1805 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anna Laetitia Barbauld

Charles Brockden Brown?, "Mrs. Barbauld and Miss Burney" Literary Magazine and American Register [Philadelphia] 3 (March 1805) 200-01.



Mrs. Barbauld is generally known to us only as a poet and a writer of moral essays and tales. In like manner, Miss Burney appears before us as a writer of novels. To the honour of the sex, however, it is to be mentioned, that both these ladies have once been seduced into the paths of public and dignified eloquence. Two of the most eloquent productions of modern times claim these ladies for their authors. In 1793, Mrs. Barbauld, on occasion of a fast enjoined upon the nation, for the purpose of supplicating success to the war, recently engaged in with France, published a discourse, entitled Sins of the Government Sins of the Nation. In the same year, Miss Burney published an address to the British ladies, in behalf of the emigrant French clergy. Both of these performances manifested a wisdom and eloquence, which no productions of the present age have exceeded. If I wanted to inspire a female with generous sentiments and a useful emulation, I should put these two pieces in her hand, rather than any other with which I am acquainted.