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fact not very creditable to the judgment of the age in which it appeared. *

ELIZABETH CARTER, eldest daughter of the Rev. Nicolas Carter, D. D. was born on the 16th of December, 1717, at Deal, in Kent. In her tenth year

she had the misfortune to be deprived of a most excellent mother; a loss which was, however, in a great measure made up to her by the unremitting attention of her father. Though slow in the acquisition of the rudiments of knowledge, she very early evinced an unconquerable desire of possessing the attainments of a scholar. With so much difficulty, indeed, did she overcome the obstacles which usually attend the commencement of grammatical studies, that her father's patience was exhausted, and he advised her to relinquish all idea of excelling in the walks of literature. Intense application, however, and a strong memory, at length enabled her to succeed beyond what the warmest wishes of her friends could have suggested.

* It is singular, that no edition of the entire works of Richardson has been published. Proposals were once issued by his nephew for printing his uncle's works in 20 yolumes 8vo; but the design failed, I suppose, from want of encouragement.

She soon possessed, therefore, in consequence of unremitting study, a very intimate knowledge of the Latin and Greek languages; and to these she added, in a few years, a considerable proficiency in the Hebrew. These severe and rather singular acquirements, for a lady, were not obtained at the expence of, more feminine accomplishments; for she was early taught French, music, and the different branches of needle-work; yet, not content with this fund, she voluntarily increased it, before her twenty-first year, by a thorough acquaintance with the Italian, Spanish, and German.

Though history and classical learning were, in profane literature, the favourite studies of Mrs, Carter, the sciences were not neglected; she had paid some attention to mathematics, and in astronomy and ancient geography she had made no common progress. What she studied, how ever, with still superior ardour and delight, and with an effect on her manners and conduct of the most indelible kind, was religion. Her piety, indeed, was the most decided feature of her character, and its intensity continued undiminished to the last moment of her life.

Notwithstanding these various, laborious, and important pursuits, she found leisure for amusements, and for the display of a cheerful and even

gay disposition. Of dancing she was particularly fond, and entered, indeed, with singular naiveté and vivacity into all the innocent diversions of youth and high spirits.

What enabled her to partake of so much relaxation was the habit which she had acquired of rising every morning between four and five o'clock, a practice that was continued, to a certain extent, even in very advanced life, for at no time, if in health, was she known to lie later than


The sister arts of painting and poetry were among those elegant recreations which early attracted the attachment of Mrs.Carter; and in the latter she obtained, even with competent judges, a distinguished reputation. · She had commenced a disciple of the Muses, indeed, before her seventeenth year, by a translation of the thirtieth Ode

of Anacreon; this was followed in the succeeding

year, 1735, by some lines on her birth-day, and

by several poctical contributions to the Gentle

man's Magazine.

Encouraged by the approbation of her friends, she ventured, in 1738, to publish a small collec


tion of poems, written before her twentieth

They were printed by Cave, and occupy twenty

four pages in quarto. Considered as the productions of a very young author, they have merit;

yet Mrs. Carter acted wisely, when, at a subsequent period, she dismissed them, with the exception of the first two pieces, from a place in her works; and perhaps it had been better, if her last ingenious editor and biographer had copied her example.

The year following this small offering to the Muses, Mrs.Carter appeared before the public as a writer in prose. Crousaz, a French author of some talents, under the idea that Pope's Essay on Man favoured the doctrine of Fatalism, and was therefore inimical to revealed religion, published a severe critique on the tendency of that poem; this Mrs. Carter translated into English with the following title, in a duodecimo volume. Examination of Mr. Pope's Essay on Man: translated from the French of M, Crousaz, M. R. A. of Sciences at Paris and Bourdeaux; and Professor of Philosophy and Mathematics at Lausanne.” She did not prefix her name, but accompanied the version with notes, the principal purport of which was to mitigate the asperity of the text. Between herself and Pope, however, notwithstanding the friendliness of this attempt, no intimacy took place, probably owing to the wish, on the part of the poet, that the work of Crousaz, although softened by the mildness of the translator, had remained in its original language. It was soon known that to Mrs. Carter the public was indebted for this version, and it procured for her no inconsiderable credit. Johnson, who had been introduced to her through the medium of Cave, gave it his entire approbation; and Dr. Birch addressed a Latin epistle to her, in commendation of the propriety and elegance of the style which she had adopted.

66 An

Our author had not finished this translation before she commenced another from the Italian of Algarotti's Newtonianismo per le Dame; it was entituled, “ Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy explained, for the use of the Ladies, in six Dialogues, on Light and Colours.” 2 vols. 12mo, 1739. Cave was the printer both of this and of the former work.

The“ Dialogues" were likewise published anonymously; they were well received, and were the mcan of introducing Mrs. Carter to the Countess of Hertford, the lady to whom Thomson has dedicated his Spring. She was also highly complimented on this occasion, by a writer in the Gentleman's Magazine, who signs J. Swan, and who, after praising the attempt of Algarotti, exclaims,

But we, perhaps, these treasures ne'er had known,
Had not their worth, confest, to Carter shone:
No pen could better all their charms impart,
Her judgment equal to her happy art.

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