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that this rigorous examination of his the ordinary and necessary occupe language, may teach Mr. Card that tions of eating, drinking, and sleepthere is yet a wide interval between ing, fill up the cha-m with a long his style and that of perfection, series of dull and heavy letters: so
you may go on to the end of the voMemoirs of the Life of Mrs. Eliza- lume, telling here and there a bit of
BETH CARTÉR, with a new edition matter of fact, and regaliug the reader of her Poems, some of which have with a copious quantity of epistles, never appeared befire: to which nay scraps of epistles, from the acare added some miscellaneous Es- complislied Miss, or the play. says in Prose, together with her tul Nirs.- or the learned Dr. notes on the Bible, and Answers or the profound and celebrated Lord to Oljections concerning the Chris. --! This being done, and you: tian Religion. By the Rev. Mon- friend's life fairly bronght down to its TAGU PenningTON, M. 4. her conclusion, you may then add to the Nephew and Executor. I vol. volume by printing whatever can be 4to. 1307.
found, though it be but an unfinished WE
E have here another instance sentence: then you may deliver the
of the modern art of book, motley mixture to the world and all making: a quarto volume of nearly ita" Life."-But we are sick and dis700 pages, and price two guineas! gusted at such practices: they betray for the life of a learned and respecta- in those who commit them, a needy ble lady who lived to a venerable age willingness to put money in their own in privacy and retirement. Such li- pockets, by bartering every pretenterary extortions are unjustifiable, sion to judgment, good sense, and and tend more than any thing else liberality. to degrade the pursuits and labours It is astonishing what a paucity of of literature. Mrs. Carter was, no information there is in the volume doubt, a woman of great learning before us. It could not indeed be but when that is allowed, in our opi- otherwise, and it is our firm opinion, nion every thing is allowed : beyond that every thing needful and neces. her Greek and Latin, she does not sary to be known about Mrs. Carter, appear to us to have been distinguish- might have been amply detailed in a ed from ten thousand females whose two shilling pamphlet, instead of a two lives deserve as inuch to be recorded. guinea volume. She was a woman who The reader will be curious to know lived in great privacy all her life; she in what manner Mr. Pernington has was not distinguished for wit; her been able to expand the brief and writings are confined to a thio octavo scanty memoirs of his relative into volume of poetry, if we except her such a formidable size. The pro- translation of Epictetus, and two cess is extremely simple. When the anonymous translations from the events of your hero's life do not af- French and Italian; her opinions, ford materials for forming a tolerably such at least, as are here given to the good sized book, you have only to world, do not bespeak any force of collect all the letters that are to be mind; she had a host of old woman's found, whether from the person him- prejudices about her, some of which self or his friends; no matter how un- we shall mention hereafter; she passinteresting; no matter how common- ed her time in dinner parties and tea place; no matter how silly. Let but visits; she made no discoveries ; she the fact be proved that they were wroté nothing that is now scarcely written, and received by the person remembered; her poetry has confeswhose life you wish to write, and you sedily been long since forgotten, excinnot be wrong. With this store cept in the immediate circle of her of materials, you have nothing to do friends; and in our opinion it debut to tollow your friend through serves to be forgotten. In fact, she every month, aye every week of his was a pious, learned, and respectable life, with the bundle of letters at your old lady, whose name may creditably elbow: and when you find that no- enough fill a place in a biographical t'iing has been done by your friend dictionary, but one who, neither by during a certain space of tinie, except her public labours nor private adven
ures, deserved the pompous record turn of mind, she was in her youth of a two guinea volume. All that gay and lively; and Mr. Pennington needed to have been said about her, tells us, with manifest symptoms of was precisely that which we are now surprise and wonder, that she loved about to lay before our readers. dancing, was a romp, subscribed to
Elizabeth Carter was born on the assemblies; nay, once actually took 16th Dec. 1717, at Deal in Kent. part in a play. Truly wonderful! She was eldest daughter of the Rev. ihat because Mrs. Carter knew a few Nicholas Carter, Þ. D. perpetual languages and read her bible, she was curate of the chapel in that town, therefore like the rest of her sex, and afterwards rector of Woodchurch She had many otters of marriage, and of Ham, both in that county, says our author, for she was cheerand one of the six preachers in the ful, had some share of beauty, and cathedral church of Canterbury. Mrs. many accomplishments.” Miss Carter Carter early felt the ambition of being however, resolved to remain single, a scholar; 'though in her youth she and seemed totally to forget that did not display any precocity of in- " le jours nes ont que la moitié de la tellect. She gained the rudiments of vie.' Yet she was not pleased to be knowledge with great labour and dif- regarded as an “ Old Maid,” for ficulty; she used to protract her when Mr. Hayley published his studies through a great part of the " Essay on Old Maids,” 1785 (Mrs. night. She did not, however, amidst Carter was then near 70) and dedi. her severer studies, neglect what her cated it to her in her triple capacity biographer terms “ feminine accom- of “ Poet, Philosopher, and Old plishments”-viz. French, needle- Maid," she was any thing but fiatwork, the spinnet, and German-flute! tered by the compliment. Yet surely p. 7. She very early cultivated a at that time of life, all chagrin at the taste for poetry, for in the year 1738 appropriation of a title manifestly corshe published a very small collection rect, must have subsided. of poems before she was twenty years In the year 1739 Mrs. Carter first of age. In her acquisition of lan- appeared to the world as a writer in guages she began with the Latin and prose as well as in verse. Her first Greek, and some time after added work of this kind was a translation the Hebrew. In the last she was not from the French of the Critique of very much skilled; but eminently so Crousaz on Pope's Essay on Man. in the two former. She was parti- This was finished in 1738, but not cularly fond of Greek. She used to published till the year following: it relate with much pleasure that Dr. was in one small volume duodecimo : Johnson had said, speaking of some the translator's name was not mencelebrated scholar, 'that he under- tioned: there are a few ucimportant stood Greek better than any one notes by Mrs. Carter. . In the same whom he had ever known except year she translated Algarotto's NewElizabeth Carter. To the languages tonianismo per le Dame, in two voalready mentioned she added those of lumes duodecimo, which were printed Italian, Spanish, German, Portu- by Cave. guese, and Arabic: the last two she The fame of Mrs. Carter's acquire. acquired late in life, and was rather ments was not confined to her nanominally than really acquainted with tive island. It spread over several either. To all these acquirements parts of the continent, and that wonshe joined a thorough and enthusi- derful prodigy of early learning, John astic piety; but which did not, we Philip Baratier expressed a wish of are intornied, render her either peta. commencing an epistolary correspondlant or fastidious. If this were in- ence with her. This was accord, deed so, it deserves the
highest com- ingly granted after taking her father's mendation ; for it is not among the advice upon its propriety, and two or least evils resulting from religion that three hyperbolical letters from the it renders its votaries disgusting and gentleman are duly inserted. The hateful to all but themselves.
extraordinary young man who wrote But though such was her pigus them did not long survive: he died
in the year 1739, two months after the extraordinary circumstance of 1 the date of his last letter to Mrs. translation from the Greek of so dif. Carter.
ficult an author by a woman, made a About this time Mr. Carter be- great noise all over Europe. Eren came acquainted with Archbishop in Russia, where, as Mrs. Carter huSecker and Dr. Hayter. Such indeed morously observed, they were just was the intimacy of the connexion, learning to walk upon their hind legs, that it was first reported she was to an account was published of her. In marry the Archbishop, and afterwards England there were many persons the Dr. Once when the two Bishops who did not believe the translation to were together with Mrs. Carter, be hers, but asserted that her father Dr. Secker jocularly alluded to this did it, and others, that the bishop of subject and said, “Brother Hayter, Oxford translated it. the world says one of us two is to In the year 1762. a new and en. marry Madam Carter; (by which larged edition of her poems was pubname he was accustomed to speak of lished. It was dedicated to Lord her and address her) now I have no Bath, and introduced by some com. such intention, and therefore resign plimentary blank verse of Lord Lyoher to you. Dr. Hayter, with more tleton's. Of the dedication a disgrace. gallantiy, bowed to her, and replied, ful anecdote is recorded by Mr. Pen. that he would not pay his grace the nington. It was written by Lord same compliment, and that the world Bath himself, in which his lordship did him great honour by the report.” very politely tells himself “ that the
About the year 1750, Mrs. Carter world will judge the more favourabiy undertook the education of her bro. of the collection, from being told that ther Henry, to fit him for the Uni- it was printed at his desire.”! This versity, and he passed his examina- was a species of effrontery wbich Mrs. tion with singular credit. He was per- Carter's good sense and spirit ought baps the only instance of a student to have spurned at: not indeed that at Cambridge who was indebted for we had occasion to expect much mag, his previous education to one of nanimity or much independence of the other sex. Her leisure bours, character, from a person who allowed from this important avocat.on, were herself to be pensioned out by private not mispent, for they were employed individuals ; and who, when in Lon. in her greatest work, the translation don “ kept no table, nor ever dised of Epictetus, This was undertaken at home, but when she was unable to at the desire of Miss Talbot, enforced go out from indisposition.". . Such by the Bishop of Oxford. It was be- traits Mr. Pennington should have gun in the year 1749, and was sent thrown into shade ; they represent up in sheets as fast as it was finished, his relative in the character of a parfor the entertainment of Miss Talbot simonious old woman, who preferred and to receive the Bishop's correc- living, at any person's house rather tions. Mrs. Carter was therefore in than her own. Her receiving pria her thirty second year when she be- vate pensions from Mrs. Pulteney and gan this difficult work; it was not Mrs. Montague, was another mark of finished till the year 1756. About littleness that sinks considerably the this time some of Mrs. Carter's friends moral character of Mrs. Carter. had formed a scheme unknown to In the year 1763 she accompanied herself, of getting her into the Lord Bath and Mrs. Montague to Princess of Wales's household, to be Spa. They remained there some about some of the children. This months, and from thence she sent however, Mrs. Carter very prudently packets of letters to her friends, which declined.
Mr. Pennington has very carefully The publication of Epictetus took inserted. They are full of female place in the year 1758. It was print- tittle-tattle, well suited to be read by ed by subscription, and Mrs. Carter those to whom they were addressed, gained nearly a thousand pounds by and afterwards forgotten ; but quite the work. It was much admired and unworthy of being given to the world talked of as soon as published, and forty years afterwards, From one
of them we learn another instance of " very strong mind;" and, as
lowing; any book which had the Her letters on her journey to and least tendency towards levelling and from Spa, are tull of the querulous- democratical principles, either in the ness of an English traveller: every publications themselves, or in the chathing is vile and odious, and hateful. racter of the authors of them, she steaForeigners justly ridicule us for this dily refused to read. A more comexcessive nationality.
plete trait of an obstinate old woman From this period of her life, Mrs. We would not desire to have. Carter pasyed her time in the usual In the year 1791, Virs. Carter was occupations of a single woman. She honoured by an interview with the travelled froin Deal to London, and queen; nor was this the only mark from London to Deal; she read, and of Royal favour bestowed upon her, took smatt; she visited tea parties, for, in the year 1804, the Duke of and received ladies at home to tea at Cumberland, whose regiment was Deal; she wroie letters, and passed quartered at Deal, called upon her at silly criticisms upon contemporary au- her house; the Princess of Wales also thors. It deserves bere to be inen- drank tea with her there. These distioned, that Mrs. Carter could never tinguished events are mentioned with admire the works of an author, how- no small exultation by Mr. Penning. ever beautiful, unless the author him- ton, who takes care to inform us that self was to be admired. Consequently, he was one of the party at tea wiion Churchill and Burns she thought 10- the Princess, though he happened to thing of! Happy art! by which she be out when the Duke of Cumberlearned to shut her eyes against the land called, and did not return till he sun, because darting its rays through was just upon the point of quitting a cloud. Can we but smile when we the house. afterwards hear her opinions of au On the 23d of December, 1305, thors seriously mentioned ? Mr. Peo- Mrs. Carter lett Deal for London in a nington too writes a great deal state of extreme imbecility. She ar. of twichelle twaddle criticism about rived the following day in ClargesChurchill: incomparably one of the street, Piccadilly, where she always most nervous satirists that this couin- lodged when in town. She continued try has produced: a poet, whose lan- to grow daily weaker and weaker, till guage, wit, and humour are unri- she expired on the 19th Feb. 1800. valled: and, because his life was She was buried without any pomp in stained with some follies, we are the burial ground of Grosvenor Chatherefore to forget the beauties of his pel. A monument has been erected "pen. Oh! 'tis irksome to think of io ber memory in the chapel of the
towu of Deal. In the year 1774, Mrs. Carter Jost
We have thus compressed the subher father, after a long illness. He stance of this two guinea volume: the appears to have been a pious and re- rest is filled with her poems, and spectable man; nay, if we believe some notes on the Bible. Of her Mr. Pennington, he was a man of a poetry we do not think highly; it is UNIVERSAL Mag. Vol. VIII.
frigid and tame; it wants fire and ter, the translator of Epictetus, the strength; t is too elaborate; it is such friend of Johnson, being a smug, poetry as may be fabricated by mere gler, is irresistibly ludicrous: nor is labour correct without warmih; the the following less amusing.
Mrs. effort of thought, not of inspiration. Carter writes gaily to her friend
In giving this volume to the world Miss Talbot, and tells her the life of Mr. Pennington has had little to do as Epictetus must stand still awhile. for an author, yet that little we cannot she has a “ dozen shi to make." say he has done well. There is a vast This only shews her in a pleasing deal of sanctimonious zeal in his oc- point of view: but it was too impotcasional remarks, which is too easy tant to be suffered to pass without a to vulgar and weak minds to be meri- comment from Mr. Pennington; xtorious. His language is often course cordingly, he gives us a very grave and ungrammatical : the former at p. paragraph, and concludes by assuring 32, where he talks of “ Grub-street us that, though caressed and fiät'erea writers," a low expression long since by the learned, Mrs Carier never alexploded from elegant composition :* lowed herself to shrink from domestic the latter when he says (p. 33), hat employments; that she had “ learned Mrs. Carter was “i averse to all kinds in ihe best of all schools, that religius of deceit, &c.;" it should be averse dities should be practised, &c." from ; and at p. 301, “ these how- Wborrer :houynt before of classing er er were acquainta”ces;' Mr. Pen- shirt making among the religious nington should have known that this duties of the female sex? How many word has no plural. At page 344, pious semstresses have we then in he seems ignorant of the true speiling London! of Burus' name: in the nominative Any final remarks upon this rohe writes it Burn; in the genitive, lume would be superfluous: we have Burn's.
ir.cidentally expressed our opinion of Sometimes too he is laughable. it; and conclude by repeating that At p. 322-3, he enters into a minute such expensive publications coniposed investigation, to shew that Mrs. Car- of such dull and wretched materials, ter, though living at Deal, was no decked out with the name of a sinuggler!"-the idea oi Eliza Car- “ Lite," when in fact the life is the
least part of the volume, are a sort of • At p. 101, he informs us, that Mrs. literary depredation, against which Carter was never “stupid or prusing." we will never fail to raise our voice. T'he last word is colloquially vulgar.
I mark the lustre of her vest;
I nark'd her winning, easy grace;
Her locks that floated on !he wind;
The angel-sweetness of her face. And let each raging passion burn.
Hope was her name; she stretch'd her
hand My sleepless pillow thus I songht, With anguish brooded o'r my lot,
To raise me from my fallin state; Renouncid the world; renounc'd iyself;
And as she bent, her rosy smile My God; my duty; all forgot!
Seem'd to dispel the clouds of fate. But while I err'd in sinful thought,
I pose; I gaz'd; with wonder heard And Virtue, trembling, fled away,
Her dulcet voice and mild tebest: Soft slumber o'er my senses stole,
" Sh.ke off,” she cried, "this sullen grief, And hush'd in balmy sleep I lay.
“ Arise; be virtuous, and be blest!" When Jo! a heaveply shape arosa
The thrilling accents struck my ear,
I tum'd t'adore my heave ly guide Forth from her eyes compassion beam'd,
The dream was past; the truth remaind: Than morning's dawn more mildly bright.
'Twas MARTHA standing at my side.