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Sir, Notwithstanding your constant refusal, when I have asked leave to prefix your name to this dedication, I must still insist on my right to desire your protection of this work. To you, Sir, it is owing that this history was ever begun. It was by your desire that I first thought of such a composition. So many years have since past, that you may have, perhaps, forgotten this circumstance: but your desires are to me in the nature of commands;... more...

Chapter i. In which the history looks backwards. Before we proceed farther with our history it may be proper to look back a little, in order to account for the late conduct of Doctor Harrison; which, however inconsistent it may have hitherto appeared, when examined to the bottom will be found, I apprehend, to be truly congruous with all the rules of the most perfect prudence as well as with the most consummate goodness. We have already partly... more...

INTRODUCTION. Fielding's third great novel has been the subject of much more discordant judgments than either of its forerunners. If we take the period since its appearance as covering four generations, we find the greatest authority in the earliest, Johnson, speaking of it with something more nearly approaching to enthusiasm than he allowed himself in reference to any other work of an author, to whom he was on the whole so unjust. The greatest... more...

Fielding's third great novel has been the subject of much more discordant judgments than either of its forerunners. If we take the period since its appearance as covering four generations, we find the greatest authority in the earliest, Johnson, speaking of it with something more nearly approaching to enthusiasm than he allowed himself in reference to any other work of an author, to whom he was on the whole so unjust. The greatest man of letters... more...

CHAPTER I The author dies, meets with Mercury, and is by him conductedto the stage which sets out for the other world. On the first day of December 1741 I departed this life at my lodgings in Cheapside. My body had been some time dead before I was at liberty to quit it, lest it should by any accident return to life: this is an injunction imposed on all souls by the eternal law of fate, to prevent the inconveniences which would follow. As soon... more...


PROLOGUE, SPOKEN BY MR JONES Too long the Tragick Muse hath aw'd the stage,And frighten'd wives and children with her rage,Too long Drawcansir roars, Parthenope weeps,While ev'ry lady cries, and critick sleepsWith ghosts, rapes, murders, tender hearts they wound,Or else, like thunder, terrify with soundWhen the skill'd actress to her weeping eyes,With artful sigh, the handkerchief applies,How griev'd each sympathizing nymph appears!And box and... more...

INTRODUCTION The publishing history of this translation has been sketched by Cross, in his History of Henry Fielding, and may simply be summarized here. The first edition, entitled Ovid's Art of Love Paraphrased and Adapted to the Present Time (or Times) was first issued in February, 1747, and was advertised in the Gentleman's and Scots Magazines in that month. During March, further advertisements appeared in the London Magazine and the St.... more...

Jonathan Wild, born about 1682 and executed at Tyburn in 1725, was one of the most notorious criminals of his age. His resemblance to the hero in Fielding's satire of the same name is general rather than particular. The real Jonathan (whose legitimate business was that of a buckle-maker) like Fielding's, won his fame, not as a robber himself, but as an informer, and a receiver of stolen goods. His method was to restore these to the owners on... more...

THE VOYAGE WEDNESDAY, June 26, 1754.—On this day the most melancholy sun I had ever beheld arose, and found me awake at my house at Fordhook. By the light of this sun I was, in my own opinion, last to behold and take leave of some of those creatures on whom I doted with a mother-like fondness, guided by nature and passion, and uncured and unhardened by all the doctrine of that philosophical school where I had learned to bear pains and to... more...

CHAPTER XIV. An interview between parson Adams and parson Trulliber. Parson Adams came to the house of parson Trulliber, whom he found stript into his waistcoat, with an apron on, and a pail in his hand, just come from serving his hogs; for Mr Trulliber was a parson on Sundays, but all the other six might more properly be called a farmer. He occupied a small piece of land of his own, besides which he rented a considerable deal more. His wife... more...