Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/349


STRICTURE THE SECOXD

My pretty Hester Lynch Piozzi, in the passage already quoted, observes with her customary acuteness that «the worid is not gnilty of much general harshness, nor inclined to ir^crease pain, which they do not perceive to be deser\-ed».

The obvious truth of this remark, nobody, I beUeve, will be so perverse as to deny or contro vert. I should however be obliged to the pretty signora, if she would but teli us how she applies it to her ovvn case, as it is usually taken for granted that the world cannot perceive what is concealed, nor shew harshness or bestow pity without a determinate object. To infer, as she would have us do, that her remark is apposite, she ought first to let that same world into the cause of what she terms her pain, that they might decide whether it was deserved, or not. But of that cause we have not the least glimmer throughout her publication; and without such a previous statement, is it not absurd in her to flatter herself, that the world at large sided with her against a man who paid no manner of regard to that pain, and endeavoured to increase it? The cunning she has artfully suppressed that letter of her ’s to doctor Johnson, which he answered on the 15.*^ of march 1776 from Litchfield; and the want of that link to her chain spreads such an obscurity over her complaint against me, that a man ought to be a verjskilful conjurer to find out the motive of it, and decide whether her lamentation is well or ili grounded. This, however, I will teli her, that the few who know le dessoíis des cortes, will never side with her in that particular, but will approve of my indignation in the affair of the tin-pills; and let her whine, and moan, and cant