We are obliged to bring our Heroe on the Stage in a much more disadvantageous Manner than we could wish; and to declare that it was the universal Opinion of all Mr. Allworthy's Family, that he was certainly born to be hanged.

The narrator speaks these words in Chapter II of Book III, just before he introduces the fourteen-year-old Tom Jones to the reader. The quote reveals Fielding's interest in "imperfect Heroes"—he does not intend for his protagonist to be faultless, but rather undertakes a style of characterization that is true to life. Indeed, Fielding commits himself here to "flatter no Man" and to follow the "Directions of Truth." Fielding's motif of the stage begins here, as he professes to bring Tom Jones—like an actor—onto the "Stage" of his drama.