Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/361



that besides my incessant teaching that darling daughter, I bave on sundays read and explained to ber and to ber fatber tbe Spanish Bible; and occasionally read and explained also to the motber a great many passages out of our Italían poets, wbenever sbe desired me so to do. You know, doctor, wbat a fatigue and trouble I underwent when I attended tbem to Paris along witb you, and w^tb what readiness I waited aftenvards upon madam and ber daugbter to Batb at a time wben a companion like me was, in ber opinion, of sucb moment, tbat sbe had scarce words to express ber gratitude for my offer to wait on ber tbitber at a moment’s warning. You know, doctor, tbat for all.tbese troubles and tbe total sacrifíce of my time and my private studies, I bad not from mr. Tbrale, mucb less from ber, wberewitbal to pay my lodging in town, during almost seven years devoted to tbeir service; and you, doctor, wbo know full well bow seldom your mistress, as you cali ber, tells trutb, you give implicit faitb to ber ebarge of my tyranny to ber cbildren and misbebaviour to berself? And you, witbout tbe least enquiry or ceremony, advise ber to neglect me, bj* way of punisbing me for trespasses, to wbicb you gave no more credit tban to tbe tenets of mabometanism ? Fye upon you, doctor, for tbus reviling an old friend, wbom you ougbt to bave supported and defended; as I always did you wbenever I found myself among tbose ill-willers, disapprovers and backbiters, of wbicb your luminous merits bave procured you plenty tbis long long wbile ! A paltry little woman to punisb me, doctor? And pray, for wbat, except it be for my folly in beaping upon ber many and many considerable obligations, wbicb never were returned in tbe least proportion !

Wbat answer, reader, do you think tbat doctor Johnson wouid bave given to ali these questions, if, acquainted witb bis despicable paragraph (for so I must cali it, in spight of that veneration I sball always bave towards bis memory) I bad been enabled to argue witb ali these facts in my band? Facts, that tbe present degraded wife of a singer knows to be uncontrovertible, let ber impudence in impugning trutb be as great as sbe chooses.