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THE POOR OF THE BOROUGH.
Patience and sorrow strove Who should express her goodliest. -SHAKSPEARE.
“No charms she now can boast,” – 't is true,
Fill'd her pure mind with awe and dread,
And shook the curtains round her bed.
She had no vixen virgin-aunt,
With gibe and sneer and taunt.
But, heroine then no more,
And dwelt among the poor.
The Widow's Cottage — Blind Ellen one — Hers not the
Sorrows or Adventures of Heroines - What these are, first described — Deserted Wives; rash Lovers ; courageous Damsels : in desolated Mansions; in grievous Perplexity — These Evils, however severe, of short Duration — Ellen's Story – Her Employment in Childhood – First Love; first Adventure; its miserable Termination - An Idiot Daughter — A Husband — Care in Business without Success — The Men’s Despondency and its Effect — Their Children : how disposed of — One particularly unfortunate — Fate of the Daughter - Ellen keeps a School and is happy — becomes blind : loses her School — Her Consolations.
ELLEN ORFORD. (1)
yon tenement, apart and small, Where the wet pebbles shine upon the wall ; Where the low benches lean beside the door, And the red paling bounds the space
before; Where thrift and lavender, and lad's-love (2)
(1) The Life of Ellen Orford, though sufficiently burdened with error and misfortune, has in it little besides, which resembles those of the unhappy men in the preceding Letters, and is still more unlike that of Grimes, in a subsequent one. There is in this character cheerfulness and resignation, a more uniform piety, and an immovable trust in the aid of religion. This, with the light texture of the introductory part, will, I hope, take off from that idea of sameness, which the repetition of crimes and distresses is likely to create.
(2) The lad's or boy's love, of some counties, is the plant southern-wood, the Artemisia Abrotanum of botanists.
Yet ere we hear the story she can tell,
I've often marvel'd, when, by night, by day,
To me it seems, their females and their men Are but the creatures of the author's pen; Nay, creatures borrow'd and again convey'd From book to book — the shadows of a shade: Life, if they'd search, would show them many a
change; The ruin sudden, and the misery strange! With more of grievous, base, and dreadful things, Than novelists relate or poet sings : () But they, who ought to look the world around, 285 Spy out a single spot in fairy-ground; Where all, in turn, ideal forms behold, And plots are laid and histories are told.
(1) ["That'le vrai n'est pas toujours vraisemblable,' we do not deny; but we are prepared to insist that, while le vrai' is the highest recommendation of the historian of real life, the 'vraisemblable is the only legitimate province of the novelist who aims at improving the understanding or touching the heart." – GIFFORD.] (2) C -" Truth is always strange
Stranger than fiction. If it could be told,
How much would Novels gain by the exchange?" &c. – Byron. See antè, vol. ii. p. 60.]
Time have I lent-I would their debt were less
Now shifts the scene,- - the fair in tower confined,
Then was I led to vengeful monks, who mix
(1) The title of a novel, in three volumes, written by Mrs. Elizabeth Bonhote, the author also of Bungay Castle, Ellen Woodley, &c.]
(2) [Maple Vale, or the History of Miss Sydney, was published anonymously in 1790.)