1857 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lydia Huntley Sigourney

Samuel Griswold Goodrich, in Recollections of a Lifetime (1857) 2:125.



It was, I believe, through Mr. Wadsworth's influence that Miss Huntly, now Mrs. Sigourney, was induced to leave her home in Norwich, and make Hartford her residence. This occurred about the year 1814. Noiselessly and gracefully she glided into our young social circle, and ere long was its presiding genius. I shall not write her history, nor dilate upon her literary career — for who does not know them both by heart? Yet I may note her influence in this new relation — a part of which fell upon myself. Mingling in the gayeties of our social gatherings, and in no respect clouding their festivity, she led us all toward intellectual pursuits and amusements. We had even a literary cotery under her inspiration, its first meetings being held at Mr. Wadsworth's. I believe one of my earliest attempts at composition was made here. The ripples thus begun, extended over the whole surface of our young society, producing a lasting and refining effect. It could not but be beneficial thus to mingle in intercourse with one who has the angelic faculty of seeing poetry in all things, and good everywhere. Few persons living have exercised a wider influence than Mrs. Sigourney; no one that I now know, can look back upon a long and earnest career of such unblemished beneficence.