BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite


Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe


The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting


The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison


Emmeline

by Mary Brunton

Excerpt:

EMMELINE.

WITH

SOME OTHER PIECES.

BY

MARY BRUNTON,

AUTHOR OF SELF-CONTROL, AND DISCIPLINE.

TO
WHICH IS PREFIXED

A MEMOIR OF HER LIFE,

INCLUDING SOME EXTRACTS

FROM HER CORRESPONDENCE.

EDINBURGH:

PRINTED FOR MANNERS AND MILLER,

AND ARCHIBALD CONSTABLE AND CO., EDINBURGH ;

AND JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET,

LONDON.

1819.

VALE!

HEU QUANTO MINUS EST CUM RELIQUIS VERSARI, QUAM TUI MEMINISSE f""

TO

CAPTAIN WILLIAM BALFOUR, R. N.

THIS TRIBUTE

TO THE

MEMORY OF HIS SISTER
is

RESPECTFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY

INSCRIBED.

MEMOIR.

Immediately after Mrs Brunton's death, various eloquent tributes were paid to her memory in the newspapers of Edinburgh. Her literary friends, however, have expressed a wish, that some more detailed Memoir of her life should be prepared; exhibiting chiefly the history of her mind, and her habits of composition. With that wish I have willingly complied. It has .been for twenty years my happiness to watch the workings of that noble mind—my chief usefulness to aid its progress, however feebly. Nothing is more soothing to me now, than to dwell on the remembrance of her—nothing more dear, than to diffuse the benefit of her example.

I know, that I shall perform the task very inadequately. Were I better qualified than I am for its discharge, the relation which I bore to her makes it needful for me to repress feelings, upon which any other biographer would have dwelt with delight. But if I can make her memory useful to one of her fellow creatures, this is the only consideration which her sainted spirit would prize.

Mary Balfour was the only daughter of Colonel Thomas Balfour of Elwick, a cadet of one of the most respectable families in the county of Orkney. Her mother was Frances Ligonier, only daughter of Colonel Ligonier of the 13th Dragoons.

Mary was born in the Island of Burra in Orkney, 1st of November, 1778. Her early education was not conducted on any regular plan. Her father, himself a

man of extraordinary talents and acquirements, had little leisure for superintending it, and was very often necessarily absent from his family. Her mother had early been left an orphan to the care of her uncle, Field-Marshal the Earl of Ligonier; and had been trained rather to the accomplishments which adorn a court, than to those which are useful in domestic life. She was, however, a person of great natural acuteness, and of very lively wit; and her conversation, original though desultory, had no doubt considerable influence in rousing her daughter's mind. She was assiduous, too, in conveying the accomplishments which she herself retained; and Mary became, under her mother's care, a considerable proficient in music, and an excellent French and Italian scholar. From .these languages she was much accustomed to translate ; and there is no other habit of .her early life which tends, in any degree, to account for the great facility and correctness with which her subsequent compositions were written.

When she passed the bounds of mere childhood, the defects, under which her early education must otherwise have laboured, were remedied partly by a short residence at school in Edinburgh, and, still more, by the affectionate care of her father's sisters ; of whose kindness she entertained, through life, the most grateful recollection. Bat as a great part of her training was still left to herself, her love for reading spent itself on poetry and fiction. They helped to people for her that world of her own, which the day-dreams of youth called up in her solitude.

At a very early age, the charge of her father's household devolved upon her ; and the details of housekeeping in Orkney are of so exhausting a kind, that, from her sixteenth to her twentieth year, she could have had very little leisure for self-improvement.


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