Abbe Boyle, May 209, 1748.
I confess I don't think Mr. Brown's verses Platonic, and cannot but admire at his fortitude to write in his present situation; but I find, Madam, you are as happy and generous, in defending those you honour with your esteem, as your pen is fatal to such as deservedly fail under its censure. Mr. F——t is a gentleman whom I really do not know, nor do I wish for his acquaintance. I am sorry poor Leeson has disobliged Mrs. Pilkington, and hope the epigram may not be understood or published, as I think him an inoffensive creature; besides that, I have a particular regard for C——t P——n, his brother-in-law. As to Mr. Brown, who has known me from my infancy, I have a great value for him; but when a lady is put in competition with a gentleman, let him ask his own breast on which side judgment is to be decreed.
I sincerely concur with you in opinion, Madam, that our friend is innocent of the murder though unluckily guilty of the manslaughter; which I am certain himself as well as his friends, wish had never happened. Your quotation from Shakespeare on that matter is very just, and a true character of Mr. Brown, in a few words. I have wrote a long letter to him this post, by which he will know have not forgot him.—I hope his answer will bring me the pleasing news of his enlargement, as the trial, I am told, comes on in a few days.
I entreat the favour of you, Madam, if you should have any occasion for money, during my absence, to let Mark White, my agent, know it; who is desired by me to supply you without limitation; and you cannot more effectually oblige me than in commanding my Fortune.—All I hope on my part is, that you will still think me worthy of being esteemed, Madam,
Your most obliged,
and most obedient,
P. S. You were so kind to repeat some verses you wrote on an unfortunate lady some time ago; I shall be much obliged to you for a copy of that admirable poem.