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bonnet, and later some things for the journey to Italy. And when she goes into Westminster Abbey can we not picture her walking within the chapel-merely within-and "looking up and looking down"? "How grand; how solemn!" she exclaimed. "Time itself seemed turned to stone there!" When standing where the poets were laid she felt it was "very fine; it is better than laureateships and pensions" (Vol. II. p. 379). In reading this I wondered if she ever knew (she must have) how after the death of Wordsworth, in 1850, the Athenæum urged that she be appointed Poet Laureate as "eminently suitable under a female sovereign," even saying there was no living poet of either sex who could prefer a higher claim. But Tennyson's claims were uppermost, and Florence claimed the poet at the last. So there was no laureateship and no poet's corner in Westminster Abbey. (But there must be some day.) The atmosphere of family affection, in spite of the austerity of Elizabeth Barret Browning's father, is seen in the Letters from the time she shrank-as she wrote Robert Browning-from receiving" so near a relative of yours, your own, only sister. . . . I would rather ten times over receive Queen Victoria and all her court," to the end, when in the last letter she wrote him to ask "our sister" to do a favor. "Would she think it too bold of me to say our sister?" she asked.

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She rested in the affection his father and mother gave her from the moment they knew of their son's interest, all the more because of her father's austere demeanor, and because scarcely was she a woman before she lost her mother-" dearest as she was, and very tender (as yours even could be), but of a nature harrowed up into some furrows by the pressure of circumstances; for we lost more in her than she lost in life, my dear, dearest mother. A sweet, gentle nature, which the thunder a little turned from its sweetness-as when it turns milk. One of those women who never can resist; but in submitting and bowing on themselves make a mark, a plait, within-a sign of suffering. Too womanly she was-it was her only fault. Good, good, and dear—and refined, too!—she would have admired and loved you, but I can only tell you so, for she is gone past us all into the place of the purer spirits. God had to take her before he could bless her enough" (Vol. II. p. 482).

This loss seemed to draw her to his mother, for whom she often inquires. On hearing of her indisposition at the time they were making their marriage plans she wrote, "Beloved, if your mother should be ill, we must not think of your leaving her surely." She joyed in the love between her loved one and his parents, in their nobility as told her by him. "If we are poor," he wrote, "it is to my father's infinite glory, who, as my mother told me last night, as we sat alone, conceived such a hatred to the slave system in the West Indies (where his mother was born, who died in his infancy), that he relinquished every prospect, supported himself while there in some other capacity, and came back while yet a boy, to his father's profound astonishment and rage-one proof of which was that when he heard that his son was a suitor to her, my mother, he benevolently waited on her uncle to assure him that his niece would be thrown away on a man so evidently born to be hanged-those were his words. My father, on his return, had the intention of devoting himself to art, for which he had many qualifications and abundant love; but the quarrel with his father-who married again and continued to hate him till a few years before his death, induced him to go at once and consume his life after a fashion he always detested. You may fancy I am not ashamed of him" (Vol. II. p. 474). The next day he refers again to his parents as being entirely affectionate and generous." "They believe me, therefore know in some measure what you are to me. My father is tender-hearted to a fault. I have never known much more of those circumstances in his youth than I told you in consequence of his invincible repugnance to allude to the matter, and I have a fancy to account for some peculiarities in him which connects them with some abominable early experience. Thus, if you question him about it, he shuts his eyes involuntarily and shows exactly the same marks of loathing that may be noticed while a piece of cruelty is mentioned. And the word blood,' even, makes him change color. To all women and children he is 'chivalrous,' as you called his unworthy son! There is no service which the ugliest, oldest, crossest woman in the world might not exact from him" (Vol. II. p. 480).



Of course this splendid tribute brought forth a quick re

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"Your father is worthy to be your father let you call yourself his unworthy son ever so. The noblest inheritance of sons is to have such thoughts of their fathers as you have of yours, the privilege of such thoughts, the faith in such virtues and the gratitude for such affection. You have better than the silver or the gold, and you can afford to leave those to less. happy sons" ( Vol. II. p. 481).

After the marriage, while waiting to go to Italy, she refers again to this "father's goodness" and to the "affectionateness of them all." "When they shall have learnt most that I am not worthy of you," she wrote, "they will have learnt besides that I can be grateful to them and you. Certainly I am capable, I hope, of loving them all well and with appreciation. And then, imagine the comfort I take to the deepest of my heart from these hands held out to me? For your sake, yes; for your sake entirely!" (Vol. II. p. 549). And when in the last letter of all she was referring to the sister, she said, "Remind your father and mother of me affectionately and gratefully." This was probably inspired by what Mr. Browning wrote after the marriage. "My family all love you, dearest. You cannot conceive my father and mother's childlike faith in goodness, and my sister is very high spirited and quick of apprehension, so as to seize the true point of the case at once. I am in great hopes you will love them all and understand them. Last night I asked my father, who was absorbed over some old book, if he should not be glad to see his new daughter? to which he, starting, replied, 'Indeed, I shall!' with such a fervor as to make my mother laugh, not abated by his adding, And how I should be glad of her seeing Sis!-to wit, Sarianna, who was at church" (Vol. II. p. 544).

For all and every thought of her, Mrs. Browning was "grateful beyond power to express." "Let me be silent, therefore, instead of trying" (p. 545). Her own father's lack of sympathy was her sorrow. But she had the full understanding of her husband, who was ever willing to do his utmost to conciliate him. "I shall be silent," he wrote, "if the worst imaginable happens; and if anything better, most grateful. You do not need to remind me he is your father. . . . I shall be proud to say mine, too."

As we all know, the love of Elizabeth Barrett for Robert Browning caused the loss of her father to the end. The beautiful married life, the sweet mother experience, all the tender love and forgiveness willing to be showered upon him at any moment, had no redeeming power. But she had for three years (until her death) the love of her husband's mother, and for all the fifteen years of her full, blessed life the faithful love of his father and sister.




HERE can be no question but that the primary need of every teacher is a knowledge of the material to be taught, and especially is this true of history. A teacher may be able to hear the children read over the text but he cannot rouse enthusiasm, nor awaken a deep interest, nor make a permanent and lasting impression of the value, importance or force of the subject of history unless he be himself thoroughly imbued and saturated with the subject-matter along with the side lights which give interest and strength to the work.

The subject of history has its halo of superstitions and errors. That there should be those who chase will-o'-the-wisp ideas and give the alarm cry at the sight of unreal things is not strange. The first to be avoided is the error often existing as to chronological division in history. This generally is found more frequently in ancient, mediæval and modern subdivisions of European history, but may also be traced in American studies.

The beginning of any movement which marks a period is never abrupt, but a growth more or less gradual and steady. The colonial period is generally thought of as the early period of colonial growth; but did the colonial idea stop with the first administration of our Government? The settlements of people have ever since been moving Westward. The people in the North began to branch out from Plymouth to New Haven, then to New York, and finally Westward across the Alleghanies. In the South the daughter colonies of the Carolinas were soon made from Virginia, and in the course of time Kentucky and

Tennessee found their frontiersmen composed of those who had grown weary of the tame and quiet life of the older settlements in the New World colonies. Since then the middle West and the Pacific coast have been colonized and settled. Still the march of time and progress moves on. New fields present themselves for the ever-restless and uneasy Anglo-American. He seeks the new lands of Alaska, Hawaii, Cuba and the Philippines. "From the great deep to the great deep he goes."

We cannot say that the formation of our Government took place in 1789, for it was not till long afterward that the permanent and stable form was well established. Nor can we begin the teaching of slavery with the Civil War, for it early existed in the colonies, and even can be traced in the mother countries of Europe. Other examples show equally well the inconsistencies of permanently and definitely fixing divisions by chronology.

Another still greater sin is the reverence for print which many have. Do not believe anything so authoritative as to reverence it. While it probably would not be best to preach this to the children, yet we can make the work show this conclusion, and no teacher should reverence any text, no matter how great the author.


Again, many persons say about the subject under discussion: Oh! I have had that. I do not need to study history, for I have had it." No branch of history can be "had." A" finished education" is neither desirable nor attainable. To have completed a subject is to cease to grow. To cease to grow is to cease to live, and one who is not alive is dead. The dead should not move among the living but pass away.

Then there are many who get the idea that "general histories" comprise all history. No greater mistake could exist. Each year there is an enormous annual historical output, and he who wishes to keep up to date must read much in current literature.

Finally, there are those who try to answer all questions, and feel disgraced if they cannot. This is a mistake, and is generally confined to those of narrow reading. No teacher should. be able to answer all the questions which a "well-led" class may ask.


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