1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Burke

Anonymous, "Authentic Anecdote" General Evening Post (27 January 1791).



Upon the publication of Mr. Burke's Reflections on the Affairs of France, Miss Wilkes, whose general taste, and attachment to polite Literature, are well known, translated two of the most luminous passages of that celebrated performance, viz. The description of the 6th of October; and the fine eulogium on the Queen of France, for the Countess De La Valliere, a French lady of distinction, with whom Miss Wilkes has long lived in habits of the closest intimacy.

The Countess after receiving this very valuable present from her friend, took the first opportunity which offered, of waiting on the Queen, and reading to her the above two passages. At the first her Majesty dissolved into tears, which so affected the Countess that she could scarcely proceed; recovering herself, however, she read through the second passage, when her Majesty, no longer able to contain herself, rose from her seat, and clasping her hands together in an extacy of fervour, exclaimed — "Good God! am I still so happy as to be pitied by such brave and illustrious foreigners?"