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Castle of Diana" and "The Garden of Walrys," in 1822; "Pictures of the Heart" and "Claudie," in the year 1823. "The Christmas-Tree" was issued in 1824, and "The Female Friends" in 1825. She has written numerous other novels and romances, which have obtained great popularity in Germany. Her works were published in a uniform edition in 1841, in twenty-one volumes. None of these have been translated into English.
HENTZ, CAROLINE LEE,
Was born in Lancaster, Worcester county, Massachusetts. Her father was General John Whiting, of the army. Her two brothers were also officers in the army, and one of them, General Henry Whiting, was aid-de camp to General Taylor, in the Mexican war; he is still living. Miss Whiting began to write when very young; and before she had completed her twelfth year, she had composed a poem, a novel, and a tragedy in five acts, full of impassioned scenes and romantic situations.
Upon her marriage, she removed to Chapel Hill, North Carolina; in its University, her husband, Mr. N. M. Hentz, was Professor of Modern Languages. After some years spent in this place, they took charge of a flourishing female academy near Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1834, they went to reside near Florence, Alabama, at a place they called Locust Dell, where they taught for several years. Stronger inducements led them to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the seat of the University, where they spent two years. In 1845, Mr. Hentz removed to Tuskegee with his family, and at present they are residing in Columbus, Georgia, a beautiful city on the banks of the Chattahooche.
The first work which Mrs. Hentz published, was her drama, "De Lara, or the Moorish Bride," for which she obtained the prize of five hundred dollars and a gold medal, offered in Philadelphia for the best original tragedy. Several of our most eminent writers were competitors for the prize, awarded to Mrs. Hentz by a committee composed of distinguished literary gentlemen. She has also written two other tragedies, "Lamorah, or the Western Wild," which was acted at Cincinnati,
and "Constance of Werdenberg;" both of these are still unpublished. Many of her minor poems show great sweetness and facility, as well as warmth and earnestness. Indeed, poetry seems to be the natural language of her heart, when stirred by emotions or affections.
Mrs. Hentz is most widely known by her popular prose tales and novellettes, which have appeared in our different periodicals. "Aunt Patty's Scrap Bag" and "The Mob Cap," which obtained a prize of two hundred dollars, have been almost universally read. Some of her other stories are, "Aunt Mercy," "The Blind Girl," "The Pedlar," "The Village Anthem," and a novel, in one volume, called "Lovell's Folly."
As an instructress, she has been eminently successful, especially in that most important qualification, the power of gaining the affections and confidence of those under her care, and of obtaining a personal influence over them, which remains and acts upon them for good, long after they are withdrawn from her presence. Many a young man, as well as woman, who has been thrown into her society, will look back upon his intercourse with her as a time when his mind received an impulse towards the noble and elevated, which affected his whole future life.
In social intercourse, Mrs. Hentz is easy and dignified. Her appearance is exceedingly prepossessing, and her conversational powers are fine.
The prose writings of Mrs. Hentz are distinguished for poetic imagery, vivacity, and a peculiar purity of style, which seems the habitual tone of the writer's mind, and harmonizes well with the quiet lessons of morality and patriotism breathing from, rather than inculcated in, all her fictitious compositions. Born and trained at the North, but removed to the South while her youthful hopes were bright as the sunny climate where her new home was found, and passing some years as sojourner in the great West, Mrs. Hentz has learned the wisdom of loving her whole country, above any particular State or section. This true and noble patriotism she inculcates as a woman should,like the faith of childhood, to hold its place, next to that of "Our Father, who art in Heaven," in the heart of every American. Of her most elaborate novel, "Lovell's Folly," a writer in the Southern Review says: "It certainly merits praise, both for its design and execution. The purpose, or morale, is to show the incorrectness of the prejudices commonly entertained towards each other by the Yankee and Southron. The characters are well chosen for this purpose; the incidents fascinating, and artistically managed; and the reflections, in the main true, abounding in delicate perceptions of the beautiful, the right, and the good. The style is even and graceful, and throughout vivified by the colourings of a flowery fancy. There is nothing wild or spasmodic in these pages. They would please the amiable and contemplative lover of Wordsworth, rather than the admirer of Byron's gloom and misanthropy. Reading such productions is like wandering through the greenness and rose-enamelled beauty of one of our Western prairies in spring-time, and not like
gazing upon the rough barriers and splintered pinnacles of a huge mountain, or the foam and fury of the sea in a tempest.
"Of her dramatic works, De Lara, or the Moorish Bride,' must rank among the best of the kind produced in America. The scene is laid in Spain, during the contests between the rival races, and the events are such as to produce manifestations of many of the intenser passions; and while the tragedy is fraught, throughout, with moral and poetic beauty; while it presents, in vivid colours, to the imagination, the soft and voluptuous scenes about golden Granada,'- her olive-bowers and enchanted palaces; while there is pervading feminine chasteness and delicacy, it is yet marked by great depth and vigour of thought and utterIndeed, the masculine energy of style, and the remarkable insight into the fiercer capacities and phases of the human heart,-with which women are seldom familiar, - have, more than anything else, fascinated us with this tragedy. know no female writer, not excepting Joanna Baillie, who displays more manliness of sentiment and expression, in her writings, than Mrs. Hentz exhibits in this drama."
Of the story or plot, we can give no analysis here, only remarking, as explanatory of the scene we quote, that Osman is a captive Moor in the castle of the Spanish hero, Fernando De Lara, whose father Osman has secretly murdered. De Lara has discovered his prisoner's guilt, but is hindered in his revenge by plighted love for Zorayda, the daughter of the Moor. She has become a Christian in sincerity, as her father has hypocritically, to subserve his hatred.
THE APOSTATE AND THE TRUE BELIEVER. Zoraya. The blood of th' Abencerrages flows pure
As melting icicles within these veins.
No look of lawless passion ever sent
The conscious crimson to thy daughter's cheek.
As if the diadem of Spain she wore,
And pledged my faith unsanctioned by thy blessing.
But, glorying in my innocence, I dare
Present my bosom to thy glittering steel,
And tell thee, with my dying breath, that here
Fernando's worshipped image is enshrined.
Osman. Would that the tomb of her who made me father, Had closed on thee, the infant of a day,
Sweet in thy bud, but fatal in thy bloom.
Leagued with an infidel! May Allah send
Zor. Oh! curse me not: thou know'st not all my crime. Thou, to redeem thyself from captive chains,
Assumed the Christian's name, yet loathed his creed.
I, at thy bidding, knelt before the cross:
But, ere the mandate came, my heart had bowed
In adoration to the Christian's God.
This sacred cross I've sheltered in my breast
Os. (Snatching it from her, and throwing it on the ground.) Perish the symbol of a faith abhorred, — Perish the seal of infamy and wo, —
The dying features of the lovely saint,—
The light, the glow, the ecstacy, the peace! —
In this religion sealed by blood divine.
It gives me strength to wrestle with thy wrath:
Os. Shame of thy lineage, alien from thy kind,
I have no daughter. Never be it said
I will have none,-away-away, thou serpent,
All that I can reveal is written here,
Had e'er beheld these humbling agonies.
Shall I desert him now,
When grief has laid its blighting hand upon him?
From "Poems." THE SNOW-FLAKE.
Ye're welcome, ye white and feathery flakes,
"Our home is above in the depths of the sky
I know that ye dwell in the kingdoms of air-
But oft have I seen ye, far travellers, roam,
By the cold blast driven, round my northern home.
"We roam over mountains and valley and sea :
"We roam, and our fairy track we leave,
Oh! foam of the shoreless ocean above!
As the dew that impearls the green bosom of Earth.
And I've thought, as I've seen thy tremulous spray,
In bright relief on the dark blue sky,
That thou meltedst in grief when the sun came nigh.
Say, whose is the harp whose echoing song Breathes wild on the gale that wafts us along?
The moon, the flowers, the blossoming tree,
Wake the minstrel's lyre, they are brighter than we."
The flowers shed their fragrance, the moonbeams their light,
Oh! fair, when ye cloth'd in their wintry mail,
Ye fade, ye melt-- I feel the warm breath
Is by her mother's side directly descended from Mr. William Wood, the Irish patentee, on account of whose half-pence issued under a contract from the government of George II., Dean Swift raised so much disturbance with his Drapier's Letters. His son, Charles Wood, the grandfather of Mrs. Howitt, and who became assay-master in Ireland, was the first introducer of platinum into Europe. By her father's side she is of an old race of Quakers, many of her ancestors having suffered imprisonment and spoliation of property in the early times when that people produced martyrs. Her childhood and youth were passed in the old paternal mansion in Staffordshire, whence she was married in 1821 to William Howitt, a man of congenial tastes. Of herself she relates-" My childhood was happy in many respects. It was so, indeed, as far as physical health and the enjoyment of a beautiful country, of which I had an intense relish, and the companionship of a dearly beloved sister went- but oh! there was such a cloud over all from the extreme severity of so-called religious education, it almost made cowards and hypocrites of us, and made us feel that if this were religion, it was a thing to be feared and hated. My childhood had completely two phases-one as dark as night-one as bright as day-the bright one I have attempted to describe in My Own Story,'
which is the true picture of this cheerful side of the first ten years of my life. We studied poetry, botany and flower-painting, and as children wrote poetry. These pursuits were almost out of the pale of permitted Quaker pleasures, but we pursued them with a perfect passion - doing in secret that which we dared not do openly; such as reading Shakspeare, translations of the classics, the elder novelists-and in fact, laying the libraries of half the little town where we lived under contribution.
"We studied French and chemistry at this time, and enabled ourselves to read Latin, storing our minds with a whole mass of heterogeneous knowledge. This was good as far as it went-but there wanted a directing mind, a good sound teacher, and I now deplore over the secrecy, the subterfuge, the fear under which this ill-digested, ill-arranged knowledge was gained. On my marriage, of course, a new life began. The world of literature was opened to me, and a companion was by my side able and willing to direct and assist."
Soon after the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Howitt, they published, jointly, two volumes of poems, which met with so much success, that they were rapidly followed by a variety of other works, in prose and verse. Partly to perfect themselves in the German language, and partly for the purpose of bestowing upon their children a better education than they could obtain in England, Mr. and Mrs. Howitt, about the year 1835, repaired to Germany, where they remained three years, travelling extensively, and acquainting themselves with the country, its literature, and its people; and pursuing, at the same time, their literary labours. Here Mrs. Howitt first met with the works of Frederika Bremer, which delighted her so much, that she determined to introduce them to the English public by translation. For this purpose, she acquired the Swedish language, to enable her to give them from the original; Miss Bremer's later works having all been translated from the manuscripts. Her acquaintance with the Swedish language induced her to acquire its kindred tongue,
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'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 a 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."
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,
What's done we partly may compute,
But know not what's resisted.
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 Flowers," " Hymns and Fireside Verses ;" and also a series of books, which are very popular, called "Tales for the People and their Children," of these there are, "Strive and Thrive," "Hope on, Hope Ever," "Sowing and Reaping," "Alice Franklin," "Who shall be Greatest?" "Which is the Wiser?" "Little Corn, much Care," "Work and Ways," "Love and Money," "The Two Ap
sought to do good; the effort was noble, if not entirely successful; many touching incidents give interest to the poem, and the sentiments are uniformly pure, generous and hopeful. But her Ballads are the best exponents of her genius. In these she is unrivalled, except, perhaps, by Mr. Macaulay, in modern times. The play of her warm, rich fancy, is like sunlight on icicles, giving the glow and glory of its own hues to any object, no matter how cold or colourless, it touches. Who ever read her "Midsummer Legend," without believing in fairies? This union of the tenderest
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.
From" Early Poems."
AWAY WITH THE PLEASURE.
Away with the pleasure that is not partaken!
On our cozy hearthstone, with its innocent glee,
And when, as how often, I eagerly listen
To stories thou read'st of the dear olden day,
And often in crowds, where a whisper offendeth,
And we fain would express what there might not be said, How dear is the glance that none else comprehendeth, And how sweet is the thought that is secretly read! Then away with the pleasure that is not partaken!
There is no enjoyment by one only ta'en:
I love in my mirth to see gladness awaken
From "The Seven Temptations."
SONG OF EDAH.
Little waves upon the deep
SONG OF MARGARET.
There is a land where beauty cannot fade,
Where true love shall not droop nor be dismayed,
Where is that land, oh, where?
For I would hasten there
Tell me I fain would go,
For I am wearied with a heavy woe;
The true, the tender, from my paths are gone!
Oh guide me with thy hand,
If thou dost know that land,
Thou that art kind and gentle tell me where.
Friend! thou must trust in Him who trod before
Must bear in meekness, as He meekly bore,
Think how the Son of God
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 what did you hear, my Mary,
'I heard the drops of the water made, And the green corn ears to fill.'
And what were the words, my Mary,
And some they played with the water,
For there has been no water
Ever since the first of May;
Oh, the miller, how he will laugh,
When he sees the mill-dam rise!
And some they seized the little winds,
And there,' said they, the merry winds go,
And those shall clear the mildew dank
Oh, the poor, blind old widow -
Though she has been blind so long, She'll be merry enough when the mildew's gone, And the corn stands stiff and strong!'