Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/86

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68
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
breaking up of the milky-way was in it, I said 'Yes,' and he looked content. I cannot help remembering this circumstance: it was the last time I was sent to the library on such an occasion."

Her brother William died on the 25th of August, and in the following October she settled in Hanover with her brother Dietrich.

When her brother died she was herself in feeble health, and expected soon to follow him to the grave, and it suited her feelings to go back to Hanover to die. Besides, she says:

"My whole life almost has passed away in the delusion that, next to my eldest brother, none but Dietrich was capable of giving me advice where to leave my few relics, consisting of a few books and my sweeper. And for the last twenty years I kept to the resolution of never opening my lips to my dear brother William about worldly or serious concerns, let me be ever so much at a loss for knowing right from wrong. And so it happened that, at a time when I was stupefied by grief at seeing the death of my dear brother, I gave myself with all I was worth (£500 of bank-stock) to my brother Dietrich and his family, and, from that time till the death of Dietrich, I found great difficulty to remain mistress of my own actions and opinions. In respect to the latter we never could agree."

Her brother William, however, left her a legacy of 100 a year, and during the rest of her life her chief study was how to spend this sum without making herself ridiculous.

As was to be expected, after fifty years' absence she found Hanover changed in everything, and little to her taste, and she was also grievously disappointed in the generation of relatives with whom she lived, and of whom she says:

"They have never been of the least use to me, and for all the good I have lavished on them they never came to look after me, but when they had some design upon me."

In speaking of her return to Hanover, her biographer writes thus:

"Who can think of her at the age of seventy-two, heart-broken and desolate, going back to the home of her youth to find consolation without a pang of pity? She little guessed how much her habits had changed in the different world where she had lived for fifty years. She had the bitterness to find herself alone with her great sorrow."

We have no space to give to this part of her life, although it occupies more than half of the volume, to which we must refer our readers. It is made up chiefly of her correspondence, and her letters, from their unconscious self-portraiture, are quite as interesting as her "Diary" or her "Recollections." It is full of interest also on account of the details it gives concerning the life of Sir William Herschel, of whom no reliable biography has yet appeared.

She died peacefully in 1848, and her funeral was held in the same garrison-church where she was christened and confirmed. According to a request made to her favorite niece, a lock of her brother's hair,