Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

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Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (26 May 168921 August 1762) was an English aristocrat and writer, chiefly remembered today for her letters.


  • Let this great maxim be my virtue’s guide,—
    In part she is to blame that has been tried:
    He comes too near that comes to be denied.
    • The Lady’s Resolve (1713). A fugitive piece, written on a window by Lady Montagu, after her marriage. Compare: "In part to blame is she, Which hath without consent bin only tride: He comes to neere that comes to be denide", Sir Thomas Overbury (1581–1613), A Wife, stanza 36.

  • In response to Lady Mary Montague's line 'And we meet, with champagne and a chicken at last' (from Montague's poem 'The Lover: A Ballad'):
    "What say you to such a supper with such a woman? … Is not her 'champagne and chicken' worth a forest or two? Is it not poetry?"

--from Letters and Journals of Lord Byron: with Notices of his Life. Ed. Thomas Moore. Paris: A. and W. Gaglinani, 1830. p. 391.

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)[edit]

Quotes reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Be plain in dress, and sober in your diet;
    In short, my deary, kiss me, and be quiet.
    • A Summary of Lord Lyttelton’s Advice.
  • Satire should, like a polished razor keen,
    Wound with a touch that's scarcely felt or seen.
    • To the Imitator of the First Satire of Horace, Book ii.
  • But the fruit that can fall without shaking
    Indeed is too mellow for me.
    • The Answer.

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