miss philosophy greek
CARTER, ELIZABETH (1717-1806), a celebrated lady scholar, and translator of the works of Epictetus, was the daughter of the Rev. Dr Carter of Deal in Kent, and was born in that town, December 16, 1717. Her mother, Margaret Swayne of Bere, in Dorset, lost her fortune by investing it in the South Sea Stocks, and died of a decline when Elizabeth was about ten years old. Dr Carter educated his children, boys and girls alike; but Elizabeth's slowness of apprehension tired out his patience, and it was only by great perseverance that she conquered her natural incapacity for learning. She studied late at night and early in the morning, taking snuff and chewing green tea to keep herself awake ; and she so injured her health by this that she suffered throughout her life from severe headaches. Miss Carter learned Greek and Latin from her father, and was specially proficient in Greek, so that Dr Johnson said concerning a celebrated scholar, that he " understood Greek better than any one whom he had ever known except Elizabeth Carter." She learned also Hebrew, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and lastly some Arabic. She studied astronomy, ancient geography, and ancient and modern history. In 1734 some of her verses appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine under the signature " Eliza," Carr the editor being a friend of her father. In 1738 she published a small collection of poems, and next year she translated from the French an attack on Pope's Essay on Man by M. Crousaz. In 1739 appeared her translation from the Italian of A]garotti's Newtonianismo per le Dame, calling it Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy explained for the use of the Ladies, in six Dialogues on Light and Colours. Her translation of Epictetus was undertaken in 1749 to please her friends Dr Seeker (afterwards archbishop of Canterbury) and Miss Talbot, to whom the translation was sent, sheet by sheet, as it was done. This work was published by guinea subscription in 1758. In 1762 Miss Carter printed a second collection of poems. Dr Carter, from 1762 to his death in 1774, lived with his daughter in a house at Deal, which she had purchased. Her literary earnings were augmented by an annuity settled on her in 1761 by Sir William Pulteney and his wife, who had inherited the fortune of her old friend Lord Bath; and she had another annuity from Mrs Montagu after that lady had become a widow. Among Miss Carter's friends and correspondents may be mentioned - Johnson (whom she came to know through Cave the bookseller in 1737, and who printed one or two of her papers in the Rambler), Bishop Butler, Savage, Horace Walpole, Richardson, Reynolds, Burke, Mrs Montagu, Hannah More, and Mrs Vesey, the hostess of the Bas-Bleus. Miss Carter never married, and lived to the age of eighty-nine. She died in Charges Street, Piccadilly, 1806 ; and her nephew, the Rev. Montagu Pennington, published her Memoirs in 1808.
BY Cartesianism is here meant the philosophy developed principally in the works of Des Cartes, Malebranche, and Spinoza. It is impossible to exhibit the full meaning of these authors except in connection, for they are all ruled by one and the same thought in different stages of its evolution. It may be true that Malebranche and Spinoza were prepared, the former by the study of Augustine, the latter by the study of Jewish philosophy, to draw from Cartesian principles consequences which Des Cartes never anticipated. But the foreign light did not alter the picture on which it was cast, but only let it be seen more clearly. The consequences were legitimately drawn. 1t may be shown that they lay in the system from the first, and that they were evolved by nothing but its own immanent dialectic. At the same time it is not likely that they would ever have been brought into such clear consciousness, or expressed with such consistency, except by a philosopher whose circumstances and character had completely detached him from all the convictions and prejudices of the age. In Malebranche, Cartesianism found an interpreter whose meditative spirit was fostered by the cloister, but whose speculative boldness was restrained by the traditions of the Catholic church. In Spinoza it found one who was in spirit and position more completely isolated than any monk, who was removed from the influence of the religious as well as the secular world of his time, and who in his solitude seemed scarcely ever to hear any voice but the voice of philosophy. It is because Cartesianism found such a pure organ of expression that its development is, in some sense, complete and typical. Its principles have been carried to their ultimate result, and we have before us all the data necessary to determine their value.