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built the pyramids, brought the light of science and of letters into Europe, and discovered the New World. They cover the earth with the iron tracks, along which “the rattling engine and the rumbling car" are carried by the power of steam,—they thread the air with the iron nerves, along which thought is conveyed with the speed of electricity,—they cover the ocean with the white wings of our ships, for they construct the charts by which the safety of navigation is effected.

Though Homer and Æschylus sang divinely in Greece, yet that classic land boasts no higher names than Plato and Aristotle. Galileo and Torricelli gathered more fame for Italy, than Dante and Tasso. France glories more in the names of D'Alembert and La Place, than in those of Voltaire and Racine; and there are no gems of purer brilliancy in the coronet of England's fame, than the names of Bacon, Barrow, Napier, and Newton.


1. Memoir of the Life of Elizabeth Fry, with Extracts from her Letters and

Journal, &c. Edited by two of her Daughters. 2 vols. 8vo. 2. Memoirs of Mrs. Elizabeth Fry. By Rev. THOMAS TIMPSON.

“What a scene," says Wilberforce,“ does this world exhibit to any spiritual being who from his elevation sees the globe go once round!” Such an elevation seems to have been attained by some mortals whose spirits were "touched to fine issues," and who, in obedience to the heavenly vision," devoted their energies, with all their newborn intensity of purpose, to deeds of beneficence and piety. Deeply moved by such a view of the condition of his race, Howard no longer found pleasure or repose in the improvement of his beautiful estate at Cardington, and in devising plans for ameliorating the condition of his tenantry. After a glimpse of the world's misery, he could not till his little field in peace, when wide-spread wastes demanded culture. From his own genial fireside, that gladdened with light and warmth the domestic and social circle, he passed on to a higher sphere of usefulness, where his illustrious example became a beacon light to guide the philanthropist of his own and of succeeding generations.

The name of Elizabeth Fry, his successor in these philanthropic labours, has been so long "a word of beauty," that it was with no common interest we opened the Memoir of her Life, edited by her daughters,-no book to carry to the fireside, or to read between the dawn and dusk of a midsummer day, but two ponderous octavos of five hundred pages each,-rather formidable in these days when “of making many books there is no end." The thread of her life is interwoven with so many others, that it would be difficult to give a faithful portrait of her without touching upon the eventful passages in the history of the numerous family connexions in whose weal and woe she so strongly sympathized. Then the barest outline of her "religious visits” and her frequent journeys would make a goodsized volume; and as these “dry bones of fact must be clothed with the raiment of thought” and feeling, we appreciate the difficulty of any attempt to compress their ample materials by her biographers. Mr. Thomas Timpson, whose work we have placed at the head of our article, was not thus troubled. He had no access to any of Mrs. Fry's family papers, yet during her life, if we mistake not, he commenced his labours as her self-appointed biographer, and with the addition of the closing scenes of her history from the pen of her brother, he presented his book to satisfy the awakened public curiosity; before the mass of her letters and papers could be prepared for publication. His only personal acquaintance with her was when he acted as Secretary to the “Coast-Guard Library Committee." and his only records were printed reports and pamphlets. Of course his book is meagre and unsatisfactory, giving merely an outside and distant view of Mrs. Fry's character, and with this many readers, deterred by the size of the large work from purchasing and reading it, will content themselves.

Elizabeth Fry was born in the year 1780, of an ancient family in Norfolk. For four generations her ancestors had been Quakers, and her family was allied to the Barclays, Hanburys, and other leading Quaker families in the kingdom. Till she was five years of age, Mr. Gurney, her father, resided at Norwich, and in the summer at the pretty little village of Bramerton;-to this place she traces the formation of her early tastes, especially of that love of nature, “from the mountain to the field flower,” which was a marked feature in her character. “The beauty and wild scenery of the Common; the trees, and flowers, and little rills that abounded on it; the farm-houses and cottages of the poor,” awoke, in the little child, the love of the country and attention to the poor, which remained with her through her womanhood. She retained a vivid remembrance of her poor neighbours—"Greengrass, with her strawberries round a pond, and one-armed Betty, and the gardener who brought them fish from a pond.” She had a deep reverence for her father and mother : her mother had, with great personal beauty, fine abilities and attain

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ments, and though not fully enlightened as to spiritual things, she was earnest and sincere, praying and reading the Bible with her children, and training them in the love and fear of God. It would indeed have given a new impulse to her maternal labours, could she have known that she was moulding the character of Elizabeth Fry. Parents “know not what” their children" shall be;" but they should labour as does the workman in the manufactory of the Gobelins, who, with the wrong side of the tapestry before him, sits patiently day after day inworking his many-coloured threads. To his eye all is confusion, but to the spectator, from a different stand-point, is revealed the picture with its rich colours and its rare beauty. Elizabeth Fry dwells fondly on the recollections of her childhood.

“I remember with pleasure my mother's beds for wild flowers, which, with delight, I used as a child to attend to with her; it gave me that pleasure in observing their beauties and varieties, that, though I never have had time to become a botanist, few can imagine in my many journeys how I have been pleased and refreshed, by observing and enjoying the wild flowers on my way, Again, she collected shells, and had a cabinet, and bought one for Rachel and myself, where we placed our curiosities; and I may truly say, in the midst even of deep trouble, and often most weighty engagements of a religious and philanthropic nature, I have derived advantage, refreshment, and pleasure, from my taste for these things, making collections of them, and various natural curiosities, although, as with the flowers, I have not studied them scientifically. My mother also encouraged my most close friendship with my sister Rachel, and we had our pretty light closet, our books, our pictures, our curiosities, our tea-things, all to ourselves.”_Vol. i., p. 23.

This devoted mother died when Elizabeth was twelve years of age, leaving eleven children, the eldest scarcely seventeen, the youngest not two years old. The family had removed seven years before her death to Earlham Hall, a large, old, irregular house, situated in a well-wooded park, the river Wensum flowing near it; on the banks of which, beneath the shade of ancient trees, these young people were wont to meet, to walk, and read, and sketch, on summer evenings. In this lovely home Elizabeth's childhood passed away; and here she and her sisters grew up to womanhood. No quiet Quakeresses they : left by an indulgent father to their own devices, with an obscure faith and wavering principle, they associated familiarly with worldly and irreligious people, danced, dressed gayly, and made the old walls of Earlham echo with their native warblings and their gushing merriment. Elizabeth, a tall, graceful girl, with a sweet, pleasing countenance, and “a profusion of soft, flaxen hair," was an excellent horsewoman, and rode fearlessly through the country attired in a scarlet riding habit. It was an eventful day in her history when she went to hear William Savery, an American Friend, who was to minister at the meeting-house in Norwich, two miles from Earlham. Elizabeth," rather restless, with smart purple boots laced with scarlet, sat with her six sisters under the gallery." Who would have singled her out as destined to become one of the first of Christian heroines, one of the noblest of philanthropists? But the light was dawning. At that meeting, “the gayest” that William Savery "ever sat in,” her attention was fixed by the voice and manner of the stranger, and her heart penetrated with his words. She dined with him at her uncle's—went to meeting again in the afternoon—and wept most of the way during the drive home. The next morning he came to breakfast, after which he preached to the young girl, now awaking to new thoughts of immortality and of God, and predicted (surely the spirit of the future must have looked out of her eyes !) “ the high and important calling into which she would be led.” Soon after, she visited London, and there plunged into its gayeties-went to Drury Lane and Covent Garden-was intimate with Mrs. Opie-visited Mrs. Siddons and Mrs. Inchbald—“enjoyed grand company,” dinners, and routs and at the Opera found “the house dazzling, the company animating, the dancing delightful;” and of these scenes of vanity she afterwards deliberately records her opinion:

“ The lessons then learnt are to this day valuable to me. I consider one of the important results was, the conviction of these things being wrong, from seeing them and feeling their effects. I wholly gave up, on my own ground, attending all public places of amusement; I saw they tended to promote evil; therefore, even if I could attend them without being hurt myself

, I felt in entering them I lent my aid to promote that which I was sure from what I saw hurt others-led many from the paths of rectitude and chastity, and brought them into much sin ; particularly those who had to act in plays, sing in concerts. I felt the vanity and folly of what are called the pleasures of this life, of which the tendency is not to satisfy, but eventually to enervate and injure the heart and mind."-Vol. i., p. 55.


One of the first entries in her diary after her visit to London, declares, that she does not find Earlham at all dull, and mentions a visit to a dying servant in the park. She was not spoiled by the London season. She then refers to a dream which repeatedly visited her “ in slumberings on the bed," and there “sealed instruction.” Till she was seventeen, she says, she was "flirting, idle, rather proud and vain," wrapt up in trifles, never thinking of religion; sceptical in her principles. About this time she “never missed a week without dreaming” that she was nearly washed away by the sea;” and night after night she “felt all the terror of being drowned, or hope of being saved.” After William Savery came to Norwich; she went on dreaming the dream;" but the day when she felt that she had really and truly got true and real faith,

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that night she dreamed the sea was coming as usual to wash her away, but she was beyond its reach.” She never dreamed the dream again! A visit to Colebrook Dale, the residence of the wellknown philanthropist, Richard Reynolds, and of other valuable Friends, strengthened Elizabeth's faith, and presented Quakerism in a new and interesting light before her. While here, Deborah Darby, a female preacher, prophesied that Elizabeth "was to be eyes to the blind, speech to the dumb, feet to the lame.” On her return, she resumed her habits of visiting the poor, and a little school of poor children, whom she taught on Sunday evenings, so increased in numbers that she met them in the laundry; and when, on the eve of her marriage, they assembled for the last time, eighty-six mourned the loss of their fair young teacher. Her diary, which is at this time rather monotonous, exhibits her gradual progress. She literally felt her way, "proving all things, and holding fast to that which is good." The peculiarities of Quakerism—the Shibboleth of her secttroubled her most, because her reason did not fully approve of them, but as she found increasing comfort from their adoption, she soon became established in the faith and forms of a Friend. In August, 1800, she married Joseph Fry, a member of the Society of Friends, and a merchant in extensive business in London, and she at once removed to a capacious house in St. Mildred's Court, where her husband, as junior partner, resided.

Before following her to her new dwelling and her altered life, we will linger at Earlham Hall, and look upon that group of brothers and sisters that made it illustrious. Would that some gossiping pen had traced for us its angles and quadrangles ; its dining and drawing-rooms; its nooks and corners, with the minuteness that Southey has the house of his grandmother. We should then have felt more at home in this Earlham family-"the new constellation,” for which Wilberforce wanted “a name that would include all that was to be esteemed, loved, respected, coveted.” There was Joseph John Gurney, so well known for his appeals for the oppressed, for his unwearied philanthropy; and Rachel, the joint-owner with Elizabeth of “the light closet and the little set of tea-things”

the beautiful, lively, warm-hearted girl—the generous, self-sacrificing woman. There, too, was Louisa, better knowu as Mrs. Samuel Hoare, who wrote Hints on Education, and some other works, and was said to be the most talented of the family; and John, remarkable for the beauty of his person, and the fascination of his manner, and, when refined by affliction, for his lovely Christian character; and Priscilla, the youngest, and perhaps the most gifted—in the expression of her lovely face, her delicate complexion, the exquisite neatness and simplicity

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