Page:The complete poems of Emily Bronte.djvu/41

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xxxvii
INTRODUCTORY ESSAY

Mrs. Browning to Mrs. Brownrigg. The action is laid in hell—only it seems places and people have English names there.' Matthew Arnold paid his tribute in the well-known lines:—

'. . . she
(How shall I sing her?) whose soul
Knew no fellow for might,
Passion, vehemence, grief,
Daring, since Byron died,
That world-famed son of fire—she, who sank
Baffled, unknown, self-consumed;
Whose too bold dying song
Stirr'd, like a clarion-blast, my soul.'

From this it was evident that it was Emily Brontë's poetry rather than her prose that roused Arnold's enthusiasm. The work of Madame Duclaux (1883) is one of some real value, and the critical part is sound. But the noblest and the wisest praise is that given by Mr. Swinburne in his well-known work, A Note on Charlotte Brontë, and with a yet more deep and delicate insight in the Essay on Emily Brontë, which is published in his Miscellanies. The appreciation by Mrs. Humphry Ward, in her introduction to Wuthering Heights, is at once penetrating and generous.