benevolent people are so apt to be. To the last, her interest in great political movements, at home and abroad, was as vivid as ever. She watched every step won in philosophy, every discovery in science, every token of social change and progress in every shape. Her mind was as liberal as her heart and hand. No diversity of opinion troubled her: she was respectful to every sort of individuality, and indulgent to all constitutional peculiarities. It must have puzzled those who kept up the notion of her being “strait-laced” to see how indulgent she was even to Epicurean tendencies,—the remotest of all from her own.
’But I must stop; for I do not wish my honest memorial to degenerate into panegyric. Among her latest known acts were her gifts to the Sicilian cause, and her manifestations on behalf of the antislavery cause in the United States. Her kindness to William and Ellen Craft must be well known there; and it is also related in the newspapers, that she bequeathed a legacy to a young American to assist him under any disadvantages he might suffer as an abolitionist.
’All these deeds were done under a heavy burden of ill health. Before she had passed middle life, her lungs were believed to be irreparably injured by partial ossification. She was subject to attacks so serious, that each one, for many years, was expected to be the last. She arranged her affairs in correspondence with her liabilities: so that the same order would have been found, whether she died suddenly or after long warning.
’She was to receive one more accession of outward greatness before she departed. She became Baroness Wentworth in November, 1856. This is one of the facts of her history; but it is the least interesting to us, as probably to her. We care more to know that her last days were bright in honour, and cheered by the attachment of old friends worthy to pay the duty she deserved. Above all, it is consoling to know that she who so long outlived her only child was blessed with the unremitting and tender care of her grand-daughter. She died on the 16th of May, 1860.
’The portrait of Lady Byron as she was at the time of her marriage is probably remembered by some of my readers. It is very engaging. Her countenance afterwards became much worn; but its expression of thoughtfulness and composure was very interesting. Her handwriting accorded well with the character of her mind. It was clear, elegant, and womanly. Her manners differed with circumstances. Her shrinking sensitiveness might embarrass one visitor; while another would be charmed with her easy, significant, and vivacious conversation. It depended much on whom she talked with. The abiding certainty was, that she had strength for the hardest of human trials, and the composure which belongs to strength. For the rest, it is enough to point to her deeds, and to the mourning of her friends round the chasm