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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Jean Ingelow

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Her books have had large sale, both here and in Europe. It is stated that in this country one hundred thousand of her Poems have been sold, and half that number of her prose works.

Miss Ingelow has not been elated by her deserved success. She has told the world very little of herself in her books. She once wrote a friend: "I am far from agreeing with you 'that it is rather too bad when we read people's works, if they won't let us know anything about themselves.' I consider that an author should, during life, be as much as possible, impersonal. I never import myself into my writings, and am much better pleased that others should feel an interest in me, and wish to know something of me, than that they should complain of egotism."

It is said that the last of her Songs with Preludes refers to a brother who lies buried in Australia:--

"I stand on the bridge where last we stood
When delicate leaves were young;
The children called us from yonder wood,
While a mated blackbird sung.

* * * * *

"But if all loved, as the few can love,
This world would seldom be well;
And who need wish, if he dwells above,
For a deep, a long death-knell?

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"There are four or five, who, passing this place,
While they live will name me yet;
And when I am gone will think on my face,
And feel a kind of regret."

With all her literary work, she does not forget to do good personally. At one time she instituted a "copyright dinner," at her own expense, which she thus described to a friend: "I have set up a dinner-table for the sick poor, or rather, for such persons as are just out of the hospitals, and are hungry, and yet not strong enough to work. We have about twelve to dinner three times a week, and hope to continue the plan. It is such a comfort to see the good it does. I find it one of the great pleasures of writing, that it gives me more command of money for such purposes than falls to the lot of most women." Again, she writes to an American friend: "I should be much obliged to you if you would give in my name twenty-five dollars to some charity in Boston. I should prefer such a one as does not belong to any party in particular, such as a city infirmary or orphan school. I do not like to draw money from your country, and give none in charity."

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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