Feb. 4, 1762.
The extract of my letter which you have published, see V. xxxi. p. 635. was written to a person without any intention of its own being seen by other eyes than his own. The account therein given of Miss Whately, was such as I had received, and, as I then thought, from good authority, but I find I was deceived, and that the character there drawn is highly injurious to her. She was born at Beoley in Worcestershire, where her father is a substantial farmer, and occupies his own estate. Her education is such as is usually given to the daughters of persons in that station, reading, writing, and needle-work, comprehending most of what is thought necessary. But her genius is not to be confined to such slender limits. She had a great love for literature, and applied herself with great assiduity to the reading the best authors. This necessarily engaged a very considerable portion of her time. She has lived with her father till very lately, when she removed to keep the house of a brother, who is an attorney of very fair character in the town of Walsall in Staffordshire. She has therefore never been in a servile condition, or employed in the low office of a menial servant. I am informed that she has been prevailed upon, (though with some difficulty) to suffer her works to become public: If so, I hope the subscription will meet with proper encouragement. The poems are very extraordinary, not unworthy of the best of our poets; and the modesty and disinterestedness of the author cannot but recommend her to the favour of the publick, as her works will most certainly to its admiration.