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it down. Seriously and truly, I am most careful of myself, though too many conflicting thoughts and feelings are at work upon me now,—and I have to say too many of those words which must be and have been,' to admit of my making the progress I otherwise might. You know it is impossible I should be better till all these billows have passed over me. The improvisatore talent has scarcely deserted me yet, but it is gushing from a fountain of tears — Oh! that I could but lift up my heart, and sustain it at that height where alone the calm sunshine is !"
The description of her feelings, when the actual parting took place, proves that there was no exaggeration in the affectionate sadness of her “Farewell
him to show herself to his parents as a simple mortal, divested of all supernatural attributes. The gentle Welleda consented, though dark inward forebodings whispered but too plainly of the fatal consequences that would ensue: these warnings she imparted to her ungenerous lover, but without shaking his purpose. She promised, therefore, to meet him in the evening, by the side of this fountain, under the shade of its overarching lime trees. Thither she repaired at the appointed hour, and Ferrand, hastening to the rendezvous, arrived at the very moment when the fang of a ravenous wolf had inflicted a mortal wound on his hapless Welleda. Frantic with horror and remorse, he annihilated the ferocious animal on the spot, and then turned to receive the last sighs of the fond being who had sacrificed herself to his exacting tyranny. He buried her beside the fountain, and quitted the spot no more till his own death, which followed erelong. A kind shepherd then laid him beside his Welleda, and planted a Linden tree on the mound of turf which covered the remains of these unfortunate lovers.
This legend has been worked up into a pretty little prose romance in German by Madame Von Helwig.
to Wales," and the blessing she thus fondly left with
Farewell! and a blessing be with thee, green land !
“Oh! that Tuesday morning !" (thus she wrote in her first letter to St. Asaph.) “I literally covered my face all the way from Bronwylfa until the boys told me we had passed the Clwyd range of hills. Then something of the bitterness was over.
“ Miss P. met me at Bagillt, and on board the packet we found Mr. D., who was kinder to me than I can possibly tell you. He really watched over me all the way with a care I shall not soon forget; and notwithstanding all you may say of female protection, I felt that of a gentleman to be a great comfort, for we had a difficult and disagreeable landing. As we entered the port, a vessel coming out, struck against ours, and caused a great concussion; there was no danger, I imagine, but it gave one a faint notion of what the meeting must have been between the Comet and the Aire. We had a pretty sight on the Water; another packet, loaded, clustered all over with bluecoat boys, sailed past. It was their annual holiday, on which they have a water excursion; and as they went by, all the little fellows waved their hats, and sent forth three cheers, which made our vessel ring again. Only imagine a ship-load of happiness! That word reminds me of my own boys, who are enjoying
themselves greatly. Of myself, what can I say to you? ...... When I look back on the short time that has elapsed since I left this place, I am astonished; I seem in it to have lived an age of deep, strong, vain feeling.”
After remaining for a time with her ever considerate friends at Wavertree Lodge, Mrs. Hemans at length took possession of her own little domicile, where she was surrounded by all that the most sedulous kindness could devise, to foster and shelter, and reconcile her to the new soil in which she was now to take root. Not only by the old friends on whose regard she had a claim, but by numbers hitherto strangers, she was overwhelmed with offers of service and marks of courtesy. From the overtures of the latter, however, she was, in a great measure, obliged to withdraw, as her habits, her health, the urgency of her literary occupations, and the indescribable pressure of correspondence, of which words can scarcely give any adequate idea-for of letters and notes it might really be said that
“Each minute teems a new one"
made it absolutely impossible for her to keep up the conventional forms and etiquettes of an extensive general acquaintance. Nothing could be further from her nature than ungraciousness or incivility; yet, from circumstances quite beyond her own control, for which
often incurred the charge of both, through an utter want both of leisure and physical energy, to cope with all the bewildering claims upon her attention.
A few extracts from notes written soon after her establishment at Wavertree, will best express her own views and feelings.
“I have no taste, no health, for the enjoyment of extensive society. I have been all my life a creature of hearth and home, and now that the mother that looked on my childhood' is gone, and that my brothers and sisters are scattered far and wide, I have no wish, but to gather around me the few friends who will love me and enter into my pursuits. I wish I could give you the least idea of what kindness is to me-- how much more, how far dearer than Fame. I trust we may pass many pleasant evenings together this winter at my little dwelling, which I hope to see often cheered and lit up by happy and familiar faces.”
“Generally speaking, I cannot tell you how painful going out is to me now. I know it is a weakness which I must conquer, but I feel so alone, so unprotected, and this weary celebrity makes such things, I believe, press the more bitterly."
“I can well imagine the weariness and disgust with which a mind of intellectual tastes must be oppressed by the long days of work-day world' cares, so utterly at variance with such tastes; and yet, perhaps, the opposite extreme is scarcely more to be desired. Mine, I believe, has been too much a life of thought and feeling for health and peace. I can certainly quit this little world of my own for active duties; for, however I may at times playfully advocate the cause of weak
VOL. I. - 15
ness, there is no one who has, with deeper need for strength, a fuller conviction of its necessity; but it is often by an effort, and a painful one, that I am enabled to obtain it."
The following letters will equally speak for themselves :
“ Nov. 10th, 1828. “ MY DEAR Miss MiTFORD,
“Accept my late, though sincere and cordial congratulations on the brilliant success of Rienzi, of which I have read with unfeigned gratification. I thought of your father and mother, and could not help imagining that your feelings must be like those of the Greek general, who declared that his greatest delight in victory arose from the thought of his parents. I have no doubt that your enjoyment of your triumph has been of a similar nature. I ought to have acknowledged long, long since, your kind present of the little volume of plays, valued both for your sake and theirs, for they are indeed full of beauty; but I have been a drooping creature for months,-ill, and suffering much from the dispersion of a little band of brothers and sisters, among whom I had lived, and who are now all scattered; and, strange as it may seem to say, I am now, for the first time in my life, holding the reins of government, independent, managing a household myself; and I never liked anything less than ce triste empire de soi-même.' It really suits me as ill as the southron climate did your wild Orkney school-girls, whom perhaps you, the creator of so many fair forms and images, may have forgotten, but I have not. I