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Anna Laetitia Barbauld

  • Health to my friend, and long unbroken years, / By storms unruffled and unstained by tears: / Winged by new joys may each white minute fly; / Spring on her cheek, and sunshine in her eye ...

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "The Invitation" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • ... love delights to bless / The generous transports of a fond excess.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "Characters" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • Who can resist those dumb beseeching eyes, / Where genuine eloquence persuasive lies? / Those eyes, where language fails, display thy heart / Beyond the pomp of phrase and pride of art.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "To a Dog" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • ... the world has little to bestow / Where two fond hearts in equal love are joined.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "Delia" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • This dead of midnight is the noon of thought, / And Wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars. / At this still hour the self-collected soul / Turns inward, and beholds a stranger there / Of high descent, and more than mortal rank; / An embryo God; a spark of fire divine ...

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "A Summer Evening's Meditation" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • Yes, injured Woman! rise, assert thy right!

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "The Rights of Woman" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • Haste, precious pledge of happy love, to go / Auspicious borne through life's mysterious gate.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "To a Little Invisible Being Who Is Expected Soon to Become Visible" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • ... nature's sharpest pangs ... free thee living from thy living tomb.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "To a Little Invisible Being Who Is Expected Soon to Become Visible" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • Thy peace is sealed, thy rest is sure, / My sorrows are to come ...

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "Dirge" (1808), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • Life! I know not what thou art, / But know that thou and I must part; / And when, or how, or where we met, / I own to me's a secret yet.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "Life" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • Life! we've been long together, / Through pleasant and through cloudy weather; / 'Tis hard to part when friends are dear, / Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear; / Then steal away, give little warning; / Choose thine own time; / Say not 'Good-night'; but in some brighter clime/ Bid me 'Good-morning.'

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "Life" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • When trembling limbs refuse their weight, / And films, slow gathering, dim the sight, / And clouds obscure the mental light, — / 'Tis nature's precious boon to die.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "A Thought on Death" (1814), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 1 ()
  • It would be difficult to determine whether the age is growing better or worse; for I think our plays are growing like sermons, and our sermons like plays.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • letter (1771), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • Nobody ought to be too old to improve: I should be sorry if I was; and I flatter myself I have already improved considerably by my travels. First, I can swallow gruel soup, egg soup, and all manner of soups, without making faces much. Secondly, I can pretty well live without tea ...

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • letter (1785), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • The most characteristic mark of a great mind is to choose some one important object, and pursue it through life.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "Against Inconsistency in Our Expectations" (1773), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • Time deals gently with me; and though I feel that I descend, the slope is easy ...

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • letter (1813), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • Englishmen are said to love their laws; — that is the reason, I suppose, they give us so many of them, and in different editions.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • letter (1822), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • ... many things I knew, I have forgotten; many things I thought I knew, I find I know nothing about; some things I know, I have found not worth knowing; and some things I would give — O what would one not give to know? are beyond the reach of human ken.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • letter to Maria Edgeworth (1823), The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • ... if an author would have us feel a strong degree of compassion, his characters must not be too perfect.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "An Inquiry Into Those Kinds of Distress Which Excite Agreeable Sensations," The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • We may think all religions beneficial, and believe of one alone that it is true.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "Thoughts on the Devotional Taste, and on Sects and Establishments," The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • You, that have toiled during youth, to set your son upon higher ground, and to enable him to begin where you left off, do not expect that son to be what you were, — diligent, modest, active, simple in his tastes, fertile in resources. You have put him under quite a different master. Poverty educated you; wealth will educate him. You cannot suppose the result will be the same.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "On Education," The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • Children have almost an intuitive discernment between the maxims you bring forward for their use, and those by which you direct your own conduct.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "On Education," The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • ... we should contract our ideas of education, and expect no more from it than it is able to perform.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "On Education," The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • ... it is, in truth, the most absurd of all suppositions, that a human being can be educated, or even nourished and brought up, without imbibing numberless prejudices from every thing which passes around him.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "On Prejudice," The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()
  • Let us confess a truth, humiliating to human pride; — a very small part only of the opinions of the coolest philosopher are the result of fair reasoning; the rest are formed by his education, his temperament, by the age in which he lives, by trains of thought directed to a particular track through some accidental association — in short, by prejudice.

    • Anna Laetitia Barbauld,
    • "On Prejudice," The Works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld, vol. 2 ()

Anna Laetitia Barbauld, English poet, essayist, critic

(1743 - 1825)

Full name: Anna Letitia Aikin Barbauld.