1773 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Lyttelton

Elizabeth Carter, 1773; Censura Literaria 5 (1807) 94-95.



Except the testimony of a good conscience, a long series of disappointments in every human pursuit, left him a very small portion of happiness below. His great integrity, his amiable simplicity, and the gentle temper of his mind, rendered him unfit for the advancements of public life, which in this bad world are procured and supported by arts, to which his soul was an utter stranger, and the affections of his heart were disappointed in every scheme of that domestic comfort, which he was so peculiarly qualified to impart, and to enjoy. He was a noble and edifying example of the power of Christian principles, in many instances, and very particularly in that absolute resignation to the Divine Will, which calmed his mind amid all its storms, which, with most unremitted violence beat upon him. In all the conversations upon his misfortunes, to which I have been a witness, I do not recollect ever to have heard him utter a single murmur of complaint. It pleased God to try him in the furnace of affliction; and, like gold, he came out with the brighter lustre and the greater purity.