Download as TXT Download as XML

Sunday ye 10=th= My Dearest
   I had this day the favour of your very kind letter of ye 7=th=, which gave me the greater pleasure as I had not any from you the post before. M=r= & M=rs= Wilmot dined with me [\yester DELETED\] to day in their return from Eton where they carried their Son & little Cicero. The Monthly Review is ye only periodical paper which has not treated my essay with indulgence, but I think they will not do the work much harm, for much of their cavilling is unintelligible. They say the language of y=e= Essay is affected, & in many places corrupt, & triumph over a sentence falsely printed. They write with peevishness & ill manners even to great Shakespear himself, so how can his poor little Critick hope to escape. My work has undoubtedly many
defects & deficiencies, but if it keeps its ground till these carping Pedants write a better Criticism it may flourish long. It is whispered in Town that I am the Author of ye Essay, & perhaps with these Reviewers ye work has not met with more candid treatment for being a Ladys. I expected all M=r= Johnsons, Warburtons, & Hurds friends, & all implicit disciples of Aristotle upon my poor work, so upon the whole I am well off that these Monthly Reviewers have not been more severe. Wherever I think their criticism just I shall profit by it, by correcting ye fault they blame in ye next edition, if my work lives to another edition, as there is hope it may. It is printing at Dublin. I repent I did not advertise it [\again/] before ye Jubilee, but I have [\sent DELETED\] [\written/] to Town to day to my Sister to get it done. As it becomes more known I must expect ye scribblers of Grubstreet to attack it in daily papers, but I am so far well qualified for an Author that I bear ye criticks lash
with great fortitude. I had more reason to fear I should write below Criticism than to hope to write above it. I have ventured to contradict many establish=d= prejudices concerning Shakespear & concerning [\ye/] Drama itself, & besides that each Wit's by trade my foe
   Each fool is naturaly so.
   I should have enclosed my Brothers letter last post, but feard my frank w=d= be overweight. I have got M=rs= Rutters bond safe, & will give it [\to/] you when I come to Sandleford. My spirits appetite & rest are improved, & I hope I shall not have any violent return of my complaint. I shall have had a due share of these waters in another week, & hope by this day or tomorrow sennight to return home to you. I have idled away ye summer in nothing but the pursuit of health, however I hope to be the better for the regimen of waters & exercise. I long to be at home again with you. If the night proves fair I will endeavour to see
the Comet which is certainly a phenomenon worthy attention & I am afraid even my little Matt must not expect to see it again. There is one Great Being in whose sight world & system have pass'd away as roses & Carnations [\have/] faded before us, but we have only duration enough here to call ye puny insect & the frailer flower short lived beings. I beg of you to read y=e= doughty Monthly Reviewers, & where you find ye criticism just when you have referd it to my text I will correct my fault. I cannot guess what these Criticks w=d= be at when they talk that Nature is ye Criterion in points where people do not agree what is Nature. You will see My Brother seems much pleased with my work, but my greatest happiness is that you are so. Papa doats on y=e= Essay with all ye partiality of a Grand father, I have endeavourd to put a padlock upon his vanity for ye Gentleman is quite vain that his daughter has written a
   I wrote my letter yesterday in expectation of an opportunity to send my letter but finding it w=d= reach you as soon if sent to day I reserved it. It has rain'd incessantly yesterday all night & continues to do so which renders this place very uncomfortable as well as hurts ye water. I am to dine at M=r= Nevilles to morrow. My weekly lodgings are up on Wensday, so I will go to London that day; on Thursday see D=r= Fothergill, & if the weather mends, will return hither on friday, if it continues wet, the waters will be spoild, & I will return to you at Sandleford on saturday. I think myself considerably better upon y=e= whole for ye waters, & if the weather favoured, sh=d= like another week of them; but in bad weather they are thought to be of little efficacy & I grudge expence & illness without gaining health. I made Susan rise last
night to look for ye Comet but it was not visible so I did not get up. I have written to little Matt to incite him to mind his back. If he does not take care his Aunts will have written in their lives more than he will read in his. The greatest pleasure I have felt as an author is from your approbation of my work both as I esteem y=r= judgment very highly & think every action of my life ought to be directed to pleasing you. With perfect esteem & most tender affection
   I am my Dearest
   Y=r= most faithfull
   & Obed=t= Wife
monday y=e= 11=th= please to direct y=r= next to Hillstreet