[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[graphic][ocr errors]

better." In 1819, she was married to Charles Sigourney, Esq., a leading merchant of Hartford, and a gentleman of education and literary taste. Henceforth her career was to be that of an author. The true interests of her own sex and the good of the rising generation stimulated her efforts in such works as Letters to Pupils ; Letters to Young Ladien; Whisper to a Bride; and Letters to Mothers. The guidance of the unfolding mind, impressed on her as it was, night and day, by the assiduous home-culture of her own children, called forth the Child's Book ; Girl's Book; Boy's Book; How to be Happy; and a variety of other juvenile works, which have been deservedly popular.

A conviction of the importance of temperance suggested Water-Drops; of the blessings of peace, Olive-Leaves. Scenes in my Native Land portray some of the attractions of the country that she loves; and Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands give us life-pictures of a tour in Europe. Those who go down to the sea in ships” find a companion in her Sea and Sailor; the forgotten red man is remembered in Pocahontas; the harp of comfort for mourners is hung upon the Weeping Willow; while the young and blooming may hear her Voice of Flowers among the lilies of the field. Sayings of the Little Ones, and Poems for their Mothers, express her sympathies for the helpless stranger just entering life; Past Meridian, for the wearied pilgrim trembling at the gates of the west; while Lucy Howard's Journal shows the influence of a right home-training on the duties and destinies of woman. Since she entered the field of authorship, between forty and fifty volumes, varying in size, bave emanated from her pen; and she yet continues, with unflagging industry, her intellectual labors, enjoying, with unimpaired powers, that happiness of existence which sometimes brightens with age. Every thing that she has written has been pure and elevating in its whole tone and influence: other writers have bad more learning, more genius, more power, but none have employed their talents for a higher end,—to make the world wiser, bappier, holier. An accomplished critic3 has remarked of her poems that “they express, with great purity and evident sincerity, the tender affections which are so natural to the female heart, and the lofty aspirations after a higher and better state of being, which constitute the truly ennobling and elevating principle in art as well as nature. Love and religion are the unvarying elements

1 This was quite favorably noticed in the very first number of the “North American Review," May, 1815. Little did she then dream that so long a literary life wits before her,-a life of pure beneficence,--and that forty-two years after, the same review would notice her forty-second published work ( Past Meridian) in still warmer terms of praise.

2 “Jrs. Sigourney has never before written so wisely, so usefully, so beautifully, as in this volume. In saying so, we yield to none in our bigh appreciation of her previous literary merit; but, unless we greatly mistake, this is one of the comparatively few books of our day wbich will be read with glistening eyes and glowing heart, when all who now read it will have gone to their graves. It is written by her in the character of one who has passed the meridian of life, and addresses itself to sensations and experiences which all whose faces are turned westward can understanil, and feel with her. It is devotion, philosophy, and poetry, so intertwined that each is enriched and adorned by the association. Above all, it blends with the serene sunset of a well-spent life the young morning beams of the never-setting day."- North American Revier, January, 1857. 3 Alexander H. Everett.

« ForrigeFortsett »