Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Ingram, 5th ed.)/Chapter 6

CHAPTER VI.

MARRIAGE.

The early summer of 1846 brought Elizabeth Barrett into somewhat close communion with a new friend, Anna Jameson. Kenyon, apparently, was the medium by which these two talented women were introduced to each other. Mrs. Jameson was visiting at 51, Wimpole Street, next door to our poetess, and seems to have made more efforts than one to obtain an interview with her neighbour. Miss Barrett writes:—

"She overcame at last by sending a note to me from the next house. Do you know her? She did not exactly reflect my idea of Mrs. Jameson. And yet it would be both untrue and ungrateful to tell you that she disappointed me. In fact, she agreeably surprised me in one respect, for I had been told that she was pedantic, and I found her as unassuming as a woman need be—both unassuming and natural. The tone of her conversation, however, is rather analytical and critical than spontaneous and impulsive, and for this reason she appears to me a less charming companion than our friend of Three Mile Cross, who 'wears her heart upon her sleeve,' and shakes out its perfumes at every moment. She—Mrs. Jameson—is keen and calm, and reflective. She has a very light complexion—pale, lucid eyes—thin, colourless lips—fit for incisive meanings—a nose and chin projective without breadth. She was here nearly an hour, and, though on a first visit, I could perceive that a vague thought or expression she would not permit to pass either from my lips or her own. Yet nothing could be greater than her kindness to me, and I already think of her as a friend."

When once Miss Barrett had permitted anyone to gain the sanctuary of her presence she became, if the visitant satisfied her expectations, a firm friend and a trusty believer in the entire goodness of the new addition to her limited circle. Mrs. Jameson came as the authoress of several well-known works; as a woman who had suffered, and as a distinguished woman who earnestly sought her acquaintance. These qualifications bore fruit, and a close intimacy was the result. "This early period of their acquaintance," says Mrs. Jameson's biographer, "produced a multitude of tiny notes in fairy handwriting, such as Miss Barrett was wont to indite to her friends, and which are still in existence. Some of these are most charming and characteristic, and illustrate the rise and rapid increase of a friendship that never faltered or grew cool from that time up to the death of Mrs. Jameson."

One of these characteristic little notes, quoted by the biographer, alludes, in Miss Barrett's usual humorously exaggerated style, to her loss of voice, and the inconveniences resulting from it. "I am used to lose my voice and find it again," says Miss Barrett, "until the vicissitude comes to appear as natural to me as the post itself. . . . You are not to think that I should not have been delighted to have you in a monodrama, as I heard Mr. Kenyon one morning when he came and talked for an hour, as he can talk, while the audience could only clap her hands or shake her head for the yea and nay. I should have been delighted to be just such an audience to you, but with you I was too much a stranger to propose such a thing, and the necessary silence might have struck you, I thought, as ungrateful and uncomprehending. But now I am not dumb any longer, only hoarse, and whenever I can hear your voice it will be better for me altogether."

In the correspondence which was now carried on between the two ladies, the same subjects which were being discussed with Miss Mitford and Horne, formed the staple themes. Mrs. Jameson, with energetic, humanitarian feelings, more akin to Miss Barrett's towards the seething humanity around us than to the optimistic contentment of Miss Mitford, felt herself stirred by the Report of the Commissioners on the Employment of Women and Children. Even as Elizabeth Barrett had been inspired to write her poem "The Cry of the Children," so Anna Jameson was moved to express her feelings on the topic in a prose article published in the columns of the Athenæum. Here was a subject both women could converse upon, and sympathize with; but in the marvellous recovery by mesmerism of a third friend they, apparently, had reason for differing. "I am more and more bewildered by the whole subject," said Miss Barrett. "I wish I could disbelieve it all, except that Harriet Martineau is well."

Mrs. Jameson's interest in the poetess increased with time. Her own literary engagements rendered it necessary for her to visit France and Italy, but learning that it was deemed essential for Miss Barrett's health she should winter abroad, she generously offered Mr. Barrett to take charge of his daughter and accompany her to Italy. The offer was not accepted, but the object of the elder lady's solicitude, in tendering her her thanks, said, "Not only am I grateful to you, but happy to be grateful to you;" adding, "First I was drawn to you, then I was, and am, bound to you." When Mrs. Jameson left England, she was bade farewell in another little note, in which Miss Barrett deplored her inability to call and bid good-bye in person, as she was "forced to be satisfied with the sofa and silence."

But neither the sofa nor silence was destined to be the lot of Elizabeth Barrett. The most momentous event of her life, the turning-point of her destiny was at hand. Among the few living poets of whom she was wont to speak and write with admiration was Robert Browning. He had been characteristically mentioned in "Lady Geraldine's Courtship," and from that time forward his name and reputation found frequent mention in her correspondence. Browning's father had been an old schoolfellow of Kenyon; it was, therefore, the most natural thing in the world that the wealthy man of the world should take a more than usual interest in the rising young poet.

Kenyon was wont to take all the best new books to his cousin, and to introduce to her, as far as her health and inclination allowed, the most noteworthy of their authors. Browning was so fortunate as to be included among the latter. He had travelled and had seen personally what Elizabeth Barrett had only read of or dreamed about. It is no wonder that a feeling stronger and deeper than had as yet stirred the depths of her heart should grow up and impel the poetess towards the poet. With so many themes and thoughts in common as they had, it is no matter for surprise that the correspondence which they commenced, and for a long time continued, should grow and deepen into something warmer and more sympathetic than the usual interchange of literary manuscripts arouses.

How their friendship waxed, how their affection intensified, and how, finally, they cast in their lots together is a sweet romance the world knows not, and never can know, the record of, beyond what they, the two dramatis personæ, chose to tell themselves. "If you would know what she was," says a friend, "read 'One Word more.' He made no secret of it; why should another?" In that piece, originally appended to his collection of poems styled Men and Women, Browning so far took the world into his confidence as to tell it, as if the telling had been needed, who his "moon of poets" was. And, indeed, through many of his works from that time henceforth does the thought of one beloved wind like a golden thread through the woof of his multi-coloured imagination.

The time has not come—can scarcely ever come—when their story may be told fully; but Robert Browning has told, in his poet-speech, how his heart had realised an ideal, and Elizabeth Barrett has contributed her share towards the glorification of eternal Love in her exquisitely beautiful Sonnets from the Portuguese. These sonnets, this delicate confession of a pure woman's love, were written, it is averred, some time before her marriage, and were not shown to her husband until after they were wed. Of course, they are not translations, and the fiction that they were to be found in any language but her own was but the last thin veil with which Elizabeth Barrett faintly concealed the passion she was so proud of.

Miss Barrett, although personally unacquainted with Mr. Browning until a compararatively short time before their marriage, had previously been his admirer and correspondent. Writing to an American correspondent in the spring of 1845, she had said, "Mr. Browning, with whom I have had some correspondence lately, is full of great intentions; the light of the future is on his forehead . . . he is a poet for posterity. I have a full faith in him as poet and prophet."

Their personal knowledge of each other had not, evidently, existed long before they discovered the strength of their regards for one another. To the lady, at any rate, this revelation must have been a startling discovery. Advanced into her thirty-eighth year, she had little prospect and probably little inclination to depart from the course in life she believed marked out for her. Hitherto her personal acquaintances had been so few that love and marriage can scarcely have entered into her schemes for life: as she says in the Sonnets:—

I lived with visions for my company,
Instead of men and women, years ago,
And found them gentle mates, nor thought to know
A sweeter music than they played to me. . . .
Then Thou didst come . . . to be,
Belovèd, what they seemed.

Heavy griefs and precarious health had been hers, it is true; but her sorrows, saddening though they were, had been soothed by kindness and all that wealth could provide. Had she been enabled, like the majority of the world's women, to enter into the labours and struggles of the life around her, she would have plaeed her sorrow on one side; but, separated as she was both from the activity and ordinary anxieties of life, she nursed her griefs as if they had been petted babes, and fed her favourite sorrows with unceasing tears. She sang—

A heavy heart, Belovèd, have I borne
From year to year until I saw thy face,
And sorrow after sorrow took the place
Of all those natural joys.

But all these long-hoarded and much-cherished griefs—truly become, through lapse of time, but ideals—now became as visionary and transient as dreams. A sudden change had taken place: "The face of all the world is changed, I think," she wrote. The ideas of Death—which she had long regarded as near—were transformed, and a restless energy took the place of her ancient langour. Most truly does she image forth, in the first of her love Sonnets, the change which had taken place in her whole being:—

I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
So weeping, how a mystic shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair,
And a voice said, in mastery, while I strove,
"Guess now who holds thee?" "Death!" I said. But, there,
The silver answer rang, "Not Death, but Love!"

Henry Chorley, a literary friend, who made the acquaintance of Miss Barrett through the medium of Miss Mitford, said her marriage with the author of Paracelsus was more like a fairy-tale than anything in real life he had ever known. Charming and appropriate as the union of the two poets seemed to many, there was one, and he the most interested and first to be consulted in the matter, who would not look upon it in such a light. To the outer world the persistent and lasting antagonism of Mr. Barrett to the marriage of his daughter with Mr. Browning may seem absurd and unnatural; yet, without prying too deeply into the private motives which inspired his dislike to the match, the few glimpses which are obtainable of his passionate yet obstinate nature render his behaviour with regard to this matter far from inexplicable. Mr. Barrett's immovable will, his determination not to falter from a resolution when once formed, was a salient trait of character inherited by his favourite and famous child. Elizabeth Barrett had been her father's idol: apparently a confirmed invalid, whom Death might claim at any time, he had lavished upon her everything love or wealth could afford. The space left vacant in his passionate heart by the death of his wife had been largely refilled by his adoration of his daughter. The fame she had created for herself was partly reflected upon him—her father and protector. The affection and pride which had prompted him to publish her childish productions must have appeared amply justified by her present success. And now, after all the long years of anxiety and affection had begun to produce their reward in improved health and widespread reputation, she, his own favourite child, proposed to leave her home and endow a stranger with all the fruits of her fame and the hours of her recovered health. No! the anger of Mr. Barrett towards his so much beloved daughter is neither unique nor singular, when his temperament is considered.

Writing to Horne just after her marriage, our poetess states her experience that all her maladies came from without, and "the hope that if unprovoked by English winters, they would cease to come at all. The mildness of the last exceptional winter," she remarks, "had left me a different creature, and the physicians helped me to hope everything from Italy." Winter, with all its accumulative terrors, was rapidly nearing; on one hand was "the sofa and silence" of home, shared with an estranged father and a probable relapse into illness, and on the other, Hope, Italy and Love! The contest between Love and Duty, if severe, could not last long or be doubtful. "Our plans," said the lady to Horne, "were made up at the last in the utmost haste and agitation—precipitated beyond all intention."

On the 12th September, 1846, Elizabeth Barrett was married, at the Marylebone parish church, to Robert Browning, and immediately after the newly-wedded pair started for Italy, by way of Paris.

The marriage was an intense surprise for all those who only knew Elizabeth Barrett as a chronic invalid, hovering between life and death. Henry Chorley, who was selected as one of the trustees of Mrs. Browning's marriage settlement, says, "I cannot recollect when I have been more moved and excited by any surprise, beyond the circle of my immediate hopes and fears," than when "she married, after an intimacy suspected by none save a very few, under circumstances of no ordinary romance, and in marrying whom she secured for the residue of her life an emancipation from prison and an amount of happiness delightful to think of, as falling to the lot of one who, from a darkened chamber, bad still exercised such a power of delighting others."

Miss Mitford, Horne, and other friends expressed equal surprise, but none of them had the wonder brought home to them so startlingly as Mrs. Jameson. She had left her friend unable to accompany her abroad—"forced to be satisfied with the sofa and silence"—and directly afterwards, almost as soon as she had reached Paris, she received a note from Mr. Browning, telling her that he had just arrived from England, and that he was on his way to Italy with his wife, the same "E.B.B." she had just taken leave of! "My aunt's surprise," says Mrs. Macpherson, "was something almost comical, so startling and entirely unexpected was the news."

Mrs. Jameson, of course, called on the Brownings, and persuaded them to leave the hotel they were staying at for a quiet pension in the Rue Ville l'Evêque, where she was residing. They remained together in Paris for a fortnight, during which period Mrs. Jameson wrote to a friend: "I have also here a poet and a poetess—two celebrities who have run away and married under circumstances peculiarly interesting, and such as render imprudence the height of prudence. Both excellent; but God help them! for I know not how the two poet heads and poet hearts will get on through this prosaic world. I think it possible I may go on to Italy with them."

The possibility came about, and the whole party, Mr. and Mrs. Browning and Mrs. Jameson and niece, travelled slowly southwards to Pisa, where the newly-married couple proposed living for a while at least. How Mrs. Browning contrived to endure all the anxieties and labours of the jcurney seems incomprehensible. "My poor invalid friend," writes Mrs. Jameson, "suffered much from fatigue; and, considering that she had passed seven (sic) years without ever leaving her room, you can imagine what it was to convey her from Paris to Pisa. Luckily our journey was nearly over before the heavy rains commenced."

Miss Mitford, telling one of her correspondents of Elizabeth Barrett's marriage, adds: "Love really is the wizard the poets have called him: a fact which I always doubted till now. But never was such a miraculous proof of his power as her travelling across France by diligence, by railway, by Rhone-boat—anyhow, in fact; and, having arrived in Pisa so much improved in health that Mrs. Jameson, who travelled with them, says, 'she is not merely improved but transformed.' I do not know Mr. Browning; but this fact is enough to make me his friend."

Mrs. Macpherson, speaking of the enchanting memories of that journey from Paris to Pisa, spent in such companionship, says, "The loves of the poets could not have been put into more delightful reality before the eyes of the dazzled and enthusiastic beholder;" but she only permits herself, in the life of her aunt, to recall in print one scene among many of this wonderful journey. She says: "We rested for a couple of days at Avignon, the route to Italy being then much less direct and expeditious, though I think much more delightful, than now; and while there we made a little excursion, a poetical pilgrimage, to Vaucluse. There, at the very source of the 'chiare, fresche e dolci acque,' Mr. Browning took his wife up in his arms, and carrying her across the shallow, curling water, seated her on a rock that rose throne-like in the middle of the stream. Thus love and poetry took a new possession of the spot immortalised by Petrarch's loving fancy." Mrs. Browning herself alluded to the pilgrimage to Vaucluse, "where the living water gushes up," she says, "into the face of the everlasting rock, and there is no green thing except Petrarch's memory. Yes there is, the water itself—that is brightly green—and there are one or two little cypresses."

Three weeks were spent by Mrs. Jameson and her niece travelling with the Brownings, and another three weeks with them in Pisa, where, says Mrs. Macpherson, "the poet pair, who were our closest associates, added all that was wanted to the happiness of this time." Well may Mrs. Macpherson, who was only sixteen then, have recalled those times and their associated memories as a golden oasis in her existence.

The Brownings settled in Pisa for several months, intending to winter there, it having been recommended as a mild, suitable residence for Mrs. Browning. In a letter to Horne, dated December 4th, she says:—"We are left to ourselves in a house built by Vasari, and within sight of the Leaning Tower and the Duomo, to enjoy a most absolute seclusion and plan the work fit for it. I am very happy and very well. . . . We have heard a mass (a musical mass for the dead) in the Campo Santo, and achieved a due pilgrimage to the Lanfranchi Palace to walk in the footsteps of Byron and Shelley. . . . A statue of your Cosmo looks down from one of the great piazzas we often pass through on purpose to remind us of you. This city is very beautiful and full of repose—'asleep in the sun,' as Dickens said." Mr. Browning, in a note attached to his wife's letter, says, "She is getting better every day—stronger, better wonderfully, and beyond all our hopes."

The newly-married pair spent the winter in Pisa, at the Collegio Ferdinando, in a street terminated by the palace in which Cosmo the Great, Horne's hero, slew his son. The change was in every way beneficial for our poetess, a change, as she told an American correspondent in the beginning of 1847, "from the long seclusion in one room to liberty and Italy's sunshine; for a resigned life I take up a happy one." Apologising for a lengthy silence, she adds:—

"I shall behave better, you will find, for the future, and more gratefully, and I begin some four months after the greatest event of my life by telling you that I am well and happy, and meaning to get as strong in the body by the help of this divine climate as I am in the spirit—the spirits! So much has God granted me compensation. Do you not see already that it was not altogether the sight of the free sky which made me fail to you before. . . . My husband's name will prove to you that I have not left my vocation to the rhyming art in order to marry; on the contrary, we mean, both of us, to do a great deal of work, besides surprising the world by the spectacle of two poets coming together without quarrelling, wrangling, and calling names in lyrical measures. . . . We live here in the most secluded manner, eschewing English visitors and reading Vasari, and dreaming dreams of seeing Venice in the summer. Until the beginning of April we are tied to this perch of Pisa, as the climate is recommended for the weakness of my chest, and the repose and calmness of the place are by no means unpleasant to those who, like ourselves, do not look for distractions and amusements in order to be very happy. Afterwards we go anywhere but to England—we shall not leave Italy at present. If I get quite strong I may cross the desert on a camel yet, and see Jerusalem. There's a dream for you—nothing is too high or too low for my dreams just now."

For some time before and for a long time after her marriage, Mrs. Browning did not publish anything of importance. But, need it be said, neither her pen nor brain were idle, nor, indeed, was her zest for literary matters dormant. Poetic aspirations still swayed her thoughts; to an American proposition to issue a selection from her poems she lent a pleased attention, only wishing to have a voice in the selection. To the suggestion of a prose volume she gave a decided negative, for the time at least. She continued to enjoy literary gossip about her favourite authors, and being informed that Tennyson, then in Switzerland, was "disappointed with the mountains," expressed her wonder that anyone could be disappointed with anything in Nature. "She always seems to me," was her remark, "to leap up to the level of the heart."

In her political feelings Mrs. Browning continued to be somewhat ahead of her contemporaries, and did not increase her popularity by the readiness with which she gave expression to ideas generally antagonistic to the views of the majority. As yet she had not obtained a very intimate knowledge of the aspirations for liberty with which the hearts of the Italians around her were burning, but was greatly roused by "the dreadful details from Ireland. Oh! when I write against slavery," she exclaimed to an American friend, "it is not as one free from the curse, 'the curse of Cromwell' falls upon us also! Poor, poor Ireland! But nations, like individuals, must be 'perfected by suffering,'" was her comment, to which she added the hope that "in time we shall slough off our leprosy of the pride of money and of rank, and be clean, and just, and righteous."

It is a pleasant surprise to learn that Mrs. Browning had her old friend and favourite, Flush, with her at Pisa. "He adapts himself," she says, "to the sunshine as to the shadow, and when he hears me laugh lightly, begins not to think it too strange." And whilst referring to her faithful dog, a few words may be devoted to the remainder of his history. After the marriage of his dear mistress, with her he forsook the sofa and silence to see the world. He accompanied her to France and Italy, and, as Mr. Westwood informs us, "wagged his tail in Casa Guidi Windows; had one or two perilous adventures—lost his coat, and became a dreadful guy in the warm climate; but he lived to an advanced old age, and was beloved and honoured to the end."

Towards the spring Pisa became unsuitable in various ways as a residence for the Brownings. Apart from climatic considerations it was, doubtless, found to be insufferably dull. To a friend Mrs. Browning wrote:—

"As to news, you will not expect news from me now; until the last few days, we had not for months even seen a newspaper, and human faces divine are quite rococo with me, as the French would say."

From Pisa the Brownings removed to Florence. To Horne Mrs. Browning wrote that in June they left the latter city for Ancona, in order to be cooler, and found that they were "leaping right into the cauldron. The heat was just the fiercest fire of your imagination, and I seethe to think of it at this distance. But we saw the whole coasts, from Ravenna to Loretto, and had wonderful visions of beauty and glory in passing and re-passing the Apennines. At Ravenna we stood one morning, at four, at Dante's tomb, with its pathetic inscription, and seldom has any such sight so moved me. Ravenna is a dreary, marshy place, with a dead weight of melancholy air fading the faces of its inhabitants; and its pine-forest stands off too far to redeem it anywise."

Florence grew to be a second, home and a domestic shrine to Mrs. Browning. Her first impressions of it were pleasant, and the pleasure became permanent. Writing from the Tuscan capital to Horne, she says:—

"Here we live for nothing, or next to nothing, and have great rooms, and tables and chairs thrown in; and although hearing occasionally that Florence is to be sacked on such a day, and our Grand Duke deposed on such another, I have learnt to endure meekly all such expectations, and to hold myself as safe as you in your garden through them all. One thing is certain—that the Italians won't spoil their best surtouts by venturing out in a shower of rain through whatever burst of revolutionary ardour, nor will they forget to take their ices through loading of their guns."

And later on she says: "All I complain of at Florence is the difficulty of getting sight of new books, which I, who have been used to a new 'sea-serpent' every morning, in the shape of a French romance, care still more for than my husband does. Old books we can arrive at, and besides, our own are coming over the sea." Then, lapsing from badinage to a more serious tone, she adds: "So used am I to be grateful to you that it scarcely can be a strange thing to read those most kind words in which you promise a welcome to my husband's poems—only you will believe that kindness in that shape must touch me nearest."

When they finally settled in Florence, the Brownings removed to a romantic old palace known as Casa Guidi, and here, with some short intervals of absence, the poetess passed the remainder of her life. She kept up her correspondence with friends in England, but rarely received any English people into her residence, her chief visitors being American and Italian. Mr. Browning being well versed, not only in Italian literature and lore, but in the political needs and wrongs of the people, his wife, also, naturally studied and mastered the whole subject and became, if possible, more Italian than the Italians themselves. With all the strength of her character, with that indomitable determination which all through life inspired her, she took up and adopted, and with heart and brain fought for, the cause of Italy. In the Casa Guidi Italian patriots found a sympathetic welcome, and a rallying place. Americans, also, found there a genial reception and an enthusiastic admirer of their country; it is from them chiefly, indeed, almost exclusively, that we know how Mrs. Browning looked and lived and laboured in her happy Florentine home.

One American author who visited the poetess and her husband in Casa Guidi, in 1847, records of his visit that in the evening Mr. Browning presented him to his wife:—"The visitor saw seated at the tea-table in the great room of the palace in which they were living, a very small, very slight woman, with very long curls drooping forward, almost across the eyes, hanging down to the bosom, and quite concealing the pale small face, from which the piercing, enquiring eyes looked out sensitively at the stranger. Rising from her chair she put out cordially the thin, white hand of an invalid, and in a few moments they were pleasantly chatting, while the husband strode up and down the room, joining in the conversation with a vigour, humour, eagerness and affluence of curious lore which, with his trenchant thought and subtle sympathy, made him one of the most charming and inspiring of companions."

This same Transatlantic informant talks of having been, a few days later, with the Brownings and one or two others, to Vallombrosa, the whole party spending two days there together. "Mrs. Browning was still too much of an invalid to walk, but she sat under the great trees upon the lawn-like hillsides near the convent, or in the scats of the dusky convent chapel, while Robert Browning at the organ chased a fugue, or dreamed out upon the twilight keys a faint throbbing toccata of Galuppi."

In an undated letter to Miss Mitford, Mrs. Browning tells of a visit, doubtless the same just referred to, she made to the monastery of Vallombrosa, and of being dragged there in a grape basket, without wheels, drawn by two oxen, remarking that she and her maid were turned away by the monks "for the sin of womanhood."

"In all the conversation," continues the American acquaintance of Mrs. Browning, "she was so mild, and tender, and womanly, so true and intense and rich with rare learning, there was a girl-like simplicity and sensitiveness and a womanly earnestness, that took the heart captive. She was deeply and most intelligently interested in America and Americans, and felt a kind of enthusiastic gratitude to them for their generous fondness of her poetry."

Another account throwing some light upon that home in the Casa Guidi, as it appeared in those days, is furnished by Mr. George Stillman Hillard. Mr. Hillard, also an American, says:—

"One of my most delightful associations with Florence arises from the fact that here I made the acquaintance of Robert and Elizabeth Browning. . . . A happier home and a more perfect union than theirs it is not easy to imagine; and this completeness arises, not only from the rare qualities which each possesses, but from their adaptation to each other. . . Mrs. Browning is in many respects the correlative of her husband. As he is full of manly power, so is she the type of the most sensitive and delicate womanhood. She has been a great sufferer from ill-health, and the marks of pain are stamped upon her person and manner. Her figure is slight, her countenance expressive of genius and sensibility, shaded by a veil of long brown locks; and her tremulous voice often flutters over her words like the flame of a dying candle over the wick. I have never seen a human frame which seemed so nearly a transparent veil for a celestial and immortal spirit. She is a soul of fire enclosed in a shell of pearl. Her rare and fine genius needs no setting forth at my hands. She is, also, what is not so generally known, a woman of uncommon, nay, profound learning, even measured by a masculine standard. Nor is she more remarkable for genius and learning than for sweetness of temper, tenderness of heart, depth of feeling, and purity of spirit. It is a privilege to know such beings singly and separately; but to see their powers quickened, and their happiness rounded, by the sacred tie of marriage, is a cause for peculiar and lasting gratitude. A union so complete as theirs—in which the mind has nothing to crave, nor the heart to sigh for—is cordial to behold and cheering to remember."