to its too limit- wet shoes and idleness, which I was sure to ed accommodation. They reluctantly quit- receive on my return home.” On one ted their lovely little cottage, and moved remarkable occasion, during these wanderto the other side of the high road, where ings, an incident befell her which created Mr. Browne had erected a more spacious such deep mental impressions as to constiresidence, called The Elms, from some fine tute an epoch in her spirit's history, which trecs near it. Already—as we read of we feel called upon more particularly to alPope-our poetess had, in some measure, lude to. taught herself writing, by imitating the Although none can remember the first printed characters in an old prayer-book; enkindling of reason within him, yet there and here she began to “ to warble her na- are many, we believe, who, among the retive wood-notes," and give expression to cords of their early experience, preserve the the thoughts that started into being within. memory of a time and season when, by a Paper, pens, and ink, were esteemed trea- sudden impulse, they“ put away childish sures, on which alone pocket-money was things ;” when a burst of glory seemed to worthily bestowed; and an itinerant ven- have been poured around them, and they der, who supplied the neighborhood with arose, like Saul on his way to Damascus, at these acquisitions, and with millinery and first blinded and confused, but straightway sweetmeats, found all his stores set aside, enlightened and directed of heaven. Ordi. untouched, until his “stationery" was nary things may be near; the scene of the uncovered. At the same time books, the occurrence may be familiar as one's own 16 comforters of her childish sorrows, and home ; and, save by their own bounding companions of her happiness," as she calls hearts, the day may be unchronicled from them, began to increase in number with any other of the seven ; but a memorable
and a love for their possession was hour has come for them, and when it has excited, which never passed away but with passed away they are no more what they life itself.
A gift and a power have fallen upon The beauteous scenery around her Berk- them ; new feelings, new aspirations become shire home made no vain appeal to the their own. In a word, the uncertain young dreamer's senses ; but afforded out- thoughts of childhood are exchanged for the of-door delights equalling, if not surpassing, decision of character which marks maturer her pleasant studies within. Near at hand years. Shelley describes, in verse of exwas the broad, bright channel of old Father quisite beauty, the “sweet May-dawn" Thames, dividing in twain by a pathway of that “burst his spirit's sleep” when the silver, a district not unworthily named The Muse found him, in his school-boy attire,
alone and sorrowful, and gave him his vo
The passion of that hour went by, cation as her worshipper for ever. We find
Its thrilling magic past,
But, oh, its bright strange memory the subject of this sketch in one of her latest
Will haunt her to the last !" poems, “The Moorland Child," attempting a similar delineation of her feelings at Wild thoughts these for a child of seven the time when the change came and trans- years ! for although their poetical exlated her into a new world of enlarged ex- pression was reserved for a far later period, istence. In this remarkable poem-re- the date of their origin could be traced to markable, if for no other reason than for that almost infantine season. its having been one of the few with a per- We have some lines by us, which must sonal reference.; she tells us of a young have been written in her ninth year, if we child who, attracted in her simplicity by the may decide from their subject matter-the glories of the beautiful world around, loved death of Queen Caroline. The sufferings more than her home, its flowers, and bees, of that ill-used woman, which awoke the or her own small garden, an "over-cultured general indignation of the people, were of spot,” the wide common which she had engrossing interest to the dwellers in the made her chosen playing ground. She vicinity of Windsor. They seemed to feel paints her delight in straying alone midst a home-interest in all the Queen's persethe heather and furze in search of the red cutions ; for to them she was endeared by strawberry, the hare-bell, and fragrant wild a host of personal reminiscences, weaving thyme-her simple song carolling forth in stronger ties than could the quick sense of reply to the birds, and her light-hearted her wrongs, or the vague attractions of her shout ringing out, when the leveret came royalty. The theme was an exciting one leaping from his hiding-place in the fern; to the young Muse, and was eagerly and and then she tells of a time when the child's not unskilfully attempted. In the course spirit became sorrowful with too early of the following year, she made some thought
essays at dramatic writing, of what nature "There was one evening when the West
it is impossible to say, since these and the Was all a flood of gold;
greater part of her earlier productions And to the East, in lazy rest,
were destroyed almost as soon as penned. The floating clouds were rolled; And the young crescent moon began
She wrote, less for the sake of praise than To shed her silver ray,
for the relief of her own ever-crowding And one pale star shone white and wan, imaginings. Certain thoughts will at times Beside the dying day.
haunt the brain, like busy phantoms, until
they are “laid” by calm investigation; " The child went bounding o'er the heath, Then suddenly she stayed;
and the pen is like a wizard's wand, mighty It seemed as if her very breath
to bid the disquieting shadows depart. At Its even thrill delayed :
what time Miss Browne's poetry first She held her hand above her brow,
found its way to the printer's hands, we And ceased her childish song; Her cheek grew deeper in its glow,
cannot tell, but we believe we are right in And her heart beat high and strong. naming, as the medium, the Berkshire
Chronicle, to the “ poct's corner” of which " Slowly her dark eyes filled with tears,
she often contributed, so early as 1826. And so she stood and gazed : And yet that sunset west for years
The Chronicle was published in the neighHad just as brightly blazed :
boring town of Reading, and at this time Yet never, till that evening hour,
was conducted by Mr. Hansall, a man of The careless laughing one Had felt the magic and the power
considerable taste and discrimination. He Of that declining sun.
acted the part of a literary adviser;
suggested good models ; pointed out with "Oh, who may tell what thronging dreams
kindness her deficiencies, and recommended And thoughts unknown till then, Crowded, like freshly-opened streams,
application and study, as necessary guides Upon her heart and brain ?
for the genius she so evidently possessed :How did her very spirit yearn, Beneath that sudden life!
Che seggendo in piuma
In Fama non si vien, ne sotto coltre;
Sanza la qual chi sua vita consuma. “And tenderness, and solemn thought,
Cotel vestigio in terra di se lascia
Qual fummo in aere, ed in acqua la schiuma."*
* Inferno, c. xxiv. Vol. XI. No. I.
In May, 1827, in her fifteenth year, brief address, the writer thought it advisappeared her first volume --Mont Blanc able to state that the principal poem of her and other Poems, dedicated by permission book had been ready for the press more to the Princess Augusta. The leading than a twelvemonth, and had been inpoem, which gave the book its name, is in the tentionally delayed from the desire that Spenserian stanza; and its inspiration is her works should not follow each other too evidently derived from Lord Byron. Not rapidly. Short as was the interval, there that we mean to assert any direct or ex- | are sure signs of progress in Ada. The cessive plagiarism ; but the favorite author poetess had now, in some degree, proved is visible throughout, and gives a tone to her wings, and was satisfied to trust their the whole composition. This is the wonted self-sustaining power. She is no longer a mistake of young writers; the model is copyist, but dares to look within, and made a copy, and the end lost sight of, in trace the thousand streams of thought, admiration of the guide. About forty through all their wanderings, to their minor poems, and a few sacred pieces, com- fountain-head-the heart. The colors of plete the volume; and in these we find more her imagination have not grown colder, distinct traces of the author's peculiar but there is more harmony in their arrangegenius. There is the same musical rhythm, ment, and each individual painting shows a which she knew so well to preserve in all hand at once strengthened and made skilful variations of measure—the same keen by practice. She now took her place appreciation of the outward world--the among the leading female writers of the same delicate painting of feelings, and their day, and a high degree of interest became mysterious impulses. As we might expect attached to one of genius so youthful, yet in the productions of so young a person, so full of promise. Her contributions were Imagination had more sway than Re- willingly admitted into the chief literary flection; but the book, despite of its journals, wbile a prouder tribute than any writer's inexperience, contained so much public applause was conveyed to her, genuine poetry, and was yet more marked through Mr. Hansall, in the wish of Coleby such promise, that it met the most grati-ridge* to form her acquaintance. fying success, was largely received, and as extensively praised. And perhaps one of
* Since everything relative to the author of Kulla
Khan and the Ancient Mariner, must possess inteits most pleasing fruits was the speedy in- rest, we transcribe the poet's letter. The original troduction it brought to Miss Mitford, then MS! lies before us :residing at Three Mile Cross, near Reading,
TO THE EDITOR OF THE' BERKSHIRE CHRONICLE.' and a happy friendship with that gifted
" Highgate, Tuesday, 29th Sept., 1828. writer. Very soon after the publication of "Sir-I am extremely surprised to observe, by Mont Blanc, Miss Browne wrote, and had last Saturday's Chronicle, that you have not inserted printed in the form of a small pamphlet, my communication relative to the gross plagiarisms à poem called The Widow, being the not in general in the habit of noticing such matters; history and misfortunes of a poor woman but when I do, it is rather as a public imposture living in her neighborhood, who had lost than a private injury, and I would have expected, her all by the accidental conflagration of under such circumstances, that my letter would have her cottage. This little work was never pect at your hand, and de novo, an acknowledg.
been alluded to; and I may add, that I certainly explaced in a bookseller's hands, but was ment of your error, or inserting the original epi. disposed of among the writer's friends, who gram. I do not wish to be peremptory, but I mean
to be firm. When I was myself for some time conknew the poor woman's history and the
nected with a journal of the same political princi. philanthropic object Miss Browne contem- ples, and, I may add, conducted with equal talent plated in the sale. It was pleasing to add, to your own, my leading axiom always was, to be that the result was all that she could desire equally impartial in literary as well as political imA sum of money was raised, more than postures, and give to both a merited share of exposufficient to replace all the losses sustained "I understand from Messrs. Longman that Miss by the fire ; and the widow's heart was Browne, of your part of the country, is in the habit made to sing for joy by the possession of of being frequently in London. On her next arrimany comforts which hitherto had been dress, 'and I shall be proud, in my old age, to meet wholly beyond her reach.
a young lady who promises so fairly to adorn the The year following the publication of era of my literary successors Mont Blanc, was marked by the appear
"I remain, dear Sir,
“ Your obedient Servant, ance of another volume of poetry, Ada,
"S. T. COLERIDGE. which was equally well received. In al “P. S.-My friend, Mr. Gilman, has just re