mouse note

Reprinted in Wollstonecraft's The Female Reader and likely a source of inspiration for Robert Burns's "To a Mouse."

In a later publication of the poem, Barbauld included the note: "The Author is concerned to find, that what was intended as the petition of mercy against justice, has been construed as the plea of humanity against cruelty. She is certain that cruelty could never be apprehended from the Gentleman to whom this is addressed; and the poor animal would have suffered more as the victim of domestic economy, than of philosophical curiosity."