Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/344



and her letter brought him to town in a hurri\ I expected at that moment that he would spare me the jaunt, and go himself to Bath with her; but he made no motion to that effect; therefore, after the sad exchange of a few mournful periods, as is customary on such occasions, we got into the coach and were soon out of sight. And here I will leave the reader to guess at the torture I put my brains to during the journey, to furnish talk for the relief of the mother, and inventions proportionate to a child ’s mind to keep the daughter diverted and in spirits: nor do I think that my efforts were quite thrown away, though the task was not one of the easiest, considering that I myself couid not get poor little Harry out of my thoughts, and mourned internally for him as much as ever I did for any other dear object that ever I lost during the long course of my life.

We had been at Bath but a day, when, on the arrivai of the post, madam proved so very wise, as to shew me a letter from doctor Jebb, afterwards sir Richard, in which she was pretty bluntly reprimanded for her playing the physician with her children, and earnestly entreated at the same time to forbear giving her daughter what he termpd «tin-pills». «It may be true — said the doctor in that letter — that the child has worms, and you will probably kill them by means of those pills; but stili the remedy is greatly worse than the disease, as the tin, though ever so much beaten to powder, will tear the child ’s bowels to pieces». How the doctor carne to hear of madam ’s pills, I do not know; but guess it was from old nurse, as, after mr. Thrale ’s death, old nurse was presently turned out of the house by her lady, though she had been a servant there no less than forty years, and would probably bave ended her wretched days in some parish-workhouse, had not miss Thrale, as soón as she carne of age, been more merciful to the poor woman than her virtuous mother, who, I have heard, was much vexed at the transaction.

In the act of giving me the doctor ’s letter to read: — See, see — said madam with a pert promptitude that always formed