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once begun, or to end it well under final compulsion. "The Cry of the Human," with its impassioned refrain and almost agonized plea that the ancient curse may be lightened, evinced her recognition of the sorrows and mysteries of existence: - all these things she kept in her heart," and uttered brave invectives against black or white slavery, and other social wrongs. "The Cry of the Children," uneven as it is, takes its place beside Hood's "Song of the Shirt," for sweet pity and frowning indignation. In behalf of the little factory-slaves, after reading Horne's report of his Commission, her soul took fire and she did what she could. If the British mill-owners were little likely to

be impressed by her imaginative ode, with its Greek motto, it certainly affected the minds of public writers and speakers, who could fashion their more practical agitation after the pattern thus given them in the Mount.

But "Lady Geraldine's Courtship" was the ballad — and often a poet has one such which gained her a sudden repute among lay-readers. It is said that she composed it in twelve hours, and not improbably; for, although full of melodious sentiment and dainty lines, the poem is marred by commonplaces of frequent occurrence. Many have classed it with "Locksley Hall," but, while certain stanzas are equal to Tennyson's best, it is far from displaying

the completeness of that enduring lyric. I value it chiefly as an illustration of the greater freedom and elegance to which her poetic faculty had now attained, and as her first open avowal, and a brave one in England, of the democracy which generous and gifted spirits, the round world over, are wont to confess. As for her story, she only succeeded in showing how meanly a womanish fellow might act, when enamored of one above him in social station, and that the heart of a man possessed of healthy self-respect was something she had not yet found out. Her Bertram is a dreadful prig, who cries, mouths, and faints like a schoolgirl, allowing himself to eat the bread

of the Philistines and betray his sense of inequality, and upon whom Lady Geraldine certainly throws herself away. He is a libel upon the whole race of poets. The romance, none the less, met with instant popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, and has passed into literature, somewhat pruned by later touches, as one of its author's more conspicuous efforts.

Miss Barrett now, at the relatively mature age of thirty-five, appeared to have completed her intellectual growth. It was a chance whether her future should be greater than her past. Thus far I regard her experience as merely formative. Much of her vagueness and gloom had departed with the physical

prostration that so long had borne her down. For her improving health showed that study and authorship, though against the wishes of her attendants, were the best medicine for a body and mind diseased.

As the scent of the rose came back "above the mould," she was to emerge upon a new life, different from that which we hitherto have considered as the day is from the night. She was not to be enrolled among the mournful sisterhood of women, who

"sit still

On winter nights by solitary fires And hear the nations praising them far off." The dearest common joys were yet to be hers, and that full development

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