1832 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Hester Mulso Chapone

Fanny Burney, in Memoirs of Dr. Burney (1832); Moulton, Library of Literary Criticism (1901-05) 4:418.



But though the dignity of her mind demanded, as it deserved, the respect of some return to the visits which her love of society induced her to pay, it was tete-a-tete alone that gave pleasure to the intercourse with Mrs. Chapone; her sound understanding, her sagacious observations, her turn to humour, and the candour of her affectionate nature, all then came into play without effort: and her ease of mind, when freed from the trammels of doing the honours of reception, seemed to soften off, even to herself, her corporeal infirmities. It was thus that she struck Dr. Burney with the sense of her worth; and seemed portraying in herself the original example whence the precepts had been drawn, for forming the unsophisticated female character, that are displayed in the author's Letters on the Improvement of the Mind.