Letter from Mowbray Morris to Thomas Hardy, 19 September 1886

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59a Brook Street

Grosvenor Square

My dear Sir,

I have had to cut The Woodlanders (which is, I think, a particularly good number) short at chapter twenty-six — as it happens, a very convenient resting-place: and I send you the remainder of the proof, which may be useful.

You will, I am sure, not mind my giving you a gentle hint on one small matter — the affair between Miss Damson and the Doctor. I am not afraid (as you may imagine) for [Page 2] my own morals: but we have, I fancy, rather a queer public: [gap: deleted] ^pious^ Scottish souls who take offence wondrous easily. Already, in my short editorial career, I have received a Round Robin concerning some offence against morality that had been smelled out in our pages! The offence was not in "The Woodlanders", by the way: it had been committed before you began. Of course, it is very annoying to have to reckon for such asses: still, I can't help it; an Editor must be [commercial] as well as [literary]; and [Page 3] the magazine has scarcely so abundant a sale that I can afford to disregard any section of its readers. So, I think, if you can continue not to bring the fair Miss Suke to too open shame, it would be as well. Let the human frailty be construed mild.

Yours very truly,

Mowbray Morris.
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