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to whom her actual surroundings, even if observed, seemed less real than the sights in dreamland and cloudland revealed to her by simply opening the magical covers of a printed book. An imaginative girl sometimes becomes so entranced with the ideal world as to quite forego the billing and cooing which attend upon the springtime of womanhood. Such natures often awake to the knowledge that they have missed something love was everywhere around them, but their eyes were fixed upon the stars, and they perceived it not. This abnormal growth is perilous, and to the feebler class of dreamers, who have poetic sensibility without true constructive power, insures blight, loneli

:

ness, premature decay. For the born. artist, such experiences in youth not only are inevitable, but are the training which shapes them for their after work. The fittest survive the test.

Miss Barrett's early feasts were of an omnivorous kind, the best school-regimen for genius: :

"I read books bad and good, some bad and good

At once: .

And being dashed

From error on to error, every turn

Still brought me nearer to the central truth."

A gifted mind in youth has an unconsciousness of evil, and an affinity for the beautiful and true, which enable it, when given the freedom of a library, to assimilate what is suited to its needs.

Fact and fiction are inwardly digested, and in maturer years the logical faculty involuntarily assorts and distributes them. Aurora reads her books,

"Without considering whether they were fit To do me good. Mark, there. We get no good

By being ungenerous, even to a book,
And calculating profits.. so much help
By so much reading. It is rather when
We gloriously forget ourselves and plunge
Soul-forward, headlong, into a book's pro-
found,

Impassioned for its beauty and salt of truth'T is then we get the right good from a book."

Much of this reading was of that grave character to which court-maidens of Roger Ascham's time were wonted, for her juvenile "Essay on Mind” evinced a knowledge of Plato, Bacon,

and others of the world's great thinkers: I do not say familiarity with them; scholars know what that word means, and how loosely such terms are bandied. She gained that general conception of each, similar to what we learn of a man upon first acquaintance, and often not far wrong.

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With time and occasion afterward came the more disciplinary process of her education. Fortunate influences, possibly those of her father, if we may still follow "Aurora Leigh," guided her in the direction of studies as refining as they were severe.

She

read Latin and Greek. Now, it is noteworthy that a girl's intellect is more

adroit in acquirement, not only of the

languages, but of pure mathematics, than that of the average boy. Any one trained at the desks of a New England high-school is aware of this. In later years the woman very likely will stop acquiring, while the man still plods along and grows in breadth and accuracy. Miss Barrett became a loving student of Greek, and we shall see that it greatly influenced her literary

progress.

Among her maturer friends was the sweetly gentle and learned Hugh Stuart Boyd, to whom in his blindness she read the Attic dramatists, and under whose guidance she explored a remarkably wide field of Grecian philosophy and song. What more beautiful subject for

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