To Mary Stevenson
Fragment of draft: American Philosophical Society
[First part missing] and a Train of various Amusements daily interfering, I as continually put off Writing till to-morrow; when I receiv’d the second Letter, I propos’d answering both together to-morrow; the same of the third; and now what a shameful Fault has this Procrastination led me into! a Fault which even my Polly with all her Goodnature, join’d to her Regard for me can hardly excuse.
4. Presumably BF might have written these lines almost any time when he was in England before Polly Stevenson’s marriage in 1770. No succession of three letters from her has been found without at least one intervening response from him, but by no means all her letters have survived. The Hays Calendar, III, 468, dates this fragment “Circa 1767?”, and that being quite as good a guess as any other, the fragment is printed here.