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The relieved the dryness of a study seldom rendered interesting to children, by so many lively strokes of description, and such luminous and attractive views of the connexion of this branch of knowledge with the revolutions of empires, with national manners, and with the natural history of animals, that these impressive lectures were always remembered by her auditors less among their tasks than their pleasures.

A public examination of the boys was always held at the close of the winter session at the termination of the summer one they performed a play; and upon Mrs Barbauld principally devolved-together with the contrivance of dresses and decorations, and the composition of prologues, epilogues, and interludes the instruction of the young exhibitors in the art of declamation. In this branch she likewise excelled; and the neglected, though delightful, arts of good reading and graceful speaking were nowhere taught with more assiduity and success.

In 1775 Mrs Barbauld committed to the press a small volume, entitled "Devotional Pieces, compiled from the Psalms of David, with Thoughts on the Devotional Taste, and on Sects and Establishments." As a selection, it did not meet with great success; nor did the essay escape without some animadversion.

The union of Mr and Mrs Barbauld proved unfruitful, and they sought to fill the void, of which in the midst of their busy avocations they were still sensible, by the adoption of a son out of the family of Dr Aikin. They received the child when somewhat under two years of age, and his education became thenceforth a leading object of Mrs Barbauld's attention. For the use of her little Charles, she composed Early Lessons," a work which may be asserted to have formed an era in the art of early instruction.

The solicitations of parents anxious

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to obtain for their sons what they regarded as the best tuition, now induced her to receive, as her own peculiar papils, several little boys, to whom she condescended to teach the first rudiments of literature. Thomas Denman, Esq., now a distinguished member of the legal profession and of the House of Commons, was committed to her care before he had accomplished his fourth year. Sir William Gell, the zealous explorer of the plain of Troy, was another of her almost infant scholars; and it was for the benefit of this younger class that her " Hymns in Prose for Children" were written, in which it was her peculiar object (to use her own words in the preface) to impress devotional feelings as early as possible on the infant mind,'-' to impress them, by connecting religion with a variety of sensible objects, with all that he sees, all that he hears, all that affects his young mind with wonder or delight; and thus, by deep, strong, and permanent associations, to lay the best foundation for practical devotion in future life.'

Meantime Palgrave school was progressively increasing in numbers and reputation, and several sons of noble families were sent to share in its advantages; of whom may be named, Basil Lord Daer (a favourite pupil) and three of his brothers, including the last Earl of Selkirk; two sons of Lord Templetown, Lord More, Lord Aghrim, and the Honourable Augustus Phipps.

A course of honourable and prosperous exertion must always be productive of satisfaction to a well-constituted mind; and in this view Mrs Barbauld might regard with complacency her situation at Palgrave. Its cares and its monotony were also relieved by vacations, which she and Mr Barbauld usually passed either in agreeable visits to their friends in different parts of the country, or in the more animated delights of London society. As their con

nexions were extensive, they were now enabled to procure themselves a considerable share of that amusing and instructive variety of scenes and characters which forms the peculiar charm of the metropolis. At the splendid mansion of her early and constant admirer Mrs Montague, Mrs Barbauld beheld in perfection the imposing union of literature and fashion;-under the humbler roof of her friend and publisher, the late worthy Joseph Johnson of St Paul's Church-yard, she tasted, perhaps with higher relish, the feast of reason and the flow of soul, 'in a chosen knot of lettered equals. Her own connexions introduced her to leading characters among the dissenters and persons of opposition-politics;-those of Mr Barbauld led her among courtiers and supporters of the establishment. Her own candid spirit, and courteous though retiring manners, with the varied graces of her conversation, recommended her alike to all.

The business of tuition, however, to those by whom it is faithfully and zealously exercised, must ever be fatiguing beyond almost any other occupation; and Mr and Mrs Barbauld found their health and spirits so much impaired by their exertions, that at the end of eleven years they determined upon quitting Palgrave, and allowing themselves an interval of complete relaxation before they should again embark in any scheme of active life. Accordingly, in the autumn of 1785 they embarked for Calais; and after extending their travels as far as Geneva, returned to winter in the south of France. In the spring they again bent their course northwards, and after a leisurely survey of Paris returned to England in the month of June 1786. The remainder of that year they passed chiefly in London, undecided with respect to a future place of residence; but early in the following one, Mr Barbauld having been elected their pastor by a small


dissenting congregation at Hampstead, they fixed themselves in that agreeable village, where for several years Mr Barbauld received a few young gentlemen as his pupils, while Mrs Barbauld gave daily instructions to a young lady whose mother took up her residence at Hampstead for the benefit of this tuition:some years after, she accepted another pupil on a similar plan.

In 1790, the rejection of a bill for the repeal of the corporation and test acts called forth her eloquent and indignant address to the opposers of this repeal: her poetical epistle to Mr Wilberforce on the rejection of the bill for abolishing the Slave Trade was written in 1791. The next year produced her "Remarks on Mr Gilbert Wakefield's Inquiry into the expediency and propriety of public or social Worship:" and her "Sins of Government Sins of the Nation, or a Discourse for the Fast," appeared in 1793. She also supplied

some valuable contributions to Dr Aikin's popular book for children, “ Evenings at Home," the first volume of which appeared in 1792; but her share in this work has generally been supposed much greater than in fact it was; of the ninety-nine pieces of which it consisted, fourteen only are hers.

By this time, the effervescence caused by the French revolution had nearly subsided; and Mrs Barbauld gave nothing more to the public for a considerable number of years, with the exception of two critical essays; one prefixed to an ornamented edition of "Akenside's Pleasures of Imagination," the other to a similar one of the "Odes of Collins:" of which the first appeared in 1795, the second in 1797.

No event worthy of mention occurred till 1802, when Mr Barbauld accepted an invitation to become pastor of the congregation(formerly Dr Price's) at Newington Green; and, quitting Hampstead, they took up their abode in the village of Stoke Newington. The


sole motive for this removal, which separated them from a residence which they liked, and friends to whom they were cordially attached, was the mutual desire of Dr Aikin and Mrs Barbauld to pass the closing period of their lives in that near neighbourhood which admits of the daily and almost hourly intercourses of affection.

A warm attachment to the authors of what has been called the Augustan age of English literature, was observable in the conversation of Mrs Barbauld, and often in her writings; and she gratified this sentiment by offering to the public, in 1804, a selection from the Spectator, Tatler, Guardian, and Freeholder, with a Preliminary Essay, to which she gave her name. This delightful piece may, perhaps, be regarded as the most successful of her efforts in literary criticism.

During the same year (1804) Mrs Barbauld was prevailed upon to undertake the task of examining and making a selection from the letters of Richardson, the novelist, and his correspondents, of which a vast collection had remained in the hands of his last surviving daughter; after whose death they were purchased of his grand-children. It must be confessed that, on the whole, these letters were less deserving of public attention than she had probably expected to find them.

It is probable that Mrs Barbauld consented to employ herself in these humbler offices of literature, chiefly as a solace under the pressure of anxieties and apprehensions of a peculiar and most distressing nature, which had been increasing in urgency during a long course of time, and which found their final completion on the 11th of November, 1808, in the event by which she became a widow. She has touchingly alluded, in her poem of " Eighteen Hundred and Eleven," to

that sad death whence most affection bleeds, Which sickness, only of the soul, precedes.'

And though the escape of a sufferer from the most melancholy of human maladies could not, in itself, be a subject of rational regret, her spirits were deeply wounded, both by the severe trials through which she had previously passed, and by the mournful void which always succeeds the removal of an object of long and deep, however painful, interest. An affecting dirge will be found among her poems, which records her feelings on this occasion. She also communicated to the Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature, a memoir of Mr Barbauld.

Mrs Barbauld had the fortitude to seek relief from dejection in literary occupation; and incapable as yet of any stronger efforts, she consented to edit a collection of the British Novelists, which issued from the press in 1810.

In the following year she compiled for the use of young ladies an agreeable collection of verse and prose, in one volume 12mo, entitled "The Female Speaker." Having thus braced her mind, as it were, to the tone of original composition, she produced that beautiful offspring of her genius," Eighteen Hundred and Eleven," the longest, and perhaps the most highly finished, of all her poems.

This was the last of Mrs Barbauld's separate publications.

No incident worthy of mention henceforth occurred to break the uniformity of her existence. She gave up all distant journeys; and, confined at home to a narrow circle of connexions and acquaintance, she suffered life to slide away, as it were, at its own pace, Nor shook the outhasting sands, nor bid them


An asthmatic complaint, which was slowly undermining her excellent constitution, more and more indisposed her for any considerable exertion either of mind or body but the arrival of a visitor had always the power to rouse her from a state of languor. Her powers

of conversation suffered little declension to the last, although her memory of recent circumstances became somewhat impaired. Her disposition, of which sensibility was not in earlier life the leading feature,-now, mellowed into softness, pleasingly exhibited

Those tender tints that only time can give.

Her manners, never tainted by pride, which, with the baser but congenial affection of envy, was a total stranger to her bosom,-were now remarkable for their extreme humility: she spoke of every one not merely with the candour and forbearance which she had long practised; but with interest, with kindness, with an indulgence which sometimes appeared but too comprehensive; she seemed reluctant to allow, or believe, that any of her fellow-creatures had a failing, while she gave them credit gratuitously for many virtues. This state of mind, which, with her native acuteness of discernment, it must apparently have cost her some struggles to attain, had at least the advantage of causing her easily to admit of such substitutes as occurred for those contemporary and truly congenial friendships which, in the course of nature, were now fast failing her. She lost her early and affectionate friend Mrs Kenrick in 1819. In December 1822 her brother sunk under a long decline, which had served as a painful preparation to the final parting. A few months later she lost, in the excellent Mrs John Taylor of Norwich, perhaps the most intimate and most highly valued of all her distant friends.

A gentle and scarcely perceptible decline was now sloping for herself the passage to the tomb :-she felt and hailed its progress as a release from languor and infirmity, a passport to another and a higher state of being. Her friends, however, flattered themselves that they might continue to enjoy her yet a little longer; and she had consented to re

move under the roof of her adopted son, that his affectionate attentions and those of his family might be the solace of every remaining hour. But Providence had ordained it otherwise :-she quitted indeed her own house, but whilst on a visit at the neighbouring one of her sister-in-law Mrs Aikin, the constant and beloved friend of nearly her whole life, her bodily powers gave way almost suddenly; and after lingering a few days, on the morning of March the 9th, 1825, she expired without a struggle, in the eighty-second year of her age.



Charles Wolfe was the youngest son of Theobald Wolfe, Esq. of Blackhall, in the county of Kildare. His mother was the daughter of the Rev. Peter Lombard. He was born in Dublin, on the 14th December 1791. At an early age he lost his father, not long after whose death the family removed to England, where they resided for some years. In the year 1801, Charles was sent to a school at Bath, from which, in a few months, he was obliged to return home in consequence of the delicacy of his health, which interrupted his education for twelve months. Upon his recovery, he was placed under the tuition of Dr Evans, in Salisbury; but was removed in the year 1805, and soon after was sent as a boarder to Hyde Abbey School, Winchester, of which Mr Richards, senior, was then the able master. "There," observes Mr Russell, "he soon distinguished himself by his great proficiency in classical knowledge, and by his early powers of Latin and Greek versification, and displayed the dawnings of a genius which promised to set him

amidst that bright constellation of British poets which adorns the literature of the present age. The many high testimonies to his amiable disposition and superior talents, which are supplied by the affectionate letters of his schoolmasters, show that he was not overvalued by his own family, with every member of which he seems to have been the special favourite. I cannot better describe the manner in which his character as a boy was appreciated at school and at home, and how deservedly it was so prized, than in the following simple language of a very near relative, to whom I am indebted for some of the particulars of his life already mentioned :-The letters I in close you bear testimony to the amiable character of my dear, dear Charles, such as I ever remember it. Those from Mr Richards I can better estimate than any one else, from knowing that he was not easily pleased in a pupil, or apt to flatter. He was greatly attracted by superior talents; but you will see, that he speaks of qualities of more value. He never received even a slight punishment or reprimand at any school to which he ever went; and in nearly twelve years that he was under my mother's care, I cannot recollect that he ever acted contrary to her wishes, or caused her a moment's pain, except parting with her when he went to school. I do not know whether he ever told you that he had, when a boy, a wish to enter the army, which was acquired by being in the way of military scenes; but, when he found it would give his mother pain, he totally gave up the idea, which, I am sure, all his life he thanked God that he had done. In 1808, he left Winchester, (where he had been three years,) owing to our coming to Ireland, as my mother could not think of leaving him behind. His company was her first earthly comfort, and she could not relinquish it; indeed we used to count

the hours when the time drew near that he was expected. We were often told that we would spoil him, but you know whether it was so. When we arrived in Ireland, it was intended that he should go to some other school, but he did not go to any, nor had he any one to read with him, so that he entered college with much less previous instruction than most others. I believe you knew him soon after; and I need not tell you of him since, or what he has been, even if I could. I have nener heard of a school-fellow or a college acquaintance who did not respect or love him; but I will not say more to you. The pleasing testimony to his character and abilities contained in this extract, is indeed fully borne out by the accounts which some of his school-fellows have given of him to the writer. They spoke of him with the strongest affection, and represented him as the pride of Winchester school."

In the year 1809, he entered the University of Dublin, and became the pupil of the late Rev. Dr Davenport, the Professor of Natural Philosophy, who immediately conceived the highest esteem for him, and did everything in his power to cultivate his talents. Of this gentleman, and of his kindness, Mr Wolfe ever spoke in terms of the most grateful recollection.

Thus assisted and encouraged, Mr Wolfe soon distinguished himself, and was rewarded by various academical honours. In the very first year of his college course he wrote, upon "The Prison Scene of Jugurtha," (a subject proposed by the head of the University,) an English poem, which, if not equal to some of his subsequent productions, certainly "evinces," to use Mr Russell's words, "boldness of thought, vigour of expression, and somewhat of a dramatic spirit."

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