, the learned wife of the preceding, was born at Saumur, about the end of 1651. She was only eleven years
, the learned wife of the preceding, was born at Saumur, about the end of 1651. She was only eleven years old when her father resolved to give her a learned education; which is said to have been owing to the following circumstance, that while he was teaching one of his sons the rudiments of grammar, in the same room where mademoiselle le Fevre was employed with her needle, she, with every appearance of unconcern, now and then supplied her brother with answers to questions that puzzled him. This induced her father to give her a regular course of lessons, and educate her as a scholar, in which character she soon excelled the youths under his care, and became her father’s associate in some of his publications. We are told that when she had learned Latin enough to read Phaedrus and Terence, he began to instruct her in the Greek, which she was so much pleased with, that in a short time she was capable of reading Anacreon, Callimachus, Homer, and the Greek Tragic Poets. As she read them, she shewed so much taste of the beauties of those admirable writers, that all the fatigue of her father in his professorship was softened by the pleasure which he found in teaching her. To divert her in her more serious studies, he taught "her the Italian language, and read over with her several poets of that nation, and particularly Tasso, in the perusal of whom she very acutely remarked the difference between that poet and Virgil and Homer. She sometimes took the liberty of disputing with her father, particularly, on one occasion, respecting Vaugelas’s translation of Quintus Curtius. Her father was charmed with it, but mademoiselle le Fevre ventured to point out some negligences of style, errors in language, and passages ill translated; and he was frequently obliged to own himself of the same opinion with her. These little contests, however, gave him great satisfaction, and he was extremely surprized to find so delicate a taste, and so uncommon a penetration, in so young a person.