1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elizabeth Sheridan

Anonymous, "What Son or Daughter of Harmony has not heard of Miss Linley?" The Bee 5 (21 September 1791) 74.



The following account of her death my be depended upon as authentic:

"For ten days before the close of her life, though in a state of delirium, she was almost continually singing, not interrupted pieces, but in a series of inchanting melody, as perfect as ever she sung in her life.

"A little before her death, she went through the whole of the charming song, I know that my Redeemer liveth. Then singing a beautiful Italian air, expressive of happiness, she sunk on her pillow, and expired immediately. Doctor [Henry] Harrington, who attended her, said he never heard her sing better, if so well, and he was so much affected that he left the room before the conclusion."

This account was communicated to the late learned and worthy John Loveday, Esq; of Caversham, by a friend at Bath, who had occasion to know its authenticity. A gentleman to whom he read it, observed, "That the effect of Miss Linley's delirium was indeed extraordinary, and must have greatly affected all present, though she herself suffered little, if we may judge from our dreams, and that the immediate cause of this exhibition may be traced in association and vibration of the nervous system in the brain, which had been previously exerted by rapturous meditation on religious subjects."