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the Danish, from which, as well as from the Ger- | prentices," and "My Own Story." After the pubman, she has translated numerous works. lication of these, Mrs. Howitt wrote The History of Mary Leeson," "The Children's Year," and "Our Cousins in Ohio." She published, about 1835, her largest poetical work, • The Seven Temptations." She also edited for three years, "The Drawing-Room Scrap-Book," furnishing for that work a large mass of poetry. About 1848, she collected her fugitive poems in a volume, entitled "Ballads, and other Poems."
Mrs. Howitt has also written Memoirs, in the very kindest spirit, of several Americans; those of Miss Cushman and Mrs. Mowatt we have used in this work.
"The Seven Temptations," the largest and most elaborate of Mrs. Howitt's poetical works, represents a series of efforts, by the impersonation of the Evil Principle, to seduce human souls to his power. Mrs. Howitt, in the preface, remarks:
The idea of the poem originated in a strong impression of the immense value of the human soul, and of all the varied modes of its trials, according to its own infinitely varied modifications, as existing in different individuals. We see the awful mass of sorrow and of crime in the world, but we know only in part-in a very small degree-the fearful weight of solicitations and impulses of passion, and the vast constraint of circumstances, that are brought into play against suffering humanity. In the luminous words of my motto,
Mrs. Howitt's marriage has been one of singular happiness, and is blessed with children of great promise. In her literary pursuits, she possesses the sympathy and good offices of her husband, himself an extensive and popular writer, and in many of her translations she has been assisted by him. It is to be lamented that talents, worth and industry, like Mrs. Howitt's, should, through unmerited misfortune, have been stripped of all substantial reward, at a period of life when she might naturally have looked for some relaxation of her labours. Mr. Howitt having embarked, under the influence of an artful speculator, as partner in the "People's Journal," was, in short time, held responsible, by its failure, for debts to a large amount; not a pennyworth of which was originated by him. His financial ruin was the consequence; the copy-rights even of his own and his wife's works- the hard-won results of years of labour-were sacrificed, and they were obliged to begin the world anew. That their renewed exertions have met with such happy success as to warrant a hope of the retrieval of their fortunes, we have every reason to believe, and we trust, for the honour of human nature, that such exertions, based upon the honest character and good reputation of a quarter of a century, will be justly estimated, and meet with the reward they merit.
Mrs. Howitt has written much in prose; her books for children are very attractive, from the sympathy with youthful feelings, which seems to well up in her loving heart as freely as a mountain-spring sends out its pure freshness, after a summer-shower. But these warm sympathies make her more truly the poet; and the acknowledgment of this bias, made by William and Mary Howitt, in the preface of their first joint publication, was certainly true of the wife. They say – "Poetry has been our youthful amusement, and our increasing daily enjoyment in happy, and our solace in sorrowful hours. Amidst the vast and delicious treasures of our national literature, we have revelled with growing and unsatiated delight; and, at the same time, living chiefly in the quietness of the country, we have watched the changing features of nature; we have felt the secret charm of those sweet but unostentatious images which she is perpetually presenting, and given full scope to those workings of the imagination and of the heart, which natural beauty and solitude prompt and promote."
Thus, without sufficient reflection, we are furnished with data on which to condemn our fellowcreatures, but without sufficient grounds for their palliation and commiseration. It is necessary, for the acquisition of that charity which is the soul of Christianity, for us to descend into the depths of our own nature; to put ourselves into many imaginary and untried situations, that we may enable ourselves to form some tolerable notion how we might be affected by them; how far we might be tempted-how far deceived-how far we might have occasion to lament the evil power of circumstances, to weep over our own weakness, and pray for the pardon of our crimes; that, having raised up this vivid perception of what we might do, suffer, and become, we may apply the rule to our fellows, and cease to be astonished, in some degree, at the shapes of atrocity into which some of them are transformed; and learn to bear with others as brethren, who have been tried tenfold beyond our own experience, or perhaps our
Mrs. Howitt's first prose work was "Woodleigh-strength." Thus we see how earnestly the writer ton," in three volumes, which was exceedingly popular. She next wrote for children the following works," Tales in Verse," "Tales in Prose," "Sketches of Natural History,” “Birds and Flow-uniformly pure, generous and hopeful. But her ers," "Hymns and Fireside Verses;" and also a Ballads are the best exponents of her genius. In series of books, which are very popular, called these she is unrivalled, except, perhaps, by Mr. "Tales for the People and their Children," of Macaulay, in modern times. The play of her these there are, "Strive and Thrive," Hope on, warm, rich fancy, is like sunlight on icicles, giving Hope Ever," Sowing and Reaping," "Alice the glow and glory of its own hues to any object, Franklin," "Who shall be Greatest?" "Which is no matter how cold or colourless, it touches. the Wiser?" "Little Corn, much Care," "Work Who ever read her "Midsummer Legend," without and Ways," "Love and Money," "The Two Ap-believing in fairies? This union of the tenderest
What's done we partly may compute,
sought to do good; the effort was noble, if not entirely successful; many touching incidents give interest to the poem, and the sentiments are
human sympathies with the highest poetic faculty -that of creative fancy-is remarkable in some of her smaller poems. She has faith in human progress, and the love which makes her an earnest worker in the field of reform. All her productions manifest "that love of Christ, of the poor, and of little children, which always was, and will be, a ruling sentiment of her soul." She gains the loving admiration and esteem of her readers, and is as popular in America as in her own England. Mrs. Howitt resides in London.
Little waves upon the deep
Friend! thou must trust in Him who trod before
The desolate paths of life;
Must bear in meekness, as He meekly bore,
Those thorny paths hath trod ;
Yet tarried out for thee the appointed woe;
Where no man comforted, nor cared for Him!
With which his brow was wet;
Yet how he prayed, unaided and alone
In that great agony "Thy will be done!"
Friend do not thou despair.
Christ from his heaven of heavens will hear thy prayer!
From "Ballads and Poems."
THE FAIRIES OF THE CALDON-LOW-A MIDSUMMER
And where have you been, my Mary. And where have you been from me! 'I've been to the top of the Caldon-Low, The Midsummer night to see!'
And what did you see, my Mary,
I saw the blithe sunshine come down,
And I saw the merry winds blow.'
• And what did you hear, my Mary, All up on the Caldon-Hill?'
'I heard the drops of the water made, And the green corn ears to fill.'
Oh, tell me all, my Mary-
For you must have seen the fairies,
Then take me on your knee, mother, And listen, mother mine:
A hundred fairies danced last night. And the harpers they were nine.
And merry was the glee of the harp-strings,
And their dancing feet so small;
But, oh, the sound of their talking
And what were the words, my Mary, That you did hear them say?'
'I'll tell you all, my motherBut let me have my way!
And some they played with the water, And rolled it down the hill;
And this,' they said, shall speedily turn The poor old miller's mill;
For there has been no water
And a busy man shall the miller be
Oh, the miller, how he will laugh,
And some they seized the little winds, That sounded over the hill,
And each put a horn into his mouth, And blew so sharp and shrill:
And there,' said they, the merry winds go,
And those shall clear the mildew dank
Oh, the poor, blind old widow --
ISABELLA II., QUEEN OF SPAIN,
Was born at Madrid, October 10th, 1830. Her father, Ferdinand VII., died when she was three years and six months old, and Isabella was immediately proclaimed Queen; and her mother, Maria Christina, Regent of Spain. The biography of Maria Christina will be found in its place; we need only say here, that her influence had made her daughter Queen, by persuading Ferdinand to issue his famous decree, styled pragmatic, revoking the Salic law which prohibited the rule of a female sovereign. This law, introduced into Castile by the Bourbon family on their accession to the Spanish throne, could not have had much root in the affections of a loyal people, who kept the traditionary memory of their glorious Queen, Isabella I., still in their hearts; and this child-queen was another Isabella. There is no doubt that the bulk of the nation inclined warmly to sustain her claims, and but for the influence of the priests and fanatical monks in favour of the bigoted Don Carlos, younger brother of the deceased Ferdinand, there would have been no bloody civil war.
That Isabella II. was the choice of the people is proved by the acts of the legislative Cortes, which in 1834 almost unanimously decreed that the pretender-Don Carlos, and his descendants-should be for ever exiled from the Spanish throne; and this decree was confirmed by the constituent Cortes in 1836, without a single dissentient voice.
Isabella II., thus made queen by her father's will, was acknowledged by the national authority, and surrounded from her cradle with the pomp and observance of royalty; yet her childhood and youth were, probably, less happy than that of any little girl in humble life, who has a good mother and a quiet home, where she may grow up in the love of God, the fear of evil, and in steadfast devotion to her duties. Isabella was nurtured among the worst influences of civil strife and bloodshed, because religious fanaticism as well as political prejudices were involved in the struggle.
When she was ten years old, her mother, Maria Christina, resigned the regency and retired to France; Espartero became regent. Isabella was for three years under the influence of instructors of his choosing; and he endeavoured, there is no doubt, to have her mind rightly directed. By a decree of the Cortes, the young queen was declared to have attained her majority on the 15th of October, 1843; she has since reigned as the sovereign of Spain, and has been acknowledged such by all the European governments, and by the governments of America.
In 1845, Maria Christina returned to Madrid and soon obtained much influence over Isabella. This, it was apparent, was used to direct the young Queen in her choice of a husband. Isabella had one sister, Louisa, the Infanta, who was next heir to the crown, if the eldest died without offspring. Those keen rivals for political power, England and France, watched to obtain or keep a paramount influence in Spanish affairs. The selfish policy of Louis Philippe, aided by Guizot and Maria Christina, finally prevailed, and forced upon the Spanish nation a prince of the house of Bourbon as husband of Isabella. There were two Bourbon princes, brothers, Francisco and Enrique, sons of Don Francisco, brother of Maria Christina; of these, the youngest had some talent and was attractive; the eldest was weak in intellect and disagreeable in manners; if Isabella could be prevailed upon to marry this imbecile, and a son of Louis Philippe could obtain the hand of the Infanta Louisa, the predominance of French influence would be secured. It was done - both plans succeeded. The following is translated from the Madrid Gazette:
"The marriage of Isabella to her cousin, Don Francisco d' Assis, the eldest son of her uncle, Don Francisco de Paula, and that of her sister, the Infanta, to the Duke de Montpensier, the youngest son of Louis Philippe, took place October 10th, 1846, on which day Queen Isabella completed her sixteenth year. The ceremony began by the Prelate, who officiated, asking the following questions:
"Lenora Donna Isabella II., of Bourbon, Catholic Queen of Spain, I demand of your Majesty, and of your Highness, serene Sir, Don Francisco d'Assis Maria de Bourbon, Infante of Spain, in case you know of any impediment to this present marriage, and why it should not and ought not to be contracted that is to say, if there exist between your Majesty and Highness impediments of consanguinity, affinity, or spiritual relationship, independently of those impediments that have been dispensed with by his Holiness - if you have made vows of chastity or religion- and finally, if there exist impediments of any other kind, that you forthwith declare them. The same I demand of all here present. For the second and third time I make the same demand, that you freely discover any impediment you are aware of.'
"The Prelate then addressed the Queen thus"Lenora Donna Isabella II., of Bourbon, Catholic Queen of Spain, do you wish for your spouse and husband, as the Holy Catholic, Apos
"The Queen answered, 'I do.'"
She soon afterwards conferred on her husband ing energy. the title of king.
It hardly seems credible that a crowned Queen would thus give, apparently, her free assent to her own marriage, if the bridegroom had been utterly hateful to her. But two circumstances are certain she was not old enough to make a judicious choice; and she was urged into the measure while she did not wish to marry at all. She seemed to resign herself to the guidance of others, and doubtless hoped she might find happiness. She thus alludes to the event in her speech at the opening of the Cortes, on the last day of 1846. Her speeches from the throne are models of their kind, whoever prepares them; and she is said to have a fine voice and gracious manner, appearing, indeed, the Queen while delivering them.
"I have contracted a marriage with my august cousin, Don Francisco d'Assis Maria de Bourbon, agreeably to my intention announced to the preceding Cortes. I trust that Heaven will bless this union, and that you, also, gentlemen, will unite your prayers with mine to Almighty God. The marriage of my beloved sister has also taken place in the way which has been already explained to the Cortes."
But this contentment with her lot did not long continue. Early in the following year, 1847, there arose a dislike on the part of the Queen towards her husband, and soon the royal pair became completely estranged from each other, and neither appeared together in public, nor had the slightest communication in private. The people seemed to sympathize warmly with the Queen, and she was loudly cheered whenever she drove out, or attended any of the theatres or bull-fights at Madrid.
On the accession of Narvaez to office as President of the Council, he used his utmost endeavours to effect a reconciliation, and at length succeeded. The meeting between the royal pair occurred October 13th, 1847, and is thus described:
"When the King reached the Plaza of the Arsenal, and alighted at the principal entrance of the palace, the President of the Council and the Holy Father's Legate, warned the Queen of it, who advanced with visible emotion unto the royal chamber, and received in her arms the royal consort."
Since then there have been estrangements and reconciliations; it seems almost hopeless to anticipate conjugal happiness, or even quiet, for Isabella. The only event which appears likely to give a new and healthy tone to her mind, is motherhood. She gave birth to a son in the autumn of 1850, but, unfortunately, the child lived only a
few hours. If he had survived, and her affections
There is, indeed, great reason to hope she will
JAGIELLO, APPOLONIA. DISTINGUISHED for her heroic patriotism, was born about the year 1825, in Lithuania, a part of the land where Thaddeus Kosciusko spent his first
*The following is from the pen of a late resident at Ma drid:
"The letters written by the young Queen Isabella are the most charming things in the world; so say not only her courtiers, but her enemies, and those who have read them declare if her Catholic Majesty was not Queen of Spain. 'she would very certainly be a blue-stocking. Besides, although a sovereign, or rather because she is a sovereign. Isabella II. is a veritable lioness; not a lioness as understond in the fashionable world, but in the true acceptation of the word, a lioness, like the noble partner of the king of the forest. If the young Queen ever loses her crown, she will not do it without having defended it sword in hand. She fences like Grisier, and it is her favorite amusement.
"This is the way she employs her time. At three o'clock, not in the morning, but in the day, she rises. As soon as dressed, and her toilette is the least of her occupations, she orders a very elegant, light equipage, a present from her royal sister of England, and goes out alone; but sometimes she is accompanied by her husband, to his great despair and terror, for he believes in a miracle every time that he reenters the palace safe and sound; for the young Queen is her own driver, and generally urges on her horses to their full speed.
"She dines at five o'clock, eats very little and very fast: and as soon as her repast is finished, she exercises some time with the sword, then she mounts her horse and takes a ride. These exercises ended, she becomes a young and pretty woman; she dances, sings, and in fact takes all the possible pleasure of her sex and age. But when one o'clock strikes, the Queen re-appears, and Isabella assembles her council over which she always presides.