1801 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hester Mulso Chapone

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine 71 (Supplement 1801) 1216-17.



25. At Hadley, in her 75th year, deserving a high rank on the roll of British literati, Mrs. H. Chapone; to whom the literary world is indebted for many valuable works on education and elegant pieces of poetry. Her pen was always directed to moral purposes and virtue; far from shewing repulsive austerity, her representations were distinguished by endearing graces. Her publications, which are admirably calculated to form the infant mind to virtue and piety, are,

Letters on the Improvement of the Mind, addressed to a young Lady, 1773, 2 vols. 12mo. These very sensible letters were, soon after their publication, honoured with a very distinguished popularity. The subjects of them are, Religion; the study of the Scriptures; the regulation of the heart; temper; oeconomy; accomplishments; geography; chronological and historical reading. They are eminently worthy the attention of the younger part of the fair sex, as the instructions which they offer tend to render them equally amiable and useful in every situation and circumstance of life.

Miscellanies in Prose and Verse, 1775, 12mo. They contain observations on affection and simplicity; on conversation; and on enthusiasm and indifference in religion; the prose part concluding with the very instructive story of Fidelia, which first appeared in Dr. Hawkesworth's Adventurer. The poems (except the translation from Metastatio's celebrated ode on Summer and an Italian sonnet) were the productions of early youth, and afford a very honourable testimony of that youth's cultivation. Among them the verses to Stella have peculiar merit.

Letter to a new-married Lady, 1777, 12mo. This last publication gives plain and seasonable advice to newly-married ladies, and, by inculcating obedience to their husbands, was thought, at the time of its appearance, by no means superfluous.

Mrs. C. is also supposed to have been a contributor to the Rambler, and particularly to have written the billets in No. X.

This ingenious lady was one of the oldest friends of Mrs. Carter, the amiable and learned translator of Epictetus, on which she addressed to her a poem characterized by a noble zeal of friendship, strength of imagination, and pious sublimity.

Mrs. Chapone was daughter of Thomas Mulso, esq. of an antient family at Twywell, co. Northampton, and sister of the late Thomas Mulso, esq. author of Calistus and Sophronius, who died of the stone, Feb. 7, 1799, aged 78 (LXIX. 254), having married a sister of Gen. Prescott, and of John Mulso, M.A. of Oriel college, prebendary of Winchester, who died 1791, to whose only son his uncle left his small paternal estate. She married, Dec. 30, 1760, Mr. Chapone, attorney, of Clement's inn, who died Sept. 17, 1761, leaving one daughter, Augusta, married, 1795, to Mr. Thresher, of the Strand.