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One more endowed with Christian graces, (Although I say it to our faces,

And flattery we don't delight in),
Than Catherine at this present writing?

Where then can all the difference be ?

Where but between the K and C?
Between the graceful curving line
We now prefix to atherine,
Which seems to keep in mild police,
Those rebel syllables in peace,
Describing in the line of duty
Both physical and moral beauty.
And that impracticable K

Who led them all so much astray?
Was never seen in black and white
A character more full of spite !
That stubborn back, to bend unskilful,
So perpendicularly wilful!

With angles hideous to behold
Like the sharp elbows of a scold,
In attitude, when words shall fail
To fight their battles tooth and nail.

In page the first you're sagely told
That "all that glitters is not gold;"
Fain would I quote one proverb more,-
"N'éveillez pas le chat qui dort."
Here some will smile as if suspicious
The simile was injudicious.
Because in C A T they trace
Alliance with the feline race.
But we the name alone inherit,
C has the latter, K the spirit;

And woe betide the man who tries,
Whether or no the spirit dies !
Though dormant long, it yet survives
With its full complement of lives ;
The nature of the beast is still
To scratch and claw if not to kill;
For royal cats to low-born wrangling
Will superadd the gift of strangling.
Witness in modern times the fate
Of that unhappy potentate,

Who from his palace near the Pole
Where the chill waves of Neva roll,
Was snatched, while yet alive and merry,
And sent on board old Charon's ferry,
The Styx he traversed execrating
A Katharine of his own creating.

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In evil hour this simple Czar
Impelled by some malignant star
Bestowed upon his new Czarina
The fatal name of Katerina;
And as Monseigneur l'Archevêque
Chose to baptize her à la Grecque,
'Twas Katerina with a K:
He rued it to his dying day.
Nay died, as I observed before,
The sooner on that very score.
The Princess quickly learnt her cue,
Improved upon the part of shrew,
And as the plot began to thicken,
She wrung his head off like a chicken;
In short this despot of a wife

Robbed the poor man of crown and life;

*

And robbing Peter paid not Paul,

But cleared the stage of great and small.

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Besides these genial pleasantries, many shorter poems on local and temporary subjects enlivened the brilliant circle of which Miss Catherine Fanshawe formed so precious an ornament. Many have perished as occasional verses will perish, however happy. I insert one specimen to show how her lively fancy could embellish the merest trifle.

When the Regent's Park was first laid out she parodied the two well-known lines from Pope's Elegy on an Unfortunate Lady:"

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'Here shall the spring its earliest sweets bestow,
Here the first roses of the year shall blow,"

and by only altering one word of the first line, and a single letter of the second, changed their entire meaning, and rendered them applicable to the new resort of the Londoners :

"Here shall the spring its earliest coughs bestow,
Here the first noses of the year shall blow."

One wonders what Pope would have thought of such a parody. It is really a great honour. But would he have thought so?

VOL. I.

N

XIV.

MARRIED POETS.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING-ROBERT BROWNING.

MARRIED poets! Charming words are these, significant of congenial gifts, congenial labour, congenial tastes;-quick and sweet resources of mind and of heart, a long future of happiness live in those two words. And the reality is as rare as it is charming. Married authors we have had of all ages and of all countries; from the Daciers, standing stiff and stately under their learning, as if it were a load, down to the Guizots, whose story is so pretty, that it would sound like a romance to all who did not know how often romance looks pale beside reality; from the ducal pair of Newcastle, walking stately and stiff under their strawberry-leafed coronets, to William and Mary Howitt, ornaments of a sect to whom coronets are an abomination. Married authors have been plentiful as

blackberries, but married poets have been rare indeed! The last instance, too, was rather a warning than an example. When Caroline Bowles changed her own loved and honoured name to become the wife of the great and good man Robert Southey, all seemed to promise fairly, but a slow and fatal disease had seized him even before the weddingday, and darkened around him to the hour of his death. In the pair of whom I am now to speak, the very reverse of this sad destiny has happily befallen, and the health of the bride, which seemed gone for ever, has revived under the influence of the climate of Italy, of new scenes, new duties, a new and untried felicity.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning is too dear to me as a friend to be spoken of merely as a poetess. Indeed such is the influence of her manners, her conversation, her temper, her thousand sweet and attaching qualities, that they who know her best are apt to lose sight altogether of her learning and of her genius, and to think of her only as the most charming person that they have ever met. But she is known to so few, and the peculiar characteristics of her writings, their purity, their tenderness, their piety, and their intense feeling of humanity and of womanhood have won for her the love of so many, that it will gratify them without, I trust, infringing on the sacredness of private intercourse to speak of her not wholly as a poetess, but a little as a woman.

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