Obrazy na stronie


O, guide me through the various maze My doubtful feet are doom'd to tread; And spread thy shield's protecting blaze, When dangers press around my head.


A deeper shade will soon impend,

A deeper sleep my eyes oppress; Yet still thy strength shall me defend, Thy goodness still shall deign to bless.


That deeper shade shall fade away,

That deeper sleep shall leave my eyes; Thy light shall give eternal day! Thy love the rapture of the skies!





HE assistance which Dr. Johnson received in the composition of his Rambler amounted (with the exception of four billets written by Mrs. Chapone, who will be afterwards noticed as a contributor to the Adventurer, and the second letter in N° 107,) only to four numbers, the productions of Miss Talbot, Mr. Richardson, and Mrs. Car


CATHERINE TALBOT, the only daughter of the Rev. Edward Talbot, Archdeacon of Berks, was born in the year 1720, five months after the decease of her father. Mrs. Talbot, thus left a widow, and her infant daughter, were soon after taken under the protection of Dr. Secker, Bishop of Oxford, and afterwards Archbishop of Canter

bury. To Mr. Edward Talbot's influence with his father, the Bishop of Durham, Dr. Secker had been indebted for his first preferment; an obligation which he endeavoured to return by the most kind and parental attention to the widow and child of his friend.

The connection was still further cemented, in the year 1725, by Dr. Secker's marriage with Mrs. Catherine Benson, sister of Bishop Benson, and the chosen friend and domestic companion of Mrs. Talbot. The immediate consequence of this union was the coalescence of the two families; and until the death of the Bishop, which took place in 1768, Mrs. and Miss, Talbot resided under his hospitable roof.

To Miss Talbot nature had been more than commonly liberal; for she early exhibited strong marks of a feeling heart, a warm imagination, and a powerful understanding. To these natural talents, were added all the advantages of the most accomplished education, with all the virtues arising from a well-grounded belief in christianity, and from a constant habit of devotional piety.

Thus gifted, little more was wanting to the completion of her happiness than an interchange. of friendship with an individual of her own sex, as amiable and as intellectual as herself; an

event which took place, so early as February, 1741, by her introduction to the celebrated Miss Elizabeth Carter. With this lady, who possessed a mind of singular rectitude and strength, she `maintained, to the close of her life, an uninterrupted correspondence, and was the chief mean of inducing her to undertake the useful but laborious task of translating Epictetus.


Owing to her great and good qualities, and in some degree to her residence in the Archiepiscopal Palace, at Lambeth, Miss Talbot's acquaintance among the learned and the dignified of the church was very extensive. To no one of those, however, who bore the honours of a mitre, was she more attached than to Dr. Butler, the pious and admirable author of the "Analogy;" he had been the bosom friend of her father, and was likewise the firm friend and adviser of her mother and herself. He died, lamented by all who could appreciate worth and wisdom, in 1752: how severely in particular his loss was felt by Miss Talbot, will be evident in the following pathetic extracts from two letters written by her on the occasion to Miss Carter, and preserved by Mr. Pennington in his Memoirs of that accomplished woman,

This has just now been published, in 2 vols. 4to. by the Rev. Montague Pennington, and confers great and equal honour on the parties concerned.

"The dangerous illness of one of our most dear and valued friends, the excellent Bishop of Durham, gives to every day a most painful anxiety for the coming in of the post from Bath. How rich have I been in friends, dear Miss Carter, and such friends as fall to the lot of few! Let me

thankfully say how very rich am I! But the longer we live, the more are our hearts attached to that first set of friends amongst whom one's life began, and whose manners, whose sentiments, whose kindnesses, are more in agreement with our own ideas. One loves those that remain of such a set the more dearly, for the love they have borne to those of it that are gone first. He was my father's friend. I could almost say my remembrance of him goes back some years before I was born, from the lively imagery which the conversations I used to hear in my earliest years have imprinted on my mind. But from the first of my real remembrance I have ever known in him the kind affectionate friend, the faithful adviser, which he would condescend to when I was quite a child, and the most delightful companion, from a delicacy of thinking, an extreme politeness, a vast knowledge of the world, and a something peculiar, to be met with in nobody else. And all this in a man whose sanctity of manners, and sublimity of genius, gave him one of the first

« PoprzedniaDalej »