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ame tranquillity as if she had been mak- acts of kindness? It grieves me especially ing arrangements for one of those short ab to think of her excellent sister, whose kind. wences which only endeared her home the heart will feel ber privation most deeply! more to her. The clothes in which she Remember me most affectionately to them was laid in the grave had been selected by both, especially to 'aunt Mary, who was herself ; she herself had chosen and labelled the first love of my heart-who was the some tokens of remembrance for her more first person whom 1 recollect as showing intimate friends; and the intimations of me kindness and who, since the time her death were sent round from a list in when I remember her singing to sooth me, ber own hand-writing. But these antici- till this moment of my sending leer my pations, though so deeply fixed, neither blessing and farewell, has never ceased to shook her fortitude, nor diminished her be kind and dear to me! * cheerfulness. They neither altered her “May God bless my dear William and wish to live, nor the ardour with which you, in your family, and in all your conshe prepared to meet the duties of return cerns ; but chiefly in that great concern of ing health, if returning health were to be making your conduct in this life a prepalier portion.
ration for a better! I shall not write again. “ They seemed rather to animate her My husband will. zeal the more in any thing by which she " Her anticipations, however, had been could promote the welfare of her fellow. only too well founded. After giving birth creatures. To this great work she seemed to a still-born son, on the 7th of Decembe, the more anxious to devote herself, as her and recovering, for a few days, with a recollection became the deeper, that the pidity beyond the hopes of her medical • night cometh in which no man can work.' friends, she was attacked with fever. It • Life,' she says, in one of the last letters advanced with fatal violence, till it closed which she ever wrote, and which contains her earthly life on the morning of Saturday, no other trace of her own forebodings; December 19, 1818." pp. xcviii- ciii. • life is too short and uncertain to admit of our trifing with even the lesser opportu.
Dr Brunton 'is rather hurt, in nities of testifying good-will. The lower the idea that Mrs Brunton's writings of the field must scatter its odours to-day. are losing their popularity. We think, To morrow it will be gone.'
however, that he has over-strained * Her forebodings were not often the this supposition. Her works have by subject of her conversation with those a
no means disappeared from the public round her, because she knew how painful eye, although, like every other work the theme was to them. For the same of the kind, their interest may have reason, she mentioned it but slightly to been superseiled for a time by the her relations at a distance. But there is a striking mixture of fortitude and tender numerous other compositions of the ness in the last letter which she addressed same class, which have since come to her sister-in-law.
forward. Those of the author of
Waverley have of themselves engros« TO MRS BALFOUR.
sed, for the present, the attention “ Frankfield, Oct. 22, 1818. which had before been scattered a “ If it please Almighty God to spare my mong many competitors. It is not, infant's life and my own,- I trust I am however, on the actual excellence of
made of sterner stuff,' than to shrink Mrs Brunton's works, considered as from a few hours of any pain which nature finished productions, that her fame is can support. I suppose the trial will be to rest. There are passages through made about three weeks hence. I hope them all'as finely written, perhaps, as not sooner ; for even then I shall scarcely any thing in our day; particularly be ready. Ready, do I say? What time in Self-Control, there is an overflowwould be necessary to prepare me for the change which I must probably then under. ing. eloquence, on many occasions, go ! But there is ONE with whom one day which seems to burst from a deep and is as a thousand years! When I spoke of perennial fountain. But it is rather preparation, I merely meant that I had not the mind that predominates over the set my house in order.'
whole, which is admirable: the spi** I wish, my dear Mary, that some of rit of high, and, if we may use the you would write to me very circumstan- expression, original piety, -not capght lially about aunt Craigie; and soon, lest from the precepts of teachers, and the letter be too late for me. If I am to be removed, I cannot regret that she is so soon to follow. But what a loss will she ." This excellent person died a few be to every member of your circle? Where days before her niece, but not before she is there a being, within the sphere of her had received this affecting testimony of inttuence, who does not owe to her mapy. gratitude and attachment."
repeating " lesson at second-hand, The helpless vagrant; oft relieve 31 na but warm from its own pure' feel- From her hath his last dole receiv'di ings, as if touched immediately by the The circle, social and enlightend, living fame of the Gospel. We know Whose evining hour her converse brighe not whether this internal inspiration. Have seen her quit 'the friendly door, operating upon a highly moral and
Whose threshold she shall cross no more. intellectual, and, at the same time, And he; bý holy ties endear’d, a most natural and simple mind, alive Whose life her love so sweetly cheer'd, 124 to every human affection, is not more of her cold clay, the mind's void cell," ? -apparent in her writings than in those Hath ta'en a 'speechless last farewell. of any other author. We are only Yea, those who never saw her face, sorry that she did not give herself up Nor did on blue horizon trace more courageously to its direction; One mountain of her native land, it would itself have led her (without Now turn that leaf with eager handa any laboured effort) amid the wildest on which appears th' unfinisli'd page mazes of invention, into situations in of her, whose works did oft engage which it would have glowed with an While searching, healthful thoughts would
Untir'd attention, int'rest deep, overpowering intensity, while it fell tike sudden fires upon the altar to To the heart's core like balmy air,
creep burn away with irresistible holiness To leave a kindly lesson there, the obstructing passions and sophis. And gaze, till stain of fallen tears tries of the corrupt and worldly heart. Upon the snowy blank appears. 2; This is an office; indeed, for which fe Now-all, who did her friendship claim, 'male piety is more peculiarly adapted. With alter'd voice pronounce her name, That of men, however sincere, is apt Her praise from stranget's lips to hear, either to be spoiled by philosophy, or entangled amidst theological systems.
And board as saintly relics gain'd
Aught that to her hath e'er pertain'd. The devotion of Woman alone Hows freelyofrom the heart. sent 1979. Thus wert thou lov'd and priz'd on earth, yd We migbtadd much on Mrs Brun- and now, ston's, many ramiable and useful qua- Fair, disembodied Spirit! where art thou ? lities in private, life, and on her inde Ev’n where the good, and pure, and bles statigable labours of charity, but here
sed be. swe are nobly anticipated, and most For they who knew, and soothly, think of
thee, grateful, rindeed,
we are, to be enabled Will with glad hope believe the human to conobude this very imperfect sketch,
soul in which we have throughout been Gains not on this dull earth its final goal, -Wading among feelings for which we Will well believe that erring nian might would find (no adequate expression, move, -by the following beautiful and tender Though chang'd and fall’n he be, his tribute to her memory, from ONE
Maker's love; isbose i name, indeed, we are not per- And He who was by sin untainted, give mitted to give, but who can scarce- With gen'rous love, his life that such might
live. ly fail to be recognised as that Sister Excellence, before the shrine of whose A lofty blessed creed !, with cheering
fraught! pre-eminent genius. She once offered, with so profound a humility, the Which all thy daily deeds of virtue taught. first fruits of her moral invention; and
And tho thy, course hath on this nether who now, with an obeisance no less Within a short and stinted measure been genuine and Christian, casts down her The task of love thou had'st to do is done, own crown in the presence of the And thou art to thy Father's mansion gone. "fair disembodied Spirit” to which, in itslangelic, exaltation; all the highest faculties of man or of woman have
LETTERS FROM LONDON, BY AN become but as the weakness of childhooda, 33*8 to 12.10 ON THE LATE MRS BRUNTON.
I FEAR ,you will think me difficult No more shall bed-rid pauper watch
to please, from being unwilling to be The gentle rising of the latch, s pleased. By no means. I have carried And as She enters, shift his place
with me that happy faculty of always To bear her voice, and see her face. seeing something to interest me, that
you and Allan used to remark. But costume of the privileged orders, as then, when you walk with people that would result from such presumption ; you love, the flower, the shrub, or the besides being the subjects of a satiribird's nest on shore, the sea fowl in cal song, like that still sung all over all their fresh whiteness towering the island in ridicule of poor Elspet over the boat, produced a sensation in of Ellanreach, when she exhibited her my mind, at least in some degree re- lowland finery for the first and last flected from those of others. Now, time at the church of Slate. By this my tribulation here arises from going broad distinction in outward forms, to see things with people who have we have been taught to associate the not only seen them before, but merely idea of birth and good breeding with see them in the London way as sights, fashion and expence. To be sure, my that is to say, as objects simply re- aunt's maids helped to dispel this illucommended by novelty. My pleasure sion, but then I was aware of their and admiration appears to them the condition in life, and thought of their gawky wonder of a novice. The intense dress as I did of my aunt's sofas and attention with which I like to dwell window curtains, as marks of her ele on works of art, till they are imprint- gance, not of their own. But I must ed on my memory, wearies them, and begin at the beginning, and tell first I am much too sensitive to enjoy any how Allan and I sagely determined to thing of the kind, at the price of giv- sce Westminster Abbey, exclusively, ing pain or disgust to others. Allan quietly, ourselves only; and, that and I sometimes steal away by our purpose, sought an early breakfast, and selves, and then we do enjoy to the were admitted as soon as the doors utinost what we see. Yet, even in opened. You may believe our first this way we are liable to intrusive dis attention was turned to Poets' corner, appointment. I did once go with a which, indeed, first meets the eye at tribe of misses and missish masters the entrance. You and I have read to Westminster Abbey; they had been together a much more minute and ac often before, I fancy. They made a curate description than I can give of great noise, which was just as foreign these monuments. I only mean, there to me, as our island talk would be to fore, to give you some idea of what I them, yet was possibly just as good in felt (and what I am sure you would its own way, though I could not feel) on seeing them. The recollec
What a flood of recollection of those powerful minds, and the tions would this last dwelling of the wonderful talents that have charmed prince and the poet, the lovely and and astonished so many, first rose on the brave, have awakened in my mind, my mind with a kind of triumph in if I had been allowed quietly to fol- the force and splendour of human gen low the train of my reflections. Allan, nius, and I thought of man made a however, and I, were determined to little, and, in this case, but a little go by ourselves in two days after. I lower than the angels. I was elated hope to be more fortunate than the at sharing their nature, and could last time.
have almost worshipped at those shrines erected to consecrate their
memory; but more deep and serious I am returned from another, in reflections were forced upon me by soine respects more fortunate excur- the woeful triumph of death over all sion, yet this too had its draw backs. that we admire and revere, brought Dear Flora, you can have no idea of so home to the heart in this last abode the sort of people one occasionally of worldly grandeur and intelleci meets here, so well dressed, yet so tual greatness. I thought back on obviously coarse in mind and man- "the mob of gentlemen who wrote ners. To be sure I do not meet such with ease.” “Unhappy Dryden," too, people at my aunt's, or among her came heavily over my heart ; I trentfriends, who are all persons of some bled to think of the abuse of talent, refinement and intelligence. But you the pollution of mind and degradas know with us a cotton gown, and a tion of taste among that community. straw bonnet, are undoubted marks of At length I began to feel most paingentility, and our humbler class would fülly serious, even with regard to the be objects of ridicule and scorn if they better class whose tombs I was sure attempted such an infringement on the veying 'I fear my reveries" were
something like Lady Macbeth's bound to produce an untimely birth dreams, * The Thatie of Fife had à in her own vindication, and to show wife, where is she now?" Where his incredulous majesty how dangernow are those who have left us so ous it was to disoblige her under such much to admire and so much to blame? circumstances. All this rather beBut I know it is not for me with un- longs to tragedy. But the farce that hallowed research to draw their frail- amused us so much followed; it was ties from their drear abode. I stood her carrying up the imperfect young long fixed in thought, and the first princess in a box to England, to conthing that occurred to me, on waking vince the king of the fatal result of from this trance, was Allan's sympa- this harshness. In the antique way thy in continuing so long in a similar in which it is told, it amused us exstate of abstraction ; but I found he cessively, and we supposed we saw her was not romantic enough to give up presenting and opening the box, &c. his thoughts to dead lions while there &c. Now, when I was led by what are living doves to muse on. He ask- aunt Marjory would call natural afed me suddenly, looking on an epitaph, fection towards the Stuart monuments, whether I had not seen it in Flora's the first thing that met my eyes was scrap book, and then remarked, what this little damsel carved in stone, with a time a letter took to come from Porto cherubim cheeks, a great round head, nacroish.
a stone frock made extremely full, You will scarce believe that I was falling in large plaits to her feet, and seized with a foolish fit of laughter in her hands stuck in her sides as if an the midst of these vestiges of morta- bout to make a minuet curtsey, and lity. It was the first sincere laugh this extraordinary figure is meant to since I left Skye. You may re- represent an intant that never saw the member last winter when we read light. 0, 1 had almost forgot to menall the periodical publications over tion a stone cradle standing beside and over during our long confine the young lady with a very stony ment with bad weather, how much covering, as it were carelessly thrown we were amused with some anec over it. But you must see the clum. dotes of King James and his Danish sy odd looking groupe, and remem queen, who was so fond of shows ber what connects with it to have any and exhibitions. We were so divert notion of its ludicrous effect. It is ed with the eagerness of her desire to odd, that the first genuine laugh that accompany him to England, and his has been elicited from me in London very natural wish to be free of the in- should have been heard in a place so cumbrance of a female train while long hallowed in my mind." I will . making his appearance among his new tell you another time why we laugh subjects, and arranging the momen- so little here, that is, we that are gentous affairs that must occur upon bis teel. áecession. Queen Anne, however, Turning to the other side, I be had no notion of remaining behind held an object that changed and where so much show and novelty must chastened the whole current of my be going on; and when every other ideas in an instant, it was the monu, argument failed, urged, that the safe- ment of our hard-fated Queen Mary. ty of a branch of royalty then in pro- Her figure by no means flattered, yet, spect might be endangered by irritat- with a kind of death like reality. I caning her while in that anxious state. not account for the chill of horror I
says little in favour of the queen, felt, unless it was surprise, for it had that the king, on consulting with his not been shown me before. I have sage counsellers, 'was convinced that been often carried by imagination she only feigned pregnancy to procure back to the closing scene at Fotherinindulgence in her favourite plan. The gay, yet, somehow, never felt myselı sapient monarch, with more firmness so near the bloody catastrophe as now. than we should have given him cre- In reading of her death, her own calm dit for, resisted this tender plea, and heroism, those graces which attended set off by himself. To be sure, it there on all her unfortunate life, and did was much dignity or candour in the not forsake her on the scaffold, and queen’s general character, she could the indignation one feels at the syconot have been suspected of such an phants who embittered death to please artifice. However, she was in honour their cruel mistress, divide the atten.
tion. But in this silent dwelling of perhaps exult in his own-superioritya the departed, one thinks of death ab- i had somehow an interest quite ins stractedly. I felt, as if all this had dependent of esteem or admiration in happened last week, the distance of this unhappy favourite of princesi 1 time seemed lost in nearness of place. had seen his picture, an original, in Now, though it is very painful, I like Holyroodhouse, in the Breadalbane athis. One feels as if viewing with the partments, which every one overlooks, naked eye what we could formerly no one can tell why, for certainly only see through a telescope ; the vi- some of the best paintings are there's vid recollections thus awakened, are, I wanted to see whether I could trace after all, I think, the best things Í the lineaments of his very fine coun. have met in my travels. I think one's tenance in those of his parents, and mind enlarges while reviewing the perfectly ascertained that his beauty past or anticipating the future. Peo- was inherited from both, particularly ple would not think it worth while to from his father. Will you believe commit crimes for present gratifica- that I could not succeed in distinctly tion, if extended views had taught viewing this very fine sculpture, withthem to consider how little a point out wiping the dust off with my hand the present is, and how little we are kerchief ; such is the shameful neglect ourselves in the scale of comparison of these greedy hounds, who are so Now I am going to illustrate as it rapacious in their demands, and so te were what I said of vulgar fine drest miss in their duty. people. I spoke then under the sore The Cockneys, consisting of start and immediate recollection of them. men and pert women, grossly igno Just as we left the Stuart tombs, a rant of all they were to see, and inca. crowd of drest people, that if they had pable of understanding what was but held their tongues, would have told them, had by this time departed. dazzled our ignorance, rushed in with Our guides led us on, and suddenly irreverent noise and bustle, and they threw open a kind of press, diselosing did talk, ye powers, how they did a figure in naval uniform, frightfully talk! and how they did dispel all our like life, with a melancholy but very respect for their dress by their titter- interesting countenance. I was told it ing and chattering! Think of poor was Nelson, and my blood ran chilli us that were obliged by that vile Abo I hope I shall never again see a waxen beyman to be driven about with these effigy of any one I have been accustoms vulgarians ; 'tis impossible to give you ed to admire ; I cannot account for the any idea of their ignorance and con- feeling, but it seems to me as if any ceít, their flippancy and petulance. thing great or noble were lessened by Though a little angry myself, I was this mimicking of resemblance. I tempted to smile at Allan's Scottish generally feel and then find out a cause indignation, when they began to sneer for my feelings, but here I am utterand laugh at our chair, in which so ly at a loss. I think I should not many of our ancient monarchs had even like to see a fac simile of your been crowned and anointed. «o own fair face thus presented to me la ! what poor creatures them Scotch You feel as if you saw an object too must be !" I could stand it no longer near to see it to advantage. at last, but telling the man I should The only book that I have read with pay him for the time he remained attention since I came here is Walpole's with us after this set were gone, I Reminiscences. There is something withdrew into an inclosure like a lit. satirical and heartless about it. He tle chapel, containing the tomb erect- strips grandeur of every adventitious ed to his father and mother by the ornament, and shows the littleness and Duke of Buckingham, the worthless deformity of the poor individual too and fatul favourite of two Stuart kings. distinctly; but I like every thing of The effigies of his parents, Sir George the nature of memoirs and biography: and Lady Villiers, beautifully execut. In short, I like truth, even unpleasing ed in white marble, lay on the tomb. truth; but I have a great notion, While I stood to contemplate them shrewi sensible men of the world are and regain my composure, Allan, with great eynics at bottom, and have all his righteous wrath, took his round very bad hearts. I was, however, along with the Cockneys, to indulge, very much diverted with his two i suppose, his scorn and curiosity, or Duchesses, the Buckingham and the