John_Pilkington - LETTER XV.

LETTER XV.

From Lord KINGSBOROUGH to MRS. PILKINGTON

            Abbe Boyle,
            MADAM,
            I HAVE been extremely happy in the characters of the two clergymen, and Mrs. Pilkington may depend on it, I'll never impart any passage in her letters she would wish concealed.—I can't help admiring how your head can possibly furnish such variety of public and private entertainment; for I take it for granted you have a number of troublesome correspondents besides myself, who are, like me, perpetually sending you stupid letters to provoke you to write good ones; and this, Madam, you certainly do, besides supplying the public with an elegant repast in your Memoirs, I am pleased to find the world seems penitent for the injuries it has offered to the greatest and best of her sex, and endeavours to make some atonement for its former malignity. I wish to God, dear Mrs Pilkington, you would write a panegyric on the world; I'm certain it would sell, and I could promise you five hundred subscribers to it.

            If it were possible for Mrs. Pilkington's genius to flag, there would be no necessity for my being the first to tell her of it; that truth, I have been told, authors first learn from their booksellers.—The longest letter Mrs. Pilkington ever wrote seemed to me, who feel the graces of her style, an epigram, or a specimen of something excellent, that created a thirst for more.—I'm obliged to you, Madam, for obliterating the two lines, though it's a pity anything of yours should be lost. I will make it my business to let Leeson know how much he is indebted to your goodness, and I dare answer for his gratitude. Pray, Madam, in your next, let me know how you approve my scheme for a new subscription. Mrs. Pilkington, who can render the minutest trifles agreeable, will have a fine field to display the brilliancy of her parts, when she has all the world for her subject, and convince the universe that she was sent upon earth as a pattern of vivacity, for dull authors to imitate and. improve by. I've the honour to be, in great haste,
            Madam,
            Your most devoted,
            humble servant,
            KINGSBOROUGH.

 

 

LETTER XIV.
Answer to Lord KINGSBOROUGH.

            Dublin

            My LORD,
            YOU desired me to write on the world, I took the pen, and these lines came from the very bottom of my soul.

 

I

 

Call me not to a world I hate,
Call me not to vile mankind,
Move me from folly and deceit,
Content and virtue let me find.

 

II.

 

Know all ye splendid, rich and gay,
Know all ye wretches, worldly wise
Like mine your span is but a day,
And flattering hopes are mere surmise;

 

III

 

I know you all, you know not me,
Beneath your ken, by fortune placed,
My sorrows with disdain you see,
And my distresses with distaste.

 

IV.

 

Cursed be the head that first devised
A bar from each sublime tie;
Bid wealthy knaves, and fools be prized,
And merit in oblivion lie.

 

V.

 

Is it a boast to say thy hand,
Almighty guardian of the just,
Made me the strokes of fate withstand,
While e'er in thee I placed my trust?

 

VI.

 

No—let me to an age depraved,
An age of infidels declare,
Thy servant never was deceived,
When fondly she confided there.

 

VII.

 

I seek the cot, I seek the cell,
I seek the mountain, stream or grove;
Lead me contentment where you dwell,
With concord, piety, and love.

 

VIII.

 

Lead me to some inspiring vill,
Near a romantic structure reared;
Where virtue and religion still
Bloom by corruption unimpaired.

 

IX.

 

Where health and jollity robust
Spread a rich glow o'er every face
Where not the meanest sold his trust,
For title, grandeur, wealth or place.

 

X.

 

If there be such a spot on earth,
Oh! God of an all-searching eye
Though not from such I drew my birth,
In such contented let me die.

 

            I am entirely of Hamlet's opinion with regard to the world. "Fie on't, oh! fie! 'Tis an unweeded garden that grows to weeds, Things rank and gross in. nature possess it merely."

            LÆTITIA PILKINGTON.

 

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