Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

bonour both to herself and to her friend, by conferring upon her, in the most delicate manner, a similar testimony of esteem and regard.

Mrs. Carter lived to a very advanced age. Her health and bodily strength visibly declined some years before she died; but she retained the calm, and almost unimpaired possession of all her mental powers, till within a few hours of her close. She went to London a short time before her decease; and died there, on the nineteenth of February, 1806, in the eighty ninth year of her age. She expired without a struggle or a groan.

Mrs. Carter was good and pious from her childhood; and as she advanced in years, her goodness and piety increased. She never allowed her literary pursuits, nor the flattering distinctions which they procured her, to interfere, in the smallest degree, with the regular and conscientious discharge of all her religious and domestic duties. Though remarkably humble, and, in early life, diffident, she took great pleasure in promoting the moral and intellectual improvement of her relatives and friends; and, indeed, of all persons with whom she was connected. When dining at the tables of the great, she always endeavoured, as far as she could without violating the established forms of society, to give the conversation such a turn, as might be useful to the servants who were in attendance; and thus indirectly and in the most gentle and winning manner, often impressed upon their minds truths of the greatest consequence. They listened to her discourse with the utmost earnestness; and in all the families where she was accustomed to visit frequently, they showed her a marked and zealous attention. A lady of high rank, with whom she was intimately acquainted, used to say, that she attributed, in a very considerable degree, the general good conduct of her servants, of whom she had a large number, to their hearing so frequently the conversation of Mrs. Carter.

In the following striking admonition to young ladies,

[ocr errors]

Mrs. Hannah More has paid a just and noble tribute to the great worth of Mrs. Carter, and of another lady, scarcely less celebrated, whose early removal has given peculiar interest to her example. Against learning, against talents of any kind, nothing can steady the head, unless we fortify the heart with real Christianity. In raising the moral edifice, we must sink deep in proportion as we build high. We must widen the foundation, if we extend the superstructure. Religion alone can counteract the aspirings of genius, can regulate the pride of talents. And let such women as are disposed to be vain of their comparatively petty attainments, look up with admiration to those contemporary shining examples, the venerable Elizabeth Carter, and the blooming Elizabeth Smith. I knew them both ; and to know was to revere them. In them, let our young ladies contemplate profound and various learning, chastised by true Christian humility; and in them, venerate acquirements, which would have been distinguished in a University, meekly softened, and beautifully shaded, by the gentle exertion of every domestic virtue, the unaffected exercise of every feminine employment."

CHATHAM, William Pitt,--earl of, a most eminent English statesman and orator, and father of the late Mr. Pitt, was born in 1708, and died in 1778.

His letters addressed to his nephew, chiefly during his residence at Cambridge, were published by lord Grenville, with the concurrence and approbation of Mr. Pitt. 6. They are few in number,” says the noble editor, “and they contain only such detached observations, on the extensive subjects to which they relate, as occasion might happen to suggest, in the course of familiar correspondence. Yet imperfect as these remains are, they exhibit a great orator, statesman, and patriot, in one of the most interesting relations of private society. Not, in the cabipet or the sepate, enforcing by a vigorous and commande ing eloquence, those councils to which his country owed her preeminence and glory; but implanting, with parental kindness, in the mind of an ingenuous youth, seeds of wisdom and virtue, which ripened into full maturity in the character of a most accomplished inan; directing him to the acquisition of knowledge, as the instrument of action; teaching him by the cultivation of his reason, to establish and strengthen in his heart the principles of moral rectitude; and, above all, exhorting him to regulate the whole conduct of his life by the predominant influence of gratitude and obedience to God, as the only sure groundwork of every human dutý."

COTTON, Nathaniel,- a distinguished poet and physician. The time and place of his birth are unknown. He resided at St. Albans; where, in the latter part of his life, he opened a house for the reception of lunatics. Cowper, the poet, at an early period of the fatal malady, that in some degree afflicted him through life, was committed to his care, and experienced from him the most kind and judicious treatment. Dr. Cotton died at St. Albans, in an advanced age, on the second of August, 1788.

“ His moral and intellectual character,” (says Dr. Anderson in his Complete Edition of the British poets,)

appears to have been, in the highest degree, amiable and respectable.-His poetical compositions are distinguished by a refined elegance of sentiment, and by simplicity of expression. His thoughts are always just, and pure. Under his direction, poetry may be truly said to be subservient to religious and moral instruction. His · Visions in Verse,' the most popular of his productions, are written in the measure of Gay's Fables ; but in forcibleness of moral and poetical spirit, are unquestionably superior to them. His · Fables' approach nearer to the manner of Gay. They have great merit of the moral kind; and they are peculiarly adapted, as well as the Visions, for the entertainment and instruction of younger minds.?” His miscella. neous little poems are highly pleasing and edifying; par. ticularly, “The Fireside,” “Verses to a child of five years old,” “Ode on the New Year,” “A Sunday Hymn," and “The Night Piece."

DODDRIDGE, Philip,--an eminent dissenting minister, was the son of a respectable tradesman in London, where he was born, on the twenty sixth of June, 1702. From a child, he was remarkable for his piety and seriousness, his diligent application to learning, and his earnest solicitude to dedicate his time and all his talents to the best and noblest purposes. In 1729, he was. induced by the advice and persuasion of his friends, but with great diffidence of his own abilities, to open an academy at Harborough, for the education of young men intended for the ministry. In the same year, he accepted the charge of a large dissenting congregation at Northampton ; and removed thither with his pupils. During a long residence there, of more than twenty one years, he performed with great tenderness and assiduity, and with distinguished success, all the arduous duties of a minister and a tutor,In 1750, he was seized with a pulmonary complaint; and from that time his health rapidly declined. By the advice of his physicians, and in compliance with the earnest solicitations of his friends, he went to Lisbon, in the autumn of the ensuing year: but all their hopes of his recovery were vain. He landed at Lisbon on the thirteenth of October ; but he survived the voyage only a few days, and died on the twenty sixth of October, 1751, in the fiftieth

year of his age. His remains were interred in the burying-ground of the British factory at Lisbon.

of the excellent character of Dr. Doddridge, it is not easy to speak in too high terms. His piety was ardent, unaffected, and cheerful. His moral conduct was, in every respect, highly exemplary. He was a most affeca tionate husband, father, and friend, and a very kind mas

[ocr errors]

ter; religiously attentive to promote the present comfort, and the eternal happiness, of all who were connected with hinn by the tender, domestic tie. His deportment was polite, affable, and engaging. He exercised great candour and moderation towards those who differed from him in religious opinions. He never expected, nor desired, that his pupils should blindly follow his sentiments, but encouraged them to judge for themselves; and carefully checked in them every appearauce of bigotry and uncharitableness.

His most celebrated and popular works, are: “The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul ;” “The Family Expositor, or a paraphrase and version of the New Testament, and a practical Improvement of each section;" 6. The Life of colonel Gardiner ;' and three very judicious and excellent “ Sermons on the Evidences of Christianity,” which the bishop of London (Dr. Portens) directed to be read by every person intending to take holy orders. There can be no doubt that these works have, through the Divine blessing, been eminently and extensively useful, in promoting the cause of religion and morality.

GAY, John,-a distinguished English poet, was born at or near Barnstaple, in 1688, and died in London, in 1732,

He was a man of great simplicity, and of an amiable disposition.-His principal production is bis “ Fables ;' one of the most popular works in English verse.--His letter, (inserted in this volume,) containing an account of two lovers struck dead by a flash of lightning, is esteemed a master-piece of epistolary composition. It is written with correctness, grace, and elegance, and, at the same time, with the most affecting simplicity.

GRAY, Thomas,- an eminent English poet, was the son of a money scrivener in London, where he was born, in the year 1716. He received his education at Eton and

« AnteriorContinuar »