1731 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Henry Fielding to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, 4 September 1731; Montagu, Works, ed. Dallaway (1803) 1:108-09.



I hope your ladyship will honor the scenes, which I presume to lay before you, with your perusal. As they are written on a model I never yet attempted, I am exceedingly anxious least they should find less mercy from you, than my lighter productions. It will be a slight compensation to "The Modern Husband," that your ladyship's censure of him, will defend him from the possibility of any other reproof, since your least approbation will always give me pleasure, infinitely superior to the loudest applauses of a theatre. For whatever has past your judgment, may I think without any imputation of immodesty, refer want of success to want of judgment in an audience. I shall do myself the honor of waiting on your ladyship at Twickenham next Monday, to receive my sentence, and am, madam

with most devoted respect,

your ladyship's most obedient

most humble servant,

HENRY FIELDING.

London, Sept. 4,

1731.