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of the dead, giving him assurance that they are happy, and that they watch over him : that he need not now fear the paw of the tiger, nor the bite of the serpent, for he is thus protected; but far happier are they who so guard him.”
“ A scene of surpassing beauty in Switzerland, with a cottage, inhabited by the wife of a chamois hunter. Soliloquy of a wanderer, who imagines that no human passions can ever have disturbed the repose of that sublime solitude. The chamois hunter is brought in dead.”
“ The maid before the wizard's glass-her mind, wearied with the excitement of its scenes, turns in joy to the green fields and the skies.”
“On leaving a church full of sculpture, and coming into the open air.— The blessing of those feelings which withdraw us occasionally from thoughts too high and awful.”
“THOUGHTS AND SIMILES. “ Distance - to be dreaded by those who love, as so completely dividing the current of their thoughts and sympathies. One may be revelling at a banquet, whilst the other lies on a bed of pain,-one walking at evening in the summer woods, whilst the other is tossing on the stormy wave, at the moment of shipwreck."
“Our search into the futurity of the grave, after the excitements of life, compared to the first going
forth into the darkness, after leaving a brilliant hall, with lights and music; but, by degrees, we become accustomed to the obscurity; star after star looks through it, and the objects begin to clear.”
“ Virtues and powers concealed in the mind, compared to the landscapes and beautiful forms sometimes found in the heart of a block of marble.”
“ Ruins of a magnificent city seen under the waves, (as those of Tyre are said to be), like the traces of man's lofty original, obscured and faintly discernible through the shadows of mortality.”
“Water thrown upon ancient paintings and reviving their forms and colours, like any sound or circumstance reviving images of the past.”.
“Strong passions, discernible under a cold exterior, like the working of water, seen under a crust of ice.”
Such are a few specimens, selected from amongst hundreds thus recorded, of the “struggling harmonies” which filled that ever peopled and ever busy imagination. Various as are these themes of song, it will be seen how completely they are all attuned to the keynote of her own woman's heart;- affection - pure, holy, self-sacrificing-ennobling life, surviving death, and sending back “a token and a tone” even from the world of spirits.'
Amongst the many subjects of a graver cast are the follow ing:A Jewish funeral at midnight in the valley of Ajalon.
Mrs. Hemans's literary correspondence was now continually on the increase. Scarcely a day passed without bringing some new communication, interesting either from its own originality, or from the distinguished name of the writer. It was with no less truth than kindliness that Mrs. Grant of Laggan thus wrote to her :-“Shenstone complains of his hard fate, in wasting a lonely existence, not loved, not praised, not known.' How very different is your case! Praised by all that read you-loved by all that praise you,and known, in some degree, wherever our language is spoken.”
It is pleasing to dwell upon the generous apprecia
Maronite procession round the Cedars of Lebanon.
These “ Cedar Saints” had always a great hold upon her imagination, and she eagerly sought out all the descriptions of them given by Eastern travellers. How truly after her own heart, would have been the reverential spirit and poetic feeling with which the sublime scenery of Lebanon has been described by Lord Lindsay, whose graphic touches,-"the stately bearing and graceful repose of the young cedars,” contrasted with “ the wild aspect and frantic attitude of the old ones, flinging abroad their knotted and muscular limbs like so many Laocoons," i bring the impressive scene so completely before the mind's eye! And how she would at once have transferred to some one of her - Books of Gems,” that lovely picture, which haunts one like a dream,the “ view of the Red Sea from the plain where the children of Israel encamped after leaving Elim;" and where the rocks, " now 80 silent, must have re-echoed the song of Moses, and its ever returning chorus,— Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the
'Lord Lindsay's Letters, Vol. I. p. 212.
Idem, Vol. I. p. 315.
tion with which she was regarded by the gifted of her own sex, and the frank, confiding spirit which always marked her intercourse with them. She would rejoice in their success with true sisterly disinterestedness ; and the versatility of her tastes, to which every thing really good in its kind was sure to be acceptable (always excepting science and statistics, from which she stood aloof in silent awe), gave her a capacity for enjoying with equal zest, the noble simplicity of Mrs. Joanna Baillie, the graphic reality of Miss Mitford, the true-hearted originality of Mary Howitt, or the exquisite tenderness of Miss Bowles. The Sunday Evening of the latter — that pure and pious little poem, which, in its own sweet language,
“Falls on the heart like dew
On the drooping heather-bell,” was first introduced to Mrs. Hemans through a strangely circuitous medium, having been sent to her from Canada by her brother, in a Montreal gazette. Long before they knew even the name of its author, it had gained for itself the love and favour of the whole household. It was copied by the elders, learnt by the children, and is now consecrated by recollections far dearer than belong to the finest monuments of genius; and which involuntarily excite a feeling of affectionate intimacy with the writer. Miss Bowles's Solitary Hours were often made by Mrs. Hemans the companions of her own; and had she lived to read The Birthday, its simple pathos and deep tenderness would have awakened many an answering tone in her heart.
The letter in which she introduced herself to Miss
Mitford, describes what she would have expressed to others even yet more warmly—the thorough relish with which she enjoyed the unrivalled powers of description and fine old English feelings of that delightful writer, who is as completely identified with “ the greenwood tree,” and all the fresh, free thoughts belonging to it, as Robin Hood himself.
“Rhyllon, St. Asaph, June 6th, 1827. “ MADAM,
“I can hardly feel that I am addressing an entire stranger in the author of Our Village, and yet I know it is right and proper that I should apologize for the liberty I am taking. But really, after having accompanied you again and again, as I have done, in violetting' and seeking for wood-sorrel; after having been with you to call upon Mrs. Allen in the dell,' and becoming thoroughly acquainted with May and Lizzy, I cannot but hope that you will kindly pardon my intrusion, and that my name may be sufficiently known to you to plead my cause. There are some writers whose works we cannot read without feeling as if we really had looked with them upon the scenes they bring before us, and as if such communion had almost given us a claim to something more than the mere intercourse between author and .gentle reader.' Will you allow me to say that your writings have this effect upon me, and that you have taught me, in making me know and love your Village so well, to wish for further knowledge, also, of her who has so vividly impressed its dingles and coppices upon my imagination, and peopled them so cheerily with healthful and