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to a keen tone, to submit to the dictates of prudence and of duty. I regret that many of the lessons which she taught her own heart, and that of her friend, must be withheld from the public, lest, even at this distance of time, the incidents to which they relate might injure the feelings of any concerned in them.

In 1764, a heavy calamity took place in Mr Seward's family. Miss Sarah Seward, his younger daughter, had been for some time on the eve of forming a matrimonial connexion with Mr Porter, a merchant at Leghorn, brother to Mrs Lucy Porter of Lichfield, and son-in-law, of course, to the celebrated Dr Johnson. Miss Anna Seward was to have accompanied her sister to Italy, and already anticipated, with delight, the pleasure of treading classical ground, of viewing the paintings of Raphael, and wandering among the groves of Valambrosa. These flattering prospects were clouded by the sickness and death of the young and lovely bride. An affecting account of this distressing calamity occurs among the following extracts from Miss Seward's correspondence.* Mr Porter appears afterwards to have intimated a wish to transfer

* These extracts are to be found in the volumes, to which the present sketch was originally prefixed.

his attachment to the surviving sister ; but it was not encouraged. When time had softened the recollection of this domestic loss, Miss Seward made her sister's death the subject of an elegy, which forms the first article in this collection of her poetry. The blank in her domestic society was supplied by the attachment of Miss Honora Sneyd, then residing in her family, and often mentioned in the ensuing volumes.

This young lady was afterwards married to the late ingenious Mr Edgeworth of Edgeworthstown, Ireland, father of the celebrated Maria Edgeworth.

After the death of Miss Sarah Seward, her sister Anna's society became indispensable to her parents, and she was never separated from them.' Offers of matrimonial establishments occurred, and were rejected, in one instance entirely, and in others chiefly, from a sense of filial duty. As she was now of an age to select her own society and studies, Miss Seward's love of literature was indulged ; and the sphere in which she moved was such as to increase her taste for its pursuits. Dr Darwin, Mr Day, whose opinions formed singular specimens of English philosophy, Mr Edgeworth, Sir Brooke Boothby, and other names well known in the literary world, then formed part of the Lichfield society. The celebrated Dr Johnson was an occasional visitor of their circles; but he seems, in some respects,

to have shared the proverbial fate of a prophet in his own country. Neither Dr Darwin nor Miss Seward were partial to the great moralist. There was, perhaps, some aristocratic prejudice in their dislike, for the despotic manners of Dr Johnson were least likely to be tolerated where the lowness of his origin was in fresh recollection. At the same time, Miss Seward was always willing to do justice to his native benevolence, and to the powerful

grasp of his intellectual powers, and possessed many anecdotes of his conversation, which had escaped his most vigilant recorders. These she used to tell with great humour, and with a very striking imitation of the sage's peculiar voice, gesture, and manner of delivery.

Miss Seward's poetical powers appear to have lain dormant, or to have been only sparingly exercised, until her acquaintance with Lady Miller, whose fanciful and romantic institution at Bath Easton, was then the subject of public attention. A concise account of this poetical association, which was graced by the names of Anstey and of Hayley, forms the preface to a poem which Miss Seward afterwards dedicated to the memory of its accomplished foundress. The applause of this selected circle gave Miss Seward courage to commit some of her essays to the press; and the public received with great favour the elegiac commemorations of André and of Cook. The first of these subjects was dictated by Miss Seward's personal friendship for the brave and unfortunate sufferer, who had sought to drown in the duties of his dangerous profession, the recollection of an ill-fated attachment to her friend, Miss Sneyd. The Elegy on Captain Cook was dictated by those feelings of admiration and gratitude, which, in common with Europe at large, Miss Seward felt for the firm and benevolent character of the dauntless navigator, and for his tragical destiny. It would be too much to claim for these productions, the same warm interest which they excited while the melancholy events which they celebrated were glowing in the general recollection ; but, even when the advantage which they derived from their being suited to "the form and pressure of the time” has passed away, they convey a high impression of the original powers of their author.

While Miss Seward's fame increased, it had the advantage, which she highly prized, of extending her acquaintance among those who were candidates for literary reputation. Many of the most distinguished she added to the circle of her friends. I need barely mention Mr Hayley, Mr Mundy, the author of two most beautiful poems on Needwood Forest ; Mr Crowe, author of the descriptive poem called Lewesdone-Hill ; Dr Whalley, Mr Fellowes, and many other persons of acknowledged talent and learning, with whom she maintained, through life, a constant correspondence. Miss Seward was an entire stranger to that paltry jealousy which too often disturbs the harmony of the literary world. She gave, with her whole soul, her applause to contemporary merit, and was not easily daunted in its defence. A love and admiration for existing genius was a leading feature in her character. She was at all times ready with her advice, her encouragement, her purse, if necessary, to assist those whom timidity or indigence prevented from asserting their right to public notice. Nor would she readily admit the preference claimed for more ancient poets over those of her own century. “Many,” she says, in a letter now before me, “ excel me in the power of writing verse; perhaps scarcely one in the vivid and strong sensibility of its excellence, or in the ability to estimate its claims—ability arising from a fifty years' sedulous and discriminating study of the best English poets, and of the best translations from the Greek, Roman, and Italian. A masculine education cannot spare from professional study, and the necessary acquisition of languages, the time and attention which I have bestowed on the compositions of my countrymen. When the accumulating suffrage of centuries shall have mellowed the grow

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