Chandler, Mary

, an ingenious English lady, sister to the subject of the following article, was born at Malmsbury, in Wiltshire, in 1687, and was carefully trained up in the principles of religion and virtue. As her father’s circumstances rendered it necessary that she should apply herself to some business, she was brought up to that of a milliner. But, as she had a propensity to literature, she employed her leisure hours in perusing the best modern writers, and as many as she could of the antient ones, especially the poets, as far as the best translations could assist her. Amongst these, Horace was her particular favourite, and she greatly regretted that she could not read him in the original. She was somewhat deformed in her person, in consequence of an accident in her childhood. This unfavourable circumstance she occasionally made a subject of her own pleasantry, and used to say, “That as her person would not recommend her, she must endeavour to cultivate her mind, to make herself agreeable.” This she did with the greatest care, being an admirable œconornist of her time; and it is said, that she had so many excellent qualities in her, that though her first appearance could create no prejudice in her favour, yet it was impossible to know her without valuing and esteeming her. She thought the disadvantages of her shape were such, as gave her no reasonable prospect of being happy in the married state, and therefore chose to remain single. She had, however, an honourable offer from a worthy country | gentleman, of considerable fortune, who, attracted merely by the goodness of her character, took a. journey of an hundred miles to visit her at Bath, where she kept a milliner’s shop, and where he paid her his addresses. But she declined his offers, and is said to have convinced him that such a match could neither be for his happiness, nor her own. She published several poems in an 8vo volume, but that which she wrote upon “Bath” was the best received. It passed through several editions. She intended to have written a large poem upon the being and attributes of God, and did execute some parts of it, but did not live to finish it. It was irksome to her to be so much confined to her business, and the bustle of Bath was sometimes disagreeable to her. She often languished for more leisure and solitude: but the dictates of prudence, and a desire to be useful to her relations, whom she regarded with the warmest affection, brought her to submit to the fatigues of her business for thirty-five years. She did, however, sometimes enjoy occasional retirements to the country seats of some of her acquaintance; and was then extremely delighted with the pleasures of solitude, on which she wrote some beautiful verses, and the contemplation of the works of nature. She was honoured with the esteem and regard of the countess of Hertford, afterwards duchess of Somerset, who several times visited her. Mr. Pope also visited her at Bath, and complimented her for her poem on that place, and the celebrated Mrs. Howe was one of her particular friends. She had the misfortune of a very valetudinary constitution, which was supposed to be, in some measure, owing to the irregularity of her form. By the advice of Dr. Cheyne, she entered on a vegetable diet, and adhered to it even to an extreme. She died en the llth of September, 1745, in the fifty-eighth year of her age, after about two days illness. 1

1 Cibber's Lives, written by her brother. Bk>. Brit.