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sons of the year, together with an exact epitome of the three first monarchies, viz: the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman Commonwealth, from the beginning to the end of their last king, with divers other pleasant and serious poems. By a Gentlewoman of New England." She received for her poetical talents the title of the Tenth Muse, and the most distinguished men of the day were her friends, and the admirers of her genius. When we examine the poetry of that period, and see the miserable attempts at rhyme, made by the male writers, we must believe Mrs. Bradstreet was "as learned as her coadjutors, and vastly more poetical." The preface to the third edition, printed in 1658, thus sketches her character: "It is the work of a woman honoured and esteemed where she lives for her gracious demeanour, her eminent parts, her pious conversation, her courteous disposition, her exact diligence in her place, and discreet management of her family occasions; and more so, these poems are the fruits of a few hours curtailed from her sleep, and other refreshments."
When Mrs. Bradstreet wrote her poems, she could have had no models, save Chaucer and Spenser. Milton had not become known as a writer when her work was published, and Shakspeare was not read by the Puritans of New England. On the whole, we think Anne Bradstreet fairly entitled to the place assigned her by one of her biographers, "at the head of the American poets of that time." She died in 1672, aged sixty. Mrs. Bradstreet was mother of eight children, whom she trained with great discretion.
EXTRACTS FROM "LINES," ADDRESSED TO HER
If ever two were one, then surely we;
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
Compare with me, ye women, if ye can.
Phoebus, make haste-the day 's too long-begone!
How soon, my dear, death may my steps attend,
It makes things gone perpetually to last,
And calls back months and years that long since fled.
Than was Methuselah, or 's grand-sire great:
When I behold the heavens as in their prime,
And then the earth (though old) still clad in green,
A Spring returns, and they more youthful made;
By birth more noble than those creatures all,
Shall I then praise the heavens, the trees, the earth, Because their beauty and their strength last longer? Shall I wish their, or never to had birth,
Because they're bigger, and their bodyes stronger?
Nay, they shall darken, perish, fade and dye,
But man was made for endless immortality.
BREGY, CHARLOTTE SAUMAISE DE
NIECE of the learned Saumaise (Salmasius), was one of the ladies of honour to queen Anne of Austria. She was distinguished for her beauty and wit, both of which she preserved to an advanced age; she died at Paris, April 13th, 1693, aged seventy-four. She wrote a collection of letters and verses in 1688, in which we meet with many ingenious thoughts; her poems turn almost entirely on metaphysical love, which employed her mind more than her heart. But there are several pieces on other subjects. In one of them, she gives the following portrait of herself: "I am fond of praise; and therefore return it with interest to those from whom I receive it. I have a proud and scornful heart; but this does not prevent me from being gentle and civil. I never oppose the opinions of any; but I must own that I never adopt them to the prejudice of my own. I may say with truth that I am naturally modest and discreet, and that pride always takes care to preserve these qualities in me. I am indolent; I never seek pleasure and diversions, but when my friends take more pains than I do to procure them for me, I feel myself obliged to appear very gay Or Bergamo, was a good classical scholar, and at them, though I am not so in fact. I am not understood all the polite languages of Europe. much given to intrigue; but if I were involved in She wrote poetry with great elegance; and is said one, I think I should certainly conduct myself off to have managed several law-suits, pleading them with prudence and discretion. I am constant, herself, in the Senate of Milan, with consummate even to obstinacy, and secret to excess. In order ability, and, what is more extraordinary, without to form a friendship with me, all advances must being thought ridiculous. She was the wife of be made by the other party; but I amply compenGirolamo Grumelli. She died in 1586. Some of sate this trouble in the end; for I serve my friends her letters and poems were published by Comir with all the warmth usually employed in selfish Ventura, in Bergamo, in 1587.
interests. I praise and defend them, without once consenting to what I may hear against them. I have not virtue enough to be free from all desire of the goods of fortune and honours; but I have too much for pursuing any of the ways that commonly lead to them. I act in the world conformably to what it ought to be, and too little according to what it is." Her personal appearance she also describes as attractive; which all contemporary writers confirm, and therefore she might mention it without vanity. She corresponded with Henrietta, queen of England; with Christina of Sweden; and with most of the illustrious characters of Europe.
"ELEGY" ON THE DEATH OF A GRANDCHILD WHO DIED IN 1665.
Farewell, dear child, my heart 's too much content,
Then ta'en away into eternity.
By nature, trees do rot when they are grown,
And plums and apples thoroughly ripe do fall, And corn and grass are in their season mown,
And time brings down what is both strong and tall.
And buds new blown, to have so short a date,
Or Bergamo, was the wife of Ezechiello Solza, distinguished for her poetic talent, and for her eloquence. She became the pleader for the life of her brother, condemned to death by the Tribunal of Venice, and drew tears from the eyes of all the bystanders. Some of her poems remain.
A NATIVE of Rowan county, N. Carolina, married William Bratton, of South Carolina, and, during the Revolution, a colonel in the American army. While her husband was engaged with his troops away from home, Mrs. Bratton was often left to defend herself and the stores entrusted to her charge. At one time, she blew up the ammunition left under her care, when she saw that otherwise it would fall into the hands of the enemy, and boldly avowed the deed, that no one else might suffer for her act. When threatened with instant death by a British soldier, if she persisted in refusing to give information concerning her husband's retreat, she continued firm in her resolution. Being rescued by the intervention of an officer, she repaid the obligation by saving him from death, when taken prisoner by the American party, and by entertaining him at her house till he was exchanged. She died in 1816.
A SINGULAR character, was born at Lynn, in Norfolk, England, in 1721. She regularly took out a shooting license, kept hounds, and was a sure shot. She died in 1799. By her desire, her dogs and favourite mare were killed at her death and buried in the grave with her.
(HER maiden name was Schubart,) was born in the year 1770, at Altenburg. She married, when quite a young girl, F. E. K. Thereau, professor at the University of Jena; in 1804, she was divorced from him, and married, in 1805, the author Clem. Brentano, with whom she lived in Frankford, and afterwards in Heidelberg, where she died in 1806. As a poetess, she evinced a lively and highly cultivated imagination, great harmony in versification, combined with a high polish in her compositions. She published two volumes of poetry, at Berlin, 1800,"Amanda and Edward," at Frankfort, 1803, Spanish and Italian novellettes, in 1804, and various other minor tales.
to her husband, but at length became madly in love with a Gascon officer, named Goden St. Croix. This young man had been introduced to her by the marquis himself, who was adjutant of the regiment of Normandy. Her father, being informed of the affair, imprisoned the officer, who was a mere adventurer, in the Bastile, where he was detained a year. This punishment of her lover made the marchioness, apparently, more circumspect; but she nourished in her heart the most implacable hatred towards her father, and her whole family.
While St. Croix was in the Bastile, he learned, from an Italian named Exili, the art of composing the most subtle and mortal poisons; and the result, on his release, was the destruction, by this means, in concurrence with the marchioness, of her father, sister, and two brothers, all of whom were poisoned in the same year, 1670. During the whole time, the marchioness was visiting the hospitals, outwardly as a devotee, but, as was afterwards strongly suspected, really in order to try on the prisoners the effect of the poisons produced by her paramour.
The discovery of these monstrous criminals happened in a very extraordinary manner. St. Croix, while at work distilling poison, accidentally dropped the glass mask which he wore to prevent inhaling the noxious vapour; the consequence was his instantaneous death. As no one appeared to claim his effects, they fell into the hands of government, and the marchioness imprudently laid claim to a casket. She seemed so very anxious to obtain it, that the authorities ordered it to be opened, when it was found to be filled with packets of
poison, with ticketed descriptions of the effects these would produce.
When this wicked woman was informed of the opening of the casket, she fled to England; from thence she went to Liege, where she was arrested and brought back to Paris. She was tried for the murder of her father, sister, and brothers, convicted, and condemned to be beheaded and then burned. In this dreadful condition she evinced remarkable courage, or rather insensibility. When she entered the chamber where she was to be put to the question by the torture of swallowing water, she observed three buckets-full provided, and exclaimed-"It is surely intended to drown me; for it is absurd to suppose one of my size can swallow all that."
She listened to her sentence without exhibiting either weakness or alarm, and showed no other emotion on her way to execution, than to request that she might be so placed as to see the officer who had apprehended her. She ascended the ladder, unaided and barefoot, and stood boldly up on the scaffold. What adds to the atrocity of this wretched woman's character, she was proved to have had connections with several persons suspected of the same crimes, and to have provided poisons for the use of others. Many persons of rank and power died suddenly about this period; and the investigation appeared likely to unveil so much guilt in high places, that it was from policy, though most unjustly and disgracefully, abandoned.
The marchioness of Brinvilliers seems to have been by nature inclined to wickedness. She acknowledged in her last confession, that at the age of seven she set fire to a house, urged by an inexplicable desire to commit a crime. Yet she made pretension to religion, went regularly to confession, and when arrested at Leige, a sort of general form was found in her possession, which sufficiently alluded to her criminality to form a strong presumption against her. She probably had more respect for the ceremonies of her faith than for the law of God.
WHOSE maiden name was Moore, was the daughter of an English clergyman, and the wife of the Rev. John Brooke, rector of Colny in Norfolk, of St. Augustine in the city of Norwich, and chaplain to the garrison of Quebec. She was as remarkable for her gentleness and suavity of manners as for her literary talents. Her husband died on the 21st of January, 1789, and she herself expired on the 26th of the same month, at Sleaford, England, where she had retired to the house of her son, who had a rectorship in that country. Her first literary performance was "The Old Maid," a periodical work, begun in November, 1755, and continued every Saturday until about the end of July, 1756. In the same year she published "Virginia," a tragedy, with odes, pastorals, and translations. In the preface to this publication she assigns as a reason for its appearance, "that she was precluded from all hopes of ever seeing the tragedy brought upon the stage, by there having been two so lately
on the same subject." Prefixed to this publication were proposals for printing by subscription a poetical translation, with notes, of "Il Pastor Fielo," a work which was probably never completed.
In 1763, she published a novel called "The History of Lady Julia Mandeville," concerning the plan of which there were various opinions, though there seems to have been but one of the execution. It was read with much avidity and approbation. In the same year she published "Letters from Juliet, Lady Catesby, to her Friend Lady Henrietta Campley, translated from the French." She soon afterwards went to Canada with her husband, who was chaplain to the garrison at Quebec; and there saw those romantic scenes, so admirably painted in her next work, entitled "Emily Montague," a novel in four volumes, written in 1769. The next year she published "Memoirs of the Marquis de St. Folaix," in four volumes. On her return to England, accident brought her acquainted with Mrs. Yates, and an intimacy was formed that lasted as long as that lady lived; and when she died, Mrs. Brooke published an eulogy to her memory in the Gentleman's Magazine." If we are not mistaken, Mrs. Brooke had, with Mrs. Yates, some share in the opera-house. She certainly had some share of the libellous abuse which the management of that theatre at that time produced. Her first play, Virginia, was refused by Garrick. After several years she tried her fortune once more at the theatre; but the tragedy she wrote had not the good fortune to please Mr. Garrick, whose rejection of it excited the authoress's resentment so much that she took a severe revenge on him, in a novel published in 1777, in two volumes, called "The Excursion." This invective she afterwards regretted and retracted. In 1771, she translated "Elements of the History of England, from the invasion of the Romans to the reign of George II., from the abbé Millot," in four volumes. In 1781, she wrote a tragedy called "The Siege of Sinope," which was acted at Covent Garden, but added little to her reputation; it wanted energy and originality. Her next and most popular piece was "Rosina," acted at Covent Garden in 1782. Few pieces have been equally successful. The simplicity of the story, the elegance of the language, and the excellence of the music, caused it to be admired for a long time. Her last work was "Marian," acted in 1788, at Covent Garden, with some success, but very much inferior to Rosina.
part of his property, and Mrs. Brooks resorted to poetry for occupation and amusement. In 1820, she published "Judith, Esther, and other Poems," which show considerable genius. Mr. Brooks dying in 1823, his widow went to reside with her relations in Cuba, where she wrote her principal work, "Zophiel, or the Bride of Seven," which was published by her at London, during a visit that she made to England, in 1833. Part of the time that she spent in England was passed by her at the residence of Robert Southey, at Keswick, who appreciated her genius very highly. In 1834 Mrs. Brooks returned to the United States. In 1843, she wrote for private circulation, "Idomea, or the Vale of the Yumari," being simply her own history under a different name. In the same year Mrs. Brooks returned to Cuba, to take charge of the estates left her by her uncle. She died at Matanzas, in November, 1845.
The plot of "Zophiel, or the Bride of Seven," was undoubtedly borrowed from the Book of Tobit, in the Apocrypha, and may be fully understood by reading that curious story. Sara, the heroine in Tobit, is married to seven husbands, successively, who all die on entering the bridal chamber, each one "being killed by Asmodeus, an evil spirit." At last Tobias, son of Tobit, is taken under the care of "Raphael that was an angel," and instructed how to overcome the evil spirit. Tobias marries Sara, and drives off Asmodeus by means of "a smoke" made of the liver and heart of a fish,-"The which smell when the evil spirit had smelled, he fled into the utmost parts of Egypt, and the angel bound him."
Mrs. Brooks has, however, displayed much artistic skill, as well as poetical talent, cultivated taste, and literary research, in managing these materials of her poem. "The Bride of Seven" has many beautiful passages; the descriptions are gorgeous and glowing; there is thrilling incident and burning passion; but it lacks nature, simplicity, and true feeling. It excites the fancy, leaving the heart unmoved, comparatively; therefore the poem is deficient in that kind of interest which insures popularity: though praised by critics, it will never be read by the people. The minor poems of Mrs. Brooks are finished with much care; some of these evince the deep affections of woman's heart with great pathos and beauty. The "Ode to the Departed" is one of the last of her poems.
KNOWN as a poetess under the name (given to her by Mr. Southey) of Maria del Occidente, was descended from a Welsh family, settled at Medford, in Massachusetts. Her maiden name was Gowen. She was born about 1795, and early displayed uncommon powers of mind. She had rather favourable opportunities of education, yet her own genius was her best teacher. When quite young, Maria Gowen married Mr. Brooks, a merchant of Boston. A few years after their marriage he lost the greater
ODE TO THE DEPARTED.
THE dearth is sore: the orange leaf is curled,
Though the fifth sorrowing year
Hath past, since first 1 knew thine early doom,
I see thee still, though death thy being hence hath hurled.
I could not bear my lot, now thou art gone-
Remorse and grief have drawn-
(Haply, of that which lights thee now.) appears,