1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ann Yearsley

James Shiells, "To the Printer" Public Advertiser (10 September 1785).



Lambeth, Sept. 8, 1785.

SIR,

In justice to the character and conduct of Mrs. Anne Yearsley, the Cliffdon (not Bristol Milkwoman) author of a Book of Poems, I must protest against the illiberal and invidious paragraph inserted in your and other papers, charging her with the crime of ingratitude to what the writer of that paragraph calls her patroness; than which nothing can be more false and unjust. There are certain things which will be laid before the public in due time concerning these two daughters of the Muses. For the present, I beg you will undeceive the public, by assuring them that I am in possession of what that poor woman's enemy calls a downright "quarrel between the patronness and the client"; and that from Mrs. Yearsley's own mouth, the day before I left the Hot-wells (from whence I am just returned) when she spoke in the most grateful terms of the favours she received from Miss H. More. I mention this to prevent any injury the woman may unjustly sustain from a generous but often abused public; and in nothing more than by the publication of the paragraph here alluded to.

By an early insertion of this, you will obliged,

Sir,

Your very humble servant,

JAMES SHIELLS.